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'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 holdingat $6 though there's also big money on hot favourite Im Themightyquinn. He's firmed from $2 to $1.95."
'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.
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.
"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.
"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's managing owner, John Curtin.
by Ernie MANNING (Courtesy of The West Australian Newspaper)