Widden to Cheer Royal Ascot Runners
The world’s most famous race meeting is on this week with Royal Ascot attracting the best of the best and among the Aussie contenders are two that will be cheered especially by the team at Widden.
A homebred for New Zealand breeder Sir Owen Glenn, high class Sebring stallion Criterion might carry the NZ suffix, but with an Aussie mum and dad, we see him as one of ours.
Sir Owen Glenn is on record as having planned the mating of Criterion with the view of producing a Golden Slipper horse and while that did come true – Criterion was sixth in the 2013 Golden Slipper – it’s over the longer trips that the handsome chestnut has excelled.
A brilliant winner of the Group I ATC Australian Derby and Rosehill Guineas at three and then dominant in winning the Group I ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes at four, Criterion is a versatile and top class racehorse that is a sensational global ambassador for his young sire Sebring.
A stallion on the cusp of greatness, Sebring is at the forefront of the younger stallions brigade and was chosen last year as the partner for unbeaten champion and Royal Ascot hero Black Caviar.
To be represented at Royal Ascot will do much for the international standing of Sebring, who stands at a fee of $66,000 this spring.
While the team at Widden will be cheering for Criterion in the Group I Prince of Wales’s Stakes, we will also have a big vested interest in the performance of bonnie mare Shamal Wind, who goes into the Group I King’s Stand Stakes as a last start Group I winner of the MRC Oakleigh Plate.
Bred by Widden Stud in partnership, Shamal Wind was bought by Aquanita Racing for $55,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Widden Stud.
A daughter of Darley’s world renowned sire Dubawi, she is the first foal from Firemaid (USA), a winning half-sister by Machiavellian to stakes-winner Bezrin and to the dam of Group II winner Al Thankhira.
Shamal Wind proved an instant hit on the track winning her first three races in succession including a Listed Flemington success and when her form appeared to have plateaued earlier this year, her original owners on-sold her in a deal brokered by James Harron Bloodstock to owner breeders Rob and Donna Love.
A Group I win followed and now the Royal Ascot dream, so Shamal Wind has certainly made everyone at Widden proud of her achievements.