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The last $20,000 heat of the Nevele R Fillies series at the harness racing meeting at Addington last night saw the reappearance of Fight For Glory for the first time since her outstanding win in the New South Wales Oaks at Menangle on March 1st. Not only did she give away race fitness to her opponents but she drew the outside of the gate at barrier nine in the 1950 metres mobile. When the mobile left Classical Art and Tim Williams came out quickly and grabbed an early lead with Fight For Glory and Natalie Rasmussen settling last from her wide draw. Passing the 1400 metres mark On The Town and Dexter Dunn worked around the field three wide and Fight For Glory followed her around and found the death seat outside Classical Art with 1000 metres to go.  That was still the order as they turned for home but half way up the Addington straight, Fight For Glory went clear for an emphatic victory by a length over a game Classical Art. Linda Lovegrace stormed home late on the inner to be close up in third after being held up on the corner while Supersonic Miss finished on into fourth to give the All Star barn the first four home. Fight For Glory paced the 1950 metres in the chilly conditions in 2:22.4, a mile rate of 1:57.4 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 27.6. She was privately timed to run her last mile in a swift 1:56.8 while working three wide and sitting parked. Natalie Rasmussen was pleased with the run. " She's gone great really for a first up effort" " She is such a wee fatty and will improve a lot with that run under her belt." " In the early stages she got a bit keen but was fine after that," Natalie said. Tim Williams was really happy with the run of Classical Art. " She got a bit keen coming off the gate but relaxed when she found the front. " She is getting better that way all the time and I was really pleased how she fought on in the straight," Tim said. Ricky May was lamenting the lack of clear air early in the run home. " I got held up as we turned for home and its definitely cost her second. " Once she got clear she has really found the line and I think she has gone super," Ricky said. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Supersonic Miss to finish fourth. She was privately timed to run her last 800 metres in 56 out three and four wide and still finished on well. The Nevele R Fillies final is shaping up to be one of the races of the season with the All Star four to be joined by The Orange Agent and Democrat Party from the north which should make for an exciting final. Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing pundits saw it as a good old fashioned Trans Tasman battle tonight at Addington in the New Zealand Sires Stakes heat when the Aussie raider Salty Robyn took on one of the best Kiwi two year old pacers in Chase The Dream. Lauren Panella left the gate early from barrier three and slowly worked her way to the front with Salty Robyn with Three Ways and Dexter Dunn taking the trail. Chase The Dream with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike worked her way to the death seat after 400 metres and was content to sit there on Salty Robyn's wheel.  A three wide train came around but Natalie kicked up and kept them out there and held the death seat. Down the back straight Lauren upped the tempo with Salty Robyn but couldn't shake Chase The Dream and they turned for home together. The two favourites settled down to fight it out but Chase The Dream sprinted past Salty Robyn at the 100 metres mark and went to the line a length clear of Salty Robyn who was well clear of Three Ways in third. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Wannabet who came from near last at the 800 metres mark to run fourth. Chase The Dream paced the 1950 metres in cool chilly conditions in 2:23.3, a mile rate of 1:58.2 with closing sectionals of 56.9 and 28. Natalie was thrilled with the run of the colt by Bettors Delight. " He was actually a bit fresh tonight and that caused him to over race a bit early." " After that he settled well and really found when I asked him." " He has just got such a wonderful attitude and that run will really improve him. " Mark and I think a lot of him and think that he has a big future," Natalie said. Shane Tritton, the trainer of Salty Robyn was proud of the son of Art Official after the trip over didn't go to plan. " We faced delays on the trip from Sydney to New Zealand." " We left home at one o'clock on Monday afternoon and didn't get to Mark Jones' until eight o'clock on Tuesday morning. " He has been a bit quiet since his arrival and Lauren said he wasn't himself in the preliminary." " Now that he has qualified, we have time to get him spot on so they will know we are there come the final," Shane said. Shane has had another problem since his flight to New Zealand with his property near Newcastle in New South Wales badly hit by the storm there. " There is no power or water on at the property but all the horses and staff are safe so that is the important thing." "With a bit of luck we should be able to race the team this weekend," Shane said. Race patrons in New Zealand don't get to see Australian raiders very often and the presence of Salty Robyn tonight at Addington created a fair bit of interest for a low key Thursday night meeting.  Harnesslink Media  

