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NATHAN Purdon has settled in across the ditch in Australia and is raring to go. The former Kiwi horseman has 14 pacers in work, is backed by some heavy-hitting owners and has recruited another talented former Kiwi in Stuart McDonald as his right-hand man at his Lara stable, about 45 minutes outside of Melbourne. Throw in the fact he’s bought seven yearlings in Melbourne in recent weeks – five at Nutrien and two from Australian Gold – and the foundations are firmly being built. “It’s a young team with nine of the 14 we’re working being two-year-olds, but a couple of them already look quite promising,” Purdon said. “Zeus Dan will make a nice horse, but time will be his friend. He ran second at the (Ballarat) trials on Tuesday and will keep improving with time. “Lanai, who is a Captaintreacherous like Zeus Dan, ran third is his trial. He’s very professional youngster and should do a good job when he heads to the races soon.” Purdon has already produced yet another Captaintreacherous, Capt Me, for a second and third in three starts. Zeus Dan, as his name suggests, is raced by leviathan owner Danny Zavitsanos, who lives in Geelong, just down the road from Purdon’s stables. “Danny’s got a couple with me, Mick Harvey (part-owner of King Of Swing) has got Captn Me and two others and then there’s (big US owners) Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover. They’ve got six with me, including Lanai,” Purdon said. Purdon loved his father, champion horseman Mark visit and give some guidance for just over a week earlier this month. “There’s obviously nobody better than him to have a look how we’ve got the place set-up, how the horses and going and all that sort of thing,” Purdon said. “It was great to see him so relaxed. Stepping back has certainly been good for him. He looks like the weight of the world is off his shoulders. “I remember when I was a kid at school he asked if I was really sure I wanted to go down the training path because you have to put everything into it and often the rewards aren’t always there for the amount of work. But I was never going to do anything else.” Purdon’s inspiration for the move across the ditch came during his three years with Cran and Chrissy Dalgety where he noticed how many owners wanted to sell their horses to Australia after just a few starts. “We’d put 18 months into getting horses right, they’d have five, maybe 10 runs and the owners would want to move them on because of lack of opportunities. They’d hit their mark too fast,” he said. “It’s different here. A one or two win horse can win 10 races in Aussie if you place them right, but it’s hard work and long hours with so many meetings spread all across the state (Victoria). “Victoria is also really competitive with so many good trainers.” Purdon said he was pleased with the set-up at Dean Braun’s Lara stables where he is based. “I spent about 12 months here working with Dean back in the Ohoka Punter days and I liked the stables and the area. I won’t be going anywhere in a hurry from here,” he said. “The passion for the sport feels really strong over here.” Purdon unveils his best “tried” horse when former top Kiwi mare Spellbound has her first Aussie run in the good mares’ race, the Ian Daff Memorial, at Melton on Saturday night. “She’s probably in the best four or five mares in NZ when she’s right, but she lost her confidence a bit in those really strong races,” he said. “She’s doing everything right at home and I was going to trial her, but Dad drove her and said she’s probably ready for a race. “It’s a bit hard to line them up and she’s drawn wide, but she’s got gate speed and it looks the right sort of race to kick her off in.” And it gives stable foreman Stuart McDonald a chance to jump in the sulky at Melton. McDonald joins Purdon after almost a decade in Western Australian, broken-up with a six-month NSW stint about four years ago. He’s driven almost 350 winners in that time, most notably the 2020 Group 1 Fremantle Pacing Cup in record-time on Caviar Star. “I’d had the past three-and-a-half years with (Gary Hall) Senior and got into cruise mode a bit, stale if you like. I needed a change-up and this sounded exciting,” McDonald said. “I’ve only been here a couple of weeks and my main job is the foreman role, but I love driving and it’s great to get on Spellbound and drive a couple of Nathan’s nice ones at the trials (Ballarat) on Tuesday. “I also drove one for Anton Golino at the trials and he’s indicated I could get some race drives for him.”   By Adam Hamilton

