Don't Stop Dreaming out of Friday's Auckland Cup

By Michael Guerin

Long-time favourite Don’t Stop Dreaming is out of Friday night’s Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park.

Co-trainer Nathan Purdon says there is nothing wrong with the star four-year-old but both he and driver Natalie Rasmussen think he raced below his best when fifth in the Roy Purdon Memorial last Friday.

“We both think he has had enough so he will go to the paddock,” says Purdon.

“He has had a long campaign and is ready for a break so he will be set on the traditional New Zealand Cup path.”

That means both New Zealand’s star four-year-olds, the other being Merlin, will miss the Cup.

Both have had busy starts to 2024, heading to Menangle where they each won races over the Miracle Mile carnival before returning home to quinella the Race By Grins.

Don’t Stop Dreaming was the $2.50 TAB futures favourite before his surprise withdrawal which now leaves the Cup wide open and with the quite stunning possibility that Mach Shard may start favourite in Alexandra Park’s signature race.

The All Stars will still have Self Assured in the Cup while Friday’s meeting will also feature champion Australian trotter Just Believe.

“He is great and worked lovely this morning,” his driver Greg Sugars told HRNZ on Monday.

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