Stunning day for Widden Stud’s Zoustar

2hj61utjx-zoutoriWidden Stud resident Zoustar had a day to remember at Flemington highlighted by his sons Zoutori and Indian Pacific dominating the finish of the G1 Newmarket H., and his juveniles delivering top performances in Sydney and Melbourne.

A dual Group 1 winner himself, Zoustar enjoyed a magical day with Zoutori claiming top honours in the G1 Seppelt Wines Newmarket H. at the expense of Indian Pacific and another son Lightsaber had earlier landed the G2 MSS Security Sires’ Produce S.

Lightsaber’s trainer Peter Moody is now considering a trip to Sydney for the G1 Golden Slipper S. and a race on the program for Zoustar’s daughter Glistening, who booked her spot for trainers Richard and Michael Freedman following her front-running victory in the G2 Yarraman Park Reisling S.

Zoutori, who was fourth in the Newmarket 12 months ago, left his rivals with no excuses after he gave weight and a beating to hand trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra one of the most satisfying wins of their training careers.

“It’s just great and I don’t usually get too nervous pre-race, but I was a little bit toey today. He had come on really well since the Oakleigh Plate,” Ellerton said.

Dunmore's Niall Power (1959-2021) An Adopted Australian of Charm and Gentle Manner

NiallPower-278x300DUNMORE East native Niall Power, whose skills in the thoroughbred industry took him from Coolmore Stud all the way to Australia, died on Saturday last, February 20 following a battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.

Born in Waterford on March 17, 1959, Niall’s parents, Kathleen and Stanley, were the proprietors of the popular Ocean Hotel in Dunmore. Niall could actually ride a horse before he could walk, offering an early indication of where his future lay.

Sibling to Stan and Joyce and educated at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare, Niall’s professional association with the thoroughbred industry began at the famed Coolmore Stud outside Fethard in South Tipperary, where he worked as Stud Manager.

As a 19-year-old, Niall enjoyed a working holiday in Australia, not knowing the extent that the continent would play in the rewarding years that lay ahead.

Ultimately, Niall, his wife Imelda – a nurse from Tipperary – and son Robert, then aged one, switched hemispheres, departing Ireland for Australia, where he was appointed Stud Manager at Brian Agnew’s Wakefield Stud in 1987.

Five years later, the Power family, by then also including daughter Lisa, returned to Ireland before ultimately and permanently returning to Australia in 1997.

Since 2012, Niall had worked as Australian Racing Manager of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing (HTR), a successful international operation which offers shares in racehorses they put together to form racing syndicates.

In addition, Niall was Director of Sire Custodians Ltd, “the leading supplier of syndicate documentation and management consultancy services to the Australian thoroughbred industry”.

As his biography on the Highclere website notes, Niall operated “his own IT Company with a thoroughbred industry focus…Sire Custodians Ltd is the leading supplier of syndicate documentation and management consultancy services to the Australian thoroughbred industry. Niall is the Authorised Representative for Xcira in Australia, the Global Leader in Live & Timed Auction Technologies.

Historic Widden Stud takes over Sun Stud’s Victorian operation

Antony Thompson says to survive in an increasingly global thoroughbred breeding industry, stud farms need to get bigger to compete, a realisation which led to his decision to take on a Victorian holding with his family’s famed Widden Stud, Australia’s oldest thoroughbred farm.

Widden principal Thompson yesterday confirmed the 154-year-old NSW stud, founded in 1867 and home to champion stallions throughout its long and rich history, will embark on a bold new challenge by taking over the Sun Stud operation, encompassing the eight-strong stallion roster at the Riddells Creek property.

As inspections get underway for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, the announcement of Widden’s move comes at a time when the Victorian breeding industry undergoes a significant shake-up, with Sun Stud’s decision to shut up shop following that of Aquis Farm exiting the state, leaving Leneva Park to fill the void by taking over the Seymour-based stallion business.

“If you tread water eventually you will drown, so it is a bit about the horse business around the world, you get bigger or you will go backwards, so I think it is a really good fit and the things we do we can replicate in Victoria,” seventh generation Thompson told ANZ Bloodstock News late yesterday.

“It is something we have been looking at for a while and we had discussed expanding our brand and adding to our business. It is not something that has been opportunistic.

