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Dark Horse was a recent worthy winner of the prestigious harness racing Southland Horse of the Year Award. She had a stellar season, breaking two track and Southland records. In April she recorded 3-26.7 for the 2700 metre stand at Ascot Park. This was a new mares record for Southland and Ascot Park. The following month at Winton she ran 2-58.9 for the 2400 metre mobile. This time she set a new mares track, Southland and all-comers record for the province. Her time has only ever been bettered by Habibti Ivy which holds the New Zealand Record of 2-58.5. Dark Horse (Bacardi Lindy - Juliana) became the first trotting mare to win the Southland Horse of the Year Award in the past 30 years. Dark Horse and owners on the Addington track after winning last seasons Uncut Gems Trainer Nathan Williamson has had Dark Horse back in work for five weeks on a build up towards the New Zealand Cup meeting in November, with the major targets being the Dominion Handicap over 3200m and then hopefully the Rowe Cup later in the season.  Nathan may be forced to start Dark Horse of a long handicap in Southland before heading north to Canterbury, as the mare is now a rating 100 and suitable races in the South will be hard to get off the ground early in the season. Southland is only two weeks away from their first meeting of the season at Gore on the 27th August. Stablemate Poppymalda will also head towards the Dominion and other feature races at Addington in November. Also headed north will be nine race winner Tas Man Bromac. Tas Man Bromac (American Ideal - Tasmcmanian) is currently in work and will follow a similar path of Dark Horse, possibly having one run in the South before racing in Canterbury in the coming months.   Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing driver Jack Harrington has been fined for betting on a horse he was supposed to be driving at a recent New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Meeting. Harrington was the engaged driver for Diana Harbour in Race 5 at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Meeting on 21 July 2017. Stewards were made aware by the RIU betting analyst that Mr Harrington had placed a $145.00 win bet on Diana Harbour at 8.32pm the previous evening via his phone account on the internet. Stewards immediately contacted Mr Harrington and informed him that he was in breach of Rule 505(1) and that he was unable to place a bet on a race that he was driving in. Mr Harrington was advised that because of the bet placed he would be prohibited from driving in the race in question. Mr Dexter Dunn was the replacement driver for Diana Harbour.    DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE The Charge [1] Information No. A09629 alleges that: On 20 July 2017: “As the engaged driver of DIANA HARBOUR you did place a win bet on that horse.” The Rules [2] Rule 505 provides as follows (emphasis added): “(1) A horseman may not bet on any horse or combination of horses in a race, in which he or she is driving; (2) A breach of this sub-rule (1) is declared to be a serious racing offence; (3) After placing a bet on a horse or combination of horses in a race, a horseman may not accept a drive in that race without the approval of a Stipendiary Steward.” The Plea [3] Mr Harrington admitted the charge immediately when confronted by Stewards. He countersigned the information filed in the Authority and appeared at the hearing where, upon the charge and the Rule being read to him, he confirmed that he understood the charge, admitted it and wished to proceed without the support of a licensed horseman. Summary of Facts [4] Mr Tidmarsh produced an agreed summary of facts. It records: “Mr Jack Harrington was the engaged driver for Diana Harbour in Race 5 at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Meeting on 21 July 2017. Stewards were made aware by the RIU betting analyst that Mr Harrington had placed a $145.00 win bet on Diana Harbour at 8.32pm the previous evening via his phone account on the internet. Stewards immediately contacted Mr Harrington and informed him that he was in breach of Rule 505(1) and that he was unable to place a bet on a race that he was driving in. Mr Harrington was advised that because of the bet placed he would be prohibited from driving in the race in question. Mr Dexter Dunn was the replacement driver for Diana Harbour. Mr Harrington was questioned on the night regarding having a bet in the race. He was unaware that the rule had changed in April 2014 from placing an each way bet on the horse he was driving to not being able to bet