Written by Paul Vettise
He’s been a slow burner, but he’s running hot now and that was always the scenario predicted for Redwood (GB) on his retirement to Westbury Stud.
“His progeny have needed time to show what they can do and he’s becoming a very good all round stallion,” general manager Russell Warwick said. “He served 110 mares in his first season and every season since he’s had 120 mares, he’s very popular.”
A son of High Chaparral (IRE), Redwood went to stud off the back of a successful racing career that netted him four wins, including the G1 Northern Dancer S., as a 4-year-old. He kept the very best of company throughout with 16 of his 17 starts in black type company.
Red letter day
Redwood’s oldest representatives are now 5-year-olds and on Saturday he was represented by a quinella in the G3 Bendigo Bank Foundation Cup at Caulfield with the Westbury-bred Night’s Watch (NZ) taking top honours from Rising Red (NZ).
“He had three runners from his first crop on Saturday and Tamarack was a very close third in the last at Rosehill so it was a red letter day,” Warwick said.
“He’s still standing today at what we introduced him at, $10,000, so he’s very good value.”
“He’s still standing today at what we introduced him at, $10,000, so he’s very good value.” – Russell Warwick.
Night’s Watch was initially raced solely by the Gerry Harvey-owned Westbury and OTI Racing subsequently bought into the gelding, who was then transferred to Darren Weir’s operation after early success in New Zealand for Byerley Park trainers Peter and Dawn Williams.
His barnstorming victory on Saturday has now guaranteed him a spot in the G1 Caulfield Cup.
“He’s a pretty good horse and he gave them a decent start. I don’t think there’s a stayer in Melbourne going any better,” Warwick said.
“I don’t think there’s a stayer in Melbourne going any better.” - Russell Warwick.
Weir will now see how Night’s Watch performs at his next appearance before committing to the Caulfield Cup.
“I love backing horses up," he said. “It will be three weeks to the Caulfield Stakes and then if he runs well he can back up into the Caulfield Cup.
“If it's not this year, it'll be next year. That’s the beauty about training for OTI and Gerry Harvey, they’re happy to be patient.
“That’s the beauty about training for OTI and Gerry Harvey, they’re happy to be patient.” – Darren Weir.
“He didn’t begin that well and got further back than we’d hoped, but he got the bob in. He’s been a work in progress, he hasn’t been easy but it’s nice that he’s won a decent race, he deserves it.”
Night’s Watch settled back in the field after stepping slowly from the gate and came with an undeniable finish out wide.
“He’s a really good horse and after he missed the start I pressed the button early,” rider Damian Lane said,
“The stable has done a terrific job with him because he was a handful early on and they’ve turned him into a winning machine.”