Western Australia’s second-season premiership is developing into a three-way battle heading into the back half of 2018-19.
Playing God (Mungrup Stud) held a slender margin until Galah (Rangeview Stud) took over on top following Henty Gal’s win at Bunbury on Wednesday. My Admiration (Westbury Park) is also in contention just $30,000 off the pace.
Morgs Freeman had kept Playing God in front with a New Year double in the Great Southern. He won an Albany maiden as an odds-on favourite in January and then led home a Playing God quinella with a withering burst to defeat What About Moses at Mt Barker.
Pingrup owner-trainer Alan Smith is bullish going forward with Morgs Freeman. “He’s a nice little horse and is getting there,” Smith said at Mt Barker. “I knew he would be running home strongly and I think there’s plenty of upside there.”
Morgs Freeman is a homebred for Smith and is a half-brother to provincial winners Gradual Incline (Oratorio) and Key To The World (Key Business). Their dam Movie World (Arazi) won a half-dozen sprints for local trainer Gerry Hughes and her latest foals are colts by Trade Fair and Oratorio.
Smith bred the mare back to Playing God last year. Mungrup Stud’s Group 1 winning sire has Platoon getting ready for the G2 WATC Derby despite unplaced runs in the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy and LR Lex Piper Stakes since resuming from a spell.
Baywash is another talented Playing God. He won a Cranbourne trial for trainer Patrick Payne on Monday but may not get the opportunity to make the grade in Melbourne as owner David Price specialises in sourcing likely prospects for his clients in Hong Kong.
Playing God got him from Speedo Sal (Oratorio) and Payne got him from Western Breeders Alliance with a bid of $62,500 at the 2017 Perth Magic Millions.
Henty Gal (Galah) gave Rangeview Stud a value-added victory when she bloused out Heavenly Affair (Playing God) in a support race at the Bunbury Stakes meeting. The Michael Lane-trained filly had won a Narrogin maiden on March 1 and was backing up after a five-day turnaround to give Victorian-based hoop Damian Lane a rare victory for his old man.
Rangeview Stud owners Rob and Jodie Gray bought her dam Outward Display (Thunder Gulch) from Gooree Park for $62,500 at the 2007 Magic Millions National Sale. Her first foal Poor Judge subsequently gave the pedigree a boost winning the G3 Chatham Stakes at Flemington.
Outward Display has a 2yo colt by Galah and was covered by associate sire So Secret (Danetime) last September.
The Grays have developed close links in the south-west since transferring from Bullsbrook in 2014. They sponsor Bunbury’s LR Rangeview 3yo Classic and bred last year’s LR Bunbury Cup winner Couleur Bizarre (So Secret).
WA second-season premiership 2018-19
$357,095 Playing God
$332,315 My Admiration