First-crop double by O’Lonhro

Promising filly Lirabird completed a running double for O’Lonhro with a debut victory at Pakenham on Sunday.

The Larneuk Stud sire had opened the meeting with front-running winner Big Boy Jackie.

Lirabird (3f O’Lonhro – Grand Manners by Grand Lodge) settled in the back half of the field in the O’Connor Plate (1200m) before extending in the straight to score by over a length.  “She has a fair bit going for her,” owner-trainer Geni Gillis said.  “She a staying type of filly and I’m confident she will be even better over more ground.”

A $20,000 buy from Larneuk Stud at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale, she is a half-sister to four Adelaide winners including Lalla Rookha (Street Cry) who was Group 1 placed in the 2011 South Australian Derby.

Big Boy Jackie (3g O’Lonhro – Our Jackie by Aristotle) had been run down by Lord Esprit at Sandown on April 6 but he kept finding to become the first leader to salute on the new track at Pakenham.

“I just let him stride and he gave a kick at the turn,” jockey Chris Symonds said after the Wise Choice Catering Plate (1400m).  “He cruised into the straight and did a great job.”

Cranbourne trainer Greg Eurell bred Big Boy Jackie and describes him as a genuine racehorse with the scope to go on.  Eurell’s wife Danielle races the gelding with Sandy Letten.

O’Lonhro has sired 8 winners and 8 placegetters from 23 starters out of his first crop.  “It has been a most encouraging start for O’Lonhro,” Larneuk studmaster Neville 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.”

O’Lonhro (Lonhro) won the G2 Chelmsford Stakes in Sydney and will stand for a $5,500 (inc gst) fee in 2015.