Search Results
1 to 16 of 487
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Didjamaken Bolt scored one of the great Addington Raceway comebacks when he outclassed his rivals in a 1.54 mile parked out on Show Day. In only his second start in two years for Merv and Meg Butterworth, Didjamakem Bolt had made a lapse at the start when resuming at Ashburton and also made a mistake at the trials. "I didn't want to be parked out ideally but I was aware he had made those mistakes and so I wanted to keep him balanced and with room." "After that even tho parked I thought he would be hard to beat" Mark Purdon said after the stable's 7th win at the carnival. "We will keep him down here over the holidays racing in events like the Ashburton Cup and those sort of races." "We have no long term plans for him just see how it comes" Hardly surprising. Didjamakem Bolt went amiss after a hugely impressive win in 2.18.6 for the 1950m, his fourth successive win. At that stage many, not excluding Mark, were thinking in terms of the New Zealand Cup this year. Alas his wind operation and leg injury was followed by more problems and he had had a slow buildup before resuming at Ashburton. Fortunately this prep has been almost incident free. "If ever a horse deserved this it is him" said Meg reflecting the patience the owners have shown with DJ because his great potential could not go unexplored. "A bigger thrill than winning the NZ Cup with Arden Rooney" Merv added. DJ is by the same sire as Smoken Up and looks as though he might have a similar durability all going well. Certainly his ability is right out of the ordinary-which is why Merv and Meg were not afraid to outlay big money for him at an early stage of his career. David McCarthy All Stars Racing Stables  -  Check site here

Before the Sires Stakes Final for harness racing three year olds at Addington today, the jury was out on who was the better of the two All Stars runners, Lazarus and Chase The Dream. Both had great records heading into today's race and many thought the the one that got the better run would prevail.   Chase The Dream worked to the front after 700 metres and was quickly joined by Lazarus 100 metres later.   These two great three year olds upped the tempo at the 400 metres and as they turned for home they had drawn clear of the field.   At that point Chase The Dream and Natalie Rasmussen shot clear by two lengths but they couldn't completely shake Lazarus.   Mark Purdon steadied Lazarus for a few strides and then asked him for his supreme effort.   Slowly but surely he wore Chase The Dream down and grabbed him just short of the post for a stunning victory with the rest of the field five lengths away.   When the overall time and sectionals were announced, the enormity of the win by Lazarus was revealed.   The 1950 metres was covered in 2:19..2, a mile rate of 1:54.8 with closing sectionals of 55.2 and 26.8.    It was a truly breathtaking prformance.   The connections of Lazarus have been involved in plenty of top horses but even they were blown away by the run.   "They just can't do that after the run he had."   "To run the last 400 metres in under 27 was unreal," Phil Kennard said.   Another part  owner Trevor Casey was just shaking his head.   "They are not meant to be able to go like that after getting a run like that'   "I am super happy because I have brought a half-sister to Lazarus and she has just had a filly by Bettor's Delight so it is a great day," Trevor said.   The run by Lazarus today was stunning and he looks the early favourite for the Derbies later in the season.     Harnesslink Media

The All Stars barn make a habit of winning races on Cup Day and they up to their old tricks today with another batch of standout winners. The Rock N Roll Heaven three year old Benicio was the favourite for the C2 front pace today but several other runners looked capable of pushing the All Stars runner.   Benicio settled in the running line four back on the outer until driver Mark Purdon pushed the go button at the 700 metres mark.   Benicio quickly looped the field and shot clear and at the line he was still 3 1/2 lengths to the good of his opposition.   Owned by Wayne Feiss from Victoria, this was his third win in just four starts.   Noted Victorian horsewoman Jean Feiss was thrilled by the win.   "He has always had speed but was a bit weak at two so we put him aside."   "He has come back a lot stronger this time in and that speed is still there."   "You have to hand it to the All stars barn, they are just the best," Jean said.   Both Wayne and Jean are big supporters of the All Star barn and have been for many years.   Other horses representing them today were Chase The Dream who finished second in the Sires Stakes Final while at this time they still had Messini to run in the New Zealand Cup      Harnesslink Media

Prince Fearless has always looked a horse headed to the top of harness racing but has fallen short at times of fulfilling his promise as he grew into his massive frame.   Competitive as a three year old against the very best, Prince Fearless is now starting to produce the performances everybody knew he was capable of.   Today on Cup Day at Addington Raceway he missed the start slightly but a false start helped him have a second bite of the cherry.   On start two, Mark Purdon stepped him straight to the front and from there Prince Fearless turned the race into a procession.   Given a bit more reign at the 400 metres the four-year-old son of Majestic Son shot away and distanced the opposition, winning by over 13 lengths.   Mark Purdon gave the horse a big rap post race.   “ He is the best trotter in our stable and is in great form.”   “ He is headed to open company in a hurry.”   “ He has the all round game to be very competitive when he gets there.”   “ Today he stepped well and trotted beautifully throughout,” Mark said.   Part owner Neil Pilcher was confident going into the race.   “ He went super at the Cup trials behind Monbet who is the hot favourite in the FFA so I knew he was a big chance today.”   “Last season he was a big gangly horse who was very immature but he has filled out into his big frame now,”Neil said.   The open class trotting ranks are full with talent but Prince Fearless looks the type to become a star amongst the elite trotters.     Harnesslink Media

As per normal the first race on Cup Day is the 3200 metres trot and as has become the norm over the last few years, it was a race dominated by the All Stars barn.   Blackguards Corner with Matt Anderson in the bike was a warm favourite and worked to the lead with 2400 metres to go.   He was still there as they turned for home and looked the winner until stablemate Petite One stormed home wide out in the hands of Mark Purdon to grab the win in the last few strides.   Mark was confident a long way out   “ The speed was on the whole way and she was travelling really well off the back the last time”   “ Her work has been super so I expected a big run,Mark said.   Owners Lex and Heather Williams were all smiles in the birdcage post arce.   “ We have a real soft spot for Petite One because her mother died foaling her and we had to raise her by hand.”   “We bred her and it gives you a lot of satisfaction to win a race like this.”   “She is not that big but she has a lot of speed, “Heather said.   The dam of Petite One was a $100,000 + winning daughter of Sundon in Petite Sunset who was a daughter of the the champion trotter Pride Of Petite who won two Inter-Dominions.   “ We went to Angus Hall with a view to getting a filly to carry on with and things turned out it was lucky we got a filly that season.”   We were pretty confident going into today as Mark thought she would go really well,” Heather said.   Petite One trotted in a very smart 4:04 and looks on todays run to have a lot more wins in front of her.     Harnesslink Media 

The all conquering All Stars barn brought its first batch of juveniles to the trials this season when half a dozen made their debut at Addington Raceway last Wednesday. Several looked very promising but the one that stood out for us was the colt More The Better. A son of Bettor's Delight, More The Better debuted in an open qualifying heat over 2000 metres against older horses and was allowed to settle second last early in the eight horse field by driver Mark Purdon. Mark improved the colt on the inner passing the 800 and switched him wider on track from the 400 metres where he finished strongly late to run third, beaten a nose and three quarters of a length. At no stage of the run home did Mark ask More The Better for a really serious effort. More The Better was timed to run the 2000 metres in 2:31.6, a mile rate of 2:01.9. We privately timed him to run his last mile in 2:00.2, with closing sectionals of 57.7 and 27.8 and he did it comfortably. And remember it was his first run off the place last Wednesday. More The Better was purchased by Mark at this years New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale for $62,500 and is raced by Mark with his father Roy and longtime family friend David Levine. Bred on the very successful Bettor's Delight - In The Pocket cross, More The Better's dam Lucky Pocket is a full sister to the champion racehorse and sire in Christian Cullen and a half sister to the brilliant racemare Kates First. More The Better looked a natural two year old and with the All Star polish being applied we feel we are going to hear a lot more about him as the two year olds look towards the Young Guns series. The other two year old from the All Star barn to impress us on Wednesday was Ultimate Machete who was in the same heat as More The Better. With Tim Williams in the bike, he followed More The Better everywhere but was very green in the run and looks to have a lot of improvement in him, especially when he gets a bit of ringcraft to go with his ability. We privately timed Ultimate Machete to run his last mile in 2:00.5 with closing sectionals of 58 and 28.1 so the motor is definitely there. Ultimate Machete was purchased out of this years New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch by the long time All Stars clients Phil + Glenys Kennard and cost the princely sum of $84,000. Another son of Bettors Delight, Ultimate Machete's dam is the former high class two and three year old filly in Reality Check ($137,737) who is already the dam of the very smart two and three year old filly in Perth, Major Reality 1:54.7 ($176,137) who has won seven from fourteen to date. The grand dam of Ultimate Machete is the broodmare excellence award winner Maureens Dream whose daughters and grand daughters have done a huge job so Ultimate Machete has a very strong maternal family. Every year the All Star barn produce some outstanding juveniles and this years crop looks just as promising as the ones that have gone before them. Harnesslink Media 

