It proved to be a winning weekend for the Aldons family.
And on both sides of the ditch.
Last Friday afternoon, maiden three-year-old filly Triple Bouquet registered her first victory when successful at Cambridge while the following day, Afro Samurai proved too strong winning at Albion Park.
Both pacers are raced by Dr. Pat Aldons and his wife Rhonda.
Afro Samurai is the stable star from the Logan Village based operation where the family has a team of five race horses with at least another ten youngsters on the books.
Bred by the Aldons Family in New Zealand, Afro Samurai has raced with distinction since crossing the Tasman as a three-year-old, the Julius Caesar – Lady Lucy Lou gelding contested the Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland Derby’s while claiming the Silver Vase at Terang in his Australian debut defeating subsequent Queensland Derby winner Best Deal Yet.
Afro Samurai commenced his career with close family friend Mike Berger in Cambridge before a stint with Peter Manning while Ben Aldons, son of Pat and Rhonda now prepares the talented pacer.
The victory provided Ben with his first metropolitan triumph.
“It was a great victory on so many levels; the horse earned his victory while it great to see Ben land his first Saturday night winner, a proud night for the family indeed.” Dr. Aldons said.
The 5yo will continue to race through his metropolitan grades in Brisbane before future options are considered but a career in North America is likely.
The Aldons family enjoyed good success when they raced their former Australian Derby winner City Rogue abroad a decade ago.
Triple Bouquet caused a major upset when successful in the Garrards Horse and Hound Fillies & Mares Pace over 2200m.
The Mach Three filly was sent off at massive odds but responded nicely to a Todd Macfarlane drive, sent forward early from a wide gate before obtaining the one out – one back trail and then sustaining a determined sprint from the 400m mark to hold out race favorite Strawberry Miss.
Triple Bouquet is prepared by Dave and Clare McGowan at Pukekoke.
The diminutive filly is the first horse prepared by the McGowan’s for the Aldons family.
“My daughter Kylie purchased this filly very cheaply for me from the New Zealand Yearling Sales at Karaka, her strike rate remains at 100% after buying Christian Miracle (9 wins – 7 in a row) a few years ago.
“I don’t think this filly has that sort of ability but she will eventually end up in Brisbane at some point, Dave and Clare have done a tremendous job with her.”
The Aldons family has raced pacers on both sides of the Tasman for many years, spreading their stock amongst the likes of Mike Berger, Dave and Clare McGowan plus Davey and Catherine Butt.
In recent years, they have slowly reduced their breeding operation in New Zealand and relocated many of their mares to their Queensland farm where they continue to breed healthy numbers annually.
However, Dr. Aldons still has hope for another New Zealand based filly.
Sweet Lucy Brown, a three-year-old Mach Three – Hot Shoe Shuffle ($295k) filly remains in work with Mike Berger.
The half-sister to Australasian Breeders Crown winner Glenferrie Shuffle has battled some niggling injuries to date but continues to show strong ability.
“I’m hoping Mike can get her sorted so we can look at some of the better class races with her later this season. She might even end up in Australia at some point, time will tell.” Dr. Aldons said.
HOOFNOTE: Dr. Aldons is a leading thoracic physician at The Prince Charles Hospital.
by Chris Barsby