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Image: Pat Scala

It’s 2021, and Widden Stud has expanded into Victoria with the King of The Castle in Russian Camelot launching Widden Victoria as Timeform’s highest rated Australian 3YO of 2020.

Russian Camelot retires as a dual Group 1 winner and three-times Group 1 placed from 11 starts, with a mighty Group 1 (6:2-2-1) and Weight-for-Age (5:1-3-1) record, plus a 118 WT Ranking.

In fact, he’s the only northern hemisphere-bred winner of a Derby in Australia when he captured the South Australian Derby of 2500m for Melbourne Cup winning trainer Danny O’Brien.

In already showing his classic potential with his first two victories over 14000m and 1600m, Russian Camelot also finished a good second in the TCL TV Stakes of 1800m at Flemington.

Defeating the top 3yo’s Dalasan and Warning in the SA Derby, Russian Camelot next stamped his class at weight-for-age with a solid head second Fierce Impact in the Makybe Diva Stakes.

Next up, it was a dominant 1¾ length victory in the Group 1 weight-for-age victory in the Underwood Stakes of 1800m, ahead of the older multi Group 1 winners Humidor and Arcadia Queen.

A good second to Arcadia Queen, and defeating Humidor, in the Caulfield Stakes, Russian Camelot went on to be third to Sir Dragonet in the $5m WS Cox Plate, also at standard weight-for-age.

Described as ‘he’s the Big Horse, right now in Australian racing’ Russian Camelot retired from a slight tendon tear, having previously finished a first-up, hard fought second in the $5m All-Star Mile.

A ‘stand-out’ graduate of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, he’s the eight Group 1 winner of Epsom and Irish Derby winner Camelot, described as ‘the fastest son of sire-of-sires Montjeu.’

A bay standing 16.0hh, he’s the Bella Colora branch of the Reprocolor family, being from the Cape Cross mare Lady Babooshka a three-quarter-sister to Alkaadhem, plus Stagecraft, Kayf Tara.

Not A Single Doubt’s ‘electrifying’ unbeaten Group juvenile Doubtland also debuts at Widden Victoria, having won the Kindergarten Stakes 1200m by four lengths, a colts biggest winning margin.

‘The real deal’ as a 3yo, he defeated Amish Boy and Ranting in the Danehill Stakes of 1200m, finished third in the Roman Consul Stakes and fourth in the sire-shaping Coolmore Stud Stakes.

A bay standing 16.0hh, Doubtland was his sire’s highest price yearling in 2019, selling for $1.1m to Orbis Bloodstock at the Sydney Easter Yearling Sale, and was trained by Hawkes Racing.

With Not A Single Doubt being the sire of Champion 2YO Sire and Champion First Season Sire in Extreme Legend, Doubtland is the family of Golden Slipper winners Rory’s Jester and Ha Ha.

Being from the Gr3 placed winner Ustinov mare Miss Sharapova, Doubtland is a full-brother to stakes winner Pretty Fast, and a three-quarter brother to top-line sprinting filly Villa Verde.

Not to be forgotten in the Widden Valley, its ‘look at him go Anders’ who retires to Widden Stud, with top-flight trainer Ciaron Maher stating “he is the fastest racehorse I have ever trained.”

In having a 112 WTR in 2020, and winning on good, soft and heavy tracks Anders was an impressive winner of the San Domenico Stakes of 1100m in defeating Peltzer by almost 3½ lengths.

Previously he defeated Ole Kirk by almost 5 lengths in The Rosebud of 1100m, was a neck third in the Blue Sapphire Stakes, and at two years won his 1100m maiden by nearly 7 lengths.

An impressive son of Not A Single Doubt, Andres is the family of Champion Canadian 2YO and Belmont ‘Met Mile’ winner Exciting Story, being from the War Emblem mare Madam Andree.

However one cannot depart the Valley of Champions without celebrating Zoustar as Australian Champion Fourth Crop Sire with Zoutori winning $1.2m including the Newmarket Handicap.

In also being Champion First, Season and Third Crop Sires, Zoustar this year had his Lady Jivago yearling colt sell for $1.25m at Easter Yearlings and his Mizzy race filly for $2.2m at the Magic Millions.

In transferring from Widden to Widden Victoria, Nicconi had Nature Strip win the Lightning Stakes and TJ Smith Stakes last season, and Star Witness had Aim win the Magic Million 3YO Guineas.

 
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