Day At The Track

Ryley Major gets 13th win of the season

09:14 AM 17 Aug 2020 NZST
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Ryley Major,Harness racing

Despite only having three starts back from a spell, Ryley Major is about to head back to the paddock for a few weeks freshen up after his narrow but thrilling win in Launceston on Sunday night.

Starting from a 30-metre handicap in the 2200 metre event, the star Tasmanian pacer settled one-out and three back, before racing three-wide for the final lap, the only problem with that was he was on the back of an $81 chance that forced him to go out four-wide with 650 metres to travel.

Ryley Major was able to run down Full Speed Ahead, who took up the lead mid-race, by a half head, with Illegal Immigrant a further 1.2 metres away third.

The Rohan Hillier trained and driven pacer recorded a mile rate of his handicap of 2m 0.8s.

“It was hard to get into the race, but we still found a way I suppose, the second horse (Full Speed Ahead) has gone terrific,” said Hillier after the race.

With a lack of mobile start feature races on the horizon, Hillier may send his stable star for a short break, despite only having his third start from a spell.

“I might give him a little bit of a break because he won’t win one-off 40 (metres) and there’s not a lot of free-for-all about at the moment, so a couple of weeks off won’t hurt him as he can race on later in the year,” added the Beauty Point trainer-driver.

Ryley Major will soon have a stablemate to contest the open class races as Sportswriter gelding Lip Reader continues his rise through the classes, taking out a rating 70 to 84 event.

The five-year-old gelding was in Victoria just before that state went back into their regional racing model, a part of HRV’s COVID protocols, putting an end to a heat and final series he was being aimed at.

Finishing seventh at his only start back from that interstate trip, the pacer returned home and finished third in Hobart last week, with Hillier admitting the defeat was at his own fault.

“He was good last week, but I drove him upside down in Hobart, and he needed the run so I was quietly confident he would go close tonight,” said his trainer-driver.

“He can (go to the next level in Tasmania), I thought he was a touch off at Melton, and Adam Kelly who was training him did as well,” Hillier said.

Hillier left the card with a training treble after stable foreman Conor Crook scored with Art Major mare Giftofjoy, who is yet to miss a top-two finish in nine starts this season.

“She has done a terrific job for what she is, but she is getting on a hard mark now and won’t find many easy ones, she will definitely head to the breeding barn this season, but if she can pinch another one or two then that will be good,” said her trainer.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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