Day At The Track

First four for Purdon

07:41 AM 17 Oct 2016 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Barry Purdon - master trainer
Barry Purdon
Duane Ranger photo

When you have been training for as long as Barry Purdon there aren’t many firsts left to achieve.

But the Hall of Famer thinks he might have produced one when he trained the first four home in the Holmes D G, a race named after one of Purdon’s all-time greats, at Alexandra Park on Friday.

Aliante headed home an all-mares trifecta by trailing and using the passing lane to run down Ideal Belle, with Arden’s Choice close up in third.

Purdon also trains fourth-placed The Faithful and the result is even more remarkable as he has been the caretaker trainer of Rocker Band, who finished fifth, for the last few weeks.

So he took five horses to the race and they finished first to fifth, which would be a wonderful achievement in any race, let alone a serious open class feature.

Purdon was “pretty sure” it was his first career first four, definitely since training on his own account, although the stable may have pulled it off when he trained in partnership with father Roy decades ago.

“I don’t think I have had four in a race that many times and they well went great,” he said.

“So while I can’t be sure I think that would be my first first four.”

Then came one of the most prophetic statements of the harness racing season so far.

“I am sure Mark has done it before though. He has probably trained the first four home in a Sires’ Stakes Final or something,” laughed Purdon, talking about his brother.

Boom. Just 10 minutes after those words came out of Purdon’s mouth, his little brother and partner Natalie Rasmussen trained the first four in the last race at Addington.

So two brothers, 1000kms apart, training first fours at metropolitan tracks an hour apart? I am not sure if anybody, anywhere keeps records on that sort of thing but you can bet if it has happened before it wouldn’t be very often.

With the first three home being mares Purdon has some serious ammunition to aim at the Queen of Hearts at Alexandra Park in December, what is shaping as one of the best races of that carnival.

But while all was good at Alexandra Park on Friday, the stable’s best mare Start Dreaming is recovering from a health scare.

She suffered a bout of pneumonia a few days after her last start two weeks ago, so bad her lungs needed to be drained.

“She is coming back to it now but it is a real rarity and she was pretty sick there for a while.

“But she will be back jogging soon and should still be on target for the Queen of Hearts, which is the logical aim for all these mares.”

While the Purdon team were on fire in the Holmes D G, favourite punters had little reason for joy with Hughie Green.

He hit traffic early, got back behind the wrong horses and then when driver Maurice McKendry went to the markers to try and make ground with a lap to go he never got clear again.

The other punter stinger was No Doctor Needed, who had no luck either and dropped out late, understandably considering the 3:22.6 for the 2700m stand.

His trainer Steve Telfer wasn’t too disappointed, citing the lack of racing luck as the main reason, and he still heads to the Kaikoura Cup with the New Zealand Cup the aim after that.

Michael Guerin

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: