Astute trainer Robert Smerdon’s will rely on TABsportsbet $9 chance Paddy O’Reilly to give him a second hometown victory in Sunday’s Listed $150,000 Sportsbet.com.au 2011 Ballarat Cup, (2200m).
Smerdon and his family have a long Ballarat history, but the race has been a tough one for the in-form trainer top win.
He won it in 1996 with McGuane but has had to settle for minor placings with Mayshiel (third in 2000) and Sale Of The Century (third in 2002) since.
When McGuane scored, Smerdon was solely based in Ballarat but he’s moved most of his team to Caulfield.
Simon Morrish oversees the Dowling Forest operation, where Paddy O’Reilly is based for the race.
The six-year-old will be having his first race start at Ballarat and will get to see plenty of the big race day crowd after drawing barrier 17, the outside alley.
He comes into the event with good recent form including a second in the Listed Cranbourne Cup, (2025m) three starts back and last-start third in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on November 5.
Smerdon’s father Bob, brother John and uncle Arthur all made their mark in Victorian racing from their Ballarat base.
Arthur was a training icon for well over four decades with victories in the VRC Oaks, Caulfield Guineas, Sandown Guineas, Moonee Valley Stakes, Edward Manifold Stakes and Australia Cup etc.
The family, including Robert, have always been able to pull off a good betting plunge.
And Smerdon has been in good form this season with 2011 Crown Oaks (2500m) winner Mosheen becoming his sixth Group 1 winner and 2011 Sandown Cup winner Olympic Win keeping his name at the forefront.
A victory for Paddy O’Reilly would be reward for the good toil Smerdon has invested in the horse.
In 2009, the son of O’Reilly was in danger of never racing again after injuring a fetlock.
After more than a year away from the races, he returned to win the 2011 Albury Cup (2000m) and 2011 Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield in April.
The gelding is on the fifth line in betting with last start Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) winner Rothera at the head of the market at $4.40 – he will be stepping up to 2200m for the first time.
Domesky $5.50, Musical Hit $7 and Stole $8.50 are shorter than Paddy O’Reilly who will be ridden by Craig Newitt.
One would expect to see an improvement from Tinseltown who will be having his third run from a spell.
In seven first or second up starts he is yet to win, but he has won third up on three occasions.
Tabsportsbet have Tinseltown at $12 and he handles wet and dry ground.
The Ballarat rail will be in the true position.
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||X891X79901||ROTHERA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||8||59kg||104|
|2||5X060X9600||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||Luke Oliver||Jamie Mott||2||58kg||102|
|3||07F2631XL8||TINSELTOWN (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Ms Lisa Cropp||10||58kg||102|
|4||3411X99273||PADDY O’REILLY (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Craig Newitt||17||56.5kg||99|
|5||31488X7140||BOOM ’N’ ZOOM||Ken Keys||Lincoln Coffey||11||56kg||98|
|6||4956X00426||RED BUTTONS||Michael Kent||Dean Yendall||3||55.5kg||97|
|7||109X573702||DOMESKY||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||6||55kg||95|
|8||123X062420||FOXHAM||Tony McEvoy||Ms Michelle Payne||1||53.5kg||89|
|9||40135X4002||STOLE (NZ)||Brian Jenkins||Ben Melham||14||53.5kg||89|
|10||8X000X6450||CHARTREUX||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||7||53.5kg||86|
|11||X080X09035||APPREHEND||Tony Vasil||Jordan Mallyon (a)||16||53.5kg||85|
|12||3X2053X441||MUSICAL HIT||Ken Keys||Dwayne Dunn||12||53.5kg||85|
|13||79126X1519||SEAN BAILE MOR||Todd Balfour||Jake Noonan (a)||15||53.5kg||82|
|14||9890X56183||NIPTIOUS||Danny Curran||Craig Robertson||9||53.5kg||80|
|15||631X581033||ULUNDI||Pat Carey||Chris Symons||4||53.5kg||78|
|16||1X20160X18||NOBLE DESTINY||Todd Balfour||Thomas Sadler (a)||5||53.5kg||66|
|17||9353424333||DORSODURO||Kelvin Bourke||Jacob Rule (a)||13||53.5kg||64|