Alta Wiseguy caps premiership winning season for Team Telfer

By Michael Guerin

Alta Wiseguy put the ultimate exclamation mark on Team Telfer’s premiership-winning season in the final race of 2022.

In a stunning training performance from the new champions as they produced the speedster fresh-up to trail and then grab Copy That in the $50,000 Lincoln Farm Franklin Cup at Alexandra Park, courtesy of a wonderful drive from Tim Williams to take him to him to exactly 100 for the year.

It was a fitting end to Team Telfer’s first premiership season but you don’t get to the top by not having ambition so don’t expect Team Telfer to be resting on their laurels after officially taking the title last night.

The brother and sister partnership of Steve and Amanda Telfer had known for a week they were going to win the title after the All Stars pulled pin last week and they were left three wins clear with no more runners for their rivals.

That saw them with a final tally of 98 to the All Stars’s 94 as well as over $1.5million in stakes in their first title season.

“It was a strange way to win it but when I realised last Saturday it was still a special feeling,” says Steve Telfer.

“To win it, to get so close to 100 for the season and for all of us to get that reward really means something.

“And to get that win as the last one, if very, very special.

“Not a lot of people win a premiership, not against such tough opposition, so the biggest thanks have to go to Steve (Stockman, Stonewall boss) and Jill (Telfer’s partner) as well as all our staff and of course the owners who support us.”

The chase for premiership No.2 starts straight away with the most instant change being Hayden Cullen switching camps from the All Stars to what will now quickly become known as the Telfer/Cullen stable.

Cullen will head one of two South Island barns and Steve Telfer says while one premiership is great along with wanting to win more of them, he has new goals for 2023.

“One thing I really loved was having two good horses on the New Zealand Cup trail and having them racing so well in the spring,” he said.

“Being down there (South Island) for that build up has really whetted my appetite for the New Zealand Cup and that is at the top of the races we’d love to win but we realise that isn’t easy to do.”

An Australian campaign in Sydney for B D Joe and Kahlua Flybye, starting February 4, comes first and Telfer says becoming a consistent force on the other side of the Tasman is also important for an operation which has grown to the size their stable has.

“I’d love Sydney to go well and be more involved in Aussie racing heading forward,” he offers.

More methodical than emotional, Telfer says all wins are special but one of the victories that really stuck in his mind was Aardie’s Express’s win in the Southland Oaks.

“We thought before that we might have a special filly and that proved it.

“We all know she got injured later in the year but the vet reports are good and she should be back in work in 3-4 weeks.”

While beaten in the premiership the All Stars had another massive season with 94 wins and it will be interesting to see what shape their stable’s partnership officially takes this season while two-time premiership winners Diamond Racing (Dunns) also had a year to be proud.

Of special mention on the premiership ladder also come Bob Butt in sixth place, Matt Purvis not far behind while Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan produced a stunning strike rate season to beat out another huge year for Arna Donnelly to be the top North Island-only trainers.

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