Spright storming home to win the Group One TAB Classic Robert Sangster Stakes (AtkinsPhotography.com.au)
The White family’s purple and white colours have been carried to victory by many a luminary in the past 40 years: among them Marscay, Filante, Triscay, Eremein, Jetball … some 18 individual Group One winners.
Now the Garry Frazer trained, Spright, has added her name to the honour roll with a blindingly fast finish to the Group One TAB Classic Robert Sangster Stakes over 1200m at Morphettville on Saturday.
It was some win. With earlier stakes successes in the Red Roses, Star Kingdom, WJ Healy and Brian Crowley, Spright had run third in the Moir Stakes and a three quarter length second to Sunlight in March’s William Reid – both at Group One level – but there was no denying her at Morphettville.
“It was enormous … we’d planned this race six to 12 months ago and it’s all come to fruition,” a delighted Greg White points out. “She seems to be settling a lot better now she’s getting a bit older and hopefully that’s not her last Group One.
“Indeed, she’ll be aimed at the (Group One) Goodwood (on 18 May) and if there’s any petrol left in the tank, she might head to Brisbane for a race like the (Group One) Tatt’s Tiara (22 June).
“It’s likely then that she will be retired and we already have her slated to be covered by Zoustar this spring … unless of course she gets offered a slot in the Everest!”
Aside from the family’s racing exploits, the Whites have also bred and/or sold numerous Group One winners, including La Baraka, Defier (“Hugh Bowman’s first Group One winner”), Excellerator and Danglissa (“Star Thoroughbreds’ first Group One winner too”).
“We were originally based in western Sydney under the Robrick Lodge banner, then we purchased Bhima Stud in 1994 before re-locating to an 870 acre property in the Hunter Valley in 2015,” White explains.
“Robrick Lodge races around a dozen – mainly fillies – and breed from 20 mares annually with the yearlings being sold through the Riversdale Stud drafts at Easter and the Gold Coast.”
Spright, meanwhile, is the ‘poster child’ for pinhooking after being sold to Gary Mudgway’s Grange Thoroughbreds for just $12,000 as a weanling before being on-sold at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale: knocked down to the Whites for $100,000.
With six wins and nine placings from 29 starts, Spright’s current earnings are $1,268,095. Everyone’s a winner!
It’s little wonder that ‘speculating’ has become so popular in Australia with research showing that 73% – almost three quarters – of horses pinhooked through Magic Millions January, Inglis Classic, Premier and Easter Yearling Sales in the last two years have made more than their weanling purchase price.
Leading cases in point include another Saturday stakes winner in Despatch ($40,000 to $195,000) and the Zoustar x Madamesta colt which was sold for $1 million at Easter last month after being picked up as a weanling for $200,000.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Spright is a half sister to two winners including Group placed, Mine Too, and is out of the winning Dash For Cash, mare, Dashoff, who was purchased for just $10,000 by Tony ‘Tubba’ Williams and his wife Sue at the 2013 Inglis Sydney Easter Broodmare Sale.
On Friday night, at the record-breaking Inglis Chairman’s Sale, Dashoff was sold to Mark Pilkington for $480,000.
(Realising an average of $436,569 and aggregate of $22,265,000, the Chairman’s also sold Maastricht – the dam of star 2YO, Loving Gaby – for $2,250,000 … the highest priced mare ever in an Inglis sale ring).
The Sangster victory of Spright also underscores the sad loss of Yarraman Park Stud’s Hinchinbrook, who died last year, but is now the sire of 18 stakes winners. In less than a week, Hinchinbrook has produced two Group One winners after Beat The Clock won the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong the previous Sunday.
Fortunately, eight Hinchinbrook youngsters will be offered at the Gold Coast Magic Millions National Weanling Sale this month (22-24 May).
We’re not too confident though that any of the eight will be sold around the $12,000 mark.
HOOFNOTE: Long before Winx’s part-owner Debbie Kepitis added ‘colour’ to the racing scene with her purple, white and black outfit, White family matriarch, Beryl White, always cut a dashing figure at the track with lots of purple in her race day garb. Indeed, even the Whites original Robrick Lodge in western Sydney had purple roofs on all the stables!