Favourite punters can take heart from  superstar driver Natalie Rasmussen’s description  of Don’t Stop Dreaming’s below par run two weeks ago  as a “one off”.

She has no fears that the hotshot four year old may be “training off” after a busy few months  racing against the best in Australasia.

“No I don’t think it’s that. He was good the start before and we didn’t get the cover early I was looking for last time. He has never got keen on me like that before and cost him his chance. But I think from the stand and the handicap we will get a smother this week  and he has ear plugs in this time just in case.So we should see a different race this time”

Natalie has posted a heap of firsts in her time in New Zealand and will add another on Friday piloting Queen of Swords for the Robert and Jenna Dunn team whose home drivers are busy at Addington.

“I don’t think I have driven for the stable before but pleased to and this is a nice filly who looks competitive in that field “ Natalie said.

Bolstering her chances further is Natalie’s remarkable UDR ratings  which haven’t lost any caste with her lower profile even though she has won well over 100 Group One races in her career. It was .5290 in her New Zealand career going into this weekend’s racing and close to .4000 this season, just behind UDR leader Scott Phelan both having had less than 40 drives.

When the Purdon stable set another record with its 10th successive 3yo Sires Stakes Final with Chase a Dream last week, it was the sixth success for Natalie in that series when the first was only in 2016. Another stable has not won that prestigious race since 2013 !.

The Roy Purdon Memorial on Friday is more of a sentimental achievement than the last roundup with the Auckland Cup coming up but it will be a surprise if the familiar colours are not in the finish.


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