Day At The Track
Maddie Collins

Over $100k raised for Maddie Collins

Last night over $100k was raised in a sell-out event for the gorgeous Maddie Collins to help her get to America for her kidney transplant.  With Maddie having no kidneys and there being no matching donor in New Zealand, a whopping $750k is needed for her to make this trip. Addington would personally like to thank all our sponsors, companies and individuals who contributed to making this evening possible.  Absolutely everything including the delicious cuisine, extraordinary auction items to the elaborate theming were all gifted so every dollar raised could be given to Maddie. A big thank you to Gary McCormick, Shane Cortese, Blair Strang, Andrew Mehrtens and Mayor Tim Shadbolt for a fabulous night of entertainment.  To Richard Bromley, the auctioneer, without your help, we wouldn’t have raised nearly as much for Maddie. Key points from the night; The Lamar Charitable Trust presented Maddie with a $10k cheque on the night. There was a very last minute auction item added (at the end of the night), with a one of a kind pair of Maddie’s hand sewn pillowslips fetching $2k in the auction. Dinner with the RT Hon Winston Peters at Bellamy’s, Parliament House with air flights was auctioned and sold for $10k. Pre-dinner drinks with the Prime Minister and dinner with Hon Minister Amy Adams at Bellamy’s, Parliament House with $300 towards air flights was auctioned and sold for $10k. The Leopard Coachlines 20 piece Brass Band were playing as everyone arrived which set the scene for the night. Maddie stole the show and looked absolutely beautiful in a yellow evening dress. It would be hard to find a dry eye in the room after her heart felt speech. Maddie’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/maddiecollins/ Give A Little page - https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/givethegiftoflifetomaddie

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Record Season for the Met Multiplier

After a record 2016-2017 harness racing season where $450,000 was paid out in Met Multiplier bonuses, there has been one minor amendment made to the long standing conditions of the successful initiative, which will take effect from 1 August 2017. From this date, no win or start in an amateur drivers’ race will be regarded as a qualifying race in terms of the Met Multiplier criteria. Please note that any horse that has currently either won or started in an amateur race, which was held prior to 31 July 2017, will not be disadvantaged in any way. For clarification, this change in qualifying conditions will not apply to those historical performances which presently count towards qualification for the bonus. Any queries please contact the Clubs Racing Secretary Brian Rabbitt for further information on 03-338-9094.   

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The last chance

Tonight’s Alexandra Park meeting will be the last chance for Bourbon Street and Saffron Castleton to win the Auckland Trotting Club’s 2016-2017 performance incentive scheme. Racing manager, Regan Cotter, said the Warren Castleton trained and Alicia Harrison driven Saffron Castleton stood to win $4,000 (half the race stake) in race four, while the Cheree Wigg trained and Tony Cameron (j) driven Bourbon Street could pocket the same in the fifth event. “Friday’s meeting will officially be the last meeting for eligible horses wanting to win the performance incentive bonus. No new entries have been taken into the scheme since July 31 last year, but for those horses who entered in the scheme up to that date and who have been making the required payments have until July 31 - so effectively July 28 - to receive the bonus. “I wish the connections of both horses well. Bourbon Street went oh so close a few starts ago so Friday night could be the perfect way to end Cheree Wigg’s training successful season,” Cotter said. He also said tonight’s (Friday) meeting will kick also off the first night of the North Island Standardbred Breeders Winter Bonus Series for fillies and mares. “This is a six meeting series (three here and three at Cambridge) and entry is automatic for any non-winner or winner trotting or pacing filly or mare that starts at any of the six meetings,” he said. Those meetings are Auckland (July 28); Cambridge (August 3); Auckland (August 11); Cambridge (August 17); Auckland (August 25); and Cambridge (September 7). "The NZSBA wanted to get a six-race series off the ground throughout the winter months, to promote fillies and mares racing in the upper North Island. “After consultation with the soon-to-be elected Cambridge Raceway Operations Manager, David Branch; Harness Racing New Zealand North Island Handicapper Kevin Smith; Cathy Shaw (of NISBA); Karen; and myself, we came up with a six-race series comprising three races each at Alexandra Park and Cambridge Raceway," Cotter said. Meanwhile Cotter said there were some other interesting battles both on the last night of the season and meetings in August. “Big Mach and King Of Swing are tipped to be going over for the Breeders Crown so that should be an interesting clash in weeks to come, and Craig Smith is now in the Jeremy Young barn. Could this be his first Alexandra Park win in his first drive here?” Smith will drive the Wigg trained Curlimore, who will be having his second start on the track. He will be improved by that run but from the rough second row draw his stablemate, Bourbon Street, looks a better chance from gate three. Two of Bourbon Street's three career wins have been at Alexandra Park - both of them over tonight's distance. He was a nice third here on July 7 from gate two and a fortnight earlier he was a game second behind the talented Richard Le Fort. However, Bourbon Street hasn't won a race since July 3, 2015. Duane Ranger