For once it is good to see an Australian raider here on New Zealand soil for this Thursdays heat of the New Zealand Sires Stakes at Addington. Add in the fact that for one of the few times this season in a two year old race we have a full field of thirteen runners and that immediately makes the race a much more intriguing proposition. Here is our runner by runner preview of the Sires Stakes heat. 1) Arden's Legacy  -  Starts: 3    Wins: 0    Secs: 0    Thirds: 2    Life: $3,286 Has shown a bit of potential in his short career to date. Ran a really good race in the Kindergarten Stakes where he used a lot of petrol early and stuck on well for third. A few here look to have a class edge but draw makes him a rough first four chance. 2) Three Ways  -  Starts: 3    Wins: 0    Secs: 1    Thirds: 0    Life: $3,973 Has a bit of a reputation but was dehydrated first up so discount that run. Went super last start when second to Lazarus and if that Three Ways turns up he is a big place chance. With Dexter in the bike Three Ways becomes a must have for trifecta and first four players. 3) Salty Robyn  -  Starts: 5    Wins: 4   Secs: 1    Thirds: 0    Life: $51,217 The Aussie raider is a big danger in this field and his win last Friday night at Newcastle was the perfect run first up from a short break. He does have one hole in his makeup in that he can try to go too quick early and has been known to go rough and break if pushed. Lauren let him find his feet early the other night at Newcastle and she has that option from this draw here. Big winning chance and include in everything. 4) Formula One  -  Starts: 2    Wins: 0   Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $331   (2nd Emerg) Six figure purchase out of the Hamish Hunter barn by Greg Brodie who has a huge reputation but has yet to show anything on raceday. Has won a trial in 1:58 so obviously very talented but appears at sea at the moment Not for us. 5) Chase The Dream  -  Starts: 5    Wins: 4    Secs: 0    Thirds: 1    Life: $102,670 As good as any two year old in New Zealand as his record shows. Beaten last time by the muddling pace which turned the race into a sprint home. He is a real tradesman who has speed and can do plenty  of work as well. We think he will come out humming early alongside Salty Robyn and press the issue to see how he copes. The one to beat due to his manners and versatility. 6) First Class Arden  -  Starts: 1    Wins: 0   Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $1,140 Nice first up run but this field is a different matter altogether. Several runners here look to have a class edge on him and combine that with the draw and we find it hard to see him in four. Not for us 7) Alta Las Vegas  -  Starts: 3    Wins: 1    Secs: 2    Thirds: 0    Life: $15,028 Has not put a foot wrong all season and is more than capable of winning this. Went under to Chase The Dream in the Sapling Stakes by half a length after doing plenty of work and then ran second to Chase The Dream again, this time by a neck after he parked that horse for the entire race. You would expect him to have improved since then and he comes in to barrier six so draw not as bad as it seems. Threat to the favourites with the right run and a must have for trifecta and first four players. 8) Vanquished  -   Starts: 2    Wins: 0    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $2,080   (1st Emerg) Has yet to show anything at his trials, workouts or his two race starts to suggest he is a major player here. Looks like he will make a nice three year old next season but hard to see him being a part of this. Not for us. 9) Wannabet  -  Starts: 1    Wins: 0   Secs: 0    Thirds: 1    Life: $2,280 Trialed up really well prior to his first and only start and not disgraced finishing third after doing plenty of work. However even if  Arden's Legacy holds up early and he gets a cosy trip three deep on the inner it still only makes  him a rough first four chance at best in this field in our opinion. 10) Art Form  -  Starts: 1    Wins: 1    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $3,927 Could not have been more impressive winning his first start against maidens after some very strong trial form at Auckland. Big step up here from maidens to face some of these but Steven Reid rates him up there with the best young horses he has trained. Our only concern is ringcraft in such a big field but ability not in question. A winning chance and a must have for all combination bets. 11) Mach Time  -  Starts: 4    Wins: 2 Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $12,050 Smart colt who has got better with every run this season. Draw is a big concern in that he is going to have to use plenty of petrol however the races pans out. You may want to throw him in to first fours to boost up the divy from this draw. 12) Code Black  -  Starts: 5    Wins: 1    Secs: 0    Thirds: 1    Life: $28,000 Kept improving throughout his five start campaign at Alexandra Park with his last start third to Chase The Dream in the Young Guns Final a top effort. Another horse whose chances have been seriously affected by the draw and will need a bit of luck from out there but will be running on better than most. Throw into first fours even from the draw  13) Sparkling Delight  -  Starts: 4    Wins: 1   Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $5,654 Trialed up really well prior to racing but had been a bit disappointing until last week when he looked more like the horse we had seen at the trials. Was driven cold last week for the first time and came from last to win in style. Even from the draw Sparkling Delight is the smokey for us to get amongst them and bump up those trifectas and first fours. 