NEWS PREVIEW

Hillis confident with mare

The six-year-old Iffraaj mare has won two of her three starts and was runner-up last start to stakes-placed mare Hello M’Lady.
“They have all been brave runs,” Hillis said. “She was a little bit unlucky last start, she got held up a little bit turning for home.
“The one that beat her is a good horse too, so whether she would have beaten her or not I don’t know, but we were really happy with her run.
“She has been working well. It’s just a matter of maintaining now, she is race fit now so I don’t need to do too much with her.”
Liquid Inspiration will once again tackle a heavy track over 6 f on Saturday, which poses no concern for Hillis, however the right-handed way of going at Pukekohe Park does.
“The only slight reservation is going right-handed,” he said. “She does feel a little bit better going left-handed, but in saying that she hasn’t got a very good action anyway so it’s hard to tell.”
Hillis has identified Az Given and Crafty Jess as two major threats, but said it is hard to split the competitive field.
Shaun McKay will take the ride, replacing injured stable apprentice Darren Danis who fractured his T4 and T5 vertebrae in a race fall at Washdyke late last month.
“Darren had an operation last Friday which was 100 per cent successful,” Hillis said. “He’s got some screws and rods put in his back and he was up walking the next day.
“He is actually coming back up here today, he has still been down in Christchurch.”

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