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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: December 17, 2023: BRAD Widdup believes the owners of yesterday’s stylish Newcastle winner Colours Of Autumn will “have a lot of fun with her”.

But he adds patience will be the key.

Widdup paid $380,000 for the daughter of The Autumn Sun (who won five Group 1s and was beaten only once in nine starts) at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale, and then syndicated her amongst clients.

“I know the family well (the filly’s dam Kennocha is a sister to four-times city winner Celts), and she was a lovely athletic type when I bought her,” he said today.

“And of course you are thinking about The Autumn Sun really firing as a stallion.

“She wasn’t big and I was hoping she might sprout and grow. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened.

“Still, I’m sure she has a lot of upside, and her owners will have a lot of fun with her provided they’re patient.

“I’m not going to rush her.”

That includes forgetting about a trip north next month for the Magic Millions carnival.

“Colours Of Autumn was having only her fourth start yesterday, and was unlucky not to have won on debut at Kembla Grange in July as a late two-year-old, and that’s always a good indicator as to their ability,” Widdup said.

“She had a break after going to town for her second run, and definitely should have finished a clear second when resuming on the Kensington track at the start of the month.

“I would like to give her another start in a few weeks over a bit more distance than yesterday’s race (1350m), around 1500m-1600m, and then give her a rest and come back toward the end of the Sydney autumn and possibly go to Brisbane for the winter carnival.”

Colours Of Autumn ($1.65 favorite) dominated pre-race discussions on the Provincial Maiden Plate – and was just as dominant in the race itself.

With Alysha Collett on board, she was first out and then given the run of the race before quickly putting away her rivals on straightening.

She had more than three lengths to spare at the end from Newcastle stablemates Irish Accolade ($17) and No Newchee Things ($21).

Autumn Of Colours was Widdup’s 19th winner of the season, and his career 315th.

. Widdup’s now retired Group 1 winner Icebath is in foal to Alabama Express, a lightly-raced son of Redoute’s Choice (who won four of his eight starts, including the 2020 Group 1 Orr Stakes, 1400m at Caulfield as a three-year-old).

Icebath was purchased earlier this year by Yulong Investments, and Alabama Express stands at their Victorian stud property.



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