The talented race mare Zanteca, controversially denied a golden ticket into the 2015 Melbourne Cup, has her first foal on offer through Willaroon Thoroughbreds at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Zanteca failed by a nose to gain entry into the Melbourne Cup when she ran second to the Gai Waterhouse trained Excess Knowledge in the Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington.
Jockey Damian Lane unsuccessfully protested against Excess Knowledge costing his horse the Group 2 race by causing severe interference in the final 150m.
Willaroon Thoroughbreds owner Sally Watkins believes that Zanteca should have won the race and got a Cup run. The yearling on offer at the Melbourne Sale is by So You Think (NZ).
“Her trainer was very upset with the protest result. He was of the opinion that if the mare had got into the Cup she was a genuine winning chance,” Sally said. ” She broke down in trackwork after that race and spent almost a year on the sidelines.”
Zanteca had her final race in 2016 in another Melbourne Cup ballot free race – the Bart Cummings – when she finished second to Lloyd Williams’ Almandin which went onto win the Cup that year.
“The yearling filly is very feminine and a beautiful shape. So You Think is doing an amazing job at stud and his fillies are exceptional,” she said. ” This filly absolutely has the pedigree to make her mark as an Oaks contender.”
Sally describes another of her yearlings, a Testa Rossa colt out of Defying Gravity as a ‘beast’.
“I haven’t had him on the farm very long as he was sent down to me by his owners from the south coast of New South Wales,” she said. “He was bred at Vinery and then spent a little bit of time at their farm and then came down to me. He is very nice colt out of a good running family, the mare has had five foals for five winners and have all won multiple races.
“The mare has a promising three year old in Perth at the moment called Levitate which is by Husson. Ours is by a great winner-getter in Testa Rossa and is a lovely colt.”
Sally describes a filly by Capitalist out of Judicial Rock as very ‘masculine’ filly.
“The dam is by Fastnet Rock and while the filly is Fastnet Rock like, she has Capitalist’s head and colouring, being a chestnut. She has a massive backside on her and is exceptionally powerful.”
Sally says a grey colt by Frosted (USA), out of Kobe Queen, had already been inspected by Darley.
“He was inspected before his prep started and he has continued to improve. He is a lovely scopey grey colt who stands over a lot of ground,” she said.
A Sebring filly being offered by Willaroon Thoroughbreds is out of unraced mare Passarelle from the Speedy Bell family.
“She should be well sought after being from the penultimate crop of Sebring and she is a nice straight forward filly with a fair residual value as she is from a family littered with black type,” Sally said.
A filly by Vancouver, out of Platinum Express (NZ), would be retained by Sally to race if she had the final say – and full ownership. Sally owns a third of the horse.
“I love this one, absolutely love this one and she is my favourite of the draft,” Sally said.
“I don’t know whether she will make the most money, but she is a real athlete and is most attractive, being close to black with a nice amount of ‘bling’. From the moment she was born she has been quick around the paddock.”
While the filly is Platinum Express’ first foal, Sally said there is nothing “first foaly’’ about her. Platinum Express was Stakes placed in New Zealand where she won five races over sprint distances.
“If I owned all of her, I’d be keeping her to race but I only own a third unfortunately and have to sell. Vancouver is doing a great job with his first crop and they will continue to improve with time,” she said.
With Caulfield trainer Mick Price’s success with progeny of the stallion Ocean Park (NZ), Sally is hoping he is attracted to Lot 513 – Ocean Park (NZ) x We Love (NZ).
“He is another lovely scopey colt who has come over from New Zealand to me,” she said.
“He is tall and stands over a lot of ground and is a beautiful mover. Ocean Park has only a small crop of yearlings available this year and his older progeny are flying, with the likes of Kolding, Oceanex and Tofane at the forefront.” There are only two Ocean Park yearlings in the sale.
The last yearling offered by Willaroon Stud is a colt by Dissident, out of Heaven Instead who is a daughter of 1998 Melbourne Cup winning mare, Jezabeel (NZ).
The colt is the last foal of Heaven Instead and is a half-brother to the stakes placed Marmalady. Sally says he has been a big improver during his preparation for the sale.
With eight quality yearlings on offer from Willaroon, this is not a draft to be missed. You can view Willaroon’s draft is at Barn H, in stables 56-61 and 72-76. To view the draft, click here