Tickle Me Pink misses Northern Trotting Stakes

By Michael Guerin

Outstanding trotting mare Tickle Me Pink is set to miss the next month but trainer Tony Herlihy is confident of having her back to her peak before long.

Tickle Me Pink raced well below her best in the mares trotting feature at Cambridge last week and as a consequence is missing from the Sims Pacific Metals Northern Trotting Stakes at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

 “She didn’t show her best last week and initially I didn’t know why,” said Herlihy.

 “But we had her looked over by the vet and she has an issue with her back.

“I don’t think it is serious but we will ease up on her and have that worked on and the hopefully she can come back before too long.”

How quickly last season’s Jewels winner can get back to full health and the races will determine whether she gets the chance to defend her title at Cambridge on May 30.

 Having already won a race at Alexandra Park this season Tickle Me Pink is well up the Jewels leader board, her $17,350 just outside the $18,175 (Baxter) of the top 12.

 But that last figure is likely to grow to at least $25,000 for the cut off point by mid May so she will need at least a placing or two, or another win, to be assured of a start in the Jewels.

 That is exactly what she did last season, with her late autumn form flurry getting Tickle Me Pink to the big day before she led all the way to beat Tricky Ric at Addington.

 Tickle Me Pink’s untimely defeat last week has also provided last Friday’s mares trot winner Pretty Majestic with a prime opportunity to escalate her claims for the trotting mare of the year title in coming weeks.

 Pretty Majestic not only won last week but is $1.90 favourite for Friday night’s group three feature and if she wins that and adds to her record of three wins from five starts since joining the Robert Dunn stable from Australia it is going to take a good mare’s performance in probably one of the open class races to beat her in the trotting mare of the year race.

 Alexandra Park’s Oaks meeting on Friday has plenty of other odds on favourites with Amazing Dream $1.12 for the classic, Dina Bolt odds on later in the programme as he prepares for next week’s Derby and two-year-olds It’s All About Faith and Passion And Power also well into the red.

 The opening night of Derby week at The Park also plays host to a $100,000 Pick6.

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