New Zealand trainer Nathan Purdon has quietly been going about his business since landing in Australia during early February, preparing a young team of horses to kick-start what he hopes is a successful stay down under. And now the 25-year-old is ready to take the first runner from his Lara base to the races. The son of champion Kiwi trainer/driver Mark has Captn Me engaged at Cranbourne on Tuesday night, and the daughter of Captaintreacherous is likely to be well supported in the Hygain 2YO Maiden Pace (1609m). Anthony Butt will drive the bay filly, who won a trial at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 16. "She's pretty well bred and a nice filly. She's a very natural two-year-old that has always had a good attitude from the start," Purdon said. "She looks probably a little bit above average, but there looks like there's a smart colt in there of Andy Gath's (Holzhauer) that will take a bit of beating I suppose. "I expect her to run a good race." Purdon has said goodbye to his successful partnership with Chrissie Dalgety back home and is looking to establish himself right here in Victoria. He told that he has a team of about 12 in work, including the dual Group 1-placed Spellbound, who has been sent out from New Zealand. "We should be right up and racing five or six within the next month or six weeks," he said. "They are all young ones really. There's nine two-year-olds there and one three-year-old filly and she hasn't had a start either." Spellbound, a winner of five races and more than $120,000, was previously trained by Robert Dunn and is expected to be at the trials in about a month. Purdon’s first runner since moving to Australia will go around in the fourth race of the night at Cranbourne, which is scheduled for 7.32pm. LISTEN TO PURDON SPEAK WITH ANDREW BENSLEY ON SEN TRACK DURING JANUARY:   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Nathan Purdon is packing his bags and getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. The young trainer is set to leave his home in New Zealand and land here in Australia early next week before setting up his new base at Dean Braun’s Lara property. Purdon, who is the son of champion Kiwi trainer/driver Mark, is waving goodbye to his successful partnership with Chrissie Dalgety and looking to establish himself right here in Victoria. He spoke with Andrew Bensley on SEN Track this week and revealed his desire to hit the ground running with starters in the coming weeks. “We are lucky enough that we will start off with five or six when we land so that's a big help,” he said. “They are sort of two and three-year-olds for the start off and then hopefully we can go to the yearling sales there and spec a few out. “Hopefully we can get a few up-and-going horses from over in New Zealand and bring them over and do a job with them….” Purdon said Lara would be a great base to kick off given his long association with Braun. “While I was over there I spent close to 12 months with Dean. It was great. The facilities are good, everything is there so I'm very lucky in the way I don’t have to outlay anything to set up and get any gear etcetera. It's all there. He's been very good,” Purdon said.   READ MORE: Nathan Purdon flags Victorian move in start "from scratch" LISTEN TO THE FULL ‘BANTER WITH BENSLEY’ CHAT BELOW   Harness Racing Victoria

The successful Harness Racing Stable of Kentuckiana Lodge from Canterbury New Zealand, has added a new edition to their stable for the 2020/21 harness racing season. Chrissie Dalgety has joined the training partnership along side Nathan Purdon who is heading into his second season in the job. Chrissie, who is Cran Dalgety’s wife has played a large part in the input of Kentuckiana Lodge over the years, and comes into the training partnership looking to add diversity into the operation and to continue excelling. Chrissie herself holds shares in around 16 of the stables race horses currently. Chrissie says, “I am looking forward to the upcoming season and am excited for some of our younger stock to step out, along with targeting some nice races with our current racehorses.” Kentuckiana Lodge who have just come out of their first season in training partnership with Nathan Purdon had a very successful 2019/20 racing season finishing 4th in the National Premiership. The season was highlighted for them with the unleashing of exciting Juvenile Krug who won his first Group 1 in the $150,000 2yo Young Guns Final in Auckland in march. Also Dr Susan winning the $150,000 Group 1 Victorian Oaks in Melbourne in January. Harnesslink Media

Smart harness racing 3yo Major Trojan has claimed back to back victories by winning the first Sires Stakes Heat at Cambridge Raceway last night. Trained by Michael Purdon and driven by Nathan Purdon, the colt got engaged in an early speed battle with Beaudine Western and driver David Butcher for the first 700m of the race, before eventually getting the trail for the last lap.  In the straight the speedy son of Art Major was too good up the passing lane getting the upper hand with 50m to go and in the end winning by half a length. The time was a very quick 2-00.6 for the 1700m mobile, a mile rate of 1-54.1. The last 800m was run in a solid 56.9 seconds and the last 400m in 28 seconds flat.  Major Trojan has recently been purchased by clients of top Aussie trainer Gary Hall Snr who has previously purchased several kiwi horses and turned them into top Gr1 performers back in Australia. Hall intends to set Major Trojan for the rich events in Australia at the end of the season including the WA Derby next May. In the meantime the horse will continue to race in New Zealand with the aim to go on to race in the Gr1 Sires Stakes final at the NZ Cup meeting in November.   Harnesslink Media

