Trainer Steve Wolfe sent Rope Them In for a spell straight after labelling him a ‘serious’ horse at Belmont last Saturday.
The Playing God 2yo had just claimed his second win in three winter starts and the sky’s the limit when he returns in the spring for a classic campaign. “He’s done a great job and has taken everything in his stride,” Wolfe added. “He goes to the paddock now and the WA Guineas is the obvious ambition next season.”
The Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) is worth $500,000 and will be run at Ascot on November 25. Playing God is going through the roof at Darling View Thoroughbreds after a black-type career that was launched in the 2010 WA Guineas.
The closest he’s come to a WA Guineas victory so far as a sire was in 2019 when star filly Kay Cee was narrowly beaten by War Saint (War Chant).
On Saturday, Rope Them In (Photo: Western Racepix) sat on the pace and held out fast-closer Paris Calling (Ducimus) with fading front-runner More Special (Safeguard) third.
“He’s a versatile horse and I let Pete (Knuckey) do what he wanted in running,” Wolfe explained. “It was also my 30th city win this season which is our best ever.
“Credit also to my right-hand man Noel Carter. This one cost $60,000 as a yearling and has now won $180,000 thanks to Westspeed Premium. It’s been a wonderful innovation.”
Carter buys the majority of Wolfe’s yearlings through Commercial Bloodstock Services (FBAA) and he also bred Rope Them In in partnership with his son Duran, brother Peter and Duran’s good mate Matt Marlow.
“Dad and Peter kept a share and Steve always thought he was going to make a nice horse,” Duran recalled. “I bought his dam Lead Rope from Kerry Haddleton for the price of a cup of coffee!”
“I’ve known Claire Williamson for years and Rope Them In was part of her second draft from Willaview Park at last year’s Perth Magic Millions. We were happy with $60,000 which was above our reserve and hopefully he comes back even better for the WA Guineas.”
Lead Rope (Real Jester) won six sprints but there’s stamina close-up through Manjar (Blackfriars) who won four black-type races in Perth and was successful out to 1800m in Hong Kong.
Rope Them In was conceived off an $11,000 fee in 2019. Year-on-year increases have seen Playing God’s services rise to $33,000 this season. He stands alongside second-season sire Splintex ($11,000) and newcomer Lightsaber ($6,600) at Darling View Thoroughbreds. All fees (inc GST).