Day At The Track

Welcome to the Harness Half Hour Podcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing and Airpark Canterbury. 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 one of the worlds leading drivers, Tim Tetrick, following his world record win with Kiwi mare, Shartin. Junior driver Kaleb Bublitz chats about his first drive and Catch Driver Cadet of the Year. We're with Gerald Cayford, President of the Kurow Harness Racing Club and Graeme Harris of Airpark Canterbury chats about the new rewards for guests of the podcast.     Jess Smith HRNZ Marketing

One of the reasons behind the success of the latest Southland pacing star U May Cullect is Gore born Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis and the beach training he puts into the harness racing gelding. Ellis trains the gelding in partnership with Kirstin Barclay but prefers to let Barclay deal with all the media attention the pacer's attracting. Undoubtedly Ellis, and his team of helpers who operate out at the Oreti Beach arm of the operation have played a big part in getting U May Cullect to where he is at the moment. Ellis has been in the harness game a fair while having started out with Winton trainer Owen Cameron. “I played for Woodlands (Rugby Club) in the under 18s and a fella called Roy Sloan worked for Owen. I was working at the Makarewa Freezing Works in the season and doing a bit of rousing in the off season. Owen was involved in a race day crash and Roy, who was at practice that night wanted someone to do the boxes so that’s how I got started. Roy ended up leaving so I took over his job,” Ellis said. After doing his time with Cameron he joined up with Graeme Anderson who at the time was exporting race horses to Australia. Ellis took the opportunity to head across the ditch initially on holiday before it turned into work. “I was with Greg Harpur for eight years. I travelled all over the place with Jay Bee’s Fella (including) the Miracle Mile and Interdominions. He was the best horse I’d had anything to do with as far as speed goes until U May Cullect.” Jay Bee’s Fella qualified for Blake Eskdale and won his first start at Winton in March 1985 after which he was sold to Harpur. He did return to New Zealand a couple of times during his career, winning the Lion Red Semi Final at the end of March 1987 before winning the $200,000 final a week later, beating another Southland pacer Lord Lenny. He was driven both times by Peter Wolfenden. Jay Bee’s Fella returned to Auckland at Christmas time in the same year and after winning the Benson and Hedges Flying Mile he ran twelvth in the 1987 Auckland Cup - won by Luxury Liner. In Australia his big race wins were in the 1988 Moonee Valley Pacing Cup and a heat of the 1988 Interdominion Pacing Championships. He also ran third in the 1987 Miracle Mile won by Village Kid. Since the 1999 season Ellis has had his own training license with his first winner coming at Ascot Park in April of that year when Last Deal won, driven by Brendon Scobie. Over those early years Ellis trained some nice horses including Elrae Night (5), Southern Motoring (6), Montecrengle (3), Candy’s Dream (3) and Idle Bones (6). It was after he sold Idle Bones to Brent Mangos that he started to think about moving from Canterbury to Southland. “Ox (Trainer Wayne Ewan) and I had a yarn one day when I was in Christchurch. He was getting real busy with his work. Ox said about coming down here and by going to his place at Ryal Bush I could have my horses in work for nothing. When he was away I’d just do his horse in amongst mine. I said that if I was down there I wanted to beach train.” Consequently they drove around looking for suitable beach training establishments and came across Murray Little’s property on Pitt Road close to Oreti Beach. The Little property on Pitt Road                              - Photo Bruce Stewart  Late in the 2016-2017 season Ellis started training from Pitt Road, and two of his four winners that season were owned by Little. In the meantime McEwan’s place was put on the market and it was expected to sell. “At that point we had quite a good team of young horses in work and they were going to Kirstin’s. I thought if Ox’s property sells I’ll end up having nowhere to train so one night I had a yarn to Kirstin and the partnership started.” “Murray’s been unreal.” Murray Little’s property consists of 10 acres, all deer fenced with a small 400 metre jog track. The Richardson Group own the neighbouring property and because McEwan works for the Group he was able to arrange access through the Richardson property to Oreti Beach. “With the beach you make hay while the sun shines. If it’s good weather you can get them all done. You can do them three or four days in a row because you know you’ve got s.... weather coming up. Then they can have a couple of days off and if anything it helps them. It puts a spring in their step.” Ellis says the young horses get educated at the Tisbury property while the race horses are based at the beach. “Once they’ve qualified and are sensible enough to handle beach training they come out here. Murray, Ox and Tom (U May Cullect’s owner Tom Kilkelly) have just got in behind us. It’s been unreal.” Ellis also has a great band of helpers with experienced horseman Paul Hillis assisted by Colin Lindsay to name just two. “Colin worked for Sally McKay. He’s retired. He raced Campagna Park and does our jog frame. He’s worth his weight in gold. Kirstin and I have our names in the book but it’s such a team effort. As for Hilly you can’t keep him away. You say be here at 6.00 and he’s here at 5:30. You’ve got to get here early before he starts doing something he shouldn’t. In a good way.” And Ellis says the partnership and the two property set-up is working extremely well. “She (Kirstin) concentrates on the horses at her place but when the tides right she’ll come out here. It could be five the morning. Everything changes with the tide. I do a jog team here, then go over there to do boxes and then we’ve both come back here to work horses.” He says the beach is different every day and there’s only a small handful of trainers using it, including galloping trainers Stu Higgins Amanda Swartz and Sabin Kirkland.   Paul Hillis and Wee Man Trouble                          - Photo Bruce Stewart. “I love getting the early tide when there’s no one around. Christmas time is an absolute nightmare. But it’s everybody’s beach. Hilly fires up sometimes but people like to bring their dogs down.” And as for the stable star U May Cullect? “No tricks to him. He’s just the easiest horse to train.”   The day I saw him working on the beach he was wearing a hood and looked very relaxed and at home. “He probably doesn’t need it but it keeps him chilled out and relaxed.” Although he can easily get competitive. “Wee Man Trouble was on the lead one day and he was going stupid. Old Carlos (U May Cullect) got on the bit and he just switched into that horse.” U May Cullect with Kirstin Barclay galloping on Oreti Beach           - Photo Bruce Stewart  Ellis says the six year old is a natural pacer but can also trot. “You should see him in the paddock. He’s got so much style. He’d make a lovely trotter. He’s so little on his feet.” And there’s been no sign of any leg issues that plagued the horse early in his career. “We got him scanned when he came back in work and there’s been no drama; touch wood. Since he’s been down here he’s never had a lame day. I don’t like to hose them down. After being in the salt water you feel your own legs tighten up. It’s got to be good for you.” And the good news is that the winner of his first seven starts isn’t too far away from resuming. Getting his gear off                                              - Photo Bruce Stewart “Three or four week just playing round like this and he’ll be pretty good.” The plan at the moment is to take him to the workouts at the end of September and look at starting his racing season at Winton on the 8th October. “We haven’t got a finite plan. The Hannons is our first aim and we’ll just take it from there. We’re pretty cruisey about it all really. The horse will let us know. He’s an athlete. He doesn’t need much work.”   Bruce Stewart

