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Try and not let a glaze come over your eyes but the harness racing All Stars team just keeps setting records. And they get more extraordinary even by the week. Last week the stable posted 10 wins from 10 races competed in. If that had ever happened before it was rare indeed. But five days later the score is 17 races and 17 successive wins. You can bet your  pyjamas that hasn't happened in any professional stable before. But that, as they say, is not all. Seven wins at Addington on Friday night is not a new  record in itself amazing as it might be. But it is if you consider it was a 10 race progamme. All Stars's previous 7 win records have been set on  12 race programmes. Never easy. But a little easier than a 10 race programme even if it not a Premier meeting as the others were  As is occasionally brought out driver Doug Watts drove seven winners on an eighr race programme at Reefton back in the day. Six of them were trained from one stable but the devil in the detail is that three horses won two races each. To train seven winners at Addington with seven different horses is an astonishing feat. The races were not just a+b=c either. Ohanzee had to work a bit harder than Turn It Up in the running and that made the difference (2.22.9 / 27.7) Anthem had to overcome a difficult draw and drag a puncture for the last round to run 2.22.3 / 28.4 but convincing in the end with game Duplicated third. Enchance Your Calm has, not surprisingly, something to learn about racing according to Mark but  getting some nice sectionals he outclassed his 2yo trot opponents while Elle Mac chalking up a second stable quinella with Bettor Trix, didn't run great time but ran a great race winning easily in the end after doing her fair share of work in 2.23.1 /27.8. Winterfell took advantage of stablemate Stress Factor's keenness to get on with the job trailing on the outer and just being too strong for Mark over the final stages in a very good 2.25.7 /29.3  before Funatthebeach really stood up in the open race left sitting parked and giving Alta Orlando the trail but fighting off the older former G1 winner with a game display in 2.23.5 but home in 26.6!. Then Tim joined the party with Tennyson Bromac also sitting parked and still too strong over a G1 placegetter in 2.22.1  /27.7  which was actually the fastest time of the night Courtesy of All Stars Stable website Turn It Up Anthem Enhance Your Calm Elle Mac Winterfell Funatthebeach Tennyson Bromac

Sensational harness racing 3yo Chase Auckland was back in winning form tonight, easily winning the $235,000 Woodlands Stud Northern Derby in race and New Zealand record time.  The imposing son of Auckland Reactor has now won eight races from nine starts this season, with his only defeat coming last week, when he was beaten by stablemate Sicario in the Derby prelude. Sicario ran second tonight giving trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen the Derby quinella. Chase Auckland (Auckland Reactor - Delicata) did not get it easy in tonights race and had to work hard to get to the front. However once getting there he never looked like getting headed and he cruised to victory in 3:16.8 for the 2700m mobile. Driver Natalie Rasmussen was full of praise for the 3yo after the race and said, "He raced well wide for a long way and I had to let him settle before committing him to take the front. All credit to the horse, he tried real hard and always felt great in the run."   "He actually felt like he could not get beat when he got to the front."  "It was great to wear the teal pants and win in a race like this," she said. The All Stars Stable had a very successful night also winning with Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke. Princess Tiffany won the 2yo fillies $80,000 Delightful Lady Classic after sitting parked for the whole trip, while Jesse Duke put in an amazing run when winning the Group One $100,000 Young Guns. The impressive Jesse Duke (Bettor's Delight - Daisy Dundee) looked like he would be unlucky for the second week in a row when he was squeezed and broke early, but he picked himself up and zoomed home out wide from last at the turn to win narrowly in a 1:55.0 mile rate. His run was one of the best 2yo performances seen on the track in recent years. Chase Auckland winning the Derby   Harnesslink Media    

