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Trainer Aaron Purcell will test his up and coming sprinter Bons Away at Group 1 level in Saturday’s $500,000 Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.

Bons Away, above, will be tested at G1 level in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Bons Away, above, will be tested at G1 level in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Bons Away worked his way up through the ranks during the 2017 Spring Carnival with hs best result being a win in the Listed $120,000 Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.

Purcell said that Bons Away returned to the stable in great order following a short break and has impressed the Caulfield trainer that much on the training tracks that he will now line up against a top quality sprint field in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate.

“He’s come back really well,” Purcell told AAP.

“We probably hadn’t really thought the Oakleigh Plate was his race at the start of the preparation but he came back so well and his work has been so strong that I think he deserves to take his chance.”

“Obviously you’ve got to be going well to win an Oakleigh Plate but I don’t think he could be showing us much more on the track than what he is.”

Purcell is hoping to have two runners in the Oakleigh Plate and has set last start winner Lady Esprit for the Group 1 sprint.

Lady Esprit found winning form last start when she finished off the race strongly to beat Snitty Kitty in the Listed $120,000 W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 3.

“Lady Esprit is a horse who needs things to work out for her and obviously when they do, she’s pretty good,” Purcell said.

“A hot speed in an Oakleigh Plate would suit her. The 1100 metres is at the top of her distance range, but off the minimum weight if she gets the suck run, you never know.”

Black Caviar Lightning winning jockey Regan Bayliss will take the ride again on Lady Esprit in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate while regular rider Linda Meech will stick with Bons Away.

Bons Away has firmed slightly in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate betting and is now $11 at Ladbrokes.com.au while Lady Esprit is marked at $21.

The Teaam Snowden traindd Russian Revolution sits at the top of the market order at $5 just ahead of last year’s Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign at $6 and last start Kevin Hayes Stakes winner Booker at $6.50

Early betting for the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Russian Revolution, $6 She Will Reign, $6.50 Booker, $9 Snitty Kitty, Chautauqua, $11 Catchy, Bons Away, $15 Fuhryk, $17 Hellbent, Illustrious Lad, $21 Flamberge, Lady Esprit, $26 Crystal Dreamer, Savanna Amour, Glenall, Prussian Vixen, $34 Sheidel, $41 Malibu Style, Rock ‘N’ Gold, $51 Palazzo Pubblico, Quilista, Sword Of Light, $101 Olivier.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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