The rest of the year looks set to be a blur of rich top-line racing for Brent Lilley and a certain 11-year-old gelding, starting with Saturday night’s Group 1 Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint.
Lilley said he expected the in-form Kyvalley Blur to make his presence felt in a cracking field over the 1720m dash at Trots HQ before a trip to New Zealand for next month’s $300,000 Haras de Trotteurs Dominion.
“He is going really well, we think he is racing in career-best form,” Lilley said.
“We will get through this week and then Cranbourne (Group 3 Alderbaran Park Chris How Trotters Free For All over 2555m on October 27). Then, if everything is going the way it is now, we will press on for cup week in New Zealand with him.”
The Bolinda trainer said a number of factors influenced the decision to travel across the Tasman.
“There is a bit of a question mark over a few of them in New Zealand at the moment; Monbet sort of hasn’t hit the track yet and (Kyvalley Blur) has proved himself over the (3200m) distance and stands before so it sort of made sense to pencil it in.”
And Lilley said the journey to New Zealand held no fears for his experienced campaigner.
“He is an old horse who has done plenty of travelling so he takes it all in his stride,” he said.
“We took him to Auckland last year and he raced really good and the year before to Christchurch for cup week and he ran third in both the big races over there.”
Lilley said the TAB Inter Dominion Trotters Championship – a series he won in 2002 with Game Bid – would be the evergreen squaregaiter’s next target upon his return home.
“He is going to arrive back here on the Sunday after cup week so it gives us almost two weeks with him home here before they start,” he said.
“Providing he comes through the trip and he travels and settles back in fine then (the ID18) will be the next on the agenda.
“It was a shame that (the series) disappeared and I’m certainly excited to see it back, for sure.”
Kyvalley Blur is unlikely to be Lilley’s only ID18 trotter, with fellow Bill Collins Sprint runner Father Christmas 16th in rankings.
“(Father Christmas) has come up really well; he has done a good job since he has been here and won the Kilmore Trotters Cup in good fashion a couple of weeks back,” Lilley said.
“The Inter Dominion is another level again but I am really happy with where he is at and he is heading in the right direction.”
Lilley will also gear up the consistent Conon Bridge in the sprint on Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup night.
“His forte is gate speed and the short trip, so that’s why he’s in this week. He is never far away.”
Lilley said Conon Bridge, ranked 46th for ID18, would need to “jump out of the ground” to gain a start.
But he wasn’t discounting a third trotter from his stable making the series.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if a horse like Enrolled (37th in rankings) raced good between now and (gained a start in) the Inter Dominion,” Lilley said.
“He’s a horse that has had a few little niggles along the way but he has got really good ability.
“A series like the Inter Dominion would suit him as he thrives on racing.”