graduate Aardie’s Express (NZ) powers to Oaks victory graduate Aardie’s Express (NZ) (Always B Miki) continued her monumental rise when powering to victory in the $50,000 Group 2 Nevele R Stud-Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final (2700m) at Ascot Park.

The classy filly scored the biggest of her six wins for trainers Steve and Amanda Telfer in a whirlwind seven start career when seeing out her first test at black-type level with class for driver Tim Williams.

Canadian owner Mike Tanev purchased Aardie’s Express for $30,500 as a yearling in 2020 when offered in a auction and in the same sale bought her dam Tatijana Bromac (NZ) (Rocknroll Hanover) with an Always B Miki colt at foot while also back in foal to the sire for $47,500.

Tim Williams was delighted to be able to secure stakes-race success for Tanev at Saturday’s Diamonds Day meeting.

“I spoke to Mike a couple of times and he was pretty excited about the race,” Williams said.

“I am just glad we could pull it off for him.”

Aardie’s Express reeled off a sizzling 26.8sec final 400m showing just how strong she can be at the end of the staying test of an Oaks distance.

It should hold the three-year-old in great stead as New Zealand’s biggest three-year-old fillies races approach later in the season.

“There is plenty of bottom to her and she showed that today,” Williams said.

“She has got the makings (of a top filly) and I think time is going to be her friend too.”

With her Southland Oaks mission complete, Aardie’s Express will head to the paddock before she is set for races like the New Zealand Oaks.

“You have got to tip your hat to Steve and Mandy, they put the plan in place a long way out,” Williams said.

“Obviously it is nice when a plan comes together.”

“She is a big girl, too, she is deserving of a good break and she will come back bigger and stronger.”

Play Philly (NZ) (Art Major) worked hard to find the lead in the early stages of the Southland Oaks.

The NZB Standardbred graduate fought on strongly to run third behind Aardie’s Express.

Play Philly was purchased at the 2020 Christchurch National Yearling Sales from breeder-vendors Denario Breeding.

NZB Standardbred graduate Idealism (NZ) (American Ideal) was also among the feature race winners on Southland’s biggest day of harness racing on Saturday.

The four-year-old produced an impressive front-running performance to win the $27,000  Regent Car Court Southern Country Cups Final for trainer Alister Black and driver Brad Williamson.

Black purchased Idealism at the 2019 Christchurch National Yearling Sale from Studholme Bloodstock’s draft.

Entries for the next Standardbred auction are due online by 10pm on Wednesday 4 May.

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