Reina Danzante with Nicole and Dean Molander and Pat Driscoll of Yabby Dam Farms

Draw makes Reina Danzante hard to beat

With the Australasian Breeders Crown finals at Tabcorp Park Melton almost upon us, Harnesslink has decided to do a preview of all the finals. This peview is of the three year old trotting fillies final. 1) Vari Perfect (Armbro Variable)   Starts 9  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $2878 Nine start maiden who is on the improve but the depth of this field makes things difficult.Even from the draw it is hard to make a case for her. Not for us 2) Desert Flyer (Pegasus Spur)   Starts 24  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 5  -  Stakes $21,203 She has a tidy enough record overall but her performances in the Group races has been poor. Draw a help but still hard to see her as a player here. Not for us. 3) Justines Amore (Love You)   Starts 8  -  Wins 5  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $24,476 Her record says she should be a major player here but we are not convinced. Dominant in New South Wales earlier in season but her last couple in Victoria against many of those she meets here have been okay without being top draw. First four player for us at best. 4) Reina Danzante (Armbro Invasion)   Starts 7  -  Wins 5  -  Seconds 1  -  thirds 0  -  Stakes $53,638 Has hardly put a foot wrong in her career todate and from the draw looks the one they all have to beat here. Bred to be something special and trainer -driver combo is outstanding. A clear first pick for us. 5) Zaire Diva (Red River Hanover)   Starts 22  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 4  -  Thirds 4 $26,245 Hasn't won out of turn right through her career as her record shows. Good enough at different times to be placed or be thereabouts against a lot of those she faces here. Draw no help but outside trifecta and first four player here. 6) Yankee Sister (Yankee Boy)   Starts 17  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $13,573 Nice enough trotter but just a length or two off the smart ones here. Hard to make a case for here in this field from this draw. Not for us. 7) Alannah Hall (Angus Hall)   Starts 10  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 4  -  Stakes $20,998 Not the worst here by any means but draw makes it very hard. Given a good blowout in her one Australian start to date so will strip a lot fitter for this. Outside first four player at best from the draw.                                                                                                                                                                                           SECOND LINE 8)  My Arya (Angus Hall)   Starts 24  -  Wins 14  -  Seconds 14  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $234,149 Champion filly who has just seemed slightly off her game lately. Has only missed a place once in 14 starts in Australia so underestimate at your peril. Draw terrible but driver Anthony Butt is right in the zone at the moment. A winning chance and a must include for all trifecta and first four takers. 9) Fiery Mountain Girl (Sundon)   Starts 15  -  Wins 6  -  Seconds 3  -  Thirds 2  -  $63,416 Quality filly who ran a great third in the New Zealand Oaks after doing plenty of work, beating home My Arya Carried on the good work in New South Wales winning the Trotting Derby there and has to be a big player here with any kind of luck from the draw. Include in everything. 10) Naked Majesty (Majestic Son)  Starts 19  -  Wins 6  -  Seconds 3  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $38,235 Nice filly who was unlucky to not make the field for the final. If she did make it back into the field, she is not a forlorn first four chance.  11)  Glenferrie Burn (Muscle Hill)   Starts 24   -  Wins 8  -  Seconds 8  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $61,875 Lovely filly who has built up a smart record to date. Always seems to be one or two better than her but a good chance to get amongst it here. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 12) Endsino (Angus Hall)   Starts 18  -  wins 7  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $97,443 Another beautifully bred filly with a race record to match. Outstanding run for fourth in Victoria Trotting Derby but needed a draw to beat a couple here and ended up in the carpark on the second row. Still a chance from there but hard to see her winning. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 13) Aldebaran Deebee (Skyvalley)   Starts 12  -  Wins 4  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $ 21,220 Continues to step up but another filly who has been hamstrung by the draw. Seems to take each step up in her stride but hard to see her winning this from the carpark. Must include for trifecta and first four players. SELECTIONS From the draw Reina Danzante looks sure to lead and be very hard to run down with all her major competitors drawn poorly If My Arya sees any kind of daylight from her draw, she immediately becomes a big danger to the favourite while Fiery Mountain Girl, Aldebaran Deebee, Glenferrie Burn and Endsino are all capable of running in the first four. Harnesslink Media

Island of Origin Drivers Series

Island of Origin winner hard to pick

This Friday night at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park, we have the sixth running of the Island of Origin driving series. Each team has six drivers involved but field sizes being what they are at the moment, most drivers are on the sidelines at least once and in some cases twice during the series. The exceptions are the Northern captain Tony Herlihy and the Southern captain Dexter Dunn who each have a full book of six drives. The contest will be decided over six races and there is a three- three split with trot and pacing races which is a good way to have it. We thought we would look at each heat with our thoughts on the likely winner. Race 2  Majestic John is in great nick at the moment, has drawn well and has regular pilot Josh Dickie in the bike. Bettabe Perfect has drawn to be in the action from one with Tony Herlihy driving and after that it is a bit of a lottery. The North holds the upper hand here. Race 3 Princess MacKendon with Dexter Dunn driving looks the one to beat here. Smart trotter in the making and with that first run under her belt should hold too many guns for this field Thanks Shane with John Dunn on board  went close several times last campaign but after that several have exposed form which makes them a runners chance without standing out The South has a slight edge here. Race 4 The two best horses have drawn awkwardly here which makes this race a bit harder to judge. Hart Of Dixie with Matthew Williamson driving has always looked a talented mare and her record backs that up but from seven at the barrier she is going to need a bit of luck. Same applies for Jo's Dream and Jay Abernethy from two on the second line but she has the alround game to overcome the draw. Love Is A Drug (John Dunn) and Culinary Delight (Josh Dickie) are other leading chances in a field that the draw has evened out. Hard to favour one team over the other in this race. Race 6 Now this race really is a lottery and trying to narrow it down is not easy San Diego Love is going through a flat patch for a mare of her ability but if she was anything close to her best, she would win this. Blair Orange drives. Tereskova (Ricky May) is in form and Le Lua Invasion (Dexter Dunn) looks well suited in a field of this type. On paper the South looks to have a distinct advantage but it is anyone's guess how the race will pan out Race 7 Joey Maguire (Scott Phelan) has drawn to lead here and if he does lead he will be very hard to beat. The smart Vice Consul (Tony Herlihy) follows him through from the second line and with any kind of run becomes a big player here. No Way Else (Dexter Dunn) and First Home (Ricky May) are chances to get amongst it as is Zakspatrol (Nathan Williamson) whose last run was super. The North holds a small advantage here but it isn't a lot Race 8 Another evenly split race to finish the series. Allingham (Tony Herlihy) is knocking on the door of its next win and gets a start here over its biggest challengers. Twelve Monkeys (Blair Orange) is going for three in a row and Isa Smiling (Josh Dickie) continues to impress as she wins her way through the grades. All Royal Gal (Ricky May) is another with a great form line so again the favoured horses are evenly split between the two teams. Selection Hard to be confident here about either team winning this by a margin but overall maybe the South by a short half head. Harnesslink Media

