Blair Orange

Blair still in front in drivers premiership

After eight weeks of harness racing this season, Blair Orange is still in front in the drivers premiership with 17 wins from 105 drives.   His latest win came courtesy of  the Ken and Tony Barron trained Terracotta who overpowered the favorite Beaudiene Delightful at Rangiora on Sunday (September 24).  Dexter Dunn is currently running second in the premiership with 15 wins from 77 drives but is closing in fast on Blair after missing the first few weeks of racing. Ricky May has had a good start to his season so far and is third on 13 wins from 72 drives, with a gap back to Rory Mcllwrick and Samantha Ottley on 8 wins each.   The top 15 in the drivers premiership Name Starts Wins  2nds 3rds Stakes UDR Blair Orange 105 17 19 12 130,162 0.3005 Dexter Dunn 77 15 12 9 114,692 0.3203 Ricky May 72 13 9 5 92,695 0.2731 Rory McIlwrick (J) 35 8 6 1 47,425 0.3333 Samantha Ottley 46 8 5 5 53,192 0.2705 Zac Butcher 29 7 3 5 55,781 0.3563 David Butcher 44 6 10 6 60,762 0.3081 Joshua Dickie 25 6 1 2 42,188 0.2889 John Dunn 43 6 3 10 72,653 0.2558 Gavin Smith 55 6 3 4 49,840 0.1636 Robbie Close 38 5 4 5 38,985 0.2339 Stephen McNally 41 5 6 10 39,615 0.2846 Andre Poutama 26 5 4 2 31,111 0.3034 Sheree Tomlinson (J) 25 5 1 1 35,380 0.2356 Brad Williamson 44 5 3 8 37,320 0.2121   Harnesslink Media

Alexandra Park Stables

Award-winning stables now available for functions

The harness racing stables complex at Alexandra Park in Auckland boasts a national award for architecture and was widely celebrated as a notable building when it opened in 1990. Since then it has served its purpose well and is a hive of activity most Friday nights for the trots.  Twenty-six years on and Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt is now keen to promote the spaciously covered facility to businesses and organisations wanting something completely different for their next function venue. “It’s an amazing space and truly unique. People organising events or functions sometimes want something different and to surprise their colleagues, clients or guests. Our stables would certainly be a talking point and novel at the very least,” says Mr Reichardt. On race nights, most Fridays, the stables are obviously unavailable but with limited horse training now taking place at Alexandra Park, the venue can be readily available most days or nights. “It has got an amazing and high roof line. The space can be as big or small as you want it. The complex has got a large concrete floor and it cleans up immaculately and presents really well. What’s more it doesn’t smell of horses!” The move to open and promote its stables complex to the public follows Alexandra Park’s decision to drive its functions facilities and convention business more than ever. Mr Reichardt says Alexandra Park’s functions offering is set to become even more attractive with the opening of their significant mixed-use urban village development on Green Lane West, currently under construction. “The development only strengthen our conference and functions offering. Having additional cafes, restaurants and bars within Alexandra Park will mean people will stay after their meetings or catch up before them. There will be so much more of a buzz around the place as well as some lovely new public spaces to enjoy for those wanting some time out.” What’s more Alexandra Park has now got Super 15 rugby team The Blues operating from their new training centre on the other side of the park and they’re often practicing out in the middle of the trotting track. “Having The Blues literally on site is resident star-appeal that no other functions offering can match!” Mr Reichardt says on top of providing top quality functions and receiving great food reviews, ongoing improvements to its functions facilities are a key element in the club’s strategic vision. He says corporates, various associations and clubs, and government agencies remain Alexandra Park’s biggest clients for functions with much repeat business. Outside its race-night events, the park hosts nearly 1,000 functions every year. “What appeals to a lot of people is our flexibility. We can do big or small, catering from 20 to 700 guests and we’ve got eight function rooms. What’s more we encourage people to make good use of all the outdoor space, facilities and parking we have – right here in the heart of Epsom. And that now includes our fantastic stables!” He says Alexandra Park offers all sorts of packages for the likes of school balls, private functions, weddings, daily delegates and multi-day conferences. It prides itself on uniquely tailored solutions at great value for money. For bookings or information phone (09) 630-5660, email enquiries@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. For more on Alexandra Park’s urban village apartment living visit www.apliving.co.nz

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Starting to repay the faith

As a $200,000 yearling the pressure has always been on You Gotta Have Faith, but this season might be the chance for him to pay back the faith shown in him by his owners, Mark and Dennis Dunford. The royally bred 3-year-old certainly started off on the right hoof when he booked himself a spot in the rich New Zealand Sires’ Stakes Final on Cup Day with a bold victory in Friday night’s heat at Addington Raceway. A descendant of Charlie Roberts wonderful family, You Gotta Have Faith has not only the pressure of the big price tag to contend with but an incredible family heritage as well. “He’s got a fair bit on him already when you look at it,” Natalie Rasmussen, who co-trains the gelding and was also in the bike on Friday night, said. “We always thought he’d be a better three-year-old than what he was at two and he’s come back bigger and stronger this time in and hopefully he should be in for a good season.” He will need to be though with a couple of high class stablemates in More The Better and Ultimate Machete still to join the Sires’ Stakes fray. Rasmussen was able to steal the race on Friday night - producing some incredibly slow sectionals. Although she put that more down to the horse’s inability to take the bit in his mouth and run along than anything else. “He just didn’t really want to go, so I thought getting him out and running would help, but it clearly didn’t early on.” After settling back in the field she moved forward to parked with a lap left to run and pulled the field almost down to a light canter. “He didn’t want to get into it and get running until another horse came up beside him. “But he did fight when the others ranged up to him at the top of the straight, he kept finding when I asked him for an effort and that’s a good sign. “He should be in for a good wee season this guy.” In the stall next to You Gotta Have Faith things weren’t quite so rosy. Stablemate and race favourite, Bettor Be Gold and Mark Purdon were flat keeping up at the 400 metre mark. “There was nothing there when I asked him to run up onto the back of them coming around the bend. “It’s a little disappointing because he has trialled so well in the lead up to this week.” Afterdinnerspeaker from the Ken and Tony Barron stable was a solid second in the heat, booking himself a spot in the rich final while Mongolian Storm was brave after sitting parked before fighting on strongly to finish third. It was the Tim Butt trained The Bachelor who really caught the attention after his good win the week before.   Matt Markim

