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Having conquered Queensland, the All Stars’ juggernaut moves to Menangle this week.  Luke McCarthy is down to drive Mark Purdon’s three Breeders Crown heat runners on Tuesday. All will be commanding favourites.  First out is talented two-year-old gelding Sicario, who should make it five wins from eight starts, now he’s drawn gate two in race three.  NSW Oaks winner Partyon has the right draw (gate four), but faces the biggest challenge against Queensland Derby placegetter My Casino Belle (gate seven) and Shezallapples (five).  Brad Hewitt’s My Casino Belle ran third to Partyon in Queensland’s Provincial Oaks, then turned the tables when second to Shartin in the actual Queensland Oaks. Partyon ran third.  But, My Casino Belle, lifted to another level to sit parked and run a monstrous third to The More The Better and Shartin in the Queensland Derby last Saturday week.  The More The Better, who smashed the clock winning the Queensland Derby, looks a league above his rivals in his Crown heat (race five) at Menangle.    Still on the Crown heats at Menangle, and another highlight will be the return of unbeaten juvenile filly My Sweetchilliphilly.  It’s a while since we’ve seen the daughter of Betterthancheddar with trainers Shane and Lauren Tritton, sending her for a spell after a sparkling Pink Bonnet win at Menangle on April 8.  But it was her previous win, when My Sweetchilliphilly sat parked in a 1.54.7 mile rate for 1730m to win the Group One Bathurst Gold Tiara final, which showed her potential greatness.  She wasn’t eligible for the NSW Breeders Challenge, so the Trittons gave her a break with a view to a late season surge towards the Breeders Crown.  My Sweetchilliphilly has sharpened-up for her return to Menangle trial wins on June 20 and July 4.  She looked simply stunning on July 4, when she toyed with older rivals to win by 6.4m in a 1.53.6 mile and closed in a 27.7 split.  My Sweetchilliphilly has gate five in the first Menangle Crown heat and should be untroubled to stretch her unbeaten record to five wins.    Champion driver Chris Alford must have known he was in trouble, on the home bend with buzz juvenile filly Molly Kelly in the Tatlow Stakes at Melton last Saturday night.  Alford surprised many when he opted to drive Molly Kelly instead of the unbeaten stablemate Nostra Villa. He was the regular driver on both.  Molly Kelly led and had a cosy trip, but when Alford tried to pinch a break on Nostra Villa turning for home, he couldn’t shake her off. And then came Peter Manning’s filly, Amelias Courage, along the sprint lane.  In an absolute slugfest to the wire, Nostra Villa found a way to win again, making six wins from as many starts for Emma Stewart.  She beat Amelias Courage by a nose with Molly Kelly another half-head away in third spot. The mile rate was a steady 1.58.7 for 2240m, but they zipped home in 56.2 and 27.4.  Stewart’s dominance in Victoria’s juvenile races continued later in the night when nominal Breeders Crown favourite Poster Boy snared the Tatlow Stakes for colts and geldings with Alford aboard.  The race provided a trifecta for Stewart with Poster Boy working to the front earlier, and easily beating Tam Major and Big Bad Bruce with a 26.5 last quarter.  Poster Boy ran sixth on debut at Menangle in February, but was spelled straight after and has returned with six impressive wins from as many starts.    Chicago Bull is out having a rest, but trainer Gary Hall Sr still found a way to win the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night.  Classy mare Ideal Alice made the most of gate one to lead throughout in a 1.57 mile rate for the 2536m.  It was only her second run back from a spell, following a successful summer campaign where even beat star Kiwi mare, Piccadilly Princess in the Parliamentarians Cup at Gloucester Park.  The other highlight of the night was popular trainer Gary Elson’s double with his classy four-year-olds Ideal Tyson and Sprinter.  Ideal Tyson, with Aiden De Campo aboard, toyed with his rivals in the opening race by 7.7m in a 1.57.5 mile rate for 2536m.  Sprinter took on a stronger field and won even more impressively for driver Gary Hall Jr by 9.3m in a 1.55.6 mile rate for 2130m.    Classy mare Bettorthanspecial snared the last feature of the hugely successful Queensland Winter Carnival.  The Shannon Price-trained five-year-old caused a minor upset, beating hot favourite Major Cam by a half-head in the Patrons Purse (2280m) at Redcliffe last Friday night.  It took her record to an impressive 51 starts for 25 wins, 18 placings and almost $330,000 in stakemoney.    With some of the big guns away, classy NZ-bred free-for-aller Allblack Stride returned to winning form at Menangle last Saturday night.  But it wasn’t easy going for the Craig Cross six-year-old, who led staved-off a rejuvenated Major Star, to win by a whisker in a 1.52.4 mile.    When Andy Gath took Burnaholeinmypocket home from the 2015 Harness Jewels he thought he had his next stable star.  And anyone who saw the son of Bettor's Delight charged home late for fourth to subsequent Miracle Mile winner Have Faith In Me, in his Jewels final would have said the same thing.  Instead, Gath’s had a largely frustrating two years.  But, Burnaholeinmypocket is now starting to at least show glimpses of that potential from 2015.  The five-year-old has now won four of his past six starts, including his first in genuine open-class in the Our Maestro free-for-all (2240m) at Melton last Friday night.  “It was the first time he’d drawn the front row in eight starts, and we thought he was a great chance of leading, which he did. It was great to get a draw to use his gate speed again,” Gath said.  It was his 17th win from just 42 starts and took him past $200,000 in earnings.    Fresh from his triumphant Group One Blacks A Fake win on Hectorjayjay a week earlier, young gun driver Josh Aiken snared another feature at Melton last Saturday night.  Aiken teamed with top trotting trainer Anton Golino and the huge Yabby Dams operation to win the Group Three Sumthingaboutmaori free-for-all (2240m) aboard Glenferrie Burn.   Adam Hamilton

Hall-of-Fame galloping trainer Graeme Rogerson notched up his second harness racing win of the season at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday, and in doing so he said he still loves training standardbreds and will always have a few in his Hamilton barn. Todd Mitchell wore the familiar red, blue and green Rogerson colours to victory behind a 3-year-old son of Bettor's Delight gelding, named Flash Boy. They had a neck to spare over Bettor Buy A Rose and Zac Butcher. The 3-year-old bay paced the Turf Bar Maiden in 2:47.8 for the 2200m mobile. He came home in 59.4 and 25.8 and produced a 2:02.7 mile rate. That was his first win in two starts. It was also Rogerson's first victory since Little Bro and Hayden Cullen won at Cambridge on November 17. Prior to that his last two victories came via Easy For Cullen and Steve Phillips won at Rotorua on January 24 last year. Prior to that his previous solo victory came via Muscle And Power (David Butcher) and Cambridge Raceway on August 18, 2011. “I don‘ t get to the trots much these days but I still enjoy watching them on TV and training a few. I’ll always have a trotter or two – I like them. We’ve got a few young ones coming through next season. “I’m looking forward to them going around. As for this fella, well Mark Purdon had Flash Boy. He had a throat infection and Mark sent him to us. Our vet saw to him and he’s come back good this campaign,” Rogerson said. “I think he’s capable of going on with it,” he added. Rogerson has only had 26 starters to the races this season compared to 500 (46 wins) in 2011, or the 717 starters (98 wins) when he was at his peak with Steven Reid in 2009-2010. All up Rogerson has trained 344 winners and netted more than $2.3m in stakes since he first took out his licence in 2007. They comprised 51 winners ($369,418) as a solo trainer in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and this season. Rogerson trained a further 108 winners ($680,223) when he trained in partnership with Peter Blanchard from 2012 to 2016. He also conditioned a whopping 168 winners ($2.2m) in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 with Steven Reid. Rogerson started training standardbreds with Peter Simpson in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. They won 17 races together and $189,464 “I’m very busy with galloping. As you well know I have a horse or two there as well. Warren Rich, Hayden Cullen and Michelle Northcott oversee the standardbred arm of our operation. “They will tell you about some of the nice ones we will have going around. We have lots of babies including three or four trotting yearlings,” Tauherenikau-based Rogerson said. He did make special mention of a couple of up-and-comers They were a 3-year-old Bettor's Delight - Tanisa Bromac filly named Trinity Bromac; a Monarchy - Santorini yearling filly named Estelita and a brown Monarchy - Banana Smoothie yearling filly named Splitting Image. “Quite a few of them show a lot of promise. With all our young ones and nine above average trotters I think we will be in for a much better season after August,” Rogerson said. Duane Ranger

Sometimes it is not about the money. Because Mark Purdon’s third Derby winner of the season has proven to be his most satisfying because he could share it with some of those closest to him. Purdon trained and drove The More The Better to overcome a second line draw in the A$75,000 Queensland Derby on Saturday night, last season’s juvenile of the year remaining unbeaten in three Australian starts. Winning Derbys is a lucrative hobby for Purdon, having already captured the two strongest in Australasia this season with Vincent --- training the quinella in the NZ Derby and trifecta in the NSW classic. But Saturday was different because not only does the champion trainer part own The More The Better, he shares in that ownership with his father Roy and his long-time friend Sir David Levene. Roy is the patriarch of the world-famous racing dynasty and the most popular figure in New Zealand harness racing but now 90, he rarely races horses these days. So to have him on track at Albion Park was something special. “It made for a very special win,” says Mark. “Dad made the effort to come across and so did Pilch (close family friend Neil Pilcher). We have had a great week and got out every day to see people and have a look around. “So to have both of them here as well as the boys (sons Nathan and Michael) makes this win more memorable.” The More The Better hasn’t improved as much this season as stablemates Vincent and Ultimate Machete so has dropped down the pecking order but his unbeaten Queensland campaign and the looming Breeders Crown prove the three-year-old season is now so long there are plenty of spoils to go around. His win was the consolation as the end of a tough week for Purdon-Rasmussen stables with first Smolda and then superstar filly Spanish Armada retired. “We think she has a fracture in her leg and there was no way we would take any risks with her so she will be retired to stud,” says Purdon. A standout juvenile, Spanish Armada was the best of her age this season, winning a string of group ones but her NZ Oaks victory in May was one of the greatest in the classic’s long history. Saturday’s other Albion Park highlight was the supersonic sprint that saw Hectorjayay down My Field Marshal in the A$200,000 Blacks A Fake. Michael Guerin

