Day At The Track

The Met to host another big racing night

10:09 AM 20 May 2010 NZST
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Mark Purdon
Mark Purdon
Duane Ranger photo

Race goers will be treated to another huge night of harness racing at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club's Premier Meeting Addington Raceway tomorrow night (Friday May 21).

The NZ Oaks for the three year old fillies and the Sires Stakes Final for Two year olds will take centre stage, with a solid support card including the Winter Cup featuring Bettor's Strike and Baileys Dream.

The Geoff Small trained De Lovely looks to be the only horse standing in the way of a repeat of last week's domination by Mark Purdon and Grant Payne, when they finished with the trifecta in the Nevele R Fillies Final.

The Geoff Small trained daughter of Christian Cullen was dealt a huge blow to her chances last week when dealing with an awkward inside second row draw.

"We drove for luck and just didn't get any," said driver David Butcher. De Lovely will follow out Lancome who is likely to push forward giving Butcher options early on, a privilege he wasn't afforded last week.

The Purdon/Payne trio have come through their runs in superb order according to co-trainer Mark Purdon.

"They all came through the run nicely and there doesn't appear to be any issues."

Last weeks winner Secret Potion in particular was given a big wrap by Purdon."I do think she is the best one. The other two have been racing well also and they're not far behind.

The daughter of Courage Under Fire will go from three on the second row with the All Star Man believing it could play into her hooves.

"There could be a bit of speed on early which may suit her being away from the action, from there she can make her own luck during the running. Having said that if Lancome made the front she would be very hard to beat."

The two year old event is a little more wide spread with last week's failure Major Mark racing well below expectations.

"He hung and got on one rein quite bad and I had to be a little aggressive with him which wasn't ideal. He has hung like it before which may indicate there is a small problem somewhere. Bill Bishop has been right over him and we can't pinpoint anything and he'll probably come back better after a decent spell," said Purdon.

Stablemate Le Sol has drawn ideally at one with his co-trainer suitably impressed with the son of McArdle.

"He's a very nice horse, he's brave and has a great attitude. I expect he'll be a real threat from that draw." Ohoka Bondy will complete the Purdon/Payne trio after and unlucky run in last week's consolation.

The biggest threat from the opposition appears to be last week's winner Thumpem and the luckless The Muskeg Express. Both have drawn beautifully on the front row with Thumpem's trainer/driver Ken Barron more than happy with the son of In The Pocket following his fortuitous victory.

"He really should be better with last week's run under his belt. He certainly won't be any worse. We don't do any hopple work with him but he seems good."

Barron believes Le Sol and Major Mark will be the hardest to beat. If the Tim Butt trained The Muskeg Express can do things right this week, he must be a huge chance again.

The son of Christian Cullen must have given his connections heart palpitations when galloping in front when he looked to have the race won. The reasons for his untimely misdemeanor are still a mystery. Tim Butt was not able to be contacted.

If there was to be a real upset it could come in the form of River Black who went a mighty race last week for third. With Mark Jones committed to his own horse Ricky May will take the reins behind the son of Courage Under Fire.

But from a difficult second row draw he will need all of May's driving prowess to succeed.

Steve DOLAN

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