STATS CORNER (2) -THE LEADING AUSTRALASIAN STAKES EARNERS (As at February 25 2017)
1 Black's a Fake $4.575m 2 Im Themightyquinn $4.567m 3-Smoken Up $3.66m 4-Mr Feelgood* $3.36m 6- Monkey King $3.33 m 7 Lennytheshark $2.56 8 Smolda $2.4om-9Terror To Love $2.377m 10 Changeover $2.32m 11-Shakamaker $2.29m
Mr Feelgood won the bulk of his stakes in the USA
Other horses we have found to have won over $A2m in descending order- Our Sir Vancelot, Lyell Creek*, Christen Me, Beautide, Village Kid, and Westburn Grant ($2.074m).
NZ ONLY -Elsu won over $NZ2m while Luxury Liner, Christopher Vance, Chokin, Auckland Reactor, Master Musician, Holmes D G and Yulestar won between$1.7m and $1.9m each.
*Lyell Creek seems a little short changed in Australian records at $2.25m.. He won over $2.9m according to his New Zealand record which would place him 7th on
OUR AMAZING THREE YEAR OLD SEASON
2015-2016 was a MEMORABLE season for our three year olds. They won EVERY Group One pacing race of the New Zealand season, quinellaed EIGHT of them and trifectaed one. In addition they won the NSW DERBY, VICTORIA DERBY ,VICTORIA OAKS and the NSW OAKS in Australia. That is THIRTEEN G1 winners from one crop. The New Zealand triumphs were-
SIRES STAKES FINAL; LAZARUS - 1950M 2.19.2 (1.54.8) quinella with Chase the Dream
SIRES STAKES FINAL: GOLDEN GODDESS -2200M 2.36.9 (1.54.7) quinella with Piccadilly Princess
GREAT NORTHERN DERBY -LAZARUS -2700M 3.17.1 (1.57.4) quinella with Chase the Dream
GREAT NORTHERN OAKS-PICCADILLY PRINCESS-2700M 3.17.9 (1.57.9) quinella with Golden Goddess
You will know them by now-Lazarus, Waikiki Beach, Dream About Me, Piccadilly Princess heads Golden Goddess.
NEW ZEALAND DERBY-LAZARUS- 2600M 3.08.5 (1.56.6)
NEW ZEALAND OAKS-DREAM ABOUT ME - 2600M 3.11.6 (1.58.5) quinella with Golden Goddess
NEVELE R FILLIES FINAL-DREAM ABOUT ME -1950M 2.18.1 (1.53.9) quinella with Golden Goddess
HARNESS JEWELS 3YO DIAMOND -PICCADILLY PRINCESS- one mile 1.53 quinella with Golden Goddess
HARNESS JEWELS 3YO EMERALD-HEAVEN ROCKS-one mile 1.52.4 quinella with Major Ben
**ALL STARS GROUP ONE WINNING THREE YEAR OLDS HAVE WON 42 races worth well over $2M IN STAKES THIS SEASON- $2m IN GROUP ONE RACES ALONE
***FOUR OF THE ALL STARS THREE YEAR OLDS (Lazarus, Piccadilly Princess, Dream About Me, Waikiki Beach) ARE UNBEATEN IN AUSTRALIA THIS SEASON
***LAST SEASON ALL STARS TWO YEAR OLD WON EVERY GROUP TWO YEAR OLD RACE RUN IN NZ- AND HAVE DELIVERED AGAIN
***TWO OF OUR CLASSIC WINNERS THIS SEASON DID NOT RACE AS TWO YEAR OLDS
Here are all the juvenile G1,G2 and G3 events in NZ this season-EVERY ONE WON BY AN ALL STARS HORSE!
