Ken Russell rendered unto Sesar

Sesar wins the Ken Russell Stakes (Trackside Photography)

Sesar wins the Ken Russell Stakes (Trackside Photography)


Hindsight is 20-20 but Jamie Walter was right on the money when he purchased exciting colt Sesar for $160,000 at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

On Saturday – racing under Walter’s Proven Thoroughbreds banner – Sesar put his hoof up for Group One glory after an eye-catching performance in the Group Three Ken Russell Memorial Classic over 1200m at the Gold Coast.

It was the Sebring colt’s first win from three tries, but trainer Steve O’Dea plans on steering the 2YO toward the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on 26 May and, all things being equal, the $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) on 9 June.

Walter is renowned for putting in the legwork at yearling sales, but really made sure he had all the blocks in place before bidding at Easter.

“After inspecting the colt at the sales, I approached Aquis Farm to see if they would be interested in taking a share in the colt as they race the half-brother Doubt Defying (6 wins from 15 starts) with Steve O’Dea,” Walter points out.

“They agreed to, up to a price. Our limit is usually around the $200,000 mark and while a lot of the Sebrings go for big money (selling up to $1.4 million at Easter in 2017), Sesar was a little backward which was in our favour at a sale which can be fairly unforgiving.

“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice enough type with a better head than some of the breed and a bit more correct than Doubt Defying for that matter, but he just needed to do a bit more growing and that’s why we thought we might get him a bit cheaper.”

The $160,000 could ultimately prove to be a drop in the bucket for Sesar’s syndicate which consists of a number of Proven Thoroughbreds’ existing clients, along with John Mcdonnell, who raced 2008 Golden Slipper winner Sebring in partnership.

Now at Widden Stud, Sebring is one of the nation’s leading stallions and has produced 41 stakes winners: Group 1 winners Dissident, Criterion, Egg Tart and Lucky Bubbles among them.

Meanwhile, Sesar is out of the Street Cry mare Sarthemare, who was also a stakes winner at two, capturing the Black Opal Stakes in Canberra.

“Another factor in Sesar’s favour when I was at the sales was that Proven Thoroughbreds also races Candika, a 4YO mare by Sebring, who won her first two starts, ran third behind Capitalist in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and won the (Listed Mandate) Princess Stakes at Doomben for Steve (O’Dea) as well.

She was a bit backward too, but has since won over $450,000 and Steve and I purchased her for $100,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions in 2015.

“So, you can see why we like the Sebrings.”

Perhaps even more after the Sires’ Produce!

Established in 2002, Proven Thoroughbreds had a long association with the late Guy Walter, Jamie’s brother, but currently spreads the wealth between six trainers in four states.

Others to fly Proven’s black and lime green flag include 6-time stakes winner Sir Moments (including the Group Two Queensland Guineas), Randwick’s multiple Group Two winner, Tremec, and Group winner Adorabeel.

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