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Whenever you get a small field in harness racing, the race will usually turn out to be a cat and mouse affair and lacking in excitement. The return to the track tonight of Christen Me was in a race that looked just like that on paper with only five opponents but what transpired was anything but. Jimmy Johnstone made a flyer off the twenty meters mark in the 2600 meters standing start event and grabbed the lead after 300 meters and set up a solid tempo in front . Christen Me, the lone back marker on 30 meters made a safe begining and sat last of the six horse field which was all in single file. Going past the 1600 meters mark Dexter eased Christen Me out into the running line which drew Locharburn with Blair Orange in the bike straight out in front of him. Locharburn put the foot down in search of the lead from Jimmy Johnstone over the next 400 meters which was covered in 27.7 before Locharburn found the front with a lap to go. When the speed went on at the 1600 meters mark, Dexter hooked Christen Me back to the inner but  Dexter was on the move again passing the 900 meters mark and was soon up outside Locharburn. As they swung for home Locharburn refused to go away and why Christen Me  always looked to be travelling well within himself the margin of a neck speaks volumes for Locharburn's tenacity. The 2600 meters from a stand was run in 3:13.2, a mile rate of 1:59.5 with the last mile in 1:54.9 and closing sectionals of 56.5 and 27. It was a very impressive run from Christen Me first up especially as Dexter never pulled the ear plugs and hardly moved in the straight while the Locharburn camp would be very happy with how he handled the standing start and took the race to Christen Me in his first run in the top grade. The two sons of champion sire Christian Cullen both look in for big seasons. Harnesslink Media  

One of the more promising trotters recently on the harness racing scene in Canterbury is the Kevin Fairbairn trained Commander Paris. After breaking at his debut, Commander Paris had strung together three second placings which suggested a maiden win was at hand when he lined up in the Robbies Bar and Bistro trot at Addington Raceway tonight. (August 22nd) Away well from barrier 12 in the 2600 meters standing start race, driver John Dunn worked Commander Paris forward towards the lead but took nearly 800 meters to find the front. No sooner had Commander Paris reached the lead with 1800 meters to go than Diedrez Pearl and Sam Smolenski who had followed him through applied the blow torch to the leader. The two of them eyeballed each other for the next round with each quarter being covered in 30 and change and neither driver yielding an inch. As they reached the home corner Commander Paris finally shook off Diedrez Pearl but was instantly challenged by Davey's Gift on his outside and Ethelsville on his inner and just when you thought he would yield, he dug in like a smart horse and held on for a head victory over Davey's Gift with Ethelsville a further head away in third. It was an outstanding win in the circumstances and suggested Commander Paris has a big future in front of him. Commander Paris trotted the 2600 meters from a stand in 3:23.6 with closing sectionals of 60.3 and 29.8  By The Royal Troubador sire CR Commando, Commander In Paris is the fourth foal and the fourth winner from the Safely Kept mare in Paris Metro. The Pearl of Paris ($56,887)  Palais Royale ($30,864) and Sundown In Paris ($25,087) have all done a good job to date for Paris Metro and Commander Paris looks capable of adding to that this season They really should show ability at the trotting game as their dam Paris Metro was a quality trotting mare in the early 2000s winning $120,606 on the track. Harnesslink Media  

The Grand Circuit champion from  the last harness racing season is set to resume at Addington Raceway on Friday night. Christen Me is off 30 meters in a small but classy field in the C5/OC standing start 2600 meters event as he starts his campaign on the road to the New Zealand Cup. Cran Dalgety has given him two runs at trials and workouts to prep him for Friday night and he  should strip a fit horse. At his first trial at Ashburton, Christen Me ran a half neck second to Jimmy Johnstone in 3:04.9 for the 2400 meters mobile with closing sectionals of 57 and 27.4 which was a nice effort fresh up. At his second run at the Rangiora workouts on Monday of this week, Christen Me was beaten a nose by the talented Jason Rulz in 2:31.3 for the 2000 meters mobile with low flying closing sectionals of 53.9 and 26.1. That should have topped off Christen Me just nicely for Friday night and even though he is giving some nice horses a start it is hard to see him beaten. The season just completed was the first for Christen Me on the Grand Circuit and he didn't let his fans down being crowned the Grand Circuit champion for 2013/2014. One was always left with the impression that what ever he did in his first season on the Grand Circuit was only a prelude to what  a seasoned Christen Me could achieve in subsequent years Even though Christen Me has just celebrated his sixth birthday, he has only had 32 starts to date of which he has won 19 for stakes of $1,069,596. By all accounts Cran Dalgety is thrilled with his appearance leading into this season, claiming he has come back a stronger and more mature horse this preparation. If that pans out this season then Christen Me, Cran Dalgety and Dexter Dunn could be in for one hell of a ride over the next few months. Harnesslink Media

