All Stars pair take 2YO classics
NZ HARNESS NEWS
The juvenile machine that is the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen continued on in force at Alexandra Park on Friday night, taking out both feature two-year-old classics.
Smooth Deal, last year’s sale-topping yearling at Karaka, cemented himself as the standout colt of this crop with a dominant win in the Group 1 $90,000 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes.
A couple of races earlier, blueblood filly Sweet On Me made it three wins in a row to start her career with an equally authoritative win in the Group 2 $75,200 Delightful Lady Classic.
Co-trainer Mark Purdon, fresh back from a summer stint in Australia, did the driving on the pair and was effusive in his plaudits for both horses.
On Smooth Deal, he noted that the horse was “quite special” and had the world at his feet.
“He’s pretty versatile.
“As you saw tonight… when I asked him to go around them and lengthen out down the back, he just strode out like a real smart horse and then strode away at the top of the straight.
“He’s a great stayer; he just ticks all the boxes. He’s a lovely horse.”
It was the third race win in five years for Victorian owner Jean Feiss, who took it out last year with Jesse Duke and in 2015 with More The Better.
Feiss is an aggressive bidder in the sale ring, and has an outstanding record with her purchases, no matter how expensive they are.
“A lot of big money purchases don’t actually work out,” said Purdon.
“But Jean has done well with her selections.
“It’s always good when she goes in to that sale ring – she usually brings home what she wants.”
Sweet On Me has had every advantage in life, being a daughter of champion mare Adore Me, by hype stallion Sweet Lou, being raised at Woodlands Stud and then consigned to the best stable bar-none.
But she still has to do it, and that she has, comprehensively in all three runs now.
“She’s quite a bit different to Adore Me,” said Purdon.
“She’s got a little bit of ‘tartiness’ about her, but she’s a beautiful filly.”
And it’s all ahead of her, just like her Mum, who didn’t even race as a juvenile.
“This is a really, really smart filly but I think she is more of a three-year-old than she is a two-year-old.”
The win completed a great seven days for her ownership group, the Roberts and Kenny families, who also won the Group 1 A$200,000 Ladyship Mile in Sydney last Saturday night with Dream About Me.