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Who will drive the Mark Purdon trained runners during the Miracle Mile carnival at Tabcorp Park Menangle? With an artillery including Have Faith In Me, Our Waikiki Beach and Fight For Glory the harness racing stable is set to be represented in a number of the big races later this month. Last year Purdon left the race driving to Natalie Rasmussen on Inter Dominion Grand Final day at Menangle and she didn't let the stable down winning the Ladyship Mile with Adore Me in Australasian record time and the NSW Oaks. Rasmussen returned to Sydney in April last year to drive Our Waikiki Beach in the APG 2 year old final and Smolda in the Len Smith Mile and won both of the group one events. When asked on Sydney radio over the weekend who will drive the horses in Sydney during the Miracle Mile carnival, Rasmussen gave no clear indication on who would sit behind the Purdon runners. "We don't even know, two weeks in horse racing is a long time so we have to actually get there first," Rasmussen said. "We don't worry about that too much - we'll work it out when the time comes." Rasmussen's record at Menangle is mind blowing. In only 44 drives on the 1400 metre circuit since it opened in 2008, Natalie has won 17 races and been placed on a further 15 occasions meaning she finishes in the top three 72.72% of the time she drives in a race on the track. In her last 18 drives at Menangle, Rasmussen has won ten races and run a further four placings. What is more astounding is her group one record at Menangle. Rasmussen has driven in 16 group one races on the track for eight wins and six placings. The two horses that failed to place at the highest level when driven by Rasmussen at Menangle were Western Cam in the 2010 Len Smith Mile when fourth behind Smoken Up and Blacks A Fake after finishing seventh in the 2009 Miracle Mile. Greg Hayes

Want to be involved in the excitement of racing the first Auckland Reactors? Alabar is putting together a syndicate so you can do just that. As one of New Zealand’s greatest on the racetrack, Auckland Reactor has been extremely well supported at stud. His first yearlings will enter the sale ring next month – and the reports as to their quality continue to build. The yearlings for the syndicate will be hand-picked at the 2016 Yearling Sales by three of New Zealand’s top trainers – Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Geoff Small and Nathan Williamson. The appeal of having yearlings selected and trained by these outstanding horse-people is obvious – as is the fact that they represent a geographical spread throughout New Zealand with them being based in Auckland, Canterbury and Southland. Another point of interest with the syndicate is that fractional ownerships from 2% upwards will be available. This is a very popular system in North America with owners being able to choose the level of investment they are comfortable with – bringing a range of people together in the enjoyment of racing a horse. Full details will be available from Alabar after the 2016 Yearling Sales. There is a possibility the syndicate will also include the progeny of a proven Alabar sire. Alabar’s Graeme Henley says, “We’ve been thinking about starting up syndicates for a while now. It’s been watching the first crop of Auckland Reactor develop into such impressive types that’s got us excited to kick it off this year. “What’s more, Ivan Behrnes is going to look after the syndicate for us and he’s really passionate about it – you need someone with that level of enthusiasm and commitment to bring it all together for everyone involved. “It should be a lot of fun seeing the syndicate horses race from Invercargill to Alexandra Park and, who knows, maybe Australia as well. “We’ve already had a lot of interest so it looks like it will fill up pretty quickly. The plan is to do other syndicates in the future including ones specifically for breeding and another for the trotters - I’m sure there is a place and a demand for them.” For further information or to register your interest contact Ivan Behrnes - Alabar Syndicate Manager 03 615 6332, Alabar (NZ) Ltd is an authorised syndicator