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Addington fixed odds movers 28-07-2017

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:15am   Race 1 - Elvis P $2.00 easily leads multi betting over Thank U George $6.80.   Race 2 - Donegal Lucy Anne $2.80 leads win betting over My Nikayla $7.00 with Theboyslightup $3.60 leading multi betting over Shebang $3.50.   Race 3 - Say Your Pres $5.00 - $3.50 is easily the best backed in win betting over Rocknpop $5.00 - $4.60. Diana Harbour $3.20 easily leads multi betting over Rocknpop.    Race 4 - Take After me $5.00 leads win betting with Earthquake $2.90 leading multi betting.    Race 5 - Especial $2.60 clearly leads multi betting in a very quiet win market.   Race 6 - Alpha Rock $4.20 leads win betting with Hypervelocity $3.10 leading multi betting over Lovetodream $3.80.   Race 7 - Woodlea Shawn $11.50 - $7.00 easily leads win betting with Cullenburn $3.00 leading multi betting over Mikey Maguire $3.50.   Race 8 - Ronald J $1.40 is easily the most backed runner on the race card in multi betting.    Race 9 - Cullenmore $10.00 leads win betting over Van Laddie $4.80 with Revving a clear leader in multi betting.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Alexandra Park harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:10am Race 1 - The only two runners taking money here are Parker $3.50 - $4.00  and Somethingaboutmary $2.90 who does lead multi betting over the former.    Race 2 - Cmeerock $3.40 is a clear leader in multi betting with Chal Shocked $13.00 - $12.00 leading win betting over Cmeerock.   Race 3 - Sex On Fire $2.30 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 4 - A quiet win market early with Bourbon Street $4.20 leading multi betting over Lis Rulz $4.20.   Race 5 - Some early support for Mortician $21 with Angus Burga $2.40 a clear leader in multi betting.   Race 6 - Dance Time $4.50 leads win and multi betting.   Race 7 - The $2.80 favourite Yagunnakissmeornot easily leads multi betting with some early win support coming for Majestic Ali $10.00 and The Almighty Johnson $4.20.   Race 8 - Vasari $2.80 leads multi betting over Bettors Pocket $9.20 and Max Phactor $3.90.   Race 9 - My Generation $2.80 - $2.50 is the best backed runner in win betting on the card early with the largest bet taken $1,500 at $2.80. Money is also coming for the first starter Spritz $6.00 - $5.00. Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

It was another good week last week for the harness racing ringaround with several winners selected again. John Curtin had the best dividend last week when Utmost Delight won at Alexandra Park on Friday night and paid $3.90 to win on the tote. More winter racing for the ringaround but very quiet with only the three meetings again this week. Addington and Alexandra Park are both racing on Friday night with another $50.000 terminating turbo pick six available that is split between those two meetings. Oamaru will be run on Sunday. Alexandra Park on Friday night Andre Poutama - Andre is opting for Linc's Tiger as his best drive in Race 1 Tony Herlihy - says that Cmeerock would be a good  chance this week in Race 2 Jay Abernethy - Jay thinks Kate Jackson is his best chance this week in Race 4 Todd Macfarlane -  Todd says Banner Of Art would be his best chance tonight in Race 9 Kyle Marshall - Kyle is going for My Generation as his best chance tonight also in Race 9   Addington on Friday night Blair Orange - Blair is going for Theboyslightup as his best drive this week in Race 2 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - thinks Alvira Hest is a good winning chance in Race 3 John Curtin - thinks Take After Me would be a great winning chance again in Race 4 Ricky May - Ricky is opting for Cullenburn as his best chance tonight in Race 7 Harnesslink Reporter - says Cullenmore can get some money at Addington in Race 9   Oamaru on Sunday Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard says that Leo's Gift would be a place chance in Race 1 Gavin Smith - Gavin says his best chance this week is Admiral at Oamaru in Race 2 Terry Chmiel - Terry is going for Crafty Cullen as his best chance this week also in Race 2 John Morrison - John is picking Classie Cullect as his best drive this week in Race 3 Brad Williamson - Brad thinks Playboy's Brother would be his best drive this week in Race 4 Racechat - Lance thinks Man Of Steel is a good winning chance at Oamaru in Race 5 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory is going for Danielle Amore as his best drive this week in Race 7 Matthew Williamson - Matthew thinks his best drive this week would be Speedy Mach in Race 8 Mark Jones - Mark thinks Joey Maquire would be his best chance at Oamaru in Race 9   Harnesslink Media  

In a perfect world, Mark Jones wouldn’t be taking Say Your Pres to Addington tonight but the lure of a concession victory for the three-year-old trotter was enough to get him interested in heading out at night in the middle of winter. Under the current handicapping system, a win tonight for the talented young trotter would net half the rating points that it would next week when she will be a four-year-old, so Jones is looking to make a bit of hay while the sun is shining. “She’s probably not 100 per cent screwed down just yet,” he said. “But she’s good enough to win it I think, her workout the other day was pretty good.” The daughter of The Pres won at her second start back in February but subsequent starts have failed to net positive results, Jones was never worried though and knew it was only time that was holding him back from the finish product. “It’s a family that gets better with time and I know that she will. “She’s actually better this time in than she was last time, so hopefully we are headed in the right direction.” Jones will don himself in the white helmet and the vest tonight himself to drive the filly and his expectations are reasonably realistic from behind the mobile arm. “Like I said, she’s good enough to win it, but if she doesn’t she’ll only keep getting better.” Say Your Pres is the only runner from the Jones stable engaged tonight, but the former World Driving Champion will be in action on four occasions in a rare night of outside driving. “I’m making a comeback, either that or they must be really short of drivers.” Jones has hopped in the sulky just 84 times this season and will register the least amount of drives in a season for his entire career when the season ticks over next week. “I’ve been focussed on the training and the selling side of things, I still enjoy getting out there and driving, but it’s just not the priority.” He teams up with an old comrade in Dean Taylor for two of his other drives tonight with Scotlyn Mach and Scotlyn Justis and both are solid each way chances. “You know what you get with Dean’s team and they both have good draws so hopefully they can be there or thereabouts.” His other drive is the talented, but enigmatic, Cullenmore for another good supporter in Andrew Garters. Matt Markham’s Addington Selections Race 1: Sunrise Spur, Elvis P, Family Night, Girlz N Boyz Race 2: My Nikayla, Donegal Lucy Anne, Theboyslightup, Shebang Race 3: Say Your Pres, Diana Harbour, Shpeedy, Rocknpop Race 4: Black Art, Earthquake, Shesa Tricky Bridge, Flamboyant Race 5: Especial, Vera’s Delight, Jody Direen, Pantastic Race 6: Alpha Rock, Christopher Banner, Lovetodream, Hypervelocity Race 7: Cullenburn, Mikey Maguire, For The Corz, Woodlea Shawn Race 8: Ronald J, Hey Yo, Idle Monkey, Donegal Bettorgretch Race 9: Van Laddie, Revving, Tupelo Mississippi, The Tin Soldier Best Bet: Cullenburn (Race 7) Value: My Nikayala (Race 2)

A 40m handicap coupled with a junior driver might usually be a recipe that makes punters nervous but trainer Robert Dunn is comfortable with both at Alexandra Park tonight. Dunn trains rejuvenated mare Yagunnakissmeornot who faces that often prohibitive back mark with young Jack MacKinnon in the sulky tonight, taking over from her recent winning driver Maurice McKendry. MacKinnon is no novice, his 16 wins for the season placing him sixth on the national junior driver’s premiership and second equal among the North Island junior and boss Dunn has no concerns by the driver change. “Jack knows her well and a very good young driver as well as being very mature,” said Dunn. “She can be a funny horse to drive and took us a long time to work out because she is vastly better when you drive her with a sit, which Maurice has done brilliantly lately. “But Jack knows that and in many ways that and her handicap takes any pressure off him because he already knows where he is likely to be and what he needs to do.” Backing favourites off 40m handicaps in feature trots at Alexandra Park is not a sound long-term financial plan but Yagunnakissmeornot has been racing like an open class trotter, beating many of her rivals tonight by six lengths under similar circumstances two starts ago. “And the make up of the field helps us,” says Dunn. “Most of the really good horses in the race are back on 30m so she should be with them straight after the start and I don’t see a tearaway leader to run them really hard off the front line.  “So I think she can win, even though they don’t often off 40m.” Dunn, who trains the northern arm of his team while son John takes care of the Canterbury horses, sits second on the national premiership with 87 wins and thinks he can end the season with at least two, maybe three tonight.  “Cmeerock has a good chance in race two because it is her sort of field, although we have worked out she is also best when driven with a sit. “And the horse who has really improved for us has been Johnny White (race six).  “He has always had ability but developed a few problems and took us ages to get right. “But he won well last Friday and has the draw to be handy again this week. If he leads or trails, which I think he will, then he has to be hard to beat.” The pacing highlight of the night will be Butcher dominated, with drivers David (Vasari), Zac (Northview Hustler) and Ben (Max Phactor) on the three favourites. Max Phactor was a very brave second when the tempo of his comeback race was against him last Friday and might have an experience/class edge over his three-year-old rivals but tonight is his first standing start so punters will want $3.50 to take the chance, even though as a very clean pacer who should handle the stand.  Michael Guerin

