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Celebrations New Zealand wide thanks to Gr.1 glory

Sentimental Miss returning to scale after her Gr.1 victory - photo Trish Dunell

Sentimental Miss returning to scale after her Gr.1 victory - photo Trish Dunell

There were celebrations throughout New Zealand when Sentimental Miss (Reliable Man[GB]-Nostalgic[AUS]) won the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks at Trentham last weekend.

Celebrating on course at Trentham were her owners Go Racing Yesteryear Syndicate along with her breeders The Oaks Stud, while in Auckland the team at Westbury Stud were celebrating as she had provided her sire Reliable Man(GB) with his first well deserved group one winner. And in the South Island Jonny Orr was celebrating the fact he now owned the dam of a group one winner in Nostalgic(AUS).

While  The Oaks General Manager Rick Williams, Albert Bosma and various members of the syndicate,  had a wonderful day and night in Wellington celebrating  the win in the Oaks, Jonny Orr was attending a 50th birthday celebration in Blenheim and initially ignoring his phone.

“I didn’t watch the race as I was out with good friends at a 50th birthday lunch,” Orr recalled, “ and I kept ignoring the texts and phone calls, until I answered one from Rodney Schick as I thought if he was ringing me it must be important.”

The celebrations went up a level at that point, but Orr didn’t actually see the race until much later that evening.

Sentimental Miss was recording only her second win when she took out the Oaks although she had been placed third behind Crown Prosecutor in the Gr.3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes. As well she had run credible races in the Gr.2 Sir Tristram’s Classic, Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes, and Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes, her run in the Gr.2 Lowland Stakes was a little disappointing. However the addition of blinkers saw her race more professionally and take out the pinnacle event.

Sentimental Miss is the ninth foal of the Quest For Fame(GB) mare Nostalgic, who was placed at three. She is the dam of six winners from seven foals to race. She is a full sister to the group one winner Dracula(AUS), and a half-sister to the stakes winners The Oscars(AUS) and Sash(AUS). Another full sister is the Insouciance the dam of the Mapperley Stud based sire and group one winner Complacent (AUS).

Their dam Awards Ceremony(AUS) by Kaoru Star(AUS) is a sister to the former New Zealand based sire Festal(AUS) and La Bamba (AUS) the dam of Lucky Unicorn(AUS).

Rick Williams picks up the story.

“I bought the mare out of Australia for not a lot of money, as I loved the pedigree, she had left a few winners and was a hell of a well credentialed mare. She suited Darci Brahma whom she visited a few times, and left the winners Pure Lorde and Recollect.

“I liked her (Recollect) so much that we have kept her and she has won three races, and will be back again in the spring. Just after I bought her Complacent won so that added to the family.”

After visiting Darci Brahma twice Nostalgic was mated with Reliable Man(GB) as The Oaks hold a major shareholder in him. Standing at Westbury Stud Reliable Man (GB) who’s oldest Southern Hemisphere progeny are now four, has had a number of group one place getters including Sully, Belle du Nord, and the smart two-year-old Aalaalune.

A son of the European Champion Dalakhani(IRE) (Darshaan[GB]-Daltawa[Ire]) and the Sadler’s Wells(USA) mare Fair Stage(IRE) he was a group one winner in both hemispheres winning the French Derby (Chantilly Prix de Jockey Club) and the Queen Elizabeth in Sydney.

“Nostalgic suited Reliable Man(GB) as well, but by the time this filly came to the sales, she had lost her commercial appeal.  I had sold a few Reliable Man yearlings at the sale for good money so I was prepared to let her go, she went on the market at about $20,000 and Roger James and Albert Bosma got into a bidding duel with $1000 bids all the way up to $40,000 when Albert won out.

“I’m pleased he did because we had a fabulous night out in Wellington after the Oaks. And in the last week Go Racing has had three runners from The Oaks stallions, and won with Sentimental Miss, Running Man and Shipshape ran second. Our relationship is rock solid at the moment.”

After losing her commercial appeal, missing to Darci Brahma and in foal to Niagara(AUS), Williams put the mare up for sale on Gavelhouse, where she was sold to the bid of Jonny Orr.

Now Orr had previously had success with breeding from older mares from good families so was keen to take a punt on this well bred mare. He grew up in Cambridge and as the nephew of Lesley and Jim Otway spent a bit of time at Trelawney Stud and has always pottered around with horses. 

“I love this family, and breeding from an old mare doesn’t worry me,” said Orr.

“I liked the mating with her and Pins (AUS) and as a result I have a lovely Pins colt, but I am pretty sure I will have to go back to Reliable Man now.

“I have had mares now for about 25 years.  Unfortunately I probably should have followed my passion and gone into the industry but I went farming instead and have farmed in the Waikato, Dannevirke, North Canterbury and Marlborough before buying a business in Blenheim where we now live.

“We are a bit isolated down here,” said Orr of living in Blenheim, “but I enjoy the camaraderie of people in the industry and I get my fix with frequent trips to the Waikato and to Australia to see the mares there and visit the studs in the Hunter Valley.

 “I don’t have a strict philosophy there are a lot of variables, but I do have a few patterns I stick too. For new season stallions they have to be from good families and group one winners, but it is slightly different for proven horses, then I look for patterns.

Nostalgia and her Pins(AUS) colt, are resident at Simms Davison’s Mapperley Stud where Orr keeps two of the three mares he owns, and their associated foals, including Sonsy (Thorn Park[AUS]-Flowing) a mare he bred and raced. She is currently in foal to Zacinto(GB).

Orr bought Sonsy’s dam Flowing as an older mare off Trade Me and bred five foals including the Qiji Swordsman (by Shamexpress) a two-year-old winner who raced in the Gr.1 Sistema Diamond Stakes earlier this month.  Flowing shares the same grand dam as Empire Rose in Summerosa.

His third mare Viana is now resident in Australia with Greg and Jo Griffin and in foal to Vancouver (AUS) she has a Pins (AUS) filly at foot. Viana a stakes winning Volksraad mare has had one foal to race Camelle who is a winner in Australia this season. She is also the dam of a Contributer(AUS) colt that Orr sold at Karaka this year for $250,000 to Goldolphin.

With mares of this calibre from good old families Orr certainly has plenty to look forward to over the next few seasons. - Michelle Saba


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