Following her record breaking win over the weekend, Matt Hall-Smith of TV1 News spoke to harness racing breeder Grant Crabbe about breeding the worlds fastest mare!    HRNZ

Nine time winning New Zealand harness racing drivers premiership Champ, Dexter Dunn shone on Hambletonian Day, Saturday 4th of August at The Meadowlands. Dunn who departed New Zealand for the US just on 12 Months ago, has been the winner of 255 races and over $5.5 million US in stakes earnings to date. The champion reinsman competed in 14 of 16 races on Hambletonian Day, and was seen winning the $186,000 Dr. John R Steele Memorial FFA Mares Open aboard Nancy Johansson’s trotter, Manchego. The 4yo daughter of Muscle Hill trotted the mile in 1:50. Since Dunn has entered the US he has been nothing short of outstanding. He was seen finishing a gallant 2nd in the $500,000 Hamiltonian Oaks, aboard the Jim Campbell trained Millies Possesion. Leading into the Oaks as tote favorite, the 3yo daughter of Possess The Will was unbeaten from eight race day starts. Dunn was the winner of 2,226 races in New Zealand and over $22 Million is prize money. Australian born Andrew McCarthy won the $100,362 Shady Daisy for 3yo fillies aboard Tall Drink Hanover. McCarthy steered homed the 3yo Captaintreacherous filly home in 1.48 for Trainer Tony Alagna. He also finished a respectable 2nd in the Lady Liberty FFA Mares Open aboard Caviart Ally behind champion mare Shartin N. McCarthy took himself to 137 victories for the season and extended his stakes earnings to over $3 million. “It doesn’t get any better than that”, says Meadowlands commentator as Shartin N crossed the line in the $183,500 Lady Liberty FFA Mares Open. Setting a new mares world record of 1:46.4. The champion mare is taking trainer Jim King Jnr and owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, and Tim Tetrick, on a ride of a lifetime as she continues her domination of the Open Mares division in North America.  Monday 29th July Batavia Downs NY Quick Draft A – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $4,900 Northfield Park OH Supreme Mach N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $7,000 He Can Fly N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,700 Plainridge Park MA Tisadream A– Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $12,000 Mach Doro A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $14,000   Tuesday 30th July Yonkers Raceway NY Blacknsweet Adda A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $13,500 Kept Under Wraps A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $13,500   Wednesday 31st July Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $12,5000 Monticello Raceway NY Power Dreaming N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $5,000 Saratoga Harness NY The Great Buzz N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,000   Thursday 1st August Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Gold Class N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $8,000 Plainridge Park MA Neon Sky N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $7,200 The Spinster N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $5,800 Scarborough Downs ME Jay Bees Grin N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $5,000 Scioto Downs OH Lion Rock N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $15,000 Yonkers Raceway NY Brookies Prince N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $13,500 Ima Tragedy N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $18,500   Friday 2nd August Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Backup A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $7,000 Nicol Shard N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $8,000 Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Delishka N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $14,500 Anytime N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,000 Saratoga Harness NY Eclipse Me N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $15,000 Yonkers Raceway NY Soho Jackman A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $24,000 Down Under Trifecta - 2nd Statesman N, 3rd Simply Susational N   Saturday 3rd August Batavia Downs NY Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $11,000 Tullow N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $9,500 Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Shards Halo N – Time: 1:49.1, Stake: $20,000 Meadowlands NJ Shartin N – Time: 1:46.4, Stake: $183,500 (Mares World Record) Northfield Park OH He Can Fly N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,800 Uncle Lile A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,500 Saratoga Harness NY Lockton Luck A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $10,000 Scioto Downs OH Sammy The Bull N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $17,500 The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Weona Sizzler A – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $14,000 Yonkers Raceway NY Major Crocker A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $30,000 American Boy N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $30,000 Bit Of A Legend N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $24,500   Previous weeks 29 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 24 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety   by Carter Dalgety

