Dream Major wins on debut

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Master trainer Barry Purdon has found himself another good horse.

Dream Major delivered on the hype with a dominant debut win in a maiden pace at Alexandra Park on Friday night, landing a slew of big bets in the process.

Bookies kept him very tight off the back of some super impressive trials efforts, opening him at $1.60.

But they were bombarded with an avalanche of four-figure bets that saw the son of Art Major tumble in to an eye-popping $1.28 quote not long before post time.

He never gave Purdon or his backers any cause for concern though, winning handsomely out of the trail in the hands of Zachary Butcher.

“He was strong tonight and I was very happy with him,” said New Zealand’s all-time winningest trainer.

“It was his first time looking at the track (Alexandra Park) but he took it in his stride.”

Purdon has classic aspirations with Dream Major, and that starts with the traditional spring feature for three-year-olds, the Sires Stakes Series.

“I expect he’ll be at Addington for the Sires Stakes Final, everything going well.

“We’ll set him for the first heat at Cambridge (October 4) now and probably look for another race in between times.”

Dream Major was a $120,000 Christchurch yearling sale purchase by Purdon, his wife Katrina, Trevor Casey, Kevin Riseley and Charmie Nausbaum.

He wasn’t seen in public until the last week of his two-year-old season, owing to his size.

“He’s a big guy that just wanted a bit of time to develop in to his body and get a bit stronger,” said Purdon.

It was a satisfying night at the office for the stable, former Group 1 winner Mach Shard also making a welcome race night return and recording a victory.

Mikayla Lewis, partner of Purdon’s nephew Nathan, did the driving and she got the job done well.

Mach Shard defeated Spankem and Alta Maestro to win the Cardigan Bay Stakes in March of last year, before heading south to Christchurch for a three-race campaign that disappointed.

He was shut down early and missed last year’s Jewels but returned in the springtime for the two northern Sires Stakes heats.

He finished fifth and fourth but, rather than go to Addington for the final, Purdon made a bold call.

“We gelded him and then put him out for a six-month spell.

“They went 1.53 in one of those Sires Stakes heats and he was buggered after it.

“The owners were really good about it and said just do what is best for the horse, so we did.”

Purdon admitted it was a weight off his shoulders to have the horse back in the winner’s circle.

“There’s been a bit of pressure with this horse so it’s good to see him return with a win.

“We’ll just take him one step at a time for now before we worry about setting any big targets for him.”

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