Jockey change should be no thorn in Splinter's side
SPLINTER has hit a vein of rich form, finishing in the top three in his past last six starts, including two wins.
For trainer Hunter Kilner, the million dollar question is if a change in jockey will bring a change in fortune.
In the past four starts, Splinter has been ridden by Matthew McGuren for two wins and two second places.
However it'll be Daniel Griffin taking the reins of the four-year-old bay gelding for the first time in the Book A Blues & Brews BBQ's Marquee Package Class 3 Handicap, race five in Grafton on Monday.
"His form has been good, he'll go pretty good I think, he is in with a good chance," Kilner said.
Kilner said he wasn't sure what he could put the recent purple patch of form down to.
"I can't answer that one," he said.
"Splinter came down to me from Queensland without much form, and has raced well since I've had him.
"I must be doing something right then."
With the recent run of good results keeping the trainer happy, Kilner said he hoped to see some more good performances.
"I'm always happy when they race well, he has had six runs for me now and has always run well, I just hope he keeps it going," he said.
Also in his stables is the similarly named Splitzer, a seven-year-old bay gelding.
Despite the names, Kilner said it's just a coincidence.
"Some people get them mixed up, at the start I think it got some people confused, but they're used to it by now," he said.
Splitzer had a win in Grafton last Tuesday, taking its recent form to three wins in the past four starts.
Despite the good run of form, Kilner said there was no plans to take him off the local circuit.
"There'll be a race for him next meeting in Grafton later on in February, and if there's a race that suits him he'll get a run in Ballina," he said.
"I don't think he's good enough to take away to the city just because he's getting a bit old, so he'll just potter around the local tracks."