when driving in the race. Mr Harrington has been very cooperative throughout this investigation.” Submissions of Informant on Penalty [5] Mr Tidmarsh filed written submissions in advance of the hearing and disclosed those to Mr Harrington. Mr Tidmarsh’s submissions emphasised that a serious racing offence involving wagering required a penalty which would denounce and deter Mr Harrington’s conduct, punish him but not unduly so, and otherwise promote, in Mr Harrington, a sense of responsibility and accountability for his actions. [6] Mr Tidmarsh referred the committee to a number of cases involving breaches of the Rule and submitted that, on an analysis of those cases, an end point fine of approximately $650.00 - $800.00 was appropriate. Mr Tidmarsh submitted that the aggravating factors here were Mr Harrington’s predetermination and planning in placing the bet via his telephone betting account the evening before the race and the quantum of the bet itself ($145 to win). Mr Tidmarsh acknowledged that the mitigating factors present here were Mr Harrington’s immediate admission, his lack of previous breaches of the rule and his status as a junior horseman. Submissions of Respondent on Penalty [7] Mr Harrington confirmed that he had read the written submissions prepared by Mr Tidmarsh. His response was to argue that his case differed from others referred to by Mr Tidmarsh and in particular, the case of RIU v B Crothers. The facts of that particular case are not known to the Committee but Mr Tidmarsh’s submissions record that Mr Crothers was fined $650 for placing a $10 each way bet on his horse. Mr Harrington argued that Mr Crothers’ culpability in placing each way bet was more serious than his placing a win bet here because Mr Crothers could profit by not winning but placing whereas he would only profit if he won. Mr Harrington’s logic appeared to be that because his bet was a win only bet, he therefore had more invested in the outcome and that, to an objective observer, he would be trying harder to win than Mr Crothers might. [8] Mr Harrington submitted that accordingly he ought to be fined less than $650.00. Mr Harrington confirmed that he could pay a fine but emphasised that these were difficult times for him financially and he had a number of financial pressures. Reasons for Penalty [9] In determining penalty the Committee took into account the submissions made by both parties. The Committee does not agree with Mr Harrington’s submission as to culpability. The Rules do not distinguish between win and place bets (or each way bets): all bets are banned when engaged to drive. The type of bet does not impact on the culpability assessment or starting point. [10] The Committee determines there are no aggravating factors. The size of the bet and the timing of it form part of the ingredients of the offence. They are not aggravating factors. This was a fairly blatant breach of the Rule; the bet being placed via Mr Harrington’s phone account. He made no attempt to hide it and immediately admitted to it when confronted. His explanation to the Stewards is consistent with his ignorance of the Rule but ignorance is no defence. It is for Mr Harrington to keep up to date with the Rules especially as he is both a trainer and driver. The Committee accepts Mr Harrington’s explanation as genuine and truthful. [11] In mitigation, Mr Harrington’s admission of the breach is a factor to his credit as is his good record and his status as a junior driver (in other words his youth qualifies as a mitigating factor). [12] In fixing a starting point, the Committee determines that $1,000 is appropriate for a serious racing offence involving a straightforward breach of Rule 505(1). Mr Harrington is entitled to credit for his admission, his cooperation and his youth. These will be fixed at $250 for his admission and $100 for other factors mentioned. [13] The Committee therefore determined that a $650 fine was an appropriate penalty. Penalty [14] Mr Harrington is fined $650 for his placing a win bet on a horse he was engaged to drive. D Jackson       R McKenzie (Chair)            (Committee Member)   Harnesslink Media

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 4:25pm Race 1 - Four Starzzz Shiraz $4.60 leads win & multi betting over Russian Express $7.50. Some early win money has also come for As Kiwi As $6.80.   Race 2 - Easily the best backed runner in win & multi betting is Melina Lowe $4.20 - $3.60.   Race 3 - Jerry Garcia $2.60 easily leads win betting but in multi betting Izmok $2.40 is holding twice as many tickets as the former runner.   Race 4 - English Rose $5.20 - $4.20 clearly leads win betting but is the equal leader in multi betting with Sportscaster $5.00.     Race 5 - Matua Gem $4.50 - $3.20 is the big win mover early but in multi betting the $2.40 favourite Christmas Toyboy $2.40 is racing away with heavy support.   Race 6 - Easily the best backed runner to win on the card early is Hayley Nicole $1.55 - $1.40 with the largest bets $1,818 at $1.55, $4,000 at $1.50 & $4,444 at $1.45. One Direction was late scratched at 9:32am and any bets placed prior to that time will have 10% win & 12% place deductions applied.   Race 7 - James Dean $2.90 leads multi betting over Lovetodream $3.30 with these two the only runners wanted.   Race 8 - Spondulicks $5.20 easily leads win betting but in multi betting the debut runner The Dorchester $1.50 is the best backed runner on the card.    Race 9 - Hey Yo $7.20 leads win betting over Fira $4.80 with that runner leading multi betting over Alvira Hest $8.00.   Race 10 - Daylight Robbery $5.50 leads multi betting over Martin John $4.20 with The Kaik $4.20 easily the best backed in win betting.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

It was another good week last week for the harness racing ringaround with six winners selected again. Rory Mcllwrick finished his season on a high and had the best dividend last week when Danielle Amore won at Oamaru on Sunday and paid $3.60 to win on the tote. More winter racing for the ringaround, with only the three meetings again this week. Waikato Bay Of Plenty are racing at Cambridge on Thursday night, while Addington are racing on Friday night with Oamaru racing again on Sunday. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in, so check back often   Cambridge on Thursday night Jay Abernethy - Jay thinks Judes Gem is his best chance this week in Race 3 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - thinks Precious Moment is a good winning chance in Race 5 Andre Poutama - Andre is opting for Rocknroll Lincoln as his best drive in Race 6 Dylan Ferguson - Dylan thinks his best drive will be Black Chevron in Race 7 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks Stunning Shadow is a chance tonight also in Race 7 Maurice McKendry - Maurice says his best drive is Ralph Elliott tonight in Race 8 Todd Macfarlane -  Todd says Lola Jones would be his best drive also in Race 8   Addington on Friday night John Curtin - John thinks Bettor Chance is a good winning chance in Race 2 Jim Curtin - Jim is going for She'sa Tricky Bridge as his best chance also in Race 2 Bob Butt - Bob thinks Boomer would be his best chance this week in Race 5 Gavin Smith - says his best drive this week is Matau Gem also in Race 5 Matthew Williamson - Matthew thinks his best drive this week would be Arthur Lowe in Race 6 Blair Orange - Blair is going for The Dorchester as his best drive this week in Race 8 Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard says that Daylight Robbery would be his best chance in Race 10   Oamaru on Sunday Racechat - Lance thinks Jerry Garcia is a good winning chance at Oamaru in Race 1 John Morrison - John is picking Leading The Way as his best drive this week in Race 2 Ricky May - Ricky thinks that Diamond Life can run a place at Oamaru in Race 3 Brad Williamson - Brad thinks Alderbeck would be his best drive this week in Race 4 Mark Jones - Mark thinks Say Your Pres would be his best chance at Oamaru in Race 6 Harnesslink Reporter - says Alta Shelby can go close to winning at Oamaru in Race 7   Harnesslink Media    

Last night over $100k was raised in a sell-out event for the gorgeous Maddie Collins to help her get to America for her kidney transplant.  With Maddie having no kidneys and there being no matching donor in New Zealand, a whopping $750k is needed for her to make this trip. Addington would personally like to thank all our sponsors, companies and individuals who contributed to making this evening possible.  Absolutely everything including the delicious cuisine, extraordinary auction items to the elaborate theming were all gifted so every dollar raised could be given to Maddie. A big thank you to Gary McCormick, Shane Cortese, Blair Strang, Andrew Mehrtens and Mayor Tim Shadbolt for a fabulous night of entertainment.  