Oscar Bonavena -Ready for Grand Prix Action

Everyone knows that the Purdon stable runs hot on big days and so it should again on Grand Prix day on Sunday.

However in talking about the trotters he will be steering on the day, Mark says that not only does he not have all the answers,he has a few tricky questions.

The leadup meeting last week was just that and not too much can be read into the results a week out from the big day but there were a few hiccups from the young trotters brigade if not about the rejuvenated Oscar Bonavera.

LOOK TO DA STARS blotted his copybook and Mark is not certain it was just bad luck.

“Another horse moved out and he galloped but really he shouldn’t have done” Mark said

“So I am not quite sure whether it was a sign he was over the top or not. It is sometimes difficult with young trotters in knowing the cause”

“He seemed to be trotting fine up until then which is a good sign but still I didn’t think he had a real excuse to break like that”

Mark and Nathan have made one great piece of timing however in getting “Andy” off the unruly position on the eve of a major race-not the first time it has been done at exactly the right time.

“That’s going to help.But he still has to do things right on the day”

HIGH ENERGY is another young star of the barn who has raised a question after her  leadup run in the Oaks last week, good though it looked on paper.

There is no question that if the Father Patrick filly wins the Trotting Derby-something Mark has done multiple times with a filly previously-it will be one of the training feats of the stable season.

“I was happy with her effort.We knew that she would need that run.She is obviously going to improve but it is hard to know exactly where she is at. She came back crook from Australia and because of that our timetable was shortened. So not really as fit as we would have liked for the Oaks.She will obviously go on or not and we won’t really know until she has been put under pressure on the day.”

The talking point of course is her inside back row gate the one most dreaded in most events and especially major ones.

“We haven’t done that well with the gates” Mark notes especially regarding the series of “handicapping” numbers Millwood Nike has had.

“We are following out one of the horses to beat which is a good thing but she hasn’t been foolproof either. I’d be looking to get off the inside as soon as possible in that sort of race but of course it may not be that easy. ”

HIGH STEP is more straightforward.

“She came back without any issues. Nathan does most of the work with her and he is happy so that is encouraging”

WE CAN HAVE IT ALL,Blair’s drive, ran a two horse trial with High Step last week and went well enough for Nathan.

“I drove her earlier in a trial and thought she just went ok but obviously she has improved since then”

OSCAR BONAVENA having a late career redemption-very popular with those who deal with him day to day-has a middling draw but as in the Dominion Handicap it will come down to assessing the setup soon after the start and going from there since he is clearly in peak form.





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