Ascot’s opening day unearthed several summer carnival prospects with none more impressive than Almighty Class in the $100,000 Max Simmonds Stakes (1000m).
The 3yo son of Playing God was the medium of strong support first-up and he duly delivered with a commanding victory over Ripcord (Written By) and tearaway leader Krysanova (Bondi).
Almighty Class had been touted a star of the future ahead of his debut at Belmont in July but a below-par performance didn’t faze trainer Mitch Pateman. “It was a little bit of a letdown but the Heavy 9 brought a few undone that day,” Pateman said. “I was confident today after he trialled super on top of the ground last month.”
Present plans are to keep him in 3yo company for the LR Belgravia Stakes (1200m) on October 28 and LR Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) on November 18. All going well, connections will then consider a $1.5million payday against all ages in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on December 2.
“He might be a 3yo but he looks more like a 6yo,” Pateman said. “He’s a beast with a good turn of foot and I’ve always had faith in him.”
Almighty Class is a homebred for Willaview Park’s Claire Williamson and her partner Col Hunter and they race him with a syndicate of clients from the Great Southern. “I picked him out of a paddock at Willaview Park,” Pateman recalled. “I was down there looking at some other horses with Claire and my cousin Col but I was taken by him.”
He’s the final foal of My Classy Lady (Oratorio), however, Willaview has other members of the family at Narrikup. Her younger half-sister Alpha And Omega (Playing God) foaled a colt off a maiden cover to A Lot (USA) in September.
Their dam I’m Here To Win (Numerous Times) has a 2yo filly by I’m All The Talk and was covered by A Lot (USA) last year.
Champion sire Playing God stands for a $33,000 (inc GST) fee at Darling View Thoroughbreds. He heads the WA sires’ premiership with a half-dozen individual 3yo winners led by Zipaway who is being set for the G2 WA Guineas (1600m).