Win a share of $100,000! Check out the TAB Trot Sweepstake here.



Lilley sets the record straight with Queen Elida

TAB Trot contender Queen Elida - Photo: Dan Costello
TAB Trot contender Queen Elida

Photo: Dan Costello

Lots of Aussies will tell you star trotting mare Queen Elida has returned to NZ below her best, but trainer Brent Lilley wants to set the record straight.

Yes, the stats say Queen Elida hasn’t been her dominant self and Lilley concedes she’s had some issues, but the top former Kiwi horseman says his stable star will be “right back to her best” for the inaugural $600,000 TAB Trot at Cambridge Raceway on Friday week.

Queen Elida has raced nine times this season for three wins and three placings, compared to her stunning 2023 record of 21 starts for 13 wins and eight placings.

“There’s two parts to the answer,” Lilley explained. “Yes, we’ve had some battles, but now she’s right where we want and need her to be.

“It’s been her feet. They were a problem through the Brisbane Inter Dominion back in December and it’s taken time to get them right again.

“But they aren’t a problem now. I can assure you. We’re so confident she’s over it, we took the pads we’ve been using off last start she went super.”

Queen Elida smashed the clock coming from a mile back when third to classy mare Im Ready Jet, who led throughout, in the Group 1 Sumthingaboutmaori at Melton last Saturday week.

“You’d be a hard judge to say she didn’t go super. She had to be standing the winner up at least 30 metres in a slowly run race and powered home,” Lilley said.

“We were all thrilled with the run and everything about her, including her feet, has been great since.

“She’s headed to NZ with us full of confidence she’s back to her brilliant best.”

Regular driver Chris Alford heads to Cambridge on Thursday to drive Queen Elida from the outside draw in the small five-horse $60,000 Smith & McKenzie Steak House Trotters Flying Mile Trot field.

“I think he’s got to go forward and there’s a good chance we can find the front,” Lilley said.

“These small fields can be tricky races and I’d rather she’s up front.

“She’s handled the trip well and everything points to her running a big race this week.”

Lilley himself is due in NZ to fine-tune Queen Elida for the inaugural $600,000 TAB Trot on Friday week.

“Tracey (Cullen) did the first leg and I will take over from Sunday,” he said. “Hopefully she runs as well as we expect this week.

“I know this (TAB Trot) is going to be an amazingly strong race, but we know she’s good enough at her best.

“I don’t think people understand the value of drawing the pole like she has to under the preferential draw conditions of the race.

“It’s a track where the inside is so valuable and she’s got the speed to use it.

“She could hold the front if we wanted, but it probably makes sense to sit on whichever is the first of the big guns to get to us. You know they won’t then hand up to anything else.

“And there’s so much depth in the race, there will have to be moves and plenty of pressure on.

“Hopefully, while our mare is sitting quietly behind them and waiting to use that speed of hers.” - Adam Hamilton


This product has been added to your cart