Masterful New Zealand horseman Mark Purdon continued the strange hold he has on the rich Australian Pacing Gold Series by winning both of the Semi-Finals for two-year-old colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight.
The first of Purdon and Rasmussen’s semi-final winners was supersonic Art Major juvenile Follow The Stars, who remains unbeaten after blitzing his rivals by 11.6 metres in a super mile rate of 1-55.5.
Mister Brazil, who is a two-year-old son of first season sire Sportswritter was good in second but no match for the winner, while Bathurst Gold Crown winner Artistic Flite finished in third after making a big run wide out on the track.
Purdon then went on to win the second of the APG semi-finals with unbeaten Bettor’s Delight colt Kept Under Wraps, who overhauled favourite Mach Dora, a full brother to Fly Like An Eagle, in the homestretch after enjoying a nice run in the trail.
Meanwhile, star filly Nike Franco claimed victory in the second heat of the Victoria Oaks despite punching the breeze for the last 1200 metres, while Five Star Anvil caused an upset in the Sokyola Sprint, downing Smoken Up and Chilli Palmer at odds of $21.10.
Mark Purdon will now head to Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday to steer the Australian Pacing Gold two-year-old fillies favourite Supersonic Miss, who has impressed caretaker –trainer Luke McCarthy immensely with her work during the week.
By Mitchell Robertson