Bets of the week ringaround

Bets of the week ringaround July 29th 2016

After short break in the harnesslink bets of the week ringaround along with some staffing changes, we will be back in the new season with an even bigger and better account of the drivers best chances for the coming weeks racing. From next week we will endeavor to have this page out and published before 10am each Thursday. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often. This week there are three harness racing meetings in New Zealand and we will have the drivers best selections for them available on Friday afternoon. Alexandra Park – Friday night Peter Scaife - Says that Vibhuti will be hard to beat in Race 2 Maurice McKendry - Says the the well bred 2yo filly Shieldmaiden will be hard to beat in Race 4 John Curtin - Thinks Ultimate Angel will improve this week and is a real danger in Race 4 Tony Herlihy - Says that his best chance this week is Bonnie Khaleesi in Race 5 Todd Mitchell - Believes that Doudleodeano can beat Tony's pick in Race 5 Todd MacFarlane - Bullish on the chances of Harrysul in Race 6 Sean McCaffrey - Really likes Norvic Ruby in Race 8 Geoff Small - Hopes that Everlasting Grace (as lease is expiring) can win this week in Race 8 Scott Phelan - Just back from a holiday and says Trilogy will win Race 9 Steve Richardson (TAB) – Thinks George can win after being freshened in Race 10    NZ Metro at Addington on Friday night Ricky May - Says that Cruzy Dude will be hard to beat in Race 1 Blair Orange - Holidaying in Fiji but thinks with a drop down in class Ranfurly Rulz will win Race 4 Tim Williams - Gives a chance to his only drive tonight in Northview Betta in Race 7 Harnesslink workout reporter -- Gives Franco Tristan a good chance of winning his first start in Race 9 Nathan Williamson - Has no drives this week but says he cannot see Stars Align getting beaten in Race 10   NZ Metro at Addington on Sunday Gavin Smith - Even from the second row Gavin thinks that he can win with Donegal Jimmy Dave in Race 4 Bob Butt - Says that Easy Rider can win Race 5 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks that Tornado Valley will win if he steps in Race 6 Mark Jones - Mark says that his pick of the week this week is Glenferrie Classic in Race 7 Harnesslink video reviewer – Thinks Dreamy Damian is a great each way chance in Race 8   Harnesslink Media

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Ratings System debut at Cambridge next Thursday

Thursday August 4 will be the first meeting in the trial of a Ratings System in harness racing. Following a robust process that identified four critical areas that needed review, a Ratings system has been developed to trial in the hope to improve the position of harness racing and create a more fluid, competitive and vibrant racing environment in the North Island.   The three-month trial was approved by the HRNZ Board in June following the development of the Ratings concept. Four key areas were identified where harness racing needed to improve. These were: 1. Create opportunities for average to poor maiden (non-winning) horses. 2. Create better pathways to ensure the competitiveness of struggling one-win horses. 3. Correct the imbalance created by the concessions for two and three-year-old horses. 4. Create a more effective system of allowing horses to ‘drop back’ when proving uncompetitive.   The Ratings System will operate as the name suggests. Horses will be rated on their performances, whether it is winners, placegetters or unplaced horses. The system is bound by a schedule of Guiding Principles approved by HRNZ. The Guiding Principles have been designed to give appropriate penalties for the performances of horses and to provide a flexible system that enables horses to race their way to their true level of competition. Auckland Trotting Club Racing Manager Kevin Smith, who has been an integral part of the development of the Ratings System, is understandably buoyant about the prospects moving into the trial. “I believe the Ratings will even out the racing population and lead us to where we need to be in terms of creating like-with-like racing opportunities. Potentially we also envisage that this system will create avenues for horses that may not have been competitive or adequately catered for in the past.” HRNZ Board Member and Licensed trainer, Rob Lawson, acts as the Chairman of the HRNZ Handicapping Sub-Committee. He too is enthusiastic about the Ratings trial. “I’m excited about the potential opportunities that will be given to horses, regardless of their ability. This is something completely new and there’s been a drive for change to allow the disaffected groups of horses a chance to prosper – we hope this Ratings System will achieve that, for the future good of harness racing.” Lawson is also delighted with how quickly the project has come to fruition. From a basic, conceptual starting point just a few months ago the trial is now ready to go. “It’s been a great team effort to get to this point, especially from the HRNZ I.T. and Racing Departments who have pulled the concept together well administratively and on a computing basis under tough time constraints.” The Ratings System trial is intended to initially be three-months long; however should the trial prove successful it is likely to be extended and potentially applied nationally.   For more information on the Ratings System and its Guiding Principles visit www.hrnz.co.nz   Stacey Markham

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Friday night terminating pick six preview

FRIDAY 29 JULY $50,000 Terminating harness racing turbo Pick6 Leg 1 at 8:06pm: Addington Harness, Race 6 Leg 2 at 8:16pm: Alexandra Park Harness, Race 6  Leg 3 at 8:06pm: Addington Harness, Race 7 Leg 4 at 8:46pm: Alexandra Park Harness, Race 7 Leg 5 at 8:06pm: Addington Harness, Race 8 Leg 6 at 9:17pm: Alexandra Park Harness, Race 8   Leg 1 Mr Mojito looks the anchor of the night if he can step away from the stand. He seems a sensible type but most of his racing has been from the mobiles.He will be too good for the rest if he can step and race handy.   Leg 2 The two open class trotters Mum’s Pride and Harrysul look to have a strangle hold on this race starting off even marks from behind the mobile against the lower class trotters.   Leg 3 Luciano has won his last three starts and the last two against similar opposition to this field. He could prove to be too tough again, but it is a tricky field and it is worth throwing in a couple of backups. Soapbox almost beat Luciano two starts ago and has a better draw to contend with so needs to be included. The other two Brendon McLellan trained horses Mr Handleman and Vera’s Delight were both good last start and the extra distance of this race will suit so both need to be included here.   Leg 4 The sprint trip of 1700m will suit the two Barry Purdon trained runners of New Years Jay and Hug The Wind and we think you only need those two horses in this leg.   Leg 5 Another tricky leg over the sprint for the C1 trotters from behind the mobile.  Cuddly Jess has the draw and flashed home late last start so possibly the pick of them here. Also include Craddock who won easily like a horse going places last start. Blood And Whisky from the powerful Robert Dunn stable and My Amour from the Greg and Nina Hope stable also need to be included and can win. Total Exposure with Colin DeFilippi driving is also a runner’s chance in this field.   Leg Six We have gone shorter in a few of the earlier legs so can afford to put in a few extra’s in this leg. Include Will Desire coming in fresh for the Geoff Small stable, Turnbulls who won well at the trials last week, Chevrons Easy who was in devastating form sitting parked and winning easily last week, Norvic Ruby looks to be coming back into form and is a good mare when right and Everlasting Grace also in good form and worth putting in here.   $20.00 for 10%            CONFIDENCE RATING 75% Leg 1      1 Leg 2      6,8 Leg 3      1,4,7,8 Leg 4      3,5 Leg 5      1,7,8,12,14 Leg 6      2,3,6,7,8   Harnesslink Media

Gotta Go Ya Hu

Big Jim gelding sizzles at workouts

Gotta Go Ya Hu a 2yo Big Jim gelding set the Motukarara harness racing workout tongues wagging on Saturday 23rd May when clearing out to win his heat by a wide margin. Trained by Robert Dunn and driven by Ross Houghton he settled in midfield for most of the race but started a quick move with half a lap remaining and whipped over his last 800m in a very quick 55.4 seconds (hand timed). His Motukarara workout suggests he is nearing peak fitness and he could quickly provide another win for successful owners Clive and Rhona Mckay who were on track to see his winning workout on Saturday. Gotta Go Ya Hu's next official race will be in race 10 at Addington on Friday night where he will do battle with another good two year old from the Purdon/Rasmussen stable in Stars Align.  Harnesslink Media

After another satisfying financial performance in the 2015-2016 harness racing season, Addington is pleased to announce that total stakes and bonuses are set to rise over $400,000 for the upcoming 2016-2017 season to $8.1 million. New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Chair Barry Dent comments, “A cornerstone of our current business model is to ensure regular and sustainable increases in returns to stakeholders are made whenever possible and with the last financial year being another good one for the Club we are pleased to be able to again reaffirm this approach for the upcoming 2016-2017 racing season”. He added, “This latest increase will see total stakes and bonuses rise to $8.1 million, with this amount up by 29% since 2012. With flat industry funding throughout this period, the funds for these increases have been predominantly sourced from strong performing non-racing activities conducted by the Club”. The focus of these increases sees the minimum stake set to rise to $8,000 in combination with opportunities to race for $13,000 available to all classes at most non-Premier Addington Raceway meetings. Eight Premier meetings will again be held with minimum stakes of $20,000 per race. Feature event increases include New Zealand’s richest race for trotters, the Haras Des Trotteurs Dominion Trot rising to $260,000 and the Woodlands NZ Pacing FFA also pushed up $10,000 to $260,000. Both events are scheduled to be held on Show Day, which clearly remains New Zealand’s second largest day of harness racing, behind Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day. The now famous Met Multiplier Bonus of $7500 and Breeders Bonus of $500 per win have also again been confirmed for the 2016-2017 season subject to the normal terms and conditions. The 2015-2016 season saw nearly $310,000 paid collectively in bonuses to qualified connections. Dean McKenzie

Addington are excited to announce their new harness racing business partner - Haras des Trotteurs will have exclusive naming rights to the Group One Dominion Handicap Trot. Pat Driscoll, Principal of Haras des Trotteurs is thrilled to be starting a partnership with Addington. "Haras des Trotteurs is privileged to be associated with Addington by sponsorship of such a time honoured event as the Dominion Trot. We are delighted and privileged that in conjunction with this sponsorship we will also be associated with a number of other domestic trotting races which will be confirmed throughout the year. At Haras des Trotteurs we are committed to breeding world class trotters in New Zealand and Australia." Addington’s Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt is pleased to announce the 2016-2017 season will see a stake increase for the richest trotting race in New Zealand.  “The increase from $250,000 to $260,000 for this prestigious race is in recognition of its status as the premier race for trotters within New Zealand.” 2016 will see the continuation of the highly successful ranking system for the Dominion that was introduced last year for the first time to determine the field.  The Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Trot will be held on Show Day Friday, 11 November 2016. Keryn McElroy  

A trying season for Harness Racing Driver Stevie Golding will finish with a deserving championship crown. The 25-year-old, in his final days in the junior ranks has come from behind to win the New Zealand junior drivers' championships at Addington on Friday night. Twelve months ago Golding was locked in a battle with Robbie Close for the national juniors' premiership - a contest that ended in a tie. But with just 19 wins this season, Golding's final year as a junior, has not reached those dizzy heights with Brad Williamson a runaway premiership leader on 70 wins. "It's a good achievement to get in the series, I was happy to just be in it," Golding said. Golding, who described the championship win as "a massive thrill" felt the series looked even on paper but admits he was happy with his three drives when the fields came out. "Obviously I didn't think I could just go out there and win it but I did like the look of what I had." One of the biggest thrills for Golding was knowing that his name would be up with the illustrious list of drivers who have gone to prominent careers in the industry after winning the championship. The win was fitting for Golding who lost his final chance to win the Darren DeFilippi Memorial when Donsmedad was a late scratching when she injured herself in the float on the way to the track. Golding is currently studying real estate papers for another career option but will continue to drive as much as possible next season. Just like in 2014, the third heat ended in heartbreak for Dylan Ferguson. Ferguson won heat two with with $65 shot Eja Patron for Russley trainer Brad Mowbray and a second in the opening heat with The Silver Fox put him in the box seat. Going into the final heat he lead with 29 points, as he did in 2014, but could only manage 11th place with Sauchiehall​ to finish on 31 points. At the other end of the field, Golding and the Benny Hill-trained Pay Me Way was able to win the final heat to move Golding from 17 to 34 points. Ferguson's 31 points was enough to hold onto second and Darren DeFilippi Memorial winner Katie Cox took out third with 27 points. Mat Kermeen

Champion harness racing trainer Mark Purdon is adamant his superstar Have Faith In Me is as good as any pacer in the world. And he should know, having just watched the best in North America live. Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen have just returned from a month-long trip to the United States and Canada during which they spent time at the stables of leading trainers Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke. They also saw the elite US free-for-all pacers race, headed by the big three of Always B Miki, Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete. While Purdon has huge respect for the trio, he is certain his Miracle Mile winner Have Faith In Me is at least as good. “They are very, very good horses, especially those three but our horse is just as good. I have no doubt about that.”
 It is hard to argue with Purdon, who is never one for over-rating his horses. The top US free-for-allers can break 1:47 for a mile but they spend their entire careers being honed for magical miles, whereas Have Faith In Me paced an Australasian record 1:47.5 winning the the Miracle Mile in February only a few starts after winning a 3200m standing start Auckland Cup on December 31. Fully ingratiated into US style racing with one of their wider, faster sulkies behind him and Have Faith In Me would clearly be a sub 1:47 pacer. “I am sure he would be but I don’t think there is any great desire to race him up there,” Purdon told the New Zealand Herald. “If he is the best down here this season, which we hope he will be, then he can win more money than he could up there because up there he would be one of three or four with similar ability.” Purdon had his first real look at Have Faith In Me in a month yesterday and is certain the four-year-old has thickened and should be stronger next season. But before you start looking for somewhere to back him in the New Zealand Cup be warned --- while that is his first goal it is by no means certain. Purdon and Rasmussen have the three New Zealand Cup favourites, the other two being Lazarus and Smolda, and will let the trio tell them who will be suited to the New Zealand Cup on November 8 or who might be better off in Perth at the Inter Dominions, which start two weeks later. “At this stage we will bring all three of them up and start racing mid September with the Cup as their aim,” he explains. “But if any of them didn’t feel like they were right for the Cup then we could change tact. Have Faith In Me for example, if he started to gallop away from the stands in his lead-up races we could favour the Interdoms, because they are all mobile, especially as he would be on the unruly in the Cup, which is like being off a handicap. So we will aim them at the Cup and see what happens.” Purdon was thrilled and surprised by just how much Lazarus has filled out during his spell, which will hopefully help him bridge the gap from champion three-year-old to open class performer by Cup time. Purdon says his time away from his Rolleston base gave him and Rasmussen a chance to learn how trainers like Burke and Takter go about their business as well as consider their own as they stare down another premiership win. “At some stage we would like to have less horses but after the numbers we got from the yearling sales this season I’d say we are going to have about the same size stable again next season. “And the trip was great but we don’t have any aspirations to try training up there. We have a lot invested in the property down here and you can’t just up and move that to the States. “So while I’d like to go up there and visit those top trainers again, because you always learn things, I don’t see us campaigning horses up there any time soon.”
 Courtesy of Michael Guerin

Alexandra Park says record attendance at its recent annual mid-winter Christmas parties is a great precursor to its Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings with the harness racing dates now confirmed for November and December.  “We were blown away by how quickly and how many tickets we sold to our recent mid-winter Christmas parties. Subsequently we’re telling people to book early if they want to secure one of our very popular Christmas At The Races evenings, says Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt. The Christmas At The Races evenings will take place on Fridays 11, 18, 25 November and 2, 9, 16 December as well as Thursday 22 December. The sought after dining packages are renowned for delivering delicious food, electric atmosphere, classic harness racing, and live entertainment after the last race. In the interim, plenty of action is scheduled on and off the track at Alexandra Park On Friday 16 September Thai Night will be back at Alexandra Park. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat Thai Buffet, a fully themed room, a drink on arrival and of course all the excitement of live racing action. The Thai Night package is only $55 per person. Also on 16 September sports team, schools, social clubs and other groups have a great opportunity to raise money for an upcoming event or trip at Your Fundraising At The Park. All they have to do is sell tickets and Alexandra Park will provide the hospitality with part of the proceeds from every ticket sold going towards each group’s fundraising goals. Then on Friday 7 and 14 October Alexandra Park is hosting its Tropical Race Nights, with dining packages starting from just $60 per person and a trip for two to Vanuatu to be won thanks to Air Vanuatu and Mangoes Resort. Also on Friday 14 October enjoy the fabulous Spring/Summer collections of top New Zealand designers Hailwood, Carlson, Yvonne Bennetti, Trish Peng and Knuefermann for Fashion At The Park. Wine and dine in glamourous style with a three course dining package for $99 per person, whilst watching fashion that will turn your head between races. “Our dining packages are always exceptional with our delicious all-you-can-eat carveries and buffets. What’s more there’s plenty of atmosphere with some prime viewing spots on offer to sit back and watch some exciting racing under lights,” says Mr Reichardt.  For further information on the dining packages for Christmas At The Races, Thai Night, Your Fundraising At The Park, Tropical Race Nights or Fashion At The Park 2016 click on this link..  For all bookings please or call (09) 631-1165 or email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz On all nights general admission for the public into Alexandra Park as well as parking remain free and race-books are also complimentary. www.alexandrapark.co.nz

