Highgrove (NZ) and (NZ) Mystic Max set for Epic Harness Jewels Clash

4 June 2021

Highgrove (NZ) (Love You).

Juvenile trotting stars Highgrove (NZ) (Love You) and Mystic Max (NZ) (Village Mystic) are set for an epic battle in the $100,000 Group One Montana Food & Events 2YO Ruby (1609m) at the Harness Jewels in Cambridge this Sunday 6 June. 

The emerging talents go into the lucrative feature with a two-all record following four exciting clashes.

Mystic Max comes into Sunday’s race having beaten his archrival in their latest meeting in the Group Two Sires’ Stakes 2YO Trot Championship (1980m) at Addington last month.

After five scintillating wins, Highgrove was off his game but trainer Robert Dunn is confident the brilliant two-year-old can show his true worth on the Group One stage at Cambridge.

“We will just put that one behind us and we will think about the other five wins,” Dunn said.

“He has travelled up north really well and he has settled in beautifully here at Pukekohe.

“He is training nice and we are very happy with his frame of mind.”

Highgrove will start outside Mystic Max in barrier 7 for driver John Dunn.

The Michael Purdon trained Mystic Max starts from barrier 4 for driver Blair Orange.

Purdon is thrilled with that draw, which could give his horse a key early advantage over Highgrove.

“I am rapt with the draw, it gives Blair options on what he wants to do, whether he wants to come out or let them have their early burn to start with and make a move later,” the trainer said.

Already a Group Two winner, Mystic Max has proved a bargain purchase for Purdon.

The trainer purchased him for just $9,501 from NZB Standardbred’s online subsidiary platform gavelhouse.com Standardbred.

Highgrove was purchased by Dunn at NZB Standardbred’s 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch for $34,000 from Laura Smith’s draft, before being syndicated among a group of his stable clients.

Despite facing a tough draw in barrier 8, Double Delight (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) rates as a big threat to Mystic Max and Highgrove.

The Tony Herlihy trained filly goes into the 2YO Ruby unbeaten after winning both of her career starts stylishly.

The Group One Montana Food & Events 2YO Ruby (1609m) will be run as Race 2 at 12:44pm at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday 6 June.

2021 2YO Ruby (Trot) Field

Barrier Horse Driver Trainer Sale Purchaser
1 Ahwel        
2 Mr Love Ben Hope (J) Greg & Nina Hope    
3 Kowhai Sunset   Mark Jones Mark Jones    
4 Mystic Max   Blair Orange Michael Purdon    
5 Quik Barbie   Matthew White Matthew White    
6 Voronov  (E1) Luk Chin Luk Chin    
7 Highgrove   John Dunn Robert Dunn 2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $34,000 Diamond Racing
8 Double Delight   Tony Herlihy Tony Herlihy 2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $40,000 Mr AG Herlihy
Second Line
9 American Muscle   Michelle Wallis Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett    
10 Ellaria Sand   Natalie Rasmussen Hayden Cullen    
11 Emma Joy   Megan Teaz Jason & Megan Teaz 2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $5,000 Mr JL Teaz
12 Faith In Manchester   Todd Mitchell Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett    
13 King City   Maurice McKendry Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett