Day At The Track

Is the NZ Cup runneth over? - plus HRNZ news

04:54 AM 20 Sep 2011 NZST
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Harness Racing New Zealand

There's been much spoken about the lack of horses around at present and the losing of some meetings. To counter that somewhat we expect to see more than 40 horses nominated for the 2011 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup and some international involvement too.

From lists complied at Harness Racing New Zealand and with what’s already nominated it can be expected to see a number in the forties at least. Addington Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt believes, “the Cup field will as strong as ever and competition for places will be as intense as ever.” Rabbitt cited the mix of the returning older campaigners with the new blood promising an exciting period of racing leading up to the Cup.

There is also the prospect of international involvement. It is expected Lance Justice will nominate Smoken Up and perhaps another one or two Australians may throw their hats in the ring as well.

Regardless of this all will be revealed at 3pm tomorrow when the nominations are closed and then circulated by Addington Raceway and HRNZ.


The following report was filed by Stipendiary Steward Nick Ydgren:

B Hill, as the trainer of Power Of Tara was questioned regarding the horse’s seemingly disappointing performance in Sunday’s Hannon Memorial. Mr Hill was only able to offer to the Stewards that the horse may not have handled the Oamaru circuit and that the horse had pulled up well after the run.

It was requested that should anything come to light in the upcoming days that would help to explain the horse’s performance that Mr Hill contact us (stewards) to advise of such.

Mr Hill has since done this and notified that he had taken blood samples from the horse, which had come back clear of any abnormality. This morning (Tuesday) however Power Of Tara was found to have discharge from one nostril. Mr Hill will now treat the horse and continue on with his plans to race the horse on the 30th of September.


For a long time we’ve easily been able to establish who our leading trainers are but to sort the trotting trainers out is a little tougher. We’ve been able to dig statistics out as far back as 1979 for this purpose. There is the prospect of small errors with what was recordable in the Year Books back then but the statistics will be “very close” at worst.

Below is our list of leading trainers. To train more than 200 winners of trotters when their races make up barely 20% of the total number of races is certainly a great achievement.

The top 10:

P M Williamson        270

P C Nairn                 224

B Purdon                 217*+

T G Butt                   213

D K Gibbons             205*

W F Fletcher             181*

K D Townley             171 plus 47 in partnership with D J (Doody) Townley

R A Prendergast        168*

J W Dickie                165*

R C Purdon               165*+

R J Brosnan              153*

C F Middleton            150*

* Figures are based on incomplete information.

+ 165 wins trained in partnership between Barry and Roy Purdon


As it stands the extensive Infohorse Database started in August 1985 and everything since that date relating to Harness Racing has gone on to that database.

Some data tables store information predating that but now HRNZ is looking to add all race results pre 1985 to the database. Season by season HRNZ will be adding historic data to the database. This will see increased race, breeding and statistical information available from the Infohorse database.

As one might imagine this will be a long process so it won’t happen over night. The long term plan is to go back as far as time and technology allows. Programs have been developed to aid the process by HRNZ IT staff.

HRNZ will advise when new data becomes available for the public to access.


When Yulestar won the Spring Cup in 2002 there was a field of 13. The biggest field since has been 10 with mainly lower numbers prevailing in those ensuing years. This Friday a healthy 12 horses have accepted to face the starter Colin Courtney in Race 5 at 8.00pm.

For more information contact Kevin Smith, Racing Manager ATC, 09 630 5660


Auckland Trotting Club has the Mangan Graphics Spring Cup as their feature but along with that they’ve brought together perhaps the set of fields so far this season.

Solid numbers and good depth in fields should make for good racing. The Terminating Pick 6, which will be an undoubted feature of night, will be far from easy gauging by the make up of the fields.


Congratulations to both Brent Barclay and Brent Mangos who have both hit lifetime driving milestones. Barclay has now driven 500 winners, while Mangos has hit the 1200 mark.

Meanwhile four junior drivers had their first win over the past two weeks: Steven Golding, Alex Veint, Jack Trainor and Katherine Hagan. The latter three are all in their first season, with Veint’s win coming in just his second start and Hagan’s in her third.


The 2011 Hannon Memorial won by Monkey King (Sunday September 18, 2011):

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