WS Stallions To The Fore

O’Reilly spearheaded a profitable weekend for WS stallions with a winning domestic treble followed up by further success in Hong Kong. His two-year-old daughter Mindy started the ball rolling at Te Rapa on Saturday where she produced a dazzling closing 200 metres to swamp her rivals.

“She sat three wide and it was a very courageous run from the filly,” Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie said. “She’s a typical O’Reilly and is going to be much better as a spring three-year-old. Mindy had finished fourth on debut when pressured early to race on the pace. “We asked her to lead from the gates and she doesn’t need to do that,” Ritchie said.

O’Reilly’s talented three-year-old Annie Higgins also turned in an sound performance from a New Zealand Oaks perspective when she came from well back in the field to run third in the Gr 2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic. She drifted back from an outside gate and hit the line strongly to strongly suggest she will be ideally-suited to the 2400 metre trip of the upcoming Gr 1 feature at Trentham.

“She’s measured up really well without any luck from barrier draws,” Matamata trainer Lance Noble said. Annie Higgins had previously placed at Gr 2 level in the Royal Stakes and Eight Carat Classic and in the Gr 3 Eulogy Stakes.

The Manawatu meeting saw the O’Reilly mare Grand Belt back to winning form for breeders Kevin and Kathleen Gray, who also share an ownership interest in the four-year-old. She produced a timely finish in the straight for the third victory of her 12-start career.

At Pukekohe Park on Sunday, the home-bred Needily struck the first winning blow of her brief career for Noble. By WS’s champion son of Last Tycoon, the filly is out of the Pins mare Needled who is a daughter of the Gr 3 Lowland Stakes winner Sahrys. A half-sister to the Gr 3 Cuddle Stakes winner Rhysess, the three-year-old was a $40,000 purchase from the farm’s Select Sale draft at Karaka in 2009.

In Hong Kong, Goodview Successor provided champion jockey Douglas Whyte with the first leg of a winning double at Sha Tin. The four-year-old son of O’Reilly was registering his maiden win and a lucrative one at that with the 1800 metre event carrying a purse in excess of $100,000.

Associate WS stallions Savabeel and Pins were also in the action at Te Rapa with the former represented by the promising staying prospect Zara Dancer. He accounted for a well-credentialled field of three and four-year-olds over 2100 metres.

“It was a very good run and we had been quietly confident all week – his work had been first-class,” said trainer Bruce Wallace’s stable foreman Allan Peard. Zara Dancer is a son of the Gr 3 Trentham Stakes winner Blanchard and has now won three of his 12 starts.

Pins’ game daughter Sharp Princess further added to her broodmare value when she finished a courageous fourth in the Gr 1 Waikato International Stakes. Bred by WS, the five-year-old is the stakes winner of five races and her three lead-up runs to Te Rapa had realised a Gr 1 fourth in the Zabeel Classic, a third placing in the Gr 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes and she was also beaten by the barest of margins when runner-up at Trentham in the Listed Anniversary Handicap.

Pins produced yet another promising filly at Pukekohe on Sunday when the WS-bred and sold Shandream won in a canter. A $280,000 Karaka buy for trainer Richard Collett, she is out of the Centaine mare Pyjamas who is a sister to the multiple Australian stakes winner Catainer. Young stallion Antonious Pius is also from this family.

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