Chase Auckland may be running out of ways to get beaten in tonight's $250,000 Woodlands Northern Derby at Alexandra Park. The son of Auckland Reactor has looked every inch his father's son in his debut season, winning both the Sires' Stakes and Sales Series Pace before tasting defeat for the first time in the Derby prelude last Friday. That was when he was forced to sit parked outside stablemate Sicario and only just failed to grab him in his first start for two months, suggesting he will clearly strip fitter tonight. Even after that defeat the TAB opened Chase Auckland a $1.35 favourite and those taking the short will do so without too many obvious stumbling blocks. Already this crop has been shorn on several key rivals through injury, illness or sales overseas. In the last two weeks first Pat's Delight and then Sicario, with huge Alexandra Park wins, have emerged as genuine Derby threats to Chase Auckland, at least until Monday's barrier draw. Sicario, who may well be as talented as his stablemate on last Friday's run, drew the second line and while he is the only horse there he still looks set to settle closer to last than first. And Pat's Delight fared even worse, drawing the outside of the front line while Chase Auckland drew barrier six. Pat's Delight's trainer Cran Dalgety was pragmatic about the draw. "If we were going into the race as the big dog maybe we could roll the dice and go forward from barrier eight," said Dalgety. "But if we go blasting out and try and lead from there, even if we make the front, we will set the race up for something else." So with his two best credentialed rivals likely settling behind him, Chase Auckland's only major worries should be those in front of him. There are some handy, future open class rivals between him and the lead but only Sheriff would seem any hope of holding him out and even then any desire to do so would be sorely tested if Chase Auckland got serious inside the first lap. More and more, it looks like a Derby he should eventually lead and win. The classic is just one of a stretch of six major races in a row, starting with a small but very even Northern Mares Classic, which could be decided by how hard Delishka has to work. The open trot looks a lottery but CK Spur's manners are so good his improvement curve might continue, especially with the backmarkers not suited by the big field. The southern fillies dominate the Delightful Lady, with Bubbled Up probably the best value since there doesn't seem to be much between her, Princess Tiffany and Kendra. Jesse Duke looks the best of the freshman boys in the Young Guns Final but is still very much learning so maybe not a true multi bet anchor. And the return clash of Jack's Legend and Star Galleria in the City Of Auckland Free-For-All should be a beauty, with the former holding a crucial draw advantage tonight. Star Galleria may be flat out faster than Jack's Legend but if he has to move mid-race to sit parked while Jack's Legend leads then it is advantage Jack's Legend, and at $2.50 fixed he is a good bet. MIchael Guerin

Mark Purdon will be hoping for a second training win in the Miracle Mile on Saturday night and if it happens he will know it has been well earned. So will Natalie. Both could tell you how hard a race it is to win. Bloody hard!. Even by super race standards All Stars has one on the board thanks to HAVE FAITH IN ME driven by Natalie in his fabulous, record shattering  2016 victory over Lennythshark. But both Mark and Natalie have hard luck stories in other runnings of the race. BLACKS A FAKE posted two second placings for Natalie one by half a head. IL VICOLO was twice second also for Mark. The second time, when he went down to Iraklis in December 1996 they set a mile rate which was never bettered in the race while it was run over 1760m, which it was until 2009. JACK CADE trained and driven by Mark was second to Sokyola in 2003 and SMOLDA second to Lennytheshark last year when LAZARUS was third and WAIKIKI BEACH 4th.  That makes six second placings between Mark and Natalie so perhaps Natalie's strike rate won her the drive this year ! The race is also tougher for New Zealand horses to win than you may think especially given the number of superstar horses we have developed i n the last 20 years. Kiwi-trained horses have only won four Miles this century. Holmes D G won his second in 2000, Monkey King won the first mile race nine years later and Christen Me and Have Faith In Me have scored since. The other thing about the Miracle Mile- If you are an avid supporter of the Kiwis and you have heart problems-don't watch. Only one horse has won the race over the mile  by more than 2 metres. Which isn't very far. The last three have been won by short half heads (nose to us) or a head and that tradition looks like continuing on Saturday. Only one  of the mile races has not broken 1.51 and that was when Smoken UP easily beat Karloo Mick and Imamightyquinn back in 2011. There is no fear of a 1.51 mile this year with 1.47 under threat if we get the fireworks many are expecting,    Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables               

