Alfnalma ready and raring ahead of inaugral running of The Pearl

A six-day break hasn’t affected Alfnalma ahead of The Pearl Final at Melton Entertainment Park this Saturday night, according to trainer-driver Jason Ainsworth.

RSN Harness Racing
RSN Harness Racing Picture: RSN

The five-year-old mare finished third in a heat of the series at Birchip on Sunday behind winner Thesunandthemoon to qualify for the inaugural running of the $20,000 feature.

"She has pulled up the best she has pulled up in a while. For whatever reason she didn't have a hard run, so she is pretty good," Ainsworth said.

Alfnalma has drawn nine for the final with likely favourite and winner of the second heat at Wangaratta, the Luke Tabone-prepared City Rockstar, in barrier two.

"The two (City Rockstar) will most likely find the top, and hopefully we can follow through and most likely be pretty close to the speed," Ainsworth said. "We should have enough (gate speed) to follow through, there's only a couple who will work forward from the front row."

The 1720m trip should suit the pacer, whose three career wins have come at the distance range.

"She always rates good over the mile, and she has good time behind her over that distance," he said.

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of The Angelique Club, which was formed in 1994 to promote the role of women in harness racing.

The Pearl is named in honour of Pearl Kelly, Australia's first licensed reinswoman in 1916 and who once finished third in the Melbourne drivers' premiership.

The race is restricted to mares assessed no higher than NR55 with no more than four lifetime wins. The winning owner will receive a pearl from Broome set in 9 carat gold with a 9 carat chain donated by The Angelique Club.

A sweep will be held for The Pearl race with the winner receiving a pearl drop necklace. All proceeds from the sweep will be donated to the Team Teal campaign.

The Pearl Final is race three on Saturday night's card and is set to go at 7.37pm.