Day At The Track

Punter ready to step up

03:29 PM 29 Jun 2016 NZST
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Ohoka Punter & Nathan Purdon - Credit Ashlea Brennan.jpg
Ohoka Punter & Nathan Purdon
Ashlea Brennan Photography

Despite tasting defeat, talented young harness racing horseman Nathan Purdon walked away from last Sunday’s Sydney feature meeting a content person.

Purdon prepared Ohoka Punter for the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Menangle and the star pacer produced a courageous effort to fill third placing behind the David Aiken duo of Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark in a time of 1:50.5.

Following two brilliant victories at Albion Park, connections decided to take at throw at the stumps and head south for the sprint feature rather than stay and wait in Brisbane for the upcoming winter carnival features.

And the two start campaign proved very successful.

“He performed at a very high level in both starts, his first-up win was very impressive and I thought his effort in the Len Smith was very commendable given how much work he did and the time they posted. The top two finishes are wee nice horses.” Purdon said.

The New Zealand horseman has returned to Brisbane and Ohoka Punter is due back tomorrow (Thursday) in readiness for next week’s Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake the following week.

The open class features during the carnival are loaded with stars including Hectorjayjay, Christen Me, Avonnova and Ultimate Art but Ohoka Punter is right there with them and Purdon is just hoping for some luck.

“The Brisbane style of racing is very hard and a little unforgiving so we need to be at our best and have lady luck on our side in both events. The barrier draw for each race will go a long way in determining who gains the advantage.

“The best part about last Sunday was the way he came through the race, I couldn’t be happier with the way he pulled up and his recovery was great so that’s very pleasing as we head into the Brisbane features.”

Champion reinsman Anthony Butt handled the dual Group One winner in Sydney but Purdon will take the lines himself in both Albion Park features.

The barrier draw for the Sunshine Sprint will be conducted next Tuesday (July 5).

Chris Barsby

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