American Pharoah registered his eighth Grade I winner in his fourth country on Saturday when Riff Rocket (3g American Pharoah x Missile Coda, by Smart Missile) won the Group I Victoria Derby.
Racing over 1 ½ miles at Flemington, Riff Rocket broke well to take up a place in midpack one path off the rail soon after the start. He held that position nearly all the way around the track until the final quarter mile when he was piloted a little wider.
Given a clear path, he kicked into gear and started running down the leader. Once by in the final sixteenth, there was no letting up with Riff Rocket having a head margin on a late runner in the end.
Trained by Chris Waller for owner-breeder Woppitt Bloodstock, this is the fourth win in seven starts for Riff Rocket with the gelding also winning the Super Impose Stakes and finishing second in the Group III Caulfield Classic in his other stakes attempts.
He is one of two runners out of the stakes placed Missile Coda, who is out of a half-sister to stakes winner Walk Alone and the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Rain Affair. Missile Coda visited Home Affairs in 2023.
American Pharoah is the sire of 40 worldwide stakes winners with 77 stakes performers, led by 23 graded stakes winners in seven different countries.