Barring a virus ripping through the barn, it's hard to make a case for the All Stars stable not winning all of the major 3-year-old races. When you think about the best 3-year-old's in Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's stable, Motu Premier is not a name that comes to mind. But Mark Purdon is not so sure. Lazarus turned in a performance for the ages to down stablemate Chase The Dream in the Sires Stakes final on cup day and now Motu Premier has produced an ultra impressive win in the $30,000 3-year-old colts and geldings conciliation at Addington Raceway on Friday night. Motu Premier's performance was enough to confirm his trip to Auckland and Purdon believes he will be a live contender with his high profile stablemates in the big money races. "He's not far behind them (his stablemates) at all," Purdon said. That is a major accolade when you also have the unbeaten Waikiki Beach waiting in the wings but Purdon believes Motu Premier can push them all close if the cards fall his way in the running. "He's actually right up there with them," he said. The All Stars stable picked up the other feature on the card when Golden Goddess won the third heat of the Sires Stakes 3-year-old fillies series by four and a half lengths. The blistering effort was enough for bookmakers to move the Australian bred Art Major filly into $3.20 favouritism for the final at Alexandra Park on New Years Eve ahead of stablemates Arden's Choice and Piccadilly Princess who are both at $4.80. Golden Goddess paced the 1950m in 2:19.7 with a final last quarter of 26.1. Arden's Choice was second with the Nigel McGrath trained Kashana a distant third. Piccadilly Princess was a comfortable winner at Alexandra Park on Friday night over Cyclone Kate and Bettor Think Quick who is an $8 chance in the futures market for the Sires Stakes final. The All Stars stable won four races at Alexandra Park and two at Addington. Purdon confirmed that unbeaten filly Dream About Me will not contest the final heat of the Sires Stakes series for 3-year-old fillies in Auckland on December 11. The classy Bettor's Delight filly who is a half sister to Christen Me, has been given an extended break after winning eight races from as many starts in her 2-year-old season. Her 3-year-old campaign will mirror that of unbeaten colt Waikiki Beach who like Dream About Me won a Breeders Crown final in Victoria on August 30. Meanwhile, former Canterbury pacer No Doctor Needed upset dominant favourite The Orange Agent in the feature pace at Alexandra Park. Having his first start for the Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick barn after formally being successfully campaigned by Robert Dunn. The Orange Agent will have lost few of her many admirers when going down by a nose to No Doctor Needed, who had a much softer trip, but the disappointment of the race was Sky Major. Barry Purdon found the one-one with a lap to go but he was a beaten horse on the home bend. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ    -    Check site here

Smolda's sizzling speed has made his issues of last season a distant memory. The rejuvenated pacer seemingly jogged home in a 53.1-second last half to win the harness racing $50,000 Group II Ashburton Flying Stakes on Labour Day. The win was in stark contrast to this time last year when trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen were scratching their heads trying to keep him on track before he was eventually scratched from the cup. Phil and Glenys Kennard, who race Smolda with Neil Pilcher and Markus Kirkwood, said the Flying Stakes win was special given the issues of last season. "We didn't know if we would be racing him again after last year," Phil Kennard said. Monday's one-length win has firmed the 7-year-old son of Courage Under Fire into $3 favouritism for the $750, 000 Group I New Zealand Trotting Cup on November 10. The only question mark around Smolda would be, that in his two runs back for a strong second in the Canterbury Classic and the Flying Stakes win, he has done no work and picked up a perfect trip on both occasions. But Purdon is not concerned. "He's tough. "If he has to do some work in the cup I don't think it will worry him one bit," Purdon said. Purdon was so happy with Smolda's effort in Ashburton he is toying with the idea of skipping the cup trial and going straight into the big dance on the second Tuesday in November. "I'm not sure there's much improvement in him but if he stays where he is I think he'll be competitive," a typically humble Purdon said. Given the time of 2:55.1 for the 2400m stand and the last quarter of 26.1, Tony Herlihy was happy with the effort of Ohoka Punter who moved up to sit parked at the 1200m mark and attacked Tiger Tara for the lead down the back straight. Ohoka Punter stuck on gamely until Smolda breezed on by in the final 200m. Ricky May was super impressed with Mossdale Conner who got a run up the passing lane to finish three-quarters of a length behind Ohoka Punter in third. Tiger Tara faded to fourth after leading for the last lap but trainer Geoff Dunn and Gerard O'Reilly were happy with the run that saw him finish two lengths behind Smolda. Dunn is another tipping he will miss the cup trial. Zac Butcher gave Sky Major a big tick of approval after the three-time Harness Jewels winner made ground late to finish fifth, three lengths off Smolda. The movers in the cup rankings when they are updated on Tuesday are likely to be Choise Achiever and No Doctor Needed but neither will progress too far given they only beat two runners ahead of them. Their runs may be good enough to overtake Belkmyster, who was in 15th spot before the race. John Dunn was rapt with the effort of No Doctor Needed, who lost ground at the start but recovered well to catch the field and hit the line strongly. Lancewood Lizzie, who was in in ninth in the cup rankings before Ashburton, is likely to fall a few spots after finishing eighth and Bit Of A Legend will likely drop after being 12th before the Flying Stakes but finishing 10th. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of  Stuff NZ   -   Check site here