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Inter-Dominion winner turns 30

A 30th birthday celebration is planned for Diamond Field, winner of the 1994 Interdominion Trotters’ Final and Rowe Cup. Diamond Field has been in the care of Michelle Blackie at Makarewa, near Invercargill, since he was retired from racing 18 years ago. He officially turned 30 on August 1, which applies to all standardbred and thoroughbred horses, but he was born in October. “He will be 30 on October 13 and I would  like to mark the occasion,’’ said Michelle. “He is booked to lead out the field for the feature  race for trotters at the Riverton meeting on October 29 but we will just have to play it be ear to see if he is up to the task.” Allan Beck, who trained Diamond Field initially at Winton  (Southland), will try  the gelding in a cart to make an assessment. “Allan had him in a cart and paraded him about a decade ago,’’ said Michelle. Diamond Field, raced by the Southland Standardbreds No 2 syndicate, won eight races when trained by Beck. He won his first race in March, 1990 as a 3-year-old at Winton and won every season until he was 11. He ran second, beaten a nose by  Maggie Blue  at the 1990 Riverton meeting. Diamond Field was bred at North Makarewa by Grant Sim from a mating of Yankee Jolter and Robyn Evander. “Grant came and saw him recently. He had not seen him for 18 years,” said Michelle. Diamond Field was transferred  from the Beck stable to Roy and Barry Purdon at Clevedon (Auckland) to give him more opportunities and they prepared him for his wins in the Interdominion Final at Harold Park and Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park. He was driven each time by Tony Herlihy. Diamond Field shifted to the stable of Mark Purdon as a 9-year-old and won two heats of the Interdominion at Moonee Valley  and a City Of Sails Free-For-All in Auckland in 1996. He was in the South Australian stable of Neil Cavallaro when he won first up as a 10-year-old at Globe Derby Park. He had another four minor wins in Australia before returning  to New Zealand. Diamond Field ended his racing career with Ashburton trainer Patrick O’Reilly, his final win from a 40m handicap at Addington in January, 1998 as an 11-year-old. He won 33 races, gained 29 seconds and 20 thirds on 150 starts for $536,607 in stakes. “He (Diamond Field) was retired due to arthritis and there was a draw among the syndicate members to give him a home. Dad (Robert) was in the syndicate,’’ recalled Michelle. “I was only a kid who had ponies but I wanted to give him (Diamond Field) a life after racing, he had been such a successful horse.” “I have never done a lot with him in the way of riding but I have had him over some wee jumps. He is just my big baby.”   Taylor Strong

John Stiven and his Arden Lodge operation are the biggest Standardbred breeders south of the Waitaki and are currently breeding from sixteen mares including for the first time a newly arrived trotting mare. John is based in Tapanui, a town that’s produced two prominent harness racing names in the last four decades; Stiven and Lischner. John Lischner, the town’s butcher and small time trainer, became New Zealand’s leading trainer in 1997 and 1999 while based in Canterbury. He was also a breeder. John Stiven’s parents Doug and Noreen operated a milk run in Tapanui and started breeding from their first mare Stormy Star in 1969. In 1974 they registered the name ‘Arden’ (a name that John believes came from the television series Doctor Findlay’s casebook) with the New Zealand Trotting Conference. Doug passed away in 2001 and John helped his mother to continue the Arden operation, doing the hands on work and also in an advisory capacity. Noreen passed away in 2012. John started his working life as a carpenter and working at local sawmills. He formed Deloraine Timber in 2005 which takes timber orders and manages the product from the sawmill to the client. “Eleven years ago we started out own little business buying and selling timber. It’s not as big as it used to be because a lot of sawmills have closed but we’ve got some pretty good clients that we’ve had from early days,” said John. John admits breeding started as a hobby but with fifteen mares now on the books it’s certainly become a business. “It’s a full on busines’s what we’re doing now. I guess we’ve grown to where we are now, and it just proves we can cut the mustard.” Of all the horses Arden Lodge has had on its book Stiven rates Winter Rose as the best mare he’s had on the property. She recently received the 2015 Broodmare Excellence Award. Her progeny include Bettor’s Strike, Rocknroll Arden, Southwind Arden, Arden’s Choice, Bella Arden, Winter Strike, and Garden Rose. The Stiven family has also been honoured with Southland Broodmare Awards through mares Arden Regal, Arden’s Dream and Winter Rose. The best horses sold away from the Sales are Arden Meadow which won the WA Derby in 1986, and last year’s New Zealand Cup winner Arden Rooney. The best sales results have been Arden’s Place—an Artsplace colt out of Winter Rose which sold for $110, 000, Arden’s Ruler—a Bettor’s Delight colt out of Achieve A Dream which fetched  $100,000, and Bettor’s Strike, a Bettor’s Delight colt out of Winter Rose which was knocked down for $70,000. As the next round of yearling sales draw near John’s excited about his eight colts and two fillies mix. John Stiven feeding young stock at Arden Lodge “It was pretty exciting getting the calls from Mac (Brent McIntyre from Macca Lodge) when all the colts were coming. It makes a huge difference commercially. When it’s a colt you can do what you want – take it to the sales or race it.” When you run over John’s current mares, many are in foal or being served by Somebeachsomewhere. That’s because he’s a big fan. “Through the trip Brent McIntyre, Mark O’Connor and I had to the states to see Panspacificflight we got to see Somebeachsomewhere. I was always a fan and we got one of his first foals in New Zealand - Someardensomewhere who we syndicated. There’s no doubt the buyers are warming to him as the years have gone by and he sold well at last year’s sales. He quinellaed the Fan Hanover in Canada recently with Pure Country beating Darlinonthebeach.” Three of the colts Arden Lodge are taking to next February’s sales stand out at this stage. An Art Major colt out of Rock N Roll Arden - her first foal, Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Winter Rose and a Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Arden’s Darlin. Stiven says it’s easier to sell colts but the top end fillies also sell well. “The thing is though, they’re the ones (fillies) you want to keep to go forward with. If we hadn’t kept Arden’s Darlin we wouldn’t have been where we are now. She’s been a huge help. We took her to the sales and didn’t sell her so we just got lucky there.” Arden’s Darlin is the dam of four win Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Celestial Arden who looks as though he will improve with age.   “We’ve got a half-sister to Arden Rooney by Well Said which we’ve kept on purpose and she’s going into work shortly, and we’ve also kept a Somebeachsomewhere filly out of Garden Rose. We’ve also put two Somebeachsomewhere colts into the one syndicate. They’ve been broken in and look promising. One’s going to the All Stars Stable and the other is going to Barry Purdon.” John sees this option as a way of spreading the Arden name and introducing new people into the industry. “It takes the risk out of the sale. It’s another way of doing it. It’s got a whole lot more people that know a bit more about Arden Lodge now. They become interested in all of the Arden horses not just their own one. It’s been a new exciting part of Arden Lodge and we’ve really enjoyed it.”   Showing faith in the industry, John recently purchased mares off Tuapeka Lodge in Lawrence. The first was leased mare Ruby Morn. “We were attracted to her because she was by Presidential Ball and they cross well with Panspacificflight so that got us into the Tuapeka Lodge breed.” He later took up the option to buy two more; Real Wing and Raindowne. “I was talking to Dan (Cumming) later on and they’ve decided to cut back. They had a list of eleven mares and we took a couple of those.”  He also purchased Tuapeka Art. Earlier this month they also purchased a trotting broodmare Sufin Sunsation off Terry and Andrea Taylor of Pleasant Point. This young unraced Sundon mare is closely related to Cabaletta (7 wins), Allegro Agitato (22 wins) and Skyvalley the winner of 24 races including the Group One ABC Three and Four Year Old Finals and the 2009 Bill Collins Sprint. At the administration level John is also the current President of the Southland Breeders Association. “It’s been going for a long time and there’s a handful of us that are second generation. It’s good to be a part of. We raise money to put into fillies races and support the breeders with stallion seminars.” He’s also one of the driving forces behind the South’s breeding banner Southern Bred Southern Reared. “It’s a wonderfully positive group to be a part of. Everyone has grown together.” Over the years they’ve been able to access some nice mares to lift our broodmare band quality. John says he enjoys the total process from researching the pedigrees and stallions, to rearing foals, to seeing them succeed at the races.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness

The former ‘Voice of The Park’ turned 72 last Saturday (September 17) and despite his heavy workload away from racing these days, Alby Gain is still very much involved in harness racing. His pride and joy – No Doctor Needed is aiming at his second New Zealand Cup on November 8. The 6-year-old Mach Three - Molly Darling gelding finished ninth when 11th favourite of 15 in the great race last year. “I probably won’t be there this time because I’m so busy at work, but I wouldn’t mind getting down there to watch him in the Kaikoura Cup if times allows,” Gain said. Gain shares in the ownership of No Doctor Needed with Scott Plant, the Plant family, and Steve Stockman. The winner of 12 of his 29 starts and nine placings ($175,240) was bred by Plant Racing Limited. His biggest wins to date have come via the 2014 Group 2 Southern Supremacy Stakes at Gore and this year’s (March) Group Three Kumeu Founders Cup at Alexandra Park. Gain is also the sales manager of the Swiss Deli Small Goods Company in Auckland and because of that doubts he will make it to Addington again this year. “I’d love to be there but it’s such a busy time of year for us. I’ll be watching it very closely don’t you worry about that. He has still to qualify for the big race of course but Kaikoura suits my work schedule better. “I should be on track for his next start in the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park on Friday week,” Gain said. Gain had his last night calling at Alexandra Park on August 13, 2010. He was commentator there for 27 years and all-up called at New Zealand tracks for 35 years. He took over from another legendary commentator, the late Reg Clapp in 1983. Born in Palmerston North in 1944, Gain broke into race-calling part-time after doing trials in the early 1970s. A couple of years later he got his break. "Back then Rotorua used to have an Easter meeting that clashed with Ellerslie so I got asked to call at Rotorua while Hauby (Keith Haub), who had just taken over from Syd Tonks, did Ellerslie," Gain reminisced. More jobs came until Radio Pacific, who employed him, took over as the main racing broadcaster in 1981. "Radio Pacific covered racing all over New Zealand which meant I had to go everywhere. One year I commentated at about 250 meetings," Gain said. "A packing field' and ‘the twinkling of an eye' were two clichés that were synonymous with Gain’s calling. And even right up until his last race call Gain admitted he was nervous. No doubt those same nerves will surface again on November 8. No Doctor Needed is paying $81 to win the New Zealand Cup. So far this season he has finished with two thirds from as many starts for his Ardmore trainers, Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick. His next assignment is the $20,000 Spring Cup on Friday week for R80 and faster pacers. No Doctor Needed’s rating is 106 and he is currently assessed at C9.   Duane Ranger

The weather is showery and the track is now rated as slushy at the Rangiora harness racing meeting today.   Race 1 - The early money has come for the first starter 'Another Chapter' $3.20 - $2.90 with the next best backed 'Shay Scott' $4.00.   Race 2 - The favourite 'Shineonucrazydiamond' $1.75 is best backed in win and multi betting with the next best backed on the win 'book' been 'Seaswift Joy' $6.40.   Race 3 - Only two runners wanted here in multi betting is 'Jonty James' $2.30 and 'Precious Sara' $2.60.   Jonty James' is going 2 -1 in multi bet numbers over 'Precious Sara',    Race 4 - Some big bets went on the Dexter Dunn driven 'Beautiful Mind' last start but she has opened the 2nd favourite at $2.40 over the first starter 'Beaudiene Delightful' $2.20 - $2.00.   In multi betting 'Beaudiene Delightful' is going 3 - 1 over 'Beautiful Mind'.   Race 5 - A very quiet market early with 'Floreta' the best backed $8.80 over 'Chief Kapai' $11.50.   Race 6 - Not much action early here but 'Hard Days Night' $5.80 - $5.50 is the best backed.   'Dalness Mac' $2.70 leads multi betting easily over 'Hard Days Night'.   Race 7 - This race has had the most action so far with 'Donegal Rundlescreek' leading the way over the $2.10 favourite 'Cullen Who' and 'Lis Rulz' $13 - $12.   Race 8 - 'Chapter One' is the best backed $8.00 - $7.00 with the outsider 'Boomer Bailey' $28 - $23 attracting some interest.   Race 9 - Punters are holding back here on any one runner as all in the market are attracting some money with 'Astrapi' the best backed $11 - $10.   Race 10 - The $2.40 favourite 'Millwood Charlie' is the best backed both on the win 'book' and in multi betting with 'She's A Flyin' getting some interest also $4.40 - $4.20.   Best backed in multi betting in order: R2 - Shineonucrazydiamond  R3 - Beaudiene Delighhtful  R3 - Jonty James  R7 - Cullen Who   The Drivers Challenge is Option 829 and there are only three selections: 1. Dexter Dunn        $1.15 - $1.18 2. Ricky May           $4.30 - $4.00 3. Any Other Driver   $41     Harnesslink media Courtesy of Stephen Richason

