Bittersweet time for Team Telfer
By Michael Guerin
Darling Me’s blistering return and a feature handicap pace quinella at Addington on Friday night provided Team Telfer with some consolation after one of the greatest disappointments of the season just hours earlier.
Trainers Steve and Amanda Telfer welcomed back Darling Me when she effortlessly put away some high-class mares in the “Sweet Lou — the Best if yet to Come Pace”, aptly named because Darling Me is a daughter of Sweet Lou and Adore Me.
And then a few races later B D Joe continued his near perfect march toward the IRT New Zealand Cup when beating stablemate Allamericanlover in the main pace for the older horses.
B D Joe got the lead off the stablemate in the middle stages and was very strong to the line, confirming what we have all suspected this spring, that he has grown into a man from being a boy on the open class scene last campaign.
With Alta Wiseguy waiting in the wings for the Cup as well and Allamericanlover to be joined by Darling Me in the elite mares' races, the Telfers have some serious Group 1 horses in their care.
Darling Me could hardly have been more impressive earlier registering the 11th win of her career and Steve Telfer says she has finally developed into the mare her connections have long hoped she would become.
“She has strengthened so much and you can see that now in her races,” he explained.
“She will head to a mare’s race at Ashburton (Oct 24) similar to this then the good mares' races at Addington on Show Day which she is still eligible for because she hasn’t won a group 1.
“Then we will tackle the Queen Of Hearts at Alex Park and the group mares' races at Addington.
“She is one horse in the team I’d love to get to Menangle because I think she would love the mile racing over there so that is a longer-term aim.”
Menangle of course is the track where Adore Me stunned the Australasian harness racing industry winning the Ladyship Mile in a remarkable 1:47.7.
While the Telfers were all smiles after the Darling Me-B D Joe double they were also still hurting from their outstanding three-year-old filly Aardie’s Express being diagnosed with a fracture in her leg on Thursday.
While the very small fracture at the top of a cannon bone is expected to heal and Aardie’s Express will in all likelihood race again, the timing could hardly have been worse.
“She trailed really well on Wednesday but pulled up a bit short on her action and was worse again when she came out of the box on Thursday morning,” says Telfer.
“We will know more in 10 days when we get her x-rayed again and once we see how much bone calcification there has been. We will find out then whether she needs to have a small screw or pin put in.”
That means Aardie’s Express, the winner of eight of her nine starts, will miss both the Nevele R Fillies Final and the NZ Oaks, two Group 1s she was the favourite for.
“We are disappointed of course but she will come back to the races so it will all work out.
“But the really tough part is not only was she favourite to win those Group 1s but people really haven’t seen the best of her yet. We were only about to really pull the trigger on her.”