The 2017 Brisbane winter carnival at Albion Park finished with a bang last night (Saturday). During the month of July, the metropolitan venue has played host to number of special events featuring some of the best stables in the southern hemisphere and that culminated with the running of the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship plus the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals. Millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay made a clean sweep of the open class features, fresh from his triumph last week in the Garrards Sunshine Sprint when leading throughout, the David and Josh Aiken pacer sailed down the outside to complete his unique double by winning the Blacks A Fake on a rain soaked track. Hectorjayjay proved too good defeating the New Zealand trained My Field Marshal and race favourite Tiger Tara in a thrilling finish in the 2680m feature rating 1:56.1. During the past decade, only Blacks A Fake and Im Themightyquinn had completed the Sunshine State open class double. Last year, Hectorjayjay was the beaten favourite in the Blacks A Fake behind Ohoka Punter. In the Triad Final for colts and geldings, local ace Colt Thirty One stamped himself as the best rookie pacer in the state with a thumping victory in the $100,000 feature defeating Only One Promise and Ark Patrol. The Mach Three colt rated 1:53.9 for the 1660m event and remains unbeaten on local soil, his only two defeats coming earlier this season at TABCORP Park, Menangle. Prepared by leading horseman Grant Dixon, Colt Thirty One has won 6 of his 8 starts to date and is eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown in Melbourne next month. Inter Dominion winning horseman James Rattray claimed the fillies feature when race favourite Arts Treasure led throughout defeating Fame Assured and Well Disguised in a time of 1:56.0. It’s the second juvenile Gr.1 feature victory for Rattray this season following his success last month with Ignatius in the Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle in an Australian record time of 1:51.3. Interestingly, both Arts Treasure and Ignatius are progeny of emerging sire Roll With Joe. The victory of Arts Treasure also provided Rattray with his maiden feature race triumph in Queensland. The Gr.2 $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby was taken out by New Zealand colt The More The Better who proved too strong for game fillies Shartin and My Casino Belle in a driving finish. Prepared by master horseman Mark Purdon, the Bettors Delight colt made a clean sweep of his three start Brisbane campaign winning the Premiers Cup, Provincial Derby and last night’s blue riband classic. It was the second Queensland Derby triumph for Purdon after preparing Best Deal Yet back in 2012. Albion Park Club Chairman David Fowler was naturally delighted with the night’s racing. “This is our premier meeting of the year and it delivered on all levels, the racing was fantastic while the public interest was also at a very high level which is very pleasing. The club and staff have done a wonderful job.” Fowler stated. Racing continues on Tuesday afternoon. Chris Barsby

Mark Purdon has snared two Derby placings with Motu Meteor this season, but now finds him as a major rival this weekend.  Since finishing second in the Victoria Derby and third in the NSW Derby, Motu Meteor has followed the path of so many other Merv Butterworth-owned pacers and moved to Kerryn Manning’s barn.  Manning and Butterworth decided last week to make a late raid on the Queensland Derby after Motu Meteor resumed from a spell with a sharp Ballarat win.  And now the draw has boosted his chances. Motu Meteor has gate one.  Purdon’s runner is raging hot favourite The More The Better, who has looked terrific winning both runs during his Queensland raid.  The More The Better is a $1.50 on the Aussie TAB despite drawing the back row (gate 11), while Motu Meteor is a seemingly generous $4.50 from the pole over 2680m.  The other key player in the race is last week’s sparkling Queensland Oaks winner Shartin from gate two.  Nobody is better placed to line-up The More The Better and Motu Meteor than Purdon and he is openly surprised by the stark difference in the odds for the Derby.  “I don’t think there is much between them,” Purdon said. “If More The Better had the run Motu Meteor did in the NSW Derby I think he would’ve run third to those other two (Vincent and Ultimate Machete) as well.  “Motu Meteor’s got the good draw and if he can get the right sort of run, he will be hard to beat.”  Purdon takes the reins on More The Better this week with Natalie Rasmussen heading overseas today (Thursday) on holiday. Purdon’s Queensland raid ends on Saturday night and he then moves his Breeders Crown team to Sydney for qualifying heats at Menangle.  This will be a light Breeders Crown compared to recent years for the All Stars team.  “We’ve got just three for the Crown. Partyon and More The Better as well as the two-year-old Sicario,” Purdon said.  Adam Hamilton