14) Harry Hoo  -  Starts: 3    Wins: 0    Secs: 2    Thirds: 0    Life: $4,566  Made a promising debut against Lazarus from a good barrier draw but has been a bit disappointing in his next two starts. This is by far the hardest field he has faced and we struggle to see him in four from his poor second line draw. Not for us. 15) Franco Rayner  -  Starts: 1    Wins: 0   Secs: 0    Thirds: 1    Life: $1,900  Trialed up very nicely against some of the big hitters from the All Stars barn prior to his debut at Invercargill but disappointed us a bit when running third in that race, ten lengths from Lazarus. This looks a bit soon for him in our opinion and coupled with the draw we can't see being a major player here. Not for us. SELECTIONS The nice front row draw for Chase The Dream means he gets the nod for us but only just from the Aussie raider Salty Robyn. Art Form, Three Ways and Alta Las Vegas  should all go in all combinations around the first two. Code Black and Sparkling Delight to spice up those first fours. Harnesslink Media

The All Stars Harness Racing Stables juggernaut is really hitting top gear this week with horses racing in Group  races on both sides of the Tasman.   Over the course of Thursday through Sunday, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen will line up 23 horses at five race meetings from Addington to Menangle and most of those runners have a big winning chance.   Most interest will centre on Our Waikiki Beach in the A$322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final at Menangle on Sunday where after drawing barrier one and the withdrawal through injury of his biggest danger in Goodtime Sammy, Our Waikiki Beach looks incredibly hard to beat.   On the same programme the All Stars barn has the rejuvenated pacer Our Smolda lining up in the Len Smith mile and while Beautide is a deserving favourite, Smolda will test him in his present form.   At Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, the All Stars barn has two runners and both are big winning chances.   The smart two year old filly MacKenzie goes round in the $30,000 semi finals of the Australian Pacing Gold while the outstanding three year old colt Follow The Stars goes around in the $25,000 Caduceus Club Cup.   On the other side of the Tasman, the All Stars barn is represented at three meetings in New Zealand with runners in all of the big races.   At Addington on Thursday night the top two year old Chase The Dream lines up in a $25,000 heat of the New Zealand Sires Stakes which is notable for the New Zealand debut of the very smart Shane Tritton trained Salty Robyn.   Later on in the evening on Thursday night the All Stars barn is lining up Fight For Glory, Classical Art, Supersonic Miss and Linda Lovegrace in a heat of the Nevele R Fillies series and with those four top fillies involved they should dominate the race.   At Alexandra Park on Friday night, the All Stars barn have ten runners involved starting with Prince Fearless and Arya in the $80,000 Great Northern Trotting Derby in which for once the All Stars duo are probably only running for place money against Speeding Spur and Monbet.   The All Stars barn has four runners in the $150,000 Sires Stakes final for two year old fillies and three of them look big winning chances.   The unbeaten half sister to Christen Me in Dream About Me looks very hard to beat but her stiffest competition is likely to come from her stablemates Arden's Choice and Northern Velocity.   In the $100,000 New Zealand Messenger, the All Stars barn has two runners who are both big winning chances in Border Control and Isaiah.   That is followed by King Denny in the $150,000 Rowe Cup in which he looks to be a good each way chance and then in the last race of the night they have Willow, who on last weeks winning run would look a good thing in this race.   On Sunday the All Star barn have four runners in Petite One, Kept Under Wraps, Light Fingered and The Manipulator in grade races and going by their last start efforts, all four would be big winning chances.   Looking at that list of starters over five meetings in two countries with a lot of the races carrying Group status is just another reminder if one was needed of what an outstanding training partnership Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen are.   Harnesslink Media  

Last nights harness racing meeting at Addington was notable in the first instance for being held on a Wednesday night which is unusual to say the least. Several longshots got home early in the programe with one of these being the Andrew Stuart trained Styx On. Driven on racenight for the first time by in form reinsmen Bob Butt, Styx On jumped to an early lead from the 2000 metres stand, steadied them in the middle stages before zipping home in 27.8 to just hold out the big late charge of Matty Groves and Ricky May. Bob liked attitude of the Art Major three year old filly. " She has got lovely manners and that's what got her home tonight" " She does everything right and thats always a big help in standing start races," Bob said. That was the start of what turned out to be a productive night at the office for the North Canterbury horseman. Next up was Kashana in