Jack MacKinnon will be looking to put the icing on another premiership-winning season at Alexandra Park on Friday. The 22-year-old Pukekohe horseman has all but wrapped up the 2016-2017 Junior Driving premiership at northern headquarters and should seal the title when he reins hot favourite Yagunnakissmeornot in the seventh event. MacKinnon’s title comes a year after he won last season's Junior Driving premiership by a 0.159 of a point on the UDR strike rate. Both he, Andre Poutama and Kyle Marshall all recorded seven wins apiece. This year MacKinnon has won nine races at Alexandra Park – three more than Robert Argue. Sean Grayling is actually second, with eight wins, but he now resides in New South Wales. Unless Argue can win all three of his Friday drives and MacKinnon can't pick up a winner in four attempts on then MacKinnon will pick up his second consecutive Alexandra Park Junior Driving title. “It’s been an a very good season and I’m delighted to have won the Alexandra Park premiership again, because it is the main track in the North island and you never get sick of winning there. “I have been able to drive better horses this year and that’s why I’m getting more winners. I’m grateful to everyone who has helped me especially Robert Dunn, Tim Vince and Steve Telfer & Chris Garlick. They have been very supportive. “I think my season highlight was training and driving Kissmeimloaded in the Jewels Final (3yo Ruby Trot) this year. That was my goal at the start of the season and I achieved it,” MacKinnon said. “My next goal would be to represent New Zealand at the Australasian Junior Driving Champs,” he added. MacKinnon has recorded a personal best 16 wins this season ($155,745) – nine at ‘The Park’ and seven at Cambridge Raceway. His previous best in five seasons of driving was the 12 wins ($145,123) he recorded last year. All-up the former Mount Albert Grammar student has won 40 of his 523 lifetimes starts, placed 95 times, and netted $426,406 in career stakes. His lifetime UDR is 0.1606 compared to his 0.1942 this season. The Robert Dunn employee should win at least one race on Friday. He said Yagunnakissmeornot had come of age lately and MacKinnon thought he would be very hard to beat. “Robert has worked her out and since then she’s really come of age. She seems to be getting better with each race. She is my best drive on Friday,” MacKinnon said. Here’s what he had to say about his quartet of drives: Race 4: The Ivan Court trained Arden Lustre (8) - “He’s up here from the South Island staying with Steve and Chris, and he won his workout pretty well on Saturday. It’s not going to be easy from the draw, but Steve is happy with him and we expect him to go a bold race first-up.” Race 5: The Stephen Argue trained Speedy Lavros (10) - “He didn’t go too bad last time but he can be a funny horse at the start. He’s a hit or miss type but feels like he will win one next season. Things would have to go his way from his unruly (five) draw.” Race 6: The Robert Dunn trained Lambros (9) - “Three-year-old who should go better this week. He’s still learning but follows out his stablemate (last start winner, Johnny White) which should assist him. First four.” Race 7: The Robert Dunn trained Yagunnakissmeornot (11) - “Lovely mare who shouldn’t be too bothered with the 40m handicap, because she does things right at the start and loves this distance (2700m). She has won three of her last four starts and finished second and it's good to be back driving her again. She’s the best horse in Robert’s Pukekohe barn. It took a while for Robert to work her out but now that he’s achieved that she’s a very serious trotter. She’s been unstoppable of late and I think that trend should continue on Friday. The other good horses in the race are also handicapped. It would be a great way to end the season for me. I would love to win my 10th race on the track and I’ve got a very sensible horse to do it.” Duane Ranger

