Nortie Nortie Vying to go Back-to-back at Nelson
The Michael Purdon-trained Nortie Nortie will by vying to make it back-to-back wins at Nelson on Sunday when he lines-up in the Super Liquor Motueka Trot (2400m).
The three-year-old gelding broke through for his maiden win at the fifth time of asking with a convincing 2-1/2 length victory over 2400m at Nelson on Friday.
“It was a great thrill,” Purdon said.
“He had been having some hard racing with the company he has been up against and the drop back in grade is what he needed.”
Purdon hasn’t made the trek north from his West Melton base but he has received positive reports while he has been in Nelson.
“My Aunty and Uncle, Jan and Grant Payne, are looking after him while he is there. By all reports he has settled in really well which is good,” Purdon said.
Friday’s result was a vast improvement on his first-up eighth placing at Ashburton last month and Purdon said he appreciated the drop back in grade.
“He took a fair bit of improvement from his last start,” Purdon said. “With Highgrove running that time he didn’t need much between that race and this race.”
Purdon is expecting another bold showing from his gelding on Sunday but doesn’t expect him to be able to dictate terms like he did on Friday.
“The competition will be a bit harder,” he said.
“I think he will hold his own but in saying that I don’t think he will be able to lead and get away with the sectionals that he got away with on Friday.”
Meanwhile, Purdon is looking forward to the raceday return of his exciting trotter Mystic Max.
The Village Mystic colt featured prominently in his juvenile term, winning two and placing in two of his five starts, including victory in the Gr.2 Sires’ Stakes 2YO Trot Championship (1980m) and finishing runner-up in the Gr.1 Harness Jewels 2YO Ruby (1609m).
“He seems well,” said Purdon, who also owns the colt.
“He has had two trials as a non-competitor. He will go into another trial on Wednesday against his own grade.
“I am looking at lining him up on the 21st of January. He is not eligible for the Harness Millions so he will probably have two starts and then I’ll give him 10 days out and get him ready for an Auckland campaign. I think the first one for him will be the Sires’ Stakes on the 20th (of February).”