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BLAIR has a busy weekend with a good book of drivers at FORBURY on Thursday and a similar one at ADDINGTON incuding the handling of Adore Me in the Easter Cup. He talks about his hopes for his drives.


 "I've got a good book I think and my first drive RIP ROARING (trainer John Howe) is one of them. Went really good at Addington after not getting all favours and it was the same the start before. The draw is not the best but it might not be enough to stop him on what I know about him. He is certainly up to most of these on ability.

DU VELLA  (7.07) is another good drive. She has been parked twice in good races so far and has shown plenty of fight over the final stages. I think she should be hard to beat.

TUXEDO MAX (7.37) should be a good drive too. He won first up here in January and he has trialled up nice. He is not a star but it looks a fairly even field to me and one that he can beat if things go his way.

MILLWOOD FAITH (8.07) you would have respect too. She was parked last time here and fought on pretty well. There are a few new ones in here who might make it a bit harder but I wouldn't be counting her out on her form especially each way.

FAIR DINKUM BROMAC (8.37) I think he could be battling in this field and I would like to see him in something a bit easier.

TE AMO BROMAC (9.07) has a tricky draw. I don't think Dexter will hold and Goodness Gracious Me would cross him so I will have to find a possie somewhere. She is actually better coming from behind so it will probably be best for her anyway. But there are some good ones to beat !"

JACCKA LEN (9.37) is another good chance. This is one of those 1200m races (Blair drove the winner of last week's one) and Mark (Jones) has put the blinkers on so I don't think I need to ask what the driving instructions will be. It will be going for it. He can go all the way too. The start is so important in these races so that will be a big factor. He can win it.

ARISING EASTON (10.02) is racing well and will go another good one but you would think there would be a few too good for him here. Border Control is set a task but I think cream rises to the top in these sort of races. Over 2700m I don't think the 20m should be a problem and Mark will know what he is doing with him. So I don't think I can win that one. I can't win the next one with MIMI SURADI either.  But I think

STRIKE ON COMMAND (6) might be my BEST of the night actually. That was a run at Addington last week (1.56.6 mr over 1950m) and he always goes well at Forbury. He has been placed behind some smart ones and this is a field he can beat. I rate his chances highly.




FULL SPEED AHEAD is going to be hard to beat the way he came home behind Raesawinner last week. He must have run better than 57 for his last half. It is just getting off the markers from the draw so he

doesn't get too far back. Only a young horse but has the goods.

ULTIMATE CC (6.35) is racing well and doesn't rise in class for her last win. However it is a tougher field I guess. Each way chance still.

I rate PRINCE FEARLESS (7.15) the best of ours in the Trotting Stakes. I supposed I have to say that since I had the choice and went with him ! But I like him and while Arya has trialled well and worked well I still think this guy might have an edge. Might. He is a brother to Not About the Money but he is quite a different type of horse so far and fairly settled. Its tough to beat horses like Monbet but he will give a showing I think.

Yes I drove ICEOBAR and ASSASSINATOR (7.40)  at the trials on Monday. To be honest on balance I would give a slight edge to Iceobar on that though he has the tougher draw so it might balance that out though its a smallish field so Natalie will probably find a good way through. Both are useful youngsters and Assassinator won a trial at Addington recently too. I lean to Iceobar but Art Union looks like being a threat again.

ROCKNROLL ARDEN is one of my top drives I think. Its a mile so I would rather be where we are than out wide on the front. They have to work hard if they are going to go for the front. So I can take my chances through the middle maybe. These sort of races are hard to predict but she has a lot of ability and I think she is a leading chance.

MAIN DIVIDE (8.30) is still learning the game. Need a lot of luck to be in the money but if in four I would be happy.

ADORE ME (9.00)  will be  the big drive of the night. I guess it is a battle between her and Terror To Love and will probably be a game of cat and mouse with Ricky. I think a lot depends on the start. If we can begin and get an advantage that is going to make the mare hard to beat. If she misses away even a little bit and even if Terror To Love is 10 m behind us if he gets to the front well he is always hard to peg back from there. If it is just a sprint home it is going to be hard for either of them to overtake the other . Be an interesting race but I know I have a special horse in front of me which always gives you confidence. Itis hard to go past her actually as the best on the night-but what happens early might tell the story.