Alexandra Park has revealed its biggest penthouse for sale comes with a staggering 140 square metres of external balconies – almost the same size as an entire average New Zealand house! The three remaining penthouses come with significant living space inside and out – 279sqm, 234sqm and 349sqm plus large external balconies of 51sqm, 64sqm and 140sqm. They are priced between $2.95m and $4.75m and form part of Alexandra Park’s significant urban village development on Green Lane West currently under construction.  Lead architect Richard Naish of Auckland’s award-winning RTA Studio says Auckland apartment buyers are increasingly wanting more usable but also private outdoor space. He says responding to that market desire has ensured a key point of design difference in the Alexandra Park apartments and penthouses. “We have developed the concept of the garden room, rather than the usual open balcony. With our design, people have operable sun and privacy screens as well as plenty of additional space which they can customise to ensure the ultimate outdoor space,” he says. When it’s wet the electronic louvre roof coverings with rain activated sensors will ensure all year round use. Eight levels up the penthouse balconies also come with some expansive views including the volcanic cones of Mt Hobson, Mt St John, Mt Eden, One Tree Hill, as well as the central city’s skyline, Rangitoto, Waitemata Harbour, and the Hauraki Gulf. “What’s more we’ve also delivered contextual relevance, paying homage to the neighbouring Epsom residential architecture and horse racing. Hence the side screens are inspired by the fretwork of grandstands and Victorian villas of the surrounding area,” says Mr Naish. Inside, the living areas of the penthouses are spacious and include a gas fireplace as well as double-glazed floor to ceiling glass. What’s more the stud height is a very generous at three metres. Two of the three penthouses get three carparks, and each will house beautiful Gaggenau kitchen appliances. “Alexandra Park’s penthouses are second to none with their dramatic views of the cones, city, sea, Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill coupled with the spacious living ranging in total size from 298sqm to 489sqm. This includes 51sqm to 140sqm of balconies which create exemplary indoor-outdoor living,” says Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding. “The interiors have been designed by RTA to be elegant, sophisticated, spacious with highly appointed inclusions, fits-outs and fireplaces. They boast three bedrooms and multiple living areas. What’s more there are only three of these left for sale,” she says. As well as their superior specifications and finish, Ms Dowding says the penthouses come with some unprecedented amenity. The village beneath will include a grocer, boutique retail and some soon to be announced cafes and restaurants. Not to mention Lido Cinema and historic Cornwall Park both just across the road. “Another point of difference for Alexandra Park is the fact that all apartments and penthouses come with freehold titles and of course our central Epsom location also puts you right in the double grammar zone. While there’s plenty of Auckland apartments in the zone, I can’t think of any other penthouses of this size and quality that are,” says Ms Dowding. Construction has now begun in the Auckland Trotting Club’s former car park on Green Lane West for what is one of the biggest brownfield developments in the city. Over 80% of the 246 apartments have now sold unconditionally, with the first of the 750 residents set to move in from late next year. “People can see and really appreciate the efforts we’re going to, not only to design and build quality apartments and penthouses, but a world-class urban village and entire community,” says Ms Dowding. While RTA Studio is the lead architect, celebrated Vancouver urban design expert Joe Hruda is overseeing the outside transformation which will include plenty of world-class public spaces and promenades. N-Compass are the project managers. The on-site apartment display suite is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or visiting www.apliving.co.nz Link to watch the latest two-minute CGI video of Alexandra Park’s urban village:  For further information contact Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700