Classie Brigade can bounce back from his shock last start defeat at Alexandra Park tonight but he will have to do it without one of his best mates. Because regular reinsman Blair Orange will stay in the South Island to drive at Addington tonight to galvanise his lead in the national driver's premiership which, while still healthy, was cut back by a rampant Dexter Dunn last week. In Orange's absence, Nathan Purdon, who now works for his uncle Barry, will partner Classic Brigade, with Barry having looked after the open class pacer for much of the last month. Nathan was on Classie Brigade when he returned from a 15 month layoff to win two starts ago but Orange was reunited with him in the $40,000 Uncut Gem last start when he dropped out to run fourth behind race rival tonight in Billy Badger. "Initially I was very disappointed but when you analyse it they went 2:38 [for 2200m] on a winter night and he was only second up without any hard racing," says trainer Nigel McGrath. "So I think he just wasn't ready for that sort of time, especially in a race where he had to work. "Barry has been looking after him since and you couldn't ask for a better man for the job so I am sure he will be fitter." McGrath said Orange offered to come north to drive Classie Brigade even though it would have meant passing up several winning chances at Addington. "But I told him to stay down there and keep getting winners for the premiership. I'm sure Nathan will do a great job." The race may not come down to Purdon's skills as much as what unfolds in front of him. If Billy Badger can step well from his 15m handicap and work around to the lead, leaving Classic Brigade to do all his own work, then it becomes a huge challenge. But if natural front runners like Juice Brogden or Seaswift Joy get the lead and their drivers are keen to stay there then Classie Brigade could get the perfect drag on Billy Badger's back and be the horse to beat. Billy Badger's trainer Robert Dunn holds a key hand in tonight's main trot too with Woodstone and Sundees Son both in winning form and with the speed to threaten open class rival One Over Da Moon. The latter has been favourite for similar races recently but not well suited by handicaps. And while the best version of him would win back to the 1700m mobile tonight, Woodstone in particular looks to be racing at least as well if not better. Michael Guerin

Nathan Purdon is "coming home" in the new season rejoining the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen harness racing stable after gaining valuable experience on both sides of the Tasman. Nathan has lived and breathed horses for a long time and his association with the champion mare ADORE ME from where he was never far away as a stropper throughout her career. But that was watching and Nathan never wanted to be just watching.  Nathan with his special fave Adore Me.  His first drive was a pointer to the future. He drove subsequent NZ Cup winner  Arden Rooney at Rangiora in a track record 3.09 for 2600m. It was a thrill but Nathan knew it was just the beginning and there was a long way to go, In 2015 he followed Mark's footsteps and headed to Australia for new opportunities. That began with Ian Gurney, trainer of Avonova who was a great supporter. Nathan won 28 of 114 drives on this stint in Brisbane.  "I was very lucky with the people I was associated with over there. Ian gave me every opportunity,  Luke and Belinda McCarthy got me some nice drives and then I had a good learning time with Greg and Skye Bond in Perth winning the Group 2 San Simeon Final at Gloucester Park. Then last year he hooked up with Dean Braun in Victoria but then when offered the opportunity to train and drive Ohoka Punter for the Brisbane carnival he was headed back north "where the opportunities for concession drivers are so good" Nathan realised his G1 dream earlier than even he thought he might, guiding Ohoka Punter to a lead up win in the Blacks a Fake beating Hectorjayjay and Ultimate Art in the rain at Albion Park. "Really unbelievable the way it happened. Obviously my biggest thrill in racing so far. I could hardly believe it " This year Nathan returned to New Zealand and took up an offer to work with Cran Dalgety's stable. "That was a great opportunity. Cran has given me every opportunity and I am really grateful for that support. It has meant a lot to me" Now it is back into the All Stars colours and Nathan looking to make his final mark in Junior Driver races. "I have one season left and I want to make the most of it, make my mark on the Junior scene" "But there will be plenty to do with the stable horses and driving those sort of animals in work is something that is obviously a big plus. But I will be just happy to learn a bit more from the old man. He knows a bit." And the next generation is there to learn as much as he can. Courtesy of All Stars Stables

