Parwan trainer Craig Demmler will be relying on a dual Glenferrie attack on Friday night’s Tontine Finals at Bray Raceway.
It’s shaping up as a massive few months for the experienced horseman, having just secured one of Australasia’s brightest – and most enigmatic – young trotters in Blitzthemcalder.
But the focus will immediately land on Ballarat and with the Tontine Series’ often a pointer to future stars of the sport, Demmler will send the exciting Glenferrie EJ to the pacing version of the finals with five wins from her last six.
“She did all the work the other day and hit the front and she probably just knocked off a little bit late and the other horse just came out wide and nabbed us right on the post,” Demmler said.
“They’ll know she’s there on Friday night and I’m sure she will only get better too.
That defeat may have been her first in almost 12 months, but for much of that she was laid up in the paddock.
Having always shown ability, Demmler admits that she was actually on the verge of going straight to the top as a juvenile.
“There wasn’t much between her and (Breeders Crown winner) Glenferrie Shuffle as younger horses but it’s just good to have two horses like that in the stable,” he said.
“She’s been through hell and back really, she was off the scene for six months after having a mishap at the trials one day but she’s actually come back really well.”
The other Glenferrie to grace the track on Friday will be Typhoon.
Forming part of a lethal three-year-old crop of trotters last season, which included new stablemate Blitzthemcalder, they were unanimously touted as the best group of the modern era.
Having returned in style with a brave second first-up, the signs are positive for the progeny of exciting stallion Majestic Son.
It doesn’t get any easier this week though, with Demmler having to take on the very same horse who defeated him in the heat, Unico Crown.
“He went super first-up, I’ve always liked him but last year was his first year of racing. He went out for a spell and he’s come back a bit stronger which I was hoping he would,” he said.
“He did a good job to sit outside Dean’s horse but I think on Friday night he will have a bit of a task again because that horse is drawn inside us again but I’m sure we’ll take benefit from the first run.”
It’s often noted that leaping from age-restricted racing to the open class isn’t the easiest transition.
With that in the back of his mind, Demmler isn’t setting overly lofty ambitions however he believes that ‘Typhoon’ has all the attributes needed to take the step up.
“He’s pretty right, he’s good from a stand and he’s got good manners so that sort of helps him,” he said.
“It was a race I targeted a long time ago thinking he was probably good enough; to do what he did in one year, I think he should be able to go through his classes pretty quickly.”
The other news to emerge from the stable is that Blitzthemcalder will have his first run for the team next Friday night in a TM0-1 race at Tabcorp Park Melton before heading to Sydney for the Chambers Challenge on Inter Dominion day.
By Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)