Speedy trotting mare Escapee will head to Victoria next month to join the barn of ex-pat kiwi trainer Brent Lilley, where her owner Trevor Casey thinks she will be suited to the rich sprint races.
But, first she will attempt to gain Group One glory in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All on Cup Day.
“The Trotting-Free-For-All is the sole aim, as she will not be backing up in the Dominion,” said Casey. “We tried that last year and it’s fair to say it didn’t exactly pan out,” he added.
Casey said that the dual Derby winner was not suited to two mile racing, which rules out New Zealand’s two biggest trotting races – The Dominion & the Rowe Cup.
“Mark (Purdon) has done a great job with her, but he agrees she is much better suited over there where she can race over sprint distances for at least $20,000 most weeks.
Escapee is booked to fly out the Tuesday after Cup Day. Her first two aims are the Bill Collins Mile (7/12/13) and the Dullard Trotters’ Cup (14/12/13), which are both worth $50,000.
“Both of those races are from a mobile start, which also suits her,” stated Casey.
Casey said that Purdon will be going over to drive her in her first two starts.
“After those two races there is the Australasian Trotting Championship and The Great Southern Star, so there is definitely plenty coming up for her.”
But before that, Escapee will look to get back to her best form at Addington this Friday night, after a late gallop cost her running at least a place in Monday’s Ashburton Trotters’ Flying Mile.
“She got the speed wobbles at Ashburton and starting touching herself in behind, which she can do on occasions,” said Casey. “Mark has since made a shoeing change so hopefully that will rectify the problem for both Friday and the Trotting Free-For-All,” he added.
Casey also has last season’s New Zealand Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year Daenerys Targaryen in work with Lilley.
“I decided to leave her over there after the Breeders’ Crown. She comes back a maiden over there, whereas here she would be a C3,” Casey concluded.
By Mitchell Robertson