Tag: one

Lot Number 1 – Australian Pacing Gold – A Colt From Old Regret, Out of Bettorbobwillhaveplenty Soonsunshine (by Betting Line)


Wasn’t it nice of my mate Clip Clop Kev to post a couple of caps celebrating my second favourite pacer up to Frank Lodge, my humble farm and standardbred rehoming facility up here in the tropical North Quueensland rainforest?

I’ll have to catch up with him for brekky again next time I’m down in Brisbane, and shout him bacon and eggs to thank him.

With his joint Dreamworld shut down because of the virus and the borders closed to bring his horses back from Menangle, I hear the poor bugger is doing it a bit tough at the moment, although they tell me he’s spending his time in COVID-19 isolation reflecting on the old days, back when the Harness Sales and Series he set up was flying higher than a Blackhawk, and the whole trot world was happy.

It’s a shame that a bunch of haters and wreckers came along and ruined the joint, but the beauty of the market economy is that where one company fails, another with a customer-centric focus always comes along to fill the void, and take its place.

I hear Bet 365 has framed a market about the chances of the APG sale happening in 2021, and another one about it offering more than 150 lots.

$40 is the current price I’m told, but you’d be a mug to take it.

The good oil is that pretty soon the price will be blowing out like a gale, and I always prefer to recommend you bet with local Australian managed and run bookies anyway, so the money flows fairly through the home economy, rather than into the pockets of a select few.

Can Boofhead Bob Marshall prove me and the bookies wrong by pulling a Lazarus and reviving the APG’s sudden, sharply declining fortunes?


It’s about the same odds as Destreos winning the 2022 Inter-Dominion.

Don’t you worry about that.


Archie at the Miracle Mile, Menangle 2020. Sadly ours didn’t win it, but we’re looking to claim Destreos for the big one in 2022.


I’m Not a Vet, Jockey, Steward, Pull-Up Merchant or Nobbler, But …… Have You Seen the First Race at Toowoomba Yesterday?

Race one at Toowoomba yesterday, a 3-year-old Maiden Plate run over the unusual distance of 870 metres,  was one of the strangest races I have seen for quite a while, a really, really queer one.

There were four horses in the betting.

The topweight Calculated Risk, trained by Craig Smith at Roma, was steady in the market at $5.50, as was Boof Currie’s runner Persian King, which started at $6.50.

Tony and Maddysen Sears first-starter Serratalli blew like a gale, from an opening quote of around $3.50 all the way out to $8.50 by the jump.

All the money came for the debutante Crosby Road. It was backed as if there was no tomorrow, firming from a top price of $2.40 into $1.75, or 6-4 on in the old scale.

The plunge punters obviously didn’t know that just prior to the race, Crosby Road’s trainer Shaun Dwyer Jr had approached the Stewards and told them that he’d noticed his horse had some unexpected swelling on its off-side rump.


There could be any number of explanations for swelling in such a spot. One of them is that a nobbler had hit the fave with a go-slow to stop it from winning, for the off-side rump is where you’d be likely to give a horse an intra-muscular injection if it was tied up and you wanted to hit and quickly run.

The on-course vet Dr Gemma Silvestri of the QRIC inspected the horse and cleared it to start. As most pre-race vet examinations ultimately prove to be, it wasn’t a particularly brilliant decision.

Crosby Road led until the top of the straight in the short course scamper, and then punctured like a pricked balloon. Another inspection by Dr Silvestri found no obvious abnormalities, other than that the horse was displaying a particularly poor post-rate recovery rate.

I would have thought that if a horse was sweating like a pig and puffing like a chimney after running at 3/4 speed for just 500 metres, then that in itself would be an anomaly, but I’m not a vet, just a horse owner and lover, so what would I know?

Baylee Nothdurft got stuck out wide on Currie’s horse and couldn’t get in. No jockey in Toowoomba is going to let a cheeky little local kid who’s gone to the big smoke and is killing them get in from barrier ten over 870 metres. Anyone who backed it was mad.

In-form city jockey Matthew McGillivray gave the toppie the perfect run, sitting fifth just off the pace on the rail behind the leader, and as top riders do pulled it out at the top of the straight and went bang, and it won.

The run of the odds-on favourite was really odd, but the ride on the horse that nobody wanted to back Serratalli was even more strange.

That filly jumped with them from barrier 6, but her rider Michael Cahill seemed to immediately put on the brakes after they’d gone just 20 metres, and jagged the $3.50 to $8.50 shot out to last.

