Vitello can clinch a career at stud with a Group 2 victory in the WA Guineas (1600m) at Ascot this Saturday.
Vitello (3c Snitzel – Samal by Timber Country) is raced by local breeders Alan and Sue Olive in a syndicate that includes Gai Waterhouse and her daughter Kate.
Waterhouse won’t be at Ascot but she believes Vitello will be hard to beat in the classic. “He lumped 59kg to win in class-record time at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day,” Waterhouse relayed on her website this week. “He showed fight, grit and he has that Tulloch Lodge bone and muscle.
“He’s a stallion prospect and the West Australian Guineas jumped out from the calendar. Black type is black type. And with our Melbourne Cup winning hoop Damien Oliver aboard, he will take a power of beating.
“The set weights scale is also in his favour. He will be up front on straightening and is capable of running 34 seconds for the final 600 metres. He’s an athletic, competitive type and those elements, to me, make for a very competitive horse.”
Stable foreman Mark Newnham revealed Vitello has held his condition perfectly since arriving in Perth. “He looks well and is raring to go,” Newnham said on Tuesday. “I expect him to run a bold race.”
Snitzel will sire his fifth stakes winner this season if Vitello is successful in the WA Guineas. Group 1 Cox Plate winner Shamus Award propelled him to the top of the Australian sires’ premiership and a major share of the $400,000 prizemoney will help him take back the lead from Melbourne Cup winning sire Monsun.
The Arrowfield Stud resident is also the sire of Perth’s boom sprinter Smoko and Ascot stakes winner Petrol Power. But they are both geldings.
Snitzel continues the breed-shaping dynasty of Danehill and his champion son Redoute’s Choice. Arriowfield raised his service fee to $49,500 (inc gst) this year. Newgate Farm tapped into the sireline last month when signing Snitzel’s G1 T J Smith winner Sizzling to stand at its Hunter Valley base in 2014.
Alan and Sue Olive operate Gold Front Thoroughbreds north of Perth at Breera. It’s home to Redoute’s Choice stallion Slater who stands for a $5,500 (inc gst) service fee.
– Karl Patterson
“Vitello is a stallion prospect and the WA Guineas jumped out from the calendar”