Nevele R Stud’s grand elder statesman Live Or Die has been retired from stud duties and will not be available this coming harness racing breeding season. Despite being perennially under-rated in many quarters, the rising 25-year-old has been a tremendously successful sire for the stud over the years and has achieved far more than many of his higher priced, dual hemisphere rivals. The former world champion 2-year-old was popular with breeders from the outset, serving 100 plus mares for 13 consecutive seasons from 1997 on, peaking at an incredible 435 mares in New Zealand alone in the 2002 season. He was New Zealand’s leading first season sire in 2001 - with that initial foal crop featuring both the champion filly Elect To Live, the 2YO and 3YO Pacing Filly of her Year, as well as New Zealand’s Harness Horse of the Year at three years of age, and the dual NZ Cup winner and 4YO and Aged Pacer of the Year Just An Excuse. Other stand out pacers by him over the years included the likes of the Australian bred four-time Derby and Miracle Mile winner Divisive, the tough as teak Hunter Cup winner Bondy, the multiple Australian Oaks winner Dance Of Life, the Australian 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year Scandalman and the $500,000 plus earning Grand Circuit winners Power Of Tara and Bold Cruiser. In an era dominated by Christian Cullen, Live Or Die was NZ’s leading pacing sire in 2007 and runner-up a further three times. He also went close to being Australia’s leading sire in the 2009/10 season, finishing a close second to Village Jasper that year. He is just the second NZ based sire, after another Nevele R stalwart, Holmes Hanover, to sire 1000 individual winners and to date he is the sire of more than 1230 winners and has progeny earnings of over $60 million. All up Live Or Die is the sire of 18 individual Group 1 winners, including six Grand Circuit winners, eight individual Derby champions and three millionaires. Although retired, Live Or Die’s influence on the Australasian breeding and racing industry will continue to be felt for many years to come with his daughters having already produced close to 20 Group 1 winners to date including the triple NZ Cup winner Terror To Love, the Harness Jewels winners Major Mark, Lizzie Maguire, Elusive Chick and Gotta Go Harmony, the champion WA mare Libertybelle Midfrew and last season’s Australian 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year Rocknroll Magic. One of Australia’s best 3-year-old fillies this season, Shartin, the recent winner of the Queensland Oaks, is also out of a Live Or Die mare. Live Or Die will spend his much deserved retirement at Nevele R Stud’s Canterbury farm. Harnesslink Media

With its meetings and daily functions business well established, Alexandra Park is increasingly attracting large multi-day conferences and conventions, says Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt. “We may not have a hotel on-site but we offer great proximity to the central city and airport. That’s a big plus for many attendees who are quite happy to organise their own accommodation and make the most of our central location and free carparking,” he says. Alexandra Park is a big player in the Auckland functions market hosting about 1,000 different meetings and events every year. “We’re hearing a lot about the new tunnels making it easier to get to the airport. However, we’ve always been just 20 minutes from the airport which is great for delegates flying in and international speakers or attendees.” On top of providing top quality functions and receiving great food reviews, ongoing improvements to its functions centre remain a priority for Alexandra Park. Mr Reichardt says they also encourage people to also make good use of their outdoor spaces in the heart of Epsom, including their covered stable complex that can be used for the likes of large sit-down dinners and offers a real point of difference.  Various associations and clubs, corporates, and government agencies remain Alexandra Park’s biggest clients for functions with much repeat business. “In addition to hosting plenty of daily delegates, we do a lot of school balls, private functions, weddings, and offer all sorts of packages to suit. However, more and more we’re securing large groups and associations for conferences that stretch over a number of days. Our pricing is also proving to be a big deciding factor. “Not everyone is a big multi-national with a huge conference budget. The reality is a lot of groups are not-for-profit or membership based. If they want to attract attendees they need to ensure their conferences offer good value for money, and we can help them achieve that.” Alexandra Park can cater for 20 to 700 guests and has eight function rooms. “Our dedicated functions team really prides itself on offering expert advice. We provide flexible solutions, tailor menu and beverage packages, sort all audio-visual requirements, and just take away a lot of the worry for conference organisers,” says Mr Reichardt. For bookings or information phone (09) 630-5660, email enquiries@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Joel Reichardt (021) 786-034.

Positive drug tests have been taken from horses trained at the stables of top Canterbury harness racing trainer Robert Dunn.  The positive tests were taken from some stable runners at the Nelson two day meeting in June this year, which has been confirmed by the Racing Integrity Unit manager Mike Godber. Godber said "the investigation was still ongoing and it would be another week or two before the RIU determined what further action would follow" Robert Dunn is currently sitting second on the trainers premiership table with 87 wins from 663 starters this season.   Harnesslink Media

