Darling View Thoroughbreds Champion Playing God sired his 17th individual black-type winner when Lord Vampi scored a commanding victory in the Listed J C Roberts Stakes (1800m) at Ascot on Saturday.

After diffusing an outside gate, he let down stylishly for jockey Lucy Fiore in what was a very impressive classic trial to defeat fellow Playing God 3yo Alaskan.  He firmed from $12 into a $4 favourite for the G2 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot on April 13 from Own The Dream ($5), Alaskan ($7) and Zipaway ($9).

Lord Vampi is trained by Pearce Racing for Oakland Park owner-breeders Neville and Susan Duncan and is from the G3 La Trice Classic (1800m) winner Vampi Lass (Bletchley Park).  They bought the mare carrying Lord Vampi for $70,000 at the 2020 Mungrup Stud Dispersal.

Dan and Danelle Pearce with their daughter Scarlet and Lucy Fiore after winning the Listed       J C Roberts Stakes / Photo: Western Racepix

Vampi Lass is from the immediate family of Playing God’s Group 1 galloper Platoon and she has a perfect three-from-three record at stud starting with city winners The Lady Is A Vamp (I’m All The Talk) and Vampi At Play (Playing God).

Pearce Racing weighed in with another $150,000 for the Maschino – Vampi Lass filly at last month’s Perth Magic Millions.  She was offered by Willow Dale Farm as agent for Oakland Park.

Co-trainer Dan Pearce confirmed Lord Vampi will have his WA Derby dress-rehearsal in the LR Melvista Stakes (2200m) on March 29.

“He’s a high quality horse with a big future and Lucy put him in a great spot behind the favourite (A Lot Of Good Men) in running which was a pleasant surprise.”

Dan’s wife Danelle has a share with Oakland Park and they recently knocked back a serious offer from Hong Kong.  Fiore’s post-race comments supported that decision…for now.  “He’s super professional,” she said.  “And there’s no doubt he will get the trip in the Derby.”

Playing God will also be represented by Zipaway in Saturday’s G2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley.  “He’s booked to fly home on April 8,” trainer Neville Parnham told The West Australian.  “If he goes well, he will go to the Derby.”

Hughbert is the latest 3yo maiden winner by Playing God after breaking his duck first-up at Esperance on Friday.  Stewards reported he raced greenly throughout and lay outwards in the straight but that didn’t stop him giving the leaders six lengths and a beating in the Bay Of Isles.

Trained locally by Helen Harding, Hughbert is the 118th individual winner by Playing God and they have won 377 races at a 69% strike-rate.