Aardie's Addington return - "she is ready to race"

By Michael Guerin

A handicap race in the middle of winter may seem a strange assignment for one of the forgotten excitement machines of New Zealand racing to resume her career in but Aardie’s Express has simply run out of trials rivals to keep her ticking over.

The winner of eight of her nine career starts has been sidelined since last September but returns off a 30m handicap in tonight’s $15,000 main pace at Addington.

“We detected a small fracture in her cannon bone last year but we were lucky to get it early and she seems fine now,” says co-trainer Steve Telfer.

“She has come up really well but there really isn’t much to trial against this time of the year and she is ready to race so we will start her off.”

Aardie’s Express confirmed those trials concerns when she came from a big handicap to win her trial last week by 11 lengths and while race night provides different challenges Telfer says she can still win even if that isn’t the sole goal.

“First and foremost we want her to step away safely, do everything right and hit the line well,” says Telfer, with Jonny Cox filling in for suspended regular driver Tim Williams.

“With it being her first start in 10 months I don’t really want to see her taking off around the field, at least not until the 800m, and we want her hitting the line hard.

“In saying that she can win because she is a very good mare.”

There is no doubting that Aardie’s Express looked the real deal last season with a series of big wins in fast times, including the Southland Oaks, while she thrashed multiple Group 1 winner True Fantasy the only time they met.

Telfer thinks so much of the daughter of Always B Miki she will be nominated for the New Zealand Cup, but she will need to keep improving to make it to Addington for the second Tuesday in November.

“We are still not sure about the Cup but we will let her show us where we sit and make a decision closer to time.”

Aardie’s Express and fellow mare Allamericanlover will contest the early South Island open class races while stablemate B D Joe will join them from the Canterbury Classic on September 29.

The stable’s other open class star Alta Wiseguy will tune up for the New Zealand Cup closer to home at Alexandra Park.

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