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Telfer happy with No Doctor Needed

by Michael Guerin

Backing pacers fresh up off 30m handicaps is usually an efficient way of getting rid of your money but trainer Steven Telfer says it may not be that crazy when No Doctor Needed resumes tonight.

The eight-year-old is the best performed horse heading to Alexandra Park, the winner of 15 races and over $300,000 in stakes, with midfield finishes in some of our elite races like the New Zealand Cup.

While he hasn’t raced since March and has had two extensive campaigns in Australia in the last two years, Telfer is happy with how he comes into tonight after two recent workouts.

So he is torn between knowing very few horses to win intermediate grade races fresh-up off handicaps, and the logic that says No Doctor Needed actually comes in wonderfully under tonight’s conditions.

“While he is off a 30m handicap there is only one horse off the front and then the rest off 20m so he is only 10m behind most of them,” says Telfer.

“So it is an ideal comeback race and he is working well enough to win it.

“But it is always tricky for these sort of horses at this time of the year. He is carrying a bit of extra weight and a lot of the time your chances are dictated by the horses in front of you.

“If they all step well and get into single file then I doubt David (Butcher, driver) is going to take off mid-race because he knows how hard it is to win fresh up when you have to work.

“But if there is a galloper or two and our fella settles third or something like that it is totally different.

“So he could win, he will probably just need a few things to go his way.”

The most logical danger could be Zadaka, who is racing at his peak while Jo’s Dream doesn’t have a great record from a stand but gives young driver Alicia Harrison a chance to continue her dream winter run as she gets on the in-form mare as a concession driver.

Harrison had only driven one winner this time last year but has added 13 more, including an Alexandra Park double a fornight ago as well as taking out the NZ Junior Driver’s Champs so finds herself in demand, with three other legitimate winning chances tonight.