Self Assured (NZ) Soars to Flying Stakes Victory
27 October 2021
Sensational speed propelled Self Assured (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) to victory in the $50,000 Group Two NZB Airfreight Ashburton Flying Stakes (2400m) on Monday 25 October.
The Mark Purdon and Hayden Cullen trained pacer unleashed a blistering 25.7sec final 400 metres, holding out runner-up Classie Brigade (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) by the barest of margins in a thrilling finish to the vital New Zealand Cup lead up event.
Purdon admitted his pacer was almost caught napping in the home straight before he dug in to clinch victory in the NZB Airfreight sponsored event for leading owner Jean Feiss.
“He felt like he switched off a bit and he wasn’t able to see Classie Brigade up the inside which made for a close finish.”
“But he did sort of rally again when I asked him,” Purdon said.
Self Assured led throughout thanks to Purdon being able to get the pacer away smartly from the standing start tapes.
That aspect of his performance was almost important as his determined finish, given the five-year-old needs to make that kind of beginning in the New Zealand Cup.
“Today is the quickest he has been this campaign so it was pleasing to see,” Purdon said.
The New Zealand Cup Trial will be Self Assured’s final hit-out before he attempts to defend his 2020 New Zealand Cup Crown at Addington on 9 November.
Following his very narrow defeat, trainers Robert and Jenna Dunn will start Classie Brigade in Monday’s $50,000 Group Two Kaikoura Cup (2600m), also at Addington.
Driver John Dunn was thrilled with the horse’s effort in the NZB Airfreight Ashburton Flying Stakes.
“I was still rapt with my fella, his legs are getting a bit older now and he ran home in 53 seconds and a tick (800 metres), to make ground, I couldn’t be happier,” the reinsman said.
Third placegetter Pembrook Playboy (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) followed Self Assured and Classie Brigade throughout but didn’t get the chance to show his signature speed when unable to find clear running in the home straight.
Trainer-driver Nathan Williamson is likely to take the four-year-old to the New Zealand Cup Trial ahead of the New Zealand Cup.
Pembrook Playboy rounded out a trifecta for leading sire Bettor’s Delight in the Group Two NZB Airfreight Ashburton Flying Stakes (2400m).