Day At The Track

Nitro to go up another gear

10:02 AM 15 Jun 2019 NZST
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Jilliby Nitro,Harness racing
Talented youngster Jilliby Nitro
Ashlea Brennan photo

Could a shoeing alteration improve Jilliby Nitro again?

The classy black colt is the shortest-priced favourite at Menangle this Saturday night at $1.05 with TAB Fixed Odds for his Alabar Breeders Challenge Semi-Final (1609m).

He has already collected two Group 1 victories and a personal best winning mile rate of 1:52.6, how much more improvement can there be?

After winning his Breeders Challenge heat at Menangle last Tuesday week, trainer Margret Lee investigated the fluency of his gait and made some changes.

“He went around really well in his heat at Menangle but he went rough at a couple of stages so we made a few changes to his shoeing so hopefully this time he will pace a bit better,” said Lee.

“He’s had this in all his races and talking to his breeder, he seems to think that when he is a three-year-old he won’t have this issue with his gait . . . it’s a bit of a maturity thing.”

Despite this niggling issue, Jilliby Nitro won his qualifier by more than 12m.

It was his fifth win in six starts.

The son of Bettors Delight has stayed at the Menangle Park Training Centre since the victory.

“He’s really good, he settles in wherever he goes and has eaten up well,” said Lee.

“He fast worked on Wednesday and we’re really happy with him.”

Drawn barrier two Saturday night there is only one plan for driver Glen Craven.

“He’ll be going forward from that alley, he has the early speed to make the most of it,” said Lee.

It will be a busy night for the Victorian stable with three starters in consecutive races.

In race six Lee has Keayang Jackie in the Breeders Challenge Two-Year-Old Fillies Semi-Final drawn 10.

“It certainly makes it a lot harder when you’re drawn wider,” said Lee.

“I was super happy with her in her heat, I had a little bit of trouble with her tying up so I was really happy with how she did it.

“Whether she goes forward or not I’m not sure but she has done well in all her races and ran a quick last quarter last start which was very pleasing.”

Keayang Jackie finished second in her heat to Didn’t I when they clocked the last quarter in 26.3 seconds.

Lee’s final starter for the night is Jilliby Bandit in the Group 3 Golden Mile.

“He’s been a travelling buddy for Nitro and it’s really worked out well so far, he won at Bathurst and he won in Brisbane and he has certainly helped Nitro settle in,” said Lee.

“He’s been a bonus and improved the last six weeks after changing his feed.”




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