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In Conversation With Antony Thompson Widden Stud
Zoustar Progney Headlines Widden’s 2019 Classic Yearling Sale Draft
Widden Stud has been home to some of the country’s most influential sires, including Marscay (Aus), Vain (Aus), Bletchingly (Aus), Todman (Aus) and General Nediym (Aus), and more recently the likes of Sebring (Aus), Star Witness (Aus) and the late Northern Meteor (Aus). Widden is over 150 years old and deeply entrenched in history. As they say on their website, ‘By the time the Queen’s great-grandfather, then Prince of Wales, set up the royal stud at Sandringham in 1886, Widden had been going nearly 20 years.’
Widden kicks off its consignment for the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale with several fine yearlings in their draft headlined by Zoustar and Outreach Crop. Incidentally, during the first session of the 2019 NZB National Yearling Sale Series Book One a Zoustar filly caught the eye of Godolphin Australia boss Vin Cox at Karaka, selling eventually for A$600,000. The Impact publisher, Pallavi Shevade caught up with caught up with stud owner Antony Thompson before the sale.
Q: If I’m looking for something special in your 2019 draft where should I start?
A: We have 4 in the Gold Riband session so you could start there as Inglis have selected those ones but I have so many nice horses in my draft by just looking at them you will miss plenty of other lovely horses.
Q: All your stallions are champions but if you had to choose who would you pick from your current lot of new / young sires as the stallion who could deliver top-end horses for the best commercial success in Australia? And why?
A: Obviously Zoustar is the young stallion that we don’t need to say much more about as he’s doing all the talking. I’m excited by the lovely line of Outreach yearlings from his first crop to sell at the classic sale. He himself is a good looking fast son of Exceed and Excel and is a full brother to a Golden Slipper winner. When you look at his first crop yearlings you will understand why I am excited.
Q: What are the main factors you consider when you plan matings and when you preparing yearlings for sale?
A: A lot of work goes into our mating’s. We start by looking at them on paper and then evolve to considering all the physical attributes and temperament is also important. Our preparation for yearlings for sale has been fine tuned over many years but we are always looking to improve.
Q: What about 2019 energises you and brings you excitement?
A: The success of our graduates on the racetrack last year was phenomenal and we are very excited about what’s in store for our graduates this year.
Q: What was the best piece of advice you were given?
A: If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got (can be interpreted both ways).