YEAR: 2013


Cran Dalgety has dodged a clash with Terror To Love, Excel Stride and Caribbean Blaster in the Miracle Mile. It seemed the race was all locked in after Christen Me gapped six others of high class in the Resource Recycling Technologies 4YO Superstars Championship at Addington, but it was all off the next day.

Not that it was always on. Dalgety, along with owners Vicki Purdon and Charlie Roberts, were always just as keen on the Messenger and Taylor Mile and Harness Jewels, and all or some of these races would have gone had the Miracle Mile been the chosen course.

Dalgety does not think Christen Me is quite there for that company just yet, though he knows he's close. "What we decided that rather than get a big bit of superb for third...we'd go for two strong kills closer to home. We have the Jewels after that, and then he's in the Breeders Crown," he said.

Dalgety said the horse had established his credentials now. "He really is the all-round package, a horse with high speed who can sustain it. Everything went wrong for him on Cup Day and he still kicked away. That was the race when I thought he could do something special," he said. As winner of the Chariots, and now the Superstars, Christen Me has the "feel growly" factor that makes Dalgety think "I couldn't say what he could be."

Dalgety says his failure to finish at his previous start when he was pulled up when a tyre came off the rim was not the huge surprise to him as it was to everyone else. "It's funny but I just had that premonition beforehand that something odd might go wrong and it did. And it seems strange, but Mark Purdon said he felt the same way the time I Can Doosit first got beaten at Cambridge."

Christen Me ran the 2600m mobile in a snappy 3:14.

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 10Apr2013


YEAR: 2013


Just when it seemed Habibti could take her level of performance no higher, she does. There was no other conclusion at the end of the fascinating finish to the Seelite Windows and Doors NZ Trotting Derby at Addington last Friday night.

After looking only good for third at the top of the straight, when Blitzthemcalder and Royal Aspirations had put two lengths on her, she gamely clung to them, and then started to close in. Blitzthemcalder, a handsome back horse with a reputation to match, did enough to keep a narrow margin on Royal Aspirations, but Habibti was a different kettle of fish. On she came, slowly at first but chasing hard and then deceptively quickly to beat the pair by two necks in a gruelling last 100 metres.

How good are these young trotters? Not only did Habibti break the 2600m mobile record for her age by running 3:13.5, which eclipsed the 3:17.7 set by Shezoneoftheboyz, but it was also inside the allcomers mark of 3:15.1 held by Jasmyn's Gift and faster than Christen Me took to win the Superstars.

"She was pretty tired at the end," said her driver and co-trainer Davey Butt. "Turning in I didn't think I was a show of winning, but half-way down I knew she would. She felt good out of the gate and she's done the job at both ends. You don't get many who can do that, and she's got a lot more speed now," he said.

Habibti, a chestnut by Love You, gave Butt extra pleasure because he is a part-owner with Robert 'Bolty' Paterson and Lynne Paterson. "I've never owned one that good. She's had this tie-up problem, but she seems good at the moment," he said. Habibti now continues her campaign at the Auckland Rowe Cup meeting which starts on Friday week.

Among those to congratulate Butt was his cousin Paul Nairn, a superb trainer of trotters, who said he was breaking in Habibti's yearling sister, a taller type. Meahwhile Chris Alford, was left wondering how success eluded Blitzthemcalder. "What did I do wrong?" said the Aussie ace.

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 10Apr2013


YEAR: 2013


Terror To Love continued on his path to the Inter-Dominion heat and final with a narrow but comfortable win over Christen Me in the Group 3 Rose Dakin Summer Cup last Friday night. Just as he had done when beaten by Jason Rulz in the Pelorus Classic, Christen Me was gallant in defeat. On this occasion, he gave Terror To Love four lengths at the 800m and closed the gap to within half a length.

"I never touched him," said Ricky May, driver of Terror To Love. "He always tries his hardest. He's not quite there yet, but you know with Graham and Paul (Court) that he'll be there when he has to be. I think everything is progressing well," he said.

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 6Feb13


YEAR: 2013


They say that Mark Purdon is New Zealand’s best juvenile trainer, well I'll tell you what. His older brother Barry isn’t half bad either. The Clevedon based trainer not only won tonight's (Friday May 11) $165,000 Sires' Stakes Final (Group One) with Maxim but he also got second with Sky Major bringing up a stable quinella.

