They’re coming back!
Leading New Zealand based couple Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen are planning another raid on the Brisbane Winter Carnival later this year.
Only two years ago, the Purdon/Rasmussen combination plundered the carnival winning a raft of features which included the Queensland Derby and Oaks plus the Gold Coast Premiers Cup among others.
And again, they intend on tackling many of the same feature events.
The All Stars stable of Christchurch boast tremendous depth in their three-year-old crop which at times, makes it difficult to split their runners but all feature race programs are looked at and the Brisbane carnival fits in nicely to their schedule.
The Brisbane Winter Carnival in July quickly follows on from the Jewels Day in New Zealand which paves the way for many Kiwi pacers to continue with their preparation as they get set for the Australasian Breeders Crown carnival in Victoria the following month.
The Purdon/Rasmussen stable have already banked more than a million dollars in prizemoney this season and are clear leaders in the premiership race in their homeland while Australian feature race targets will be at their mercy in the coming weeks through the likes of Smolda, Adore Me, Border Control, (My) Willow and Isaiah.
They will also be heavily represented at the up-coming Auckland Cup carnival at Alexandra Park in the next fortnight.
Key runners for the Brisbane campaign include three-year-old pacers Aldo Rossi and Gentle Western.
Both pacers are Queensland owned.
“We really like both of these guys; Aldo Rossi was bought at the Brisbane sale of the Australian Pacing Gold and has always shown talent while Gentle Western is still growing into himself hence why we have given him plenty of time. He’s huge.” Rasmussen said.
Aldo Rossi has headed to Auckland again to target feature events in the coming weeks including the Great Northern Derby and the American Ideal colt has impressed enough to take a shot at the Gr.1 feature.
After winning at his debut, Aldo Rossi was then beaten by his stablemate Bio Marinus before winning his next two starts in Auckland over the Christmas period.
Gentle Western has only faced the starter on one occasion which resulted in a nose victory at Wairio in a time of 1;55 back in October.
The Western Ideal colt will start again this Saturday at Wyndham.
“Both of these guys have come up well for their next preparation and their recent trial/workout form indicates they will perform well when they step out again, they both enjoyed some recent time off and have returned in good order.
“The Brisbane carnival looks a logical target for both and we will certainly look at races like the Queensland Derby, Gold Coast Derby and the Premiers Cup series again.
“We may even have some fillies to bring for the Oaks but we will assess that a little closer to the carnival and see how all of the troops are holding up with their form and health in the coming months.”
It appears the All Stars stable is set to be the star attraction again this winter.
by Chris Barsby