Dalgety and Purdon to combine rich family legacies
By Jonny Turner
Two outstanding harness racing families will combine when Nathan Purdon joins Cran Dalgety in a training partnership next season.
Dalgety has handed Purdon the opportunity to add to his family’s incredible legacy and follow in the giant footsteps of his father, Mark, and grandfather, Roy, by producing feature race winners in New Zealand.
With his blueblood harness racing pedigree and his outstanding experience around the world it was an easy offer to make, Dalgety said.
“He is quite chuffed about it.”
“He has been around Australia and worked in America and worked in Sweden and he is probably at the stage where he wants to take the knowledge he has and take it in to practice.”
“Being a son of Mark Purdon, he was an easy sell to my clients.”
Though he has not tasted big race success in New Zealand, Purdon brings a CV already stamped with a group 1 win to the partnership.
He trained and drove Ohoka Punter to win the group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in 2016.
That feat heads Purdon’s long list of harness racing experiences around the world.
Those experiences and having some of his family’s outstanding horse talent will make him a huge asset to his stable, Dalgety said.
“In terms of reading a horse, he can read them like a book, he is very talented in that area.”
“He has got a fair bit of his Dad in him, so if we can make benefit of that it will be great for both of us.”
The move to form a partnership does not signal a huge chance in direction for Dalgety.
It will largely be business as usual for the multiple group 1 winning trainer, next season.
“It will be very similar, its just Nathan will have a percentage more of extra responsibility and I am sure he will lift from that,” he said.
“Nathan will learn plenty from me, but I am also looking forward to learning from him.”
It is hoped Interdominion heat winner Pat’s Delight will be the flag bearer for the new Dalgety-Purdon stable, next season.
The talented 4yr-old has slipped in to harness racing obscurity after spending much of the second half of this season in the spelling paddock following his Interdominion campaign.
Pat’s Delight has this year’s Interdominions and the New Zealand Cup firmly on his agenda.
The pacer is back in work and will be ready to race well ahead of his major race assignments, as he is about four weeks away from trialling.
Dalgety said he plans to race Pat’s Delight in early lead up races to the New Zealand Cup before letting the horse freshen.
“He had eight months out and he is a bit bulkier now and a bit stronger and I think he has gone to the next level.”
“He will be our flag flier and I hope we can build a team around him.”
Dalgety will have two runners at Addington on Friday night as his time as a solo trainer draws to a close.
Flyin Milly Mac looks an excellent winning chance in race 4 on the strength of her second placing behind I'mallaboutthebase in the recent Uncut Gems Mares Classic.
“She did go very good, Jimmy Curtin drove her super last start,” Dalgety said.
“With all respect to the rest, it is a drop back in class and I would like to think she is a top three shot.”
Bunzinga went an excellent race for fifth at the Harness Jewels before disappointing in her last start.
Dalgety is hopeful the 3yr-old can bounce back to form on Friday night.
“In her general well-being, she is in good shape.”