Injury plagued pacer Didjamakem Bolt has made a significant step towards a race day comeback after a workout at the harness racing workouts at Rangiora yesterday. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained pacer was charging through the grades in 2013, seemingly assured of making open class company, until a cannon bone fracture halted his rapid progress. No date has been set for a race day return yet, but his second in a heat at the Rangiora workouts on Wednesday is encouraging. The now 7-year-old Tinted Cloud gelding, who has a record of nine starts for six wins and a second, was devastating when sound. In seven starts in New Zealand Didjamakem Bolt won six and ran second in the other. In two starts across the Tasman he ran fourth and fifth. There was a brief comeback back in January when he won a trial over Border Control and Christen Me at Ashburton but he did not get back to the races as planned. Purdon was pleased with the opening hit out and said all going well Didjamakem Bolt would be back to the trials or workouts next week. All Stars stablemate Lazarus won the heat over 2000m by half a length. Lazarus is heading for the for the fifth and final heat of the Sires Stakes 3-year-old colts and geldings at Addington on October 23. The Bettor's Delight colt has not been to the races since winning the Harness Jewels as a 2-year-old but looks like he will be more than competitive in his 3-year-old campaign. There were no records broken when he paced the 2000m in 2-38.1, with a mile rate of 2-07.1 and closing sectionals of 58.4 and 27.9, but he lead off the mobile to the winning post easily enough. Last season's 3-year-old of the year Have Faith In Me had a quiet run in behind the field in his first public run since winning the Jewels. The four time Group I winner settled at the rear of the five strong field and jogged home in behind them under a tight hold. Trotting mare Petite One and 3-year-old pacing filly MacKenzie were also workout winners for the All Stars stable. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ     -     Check site here

The fact that Messini is returning to  the All Stars barn for a New Zealand Cup  preparation is not really a surprise. He has been there done that before with the Harness Jewels in June. But he has a better chance than many of the nominees going on his best performances in this country -which have all been from the All Stars barn. On Cup Day last year just after Bill and Jean Feiss sold a half-share in him to a syndicate which includes Trevor Casey , he smashed a record winning the Junior Free for All running 3.07.2 (mr 1.55.4) in the hands of Natalie, a stunning start to a great Cup day. He then ran a respectable sixth in the NZ FFA before transferring to Brent Lilley's Melbourne stable. After a short campaign in the four year old features in Auckland where his form was below par he celebrated being back at Rolleston with a withering win over Tiger Tara, Sky Magic and Dalton Bromac in the Christian Cullen FFA running 2.18.3 the last half in 54.8. Mark was again at the helm in the Harness Jewels when a 14 marble saw him back and making a big run in the middle stages. He couldn't quite foot it with Sky Major which came out of the one one when Mark attacked and lost second late to Te Kawau but it was a tough effort.                                                                                                   And if there is a drive going in the Cup for the stable Tim Williams is sure to put his hand up. Tim won his first race for Mark and Natalie when he was given the drive on Messini in the Kindergarten Stakes at a time when Tim was based in Southland. It all went good which is probably why Tim is where he is today. David McCarthy Reproduced with permission of All Star Racing Stables  

Only one category tested the judges in the annual harness racing awards on a night where the industry honoured a bunch of super talented horses. Star pacers Dream About Me, The Orange Agent, Adore Me and Have Faith In Me, who were the toast of the 350-strong Christchurch audience on Saturday night, took a clean sweep of the 25 votes cast, with Sky Major inexplicably stealing one vote from Christen Me in the four-year-old and older section. But the votes were well split between three outstanding two-year-old colts and geldings, with the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained Chase The Dream (11 votes), outpointing his stablemates Waikiki Beach (7) and Lazarus (7). Chase The Dream, with Group I wins in the Young Guns Final and Sires' Stakes, obviously had the home plate advantage with the deeds of Waikiki Beach, unbeaten in 10 starts, almost exclusive to Australia. With Group I scalps in the Australian Pacing Gold and NSW Breeders Challenge, Waikiki Beach won four more races than Chase The Dream and banked $324,081 to Chase The Dream's $212,026. It reflected the strength of the crop that Lazarus, with six wins from eight starts and $265,562 in stakes, including the Group I Harness Jewels in 1:52.9, was an also-ran. And it also reflected the dominance of the season for Purdon and Rasmussen that four of the six pacing category winners came from their All Stars Stables. The voting was clearcut in all the trotters' categories, Speeding Spur and Conon Bridge capturing all 25 votes while one vote for Jewels winner Missandei stopped juvenile High Gait from getting a perfect score and one judge gave King Denny the nod over Stent, the winner of seven Group I races and $640,000 in the four-year-old and older section. The only conceivable excuse could be that they didn't turn the page on HRNZ's performance sheets and missed seeing the feats of Sheemon and Stent, although how the person could have forgotten the extraordinary feats of Stent beggars belief. Kincaslough (22) and Sunny Ruby (21) completed the list of trotting winners. Stent was a unanimous choice for trotter of the year while Christen Me (13) triumphed in the pacer of the year, losing six votes to champion mare Adore Me and two to Have Faith In Me. The judges were also split on overall Harness Horse of the Year, Miracle Mile and Victoria Cup winner Christen Me (13) outpointing New Zealand Cup heroine Adore Me (6), Stent (4) and dual Derby winner Have Faith In Me (2). Other awards: Owner: Trevor Casey. Breeder: Charlie Roberts. Broodmare: Scuse Me. Stallion: Bettor's Delight. Trainer: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Driver: Dexter Dunn. Junior driver: Stevie Golding  Cadet: Sean Grayling. Outstanding contribution: John Reedy. Barry Lichter Reproduced by permission of Stuff NZ - Check site here

