The dust has barely settled at the new home of Widden Victoria following the arrival of Nicconi and Star Witness at the Romsey property earlier this week, and already the Widden team are delighted to announce two exciting new stallions who will make their debut at the inaugural Open Day and the official launch of Widden Stud Victoria this Sunday.
True to their earlier statement that they anticipated growing the current roster, dual Group I winner Russian Camelot (IRE) and brilliant sprinter Doubtland will be joining the barn as the Widden Team announce their arrival in Victoria.
“We’re aiming to build a sustainable commercial roster of sires for the Victorian market that can satisfy the needs of a wide range of breeders and in Russian Camelot and Doubtland we have two outstanding prospects,” said Antony Thompson.
Russian Camelot is no stranger to making history, as Timeform’s highest-rated Australian 3YO of 2020 and the only northern hemisphere-bred 3YO to win an Australian Derby.
Russian Camelot is the epitome of an elite European style thoroughbred, but one that has proven his stripes in Australia under our unique training and racing conditions with great success.
“A winner from 1400 to 2500m, he was a Classic victor, a genuine weight-for-age champion and his profile suggests to us he could ultimately be a similar style of sire to So You Think.”
By highly regarded Sadler’s Wells line sire Camelot, Russian Camelot was purchased from the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for 120,000 guineas with the specific goal of racing in Australia.
Trained by Danny O’Brien, Russian Camelot made history when winning the Group I SAJC Derby at just his fifth race start as a Northern Hemisphere bred three year-old, something that had never been done before.
He returned in the spring to run in only the best races, winning the Group I MRC Underwood Stakes (1800m) and placing in the Cox Plate, Caulfield Stakes and Makybe Diva Stakes all at Group I level.
His final appearance before injury curtailed his career was a gallant first up second in the $5million All Star Mile beaten just half a length by Mugatoo (IRE).
“I think he’s the best horse I’ve had anything to do with, particularly to do so much so early in his career,” said Danny O’Brien.
“He’s got charisma, if you’ve ever seen him close up at the races, he just looks the part. He is a horse that just turned up in any weather and under any conditions, gave his all and never let anyone down. He was just an outstanding racehorse.”
Russian Camelot retires a dual Group One winner with an overall record of four wins and five placings from 11 starts, with $2.3million in earnings.
“I felt his best racing was ahead of him up in Sydney this autumn and to next spring and beyond. There was always the expectation he was getting better,” added O’Brien
“I have no doubt he will have a significant impact on our industry for years to come through his stud career.”
Russian Camelot will be standing for a fee of $22,000 this season.
For broodmare owners looking for a stallion bred for Australian speed and precocity, Doubtland fits that profile perfectly.
Doubtland was an undefeated two-year old, winning the Group III ATC Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) by four lengths and the Group II VRC Danehill Stakes (1200m) at three, before finishing fourth in the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes.
After being identified and purchased by Hawkes Racing for $1.1million at the Inglis Easter Sale, Doubtland was a yard favourite, with Wayne stating on record: “He’s the best-looking colt in my yard. Expensive, with a hell of a pedigree – he’s got two Golden Slippers (winners) in his pedigree. He’s the real deal, this bloke.”
“He was the most expensive yearling by Not a Single Doubt sold in 2019 and his win in the Kindergarten was by the biggest margin ever achieved by a colt in that race,” said Antony Thompson.
“The Ratings Bureau (Dan O’Sullivan) assessed his performance that day as superior to past luminaries that have won the race, including such as Astern, Hallowed Crown and even Bivouac.”
The highest rated 2YO by Not a Single Doubt to stand in Victoria, Doubtland’s brilliance and precocity on the track is an accurate reflection of his pedigree, which features not one but two Golden Slipper winners in Rory’s Jester and Ha Ha.
Doubtland is from a fast, running family with the first four dams producing 100% winners from foals to race indicating great soundness and natural talent being passed down the line.
Of Doubtland’s Danehill Stakes win, William Pike raved “It was electric. It was the way he did it. I had to angle for a run and he let down at the same time.”
Doubtland will be kicking off his stud career at a fee of $16,500.
Widden will also be offering shares and lifetime breeding rights for those interested in investing in the future success of these exciting prospects.
“We will have a full team of our staff on hand this weekend to discuss breeding plans and available options for the season ahead.” Thompson concluded.