A Miracle Mile that Lazarus couldn't lose is starting to look like one the champion pacer will struggle to win. The Kiwi pacing hero struck not one but two judder bars over the weekend on the road to the only great Australasian race to have eluded him and is set to be a huge drifter in the market. The first signs of trouble for Lazarus, and punters, came when the Inter Dominion champ was a brave but battling third in his $100,000 prelude to the Mile at Menangle on Saturday night. That was still enough to earn him an invitation to the A$750,000 super sprint this Saturday but Lazarus clearly wasn't at his best, only clawing his way into third on heart after looking beaten at the 500m mark.   He appeared still drained by the effects of a virus trainer-driver Mark Purdon had expected to be out of his system but dogged the entire Purdon-Rasmussen stable on a dreadful night at the office. "We had a bug through the team during the week but we thought they were over it," said Purdon. "They had good blood reports and we even had Laz scoped on the morning of the race so we could keep the stewards up to date but clearly he was still below his best. "So while I was disappointed in him because he tried so hard, it was hardly ideal." Purdon said Lazarus appeared to come through the hard run behind long-time rival Tiger Tara well and looked fresh yesterday, and he expects to know more about his well-being after fast work on Tuesday. But that isn't the only problem facing Lazarus as he drew the outside of the front line at yesterday's barrier draw, meaning he will start from barrier eight. Since the Miracle Mile moved to Menangle a decade ago no horse has even placed in the race from barrier eight. That saw him move from $1.70 on Saturday morning to $2.20 with the NZ TAB last night but he could stretch out to $3 with some bookies before race start time, especially depending on how Purdon assesses his bounce back to peak fitness. The big winner in the draw was the faster of Saturday's two prelude winners in Anything For Love, who has barrier three for the Mile while Tiger Tara's unbelievable run of ace barrier draws continued. He has now drawn the ace in the Inter Dominion Final, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile and whether he can hold Anything For Love at the start will be a crucial factor in the race. A$750k Miracle Mile The field for the A$750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at Menangle on Saturday night is: 1: Tiger Tara (1) 2: Atomic Red (2) 3: Anything For Love (3) 4: My Field Marshal (4) 5: Jilliby Kung Fu (5) 6: Soho Tribeca (6) 7: Lennytheshark (7) 8: Charlaval (8) 9: Let It Ride (9) 10: Lazarus (10) Emergencies: Let It Ride, Atomic Red.   Michael Guerin

It is out of the frying pan into the fire for headstrong pacing star Heaven Rocks this week. The dual Jewels winner makes his Australian debut in the Ballarat Cup on Saturday night, taking on his Auckland Cup conqueror Vincent and local Victorian hero Lennytheshark. With a campaign aimed at the Hunter Cup (February 3) and the Miracle Mile (February 24) his connections have decided Heaven Rocks has to be taken off the unruly from mobile starts so he can at least have a shot at being competitive rather than always settling last. But they probably didn’t expect the huge pacer’s first night back in the draw to result in barrier one in a hot field, which will present its own series of challenges on Saturday night. Heaven Rocks has only had one mobile start this season and behaved himself when not really asked to take on to the field in the score up in the Flying Mile at Cambridge two weeks ago. But the inside draw in the push and shove of Australian racing could see him bolt to an early lead or have no idea what to do when the outside pressure comes --- neither would surprise. Either way Vincent has emerged as the horse to beat in the A$100,000 group one over the 2710m mobile, even from barrier six, with Lennytheshark to start off the second line. Saturday’s meeting will also play host to three heats of the Victoria Derby, which is run a week earlier this season, with Spankem and The Devil’s Own the Kiwi reps against a strong local three-year-old crop. Meanwhile, an Australian campaign is off the cards for New Zealand Cup runner-up Jack’s Legend. The Auckland pacer was initially being aimed at the Chariots Of Fire in Sydney on February 10 and would have needed to contest a qualifying race but trainer Barry Purdon says the four-year-old will be staying home. “He hasn’t been quite as sharp in his last few starts and with his two huge runs during Cup week maybe he is feeling the effects of a busy start to the season,” says Purdon “We have plenty of good four-year-old races still to go up here so I will set him for those instead.” With races like the Taylor Mile, Messenger and Jewels just a month apart in the north this season and the four-year-old ranks containing Vincent, Ultimate Machete, Jack’s Legend and Star Galleria among others, that last-season treble could prove one of the highlights of the pacing year. Michael Guerin

