Exciting juveniles step out for Clevedon barn
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
The stars of tomorrow will be out in force at Alexandra Park on Friday night and Clevedon trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan are hoping they have one or two amongst their juvenile starters.
Major Perry and Montana D J will be the first stable two-year-olds to step out on Friday when they contest the Breckon Farms Young Guns C & G Ht1 Mobile Pace (1700m).
Major Perry is having his second start, after placing on debut, while Montana D J will be making his debut after two trial wins last month.
“I was pretty happy with Major Perry’s debut,” Phelan said.
“He did a little bit of work early getting around them. He travelled well but then he floated around out wide when he was out in the open. He will benefit a lot from it.
“Montana D J has done everything we have asked of him and he has kept on improving, which is all you need to do as a two-year-old.
“He is a nice horse and he will be a good chance. He will benefit from the outing, as most of the two-year-olds do. He has got a good draw (3), so he is halfway there.”
Later on the card, Phelan will line-up three juvenile fillies in the Crombie Lockwood Bloodstock Young Guns Filles Ht2 Mobile Pace (1700m).
Debut winner Artisan will lead the stable charge from barrier four, while Chantilly and Gossip Girl will make their debuts from barriers six and seven respectively.
“Artisan is a lovely filly and she has stepped up since her race. She will go another good race again,” Phelan said.
“Chantilly trialled well last week. She is a bit green, so she will improve from the outing, but she has got plenty of ability.
“Gossip Girl tries hard. She won’t go a bad race, but she is another one who will improve from the outing.”
Phelan is also expecting solid performances from the stable’s older brigade.
Bettor Listen, perhaps New Zealand’s best maiden, will be looking for his first win in the Dunstan Speedfeed Summer Series Mobile Pace (2200m).
The son of Bettor’s Delight has placed in 11 of his 13 starts, and Phelan is hoping it will be lucky start number 14 on Friday.
“He never goes a bad race and always picks up a cheque, we just want the cheque to be a bit bigger this time,” he said.
Bettor Listen has drawn one on the second line, but that bodes no concerns for Phelan.
“I don’t think it would matter where he drew, he always puts his hand up. He just needs to put his hand up a bit further,” he said. “Hopefully he does it on Friday.”
Raven Banner is another stable runner in impeccable form and Phelan is hoping he can make it back-to-back victories in the IRT – Your Horse Our Passion Mobile Pace (2200m).
“It is not a massive step up, it is almost a similar field to last time,” he said.
“It’s a rough draw (13), but it’s a preferential barrier draw, so fair enough.
“He’s worked on great, so a similar run into it and he will be a pretty good chance.”
Looking to Saturday for Cambridge Raceway’s Gold Cup meeting, Phelan is looking forward to contesting the Bayleys Coromandel Cambridge Gold Cup Final Handicap Trot (2700m) with Son Of Patrick.
The three-year-old gelding has won his last two starts, including a heat of the Gold Cup.
“Cambridge have done it well with the heats and final,” Phelan said.
“He will go a good race, he has worked well since his last run. It’s pretty much the same field as last time, barring Delson. He will be a good chance.”