Nicconi 2YO Wins $100,000 Inglis Scone 2YO Challenge
A big field of 16 went to the post for the $100,000 Inglis Scone Challenge on Friday with hot favourite The Bopper winning as though he were the only horse in the race.
A big powerful chestnut, by Nature Strip’s sire Nicconi, the Kris Lees trained gelding turned in a performance reminiscent of Australia’s best sprinter when he powered away to take the 1100 metre dash by four lengths.
A $30,000 Inglis Scone purchase for Lees Racing from the Widden Stud draft, The Bopper has now won two from two banking over $80,000 in prizemoney for his big team of owners.
“He’s shown ability from day one,” said Kris Lees.
“Keiran Moore found him at the sale for us and kept a share. He broke in well and then trialled up well and was impressive winning on debut, but he went to another level today.”
Moore explained how he and his son Tom came to purchase The Bopper 12 months ago.
“We were sitting at home in Scone the day of the sale and we were having lunch and I said to Tom ‘let’s go down and see if we can find one’,’’ Moore said.
“We had a look at a few walking around out the back at White Park and we spotted this horse from Widden going back into his box that we both thought he walked alright so we followed him down, got him back out of his box for a parade and said ‘he’s the one’.
“I’ve been trying to win this race since it started. I’ve had plenty get beat, some that have gone on to win Stakes races but to finally win it is great.
“We’ve known the Lees family a long time, I was great mates with Max so for Kris’s mum Vicky and my wife Deb to be in the ownership, it’s really fantastic.’’
The Bopper is the first winner from Chicago, a winning Artie Schiller (USA) mare from the family of stakes-winner Sarthemare, the dam of Group II winner Sesar and stakes-winner Doubt Defying.
The Bopper was bred by Widden’s relief night watch Jeannie Harris and her husband Mike, who will also offer his Outreach half brother at this year’s Scone Yearling Sale.
“He was super impressive, a really nice horse by the looks of him,’’ Widden’s Antony Thompson said.
“Mike and Jeanie like selling at Scone, they’ve been doing it for years so it’s great for them to have a success like this too.
“The Outreach colt coming to the Scone sale in July, he’s a very nice colt and one everybody will want to look at now especially, and rightly so.’’
The Bopper is the second juvenile winner this week for Nicconi joining the Lindsay Park trained Dark Horse, an impressive debut winner at Sandown on Wednesday.
Nicconi stands this spring at a fee of $27,500.