the two year old pace and that was to be the only time Bob missed a dividend bearing place in his five drives with Kashana finishing sixth. Bob's next drive was on a horse he part owns and trains in Ancient Moonlight and he turned in a career best effort to only go under by a nose to Change The Rulz after coming from second last at the 800 metres mark. The son of Live Or Die was privately timed to run his last 800 metres in 57 out three and four wide and Bob was thrilled with the effort. " He went huge from where he was." " I had to go when I did or else it would have just been a sprint from the 400 metres and we would have got nothing". "Going by that run, his next win is not far away," Bob said. The next drive for Bob was on the old warhorse Vulcan who had been very disappointing lately after some good form around christmas time. Away well from his 30 metres handicap, Bob settled Vulcan three back in the running line and didn't move until the corner where to the surprise of everyone, Vulcan sprinted up to the leaders and only went under by 3/4 of a length when running third to the very impressive Belles Son. Bob was a bit non plussed about what to make of the run. " That was a lot more like it tonight but I think the slow sectionals in the middle stages helped." " In saying that, Roddy has been making a few little changes and that probably helped as well," Bob said. Bob's last drive of the night was on the son of American Ideal in Idealindiamonds who is trained by his parents, David and Catherine and once again manners were the key to the win. Away well to lead early, Idealindiamonds was restrained to trail the well supported Sandvik Star after 600 metres and that move was the winning of the race. Sandvik Star took Idealindiamonds to the passing lane and he zipped home in 28.2 to just hold out a fast finishing Four Starzzz Shiraz and Dexter Dunn and claim his second win at just his fourth lifetime start. Bob half expected a good run. " He has got such great manners from the stand and I thought we would get a good run if he could lead early." "He is a wee tradesman and his manners always give him a chance in a race like that," Bob said. Bob has been having a great run lately and the thing to note for punters out there is he rated Waterloo Sunset at Alexandra Park tomorrow night his best drive for the week. Harnesslink Media     

Harness racing is brutal on young sires who don't do a job right from the start and such has been the fate of  the recently deceased Raffaello Ambrosio who served just eight mares last season after failing to fire with small early crops. Tonight one of his twelve live two year olds showed what might have been with a very smart win in the two year old trot at Addington in Christchurch. Conon Bridge is a colt from Diedre's Girl who is a race winning half sister to  Hurricane Flyer ($143,137) and the former smart juvenile trotter Thanksgiving. Starting from the unruly position, driver Bob Butt settled Conon Bridge five back on the inner early before setting him alight after 350 metres and shot him forward to have a look for the lead. Mark Jones on the leader Arannalea was having none of it but the brief speed duel left enough room for Bob to drop Conon Bridge into the trail. Wilma's Mate ranged up to Arannalea on the corner who promptly broke leaving Wilma's Mate in front after which Bob angled Conon Bridge out into the clear and he cruised past Wilma's Mate with 100 metres to go and went to the line an easy winner. Wilma's Mate held second from All Star Angus who didn't help his chances by running about in the straight when looking a chance 200 metres out. Conon Bridge trotted the 1950 metres from the mobile in 2:32.2, a mile rate of 2:05.5 with closing sectionals of 59.4 and 28.6 Bob Butt has a high opinion of the Paul Nairn trained juvenile. " He won that really easily tonight and that was after doing plenty of work early." " When he got to the front he knocked off or else he would have won by a lot more." " He will come off the unruly at some point and should be a major player in all the big races coming up," Bob said. Raffaello Ambrosio may have battled for support since being imported but he looks to have produced one very smart trotter in Conon Bridge. Harnesslink Media

Racegoers, event and function attendees and diners at our bar and bistro Spectators will notice a new design and sponsor of the Winning Post Area and its surrounds at Addington.   Construction has recently taken place of the new Winning Post signage, which includes a brand new sponsor of the highly exposed focal point.   Farmlands Co-operative has furthered their advertising with Addington by taking overall naming rights of our Winning Post.   Farmlands Acting Chief Executive, Tony van der Hoorn says Farmlands is pleased to be able to support Addington in its Winning Post redevelopment, and to support the wider racing industry as it has a strong connection via its equine brands, McMillan Equine Feeds and NRM.   “A wide range of our shareholders are either involved directly in or are supporters of the equine industry."   "Farmlands is proud to support them in both their professional and recreational endeavours,” Tony said.   Chairman of The Met Barry Dent says, “We are delighted to be associated with Farmlands as it is not only an exceptional company but a brand we want to be associated with."   "Many of their brands including NRM and McMillan Equine Feeds include significant products that are beneficial to the harness industry."    "I know the benefits for the club, Farmlands and the industry will be significant.”   Farmlands is New Zealand’s largest rural supplies co-operative.   The organisation was established more than 50 years ago, with the specific intention of providing competition in the retail farm supply industry, to reduce farmers’ input costs.   To obtain further information on Farmlands, its services and products, visit www.farmlands.co.nz.   Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington

The crowd came to the harness racing meeting at Addington last night hoping to see their champion, Terror To Love go out on a winning note. Most were hopeful but not expectant as the three time New Zealand Cup champion had been battling injury and a form slump by his own high standards leading into last nights Easter Cup. You heard an audible gasp from the crowd when Terror To Love with regular pilot Ricky May in the bike galloped away and then kept galloping for nigh on 70 metres before hitting his hobbles and starting to pace. Arch rival Christen Me and Dexter Dunn had also missed away but settled ten lengths in front of Terror To Love and these two were miles off the hot pace set by Tiger Tara. Christen Me tacked on to the bunch after 700 metres while it took Terror To Love another 300 metres to tag on to the bunch. After 1400 metres Mark Purdon sent the former age group star Border Control to the front and upped the tempo even more. With the high tempo there were no mid race moves and it wasn't until the 400 metres mark that Dexter launched Christen Me and while Terror To Love was left a touch flat footed, he took off after him. With 150 metres to go Christen Me swept to the lead but Border Control wouldn't go away and Terror To Love joined in late. At the finish Christen Me had a neck to spare over a game Border Control with just a head back to Terror To Love in third. Christen Me paced the 3200 metres from a stand in 3:57.2, a mile rate of 1:59.2 with closing sectionals off the front of 56.9 and 27.1 That took a second off the race record previously held by the champion Monkey King. Terror To Love was credited with a placed time of 3:57.3 but that time doesn't do the champion justice. Terror To Love paced his first mile after that wild early gallop in 1:57.8 and then proceeded to pace his last mile in 1:56.3 for a post to post time of 3:54.1 and he finished that off with a last quarter of 26.7. It was the run of a true champion and left everybody wondering what might have been. Driver Ricky May was both thrilled with the run and gutted by the result. " He warmed up beautifully tonight and seemed so relaxed pre start and then he did that." " The run afterwards was huge and I was thrilled with how he went but you can't help feeling disappointed that but for missing away he could have gone out on a winning note," Ricky said. Terror To Love heads to stud the winner of 31 races and $2,429,978 in stakes. You had to feel for the Christen Me camp who had just won the Easter Cup but were virtually ignored by the big media contingent there to witness the last raceday appearance of Christen Me. Last nights win was his ninth this season from just 14 starts and took his stake earnings to $2,281,318 with the highlight this season undoubtedly being his win in the Miracle Mile in 1:49.1 The run of Christen Me was just further confirmation of how far he has come in the last twelve months and the camp may now have to reassess their New Zealand Cup plans after last nights win. Harnesslink Media  

At the harness racing meeting at Addington tonight, the first of this season's classics for two year old trotters was held and as expected the well performed Muscles Yankee filly High Gait was too smart. However the victory while expected was far from easy and High Gait was fully extended by both Wilma's Mate and Conon Bridge. High Gait worked to the lead from barrier six for Natalie Rasmussen and held the front until a lap out where Wilma's Mate and David Butt looped the field and grabbed the lead.   Conon Bridge and Bob Butt followed Wilma's Mate around and ended up in the death seat before receiving some cover when All Star Angus circled them to sit parked.   Wilma's Mate led for home and it took most of the straight for High Gait up the passing lane to grab the daughter of Pegasus Spur by half a neck with Conon Bridge finishing on again for a great debut third.   Natalie was happy with the performance from the daughter of Muscles Yankee.   " She is such a wee tradesman and is a natural two year old."   " You can use her a bit and she also has a bit of speed so that gives you plenty of options in a race."   " She wont race that much more this season with the Sires Stakes and Harness Jewels the two main races she is aiming for."   " If we look after her at two, she should come back a lovely three year old," Natalie said.   The other two first starters from the All Stars barn in Missandei and All Star Angus both showed enough on debut to suggest bright futures.   " They are both pretty inexperienced and will have a bit more racing before the big races."   "There is not that much between the three of them to be honest," Natalie said.   These days two year old trotting races are as hard to win as any other race on the program and several of tonights runners look to have big futures.   Harnesslink Media.

