'Perfect' Orange still winning while on Purdon payroll
Blair Orange officially moved on from the All Stars Stable just over a week ago, but he's still winning big races for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
Orange delivered the perfect drive to position talented three-year-old Someardensomewhere one back in the running line before the pair cantered to victory in the Timaru Winter Cup yesterday.
Purdon and Rasmussen had every reason to leave Orange on the well-bred Somebeachsomewhere- L'Oiseau De Nuit three-year-old after the pair had been successful in the current campaign.
The cup victory was the duo's third successive win after previous victories at Blenheim and Ashburton last month.
In a season of milestones, Purdon and Rasmussen are close to another big one.
Their one and only win in Timaru brought up training win 148 for the season - a record for the All Stars barn.
The feature race of the Timaru Harness Racing Club's meeting over the 2000 metres at Phar Lap Raceway was over before they turned into the home straight.
Explosive Art and Ricky May had set a rollicking pace at the front which played right into Orange's hands as he waited patiently in the prime spot.
With no challengers for the lead, the race finished with a predictable burst of speed from Someardensomewhere to overcome May and Explosive Art.
The All Stars barn seemed to destined to go to 149 winners in the penultimate race of the day with hot favourite Big Lucy. But the $1.40 hotpot failed to deliver and finished back in a disappointing sixth.
Dexter Dunn had an uncharacteristic winless day in Timaru, to remain on 196 driving wins.
Sam Ottley steered $27 roughie Dream Big home in the opening race of the day to register win number 44 for the season.
Despite a quiet weekend by her standards with just the one win over three meetings, Ottley still leads the national junior drivers' premiership by three wins over Auckland driver Sailesh Abernethy.
Meanwhile former Kaiapoi trainer Brent Lilley enjoyed a big win in Australia with ex All Stars runner Messini in Melbourne on Saturday night.
The promising Art Major-Mesmerizing three-year-old driven by Chris Alford pulled away in the final stages to win the $110,000 Empire Stallions Vicbred super series at Melton.
Lilley also lined up another former All Stars runner, Iceobar, who ran third in the super series two- year-old final earlier in the night.
The Timaru Herald