Former Victorian pacer Waiona realised a mission set by his harness racing trainer Rohan Hillier about three months ago when he scored a narrow but game win in the $20,000 Radio Sport National Hobart Pacing Cup over 3060 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart tonight (Sunday).
With Hillier in the sulky Waiona ($5.90) settled near the rear of the field before setting off three-wide with cover at the bell.
The Island Fantasy gelding eventually worked to the front at the top of the straight and then dug deep to stave off a serious challenge from the well-backed Our Sir Jeckyl ($4.50).
Waiona covered the journey in 3m.58.08s for a mile rate of 2m.04.8 and he ran home his last half mile (800m) in 58.5 seconds.
Hillier acquired Waiona last year with the hope of winning a couple before returning the horse to claiming events but once in work at his Beaconsfield training complex he realised there could be more scope than first thought.
"We set this horse for this race about three months ago and everything seemed to fall into place after he won the Show Cup in Launceston in mid-October," Hillier said.
Waiona has had a dozen starts for his new owners, Hillier, Tim Quill, Nick Hamilton and Darren Parish, for five wins and four minor placings for about $35,000 in stakes that includes the $11,070 for winning this latest assignment.
Hillier said Waiona had done a great job and there may be two more targets this season before the gelding is sent for a spell.
Listen to what trainer-driver Rohan Hillier had to say about Waiona's outstanding Hobart Pacing Cup win - click on the audio file below.