One of harness racing’s forgotten stars returns to racing on Friday. Classy Kiwi pacer Ohoka Punter finally steps out for the first time for his new trainer Gary Hall Sr in a free-for-all at Gloucester Park. It will be his first race since winning the Maryborough Cup on October 3, last year, when trained by Nathan Purdon. Ohoka Punter was sent to Hall Sr’s soon after to prepare for the Perth Inter Dominion series, but it derailed when he fell ill. “I was so excited when he got here, he’s a horse I’ve always been a huge fan of,” Hall Sr said. “It was such a shame everything went wrong and we had to scratch him from the Inters. “We gave him a good break and I’m really happy with the way he’s come back. “Everything tells me he’s as good as ever and ready to run a big race this Friday.” Ohoka Punter’s presence on Friday night adds to an already big night for the stable. They will have three runners in the WA Derby: Herrick Roosevelt, El Barcelona and Runrunjimmydunn. “I’d have thought Herrick Roosevelt was our best hope, but Runrunjimmydunn was very impressive winning last Friday,” Hall Sr said. “Junior (Gary Hall, Jr) will drive Herrick Roosevelt, while Clint will be on Runrunjimmydunn.” Ohoka Punter’s return adds to the fantastic depth in Hall Sr’s open-class ranks. Chicago Bull, winner of the big Fremantle and WA Cup double, has recovered from a nasty abscess in his eye and has just returned to the stable. “We feared he was going to lose the eye at one stage, but he’s fine now and has full sight in it,” Hall Sr said. “He’s just starting back work now, so he’s three months away from racing.” Beadiene Boaz, Run Oneover and My Hard Copy are a lot more advanced. “They are all five or six weeks away,” Hall Sr said. “It’s exciting to have My Hard Copy back as well. He seems really sound.” Adam Hamilton

Nathan Purdon’s first win at Alexandra Park last Friday night meant a lot to him, especially after what his family have achieved on the track over several decades. “It’s the premier track in the North Island and I know our family have a lot of great history there, especially Grandad (Roy MBE). Actually I went and saw him the day after the races and we had a good talk. “He was thrilled with my win. That meant a lot to me,” Purdon said. His grandfather is the family patriarch and patron of the Auckland Trotting Club. He was a 14-time New Zealand premiership winning trainer – many of those seasons with his eldest son, Barry, who himself is a multiple Group 1 winning New Zealand harness racing legend. Purdon drove the Jeremy Young trained Jamm Kiss to a head victory. The 3-year-old bay paced the 2200m mobile in 2:44.2 (mile rate 2:00.1) and last 800m and 400m in 59 and 29.2. She was the $2.20 favourite. That was her fourth race-day start. Purdon sat back and then eased her around the field three-wide down the back straight the last time, and then she fought bravely in the straight to get up right on the line. “She felt very nice. She had a lot of speed and kept giving all the way up the straight. I don’t think that will be the last race she wins. Jeremy had her spot on,” Purdon said. Young was a former employee of Purdon’s father Mark, and he watched Nathan grow up. Young was also strapper for the Purdon trained $1.8 million stake earner, Auckland Reactor. Purdon (Nathan) has now driven eight winners this season – the last four were all in the space of 10 days. “I’m all over the place,” said Purdon who is the number two driver at Cran Dalgety’s West Melton stable. “I love driving and want to get in the sulky as much as I possibly can.” Purdon said he came back from Australia to enjoy the lifestyle. “There are so many more opportunities for young drivers in Australia. I had about 500 drives in 18 months and won about 70-odd races. “It was a great experience and I would recommend any young horsemen and women to try it. But I came home because I love New Zealand and the way of life. “I like the fact that I can race two nights a week and still pursue other interests outside of racing, like squash,” Purdon said. Purdon has saluted the judge on 16 occasions from 107 ‘part-time’ New Zealand drives since 2014. He's also placed 16 times and banked $102,290 in stakes. His lifetime UDR strike-rate is 0.2118. His four wins this season is two-less than his personal best of six achieved in 2014-2015. "Any winner is special and even though I enjoyed winning at Alexandra Park I think my favourite track would still be Addington Raceway," said Purdon, who was born in Auckland and educated in Christchurch at both Riccarton and Lincoln High Schools.   Duane Ranger

