News Briefs : February 1
Purdon spends big
Champion harness racing trainer Mark Purdon's been busy at this week's NZB national yearling (thoroughbred) sales at Karaka, outlaying $400,000 on three colts. He started out by buying a Savabeel colt for $200,000 with brother Barry to share in the ownership. He plans to train the horse himself. Purdon described the experience as "a great thrill" and says he used the same principle as buying a standardbred at the sales.
"Being from a top sire is like buying a Bettor's Delight - we are pleased to get a Savabeel." He then bought a Tivaci colt ($80,000) and a Proisir colt ($120,000). The NZB Standardbred sales will be held at Karaka and Christchurch from February 19-22.
Dex back in winning form
After his summer break in New Zealand Dexter Dunn has wasted no time in getting back into the winner's circle in North America. He has won with the formerly Mark Jones-trained Burnham Boy at the Meadowlands. Dunn was a regular sight especially at South Island race tracks in December-January after a 2022 that saw him named driver of the year in the USA for the fourth consecutive year.
Dunn double in premierships
And the good news for the Dunns doesn't end there. After the first month of the year the Dunns are at the top of both the training and driving premierships in this country. Dexter's brother John has 17 wins so far in 2023 to be four ahead of defending champion Blair Orange and Matthew Williamson, while Robert and Jenna Dunn have 19 wins as trainers , nine clear of second placed Phil Williamson.
Handy draw for Majestic Man
After his win last week in the Dullard Trotters Cup, Majestic Man has drawn well for Friday night's Great Southern Star heat at Melton in Victoria. The Kiwi trotting star will start at 2 in his heat with former Kiwi Mufasa Metro inside him, and defending champion Majestuoso immediately on his outside. After the two Group 1 heats on Friday the $300,000 final will be held later on the same night.
3000 club date set
A date has been confirmed for the Ricky May - Maurice McKendry - Tony Herlihy showdown at Methven. They are the only drivers in this country to have had more than 3000 successes. The three will drive against themselves, and others, in a series of races at Mt Harding on Sunday, April 16. Initially the plan was for the 3000 club series to be held in January last year before it was postponed because of Covid restrictions.