Day At The Track

Nathan is coming home!

04:00 PM 06 Jul 2017 NZST
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Nathan Purdon
HRNZ photo

Nathan Purdon is "coming home" in the new season rejoining the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen harness racing stable after gaining valuable experience on both sides of the Tasman.

Nathan has lived and breathed horses for a long time and his association with the champion mare ADORE ME from where he was never far away as a stropper throughout her career.

But that was watching and Nathan never wanted to be just watching. 

Nathan with his special fave Adore Me. 

His first drive was a pointer to the future. He drove subsequent NZ Cup winner  Arden Rooney at Rangiora in a track record 3.09 for 2600m. It was a thrill but Nathan knew it was just the beginning and there was a long way to go,

In 2015 he followed Mark's footsteps and headed to Australia for new opportunities. That began with Ian Gurney, trainer of Avonova who was a great supporter. Nathan won 28 of 114 drives on this stint in Brisbane. 

"I was very lucky with the people I was associated with over there. Ian gave me every opportunity,  Luke and Belinda McCarthy got me some nice drives and then I had a good learning time with Greg and Skye Bond in Perth winning the Group 2 San Simeon Final at Gloucester Park.

Then last year he hooked up with Dean Braun in Victoria but then when offered the opportunity to train and drive Ohoka Punter for the Brisbane carnival he was headed back north "where the opportunities for concession drivers are so good"

Nathan realised his G1 dream earlier than even he thought he might, guiding Ohoka Punter to a lead up win in the Blacks a Fake beating Hectorjayjay and Ultimate Art in the rain at Albion Park.

"Really unbelievable the way it happened. Obviously my biggest thrill in racing so far. I could hardly believe it "

This year Nathan returned to New Zealand and took up an offer to work with Cran Dalgety's stable.

"That was a great opportunity. Cran has given me every opportunity and I am really grateful for that support. It has meant a lot to me"

Now it is back into the All Stars colours and Nathan looking to make his final mark in Junior Driver races.

"I have one season left and I want to make the most of it, make my mark on the Junior scene"

"But there will be plenty to do with the stable horses and driving those sort of animals in work is something that is obviously a big plus. But I will be just happy to learn a bit more from the old man. He knows a bit."

And the next generation is there to learn as much as he can.

Courtesy of All Stars Stables

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