Purdon eyes Melbourne glory
August 18, 2012 08:14:06 UK
Champion trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon has surprised by rating Cyclone U Bolt as his best drive, despite an unfavourable barrier, in Sunday's Breeders Crown Finals at Melbourne's Melton Park track.
Cyclone U Bolt, who Purdon began training only two months ago, has gate 10 in the 3YO Trotters Final and faces tough opposition from Aldebaran Shades.
He (Cyclone U Bolt) is really in the zone.Mark Purdon
Purdon's other drives on Sunday are Border Control (2YO Colts and Geldings), Twist And Twirl (3YO Fillies) and Fly Like An Eagle (3YO Colts and Geldings).
Border Control drew gate three and looks hard to beat, but Purdon did not hesitate to nominate Cyclone U Bolt when asked to name his best winning prospect.
"Cyclone U Bolt has shown big potential since he was bought a couple of months ago by Melbourne businessmen Merv Butterworth and transferred to my stable," Purdon said.
"I expect Cyclone U Bolt will have to run down Aldebaran Shades, who will probably lead from the pole, with Triumphant March trailing him.
"Judging by how Cyclone U Bolt has worked this week, I think he can cover extra ground and win. He is really in the zone."
Border Control has gate three and tough rival Franco Nelson drew the pole. Purdon is not deterred by reports that Franco Nelson will try to lead and hold out Border Control in early stages.
"I believe Border Control will begin fast enough to lead," Purdon said. "Our horse is ready for his fifth win in six starts."
Fly Like An Eagle has gate seven and stablemate Mr Nickel drew gate nine in the 3YO Colts and Geldings Final. Greg Sugars will drive Mr Nickel.
Main rivals Texican and Lets Elope have gates one and three, respectively.
Texican is not a fast beginner and Lets Elope will be best suited if taking a trail.
"Fly Like An Eagle is back to form he showed in winning the New Zealand Derby," Purdon said. "I hope he can cross to the front while Texican is gathering momentum."
New Zealand Oaks winner Twist And Twirl, who drew gate 10, faces a daunting task to beat Shake It Mama (barrier three).
"I would expect Shake It Mama to lead and she will be hard to beat if getting it easy," Purdon said.
Purdon's powerful team has been further boosted by Sushi Sushi's transfer to his stable. The four-year-old, a winner at 25 of 38 starts, will be a New Zealand Cup candidate.
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