Day At The Track

Purdon wins two Gr1 races with catch drives

07:52 AM 28 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Carlas Pixel,Harness racing
Carlas Pixel
Stuart McCormack photo

The old saying is that blood is thicker than water. But Mark put some doubt into that running down brother in law Tony Herlihy in the Great Southern Star with Dance Craze on Saturday.

The two best drivers in the race ran first and second and Mark gave the game away in his post race interview after his second G1 of the night.

“I followed Tony most of the way. He usually knows where he is going so it was a good place to be” he quipped.

That decision gave the richly bred Dance Craze the last crack at Temporale and her finish was irresistible.

Dance Craze , trained by Anton Golino, was the best bred horse in the race being by Muscle Hill from La Coocharacha who gave the best Kiwi trotters a headache or two in her racing days winning a Rowe Cup.

Patience often pays in big races and when you have that option it worked well on Saturday.

Mark said before the Ladyship Cup he and the stable felt that the well performed Carlas Pixel might need the race having been off the scene for some time.

He drove her accordingly 3 back on the rail but after a first 600m in 56.2 it was obvious some were going to be gasping at the end. That was when Carlas Pixel chimed in for a dashing win.

It wasn’t quite as easy for Natalie.

With Muscle Factor, who had run 1.49 at Menangle two starts back, wanting to hold up , Another Masterpiec e had to settle for parked and simply could not match the leader clocking a 1.54. mile rate over 2240m. Not many three year olds around could. He fought hard but once Natalie switched to the inside to challenge the writing was on the wall.

Spankem had a cruel fate.

The draw beat him. Simple as that. He had to work early and when Natalie knew he couldn’t win from back he had to work to get to the parked position. Which would have been fine (Pats Delight was there and not in a mood to be anywhere else) except that Poster Boy was then on Spankem’s back having a saloon passage and that told in the end as he wore down the courageous Spankem.

Both horses emerged with honour. But ironically enough while the All Star duo emerged with two Group Ones on the night they were not the two many were expecting.

That’s racing.


Courtesy of  All Stars Racing Stables

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