Inspections moved up a notch at the Swan Valley on Friday morning ahead of one of the strongest Magic Millions Winter Sale catalogues for some time.
Western Breeders Alliance, the leading vendor at four of the last five February Yearling Sales, has entered seven yearlings for Sunday’s Sale with four of them from WBA partner Phil Ibbotson of Westbury Stud.
First to parade is his Rubick colt catalogued as Lot 18. “Magic Millions had accepted him for the February Sale but he picked up a minor leg injury and had to be withdrawn,” Ibbotson said. “He’s a good-looking, athletic colt and will go fast and early.”
His dam Fiftyshadesofgrey (Written Tycoon) was a $90,000 buy for Ibbotson at the 2020 Magic Millions National Sale following a career that included three sprint wins at Rosehill for trainer Marc Connors.
Sandida (Hinchinbrook) was a similar Ibbotson buy for $42,500 at the 2021 Inglis Digital June Sale. She’s an unraced half-sister to Flemington Group winner Felicienne (Al Maher) and was carrying a colt by Darley sire Impending (Lonhro). He has been catalogued as Lot 54.
“He’s a strong, beautifully-bodied colt like a lot of the Impendings,” Ibbotson added. Sandida also has a filly foal from the first crop of Newgate Farm sire North Pacific (Brazen Beau).
Westbury Stud resident My Admiration (Encosta De Lago) has been joined at the West Pinjarra nursery by USA-bred stallion A Lot (Tapit) who is on the brink of breaking through $1 million in prizemoney for 2022-23 as a Top 20 second-season stallion in Australia.
My Admiration has a half-sister to G2 Karrakatta Plate-placed Dark Assault (Statue of Liberty) going through the ring as Lot 59 for J Farms (as agent) for breeder Jason Cheetham.
A Lot’s sole entrant is Foxton Bloodstock’s filly from Oratorio mare Stormy Ora (Lot 64). The dam is a three-quarter-sister to Waratah’s Secret who was a first-crop son of Oratorio and integral in helping to launch the career of Mungrup Stud’s Champion Sire.
Waratah’s Secret braced the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and Fairetha Stakes (1400m) as a spring 3yo in 2009 and completed a separate hat-trick the following year in the G3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) for trainer David Harrison.
Foxton Bloodstock comprises Stephanie Mitchell with Tom & Ann Croucher and they’ve tapped into an emerging cross with the A Lot – Oratorio nick having generated 5 of his 12 winners to date. Mungrup is Mitchell’s alma-mater having risen from a casual vacancy to Horse Operations Manager prior to its Dispersal in 2020.
“The Stormy Ora filly is correct, well aware and well put together,” Mitchell said. “We will be parading her from lunchtime on Saturday and hopefully there’s a good result at Belmont.”
A Lot’s leading earner A Lot Of Good Men is from another daughter of Oratorio and he has opened a $2.90 favourite for the Juicebox Digital Agency Plate (1000m) in Race 1 on Saturday. For good measure, A Lot is double-handed with $5 second favourite Odinaka
A Lot will stand for a $9,350 fee alongside My Admiration ($4,400) at Westbury Stud. “There were lots of calls when we first announced the move and the bookings have been ticking over,” Ibbotson reported. “It’s been very positive and so have the multiple bookings from our clients.”