Waratah’s Secret Stars Again

Waratah’s Secret confirmed his status as one of the finest gallopers in Western Australia with a stunning all the way win in Saturday’s Group Three AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) at Ascot.

Sent to the lead early by star Perth jockey Paul Harvey, Waratah’s Secret was able to control the speed and kick away from his rivals in a powerful front running display.

The son of WA based Stravinsky sire Oratorio, Waratah’s Secret was able to make up for an unlucky fourth placing in the recent $750,000 Winterbottom Stakes with his latest success.

But while he could have been excused for wondering what could have been in WA’s richest sprint, trainer David Harrison was looking forward to the future with his stable star.

“That’s racing. Sometimes you get the luck and sometimes your don’t,” Harrison reported.

“It wasn’t Paul’s fault – they just went a bit quick and he got shuffled back – but that’s racing – you’ve got to take the good with the bad.”

In the run to the line this time around Waratah’s Secret ($2.60 fav) held a sizeable two and a quarter length margin over the runner-up and recent Winterbottom Stakes winner Hadabeclorka ($8).

Elliotto ($26) was another short neck back in third place in the feature 1400 metre contest.

“Paul said we would ride him positively because if they go fast he can sit back and if they don’t he can go forward,” Harrison commented.

“He rode him positively out of the barriers today and it worked great. He won pretty soft.”

“He likes to roll along at that one bat – and that bat is usually quicker than the others.”

Harrison said he wasn’t sure what the immediate future held for Waratah’s Secret – but said he was excited about his long term ambitions.

“I’m not sure where he’s going now. I think he’ll be a better horse sitting in a 1400 or a mile in better company so the future looks good.”

Waratah’s Secret was purchased by Harrison for $43,000 from the 2008 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Gray and Jan Williamson’s Mungrup Stud.

He boasts the impressive race record of eight wins and four second placings from just 14 starts – he’s earned an ever increasing haul of $459,100.

Waratah’s Secret is one of three winners produced by Blissfully, a twice raced daughter of champion New Zealand based sire Zabeel.

Blissfully is a half sister to the listed Red Roses Stakes winner Perfect Evening and is from a half sister to former star juvenile Blazing Saddles.

His sire Oratorio, an Australia bred son of Stravinsky, is making waves for all the good reasons in WA with a swag of top class racehorses with just a few crops to race.

A former member of the Lee Freedman stable, Oratorio shot to prominence at two by winning the Magic Millions Adelaide 2YO Classic. Later that year he trained on to win the CS Hayes Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The cream of Oratorio’s latest yearling crop will go under the hammer at February’s Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale at Belmont.

Transcend Goes Wire To Wire In Japan Cup Dirt

Youth captured the 11th running of the Japan Cup Dirt as race favorite, the 4-year-old colt Transcend went wire to wire at Hanshin Racecourse on Sunday to top a 16-horse field by a neck.

No. 8 choice Glorious Noah, another 4-year-old colt, was runnerup, the first of three darkhorses to pass the finish line ahead of the top picks. The 11th pick Admire Subaru was over the line in third place, 1 1/4 lengths behind the Precise End-sired Glorious Noah. At 7 years of age, Admire Subaru, by Admire Boss, was the best of the older runners in this year’s Japan Cup Dirt, a race that has been largely dominated by older runners. The 10th choice at the windows, Birdie Birdie, a 3-year-old by Brian’s Time, followed a nose later in fourth place with second pick Silk Mobius making the board in fifth.

Transcend broke with perfection and aced an early fast pace and pressure in the straight without ever giving up the lead. He was dogged from the start by Birdie Birdie, who gamely held his position to the final meters, only to be overtaken in an impressive stretch drive by Glorious Noah, with Admire Subaru also just able to catch Birdie Birdie but strides from the end.

“He was the favorite and I’m glad to have been able to live up to the expectations,” jockey Shinji Fujita said of Transcend, who scooped not only his first G1 race of 2010, but the first G1 win for trainer Takayuki Yasuda, 57, who opened his stable 16 years ago.

Transcend clocked 1 minute, 48.9 seconds over the 1,800 meters of slightly yielding dirt. The race’s first 1,000 meters were covered in 1 minute flat, but Transcend showed his maturity by not caving in to the pressure. “Yes, there was some pressure, but he has the speed and handled it well,” Fujita said. “He has a huge stride and it didn’t feel fast for him. I thought the pace was a bit fast, but knew he could handle it.”

“The members were much like his last race,” Fujita said and noted the absence of competition from abroad for this year’s Japan Cup Dirt. Nonetheless, not wishing to make light of the G1 win, Fujita, added, “He’s become a G1 horse and I will take care to see that he keeps on winning.”

Transcend is owned by Koji Maeda. The bay colt is by Wild Rush out of the Tony Bin mare Cinema Scope and was bred by North Hills Management in Hokkaido. Transcend is now 7-for-13, earning JPY 130 million with the Japan Cup Dirt win.

Playing God Rules In Kingston Town

Twelve time Perth premiership winning trainer Neville Parnham notched his maiden Group One success at Ascot on Saturday when outstanding three-year-old Playing God won the $500,000 Kingston Town Stakes (1800m).

Perfectly ridden by jockey son Steven, Playing God reeled in the front running mare Impressive Jeuney in the straight to lead home a Magic Millions one-two in the feature event.

The win capped a wonderful preparation for the well bred three-year-old son of Blackfriars who last Saturday won the Aquanita Stakes. A start before he won the Western Australian Guineas.

“We hatched a plan prior to the race and we expected Impressive Jeuney to go forward,” a delighted Neville Parnham said.

“We thought if we could get into the one, one trail and make them carry the weight it would work well.”

“It’s been a busy week – but we thought we could win it and I’m very happy to have done so.”

Parnham has a big opinion of Playing God and he said the star galloper had continued to improve as he matured.

“I think he’s a pretty special horse. He didn’t start out as prominent as his older brother (God Has Spoken) did who won his first race start.”

“This horse has taken a little time to mature. This time in, his trial was excellent – his first up win was devastating and the only time he was beaten in the Fairetha (Stakes) – that was probably a good ride by Paul Harvey on Hoegaarden and we just got bottled up.”

Playing God is raced by Colin Loxton’s Cockatoo Ridge Syndicate and was purchased by Parnham on his behalf at the 2009 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale for just $27,000.

As it stands his outstanding record reads out at five wins and two second placings from just nine starts and earnings of over $636,000.

In the run to the line in the Kingston Town Stakes it was Playing God ($3.10 fav) who got the better of the Darren McAuliffe trained Impressive Jeuney ($12) to win by a half length.

The John Thompson trained Trusting ($6) was the best of the rest in third place, a further three parts of a length back.

Connections of Playing God confirmed that a spell would be next on the agenda before he returns for a campaign with WA’s blue riband in mind.

“He’s a horse I think can go on and be a Derby horse,” Parnham said. “We’ll let him cool off from today’s run and we’ll go the paddock now and we’ll decide which track we take.”

“I’ve not convinced he’s a genuine stayer – but three-year-olds can get away with a lot of things.”

Playing God’s full brother God Has Spoken ($14) was doing his best work late in the race and wound up in eighth place in the race.

They are both by Durham Lodge’s red hot resident sire Blackfriars and is from their grand producing mare Dolly Will Do.