Day At The Track

Addington showcases premier racing. Race reviews.

05:00 AM 21 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Another Masterpiece,Harness racing
Another Masterpiece
All Stars Photo

One of the last bastions of harness racing action at the moment is New Zealand.

Currently the country has a “closed door” meeting policy which aims to limit potential harm to the industry and allows the racing action to continue.

The government closed all borders to foreign nationals on Thursday night with "mercy flights" to retrieve Kiwis stranded overseas a possibility in weeks to come.    

Despite the major disruptions to normal life a premier card featuring a number of Group races was run successfully on Friday night (the 20th of March) at Addington Raceway in Christchurch.

The card saw four feature races run and won. All the action can be viewed by clicking on the links provided below.

 

The first Group race of the night the The Lamb & Hayward Trotting Championship at Group 3 Level ($30’000) proved to be a competitive affair with the Brent White trained One Apollo ultimately prevailing at odds of 10/1 over the race favourite in Winterfell. A telling,sustained bid 800m out from home by both runners set up a home-straight battle but it was son of One Over Da Moon who proved the stronger late. The trifecta was made by Overzealous, a horse known for it’s noticeable grey coat and passionate ownership group.

Watch the race here   

 

The “What The Hill” New Zealand Trotting Oaks (Mobile trot) Group 2 Level ($50’000) saw trotting fillies go to the line. It was won well by the Kevin Townley trained Vacation Hill, a striking looking filly by Muscle Hill. A patient drive by Samantha Ottley early was followed by a 3 wide move 600m out from the post with the filly giving more than enough in the run home to score nicely over Chevron Action who had moved to the front of the race a lap out from home. The All Stars trained Tailored Elegance filled the trifecta after working early to the front then finding the trail.

Watch the race here

 

The Vero Flying Stakes (Mobile Pace) Group 2 ($50’000) saw some of the very best 3yr olds in the country go to war over the 1980m distance. Early speed from behind the mobile gate by Minstrel meant race favourite One Change (who had drawn the inside #1 barrier) had to work around to get the lead back, Copy That, driven by Blair Orange forged around them thereafter to take the lead with a lap to go, Heroes Square, driven confidently by Tim Williams, joined the party with 800m to go after a back-straight move to outside of the speed. The final furlong proved a close run thing but the Ray Green trained Copy That proved his class by kicking strongly and holding out One Change and the fast finishing Minstrel. Bad To The Bone and Heroes Square lost no admirers with their efforts either while Willison, who was off the speed throughout, also found the line with some purpose. All-in-all a good barometer of respective abilities as these horses head towards the Derby.

Watch the race here

 

The First Direct Taxis Superstars Championship (Mobile Pace) Group 2 level ($50’000) rounded out the feature races for the night and was won by the All Stars trained Another Masterpiece who wrestled control of the race after moving to the front with a lap to go. His good kick ensuring a strong win from the fast closing Triple Eight and a game Nandolo who had to sit parked for the early part of the race and bested Franco Santino in the shadow of the post for a minor share of the prize. 

Watch the race here

  

New Zealand based harness fans will be hoping that the quality racing can continue in the coming weeks despite the trying conditions. Hooves and fingers crossed.  

 

Ben McMillan

 

 

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