ROO STAR (9.25) is set a stiff task and the form is not that flash but has gone well at the trials and has a nice draw. There are some hard ones to beat though and probably best for a place.

JIMMY HOFFA (9.50) Quite a nice horse though I didn't drive him last time he has been going ok. It is a field with some good horses but not with that much depth so he should be able to get some of it. The ones racing in the age group races are probably hardest.

TART N TIGHTS (10.15) yes the story is always the same. Get a nice sit and hope to get a run home. She is trotting well and has a nice draw to get that soft run. You wouldn't want to leave her out of multiples.

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11.15: HUGH THE WIND-FOLLOW THE STARS.- HUG THE WIND (Blair) finished strongly to win well and is back on track after a corn. 2.34.8 home in 57.7 and 27.5. FOLLOW THE STARS (Jeremy) was a reluctant early leader and then trailed handy. Strong late finish and looks the part. May have a trial in Australia before racing there.

11.45: ARYA-WANNABET-PRINCE FEARLESS. ARYA (Blair) just won from a fast finishing Monbet with Prince Fearless a good third with Wanabet further back. The first two went 2.37.8 and 2.37.9 home sharply in 28.9.

12.15: SUPERSONIC MISS. Needed a good hitout as she had missed a little work and  is racing on Saturday. She ran 2.33.7 after dictating the pace the last 800m in 58.9 and the 400m a sharp 27.5 winning easily. 

Supersonic Miss Winning Trial

12.45: ASSASSINATOR (Blair) was too strong for his rivals but outside qualifying time at 2.36.6. 58.9 and 28.2 more impressive though.

1.00: EMMANUEL (Nathan) somewhat forgotten among the youngsters did well to win in 2.28.7 a good hitout leading much of the way and home in 58.7 and 28.9.

Hug The Wind has them covered


 1.15: ISAIAH (Mark) - BORDER CONTROL (Nathan) . Generally all quiet here. Isaiah sat mid on the rail and ran home under a hold and Border Control which Nathan said felt really good ran home stronglly late. Elios ran them along in 2.27.2 home in 58.6 and 28.6. Conditioning runs for these two.

 2.00: CYCLONE U BOLT -, PARAMOUNT QUEEN: Cyclone U Bolt (Mark) trotted nice but was never pushed at any stage. Paramount Queen (Blair) went keenly and strode away in 3.26.2 the only heat coming in the last 400m of 28.8. Paramount Queen looks a picture and could be one to follow over the autumn.


Adore Me Ran Home in 27 to win her heat for Nathan

2.30: ADORE ME (Nathan)  -ARDEN ROONEY (Jeremy). A little bit of a farce with Saveapatrol withdrawn but impressive from Adore Me in particular. She ran 3.17 and came from off the pace wide out to win last 400m in 27. Had a good blow after it too.

Arden Rooney was kept under wraps but Jeremy reported he felt good for resuming

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Bettor Than The Best                                                 Northern Velocity                           Selling The Dream


**Lot 351 Northern Velocity f Mach Three-Northern Franco-Falcon Seelster. Half to Pembrook Benny. Mark Purdon $72,500

**Lot 349 Stevie Jones c Courage Under Fire-Night Line -Life Sign. Family of Classy Filly. Kennard Bloodstock $40,000**Lot 334 Motu Premier c Bettor's Delight-Motu Pocket O'Jewels. Dam half sister to Motu Crusader. Butterworth Bloodstock $100,000.

