Self Assured shows true qualities
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
There may be a chink in G.1 New Zealand Cup (3200m) favourite Self Assured’s armour and he showed it at Addington Raceway on Friday.
The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained gelding broke at the start of the Gr.3 Allied Security Maurice Holmes Vase (2600m) and he had to call on all his talents to take out the feature race.
Purdon, who also drove the Group One winner, was surprised by the early mistake and said he may need to adopt different tactics ahead of further standing start assignments.
“He surprised me tonight, he felt like he was going to begin really nicely, but he just panicked a little bit,” Purdon said.
“He might just be one that we keep back a little bit and let him come in a bit later.”
Although he recovered quickly from his early mistake, Self Assured raced towards the rear of the field for the majority of the race and Purdon admitted he wasn’t overly optimistic with the $1.40 favourite’s chances.
In a brave move Purdon elected to head up the marker pegs down the back straight to sit four back, but he was able to wield his magic and found clear running room turning for home where Self Assured was able to get the better of Classie Brigade to win by a neck.
“With a lap to run I didn’t think he could win it,” Purdon said.
“I took the inside running down the back and then I had a little bit of luck around the corner getting on Princess Tiffany’s back and he just finished it off unbelievably well.”
Destined for the New Zealand Cup in November, Purdon said he would space Self Assured’s races over the next few months, with his next likely target being the Gr.3 Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup (2600m) at Addington Raceway on September 11.
“Next up will probably be the New Brighton Cup,” Purdon said.
“We will just space his races and when we get the opportunity to give him a few days off to freshen him we will do that.”
The All Stars team had another successful night at the office, picking up a winning treble courtesy of Shan Noble and Darling Me’s victories earlier in the night.