Auckland Reactor now sizing up Len Smith Mile

12:10 AM 13 Mar 2012 NZDT
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Paul Fitzpatrick
Paul Fitzpatrick

Champion New Zealand pacer Auckland Reactor looks set to do his immediate racing under the guidance of New South Wales harness racing trainer, Paul Fitzpatrick.

The former Auckland Cup winner flew from Western Australia to Matthew and Bill Feiss's Victoria stable last Thursday (March 8) six days after the 2012 Inter Dominion Championships in Perth.

According to Auckland Reactor Syndicate manager, John Curtin, the Mach Three entire arrived in Sydney Monday March 12 and will now target the $200,000 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 28.

"He'll probably have a brief spell after the Mile when he will return to Mark Purdon and Grant Payne's stable in Rolleston. He will then be prepared for another shot the New Zealand Cup in November," Curtin told Harnesslink.

"It would be nice to line him up in a New Zealand Cup for the first time," he added.

The owners were delighted with the way Auckland Reactor performed at the recent Inter Dominions.

"He was just not the same horse on Finals night. Anthony Butt (driver) told me if he was up to his prior heat form he would have raced away with the Final.

"But that was never going to be the case after we found that he was a sick horse after the Final.

The Inter Dominion aside, Auckland Reactor has had a better than average season - on both sides of the Tasman.

In New Zealand the globe-trotting 7-year-old has won two of his three starts and in Australia he has a four from six record, including a close second in the Hunter Cup.

All-up Auckland Reactor has won 32 of his 46 starts and placed three times for $1,739,678.

Meanwhile, Mark Purdon, the regular driver and co-trainer (with Grant Payne) had the following to say on ‘The Reactor':

"There are more racing opportunities for him over there in the next few weeks and I am happy with that situation.

He has been a great horse for us and this is the best solution regarding travelling for both horses and staff'.

"He has had its share of controversy but the horse's fight-back from health and injury to again show his undoubted class has been a highlight of recent racing" Purdon said.

He suggested that Auckland Reactor remain in Australia and recommended that Fitzpatrick take over the training duties for the Mile. 

By Duane RANGER (editor)

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