It was supposed to be the return of the big hitters, but no one bothered to tell Franco Nelson.  Then again, perhaps the born again pacer, who finished second in the 2014 edition of the New Zealand Trotting Cup is no longer a member of the chasing bunch either…his victory last night a prime example.  There was an air of confidence around the Robert Dunn team prior to the Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup despite the fact that the likes of Have Faith In Me, Christen Me, Lazarus and Smolda were all joining the fray for the first time in this Cup build up.  And the confidence proved to be right on the money.  And John Dunn, who got to view the victory from the best seat in the house, put the rejuvenation and grand run of form down to one simple formula.  “We keep the horse happy and in turn he’s happy to be out there racing,” Dunn said. “He’s really sound at the moment and is just in a good space and it’s showing with how well he is going.  “We needed to get a run like we got out there tonight to bring us into it and luckily everything fell into place.” The major asset in the weaponry of Franco Nelson so far this season has been his stand start manners.  They worked the oracle again last night after Dunn was able to lead early before handing up to an intent Christen Me – resulting in a dream run in the trail throughout.  “The manners are a big help, it means we can get in the best possible position early on.”  Raced by the estate of Sharon McKay, Clive and Rona McKay, Jenna Dunn and Mitzi Taylor, Franco Nelson will head towards the Canterbury Classic in a fortnight with the Ashburton Flying Stakes, at this stage, not on the radar.  “He’s got a horrible record at Ashburton. It’s not really his sort of track so we will probably miss there.  “Kaikoura is a possibility though.” Of the beaten brigade last night Christen Me was fantastic in his first up run after working hard.  Dexter Dunn said it was never his intention to lead but the gelding began that well he felt he had no choice.  “He’s gone great, I didn’t want to lead but it just sort of happened. He fought really strongly to the line so it’s a good start.” Cran Dalgety will make a decision in the next 48 hours on what he does next with Christen Me – but the Canterbury Classic is back on the radar.  A little further down the Addington stabling block, Mark Purdon could hardly contain his enthusiasm after the performance of Lazarus to finish third.  The four-year-old made up a stack of ground along the markers after being slow away – leaving Purdon, often the harshest of critics, suitably impressed.  “He’s gone fantastic. It really was a truly great run. I had him a little too close to the tape at the start and he just panicked but it’s something I’m confident we can get sorted.  “But as far as starting points go, I’m really happy.” TAB Bookmakers reacted to the run by installing Lazarus an incredible $2.70 favourite for the New Zealand Trotting Cup with a few decent bets coming in straight away.  Natalie Rasmussen, Purdon’s training partner was equally as happy with her drive, Have Faith In Me who finished fourth.  The Miracle Mile winner was slow away as well and then worked four wide from the 800 metre mark – fighting strongly to the line.  “He’s gone good we were four wide and I didn’t really want to push him too hard first up.” Life wasn’t quite so rosy for Locharburn who made a hash of the start and then worked hard to get outside Christen Me before tiring from the top of the straight.    Matt Markham

Steven Reid thought he could win last night’s first 3yo Sires Stakes heat with Star Galleria, but when Tony Herlihy (MNZM) accepted the drive he knew he was on to a winner. “He’s always been a very nice horse but to have Tony on him was a real bonus. He seldom drives at Cambridge on Thursdays these days and when he didn’t hesitate to get in his car and come down and drive him, I thought this fella might be a little bit better than I originally thought,” Reid said. Reid and Simon McMullan trained Star Galleria at Pukekohe. Reid and Zac Butcher had been driving the son of Art Major at the Workouts and Trials and Herlihy only assumed the driving duties when the gelding resumed with a fourth at Alexandra Park on September 16. “That run was better than what the result showed. I thought he could win but to win like he did amazed me. He did everything – and then some – of what we expected of him last night,” Reid said. “Tony can have the drive for life now if he wants,” he added. Star Galleria opened the $3 second favourite in Thursday’s $20,000 NRM 3yo Sires Stakes Heat for 3yo colts and geldings. He started from gate three in the eight-horse field and sat parked throughout to win the 1700m mobile in 2:04.6 (mile rate 1:57.9) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 57.3 and 27.7. It was Star Galleria’s second win in three starts. He also won on debut on the same track on May 27 when he was a warm $1.70 favourite. “Tony said he relaxed early and then travelled beautifully throughout. Tony then said that when he asked him for an effort at the 300m the horse immediately responded. “He gave an effort straight away. He’s still learning what this racing game is all about, but he’s developing into a really nice horse,” Reid said. “I am very happy about heading to Cup day again. He’s the only horse of that quality in our barn,” he added. Reid knows what it’s like to taste Sires Stakes 3yo glory. The Reid trained and Peter Ferguson driven Gold Ace won the Group One feature in 2010 when they drew nine and won as a $13.40 fourth favourite. “I’m never one to get too far ahead of myself and he’s not quite in the Gold Ace class yet. Yes he’s better than Art Form, In fact this fella has more bottom to him, whom one four races before being exported to Australia in March,” Reid said. Reid said he was only well aware of what was yet to come out of the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen 3yo cupboard. “When we head south we know we will have to step up to another class of racehorse. I will give him two more starts up here and then probably line him up in the New Zealand Cup Trials the week before the Cup. “I’m not saying he can’t beat the best on offer but we have only had one heat and there will be more good ones coming out of the woodwork. “In saying that I think the gelding could have gone 1:55 last night if he had to. I’ve liked him the day I saw him at Brent Donnelly’s. I don't usually go in on deals on young horses but this fella really stood out. “We can win the Sires Stakes if he keeps improving – and I know he can,” said Reid. Star Galleria was bred by Reg Caldow of Wellington. He retained a half share in him, while Reid has a quarter share, as do John and Terese Screen. The Barry Purdon trained and Brent Mangos driven Accumulator also qualified for the Sires Stakes Final at Addington Raceway on November 8 by finishing a head second. There was only a nose back to Favourite Spring Campaign (David Butcher) who was third. Star Galleria is now a loose $7 favourite to win coveted Sires Stakes Final while Accumulator is quoted by the New Zealand TAB at $18. Meanwhile $2.30 favourite Robbie Burns also had to sit parked to win the other feature of the night's racing - the $12,000 Waikato Equine Vet Centre Te Awamutu Cup for R70 and faster pacers. The 85-rated and Robert Dunn trained 5-year-old skipped early from his 20-metre handicap and was seven lengths last before going up to sit parked outside of the pace-making Stunin Banner (Todd Mitchell) at the bell. In the lane John Dunn got everything out of the son of Live Or Die to get up and win by a neck and a neck. Aliante (Brent Mangos) and Stunin Banner filled the minors. The winning time for the 2700m stand was 3:26.8 (mile rate 2:03.2) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 57.4 and 28.1. It was Robbie Burns’ first run back after a three-and-a-half month spell and his seventh win in 24 starts,. he’s also placed seven times for $77,805 in stakes. Last night’s Pick6 had a whopping $275,854 in the pool and resulted in a $13,903.90 shared payout.   Duane Ranger

