Smug fit for Western Australia

Westbury Park Stud has tapped into the El Prado sireline with the acquisition of outstanding grass horse Smug.

Smug (El Prado – Prospinsky by Mr. Prospector) will cover his first book at the Pinjarra based stud for a $4,400 (inc gst) service fee this year.

Westbury Park completed the deal just weeks before El Prado stallion Kitten’s Joy clinched the North American sires’ premiership for 2013.  El Prado (Sadler’s Wells) is also the sire of high-profile Australian shuttlers Medaglia d’Oro (Darley) and Artie Schiller (Emirates Park).

“He arrived here at Christmas and will have plenty of time to acclimatise and let down,” Westbury Park studmaster Phil Ibbotson said.  “He’s a beautiful steel grey stallion and we’ve priced him at $4000 plus to ensure he gets a good book first-up.

“The Sadler’s Wells – El Prado sireline makes him a good fit for all the Danehill-line mares here.”

Smug (USA) is a younger half-brother to A P Indy stakes winner Spin Control.  They are from Prospinsky (Mr. Prospector), who is a three-quarter sister to the dam of Group 3 winner Villeron.  Second-dam Nikishka (Nijinsky) was a Group 2 winner of the Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita.

The cross of El Prado and his sons with mares descending from Mr. Prospector has been a prolific stakes producing combination with over 50 stakes winners, including USA Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.

Smug was prepared by Hall Of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale and was lightly-raced, winning three times on turf from nine starts.  He opened up with a Hollywood Park maiden over 1600m and added allowance victories back at Hollywood Park (1600m) and Santa Anita (2000m).

Graduating to black-type company the following month, Smug was all set to give Drysdale back-to-back wins in the Group 3 Inglewood Handicap (1800m) at Hollywood Park following Liberian Freighter’s victory in 2011.  He led but was nailed right on the line by Utopian.

“He was very talented and was just learning the ropes when he injured a leg,” Drysdale explained.  “He ran into the back of another horse while pulling up after a morning workout.”

Westbury Park moved quickly when it was confirmed Smug’s racing career was at an end after just a handful of starts.   He was offered for sale as a stallion prospect by owner-breeder Robert Evans well before reaching his full potential.

“We don’t push our young horses but he was definitely getting the hang of it,” Drysdale added.  “I thought he was definitely a Group 2 horse or even better.”

The new WA arrival will stand alongside Lucky Unicorn (Redoute’s Choice) and He’s A Decoy (In The Wings) at Westbury Park.  The announcement coincided with Lucky Unicorn filly Rock Diva winning the G3 Sunline Vase at Ellerslie and He’s A Decoy siring his first winner (Dabang) at Belmont on Wednesday.

SMUG 3.24.12©Benoit 72SMUG