Future Assured set for Patron’s Purse test

Trent Dawson and his young star Future Assured.

When Trent Dawson looks ahead to the Group 3 Patron’s Purse on Friday evening at Redcliffe, he uses phrases such as ‘thrown to the wolves’ and tackling the ‘big guns’.

Dawson’s young star Future Assured is set to face a stunning field of quality pacers in the $52,000 contest around The Triangle.

The trainer and driver is not quite sure how the nine-time career winner will measure up against the likes of champion Leap To Fame but he is looking forward to getting some clarity around how Future Assured is placed in the scheme of things.

Grant Dixon’s Leap To Fame headlines the Patron’s Purse field for 2023 but it is stacked with quality across the board, with Redcliffe club boss Bernie Ring unable to remember such a contingent of talent at his track in recent years.

Future Assured is two from two since returning to the races this year and kicks-off his black-type company campaign for the winter, which could also see him feature in The Hayden later in the Queensland Constellations Carnival.

Speaking on Wednesday at the launch of the carnival, the 37-year-old Dawson seemed genuinely interested to see how gelding will fair up against the star-studded field.

“I would like to say we are dipping our toes into the big league with the big guns with him here,” Dawson, who trains and drives Future Assured, said.

“But, I don’t know if we are dipping our toes in, or we are just jumping straight in and seeing what happens.

“He definitely has the ability but we are throwing him to the wolves a little bit.

“They are fantastic horses in this field and you would have to go a long way to see a bit field than this. To be in this race is fantastic and we will learn a bit about him on Friday night.”

Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing and Sporting Club president Ring is salivating at the thought of Friday’s Patron’s Purse which will be followed by the Redcliffe Gold Cup seven days later.

“I have not seen a field like this for the Patron’s Purse at Redcliffe ever,” Ring said.

“We are ecstatic about it. That includes some of the big fields we have had for the Cup over the years.

“The Patron’s Purse gets the reigning Horse Of The Year in Leap To Fame and those horses in it, it is great to see them turn up at The Triangle.”

The Patron’s Purse was raced for $31,160 in 2022 and has been increased to $52,000 for this year’s edition.

In what shapes as a massive winter for Leap To Fame, he is the $1.70 early favourite for the Patron’s Purse with Dawson’s Future Assured a $10 chance after drawing four.

Trent Dawson and his young star Future Assured.

Future Assured will not be the only Dawson runner chasing black-type action on the Peninsula on Friday with For Real Life entered in the Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series 3YO Final at Listed level.

For Real Life will contest The Hayden on July 15 from barrier one at Albion Park, with Harshell Investments paying equal top price for the slot via auction earlier this year. 

Dawson is hopeful the Group 1 TRIAD champion from last year can continue his winning ways at Redcliffe.

He was a dominant victor in the heats of the series last Wednesday, putting almost nine metres on the chasing pack as the short-priced favourite.

“We were fortunate enough for Friday night to get a good barrier and it seems that way on paper,” the reinsman said.

“He is fantastic and I do not think I have had him better at this point.

“He was really good through the heats as he had not raced for two and a half weeks before that.

“He was feeling pretty good through the heats and he has come out of that really well.

“We are well placed to put in a good performance. Hopefully we can get away with the prize.”

For Real Life ran into second behind Tardelli in the Final of the Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series 2Y0 event last year.

The stable hope to again have a starter in the race in 2023 with Gutsy Girl to contest a heat on Friday.

Gutsy Girl is yet to win in two career starts.

“She has some ability and has drawn barrier one for her heat,” Dawson said.

“It is one of the more trickier heats of the night and she will need all the luck that comes with barrier one.

“Some of the horses in this race go alright so it will be tough for her. Hopefully we can get through to the Final.”

By Jordan Gerrans