To Richard Bromley, the auctioneer, without your help, we wouldn’t have raised nearly as much for Maddie. Key points from the night; The Lamar Charitable Trust presented Maddie with a $10k cheque on the night. There was a very last minute auction item added (at the end of the night), with a one of a kind pair of Maddie’s hand sewn pillowslips fetching $2k in the auction. Dinner with the RT Hon Winston Peters at Bellamy’s, Parliament House with air flights was auctioned and sold for $10k. Pre-dinner drinks with the Prime Minister and dinner with Hon Minister Amy Adams at Bellamy’s, Parliament House with $300 towards air flights was auctioned and sold for $10k. The Leopard Coachlines 20 piece Brass Band were playing as everyone arrived which set the scene for the night. Maddie stole the show and looked absolutely beautiful in a yellow evening dress. It would be hard to find a dry eye in the room after her heart felt speech. Maddie’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/maddiecollins/ Give A Little page - https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/givethegiftoflifetomaddie

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:15am   Race 1 - Elvis P $2.00 easily leads multi betting over Thank U George $6.80.   Race 2 - Donegal Lucy Anne $2.80 leads win betting over My Nikayla $7.00 with Theboyslightup $3.60 leading multi betting over Shebang $3.50.   Race 3 - Say Your Pres $5.00 - $3.50 is easily the best backed in win betting over Rocknpop $5.00 - $4.60. Diana Harbour $3.20 easily leads multi betting over Rocknpop.    Race 4 - Take After me $5.00 leads win betting with Earthquake $2.90 leading multi betting.    Race 5 - Especial $2.60 clearly leads multi betting in a very quiet win market.   Race 6 - Alpha Rock $4.20 leads win betting with Hypervelocity $3.10 leading multi betting over Lovetodream $3.80.   Race 7 - Woodlea Shawn $11.50 - $7.00 easily leads win betting with Cullenburn $3.00 leading multi betting over Mikey Maguire $3.50.   Race 8 - Ronald J $1.40 is easily the most backed runner on the race card in multi betting.    Race 9 - Cullenmore $10.00 leads win betting over Van Laddie $4.80 with Revving a clear leader in multi betting.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

It’s taken a bit of time to get to this point, but Andrew Stuart is pretty excited about what the future might hold for Sportscaster. The three-year-old son of Mister Big made it two wins from three starts at Addington on Friday night, after an extended period on the sideline that curtailed most of his three-year-old year. “He got a really bad quarter crack,” Stuart said, “Which was a shame because he could have picked up a few wins along the way, and a few free ones too with the old handicapping system. “But we just gave him as long as he needed to get over it, and it looks like it it’s going to be worth the wait.” Confidently driven on Friday night by the red hot Blair Orange, Sportscaster held off all the challenges to win by a head. It was a good return to form after he blotted his copybook with a wild gallop at Ashburton fresh up. “I hoped that wouldn’t knock his confidence and it appears like it hasn’t which is great.” The intention going forward is strike while the iron is hot with the gelding, and that means you’ll see plenty more of him over the winter months. “He’s good and healthy and fit so it makes sense to press right on with him. “I’ve got a lot of time for him and think he will do a really good job.” Sportscaster was bred by the late Lynair O’Connell and is the third foal from the Bettor’s Delight mare, Maddison Lee who has also left the talented Jeanie Pops who raced from the Nigel McGrath stable. Stuart purchased the horse as a yearling and is joined in the ownership by good mates, Brent Wall, Jason Everest and Tony Smart. Stuart was another who joined the growing chorus of horseman, particularly from Canterbury, who are starting to see the positive nature of the new handicapping system, despite the fact Sportcaster is one of those who was given a raw deal. “He should have had a free win, but that doesn’t really matter - he would have got to where he is anyway. “I can honestly say though, particularly at this time of the year when the racing is a little light, that it’s doing a good job for the horse numbers.” Sportscaster was one of four winning drives for Orange on Friday night who continued a grand run of form. He won the first non-tote, Breeders Crown heat with the promising Angel Of Harlem for Barry Ward in what was a pick up drive, with Matty Williamson having transport difficulties due to the weather. Then on the normal card he won with the promising Idle Moose for Roger Austin and then also won the last of the night with Reaza Grunter for Ken and Tony Barron. That takes him to 191 wins for the season, and will leave him short of the magical 200 mark by the time the end of the season rolls around, most likely, but his tally, as it sits, is the ninth highest season tally for a driver in a season ever. Matt Markham

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 1:10pm Race 1 - Lloydin Magic $16.00 - $12.00 leads win betting with All Nuts N Bolts $3.70 leading multi betting over As Kiwi As $5.80.   Race 2 - Jerry Garcia $3.20 is a clear leader in multi betting.   Race 3 - Especial $1.65 is the best backed runner at the meeting in multi betting & easily leads win betting in this race.   Race 4 - Sportscaster $4.50 is best backed in win & multi betting over Gunpowder $7.20.   Race 5 - Bacardi N Coke $12.00 leads win & multi betting over Beyond The Horizon $15.00.   Race 6 - Boults On Fire $2.40 easily leads multi betting over Don Pierre $6.20. Compliant $10.00 - $8.00 is best backed in win betting over Bite The Bullet.   Race 7 - Ronald J $1.45 is the only runner wanted here which is no surprise as he opened up as the shortest priced runner on the card.   Race 8 - My Nikayla $5.80 leads win betting over Theboyslightup $4.80 with the $2.80 favourite Christmas Toyboy easily leading multi betting.     Race 9 - Mikey Maguire $2.90 is best backed in multi betting over Reaza Grunta $4.50 & Spirit Of Delight $4.80. Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Finally the ugly ducklings of the harness racing world are starting to see some love. For decades stakes for trotters have lagged embarrassingly far behind the money the best pacers race for but slowly the gap is closing, with increases to some of the biggest trotting races in the country this week. The most telling improvement is in the stake for the three trotting Jewels, which all increase from $100,000 to $125,000 for next season, putting them only $25,000 behind the pacing Jewels. While the trotters' Jewels races are still open sex, whereas each pacing age group has separate Jewels for either sex, the stakes gap between the two gaits is now small compared with other group one races.   In the past decade in particular races like the Inter Dominion, NZ Cup and Miracle Mile have been enormously higher than their trotting equivalents, with trotting fans even more infuriated when the Inter Dominion trotting series was dropped altogether for no good reason. But Addington have added further respectability to the trotting ranks with the Dominion to be run at Addington in November rising from $260,000 to $300,000 for this year, making it the richest trot in New Zealand. That continues the recent improvements in trotting only stakes, with the NZ Trot Champs going from $80,000 to $100,000, as will the Northern Trotting Derby next term while the $100,000 Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park is still a relatively new race. The A$300,000 Great Southern Star at Melton has raised the bar across the Tasman, where the Breeders Crown has also seen the trotting divisions split into males and females. "We think the trotters deserve a boost in stakes for the Jewels," says HRNZ boss Edward Rennell. "We would love to raise the pacers too and hope in the future we will." While the elite trotters like Monbet and Speeding Spur - both returning next season from injury - will have some big-money targets, the lot of the lower grade trotters has also never been better. With Alexandra Park moving to $12,000 minimum stakes next season and Addington to $10,000, trotters who race at the two premier tracks will go their entire careers without having to race for less than five figures Which makes them some of the best value horseflesh in New Zealand as trotting-bred yearlings average around $20,000 at the sales, with only a handful each year fetching more than $50,000. The closing of the gap will please enthusiasts of the squaregaiter, whose love of the gait is only matched by the near zealot-like devotion of galloping's jumps racing fraternity. For decades our elite trotters have won hearts in no small part because of their durability and how often punters are able to see them. Horses like Lyell Creek, Take A Moment, I Can Doosit, Pride Of Petite and more lately Monbet have been world class, the latter in particular boosting the French blood through his sire Love You needed to bring the New Zealand breed into the 21st century. Trotting stakes still have some way to go, with three-year-old Enghien winning nine of 10 races this season and almost every one that matters at the top end but still only bagging a respectable $234,041. That tally could go well past $300,000 should he win the Victoria Trot Derby and Breeders Crown next month, when he will still be a three-year-old until September (long story, don't ask). That at least compares favourably to the $481,055 Spanish Armada won as New Zealand's highest stake earning three-year-old pacer this season, with Vincent the highest earner male three-year-old pacer with $418,316, much of that in Australia. But the real boost for the trotting gait has come at the lowest end of the scale, where they have been a godsend for Alexandra Park, who often card full field maiden and one-win trots while the track is struggling for turnover-driving numbers. "The trotters have been huge for us and not long ago we had a meeting where we had almost as many trotters racing as pacers," said ATC racing boss Regan Cotter. "And those numbers should only keep getting better with the new minimum stakes." Trot's top-up • Stakes for trotters have always lagged behind pacers. • But some of NZ's biggest trotting races, the Jewels and the Dominion, are set to increase. • Once the poor relations of harness racing, trotters have been instrumental in securing decent field sizes at Alexandra Park. Michael Guerin

The toughest record in racing came on a horse from the right stable on the right track for Dexter Dunn. The man who is systemically rewriting harness racing’s record book broke his own mark for wins in a New Zealand season when he reined Mistahmistah to win the last race at Addington tonight (Friday). It was victory 221 for the season, with Dunn still having two more weeks driving this season before he heads to North America to defend his World Drivers title. But while the new record has been a near certainty for the last week, Dunn was thrilled to set it at the home of New Zealand harness racing. “Addington is my home track so to get it here, at a Friday night meeting is the way I wanted to do it,” says the 27-year-old. “And it is just as special the winner is trained by Cran (Dalgety). “He has been a huge supporter of mine, a massive part of my career and a great friend so I am glad the new mark comes on one of his horses.” The nose victory was cause for double celebration as it was also Dunn’s 2000th domestic career win, joining an elite club whose only other members are Tony Herihy, Maurice McKendry, Ricky May and David Butcher. Dunn will win the national driver’s premiership for the 10th straight season and with $2,206,866 in domestic stake earnings this season should break his own personal best of $2,220,136 by the end of the term. Michael Guerin

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 3:45pm Race 1 - Donsmedad $2.90 - $2.60 is easily the best backed in win and multi betting.   Race 2 - Covered N Diamonds $3.20 just leads multi betting over the other joint favourite Boults On Fire.  Especial $5.50 leads win betting over Black Art $15.00 - $13.00   Race 3 - Bettor Chance $3.00 leads multi and win betting with solid support also for Daylight Robbery $4.20.   Race 4 - Rishi $2.00 is huge in multi betting but that's no surprise as the opening 2nd favourite Ace High $3.30 has been a late scratching.   Race 5 - Lord Roydon $4.00 easily leads win and multi betting over He's Like The Wind $7.50.   Race 6 - Jody Direen $2.50 leads multi betting over El Capitan $3.40 but in win betting the longshot Playboy Prince $21.00 - $18.00 is the best backed runner.    Race 7 - Punter's only want to be on the last start winner Ronald J $4.20 - $3.40.   Race 8 - Usain Colt $2.90 leads multi betting over Billy Badger $4.00.    Race 9 - The debut runner Mistahmistah even at the red hot odds of $1.24 is best backed in win betting and in multi betting it's all one way traffic on him.      Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

They’ve driven a combined total of more than 330 winners, but the group of junior drivers contesting tonight’s prestigious Darren DeFilippi Memorial at Addington would give most, if not all, of those wins back to claim victory into tonight’s special event. Premierships and victories are nice. But a win in one of the most sought after races a junior driver will contest in their time in the ranks is high up the pecking order and any young driver will tell you of their desire to get their name on the trophy that means so much to the harness racing industry, particularly in Canterbury. DeFilippi, the son of trainers Colin and Julie, was tragically killed in a car accident while on his way home from the Orari races in 1995, leaving the harness racing community reeling at the loss of such a talented young horseman. In his second season of driving at the time of his death, DeFilippi was already making a big impact on the Canterbury harness scene with 15 winners next to his name and was being touted for bigger and better things. The Memorial race, named in his honour, has been held each season since 1996 with some of the best young driving talents to have worked their way through the junior ranks having been lucky enough to win it. Gavin Smith (twice; Bristle - 2003 and Atomic Dusk - 2005) and Matthew Williamson (three times; Maori Invasion - 2011, Beyond Reason - 2012 and William Lance -2013) are multiple winners of the event. This year a new winner will be crowned, with no previous driving victors going around. The sentimental favourite will be He’s Like The Wind, driven by Loren Lester who currently works for the DeFilippi stable. A big winner at Timaru last week, there is every conceivable chance that the Gavin Smith trained runner can go back-to-back in what is a very open field. New Zealand’s two leading junior drivers, Rory McIlwrick and Matt Anderson are both in with a show. McIlwrick has the power of the Phil Williamson colours on his drive, Danielle Amore. Williamson has trained three winners of the race. Anderson picks up the drive on the talented Robbie Holmes trotter, Redwood Invasion. Often enigmatic, the big trotter has a huge motor and is a chance to jump and run from the one barrier draw. Sheree Tomlinson will fancy herself a chance in the race with the in-form Lord Roydon. The Michael House trained runner has won his last two starts at Forbury with patient Dexter Dunn drives and a repeat performance will see him go close tonight. Jeremy Markham will be hoping he can sign off on his time as a junior driver in the right fashion when he jumps on board his father, Carl’s trotter Jean Sebastien. The trio will contest the race for the third time having finished fourth, second and third in their three attempts. Addington Selections by Matt Markham Race 1: All Settled Down, Craddock, Idle Moose, Sunny Bill Race 2: Boults On Fire, Le Vado, Especial, Covered N Diamonds Race 3: Daylight Robbery, Spirit Of Delight, Bettor Chance, Take After Me Race 4: Hall Of Fame, Ace High, Letsgotothehop, Rishi Race 5: Lord Roydon, Redwood Invasion, Jean Sebastien, Danielle Amore Race 6: Vera’s Delight, Jody Direen, No More Change, Art Exhibit Race 7: Donegal Bettorgretch, Ronald J, Petite One, Jayceekay Race 8: Usain Colt, Billy Badger, Bite The Bullet, Donegal Carrickfin Race 9: Mistahmistah, For The Corz, Honour The Bet, Maninthemirror Best Bet: Mistahmistah (Race 9) Value: Vera’s Delight (Race 6)   DARREN DEFILLIPI MEMORIAL WINNERS   Year Driver Horse Trainer Gait 1996 Jamie Keast   No Need   Mike Austin  (Pace) 1997 Dale Forbes   Incredible Fella   Ron Barron  (Pace) 1998 Mark Jones  Sylvia’s Star   Kevin Townley  (Trot) 1999 Philip Keats  Valiant Heart  Peter Bagrie (Pace) 2000 Stephen McNally  Russ The Legend  Gerard O’Reilly  (Trot) 2001 Lisa Godsall (Orange) Bergen Carl Middleton (Trot) 2002 Kirstin Green (Barclay) Galleon’s Telepathy Michael House  (Trot) 2003 Gavin Smith Bristle Paul Nairn (Trot) 2004 Nick Ydgren Onedin Legacy  Henderson Hunter (Pace) 2005 Gavin Smith  Atomic Dusk Patrick O’Reilly (Pace) 2006 Jonny Cox Lady Segil Phil Williamson (Trot) 2007 Sam Smolenski Amber Gambler Fred Fletcher (Trot) 2008 Shane Walkinshaw  Ronnie Coute Murray Edmonds (Trot) 2009 Regan Todd Unique Star Mark Jones (Trot) 2010 Andrew Veint  Double Bundy Michael Heenan (Trot) 2011 Matthew Williamson Maori Invasion Phil Williamson (Trot) 2012 Matthew Williamson Beyond Reason Phil Williamson (Trot) 2013 Matthew Williamson William Lance Bevan Heron (Trot) 2014 Robbie Close  Aile Rouge Robbie Holmes (Trot) 2015 Jessica Young Arran Chief  Andrew Faulks (Trot) 2017 Katie Cox King Of The Roses John Versteeg (Trot)

It was an ok week last week for the harness racing ringaround with a few winners selected along with a number of placings as well. Ricky May had the best dividend last week when Unico Legend won at Addington on Friday night and paid a healthy $9.20 to win on the tote. More winter racing awaits this week for the ringaround and it possibly going to be a wet one at Alexandra Park on Friday night with rain forcast.  This week there is also a Forbury meeting on Thursday with Alexandra Park and Addington Friday. Rangiora is on Sunday.   