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Second Group One Win for Wairarapa Breeders - Jim & Mary Wallace

MacO'Reilly (Red & Blue colours) produces second Group 1 win for Wairarapa Breeders Jim & Mary Wallace

Picture courtesy of Trish Dunnell

MacO'Reilly (Red & Blue colours) produces second Group 1 win for Wairarapa Breeders Jim & Mary Wallace - Picture courtesy of Trish Dunnell
Last month when MacO'Reilly (O'Reilly- Double Babu) won his first Group One event the Whakanui Stud Stakes, it was a big day for Masterton's Wallace family, and the thrill and excitement seemed to get caught up in the day.

However that wasn't the case last Saturday when MacO'Reilly notched up Group One win number two in the Sky City New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie.

"The day we won the first one was my 62nd birthday, and Michael and Nikki's wedding day. We rushed back from the wedding to see the last 700 metres of the Whakanui Stud Stakes, and then we got down to the serious business of partying. This time however we have been able to revel in and celebrate the success of MacO"Reilly winning Group One number two," said Jim Wallace Junior.

"This is the first Group One winner Mary and I have bred ourselves, although we do own the dam of a Group One winner, Centuria the dam of Cent Home."

That may seem surprising to some as the Wallace Family and Ardsley Stud have been associated with many fine racehorses since the farm was established in 1972. MacO'Reilly is the 23rd Group One winner to be raised on the farm.

Mary and Jim have about dozen mares that they breed from and they are based at Ardsley along with the "good few" that Jim's father Jim and his mother Margaret breed from as well.

Double Babu (Centaine-Plume) was purchased by Jim and Mary in Sydney in 2001 for $33,000 as a racing and breeding proposition.

"She was a lovely big Centaine filly out of a top winning race mare in Plume, and she had been placed in Sydney, while in Rogie's stable.

Plume (Crested Wave-Willow Vale) was the Champion 2YO Filly of her year and at three won the Group One One Thousand Guineas. She won 12 races – 10 of them black type – from 1200metres to 2000 metres. At stud she has left five winners including the stakes placed Mount Kosciusko (Zabeel).

"We gave Double Babu a couple of starts and she was placed again, she did actually win her last race start at Woodville, but lost it on protest. Ironically the very slick talking trainer who beat us in the inquiry room was David Howarth (the trainer of MacO'Reilly). She had a recurring knee injury so we decided to send her stud," he added.

Her luck in the broodmare paddock is about as good as her luck on the track. From five foals she has had only one to race. Her first consort was the Ardsley stallion Lord Ballina (Bletchingly- Sunset Girl) and he had to be put down, the second foal is MacO'Reilly, who was sold at the Select Sale at Karaka for $40,000.

"We sent the mare to O'Reilly as we knew it would be reasonably commercial mating, we liked him as a race horse and he was just starting off at that stage, but we were confident he would leave a nice racehorse.

"We went to Pins the next year for the same reason and she had a little Pins filly that was sold to the Philippines.

"She left a stunning Howbaddouwantit filly and we took her to Karaka and sold her for $155,000 and a week later she died. This year we took a lovely Elusive City filly and David Howarth bought her for $60,000.

The mare has a Fast'N Famous colt foal at foot and is in foal to One Cool Cat.

"We are shareholders in Elusive City and that looked a very promising mating on paper as well. We are also involved in the partnership that stands Iffraaj at stud and this year we have four mares in foal to him including Centuria."

Centuria is the dam of the Group One Kelt Capital winner Cent Home (Lord Ballina), his brother Studebaker, a Group Two winner in Victoria and Ballet Society a half sister by Stravinsky who is also a Group Two winner in Victoria.

The Wallace's sold a One Cool Cat colt out of the mare at the Premier Sale this year for $230,000 to Anthony Cummings and will sell a Redoute's Choice colt out of (Lady) Perpetuate a winning sister to Cent Home at the Inglis Sale this year. She is in foal to Pins. Her first foal also by Redoute's Choice sold to Caulfield trainer Peter Moody at Sydney last year.

For a number of reasons Ardsley Stud has not stood a stallion since Lord Ballina died around five years ago.

According to Jim, there just isn't the mare population in the area anymore, and he felt he was too old to stand another stallion and none of his sons were keen too either.

"The market has moved away, when we first stood horses there was about 300-400 mares around, but now if you take Sam (Little Avondale) and us out of the equation you would be lucky to find 40 mares in the district," he said.

"We are quite happy just to have Ardsley as a breeding farm and with our young mares, we will wait and see what happens. So far it's not too bad," he mused.


- Michelle Saba