Purdon's dual Queensland attack

By Adam Hamilton

Nathan Purdon’s attack on Queensland’s winter riches has slipped under the radar a bit, but he’s hoping to turn that around at Redcliffe on Saturday night.

Purdon has runners in both the Oaks and Derby and is especially keen on his prospects with Major Hot in the $53,000 Group 3 Derby.

The Art Major gelding, who opened his Queensland campaign with an Albion Park win on June 15, has been backed from $4.40 into $3.60 despite needing luck from an inside back row draw (gate seven).

“He’s the one we built the trip around,” Purdon said. “He’s pretty smart and an all-round package. He’s got gate speed and some zip, so we felt he’d suit the (Queensland) style of racing.

“He’s probably about three or four lengths behind our best, say a three-year-old like Chase A Dream, but he’s good enough to be very competitive in these races we think.”

Former Kiwi Adam Sanderson will keep the reins on Major Hot after partnering him to his first Albion Park win, which came first-up from a break.

“He’ll be better again, but he’ll need to be because the race is a bit harder,” Purdon said.

Interestingly, Major Hot’s biggest danger looks to be a filly, Soho Spectre, who obviously could have run in the Redcliffe Oaks instead.

Trainer Rickie Alchin has focused on stablemate and favourite Lux Aeterna in the Oaks, paving the way for Soho Spectre to tackle the boys. Luke McCarthy has the drive.

In the Oaks, McCarthy will be with Purdon when he drives Treacherous Love from gate two.

“It was a late decision to send her because she was up and going at a time there wasn’t much for her at home,” Purdon said.

“The owners were happy for her to go on the trip with Major Hot. We don’t have a lot of confidence in her as far as this week goes.”

Beyond this week, both three-year-olds have races like the South-East Derby/Oaks and Queensland Derby/Oaks if Purdon is happy with them.

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