The man set to break every driving record in New Zealand harness racing history, realises he will have to wait at least another year for the most lucrative one.  Dexter Dunn’s record-breaking season is over early after he jetted off on Tuesday for a brief US holiday, before defending his World Drivers title in Canada early next month.  Dunn, who will take in the historic Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands early next month, finishes this season with 228 wins, eight clear of the previous New Zealand record by a horseperson of either code, which Dunn set in 2011. Already the youngest ever member of the 2000-win club by well over a decade, and with a remarkable 10 straight national premierships, Dunn could be our most successful horseperson of all time in just 10 years, that title currently held by Tony Herlihy with 3423 domestic wins.  But Dunn’s massive haul of $2,252,217 in the last 12 months, wasn’t enough to make him our highest earning driver in a single season, that honour being held by David Butcher whose drives won $2,328,344 in the 2008-09 season.  “If ever somebody had a bigger earning season than me, I thought it would be Butch or Ricky May, because they have both had seasons when they won a lot of big races,” said Dunn on being informed of his rare second-placed finish.  “I don’t mind being second on that list, because obviously this year is the most I have ever won in a New Zealand season, and that was after only winning one Group One at home. “So it has been a huge season and to be honest I have probably only driven just over 10 months in it, with a holiday at the start of the season and time away at the Inters in Perth.” If Dunn’s calculations are right then he averages over 20 wins a month, boosting his confidence he can break his 228 record next season as well as Butcher’s mark. “You never expect to break a record like Butch’s one, but to be realistic if I have another season like I just had, then I could break it because stakes are going up.  “I’d only need to drive the same amount of winners in similar races next season and I could end up with $2.5million in stakes.”  Butcher has locked in his own personal battle at Alexandra Park tomorrow night, starting the final northern night of the season two wins clear of his son Zac on the track’s premiership.  Dunn says he will be back home in plenty of time for the Breeders Crown finals in Victoria on August 27 Michael Guerin

Morrinsville trainer come lawyer, Dave Iremonger, heads into Friday’s last meeting of the season at Alexandra Park having already achieved his personal goals in 2016-2017. "I’d rate my season a 10 out of 10. My goal at the start of the season was to get to 10 wins and Opawa Speed did that for me last week. To win five of those races at Alexandra Park has exceeded my expectations. I’m delighted with what we have achieved," Iremonger said. Iremonger, who is a property lawyer, used to travel from his Morrinsville base throughout Waikato and Bay Of Plenty seeing to his clients. These days he admits the job is more mobile. "I have 10 racehorses in work and some young ones coming through. I do them all myself when Scott (son) can’t help out. It’s a busy lifestyle but I can do a lot of my work from home these days and only see my clients when I have to," the former policeman said. The 50-year-old’s 10 wins in 2016-2017 have come via Opawa Speed (Rob Argue) at Alexandra Park on July 21; Richard Le Fort (Dylan Ferguson) at Alexandra Park on June 30; Richard Le Fort (Dylan Ferguson) at Alexandra Park on June 23; Richard Le Fort (Dylan Ferguson) at Alexandra Park on June 2; Speedy Earl (Trent Lethaby) at Hawera on April 17; Opawa Speed (Todd Mitchell) at Stratford on March 5; Desert Storm (Todd Mitchell) at Cambridge Raceway on January 15; Opawa Speed (Todd Mitchell) at Cambridge Raceway on December 28; Desert Storm (Kyle Marshall) at Manawatu Raceway on December 15; and Soul man (Rob Argue) at Alexandra Park on September 16. His previous best, of six wins, was recorded last season. Iremonger has trained 22 winners since 2008 and 13 more between 1992 and 2000. His career stake currently earnings sit at $253,778. He said he would like to finish the season on a high at Alexandra Park again this week with Opawa Speed and Rob Argue looking to repeat their dose of seven days ago in race five; and then Genociate and Dylan Ferguson in the last of the nine races. "They are both good chances if they can get a sit and one crack at them. That’s exactly what Opawa Speed did last week. Robert drove him perfectly. "He got the sit and ran away from them to win by more than six lengths. He was an eight-win horse dropping back in class and no way deserved to be paying $21 in that field. I thought he would go close," Iremonger said. "He’s back in this week only because he feels well and has come through his last race very well. I knew when he had a sit last week he would be very hard to beat. He’s not out of it again this week off the front," Iremonger said. Iremonger has come of age as a trainer this season. He was once the man renowned for winning with other people’s discards, and selling the odd standardbred to Tahiti. But Iremonger wasn’t born into harness racing. "My family always had horses and I rode the pony club circuit when I was a kid. Growing up I wanted to be a jockey but I’m six foot tall and 90 odd kg so that was never gonna happen was it?" "My parents were friendly with Pat Parker from Tirau who had standardbreds and that’s where my harness racing connection started. "Pat bred and raced a pacer named Smokey Grattan and I took to following him," he said. Iremonger bought his first standardbred at a Terry Yule mixed aged sale at Claudelands in the late eighties and it all snow-balled from there. "I love the game but with my other job I think I will always have about 10 in work. Otherwise the workload just becomes a bit heavy," Iremonger said. Duane Ranger  

