Day At The Track

Mark Purdon and Mach Three fillies

11:56 AM 03 Apr 2015 NZDT
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Northern Velocity
Northern Velocity
Mark Purdon probably had at least two harness racing lessons well learned  in mind when he bought Northern Velocity at the 2014 Premier Sale for $72,500.
 
The first  was learning from past successes. The other was to never leave a sale early.
 
Northern Velocity was the second last lot at the end of a long sale at Addington but Mark found the time to buy her for Cheryl Rasmussen and Trevor Titcomb, a decision they can hardly be regretting at this stage of the filly's development.
 
She certainly showed Mark enough by the summer that he went back to this year's sale and bought her full sister Tachydar (it was late in the sale too) at what might turn out to be a bargain price of $60,000.
 
Although Auckland Reactor and Fly Like An Eagle have been standout runners for the stable in the past, Mark is rarely without a Mach Three filly.
 
They can be difficult as many fillies can and they have their off days but the records are littered with age group filly stars by Mach Three and all leading stables need to have at least one in the mix.
 
Apart from their individual appeal, usually the most important factor with Mark in his final analysis, the pedigree cross of Northern Velocity must have  jumped out saying "pick me" when Mark and Natalie were studying the catalogue.
 
The Mach Three-Falcon Seelster cross which the filly carries has already proven a winner for All Stars.
 
Fly Like An Eagle is an obvious standout but the ill-fated Fiery Falcon won a Harness Jewels  and Millwood Meg while not outstanding on the track here later landed a West Australian Oaks and was another filly bred on this cross trained by All Stars (among others).
 
There are several other well known successes with this cross the best known recently being Venus Serena, one of the best fillies seen out in a long time.
 
"I went largely on type with her but I was certainly aware of that that cross had done for us in the past and it was a factor in my thinking" Mark says of his purchase.
 
The success of this cross is not a real surprise.
 
In fact the success of Falcon Seelster  mares crossed with Direct Scooter line stallions in general is no real surprise (the cross with Christian Cullen has been notably  successful) because Falcon Seelster is what counts for an "outcross " stallion in modern times.
 
He has no direct crosses of the Meadow Skipper line of Hal Dale nor the modern lines of Volomite through Direct Scooter.
 
In fact Falcon Seelster's pedigree looks like something which would have been extremely fashionable about 1970 -which is no bad thing.
 
It is full of Adios/Tar Heel crosses, Hal Dale/Volomite and even the Scotland/Volomite cross which was the foundation for the magical U Scott/Light Brigade cross 60 years ago in this country.
 
It might be claimed that Mach Three  gives them that high  speed and Falcon Seelster adds some old fashioned toughness.
 
Like many successful juvenile horses these days it seems Northern Velocity traces to a trotting influence in Beverly's Song whose notable foals beside Enna Gee were the fine trotters Mighty Dollar and especially Logan Cheval bred respectively by the Clark brothers Leicester and Tom.
 
Enna Gee a tough staying mare trained by Robin Butt and co-owned by him left three particularly smart pacers in Panyan,a  big success in Australia where he was placed in a Hunter Cup, age group black type winner, Rare Charm and Pathfinder who won the Group Two DB Superstar Final as a four year old after a light career to that point.
 
He broke down in Australia after one start.
 
While this family goes back to Topsy and has had its share of success, a lot of it has been in recent times.
 
Best known is Pembrook Benny, a half brother to Northern Velocity and the winner of over $1m, Pembrook Caesar a talented mare which won the Group Three Ladyship Cup at Melton for Jodi Quinlan in 2013, and Holme Fire,winner of both a Sires Stakes and a Nevele R filly heat.
 
All are from Northern Franco an unraced (though qualified) mare whose dam Natural Appeal took a 1.59 mark when that meant more than it does now who left nine winners at stud from 10 to race.
 
Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stable
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