Nevele R Stud is thrilled to announce another exciting addition to their already elite trotting sires ranks, in the form of arguably North America's best young square-gaiter in recent years Father Patrick t2, 1:52.2f; t3, 1:50.4f ($2,600,571) - the richest and fastest son of champion harness racing sire Cantab Hall. The US and Canadian 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year in 2013 and US 3YO Trotting Colt of the Year in 2014, Father Patrick was an exceptional racehorse, winning 23 races and $2.6 million in stakes. As a 2-year-old Father Patrick won 10 of his 11 starts with 7 of these in sub 1:55 times, including a world record performance of 1:52.2 when taking out a Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono Downs. His major victories at 2 included the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final, the $365,000 Wellwood Memorial by five and a half lengths, the $280,000 Peter Haughton Memorial, the Champlain Stakes (again by a margin of five lengths) and the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile, Lexington. As a 3-year-old, Father Patrick was the richest standardbred of the year, winning a massive $1.7 million in stakes in a very fruitful season that saw the outstanding youngster record back-to-back victories in the Breeders Crown, as well as wins in the Beal Memorial, Canadian Trotting Classic, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Zweig Memorial, American-National Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final. Father Patrick took his lifetime mark of 1:50.4 when defeating recent Elitloppet winner Nuncio in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono Downs. His time remains the fastest ever recorded by a 3-year-old colt or gelding on a 5/8ths of a mile track and the equal fastest by any 3-year-old trotter. Trained by Jimmy Takter throughout his career, Father Patrick was rated by the legendary conditioner as the "best horse" that he had ever trained  - high praise when you consider Takter has had the likes of Moni Maker, Malabar Man, See You At Peelers, Pampered Princess, Kadabra, Passionate Glide and Pinkman, to name  just a few,  through his barn over the years. Father Patrick is certainly the complete package when it comes to choosing a stallion for your trotting broodmare this season, as he not only boasts unrivalled racetrack performance but also some of the best bloodlines available in the world. His sire Cantab Hall is currently the leading US All Age Trotting Sire and was himself a million dollar plus earning US 2YO Trotting Colt and Trotter of the Year. Cantab Hall has established himself as one of the most influential trotting sires in North America, having sired the winners of over $59 million, 168 $100,000 earners, 29 in 1:53 and 7 millionaires including Wild Honey, Explosive Matter,  Uncle Peter and Pastor Stephen. Father Patrick's maternal line is no less illustrious with his dam Gala Dream (by Enjoy Lavec) also leaving, in addition to Father Patrick, another US 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year and millionaire square-gaiter, Pastor Stephen t3, 1:52.8 ($1,058,188) and the $100,000+ earners Whom Shall I Fear t3, 1:52.8 ($163,935) and Stan The Man 1:53.6 ($182,144) from 6 foals of racing age. His second dam Maple Frosting (by Valley Victory), also an outstanding producer, has left the world champion 2005 US and Canadian 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year Chocolatier t3, 1:53 ($1,328,250) (making it an incredible three US 2YO Trotting Colts of the Year in the first two generations), along with the multiple stakes race winner Sugar Trader t3, 1:53.8 ($734,610). Chocolatier has since gone on to be a successful sire in Sweden with his best offspring to date the  champion mare Your Highness (SEK9,000,537) - the winner of the Copenhagen Cup, Olympic Trot and Oslo Grand Prix so far in 2016. Standing at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania and commanding the same service fee as his sire, US$20,000, Father Patrick served a restricted book of mares whilst still racing in 2015 and has had a terrific book of close to 130 mares this year.  His first crop of foals look outstanding types and can be viewed on the Diamond Creek Farm website (www.diamondcreekfarm.com) and Facebook page. Available in Australasia via frozen semen, Father Patrick's fee for the 2016-17 season is NZ$9,000 +GST (AU$9,900 incl GST). The service fee is pay on live foal and he is included in the Nevele R multiple mare discounts. There is limited semen available and bookings will be taken on a first in first served basis. For more information or bookings please visit nevelerstud.co.nz or phone the Nevele R office 03 349 8627, Nikki Reed 0274 346 401 or from Australia free-phone 1800 150 855.

Bets of the week ringaround 6 winners for the ring around, selected by, Short priced special, Andre Poutama, Ricky May, Stephen McNally, Nathan Williamson and Bob Butt. This week we cover 5 meetings Forbury Park - Thursday Night John Morrison - Tact Ollie, Race 1. Matt Cross - Carrie Miss Mach, Race 2. Nathan Williamson - Golden Gate Race 6. Peter Scaife - Tuherbs Two Race 8. Mystery Value Place Bet - Hudson Sally, Race 8. Addington Raceway - Friday Night Mystery Each way -  Laughing Cavalier, Race 1. Andrew Fitzgerald - Royal Jester, Race 3. Bob Butt - Junior, Race 4. Blair Orange - Expressive Victor, Race 5. Brad Williamson - Brads Kenny, Race 7. Craig Ferguson - Mr Handle Man, Race 9. Short Priced Special - G I Joe, Race 11. Alexandra Park - Friday Night Andre Poutama - Like A Hurricane, Race 2. John Curtin - Rakarazor, Race 4. Oamaru Raceway - Sunday Afternoon Jonny Cox - Maddisons Desire, Race 4 John Dunn - Blood and Whiskey, Race 5. Waikato - Sunday Afternoon Stephen Richardson - Party Rage, Race 1. Jay Abernethy - Sliver Stream - Race 8.     Harnesslink Media

