Ultimate Sniper Headlines Alexandra Park
Friday, December 13, 2019
The spotlight will shine on harness racing in Auckland this month, with a lucrative purse to be won at the 2019 Inter Dominion Pacing and Trotting Championship Finals.
As the dust settles on the three heats of Inter Dominion races, betting is strong with the final fields released for Saturday.
The early markets for both the Group One 2019 Inter Dominion Trotting Championship Grand Final (2700m) and Group One 2019 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Final (2700m) have two All Star Stable runners in Winterfell (Majestic Son) and Ultimate Sniper (Bettor’s Delight) as odds on favourites.
Graeme and Katrina Walsh from Westport are likely to have bred this year’s pacing champion with Ultimate Sniper, coming off the back of his indefatigable three heat wins. The Walsh’s have a three-quarter brother to Ultimate Sniper, Lot 369, a Bettor’s Delight colt out of the Broadfield Lodge draft offered at the NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales Series at Canterbury Agricultural Park in February 2020.
The Purdon/Rasmussen team have a tremendous four-horse back up to Ultimate Sniper, all with realistic top three placing chances. Outside of them, the find of the carnival is AG’s White Socks (Rock N Roll Heaven) for Greg Hope and his northern trainer Barry Purdon.
Beyond favourite Winterfell, the trotting final is a slightly more open affair. Others off the front line include Majestic Man (Majestic Son) and Marcoola (Sundon) and any of the five second line horses from the mobile could claim victory.
Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have an incredibly strong team performing on Saturday. Natalie has the chance to lift her four wins behind Blacks A Fake (Fake Left) to equal Brian Hancock, who currently holds the title of most pacing driving wins. Mark could extend his current lead in both training and driving wins for the combined gaits. He currently sits on seven (two pacing and five trotting) as a trainer and six (three pacing & Three trotting) as a driver.
The All Stars team has performers in a number of supporting races including Self Assured (Bettor’s Delight) and Amazing Dream (Bettor’s Delight) who is a half-brother to Lot 356, an Art Major Colt out of Christian Dreamer from the draft of Shard Farm and Lot 163 from the draft of Ripple Creek is closely related to Oscar Bonaveno (Majestic Son).
Barry Purdon is likely to take out the supporting Queen of Hearts race, with four runners including last season’s 3YO Filly of the Year, Belle Of Montana (Bettor’s Delight).
On New Year ’s Eve, the Auckland Trotting Club will conduct another three Group One races in the Group One Sims Pacific Metals 2019 National Trot (2700m), Group One Alabar Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Championship/Silver (2200m) and Group One Trillian Trust 2019 Auckland Cup (3200m) as well as a Listed NZ Yearling Sales Series Open Final (2200m) for 3YO colts and geldings.
View all siblings and progeny of racetrack stars in the NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale Series catalogue online.