World class American stayer WINCHESTER (Theatrical) has been bought by Victoria’s Rosemont Stud to spearhead an attempt to win the Spring’s richest races.
A four-time Group One winner, the classy entire will enter quarantine next week and arrive in Australia next month and head to the Malua stables of John Sadler and Troy Corstens to be prepared for the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and possibly the Cox Plate.
Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen said the horse was the ideal prospect to attack the Spring’s big three with a devastating turn of foot required to race successfully in Australia.
“He is something very special,” Mithen said. “He started his racing career in Ireland and ran in some big races there as a 3yo before heading to the US for his owners. In his first start in the US he won the G1 Secretariat Stakes over 2000m by seven lengths and over the next three years competed against the very best stayers in the country, winning another 3 G1 races over a mile and half.”
His last G1 victory came in the Sword Dancer Invitational in August when he defeated, amongst others, Drosselmeyer who went on to win the Breeders Cup Turf and later head to stud to a full book of quality mares.
Winchester has claimed some big scalps throughout his illustrious career so far, also defeating three-time Eclipse Horse of the year winner Gio Ponti in the Manhattan Handicap G1 who was also retired to stud this season standing in Kentucky for $20,000.
“We were very lucky to secure him. He finished last season running third in a Group 3 race and with his grass track comtemporaries heading off to stud, the owners were keen to find a stud farm for him. I happened to be right place at the right time and figured that at seven he still had racing left in him, particularly in this neck of the woods,” Mithen said.
“Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter seemed quite excited about the horse coming to Australia given his time form rating of 117 puts him right up there with Americain on the same mark and Dunaden on 118.”
“He is a lovely sort and will make a great classic stallion at some stage but it would be nice to win a big race with him on the way through!”
Mithen said it will be a vey competitive Spring with so many international horses being aimed at the big three, but feels he might have the right horse for the race.
“He comes from last in his races and can quicken in a stride. I think he’s the sort of horse that will appreciate our style of racing.”
Troy Corstens said he was delighted to be asked to train the horse for Rosemont. “I’ve watched all his runs on YouTube and Mitho looks to have found a live one here. He tells me he is a lovely loose, relaxed sort of horse that we can’t wait to see in the flesh next month.”