Amore Vita "potentially" better than Amazing Dream

By Adam Hamilton

Nathan Purdon thinks Amore Vita is potentially the best horse he has driven.

It is a huge call, but one we will see tested in a busy back half of 2022.

The obvious question is how Purdon compares Amore Vita with champion mare Amazing Dream, who left his barn in February to continue her career in the US?

“I think Amore Vita is potentially better,” he said. “Amazing Dream was such a great racehorse and so strong, but Amore Vita has that point-to-point speed that only really special horses have … she can run a 25sec quarter.

“Don’t get me wrong, she has to keep developing and learning about racing, but the ingredients are there for me to already say she’s up with the very best I’ve driven (in work or at the races).”

With that in mind, Purdon expects Amore Vita to make light work of a tricky back row draw (gate 11) in Saturday night’s Group 3 South-East Oaks (2138m) at Albion Park. She’s then got the Group 1 Queensland Oaks a week later.

“There’s some nice fillies in this (race), but I think she’s got a bit on them,” Purdon said.

The doubters felt Amore Vita was “only moderate” winning the Redcliffe Oaks last start, but Purdon said there was good reason she didn’t thrash her inferior rivals.

“It’s the first time we’ve really buzzed her off the gate and she got fired-up and pulled hard. She pretty much did everything to beat herself, but still won quite easily,” he said.

“That’s what I’m talking about longer term. It’s those little things like learning to buzz off the gate and then relaxing, they’re the things she’ll need to learn to become an absolute great. That and just continuing to get stronger as she progresses.”

Champion driver Chris Alford heads to Albion Park to be reunited with the filly. He’s driven her 12 times for nine wins, two seconds and a third.

Beyond Queensland, Amore Vita will return to Purdon’s Victorian base for a three-week break.

“Then it’s back into action for the Victoria Oaks, Breeders Crown and the Vicbred is there as well at the end of the year,” Purdon said.

In other Kiwi-related Queensland news, top local driver Adam Sanderson has snared the pick-up drive on last week’s stunning winner Triple Eight for trainer Jess Tubbs.

As expected, Tubbs’ husband, Greg Sugars, has opted to drive last week’s Rising Sun runner-up and Chariots Of Fire winner Better Eclipse.

“They both went fantastic last week,” Sugars said. “The times Triple Eight ran from so far back and the way he just jogged it shows he’s right back to his best and is really suited best coming from off the speed,” Sugars said.

Co-trainer Luke McCarthy also expects to see a big run from former top class Kiwi pacer A Gs White Socks in race seven at Albion Park on Saturday night.

“He’s heading in the right direction,” he said. “I think he’s very stiff he didn’t get a run in the Sunshine Sprint, but maybe dropping back gives him the chance to get some confidence.

“We’re still learning about the horse and finding what works best for him, but gee he ran well and didn’t have much luck last week.

“Whether we see the best of him in Queensland is debatable. So often these Kiwi horses do best when they have a few runs, go for a break and then come back and have another crack at it here.

“We’re really pleased with his progress and this week will tell us a lot more.”

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