Mark talks About Addington Friday

All Stars Incomparable record in the Flying Stakes- Will it Continue ?(Here and There)

                                                                      Partyon to race for Dean Braun stable in $A30,000 feature at Melton Saturday                                                                     



Below 1) Turn it Up , the latest Courage Under Fire winner for Neil Pilcher who races him with Jim Gibbs 2) Anthem with familiar owners  3) Australian owned Enhance Your Calm has them covered. 4) Elle Mac turns in an outstanding performance and the whip has been put away. Bettor Trix top effort for second 5) Tennyson Bromac team straight back in the winners circle 6) Funatthebeach just stepped up in great style.  7) Winterfell 



              NEWS AND VIEWS



Phil Neil Pilcher and Glenys.JPG
Trevor and Kate.JPG


All Stars Stable has won seven races on the card three times stretching from 2009 until 2018 and these owners, Phil and Glenys Kennard and Neil Pilcher have featured among the winners in all three of them, a handy feat over a nine year span. It would be fair to say that Trevor Casey only missed by one day joining the top circle and and Bill and Jean Feiss, who were not stable patrons in 2009 have made some strong ground since. 

PHIL AND GLENYS raced Major Mark and Highview Tommy when All Stars produced their history smashing Magnificent Seven in December 2009. On Cup Day 2014 when All Stars won seven of the only nine races in which it competed (12 race programme) the Kennards featured in the ownership of Prince Fearless and had two winners last week, Anthem and Tennyson Bromac all in partnership.

PILCH   who also dislikes racing horses on his own, won two races at the 2009 meeting in Major Mark and Russley Rascal probably two of the four best horses he has owned.  In 2014 he featured as an owner of Prince Fearless  and last week scored a double with Turn it Up and Funatthebeach.

TREVOR CASEY NOW HAS AN EQUAL CLAIM  having owned outright Pocaro a winner in 2009 and Winterfell a winner last week. He is also a shareholder in Funatthebeach.A winner in 2014  was the Bill Feiss-owned Messini (one of two winners for Bill that day) and while only Bill's name was in the ownership officially Trevor became a partner the day before the race and not the day after.. Messini won among other races the Christian Cullen FFA at Addington that season and was later sold in Australia. 

"I've got the strongest evidence-I got my share of the stakes!" Trevor notes. 

"I actually paid for my share the day before the race but my name wasn't included on the day's result. "

Bill Feiss's other winner that day was Backup the first Feiss horse to enter the All Stars stable. Last week Jean Feiss watched her star filly, Elle Mac join the "seven high" club,.

While the  "seven from nine" record of 2014 set a new standard it cannot equal last week's record-though at a non Premier meeting_ where All Stars won all seven races it produced horses in. Two of the races featured stable quinellas. It will be a winter's day before we see that again,

The table of winners reflects the loyal list of All Star owners the 21 winners being raced by names like the Whitelocks, Charlie Roberts and Paul and Mary Kenny, Breckon partnerships:, Phil Creighton, Gavin Douglas Merv and Meg Butterworth among them. 





 Jack Cade, third Flying Stakes winner for All Stars in 2002

Jack Cade, third Flying Stakes winner for All Stars in 2002

All Stars have an UNMATCHED record in the Flying Stakes the G2 feature on Friday night having won 11 times in all since 1996. More incredibly the stable has won 10 renewals this century since Hunka Hickling won the first  in 2000 . Even more remarkably, since Auckland Reactor won in 2008 All Stars have won 8 renewals in the race being beaten in only two years in the last 10 - in 2011 when Major Mark ran third to the dead-heaters Terror To Love and Gold Ace in a memorable year of three year olds -and 2013 when Border Control ran Ohoka Punter to a neck. The winner was driven by Tony Herlihy who guided Sharp and Telford to All Stars first win in the race back in 1996 when Mark drove third- placed The Court Owl.

On Friday the stable is tying for a fifth win in succession a run started  when  2014 when Natalie guided Isaiah home. That was followed by another huge stat in 2015 when Have Faith In Me, Follow the Stars and Hug the Wind trifectaed the race.

The race history is a story of harness racing in miniature in New Zealand and one factor in the battles owners and trainers have had to stay competitive. Southland stables won several of the early editions after the introduction of the race in 1980 but haven't won since Country Edition was successful for Colin Baynes in 2001. Fillies no longer take on the males but Preferred beat her mail rivals in 1984 the only filly to win.

