Geoff Dunn warned Harnesslink readers earlier in the week that he was worried about Venus Serena’s lack of raceday fitness and the way he thought the race may pan out in today’s heat of the Alabar Sires’ Stakes at Forbury Park and, unfortunately for those who backed her into a $1.80 favourite, he had reason to be concerned.
The top filly of last season was left parked, and was unable to overhaul the Purdon – Rasmussen pair of Willow and Secret’s Out in the home stretch. The former trialled her stablemate, and dashed up the passing lane for an easy 1 & ¼ length win.
The daughter of Bettor’s Delight is now unbeaten from three starts.
Natalie Rasmussen once again did the driving on the talented filly. She has now, remarkably, driven 11 winners from 15 drives this season.
Both of the Purdon-Rasmussen fillies are now guaranteed spots in the $160,000 final, which will be run on New Years Eve.
Meanwhile, Comply Or Die was rewarded for consistency when taking out the $15,000 Tuapeka Cup.
The Live Or Die five-year-old stepped well for trainer-driver Ken Barron, and was allowed an easy time in the van, before kicking too strongly for Better To Be Bad, Devil May Care, and Bettor’s Brigadier, who was huge in fourth after losing the best part of 50 metres at the start.
In other harness racing news today, Peter Ferguson was again in top form at Manawatu winning three races, highlighted by Stunin Banner, who handed out a 13 length hiding to his 3-6 win opposition
Junior reinsman Andre Poutama also backed up his first-day form, reining home two winners and a further two placegetters.
By Mitchell Robertson