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Bonny O’Reilly walks Stradbroke tightrope

Connections of talented mare Bonny O’Reilly are hopeful of a penalty from her win in the Helen Coughlan Stakes to gain a Stradbroke Handicap berth.

Bonny O’Reilly firmed from $26 into $15 for next Saturday’s $1.5 million Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) but will need to earn a penalty to make it into the field.

Before the Coughlan, Bonny O’Reilly was 25th on the order of entry with 52kg for the Stradbroke.

Jack Bruce, representing trainer Bjorn Baker, said Bonny O’Reilly was only a slim chance of making the Stradbroke with the Group One Tatt’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on June 24 a fallback option.

“If she makes the field we’d love to have a crack because she’s a very talented mare who has come through the grades to win five in a row now,” Bruce said.

“The way she races she can put herself handy and sprint off a quick tempo.

“Bjorn’s been very happy with her and he’s very confident to push on next week if she gets a run.”

Bruce has been impressed with Bonny O’Reilly’s rapid progression through the sprinting ranks.

“She’s bigger and stronger now than she’s ever been and horses like her who get into the Stradbroke with a light weight are often good chances and I think she profiles correctly for the race,” he said.

Winning jockey Jason Collett said Bonny O’Reilly’s ability to race close to the speed has helped her build an impressive strike rate of seven wins from only nine starts.

“She’s got tactical speed and and makes things easy for herself during the race,” Collett said.

“If she doesn’t get a start next week I think the Tatt’s Tiara in three weeks time would be an ideal race for her.”

Bonny O’Reilly, the $2.05 favourite, defeated Selita ($16) to win by 1-1/4 lengths with Palazzo Pubblico ($16) a neck away third.

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).

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