Aardie's Express opens account at Alexandra Park
By Michael Guerin
The first Alexandra Park victory for Aardie’s Express was a long time in the making.
Our best racemare warmed up for next week’s Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park by overcoming the worst draw and sitting parked to down leader Lady Of The Light in the $37,200 Caduceus Club Northern Breeders Stakes on Friday night.
The leader was brave but Aardie’s Express’s class showed, as you would expect from a mare who is a genuine open class player.
But what punters who took the $1.80 didn’t see was the hard work Team Telfer have put in behind the scenes to get Aardie’s Express comfortable right-handed.
“She was a bit of a rogue early in her career so she took working out going either left or right-handed,” says Steve Telfer.
“She was a bit worse right-handed so she went south to Mandy’s barn so she only raced once up here at Cambridge (left-handed).
“So those guys down there did a great job getting her going and then we had to get her right this way when she came back up.
“It has been a real team effort and even Zach (Butcher, driver) came around to drive her the other day and gave us the thumbs up.”
Butcher will keep the drive for next Friday’s Group 1 as the request of owner Mike Tanev.
“We always respect owner’s calls so Zac will be on up here but that isn’t because Tim (Williams) has done anything wrong.
“And we expect he will be back driving her when she returns south for the mares races later in the summer.”
While Team Telfer appear to have next Friday’s race at their mercy and maybe even the later mares races if we don’t see Millwood Nike back this summer, Steve Telfer says he hopes the filly who could become Aardie’s Express’s greatest rival makes a quick recovery from her tendon knock.
“She is a wonderful filly and great for the industry,” says Telfer of Millwood Nike.
Another star pacer who won’t be back for the summer is B D Joe, who had an operation after the New Zealand Cup.
“It wasn’t a huge deal but he will need three months in the paddock so he will miss the autumn races including the Auckland Cup,” says Telfer.
“So he won’t be back until August.”
Other highlights of Friday night’s meeting included Cos I Can also getting his first Alexandra Park success with a late surge in a very strong field for trainer Mike Berger and driver Benjamin Butcher.
And Roydon Downey produced a pearler of a drive to rein Saninarmbro, a mare he owns and trains to win under similar circumstances to this meeting last year.
Saninarmbro won her maiden race at this exact same meeting last year from the same draw (barrier 1) over the same distance (2200m) and beat the same horse into second (Conrad H) using the same passing lane method.
As if that isn’t weird enough, Conrad H was also No.4 both on Friday night and in their maiden clash last year.
Try not to think about that for too long, it will make your head hurt.