It’s been a roller coaster few months for popular trainer Jason Miller. He’s experienced the emotional highs and the crushing lows that racing quite often can throw up.
The racing game can condition you to tough and challenging times, but the normally unflappable Miller was rocked by the loss of his stable star. Last November his pin-up horse and quality mare Naughty By Nature died in a freak paddock accident.
Losing any horse is gut wrenching and a severe blow for any trainer, but Naughty By Nature’s passing hit Miller harder than usual. His excellent horse with a bright future was no longer.
The daughter of Trade Fair gave Miller his best moment in racing when she won the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont in June. She was three runs into her summer campaign that was set to peak in January’s Perth Cup (2400m) and her progress was going well before tragedy struck.
Miller has dealt with the loss of his special horse, but racing can never stop and although very early days he may have found a horse to fill the breach. Burnya To Survive is offering him a fair degree optimism with the lightly raced son of Bradbury’s Luck building an impressive resume.
Burnya To Survive gave Miller a teaser with a debut third at Geraldton in April and has not been beaten in his second campaign of racing. At Ascot on Monday, Burnya To Survive extended his record four straight wins when he worked home powerfully in the Amelia Park Handicap (1400m).
“I’m stoked and he continues to step up this prep,” Miller said. “The owners are real big supporters of mine and it’s good to see them get a good horse.
“I’ve had him for a long time, since he’s been a two-year-old, I know him pretty well. As a trainer you tip horses out and you hope they improve. He’s just one that’s improved with time.
“He’s had a few niggly issues that we were forced to give him that time and it’s worked in his favour. His trial impressed me before his first up run and he’s kept on stepping up to the plate.
“We’ll see how he pulls up and maybe look at a 1200m at Pinjarra on Magic Millions day in two weeks. Win, lose or draw that will be his last run, but I think he’s nearly due a spell.”