Xtravagant Star Lands Inglis Millennium

During his racing days, Xtravagant was affectionately nicknamed “sex on hooves”—a reference to his Calvin Klein model looks as well as his excitable pre-race nature—but perhaps the Newhaven Park stallion went some way towards justifying that nickname in the breeding barn when Xtravagant Star became the headline act of his second crop in taking out the AU$2 million Inglis Millennium at Randwick Racecourse Feb. 5.

Racing in the colors of breeders and part-owners Seymour Bloodstock, usually more associated with imported stayers than 2-year-olds, the Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained Xtravagant Star put herself right among the best of her generation with a dominant display, sprinting clear of favorite Paris Dior to score by a length and a half with a further short head to the previously unbeaten Sejardan in third.

The time of 1:04.14 was :0.15 quicker than Profiteer recorded last year, on a similar Soft 5 surface, when racing away to score by 5 1/4 lengths—all from a filly who, before Saturday, boasted only a narrow Geelong maiden win to her name.

With Saturday’s Inglis Millennium victory, the elder McEvoy became the first trainer to have claimed both of Australia’s major sales-restricted features for 2-year-olds, having taken the 2018 Magic Millions 2YO Classic in his own right with Sunlight before sharing the spoils with his son Saturday.

“It’s her first trip away from home and the way she has handled herself and accepted everything, magnificent,” Tony McEvoy said. “It’s a big thrill and she is a really good filly.

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“She always showed us a bit of talent and we went to that race at Geelong pretty confident. She had a fight to win it and showed she’s got speed and she was tough. The ownership group was very comfortable to come to this race and we ‘re so excited.”

The Inglis Millennium also marked jockey Chad Schofield’s first metropolitan stakes winner since returning from Hong Kong late last year, marking his most lucrative victory since taking out the 2013 Sportingbet WS Cox Plate (G1) aboard Shamus Award.

“It’s nice to win a feature race like this and hopefully it can help me build momentum going forward,” Schofield said. “It was very painless, really. She was first to leave the machines. Pre-race I thought we may have to drop her in as there was a bit of speed on our inside but she was way too fast and cleared them easily.”

“I hit the front a long way from home so for a Melbourne 2-year-old filly it was a good effort, she was strong to the line.”

McEvoy added: “She pinged the gate and Chad thought she’d lead but he was a bit nervous there was going to be too much pressure so he was just very quiet. She didn’t really want to come back, she threw her head at one stage but then she accepted it. She is a quality, quality filly.”

The big question now: does Xtravagant Star chase diamonds in Melbourne or gold in Sydney?

“We’ve got some beautiful decisions to make,” McEvoy said. “We can go to the Blue Diamond Stakes (G1) in three weeks or we can just concentrate on the Golden Slipper (G1). It’s a bit hard to do both I think. I think we just enjoy today and make some decisions in a few days.

“She has come a little bit out of left field. At home she’s solid but she’s not a ‘wow’ sort of horse and sometimes they’re the best but I am liking her more and more.”

It was a timely win for Newhaven Park’s Xtravagant with the Boorowa nursery set to offer four yearlings by the Sothy’s 43rd New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (G1) winner at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, including one—Lot 101—early Sunday afternoon.

He also has three yearlings cataloged for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, from which Xtravagant Star emerged last year.

Remarkably, both of Xtravagant’s stakes winners have been out of She’s A Danica, with this season’s McMahon’s Dairy McKenzie Stakes victor He’s Xceptional the first in August.

Owned by Seymour Bloodstock, She’s A Danica descends from champion New Zealand filly Ballroom Babe, who produced stakes winners Just Dancing, Tahni Girl, and Hidden Dragon.

A three-time winner at the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, She’s A Danica has had four foals to race for four winners. Only three have gone through the sales ring, with Nowra and Goulburn winner Deepstar (Deep Field) a AUS$15,000 (US$10,592) Inglis Classic Yearling Sale purchase, He’s Xceptional (Xtravagant) sold for AUS$40,000 ($26,666) at the same auction, and Xtravagant Star knocked down to McEvoy-Mitchell Racing for AUS$150,000 ($115,645) at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

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