Day At The Track

A Giftofjoy for Hillier

08:44 AM 13 Sep 2019 NZST
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Giftofjoy,Harness racing

Beauty Point trainer Rohan Hillier continued his good run with New Zealand bred pacers when he prepared a training double on Wednesday nights Launceston program.

Giftofjoy (pictured) who completed Hillier’s double was a win of significance after her racing career looked all but over about 18-months ago.

Hillier restrained the $1.45 favourite from her wide draw in the 1680-metre event to settle in second last position, before gaining a one-out one-back cart up over the final lap.

Driver Gareth Rattray on $26 chance, Huiffier, tried to pinch a winning break at the top of the home straight before Giftofjoy slipped up another gear and was able to cruise on by late to score by 2.3-metres in a mile rate of 2m 1.0s.

The daughter of Art Major won at her previous start in Launceston on 31 March 2019 before she was sidelined through injury.

“She kicked her stable wall and broke her pedal bone,” said Hillier on Tasracing’s Live Stream coverage.

The trainer also added that there was a high chance Giftofjoy may have not made it to the race track again.

“She has done a good job to get back to the track as the vets were concerned she would never race again,” explained Hillier.

The winning trainer doesn’t have too many expectations of the mare going forward.

“She will hopefully potter through the classes, I’m unsure how far she will go but hopefully there are three or four good wins in her.”

One pacer Hillier does have high hopes for is talented four-year-old Awayandrideyouself who once again dominated his rivals.

“At home, his point to point speed is as good as any horse I have had, so as long as he can work through his classes and get a bit stronger I’m sure he will make it to free-for-all grade,” said Hillier who also drove the gelding.

“He settled well in the breeze and he only had to dash up the straight,” added the Beauty Point-based trainer about the victory which was recorded in a mile rate of 2m 1.1s.

Hillier drove a treble on the Launceston card when he teamed up with East Devonport trainer Paul Ashwood to win with Blingittothemax.

After showing good gate speed to find the lead the gelding was challenged strongly down the back straight before holding his rivals off over the concluding stages.

“I hadn’t pulled the earplugs but Skip (Paul Ashwood) told me he can wait for them a bit, once he straightened and got balanced up he ran up the straight well I thought,” Hillier said.

“Horses like him with good gate speed can make their own luck and I’m sure with the new rating system he will win three or four pretty quick,” Hillier added.

Ashwood also recorded multiple wins on the Launceston card with Miracle Marcus winning earlier in the night.

The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere worked forward in the early stages to race outside the leader and was too good for the race favourite My Girl Pearl over the concluding stages.

Miracle Marcus gave driver Hannah Van Dongen another reason to celebrate on her 24th birthday.

Both Blingittothemax and Miracle Marcus are raced by Maxfield Standardbreds who had another reason to celebrate at the meeting with Max Delight being awarded the Australian Three Year Old of the year for his efforts last season earlier in the afternoon.

The fast class race of the night was won by Illegal Immigrant who was driven by his trainer Troy Hillier.

Starting off the back handicap of 20-metres Illegal Immigrant was once again too quick for his rivals late.

“He travelled really well and that’s his go having a sit on them like that, he has a good turn of foot when he sprints,” Troy Hiller said after the win.

“I’m going to give him a few weeks off I think as he feels a little bit proppy (in his action),” the winning trainer-driver added.

Duncan Dornauf

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