Lara trainer Brendan Pursell has a plan ‘hatched’ for the $75,000-to-the-winner Group 1 National Derby series (520m).
And Eagles Nest Egg has now landed for Friday night’s heats at Wentworth Park in Sydney.
But his star young sprinter’s ‘flight path’ was interrupted due to COVID-19.
“I had the Derby planned after the Silver Chief series, but a reintroduction of New South Wales border closures caused a real headache,” Pursell said. “Subsequently I haven’t been able to trial him at Wenty, so he hasn’t seen the track.”
However, Pursell was jubilant after Eagles Nest Egg came up with Box 1 in Heat 1 (Race 4, 8.20pm). In fact, he’s on the second line of betting at $6 on TAB’s ‘All In’ market.
“I was rapt when he drew the ‘red’, as it’s where you want to be going onto a track sight unseen,” Pursell said. “Hopefully, he gets the start right. But on his form, he should take some beating if he steps to the front.”
Owned by Rodney Campbell – a painter and decorator based in Mangalore, Tasmania – Eagles Nest Egg has won seven races (with four seconds and one third) from 17 starts and $36,125 in prizemoney.
Five of his wins have been at Sandown, including a scorching 29.10sec on G1 Melbourne Cup night. It was a true indication of his ability considering Hard Style Rico was only three lengths quicker, clocking a staggering new track record of 28.91sec in the sport’s ‘Holy Grail’.
But Pursell says Eagles Nest Egg (Dec ’18 Superior Product x Princess Roman) was an enigma earlier in his career. He pre-trained him for a few months and he was ‘trialling the house down’.
“But in his first six or so races he wasn’t showing the same ability,” he said. “I’ve got no idea, but all of a sudden he just clicked – there’s no rhyme or reason.”
Pursell adds when Eagles Nest Egg is on his game, his forte is a mid-race burst and stamina.
“But he’s got no blistering split anywhere. He’s not a Simon Told Helen who opens the field up,” he said. “And he’s still a ‘big puppy’ and one of the best-natured dogs I’ve trained.”
A $2 favourite to win his National Derby heat, Eagles Nest Egg has ‘star spangled’ paternal bloodlines. His sire, Superior Product, is a brother of US champ Superior Panama. Both are sons of KC And All who has made a huge impact at stud in Australia.
Eagles Nest Egg will be joined by a strong Victorian contingent, including the Michael Carter-trained Music Event (TAB’s $5 ‘All In’ favourite) plus rising stars Do It and Weblec Jet (Jeff Britton) and Memphis Keeping (Jason Thompson).
Britton also has Weblec Pearl and Westar Aileen in the G1 National Futurity heats (520m) on the same night. He’s joined by his nephew, Tim Britton, with Carry On Star.
Meanwhile, four heats of the G1 Paws Of Thunder (520m) will be conducted at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Victoria is represented by David Burnett’s four-time G1 winner and Australian Greyhound of the Year Simon Told Helen (TAB’s ‘All In’ $5 equal favourite) along with Aston Silk ($18), prepared by Jason Thompson.
And the Deb Coleman-trained Run Like Jess and Blazing Cartier, prepared by Rob Britton, fly the Victorian flag in the G2 Summer Distance Plate heats (720m).