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's All-Stars stable has dominated today's TAB Breeders Crown heats at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The power duo took four runners into heats and walked away with four wins, brilliant two-year-old gelding Our Waikiki Beach - now unbeaten in 10 starts - providing the highlight by setting a new Australasian 2YO record at 2300 metres in rating 1:56.3 - smashing the previous mark by a full second. "They all looked great," Natalie Rasmussen said from Queensland where she'd watched the action. "Mark will be thrilled with the whole team." Purdon drove all four winners, each starting long odds-on with bookmakers and on the tote. Our Classical Art (Mach Three/Art Lover) took the three-year-old fillies' heat in 1:58.4 by 2.7m over reigning Breeders Crown champ Katy Perry. Having trailed leader Katy Perry, now in the care of Shane Tritton, throughout Purdon took Our Classical Art to the lead inside the final 50m after spotting her about a length at the 150m. Unbeaten Bettor's Delight/Splendid Dreams youngster Our Dream About Me then won the two-year-old fillies heat as a $1.04 favourite. Crossed early by Dancing With Miley (who finished third), Purdon quickly took Our Dream About me away from the pegs after drawing the pole and ran to the front. Our Dream About Me, the Harness Jewels 2YO winner at Ashburton in May in record time, rated 1:57.4 today to defeat Hot Shot Woman by 7m. Follow The Stars then made light work of a four-horse three-year-old colts and geldings' field in his heat, defeating Hes Lightfingered by 3.1m in 1:57.3. While such dominance as we saw today in the heats is a formidable achievement and will give the Purdon camp confidence going into the semis, the fact Rasmussen believes: "The run will improve all of them", is a scary thought for rivals. The second of the three-year-old colts and geldings' heats today was won by John McCarthy-trained Kilcullen (Christian Cullen/Belligerent) in 1:59.3 by 4.4m over Pompidou. Join the Breeders Crown conversation on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #RaceToRoyalty Our Classical Art Our Dream About Me Follow The Stars Our Waikiki Beach By Cody Winnell

Last Saturday night was one of those rarest of nights when the All Star barn failed to land a big big on the opening night of the Queensland Winter carnival. Natalie reckons the team reacted well to a minimum of luck on the first big night of the Queensland carnival and that they all came through their races in top order. This is how she rated the runs from the team on Saturday night. Smolda (2nd ) "I was really thrilled with him." "In fact I would stay he probably went the best of the lot of them." "Going well and just couldn't beat that inside speed on the night" Fight for Glory (2nd) "Considering she was against older horses and it was a tune up race for her she was fine." "She will like going over a bit further now" Hug The Wind (2nd) "Look if I was really honest he was one who just disappointed a shade." "I thought he was entitled to kick on a wee bit better." "But he is another one who will go better next time over a bit more ground." "Those short races and bad draws are not ideal" Gentle Western   "Considering the work he had missed and his overall programme I thought he went really well." "He should be a strong contender in the Final" This weeks runners *Queensland Oaks (Fight for Glory and Linda Lovegrace) *Gold Coast Derby (Hug The Wind) *Country Cups Final (Gentle Western) Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables - Check site here

