Swayzee out of Free-For-All

By Michael Guerin

Akuta looks to have been handed Friday's $200,000 Airpark Canterbury New Zealand Free-For-All on a plate with the scratching of his New Zealand Cup conqueror Swayzee.

Swayzee has been pulled out of Friday's Group 1 at Addington after not recovering well enough from his exertions on Tuesday so will head home to Australia to be set for the Inter Dominions in Queensland next month.

As a result Akuta is now into $1.20 in the fixed odds markets.

Trainer-driver Mark Purdon was confident he could lead and win the 1980m mobile even with Swayzee in the race and considering his domination over his local rivals this spring it is impossible to make a case against him.

“He has come through Tuesday well and I thought we would lead even with Swayzee in the race,” says Purdon.

“But obviously him not being there helps.”

Swayzee’s scratching could embolden a driver like Ricky May on Beach Ball to press forward and have a crack for the lead but with Pembrook Playboy also scratched and Beach Ball drawn right next to Akuta is makes it very hard to cross him.

The Swayzee scratching obviously helps every horse who remains in the race but Mossdale Ben and Aardie’s Express, who now starts directly behind Beach Ball at two on the second line looks to have gained the most.

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