Aldebaran Floss gives Murray Alfeld "biggest win"
By Michael Guerin
When Stephen Swain approached part-time Canterbury trainer Murray Alfeld and asked him to train a horse for him Alfeld had an obvious question.
“Why me?” Alfeld asked.
Swain’s cartage company does the baleage work for Alfeld, who has mixed training and farrier work for many years but these days only trains three horses.
So to have Swain ask him to buy him a horse and train it at the sales was a shock for the now 62-year-old.
“Stephen just asked me to buy him and the family a horse at the yearling sales one day and train it,” explains Alfeld.
“I told him I would help and find a horse and break it in and then he could send it to any trainer he wanted but he said no, we have done a lot of work with you and we want you to train it.
“He is a good guy like that, hard working, loves his rugby and wanted to do the right thing.” So Alfeld went to the sales and found a filly Swain paid $22,000 for and at Addington on Friday that filly, Aldebaran Floss won the $50,000 What The Hill NZ Trotting Oaks.
In doing so she beat some of the country’s biggest trotting stables, helped in no small way by a typical Colin De Filippi drive and the ace draw.
“That all helped and Colin has always been a big help to me so it is a massive thrill to win an Oaks.
“It is the biggest win I have had. I have had good horses in the past like Clover Don, who won on Cup Day and had some good wins for Colin and even Robbie Holmes when they trained him because I was moving and setting up a new property.
“But to win a race like this for Stephen after he was so loyal was a real thrill.” Aldebaran Floss is now qualified for the Jewels so Alfeld and Swain have a chip in the big game and a filly with speed and some breeding value.
She wasn’t the only three-year-old filly to upset the punters at Addington on Friday after Life’s A Beach downed hot favourite Bettor Twist in the Nevele R Fillies heat at 61-1.
Trained by Tony Barron and driven by John Morrison, Life’s A Beach was recorded her second win in 11 starts for the Woodlands Stud syndicate which also comprises elite athletes Andy Ellis, Dave Hewett, Kieran Read and Dick Tayler and she is already worth big money as a future broodmare.
She is from broodmare gem Beach Parade, making her a sister to Jewels winner Partyon and dual Derby winner Line Up.