High aims for Hilo after impressive form against classy rivals

It’s hard to find more compelling form lines at Randwick on Wednesday than those carried by Godolphin three-year-old Hilo into the Sky Racing Active Handicap (1250m) on the Kensington track.

Hilo has been gelded this preparation and trainer James Cummings has prepared him with two barrier trials. The latest was a third to colt Standout, which will contest a group 1 at Randwick this Saturday.

Rachel King on Hilo (right) in heat 2 during the barrier trials at Rosehill Gardens last month.Credit:Getty

In September, Hilo impressively won a class 1 on a soft track defeating a filly called Southbank, which two starts later ran third in the group 1 Thousand Guineas.

Cummings then threw Hilo into the group 2 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and he ran a respectable sixth behind Australia’s new superstar Alligator Blood before running group 1 winner Alabama Express to a neck in a listed race.

Still in the spring, Hilo finished midfield behind Dalasan and Brandenburg in the group 3 Carbine Club at Flemington and wound up his campaign beaten 1.4 lengths by Banquo in another listed race.

Safe to say there is nothing of the calibre of Alligator Blood, Dalasan, Alabama Express and company when he drops to benchmark 70 grade on a Wednesday.

Hilo is a go-forward horse so expect Rachel King to guide him onto the pace and, despite the 60.5kg giving weight to some older horses, he’s extremely well placed to post a confidence-boosting first-up win and perhaps be a fringe player during the carnival.

Godolphin and Cummings look to have a strong hand in the closer, the TAB Handicap (1100m), with another talented three-year-old, Deference, out to post his second career win.

Deference was a beaten favourite first-up at Warwick Farm but, with excuses, then he struck a heavy track and chased strongly behind the smart Splintex at Randwick. Importantly, he handles all conditions and has drawn to track the likely leader Witherspoon and pounce on her late.

He rises 5.5kg for the massive drop in class but that draw, barrier three, affords him every chance. If he is going to graduate to something over the carnival, this assignment is a must win for him.

Supplied by Racing NSW
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au

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