Former Kiwi star Ohoka Punter heads to his new stable in winning form. The much-travelled seven-year-old worked to the lead early and impressively won Sunday's Group 3 Maryborough Cup (2690m) at his last run for young trainer Nathan Purdon. News broke last week that connections had agreed on a switch to champion WA trainer Gary Hall Sr for Ohoka Punter’s Perth Inter Dominion campaign. “I was asked to train him and was told Nathan (Purdon) didn’t want to spend a month in Perth with the horse at a time when he’s trying to establish himself in Victoria,” Hall Sr said. It seems Purdon made that decision after learning Anthony Butt had been chosen to replace him as Ohoka Punter’s driver. Butt took the reins yesterday and had an armchair ride after finding the lead without too much fuss after 300m and cruising through a 61.7sec middle half. The heat went on down the back straight with main danger Yankee Rockstar at his wheel and Chilli Palmer three-wide in a 27.5sec split. But Ohoka Punter was cruising on the home bend and kicked clear to win by 6.3m in a 28.1sec last quarter and 1min58.1sec mile rate. Young Modern charged late for second with dual Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter third. Yankee Rockstar, first-up after some hoof issues, weakened late but still ran a sound race in sixth spot, just 7.7m from the winner. Hall Sr said it was likely Ohoka Punter would be flown to Perth early next week. “He’s a great horse to have join the stable,” he said. “I’m keen to get him here in time to settle him into to our training routine.” Hall Sr said the plan and “hope” was that his son, Gary Jr, would be able to drive both Ohoka Punter and current stable star Beaudiene Boaz through the Inter Dominion heats and then choose if both made the final as expected. “You’d like to think they would be kept apart in the heats,” he said. Beaudiene Boaz pleased Hall Sr with a fighting fourth after sitting parked in quick time behind Libertybelle Midfrew at Gloucester Park last Friday night. “I think I’ve got him back where I want him now,” he said. “He broke that track record a few runs back and has held his form well from bad draws since. It’s all about draws in the fast-class races at Gloucester Park.” Hall Sr is also buzzing about the pint-sized Chicago Bull in the countdown to the triple crown of 4YO features during the Inter Dominion carnival. “He’s a special. I know Gaz (Gary Jr) thinks he’s better than Beaudiene Boaz was at the same time,” he said. “I agree. I think he’s the best four-year-old we’ve had, although it’s hard to believe when you see him because he’s so embarrassingly small.”   Adam Hamilton

Consistency and class will carry harness racing horses a long way in the 2016-17 Trots Country Cups Championship and Ohoka Punter has both in spades. His Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Gold Cup trophy will sit proudly alongside the Shepparton Gold Cup won last season in his owner’s trophy cabinet and glisten beside his Group 1 Blacks A Fake crown captured at Albion Park in July. Truth told Ohoka Punter has hardly faltered since crossing the ditch in January, and champion reinsman Anthony Butt’s rapport with the seven-year-old has been a key. Butt has driven Ohoka Punter seven times for four wins (Shepparton Cup, Pure Steel, Jennifer’s 50th Pace at Menangle and yesterday’s Maryborough Cup), two seconds (beaten a head by star Smolda in the A.G. Hunter Cup and 0.7m by Yankee Rockstar in the Kilmore Cup) and one third (in the Group 1 Len Smith Mile behind Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark). “He’s definitely in the top three or four in the country,” Butt said of Ohoka Punter. “He went good yesterday. He’s been racing without much luck lately and I knew if he was able to find the front he was going to be awful hard to beat.” Yesterday’s 6.3-metre win means Nathan Purdon-trained Ohoka Punter has won 24 races from 52 career starts for $964,016 in stake earnings. The Bettor's Delight entire clocked 3mins, 17.5secs for the 2690-metre journey and rated 1:58.1. Once Butt steered Ohoka Punter to the lead he controlled the race. VIDEO: RE-LIVE YESTERDAY'S MARYBOROUGH GOLD CUP It is likely Victorian cups contenders will be spared his wrath for a while because Ohoka Punter is about to embark on an Inter Dominion campaign. Given his record on the horse Butt would love to be partnered with Punter for the $1.8million Inter Dominion series. “He’s one of the few horses that would give Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay a run for their money at that level,” Butt said. Ohoka Punter is on four points alongside Swan Hill Cup winner Hectorjayjay on the Victorian Trots Country Cups Championship leader board after two races. Yankee Rockstar, heavily backed leading into yesterday’s race, punched the breeze throughout and boxed on for sixth beaten 7.7m, Ohoka Punter’s winning move coming at the 800m when Butt upped the ante and took the wind out of his rivals via a 27.5secs third split. When Ohoka Punter kicked hard off the final bend it was lights out for the chasing brigade, Young Modern running an enormous race for second and Flaming Flutter a typically consistent third. Chilli Palmer ran fourth for Zac Phillips and Major Secret fifth for Jason Lee. The Cups Championship heads to Yarra Valley on Oaks Day, Thursday November 3, before St Arnaud (November 13) and Gunbower (November 20) in coming weeks.  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

