Last night’s Harness Racing Awards wrapped up the whole season, well, everything apart from the Trainers’ Premiership that is.
Leading trainers’ Cran Dalgety and Mark Purdon entered today’s meeting at Rangiora 113 wins apiece, but after Dalgety won the first race with Princess Sophia, who was sent to him by Tim Butt and his mother-in-law Jenny Butt earlier in the week, a draw became his worst possible result. However, that to disappeared from Purdon’s grasp when Locharburn impressively took out the seventh race on the card. Locharburn, like Princess Sophia, was sent to Dalgety to aid his Premiership tilt. The classy Christian Cullen two-year-old is co- owned by Kevin Chapman, who is also his regular trainer.
Purdon then claimed the last race of the season with Gotta Go Yanky to close the winning margin down to one win, but by that stage the ship had sailed.
“As they say, behind every successful man there is a successful woman behind the scenes,” Dalgety told on-course Rangiora presenter Dean Lester.
“When I get hot and flustered and frustrated with getting beaten with $1.50 shots she (Chrissy Dalgety) tames me down and as far as administration goes she is big and powerful behind the scenes.”
“I’m only a window frame really, I’ve got a great crew of staff behind me in Kevin Turnball, Murray Howard, David Moore, Matty Cross, Jack Trainor and Laura McKay, without them I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have.”
“While I’m here for my 30 seconds of sunshine I’d just like to pay a special thanks to four owners that have been with me since I started training 21 years ago, and they have all had a horse in the barn every week since then, they are Jim & Susan Wakefield, Graham & Lyn Beirne, Trevor Beaton and Ross Stanbury.”
Dalgety also paid special thanks to his mother-in-law Jenny Butt and Kevin Chapman who provided him with the firepower he needed to get over the line.
Dalgety’s premiership win ends the five year reign of Mark Purdon; although, it was joked at the awards last night that had Mark Purdon still been training Christen Me he would have won by about ten wins.
“I feel privileged to be mentioned in the same breath as Mark, let alone to be up here on stage with him,” said a humble Dalgety at last night awards.
Purdon also got amongst the banter by saying “Now that I have got Nat (Rasmussen) and Ross Payne on board I might be able to make a few more trips to Forbury Park to stop Cran from winning them all!”
by Mitchell Robertson