Have Faith In Me Ready to Put Career Back on Track at Ballarat

Lazarus Draws Wide in Ballarat Cup-Waikiki Beach the Ace in Sydney

 Anthony Butt for Smolda- John McCarthy for Waikiki Beach

        Expected Walk in The Park for Vincent home in 27.7 to give Mark driving treble at Geelong -(he'd have been disappointed with anything less!)

   Motu Meteor Runs Home in 28 and change to Easily Win Australian Debut

Mark Does the Honours for Nicole Molander as You Gotta Have Faith scores for new stable at Geelong      

All Star Angus wins first up in Sydney-    January team update                                            

     Our contenders on Saturday- Have Faith In Me-Lazarus,-Smolda- Waikiki Beach-Piccadilly Princess and Prince Fearless                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          



Geelong Thursday

Vincent (2) C2/3 Mark (6 runners) 11.18 pm

Michelle and Stars Align have them covered but Riccardo is flying out wide at the Ashburton trials

Michelle and Stars Align have them covered but Riccardo is flying out wide at the Ashburton trials

Motu Meteor (4) C0 Mark (7 runners) 10.48 pm

Ballarat Saturday

10.03 (nz)  Have Faith In Me (6) Mark -Petstock FFA  Prince Fearless (2) E B Cochran Cup

11.30 pm Piccadilly Princess (2) Mark Petstock M1

12,pm Smolda (3) Anthony Butt Lazarus (7) Mark BALLARAT CUP

Menangle Saturday 

10.50 Waikiki Beach (1) Hondo Grattan Stakes John McCarthy

Trial ReportAshburton Tuesday

Grand Rainbow fast finishing third (3.03/55.7/26.7!)-  Mr Kalypso back near rear ran on fairly (3.04.1/56.8/27 - Riccardo/Stars Align 2nd and 1st in fastest heat (2.58.5/56.3/27.3) Impressive. Pacing Major/ Motu Premier 3rd and 2nd 3.01.9 (55.1/25.8- Pacing Major along the passing lane from last Motu Premier wide out - Heaven Rocks,/ Alta Ronaldo -only starters, easy pace but home in 55.1 and 25.8 Heaven Rocks too strong.






***Ex All Star (just)  You Gotta Have Faith won first up at Geelong on Thursday for new trainer Nicole Molander with Mark doing the honours in the cart dictating the terms for an easy win.

You Gotta Have Faith was shaping well in the spring among the All Star three year olds but then found his rating easing to the situation where he was going to be better off across the Tasman for the Dunfords than chasing stablemates here . Nicole was an obvious replacement trainer having of course driven Group One winners for Mark in New Zealand when helping manage the northern racing stable a few years ago.  You Gotta Have Faith joins All Star Angus  among former All Stars winners in Australia with his midweek victory though he still runs in the names of Shaun, Duane and Mark.

***Cash n Flow, who showed so much potential last season is nearing trials time at All Stars,

***2000 training successes in New Zealand is a milestone only those whose names end in Purdon have achieved and while Mark has already beaten that mark internationally, he needs just 70 more wins to join an exclusive domestic club which he could do by the end of the season.  He is on 1930 wins at the end of 2016 which does not include 42 races won in Australia last year or any of the many successful Australian campaigns in the past.  While Mark has made rapid strides in recent years, brother Barry still holds a handsome lead on the all time list with 2380 wins closely followed by the "living legend" Roy on 2020. As so often happens with the Purdon family stables its daylight back to fourth.

 ***Recent departures from All Stars-either from sales or other reasons include Arden's Winstar (Barry Purdon), All Star Angus (Sydney to be trained) Mr Mojito (to be trained in Sydney),  Superfecta and Stroke of Luck (sales) August,Myidealson and Ready To Fire (stable transfer)  Arya (Bruce Negus) MacKenzie (US)- King Solomon (Australia), Springfield Guitar, Doublesixbeach, Whosashadylady, One over Da Stars (Barry White), Tachyon, Benecio, You Gotta Have Faith (to be trained in Melbourne)


Our MILLIONAIRES - 1.Smolda $2.33m- 2-Auckland Reactor $1.837m -3-Adore Me  $1.677m -4-Il Vicolo $1.588m -5-Lazarus $1.523m-6-I Can Doosit (T)-$1,455m-7-Have Faith In Me -$1,407m 8-Young Rufus $1,082m(Dream About Me $997,000)


***AUSTRALIAN dates to remember. - but there will be others.

January 28- Victoria Cup (Melbourne) Lazarus-Have Faith In Me- -Victoria Derby heats, Vincent; Dullard Cup (Prince Fearless) Sydney -Paleface Adios 4yo Waikiki Beach?

February 4-Melton- Victoria Derby Final - Hunter Cup (Smolda, Titan Banner, possibly Have Faith In Me)- Ladyship Cup (Piccadilly Princess) -Vulcan FFA ; Prince Fearless-Sidewinders Lazarus

February 11-Menangle- Chariots of Fire - Sibelia Stakes (Dream About Me) )

February 18-Menangle- Canadian Club ? - New South Wales Derby and Oaks heats (Ultimate Machete, Partyon) -

February 25-Menangle- Miracle Mile- NSW Derby and Oaks Finals- Ladyship Mile (Dream About Me/Piccadilly Princess)- Bohemia Crystal-Trotters Cup- Mile Consolation-Invited Drivers


Wednesday (straight track -four 800m heats) Ultimate Machete and Spanish Armada (easy task, quickened last 400m in 30). Speech is Silver, A Lister and Major Hippy (quicken last quarter in 35)

