O’Reilly Youngsters Show The Way

A promising pair of O’Reilly fillies did the champion WS stallion proud at Pukekohe Park today when they dominated the finish of the two-year-old event. The Andrew Scott-trained Cracker made a successful debut, off the back of a trial success, at the expense of another first-starter and prominent trials performer Pussy O’Reilly.

The winner boasts a further strong connection to WS as her dam is the unraced Rory’s Jester mare Dilemma, who is out of a half-sister to the Gr 1 Australian Guineas winner and O’Reilly’s prolific barn-mate Pins. Cracker was purchased by former champion jockey Lance O’Sullivan for $32,500 at Karaka.

“It was a good run and when she got to the front she looked around a bit,” her rider Opie Bosson said. “She just got there but if she had put her head down and concentrated she would have won by a lot more.” The filly has now moved into the top 10 in order of entry to the Karaka Million to be run at Ellerslie on the eve of NZ Bloodstock’s Premier Sale at Karaka.

Runner-up Pussy O’Reilly also made an encouraging debut for trainer Don Sellwood. Raced by co-breeder Peter Walker with Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan, she is out of the multiple winner Octapussy who was also Gr 1 placed in the Doomben Cup and Waikato International Stakes.

WS stallions enjoyed a good day at Pukekohe with No Excuse Needed also represented by a winning home-bred double. The exciting Three Wishes posted her third win in four appearances for trainer Danica Guy with victory in the three-year-old sprint. A sister to the stakes winner Lesley Brook, they are out of the Groom Dancer mare Polka and claim the Gr 1 NZ 1000 Guineas winner Noble Heights as her third dam.

No Excuses Needed’s stakes-winning daughter Mercury Mistress later produced a dominant performance to land the Rating 80 event for fillies and mares. She had finished a sound first-up third at Te Rapa before finishing unplaced, but only five lengths off the winner, in the Gr 2 NZ Thoroughbred Stakes.

“Her last effort was pretty good when she had no luck from the barrier so today we rode her positively and she got a good sit and won well,” trainer Lance Noble said. “Michael (Coleman) knows her and gave her a lovely run.” Mercury Mistress settled in the trail and was too strong for her rivals after Coleman was able to angle her into the clear 200 metres from home. “She’s got nice gate speed and relaxed well and then found a nice kick at the end,” he said.

Out of the winning Centaine mare Flytaine from the family of Gr 1 Avondale Gold Cup winner She’s A Meanie, Mercury Mistress was a $20,000 buy out of WS’s Select Sale draft to Karaka in 2008 and is raced by Sydney-based racing journalist Rob Burnet with his father Alan and Alan and Colleen Jackson. She has won four times for them, including the Listed NZ Bloodstock Air Freight Stakes at Riccarton as a three-year-old.

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