The finals of the $125,000 HRNSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challange were dominated in a lot of cases by a prohibitive favourite today but that wasn't the case with the three year old colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Kept Under Wraps was the favourite but two defeats in his last two starts to horses involved in todays final meant no one was super confident of the outcome.   Nathan Jack sent the Amanda Turnbull trained Mouse In The House to the front early before handing up to Mark Purdon and Kept Under Wraps after 600 metres.   Mark Purdon was able to back the tempo off in the mid stages with a 61.9 first half of the last mile before upping the speed from the 800 metres mark.   Going down the back in 27.9 made it impossible for those back in the field to play a big part as the field turned for home.   Kept Under Wraps looked under siege half way up the straight with Mouse In The House challenging him hard on the inner and Pompidou and Robbie Morris flashing home wider on the track after having a lovely trip in the one by one the whole race.   Kept Under Wraps kept giving for Mark Purdon and at the line still had a half head to spare from Pompidou with Mouse In The House close up in third.   The son of Bettor's Delight paced the 2400 metres in 2:55.1, a mile rate of 1:57.4 with closing sectionals of 55.6 and 27.7.   Often the bridesmaid in big races, todays win was the seventh lifetime for Kept Under Wraps and took his earnings over the $200,000 mark.     It also completed a stellar day for the All Star Racing Stables with three of the six $125,000 Group 1 finals falling to the Kiwi training barn.   Harnesslink Media  

The All Stars harness racing juggernault continues to perform on both sides of the Tasman. David McCarthy from the All Stars team has done a wrap on the Australian team and how they are progressing and with their kind permission we reproduce that here. BRISBANE Don't believe all you see in the Brisbane fields this week. Both Hug The Wind and Fight For Glory are not going around in the Breeders Crown heats and only Linda Lovegrace will start this week. Natalie might also have to pull the pin on the Country Cup series she had her eye on for Gentle Western as he battles back to his best. "I put the others in the Breeders Crown assuming they were nominated and Queensland harness put them in but it turns out they are not paid up for the Breeders Crown series" Natalie said. "Queensland Harness have apologised for not being aware of it but as it turned out I wasn't either having taken it for granted they would be paid up as nearly all our horses are. " The problem for Hug The Wind is that he faces a big test next Saturday (July 4) in the  G1 Nursery Stakes of $A100,000 so missing a race this week is bad news. "He will trial on Friday to give him a hitout for next week now" Natalie said. She put down his gallop when winning at Redcliffe as partly her fault. "He is a bit funny sometimes going past horses." "He gets up to them and gets a narrow lead and then he doesn't want to go on." "I gave him a bit of a prod and he didn't like that ! But he is thriving and that is why he needs another hitout before next week" Smolda also has his first big run in Queensland on July 4 in the  $A100,000 Sunshine Sprint but he is well race seasoned. Fight For Glory has the A$100,000 Queensland Oaks on July 11 as her next major target so missing a race is not a problem at this stage. She has come thru her Gold Coast Oaks win in fine order and not being in the Breeder's Crown is a matter of regret after that performance. Linda Lovegrace continues to thrive. Gentle Western has given Natalie a few worries though and he is more likely than not to miss the Country Cup series the heats of which are next Friday. "He was just a bit off leading into the Premier's Cup which is one reason I copped a fine for going to slow in front with him." "I wanted to be as easy on him as I could." "And he wasn't really right for the final either but was just too good for them." "He is coming right but I don't want to go into a series like that unless he is 100 per cent." "At this stage the best target for him looks the Four Year Old Championship (July 18) which he was always going to be looking at." That is on Queensland Derby night, a major aim for Hug The Wind.   SYDNEY The Sydney campaign continues on a positive note and the horses are doing so well there that Mark is expecting to extend the horse's stay before heading to Melbourne  for the Breeder's Crown. "It's  warmer here and the horses are thriving so it makes sense to keep things going like that" Mark said. "The draws for most of the horses on Sunday is good and everything is looking good at this stage" However luck this week in Melbourne is not quite as good. Follow The Stars has drawn one on the second line and Chris Alford who has been driving him can't do so. "I asked the club to split his drives but they refused saying they now only do that for trainers not drivers." "I am sure Anthony Butt is available and he will be a good substitute but it means Chris misses out  on an opportunity." "They have put most of the form horses in the same heat which doesn't help us from the draw" Mark is pleased with how Follow the Stars is handling the travelling to and from Melbourne. He will be home again after Friday's race. "He has usually been a good traveller but he had a long trip last week and seemed to recover well. He is thriving over here too" Dream About Me and High Gait have arrived for the Breeder's Crown series but Mark is in no hurry with them. "We haven't got them nominated for anything and it is early days yet. They will tell us when they are ready to go' David McCarthy - All Stars Racing Stables    Check site here

