Zoustar service fee up as Widden Stud unveils 2018 roster
Sebring heads the eight-strong roster
Widden Stud stalwart Sebring will spearhead the historic farm's stallion roster in 2018, while leading first season sire Zoustar has had his fee increased on the back of the deeds of his first crop of two-year-olds.
Sebring will again stand for A$66,000 at the head of the Hunter Valley-based farm's eight-strong roster, while dual Group 1 winner Zoustar returns to New South Wales after spending 2017 at Woodside Park Stud.
Widden Stud proprietor Antony Thompson said Sebring deserved top billing on the roster.
"Sebring has had a phenomenal last 12 months," Thompson said.
"Having sired some 42 stakes performers and 17 stakes winners, including two Group One winners in this period, there was an expectation to increase his fee, given the ongoing success of his progeny.
"He's enjoyed a yearling average at both major sales of over A$240,000 with a top lot of A$1,400,000, so we feel his fee being maintained at $66,000 represents terrific value."
This season, Sebring has had nine horses prove victorious in stakes races including Saturday’s China Horse Club Mile winner, the Lindsay Park-trained Futooh.
Meanwhile, Zoustar will stand for A$60,500 in 2018, an increase of A$16,500 on A$44,000 fee he has stood for in the first four years at stud.
The Golden Rose Stakes and Coolmore Stud Stakes winner has made a strong start to his stud career, siring Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner and Golden Slipper Stakes placed filly Sunlight among four individual first crop winners.
He leads fellow first season stallion Spirit Of Boom by A$865,145 in prize-money earnings as they vie for the champion first season sire title with less than four months of the season remaining.
"Zoustar has started in spectacular fashion, in fact he is ahead of where Northern Meteor was at the same stage with his first crop. He looks every inch the heir to his late champion sire," Thompson said.
"Attitude, constitution, class and scope are terms that have been regularly used in reference to his progeny and the exciting thing is, like their sire, they'll improve further at three."
Zoustar’s second crop yearlings have sold to a top of A$800,000 this year and are averaging A$199,310.
Consistent Group 1-winning stallion Star Witness will also stand at Widden Stud for an unchanged fee of A$33,000 this year, while Nicconi has had his fee upped this year from A$16,500 to A$24,750.
"Nicconi and Star Witness have proven to be two of Australia's most popular young stallions covering over 400 mares each in their last two seasons and they certainly profile as stallions that are only going continue on an upward scale," Thompson said.
"Your Song is also coming off a large book given his first crop two-year-old success last season. All three stallions, who are standing at A$33,000 or under, represent a smart play for breeders this year given the numbers you have working for you prior to selling your mare's progeny."
Your Song, whose oldest progeny are rising four-year-olds, will stand for an unchanged fee of A$22,000, while Cox Plate winner Shamus Award will stand at a reduced fee of A$11,000.
Stratum Star and Outreach will stand for an unchanged A$11,000 and A$7,7000 respectively.