“When the opportunity presented with Aquis getting out of Victoria and Sun Stud and Woodside, to a degree, getting out of the stallion business, we thought if ever there was a chance to do it, there is no better time than now.”

In a move aimed at bolstering Widden’s presence in Victoria, its Group 1-producing sires Nicconi (Bianconi) and Star Witness (Starcraft) will relocate from NSW, joining Sun Stud’s existing roster of Magnus (Flying Spur), Fiorente (Monsun), Palentino (Teofilo), shuttler National Defense (Invincible Spirit), Ready For Victory (More Than Ready), Squamosa (Not A Single Doubt), Thronum (Snitzel) and veteran Bel Esprit (Royal Academy).

“We are going to look to add some nice young horses down there as well, but I think the marketplace, speaking to the breeders, is crying out for some good proven stallions and certainly Nicconi, Magnus and Star Witness are three top-notch proven sires in Victoria,” Thompson said.

Artorius joins Newgate's next generation

artoriusG1 Blue Diamond S. winner Artorius (Flying Artie) has become the latest 2-year-old colt to be snapped up as a stallion prospect by Newgate, which completes its set of sons of its first-season stallions, Flying Artie, Capitalist and Extreme Choice.

Newgate had already secured an interest in G1 Golden Slipper S. favourite and R. Listed Inglis Millennium winner Profiteer (Capitalist) in a deal with Roll The Dice Racing before purchasing into leading Slipper fancy and son of Extreme Choice, Stay Inside, earlier this week.

A deal brokered between Newgate Managing Director Henry Field and the current ownership of Artorius, represented by Julian Blaxland of Blue Sky Bloodstock, was signed on Friday, confirming Newgate's involvement in the Sam and Anthony Freedman-trained colt going forward into next month's G1 Golden Slipper S.

"I think this horse could be an absolute monster of racehorse. He's by the leading first-season sire in Australia by winners and he's got a huge pedigree, being out of a Redoute's Choice mare, from a strong family that Greg Perry imported into Australia. He's just a beautiful individual, so we feel very confident about him," Field told TDN AusNZ.

"He's won a Blue Diamond, which is one of the key stallion-making races, and he did it in a dominant fashion. We’ve bought a majority interest and will race the horse for the remainder of his career in conjunction with the current ownership group."

Field said it was Artorius' dominant victory in a Sandown maiden in January which put him on Newgate's radar as a possible acquisition target.

"When he annihilated a pretty good group of 2-year-olds by 4.5l to break his maiden, he looked a horse that was definitely well above average.

"Then in the Blue Diamond, I have a lot of time for the two Godolphin colts that he beat (Ingratiating and Anamoe). The explosive nature of his victory suggested he was a horse that was the real deal," he said.

"He's also a horse that every indicator should train on to be a really significant 3-year-old."

Dual success a decade in the making for Newgate

flyingartieAfter a day of success which has been a decade in the making, Newgate Farm is hoping the first Group 1 winners from the progeny of its young stallions Flying Artie and Deep Field can be the moment which can set it up for success for the next 20 years.

Henry Field had bold ambitions for Newgate when he set it up in 2010, and one of the milestone days he dreamed of was his young stallions producing the winners of Australia's elite races.

Blue Diamond S. Day in 2021 was no doubt one of those milestone days, as Artorius delivered a Group 1 result for first-season stallion Flying Artie in the feature race, the G1 Blue Diamond S., and then Portland Sky secured a breakthrough top level success for Deep Field when he dead-heated for first in the G1 Oakleigh Plate, one of Australia's most revered sprint races.

"It was a defining day for Newgate, to have two young stallions that we put our neck on the line to buy, believe in and support. We developed them and to turn that hard work into results on the racetrack is what you want to do," Field said.

Flying Artie's achievement to produce a winner of Victoria's richest and most prestigious 2-year-old race is something quite rare. Starcraft (NZ) was the last stallion to have done that, when his first-season crop Star Witness won the Blue Diamond S., in 2010. Prior to that, it happened in 2003, when Kusi won for his sire Desert Prince (Ire), albeit after a positive swab saw him elevated to the winning position after raceday.

"It doesn't happen very often that a stallion produces a Blue Diamond winner in their first crop. He's had five winners already and now he's had a horse there yesterday win a Blue Diamond, it’s such a massive milestone for any stallion, let alone one that has just had his 20th runner," Field said.

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