Nathan Purdon has quartet primed

By Adam Hamilton

Mark Purdon’s reputation for peaking his horses for “Grand Finals” is legendary and his son, Nathan, thinks he has done the same for Saturday night’s stellar Breeders Crown meeting.

Nathan has major chances in four of the finals and believes the quartet are primed for their assignments.

It may surprise some given the betting markets, but Purdon rates champion mare Amazing Dream his best chance of the night, ahead of megastar three-year-old filly Bettor Twist.

Amazing Dream is only third-favourite, solely because of a back row draw (gate 10) in the $50,000 Group 2 4YO Pacing Mares’ final (2240m).

“I’d have to say she’s my best chance. She was incredible to get so close from the back row over 1720m last week. She chased so hard the whole way and I’m sure she would’ve won if the race had been an extra 400m. She gets the extra distance this time,” Purdon said.

“Ants will drive her tough again, you have to from those draws, but she’s absolutely flying and she’ll just keep giving for him.”

It won’t be easy with her two main dangers – Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s pair Maajida (gate one) and Techys Angel (seven) – expected to be dictating the speed up front.

Bettor Twist has been crunched from $2.80 into $2.30 favourite to win the super-strong $200,000 Group 1 3YO Pacing Fillies’ final, but Purdon knows what a big challenge it will be.

“She’s exactly where we hoped she'd be. She couldn’t be better,” he said. “When she got beaten in those first two runs we sort of thought she would because she was building. She was very close to her top when she won the semi and that topped her right off for this week.

“It looks like she’ll have to sit parked and that’s never an easy way to win, but she’s ready for it. It’ll take a great drive from Ants to balance beating the leaders, but being able to hold-off the backmarkers, especially Ladies In Red.

“They are a fantastic batch of fillies, but I’m sure Bettor Twist is as good as any of them.”

Purdon is also optimistic of big runs from American Dealer in the 3YO Pacing Colts and Geldings’ final and Amore Vita in the 2YO Pacing Fillies final.

“This is by far the best I’ve had American Dealer. It’s hard to get a line on him at home because he’s not a good track worker, but his past two runs have been really good and his work has picked-up at home,” he said.

“I think he can win. It’s another really strong race, but if it’s truly run and he gets the right trip, he’ll be finishing off really strongly. He’s very tough.”

Amore Vita looked slightly disappointing when second to Petillante after having the drop on her in last week’s semi-final and has to overcome the back row (gate 12) in a very open final.

“She got a bit keen last week, Chris (Alford, driver) said,” Purdon said. “I really like her and she can improve. I’ve taken the blinkers off and put pull-ups on so she can relax a bit better earlier this week, especially from the back row.

“We haven’t seen her driven to use her speed yet over here, but she’s got plenty. I think she’s right in this final. I’m sure she’s as good as any of them in that race.”


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