On an historic weekend for sporting females, champion Kiwi mare Amazing Dream joined the girl-power party.
Wedged in between Jamie Kah’s Melbourne milestone and Ash Barty’s emotion-charged Wimbledon win, Amazing Dream defied the odds as the only mare in the race to win the inaugural $250,000 Group 1 The Rising Sun at Albion Park.
She also smashed through the $1 million stakes money barrier with her third “Group 1” win over the boys, following last year’s Auckland Cup and Northern Derby triumphs.
But The Rising Sun is just the start of Amazing Dream’s Group 1 hunt in Queensland.
She’ll be back in action next Saturday night in another new feature, the $100,000 Group 1 The Golden Girl where she has the luxury of racing against her own sex.
A week later she has Queensland’s biggest race, the $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake.
Amazing Dream’s Rising Sun win provided a fairytale story for the first running of the sport’s best new race since the Miracle Mile was launched way back in 1967 with champion Kiwi horseman Mark Purdon answering an SOS
from his son, Nathan, to interrupt his holiday in Queensland to drive the mare.
“It was extra special having Dad in the bike (sulky),” said Nathan, who only took over training Amazing Dream a few weeks ago.
“There was lots of pressure went with getting the mare after the incredible things she’d achieved in NZ. It plays on your mind.”
It was just the win Nathan needed, having made the bold decision to move to Victoria early this year and start training in his own right.
“It’s a great start for Nathan. You need a headline horse or a big win to put your name up there when you’re starting out and he’d got both those now,” Mark Purdon said.
With Mark Purdon flying back to NZ on Monday, Amazing Dream will have a new driver next week.
“The plan was for Anthony Butt to drive her in the big mares’ race and I’m not 95 per cent sure that’ll be the case,” Nathan Purdon said.
There is a touch of irony given Amazing Dream’s late lunge in The Rising Sun snatched victory from Butt, who drove Copy That.
Amazing Dream is just one of the plethora of stars set to back-up this week, including Copy That, Expensive Ego and Krug, who filled second, third and fourth spots behind her in The Rising Sun.
Copy That and Expensive Ego will tackle Australia’s champion pacer King Of Swing and others in the $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint.
With Luke McCarthy driving King Of Swing, Victorian reinsman David Moran is set to take the reins on stable-mate Expensive Ego. He drove the four-year-old when second to King Of Swing in the Miracle Mile back in March.
Krug has the luxury of dropping back to race his own age in the South-East Derby, ahead of his next Group 1 target, the Queensland Derby on July 24.