Racing: Odds in Purdon's favour in Ashburton feature

By Greg O'Connor

Mark Purdon. Photo / Jessie Waite
Mark Purdon. Photo / Jessie Waite

Mark Purdon's outstanding record with juveniles should continue in the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton today.

Purdon's All Stars stable record in the group three feature has him winning five of the last 11 editions and with three runners today the odds are again in his favour.

"We've had a great run in the race and have three very smart 2-year-olds this year," said Purdon.

"Isaiah has impressed me and his win in a heat of the Young Guns showed he is the benchmark at this stage. Blair [Orange] drives him in a lot of his work and handled him in his trial win at Motukarara last week and was keen to stick with him.

"He has an awkward draw but the class to overcome it."

Purdon's other two charges, Meticulous and Messini, have won at the trials and should not be discounted.

"We purchased Messini in Australia with the mind to taking him back there for the classics, so he has a busy season ahead.

"He beat Isaiah at the trials back in November so clearly has a motor and Meticulous has shown us plenty and deserves his shot from a handy draw."

The other feature of the day is the $25,000 Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters and is their first major clash of the season.

It includes last season's juvenile star Royal Aspirations, who has already won twice this campaign, as has his arch rival Sheemon, who was also an impressive trial winner at Addington midweek. Add into the mix the exciting fillies Paramount Queen and Habibti, both winners of their only run this season, and today's mobile mile looks a vintage edition.

Royal Aspirations will start a short-priced favourite having come up with barrier two and given the right conditions must surely go close to the national record, held by Sovereignty at 1:56.9. Given he has already run 0.4 of a second faster than that when winning the Jewels in June it is clearly in his grasp.

Today's picksBest bet: Adore Me (R4, No 2): Clearly the best filly in country and should win again.

Each-way: Miss Yaldhurst (R5, No 3): Strong debut and impressive trial winner midweek.

Value: Master Lachlan (R3, No 6): Generally thereabouts and has picked the right race to leave maidens.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 27 Nov 2014 02:18:15 Processing Time: 483ms