Day At The Track

Over the mountains

08:30 AM 26 Dec 2016 NZDT
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Viktorias Secret & Tim Williams
Westport grass track racing
Colin Berry photo

Two of New Zealand’s leading harness racing stables have cast their nets far and wide this Boxing Day - nearly 373 kilometres to be exact.

Woodend Beach trainers, who currently sit second and third on the national trainers’ premiership, have a big number of horses racing today across both the harness meetings on offer at Ashburton and Westport.

There’s 12 horses in total wearing the distinctive double blue colours of Greg and Nina Hope while their neighbours, Robert Dunn beat them by one with a team of 13 across the two meetings.

Incidentally both stables have chances in the two features of the day, the Ashburton and Westport Cups.

Mossdale Conner flies the flag for Team Hope on the eastern side of the Island as he continues to look win his second race in almost two years. An improved third behind the in-form Ears Burning last time out showed we might not be too far away from seeing the best version of the former New Zealand Trotting Cup placegetter.

With Ricky May heading to Westport to handle the team over there, the Hopes have tried to keep things as familiar as possible for their Ashburton time by engaging the services of another gold capped driver in Matty Williamson to drive their three chances.

Williamson drove Mossdale Conner last time out and will also pick up the drive on Emily Blunt who he won on at Addington at her last start and also debutant, Gold Sovereign - a full brother to outstanding open class trotter, Sovereignty.

On the Coast, the Hope stable looks particularly strong.

They have two chances in the Westport Cup in Ranfurly Rulz and Burn Off.

The former has local ownership connections, so a win would be a popular result.

The Dunn stable have a leading contender in the race in Say My Name who returns from an enforced layoff after showing plenty of promise in his last campaign.

He also meets the talented Buster Brady who returns off the back of his strong Geraldine victory fresh up.

Dexter Dunn will drive the four-year-old with Blair Orange staying to drive in Ashburton.

Alta Orlando will fly the stable flag at Ashburton in the small, but select Ashburton Cup field with Ross Houghton doing the driving.

There is currently one win separating the two stables with the Hope stable on 34 wins for the season to the Dunn’s 33 winners.

Super Selector - Ashburton - By Matt Markham

Race 1: Ace Commander, Beg For Chevron, Gold Sovereign, Izmok

Race 2: Chloe, Pay Me Interest, Patanjali, Nicky Anew

Race 3: Boults On Fire, Playingintheshadows, I Am Yours, Nearis Green

Race 4: Bailey’s Rock, Culley Backy, Pradas Ideal Dahling, The Valiant

Race 5: Runaway Three, Hilarious Magic, Cullenz Diamond, Lets Rock N Roll

Race 6: Franco Saxon, Christopher Banner, Eh Ef El, Torrid Bromac

Race 7: Maverick, Mossdale Conner, Classie Brigade, Ears Burning

Race 8: American Tart, Miss Daisy, Emily Blunt, RR Sand Dollar

Race 9: Beg Hall, Jean Sebastien, All Lit Up, Don’t Look Back

Race 10: Stars Align, Cable Beach, Nolan Sackett, Pay Me Way

Best Bet: Chloe (Race 2)

Value: Maverick (Race 7)


Super Selector - Westport - By Matt Markham

Race 1  Returntorocknroll, Dali’s Masterpeice, Indie, Supreme Harmony

Race 2: Lord Roydon, War Spirit, Ronald J, Michelle

Race 3: Warloch, Smooth Mara, Shark Attack, Samarias Falcon

Race 4: Franco Tmick, Franco Lamar, Dream To Reality, JJ’s Delight

Race 5: Helena Ideal, Garry’s Legacy, Li Na, Master Jordy

Race 6: Jonty James, Precious Sara, Midfrew Tarpediem, Monet Grace

Race 7: Buster Brady, Say My Name, Johnny Eyre, Ranfurly Rulz

Race 8: Sarah Palin, Medusa, Royal Shine, My Armour

Race 9: Earthquake, Wobbegong, Young Mister Grace, Danse Macabre

Race 10: Sails, Knockmanaugh, Extreme Spark, Lottie Franco


Best Bet: Lord Roydon (Best Bet)

Value: Sails (Race 10)

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