The Met hosts first Saturday meet of 2010-11

01:52 AM 13 Oct 2010 NZDT
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Addington held its first Saturday night harness racing meeting of the season on the weekend with encouraging signs shown. The $623,706 off-course turnover over nine races exceeded earlier projections (over 10 races), despite the Ranfurly Shield match held on the same night and strong competition early on from the Caulfield thoroughbred meeting.

On-course turnover was lower than hoped ($54,295) with the inclement weather and again the Ranfurly Shield match sure to be contributing factors. However there was a good atmosphere in the crowd on-course and the Trackside Dining Packages proved a popular option. Addington Raceway CEO, Shane Gloury commented on Saturday night meetings:

“We are hopeful that the off-course turnover on Saturday nights will grow during the trial as punters tune in to the fact that there is NZ Harness Racing during this period on a Saturday night. We are also hopeful that the combined Friday night and Saturday night turnover for the Industry will exceed the turnover when we have two NZ Harness Meetings being conducted on a Friday Night. Obviously this is critical if we are looking to grow stake money as an industry.”

Methven tops $1,000,000

Despite the ever-changing weather at Methven on Sunday, the Club became the first Harness Racing Club to surpass $1,000,000 in off-course turnover this season.

On-course: $116,827     Off-course: $1,006,684     Fixed Odds: $78,426     Total: $1,201,937

Brown Pub Methven Punter of the Year 2010

Held for the 5th time and in a room that provided a cosy snug amidst the late afternoon snow, twenty teams entered.

The competition is an eight race format and after seven races over half of the teams entered were showing a profit.

The winner was the aptly named ‘Shieldz Home’ syndicate with the syndicate leader, Matt Heenan poking some fun at his other syndicate members who are based in Southland!

Their team was tracking mid-field until the last two races. They had a sizeable quinella on Centreofattention/Raindowne which paid $14 and then got a unit of the trifecta in race 9 which paid $2,420 and boosted their total to $4,277 which was almost doubled by the $4,000 first prize.

On-course betting from the room provided about 30% of Methven’s on course turnover for the day.

Geoff Small penalty hearing

The Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (HRV RAD) Board on Friday concluded hearing submissions in relation to penalty with regard to two charges found proven against New Zealand Trainer Mr Geoff Small in September under the provisions of Australian Rules of Harness Racing 190 (1) and 196A (1) (ii).

The charges related to the presentation of the horse Zenad NZ at the Moonee Valley meeting on February 7, 2009, not free of the prohibited substance aminocaproic acid.

Chair of the HRV RAD Board, Mr Brian Collis QC reserved his decision on penalty and indicated that a final determination would be handed down in writing in the coming weeks.

Courtesy of Alistair Hogg, HRV.

Australasian Young Drivers Championship

Current leaders for the 2011 Championship:

North Island      Zac Butcher       (9 starts – 2 wins – 30 points – 0.4074 UDR)

South Island     Dexter Dunn      (8 starts – 2 wins – 27 points – 0.4306 UDR)

NZ (UDR)          Kelly Blakemore(6 starts – 3 wins – 24 points – 0.5556 UDR)

Note: the NZ Representative will require a minimum of 15 drives at the end of qualifying – 28 February 2011.

Fresh look to top of Trainers’ Premiership

Three months into the season, the Trainers’ Premiership is looking rather similar to last year, with the exception of a couple of new inclusions to the Top 10.

Although not new to the game Hamish Hunter and Phil Burrows are fresh changes to the Premiership table, currently sitting in fifth and eighth position respectively.

Hunter won only 3 races last season, but has 9 wins behind him already for 2010/11 with Franco Ledger his most recent at Forbury Park on Thursday in the NRM Sires’ Stakes Heat 3. Hunter last finished within the Top 10 on the Trainers’ Premiership in 1988/89, in 10th position with 23 wins.

Burrows began training in the 1995/96 season and hit his season high in 2005/06 with 30 wins, finishing just shy of the Top 10. Currently on 7 wins, this is his 3rd best season to date already.

Into their second season as a partnership, Derek Balle & Owen Gillies feature as 7th on the table. Last season they won 26 races finishing 16th in the Premiership.

Brooke HENDERSON

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