Early fixed odds movers for harness racing at Addington tonight   Race 1 - Even at $1.55 the favourite is best backed early and in multi bets with 95% on him.   Outside the favourite the best backed is Arden's Endeavour $21.     Race 2 - A very even spread of early money here with the best backed Destiny Jones $6.80 over Hey Yo the $2.80 favourite who easily leads early multi bets.   Race 3 - Easily best backed early is Afterdinnerspeaker $11 - $7.50 with solid money also coming for You Gotta Have Faith $5.60 - $4.80.   The long shot Tiger Thompson has surprisingly also been well backed (3rd best) and is now into $31 from $47.   Betor For Gold does lead early multi bets holding double the amount on the next best in On The Rantan $3.30 - $3.50.   Race 4 - A very quiet race here with no runner holding any serious money. Brilliant Strike $2.20 favourite leads multi bets over Idealindiamonds $4.80.   Race 5 - Bordeaux is best backed $10.50 - $9.00 over Harrysul $17. Sunny Ruby the $2.30 favourite easily leads multi bets.   Race 6 - Another quiet race with Happy Styx the best backed $16 - $14. Willedu $3.10 does lead multi bets but they are quiet as well.   Race 7 - One of the best races we have seen for a long time with one punter describing to us "I haven't seen five top horses in one race for ten years" and we agree as it was a tough race to price.   Have Faith In Me did open the $3.00 favourite but has drifted slightly to $3.30. Best backed is Lazarus $4.60 - $4.20 over Locharburn $8.00 - $6.50, Have Faith In Me and Christen Me $3.30 - $3.70. Lazarus does lead multi bets over  Have Faith In Me.   Race 8 - The only two taking any money here are Ranfurly Rulz $3.60 and Johnny Eyre $8.50 - $8.00. Sails $6.80 does lead multi bets over Black Regal Princess $4.20.     Race 9 - Very quiet on the win 'book' here but in multi betting it is all one way traffic on Kingdom Come $4.20 - $4.00.   Race 10 - All the early money has come for Gunpowder $3.70 - $3.40 and Ultimate Fella $3.40, these two are all they want in multi betting.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson

One of the most amazing harness racing stallions ever with 7,000 mares bred to date, 29 millionaires produced and $234 million in progeny earnings world-wide, Bettor's Delight has nothing left to prove. Click on the link below to see what this stallion has achieved throughout the world because I do not believe any other stallion has even got close. Bettor's Delight is the current leading money winning sire in four countries, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Not just for this year but for the last four years running. Thats unreal and incredible. No other stallion in history has achieved that feat. Enjoy the read on Stallion Sphere here.  

Ricky May knows too well that there’s one heck of a mountain in front of him tonight at Addington, but he’s not giving up. The most successful New Zealand Trotting Cup driver of all time, May will partner up with Mossdale Conner in tonight’s Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup and be out to try and upset the apple cart in what is a stand out looking line up. Good enough to run third in the Cup last year, Mossdale Conner will tonight come up against the power of Lazarus, Have Faith In Me, Smolda, Christen Me, Franco Nelson and Tiger Tara in what is a standout field for the key lead up race. “It’s not going to be easy,” May said bluntly. “This is pretty much the majority of the Cup field we are racing this week so we’re going to know if we can sink or swim pretty quick.” On face value the noted stand start flyer was pretty disappointing in the Hannon Memorial when only fifth behind Franco Nelson but May attributed a bit of the blame to himself and also pointed toward a rather strong mid-race check he received when Franco Ledger broke down. “I don’t think have to check him helped too much, but I was still pretty disappointed with the effort. “Greg was pretty happy though. I didn’t realise he was going to the Hannon and I’d probably been a bit too light on him at the workouts and trials so I’m thinking he will strip a better horse this week. “But he’s going to have to be better.” Utilising his brilliant stand start manners, Mossdale Conner’s best chances appear to be getting across to the markers and handing up to the right horse. That challenge is made a little harder by the fact that Franco Nelson, who can also fly the tapes, has drawn inside him. “It will be a race to the markers, and that could be pretty critical to our chances.” Both May and Mossdale Conner’s trainers, Greg and Nina Hope, have made flying starts to the season. May has driven 10 winners to sit third behind Blair Orange and Dexter Dunn on the premiership while the Hope stable has 12 wins next to their name and are five wins clear on the training side of things. Both stats could be improved tonight with some decent chances across the board. Ranfurly Rulz is in a rich vein of form which will see him competitive again while May is quietly confident of a good run from Harrysul in the feature trot. “He was going to run second last time, I’ve got no doubt about it,” May said. The Methven horseman is also looking forward to getting back behind three-year-old pacer Mongolian Storm, who tackles the first Sires’ Stakes heat of the season in the South Island. A trial winner last week at Rangiora, the Paul Court trained pacer looks to have filled out from his two-year-old days and could be in for a decent season on the track.   Super Selector – By Matt Markham Race 1: Cullenmore, Franco Hampton, Delishka, Mr Sharkey Race 2: Hey Yo, The Silver Fox, Donsmedad, Brads Kenny Race 3: You Gotta Have Faith, Mongolian Storm, Bettor Be Gold, Tiger Thompson Race 4: Brilliant Strike, Idealindiamonds, Alpha Rock, Dalness Xchange Race 5: Sunny Ruby, Harrysul, Daryl Boko, Jag’s Invasion Race 6: Willedu, Reeal Clovelly, Jay Jayz Boy, Ellmers Image Race 7: Lazarus, Have Faith In Me, Smolda, Christen Me Race 8: Ranfurly Rulz, Dreamy Damien, Sails, Shards Halo Race 9: Kingdom Come, Jean Sebastien, Solar Storm, Forgot To Remember Race 10: Ultimate Fella, Gunpowder, Eja Patron, Living Legend Best Bet: Ranfurly Rulz (Race 8) Value: Willedu (Race 6)   Matt Markham

Hall-of-Fame horseman Barry Purdon isn’t afraid to label Start Dreaming as the best mare he has trained. He’s also not afraid to put his hand up to drive the gifted 5-year-old this season. “She’s the best pacer in our (25-strong) stable and would have to be the best mare I’ve had. I’ll probably drive her in the Spring Cup (September 30) and then we will plan it from there. Zac is currently in the United States but I wanted to drive her last week to see where she is at. “You could see me driving a bit more this season. I’ve always loved competing and winning out on the track, but I’ve also believed in giving the young ones a fair go. They are our future,” Purdon said Purdon only had 19 drives last season for three wins and seven placings. That equated to a healthy 0.3275 UDR strike-rate. All-up since his junior driving days in 1974 Purdon has driven 604 winners from 2,156 drives. He’s also placed 839 times for $6.3 million in career stakes. His best year in the sulky came in 1990-1991 when he drove 44 winners for a 0.3050 strike rate. “I will be talking to Brian about the horse’s future, but you could see me out there a bit more this season. I’m still hungry for it,” Purdon hinted. Brian is Brian West of Studholme Bloodstock, who bred and owns Start Dreaming. Purdon said the American Ideal mare would bypass the New Zealand Cup Carnival at Addington in November. “We targeted last Friday’s race to see exactly where she was at and she has proven to us that she is certainly good enough to start in the Spring Cup. She’s up to that grade, in fact any grade. “After the Spring Cup we will build towards the Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park in December and then possibly the Ladyship Mile. But she has only had one race back this campaign and we are getting a wee bit ahead of ourselves - but that’s our long-term plan, all going well,” said Purdon. Last Friday Start Dreaming had her first race since February 28. That’s when she finished an unlucky fifth in the Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. She went into the Sims Pacific Metals R76-R106 Pace with a win and a second behind Hughie Green at the Workouts. Purdon sat in the one-one and when he stepped off the track his new stable star had reeled off one of the the fastest ever last 800m times recorded in New Zealand. She paced the 2700m mobile 3:28.5 (mile rate 2:04.2) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 53.7 and 27 flat. “That was a pretty amazing last quarter and she felt real nice doing it. I don’t want to get too carried away but she is a very exciting race horse. She’s top of the pile in our barn, ahead of Hug The Wind and Ideal Belle,” said Purdon. Start Dreaming has now won seven of her 18 starts and placed in six others for $173,282. Her biggest win came on February 20 this year when she nailed the Group Two Robin Dundee Classic at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Her best performances in New Zealand came last year in the Northern Oaks and Harness Jewels 3yo Diamond, where she ran second and third respectively. Start Dreaming is the second of five foals out of the 14-year-old In the Pocket mare, Simply Devine. Her bolder brother, My Style (by McArdle) has won four races in Australia. Simply Devine has also left a 4-year-old Art Official mare named I’m A Dreamer, who has won one of his three starts for Leeston trainer, Hayden Galway. She also has a 3-year-old Art Official colt named I’m A Dreamer, and a yearling Sportswriter colt named Power Dreaming. She is currently in foal to Bettor’s Delight. Purdon has never won the Queen Of Hearts but his good mare Lancewood Lizzie won the Harness Jewels 4yo Ruby Final last year. Duane Ranger

The multiple Group One winning mare Lauraella is about to give her Waikato owner/breeders a month to remember. The 11-year-old, who was bred by Sandy and Jan Yarndley, is about to leave her third foal – any day this month. Her second foal, and first filly – Christanna qualified 3.2 seconds under the required time (mile rate 2:05.5) at Alexandra Park last Friday night. The 3-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover went into that 2200m mobile with two Workouts wins from as many races this campaign. “She’s a nice big filly and obviously well-bred but she hasn’t even been to the races yet. We are not getting too carried away. She would have raced last season but she did a fetlock in a workout and Geoff (Small) had to turn her out for three or four months. “She’s been back in work since the Jewels. She looks the part and has a lovely gait but I’m never one to get too far ahead of myself,” Yarndley said. Christanna is owned by the Hardwood Syndicate, which also comprises Max and Judy Hunter. Christanna paced Friday’s Workout in 2;51.6 with final 800m and 400m sprints of 58.8 and 28.8. She beat the Brian Hughes trained and Maurice McKendry driven Kaitlyn by a nose. Yarndley said he kept Christanna to breed from, but added that he and his wife did put her first foal – Express Stride (1.58.1 - NZ and 1.54.2 - Australia) through the Sales ring. That son of Bettor’s Delight fetched a Sales topping $210,000 at the 2013 Australasian Yearling Sales at Karaka. He has since won five of his 16 starts and placed in nine others for Ardmore maestro, Tony Herlihy (MNZM). Express Stride was exported to his owner Emilio Rosati in Australia last December, the winner of $147,890. He has since bled since crossing the Tasman. “He was shaping up to be a nice horse. He had a lot of his mother’s traits. Hopefully his sister can match or even better those achievements, but they have both got some way to go to catch up with what they mother did on the racetrack,” Te Awamutu-based Yarndley said. “She’s done it on the racetrack but still has to prove her worth in the breeding paddock,” he added. From February 2008 until January 2010, Lauraella won 10 of her 25 starts and placed seven other times in New Zealand for $649,946 in stakes. Her biggest wins came via the Group One 2008 Harness Jewels Ruby Final; the Group One 2009 Northern Oaks; the 2009 Nevele R 3YO Sires Stakes Final; and of course the prestigious Group One 2009 New Zealand Oaks. She also won the Group Two 2008 Ladyship Stakes at Alexandra Park and landed her biggest payday in the $200,000 Listed PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales Fillies Pace, also at Alexandra Park on January 31, 2009. Lauraella is in foal to Bettor’s Delight after missing to Rocknroll Hanover in 2014 and then losing her Bettor’s Delight foal last year. She was served by him on October 11 last year. Duane Ranger