Brent White took two trotters to tonights harness racing meeting at Addington and he held high hopes for one and was just hopeful with the other. Trouble Rieu was his best chance Brent thought while Glendaloch was probably out of it from the unruly mark on ten metres.but a rough place chance if things went his way. Trouble Rieu was away well from the stand for driver Stephen McNally and quickly assumed the lead which he held until it was taken off him by his stablemate Glendaloch with Blair Orange in the bike who looped the field to lead with 1800 metres to go.   Keeping up a steady tempo in front,Glendaloch looked a sitting duck for his stablemate Trouble Rieu in the trail but it wasn't to be as Glendaloch fought off his better credentialled stablemate and then withstood a late challenge from the ultra consistent Xmas Joyella with Trouble Rieu battling on well for third.   It wasn't the result Brent was expecting.   " I thought with the run he got that Trouble Rieu would run straight past him but the old fella is pretty genuine and fought on well,"Brent said.   Glendaloch was purchased by Ross McCutcheon at Timaru one day from David McCormick after the horse had had one gallop too many.   Brent says he hasn't changed too much with the son of Sundon.   " I made a couple of minor changes to his shoes but apart from that we have just worked on leaving him alone really."   " He seems really happy these days and may not have finished yet going by tonights win." Brent said.   Fred Morris, the trainer/owner of Xmas Joyella was smiling post race.   " I brought both of Brent's trotters in tonight on my truck so we have nabbed the trifecta between us, Fred said.   Brent White has built up a great strike rate with a small team and is obviously a trainer on the rise.   PS: Brent made it a night to remember for the Yaldhurst trainer when he produced the smart racemare Sell A Bit to win the C2-C6 mares race in 1:55.3   Harnesslink Media

The New Zealand Sires Stakes two year old fillies heat at tonights harness racing meeting at Addington looked a one filly race on paper in favour of Northern Velocity but as is often the case, racing luck plays a big part on race night. Luisanabelle Midfrew and Matthew Williamson led early from barrier five while Northern Velocity and Natalie Rasmussen worked forward from barrier seven and found the death seat after 500 metres giving her stablemate Arden's Choice with Mark Purdon in the bike the one by one. Luisanabelle Midfrew kept up a solid tempo during the mid stages and was still in front as they turned for home.   Try as she might, Northern Velocity couldn't get past the daughter of American Ideal and it was left to her stablemate Arden's Choice to swoop late and grab a game Luisanabelle Midfrew by 3/4 length with a neck back to a game favourite in Northern Velocity.   Arden's Choice paced the 1950 metres in 2:24, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with closing sectionals of 57.5 and 27.4.   It was the daughter of Panspacificflight's first win at her fifth career start but she has shown plenty of promise in her previous four starts.   Two seconds to the very smart Dream About Me were followed by a couple of gallops where things didn't go her way.   Mark Purdon expected an improved run from Arden's Choice this week.   "She looked like she was going to run a place against the colts last week when the gap came but she just tried to go too quickly and galloped.   " We took her hopples up a couple of holes and let her work into it tonight instead of rushing her, Mark said.   Natalie Rasmussen was very happy with the run of the hotpot Northern Velocity.   " She did the most work of any filly in the race and fought on really well for a close third so I was really pleased with her effort, Natalie said.   The All Star barn will take Arden's Choice, Northern Velocity and the unbeaten Dream About Me north for the Sires Stakes Final before returning south for the Harness Jewels.   Harnesslink Media

Patrons on track will notice a brand new large Digital Display on course at our next race meeting, this Easter Saturday night, 4 April. The big LED screen measuring approximately nine metres x five metres, will be located immediately adjacent to the Winning Post in front of the Metropolitan Stand and will show live races from the track, pre-race totes and post-race dividends. Replacing the tote board in the inner track area, the Digital Screen will enhance the experience for on course patrons providing a modern structure incorporating leading edge technology. Easter Saturday night also sees champion pacer Terror To Love race for the last time in the Group One $100,000 Breckon Farms / All Stars Racing Stables Easter Cup, a race he won in 2013. The Terror will lead the field out for the Cup with a montage including his three great Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup wins showing on the large screen whilst he parades. There’ll be promotions on course including a double happy hour, Terror To Love caps, posters and a 1000 Easter Eggs given away and a life sized cut out figure of the champ hitched to a sulky for those keen to take part and have their photo taken.  The champ will be officially farewelled on the The Breeders New Zealand Oaks Night on Friday 15 May before he enters his new career as a stallion where he’ll stand at Pinelea Farm in Weedons,Canterbury. There’ll be a presentation made by The Met to his connections, on-course promotions and The Terror will parade for his fans. Let’s hope the champ bows out with a victory this Saturday night and adds another Group 1 to his impressive resume. Who can ever forget those three second Tuesdays in November made famous by one of our equine greats.  Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington

If anyone thought that Stent was vulnerable in the $80,000 New Zealand Trotting Championship at last nights harness racing meeting at Addington, (we did) then it took just three minutes and fifteen seconds to well and truly put that idea to bed. Before the race had even got under way there was a major surprise when the well performed Kincaslough refused to score up twice and was late scratched as a result. Everyone thought driver Colin De Filippi from barrier three would head straight to the front with Stent and that was the first surprise as Colin stayed out of the early rush. Todd Mitchell and Prime Power flew the gate to lead from barrier seven with Stent settling into the one by one behind One Over Da Moon in the death. Mark Jones worked Master Lavros forward from the second line and grabbed the lead after 700 metres and set a quick tempo up front. Due to the tempo there were few mid race moves with the exception being Clover Don who worked forward to the death with 1200 metres to go. At the 500 metres mark Mark Jones tried to steal a break on the field and turned for home four lengths in front  but the challengers were emerging from the pack. First King Denny appeared and then Stent went straight past them all to grab a very game Masters Lavros in the shadows of the winning post for an emphatic victory. Sheemon who followed Stent everywhere switched to the inside in the straight and flew late for third just in front of King Denny who made a very promising debut in town hall company. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Alley Way, who flew late for sixth after being last on the final bend. Colin was a touch apprehensive turning for home. " I thought I may have left it too late to move because Master Lavros is a class trotter and is hard to reel in." " Having said that I have a lot of confidence in my fellow and I knew they would know we were there," Colin said. Owner Trevor Casey was one proud man post race " That was a huge performance." " I thought we were too far back on the turn so to get up and win was a great run," Trevor said. Master Lavros went his best race for the season and there is plenty of room for improvement. " I didn't even give him a trial before last week and I've left him really big this time in so there should be plenty of improvement in him." " His condition gave out the last bit but I couldn't be happier with how he is trotting." " We will head to the Rowe Cup now with a bit of confidence, " Mark said. The unlucky horse once again was the northerner Prime Power. Trainer Todd Mitchell was rueful about a shoeing change he had made. " I changed his shoes four starts ago and fitted him with a lighter shoe." " He was fine with them at Auckland but he struggled with them on the Addington surface." " I was jogging tonight on the corner which makes it even more disappointing." " I think back at Auckland he will be fine, but we may change the shoes back anyway," Todd said It was a special night for Trevor Casey at Addington as not only does he own Stent but he also shares in the ownership of the brilliant Welcome Stakes winner last night in Waikiki Beach. The cherry on top for Trevor was last nights win edged Stent over the $1,000,000 mark in lifetime earnings and the way he is going he could set new overall marks for stake earnings for a trotter in Australasia in the next couple of years. Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing looks to have a budding superstar in the form of this years outstanding three year old, Have Faith In Me. This years Muscara Standardbreds New Zealand Derby at Addington in Christchurch was expected to be a two horse battle between Follow The Stars and Have Faith In Me and thats exactly how it turned out. Brilliant Strike led out from barrier one for Ricky May but handed up after 250 metres to Follow The Stars and Mark Purdon. The rest of the field were in single file with Have Faith In Me five back on the inner. With 1700 metres to run Itz Bettor To Win moved out into the running line and Have Faith In Me was straight onto his back in the one by one. With 1200 metres to go Tim Williams hooked the full brother to Adore Me out of the one by one and went up and sat parked on the wheel of Follow The Stars. The two went together all the way to the straight where Have Faith In Me just ran straight past Follow The Stars and strolled to what seemed an effortless victory by 1 3/4 lengths from a gallant Follow The Stars with another 1 3/4 lengths back to Brilliant Strike in third. The son of Bettor's Delight paced the 2600 metres from the mobile in chilly conditions in a very quick 3:09.2, a mile rate of 1:57 with closing sectionals of 55 and 27.4. That broke the New Zealand record held by Classiesistar by one tenth of a second and broke the race record held by Auckland Reactor by two tenths of a second. And believe it or not, when Have Faith In Me came back to the birdcage, the ear plugs were still in. Tim Williams was a happy man speaking to Harnesslink post race. " I came out and sat parked because I wanted to get handy before the speed really went on." " He actually got to the front really easily and won with a bit in hand."  " He knocked off when he got to the front tonight or else he would have won by a bit more, " Tim said. Tim thinks we haven't seen the best of Have Faith In Me yet. " He still a big kid really so there is plenty of upside with him yet," Tim said. Mark Purdon was more than happy with Follow The Stars. " He has gone super but the other horse just has his measure at the moment." " My horse has run time and stuck on great but it hasn't been good enough," Mark said. Ricky May was shaking his head post race with the run of Brilliant Strike. " My horse has gone super but just when I thought I was going to join in on the corner, the other two got away from me." " I couldn't ask anything more of my horse but it just shows you how good you have to be these days, " Ricky said. Trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Have Faith In Me continues to go from strength to strength and looks a horse with a huge future. Harnesslink Media

The old adage in harness racing of their being no such thing as a certainty in racing was reinforced yet again tonight at Addington in Christchurch when Speeding Spur overcame the hot favourite Prince Fearless to win the New Zealand Trotting Derby. Prince Fearless from barrier three was all the rage with punters with Speeding Spur was allowed to drift to six to one after he drew barrier six. Habibti Ivy flew the gate from barrier seven and grabbed an early lead before handing up to Prince Fearless after 500 metres. No sooner had he reached the front, Prince Fearless was attacked by Speeding Spur and Josh Dickie and the two star three year olds went to war for the next 300 metres before Speeding Spur finally made the front. Josh kept up a steady tempo in front before upping the speed down the back straight the last time. As they turned for home Mark sprung out of the trail with Prince Fearless but try as he might he couldn't get up to Speeding Spur who went on for a decisive 1 1/4 length victory. Habibti Ivy fought on well on the inner for third in front of an unlucky Monbet who made up a huge amount of ground to run fourth. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Sky Commander who ran on well late for a close up fifth in his first outing at this level. Speeding Spur covered the 2600 metres from the mobile in a new New Zealand record for a three year old of 3:15.7, a mile rate of 2:01.1 with closing sectionals of 57.9 and 28.7 Trainer John Dickie was confident going into tonights race. " We learnt a lot from our defeat to Prince Fearless at Ashburton." " He is much better rolling along as he is such a good stayer. ' The plan tonight was to go forward and we never going to die wondering." "Once he got to the front, I didn't think they would beat him," John said.  Safely through tonight, Speeding Spur will now head home to Clevedon to prepare for a series of races at Alexandra Park. " The two big races are the Sires Stakes and the Northern Derby so there is plenty to look forward to," John said. Tonights win was one of the best performances this writer has ever seen from a three year old trotter and the son of Pegasus Spur looks to have a big future. Harnesslink Media

A common comment in the last twelve months amongst harness racing breeders down under was the disappointment with the performance of Somebeachsomewhere since he arrived on the scene. Now within the space of two months the leading North American sire is starting to really fire down under with first Menin Gate winning the Victorian Derby and now Waikiki Beach is creating an enormous impression in the two year old ranks in New Zealand. Brought out of the APG sale last year, Waikiki Beach lined up tonight at Addington Raceway, Christchurch in the $40,000 Group 2 New Zealand Welcome Stakes and the public sent him out a warm favourite. Motu Premier flew the gate early frrom barrier seven and grabbed an early lead from Waikiki Beach who settled into the trail. After 400 metres Chase The Dream started to work forward to the death but before he got there, Mark Purdon hooked Waikiki Beach out of the trail and took him to the lead. Chase The Dream sat on his wheel but applied little pressure and when Mark pressed the go button on the corner, Waikiki Beach shot clear for an easy victory. Motu Premier went his usual honest race for second while Chase The Dream fought on well for third. The unlucky runner was Arden's Choice who looked sure to run second until she had a gallop at the 150 metres mark. Waikiki Beach paced the 1950 metres in 2:25.7, a mile rate of 2:00.2 with closing sectionals of 57.6 and 27.1. Mark Purdon was pretty confident once he found the front. " I was really impressed with him last week at the trials when I tried him in front." " Once I got there tonight he relaxed really well and I was pretty confident once I wasn't taken on." " He is off to the APG series in Australia and will be very competitive," Mark said. Tim Williams was happy with the run of Motu Premier. " I had to use him early but he got a really good run after that. " The tempo didn't suit him at all as he would prefer the speed on all the way," Tim said. Natalie Rasmussen thought Chase The Dream hadn't helped himself. " He went a bit rough on the last bend which cost him a lot of momentum." " But for that I think he would have run second." " Overall I'm happy with run," Natalie said. Matt Anderson was at a loss to explain why Arden's Choice broke with 150 metres to go. " She broke out of the gate the other night at Alexandra Park and tonight near the finish." " It was really disappointing as she was going to run second," Matt said.  Somebeachsomewhere is really stepping up to the plate now and the knockers are pretty quiet these days. Harnesslink Media  

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