Purdon power lifts Orange

MATT MARKHAM
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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Off the back of a treble of wins at Addington on Thursday night, Blair Orange should be a driver worth following tomorrow at Motukarara.

The Rolleston-based horseman was in fine form on Thursday night when picking up a treble of victories, including two for his boss Mark Purdon.

Promising trotting filly Paramount Queen and Rozelski both chalked up victories, while he jumped aboard Redmaro for Gavin Cook in the last to win at nice odds.

It is Purdon who will again give him his strongest hand tomorrow, with three runners from the powerhouse stable doing battle on the big Banks Peninsula grass track. Highview Teejay heads the stable charge in the feature pace of the day and following on from a handy fifth at Blenheim two weeks ago, Orange feels he is a strong chance.

"The field he is up against this week looks like a field he should be able to handle. He's got a good record on the grass, which helps."

Paramount Queen's promising stable mate Saratoga kicks off his three-year-old campaign tomorrow.

"He's come back pretty solid in his gait this time, which is encouraging.

"There isn't much, if anything, between him and Paramount Queen, and with manners he should be pretty hard to beat."

Orange's third runner in the blue and silver stars is maiden pacer It's Only Me. Later in the day one of the better bets of the weekend should turn around a luckless second last start.

No matter which way you look at it, when Franco Nattai last went to the races he was one of the biggest certainties beaten you will ever see.

The big free-wheeling pacer, who is trained by Brett Cusdin, flashed home late from what seemed an impossible spot at the 250-metre mark to finish second behind Mighty Flying Mac last week at Addington.

That form was franked by a good second from Mighty Flying Mac on Thursday night and from a good draw tomorrow, Franco Nattai and Cusdin should prove too classy, and give Cusdin his first win as a trainer.

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