Star Brothers On Cusp Of Black Top Fairytale

IT could well be that the most telling tale to Friday night’s Group 2 Sires On Ice Black Top Final was in the aftermath of last week’s heats.

Adam Dobbin

6 October 2021

IT could well be that the most telling tale to Friday night’s Group 2 Sires On Ice Black Top Final was in the aftermath of last week’s heats.

They say box draws win big races and in the case of the Michael and Michelle-Lill trained More Sauce ecstasy was only moments away from agony in the $40,000-to-the-winner feature.

“The one and five boxes were left to choose from for More Sauce and Zipping Kyrgios and it was our pick,” Michael Lill explained.

FIELDS AND FORM LADBROKES GARDENS FRIDAY

“I didn’t really mind if More Sauce had box five but I didn’t want Zipping Kyrgios to have the one box. As it turned out we came up with the red which was a relief.

“But it could have been very different.”

On Friday night, Michael and Michelle Lill head to The Gardens in search of a hometown victory in the Black Top with sensational litter brothers More Sauce and Casual Glance.

Michael and Michelle Lill with More Sauce (pic: Steve Whalland)

More Sauce ran rampant in his heat to score in a flying 29.40 (4.93-17.10) while Casual Glance went marginally slower in 29.44 (4.90-17.16).

The quickest of the four qualifiers was Zipping Kyrgios in 29.24.

“More Sauce has always been around a length faster,” Lill said.

“But his heat win was his first full 500 so I thought his effort was outstanding. His preparation going into the series wasn’t ideal.

“He’d had two post-to-posts and a box-to-box but we’d had some niggling issues in between. He’s just a winner this dog – he leaves any excuses at the door.”

The immense success the Lills have enjoyed with the star brothers by Keybow and Ness Quick during 2021 has been nothing short of amazing.

Collectively the duo have raced on 70 occasions for 42 victories and 17 placings for prizemoney exceeding $152,000.

“But they’re two very different dogs,” Lill explained.

“Casual Glance is a specimen to look at – not a thing out of place. More Sauce doesn’t look anything special except for the fact he’s hiding that V8 engine.

“He holds the slip record at Maitland running times only three dogs have – More Sauce, La Grand Quality and Flying Ricciardo. Pretty good company to be keeping.”

TAB Fixed Odds have installed More Sauce as a $2.70 favourite for Friday night’s Black Top ahead of Zipping Kyrgios (box five) at $3.70.

Third favourite is Casual Glance at $5 from his box eight draw.

“My wife Michelle actually said to me last night ‘can you believe we have the first and third favourites for the Black Top’ and I can’t actually,” Lill said.

“This is the third big race they’ve been in together. They were both in the Maitland Cup that More Sauce finished second in and the Sprinters Cup at Grafton which he won.

“If I had to pick one of the two I can’t go past More Sauce but Casual Glance is ready to run the race of his life as well.

“It’s just amazing to have two such great dogs. We pinch ourselves every day.”

Fuelling Lill’s confidence in the lead up to Friday night has been an ideal preparation for the star pairing.

“More Sauce was a little bit flat for a couple of days but he’s tapping around like Fred Astaire now,” Lill said.

“Casual Glance is a different dog. He could have raced again on Sunday. He’s had a better preparation work wise.

“If More Sauce begins and can find the tenth early from the heat that I know he has then he’s going to be the one to beat.

“But if Casual Glance comes out running he’s right in the picture too.

“Down the back we’ll all be having a look to see where Zipping Kyrgios is and when it comes to John and Minnie (Finn) there’s no one harder to beat in big races.

“It’s a great race and if we could win it then that would be great recognition for the dogs more than anything else.”