The most apt word to describe the team at Riva Ridge Stud is “astute”. Managed by John Hodgson in conjunction with his father Terry, the operation has made a number of key decisions over the past few years which has helped to shape what is a very rosy picture for the farm.
Key amongst these was the purchase of Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner Viddora’s dam Snow Flight. Also vital to the rapid success has been the ability of Terry and John to send their boutique broodmare band to highly commercial stallions before they carry the lofty service fees. Triple stakes-winning colt It Is Written, for instance, was bred from a first season fee of $8,250. His sire Written Tycoon now stands at $88,000 and could potentially go higher in 2018 given his son Written By just saluted by many lengths in the Gr Blue Diamond Stakes.
The Riva Ridge draft at the Adelaide Magic Millions kicks off with a serious bang. Surely one of the top lots at the entire sale, this filly (Lot 199) impresses on both pedigree and type. By Gr1 Galaxy winner and Gr1 producing-sire Magnus, this filly is from Zabeel line mare Snow Flight. The even bigger selling point though is that she’s a half-sister to Gr1 WATC Winterbottom Stakes winner Viddora. Plus, the cross of Magnus with Zabeel line mares just works. So far 9 runners for 8 winners and a high 11% SW/R. This is a super family that traces to Detroit and her Arc winning colt Carnegie.
Lot 337 is the next offering from Riva Ridge and definitely worth the wait. He’s by the Gr3 Up & Coming Stakes winning sire in War. With his oldest only 2YOs, War may just prove to be another canny move by the Hodgsons. On pedigree alone he has a massive chance of success. Not only was he a highly precocious juvenile but he’s from a Zabeel half-sister to Gr1 BMW Stakes inner Tuesday Joy. This particular colt is from Emmaagh, a half-sister herself to the talented trio of Gr2 Caulfield Sprint winner Blur, Gr3 Blue Diamond Prelude winner Shrewd Rhythm and Listed Maribyrnong Stakes runner-up Dancescape. This is the seriously speedy family of Off Balance and her Canny Lad daughter Balcanny. Emmaagh is also a prven producer with 5 individuals winners headlined by stakes-placed gelding Hurrara.
Fighting Sun is another sire with 2YOs his eldest, and serious stud upside. He showed his natural class with a Listed win in the Canonbury Stakes as a juvenile, and he’s a son of the late sire phenomenon Northern Meteor. This colt (Lot 340) is from young Flying Spur mare Flying Aquila, a $150,000 yearling and three-quarter-sister to Listed winner / Gr2 runner-up Make Me A Miracle. Second dam Acquisto is a half-sister to Listed Quezette Stakes winner La Lagune while third dam Commercial Choice was a multiple stakes winner in the US. A very progressive family, this pedigree tracks to Gr2 MVRC Mitchelton Wines Vase winner Savvy Nature and his equally talented current brother Addictive Nature, winner of the Gr3 Ming Dynasty and a gallant third in this month’s Gr2 Expressway Stakes.
The final lot in the draft is likely to spend very little time in his box. She’s the filly by Gr1-winning and producing sire Good Journey from Winning Lass. Gr1 winner Happy Trails stands as the sire’s Everest at this point but has a very solid support cast in the form of Griante, Sound Journey and Lord Aspen. The key here though is the filly is from a half-sister to triple stakes winner It Is Written. Again, this is a family with depth. Tracing to Rebecca Gay, winner of the Gr2 Edward Manifold, the family also features Listed winner / Gr2 Schillaci Stakes placed Winter King as well as Listed winner How Good Is He.
This high class Riva Ridge Stud draft can be viewed at Barn 2 Row B.