The All Stars have arrived in Brisbane. The all-conquering Christchurch stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have turned their attention to the riches of the Queensland harness racing winter carnival which takes place over the next six weeks. A team of four high powered equine athletes arrived safely last week and set up camp at the stables of Darren Weeks at Caboolture, just north of Brisbane, under the watchful eye of Rasmussen and Shaun McNaulty. Open class ace Smolda will join the team after competing in Sydney this weekend. The first runner to step out for the All Stars is emerging stayer Gentle Western, a giant Western Ideal – Gentle Audrey four-year-old who will contest the Premiers Cup series. The $50,000 final is scheduled for next Saturday night (June 20). “He’s a lovely big horse with many great qualities; he’s sensible, strong and fast while he’s deliberately been set for this campaign. This is his first major trip away but he’s handling it very well and he’s thriving in the warmer climate.” Rasmussen said. After being involved in a nasty race fall in the 2014 Southern Supremacy Final at Invercargill, Gentle Western was sidelined owing to injuries sustained from the crash. Gentle Western will sport saddlecloth number two in what shapes as his first stand-start experience but Rasmussen is confident he will handle it well. “We were very happy with his comeback effort at Ashburton the other week and he continues to improve. Tim (Williams) drove him and stated that he felt good and would sharpen-up considerably following that effort. “His work here the other morning was pleasing and we’re expecting a forward showing this week which will have him peaking for the final. This is his first race from the tapes but it shouldn’t be an issue, he’s very sensible and he’s been given plenty of practice. “This horse has a good profile for this carnival, he’s loosely assessed and we’ve got some nice races picked out for him here including these heat/final series plus the 4yo Championship next month. He will race very well in anything he contests.” The All Stars are no strangers to success in the Premiers Cup after scoring in 2012 with Best Deal Yet while they also claimed the Queensland Derby (Best Deal Yet) and Oaks (O Baby) that same year. Meanwhile, star fillies Fight For Glory and Linda Lovegrace will start next week in the Gr.3 $30,000 Gold Coast Oaks at Albion Park while crack colt Hug The Wind is expected to trial next week in preparation for a host of features next month including the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby on July 18. No decision has been made on who will drive the fillies next week at this stage. by Chris Barsby Related Links Fields for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 12 June 2015 Form guide for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 12 June 2015

MarkPurdon and Natalie Rasmussen have decided Have Faith In Me, the sensation of the 2014-2015 harness racing season will be allowed to miss his upcoming Australian campaign and instead head for the spelling paddock.   "He has come off the Australian list" Mark said on Sunday   "He has come through the race great but it might be time he had a break after what he has already achieved this season. "   Have Faith In Me has rewritten the record books this season as the only one of his age to win the Sires Stakes, both Derbys and the PGG Wrightson Sales Series and the Harness Jewels.   It has been an incredible ride for All Stars and Mark and Dennis Dunford.   Mark, the Purdon version, got the youngster for $50,000 as a yearling because some critics thought there might have been chinks in his armour.   Nobody has been on record this season as saying they were among them.   The fact that Have Faith In Me put on an out of  character rodeo act on his way to the birdcage on Jewels day was given a low key explanation by Mark.   "I think it was because his head was up a bit high."   "I was further back on Follow The Stars and couldn't tell anyone straight away but I am sure that is all it was."   "He is such a laid back horse it is out of character for him"   Mark thought one of his unluckiest runners on the day was Petite One.   "She was a good fourth but if I had done things a little bit better she could have been third or better."   "I was wanting to get on the back of Monbet when he went forward but she didn't quite have the speed to be where we should have been and it was probably my fault."   "It was a big effort for a filly"   If you thought Natalie and Mark celebrated all night Saturday think again.   "We had a few drinks with friends on the way home but once we got there we weren't going anywhere" said Mark.   The trainers will host staff and friends at a dinner Sunday night as thanks for the staff job leading up to the Jewels and on the day.   It is typical of their professionalism that both were on hand at the low key Ashburton meeting on Sunday driving maiden two year olds far from the glitz and glamour of Jewels day.   Just one more reason for their unprecedented success.   Courtesy of David McCarthy - All Stars Racing Stables    Check site here  

