'Reactor' Goes Down

Published: January 16, 2009 11:03 am EST

A costly break in stride at the start of the Gr II $60,000 Jardine Bloodstock Four-Year-Old Futurity Stakes at Cambridge Raceway was too much for Auckland Reactor to overcome, as the son of Mach Three was

defeated for the first time in 18 lifetime starts.

Already facing a 20-metre handicap, Auckland Reactor was able to catch the field in the 2,700-metre standing start event, but was unable to collar pacesetter All Tiger and driver David Butcher, finishing second by three quarters of a length.

"He (Auckland Reactor) is a champion all right," Butcher told the Waikato Times after the win. "What horse could lose that amount of ground and still get within a length of the winner. He won't lose any fans through that run, least of all me.

"You have to remember horses aren't machines. They all get beaten some time or another."

Driver Mark Purdon, who trains Auckland Reactor with his brother-in-law Grant Payne, had nothing but praise for his star pupil.

"He has a huge heart and he showed that tonight. I'm proud of his run but not so proud of his start. We will work on that but I am happy with his performance tonight. He gave his all and that's all I can ask."

"He will head home for a short spell now before returning to the North Island for the Auckland Cup (March 6) at Alexandra Park," Purdon added.

For part owners Dr. Mike Wilson and Dr. Julie Yager of Rockwood, Ont,'s Warrawee Farm, their first time seeing 'The Reactor' race live will certainly be a memorable one.

Wilson and Yager were on hand to present 10 per cent of Auckland Reactor's winnings from three night's racing at Cambridge Raceway - a total over over $6,300 - to the chief executive of the Waikato Hospice, Elizabeth Bang.

"This is a huge gesture and we are delighted with the kindness shown by you and the owners. This money will be very well used," said Bang.

Wilson co-owns Auckland Reactor as part of a group including fellow Canucks Peter Heffering, Tom Kyron, Bill Loyens, Doug Millard, Irv Storfer, and Fred Brayford.

To view the race, click here.

(With files from the Waikato Times)



gutsy try from standing, breaking start. But still won't pace under 1:52 in the US.

It will be interesting to see how he does against the best aged horses in North America... espeically the 2009 crop which could be the toughest group ever.

He raced great!!............ Looked a bit off.......Still no comparison to THE BEACH!

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