Day At The Track
Catch driver screen shot,Harness racing

Catch Driver to sponsor Cadet of the Year

Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that the world’s most innovative harness racing game developer has teamed up with us to support this year’s edition of the Cadet of the Year competition.   ‘Catch Driver’ is one of two harness racing games developed so far by Ryan Clements of The Farm Ventures in Canada, whose main initiative is to increase the uptake of youth interest in harness racing on the world stage.   Clements has grown up in and around harness racing. His grandfather raced the great stallion Cam Fella, and whilst he never person- ally had the chance to see the horse race, he lives on the farm that was home to the stallion during his racing career and is surrounded by memorabilia and constant reminders about harness racing and the joy and elation it can bring.   “We are beyond excited to partner with HRNZ in sponsoring the Cadet of the Year. We believe that many of the young men and women we see here competing for the Cadet of the Year will become tomorrow’s stars in the sport,” said Clements.   “Our mission with Catch Driver is to engage a younger audience with this incredible sport, so it only makes sense that we partner with the next generation of athletes. We want to wish best of luck to all of those competing- you are the future stars of the sport!”   Clements has led the way in terms of developing his company ‘The Farm Ventures’, and was determined to prove that if you can give people the opportunity to play a harness racing game (either as a Catch Driver or in their other harness racing game, Off and Pacing) they will then take an interest in the sport.   “Most people who love sports are able to play some sort of game where they can get a virtual experience of being involved,” said Clements.   “We have developed a game where our players can download the game to their phone for free and drive a horse in a race live against other people from around the world. We even have professional harness racing drivers from around the world playing on a regular basis too meaning fans can race against their idols.”   In the game each driver is randomly drawn a horse, and its best attributes are listed in the build up to the live race. This gives the player a chance to study if their horse is quick off the gate, has a quick sprint or has a lot of stamina.   “The game is purely about the sport and the art of driving a horse to its best strengths. We have no reference to gambling at all in any of our games,” explained Clements.   Fittingly Catch Driver’s sponsorship of Cadet of the Year means they are helping recognize the next generation of harness racing licence holders in New Zealand as the competition showcases the new talent coming through the ranks in the industry.   Following Clements visiting New Zealand last September with Fractional Ownership guru Anthony MacDonald, Catch Driver were also then generous co-sponsors of the 2018 Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup.They are dedicated to continuing to support youth in harness racing worldwide.   In the Cadet of the Year competition, cadets compete at a regional level in a series of tests which incorporate lessons learned through their education in the cadet scheme and also on the job with their employer.   This includes driving a horse to a set time in a time trial without a stop watch, a general knowledge quiz based on previous lessons and a round robin based on harness racing and equine challenges.   Four finalists are found from these heats, who then take part in a grand final round of tests at Addington Raceway on Wednesday 24 July.   The overall winner is announced at the Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Awards ceremony, this year to be held at Addington Raceway on Saturday 28 September.   Last year it was won by Ellie Barron of Southland.   Harness Racing New Zealand will announce the four finalists for the 2019 Catch Driver Cadet of the Year this Friday. We are grateful to The Farm Ventures and their team for their support of the youth of our industry and encourage industry participants to support them by downloading the game and having a go.     Catch Driver is available to download and play free to your phone from all app stores. So give it a try today by visiting http://onelink.to/gme7ve   Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

U May Cullect,Harness racing

U May Cullect continues on his winning way

Boom Southland pacer U May Cullect continued on his winning way at Addington last night. He had to draw on all his reserves but he beat Classie Brigade by a nose. However after the win, the rumour mill began churning which owner Tom Kilkelly found disappointing. “The word round Christchurch is that the horse has broken down. I had a couple of phone calls this morning asking what had gone wrong with him. We don’t have any issues. Kirstin put him on the truck this morning and wrapped his legs and said there was no sign of anything. We’ll get him scanned on Monday just to make sure,” he said.   In last night’s PGG Wrightson Standardbred Uncut Gems Classic driver Kirstin Barclay took U May Cullect to the front early before handing up to Classie Brigade and driver John Dunn. From there the pace was on. “They went down the back in 27. I think Dunn’s idea was to run us off our feet so that we couldn’t beat him.” Classie Brigade, U May Cullect, Triple Eight and Smokin By gapped themselves from the rest of the field and coming down the straight it became a battle of two mighty willing horses with U May Cullect beating Classie Brigade by a nose. “I was a wee bit concerned when he took the passing lane. He sprinted for a wee bit then he lost his way but Kirstin felt he just got lost because he’s never taken the passing lane. He’s always either lead or come round them. It was a bit tense in that he didn’t win by lengths like he normally does but he was racing against Cup horses.” Kilkelly wasn’t even sure whether it was a win or not. “Everyone round me reckoned he’d won but I didn’t know – I thought it was pretty close. There was only a nose in it. I was talking to Graham Court this morning and he said that’s the sign of a real good horse. They just dig in and have got that wee bit extra.” The winning time was 3-08.7 on a showery night, on an easy track. The New Zealand record for 2600 metre mobile of 3-05.5 is held by Sheriff. The run of Classie Brigade was full of merit and was only his third race back since a nine month injury break. Kilkelly says U May Cullect pulled up well and that now’s the right time for a break. “He’s a bit of a dumbo. I went down to the barn afterwards and washed him down and he was just standing there like he normally does. He’s definitely going to get a nice month in the paddock now.” Next on the cards will be the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru in September. “If we’re competitive we’ll carry on to the Cup.” Despite the horse’s rapid rise through the grades Kilkelly says there have never been any offers to buy him. “There’s never been any money put up. We’ve made it very very clear that he’s not for sale. I don’t care what the offers are. I’ve spend my life waiting for a good horse and this is it.” He says without doubt U May Cullect’s win at Addington last night was a career highlight, surpassing Shard Ark’s win in the 2009 Yearling Sales Series Final. “Shard Ark hadn’t done much until that race whereas the journey with this fella has been unbelievable.” Kilkelly says the horse’s notoriety has spread far beyond Southland. “I was sitting in the stand last night and there was a guy sitting just along from me and he said to me after the race ‘I was cheering louder than you were and I’ve flown down from Auckland just to watch this horse’. It was just an unbelievable feeling. Everyone at Addington congratulating us. Money can’t buy that.”   Bruce Stewart

