Day At The Track

High hopes for Alkiras Desire

03:36 PM 14 Jun 2017 NZST
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Alkiras Desire
Alkiras Desire

Waterloo trainer Vanessa Brockman has high hopes her lightly framed harness racing mare Alkiras Desire can win Friday night’s R H Trotter & Co. The Lombardo Fillies and Mares Qualifying Heat 2 (2130m) at Gloucester Park. The first four mares across the line in the three heats qualify for the $25,000 Final at headquarters at the end of June. Artistic Lilly led all the way in last week's first heat. She qualified for the final alongside the three other mares who finished behind her - Shes Turbo Charged, Talkerup and Giuliana Rancic. The third and final heat will be run next week.

Alkiras Desire's chances of success improved immensely when the consistent four-year-old mare drew gate 10, right behind speedy beginner and likely leader Falling Starzzz and with champion reinsman Chris Lewis in the bike, Alkiras Desire looks hard to beat. "It looks like a good trailing draw for her," Brockman said. "I just hope Chris can weave his magic at some stage and get her off the fence. She's trained on well since her last-start second behind Shes Artful a fortnight ago."

Alkiras Desire was game in defeat on that occasion. Lewis took hold of her from the wide draw over the sprint trip of 1730m, while Ryan Bell sent Shes Artful to an early lead from her inside draw. Lewis then set Alkiras Desire alight over the last 800m after Bell "walked the field" through the first half of the race. The little mare tramped three deep and then in the breeze when Shes Artful came home in a slick 56.3. Alkiras Desire almost got on terms with Shes Artful on the turn, but the earlier effort told and she was running on empty up the straight. "She's only a little thing and I try and space her races as much as I can," Brockman said. "We're hoping she qualifies for the final and then she can run in that. She'll probably go for a spell after that - it would be nice to go out on a win. We don't like to tax her too much."

Brockman's father Neville bred Alkiras Desire and races the mare in partnership with a couple of friends. The Brockman family also bred and raced Alkira Jet - the dam of Alkiras Desire. Alkira Jet, a black mare by Jet Laag, had a powerful finish and ended her career with 17 wins and 8 placings from 45 starts for more than $134,000 in prize money.

Alkiras Desire, with 6 wins and 4 placings from 14 starts and a little over $36,000 in earnings, has a long way to go before she can match Mum, but she's starting to show the promise that the Brockman family always knew she had. "She's only lightly framed and I tried to get her ready for some of the early two-year-old races," Brockman said. "But she just wasn't ready to go to the races, so we gave her time to mature. That's the reason she's only had the 14 starts."

Alkiras Desire had her first start just over a year ago when she won by more than 25m in a 1684m C0 at Pinjarra. Her last quarter that day was run in a blistering 26.9 and C. Lewis did the steering that day. Alkiras Desire must have impressed the master reinsman because he's been at the helm in all of her races since.

Wayne Currall

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