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Turf Deli Race That Horse
First Contact 18/09/02

Now that our filly had settled into her new abode, it was time to get the syndicate together to go pay homage and experience all the thrill and glamour of owning a race horse for real.

So, not so early one March Sunday afternoon the syndicate congregated, deliberated and perambulated their way down to the Purcell's Cranbourne base, otherwise known as Oakhill. Cranbourne is damm close with the wonders of the modern freeway system and it is actually quicker to get to than Flemington or Moonee Valley from the eastern suburbs. A couple of turns, a few lane changes, a dirt road and a yellow mailbox and pretty soon we were there.

Oakhill is nicely situated, to be far enough away from all the hustle and bustle to give our filly a good country up bringing with all the correct values and etiquette that Ita Butrose would be proud of. Bruce and Jean Purcell were very laid back and friendly, even after having a heavy weekend with racing at Moonee Valley the night before. They answered any and all questions that the syndicate had - and there were plenty seeing the closest we usually get to a horse is munching a luke-warm pie whilst holding a race book and scribbling down a multiple trifecta from the mounting yard. The Slades who spotted the horse for us come along to run us through everything.

You can check out the Purcell's place at the Purcell Racing web site or find out what other horses Slade Bloodstock have up for syndication.

She was a lot bigger then we expected and really looked the genuine deal.

She was a bit flighty, but was extremely alert to her surrounds - ears pricked like a curious kid.

None of us were game to get too near though - but we are just big wuss bags when it comes to animals in general - and there are definitely no Crocodile Hunters amongst us.

Thanks Crikey for that.

Bruce shows us our new race horse. That's Bruce on the right.

Just showing off for the cameras

We cast our finely trained discerning eyes over her and carefully checked out each aspect of her conformation :

4 legs - check,

head - check,

tail - bingo.

Everything seems to be in working order. Everyone stood around spewing out gushy Roy Higgins like mounting yard previews - sheesh she is big, well ribbed, good head, etc...
We were all damm impressed with our filly. But we will try not to get carried away just yet - apparently you can't run yearlings in the Australian Cup anyway.

Bloody rules...

She has a bit of a white splash on her forehead, and a white sock back left leg. The other white socks obviously got left at the laundrette.

We watched her have a lot of fun in her sand box, but she just could not get the knack of making castles.

Yeah, yeah, everyone thinks their kid is the cutest.

Sucking up for attention

Overall, we could not have been happier with the purchase and the trainer.

For some reason she does not look quite as imposing in the photos as in real life.

Maybe there is a bit of an art in capturing the majestic beauty of the racehorse. Which is probably why those arty painter types always spend so much time sketching them.

Bruce+Jean Purcell and Corinna Slade try to explain to us (yet again) which end is the front

The Syndicate :

Consisting of various Colourful Racing Identities and Turf Deli (missing are the Club President and the Oil Baron)

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