**Lot 297 c Christian Cullen-Nevermore-Nero's BB. Dam was G1 winner. Mark for syndicate $82,500

**Lot 294 Royal Jester c Jerem's Jet-Lady Tala-Julious Caesar. Sakuntala family. Neil Pilcher $7500.

**Lot 194 c He Can Fly -Bettor's Delight-Falcon's Flybye-Falcon Seelster.Closely related to Flying Pocketlands. Kennard Bloodstock $38,000

**Lot 182 c American Ideal -Diamond Fleet-Falcon Seelster. Closely related to Pembrook's Delight. Neil Pilcher $38,000

**Lot 164 c Chase The Dream-Bettor's Delight-Christian Dreamer-Christian Cullen. Family of Western Dream . Jean Feiss Victoria

**Lot 157 c Art Major-Cartier -Holmes Hanover. Bred by Phil Creighton and considered his best lot. Kennard Bloodstock $38,000

**Lot 155 G I Joe c Bettor's Delight-Breath of Life-from high class All Stars racemare. Butterworth Bloodstock $82,500

**Lot 153 Bettor Than the Best . c Bettor's Delight-Behany-Christian Cullen. Family of Stars and Stripes. Same cross as Highview Tommy. Kennard Bloodstock $75,000

**Lot 59 Twinkle Bromac f RocknRoll Hanover-Tallulah Bromac -3/4 sister to Tatijana Bromac. Mark for Lynette Philpott of Sydney.









**SALE COMMENT FIRST DAY -MARK PURDON "As usual it was a tough sale when it came to the top lots and we didn't get all we wanted. I rated Twinkle Bromac one of the three top fillies in the sale and we were beaten off with the other two. "Phil Kennard also found some lots he was keen on going higher than budget with guys like John Green and Robert Dunn especially active. But overall I am happy with what we came away with''








**Pilcher, bidding on his own behalf, paid $40,000 for MASTERCRAFTSMAN a son of Bettor's Delight and the Falcon Seelster mare Belle Jole who only raced three times. This is the family of Desperate Comment.

**SEXTON, a brother to O Baby was knocked down to Mark at $48,000 and he paid $70,000 for SOPHISTICATED LADY a Mach Three filly from Gentle Anvil and a filly which had impressed in during inspection.

**Then came SOLAR MISS a Bettor's Delight filly from Lughnasada a half-sister to Elsu went to Mark for $30,000.

**KENNARDS gave $25,000 for the last lot of the sale BOSS MAN an ART MAJOR colt from Neat Franco.


**CONVERSION a Christian Cullen colt from Coburg and so a sister to Veste and closely related to Stunin Cullen was knocked down to Mark for 45,000and then came EMILIANA an Art Major colt from Milagro which the Kennards will take home for $36,000.


Lot 62 SELLING THE DREAM (Bettor's Delight-Best in Class Kennard Bloodstock $35,000,

Selling The Dream

Lot 63 MASTERCRAFTSMAN (C Bettor's Delight -Belle Joie ) $40,000 Neil Pilcher, Lot 66 SEXTON (Mach Three-Braeside Lady) Mark $48,000.

lOT 66 SEXTON (Mach Three -Braeside Lady Mark $48,000


Lot 78 CONVERSION (Christian Cullen-Coburg) Mark $45,000


Lot 103 SOPHISTICATED LADY (Mach Three-Gentle Anvil ) Mark $70,000

Lot 123 SOLAR MISS (Bettor's Delight- Lughnasadah) Mark $30,000

Lot 134 EMILIANA (Better's Delight-Milagro) Kennard Bloodstock $36,000

Lot 141 BOSS MAN (Art Major-Neat Franco) $25,000

**YEARLING PURCHASES in MELBOURNE likely to soon join All Stars include

1) Major In Art-Seel A Corka -Falcon Seelster colt. Bought on Neil Pilcher's bid at $11,000 (all sums Australian)

(2nd dam by Tuapeka Knight. Half -sister to $260,000 winner, Come On Frank)

2) Major In Art-Bonton -Armbro Operative colt. Bought on bid of Phil Kennard for Kennard Bloodstock at $24,000

(6th foal .Half to big winner Maewyn Tonz 1.53.8)

3) Somebeachsomewhere-Cyclone Betty-Better's Delight colt Bought on bid of Neil Pilcher at $50,000

(First foal from 1.59.3 mare placed in several leading age group races)

4) Rock n Roll Heaven-Mendecino-Pacific Fella colt. Bought on bid of Phil Kennard for Kennard Bloodstock at $60,000

(First foal of 1.56 mare which won nearly $200,000 and from a highly successful second dam)

5) Mach Three-Giveusachance-Live Or Die colt. Knocked down to bid of Mark Purdon at $27,000

(Closely related to Sokkyola from the Maudey family)

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Mark and Natalie interrupted a busy schedule to try out five yearlings at Mark Smolenski's stable on Friday four of them graduates from the APG sales in Australia.


