People keep asking trainer Sue Grills why she doesn’t retire Ollie Vollie and the 10-year-old gave her the perfect answer with a barnstorming win at Rosehill on Saturday.
In an omen for the 13,000-plus crowd on hand for the annual Girls Day Out, the Tamworth-based Grills booked leading female apprentice Jenny Duggan for the ride on Ollie Vollie in the styletread.com.au (1200m).
Duggan’s 3kg claim brought Ollie Vollie ($9) into the race with 51kg, a luxury weight compared to those has been forced to carry in recent years.
He settled at the back of the field and unleashed a powerful sprint in the straight with Shadows In The Sun ($10) making his run at the same time.
The 2011 South Australian Derby winner ran Ollie Vollie to a half head with Irish Jig ($5.50) another three-quarters of a length third.
“He never runs a bad race and I thought he would be hard to beat today especially with the light weight,” Grills said.
“He’s been unlucky at his past couple but Jenny rode him perfectly.
“He is a lovely horse. People ask why I don’t retire him but this is why. He is so sound. He’s never had so much as a stone bruise.
“But when he does retire, his home will be with me.”
Ollie Vollie took his earnings past $500,000 with his 17th win, 13 of which have been for Grills.
The gelding began his 79-start career in Sydney in the care of Guy Walter and was sent to Grills by his owners, the McHugh family, for a change of scenery and easier racing.
His previous Sydney win was in May 2007 under Walter but he has enjoyed success in metropolitan Brisbane as well as country NSW.
Duggan said she had no concerns during the race.
“At the top of the straight I could feel I had plenty of horse and he went that quick when I asked him to,” she said.
“I was hands and heels and he was doing it easy.
“Sue does a great job with him and he’s going great for a 10-year-old.”
Shadows In The Sun is half Ollie Vollie’s age and was making his return from a six-month spell.
His run thrilled stable representative Edward Cummings who said his trainer father Anthony had the Villiers in mind for Shadows In The Sun and stablemate Home On A Wing who finished sixth, less than three lengths from the winner.