Idolou to head to Queen of Hearts

by Michael Guerin

Idolou’s improvement curve has been so steep trainer Nicky Chilcott almost feels embarrassed about her next target.

“One of her owners and breeders Tom Rodewald always has an end of year staff party at Alexandra Park on Queen Of Hearts night,” says the Cambridge trainer.

“So he wants her to race in the Queen of Hearts. I know it sounds silly but, you know, why not.”

If you had never seen or heard of Idolou (you are not alone) and only saw her win at Alexandra Park on Friday night you would be pretty sure she can fit in in the Woodlands Queen Of Hearts, the $110,000 group 1 for fillies and mares at Alexandra Park on December 15.

She was in against some smart young pacers on Friday and after they burned hard early Idolou was left sitting parked but out-toughed them in the straight to remain unbeaten in three starts.

The time of 2:39.3 for 2200m mobile represents a 1:56.5 mile rate and was nearly two seconds faster than what one of the Queen Of Hearts favourites Lady Of The Light paced winning the feature race later on.

So Idolou must be pretty good right, an unbeaten filly who can pace open class times?

“We thought she was useless,” counters Chilcott.

“That is why I came back to the winner’s circle shaking my head.

“A few months ago we thought she might not even qualify and I told the owner maybe we should send her down to the Central Districts.

“But we gave her a start and on debut she sat in the trail at Cambridge and just won her maiden race.

“Then she started from barrier 9 (one on the second line) in her next race and trailed throughout again and again only just won.

“So she had only just won two starts at Cambidge and we had to bring her to Alexandra Park but when I saw the field we were in I was furious because I thought she had no chance.

“Even now I still don’t think she should have been in that field but she won like a good horse tonight.

“I mean after that, I suppose we should give her a crack at the Queen Of Hearts because I have to keep changing my opinion of her every time she starts.”

Idolou is an Sweet Lou from President Tomado, who won eight races for Chilcott around 10 years ago when owned by the same partners who bred Idolou and now own her with Chilcott.

The win capped a good 24 hours for Chilcott who won the Palmerstonian the night before with Village Rebel.

Of course Idolou’s next target is going to be enormously harder as Aardie’s Express will be waiting for her alongside Lady Of The Light, who made it back to back wins in impressive fashion on Friday night.

Driven straight to the front by Monika Ranger she won by nearly three lengths and will take a power of beating in three weeks.

Other stars of Friday night were American Muscle, who looks in career best form after winning the main trot while earlier Kimkar Dash registered her first win in over two years when she came from last in the junior driver’s trot.

She was driven by Neita Balle, who father Derek trains the mare and mother Raelene owns it for a real family affair.

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