One of Tasmania’s most prominent standardbred owner-breeders Doug McKillop almost heaved a sigh of relief when his lightly raced three-year-old Miley Rose scored her first win in the Botra Stakes (3C0) at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. At her debut in Launceston last month the filly by Four Starzz Shark made an inglorious debut by galloping in the run and she was so erratic she failed to complete the course. Then in Hobart at her only other start she broke in the run and that forced stewards to put her on her last chance on Sunday night. Her trainer Bill Dornauf and her regular driver Duncan Dornauf spend most of the week working on different bits of gear to try and encourage her to stay in her gear. Duncan Dornauf had to forego the drive owing to an injury he sustained during the week resultant of a horse kicking him in the knee. Nathan Ford was booked for the drive and he ensured she was allowed every chance. Ford allowed the filly to work to the front about 1400 metres out and she had no trouble fending off all challengers in the home straight to go on and record a comfortable win over outsider Rampling and the well-backed Chirac. McKillop said the filly had shown a lot of promise but has been a handful for her trainer. “It is so nice to see her do the right thing,” McKillop said. “Her grand-sire is Commandaway and that breed can be a bit touchy.” “That’s why Nathan (Ford) allowed her to run along tonight rather than try and hold her up,” he said. McKillop bred Miley Rose from one of his former talented race mares Terrific Lass that won the 2006 Devonport Cup. Miley Rose is the mare’s third foal. The first, Another Harry, was a trotter and didn’t win in 28 starts while her second foal is Stylish Ruler that has won twice from 26 starts and is now racing in Victoria. Peter Staples
Tenager Matthew Howlett became the youngest novice driver to win a Bullock Consulting Youngbloods Challenge when he partnered the aptly named Deliverthegoods to victory in the final heat of the popular harness racing series at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston last night.
Duncan Dornauf was raised in a harness racing environment so it came as no surprise that he has embarked on a career in the industry. Dornauf is the son of top Tasmanian trainer Bill Dornauf and his wife Sonya and for the past two years he has been working with a couple of the nation's best trainers in Victoria.