Damian Browne keen on O’Reilly Cyrus in Karaka Million

Fresh off a winning double on Australia’s richest race day at the Magic Millions Carnival at the Gold Coast last Saturday, jockey Damian Browne is already eyeing off another $1 million race when O’Reilly Cyrus heads to New Zealand for the Listed NZ$1m NZB Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 24.

Jockey Damian Browne is booked to ride O'Reilly Cyrus in the Karaka Million at Ellersie in New Zealand. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Jockey Damian Browne is booked to ride O’Reilly Cyrus in the Karaka Million at Ellersie in New Zealand. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Browne was one of the stars at the Gold Coast last weekend with wins on super sprinter Buffering in the $1m Magic Millions QTIS Open Plate (1300m) and on Tinto in the $1m Magic Millions Trophy (1800m).

And Browne is keen to get back to his homeland to chase back to back wins in the Karaka Million after claiming the major prize last year with the Liam Birchley trained Hardline.

Browne got a good feel of O’Reilly Cyrus when he rode her to a half a length win in a 1000m Gold Coast barrier trial on Tuesday and liked what he felt underneath him.

“I rode her in a trial with blinkers for the first time on Tuesday and she gave me a good feel,” Browne told AAP.

“I am really looking forward to having a chance at winning another Million.”

Birchley also puts the polish on O’Reilly Cyrus and is chasing his third win in the Karaka Million after taking out the race in 2010 with Sister Havana with the late Stathi Katsidis in the saddle.

O’Reilly Cyrus has only been to the races once for a comfortable three quarters of a length win in a 1050m Doomben maiden on December 4 with apprentice Travis Wolfgram in the saddle.

Browne will be trying to keep the winning momentum going and is back in action at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday with five rides on the eight event program that carries metropolitan status.

Browne will team up with Buffering’s trainer Robert Heathcote with Volkhere ($3) in the first race of the day, the Coastline BMW 3 Series Handicap (2200m).

The in-form jockey’s other rides are Le Cap ($4.80) in the Coastline BMW 7 Series Handicap (1200m), Liberation ($6) in the Coastline BMW 5 Series BenchMark 75 Handicap (1000m), Par Oneri ($11) in the Coastline BMW 2yo Classic QTIS Plate (1200m) and Storm Fighter ($9) in the Coastline BMW 2 Series BenchMark 80 Handicap (1400m).

Browne also has an early booking for the Sydney Autumn Carnival and will ride Magic Millions Trophy winner Tinto in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 12.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.