Kilner’s ‘swimmer’ set to thrive on heavy Grafton track
WHEN Carmela Miss won on debut at Grafton in 2012 trainer Hunter Kilner thought he had "something special".
His early observation however seemed unfounded. It wasn't until the mare's 24th subsequent start that she won another race.
There were some minor placings but the early promise displayed by the daughter of Dr Green took time to reappear.
Carmela Miss finally broke the drought at Lismore in May last year and since then she has registered another four wins.
"It took her a while to get her act together," Kilner said.
"She had a screw loose for a long while. She finally came good."
The six-year-old mare is expected to line up in the Vines @139 Benchmark 70 Hcp (1215m) at Grafton tomorrow.
Kilner also has the mare entered for the Cansdell Signs Benchmark 65 Hcp (1400m) but yesterday favoured the former event.
With the likelihood of a heavy racing surface following the recent deluge, Carmela Miss will have conditions she relishes.
The mare has had seven starts on heavy tracks for two wins and four placings.
Her only failure on a heavy track coming at Coffs Harbour back in April last year.
"She never went a yard in it at Coffs," Kilner said. "But generally she's pretty good in the wet."
In laymen's terms Carmela Miss could be described as 'a swimmer'.
Carmela Miss is coming off a last-start narrow win in a 1200m Benchmark 60 handicap at Lismore on April 24, her third run back from an 85-day break.
"A lot of the fellas got 16-1 on fixed odds," Kilner revealed.
"Not me, I'm too dumb for that sort of thing.
"It wasn't so much stable supporters but some professionals. They take the risk and deserve to get it right sometimes.
"It was a pretty good win at Lismore. The barrier (one) helped. She never went outside another horse until the last 100 metres.
"She's pulled up good.
"There's probably a bit more improvement in her yet. I haven't done a lot with her since then. She's had a couple of swims and worked on the course proper last week. I've just kept her ticking over."
Matthew Paget retains the ride on Carmela Miss who will launch from barrier eight.