News

Telfer interested in Victoria Cup

By Michael Guerin

Trainer Steve Telfer is daring to dream of Cups glory with the surprise package of the pacing season -- but not the Cup everybody else is thinking about.

Telfer has had a red-hot start to the season but he admits even he is stunned by the form of Better B Amazed, with the enormously improved mare scoring two crushing open class wins at Alexandra Park.

The second came last Friday where she sat parked and rated 1:53.9 for 1700m, just 0.4 of a second off his national record on a cold, wet night.

Better B Amazed has now beaten New Zealand Cup contenders No Doctor Needed and Hug The Wind twice, coming from outside them both times and would not be out of place in the Cup at Addington on November 14.

But while Telfer realises the new season version of his mare has jumped up a few notches, he is thinking of a different Cup.

“There is a little chance she could target the Victoria Cup at Melton next month,” says Telfer.

“We all realise how much better she is going even than last season when she was going pretty well.

“I can’t really put it down to one thing, probably just maturity.

“But she is working better and every time this season we have taken her to the workouts or race she has gone up a level.

“We had a meeting on Saturday night to discuss what to do next and the 3200m of the New Zealand Cup isn’t her best distance so we aren’t considering a late nom for that.

“But the new Victoria Cup interests us a bit.”

The Victoria Cup has been transferred from the January date when Lazarus won it last season to October 14, the same day as the Everest in Sydney and the Caulfield Guineas.

Because of the move leading trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have declare they aren’t likely to send one of their team to the 2240m mobile and with the Australian elite ranks lacking depth after injuries to Hectorjayjay and Bling It On, the Victoria Cup is dominated by Lennytheshark and My Field Marshal.

“They are still great horses but we think she is at her best over sprint trips so we are considering taking her to Victoria for the Smoken Up over 1720m in early October and if she raced well then the Victoria Cup,” says Telfer.

“She we will nominate her for the Spring Cup next week and make the final decision after that, but a start next week might also depend on her handicap.”

Telfer would eventually like to campaign Better B Amazed at Menangle, outside Sydney,where in her current form something close to a 1:50 mile looks within her capabilities.

She wasn’t the only big-name pacing mare to impress over the weekend as Dream About Me was a brave third to stablemate Have Faith In Me in their comeback race at Addington on Saturday.

Dream About Me was expected to need the outing and paraded looking burly but after sitting parked her run was every bit as good as Have Faith In Me and Titan Banner, who beat her home.

She will now become a rarity, a Purdon-Rasmussen starter in this Sunday’s Hannon Memorial at Oamaru as she needs more concentrated racing while Have Faith In Me will be allowed to miss that next stop on the road to the New Zealand Cup.

But much of the Cup focus will be on the Rangiora trials tomorrow where the two dominant favourites Lazarus and Heaven Rocks have their first public outings for the  season.

They are likely to follow identical paths to the great race so punters will get plenty off dress rehearsals to help them make up their minds before November.