Westbury Park owner Phil Ibbotson is gearing up for another busy stud season and, in the meantime, the winners are ticking over nicely from his Pinjarra property.
The TBWA committeeman bred a running double at Belmont on Saturday with On The Ropes and Fancy Feet. Both winners are from the first-crop of former Westbury Park stallion Fath (USA) who died after just four seasons at stud in Australia.
ON THE ROPES (4g Fath – Punchelot by Bellotto) won first-up after 30 weeks on the sidelines in the H & N Perry Hcp (1000m). He is a homebred for Ibbotson and is raced in partnership with Fred Kersley’s wife Judith.
“He wasn’t suited at 1000 metres so I was very pleased with that performance,” Kersley said at Belmont. “It’s fair to say he isn’t the easiest horse to train and harnessing all that ability is the challenge. He was fresh and settled nicely today and Stevie (Parnham) rode him perfectly.”
On The Ropes won his first two starts at Belmont last August and owns a 50% strike-rate after a half-dozen outings. His dam Punchelot was a Kilmore maiden winner for Lindsay Park and she has an unraced 2yo colt by Fath named Sleepy Striker.
FANCY FEET (4m Fath – Colourband by Spectrum) is also set for a rewarding winter campaign after a second-up victory in the Computer Recycling Hcp (1650m).
The Westbury Park bred mare earned black-type last year with placings in the LR Natasha Stakes (2200m) and LR WATC St Leger (2100m). She is raced by Loloma Farms owners Kevin Fowler and Kelly Everett and connections have long-term plans for 2015 Perth Cup.
“She fractured a shin last year and it was a long journey to get her back racing,” trainer Shane Quilty revealed. “But she’s worth it.”