Feb. Sapling Stakes G3-(Chase The Dream) 1st, 3rd, 4th
Feb. Kindergarten Stakes (G3) (Waikiki Beach) 1st, 2nd 3rd-trifecta
Feb. American Ideal Stakes (G3) (Northern Velocity) 1st and 2nd-quinella
Mar. Cardigan Bay Stakes (G1) (Chase The Dream) 1st and 2nd-quinella
Mar. Caduceus (Southland) (G2) (Arden's Choice) 1st and 2nd-quinella
Apr Welcome Stakes (G2) (Waikiki Beach) 1st 2nd, 3rd 4th ! FIRST FOUR
Apr. Caduceus (G1) (Dream About Me) 1st and 2nd -quinella
Apr. Sires Stakes Filly Final (G1) (Arden's Choice) 1st, 3rd, 4th
May. PGG Wrightson Sales Final (LR) (Northern Velocity) 1st)
May PGG Wrightson Sales Final (LR) (Lazarus) 1st 3rd 4th
May Sires Stakes (male) Final (G1) (Chase the Dream) 1st, 2nd, 3rd-trifecta
May Harness Emerald (G1) (Lazarus) 1st, 2nd, 3rd -trifecta
May Harness Diamond (G1) (Dream About Me) 1st and 2nd-quinella
11 Group wins, 6 Group One, 9 Quinellas, 3 trifectas, 1 First Four
AprilNZ Trotting Championship G2 (High Gait) Q 1st and 2nd quinella
April NZ Trotting Stakes (G3) (High Gait))
May Harness Ruby (G1) (Missandei) 1st and 2nd -quinella
APG final (G1) Waikiki Beach
Breeders Crown (G1) Waikiki Beach
Breeders Challenge (G1) Waikiki Beach
Breeders Crown (G1) High Gait
Redwood Classic (G1) High Gait
Breeders Crown (G1) Dream About Me
CHASE THE DREAM-Male 2yo of the Year -2 G1
NZ Sires Stakes Final G1. Young Guns Final G1. 9st 6w 2 seconds $212,000
WAIKIKI BEACH -2 G1-Australian 2yo of the Year
APG Final G1. NSW Challenge Final. G1 Welcome Stakes G2 11st 11 wins$275,000
Harness Jewels G1. PGG Wrightson Sales Final $150,000
8st 6 wins-2 placings $265,562
DREAM ABOUT ME -Female 2yo of the Year-2 G1
Harness Jewels G1. Sires Stakes Final G1. 7st 7 wins $245,000
ARDEN'S CHOICE -G1
Caduceus Classic G1 8st 2 wins 2 placings $128,000
2 wins .4th NSW Challenge G1
PGG Wrightson Sales Final ($146,000) Nevele R Stakes G2
2nd Harness Jewels G1. Sires Stakes G1 $92,000 8st 1 win 6 placings
HIGH GAIT -G1
NZ Trotting Stakes G3. Sires Stakes G2. 2nd Harness Jewels 6st nz 5w
Harness Jewels G1
CASH N FLOW
4TH PGG Wrightson Sales Final ($150,000)
4TH Welcome Stakes G2
NEWS COMMENT "HOW I MAKE IT FAIR"
YESit a great thing to have several leading contenders chasing the same Group One race and Mark and Natalie's All Stars have been at it all season. Now with 23 in the Jewels on Saturday and with several first AND second favourites in the same race it becomes even trickier than usual. Punters expect their conception of the race to play out and owners always want to see their pride and joy given every chance to win even if they fall a little short at the end. The high expectations of owners and punters of top class horses put a lot of pressure on the stable to ensure everyone is as happy as possible.
It is not easy. And sometimes punters, especially, can get suspicious they backed the "wrong one" in a race with multiple stable entries where certain things happen in a race.
Mark Purdon is especially proud of the fact the running of multiple entries in major races has a squeaky clean record froma "team driving" perspective,
"You can never predict exactly what will happen in a race so sometimes you might see something happen and think or assumed it was planned that way but almost always that is not the case. I mean you are not going to do something to cost a stablemate a chance to win but we are very sensitive about the public view of how our horses are run. It is not only because we are the biggest stable and our image is important to the whole game. It is just that it is the right thing to do by everybody concerned"
One rule Mark has is that he does not give any instructions to outside drivers in major races, in this case Jim Curtin (Cash N Flow) and Blair Orange (Linda Lovegrace)
"I prefer them to drive their own race and that way there is no confusion if an inquiry eventuates. I don't want driving instructions to suggest that there is any teamwork involved. As I said sometimes the race just does not work out the way we think it will or anyone thinks it will and we want it to be open to any questions"
Mark saysthe stable drivers may have an understanding of what might happen but once the starter says go it is everyone for him(her)self.
"I like to think each driver is driving for the owners of the horse they are handling. In these sort ofraces that is the only approach you can have which works."