“That's about twice as many entries as we expected to be honest”.  Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association chair Noel Kennard is pleasantly surprised by the more than 60 broodmares that make the bulk of the web based catalogue for the organisations horse sale on September 11th. The group took on the spring sale of in foal or ready to be bred pacing and trotting mares after requests and demand from it's 270 strong membership wanting a platform to buy and sell stock at the start of the harness racing breeding season. “While nobody's expecting much above bargain prices many of the mares have the potential to engage a bidding duel before they find a new breeding barn”. A sale co-coordinator Sheldon Murtha, is quietly enthusing over the quality that's surfaced during the final days of accepting entries. “The two mares from Tuapeka Lodge will get plenty of views through the website and the prospect of having a spring foal by Art Major or Mach Three should spin some wheels on several other lots”. Fans of the square gaiter should enjoy researching some of the trotting mares listed. If half sisters to 'Sundon' and 'Sky Valley' don't grab, those in foal to current hot stallion 'Monkey Bones' and french bleu blood 'Repeat Love' should have computer mouses clicking through to pedigree pages. Noel Kennard says the convenience of combining the new sale with the associations popular Stud and Stallion promo night may turn out to be a welcome strategic bonus. “Anyone buying a mare at the sale during the first part of the night will have the stallion service offer right there in front of them during the second half” he suggests. “We're assured the stud farms will be ready to make a deal with any new owners that night”. The CSBA Broodmare and Mixed stock horse sale begins at 5pm on Thursday September 11th in the 'Blossom Lady' lounge at Addington Raceway. The horses for sale are now listed on the highlighted web pages at www.harnessracing.co.nz. Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association  

A new Punters Championship that will give punters the opportunity to win huge cash prizes is about to get underway. Addington are launching the Kiwi Punters Championship – KPC, and it is sure to have enormous appeal to punters throughout New Zealand with a series of heats that will culminate in the KPC Final on Show Day at Addington Raceway, on Friday 14 November. There’s a total of $100,000 to be played for over ten KPC Heats and the KPC Final.  KPC Heats will be held at Addington, Alexandra Park and at the Northern Tavern in Invercargill from 5 September to 31 October. Win your KPC Heat and you’ll not only take home your betting funds but an additional $2,000 in prizemoney as well as an invitation to take part in the KPC Final.  Invitations to the KPC Final are also extended to contestants/teams that finish 2nd and 3rd across the ten heats.  Terms and conditions apply. With a maximum of 30 contestants/teams eligible for the KPC Final and $100,000 up for grabs throughout the Championship, the chances of taking home some serious cash are pretty good. Be sure to secure your spot early in the Kiwi Punters Championship and be in to win a slice of $100,000. Entry forms, a calendar of events, information and full terms and conditions can be viewed at www.addington.co.nz   Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington

The harness racing nominations for both the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup and the Hellers Dominion Trot closed this afternoon at 3pm. Attached are the full nominations for both races as received by Addington Raceway. There were 37 nominations received for the Cup, with five Australians amongst them, and 38 nominations received for the Dominion, with one Australian being nominated. Owners please note: Cup Week tickets will not be posted out this year. Instead they will be available for collection from the Ticketing office at Horncastle Arena on the Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Friday of Cup Week. If you require any further information on this, please do not hesitate to contact the Racing Department at HRNZ on 03) 964 1200 or Brian Rabbitt at Addington Raceway on 03) 338 9094. ......................................................................................................................................... There has been a total of 37 nominations for the 2014 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup, including five Australian nominees: Abettorpunt (Aus) Adore Me Arden Rooney Averil's Quest Ballindooley Belkmyster Besotted Bit Of A Legend Christen Me Classiesistar Easy On The Eye Fly Like An Eagle For A Reason (Aus) Four Starzzz Flash Franco Harrington Franco Ledger Franco Nelson Hands Christian Jason Rulz Jimmy Johnstone Jivin Cullen Lets Elope Lewy Risk Locharburn Maiden Rome Maximan (Aus) Pass Them By Pemberton Shard Pembrook Benny Pure Power Seel N Print (Aus) Smolda Terror To Love The Wrath Of Robyn Themightyquinn (Aus) Tiger Tara Vice Chairman ........................................................................ There has been a total of 38 nominations for the 2014 Hellers Dominion Trot, including one Australian nominee: Alley Way Armbro Demon Blitzthemcalder (Aus) Boizel Burano Charlemagne Clover Don Cool Cobber Donaldson Dr Hook Habibti Imperial Count Irish Whisper Jaccka Justy Jag's Invasion Kincaslough King Kenny King Of Strathfield Leanne's Boy Lotalov Master Lavros Monnay Peak Phil's Gift Prime Power Rare Opportunity Royal Aspirations Saratoga Sheemon Sol Invictus Springbank Sam Stent Stylish Monarch Superbowlcheerleader The Fiery Ginga Uncas Vulcan Waterloo Sunset By Stacey Markham  

In form intermediate trotter Aile Rouge put his hoof in the cash till big time last Friday night at Addington. The Robbie Holmes trained and driven 5yo gelding took out the Alabar Super Series Open Handicap Trot, registering his fourth win of the season and his fifth overall.  He banked $13,000 for his win and has now earned over $52,000 for his breeder and owner Jenny Becker. But the pay-out from last Friday didn’t stop there. He earned an Addington Met Multiplier for his owner and trainer worth $7,500, and then to top it off put another $500 into Jenny Becker’s bank account by way of the Breeders Bonus that is being offered by the Met and the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders’ Association. Robbie Holmes commented that his trotter had provided a superb night to his connections by not only winning impressively but had added over $20,000 to his earnings in one hit by way of good stakes offered and initiatives that were well worth aiming for at Addington. “This fella has improved immensely this season having being a bit weak last time in but after a spell has really strengthened up with racing under his belt.  The recent initiatives offered at Addington are a great concept and it certainly makes a positive contribution.  It was great to see Jenny being rewarded as she has been a stable client of ours for a long time now and long may it continue.” Full details and conditions of Addington’s Racing Initiatives and Promotions can be found under the Racing - Promotions and Incentives section at www.addington.co.nz or contact Brian, Richard or Colin at the Racing Department on (03) 338 9094. Ged Mooar - Addington Raceway  

“We canvassed standardbred breeders around the country and agreed the harness racing market to sell a broodmare in foal or ready to foal would be greatest in the early spring”.  CSBA Chairman Noel Kennard articulating the main reason for the association's just confirmed 'Broodmare and Mixed Stock Sale' this spring. There are several points of difference with the September 11th event. The first early vendors have been encouraged by is a 0% commission on any transaction. “We aren't a business,we're just providing a platform for breeders to present and sell their product” says Sheldon Murtha, one of six Sales Sub Committee members charged with shaping the new sale. “Any associated costs will be covered by the $125 per entry fee.” Previous mid-winter mixed stock horse sales have often proved uneconomical for most concerned. The racing and yearling sales seasons are over when they're scheduled with no real demand from investors to buy and then carry an animal through the cold months. “The one taking the hit in the pocket,year after year lately,is the breeder. This spring sale will at least give them an opportunity to sell when there is more demand at the start of a breeding season.” says Kennard. Another cost being circumnavigated is that of transporting and parading a horse at the venue. Prior sales knowledge and inspection will be paramount for potential buyers to get comfortable bidding on a broodmare not necessarily being shown in front of them on auction night at Addington Raceway. “In this economic climate it's a dead loss tripping a nice mare from say, Southland, only to have to transport her home again if a buyer hasn't been found on the day” expands Murtha. “This way the only real cost to the vendor is the entry fee, the rest is fielding and answering inquiries about their horses for the month leading to the sales night. By then any buyer or agent will have matched a type with what they want to pay as with any auction really”. The CSBA is confident the sale will appeal to breeders and buyers across New Zealand and even Australia given the quality of stock already nominated. All final entries accepted from across New Zealand will be published by August 17th.A website based catalogue will be available on the NZSBA web pages at www.harnessracing.co.nz. followed quickly by an industry wide media campaign. Harnesslink media

