Evergreen sprinter back to winning form at favourite track

Classy sprinter Irish Moon (O’Reilly) bounced back to the winner’s enclosure for the first time in a year when he led all the way to score in Saturday’s Allied Security 1200 at Te Rapa.
The seven-year-old had last tasted success when winning the same race 12 months ago on what has become his favourite surface. The O’Reilly gelding has produced five of his nine career victories at Te Rapa for trainers Ken and Bev Kelso and his owners, the Spyglass Hill Racing syndicate.
The victory was a just reward after Irish Moon had been desperately unlucky in the Gr.3 Darley Plate at Ellerslie on New Zealand Derby Day.
“He deserved that as he has been racing well without much luck,” said Ken Kelso after the race.
“He was very unlucky at Ellerslie last start as he got stuck behind them in the run home and just cantered to the line under a hold. It was nothing more than a track gallop which is very disappointing when you are running in a race like that.
“His work this week has been nothing short of brilliant so we were pretty confident he could win, even with the 60kgs, as he loves it at Te Rapa.”
Kelso is resigned to seeing his charge cop a rise in his handicap rating that will ensure he continues to carry topweight in his races.
“He will most likely get a couple of points for that win so he will carry 60kgs again,” he said.
“It does make it tough for him as when they run those stakes races as set weights and penalty events he can’t get a start because he hasn’t got the black type form but in a normal event he has to carry the house on his back.
“I don’t see that as being right so something has got to change in that respect.”
A return to Ellerslie on the 1st of April for an open 1200 metre event is likely to be Irish Moon’s next assignment followed by a Listed 1200 metre sprint at Hawkes Bay later that month to round out his current campaign. – NZ Racing Desk

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