Cahill was later to tell the Stewards that Serratalli failed to muster speed early, and they duly accepted his explanation, but gee, I’m not so sure. It looked to me as if Cahill just decided not to show any urgency, and took her back to last himself; but I’m not a jockey just a long-time form student and race analyst, so what would I know?

The same applies to my opinion that Michael Cahill was forgetful when he told the Stewards that he had some difficulty securing clear running rounding the home turn, and in the early stages of the home straight.

What Cahill forgot to add was that he couldn’t get any clear running because he kept steering the filly inside and up other horse’s arses, rather than taking her to the middle or outside of the track where there was clear running room; or that by doing so he ensured that Serratalli had a chequered, stop-start run that prevented the young galloper from gaining any uninterrupted momentum.

Brisbane’s top-ten jockey wasn’t wrong when he added that the filly ran home well when she got clear running, it was just a shame that this didn’t happen until about 70 metres from the line when she was still a couple of lengths off them, and a million to one.

The race day Steward – with ten more races to run on the program, and no overtime for late finishes in the budget – were clearly too busy to waste any time examining the betting sheets on a 3YO maiden, and let the matter rest.

I’m not a Steward, just a punter and member of the public who is fast losing confidence in the integrity of Queensland racing, so what would I know?

But gee that race looked red-hot to me.

Take a look for yourself, and see what you reckon.






If Baytlee Nothdurft Got Three Months For a Hook on Vega One, How Long Should Robbie Fradd Cop For Murder on Joymaker?

On Thursday Brisbane’s leading jockey Baytlee Nothdurft was suspended for rest of the season after the Stewards quite rightly found him guilty of failing to allow the lightly-weighted Stradbroke Handicap favourite Vega One to run on its merits first-up in a crap race at the Sunshine Coast .

The Stipes didn’t say it, but there is only one reason that a young man like Nothdurft would perform such a rule-breaking act, that being that someone told him that he had to do it. I’m not talking gun at a head or break your legs stuff, but rather a simple sentence that goes something like “Hey kid, do you want to ride a Straddie winner? Then ….. “

So it’s $1.10 that Nothdurft gave Vega One an easy run not for any nefarious betting purpose, but rather so that he could keep the ride on the horse in the big one.

The Kelly Schweida trained benchmark 70 galloper Joymaker certainly won’t be running in any Group 1 handicaps anytime soon, so there is only one reason I can think of that Robbie Fradd might have ridden the horse dead in race 5 at the Gold Coast yesterday if he did, and that – in an utterly hypothetical sense of course – is because it had been backed off the map from $8.50 into $3.60 while all the other runners blew, and it was in his or some other person’s interest for it to get beaten.


It’s a free world, and we all have our own opinions, so you watch the replay at the top yourself, and form an opinion about R. Fradd’s riding tactics on Joymaker for yourself.

If you come back to me after you watch the race, and try to tell me that Joymaker was ridden on its merits, I will however laugh at you.

The Steward or Stewards who keep protecting Fradd, by failing to question the jockey about his highly dubious rides on shorties, already have.

Laughed at you, that is.

They did it again today.




Q&A With the Greatest Trot Trainer Ever to Walk the Earth – And One of the Nicest Blokes You’d Ever Hope to Meet Too


Your author (2nd from right), with Mrs Barry Purdon (aka Katrina the Beautiful, far left), Trot writer and analyst extraordinaire Mick Guerin (2nd from left, hugging Katrina, the lucky bugger) and a couple of other VIP’s in NZ harness racing, collecting Belle of Montana’s trophy after she won her first Group 1

1: Best horse who have ever been associated or worked with:


He was a Champion, he had truck loads of attitude.

2: Best horse you have ever seen live:


3: Best horse you have seen in any form:

Kingston Town

(Baz obviously never saw Winx)

4: If you could have any driver in history driving for you in most important race of your life, it would be?

Tony Herlihy

5: The best trainer you have ever seen:

Mark Purdon

(Big Ba is being modest – he sees the best trainer ever in the mirror every morning)

6: Your favourite racetrack:


7: The unluckiest or hardest to swallow defeat of your career:


Someone’s bad luck is always someone’s good luck, that’s the way it goes.You have to remember that the Trainer of the winner has worked just as hard on his horse, as you have, move on you cant re run it.

