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Transcript of interview with Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick as he reflects on the final yearling by O’Reilly to step through the Karaka Sales ring as Lot 1097 (O’Reilly x Toss Up colt) sold to Roger James for $200,000:

Unfortunately, it's happened. It was always going to happen at some stage. We would have liked it to have not been this year, and in a couple of years' time – he was a lovely horse and it just fell that he was a lovely horse to end with which was really cool.

It's great that the colt has been bought by Roger James, who has had so much success with the sire. Obviously, there was a lot of fierce bidding there and to get a nice result like that makes you pretty emotional.

He's been so responsible for where Waikato Stud stands now in the market. We're extremely proud of him and it was a great way to finish it.

We've been at the stud some 25 years and when we bought the place, going concern, he was a foal on the property. From that day he was a character and we've been through the highs and lows with him.

He was meant to come to Karaka and he would have been the sale-topper, I'm sure of that, but he didn't make it to the sales.

We raced him and in his two-year-old year he was severely injured and looked like he might never race again, so they were some of the lows.

Then as a three-year-old we got him back as a three-year-old after 12 months off and he was unbeaten here in New Zealand and voted New Zealand Horse of the Year etc.

Garry always said that we would stand the horse at stud even if he never made it to the races.

He had such a good pedigree and was such a good-looking horse. Of course he went to stud at $7,500 and climbed through the ranks.

He was an unbelievable stallion for us to stand for many reasons.

Obviously, it was success but off that success he was fillies, he was colts, he was two-year-olds, he was six, seven, eight-year-olds, he was sprinters, he was two-milers. He had runners in the Melbourne Cup etc.

He was an incredible horse, but the great thing for us going forward is that this year in particular we bred 60 O'Reilly mares. He's a wonderful broodmare sire, so his legacy continues there.

One of his sons in first season sire Shamexpress has had a wonderful sale and we're really excited by the foals we've got by his son Sacred Falls.

Its been well documented the change-over when O'Reilly died and Sacred Falls walked into what was his box and we're really looking forward to next year.

It's a sad old moment because he was part of the family. He was part of the establishment, but that was always going to happen.

Chittick on watching the colt step through the ring lead by O'Reilly's handler of many years Dave O'Leary:

Davo's been with us a hell of a long time. 16 or so years. Probably in the earlier part of his time at stud I did all of the work with O'Reilly and certainly all of the work in the breeding shed. But then Davo came along and started working on the stallions and I think he'll tell you that when I let him take O'Reilly to the box he knew that he'd made it!





 

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