Stafford’s Lad’s victory in Saturday’s LR Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) sparked celebrations for his connections who are now looking forward to a full-on campaign towards the G2 Perth Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day.
Managing part-owner Richard Bennett originally bought into the horse hoping for a few wins at Broome and the bush for his family and life-long Rugby Union mates in the Neddies On Tour and Magic Maulers syndicates.
Instead, they’ve gone on a dream ride with Stafford’s Lad. “Dan Morton and his son Luke, who is a friend of my son, called us and said he was on the market,” Bennett recalled. “He was a mean horse at the start – he could bite and head-butt but he’s progressed with the Mortons and enjoys his racing now.”
Stafford’s Lad did go to Broome to win the Kimberley Cup (2020m) last July and he was runner-up in the LR Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) before returning to Perth to claim the LR ATA Cup (2200m) at Ascot in December.
His staying career has continued on an upward spiral this season banking $161,600 in the Goldfields after Listed wins in Boulder Cup (2100m) and Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m).
“This is the race I’ve wanted to win for a long, long time,” Dan Morton said after the Kal Cup.
“We have a lot of friends and relations up here which makes it pretty special. Our guy is a proper stayer and it was a huge effort under the weight (59kg) after being caught out on a limb.”
Stafford’s Lad was bred by Andrew Clapshaw using Taunton Vale stallion Demerit over Blackfriars mare Crash Hot who won her only race in 18 starts at the Hannans Hcp meeting in 2011.
While Blackfriars has been accumulating 12 WA Sires’ premierships in a row, he’s also been climbing up the WA Broodmare sires’ ladder behind Scenic (Ire) and Oratorio (Aus) in recent seasons.
The Scenic Lodge legend leads this season’s WA Broodmare ladder ($761,774) with G2 VRC Let’s Elope Stakes (1600m) winner Kissonallforcheeks (Written Tycoon) his leading earner ahead of Stafford’s Lad.
Current Scenic Lodge resident Dash For Cash completed a Hong Kong double as a Broodmare sire on Wednesday evening at Happy Valley through Noble Steed (Street Cry) and Happy Gathering (Hinchinbrook). Scenic Lodge colleague Universal Ruler is also starting to make inroads as a damsire with only a handful of his mares represented with runners to date.
His first-crop Ascot winner She Rules All leads the way with her first live foal Aiyza (Al Maher). Bred, part-owned and trained by Impressive Racing’s Darren McAuliffe, Aiyza won an Ascot nursery in March and a Belmont Fillies & Mares at Belmont last month.