Purdon primes team for cup week
By Jonny Turner
Leading trainer Barry Purdon’s team enjoyed a perfect hit out before their raid on the New Zealand Cup carnival when scoring four wins at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
New Zealand Cup bound pacer Mach Shard completed a nearly perfect preparation of his own in his final lead up race before the New Zealand Cup to round out the Clevedon trainer’s quartet.
Mach Shard will head south to compete in the New Zealand Cup trial after improving on two excellent second placings behind Triple Eight to win Friday night’s feature handicap pace over The Devils Own and his stablemate Ball Of Art.
“He has had a pretty uninterrupted preparation going in to the cup,” Purdon said.
“But, he has been lucky, too, because Zac has had him in the right spot each time.”
Bookies have clearly not been impressed with Mach Shard’s spring campaign as they have left the 5yr-old at juicy $41 odds to win on the second Tuesday in November.
The Mach Three pacer will be accompanied on his trip south by Wainui Creek, who won her first race since November of last year on Friday night.
Getting caught in the parked position after a quick first 400m was not enough to stop the 4yr-old from holding out Sole Ambition in a Purdon stable quinella.
Wainui Creek was strong to the line, which thrilled her trainer after she blew out late in her first up run two weeks ago.
“I was really pleased with her, I thought the first start she had she just came to the end of it,” Purdon said.
“But, to do what she did of Friday night was a good effort.”
“She will go down South and start in the mares races on the second day of the cup meeting.”
Wainui Creek is eligible for the $40,000 Sires Stakes Southern Mares Classic on Show Day.
Major Jellis, who remains unbeaten after winning on Friday night, was eligible for 3yr-old Sires Stakes Series for colts and geldings had Purdon chosen to take the pacer in that direction.
However, the trainer decided against having a crack at the series and he will not make a trip south.
“We could have had a go at the Sires Stakes heat on Friday night, but he just isn’t ready for that yet.”
“He is a bit precocious at this stage.”
Friday night’s Sires Stakes heat was won by Line Out, who held out his stablemate Copy That and the Purdon trained Bad To The Bone.
Bad To The Bone ran in to third after copping a big check half way down the straight when Ideal Agent ducked in in front of him.
That third placing should be enough to secure the 3yr-old a spot in the series final on New Zealand Cup day.
Copy That and Line Up were already well up the leaderboard before their quinella last night
As were Flying Even Bettor and One Change, who ran first and third in the heat of the series at Addington on Friday night.
That should leave plenty of space for Bad To The Bone and Addington runner-up Down To The Bone to make the $170,000 final.
Purdon’s bag of four wins at Friday night’ meeting also included Flying Finn, who scored a penalty free win for stable junior driver Nathan Delany.