Ultra-consistent galloper Variation grabbed his own slice of history on Saturday by becoming the first horse to capture Perth’s Guineas double, following up his Group 2 WA Guineas success last November with an emphatic victory in the Listed Belmont Guineas.
Variation was sent out a hot favourite for his latest 1600m assignment and justified the weight of expectations, much to the relief of trainer Stephen Miller.
“It was starting to get to me because everyone was on top of him,” Miller told Aushorse. “But credit to Variation and Brad Parnham. He’s just an unbelievable little horse.”
The War Chant 3yo has won 6 of his 12 starts, with a further 5 placings, for $596,650 in stakes and is now likely to target the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes in November. “It’s obviously another level again,” Miller admitted. “But I think he’s capable of putting his best foot forward and running a good race in the Railway.”
The Guineas milestone wasn’t lost on Ann Croucher either, whose Mungrup Stud bred Variation and is one of the state’s most successful farms.
However, Croucher is, if anything, more taken with the value that’s on offer in Western Australia. “The Perth Magic Millions is the best value for money yearling sale in Australia,” Croucher said. “We sold Variation for $32,000 and he’s now won close to $600,000.
“Group 1 winner Silent Sedition, who is also by War Chant, was sold in Perth for $45,000, while Black Heart Bart was another one offered at the sale. All great advertisements for what’s on offer here in the west.”
Variation is one of 36 stakes winners for the Yarradale Stud based stallion War Chant (USA) who will stand this season at a fee of just $11,000.
Closer to home, Croucher is particularly excited about the approaching spring with Mungrup Stud’s 2016 stallion acquisition I’m All The Talk.
Trained by Gary Portelli, I’m All The Talk was a Group 2 winning 2YO in Sydney before retiring to Mungrup Stud in 2016. Apart from being a full brother to multiple stakes winner Straturbo and closely related to Group 1 star Mentality, I’m All The Talk is by deceased Widden Stud champion Stratum
Stratum’s sons Stratum Star (Kingston Town Classic) and Takedown (Winterbottom Stakes) won two of Perth’s majors last year.
“Variation’s dam Fleeting Angel was covered by I’m All The Talk last year,” Croucher added. “You can image how much we’re looking forward to that foal.”