Another Group One Triumph for Dissident

 In 2014

A brilliant ride by Ben Melham saw high class Sebring four year-old Dissident claim another feature race win in the Group I VRC Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.

The Peter Moody trained entire scored a stylish win when resuming from a spell in the Group I MRC Memsie Stakes last month over 1400 metres and was sent out favourite for this harder 1600 metre assignment.

Ridden forward from the gate by Ben Melham he tracked Messene before shaking him off after turning for home and then had to deal with the challenge from last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner.

The two settled down to fight out the finish with Dissident refusing to give in.

The half head decision gave Dissident his third Group I win, taking his overall record to five wins and five placings from 15 starts with prizemoney in excess of $1.4 million.

Racing manager Jeff O’Connor, representing trainer Peter Moody, said Dissident was very brave.

“He’s toughed it out to win again, he won the Randwick Guineas in the Autumn, he won the Memsie and now here,” O’Connor said.

Asked if Dissident will head to the Cox Plate, O’Connor was non-commital.

“Pete’s gotta think hard about whether he thinks he can train him for the 2000 (metres),” he said.

“They ran hard the last 400 (metres), they’ve had a breather and then taken off again and he’s got a turn of foot.”

Ben Melham was full of praise for Dissident.

“He shows a lot of heart for a colt,” Melham said.

“Fawkner definitely got level with him, but I’m not sure he headed him. It was a tooth and nail battle and he put his head down at the right time. When he got challenged halfway up the running, he lengthened stride and showed the attributes of a really good horse.”

Dissident was a $210,000 Magic Millions purchase for his trainer from the Widden Stud draft and runs for a big syndicate of very happy owners including Widden Stud’s Marketing and Nominations Manager Ryan McEvoy.

After Dissident was purchased as a yearling, Moody had trouble finding owners for the colt when a couple of people, who had committed to him, pulled out.

Ryan McEvoy had always liked him so got together a group of his mates to take shares in the horse and the rest is history.

Bred by Widden Stud and partners, Dissident is the second foal and first stakes-winner for stakes-placed Anabaa (USA) mare Diana’s Secret, who comes from the family of Palace Gossip, Mountebank and Vietnam.

Diana’s Secret has a two year-old filly by Northern Meteor that made $400,000 at Inglis Easter earlier this year and was one of 222 mares covered last year by Sebring.

Dissident is a Widden Stud product through and through as his dam Diana’s Secret was also bred by Widden Stud in partnership.

By the stud’s former highly successful shuttle sire Anabaa (USA), Diana’s Secret was consigned to the 2006 Magic Millions where she was sold for $330,000 to renowned international bloodstock agent Adrian Niccoll of BBA Ireland and Julian Blaxland of Blue Sky Thoroughbreds.

A gorgeous filly, Diana’s Secret was the most expensive yearling by Anabaa sold at Magic Millions that year and went on to win two races and earned Black Type when second in the Listed SAJC Hill Smith Stakes for David Hayes.

“She was a really lovely type, so we decided to keep a small share in her to race and then when she retired to stud we bought some more of her and brought her back here,” recalled Antony Thompson of Widden Stud.

“It’s rare that we would keep a filly that we’ve bred, so it’s a real thrill for Dissident to come along and achieve what he has.”

Sebring was the first stallion filled this year at Widden and stands at a fee of $60,500.