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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Aiken rules at Breeders Crown

Avenel trainer David Aiken had a day to remember at Melton yesterday when he landed a Group One Breeders Crown double with Eljaykay Phoenix and Spidergirl.

GREGOR MACTAGGART August 25, 2014 3:05am

Avenel trainer David Aiken landed a Group One double thanks to star duo Eljaykay Phoenix and Spidergirl at Melton yesterday.

Eljaykay Phoenix ($2fav) completed the Vicbred Super Series-Breeders Crown double with a strong victory in the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings final.

The precocious youngster assumed the front early and after a soft run through the middle stages, kicked away in the home straight to score by 3m from fellow Goulburn Valley-prepared campaigner Shared Interest.

‘‘It’s just great to see, this is a great way to finish the season,’’ Aiken said post-race.

The event proved a real family affair with Aiken’s son Josh steering Eljaykay Phoenix to what was his eighth victory from just 10 starts in a mile rate of 2:04.7 with the last half of 58.5 seconds.

Mighty mare Spidergirl took her career earnings to just shy of $300000 after a dogged success in the four-year-old trotters final.

The daughter of Yankee Spider was taken straight to the front by champion reinsman Chris Alford and proved too tough in the concluding stages for Glenferrie Typhoon.

‘‘Getting to drive a horse like her makes it easy to get out of bed each morning,’’ Alford said following the win.

In addition to his Group One double, Aiken added a runner-up effort when Meadow Valley Road ran second behind hotpot My Arya in the two-year-old trotting fillies final.

Other placegetters from the Goulburn Valley were The Baggy Green (second in the four-year-old mares), Kyvalley Boomerang (third in the two-year-old colts and geldings) and Quick Draft (third in the three-year-old fillies final).

In more news, there was a sensation yesterday morning when gun Kyabram filly Claudys Princess was scratched from the three-year-old trotters final.

Owner and News trots writer Gus Underwood said there was no other option than to withdraw after the discovery of a foot injury.

‘‘(Trainer) Mick (Blackmore) discovered an abscess in her off-front hoof this morning, so we made the call at 8am,’’ Underwood said.

‘‘It was not worth the risk of running her today, it was disappointing, but the good news is she will be okay.’’

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