Purcell Eyes English Jumpers

By: Sarah Fortnum
July 6th, 2011

Young Warrnambool-based trainer Aaron Purcell is hopeful that England will provide him with some quality jumps horses for his stables.

Purcell, who won the coveted Grand Annual Steeplechase in 2009 with Ginolad, will be looking to find his next winner when he heads to the United Kingdom later in the year.

The future of jumps racing is looking up after Racing Minister Denis Napthine announced a $2 million package would be dedicated to the sport two weeks ago.

“Things are really looking good for jumps racing,” Purcell said.

“I’ve got owners that are really interested in investing in jumps racing now that the Liberal government have put things in place for the sport.”

Purcell said that increasing the prize money in the sport has sparked renewed interest.

“The extra prize money is the gold at the end of the rainbow for the owners,” Purcell said.

“It’s amazing to think that next year’s Grand Annual Steeplechase is worth $250,000.

“Things like lifting the minimum stake money to $20,000 and offering a $10,000 bonus for a horse to win its maiden jumps start are all wonderful initiatives.”

The trainer will attend a number of England’s thoroughbred sales in December.

“I’m confident with the help of Venetia we will be able to find a horse that will be suitable for our jumps racing,” Purcell said.

“They have two different types of jumpers over there.

“The first is the big boned type of horse. I don’t think that type of horse suits our jumps racing.

“The type of horse that I’m interested in is a lightly framed horse that has had some jumping experience and has shown some ability on the flat.”

Purcell believes it will cost approximately $15,000 to bring each English horse back to Australia.

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