Lara-based trainer Brendan Pursell has been treading carefully with his star sprinter, Eagles Nest Egg. You could say, walking on ‘Egg’shells!
But, by the same token, he’s been quick to make sense out of it all.
“He fell in the (G2) Launceston Cup final (February 15) and hasn’t been the same dog unless he leads,” Pursell said. “There’s nothing wrong with him, it’s a confidence thing. He’s now a bit hesitant if he doesn’t find the front.”
Subsequently Eagles Nest Egg had a six-week break after finishing seventh to Tyler Durden in a G1 Australian Cup heat at The Meadows at his next start.
And since resuming, Eagles Nest Egg has had nine starts for two wins and two thirds. However, his form has ‘flown the coop’ at his past three starts where he’s finished out of a ‘drum’.
Eagles Nest Egg enjoyed a purple patch in November/December last year when he notched four consecutive city sprint wins, including a sizzling 29.10sec victory over Zipping Rambo on G1 Melbourne Cup night.
In fact, five of his wins have been at Sandown Park including that scorching win. (Hard Style Rico was only three lengths quicker, clocking a staggering new track record of 28.91sec in the sport’s ‘Holy Grail’.)
“I think that winning time (29.10sec) is a little misleading as the track was lightning fast,” Pursell said. “Realistically, he’s a 29.30sec dog.”
Eagles Nest Egg (Box 2) lines up in a crackerjack Free For All (515m) tomorrow night at Sandown Park – Race 8, 8.52pm – and Pursell is quietly bullish.
“He’ll be hard to beat if he can get to the lead,” he said. “I don’t think he’s ever been run down after finding the front. It’s just a matter of him jumping.”
WATCH: Eagles Nest Egg (8) clocks a flying 29.83sec all-the-way win at The Meadows on June 12.
TAB’s fixed odds market has Eagles Nest Egg at $8, behind Riccarton Rick ($2.30), Catch The Thief ($3.30) and Gypsy Yankee ($6.50).
Owned by Rodney Campbell – a painter and decorator based in Mangalore, Tasmania – Eagles Nest Egg has won 11 races (with four seconds and three thirds) from 31 starts and $54,245 in stakes. He was also a finalist in the G1 National Derby.
Pursell also has Call Me Chloe (R9 B2) and Pacific Lass (R10 B4) engaged on the program.
“Call Me Chloe has got a good draw. I give her a real chance,” he said. “She’s finished off really well at her past couple and I think will eventually get over more ground.
“Pacific Lass has been a real headache. She’s been missing the start, so we did a bit of box work with her, and she came out a lot better last week. She’s capable of winning this race.”
Pawnote: Pursell rugged five runners today at The Meadows, including ‘comeback kid’ Bobby The Brute who clocked a slick 29.84sec (Best). It was his fourth successive win.
Back in October last year, Bobby The Brute ran ill-fated superstar Simon Told Helen to within a length when second in the G2 Geelong Gold Cup (520m).
Then, on Boxing Day, he finished third to retired last-to-first ‘escape artist’ Houdini Boy in the G1 Sale Cup (650m).
He also won two 600m events at The Meadows in January before returning from a seven-month hiatus to score over 460m at Geelong.
“He sustained a hock injury winning at The Meadows in January and we’ve taken our time with him,” Pursell said. “We had him X-rayed a few times and decided to slowly build him back to full fitness.”
Bobby The Brute has started on 43 occasions for 13 wins (with eight seconds and six thirds) and $93,330 in prizemoney.
Pursell also won with Gold Symbol (30.62sec), finished second with External Link and third with Aston Vogue.
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