SYDNEY harness racing may get the chance to farewell one of the greatest partnerships in harness racing when Menangle hosts our biggest and richest sprint, the Miracle Mile early in 2021.
Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen dropped a bombshell yesterday when they revealed they intend to disband their All Stars racing stable.
Fresh from winning their fourth Group One race in a week in New Zealand, Purdon and Rasmussen yesterday explained to staff at their Rolleston stables outside of Christchurch that their All Stars team would cease operations from December 31.
At this stage it appears certain that the All Stars’ stable foreman Hayden Cullen and his wife Amanda will lease the stables from Purdon and are likely to also train many of the horses currently prepared by the team.
Yet Purdon will maintain his license at least until early next year when he will bring some of their stable stars like Spankem and Self Assured to Sydney to chase the Miracle Mile during Menangle’s major carnival of the year.
Some of those pacers may stay on and it would not be a surprise of Purdon uses his friendship with NSW’s most successful stable partnership, Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy, and leave one or two of them to be trained out of Sydney.
Purdon has indicated he will then return to New Zealand and maintain a licence to drive the horses although will cease to continue as a trainer, for the time being.
“It is time for a break,” said Purdon.
“Between us Nat and I have been training or working with horses for almost 70 years combined.
“We want to have a break, freshen up and take time to enjoy life next year.
“During that break we will take time to consider what our future looks like.
“Hayden is a good young trainer and we have made a commitment to him that at least initially we will drive the horses at major carnivals, if needed.
“We have told him we are happy to come help out leading in to these carnivals but the stables are going to be his, with his wife Amanda, and the business will be theirs, definitely not ours.
“If we even come back to training full time I would say it would be a on a lot smaller scale.
“But that is something we will think about during our year off.”
Rasmussen is yet to decide whether or not she will retain her licence.