NZ hopes in Victoria Cup

By Michael Guerin
Three phone calls a few minutes apart today all but confirmed New Zealand with a starter in next week’s Victoria Cup -- possibly two.

Because while trainer Steve Telfer can’t be certain his greatly-improved mare  Better B Amazed will get into the A$200,000 race, he is planning like she will. And has now decided to add stablemate No Doctor Needed to the list of possible Cup contenders.

Better B Amazed has been the revelation of the fast-class pacing season in the north with two wins this campaign before a brave second off a 20m handicap to No Doctor Needed in the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park last Friday.

That was enough to convince Telfer and the pair’s owners they deserve a crack at the big time in the Victoria Cup, which has been moved from its traditional summer date to October 14.

Telfer is hoping to get both straight into the 2240m Cup so has decided to bypass the major lead-up, the Smoken Up, at Melton this Friday and phoned Harness Racing Victoria today to ascertain whether a Cup start is likely for the pair.

“They couldn’t confirm anything and I respect that so we won’t know definitively until the field comes out next Tuesday,” says Telfer.

“But she would be a M5 or M6 over there and he would probably be an M5 and I am thinking that will be enough to get one or both of them in.

“ And they (HRV) now know we are keen to start.

“So the next call we made was to the transporters to see when the flights are.

“The plane doesn’t leave till next Wednesday so we can see if they make the field and put them, or one of them, on the plane after that.

“But at this stage are are planning to go and make it a one-race raid.

“Then Better B Amazed can come back here and be set for the mares races while No Doctor Needed will go to the New Zealand Cup.

“For the mare a big run, especially a placing in a Victoria Cup, would be a great result for her broodmare career later.”

 Telfer is also toying with the idea of starting his exciting three-year-old American Brave in the second northern Sires’ Stakes heat at Alexandra Park next week.

 “He was very unlucky last Friday night and we think a lot of him.

 “So we will give him a shot at a Sires’ Stakes heat and see how he measures up.”

 The first northern Sires’ Stakes heat of the season is at Cambridge this Thursday, with a small but select field including last-start Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing.ders Crown winner King Of Swing.