The tale of the race stake tells another story. It began at a modest $12,500 but the inflationary boom of the 1980's saw it rise to $45,00 by 1986, $50,000 the following year and $70,000 by 1990. It returned to $50,000 in the early 1990's  until reduced to $40,000 in 2011,  before being restored to $50,000 this term.

WINNERS: Sharp and Telford (1996) Hunka Hickling (2000) Jack Cade (2002) Auckland Reactor (2008) Sleepy Tripp (2009) Kotare Mach (2010) Smolda (2012) -quinella with Fly Like Eagle-Isiaah (2014) Have Faith in Me (2015) Lazarus (2016) Ultimate Machete (2017







Addington  Friday

5.48: Jesse Duke (1) Mark  A Bettor Act (4) -Sliders on-Natalie

6.16: Luby Lou  (5) Mark NZ Trotting Oaks

7.44:      Anthem (4) Natalie Funatthebeach (7) Tim  Sicario (8) Mark 

8.44: More the Better (6) Mark 

Auckland Friday- (non tote) Sires Stakes qualifier- The Moonshadow  Tony Herlihy

Danny Zavitsanos approached Mark and Natalie as  prospective client looking for a change of luck with his racing interests. He came to the right place. He has had a stellar month winning the Sapling Stakes and Kindergarten Stakes with War Dan Delight after Enhcnace Your Calm which he and his wife bought a few weeks ago won his trotting debut at Addington on Friday.
War Dan Delight, given a dream trail by Natalie behind Jack Jones, sprinted home in 27 to hold out Another Masterpiece who again impressed with his strong finish. Jack Jones who was responsible for the scorching pace as a result of being too keen faded to finish fourth.
Earlier Semiramide ended All Stars's dream run of 17 successive winners when beaten into third .



                                               FROM THE TOP TABLE

 War Dan Delight

War Dan Delight

 Natalie and Mark's Updates

Natalie and Mark's Updates



jESSE DUKE looks fairly obvious. Done well since last racing and it was a phenomenal performance in Auckland. I carefully checked the times because you can sometimes overrate a run like that but I couldn't find anything in the sectionals which said anything else than a great run. Maybe he hadn't looked like a real special two year old at that stage like,say, Follow the Stars was, but on the other hand he hadn't been asked for a lot either. A BETTOR ACT has some gear changes and while he is a nice two year old of course hard to see him turning the tables.

LUBY LOU has trained on well since her trip down south. She is trotting well and has always had a lot of ability so if she does it right she should be one of our best of the night I have a drive on PIRATE BAY on the night. I don't know much about him, just got a text from Sam (Smolenski) but I did notice he went a good race last week.

The FLYING STAKES  is an interesting race. I just think the way the race is likely to be run ANTHEM, Nat's drive, is going to get a better run than SICARIO and that could make the difference. I know Sicario has looked the next best to Chase Auckland but I am concerned about going back from the draw. if Sheriff gets it too soft in front from his draw he will dominate the race and that will not help Sicario's chances if he is back off the pace. So Anthem could end up getting the best run of ours and he is a smart horse. 

I would have been quite happy to drive FUNATTHEBEACH  and he is developing into a nice horse. I am looking at giving him a break after the Derby and I think next season he could be  really nice horse going through the grades and not having much trouble doing it the way he is shaping. It is another step up for him here even though he did things the hard way so good last week but he is certainly not out of his class. But as I say the way I think the race will be run might favour Anthem

MORE THE BETTER is another to have done well since his trip south and with his class he should measure up in this field though they are never easy. It is another step toward the Easter Cup so he will need  a good hitout.

TENNYSON BROMAC  would probably have to be in work Friday or Saturday to have a hope of running in the Derby. He bounced back and then went a little off his feed again so it is a case of waiting to see.



Chase Auckland is out of the Derby and the Flying Stakes next week. He has a curb and we will give him about three weeks  off now and assess where we are with him. If all goes well he could be got up for the Harness Jewels otherwise he will have a long break with an eye to the Cup meeting in November maybe. It is bad luck from a timing viewpoint though the owners have had a good run with him so far and these things are always a possibility. We have some other nice three year olds to tackle the Derby but he  will certainly be missed. 

