Day At The Track

Monkey King out of Cup - Beach Bunny again

07:14 AM 13 Sep 2012 NZST
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Ultra proud Southlander, Noreen Stiven Brendon (Benny) Hill and
Ultra proud Southlander, Noreen Stiven - with New Zealand's coveted Ranfurly Shield (rugby).
Stiven family photo
Brendon (Benny) Hill and - Ricky May immediately after Monkey King's 2009 FFA victory.
Duane Ranger photo
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Brendon Hill asked the question of New Zealand harness racing hero Monkey King, but the 10-year-old today (Thursday September 13) told 'Benny' - "enough is enough".

And with that Hill duly scratched him from the $600,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington Raceway on the second Tuesday of November

Late last month Kaiapoi based Hill said Monkey King was so spritely he nominated him for the Cup.

"He was and still is in good nick and I tell you he wasn't far off but I know what it takes to have a horse primed for the big race and he just wasn't quite there.

"He was good to us, so it was our turn to be good to him," Hill told Harnesslink.

The Sands A Flyin gelding had his last start at Addington Raceway in the Summer Cup on February 4 when running fourth behind Sir Lincoln.

He ended his career with two New Zealand Cups, 39 wins and $3.4 million in lifetime earnings.


Another Hill runner who wasn't quite on song at Addington Raceway tonight - 4-year-old Beach Bunny - was still good enough to win the opening event, an $8,000 mobile for 2-3 win pacers.

"What ever happened tonight I was going to turn him out and then bring him back for a $30,000 race on Cup Day. He's still a big baby mentally and physically.

"Ricky (May - driver) said he travelled beautifully tonight but I know he wasn't screwed down. He can do a lot better than that. It's time for a freshener," Hill said.

Beach Bunny copped the eight draw and was settled back in the field by May.

They made a mid-race moved and found themselves in the one-one tucked in behind roughie Far Too Rusty at the bell.

Then in the straight they had a couple of lengths to make up on Cullen's Mercy (John Dunn). Result Beach Bunny got up by a head. Christian Banner (Blair Orange) was three quarters of a length away in third.

Winner's time for the 2600m stand: 3:16.8. Mile rate: 2:01.7. Last 800m: 57.6. Last 400m: 28.1. Winning dividend: $2.90.

Hill said although Beach Bunny had a heap of talent it wasn't going to be easy knocking over the 5-year-olds.

"Racing 5-year-olds isn't going to be easy because they are Cup horses but I guess that evens itself out next year when he is five.

"He will be twice the horse he is now - this time next year," Hill said.

It was Beach Bunny's fifth win in eight starts. He's also placed twice. Three of those wins have been on the course and over the distance.

He was bred and is owned by Cavalla Bloodstock.


Noreen Stiven has only been in heaven for a fortnight but just after 7.15 tonight the former Southland owner-breeder was surely smiling down on Addington when the maiden pacer she owned and bred won on debut.

That 3-year-old was Arden Rooney - a Bettor's Delight gelding, who is out of Noreen's un-raced 14-year-old Walton Hanover mare, Tosca Hanover.

Arden Rooney easily won tonight's maiden pace for 3-year-olds by three-quarters of a length (going away). He is trained by Mark Purdon at Rolleston and was driven by his stable foreman, Grant Payne.

The talented bay shown a lot of ability since day one. He qualified easily at Rangiora on August 27 with a 2:01.1 mile rate. Tonight Arden Rooney easily disposed of Kotare Mahal and $1.50 favourite Mac The Finn.

Winner's time for the 1950m mobile: 2:25.4. Mile rate: 1:59.9. Last 800m: 57.7. Last 400m: 27.5. Winning dividend: $6.20.


Quality Invasion wins the 2012 Ordeal Trotting Cup.

Top Driver: Mark Jones and Ricky May 2 wins each.

Top Trainer: Cran Dalgety 2 wins.

Top Sire: Christian Cullen and Bettor's Delight 2 wins each.

Top Junior Driver: Brett Thomas 1 win.

Top Amateur: Adam White (R3) - first win since switching from the open to amateur driving ranks.

Results from the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club's meeting raced at Addington Raceway in Christchurch this evening (September 13, 2012) were:

Race 1: The Brendon Hill trained BEACH BUNNY (Christian Cullen) Ricky May.

Race 2: The Cran Dalgety trained SUPABET (Bettor's Delight) Dexter Dunn.

Race 3: The Phil Burrows trained CULLEN'S FINEST (Christian Cullen) Adam White.

Race 4: The Mark Purdon trained ARDEN ROONEY (Bettor's Delight) Grant Payne.

Race 5: The Mark Jones trained and driven SUPERIOR DESIRE (Real Desire).

Race 6: The Greg & Nina Hope trained MICKY BLUE EYES (Artiscape) Brett Thomas (j).

Race 7: The Bruce Graham trained QUALITY INVASION (Armbro invasion) Grant Archer.

Race 8: The Cran Dalgety trained ROCKNROLL LAD (Artsplace) Ricky May.

Race 9: The Mark Jones trained and driven THE LUTTS (Western Terror).

Extensive results.

by Duane RANGER (editor)

Beach Bunny Too smart in the first event:

This one is for you Noreen Stiven!

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