Time and patience has been a good friend to Reliable Team (Reliable Man [GB] - Stella Doro) and that was rewarded with a stylish win in the Gr.2 HKJC The BOCHK Jockey Club Cup (2000m) on Sunday.
At six years of age, the lofty grey gelding improved on his last start third in the Gr.3 HKJC Ladies Purse (1800m) to record his seventh win in a career that spans four years. During that time, he has also run second in the Gr.3 HKJC Premier Plate (1800m) and third in the Gr.3 HKJC Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2400m).
Reliable Team is trained by leading Hong Kong Trainer Frankie Lor and is owned by the Nova Stella Syndicate. He was purchased as a two-year-old by Ross Lao from the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales for $430,000 - a record at the time for a son of Reliable Man.
He was bred by Hayden Dillon through his Tullycrine Limited partnership and is the eighth foal from the Faltaat (USA) mare Stella Doro.
According to Dillon it was more a mating of convenience and sentimentality than using a breeding philosophy, but it was a mating that worked well as it also produced a winning full sister in Livvy Lass.
“I had a share in Reliable Man,” he explained, “The mare was from an old family that had been in my family and been good to my family in the past. So that’s how it came about.
“My Dad had been to a broodmare sale at Karaka to buy a mare and found her in a supplementary catalogue and bought her because she was from his old family for $1,500. She had already produced four winners and we did very well out of the mare, but she is no longer with us.”
Dillon’s father Chris is a former NZTBA councillor and had a lot of success with the family that had been in the Dillon family since the 1950’s.
He bred the grandam of Reliable Team – Lady Joelyn (Noble Bijou [GB] - Princess Camille), an unraced mare who went on to produce the Group Two winners Aquidity (by Avaray [FR]) who won 17 races and The Sportsman (by Kilimanjaro [GB]) who won 10 races. She left nine winners in all including the stakes placed Breakdance (by Citidancer [IRE]) and Lady Chanele who won two and is the dam of Ombre Rose who herself has gone on to be a producer of black type horses.
Lady Joelyn was a three-quarter sister to the Listed winner Too Darn Hot (Noble Bijou [GB] - Kiss Me Kate), who went on to leave the Gr.1 Sydney Cup winner Niwot, Chita (Noble Bijou [GB] - Kiss Me Kate) who left the stakes winners Baby Champion and Do It Right, and to the stakes placed winner Hot Jazz (Noble Bijou [GB] - Magic Belle) who was also a producer. Another three-quarter sister in Mikis (Noble Bijou [GB] - Anita Kay) won two races and produced It’s Platonic (by Trustful [AUS]) the winner of 10 races including the Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes who was also Group Two placed in Melbourne several times.
Many of those racehorses were raced by and provided a lot of thrills for the Dillon family and looking at their achievements you can see why they would sentimentally buy back into the family.
When Dillon bred Reliable Team he had a broodmare band of five mares and a farm in in Paterangi outside of Ohaupo but as his business as an advisor in the agribusiness sector in Waikato was taking more of his time he has since sold the farm.
These days he has just two mares; Inthespotlight (O’Reilly - Love The Limelight) which he owns in partnership with Trevor Luke and Entirely Saintly (Pentire [GB] - Regal Halo [CAN]). They now reside at the Pascoe’s Club Med Lodge.
A colt from Inthespotlight by Satono Aladdin (JPN) was the top priced colt by that stallion at Karaka this year and Dillon has a full sister to sell in March. The mare will visit that stallion again this year, while Entirely Saintly will visit Reliable Man. -Michelle Saba, NZTBA