AARON Purcell admits he was surprised when Mark Guest, the jockey manager for champion hoop Craig Williams, phoned regarding the ride on Swacadelic in the $200,000 Pakenham Cup on Saturday.
The Pakenham Cup will be run at Racing.com Park. The course has developed into one of Victoria’s premier thoroughbred racing venues and hosts its first standalone Saturday Cup meeting.
The metropolitan status race meeting boasts more than $900,000 in stakemoney, with the Pakenham Cup the feature.
Purcell said it was a bonus to have Williams ride Swacadelic in the 2500-metre race.
“It was a pleasant surprise to get a call from Guesty,” the Warrnambool-based trainer said.
“Craig is one of the best jockeys in the world, so to have him riding Swacadelic is a real bonus.
“Guesty does a lot of form so he obviously rates the horse highly to win the Cup.”
Swacadelic is dropping back in distance from 3200 metres in the Sandown Cup at his last start, where he ran second, to the 2500 metres on Saturday.
But Purcell said he is unperturbed with the change in distance.
“I don't think the 2500 metres will cause any concerns,” he said.
“We’ve given Swacadelic a good break following his Sandown Cup run.
“Swacadelic loves his runs spaced.
“He should travel midfield or a bit worse and then have the last crack at them. He should appreciate the long straight.”
Saturday’s meeting will see Pakenham join three other non-metropolitan racing venues – Bendigo, Ballarat and Mornington – to host a standalone Saturday race meeting in Victoria this season.
Meanwhile, Darren Weir is hoping his Warrnambool satellite stable can give him success at Rosehill on Saturday as Rageese lines up in the $150,000 group three Festival Stakes over 1500 metres.