Racing: Purdon hopeful he can do it

By Michael Guerin

Trainer has I Can Doosit ready to make amends after shock break at Cambridge.

Adore Me in the Sires Stakes Championship is one of several runners who gives the Mark Purdon stable a strong hand at Alexandra Park today. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Adore Me in the Sires Stakes Championship is one of several runners who gives the Mark Purdon stable a strong hand at Alexandra Park today. Photo / Steven McNicholl

When champion trotter I Can Doosit rolls on to Alexandra Park for today's $80,000 National Trot trainer-driver Mark Purdon is going to develop amnesia.

Purdon believes forgetting about the superstar's shock gallop at Cambridge last Monday is the best attitude he can take into today's group one.

I Can Doosit bizarrely switched into a pace just before the start of last Monday's Flying Mile and had to be broken up before a huge recovery to finish fourth.

Purdon blames I Can Doosit being jarred up for the incident and was still not 100 per cent happy with him as late as Friday.

But a shoeing change and some solid work yesterday have convinced Purdon I Can Doosit is ready to bounce back today.

"I flew our farrier up on Saturday and he did a good job re-shoeing him, putting some pads under the shoes," Purdon said yesterday.

"He worked well today and then Ivan Bridge [vet] had a look over him and he seems fine.

"So I will go into the race like it is business as normal, because, really, I can't worry about last week."

Purdon admits the incident threw him and he could be forgiven for being cautious early with I Can Doosit today.

If he is back to his best and races up to his peak he will win, but last week's gallop will at least have some rival trainers thinking they are in with a chance of a repeat upset.

Especially Paul Nairn with Stig, who was the beneficiary of I Can Doosit's failure last week.

Stig is an incredible stayer and the most likely to exploit any weakness in I Can Doosit today.

I Can Doosit headlines an incredible 16-strong team for Purdon today, many of whom will start favourite.

He is hoping what should be a great draw doesn't turn into a pressure cooker with Adore Me in another of today's group ones, the $170,000 Sires' Stakes Championship.

The unbeaten filly has the ace in the 2200m event and has looked something special in her four starts, so will dominate betting.

If she can lead and control the tempo she should run away from her opponents, with her three most favoured rivals drawn wide or on the second line.

However, Purdon believes the draw somewhat forces his hand.

"If a couple of those fillies outside her go forward hard early then the race changes," he said.

"I think she will hold the front but if she gets challenged a few times it gets tricky because there aren't many in the race I'd hand up to, especially as she is going to be the hot favourite."

Purdon does have a serious second stringer in Rozelski and an outsider in Spirit Of Art.

"Rozelski would be suited if they go hard and I think she is in the best three fillies in the country."

Purdon is also hoping for a strong staying test in the $220,000 Sales Series Pace, which would suit Arden Rooney.

He rates Living The Dream (race four) and Royal Mach (race eight) as two of his other best chances of the day. "Living The Dream is in more or less in the same field she beat easily last time and the draw helps her.

"And I have three in Royal Mach's race and they are all well but he would be my best chance there."

Remarkably, six of Purdon's runners have drawn barrier one today and Highview Tommy looks another well placed to take advantage of it in the $30,000 Manukau Summer Cup.

He loves Alexandra Park and while he doesn't have blazing gate speed he should lead or trail in what will be a tactical race, giving him a great each-way chance.

"Tatijana Bromac is in the same boat in race nine, where she also gets the ace and that will make her hard to beat.

Premier picks at the Park

Best bet: Living The Dream (R4, No 1) - Beat similar field last start and drawn to dominate. Should repeat.

Well placed: Pembrook Benny (R11, No 3) - Loves 2200m mobile racing at Alex Park, which is what he gets today.

Perfect draw: Classiesistar (R10, No 1) - Massive last start and has options from the ace so the one for Bit Of A Legend to beat.

Trials' stars: Machtu (R2, No 8) -Beat favourite Isaiah at the workouts fair and square nine days ago.

Each way: Splendour (R6, No 11) - Has been brave in fillies' heats and well suited to consolation.

Drivers' challenge: Mark Purdon could score 12-15 points so looks a good thing.

Best place bet: Condrieu (R8, No 9): Might struggle to win from the draw but could be $2 for the place.

Bolter: Brookside Filly (R1, No 13) was unlucky last start and could be value on the tote.

"So all we need is some luck and we should have a good day."

- NZ Herald

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