Career in doubt
By Michael Guerin
The future of one of New Zealand’s most talented young trotters is in doubt.
Oscar Bonevena is set to miss most if not all of the remainder of the season and trainer Mark Purdon admits the three-year-old’s career is in doubt.
“I hope that isn’t the case but it could be,” says Purdon.
Oscar Bonevena has developed a cyst in one of his knees and Purdon says vets suggest it could be a degenerative problem.
“We are still learning about it as our vet said it is so rare it is something they see only every couple of years,” said Purdon.
“So we are seeking advice from experts in this sort of thing from overseas but he won’t be racing any time soon and at best will need a long spell.”
There is obvious disappointment in Purdon’s voice as while he also trains NZ’s top rated three-year-old trotter in Enhance Your Calm, he has a soft spot for Oscar Bonevena, who could be every bit as good as his stablemate.
Purdon purchased the then juvenile last season from Phil Williamson for former Kiwi trainer now based in the US, Chris Ryder, and Purdon’s own father, training legend Roy Purdon.
While he galloped at the Jewels, Oscar Bonevena reminded everybody how good he was with a fresh-up win at Alexandra Park in December which was followed by an enormous second there on New Years Eve when he trotted 3:26.2 for the 2700m, a full second inside Heavyweight Hero’s three-year-old national record.
“That was a huge run that day and he is a very good horse in the making so it is very disappointing to have this sort of problem with him,” said Purdon.
With Oscar Bonevena sidelined indefinitely, Enhance Your Calm will be the stable flagbearer in the major three-year-old trots.
The first of those is the NZ Derby on April 5 and he will have a lead-up in the Sires’ Stakes prelude there on Friday week, a race which has been rescheduled from last Friday’s cancelled Addington meeting.
“He is going very well and would be as good as any three-year-old I have had at this stage of the season.”
After the NZ Derby, Enhance Your Calm will head to Auckland for the Sires’ Stakes and Northern Trot Derby before rounding out his season in the Jewels.
“I think that will do him, we probably wouldn’t go to Victoria with him.”