VIDEO: Ohoka Achilles winning at Cambridge on December 17.
South Auckland trainer Owen Gillies is enjoying his first season training under his own name and he is hoping he can add to his winning tally at Cambridge Raceway on Tuesday.
Gillies trained in partnership with Derek Balle for four seasons, 10 years ago, before he spent some time across the Tasman to further his racing experience.
“I went to work for Daren Garrard in Brisbane,” he said. “It’s not my sort of thing over there, it’s too hot.
“I was in partnership with Derek for four seasons before I went to Australia and I came back to work for him before deciding it was time to do it on my own.”
Gillies has recorded two wins this season, courtesy of Ohoka Achilles, and he is hoping the six-year-old gelding can add a third on Tuesday.
The son of Art Major will start from the outside of the second row in the McMillian Equine Feeds Flying Mile – Jan 8th Mobile Pace (2200m).
He heads into the race in good form, with two wins and two placings from his last five starts, and a last start fourth-placing at Cambridge Raceway last Thursday.
“Ohoka Achilles has been going some really good races,” Gillies said.
“He was very good on Christmas Eve. He probably should have run third, he had a skip around the home turn when he came out.
“If he gets the right trip he should be thereabouts.”
Gillies will also line-up Betterthanyouthink in the Gregory Equine Covers & Saddlery Mobile Pace (2200m).
The daughter of Betterthancheddar placed in her 2200m Christmas Eve assignment at Cambridge and Gillies is hoping for a similar result on Tuesday.
“Her run was good on Thursday, but she has still got to improve a wee bit to be able to win on Tuesday,” Gillies said.
“She is definitely getting better as she goes, she is starting to relax a bit. I am very happy with her.
“She is a chance on Tuesday and as long as she does everything right, we will be happy.”
TAB bookmakers have labelled Betterthanyouthink a $9-winning chance while Ohoka Achilles has been installed a $5 equal second favourite for his race.
Gillies will also hop in the cart on Tuesday behind Circus Circus in the Agrowquip | John Deere Cambridge Trot (2700m). -Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk