Telfers tipped to take trainers' premiership
By Michael Guerin
Premiership leading trainer Steve Telfer says his stable is ready for the title battle even if they could lose their lead in coming weeks.
Telfer and training partner/sister Amanda hold a one-win lead in the premiership over the All Stars, the champion trainers having closed the gap with a big week last week.
While Michael House on 39, Greg and Nina Hope on 38 and Robert and Jenna Dunn on 35 are all within realistic striking distance the TAB, probably quite rightly, have the Telfers at $1.45 to win the premiership and the All Stars at $2.70.
Telfer says while the gap has closed he has plenty of firepower for the second half of the season but will be quieter for a few weeks.
“We will only have a handful racing in the north and just Dance Time in the south over the next month,” he explains.
“I like the way the new season is divided in two and it gives us a chance to have a small let up and get ready for the second half.
“But we have plenty of horses coming up who will be at the workouts in the next two or three weeks and then bigger numbers coming out, including a lot of the two-year-olds coming back, some of them qualified.
“I always thought the second half of the season would be our stronger period so I am confident we will have a good back end to the season, but I am sure Mark and Hayden will too.”
Purdon is also having a short break away so the leading stables are almost going back to the future, with a winter break in harness racing common 30 or 40 years ago before year-round racing became a thing.
“It is only a few years ago we were in the situation that we would race quite a few in winter because we thought we had more chance of picking up a winner but that won’t be us this year and I will be thrilled for those who do pick up some wins,” says Telfer.
Telfer says while plenty of talented horses will be back in a month, two of the biggest names are unlikely to race in the north at the start of their new campaigns, with Alta Wiseguy and B D Joe heading south, IF the latter stays in New Zealand.
“They are coming up well and they could have two or even three trials before the National meeting at Addington which I think is August 26.
“Alta Wiseguy will definitely go there because he is such a good standing start horse and B D Joe might too but we are also considering an Australian campaign with him.
“There are about eight races that could be built into a campaign for him over there including the Victoria Cup and Four and Five-Year-Old Championships in Victoria and then three big races in West Australia.
“That is by no means certain but it could be an option because I am not really sure at this stage if he is a true 3200m horse for the New Zealand Cup.”
Telfer says if B D Joe does cross the Tasman one of the stable’s elite mares, Allamericanlover or Darling Me, could potentially go as well.
“It might be a smart thing to split the good mares and have them chasing different feature races in different countries but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then.”