As per normal on a Friday, David McCarthy has got Mark Purdon to preview all their runners that night. Blackguards Corner We should have a good night all going well and I am not anticipating any problems for Matt driving Blackguards Corner in the junior drivers race in spite of the draw. He is a sensible horse and I expect him to do the right thing and Matt can take it from there. I think he would probably improve a bit with last week's run. Mackenzie I think would go very close to winning though there are one or two in there who won't make it easy. But she has trained on good this week from her trial and she is much more mature this time in. Stroke Of Luck I am driving Stroke Of Luck and at this stage and he does rate ahead of Tim's drive Snakes N Ladders. His run in quite a strong field last time tells you that and the draw gives options too. Motu Premier, Lazarus and Chase The Dream I respect Tim's drive Motu Premier in the Sires Stakes. He will get the run and he is not a horse to underrate this time in. I will probably be looking for the front with Lazarus while Chase The Dream Jim Curtin's drive will have to find a way from the second line. He is already qualified for the Final so that takes the pressure off but he is a good horse as we know. Lazarus has forged on since his trial and I am happy with him. Superfecta Will be popular and I would expect him to go close to winning but I would say that draw is not so good. Draws can be funny things in who they work out in a race but where he is on the second line is probably not ideal for a horse of his racing type because he is good but not a brilliant type. So I guess that will be up to me. Benecio He looks hard to beat in the last. He is getting better with each run. He hasn't had a standing start. He was an excitable guy early on but has matured and I am not expecting problems. Having said all that I rate Lazarus as our best of the night.. David McCarthy Reproduced with permission of All Stars Racing Stable   -   Check site here     

Leading harness racing trainer Mark Purdon previews the All Stars barn runners at Addington Raceway tonight. We have had another good week especially at the trials on Wednesday and we will be back there next week. Its full on from now on and we have a good team in this weekend. SUPERFECTA Is a smart enough horse making his debut but going on his trial that Cable Beach will take some beating after that last half at Ashburton trials. My drive doesn't have that sort of speed and he will improve with the run too. He is in the Super Series at the Cup meeting which is his main aim. MOTU PREMIER  He should be ready to win after a  very good trial but all the same I wouldn't want to put anyone off PICCADILLY PRINCESS if they fancy her in the same race. She has the draw but in a smallish field that might not be critical. Motu Premier has come up well and the filly goes along nice. BLACKGUARD'S CORNER Is having his first start for us. He went ok at the trials. When he first came to us he was trotting good but I am no sure that lately he has been quite as smooth so Friday has a learning curve about it.  I am not suggesting he can't win but he will have to do things right from the unruly to pull it off. KING DENNY Will be popular even first up I guess. My view is that if he is in the first four I will be happy. He is good enough to win but he is not past the post. He can get a bit keen at times and I am worried that might carry over to raceday first up. He will improve with the run obviously. HE CAN FLY is my drive among the three year olds. He goes well but it is not an easy field. Blair's drive (Wannabet) has been going well at the trials and Alta Los Vegas has ability so they will both be tough. STROKE OF LUCK  is slightly ahead of SNAKES N LADDERS at this stage.                                                      David McCarthy Reproduced with permission of All Stars Racing Stables  -  Check site here

