Widden Stud: Historic, Iconic And Rooted in Quality
With a rich history, Widden has become one of those farms whose stories over the years have become historical footnotes or even urban legends. The sprawling Widden Stud has led through the decades while maintaining their relevancy and emerging at the top. The brilliant men and women of the Widden Stud have made it happen seemingly effortlessly.
However, there is definitely more than what meets the eye here. This kind of success cannot be effortless, it is the hard work and preparation that makes it look like everything just seems to work out for Widden. Ryan McAvoy was happy to spend some time with us to talk about the work that goes behind and also their draft for the upcoming Classic Yearling Sale 2020.
Q: You have quite a stunning draft this year, which ones would you consider your highlight lots and why?
A: Pinup stallion Zoustar is represented in the Classic draft by Lot 89, a colt out of Dare to Dance, a half-sister to Hips Don’t Lie. Golden Slipper winner Sebring stood at Widden Stud and had an outstanding stud career, and Lot 534 looks like a speedy colt on paper, being out of Totally Sure, a two-year-old winning Not A Single Doubt mare whose dam was a Listed winner at two.
Nicconi’s popularity as a stallion came to the fore recently with star sprinter Nature Strip, who has recently been nominated for one of the Dubai World Cup undercard races. Buyers will get the chance to inspect two Nicconi fillies in the Widden draft, both of whom are the first foals for their dams.
Coolmore Stud Stakes-Gr1 winners become top quality sires, and it is horses like Star Witness who have helped prove the saying. Sire of Gr1 winner Global Glamour and 22 other stakes winners from only five crops aged three or older, Star Witness also won the Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes. Star Witness has six yearlings in the Widden Stud Classic draft for 2020, three colts and three fillies who all have plenty of residual value including Lot 556 who is a full sister to stakes winner Stellar Collision, from the family of Elegant Fashion. Lot 183 who is both a full sister to stakes-placed winner Sunny Boy and a three-quarter sister to Gr2 winner and young sire Star Turn; while Lot 546 is a daughter of group winner Valentine Miss, whose only foal to race to date is the promising five-race winner Asterius.
Gr1 winning sprinter Your Song has begun his stud career soundly with the likes of Gem Song, Brave Song, and Split Lip, and Widden Stud will present four yearlings by their resident sire. Closely related to Pierata is Lot 308, a colt out of Shamardal mare Mischief Night; while Lot 86 is a filly will good residual value being a half-sister to stakes-placed Flamenco Girl (dam of promising stakes-placed 2YO this season Marchena), and to eight race city winner Don’t Tell Mama.
Q: Which was the most expensive & most successful horse you've sold at this sale previously? tell us a bit more about the story.
A: We’ve enjoyed nice success from our Classic sales graduates over the years including Group One winner's Typhoon Zed, Triple Honour as well stakes winners Marcel From Madrid, Cavalry Rose, The Messina Nymph, Budriguez, Lady Sniper etc.
Q: Which sale did you present at earlier this year and which was your top-selling lot?
A: Our first major sale of the year was at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast. The sale was successful and we were pleased to sell a lovely Zoustar colt to James Harron Bloodstock for A$580,000 as well as I Am Invincible colt to China Horse Club / Newgate syndicate for A$750,000.
Q: How do you decide which horses should be sent to the Classic Yearling sale?
A: Our Classic draft has a lot of variety with twenty-five different sires across 46 yearlings. On type, many of these horses could have gone to Inglis Easter but are better suited to Classic on pedigree. We’ve made a conscious effort to present a quality draft and buyers will be pleased with the types on offer.
Q: Which sale will you be attending next and what are the highlights of that draft?
A: We have 14 yearlings on offer in the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale where we are well represented particularly with some fillies that have outstanding residual pedigrees. Following Premier will be the Inglis Easter Sale which we’re looking forward to. It’s a wonderful sale and we’re excited to offer some real elite types, none other than the full brother to Champion 3yo Sprinter Sunlight.
Q: Who would you consider your most favourite horse in the world?
A: Champion sprinter Vain holds a special place in our hearts. He was the Black Caviar of his time and as a stallion stood successfully here at Widden. In fact, Black Caviar herself has duplication of Vain in her pedigree. We take great pride in seeing his influence in pedigrees today. Of more recent times, it’s hard to go past the mighty mares from Sunline To Makybe Diva, Black Caviar To Winx.