(This sort of super positive attitude is the foundation of Barry’s brilliance)

8: The race you have never won but would love to:

The Dominion

(Archie has a plan to fix that. She’s a US youngster named Summer Storm)

9: The horse we never got to see the best of:

Vic’s Vance

10: The racing win, yours or somebody elses, that gave you the most joy:

Luxury Liner – NZ Cup – He was courageous, a real Champion stayer, he never gave in.

11: Who is the person in harness racing you haven’t seen since lockdown started you are looking forward to seeing the most when we get back to the races?

Swabbing Stewards

(They’re not looking forward to seeing BP – he always throws clean. That’s because he is)

Reproduced with the presumed permission of HRNZ, who run a great show https://www.hrnz.co.nz/news/q-and-a-with-barry-purdon/

Tiffany is a Princess – But Belle of Montana’s the Queen – The Race of the Century is on This Saturday – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Princess Tiffany proved once again tonight that she is an absolute pacing superstar by smashing the clock in 1.49.9 when killing the Aussies in the Robin Dundee Stakes at Menangle.

In fact you could mount a fair argument that Tif is one of the greatest mares ever to step onto a Southern Hemisphere race track in the 21st century, maybe even one of the best of all time.

The flying machine Hay List was pretty good galloper too. So was the six-time Group 1 winning English horse Excelebration, and the dual Inter Dominion winning harness hero Gammalite too.

But Hay List had the misfortune of being spawned from the same generation as Black Caviar, and  Excelebration found himself born in the same year as Frankel, and Gammalite ran into Poppy when Vinnie Knight was white and punters outside the bubble didn’t know that his pockets were filled with juice.

And therein lies Princess Tiffany’s fundamental dilemma, and the roadblock that will forever prevent her from taking off the tiara and putting on the crown as the Queen of the Trots.

You can spell it out in just three words.

Belle of Montana.

My Belle, Dean’s Belle, your Belle, our Belle.

The mighty Belle, the mare that Tiffany can’t get past, the mare that the Princess has gone head to head with five times and only once bested once, and then only thanks to dumb luck with a good draw and a bunch of slow early sectionals that mate it impossible for Belle to reel her in.

On paper the pair of super mare’s records look very much alike, with six Group 1 wins apiece, but three of Tiffany’s were won before Belle had even stepped on to a track. Since then its been one way traffic.

Tiffany boasts a faster personal best time than Belle, but the mighty mare of Montana has never raced on the super-sized Menange track on which the Princess ran it. Compare their times on a 3/4 mile track and Belle’s got her measure.

Belle has less prize money in the bank than Tiffany but she’s had 7 starts less, and if you take off what the Princess earned before Belle hit the track the Barry Purdon trained wonder woman’s pockets are more full than the mare that is trained by his little brother.

To put it plain, to date there has only been a few split hairs between the pair of super pacers, but those hairs belong to Belle of Montana not Princess Tiffany.

Yet still the knockers knock, and the doubters doubt, and the Princess’s court keep calling her the Queen.

That’s all about to end this Saturday night at Menangle, when Belle and the Princess go toe to toe in the heavyweight championship of the woman’s pacing world, the time honoured Group 1 Ladyship Mile.

The knockers and the doubters and the courtiers of Tif are about to be silenced once and for all, mark my words and don’t you worry about that.

If you think 1.49.9 is a fast time for a 4YO mare – for any mare – then buckle up your seat belts and strap yourselves in.

We’ve been waiting two years to get Belle onto the big roomy 1400m track at Menangle so we can show the harness racing world exactly what our wonder mare can do, and the time has arrived.

It’s going to the race of the century, two great mares going head to head in a match race for the ages, and only one mare will be left standing on the podium at its end.  This clash is going to be an absolute sensation, and only a mug would miss it.

Tiffany is a wonderful, wonderful mare, and will forever be a Princess; but Belle of Montana is a once in a lifetime pacer, and she will always be the Queen.

Let’s get’s ready to rumble.

See you in Sydney.












Saturday’s Slow Dusk is a Sign That It’s Time to Draw Down the Colt’s Blinds, For Now Anyway

Anyone who has ever read my work knows how much of a fan that I am of Colt Thirty One, the wonderful Queensland pacer who has won 35 of his 58 starts including the prestigious Group 1 Victoria Derby, and collected well in excess of $800 000 in prize money during his short 3 and half season career to date.

The Colt is a homegrown Queensland success story, the product of many decades of time, effort, expense and intense breeding study by his owners Kevin and Kay Seymour, and living tribute to their passion for the sport of harness racing. Many regard him as the greatest home-grown pacer since Black’s a Fake, and based on the Colt’s achievements in the age grades at least – and the fact that the might machine Lanercost wasn’t locally bred –  they might well be right.