At the Geelong Harness Racing meeting on 18 October 2016, Stewards reconvened an inquiry into Mr Nathan Purdon's drive on Ohoka Punter NZ in Race 6 the 'VHRSC Classic' at Tabcorp Park Melton on 8 October 2016. Mr Purdon explained that prior to this race he was unaware of the change of tactics notified for Stunning Grin to be driven less aggressively circumstances permitting and given that, he was satisfied to remain in a position back at the wheel of the leader Stunning Grin during the early and middle stages, despite the relatively slow tempo during the lead time and first quarter. Mr Purdon added that given the manner in which Stunning Grin had been driven to maintain the lead at its previous start at Melton on 29 September 2016 he was reluctant to challenge for the lead and he was also mindful that Ohoka Punter NZ had paced roughly shortly after the start and that an ear plug had also prematurely released. Mr Purdon further explained that due to these factors he elected not to challenge for the lead as he also considered Ohoka Punter NZ may over-race had he of not been able to obtain the lead. Ultimately, Ohoka Punter NZ finished in 3rd place beaten 1.9 metres as a $1.30 supertab favorite. After giving consideration to further evidence from Mr Purdon and Licensed Trainer Mr Dean Braun who was present to assist Mr Purdon, Mr Purdon pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 239A which reads: A person whose conduct or negligence has led or could lead to a breach of the rules is guilty of an offence. The particulars of the charge being that Mr Purdon as the trainer and driver of Ohoka Punter NZ in Race 6 at Tabcorp Park Melton on 8 October 2016 was negligent in failing to have an awareness of the notification of driving tactics declared by the connections of Stunning Grin in the aforementioned race and due to not being aware of such publicised information, Mr Purdon failed to progress forward in an attempt to lead during the early and middle stages, when Stewards considered that based on the combination of the declared tactics of Stunning Grin and the times recorded during the lead time of 49.1 seconds and first quarter of 31.7 seconds it was reasonable for Mr Purdon to attempt to do so. In assessing penalty Stewards acknowledged Mr Purdon's guilty plea, relative inexperience as a licensed person, personal circumstances, the expectation that particularly as a licensed driver Mr Purdon and fellow drivers ought to be aware of such information for the professional preparation of driving in a race, especially given that the declaration of intended driving tactics in accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 44(1) and HRV Change of Tactics Policy is information that can affect the manner in which a race is tactically run and therefore has the potential to influence a drivers obligations under the provisions of AHRR 149. Mr Purdon was fined $500. HRV Stewards intend to recommence an inquiry on Friday, 21 October 2016, in relation to the tactics adopted on Stunning Grin by driver Rodney Petroff and trainer Vince Vallelonga in Race 6 the 'VHRSC Classic' at Tabcorp Park Melton on 8 October 2016. Link to HRV Change of Tactics (COT) Policy. Victoria - Supplementary Reports Yarra Valley – 10 October 2016 RACE 6 – JOHN & MARLENE’S 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY PACE Steve Cleave, trainer or Blue Suede Hooves, has reported that the gelding had pulled up well since the performance. Mr Cleave added that Blue Suede Hooves had worked strongly subsequent to the race and has engaged the gelding at Kilmore on 19 October 2016. Brent Lilley, trainer of Best Scribe, has reported that the gelding had pulled up well since the performance. Mr Lilley added that he was disappointed with the performance of Best Scribe and has sent the gelding to the spelling paddock. Shepparton – 11 October 2016 RACE 7 – BOHBRON PARK PACE (2ND DIV) Danny Thackaray, trainer of Shezarocka, has reported that the mare had pulled up well since the race. Mr Thackeray added a veterinary examination of Shezarocka subsequent to the race revealed the mare incurred some minor grazing and bruising as a result of the incident and had been given a slight let up in her work. Shezarocka is engaged at Shepparton on 20 October 2016. Tabcorp Park Melton – 14 October 2016 RACE 5 – EDITHVALE PROBUS PACE Kerryn Manning, trainer of Jaccka Art NZ, has reported that a veterinary examination has revealed a slight strain in the gelding’s near fore suspensory ligament. Ms Manning added that Jaccka Art NZ has been sent to the spelling paddock. RACE 9 – ALDEBARAN PARK TROT Kerryn Manning, trainer of Matatoki NZ, has reported that the gelding had pulled well since the performance. Ms Manning added that Matatoki NZ has been sent to the spelling paddock. Swan Hill – 15 October 2016 RACE 5 – HARAS DES TROTTEURS JIM ROBERTS SWAN HILL TROTTERS CUP Peter Lindberg, trainer of Robbie Zuve, has reported that the gelding had pulled up well since the race. Mr Lindberg added that he was satisfied with the performance of Robbie Zuve and that the gelding had worked well subsequent to the race. RACE 8 – HELLOWORLD PACE Joe Costa, trainer of Bernies Idol, has reported that a veterinary examination and blood tests taken from the gelding have failed to reveal any abnormalities. Mr Costa added that Bernies Idol had pulled up well since the performance and that the gelding had worked strongly subsequent to the race. Bernies Idol is engaged at Maryborough on 23 October 2016. Harness Racing Victoria

The Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake has been won in brilliant style by Ohoka Punter, who held out harness racing favourite Hectorjayjay and Ultimate Art in a night that was full of curve balls. Rain fell steadily throughout the evening as some of the best pacers in Australasia prepared themselves for the biggest meet in Queensland harness, Catcha Lefty winning the Queensland Derby, Im Norma Jean winning the QBRED Triad fillies final and Changeoverme coming home in the QBRED Triad colts & geldings. Ohoka Punter had an outstanding lead in the Blacks A Fake, coming into the straight at a pace that couldn’t be caught in the run home.  Trainer/driver Nathan Purdon scored his first Group 1 win with Ohoka Punter tonight (Saturday) but knew favourite Hectorjayjay would put up a mammoth fight heading into the race. “I knew Ohoka Punter was at the top of his game tonight, but Hector’s a great horse and I knew that Gavin (Hectorjayjay’s driver Gavin Lang) would try to stay in front of me, it made it difficult but Bettor's Delight stallion stuck to his guns,” “It’s unreal you know, my first group one, I’ll always remember it,” said Purdon. Hectorjayjay put in a great run to come second, doing some hard work early in getting to the front which may have taken some sting from his trademark finish. While Nathan Purdon planned on having “a few beers with the boys” to celebrate his first Group 1 win, Ohoka Punter will have a brief break before continuing on with his campaign. “He can have a few days off, then we’ll head towards Melbourne where he can contest a few free for all races and then it’s Perth for the Inter Dominion,” said Purdon. The Queensland Derby was another curveball of the night, it was a surprise win for Catcha Lefty, the good draw (gate two) letting him find a comfortable position behind the leader before getting up towards the inside to secure a popular local victory. The Village Jasper gelding beat quality horses like Match In Heaven and Stanley Ross Robyn in a driving finish. Star filly Nek Time, who unfortunately pulled up during the race and was said to be carrying a mild virus. In both the QBRED Triad Finals, both the favourites and the Picket Fence contenders were knocked out of the win. Im Norma Jean (Modern Art) claimed the QBRED Triad filly’s final win, the gutsy youngster coming home in fine form down the outside to take the victory. Picket Fence hopeful Slippery Jade had a tough run throughout the race, fighting well to place fourth, favourite Jossie Jones coming in third. The QBRED Triad final for colts and geldings saw Changeoverme (Changeover) came through on the inside to take a brilliant win, the promising gelding probably going better than its form read going into the race. Maestro Bellini did a lot of work in the run, battling on well in the straight to come third, as did Rock With Sam who looked like winning but got run down in the final stages to take second. Racing Queensland

Harness racing trainer Nathan Purdon has the mindset of glass half full as he approaches the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake this Saturday night. The New Zealand born horseman prepares former dual Derby winner Ohoka Punter in the Albion Park feature, considered as the biggest threat to end the winning run of emerging star Hectorjayjay. To date, Ohoka Punter has come up a little short in his battle with Hectorjayjay who has taken the bragging rights on both occasions they've met. The David Aiken trained Hectorjayjay is aiming for his fifth straight victory this weekend. Ohoka Punter tried valiantly after doing a mountain of mid-race work in the Gr.1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle two starts ago when third before finishing in the same position last week after coming from a long way back. “We’re close but not close enough at this stage, he’s got the wood on us so far and the draw gives him a great chance of extending that record this weekend. Last week, we both had second-line draws and this week we both move to the front-line but unfortunately, his draws have been a little better.” Purdon said. Ohoka Punter starts from gate six with Hectorjayjay drawn to his immediate inside and many believe both pacers will push forward from their front-line draws. But Purdon is very respectful of the skills of champion reinsman Gavin Lang and is not prepared to show his hand. “Gavin is a wonderful driver, he has options because the horse has gate speed but he also showed he is just as good coming from off the pace. Given the pace drawn on our inside, we may just float forward before making a play for the lead without being stuck out wide for too long. “It’s not the best draw but it’s not worst draw, I’ll be having a close look at Gavin at the start and that will probably give me a clearer indication of what I will do. The extra distance is going to suit my horse better; his record over the longer journeys is pretty good. “I’m really happy with his condition right now and he’s pulled up very well from last week so he’s a happy horse but Hectorjayjay has been quite unbelievable in his past two starts. We’re fit and ready but we do require some luck going our way.” The form of Ohoka Punter on Australian soil is outstanding with the Bettor's Delight entire yet to miss a place in 11 starts to date. Previously prepared by champion horseman Tony Herlihy, Ohoka Punter continues to thrive on the Australian racing style and looms as a live chance of claiming his second Gr.1 victory in Australian following his success in the Victoria Derby as a three-year-old. A decision on his future after this weekend is yet to be made, connections have ample options with the New Zealand Cup in Christchurch or the Inter Dominion series in Perth later this year both making strong appeal. Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016

