Sherlock heads NZB Standardbred domination of Alabar Classic

6 March 2023

Sherlock (NZ) (Vincent) takes out the G2 Alabar Classic.

Sherlock (NZ) (Vincent) didn’t waste the opportunity to show his class when powering to victory in the $43,000 Group Two Alabar Classic (2200m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

The Mark and Nathan Purdon trained pacer headed an NZB Standardbred domination of the three-year-old feature, with graduates filling the first six placings.

Sherlock was purchased for $67,500 by Jean Feiss when he was offered among the Spreydon Lodge draft at the 2021 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch.

Following two Group One placings in the spring, Sherlock went into the recent $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Three-Year-Old C&G Final (2200m) as one of the favourites.

But the classy pacer was unable to show his true worth when held up throughout the home straight, going to the line under a hold.

Driver Blair Orange took bad luck of the equation in Friday night’s feature when pressing forward to take the lead amid a strong early pace.

Working to find the front mattered little to Sherlock who fought on strongly to hold out runner-up Son Of Mac (NZ) (American Ideal), who trailed him throughout.

“He had to work hard into the first corner and then down the back to find the lead,” Orange said.

“He got a couple of nice sectionals thereafter, but I had a really nice horse on my back.”
“It was a good effort to out-stay him up the lane.”

Son Of Mac rallied strongly along the passing lane to get within a neck of Sherlock in an exciting finish to the Group Two Alabar Classic.

The three-year-old was purchased by Kyle Marshall for $60,000 from Leanach Lodge’s draft at the 2021 National Yearling Sale at Karaka.

Sherlock’s stablemate Sinbad (NZ) (Downbytheseaside) charged home to take third placing in Friday night’s feature.

Like Sherlock, Sinbad is trained by Mark and Nathan Purdon and raced by Jean Feiss.

Feiss purchased the pacer for $26,000 from the Woodlands Stud draft in the 2020 All Age Sale on

“Sinbad finished off nicely and with a good draw next time around I think he will take some beating,” Mark Purdon said.

Sinbad was followed across the line by fellow NZB Standardbred graduates Jolimont (NZ) (Sweet Lou), Neptune (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and Miki Shan (NZ) (Always B Miki).

In an outstanding display of NZB Standardbred’s ability to offer quality racehorses, NZB Standardbred graduates made up eight of the ten runners in the Group Two Alabar Classic.