Kiwi harness horses starred on both sides of the globe yesterday with one setting a new world record on harness racing’s biggest day. Former New Zealand mare Shartin stunned harness racing fans when she paced a 1:46.8 mile on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands in New Jersey, the fastest mile ever paced by a mare. Her all the way win in the US$183,000 Lady Liberty to continue her incredible last 18 months to confirm her place as the best pacing mare in the world. Ironically, Shartin never raced in New Zealand, being exported to Australia before becoming a superstar in North America, her success even more surprising as she is by former speed freak Tintin In America, who as a stallion has struggled to leave top racehorses. Shartin wasn’t the only Kiwi to star on Hambletonian Day, with driver Dexter Dunn winning the main trot for older horses with Machego and finishing second in the Hambeltonian Oaks, Cane Pace and fourth in the US$1million Hambletonian. Closer to home Oamaru juvenile trotter Ultimate Stride overcame a second line draw courtesy of a beautiful Anthony Butt drive to win the A$50,000 Redwood at Maryborough in Victoria. The giant baby is only campaigning in Victoria after owner Emilio Rosati talked trainer Phil Williamson into the trip because he looks anything but a natural two-year-old. “He is a very good stayer which is why I let him stride down the back straight to turn it into a staying contest,” said Butt. “He is already a good horse but he is only going to get better.” Williamson couldn’t pull off the group race double when heavily-backed favourite Liberty Stride galloped at the start of the A$75,000 Victoria Derby and tailed off.  The race was won by Kiwi bred Majestuoso with Auckland trotter Kratos a solid third.   Michael Guerin

Announcer Ken Warkentin exclaimed, "It doesn't get any better than that!" and you'd be hard pressed to argue. After doing virtually nothing wrong since arriving in North America, Shartin N is now the fastest female pacer in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping performance in the 2019 Lady Liberty Final on Hambletonian Day (August 3) at The Meadowlands. Driver Tim Tetrick was playing no games on Saturday afternoon, leaving alertly from the rail along with Apple Bottom Jeans (Corey Callahan). Sensing danger, Tetrick protected his position after Apple Bottom Jeans cleared and popped pocket to clear back to the lead through a :26 opening quarter. Post 10 starter Kissin In The Sand (David Miller) couldn't find a spot on the rail and was forced to press on, with Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) second over and Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy) locked in third along the rail. The field continued in this order through a :53.4 half and 1:21 third station. At this point, Youaremycandygirl tipped three-wide with third over Shower Play (Dan Dube) following that move. Coming into the stretch, it would appear that Caviart Ally would get room to make a bid, and she did. However, at that moment Tetrick gave Shartin the word and she absolutely exploded with pace. After a mile without a real rest, Shartin shot home in :25.4 to trip the teletimer in a world record 1:46.4. Caviart Ally closed in futile chase of the leader but held second over a hard-charging Shower Play. The mile time shaved one-fifth of a second off the existing standard for distaff pacers, set by Shebestingin at The Red Mile in 2013. "If there's a freak out there, she's it," said a smiling Tetrick after the record win. "I don't know how fast she can go...she wasn't done there, I never untucked my whip. Right now she's just so much fun to drive, she's getting smarter and she's just on her game." Tetrick co-owns Shartin N (Tintin In America - Bagdarin) along with Richard Poillucci of North Easton, Mass. and Joann Looney King of Harrington, Del. The Jim King Jr.-trained six-year-old now boasts 12 wins in 13 seasonal outings, and the win pushes her purse earnings just shy of the double millionaire mark at $1,967,295. Courtesy of Standardbred Canada

There aren’t many trots mountains Anthony Butt hasn’t climbed but the champion Kiwi-turned-Aussie reinsman was beaming at Maryborough today after guiding Ultimate Stride to his first Volstead Redwood Classic. Taking the reins of the favourite for New Zealand trainer Phil Williamson, Butt put in a flawless display to sit in wait while leader Is That A Bid and breeze-horse Dublin Chubb were brisk early, then challenged three-wide a long way from home on Ultimate Stride to ensure a staying test in the 2190-metre standing start. Come the final straight he would prove too strong, winning by 3.4m ahead of valiant leader Is That A Bid, with Daddy Warbucks third and a significant gap to all others. “He got going too good really, they walked that second quarter of the last mile and I just basically got to the stage that I couldn’t hold him any longer,” Butt told interviewer Paul Campbell post-race. “I knew Kerryn’s (Dublin Chubb) was pulling and I wouldn’t be able to get past her too easy, but I just wanted to make it a bit of staying test as well and I had a lot of faith in (Ultimate Stride's) staying abilities. Drive a horse like that, you’ve got to keep him out of trouble as well and I just wanted to cover all bases.” Watch the video here! The win meant plenty to Butt, being his first Redwood Classic triumph, an honour he said had slipped through the grip of many who had crossed the Tasman to capture the crown. “It’s a very hard race for the Kiwis to win, I think Mark Purdon won it just a few years ago and he was the first Kiwi to do it. It’s a time-honoured race, one I’ve always wanted to win and it's great to do it.” It was also a terrific result for prolific owners Emilio and Maria Rosati and trainer Williamson, who also held high hopes for Liberty Stride in the Haras Des Trotteurs Victoria Trotters Derby only to see the race favourite gallop out of contention at the mobile start. Both are expected to now turn their focus to the TAB Breeders Crown, with pacing heats for the great aged racing series beginning on Tuesday.   Michael Howard HRV Trots Media 