RIGHT here, right now Chicago Bull looks the horse to beat in the Perth Inter Dominion. Yes that could mean having to beat the likes of Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Hectorjayjay, Tiger Tara and others, but the little “Bull” has plenty in his favour. The Inter Dom is in his own backyard, he’s never raced better and – most importantly – he gets around Gloucester Park like no other horse since his champion stablemate Im Themightyquinn. Chicago Bull made it five wins on end and three-from-three this campaign with a breathtaking display at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The pint-sized son of Bettors Delight scorched around 1730m at Gloucester Park in a 1min52.6sec mile rate to win by nine metres. It was just 0.1sec outside Run Oneover’s track record. To explain, Chicago Bull’s stablemate and multiple Group 1 winner Beaudiene Boaz found the front with a lap to go and just kept running. Chicago Bull was last, came three-wide with a lap to go, drew alongside Beaudiene Boaz rounding the home bend, but then just left him standing. He was timed to run a 55.4sec last half off the track. And Chicago Bull appeared to win with plenty in reserve for driver Gary Hall Jr. THE All Stars’ Queensland raid had mixed success at Albion Park’s big meeting  last Saturday night. While both the Purdon/Rasmussen raiders – Partyon and The More The Better – won impressively the previous week, only one of them repeated the dose this time. It was Bettors Delight colt The More The Better, who blew away his rivals in the Group 3 Provincial Derby and appears set to do the same in next week’s Group 1 Queensland Derby. Any fears an inside back row draw might prove tricky were quickly erased when there was an early speed battle and Natalie Rasmussen snagged The More The Better right out the back into clear air. With the sting out of the frontrunners, it was always just a matter of when Rasmussen launched and how far she won by. The More The Better powered past his rivals rounding the final bend and cruised to a 6.2m win in an impressive 1min55.2sec mile rate for 2138m. It was exactly the same time posted by Dean Braun’s Kiwi-bred filly Shartin, who led throughout to win the Group 1 Queensland Oaks over the same trip. Driver Luke McCarthy used the pole to lead and pinched some cosy early splits before Partyon came to sit parked and put some pressure on down the back straight. Shartin handled the challenge, pulled clear of Partyon and held-off My Casino Belle, who sat behind her, to win by 2.2m. The Kiwi other filly Delightful Memphis found it impossible to make ground from the one-one trail in closing splits of 54.3 and 26.4sec. She ran fourth. WELL-KNOWN owner Merv Butterworth’s decision to “scatter” some of his emerging stars is reaping rewards. Motu Premier enjoyed a fantastic couple of years in the All Stars’ barn, but Butterworth felt he was better placed staying in Australia after Mark Purdon guided him through a successful Menangle raid back in April/May. Instead of leaving him in Sydney or sending him to Melbourne, Butterworth moved Motu Premier across to the WA’s stables of his long-time friend Ross Olivieri. The result has been three impressive wins from as many starts so far. The best of them came when Motu Premier came from a back row draw to sit parked and powerfully win the Winter Wonder Pace in a brisk 1min55.6sec mile rate for 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday night. In doing so, he beat high quality Gloucester Park performers Bettor Reward and Touch Of Success despite doing all the work. At Ballarat last Thursday, Butterworth’s three-year-old Motu Meteor impressively broke through for his first win for new trainer Kerryn Manning when he resumed from a spell. Motu Meteor won heats of the Victoria and NSW Derby for the All Stars’ and ran second in the Victoria Derby and third in the NSW Derby finals. UNBEATEN juvenile filly My Sweetchilliphilly is close to returning for her Breeders Crown assault. Shane and Lauren Tritton’s young star has looked awesome winning all four starts, but was spelled after the Pink Bonnet victory at Menangle on April 8. “She wasn’t eligible for things like the (Australian) Gold of NSW Breeders so we took the chance to give her a break with the Crown in mind,” Shane Tritton said. The daughter of Betterthancheddar sparkled winning a Menangle trial in a 1min53.6sec last Tuesday. That’s quicker than she’s gone winning a race so far. My Sweetchillphilly’s best win so far came when she sat parked and poured the pressure on throughout to win the Bathurst Gold Tiara by 21m on March 25. She went a 1min54.7sec mile rate for 1730m, which would equate to at least a 1min52sec mile around Menangle. She will be the “fresh” player to tackle Emma Stewart’s batch of star juvenile fillies headed by the likes of Molly Kelly, Nostra Beach and Nostra Villa. Another juvenile to impress at those Menangle trials last Tuesday was John McCarthy’s unraced Kiwi import, Rakasinc. By Changeover out of Rakarach, the gelding zoomed away with a 24m win in a 1min53.7sec mile so he’s one to watch when he steps out at the races. Adam Hamilton

Champion trainer Mark Purdon has trained faster and more talented horses than Smolda --- but none braver. The Inter Dominion hero has been retired after the wear and tear of six seasons racing at the highest level finally caught up on him over the weekend. Purdon had been unhappy with the eight-year-old’s soundness since he came back into work and a scan has confirmed a tear in a tendon. In a younger horse it would be a problem healed by time but for Smolda, whose old legs need hundred of kilometres of training in them to keep up with the young bucks, it was a sign the end had come. “We could have put him aside and tried again but at his age, with the work load he needs to race, he would have re-injured it,” said Purdon. “He has been a great horse, owned by top people, so they made the decision to retire him because he has nothing left to prove.”  Especially after this season, when Smolda turned back time and won over $1million, highlighted by his Inter Dominion victory in Perth where he simply ran harder for longer than his younger, faster opponents. On a track where he never looked entirely comfortable, it was a triumph of belligerence over brilliance. He almost added another pacing’s mega races with a narrow second to old foe Lennytheshark in the Miracle Mile and became the only horse to beat Lazarus and Lennytheshark in the same race when he crushed them in the Ballarat Cup. “Those sort of races sum him up, he is just a great old warrior,” said Purdon. “He was a wonderful young horse, with his Jewels win at three something pretty special. “Then he had some issues in the middle of his career, with a virus and a burst blood vessel in his leg and most horses wouldn’t have come back after spending so long away from the track. “But he really wanted to be there and had great will to win. He isn’t the fastest or best horse I have trained but he would be one of the bravest.” As epic as his 32-win career worth over $2.5million was, Smolda’s trophy haul could have been even greater, with only an early gallop costing him in the New Zealand Cup last season while he was also placed in a Victoria Cup, Auckland Cup and two Derbys. “While it will be said to see him leave the stable he will probably go back to Australia where the Kirkwoods, who part own him, will give him a lovely home for the rest of his life,” said Purdon. “And I’m thrilled he got to have the season he just has, so people will remember what a great horse he was.” SMOLDA Breeding: Courage Under Fire-Under The Mattress. Record: 68 starts, 32 wins, 23 placings, $2,558,544 in stakes. Group ones: Inter Dominion Final, Hunter Cup, Len Smith Mile, 3-y-o Jewels, Ballarat Cup (twice), NSW Derby, South Australia Cup, Bohemia Crysyal F-F-A. Michael Guerin

