Purdons eyeing up more trans Tasman success
By Adam Hamilton
Things are hotting right up at home for Purdon Racing, but they still have some unfinished business in Australia.
Their three-horse Victorian team still has four feature races on the agenda, starting with tonight’s (Friday) $50,000 Group 2 Need For Speed Princess final (1720m) at Melton.
High Energy will have to overcome a back row draw and star local Rockinwithattutide.
“She’s not a filly who can take a lot of work, so she was underdone in the heat, but she’s very close to her top for this final,” co-trainer Nathan Purdon said.
“It won’t be easy from the draw and Rockinwithattitude was terrific in the heat and has a good draw (gate three), but I still think she’ll run well.”
High Energy will then cap her Aussie raid when she backs-up in the Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Oaks on Victoria Cup night (October 14).
“We’re not staying for the Breeders Crown anymore, she and (The Real) Sherlock will head home after Victoria Cup night,” Purdon said.
The Real Sherlock missed the Group 1 Vicbred final with an untimely hoof abscess, but sparkled winning an easier race at Melton on September 23.
He has the outside draw (gate seven) against pre-post Victoria Derby favourite The Lost Storm in the second heat of the series at Melton tomorrow (Saturday) night.
“He’s really well. It’s a shame the way the draws have fallen this week, but he’s right on target for the final,” Purdon said.
“If he comes through the heat well and gets an advantageous draw in the final, I think he can really make his presence felt in the final.”
Purdon said two-year-old filly High Step, who also runs at Melton tonight (Friday) in the $20,000 Bob Conroy 2YO Classic, will stay on Victoria a bit longer.
“She’s not going home with the other two,” he said. “We’ll leave her with Greg (Sugars) and Jess (Tubbs) to have a crack at the Redwood (2YO Classic) at the end of October.”
Also at tonight’s Melton meeting, glamour former Kiwi trotting mare Queen Elida steps out again as a $1.65 favourite in the George Gath (2240m).
She’s aiming for her ninth win from her past 10 starts, but will have to earn it with classy mare Im Ready Jet drawn the pole and the speedy Mufasa Metro in gate four. Queen Elida has gate five.
Queen Elida will then back-up the following two weeks at Melton.
She’s got the Group 1 Bill Collins Sprint on Saturday week and the Maori Miss Trotters’ free-for-all for mares on October 20.