News

Dream About Me withdrawn from Oamaru

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The powerful All Stars New Zealand Cup contingent had a slight setback on Wednesday when classy mare Dream About Me was diagnosed with a foot abscess.

Canterbury trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have subsequently withdrawn the pre-post favourite from Sunday’s Hannon Memorial at Oamaru.

“After a couple of wet days I put the hopples on her this morning but I wasn’t happy with her,” said Purdon.

“I found she had the foot abscess. If it was the New Zealand Cup this week we’d try and do everything to get her there, but it’s not worth racing her this week,” he said.

“We’ll put a poultice on it and hopefully it will come to a head within 48 hours and the pressure will be released. Once that happens, she should come right fairly quickly and won’t miss much work.”

It was a case of one slight step backwards with Dream About Me and two steps forward with defending champ Lazarus and burgeoning talent Heaven Rocks for the All Stars team at the Rangiora workouts on Wednesday.

No-one else nominated to start against the superstar pacers in the open pace in their first public appearances for the new term.

In cool conditions, Lazarus led up for Purdon with Heaven Rocks (Rasmussen) trailing up until the straight when the latter closed to finish on terms, with either being extended.

Lazarus held by a nose in a comfortable 2:37.4 for the stand-start 2000m, the pair only picking up the speed over the last 800m in 56.3sec and the final 400m in 27.7.

“It was a good hit-out for them and they did everything right,” Purdon said.

“Lazarus is a beautiful horse and great to handle for a stallion. He should be a bit stronger this year but he’ll need to be as Heaven Rocks is a very fast horse and is mentally a lot better on this preparation.”

Lazarus, the early $2.20 favourite for November’s $800,000 New Zealand Cup, and Heaven Rocks, the $3.20 second favourite, will have another run at the Rangiora trials next Wednesday to fit them for their scheduled race returns at Addington in the $50,000 Canterbury Classic (2600m stand) on Friday, October 6.

Meanwhile, former top trotter Stent pleased Broadfield co-trainer and driver Colin DeFilippi with his comeback workout against the maiden pacers after an enforced 21-month layoff.

Stent, now nine, displayed some nervous energy by bounding into a gallop in the score-up, but soon settled into his trotting gait.