Aiken chasing his first success in time-honoured Treuer Memorial

10 June 2024


Highly successful horseman David Aiken started his harness racing career as a 23-year-old, operating his stable out of the iconic location of Ellis Street in Condell Park.

At the time, this was the epicentre of harness racing in New South Wales with its direct link to Bankstown
Paceway, ideal for preparing horses when Harold Park was the sport’s headquarters and provincial racing was strong.
Aiken’s father George was a prominent figure as head of Parramatta Livestock, his firm conducting the premier Standardbred Yearling Sales at the time.
Aiken quickly met with good success with a raft of smart pacers in his care, but he shocked the local industry when he and wife Colleen decided to relocate to Victoria - a move that proved worthwhile as he became a regular on the Grand Circuit, training some of Australia’s best horses from his southern base.
The Aikens have since returned to Sydney, a place they always called home, training out of Menangle Park and building up a handy team.
Reminiscing about the early days, Aiken was quick to mention the MH Treuer Memorial as one of the sport’s flagship races.
“Back when I was training out of Bankstown, the Treuer was one of the biggest races on the calendar,” said Aiken.
“You would do whatever you could to be a part of the race, I think it was worth $100,000 back then and attracted the best of the best, run a week after the Miracle Mile each year.”
Some 30 years on, Aiken will return to familiar territory on Monday afternoon with his best chance of winning the Treuer with million-dollar earner Max Delight.
The $50,000 feature is run annually on the June Long weekend, and while it may not quite have the glitz and glamour of yesteryear, the Treuer remains a historical and sentimental race for many, especially Aiken who says he would be over the moon should Max Delight be able to take it out.
“It would be pretty special for me and Colleen if Max was able win it,” said Aiken.
“His preparation this time in has been directed at this race and I feel I have him spot on for it.
“It will be a tough task though, considering the quality of the field, but our bloke relishes the longer distance races and excels on the half mile tracks.
“So, barring any bad luck he should figure prominently.”