Queensland Winter Harness Racing Carnival will heat up when a vast quality of interstate and New Zealand three-year-olds converge on Queensland to stake their claim in the Picket Fence Bonuses worth $111,000. The ground-breaking Picket Fence promotion offers trainers and owners the chance to win a share of $111,000 in bonuses if their horse can win three races in a row in Queensland including one of four feature races on Blacks A Fake Night on 16 July. The upcoming three-year-old features including the Gold Coast and Queensland Oaks and Derby will be hotly contested, with quality horses like Kimani, Charlaval and Nek Time looking to secure two victories in the lead-up to the Blacks A Fake finals night at Albion Park on July 16. Nek Time, who will be targeting the Gold Coast Oaks this Saturday is one of the leading contenders for Picket Fence Bonuses, having come back from a spell in March and performing well. The three-year-old filly has won four of her last eight starts in New Zealand, setting a national record in the G2 Southland Oaks by a widening margin at Invercargill back in April. The Terry and Glenys Chmiel-trained filly arrived in Australia just under two weeks ago and is settling in well, staying at Ian Gurney’s property and being looked after by Nathan Purdon. “She’s been doing really well since she’s been there, she’s as bright as a button and it’s a nice property up there so she’s settling in well,” said Chmiel. While all is going well, Chmiel said the three-year-old filly can be quite temperamental and likes being the boss in any given situation. “She’s temperamental, she’s a one-person filly and she quite likes the wife,” “She’s pretty competitive on and off the track and likes to be in charge, in the last few months she’s really developed and grown into herself, she’s developed into a nice three-year-old,” said Chmiel. Chmiel is happy with Nek Time’s form since arriving in Queensland, last Friday’s trial over 1660 meters at Albion being covered comfortably in a time of 1:55.2. “We were pretty happy with the way she trailed the other night and she’s drawn well for Saturday (Fr2), hopefully we can lead from the front.” Other three-year-olds to watch out for include locals Catcha Lefty, Leos Best, Mattgregor and Son Of Mara. Leos Best is enjoying a good run, winning five of his last nine starts, including his last start, the Rising Stars C3/C4 Final at Albion Park on June 18. Catcha Lefty narrowly missed out on a second Picket at Albion Park last start in the Rising Stars C1/C2 Final on June 25, coming in third. Son Of Mara is a strong Queensland horse who has already earned himself a Picket, but the New Zealand and interstate rivalry is tough, and with the likes of Living Again and Roarn already having earnt a Picket as well, many more local and visiting horses will be working hard to open their campaigns with a win in the near future. Albion Park will have a 10 race card including four feature races this Saturday night. With a total prize money pool of $171,000 the four feature races are the Garrards Gold Coast Oaks for three-year-old fillies, the Horsepower Four-year-old Championship, the Garrards Premiers Cup and the Mr Feelgood Open Pace. Racing starts at 5.12pm. Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 02 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 02 July 2016

Despite tasting defeat, talented young harness racing horseman Nathan Purdon walked away from last Sunday’s Sydney feature meeting a content person. Purdon prepared Ohoka Punter for the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Menangle and the star pacer produced a courageous effort to fill third placing behind the David Aiken duo of Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark in a time of 1:50.5. Following two brilliant victories at Albion Park, connections decided to take at throw at the stumps and head south for the sprint feature rather than stay and wait in Brisbane for the upcoming winter carnival features. And the two start campaign proved very successful. “He performed at a very high level in both starts, his first-up win was very impressive and I thought his effort in the Len Smith was very commendable given how much work he did and the time they posted. The top two finishes are wee nice horses.” Purdon said. The New Zealand horseman has returned to Brisbane and Ohoka Punter is due back tomorrow (Thursday) in readiness for next week’s Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake the following week. The open class features during the carnival are loaded with stars including Hectorjayjay, Christen Me, Avonnova and Ultimate Art but Ohoka Punter is right there with them and Purdon is just hoping for some luck. “The Brisbane style of racing is very hard and a little unforgiving so we need to be at our best and have lady luck on our side in both events. The barrier draw for each race will go a long way in determining who gains the advantage. “The best part about last Sunday was the way he came through the race, I couldn’t be happier with the way he pulled up and his recovery was great so that’s very pleasing as we head into the Brisbane features.” Champion reinsman Anthony Butt handled the dual Group One winner in Sydney but Purdon will take the lines himself in both Albion Park features. The barrier draw for the Sunshine Sprint will be conducted next Tuesday (July 5). Chris Barsby

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