The Big Goodbye is one of jockey Leah Kilner’s favorite severely injured horses, and fellow jockey Kyle Wilson-Taylor rides on Saturday.
Brisbane’s top student Kyle Wilson-Taylor has one major wish when he first partners with The Big Goodbye at Doomben on Saturday.
“Hopefully I can ride this horse like Leah,” Wilson-Taylor said.
The Big Goodbye, trained by Rob Heathcote, is one of jockey Leah Kilner’s favorite severely injured horses, and the other is his stablemate Dusty Tycoon, who is similar to the Big Goodbye in that both are syndicated and have large groups of owners.
Kilner, who is facing a major ongoing health battle after a devastating crash at Grafton last Sunday, has won The Big Goodbye three times in six runs.
These victories have included back-to-back victories in recent times, as well as the triumph of the last start on Ipswich Cup day, which has been a roaring celebration for the owners.
Big Goodbye is racing under the Queensland Rogues banner, owned by a huge group of micro-owners, and many of them will be at the Doomben track on Saturday to watch the gelding race on the Class 6 1200m plate.
The track Doomben was rated as heavy (10) on Wednesday and Heathcote said the prospect of a wet track was just right for The Big Goodbye.
“This horse loves dampness,” Heathcote said.
“I knew he was a good horse when he came to me but he has just gotten better, he is very strong and has been in the money (places) in 18 of his 20 starts.
“The owner team loves Leah a lot and they’ve been thinking about her all week.”
Wilson-Taylor, who led Jayden Lloyd in the Brisbane Apprentice Jockey premier battle, had known Kilner since they competed against each other at Grafton.
Wilson-Taylor moved from Coffs Harbor to Grafton to become an apprentice to Duane Schmidt, while Kilner went to fetch her father Greg.
“When I moved to Grafton, I didn’t know anyone there, she was the only person I knew,” Wilson-Taylor said.
“Thanks to that, we became quite close and good friends.
“She was always a little ahead of me in her apprenticeship because she started before me.
“Eventually we both moved up north to Queensland, she skated Toowoomba for a while, and so did I, so our careers followed a similar pattern.
“I’ve been thinking about her this week, like everyone else in racing. We’re all pretty close in racing.”
The Kilner family said Leah had a restful night and rest is her best medicine for the time being.
Originally published as Kyle Wilson-Taylor will ride Leah Kilner’s favorite horse The Big Goodbye in Doomben.