We had been up in Hanmer for a short break this week so full credit to the staff topping off the team for Friday's racing. It was a wonderful effort from all of them and they deserve a lion's share of the praise for our success this week.  We headed home on Friday and while we kept tags on how things were going it was a tribute to Tim and Michelle in particular but also all the rest  of our staff that it turned out so well on Friday. WE are thrilled with the way they have achieved what they have,



  •                                                   STATS AND FACTS

  • MARK is the latest driver to top 1500 winning drives in the same season he joined the exclusive 2000+ training winners. Next target ? The first 2000 win trainer to also drive 2000 winners. 
  • ALL STARS has won five of the last seven runnings of the Young Guns (Cardigan Bay Stakes G1) and three of the last seven Northern Derby's. It has also won five of the last seven Northern Oaks,
  • MILLIONAIRE ALL STARS - 1. Lazarus approx $3.9m 2  Smolda $2,558,5442.  3. Auckland Reactor $1,837,043 4.Adore Me $1,677,032 5 Il Vicolo $1,580,948 6 Have Faith In Me $1,469,492 7 I Can Doosit $1,445,774 8 Young Rufus $1,082,692 9 Highview Tommy $1,021,904 10 Dream About Me $1,002,839               
  • ALL STARS    has topped the $3.5m in stakes earnings so far this season, Lazarus and Ultimate Machete alone winning over $1.3m in Australia  
 Michelle Neilson stable manager

Michelle Neilson stable manager







*Workouts  Wednesday 11.30 Ruby Rose  12.15: Taxman, Where Ya Bin, Slingshot, Letterkenny Boy. 12.30: Mr Kalypso 12.45 Mach Up

*Tennyson Bromac had a high temp this morning (Tuesday) and a blood test wasn't that good so he is out of the Flying Stakes on Friday but it doesn't seem too serious

*It was quite a thrill to win the two year old filly race at Invercargill with Kayla Marie. It was my first Group win and that is always a special occasion.                                 


tim williams and the ashley locaz team.JPG

This week





Nathan driving Oz.jpg

DUPLICATED is my first drive on Friday and I rate him a winning chance.  He was second to Funatthebeach last time from the same draw and he went a good race. Ok he may be just a little below our glamour three year olds but he is racing well and I see him in three or four with any luck at all. Anthem will be hard to beat.

ZION BROMAC has a bad draw too and that could make things tricky with horses like TENNYSON BROMAC in the field even though my guy is competitive. I have won on him before. Probably each way is best.  I am a little disappointed I couldn't pick up a drive in the Juniors race but it is very competitive right now and especially as trainers like to stick with local drivers in their areas more than it used to be,



                                                                ROY REMEMBERS

                                                                        LEGEND  ROY PURDON LOOKS BACK ON THE HORSES AND TIMES THAT MADE HIM FAMOUS

It's a shame the stable of Mark and Natalie are having a bad run with suspensory injuries. They are tricky things to deal with and they vary from bad news to very bad news. But I have to say when I see horses being sent for long spells I think back to how we used to deal with most of them and it was really often the opposite. But things were different then.

For one thing you could blister the leg, which was a normal treatment but you can't do now. Progress is progress but there is no doubt in my mind that blisters did the job and they weren't as bad as some made out. Blisters shortened the time the horse was out of work and thousands of horses survived them  fine in that era.

Ideally in the older days you preferred to keep the horse in work unless the suspensory was very bad or beyond repair. I am still not a great believer in nine month spells but I am old school and they do have advanced surgery now (stem cell) which we didn't use for most of my training career, 

Horses with tendon and suspensory problems were walked or jogged on a very firm surface such as  a sealed road. It kept the right angle to the ground so there was no aggravation to the injury.

I had an example with Hi Foyle which we were training up for the Inter Dominions in 1975. Paul Gallagher had had him mostly for Lex Thomas. He was an iron horse with a big heart but he had a suspensory problem and he had those big races coming up so we had to treat it the best way we could. Spelling him wasn't an option as he was an old warrior and he probably wouldn't have come back from it.

The main thing we did was work on his leg morning and night. Every four hours we changed his iced bandage and sprayed a treatment on which had a similar effect as well.  It meant getting up in the middle of the night every night but we kept him sound enough to race. Of course we didn't do much with him between races except continue the treatment. He was a very brave horse and went terrific each night. In fact we thought he was bit unlucky not to win the final even though it was Young Quinn who beat him.  He went to stud later. I think he had nearly 100 starts and was a grand old horse. 

What we did you couldn't do now really but he stood up to the racing when it was really tough racing so he must have felt all right !



Michelle Neilson, , Matt Bowden,  Tim Williams,, Mike Woodlock,  Dave Lewis, Rebecca Hendricks, Kerry Estreich, Olivia Thornley, Ashleigh Royal, 

Carolyn Carney, Iva Junkova, Pilch, Michael Purdon, Nathan Purdon,  Alison Ward, Kayla Cooper,