Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
On the first Sunday in September astute trainer Mike Reed took one horse (Dardy Boy) for a workout at the Byford trials, and later in the morning he reluctantly took two pacers back to his Henley Brook stables.
In a strange twist of fate Dardy Boy was allocated the stall next to Hopeland trainer Kevin Charles’s unraced Sportswriter two-year-old filly Queeninthecorner.
After Dardy Boy and Queeninthecorner had contested the second trial, Charles was far from happy when Queeninthecorner had faded badly to finish last in the field of four, 66 metres behind the winner Seven No Trumps.
“Kevin was grumbling after the trial,” said Reed. “And he said: ‘You don’t want to take this horse home for me, do you?’ and I said ‘No, not really. I don’t want any more horses.’
“Kevin then said: ‘Do me a favour and take her for a month and then let me know what you think. So, I agreed to take her, and my son Mark gave me a bake on the way home. It was all a complete surprise.”
After working Queeninthecorner for a few weeks Reed nominated her for a race at Bunbury on October 9. “She had worked well on the track, and I thought she would win,” said Reed.
Driven by Shannon Suvaljko and starting at $2.15, Queeninthecorner unwound a solid finishing burst to get up and win by a head from Elsamay in a four-way photo finish.
“She just fell in, and I think I must have over-cooked her on the track,” said Reed. “Since then, I have freshened her up and she won nicely tonight.”
A $7.20 chance from the No. 1 barrier, Queeninthecorner, driven by Suvaljko, set the pace and won the 2130m Gerrard’s Horse and Hound Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, beating $91 outsider See the World by two lengths at a 1.57.2 rate. This took Queeninthecorner’s record to two starts for two wins and earnings of $15,631 for Kevin Charles and his wife Annette, who bred the filly.
Quite remarkably there is a strong connection between Reed, Charles and Suvaljko, concerning Queeninthecorner, who is out of the New Zealand-bred mare Ace of Cards, who was purchased by Reed as a two-year-old in New Zealand in April 2011.
Ace Of Cards raced 67 times for Reed in WA for five wins, 24 placings and stakes of $54,499. Souvlaki drove Ace of Cards to two of her wins, at Bunbury and Gloucester Park in 2013.
“Ace Of Cards looked like being a good mare, but she fractured a pedal bone and was never the same,” said Reed. “Kevin acquired her, and Queeninthecorner is her second foal.
“Queeninthecorner had been hanging badly. She fell in a track mishap as an early two-year-old and damaged both her knees. I have had X-rays taken, and they revealed no bone chips, just scar tissues.
“She has overcome her problem with hanging, and I’m sure she will only improve.”