Harness - News

Terrific start to training career for Matt Purvis

  • Tue, 10 Apr 2018
  • Garrick Knight
Matt Purvis with his first winner as a trainer, Machs Mareta. Photo: Race Images.

Matt Purvis with his first winner as a trainer, Machs Mareta. Photo: Race Images.

Matt Purvis had a dream start to his training career, picking up a winner with just his third starter at Rangiora yesterday.

Machs Mareta, a recent purchase out of the Robert Anderson stable, was a first-up winner for her new stable in the hands of John Dunn.

Purvis also recorded placings with Fun In The Dark and Miss Moppet to make for a memorable second day at the races as a trainer.

“It was a huge bonus to pick one up so fast,” he said.

“If it drags out it can become a worry, but I was quite confident that we would be able to get one yesterday with the team we had in.”

The 27-year-old moved home to Rangiora last month and set up shop at the stables on the front door step of the local racecourse.

“I rent Ken Odgers’ old property, which is literally right across the road.

“I gear them up at home and then walk across the road for fast work.”

Purvis wasn’t set on taking out his trainers’ license right now, but when the property became available, he made the move home after spending time in Invercargill working for Nathan Williamson.

“He’s no fly-by-nighter, either; he’s spent plenty of time learning from some of the greats of the game in readiness for going out on his own.

“I spent three-and-a-half years with Greg and Nina Hope, two years at Paul Nairn’s and obviously worked for Robert and John Dunn, too.

“So, I’ve had a good upbringing as a horseman, learning different theories from different trainers.”

Purvis has been a junior driver of some note in recent seasons (43 wins across less than five seasons), but he felt that he was treading water in that field.

“Being a junior driver is good, but you don’t get a fulltime income from it unless you’re at the very top of the tree.

“Training was always going to be the thing I wanted to do and I’ve now taken a step back from the driving.”

His father, John, is a breeder of some note under the Grassy Meadows Farm banner and he has helped Purvis get a flying start, numbers-wise.

Last Friday night’s New Zealand Derby runner for Robert Dunn, Born To Run, has just joined the stable while Sunday’s placegetters Miss Moppet and Fun In The Dark are others of his to now be in his son’s care.

“Born To Run arrived today and will have a wee bit of a freshen up.

“He wasn’t right in the Derby and that was a big disappointment as we know he’s got the ability.

“I think he will carry the flag for me early in my career and go a long way.”

“Miss Moppet has got the motor, it’s a matter of working on getting her relaxed.

“She wants to go as fast as she can the whole way.

“I was pleased with her run for second and that next win shouldn’t be far away.”