Darling View Thoroughbreds stallion Playing God has the chance to double his Group 1 tally with Bustler, Alaskan God and God Has Chosen all engaged in the Northerly Stakes (1800m) at Ascot on Saturday.
He won the same race twice and his filly Kay Cee became his first elite-level winner when winning the 2019 edition when it was known as the Kingston Town Classic.
“Playing God is doing an outstanding job,” Darling View’s Brent Atwell told ANZ Bloodstock News. “He had four seconds in Stakes races on Railway Day a fortnight ago and I guess he’s got another three good chances this weekend.
“We love having the Eastern States raiders come over because they obviously help the ratings of our races and they provide very good competition. However, to see the money stay in town is also very good, especially heading into a new sales season which is only a couple of months away.”
The catalogue for the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale, held on February 23 and 24, is expected to be released soon – and Atwell believes the local thoroughbred marketplace provides a good return on investment for owners and trainers.
“The industry is very buoyant at the moment, like it is across the country. Our Westspeed bonuses are outstanding and a lot of people have cottoned on to how good it is and how much our bonuses add to the prize-money; they make our sale extremely valuable.
“You can buy a yearling at a moderate price and you only really need to win one Saturday race and get your money back. If we average $90,000 for our yearlings, which they did in Book 1 this year, for a WA-sired horse you are picking up $87,000 in prize-money, so you’re not far off paying for your horse in one start.”
A good example of the return on investment from a WA-bred horse is the Neville Parnham-trained Playing God three-year-old Bustler (Photo / Western Racepix), a $130,000 purchase from the 2021 Perth Sale.
In his four wins from five starts, Bustler’s only defeat coming at the hands of Amelia’s Jewel in the G2 WA Guineas (1600m), he has earned $386,000 in prize-money, $141,000 of which can be attributed to the Westspeed scheme.
“Look at a horse like Bustler,” Atwell said of Playing God’s versatility as a sire. “He’s won over 1000m and Neville thinks that he’s an extremely promising horse with a future and he gets out to the 1800m for the first time.
“Playing God will cover 130 mares again this year, which is really good, but the big surprise for us has been our new horse Splintex. He has covered 120 already with a few more to go, so they are both going really well.
“I can’t find a freshman sire who has covered this many mares in the history of WA breeding, so Splintex is getting every opportunity. He will make it on those numbers if he is any good, that’s for sure.”