One Apollo Wins Southern Lights

One Apollo Wins Southern Lights

Bruce Stewart

13th March 2021

Gerard O’Reilly knew he was up against a talented mare in Dark Horse, and that she was at the top of her game. So he had to have a set strategy in order to beat the mare with his drive One Apollo in the Group Three Pryde’s Easifeed Southern Lights at the Northern Southland Trotting Club meeting at Ascot Park today.

One Apollo warming up for Gerard O’Reilly – Photo Bruce Stewart

“When he’s on his game he’s a very nice trotter. He was (on his game) today, so I thought I’d make it into a staying race and take the sprint out of the good one (Dark Horse),” he said.

Once safely away from his ten metre handicap O’Reilly set a nice even pace in a bid to ensure Dark Horse had to work from her twenty metre handicap.

“Getting him away at the start and trotting that first one hundred is the thing. He’s all good after that. I thought I’d try and take the sprint out of her in the second last quarter.”

Turning in, One Apollo had a two length buffer on Dark Horse but the southern mare was cutting into that margin with every stride. The winning post came up just in time with One Apollo holding on to win by three quarters of a length.

One Apollo on the inside hanging on – Photo Bruce Stewart

A closer look – Photo Bruce Stewart

The five year old has now won nine of his thirty eight starts with O’Reilly partnering the gelding for three of those wins.

“I was only filling in for Ricky (May) who was over on the coast so it was a good race to be filling in.”

Back to the winner circle – Photo Bruce Stewart

One Apollo was bred and is part owned by Lex Williams.

“Yes great thrill to have bred the horse and his father. One Apollo has come out and shown what the sire (One Over Da Moon) can do.”

Williams said the horse’s form dropped off earlier in the season but trainer Brent White had told him he was coming back.

“He went through a patch when he had an infection but Brent’s done a great job in getting him right and he thinks he’s back to his original self. We’re really looking forward to his next few starts.”

One Over Da Moon as a sire has twenty eight live foals on the ground.

“We’ve got two nice fillies (Moonlight Angel and Samantha Moon) by him that have run placings so as a sire he’s going well.”

One Apollo’s winning time of 3-24.1 was a new track record for four year old and older geldings or entires and was just outside the all comers track, race and Southland record. Last year’s Southern Lights winner Pres The Belle recorded 3-24.0.

Dark Horse ran the trip post to post in 3-23.4.