Gun three-year-old Wandjina will join five-time Group 1 winner Dissident in retirement at Newgate Farm this spring after the young stallion’s brave All Aged Stakes run in Sydney on Saturday is followed by a Royal Ascot swansong.
It was an excellent day for the soon-to-appear newbies on the Newgate Farm stud roster at Royal Randwick on the weekend with their two newest editions running the quinella in the $400,000 Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Peter Moody’s constantly but undeservedly underrated Sebring four-year-old Dissident was the impressive All Aged Stakes winner, the now Australian Horse of the Year favourite saluting in his fifth elite level success as a 9/1 chance in his final career run.
“He has never got the accolades this colt,” Moody said after Saturday’s win.
“He has raced at Group 1 level since day one, he has won five Group 1s and he won his first start and he won his last start – you are mad if you don’t send a mare to him.”
It was a tough effort from Dissident and veteran hoop Jimmy Cassidy who, after failing to gain a Doncaster Mile Day ride, saluted in his second Group 1 in as many weeks following the upset on the Chris Waller-trained Grand Marshal on Day 2 of The Championships.
He narrowly held off the overseas-bound Wandjina to go out a winner after Dissident and his younger rival fought it out in front in an epic battle that was just what Newgate Farm were hoping to see.
A son of leading sire Snitzel, the exciting Wandjina has so far enjoyed three wins, a second and a third from 13 starts with trainer Gai Waterhouse announcing Royal Ascot plans before the youngster’s looming retirement.
Four of his runs have been in Group 1 company, his first producing a third to Shooting To Win in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) back in October last year.
While he failed to make an impression as a 30/1 shot in the Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) next start when 10th to Adelaide, he was back in fine style for his latest campaign this autumn.
This time in he has had three runs for wins in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington before the All Aged Stakes second where he defeated third-placed TJ Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua to the line.
“He’s the best three year-old in Australia and he marked himself that today,” Waterhouse said post-All Aged Stakes result.
“It’s a really good quality field and this should really be the $4 million race.”
All going well and Wandjina will next be seen racing in England during their summer with his major target being the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) in June.
“If he travels well, he won’t be beaten,” Waterhouse told Sky Racing on Sunday.
Wandjina was a $1 million Inglis Easter purchase in 2013, James Harron Bloodstock dramatically increasing the value of his sire’s future progeny with the expensive acquisition on behalf of owner’s Dr Edmund and Mrs Belinda Bateman.
From day dot with Waterhouse the horse has lived up to the hype and the big price paid.
“The most important thing in a horse is to have speed,” Waterhouse said.
“He was the fastest yearling I had and then the fastest two year-old, but it has taken until now to put it altogether.
“The speed is something they have to have though… and he has it.”
A service fee for Dissident and Wandjina are both still set to be announced.
The $60,500 fee that Dissident’s sire Sebring currently stands for at Widden Stud meanwhile is set to increase, the former Golden Slipper winner having sired 12 stakes-winners including Dissident and fellow star four-year-old Criterion who is also Royal Ascot-bound this season.