Harness - News

Jesse Duke reversing trend for sale-toppers

  • Sat, 10 Mar 2018
  • Garrick Knight
Jesse Duke and Mark Purdon put up a superb effort to win the Group 1. Photo: Trish Dunell.

Jesse Duke and Mark Purdon put up a superb effort to win the Group 1. Photo: Trish Dunell.

The list of Karaka sale-toppers in recent years hardly makes for a ‘who’s who’ of elite race horses on the track.

Arctic Stride, You Gotta Have Faith, Cheers Stride, Carters Cullen, Tori Maguire, Legs And Lips, and Two Twenty all topped the Auckland sale in the last decade, many for more than $200,000.

But none of them amounted to much and it’s highly likely most of them you can’t remember or never heard of.

But Friday night’s superb $100,000 Group 1 Breckon Farms Cardigan Bay Stakes/Young Guns Final winner, Jesse Duke, is firmly debunking that trend.

Last year’s $220,000 sale-topper looks worth every dollar after his last-to-first 1.55.0 mile-rate performance in the first classic of the juvenile season for the boys.

Co-trainer Mark Purdon did the driving and he was glowing in his praise for the son of Bettor’s Delight, who had received a check at the start and lost six lengths after galloping.

“He just got tightened up early and just made that little break but a phenomenal effort afterwards.”

Purdon said he never really felt like he was a winning chance.

“When I made my move I thought it would be a great effort to run third and then halfway down I thought God, he’s going to run second here.

“Then in the last 75-80 metres I thought he’s got it.”

Victorian owner Jean Feiss has found herself another star and Purdon reckons she will be in for an exciting journey with Jesse Duke.

“We’re looking forward to the future with him, he’s a really exciting horse.”

Star Of Montana was brave in second after working hard to find the lead for Scott Phelan while Smart Fortune darted up the passing lane to nab third in the hands of Brent Mangos.

Interestingly, the first three horses home were all 100 percent Australian-owned.