Ownership adds extra dimension to Kaikoura wins

By Michael Guerin

It was “bring your own” day at Kaikoura on Monday and not just the food and drink.

Because three talented horsemen, two of them legends of the industry, brought horses they actually own or part-own to the meeting to win the three biggest races.

Mark Purdon is, of course, a part owner of Kaikoura Cup winner Akuta and he will be in the sulky behind him in the NZ Cup in two weeks.

Purdon’s son Michael also trains Mystic Max, who was on his best behaviour and beautifully driven to win the IRT South Bay Trotters Cup, earning his ticket to two open class starts during Cup week.

“He will go to the 2000m stand on the first day and then the Dominion,” says Michael.

“I am glad to see him back stepping well and trotting away because we know he has the motor.”

But perhaps the most surprising owner/horseman in the winner’s circle was Ricky May, who shares in the ownership of Jimmy James Maguire, who led throughout to just hold on in the $50,000 NZB Sales Series Classic.

Among May’s other owners in the four-year-old are his sister Mandy and her husband Tony Hurst and May says he can barely remember owning a horse.

“It is very rare for me to own one although Judy (wife) has had a few,” says May.

“I get a real thrill out of it, especially owning him with my sister and some great people,” says May.

“I got into the horse when Benny (Brendon Hill, trainer) bought him at the sales,” says May.

“He has always been a nice horse and he actually spelled at Mandy and Tony’s place and when he came back I was jogging him up for Benny and I could tell straight away he was a lot stronger.”

Already having placed in a Methven Cup, Jimmy James Maguire clearly has the motor for open class and May says he wouldn’t be surprised if he was a Cup horse this time next season.

“He has handled it racing out of his grade already and he is a strong little horse.

“So I’m really enjoying being part of it.”

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