Vessem (NZ) Remains Unbeaten with Classic Victory
24 April 2023
Vessem (NZ) (Vincent) kept his unbeaten record intact with an effortless victory in the Group Two Diamond Creek Farm Classic (2200m) on Diamonds Day.
Driver Blair Orange took no chances with the NZB Standardbred graduate, keeping him in front and out of trouble as he cruised to victory at Ascot Park on Sunday.
Vessem was purchased for $30,000 by the All Stars Racing Stables when he was offered by breeder-vendor Hazel Van Opzeeland at the 2022 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch.
Van Opzeeland retained a share in the pacer following his sale and she races him with Stewart and Pauline Gillan, Peter Baken, John and Jenny Grainger and the Kirkwood Family Racing Syndicate.
Orange was delighted to secure a stakes victory for Van Opzeeland and her fellow owners with the Mark and Nathan Purdon trained Vessem.
“It is good for Hazel, she invests a lot in the industry,” the reinsman said.
“And all of the other owners too, and well done to Mark and Nathan on a great training effort.”
Orange took Vessem to an early lead before they were challenged by All Stars pacer and NZB Standardbred graduate Major Hot (NZ) (Art Major) and driver Olivia Thornley.
Not content with trailing with the hot favourite, Orange retook the lead and from there his unbeaten pacer proved too slick for his opposition.
“He did a bit of work and took a bit of cover early, but Olivia backed it up too much and I didn’t want it to be a dash home.”
“I went back around them and he was too good on the day.”
“He was going nice at the finish and he was doing enough to hold them out.”
“I just let him do it on his own and there was a bit more there if we needed it.”
Major Hot made it back-to-back second placings at stakes level with his strong second placing behind his stablemate.
The All Stars stable pairing of NZB Standardbred graduates crossed the line in the same order in last month’s $41,000 Group Two Macca Lodge Kindergarten Stakes (1609m) at Wyndham.
Vessem is the third starter and third winner from Imke B (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight).
The pacer’s full brother Vinke B (NZ) (Vincent) won last year’s Group Two Sapling Stakes (1609m) who is also an NZB Standardbred graduate.