Day At The Track

Alford to be the first?

10:15 AM 25 Apr 2018 NZST
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Chris Alford and Wobelee,Harness racing
Chris Alford and Wobelee
Stuart McCormack photo

For the man who has won it almost all, there is one glaring gap in Chris Alford’s trophy cabinet.

And if he can finally fill that at gap at Cambridge on June 2 he will be the first Australian reinsman to do so.

 The Australian challenge for the Jewels went into over drive last night with group one winners Wobelee (three-year-old trot) and Carla’s Pixel (four-year-old pacing mares) invited.

Both are high class and would sit near the top of any market, with Wobelee a juvenile sensation last season and Carla’s Pixel having downed a host of Kiwi big names in the Ladyship Mile at Menangle in February.

 Alford’s wife Alison trains Wobelee but Alford will drive but he also looks likely to be offered the drive on Carla’s Pixel.

 “That will be up to Dean (Braun, trainer) but the owners have said I will be driving it.

 “It is exciting to head there with probably two good chances because as we all know no Aussie has won a Jewels.

 “I’ve only driven in them once, behind Blitzemcalder, so to get back there will be great.”

Last night’s two invites join four-year-old trotter Custodian on the invite list while it is looking almost certain NSW Oaks winner Shez All Rock will be at Cambridge.

She is hot favourite for the Victoria Oaks this week and then joins the All Stars for the NZ Oaks, where she could either win her way into the Jewels or still be invited as the Australian for her division.

That leaves the biggest invite of all the Australians still unconfirmed, with Miracle Mile runner-up Jilliby Kung Fu still being set for the Jewels but not invited yet.

The home of the Jewels races tonight with a continuation of the strong juvenile trot numbers.

 Unbeaten filly Tickle Me Pink resumes against fellow class act filly in She Reigns, who would be unbeaten but for a gallop last start.

 The juvenile trotting fields in the south have been strong with the Phil Williamson-trained Oscar Bonenova catching the eye winning on debut at Rangiora.


Michael Guerin

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