Michael Purdon has promising young trotter Mystic Max back in work “just in case” it could lead to big things in the 2nd half of the season.

Mystic Max is coming of a 4 start early season campaign which was undertaken knowing that time would be his friend as he steps out of age group to all aged racing.

Michael is inclined to dismiss his disappointing campaign in Auckland.

“I knew he was still making his way against the older horses but something went wrong with him up there and his last two runs were a bit disappointing,especially his first run up there after he had raced well at Addington. We couldn’t find anything specific and thought it was probably that he is still a bit immature and learning the racing skills against older horses”

But it hasn’t dimmed Michael’s ambition for the spring. Mystic Max is back in work and expected to be back racing in August.

“It is a big step up for him but I want to give him a few races through the spring to see if he is good enough to earn a start in the Dominion Handicap. He will certainly be nominated for it and that will be our aim”

Things have changed for younger trotters in recent times as the ranks of older top class trotters thin and up and comers are now more competitive against the experienced ones.

“Those older trotters are always hard to beat.Experience can be a big help in the top races.But we will just see how things go. Its not a big deal if it turns out he needs a bit more time”

Michael is also co-owner of pacing mare No Matter Wat and she is also back in work getting set up for spring racing.Last season’s NZ Oaks winner was put aside after her run in The Grins in which she was something of a surprise selection of a slot holder to represent them. 

Driven by Tony Herlihy in his usual canny style respecting the huge rise in class of rivals she was only eighth but just 6 lengths from the winner in a star studded lineup. She has consistently surprised with her toughness under fire and where she goes from here is an interesting aspect of spring racing. 

There are some handy R80 own sex events to suit the R64 rated mare through September and October and how she handles those will dictate where Nathan and Mark place her later in the season.

“She wasn’t out long but she seems happier when she is in the stable and doing the work so that was a factor in our thinking” Michael said.

As a key member of the new Purdon Racing lineup,Michael is enjoying the challenge.

“It’s gone well so far and  we go well as a team so I am looking forward to the spring”


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