Alford adamant Wobelee can win
By Michael Guerin
Wobelee is used to overcoming obstacles.
And champion Aussie horseman Chris Alford says he can do that again from what looks a horror barrier at the harness Jewels on Saturday.
One of the best juvenile trotters ever produced in Australia, the now three-year-old will start from the outside of the front line in his $125,000 mobile mile, a draw almost certainly made worse by hot favourite Winterfell drawing the ace.
But few Australian horsemen know more about beating the Kiwis, even on their home tracks as Alford, who has won group ones at Addington and Alexandra Park as well as over 6000 races in his homeland.
And Alford is adamant Wobelee, trained by his wife Alison, can win.
“I have watched a lot of videos of the locals and they are no better than him,” says Alford in his matter-of-fact way.
“Winterfell was good winning the Derby but went a 2:0 mile rate whereas my horse went the same mile rate winning the NSW Derby after galloping and losing 50m early.
“I am not saying we are going to just turn up and win because it won’t be easy but he is good enough to overcome that barrier.”
Wobelee has been overcoming obstacles his whole life. When he was born his legs were so badly conformed he couldn’t stand for days. Hence, his name.
He tends to need a little help along the way, as he can be cranky pre-start and will be spending the minutes before the score up on Saturday with an attendant or keeping the clerk of the course’s horse company.
“He is fine as long as he doesn’t have to circle with the other horses and I have explained that to the stewards.
“But he will be good as gold during the race and while we might have to sit parked to win, I think he can.”