Champion harness racing trainer Mark Purdon is far too good of a horseman to even consider risking superstar mare Adore Me.
That is why the queen of New Zealand harness racing will bypass next Friday’s $100,000 New Zealand Messenger and will instead be freshened for the Harness Jewels.
“She has run three New Zealand records in a row and I just feel it might be taking a bit of a toll on her so we will now freshen her for the Jewels,” said Mark Purdon.
“The Jewels have always been her main aim for the season and the stake is bigger than that of the Messenger, so it isn’t worth risking her by giving her another gut-buster,” he added.
However, the All Stars team will have a more than handy replacement in the race in the form of Border Control, who currently sits 23rd in the 4YO Emerald rankings and needs a top three finish to even gain the opportunity to defend his Jewels crown.
Meanwhile, freakish two-year-old colt Follow The Stars is set to return to New Zealand early this week, while his stablemate Kept Under Wraps will continue to campaign in Australia with Luke McCarthy until after the Australasian Breeders Crown.
By Mitchell Robertson