In 2017 former New South Wales driver Conor Crook made a move to Tasmania to further his driving career. Fast forward to 2021, and he has become established as one of the state’s leading drivers.
On Wednesday night in Hobart, he tasted his biggest success in the sulky when he drove the Rohan Hillier-trained Miss Papenhuyzen in the Group 2 Prydes Easifeed Evicus for the Tasbred two-year-old fillies.
Miss Papenhuyzen ($2.25) came into barrier one after two scratchings drawn to her inside, including the short price favourite, Baby You A Song, with race favourite Mays Place ($1.60 fav) starting from barrier two in the mile event.
Mays Place was able to find the lead very easy soon after the start, with Miss Papenhuyzen getting the gun run on her back.
“I didn’t have much of a choice early as she didn’t run the gate that good, Mays Place was the one to follow, she missed the prelude, and the chances were she may be short of a run so I was happy to sit on her and we were too good up the lane,” said Conor post-race.
And too good they were with 4.5m separating Miss Papenhuyzen and Mays Place at the end of the mile trip in a time of 2m 1.7s.
Conor has tasted success in several country cups as a trainer, but the win was by far his biggest in his time in the sulky.
“I have trained a couple of country cup winners but have never been able to drive one, but this tops the cake by a fair way,” he said.
Miss Papenhuyzen is by Sweet Lou and is the second foal out of the Mcardle mare Robyn Scherbotsky.
Miss Papenhuyzen is trained by Rohan Hillier, who moved to a clear third on the state’s drivers premiership, when he drove his 50th win of the season with the Paul Ashwood trained Ifitstobeitsuptome later in the night.
The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding showed good speed to lead over the mile trip and put the race beyond doubt a long way from home to score eased down by 8.8m in 1m 58.1s.