How Womantic signals her class at the Valley
Syndicator Brad Spicer broke one of his golden rules when he paid $50,000 for a filly sired by an Irish stallion that was to become better known for what he couldn’t do, rather than what he could.
Storming home to win the VOBIS Gold Carat by 1.75 lengths on Friday night, How Womantic’s ownership group took home a significant portion of the $180,000 race, which is supported by the Victorian breeding industry, Racing Victoria and the State Government.
Spicer said he had never bought a yearling that was closely related to a hurdler but it does give him confidence that his now unbeaten three year-old filly, How Womantic, won’t have any trouble stretching out to a trip.
The Ciaron Maher& David Eustace trained How Womantic made it three from three when she again won impressively at The Valley on Friday night over 1200m and Spicer is looking forward to her getting further in better quality races.
“I don’t think it will be a problem because she is a half to a hurdler,” he said.
“And I think it’s the first time I have ever bought a half to a hurdler at a yearling sale. I normally shun those sorts of horses because you think are going to buy a dour horse, but she has shown us nothing but speed so far.”
“And her demeanour is so relaxed that I think you can put her anywhere and she is push button.”
Spicer said buying How Womantic went against all his rules for buying a yearling and he says he had to really push himself to say “Yep, I think like this filly.”
“If you really like one at the sales you tend find reasons to buy them, rather than why not, so you tend to go against the grain a bit,” he said.
“Peter Moody was actually the under bidder on her and he came up later and told she me was a nice filly.”
How Womantic is by a son of Starspangledbanner – The Wow Signal (IRE) – who stood his first season at Swettenham Stud in 2015 but he had fertility problems and of the 41 mares he served, 29 missed which left him siring 12 foals.
The Wow Signal was then shipped back to France to Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot in Normandy where he produced two small crops which later resulted in just eight yearlings. As well as his fertility issue, The Wow Signal also suffered from laminitis and died in 2018.
Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster said How Womantic is a reminder of what The Wow Signal was capable of producing.
“It’s just a shame that we only had him for that one season because of his fertility issues,” Sangster said.
“Who knows how things would have ended if he didn’t have those issues, but he was a lovely horse.”
Spicer was a part owner of Starspangledbanner which was trained by Leon Corstens, who now trains in partnership with his son, Troy. The champion sprinter was later trained by Aidan O’Brien in Ireland.
“The similarities were very close and they were both very, very good horses.
“We were very fortunate to get her because he only had 10 or 12 foals and to have one that good is amazing.
“She was a lovely type of filly and I didn’t think we’d have to pay a lot for her because The Wow Signal didn’t have that many foals and I didn’t think he was going to be that popular.
“I thought the only people who would be looking at her would either be Troy Corstens or myself because obviously Star is pretty close to our hearts.
“But just the way she moved at the sales, she was a big strong filly and she carried that right through to where she is now. She is big framed filly with plenty of heart and lung room.”
Spicer was trying to recall a horse he’d syndicated that had won its first three starts.
“We have had horses that have won three in a row but not their first three starts,” he said.
“It’s pretty rare and if you look back at the record books there is a certain horse that won her third race at Moonee Valley but we won’t even go there.”
With her last two wins in town, Spicer said it was nice to chalk up metropolitan victories even though it’s over the summer period when the opposition is not is not as strong but he believes the filly has probably earnt a crack at some better races.
“There are two options. There is a race at Caulfield for the fillies over 1200m and I think it is a Group 3, The Kevin Hayes,” he said.
“And then there is the Vanity which is probably the logical option if we are going to step her out to a mile because it opens up the doors for the Surround Stakes in Sydney if she happens to win her next start.
“But I’ll let Ciaron and Dave work out what is the best there. You can look at the program and as the manager pick out the best path, but the guys are with the horse every day so I am not going to butt in there and they can do whatever they want to do.”
How Womantic also holds a nomination for the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on February 29 but Spicer said that’s the most difficult option.
“You will be going up against the boys and Alligator Blood, but if she comes through and wins the Vanity really impressively it might open the door for that race as well and saves the travelling. The fillies have had a pretty good record in that race over the years.”
Spicer said he hopes How Womantic continues to add to what promises to be an amazing story for The Wow Signal.