VICTORIA's showpiece breeding property, Spendthrift - a 244-hectare farm located south-west of Romsey, has been sold to Hesket Thoroughbreds, a locally owned and operated breeding and racing concern.
Hesket Thoroughbreds is operated by prominent Victorian owners and breeders David Moodie and Ash Hardwick, who by arrangement will stand former Spendthrift stallions Dirty Work and Overshare at the neighbouring Widden, Victoria from this-year's forth coming stud season.
The time-honoured Kentucky headquartered Spendthrift Farm, launched its Australian venture in early 2015 when its late owner B Wayne Hughes - purchaser of the American business in 2004, oversaw the acquisition of Yallambee Stud, which had been among the leading State's nurseries over 50 years.
Mr Hughes died in August last year with the business transferred to son-in-law Eric Gustavson, who was keen to see southern hemisphere success, however decided to cease the Australian business last December.
Antony Thompson, principal of Widden Stud is happy to welcome two of its former young stallions to the Victorian roster.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be standing Dirty Work and Overshare at Widden Victoria," said Antony Thompson.
"They are fast, good-looking sons of highly successful stallions in Written Tycoon and I Am Invincible."
Dirty Work covered 155 mares in his first season, while Overshare covered 130 mares at his fourth season at stud last year.
Overshare is represented with first crop two-year-olds, and which have made an immediate impression with two winners and a placegetter, headlined by the outstanding stakes placed Sydney trained filly Lady Laguna.
Dirty Work and Overshare's former stable companions - Gold Standard (by Sebring) and Swear (Redoute's Choice) are being subjected to a tender process to find new suitable home-bases via Magic Millions Bloodstock.
From today will also see an unreserved dispersal of Spendthrift Australia's mares and weanlings at the Magic Millions National Sales series at the Gold Coast.
DURING Spendthrift's time in Victoria, the farm also stood a few US bred shuttle stallions, none more notable as the last pair and celebrated gallopers Omaha Beach and Vino Rosso which are both now represented with its first Australian weanlings.
A versatile winner when taking Group 1 races over six, seven and nine furlongs, Omaha Beach is a son of Danzig's War Front, while Vino Rosso was an undefeated juvenile and won two Group 1 races including a Breeders' Cup Classic.
Interestingly, the recent iconic US race Kentucky Derby - the time-honoured event in Louisville which regularly draws over 150,000 trackside patrons, was won by outsider Rich Strike, which only gained a start as an emergency following a scratching of another entrant.
Rich Strike belongs to the first crop by Saratoga Travers Stakes-G1 winner Keen Ice, a son of dual US Horse Of The Year and champion three-year-old Curlin, also sire of $4.8 million track-earner Vino Rosso.
Curlin names the legendary Mr Prospector as his grand-sire, via his champion sire son Smart Strike. There are a number of first Australian crop weanlings by Vino Rosso and Omaha Beach being offered today and tomorrow at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale. Starting the rank outsider and jumping from the outside barrier at 20, the win of Rich Strike in this year's Kentucky Derby is a "rags to riches" story. Not showing huge potential however winning a race last September, Rich Strike was subsequently entered into a "claiming-purchase" race of $US30,000 (about $AUS43,000). Now he has a Derby win !
SHE may not have been the most fancied competitor in the race, but five-year-old mare Wilful Spirit did best to beat the favourite when winning the Class One Handicap at Goulburn last week. Trained locally by Mark Gee, Wilful Spirit is by little-known sire Wilful Default, a chestnut stallion which has been privately used with only 17 runners via his seven crops of racing age. Wilful Default is a Dubawi half-brother to Takeover Target, the Australian bred galloper which took on the world stage creating headlines.
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