Good book for Herlihy

By Michael Guerin

Tony Herlihy can’t win the race named in his honour at Alexandra Park on Friday night but he can win a few others.

The champion horseman will have his feat of training 1000 domestic winners recognised in the $17,500 sixth event tonight, the Congratulations Tony Herlihy 1000 Training Wins Mobile.

Ironically, Herlihy has neither a stable rep or even a drive in the race but not for any official reason.

“I didn’t even know it was going ahead until Karen (Blanchard, ATC racing manager) told me on Tuesday,” says Herlihy.

“It is a nice thing for the club to do and I have had a lot of great feedback from people since the milestone.”

That was when Lord Verde won at Alexandra Park on March 26, making Herlihy the ninth member of the 1000-winners trained domestically club.

While he can’t win his race, Herlihy has one of the favourites in Mr Kaplan in the second northern heat of the two-year-old fillies Sires’ Stakes, which will be a clear highlight of tonight’s meeting.

While Mr Kaplan was dominant winning the Delightful Lady at Alexandra Park on March 5 she was beaten by the Purdon/Phelan pair of Montana Glory and Montana Miki in the first northern heat of this series, won stunningly by Montana Glory.

Tonight’s field is even stronger with talented southerners Play Philly, Suntan and Cover Girl, who was excellent at the trials last weekend, joining the fray and another Purdon/Phelan starter in Artisan also having a touch of class.

“It is a really good field for fillies at this stage of the season but my filly is very tough so she will be hard to beat,” says Herlihy.

On a night where he has few drives Herlihy rates stable rep Forget The Price Tag an each way chance in the main trot.

“As a younger horse we thought he would go right to the top but he broke a pedal bone and was off the scene for a year and he really didn’t come back last campaign.

“But he has been good so far this time and this looks a nice race for him.”

Perhaps Herlihy’s best chance comes early in race two with I See Fire if he can behave himself from barrier one.

The talented three-year-old trotter beat the older horses at Cambridge last start and after some recent work on his back trotted well at the workouts last week.

“He seems really well and provided he behaves himself he has to be hard to beat.”

Meanwhile, Herlihy says stable star Bolt For Brilliance will race in the Anzac Cup next Friday even after disappointing slightly when only third in the NZ Trotting Free-For-All last Friday.

“He wasn’t quite as sharp as the start before but hopefully the trip has bought him on more.”

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