Graduates Launch into Million Dollar Spring
Monday, September 7, 2020
Brilliant wins from star three-year-olds Krug (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and It’s All About Faith (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) sent the anticipation ahead of their clash in the inaugural running of NZB Standardbred’s Harness Million Sale Race Series to a new level over the weekend.
Krug fired first with a tough win on Thursday 3 September in scintillating time at Alexandra Park in heat two of the Garrard's Sires Stakes Series (1700m).
The Nathan Purdon and Chrissie Dalgety trained pacer worked hard from barrier 12, before finding the front at the 500m and fighting strongly in the straight to hold out fellow NZB Standardbred Yearling Sales graduate American Dealer (NZ) (American Ideal).
Purdon admitted after the win he thought drawing wide on the second row could have been enough to see Krug taste defeat for just the third time in his career.
“It was pretty impressive - I didn’t really expect him to win tonight,” the trainer told HRNZ.
“Starting from the outside of the backline over a shorter trip and to overcome an obstacle like that was a pretty good effort.”
Krug, a son of Bettor’s Delight from two time Group Two-winning mare Champagne Princess (NZ) (Soky’s Atom), stopped the clock in 2.00.9 and produced a slick 1-54.4 mile-rate for the 1700m event.
The Ray Green trained American Dealer showed he would be a threat to Krug in the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Colts & Geldings (2200m) at Alexandra Park on 25 September when getting within a head of the winner in an exciting finish.
Though they finished out of the placings, the next trio of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained pacers hit the line impressively to show they could figure in the series final.
Thursday’s night’s Garrard's Sires Stakes Series (1700m) heat was always going to be a strong reference for the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Colts & Geldings (2200m), with 11 of its 12 runners graduates of the NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales.
On the Alexandra Park undercard, B D Joe (NZ) (Roll With Joe) also boosted his Harness Million stocks with a maiden victory over 2200m.
It’s All About Faith maintained his position as the number one challenger to Krug with a powerful win for trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen at Addington on Friday 4 September.
The three-year-old beat a field of more experienced and race hardened opposition over 1980m in style when producing a smart winning time of 2.22.2 and mile rate of 1.55.5.
Purdon, who drove the sire Captaintreacherous and Group One-winning mare Veste (NZ) (Christian Cullen), said the race was just what his colt needed ahead of the Harness Million final at Alexandra Park later this month.
“He pleased me – he ran it out right to the line in a good time, a good mile rate, so I’m quite happy.”
Purdon and Rasmussen have three more contenders for the NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Colts & Geldings (2200m), who did not step out this weekend.
Rock Legend (NZ) (Roll With Joe), Pace N Pride (NZ) and Shan Noble (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) have all shown they are on track for the $200,000 Listed event by producing excellent form for the All Stars Stable this season.
At Addington on Sunday 6 September, Show Me Heaven (NZ) (Somebeachsomewhere) burst into reckoning for the $150,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Fillies (1980m) at Addington on Friday 2 October.
The Steve and Amanda Telfer-trained filly led throughout to record a smart maiden win over 1980m.
Fellow Harness Million aspirant Shanika (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) was third.
Two of favourites for the 2YO Fillies final, Avana (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and La Rosa (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) showed they were in good form leading in to next month’s race with third and fourth placings respectively in heat two of the Magness Benrow NZ Sires’ Stakes Series Series for 3YO Fillies (1980m) at Addington on Friday 4 September.