New Zealand faltering challenge for the Breeders Crown roared back into life yesterday. Because three wins in as many races for the Kiwi-trained pacers at Menangle have boosted chances of a serious New Zealand team at the rich Crown finals day at Melton in Victoria next month. For much of the last decade New Zealand horses --- both pacers and trotters --- have dominated Breeders Crown day, with the added bonus of Kiwi horses who travelled to the meeting extending their season by a month because of the late finish to the Australian harness racing season. That has often promoted the crazy situation of horses turning four in New Zealand on August 1, yet reverting to racing as three-year-olds when they cross the Tasman for the Crown a few weeks later. But while the Breeders Crown, with its two-year-old pacing finals worth money than A$300,000, has been enormously lucrative for New Zealand horses, this year’s representation was looking shaky. Already the biggest names from the two and three-year-old pacing ranks have pulled out, their trainers instead preferring to spell horses like Vincent, Ultimate Machete and Spankem after long seasons rather than press to until last August, meaning they would probably not race again until after Christmas. So the all-conquering Purdon-Rasmussen stable won’t have their absolute superstars at the Breeders Crown and Mark Purdon even expressed doubts over whether he would have any reps at the meeting unless they could win their heats in impressive fashion yesterday. That box was ticked on three separate occasions as first juvenile Sicario, then group-one winning filly Partyon and Queensland Derby winner The More The Better also easily won their heats at Menangle.  None of them were asked for their best by catch driver Luke McCarthy but Partyon still paced her last 400m in a sizzling 25.9 to confirm she will be returning to Melton to defend the title she won as a two-year-old last season. The More The Better won even easier and in a similar final sectional with a 26.1 last 400m while Sicario’s win was mere trackwork so the All Stars will have three major players for the Crown semi finals on August 19, followed by the finals on August 27. But they will be readied for the series without the Purdon-Rasmussen polish, with Purdon leaving yesterday for a holiday before representing New Zealand at the World Drivers Champs, with Rasmussen also holidaying before supporting her partner at the series.  “We are lucky we have good staff but it still makes it tricky getting them ready for the Crown with both of us being in Canada,” admitted Purdon. Top horseman Cran Dalgety is also taking three reps to the Breeders Crown, even after two of them, Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite, were beaten in their non-tote heats at Addington last Friday. Bettor Joy was clearly outpointed by Angel Of Harlem, who trainer Barry Ward is likely to send to Anthony Butt to train and drive for the Crown. But with those defeats for Dalgety’s big name pacers and Purdon-Rasmussen not sending their top guns, the New Zealand team for the Crown is in the usually unthinkable position of not having any dominant favourites for the pacing series. Northern pacers King Of Swing and Big Mach are also likely starters but Alexandra Park heat winner Utmost Delight is out of the series and heading to the paddock. New Zealand’s trotting team for the Crown is also lighter than usual but does boost the shining light of three-year-old star Enghien, who will be red hot to win his division as well as the Victoria Trotting Derby in two weeks on the way through. Michael Guerin

