Winning doubles in Australia and Hong Kong have commenced a good-news week that’s only going to get better for Geisel Park Stud owner Eddie Rigg.

Geisel Park galloper Playin’ Hardball is being touted as a 3yo filly with a future after justifying a long odds-on quote at Albany last Thursday.  Resuming for her first start this season in the Black & White Concreting Maiden (1500m), she led them up before coasting to the line for apprentice Brayden Gaerth.

Playin’ Hardball (3f Playing God – Oriel by Oratorio) is a full-sister to Group 1 miler Platoon.  “That never looked in doubt,” trainer Roy Rogers said.  “We’ve always thought she has some ability and look forward to seeing her step up through the grades.”

Geisel Park manager Conor Dunlop also remembers the filly being popular at the Mungrup Stud Dispersal Sale in August 2020.

She was third on the leader-board for new-season yearlings at $80,000 for a partnership that also includes Rogers plus the Tufilli and O’Farrell families.

Photo / Western Racepix

“She wasn’t cheap and took a while to get it all together,” Dunlop said.  “But she’s on her way now and can keep progressing for a race like the (LR) Belmont Oaks later this season.”

Playin’ Hardball was in good company at the Mungrup Sale with the three top-priced yearlings all being fillies by Playing God.

The Peter Moody-trained Nunthorpe was the most expensive at $110,000 and she won at Cranbourne and Sandown before a Group 2 placing in the Kewney Stakes at Flemington last Saturday.  Next best at $100,000 was Vampi At Play who won a Belmont nursery for Neville Parnham in July and wasn’t disgraced in three Stakes races at Ascot in November.

Geisel Park stallion Manhattan Rain weighed in with a double on Saturday starting with Adelaide-based 3yo filly Billie Bronx who made it two-from-two at Morphettville.  Trained by Peter Hardacre at Murray Bridge, she had won on debut at her home track back in November.

Happy Golf landed the second-leg for Manhattan Rain and trainer Frankie Lor in the Junction Hcp (1200m) at Sha Tin.  Jockey Hugh Bowman capitalised on a favourable draw by hugging the fence before taking over at the furlong to defeat Easy Snip (Snippetson).

Fellow Geisel Park resident All American followed suit when his sprinter Regent Glory prevailed in the Nga Tsin Wai Hcp (1400m).  “He got an injury and had to have a screw put in his fetlock after arriving in Hong Kong,” trainer David Hayes revealed.  “He’s confident now and more relaxed and I think there are more wins to come from this horse.”

Hayes trained All American (Red Ransom) to a Group 1 victory at Flemington and his stats in Hong Kong include 9 winners of 28 races for earnings of $6.69 million.

Meanwhile, Geisel Park filly Laced Up Heels (Toronado) has been sent for a spell after an unplaced finish in the G1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington last Saturday.  She will remain in Victoria after a winter break at Leneva Park to be set for a spring campaign with new trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent jnr.