Faithful’s pair on song

By Jonny Turner

Chelsea Faithful can pick up a couple of early Christmas presents with the two runners she starts at her home track on Christmas Eve.

The trainer heads to Winton on Friday with last start winner Tartan Raider and her stable star Pay Me Speedy who steps out in the meeting’s feature mares event.

After a strong recent trial effort Pay Me Speedy looks ready to make an impact in her return following a good third in the South Of The Waitaki event at the New Zealand Cup Carnival.

The pacer was three-wide for a good part of the last lap before fighting on well in the straight.

“I was rapt with her, Jonny (Cox) said she put in a couple of rough ones around the bend which cost her momentum, but I don’t know if she would have picked them up anyway,” Faithful said.

Though Pay Me Speedy has trialled ahead of her return, Faithful is mindful going into Friday’s mile event that there is nothing quite like race fitness

“I think she will need the run on Friday, she needed her trial, she needed the blow out.”

“On ability or class she is more than capable of winning it, but there are a few in there that have more race fitness of their side than her.”

“I would be rapt if she could just run a placing.”

Pay Me Speedy was rated at $7.50 and $2.30 when fixed odds markets opened on Thursday afternoon.

Suzie Rocks, who has drawn barrier 1, opened the $2.30 win favourite for race 10.

The Regan Todd trained mare also comes in to the race fresh, following her third in the Southern Mares Classic on Show Day at Addington.

Tartan Raider looks capable of making the step up from maiden grade to taking on race winners for Faithful in race 9.

The pacer has shored up his form recently which led to his late-closing last start victory at Wyndham.

“He has come back a lot stronger this time in and his gait is a lot better.”

“I have been happy with all of his runs, except his one first up which I put a line through.”

“He has gone good, he is a wee bludger you could say.”

“Sam (Ottley) came back in and said he is a bit of a hard case, she couldn’t get him going until the last 50m.”

Tartan Raider opened the $6 second favourite behind Major Memphis ($2.3) on market opening.

Samantha Ottley drives Major Memphis with Blair Orange jumping in the bike behind Tartan Raider.

Brent Barclay will drive Pay Me Speedy for Faithful in race 10.

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