A whole new world for Aladdin
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Stakes-winning three-year-old Aladdin will be carrying new colours at Alexandra Park on Friday night in the NZB Standardbred Karaka Yearling Sales 14 Feb Mobile Pace (1609m).
The Sweet Lou gelding had previously raced in the blue and silver All Stars silks, but he has recently transferred to the Pukekohe barn of Peter and Vaughan Blanchard after his sale to the Cormack family, who race under their AB & T Cormack Racing Pty Ltd banner.
Peter Blanchard had negotiated his sale just days before the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 1 3YO C & G Mobile Pace (2200m), and he began his association with his new owners in perfect fashion, taking out the rich feature at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve.
“That was a great training performance by Mark (Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen) and a great drive by Tim Williams in that race,” Vaughan Blanchard said.
“The owners, who bought him, live in Australia and they were lucky enough to own him for that race. The sale went through 10 days before New Year’s Eve.
“That (win) was a bit of a surprise, but he had pretty good lead-up form. He got a good run that night and everything panned out well for him.
“It will be a hard feat to keep him up to that standard, but the way he is working and trialling, he is pretty good at the moment.”
Blanchard said he and his father have trained and sold a few to the Australian-based Cormack family over the years.
“We have always had the odd one for them,” he said. “They owned Al Bundy and we won nine or 10 with him.
“Another mare we sold to them, Rockon Bye, won 20 for them over there (in Australia).
“Predominantly they have their horses in Australia and that is where Aladdin will end up, but they thought why not have a crack at some three-year-old races and then go over.
“He will definitely head towards the Great Northern Derby and then we will assess how he shapes up and whether he travels to Addington for the New Zealand Derby, and the Jewels (at Cambridge Raceway).”
While looking ahead to three-year-old feature races, Aladdin will have his first start for the Blanchard stable on Friday and his new trainers are expecting a solid first-up performance after his trial win at his new home track late last month.
“After the New Year’s Eve run we gave him three weeks off and he hasn’t put a foot wrong since we have had him,” Blanchard said.
“He has settled in really well. He is a very easy horse to have around the place.
“It is a very strong field on Friday. He trialled two weeks ago and we wanted to race him last week at Cambridge, but that race didn’t get off the ground.
“But it’s a mile on Friday and it’s a perfect run for him first up after having a wee break.”