Rory – Not To Be Missed

Rory – Not To Be Missed

Bruce Stewart

21st February 2021

Rory Mcllwrick loves a bit of banter whether it be with the Williamson family, or the wider harness community.

Today he was at the top of his game, winning a double at the Winton meeting including the feature mare’s race the Southern Belle Speed Series, with the Owen Lawrence trained Miss Auckland.

Miss Auckland getting up on the inside

The Auckland Reactor mare is in peak form at the moment having won her last three starts which includes today’s mares feature in which she beat Pay Me Speedy trained by Chelsea Faithful.

“Chelsea and I have had a bit of banter going for a long time. I told her  I was coming for her and the banter started when Miss Auckland was dropping out and finishing last in a maiden. I really enjoyed that win. It was one of the better ones,” Mcllwrick said.

From a handy inside draw Mcllwrick positioned Miss Auckland back on the inside after beginning well and trailing pacemaker Silk. Silk was pressured by A Taste Of Honey but took Miss Auckland to the passing lane and McIlwrick drove her up the inside to beat a brave Pay Me Speedy by three quarters of a length.

“I was surprised we beat her to be fair but we’ll take it. She’s turned a corner. Speedy’s a pretty nice horse. Maybe if we reversed the draws it would have reversed the results but this girl she just hits the line real good. She’s now one of those horses that just keeps savaging the line. The harder they go the better. She’s got great gait speed and she can stay. She’s doing it all at the moment.”

This is the first time Ascot Park trainer Owen Lawrence has won three races in a row with any horse. In the early 2000s Armbro Invasion trotter The Jailer won three of his last five starts running second in the other two.

“I’ve always had faith in her. She’s improved as she’s got a wee bit older. When I first started her she ran last in her first three races. Hopefully there’s a wee bit of improvement yet,” Lawrence said.

The win qualifies Miss Auckland for the $20,000 Southern Belle Speed Series final at the Winton Meeting on the 20th March.

Earlier in the programme another mare continued her winning form for Mcllwrick.

The Craig Laurenson trained trotter Miss Bamboocha won her second race in three starts when she came from back in the field to run down favourite Afterburner.

The eight year old mare has now won five races and has recorded eleven seconds and eleven thirds in ninety three starts.