Quarterback all set for Superbowl Monday
There are few more appropriate bets at Rangiora on Monday than Amberley Cup contender Quarterback.
While the New Zealand harness racing world will be focused on the Waitangi Day meeting the attention of many sporting fans further abroad will be on Super Bowl 55 in Florida.
There, the greatest quarterback of all-time Tom Brady will go head to head with the brilliantly talented Patrick Mahomes.
While there are not too many distinguishable similarities between the harness racing version of Quarterback and Brady and Mahomes they have one thing in common.
All three are in hot form.
Quarterback comes into the Amberley Cup for trainer Matt Purvis and driver Alana Cameron after winning at both Blenheim and Motukarara in his last two starts.
A winner of three of his last four starts, the four-year-old is becoming something of a grass track MVP.
“When he turned up, being by Sportswriter, I didn’t really know whether the grass would be his best friend but it has turned out it has,” Purvis said.
“His work has been super, he just needs a decent trip in transit and he should be thereabouts again.”
As he has collected his wins Quarterback has kept improving.
His Brady-like cool, calm and collected personality has helped his recent progress through the racing grades.
“He is getting better with each run, he is starting to figure out the racing game,” Purvis said.
“Up north he was always put on the speed, he is starting to learn that he can race in the field which is good.”
“He is taking nothing out of himself, he is as cruisy as anything at home and then he goes to the races and goes to sleep.”
Quarterback clashes with Kruizr, who is proving to be the Tom Brady of the South Island’s country cup races.
While Brady has six Super Bowl rings, the Michael House trained has three trophies from his Westport, Nelson and Marlborough Cup victories.
Kruizr will start from the 20m back mark in the Amberley Cup in his quest for a fourth cup title.
Quarterback gets a 10m headstart on his main rival in the 2600m feature.
Purvis will also step out talented four-year-old My Moment’s Now in Monday’s feature trot.
The trainer hopes his mare and driver Matthew Williamson can prove hard for the back markers and favourites Mataderos and John Dunn to catch.
“I was very happy with her last trial, she still had the earplugs in and she wasn’t knocked around,” Purvis said.
“She has come up really good.”
“Her manners have been perfect at the trials, as long as she does the same she should make a good race for Johnny to try and catch her.”
Purvis will give Sense Of Occasion his stable debut in race 3 on Monday.
The trainer has been pleased with the four-year-old’s recent work but is unsure about him starting from the inside of the second row of the mobile.
“He has settled in good.”
“He is very green, he lacks a fraction of high speed but he keeps chugging.”
“So it is probably not the ideal draw for him, one on the second row.”
“I thought if he was off the fence he could be a massive player.”
“Just with him having no high speed it will be interesting from there.”
Glitz And Glam returns to the track in race 2 for Purvis.
It is hoped she can improve on her first two starts earlier this season.
“She has come up better this time in.”
“Last time she had niggling issues and then she got the bug that my team had.”
“She has had a freshen up and she had a trial the other day.”
“There were few a wee steering issues there, so I changed a bit of gear and her work has been good.”
“I am not sure about her being first up on grass, but we will see where we end up.
Both Glitz And Glam and Sense Of Occasion will be driven by Gavin Smith.