By Michael Guerin
It may be one of the toughest milestones to achieve in New Zealand racing but for Mark Purdon win 2000 will be a family affair.
Purdon goes into tonight’s Addington meeting on 1999 domestic wins as a trainer, many on his own, some in partnership like the one he currently shares with Natalie Rasmussen.
When he reaches the 2000 New Zealand wins — and so many more in Australia — he will join his father Roy and brother Barry as the only other trainers to do it.
Harness racing company doesn’t come any more elite.
“Like most milestones it is not something you think about because we go about our business and it will come when it comes,” says Purdon.
“But to join Dad and Barry in that club will mean a lot. That is something I will be proud of.
“It is not just about me though. So many people have to help along the way to get to this many wins. Owners, staff and of course the people I have trained with.
“So I’d like it to come this week but if not at Addington we have horses in at Alexandra Park and Methven too.”
The All Stars has four lower grade horses in tonight and usually they would dominate their markets but that is only half true tonight.
In race two they have Major Hippie as the $2 fixed odds favourite and Bettor Trix, who won impressively on debut but they meet a sharp three-year-old in Cole Porter.
“Major Hippie would probably be our better chance in that race as he trialled well recently and came his last 800m in 55 seconds,” says Purdon.
“But he is no good thing because he might actually be better driven in behind, not that he gives you a choice some times.”
The All Stars have two maidens in race four in Tennyson Bromac and Ohanzee and usually that would have the bookies petrified but tonight they find themselves on the third line of betting.
That is because they are up against the Gavin Smith-trained Bright Diamond, who was one of the better juveniles in the country last season, just behind the absolute stars at group one level.
He was fourth in the Jewels and trialled up well recently and also has the draw advantage while the depth in the race doesn’t end there.
Henry Hubert from the Dunn team has only had one start, for a second at Addington to subsequent Jewels winner Ashley Locaz and looked very forward at the workouts here recently so the All Stars pair have their work cut out.
“Our two will probably improve with the run but I’d opt for Tennyson Bromac as the better chance of the two.” The All Stars also has six horses in the north, with Cash N Flow and Thefixer to race at Alexandra Park on Friday night while Dream About Me headlines a strong four-horse team for Methven on Sunday, suggesting Mark will be in the family 2000 club before the weekend is over.
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