Mares still in hunt for Cup

By Michael Guerin

The two darlings of the New Zealand open class ranks are still on target for a shot at the New Zealand Cup even if beating the boys is looking harder by the week.

Brothers Barry Purdon with Belle Of Montana and Mark Purdon with Princess Tiffany have confirmed the two arch rivals of the mares ranks are still on the New Zealand Cup path even if they are unloved in the market.

Belle Of Montana is rated a $26 chance to win Cup at Addington on November 10 while oddly Princess Tiffany, who has been brave and consistent in her runs this campaign behind Self Assured isn’t actually listed in the TAB market.

“We are definitely still looking at the Cup with her,” said Barry Purdon of Belle Of Montana, who races Copy That in the free-for-all at Alexandra Park on Thursday night.

“There aren’t really a lot of other options for mares and I still think she is up to it.

“She was good fresh-up behind Copy That and then galloped from her first stand last start but plenty of them do that the first time they try a stand.

“So we will keeping pushing toward the Cup but if for any reason things changed and I thought she wasn’t to it, or if Dean (Shannon, owner) didn’t want her there then she could change tact.

“But it is still her aim at this stage.”

Purdon also has Mach Shard in the feature tomorrow night but has scratched On The Cards but all three remain on target for the Cup.

Mark Purdon says he has been happy with Princess Tiffany’s form and while Self Assured has been dominant so far the mare looks as good as the remainder we have seen in the South so far.

“Again, there aren’t any mares races to aim her at and the owners are keen to have a Cup starter so while it isn’t easy for mares at this level she is heading that way,” says Mark.

Last season’s Cup runner-up Spankem was supposed to return to the workouts for the All Stars yesterday but will instead trial today (Wednesday) after yesterday’s were cancelled.

The stable will possibly split their open class team soon, with some to head to the Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup at Addington on September 11 while two others could head to the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru nine days later.

Most importantly for futures punters, Inter Dominion champion Ultimate Sniper is still not being aimed at the Cup and is very unlikely to race during Cup week but last season’s champion filly Amazing Dream will be at Addington that week all going well

“She will come back from Queensland soon and contest a fillies heat at Alexandra Park in October to try and qualified for that delayed fillies final on Cup day.”

But One Change, who opened his Australian campaign with a win last week, is likely to stay in Queensland longer and not return to New Zealand for Cup time.

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