Of course topline drivers have a better idea than the public of the skills and foibles of their charges and those of rival horses. But even they often have to quickly adapt to surprise tactics and nothing is ever written in concrete.
Especially in driving instructions at All Stars
Kevin Riseley Flying High in Two Countries -and at Two Gaits
SINCE THIS WAS WRITTEN KEVEN HAS RISEN TO EVEN GREATER HEIGHTS AS AN ALL STAR OWNER. HE IS A PARTNER NOT ONLY IN LAZARUS A SUPERSTAR BUT ALSO IN A BUDDING ONE, ULTIMATE MACHETE
Kevin and Carol Riseley do a lot of trans Tasman flying these days and many of the trips are pleasurable. The Riseleys have had wonderfulsuccess in their home country over the years but now they are fully involved in racing on this side of the ditch.
SUPERSONIC MISS has been one of his bigger winners to date but BORDER CONTROL has produced many thrills and is still the fastest 3yo in Australasia as well as KEPT UNDER WRAPS/THREE PINTS and he has purchased shares in several of the class of 2015. They are all pacers but back home in Victoria Kevin is even better knownfor his great success as a breeder and racer of trotting horses.
Kevin, who started breeding in the 1980's and has a state of the art property near Shepparton of 50ha is naturally proud of what he and his family have achieved.
"We are the only breeders to produce four Breeders Crown and last year we were lucky enough to win the Breeder of the Year award in Victoria" Kevin noted during his latest trip to Addington where Supersonic Miss and Kept Under Wraps were competing. He and Carol spent a week in Christchurch before flying home but will be back for the Jewels day on May 30.
Early on Kevin became best known through the deeds of National Interest a pacing bred trotter (by Torado Hanover) which won over $300,000. National Interest was from Late Withdrawal a daughter of Bay Goola one of Kevin's first purchases. He is still breeding from the family now into its fourth generation. He also stood stallions at Sheron Park which he established in 1985.
"Late Withdrawal was by our stallion Magnus Apollo and left Right Interest which won a Breeders Crown as well (as the NSW Trotting Derby and Oaks) as well as Magic Interest (Breeders Crown) and Astrud which was another topliner as well as others including Leavemein which is going well for us as a broodmare"
Kevin went into the harness game at full pitch. He has raced horses successfully in the United States and imported several mares from there. Among them was Panbroke a daughter of an American Horse of the Year and the dam of Tsaonga which was sold and went on to be Kevin's fourth Breeder's Crown winner as a breeder. She also left Mister Gunson and Dougie both prolific winners.
There have been plenty of other good winners from other sources including Be My Side which won a Vicbred 4yo Final and 13 of just 22 starts bred from Spring Wiper.
More recently Lennytheshark has been a big winner for the Sheron Park owner. The former NSW Derby and Vicbred Final winner, had nearly a year away from racing from mid 2013 after a leg injury but has bounced back possibly better than ever his recent wins including the appropriate Sheron Park Captain Sandy Stakes sponsored by the stud. His long term aim is the Inter Dominion in Perth in December.
In 2009 when he had around 30 broodmares, Kevin decided to cut back and offered 24 of them at auction. These days he has still kept the numbers down but his down to about five broodmares . retaining some Bay Goola line mares. But he is still a very busy man. He has widespread interests in racing and breeding administration He was also a member of a syndicate with purchased several yearlings for Barry Purdon's stable on one of whom Cheer The Lady won the NZ Oaks and-yes you guessed it, a Breeder's Crown.
Mark recalled how Kevin -and his nephew Martin- came into Supersonic Miss.
"Kevin rang me at the airport after the Melbourne sale and asked what shares were available in the colts. I had to tell him that they were all gone and he only one available was Supersonic Miss which I had bought on spec because she appealed to me. He came in on that and was always in Border Control too"
Kevin was a highly successful businessman initially with several panel repair shops in Melbourne and then a tow truck operation and trucking parts.
"I have handed that over to my son now and he has extended it interstate so I have even more time for the horses."
But cars and their business are still an interest. He has several classic cars including a Model T Ford and they are another interest for an interesting bloke.
HIghest priority though is still breeding or racing horses who can win a Breeder's Crown-and now a Harness Jewels to match.
