Roy Purdon to get new race in his name

A new race honouring the late Roy Purdon has been confirmed for Alexandra Park on Friday May 20.

The patriarch of one of racing's most successful and famous families died on February 2, aged 94, after a career that saw him train a total of 2109 winners, including 54 Group Ones.

He was the country's champion trainer on 21 occasions, either on his own account or in partnership with son Barry.

"It's an awesome idea," said Roy's daughter Suzanne Herlihy.

It was conceived by the Auckland Trotting Club.

"We just thought it was fitting," says Racing Director Karen Blanchard.

"Karen approached us and asked for our approval and we thought it would be something we'd be keen on doing," says Herlihy.

So what had been originally scheduled as the Agua Caliente will now be the Roy Purdon Memorial. It will be a Free For All for the pacers, worth $75,000.

"And it's a week before the Auckland Cup so let's hope everyone gets involved," says Blanchard.

"It should be a fun night," says Herlihy.

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