O'Reilly going for three peat in Darren DeFilippi Memorial Trot

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

The Darren DeFilippi Memorial Trot is the race every junior driver wants to win more than any other.

And tonight Sarah O'Reilly is gunning for a hat-trick of victories with southern trotter Gift Card, following on from her successes in the past two years with Fighting Fire and The Bloss.

"I've been very lucky and very honoured to win it."

A highly promising young horseman, Darren DeFilippi died in a car crash in 1995, at just 19 years old. Tonight will be the 28th edition of the race.

"Everyone speaks so highly of him and how he was just a natural," says O'Reilly.

Following his parents Colin and Julie DeFilippi into the racing game, Darren had 14 wins as a junior driver in 1995 and 1996.

"The way people speak of Darren is how you want people to speak of you - it's a very important race."

Tonight a capacity field of trotters will battle it out over 2600m at 6.49pm.

"It's a nice big field and with the handicaps and everyone wanting to win it it should be very competitive," says O'Reilly.

Gift Card will start off 10m for Winton-based trainer Jamie Campbell, though the Father Patrick five-year-old is currently being stabled with the DeFilippis at Broadfield, just outside Christchurch.

"He's in good hands," O'Reilly quipped.

Gift Card comes into the race having finishing second or third in his last five starts. O'Reilly has previously driven the horse down south.

"His form is very good and he has nice manners and has been very consistent."

In what looks like a wide open race the top rated horses are Light Of Da Moon, T K Megastar and Kink who will all start off 20 metres, with other chances including the in-form True Confessions and Bennie And the Jets, and Ti Amo Belle, who's fresh up.

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