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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: November 12, 2023: STEVE O’Halloran says he couldn’t have asked for much more!

The skilled Hawkesbury horseman had four runners at two tracks yesterday for two winners and two seconds; the best day so far of his training career.

O’Halloran and his wife Steph split duties between Goulburn and Wyong, and returned home with similar results.

Feel The Magic ($4.20) won at Goulburn and Irradiance ($7) ran second, whilst Jaex ($4.40) won at Wyong and Razella ($2.30 favorite) also was runner-up.

“That’s my first time with a double on the same day, and it was very nearly a treble,” O’Halloran said today.

“Alysha Collett rode Razella in the Provincial Maiden Handicap (1600m) at Wyong and was very confident on the home turn she would win.

“She was surprised the winner (Red Cobra) ran her down.

“Nonetheless, it was a very pleasing day. You can’t ask for much more when you take four horses to the races and they all ran well.”

O’Halloran clinched his maiden 2023-24 season success when Feel The Magic gained a slender three-way photo finish verdict in Queanbeyan’s first ever $50,000 Super Maiden (1000m) at the Cup meeting on October 29, but didn’t have to sweat yesterday.

Given the run of the race in third place to the turn, Feel The Magic landed the Class 1 Handicap (1200m) to remain unbeaten from his two appearances.

“He did a good job to cart the field up to the two tearaway leaders, but didn’t really know how to put them away in the straight, but still won nicely,” O’Halloran said.

“Feel The Magic is still not there mentally yet, but it’s most pleasing that he keeps improving.

“I’m sure he will be ever better next preparation.

“I didn’t expect Irradiance to beat the favorite (Northumbria) in the Maiden Plate (1000m), but she tried hard at only her fifth start.”

Like Feel The Magic, Jaex, who broke through at Wyong in another Super Maiden Plate (1300m) – this time worth $60,000 – is raced by a Pulse Thoroughbreds syndicate.

“Jaex had eighth starts for Brett Lazzarini at Kembla Grange for only one placing at Taree, and her owners asked if I would give her a try,” O’Halloran said.

“I wasn’t too fussed about her form, but took her on and sometimes a change of surroundings and trying a few different things works.

‘She was placed at her first three starts for me, and never looked like losing yesterday once she took up the running.

“Jaex has kept raising the bar, and hopefully she can continue to do so for her owners.”

O’Halloran decided to back up Razella after finishing a close fifth in a 1600m Maiden at Goulburn six days earlier, and put blinkers back on the filly.

“She pulled up well from Goulburn, and the blinkers going back on definitely helped her,” he said.

. O’Halloran will trial an unraced two-year-old filly at Hawkesbury in the morning before making up his mind whether to nominate her for the Max Lees Classic (900m) at Newcastle’s The Hunter meeting on Saturday.

“Nymphadora is a daughter of Yes Yes Yes (2019 The Everest winner), and she will contest an 818m Open 2YO trial,” he said.

“I’m not keen to push her, so her trial performance will determine whether we have a look at the Newcastle race.”

Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup won last year’s Max Lees Classic with debutante Fire Lane.

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