Kilner-trained Splitzer claims dash at last minute
A DECISION 18 months back by Hunter Kilner to purchase two tried horses - Splitzer and Carmella Miss - from Gold Coast owner Tony Cahill has turned out trumps for the Grafton trainer.
Yesterday at Grafton Splitzer arrived in the final bound out wide to win the Laisee Summer Dash (1006m) ridden by Matthew Paget in a deceptive photo finish result.
It was Kilner's third win with the seven-year-old gelding since taking over ownership.
"He was originally bought as a yearling in New Zealand by Tony Cahill," Kilner said after Splitzer got home by a bare half head from Plateau Gold and Aimalac Burra. "Tony wanted to get rid of a couple of horses and asked if I wanted Splitzer and Carmella Miss. He owed me a bit of money for training fees and we worked out a deal."
Carmella Miss has also won three races under Kilner's ownership.
"I don't get training fees anymore but at least there's prize money there," Kilner laughed. "It was a very good result," he added smiling.
"I didn't know if he'd won or not but all my advisors said yes."
Splitzer has now recorded seven wins and six placing's from 27 starts earning nearly $72,000.
According to Kilner Splitzer lost a race plate last start at Grafton which brought about his downfall on January 24.
"He lost a shoe and wanted to hang in," Kilner added. "He pulled up slightly lame. He was a bit tender in one of his hooves.
"He didn't lose a shoe today. He stuck to his guns really well."
Splitzer was set alight around the field at the 600m by Paget but for the latter part of the event was forced to race three wide.
Kilner said Splitzer had suffered from hoof problems for most of his life.
"The previous owner wanted him to race in glue on shoes but they just didn't work with him," Kilner said of the experiment. "My farrier has managed to work wonders with him.
"He's been a pretty nice horse but as a three-year-old he got kicked when spelling and had a piece of bone removed from his shoulder. That set us back a bit.
"I'll probably just poke around with him here. He's probably not quite up to Brisbane class but he's a handy racehorse."
Earlier trainer Matthew Dunn, who runs a large 80-horse stable at Murwillumbah and jockey Matthew McGuren, scored a winning double with promising Quatronic and Say You Love Me. Both horses were popular with punters, Quatronic starting $1.90 favourite and Say You Love Me $3.40 second elect.
Three-year-old Quatronic has a bright future Dunn forecast.
"Mentally and physically he's not there yet but he's got a very good future," Dunn said. "Once he finds his racing pattern and rhythm he'll be contesting much better races than today."