Danny Miller’s untimely suspension robs the veteran jockey of adding to his top Pinjarra Cup record.
Miller is denied winning his seventh Pinjarra Cup after earlier wins to Belinda Bay (1966), Free Copy (1970), Rocky Murano (1985), Norm’s Delight (1986), Simply Adorable (2010) and Kirov Boy (2015).
Miller’s absence will interrupt a strong association with Kirov Boy, who is striving to become the first horse since Beau Heed (1995-96) to win back-to-back Pinjarra Cups.
Miller and Kirov Boy, prepared by Arthur Mortimer, have been regular companions, combining in 27 of the gelding’s 40 career starts.
Miller, at 68, Australia’s oldest registered jockey, has been part of Kirov Boy’s biggest triumphs, the Pinjarra Cup and A.T.A Handicap.
That victory at Ascot preceded one of Kirov Boy’s best performances, when a gallant third to Real Love in the 2015 Perth Cup.
With Miller unable to continue his partnership with Kirov Boy, Mortimer turned his attention to English-born jockey, Ryan Hill.
The former leading apprentice had no hesitation in answering the SOS from Mortimer and gleefully accepted the mount.
“I was speaking to Arthur at the track and he said if Danny can’t ride him would I be able to fill in,” Hill said on TABradio.
“He is a pretty handy horse and I said off course, it’s a very open race, he has won it before and is right down in the weights.
“He has drawn a nice barrier to be able to sit one off the fence and with this horse there is only one way to ride him.
‘You have to run them off their legs and at some stage I will make a move and turn it into a real staying test.”
Hill says Kirov Boy’s two runs this preparation are better than what it might read on paper. The son of Zentsov Street did a power of work in the Bunbury Cup and battled tenaciously when fifth and 3 1/3 lengths adrift of Cougar Express.
“It was a really good run,” Hill said.
“His work the other morning was really good.
“I’m looking forward to riding him.”
Kirov Boy, who boasts $315, 855 in prizemoney, will jump from gate five. The six-year-old carries 55.kg.
He is $14 with the TAB. At the top of the market is last week’s Albany Cup hero, Zarantz who has firmed to $3.50 from his opening quote of $3.80.
Tonto, a slashing fifth to Bedamijo in the AHA Cup (2019m) and a close second to Cougar Express in the Bunbury Cup (2200m), is next pick at $3.80.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli