Self Assured to head to Hannon

By Michael Guerin

The punters loss at Addington last Friday will be Oamaru’s gain for the Hannon Memorial this Sunday.

Because that is where New Zealand Cup favourite Self Assured heads to test out how he enjoys being off the unruly for the first time.

The Auckland Cup winner cost punters a fortune when he galloped away in the Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup at Addington last Friday, losing all chance.

It was the third time in a row he had missed away but was far worse than the first two, never getting into the race.

Trainer Mark Purdon immediately put the five year-old on the unruly and sees whether he stays there or not for the New Zealand Cup in November will depend on his manners in coming starts.

“He really galloped quite badly the other day so I think it is the best thing for now,” said Purdon.

“But we don’t need to panic. He has three or four starts before the Cup and we can see how he is going away before we make a decision on whether he stays there.”

The first of those will be the Hannon this Sunday, a race Self Assured was initially set to bypass but he will now contest since he didn’t have a race last Friday.

That means he will clash with returning stablemate Spankem but one-time favourite Princess Tiffany is less likely to go there and her entire New Zealand Cup campaign could be in doubt.

She has been brave but struggling against the boys and looks better off against her own sex than in a hard 3200m on Cup Day.

But if Self Assured remains on the unruly that could affect his NZ Cup hopes as he is as good as a 10m handicap he could potentially end up giving away to the likes of Copy That and Spankem.

Meanwhile, Purdon is happy with how second favourite It’s All About Faith has travelled north for the Sires’ Stakes Final at Alexandra Park this Friday, with today’s draw crucial for he and Krug because if either drew the second line that would almost certainly hand the other favouritism.

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