Auckland Reactor has been heavily backed

02:03 AM 28 Feb 2012 NZDT
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Auckland Reactor takes a roll in the
Auckland Reactor takes a roll in the - sand at Pinjarra where he has been staying for the Series.
John Mokrzyck photo / WA News

New Zealand pacer Auckland Reactor has been heavily backed despite an outside draw for the $1 million V75 Inter Dominion Final (2506m) at Gloucester Park on Friday. Harness racing connections are confident he will be hard to beat on a back-to- nature preparation.

Player fixed-odds manager Ben Pomatti said yesterday punters were overlooking Christchurch star Auckland Reactor's unfavourable gate in a nine-horse field and the Mark Purdon and Grant Payne-trained seven-year-old was rock solid at $6.

"Support for the Kiwi raider has ensured his price is not budging," Pomatti said. "We're holding Auckland Reactor at $6 though there's also big money on hot favourite Im Themightyquinn. He's firmed from $2 to $1.95."

Auckland Reactor's managing syndicate owner John Curtin said the bay relished being trained at Pinjarra, where he roams a paddock and boosts his fitness with impromptu sprints.

Auckland Reactor won each of his three Inters heats for Kiwi reinsman Anthony Butt and was particularly impressive when scoring over 2506m last Friday.

"He's kept improving since his arrival in WA on February 11," Curtin said. "We're sure he'll be even better in the final. The horse is thriving in open spaces at Pinjarra.

"Auckland Reactor has been in a cool climate on New Zealand's south island for most of his life. He went to America two years ago and we've got photos of him standing in snow. There were doubts about sending him to a Perth summer. But it's turned out he loves the heat."

Curtin is happy with the super- vision by Mark Purdon's stable foreman Logan Hollis and the "first-class" facilities at Rob Tomlinson's property.

Unbeaten in his first 17 starts, Auckland Reactor had setbacks and scored only five wins from the 15 races he contested before arriving in Perth.

"First, he developed a breathing problem," Curtin said.

"It stopped him from winning in America and we took him back to New Zealand. Throat surgery cleared the trouble and we thought he would be a force in last year's Auckland Inters.

"But he was struck down by severe colitis X and nearly died. A miraculous recovery followed and he now gets the belated chance to win an Inters.

"There were doubts about sending him to a Perth summer. But ... he loves the heat," said Auckland Reactor's managing owner, John Curtin.

by Ernie MANNING (Courtesy of The West Australian Newspaper)

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