Plan B Mating Delivers Hot Westbury Graduate

The Inferno (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) and Mascarpone (NZ) (Shooting To Win) dealt Westbury Stud a winning trans-Tasman Group 2 double over the weekend with the former a shining example of how a change of plan can come up trumps.

Westbury Stud bred both The Inferno and Mascarpone and sold the pair at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale in a 2018 draft that has provided seven black-type graduates, including G1 VRC Oaks winner Miami Bound (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}).

Multiple stakes wins crowned The Inferno the 2020 Singapore Horse of the Year before he relocated to Victoria when trainer Cliff Brown returned home. At his second Australian start, he was a dominant winner of Saturday’s G2 McEwen S. at Moonee Valley.

“It’s about how breeding can produce very good horses unexpectedly at times, he was from the Eric Watson days at Westbury,” Westbury General Manager Russell Warwick said.

“We had this nice Redoute’s Choice mare called Spina Rosa with Kris Lees and he thought she was an Oaks filly, but she did a tendon.

“Because of the ability Kris thought she had, we gave her six months off and she came back and was ready to go when she did a tendon again and we retired her.”

Warwick was, and still is, in charge of the Westbury mating plans and was keen to send Spina Rosa (Redoute's Choice) to Pierro that year.

“I said to Eric, I reckon the Pierro-Redoute’s Choice cross is going to be very good so we booked her in,” he said. “That was the year Pierro got hurt and he only covered about 30 mares and Spina Rosa wasn’t one of them.

“We had to change where we were going and Coolmore came back to me with a choice of three stallions. I looked at them and the one that stood out most was Holy Roman Emperor and the result was The Inferno.”

In 2017, The Inferno was among a big number of horses sent to auction by former Westbury owner Watson.

“Eric decided to sell everything and The Inferno was a weanling and went to the Magic Millions Sale. I really liked that mating and I knew they had conservative reserves on all the horses,” Warwick said.

“I bought him for a group of people that wanted a horse to turn over. I got him for $10,000 and put him through Karaka as a yearling and he made NZ$140,000 so everyone involved was quite happy.

“Our enjoyment is watching him go around and he wasn’t just a good horse in Singapore, he was head and shoulders above anything he raced against up there. It’s an amazing story for a mating that wasn’t originally planned and he could now be an Everest horse.

“I think everyone would have drawn the line, even Cliff and his owner, and said he had to measure up in Australia. Well, he beat two Group 1 winners on Saturday in Portland Sky and September Run."

It was the first sales success for Brown since his return to Australia.

“I’ve known Cliff for a good few years now, we had horses with him when he was first training in Australia," Warwick said.

“He’s a very conservative man and doesn’t make outlandish comments about his horses, so for him to say he’s the best he’s trained is a great testament to the horse.”

Spina Rosa was also sold at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, the same year The Inferno went through the Gold Coast ring, and was bought by Jamieson Park for $75,000. She is now in foal to her original suitor Pierro.


Article written by Paul Vettise \ Image: Vince Caligiuri (Getty Images)