Both Maxim and Sky Major are owned by Mrs K J Purdon, T G Casey, Clear view Racing no 4 syndicate, J Lohman, T H Henderson and The Anzac Racing Syndicate.

The Purdon trained pair dominated from up front, adopting lead-trail tactics. It was Tony Herlihy and the well supported Sky Major who swung for home first, but they were quickly collared by Zac Butcher and underdog Maxim, who powered up the Stunin Cullen sprint-lane to claim Group One glory.

Isaiah, who looked to be struggling on the bend, found a second win to storm into third for Mark Purdon, while Zacharia, who is also trained by the latter Purdon finished in fourth, giving the Purdon brothers the first four. Zacharia, just for good measure is also owned by Trevor Casey, who is a shareholder in both Maxim and Sky Major.

Maxim dashed his final sectionals in 55.9 and 26.4, eliminating the chances of anything trying to come from the back.

Sixth was the best Australian Allblack Stride could muster, while Regulus faded to fifth after racing outside the leader on the home bend.

Maxim, a son of Bettor's Delight and Splendid Deal (In The Pocket - Splendid Dreams), hails from the all-conquering Scuse Me family, which has produced stars such as Hands Christian (Christian Cullen- Splendid Dreams), Christen Me (Christian Cullen - Splendid Dreams) and of course tonight's New Zealand Oaks first and third placegetters Adore Me (Bettor's Delight - Scuse Me) and Splendour (Bettor's Delight- Splendid Deal). Who is the breeder of Maxim? Yes you guessed it, the man behind this ‘splendid' family, Charlie Roberts.

Maxim's driver Zac Butcher was full of praise for Barry Purdon, thanking him for all of the wonderful opportunities he has presented him with.

Butcher was also full of praise for Maxim.

"We did receive a good trip tonight, but this horse really does try his heart out, and he possesses a big motor."

Butcher also admitted he was relatively confident heading into tonight, although he must have been one of the only ones who were as Maxim paid odds of $18.70 and $3.40.

It was Butcher's second Group One win after having taken out the NZ Oaks with Cheer The Lady at this exact meeting last year.

The win also brought up back-to-back Sires' Stakes wins for Barry Purdon having won the illustrious race last year with another son of Bettor's Delight in Five Card Draw.

It was Barry's seventh win in the race overall, having previously trained Billbob (1984), Chokin (1991), Montana Vance (1992) and Ill Vicolo (1994) to win in partnership with his father Roy, as well as Matai Mackenzie (2000) and Five Card Draw (2012)on his own account.

Credit: Mitchell Robertson writing on 18May2013


YEAR: 1993

SCUSE ME - Classic Winner Producing Mare

Scuse Me(1993 BGs Bunny-Super Smooth), USA family of Nora by Glencoe; 1:53.5, $126,841, 8 wins; 15 foals, 12 to race, 12 winners. Breeder and breeder of all her foals: Charles(CJ) Roberts.

Scuse Me is without doubt the mare of the moment - the hottest breeding proposition in NZ. Over the past couple of decades, the immediate family includes horses of the calibre of Christen Me, Adore Me, Have Faith In Me, Dream About Me, Imagine Me, Hands Christian to name a few. Woodlands Stud supremo Charles Roberts is prominent as breeder of Scuse Me as well as being involved in the breeding/ownership of a number of the family offspring.

Her sire, BGs Bunny, only stood the one season in NZ at Woodlands Stud serving 245 mares(161 live foals) before dying from a heart attack in September 1993. A grandson of Meadow Skipper and a top siring son of Albatross, BGs Bunny won 12 of his 26 two/three starts. He sired over 1,000 winners in USA with a number of his colts standing at stud in NZ(ill-fated Butler BG who also died from a heart attack in September 1993; McKinzie Almahurst; Allwin Steady; power Bunny). His broodmare sire record ranks him highly amongst the all-time greats - Precious Bunny, Tooter Scooter, Armbro Operative, Cams Card Shark, The Falcon Strike and stallions that stood in NZ at one time in WRH, OK Bye and Cams Trickster. BGs Bunny's major NZ credits all flow from Scuse Me.

