Western Australia’s reigning Horse of the Year Playing God gave the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale a terrific boost when he scored a resounding win in Saturday’s Group One Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
In bouncing back to his best, Playing God has able to defend his title in the race which shot him to prominence by winning as a three-year-old a year ago.
A son of leading WA based sire Blackfriars, Playing God was given a perfect ride by Steven Parnham and he zipped clear on straightening and set up a winning break.
He was still very strong to the line, cruising home to beat Ranger by a length, while exciting three-year-old King Saul was next home in third place.
Playing God, bred and sold by Durham Lodge, was purchased by trainer Neville Parnham for $27,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale.
The four-year-old entire is raced by Colin Loxton’s Cockatoo Ridge Syndicate – he also races Playing God’s full brother, the group winner God Has Spoken.
“I was very confident that the horse would be hard to beat today,” a delighted Neville Parnham said after the race.
“I realised where we took the speed out of his legs leading into the Railway when he was back to 1600 metres after four solid runs at 2000.”
“We planned to ride him close on the speed and it worked perfectly – it seems a bit hard to make up too much ground on a day like today.”
“Steve rode him tremendous,” he added.
Parnham Snr fought back tears after the race – relieved and proud of his stable star for producing at racing’s elite level.
“Everybody wrote him off and I was probably the only one who didn’t,” Parnham commented.
“He’ll go to the paddock now and then probably back to Melbourne.”
Parnham’s son and winning rider Steven was not surprisingly all smiles in the winning enclosure after the race.
“He’s done a terrific job,” the jubilant jockey said. “I have to take my hat off to the horse.”
“A big mention to the staff who’ve revived him. He was down and out – after the tough, wide run with weight in the Railway they changed his work around and got him back to here he is.”
“I’m very pleased. He got across nice and relaxed. The pace was nice. When I felt he was ready, I pulled him out and when I asked him he grabbed the steel and that’s how he did it last year.”
A magnificent advertisement for the WA thoroughbred industry, Playing God was bred and sold in Perth and is raced, trainer and ridden by West Aussies. The sire is based in the West as well in a fantastic result for the locals.
Now a seven time winner, Playing God has boosted his earnings past $1.38 million – during a career which has seen him run against many of the best horses in Australasia.
Earlier this year at three Playing God won the Magic Millions Perth 3YO Trophy before heading to Melbourne and placing in both the Group One Australian Guineas and Cup – the latter to proven Flemington star Shocking.
A three quarter brother to Playing God, by Blackfriars from Ruby Doll, is being prepared by the team from Durham Lodge for February’s 2012 Perth Yearling Sale.
The good looking bay colt is catalogued as lot 21 and he will go under the hammer during the first hour of the auction on February 14.
King Saul, who ran an eye catching third, didn’t let his supporters down and he looks to have a very exciting future.
Like Playing God, King Saul was bred and sold in WA and is raced and trained by Perth based connections.
A $120,000 Perth Yearling Sale purchase, King Saul won the Group Two WA Guineas at his run before Saturday.
A half brother to King Saul by leading WA based sire Oratorio, is being prepared by Namerik Thoroughbreds for February’s Perth Yearling Sale.