Day At The Track

Duane is a class act in his own right

10:41 AM 25 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Duane Marfisi - Rates Mark Purdon the best horseman he has ever worked with
Duane Marfisi - Rates Mark Purdon the best horseman he has ever worked with

The foreman at All Stars Racing Stables is the Canadian Duane Marfisi. Every so often he gives us his views on things at the most successful barn in new Zealand and the following is his latest offering.


Harness racing is not always what you expect it to be.

On December 11 I thought we might win five up here. I was disappointed. We ran a lot of placings but we were kept to one win. Fortunately things got better from there.

We have a team of 20 up here now.

I start feeding up at 4.30 Tim and Shaun are here at 5 and the ground staff begin at 5.30.

We work the team, clean up the barn and gear, set out the feed and stroll out about 12 to feed ourselves and re-energise.

We are back at 1 to fetch the team out of the paddocks and start the second shift.

We equisage most of them, putting them in the water walker for 40 minutes, brush bandage and fluff them so we are tired at the end of the day.

But we are passionate about our work, we strive to win.

Leading into the 18th December meet our master horseman joined us.

It is a great pleasure to work with Mark Purdon.

He is quiet, genuine and by far the best horseman I have had contact with.

When I make that statement you have to to understand that I have placed myself with some great horseman over the years.

Bill Robinson in the 1990's travelling the grand circuit and watching Brett Pelling and Kiwis dominate the next decade.

Bill O'Donnell and John Campbell I was associated with in the 1980's and later with the likes of Tim Tetrick and Jody Jamieson.

I was also fortunate enough to spend time with Stanley Dancer in his "last hurrah" , not to mention all the other great "behind the scenes" horsemen.

So I do know what I am talking about.

I love this life, its not work, its a passion.

To wake up in the morning and do something you love is gold.

The beauty of this game is to keep your mouth shut, keep your eyes open and ask questions.

Most experienced horsemen are willing to share their knowledge.

So now we head to the December 31st Premier meeting.

Believe me these aching bones are going to try and win some races!

Good luck to you all and remember to take a wee bit of time to enjoy Christmas and stay healthy and happy from then on.

Duane Marfisi  -  All Stars Racing Stables

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