Old Ted?s still Elite
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE old ironhorse of Coffs Harbour racing saluted the judges yesterday to win the 1200m Coffs Coast Advocate Sprint.
Elite Ted turned nine years old on Monday and celebrated the milestone in style with a neck victory over another locally trained sprinter Shady Henrietta and a further three-quarters of a length to Sam's Dream, the subject of a late betting plunge from the strong crowd in attendance..
For Elite Ted's trainer Trevor Hardy this was a win that two months ago seemed a fantasy.
"We retired him last year," the veteran trainer said.
"But we would take him to the beach still to run around with the younger horses as they like to have an older horse around them.
"He was showing no signs of soreness so a month or so ago we thought we'd give him a run."
The gelding looked a treat in the mounting yard prior to the race having stripped a lot fitter from the three lead up starts this campaign and didn't disappoint from the inside barrier.
"This is the race I set him for," Hardy continued.
"He got bogged down the other day in the slower going but we were always looking to winning the Sprint."
Elite Ted's task was made easier when the fancied trio of Umatrick, Darwina and Mr Tibula were all scratched.
Mr Tibula received a cut above his eye after a mishap in the stables earlier in the morning.
Elite Ted's jockey Glen Colless was rapt with the way his mount travelled.
"I could've led on him he was going that well," he said.
"We got off the fence because along it was a bit boggy.
"We just sucked up behind Volcanic Scene who was leading but under sufferance.
Once the old favourite of the local scene hit the front in the final straight there was no stopping him from there.
For Colless it was a thrill to ride a big winner back in the town where he first learnt his trade.
"It's good to ride for my old boss Trevor," He said before he had a gentle dig at his former boss.
"If Zac (Purton) was here I wouldn't be on him. But he just got suspended and I guess it's a case of the old fella getting the crumbs."