Chase A Dream at his "best" for tonight's $160,000 Group 1 at Addington

By Michael Guerin

Nathan Purdon admits he doesn’t exactly know why Chase A Dream is back to his best.

But he doubts he can get the exciting pacer any better than he has him for tonight’s $160,000 Garrards Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington.

The three-year-old goes into the race with a chance to defend the title he won so stunningly in the two-year-old final on New Zealand Cup day, coming from last and still looked to have no chance at the top of the straight.

That labelled him a potential superstar but Chase A Dream was good without being great on his subsequent North Island campaign.

He returned back to Canterbury and was underwhelming winning a weakish race as a $1.04 favourite before turning the corner.

“When he was up north while he didn’t have much luck Dad (Mark Purdon, co-trainer) also thought he wasn’t quite spot on a few times,” says Nathan, “when he came back down he looked like he was happy to be home.

“He won that first race back down here but not very convincingly but has gotten better every week since.

“We took him to the workouts two weeks ago and Blair (Orange) drove him and said he felt great and he improved with that.

“Then last week he sat parked and beat most of the horses he races this week and he has done the same, he has improved again.

“I am not sure if him coming back to his best is just because he is home or what it is.

"But he is really well at the moment, the best I have had him and to be honest I don’t know that I could have him better.”

In the form that saw him sit parked and beat most of tonight’s rivals last Friday Chase A Dream is the horse to beat with two obvious concerns: his draw and Cold Chisel.

Cold Chisel is a total pro and the Northern Derby winner has the draw (barrier 2) to get in front of Chase A Dream (barrier 6). Put him up against the marker pegs getting an economical trip and Cold Chisel is going to be very hard to hold out.

But with a couple of Team Dunn-trained stablemates in Harrison John and Hadron Collider drawn well on the front line and Chase A Dream’s stablemate Vessem at barrier 3 the early rush could be both tactical and crucial.

Still, the way Chase A Dream won last week the TAB bookies' early $2.10 quote looks about right.

Later in the night Purdon has Franco Indie in a wonderful Hydroflow Country Cups Final but he faces a big task from 20m, especially giving a start to the very in-form Mo’unga (10m).

“He will love the 3200m and having a helmet to follow throughout but it is a good field and Mo’unga is the one to beat,” says Purdon.

Mo’unga was dazzling at Rangiora last start and has looked ready to live up to his potential this campaign and as long as he doesn’t get hemmed away from barrier 1 on the 10m mark he looks the best chance.

The bet of the night should be Sunnys Sister, who even though she faces barrier 9 in the Heather Williams Memorial Trot (R8), should be good enough to work forward and outstay her rivals.


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