Top job for O'Reilly at Hawera

by Jonny Turner 

Don’t expect to see Sarah O’Reilly flustered as she jumps into the hot seat on Friday.

The always cool, calm and collected reinswoman steps up to take over the position as number one driver for the Michael House stable – all conquering in the Central Districts – as harness racing returns to Hawera.

House starts a massive 18 horse team and together with O’Reilly, the combination is clearly one to follow on Friday.

O’Reilly looks a big chance of starting her day on a winning note with Cheeky Grin in race 2.

The seven-year-old comes into her assignment on the back of two solid efforts in Canterbury in what look like stronger fields.

Cheeky Grin has been rated at $5 (win) and $2 (place) odds by bookmakers.

O’Reilly’s next drive, Play It Now, also looks a big winning hope.

The four-year-old produced a string of consistent form before a last start disappointment at Ascot Park.

Freshened following that, the pacer looks well placed in race 4.

Rated at $7.50 and $2.40 odds, Play It Now offers eachway value for punters.

Morrissey in race 9 looks another of O’Reilly’s key chances.

The pacer comes in fresh following a win and second placing at Manawatu in December.

The five-year-old, who starts from barrier 4, has been trading at $4.20 & $1.70 odds with bookmakers.

A tricky draw looks the biggest threat to O’Reilly’s chances with Boulton Home in race 7.

The six-year-old worked home nicely, without much luck, in his last outing on the Kapiti Coast after winning on the same track.

The pacer opened at $4.20 and $1.70 odds for race 7.

O’Reilly and House will attempt to take out Friday’s feature, the Stratford Cup, with Santanna Mach.

The pacer looks well placed from his 10m handicap, with a key 20m headstart on the backmarkers and favourites American Me and New York Minute.

Santanna Mach has been rated at $7.50 and $2.50 odds by bookmakers.

O’Reilly also drives Superstar Legend (race 6) and Alexis Rocket (race 11)

Superstar Legend ($10 & $2.70) steps back in grade after lining up in the Otaki Cup in her last start.

Drawing the outside of the second row looks the biggest challenge for Alexis Rocket ($14 & $3.30).

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