Self Assured won the inaugural $900,000 The Race by Grins and champion horseman Mark Purdon was delighted with the performance of his charge.
Self Assured had work to do in New Zealand’s first ever slot race after being handed a tricky barrier draw at Cambridge.
He had to start from the widest barrier but it did not make a difference with Purdon joking after the race that Self Assured
should have “won by more”.
New South Wales pacer Majestic Cruiser ran a great race to take second place, while Spankem battled on bravely to make up the podium and take third.
But it was the dominant performance of Self Assured that really caught the eye and Purdon was impressed with how they got the job done.
Although there was an anxious moment as Self Assured appeared to ease off as the finish line approached.
“He was bolting and I was sure I had the leaders covered and straightening up I thought we were going to win by four lengths,” Purdon told reporters after the race.
“But he almost shut off and waited for the other horses and at the line it was getting tight because Majestic Cruiser was still coming hard.
“With the time they ran maybe he had the right to be getting tired but he almost waited for them. That was just how well he was going at the top of the straight, he was that ready for it tonight.”