It hasn’t been an easy week for Purdon Racing and it wasn’t helped by the barrier draw for Addington tomorrow one of the richest  meetings of the season.

HIGH ENERGY had to come out of the Victorian Oaks at Melton after not recovering in time from her lacklustre run in the Need For Speed final and THE REAL SHERLOCK has the outside of the front line in the $A200,000 Victorian Derby.

The news on this side of the Tasman wasn’t much better.

Don’t Stop Dreaming starts from the outside of the 2nd row in the $110,000 Flying Stakes one of the traditional 3yo features at our premier track.VESSEM has a 13 second row gate in the $200,000 Harness Million for two year olds and CHASE A DREAM gives Mark another outside 2nd row scenarios in what is likely to be their strongest challenges yet while SINBAD resumes against Don’t Stop Dreaming and drawn right alongside.

If the late Neil Pilcher was still around he would be noting the coincidences of Purdon runners drawn alongside each other  which often led him to question the computer programming. It happens twice tomorrow the other being in the two year old fillies Harness Millions with MADRID and WATERFRONT.

Mark may not be thrilled with the gate for Don’t Stop Dreaming but he is with the star youngster’s condition.

“He’s gone on from the first up run. I am very happy with his readiness this week”

The elephant in the room is older brother Barry and Shane Phelan with lethal draws for Sooner Bettor who has the ace and Merlin who will be on his back.

“The front one has gate speed and  you would think he would be wanting to lead giving Merlin the trail. It will depend on whether something wants the front as well.” Mark said.

Most would incline to the theory that someone might well  be Mark Purdon  or Blair Orange at some stage pushing their ace rival 3 back. Should be a cracking race.

Mark is confident two year old trotter LOOK TO DA STARS will go close to winning the $75,000 Harness Million though a win will shade one of Nathan’s predictions-not that he will be unhappy about that.

A couple of weeks ago Nathan predicted the youngster “will give them a shock at a big price” in the near future. He did both but had to settle for 2nd last week and has been perfectly conditioned for this race by the stable. Mark rates two others as hard to beat but suspects he might have the measure of northern star, the unbeaten Paramount Kiwi.

“I’ve studied the videos fairly carefully. I respect the ability and wins have been impressive but perhaps the opposition has not been as strong as it is here.”

Two year old trotters are far from the finished article so doing things right could be the decisive factor. The Purdon stable has always been tops in that field.

VESSEM has taken no harm from his hard run last week but again the 13 marble is a concern especially with star northern youngster,Le Major, drawn handily on the front line.

Vessem’s fate is in the hands of Blair but Mark seemed to give “a push” for the potential of CHASE A DREAM who has the worst gate of all.

“I like him. He has gone better each time he has gone to the races and he gives you the impression there is more improvement to come. He is set a tough task and Vessem still rates as the best of our two year olds but I like the way my drive is shaping.”

Mark says AKUTA has a definite edge on SELF ASSURED in the Discretionary R70+ where there is a 10m difference in handicaps and feels MADRID’S gate speed will be an assistance clashing with stablemate WATERFORD in the two year old Harness Million.

“There’s not much between them so it will come down to the run of the race but I might have the edge out of the gate”

Last week Nathan, who will be handing out some Late Mail Friday, thought Waterford will “surprise a few” if she got the right marble in Friday’s race but 6 may be a little wider than the right one.

That leaves among Mark’s  interests and the stable’s strong win hope CAREERA RAPIDO (R10) just OSCAR BONAVENA off 10m in the time honoured Canterbury Park Trotting Cup

“As it turned out Liv didn’t have a drive on the night and I was more than happy to put her on after her last drive on Oscar ”  (D G Jones Memorial Cup win at Motukarara).

This will be a lot harder with Bolt from Brilliance and Muscle Mountain lurking from 20m but the “veteran” (not as old as he seems!) is going along well.

A big night for Purdon Racing with those big numbers on the gates the key to how it goes. Any surprises ?

Well Mikayla might have one.

Mark rates Don’t Stop Dreaming his best, Nathan rates Vessem his favourite but Mikayla an invaluable and integral part of the team goes for Sinbad as a value bet each way. Don’t underrate her judgement









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