Tony Williams

published: 22 Feb 2014 in Q&A

As the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, at Newmarket on April 8, 9 and 10, draws closer the activity around the sale is gathering momentum.

A catalogue of 550 – 437 in Session I – of the finest yearlings around has been put together for the sale and inspections are rushing towards a high point.

Among the newer operations to become a major player and to attract considerable attention is Newgate Farm, at Scone, which has had 17 yearlings selected for session I and five for session II.

While these yearlings are being prepared Newgate Farm has also been active on the stallion front securing Sizzling to stand alongside Foxwedge in the coming season.

With this in mind Stallions questioned Newgate’s nominations manager and Hong Kong Jockey Club adviser Tony Williams about his movements, the HKJC involvement, Newgate Farm’s Easter offering, Foxwedge and plans for Sizzling.


Q.: Have you been inspecting any of this year’s Australian Easter Yearling Sale entries

A.: Not as yet. I have been attending sales all over the place and I like to see the yearlings as close to the sale as possible. I will be on the road over the next couple of weeks so I can see the yearlings on their respective farms.


Q.: Will the HKJC be buying

A.: Yes. For the past two years the Jockey Club has been back buying at Easter. I am not sure of the numbers the Jockey Club will be after but Easter is such a good sale there will certainly be a wide range of yearlings that will suit.


Q.: What type of yearling will be the Jockey Club be after

A.: Obviously colts and we will be looking for yearlings by sires whose progeny have been successful in Hong Kong. The Danehill line has worked very well in the past through the likes of Encosta de Lago and so on. It is rare that we buy a first season sire however if a physical type suited and it was a close relation to a successful Hong Kong horse I am sure it would be considered.


Q.: How is Newgate’s draft shaping up

A.: Newgate has a nice draft of 22 for Easter and we are being represented by a wide range of hot stallions. The team at the farm have been very busy preparing them and we will be even busier leading into the sale with on-farm inspections. Every year more and more buyers (trainers and agents) do the on-farm inspections which gives them a better impression of the yearlings going into the sale.


Q.: Is Newgate likely to be buying

A.: At this stage the farm is unlikely to buy. However, we have clients who whilst they have mares and breed they love their racing and often buy yearlings to go into racing. Then, hopefully, post-racing they have a broodmare or a stallion prospect.


Q.: How is Foxwedge’s stallion career progressing

A.: We couldn’t be happier with him. He has been so well supported in his first two seasons with both numbers and with the over-all quality of mare going to him. Foxwedge’s first crop of foals are exceptional in my opinion and everyone who has his foals on their farm are extremely positive about them. The foals I have seen of his are balanced, have good strength and bone, are a good size and, importantly, they have wonderful temperaments. On that basis I can see Foxwedge being extremely well represented at Magic Millions and Easter next year. I believe they will be precocious, hardy types who should be able to cope with anything and everything.


Q.: Have you been receiving progress reports from the United Kingdom on his progeny

A.: It is still early in the season in the U.K. However, the foals on the ground so far have been receiving very encouraging reports. In his first season at Whitsbury Manor he was strongly supported with 118 mares and importantly successful breeders used him and are supporting him again.


Q.: What attracted Newgate most to Sizzling

A.: He is a horse that has always shown a lot of ability. He won five races at two, including the Group 1 T.J.Smith Stakes, which over the years has been won by some outstanding horses such as Zeditave. He is an extremely good type evidenced by the fact that John Foote, who is a wonderful judge and buys very good looking horses, bought him at the Magic Millions as agent. Interestingly we bid on him for the HKJC at the sale so I have followed his career since then. Added to that his sire Snitzel is taking all before him. Also Sizzling will be standing in a price range that we believe gives all our partners an opportunity to simply make money out of him by breeding good sales type yearlings. We syndicated him, which was done very quickly as he was very popular. Already we have commercial breeders in addition to our partners wanting to send mares to him in 2014. He ticks a lot of boxes being, as I’ve said, a good type; by a very good stallion; a Group 1 winner, has a top pedigree and was a yearling type himself.


Q.: Has a fee been set

A.: Not at present but I can say he is going to be very affordable to all breeders which will enable them to get a good return in the market place.


Q.: What was the reasoning behind Sizzling’s transfer to Chris Waller

A.: Kelso Woods is a very good trainer and certainly did a wonderful job with Sizzling. Chris on the other hand seems to have an exceptional touch of keeping older horses happy and a change sometimes brings out the best in horses. Newgate’s principal Henry Field thought it would be a good move to try him with Chris  We were delighted with his effort in the Expressway and he just wasn’t comfortable at Caulfield in the Futurity.


Q.: What are the immediate objectives for the horse

A.: We believe he can win a Group 1 race in the autumn and if he goes forward the way we hope he may be a Doncaster horse.


Q.: Will Sizzling begin standing at Newgate in the 2014 breeding season

A.: Yes. He will retire at the end of the autumn. We are excited about having him and thankful to the horse’s original owners for giving us the opportunity with him. The team, who purchased him as a yearling, have stayed in him and we have wonderful group of commercial breeders who have come in as partners with us in Sizzling’s racing and breeding future.