Amazing Dream and Purdon do it again

By Adam Hamilton

QUEENSLAND is a place most people go for a holiday, but it’s where Nathan Purdon goes to win Group 1 races.

Purdon’s two trips to the Sunshine State as a trainer have netted three Group 1 wins.

The first came back in 2016 when he trained and drove Ohoka Punter to upset Hectorjayjay in the Blacks A Fake.

Purdon raised the bar this year, winning two Group 1’s – both with champion Kiwi mare Amazing Dream.

“It’s unbelievable really. I didn’t think it could get much better than when I won with Ohoka Punter, but the past few weeks have been just incredible,” Purdon said.

“I’m still a bit shocked we won this one, actually. I think most of us thought we were running for second, but things changed after the start.

“In these very best races, it often comes down to who gets the best run and she got in the right spot again tonight. It was a great drive from Blair (Orange).”

But Amazing Dream’s deeds cannot be understated. Not only did she win the inaugural The Rising Sun two weeks earlier, but her Blacks A Fake win last night was the first by a mare in an Aussie Grand Circuit event since Baby Bling in the 2013 Miracle Mile.

“She a really gutsy mare, you don’t win a million dollars like her without being a champion,” Purdon said.

“The big thanks go to Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks, who bought the mare, syndicated her and trusted me to train her over here. They’ve been great supporters since I first moved to Australia.”

Just as she did in The Rising Sun, Amazing Dream effectively won the Blacks A Fake when – to the shock of almost everyone – Orange was able to buzz out quickly enough to get across raging hot favourite and defending champion King Of Swing.

Orange then took the sit on Copy That and waited for the sprint lane, which served her so well in The Rising Sun.

In almost a replica finish, she sprinted through the inside and just did enough to hold-off the outside horses, this time headed by Rockin Marty and King Of Swing.

Copy That fought on well for fourth after burning to lead and then being softened-up by Expensive Ego through a 27.9sec opening quarter of the last mile.

It was an unexpected first Aussie Group 1 win for Orange.

“Obviously she wasn’t the horse I came here to drive, but it’s great to win a big one in different territory, especially for a great mate in Nathan (Purdon),” he said.

Amazing Dream will return to Purdon’s Lara stables in Victoria before connections decide her immediate racing future.

“Eventually the plan is for her to go to the US, but there are some nice mares’ races for her in Melbourne. We’ll get her back home and then I’ll talk with Marc (Hanover) and Gordon (Banks),” Purdon said.

“There is the Inter Dominion at the end of the year, too. She’s such a tough mare, she’d be suited to a series like that if she stayed.”

King Of Swing did a big job to finish third after being crossed at the start, then being checked and galloping and losing about 20m.

“He didn’t get out as quickly as I expected … he did a mighty job to get so close considering,” driver Luke McCarthy said. “Thankfully, he’s come through it well and without injury.”

Copy That returns home for a break and to prepare for the NZ Cup, but won’t return to Australia for the NSW Inter Dominion.

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