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: 1997

Kate's First winning the Nevele R NZ Oaks

Kate's First produced a brilliant effort to win the Nevele R NZ Oaks, but it wasn't the only act she put on on the night.

Bucking and kicking when unloaded off the float on arrival at the course, Kate's First continued the bad behaviour prior to her event. "She was a right mole in her preliminary," driver Peter Ferguson said. "She gets a bit smart and tries to run off the track - I was flat getting her around the course while she was warming up."

Although the Holmes Hanover filly proved a handful prior to her $60,000 NZ Oaks bid, Ferguson knew it was a positive sign. "I knew she was back to her old self when she started behaving like that. She played up a little prior to the previous week's win, but that side to her had been missing since she's been crook," he said.

Ferguson's thoughts that Kate's First was back to normal were certainly justified minutes later. Drawn the outside of the second row, Ferguson and Kate's First waited until the right moment to shoot around the field, and levelled up to pacemaking favourite Scuse Me with a lap to travel. In the same spot turning for home, it was obvious soon after that Kate's First had the measure of the leader. She strode clear and then easily held off the late challenges of Bludebird, Strathrowan and Mystic Gold.

The win was a huge effort from a 3-year-old filly, and even more amazing were the last sectionals of 57 and 28.5 respectively, which paved the way for a national record time of 3:13.1 for the 2600m mobile. "I was quite happy sitting parked out, and I wouldn't have handed up to anything over the last lap," Ferguson said. "She's got a bit of speed, and seems to have got quicker as she's had more races," he said.

Austin Williams, who with daughter Karen has looked after Kate's First while she has been in Christchurch, believed the filly falling ill could have been a blessing in disguise. "Travelling up and down the country for major races can take a lot out of horses," he said. Ferguson agreed, saying the opportunity Kate's First had to settle in and acclimatise was a major factor. "Ausin and Karen have done a wonderful job with the horse. She felt terific tonight and I know it is a scary thought but I think she might improve for the Hydroflow Final," he said.

Credit: John Robinson writing in NZHR Weekly


YEAR: 2001


Everyone has a favourite horse. Mark Purdon's will always be Il Vicolo, the brilliant son of Vance Hanover which helped put him on the map when he launched his training career in the 1995/96 season.

Beaten only three times at two and never at three, Il Vicolo won 31 races in total and his back-to-back New Zealand Cup victories in 1995 and 1996 sit highest on the shelf of Purdon's fondest memories. And now that he is winning races with Il Vicolo's progeny, it is the next best thing. Purdon guided Jack Cade to an all-the-way victory in the PGG Yearling Sales Series Open, an event Il Vicolo himself won seven years earlier.

The win has pushed Jack Cade's dad into second on the list of leading sires of juveniles (by dollars won) for the season, which is no mean feat considering this is his first crop. Jack Cade (three wins), Tricky Vic (two) and Lord Vicolo (one) have been the main contributors, vindicating Purdon's faith that he would make it as a stallion. He and principal owner John Seaton specifically went to the Sales last year with the intention of bringing two or three home, and there was something about Jack Cade that stood out. "I liked him on type, and there was a lot of quality about him," Purdon recalled. "Il Vicolo did not have many in the sales, but they were all nice types and I think his average reflected that."

Jack Cade stamped himself as top 2-year-old material right from the word so this season, winning first up at Alexandra Park in a sensational 1:57.5 mile rate over 1700 metres. He has only been out of the money once in six starts since, when an unlucky fifth in the Welcome Stakes, and although not offering excuses Purdon says the gelding hasn't been a hundred percent lately. "He has had an on-going respiratory infection since about February," he said. "It is not a common one, and he has had a cough and a slight nasal discharge. Bill Bishop has been treating him and we are getting on top of it now. He has been a bit brighter in the coat lately."

