Day At The Track
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Marcoola smashes NZ record

Canterbury trained trotter Marcoola has broken the New Zealand 2200m mobile record tonight when easily winning the Gr2 Lyell Creek Stakes at Alexandra Park. Trained by Ken Ford and driven by part owner Clint Ford the Sundon 5yo was beaten for early speed in the race by Maurice McKendry and Lemond and ended up three deep on the fence before zipping to the lead with a lap remaining.  In the straight Marcoola had far too much gas for the opposition running clear and winning by more than 3 lengths without being pushed. Clint Ford said after the race he could not do much about getting crossed at the start, "I tried to hold them out but they were too quick for me. When the train started coming I thought I better get moving and he held on good in the end. "He was touching the wheels a bit during the race as well. Usually he clears them but I think he was just stretching out so well tonight. The winning time of 2-41.3 broke the old New Zealand record of 2-41.9 set by Habibty Ivy in April last year. Marcoola will have his next run on New Years Eve at Alexandra Park in the Gr1 $100000 National trot and will bypass the Cambridge Mile on Christmas Eve.     Harnesslink Media

Dream About Me,Harness racing

Mark multibet far from certain

If you are considering a Mark Multi at Alexandra Park tonight tread cautiously. Because while champion trainer Mark Purdon will provide favourites in up to five of the races on the premier night, he has reservation about two of his biggest names. Purdon is looking after the domestic team tonight before heading to Victoria tomorrow morning to partner favourite Spankem in the Inter Dominion Pacing Final, where he has been prepared by partner Natalie Rasmussen, who will drive Cruz Bromac in the same race. There will be plenty of punters willing to multi up all sorts of All Stars-trained runners over the weekend but Purdon says any time he brings a horse to Alexandra Park for the first time there is an element of the unknown. And that applies to both Ultimate Sniper in the $50,000 Alabar Classic and Turn It Up in the $50,000 Lincoln Farms Franklin Cup. Ultimate Sniper was stunningly good winning the Sires' Stakes Final at Addington last month and will have Tony Herlihy sitting in for Rasmussen tonight but the $1.35 might be a little short. "We all know how good he is but he has never raced right-handed and he hasn't been 100 per cent comfortable yet when working that way," says Purdon. "He should be better on the bigger track at Alexandra Park but I wouldn't be saying he will just win because he has to overcome that hurdle first." Turn It Up is one of the more exciting pacers in the country and it took Interdom star Cruz Bromac to beat him in the NZ Free-For-All last start but he hasn't raced for four weeks and also hasn't been right-handed. "We have four good chances in that race and while he might be the best of them I can't separate them with any confidence, again because he hasn't raced right-handed. "So a horse like Ashley Locaz could be hard to beat, he had to be very good to win like he did here last week." Purdon's confidence levels boost closer to 100 per cent when discussing Dream About Me in the Queen Of Hearts and Princess Tiffany in the Ladyship Stakes. The latter lost her unbeaten record when third in a similar field last Friday but is better drawn and with natural improvement should win, although Wainui Creek is an exciting rival. Dream About Me held off stablemate Elle Mac in their lead-up race last Friday and a similar racing pattern and result looks likely in tonight's group one, especially with main rival Utmost Delight drawn wider than the favoured pair. Purdon and his army of punting followers won't just have eyes for Alexandra Park, with Ultimate Machete returning to mobile racing at Addington tonight too, where A G's White Socks and Alta Maestro will test any chinks in his armour. Back at Alexandra Park, Marcoola has the draw and the gate speed to dominate the $50,000 Lyell Creek Trot and he would only need to turn up in his Dominion winning form of a month ago to make the $1.90 quote look luxurious.   Michael Guerin

Elle Mac, harness racing

$100,000 Queen Of Hearts - Who wins?

Tonight's Group 1 Rosslands Queen Of Hearts going for $100,000 should be a battle between the aged harness racing star Dream About Me and the pretender to the crown Elle Mac. Dream About Me, now a seasoned six-year-old, has been a brilliant race mare and a star for breeder Charlie Roberts winning 22 races from 37 starts for earnings of just over a million dollars. Her recent New Zealand Cup placing stamped her as a very special race mare. She was an easy winner of The Breeder's Stakes last week and she won this race two years ago. She is also unbeaten in seven starts at Alexandra Park. She deserves to be the favourite. On the other hand she has a serious contender this week in the form of the young pretender Elle Mac. Elle Mac was sold through the 2016 sales as Lot 33 to high-profile Australian buyer Jean Feiss for $51,000 and is the winner of 10 races, five of these at Group 1 level and four of those at Alexandra Park, for stake earnings of $492,127 and has set three NZ Records. Elle Mac now a four-year-old is having her fifth run back in The Queen Of Hearts. She has faced Dream About Me twice in this campaign, once breaking at the start and taking no part. Thefixer won this race with Dream About Me finishing second and then Elle Mac raced against Dream About Me last week finishing second but making ground right to the wire. Elle Mac's run was exceptional after working hard for the front over the first 800 meters Here is that race; I believe Elle Mac is about to turn the tables on her illustrious stable mate in $100,000 The Rosslands Queen Of Hearts tonight. We will see! Click here for tonight's race program. Elle Mac is bred on the golden-cross, she is a Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare, the same as champion Lazarus and many others that are racing. Your chance of securing a close relation to Elle Mac has improved dramatically with three outstanding entries from the Breckon Farms draft at the Inaugural 2019 National Yearling Sale held in Karaka, Auckland, on the 17th and 18th of February. Lot 6 an American Ideal filly from a race winning full-sister to Elle Mac, Lot 12 an American Ideal filly from a race winning Mach Three sister to Elle Mac and Lot 18 an Art Major colt brother to Elle Mac who is appropriately called Billion Dollar Boy. Lot 6 - Needamargarita is a filly by American Ideal from Fellamongstabeauty by Bettor's Delight from the Christian Cullen mare Goodlookinggirl. Lot 12 - Allamericanlover is a filly by American Ideal from Goodlookinbabe by Mach Three from from the Christian Cullen mare Goodlookinggirl. American Ideal has produced ten millionaires in North America in total. Four have been fillies including his richest progeny American Jewel 1:48.2s ($1,834,823) and also the champion current North American three-year-old filly of the year Yourmycandygirl 1:48.2 ($1,497,000). American Ideal has produced the winners of over $87 million to date in North America. In New Zealand he is the sire of progeny that has earned $7.5 million to date and in Australia he has progeny earnings of over $10 million to date.  Therefore, American Ideal now belongs to the $100 million club an outstanding achievement. He best performing mare in New Zealand is The Orange Agent ($516,974) and in Australia American Ideal has produced two millionaires to date. They are Bling It On 1:50.8 ($1,656,656) and Soho Tribeca 1:53.8 ($1,103,374)  Lot 18 - Billion Dollar Boy is a colt by Art Major from Goodlookinggirl by Christian Cullen from the Butler BG mare Twice As Good. The stallion Art Major needs no introduction. He has sired the winners of over $122 million in North America alone. In New Zealand he has sired the winners of over $13 million and in Australia he has sired the winners of over $51 million.  Billion Dollar Boy is the first colt from Goodlookinggirl.   For full catalogue pedigrees and for more information on The National Yearling Sale click on this link. Harnesslink Media   Elle Mac beating the boys on the 16th of November 2018 Elle Mac - $134,000 Group 1 Nevele R Series Final Elle Mac _ $120,000 Great Northern Oaks Elle Mac - $138,000 Sire Stakes Final Elle Mac - $138,000 Two-Year-Old Sire Stakes Final Elle Mac - $113,406 Caduceus Club Classic for Two-Year-Olds

