Dream About Me Cements Queen Status

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Dream About Me further cemented her status as the queen of New Zealand harness racing with a crushing win in the Group 1 New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes at Addington on Friday night.

The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained millionaire ran her rivals in to the deck to claim her eighth top level title in the $100,000 feature.

The win sealed an incredible evening for the wonder mare’s owners, Aucklanders Charles Roberts and Paul and Mary Kenny.

The father, daughter and son-in-law also enjoyed success at Alexandra Park when Adore Me’s first foal, Sweet On Me, won her debut.

The blueblood two-year-old filly registered the second New Zealand victory for sire, Sweet Lou, who stands at Roberts’ Woodlands Stud.

The stallion’s first New Zealand win came earlier in the night, when the Purdon and Rasmussen-trained two-year-old, Virgil, scored in maiden company.

Paul Kenny said his family’s success at both ends of the country made for an incredible evening.

“It was a big deal for us with Sweet Lou, we have invested a lot in the Southern Hemisphere rights for Sweet Lou and to have a colt and a filly win tonight, on the eve of the yearling sales, is just enormous for us through our connection with Woodlands.

“It is a big celebration all around.”

Kenny said his camp were hopeful, but not overly confident, about Dream About Me’s chances of turning around her below-par effort at Addington in the Premier Mares Championship at Addington two weeks ago.

“I think knowing the horse – and we had a talk to Mark and Natalie and we had a talk to Tim after she last raced – we were hopeful.

“It was great to see her do that at Addington.”

The Kennys shared their good fortune by donating $500 to Harness Racing New Zealand’s teal campaign after Dream About Me’s win.

Driver Tim Williams made Dream About Me’s rivals work to beat her when applying pressure in the back straight the final time.

And they were simply not up to the task.

“Especially over 2600m tonight, I wanted to make sure that I had everyone off the bridle at the 500.

“And credit to the horse, she was able to do it.

“She was out of the early burn and she was able to catch her breath early and work in to the race nicely and she was good enough to take advantage.”

While Williams and Dream About Me were about to ramp up the pressure from the half-mile, her stablemate Elle Mac was dropping out of contention.

The hot favourite produced the shock of the race when struggling to keep up when starting the last lap of the race.

Driver Natalie Rasmussen was forced to ease Elle Mac out of contention after the tube of one of her sulky wheels came off its rim.

Stewards found that was caused by Dream About Me hitting the wheel, when racing fiercely earlier in the race.

The win was Williams’ 13th at Group 1 level and fourth with Dream About Me over a period of nearly four years.

Williams was quite clear about how he rates the star mare’s impact on his career after their win.

“I think other than my family, she might be the next love of my life.”

Visiting Auckland mare Step Up ran on better than any other horse back in the field to run second to Dream About Me.

Enchantee took inside runs to grab third.

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