Trots: NZ's Purdon targets Breeders Crown heat in Ballarat

NZ trainer-driver Mark Purdon with the 2012 Ballarat Pacing Cup trophies.

NZ trainer-driver Mark Purdon with the 2012 Ballarat Pacing Cup trophies.

PREMIER New Zealand harness racing trainer-driver Mark Purdon will be out to continue his great run at Ballarat's Bray Raceway on Saturday night.

Purdon rarely misses out on getting the money when visits Ballarat.

Ballarat Pacing Cup nights have been particularly good to him.

He won the 2012 Cup with Highview Tommy on the same night he also steered Auckland Reactor to victory in The Pure Steel.

Then a year later he Highview Tommy captured the Pure Steel and Dr Hook an Australasian Trotting Championship heat.

Purdon is this time returning to Ballarat with an eye on an Australasian Breeders Crown title.

He has NSW-bred Big Lucy engaged the first of three Breeders Crown two-year-old fillies' heats on a nine-race program.

Big Lucy has had just the two starts - each in NZ - for a last-start third in Addington.

There will be nothing easy about the assignment for Purdon and Big Lucy from the second row.

She faces an even lot headed up by the Alderbaran Brandi, with Mildura trainer-driver Shayne Cramp making a rare trip this far south.

Aderbaran, which has drawn the pole, won on debut, but will face testing material in the likes of Luvumum, Glory Daze and Keayang Ebonyrose as well as Big Lucy.

The winner of each of the three ABC heats is guaranteed a semi-final berth in Ballarat on Saturday, August 23.

The third of the heats appears the strongest, with three-time group runner-up Soho Tokyo getting her chance to end a run of four consecutive seconds.

The Michael Stanley-trained Soho Tokyo has been second in three feature events in three states - Australian Pacing Gold at Menangle (NSW), Diamond Classic at Gloucestor Park (WA) and Tatlow Stakes at Melton.

The Ballarat and District Trotting Club program will also see an appearance by 2014 Ballarat Pacing Cup winner Restrepo, which will clash with the in-form Keayang Cullen in the Westinghouse C7/better Pace, 1710m.

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