Solar Fire was an outstanding two and three year old trotter in the late 1990s, and a harness racing star on both sides of the Tasman. By the time the daughter of Yankee Reb went to stud she had won 14 races and amassed $213,205 in stakes. There was an expectation that her foals would carry on in the footsteps of their dam but in the early days it wasn't to be. From her first seven foals, Solar Fire produced just two winners with Hot Vacation (2 wins) her best performer. And then Sheemon appeared and all her previous foals were forgotten. To date Sheemon has had 36 starts for 12 wins and 19 placings for $249,273 in stakes and looks set to be a major player in all the elite trotting races as a five year old. The next foal from Solar Fire after Sheemon was a filly by CR Commando named Shell Seeker.  Raced extensively at three, she showed glimpses of real ability coupled with a lack of ringcraft. Slowly but surely her trainer Kevin Townley who is a renowned conditioner of trotters, has moulded Shell Seeker into a racehorse. A couple of good thirds in strong fields recently pointed to her being a big chance in the Alabar Super Series Consolation at Addington tonight. ( August 8th) Sent to the lead early by driver Dexter Dunn in the artic like conditions, Shell Seeker was attacked by Innes Boyz and took a trail after 800 meters. Fifty meters later Dexter whipped her out of the trail and back to the front with 1500 meters to run. From their she kept up a steady clip and turning for home it was obvious Shell Seeker had the field in trouble. Dexter just kept her up to the mark in the straight as she held on for a comfortable win.  She trotted the 2600 meters from a stand in terrible conditions in 3:23.8, a mile rate of 2:06.1 with closing sectionals of 62 and 29.5. While there are obviously more wins in store for Shell Seeker before she retires to the broodmare barn, it is there that her real value lies. Not only is Shell Seeker a half sister to Sheemon from a champion racemare in Solar Fire, but her grand dam is a half sister to none other than the champion racehorse and sire in Sundon ( 27 wins) ($264,085). It is a family thats continues to excell and is keenly sought after by breeders in New Zealand. Harnesslink Media  

Harnesslink has become aware of the sudden death of the well known and respected harness racing identity, Ken McDonald at his home in Brisbane, Australia One of the "McDonald clan from Christchurch, Ken was well known in both harness and thoroughbred circles on both sides of the Tasman. His business success in the telecommunications industry let Ken pursue his passion for horse racing in both Australia and New Zealand over several decades. Ken first came to prominence in harness racing with the champion pacer Master Musician 1:54 ($1,926,810) who he raced with his close friend Eugene Stork and Robert Dunn. Over the years he has raced horses with a lot of his friends including Brian West of Studholme Park with whom Ken currently raced a few fillies including Secret Lotion and Art Critic. Ken was at Addington as recently as last Thursday night to see Dongel Jimmy Dave, who he races with family members, win impressively. A longtime friend and client of leading Queensland thoroughbred trainer Alan Bailey, Ken had interest in both codes in Australia. His latest star in the harness racing side of things in Australia was the brilliant For A Reason 1:49.4 ($803,433) Ken was really keen to bring  For a Reason to Addington for this years New Zealand Cup in an effort to stop his brother Terry, owner of champion pacer Terror To Love from claiming his fourth straight cup victory. Ken figured as Terry had won three, maybe it was time for his younger brother to have a turn although as anyone who knows them knew, the brothers were very close. Ken was also known on both sides of the Tasman as a generous warm hearted man of the highest integrity. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. The funeral service for Ken will be held at Silks at Addington Raceway on Thursday August 14th. Harnesslink Media