It is scary to think this is just the tip of the iceberg. The All Stars’ barn unleashes stars at two key Aussie meetings this weekend, but there are lost more to come over the next couple of months. Newly-crowned Perth Inter Dominion champ Lazarus headlines Aussie racing this weekend when he starts from gate five in the Group 1 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He’s a $1.30 favourite on the Aussie TAB even though he has fast beginners Bettors Fire (gate one), Vultan Tin (three) and Chicago Bull (four) drawn inside him. Lazarus won’t lead unless either a Bettors Fire and/or Chicago Bull elects to surrender the front to him. Just for good measure, Lazarus’s exciting young stablemate, Ultimate Machete, is the $7 second favourite in the Fremantle Cup from gate two. Natalie Rasmussen will take the drive on Ultimate Machete before heading back to Sydney where she has key stable drives on Our Bare Knuckle and Partyon at Menangle on Saturday night. Our Bare Knuckle has gate four, but now moves into the three alley with emergency Lisa Lincoln already scratched from the $30,600 Group 3 Raith Memorial (1609m). It’s a fascinating race with so many different and strong formlines. The biggest name is last season’s glamour juvenile filly My Sweetchillyphilly, who is first-up since an aborted Breeders Crown campaign and drawn deep-ish in gate seven. Tim Butt’s Lady Chatto also resumes in the race from gate 10, while Jimmy Rattray’s Queensland Group 1 winner Arts Treasure has gate six and in-form Victorian raider Macey Jayde has the outside (gate 11). The Allstars’ classy mare Partyon slips back down in class big time to a metro maiden race (race two) under the NSW handicapping system. She’s better than her rivals, but will need to be from the outside draw (gate 11). The other must-watch Menangle race is the free-for-all (race five) where reigning Hunter Cup champ Bling It On steps outs again from the outside draw (gate 11). Adam Hamilton

Harness racing pacer Heaven Rocks was back in winning form at todays Ashburton workouts.  Heaven Rocks cruised to victory in a two horse race and showed no ill effects of the heel complaint that threatened to curtail his season two weeks ago. Lazarus and Heaven Rocks were assisted by a galloping pacemaker in todays workout, running a time of 2-58 for the 2400m. Heaven Rocks sped over his last 800m in 55.9 and the final 400m in a sizzling 25.5 seconds. Both horses are nominated for the Ashburton Flying Stakes, which might end up being a contest between six Purdon/Rassmussen trained runners, according to todays workout commentator Bruce Taylor.  Bruce said, "although six runners have nominated for the race there were question marks over both Classie Brigade and Robbie Burns starting". "Mark and Natalie have ended up nominating both Waikiki Beach and Picadilly Princess just so the race will get off the ground." he said. Have Faith In Me and Dream About Me are also among the nominations for Monday's race. Late News: Northern pacer No Doctor Needed has now also nominated for the Flying Stakes bringing the nominations up to nine.   The last 600m of the todays workout. Harnesslink Media  

