More stakes success for O’Reilly

The Solitaire staged the perfect dress rehearsal for a return trip to Riccarton with victory in today’s Listed Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes. The daughter of O’Reilly made short work of her opposition in preparation for her major autumn target.

“Our main aim is the Canterbury Gold Cup so she might possibly need another run before that, but I’ll wait and see how she comes through this race,” trainer Steve Anderton said. “There’s the Easter Cup but she’ll cop a fair bit of weight in that.”

Bred and raced by the Dennis brothers, The Solitaire collected the eighth win of her 23 start career and did it with ease. She improved from the back under Chris Johnson across the top and, after coasting to the front early in the run home, and waltzed home by a length and a-quarter.

Meanwhile, WS graduate Shandream proved superior to the open class sprinters at Tauranga to justify trainer Richard Collett’s pre-race confidence. “We took the blinkers off her for the first time in her career and I’d like to see if she can get beyond 1200 metres now,” Collett said. “She won over a mile as a four-year-old, but this preparation she’s been racing a bit fiercely.”

Shandream, a stakes winner on her home track last November, had finished sixth in the Gr.3 Darley Plate earlier this month and Collett was expecting her to be hard to topple at Tauranga. “She was a bit under done at Ellerslie and she was ready to go the Lightning Handicap at Wellington last week, but we scratched because of the wide draw,” he said. Shandream accounted for Made My Point to present stallion Pins with the quinella.

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