The 2014-15 season will see an increase in stakes of $700,000 or 10% on the previous season. As announced two weeks ago, the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (The Met) has  increased their minimum stakes level from $5,000 to $7,000 for the 2014-15 season, a 40%  increase from 2013-14.  And in the new season all runners will be guaranteed a return no matter where they finish with 2% of the total race stake paid to connections of all non-stakes bearing runners.  Also on the increase this season on feature race dates are stakes for C0 horses from $8,000 to $9,000 and C1 to C2 horses from $10,000 to $11,000. The new season will see the running of three individual Alabar Super Series catering for lower graded horses with nine finals programmed to run for $23,500.  There will be eight Premier Meetings carded throughout the season with the minimum stake at these meetings up to $20,000. Group 1 Races including the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup up to $700,000, Hellers Dominion to $250,000, Muscara Standardbreds New Zealand Derby to $200,000 and Canterbury Breeders’ New Zealand Oaks to $150,000 have had stakes increases. Details and information on Addington’s Racing Initiatives and Promotions can be found under the Racing section at www.addington.co.nz or by contacting Brian, Richard or Colin at the Addington Raceway Department on (03) 338 9094. Ged Mooar

A victory by Lord Baltimore has helped talented harness racing horsewoman Michelle Neilson snare a last gasp win in the McMillan Equine Feeds NZ Junior Drivers Championship at Addington. Needing victory in the last race of the three-race series as well as some other results to fall her way, Neilson ensured her side of the equation was complete with a heady drive on the heavily backed Geoff Dunn trained winner. Then it was down to fate, or more importantly the placing of championship leader Dylan Ferguson. The North Island hoop needed to finish in 7th position to ensure himself victory but fell agonisingly short with his 8th placing netting him five points which left him one short of Neilson who closed out the championship on 35 points. I knew I had a wee chance going into the last heat,’’ Neilson said. But I needed others to finish well back too, once I got past the line first I tried to have a look back but gave up because it was too hard to tell where they all were. 24-year-old Neilson is originally from Australia but moved over to New Zealand last year, initially to work in the stable of Mark Purdon and good friend Natalie Rasmussen before she joined the stable of Mark Jones. She admitted to not knowing a lot about the series but took an interest when people started talking about it and realising that she was in with a shot of making the championship. Backed into a $3.40 favourite to win, Neilson finished third in the first heat with Billy The Bus and then fifth with Paint The Moon in the second heat. That left her 11 points behind Ferguson who finished second in the first heat with Cullen’s Mercy and then won the second heat with Summer Vacation. Lord Baltimore was sent out a commanding favourite and Neilson didn’t let favourite punters down, taking full use of the passing lane to snare the win. It's a pretty awesome feeling to win to be honest. People have been telling me all week that I had a good chance, but you still have to get that luck. Ferguson finished in second position – a notable achievement considering this his first season of driving while Robbie Close who won the first heat of the night with Hit The Spot. The North Island versus South Island challenge – a separate contest between the 12 drivers was taken out by the Southerners in commanding fashion. By Matt Markham Harness Racing New Zealand

The successful Met Multiplier introduced by the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (The Met) in August 2012 has a current honour’s board showing a total of 41 winners and, in what is good news for owners and trainers, will continue in the 2014-15 season.  The “Met Multiplier Honours Roll” shows harness horses right across the classes in both pacing and trotting gaits from a diversity of stables. At the season end, total pay-out is at $307,500 from the initiative with 26 horses earning the bonus this season. Just last night Machs A Flyin, owned by the YOR! Racing with Mark Jones Syndicate, which is managed by premier commentator Mark McNamara, earned the bonus of $7,500 with $5,000 going to the owners and $2,500 to trainer Mark Jones.  The scheme is designed to encourage owners and trainers to support the Met with a lucrative incentive for the connections. To earn a Met Multiplier a horse has to start at a Met meeting a minimum of 15 times over a 12 month rolling period and be placed 1st or dead heat for 1st in one of those qualifying starts. So that means that your horse has 12 months to have the 15 starts and gain one win from when it first starts at a Met meeting. E.g. A horse that has its first start at Addington on 8 August 2014 must have a minimum of 15 starts at Met meetings and be placed first in one of those starts by 7 August 2015. Horses that have had more than 15 starts and are yet to win can still qualify as long as they win a race within their 12 month period, and at the same time satisfy the 15-start criteria within that time period. Addington’s Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt said “that the initiative has proved to be a winning formula for the club, owners and trainers with 41 horses earning the bonus and plenty more getting close. We have seen an increase in horse numbers and our starter numbers continue to track above the national average which is a positive result. The Club will keep the scheme going.”  Full details and conditions of The Met Multiplier Reward can be found under the Racing - Promotions and Incentives section at www.addington.co.nz or contact Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley at the Addington Racing Department on (03) 338 9094. Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington

The McMillan Equine Feeds 2014 NZ Junior Driver Championship is set to be a great spectacle this year with 12 drivers from all over New Zealand once again competing for supremacy. Sailesh Abernethy, Tony Cameron, Andrew Veint, Dylan Ferguson, Shane Butcher and Andre Poutama make up the North Island team. Sam Ottley, Robbie Close, Michelle Neilson, Katie Cox, Craig Ferguson and Brad Williamson make up the South Island team. The championship will be run over three races at Addington Raceway on Thursday night (July 31). These  fields can be seen below. As the highest point scorers, Sailesh Abernethy and Sam Ottley, will captain their respective islands in the Inter-Island Challenge, a competition which was won last year by the North Island team. Sam Ottley, Andrew Veint, Brad Williamson and Andre Poutama all competed in the Championships last  year.  Fixed odds betting for the Championship will open on Thursday morning with the TAB. Unfortunately Katie Cox and Shane Butcher miss drives in the first heat, but they will be accorded 7 points each under the conditions of the series. For the fields on Thursday night  click here

The In The Pocket stallion Changeover continues to enhance his growing reputation with every meeting recently and that continued tonight (July 25th) when he was repersented by winners at both metropolitian harness racing venues, Alexandra Park and Addington Raceway. First up at Alexandra Park was the smart gelding Prince Of Pops who registered his third win for the season with a stylish win over older horses, rating a smart 1:59.8 for the 2200 meters. Just as impressive was the filly Change The Rulz who showed a clean pair of heels to her competition in the A Electrical Ltd Mobile pace over 1950 meters for two and three year old fillies at Addington Raceway. It was the fourth individual filly winner for Changeover in New Zealand in his debut season. Sent straight to the front from barrier six by leading driver Dexter Dunn, Change The Rulz kept up a solid tempo throughout before skipping clear on the home turn and holding out a good finish from  She's Extreme to win by a length and a quarter. It was her first win at her fifth start but Change The Rulz had hinted at an early win with a close third last time to the races. Trained at Woodend by Greg and Nina Hope, Change The Rulz is raced by Greg along with the well known Westport trotting identity, Richard Dellaca. She paced the 1950 meters in the cold conditions in 2:24.1, a mile rate of 1:58.9 with closing sectionals of 58 and 28.4. From the “Rulz” family which has been long associated with Richard Dellaca, Change The Rulz is a half sister to this seasons promising 3 year old Ranfurly Rulz. (3 wins). Her dam Victoria Rulz is a half sister to the brilliant Courage Under Fire gelding Jason Rulz 1:54.6 ($207,985). Like a lot of the Changeover's, Change The Rulz looks just the type to develop into a really smart horse at three. Change The Rulz Harnesslink media    

