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Greg Kilner, father of Leah Kilner, saddles up Swanston at Doomben after almost winning at $101


Trainer Greg Kilner has been through hell and back in recent times, but on Saturday he will be hoping the racing gods can again shine on a horse he successfully backed last start at $25 the place.

Grafton-based Kilner is the father of Leah Kilner who has captured the nation’s heart with her inspiring road towards recovery after a shocking race fall.

Greg Kilner has regularly been at his daughter’s Brisbane hospital bedside but has also shuttled to and from Grafton where he has tried to continue his training business amid the toughest times of his life.

Kilner said when his daughter had her awful fall, he sent most of his horses to the paddock.

However, four-year-old gelding Swanston is one of a handful that remain in work and almost conjured a racing miracle when finishing second at Grafton on Cup day last week.

As much as $151 was offered up about Swanston who started $101 and rocketed home from second last in a Class 6 Plate.

It provided a nice punting windfall for Kilner will saddle up Swanston again on Saturday in a $75,000 Class 6 Handicap over 1350m at Doomben.

Swanston, part-owned by Leah Kilner’s mum Siobhan Jackson, has already won on the Doomben track when ridden by Leah Kilner last December.

“He went good at Grafton last week, I had something on at $25 the place,” Greg Kilner said.

“We have had a few issues with him, when he was going a bit bad we found a lot of mucus in his throat, that’s why he wasn’t getting to the line at all.

“This is a nice enough race for him coming up on Saturday, but it also looks a hard race.

“He will be running for the prizemoney up there in Brisbane on Saturday, with a horse like Go Wandji in the race I don’t think I will be backing my horse.”

With Leah’s ongoing recovery and rehabilitation the number one priority by the length of the straight, Greg Kilner said he had leaned on stable staff to help continue his training operations in Grafton.

While Leah Kilner’s recovery has been nothing short of a miracle, there is still a long road ahead.

“It’s been pretty hard watching her lay there in that hospital bed when she wants to get up and get going,” Greg Kilner said.

“But it could have been a hell of a lot worse.

“I will go up early before the race on Saturday and spend the whole weekend there in Brisbane and then come back to Grafton.

“After Leah had her fall, I put a few of my horses out in the paddock straight away and I just kept three in that were racing.

“I’ve got someone who rides them in work and a young fellow in my stable does the rest.”

Originally published as Greg Kilner to saddle up horse part-owned by Leah Kilner’s mum at Doomben on Saturday



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