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Australian Hurdle next target for Two Hats

aaron purcell
Trainer Aaron Purcell will bring two Hats to Melbourne for the Australian Hurdle at Sandown.

Another feature hurdle win this preparation will be a bonus for trainer Aaron Purcell and the connections of Two Hats.

Purcell had one goal when Two Hats began his campaign for the 2018 jumps season, victory in the Galleywood Hurdle during Warrnambool’s May carnival.

Two Hats gave a faultless display to win the hurdle feature and Purcell is now eyeing off another upcoming signature race.

The gelding is set to run on Saturday in the Australian Hurdle at Sandown.

Saturday’s meeting, which also includes the Australian Steeplechase, is the only jumps meeting conducted on a metropolitan track on the major race day of the week for the jumps season that runs from March to September.

Two Hats has raced seven times over jumps registering four wins, two seconds and an untimely fall at Pakenham two starts ago.

Purcell said just how far Two Hats races on into the season depends on the rising eight-year-old.

“His main goal was the Galleywood,” Purcell said.

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“We did what we could to get him right for the day and it worked out well.

“Once you get to his level you aim for the set-weights races and the better handicaps.

“While you’re well you run and when you not so well you pull up stumps and aim towards next year’s Galleywood.

“At the moment he’s pretty good so we’ll march on.”

Purcell said Two Hats gave him a scare when he fell at Pakenham on April 15.

“He’s a fairly safe jumper and he was probably feeling a bit too well on the day,” Purcell said.

“He made a minor mistake which ended up in a bit of a spectacular fall.

“Luckily he pulled up well after his tumble.

“There was initial concern but once I got him vetted on the day I was pretty confident that it wouldn’t affect his long-term prospects at all.”

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