Aldebaran Zeus kept Australia at the forefront of the worldwide squaregaiting conversation with a more-than-competitive performance in this morning’s $1mil MGM Yonkers International Trot.

Champion reinsman Chris Alford got the Brent Lilley-trained star into a good spot three back the pegs from his wide front row draw, and while he couldn’t match some of his rivals’ sustained speed, the five-year-old boxed on well for an encouraging fifth placing behind Italy’s overall winner Vivid Wise As.

“He got into a good spot early and travelled really well,” Alford said.

“I thought we were half a chance of running top three as we turned for home. He just wanted to get away a little bit from the pole and was probably getting a little bit tired, but I’m super impressed with him.”

After the race, Alford headed straight to the Meadowlands in New Jersey for a handful of drives there.

Lilley looked at the big picture when asked about the performance from his reigning Victorian 4YO Trotting Entire/Gelding of the Year.

“I guess we say we’re fifth in the world,” Lilley said.

“The 10 best from around the world and to run fifth was a great achievement.

“He paid expenses for the trip by doing that and once again, like Just Believe, it shows now our trotters down there – our best trotters – they’re up to the best in the world.”

While connections now prepare to return home, Aldebaran Zeus will remain in the United States with trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman.

“We’ll see how he comes through this and Nifty’s going to put him in the paddock for a week after that, and then we’ll reassess and see where we’re best to go forward from there,” Lilley said.


Picture: Aldebaran Zeus with owner-breeder Duncan McPherson