Blackfriars passed another career milestone when Willas Way won the Switchboards WA Maiden (1420m) at Bunbury on Sunday.
The Bruce Watkins-trained mare is the 400th individual winner for Scenic Lodge’s champion son of Danehill. Having her second start this season, she settled one-out and one-back behind front-runner Pokemon Pete and then did best in a duel with Imortalite to score by a head.
Willas Way had to survive a protest before notching the ground-breaking win for Blackfriars and her managing part-owners John and Stephanie McGinty from Manjimup. “I’m pretty sure she’s their first winner, Watkins said. “She fought it out all the way to the line and I will probably step her up to a mile next time.
“She should have broken through first-up at Mt Barker but kept ducking in behind the leaders.”
Willas Way is from Bindidane (Love A Dane), a three-time Bunbury winner for Watkins. She was bred by Lillydale Park owner Greg Beauglehole whose uncle Keith owned the dam of Group 1 winning mare Miss Andretti.
Blackfriars has sired more individual winners that any other sire based solely in WA. Former Dawson Stud / Lynward Park stallion Bletchley Park (Ire) held the previous record at 395 – his youngest are six year-olds and his latest maiden winner was Dash Dot Dash at Pinjarra in January
There are 24 yearlings by Blackfriars catalogued for the Perth Magic Millions in February. Among the highlights from Scenic Lodge are the brother to LR Placid Ark Stakes winner Black Felix (Lot 40), the three-quarter brother to G3 Belmont Sprint winner Shining Knight (Lot 55) and the half-sister to G2 Karrakatta Plate winner Lucy Mae (Lot 125).