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    Can Hill remove thorn from her side? Can Hill remove thorn from her side?


    POPULAR reinsman Ken Rogers is once again shaping as a thorn in Dani Hill’s side. A regular opponent to the Queen of the Paceway,... Can Hill remove thorn from her side?

    POPULAR reinsman Ken Rogers is once again shaping as a thorn in Dani Hill’s side.

    A regular opponent to the Queen of the Paceway, Rogers’ ‘thorn’ moments include ruining Hill’s chance of completing a clean sweep of the meeting on March 2, 2018.

    Rogers drove Wills to score at Port Pirie, while Hill won the other six races of the evening.

    Nine months later Rogers was successful with Brohart, which relegated Hill, who was partnering That Said, to second.

    KEN ROGERS – Photo Walter Bulyga

    As such, Rogers again prevented Hill from ‘driving the card’ after she won the other five races during the meeting.

    At Globe Derby on Saturday night Rogers is favoured to stop Hill from claiming a fairytale victory in the South Australian Drivers’ Premiership.

    Chasing his first title, Rogers sits at the top of the table with 106 wins to Hill’s 104.

    Hill has won the past three premierships.

    The fact Hill is even in contention for the honour, however, is a remarkable feat.

    Beginning the season in phenomenal form, Hill won 82 races before being sidelined as a result of a horrific fall during the South Australia Derby at the same venue on February 9.

    As the field approached the bell, Im Sir Blake, which had been over racing, choked down, crashing to the track which saw Major Exclusive and Culture King also tumble while Perfect Major’s driver, Gavin Lang, was dislodged from the sulky.

    Hitting the ground hard, Hill – who was partnering Im Sir Blake – was then squashed by Major Exclusive before Culture King ran into the pair catapulting reinsman Paul Cavallaro 10 metres into the air.

    Hill suffered a broken tibial plateau which required 12 pins, two plates and a screw to hold the ligament onto knee cap.

    During Hill’s absence Rogers claimed the lead with 98 wins to Wayne Hill’s 95, with Hill remaining in third position.

    Since making her driving return on July 20, Hill has narrowed Rogers’ lead from 16 to two heading into the final night of the season.

    While she would enjoy retaining the title, Hill declared she has already achieved her goals for the term simply by being back in the sulky.

    “To win the premiership would be a nice bonus, but it is not even something which has entered my mind,” Hill said. “After spending five months on the sidelines I’m just so thrilled to be back out there again.

    “When I got injured I was sitting on 98 wins Australia-wide, so coming back in time to hopefully get to 100 was the only goal I set myself.

    “I’m so grateful I was able to do that thanks to so many trainers, owners and drivers who have supported me along my journey.”

    As of the down-to-the-wire premiership battle, Rogers and Hill have engagements in each of the eight races.

    “When I saw the fields I rang David (Harding, partner) to say how good my book of drives is,” Hill said. “I’m down to partner some nice horses…the problem is the draws haven’t been so friendly.

    “Ken also has some good drives which can help him maintain his lead.

    “Like I said, after spending so long away from driving, I’m just thrilled to be out there.”

    Ken Rogers drives – Wroxton Steel, Ingoodnik, Smackwater Jack, Imtellinya, Canada Bay, Rememberme, Georgie Mae and Majestically

    Dani Hill drives – Queen Shenandoah, Darkndapper, Artgera, Queen Of Sharkz, Blinding Light, Keepthedream, Regal Scribe and Truscott Hall

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