Winning Double for for O'Lonhro

When purchasing O'Lonhro to stand at Larneuk Stud, Neville Murdoch had in mind the great consistency of his sire Lonhro - both on the track and at stud.

"Lonhro raced 35 times, winning 26 races - he was a truly remarkable horse as was his sire Octagonal who won half of his 28 starts.

"They inherited the toughness, durability and honesty of the Sir Tristram and Zabeel line and I was very keen to stand a horse capable of passing on those attributes - things that Victorian breeders have great respect for."

And he chose well, the record-breaking Gr.2 Chelmsford Stakes winner O'Lonhro proving to be a reliable young stallion whose first runners - now three - performing consistently well.

"He is doing a great job and I could not be more pleased," enthused Murdoch who has been especially excited watching the terrific form the O'Lonhros were in at Pakenham on Sunday. Represented by the favourites in each of the first two races, O'Lonhro had his first double - Big Boy Jackie leading throughout in the opening event whilst Lirabird came from behind to claim the second. Different types of wins but both impressive - two horses with bright futures.

Kept very safe having gone very close at Sandown at his previous outing, the Greg Eurell bred and trained Big Boy Jackie became the very first leader to salute on the new Pakenham track. "I just let him stride," reported jockey Chris Symons "and he cruised into the straight, gave a kick at the turn and did a great job."

"It was a very impressive win" Greg Eurell agreed. "He is a genuine racehorse that has the scope to go on." 

Favourite at debut having only just been beaten by the classy Holy Cow in a Cranbourne trial, the Geni Gillis trained Lirabird sat wide in the 1200m maiden but was always travelling well and when asked for her effort extended. 

"She has always showed us that she has a fair bit going for her," Gillis said.

"She has a lot in her favour and being a staying type of filly I am confident that she will be even better over more ground."

Another exciting recent runner for O'Lonhro is the Queenslander Je Suis Prest who showed great speed when leading throughout at Beaudesert at only her second start. Trainer Brad Herne has plenty of time for the black filly, noting that "she really showed some fight and character to hold off the late challengers."

Jockey Tim Bell was also impressed, describing Je Suis Prest as "a very tough filly." 

"There are not many horses that can step up to 1300m, get taken on at the 600m and still have a kick at the end to fight off the challengers. They were never going to get past her. She really dug deep and has a great will to win... I don’t think she’ll be racing at the provincials for too long.”

Brad Herne is a big fan of the O'Lonhro breed - "they all seem to have a fight and toughness about them and they are traits that can take a racehorse a long way."

" We bought this filly out of the paddock as a broken in, unraced two-year- old from Larneuk Stud and I’ve been impressed enough with this filly that I headed down there again before Christmas to buy a couple more of them.”

O'Lonhro's progeny have raced 16 times this month - recording four victories and six placings. In total eight of his 23 runners have been winners, another eight placed and 20 are prize money earners.
"It has been a most encouraging start for O'Lonhro," Murdoch said.

"His progeny were always going to hit their peak at three and beyond and I am really looking forward to their progression from here."

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