Precious Challenge for Touchstone

Touchstone Farm’s Ben Nelligan isn’t about to give up his day time (and night time) gig as a stud master, but reckons if he was into writing scripts, you couldn’t do any better than Precious Memories winning Saturday’s Listed Challenge Stakes (1500m) at Ascot.

Let’s face it…two days out from a sale in which you’re lining up to sell a three quarter sister and then Precious Memories comes out and wins her first stakes race.

“Yes, that was good alright…very timely,” Nelligan told Aushorse as he juggled inspections for the Perth Magic Millions at the Belmont Park Sales Complex on Sunday.

“There was plenty of interest in the filly (by the Widden Stud based Your Song) before Precious Memories came out and won the Challenge but we’ve been run off our feet since then.  She’s very popular.”

Nelligan is also buoyed by the number of faces wandering around the complex, both from near and far.  “There are quite a few from interstate doing inspections – about half and half between them and the locals.

“I think they’ve been attracted by a nice mix of progeny by West Australian and east coast stallions.  We’ve got seven by our resident stallion Planet Five and there’s a nice mix of youngsters by Your Song, Star Witness, Street Boss and Bernardini, too.

“I think it’s a strong line-up here in Perth and it will hopefully follow the trend of previous sales this year.”

Precious Memories’ trainer, Raquel Mills, has also been doing the rounds at Belmont and confirmed the early interest:  “There are quite a few people that have come across for the sale and I think they’ll be glad they did because there’s a lot of nice at this sale.”

Including Precious Memories’ three quarter sister?  “Absolutely,” Mills enthused. “We’ll be having a close look at her and I would imagine her value has increased substantially since Saturday.

“Precious Memories is a filly that’s just going to get bigger and better.  I’m really happy for her owner-breeders Fred and Cathy White and she’ll probably next run in the Listed 1000 Guineas at Ascot in a fortnight.”