A brief look at some of the happenings from the past week in the world of harness racing. POUTAMA CLOSES IN ON 100 Popular North Island junior driver, Andre Poutama moved to within striking distance of his 100th career winning drive with a victory on Reine Des Gitans on Friday night at Alexandra Park. The Pukekohe based junior took his season tally to 29, a personal best, in the process. Currently fourth on the national junior drivers’ premiership, Poutama is just two wins behind his closest rival, Craig Ferguson with less than a month of racing remaining in the season. MUSCLE MASS AVAILABLE DOWN UNDER Nevele R Stud were pleased to announce that they have secured the rights to provide frozen semen from outstanding trotting sire, Muscle Mass to New Zealand breeders this breeding season. The sire of the 2YO Ruby quinella last month in Custodian and Heavyweight Hero, Muscle Mass is expected to be in high demand and already Nevele R has insisted breeders book early as only a limited amount of semen is being made available to both New Zealand and Australia. LIVE TO TELL LEADING IRON HORSE Burnham pacer, Live To Tell, has one hand on the title of the 2015-2016 season’s Iron Horse. The Bruce Negus trained pacer, who raced twice at Forbury on Friday night, has lined up on 40 occasions so far this season - has won twice and placed on four occasions. She will race again on Thursday night at Addington as will her closest rivals, Hudson Sally who has had 38 starts. Hudson Sally is also nominated for the Oamaru meeting on Sunday. DUAL ROLE FOR ONE OVER DA MOON Brilliantly bred trotter, One Over Da Moon will be available to breeders this season. The highly talented square gaiter who won the Ashburton Trotters’ Flying Mile earlier this season will serve a dual role for his owners Lex and Heather Williams. As well as spending time in the breeding barn, he will also continue to race - initially with Paul Nairn before returning to the the North Island and into the care of Tony Herlihy. A son of brilliant mare, One Over Kenny, One Over Da Moon lacks for nothing in the breeding department and will hold strong appeal for breeders across Australasia. DJOKOVIC CHASING FOUR IN A ROW While his namesake might have bowed out of Wimbledon earlier this week, it’s full steam ahead for Djokovic on Friday night. The Luk Chin trained trotter will be looking to go one step further than the usual game, set and match when he shoots for his fourth consecutive win against a handy field of trotters at Alexandra Park. The son of Sundon will have his 80th start on Friday night. MILESTONE WATCH A number of horseman around the country are currently sitting close to notable milestones in their careers. Jimmy Curtin is just two wins shy of 1500 driving wins in New Zealand, Phil Williamson is four wins short of 500 while Dean Taylor is currently on 492 training wins. In the North Island, Steven Reid is on 990 career wins. On Friday night at at Forbury Park, popular Southland horseman, Brent Barclay reached 600 driving wins for his career with a double. He reached the target when he won the Forbury Sprint Series with Risk Factor before Bettor Go Hurry took him to 601 wins. SOUTH OF THE WAITAKI SERIES KICKS OFF Nominations for the first heat of the Macca Lodge Trained South of the Waitaki Series which is this Friday night at Addington are strong. 14 horses have been nominated for the event, which is open to horses who are three-year-old and older and handicapped at C1 and below prior to nominations closing for the first heat provided they were trained south of the Waitaki river prior to May 1 this year. There are three rounds of heats held over the month of July with an $11,000 final at the end of the month. The first ever series, held last season, was won by Tact Tate.   HRNZ MEDIA

Outstanding Kiwi pacer, Christen Me, will have to overcome a tricky second line draw if he is to win Saturday night’s harness racing Group Two Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park. The Cran Dalgety trained gelding will start from the inside of the second row in the 1660m event - the same draw which saw him beaten in the Wondias Mate two weeks ago. On that occasion his regular pilot, Dexter Dunn, was able to extricate his charge off the fence and into the running line early but that task might not be quite as simple this week. In his favour is that he follows out an in-form Ultimate Art who does have strong gate speed. So Dunn will have a decision to make early on as to whether or not he takes the gamble at staying on Ultimate Art’s back or whether he tries to get off the fence again. Dalgety, who is currently holidaying with his family in America, said late last week that Christen Me had progressed on nicely since his first up run and was doing well in the care of his travelling companion, Murray Howard. “The reports from Muz have all been very positive,” Dalgety said. “He should be an improved horse with that run under his belt but he will have to be because it’s going to be a lot stronger this time round.” Len Smith Mile winner, Hectorjayjay has made the trip to Queensland for this week and then next’s weeks $200,000 Blacks A Fake - while Ohoka Punter adds another dimension to the race as well. The Nathan Purdon trained pacer, who was third in the Len Smith Mile after doing a power of work hasn’t been blessed with a great barrier draw either, starting from the outside of the second line. Fellow Kiwi pacer, Nek Time received a much better draw in her bid to win back-to-back Oaks for Terry and Glenys Chmiel. The speedy filly, who dominated Saturday night’s Gold Coast Oaks has drawn up well in barrier four this week for the $75,000 Group One Queensland Oaks. Owned by Robert and Sharyn Symon, Nek Time is an outside chance of extending her Brisbane stay to contest next week’s Queensland Derby. If she was to win this week she would then be in line for a $30,000 bonus as part of the UBET Picket Fence Initiative which rewards horses who can win twice in the lead up to the grand finale night of racing on July 16 and win one of four selected races on that programme. Already a winner of the Southland Oaks and Harness 5000 on New Zealand soil this season a win this weekend and then potentially even the following week would cap off an incredible season. From 16 starts this season the daughter of Gotta Go Cullect has won on six occasions with six further placings. She’s won $90,000 in the process with the promise of a lot more both on and off the track in the future. Matt Markham

