‘Glitzy’ still cuts it with best

Aleisha Legg, formerly of Dunedin, with The Chosen One. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Aleisha Legg, formerly of Dunedin, with The Chosen One. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The Chosen One will be one of seven New Zealand horses having a tilt at the Melbourne Cup today. Helping the stayer prepare is a woman with southern links, Aleisha Legg. The strapper spoke to Auckland Thoroughbred Racing.

What’s your relationship with The Chosen One?

My relationship with The Chosen One is very special to me. I used to ride The Glitzy One [The Chosen One’s dam] towards the end of her racing career for the late Steve Anderton. She was one of my favourites at Steve’s stable.

What name do you call him by?

I call him Glitzy. We called him Glitzy when he came in as a yearling and it’s stuck ever since.

Any personality quirks you can share?

He likes his own space and doesn’t like to be fussed over — unless you bring carrots! Apart from him loving carrots and actually being a big teddy bear, he’s got the best group of owners. Each and every one of them is amazing and love him so much. I can’t thank them enough for being our support crew in the big races when the nerves are up.

What is your daily routine as his strapper?

In New Zealand, it’s a bit different to when we are in Australia. In New Zealand, it’s a massive team effort. I ride him, then he’ll get washed down and taken back to his box. Later in the morning, he’ll get his ice boots on and a feed. Once his ice boots are finished, he’ll get covered, make sure everything is normal with him and left for the morning. In Australia, I’m his everything. Feed, muck out his box, ride him, wash him, walk him, ice him and keep him happy.

What do you think makes him special?

I think the thing that makes him special is his consistency and how incredibly tough he is. He is always there or thereabouts mixing it with the world’s best stayers.

What’s been your proudest moment of his career so far?

I struggle to pick between the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup last year as my proudest moment. To watch him turn his form around and nearly win the Caulfield Cup was absolutely amazing, but to see him be the first Australasian horse home in the Melbourne Cup and see how incredibly hard he tried was also amazing. I don’t see why he can’t improve on last year’s placing. He’s proven how tough he is and he can stay the trip.

What’s your favourite raceday?

Nothing beats the Melbourne Cup — it’s unbelievable. My favourite New Zealand carnival is definitely the entire Christmas Carnival at Ellerslie.

How did you get involved in the racing industry?

My mum used to work at White Robe Lodge when I was a teenager and I used to go in and help her in the weekends and school holidays. I originally started at the stud end of the farm when I was 14 and then when I was 15, changed back to the racing end of the farm and started riding track work. I worked for Brian and Shane Anderton for a few years before moving to Cambridge to work for Murray and Andrew [Baker/Forsman Racing], who I’ve been with for eight and a-half years now. I definitely feel I’m hooked for life — racing is a part of me now.

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