Queen Bee Bardon stings late for Waldron
ASHBURTON trainer Ben Waldron enjoyed a dream homecoming when Queen Bee Bardon won the Roxburgh Cup.
The classy mare came with a big late finish to win the 2700m feature on Friday after an icecold drive from Craig Thornley.
The victory was special to Waldron as he grew up near Omarama, just over the South Canterbury border from Roxburgh.
‘‘I grew up just over the hill in Omarama before we moved up to Canterbury when I was 10, so this is a bit of a homecoming,’’ said Waldron.
‘‘I have always wanted to take a horse to Central Otago for the circuit, so this is amassive thrill to win this race.’’ Queen Bee Bardon was driven completely differently to her previous start in the Central Otago Cup.
She was up on the speed during Funatthebeach’s trackrecord breaking run.
On Friday, Thornley took the completely opposite approach with the mare from her 15-metre back mark.
Thornley did not move from last until around the 600m, when he tracked Especial into the race.
After she balanced up in the straight, Queen Bee Bardon ($11.90) came with a huge late finish to win.
Thornley was glowing in his appraisal of the mare’s performance and of Waldron’s ability to prepare a horse.
‘‘She is a very good mare, people probably forget she was on the ballot for theNew Zealand Cup.
‘‘Even though she wasn’t in it that shows she is up to that class.
‘‘Ben is a very good trainer and has done a huge job with this mare.’’
Queen Bee Bardon could WILD RANGE PHOTOGRAPHY return to racing at the top class at the end of this month.
Waldron said shewas likely to tackle the upcoming feature mares’ races at Addington, including the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders’ Stakes, next month. ‘‘We won’t be frightened to have a look at them for sure.
‘‘She will need to have the right run at that level, but when she gets the right run she goes well.’’
The feature trot was won by Justamollyarcher for trainers Jason and Amber Lethaby and driver Ray Jenkins.
Jenkins gave the trotter a perfect run in the trail throughout.
Veteran trotter Valmagne made an instant return since to form after changing stables, dashing along the passing lane to run second.
The 11-year-old was having his first start for Oamaru trainer-driver Brad Williamson and lines up again today at the Cromwell grass track meeting at $15 on the fixed odds market.
Queen Bee Bardon storms home to win the Roxburgh Cup.