Did Hanress Racing owner Neil Pilcher have a wee inkling or was it yet another smart business move by Trevor Casey? A few days prior to Our Waikiki Beach’s first defeat in 20 starts at Menangle yesterday (Tuesday) Casey bought out Pilcher’s third share in the gifted 3-year-old. Casey now owns two thirds of Our Waikiki Beach with the remaining third owned by Cheryl Rasmussen of Australia. “Neil doesn’t want to travel around as much as he used to and I’m the opposite when I work allows. He’s had a lot of success in racing and I made an offer to him. “I wanted to keep the major shareholding in New Zealand,” Casey told Harness Racing New Zealand a few hours before Our Waikiki Beach’s shock 1.4 metre second behind outsider Ideal Situation in the $9,000 C91.3 FM Mobile for the C5-plus pacers. The $1.10 hot favourite and Luke McCarthy led into the straight but was overhauled 50m out. The winning time for the mile was 1:52.8 with 28.3, 28.9, 27.9, and 27.7 sectionals. It was also the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained bay’s first defeat in 13 starts on the track. He has recorded a 1:50.6 mile at Menangle. But Casey who travelled to Sydney to watch his pride and joy run, rated the Somebeachsomewhere gelding right up there with Lazarus and Stent as the best horses he has owned. “Mark and Natalie have always had a high opinion of this horse and he has reinforced that on the racetrack. He could be anything. People have told me he could easily go a sub 1:50 mile. There’s not much between him and Lazarus but just now I’d probably rate him second just behind Lazarus,” Casey said. “It’s amazing to think that I part-own two of the best 3-year-olds going around in Australasia,” he added. Casey and his co-owners paid $70,000 for Our Waikiki Beach at the Melbourne Sales, simply because they wanted to buy a well-bred Somebeachsomewhere gelding. The 55-year-old Christchurch businessman said the horse nicknamed ‘Barney’ would line up in a Breeder’s Crown heat in Sydney next week before heading to Melton for the Finals next month. Thereafter Casey said Our Waikiki Beach would spell for six weeks and then come back and tackle the big 4-year-old races in both Australia and at Alexandra Park. “The Chariots Of Fire, the Taylor Mile and the Messenger are races I’d like to see him start in but as always Mark and Natalie will make the final call. “They are very astute trainers and I back them in all they do. I’m guided by them,” said Casey. He said Our Waikiki Beach would not start in this year’s New Zealand Cup but fellow 3-year-old Lazarus would. “No we will be concentrating on the 4-year-old races with him next season. He will line up in a Cup one day but not next year. That is Lazarus’s target and at this stage of their respective careers he’s more the Cup horse,” said Casey. As for records Casey said enjoy them while you can. “They all get broken eventually. I just love seeing my horses win and if they happen to break records or run quick times, then that’s a bonus,” he said. Our Waikiki Beach has won four Group 1 races. As a 2-year-old he won the Australian Pacing Gold, the New South Wales Breeders Challenge and the Australasian Breeders Crown. This season he took out the rich New South Wales Derby. The gelding has won $674,221 in his career and there has never been a faster three year old in the Southern Hemisphere. Our Waikiki Beach equalled the time set by Border Control of 1:50.6 when he won a race at Menangle in February. Only six standardbreds have won more than 19 consecutive races in Australasia. San Simeon holds the record with a winning streak of 29. Lucky Creed, Maori’s Idol and Courage Under Fire won 24 races in a row while Aachen and Lyell Creek won 20. With his second placing on Tuesday Our Waikiki Beach joined Satinover, Hyperstat, Village Kid and Lombo Pocket Watch with 19 consecutive wins. Auckland Reactor won his first 17 races in a row. Duane Ranger

