As the stud careers of  two of Mark Purdon’s favourite track champions, Vincent and Lazarus, enter a crucial stage of their breeding career he is in a unique position to evaluate where they are at and where they are headed.


Rather surprisingly there is only one Lazarus colt at All Stars, The Lazarus Effect. He is from Brook Street, an unraced mare by Art Major from Meet Me In Mayfair who traces through an almost unbroken line of successful broodmare sires to the once famous Coo Doo family, this  branch being largely in the care of Bruce Carter for several years.


Coo Doo,owned by the Grice family of Tinwald, set a record of producing 18 successive foals (all named) between 1967 and 1984.Several of them were classy performers  which all helped the productivity of her descendants considerably.


Alabar gave $57,500 for The Lazarus Effect in a sale which perhaps did not match some expectations of Lazarus fans though Stonewall gave $220,000 for his top priced lot, a record for a first season stallion. Mark feels it will be onward and upward from there when his yearlings return to the ring in New Zealand.And he has  faith Vincent will produce something special maybe before then.


He looks for certain resemblances to yearlings by his two stars but is not swayed by superficial factors.


“No, I go over them as carefully as any other. The Lazarus Effect reminded me a lot of Laz but he also had other characteristics I liked. And in his work so far he has reinforced that. He is laid back,no nonsense type and while they are only down to 2.30 miles so far I like the way he is doing it”


The filly,Eyeliner,was,appropriately enough, bought by Phil and Glenys Kennard Bloodstock the purchasers of the great Lazarus himself.She  cost $60,000 and is also doing well.


“I would probably lean a little to the colt at the moment because he is more like Laz himself but it is early days” Mark says.


“Lazarus was at a  disadvantage in his first sales here. At that stage his fertility was a  topic and those sort of things don’t help at sales time. And of course he was a first season horse with no racing form to back him up.I am confident that now he is standing here and his fertility has increased since he was shifted south plus the success he has had in America, things will change”


Lazarus has no yearlings at this year’s sales. He returned to New Zealand in 2021 having stood 2 prior seasons down under in Australia with depressing fertility results compared to his US figures. He has just 18 registered 2yo in New Zealand


Mark has had about half a dozen by Vincent through his hands so far- a couple have had setbacks and not currently in work- and in Sherlock one of the  best to date, who broke 2.20 for 1980m in the Ace of Spades..But he  is hoping this is the year when the Art Major horse will produce something in the same mould as himself especially among the three year olds.


“He was such a great horse on and off the track finding one like him and by him is something I would love to achieve. I am hoping.”


Mark says that while Vincent  has made a solid start- Seve saw to that early in the season for Tony Herlihy -there wasn’t the  absolute top tier two year old by the end of it he had been hoping for. But it could be different this year.


“He is an Art Major and you expect them to get up and go but  quite a few of his  his stock I have seen have thrown a little  more to his dam side and it was a fast but tough family who  improved with age.  He didn’t  race at 2 himself.He could have,but he wasn’t the typical Art Major in style.  So I have plenty of confidence in what he can do in the future. I look for the  wide “gate” (engine room) he had and especially his temperament. He was a beautiful horse to do anything with and he is sure to leave horses like that.It is a big help.The ones we have are largely that sort.


One  two year old, Bronson,  is impressing me as a real Vincent type. He is laid back and just gets on with what needs to be done. Shaping well”


The stable also has two youngsters from Imke B (1.55.8) a Bettor’s Delight mare owned by Hazel Van Opzeeland of Highview Tommy fame  who is pat of the partnership racing them.


“We bought the 2019 foal (Vinke B)   and last year II said to them we had better buy this next yearling because I thought he was an even better type.”


Named Vessem he is making good progress at this stage too around the 2.30 mile stage.  Among  the well known syndicate is Marcus Kirkwood a co-owner of the mighty Smolda whose dam, like that of Vincent,was by Safely Kept an outcross horse by southern hemisphere standards most of whose offspring improved with age.


Vimke  B led a Vincent trifecta in the Sapling Stakes (G2) and ended the season with a creditable 5th to stable star Don’t Stop Dreaming and Sherlock in the rich Ace of Spades in December clocking 2.20.5.

One of the most attractive sale lots is sure to be Master Savoy a Vincent colt from his former star stablemate Piccadilly Princess the second foal of the outstanding mare. Her first was by Sweet Lou and is in work at Rolleston


 2024  will be assessment and  reassessment time for the  two racing greats and their breeding careers.Mark has confidence both questions will be giving positive answers.



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