Change of luck due for Aberfeldie Boy

Trainers Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock had hoped to be in Brisbane a week ago with their stayer Aberfeldie Boy who will instead be running in a handicap race at Flemington on Saturday. 

Timing has been the enemy for Aberfeldie Boy throughout his brief career, but the Griffiths and de Kock team are hoping that changes in the Boys to the Bush Community Trophy (2540m). 

A foot bruise after running fourth in the Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield in April curtailed aspirations of contesting the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday. Had that trip gone ahead, Aberfeldie Boy would now be enjoying a break in the warmer Queensland climate ahead of getting ready for the spring. 

Instead, Aberfeldie Boy will run on Saturday and again in the Banjo Patterson Series Final (2600m) on July 6 and potentially in the Deane Lester Flemington Cup 1849 (2800m) on July 20. 

"If the weather holds up, he can run in this Banjo Petterson Series to try and get some wins up and some prizemoney, and then we can concentrate on the spring," Griffiths said. "The Deane Lester might be one run too far, but it also will depend on the tracks. 

"We can keep him going now and maybe look at going into the Melbourne Cup, second-up, third-up, something like that, on the back of the fitness he will have now. It will be no different to what they do in Europe. 

"It's not that you can't do it, it's just not our usual style, and by fate, we're being forced down that pathway." 

Aberfeldie Boy has faced the starter on just 13 occasions; picture Racing Photos

Fate has restricted Aberfeldie Boy to just 13 career starts. 

Aberfeldie Boy was set on a path to the Victoria Derby as a three-year-old, but as fate would have it, a wet spring meant Aberfeldie Boy's first two starts would be on the synthetic track at Pakenham. 

He did not run on a turf surface until finishing fourth in the Geelong Classic (2200m), then at his next start he finished third in the Derby at Flemington. 

Aberfeldie Boy did not take well to a gelding operation following the Derby and had a delayed start to his autumn campaign which saw him win (his only victory to date) first-up at Pakenham before going on to run an unlucky third in the South Australian Derby, and then finish seventh in the Queensland Derby. 

He was tracking nicely early last spring, only to have his campaign halted with a bone chip that required surgery, and this year his campaign was halted after two runs with a bruised foot. 

But Griffiths and de Kock are confident Aberfeldie Boy is back on track after an unlucky fifth in a 2000m race at Flemington on June 8. "It was cruel the other day, but he's come on well for the run," Griffiths said. 

"He's drawn a good gate and he'll get a cheap run on Saturday from barrier one and if he can lob along midfield and then get his chance, he'll be very hard to beat." 

Griffiths said the Hotham Handicap in September and The Bart Cummings in October, both ballot exempt races for the Melbourne Cup, would be contests Aberfeldie Boy would be aimed at during the early part of the spring.