Mystic Max (NZ) (Village Mystic) showed his true class when speeding along the inner to win the $37,000 Group Three South Bay Trotters Cup at (2400m) Kaikoura on Monday.
The classy gavelhouse.com Standardbred graduate had the last say when diving along the inner to score for trainer Michael Purdon and driver Blair Orange.
Purdon purchased Mystic Max for $9,501 when he was offered in a online by breeder-vendors Tardina Lodge.
With New Zealand Cup Week just a matter of days away, Mystic Max’s win came at the perfect time.
The trotter wasn’t quite able to show his best in his recent outings which set Purdon a challenge to have him primed and ready for a series of group race assignments, which started on Monday.
And both horse and trainer were up for the task.
“It has not been the horse’s ability, it has been me as a trainer learning how to train a free-for-all horse,” Purdon said.
“Hopefully I have got him on the right track now.”
Driver Blair Orange credited Purdon for having Mystic Max primed to deliver his winning performance at Kaikoura.
“Great training effort by Michael – (Mystic Max) has had a few problems but he has got on top of them.”
“He has always had the engine, it has just been a matter of getting his ringcraft sorted.”
After making a swift beginning, Orange pushed forward to take the lead with Mystic Max.
The reinsman then secured a sweet trip in the trail for Mystic Max who won easily, though by a narrow margin.
Purdon now plans to start his stable star in the Group Three Worthy Queen Trot (2000m) on New Zealand Cup Day before the horse’s tilt at the Group One Dominion (3200m) on Show Day at Addington.
NZB Standardbred graduate Harold Smith (NZ) (Andover Hall) showed he is also right on track for his New Zealand Cup week assignments with his excellent second placing behind Mystic Max.
The five-year-old ran on strongly to get within a neck of the winner for trainer Tom Bagrie and driver Jonny Cox.
Entries for the next fortnightly gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction are due online by 10pm tomorrow, Wednesday 1 November. The catalogue will go live at 5pm on Thursday and run through until 7pm on Wednesday 8 November.