Widden Valley is more commonly associated with the Hunter Valley when it comes to the Australian thoroughbred breeding industry.
But for at least a short time last week, it was Victoria’s Widden Valley – the sire that is – which was the toast of racing.
Widden Valley’s talented son Chas Marlow broke his maiden emphatically at Wangaratta for Mornington trainer Tony Noonan and scooped up the lion’s share of a $20,000 VOBIS Gold bonus along the way.
However, you would have thought it was a million-dollar-earn based on the excitement generated by Victorian breeder-owner Graeme Ward as well as Widden Valley’s owner Peter Grundy.
“It’s nearly a dream come true,” said Ward after the win which he witnessed on-course.
Noonan was also thrilled to train the winner for his long-term client and making the win even sweeter was that Noonan’s son Jake was onboard. Ward has watched him grow up around the stable throughout his 25-year association with Noonans.
“It was a terrific win and well ridden by Jake, the son of a gun. He’s (Tony) a great bloke and a great trainer, a Group 1 trainer.” Ward said.
Widden Valley was always destined to be a stallion prospect being a son of Anabaa (USA) out of the fantastic Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks-winning mare Rose Archway (Archway). He was bought for $900,000 as a yearling at the Inglis Easter Sale.
Peter Grundy, a forty-year veteran of racing and breeding, who stands Widden Valley at his Little Yarra Lodge in the Yarra Valley, pointed out that Ward was a co-owner of the stallion’s dam.
“Graham had a soft spot for Rosie (Rose Archway), and he always promised he would send a good mare to Widden Valley when he went to stud,” Grundy said.
“Keeping good on that promise, he sent (Snippets mare) Classy Miss and I am so happy to see her son Chas Marlow reap the rewards for him. Hopefully he may send another mare or two in the future.”
Widden Valley had two wins in his racing career over 1350 metres, setting a new class record at Wyong by 1.5 seconds, and breaking a 20-year record. In his last start he ran a gallant third in the $750,00 Inglis 3YO Guineas at Scone in a top quality field.
As his trainer, Chis Waller said he was “a horse with tremendous ability that racegoers never got to see the best of. He had a great attitude but unfortunately couldn’t get over his injury as a youngster.”
“This horse would have won Group races for sure – he had so much natural talent. I had black type races picked out but it just wasn’t to be.” Waller said.
Widden Valley’s progeny statistics are nothing to be sneezed at. He has had 37 named foals for 24 to race resulting in 11 winners that include Uber Ed, He’s Our Woody, Foraoise, Cat’s Alley and Peter Grundy’s homebred Golden Valley.
Contact Peter Grundy at Little Yarra Lodge on 0417 720 468 for more information.