LOCAL trainer Hunter Kilner hopes his smart sprinter Tara Hickory can go out on a winning note by winning the $18,000 GDSC Jacaranda Cup (1100m) at Grafton tomorrow.
Tara Hickory had its first start this campaign in January this year, his program encompassing 19 runs to date.
"He's a tough little bugger," Kilner said.
"He's basically been up for 12 months but thrived on it.
"After tomorrow though he can have a spell."
During this campaign, Tara Hickory has recorded five wins, most notably all on his home track.
The chunky five-year-old by British stallion Za-Im has an important jockey change with Queenslander Anthony Patillo taking the reins.
"The young kid (Beau Appo) didn't do much wrong last start but a senior rider can push him out more," Kilner reasoned.
Tara Hickory is owned by Bill O'Donnell, the gelding weighing in at around 450kg.
His toughness is unquestioned, Kilner freshening the gelding on occasions to keep him up and running.
"He's a horse that needs plenty of work," Kilner said. "You've got to keep the work up to him, he's such a good doer."
Kilner said he'd been happy with Tara Hickory's progress since his last-start close third to Floral Insight and Rollem over the 1000m journey at Grafton on October 26.
Kilner nominated Rollem, trained by Neil Godbolt as the hardest to beat tomorrow.