Injury has brought a sudden end to Spanish Armada’s champion season. The multiple group one winner has a suspected hairline fracture and will miss the rest of this term, including her final major aim for the season, the Breeders Crown in Victoria in August. Spanish Armada was slightly lame on Wednesday after running on strongly in a trial at Menangle on Tuesday and was immediately examined by a vet. “The x-rays haven’t found anything conclusive yet but they suspect a hairline fracture,” said co-trainer Mark Purdon. “Obviously she is too good to take any risks with so that is her done for the season. “If that is all it is then I am confident we can get her back to the track in time, but even if she never raced again she has nothing left to prove, she has had an amazing year.” Spanish Armada dominated the three-year-old filly features at Auckland at Christmas but her reign looked threatened by then unbeaten stablemate Partyon when she returned from Australia and beat her in the Northern Oaks. But Spanish Armada extracted her revenge three times, all at group one level, winning the Nevele R Final, NZ Oaks and Harness Jewels, with her Oaks victory one of the great modern-day performances by a New Zealand pacing filly. The All Stars still have Partyon, who races in the Queensland Oaks on Saturday, being aimed at the Breeders Crown. “She is coming back to her best, as we saw with her win over there last week,” said Purdon. Most of the stables open class superstars as pleasing the boss in their work, with Dream About Me and Smolda doing hoppled work while the enigmatic Have Faith In Me is looking happy and sound at this early stage. And the news is all good with Horse of the Year in waiting Lazarus. “He has just started jogging again and he looks wonderful,” enthuses Purdon. “He hasn’t gotten any taller but he has thickened out in the shoulder and hind quarters. “So I couldn’t be happier with him and while the New Zealand Cup is his main aim the Inter Dominions in Perth are a very realistic option this time around.”  Michael Guerin

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards have concluded an inquiry that commenced on Thursday February 24, 2017, into matters relating to the treatment of OUR DREAM ABOUT ME NZ and that horse being presented for an official trial at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. Various evidence had been taken by Stewards through interviews with trainer Mark Purdon and foreman M Bowden as well as HRNSW Veterinarian Dr D Colantonio.  M Purdon and stable representatives have cooperated fully with the Stewards’ investigations. Subsequently, Stewards (by letter dated March 29, 2017) charged M Purdon with offences under the Rules which included; 1 - Charge pursuant to HRR 196B (1) and 4) - The particulars of the charge were “Mr Purdon, being a licensed trainer had on Monday, February 13, 2017, and without the permission of the Stewards, administered or caused to have administered to the registered horse OUR DREAM ABOUT ME serum, by way of an injection, being within one clear day prior to that horse contesting an official trial at Tabcorp Park Menangle, being contrary to the Rule” 2 - Charge pursuant to HRR 193. The particulars of the charge were “Mr Purdon, being the licensed trainer of the registered horse OUR DREAM ABOUT ME, had on Monday, February 13, 2017, caused to have an atomiser used to administer a serum to the horse and within forty-eight hours of that horse contesting an official trial at Tabcorp Park Menangle the following day, being contrary to part (2) of the Rule.” 3 - Charge pursuant to HRR 194.  The particulars of the charge were “Mr Purdon, being the licensed trainer of the registered horse OUR DREAM ABOUT ME NZ and others, had prior to Monday, February 13, 2017, procured a veterinary product which was not registered in accord with legislation and at various times between Monday, February 13, 2017, and Friday, February 24, 2017, had the said product stored at premises under your control.” By email dated May 22, 2017, Counsel for M Purdon advised the trainer pleaded guilty to all charges and made detailed written submissions in regards to penalty. HRNSW Stewards have now convened to fully consider the submission provided on the trainer’s behalf and the options available to Stewards in regards to penalty. Having considered the circumstances and the submission of Counsel, Stewards have determined the appropriate penalties in the circumstances as follows; In regards to the charge pursuant to HRR 196B(1) and 4) - to be a fine of $6000; In regards to the charge pursuant to HRR 193 - to be a fine of $6000; In regards to the charge pursuant to HRR 194 - to be a fine of $3000. In determining these penalties Stewards have acknowledged M Purdon’s guilty pleas, his disciplinary record over a long period and the subjective facts. Having regard to the totality principle in sentencing the Stewards having fully considered the total effect of the penalties announced are satisfied they are appropriate to that principle and the circumstances which prevailed. Mr Purdon was advised of his right to appeal these decisions. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 •  mprentice@hrnsw.com.au GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •  gloch@hrnsw.com.au

Vincent's amazing three-year-old season has come to an end with fans already wanting more. But they will have to wait with Mark Purdon sacrificing what would have been a Breeders Crown title at his mercy for the greater good of next season and beyond. That’s because, in Purdon’s own words: “This could be our next absolute superstar.” Vincent has seemingly just got better and better the season has worn on. Many thought his NZ Derby win over star stablemate Ultimate Machete was as good as he’s gone, but Purdon said he “at least matched that” with his powerhouse Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge final win at Menangle yesterday (Sunday). Sure Vincent has beaten better horses than he faced at Menangle, but to come from outside the back row, be three-wide for the first of the race then parked, and still win dominantly in a scorching 1min50.2sec mile was breathtaking. For comparison, Vincent’s time matched what My Field Marshall ran to win the Group 1 Len Smith Mile on the day and Vincent worked covered more ground than anything did in that race. This is a horse with serious X-factor and justifiably drawing comparisons with Lazarus at the same stage of their careers. Had it not been for being wiped-out in the Victoria Derby when a $1.40 favourite, Vincent would have finished this term a four-time Group 1 winner. He showed a shame the Victoria Derby incident was by subsequently winning the NSW and NZ Derbys as well as the NSW Breeders Challenge. Vincent raced 15 times this season for 12 wins, a second, a third and that Victoria Derby run when retired from the race. Heading into yesterday, Purdon was leaning towards spelling Vincent and the greatness of the win didn’t change anything. “It’s still eight weeks to the Breeders Crown final and that’s eight weeks he can have spelling,” he said. “I’d rather sacrifice the Breeders Crown than interfere with his four-year-old season. “We went on the Breeders Crown with Our Waikiki Beach last year and it left us playing catch-up when he came back at four.” Purdon’s other runner of the big day at Menangle was exciting two-year-old Sicario, who finished a brave third in his final. He had to sit parked while Divine State carved-out Australasian record splits in front and did a big job to hold-on for third, just 5.1m from the impressive winner Ignatius, who had the dream run behind the leader and won in a 1min51.3sec mile. Purdon’s focus now moves to Queensland where More The Better will chase the Queensland Derby and Partyon the Oaks. As far as the Breeders Crown goes, Purdon expects to have “five or six” contest the semi-finals, but that won’t include many of his absolute A-team. Purdon’s Crown campaign has been complicated by the fact he and partner Natalie Rasmussen will be in North America for the World Driving Championships, which concludes on the day the Crown semis are run. Adam Hamilton  

