Playing God sired his 11th Stakes winner with Feels Playful at Ascot last weekend and he can make it an even dozen with unbeaten filly Nunthorpe this Saturday in the G3 VRC The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington.
Feels Playful was nursed in front by Holly Watson to win the LR Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Ascot and trainer Mitch Pateman will keep her in training for the LR 1000 Guineas (1800m) and G3 WA Oaks (2400m).
“I told Holly if she got a soft run to getting cracking before the turn and make the others chase,” Pateman said. “That was her fifth run this prep and we didn’t really have anything planned when she came back into work. But she’s risen to this level so quickly we will keep going towards the WA Oaks.
“She’s as tough as nails and that’s typical of the Playing Gods. I would like a stable full of them!”
Feels Playful (3f Playing God – Feels Like Spring by Dr Johnson) was bred by King River vet Dr Colin Davey and is a younger half-sister to Feels Danish (Danehill Express) who was runner-up in the 2022 WA Oaks.
Nunthorpe (pictured) has opened a $4.20 second-favourite to complete a hat-trick in The Vanity following wins on either side of Christmas at Cranbourne and Sandown.
“She’s a beautiful filly with a big action but is still raw,” jockey Jamie Kah confirmed following the Lakeside victory.
“We were always going to get there even though she had a good look at the crowd. She has a good turn of foot and is going places.”
Nunthorpe (3f Playing God – Latoria by Oratorio) is from a LR Summer Scorcher winner and cost $110,000 as a new-season yearling when purchased by Belmont Bloodstock’s Damon Gabbedy for Dorrington Farm owner Robert Crabtree at the Mungrup Stud Sale in August 2020.
Playing God can also play a hand with Hear My Prayer in the RL Magic Millions WA 3YO Trophy (1400m) at Pinjarra on Saturday. The Pearce Racing gelding won a late-season juvenile at Northam in July and was last seen coming from last to finish third at Belmont earlier this month.
Western Breeders’ Alliance leads Playing God vendors at the Perth Magic Millions with 8 of the 22 lots already on site for inspections in the Swan Valley.
Playing God (Blackfriars) took over as Western Australia’s premier stallion in August and he’s favoured to secure the title for the first time this season. Nevertheless, it’s far from cut-and-dried until the $4 million The Quokka (1200m) is run and won at Ascot on April 15.
What’s already a given is Playing God’s popularity with owners and trainers at the Magic Millions. The Darling View stallion topped last year’s soaring sale with turnover of $2.28 million for 24 yearlings and vendors are confident he can at least maintain those returns next week.