The first two out were the Major In Art-Bonton colt and the Somebeachsomewhere -Cyclone Betty colt the latter driven by Natalie.

The youngsters did a few quiet laps at times with a galloping pacemaker and then on their own. Considering how recently they went into training they were excellent both in manners and performance and it was

easy to see what attracted Mark and Natalie  to their potential.


The second contingent consisted of two Rock n Roll Heaven youngsters different in type but both impressive. Mark drove Jean Feiss's sale purchase from the Mach Three mare Miss Brazilian a smaller but highly

athletic youngster which had Mark smiling on his return. Jean had shocking luck on her brief visit to NZ last weekend but that could all change soon. The second colt from Mendelico bought by a Kennard-headed

syndicate in Melbourne was a more strapping type but full of quality and a nice pacer.


Trilogy a local majority owned by Trackside presenter and Te Akau Stud executive Karyn Fenton-Ellis his breeder had a quiet run around on his own with a pacemaker and paced nicely.


These yearlings are now headed for an eight week break.

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Is this one our next star ?

Owners were invited to watch the next crop of All Stars headliners on Thursday morning as Mark and Natalie and a very busy staff put

several two year olds through their paces. Not all of them were there of course but those who are making most early progress were on hand

to go through various assignments most over a mile and the last 800m in each case around 1.03-fairly good going for October. This is the

time of the season when owners find out whether their pride and joy is an early two year old, a later developer, or a youngster better

suited to a programme aimed at having them kicking off seriously as three year olds. Two year olds are born not made so it is always an

anxious time in some ways and reassurance in other ways. Certainly all the youngster seen out on Tuesday will carry names with which the

public will become familiar in the months and years ahead. It is about now too that Mark and Natalie are sorting out those most likely to be

possibilities for the northern Young Gun series which has proven a great promotion for juvenile horses and a great success for All Stars.

The best times recorded on Thursday were miles in 2.13 home in 1.03 which were the targets set by Mark and Natalie. It is often a case of

how they work at All Stars rather than what time they work and the vast majority of the youngsters which went through their paces

emerged with credit.


BIG LUCY (Badlands Hanover-Halcyon Franco) and STOP AND STARE (Art Major-Affairs Are Better) were fillies which worked with Nathan

and Mark respectively in the cart. Then Natalie handled an unnamed Mach Three-Bellajoy filly in front of Linda Lovegrace, a Bettor's Delight

filly which like Big Lucy  will race for the high-powered Good Sports syndicate set up by Ken Breckon to race home-bred fillies Linda

Lovegrace was driven by Cindy Bourke a recent addition to All Stars stable herself who is from Bathurst country in Australia.


SUPERFECTA (Bettor's Delight-Super Smooth) driven by Natalie  SLUGGEM (Christian Cullen-Crushem) (Mark) and LIGHT FINGERED (Bettor's

Delight-La Filou) (Nathan) worked together the first two showing out from the well built Bettor's Delight colt who is still green.



FOLLOW THE STARS (Art Major -Smyrna Duruisseau) and KEPT UNDER WRAPS (Bettor's Delight-Rapt In Cotton) made Blair and Michele smile

after running home over a mile in 1.03.


ALTO RONALDO (Mach Three-Right This Time) worked on his own behind galloping pacemaker "Ace'' running home in 1.03 also.

Mark declared himself happy with the way the morning went. He is wary of making any predictions howeve, always a wise move with early

two year olds.

"They all did the times they were set and there are some nice pacers and well made horses among them but I couldn't say one really stood out from the others at this stage.

"We will have a better idea of the Young Guns and things after some of these horses have been to the trials where we can get a better

assessment of them. So far so good.''

Alto Ronaldo

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