Terry Hodgson has a fairly simple philosophy. He chooses to send multiple mares to a stallion he believes has potential. An up and comer so to speak.
It worked with Written Tycoon when he sent his mare, Winning Team, in the stallion’s first season, ultimately producing 3-time stakes winner, It Is Written: probably the best horse to come off Hodgson’s Riva Ridge Stud in South Australia.
And it worked again on Saturday when his tough home-bred filly, Viddora, rocketed home to snare the Listed UBET Lightning Stakes at Morphettville for leading trainer, Lloyd Kennewell.
“I purchased Viddora’s dam (Snow Flight) a few years back and decided to send her and some other Riva Ridge mares to I Am Invincible in the Hunter Valley,” Hodgson explains.
“Apart from his breeding, I also thought he was a really good racehorse. It was his second season at stud and he’s since turned out alright.”
Alright? With his oldest progeny having just turned five, I Am Invincible has had a meteoric rise with Viddora becoming his 13th stakes winner (which include Champion Colt and now sire, Brazen Beau), while his fee this season is $55,000. His fee the year Viddora was conceived? $11,000.
(Written Tycoon’s fee in that first season was $8,250 … now $49,500).
“We consigned Viddora to the 2014 Adelaide Magic Millions and Lloyd purchased the filly for $40,000,” Hodgson adds. “Lloyd has been a great supporter of the farm and I decided to keep 10% in the filly. We have around 10 broodmares and all our yearlings are for sale, but I like to keep a share in most of our fillies. Turns out this one was a good decision.”
Perhaps an even better decision as Kennewell is mapping out an ambitious spring campaign for the filly: “There is a race at Caulfield in a couple of weeks that looks ideal for her and there are a lot of similar sprinting races for mares in Melbourne early on in the spring that will be options,” the trainer enthused.
“She’s a cracking filly and getting black type with her is important, so the pressure is off there. She’s got a big future post-racing as well.”
In the meantime though, Hodgson also has his fingers crossed Viddora will add to her resume before this campaign is done.
“That was some win in the Lightning … she likes plenty of galloping room and she had that wide draw, but I thought she was very impressive.
“She won two of her first three starts and was unlucky when she raced at Moonee Valley. She’s getting better all the time and I think the result might be a lot different next time she goes to Melbourne.”
An anaesthetist by profession with one of the largest practices in Australia, Hodgson purchased Riva Ridge in 1980 (“it’s named after the Kentucky Derby winner”) which is spread over 200 acres at Keyneton and managed by his son, John.
And what of Viddora’s dam, Snow Flight? “She has a lovely colt by Fiorente and is now in foal to Magnus,” Hodgson adds.
FYI … it was Fiorente’s first season a stud!