Mark Purdon’s rushed trip across from Christchurch to the inaugural Nutrien Yearling Sales in Melbourne reaped immediate rewards.
Purdon threw his support behind son, Nathan, when he worked with leviathan owner Danny Zavitsanos to snare one of the top lots of the opening session on Saturday night a Bettors Delight colt out of former star filly Miss Hazel for $90,000.
“He’s going to Nathan (Purdon) to train,” Zavitsanos said. “Mark (Purdon) is across. He and Nathan liked him and it’s great to be able to support Nathan now he’s set-up across here.”
Purdon and Zavitsanos have a long and successful association. It was the All Stars stable that trained the Zavitsanos-owned Cruz Bromac when he won the 2019 New Zealand Cup.
In other Nathan Purdon stable news, young former Kiwi horseman Stuart McDonald shifted across from Perth last week to start as stable foreman.
“I had about 10 years all-up in WA, broken-up with that six months in NSW, and the past three-and-a-half years with the Halls, but it was time for a new challenge,” McDonald said.
“I’m hoping to do some driving as well as the foreman role. There’s about 15 horses in the stable at the moment.”
He was one of three buys for Zavitsanos from the 100 lots on opening night.
“Joanna (Zavitasnos’ wife) gave me a budget of $50,000 and I’ve spent almost $200,000 on night one, so I might be in strife,” Zavitsanos laughed.
He paid $80,000 for a Captaintreacherous colt out of former star filly Lovelist, making it a half-brother to last season’s exciting youngster Treachery.
It’s the same family as Miracle Mile contestant Out To Play and a long list of other star performers.
“He was a lovely colt and Emma (Stewart) and Clayton (Tonkin) have had such great success with the family. He’ll go to them to train,” Zavitsanos said.
“I also bought the half-sister to Shez All Rock (NZ Jewels winner) because she went so cheap. I wasn’t going to buy her, but I had to that for that price.”
She’s a Rocknroll Heaven filly out of Just Irish Loch and went for $21,000.
NSW owner Wayne Loader was very active at the top end and landed a Bettors Delight colt out of former superstar racemare Make Mine Cullen for $95,000. She’s headed to Bernie Hewitt’s stable.
The top lot of the opening session was Lauriston Bloodstock’s Captaintreacherous colt out of former Australian Gold winning filly Musical Delight, making him a half-sister to this season’s NSW Oaks heat winner Beach Music.
He went to Queenslander Shannon Price, who won a spirited battle against the likes of Loader, Dominic Martello and others.
“It’s the second most I’ve ever paid for one. I went a bit higher than I planned,” Price said.
“I was the under-bidder for Lazarus so I’m still haunted a bit by that. I wanted this guy.”
Price revealed Lazarus sold for $75,000 and she was so keen on him she went to Kennards and offered $85,000 just 30 minutes later, but they knocked it back.
“Yeah, I kicked myself every time he won a big race,” she said.
by Adam Hamilton