The last harness racing meeting at Cambridge resulted in just the one favourite winning from the nine races which is against the usual trend at this track.   The average tote closing win price of the nine winners was $10.37 so punter's will be hoping the favourite's winning trend gets back on track tonight.   Best backed on any win 'book' at 1:00pm raceday is Spring Campaign $3.40 - $2.80.   Race 1   - Very quiet early in the first race on the card and hard to get an early line yet as to where the money will go closer to post time. Jomo $4.20 does lead multi bets over Mighty Sunny $4.80.   Race 2   - Easily best backed is Drover's Eyre $7.60 - $6.00 both in win and multi betting with Chal Shocked $3.70 the next best backed runner.   Race 3   - The $2.60 favourite Lincolns Keepsake hasn't taken a lot of money in the win 'book' but is clearly best backed in multi bets. Westwind Flyer $5.60 has taken some early support.    Race 4   - The only two runners wanted here are the $1.75 favourite Youshallnotpass who was heavily backed here last start when finishing 2nd and Lady Madonnna $4.20 - $3.40. Youshallnotpass is going 4 -1 on multi tickets verse the second favourite.    Race 5   - Best backed here is Check In $3.40 but in multi money the $1.70 favourite Raptors Flight is taking 95% of early multi money. We haven't taken a bet on Raptors Flight yet but judging by the early multi money he could close $1.50 - $1.60 so if your looking to have a decent Fixed Odds bet on him the $1.70 might be the best odds on offer.    Race 6   - Spring Campaign $3.40 - $2.80 has been heavily backed with some solid money also for Billy Badger $7.80 - $5.00.   The opening favourite Star Galleria $2.90 - $3.10 is only the third best backed on the win 'book' but is the best backed in multi bets over Spring Campaign although that runner is close behind. Billy Badger isn't well backed early in multi bets.   Race 7   - A very tough field to price which is shown with a $4.40 favourite Soldier and six runners are priced between $4.40 and $7.20.   Punter's are also finding it tough to know which runner to back and this race has the quietest win hold on the card early.   Soldier does lead multi bets but at this stage we can't get a line as to where the late money will go and if we have the first few favourites in the correct order.   Race 8   - Stunnin Banner $21 - $12 is easily the best backed and was another last start winner at this track which saved the 'book' from a bad result on the favourite in the race.   Robbie Burns $2.10 & Aliante $2.30 are both well backed in multi bets but cold in early win money. One of these runners will drift closer to post time and early multi ticket value would suggest it will be Aliante.   Race 9   - Opoutama $3.70 is all they want here both in win and multi betting, she won here last start beating the heavily backed Youshallnotpass.   The only other runner taking some money is the locally trained runner Alta Valencia $5.00.   Race 10 - Punter's will be hoping the previous races have been kind to them as on paper this isn't a field you would want to be getting out on.   Shady Sadie has opened up as the $3.40 favourite over Acougarzsun $4.00 and I Got Rhythm $6.00 but not one of these runners have yet to take a win bet but to be fair not many others have either.   I Got Rhythm leads a very weak multi ticket count early over Shady Sadie & this race is looking like taking no action until five minutes out from post-time.    Best backed on the place 'book' is in Race 8 Stunnin Banner $4.50 - $2.60.   Best backed on the win 'book' in order -  Race 6  Spring Campaign and Billy Badger and Race 9 Opoutama.   Best backed in multi betting in order: Race 4 Youshallnotpass $1.75 (double the 3rd best in multis bets) Race 5 Raptors Flight $1.70  Race 2 Linclolns Keepsake $2.60    In the Drivers Challenge best backed early is Todd Mitchell at $7.00 with Maurice McKendry at $3.00 best backed in multi betting.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Steve Richardson