After three years as All Stars Junior driver and backup for the senior ones, Matt Anderson is moving on from All Stars at the end of the season. He has no immediate plans for his next racing experience but is preparing for his last season as a Junior and hoping to make the most of it. "I've leaned so much here it is unbelievable. I have been lucky to work in a stable  this successful and get first hand experience of how it all operates. It is not so easy to get stable drives when so many of the races are top events but I know that what I take away from here is the basis for the next stage of my career. And you wouldn't get a better basis to work on" Matt has reached a lot of his Junior Driver goals accumulating 68 wins, his UDR remaining a good .2451. Unlike most juniors Matt has turned down drives at times to protect his strike rate with a view to higher achievements and, except for the year when the rules of selection were altered for a Championship series without him being aware of the change it has worked out well. Matt has shown growing skills and maturity at All Stars and is recognised as one of the most promising Juniors in the business quite apart from success rates.   His first winner, for a mentor Robbie Holmes, was Highview Ember at Rangiora in August 2013 a season when he posted 7 wins from 57 drives to get away to a good start. He transferred to All Stars in 2014 and posted his first win for the stable in July of that year with Better With Bourbon at Rangiora.  Four of his first season winners were trotters for Ken Sefonte and he also drove a winner for Maurice McKendry a man who can recognise talent and for Lew Driver.  Most of his 2015 season wins were for All Stars including horses like Backup, Lightfingered, Full Speed Ahead and Northern Velocity . Last season he again struck up an affinity for the trotter winning three with Blackguard's Corner including the rich John Devlin Memorial at Alexandra Park for the Butterworths but posted his biggest pacing win when Costa Del Magnifico which he had earlier steered to an 11.5 len win in a Junior race, won the Invercargill Cup. He scored a notable win for Piccadilly Princess in a Nevele R heat holding out favoured stablemate Golden Goddess. This season Smiley Sophie have him his first win on NZ Cup day and Pulp Fiction was another smart performer he guided to victory,  His last win was his easiest-on Imperial Whiz in a Breeder's Crown heat at Addington. He didn't have to leave the parade ring,  One of his biggest thrills came however when he finally made the Australasian Junior Drivers Championship in Perth this season run in conjunction with the Inter Dominions It was the most memorable fortnight in the young driver's life. Using the deft hands which were advancing his reputation he overcame some ordinary prospects in pre-post odds to finish third but actually on the same points total (71) as second placed Robbie Close and just two points behind winner Todd McCarthy. Yet Matt remembers Perth for a different reason. "I think watching Smolda fight out that Inter Dominion finish was the biggest thrill I had in my stay here.  It was our stable horse, he was such a great horse to work with and Mark and Natalie had him just right. I got a real thrill out of just being there to watch that" But Matt gave his share of thrills to others don't worry. A thoughtful person he sorted out the Ronald McDonald House for children with illness as his charity of choice. His fees from Perth were part of that generosity and one of his two sponsors, McMillan Feeds added their share. His other sponsor Coupland Bakeries is also notable for its work with charities. Matt has continued to support Ronald McDonald House, which does not get the official assistance of some similar charities ,  with his driving fees a fine gesture for a youngster still making his own way. He helped organise a young cancer sufferer Isaac  Southerton come out to All Stars and introduced the little fellow to the stable stars  including Lazarus.  And so what happens next ? "I've had several offers but I am not in any hurry. I have quite a lot of leave owing from All Stars so I will be taking that up for some time.  Then I will see what develops. I don't doubt I will miss it around here especially when the good horses are out but I am looking forward to the next opportunity" There is also a rising two year old whom Matt invested in at the PGG Sales this year. But that is another chapter in the story. Harnesslink Media Courtesy of All Stars Stables

Leading New Zealand harness racing trainer Mark Purdon has set his sights on Sydney and is set to hit the ground running this Friday when Our Waikiki Beach returns to Tabcorp Park Menangle. The son of Somebeachsomewhere won all of his twelve starts last season and will fly in on Wednesday with stablemate Our Dream About Me. Our Dream About Me is also undefeated and will take her spot in Saturday night's Raith Memorial at Menangle but Purdon has suggested his filly is not fully wound up. "There is a lot of improvement in her, she's big in condition and only had the one trial after a good break so I'd suggest she is a bit vulnerable," Purdon said. "She's in Sydney for the NSW Oaks and we've arrived early enough to give her the time to get some racing under her belt for that series." Star four-year-old pacer Have Faith In Me is set to fly into Australia on January 20th and will compete in the first Chariots Of Fire qualifier on January 23rd at Menangle. "Have Faith In Me has been good since the Auckland Cup, he had a couple of days off after that but I'm very happy with where he is at the moment. "He'll fly directly into Sydney, there looks to be a lot of good four year olds in Australia and it should be a very exciting series for them." Purdon was questioned about whether he would start Have Faith In Me in the Miracle Mile if he was successful in the Chariots Of Fire, with the winner gaining automatic entry. "Probably but I'll make my decision as he progresses, I wouldn't want to knock him around too much because I think he is going to be a serious horse on the Grand Circuit in coming years." Smolda may contest the Miracle Mile qualifiers on February 13 after his Victorian campaign but again Purdon will wait to see whether the horse is effected by several tough runs. "It is pretty tough on the horses with the Hunter Cup being on one week and the Miracle Mile qualifiers on the next because you have to keep in mind that the horses will have to travel up to Sydney and the weather could be extremely hot, it is a big ask, we'll wait and see. "Fight For Glory is coming over to Sydney as well to compete in the mares' races, she is tightly assessed over here so we'll see how she measures up." Greg Hayes

