Day At The Track

Art Official's son remains unbeaten

12:08 PM 05 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Jilliby Royal_20141031.jpg
Jilliby Royal
Photo courtesy HRV

Admitting he was pleasantly surprised with Jilliby Royal’s win at Melton last Friday, harness racing trainer Glen Craven has had to alter his plans slightly.

While he always believed Jilliby Royal has his share of ability, Craven didn’t expect the gelding to beat his more fancied rivals.

Based on his victory, Craven will aim slightly higher, beginning with the Sires’ Classic on Ballarat Cup night, December 13.

“I went into the race knowing he would keep up, but I didn’t think he was good enough to win,” Craven said. “It was a step up in class and I was waiting to see if he could handle it.

“He was travelling well on the corner and got home well…is was a bit of a surprise.

“I will give him a bit of a freshen up now then have a look at the Sires’ Classic.”

With Craven in the cart, Jilliby Royal trailed the leader before sprinting to a three-metre win from $1.30 favourite, Menin Gate, which was gallant after facing the breeze.

After setting the pace, Cosell was nine metres away third.

Unbeaten from two starts, the three-year-old rated 1:57.7 for the 2240 metres, covering the last half in 57.4 seconds.

Bred and owned by the Craven Family Group, Jilliby Royal is by Art Official from good producer, Boorcan Queen, which boasts six winners from eight starters.

The family traces back to topliner such as Classic Garry, Newbold Penny, Provocative Lennytheshark, Led Suitcase, Penny Veejay, Blissfull Boy and Nolarama.

“His dam has done a good job and she was sent to Art Official as there is a lot to like about him,” Craven said. “He’s by Art Major from a good broodmare and he beat Somebeachsomewhere.”

  • PAUL COURTS

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