Tamworth trainer chills out but stable hot

SUE Grills snuck up on Luke Griffith and Kris Lees in the Hunter and North West Racing Association Trainers’ Premiership all the way from Darwin on Monday.

The Tamworth trainer, who became the first female trainer to win the HNWRA trainers’ premiership last season, is in Darwin visiting one of her two sons, Todd, as he completes a working assignment in a Darwin motel.

It was a short, quick break before returning to Tamworth and the major task of running a big racing stable.

On Saturday, Grills was at Eagle Farm looking on as her honest old sprinter, 10-year-old Ollie Vollie ran a super sixth in the $200,000 Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m).

“He was only beaten 1.8 lengths,” Grills said on Monday evening.

“It was a super run in a cracker of a field. 

“They were just too good for him but he ran a great race again.

“I was really happy with him.”

Ollie Vollie never runs a bad race or if he does there is a major reason why.

He’s won 13 races for Grills and 17 all up for his owners, the McHugh family.

While the veteran was excelling on Saturday, Grills’s two young apprentices – Sophie Young and Travis Wolfgram  – were also starring at the other end of the nation and age stakes.

After overcoming a tumbling fall at Quirindi on Saturday, Young bounced up straight away to complete her engagements there and then win at Armidale on Monday with the Lesley Jeffriess-trained Stretch.

It was the gelding’s third successive win and Young’s fourth of the HNWRA 


Wolfgram has only been in Tamworth with  Grills for a month or so but rode his fourth HNWRA winner in the final race on Monday’s Armidale program, taking out the Guyra Cup March 3 F&M Benchmark 55 Handicap (1100m) aboard Keep It Danish.

It was the four-year-old mare’s third win in six starts for stalwart stable supporters Theo Hill and Sel Brown.

“They were both good wins,” Grills said.

“The two kids are going well.”

Keep It Danish, she said, might look at next month’s $35,000 Jardel Cup (1200m) at Tamworth. 

The fillies and mares Jardel Cup is a benchmark 65 handicap run on Sunday, January 20 as part of the Tamworth Jockey Club’s Country Music Cup meeting.

“That might be a nice race for her,” Grills said.

What was nice was the relaxing warmth in Darwin.

“It’s not too bad,” she said of the heat.

“Not as humid as it was at Canterbury the other night or as hot as it was at Dubbo.”

Grills certainly can travel.

Keep It Danish wins at Armidale on Monday and might now look at next month’s Jardel Cup in Tamworth. Photo:  pixonline.com.au

Keep It Danish wins at Armidale on Monday and might now look at next month’s Jardel Cup in Tamworth. Photo: pixonline.com.au