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Last night over $100k was raised in a sell-out event for the gorgeous Maddie Collins to help her get to America for her kidney transplant.  With Maddie having no kidneys and there being no matching donor in New Zealand, a whopping $750k is needed for her to make this trip. Addington would personally like to thank all our sponsors, companies and individuals who contributed to making this evening possible.  Absolutely everything including the delicious cuisine, extraordinary auction items to the elaborate theming were all gifted so every dollar raised could be given to Maddie. A big thank you to Gary McCormick, Shane Cortese, Blair Strang, Andrew Mehrtens and Mayor Tim Shadbolt for a fabulous night of entertainment.  To Richard Bromley, the auctioneer, without your help, we wouldn’t have raised nearly as much for Maddie. Key points from the night; The Lamar Charitable Trust presented Maddie with a $10k cheque on the night. There was a very last minute auction item added (at the end of the night), with a one of a kind pair of Maddie’s hand sewn pillowslips fetching $2k in the auction. Dinner with the RT Hon Winston Peters at Bellamy’s, Parliament House with air flights was auctioned and sold for $10k. Pre-dinner drinks with the Prime Minister and dinner with Hon Minister Amy Adams at Bellamy’s, Parliament House with $300 towards air flights was auctioned and sold for $10k. The Leopard Coachlines 20 piece Brass Band were playing as everyone arrived which set the scene for the night. Maddie stole the show and looked absolutely beautiful in a yellow evening dress. It would be hard to find a dry eye in the room after her heart felt speech. Maddie’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/maddiecollins/ Give A Little page - https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/givethegiftoflifetomaddie
After a record 2016-2017 harness racing season where $450,000 was paid out in Met Multiplier bonuses, there has been one minor amendment made to the long standing conditions of the successful initiative, which will take effect from 1 August 2017. From this date, no win or start in an amateur drivers’ race will be regarded as a qualifying race in terms of the Met Multiplier criteria. Please note that any horse that has currently either won or started in an amateur race, which was held prior to 31 July 2017, will not be disadvantaged in any way. For clarification, this change in qualifying conditions will not apply to those historical performances which presently count towards qualification for the bonus. Any queries please contact the Clubs Racing Secretary Brian Rabbitt for further information on 03-338-9094.   
Tonight’s Alexandra Park meeting will be the last chance for Bourbon Street and Saffron Castleton to win the Auckland Trotting Club’s 2016-2017 performance incentive scheme. Racing manager, Regan Cotter, said the Warren Castleton trained and Alicia Harrison driven Saffron Castleton stood to win $4,000 (half the race stake) in race four, while the Cheree Wigg trained and Tony Cameron (j) driven Bourbon Street could pocket the same in the fifth event. “Friday’s meeting will officially be the last meeting for eligible horses wanting to win the performance incentive bonus. No new entries have been taken into the scheme since July 31 last year, but for those horses who entered in the scheme up to that date and who have been making the required payments have until July 31 - so effectively July 28 - to receive the bonus. “I wish the connections of both horses well. Bourbon Street went oh so close a few starts ago so Friday night could be the perfect way to end Cheree Wigg’s training successful season,” Cotter said. He also said tonight’s (Friday) meeting will kick also off the first night of the North Island Standardbred Breeders Winter Bonus Series for fillies and mares. “This is a six meeting series (three here and three at Cambridge) and entry is automatic for any non-winner or winner trotting or pacing filly or mare that starts at any of the six meetings,” he said. Those meetings are Auckland (July 28); Cambridge (August 3); Auckland (August 11); Cambridge (August 17); Auckland (August 25); and Cambridge (September 7). "The NZSBA wanted to get a six-race series off the ground throughout the winter months, to promote fillies and mares racing in the upper North Island. “After consultation with the soon-to-be elected Cambridge Raceway Operations Manager, David Branch; Harness Racing New Zealand North Island Handicapper Kevin Smith; Cathy Shaw (of NISBA); Karen; and myself, we came up with a six-race series comprising three races each at Alexandra Park and Cambridge Raceway," Cotter said. Meanwhile Cotter said there were some other interesting battles both on the last night of the season and meetings in August. “Big Mach and King Of Swing are tipped to be going over for the Breeders Crown so that should be an interesting clash in weeks to come, and Craig Smith is now in the Jeremy Young barn. Could this be his first Alexandra Park win in his first drive here?” Smith will drive the Wigg trained Curlimore, who will be having his second start on the track. He will be improved by that run but from the rough second row draw his stablemate, Bourbon Street, looks a better chance from gate three. Two of Bourbon Street's three career wins have been at Alexandra Park - both of them over tonight's distance. He was a nice third here on July 7 from gate two and a fortnight earlier he was a game second behind the talented Richard Le Fort. However, Bourbon Street hasn't won a race since July 3, 2015. Duane Ranger
Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:15am   Race 1 - Elvis P $2.00 easily leads multi betting over Thank U George $6.80.   Race 2 - Donegal Lucy Anne $2.80 leads win betting over My Nikayla $7.00 with Theboyslightup $3.60 leading multi betting over Shebang $3.50.   Race 3 - Say Your Pres $5.00 - $3.50 is easily the best backed in win betting over Rocknpop $5.00 - $4.60. Diana Harbour $3.20 easily leads multi betting over Rocknpop.    Race 4 - Take After me $5.00 leads win betting with Earthquake $2.90 leading multi betting.    Race 5 - Especial $2.60 clearly leads multi betting in a very quiet win market.   Race 6 - Alpha Rock $4.20 leads win betting with Hypervelocity $3.10 leading multi betting over Lovetodream $3.80.   Race 7 - Woodlea Shawn $11.50 - $7.00 easily leads win betting with Cullenburn $3.00 leading multi betting over Mikey Maguire $3.50.   Race 8 - Ronald J $1.40 is easily the most backed runner on the race card in multi betting.    Race 9 - Cullenmore $10.00 leads win betting over Van Laddie $4.80 with Revving a clear leader in multi betting.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)
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