Scuse Me's dam Super Smooth, unraced dam of 15 foals(five by embryo transplant, two to race both winners), 7 to race for 7 winners, four of whom won in NZ before having successful Australian careers. Other than Scuse Me, her progeny included Tricky Woman(3 wins, 1:56.2 at Winton), Vicalo(3 NZ wins/5 AUS wins, 4 wins at Albion Park), Il Casino(winner in NZ/14 WA wins, four at Gloucester Park), Supabet(4nZ wins/10 Qld wins, 8 at Albion Park, 1:53.8). Fallacy mare Gold Heritage's (granddam of Super Smooth), daughter Remit left dual Australian Broodmare of the Year Fiscal Miss(dam of Whitbys Miss Penny [da of Ima Spicey Lombo], Ace of Whitby, Whitby Timer, Whitbys Merit(dam of Montana Anna)-the Whitby clan.

Whilst known as the USA family of Nora by Glencoe, from a NZ perspective this is the family of Childe Harold mare Moonbeam(foaled in NSW in 1889) whose third dam is Nora. Moonbeam's dam Gracie was exported in foal to Australia from North America. Moonbeam left Don Cleve (successful sire/ damsire of AK Cup winner Blue Mountain King), breeding on through her filly Daybreak, winner of Henry Mace Memorial and Recovery Hcp at Addington. It was from Daybreak's filly Daisy Pointer that latter day NZ winners from this family eventuate(Daisy Scott to Dasy Gold to Gold Heritage). Major descendants apart from those tracing to Scuse Me include Quincey, Sir Joe, Pointer Hanover, Josephine Bret, Onedin Supreme, Bondy, Maximan.

The first foal of Super Smooth, Scuse Me won 8 of her 25 starts. Her race career commenced as a late 2yo with a second placing from 2 starts. At three, she was third in her second start in the Ladyship Stakes (won by Kates First), before recording her first win in a fillies maiden at Addington. She followed this with a forth in NZSS 3yof before winning three races at Alexandra Park including the GN Oaks and two Hydroflow Fillies heats. A win at Cambridge and then at Addington concluded her wins for the season(6) before finishing fifth in the NZ Oaks and seventh in the Hydroflow final. At four, Scuse Me, commenced with a win at Cambridge in an Elliott Futurity Stakes heat, several placings(thirds in Elliott Futurity final, GN Breeders 4yo Stakes) prior to her major CV credit, the Taylor Mile. In this she established the NZR of 1:53.5 for a mile, still an Alexandra Park mile record and equal fastest MR at Auckland(with Besotted, 1:53.5, 1700m). A fourth a week later in the Messenger was her final dividend-bearing place. Scuse Me has to date had 12 foals to race for 12 winners. She achieved breeding glory being named 2013 Broodmare of Year and receiving NZSBA Broodmare of Excellence Award.

Scuse Me's male progeny include:

Have Faith In Me, 2014/5 3yo colt/gelding pacer of year(7 victories in 11 3yo starts) is the first 3yo to achieve four Group One victories in a season: NZSS 3yoc(1:53.2, 1950), GN & NZ Derbies, Harness Jewels(1:52.5, 1 mile) together with the Flying Stakes and the listed 3yo Yearling Sales Series final. At four, he won first up in the Group Three Junior FFA(sponsored by Fahey Fence Hire) on NZ Cup Day, arrogantly winning in near NZ record time of 3:07.6/1:56.0(2600m). His performance to finish third in the Franklin Cup after conservatively losing 100m at the start and running unofficial sectionals of 2:53.7(last 1½m), last mile in 1:54.1, half in 55.1 and quarter in 27.0, to go down by 2¾l in a 2:00 mile rate(2700m stand)was exceptional. The heir apparent in waiting then maintained his faultless group One records when recording his fifth Group One success in the second running of the 2015 Auckland Cup on New Years Eve(2014/5 season Cup run in March 2015 won by Christen Me). Starting from the unruly position, he began well and toughed out the 3200m journey to record his biggest win to date. At the beginning of January 2016, his record stood at 18:10-3-1, $712,279.

Megabucks, winner of 5 from 17 starts in NZ(Te Awamutu Cup, Alexandra Park 4 wins). In North America, winner of 7 recording 1:49.3US(Colonial Downs).

