Former Victorian mare Princess Mila relishes racing in Western Australia, and she took her record in the State to nine wins, three seconds and two thirds from 19 starts when she outclassed her ten rivals in the 2536m Vili’s Pies Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
A winner at seven of her 33 Victorian starts, she has flourished under the care of champion trainer Gary Hall Snr and she should prove hard to beat in the $50,000 Trotters Cup at the Christmas carnival a standing-start event she won from Sunnys Little Jestic last New Year’s eve.
Princess Mila, having her third start after a spell, after two unplaced runs in May, was great value at $7 from out wide at barrier No. 8. She began brilliantly but failed in an early bid to wrest the lead from the polemarker and $1.70 favourite Son Of A Whiz.
However, Gary Hall Jnr was able to angle the mare across to the inside to enjoy an ideal trip three back on the pegs. Hall bided his time before Princess Mila unwound a spirited burst to dash to the front with 370m to travel. She went on to defeat Son Of A Whiz by four lengths at a 2.0.7 rate.
“She went super,” said Hall Jnr. “At her previous start (when seventh behind Malabar Spur) we maybe had her a bit too fresh. Her work at home was really good in the past week.
“We baled out of a challenge for the early lead and we were lucky to find a spot (on the pegs) because she couldn’t have won from the breeze, considering the times they ran.”
The win gave the Hall father-and-son combination the first leg of a double which they completed in the following event when the $1.40 favourite Nota Bene Denario was not extended in scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace.
Nota Bene Denario started from barrier four and Hall Jnr sent the New Zealand-bred six-year-old to the front after 100m. After a casual first 1200m Nota Bene Denario dashed over the final 800m in 56.5sec. to win by more than a length from $8.50 chance Bettor Copagoodone, rating 1.57.9. This improve the gelding’s record to 59 starts for nine wins, 28 placings and stakes of $111,688.
by Ken Casellas