By Adam Hamilton
MARK Purdon’s 100th Group 1 training triumph marked the arrival of his next superstar.
All who watched Self Assured roar through four stunning Queensland Winter Carnival wins were convinced he’s poised to become the sport’s next big thing.
As if last week’s narrow but mesmerizing South-East Derby win wasn’t head-spinning enough, Self Assured raised the bar again with the first of what should be many Group 1 wins in last night’s (Saturday) $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby.
Self Assured used a good draw to lead, but copped plenty of pressure, most notably from Lochinvar Art down the back straight, but still left his rivals standing in track record time.
Unbeaten in six runs, he smashed the race record and Self Assured’s 1min54.2sec mile rate for the 2680m was only 0.5sec slower than they ran in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake – a Grand Circuit race - on the same night.
Just as he did the week before, Self Assured smashed the clock with closing splits of 53.8 and 27.1sec.
“I was a little bit worried (when the pressure came on). Either one of those horses, you could’ve let go, but he’d worked so good during the week I didn’t want to take any risks,” Purdon said.
“I was a little bit concerned when we straightened for home, but when I pulled the plugs he went into another gear.
“He’s a really good horse and he showed that tonight.”
Self Assured, the latest All Stars’ gun to be owned by Australian Jean Feiss, is not Breeders Crown eligible so it’s spell time now.
“Heads to Melbourne with Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke, then onto to Auckland where he will agist and have a bit of a break with a view to having him back in November for the support races at Cup time. It’ll be a.8/27 nice introduction to Cup class racing for him.”
The All Stars’ also grabbed third and fourth in the Derby with Jesse Duke (third) and Our Princess Tiffany (fourth) and that pair now head to the Breeders Crown.
The run of Lochinvar Art to finished second after powering the pressure on Self Assured down the back straight in a 26.7sec split was enormous and he looks the horse to beat in his Breeders Crown division despite a long season.