The harness racing season always throws up some rough results from time to time and in today's Group 1 $100,000 four year old Ruby at the Harness Jewels at Ashburton it almost happened again.   Hot favourite King Denny with Mark Purdon in the bike led from barrier one and kept up a steady tempo through the first 800 metres while a lot of his more favoured opposition did things wrong and were out of contention early.   Coming to the home turn the well supported Belles Son broke and from then on it looked like King Denny's race to lose.   Clear half way up the straight, suddenly the horse who had sat on his back the whole way Zachary Binx with Amanda Tomlinson in the bike appeared on his inside in the passing lane.   The closer it got to home the closer Zachiary Binx got but at the line he was still half a neck in arrears.   Poppymalda and Nathan Williamsom flew out of the pack late to grab third in front of an unlucky Harrysul   While King Denny paid $1:50 to win, Zachiary Binx paid a whopping $18.70 for a place.   Winning his second Harness Jewels by a small margin, the Majestic Son gelding trotted the mile in 1:55.9 with closing sectionals of 55.9 and 26.8   Mark Purdon was more relieved than anything post race.   " I was getting a bit worried the last bit."   " He just knocked off when he was clear and I had a bit of trouble getting him going again."   " He can do that every now and again but at least we still held on ," Mark said.   Amanda was smiling as though she had won the race.   " How close did I get," was all Amanda wanted to know post race   King Denny has had a great season mixing it with the very best in the latter half of the season and should be in for a big season at five.   King Denny was the fourth winner of the day for the Allstars training duo of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.   Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing is a very competitive sport especially when it comes to the two year olds but that hasn't stopped the All Star barn dominating the age group in the last few years in New Zealand.   Today the training pertners Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen had four starters in the Group 1  Harness Jewels $150,000 two year old Emerald at Ashburton and by the end of the race they had claimed the trifecta which is a real feather in their caps.   Salty Robyn and Laureen Panella worked to the front early before handing up to Chase The Dream and Natalie Rasmussen who kept up a steady but not spectactular tempo.   Code Black and John Dunn ended up in the parked position giving cover to Lazarus and Mark Purdon.   Chase The Dream turned for home in front but was quickly claimed by Lazarus and then Motu Premier and Tim Williams flashed late to grab second off a game Chase The Dream who ended up third   A minor highlight of the race was the run of the Australian bound Code Black who looped the field from the outside of the front line and stuck on for a game fourth.   Not only was it a trifecta for the All Star barn, it was also a first four for the champion sire Bettor's Delight with all the first placegetters by him.   Lazarus paced the mile in 1:52.9 with closing sections of 54.8 and 25.1 which made it hard for horses back in the field to make ground.   Mark was reserved as always post race.   " He was unlucky last start but got a lovely run today and that's what made the difference."   "There is nothing between Lazarus and Chase The Dream ability wise and it is only the run they get that makes the difference," Mark said.   The All Star barn has dominated juvenile racing in New Zealand this season and took out five of the six placings in the two year old pacing races today.   Harnesslink Media  

