Perth Magic Millions – Geisel Park a growing influence

Geisel Park owner Eddie Rigg sent his second draft of yearlings to the Perth Magic Millions last year and was rewarded with turnover of $180,000 for the five lots that changed hands.

Rigg’s latest draft will surpass that figure with yearlings by high-profile sires More Than Ready, Starcraft, God’s Own and Fusaichi Pegasus.  The first-crop of locally based sire Due Sasso should also command plenty of interest and Geisel Park has catalogued three yearlings by the Mungrup based stallion.

Rigg is a major shareholder in Due Sasso with Mungrup’s Gray Williamson and Lex Piper.  The son of Scenic was a G3 winner of the 2006 Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield and is closely related to Group 1 racehorse and sire Rancher.

Due Sasso was set to stand his first-season at Touchstone Farm in 2007 but he was transferred to Mungrup when Danehill Express suffered a severe leg injury.

“Danehill Express had a full book and Due Sasso ended up covering 86 mares,” Rigg recalled.  “His first crop are outstanding and my filly from Grey Sea is a ball of muscle.”

A grey like her dam, the Due Sasso – Grey Sea filly (Lot 47) is a half-sister to Rigg’s Blackfriars mare Red Fish Blue Fish who won 10 races at Kalgoorlie and Bunbury.  She is a three-quarter sister to G3 Strickland Stakes winner Lambton Castle (Blackfriars).

Geisel Park also sells a Due Sasso half-brother to Pillow Time (Lot 191).  “They are the spitting image of each other,” Rigg revealed.  “You can tell they’re related straight away.”

Pillow Time is by Danetime and she won at Northam (2) and Bunbury before adding three more during the Belmont season last year.  She stayed in training for the summer carnival and just missed black-type when fourth home in the Listed Jungle Mist Classic at Ascot in November.

Geisel Park’s first yearling to go under the hammer this year is a Starcraft – Femme D’Affaire filly (Lot 19).  Her two year-old brother has been named Mr Vadim and he has been placed in a couple of Perth trials for trainer Lindsey Smith.  Like most of the Starcrafts, he has shown loads of ability but will need time.

Starcraft is an Arrowfield Stud stallion and has already sired two juvenile winners this season.  His Melbourne based colt Star Witness won on debut at Moonee Valley in November and trainer Danny O’Brien is handling him with kid gloves with an eye to the future.  “He’s still very, very new,” O’Brien said.  “He only had one trial but lengthened nicely.”

Starstreamed became Starcraft’s second Australian bred winner when he dead-heated with D’Jet at Eagle Farm on January 16.  Trainer Tony Webb has a big opinion of the colt but didn’t think he would break through as a two year-old.

 “He’s a big gangly bloke and the Eagle Farm win was a bonus,” Webb revealed.  “He was spotting the leaders about six lengths and was all over the place in the straight.  He pulled up very, very shin-sore so it was an excellent win.”

Starcraft (Soviet Star) was G1 winner in Australian, New Zealand, France and England.  He began stud life at Cheveley Park in 2006 and sired English Listed winner Don’t Tell Mary in that crop.  He is now based full time at Arrowfield.

There are over 50 first-crop Flying Pegasus yearlings at the Perth Magic Millions and his colt out of Star Tudor (Lot 262) is one of the picks of Geisel Park’s draft.  “He’s a cracker,” Rigg revealed.  “We catalogued the mare’s colt by Helenus last year but he died just before the sale.”

Flying Pegasus was a G2 and G3 winner at Randwick and is one of several Fusaichi Pegasus sires currently launching their careers at stud.

FuPeg’s Kentucky based son Roman Ruler sired 26 winners of US$1.95 million last year and that would normally be enough to win the North American first-season sires’ premiership.  But Darley sire Offlee Wild claimed the 2009 title with an extra $608 in earnings!

Geisel has a Fusaichi Pegasus – Queen’s Choir filly (Lot 202) entered for Perth and Rigg, quite rightly, says she owns an Easter Sale pedigree.  “The dam has thrown a Group 2 winner in Hong Kong (Able Prince) and a Group 3 winner in South Africa (Hurricane Queen).  All up, she’s foaled seven winners and this filly is a little ripper.”

Queen’s Choir is by champion broodmare sire Palace Music and both her black-type winners are by Hurricane Sky.  They were conceived when he was standing at Arrowfield.

Rigg bought Queen’s Choir at the 2008 Magic Millions National Sale with the intention of mating her with Hurricane Sky again.  He is now based at Durham Lodge and the mare has a PPT to him on an October 28 cover.

Besides the FuPeg, other Eastern States sires in the Geisel Park draft are More Than Ready, God’s Own, Hidden Dragon and Swettenham sire Dash For Cash.

“The God’s Own colt is one of the best on type in our draft,” Rigg revealed.  “He’s 15.3 hands already and is a real show-off.”

The colt’s dam Bring It Home Babe sits on top of a pedigree full of Perth stakes winners.  Her only foal to race is an Ihtiram filly named Frankscall.  She won a Belmont trial in October for owner-trainer Ken Williamson before spelling.

Rigg has a total of 12 yearlings being prepared at Geisel Park which is situated in the south-west at Myalup.  His kick-start in racing came through the late Don Maloney who was a long-time partner at D J Carmichael.  Maloney bred hundreds of winners including G1 sprinter Let Go Thommo.

Rigg started his career on Perth’s St George Terrace with D J Carmichael before launching Argonaut Limited in 2002.

Argonaut’s stock-broking, funds management and corporate advisory divisions have benefited from years of solid growth in WA’s investment community and Rigg is confident his racing and breeding interests are heading in the same direction.