Alta Wiseguy faces tough handicap at Alexandra Park tonight
By Michael Guerin
Trainer Steve Telfer takes two of his best pacers to Alexandra Park tonight but expects one of his other stable reps to beat them.
The reigning premiership-winning trainer brings open class star Alta Wiseguy back to start his New Zealand Cup campaign in Race 7 tonight in which he also lines up Kahlua Flybye and Fernleigh Cash.
While Alta Wiseguy and Kahlua Flybye are both Group 1 performers Telfer says logic and fitness suggest Fernleigh Cash is the better bet.
“Alta Wiseguy is a class horse and one you can get ready enough to race at home but it is very, very hard to win these races fresh up off a 30m handicap,” he explains.
“He is using this as his lead-up to the Spring Cup in three weeks and obviously has far bigger races after that all the way through to the New Zealand Cup so we won’t be sending him on a mission from his back mark.
“He will be driven for one late run and if he is good enough to win great, but he can’t be at his peak.”
Kahlua Flybye is still a three-year-old filly, albeit that somewhat confused by the changing of official birthdates for harness horses, but she is still very much a baby against big boys.
“I wasn’t going to race her this week but she has done so well since she last raced she needs another run to get her ready for the three-year-old fillies races coming up.”
While Telfer is cautious about that pair he has no fears about Fernleigh Cash tonight, even off his 10m handicap.
“He is fit and racing well and since he ran second last time I have even stepped his work up a bit and he is ready to go.
“He is good from a standing start and he is ready to be driven aggressively.”
Fernleigh Cash beat most of those who stand in front of him on the front line the last time he ran second and the rival who did beat him, Brookies Jaffa, is 10m worse off in the handicaps tonight.
Team Telfer also has a strong hand in tonight’s two-year-old fillies pace which sees that crop step up a level as the entire field from the Group 2 Delightful Lady Classic in March, won by Treacherous Love, return for new campaigns.
“It is a real meeting of the early season fillies and the ones we have been campaigning lately so it will be interesting to see how they all measure up against each other.”
Telfer rates Akatea (R6, No.8) the best of his three chances while Barry Purdon/Scott Phelan stable has three smart fillies in with Ultimate Racy Girl the best of their trio in a workout two weeks ago.