WELL-BRED DR SUSAN SHOULD DEVELOP FURTHER
By Jeff Scott
While junior co-trainer Nathan Purdon is taking just a secondary role as a race-driver this term, Kentuckiana Lodge administrative manager, Chrissie Dalgety (wife of senior training partner Cran) had no qualms retaining him as the driver of Dr Susan at Addington on Thursday, October 10.
Nathan had partnered Dr Susan in a run of 2YO placings and a sound sixth to top juvenile filly, Sweet On Me, in the $150,000 Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond on June 1, before a winter let-up.
Her solid efforts in her 2YO racing, including a game first-up third to Pearl Harbour and Woman In Gold in a Young Guns 2YO Fillies Heat at Auckland on January 18, stood to her after finding the front over favourite Storm with 1500m to run in The Crossing Fashion Competition – 12 November Mobile Pace.
Nathan, having only his second drive of the season, gave Dr Susan every chance. They were able to get a breather mid-race, pacing her last mile in 2:02.1, then zipping home over her last final 400m in a sharp 26.6s.
Dr Susan, a daughter of champion sire Bettor’s Delight and 2013 Southland Oaks winner Safedra (1:56.3, 10 wins & $135,577), was named as a tribute to Dr Susan Wakefield, who with her husband Jim, a former HRNZ chairman, raced the family for many years.
After Susan Wakefield had a decline health, the Wakefields’ decided to retire their race interests and passed Safedra on to Cran and Chrissie Dalgety when she finished racing.
Safedra, a big daughter of Mach Three and the Wakefields’ former top International winning filly/mare Sparks A Flyin (1:52., US), also ran a notable second to champion filly/mare Adore Me in the 2013 New Zealand Oaks.
Mrs Dalgety bred last season’s Group One-placed 3YO filly Buzinga (p3, 1:56.8, four wins (subsequently sold to race in Victoria) and Dr Susan from Safedra, before they re-sold Safedra to Southland enthusiasts, Taffy Ltd.
Safedra’s third foal, La Rosa, a now 2YO filly sister to Buzinga and Dr Susan, fetched $100,000 at February’s NZ Bloodstock Yearling Sale at Auckland, being purchased by clients of the Mark Jones stable.
Grand-dam, Sparks A Flyin won the 2001 Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Final when prepared by Cran Dalgety and driven by Mark Jones. She won 21 races and $627,218), and left six foals to race for six good winners, before her demise fou years ago.
Her biggest winner is the evergreen Bettor’s Fire (1:50.2, 52 wins &NZ1,038,537), a winner of $US144,470 in his 11-year-old North American racing this year.
He’s been joined in the USA in recent months by half-brother (My) Alpha Rock (1:49.5, Aust, 17 wins & $A240,614), the fastest winner from Sparks A Flyin.
The other winner from Sparks A Flyin have also reached double-figure career wins, namely Diomedes (1:57.5, 12 wins & $87,994), Empyrean (1:56.2, 10 wins & $121,302), Safedra (1:56.3, 10 wins & $135,577) and former Victoria Derby Heat winner, Art Union (1:55.6, 17 wins & $210,120).
Dr Susan is expected to derive a fitness benefit from Thursday’s first-up 3YO race and being from a half-sister to a group of horses who strengthened with age, the signs are good she can advance further this term.
Her win moved the Dalgety-Purdon training partnership alongside the strong Robert Dunn stable on 18 numerical wins at the top of the NZ trainers premiership after nearly 2 1/2 months of the new term.
The win moved the training duo to $116,685 in stake-earnings for their debut term.