Spellbound wins again at Melton

Amazing Dream hogs the limelight, but in many ways Spellbound has been just as important to Nathan Purdon since he made Victoria home.

Sure, Amazing Dream has done magnificent things and won much bigger races, but it was Spellbound who first put him on the map and keeps delivering.

Spellbound’s 12 starts since joining Purdon’s barn have netted six wins, three seconds a third and earned almost $140,000.

The rising five-year-old’s latest win came when she circled the field from last for driver Stewie McDonald to beat another star mare, Maajida, by 1.2m in a 1min55.6sec mile rate for 2240m in the Group 3 Alabar Silver Chalice  at Melton. 

“She’s been a great mare for me, I owe her a lot,” Purdon said.

On the same card, David Aiken’s filly Patsy Valentine upstaged her rivals as an $18 for driver Chris Alford to win the Youthful Stakes for 2YO fillies in a slick 1min54.5sec mile rate for 1720m.

There was a minor upset in the colts and geldings version as well when Julie Douglas’ Interest Free stormed home from last to win, beating hot-pot Khafaji, in a 1min54.4sec mile rate.


Encipher isn’t just a star filly, she’s a tough one, too.

Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s daughter of Captaintreacherous was lining-up for the fifth successive week when she brilliantly won the $50,000 Southern Cross 2YO fillies’ final at Globe Derby last night.

It came just a fortnight after she sat parked much of the race to win the Breeders Crown final.

And now she heads back to Victoria where the Vicbred series starts with a heat at Shepparton on Tuesday week.

“It’s a busy schedule, but she seems to be handling it well,”owner-breeder Tyson Linke said.

Encipher led throughout for stand-in driver Mark Billinger to beat Geoff Webster’s pair Elegant, who sat parked and ran a terrific second, with Flirting third in a 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1800m.

Stewart and Tonkin also won the $50,000 3YO fillies final with Treachery, giving her a seventh win from just 17 starts. Six of those wins have come at Globe Derby, including the Allwood 2YO final and Southern Cross finals two and now three.

Geoff Webster’s classy Tuppence scored a richly deserved feature win when he landed the $50,000 Southern Cross final for three-year-old colts and geldings.


It's always exciting when a former top racemare’s first foal goes to the races.

And, in the case of the brilliant former Kiwi-bred mare Arms Of An Angel, the excitement was justified when Nonparriel (by Always B Miki) led and cruised to an easy debut win for trainer Jess Tubbs and driver James Herbertson.

Arms Of An Angel is one of the fastest mares Australia has seen with 12 wins and 10 placings.

It was in the care of Shane and Lauren Tritton where she thrived, racing 14 times for 10 wins and three thirds. She won at Group 2 level and twice at Group 3.

But it was her third in the 2016 Chariots Of Fire and Miracle Miles, both behind Have Faith In Me, which underlined her greatness. They went 1min47.5sec in that Miracle Mile.

Nonparriel is her first foal and she’s since had two colts by Art Major.


Tasmanian harness racing grabbed some prime time last Friday night for heats of the Tassie Golden Apple at Launceston last Friday night.

The first heat was a ripper with the emerging Sunny Sanz finding the front and running along for driver Gareth Rattray and holding-off local star Ryley Major (off a 30m handicap) to win by 2.6m in a 1min59.4sec mile rate for the 2200m standing start.

They went exactly the same in heat two where another top flight local The Shallows overcame a 30m backmark to win in great fashion for trainer-driver Heath Woods.


Related Category News

11 December 2023

Next gen Kiwis heading to IDs big finale

While there are no Kiwi trained horses and/or top drivers competing on the final night of the Inter Dominions in Queensland this Saturday, there will still be some involvement from this side of the Tasman.  

11 December 2023

Purdon's split second decision pays dividends on GP day

Pulling the left rein proved to be a case of pulling the right rein for Mark Purdon in the Group One New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All at Addington on Grand Prix Day.