Smolda  is on track to resume at Addington next week without a public trial going into the race. "There doesn't seem to be much point in waiting for a trial." "You could end up with three other horses of lesser grade and get no more out of it than you would get at home" Mark Purdon said. Smolda will be following -at least initially-the same path as Adore Me in winning last year's Cup going on to the Flying Stakes at Ashburton before a decision is made whether he needs another race. While he had quite a long spell after it, Smolda was kept up to the collar with a winter campaign in Sydney and Brisbane and should bounce back fairly quickly. Meanwhile other stars from the barn are getting ready for a return to racing Chase the Dream Was further back than he has ever been in a trial when fourth in a 3.02.4 2400m heat at Ashburton Tuesday but there was no cause for concern. "We probably had the hopples a bit short for one thing, he was looking to stretch out more but he was fine in terms of condition" Natalie Rasmussen said. All the team save perhaps Snakes n Ladders got the big tick and five are likely to be racing at Addington on Friday week. Snakes and Ladders finished well back but no real cause for concern at this stage. Superfecta is the All Stars only Futurity nominee at the Cup meeting and he won his qualifying heat (3:02: 56.6/27.5 in style) Cash n Flow  who looked so promising last term won in 3.04.8 (56.3: 26.5) and is poised for a Sires heat next week. Stroke of Luck  was beaten a half head in 3.04.6 (57.7/26.7)  and is ready to race now. All Star Angus  carried on from the promise of last season running second in 3.16 (58.4/28.7)  and will trial again soon. David McCarthy - All Stars Racing Stable  -  Check site here    

New Zealand teenager Nathan Purdon, son of champion trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon, will make his first appearance in Western Australia when he drives at the harness racing meeting in Kalgoorlie on Friday night. He arrived in Perth on Sunday afternoon and will travel to the Goldfields on Thursday evening before he drives Grandpa Jim for Wayne Justins and Kinda Black, Ima Tragedy and Bounty Eyre for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond. His best prospect appears to be Kinda Black, who will start from the back line in the 2150m Lion Appreciation Pace. Kinda Black has struck top form recently and has won at four of his past six starts. The 19-year-old Purdon will work as a stablehand for the Bond stable in a bid to gain experience at both training and driving pacers. He has spent the past six months working for prominent Queensland horseman Ian Gurney, trainer of outstanding pacer Avonnova, and a couple of years ago he spent a year working for Christchurch trainer Cran Dalgety. Purdon has driven eight winners from 60 drives in New Zealand and he had 145 drives in Queensland for 31 wins and 22 placings. Ryan Warwick will be in charge of the Bond stable’s nine runners in Kalgoorlie on Friday night and this team and 16 runners from Courtney Burch’s stable look set to dominate the eight-event program. Burch made an outstanding start to the Kalgoorlie carnival last Friday night when she prepared six winners, four seconds and one third. Purdon, whose first winner was behind Arden Rooney in a junior drivers’ event in Rangiora in October 2013, has had the thrill of driving former champion pacers Auckland Reactor and Adore Me in trackwork and in trials in New Zealand. “It was a real honour to drive Auckland Reactor and Adore Me,” he said. “I have driven on most tracks, including a few grass tracks, in New Zealand and I’m looking forward to the experience of driving in Kalgoorlie.” by Ken Casellas

