By Gary Harley
Wyong trainer Les Tilley and jockey Robert Thompson are not concerned with Another Aan’s wide barrier in Wednesday’s $150,000 Provincial Championships Qualifier at Newcastle Racecourse. Another Aan has come up with barrier 13 but if the four emergencies don’t gain a start he will come into barrier 9.
Tilley, who races the horse in partnership with his wife Rhonda, is full of confidence following Another Aan’s brilliant last start win on the Beaumont Newcastle Track.
Left: Another Aan (Robert Thompson) powers home at Newcastle last time out. Image by Bradley Photographers
“I thought he was outstanding last start coming from near last on the home turn to win easily running away. That was 1200 metres and the extra 200 metres on Thursday is ideal. The barrier is of no concern because he has to be ridden back in the field and allowed to sprint home.
"Another Aan has worked well since his last start but I don’t gallop him a lot. He races just as well on soft or firm tracks. I bought him for $11,000 at an Inglis Classic Sale when he was a yearling. He is a five-year-old that has only had eight starts but I gave him plenty of time to mature,” Tilley said on Monday.
Thompson who has been aboard Another Aan in five of his eight starts has given a rap for the gelding: “He is a talented sprinter and his win at Newcastle the other day was superb. Another horse was laying in on us during the race but once I pushed out into the clear at the top of the straight he sprouted wings.
"This is a tougher field but the 1400 metres won’t be a problem. He drops four kilograms in weight this time and they will know he is there in the straight. Another Aan had no luck at all two starts back in the Wyong Provincial Qualifier.
"We couldn’t get a crack at them in the straight. I am happy to be drawn out and it is better than drawing barrier one or two as he doesn’t like being cluttered up,” Thompson said on Monday.
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman will ride the Kris Lees-trained Beretta which will start from the rails barrier. The consistent five-year-old will be hard to beat after a close fifth first-up from a spell in the recent Wyong Provincial Qualifier. Lees also has Clevedon Bay, Lomazzo and the third emergency Tawfiq Boy in the race. The first three placegetters progress to the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final at Randwick on April 8.
Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller has accepted with 18 horses for the Newcastle meeting. Waller’s three-year-old filly Noire with Bowman aboard has bright prospects in the 1400 metre Maiden Handicap. Noire was narrowly beaten on debut on the Beaumont Track on March 11 and she has drawn nicely.
Waller and Bowman will combine in five of the nine races with Merovee (Race 1), Noire (Race 2), Champagne Ready (Race 4), Axiomatic (Race 5) and Miss Ballantine (race 9) all having strong claims in their respective events.