Day At The Track

Champion filly Adore Me wins the NZ Oaks

10:54 AM 17 May 2013 NZST
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Adore Me and connections
Adore Me and connections

Champion harness racing trainer Mark Purdon has won over 100 group one races and just about every feature race imaginable, but one race he hadn't won as a trainer before tonight (Friday May 17) was the New Zealand Oaks.

And it hadn't been through lack of trying either; Purdon had four starters in the illustrious filly's race last year and four starters the year prior to that.

This year however, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Purdon would get the ‘monkey off his back,' and even the grey rain clouds couldn't stop his Champion filly Adore Me from shining.

After easing out of the early rush, Purdon waited until Dexter Dunn made his move on Safedra, before coming out inside her to race around to the front.

From there the rest is history. Adore Me cruised home for an effortless 2 and ½ length victory.

Safedra was game in second after being made to sit outside the freakish filly, while Splendour finished on well for third to give owner Charlie Roberts one and three in the $100,000 feature.

The daughter of Bettor's Delight and Scuse Me scampered through the slush in 3-11.8 for the 2600m journey, closing with tidy sectionals of 56.9 and 27.5.

Co-owner Paul Kenny stated in his acceptance speech that it has been Charlie Robert's lifelong dream to bred and own a New Zealand Oaks winner and that he is absolutely thrilled that his father-in-law has finally achieved this.

Paul Kenny and his wife Mary (Charlie Robert's daughter) were both present but unfortunately Charlie was unable to make it.

Adore Me's dam Scuse Me started favourite in the 1997 edition of the New Zealand Oaks but only managed to finish in fifth position.

It was Purdon's third driving success in the great race, having won it in 1988 on the Roy & Barry Purdon trained Julie Vance and then again in 1997 aboard Pacific Flight.

by Mitchell ROBERTSON

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