Bonnie wee filly ends frustrating run
By Frank Marrion
Millwood Bonnie had tongues wagging when she romped to a seven length win at the Oamaru meeting on Sunday and she ended a frustrating run for trainer Steve Dolan.
The beautifully-bred Bettor’s Delight filly has been with Dolan since she was passed in at the yearling sales by breeder Katie Carville and she has been knocking about the trials since late last year, when she qualified nicely at Ashburton.
But it is only in recent weeks that the three-year-old daughter of WA and Queensland Oaks winner Millwood Meg has hit her straps, first coming to light with a gutsy second to the All Stars’ Only Me at Addington a few weeks ago.
Millwood Bonnie is the second foal from Millwood Meg and is a half-sister to a 100k yearling filly in Millwood Daisy, but there wasn’t much interest in Bonnie at the sales.
“She’d been crook before the sales and she was also one of those smallish Bettor’s Delight types,” said Dolan.
“There’s never been much to her really and we’ve had to wait for her to grow up – she’s still on the small side although now she’s quite muscular.
“I’ve always thought she was like at the higher end of the second tier three-year-old fillies and we had her nominated for the Oaks, but in March three or four of mine were struck down by a virus and she was the worse affected.
“I should never have started her first up and then at Washdyke, she got checked in the first turn and dragged a flat tyre for the rest of the race, so you could put a line through that one as well.
“But she’s shown what she can do in her last two starts.”
Millwood Bonnie (R55) will also be nicely placed in a R40-55 fillies and mares race at Addington this week although Dolan suspects she may not be in his stable for much longer.
“It’s not easy selling horses to Australia at the moment, but there’s been a bit of interest in her, I guess due to having some residual broodmare value.
“Katie is just a breeder these days and I’m just one of the trainers that get the overflow, or the ones that aren’t sold.”
Millwood Meg won three races as a three-year-old before Carville sold her to the Graeme Bond stable in Western Australia, where she won another 16 races and finished with $337,000 in the bank.
“Katie did a deal to get her back as a broodmare though and I think it cost her around 50k all-up.
“Her third foal was an Art Major filly at the sales this year and I thought she was the best one so far, and I was the underbidder on her.”
Dolan has been having a rather quiet time of it in recent years, but recently won with another three-year-old filly in Firenze Amore, who he rates on a par with Millwood Bonnie.
Dolan bred her with the estate of Grant Adamson and races the daughter of the smart Castellina Lover with Sheldon Murtha.
“We’ve had a bad run actually with Michelangelo breaking down and he is now winning ribbons for my daughter.
“Then Raison D’Etre developed a heart murmur after winning his debut and Tall Poppy cracked a pastern, although she’s due back in work on June 1.”
Den’s Legacy has been battling since winning at Orari in February and outside of Millwood Bonnie, for the moment Dolan can only look forward to tackling the Ladyship Stakes Final at Ascot Park on June 3 with Amore Firenze.
But he likes the look of three rising two-year-old colts, in particular one by American Ideal from On The Town which he bought for $38,000 at this year’s Premier.