Major Shard and All You Need is Faith (last 2 800m in 1.04 and 1.02)  Indianna Dreaming and Cash n Flo (last two 800m in 1.08 and 1.04) Think About Me and and The Devil's Own (last 2 sprints in 1.04 and 1.02) Glass Half Full (solo) last 2 800m in 1.04 and 1.02;  Ashley Locaz (closing 800m in 1.10); Lacey's Lad and Major Lucky (last 2 800m in 1.04 and 1.02) Stars Align and Riccardo closing 800m in 1.08 and 1.04; Sicario and Ohanzeeclosing 800m in 1.10. Ace Commander worked on the main track over 3200m in 4.50 home in 1.08. On Thursday Major Hippy worked 3200m with a galloping pacemaker home in 1.08

                              MARK'S MURMURS                                                     

Mark after Cup.JPG

It is 40 degrees here in Sydney today (Friday) but the horses are doing well. We are staying at the Menangle track this time but we have a good setup as far as I am concerned. We are in a barn furtherest from the track and which has been used by some thoroughbreds. It has a water walker and the security is terrific. It is quite an important aspect with the sort of horses we have here and we can be fairly confident everything will be ok from that point of view. PARTYON is about 85 per cent in my view and there is one against her who is highly regarded so that has to be taken into account. WAIKIKI BEACH is about 90 per cent and in that class of race you would expect him to go well. I am very pleased with the way he has come up this time so we are hopeful of good results.

I will be headed to Melbourne after Saturday night's racing and Natalie will be over next week to handle the Sydney team and she will stay in Sydney after that until the end of the carnival. I will be in Melbourne until its carnival is over. It is a test of our staff but I was really pleased with Tim's work on the northern campaign. He did an outstanding job and the horses always come first with him.

The reports on the Melbourne team are very good there though Prince Fearless who is on his first trip away is taking some time to adjust. You would expect that. We are a bit fortunate now that so many of our horses have had previous experience at this trip and it makes it easier.  CHASE THE DREAM  is here and the Chariots is his first aim. After that all going well we might put him in the big races which might get him into the Miracle Mile and if that doesn't work out a race like the Bohemia Crystal would suit him.

The Cambridge run for Lazarus worked out even better than I hoped. He wasn't at the level he had been at the Cup meeting and a real gutbuster was the last thing I wanted. As it happened it worked out great and he has thrived since.





                                                           Quite a few things have changed over the Australian trip and we have some good horses coming back to the trials next Wednesday.  The highlights:

Ultimate Machete, More the Better   Spankem and Spanish Armada are back today. More the Better is not going to Australia now at all and Ultimate Machete will fly direct to Sydney for the NSW Derby heats on February 18 and might have a leadup race.

Lazarus   is in the Melbourne team going for  the Sidewinders Bonanza ($100,000 G1) on February 4 (Hunter Cup night) a week before the Chariots. Others going to Melbourne to for us are Titan Banner, Have Faith In Me, Vincent, Prince Fearless and Chase the Dream.  The three Open Class horses will probably run in the Ballarat Cup while Have Faith In Me will run in the Victoria and possibly the Hunter Cup. Motu Meteor and You Gotta Have Faith are also on the flight, but You Gotta Have Faith will join Nicole Molander.  The Sydney team has also gone and is Waikiki Beach, Partyon Chase the Dream and Dream About Me .  Prince Fearless   will run in the Dullard Cup and the Great Southern Starand then head to Sydney for the Trotters Cup    Dream About Me runs in the Sibelia on February 11 leading up to the Ladyship Mile on the 25th.

Going to the trials this week are Alta Ronaldo, Heaven Rocks, Motu Premier, Mr Kalypso , Pacing Major and Grand Rainbow and Riccardo, Glass Half Full and Indianna Dreaming should be ready for the following week. Myidealson and Augusta  will go north to Brent Mangos next week and Benecio  has been sold. He will not race for us at Rangiora.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ************************************************



Tim liked most of the trials at Ashburton on Tuesday. The only one he had reservations about was Mr Kalypso. "To be honest he was a bit ordinary. I did push him out and I thought he might have done better "  The others I drove (Grand Rainbow, Motu Premierand Alta Ronaldo) all went well and the reports on the others were just as good."



















I hope to be at Auckland on Saturday   Not just to watch More the Better but it will be good to be on course. I don't get there very often these days. You won't find me up on the top floor ! When I go to the races I still like to be as close to the action as I can be so that means the Trainers Area on the first floor. I can't stand for long which is why I don't get along more often but Saturday looks like being a good day's racing. The Cup is quite open. Mark and Natalie have a strong hand but I thought Christen Me went a bit better the other night and he is proven in a race like this. I don't fancy the chance of our horse beating Ultimate Machete especially after the draws came out.

I was thinking further about the whips business in Australia and how we are resistant to change even when it is the best thing. One example I remember was the wheel discs. When they came in there was a fair bit of argument over them with claims they would injure other horses and the like but they were a great innovation.  In older days there were a lot of horses having their chances ruined with feet going through sulky wheels and that sort of thing. The main reasons were bigger fields and poorer drivers. Sometimes there were over 40 horses in the field yet many of the drivers in it had never had the experience ot handle that sort of situation.  A lot of them only had a few drives a year and some of them at matinee meetings so there was plenty of room for mixups.

The wheel discs solved most of that problem. Another rule change which was controversial was the push out rule. I think it is a lot better now and especially a lot safer. In the old days some were pushing out after they had gone a couple offurlongs. It was ok if they knew what they were doing but again those inexperienced guys who didn't drive much didn't really know what they were doing. It led to a lot of accidents that shouldn't have happened. You hardly ever see that under the new rule.

























182 wins in 2015-2016 ANZ seasons-greatest ever by a NZ stable.