Hill finds perfect trip for veteran

By Jonny Turner

Young and old combined when Franco Huntington got the drive he needed to win at Ascot Park on Saturday.

And that is not a cheeky dig about Max Hill pulling on veteran trainer Doug McLachlan’s colours.

Hill had the ten-year-old Franco Huntington where he likes to be – in front and rolling along in race 5.

The pacer rewarded the junior driver by digging deep to hold off the finish of another veteran in Jabali, who rallied strongly to his inside.

“My thought was to get to the front, they are all in the same sort of boat, it was a pretty even race,” Hill said.

“But he was the toughest one in it.”

“So I thought get to the front, bowl them along and he should be too good.”

“He has won a few, so he knew how to fight on, so I was pretty happy with that.”

Hill’s win came after he has finished up a decent stint with both Tank Ellis and Kirstin Barclay, most recently at the latter’s in-form barn.

Though the junior driver has headed back to Canterbury to help out at his father Brendon Hill’s barn, he is far from lost to Southland.

“I am working for my old man, helping him out for around three months through the winter.”

“And then I am going back down to work for Craig Ferguson.”

“But hopefully I will be picking up a few drives and coming down in between.”

“I love it down there, everything about it is enjoyable, the racing is always fun.”

“Craig is doing a great job and Mark Hurrell is there, as well.”

“They will both be pretty good to learn off.”

Both Hurrell and Ferguson were in the winner’s circle at Ascot Park on Saturday.

The pair combined to produce American Eyretime to win race 1 in her first run from Ferguson’s stable.

Ferguson also trained and drove Everywhere to win race 6.

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