Colt remains in Guineas mix

O’Reilly Close To Half-Century

O’Reilly moved a step closer to a notable milestone when his son Hammer Down on Saturday credited him with his 49th individual stakes winner. The three-year-old showed commendable courage to overcome a tough run to claim the Listed Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes at Te Rapa.

Hammer Down jumped from a wide gate and, as feared, rider Sam Spratt had no choice but to sit three wide until the home turn. They dashed to the lead at the top of the straight and they held all challenges at bay to land the 1200 metre feature.

“He’s always had a lot of ability but you have to have the luck and most of the time he’s had wet tracks and wide draws to go with it,” trainer Stephen McKee said. “He was caught wide and I told Sam if that happens just to grin and bear it. He’ll go for a spell now and it’s nice to go out with a win.”O’Reilly has been enjoying another cracking season and led by his dual Gr 1 winning daughter Shamrocker (AJC Derby, Australian Guineas), Paddy O’Reilly (Gr 3 Easter Cup), Guyno (Gr 3 Lord Reims Stakes), Dating (Gr 3 Desert Gold Stakes), Annie Higgins (Listed Sunline Vase) and Escadaire (Listed Cyril Flower Stakes).

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