Shooting To Win 2yo colt McHale is destined to join his Group 2-winning family after one of the most amazing debuts seen at Canterbury in recent seasons.
McHale was last at the 100m mark in the Robrick Lodge Hcp (1250m) last Wednesday before scything through a wall of horses with an electrifying turn of foot. “You won’t see a better finish this year,” the course broadcaster cried. “There’s no more than a length between the first six.”
Former Darley stallion Shooting to Win sired McHale before transferring to Oakland Park last year. His dam Xaar’s Jewel (Xaar) had already foaled the Group 2 winners Ninth Legion (ATC Villiers Stakes) and Tsaritsa (BRC Queensland Guineas).
McHale (Pictured / Green Cap) is trained by Chris Waller for Star Thoroughbreds and Paramount Racing after graduating for $160,000 through the Edinglassie Stud consignment to the 2022 Inglis Classic Sale.
“That was a thrilling finish to say the least and the sky’s the limit with this colt,” stable foreman Charlie Duckworth admitted. “I will have to look at the head-on vision because I don’t know how Tyler (Schiller) managed to thread his way through such a narrow passage.”
Oakland Park also stood his damsire Xaar (Zafonic) after he was initially imported to Australia by Darley. His locally-bred fillies included No Questions (G2 Karrakatta Plate), Answers Are (LR Jungle Mist Classic) and Metro Miss (LR Matchmaker Classic).
McHale is named after Boston Celtics Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin McHale and he kicked off a winning week for Shooting To Win at Canterbury. Glock (Bendigo) and Art Of Sabrage (Northam) followed up on Thursday and Competition made it four at Scone on Friday.
Art Of Sabrage was a front-running Ascot 3yo maiden winner in December and adopted similar tactics in the Avon Valley. Trained by Simon Miller, he’s a half-brother to Adelaide Group performer Pimm’s Party (Street Boss) and Morphettville winner Legless Lady (Foxwedge).
“There’s a buzz about this bloke,” Miller said after the Ascot win. “He went shin-sore and missed the big 3yo races but he will be back for the next summer carnival.”
Shooting To Win (Northern Meteor) stands with Sessions (Lonhro) at Oakland Park and both stallions are priced at $11,000 (inc GST) service fees this year.