The $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final for two year old fillies at the harness racing meeting at Melton tomorrow night has lost one of the main players today when My MacKenzie was scratched from the race. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven from the former top racemare Kept For Pleasure was purchased out of the Sydney leg of last years Australian Pacing Gold sale for $82,000 and was sent to the All Star barn at Rolleston outside of Christchurch in New Zealand. A star trialist in New Zealand before crossing the Tasman, My MacKenzie has gone really well in Australia without really living up to her huge private reputation. Co-Trainer Mark Purdon was philosophical when contacted by Harnesslink this evening.  "On Wednesday she rolled awkwardly which was probably the cause." "We worked her yesterday but today she was a bit sore again so there was no way we could go on".  "The injury seems a bit higher up then I first thought but it seems like a pulled muscle and I doubt it is anything serious."   "She will come back to New Zealand on the 14th with Follow the Stars."   "It has been a bit disappointing but she has a lot ahead of her," Mark said.   My MacKenzie has always looked a type that would get better as she matured and the All Stars barn have plenty to look forward to next season with the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven.   Harnesslink Media

Tonights harness racing meeting at Addington was notable for having a two year old pace for non winners which surprisingly only drew seven runners. As is normal for two year old races in New Zealand, the All Star barn was represented by a couple of the runners and they both went huge. Cash N Flow in the hands of form reinsman Tim Williams dropped off the gate early as Chittybangbang and Blair Orange sped to the front. Tim waited until 1100 metres from home before looping the field and finding the death seat with Cash N Flow with 900 metres to go. Tim was content to sit on the wheel of Chittybangbang until they turned for home where he asked the son of Mach Three to run and he breezed on bye for an effortless debut win by 2 1/4 lengths. Tim was suitably impressed with the performance. " He did that really easily in the end." " He relaxed out there in the death and I was pretty confident as he was travelling so well. " I didn't even pull the plugs in the straight so he had plenty left," Tim said.  Cash N Flow was a recent addition to the All Stars barn after being purchased by stable clients after impressing at trials in Canterbury for trainers Craig and Aimee Edmonds. Tim Williams was a part of the group that sold the colt to clients of his employers, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Cash N Flow paced the 1950 metres in a quick 2:23.2, a mile rate of 1:58.1 with closing sectionals of 57.9 and 28.1 The other All Star runner was Bevan's Cullen who dropped out last early and was still there as they turned for home but flew late to just about grab second off Chittybangbang. Driver Matt Anderson was full of praise for the son of Christian Cullen. "The plan was to give him a soft run and let run home as he can get a bit rough in his gait at times still." "He is getting better in that regard and really didn't put a foot wrong tonight." " He has made a lot of ground up in the straight when they were sprinting so he has gone super," Matt said. Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing always has its fair share of hard luck stories and one of the latest ones revolves around the smart two year old Motu Premier. A product of the All Stars stable production line, Motu Premier has the misfortune to be in the same barn as this seasons star two year olds Chase The Dream, Lazarus and Waikiki Beach but had never missed a top three finish in his four lifetime starts prior to tonight's Sire Stakes heat. Tonight with his talented stablemates not about, Motu Premier finally got the chance to shine on race night and didn't let the barn down with an authorative win. Sent to the front after 400 metres by driver Natalie Rasmussen, Motu Premier got away with a couple of soft sectionals in front before Natalie upped the tempo down the back and then whizzed the last 400 metres in a very quick 26.5 to run out an easy winner by 2 1/2 lengths over Classie Brigade who trailed the whole way and Wannabet who ran on well for third on debut. Motu Premier paced the 1950 metres in 2:26.4, a mile rate of 2:00.7 with closing sectionals of 56.7 and 26.5. Natalie was impressed by the run. "He is a lovely horse to drive and is getting better with the racing he's had. "Tonight he really felt good and knuckled down to it when I asked him to run." " There isn't that much if anything between our top two year olds and the way this boy is improving, he is more than capable of beating the others," Natalie said. A  $100,000 purchase at last years New Zealand Premier Yearling sale at Christchurch by Merv and Meg Butterworth, Motu Premier has now qualified for the Sires Stakes final and if he continues to improve could pose a real threat to his more fancied stablemates. Harnesslink Media 

