IN Racing
Trainer’s gamble pays off at Tauranga
“It was good to see her get that win, she deserved it after having a fair bit of bad luck through this campaign."
Richard Edmunds, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | March 24, 2024
Complicate with his strapper after scoring a tough win in Saturday’s Snow Williams Bayleys Country (1600m) at Tauranga. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

After spending most of the afternoon tossing up whether or not to scratch Complicate from Saturday’s Snow Williams Bayleys Country (1600m) at Tauranga, Matamata trainer Wayne Hillis decided to roll the dice and was richly rewarded.

The Tauranga track was rated Soft5 at the beginning of Saturday’s eight-race card, but an afternoon of miserable weather sent it all the way down to Heavy10 by the time Complicate headed to the start for the final race of the day.

Hillis admitted that he was far from confident that Complicate would handle the testing conditions, but he decided to take the plunge after half a dozen late scratchings reduced the $40,000 race to a field of just six.

“I was pretty worried about the track,” Hillis said. “I thought long and hard about scratching her, but the longer I waited, the more the field fell away with all of those other scratchings coming out. In the end, I’m glad we stayed in.

“She’d had only one previous run on a heavy track in her career, which was at Hastings earlier this year (a sixth placing over 2100m on January 6). Normally she’s quick out of the gates and takes up a handy position, but she missed the jump that day and dropped right out the back before making up a bit of ground at the end. So it was a run that was quite hard to get a line on, but it made me think that maybe she might get through rain-affected ground okay.”

Saturday’s performance certainly proved that point. Complicate was ridden by Tayla Mitchell and broke sharply from the starting gates, then took up a position on the outside of the front-running He’s Classic.

Mitchell pushed the button at the home turn and Complicate took command, clearing out down the straight to win by three lengths over He’s Classic and Rosetown Princess.

“It was good to see her get that win, she deserved it after having a fair bit of bad luck through this campaign,” Hillis said.

“We aren’t thinking too far ahead for now, it was just a matter of going one race at a time and hoping to turn her luck around a little bit and get a result. It’s great that we’ve done that.”

Complicate has now had 16 starts for two wins, six placings and $63,640 in stakes. 

Complicate Wayne Hillis Tayla Mitchell