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Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell is hoping mixing up the distances and jockeys for his in-form stayer Swacadelic will be the key to unlocking the horse’s winning form in the 2016 Pakenham Cup on the weekend.
The headline race in Victoria on Saturday this season’s $200,000 Listed Superior Food Services Pakenham Cup (2500m) attracted a bumper 23 nominations on Monday.
Among the stayers set to run in the handicap clash is imported six-year-old Swacadelic.
The son of Adlerflug was last seen running a devastatingly close second to British raider Qewy in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Ladbrokes Park on November 12.
Swacadelic was beaten only a half-neck that run and drops back to 2500m for the Pakenham Cup, a distance he has enjoyed two previous victories over with Purcell making the call to press-on into the summer.
“He drew well and it was a race that looked like Qewy was going to get a cheap lead,” he told AAP speaking of the Sandown Cup run.
“I think we got out in time and had our chance but the winner was just too strong on the day. But obviously he ran quite well.
“The Sandown Cup was the aim and he pulled up really well after that race so we thought we’d keep him going and this was the next suitable race.”
Formerly prepared in Germany, the gelding has won three races in Australia including Moonee Valley’s Torney Cup (2500m) back in February defeating Signoff (2nd) and Real Love (3rd).
His only victory since was over 2530m at Flemington on Anzac Day when crossing three-quarters of a length ahead of Big Memory.
Purcell is hoping to get Swacadelic back in the winners’ stall on Saturday with the drop in metres and the booking of star hoop Craig Williams who jumps aboard the horse for the first time.
“I like to mix it up,” he said.
“A lot of the guys who have ridden him before are in Perth for the big race there on Saturday.
“And I think the Pakenham track with a long home straight should suit him quite well.
“I haven’t done anything special, just kept him going and he’s definitely ready to go again.”
It is shaping-up as a class edition of the Pakenham Cup with Puccini (60kg) and Pilote D’Essai (58kg), who ran fourth and first respectively in the Ballarat Cup last start, heading the weights and ratings.
Purcell is leaving instructions for Williams until after the barriers are drawn on Wednesday.
“Pakenham is a track where you can make ground in the home straight so we’ll definitely be going there thinking we’re a winning chance no matter where we draw,” he said.
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