Draws not in All Stars favour
By Michael Guerin
Champion trainer Mark Purdon admits he has concerns over the draws for some of his favoured runners as the Alexandra Park summer carnival kicks off tonight.
But then there is Amazing Dream, who has the worst possible draw in one of the strongest races tonight and yet Purdon thinks it simply won’t matter.
Purdon’s more hyped runners have copped tricky or just plain bad draws in all four races the All Stars runners contest tonight but he is still confident it won’t bother Amazing Dream in the Caduceus Club Breeders Stakes.
“I know she has barrier eight but she has a few lengths on most of her rivals and there is only one horse on the second line,” says Purdon.
“So she can afford to go out a bit at the start or pull back and either way get into the running line.
“She is really well and class act so I still expect her to win.” It was actually quite surprising the TAB gave $1.30 in opening markets for Amazing Dream considering she is only $1.12 in futures markets to win a group one against similar opposition next week.
Purdon does warn punters that stablemate Beyond Words, one of the big improvers of the mares’ ranks this season, is still getting used to training right-handed and may be better for her first Alexandra Park outing tonight.
That suggests Dina Brown and the under-rated Callie’s Delight become the most likely trifecta mates for Amazing Dream.
While there rightly seems little concern about Amazing Dream overcoming her draw, Purdon is not so confident with favourites Shan Noble (race two), Bettor Twist (race four) and to a lesser extent Aladdin (race eight).
Shan Noble (barrier four) opened hot favourite for the Northern Three-Year-Old Stakes but Purdon says stablemate First Class (barrier two) is at least as good a chance.
The pair raced each other at Addington last start and finished only a head apart but Shan Noble went into that race fit whereas First Class hadn’t raced since a dismal Auckland campaign in September.
“They are both lovely horses but with the draw I think First Class could be first out and hard to beat so I’d just narrowly favour him,” says Purdon, his comment in stark contrast to the bookies assessment opening odds of $2 for Shan Noble and $8 for First Class.
The stable have thought all along Bettor Twist was their best staying filly and she may be able to come sit parked and win race four, as she did two starts ago against a similar field.
But again Purdon warns punters to be careful.
“She looks like she is going to get the toughest run in the race and she may be vulnerable for that reason.
“She can win but I think Darling Me should do less work and will be just as hard to beat while a filly like Shes No Lady could take some catching in front.” Purdon was initially reluctant to declare Aladdin the winner of race eight from his wide draw tonight but the field would seem to contain nothing of his raw class considering he sat parked to run third in the Sires’ Stakes Final last start.
Tonight’s Summer Cup sees the return to Alexandra Park of Copy That, who hasn’t raced since his financially chaotic slow start in the New Zealand Cup.
He looked in a need of a run when second to Kango, who starts in race three tonight, at the Pukekohe workouts last weekend but with natural improvement should be able to overcome his 20m handicap if he races up to anything like his spring form on this track.