Mark Purdon will head to Menangle’s huge meeting on Sunday in unfamiliar territory. Most times the champion trainer is expected to dominate, but on Sunday it is more hopeful than confident of success with either of his two Group 1 runners. And that’s saying something when one of them is Australasia’s best three-year-old, Vincent, in the $153,000 Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge final (1609m). “I wish he’d drawn a lot better and the race was 2300m instead of a mile,” Purdon said. “The combination of drawing outside the back (gate 14) over a mile means he is going to need to do something great to win. “Atomic Red is a really nice horse, he showed that winning a heat of the NSW Derby, and if he rolls to the front from (gate) four, he’s going to take some running down, especially from where we’re drawn.” As big as Vincent’s challenge is, he is capable of something special. “He has the superstar factor. He could be our next stable star,” Purdon said. Vincent looks skinny odds at $1.40 on the Aussie TAB, while Atomic Red has been backed from $4 into $3.40. Purdon’s other Menangle runner is the talented juvenile Sicario, who faces a big challenge from gate eight in a strong 2YO colts and geldings final of the Breeders Challenge. The race changed complexion when Shane Tritton’s Divine State slipped into the field as first emergency when stablemate Lynnsanity succumbed to a health issue. Divine State (gate seven) has been backed from $3.50 into $2.80, while Sicario is still favourite, but has eased from $1.70 to $2.50. Exciting Tasmanian youngster Ignatius (three) is a $2.90 chance. “If he drew two, you’d say he’s the one to beat, but the way the draws have fallen, he’ll need to pull out something special to win it,” Purdon said. “He’s a really nice two-year-old, but he’s not out of the bag. He’s not a superstar like say Waikiki Beach was at the same time.” After Menangle on Sunday, Purdon heads further north for the Queensland Carnival where More The Better and Partyon will fly the stable flag. In other stable news, Purdon said it was unlikely he would have a runner in the Victoria Cup now it had been moved to October 14 and slashed from a $400,000 to $200,000 purse. “Lazarus definitely won’t be in it. The only chance we’d have a runner is if we wanted to split horses and perhaps send of the our horses outside of the big guns across,” he said. “The race just seems to be in no man’s land now and there’s not many other big races around it.” Purdon confirmed Lazarus and Heavens Rock would not leave NZ before the NZ Cup. Beyond that, Lazarus is most likely to tackle the Perth Inter Dominion, while the Miracle Mile has been circled for Heaven Rocks. “There’s a long way to go, but Lazarus is the one we’d take to Perth. I’ve learnt from taking Smolda last year. Lazarus certainly wouldn’t mind the four races in a fortnight,” Purdon said. Adam Hamilton

The best horse champion trainer Mark Purdon takes to tomorrow’s $1.2million Harness Jewels meeting is the one he is the most unsure of. Because while Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen are favoured to win two-thirds of the all-Group 1 programme, it is $1.50 chance Heaven Rocks who he doesn’t know what to expect from. The giant pacer with the small brain might be the second-best pacer in the country behind Lazarus and routinely gives away huge starts and still smashes quality opponents in races like the Easter Cup. But tomorrow he faces settling six to 10 lengths off Waikiki Beach, his stablemate with two sub-1:50 mile times to his name in the $150,000 four-year-old Emerald. And for all his admiration for Heaven Rocks’s motor, Purdon knows that sort of disadvantage could be near impossible to overcome in a sizzling mile. “We all know how good he is but he could be close to last while I think Waikiki Beach will probably lead,” said Purdon. “And logic tells you that will be a very hard advantage to overcome, especially if they run hard the whole way.”
 Purdon says he hasn’t been put off by a loose workout from Heaven Rocks at Ashburton last Saturday where he paced roughly. “He still could have won that had I asked him to go and he will improve. But it could be the tricky race of the day.” Barrier draws have been very kind to Piccadilly Princess, Elle Mac and Spankem from the All Stars stable so Purdon expects them to perform up to their optimum while he rates President Roydon a chance to upset Enghien in race five for the same reason. “He got very close to him last start and has improved since. I think we can lead and Enghien might have to sit parked so we can test him.” Sitting parked is where the All Stars flying filly Spanish Armada might find herself in the three-year-old Diamond, with her widish draw suggesting she could take a while to get alongside arch rival Delightful Memphis. She has dominated the latter most of the season and the fact she sat parked to crush her NZ Oaks opposition last start suggests Spanish Armada can do so again but it may not be a comfortable watch for punters. “She is very much in the zone and while she didn’t dominate Delightful Memphis and Partyon at trackwork on Monday, she is always a bit like that in her work. “On raceday she seems to go to another level, especially with Natalie driving her.” But Purdon saves his most definitive quote of Jewels day for his pic of his four contenders in the last on the card, for the three-year-old pacing boys. This time last year’s More The Better just held out Ultimate Machete in the two-year-old division but since then the latter has been too strong in races like the Sires’ Stakes Final and Sales Series Pace. Neither horse has had an ideal lead-up to tomorrow because their high ratings made it hard to find suitable races but Purdon was very pleased with how Ultimate Machete worked in private at Addington on Monday. “More The Better is very well and as close as he can be to ready Ultimate Machete just has a bigger motor than him these days and he is our clear best chance in that race.” KING OF THE JEWELS Mark Purdon’s top three hopes 1: Piccadilly Princess: “The draw is perfect and she will lead and she was very impressive working on Monday.” 2: Ultimate Machete: “He also worked well on Monday and I think his motor is too big for the others.” 3: Spankem: “The draw should see him lead and I could see him pacing 1:51 around Ashburton.” by Trots Media - Michael Guerin

