Watch This Space de­liv­ers on omens

Matamata Chronicle - - Property - DENNIS RYAN

‘‘He was such a good horse, tough, gen­uine and al­ways gave you ev­ery­thing he had.’’

Wayne Hil­lis tries not to be su­per­sti­tious, but there was no avoid­ing the omen as he loaded up his truck last Satur­day morn­ing be­fore head­ing to the Ruakaka race meet­ing.

On board he had two horses, Watch This Space and Noth­ing Triv­ial, and be­fore hit­ting the road he de­cided to throw light cov­ers on them to pro­tect them from any chills on the drive north.

‘‘The quar­ter-piece I put on Watch This space was the same one that came with Dezigna’s win in the open sprint up at Ruakaka 10 years ago,’’ Wayne said.

‘‘He won that race again the next year too, and I won­dered if we could make it three all this time later.’’

Sure enough, Watch This Space ‘‘did a Dezigna’’ and won Satur­day’s Har­courts Whangarei 1200, tak­ing his tally to six and set­ting up a spring sched­ule with big­ger tar­gets in store.

Next stop is likely to be the Gr. 3 Kelt Me­mo­rial Sprint at Hast- ings in early Oc­to­ber, in which an­other win would repli­cate Dezigna’s decade-old form­line.

The sim­i­lar­i­ties don’t end there as both horses race in the colours of Auck­lan­der Emma Evans, a long-time sup­porter of the Hil­lis sta­ble and well re­warded too.

‘‘I did a count up a while ago to see how many wins we’ve had with Emma’s horses and I got to 30,’’ Wayne said.

‘‘We’ve won a few more since so it’s got to be around 35 now, it’s been a lot of fun for all of us.’’

Dezigna re­mains the star per­former for the Hil­lis-Evans part- ner­ship, hav­ing won 11 races headed by the 2008 Cap­tain Cook Stakes at Tren­tham, along with nine sec­ond plac­ings and 16 thirds.

‘‘He was such a good horse, tough, gen­uine and al­ways gave you ev­ery­thing he had,’’ says Wayne.

‘‘From mem­ory he had some- thing like nine Group One plac­ings in all sorts of races, and it was great when he won that Cap­tain Cook Stakes, he sure de­served it.’’

SUP­PLIED

Watch This Space (Sam Weather­ley) stretches for the line at Ruakaka on Satur­day.

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