Widden Valley - fulfillment of a lifelong passion!
Breednet - Tuesday August 22
Purchasing a stallion may have been somewhat of an impulse for Little Yarra Lodge's Peter Grundy but the acquisition of the beautifully bred Widden Valley came on the back of a lifetime love of, and involvement in, the thoroughbred racing industry.

Widden ValleySpying the good looking bay online, Peter thought back to the deeds of the Anabaa stallion's AJC Oaks winning dam Rose Archway - "she was a great little mare," he enthused.

Doing a bit more research, Peter came to the conclusion that Widden Valley had plenty to offer and, once purchasing him sent him to Holly Lodge where he made his stud debut in 2011.

"It was such an impulse to purchase him seeming I didn't own any land," Peter laughed, "so I looked up studs within a couple of hours of me and gave Christine Neville a call and she was kind enough to say yes."

The following year Peter was excited to move his horse to Glenormiston College near Terang.

"I had grown up in the district and have fond memories of the former stud master Allan Arnold. He used to let me use the college's teaser to breed kids ponies and later I rode track work at Terang for Barry Rose."

Prior to that Peter had been encouraged in his thoroughbred interest by Warrnambool trainer Danny O'Connor. "He only had a small team but he taught me how to ride a racehorse. We did a lot of beach work and I learned a lot about racing from him."

It was not long until Peter's interest in breeding was piqued... "and so I talked my parents into buying a mare in foal and the passion grew from there."

The family's first mare produced a few winners including Celemondo for who Peter acquired his owner/trainer permit.

"She was a lot of fun, winning four races and placing at metropolitan level on three occasions. She was no champ but she got us to town racing with the big boys!"

Peter's sister and brother-in-law ended up breeding with Celemondo and the whole family enjoyed cheering on her son Watto's Racer to eight victories and a couple of Country Cup placings.

"I still have one of Celemondo's daughters who will visit Widden Valley this spring."

Unfortunately Widden Valley could not remain at Glenormiston after they lost government funding and a year later Widden Valley was on his way to Nioka Wozny's Moorookyle Park.

In the meantime Peter was building up his own farm Little Yarra Lodge and just last week Widden Valley arrived at his new home... "already settling in well into his paddock."

Peter's plan had always been to establish a boutique stud and is pleased to have fulfilled his long held ambition.

"The years went by quickly, I was busy raising my family and growing my painting business but I have leased a couple of small properties and set up the stallion paddock, a foaling paddock and several holding yards."

"I have purchased some nice mares and Widden Valley has several share holders with breeding rights (including newcomers Ruby Global Racing) keen to continue supporting him. He will be a happy lad with the season starts!"

Supported by his wife Jodi, Peter is thrilled to be back heavily involved with horses having had "a few years spell."

"Things were just not the same without horses so Jodi encouraged me to get back into it and that was when Widden Valley came onto the market."

"It has been a tough journey so far, I felt bad that I could not support him with mares initially as I had a young family - but he has been improving the mares he has got, many of whom had been discarded from studs for having not previously produced."

The sire of seven winners from his first 19 runners, Widden Valley has a number of promising types including easy Hobart debut winner Uber Ed, the consistent Palmerston Sprint runner-up He's Our Woody (three wins and six placings from nine starts), the two times winner Eerised (a cheeky fourth in the Gr.3 Frank Packer Plate won by Mongolian Wolf) and last start Sale winner Foraoise.

Described by his trainer Chris Waller as being a horse "with tremendous ability who racegoers never got to see the best of," Widden Valley broke a 20-year-old track record when saluting over easy fashion over 1350m at Wyong.

Winning two of his five starts, his career hindered by an injury sustained in a float trip on the way back from the breakers, Widden Valley was third in the $750,000 Inglis 3Y0 at Scone at his final start - that classy race quinelled by the subsequent stakes winners Star Of Octagonal and Slapstick.

"This horse would have won Group races for sure," Waller said. "He had so much natural talent, I had black type races picked out for him but it just wasn't to be."

Widden Valley is by Danzig's July Cup winning son Anabaa, highly successful sire of 88 stakes winners, 15 of whom are Group One winners including Goldikova, Yell and Virage de Fortune.

Already of five (Anabaa Blue, Anacheeva, Dalghar, King Of Prussia and Martillo) of Anabaa's sons have sired stakes winners and his stats make for impressive reading - a 70% winners-to-runners strike rate with 7.8% stakes winners to runners.

Widden Valley is one of four winners (from as many foals) for five times winner Rose Archway. Winner of the 2001 Group One AJC Oaks as well as the Group Two Angus Armanasco Stakes and the Listed Naturalism Stakes, Rose Archway was also second in the Group One Storm Queen Stakes and a close up fourth in the Group One Brisbane Cup.

A descendant of the acclaimed matriarch Chelandry, Widden Valley was a $900,000 Easter yearling.

Widden Valley stands the 2017 season at a special Little Yarra Lodge introductory fee of just $1100 (incl gst). For further information contact Peter Grundy on 0417 720 468.

https://www.facebook.com/WiddenValley/

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