I love the Colt, and despite the fractious start to what has proven to be our strange friendship I like his co-owner Kevin Seymour AM too. But I’m afraid after watching the Colt’s performance on Saturday night at Albion Park that my old/new friend has pushed the envelope a start or two too far with his star horse, and it’s time that it’s time that he had a rest.

That wasn’t the real Colt Thirty One we saw beaten out of a place in the ordinary open company affair named after my other old/new mate Ray Cross’s good pacer The Emcee – soundly thrashed in fact – by a bunch of horses who in the usual course of events wouldn’t blow smoke up the Colt’s arse.

That was a tired horse, one 12 runs into a preparation that has taken him from Brisbane to Melbourne and Swan Hill then over to Auckland and back, a horse who has run out of gas for the time being and wants and needs and deserves to spend a bit of time in a lush paddock stealing sly looks at pretty mares across the fence and picking on grass.

I know that the blinds are being drawn down on Kevin Seymour’s harness racing career, and that these days while he’s still got more oomph than most 30-year-old’s Mr Seymour is closer to the finish line of the line than he is the start, and I know that the Colt is no doubt almost certainly his last hurrah.

But the boy’s had enough, and the Miracle Mile dreams are over, and they must – for this year at least – be put immediately to bed.

I know spelling is boring for workaholics (just look at me sitting here tapping out this story at an hour before midnight if you need any proof), and I know that time’s short and the list of things to do is long, but we all need to rest our weary heads sometime, and the Queensland Winter Carnival is just six weeks rest and a new prep away.

Thanks for a stellar season Colt, and thanks for allowing us all to enjoy the ride.

We’ll see you again soon son, don’t you worry about that.

Another Crazy Day at Kilcoy

Kilcoy on a Wednesday afternoon. Is this really what Queensland racing has come to?

I thought we were flying. Pins Parnell told us so, many times.

If this flying then I’m catching the train.

We all try to like Kilcoy. I do like it. It’s a great day out at the races there, a throwback to fondly remembered times. The beer’s cheap, the racing’s competitive, they still sell roast beef and gravy rolls, and they not only still have a ring full of bookies, but they hand write their tickets and all.

Kilcoy’s great in so many ways, but it’s not a midweek meeting venue’s arse.

It’s not the Moonee Valley of the north either. The Valley is 1805 metres around; Kilcoy is only track is only 1270 metres, the size of a trot track. The homes straights are similar in distance – 173m v 143m – but the Valley’s home turn is banked giving every horse a chance, whereas Kilcoy’s is tighter than a nun’s you-know-what, and treats back runners like black folk in apartheid-era South Africa.

Running meetings at Kilcoy in the main midweek slot is just a joke, and renders us a laughing stock on the national racing stage. It’s the equivalent of scheduling Augathella as the main metro meeting on Australia Day, except for one thing.

They can actually get through a whole day of racing at Augathella. They can’t at Kilcoy.

3.8 mm of rain fell on Kilcoy between nine in the morning on Tuesday, and 9:00 am on race day yesterday according to the Bureau of Meteorology. There had been no rain at all on Sunday or Monday, bugger all in the daytime on Tuesday, and it didn’t rain until after dark yesterday.

But still somehow the track deteriorated and became so unsafe that the Stewards had to call the meeting off after race 4.

A few questions.

Why was the track rated a Soft 6 when only 3.8 mm of rain had soaked it in three days?

How did a bunch of Class 1 walkers run 33.52 for their last 600 metres in race 3 on a Slow 6 track?

Why were horses losing their footing at around the 600 metre mark, slipping and sliding as if they were running across ice?

How did the course proper deteriorate so far, so fast, while basking in brilliant sunshine that the meeting had to be abandoned?

Why did David Fowler only call the first two races?

Did the Bantam get paid a full day’s pay?

How did a horse that ran into a fence and got cleared by the vets to start end up five seconds later as a late scratching?

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How did the rodeo Rhonda of Queensland racing Laura Cheshire stay on Your Option for the entire duration of the first race after the horse’s saddle slipped so badly to the left just after jumping that she should by rights have been thrown off?

Why was the septuagenarian former long-time trot Chief Steward John Hackett doing working as Clerk of the Scales?

What the hell are we doing racing at Kilcoy on a Wednesdayafternoon anyway?

Laura makes staying on when you should be falling off look easy