Day At The Track

Hill & Hilltop Lilliana - a perfect combination

06:46 PM 18 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Hilltop Lilliana, harness racing
Hilltop Lilliana

Top South Australian harness racing participant Danielle Hill has often stated she enjoys training a winner more than she does love driving them.

Fellow trainer Peter Bain, from Gawler,  is a fan of Hill’s ability to have her standardbreds perform at their best.

Bain’s mother Val, and son Aaron, own Hilltop Lilliana, an impressive winner at Globe Derby Park for Hill.

“Aaron and I had Hilltop Lilliana, which was bred by Mum, in our stable early on,” Bain said.

“We knew she had talent but really struggled to get her to perform on the track. We won one race with her but generally couldn’t not get her to perform.

“While I have known Dani and her Dad Gary for a long time, I had never had any association from a racing viewpoint until earlier this year.

“In August I decided to book Dani for Hilltop Rose and she had immediate success and my respect for her grew so with our issues with ‘Lily’ I said to Mum, and Aaron why not give Dani a chance with her and already she has had two wins and three placings from just six starts.

“She has done a marvellous job with the mare.”

On Saturday, Hilltop Lilliana ($5.90) dashed away to score an 11-1/2 metre win in the DPR Insurance Brokers Pace (1800m) beating Promise At Dawn ($20.60) with red-hot $1.70 favourite Wroxton Steel, 3-1/2 metres away third.

“The best wins are often those you don’t expect,” Hill said.

“I thought she would run well but didn’t think she could win.

“Pre-race I thought she might not be in a good mood as she was trying to kick me out of the bike but once we started to score up she switched to race mode.

“She can over-race but tonight settled beautifully.

“When I asked her to go forward and sit parked a lap out, she didn’t fire up but really wanted to race.

“I sent her for home 400 metres out and she raced away and won well.”

Hill said Hilltop Lilliana was a training challenge.

“She has ability but also has an attitude and it is a matter of trying to get into her head. Hopefully we are winning the battle.”

Graham Fischer

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