Extra Time For Celebrations

Extra Time wins the Group Three M&J Chickens National Stakes at Morphettville (Atkins Photography)


Despite the slight easing of restrictions on gatherings, Nick Chigwidden couldn’t celebrate Extra Time’s victory in the Group Three M&J Chickens National Stakes with fellow owners on Saturday night.

Unfortunately, Chigwidden had a prior engagement, but is quick to point out he was probably feeling a whole lot better than he should on Sunday morning as a result.

“I’d imagine they would have had quite a few Crownies despite my absence,” Chigwidden muses.

He might not be so ‘lucky’ next time! Indeed, there may well be a run on Adelaide bottle shops in the months to come after Extra Time stamped his bona fides with a blistering performance in the National, scoring with three lengths to spare over the 1200m at Morphettville.

A 2YO by Darley’s Caulfield Guineas winner, Shooting To Win, Extra Time was having his fourth start on Saturday, following a pair of Morphettville seconds and a midfield finish, earlier this month, in the Listed Queen Adelaide Stakes.

Extra Time will be sent for a spell according to his veteran co-trainer, Leon Macdonald, but based on Saturday’s success, he wouldn’t rule out a tilt at the Group One Caulfield Guineas over 1600m in October: “he’s certainly bred to run a mile”.

While the majority of Extra Time’s ownership is shared between Macdonald’s long time clients such as Alex Hehir, David Rasheed and Stephen Watts – “they’ve raced a lot of horses with me including (dual Derby winner) Rebel Raider” – other connections include Macdonald’s daughter Christine, her husband – Racing.com’s Terry McAuliffe – along with Chigwidden and his crew.

“It’s capped off a fantastic 12 months for ‘Chig’ who was last year made a great of the Glenelg Football Club for his outstanding contribution as a player and then president of the SANFL Club,” Christine McAuliffe reveals. “My father, Leon, is a mad footy fan himself and others in Extra Time include Adelaide Crows chairman, Rob Chapman, and other good mates in Ben Corcoran and Chris Cowan.

“Chris has been involved in numerous horses but this was his first metropolitan winner and he certainly did it in the style with a Group Three success!”

As for Chigwidden, now the CEO of Adelaide based, PhysioXtra, he had a brief dalliance with “a very slow horse” some years back, but has struck gold twice in recent times via the Macdonald stable.

“I’ve known Leon and Christine for years and am also a part-owner of (Group winner) Tequila Time, who ran third in the National two years ago,” Chigwidden explains.

“Our syndicate in Extra Time is called ‘Bookies Delights’ and it’s really made up from a bunch of good mates at the surf club who like to have a bit of a punt, along with Christine and a couple of her close friends. Terrific group of people.”

And despite being listed MIA at the post-race knees up, there’s little doubt a stubbie or three would have been raised in Chigwidden’s honour.

“The mates in Extra Time wanted to buy into the half sister to Tequila Time, but naturally enough, the connections of Tequila Time took up all the options in the filly. But then Leon said to me, ‘hang on, I do have some shares in a Shooting To Win yearling …’.”

Here’s to the good time!

David Whishaw is happy for the ‘Extra Time’ too.

Whishaw’s family run, Armidale Stud, is the breeder of Extra Time, having sold the Shooting To Win youngster – to Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas – for $140,000 at the 2019 Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

A third generation stud master, Whishaw is a proud Tasmanian and is looking forward to the resumption of racing in his state, which was shut down in early April due to coronavirus.

“Being the only state to shut down has certainly hit us hard and hopefully the department of health will give us the all clear to start racing back up next month,” Whishaw points out. “However, we’re actually counting our blessings that we were able to sell our yearlings in Tasmania, Melbourne and Adelaide before all the restrictions came into effect.

“It would have been absolutely devastating for our small business if the travel restrictions had been enforced prior to the Tasmanian sale in February.”

(Armidale Stud offered 38 yearlings at Tasmania 2020, including the sale topper of $95,000 which was knocked down to interstate trainer, Robbie Griffiths; sold seven from seven in Adelaide, up to $160,000; plus four at the Melbourne Premier … among them a $180,000 Alpine Eagle filly).

“Armidale also had a draft of six for July’s Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale, but have withdrawn them due to concerns over travel. It’s a pity really because I thought we might have topped that sale,” Whishaw muses.

“Everyone is doing it tough at the moment but we’re just grateful the lockdowns didn’t start a few weeks earlier!”

Most importantly though, according to Whishaw, is that Extra Time adds another notch to the Tasmanian breeding belt, with the state producing such topliners as dual Kiwi Horse of the Year, Mongolian Khan, multiple Group One winner, Palentino, All Star Mile hero, Mystic Journey, Group Two winner and twice Group One placed, Soul Patch, and recent Victorian stakes winner, Hellova Street, in recent years. And now Extra Time.

“Extra Time was only a fairly small foal but he was a real favourite of my wife, Rhiannon, who always said he was a running type,” Whishaw recalls. “He sure showed that on Saturday. We (Tasmania) are only a small industry, but Extra Time is a terrific example of what comes off the farm and out of the state.”

Extra Time is from the Group placed winner of seven races in Gwynethanne, who was purchased by Armidale Stud for $80,000 – in foal to Shooting To Win and carrying Extra Time – at the 2017 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

“We purchased her specifically to be covered by our stallion, Alpine Eagle, as Gwynethanne is a granddaughter of Red Ransom and Red Ransom has worked so well with Alpine Eagle’s sire, High Chaparral,” Whishaw explains. “We’d decided to sell a couple of mares in foal to Alpine Eagle to give him a push along as he didn’t have any progeny on the ground at that stage and so he was sold at the 2018 Great Southern to Rothwell Park.

“In light of the way Extra Time was developing, we’d hoped to buy the mare back when she was offered at the 2019 Inglis Chairman’s, but were unsuccessful.”

Although Gwynethanne wasn’t covered last spring, she produced a filly by Impending last November, who will be sold at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale in July, while there’s a possibility – according to Rothwell Park’s Scott Irwin – that Gwynethanne will be offered in the Broodmare section of the Nationals.

The Power of Passion