Day At The Track

Hilton Fly High all set for Charlton Cup run

11:07 PM 17 Feb 2011 NZDT
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Hilton Fly High
Hilton Fly High - strides out for another win.

Turn the clock back almost two years and Frank Cauchi's then three-year-old son of Jet Laag, Hilton Fly High, headed to the Queensland Derby as the one of the most highly regarded horses of his generation. But despite his status as a last start Group 1 winner in the $100,000 APG Final at Albion Park, the flashy colt was given little chance of further elite level success because of one outstanding adversary; Captain Joy.

Susan Hunter's all-conquering son of Mach Three duly went on to defeat Hilton Fly High that weekend to record the second of his three Derby successes. But as they prepare to meet again in this Sunday's $25,000 Hankook 2011 Charlton Pacing Cup, Cauchi is confident the gap has been closed and the tables may be turned.

"To tell you the truth I used to worry about other horses in the race like Captain Joy, but I don't worry much now because I know my horse is capable of matching it with them," the Parwan horseman said.

"I mean, I used to not sleep when we had to face those top ones, but I've got great belief in this bloke, so it's up to him now to prove me right."

A fair percentage of Cauchi's newfound confidence in Hilton Fly High has emanated from his stable star's growing stature on the Choice Hotels Country Cup circuit.

Never further back than fifth in three attempts on the popular and prestigious Country Cup trail, including a terrific last start third in the Terang's flagship feature, Hilton Fly High certainly appears to have come of age.

But after taking his juvenile season by storm some three years ago, Cauchi is unsurprised by his gun young pacer's elevation to this level of racing and only hopes an awkward barrier draw (eight) won't stop him recording his 17th career win this Sunday evening.

"I don't like barrier eight, not at all," he laughed. "We've copped it twice in a row now, but we can't do much about that.

"It was a very good run at Terang and he's been impressive this whole prep really, so we couldn't be more pleased.

"But we knew right from the time that we sent him to Queensland as a three-year-old and he ran second in that Derby that he'd be able to make it to Country Cup level or even free for all level later on."

"Now it's just a matter of getting one of these good races under our belt."

The Charlton Pacing Cup is scheduled to run as race seven on Sunday at 7:25pm and will be ably supported by the Charlton and District Community Bank 2011 Charlton Trotters Cup two races earlier at 6:35pm.

Jason BONINGTON

Hilton Fly High winning at Geelong on January 28, 2011:

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