The Rt Hon. Winston Peters

Ministerial Advisory Committee announced

Racing Minister Winston Peters has announced a five-member Ministerial Advisory Committee to inform next steps on the Messara Review of the New Zealand Racing Industry. “This government is committed to reforming the racing industry. The Ministerial Advisory Group will develop a plan to operationalise the Messara Report to deliver better governance and economic outcomes,” said Mr Peters. “The five people appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Committee bring their personal expertise and ability to provide independent, strategic assessments of the business change proposals for the racing industry. Between them they have experience across the three racing industry codes,” he said. Mr Peters has appointed Dean McKenzie as Chair. Mr McKenzie is an experienced racing administrator whose dedication and passion to improving the industry make him the ideal choice to lead this very important work. He will be well-supported by Committee members Bill Birnie, Liz Dawson, Kristy McDonald and Sir Peter Vela.   “Collectively, they will identify the technical, legal, financial and process-oriented decision points for racing reform and return the industry to a well-managed and sustainable economic growth path. They will also take into account the feedback received during the public submission process.” said Mr Peters  The Committee will provide an interim report to the Minister for Racing by the end of February 2019, to be followed by Cabinet decisions, and legislation to modernise the industry. The Committee is being created as a potential precursor to the establishment of a Racing Industry Transitional Agency (RITA), subject to future government decisions.   RT HON WINSTON PETERS

The All Stars stable of Natalie Rasmussen and Mark Purdon knows no boundaries. Their pursuit of excellence continues to defy belief, constantly rewriting the pages of history, producing brilliant talent season after season and across all age groups. The Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final is a time honoured feature that tugs at the heartstrings of both Rasmussen and Purdon. After all, Rasmussen and her mighty champion Blacks A Fake won the event a record four times while Purdon has lifted the trophy on six occasions – 3 pacers and 3 trotters. This will be Rasmussen’s 7th Inter Dominion Grand Final, her previous six coming with Blacks A Fake – 4 wins and 2 seconds. In fact, the last time the Pacing Grand Final was staged in Melbourne (2008 - Moonee Valley), it was Rasmussen and ‘Blackie’ that proved victorious. And now they’re chasing another slice of history this weekend. The All Stars have qualified two runners for the Gr.1 $500,000 TAB Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final, the top two point scorers following the three rounds of heats over the past week. Cruz Bromac and Spankem are the two combatants, both striving to provide the stable their third straight Inter Dominion hero. Yet all with different horses after Smolda scored in 2016 while Lazarus took honours last year. And here’s the magic, no stable has won the Inter Dominion three times and with a different champion each time. The famous stables of Bob and Vin Knight fell short back in 1990 after both Our Maestro and Jane Ellen scored in the previous. It was Thorate who scored at Globe Derby while the Knight trained Jane Ellen and Rockleigh Victory were both unplaced and therefore denied the Victorian stable a three peat. Obviously Rockleigh Victory would’ve created history if successful - three different winners in three consecutive years. But now the All Stars can claim this record if either Cruz Bromac or Spankem deliver. And both have undeniable chances, Spankem will start from gate five with Purdon driving after Rasmussen elected to stick solid with Cruz Bromac despite drawing gate nine. Purdon is taking his 9th Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final drive; he has won three finals previously with Mark Hanover, Smolda and Lazarus while he has won 3 Trotting Finals with Pride Of Petite and I Can Doosit (twice). Cruz Bromac is the only runner during the series to win all three qualifying heats. With the series undertaking several changes throughout recent years, the last pacer to clean sweep a series (3 heats & Final) was the champion performer Im Themightyquinn back in 2012 at Gloucester Park in Perth while Elsu also achieved the feat in 2005 at Alexandra Park, Auckland. So, can Cruz Bromac and Rasmussen achieve the sweep? Will it be his stablemate, rising star Spankem? The professional four-year-old has thrived during the series winning two of his three heats and looks like he’ll relish the 2760m distance. Another New Zealand four-year-old I’m Pats Delight is also relishing the hard grind of the series and looms as a serious player for a formidable combination in Cran Dalgety and Gavin Lang. Between them, they have won more features than they care to remember. However, the Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final trophy has proven elusive for both future Hall of Famers but can they etch their names into the record books this weekend? This will be Lang’s 10th Inter Dominion Grand Final drive and second for Dalgety after partnering London Legend back in 2006. I’m Pats Delight will start from gate three. Perth powerhouse Greg and Skye Bond are represented by the ideally drawn Galactic Star (gate one) and the Bettors Delight gelding has been outstanding throughout the series to date with top three finishes in each of his three heats. Last year, Galactic Star finished 5th behind Lazarus. In 2012, the Bond’s also finished 5th with Can Return Fire behind Im Themightyquinn. Ryan Warwick takes his third Inter Dominion Grand Final drive when he reunites with Galactic Star. Interestingly, the only proven Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit winner in the field this year is the tough Sydney trained millionaire Tiger Tara. And his maiden Grand Circuit victory came recently when successful in the Victoria Cup here at TABCORP Park, Melton when leading throughout. Placed third last year behind Lazarus and Chicago Bull, the Kevin Pizzuto trained and Todd McCarthy driven will need to overcome gate seven, the outside of the front-line. McCarthy is taking his 4th Inter Dominion Grand Final drive. The Bettors Delight entire was placed in all three heats including his victory last weekend at Cranbourne. Local star San Carlo lines up again following his impressive efforts last year in Perth where he won a heat but in the final, he finished 9th behind Lazarus after drawing poorly. Although winless during the heats and starting from gate eight, the inside of the second-line, San Carlo still rates as a winning hope. Prepared by Steve O’Donoghue and handled by Bec Bartley, the Mach Three gelding will carry plenty of local support. Another local which will have plenty cheering is the David Aiken trained and Kima Frenning driven up and comer Wrappers Delight. A winner in the sprint heat at Ballarat on night two, the Bettors Delight gelding needs to overcome gate 11. This opportunity provides Frenning with her first Inter Dominion Grand Final drive. One of the surprise packets of the series is the Mattie Craven trained and driven Can’t Refuse, responsible for some eye-catching efforts throughout the heats. The Bettors Delight gelding will start from gate two. Like Frenning, this is Craven’s first Inter Dominion Grand Final drive. Another pacer that has thrived throughout the series is the Bathurst prepared Our Uncle Sam for father/son combination of Chris and Anthony Frisby. Blessed with sharp speed and great determination, the Sportswriter gelding is looking at bringing another Inter Dominion trophy back to the famous region. Memories of Honda Grattan and Smooth Satin come flooding back when assessing the chances of Our Uncle Sam. The five-year-old will start from gate 10 and this is Anthony’s first Inter Dominion Grand Final drive. There’s no doubt rejuvenated pacer Maximan will have the biggest cheer squad, the one-time claimer has thrived under the care of Shane and Lauren Tritton. It will be their 3rd Inter Dominion finalist. Boasting owners from all parts of the country, the veteran performer will start from gate six. And Craig Cross is represented by two runners, just like the All Stars, speedy pacer Mach Doro starts from gate four while Cash N Flow is looking to overcome gate 13, the outside of the second-line. Luke McCarthy partners Mach Doro while John Caldow takes the drive behind Cash N Flow, McCarthy is lining up for his 7th Inter Dominion Grand Final drive while Caldow is taking his maiden drive in a Pacing Grand Final. McCarthy has finished third four times previously but is still chasing his maiden victory. Interestingly, Cash N Flow is a former member of the All Stars operation before joining Cross earlier this year. Owner Dominic Martello races both Wrappers Delight and Mach Doro. Audi Hare (gate 12) is listed as the emergency runner. Chris Barsby

Trainer John Dickie is full of honesty and hope heading into the A$150,000 Inter Dominion Trotting Final with Speeding Spur. Because while the Kiwi trainer is honest enough to admit his millionaire trotter may have lost his sheer speed, he is also hopeful his stamina may snare him one of the most important races of Dickie's career. Dickie trains the now seven-year-old with his son Josh and after two wins in his three heats of the series Speeding Spur is the clear second favourite for the 2760m mobile at Melton on Saturday night. He has the advantage of the ace and at his peak of two or three years ago would be a dominant favourite but that honour instead lies with Tornado Valley, who was unbeaten in his heats. Dickie admits that is fair. "On their form in this series Tornado Valley has looked the best horse. "But that doesn't mean we can't beat him," says Dickie. "He is faster than us, which is how he beat us in the sprint heat at Ballarat last week. "Our fella doesn't have that sub-27 second quarter (400m) in him like he used to and that makes it hard to beat Tornado Valley. "But the distance and the draw helps us. "If we can hold the lead Josh (driver) will have options." The most logical of those would be making Tornado Valley work to get the lead and hope he gets fired up and leaves himself vulnerable at the end of a hard 2760m for Speeding Spur to grab him. He used those tactics against another speedier rival in Enghien in the Rowe Cup last April, handing up in the middle stages when many would have expected Speeding Spur to stay in front. After a long, brave career punctuated by at least two serious injuries Speeding Spur may simply not be as sharp as he used to be but he looks certain to get his shot on Saturday night if he is good enough. "But to do that we have to hold the lead early, so that will be Josh's first job." The Dickie family has been involved with elite level trotters for decades so the reinstatement of the trotting Inter Dominion after a six year hiatus is a huge deal for them. "To me the two biggest races in Australasia are the New Zealand Cup and the Inter Dominions. "Sure I would like it to be worth more money but if we win on Saturday night that won't bother us because I have wanted to win the Inter since I started training." Speeding Spur is the $3.30 second favourite behind Tornado Valley while in Saturday night's A$500,000 pacing final the money has come for Cruz Bromac, who has been the shortener on both sides of the Tasman, slightly pushing out the prices of fellow Kiwi favourites Spankem and Im Pats Delight. Michael Guerin

TAB Jackpots Pre-Christmas Bonuses on NZ Early Quaddies Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday between now and Christmas there will be a Bonus Early Quaddie on a NZ meeting: Thoroughbreds: $20k Bonus Early Quaddie every Saturday Harness: $5k Bonus Early Quaddie every Friday night AND Sunday Greyhounds: $5k Bonus Early Quaddie every Thursday evening Bonus Pools Thu 13 Dec Addington Dogs: $5k BONUS Early Quaddie Fri 14 Dec Alexandra Park Harness: $5k BONUS Early Quaddie Sat 15 Dec Te Rapa Races: $20k BONUS Early Quaddie Sun 16 Dec Rangiora AND Winton Harness: $5k BONUS Early Quaddies Pick Six  Thu 13 Dec $40k Guaranteed at Palmerston North Night Harness Fri 14 Dec $25k Guaranteed TURBO at Alex Park/Addington Night Harness Interdominions Interdominion Harness @Melton: A$110k BONUS Quaddie Races 5, 6, 7 & 8.   Manawatu Harness Racing Club - Thursday 13 December First race at 5.16pm. Features a $40,000 Pick Six.    Addington Raceway - Friday 14 December Hello Everyone, The countdown is on for Christmas.  Do you need to order Christmas Goodies, or organize a get together prior to the end of year.  If so, we can help!  ADDINGTON PANTRY ONLINE CATERING has Christmas Treats available to purchase!  Our Chefs have made delicious Christmas cakes, mince tarts and steam puddings for you to order online.  Please visit our website to make your life easy leading up to the big day.    https://www.addington.co.nz/addington-pantry/    As you could imagine Christmas at the Races is extremely popular.  If you are still looking for something, we have options available for Friday 14 and 21 December.  Friday 14 December Experience a Christmas Party like no other! Friday week we have a phenomenal festive atmosphere, delicious food, entertainment and of course great harness racing action on the track.  Options start from $75 per person.  End of Year Celebration ~ 21st December Races  Get your colleagues, friends and family together for one of the last working days of the year, and relax and unwind on the Lindauer Lawn from 2pm while watching the races.  Package includes: Christmas-themed BBQ buffet, allocated outdoor seating with umbrella, live entertainment between races and cash bar facilities. Only $38 per person. UPCOMING RACE MEETING PROGRAMMES AT THE NZMTC https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/121432pg.htm - Friday 14 December https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/122132pg.htm - Friday 21 December (Tentative) To contact us about any of the above please call 03 338 9094 or email info@addington.co.nz Take care, travel safe and we look forward to seeing you soon. From the Addington Team.     Alexandra Park - Friday 14 December and Saturday 15 December  Christmas At The Races popular as ever Alexandra Park’s eight Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings set down for November and December are selling fast but there’s still time. “Our three November evenings are probably where we’ve got the best availability. However individuals, businesses and organisations need to book now to avoid disappointment,” says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. The 2018 Christmas At The Races evenings will take place on Fridays 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 15 December. The incredibly popular nights are promoted as the perfect work Christmas party with a gourmet buffet, stunning décor, and great entertainment including a visit from Santa himself!. Holly packages remain available from $70 per person, as do the delightful Mistletoe packages at $115 with the option of track-view dining outside on the Epsom Balconies. Also, still available are the premium Pohutukawa packages in the Tasman Room from $140 which include a premium drinks package. However, Pohutukawa packages in Alexandra Park’s level five Top of the Park venue, priced from $165, are now limited but with some availability still on 21 December. Ms Visser says regardless of the hospitality package, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can-eat Christmas-style buffet. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Inter Dominions 2019 at Alexandra Park Dates confirmed are: Heats Friday 29th November Tuesday 3rd December Friday 6th December Final Saturday 14th December ATC 2019 Syndicate: Over the last two decades, the Auckland Trotting Club has formed 17 syndicates, each comprising either 40 or 50 shares and racing between 2 and 4 horses. To date, all 17 syndicates have proved, or are proving, very successful: At this year’s Australasian Classic Yearling Sale or the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, the Auckland Trotting Club 2019 Syndicate’s yearlings were selected by the top trainers Robert Dunn, Brent Mangos and Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson: Name: Alta Redeemer Trainer: Robert Dunn Name: Christianshavtime Trainer: Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson Name: Bet West Trainer: Brent Mangos When you join an ATC Syndicate, not only do you get to enjoy the thrill of owning and racing harness racehorses, but you can also be very involved in Harness Racing generally, initially at Alexandra Park and the wider Auckland/Waikato area and then quite possibly venturing further afield in New Zealand and Australia, as some previous ATC Syndicates have. There are many advantages involved with being part of one of the Auckland Trotting Club Syndicates. These include; the comparatively low costs, the opportunity to share in the ownership of well bred horses trained by some of the best trainers in New Zealand, making new friendships with like-minded people, having total involvement in the Harness Racing industry and having the opportunity to participate in social events and possibly travel throughout the year. Every month, syndicate members receive a detailed newsletter documenting each horse’s progress, member news, and other information. Regular updates are placed on a phone-in message service, which can be accessed at anytime from anywhere in New Zealand free of charge. We have already had syndicate members from a wide geographical location around New Zealand, from Kaeo and Kaitaia in the North, to Dunedin and Invercargill in the South, as well as from the USA, Canada, England, Japan, Australia (Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) and even Iceland. Each year of establishing a new Syndicate, the Auckland Trotting Club has implemented their hugely successful formula of buying three richly bred yearlings at the Yearling Sales, with these horses being selected by and trained by some of New Zealand’s leading trainers. For further information please contact or go to www.alexandrapark.co.nz/racing/syndicates: Andrew Jamieson – ATC Syndication Manager Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:  ajamieson175@gmail.com If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email on dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or give us a call on 09 631 1165   Winton HRC - Sunday 16 December WINTON THE FOCUS OF TROTTING FRATERNITY Central Southland Raceway in Winton is the focus for harness racing over the next few weeks with three of the four remaining meetings of 2018 held at the course. The Winton Harness Racing Club host meetings at the course on 16 and 31 December while the Wairio Trotting Club hold their annual Christmas meeting and Cup Day on Saturday 22 December. The first of the three meetings is the Winton Harness Racing Club Christmas Races at the course on Sunday 16 December. The club have a ten race programme from 12.20pm with the feature races, the AON Insurance Equine Stakes and the Ryal Bush Transport Mobile Pace. There is a great day of free entertainment for the kids with mini jeeps, a bouncy castle and a lolly scramble with Santa all part of the fun. On Saturday 22 December, the Wairio Trotting Club will hold their Christmas Races at the course from 12 noon. The feature race is the Otautau 4 Square Supermarket Wairio Cup while Santa Claus will pay another visit to the course and there will be a lolly scramble and other children’s entertainment including $2 mini jeep rides. After the Christmas rush is over relax in a picnic atmosphere on New Year’s Eve. Bring along a picnic, relax and enjoy a laid back afternoon with the Winton Harness Racing Club. The other meeting prior to the end of the year is a fun filled day for all at Gore on 27 December.   Cambridge Raceway - Club to mark Centenary in style A great night of summer racing with plenty of atmosphere promises to entertain racegoers attending Cambridge Raceway’s January 11 meeting next year, which will mark the centenary of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Harness Incorporated racing club. Established in 1919, the club has become an integral part of the Cambridge community. Not only has it become the epicenter for racing in the region, its facilities have also been widely utilised, including as a training camp for the New Zealand military during World War II. To mark the milestone, the club plans to celebrate in style with the night taking on a 1920’s Great Gatsby and Peaky Blinders theme and racegoers are encouraged to dress-up accordingly. “We want to make a really big night of the centenary meeting,” Cambridge Raceway chief executive Dave Branch said. “It’s all going to be dress-up, the whole place will be decked out in a 1920’s theme. “We want to create a great atmosphere and pack the grass verge out along the front of the grandstand with hospitality, the Skyline Lounge will also be open, the Alf Walsh Lounge will take on a speakeasy vibe for the night and we will also have our Colts and Fillies Club to entertain the children. “We’re not only celebrating racing at Cambridge but also the past 100 years of the Cambridge township and we’re involving the Cambridge Community in the promotions and the race night. “There will be a 1920s themed window dressing competition in the lead up to the event.” The night will also offer a great card of racing, including the Gr.2 Waikato Flying Mile (1609m) and the Gr.3 Cambridge Trotters Flying Stakes (1700m), which have been specifically moved to mark the celebration. “Traditionally they have been on that earlier January meeting, but this will space it out a bit more from the Auckland (new year’s eve) meeting, so hopefully we will get a few of the better horses from the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” Branch said. The Waikato Flying Mile has been a key race for the club, with its inaugural running in 1966, and plenty of quality graduates have gone on to perform at elite level. “It’s always a race that has brought the crowds,” Branch said. “I remember Christian Cullen when he won the race, and going through the past winners it’s a pretty impressive roll of honour.” Other notable winners include champion pacers Young Quinn, Luxury Liner and Christopher Vance, while recent winners include race record holder Adore Me (1.51.6) and current world-beater Lazarus. Branch said there has been many highlights for the club in its 100 years, including the running of the Harness Jewels every second year since its inception, but the construction of the grandstand in the 1970s has been the club’s biggest achievement. “The Jewels has definitely been a highlight, but building the grandstand has been the biggest highlight for the club,” Branch said. “The Jewels this year has been the biggest highlight for myself as chief executive of the club and also retaining it for 2020. There has been a lot of learning from this year’s event, so we’re excited to see what we can offer in 2020. “We have got a fairly new team at the raceway and everybody is keen and wanting to move the place forward, which is fantastic.” The gates to Cambridge Raceway will open at 5pm on January 11, with racegoers encouraged to dress-up for the 1920’s theme. For more information visit this page – Cambridge Raceway   Central Otago Trotting Club News - 2 January The Central Otago Trotting Club is proud to announce two exciting competitions which will soon be live on their facebook page! Witches of Westview competition  Be in to win a share in a syndicate of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ courtesy of Nigel Armstrong & Central Otago Trotting Club. This is your opportunity to ‘own’ a share in your own racehorse from 2nd January 2019 through to ………………… You will not have to contribute any money at any stage to pay for the syndicate. This is an opportunity to be involved in racing up to 6 horses throughout New Zealand. At the end of it you may even receive a pay-out – if the horses do well enough, though we can’t guarantee that. This is a fantastic no risk opportunity for you to experience the thrill of racing as an owner. To enter you all you need to do is type Witches in the comments, tag a friend and share the Facebook page. On race day entries will be drawn against a horse (in a yet to be specified race) in a sweepstake manner. The winning and 2ndplace getting horses in that race will receive a share each. In the event of a dead heat for 2nd, the club will try to get an additional share, otherwise it would be decided by coin toss. Entries close 30 Dec 2018 Terms & Conditions of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ Open only to females Be 18yrs or over to enter Only one entry per person Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’ Must be on course at Omakau Racecourse, 2 January 2019 to pick up prize or will it will be redrawn. Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions. To have photo ID on the day All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday. COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter. For full terms and conditions see ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ rules. ‘Own the Moment Syndicate’ compliments of Kirk & Michelle Larsen This competition will give you a phantom share of a racehorse at Omakau on 2nd January 2019. The winner will receive complimentary admission and carpark tickets for 4 people. At the course once you have identified yourself at the secretary’s office you will receive 4 complimentary race books, you will be treated like an owner throughout the day. A COTC committee member will take you to meet the trainer and horse. You will be invited to watch the race from the owners & trainers stand. If the horse is a winner, then you will have the opportunity to have your photo taken with it. The club will put $50 each way on the horse for you – if you win the dividend is yours. After the race you will receive an invite to the president’s bar. To enter all you have to do is type Own the Moment in the comments, tag a mate and share the facebook page. Entries close on 24 Dec 12 noon If you are excited about owning a share in a syndicate, follow the link Terms & Conditions of ‘Own the Moment Syndicate’ Be 18yrs or over to enter Only one entry per person Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’ Will be drawn on 24 Dec 2018 Must be on course on the day to collect prize – 2nd Jan Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions. To have photo ID on the day All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday. COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter. For all full terms and conditions see the Facebook Page.    Southern Harness News - Online Noms from 1 December The Southern Harness Racing Board has made a directive from 1st December ALL nominations must be made online. This will act as confirmation of your nominations. With Southern Harness Racing now preparing race fields for over 70 meetings this historical process of receiving manual nominations by phone is an inefficient use of staff resources.  With the workload, this manual process also increases the risk of errors being made. Note: This is for nominations only and all other communication will be as in the past. Nominations will need to be done through the Trainers Login Password on the HRNZ Website or by login on your phone by downloading the app.  Please watch the tutorial below: https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/infohorse/hrnzapphowto.htm If trainers wish to have training on the use of online nominations please contact the Southern Harness office and this will be arranged for you. FINALS – NUGGET, LADYSHIP AND GOLD CHIP SERIES After a successful Nugget Series and culminating in a Super Nugget Final for a $20,000 stake, the Board has gone further and introduced a Ladyship Series for fillies and mares. All these series finals have a stake of $12,000 and Super Finals for $20,000. All winners of Finals gain automatic qualification for the Super Finals. Dates are: Super Nugget Final (Pacers) – 9th March 2019 (NSTC) Ladyship Stakes Final (Fillies & Mares) – 6th April 2019 (Invercargill HRC) Gold Chip Final (Trotters) – 13th April 2019 (Winton HRC) For full conditions of these series please refer to Raceday Programmes. STAKES INCREASE All Races programmed rated R60 & faster will be carrying a stake of $14,999 (irrespective of gait).  This is to reward the faster classes horses in the area and a continual increase in stakes in Southland to keep the horses locally and not offshore.   Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.   The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.   The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019. Chris Craddock Vice President Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc. 027 410 2420         Southern Harness News  A TON OF FEED TO BE WON Thanks to McMillan Equine Feeds, there is a ton of feed to be won during the 2018/2019 Southern Harness Racing season. At every Sunday race meeting during the season the trainer of every race winner will win a free bag of McMillan Equine Feeds. At the conclusion of the Wyndham Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 18 November all trainers who have won a race on a Sunday up until that time will get one entry into a draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds. The competition then starts afresh with the trainer of each Sunday race winner for the remainder of the season getting one entry into a new draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds to be held after the Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 3 March. That is one ton of McMillan Equine Feeds up for grabs! Southern Harness Racing thanks McMillan Equine Feeds for their generous support. QUALIFYING DATES: Sunday 16 December Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 6 January Wyndham HRC - Cromwell Sunday 3 February Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 17 February Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 3 March Invercargill HRC - Invercargill    HRNZ Marketing

Friday night at Alexandra Park kicks off the two-year-old harness racing season with a strong field of ten starters in the $25,000 Breckon Farms Young Gun Series (Heat one). Three sons of champion stallion Bettor's Delight are entered, two by super stallion Art Major are entered and one by Sir Lincoln.Then three new stallions are represented for the first time, two by Sweet Lou, one by He's Watching and one by the local stallion, the three times New Zealand Cup winner, Terror To Love. All eyes will be on the progeny of the new stallions Sweet Lou, He's Watching and Terror To Love to see how their first starters perform. But the sponsor of the series Breckon Farms will have their eyes firmly fixed on number three in the race a colt called Prince Of Pleasure that they bred and sold at last year's Australasian Classic Sale for $30,000. Tony Herlihy was the buyer and he is the trainer of this promising colt that has already performed very well at two recent trials to date.  Prince Of Pleasure - 24th of November trials Prince Of Pleasure - 7th of December trials Prince Of Pleasure prior to last years sale as a yearling Prince Of Pleasure is by Bettor's Delight from the race winning Christian Cullen mare Holly Madison, herself a two-year-old winner. Holly Madison won five races in total and ran fourth to the Champion mare Adore Me in the $125,000 Great Northern Oaks in 2013. Prince Of Pleasure is the second foal from Holly Madison who traces back to the famed Black Watch family that is stoked with many many winners. Holly Madison is a sister or half-sister to seven winners and is from the good race winner and producer Tarena Jay, dam of seven winners. As sponsors of the Young Gun Series and breeders of first starter Prince Of Pleasure in the series, Breckon Farms have much to look forward too and much to anticipate as they also have a half-sister by Art Major to Prince Of Pleasure called Settle Petal that is entered as Lot 30 in the Inaugural National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka on the 18th of February 2019. The first three dams of Settle Petal are all winners and good producers. Her sire, the stallion Art Major needs no introduction. He has sired the winners of over $122 million in North America alone. In New Zealand he has sired the winners of over $13 million and in Australia he has sired the winners of over $51 million. Straight after The Young Guns Series on Friday night is another Breckon Farms sponsored race, the running of the $65,000 Peter Breckon Memorial Stakes for three-year-old fillies and the raging hot favourite in this race is the Art Major filly Princess Tiffany the unbeaten two-year-old from last season and the winner of nine of ten starts to date with $386,329 in the bank. And here is another feather in the cap for Breckon Farms as Princess Tiffany was born at Breckon Farms. This Friday night is promising to be a big night for Breckon Farms all round! For a full catalogue reference for Settle Petal click on this link. Harnesslink Media   Here is the full field for the Breckon Farms Young Gun Series (Heat One) BRECKON FARMS YOUNG GUNS SERIES (HEAT 1) MOBILE PACE  $25,000, 2YO, 1700m    Racebook    TabForm    Gear    Preferential Grid      For 2-year-old pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Sex (fillies drawn inside colts and geldings) using the track grid. Refer series conditions. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1   2 c     Perfect Stride   MR50 1 Front   R W Green   2   2 c     Art Christian   MR50 2 Front Logan Hollis L G Hollis & S M Robertson   3   2 c     Prince Of Pleasure   MR50 3 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   4   2 g     Double Or Nothing   MR50 4 Front   R W Green   5   2 g     Jeremy Wells     5 Front Tim Williams J D Harrington   6   2 c     Stavros The Terror   MR50 6 Front John Dunn P T Court   7   2 c     Sir Tiger   MR50 7 Front   R W Green   8   2 c     Smooth Deal   MR50 8 Front Mark Purdon M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9   2 c     Mach Da Vinci   MR50 9 Front Joshua Dickie P T Court   10   2 c     Eagle Watch   MR50 10 Front Todd Mitchell M G Berger               Race 4 [7:25pm] BRECKON FARMS YOUNG GUNS SERIES (HEAT 1) MOBILE PACE  $25,000, 2YO, 1700m    Preferential Grid   For 2-year-old pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Sex (fillies drawn inside colts and geldings) using the track grid. Refer series conditions.   1   Perfect Stride   MR50 Draw: 1 Hdcp: Front Driver: Ray Green, Pukekohe       Colours: Green, Cream Collar & Cuffs Comment: Strong Bettor's Delight trialist on debut. Brother to Chicago Bull. Key player. Breeding: 2 b c    Bettor's Delight-Chicago Blues(by Christian Cullen) [Chicago Bull 6g(Bettor's Delight), Rockabilly Blues 4m(Rock N Roll Heaven)] Breeder: F J Price, Mrs K V Price, F R Price, Mrs H L Price Owner: E & M Stride Corp.   Statistics: First Start     2   Art Christian   MR50 Draw: 2 Hdcp: Front Driver: Logan Hollis Logan Hollis & Shane Robertson, Pukekohe       Colours: Blue, Blue & Gold Striped Sleeves, Gold Cuffs Comment: Art Major newcomer. Third in a trial last Saturday night. Odds will be enticing. Breeding: 2 b c    Art Major-Ask Me Christian(by Christian Cullen) [Ask Me Santanna 8h(Santanna Blue Chip), Ask Me Art 7g(Art Official), Ideal Cullen 6g(American Ideal), Bettor Ask Me 5m(Bettor's Delight), Mainland Reactor 4m(Auckland Reactor)] Breeder: J P Rennie Owner: S M Robertson   Statistics: First Start     3   Prince Of Pleasure   MR50 Draw: 3 Hdcp: Front Driver: Tony Herlihy Tony Herlihy, Papakura       Colours: Black, White Outlined Star & Collar Comment: Bettor's Delight debutant that's trialled soundly. Cover on all combos tickets. Breeding: 2 br c    Bettor's Delight-Holly Madison(by Christian Cullen) Breeder: Breckon Farms Ltd Owners: J P Green, M Sullivan, G Taylor, Mrs I Taylor   Statistics: First Start     4   Double Or Nothing   MR50 Draw: 4 Hdcp: Front Driver: Ray Green, Pukekohe       Colours: Green, Cream Collar & Cuffs Comment: Sweet Lou newcomer that's shown potential at the trials and workouts. Each way. Breeding: 2 b g    Sweet Lou-Love A Gamble(by Bettor's Delight) [Let It Ride 5g(Rock N Roll Heaven)] Breeder: Ms A Van Der Beek Owners: Lincoln Farms Bloodstock Ltd, R G Fleming, Mrs S B Fleming, N McAlister, R S Best   Statistics: First Start     5   Jeremy Wells   Draw: 5 Hdcp: Front Driver: Tim Williams Jack Harrington, Swannanoa       Movement: Domiciled at Pukekohe with Steven Reid Colours: Maroon, Gold Star & Armbands Comment: First starter by Sweet Lou. Fair attempts in last couple of trials. Rough hope. Breeding: 2 b g    Sweet Lou-Tricky Girl(by Bettor's Delight) Breeder: C J Roberts Owners: Jeremy Wells Gold Star Ladies Syndicate, Jeremy Wells, J A Cruickshank, Miss A V McKay, MSA Drinkers Syndicate, G Haley, Mrs K Haley   Statistics: First Start     6   Stavros The Terror   MR50 Draw: 6 Hdcp: Front Driver: John Dunn Paul Court, West Melton       Movement: Domiciled at Clevedon with John & Joshua Dickie Colours: Black, Red Braces & White Sleeves Comment: Terror To Love colt debuting. Trial form suggests a bold showing. Don't dismiss. Breeding: 2 br c    Terror To Love-Have A Look(by McArdle) [Eye Candy 4m(Stunin Cullen)] Breeder: T McDonald Owners: Georgian Bay Limited, B Rosie, A D Aitchison, B Rodger, M Pitman   Statistics: First Start     7   Sir Tiger   MR50 Draw: 7 Hdcp: Front Driver: Ray Green, Pukekohe       Colours: Green, Cream Collar & Cuffs Comment: Sir Lincoln debutant. Good 2nd to Perfect Stride in latest trial. Keep safe. Breeding: 2 b c    Sir Lincoln-Tigers Delight(by Bettor's Delight) [Shansdelight 7h(Mach Three), Ideal Tiger 4g(American Ideal)] Breeder: L A Turner, Mrs P L Turner Owners: Lincoln Farms Bloodstock Ltd, K J Miller, S Beckett, K J Bell, M J Brereton, D James, Margaret Rabbitt, Excell Syndicate, Athenry Syndicate   Statistics: First Start     8   Smooth Deal   MR50 Draw: 8 Hdcp: Front Driver: Mark Purdon Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen, Rolleston       Movement: Domiciled at Clevedon with Barry Purdon Colours: Blue, Silver Grey Stars Comment: Bettor's Delight newcomer. Has shown enough in trials to consider despite draw. Breeding: 2 b c    Bettor's Delight-Linda Grace(by In The Pocket) [Linda Lovegrace 7m(Bettor's Delight), Gina Grace 6m(Bettor's Delight), Bettor Step Aside 4g(Bettor's Delight)] Breeder: Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Owner: Mrs J L Feiss   Statistics: First Start     9   Mach Da Vinci   MR50 Draw: 9 (2nd row) Hdcp: Front Driver: Joshua Dickie Paul Court, West Melton       Movement: Domiciled at Clevedon with John & Joshua Dickie Colours: Black, Red Braces & White Sleeves Comment: Art Major colt on debut that's unbeaten in 2 trials. Will garner heavy support. Breeding: 2 b c    Art Major-Mach's Love(by Mach Three) [Stun Gun 3c(Stunin Cullen)] Breeder: T McDonald Owner: S McDonald   Statistics: First Start     10   Eagle Watch   MR50 Draw: 10 (2nd row) Hdcp: Front Driver: Todd Mitchell Mike Berger, Cambridge       Colours: Light Blue, Yellow Hoop & Red Sleeves Comment: He's Watching debutant. Trial and workout form okay. He'll be at generous money. Breeding: 2 b c    He's Watching-Eagletons Girl(by Mach Three) [Eagle Dancer 3f(A Rocknroll Dance)] Breeder: S L Taylor, M G Berger Owners: S L Taylor, W L Wilson, M G Berger, Miss A Simpson, J A S Lancaster   Statistics: First Start      

Classy four-year-old pacing mare Bettor Joy has been sold for a substantial sum and will do her future harness racing in North America.  Bloodstock agent John Curtin confirmed Bettor Joy had been purchased and had in fact left New Zealand this last week to further her career in the USA. Curtin has recently sold a number of other high profile mares to North America through his company JC International including Shartin, Nike Franco and Seaswift Joy and he also negotiated the sale of champion stallion Lazarus earlier this year. Bettor Joy was purchased by Richard Poillucci and is to be trained by Jim King. This is the same combination that own and train Champion mare Shartin N 1:48.2 ($1,174,155) who is sure to be "Mare Of The Year" in North America and is a definite shot at making "Horse Of The Year" with a stunning record of 19 wins from just the 24 starts throughout 2018. Formerly trained in Canterbury by Cran Dalgety, Bettor Joy won 10 of her 28 starts and won several group and listed races while racing the best fillies and mares in New Zealand and Australia. Her best performance was in a recent start against the best horses in New Zealand when she ran fourth by two and a half lengths to Thefixer, Dream About Me who just a week later finish first and second in the $800,000 New Zealand Cup. The impeccably bred mare out of the eight race winner Joyfulbelle and by Bettor's Delight took a 1:54.6 mile rate when winning a heat of the Sire Stakes Fillies series but looks set to eclipse that time once she gets to the faster tracks in North America. When speaking to Cran Dalgety about the sale he said "A sad day has arrived that I have had to release my services of caring for this classic filly. Bettor Joy would have very restricted racing opportunities here in New Zealand as a four-year-old mare. Her racing life will now flourish in North America and she will make a huge splash up there on the race track." Bettor Joy - $80,000 Two-year-old Group 2 Delightful Lady Classic Bettor Joy - Sire Stakes Heat Bettor Joy - $81,000 Caduceus Club Ladyship Classic Bettor Joy - $160,000 Classic Ex-New Zealand horses are doing a great job in North America this year with a long list of winners and with Shartin in the running for "Horse Of The Year" honours, the export market will continue to thrive. Recent winners in North America sold by JC International can be viewed here. Harnesslink Media

The last time an Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final was staged, it was 2012. It was staged in Melbourne at TABCORP Park, Melton. And the Kiwi’s got ‘Lucky” when brilliant squaregaiter I Can Doosit proved triumphant for champion horseman Mark Purdon. In fact, it was New Zealand domination with the first four placegetters all hailing from the Shaky Isles. Now, the Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final returns to the feature race calendar and again, it will be staged in the garden state. The Gr.1 $150,000 TAB Inter Dominion Trotters Grand Final is the second leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters and takes place this Saturday night. While the Kiwi’s are well represented, the locals hold the whip hand through the Andy and Kate Gath prepared Tornado Valley. Bred in New Zealand and raced by Queensland based Norm Jenkin, the Skyvalley gelding has been a revelation since being under the tutelage of the Gath couple. A clean sweep of his three heats has him listed as the punters elect and he’s hoping to join I Can Doosit who swept the 2012 series. But back in 2012, there was only two heats and a final. Throughout this year’s series, Tornado Valley has looked as safe as a bank with the only concern coming last weekend in his final heat after his hind leg bandage starting to unravel with 300m left to run. As it turned out, the star trotter never missed a beat. A winner of 16 of his 20 starts on Australian soil, Tornado Valley will start from gate six in the 2760m mobile start feature while his main danger, New Zealand star Speeding Spur has drawn the ace. Having met in the second round at Ballarat, Tornado Valley took glory with his all the way victory over his Kiwi rival. Interestingly, Tornado Valley led Speeding Spur in that event despite drawing on his outside. But Speeding Spur is a high quality performer, a trotter that is no stranger to the big stage. And his record at Melton underlines his class, with four wins from eight starts including features and excellent form throughout the series, it shapes as a classic Trans-Tasman battle. The stunning looking entire won two of his three heats while placed behind Tornado Valley in the other and the John and Josh Dickie prepared gun is looking to crack the million dollar mark if successful this weekend. While Tornado Valley and Speeding Spur have hogged the limelight throughout the series, several others are looking to take centre stage including several locally trained performers. And most have strong Inter Dominion connections. Legendary father/son combination of Graeme and Gavin Lang will combine with in-form trotter Save Our Pennys, a runner-up in all three heats throughout the series. Both Graeme and Gavin know what’s required to score an Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final, they have five trophies combined. Back in 2012, they combined with Save A Sixpence who finshed 6th behind I Can Doosit. Save Our Pennys will start from gate three. Over the past 45 years, the name Lang has been synonomous with Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Finals. Astute horseman David Aiken is looking for success with the talented Big Jack Hammer, a runner-up in his past two heats. Again, the rising star will be handled by Kima Frenning and will start from gate five. While Aiken has lofted an Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final trophy, his best finish in a Trotting Grand Final is 5th (twice) with Twebby Twotter (2002) and Im Dejazzman (2012). Richly talented young horsemen Mick Stanley and Ryan Duffy are looking for their piece of history with the talented Sky Petite, but the mare will need to overcome gate seven. Former New Zealand horseman Brent Lilley is chasing his second Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final after scoring back in 2002 at Harold Park with Game Bid. Representing his stable is the North American bred evergreen Kyvalley Blur, the 11-year-old gelding will start from gate eleven. Kyvalley Blur scored a stylish heat victory in the second round of heats at Ballarat and will again be handled by champion reinsman Chris Alford. Speedy mare Red Hot Tooth is looking to provide Kari Males and Zac Phillips with their biggest triumph but face a massive challenge after landing gate thirteen. The Yankee Paco mare was placed behind Tornado Valley and Save Our Pennys in her final heat last week at Cranbourne. Andy Gath is duly represented in the final with Kingdom Come lining-up from gate ten, young Alex Ashwood will take the drive. The state of New South Wales will have a triple threat through the deeds of Rompers Monarchy (gate four), Tough Monarch (gate nine) and Wilmas Mate (gate twelve). Husband and wife combination of Joe and Mary Rando along with driver David Morris are hoping for their biggest success through Rompers Monarchy while Rickie Alchin is also chasing the ultimate prize with his talented performer Tough Monarch for the first time. Champion trainer Tim Butt, now based at Menangle, is chasing his fourth Inter Dominion Grand Final trophy after scoring previously with Lyell Creek and Take A Moment (twice). Back in 2012, he finished second with Vulcan behind I Can Doosit. Butt is preparing the talented mare for Christchurch trainer Paul Nairn, a winner of the 1995 Inter Dominion Grand Final with Call Me Now. And New Zealand horseman Phil Williamson is hoping it’s five times a charmwhen he sends out Monty Python, the talented gelding will start from gate two. Williamson has previously qualified Allegro Agitato (2005 – 12th), One Over Kenny (2008 – 7th) and Springbank Richard (2011/12 – 8th & 7th). The locally trained Illawong Armstrong is listed as the emergency runner, he will start from gate eight if he secures a start. The Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final is steeped in great history and and now another chapter is about to be written this weekend. Chris Barsby

Super star pacer Chase Auckland had his first public hitout after injury yesterday at the Ashburton harness racing workouts and looked to have come back in fine fettle judging by his appearance. The Auckland Reactor gelding is now a stronger looking 4yo who is in for a big season which could be starting as soon as next month. Chasing an entry into the Chariots of Fire in Australia, his first start is likely to be the North Island early in January followed by a possible Australian campaign after that. In yesterdays workout he was driven by Tim Williams who is filling in for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen while they are in Australia for Inter Dominion duties with Spankem and Cruz Bromac. Chase Auckland settled back in the field off the mobile in what was only a quiet workout and he really only followed the field around never hooking off the back of Miss Big the horse in front of him, but running home a last half strongly in around 56 seconds under a strong hold with the hood still on. Ashburton workouts 11th December 2018 Heat 2 from Smartbet on Vimeo.     Harnesslink Media

Welcome to the Harness Half Hourpodcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing. Jess Smith brings the latest harness racing news and interviews with colorful and interesting industry participants from New Zealand and around the world. This week's show features Jack Harrington, Bob Butt, Kirk Larsen, Catherine Cameron and TAB bookie Richard Wilson.   Jess Smith

The leading harness racing sires from North America, New Zealand and Australia will be represented with progeny at the 2019 Allwood Stud Farm SA Yearling Sale on Sunday, February 10. The Magic Millions Sales Complex will see the first youngster offered in South Australia by the leading USA first crop sire Captaintreacherous go through the ring. 'Captain' is the sire of this year's highest money-winning two-year-old colt Captain Crunch 1:49.2 ($616,113), winner of the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup. Bettor's Delight, the leading sire in Australia and NZ for the last seven years, will also be represented by his first yearling ever to go up for auction in Adelaide. Art Major, the seven-time champion sire of two-year-olds in Australia, and Somebeachsomewhere, the premier sire of three-year-olds in America for the last three years, also have stock in the catalogue. Follow The Stars, the 2014 Australian and NZ 2YO Colt of the Year who stands at Bob and Marilyn Fowler's Allwood Stud near Perth, heads an impressive list of stallions with their second crop at the sale. Other sires with their second offering include Heston Blue Chip, the sire of the multiple USA Stakes-winning filly Zero Tolerance; Hurrikane Kingcole (3, 1:47.6); and the 2011 NZ 3YO of the Year The Gold Ace. The catalogue also features yearlings by the established sires Rock N Roll Heaven, Four Starzzz Shark, Roll With Joe, Western Terror, Shadow Play, Mr Feelgood, For A Reason, Changeover, A Rocknroll Dance and Pet Rock. There are 37 yearlings listed for sale by 25 different sires. Catalogues are available from Globe Derby Park, Port Pirie and all other SA country tracks as well as major intestate venues. By Peter Wharton

Despite not having the use of the Balfour track, local trainer Robert Wilson still managed to chalk up a double at the Invercargill Harness meeting at Ascot Park yesterday. Spotlight The Valley got the ball rolling in the first race when she got the prefect trip in the trail and came up the passing lane to beat Canterbury visitor Rebel Kibbybones by half a length. “She’s as solid now as she’s been for a couple of years. She went super early on but like a lot of horses she had a year off last season (didn’t go quite so well). She’s muscled all round so it’s just a maturity thing and she looks a million dollars,” Wilson said. Four races later Betterthancheddar mare Better Galleon capitalised on a similar run beating Excellent by a length and a half. “She went super and won with a bit in hand. There’s more in store for her.” Better Galleon is owned by Cleland Murdoch The Fanny Allen Family Trust and Wilson. Back to the birdcage                                                  - Photo Bruce Stewart. His only other runner at the meeting, Franco June was severely checked and took no serious part in his race. Another horse in the stable, De Vito, has come up well in this preparation after returning to Wilson following a stint in the North Island. “He’ll line up in some of the better trotting races over the Christmas circuit. He’s a class horse and he’s not properly fit yet. He’s a bugger of a horse because he’s hard to keep condition on. Our main focus is to try and build him up.”   Bettor Galleons win was Wilson’s thirtieth win as a trainer and it wasn’t the first time he’d won two races in one day. In November 2014 Mr Mayfly and Lucky Lands both won at Forbury Park. Wilson trains on the Balfour track which has been unusable in the last week. “We've been struggling getting work into them because we got six inches of rain in five days. The track has been out of action and will probably be for all of next week as well. We might have to go to Gore.”      Bruce Stewart

A little-known former New Zealand pacer has emerged as the key player in the A$500,000 Inter Dominion Pacing Final.  Because while former Southland pacer Galactic Star has had a top class career in West Australia, he would rarely have been on the radar of most New Zealand punters, even the serious harness racing players, until this Interdom series in Victoria.  Yet after drawing the ace for Saturday night’s 2760m final at Melton, the attitude of his connections could decide the race.  Galactic Star, who won four races in New Zealand two years ago when trained by Des Baynes, won his first night heat of this series using blazing gate speed and has been very good when placed in his subsequent two heats.  But his impact on the final outcome has been boosted enormously by him drawing barrier one, from where he looks certain to lead.  If driver Ryan Warwick wants to stay in front that will mean no shot at the lead for key front line runners Pat Delight (barrier three), Spankem (five) or Tiger Tara (seven).  It would almost certainly mean plenty of pressure to try and break him and potentially bring a horse like series points leader Cruz Bromac into contention after he fared poorly in the draw, copping the second line  But if Warwick and the Galactic Star’s connections decide the trail is the place to be then either of the well-favoured Kiwis, Pats Delight or Spankem, will fancy their chances of running to the front and therefore becoming the one to beat.   Spankem’s incredible rise throughout this series continued after the draw as he is now the $2.80 favourite for the classic just six weeks after punters could have got $41 for him to win it.  He has thrilled co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen with how he has bounced through his three heats but she has decided to stick with Cruz Bromac as her drive out of loyalty, having driven him five times for five wins.  That means training partner Mark Purdon takes the reins behind Spankem and gives him a shot at a unique piece of Inter Dominion history as he has won the last two pacing finals driving Smolda and Lazarus so could make it a three-peat on three different horses.  Spankem, who won only once last season as a three-year-old, is favourite over Pats Delight and Cruz Bromac still the third favourite even though his task looks enormously more difficult as he won’t be able to use his gate speed.  Gate speed and tactical decisions could also decide the A$150,000 Trotting Final on Saturday, which after the draw looks a two-horse race.  South Auckland trotter Speeding Spur has the advantage of barrier one giving co-trainer and driver Josh Dickie options of whether to stay in front or elects to trail favourite Tornado Valley.  The latter has drawn barrier six and may even have the raw speed to cross Speeding Spur but if the pair lead and trail it looks curtains for their rivals. (THESE FIELDS TO BE BROKEN OUT ON RUNNER PER LINE) The fields for the two Inter Dominion finals to be run at Melton on Saturday night are: $500,000 Inter Dominion Pacing Final, 2760m mobile, 11.45 (NZtime) 1: Galactic Star 2: Can’t Refuse 3: Im Pats Delight 4: Mach Doro 5: Spankem 6: Maximan 7: Tiger Tara 8: San Carlo (1 second line) 9: Cruz Bromac 10: Our Uncle Sam 11: Wrappers Delight 12: Audi Hare (em) 13: Cash N Flow A$150,000 Inter Dominion Trotting Final, 2760m, 11.08 NZtime 1: Speeding Spur 2: Monty Python 3: Save Our Pennys 4: Rompers Monarchy 5: Big Jack Hammer 6: Tornado Valley 7: Sky Petite 8: Illawong Armstrong (1 second line, em) 9: Tough Monarch 10: Kingdom Come 11: Kyvalley Blur 12: Wilmas Mate 13: Red Hot Tooth   Michael Guerin

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Canterbury trained trotter Marcoola has broken the New Zealand 2200m mobile record tonight when easily winning the Gr2 Lyell Creek Stakes at Alexandra Park. Trained by Ken Ford and driven by part owner Clint Ford the Sundon 5yo was beaten for early speed in the race by Maurice McKendry and Lemond and ended up three deep on the fence before zipping to the lead with a lap remaining.  In the straight Marcoola had far too much gas for the opposition running clear and winning by more than 3 lengths without being pushed. Clint Ford said after the race he could not do much about getting crossed at the start, "I tried to hold them out but they were too quick for me. When the train started coming I thought I better get moving and he held on good in the end. "He was touching the wheels a bit during the race as well. Usually he clears them but I think he was just stretching out so well tonight. The winning time of 2-41.3 broke the old New Zealand record of 2-41.9 set by Habibty Ivy in April last year. Marcoola will have his next run on New Years Eve at Alexandra Park in the Gr1 $100000 National trot and will bypass the Cambridge Mile on Christmas Eve.     Harnesslink Media
If you are considering a Mark Multi at Alexandra Park tonight tread cautiously. Because while champion trainer Mark Purdon will provide favourites in up to five of the races on the premier night, he has reservation about two of his biggest names. Purdon is looking after the domestic team tonight before heading to Victoria tomorrow morning to partner favourite Spankem in the Inter Dominion Pacing Final, where he has been prepared by partner Natalie Rasmussen, who will drive Cruz Bromac in the same race. There will be plenty of punters willing to multi up all sorts of All Stars-trained runners over the weekend but Purdon says any time he brings a horse to Alexandra Park for the first time there is an element of the unknown. And that applies to both Ultimate Sniper in the $50,000 Alabar Classic and Turn It Up in the $50,000 Lincoln Farms Franklin Cup. Ultimate Sniper was stunningly good winning the Sires' Stakes Final at Addington last month and will have Tony Herlihy sitting in for Rasmussen tonight but the $1.35 might be a little short. "We all know how good he is but he has never raced right-handed and he hasn't been 100 per cent comfortable yet when working that way," says Purdon. "He should be better on the bigger track at Alexandra Park but I wouldn't be saying he will just win because he has to overcome that hurdle first." Turn It Up is one of the more exciting pacers in the country and it took Interdom star Cruz Bromac to beat him in the NZ Free-For-All last start but he hasn't raced for four weeks and also hasn't been right-handed. "We have four good chances in that race and while he might be the best of them I can't separate them with any confidence, again because he hasn't raced right-handed. "So a horse like Ashley Locaz could be hard to beat, he had to be very good to win like he did here last week." Purdon's confidence levels boost closer to 100 per cent when discussing Dream About Me in the Queen Of Hearts and Princess Tiffany in the Ladyship Stakes. The latter lost her unbeaten record when third in a similar field last Friday but is better drawn and with natural improvement should win, although Wainui Creek is an exciting rival. Dream About Me held off stablemate Elle Mac in their lead-up race last Friday and a similar racing pattern and result looks likely in tonight's group one, especially with main rival Utmost Delight drawn wider than the favoured pair. Purdon and his army of punting followers won't just have eyes for Alexandra Park, with Ultimate Machete returning to mobile racing at Addington tonight too, where A G's White Socks and Alta Maestro will test any chinks in his armour. Back at Alexandra Park, Marcoola has the draw and the gate speed to dominate the $50,000 Lyell Creek Trot and he would only need to turn up in his Dominion winning form of a month ago to make the $1.90 quote look luxurious.   Michael Guerin
Tonight's Group 1 Rosslands Queen Of Hearts going for $100,000 should be a battle between the aged harness racing star Dream About Me and the pretender to the crown Elle Mac. Dream About Me, now a seasoned six-year-old, has been a brilliant race mare and a star for breeder Charlie Roberts winning 22 races from 37 starts for earnings of just over a million dollars. Her recent New Zealand Cup placing stamped her as a very special race mare. She was an easy winner of The Breeder's Stakes last week and she won this race two years ago. She is also unbeaten in seven starts at Alexandra Park. She deserves to be the favourite. On the other hand she has a serious contender this week in the form of the young pretender Elle Mac. Elle Mac was sold through the 2016 sales as Lot 33 to high-profile Australian buyer Jean Feiss for $51,000 and is the winner of 10 races, five of these at Group 1 level and four of those at Alexandra Park, for stake earnings of $492,127 and has set three NZ Records. Elle Mac now a four-year-old is having her fifth run back in The Queen Of Hearts. She has faced Dream About Me twice in this campaign, once breaking at the start and taking no part. Thefixer won this race with Dream About Me finishing second and then Elle Mac raced against Dream About Me last week finishing second but making ground right to the wire. Elle Mac's run was exceptional after working hard for the front over the first 800 meters Here is that race; I believe Elle Mac is about to turn the tables on her illustrious stable mate in $100,000 The Rosslands Queen Of Hearts tonight. We will see! Click here for tonight's race program. Elle Mac is bred on the golden-cross, she is a Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare, the same as champion Lazarus and many others that are racing. Your chance of securing a close relation to Elle Mac has improved dramatically with three outstanding entries from the Breckon Farms draft at the Inaugural 2019 National Yearling Sale held in Karaka, Auckland, on the 17th and 18th of February. Lot 6 an American Ideal filly from a race winning full-sister to Elle Mac, Lot 12 an American Ideal filly from a race winning Mach Three sister to Elle Mac and Lot 18 an Art Major colt brother to Elle Mac who is appropriately called Billion Dollar Boy. Lot 6 - Needamargarita is a filly by American Ideal from Fellamongstabeauty by Bettor's Delight from the Christian Cullen mare Goodlookinggirl. Lot 12 - Allamericanlover is a filly by American Ideal from Goodlookinbabe by Mach Three from from the Christian Cullen mare Goodlookinggirl. American Ideal has produced ten millionaires in North America in total. Four have been fillies including his richest progeny American Jewel 1:48.2s ($1,834,823) and also the champion current North American three-year-old filly of the year Yourmycandygirl 1:48.2 ($1,497,000). American Ideal has produced the winners of over $87 million to date in North America. In New Zealand he is the sire of progeny that has earned $7.5 million to date and in Australia he has progeny earnings of over $10 million to date.  Therefore, American Ideal now belongs to the $100 million club an outstanding achievement. He best performing mare in New Zealand is The Orange Agent ($516,974) and in Australia American Ideal has produced two millionaires to date. They are Bling It On 1:50.8 ($1,656,656) and Soho Tribeca 1:53.8 ($1,103,374)  Lot 18 - Billion Dollar Boy is a colt by Art Major from Goodlookinggirl by Christian Cullen from the Butler BG mare Twice As Good. The stallion Art Major needs no introduction. He has sired the winners of over $122 million in North America alone. In New Zealand he has sired the winners of over $13 million and in Australia he has sired the winners of over $51 million.  Billion Dollar Boy is the first colt from Goodlookinggirl.   For full catalogue pedigrees and for more information on The National Yearling Sale click on this link. Harnesslink Media   Elle Mac beating the boys on the 16th of November 2018 Elle Mac - $134,000 Group 1 Nevele R Series Final Elle Mac _ $120,000 Great Northern Oaks Elle Mac - $138,000 Sire Stakes Final Elle Mac - $138,000 Two-Year-Old Sire Stakes Final Elle Mac - $113,406 Caduceus Club Classic for Two-Year-Olds
Racing Minister Winston Peters has announced a five-member Ministerial Advisory Committee to inform next steps on the Messara Review of the New Zealand Racing Industry. “This government is committed to reforming the racing industry. The Ministerial Advisory Group will develop a plan to operationalise the Messara Report to deliver better governance and economic outcomes,” said Mr Peters. “The five people appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Committee bring their personal expertise and ability to provide independent, strategic assessments of the business change proposals for the racing industry. Between them they have experience across the three racing industry codes,” he said. Mr Peters has appointed Dean McKenzie as Chair. Mr McKenzie is an experienced racing administrator whose dedication and passion to improving the industry make him the ideal choice to lead this very important work. He will be well-supported by Committee members Bill Birnie, Liz Dawson, Kristy McDonald and Sir Peter Vela.   “Collectively, they will identify the technical, legal, financial and process-oriented decision points for racing reform and return the industry to a well-managed and sustainable economic growth path. They will also take into account the feedback received during the public submission process.” said Mr Peters  The Committee will provide an interim report to the Minister for Racing by the end of February 2019, to be followed by Cabinet decisions, and legislation to modernise the industry. The Committee is being created as a potential precursor to the establishment of a Racing Industry Transitional Agency (RITA), subject to future government decisions.   RT HON WINSTON PETERS
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