Dennis Dunford -one phone call started trail of success
Mark and Dennis Dunford have had more success as owners than most at All Stars. Alleluia, Hands Christian and Have Faith in Me are just the most recent. But the Auckland real estate executive recalled after the latter's great Sires Stakes victory that it wasn't always that way.
"I think I started racing horses about 1991 somewhere around there. We had a bit of success early on but no headliners and it seemed to get worse as time went on instead of better. I decided I wanted to stay in the game and that if I was going to do so I had to change my approach"
Out of the blue he rang Mark Purdon.
"I didn't know him and he didn't know me. I said I wanted to to buy a horse and race it from his stable and Mark agreed. He would select one for us at the sales for us to race. That first one was Steve McQueen and it has gone from there. They haven't all worked of course but it was the right decision on the way to getting a really good horse"
Steve McQueen, raced in partnership, was a great start for the Dunfords. He only won three races -but what races ! He won two Sales races including a $107,000 prize in the Sales Open driven by Blair Orange and also won the Cardigan Bay Stakes then a Group Three race.
Hands Christian has been a big winner for the Dunfords on their own account even if they have need the patience of Job to keep the racing faith with him after he had twice gone amiss with a tendon problem. One aspect of Have Faith In Me's triumph on Cup Day in the Sires Stakes which must have caused much celebration for the owners was how close they had come with Hands Christian beaten half a head by Gold Ace in the same race in 2011. Hands Christian wen on to win the Easter Cup but suffered a number of close defeats. Alleluia was at one stage the most brilliant three year old in the All Stars stable though he never quite lived up to that early promise. He is now racing in Australia.
Mark Dennis was one of the most promising horses of his crop winning a Sires Stakes heat in 2.20.9 in one of only four starts here, winning two of them. In the second he beat Smolda and All Star Man He has done well in Australia and this month ran fourth to Beautide in 1.50.4 in the Group One Amatil Sprint. He has won over $200,000 across the Tasman with a best winning mr of 1.54.2.
Dennis makes no secret of how his religious beliefs play a big role in his life and helps names like Emmanuel. A two year old in the stable has been renamed Peace Be With You. He reveals that Have Faith in Me was intended to be called Have Faith In God.
"Then I considered that the horses from that family generally have Me at the end of their name (Adore Me;Christen Me etc) so I changed it to Have Faith In Me. And you may have noticed I got to mention Deo Gratias (Thanks Be to God) in my speech! I believe all these things are part of life"
Whatever the strategy or the beliefs it works. and that Deo Gratias might well be about the day Dennis Dunford decided to ring Mark
ANOTHER BIG SEASON AT PREMIER MEETINGS FOR ALL STARS
ALL STARS won 38 races this season just at Premier meetings those wins being worth more than $1.7m. By comparison only eight trainers have prepared more than 38 winners all season at any type of meeting and none have won more than $1.2m in total. All Stars is tantalisingly close to $3m for the season a mark it has reached only once before.
The Premier total while not a record for the stable is remarkable in that the stable was lightly represented in early Premier meetings. Strike rates however were extremely high.
All Stars only had seven starters on Show Day at Addington this year and only four at the first Premier meeting at Auckland on December 6. While it reached a peak of 20 starters at an April Premier at Addington it had seven and eight respectively in the two Premiers leading into the Jewels. It only had five at the Addington February Premier and there wee only six at the Auckland Cup meeting when FOLLOW THE STARS announced himself on the G1 scene. There were also only a handful when Alta Orlando gave All Stars its second successive win in the PGG Wrightson Sales Finals. The stable won 10 Group One races at Premier meetings alone, ADORE ME 's Easter Cup win being at a non Premier meeting.
The most rewarding individual meeting (apart from Jewels day) was, as is so often the case, the New Year's Eve meeting at Alexandra Park where a total of $267,000 was topped with four winners two of them Group One winners while Isaiah won the richest race on the programme the sales pace final
BLAIR SUMS UP A DECADE AT ALL STARS-AND HIS TOP FIVE BIG MOMENTS !
BLAIR ORANGE was due to finish at All Stars stable on Saturday after a decade associated with the best stable in the country- and plenty to show for it.
He finished on a high breaking into the "100 club" for the first time the latest in a string of records he has established over the years.
