Upon This Rock gave champion horsewoman Gai Waterhouse an early Christmas present from the west when she scored a deserved stakes success in Saturday’s listed Starstruck Classic (1600m) at Ascot.

The Fastnet Rock mare sat on the speed throughout before racing to the lead and holding off the challengers strongly to beat favourite Rantorini by about a length.

Waterhouse’s travelling foreman Dave Meijer was impressed with the performance of Upon This Rock and also the ride from local star Daniel Staeck.

“It was an outstanding win,” Meijer said. “An eleven out of ten ride by Daniel.”

“With rides like that he’s a real Waterhouse rider. We’re very impressed with what we’ve seen.”

“Gai rang this morning about the ride and used two words – positive and aggressive – and Daniel Staeck summed it up a treat.”

“Her two runs here have been full of merit. Today seeing daylight and ridden like a tough fit horse and she was able to show her true colours.”

Meijer originally thought after the race that Upon This Rock, but it was confirmed on Sunday that Waterhouse had lodged an entry for the La Trice Classic at Ascot on New Year’s Day.

The win was the second at stakes level for the blue blooded mare after her success in the listed Dark Jewel Classic at Scone.

All up she has six wins and 10 placings from 29 starts and earnings of almost $400,000. She would also rank as one of the country’s most commercial mares currently racing.

A graduate of Willow Park, Upon This Rock was purchased by leading bloodstock agent James Bester for his good friend Laurie Macri for $225,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Upon This Rock is one of four stakes performers produced by the well related and grand producing Bite the Bullet mare Joleur.

A winner over 1400 metres, Joleur is a full sister to group winner Mica’s Pride, the dam of stakes winners Varenna Miss and Silently. Joleur is also a half sister to recent stakes winner Amah Rock.

As a producer Joleur has been a leader. From five to race, of which all have placed, she is the dam of four city winners and stakes performers.

As well as Upon This Rock she is the dam of Sydney stakes winners Gaze On and Bhutane Dane and the Sydney stakes placegetter Rogue Warrior.