Voodoo Lad wins the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (Western Racepix)
The late and very great WC Fields once said: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”
Voodoo Lad tried to win his first Group One back in September 2016, finishing a long neck second in the Rupert Clarke Stakes. Then he tried again. And again. And again.
In fact, Voodoo Lad had lined up nine times in Group Ones prior to Saturday’s Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes over 1200m at Ascot and nine times he hadn’t won.
However, Voodoo Lad’s owner, Segenhoe Stud and trainer, Darren Weir are anything but damn fools and their persistence has paid off with the now 7YO breaking his duck in Perth with a barnstorming finish.
And before we start feeling too sorry about the Voodoo hoodoo, it should be remembered that despite the misses – near and far – Voodoo Lad has compiled a record of 13 wins and 11 placings from 33 outings for $1,966,110 in stakes. Those wins also include seven successes at black type level.
Becoming the second Group One winner in Perth for Weir (36 Group One winners overall), Voodoo Lad is the first to race in the increasingly familiar red and yellow seamed silks of Kevin and Lesley Maloney’s Segenhoe Stud.
“The Maloneys purchased Segenhoe in 2010 and Voodoo Lad has played a big role for much of that time,” Segenhoe Stud’s General Manager, Peter O’Brien points out. “If ever a horse deserved to win a Group One it’s him.
“He was definitely a good pick up by Bill Mitchell (Segenhoe Stud Racing Manager) for just $36,000 at the (2013) Scone Yearling Sale.”
Indeed. For his part, Mitchell has long been convinced Voodoo Lad would eventually win a Group One.
“Kevin wanted to buy a horse for the Scone race ($100,000 Inglis Challenge) which Voodoo Lad duly won and, in fact, won four of his first eight starts,” Mitchell reveals.
Leg and foot issues saw Voodoo Lad sidelined for 12 months, resuming with a win at Warrnambool in May 2016 – under the guidance of Weir – before notching up his first black type victory in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield in August followed by that initial tilt at a Group One the month after.
And now that Voodoo Lad has that elusive Group One under his girth strap, Mitchell believes there is more to come in the autumn: “There are some nice weight for age races and he could end up in the TJ Smith as 1200m appears to be his best trip.”
A son of I Am Invincible, Voodoo Lad is one of four winners from the Gilded Time mare, O’Fortuna.
O’Fortuna, who died four months after foaling Voodoo Lad, is, in turn, out of a sister to Champion Sprinter, Schillaci (8-time Group One winner).
HOOFNOTE: Voodoo Lad is the seventh individual Group One winner for Yarraman Park Stud’s I Am Invincible, who is coming into the 2019 sales season on the back of phenomenal success of late.
In the space of two weeks, I Am Invincible has produced two Group One winners in Voodoo Lad and Media Sensation (NZ One Thousand Guineas), plus stakes winners Steal My Kisses, Most Important, I’m Wesley and, on Saturday, Invincible Star.
Bred by the late Noel Leckie, Voodoo Lad hails from I Am Invincible’s first crop and his $36,000 sale price was the 22nd highest yearling price for the sire that year behind the $160,000 paid for Bassillique (one win from 11 starts). I Am Invincible stood his first four seasons at a fee of $11,000.
In 2018, I Am Invincible stands at $192,500 and eight of his yearlings sold for $1 million or more, including $2 million for the Tai Tai Tess colt at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.