Purdon wheels out the big guns at Addington this Friday

By Michael Guerin

Champion trainer Mark Purdon has a lot of equine firepower to unleash in just 30 minutes at Addington on Friday night.

Along with his son/training partner Nathan they have Auckland Cup winners Akuta and Self Assured both resuming in the $60,000 Lamb and Hayward Canterbury Classic at Addington, as well as leading three-year-old pacer Don’t Stop Dreaming in the Kennard Bloodstock Lazarus Stakes.

While he is happy with all of them he warns punters to be careful in both the Canterbury Classic and the Lazarus Stakes.

Akuta has drawn the second line in a capacity and quality field for the Classic over 2600m standing start and unless he can squeeze through the pack early he could be giving fitter rivals like B D Joe and Aardie’s Express a start, while $2.1million earner Self Assured has drawn wide on the front line.

“They both trialed well last week but these races are hard to win fresh up,” says Purdon of the two New Zealand Cup favourites.

“If they get the right type of runs they can win but if they have to work in the middle stages and one of the good horses is in front or in the trail then it becomes a lot harder.”

Purdon says on their work there is very little between Akuta and Self Assured at this stage but he thinks as the season develops Akuta may improve more, being three years younger than Self Assured.

With nine wins from just 10 starts, Don’t Stop Dreaming starts his campaign in the Kennard Bloodstock Lazarus Stakes. He is being aimed at the Flying Stakes (October 13) and NZ Derby (December 10) and while he is clearly the best horse in the field there is a lot of speed inside him as he had to draw barrier 9 under the preferential draw conditions.

“I think from that draw we have to be conservative early and try and get home later to win.

“Preferential draws make it really hard on the best horses when they are returning.”

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