Now Now Is The Time For Fairhill’s Fiesta

Fiesta wins the Group Three Widden Stakes.

Fiesta takes out the G3 Widden Stakes for 2YO fillies (Lisa Grimm)


It was a Fiesta all right. A large group of owners – courtesy of Star Thoroughbreds – barracked long and hard as their 2YO filly stormed to the lead in the Group Three Widden Stakes over 1100m at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

This was some win. With absolutely no luck in running, Fiesta appeared to have had all hopes dashed when seeking a clear passage in the straight, but managed to bullock her way through for a resounding victory.

Fairhill Farm’s Mike O’Donnell was doing plenty of cheering too. Breeding Fiesta from his Danehill Dancer mare, Now Now, O’Donnell had sold the filly to Star Thoroughbreds’ Denise Martin for $150,000 at the 2017 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling.

However, if O’Donnell had of known what was coming next, it’s unlikely he would have eased up on the metaphorical whip after Fiesta eventually hit the lead.

Shortly after the win, O’Donnell answered a phone call from Inglis Director, Jonathan D’Arcy and he was promptly informed that a $100,000 bonus was coming his way given that he was both the breeder and vendor of the first 2YO stakes winner from the 2017 Gold Riband session of the Sydney Classic.

“What a terrific result: great for the owners, great for the mare, great for the farm,” O’Donnell enthused as he took a five minute break from tending to Fairhill’s 10 strong draft for the 2018 Inglis Sydney Classic, which commences at Inglis’ new Riverside stables this Sunday.

“We started Fairhill around 15 years ago and have been bringing horses to the Sydney Classic for 12 years and, like any sale, it’s always a bit stressful.

“Still, I have to say that getting a $100,000 bonus the week before takes away a lot of the apprehension.”

Racing for the first time when third behind Satin Slipper in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick at the end of September, Fiesta followed up with a solid second over 1000m, again at Randwick, three weeks later.

The Widden was Fiesta’s third outing and the Chris Waller trained youngster is next likely to have a tilt at the Group Two Sweet Embrace Stakes on 3 March before, ultimately, seeking $3.5 million Group One Golden Slipper glory on 24 March.

Fiesta is the 26th stakes winner for the Yarraman Park Stud based, I Am Invincible, while her dam, Now Now – a close relation to 2YO stakes winners, Stick Around and Charm Scene Land, along with another Star Thoroughbreds stakes winner in Kingsgate – was originally sold as a yearling to Demi O’Byrne for $135,000 at the 2006 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

After winning two races, Now Now was sold to Fairhill Farm for $80,000 at the 2008 Inglis Broodmare Sale, going on to win a further three races.

“She (Now Now) had chips in her knees and they could never get her fully fit, so most of her work was done in the pool,” O’Donnell explains. “She was a very fast horse though and deserved her chance at stud.”

Now Now’s first foal – a filly by Haradasun – was passed in for $26,000, the second (by Magic Albert) made $40,000, while the third, Reprimand – a full sister to Fiesta – was also passed in at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions before later being sold to Darby Racing for $42,000 at the Scone Yearling Sale.

“Reprimand was a lovely foal and that’s what encouraged us to send Now Now back to I Am Invincible, which resulted in Fiesta,” O’Donnell adds. “Now Now has a cracking Outreach colt and is currently in foal to Capitalist.”

O’Donnell would have like to chat longer, but for now now it’s back to selling yearlings and maybe another bonus.

The Power of Passion