Teal Pants finale at Manawatu
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
With nine wins, Sarah O'Reilly will end up the most successful Team Teal driver this year, and has seven more chances to add to the tally in the final meeting of the campaign at Manawatu tomorrow.
The Canterbury-based junior is the only female confirmed for the meeting at Palmerston North and has drives in all but one of the eight races.
"There are always things to work on," says O'Reilly, "but it's been a good week with four winners so that's pretty good."
Among her victories was a double at Sunday's Westport Trotting Club's meeting at Rangiora with Sister's Delight and Kawatiri Cup winner Buckskin.
The Teal Pants fund-raiser for ovarian cancer research has been going since February 1, with money raised every time a female driver (and her teal pants) wins a race, through contributions by Harness Racing New Zealand, clubs and individual sponsors.
So far there have been 51 wins since the six week campaign started last month, with O'Reilly's nine wins putting her ahead of Sam Ottley (7) and Natalie Rasmussen (6).
That equates to around $12,000 though a final figure won't be known till later this month.
"The shame is that because of Covid we haven't been able to get among the crowds and fund-raise so that's been different," says O'Reilly.
Tuesday's drives :
R1 Petronelli Fee - "from the trail was second last time and was pretty good"
R2 Rocknroydon - "good draw, though form has been a bit up and down"
R3 Nelson's Boy - "bit green but still learning but does have ability"
R4 Southern Storm - "first start for Michael House - not driven her before"
R5 Run Mason Run - "never driven before but has good draw"
R6 Piiki Whara - "last time in the trail had steering issues and is a "bowler" with no real sprint"
R8 - Immer Besser - "form is good at manawatu, and she's speedy wee thing and can follow speed and sprint home"
And O'Reilly is also looking forward to re-uniting with exciting pacer Sugar me for her employers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety. The winner of six races from eleven starts the Sweet Lou four-year-old is nominated for Addington this Friday.
"He's had two trials and is working nicely, I'm looking forward to driving him again."