Team Telfer juggles big team at Alexandra Park

By Michael Guerin

Reigning premiership-winning trainer Steve Telfer will try something different at Alexandra Park tonight and if he pulls it off he could dominate the programme.

Telfer, who trains in partnership with his sister Amanda, already has the logical favourite in the main pace in Fernleigh Cash (R9, No.6) while he expects a far better performance from classy filly Aardiebytheseaside when she drops back in grade for race eight.

“She was having her first start last week since racing only in two-year-old company and had to take on some tough, fit older horses,” says Telfer.

“So even from the outside of the front line this week I think she can win.”

He has similar confidence in Fernleigh Cash, who is aided by a small field and only two rivals being on the front line when he tries to overcome a 20m handicap in the feature pace, the 2700m distance also being to his liking.

But while those two pacers are going to have logical support, Telfer has thought outside the square with the seven juvenile pacers he had entered tonight.

The stable has four two-year-olds in the juvenile race but has also entered them in each of the fillies and mare’s maiden race and the male maiden race.

Telfer says the babies thrown in against the older pacer may actually be his best ones.

“I think Akatea (R2, No.9) might be the best of our juvenile fillies for the next few months so she has to be hard to beat,” says Telfer.

While some old-school punters may still baulk at backing a two-year-old filly taking on older maidens under the old racing and breeding season dates horses racing as two-year-olds tonight would have turned three on August 1 and smart three-year-olds beat normal maidens most days of the week.

As talented as Akatea is Telfer says his debutante in race 4, Iron Brigade, may actually be his best juvenile at this stage of the season.

“He is very talented and fast,” says Telfer.

“We really rate him and while he isn’t a horse who has been hustled and bustled at the workouts yet, so I wouldn’t expect him to be a leader, if he settles close to them I think he might be too fast.”

The juvenile who divebombed Iron Brigade to beat him at the Pukekohe workouts two weeks ago, Le Major, looks one of the dangers in the actual two-year-old race as he showed ability in the early season races.

“Of our four in that race we really like Twista as a horse but he has barrier 8 which will make it really tough.

“So don’t be surprised if Seaside Rose comes out and goes a big race. She might be our surprise package.”

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