Trainer Bob Richard finds the answer to Star Hills and he wins again at Morphettville

Murray Bridge trainer Bob Richard wants to test in-form sprinter Star Hills in Melbourne, but only if they open the borders.

If he can’t travel to Victorian because of COVID-19, then Star Hills won’t either, Richard said after the well-backed gelding claimed a fourth successive win at Morphettville on Saturday.

“I’d love to go to Melbourne, but if I don’t go, he isn’t either,” Richard said. “Simple as that.

“He is part of the family. I’ve only got the four horses in work and Star Hills just keeps going and going. And Stubby (Jason Holder) rides him a treat.”


Richard has had the six-year-old for a little more than a year after purchasing him from Melbourne. However, after only two runs for his new trainer, Richard could sense something was amiss with the horse and had a vet examine him.

The vet found six kissing spines out of alignment and Star Hills had surgery on his back. It has proved the key to unlocking his potential, winning four of his six races since.

He's in terrific form. Star Hills makes it four on the trot at Morphettville.

“He raced with his head in the air and that was telling me something was wrong,” Richard said. “As soon as I got that fixed, every time he goes out he steps up a bit and gets better and better.

“I wanted to put him in the (Listed) Wylie (at Morphettville) last week, but I thought it was going to be stronger race, and he is very immature.

“I just like winning races, no matter what they are.”

The in-form Michael Hickmott stable will target the South Australian Derby next Autumn with Oath Of Omerta after a fighting victory over 1550m on debut.

That wasn't pretty, Talamo was terribly unlucky as the stable mate Oath Of Omerta wins on debut at Morphettville.

Hickmott brought the three-year old colt for $13,000 from the Sydney sales after being impressed with his physical appearance.

“From the moment I bought him, he looked like he was going to be a beautiful, big stayer so we have done everything to develop this horse to be a stayer,” Hickmott said.

“That is why we kicked him off straight to that distance. He is only going to get better as the races get further.”

Hickmott will be guided by Oath Of Omerta’s recovery from his first start before confirming future plans. However, he mentioned an 1800m event for three-year olds at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day as an option.

Originally published asStar Hills hits top gear after back surgery

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