Finley-owned two year-old Eljaykay Phoenix claimed the Vicbred Super Series Group 1 Final on Friday night.July 9, 2014 4:00am
Local harness racing followers have a new hero to cheer for with the emergence of two-year-old trotting star Eljaykay Phoenix.
The athletic son of trotting sire Sundon is raced by local butchers Ashley Haynes and Chris Shaw in partnership with friends Brian and Ted Payne.
The group celebrated its biggest win in the sport on Friday night when Eljaykay Phoenix won the Vicbred Super Series Group 1 Final for two year-old trotting colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park, Melton.
The owners have raced and bred horses for several years and the win on Friday night capped what has been a long journey from humble beginnings.
Eljaykay Phoenix has now won five of his six starts with his only defeat a narrow second at his debut run in early April.
Named after local identity Louis John Koschel (LJK), the horse has now amassed more than $77,000 in career earnings.
Friday night’s win was also a first for the horse’s driver, Josh Aiken.
The young pilot was having his first Group 1 race drive and showed nerves of steel during an exciting race.
Finding the lead after half a lap, a serious challenge was laid down by second favourite Illawong Armstrong as the runners reached the bell lap.
So much so that Eljaykay Phoenix relinquished the lead to the well-bred opponent.
Undeterred, Aiken steered the little gelding to the outside, rounding the home turn to race to the front and claim victory in the $60,000 feature race.
A flourish of the whip showed the excitement of the 21 year-old driver’s big win. The horse is trained by his father, David Aiken, at Avenel in central Victoria.
Eljaykay Phoenix, which started as a $1.30 favourite on Friday night, will have its next run in the time-honoured Redwood Classic on Sunday, July 20.
After that, a tilt at the rich Australasian Breeders Crown series will conclude what has already been an outstanding freshman season for Finley’s newest star.
Board members recall how they helped start Waratah Lodge, a retirement home that has lasted 25 years.
Police are currently at the scene of a double fatal collision involving two cars in at the Cahill Road, Gilmore Street and Woods Road intersection in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
MORE than 130 camp oven enthusiasts turned up to the Torrumbarry Hotel for its annual camp oven cook off.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
About 7600 residents served by Goulburn Valley Water are affected by a boil-water advisory.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
The second Koonoomoo Pickers and Packers Charity Ball came to town on the weekend, and was bigger and better than ever.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The second annual National Herd Development Victorian Winter Fair was in action at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre last Wednesday and Thursday.
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