Day At The Track

Smart pacer Lip Reader heading to Devonport

10:00 PM 26 Nov 2020 NZDT
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Lip Reader, harness racing
Lip Reader, driven by Rohan Hillier, wins at Devonport 12 days ago. He is heading for some of the state's biggest races
Brad Cole Photo

Highly promising harness racing pacer Lip Reader will take another step towards some of Tasmania's biggest races when he contests the Discretionary Handicap in Devonport on Friday night.

Next month's $30,000 Golden Apple at Mowbray and the $30,000 Devonport Cup in January are both on the radar for the five-year-old if he continues his good form.

Beauty Point trainer Rohan Hillier said Lip Reader was well up to running in both races.

"As it stands, he'll get 10m in the Golden Apple but that's not the worst thing in the world because he's not fast away anyway," Hillier said.

"But he's a definite chance for sure."

Hillier said the only reason he was taking Lip Reader to this weekend's secondary meeting, where the races carry lower prizemoney, was to space his starts.

"I didn't want to go to Hobart next week because that would have meant him racing three weeks in a row," the trainer said.

The heats and final of the Golden Apple are on the following two weekends.

Lip Reader has won nine races since joining Hillier from the James Rattray stable in Sydney and the trainer admits he's been a real surprise packet.

"In New South Wales he was a really fast beginner from the mobile but he was often found wanting over the last 200m," Hillier said.

"You could say he was weak.

"But he's certainly got stronger."

Hillier said owner Marc Panton had no high hopes when he sent the horse to his old home state.

"Marc's aim was to try to win a couple with him at Devonport - that's all he was expecting," Hillier said.

Lip Reader is one of five runners in the Discretionary Handicap with a former connection to the Rattray family.

Full Speed Ahead, Taurisi and Yatsenyuk Leis have all spent time with Todd Rattray while Black Centurian began his career with Kent Rattray.

ANOTHER HILLIER TO FORE AT CARRICK

Harness racing returns to Carrick for the first time since the shutdown on Sunday when another Golden Apple hopeful will be in action.

Rohan Hillier's brother Troy has former Kiwi five-year-old Racketeers Boy engaged in a strong rating 60 to 70 race.

Racketeers Boy was impressive winning his first two Tasmanian starts before working hard from a bad draw when placed at Devonport 12 days ago.

Hillier will get a good idea on Sunday as to whether he's worth a tilt at the Golden Apple as he meets some handy opposition.

By Greg Mansfield

Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

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