By Michael Manley
As Aaron Purcell pointed out, winning a race at Warrnambool, for a local trainer is something special.
Even more so when it is one of the major jumps races and he's hoping to add another one in the Galleywood Hurdle on Wednesday where he has two runners, Instigator (GER) and Double Bluff (IRE).
Purcell has experienced the highs of the Warrnambool carnival winning the 2008 Grand Annual Steeplechase with Ginolad.
He also won the 2018 Galleywood Hurdle with Two Hats and he hopes to add another one.
“Any win at the May carnival is a thrill and when it’s one of the feature jumps races it’s even better as there’s so few of them. It’s a fantastic feeling when you do,” Purcell said.
Instigator has stamped himself as a rising start in his four hurdle runs.
The former European stayer kicked off his jumps career with three starts last year which consisted of seconds at Pakenham and Sandown before winning the Houlahan Hurdle by 16 lengths at Ballarat.
Then last start at his first hurdle run for the year he easily won the Bourke Hurdle at Pakenham.
Purcell said as soon as Instigator won the Houlahan Hurdle he set him for the premier hurdle race in his backyard, the Galleywood Hurdle.
“He’s come back this season as a better jumper. He’s an improved horse. It’s going to be a nice test for him but I think he’s good enough,” Purcell said.
“I couldn’t be happier with him. Everything has gone as planned. As long as he can jump cleanly he will be hard to beat,” he said.
Purcell is hoping his other starter Double Bluff can return to form on his home-track where he won three starts ago after two disappointing runs.
“I thought he would win at Oakbank but he made a couple of mistakes. Then at Pakenham last start he didn’t jump with confidence,” he said.
“If the track improves he will run and he likes Warrnambool.”