Mark Purdon wasn’t too worried, but the punters who have backed Heaven Rocks into short favouritism for Saturday 4YO Emerald might have been a little concerned about what transpired at the Ashburton Workouts on Saturday. The $1.50 favourite for the $150,000 event on Saturday, was beaten by two of his three-year-old stablemates at the annual Jewels workouts on Saturday after leading for the last 1000 metres. Back again too was the hitch in his gait that must make even the calmest of his fans nervous, but while to those watching on it didn’t look pretty, sitting behind him Mark Purdon wasn’t all that concerned. “I still thought he went good, it was what he needed,” Purdon said. “It’s my first drive of him for a while, so it was good to get a perspective on where he is at and I just felt he was reaching for his hopples a wee bit up the straight which would explain that rolling action he had going on.” Heaven Rock’s was first collared by More The Better who had sat outside him from the 800 metre mark. And then the pair were both picked up late by Stars Align who had led early then trailed his stablemate. “They are both really nice horses,” Purdon said. “It’s a shame More The Better has drawn out wider than the others on Saturday because it will make it that much harder for him.” The All Stars team also gave a big tick to two-year-old pacer, Ashley Locaz who won impressively earlier in proceedings while other Jewels contenders to impress on the day included Lady Chatto, Star Commander and The Black Prince. But, If there was a statement to be made ahead of saturday’s Harness Jewels meeting, then Clint Ford made it. Ford’s outstanding trotter, Marcoola, has been one of the mystery horses of this year’s Jewels meeting due to injury seeing him out in the paddock for most of 2017 and a poor fresh up run, by his usually high standards, at Addington earlier this month.. But in one minute and 56.5 seconds on Saturday afternoon, Ford and Marcoola elevated themselves right back to the top of the pecking order for Saturday’s, $100,000 Four-Year-Old Ruby with a brutal display against some of his key rivals. Clearly not there for a quiet run, Marcoola well and truly blew any cobwebs out of the system with a rugged performance that left some quality flesh behind him gasping for air as he ran his rivals off their hooves in the one mile heat. “We made the fatal mistake last year of going too easy on him leading into the Jewels,” trainer Ken Ford said. “Instead of heading to Cambridge to get a good run under the belt we went to Pukekohe and didn’t quite get the run we needed which left us wanting the next week. “So we were never going to make the same mistake again, he was here today for a good blowout and he got that.” Surged forward from an outside barrier draw, Marcoola found the front and never looked back, trotting through the first 800 metres in 59 seconds to be 10 lengths clear running off the back straight. That margin extended even further at the 400 metre mark, and although clearly tiring inside the final furlong, he was doing the necessary to hold of his rivals to win in 1:56.5. “He cops racing pretty well, so that should bring him right on,” Ford said. Marcoola will start from out wide in the Four-Year-Old Ruby, but judging by Saturday’s effort, he won’t be leaving anything to chance. Missandei emerged late from the pack to run an encouraging second, but all were playing second fiddle to Marcoola who stole the show. Matt Markham

The most anxious wait for many Harness Jewels punters has ended on an unexpected high -- and that could see Piccadilly Princess start the hottest favourite on next week’s $1.2million day. The defending champion has snuck into the $150,000 four-year-old Diamond for mares on the last weekend of qualifying, her luckless second in the Winter Cup at Addington last Friday seeing her qualify 12 of the 13 starters. That will have had plenty of punters around Australasia breathing a huge sign of relieve as Piccadilly Princess had been at short at $1.35 in some markets. But those who took the short odds had nervous times as Piccadilly Princess went into last weekend outside the 13 and with trainer Mark Purdon concerned she was racing slightly below her best. Up against the likes of Waikiki Beach and Classic Brigade off a 20m handicap on Friday and with two Jewels rivals racing poor opposition over the weekend and therefore able to sneak past her, Piccadilly Princess’s defence was in a precarious position. But she thrilled Purdon with a huge second, securing her way into the group one mile at Ashburton and with two weeks to get over the run. Once it became clear at Sunday night’s cutoff that she was in the race, Piccadilly Princess shortened from a high last week of $2.20 back into $1.50 with the TAB and could even start shorter if she fares well on Friday’s Jewels barrier draws. The tricky wait for those who took the short odds about Piccadilly Princess came about because while she has raced at the highest level and won the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile in Sydney this season, only New Zealand earnings count to Jewels qualification. Which means to earn the right to defend her title Piccadilly Princess has had to race the likes of The Orange Agent and Heaven Rocks, while many of those trying to beat her out of the Jewels were racing in lowly rating 50-60 races. She is one of four defending champions who will return this season but two of the others have also struggled. Partyon’s Northern Oaks win gets her in the three-year-old Diamond, but had she missed that classic six days after winning the NSW Oaks, she too would have been in danger of missing out through a lack of NZ earnings. Their stablemate More The Better faces a different problem, with no suitable lead-up races to Ashburton because he is rated 102, meaning he would have had to race virtual open class horses to get ready. He has instead been restricted to trials and workouts and if he does line-up on Saturday week it will be without a race since the Northern Derby three months ago. Definitely heading to the the Jewels as the second Australian invitee to make the trip is former Kiwi pacer Mr Mojito, who sealed his trip with a third in a feature race at Melton on Saturday night. He will wear the Aussie green Jewels colours along with two-year-old trotter One Muscle Hill as they strive to become the first Australian-trained winners of a Jewel. But Victorian mare Rockstar Angel has been pulled out of the four-year-old Diamond after tying up in her work on Saturday. With most of the long-term favourites now safely qualified the TAB has six odds-on favourites pre-draw, with Heaven Rocks, Piccadilly Princess, Ultimate Machete, Spankem and Spanish Armada from the All Stars joined in the red by Greg and Nina Hope’s Enghien, who is $1.50 to win the three-year-old trot. The most open markets are the two and four-year-old trots, with the two-year-old Diamond thrown into confusion after hot favourite Elle Mac underperformed when fourth at Addington last Friday. The draws for the Jewels will be held Friday at noon with the traditional Jewels workouts at Ashburton on Saturday.  Michael Guerin

