Veteran trainer John Oldroyd is still recovering from a nasty stable accident late last year, and he enjoyed a welcome boost when his five-year-old mare Aly Shar set the pace and won the 2130m Cowden The Insurance Brokers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Aly Shar, fifth favourite at $7.50, was driven confidently by Deni Roberts and she won by a half-length from the fast-finishing Just Makemine Diamonds ($7), with $11 chance All The Bells, ninth on the pegs at the bell, flashing home out five wide to be a neck away in third place.
Oldroyd and his wife Val bred and own Aly Shar, who was transferred to the stables of Greg and Skye Bond when Oldroyd was recovering from surgery to his damaged right eye. Aly Shar was having her second start for the Bond stable and was handled for the first time in a race by Roberts.
Oldroyd was injured nine days before Christmas day when he was putting a halter on a yearling colt, who suddenly tossed his head sideways and struck the trainer a stinging blow on the side of the head. After a couple of days in pain, Oldroyd was admitted to hospital to undergo surgery to cure problems in his right eye.
Aly Shar is by Alta Christiano and is the first foal out of the Village Jasper mare Shonteleeshar, who won nine races from 19 starts for Oldroyd. Aly Shar now has had 39 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and $63,288 in prizemoney.
By Ken Casellas