Aardie sends Oaks off to Canada
By Jonny Turner
The Southland Oaks silverware was sent to Canada in the most dynamic fashion when Aardie’s Express powered to an emphatic Diamonds Day victory on Saturday.
The Steve and Amanda Telfer trained filly unleashed a sizzling 26.8sec final 400m when exploding away from her rivals to win the Group 2 feature for driver Tim Williams.
The victory sent the Southland Oaks title to Canada via owner Mike Tanev who races several horses in New Zealand under his ‘Aardie’ banner.
Williams was delighted to be able to seal the biggest win of the filly’s short career for Tanev.
“I spoke to Mike a couple of times and he was pretty excited about the race,” Williams said.
“I am just glad we could pull it off for him.”
Aardie’s Express already had big wraps on her before her Southland Oaks win.
And after her victory two things look clear.
Firstly, the filly is on a one-way path to the top of New Zealand’s three-year-old fillies ranks. And secondly, the best is yet to come from the exciting pacer.
“I know Steve and Ben (Butcher) early on held her in pretty high regard.”
“There is plenty of bottom to her and she showed that today.”
“She has got the makings (of a top filly) and I think time is going to be her friend too.”
Williams settled Aardie’s Express in midfield from her wide gate before taking her to the lead at the 1200m.
Once there the filly was a little green, but it made little difference as she saw out the 2700m of the Oaks Final with pure power.
In doing so, Aardie’s Express completed a long range-goal set for her by the Telfer stable.
“You have got to tip your hat to Steve and Mandy, they put the plan in place a long way out,” Williams said.
“Obviously it is nice when a plan comes together.”
“She is a big girl, too.”
“She is deserving of a good break and she will come back bigger and stronger.”
As Aardie’s Express reeled off her scintillating last 400m, it was left to the horses on the pegs to fight out the minor money in the Southland Oaks.
Monaco Grace ran on from three deep on the markers to take second, two lengths from the winner.
Play Philly fought on for third in a creditable effort after working hard to lead before trailing Aardie’s Express.