Playing God’s current 3yo division has the firepower to drive home his advantage at the top of the WA sires’ premiership in 2023.
The Darling View Thoroughbreds stallion added this week’s Ascot-winning fillies Megami and Feels Playful to a very strong crop of 3yo city performers fronted by Swear To God, Baby Paris, Paddy’s Lad, Sky Duke, Goddess Of Giving and Nunthorpe.
Megami was on her best behaviour and it paid off in the Furphy Hcp (1400m) on Wednesday for trainer Takahide Ikenushi and jockey Brad Rawiller. Tailing out to last, she tacked on and then accelerated through a gap at the 100m mark to defeat odds-on favourite Dirty Chai (Divine Prophet).
A filly with quirks, she had over-raced at the start of this prep and the addition of Ear-muffs and a Norton-bit made a big difference. “She’s much more relaxed now and Brad was happy with her at the trials,” Ikenushi said. “I thought he would go wide today but they got through and she finished really well.”
Rawiller was relieved the run came just in time. “I guess she would have been a good thing beaten if we didn’t get that split. Ike has done a great job settling her down. I didn’t want to push her too hard too early because she could have fired up and done some damage.
“She has a turn of foot but you can’t do it at both ends. That win will give her plenty of confidence going forward.”
Rawiller followed the lead of Group 1 trainer Colin Webster who prepared Playing God’s first-crop mare Divine Quest to an earlier win on Wednesday. “The further back they’re ridden, the better they go,” Webster replied when queried about the best way to handle Playing God’s progeny.
Megami (3f Playing God – Fail Safe by Von Costa De Hero) is owned by Paige Kenney and Mark Southgate and she has an Oratorio half-brother entered by Albany breeder Peter Skinner for next month’s Perth Magic Millions as Lot 255. They are out of an unraced half-sister to Kasabian (G3 Asian Beau Stakes), Belarus (LR Bunbury Cup) and Safety Outlet (LR Singapore Stewards Cup).
Feels Playful (Photo / Western Racepix) went back-to-back for Playing God with a victory that had the large crowd roaring at Ascot on Sunday. She dived right on the line to land a four-way photo-finish to the Amelia Park Plate (1400m) in a support race at the Perth Cup meeting.
The Mitch Pateman-trained filly had opened her account on TBWA Platinum Stakes Day and the running double sent her earnings to $159,000 boosted by Westspeed Platinum Bonuses of $81,400.
Feels Playful (3f Playing God – Feels Like Spring by Dr Johnson) was bred in the Great Southern by Dr Colin Davey who owns the Balgownie Equine Vet Clinic at King River.
“She’s very smart,” Pateman said. “I was very confident today and she will only get better over more ground.
“Holly (Watson) kept her composure and kept the filly rolling. She’s a half-sister to Feels Danish (Danehill Express) who was runner-up in last year’s WA Oaks and that’s the way we’re heading with this one.”
The G3 WA Oaks (2400m) worth $250,000 will be run at Ascot on Saturday, April 1.
Playing God (Blackfriars) is a Top 15 stallion on the Australian 3YO sires’ premiership with 10 individual winners of 16 races for earnings over $1.33 million. He’s a runaway leader on the WA 3YO table with fellow Darling View sire Patronize next best on $605,000.