Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday January 12

Most of the interest this weekend centres on the Gold Coast where we will have a throw at the stumps in the day’s feature, the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained filly Whisky Shooter (pictured as a yearling ) is the $41 outsider of the field and goes into the race with just one start under her belt.

So, it may have all come a bit too quick for the daughter of Sebring who made a winning career debut at Canterbury on January 5. But she looks to have plenty of scope for improvement.

Unusually for a Waterhouse/Bott runner, Whisker Shooter found herself back in the last couple on the turn at Canterbury after beginning awkwardly. She made up the ground effortlessly in the straight before having to pull out all stops to defeat the Exceed And Excel filly Misteed.

Whisky Shooter was a $180,000 purchase by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott/Blue Sky Bloodstock from the Coolmore draft at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

She is the fourth foal, and the best to date, out of the Encosta de Lago mare Rocha.

Purchased by Michael Otto for $400,000 on behalf of former test cricketer and one-time owner of the magnificent The Oaks Stud, Terry Jarvis, Rocha entered the stable of the late Guy Walter.

Bred by Swettenham Stud, Rocha was a maiden when facing the starter in the 2008 Group II Wakeful Stakes at Flemington.

Ridden by Danny Nikolic, Rocha proved too strong for Miss Scarlatti and Estee.

At her next start, Rocha finished fifth in the Group 1 Victoria Oaks won by the champion Samantha Miss. Two starts later she finished third behind Portillo and Romneya in the Group II Surround Stakes at Randwick and her track career came to a close.

Rocha was the first foal of the Group 1 South Australian Oaks heroine Larrocha who was one of fives stakes winners Swettenham Stud’s blue hen Kensington Gardens produced to matings with Danehill.

The others were Group 1 Victoria Derby winner and WA stalwart Blackfriars, the Group II Tulloch Stakes winner Manton who was purchased by Woodlands as a yearling for $1.1m, multiple Listed winner Waterford Road and Listed winner Lion’s Gate.

In 2008, Larrocha was purchased by Coolmore’s Tom Magnier for $1,375,000 at the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale. She was joined by her daughter Rocha in 2015 when knocked down to James Bester for $320,000 when carrying Whiskey Shooter.

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