Two wins in two days from a filly and a mare out of a broodmare bought for $75,000 is giving Miranda Park’s Gary O’Meara plenty of hope for a colt from the same mare that will be offered at next year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
The broodmare – She’s Sirius (Galileo x Canicula) – produced Sirileo Miss (Pride of Dubai) at Sandown last week for a first-up win over 1300m, while Notions (Press Statement) won over 1600m at Hawkesbury the following day.
Sirileo Miss, already Group 3 placed, is trained at Warrnambool by Symon Wilde, while Notions is in the care of Richard and Michael Freeman at Rosehill.
“She has done a good job, and we are very happy with her,” O’Meara said of She’s Sirius.
“The Pride of Dubai is the first one we’ve had out of her, which is Sirileo Miss, and the next one was by Press Statement, which is Notions.
“She then had a Divine Prophet, which is now a two-year-old called She is Divine, and she is with Symon Wilde, and we have a yearling colt by Merchant Navy which is going to go to the Premier Sale.
“He is very similar to the mare and is a chestnut with a baldy face. Her first foal was like that too, a horse called Coys (Dylan Thomas), and he won six in Sydney and was quite a good horse.”
The first seven out of the mare – the first two were colts, and the next five were fillies – have all won, which puts a bit of pressure on the Merchant Navy colt.
“Those all got to the track, and all won multiple races,” O’Meara said.
“We gave her a year off after the Merchant Navy colt was born as it was getting quite late and is being covered by King’s Legacy probably next week.’’
He said the Galileo factor was a big appeal when they decided to buy. She’s Sirius as she is out of a Rory’s Jester mare, which provides a good blend of speed and stamina.
“She herself was a useful racehorse and just a nice type of mare,” O’Meara said.
The credit for buying She’s Sirius, who was in foal to Pride of Dubai, goes to O’Meara’s son Tom who worked as a diesel mechanic.
“Actually, it was my son Tom who bought the mare,” O’Meara said
“Tom is a diesel mechanic, and a bit over five years ago, he came back and has been working with us at Miranda Park and is now a partner in the business with us.
“This had been the very first sale that Tom had been to by himself and bought the mare and paid $75,000 for her, and it was a bit of a spend for his first crack at it.
“But I think we should be sending him to the sales more often.”
O’Meara said his son had a good eye for a horse and put a lot of time in studying the catalogue, and when the mare measured up physically after he inspected her, they were happy to spend that sort of money to purchase her.
Being in foal obviously cushioned the cost of the mare, but O’Meara admits they were a little bit disappointed at the time that the Pride of Dubai filly only made $60,000.
“She was a lovely type of weanling, but she is just growing and growing into quite a tall yearling, and I think that put some people off, O’Meara said.
“But when Symon Wilde bought her, we sort of thought our best way of capitalising on a nice filly we bred was to stay in her.
“We took a share, and my brother Shane took a share in her, and we are very pleased that we did.”
O’Meara said the filly needs to settle a bit more pre-race, and while her behaviour away from the track is fine, she gets a bit hot and stirred up in the mounting yard.
“Once she overcomes that, I think it will help her achieve her maximum potential in the races, and it probably cost her a bit in the Australasian Oaks when she was only beaten 1.2 lengths (she finished five of 16),” he said.
“She got very hot in the mounting yard and going out onto the track and had burnt up a lot of energy by the time she got into the race but was still good enough to finish very close to them.”
While it was a very strong field at Sandown last week, the odds of $5.50 seemed generous given that the filly had previously won both of her first-up races.
“With her first-up record being impeccable, it gave us a bit of confidence,” he said.
“Craig Williams, a good barrier and it all panned out beautifully. Craig gave her a perfect ride, and when the gap opened and when she made run at the top of the straight, Mick Price and Michael Kent’s horse Cambourne went past her to take the lead, and I thought we might have been in a bit of strife then.
“But she really dug in and was very determined and strong to the line.”
O’Meara said if everything goes to plan, Sirileo Miss might finish up in the Matriarch Stakes (2000m), but Williams believes the filly would be better kept to around the 1400m distances.
“But I’m sure Symon will work that out and send her to where she has the best chance, but I think the run the other day and the ability she has shown, I think it’s pretty likely that she’ll measure up to a black-type race.
“I can’t see why she can’t get up to 2000m again.”
Already with three wins and three minor placings, from seven starts, O’Meara said the filly would be a handy breeding proposition once she finished racing, and if possible, it would be good to get hold of her for his broodmare band.
But he said it would probably be a double-edged sword because the way she was heading, she’d likely become a valuable breeding proposition down the track.
“But we still own the two-year-old half-sister, She’s Divine, which is also with Symon Wilde, so at least we have her from the mare going forward,” he said.
“Even if the group racing her were interested in having her back here, we’d be interested in being part of her breeding future.
“But we’ll just see what happens.”
The ownership group was put together by Wilde, and they have all become good friends with O’Meara.
O’Meara said Notions was always a beautiful filly.
“She was standout as a big, strong athletic filly as a young horse and a very impressive yearling.
“I guess Press Statement at the time wasn’t the flavour of the month but having said that, she was a very attractive filly and had her share of admirers. She was very good in terms of x-rays and scopes but there again, similar to Sirileo Miss, and we were expecting her to make more than what she did.
“She made $70,000 and was certainly a good type all the way through.”
O’Meara said that with Sirileo Miss and Notions performing well on the track, along with the She’s Sirius’ other five progeny, he was hoping that the Merchant Navy colt could have some value-added to him.
But he said a bit would depend on whether Merchant Navy can come up with some winners before next year’s sale.
“You would be expecting that he would be quite popular at the sales,” O’Meara said.
Notions holds nominations for next month’s three-year-old fillies races, the Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.
With She’s Sirius already producing the stakes-placed Sophia’s Choice (second in the listed Springtime Stakes at Flemington) and Sirileo Miss (third in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes), O’Meara said if Notions could get black type and Sirileo Miss could step up and win a stakes race, then it would also give the Merchant Navy colt a huge boost.
O’Meara said they are breeding from 12 of their own broodmares who are foaling to an assortment of stallions, including Toronado, Impending, Street Boss, and Turffontein, which Miranda Park has a share in.
The Impending mating with Impinge (Generous x Imco Resource) has produced a recently born colt, while Corcovado (Churchill Downs x Lominata) had a Turffontein colt which is a three quarter to filly Atomic Lokade which has won 10 races.
The most commercial broodmare at Miranda Park is the recently purchased Supriym Story (General Nediym x Grand Story) which O’Meara paid $70,000 for at the red hot Gold Coast National Broodmare sale earlier this year.
Supriym Story is the dam of 2015 Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) winner Lasqueti Spirit (Beneteau).
“We have just been trying to upgrade the mares all the way through and have them going to these better stallions to get a decent draft into Melbourne Premier,” O’Meara said.
“Supriym Story was in foal to Headwater when we bought her. I wouldn’t call her a bargain, but she stood out as a fair price considering what they were going for.”
O’Meara is also buoyed with Coolmore paying $850,000 for Lasqueti Spirit’s first foal, a colt by Pierro, at this year’s Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Now a two-year-old, the colt is unnamed, and the mare has since been to Dundeel (NZ) and Deep Field.
“So it’s a chance for the family to kick on,” he said.
O’Meara said they would accommodate 60 outside mares this breeding season.
“They come here to foal down and then be walked on studs around Victoria and New South Wales,” he said. “It keeps us busy.”
O’Meara said they breed and prepare their own yearlings with the focus on Melbourne Premier.