Two of the biggest spectacles of Cup Week are set to receive a stakes boost, but it’s a decision at the other end of the spectrum which will come as the best news out of Addington Raceway this week. The New Zealand Trotting Cup and Dominion Handicap will both gain a raise of $50,000 for this year with the Cup now worth $700,000 and the Dominion shifting to $250,000. But it’s the decision by Addington officials to raise their minimum stakes in the new season that will draw the most applause after plenty of frustration has been aired in recent months. Currently set at $5,000, the minimum stake will now sit at $7,000 – a 40 per cent rise. Feature race days will also receive a boost in the lower grades with CO races going from $8,000 to $9,000 and C1 graded races jumping from $10,000 to $11,000. Addington have kept the good news coming too with the new season set to also see 2 per cent of each stake paid out to connections of horses who don’t figure in a stakes bearing dividend. Addington Raceway made the stakes increase announcement at the grand opening of a new administration block on top of the stabling complex which will play home to the new drivers room along with JCA members and the main Trackside base on race night. Also announced at the opening was a new look to the popular Show Day Futurity which will see $84,000 worth of stakes paid out during the first half of the season. As well as the $40,000 Final on Show Day, those paid up for the series will also be eligible to compete in a number of other specially programmed races in the lead up to the second week of November as well as a $11,000 race in December which will be open to all those who are paid up with the exception of those who finish in the top three placings in the final. The build up to this year’s New Zealand Trotting will also see a change this year. The Cup will still travel along the same path toward the $700,000 event but the hotly contested Canterbury Classic in October will this year, for the first time, carry an extra incentive. As opposed to the usual automatic entry into the Cup for the winner, the top three place getters will now be invited. The change shouldn’t see too many changes to the norm if previous seasons are anything to go on. By the time the Classic rolls around the pecking order for the Cup is almost done and dusted and those who have finished in the top three in recent years have already qualified, or are well up the order of rankings. By Matt Markham (Harness Racing New Zealand) Important Dates for Cup and Dominion This year nominations for the 2014 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup and Hellers Dominion at Addington will be taken earlier than previous years to increase exposure and to enable fixed odds markets to open mid-August. Nominations for both races will close at 3.00pm on Wednesday 13 August 2014. Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup - $700,000 - Group 1 - 11 November 2014 Initial nomination fee Wednesday 13 August 3pm NZ time $350 First late nomination fee Wednesday 27 August 3pm NZ time $3,500 First withdrawal fee Monday 15 September 3pmNZ time $700 Second withdrawal fee Monday 13 October 3pm NZ time $1,400 Final late nomination fee Wednesday 5 November 11am NZ time $17,500 Starting fee $8,750 All fees are plus GST. Hellers Dominion - $250,000 - Group 1 - 14 November 2014 Initial nomination fee Wednesday 13 August 3pm NZ time $125 First late nomination fee Wednesday 27 August 3pm NZ time $1,250 First withdrawal fee Monday 15 September 3pmNZ time $250 Second withdrawal fee Monday 13 October 3pm NZ time $500 Final late nomination fee Wednesday 5 November 11am NZ time $6,250 Starting fee $3,125 All fees are plus GST. All fees above are included in the total stakes pay out and will contribute to the increase in stakes for both Group 1 races. The Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup will be run for a stake of $700,000 and the Hellers Dominion for $250,000, both up $50,000 on 2013. Please note that horses must be withdrawn on the specified dates above otherwise owners will be liable for payments. For full details including breakdowns of stakes on the above please visit www.addington.co.nz from Friday 25 July. Alternatively, please call Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley of Addington’s Racing Department on (03) 338 9094. August Nominations for $84,000 Show Day Futurity Series Tuesday 22 July The Show Day Futurity Series (SDFS) will once again be programmed this spring at Addington Raceway with estimated stakes of $84,000. Addington is also pleased to announce that for the second year running, harness racing enthusiasts Glenys and Philip Kennard are sponsoring and the series will be known as the Glenys & Philip Kennard/Graphite Developments Ltd Futurity Series. Nominations will close on 13 August at 3pm. The well-patronised series will cater for 3-year-old and older pacers assessed at C0 as at 1 July 2014 with the following criteria to be satisfied:  Nomination fee is set at $100 plus GST with all funds received included in the stake for the SDFS Final on 14 November  A horse must have started at least twice in the period from 8 August to 31 October at a NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club meeting In 2014 it is proposed to run up to five races in the SDFS with the following conditions:  5 September – **horses assessed at C0 to C1 2600m - $11,000  17 October – **horses assessed at C0 only 2600m - $11,000  14 November – ***SDFS Final - $40,000  28 November – Horses who were not eligible to and did not contest the Final on 14 November - $11,000  11 December – Open to all SDFS horses excluding those horses who finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Final on 14 November - $11,000 Total estimated stakes $84,000. **Subject to programming. ***Total stake for the SDFS Final is estimated at $40,000 which is subject to total number of nominations. All runners to receive a minimum of $800 for starting in the Final subject to same conditions. Full details can be viewed from Friday 25 July at www.addington.co.nz under Racing – Promotions and Incentives. Alternatively, please phone Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley of Addington’s Racing Department on 03 338-9094. Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington  

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