Our Waikiki Beach has dominated two year old racing in Australia this year and is the clear favourite for NSW 2yo colt/gelding of the year. The son of Somebeachsomewhere won eight races in New South Wales for his New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon including two group one events at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the Australian Pacing Gold Final and the Breeders Challenge. With the horse being trained by Purdon, only the gelding's performances in New South Wales can be considered however his dominance has not been seen since Lombo Pocket Watch racked up 17 wins as a two year old in 2005/06. The other nominations for this year's NSW 2yo colt/gelding of the year are: Bettermatch - Dominated the early season 2yo racing scoring in a blistering 1:55.8 on debut. Also won the Leeton Breeders Plate and produced a huge win at Tabcorp Park Menangle to win in 1:53.6. Born To Rocknroll - Raced 16 times as a two year old and recorded seven victories. Won nearly $175,000 in the season and only had his first start in a race on February 7. Salty Robyn - Performed well in New South Wales and then took on the best in New Zealand representing Australia at the Harness Jewels. Banked more than $60,000 and recorded a season best of 1:53.9 Shadow Runner - Sam Dimarco, his daughter Marissa and Shadow Runner were the stars of the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival. The Shadow Play youngster won four straight early in the season before finishing fourth in the Breeders Challenge. The NSW 2yo of the year award will be presented at the HRNSW Awards Night at Doltone House, Darling Harbour on September 19. For tickets contact Nancy O'Grady on 9722 6600. Greg Hayes

On course on Sunday afternoon at the Australasian Breeders Crown finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, the one slightly disappointing run from a Kiwi perspective was undoubtedly that of Follow The Stars. After working early and then getting a lovely run on the back of Menin Gate for the remainder of the race, most expected him to boom home along the passing lane and claim a victory over his arch nemesis Menin Gate. Especially given that My Kiwi Gate had dished it up to Menin Gate for most of the last lap and looked to have Menin Gate in trouble on the corner However Follow The Stars showed nothing initially when moved into the passing lane but half way down he seemed to get a second wind and charged home late for second to Menin Gate who showed all his usual toughness in the straight when looking in trouble on the bend. Post race it has now emerged that Follow The Stars had suffered a tendon tear during the Breeders Crown Final which obviously affected his performance. "Its a 10 per cent tear which means he will be off the scene for a few months" Mark Purdon said There has been a bit of interest in Follow The Stars as a stud prospect in Australia and negotiations are ongoing. Harnesslink Media

Contrary to rumours circulating on the future of All Stars Stable, the training partnership and professional relationship between Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen will continue. "We are still very good friends and we have a strong working relationship, " Natalie said. "That  means we will be able to carry on business as usual at the stable without any problems irrespective of any  personal issues " Mark, who is holidaying in Queensland with sons Michael and Nathan this week, echoed those thoughts and expressed a wish for privacy regarding the couple's personal life. "It is a difficult time but as far as owners and associates are concerned we want them to know the training partnership remains the same as it has been throughout our most successful season  " he said He emphasised that no third party was involved in their  situation. Natalie added that it was important that the balance of skills the pair bring to All Stars would continue. "Individually Mark and I bring different strengths to what is a large organisation in business terms and we expect that to continue" Mark and Natalie have managed All Stars Stable together since 2011 and have achieved unparalleled success as a partnership in the seasons since. David McCarthy - All Stars Racing Stable  -  Check site here

Leading harness racing trainer Mark Purdon is always fairly reserved in his judgements when asked to rate his horses so when he labels one of his charges a "champion" it pays to take notice. That horse was Our Waikiki Beach who showed tremendous courage today in the $288,000 Woodlands Stud two year old colts and geldings Breeders Crown final at Tabcorp Park Melton.   Wide early from the outside of the gate, Mark Purdon continued to press forward in search of the lead.   But Born To Rocknroll with Luke McCarthy in the bike had already found the front and wasn't in the mood to hand up.   The two star juveniles went toe to toe for three hundred metres before Luke took a trail with Born To Rocknroll.   Shadow Sax found the chair soon after and then Zee Dana worked around and gave him one by one cover.   Off the back Mark Purdon upped the tempo again and as they straightened for home he put a break on his pursuers.   Mark gave him a couple to keep his mind on the job as he cruised home for an emphatic win.   After the early duel, Born To Rocknroll showed real gameness to stick on for second in front of Shadow Sax.   Our Waikiki Beach paced the 2240 metres in a real smart 2:42, a mile arte of 1:56.4 with closing sectionals of 58.3 and 28.7.   It was the son of Somebeachsomewhere's twelfth consecutive win from twelve starts and took his stake earnings to $510,427   Mark Purdon was all smiles post-race.   "He was really tested today but he came through it in great style..   "I thought he might be a bit vulnerable late after all the work he had done early but when I asked him he really lifted.   "I think he deserves to be called a champion after the season he has had and that run today, Mark said     Harnesslink Media

