Local cup assignment for Edamfast
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Eddie Phelan has been assisting South Auckland trainer Jay Abernethy during his recent southern campaign, and the Manakau trainer could be rewarded with a win from a new stable acquisition as a result.
Edamfast transferred into his care after winning at Tauherenikau on Saturday and he will be looking for back-to-back victories when he contests the Boundary/Deans & Associates Otaki Cup (2000m) on Monday.
“He went really well at Wairarapa,” Phelan said.
“It is a much better field (than Saturday), but the fields he raced down south (West Coast) were pretty strong compared to the fields here, so we are hoping for a good run.”
Abernethy has utilised Phelan’s property to prepare a couple of his runners for the West Coast circuit, and Phelan said Edamfast has particularly thrived with the grass track campaign.
“It has worked really well,” Phelan said. “He just freshens up on the grass here. He has done really well and we generally do that if they are a bit flat.”
Edamfast will be Phelan’s first start as a trainer this season, with the Horowhenua conditioner saying he now chooses to send his horses north to Abernethy to race as result of his busy work schedule.
“I have got a few in work and I send some up to Jay if they are good enough to race,” Phelan said.
“I am on the road a lot with work, so I struggle to get them ready.”
Phelan has been pleased with the way Edamfast has come through his win on Saturday and he is expecting a bold showing from his charge after drawing barrier four for Monday.
“He has eaten up everything, he has done everything right, and he has travelled over the hill and back well,” Phelan said.
“He has had a few runs in the last three weeks, but he is a tough horse, so we are just hoping he does himself proud and has another good run.
“I am very pleased with the draw, but I think he will just mosey on out and see if we can get a quiet run because Port Delight will lead, I think.”
Phelan has trained for more than 30 years and he said while harness racing in the southern North Island has been facing its struggles of late, he is looking forward to passing on his passion and skills to the next generation.
“Frank, my brother, and I started training at Hutt Park in our twenties. We moved from there up to Kapiti Coast, and then Frank moved up to Auckland, and Scott and everyone is up there,” Phelan said.
“I have a young son, Noah, and he is getting interested, so hopefully we might have a few to the races over the next couple of years.”