Day At The Track

Lilley eyeing National Trot

02:30 PM 02 Dec 2016 NZDT
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Kyvalley Blur

Victoria-based Kiwi trainer Brent Lilley has never won a Group One event at Alexandra Park, but he is hoping that will all change before the end of the year.

In fact on the last day of 2016 Lilley will line up his star trotter Kyvalley Blur in the Group One $80,000 National Trot at Alexandra Park and that's the race Lilley wants to nail.

After a win and then two thirds during (NZ) Cup Week, Lilley has already termed Kyvalley Blur’s New Zealand campaign a success.

“He’s more than paid his way, and apart from being slow away from a handicap at Kaikoura, it’s been well worth him coming over. I’ve been back and forth and will do so again in December.

“The horse is being looked after by my partner Tracey at her Dad, Barry Cullen’s stable at Morrinsville. Bob Butt did a wonderful job with him down south,” Lilley said.

“I’m grateful to everyone who has helped the horse in New Zealand,” he added.

The former Cantabrian horseman said Kyvalley Blur’s first-up win at Alexandra Park on October 7 will put him in good stead for his two races in Auckland.

“The opposition might not be as tough as what he will meet this time around but I was really pleased with the way he won and came through that race first-up in New Zealand.

“David (Butcher) did a good job that night and we will be asking him again if he wants the drive,” said Lilley.

He said Kyvalley Blur will have three races in the North Island before heading back to Australia to tackle the Aussie Grand Prix in late January and then the Great Southern Star on February 4.

“He will line up at Auckland on December 16 and 31 and in between those races he will start at Cambridge Raceway on Christmas Eve. Then he will head home,” Lilley said.

The black 9-year-old Chocolatier gelding impressed Butt at the Rangiora Trials yesterday (Tuesday) when beating Arya and Master Lavros by two-and-a-half lengths each.

“Bob said he felt real nice and came home real good in 58 and 27.5. That’s very encouraging and with Monbet not heading to Auckland I think we have a real chance of going close in the National Trot,” said Lilley.

Kyvalley Blur ran third behind Monbet in the two Group One events at Addington Raceway. In the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All he got within two lengths of the champion and then three days later was just under six lengths behind him in the Dominion Trot.

“It would be fantastic to win a Group race over here. He’s won the Group One Bill Collins Trot Mile (2013) and has placed numerous times in other Group races.

“If any horse deserved a Group race in New Zealand then it’s this fella,” said Lilley.

Kyvalley Blur has raced 87 times for 20 wins, 36 placings and netted $383,108 in stakes. He made his with a second at Kilmore on May 8, 2011.

“He’s lovely horse to have around and we are looking for home to come – hopefully after he has done the business in the North Island.

“Whatever happens the decision to come over has been well worth it. he’s already proven he can go the Alexandra Park way around. I’m looking forward to the second phase of his New Zealand campaign,” he said.

Lilley has won nice stake money at Alexandra Park previously. In 2014 he trained Zedalite (Rod Petroff) to run a nose-second behind Superbowlcheerleader in the Group One $100,000 Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park.

The American-bred Kyvalley Blur is owned by J W Connelly and was bred by C T Cone.

Duane Ranger

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