Rookies winning with Foreplay

Woodside Park gave Foreplay a second chance at stud this year and the born-again sire kick-started the careers of two rookie trainers last Saturday.

His Perth based filly Playcidium Mint won the G3 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic for Ascot trainer Craig Wright on Kingston Town Stakes day.  The former Victorian only saddled his first starter last month.

And up in Queensland, there were celebrations from flood-bound Barcaldine all the way to Brisbane when Todd Austin trained Playtime to a narrow victory in the QTIS Montrose Access Handicap at Eagle Farm.

Foreplay (Danehill) has 30 mares in foal so far this season after moving to Victoria from the Hunter Valley where fertility issues hindered his stud career.

Woodside Park bloodstock manager Dean Harvey revealed stem cell treatment at C4M Laboratories has successfully helped Foreplay’s fertility and Dr Angus McKinnon is confident he will fare even better next season.

“It was a matter of throwing everything at him as we weren’t sure which stem cells were the right ones,” Harvey said.  “But recent research at Monash University has pin-pointed which ones aid sperm production.

“There’s only a four-day turn around from cultivation to administration so he can be treated every week through the season.”

Foreplay’s Perth filly Plycidium Mint will be set for the G3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes at the next Ascot autumn carnival.  “You should see a really nice, quality three-year-old filly then,” Wright said on Saturday.  “She’s got a bit of growing to do in front and I think there’s a bit of improvement to come.”

Plycidium Mint (3f Foreplay – Sercidium by Serheed) was purchased for $25,000 at the 2009 Perth Magic Millions.  She was offered by Alwyn Park as agent for Keith Biggs and is a half-sister to his WA Oaks placegetter Celt Code.  Their dam is a sister to former top stayer Beau Heed.

Barcaldine trainer Todd Austin travelled over 1,100 kilometres to break his duck in the big smoke with Playtime on Saturday.  The long haul was worth it when his filly downed plunge horse Crazy Mamma by a half-head at Eagle Farm.

“I’ll have a beer first and then think about setting her for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic,” Austin said.  “The roads are cut in Central Queensland so I might not remember too much of the win by the time we get home.

Austin, 34, prepares Playtime for grazier Ralph Russell who bought the filly for $36,000 from Turangga Farm at the 2010 QTIS 600 yearling sale.  She had won the Rockhampton Breeders Plate on debut in October.

Playtime (2f Foreplay – Boganvillia by Centaine) is a half-sister to seven winners including the black-type performers Cinderella Man (Kaapstad) and Stormpede (Black Minnaloushe).  Their dam has a yearling colt by Eureka Stud sire Red Dazzler and she foaled a filly by Widden resident War Pass last month.

Foreplay has sired 18 winners of 35 races to date.  Plycidium Mint increased his black-type tally to three following That’s Not It (MVRC G3 Red Anchor Stakes) and Decision Time.  The latter was runner-up in Crystal Lily’s G1 Golden Slipper Stakes and returned this season to claim the G3 AJC Stan Fox Stakes at Randwick.

That’s Not It trained by Mat Ellerton and he prepared Foreplay in a short but brilliant career that included an outstanding third behind Alinghi and Fastnet Rock in the G1 VRC Newmarket at Flemington.

Foreplay is currently covering his first book at Woodside Park for a fee of $16,500 (inc. gst).