Westspeed Platinum bonuses have been a windfall for owners and trainers in WA and they’re also a tremendous marketing tool for Magic Millions leading up to the Perth Yearling Sale.

Last Saturday’s Magic Millions Carnival at Pinjarra started the countdown even though lockdowns and inclement weather diminished a raceday renowned for its exciting atmosphere.  Winning owners weren’t on hand to celebrate but were compensated by record-breaking provincial prizemoney and Westspeed Platinum bonuses totalling over $180,000.

Capel trainer Bruce Watkins joined the queue for a Westspeed Platinum pay-out at Pinjarra when London Miss claimed the WA Pearl Classic (1300m).  And a $25,500 bonus meant connections banked $66,800.

His wife Liz is part of the winning syndicate and she was suitably impressed and surprised.  “Holy moly,” she cried.  “I didn’t realise we won the extra $25,000!!!”

London Miss (City Place) was bred and sold by Yarradale Stud owner Ron Sayers for $20,000 at the 2018 Perth Magic Millions.  “Ron kept a 25% share and Saturday’s bonus was more than we paid for her as a yearling,” Watkins recalled.  “Those incentives make a difference to the bottom line and they help take the pressure off trainers.

“Ron stayed in like most horses he sells at the Magic Millions.  I can’t praise him enough.  He’s done more for the industry than anyone else in Western Australia.”

London Miss paid $24 and that sweetened the win.  “I couldn’t believe the price,” Watkins continued.  “She had already won at Ascot and Pinjarra this prep and she was caught wide when placed at her last start.”

Watkins looked at the calendar this week and is considering a step up to stakes company in the LR Pinjarra Classic (1300m) on February 21.  He won the race with Vermeer (Noverre) in 2013.

London Miss will carry 54kg under handicap conditions and a good barrier could help her run into the money.  “Some black-type would help when she retires to stud.  It’s a lovely family.  Her dam (Great Tradition) is a three-quarter sister to Blackfriars.”

The Westspeed Epona Scheme is another incentive introduced by Racing and Wagering Western Australia that helps owners of mares like London Miss.  RWWA has invested an additional $6.8 million with fillies and mares accumulating credits that can be redeemed towards paying fees to eligible Westspeed Platinum Stallions.

London Miss has earned credits over $8,000 to date.  Watkins and Sayers, who stands four stallions at Yarradale, have a controlling interest so there’s no bonus for guessing her destination as a broodmare.