I’mallaboutthebase,Harness racing

Win a big thrill for Baucke

“It was great to see Southland getting some of the chocolates for once. It was also good seeing U May Cullect getting up to get the job done,” said Southland trainer Steve Baucke after his mare I’mallaboutthebase won the $40,000 Listed Uncut Gems Mares Classic at Addington last night. From gate six driver Tim Williams positioned the mare three back on the running line with Flying Milly Mac setting the pace. The order remained the same until the top of the straight when I’mallaboutthebase was presented with the passing lane and she came through nicely to nail Flying Milly Mac by a length with Naiya Franco another length and a quarter back in third. The winning time was 3-12.7. “It worked out well. Her sister (Delight My Soul) was deadly three back on the fence. She’s (I’mallaboutthebase) proving to be just as deadly. Tim was stoked and it was just the perfect trip for her really.” The win was I’mallaboutthebase’s fourth in thirty six starts over three seasons. She has now won $64,898. I’mallaboutthebase is by underrated sire Shadow Play out of the In The Pocket mare Soleil D’or and was bred by Steve and his wife Carol. “When she was born she had a bit of a rear end on her. I rang Graeme Henley (from Alabar Stud) and told him I was going to call her I’mallaboutthebase. He said ‘are you sure’, and I said I am.” The Bauckes no longer own Soleil D’or. After I’mallaboutthebase was born they sold her to Aucklander Kevin Haycock who has an Auckland Reactor colt out of her. Soleil D’Or’s fifth foal Delight My Soul won seven races for the Bauckes. She was retired from racing earlier this year after being served by Sweet Lou. It was the first time Baucke has won a race at Addington. Four different drivers have now won on the Shadow Play mare; Craig Ferguson, Matthew Williamson, Blair Orange and now Tim Williams. It was the mare’s first black type win. She previously ran second behind Dizzy Miss Lizzy in the 2017 Group Three Caduceus Club Of Southland Fillies Mobile Pace. “We’ll give her a bit of a holiday now and we’ll line up again next season. There has been a bit of interest (buyers) in her but we’ve always wanted to keep her.”   Bruce Stewart

Tactical Landing,Harness racing

Tactical Landing semen available Down Under

Tactical Landing (3, 1:50.4), the fastest harness racing son of former champion trotter and now premier sire Muscle Hill (1:50.2), will be available to ‘Down Under’ breeders this season via frozen semen from Stallions Australasia. Not only was Tactical Landing a Breeders Crown champion – he won the three-year-old title last year – he was sired by a dual Breeders Crown champion, Muscle Hill, his dam, Southwind Serena 1:55.4 ($385,088) was a Breeders Crown champion at 3 and he ranks as a full brother to the Breeders Crown winner Mission Brief 1:50.4. Tactical Landing was a top racehorse in his own right, winning $812,300 from 16 starts – an excellent total in a brief career. As a three-year-old he won nine races and was four times placed from 14 starts for $810,800 and was one of the highest stakes-winning trotters in North America in 2018. Undoubtedly the highlight of his stellar three-year-old campaign was his front-end win in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final at Pocono Downs, in which he defeated Met’s Hall and Crystal Fashion by open lengths in 1:52.2 on a sloppy track. Tactical Landing took his record of 1:50.4, winning a leg of the time-honoured Kentucky Futurity at Lexington and finished second in the $434,000 Final in a world record 1:50. He also captured a division of the $240,000 Bluegrass Stake in 1:51.2 at Lexington and an elimination of the $1.2 Hambletonian in 1:52.4 and was a strong third in the final. Tactical Landing closed out his campaign with a hard-hitting win in the $350,000 TVG Championship at The Meadowlands, sitting parked for the last half-mile and defeating 3YO Trotter of the Year Six Pack by 2-½ lengths in 1:51.8. An $800,000 yearling, Tactical Landing, a commanding individual, 16 hands, looks every inch the blood he represents. He is a son of the great Muscle Hill, the world’s leading living trotting sire and sire of sires, while his dam, Southwind Serena, is a daughter of arguably the greatest trotter of all-time, Italy’s Varenne. Southwind Serena has stamped herself as one of the finest broodmares of all-time. Besides Tactical Landing, she is also the dam of a dual world champion in Mission Brief, winner of 19 races and $1.5million and voted 2YO and 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year, Exemplar (1:53.2) and Earn Your Wings (1:54.8). The second dam, Spice On Ice (1:57.8) left five winners and is the grand-dam of the Kentucky Futurity winner Ice Attraction (1:50.2) and Canadian 2YO Filly Trotter of the Year The Ice Dutchess, while the third dam Spicy Bones produced six winners. Tactical Landing stood his first season at the prestige Southwind Farms in New Jersey this year. His service fee will be $16,500 including GST in Australia and $15,000 plus GST in New Zealand.   by Peter Wharton

