Adore Me heading home for Auckland Cup

03:40 AM 03 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Adore Me - will contest Friday's $250,000 Auckland Cup.

Champion reinsman Mark Purdon has been suspended for ten days after shifting out in the run home on Smolda in yesterday’s Inter Dominion Final, which was deemed to have contributed to the squeezing of surrounding horses.

But luckily for Purdon, he has been allowed to drive on Friday’s Auckland Cup night, meaning he will take the drive on superstar mare Adore Me, who will return home for Friday’s $250,000 feature after a slightly disappointing second in yesterday’s Ladyship Mile.

"She went a couple of rough strides down the back but she recovered quickly. We probably lost the race when a move made us three wide earlier than I wanted and she had to do extra. I am sure that she would have won otherwise,” said Purdon on his Allstars Website.

Purdon was also happy enough with the run of Smolda, who finished fourth in the Inter Dominion Final, however he has opted to freshen the giant gelding rather than back him up in Friday’s Auckland Cup.

"I feel in my own mind that it was the fact that he had only had two races which beat him at least for second,” revealed Purdon.  “He sprinted hard while Beautide was up there handy and that lack of hard racing made the difference''

Purdon said that he was satisfied with how all his team had competed yesterday with the exception of Willow, who was beaten into third in the NSW Oaks.

"She is probably the only one we would say was a little disappointing only because we know what she can do. It is hard to say it was the track. It was a bit sloppy early in the day but even so I expected her to sprint away in the run home''

 Meanwhile, Lauren Panella, who was deemed the main offender of the incident in the Inter Dominion Final which could potentially have ended the racing career of West Australian superstar Im Victorious, has been suspended for a period of eight weeks.

By Mitchell Robertson

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