An association that has lasted through the ages

5 min read
Antony Thompson’s Widden Stud has a remarkably unbroken association with the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, having been a vendor at the inaugural auction and still going strong with a line-up of richly-bred youngsters to offer next week.

The Hunter Valley stud and the auction house have been a successful fit since they first did business together and this year will be no different with a consignment that’s sure to attract widespread interest from a global buying bench.

“Widden and Inglis shared an incredibly unique milestone in 2017, 150 years of operation,” Widden Marketing and Stallions Nominations Manager Ryan McEvoy said.

“Widden has been selling at the Inglis sale since the inaugural Easter sale in in 1867, some 152 years ago and the Thompson and Inglis families have shared many great memories over the years.

“We’re proud of the association and the many great horses we have sold at Easter representing the Widden brand. We look forward to this new chapter here at Riverside.”

The time-honoured nursery is confident this year’s draft is exactly the right combination of highly-commercial sires and high-class female families.

“Widden and Inglis shared an incredibly unique milestone in 2017, 150 years of operation.” – Ryan McEvoy.

“We’re really looking forward to the Easter sale. We have a lovely mix of yearlings by proven and emerging stallions, including some outstanding types by flagship Widden sires Zoustar and Sebring,” McEvoy said.

Rich juvenile races increasing buyer confidence

“The Inglis Easter sale is a real jewel in the international yearling sales circuit and we see no reason why Easter would not keep delivering like it always has.

“Notwithstanding recent multi-million dollar races likes the Everest, All-Star Mile & Golden Eagle, I understand there is now some eight individual $1 million plus 2-year-old races in Australia for a single season.

“Inglis graduates, in particular over the last few seasons, have been to the fore in the 2-year-old races.” – Ryan McEvoy.

“This in itself should be enough encouragement for buyers to be strong again and I can't see any reason why this sale won't continue with the growth it has shown over the previous few years.

Rick Connolly with Widden's Antony Thompson following Sunlight's G1 win in the William Reid S.

“Inglis graduates, in particular over the last few seasons, have been to the fore in the 2-year-old races. We think this is going to be a sale that continues to offer great variety for buyers.

“Like any major sale, if you don’t have the right type the market will be ruthless. We’ve placed an emphasis on quality over quantity, in addition to ensuring we’re represented by sought after sires such as Sebring, Zoustar, Fastnet Rock, Star Witness, Teofilo and younger, more promising stallions such as Dissident and Vancouver.

“It’s important at Easter to present a yearling with a strong page to back up their physical attributes and I feel we’ve got a really nice balance.”

“In the spring we begin to determine which sale will suit each horse and then draft them accordingly.” - Ryan McEvoy

Months of planning goes into the make-up of the draft with mind to the timing of the sale and the accompanying racing.

Widden has placed an emphasis on quality over quantity with sought-after sires such as Zoustar

“In the spring we begin to determine which sale will suit each horse and then draft them accordingly,” McEvoy said.

“In terms of a process, we might feel a horse is going to be more mature come Easter time or feel the pedigree is better suited to this sale given it surrounds The Championships.

Easter 'value for money'

“While Easter has been traditionally a sale suited to the top end of the market, we feel the sale is becoming a more attractive for those yearlings presented for the middle market.

“The racetrack results from recent graduates would reflect that Easter is one of the better ‘value for money’ sales we have.”

Widden are particularly excited by the female representatives in their draft.

“There are some ripping fillies in our draft. Certainly the Zoustar- Special Fragrance filly is one that comes to mind immediately,” McEvoy said.

“She’s just an outstanding type with a great mind and has been so willing throughout the prep. She’s got all the right attributes for a Zoustar filly and shares a lot of similarities to his champion Sunlight.

“The Sebring -Intimate Moment, who’s by Dubawi, is a beautiful prospect particularly for those with an eye to her future as a broodmare.

“She’s a great sort with a huge pedigree. Sebring is a wonderful sire who will make a great broodmare influence. I believe there are less than 10 Australian Group winning daughters of Dubawi. She’s a real blue chip investment.”

“Sebring is a wonderful sire who will make a great broodmare influence.” – Ryan McEvoy

The daughter of Zoustar, Lot 281, is a grand-daughter of the dual Group 1 winner Danendri (Danehill {USA}) who has made her mark as a broodmare by producing the champion filly Faint Perfume (Shamardal {USA}).

Lot 59 is the Sebring filly with her dam the winner of four races, including the G3 Epona S.

Sebring to make major sales impact

The former resident sire Sebring, who tragically passed away earlier this year is also to the fore in the male division with one of his sons tipped to make a major impact in the ring.

“The Sebring out of Solar Charged is one of the more exciting colts we have ever taken to sale,” McEvoy said.

“He’s a gorgeous, athletic and powerful individual. Of course, his half-sister Sunlight needs no introduction and she’s won another two Group 1 sprints since the catalogue went to print.

“He’s a bona-fide stallion prospect. The Fastnet Rock-Fastongrass is an attractive colt bred on a successful cross and we’ve been thrilled with the Teofilo colt out of Remind Me. He is another stylish type with a big Royal Ascot flavoured pedigree.”

The Sebring will be presented as Lot 274, the Fastnet Rock is Lot 3 and the Teofilo as Lot 216.