Day At The Track

Hillier off to a flyer

09:32 AM 09 Sep 2018 NZST
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Rohan Hillier.jpg

Just when you thought Rohan Hillier’s strike rate as a trainer for the 2017/18 season of 44%   couldn’t get any better, think again.

The Beauty Point mentor took two runners to the opening night of the new season in Launceston, Svennson and Smilin Geoff, and returned home with a winning percentage of 100% to kick the season off in grand style.

Not only did Rohan prepare a winning double he also steered home a winning treble from his seven drives.

“No Apachemee (pictured) is racing in good form and when he drew four on the front line over a mile I thought he would be hard to beat,” said Rohan.

“We got a nice trail and when I let him go he dashed clear to win by eight or nine metres (9.3 metres) and recorded a smart mile rate of 1:57.3 including a last-half in 56.7seconds.”

Svensson, driven by Rohan Hadley, did all the work chasing the tearaway leader Jake’s A Joy in race five over the 1680-metre trip but still proved too strong in the home straight.

“I can’t take any credit for the win of Svennson apart from the fact I drove the float steadily to the track,” laughed Rohan.

“Brent (Parish) forgot to renew his trainer’s license so he asked me to train her for four days, obviously I did a great job but that was her last run as Brent’s retiring her, she’s well bred and has always worked well so I wouldn’t be surprised if she threw a smart one.”

Rohan was back in the cart behind the Troy Hillier-trained gelding Illegal Immigrant($3.20) in the David Mace Retirement Stakes.

“Troy has done a tremendous job with Illegal Immigrant, he has raced through his classes and looks up to the big boys going forward, I know Troy is looking for an MO in Victoria in the next month,” Rohan acknowledged.

“Troy usually drives Illegal Immigrant but he hurt his back during the week, I may have to give him another little tap next time he starts.”

Smilin Geoff was the fourth success for the night for Rohan in the David Mace Appreciation.

“We had our fair share of luck with all the carnage at the start but he showed plenty of courage in the straight when tackled by the backmarker Im Barney Rubble to hang on by a head,” said Rohan.

“It was great to win both races named in honour of David’s (Mace) service as Clerk of the Course, he has done a mighty job over nearly forty years, I’ve seen first hand the ability and horsemanship of the man, you always felt safe when you knew David was on the job, I’m sure I speak for all trainers and drivers when I say I wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Last season’s leading trainer Ben Yole wasted no time in notching up a winning double with No Apachmee ($1.70 fav) and Black Ops ($3.30 fav) saluting the judge while Todd Rattray also prepared a double with Lachlan Dakin guiding Koolaz Elvis to victory for favourite punters at $2.50 before Todd claimed the spoils on Hayleys Comet ($3.00).

Ricky Duggan also picked up from where he left off last season driving home the Chester Bullock trained six-year-old Cardinal Coffee ($3.40) to make it six favourites for the night for punters on the eight-event card.


Shane Yates

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