First-season sire War Chant was back in the winners list on Wednesday when One Off The Wood scored a gutsy victory in the Westspeed Plate (1000m) at Ascot.
The Dan Morton-trained grey filly was headed at the top of the straight but responded under a vigorous hands-and-heels ride from William Pike to prevail in a three-way finish from Shady Gray and Orbit The Sun.
War Chant (USA) stands at Yarradale Stud and Wednesday’s winner is his third at Ascot so far this season following Chantski and Chanzig. “It’s been a lot of years since we’ve seen two year-olds as tough as these War Chants,” Morton said.
“We’ve got a few in the stable and I’m looking forward to getting them on the track.” One Off The Wood (2f War Chant – Born Princess by Elusive Quality) was backing up after two unplaced runs earlier this month. “She had the benefit of experience and fitness,” Morton added. “She looked in trouble at the top of the straight but fought back like a nice horse.”
Yarradale owner Ron Sayers races the filly with Eight Of The Best Syndicate which includes the family of Yarradale assistant-manager Susan Bradfield comprising her father Eric, brothers Mark & Chris and her fiancé Davy Hanratty who is Yarradale’s stallion & yearling manager. Susan’s brother in law Brian Collison, who manages Geisel Park Stud for Eddie Rigg, is also involved as are two of her uncles and a cousin!
One Off The Wood is from a Yarradale branch of Sunspeed’s pre-eminent Born Rich family.
Her second-dam Born Priceless (Pricelessly) won the 2001 Karrakatta Plate and her dam Born Princess won in Sydney and Melbourne. Yarradale sire Scandal Keeper has a Born Priceless colt (Lot 187) and Born Princess filly (Lot 368) at the Perth Magic Millions next month.
War Chant has 30 yearlings catalogued for the same sale – his first southern crop averaged a record $97,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions. Subsequently purchased to stand permanently at Yarradale after shuttling from Kentucky, he is still in demand in North America.
On Monday, his 2yo colt from Primp (Bernardini) made $50,000 to top the Barretts January Sale in California.