One of the best things about spring in New Zealand from a harness racings fan's point of view is the emergence of the next wave of harness racing stars on to the race tracks.
Some of the maiden fields during winter had little depth or class but now that spring has arrived the smart early season 3 year olds are coming out of the woodwork.
On Thursday night at Alexandra Park (September 4th) race two on the program is a C0 pace for 3 year olds over 2200 meters and if blood counts for anything it should be one hell of a race.
Happy To Go is a first starter for the Telfer/Garlick barn who has drawn well at barrier four and has performed well at trials and workouts.
She is by Bettors Delight and is the first foal from the former outstanding racemare Time To Fly 1:54.2 ($154,680)
Hartofdixie from the Barry Purdon barn is another first starter who has drawn nicely at barrier five and she has also impressed track watchers with her runs at trials and workouts.
A daughter of American Ideal, Hart Of Dixie is the third foal from Splendid Deal whose first two foals were Splendour 1:56.2 ($148,990) and Maxim 1:55.9 ($397,413)
Courtney John from the Todd Mitchell barn is yet another first starter who has recently moved north from the Phil Burrows barn in Canterbury and will start from barrier two on the second line.
She qualified in 2:00 neat back in February at Ashburton and has always looked above average.
The McArdle filly is a half sister to the smart Seven Point One 1:56.1 from a daughter of the super broodmare Port Medley.
The last of the first starters is Local Yokel for trainer/driver Tony Herlihy and he has also been performing well at trials and workouts and will start from three on the second line.
A son of Elsu, Local Yokel is a half brother to the very smart duo of Presido 1:56 ($153,575) and Sound Of Thunder 1:57.4 ($134,841)
The field is full of horses with good form with Christy Maguire from barrier two yet to finish out of the money in four starts while Percy Jones from barrier seven has also been placed in his three lifetime starts to date.
Sirius Star from barrier eight has been placed in three of his last four starts while Culler Coded, Bettor Ace and Machulbeatchu have all looked above average in brief careers to date.
It is a punters nightmare to predict but if we had to go for one it, we would probably lean towards Hart Of Dixie but without a lot of confidence.
Who ever does come out on top will know they have really earned their first lifetime win.