Widden Stud has announced Star Witness will stand for a $33,000 (inc gst) service fee in 2011.
At first, Widden intended to wait until Star Witness finished an upcoming Royal Ascot campaign before setting a fee for his first season at stud. But Widden owner Antony Thompson said interest in the horse had been overwhelming.
“Breeders now have an opportunity to lock in a booking before he competes in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee Stakes,” Thompson said. “He already has over 90 confirmed bookings.
“Some breeders have had the chance to inspect him already at Danny O’Brien’s Flemington stables, with the feedback incredibly positive, so we’re expecting he will have a full book before the season commences.
“He’s a good looking colt with a great race record and I believe he will have a significant impact at stud.”
Already a Group 1 winner of the MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and VRC Ascot Vale Stakes, Star Witness will be the only Australasian Group 1 winning two and three year-old to retire to stud this season.
Star Witness (Starcraft) has been the eye-catcher at Flemington track-work in the last fortnight and is expected to have his final serious hit-out in an 800m jump out at Werribee this Friday before departing Melbourne on June 1.
“Everything has gone to plan this preparation and we couldn’t be happier with Star Witness,” O’Brien said. “He is such an explosive colt who gives you an enormous amount of confidence and the freshen up at Barwon Heads has done him the world of good. I’m really looking forward to getting him on the Royal Ascot straight.”