Spankem will have an unusual advantage heading into New Zealand’s richest race of the weekend but it is one his driver is loathe to use. The juvenile colt is looking to extend a wonderful record for trainer-driver Mark Purdon in the $200,000 Sales Series Pace at Addington tonight, with the All Stars having won five of the last six runnings. They would be hot favourites to do so again if Spankem had drawn well but he will instead start from the outside of the second line -- albeit with no rival directly in front of him. In a rare occurance the 1950m feature will have six on the front line and seven on the second, so Spankem could actually keep pressing forward at the start and get in front of his fellow second line rivals straight away. But Purdon says that could be disastrous. “It looks good on paper but I can see them really burning early off the front line and if we are out wide and working that could be the end of him,” explains Purdon. “So I think we will have to take our luck early, settle back and then move mid-race. “That is going to make it hard and while I think he is a good horse we still aren’t sure how good. I think we might find out this week.” Spankem has been a consistent improver over the autumn but tonight’s race also features the two horses who have already beaten him in his career --- Alta Maestro (barrier two) and Mach Shard (three). The best, and usually only, way to beat the All Stars runners in elite races is to get in front of them so Alta Maestro and Mach Shard both get their chance tonight. “We have beaten him before and if we can lead and get any sort of comfortable section of the race we can win,” says Mach Shard’s trainer-driver Barry Purdon. “I am happy with my horse, he just hasn’t had any luck lately, but he finally gets a draw this week.” The early burn will be crucial with whoever can lead out of Alta Maestro or Mach Shard probably the biggest danger to the favourite. On a night of serious racing the barrier draws favour Spanish Armada against stablemate Partyon in the $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Final. There hasn’t been much between the pair so far in their careers but every time they have met Partyon has ended up in front of Spanish Armada but tonight the latter looks the more likely leader. “Obviously the draw helps her and on their work I’d narrowly favour Spanish Armada,” says Mark Purdon. Northern trotters Lemond and Paramount King deserve their favouritisms for the two major trots tonight, with Lemond’s last-start Rowe Cup effort vastly better form than his rivals can boast in race six. Paramount King is anything but the finished product but has huge natural talent so can win the Sales Series Trot, although there is enough to like about Springbank Lachie, One Muscle Hill and Stress Factor to suggest it will be a decent contest.   Michael Guerin

One of the hottest favourites for the Harness Jewels is facing an increasingly difficult task to even make the $1.2million day. Defending champion Piccadilly Princess will have to place at least once, maybe twice, against some of New Zealand’s best pacers in the next 10 days to sneak into the four-year-old Diamond at Ashburton on June 3. And while those around her on the leader board can aim for easy money in lower grade races, Piccadilly Princess has to take on the likes of Heaven Rocks and Franco Nelson to try and qualify. The unusual situation has developed because last season’s three-year-old filly winner has raced almost exclusively in Australia this season, where she won in three states including the group one Ladyship Mile at Menangle. But Australian earnings don’t count toward Jewels qualification, which is based solely on New Zealand stake money won. Piccadilly Princess has only one second in five starts in New Zealand this season because all her racing has been at the elite level and with the Jewels deadline just 12 days away, she still needs at least another $1000 in earnings to qualify, but that number could easily change as those above her on the table could also win more money. The real problem for Piccadilly Princess is to earn any money she needs at least a top three placings, preferably two, at the next two Addington premier meetings and that means taking on potentially Heaven Rocks, Franco Nelson and Classie Brigade this Friday. And to make matters worse, because her rating is so high, under the preferential barrier draw conditions of Friday’s 1950m mobile event, Piccadilly Princess has to draw outside her open class male rivals. If she can’t secure at least $2000 in stake money this week, Piccadilly Princess has the $20,000 Winter Cup on Friday week but that will mean racing stablemate Waikiki Beach among others. A radical plan could even see trainer Mark Purdon nominate her for a lowly standing start race at Oamaru on Sunday week, the last day for Jewels qualifying, to give her  a last-ditch shot at making the $150,000 race. If Piccadilly Princess fails to make the Jewels the already jumbled market will go into complete chaos, after opening favourite Dream About Me was forced out by injury. Golden Goddess is the second favourite but races in Melbourne the next two weeks before a decision is made on whether she returns for the Jewels, which looks 50-50 at this stage. But her chances of returning would improve if Piccadilly Princess doesn’t make the cut. Next in the market is Auckland Cup placegetter Arden’s Choice, who is struggling for her best form but would be lengths better than the remaining mares in the weakened division should the two favourites pull out. Friday’s Addington meeting hosts the $200,000 Sales Series Pace for juvenile males and a rare clash between Partyon and Spanish Armada in the Nevele R Fillies Final.   Michael Guerin

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