Rankings for both the NZ Cup and Dominion Handicap have been released

NZ Cup and Dominion Handicap rankings released

THE Addington Harness Racing New Zealand Ranking Committee had a busy time yesterday dealing to two sets of rankings for the first time at its initial meeting for 2015. In a rare situation, a marked increase in Australian and international nominations made comparing the various merits of horses more difficult, but it is exciting to see so many varied form-lines coming together for races like the $750,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup and the $250,000 Hellers Dominion. The NZ Trotting Cup rankings are headed by last season's 'Horse of the Year' Christen Me, with Australian nomination and Hunter Cup winner Arden Rooney at two being the top ranked visitor. While the NZ Cup is missing stars such as Adore Me and Terror To Love, a new guard is set to take their place. The committee was impressed with the overall depth and quality of those nominated, which suggests an intriguing spring build-up is in store. There is the potential to have a large group of quality up-and-comers clambering spots in the lead-up to harness racing's great race. In the Dominion, defending champion Jaccka Justy heads the list, just ahead of Trotter of the Year, Stent and the ever-present Sheemon. An exciting aspect is the addition of two well-performed European trotters. This is sure to add a significant edge to the Dominion and its lead-up. Ranking the Hellers Dominion proved to be an interesting process for the committee. Addington Racing Manager Brian Rabbit explains; "It's tremendous having the international flavour adding to the Dominion.: "The Australian nominations are well credentialed, which is great for the potential depth of the race but that also gave us some headaches." "The trickiest part for the committee was weighing up the two European horses, Used To Me and Daryl Boko." "Both have competed very well in the hotbed of European trotting." "Used To Me is a proven top-level type performer in France, while Daryl Boko ran third when favourite in the Finnish Derby last year, a Group 1 race worth 221,000 Euros and brings over solid Swedish form." "We had to exercise discretion for the European pair, as they clearly fall outside of what the ranking criteria was introduced to cover." The connections of smart trotter Boizel have made a Late Payment to nominate and he now takes the total number of Hellers Dominion nominations to 39. The next set of rankings will be released following a committee meeting on Tuesday 8 September after the Maurice Holmes Vase on September 4. If you require any further information on this, please do not hesitate to contact the Racing Department at HRNZ on 03) 964 1200 or Brian Rabbitt at Addington Raceway on 03) 338 9094. Courtney Clarke New Zealand Cup Rankings 1) Christen Me 2) Arden Rooney 3) Smolda 4) Franco Nelson 5) Franco Ledger 6) Sky Major 7) Ohoka Punter 8) Tiger Tara 9) Corzin Terror 10) Easy On The Eye 11) Venus Serena 12) Lancewood Lizzie 13) Mossdale Conner 14) Forever Gold 15) Jason Rulz 16) Belkmyster 17) Te Kawau 18) Dalton Bromac 19) Alleluia 20) Messini 21) Bit Of A Legend 22) Saveapatrol 23) Choise Achiever 24) Mach Beauty 25) Chancellor Cullen 26) Brilliant Strike 27) Quick As A Trick 28) Lewy Risk 29) Jivin Cullen 30) Ideal Success 31) Mighty Flying Mac 32) Mach’s Gladiator 33) Ballindooley 34) Bettor Dream 35) No Doctor Needed 36) Major Bubbles 37) Delightful Dash 38) Major Star 39) Provocative Prince 40) Zakspatrol   Dominion Handicap Rankings 1) Jaccka Justy 2) Stent 3) Sheemon 4) Master Lavros 5) Used To Me 6) Kincaslough 7) Alley Way 8) Vincennes 9) One Over Da Moon 10) Jag’s Invasion 11) King Denny 12) Habibti 13) Daryl Boko 14) Clover Don 15) Prime Power 16) Realmein 17) Kyvalley Blur 18) Maori Time  19) Springbank Sam 20) Speeding Spur 21) Royal Aspirations 22) Overanova 23) Boizel 24) Valmagne 25) Cool Cobber 26) Uncas 27) Monbet 28) Majestic Time 29) Quite A Moment 30) Escapee 31) Harrysul 32) Live The Dream 33) Sol Invictus 34) Al Bundy 35) Leanne’s Boy 36) Monty Python 37) Waterloo Sunset 38) Wingsonhai 39) Prestine  

bet.jpg

Bets of the week ringaround - August 27th,2015

Our harness racing tipsters have been going okay for a while now but last week they had one of  their best weekends since we started the ringaround. Nine tipsters selected winners which was a great result in itself but it was the dividends that some of them paid that really raised the bar. John Dunn has bragging rights after a $10:90 collect with Mr Meddle while Robbie Holmes ($8:70), Nathan Williamson ($8:30) and Gavin Smith ($6:60) were others to select winners at good odds. Throw in a $185 trifecta in the last at Addington (John Dunn, Bob Butt, Ricky May) and the ringaround followers must have had a good night on the punt. The southerners righted the ship too with a win for once so the challenge now is can they do it this week? This week there are only three meetings in New Zealand and only seven races at Forbury Park so once again our number of selectors is down. Three of our regular tipsters are at Melton for the Breeders Crown finals so we have included their selections there. Forbury Park - Thursday night John Curtin - Rates Topnotch Eagle a big chance to make a winning debut in race 1 Craig Ferguson - Reckons even from the wide draw, Anothersuperstar is not out of it in race 4 Gavin Smith - Thinks Paris Princess from her handy draw can win again,also in race 4   Alexandra Park - Friday night Todd Mitchell - Rates Risk a good chance to take on some smart horses and win in race 1 Peter Scaife - Gives Majestic John from barrier two a big chance of winning race 2 Matthew Williamson - Thought even from barrier eight, Hart Of Dixie was a winning chance in race 4 Blair Orange - Rates Love Is A Drug from her good draw a big chance, also in race 4  Steven Reid - Reckons the first starter Mo Cullen will give plenty of cheek in race 5 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Rates Le Lua Invasion with Dexter in the bike the one to beat in race 6 Scott Phelan - Gives Joey Maguire from barrier two a big chance of winning race 7 Nathan Williamson - Likes his chances of winning at Auckland with Zakspatrol,also in race 7 Tony Herlihy - Quite keen on the chances of Allingham in race 8   Timaru - Sunday afternoon Gerard O'Reilly - Thought Diana Harbour was overdue and could win race 1 John Dunn - Thinks Cullens First Meddle will be hard to roll in race 2 Robbie Holmes - Rates Tehoro Holly a good chance of taking out race 4 Mark Jones - Reckons Stuover will make it two from two in race 5 Terry Chmiel - Gives first starter Martin John a good chance of making a winning debut in race 6 Ricky May - Quite keen on Liz Rule breaking her duck, also in race 6 Brad Williamson - Thinks Astral Ruler is capable of handling the C1 grade and can win race 7   Tabcorp Park, Melton - Sunday afternoon Maurice McKendry - Confident that The Orange Agent even from her poor draw can win race 6 Bob Butt - With his gate speed and drawn barrier one, Conon Bridge should be winning race 9 Todd MacFarlane - Couldn't be happier with Cyclone Chief and rates him a big chance, also in race 9

