It was another brilliant weekend on the track for Woodside Park Stud stallion, Written Tycoon with his daughter, the Ellerton-Zahra trained mare, Booker saluting in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield on Underwood Stakes Day.
Booker is now the 21st individual stakes winner for the Champion Victorian sire, and her hard-earned victory will give her a deserved shot at Group 1 glory in the Thousand Guineas.
Lightly raced, Booker has now won twice and been placed three times at Group level from five starts with prize money earnings of $279,000.
Woodside Park Stud’s Matt Tillett was delighted with the win, as he felt she had always been a quality galloper that was group class.
“It was so pleasing to see her win on the weekend, she’s a very talented mare, and as the track and conditions suited, she could show her true ability,” Tillett said.
“It was a great thrill for the owner-breeders too. Bill Rigg and Tony Freebairn have been friends of ours for a very long time. They are actually both childhood friends with my father, Murray, and they sent the mare originally to Written Tycoon to support us. It’s a terrific result.”
Booker was a $230,000 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale purchase by part-owners Barrie and Midge Griffiths, successful thoroughbred breeders in their own right.
“I remember Barrie Griffiths came and grabbed me at the sales and said I had to come and look at this yearling, which turned out to be Booker,” Tillett said.
“I honestly don’t think I had seen a better-looking Written Tycoon filly, and I agreed that he should buy her. Both breeders stayed in the ownership along with Nick Psaltis who has raced a number of horses with David Moodie, so it’s a good little team.”
The win is also a silver lining for owner Barrie Griffiths after the news his other star mare, Group 2 winner Heatherly is to be retired, after suffering her second bleed after trying her heart out in the Group 1 Moir.
Booker is the first foal out of winning Flying Spur (Danehill) mare Noondie, who is a half-sister to Listed winner Tranquility (Redoute’s Choice) and the stakes-placed mare Impassioned (Redoute’s Choice).
With a star-studded book of fillies and mare lining up in the breeding barn for Written Tycoon this season, and another crop of outstanding foals on the ground, without doubt, there is still so much to come for the Champion Victorian sire.
You could say two recent Written Tycoon arrivals are already a little bit famous in the racing and sporting world – at least indirectly.
First we’ve got Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm’s fill out of super star Group 1 winning filly Gold Edition…
And then there is Billy and Nicole Slater’s Written Tycoon foal out of their Al Maher mare Hamam. With Billy winning the NRL Grand Final on Sunday with the Melbourne Storm, you could say this colt has already received a ‘pedigree update’ of sorts!