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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: December 10, 2023: STEVE O’Halloran had to check twice!

He had just bought a daughter of the 2019 The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes for $30,000 at the Inglis Classic yearling sale earlier this year, and couldn’t believe he had been able to secure her for that figure.

“I thought she would bring more than that, and I didn’t have a big budget,” O’Halloran, the experienced Hawkesbury horseman, said today.

“It was Day 3 of the sale (Lot 607) and when she was knocked down to me, I had to look twice to make sure she wasn’t missing a leg or something.”

Now a two-year-old and racing as Nymphadora, the filly at only her second start turned in a remarkable performance as a $101 outsider to finish third to Odinson ($5) in yesterday’s $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Royal Randwick after conceding an impossible start.

Nymphadora was many lengths behind the second last horse before the home turn, then surged down the outside in the straight to be beaten only one and a quarter lengths.

RacingNSW stewards reported she had to be checked soon after the jump when crowded between eventual second placegetter Beer Baron, which shifted out, and Tokyo Lady, which shifted in.

From a wide barrier, Nymphadora was then shifted behind runners in the early stages, and raced greenly in the middle stages.

The $47,500 she collected for third placing more than recouped the purchase price – but it could have been so much better.

Runner-up Beer Baron collected the $200,000 bonus for being the first Inglis Pink Bonus eligible runner home – and Nymphadora also was eligible.

“Nymphadora was my sole buy at the Classic sale, and my wife Stephanie and myself syndicated her amongst a group of friends (which include bloodstock agent James Harron’s wife Alison and equine photographer Laura Lebedeff) to ensure at least 75 per cent of owners were women, thus making her Pink Bonus eligible,” O’Halloran explained.

Importantly, Nymphadora pulled up well from yesterday’s outing, but is going for a break.

“Obviously another race such as the Inglis Millenium (1200m) at Randwick in February is there and worth a lot of money ($2m),” O’Halloran said.

“It’s in the back of my mind, but I won’t push her and risk undoing everything for the future if she isn’t ready.

“Nymphadora will have a few weeks out, and then we’ll see how she progresses.”

O’Halloran recalls taking a real liking to the filly, which influenced him to bid on her at the Classic sale.

“She had a great presence about her,” he said. “She was a nice type with a good attitude.

“Even when other yearlings were getting stirred up, she remained very placid.

“After I bought her, Linda (Monds) from Tyreel Stud, which offered her for sale, told me we had got a very good buy.”

. HOOFNOTE: Fans of the Harry Potter series will understand how Nymphadora was named.

Hufflepuff (the filly’s dam is three-times winner (including one on the Kensington track in 2014) Miss Hufflepuff, was one of the four houses of the school of witchcraft and wizardry.

Nymphadora Tonks was a half-blood witch from the Hufflepuff house, and connections dropped “Tonks” when choosing a name for their filly.

Nymphadora’s older half-sister Bridget Wenlock (by Sebring) also got her name from another mythical character who was a famous British witch and also belonged to the same house. The equine Bridget Wenlock began her career in Sydney and is now being trained in Queensland, but is yet to win from 10 starts, although she has finished second twice, at Wyong and Gatton.


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