Mud, sweat and cheers

By Matt Markham – Twitter: @MattMarkham07

Michelle Neilson wasn’t too keen on heading out onto a rather wet Methven track on Sunday.

At the meeting for just the one drive, the in-form horsewoman didn’t look all that impressed about things as she watched driver after driver make their way off the track looking like they had just been in for a mud facial at the beauty salon.

But an hour later, Neilson was grinning from ear-to-ear and feeling a little more than happy about life albeit also looking like she had taken part in the day’s favoured cosmetic craze.

One of Neilson’s favourite horses, Johnny Eyre, was the reason for her happiness as the Mike Brown trained pacer revelled in the wintry conditions to turn in one of the most impressive victories of the day in the P G O’Reilly Memorial Pace.

A noted grass track toff, as most of Brown’s horses are, Johnny Eyre was heavily tipped out prior to the race and a patient drive from Neilson saw him clear away from a good field of pacers to win with a leg in the air.

The son of Christian Cullen and Wai Eyre Lady has now won five races and picked up seven other minor placings from 41 starts.

All five of those victories have come on grass tracks and three of them have played out on the Methven track.

His win continued a good weekend for Neilson who was also in the bike behind Smart Caesar who was an impressive winner in the last race of the night at Addington.

The Neil Edge trained pacer unleashed an undeniable finishing burst to win at a $24 price tag.

On a day when their father is remembered, two of the O’Reilly brothers found their way into the winners circle.

Patrick Jnr. was victorious with his talented trotter Never Fear who simply smashed her opposition in the feature trot.

The royally bred trotter settled well back off the speed but carved her way through the field to win with a easily.

The daughter of Pegasus Spur and Without Fear has now won four of her 26 starts.

Gerard O’Reilly made sure his name wasn’t left off the winners’ list when he won the last race with Carrickmannon.

O’Reilly also trains the talented pacer who is owned by Methven Trotting Club committee man, Mark Lemon and his wife, Sally.

The pair has enjoyed plenty of success out of the O’Reilly stable before with horses like Feisty Woman, Harper Road and Anonymiss as well as others.