Valachi Downs Will Be A Big Player

Valachi Downs is significantly increasing their holdings in the thoroughbred industry.

The Kevin Hickman-owned Matamata operation will be the new home for Group One-winning trainer Stephen Autridge while the breeding arm of the business will also be further developed.

Trainer : STEPHEN AUTRIDGE
Trainer : STEPHEN AUTRIDGE Picture: Trish Dunell

“Valachi is expanding both the racing and stallion side of the business and we have bought the property formerly known as Wexford Stables,” manager Jonathan Scully said.

“We will take over in mid to late September and Stephen will have the bulk of the Valachi horses and probably four outside clients.

Kevin Hickman (right) with wife Jo and Jonathan Scully
Kevin Hickman (right) with wife Jo and Jonathan Scully Picture: Trish Dunell

“He’ll probably kick off with about 50 horses and build on that over the next few years. It’s still the intention to spread about 20 per cent of our young stock with other trainers.”

The new venture will be located on 10 acres with 70 boxes and direct access to the Matamata track with former trainer Kris Shailer as foreman.

“We’ll be putting in a treadmill as well,” Scully said. “Stephen was going to take a bit of a step back, but Kevin had a chat with him and it works for both parties.

“It’s a great opportunity and Stephen’s very excited. He’ll have some great bloodlines to work with.

“There will be a couple of European fillies and Kevin bought three more by Dubawi, Nathaniel and Choisir at the Tattersalls Sale and they will probably end up down here at some stage.

“There’s also the Frankel colt out of Silent Achiever. I saw him at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and he’ll come out here to Stephen later this year.

“Kevin will also probably keep a few more colts than he has done in the past.

“It’s great that people like Kevin and his wife Jo keep investing, they would be among the largest benefactors of New Zealand racing.

“It’s all about the people and a unified team approach, you can’t do this without the right people.”

Valachi will be standing successful sire Zacinto and the home-bred freshman stallion Savile Row with plans for more in the future.

“Zacinto will be serving top end mares and there’s been a fair bit of interest in Savile Row,” Scully said.

“We’ll be having six stallion boxes and 12 paddocks so we’re prepared in the future for more stallions.

“We won’t be carrying outside mares and we’ll be running it as a stallion station. It’s exciting times.”
NZ Racing News

user profile image