Scintillating front-running speedster Up Hill Jill was announced the Victorian Sprinter of the Year at the 2017/18 Victorian Greyhound Awards, defeating fellow finalists Aston Dee Bee and Striker Light.
After being placed in a number of Group 1 events, the David Geall-trained Up Hill Jill enjoyed a breakthrough win in the Topgun, and then five months later she beat arch-rival Striker Light with a heart-stopping win in the Golden Easter Egg.
Trainer David Geall provided one of the more humorous moments of the night when he said it was to his advantage that Up Hill Jill is owned by his wife Rose.
“It’s good having your wife as the owner because you never have to worry about them taking the dog off you,” the Lara trainer quipped.
Geall said the pressure that comes with racing at Group 1 level is something he is still getting used to, even after three Group 1 wins in the 2018 racing season including My Redeemer’s Harrison-Dawson victory.
“The crowd, the atmosphere and the build-up to such big races is overwhelming. There’s a lot of expectation, and the nervousness that you have going into Group 1 races is something else. I get very nervous…I’m not ashamed to admit it,” Geall said.
“Maybe some of the other leading trainers might get used to Group 1s but I get very nervous and it’s very difficult to handle, but I do love it.”
Geall said that as a greyhound trainer, winning Group 1 races was more satisfying than winning an AFL Grand Final or a Test Match at Lords.