Oscar tough to bowl in feature trot at Motukarara
By Jonny Turner
The scratching of two-time defending champion Mataderos means its advantage Purdon in the Group Three D G Jones Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup.
Mark and Nathan Purdon will return their star trotter Oscar Bonavena to racing in the 2810m staying test while Michael Purdon lines up the in-form Mystic Max.
All Stars trainer Mark Purdon has conceded that Oscar Bonavena will benefit from having his first race since May, but as the only Group 1 winner in the field the seven-year-old must go close on class alone.
Oscar Bonavena has had two trials to prepare him for his return and in the latest of those he ran an excellent second to his star pacing stablemate Don’t Stop Dreaming.
Mystic Max brings the benefit of race fitness having won two of his three starts this time in.
The four-year-old got too far bank in the recent Group Two Ordeal Trotting Cup, but he ran on well late.
Michael Purdon hopes his squaregaiter and driver Blair Orange can make the most of their second attempt on grass on Sunday.
“He’s only had one start on the grass and he was a bit unlucky, Blair came back and told me it was the best he had trotted to that stage so I am not too worried about that” Purdon told All Stars Racing.
“On his work I like to think Mystic Max can win though”
Oscar Bonavena opened the early favourite for the D G Jones Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup at $4.
Support for Eurokash saw him quickly move from $5 into $3.20 favouritism.
The Greg and Nina Hope trained trotter impressed in three trials as he prepares to return to racing for the first time since May.
The Robert and Jenna Dunn stable will be without Mataderos but they have Andy Hall in Sunday’s feature.
The trotter will make his debut for the Dunn stable after trialling well recently.
“He is probably a couple of races away from his best, he is taking a bit to work out,” Robert Dunn said.
“We identified a couple of issues to work on and we are doing that.”
“But we were happy with his trial.”
The Dunn stable start three more runners on the Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup undercard.
Among them is a half to one of the grand campaigners of Australasian harness racing.
“Alta Showgirl goes nice, she is a half to our old champ Alta Orlando,” Dunn said.
“She is a raw-boned filly who needs a bit more time, so she will have a few starts and then go out.”
“She has got a bit of ability there and should do a good job.”
The Dunns also have Hayleys Meddle starting from barrier 1 in race 10 and Moses having his second career start in race 5.