Hai Lil has taken a shine to Moonee Valley this year and trainer Allen Browell reckons she will be even better racing around a roomier circuit.
The Greta West Stud-bred mare cut down the leaders with a scything finish in the City Jeep Hcp (1200m) on Wednesday – her third victory in four starts at the Valley since February. “She is a very promising filly,” Browell said. “She was racing first-up after 11 weeks but I kept her in the stables while she was having a break.
Hai Lil (3f Churchill Downs – Smooth As Silk by Barathea) can get up to 2000 metres according to the Bendigo trainer. “There’s a fair bit of improvement to come and I would like to see her let down on a bigger track. We’ve got her older half-brother Our Inheritance and he’s won up to 1850m.”
Greta West studmaster Laurie McCarthy purchased their dam Smooth As Silk from Widden Stud and sold Hai Lil for $60,000 at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. The filly has now banked $164,375 for Browell’s wife Val along with stable clients Kate Glass and Horrie West.
She’s bred to get over ground with the staying influence of South Australian Derby winner English Wonder and her classic winners Dr Grace (AJC Derby) and Asia (South Australian Oaks) further back in the pedigree.
Jockey Michael Rodd was very impressed with the filly’s will-to-win. “She shouldn’t have won from so far back and my whip got tangled in her mane when I switched her to the outside. To her credit, she knew where the line was and got there just in time.”
Smooth As Silk has an unraced juvenile filly by Greta West sire Keep The Faith but has been empty since losing a Kaphero foal two years ago.
– Karl Patterson