‘Hugs’ a handy replacement for Orlando

03:25 PM 15 May 2014 NZST
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Alta Orlando.png
Alta Orlando (outside) and Hug The Wind (inside) - pictured running first and second in their Sires Stakes heat.
Alta Orlando and Hug The Wind

Talented two-year-old Alta Orlando is out of Friday night’s $170,000 Sires Stakes Final at Addington, but the All Stars team have a more than handy replacement in the form of Hug The Wind.

Alta Orlando, who was an impressive winner of last week’s $200,000 Sales Series Final, will also miss the upcoming Harness Jewels. However, his injury should not affect his future racing career.

"It is an older injury which has caused a callous on the cannon bone which will be removed and then he will be spelled" said Mark Purdon on his All Stars website "Natalie (Rasmussen) noticed him a little tender on it and we called in the experts so it is sorted out. It is bad luck but it could be worse"

Hug The Wind, who will be driven by Purdon, has drawn two on the second-line in Friday’s feature. However, Purdon rates his chances despite the fact that two of his main rivals in Art Union (1) and Say My Name (2), have drawn well on the front-line.

“He looks a pretty good back up,” enthused Purdon. He’s chased Alta Orlando home a couple of times and gone well in both of them. It’s maybe not a vintage field and I like his chances,” he added.

Purdon is also bullish about the chances of Iceobar and Messini in their respective events, while he is hopeful that Saratoga and Border Control can perform in what is a last minute bid to get them qualified for the Harness Jewels at Cambridge on May 31st.

Meanwhile, star filly Venus Serena will have to overcome the unfavourable outside barrier (9) if she is to come up truimps over Ideal Belle, who ran her close in last week's Nevele R Fillies Final, in the $125,000 NZ Oaks.

By Mitchell Robertson

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