Manton horsewoman Rikki Cernovskis is preparing two outstanding fillies by sire-of-the-moment Sweet Lou for the APG Sydney Yearling Sale on February 25 and said they both had qualities that should be attractive to buyers.

“The Match Point Serena filly (Lot 350) is a first foal. But she is a big, strong type with all the Sweet Lou bling,” Cernovskis said. “She is from a strong filly family that includes NZ Oaks winner Ideal Belle (1.54, $204K) and Elite Belle so there is residual value as a broodmare after her race career.”

This filly is bred on the same cross as last year’s US 2YO filly of the year Geocentric (1.49.6, $549K). The Sweet Lou – Somebeachsomewhere cross also produced the Breeders Crown 2YO colts winner Ammo (1.50.8, $391K) in 2022.

“The Donegal Annie Mac filly (Lot 320) is a plain little bay but is a very racy type. You should see her get around, she is zippy,” she said. “She has the Sweet Lou – Bettors Delight cross and her dam is a full sister to Group 1 winning filly Donegal Bettorgretch in New Zealand.”

Sweet Lou has three fillies from Bettors Delight mares in his top 20 Australian earners – Sweet On Me ($246K), Darling Me ($234K) and Sweet Bella ($220K).

Cernovskis is the daughter of respected trainer/reinsman John O’Sullivan and has been preparing sales yearlings for seven years.

“My grandfather had horses in the Riverina and mum and dad trained for 40 years,” she said. “As kids we spent a lot of time at trot meetings in Canberra and Young. Most times, we would be there before the first and leave after the last. Mum and dad always bred one to race and supported the local studs.

“We were lucky enough to buy Daniela Hantuchova from New Zealand and she turned out to be a handy mare, so we decided to breed from her and put her youngster through the sale. The first yearling we took was Drop The Hammer and he sold for $105,000, so it set the bar pretty high.”

Drop The Hammer turned out to be a trotter and went on to win 26 races and $300,000. He won the NSW 4&5YO trot final twice (G2) and the Franco Australian Trotters Cup (G2).

The gelding is a half brother to Group 2 winner Game Set Major (1.52.7, $75K) and the unraced Match Point Serena. The family has eight broodmares and usually breed four or five foals each year.

The youngsters are foaled on the Cernonskis’ 50-acre Manton property and raised on her parents’ property just out of Sutton.

“Mum and dad have got a beautiful property and it is a really safe set up for foals,” she said. “We bring them back here after they are weaned so we can handle them, trim their feet and throw a rug on them. It also means they have had a couple of float trips. We handle them to make sure they are relaxed and comfortable. It’s certainly important to us that the youngsters have good manners – for racing and after.”

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