Greg Kilner and daughter Leah team up again as they look to build on their first metropolitan success together earlier this month.
The thrill of training a 100-1 winner in Sydney tops the list for small-time Grafton trainer Greg Kilner but he admits having his daughter Leah boot home a metropolitan winner for him gives it a good run for its money.
The father and daughter combination combined with Swanston to win at Doomben earlier this month and they’re out to do it again, this time in the Class 6 Handicap (1350m) on Boxing Day as they look to continue a strong run of form.
Kilner only has a stable of four horses so big wins come few and far between but Swanston has punched above his weight, winning five of his last 13 starts, four of which came under Leah’s riding.
The biggest win came earlier this month however, winning in midweek grade at Doomben, marking the first time father and daughter had teamed up for a metropolitan winner.
“It was pretty special,” Greg Kilner said.
“It’s probably not the biggest thrill I had in racing, I trained a 100-1 shot in Sydney once, that was a big thrill.”
Sitting just off leading apprentices Jaden Lloyd and Kyle Wilson-Taylor in the premiership, Kilner has established herself as one of the go-to lightweight jockeys in Brisbane and her father says the decision to move away from Grafton is paying dividends.
“She is getting some good opportunities up there, it is the best thing she ever did was move up there,” he said.
“She rode a double at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday, getting out of the bush and chasing it up there has been really good for her.
“She carries herself pretty well, she can sum up a race pretty quick and she works out what needs to happen in the first 100 yards or so.”
Having been forced to carry weight of late, Kilner said his gelding will appreciate the opportunity of getting in with just 52kg on his back thanks to Leah’s 2kg metropolitan claim.
“It is a hard race but it is just that he has the 52kg, he is dropping 6½kg and hopefully we get a bit of rain, he loves the wet track,” he said.
“He has been carrying 61s, 59s and 58s so even though he has a sticky draw, with 52kg it wouldn’t hurt to sit wide with a bit of cover and let him run home. He’s going to get weighted out around these areas now.”
Originally published as Greg and Leah Kilner keep it in the family with Swanston at Doomben