Sunday is shaping up as a definitive day for All Black halfback Andy Ellis. Ellis is part of a harness racing syndicate who race duel Group I winner Speeding Spur, a $1.30 favourite with the New Zealand TAB to win the Group I Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Melton on Sunday. The John and Josh Dickie trained Speeding Spur has not been helped by a tricky second row draw for the 2240m race, but his overwhelming favouritism suggests he should be good enough to overcome that. The Speeding Spur camp will be looking for redemption after the son of Pegasus Spur made an uncharacteristic break which ended his winning chances at the Harness Jewels at Ashburton in late May.  Ellis was on track to watch the disappointing result and will be looking for redemption of his own around three hours after Speeding Spur's race which starts at 3.09pm NZT. At 6.30pm the All Blacks squad for the Rugby World Cup will be announced. Fellow Speeding Spur owner Kieran Read is a certainty but Ellis' chances of playing in back-to-back World Cups appear to be dwindling. With Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara seemingly assured of their spots, Ellis also has to battle with a now fully fit Tawera Kerr-Barlow. And coach Steve Hansen has also hinted at only taking two halfbacks. If Ellis does miss out on what would be his final World Cup chance, he should hopefully be able to call himself a Breeders Crown winner. A Speeding Spur win looks a much better bet than an All Black call up on paper. Ellis and Read were invited into harness racing ownership by Woodlands Stud and have never looked back after first tasting success with Betters Delight pacer Victors Delight. Also in the Speeding Spur ownership is Crusaders forwards coach Dave Hewett and Commonwealth gold medallist Dick Tayler. A World Cup winner in 2011, Ellis makes no secret of his love of harness racing. New Zealand trained runners hold favouritism in seven of the eight Breeders Crown Group I events. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's 2-year-old trotting filly High Gait is a $1.20 favourite from the ace, as is stablemate Our Waikiki Beach who starts from the outside of the front row in the 2-year-old colts and geldings pacers final. Fellow All Stars pacers Our Dream About Me ($1.40) and Follow The Stars ($1.70) hold favouritism in the 2-year-old fillies and 3-year-old colts and geldings final. Our Dream About Me will have to come from barrier 12 but Follow The Stars has drawn four and inside main rival Menin Gate. The Bunty Hughes-trained The Orange Agent is at $1.50 to win the 3-year-old fillies pacing final from the second line and Paul Nairn's Conon Bridge is a $1.30 shot to win the 2-year-old trot for colts and geldings on the back of drawing the ace. The 3-year-old trotting final for fillies is the only race the Kiwis do not hold favouritism but Barry Purdon's Alannah Hall is a $14 chance from the outside of the front line. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ   -  Check site here

With the Australasian Breeders Crown finals on Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton looming large, we here at Harnesslink thought we would preview the finals. This is our preview of the three year colts and geldings trotting final. 1) Lively Laughter (Grinfromeartoear)  Starts 9  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $5145 Maiden trotter in against some high class three year old trotters makes his task very hard Can't see him playing a part here. Not for us 2) Lofty Success (Great Success)   Starts 12  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $4788 Another three year old who looks to be significantly out of his depth here. Hard to make a case for him to be a chance here. Not for us 3) Fabrication (Dream Vacation)  Starts 18  -  Wins 7  -  Seconds 3  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $72,820 Right in the zone at the moment but can still do things wrong every now and again. Galloped for no reason in the Victorian Trotting Derby so not completely foolproof. Can leave the gate quickly so with two lesser lights inside him, he would appear the early leader from barrier three. Must include for trifecta and first four players. 4) Suave Taj (Majestic Son)  Starts 5  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 1  - Thirds 1  -  Stakes $3805 Looks to be quite a nice trotter in the making but the step up in grade here is huge. Hard to make a case for him in this field. Not for us. 5) Illawong Armstrong (Majestic Son)  Starts 22  -  Wins 9  -  Seconds 5  -  Thirds 3  -  Stakes $107710 Outstanding three year old ability wise but has very little ringcraft to go with it. Does tend to over race something terrible but still sticks on in most of his races. Will head forward but vulnerable if he doesn't get the front Must include for trifecta and first four players. 6) Cold Crusher (Fling It)  Starts 10 -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 4  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $8148 Still a maiden trotter after ten starts which gives you an idea of his chances in this field. Hard to make a case for him on exposed form Not for us. 7) Kyvalley Boomerang (Skyvalley)   Starts 18  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 6  -  Stakes $38,088 Nice two year old who hasn't really kicked on at three. Throw in the outside barrier of seven and his chances look bleak. Not for us                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SECOND LINE 8) Im Starlight Starbright (Monarchy)   Starts 29  -  Wins 4  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 5  -  Stakes $25,764 First start in Australia for this Kiwi bred. Does have ability but has been found wanting when racing the top level three year olds in New Zealand. Liable to get well back from the draw. Not for us. 9) Valley Ess Jay (Skyvalley)   Starts 24  -  Wins 5  -  Seconds 4  -  Thirds 4  -  Stakes $49,448 Consistent and game young trotter who has kicked on really nicely at three. Got home well in the Victorian Derby without looking a serious threat but driver change since then is significant. Must have for the trifecta and first four players. 10) Speeding Spur (Pegasus Spur)   Starts 21  -  Wins 13  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 3  -  Stakes $297,231 Champion three year old who even from the draw is the horse to beat. Clearly outstayed these horses in the Victorian Derby after being savaged mid race and hard to see how any can turn the tables here. Clear first pick for us 11) Aldebaran Kingsman (Skyvalley)   Starts 2  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes  Maiden trotter who has only had two starts lifetime. Hard to make a case for him. Not for us. 12) Col Du Galibier (Great Success)   Starts 8  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $3040 Another maiden who has yet to set the world on fire. The draw alone rules him out. Not for us 13) Sonofatrump (Tennotrump)   Starts 15  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 3  -  Stakes $5093  (Emerg1)  The emergency for the final who even if he made it back into the field does not have the exposed form to challenge most here. Not for us. SELECTIONS Speeding Spur is a clear first pick for us. All class and follows out Fabrication who gets off the gate so draw not as bad as it looks Fabrication and Illawong Armstrong look the next two best with Valley Ess Jay a must for trifecta and first four takers. After that it is a bit of a lottery. Harnesslink Media

With the Australasian Breeders Crown finals looming large on Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton, we here at Harnesslink thought we would preview the finals. This preview is of the $84,000 two year old colts and geldings trotters final. 1) Conon Bridge (Raffaello Ambrosia)  Starts 8  -  Wins 5  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $63,072 Looked to be the horse to beat in this division before the draw came out and now it really looks like the final is his race to lose. Was off the unruly earlier this season but hasn't put a foot wrong off the gate since being back in the draw so it shouldn't be an issue here. Seems to have a clear margin on his opposition and barring the unexpected should win. 2) Charlie Runkle (Angus Hall)  Starts 6  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $37,158 Started the season with a hiss and a roar but last couple of runs have been just okay. However they have both been at Maryborough so maybe back to Tabcorp Park we might see the real Charlie Runkle. From the draw is a must include for trifecta and first four players. 3) Cruisin Around (Bacardi Lindy)  Starts 8  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $32,772 Has been thereabouts all season, running in the money in six of his eight lifetime starts. Has faced all of these here and been very competitive against them so from the handy draw  he is a must include for all trifecta and first four players. 4) Cyclone Chief ( The Pres)  Starts 9  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $20,497 Has continued to go from strength to strength since his huge run for fourth in the Harness Jewels. Super run for second to the very smart Isa Smiling at Cambridge last week over the distance of Sundays final and in quick time to boot. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 5) Greg The Great (Great Success)  Starts 3  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $690 Has failed to impress in three starts to date. Hard to see him having any chance here. Not for us. 6) War Dan Destroyer (Majestic Son)  Starts 8  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 3  -  Stakes $12,440 Started the season in great fashion but doesn't seem to have kicked on with it just lately. The draw of six only compounds his problems so hard to see him being a major player here. Outside first four hope at best. 7) Imahe Man (Aldebaran Yankee)  Strats 8  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $7478 Started very slowly but has really stepped up in his last three runs which makes the draw a big disappointment. Hard to see how he can be a major player from out there at barrier seven. Not for us.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SECOND LINE    8) Sundons Courage (Sundon)  Starts 10  -  Wins 5  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $61,798 Has had a great season to date and drawn to have a chance of ending it on a high. The big question is can he hold Conon Bridge's back early as he can really leave the gate and Sundon's Courage is okay without being real quick. If he does hold the leaders back, he is the biggest danger to the favourite. Must include for all trifecta and first four takers. 9) Skyflyer (Skyvalley)  Starts 9  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 3  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $19,333 His performances have varied during the season but at his best he would be a player here. It will depend on which Skyflyer shows up but no doubting the ability. First four player for us. 10) Sun Valley Road ( Skyvalley)  Starts 4  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $593 Has yet to show anything that would suggest he is a chance here. Not for us. 11) Flash Angus (Angus Hall)  Starts 2  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $300  (Emerg 1) Another starter who at this stage of his career looks heavily outclassed. Not for us. 12) Hudson Bay (Angus Hall)  Starts 9  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $16,495 Quite a nice trotter in the making but the draw of four second line makes his job very hard. Is going to have to give a lot of nice trotters a start from there and it may just be too big an ask. Outside first four player at best from the draw. 13) Variance (Armbro Variable)  Starts 3  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $415 Another starter who has done little to inspire confidence with his three lifetime runs todate. Not for us. SELECTIONS From the draw and with his gate speed, Conon Bridge looks very hard to beat. Distance will suit so he is a clear first pick Sundons Courage is a clear second pick on both form and his draw. After those two Charlie Runkle, Cruisin Around and Cyclone Chief appear the next best Throw in Skyflyer for first fours. Harnesslink

As this weekends Australasian Breeders Crown finals loom large, here at Harnesslink we thought we would do a runner by runner preview of each of the finals at Tabcorp Park Melton. First up is the $84,000 two year old trotting fillies final 1) High Gait  (Muscles Yankee)     Starts 8   -   Wins 7   -   Seconds 1   -   Thirds 0     Stakes  $100,631   High Gait has had an outstanding season winning seven from eight and being beaten a nose in her other start. Beat the boys on Redwood day and from this draw with her gait speed it is hard to see her beaten.  Great manners just add to the impression that she is nigh on unbeatable from barrier 1 2) The Cooler  (Majestic Son)   Starts 4   -   Wins 0   -   Seconds 0   -   Thirds 3   -   Stakemoney $8,200 The Cooler is yet to go a bad race in her brief four start career with three thirds and a fourth. Hard to see her troubling two or three here on class but does things right which is a big plus in two year old trots. Throw in for trifectas and first fours 3) Smile Smile Smile  (Angus Hall)   -   Starts 3  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $7493 Promising filly with a good draw but needed to draw inside High Gait to be a chance to beat her. Still on the up and looks a major player her. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 4) A Nip Will Do (Bacardi Lindy)  Starts 14  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 3  -  Stakes $7,178 Thereabouts in a lot of her starts this season but it is hard to see her playing a major part here. Several runners appear to have the wood on her in this race going on past performances. Not for us. 5) Jay Bee Flex (Federal Flex)  Starts 6  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $4363 Last run at Maryborough was her best run this season, finishing a close up third to Smile Smile Smile. However the depth of this field is far stronger and the draw doesn't help either. Not for us. 6) Liava (Bacardi Lindy)  Starts 4  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $1403 Has failed to really impress in her four starts todate. Hard to see on exposed form how she is a player here. Not for us 7) Parisian Chic (Love You)  Starts 6  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $18,658 A real winning chance if she had just drawn well instead of the outside of the front line. Really nice second two starts back to Missandei and has won three of her last four. Major player here but more a trifecta and first four chance due to the draw                                                                                                                         SECOND LINE 8) Missandei (Angus Hall)  Starts 7  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $76,530 The obvious danger to High Gait  having drawn on her back and seems to have improved even further since her Harness Jewels win. Only filly in this field to have beaten High Gait but her fortunes may depend on how much mid race pressure the favourite is put under. Can win this but does need a few things to go her way. Clear second pick. 9) Cobbler Creek (Great Success)  Starts 9  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $6438 Has won a race this season which is more than some here. Just appears to be be a length or two off the good ones in this race Not for us. 10) Sky Majesty (Skyvalley)  Starts 8  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $12,540 Has really come solid in her last four starts and has definitely improved lately. Needed a good front line draw to help her chances so from three second line she faces a real challenge. First four player at best for us from the draw. 11) Fear Not (Skyvalley)  Starts 12  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $2935  ( Emerg 1) The emergency for the race and on disclosed form would appear to be out of her depth. Not for us 12) Social Fireball (Courage Under Fire)  Starts 7  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 4  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $18,676 Pacing bred filly that has developed into a lovely trotter. Hard to fault her last five runs with her second in the $60,000 Vicbred Trot in smart time over the distance of 2240 metres a good pointer. Appeals to us as a trifecta and first four player even from the draw. 13) Mizurri (Skyvalley)   Starts 3  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $1,038 Very inexperienced filly and this looks a huge jump in class to us. Throw in the draw and it looks like mission impossible. Not for us. SELECTIONS High Gait from the draw looks very hard to beat. Should lead and should win Missandei is the clear second pick and if High Gait is eyeballed in front during the race, she is a chance to upset the favourite up the passing lane. For trifecta and first four takers, throw in The Cooler, Smile Smile Smile, Parisian Chic and Social Fireball. Harnesslink Media