Young harness racing driver Sam Thornley gained his first win with his very first drive aboard Copperhead Rose in the junior drivers event at Addington Raceway last night. Thornley gave relative outsider Copperhead Rose a lovely trip on the outer before overhauling the likely winner Glenthorne close to the post in the wet conditions. It was a sweet and sour win for Thornley. Immediately after his win aboard Copperhead Rose the young inexperienced driver was questioned by stewards regarding the manner in which he used his whip inside the final 400 metres. The whip issue and associated fallout was adjourned until Stewards have had the opportunity to liaise with the HRNZ licensing and education department.  For Copperhead Rose (Vintage Master - Reklis Millions) who is trained at Greendale by Donald Jones, the victory was his first glimpse of form since winning on a heavy track at Geraldine back in November of last year, but the tough 6yo had been hinting he was back somewhere near his best with two winning runs at recent Canterbury workouts. Copperhead Rose was overlooked by punters and paid $13.80 and $3.70 on the tote. His winning time for the mobile 2600m mobile was 3-16.3 with a closing 800m in 59.0 and a final 400m in 28.5 seconds. Copperhead Rose winning last night   Harnesslink Media

Every racing story is a series of  chapters and if the first for All Stars yearlings is  their purchase at the Sales, the more important Chapter 2 is their education at Steve Boyd’s West Melton property. Steve’s business breaking in yearlings has grown like Topsy in recent years partly because he is now responsible for educating the vast majority of All Stars youngsters. But he also has  other major clients like the Williamson, Kerr and Butt stables and he estimates he and his staff handle up to 150 horses in a year. At present he has 7 All Stars horses under his winter care. “I actually don’t know how it started with Mark and Natalie. Mark rang up and asked me to take a few and it just sort of went from there” Steve recalls. It is likely that that man for all seasons, Neil Pilcher, played a role for he had had some of his horses educated at Boyds and they made a positive impression when they were put into work it led to further business . The horses usually work in 6 week blocks but as with all things with horses that can be flexible. “We have a good staff and put a lot of time into it but we don’t do anything special. We are guided by Mark and having his input has helped us with all our horses and I am sure we have gained more clients through the association” Steve says “He leaves us to get on with it. I will ring if I want to talk about a horse and he will advise me and ring about the older horses and it gets sorted . He is easy to work with” Steve says one of his most important assets is his father, John, at 78 still being keen on working with the youngsters even though his health at times is indifferent. “I just love working with horses at that stage of their lives and I guess they pick that up. We seem to get on good anyway” John says He  has a lifetime of association with racing  gaining racetrack prominence through smart racemares like the family- owned Dainty Judy and Dainty Smooth. But he is chiefly known in more recent times as a contractor for freeze branding. “I started in 1970 and I am still going though I don’t do it full time any more. That’s probably long enough !” Steve was always going to be involved. He started as a junior driver in the early 1990’s, John training his first winner, Diva Franco, raced by a partnership that included Malcolm Shinn. Tommy Behrns was also a supporter.  An early winner was Lady of Victory bred and raced by the estate of his grandfather, Colin Berkett. Steve  earned an Air New Zealand Junior Drivers Championship berth which meant visiting Australia and through that trip went back to work with New South Wales trainer, David Aiken. Steve is one of many fans of the Aiken stable, home in recent times to stars like Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjyay “I have never worked for a better horseman. Every horse was different.  I remember once he had two top chances for a Friday night meeting and during the week gave the smaller more frail looking one fast work right through to the races and put the bigger prettier one in the paddock for a few days. You would be scratching your head if you saw them but he knew exactly what he was doing. They both won” Steve also spent some time in North America with Chris Ryder -”another terrific horseman”- and returned to post his first training winner in 2000 at Hokitika with Smokey Range bred and raced by his parents. His next winner Cruella De Villi was driven by Jo Herbert who now works at the West Melton nursery. Steve is planning to enlarge his training operation from now on, having posted some encouraging results in the past season. “Philippa Hanley has been a great supporter of ours and she is happy to race them. We have about 12 of her youngsters on hand at different stages “ Virginia Cool and Back in Black were two of his 11 winners this season raced by Philippa and also  including Vi Lee , raced by John, and Ive Already Told You raced by Steve’s wife, Angela, and now in serious work again. He is also pre-training more older horses for All Stars the New Zealand Cup winner, Thefixer, being with him almost right up to the start of his spring campaign last year. “Seeing what Mark wants done with them is a bit more to add to my knowledge” Stave says. There is also the fact he has a Water Walker on the property an increasingly popular form of training variation and which especially suited Thefixer. “We had a good filly called Lady Toro who won a Sires Stakes heat in Auckland  but went amiss when we left her up there with Geoff Small. The water walker was a way to treat the problem and fortunately one of our owners was very handy with building projects and completed it. It has been a terrific asset. The time they spend in there varies but they love it. I notice if you jog a horse and let it go in the paddock it will trot away ok but the ones from the walker are really keen and refreshed when they get off the lead” The Walker is available also to outside owners and trainers. Vitally important in the handling of young horses is the right staff and Steve is happy with his lot backed by the major increase in his business in recent years. John, Eddie, Phil and Jo are on deck during our visit with Steve and Zoe Gilbert from Akaroa comes over two or three days a week. “She has been with us 17 or 18 years and also helps with the freeze branding. Really focussed and accurate in everything she does. The dream employee and those are not easy to find” Steve says Phil a descendant of Wes Butt holds a thoroughbred trainers licence and has worked in “many stables” over the years. Eddie Collins the important “ground organiser” with the team has long experience with all breeds of horses and is also active with standardbred sporthorses. One of the questions horse educators most commonly get asked of course  is how much you can tell about a horse’s potential from the early education. “You can’t always pick the most talented because sometimes the most talented just do what you ask and they may not stand out to you until they are seriously tested. One Change was one of those last year. What you can judge is attitude. And often you find the attitude of those early days flows right through their careers.” This is one area that makes the generally “no nonsense”  Bettors Delights deceptive. “You will get a number of them  that you ask to go a mile in 2.20 and they do it without any fuss but in a routine way  But then you quicken to 2.15 and they will still do it without any fuss. Those ones make you sit up and take notice because they are likely to go a lot faster without any fuss as well. But our job is to get them to do it right without asking too much of them” Jack Jones is an opposite example of what can happen.. Something of a heartbreak so far. “He showed a lot of ability with genuine quick speed but the attitude wasn’t quite there. We spent a lot of time on him and I know Mark and Natalie did But he just didn’t seem to want to do it while  Another Masterpiece, whom you would not have taken any special notice of at the time, was the leading two year old that season” (Jack Jones, regarded early as the fastest juvenile in the stable, ran 1:54.2 at his second start (4th) in the Kindergarten Stakes but galloped and was pulled up in the Welcome Stakes and galloped and unplaced in a subsequent Addington start before being exiled to the north where he failed badly in two subsequent starts). “But sometimes you get a standout that really grabs you. Darling Me (a sister to Sweet on Me and a daughter of Adore Me) is one like that among the current yearlings. Outstanding in every way. I am not saying there are not others we have handled who won’t turn out better, especially the trotters early on but she has what it takes” The future of harness racing in its present form is often a topic among horsemen and two areas of decline  have affected the Boyds. “The freeze branding of course A lot fewer foals to do now. But also people available for breaking in youngsters. We have quite a lot sent up from Southland and Otago and even around here are there are declining numbers of yearling trainers. People ask me to recommend someone and it is not easy. “  Steve Boyd and his team, meanwhile, have their hands full. They know that means they are doing things right and offering a proven service. You can’t ask for more   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables

Excitement has replaced nerves for superstar reinsman Zachary Butcher as he looks forward to the biggest fortnight of his racing life. Butcher heads to Victoria on Saturday to prepare the first horse he has ever trained, Zeuss Bromac, for the Breeders Crown, which culminates in a A$300,000 final at Melton on August 24. That is huge money by harness racing standards, even more so for a young horseman whose first representative has only had three career starts. Butcher is usually unflappable for one so young and twice this year he has dared to hand up to favoured rivals on exceptional filly Belle Of Montana well into group one races and backed himself to get his passing lane timing right. In both the Victoria Oaks and Harness Jewels, he was right. Then again, nobody should be surprised. This is the same youngster who a few years ago extravagantly jumped up out of the sulky seat and stood upright on the sulky shafts at full speed at the end of at Alexandra Park race to celebrate beating his father David home in the national premiership for the first time. So confidence isn’t an issue, even though Butcher admits he was nervous when Zeuss Bromac gave him his first win as a trainer last month. “Your first win is something special and even though it was only a maiden I was really nervous going out for that,” he says. “But I’m not about going to Australia. It is exciting and a great opportunity so I am going to go enjoy it. “The bottom line is I have a good horse who is getting better all the time and we get to race for big money without having to take on Mark’s (Purdon) best horses. “I know the Aussies won’t be easy to beat but for that sort of money you wouldn’t think they should be.” Zeuss Bromac suffered a minor setback with a bad blood report that cost him a lead-up race three weeks ago but his work this week has been very strong. “He is jumping out of his skin and with his heat next week I think that will bring him on heaps.” Butcher will also partner Perfect Stride, trained by his boss Ray Green, in his heat next week but before he heads to Victoria he has a couple of winning chances at  Cambridge’s season-opener tonight. His best hope is former southern trotter One Over Da Skye (race seven) who has joined the John and Josh Dickie stable but the latter isn’t driving tonight as he is already in Victoria preparing for Sunday’s Trotting Derby. “The way she trialled last week she will be very hard to beat if she trots all the way,” says Butcher. “She galloped early last Saturday but trotted her last mile in 2:4 and she is apparently better left-handed. So she might have too much speed for most of her rivals,” says Butcher, who has driven several of the other favoured runners in the race. Butcher also rates another Dickie newcomer in Breaking Bad (race three) as an each way chance but says in race four his drive Im A Denny Too might struggle to beat debutante Hampton Banner, who horse he knows well since it is trained by Green.   Michael Guerin

