It proved to be a night for the Barry Purdon and Zac Butcher combination at tonight's (Friday February 24) Northland Harness Racing Club's meeting at Alexandra Park in Auckland.
The Clevedon-based duo won three of the 10 races on offer, including the feature pacing event - the 2012 Northland Cup - with four-win pacer, Dreamy Eagle.
The Cup was due to be run at Ruakaka on January 5 but was rescheduled to this evening after the Northland Club failed to get sufficient entries that day for supporting races.
Tonight junior driver Butcher drove his boss's pacer like he was the best horse in the race. They led from the ace draw from the outset, and then secured a nice trail behind favourite Murphy Maguire at the bell.
In the lane Butcher had a handful and when he released the brakes at the 150 metres the race was for then second.
Dream Eagle, a 4-year-old son of, won the $8,150 event for the 3-7-win pacers by 1-3/4 lengths and 1-1/4 lengths from Murphy Maguire (David Butcher) and On The Razzle (Peter Ferguson).
He paced the 2700m standing start event in 3:26.93 (mile rate: 2:03.3) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 58.2 and 29.1 seconds.
It was Dreamy Eagle's fourth win from 12 starts on the track and he was having his first start over the distance.
Overall he has now won five of his 17 starts and also placed three times for just over $35,000 in stakes.
Dreamy Eagle is owned by B. A. Hedger, Mrs H. A. Hedger, and G. Sweeney. The bay gelding was bred by the Hedgers and the Hunua Syndicate.
The other feature pace of the night saw the Steven Reid trained Abide With Me and Peter Ferguson topple hot favourite O Baby in the 1-3 win pace for 3-year-old fillies and mares.
Themare paced the 2200m mobile in 2:45.05 (mile rate: 2:00.7) and paid more than $14 to win.
ALEXANDRA PARK HIGHLIGHTS:
Top Junior Driver: Zac Butcher 3 wins.
Top Trainer: Barry Purdon 3 wins.
Top Driver: Zac Butcher 3 wins.
Top Sire:3 wins.
Results from the Northland Harness Racing Club's meeting raced at Alexandra Park this evening (Friday February 24, 2012) were:
Race 1: The Alek Goryl trained SILVER STREAM () Mark Purdon.
Race 2: The Robert Dunn trained MCKAY () Josh Dickie (j).
Race 3: The Gareth Dixon trained REALATTHETIME () Peter Ferguson.
Race 4: The Barry Purdon trained ALFIE MAGUIRE () Zac Butcher (j).
Race 5: The Barry Purdon trained CYCLONE DREAM () Zac Butcher (j).
Race 6: The Steven Reid trained ABIDE WITH ME () Peter Ferguson.
Race 7: The Barry Purdon trained DREAMY EAGLE () Zac Butcher (j).
Race 8: The Tony Herlihy (MNZM) trained and driven IDOLISE ME ().
Race 9: The Gareth Dixon trained PERFECT SENSATION () Frank Cooney.
Race 10: The Richard Brosnan trained WILLIS JAMES () Emmett Brosnan (j).
By Duane RANGER (editor)
The 2012 Northland Cup won by the Barry Purdon trained and Zac Butcher driven Dreamy Eagle: