Day At The Track

Winter Warmer attack

06:56 AM 30 Jun 2016 NZST
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Harness Racing trainer Brendon McLellan is back in Canterbury and hoping to go one better than last year.

The Southland horseman arrived in Christchurch on Tuesday night with a four horse contingent to contest winter racing at Addington and around Canterbury over the next month.

The main target is the South of the Waitaki Winter Warmer Series which begins next week with the first heat and culminates at the end of the month with an $11,000 Final.

The series is available for horses graded up to the C1 level before the close of nominations for the first heat on Friday, July 8 provided they were registered as being trained in the Southland region prior to May 1, 2016.

McLellan had moderate success in the series last year with Wick winning two of the four heats before finishing second to the exciting four-year-old Tact Tate who has since gone on to do good things in Australia.

“It’s a good series, especially with very no options at home other than Forbury,” he said.

“It certainly makes it worth coming up and having a crack anyway.”

Three of the McLellan team will line up tonight at Addington to kick off their campaigns.

Maiden pacer Luciano meets an even looking maiden field early on in the night and is expected to improve with the run.

“I’m picking he’d be a run short, he does go ok though and will improve.”

Mr Handleman, who raced in a heat of the South of the Waitaki Series last year goes around in the junior drivers’ event with Craig Ferguson in the sulky.

“He’s a bit of an in and out sort of horse. He’s got some ability, but he doesn’t always put it out on the track.

“We’ve gone back to the stand because he can begin when he wants too.

“He’s here for the Series so we will know where we are at after this week anyway.”

The third runner is the consistent Vera’s Delight who has been handed a tough barrier draw of nine in a 1950 metre mobile event for fillies and mares.

The field includes Glenferrie Classic, Smoke N Fire, Donegal Rundlescreek, My Cash and Kotare Kasai so won’t be an easy task.

“She’s got a job in front of her from out there, it’s going to be pretty tough.

“But she does go alright and is more than capable, she will take some benefit out of the run too.”

McLellan is based at the Woodend Beach branch of the Mark Jones stable while in Canterbury and will split his time between there and his home base in Southland.

He is travelling down to Forbury on Friday to drive Vera Mac from his own stable and also Robyn Kim in the opening race of the night.

Meanwhile the $3,000 bonuses offered for the First 4’s at Sunday’s abandoned Marlborough meeting have been transferred to tonight’s meeting meaning there’s extra reason to get involved throughout the night.

With big even fields there’s every possibility of a few jackpots during proceedings which could see pools get significantly large as the night progresses.

Super Selector - By Matt Markham

Race 1: Westy Boyz, Deva Jones, Fira Sunset, Brylin Rose

Race 2: Rapid Flight, Stunning Deal, Dalness Mac, Sheeza GNP

Race 3: Freedom Fighter, Art I Am, Regal Grin, Big Buddie

Race 4: He’s Like The Wind, Matatoki, Jean Sebastien, We’ll Meet Again

Race 5: Kashana, Glenferrie Classic, Smoke N Fire, My Cash

Race 6: Superfecta, Franco Nate, Woosh Factor, Mighty Empire

Race 7: Franco Cristiano, GI Joe, Hypervelocity, Innocent Artist

Race 8: Amaretto Sun, Clover Mac, Gee Up Neddy, Tornado Valley

Race 9: Letspendanitetogetha, On The Rantan, McClinchie, Gabby’s Star

Race 10: Junior, Ballymore Boy, Returntorocknroll, Franco Hamilton

Best Bet: Freedon Fighter (Race 3)

Value: Kashana (Race 5)

Longshot: Franco Hamilton (Race 10)

Matt Markham

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