Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s new training partnership got off to a flying start at Addington tonight (Friday September 13) when Natalie drove Raesawinner, the first starter for the partnership, to win the opening event and Blair steered Cyclone U Bolt to a slight upset in the night's feature the Ordeal Cup. Natalie drove Raesawinner, a Kennard syndicate pacer, with her usual coolness waiting to late in the race to pull out and challenge. But Raesawinner, well trialled in recent times, was more than up to the task. Stablemate Machs A Flyin, which Blair had suggested might be flat to beat his stablemate, was a little unlucky, working clear late and finishing strongly.
It was Natalie's first official training success since moving to New Zealand and the horsewoman known to some around the stable as the "mother of two'' referring to Gus and Gabby two little terriers, was happy with that result.
Merv and Meg Butterworth would have shared the trainer's joy when Cyclone U Bolt won first up for the season in the Ordeal Cup. In a race where most of the field was expected to have improved with the run, Cyclone U Bolt showed his usual athleticism to grab the early trail behind predictable pacemaker The Fiery Ginga and that was the winning of the race as she sprinted home strongly like he can to win. It was the ninth win for Merv and Meg with Cyclone U Bolt which they bought on the eve of the Jewels in Cambridge which he won. He won another Jewels in June and this was his first start since which suggests the open classes will hold no real fears for him especially with his racing manners.
Escapee was a little off her game not helped by some jostling at the 900mn which upset her rhythm. She came into the race great but seemed a little off her gait at the corner and Mark chose to hold her together over the final stages. She was backed in to close to $2 and it was a little hard to understand that in light of the trials form.
By David McCarthy (Courtesy of All Stars Stables)
Meanwhile, earlier in the night, Onlyforyou lowered Blossom Lady’s long-standing mares’ mile record at Addington when narrowly holding out the fast finishing Candy Styx in a time of 1-55.8.
“That is what the Golden Girl Series is all about,” said John Mooney, chairman of the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association.