ASTUTE horsewoman Kelly Stuart-Mitchell enjoyed one of her more satisfying moments in Terang last night.
Boasting a strike rate of 53 per cent of placegetters to starters with her boutique stable this season, Stuart-Mitchell’s latest win came with her sentimental favourite Emerald Hill.
Although the son of Muscle Hill has limited ability, his intestinal fortitude has lifted him to grand heights in the eyes of Stuart-Mitchell and connections.
After arriving from New Zealand last year Emerald Hill became seriously ill, which developed into a reoccurring problem during the next 10 months.
“He won his only start in New Zealand before he came over and showed a lot of promise, but not long after he got here he became really sick,” Stuart-Mitchell explained.
“After giving him time off I worked him up and had him ready to trial before he got sick again and needed more time off.
“Knowing what he has been through and what it has taken to get him to the races, let alone winning, makes it all the more satisfying seeing him win.”
Driven by Jason Lee, Emerald Hill was settled two-back along the pegs from the inside of the second row as Aldebaran Huey led from barrier four.
Three-wide along the back straight, Emerald Hill sustained a strong sprint to complete a seven-metre win from Fremarkskuzo, with Sun Body two metres away third.
Affectionately-known as Reggie, the squaregaiter rated 2:06.5 over 2180 metres to take his record to two wins and three placings from seven starts for his large group of owners.
“I’m so rapt with the way he went,” Stuart-Mitchell said. “It was a great run and a drive from Jason.
“I’m so grateful for his owners for trusting me and sticking with me and Reggie.”