McKee hoping for answer at Awapuni

A proposed trip to the Central Districts for O’Marilyn will belatedly answer a distance question posed to the top filly by trainer Stephen McKee.

He had expected the daughter of O’Reilly to have confirmed her 1600 metre ability in the Gr.1 NZB 1000 Guineas, but returned none the wiser.

O’Marilyn was the beaten favourite at Riccarton, where she struggled on a surface that was cutting out, after Group Three victories in the Gold Trail Stakes and the Sarten Memorial.

“She only went 800 metres and she didn’t handle the track at all so it wasn’t any guide about the mile,” McKee said. “We may look at the Eulogy Stakes and then we’ll find out.”

The Lawn Master-sponsored Group Three feature will be run at Awapuni on December 13.

“She seems fine in herself and had a week off when she got home and she’s back in work,” McKee said.

The stable also encountered bad luck in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas with O’Marilyn’s barn mate Prince Mambo finishing third after giving his rivals a start from the barrier.

“He lost a lot of ground – he scrambled and slipped out of the gates so it was a really good run,” McKee said.

Prince Mambo raced three wide with cover and got home bravely in the straight behind runaway winner Turn Me Loose and Rockfast.
“He’s had three weeks in the paddock and will come back next week,” McKee said. “He’ll be aimed toward the Derby and we’ll pick a path to Ellerslie after Christmas.” – NZ Racing Desk.

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