Toledo, seven-race winner in NZ with 4 as a 3yo(Alexandra Park[3], Cambridge), 2 at four(Alexandra Park, NZYSS Aged Pace at Kaikoura) and 1 victory at five at Alexandra Park before his export to Australia. He won his first start at Bathurst, his only placing in 7 starts over two years in Australia.

It is however Scuse Me's fillies that have taken prominence including:

Adore Me, outstanding champion filly and race mare, retired winner of 26 from 36 starts, $1.6m, 1:47.7(p3, 1:52.4), 12 Group Ones, 5 Group Two, 3 Group Three victories and placed in seven Group Ones(unplaced on only three occasions. At three, won 11 of 12 starts including the Ladyship Stakes, NZSS-3f(heat & final), GN & NZ Oaks, Nevele R Fillies(heat & final), Jewels-3f, plus additional wins at Auckland and Addington(2) with her only defeat being second in GN Derby after drawing the outside of the second row. She was the 3yo filly of her year. At four, she was the winner of 8 of 12 starts including the Junior FFA on Cup Day, GN Breeders Stakes, Queen of Hearts, Premier Mares Championship, NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes, the Easter Cup, 4yo Jewels and an additional win at Addington plus seconds in the AK Cup, NSW Ladyship Mile and third in the Taylor Mile. At five, Adore M was the winner of 7 from 12 starts the NZ Cup, Ashburton Flying Stakes, GN Breeders Stakes, Queen of Hearts, Waikato Flying Mile(NZ mares mile record 1:51.6), Brian Hancock Cup, Ladyship Mile(Australasian record 1:47.7); 2nd NZFFA, Ak Cup and third in the Victoria Cup. She retired after fracturing a sesamoid bone when faltering briefly in the run home during her close second to her close relation Christen Me in the 2015 Auckland Cup. Adore Me was Aged Mare of the Year as both a 4 & 5yo.

Imagine Me, fine race mare, winner of 9 including 6 at three. She won her first 2 starts at Ashburton and Addington, followed by NZSS 3yof heat at Addington(3rd in the final), Nevele R Fillies heat at Forbury Park(2nd & 3rd in the Addington heats, 3rd in the final), AUS Breeders Crown heat at Addington-walkover; 5th in the semi-final and 3rd final)plus second in the 3yof Jewels and thirds in the Ladyship Stakes, GN & NZ Oaks. At four she was a winner at Alexandra Park on three occasions including the NI Breeders Stakes and third in the 4yo mares Jewels. Imagine Me had four 5yo starts for four fourths all at Alexandra Park including the GN Breeders Stakes and the Queen of Hearts before being retired (dam of a qualifier).

La Filou, Alexandra Park winner, dam of three winners including The Dip, 14 AUS wins(VIC VHRSC(MHRC) Cup at three, TAS Guineas.

Splendid Dreams, sub two-minute winner at first start(3yo), subsequently winning 2 of 6 starts. Proving to be a sensational broodmare carrying on from her mother Scuse Me, dam of:

. Christen Me, $2m+, 29 wins, 1:49.1, two-time Australasian Grand Circuit champion, multiple group winner(Hondo Grattan Sprint, Chariots of Fire, Superstars, Taylor Mile, Messenger, 4yo Jewels Emerald, New Briughton, Hunter, Bendigo, Victoria, Auckland and Easter Cups, Canterbury Classic, National Hcp, Maurice Holmes Vase twice, NZFFA, & Miracle Mile) plus Group One placed seconds in the Miracle Mile, Ballarat & Cranbourne Cups and thirds in the NZ & Victoria Cups.

Hands Christian, Easter Cup, Cambridge Futurity, International Cargo Express FFA, Paleface Adios Sprint, seconds in the NZSS & the 3yo Jewels and third in the 3yo NZYSS, 1:52.5

Dream About Me, 2014/5 NZ 2yo filly Pacer of the Year, unbeaten in 5 NZ starts at 2 and 3 Australian starts; Delightful Lady Classic 2f, 2f NZSS(p2, 1:54.9), Harness Jewels(NZ Record 1:53.3) and winner in Australiaof 2f Breeders Crown(1:57).

Splendid Deal, unraced dam of:
. Maxim, 5 wins including NZSS 2c, and VIC Derby heat & final.
. Splendour, 8 wins including Gold Coast Oaks(2nd Queensland Oaks), Nevele R heat.

