Mark Purdon is back home and won’t drive two of his stable stars at Albion Park’s Group 1 meeting on Saturday.
Instead, he’ll be watching on TV at home and hoping his troublesome eye infection recovers in time to be drive in the Group 1 Queensland Derby a week after.
“I certainly wasn’t going to be right this week and your eyes are so important, so I’ve booked other drivers for the two races,” Purdon said.
Kylie Rasmussen will drive $1.10 favourite Our Princess Tiffany from an ideal gate four in the $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks and buzz pacer Self Assured (gate 10) in the Group 3 South-East Derby. Luke McCarthy has landed the drive on Jesse Duke (gate five) in that Derby.
“The horses are in great hands,” Purdon said. “Tiffany can and should improve on what she did winning last week. She’s drawn well and I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t win again.
“I thought Self Assured’s win was enormous last week. I’d lean to him even though he’s drawn the back row in the Derby this week. Jesse Duke has the better draw and I’m sure he’ll run another big race.”
Purdon reaffirmed plans for all three of his stars to come together in Saturday week’s Group 1 Queensland Derby.
“If Tiffany comes out and wins really well this week then she’ll join the boys in the Derby,” he said. “As for drivers, if I’m ok then I’d drive Tiffany or Self Assured and Kylie (Rasmussen) will drive the other. I’d like to keep Luke (McCarthy) on Jesse Duke.”
The big winner from today’s (Tuesday) barrier for the $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint was local star Colt Thirty One.
“Barrier two is great. Draws are so important, especially in sprint races here (Albion Park). It’s a huge help,” Colt Thirty One’s trainer-driver Grant Dixon said.
In contrast, recent Group 1 Len Smith Mile winner Majordan was dealt a huge blow with a back row draw (gate nine), negating his blazing gate speed and love of leading.
The other key runners are Inter Dominion runner-up Our Uncle Sam (gate four) and classy former Kiwi pacer Cash N Flow (gate six).
Colt Thirty One has already been crunched from $2.20 into $1.75 on the Aussie TAB from Majordan ($4), Our Uncle Sam ($5) and Cash N Flow ($9).