Just last week Purdon and Seaton sold Il Vicolo to Woodlands Stud. There has been a great deal of interest in the stallion after his first season results, and Purdon says letting him go was one of the hardest decisions he ever had to make. "He had a lot of sentimental value to me. During his first two seasons at stud I used to bring him home and jog him through the winter. It was just a bit of a change for him. He was always a lazy trackworker but he loved it, and he loved being back in the same box that he had when he was racing. We didn't get him back last year because we were just too busy with the horses; I was quite looking forward to having him around again this year."

It is ironic that Purdon signed on the dotted line only a matter of hours before a son of Il Vicolo he trains won the richest 2-year-old event of the season, but he says that is just the way it goes. "There was never o lot of money in owning a stallion in his early days; when you are striving to get numbers on the ground you have to do deals here and there. "But winning the race again with one of his progeny is a great feeling, and I am pleased for the new owners too because it is a nice start for them."

Purdon has not retained any breeding rights to Il Vicolo, saying he is busy enough with the racing team as it is. He has only got one broodmare - Super Smooth, the dam of Scuse Me - but there is a possibility she could visit the Vance Hanover stallion when the time comes next season. Apart from two Il Vicolo fillies bought from the same sale as Jack Cade, Purdon has a yearling gelding by the sire that is showing promise and he also bought another one privately this season.

Credit: John Robinson writing in HRWeekly 09May01


YEAR: 2013


Adore Me moved into Horse of the Year contention with another crushing display in Saturday's $150,000 Nevele R Fillies Series Final No.35 at Addington.

With this weeks New Zealand Oaks and a Jewels Diamond seemingly at her mercy, Adore Me can finish the season unbeaten in 11 races against her own sex and only beaten by Ohoka Punter in the Great Northern Derby, a performance which only earned her further admirers given very few fillies have even taken on the colts in modern times.

Two further Gr1 successes in coming weeks would give Adore Me a total of five and stakes in her first campaign of almost $500,000. She has also claimed a New Zealand mile record for a filly of 1:52.4.

Off colour after the Derby and freshened, Adore Me has returned to racing again looking invincible. Despite drawing an outside gate in the Fillies Final, Mark Purdon was able to treat his opposition with contempt. Eased away into midfield as Kabet took them through a fast lead time, Purdon was on the move with a lap to run but Delightful Christian and Maurice McKendry had designs on getting to the front first. This had Adore Me working three wide in the open for a good way, but she was always travelling too well and had put Delightful Christian away with 700m to run.

With a last quarter in 27.6, Adore Me was always clear in the run home and she crossed the line with over three lengths to spare from stablemate Whisper Jet, who poked between runners after a good trip from Tony Herlihy. There was no loitering along the way and Adore Me's 2:20.6 was a mile rate of 1:56 and not far off Carabella's race and national record.

Purdon has won this race with O Baby and Secret Potion, and there has been other top fillies through the stable such as Twist And Twirl, Lancome, Meredith Maguire, Imagine Me and Imagine That to name just a few in recent times, but Adore Me is clearly in a class of her own. The extra distance of this week's Oaks will only suit Adore Me more than any of her rivals and then it will just come down to a fitting season finale at Ashburton.

Raced by her breeder Charlie Roberts along with his daughter Mary and son-in-law Paul Kenny, who are also racing half-sister Abide With Me on lease with Stephen Reid, Adore Me has also taken the record of her dam Scuse Me to another level when that BG's Bunny mare had seemingly done quite enough. Adore Me is her 10th foal and 10th winner, with eight in 2:00 having also included Imagine Me. Adore Me is Scuse Me's first foal by Bettors Delight however and she has since produced three more, including another filly this season.

Whatever the outcome of the Horse of the Year poll, where Adore Me will vie with Terror To Love, Stig and a late charge from Christen Me, the Broodmare of the Year is also looking a one-horse race for Scuse Me. She also happens to be the grandam of G1 winners Hands Christian and Christen Me and the third dam of good filly Splendour and juvenile Maxim, who both competed in Saturday's features as well.

Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 15May2013


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

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