Millwood Nike in, but Akuta scratched from Roy Purdon Memorial
What a turbulent 24 hours it's been for Mark Purdon ahead of tonight's meeting at Auckland.
Yesterday there were fears that his gun fillies High Energy and Millwood Nike might be scratched after both pulled up walking short after track work.
High Energy has since been ruled out of the Group 2 Lone Star Sires' Stakes 3YO Championships but the unbeaten Millwood Nike will definitely start in the $130,000 Group 1 Magness Benrow Sires' Stakes 3YO Fillies Final where she's gunning for win number 14 in a row.
And then in another twist Akuta, Purdon's drive in the race named in honour of his late father Roy Purdon, has been scratched on vet's advice.
That leaves trainers Mark and son Nathan Purdon having just the one runner in the race, with Self Assured, who won the Roy Purdon Memorial last year, to be driven by Natalie Rasmussen.
Self Assured is now a $1.90 favourite to go back to back in the race, with Old Town Road at $2.30. There'll be just six runners in the race at 7.22pm.
The $45,000 feature is the final lead-up to next Friday’s Auckland Cup.
A $3.80 favourite, Oscar Bonavena provides the stable with a good chance in the Group 2 HR Fisken and Sons Anzac Cup providing he can get close enough to use his sprint, with his 20m handicap made more challenging by the big field.
Earlier High Step ($2.50) may struggle to catch the very mature The Moonstone ($1.80) in the first IRT Young Guns Trotting Final.