Mark Smolenski has been breaking horses in for more years than he cares to remember and much of his business is taken up with handling the All Stars youngsters fresh from the harness racing sales and learning what to do and how to do it right.   For a number of years he has followed a traditional patten handling anything up to 30 youngsters at a time going through a set routine for six weeks or more while the fast ones learned quickly and the slower ones took longer.   But in 2015 he thinks he has found a better way.   "Under my old methods the horses were handled once a day because of the numbers."   "That was ok but not so good for the horses who needed more attention in the learning process."   "So they took longer and when Mark and Natalie came around about this time of the year many of them were not as forward" Mark said   This year Mark decided to work just 12 youngsters at a time starting mainly with those from the Melbourne sale.   "It's been much better from our point of view."   "Staff demands are not as great and staffing is always a problem in any stable."   "But the main gains are just with the horses."   "You can mouth them in the morning and gait them in the afternoon so in effect they are coming to it twice as quickly"   "So far it is working out great."   "These are our first lot and they have done well."   They were more forward than last year's group when Mark and Nat came to try them out and the trials went well" Mark said   One of the bigger interests among the first batch of youngsters was of course All About Me, a brother to Adore Me which went for $180,000 at the Auckland sale when retained by Charlie Roberts who will race him on his own account.   Both Marks realise that he will need more time yet.   "He is a lump of a horse and can be a bit anxious at times."   "This is early days but he is probably not as forward as some of the others."   "But then Adore Me never raced until she was three and look how she turned out."   "Have Faith In Me was the same."   "This one is slightly different in type but time will help him" Mark said   The "by the dozen" routine certainly seems to be working well so far.   We look forward to showing you more of the All Stars youngsters as they make their way toward-well -"Stardom"   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables

Todays C8 and faster heat at the Rangiora harness racing trials was only a five horse affair but it was a heat full of class The heats were run on a fine day but with a bitterly cold wind blowing. Christen Me was the headline act along with Adore Me, Hands Christian, Fly Like An Eagle and Pass Them By. Fly Like An Eagle did just that at the start, scooting out to an early lead with Pass Them By, Adore Me, Hands Christian and Christen Me all racing in single file behind the leader. Passing the 900 metres mark, Tim Williams upped the pace in front with Fly Like An Eagle. Mark Purdon was the first to move at the 700 metres mark when he moved Adore Me out into the running line and Hands Christian and Natalie Rasmussen were quickly onto her back with Christen Me and Dexter Dunn biding his time at the rear. As they turned for home Adore Me gradually began to wear down Fly Like An Eagle and was then immediately attacked by Hands Christian. As these two looked like they would fight out the finish, Christen Me suddenly joined in and grabbed Adore Me for a narrow but impressive victory with Hands Christian another neck away in third. Fly Like An Eagle and Pass Them By finished in line right behind the first three. The 2600 metres from a stand was covered in 3:20.7 with the last 800 metres off the front covered in a super quick 54.6 and the last 400 metres in 27.5 Christen Me was three lengths last at the 800 and was privately timed to run that section in 53.4 with his closing 400 metres in 26.9 and what was more impressive was he seemed to do it with something in reserve. The All Stars team were happy with all of their runners. HANDS CHRISTIAN (Natalie)  "No a good run. He got a bit relaxed for a bit and I had to give him a smack on the rear to keep him up to it but they ran home in fast time and he is on target" she said ADORE ME (Mark)  "I was happy how she went. She is ready to run next week on that, he said  FLY LIKE AN EAGLE (Tim) "I didn't expect to be in front but he shot out so well that was where we finished up. He just blew out the last bit (last 800m in 54.6) and will be better for the run" said Tim "We will probably give Fly Like An Eagle another workout, maybe on Saturday before he goes to the races" Mark said. With his performance today, Christen Me sent a clear message that he is right on track for the second Tuesday in November and cemented his position as the major threat to Terror To Love's quest for four New Zealand Cups. Harnesslink Media  

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