Team Purdon underway in 2023

By Michael Guerin

New Zealand’s newest and possibly most powerful training operation can only get better.

Because it can’t get any worse than the start for champion trainer Mark Purdon and new partner, his son Nathan.

Nathan finally officially joined the family business at the All Stars on New Year’s Day as he became a partner after the leaving of Hayden Cullen to join Team Telfer.

The new partnership was no real surprise and had been hinted at for some time but Mark says it is great to have his son working alongside him as is his other son Michael so the whole family is back together under one barn roof.

“It is great to have them both here and Nathan has a lot of top end experience both here and in Australia so he will be a real asset,” says Mark.

But the father and son pair had a less than stellar start together with the sole runner so far A Bettor You starting favourite at Rangiora on Sunday but dropping out to finish last.

She was later found to had suffered atrial fibrillation and while she will be fine it was a inauspicious start to the next leg of the Purdon dynasty.

The stable has an enormous amount of firepower to go on with though.

The stable stars Self Assured and Akuta will both being staying home in New Zealand and will head north with the ultimate aim The Race by Grins in April and the Auckland Cup the following month.

“Self Assured is on the water walker and then will be heading north so definifely no Australia for him or Akuta, whose main goal is going to be The Race by Grins.”

Purdon says he and Nathan will not be campaigning horses in either Victoria or New South Wales this summer.

They also don’t at this stage have any juveniles likely to head north in the early part of the season.

“I think with the longer season most of ours here will stay arond the south until after Welcome Stakes time,” says Purdon.

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