High Step makes it four wins from five starts
By Adam Hamilton
Kiwi filly High Step kept up a family tradition in the $50,000 Group 2 Redwood Classic at Maryborough.
Her dam, High Gait, won Australia’s most prestigious juvenile trotting classic in 2015.
While Mark Purdon trained and drove High Gait to victory, Greg Sugars took the reins for Purdon and his son, Nathan, yesterday.
The was effectively over after 100m when High Step began very quickly from the standing start and ran to the lead, while main dangers Kyvalley Michael and Maoris Mac both made early mistakes and lost all hope.
It was an armchair drive for Sugars, who just nursed High Step to an eight metre win in a 2min3.5sec mile rate for the 2190m feature.
It capped a terrific Aussie raid where she raced five times for four wins, a second and banked over $50,000.
It was Mark Purdon’s third Redwood win, having also scored with Daenerys Targaryen in 2013.
Earlier, Kiwi three-year-old filly Shez Bella narrowly but impressively won the Gold Bracelet with Dylan Ferguson, who co-trains with Graeme Rogerson, taking the reins.
Shez Bella began well, but couldn’t lead from a wide draw, so took the trail behind leader and main danger Shesawish before nabbing her late to win by a neck in a slick 27.4sec closing quarter.
Ferguson and Rogerson had Lovemeto tackle the $75,000 Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Derby as a $2.50 later in the day, but he ran well below his best after spending some midrace petrol to find the lead.
Lovemeto was gone before the home turn and tired to finish 28.7m from the winner in sixth spot.
The Derby was won by Queensland raider Not As Promised, who continued a fairytale season for his driver Nathan Dawson.
The 28-year-old Dawson, who recently won the Australian Drivers’ Championship in Tasmania, is almost 100 wins clear of his nearest rival in the Australian Driving Premiership this season.