Former New Zealand pacer Wildwest had his first Australian harness racing start on Monday at Pinjarra in WA and he had tongues wagging after producing some unheard of final sectionals. The son of Raging Bull ran a 1:53.9 mile rate and got home his last 800m in 52.1 and his final 400m in 24.7 seconds to win by 35.4 metres. WildWest (Raging Bull - Bay Jet) is now part of the powerful Gary Hall Snr stable after he was purchased from New Zealand owner Kevin Strong not long after winning his first race impressively by 12 lengths at Winton back in May of this year. Lauren Pearson was the trainer for his Winton win. Up and coming sire Raging Bull is also turning heads with Wildwest ( 2 starts, 2 wins),Flame Lady (4 starts, 2 wins, 2 placings), Lydia (1 win), promising trialist, Unico Dream (Greg Hope) and the ill fated Pampalona Princess (star trialist) all coming from Raging Bulls second crop of only 12 foals. Wildwest will try to keep his winning run intact when he meets a strong field of 3yo's at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Race 2 5:50pm BETTER YOUR BET WITH TABTOUCH 3YO MS PACE (SKY1) 2130M $18,000 3YO. 3YO NE HWOE $25,000+. GPPBD/HWOE. Mobile        Form Horse Trainer Driver Class  Hcp   1 05674 BEIDERBECKE  Terry Ferguson Chris Voak H$0.00  FR1 $26.00 2 68s2s BEAUDIENE WESTERN NZ  Mike Reed Mark Reed H$5064.50  FR2 $3.00 3 23007 MAJOR ARTIST  Terry Ferguson Chris Lewis H$8646.74  FR3 $41.00 4 rs112 ELSU YOU  G F J Bond, S A Bond Ryan Warwick H$10087.86  FR4 $7.00 5 42031 PIERRE WHITBY  Debra Lewis Jocelyn Young (C) H$10087.86  FR5 $14.00 6 1s1 WILDWEST NZ  Gary Hall Snr Gary Hall Jnr H$9175.12  FR6 $2.50 7 13133 BETTOR BE OSCAR  Andrew De Campo Aiden De Campo H$17853.91  FR7 $34.00 8 1324s SANGUE REALE  Michael Brennan Michael Grantham H$16092.53  FR8 $26.00 9 57155 BACK IN TWENTY  Justin Prentice Justin Prentice H$19769.86  FR9 $8.00   Harnesslink Media

From today customers of the TAB who want to bet or collect $1,000 or more at a TAB site or at a race meeting will be required by law to verify themselves using their TAB account or 'Punters Pass' - a card the TAB issues to customers who use cash and have had their identity previously verified.   The Punters Pass is one of a range of systems and processes the TAB has put in place to comply with legislative changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT).   "Over the past twelve months the TAB has been working hard to understand where our risks of money laundering are, in preparation for meeting the requirements of the new legislation," says TAB General Manager Customer Gary Woodham.   The law changes were put in place by the New Zealand government to protect businesses and make it harder for criminals to profit from and fund illegal activity. The AML/CFT Act now covers casinos, banks and financial institutions, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and the TAB.   Under AML legislation the TAB must ensure it can identify its customers, their residential addresses and in some cases the source of their wealth or funds. The amount of information required will vary depending on a customer's betting activity.   "All TAB staff have received the necessary training to support the new procedures and we have new processes in place to ensure we know the identity of our customers who are betting or collecting over $1,000," says Woodham.   Customers who don't have a TAB account and want to bet or collect $1,000 or more at a TAB site or race meeting will now need photo identification and proof of address documentation.   For more information on AML law and how it will affect the TAB log on to     Kate Gourdie Corporate Communications Manager Racing Industry Transition Agency  

TAB News Pick6 this week  $25 Pick6 at Cambridge on Thursday night. $40 Pick6 Friday night at Addington. August and September - Harness First4 $6,000 Bonus First4 on a Race 4 Every Friday Night in Aug/Sept and on Race 4 at Addington on Thu 19 Sept. Cambridge Raceway News – New Season Launch 1 August You’re invited to a birthday party! Join us to celebrate the brand new racing season and the horse’s birthday! We are holding a special season launch event on Thursday 1 August at Cambridge Raceway in the Skyline Lounge (level 2). Kick off is 5pm, first race 5.21pm. And entry is free!   Alexandra Park News – Friday 2 August Christmas at the Races featuring the Inter Dominion Championship 2019 Christmas at the Races are some of the hottest nights on the Alexandra Park Harness Racing calendar. Choose from our various rooms and packages the best option to suit your guests, get into the festive spirit with our amazing Christmas themed all-you-can-eat buffet and keep your eye out for Santa. There will be competitions, entertainment, photographers and non-stop harness racing excitement, plus live entertainment after the last race. This year offers added value with the Inter Dominion Championship being run in New Zealand for the first time in 8 years. Explore the best Alexandra Park has to offer, but don’t forget to book quickly as these popular nights don’t last long. For more information visit: To make a booking, do it online or contact us 09 631 1165 or email Gore Harness Racing Club return of the SPRING FLING BONUS Following the success of this bonus last season the Club would like to announce that the SPRING FLING BONUS returns this season to be run over their race meetings on the 10th and 25th August and the 12th October. Two categories, fillies/mares and colts/geldings. Winner (highest points scorer) of each category to receive $1,000 plus cool down rug. Points: 1st = 10pts, 2nd = 6pts, 3rd = 3pts, 4th = 2 pts, 5th = 1 pt. Southern Harness Racing - Southern Awards - Sunday 11 August Sunday 11 August 2019 Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill Doors open 5.15pm, starting 6 pm sharp Master of ceremonies - Jess Smith  Tickets $70 online $75 cash or cheque Please use the following link to purchase your tickets Any problems phone Karen 03 206 6545 or Nicole 03 206 6965 Canterbury Harness Racing Awards - 21 September 2019 Woodlands Stud Canterbury Harness Awards Dinner - Saturday 21 September Silks Lounge - Addington Raceway, Addington 6.30pm for a 7.15pm start Tickets $60.00 incl. GST Drinks extra at individual's cost. Watch our for our stallion tender for Downbytheseaside and Pegasus Spur services which close on 02 September 2019. All enquiries to 021 969 969 or   HRNZ Marketing

Welcome to the Harness Half Hour Podcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing and Airpark Canterbury. 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 Mark Hurrell following his win in the Darren DeFilippi Memorial last week; Peter Hunter after he trained Unloaded to win the South of the Waitaki Final and Michael House on his best season to date, finishing third in the trainer's premiership. Plus Richard Wilson is back with his Bookmaker Update.   Jess Smith HRNZ Marketing

The Southern Harness racing season kicks off at Gore on Saturday 10th August, and the Club have once again put up a $1,000 bonus plus a cool down rug for its Spring Fling. The bonus will be paid to the highest point’ earner for two catogories (filly or mares and colt or geldings) over the first three days the Club races in August and October. Points will be allocated from first to fifth placings. ______________________________ Star Southland pacer U May Cullect is into his second week of work at Oreti Beach for trainers Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis. His first major assignment is the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Thursday 24th October. In his first season of racing he became the first southern trained horse to win his first seven starts. He also paced a mile in 1-52.1 at Winton which was a track and Southland age record. U May Cullect in the surf at Oreti Beach with co-trainer Kirstin Barclay – Photo Bruce Stewart U May Cullect is one of the favourites for Southland Horse of the Year at the Southern Harness sponsored Harness Awards to be held at scot Park Hotel on Sunday 11th August. Meanwhile Kirstin Barclay and Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis in their first season of training in partnership, have won the Southland Trainers Premiership recording thirty eight wins, eight clear of last year’s winner Brett Gray. Their list of winners this season include U May Cullect (7), Wee Man Trouble (5) and Paddyproudfoot (4). Paul Ellis with Wee Man Trouble and U May Cullect – Photo Bruce Stewart Barclay and Ellis train out of two stables – Tisbury and Oreti Beach and their first season success could see them win the Southland Achievement of the Year Award. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Southern Harness will have a new mobile vehicle for the forthcoming season. They have taken delivery of a 2019 Ford Ranger 4WD Mobile Barrier Vehicle which has replaced the 2WD Holden Southern Harness has used since 2012. Southern Harness’s new mobile – Photo Supplied. The need to upgrade became urgent after the old vehicle lost traction a couple of times during the season. The purchase of the vehicle has been made possible with funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. EH Ball Ltd will continue to be branding sponsors. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Forgotten pacer Lamborne Road is being tried again by Tahakopa trainer Brian Norman. The rising eight year old by Washington VC last started at Addington at the end of March 2017 for Invercargill trainer Wayne Adams. He won five races for Adams from just eighteen starts before he began suffering from a lung infection. Norman says he’s progressing well in his new environment. Lamborne Road – Photo Bruce Stewart ____________________________________________________________________________________ The Peter Hunter trained Unloaded won his third race in as many starts when he wore down The Croupier in the Macca Lodge South of the Waitaki Final at Addington on Friday night. The four year old Mach Three gelding, raced by the Gottashearasheep Syndicate, sat parked for the last lap for driver Sam Ottley and proved too tough, beating The Croupier by a head. Unloaded and trainer Peter Hunter – Photo Bruce Stewart Unloaded has won $17,490 for his connections in the last three weeks, racing in the Macca Lodge sponsored series and winning two heats and the final. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Branxholme trainer Nathan Williamson says quality trotting mare Dark Horse is due to go to the workouts next month. The rising seven year old mare hasn’t started since running in the 2017 Dominion Handicap at Addington. “She seems fine at the moment. I’ll probably take her to Winton for a private run in the next couple of weeks. We’ll know how much this layoff has effected her when she starts racing I suppose,” said Williamson. Williamson says his other trotting star Chinese Whisper has just come back into work and won’t be seen until November. He won both of his two starts as a three year old impressively. Meanwhile Franco Santino will remain in work and will be aimed at the Kurow Cup. “The way it’s worked out, he’s been ready at the wrong time of year. We didn’t have much luck last season. When he was ready to race he got a wee bit of a bug, and later in the season he hurt his leg in the box. Another Williamson trotter Hawaiian Hula (Dream Vacation – Kylie Ree) is progressing well in a new preparation. She qualified in May 2018 as a two year old and hasn’t been sighted since. She’s a half sister to Springbank Lachie. “She had chips in her knee and was a wee bit scratchy every now and then so we decided to take the chips out. Because she was a big filly she was going to be best served with time.” Hawaiian Hula – Photo Bruce Stewart  ____________________________________________________________________________________ The Southern Programme Committee have decided that there won’t be a Super Nugget Final this season and instead they’ll programme six Nugget finals over the season, each worth $15,000. Southern Harness Manager Jason Broad says both the Nugget and Ladyship Finals in the new season could possibly be run under preferential barrier draw conditions based on winning stakes. He also says there’ll be a wider time gap between finals. In other programming news, Broad says junior driver races will continue to be for one win horses but will also include 40-55 rating events which will incorporate horses that have won two or more races. There’s also some consideration being given to holding $1,000 Two Year Old non-tote races from late November. Broad says this is to encourage horses to get out for a run without incurring a penalty. It’s planned to run these on race days.   Bruce Stewart

After the initial sighs of Australian relief comes the reality. And that reality is even without a full regiment of the All Stars army to converge on the Victorian carnival which rolls into gear over the next week,  we still have some serious firepower aimed at the August riches which start at Maryborough on Sunday. There would have been plenty of connections of leading Australian age group horses thrilled to here that originally the All Stars weren’t targeting the Breeders Crown with anything like the numbers of the past, although the two they are bringing in Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke are favoured in their divisions. But the Kiwi team has grown to eight and remarkably all of them are trained by people who have had success in Australia before. Joining the Purdon-Rasmussen horses will be fellow Kiwi trainers Ray Green (won BC juvenile with King Of Swing two years ago); John and Josh Dickie (numerous BC, Vic Derby wins and a Great Southern Star), Zac Butcher (who has won Victorian group ones and now make his training debut there) and Phil Williamson, who has an excellent strike rate when he ventures to Victoria. Even Jeremy Young, who makes his Australian debut as the trainer of Breeders Crown three-year-old filly contender Best Western, is widely travelled and successful in Australia when stable travelling foreman for Purdon back in the Auckland Reactor days. So with all eight of the Kiwis set to race in Victoria soon, here is a look at how they stack up.—-   Maryborough Sunday: Ultimate Stride (Redwood): Former sales topping trotter who overcame 30m handicap to win at Maryborough last Thursday, so good to go from a stand for the Redwood. “He is a good horse and better now than when he ran at the Jewels,” says trainer Williamson. “He can definitely win any race he is in and the stand doesn’t bother me.” Anthony Butt will retain the drive on the leggy son of Love You, who is a class horse and has an experience edge at the highest level on the locals. Liberty Stride (Vic Derby): It was impossible not to be impressed by her quite stunning recovery to win at Shepparton last Tuesday and Williamson says she is the real deal. “She would have raced in the best races over home but we were behind the 8-ball with her prep but she has real class. “She can give the boys plenty to think about in the Derby and the crucial factor will be whether she gets it right and is trotting after 400m. If she is, she can win.” Butt will also takes the reins on her. Kratos (Vic Derby): Won his lead-up race at Alexandra Park last Friday against older horses with a 1:59.4 mile coming off second line, his fourth win this season, all against older horses. Second in NZ Sales Series and fourth in the Jewels he is rated a good stayer and late season improver by co-trainer John Dickie. “He is getting better all the time and he will love the three races in as many weeks heading into the Breeders Crown.”Not as good as some of the Dickie superstars of the past, Kratos will still be an each way chance in the Derby and the Crown, with Josh Dickie to drive.  Shepparton, August 7: Perfect Stride: Trained by Ray Green and owned by the Rosatis, Chicago Bull’s little brother is a real speedster. Good enough to compete in the elite early season company in NZ he was put aside with the Breeders Crown in mind and jogged a 1:56.1 mile beating older horses at Alex Park last Friday. That was his second win on end and he is slick and getting tougher with time. Whether he is up to the Emma Stewart horses is a big ask but looks certain to make the final and Zac Butcher will drive in the heat at least. Zeuss Bromac: A dramatic late season improver for Butcher, this is the first horse he has trained. Third in the Jewels at only his second start he beat Perfect Stride last time they met but then missed a race two weeks ago because of a bad blood report. Looks stronger than Perfect Stride but maybe not with as much raw speed. “I don’t think missing that race will hurt him too much and he is a horse on the up,” said Butcher. “So I think he will make the final and hopefully he will keep improving on the way there. He is pretty untapped.” Kilmore, August 8 Our Princess Tiffany: Needs no introduction, she is sheer class. Already the winner of three Oaks races it will take something very special to beat her in the series if she brings her best form. Best Western: Stunned Belle Of Montana to win the Northern Oaks at Alexandra Park in March to give trainer Jeremy Young, known as Zinny, his first group one win. Not as good as Princess Tiffany but she is tough and follows a hot speed so Australian racing should suit her. “Maybe she can’t beat Princess Tiffany but she definitely can’t beat her if we don’t go so she will be on the plane with the others on Wednesday,” said Young. A strong second in a 1:55.1 mile at Alexandra Park last Friday, Best Western is yet another Breeders Crown drive for Anthony Butt.  Ballarat, August 9: Jesse Duke: Has a good horse’s record and would be a lot better but for racing some really classy stablemates in Ultimate Sniper and Self Assured. Still won a Jewels and is a good stayer but meets a solid crop of horses. Won’t just turn up and win as so many Purdon-Rasmussen horses have in the past but his $3 futures quote with the TAB could be a lot shorter because you know he will be in the final and once there the All Stars horses are there they are usually well backed. Probably no better than 3-4 others in the series. Michael Guerin