Boom youngster Eljaykay Phoenix registered a slice of harness racing history at Tabcorp Park Melton last Sunday.
Triumphant in the prestigious Australasian Breeders’ Crown, Eljaykay Phoenix became the first trotter to capture Victoria’s ‘big three’ two-year-old events.
Beginning with the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series, Eljaykay Phoenix then annexed the Redwood Classic before rounding off his season in the Crown.
The three Group Ones have been run simultaneously since 1998.
Heading into the futurity, the David Aiken-trained freshman was one of five squaregaiters to complete the Sires’/Redwood double.
The features have been part of the racing calendar since the Redwood’s inauguration in 1986, with Young Trouper capturing both that year.
Kano Regal followed suit in 1996, with Storm Blazer achieving the milestone in ’99.
Former star mare, Jauriol, became the only filly in the crew when she outclassed the ‘boys’ in 2004.
Thrilled with Eljaykay Phoenix debut term, Aiken believes the son of Sundon is capable of repeating the dose as a three-year-old.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m ahead of myself, but he is capable of doing it all over again,” Aiken said.
“I’m not saying her will, as a lot will have to go his way, but the ability is there.
“He is just such a natural racehorse and I can’t see any reason why he won’t improve next time in.”
Driven by Aiken’s reinsman-son, Josh, last weekend, Eljaykay Phoenix worked to the lead from barrier seven, after his main danger, Shared Interest, was eased to take the trail.
Given a ‘breather’ during the middle stages, Eljaykay Phoenix strode clear along the home straight to score by three-and-a-half metres from Shared Interest.
After travelling two-back along the pegs, Kyvalley Boomerang was 10-and-a-half metres away third.
“Once I was able to find the front with him, I knew he would be hard to run down,” Josh said.
“Then when I was able to back off and make it a sprint home, they were never going to catch him.
“He is such a great young trotter and it’s been a privilege to be driving him.”
Covering the last half in 58.6 seconds, the gelding rated 2:04.7 for the 2240 metres, taking his record to an imposing eight wins and two seconds from 10 starts for earnings of $169,622.
To be given a lengthy spell, Eljaykay Phoenix will be aimed at the various Derbys, along with his Vicbred and Crown title defences next season.
“He has all the attributes of a star and should come back better again after a spell,” Aiken said.
“I haven’t decided how long he will have off and will have to count backwards from the main races next season.
“The majors don’t start until late in the season, so he probably won’t race again until at least February.
“That will give him between eight and 10 weeks off.”