By Geoff Newling
Sue Grills has a busy week ahead as she prepares for race meetings at Scone, Rosehill Gardens, Gunnedah and Tamworth in five days.
The Tamworth trainer, who sits second to Kris Lees on the 2018-19 Hunter and North West Racing Association trainers' premiership with 18 wins thus far, hopes to add to that tally at Scone on Friday where she has Arleta resuming from a spell and Blinkin Fast hoping to add to his first-up win at Dubbo recently.
On Saturday she will be in Sydney with Burning Crown trying to win a TAB Highway Handicap with the three-year-old son of Helmet while she has three runners at Gunnedah Jockey Club’s six-race SKY 2 TAB meeting.
Hammoon Dancer, Currabub and Rockatoo race at the GJC’s Riverside Racecourse Saturday while she has another four runners at next Tuesday’s Tamworth seven-race TAB meeting.
“It’s a busy week,” Sue Grills said while mixing feeds this morning at her Tamworth stable.
Scone is her first destination where Arleta, a five-year-old daughter of Artie Schiller, runs in the $22,000 Furphy Refreshing Ale Benchmark 66 Handicap (900m). Arleta has drawn barrier nine with Andrew Gibbons to ride.
“She always runs an honest race,” Sue Grills said. “Usually runs pretty well first-up.”
She will carry 55kg, the same weight Blinkin Fast was handed for the $22,000 Daracon Group HNWRA Championship Preview Class 4 Handicap (1300m).
Also five years of age, Blinkin Fast drew well in barrier three and will be ridden by Wendy Peel, Sue’s apprentice, who is currently leading the HNWRA apprentice’s premiership with 20 wins and who will be riding at Wagga next week in another heat of the Rising Star Series.
“She’s riding well,” Sue said of the talented jockey who also rode Blinkin Fast so wonderfully well at Dubbo. “He’s drawn well and drops in weight.
"Had 58 at Dubbo but has 55 here and with Wendy’s claim (1.5kg) will carry 53.5kg. It’s been a while since he carried a weight like that, maybe back when he ran in a Highway in Sydney. He was a bit stiff in that too.
“This is a much harder race though (than Dubbo) and there will be a lot of speed up front. That’ll suit him as will the nice, big track.”
Also on Saturday, Sue has Rockatoo, Currabub and Hammoon Dancer at Gunnedah.
“Rockatoo’s had three starts for two thirds and a second. Ran a real good race at Walcha and has to be a chance. Greg (Ryan) is riding her.
"Currabub raced well at Deepwater but lost two shoes and didn’t like coming up the hill at Walcha. Hammoon Dancer ran a cracker of a race over 2100m at Walcha and has to be a real good chance at Gunnedah (over 2050m).”
That leaves Hamoon Boy, Boolaroo, Cherokee and Mick’s Regret to fly the stable flag at Tamworth next Tuesday as Tamworth Jockey Club prepares to host a huge Country Championships Qualifier day on Sunday 10 March.