Five-time Champion WA stallion Oratorio has died on the eve of his penultimate crop of yearlings being offered at the Perth Magic Millions Sale.
Oratorio, 21, covered his first book at Mungrup Stud in 2005 and remained at the same Narrikup property in the Great Southern when it was rebranded Willaview Park in 2020. He had been pensioned twelve months ago.
“He had a full life and was loved by everyone,” Willaview’s Claire Williamson said on Thursday. “An arthritic knee had become increasingly uncomfortable and it came to a point where we couldn’t manage it for him anymore.
“He was such a sweet horse. He had been here since I was a teenager and made it easier when I was learning how to handle a stallion.”
Claire’s father Gray Williamson purchased Oratorio (pictured) as a stallion prospect in partnership with long-time clients Lex and Shirley Piper.
During an 11-start racing career with Lee Freedman, he had garnered black-type victories in the G3 C S Hayes Stakes (1200m) and LR St Albans Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley plus the LR Tommy Smith Slipper (1200m) in Brisbane.
A precocious son of Stravinsky, he was bred by Keith Biggs and had Western Australian links through second-dam Hold That Smile (Haulpak) who won a Karrakatta Plate when it was a Group 1.
She was named WA Horse of the Year as a 2yo in 1988-89.
Oratorio was the complete stallion package and was an immediate stud success claiming the WA 2YO Sires’ premiership five times while capturing Karrakatta Plates with Gold Rocks (2009), Motion Pictures (2010) and Lucky Street (2015).
In 2010, he became the first stallion in WA to stand at a service fee in excess of $30,000 and had the honour of siring the first yearling to be sold at the Swan Valley complex when it opened for business in 2019.
Oratorio’s draft for the Perth Magic Millions next week includes the Willaview filly from Don’t Say Halo mare Fleeting Angel (Lot 259). “She’s on the small side but is a lovely type and we’ve become attached to her,” Williamson admitted. “The dam has foaled three winners including Variation (War Chant) who won a G2 WA Guineas and earned $850,000.”
A Lot (USA) is a champion sire in waiting at Willaview Park. The son of influential USA sire Tapit created a North American national record for 1400m on turf when clocking 1.19.23s to win the LR Elusive Quality Stakes at Belmont Park.
He also charged home for a length second in the G1 Fourstardave Hcp at Saratoga and protested unsuccessfully against Tourist (Tiznow). The winner went on to claim that year’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.
A Lot has last-start Ascot winners A Lot Of Good Men ($2.40) and Odinaka ($5.50) at the top of markets for the RL Magic Millions WA 2YO Classic (1200m) at Pinjarra on Saturday.
Gray Williamson kept a share in A Lot Of Good Men after selling him to Trevor Andrews at the 2022 Magic Millions. And Claire stayed in Odinaka with her mother Jan following his sale to Steve Wolfe.
“It’s very exciting and a good result would be perfect going into the Magic Millions Sale,” Claire said. “Dad is a great judge and he picked A Lot as an ideal outcross for WA. We have a half-dozen yearlings by him and, as a group, they’re athletic and correct with a strong shoulder and trouble-free feet.”
First to parade is the filly from Oratorio winner Anna Amalia (Lot 53). “She’s a striking filly with a lovely pedigree,” Williamson said. “The Magic Millions team couldn’t fault her during their inspections.”
Lot 233 is an A Lot highlight being a half-sister to the Steve Wolfe-trained Ex Sport Man (Playing God) who won the RL Magic Millions WA 2YO Classic and G2 Karrakatta Plate in 2021.
Lot 297 is a super A Lot colt from Minika. She is another winning mare by Oratorio and is a full-sister to Misty Metal who was a Listed winner of a Jungle Mist Classic, Miss Andretti Stakes and Summer Scorcher at Ascot.
The Willaview consignment will be available for inspections at Barns F & G in the Swan Valley as from Saturday.
This article was first published on Breednet