By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
His second-line draw may have kept him out of favour with favourite punters, but it proved no issue for Don’t Stop Dreaming who led home a sea of blue in the Group 1 Ace Of Spades 2YO C&G Mobile Pace (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Sunday.
The Mark Purdon and Hayden Cullen-trained juvenile had won five of his previous six starts, including the Group 1 Sires’ Stakes Final (1980m) last start, however it was stablemate Sherlock who was backed into favouritism after he drew the one marble.
Purdon kept his faith in Don’t Stop Dreaming and elected to stick with the colt, with the knowledge he would have to show his superior qualities in order to defeat his favoured stablemate.
Purdon eased his charge off the gate to settle at the rear of the field before pressing forward and assuming control of the race off Sherlock with a lap to go.
Don’t Stop Dreaming didn’t relinquish his advantage and saw off a late challenge from Sherlock to win by a neck, with a further 2-1/2 lengths back to Sinbad in third, while Final Collect and Vinke B completed the first five for the All Stars barn.
Touching on his driving tactics, Purdon said he felt he needed to make his move when he did otherwise he would risk getting boxed in.
“Johnny (Dunn) was outside me early and when he got to the death I could hear others coming and I thought the three-wide line would block him in, so I opted to make a quick decision to get out and get going with him,” Purdon said.
“He was clearly well today and once he made the front he was going to be hard to beat, and he held Sherlock off well.”
Purdon was rapt for his winning connections, which include well-known owner Ian Dobson.
“Ian is an elderly gentleman now, but he is getting a great thrill out of his horses,” Purdon said.
Don’t Stop Dreaming was purchased by Purdon out of Studholme Bloodstock’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred National Yearling Sale draft for $250,000.