Day At The Track

Nathan Purdon scores his first Group 1

06:25 AM 18 Jul 2016 NZST
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Ohoka Punter, Nathan Purdon and connections
Ohoka Punter, Nathan Purdon and connections

The Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake has been won in brilliant style by Ohoka Punter, who held out harness racing favourite Hectorjayjay and Ultimate Art in a night that was full of curve balls.

Rain fell steadily throughout the evening as some of the best pacers in Australasia prepared themselves for the biggest meet in Queensland harness, Catcha Lefty winning the Queensland Derby, Im Norma Jean winning the QBRED Triad fillies final and Changeoverme coming home in the QBRED Triad colts & geldings.

Ohoka Punter had an outstanding lead in the Blacks A Fake, coming into the straight at a pace that couldn’t be caught in the run home. 

Trainer/driver Nathan Purdon scored his first Group 1 win with Ohoka Punter tonight (Saturday) but knew favourite Hectorjayjay would put up a mammoth fight heading into the race.

“I knew Ohoka Punter was at the top of his game tonight, but Hector’s a great horse and I knew that Gavin (Hectorjayjay’s driver Gavin Lang) would try to stay in front of me, it made it difficult but Bettor's Delight stallion stuck to his guns,”

“It’s unreal you know, my first group one, I’ll always remember it,” said Purdon.

Hectorjayjay put in a great run to come second, doing some hard work early in getting to the front which may have taken some sting from his trademark finish.

While Nathan Purdon planned on having “a few beers with the boys” to celebrate his first Group 1 win, Ohoka Punter will have a brief break before continuing on with his campaign.

“He can have a few days off, then we’ll head towards Melbourne where he can contest a few free for all races and then it’s Perth for the Inter Dominion,” said Purdon.

The Queensland Derby was another curveball of the night, it was a surprise win for Catcha Lefty, the good draw (gate two) letting him find a comfortable position behind the leader before getting up towards the inside to secure a popular local victory.

The Village Jasper gelding beat quality horses like Match In Heaven and Stanley Ross Robyn in a driving finish.

Star filly Nek Time, who unfortunately pulled up during the race and was said to be carrying a mild virus.

In both the QBRED Triad Finals, both the favourites and the Picket Fence contenders were knocked out of the win.

Im Norma Jean (Modern Art) claimed the QBRED Triad filly’s final win, the gutsy youngster coming home in fine form down the outside to take the victory.

Picket Fence hopeful Slippery Jade had a tough run throughout the race, fighting well to place fourth, favourite Jossie Jones coming in third.

The QBRED Triad final for colts and geldings saw Changeoverme (Changeover) came through on the inside to take a brilliant win, the promising gelding probably going better than its form read going into the race.

Maestro Bellini did a lot of work in the run, battling on well in the straight to come third, as did Rock With Sam who looked like winning but got run down in the final stages to take second.

Racing Queensland

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