Little Avondale celebrate success with Avonallo

Sam Williams isn’t the first to sell a broodmare only to have her progeny come out and perform with distinction a short time later, but he isn’t losing sleep over it, in fact he couldn’t be happier with the result.

Williams bred and shares in the ownership of recent Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) winner Avonallo (NZ) (Belardo) though he had sold his dam Real Angel (NZ) (O’Reilly) through online auction house in April.

“Heading into COVID-19 I decided I was going to have a clearout of mares and Real Angel was one,” Williams, proprietor of the Masterton based Little Avondale Stud, said.

“At that stage she hadn’t had a winner and our yearling manager Morgan Percy bought her in-foal to Belardo for $800.”

A week in November was all it took for Real Angel’s value to skyrocket past Percy’s initial outlay.

“The Sunday before the Welcome Stakes her first foal Angelica came out and won at Te Aroha,” Williams said. “Two days later Real Angel foaled a Belardo colt.

“On the Saturday of the Welcome Stakes Avonallo turned two and I told the staff that everything was lining up and to back him.

“The rest is history.

“I think it is great, now Morgs is sitting on a yearling that could make a lot of money, it is a horse that could change people’s lives.

“It is a good way to bring them into the industry and it isn’t my loss, it is a gain for everyone.”

Avonallo is the third generation of a family bred by Little Avondale Stud and though his dam Real Angel lacks in size Williams said she throws plenty of substance into her progeny.

“Real Angel wasn’t very big as a young horse,” he said. “You could have mistaken her for a twin.

“She never went to the yearling sales and wasn’t broken in to race, she was tiny, though she always leaves lovely big foals.”

Avonallo was offered at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale and knocked down to Chris Rutten for $30,000.

Little Avondale’s Sam and Catriona Williams.
Photo: Supplied

Williams was keen to race a horse with Rutten, who has developed a reputation as an outstanding judge of juvenile talent, and struck a deal which enabled him to stay in the ownership of Avonallo.

“Chris had bought Yourdeel off us two years prior and I wanted to stay in him but it was a syndicate that always raced horses together and they wanted to continue with that,” Williams said.

“In January this year I pointed out to Chris the two I thought would be two-year-olds, one was by Real Impact and the other was Avonallo.

“I had said to him I would like to stay in for half of whatever he bought.

“Interestingly at the first two-year-old trial of the year the horses that ran first and second were Avonallo and the Real Impact.”

Avonallo’s stakes win was also a victory for Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Belardo, with Avonallo becoming both his first winner and first at stakes level in the southern hemisphere.

Little Avondale, who are shareholders in Belardo, supported the son of Lope de Vega in his first season with four mares including Real Angel.

Real Angel is a half-sister to Shamardal mare Marquardt who won twice at Listed level and was black-type placed on a further five occasions.

“Lope de Vega, Belardo’s sire, is by Shamardal so Real Angel is from a line we thought nicked with that sire line,” Williams said.

“We like Belardo and are big supporters. He is doing the job with five black-type horses already.

“Lope de Vega was probably an unlucky stallion down here and didn’t get the opportunity he warranted, he’s going to stand at €125,000 this season.”

Williams is looking forward to the future with Avonallo who has qualified for the 2021 Double Tree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).

“It is nice to have a horse that has qualified, hopefully he can get there in one piece and we can have some excitement leading into Karaka,” Williams said. “Jamie (Richards, trainer) is in charge and he is absolutely flying.

“We are going to celebrate every win as much as we can and enjoy the ride.”

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