Adelaide Cup ambition for Val Mondo

AARON Purcell will push ahead with plans to run his former international galloper Val Mondo in the $400,000 Adelaide Cup on March 10 after the seven-year-old won the $40,000 City of Marion Handicap at Morphettville on Saturday.

Val Mondo came from well back in the 2400-metre race to defeat Baklava Boy and Smoke Burner. 

The win is his second at Morphettville, the course where the Adelaide Cup is to be run over 3200 metres.

Purcell said Val Mondo may have two more runs before running in Adelaide’s feature flat race.

“Val Mondo’s last two wins have been great efforts,” he said.

“He’s only a small horse. I think our best option is to look at running him in the Adelaide Cup. He’ll go into the cup carrying no weight and the 3200 metres will not be a worry. 

“We’ll take Val Mondo back over there for a similar class race in a fortnight and then run in a listed race at Morphettville before going into the Adelaide Cup on March 10.”

Purcell said Val Mondo’s good recent form was no surprise to him.

“He won the 2010 German St Leger. We knew he had the ability but it’s just taken a bit of time for the horse to put it all together. It’s a just a shame that he’s only a little horse but he gives 100 per cent in his races,” Purcell said. 

“It seems to take a bit of time for international horses to get used to our conditions and our racing. We’ve just tried to be patient with Val Mondo and now we’re getting good results, which is a great reward for his connections.”

Meanwhile, Purcell said he was happy with the run of Initiator to finish fourth in the Piping Lane Handicap at Flemington on Saturday.

“He jumped in class from his last couple of outings and he never let anyone down with his run,” he said. “He’s in the paddock now and having a well-deserved rest before we get him ready for a race over Melbourne’s spring carnival.”

Initiator picked up $3600 prizemoney on Saturday. 

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