Todd the toast of Melton after Crown win

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Acclaimed young North Canterbury trainer Regan Todd recorded his first Group 1 success when Show Gait was victorious at the Australasian Breeders Crown in Melbourne on Saturday night.

Todd combined with master horseman Mark Purdon for the win, the latter doing the driving.

“Words can’t really explain it,” said Todd soon after the win.

“I’m pretty bloody rapt.

“I’m never a ‘confidence’ person heading in to races but she seemed spot-on after the way she had trialed at Shepparton last week and worked since.

“It’s been awesome over here the past month. I had some good experiences with Mark Jones’ horses but to do it with one of your own is bloody cool.”

Purdon went forward off the mobile had her parked for most of the first lap before getting one-one cover behind The Great Redeemer for the last circuit.

It was a thrilling four-horse race to the finish line but Show Gait finished best to outdo Moonshine Linda and The Great Redeemer.

“The way it panned out, I thought that was going to make it tough enough for her, but she dug deepest,” said Todd.

For Todd, the win was extra satisfying because he had been entrusted with the horse by Purdon and his training partner Natalie Rasmussen, whose mother Cheryl owns the filly.

“They said she was a bloody nice filly that needed time and because Cheryl owned her they would give her every opportunity out on the beach with me.

“I was very lucky she came up the driveway, to be honest.”

The relationship has blossomed from there, the All Stars heads sending Todd a number of horses since then, as well.

“It’s just sort-of snowballed from there, really.

“Hicori is quite a nice horse, and Alta Ronaldo is there too.

“And that’s probably the best thing about all this is getting the win for them, with Mark driving it.

“It was nice to pay them back for the faith they’ve shown in me.”

Ironically, it was only when Purdon and Rasmussen’s other trotting filly, Luby Lou, was injured before the Harness Jewels that Todd started to make Breeders Crown plans.

“If Luby Lou came over we wouldn’t have even bothered.

“That being said, and I’m not making excuses, my filly wasn’t quite right going in to the New Zealand (Trotting) Oaks and (Trotting) Derby and I was trying to nurse her through after her Southland (Trotting) Oaks.

“So, once I knew Luby Lou definitely wasn’t coming I started making plans.”

The plan gained momentum when she won her Addington Breeders Crown heat, giving her a direct route in to last night’s A$70,000 Final.

And the final piece of the puzzle came thanks to Purdon last week.

“I said to him what’s the best thing to do after she had won at Menangle.

“I was going to nominate to race at Melton last week but he sort of said its going to be tougher leading in to a Group 1 by giving her a race a week out.

“So, we trialed her against the pacers and she went unreal.

“She just got better and better over here; she’s really thrived.”

It will be back to New Zealand for both horse and trainer now and Todd expects the daughter of Majestic Son will have a quiet four-year-old season.

“She’ll have a couple of months off and then I might bring her up to Auckland.

“I’ll have to see how highly ranked she is in the ratings, but I don’t want to be racing her off big handicaps.

Show Gait, then named Lydia Lindenny, was a $16,000 Christchurch yearlings sales purchase by Purdon in 2016.

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