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After eight weeks of harness racing this season, Blair Orange is still in front in the drivers premiership with 17 wins from 105 drives.   His latest win came courtesy of  the Ken and Tony Barron trained Terracotta who overpowered the favorite Beaudiene Delightful at Rangiora on Sunday (September 24).  Dexter Dunn is currently running second in the premiership with 15 wins from 77 drives but is closing in fast on Blair after missing the first few weeks of racing. Ricky May has had a good start to his season so far and is third on 13 wins from 72 drives, with a gap back to Rory Mcllwrick and Samantha Ottley on 8 wins each.   The top 15 in the drivers premiership Name Starts Wins  2nds 3rds Stakes UDR Blair Orange 105 17 19 12 130,162 0.3005 Dexter Dunn 77 15 12 9 114,692 0.3203 Ricky May 72 13 9 5 92,695 0.2731 Rory McIlwrick (J) 35 8 6 1 47,425 0.3333 Samantha Ottley 46 8 5 5 53,192 0.2705 Zac Butcher 29 7 3 5 55,781 0.3563 David Butcher 44 6 10 6 60,762 0.3081 Joshua Dickie 25 6 1 2 42,188 0.2889 John Dunn 43 6 3 10 72,653 0.2558 Gavin Smith 55 6 3 4 49,840 0.1636 Robbie Close 38 5 4 5 38,985 0.2339 Stephen McNally 41 5 6 10 39,615 0.2846 Andre Poutama 26 5 4 2 31,111 0.3034 Sheree Tomlinson (J) 25 5 1 1 35,380 0.2356 Brad Williamson 44 5 3 8 37,320 0.2121   Harnesslink Media
The harness racing stables complex at Alexandra Park in Auckland boasts a national award for architecture and was widely celebrated as a notable building when it opened in 1990. Since then it has served its purpose well and is a hive of activity most Friday nights for the trots.  Twenty-six years on and Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt is now keen to promote the spaciously covered facility to businesses and organisations wanting something completely different for their next function venue. “It’s an amazing space and truly unique. People organising events or functions sometimes want something different and to surprise their colleagues, clients or guests. Our stables would certainly be a talking point and novel at the very least,” says Mr Reichardt. On race nights, most Fridays, the stables are obviously unavailable but with limited horse training now taking place at Alexandra Park, the venue can be readily available most days or nights. “It has got an amazing and high roof line. The space can be as big or small as you want it. The complex has got a large concrete floor and it cleans up immaculately and presents really well. What’s more it doesn’t smell of horses!” The move to open and promote its stables complex to the public follows Alexandra Park’s decision to drive its functions facilities and convention business more than ever. Mr Reichardt says Alexandra Park’s functions offering is set to become even more attractive with the opening of their significant mixed-use urban village development on Green Lane West, currently under construction. “The development only strengthen our conference and functions offering. Having additional cafes, restaurants and bars within Alexandra Park will mean people will stay after their meetings or catch up before them. There will be so much more of a buzz around the place as well as some lovely new public spaces to enjoy for those wanting some time out.” What’s more Alexandra Park has now got Super 15 rugby team The Blues operating from their new training centre on the other side of the park and they’re often practicing out in the middle of the trotting track. “Having The Blues literally on site is resident star-appeal that no other functions offering can match!” Mr Reichardt says on top of providing top quality functions and receiving great food reviews, ongoing improvements to its functions facilities are a key element in the club’s strategic vision. He says corporates, various associations and clubs, and government agencies remain Alexandra Park’s biggest clients for functions with much repeat business. Outside its race-night events, the park hosts nearly 1,000 functions every year. “What appeals to a lot of people is our flexibility. We can do big or small, catering from 20 to 700 guests and we’ve got eight function rooms. What’s more we encourage people to make good use of all the outdoor space, facilities and parking we have – right here in the heart of Epsom. And that now includes our fantastic stables!” He says Alexandra Park offers all sorts of packages for the likes of school balls, private functions, weddings, daily delegates and multi-day conferences. It prides itself on uniquely tailored solutions at great value for money. For bookings or information phone (09) 630-5660, email enquiries@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. For more on Alexandra Park’s urban village apartment living visit www.apliving.co.nz
As a $200,000 yearling the pressure has always been on You Gotta Have Faith, but this season might be the chance for him to pay back the faith shown in him by his owners, Mark and Dennis Dunford. The royally bred 3-year-old certainly started off on the right hoof when he booked himself a spot in the rich New Zealand Sires’ Stakes Final on Cup Day with a bold victory in Friday night’s heat at Addington Raceway. A descendant of Charlie Roberts wonderful family, You Gotta Have Faith has not only the pressure of the big price tag to contend with but an incredible family heritage as well. “He’s got a fair bit on him already when you look at it,” Natalie Rasmussen, who co-trains the gelding and was also in the bike on Friday night, said. “We always thought he’d be a better three-year-old than what he was at two and he’s come back bigger and stronger this time in and hopefully he should be in for a good season.” He will need to be though with a couple of high class stablemates in More The Better and Ultimate Machete still to join the Sires’ Stakes fray. Rasmussen was able to steal the race on Friday night - producing some incredibly slow sectionals. Although she put that more down to the horse’s inability to take the bit in his mouth and run along than anything else. “He just didn’t really want to go, so I thought getting him out and running would help, but it clearly didn’t early on.” After settling back in the field she moved forward to parked with a lap left to run and pulled the field almost down to a light canter. “He didn’t want to get into it and get running until another horse came up beside him. “But he did fight when the others ranged up to him at the top of the straight, he kept finding when I asked him for an effort and that’s a good sign. “He should be in for a good wee season this guy.” In the stall next to You Gotta Have Faith things weren’t quite so rosy. Stablemate and race favourite, Bettor Be Gold and Mark Purdon were flat keeping up at the 400 metre mark. “There was nothing there when I asked him to run up onto the back of them coming around the bend. “It’s a little disappointing because he has trialled so well in the lead up to this week.” Afterdinnerspeaker from the Ken and Tony Barron stable was a solid second in the heat, booking himself a spot in the rich final while Mongolian Storm was brave after sitting parked before fighting on strongly to finish third. It was the Tim Butt trained The Bachelor who really caught the attention after his good win the week before.   Matt Markim
A 30th birthday celebration is planned for Diamond Field, winner of the 1994 Interdominion Trotters’ Final and Rowe Cup. Diamond Field has been in the care of Michelle Blackie at Makarewa, near Invercargill, since he was retired from racing 18 years ago. He officially turned 30 on August 1, which applies to all standardbred and thoroughbred horses, but he was born in October. “He will be 30 on October 13 and I would  like to mark the occasion,’’ said Michelle. “He is booked to lead out the field for the feature  race for trotters at the Riverton meeting on October 29 but we will just have to play it be ear to see if he is up to the task.” Allan Beck, who trained Diamond Field initially at Winton  (Southland), will try  the gelding in a cart to make an assessment. “Allan had him in a cart and paraded him about a decade ago,’’ said Michelle. Diamond Field, raced by the Southland Standardbreds No 2 syndicate, won eight races when trained by Beck. He won his first race in March, 1990 as a 3-year-old at Winton and won every season until he was 11. He ran second, beaten a nose by  Maggie Blue  at the 1990 Riverton meeting. Diamond Field was bred at North Makarewa by Grant Sim from a mating of Yankee Jolter and Robyn Evander. “Grant came and saw him recently. He had not seen him for 18 years,” said Michelle. Diamond Field was transferred  from the Beck stable to Roy and Barry Purdon at Clevedon (Auckland) to give him more opportunities and they prepared him for his wins in the Interdominion Final at Harold Park and Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park. He was driven each time by Tony Herlihy. Diamond Field shifted to the stable of Mark Purdon as a 9-year-old and won two heats of the Interdominion at Moonee Valley  and a City Of Sails Free-For-All in Auckland in 1996. He was in the South Australian stable of Neil Cavallaro when he won first up as a 10-year-old at Globe Derby Park. He had another four minor wins in Australia before returning  to New Zealand. Diamond Field ended his racing career with Ashburton trainer Patrick O’Reilly, his final win from a 40m handicap at Addington in January, 1998 as an 11-year-old. He won 33 races, gained 29 seconds and 20 thirds on 150 starts for $536,607 in stakes. “He (Diamond Field) was retired due to arthritis and there was a draw among the syndicate members to give him a home. Dad (Robert) was in the syndicate,’’ recalled Michelle. “I was only a kid who had ponies but I wanted to give him (Diamond Field) a life after racing, he had been such a successful horse.” “I have never done a lot with him in the way of riding but I have had him over some wee jumps. He is just my big baby.”   Taylor Strong
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