Jack’s Legend nearing resumption


New Zealand Cup runner-up Jack’s Legend is nearing a resumption as the second half of his racing season approaches.

It has been six weeks since he raced in the Waikato Flying Mile at Cambridge, where he finished a disappointing fourth behind Star Galleria.

He was sixth in the Auckland Cup and fifth in the Franklin Cup – both at Alexandra Park in December and both efforts down on his brilliant Cup week efforts in Christchurch.

“He went through a bit of a lull there when he got back from Christchurch,” said trainer Barry Purdon.

“The Auckland Cup run was ok, but not great, even though he missed away.

“For whatever reason he just wasn’t quite himself after Cup Week.”

Purdon, a conditioner for over 40 years and New Zealand’s all time winningest trainer, has a theory.

“My own opinion is that he went through a bit of a growing spurt and I think it just got to him a bit.

“He’s a January foal and perhaps that hard racing and travel, combined with growing, caught up with him.”

After a few weeks in the paddock, Jack’s Legend is back humming for Purdon and went to the Pukekohe workouts on Saturday, where he finished a half-head behind stablemate Opoutama.

“He’s good; I’m really happy with him.

“He worked super Saturday week ago and then trialed well the other day, home in 26 and a bit.

“He got to the line really well.”

He will race in Free For All events, worth $30,000 and $50,000 on the two feature meetings at Alexandra Park in early March before targeting age group spoils for the rest of the season.

“We’ll go back to the trials at Auckland this Sunday and then he can race there on the two premier nights.”

The Group 1 Taylor Mile and Messenger Championship in late April are four-year-old exclusive races and will fit nicely for the son of Bettor’s Delight.

With Vincent and Ultimate Machete out injured, a fully fit and in-form Jack’s Legend would likely start favourite.

Smack bang in the middle of the six-week gap between the two Auckland carnivals is the $100,000 Easter Cup at Addington on March 31.

A return to Christchurch is possible, but most likely only if the rumoured Lazarus appearance doesn’t materialise.

“It’s a long way to go to challenge Lazarus but I think we will keep our options open.

“At the moment he’s not going to the Easter Cup but that could well change.”

Safely through the Auckland features, Jack’s Legend will likely race through until the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in early June where he would look to defend his title from Ashburton last season.

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