Shez All Rock lit up Cambridge in her second and final NZ start. Photo: Trish Dunell.
Those on course at the 2018 edition of the Harness Jewels at Cambridge were treated to something special in the 3YO Diamond when Australian filly Shez All Rock secured victory.
It was a brilliant front-running performance, one in which she stopped the clock at 1.51.9 with a five-length margin to her contemporaries.
Significantly, it signaled the end of an 11-year drought for Australians at the Harness Jewels.
Yes, she won in the name of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, but she wore the green colours of her homeland and will head back across the Tasman to former trainer Mark Pitt almost immediately.
Purdon, usually reserved, was in raptures post-race and gave the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven a significant rap.
“She was just beautiful today and it was just brilliant the way she did it today.
“She could have gone a second quicker if I asked her too.”
Purdon picked out Shez All Rock, the Victorian and New South Wales Oaks winner, for good friend Chris Ryder, a former Kiwi based in New Jersey who was on the lookout for a good horse.
She cost a pretty penny, but it looks cheap now after she won the New Zealand Oaks and now the Diamond in her first two starts since acquisition.
Could she be the buy of the decade?
“I think Mark (Pitt) was in a position where he wanted to buy a house and once he thought about it, figured it was better to have the money in the hand.
“Tony Parker once said money doesn’t go sore,” said Purdon with a chuckle.
Parker was the original co-owner of Auckland Reactor and sold him for in excess of $3 Million as a three-year-old.
Just as quickly as Purdon and an adoring New Zealand public fell in love with Shez All Rock, they will have to say goodbye – she’s off to Australia next week and, eventually, America.
“She’ll go back across to Mark now and contest the Vicbred and Breeders Crown before heading to America.”
Last year’s Diamond winner from this crop, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, put in arguably her best run of this season for second while the winner’s stablemate, Elle Mac, made ground for third after being three-wide for most of the race.