AKUTA,astutely guided again by Olivia, posted another Kaikoura Cup win totalling an amazing record for All Stars and Purdon Racing on Monday.

It was the 7th (or 8th depending how you count) this century and the  10th (11th) overall. The confusion arises over IMAGINE THAT’S win in 2005 when she was temporarily in charge of the All Stars team manager Grant Payne who also drove the mare.

But the wins are not the only impressive part of the record.

In every year this century but one when the stable has had a runner in the Cup (19) if  it hasn’t won the race it has been in the first four placings,usually 2nd or 3rd. The exception was BOGAN FELLA away back in 2001 who was unplaced. He was entitled, since he had won the race the previous year.He was last home in 1998 at his first attempt.

In a sought after race on the eve of the NZ Cup meeting that is a fabulous achievement. It was in 2000 when Mark made the move to Yaldhurst from Auckland. In the years prior he had three successive wins with IL VICOLO (2) and SHARP AND TELFORD from just four attempts on the race.

Highlights since the move south have  included the trifecta in SUSHI SUSHI’s year,Natalie’s first winner in the race, with Major Mark and Fly Like An Eagle making up the trifecta. Smolda ran second to Franco Nelson in 2016; Cruz Bromac to Classie Brigade  in 2019;Messini to Arden Rooney (the All Stars 2014 winner ) in 2015 then trained in Australia: Mighty Cullen (Tribute),Highview Tommy (Smiling Shard),Major Mark; and Jack Cade (Harnett’s Creek) make up 7 second placegetters.Fly Like An Eagle (2013 winner) and  Ashley Locaz have posted third placings. In additiion South Coast Arden was prepared by All Stars to run 2nd in 2021 making 8 second placings and Akuta was third last year.

It adds up to the blue  and silver stars being in the finish of every Kaikoura Cup but one since 2000.In only four renewals in that time did it not have a runner.  A hell of a record  in a stable who has a breathtaking number of them.

Though Kaikoura Cup winners have often raced well in the event they have a moderate win strike rate in the New Zealand Cup. The only winners of the double since Il Vicolo’s back to back victories  are Arden Rooney (2015) and the mighty Lazarus whose time of 2.54.5  has not been approached. Armalight completed the double back  in 1982 and Humphrey was the first to do so in 1968.

Spry won both races  but not in the same year

Akuta now looks to join an elite group -and on this classy win looks odds on  to do so

Pic. Lazarus,the measure of modern champions





Pin It on Pinterest