Day At The Track

Dream About Me is no certainty

07:10 AM 23 May 2016 NZST
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Dream About Me

Mark Purdon is warning punters Dream About Me is no certainty at the Harness Jewels.

The winner of 14 races from just 15 starts has been crunched into $1.35 favouritism in the pre-barrier market for the three-year-old Diamond, following her almost unbelievable win in the Group I New Zealand Oaks on Saturday.

Purdon, who co-trains the Bettor's Delight filly with Natalie Rasmussen, said the win was easily a career-best performance at Addington Raceway but believes the barrier draws will play a key role in the Group I Jewels on June 4.

Dream About Me's form in the Oaks is leading to comparisons with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's 2014 New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Adore Me. 

And if the winner of more than $750,000 in stakes does draw poorly, Purdon is rejecting speculation that she only has to line up to win.

"I wouldn't say that over a mile at Cambridge. The draws will be crucial and the other two fillies (Golden Goddess and Piccadilly Princes) are very good to so you wouldn't want to have too much bad luck," he said.

Purdon and Rasmussen along with Dream About Me's owners will not be drawn into a decision on heading across the Tasman for the Breeders Crown until the Jewels are out of the way.

"We'll probably make final decisions after the Jewels.

"She's had a great season and there are the mares' races for next year so it will come down to whether we go that way (Breeders Crown) or set her for those mares' races here nest season," Purdon said.

Dream About Me settled second to last in Saturday's Oaks from her second line draw but with around 1500m to run Purdon was on the move around the field, three wide without cover.

It took the pair more than half a lap to get to the breeze in driving rain and windy conditions and Purdon admitted after the race he was questioning whether the filly had enough left in the tank to finish off the 2600m trip.

"I thought it would come down to a dour sort of stayers' race and the last furlong would be down to the survival of the toughest and thankfully it turned out she was the toughest."

Purdon was helped by the tiring Amazon Lily giving him the opportunity to duck into the trail behind leader Golden Goddess before taking an inside run to win by half a length.

"She's just exceptional," Purdon said of Dream About Me.

Golden Goddess is a $3.40 chance for the Jewels with the third All Stars stablemate Piccadilly Princess ($6) the only other runner in single figures.

The All Stars stable trained the trifecta in the Sires Stakes for two-year-old colts and geldings with More The Better again edging stablemate Pacing Major.

More The Better is a $1.80 favourite for the two-year-old Emerald at the Harness Jewels with Pacing Major at $2.50.

Titan Banner, a newcomer to the Purdon and Rasmussen stable, has moved into a $2.50 second favourite for the four-year-old Emerald following his upset win over Christen Me in the Winter Cup.

Christen Me did start 20m behind Titan Banner, formerly trained by Graeme Anderson, and only went down by a neck.

Field Marshal, who is recovering well following a bout of colic last Tuesday, remains Emerald favourite at $1.65.    

Purdon and Rasmussen trained six of the 12 winners at Addington with Bettor Be Gold, The Manipulator and Heaven Rocks joining the three feature winners.

Purdon drove five winners with Rasmussen picking up one.

The All Stars stable then picked up a Group II placing at Menangle when High Gait finished second in the New South Wales Trotting Oaks on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Purdon's son Nathan picked up his first training win on Saturday night when Ohoka Punter, formerly trained by Tony Herlihy, won his the first start of his Queensland campaign.

Mat Kermeen

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