300 and counting for Sarah O’Reilly

By Mike Love

After reaching the 300 win milestone at Addington on Friday night Sarah O’Reilly is a good chance to add to that tally at the same course today.

“It’s pretty awesome! I never thought I’d be able to achieve that when I first started driving,” said O’Reilly.

She brought up the 300th with Tectonic and then got Shards Matrix home for Brent and Tim White.

“The highlight so far this season though would have to be winning the Roy Purdon Memorial (listed) at Alexandra Park with American Me.”

Today, O’Reilly heads back to Addington with a quartet of drives where the Ashburton reinswoman will look to add to her current win tally of 29 for the season.

Followers of O’Reilly may not have to wait too long for a return as she reins second favourite My Skatjie ($4.00FF) for trainer Carl Markham in race 1, the Protocol Restaurant And Bar Mobile Pace. Although it can be hard to get too excited about a 19 start maiden, the four-year-old Sweet Lou gelding has shown hints at winning a maiden for a while, including a bold second at his previous start.

“He went pretty good last week, and he should have improved with the run too. We have a good draw to work with today. Hopefully we can get a good run and be pretty close to them.”

“He’s my best drive of the day.”

Other chances in the event include race favourite Captain Kobe ($2.30FF) for trainer Steve Dolan, while the Bruce Negus trained Bets On ($17.00FF) and Amalfi ($21.00FF) for Robert Stuart could offer value with economical runs.

O’Reilly will then drive Interpol ($21.00FF) for John McDermott in race 4, the XCM Sport Mobile pace. O’Reilly is under no illusions that the four-year-old He’s Watching gelding will need to find some lengths to be competitive in today’s race.

“He will need to improve on his recent runs, but hopefully he will be running on.”

Race favourite Millwood Goddess ($3.90FF) for trainer Tom Bagrie alongside Don Juan ($4.80FF) for Matt Purvis and the Robert and Jenna Dunn trained Absolute Dynamite ($5.00FF) look to have a decent hold over the field. Outside of those there are many value options in what is an even line up.

Big Mama Morris ($18.00FF) in race 5, the Remembering American Ideal Mobile pace is a horse O’Reilly has had a lot of success with for trainer Amber Lethaby. O’Reilly has steered the Big Jim mare into three of her four career wins. Fresh up last week Big Mama Morris ran like she needed it and will have derived plenty from that outing going into today’s assignment.

“She was a little flat first up but she will benefit a lot. She should be able to run on better today with her fitness at another level.”

Fernz Goldy ($4.80FF) for trainer Daniel Reardon looks hard to beat from barrier one, while Pearl’s A Singer ($8.00FF) for trainer/driver Robbie Holmes may offer value.

O’Reilly reunites with trainer John McDermott in race 9, the Tennant Engineering Mobile pace when she drives second favourite Topaz ($5.50FF). The five-year-old American Ideal mare ran a credible second last week and will be looking for her third win on the track.

“If she can get the right run she’s a good top three chance because she does have a good finish on her.”

“She has raced in stronger fields and ran well so I’m expecting her to go well today.”

Other chances in the event include the Jason and Ian Thomas pair Opo ($8.50FF) and White Star Orlando ($12.0FF), while others with slightly better draws such as High Hopes ($10.00FF) for Tom Bagrie and Krystal Delight ($12.00FF) for Greg and Nina Hope may be good each way options to rejuvenate punters’ accounts at the end of the weekend.

Racing commences from 12:23pm.

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