Fernleigh Cash is back, with big targets ahead
By Michael Guerin
A winter night at Cambridge is rarely the first stepping stone to a New Zealand Cup start but one of the best trainers in the country thinks that unlikely journey could begin tonight.
Premiership winner Steve Telfer is sure Fernleigh Cash has what it takes to get to open class, maybe even the great race at Addington in November, and says if not for injury the big gelding wouldn’t even be at Cambridge tonight.
Fernleigh Cash has won five of his 13 starts and was a head second in the NZB Yearling Sales Pace at Kaikoura in October, a race that usually throws up Cup horses.
“He got injured shortly after and we decided to give him two months off, which why he has come back now,” says Telfer.
“He has always been a pretty good horse but he has grown into his frame now and I think we will see a better, stronger horse this season.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up a Cups horse and by that, I mean the NZ Cup.
“One of the good things about him coming back as a Rating 68 at this time of the season if he has actually been pretty good from a standing start, which could be really handy.”
Fernleigh Cash pleased Telfer in his recent comeback workout but the South Auckland trainer knows winning tonight off 25m over 2200m could come down as much to manners and racing luck as ability.
Aiding the backmarkers is the fact some of the other dangers are also off handicaps and there could be moves in the race. Factoring in that and recent form Simply Sam may be the toughest to beat.
He has had little luck this campaign and was a huge third last time he raced under similar circumstances at Cambridge so if the backmarkers get into the race he can win.
Telfer also takes a handy maiden filly in Ideal Delight (R2, No.4) to Cambridge tonight and she won’t need to perform much better than she did at Alexandra Park last start to win.
Meanwhile, Team Telfer/Cullen are bringing more of their big names back with B D Joe and Alta Wiseguy resuming work this week after six-week spells.
They will again be aimed at the early open class races, B D Joe in the south and Alta Wiseguy closer to home.