Millwood Nike (NZ) Furthers Unbeaten Record with Group One Oaks
27 March 2023
Millwood Nike (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) barely had to be extended when she raced to a brilliant victory in the $83,000 Group One Pascoes The Jewellers Northern Oaks (2700m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The outstanding NZB Standardbred graduate extended her unbeaten record to 11 from 11 when cruising to victory in New Zealand’s first classic race of the 2023 season.
Millwood Nike was a $75,000 purchase by the All Stars Racing Stables from Millwood Farm’s draft at the 2021 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch.
The star filly was then syndicated among her owners Frank and Shane Endacott, Stephen Byrne, Steve Thompson and Bruce Irvine.
Few were surprised when Millwood Nike stamped her class and justified her red-hot favouritism for Friday night’s feature.But the way the brilliant three-year-old had to earn her victory wasn’t how many saw the race playing out.Trainer-driver Mark Purdon was among them.
Rival drivers David Butcher, Maurice McKendry and Dylan Ferguson each took their charges to the lead early in the race, meaning Purdon had to take and then re-take the lead with Millwood Nike.
“It didn’t work out exactly as I had planned” Purdon said. David Butcher came out and looked for the front, but he got on Maurice’s back and I popped out then and went to the front. Dylan was right on the hammer, he turned up pretty quick and pretty aggressively. It was probably not how I expected it to work out, but it worked out well in the long run.”
After taking the lead for the second time, Millwood Nike again showed her outstanding tractability by relaxing beautifully in front. Though her rivals loomed up to her on the home turn, Purdon barely had to ask for the star filly for a serious effort as she cruised to victory.
“She is a star – she is just beautiful to drive and is so kind.
She works in with you and is a real pleasure.”
Securing the Group One Northern Oaks title added a fourth Group One to Millwood Nike’s perfect resume.
The victory also took the star filly’s earnings past $500,000 with the bulk of her purses coming from victories in her two NZB Standardbred Harness Million wins.
After working hard in the parked position, NZB Standardbred graduate Seaclusion (NZ) (Sweet Lou) ran a gallant third in the Northern Oaks.The filly was purchased for $35,000 by Rogerson Bloodstock from the Woodlands Stud draft at the 2021 National Yearling Sale at Karaka.
Photo: Alexadndra Park