By Jonny Turner
Chevron Action and El Dorado have made the most of harness racing’s enforced hiatus and are ready to show that at Addington on Thursday.
The handbrake that has put harness racing on hold across the country is set to be released when the first of nine races gets underway at noon.
While the break has been a major headache for stables across the country and disastrous for the TAB, it has brought some small silver linings.
The Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon trained pairing of Chevron Action and El Dorado provide two examples.
Chevron Action looked to be have risen to the peak of her powers when second in the New Zealand Trotting Oaks before lockdown.
But, the break has proven she has even more to offer.
Because the 3yr-old trotter will return an even better prospect on Thursday.
“She has definitely improved from the little break she has had,” Purdon said.
“Her trip to Auckland really made her and then having the two weeks out during the lockdown, she has really thrived on that.”
The Dalgety-Purdon barn has readied Chevron Action for her resumption with two trials.
The filly was soundly beaten when third behind race rival, Sioux Princess, in the first.
Chevron Action then looked much sharper when beating her smart stablemate, Chloe Rose, to win a week later.
“We were pretty happy with her last trial, she found the line pretty good,” Purdon said.
That latest effort and her progress through lockdown should combine to make Chevron Action hard to beat in race 7 on Thursday Afternoon.
“She should go close, really,” Purdon said.
“She is generally pretty safe in her gait now, so she should be hard to beat.”
Sioux Princess’s tearaway Addington trial win suggests she will be the hardest horse for Chevron Action to beat.
El Dorado will step out in Dalgety and Purdon’s colours for the second time in race 6 on Thursday.
Like his stablemate, the 3yr-old thrived during lockdown.
“When we first got him he was quite green and he hadn’t quite hit his hopples, really.” Purdon said.
“He was quite ill-gaited for a while, but he seems to have come out of it, just with time more than anything.”
El Dorado has had one trial ahead of his resumption, finishing fifth behind race rival Ohoka Matty when not fully extended in the straight.
The Dalgety-Purdon camp feel they have found the right race for El Dorado to make a stylish resumption on Thursday.
“He seems well and he is in the right race to suit him.” Purdon said.
“He should probably go pretty close.”
Chevron Action and El Dorado will provide something of an entre for Dalgety and Purdon stable followers before the Kentuckiana Lodge trainers line up a big 12-strong team at the same track on Friday night.
Like many horsepeople across the country, the pair simply can not wait to get back to the races.
“We have been waiting a long time for it, it sort of feels like the start of the new season,” Purdon said.
“We will be looking forward to it and we have got a big day on Friday, as well.”