SUE Grills heads to Inverell and Quirindi this weekend searching for more winners.
She does so as the joint premiership leader in the Hunter and North Western Racing Association.
The Tamworth trainer did lead the HNWRA trainer’s premiership on her own until Monday when Mimic handed Newcastle trainer Kris Lees his 13th win in the HNWRA this season.
Grills missed out at both Scone and Grafton on Monday when her two runners (Shiver Me Timbers and Moonlight Spy) were unplaced but she has had a great start to the new season with 13 winners in the HNWRA and 15 all up.
“It has been a real good start,” she said this week after Moonlight Spy had finished unplaced at Scone.
“But it might go a bit quiet now as I have turned quite a few horses out.”
She usually has around 30 horses in work, varying from 24 up to 30 but Summer is always the toughest season when the tracks “get hard as concrete”.
Grills was born into racing. Her grandfather was the legendary trainer Arthur Gore and father was Max McGrath, who ws stable foreman for another legend, Keith Swan, for many years.
Her brother, Ron (Yogi) McGrath rode and started as an apprentice to Keith Swan and while Sue was also an apprentice jockey, endentured to Keith Swan, she rode her first winner for her “Pop” – Arthur Gore.
She rode 33 winners as an apprentice but then started working for Swan and then became a trainer in her own right.
She’s had some good horses too, Group winner Border Rebel, has been her best but there’s also been the likes of Ollie Vollie, Usain Prince, Monashee Woods, and more recently Fickle Folly and Burning Crown.
She’s had good times and bad and is the only female trainer to have won a HNWRA trainer’s premiership.
“That was four or five years ago, I think,” she said.
Looking back on her ups and downs, she laughs “that’s racing”.
She’s more interested in what’s coming up and that includes the blossoming career of Burning Crown, who was placed in a Highway handicap recently on a heavy track.
“He’s out spelling,” she said.
“He ran really well in Sydney, missed the start and raced in the worst part of the track.”
On Saturday she has three of her team – Mary Thinks, Blinkin Snazzyand General Scarlet - entered at Inverell where the Inverell Jockey Club has its feature $20,000 Battlers Cup race.
On Sunday she turns south to Quirindi where the Quirindi Jockey Club has its Commercial Hotel Werris Creek Summer Sprint, a $22,000 1200m Open Handicap, as the feature race on a seven-race TAB program.
Grillis has nominated Under The Thumb, Montana Pines, and Malabugilmah for Sunday.
Under The Thumb is one of 10 nominations for the 1200m Summer Sprint, and received 56.5kg.
Werris Creek business houses are sponsoring Sunday’s Summer Sprint meeting thanks to the industrious work of new QJC member Luke Bowen.
A Summer Sprint Calcutta will also be held Friday night at the Commercial Hotel in Werris Creek and all are invited along for a fun night where punters have the chance to draw the Sprint winner.
HUNTER & NORTH WESTERN RACING ASSOCIATION TRAINER PREMIERSHIP (Unofficial as at Tuesday, November 20. Compiled by Geoff Newling): 13 Sue Grills, Kris Lees, 11 Stirling Osland, 8 Paul Perry, 7 Brett Cavanough, 6 Angela Davies, Stephen Gleeson, 5 Cody Morgan, Melanie O’Gorman, 4 Jan Bowen, Craig Clegg, Colin Dixon, Greg McFarlane, Todd Payne, William Wain.
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