Vital Equine (Ire) collected $160,400 in prizemoney plus more black-type on top of a winning treble at Belmont on Saturday.
The profitable pay-day gained traction with Rockon Tommy in the TABTouch Hcp (1400m). He was unbeaten after three starts at Northam and Belmont earlier this season and connections were considering the G2 WA Guineas in November.
Rockon Tommy had battled a run of outs after a spell before breaking back into the frame off a seven-day turnaround. “He had been hanging around for a while but we were confident today,” veteran trainer Bill Doughty said. “He means a lot to us – I ride him work every day.”
With the benefit of hindsight, Doughty reckons he should have started over 1600m in the WA Guineas instead of stepping back to 1200m in the LR Placid Ark Stakes a fortnight later.
Doughty bred Rockon Tommy and has a 2yo filly and a filly foal by Universal Ruler from his dam Sushi Quatro (Key Business). The mare is due again to Vital Equine in September.
Vital Equine flag-bearer Material Man completed a record-breaking month for owner-breeders Michael and Jill MacDermott in the G3 Strickland Stakes (2000m). Despite a wide berth in transit, he became the first horse to ever sweep the G3 Belmont Sprint, G3 Hyperion Stakes and G3 Strickland Stakes.
“He’s taking us on a good ride,” trainer Justin Warwick said. “We will keep him in one piece and head to the Melbourne spring carnival.”
Material Man’s dam Del Lirio (Hussonet) descends from famed producer Eight Carat and he fits right into that pedigree with 14 wins in 23 starts for earnings of $1.31 million.
Bella’s Idol completed the Vital Equine treble in the Inglis Bloodstock Hcp (1600m). “His work had been good and I was keen until he drew wide,” trainer Brett Pope explained. “But Troy (Turner) made a winning move when he went forward and slotted into the box-seat. They way the track is playing, he wouldn’t have won going back from the barrier.”
It was Bella’s Idol’s first win since a Pinjarra maiden exactly a year ago. His dam Bella Contessa (Bel Esprit) was placed twice as a spring 3yo at Belmont and she will deliver one of the first foals from the last crop by Blackfriars in August.
Vital Equine (Danetime) has sired the winners of $2.03 million this season – his best since arriving in Western Australia. Owned by Yarradale Stud, he stands at Rosalee Park for a $4,400 (inc GST) service fee.