Aardie's Express too strong in Hannon Memorial

By Jonny Turner

A powerful victory in the Hannon Memorial doesn’t necessarily mean Aardie’s Express is heading straight towards the New Zealand Cup.

The Stonewall Stud mare powered along the inner to clinch victory in the traditional New Zealand Cup lead-up at Oamaru yesterday for driver Tim Williams.

Despite being the veteran of just 13 starts, the four-year-old showed all of the poise and power required to be a genuine New Zealand Cup contender.

But the Stonewall Stud camp, headed by trainers Steve and Amanda Telfer, is not ready to make definite plans for the mare on the second Tuesday in November.

“She is nominated (for the New Zealand Cup) but it is not a certainty she will go there,” Amanda Telfer said.

“We will take every race as it comes and she will tell us what we are going to do.”

“There is also the Junior Free-For-All, so you don’t have to go to the cup.”

Aardies Express was one of several horses to take the lead in a hotly contested Hannon Memorial.

Driver Tim Williams eventually found a trip in the trail for the mare and she sped along a rain-soaked Oamaru passing lane to score.

The performance drew on Aardies Express’ speed and stamina and she displayed excellent standing start manners in the process.

“She can really do anything, she is tough, she has got speed, she is the complete package really,” Telfer said.

Aardies Express had a lowly ranking of 30th on the order of entry for the New Zealand Cup before her Hannon Memorial.

The pacer is sure to skyrocket towards the top-15 qualifying spots following her victory.

Republican Party was among those horses who pressed forward to take the lead in yesterday’s feature.

The four-year-old fought on bravely in testing conditions to run second.

Another of the leaders in the event, Anything Goes took third in a solid effort.

Aggressive tactics from driver Bob Butt clinched victory for Resolve in the Group Three Jasmyn’s Gift Stakes.

Butt launched the Paul Nairn trained mare at the 600m, turning the final stages of the race into the staying contest, which was just what Resolve wanted.

“She is a good staying mare and with the way the race panned out, I was quite happy,” Butt said.

“I thought I would try to turn the last 800m into a staying contest and it worked out well.”

An Australian campaign is among the potential plans for Treacherous Gall following her fresh up win in yesterday’s Nevele R Fillies Series heat.

The Regan Todd trained three-year-old powered home from off the pace to win her first start since winning the Southland Oaks earlier this year.

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