Mungrup strike-rate escalates for Magic Millions

Mungrup Stud reinforced its standing as Sunspeed’s No.1 nursery with 8 winners in two days this week.

It was a timely boost in the countdown to the Perth Magic Millions starting on February 18.  There are 42 lots catalogued under the Mungrup banner while Queenslea Thoroughbreds (7) and Toreby Park (2) are also putting the finishing touches on yearlings for the Great Southern stud and its clients.

There were 4 winners apiece on Wednesday and Thursday starting with Zedfire Express (Danehill Express), Our Memory Girl (Due Sasso) and Kai’s Diamond (Oratorio) at Ascot.  Mungrup stallions sired that trio and Wombie’s Legacy (Vital Equine) graduated from its draft at the 2011 Perth Magic Millions.

Zedfire Express (3f Danehill Express – Zedfire by Zedrich) is unbeaten after two starts following a barrier-to-box victory in the Westspeed 3YO Hcp (1100m).  The Jason Miller trained filly has never been headed and fought back strongly when challenged in the straight.

“She’s quick, alright,” Miller said after the pocket-rocket defeated Diversicolor by a nose at Ascot.  “I haven’t looked at the calendar but she’s a very strong filly and there’s sure to be another race for her next month.”

Mungrup has an Oratorio (Aus) half-sister to Zedfire Express catalogued as Lot 3 at the Perth Magic Millions.  She is part of Queenslea draft being prepped by Aaron Morton.

Rated Sunspeed’s most successful current-day stallion at the Magic Millions, Oratorio averaged over $58,600 in 2013 and there are another 29 to choose from this year.

Oratorio (Aus) kick-started the Mungrup four-timer at Albany on Thursday with Piccolo Joe and he was followed by Sonny Biscay (Stormy’s Son), Tekapo Tango (Due Sasso) and Kemilee (Due Sasso).

Sonny Biscay (7g Stormy’s Son – Bonny Guest by What A Guest) has been a terrific trooper for the Mungrup brand.  He had won races for Bruce Watkins at Belmont (2) and Peter Fernie in Kalgoorlie (6) before transferring to Albany trainer Alan McGuinniss last season.

Mungrup will offer an Oratorio colt from his younger sister Bonny Belle (Lot 25) at the 2014 Magic Millions.  It’s one of Mungrup’s most successful families highlighted by the stakes winners Kalatiara, Kentiara, Guest Wing, Antique Belle and Broadway Belle.

The latest black-type winner-in-waiting from the family is the John O’Shea-trained speed machine Kencella who is gunning for two in a row at Rosehill this Saturday.

Oratorio has some feature prospects of his own clashing in Race 1 at Ascot on Saturday.

Palace Intruder (2g Oratorio – Palace Alice by Palace Music) bolted in by four lengths on debut and trainer Trevor Andrews has two options after the Westspeed 2YO Plate (1000m) tomorrow.  He will head straight to the $250,000 Magic Millions Classic or be freshened in favour of the $500,000 Karrakatta Plate in April.

Castle Retreat (2c Oratorio – Clarecastle by Tribu) looked star material when runner-up at Belmont back in October and will improve on whatever he does first-up on Saturday.  Trainer Paul Jordan sent him back to Belmont for an effortless trial win on Tuesday and the colt will be cherry-ripe for the Magic Millions Classic on February 15.

Other Mungrup graduates eligible for the Magic Millions Classic include the smart city winners Vital Art, Silver Trace and Our Memory Girl.

Mungrup Stud will parade its Magic Millions yearlings for prospective buyers at the Belmont Park sales complex on Friday, February 14 at 5.30pm.

This Mungrup Stud filly is from a winner of the G3 SAJC Sires’ Produce Stakes