UP Hill Jill will continue her quest for an elusive group 1 title when she heads to Wentworth Park this Saturday night to contest the Peter Mosman Classic (520m).
The Victorian bitch is already the winner of the Group 2 Laurels Classic, however a win at the highest level has thus far eluded the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Where’s Demonica.
She has come close on two occasions, finishing second in the Group 1 National Futurity and the Group 1 Sapphire Crown, whilst she also qualified for the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg.
Trainer David Geall, who is delighted with her success thus far, has showed plenty of patience, but maintains his bonny speedster deserves a group 1 title beside her name.
“We are lucky because she is still only 28 months old so she has got plenty of time, but it is getting frustrating because it just gets harder and harder – there are no easy group 1s to win,” Geall told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She is good enough to win one, she is fast enough, but in group 1 finals you have got to do everything right on the night and unfortunately she hasn’t done that yet.”
A winner of 19 from 35 with 12 minor placings, Up Hill Jill will jump from box six in the final against a stellar field including Lucky Chap (box four), Mister Twister (box five) and Set To Storm (box eight).
The trio have run personal bests of 29.56, 29.66 and 29.63 respectively throughout the series thus far, however Up Hill Jill can match those figures on her night, as she proved in the Golden Easter Egg series when clocking 29.63 in her qualifier.
Geall says Up Hill Jill will need to begin at her best to be a chance in Saturday’s $75,000 to the winner feature.
“On the odd occasion she can begin very fast which she is going to have to do from box six – similar to what she did in the semi-final and final of the Laurels.
“Lucky Chap and Mister Twister are very strong greyhounds and Set To Storm went brilliant last week so there is going to be no peace for her in the race.
“It will be on to the first corner with a lot of pressure, but she wont shirk the task – she will surge through and she actually has a good record from box six.”
Geall said it would be an enormous thrill to win the Classic on Saturday night, but also a relief if Up Hill Jill was to finally clinch a deserved group 1.
“I don’t even care about winning it for me – but I think she deserves to win one and it would be disappointing if she goes throughout her career without winning one – so it would take that pressure off a bit.
“It is so hard to win a group 1 – there have been many a good dog which haven’t been able to win one when they probably should have.
“But I know she is good enough so we have just got to cross our fingers and hope for a bit of luck – win, lose or draw I know she’ll be out there giving it her all.”
The Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic is race eight at Wentworth Park on Saturday night and is set to jump at 9.58pm.