News

All Stars juggernaut kicks in to high gear at Addington

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Nine winners in the space of a fortnight has seen normal transmission return for the All Stars camp.

After a quiet time of it while they focussed on Australian features, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen stable has fired back into life in the past two weeks with a good run, including three on Sunday at the Cheviot Harness Racing Club’s meeting.

Included in those successes was the win of Dracarys in the Group 3 Leonard Memorial ($25,000) for the two-year-old fillies after she proved too strong for her stablemate, Kayla Marie, inside the final 100 metres.

Owned and bred by Trevor Casey, Dracarys, who like many of Casey’s horses is named after a Game Of Thrones reference, is the first foal of six-win mare Spirit Of Art (Bettor’s Delight).

She’d run second on debut a week earlier at Addington behind Kayla Marie and the pair set down to fight it out again.

Michelle Nelson gave Kayla Marie every opportunity but was unable to hold out the late surge of the winner, who looks a filly of some potential.

There’s a chance both fillies will be on a truck to Invercargill this week to tackle challenges on offer down there over the coming month with that float load being headlined by the brilliant More The Better, who is set to resume after a good trial performance during the week.

Casey was the man of the moment at the meeting, owning shares in all three of the All Stars winners.

He also bred maiden trotting winner Winterfell, who was handled by Nathan Purdon.

A three-year-old son of Una Bromac, Winterfell was driven confidently and held off the challenge of the talented Majestic Hurricane comfortably.

The third win for the day came courtesy of Funatthebeach - a three-year-old pacer on the New Zealand Derby path.

The Somebeachsomewhere colt is from former All Stars pacer, Minnie Moose and was purchased by Casey, Neil Pilcher and Paul Hailes as a yearling.

He’s won his last two on end and is held in high regard by the stable. 

Sunday’s success followed on from a big night at Auckland where the stable won with Sicario, Elle Mac and Princess Tiffany.

That takes them to 56 wins for the season and puts them two clear of Robert Dunn, who up until the recent turn around in form held sway at the top of the premiership.

* * * * *

Classie American does it again in Stratford Cup

Just two days after taking out the Taranaki Cup, Te Awamutu pacer Classie American went back-to-back in the $10,000 Stratford Cup on Sunday.

Add in the Otaki Cup he won on February 4 and he has a near-insurmountable lead in the Northern Country Cups Championship, which culminates at Hawera on Easter Monday.

The Ron Richardson-trained pacer was already won in excess of $30,000 in 2018 and sits well-entrenched in the top 12 for the Harness Jewels on his back doorstep in June.

Fellow Te Awamutu-trained pacer Toro Delago also followed up a Taranaki win with another at Stratford, nosing out Lynton Creek in the hands of Peter Ferguson for trainer Murray Logan.

  • NZ Harness News