Pic: Owners, syndicators and great harness supporters,Phil and Glenys Kennard


Rubira and the Kennard racing syndicate whose key members have raced so many stars over the years and several previous Kindergarten Stakes winners, added to the record on Thursday but Nathan Purdon may have been the biggest winner of all.

“It is a very special win with Rubira. As I said in the preview he seemed our best youngster at this stage and he had really gone ahead since that first up win.And that was underrated because it was a two horse race.But he ran home in 56 and it was better than that”

“Dad has been away for a while in Australia and in the north and while he is always a top advisor this one has really been done on my own and I get a special satisfaction from that. And he did it the hard way so won  on his merits. Blair at his best”

It is an amazing training statistic that the Purdon stables have won seven G2 Kndergarten Stakes on end and 11 of the last 12 runnings of the race.

It was also the third win in the last six years in the race by essentially the same Kennard syndicate, most noted in recent years by Spankem. Their earlier  winners before Jim and Ann Gibbs retired from ownership to be replaced by another pair of standardbred stalwarts, the Coles,were First Class and Flying Even Bettor, while they ran second with subsequent Group One winner The Devil’s Own to The Brooklyn Brawler in 2017-the last time Purdon Stables were defeated in the race.

Another Kennard syndicate runner,Pacing Major, won in 2016.

The Purdon influence goes back to when Mark shifted south at the turn of the century, So Cool winning in 2002. Lennon, Sir Clive and Ohoka Arizona were earlier winners while Messini, the first juvenile to run for Bill and Jean Feiss in New Zealand won in 2013. Itz Bettor To Win,bought out of Mark Jones’s stable by the Butterworths won in 2014 then trans- Tasman star Waikiki Beach, raced by Neil Pilcher with Trevor Casey and Natalie Rasimussen (originally Mark) took it out in 2015. Vessem, Don’t Stop Dreaming and Akuta  have been winners in the past three years. What a list!

Special mention must be made of Blair Orange whose drive in difficult conditions from a difficult draw is worthy of special mention and another tribute to the young Always B Miki  youngster who defies any suggestion of “sex bias” from the catalogue page,the best known performers being Belle of Montana and Carabella.

Blair eased early but then launched Rubira on a searching run to apply pressure to the hot favourite Ukraine who was having a happy time in front.He wore the favourite down in the run home and held out Always
Dreaming who finished third.

“I just hope the luck continues on Saturday at Addington. Good chances but Mr Kaplan looks especially well placed” Nathan said before being off to celebrate his contribution to a remarkable modern day record in any code anywhere in Group races.

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