The Oamaru Harness Racing Club's turnover for their Hannon Memorial meeting yesterday (Sunday) was the biggest so far this season for a harness meeting. The meeting turnover...was just under $1.2 million and sets the scene for a promising spring carnival of harness racing in New Zealand.
- Of course Franco Ledger won back-to-back lead-up races with his Hannon win yesterday. The 3.13.6 race time was just 0.2 outside the race record but they ran strong closing sections yesterday of 55.2 and 27.9. Far quicker the run home of Cullen's Creek when setting the record in 2010. Franco Ledger is now $8 to win the whole shebang. Worth noting, without having raced yet Gold Ace tightens further into $7.50.
- Something to bear in mind is that 34 years ago Hamish Hunter's brother, Henderson, ventured north with Trusty Scott to win the 1978 NZ Cup.
- Expect there to be a little bit of movement in the NZ Cup rankings this week. Franco Emirate has gone a long way to securing his Cup start with seconds in the lead-up races. Mah Sish franked his ranking with his encouraging third and Ohoka Texas has now put two solid runs together and beaten home some highly regarded horses.
- One of the Cup Favourites Gold Ace and his stablemate Easy On The Eye travel south to Christchurch this Wednesday. They'll miss the Spring Cup of course but there are ample opportunities for both horses leading up to the Cup carnival.
- Stunning lower-grade trot winner Murcielargo yesterday was privately timed to run his last 2400 metres in 3.00. A remarkable effort! Given the ease of the win, driver Matty Williamson didn't pull the earplugs. Smart trotter Armbro Demon has joined the Williamson team also and looks set to make her return to racing next week at Addington, all things being equal. Reports are very positive about her progress. Looks like she'll be plottinga path to the features. She's a readymade replacement for the late Springbank Richard.
- The Spring Cup will be held this Friday night at Auckland TC. The race has attracted a solid 10 nominations. Sir Lincoln heads the list.
- The trials at Ashburton tomorrow will see some quality horses step out. Terror To Love, , Sushi Sushi, Highview Tommy, I Can Doosit, Stylish Monarch and many will take another step towards resuming. 95 horses going around so those will be welcome additions to the racing polulation in coming weeks.
- Trainers Nearing Milestones: Murray Brown 397, John Hay 498, Geoff Small 798, Cran Dalgety 791, Richard Brosnan 596 (all NZ only). More milestone news to follow in coming editions.