Irons in the Fire
Tara Madgwick - Thursday August 15
As you come into spring the most important thing for any sire is to have runners that can provide the opportunity for them to do well and for that to happen you need irons in the fire.

Alassio is fit and ready to fore this springWith his oldest progeny just six year-olds, Woodside Park Stud's new addition Foxwedge has produced 41 stakes horses in both hemispheres and last season in Australia sired 97 winners of in excess of $5.3million in prizemoney.

Those winners last season include several exciting types that have trialled in recent weeks and are ready to embark upon spring campaigns.

A two time Group winner last season for the Waterhouse and Bott stable, six year-old Alassio has been tuned up with a couple of recent trials and found herself in a hot heat on Monday morning at Randwick when taking on a field that included triple Group I winner Sunlight.

She quickly found the front and led them up before being overtaken by Sunlight and several others to finish a well held together fourth beaten just over two lengths.

Alassio took giant strides last preparation emerging from restricted class races to Group wins and looks primed to improve on her already impressive record of six wins from 12 starts.

The same heat also marked the return of promising four year-old mare Into the Abyss, who was given a very quiet trial to finish seventh to Sunlight beaten just over two and a half lengths.

Prepared by John Thompson, Into the Abyss has won only one race but has been stakes-placed four times so surely her turn to win a stakes race cannot be far away!

Villami - image Bradley PhotograhpyAstute trainer Gerald Ryan has always had a huge wrap on now three year-old filly Villami, who was the most expensive yearling by Foxwedge sold in 2018 when fetching $425,000 at the Magic Millions.

She won brilliantly on debut at Rosehill in February, before struggling on the heavy ground in the Group II ATC Magic Night Stakes and then bounced back to finish a close third in the $1million Group II ATC Percy Sykes Stakes to Anaheed.

Villami is the sort of filly with type, talent and pedigree that could see her go a very long way this season and her barrier trial win on August 6 indicated she is ready to go.

She jumped fast for Brenton Avdulla to lead throughout and forged clear to win by three-quarters of a length.

Villami appeals as an ideal type for the Princess Series in Sydney and is also entered for the Group I MRC Thousand Guineas with the Group II ATC Silver Shadow Stakes on August 24 at Randwick pencilled in for her return.

A refined, good looking son of Fastnet Rock, Foxwedge was an expensive yearling himself bought for $925,000 at Inglis Easter in 2010.

Good looks, an even temperament and natural ability translated into Group I success on the track and Foxwedge has imparted those qualities to his offspring to carve out a highly successful career at stud that is about to move into a new phase.

Foxwedge was the Champion Second Season Sire in 2016/2017 and as a result covered a strong book of mares that spring meaning he has a terrific crop of 110 yearlings in the pipeline, while his current two year-olds include 13 that have been entered for the Golden Slipper.

Priced at $16,500 this spring at Woodside Park, Foxwedge is not only a proven Group I sire, but a sire with considerable upside for the future.

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