O’Reilly off­spring shines

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

WHILE su­per­star sprinter Black Caviar has been wow­ing Aus­tralian race­go­ers on her way at an un­beaten se­quence of 12 wins, a three-year-old by the name of Sham­rocker has also been rewrit­ing the record books across the Tas­man.

Sham­rocker, who last Satur­day be­came the first filly to com­plete the Aus­tralian Guineas-AJC Derby dou­ble, was born and reared in the Mata­mata district and is yet an­other of the many top horses sired by Waikato Stud’s home-bred cham­pion O’Reilly.

Her breed­ers are Auck­land cou­ple Vern and Mar­garet Trillo, who keep their brood­mares and young stock at Hin­uera Val­ley farm Valachi Downs, which is man­aged by Basil Trey­mane, the brother of for­mer suc­cess­ful jockey Cather­ine Trey­mane.

Vern is well known in these parts as an equine den­tist who takes care of the den­tal needs of many horses at sta­bles, studs and ag­ist­ment farms in the Mata­mata re­gion. He and his wife Mar­garet have two brood­mares, Sham­rocker’s dam Bo­hemian Blues and an older daugh­ter, Kablues, and are cur­rently hav­ing the time of their lives as the breed­ers of Aus­tralia’s top staying filly.

Sham­rocker was born at Waikato Stud in the spring of 2007 and was pre­pared at Valachi Downs for the 2009 Na­tional Year­ling Sale, where she made $65,000 to the bid of Karl Brown, acting on be­half of Mel­bourne trainer Danny O’Brien. Af­ter wins in the VRC Sires’ Pro­duce Stakes as an au­tumn two-year-old and more re­cently two of the real prizes of age-group rac­ing, the Aus­tralian Guineas and AJC Derby, Sham­rocker is now be­ing de­scribed as one of rac­ing’s great bar­gains, with her stake-earn­ings now top­ping $2 mil­lion.

Her breed­ers are in no way dis­ap­pointed at let­ting their filly go at such a price; rather they’re cel­e­brat­ing her ev­ery suc­cess and are happy to re­ceive any ac­co­lades that come their way.

‘‘I think it’s just fan­tas­tic, I’ve bred and raced some quite smart horses over the years but none as good as this filly,’’ said Vern Trillo. ‘‘She sur­prised us when she won that race at Flem­ing­ton as a two-year-old and we won­dered how good she might be­come, but we never imag­ined that she would turn out this good!’’

As an early three-year-old last spring Sham­rocker fin­ished sec­ond in the VRC Oaks to the Mike Moroney-trained Brazil­ian Pulse – an­other bar­gain buy at just $26,000 at the same Karaka sale – and on Satur­day the pair will go head-to-head again in the AJC Oaks.

Since her VRC Oaks plac­ing Sham­rocker has de­vel­oped fur­ther, be­gin­ning early last month with her de­feat of the best Mel­bourne three-year-olds in the Aus­tralian Guineas and added to by her easy win as the only filly in last Satur­day’s AJC Derby. Brazil­ian Pulse, in the mean­time, re­turned to win­ning form three weeks ago at the Syd­ney car­ni­val and fin­ished third in her fi­nal lead-up to the Oaks 10 days ago.

There’s fur­ther Mata­mata flavour to the AJC Oaks on Satur­day in the form of the Waikato Stud-bred and owned pair of en­tries in Do Ra Me and Dat­ing, daugh­ters of Savabeel and O’Reilly re­spec­tively.

‘‘It’s great to see what Sham­rocker’s do­ing, she’s ob­vi­ously one out of the bag,’’ said Waikato Stud man­ager Mark Chittick, ‘‘but on the other hand it’s a bit fright­en­ing that she’s back­ing up for the Oaks as well. That makes it so much harder to win.’’

Sham­rocker’s trainer Danny O’Brien has a long and suc­cess­ful as­so­ci­a­tion with Waikato Stud, which in­cludes de­vel­op­ing Glam­our Puss to be one of the best sprint­ers of her time sev­eral years ago and pre­par­ing O’Reilly geld­ing Mas­ter O’Reilly to win the 2007 Caulfield Cup.

Now, even be­fore Sham­rocker has com­pleted her three-year-old sea­son, he’s eyeing up races like the Caulfield and Mel­bourne Cups in the spring.

‘‘I’ve had a lot of suc­cess with the prog­eny of O’Reilly,’’ he said ear­lier this week. ‘‘The one thing they have in com­mon on top of their abil­ity is that they keep get­ting bet­ter as they ma­ture, so what this filly has achieved so far cer­tainly bodes well for the fu­ture.

‘‘For a long time she’s im­pressed me as a nat­u­ral stayer and now that she’s qual­i­fied for the big spring races that’s what we’ll be aim­ing her at.’’

Mean­while, back in Mata­mata, Vern and Mar­garet Trillo have a two-year-old sis­ter to Sham­rocker in the Peter McKay sta­ble, a wean­ling half-sis­ter by Lucky Uni­corn at Valachi Downs, and Bo­hemian Blues is back in foal to O’Reilly.

‘‘From what Peter tells me he re­ally likes his filly, so we’re look­ing for­ward to get­ting her to the races in time,’’ said Vern, who sold the year­ling colt by Shinko King from Bo­hemian Blues for $200,000 at the Na­tional Year­ling Sale in Fe­bru­ary.

O’Reilly: Filly Sham­rocker, pic­tured with her mother Bo­hemian Blues as a month-old foal at Waikato Stud in the spring of 2007.

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