Budding superstar pacer U May Cullect has kept his unbeaten run intact by beating a strong harness racing field in the Listed $40,000 Uncut Gems (Geldings and Entires) Classic tonight at Addington Raceway. The margin was only a nose but U May Cullect showed the sort of will to win only the good horses have, when he got up the passing lane to beat a seasoned open class pacer in Classie Brigade and driver John Dunn. Another top northern pacer Triple Eight who had finished an unlucky fourth in last weeks Harness Jewels was a neck away in third, with a further six length gap away to the rest of the field headed by Smokin By. U May Cullect (5 B g Gotta Go Cullect - Ides Of May) ran the 2600m mobile in easy conditions in a very quick 3-08.7 a mile rate of 1-56.7 with a closing 800m run in a sizzling 55.9 seconds. U May Cullect winning tonights Uncut Gems. U May Cullect is currently the third favourite for this years edition of the New Zealand Cup to be run on 12th November. Trainer/driver Kirstin Barclay has driven the horse in all of his seven wins to date. Earlier in the night Woodlands trainer Steve Baucke caused a major upset when he won the Listed $40,000 Mares Uncut Gems Classic with his Shadow Play mare I'mallaboutthebase. I'mallaboutthebase got home quickly from three deep on the fence for driver Tim Williams to win by a length beating the early leader Flyin Milly Mac. I'mallaboutthebase winning the Mares Uncut Gems Classic   Harnesslink Media

For many of the horses racing at Alexandra Park tonight this is as good as it gets.  The best stakes in the country, equivalent to the peak of summer, but not having to take on the superstar younger horses because most are in winter hibernation.  Winter at The Park is the ideal season for horses who wouldn’t shine at the premier meetings to try to earn a year’s training fees without a Cup horse in sight.  That is the story for most racing there tonight and it makes you wonder why more trainers don’t set their lesser horses for the off-season. Maybe some day they will.  But among the brave battlers and untapped youngsters tonight there will be a horse with a totally different aim. His name is Perfect Stride and he is trying to win his way to the Breeders Crown.  That A$300,000 finale comes up in Victoria in late August and with the news the big name babies from the Jewels aren’t going, Perfect Stride now looms as a serious contender.  His trainer Ray Green knows what it takes to win the Breeders Crown juvenile, he did it with King Of Swing a couple of seasons ago, being smart enough to go where New Zealand’s elite weren’t.  With big-spending owner Emilio Rosati always keen to chase the glamour races, Green is aiming Perfect Stride at the same Aussie pot of gold.  “The owners are keen and I think he is good enough to be very competitive,” says Green. “The series is a bit more challenging this year because the heats and semis are also in Victoria but that also means some other horses from here aren’t going.  “So if he races as well in the next few weeks as we expect then he will go.”Perfect Stride is the younger brother of WA superstar Chicago Bull and has the family ability.  He had the natural speed to go with the better early season two-year-olds and missing the autumn features wouldn’t have done him any harm.  Punters who took the long odds-on about him at Cambridge last week would have felt sick when first a hydraulic malfunction on the mobile meant his race was a moving star (admittedly a good one) and then Perfect Stride had a torrid time being attacked in front.  He only just went down and Green says he is trained on well so he should be winning race five, even against southerner Divinia Bellezza, who stunned when second to Elle Mac in the Jewels two weeks ago. Green loves the winter racing stakes are thinks Lindi Lincoln (race two), The Empress (race four) and Man Of Action (race 10) all have good each way chances.  But for many harness punters the focus of the night will be Addington’s Uncut Gems meeting, featuring the unbeaten pride of Southland racing U May Cullect.  He meets two good horses in Triple Eight and Classic Brigade but he should simply be too fast.   Michael Guerin

Dominant ‘dual hemisphere’ harness racing stallion American Ideal will stand the coming 2019/20 breeding season in Victoria. Woodlands Stud NZ, in conjunction with Dr Kath McIntosh’s Northern Rivers Equine at Kyabram, will stand the brilliant son of Western Ideal in the heart of standardbred country in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley. American Ideal remains one of the 21st Century’s most influential stallions in both hemispheres. American Ideal’s progeny now has earnings of over $110,000,000 million and his CV runs very deep with thirteen millionaires and 44 in the 1.50 list! American Ideal remains a rich source of winners at all racing levels. Watch American Ideal pace his record of 1:47.4 in 2005 Dr Andrew Grierson, principal of Woodlands Stud, is excited about the move of American Ideal to Victoria. He commented, ‘Australian breeders have supported American Ideal significantly in recent seasons and his race track results combined with outstanding yearling results made the decision to send American Ideal to Victoria an easy one’. ‘We are delighted to work along side one of Victoria’s most progressive vet’s in Dr Kath McIntosh and her staff. ‘In a results driven business, Northern Rivers Equine is a standardbred leader in Victoria. We look forward to a successful and long-term relationship’ said Dr Grierson. A beautiful natured and intelligent stallion, American Ideal will be a significant addition to the Australian standardbred ranks. His progeny continues to deliver as juveniles and at the Grand Circuit level. His is now starting to impact as a broodmare sire also. In Australia, American Ideal has left 173 bred Australian winners from 231 starters and they have amassed $11,000,000 million, an average of a remarkable $47,000 per starter to end of May 2019. The depth of American Ideals progeny in Australia has continued into the 2018/19 season. He is currently the leading dollar average sire in Australia for 2yo’s at $23,000. His daughter Pelosi is comfortably the best 2yo filly in Australia following her dominant Australian Pacing Gold final victory. To watch Pelosi win this race click on this link. For the 2019/20 season American Ideal service fee in Australia will be $11,000 GST INC and in NZ $10,000 + GST. Normal discounts will apply and semen will be available to NZ Breeders. American Ideal already has a significant number of early bookings in Australia for the 2019/20 season. For all enquiry’s regarding American Ideal in Australia please contact; Woodlands Stud Australian manager Mark Hughes on 0451650707 or email mark@woodlandsstud.co.nz and in New Zealand contact Stacey White on 021 595492 or email stacey@woodlandsstud.co.nz

Superstar pacer Turn It Up is out of the New Zealand Cup and Auckland Inter Dominions and almost certain not to race again this year. The Auckland Cup, Easter Cup and Harness Jewels winner has undergone an operation to remove cartilage damage in both his front legs, an issue which may have been bothering him in the second half of this season. While trainer Mark Purdon says the prognosis is good for a full recovery the time Turn It Up will need off to recover from the operation rules him out of the biggest races of the domestic season. “The vets have told us 12 weeks away from training,” Purdon told the Herald. “So it probably won’t even be back jogging until mid-September and that means the New Zealand Cup and the Inter Dominions in Auckland are definitely gone. “And I’d be almost certain he won’t race again this year so the Auckland Cup would be gone too. “But that still leaves some big races in Australia in the second half of the season, races like the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile. “So while it is disappointing to not have him for races like the Cup and the Interdoms, long-term it is the right thing for the horse.”Purdon says the issues weren’t causing Turn It Up any pain when racing but they could have deteriorated with time so operating now was the best option. Turn It Up, who has never finished further back than second in 15 starts, having won 11 of them, was favourite for both the New Zealand Cup and the Inter Dominion but markets are now suspended. His withdrawal still leaves the All Stars with the two New Zealand favourites in Miracle Mile winner Spankem and defending Cup champion Thefixer. Michael Guerin

Kirsten Barclay isn't scared of the challenges that lie ahead of Southland sensation U May Cullect. Because the way she looks at it, if taking on the best horses and trainers in the country doesn't excite her, she is in the wrong job. Barclay is the co-trainer and driver of unbeaten pacer U May Cullect, who is very good and might even be very special. He faces the biggest challenge so far of his six-start career in the $40,000 Uncut Gems Male Pace at Addington tomorrow night, up against genuine open class horses in Classic Brigade and Triple Eight. The Uncut Gems are for horses who haven't won a race worth more than $55,000 and didn't run top three in the recent Jewels. With better legs, U May Cullect would be ineligible by now. He only started racing this season as a 5-year-old because he had damaged the tendon in his near-side leg twice as a younger horse. When he did finally make it to the races this season the shock value was instantaneous, with his six wins having come with an average five-length margin. While his margins and times, including a 1:52.1 mile at his second start, are those of a good horse, his explosive speed and the same pacing action that made his sire Gotta Go Cullect one of the best juveniles of his era are what set him apart from the other open class pretenders. Already a rating90 horse U May Cullect is as good as qualified for the New Zealand Cup, which would be a dream come true for Barclay, who trains him with Paul "Tank" Ellis. But the road to the New Zealand Cup, or any other serious open class races next season, leads through the pacing might of the All Stars stables, led by Spankem and defending Cup hero Thefixer. Barclay is unfazed. "We know how good these top horses are and how good trainers Mark [Purdon] and Natalie [Rasmussen] are," she offers. "But if you aren't excited by taking them on then I think you are in the wrong game. That is what we want to do, go up against the best and see how we go. "I am not saying we will beat their best horses but there is only one way to find out. "So if he holds together and we are lucky enough to be in a race like the Cup I'd be excited about it, not scared of them." Although beating the elite is a far cry from beating up on Southland's next best, some of the horses U May Cullect meets over the 2600m mobile tomorrow night would not be out of place in a New Zealand Cup so if he beats them easily the hype machine will change gear. While U May Cullect was too old to contest the Jewels, it would have been a fascinating drag race up the Addington straight had he sat on Turn It Up's back on Jewels day, particularly as the Auckland Cup winner understandably wasn't as sharp as earlier in the season. Barclay admits as exciting as her new equine toy is — "he is amazing to drive at full speed" — she tries not to get carried away with what the future holds. "For me it is a big deal to be going to Addington with a really good horse who we think can win. "This week's race is a big deal for us and I'll be a bit nervous. "Before we won with him there in April I had only ever won one race at Addington before." That was 17 years ago so Barclay is entering foreign territory but at least she is doing so with an owner who backs her, a canny training partner she trusts and U May Cullect, who is as weird as he is fast. "Yep, he is a bit of a weirdo," she admits. "He spends most of his time being worked at the beach and he doesn't really like people fussing over him. He is a bit of a loner. "But he is lovely to work with and every time we find a new challenge for him he loves it." Challenges don't come much bigger in harness racing than the second Tuesday in November at Addington. Barclay won't shy away.   Michael Guerin

Welcome to the Harness Half Hourpodcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing. Jess Smith brings the latest harnessracing news and interviews with colorful and interesting industry participants from New Zealand and around the world. This week we chat to Matty Williamson following his trip to compete in the World Drivers Championship in Sweden; Dr Andrew Grierson of Woodlands Stud updates us on Speeding Spur’s American campaign and goals and Ashburton trainer Brent White joins us following a weekend of spoils in Nelson. All that plus our usual Bookie Update with Richard Wilson.   Jess Smith HRNZ Marketing

The Greg and Nina Hope trained Luella smashed the New Zealand harness racing record for 2yo fillies over a mobile 2400m, yesterday at the Nelson Trotting Clubs winter meeting. Luella  2 B f Sweet Lou - Stella Franco  (Badlands Hanover) ran the mobile 2400m mobile in 2-57.7 which broke the old record by nearly 4 seconds. The old record was held by Kotare Elite who ran 3-02.6 at Ashburton in June 2017. Driver Ricky May had back to back wins when the Benny Hill trained Koromiko Eyre gained an overdue win in the following race. Koromiko Eyre 4 B g Ohoka Arizona - Hanover Eyre (Peruvian Hanover) looked likely to run another second 50m before the finishing post until the leader Stetson knocked off and Koromiko Eyre came again to get his head in front on the line. Koromiko Eyre winning for driver Ricky May _______________________________________________________________________________ Tony Herlihy notched up another amazing milestone at Alexandra Park on Friday night when he became the first New Zealand harness racing driver to get to 3500 wins. Herlihy won onboard the impressive Gambit who won his second race in a row in a quick 2-41.8  for the 2200m mobile.  Maurice McKendry is the closest to Herlihy in the all time wins leaderboard on 3248 wins. (see leaderboard below) Gambit winning on Friday night.   New Zealands leading drivers with 2000 wins or more. Driver Total Wins Tony Herlihy 3500 Maurice McKendry 3248 Ricky May 2916 David Butcher 2378 Dexter Dunn 2226 Colin DeFilippi 2021     Harnesslink Media

The qualifying period for the 2019 McMillan Equine Feeds New Zealand Junior Driver Championship has ended. The top six North Island and South Island Junior Drivers by way of a points system will compete in this years Championship. The Championship will be run over two days with the drivers competing at Addington Raceway on the 5th July and at Rangiora Raceway on the 7th July. Congratulations to the following drivers who have qualified for this years Championship. (in order of qualifying)  North Island Benjamin Butcher (Captain) Luke Whittaker Alicia Harrison Dylan Ferguson Jack MacKinnon Fergus Schumacher   South Island John Morrison (Captain) Mark Hurrell Sheree Tomlinson Ben Hope Kimberly Butt Sarah O'Reilly The full qualifying table is available here: https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahrs/junior_drivers/junior_driver_points_5.htm  If anyone would like any further information in regards to the Championship please contact Courtney Clarke at Harness Racing New Zealand courtney@hrnz.co.nz or 027 636 4355    HRNZ Marketing

The plan to take The Paua Diver to the front by trainer driver Allan Beck worked perfectly at Ascot Park today when the four year old cleared maiden ranks at his fifth harness racing start. The Live Or Die gelding showed promise early when he ran third behind the talented Zinny Mac at Winton in mid December, pacing the 2400 metres in 2-56.2. “After that first run he got himself a bit worked up. Before that he was a perfect natured horse. He’s been a bit disappointing in a couple of his runs,” said Beck who part owns the gelding with breeders Ben and Karen Calder. From Gate Six Beck used the horse’s natural early speed and took The Paua Diver to the lead. From that point he ran good solid even quarters before Flaming Jim made a lightening quick move to challenge inside the last 800 metres. Duty Bound, driven by Robin Swain, which had trailed The Paua Diver for most of the way pulled out and forced Flaming Jim three wide before taking the lead. “They showed a bit too much speed for me so I just let them go in the finish. Robin’s one was going alright.” Once Duty Bound had taken The Paua Diver to the passing lane Beck pushed the go button again and the gelding showed he was too good for his rivals, beating Duke Of Dundee by two lengths with Flaming Jim another length back in third. “He’s like his sister (Bettor Enforce). You just have to let them go. The harder you go the more they seem to enjoy it.” Coming back to the birdcage                                  - Photo Bruce Stewart Beck trained The Paua Divers dam Their Excuse which won her first race but was unplaced in three further starts. The win with The Paua Diver was one of two for Beck today. He also drove the Brian Nicol trained Cast A Shadow to win the Sheet Metalcraft Mobile Pace.   Bruce Stewart

Free-legged pacer Take A Bet capped off a successful stay in Southland when she won the $12,000 Ryal Bush Transport Limited Nuggets Final at Ascot Park today. The Mach Three filly has won $21,200 in the space of five weeks for Canterbury harness racing trainer Geoff Dunn whilst down here, and she’s become the first horse to win both a Ladyship and Nugget final. Punters had some anxious moments though after Take A Bet which was the favourite, galloped in the score up. Starter Ben Ward declared a false start but Take A Bet galloped round to the start point before Williams was able to pull her up. “It’s uncharacteristic for her. I think Brett (caretaker trainer Brett Gray) must have let the hopples out on her during the week (laugh). She just needs to learn how to be a racehorse,” said Williams who decided to stand in Gate Two for the re-start. When the field left for the second time the mare paced away perfectly and was taken straight to the lead where she stayed, withstanding a late charge up the passing lane by American Mac. She won by three quarters of a length. “She’s getting better each time. The trips down here have been the making of her. She’s starting to develop a bit of speed now. Brett and the team have done a good job in looking after her and making sure she’s been ready to go.”  Take a Bet is raced by William’s parents Brent and Suzanne along with Gary and Keri Woodham who were all on-course today. Brent Williams, Gary Woodham, Suzanne Williams and Keri Woodham - Photo Bruce Stewart She’s out of the six win Bettor’s Delight mare Kabet which started favourite in the 2013 Southland Oaks Finals - then driven by Tim. As a broodmare Kabet has also left Above N Beyond which ran fifth in the Two Year Emerald in the recently held Harness Jewels at Addington. Kabet’s third dam is the 1994-1995 Broodmare of the Year Sakuntala which left Brad Adios the 1977-1978 Three Year Old Pacer of the Year in Australia and Tuapeka Star who was the winner of twenty two races and the dam of New Zealand Cup winner Iraklis. Meanwhile Robbie Royale capped off a consistent season by winning The Williamson Racing Stables Handicap Trot. The five year gelding trained by Brett Gray has won four races this season from twenty three starts and has banked $27,745. for his connections.    Bruce Stewart

When Red Reactor won at Alexandra Park last Friday night it capped off a memorable harness racing week for his sire Auckland Reactor.  Auckland Reactor has had a productive time with his progeny both here and in Australia over the last fortnight winning several races in both countries. On Sunday the 26th May a speedy Auckland Reactor filly by the name of Sky Vale turned heads at the Rangiora meeting when winning her harness racing debut by an ever increasing 8 lengths for trainer Glenn Gillard and driver Blair Orange. The winning time of 3-18.5 for the 2600m stand suggests there are plenty more wins in store for Sky Vale when you consider she was still locked up on the fence back in the field with 400m left to go. Sky Vale winning at Rangiora Also winning at Rangiora was the Auckland Reactor gelding Baltimore Jack (Auckland Reactor - D'Amore's First) who picked up his third win after a run of placings in some tough Addington fields in the previous few weeks.  Baltimore Jack was driven by Blair Orange who never had to panic when Baltimore Jack easily spaced his rivals by more than 3 lengths after receiving a good run on the outer during the race. Nigel McGrath is the trainer of Baltimore Jack. Baltimore Jack winning at Rangiora Red Reactor (Auckland Reactor - Edernay) was impressive when winning his fifth race in quick time at Alexandra Park last Friday night. The 4yo gelding ran 2-41.6 (1-58.1 MR) for the mobile 2200m for driver Maurice McKendry. It was a cagey drive by McKendry who bided his time near the rear of the field for the majority of the race. Near the 600m McKendry made his move and Red Reactor rushed into the race and slowly wore down his rivals to win by a neck.   Red Reactor winning at Auckland   Earlier this week Trainer Mark Jones produced an exciting Auckland Reactor 2yo trials winner at Rangiora. Itz Alldown To Luck (Auckland Reactor - Itz Fatima Kiwi) demolished a five horse field by more than 8 lengths  in the standing start 2600m trial. In the trial Itz Alldown To Luck was slowly away settling a long last, but Jones set the 2yo gelding alight with 800m to go and he rounded up the field, before shooting clear at the 600m and winning without being pushed. Itz Alldown To Luck winning his trial on Wednesday   Harnesslink Media

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Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that the world’s most innovative harness racing game developer has teamed up with us to support this year’s edition of the Cadet of the Year competition.   ‘Catch Driver’ is one of two harness racing games developed so far by Ryan Clements of The Farm Ventures in Canada, whose main initiative is to increase the uptake of youth interest in harness racing on the world stage.   Clements has grown up in and around harness racing. His grandfather raced the great stallion Cam Fella, and whilst he never person- ally had the chance to see the horse race, he lives on the farm that was home to the stallion during his racing career and is surrounded by memorabilia and constant reminders about harness racing and the joy and elation it can bring.   “We are beyond excited to partner with HRNZ in sponsoring the Cadet of the Year. We believe that many of the young men and women we see here competing for the Cadet of the Year will become tomorrow’s stars in the sport,” said Clements.   “Our mission with Catch Driver is to engage a younger audience with this incredible sport, so it only makes sense that we partner with the next generation of athletes. We want to wish best of luck to all of those competing- you are the future stars of the sport!”   Clements has led the way in terms of developing his company ‘The Farm Ventures’, and was determined to prove that if you can give people the opportunity to play a harness racing game (either as a Catch Driver or in their other harness racing game, Off and Pacing) they will then take an interest in the sport.   “Most people who love sports are able to play some sort of game where they can get a virtual experience of being involved,” said Clements.   “We have developed a game where our players can download the game to their phone for free and drive a horse in a race live against other people from around the world. We even have professional harness racing drivers from around the world playing on a regular basis too meaning fans can race against their idols.”   In the game each driver is randomly drawn a horse, and its best attributes are listed in the build up to the live race. This gives the player a chance to study if their horse is quick off the gate, has a quick sprint or has a lot of stamina.   “The game is purely about the sport and the art of driving a horse to its best strengths. We have no reference to gambling at all in any of our games,” explained Clements.   Fittingly Catch Driver’s sponsorship of Cadet of the Year means they are helping recognize the next generation of harness racing licence holders in New Zealand as the competition showcases the new talent coming through the ranks in the industry.   Following Clements visiting New Zealand last September with Fractional Ownership guru Anthony MacDonald, Catch Driver were also then generous co-sponsors of the 2018 Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup.They are dedicated to continuing to support youth in harness racing worldwide.   In the Cadet of the Year competition, cadets compete at a regional level in a series of tests which incorporate lessons learned through their education in the cadet scheme and also on the job with their employer.   This includes driving a horse to a set time in a time trial without a stop watch, a general knowledge quiz based on previous lessons and a round robin based on harness racing and equine challenges.   Four finalists are found from these heats, who then take part in a grand final round of tests at Addington Raceway on Wednesday 24 July.   The overall winner is announced at the Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Awards ceremony, this year to be held at Addington Raceway on Saturday 28 September.   Last year it was won by Ellie Barron of Southland.   Harness Racing New Zealand will announce the four finalists for the 2019 Catch Driver Cadet of the Year this Friday. We are grateful to The Farm Ventures and their team for their support of the youth of our industry and encourage industry participants to support them by downloading the game and having a go.     Catch Driver is available to download and play free to your phone from all app stores. So give it a try today by visiting http://onelink.to/gme7ve   Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc
Boom Southland pacer U May Cullect continued on his winning way at Addington last night. He had to draw on all his reserves but he beat Classie Brigade by a nose. However after the win, the rumour mill began churning which owner Tom Kilkelly found disappointing. “The word round Christchurch is that the horse has broken down. I had a couple of phone calls this morning asking what had gone wrong with him. We don’t have any issues. Kirstin put him on the truck this morning and wrapped his legs and said there was no sign of anything. We’ll get him scanned on Monday just to make sure,” he said.   In last night’s PGG Wrightson Standardbred Uncut Gems Classic driver Kirstin Barclay took U May Cullect to the front early before handing up to Classie Brigade and driver John Dunn. From there the pace was on. “They went down the back in 27. I think Dunn’s idea was to run us off our feet so that we couldn’t beat him.” Classie Brigade, U May Cullect, Triple Eight and Smokin By gapped themselves from the rest of the field and coming down the straight it became a battle of two mighty willing horses with U May Cullect beating Classie Brigade by a nose. “I was a wee bit concerned when he took the passing lane. He sprinted for a wee bit then he lost his way but Kirstin felt he just got lost because he’s never taken the passing lane. He’s always either lead or come round them. It was a bit tense in that he didn’t win by lengths like he normally does but he was racing against Cup horses.” Kilkelly wasn’t even sure whether it was a win or not. “Everyone round me reckoned he’d won but I didn’t know – I thought it was pretty close. There was only a nose in it. I was talking to Graham Court this morning and he said that’s the sign of a real good horse. They just dig in and have got that wee bit extra.” The winning time was 3-08.7 on a showery night, on an easy track. The New Zealand record for 2600 metre mobile of 3-05.5 is held by Sheriff. The run of Classie Brigade was full of merit and was only his third race back since a nine month injury break. Kilkelly says U May Cullect pulled up well and that now’s the right time for a break. “He’s a bit of a dumbo. I went down to the barn afterwards and washed him down and he was just standing there like he normally does. He’s definitely going to get a nice month in the paddock now.” Next on the cards will be the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru in September. “If we’re competitive we’ll carry on to the Cup.” Despite the horse’s rapid rise through the grades Kilkelly says there have never been any offers to buy him. “There’s never been any money put up. We’ve made it very very clear that he’s not for sale. I don’t care what the offers are. I’ve spend my life waiting for a good horse and this is it.” He says without doubt U May Cullect’s win at Addington last night was a career highlight, surpassing Shard Ark’s win in the 2009 Yearling Sales Series Final. “Shard Ark hadn’t done much until that race whereas the journey with this fella has been unbelievable.” Kilkelly says the horse’s notoriety has spread far beyond Southland. “I was sitting in the stand last night and there was a guy sitting just along from me and he said to me after the race ‘I was cheering louder than you were and I’ve flown down from Auckland just to watch this horse’. It was just an unbelievable feeling. Everyone at Addington congratulating us. Money can’t buy that.”   Bruce Stewart
“It was great to see Southland getting some of the chocolates for once. It was also good seeing U May Cullect getting up to get the job done,” said Southland trainer Steve Baucke after his mare I’mallaboutthebase won the $40,000 Listed Uncut Gems Mares Classic at Addington last night. From gate six driver Tim Williams positioned the mare three back on the running line with Flying Milly Mac setting the pace. The order remained the same until the top of the straight when I’mallaboutthebase was presented with the passing lane and she came through nicely to nail Flying Milly Mac by a length with Naiya Franco another length and a quarter back in third. The winning time was 3-12.7. “It worked out well. Her sister (Delight My Soul) was deadly three back on the fence. She’s (I’mallaboutthebase) proving to be just as deadly. Tim was stoked and it was just the perfect trip for her really.” The win was I’mallaboutthebase’s fourth in thirty six starts over three seasons. She has now won $64,898. I’mallaboutthebase is by underrated sire Shadow Play out of the In The Pocket mare Soleil D’or and was bred by Steve and his wife Carol. “When she was born she had a bit of a rear end on her. I rang Graeme Henley (from Alabar Stud) and told him I was going to call her I’mallaboutthebase. He said ‘are you sure’, and I said I am.” The Bauckes no longer own Soleil D’or. After I’mallaboutthebase was born they sold her to Aucklander Kevin Haycock who has an Auckland Reactor colt out of her. Soleil D’Or’s fifth foal Delight My Soul won seven races for the Bauckes. She was retired from racing earlier this year after being served by Sweet Lou. It was the first time Baucke has won a race at Addington. Four different drivers have now won on the Shadow Play mare; Craig Ferguson, Matthew Williamson, Blair Orange and now Tim Williams. It was the mare’s first black type win. She previously ran second behind Dizzy Miss Lizzy in the 2017 Group Three Caduceus Club Of Southland Fillies Mobile Pace. “We’ll give her a bit of a holiday now and we’ll line up again next season. There has been a bit of interest (buyers) in her but we’ve always wanted to keep her.”   Bruce Stewart
Tactical Landing (3, 1:50.4), the fastest harness racing son of former champion trotter and now premier sire Muscle Hill (1:50.2), will be available to ‘Down Under’ breeders this season via frozen semen from Stallions Australasia. Not only was Tactical Landing a Breeders Crown champion – he won the three-year-old title last year – he was sired by a dual Breeders Crown champion, Muscle Hill, his dam, Southwind Serena 1:55.4 ($385,088) was a Breeders Crown champion at 3 and he ranks as a full brother to the Breeders Crown winner Mission Brief 1:50.4. Tactical Landing was a top racehorse in his own right, winning $812,300 from 16 starts – an excellent total in a brief career. As a three-year-old he won nine races and was four times placed from 14 starts for $810,800 and was one of the highest stakes-winning trotters in North America in 2018. Undoubtedly the highlight of his stellar three-year-old campaign was his front-end win in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final at Pocono Downs, in which he defeated Met’s Hall and Crystal Fashion by open lengths in 1:52.2 on a sloppy track. Tactical Landing took his record of 1:50.4, winning a leg of the time-honoured Kentucky Futurity at Lexington and finished second in the $434,000 Final in a world record 1:50. He also captured a division of the $240,000 Bluegrass Stake in 1:51.2 at Lexington and an elimination of the $1.2 Hambletonian in 1:52.4 and was a strong third in the final. Tactical Landing closed out his campaign with a hard-hitting win in the $350,000 TVG Championship at The Meadowlands, sitting parked for the last half-mile and defeating 3YO Trotter of the Year Six Pack by 2-½ lengths in 1:51.8. An $800,000 yearling, Tactical Landing, a commanding individual, 16 hands, looks every inch the blood he represents. He is a son of the great Muscle Hill, the world’s leading living trotting sire and sire of sires, while his dam, Southwind Serena, is a daughter of arguably the greatest trotter of all-time, Italy’s Varenne. Southwind Serena has stamped herself as one of the finest broodmares of all-time. Besides Tactical Landing, she is also the dam of a dual world champion in Mission Brief, winner of 19 races and $1.5million and voted 2YO and 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year, Exemplar (1:53.2) and Earn Your Wings (1:54.8). The second dam, Spice On Ice (1:57.8) left five winners and is the grand-dam of the Kentucky Futurity winner Ice Attraction (1:50.2) and Canadian 2YO Filly Trotter of the Year The Ice Dutchess, while the third dam Spicy Bones produced six winners. Tactical Landing stood his first season at the prestige Southwind Farms in New Jersey this year. His service fee will be $16,500 including GST in Australia and $15,000 plus GST in New Zealand.   by Peter Wharton
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