Paddy aiming to be hometown hero in 2011 Ballarat Cup

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Paddy O'Reilly

Paddy O'Reilly (right) will look to become a hometown hero in the Ballarat Cup

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

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