Hills watching Veyron

Cambridge jockey Mark Hills (pictured) will be paying more than a passing interest in the performance of Cambridge Group One winner Veyron at Te Rapa on Saturday.

With regular rider Rogan Norvall still on the sideline with injury, Veyron will be ridden again by Leith Innes in the $200,000 Waikato Draught Sprint, but Hills has been promised the mount on the Easter Handicap
winner in his next assignment, the Haunui Farm Group One Weight-For-Age Classic at Otaki on February 25.

Hills has been filling in for the injured Norvall riding Veyron in trackwork and he was in the saddle when the horse did an exhibition gallop between races at Te Rapa last Saturday.

“Mark has stepped up to the plate and helped out and this is a way to repay him,” said Laing. “The owners want to be fair to him so he’ll ride Veyron at Otaki.”

Laing also pays credit to Lynsey Satherley, Jamie Gillies and Patrick Holmes for helping out in the absence of Norvall. “They’ve all been great,” she said.

Meanwhile Laing is thrilled with the progress of Veyron, but knows he faces a huge task against the eight-time Group One-winning sprinter Mufhasa and the Group One Telegraph Handicap winner Guiseppina.

“It’s a big test for Veyron after running 2000 metres six weeks ago to come back and run a sharp 1400,” said Laing. “Mufhasa won’t be mucking around. It would be a privilege to run second or third to him. He’s a
great old horse.”

Veyron was a gallant second to Shez Sinsational in the Group I Zabeel Classic (wfa 2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and beforehand he won at Te Rapa with Innes in the saddle. It was his 10th win from 17 starts.

Veyron had a nice hitout at Te Rapa, being timed over the last 800 metres in 50.27 and the final 600 in 36.96. “I was happy with it,” said Laing.