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After short break in the harnesslink bets of the week ringaround along with some staffing changes, we will be back in the new season with an even bigger and better account of the drivers best chances for the coming weeks racing. From next week we will endeavor to have this page out and published before 10am each Thursday. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often. This week there are three harness racing meetings in New Zealand and we will have the drivers best selections for them available on Friday afternoon. Alexandra Park – Friday night Peter Scaife - Says that Vibhuti will be hard to beat in Race 2 Maurice McKendry - Says the the well bred 2yo filly Shieldmaiden will be hard to beat in Race 4 John Curtin - Thinks Ultimate Angel will improve this week and is a real danger in Race 4 Tony Herlihy - Says that his best chance this week is Bonnie Khaleesi in Race 5 Todd Mitchell - Believes that Doudleodeano can beat Tony's pick in Race 5 Todd MacFarlane - Bullish on the chances of Harrysul in Race 6 Sean McCaffrey - Really likes Norvic Ruby in Race 8 Geoff Small - Hopes that Everlasting Grace (as lease is expiring) can win this week in Race 8 Scott Phelan - Just back from a holiday and says Trilogy will win Race 9 Steve Richardson (TAB) – Thinks George can win after being freshened in Race 10    NZ Metro at Addington on Friday night Ricky May - Says that Cruzy Dude will be hard to beat in Race 1 Blair Orange - Holidaying in Fiji but thinks with a drop down in class Ranfurly Rulz will win Race 4 Tim Williams - Gives a chance to his only drive tonight in Northview Betta in Race 7 Harnesslink workout reporter -- Gives Franco Tristan a good chance of winning his first start in Race 9 Nathan Williamson - Has no drives this week but says he cannot see Stars Align getting beaten in Race 10   NZ Metro at Addington on Sunday Gavin Smith - Even from the second row Gavin thinks that he can win with Donegal Jimmy Dave in Race 4 Bob Butt - Says that Easy Rider can win Race 5 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks that Tornado Valley will win if he steps in Race 6 Mark Jones - Mark says that his pick of the week this week is Glenferrie Classic in Race 7 Harnesslink video reviewer – Thinks Dreamy Damian is a great each way chance in Race 8   Harnesslink Media
Thursday August 4 will be the first meeting in the trial of a Ratings System in harness racing. Following a robust process that identified four critical areas that needed review, a Ratings system has been developed to trial in the hope to improve the position of harness racing and create a more fluid, competitive and vibrant racing environment in the North Island.   The three-month trial was approved by the HRNZ Board in June following the development of the Ratings concept. Four key areas were identified where harness racing needed to improve. These were: 1. Create opportunities for average to poor maiden (non-winning) horses. 2. Create better pathways to ensure the competitiveness of struggling one-win horses. 3. Correct the imbalance created by the concessions for two and three-year-old horses. 4. Create a more effective system of allowing horses to ‘drop back’ when proving uncompetitive.   The Ratings System will operate as the name suggests. Horses will be rated on their performances, whether it is winners, placegetters or unplaced horses. The system is bound by a schedule of Guiding Principles approved by HRNZ. The Guiding Principles have been designed to give appropriate penalties for the performances of horses and to provide a flexible system that enables horses to race their way to their true level of competition. Auckland Trotting Club Racing Manager Kevin Smith, who has been an integral part of the development of the Ratings System, is understandably buoyant about the prospects moving into the trial. “I believe the Ratings will even out the racing population and lead us to where we need to be in terms of creating like-with-like racing opportunities. Potentially we also envisage that this system will create avenues for horses that may not have been competitive or adequately catered for in the past.” HRNZ Board Member and Licensed trainer, Rob Lawson, acts as the Chairman of the HRNZ Handicapping Sub-Committee. He too is enthusiastic about the Ratings trial. “I’m excited about the potential opportunities that will be given to horses, regardless of their ability. This is something completely new and there’s been a drive for change to allow the disaffected groups of horses a chance to prosper – we hope this Ratings System will achieve that, for the future good of harness racing.” Lawson is also delighted with how quickly the project has come to fruition. From a basic, conceptual starting point just a few months ago the trial is now ready to go. “It’s been a great team effort to get to this point, especially from the HRNZ I.T. and Racing Departments who have pulled the concept together well administratively and on a computing basis under tough time constraints.” The Ratings System trial is intended to initially be three-months long; however should the trial prove successful it is likely to be extended and potentially applied nationally.   For more information on the Ratings System and its Guiding Principles visit www.hrnz.co.nz   Stacey Markham
FRIDAY 29 JULY $50,000 Terminating harness racing turbo Pick6 Leg 1 at 8:06pm: Addington Harness, Race 6 Leg 2 at 8:16pm: Alexandra Park Harness, Race 6  Leg 3 at 8:06pm: Addington Harness, Race 7 Leg 4 at 8:46pm: Alexandra Park Harness, Race 7 Leg 5 at 8:06pm: Addington Harness, Race 8 Leg 6 at 9:17pm: Alexandra Park Harness, Race 8   Leg 1 Mr Mojito looks the anchor of the night if he can step away from the stand. He seems a sensible type but most of his racing has been from the mobiles.He will be too good for the rest if he can step and race handy.   Leg 2 The two open class trotters Mum’s Pride and Harrysul look to have a strangle hold on this race starting off even marks from behind the mobile against the lower class trotters.   Leg 3 Luciano has won his last three starts and the last two against similar opposition to this field. He could prove to be too tough again, but it is a tricky field and it is worth throwing in a couple of backups. Soapbox almost beat Luciano two starts ago and has a better draw to contend with so needs to be included. The other two Brendon McLellan trained horses Mr Handleman and Vera’s Delight were both good last start and the extra distance of this race will suit so both need to be included here.   Leg 4 The sprint trip of 1700m will suit the two Barry Purdon trained runners of New Years Jay and Hug The Wind and we think you only need those two horses in this leg.   Leg 5 Another tricky leg over the sprint for the C1 trotters from behind the mobile.  Cuddly Jess has the draw and flashed home late last start so possibly the pick of them here. Also include Craddock who won easily like a horse going places last start. Blood And Whisky from the powerful Robert Dunn stable and My Amour from the Greg and Nina Hope stable also need to be included and can win. Total Exposure with Colin DeFilippi driving is also a runner’s chance in this field.   Leg Six We have gone shorter in a few of the earlier legs so can afford to put in a few extra’s in this leg. Include Will Desire coming in fresh for the Geoff Small stable, Turnbulls who won well at the trials last week, Chevrons Easy who was in devastating form sitting parked and winning easily last week, Norvic Ruby looks to be coming back into form and is a good mare when right and Everlasting Grace also in good form and worth putting in here.   $20.00 for 10%            CONFIDENCE RATING 75% Leg 1      1 Leg 2      6,8 Leg 3      1,4,7,8 Leg 4      3,5 Leg 5      1,7,8,12,14 Leg 6      2,3,6,7,8   Harnesslink Media
Gotta Go Ya Hu a 2yo Big Jim gelding set the Motukarara harness racing workout tongues wagging on Saturday 23rd May when clearing out to win his heat by a wide margin. Trained by Robert Dunn and driven by Ross Houghton he settled in midfield for most of the race but started a quick move with half a lap remaining and whipped over his last 800m in a very quick 55.4 seconds (hand timed). His Motukarara workout suggests he is nearing peak fitness and he could quickly provide another win for successful owners Clive and Rhona Mckay who were on track to see his winning workout on Saturday. Gotta Go Ya Hu's next official race will be in race 10 at Addington on Friday night where he will do battle with another good two year old from the Purdon/Rasmussen stable in Stars Align.  Harnesslink Media
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