Courage Under Fire's super-son Turn It Up re-wrote the record book in the $250,000 Trillan Trust Auckland Cup on New Year's Eve.
The four-year-old became the more inexperienced pacer to win the race, achieving the feat at just his ninth lifetime start.
For most of the cup's history, such a lightly-raced horse would have been denied a start in the race, as you had to win your way through the 10-win handicap regulations to start.
In some circumstances, the club would invite others into the race, somewhere just under the radar.
But changes to the handicapping system and lack of 10-plus winners these days allows lesser experienced runners to be nominated.
Rolleston trainer Mark Purdon wasn't fazed entering Turn It Up into the cauldron of cup fever.
He was confident Turn It Up would acquit himself admirably, after the pacer chased home Cruz Bromac at his seventh career start in the $200,000 Woodlands NZ Free-For-All at Addington on November 16.
Also encouraged by the fact Turn It Up races even better right-handed, Purdon chose Auckland over the Victorian Inter Dominions for the burgeoning star.
Turn It Up was super winning his Franklin Cup lead-up over 2700m on December 14 in 3:22.2 (2700m stand), the last 800m in 54.9s and 400m in 27s.
The Australian-bred gelding completed his meteoric rise to the top brilliantly in the Auckland Cup, leading over the last 2800m of the 3200m pace.
He proved too good for Star Galleria and Ashley Locaz, coming clear by a length and a half in 4:03 for the trip, showing his rivals superior speed over his last 800m in 54.3s and 400m in 26.1s.
For Purdon, who co-trains Turn It Up with Natalie Rasmussen, the win was even more special as he's a co-owner of the horse with Lee Pilcher, and former top thoroughbred trainer, Jim Gibbs, and his wife Ann.
Lee Pilcher is a brother of the late Neil Pilcher, who earler co-raced another special Courage Under Fire son in Smolda (1:50.5, 32 wins from 68 starts, $2.55 million) from the Purdon stable.
The same year as the Australian-bred Smolda won the 2016 Perth Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final, Neil Pilcher asked Purdon to find him a "Courage" replacement.
Mark Purdon said he was the best Courage Under Fire yearling he could find at the Australian sales, with Mr Pilcher buying him for $28,000 on behalf of himself, Mark Purdon and Jim and Ann Gibbs.
Sadly, Neil Pilcher subsequently died over the winter, but brother Lee took an ownership share in Turn It Up to continue the family involvement with the All Stars stable.
Turn It Up, from a United States-bred and Australian domiciled Western Ideal mare in O Narutac Bella (1:51.2, 11 wins & $154,536), has the harness racing open class scene at his mercy.
He's bred to be good on his dam-side too, being the third to race and third sub 2:00 winner for his dam.
Her first two foals are the useful Australian-winning mares in Illawong Bella (1:59.6, two wins) and Perfect Sense (1:55.5, nine wins & $143,530), a runner-up in the Group One 2016 APG 2YO Fillies Final at Menangle, and runner-up in the Group One 2016 Empire Vicbred 2YO Fillies Final at Melton.
A half-brother by Art Major to Turn It Up is being offered at next month's Australia Pacing Gold Sale on February 3.
Bromac Lodge have stored frozen semen available this season from both Courage Under Fire, and Falcon Seelster, the latter the sire of this season's Woodlands NZ Free-For-All and Inter Dominion third place-getter, Cruz Bromac.
For further booking information, please contact Bromac Lodge.