Top O’Reilly filly firms for classic

O’Reilly’s outstanding daughter O’Marilyn is already a short order for the Gr 1 NZB 1000 Guineas. A spectacular return to racing this afternoon to claim the Gr 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes has seen TAB bookmakers bring her into $4 favouritism for the Riccarton classic.

Last season’s leading filly after her Gr 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes success, O’Marilyn sat in behind the pace at Hastings before she ran into trouble 300 metres from home.

“It was a bit tricky at times and it got a bit tight up the straight and I knew all I needed was a needle eye gap as she’s got such a great turn of foot,” rider Sam Spratt said.

Her prayers were answered along the fence and O’Marilyn showed her acceleration to power home for a decisive victory.

“That’s the best draw (three) she’s had and she missed away,” trainer Stephen McKee said. “It was a little bit eerie at the 300 until a gap opened up.”

“Obviously, the Guineas at Christchurch is her main aim, but how we get there I’m not that sure yet – probably the Sarten Memorial next. Being by O’Reilly out of a Zabeel mare you would expect her to go further.”

A $130,000 Karaka yearling, O’Marilyn is a half-sister to the Group One winners Anacheeva (Caulfield Guineas) and Headturner (Australian Derby). It is also the family of Viennetta (Gr 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes).

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