Day At The Track

A "Reil Quick" Country Graduation

06:37 PM 26 Apr 2016 NZST
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Harness Racing South Australia
Courtesy Of Harness Racing South Australia

Reil Quick, a harness racing mare which has basically came back from the grave, scored the biggest win of her career, with a fast finish to win the $10,000 2016 Trotsguide.Com.Au Country Graduation Series final (2230m).

On course veterinary surgeon Roger Haensel listed as ‘questionable’ Reil Quick’s future after attending the mare fractured a knee during a race at Globe Derby in May last year.

Owner Ian Shephard, himself a tribute to perseverance, and Kadina trainer Tyson Linke, decided to have a second operation to attempt to give the daughter of Elsu the best possible life.

“I was a bit hesitant for the second operation but when I was told she would be in discomfort without it decided to go ahead and credit to Tyson and his family for getting her back racing again,” Shephard said.

After a long slow build up, Reil Quick resumed at Victor Harbor at Easter, then had sound runs in the heat and semi-final of the Graduation before starting from gate one in the final.

Driver Wayne Hill drove hard to keep the lead early before deciding to take a sit behind the favourite Glenferrie Flyer.

Second favourite Frostyflyer came around to challenge Glenferrie Bunter and the pair stepped up the pressure down the back straight with a 28.4 third quarter.

Hill took Reil Quick ($14.20) to the outside rounding the home turn and the mare sprinted home in 29.6 to score a two metre win from Frostyflyer ($2.90) with Glenferrie Bunter ($1.60 fav) a short half head away third.

It was a masterful drive by Hill, and the second leg of a treble on the night.

Shephard, a solicitor and former director of Harness Racing South Australia, has been blind for many years but always head to the track when his horses race.

He lives at Moonta and has several horses on his property which, despite his blindness, attends to daily.

About 12 months ago he had the misfortune to have his wife and life partner Rose pass away but continues to be a passionate supporter of harness racing and the Linke stable.

He was able to pick up Reil Quick for just $4000 at a Melbourne sale.

Tyson Linke explained the mare had a cut on a leg when offered as a yearling which had turned off prospective buyers.

“We spoke with SA vet Toby Ryan and he said he did not see the wound as being a long term problem so we got her with one bid,” Linke said.

“While that injury was fine she has had had knee problems but now is probably as sound as she has ever been but it did cost her chances at the Southern Cross series both as a two and three-year-old.”

Reil Quick now has 12 wins and 11 placings from just 34 starts for stakes in excess of $46,000.

by Graham Fischer

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