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Thrill Kill aiming for third country cup in three months

Some of the best Country Cup horses from across South Australia will clash in a superb edition of the $107,250 Onkaparinga Cup (2150m) at Oakbank on Saturday,

Last start Mount Gambier Cup winner Thrill Kill is on the quick back up while Port Lincoln Cup winner I Need A Drink will have his first start at the famous Adelaide Hills circuit for local trainers John Dunn and Krystal Bishop.

Last year’s winner Clever Man will be searching for a change of luck alongside the Garret Lynch-trained Sandastan who comes out of the Adelaide Cup, the state’s premier stable – Richard and Chantelle Jolly - represented with the ultra-consistent Yuri Royale.

After winning the Coonawarra Cup back in early January, Thrill Kill ran second in both the Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln Cups before winning the Mount Gambier Cup last time out and trainer Peter Hardcare said connections were enjoying a wonderful ride.

“He was getting a bit of a name as a bit of a bridesmaid,’’ Hardacre said on the Front Runner Podcast.

“To put two wins together in a couple of Cups recently has been a huge thrill, especially the Mount Gambier Cup, that meant a lot to the owners and myself being a local boy, whatever he does now is a bonus,’’ he said.

Hardcare said the horse had come through last Friday’s Mount Gambier success in terrific order and had continued to thrive despite a busy racing schedule.

“He’s pulled-up really well after Mount Gambier, the track had a nice bit of give in it and that has certainly helped with the way he pulled up,’’ Hardcare added.

“He gets a little bit more weight in the Onkaparinga Cup, he’s a big strong horse so that doesn’t concern me,’’ he said.

Hardacre said the horse’s ability to handle the smaller and diverse tracks would hold in him in good stead heading to a circuit like Oakbank.

“He seems enjoys racing on these tricky little tracks,’’ Hardacre said.

“He’s been to Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln, even Mount Gambier can be a little bit tricky, he seems to get around them well and hopefully that transfers to Oakbank.

“That’s how Maggie will ride him again, be nice and positive. We’ve drawn a bit wider, but now that he’s jumping well (early) he can put himself there and doesn’t over race.

“It’s his first time beyond 2000m, but he’s a tough horse and keeps grinding, if he’s not winning, I think he’ll still be there fighting out the finish,’’ he said.

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