Another Proud Year for Widden

Another Proud Year for Widden

Bernard Kenny

In opening the breeding season for Widden Stud, Antony Thompson quoted his father Bim and grandfather Frank Thompson in saying ‘stand the best by the best,’ that reinforced ‘our focus on what serves us so well – pure Australian speed.’

In announcing that Champion 3YO Trapeze Artist will be at Widden, Antony Thompson stated ‘he is a prodigiously gifted racehorse with the right profile to make the transition from champion racehorse to champion sire.’

In being awarded a 126 Timeform 3YO Rating, one point ahead of Kementari, as the official Champion Australian 3YO of 2017-18, Trapeze Artist was also the Longines’ World’s Highest Rated Sprinter in 2018 – the highest rated 3yo.

Described by his trainer Gerald Ryan ‘as an awesome colt that when he gets into rhythm, and let’s rip, there isn’t a sprinter in Australia that can go with him,’ he won seven of 19 starts and $5.5m in stakes.

In breaking Black Caviar’s race record when defeating Redzel in the WFA TJ Smith Stakes of 1200m, he became the first 3yo ever to capture the WFA All-Aged Stakes double, and set a new track record.

With a 4½ length record winning margin in the Golden Rose Stakes of 1400m when defeating Merchant Navy and Pariah, Trapeze Artist went onto capture the WFA Expressway Stakes 1200m against older horses.

As a 4yo he set a new track record of 1:14.19sec for 1300m in winning the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick, having previously run second to Redzel in the $13m The Everest on an unsuitable Heavy 9 track at Royal Randwick.

Trapeze Artist was a Group winning 2yo in taking out the Black Opal Stakes, and later was third in the Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes. Also at three years he was placed third in the Randwick Guineas of 1600m.

A brown standing 16.1hh Trapeze Artist is the best of his highly influential champion sire Snitzel, from the half-sister to the Stradbroke winner Craw. This is the family of Cheyne Walk, Jubilee Walk and Boardwalk Angel, and as with Brazen Beau he has a similar Bletchingly cross.

‘Written By is everything the Widden brand has built itself on,’ said Antony Thompson with the Blue Diamond Stakes winner also retiring to Widden Stud. ‘As the Timeform Champion 2YO he returned higher rating than Estijaab, Sunlight and The Autumn Sun.’

‘Simply an awesome individual physically, he is strong and imposing’ with his owner-breeder Neville Begg, the Hall of Fame trainer, adding ‘champion 2yo colts have an incredible record at stud, from Luskin Star to Canny Lad and Sebring to Pierro.’

In a breath-taking display in winning the $1.5m Blue Diamond Stakes of 1200m at Caulfield, Written By jumped from barrier 18 as the $5.50 favourite, raced three-wide without cover for the majority of the race, then to storm home to win by 2½ lengths.

Going into The Blue Diamond having won all previous three starts including the Blue Diamond Prelude 1100m, Written By followed by taking out the Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill before finishing fourth in the $3.5m Golden Slipper Stakes, as the first colt home.

In achieving a 120 highest Timeform 2YO Rating, Written By won twice at three-years including the Blue Sapphire Stakes, placed second in the WJ Adams Stakes and fourth in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, before retiring the winner of six of his 11 starts and over $1.8m in stakes.

A chestnut at 16.05hh and sired by Australia’s ultimate source of speed and precocity in Written Tycoon, Written By is from the Tobougg mare Yau Chin, giving him a cross of the highly influential mare Best In Show, with Yau Chin influenced by Hopespringseternal.

‘Written By is free of Danzig and his son Danehill,’ says Jane Henning of Pedigree Dynamics, ‘and looks a great mating for mares carrying more Best In Show via these stallions, giving him a vast choice of broodmares carrying this line alone.’

In ‘a year to be proud of’ Widden’s superstar filly Sunlight took out the Newmarket Handicap, Coolmore Stud Stakes and William Reid Stakes in making her Champion First Season Sire Zoustar, the season’s Champion Second Season Sire and Champion 3YO Sire.

Sunlight highlights ‘modern day Widden Stud as a centre of thoroughbred excellence in producing a steady stream of Group 1 winners and champions.’ Now the winner of over $4.3m, she won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at two and was second in the Golden Slipper Stakes.

Bred by Widden Stud in partnership, Katie Thompson retained a share when Sunlight sold for $300,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, and is trained by Tony McEvoy at Flemington.