Steve’s Surprise living up to his name for Hunter Kilner
GRAFTON trainer Hunter Kilner has a horse living up to its name in four-year-old gelding Steve's Surprise.
In his three starts since coming to the NSW East Coast from Western Australia he's picked up two first places and a second.
Kilner said his runner was maturing after some up and down form in the west.
"He had a few placings running in the city, but has come good after spending a few weeks at Scone on his way here," he said.
But Kilner said this afternoon's run in race 5 The Cansdell Signs Class 3 Handicap 1420m will be his biggest test.
"He's coming up against Matthew Dunn's horse (Say You Love Me) whose got three wins and a second in its past four starts," he said.
"And he's giving it two kilograms in the weights."
Steve's Surprise is the top weight in the race with 59.5kg in the saddle bags despite a jump in class for the race.
The trainer said jockey Matthew Paget will have to make the most of his opportunities starting from barrier 11.
"The jock's going to have to make the calls from there," Kilner said.
"If the speed's on early you would hope he'd take a sit. But if there's no speed in the race, then he'll have to work it out during the race. We haven't really got any plans for the race."
"He's ridden him each start over here, so he's got as good an idea as anyone on how he's going."
The horse's strapper Dee Kilner said the horse was a pleasure to work with around the stables.
"On race day he's so placid," she said. "He's just so easy going."
Kilner said the horse was still springing surprises on him.
"He's a big strong horse who seems to put in more often than not," he said.
"But I'm still learning about him. The spell at Scone seems to have done him some good and he's come back well from that.
"We'll see where he goes from here."
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