Taking the next step

By Matt Markham - Twitter: @MattMarkham07

Up and coming trotter, King Denny, faces arguably the biggest test of his career in this week at Addington but Mark Purdon is also taking his appearance in the Lamb and Hayward 4 & 5 Year-Old Trotting Championship as a different kind of test ahead of next week.

Purdon hasn’t exactly held back when stating he thinks last year’s three-year-old trotter of the year is his next big open class trotting star and he’s planning on finding that out sooner than when many predicted he would.

All going well in this week’s Group Three – our leading horseman has one eye on next week’s Group One New Zealand Trotting Championships and King Denny’s first real go against all the best trotters in the land - and what better way to find out whether or not he is ready, than to race against the likes of Prime Power and Royal Aspirations, this week?

Speaking following the Harness Jewels winners sedate, but dominant, victory at the Mt Hutt trails on Saturday in which he beat race rival and stable mate, Paramount Queen, Purdon was almost certain he would the Group One next week was on the cards.

And that means taking on Stent and Master Lavros. But Purdon thinks he is ready.

“All going well this week, we will aim him towards the Trotting Championships,’’ Purdon said.

“He has to race against them at some point, and there isn’t a lot for him really after this week so it seems like the right time to find out where he is at.

“I’ve always thought he is up to being an open class horse.’’

Despite the show of confidence from his co-trainer, King Denny is far from past the post this week.

Prime Power, following his incredible run for second on Auckland Cup night, will give him plenty to think about and one of his usual fast beginnings will make the task harder.

The Todd Mitchell trained and driven former Jewels winner, has been based at the property of Karen and Greg O’Connor for the best part of this week and reports are he has travelled down well ahead of his two week attack on Addington.

Should he fly the tapes there is every conceivable possibility he could settle anywhere up to 10 lengths in front of King Denny early making the task very hard.

When you add the very smart Majestic Time and a returning One Over Da Moon into the mix as well as up others like Father Christmas and Royal Aspirations and the prospect of King Denny starting a warm order favourite in the $25,000 event doesn’t exactly get you jumping through hoops to get to the TAB and back him.

Purdon has been open in the fact he thinks the reigning four-year-old horse of the year is his next open class trotting star and providing all things are well through this week