Day At The Track

Puppet on millionaire row

04:04 PM 23 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Our Princess Tiffany,Harness racing
Our Princess Tiffany
Stuart McCormick photo

Some elite talent will pass through Chris Alford’s hands tonight, with just three of his horses having already amassed more than $2.3 million in stakes and 14 Group 1s.

Across races five, seven and eight 'the Puppet' will steer Cruz Bromac ($1,056,075 winnings, 5 Group 1s), Our Princess Tiffany ($852,262, 6 Group 1s) and Wobelee ($415,239, 5 Group 1s), an extraordinary collection of talent that signals a great night’s racing ahead at Tabcorp Park Melton.

“The way the season went, all the good horse are back in getting primed for the big races, so it’s really exciting,” Alford told Trots Talk.

The shortest of his stars will likely be Our Princess Tiffany, a $1.60 favourite in the Angelique Club Cup, leg two of the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown.

Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown standings
 Horse   Points
 Our Princess Tiffany  8
 Maajida  5
 Goodtime Heaven  3
 Rock N Roll Chapel   2
 Pick Up Line   1

 

 

 

 

 

 


The four-year-old, who’s raced for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s All Stars for much of her career but crossed to Dean Braun for her Victorian campaign, was extraordinary in winning last week’s Benstud Make Mine Cullen.

It was her first start since jumping the Tasman and has her well placed to not only win the new $10,000 prize for the best horse in the series, but potentially the $20,000 bonus for sweeping all three races.

“She was (stunning),” Alford said of last week’s win. “First up from a mini break after coming from New Zealand, to do what she did was pretty amazing, it just shows how classy she is.

“She’s pretty professional like a lot of the Purdon horses are, they can do pretty much everything.

“She flopped along at the back of the field and when the speed came on at about the 600 she knew it was time to go, she grabbed the bit and just wanted to get on with it.

“Around the last turn I had a stranglehold on her just to keep her off (Goodtime Heaven’s driver Mick) Stanley’s head, trying not to clip his wheel as she came out because she was that wound up ready to go.”

And expectations in the camp are that she should just get better tonight and into the $100,000 Benstud Queen Of The Pacific on October 31, the final leg of the series.

“Dean said she’s trained on really well since then, so all looking forward to the next leg of it and hopefully she can get the second leg down and go into the big one the week after,” Braun said.

Before then he’ll take hold of Cruz Bromac in the TAB Long May We Play Bold David Free For All, with the million-dollar pacer having his third Victorian start after disappointing first-up and then rattling home to finish sixth in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup.

“He was terrible (first-up), left everyone scratching their heads a bit, but he’s trained a bit harder since then,” Alford said. “Because he’s an eight or nine-year-old now, he probably just took a bit more work than what he did the year before, so he seems to be getting wound up now.

“The draw didn’t work out that well for us in the Vic Cup, but apart from the winner his sectionals were quicker than any other horse in the race, and that was only his second-up run in 12 months, so he should improve again this week.”

Alford’s also hopeful of improvement from star trotter Wobelee, who’s trained by his wife Alison and looks well placed for a late charge at likely leaders Red Hot Tooth and Dance Craze in the Aldebaran Park True Roman Trotters Free For All.

“The trotters are really really strong at the moment,” he said. “You have the two mares off the front row and McLovin, Wobelee and Savannah Jay Jay off the back. It’s going to be a pretty tactical race, hopefully there’s a fair bit of speed on which will suit us.

“(Wobelee) went all right in the Bill Collins race, he was probably just a run short because he hadn’t run in three weeks. Hopefully that tightened him up for this week.”

While Alford may not have a drive in The Big Screen Company Tatlow Stakes Group 2 for two-year-old fillies, with Rogue Wave the emergency, he’ll drive quality in the colts and geldings division in Idyllic, albeit from the outside-the-back-row draw.

He’ll also partner Treasure for Isabel Walsh in the DNR Logistics Argent 3YO Classic, Brevity for David Aiken in the Alabar Vicbred Championship second heat and Kyvalley Clichy for Brent Lilley in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Trot.

 

HRV - Michael Howard

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