The H G Bolton Sprint concludes Perth’s black-type season at Belmont this Saturday and, just for a change, Blackfriars will only play a bit part in proceedings.
The Scenic Lodge champion has sired the winners of 12 stakes races this season and the chance of 13, albeit slim, rests with Pop Culture in the LR Bolton Sprint.
Blackfriars is also close to creating another record in addition to a hat-trick of Sunspeed premierships this season. He is just $53,600 away from breaking through $4 million in earnings for 2012-13.
Pop Culture (4m Blackfriars – Georgia’s Storm by Metal Storm) has won second-up in her last two campaigns, however, the mare could be looking for longer trips than 1200 metres at this stage of her career.
“She’s all heart but can’t sprint now,” trainer Colin Webster said. “She is pretty dour and 2400 metres would be her best journey.”
Pop Culture emerged as the leader among Perth’s fillies in 2012 winning the LR Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m) and G3 WA Oaks (2400m). She returned last summer for further victories in the LR Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) and LR WA St Leger (2100m).
Webster is getting her ready for the Goldfields Triple Crown that climaxes with the $150,000 Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) on September 21.
Blackfriars has sired the benchmark for three year-old fillies again this year with Summah’s Touch.
Trainer Adam Durrant will back her up against older stayers for the first time in the Westspeed Stayers Bonus Hcp (2200m) at Belmont on Saturday.
Summah’s Touch (3f Blackfriars – Hollywood Touch by Citidancer) swept the Belmont Guineas (1600m), Belmont Oaks (200m) and Belmont Classic (2200m) but faces her stiffest test to date this weekend.
After a spring spell, Summah’s Touch will be set for the Bunbury – Pinjarra Cups double next March.
Scenic Lodge has a yearling half-brother to Summah’s Touch by its resident sire Universal Ruler. A flashy chestnut, he has the looks to back up an improving pedigree and is sure to create a lot of interest at the 2014 Perth Magic Millions.
– Karl Patterson