By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Promising juvenile trotter Time Up The Hill is the third generation of her family Michael Ward has trained and he thinks she could be the best.
While Ward holds the daughter of Muscle Hill in high regard, it will take a lot of beating to surpass her dam Majestic Time’s efforts on the track.
She won two Group Three races for Ward, including the Hambletonian Classic (1609m) and NZ Trotting Oaks (1950m), while she was also Group One placed in the 2YO Ruby (1609m) and New Zealand Trotting Derby (2600m).
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Time Up The Hill didn’t get the chance to contest any stakes races as a juvenile, but she has shown her potential late in the season with two wins and a placing from three starts.
She broke last start but Ward said he was rapt with the way she recovered and ran home for third.
“I think she only broke last time because the ones on the inside broke and she just went out in sympathy,” he said. “I thought it was a good run to get third.”
Time Up The Hill added to her win tally at Addington Raceway on Sunday when taking out the Allied Security two-year-old Mobile Trot (1980m).
She began well from the mobile, taking an early lead from barrier two before handing up to Love N The Port.
She remained in the trail throughout before challenging late up the passing lane and the pressure told on leader Love N The Port, who broke late in the piece, and Time Up The Hill was able to get up for a half-length victory.
“It was a good run and a top drive,” Ward said.
“That other horse (Love N The Port) got away on her on the turn today and Ken said he gave her one and then she pinned her ears back and kept going.
“I was reasonably confident of running in the top three today. The one I was really frightened of was Ben Hope’s one (Eurokash) and I expected Mark Purdon’s one (La Reina Del Sur) to go a lot better than what it did.”
Ward has been pleased with her progress this preparation and wasn’t overly perturbed she didn’t have the opportunity to contest the Jewels, like her dam.
“Her mother ran second in the Jewels and early on in the season we would have had a show, but there’s nothing you can do about it, you have just got to carry on,” he said.
“It’s an unbelievable crop of two-year-old trotters.”
Ward said there are many similarities between Time Up The Hill and Majestic Time, however, he believes the former has superior staying abilities.
“Time Up The Hill has got a few quirks, she likes to kick you and bite you, but she has a bit of speed and staying ability,” he said.
“She is a bit like her mother, she had a bit of attitude.
“They are very similar. Majestic Time had speed, but I don’t think this one has the sheer speed like her mother. She has a bit more staying ability.”
Ward is looking forward to next season where he is hoping to contest several three-year-old features, including avenging Majestic Time’s runner-up result in the New Zealand Derby.
“Majestic Time should have won the Derby if she had got out in time. Mark Purdon got that one with King Denny,” he said.
“But the Hambletonian will be my first programme with her as a three-year-old. I have won that before (with Majestic Time) and I would like to have another go at it.”