Nathan Purdon, a Group One-winning trainer and driver in his own right with Ohoka Punter in the $A200,000 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park, Brisbane, in July 2016, made a welcome return to Kentuckiana Lodge, in December 2017.
The son of All Stars trainer Mark, and Christen Me’s co-owner, Vicki Purdon, Nathan earlier worked for Cran Dalgety 3 1/2 years earlier as part of his development during his trials driver stage.
He again worked for his father at the outset of his junior driving career, landing his first winner when reigning subsequent New Zealand Cup winner Arden Rooney to a 11-lengths win at Rangiora in October 2013.
Nathan was also groom to champion racemare Adore Me during her stellar career.
After gaining eight quick wins in NZ, Nathan headed overseas to work for various stables in Queensland, Victoria and West Australia.
He was entrusted with preparing Ohoka Punter for Ardmore trainer Tony Herlihy, gaining their big win in the Blacks A Fake over Hectorjayjay, with Christen Me finishing sixth.
Nathan also prepared him to run third to Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark in the 2017 Group One Len Smith Mile at Menangle, won in 1:50.5, and to win the Group Three Maryborough Cup in Victoria in October.
On his first night back driving at Addington in early December, he finished second with Donegal Bettorgretch, then won a maiden with Bettor To Be Tricky.
Two weeks later, he reined Raukapuka Ruler to a clear-cut win at Addington and also reined another Kentuckiana Lodge pacer in Baileys Rock to a NZ 3YO record win at Ashburton on Boxing Day.