Andrew Pilling hopes ‘honest’ mare can go back-to-back at Ballina

The Andrew Pilling trained Noteably (left), ridden by apprentice Yvette Lewis, fights for the lead during her maiden victory at Grafton. Photo: Trackside Photography.

She might not be the fastest mare to ever grace the racetrack, but Ballina trainer Andrew Pilling explained that it wasn’t for a lack of effort when it came to his last-start winner, Noteably. 

The six-year-old broke through at start number 16 last time out, winning the 1100m Maiden at Grafton on September, and she is looking to go back-to-back in the 1250m Class One Handicap at Ballina Jockey Club on Sunday.

“Look, she will run an honest race,” Pilling said. 

“She struggled to win her maiden, but she tries so hard and puts in her best each time.”

Yvette Lewis guided the All Too Hard mare to victory and jumps aboard again, and this time, Pilling said there was no pressure, with owner Aasish Kapadia, already content with Noteably’s on track success before heading to the breeding barn.

“The owner wanted to win a race and breed from her and everything from now is a bonus,” Pilling said.  

“There is no pressure and everyone is pretty happy. That was his first ever (solo) win as an owner and he was pretty chuffed about the whole thing.”

Pilling will have two gallopers racing at Ballina on Sunday, with Noriyuki Masuda jumping aboard Astrophysics in the 1000m Benchmark 66 Handicap.

“She is in there to see where she is at. I’ve only just purchased her and wanted to give her a run to see what I’m dealing with,” Pilling said. 

Andrew Pilling and the Aasish Kapadia owned Noteably after her Grafton victory. Photo: Trackside Photography.

The Ballina Jockey Club track is currently rated a soft six, and with more rain expected in the coming days, Pilling said the surface would hold up and shouldn’t race too heavy.

“We galloped on it on Tuesday after 18ml of rain and it was dead but still good enough,” Pilling said. 

“We will handle another inch of rain if it comes. We have had such hot weather and it should be fine.”

There look to be local chances galore on Ballina’s seven-race Sky 1 program, with racing kicking off at 1.30pm. 

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