News Briefs - 26 August

First for Mark Purdon 

In nearly forty years of driving Mark Purdon will notch up a first on Friday night. He will drive in his first Maurice Holmes Vase with New Zealand Cup favourite Self Assured. The All Stars have won the race before, with Thefixer and Natalie Rasmussen two years ago. That combo went on to win the New Zealand Cup, Purdon will be aiming to do the same. The race is named after one of the all-time greats with Holmes winning 18 driving premierships between 1931-74.

Registrations closing for Awards 

Time is running out for those wanting to attend the NZB Standardbred Harness Racing Awards at Addington Raceway on September 14. Registrations are essential and they close on Tuesday, September 1. Please contact Courtney Clarke ([email protected]) to confirm attendance. Doors open at 6pm with the event starting at 6.30pm.There’ll be a free drink on arrival and nibbles provided.

Telfer trifecta at Alexandra Park 

The newly-minted brother and sister training partnership of Steve and Amanda Telfer secured their first stable trifecta at Alexandra Park last Thursday. Mimi E Coco (Andre Poutama), Cashlodo Flybye (Zachary Butcher) and Jack Ryan (Benjamin Butcher) paid $178.20

Austin hits 50 

Canterbury trainer Rodger Austin has chalked up his fiftieth winner, nearly 30 years after his first (Ever Wishful, 1991). Austin, who works as a farrier, brought up the milestone with Idle Stuartia, driven by Colin DeFilippi, at Addington last Friday.

Pushy retired after eight years of racing 

After 307 starts, former Kiwi bred Pushkin has finally been retired from racing. Bred by Birchbrook Breeding (David and Catherine Butt) and Steve Hooper, Pushkin won twice in 14 starts in New Zealand for Pukekohe trainer Jeremy Young at Cambridge in 2014. He was then exported to Australia. Now 11, the Mach Three gelding has been retired after finishing third in his swansong in Tasmania. With more than $150,000 in stakes Pushy, as he is known, had 24 wins, 23 seconds and 34 thirds.

Patronus Star goes 7 from 7

Another well-performed export Patronus Star is heading to the spelling paddock after making it seven wins from seven starts in Western Australia. When trained by Gavin Smith the American Ideal gelding won twice here (Blenheim and Timaru) before heading to the Greg and Skye Bond team in Perth.

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