"My target was 50 at the start of the season. I thought I was doing well when I got to 75 and then I thought, well I might as well go for the 100. I might not get a chance to get this close again"
With help from the Mark Jones stable he has achieved his target -well ahead of any previous season.
The stimulus All Stars gave his young driving career speak for itself.
He had of course helped make his own luck, making marked improvement to rein 37 winners in the 2002 season mostly for smaller trainers like Trevor Craddock, Mike Austin, Craig Buchan, Kevin Townley, Andrew Stuart, Brian Kerr, John Parsons, Michael House and Peter Cowan. It is significant that his 100th winner for this season was for Austin and his last driving night under the All Stars banner features a drive for Buchan. But the chance to work with Mark Purdon was going to another level and Blair has always aspired to the next level.
"Mark rang me out of the blue. I had never driven for him. We talked, he made me an offer and I accepted. "
Ohoka Atom was his first winner for the stable but one of his biggest thrills came a month later when Waihemo Hanger won at the Cup meeting.
"I had never driven a winner on Cup Day so that was special ." Ironically one of his earlier regular drives for Mike Austin, Ado's Invasion, was second handled by Mark Jones.
Blair's career had started nearly seven years earlier when he was with Tim Butt and drove Whizza Nova to win at Reefton in 1996. He won 18 races in his first season for All Stars but by 2007 topped $1m in stakes won thanks chiefly to Ohoka Arizona, Fiery Falcon and Steve McQueen. In only one season since have his stakes won been less than seven figures. His best season for the stable in terms of wins was 2012 when he won 46 for All Stars from a season driving total of 81. However even in his final season with Mark and Natalie driving many of the A graders he won 39 races for the stable.
Altogether he has won $12.6m in stakes for owners over the years.
His biggest month for All Stars was in March of 2009 when he drove 11 winners for the stable going close with 10 in the same month this season.
So as he heads for his own training career -though with plenty of free lance driving still part of the package-what has he learned. Naturally the answer is "a lot".
"Obviously the overall organisation is something you don't work with often. I have worked in other top stables such as Tim and Anthony's but there is always something different they do, something you can pick up on.
"The handling of the two year olds has been one of the great experiences for me. How they are brought along and managed and each one assessed for what they can handle as youngsters. Then how they are managed during their campaigns. There was a lot in that''
"But the overall routines and stable management was just as important. So much to learn and adapt when I go out on my own training. Mark is a master at planning a programme so the horses peak for the big days. Not many can do it like he and Natalie can''
" From a driving viewpoint the horses at All Stars give you confidence in what you are going. That is a hell of an advantage and it carries over to your other drives "
If it was so good why leave ?
"I would have been quite happy to stay to be honest if an offer like Ken's (Barron) had not come along. But I was going to have to strike out a bit more on my own sooner or later and this was a deal I thought too good to let pass. It could open the way for me to have my own training operation which is the long term aim. In the meantime I will still be doing a lot of free lance and some of that for Mark Jones who has been such a boost to me this season."
Blair is aware there are plenty with doubts he is doing the right thing but that is of no concern to me.
"While I was mulling over the offer I had a few doubts myself but once I made the decision I was confident it was the right one and what anybody else thinks is not important to me.
It would be fair to say Blair Orange came to All Stars still an apprentice and left as graduate with honours on the driving track. So what were his five most memorable experiences at the stable ?
In no particular order:
- LENNON "I won a lot of races with Lennon in my first season with Mark and races like the Kindergarten, Welcome, Sapling and the Sires Stakes. He was a class horse and he gave me a lot of confidence I could measure up in the big stuff"
- WAIHEMO HANGER "He have me my first winner at the Cup meeting and that was a huge thrill for me at the time. You don't forget things like that"
- AUCKLAND REACTOR- "I won the Taylor Mile behind him. He was just a terrific horse. He had that something extra you never forget "
- ADORE ME -"Winning the Easter Cup gave a thrill like Auckland Reactor had. A special horse to drive"
- HIGHVIEW TOMMY " He might have only run second in the Cup but second in the Cup was a big thing for me. It is the race everyone wants to win and we went close. He gave me a lot of other big moments too and Tommy could be full of surprises so you never knew quite what was going to happen"
(Blair set some sort of record with Highview Tommy too driving him to win in five successive seasons. Maybe not even Mark has done that with one of the team in Blair's eara).