Cambridge teenager mixing it with the big guns in Melbourne

By Dennis Ryan

5 Oct 2022

Cambridge teenager mixing it with the big guns in MelbourneAiofe Brennan has time to reflect as she takes VRC Derby favourite Mr Maestro for a stroll at Altona

At just 17 years, Aiofe Brennan is proving well up to the demands that go with managing high profile Kiwi gallopers competing at the Melbourne spring carnival.
That was amply evident at Flemington last Saturday when feature wins by the Andrew Forsman-trained She’s Licketysplit and Mr Maestro took them to the top of calculations for upcoming three-year-old classics.
For the past two months while Forsman has commuted from Cambridge, Brennan has been seeing to the daily needs of the classy pair.
“This is my first trip anywhere with horses and if anyone had suggested to me even until a week before Andrew asked did I want to go to Melbourne, I would have said they were crazy,” Brennan told RaceForm earlier this week.
“But it’s been a great experience. The horses are stabled in the visitors’ barn at Flemington and everyone over here has been wonderful. Damian Lane comes in from time to time and rides them, but the rest of the time I’ve been doing all the trackwork and everything else that goes with it.
“Winning those two races on Saturday was pretty special, just seeing everything come together like that. It keeps me pretty busy with St Bathans here as well and Aegon due to come over next week – I haven’t even had time to feel homesick.”
Teenage innocence draws a non-plussed response from Brennan to the question of She’s Licketysplit’s prospects in next week’s Gr. 1 Thousand Guineas or how Mr Maestro might measure up in the Gr. 1 Victoria Derby.
“I got my experience in showjumping and that was good for learning, but this is so much more rewarding and exciting. I definitely prefer the racehorses, so if they can keep going the way they are, that’s all I could wish for I suppose.”