Top double for O’Reilly

The Gr 1 NZB 1000 Guineas is looking more and more like O’Marilyn’s race to lose. The star daughter of O’Reilly was too good for the boys in yesterday’s Gr 3 Sarten Memorial in a perfect dress rehearsal for the Riccarton classic.

The Stephen McKee-trained filly was quickly into stride at Te Rapa to enjoy an economical run and she finished off in style to win by a length and a-half. “Barrier manners won it really,” McKee said. “She’s the ultimate professional and jumps and puts herself right there.”

O’Marilyn enjoyed a stellar two-year-old season, culminating in her Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes victory and she is unbeaten this term following her previous win in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes. “Obviously, she’s come back well and retained that turn of foot,” McKee said.

Her victory completed a memorable weekend for WS’s O’Reilly following the Sunday night win of his son War Affair in the Gr 1 Raffles Cup. He has now claimed the opening two legs of the Singapore grand slam after his Gr.1 Kranji Mile victory with the Gr.1 Singapore Gold Cup next on his list.

“I didn’t think he would win by such a big margin, but that only tells us what we know already, he’s a very good horse,” trainer Alwin Tan said. “I wasn’t too worried when he was three wide in the back straight as he did the same in the Kranji Mile and I know he will run on in the home straight. I knew he would hit the front at the 300 and then up the straight he always does his best. What a fantastic horse.”

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