Day At The Track

Ryley Major eyes Queensland Derby

04:10 AM 20 Jun 2016 NZST
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Ryley+Major.jpg Ryley Major with his owner-trainher-driver Rohan Hillier and his wife and part-owner Katrina Hillier.jpg
Ryley Major

Star Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Ryley Major will most likely head to Queensland next month to tackle that state's harness racing Derby following his impressive win in the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes in Launceston on Sunday night.

Ryley Major made it seven wins in succession when he led throughout to easily take out the prestigious sires stakes event over 2200 metres scoring comfortably from Hillview Jake and Spot Eight.

The gelding's trainer-driver and part-owner Rohan Hillier said Ryley major had missed an opportunity to contest the rich Group 1 sires stakes series in Victoria for which he was qualified but that the $75,000 Queensland Derby has become a possible target.

"There's no doubt this horse would be competitive against what is likely to go around in the Queensland Derby so I just have to wait and see how the horse is in the next week or so before I make a final decision on travelling him to Queensland," Hillier said.

"He's unbeaten from eight starts this season so he's definitely earned enough to warrant making the trip and if I go I'll take the family and make a holiday of it.

"If we go I'd also run him in the $25,000 Gold Coast Derby on July 9 which is a week before the Queensland Derby and they are both run at Albion Park.

"He's won this race (Globe Derby) by leading but that's not his go. He has really learned how to race this time in but he is much better horse when he doesn't lead.

This season's Tasmanian Derby winner was competitive against the best two-year-olds last season but he has gone to another level this season and Hillier is confident he will be even better as a four and five-year-old.

Peter Staples

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