Don’t Stop Dreaming (NZ) Explodes onto Open Class Scene

4 January 2024

Don't Stop Dreaming (NZ) pictured as a yearling.

Don’t Stop Dreaming (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) gave his rivals a taste of what is to come in his emphatic win in the $55,000 Group Two Lincoln Farms Franklin Cup (2700m) at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve.

The NZB Standardbred graduate signed off his three-year-old season in the most sensational style, beating open class stars Old Town Road (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and Akuta (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) in an enthralling battle.

Don’t Stop Dreaming was purchased by the All Stars Stable when he was offered among the Studholme Bloodstock draft at the 2021 National Yearling Sales.

Don’t Stop Dreaming faced a new challenge in his last start as a three-year-old when taking on older horses in his first standing start.

The pacer not only got the start of the race spot on, he more than matched his more experienced rivals in his outstanding victory.

Though Don’t Stop Dreaming has proven he can down New Zealand’s brightest open class stars, the Mark and Nathan Purdon camp have their eyes firmly fixed on four-year-old racing as the horse is about to embark on an Australian campaign.

“He would fit into the Hunter Cup on February 3 but that is the same night as the four-year-old race called The Bonanza,” Nathan Purdon told HRNZ.

“The Hunter Cup is worth A$500,000 and the Bonanza only A$75,000 but the difference is the Bonanza is an automatic qualifier for the Chariots Of Fire in Sydney a month later.

“That is his big target, the race we want to win, so he will go to the Bonanza, hopefully earn a spot in the Chariots Of Fire and then head to Sydney to contest that.”

NZB Standardbred graduate and stablemate of the winner, Akuta (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) ran a meritorious third behind Don’t Stop Dreaming at Alexandra Park.

The Purdon camp will aim the star pacer at the Group One Hunter Cup at Melton.

Both Purdon horses will head to Australia later this month and both are likely to have a lead up race before competing in their Group One targets.

Photo: Trish Dunell