Story courtesy of Darryl Sherer, ANZ Bloodstock Newsletter
Last Saturday¹s New Zealand Derby saw Silent Achiever put the boys firmly in their place with a dominant win, writes ANZ Bloodstock’s Darryl Sherer, and in doing so, become the 10th Group 1 winner for her sire O¹Reilly and his fourth Derby winner following Shamrocker (Australian Derby), Guyno WA Derby) and Betwixt (Tasmanian Derby). Incredibly three of the four are female, the odd one out being Guyno.
The win has also catapulted O¹Reilly (Last Tycoon) into a big lead over Thorn Park (Spinning World) on the New Zealand General Sires¹ table.
Bred and raced by Valachi Downs principal Kevin Hickman, Silent Achiever is out of the winning Zabeel mare Winning Spree and is a half-sister to four winners, including the Wellington Guineas (Gr 2) placed Anotherchancetaken (No Excuse Needed).
³Zabeel mares are going to be gold and O’Reilly puts a bit of speed in there. He’s a fantastic sire and a very under-rated sire. I thought it was a lovely match and it’s proved to be a lucky one.² Hickman said of Silent Achiever.
To date there are 12 runners by O¹Reilly out of Zabeel mares for nine winners, two of them stakeswinners and this season¹s Group 2 winner Pussy Willow is out of a mare by Octagonal (Zabeel). The Sir Tristram connection follows with the likes of Group winners The Jewel (Gr 1), Kerry O¹Reilly, O¹Reilly Rose and The One all out of mares by Grosvenor (Sir Tristram).
Silent Achiever has duplications of Northern Dancer, Never Bend and Round Table within her first five generations
O¹Reilly has 54 stakeswinners worldwide so far with six this season, headed by Silent Achiever, the Wellington Guineas (Gr 2) winner President Lincoln and the Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Gr 2) winner Pussy Willow, currently the highest-rated ANZform juvenile filly in New Zealand.
It is perhaps appropriate that Silent Achiever traces directly to one of the most influential mares in the Stud Book through a Derby winning daughter, descended from the Florida Derby winner Black Helen (Bimelech), a daughter of La Troienne, and her sixth dam.
The French-bred La Troienne (Teddy) has exerted a massive influence on racing in America and the rest of the world. Imported into America in 1931 by Edward Bradley of Idle Hour Farm in Kentucky who bought La Troienne at the Tattersalls December Sale in 1930, offered for sale by her breeder, Marcel Boussac, for 1,250gns.
In the spring of 1931, La Troienne sailed to America, where she was covered by Bradley¹s stallion Black Toney. The result of that mating was Black Helen, the Champion US 3yo filly of 1935 when the winner of the Coaching Club American Oaks, Florida Derby and American Derby among 15 wins from 22 starts.
Black Helen was the first of five stakeswinners (two colts and three
fillies) bred by La Troienne, whose nine daughters have amassed a line of descendants that is long in length and quality with her son Bimelech (a brother to Black Helen) winning the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 1940 after having been placed in the Kentucky Derby, and later a very influential sire.
Just a brief list of notable horses descended from La Troienne include Busher, Allez France, Buckpasser, Easy Goer, Caerleon, Busher, The Axe, Straight Deal, Mineshaft, Woodman, Private Account, Super Saver Bright Sky, Bernstein ­ I could fill a page.
Although he was unraced, Noble Bijou (Vaguely Noble) was given the chance his pedigree deserved and stood at stud in New Zealand with great success and one descendant currently proving his worth at stud in Australia is More Than Ready (Southern Halo).
Silent Achiever¹s branch of this family came to Australia and New Zealand through Never Babble (Advocator), whose son Don¹t Say Halo (Halo) won the Cinema Handicap (Gr 2) at Hollywood Park and went on to prove successful at stud in Australia. Two daughters of Never Babble found their way south with Lou Babbaloo (Buckaroo) leaving the Moonee Valley Vase (Gr 2) runner-up Chief Scout (Chief¹s Crown) and the unraced Quietly Lucky (Fortunate Dancer) leaving five minor winners including Winning Spree, the dam of Silent Achiever.
Never Babble¹s half-sister She Might Hula (Caucasus) came to New Zealand and left the NZ 2000 Guineas (Gr 1) winner Hulastrike (Straight Strike) as well as the under-rated sire Yamanin Vital (Sir Tristram) and another half-sister Never Knock (Stage Door Johnny) left the Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin
(Cormorant) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Gr 1) winner Pleasant Tap (Pleasant Colony).
Never Babble is out of the stakesplaced Never Hula (Never Bend), a sister to the juvenile stakeswinner Never Hula, who also came to New Zealand where she left Group 1 winners Hula Chief and Hula Drum to matings with Marceau and from whom descend Group 1 winners Racing To Win and Herculian Prince, the latter a son of Yamanin Vital and therefore inbred to Hula Hula (Polynesian ­ Black Helen).

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