Aardies Express (NZ) (Always B Miki) showed she is made for elite level racing with her victory in the $39,000 Group Three Placemakers Hannon Memorial (2600m) at Oamaru on Sunday.
The gavelhouse.com Standardbred graduate powered through testing conditions to beat her more seasoned open class rivals in the traditional Group One New Zealand Cup lead up event in just her 13th race start.
Canadian owner Mike Tanev purchased Aardie’s Express for $30,500 when she was offered as a yearling online in 2020 and placed the pacer with Stonewall Stud.
She has since gone onto racetrack stardom for trainers Steve and Amanda Telfer and showed all of the qualities required for elite racing in her impressive Hannon Memorial win.
The four-year-old showed her staying power when working around the field on a strong pace, before she used her brilliant high speed to dash along the inner.
The mare has Amanda Telfer convinced she is the complete package.
“She can really do anything, she is tough, she has got speed, she is the complete package really,” Telfer said.
Though Aardies Express defeated many New Zealand Cup contenders in a time-honoured New Zealand Cup lead up race, she is not a definite New Zealand Cup starter.
The Telfer stable are preferring to keep their options open with their classy mare.
“She is nominated for the New Zealand Cup but it is not a certainty she will go there,” Telfer said.
“We will take every race as it comes and she will tell us what we are going to do.”
“There is also the Junior Free-For-All, so you don’t have to go to the Cup.”
Horses purchased through NZB Standardbred auctions filled the first four placings in the Hannon Memorial.
After working hard in testing conditions, Republican Party (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) fought on strongly to run second.
The Cran and Chrissie Dalgety trained pacer looks right on track for his New Zealand Cup tilt.
NZB Standardbred graduate Anything Goes (NZ) (American Ideal) continued his fine spring form with his third placing for trainers Mark and Nathan Purdon.
Got You Covered (NZ) (Art Major) ran on strongly in a meritorious fourth placing.
Entries for the next gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction are due online by 10pm (NZT) on Wednesday 20th September. – Photo: Harness Racing NZ