Barry Purdon’s Start Dreaming stars

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A different Purdon, big brother Barry, stoke the show back from his brother Mark at Menangle on Saturday February 20 in the $A50,000 Robin Dundee Classic as his promising mare Start Dreaming surged into the field for next week’s $200,000 Ladyship Mile.

Mark Purdon had won earlier features in the night with the likes of (Our) Waikiki Beach and Smolda but the Robin Dundee was always going to be even more hotly contested with the first four assured of invitations into next Sunday’s Ladyship Mile.

And as they crossed the line it was Start Dreaming, Berisari, Betabcool and (My) Willow that filled the top four slots to take those coveted Ladyship berths.

(My) Willow, it was later revealed, had already qualified from her fifth to Frith in the Sibelia the previous week, so the final spot went to Saturday night’s fifth placegetter Juliette Bromac from the David Aiken stable.

Still it was Start Dreaming that looked the goods and her reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick assured racegoers the NZ visitor would be very competitive against the likes of Frith, Nike Franco and Fight For Glory in next week’s Group One mares’ feature.

A well-backed favourite, Start Dreaming ($2.30) raced in second and third spot to the turn until Fitzpatrick set her alight turning for home and she wore down her rivals to score by 1.3m in a 1:51.9 mile rate (1609m).

“Both her wins here have been outstanding in this country since Barry brought her over here,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Barry didn’t give me any particular instructions as he knows the racing is quite different here in Australia.

“So we had no set plan and I’m not even sure if I’ll be driving her for Barry next weekend (in the ladyship).

“But it’s still a pleasure to drive for a champion trainer like him who knows how to find a good horse – and he always has.”

Courtesy of Mandy Zammit,

Catering & Administration Co-ordinator,