Akuta "99 per cent" chance of Auckland Cup start

By Michael Guerin

Akuta looks near certain to take his place in Friday’s Auckland Cup after a quicker than expected recovery from his hoof abscess problem.

The Taylor Mile winner was scratched out of the Roy Purdon Memorial last Friday after a hoof abscess burst out on race morning, with co-trainer Mark Purdon having concerns that could cost him his spot in this week’s group 1.

But Purdon was able to jog Akuta on Sunday morning and says while he faces his fitness challenges this week, he is almost certain to start.

“I would say he is 99 per cent likely to be there,” says Purdon.

“There are always things that can go wrong but it has healed up very well and we have got a shoe on him that takes pressure off it.

“He will need some strong work this week to be ready for the Cup but he was pretty close to the mark for last Friday so I think he can get there and be very competitive.

“So he will be in the race, but after missing Friday’s race I would have to say Self Assured is our best chance of winning the Cup.”

Self Assured and Copy That are the $2.80 equal favourites for the Cup, with Akuta at $4.20 and Old Town Road out to $6.50.

Copy That’s trainer Ray Green has confirmed new stable recruit The Big Lebowski, who was stunning winning his Alexandra Park debut last Friday, will start in the Auckland Cup and Tony Herlihy will take the reins.

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