NEW ZEALAND power couple Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen will be aiming for numerous slices of history at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.
With two runners engaged in the Pacers’ Inter Dominion, the duo are on the verge of being the first trainers to win three consecutive Finals with different horses.
As it stands, Purdon and Rasmussen are just the second trainers to win consecutive Inter Dominions with separate horses since the series’ inception in 1936.
The pair were successful with Smolda in 2016 and Lazarus in 2017 when the Championship was conducted in Perth.
The late Bob Knight was the ground breaker, scoring with Our Maestro in 1988 and Jodie’s Babe in 1989.
Purdon also won back-to-back Trotters’ Finals with Pride Of Petite in 1997 and Buster Hanover in 1998.
Overall, Purdon – as an individual or co-trainer – has captured a record seven Finals between the two gaits.
Although the honour roll only has Purdon listed as the trainer of Smolda and Lazarus, it is well-known and recognised he and Rasmussen are a partnership.
As a driver, Purdon could become the first person to win four Pacers’ Finals with different horses.
Along with his wins behind Smolda and Lazarus, Purdon was successful with Mark Hanover in 1991.
Mark Hanover was prepared in partnership by his father, Roy, and brother, Barry.
Purdon shares the record of driving three Final winners with Brian Hancock, who was triumphant with Koala King, Weona Warrior and Our Sir Vancelot.
On the subject of Hancock’s Inter Dominion victories, he has won five as a driver thanks to Our Sir Vancelot scoring in 1997, ’98 and ’98.
Should Rasmussen win, it will be her fifth after annexing the ‘Holy Grail’ with Blacks A Fake in 2006, ‘07, ’08 and ’10.
As for their representatives this weekend, Purdon will partner Spankem from barrier five.
Rasmussen has elected to stick to Cruz Bromac, which is the only undefeated runner in the series.
Rasmussen boasts a perfect record from five starts behind Cruz Bromac, which has drawn gate nine.