David Geall believes his star chaser Up Hill Jill will be at her best in the Perth Cup after she negotiated her first trip to Cannington with ease on Saturday night.
The top Victorian trainer said he couldn’t be happier with Up Hill Jill after she led throughout in her Perth Cup heat to defeat Benali by four lengths in 29.60sec.
“I was very pleased with her because it’s the first time we have travelled with her by plane,” Geall told Tabradio.
“There is always that worry they don’t travel that well and they stress out in the crates and don’t handle it.
“I was very happy with her time and I would like to think if she can get lower we are going to be right there.”
Up Hill Jill will renew her intense rivalry with Striker Light, who was beaten to the first corner, but kicked into another gear when the race was there to be won in the second heat.
The Brett Bravo-trained star pressed her claims for the final when she defeated Slingshot Gypsy by four lengths, stopping the clock at 29.87sec.
Up Hill Jill has current bragging rights over Striker Light after a last-stride win over her combatant in the Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park.
“We’ve got enormous respect for each other as trainers and for our bitches,” Geall said.
“They are in that super elite level and for me it’s not that one is faster than the other.
“After all this time, all the tracks and all the travelling I couldn’t say one is faster than the other.”
Despite showing healthy respect for his interstate rival Geall is wary of local star West On Augie from the powerful Chris Halse kennel.
West On Aguie issued an ominous warning to his Perth Cup rivals after recoding the quickest heat time, running 29.55sec. when defeating Waterloo Monelli by nine lengths.
“Without knowing the box draw definitely West On Augie,” said Geall.
“He knows Cannington obviously and went better than I thought he was
“He will be very hard to beat and gets out hard most of the time.
“Striker Light is always there in Group ones and with Hecton Bale what a hot field.
“It’s going to be on.”
The box draw for the Perth Cup and Galaxy will be staged at a function at Cannington on Monday.