As a former physiotherapist, trainer Ben
Ahrens knows how to be patient.
That characteristic surfaced at Eagle Farm
on Saturday when his favourite horse Spechenka returned to his best form to
claim the G3 Queen's Cup (3200m).
Ahrens had been at a loss to explain Spechenka's
recent form slump but he never
gave up with the rising seven-year-old would recorded his first win since his Listed
Caloundra Cup (2400m) triumph at the Sunshine Coast 12 months ago.
Spechenka has started 17 times since his
Caloundra Cup victory failing in both spring campaigns in Sydney and Melbourne
before returning for the winter.
His only placings were at Eagle Farm last
September and a second to imported galloper Fruehling at the Sunshine Coast on
However, Ahrens changed his training routine
and added a tongue tie to Spechenka following his previous efforts when a dour eighth
in last month's G2 Tattersall's Cup at Eagle Farm and his last start ninth in the
Caloundra Cup (2400m).
"I don’t think he flopped at any stage,
but he probably has been a couple of lengths below his best in recent times,"
"I never really lost confidence in him.
It was a beautiful ride from Ryan (Wiggins).
"He was patient on him early and he got
all the favours and got up on the inside.
"This bloke has won all my big races.
He won the Caloundra Cup, the Summer Cup down south and now this. Yeah, it’s
good to win a race like this in your home town."
Ryan said Spechenka made his job easier by
travelling smoothly throughout the 3200-metre trip.
"I was on the bridle and I used no
petrol early," he said.
"There were a few horses dropping off
about the 1000m mark, so I stuck up under the rail. The horse did it all
"He went to sleep early. He just
travelled up well for me and made my job easy.
"You could say he has been a bit
disappointing recently, but he is a dead-set two mile horse and he showed that
Spechenka was untroubled over the final stages
to hold off Maythehorsebemagic by 1-1/4 lengths with Fantastic Blue, a further
three lengths away third.
Racing Queensland webnews July 7
Photo: Trackside Photography