Paddy’s Lad enhanced Playing God’s classic team for next season after a rough-house running of the Free Entry To Belmont Plate (1400m) on Saturday.

Going into the race as a $2.20 favourite after an impressive debut at fortnight ago, Paddy’s Lad (Photo: Western Racepix) bullocked his way through the field to remain unbeaten for trainer Danny Morton and syndicate managed by his wife Carol.

Stewards reported Grece Lightning crowded the eventual winner on straightening but he responded with a bump of his own that carried Union Jack outwards at the 250m mark.

Jockey Brad Rawiller was severely reprimanded for careless riding and he admitted it was pilot error.  “It wasn’t the horse’s fault.  He had to fight to push into clear running.  He’s tough and has ability going forward to next season.”

Paddy’s Lad (2g Playing God – Countess of Tiba by Second Empire) was pin-hooked as a foal by Westbury Stud owner Phil Ibbotson for $50,000 at the 2020 Mungrup Stud Dispersal Sale.

Catalogued for the 2021 Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale by Western Breeders’ Alliance, his value increased when knocked down to Morton for $160,000.

“It wasn’t the prettiest watch,” Morton agreed.  “But I suppose being able to shoulder his way through traffic is a good trait to have for such an inexperienced horse.”

Playing God stands for a WA-high stud fee of $27,500 (inc GST) at Darling View Thoroughbreds and it could go higher in 2023 if his 3yo division go in the right direction next season.  Paddy’s Lad and Swear To God will emerge from winter spells heading towards the G2 WA Guineas (1600m) at Ascot on November 19.

And his classic-bound fillies include Baby Paris and Vampi at Play who will be set for features like the LR Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) on November 1 and G3 Champion Fillies (1600m) on November 12.

Playing God speed-machine Nerodio signalled he could also be a summer carnival candidate after defending his LR Beaufine Stakes (1000m) crown on Saturday.  He descended from the back-half of the field to nail Mervyn on a Soft 6 at Belmont.

Trainer Steph Bakranich revealed the gelding has recovered from hoof problems and is “super sound” now.  She mentioned possible targets such as the LR R S Crawford Stakes (1000m) on October 15 and LR Summer Scorcher (1000m) on New Year’s Day.

Nerodio is lightly-raced for a rising 7yo winning 10 of his 25 starts earning over $440,000 for owner-breeders Livio and Renato Divitini.  He’s the first foal from Black Carat (Lonhro) who is a winning half-sister to Doyoudare (LR WA Tatt’s Cup) and the dam of Playing Marika (Playing God).