Norocos the Sydney trailblazer for Hilton
Norm Hilton has never had a Sydney runner but three-year-old Norocos could be the first of many.
Hilton, who trains at Toowoomba on Queensland’s Darling Downs, is keen to have a crack at Sydney racing and is in the process of trying to set up a Sydney base.
Norocos will be on trial for better autumn races when she runs in the JB (Barry) Maher Memorial Hcp (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“I haven’t taken a horse to Sydney before, this will be my first Sydney runner, but I’m keen to maybe set up a stable there,” Hilton said.
“We’ve been looking at Warwick Farm.”
Hilton has only been training seriously for a little more than four years but is an experienced horseman.
He rode for 25 years on the rodeo circuit around the country and was the Australian champion bull rider in 1984.
Hilton was also a former pre-trainer and breaker before he started to focus on training.
Last year’s spring carnival was Hilton’s initiation to interstate racing and Poor Judge did the trainer proud in his three-run Melbourne campaign.
Poor Judge ran a gallant third in the Group One Toorak Handicap to More Joyous and then won the Group Three Chatham Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby day.
Hilton said the Melbourne trip had helped Poor Judge’s development and he hopes the same can occur for Norocos, winner of three of her 11 starts in Queensland.
“She’s been working well and she can gallop,” Hilton said.
“We’ll see how she goes in Sydney and all being well we’ll probably bring her back. I haven’t picked out anything for her yet but maybe the Light Fingers Stakes.”
The Group Two Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) is at Randwick on February 12 and is the traditional autumn kick-off for Sydney’s top three-year-old fillies.
“I think she can stack up (on Saturday),” Hilton said.
The trainer had also nominated stakeswinner Bold Glance for the Schweppes Handicap (1400m) at Randwick but he has been kept at home and will run in Saturday week’s $400,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast.
Meanwhile, Poor Judge returned to work last week to begin his build-up to the Queensland winter carnival.
“He’s been back about a week and we’ll give him a long, slow preparation towards the winter,” Hilton said.
“The Stradbroke will be his main aim.”