By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
A hat-trick of wins is on the line for Group One winner It’s All About Faith when he lines-up in The Crossing – Fashion Starts Here Mobile Pace (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Saturday.
The Mark Purdon and Hayden Cullen-trained colt had a perfect New Zealand Cup week, winning on both days of the meeting, and after a quick freshen-up he is ramping up for some key targets.
“He seems to be in a good place. His Cup Week form was super,” Mark Purdon said.
“He had a few days off and he has been on a build-up programme. We stepped him up this week and I have been happy with his work.”
The son of Captaintreacherous has drawn the outside in Saturday’s seven-horse field, but that doesn’t faze Purdon.
“It might be a little bit different race this week, but if he happens to be in behind it will be a good test for him,” he said.
TAB bookmakers have installed It’s All About Faith as a $2 favourite ahead of No Time Like Now at $5, and Steel The Show at $5.50.
There are some lofty targets instore for the talented three-year-old, with a trip across the Tasman in the offing, with a campaign geared towards the Gr.1 Chariots Of Fire (1609m).
“We will race here a few times and make a call as to whether he heads to a race like the Chariots,” Purdon said.
“Providing that I could go with him, I think the owner would be very keen, but otherwise we will focus on the Taylor Mile and Messenger in April (at Alexandra Park).”
It’s All About Faith will be joined in Saturday’s race by stablemate Samhara who was huge when running second in the Geraldine Cup on Saturday after locking wheels with stablemates Pace N Pride and Shan Noble at the start, losing considerable ground.
“Samhara is a pretty nice horse, I expect him to go well again,” Purdon said.
Earlier on the card, regally-bred filly Paramount Empress will make her debut in the Bombay – Gin Sour Two-Year-Old Mobile Trot (1980m).
While she pleased when winning and placing in her two trials last month, Purdon has been less impressed with her recent work at home and has warned punters against following the filly in her debut outing.
“I am not over-confident, I think she might have gone off a little bit,” Purdon said.
“I was rapt with her trials, but I haven’t been as happy with her work just the last week going into this, so I would warn punters (against backing her).”
Purdon has a handful of other runners on the night but has highlighted in-form colt Cyrus in the Bombay – Tim Collins Pace (2000m) and last start winner Franco Mac in the First Direct Taxis Mobile Pace (1980m) as two of the stable’s better chances if they can overcome their draws.
“We have got a couple of awkward draws,” Purdon said.
“Cyrus has gone great races, but from a 2000m stand in a 16-horse field he doesn’t want any traffic problems early in the race.
“The horse in the last, Franco Mac, has come through his last couple of runs really well. He has trained well this week, but he has got an awkward draw (10) as well.
“They will both go well, providing they have a bit of luck.