Playing God has the WA Sires’ premiership all sewn up and he can also surge up the 2YO table starting with Rope Them In at Belmont this Saturday and a pair of winners from the Lark Hill barrier trials on Monday.
The Darling View Thoroughbreds stallion sits fifth for the 2YO title going into the final month of the season and Rope Them In has opened a $4.80 second favourite to rubber-stamp his debut win at Belmont on June 3.
Rope Them In (Photo / Western Racepix) settled back in the field and had a bumping duel with the favourite Dreamers Never Die (Nicconi) approaching the furlong before letting down to defeat his stablemate Why Me (Jimmy Choux).
His dam Lead Rope (Real Jester) was bred by Fred Castledine and won six sprints in Perth including a race named after her part-owner Kerry Haddleton. She foaled winners by Rangeview Stud sires Henny Hughes (USA), So Secret and Galah early in her stud career and later changed hands to foal Rope Them In for Noel and Duran Carter.
Willaview Park (as agent) sold Rope Them In for $60,000 at the 2022 Perth Magic Millions and Noel kept a share in a syndicate with trainer Steve Wolfe. The progressive youngster earned $84,540 in prizemoney and Westspeed Platinum bonuses for his first-up win and he can double that for Playing God on Saturday.
There were eight 2yo trials to accommodate a surplus of late-season juveniles at Lark Hill on Monday and Playing God filly Janny looked an early winner for trainers Grant & Alana Williams. She jumped to a clear-cut lead out wide and then skipped clear when Willie Pike gave her a reminder at the furlong.
Janny is a homebred for Bernie Stephens and he has another two Playing God colts from their dam Runs To Paradise (Sepoy). Second-dam Paradise Park (Bletchley Park) won a G3 WA Sires’ Produce Stakes for Oakland Park and she also foaled Grand Nirvana (Scenic) who was a 10-time black-type winner in the conspicuous Yellow & Black Maltese Cross colours.
Stephens has already had success with the family. He won a LR Raconteur Stakes and LR Farnley Quality with Paradise Park’s younger full-brother Hartleys Dream.
Oakland Park’s Neville and Susan Duncan weighed in with Playing God’s other Lark Hill 2yo trial winner Lord Vampi who dived late to nail Dubai’s Daughter (Pride of Dubai) over 950m.
His dam Vampi Lass (Bletchley Park) won a G3 La Trice Classic and her immediate family includes Playing God’s Group 1 galloper Platoon. She was purchased for $70,000 by Oakland Park carrying Lord Vampi at the 2020 Mungrup Stud Dispersal.
The Duncans have Sessions filly Ihts Closing Inn coming off a winning hat-trick in the LR Belmont Oaks (2000m) on Saturday. She has opened an even-money favourite to join Oakland Park homebred Lady Go Bello (Bellotto) who won the 2003 Belmont Oaks.
Oakland Park sire Shooting To Win can kick-start Saturday with promising 3yo Plundering in the Kia Ora Hcp (1300m) at Rosehill. Plundering is the $2.90 pre-post favourite to improve his strike-rate to four wins in eight starts for trainer Annabel Neasham.
Darling View and Oakland Park dominate the TBWA Stallion Directory with the four top-priced sires standing in Western Australia.
Playing God is head-and-shoulders above the rest on $33,000 while his Darling View colleague Splintex is available for $11,000. Oakland Park sires Sessions and Shooting To Win are also standing for $11,000.
Playing God will be parading at Darling View with Splintex (Snitzel) and Lightsaber (Zoustar) from Noon this Sunday. Please rsvp Brent Atwell at 0408 648 100 or email@example.com