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.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.