By Geoff Newling
SUE Grills became the first female trainer to win the Hunter and North West Racing Association trainer’s premiership last month and takes a tilt at another major racing target in Moree this weekend.
The Tamworth trainer was also third in the NSW Country Trainer’s premiership to Coffs Harbour’s Brett Bellamy (53.5) and Scone’s Luke Griffith (47) with 46 winners across country NSW.
She is now chasing the feature double at Sunday’s Moree Cup meeting with Usain Prince and Ollie Vollie.
Grills has nominated Inverell Cup winner Usain Prince for the $30,000 Moree Cup (1400m) and Ollie Vollie for the $19,000 Town Plate (1000m).
She has also nominated Studio Star for the feature Town Plate, a sprint that attracted just six nominations this week.
Usain Prince is one of 16 nominations for the Cup.
“It will depend on what weight Usain Prince gets if he starts,” she said of a gelding who had a disappointing Grafton Cup Carnival before unplaced efforts at Murwillumbah and then Eagle Farm.
Ollie Vollie was fifth in the Ramornie and also ventured further north after a fourth in the Daniel Baker Memorial at Coffs Harbour and an unplaced effort at Eagle Farm as well. The astute trainer will make a decision after looking at their weights as she pursues more success.
Winning the HNWRA trainer’s premiership was a thrill, she said.
“I’ve been close a couple of times,” she said.
“I got beaten by half a win by Paul Perry two years ago.”
She has received little publicity for her effort against some of the best male trainers in country NSW, although the local View Club did approach her about giving a talk at one of their meetings.
It hasn’t meant any extra phone calls from new clients either, but that doesn’t worry the hard-working trainer.
She has about 28 horses in work at her Tamworth stable and added to her new season’s tally of winners by winning Tuesday’s Newlo’s Back On Track Class 3 Handicap (1400m) with Border Flight.
She has three wins for the new season and trails Luke Griffith by four. Griffith finished second to Border Flight with Machiavelli on Tuesday, beaten a neck!
“He’s a nice horse but will probably go for a spell now,” Grills said.
“He ran a really nice race today, that was good.”
She is hoping the four-year-old gelding returns from his spell a better galloper. She also went close with four-year-old chestnut mare Darcey, who was beaten four lengths by Rhens in the Freight Specialists Benchmark 60 Handicap on Tuesday.
It was her sixth second in 10 starts.
“She’s been racing well too,” Grills said.
“She won well at Moree (July 24) and then ran a good race here (second to Storm Runner on August 14). She likes the tracks a bit softer than they are here at the moment.”
This weekend’s Moree Cup meeting holds centre stage for Grills this week as she continues to pour hard work and long hours into her stable of thoroughbreds.
There is no rest although, she and husband John were able to unwind with an overseas holiday to England, France and
It meant she missed the last month of the HNWRA racing season but she was still able to hold out Luke Griffith and win the local premiership by three or four wins.
The holiday was “wonderful”, Grills said.
“I loved it, I’ve never been overseas before,” she said.
“We were able to see Frankel and Black Caviar race at Royal Ascot. That was a great thrill and went to France and Ireland as well. We were at The Curragh for the Irish derby. But there was a lot more than just the race days, got to do a lot of sight seeing with GG Travel and went to a few studs as well.”