Day At The Track

Start Dreaming stakes her claim

08:18 AM 21 Feb 2016 NZDT
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Start Dreaming winning the Robin Dundee Classic at Menangle last night
Start Dreaming winning the Robin Dundee Classic at Menangle last night
Start Dreaming

A different Purdon, big brother Barry, stoke the show back from his brother Mark in tonight’s Robin Dundee Classic at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle as his promising mare Start Dreaming surged into the field for next week’s $200,000 Ladyship Mile with a strong finishing display.

Mark Purdon had won earlier features in the night with the likes of Our Waikiki Beach and Smolda but the Robin Dundee was always going to be even more hotly contested with the first four assured of invitations into tomorrow week’s Ladyship Mile.

And as they crossed the line it was Start Dreaming, Berisari, Betabcool and My Willow that filled the top four slots to take those coveted Ladyship berths.

My Willow, it was later revealed, had already qualified from her fifth to Frith in the Sibelia the previous week, so the final spot went to tonight’s fifth placegetter Juliette Bromac from the David Aiken stable.

Still it was Start Dreaming that looked the goods and her reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick assured racegoers the New Zealand visitor would be very competitive against the likes of Frith, Nike Franco and Fight For Glory in next week’s Group One mares’ feature.

A well-backed favourite, Start Dreaming ($2.30) raced in second and third spot to the turn until Fitzpatrick set her alight turning for home and she wore down her rivals to score by 1.3m in a 1:51.9 mile rate.

“Both her wins here have been outstanding in this country since Barry brought her over here,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Barry didn’t give me any particular instructions as he knows the racing is quite different here in Australia.

“So we had no set plan and I’m not even sure if I’ll be driving her for Barry next weekend [in the ladyship].

“But it’s still a pleasure to drive for a champion trainer like him who knows how to find a good horse – and he always has.”

Michael Court



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