In the last few weeks Harnesslink has begun to update all of our stallion reviews on the Stallion Sphere. Even though it is only twelve months since we did the initial stallion reviews, the changes in the statistics is quite pronounced with the four stallions we have updated to date.   Mach Three is a good example with the son of Matts Scooter having added over $15,000,000 to his bankroll in that time.   He has also added a couple more millionaires on the card in that period and all of a sudden the statistics from twelve months ago look terribly outdated.   That is often the way with the more established stallions who once they have reached the elite level at stud tend to get overlooked a bit with the emphasis mostly centered on newer stallions trying to get established.   The statistics we updated for the other three stallions had changed just as much.   Somebeachsomewhere continues to be the benchmark as a stallion with his first crop closing in on $19,000,000, which is an increase of nearly $6,000,000 in twelve months.   Shadow Play and Sportswriter are two young sires we have updated and again the changes in their averages and percentages are quite significant.   Both have made big strides in the last twelve months and the extent of that change did surprise us.   Harnesslink has two more updates on stallions in the next issue of Insider Access which is free to Harnesslink followers as long as you have signed up to receive it.   You can do so by signing up below; Sign up to "Insider Access" Full Name Email Subscribe

The fact that Messini is returning to  the All Stars barn for a New Zealand Cup  preparation is not really a surprise. He has been there done that before with the Harness Jewels in June. But he has a better chance than many of the nominees going on his best performances in this country -which have all been from the All Stars barn. On Cup Day last year just after Bill and Jean Feiss sold a half-share in him to a syndicate which includes Trevor Casey , he smashed a record winning the Junior Free for All running 3.07.2 (mr 1.55.4) in the hands of Natalie, a stunning start to a great Cup day. He then ran a respectable sixth in the NZ FFA before transferring to Brent Lilley's Melbourne stable. After a short campaign in the four year old features in Auckland where his form was below par he celebrated being back at Rolleston with a withering win over Tiger Tara, Sky Magic and Dalton Bromac in the Christian Cullen FFA running 2.18.3 the last half in 54.8. Mark was again at the helm in the Harness Jewels when a 14 marble saw him back and making a big run in the middle stages. He couldn't quite foot it with Sky Major which came out of the one one when Mark attacked and lost second late to Te Kawau but it was a tough effort.                                                                                                   And if there is a drive going in the Cup for the stable Tim Williams is sure to put his hand up. Tim won his first race for Mark and Natalie when he was given the drive on Messini in the Kindergarten Stakes at a time when Tim was based in Southland. It all went good which is probably why Tim is where he is today. David McCarthy Reproduced with permission of All Star Racing Stables  

Every week, Harnesslink produces the harness racing ringaround where a group of twenty odd of our leading drivers give us their best tips for the weekend racing. Results in the main have been good with the odd shocker thrown in but last night at Addington Raceway the tipsters had a night to remember. The drivers selected horses in seven races last night at Addington and bagged five winners which is a great strike rate. In started in the first when Gavin Smith selected Paris Princess who led form go to whoa and returned a healthy dividend of $6:60 Blair Orange was the next tipster to see the winners circle with the very talented Southern GNP who was backed in very short but never gave his supporters any cause for concern with an effortless victory. Onto race 6 and Mark Jones was very bullish around the chances of Franco Harrington and the way he cruised to the front and ran away and hid in the home straight showed that his confidence was not misplaced. In race 8, North Canterbury trainer/driver Robbie Holmes had two horses involved in the race and he was very keen on the chances of Clean Break with Gavin Smith in the bike even from the outside of the gate, with Robbie taking the reins on the stablemate Tehoro Holly. The win dividend of $8:70 for Clean Break was a great return for the inform trotter. As happens, the best was saved for last. Three of our tipsters chose their best drives of the week in race 9 last night. Ricky May, John Dunn and Bob Butt were all keen on the chances of their runners and as it turned out none of them were far off the mark. John Dunn worked to the lead on Mr Meddle with Bob Butt settling in the trail with Justalittlebettor and Ricky May and Change The Rulz snookered away four back on the inner. John got away with a couple of cheap quarters in front with Mr Meddle which left enough in the tank to fight off all the challengers in the home straight. Ricky May and Change The Rulz flashed late for an unlucky second just in front of Justalittlebettor and Bob Butt who held third. Mr Meddle paid $10:90 for the win with the quinella paying $15:30 and the trifecta a healthy $185:20 Throw in the double result of Clean Break and Mr Meddle of $49:50 and followers of the ringaround should have made plenty last night. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing trainer Sam Smolenski is a newcomer to the training ranks in New Zealand but it hasn't taken him long to chalk up his first training win. Last night in the maiden 1950 mobile trot at Addington Raceway, Sam had two runners and both were well supported in the market. Paris Princess and Gleneleven were both given a big rap by Sam when he spoke to Harnesslink earlier on Friday. Sam thought they were both in the right shape to win if things went their way but found it hard to favour one over the other. As the gate went, Gavin Smith sent Paris Princess forward with purpose but it took him nearly 400 metres to grab the lead from Dragon Sun. Gleneleven in the meantime had gone off stride out wide and took little further part in proceedings. After the early burn, Gavin was able to button off the speed with Paris Princess and got away with a couple of cheap quarters. The warm favourite Cuddly Jess with Jonny Cox in the bike had worked forward to the death seat outside Paris Princess with a lap to travel and it was clear a long way from home that these two would fight out the finish. Paris Princess started to really up  the tempo from the 500 metres mark and although Cuddly Jess stayed with her, Paris Princess had her covered in the home straight. Paris Princess trotted the 1950 metres in 2:30.5 with closing sectionals of 60 and 28.8. One group who were more than happy with the result was the TAB who had taken several large four figure bets on Cuddly Jess. Training trotters is a specialized part of harness racing but Sam's mentor Fred Fletcher has long been recognized as one of the best exponents at it in New Zealand and Sam seems set to follow in his footsteps. Harnesslink Media  