Harness racing is always in need of pin up starts and in the outstanding filly Our Dream About Me they have one of the highest class. A warm favourite in the $288,000 Betterthacheddar@Alabar Breeders Crown final for two year old fillies at Tabcorp Park Melton, Dream about Me still had some hurdles to overcome to justify that favouritism. Drawn out in the carpark on the second line, Our Dream About Me pushed through her way through early and got onto the three wide- line for driver Mark Purdon. Finding the chair outside the talented Hot Shot Woman and Robbie Morris after 700 metres, Mark Purdon was content to sit parked and applied no pressure to the leader. Going past the 800 metres, Robbie Morris pressed the go button on Hot Shot Woman and she burned down the back straight in 27.9. Momentarilary Our Dream About Me looked in a spot of trouble but when Mark asked her for the big effort, she lifted like the star she is and went to the line an easy winner. Hot Shot Woman went super but just found one better on the day while Zibibbo after trailing the whole way ran third. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Get In The Groove who after being three wide for the last round finished on gamely for fourth. Our Dream About Me paced the 2240 metres in 2:43.6, a mile rate of 1:57.5 with closing sectionals of 55 and 27. It was the eighth win from eight starts for the daughter of Bettor’s Delight and took her stake earnings to $403,877 Mark's smile is getting wider and wider as the day goes on here at Tabcorp Park. "That was a great run today after all the work she did." "I thought Hot Shot Woman was the filly to be wary of so I was keen to get handy to her as I could early. "She really found when I asked her and won like the great filly she is. "She has that X factor that separated the good horses from the great ones," Mark said. Harnesslink Media

The first of the Group 1 races today at Tabcorp Park Melton was the $84,000 Aldebaran Park Two Year old trotting fillies final and the All Star juggernaut started the day as expected with a smart win.   The outstanding filly High Gait has had a great juvenile season with just one nose defeat blotting an otherwise perfect season.   Today from barrier one she looked to have a mortgage on the race if she held the front for driver Mark Purdon and although briefly challenged by Smile Smile Smile, High Gait comfortably held the front early.   Mark Purdon was able to set a sedate lead time but slowly wound up the tempo from the 1600 metres and from the half upped it even more.   Parisian Chic settled back early from her wide draw for Blake Fitzpatrick before circling the field to sit outside High Gait from the 1200 metres mark.   Mark continued to up the tempo off the back and skipped clear by a length as they straightened.   Everybody at this point thought Missandei and Anthony Butt who had trailed High Gait the whole way would put real pressure on the leader up the passing lane but she only battled the last bit and High gait went to the line a comfortable winner yet again.   Parisian Chic was very brave in defeat with Missandei held on for third.   High Gait trotted the 2240 metres in 2:50.9, a mile rate of 2:01.6 with the last 800 metres in 57.9 and 28.3   it was High Gait's eighth win from just nine starts and it took the daughter of Muscles Yankee stake earnings to $151,450.   Mark Purdon was full of praise for the filly's win.   " She is such a natural two year old and that is what you need to be competitive in these sorts of races."   " She does everything right and is such a wee professional and that is a big plus," Mark said.   High Gait     Harnesslink Media

1 to 16 of 487
1 2 3 4 5 Next »