Minor winners from Scuse Me - Coca Vicola(winner): Pardin Me(NZ winner, 10 WA/1 GP): Abide With Me(4 wins): Idolise Me(3 NZ wins, 1 Australia): Ohoka Jett(winner)

Credit: Peter Craig writing in Harnessed Feb 2016


YEAR: 2013


Terror To Love turned the threat of a shock defeat into a magnificent and heroic victory at Addington on Tuesday. And Ricky May, small though he is, can take his place above the giants who have held the Cup before him.

They overcame an almost perilous handicap to win the 110th Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup by a neck from Fly Like An Eagle. They did it under circumstances that would have beaten great horses and lesser lights would have been seen later.

But this is an exceptional horse, and May can be magic when the big races are up and the chips are down. This was his predicament in the Cup. For some peculiar reasons, Terror To Love decides to miss away. And he makes a meal of it. "I couldn't believe it," he says. "He walked up perfectly. He had plenty of room. Everything was right for him. When he's done it before, it hasn't been for long - a few strides and then he's away. But this time he just wouldn't settle."

It's 30 metres, maybe more, and the Cup field was dust in front, and arch rival Christen Me is happily placed in the trail. May lets him catch up, but knows he has to get going when things get busy on the last lap. He joins the line - Sleepy Tripp, Terror To Love, Pembrook Benny and Jason Rulz. "I took my time getting there, and he was cruising when I went past Mark (Purdon). I still thought I was in with a show."

It was an easy choice for Purdon to let him go, though he was unaware Terror To Love had come from so far behind. "My horse was getting keener and keener," said Purdon. "I was looking to put him on a back." There was none better than Terror To Love. Tough for Christen Me, as Dexter Dunn has to accept the awful situation of suddenly going from two deep a lap out to three-deep at the 800m. On the corner, Terror To Love was in full cry. Fly Like An Eagle would come through and Pembrook Benny should drop off, and let's see how Christen Me would finish it off.

Terror To Love did not drop the guard. May knew his 7th Cup win was in sight half-way up the straight, Fly Like An Eagle battled bravely up the lane for second and Christen Me was a gallant third, pulling the ground back but never enough of it, and Pembrook Benny was brave holding fourth after a hard trip from the half. Caribbean Blaster finished on without ever raising a hope, and ditto for Franco Ledger.

As expected, Terror To Love again exposed the gap between the good and the great. Because it was a tough run, Terror To Love will not be out on Show Day; instead his focus will be on the Miracle Mile and the InterDominions.

May's previous Cup winners have been Inky Lord, Christian Cullen, Iraklis, Monkey King twice, and Terror To Love, after Jimmy Curtin won with him two years ago. Pressed for some sort of comparison in their efforts, he said the one on Tuesday had to be the finest. "When Inky Lord won, he had to pick himself up after being checked at the 500m, but it was not what this horse had to do."

In the sum-up, where was May's masterstroke? Two theories to this - was it the time he took to run from the 1000m to the 800m and lead? Or was it on the turn, when he bought just enough time to outstay Fly Like An Eagle. Either way, it was ingenious.

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 14Nov13


YEAR: 2013


The new kid on the block, Christen Me, tonight confirmed himself a spot in the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup by downing Terror To Love in the $25,000 Avon City Ford Cup (Gr3) at Addington. After making a flier in what was his first ever standing start, the wonder pacer and driver Dexter Dunn dictated terms in front before kicking too strongly in the straight for Terror To Love, who was also brilliant after racing parked for the majority of the trip.
Franco Ledger enjoyed the gun run in the trail, but was unable to match motors with the two speedsters in the home stretch finishing five lenghts away in third.

The last 800 metres was run in a staggering 54.0 seconds which is the quickest ever official last half recorded at Addington, while the overall time for the 2600m stand start journey was a respectable 3-14.1.

“He felt sensational the whole way and he won with the earplugs still in,” said a beaming Dunn. Meanwhile, Ricky May was also very happy with Terror To Love.
“He has gone absolutely super and I’m sure he will benefit greatly off the run.”

Addington CEO Dean McKenzie summed it up best by saying “They’ve both gone as good as each other. They were clearly better than the rest of the field,” he added. I just hope Themightyquinn comes over now because if he does it is going to be the Cup of the decade.”

Credit: Mitchell Robertson writing in

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