WEDNESDAY, January 17, 2024: ASK Steve O’Halloran a question about the forthcoming Inglis Millennium, and his reply is a definite yes, yes yes!
Who can blame him, seeing as though the feature for two-year-olds restricted to Inglis graduates is worth a cool $2m, with a first prize of $1.155m?
The Hawkesbury horseman has confirmed his promising filly Nymphadora is being set for the 1100m race at Royal Randwick on February 10.
O’Halloran secured the daughter of 2019 The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes for $30,000 at last year’s Inglis Classic yearling sale, and felt she was a bargain at that price.
The cleverly-named Nymphadora is out of three-times winner Miss Hufflepuff (Harry Potter fans will recognise Nymphadora Tonks was a half-blood witch from the Hufflepuff house) and has raced only twice, and turned in an outstanding performance at her latest when third at $101 in the Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on December 9.
After being checked soon after the start and then many lengths behind the second last horse approaching the home turn, she surged down the outside in the straight to be beaten only one and a quarter lengths.
The $47,500 she collected has guaranteed her a start in the Inglis Millennium; she is currently ninth in order of ballot.
Tom Sherry rode Nymphadora in the Inglis Nursery, and O’Halloran is hoping he sticks with her for the February 10 assignment.
“I gave the filly three weeks off after the Nursery before deciding whether we would have a crack at the Millennium,” O’Halloran said today.
“She freshened up nicely, and has been at the stable now for a couple of weeks.
“Nymphadora has done really well, and the $2m race is such a big carrot.
“I’m not sure yet whether we will trial her before the race.
“There are trials scheduled for Hawkesbury nine days before the race. If she doesn’t trial, I will give her a jumpout.”
Whilst O’Halloran has been attending the Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast, he was aware Odinson, the Night Of Thunder colt who won the Inglis Nursery, won a 799m trial against his own age and sex at Warwick Farm yesterday.
Nymphadora is currently listed as a $26 chance with TAB.com.au for the Millennium, with Odison at $8 and Melbourne filly Bold Bastille, who easily won the $500,000 Inglis Banner (1000m) at The Valley on October 28 at her first and only start to date, is a dominant $2.80 favorite.
O’Halloran’s liking for Yes Yes Yes resulted him in purchasing him a colt by the stallion at this week’s Book 2 of the Magic Millions yearling sale.
He secured Lot 1269 from the Pierro mare and city winner Miss Shanti for $10,000 – a third of what he paid for Nymphadora.
“The colt was the last of the Torryburn Stud draft yesterday, and I thought he was a really good buy at that price,” O’Halloran said.
“He is going to take a bit of time, and has gone to Hannover Lodge at Wilberforce.
“I won’t rush him. We will give him time to get over being prepared for the sale and the trip back to our area before he is broken in.”
Nymphadora’s younger half-sister (by So You Think) will be offered at next month’s Inglis Classic yearling sale as Lot 479.
. Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Jack Pilkington will make his debut at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
He will start Alabama State (Louise Day) in the 2YO Handicap (1100m).
Pilkington purchased the Alabama Express colt for $80,000 at Book 2 of last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale, and trialled him once when fourth over 900m at Rosehill last Thursday.