Racing: Fight for Glory retires - comes back as favourite

By Michael Guerin

That is the strange path Fight For Glory has taken to tonight's $100,000 Breeders Stakes at Addington, the richest of the group races at a wonderful premier meeting. Photo / NSW Harness Racing Club
That is the strange path Fight For Glory has taken to tonight's $100,000 Breeders Stakes at Addington, the richest of the group races at a wonderful premier meeting. Photo / NSW Harness Racing Club

It is not often a horse having her first start back from retirement is favourite for a group one race.

Then again, not many horses are retired for only two weeks.

That is the strange path Fight For Glory has taken to tonight's $100,000 Breeders Stakes at Addington, the richest of the group races at a wonderful premier meeting.

Fight For Glory opened the $2.40 favourite for the 2600m mobile even though she hasn't raced since failing in the Ladyship Mile at Menangle five weeks ago, after which she was retired.

"We were patching her up to get to the races and that race suggested she had had enough," says co-trainer Mark Purdon.

But two weeks recouping on a waterwalker in the north on the way home saw Fight For Glory improve so much she was put back into work.

"Her legs settled right down so then we started working her up and took her to the workouts and she handled everything we asked of her," said Purdon.

"She has apparently worked well this week and we think she can be close to her best but it is hard to be exactly sure.

"So I think she is the one to beat but there is a bit of guesswork involved."

Fight For Glory may not have been persevered with had arch rival The Orange Agent not been injured, but her being out for the season and Lancewood Lizzie retired means Fight For Glory has a dramatic class edge on her rivals tonight.

Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen also have Linda Lovegrace rejoining their team from Victoria for tonight's race but rate her behind Fight For Glory.

You can make cases for better drawn runners like Bettor Be Amazed and New Years Jay while three-year-old Luisanabelle Midfrew is a surprise entry, again probably spurred on by some of the big girls being absent.

As is often the case at premier meetings the All Stars stable dominate the markets, with Lazarus red hot in the Flying Stakes.

If he runs to the lead from barrier seven his $1.15 quote will almost seem fair but Purdon is aware Classie Brigade (3) could make him work.

"He [Classie Brigade] has really improved so I wouldn't be surprised to see them try and park our horse out," he offers.

"But this horse sat parked and won a Victoria Derby so if we have to sit there again I think he will still win."

Last season's Jewels quinellamates High Gait and Missandei rejoin the stable after Victorian campaigns but both have drawn the second line in a strong Trotting Oaks.

"High Gait has come back looking great and has clearly furnished since last season whereas Missandei probably hasn't improved as much. So I'd go High Gait as our clear best chance there."

Donegal Bettorgretch looks the biggest danger if she produces her best form, although she is still anything but foolproof early.

After downing Smolda in the Easter Cup last Saturday, Locharburn is the obvious one to beat in tonight's $40,000 Superstars, even though his outside draw could make life tricky early.

But one of the real highlights of the night will be the return of trotting sensation Monbet in the Four and Five-Year-Old Trot, which looks an ideal comeback race for him.

He was going to trial this week and resume next Friday but co-trainer Greg Hope is confident he can get away with a lack of race fitness tonight, even off a 30m handicap.

The exciting four-year-old has a great record fresh and as a multiple group one winner comes in pretty well under the handicap conditions.

Only Harriet Of Mot is rated a danger in the market and her driver John Dunn is realistic about the enormity of the task she faces.

"Maybe if we don't do any work we can test him but Monbet is pretty good and if we both have similar runs then he'd be hard to topple," said Dunn.

- NZ Herald

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