A better result overall last week with the lower number of selectors involved due to there only being three meetings in the country. Six of our selectors picked winners headed by Ricky May who was joined by Matthew Williamson, Peter Scaife, John Curtin, Maurice McKendry and Todd MacFarlane and another five had placegetters. Once again our north island selectors had the wood on our south island selectors so maybe its time for the southerners to lift their game. This week there are again only three meetings in New Zealand which limits the number of selectors we have involved this week. Cambridge - Thursday night Geoff Small - Reckons Elect To Go is ready to leave maidens in race 2 Scott Phelan - Thinks Kate Hudson has improved since her debut run and can win, also in race 2  Tony Herlihy - Rates Arms of An Angel as the horse to beat in race 4 Maurice McKendry - Gives Hu R U a big chance of winning again, also in race 4  Todd Mitchell - Thought Creamee fresh up could upset them in race 5 Todd MacFarlane - Thinks Cyclone Chief will make it three in a row, also in race 5 John Curtin - Reckons they can't beat Saucy Rebel from barrier one in race 6   Peter Scaife - Gives Vibhuti a real chance of turning his form around in race 7   Addington - Friday night Gavin Smith - Confident that from the mobile Paris Princess will be hard to beat in race 1 Steve Richardson (TAB) Thinks Gleneleven can  beat his stablemate, also in race 1 Gerard O'Reilly - Happy with last weeks run of Kia Kaha and thinks she can win race 3 Blair Orange - Very bullish about the chances of Southern GNP fresh up in race 4 Brad Williamson - Very bullish that Monty Python can win again in race 5 Mark Jones - Thinks Franco Harrington can win again in race 6 Robbie Holmes - Even from the draw thinks Clean Break will be hard to beat in race 8 Bob Butt - Rapt with the run of Justalittlebettor last week and thinks she can win race 9 Ricky May - Thought with any luck, Change The Rulz would be hard to beat,also in race 9 John Dunn - Gives Mr Meddle a big chance of upsetting them, again in race 9   Gore - Sunday afternoon Matthew Williamson - Gives Cream It Cullen a chance of upsetting them in race 2 Nathan Williamson - Thinks first starter Backseat Chick can make a winning debut in race 3 Shane Walkinshaw - Gives Pay Me Ideal with a run under her belt a winning chance,also in race 3  Craig Ferguson - Rates First Flight In a winning chance even from his wide draw in race 4 Clark Barron - Thought Gangnam Style was a dead set quinella with France Cristano in race 6 Harnesslink Media  

One of the newest harness racing trainers on the New Zealand scene is Sam Smolenski who to date has only lined up three runners since taking out  a trainers license late last season. On Friday night at  Addington Raceway, Sam has two runners engaged in the maiden mobile trot over 1950 metres. Paris Princess, to be driven by Gavin Smith has drawn nicely at barrier five and although the form line may look a bit bleak, there is no doubting the ability. The daughter of Diedre Don won a recent trial at Ashburton over 2400 metres in a smart 3:08.9 with terrific closing sectionals of 57.7 and 27.7 and if she was to bring that form to Addington tonight she would be incredibly hard to hold out. Sams other runner is Gleneleven who has drawn barrier seven and is to be driven by Blair Orange. A smart second on debut, Gleneleven looked out of sorts at his next start at Rangiora in the slush last Sunday, breaking early and again in the home straight which ended up in him being disqualified. With the aid of the mobile the son of Monkey Bones rates as a big winning chance tonight. Sam found it hard to separate the pair when speaking to Harnesslink earlier today. " I am expecting a big run from both of them tonight and there is not that much between them at this stage." " Paris Princess will really appreciate the mobile." " She just doesn't concentrate when in standing starts but she will be fine behind the mobile and I would be surprised if she galloped tonight." " Gleneleven had an issue in his neck at Rangiora, getting on one rein the whole way and that is why he broke." " I have had him treated post race and his work this week has been great so I am expecting him to go a big race tonight." "Long term I think Gleneleven will be the better of the two horses and I think he will go a fair way," Sam said. With any kind of luck, Sam looks a big chance to have his first winner as a trainer in race 1 at Addington tonight. Harnesslink Media

You can sign up now in case you have not received the most recent Harnesslink newsletter called Insider Access, and here is your chance by clicking here.  Just fill in the form below and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes current stories you will not read on our website and updates on our great Stallion Sphere. All previous stallion reviews can now be viewed at http://stallionsphere.com. Here are some headline teasers from our most recent issue! NZ not all Doom and Gloom One of the problems you face when reporting on the harness racing industry in New Zealand is projecting a positive profile on an industry which you know has major challenges facing it. Because it is so easy to identify so many major problems within the industry, the good things that are happening tend to get overlooked and ignored. "Tip of the Hat" to 3R’s $200,000 Prix D’Ete This Sunday, August 23, there is a harness racing track in Trois-Rivieres, population around 45,000, a quaint little town in the province of Quebec, Canada. It’s the Hippodrome 3R (Three Rivers) and on Sunday they will be the talk of the town in harness racing as they host the second annual revival of the prestigious Prix D’Ete. Shadow Play and Sportswriter Updated In Stallion Sphere's newest revision we once again update two of the reviews we have previously done on newer sires in the market. The two stallions featured this week are Shadow Play and Sportswriter. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics One of the first things that a commercial harness racing breeder will look at when assessing a stallion is the fertility percentage the sire has achieved in his previous years at stud. One thing that will put breeders off very quickly is a figure that is significantly below the industry norm. Sign up to "Insider Access" Full Name Email Subscribe

