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NZTBA member Tim Bodle breeds another Group One winner

O'Marilyn wins the Group One Manawatu Sires'Produce - Photo NZTM website
O'Marilyn wins the Group One Manawatu Sires'Produce

Photo NZTM website

When O'Marilyn (O'Reilly-Monroe Magic), the recent winner of the Group One The Oaks Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes, was a offered up as a yearling, a lot of experts said she was too small and too long in the pasterns to ever make a racehorse, according to her breeder Tim Bodle.

That was obviously not an opinion shared by one expert, one Trevor McKee who purchased the flashy dark brown filly for himself and his good mate Barry Rissetto. In six starts as a two-year-old she has now won twice and been placed three times, including a second in the Group One Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes and a third in the Listed Karaka Million to Vespa. She was also placed third in the Listed Wentwood Grange Stakes, and when she won on debut picked up a $8,000 NZB Insurance Pearl Bonus as well.

O'Marilyn is the ninth foal of Monroe Magic (Zabeel-My Marilyn) and her third Group One winner being a half-sister to the Australian Derby winner Headturner (Anabaa) and his younger brother Anacheeva who won the Caulfield Guineas. My Marilyn has also left the Group Two winner Kroner (Viking Ruler [AUS]) and another winner in Making Whoopee also by Anabaa.

"My Marilyn has a Cape Blanco weanling colt and after a late foaling she is not in foal. She is getting on a bit now, so we decided to give her a year off - we will be trying to get her back in foal this year," according to Waikato NZTBA branch member Tim Bodle of Whakanui Stud.

"I sent her to O'Reilly as the Zabeel /O'Reilly cross has been very successful, and she is inclined to leave smallish foals. I thought O'Reilly might put a bit of size into her but it didn't. However, even though Monroe Magic's foals have been on the smallish side, they have been bought by good judges, and now she has three Group One winners and a Group Two winner.

"Paul Moroney didn't pay a lot of money for Headturner. Peter Moody saw a horse he liked and didn't worry about x-rays and bought Anacheeva and Bart Cummings was the purchaser of Kroner.

"We have a Sebring filly that is a half-sister. She raced on Saturday as well, and at this stage after three starts is still a maiden. I have another half-sister in More Than Adequate (Generous[GB]) who has a lovely O'Reilly filly at foot and is in foal to Sebring, and I did have Cross Your Heart (Cape Cross[IRE]) but she died foaling an Iffraaj (IRE) filly. I may keep one of those fillies - it depends on how they develop as yearlings and whether Monroe Magic gets in foal this spring.

Monroe Magic is by Zabeel and is the first foal of the Bahkaroff (USA) mare My Marilyn, herself a daughter of the stakes-winning mare Tasman Dancer (New Regent[CAN])-Rangiora [AUS]).

"I bought My Marilyn after she finished racing. She won the Magic Millions race at Trentham when they actually ran for a million dollars. I sold Monroe's Magic as a yearling and after she broke down as a late three-year-old I bought her back for the same price. It has turned out to be not a bad investment.

A stallion hasn't been decided upon for Monroe Magic yet, but she probably won't be making another trip across the Tasman where she was a frequent visitor earlier in her career.

"We don't send as many mares across any more. It worked well for us and we had a lot of success, but their transport and agistment has become very expensive. Besides, we have good successful stallions right here in O'Reilly, Savabeel, Pins and the like so it's better to leave the mares here.

As well, mare numbers have been reduced at the historic Whakanui Stud which was established by the late Fred Bodle and is now run by his son Tim and his wife Karen. Bodle senior bred some outstanding racehorses in the 1970's and 80's including the Group One performers Happy Union, Turf Ruler, Zamlight, Suleiman and the 1988 Melbourne Cup winner Empire Rose.

"I have been cutting back my mares and now only have about 15. You really need 10 good K1 mares to make K1 economically worthwhile, by the time you pay for the extra staff and entertainment and hospitality.

"So when we started cutting back on mares it made sense to stop presenting at Karaka under our own banner. We can now send them to the sales we think they will get the best return at. O'Marilyn was sold through Cambridge Stud, and this year we sold successfully through Trelawney Stud at Karaka and at the Gold Coast Magic Millions through Widden."

Bodle is a little unsure as to how many Group One winners have come off the farm at Whakanui Stud but thinks it is in the vicinity of about sixteen.

"Well that's about how many goblets there are in the billiard room," he quipped referring to the silver goblets presented to Group One breeders in the Waikato by the Waikato Branch, "and the first of those came around about the time of Empire Rose and On Air (AJC Oaks) in the late 1980's.

"Since then there been She's Country (New Zealand Oaks), Headturner (Australian Derby), Empires Choice (Queensland Derby), Mythical Play and Timber Trader in South Africa and the Singapore Kris Flyer winner Green Birdie and Anacheeva was the last one about four years ago. I'll look forward to adding another one to the collection this year," he concluded.
O'Marilyn is the 15th individual Group One winner by the Waikato Stud based stallion O'Reilly and is bred on the same O'Reilly/Zabeel cross as the multiple group one winner Silent Achiever.


- Michelle Saba