CLASSY three-year-old Jet Laag filly High Flying Ruler is shaping up as one of the best of her age and sex to have graced the pacing arena in Tasmania in recent years.
The winner of five of her six starts to date, including the 2012 Tasmanian Oaks, has taken all before her this campaign and is being compared by her trainer, Rohan Hillier, with the outstanding mare Shez Ryleymak.
The Beauty Point-based Hillier- prepared Shez Ryleymak to win a total of 23 races and stakes of more than $270,000 and is therefore well qualified to make the comparison.
“Rohan drove High Flying Ruler in her first official trial this preparation and said to me that if I gave her to him to train he would win the Oaks,” part-owner Larry Nichols said this week.
“He achieved that goal and several times since he has mentioned her in the same breath as Shez Ryleymak.”
Nichols races High Flying Ruler in partnership with his wife, Elizabeth, having bred her from his former smart race-mare Northern Ruler, the winner of 12 races.
By Northern Lights from the Windshield Wiper mare Lombo Boucheron, Northern Ruler was purchased as a rising-two-year old from an advertisement in a popular weekly harness racing publication.
Lombo Boucheron is a daughter of the outstanding Toliver Hanover mare Trunkey Gold, which was raced by a syndicate of Sydney racing journalists headed by Ken Harkness.
Northern Ruler’s first foal, by Time Stands Still, was very small and given away as a hack and she has also produced the winner Spirited Ruler and colts by Sutter Hanover and Real Desire.
Nichols has leased the Sutter Hanover to Devonport car salesman Eddie Murdoch and is currently educating the Real Desire colt, a rising two-year-old.
Contrary to earlier reports, High Flying Ruler will not compete in Victoria as a three-year- old, but may take on the best in the land next season.
“There are several very good races such as the Bouquet, the Bandbox and the Princess Of Pace yet to be decided here in Tasmania and if she contests all three she would probably be entitled to a spell,” Nichols said.
“We will let her mature a bit and then probably tackle the Victoria scene as a four-year-old with her.”
The filly’s win in the Tasmanian Oaks (2579m) conducted at Tattersalls Park on March 25 was sensational.
She displayed blistering speed to lead from the mobile and was never headed as a raging $1.50 favourite, eventually defeating Victorian filly Machabiba by a metre while rating 2.00.6 for the trip.
“Machabiba subsequently won a heat of the Victorian Oaks, so it was a wonderful win, probably the biggest thrill of our lives,” Nichols said.
Upcoming meetings – Harness: Tote Racing Centre, tonight; Devonport Raceway, Sunday (Raider Stakes and Granny Smith). Greyhounds: Tote Racing Centre; Monday; Devonport Raceway, Tuesday; Tattersalls Park, Thursday.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.