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Loader
Loader
Loader
With the Australasian Breeders Crown finals at Tabcorp Park Melton almost upon us, Harnesslink has decided to do a preview of all the finals. This peview is of the three year old trotting fillies final. 1) Vari Perfect (Armbro Variable)   Starts 9  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $2878 Nine start maiden who is on the improve but the depth of this field makes things difficult.Even from the draw it is hard to make a case for her. Not for us 2) Desert Flyer (Pegasus Spur)   Starts 24  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 5  -  Stakes $21,203 She has a tidy enough record overall but her performances in the Group races has been poor. Draw a help but still hard to see her as a player here. Not for us. 3) Justines Amore (Love You)   Starts 8  -  Wins 5  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $24,476 Her record says she should be a major player here but we are not convinced. Dominant in New South Wales earlier in season but her last couple in Victoria against many of those she meets here have been okay without being top draw. First four player for us at best. 4) Reina Danzante (Armbro Invasion)   Starts 7  -  Wins 5  -  Seconds 1  -  thirds 0  -  Stakes $53,638 Has hardly put a foot wrong in her career todate and from the draw looks the one they all have to beat here. Bred to be something special and trainer -driver combo is outstanding. A clear first pick for us. 5) Zaire Diva (Red River Hanover)   Starts 22  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 4  -  Thirds 4 $26,245 Hasn't won out of turn right through her career as her record shows. Good enough at different times to be placed or be thereabouts against a lot of those she faces here. Draw no help but outside trifecta and first four player here. 6) Yankee Sister (Yankee Boy)   Starts 17  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $13,573 Nice enough trotter but just a length or two off the smart ones here. Hard to make a case for here in this field from this draw. Not for us. 7) Alannah Hall (Angus Hall)   Starts 10  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 4  -  Stakes $20,998 Not the worst here by any means but draw makes it very hard. Given a good blowout in her one Australian start to date so will strip a lot fitter for this. Outside first four player at best from the draw.                                                                                                                                                                                           SECOND LINE 8)  My Arya (Angus Hall)   Starts 24  -  Wins 14  -  Seconds 14  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $234,149 Champion filly who has just seemed slightly off her game lately. Has only missed a place once in 14 starts in Australia so underestimate at your peril. Draw terrible but driver Anthony Butt is right in the zone at the moment. A winning chance and a must include for all trifecta and first four takers. 9) Fiery Mountain Girl (Sundon)   Starts 15  -  Wins 6  -  Seconds 3  -  Thirds 2  -  $63,416 Quality filly who ran a great third in the New Zealand Oaks after doing plenty of work, beating home My Arya Carried on the good work in New South Wales winning the Trotting Derby there and has to be a big player here with any kind of luck from the draw. Include in everything. 10) Naked Majesty (Majestic Son)  Starts 19  -  Wins 6  -  Seconds 3  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $38,235 Nice filly who was unlucky to not make the field for the final. If she did make it back into the field, she is not a forlorn first four chance.  11)  Glenferrie Burn (Muscle Hill)   Starts 24   -  Wins 8  -  Seconds 8  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $61,875 Lovely filly who has built up a smart record to date. Always seems to be one or two better than her but a good chance to get amongst it here. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 12) Endsino (Angus Hall)   Starts 18  -  wins 7  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $97,443 Another beautifully bred filly with a race record to match. Outstanding run for fourth in Victoria Trotting Derby but needed a draw to beat a couple here and ended up in the carpark on the second row. Still a chance from there but hard to see her winning. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 13) Aldebaran Deebee (Skyvalley)   Starts 12  -  Wins 4  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $ 21,220 Continues to step up but another filly who has been hamstrung by the draw. Seems to take each step up in her stride but hard to see her winning this from the carpark. Must include for trifecta and first four players. SELECTIONS From the draw Reina Danzante looks sure to lead and be very hard to run down with all her major competitors drawn poorly If My Arya sees any kind of daylight from her draw, she immediately becomes a big danger to the favourite while Fiery Mountain Girl, Aldebaran Deebee, Glenferrie Burn and Endsino are all capable of running in the first four. Harnesslink Media
This Friday night at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park, we have the sixth running of the Island of Origin driving series. Each team has six drivers involved but field sizes being what they are at the moment, most drivers are on the sidelines at least once and in some cases twice during the series. The exceptions are the Northern captain Tony Herlihy and the Southern captain Dexter Dunn who each have a full book of six drives. The contest will be decided over six races and there is a three- three split with trot and pacing races which is a good way to have it. We thought we would look at each heat with our thoughts on the likely winner. Race 2  Majestic John is in great nick at the moment, has drawn well and has regular pilot Josh Dickie in the bike. Bettabe Perfect has drawn to be in the action from one with Tony Herlihy driving and after that it is a bit of a lottery. The North holds the upper hand here. Race 3 Princess MacKendon with Dexter Dunn driving looks the one to beat here. Smart trotter in the making and with that first run under her belt should hold too many guns for this field Thanks Shane with John Dunn on board  went close several times last campaign but after that several have exposed form which makes them a runners chance without standing out The South has a slight edge here. Race 4 The two best horses have drawn awkwardly here which makes this race a bit harder to judge. Hart Of Dixie with Matthew Williamson driving has always looked a talented mare and her record backs that up but from seven at the barrier she is going to need a bit of luck. Same applies for Jo's Dream and Jay Abernethy from two on the second line but she has the alround game to overcome the draw. Love Is A Drug (John Dunn) and Culinary Delight (Josh Dickie) are other leading chances in a field that the draw has evened out. Hard to favour one team over the other in this race. Race 6 Now this race really is a lottery and trying to narrow it down is not easy San Diego Love is going through a flat patch for a mare of her ability but if she was anything close to her best, she would win this. Blair Orange drives. Tereskova (Ricky May) is in form and Le Lua Invasion (Dexter Dunn) looks well suited in a field of this type. On paper the South looks to have a distinct advantage but it is anyone's guess how the race will pan out Race 7 Joey Maguire (Scott Phelan) has drawn to lead here and if he does lead he will be very hard to beat. The smart Vice Consul (Tony Herlihy) follows him through from the second line and with any kind of run becomes a big player here. No Way Else (Dexter Dunn) and First Home (Ricky May) are chances to get amongst it as is Zakspatrol (Nathan Williamson) whose last run was super. The North holds a small advantage here but it isn't a lot Race 8 Another evenly split race to finish the series. Allingham (Tony Herlihy) is knocking on the door of its next win and gets a start here over its biggest challengers. Twelve Monkeys (Blair Orange) is going for three in a row and Isa Smiling (Josh Dickie) continues to impress as she wins her way through the grades. All Royal Gal (Ricky May) is another with a great form line so again the favoured horses are evenly split between the two teams. Selection Hard to be confident here about either team winning this by a margin but overall maybe the South by a short half head. Harnesslink Media
