Spellbinding performance from O’Reilly filly

Stunning O’Reilly filly Spellbinder sprinted into Group One contention with a spectacular victory at Ellerslie yesterday. She romped home in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes to earn equal pre-post favouritism with Bounding for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in November.

“That was a sensational run from her and her work leading up the race had been very good,” trainer Jason Bridgman said. “It was a big ask to step up to Listed company at her second start. From here we just need to find one more race, we’ll possibly look at Te Rapa, or we could go straight there to Riccarton. She leaves it all out on the track and has given herself a harder run that we might have wanted so we’ll get her home and see how she comes through it first.”

A winner at Taupo on debut, Spellbinder was quickly into stride from the outside barrier to be on the pace before taking control on the turn. She dashed well clear and had six and a-half lengths to spare at the post. “She’s a smart filly and pinged the gates to go forward and she relaxed well,” Cameron said. “She was a little bit green down the straight and had a look around, but a lot of them do first time at Ellerslie – she’s pretty special.”

Spellbinder spearheaded a super day at northern headquarters for her champion sire, who was also represented by the unbeaten Forefront and the highly-regarded Klitschko. Forefront has now won all three of his starts and has the Gr 3 Thompson Mile at Trentham next month on his programme while a bright future is also tipped for the WS-bred Klitschko. “We’re very excited about this horse, he’s got a lot of potential and is a big, strong boy,” trainer Lou McGregor said.

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