The winners have started to tick over for Aaron Purcell who has recently taken over the suspended Ciaron Maher’s large team of horses.
And Saturday looms as a big occasion for the trainer.
Purcell will saddle up his first Group One runner since stepping up early last week to take charge of Maher’s big team at Caulfield after the trainer was suspended for six months over the ownership bona fides of five horses in his stable.
Purcell, who continues to run his Warrnambool stable, has had three winners this week and is excited to be running Aloisia in Saturday’s Thousand Guineas (1600m).
“We’ve had four winners now including a Bairnsdale Cup so as long as we keep getting winners, everyone is going to be happy,” Purcell said.
“It’s obviously good to have some good horses around you and at this time of year everyone wants to be racing in the spring in Melbourne.
“We had a few good runners at Flemington last Saturday but unfortunately couldn’t get a winner.
“I guess that’s the next thing, trying to get that good winner.”
Aloisia was runner-up in the Group One J J Atkins Stakes (1600m) in Queensland last season and closed off well for fifth to Guineas rival Leather’n’lace over 1400m on September 23 in her spring return while still in Maher’s care.
Purcell has been impressed by Aloisia ahead of her first start for him.
“She’s going great,” he said.
“She’s probably going to be better suited over a bit further, possibly the Oaks, but there’s no reason why she shouldn’t run a really good race.
“She seems to be a pretty straight forward horse. She does her work and gallops like a good horse. And she just gets around the stable like a regular horse.”
Purcell is yet to win a Group One race but has had few runners, although dual Group Two Sunline Stakes winner Spirit Song went close when second in the 2012 Toorak Handicap.
“It’s a different feeling going into big races if you’re making up the numbers or if you’ve got one of the main players, and she’s definitely one of the better fillies around,” he said.
“I’ll be a little bit nervous. Obviously I haven’t put as much work into the horse as some of the other guys, but still it will be a big day.”