It’s Show Time For A Showgirl

“Winx is back in fourth last past the 800m”.

No need to panic.

“Bowman is riding for luck”.

Excuse me?

“Winx is bottled up”.

Hang on, this wasn’t in the script.

“She’s got daylight now …”

Ah, the universe rights itself.

For a brief moment, with the emphasis on ‘brief’, it looked like there might be a chink in the armour of Australia’s No. 1 horse, but fate doesn’t always throw in a hurdle when there is history to be made.

Winx duly won the $3 million Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick on Saturday – her ninth victory on end – and while no-one is rushing to comparisons with another awesome performer by the name of Black Caviar, she is starting to get that air of invincibility about her.

And what of Winx’s dam, Vegas Showgirl? Earlier in the day, her 2YO, the Gai Waterhouse trained, El Divino, dead-heated for first in the Group Three Widden Kindergarten Stakes, following which another queen of the turf was declaring the unbeaten half brother to Winx had Group One written all over him.

So, after Saturday, it didn’t come as a huge surprise to the staff at Segenhoe that as soon as the boxes were cleaned and the rugs removed, Sunday at Inglis’ Newmarket sales complex was going to be a busy day.

And in that regard, they definitely weren’t disappointed.

Although the 18 yearlings that make up the Segenhoe draft for the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale are by some of the nation’s stallion elite – Fastnet Rock, Pierro, Redoute’s Choice, Exceed And Excel, All Too Hard et al – everyone seemingly had to have a look at the Snitzel colt from Vegas Showgirl.

“Phenomenal” was the response from one team member … “incredible” from another.

Segenhoe Stud manager, Peter O’Brien, wasn’t holding back either. A veteran of many Easters at the helm of Coolmore’s hugely popular consignments, O’Brien isn’t prone to hyperbole, but even he was taken a little aback by the interest shown in the Vegas Showgirl showstopper.

“We were obviously geared up for a lot of inspections anyway, but with Winx and El Divino both winning on Saturday, interest in the colt has gone through the roof,” O’Brien pointed out. “We’ve been conducting inspections since last Wednesday but he (the colt) almost doubled the looks on Sunday alone!”

Again, while no-one is jumping on the Black Caviar bandwagon, there are clearly some comparisons to be made in regards to the respective mares.

“This mare (Vegas Showgirl) has it all in front of her. Winx is her second foal, El Divino is her fourth and the colt here at Easter is her fifth … a full brother to El Divino no less.

“Tim Martin told me the other day that Vegas Showgirl’s first foal – Miss Atom Bomb – was (Golden) Slipper material before going amiss, while her third, a Fastnet Rock, is as yet unraced, but showing a lot of ability in Hong Kong.”

O’Brien wouldn’t be drawn on a guesstimate for the what the colt – Lot 135 – might bring, nor whether Easter itself would exceed expectations, but he is quietly pleased on the numbers coming through the gates for inspections.

“There does appear to be some new faces among the crowd and from what I’ve seen of the other drafts, Inglis has done another very good job in bringing together quality horses and potential buyers”.

Inglis Managing Director, Mark Webster, wasn’t playing favourites among the 580 yearlings that make up Easter ’16, nor was he about to make any wild predictions, but on the eve of the sale, he was confident Team Inglis hadn’t left anything on the training track.

“I’ve very happy about the number of international buyers who are already here at Newmarket and vendors have all been pretty full on since day one of inspections,” Webster said.

“There are any number of yearlings that will attract attention at the top end and, naturally enough, there has been considerable chatter about the five Frankels here at Newmarket.

“However, just as there is every chance we’ll be talking about the half brother to Winx by the time the 2017 Easter sale comes around, there’s also every chance we’ll be talking up the deeds of a sub $50,000 colt or filly from Easter 2016 who has just one a Group One!”

The Power of Passion