Chase A Dream expected to make winning Alexandra Park debut
By Michael Guerin
Punters need not worry about the usual Alexandra Park hoodoo when one of the more dramatic winners of last season makes his Auckland debut tonight.
Chase A Dream produced a jaw-dropping performance to come from last and win the Sires Stakes Final at Addington on Cup Day, making up around eight lengths in the last 400m in one of those “you-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it” moments.
He hasn’t raced since but starts his three-year-old season as the $2 favourite in a talent-crammed Race 7 tonight, with the smart young pacers of both sex preparing for the Harness Millions meeting next Friday.
While Chase A Dream is clearly very good plenty of South Island-trained horses have been tripped up by Alexandra Park on debut. But co-trainer Mark Purdon doesn’t expect that to be an issue.
“He is actually the other way,” explains Purdon.
“He was a hard horse to get going left-handed but right from the time we started fast working him he didn’t need any gear right-handed so I think he will love it up here.”
Chase A Dream has had the benefit of two trials and thrashed stablemates Vessem and Treacherous Baby, both of who start tonight, in the latest of those trials.
“He will be more forward than Vessem and our best chance.”
Treacherous Baby is a good hope in the very even fillies and mares race could could be decided by whether Coastal Babe, who has been the best of this crop, wants to use her gate speed to go forward early.
If she does and leads she will be hard to beat after looking forward at the trials last week but it is a field so even almost any of her rivals can win.
Another stablemate Madrid should be able to break maidens in Race 4 if she can secure a good trip from one on the second line while Purdon is blunt about the chances of wonderful warrior Self Assured in the main pace.
“With us drawn outside Merlin, I think he will lead and probably beat us.”