The All Stars barn via Dave McCarthy preview their runners at the harness racing meetings every week.   This week of course is the Harness Jewels meeting at Ashburton on Saturday (May 30th) and with their kind permission we reproduce here the comments for the 23 runners the All Stars barn have in on Saturday      HARNESS JEWELS- Rated out of 10 as a winning chance with the comment by the driver of the horse on Staurday     Race 1 - Two Year Old Diamond   Northern Velocity (7)   Form: Won Sales Final at Addington.   Comment:   7- "I would rate her a 7 and a good one. Equal second best of ours on form. " (Mark)   Dream About Me (9)   Form: Just keeps winning and bold in trials last week.   Comment: 9 " The draw seems a problem though she has never really had good draws. Doing everything right and I am hoping she will just be too good for them" (Tim)   Arden's Choice (11)   Form: Good in 1.54 MR after getting back early at Auckland. G1 winner previous.   Comment: 6 "She might be better than that but as a win chance it is going to be very hard from that draw. I think it is the worst draw of the lot in some respects because it is harder to get on the three line line" (Natalie)   Race 2 - Two Year Old Ruby   Missandei (2)   Form: Looked the winner last time until stablemate came on the scene. This her best draw yet.   Comment: 7 "Gets better with each run and this is the best draw she has had if she can hold up early" (Mark)   High Gait (12)   Form: Huge run last time to come from impossible possie to win.   Comment: 9 "I don't like the draw but she can follow Missandei out which is a help. She is working terrific and only the draw stops her from being my best for the day" (Natalie)   Race 3 - Four Year Old Diamond   Willow (12)   Form: Three on end is hard to beat even if some easier than this.   Comment: 8 "Again a draw I am not thrilled about but she is following some useful early speed. She is good enough to make her own luck and she tries so hard she could offer some value" (Natalie)   Race 4 -  Three Year Old Ruby   Prince Fearless (3)   Form: Raced solidly in the north and at Addington without being quite as impressive as formerly.   Comment: 8 "I am very pleased with him and his work has been excellent. He likes Ashburton and is at his best in sprint type races.  He is a danger" (Natalie)   Petite One (10)   Form:  Returned to near her best at Addington winning well.   Comment; 6 "She seems well but that draw is going to make things hard for her against the boys and they will probably be too strong." (Mark)   Race 5 - Three Year Old Diamond   Supersonic Miss (9)   Form: Faded after hard run in the Oaks. Nearly landed third in G1 start before.   Comment: 5 "It looks tough for her from out there especially with the pace inside. You can only hope you get on to a train when she would be competitive but it won't be easy" (Mark)   Linda Lovegrace (10)   Form: Been running on strongly from bad draws. Has a moderate one again.   Comment: 7 "She can run home strongly over a mile as she has shown here before. Blair will drive his own race but if she got the run she can be at least in the finish" (Natalie)   Fight for Glory (11)   Form: Outstanding in the NZ Oaks and tested  The Orange Agent in the Nevele R Final after being parked.   Comment: 7  "I really don't like that draw. I reckon even 12 would have been better. We are in behind some speed certainly but she has to have luck to get a crack at them which is why I have her down a bit as a win chance. She is doing everything right at home" (Natalie)   Classical Art (14)   Form: Ran on in Oaks after enjoying nice trail. Likes this trip   Comment: 5 "It is going to be hard to win from there. But she is very well and she could surprise a few. Mark said after he worked her Wednesday if she had drawn the front line she could be right in it. The mile will really suit her where she can go hard all the way. Might be a place bet at odds" (Tim)   Race 6 - Two Year Old Emerald   Motu Premier (2)   Form: Consistently placed at highest level including the Sapling Stakes here earlier.   Comment: 6 "A couple of our others might have it on him for brilliance but he has a bit going for him even though a place looks more likely. I think he has the gate speed to get a nice trip from a good draw and he is a genuine horse. He will try all day. " (Tim)     Chase the Dream (4)   Form: Winner of the Sires Stakes Final at his last start and other juvenile features earlier.   Comment: 9 "He is my best drive of the day I think. He can speed out of the gate and he is as tough as. The draw is going to be a big help for those abilities (Natalie)   Lazarus (7)   Form: Brilliant late run for second in Sires Stakes Final after easy win in Sales Pace.   Comment: 8 "A brilliant horse so you use him out of the gate if you need to or use him during the race. Has an ideal draw. He is probably a bit quicker than Chase The Stars but not quite as  tough at this stage. He can win but Chase The Dream will be tough to beat" (Mark)   Cash n Flow (11)   Form:  Finished on in Sires Stakes Final and a late arriving two year old with ability (Jim Curtin to drive)   Comment: 6 "A really lovely horse but he is going to find it hard to beat the top one from where he is" (Natalie)   Race 7 - Four Year Old Ruby   King Denny (1)   Form: Beat all but Master Lavros at Addington in lead up race.   Comment: 9 "I would say my best chance on the day. He has trained on well has a nice draw which gives him options and no Master Lavros or Stents in this time" (Mark)   Race 8 - Four Year Old Emerald   Isaiah (13)   Form: Faded after tough run last time and has trained well this week   Comment: 4 "I suppose that sounds harsh but it is just that for this race he is in a bad place from the draw and personally I don't think a mile is his best trip " (Natalie)   Messini (14)   Form: Outstanding win at Addington back to left handed track last start.   Comment: 8 "He is just back to the best form he showed in Australia really. The mile will not bother him. He's a tough customer and he has a shot at them" (Mark)   Race 9 - Three Year Old Emerald   Hug The Wind (1)   Form: Outstanding win in class racing at Addington showed his real class.   Comment: 6 "I just don't think he is quite with the other two at this stage. He has the draw and has the gate speed to hold up. If I landed in front I would probably stay there as long as I could because that is his best chance of upsetting them. He was terrific last start but this is a way stronger field " (Natalie)   Have Faith In Me (4)   Form:  First race since late March when he won the NZ Derby. Trials since.   Comment: 9 "I don't think the lack of racing will be a problem for him. He has had two good hitouts at trials and has done it easily. The thing about him is that he loves to be out there and really enjoys his racing. From the draw there are options and while I was reluctant to put a number on him he should be the one to beat" (Tim)   Follow the Stars (5)   Form: Runner up in three Derby's this season and three wins in easier company in Australia to fit him for this. Worked well this week.   Comment: 8 "I don't think that he can beat Have Faith In Me all things being equal. The pecking order is fairly well established now. For all that he seems very well and he has been enjoying his work. He is a class horse even if there seems to be one better at the moment " (Mark)   Lightfingered (13)   Form: Battled into fifth at Addington last start. Has made strong progress this year however.   Comment: 3 "I don't like to put a number on him. I am just grateful I have been given an opportunity to drive on the day and behind a horse I know won't let anybody down. Sure there are stars in there but I like to think he will go a pretty good race" (Matt)     Courtesy Of Dave McCarthy - All Stars Racing Stables - Check site here  

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