By Michael Guerin
Tonight’s Cambridge meeting is all about the Steve’s Six.
Because Ardmore trainer Steve Telfer finds himself in the rarest of all racing situations, going into a tote race knowing he will win.
Telfer trains all six starters in race two at Cambridge on Friday night, a feat occasionally matched in smaller non-tote races in New Zealand but almost unheard of in a proper race, especially one with some high class pacers.
“We have a lot of horses in this grade and I am grateful to the club for holding the race but it is a weird feeling knowing you are going to win it no matter what,” says Telfer.
“So it is a bit surreal but we will take it, any win is a good win and they are all good horses so I can see it being quite a competitive race.” The true domination has sent Telfer searching for five sets of his colours, with Valor Lustre racing in owner Ivan Court’s colours.
Perhaps the best of Steve’s Six is American Brave, who has won three of just seven starts but comes with a warning tonight as he hasn’t raced since the Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington two months ago.
“He trialled well last week and was going to have another this weekend but they aren’t on so he is here instead.
“Because of that lack of hard fitness I don’t want him having a hard run early so he might look for cover and that can often be a tricky way to win at Cambridge,” says Telfer.
“But outside of that I won’t be giving the drivers too many instructions, they are all there to win and I won’t mind who comes out on top.”
So who is the Steve selection for the Steve Six?
“Small fields can be hard to work out I’d say our best two chances are Triple Eight and Step Up mainly because Triple Eight should lead or trail and Step Up has been going great races in better fields.” Telfer also has a huge chance with Ideal Roman in tomorrow’s Parawai Cup as the northern grass track circuit returns, a race in which he also has Delightful Zen.
“Ideal Roman is a good standing start horse and I think the country cups circuit will suit him.”
Some punters might be surprised to see Carlaw Park, who was rated good enough to race at the NZ Cup carnival, in a lower grade Thames race two.
“Like American Brave he has only had one trial and could do with another but he is in here because it is a penalty free juniors race and there are now trials or workouts this weekend.
“I think he is the best horse in the race but one on the second line makes it tricky.”
Carlaw Park does follow out a fast beginner in Liz Rule though and with a peak performance should win.
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