Nathan Purdon, son of champion trainer-driver Mark, got his career off to the best possible start when steering Arden Rooney to an 11 length record-breaking win at Rangiora today.
The seventeen-year-old said that he was slightly nervous going into today, but that nervousness quickly turned to excitement soon after the start when Arden Rooney found the lead.
“He felt terrific the whole way and was obviously never in any doubt of getting beat,” said Purdon, who threw caution to the wind by setting a quick tempo in front.
“I thought there was a small chance of him being outsprinted, but no chance of him being outstayed,” he stated.
Arden Rooney paced the 2600m journey in a breathtaking 3-09.0, which shaved 3 seconds off the previous Rangiora track record, and was just half a second outside the joint national record held by Desperate Comment and former stablemate, Highview Tommy.
Purdon, apart from being educated by his father, also spent a year working for last season’s premiership winning trainer Cran Dalgety.
“I got my trials licence when I was working for Cran and have been back working for dad for about six months,” said the strapper of champion filly Adore Me.
“I got my race licence a couple of weeks ago, so it has just been a case of waiting for a suitable horse and race – I’m glad they choose this one,” he laughed.
Purdon was also very thankful to the owners of the Bettor’s Delight four-year-old, Merv & Meg Butterworth, for giving him the opportunity.
Purdon’s mother Vicki, and auntie Jan Payne were on course for the win, while Mark would have been glued to the TV in Winton, where him and Natalie (Rasmussen) trained four winners.
“It’s been a great day all round,” said Nathan, in what was somewhat of an understatement.
The four Purdon- Rasmussen trained winners at Winton were Secret’s Out, Willow, Rozelski, and impressive debutant Gentle Western, who clocked 1-55.0 for the mile, which was the quickest time of the Wario Trotting Club’s Mile Day.
Three of those winners were driven by Rasmussen, who astonishingly, has driven ten winners and two placegetters from 13 drives this season, giving her a UDR of a unprecedented (for someone who has had that amount of drives) .8376.
“We have a really, really nice team at the moment, so it should be a good couple of months, concluded Nathan Purdon.
By Mitchell Robertson