Faithful’s find spearheads quinella

By Jonny Turner

On a day filled with highlights at Wyndham on Saturday, Chelsea Faithful enjoyed one of the biggest thrills of her training career with the quinella of Arnie’s Army and Tartan Raider.

Barrier 8 was not enough to stop Arnie’s Army from powering to a well-deserved victory, capping a brilliantly consistent run of form since joining the Faithful stable.

Tartan Raider also charged out of the pack at the end of a hectic affair to see the Faithful colours go one-two for the first time in their trainer’s emerging career.

For Arnie’s Army, raced by a large group of owners through Andrew Fitzgerald’s Off N Racing syndicates, it was a case of the horse finally getting luck go his way.

“He deserved it, he has been knocking on the door for a while now he just doesn’t get any luck,” Faithful said.

“But yesterday he got a drag into it behind Mr McLaren.”

“I don’t think there would be another horse around that has had the draws he has copped since he has been down here.”

“But kudos to him he always tries really hard.”

Arnies Army sat off a hot speed before driver Mark Hurrell worked him into the race before the home bend.

That tempo was just about perfect for both he and his stablemate, who was driven by Sarah O’Reilly.

“Both of them are suited to it, if they just run they will just keep coming.”

“But Arnie’s Army seems to be able to do anything, he is reasonably versatile.”

Arnie’s Army was sent south to join Faithful’s stable after being secured by Fitzgerald in Canterbury.

The trainer admitted she was initially reluctant to take the horse on, but she is glad she did.

“He has proven to be a really good find.”

“Andrew was looking for horses and I flicked through a couple of the ones from down here for him to try to get.”

“He didn’t end up getting them, but he asked if I was interested in taking Arnie’s Army.”

“At the start I was umming and ahing about whether to take him because his form wasn’t that good.”

“The only reason I said yes was because he does such good job with his publicity for his trainers.”

Faithful had produced a first and third with two of her stable favourites Tartan Trilogy and Toby O’Gara in a Forbury Park event but went one better with her first quinella on Saturday.

The trainer has nine horses in work and looks set to continue the excellent strike rate she produced over her 12 wins over the extended 2021 season.

The incredible rise of Tairlaw Toll under trainer Carl Hanna’s watch was another of the highlights on a big day of racing at Wyndham.

The seven-year-old did his share of work to hold the lead but it wasn’t enough to stop him from running to a strong victory in the Wyndham Cup for driver Matthew Williamson.

Earlier on the Wyndham card, Darling Me set a new Wyndham track record and posted the fastest mile time run by a mare in Southland with her 1.51.8 victory in a heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series.

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