THE Addington Harness Racing New Zealand Ranking Committee had a busy time yesterday dealing to two sets of rankings for the first time at its initial meeting for 2015. In a rare situation, a marked increase in Australian and international nominations made comparing the various merits of horses more difficult, but it is exciting to see so many varied form-lines coming together for races like the $750,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup and the $250,000 Hellers Dominion. The NZ Trotting Cup rankings are headed by last season's 'Horse of the Year' Christen Me, with Australian nomination and Hunter Cup winner Arden Rooney at two being the top ranked visitor. While the NZ Cup is missing stars such as Adore Me and Terror To Love, a new guard is set to take their place. The committee was impressed with the overall depth and quality of those nominated, which suggests an intriguing spring build-up is in store. There is the potential to have a large group of quality up-and-comers clambering spots in the lead-up to harness racing's great race. In the Dominion, defending champion Jaccka Justy heads the list, just ahead of Trotter of the Year, Stent and the ever-present Sheemon. An exciting aspect is the addition of two well-performed European trotters. This is sure to add a significant edge to the Dominion and its lead-up. Ranking the Hellers Dominion proved to be an interesting process for the committee. Addington Racing Manager Brian Rabbit explains; "It's tremendous having the international flavour adding to the Dominion.: "The Australian nominations are well credentialed, which is great for the potential depth of the race but that also gave us some headaches." "The trickiest part for the committee was weighing up the two European horses, Used To Me and Daryl Boko." "Both have competed very well in the hotbed of European trotting." "Used To Me is a proven top-level type performer in France, while Daryl Boko ran third when favourite in the Finnish Derby last year, a Group 1 race worth 221,000 Euros and brings over solid Swedish form." "We had to exercise discretion for the European pair, as they clearly fall outside of what the ranking criteria was introduced to cover." The connections of smart trotter Boizel have made a Late Payment to nominate and he now takes the total number of Hellers Dominion nominations to 39. The next set of rankings will be released following a committee meeting on Tuesday 8 September after the Maurice Holmes Vase on September 4. If you require any further information on this, please do not hesitate to contact the Racing Department at HRNZ on 03) 964 1200 or Brian Rabbitt at Addington Raceway on 03) 338 9094. Courtney Clarke New Zealand Cup Rankings 1) Christen Me 2) Arden Rooney 3) Smolda 4) Franco Nelson 5) Franco Ledger 6) Sky Major 7) Ohoka Punter 8) Tiger Tara 9) Corzin Terror 10) Easy On The Eye 11) Venus Serena 12) Lancewood Lizzie 13) Mossdale Conner 14) Forever Gold 15) Jason Rulz 16) Belkmyster 17) Te Kawau 18) Dalton Bromac 19) Alleluia 20) Messini 21) Bit Of A Legend 22) Saveapatrol 23) Choise Achiever 24) Mach Beauty 25) Chancellor Cullen 26) Brilliant Strike 27) Quick As A Trick 28) Lewy Risk 29) Jivin Cullen 30) Ideal Success 31) Mighty Flying Mac 32) Mach’s Gladiator 33) Ballindooley 34) Bettor Dream 35) No Doctor Needed 36) Major Bubbles 37) Delightful Dash 38) Major Star 39) Provocative Prince 40) Zakspatrol   Dominion Handicap Rankings 1) Jaccka Justy 2) Stent 3) Sheemon 4) Master Lavros 5) Used To Me 6) Kincaslough 7) Alley Way 8) Vincennes 9) One Over Da Moon 10) Jag’s Invasion 11) King Denny 12) Habibti 13) Daryl Boko 14) Clover Don 15) Prime Power 16) Realmein 17) Kyvalley Blur 18) Maori Time  19) Springbank Sam 20) Speeding Spur 21) Royal Aspirations 22) Overanova 23) Boizel 24) Valmagne 25) Cool Cobber 26) Uncas 27) Monbet 28) Majestic Time 29) Quite A Moment 30) Escapee 31) Harrysul 32) Live The Dream 33) Sol Invictus 34) Al Bundy 35) Leanne’s Boy 36) Monty Python 37) Waterloo Sunset 38) Wingsonhai 39) Prestine  
Our harness racing tipsters have been going okay for a while now but last week they had one of  their best weekends since we started the ringaround. Nine tipsters selected winners which was a great result in itself but it was the dividends that some of them paid that really raised the bar. John Dunn has bragging rights after a $10:90 collect with Mr Meddle while Robbie Holmes ($8:70), Nathan Williamson ($8:30) and Gavin Smith ($6:60) were others to select winners at good odds. Throw in a $185 trifecta in the last at Addington (John Dunn, Bob Butt, Ricky May) and the ringaround followers must have had a good night on the punt. The southerners righted the ship too with a win for once so the challenge now is can they do it this week? This week there are only three meetings in New Zealand and only seven races at Forbury Park so once again our number of selectors is down. Three of our regular tipsters are at Melton for the Breeders Crown finals so we have included their selections there. Forbury Park - Thursday night John Curtin - Rates Topnotch Eagle a big chance to make a winning debut in race 1 Craig Ferguson - Reckons even from the wide draw, Anothersuperstar is not out of it in race 4 Gavin Smith - Thinks Paris Princess from her handy draw can win again,also in race 4   Alexandra Park - Friday night Todd Mitchell - Rates Risk a good chance to take on some smart horses and win in race 1 Peter Scaife - Gives Majestic John from barrier two a big chance of winning race 2 Matthew Williamson - Thought even from barrier eight, Hart Of Dixie was a winning chance in race 4 Blair Orange - Rates Love Is A Drug from her good draw a big chance, also in race 4  Steven Reid - Reckons the first starter Mo Cullen will give plenty of cheek in race 5 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Rates Le Lua Invasion with Dexter in the bike the one to beat in race 6 Scott Phelan - Gives Joey Maguire from barrier two a big chance of winning race 7 Nathan Williamson - Likes his chances of winning at Auckland with Zakspatrol,also in race 7 Tony Herlihy - Quite keen on the chances of Allingham in race 8   Timaru - Sunday afternoon Gerard O'Reilly - Thought Diana Harbour was overdue and could win race 1 John Dunn - Thinks Cullens First Meddle will be hard to roll in race 2 Robbie Holmes - Rates Tehoro Holly a good chance of taking out race 4 Mark Jones - Reckons Stuover will make it two from two in race 5 Terry Chmiel - Gives first starter Martin John a good chance of making a winning debut in race 6 Ricky May - Quite keen on Liz Rule breaking her duck, also in race 6 Brad Williamson - Thinks Astral Ruler is capable of handling the C1 grade and can win race 7   Tabcorp Park, Melton - Sunday afternoon Maurice McKendry - Confident that The Orange Agent even from her poor draw can win race 6 Bob Butt - With his gate speed and drawn barrier one, Conon Bridge should be winning race 9 Todd MacFarlane - Couldn't be happier with Cyclone Chief and rates him a big chance, also in race 9
Loader

Additional Articles