Day At The Track

Belle Of Montana is off to the Victoria Oaks

04:30 PM 19 Mar 2019 NZDT
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Barry Purdon trained,Harness racing
HRNZ

Speed freak northern filly Belle Of Montana is off to the Victoria Oaks.

 And she won’t have to meet New Zealand’s other superstar pacing three-year-old Princess Tiffany when she gets there.

Trainer Barry Purdon confirmed to HRNZ today he will aim the Sires’ Stakes Championship winner at the Oaks at Melton on April 27.

 That means heading over 10 days before to contest the compulsory prelude at Melton on April 20. The preludes are worth A$24,000 and the Oaks A$150,000.

 Belle Of Montana is owned in Australia by Dean Shannon, who Purdon says has been great to deal with, leaving decisions up to him.

“Dean has been great,” said Purdon.

 “He didn’t mind either way if we went to the NSW Oaks and we decided to stay in Auckland because it clashed with the Oaks here.

“But the Victoria Oaks suits perfectly.”

 Belle Of Montana, winner of five of her seven starts, finished a neck second to Best Western in that Oaks in national record time.

 She is already qualified for the Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington in May so has now major domestic targets until then so Purdon has the flexibility to chase the Aussie riches.

 “It sounds like none of the other Kiwi fillies are going and it would be a great race to win, not only because of the stake but to help her broodmare career.

 “So we are definitely going and I think the racing over there will suit her.” Purdon’s brother Mark has confirmed stunning NSW Oaks winner Princess Tiffany will stay closer to home as she still needs to qualify for the Nevele R Final and will meet Belle Of Montana, who has beaten her both times they have met, in potentially three group ones at Addington in May-June.

 

Michael Guerin

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