Prime’s Nephew out to do family proud

Member of precious family a chance to further endear himself to successful syndicator

THE NEPHEW.
THE NEPHEW. Picture: Peter Staples

Should The Nephew provide Joe O'Neill with his maiden Group 1 success in this Saturday's $500,000 South Australian Derby, the Prime Thoroughbreds boss knows he will have multiple reasons to feel grateful.

Not only is the son of Wordsmith from a family that has provided O'Neill with some of his biggest thrills, he was lucky to be born.

The Nephew is out of the Husson mare Husson's Kiss, who O'Neill raced and didn't plan to breed from.

When he did, he didn't intend to keep the progeny.

But The Nephew was too nice a yearling.

"We decided we'd sell him at the Tassie sale but Amy Kerr from Ascot Park, who bred Shaquero, Cosmic Force and a lot of other good horses, and prepped him for me rang up and said he was the nicest walking horse they'd had on the farm," O'Neill said.

"She said, 'you'd be crazy to sell this horse', so I went and had a look after he'd been prepped and I thought he had developed a lot.

"You could see what she saw in him, so we bought him back."

O'Neill's arm, mind you, did not need to be twisted too strenuously given his bloodlines.

Husson's Kiss was the first filly to race from the Danehill Dancer mare Senro Kisaki, who is the dam of Prime Thoroughbreds success stories Zizzis (Sizzling) and Rubisaki (Rubick), an eight-time winner who won six from six at three including two Group 3s and the $1 million Inglis 3YO Sprint.

Hence the name, The Nephew.

Husson's Kiss, who O'Neill bought out of the paddock as a weanling, couldn't match Rubisaki's on-track record, but she did finish third in Tasmania's version of the 1000 Guineas before injury curtailed her racing career.

"She fractured a pelvis, so we retired her and were just going to recuperate her and then give her to a pony club, to be honest," O'Neill said.

"But, after she'd recovered, and because she was in Tassie, we said 'let's just get her in foal and see what happens'.

"She was the first foal out of the sisters to go to stud, so The Nephew is the first foal from the family.

"And to think we were going to give her away."

The Nephew, who is trained by Patrick Payne, broke his maiden over 1606m at his third start with other wins coming in an 1850m BM70 at Kyneton and the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m).

He hasn't won in three starts since, but a second placing to SA Derby second favourite Detonator Jack and a luckless effort against older horses, including Witchachar Star, at Sandown at his past two have O'Neill dreaming big.

"When we ran second to Detonator Jack, we had the wrong spot and he was in the right spot, then next start everything went wrong. He got shuffled back and lost all his momentum, and the winner came out and won the Warrnambool Cup," O'Neill said.

"So there's a case there for him and he seems to be in really good nick."

The Nephew will be ridden by Billy Egan in the SA Derby with the pair to jump from barrier three following the scratching of Teewaters.


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