Forbury on Thursday Night Andrew Suddaby - Is opting for Jetenara as his best drive this week in Race 2 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - thinks Lindali is a good winning chance aslo in Race 2 Sheree Tomlinson - Sheree says Triple VC is her best chance at Forbury in Race 4 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week is Lausanne Lass also in Race 4 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory is going for Och Aye The Noo as his best drive at Forbury in Race 5 Geoff Knight - Geoff is picking Okains Bay as his best chance this week in Race 7   Alexandra Park on Friday night Todd MacFarlane - Todd thinks Banner Of Art would be his best chance this week in Race 3 Tony Herlihy - says that Gotta Moment would be his best chance this week also in Race 3 John Curtin - John thinks Red Castleton is a good winning chance at Alexandra Park in Race 9   Addington on Friday night Matthew Williamson - Matthew thinks his best drive this week would be Donsmedad in Race 1 John Morrison - John is picking Black Art as his best drive this week in Race 2 Gavin Smith - Gavin says his best chance this week is He's Like The Wind at Addington in Race 5 Albion Park(Australia) on Saturday Night Mark Jones - Mark likes the chances of Bettorthanspecial at Albion Park in Race 5    Rangiora on Sunday Blair Orange - Blair is going for Tall Poppy as his best drive this week in Race 3 Racechat - Lance thinks Bronx Village is a good winning chance also in Race 3 Harnesslink reporter - thinks Go Davey would be a winning chance at Rangiora in Race 8     Harnesslink Media      

The South of the Waitaki Winter Warmer Series wouldn't be the same without Brendon McLellan and although he is down on numbers this year, he will be represented when the first of three heats is run at Addington on Friday night. McLellan all but made last year's final his own, winning it with Mr Handleman and running third and fourth with Luciano and Vera's Delight. On the way, he also won two of the heats and one of the heat winners, Vera's Delight will be carrying the stable colours again this July. A seven-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, she finished third, first and fifth in the three heats and McLellan is looking for more of the same. “She should be competitive again,” he said. Brett Gray produced Northview Betta to run fifth in the final last year and hopes El Capitan can improve on that this year. The Elsu four-year-old has a rating of 58 and his thirds last month at Invercargill and Oamaru point to a good showing on Friday. Stablemate and rating 54 mare Machjagger will also race at Addington on Friday. Gray plans to bypass the series this week but might line her up in the later heats. His current tally of 20 pacing and six trotting winners this season places him third behind Phil Williamson (42 trotters and one pacer) and Graeme Anderson (33 pacers) on the winner's table for trainers in the region. The series is for pacers assessed at up to rating 60 as of Monday 3, July who since May 1, have been with a trainer based south of the Waitaki River. To run in the final on July 28, a horse must compete in or be eliminated from at least two of the heats on 7, 14 and 21 July. The first and third heats will be over 1950 metres, the second heat and final over 2600 metres, and all will be mobile starts. Anderson said he is down to five in work at the moment and has nothing of that rating ready. Fourth on the table is Williamson's son Nathan (17 trotters and three pacers). Gangnam Style won the first heat for Williamson last year before finishing eighth in the second and being scratched from the final. Williamson hoped to have the rating 58 four-year-old on hand this year but is not sure now. “He finished second at Forbury Park last week but it was just an average second,” he said, “I'm getting tests done and he'll only go if his health is ok. Toby O'Gara is a possible but he'll probably go to the paddock after Forbury Park this week.” Tony Stratford has rating 56 filly Jody Direen primed for the heat on Friday and unbeaten Especial in another race, before joining the series a week later. “It's just so they are not against each other the first week,” Stratford said. “I'm very happy with them, they're both quality horses and have trained up to the mark. It is their first trip away but they are both good eaters and doers.” Craig Ferguson said the second line draw didn't help No More Change at Timaru on Sunday but he was pleased with the way she hit the line and looking forward to her over 1950 metres at Addington on Friday night. He'll also have Mordecai in the race, considers the six-year-old a “run or to away” but likely to improve through the series. Ferguson will handle No More Change himself with Sheree Tomlinson in charge of Mordecai. Melina Lowe, a winner at the final Invercargill meeting of the season before missing at Forbury Park, will represent Kirk Larsen on Friday. “Her last start was in the sprint series (1200 metres) at Forbury Park and she never got into it,” Larsen said. “The 1950 will suit better, she's a rating 55 so these are ideal races for her.” Mac Henry

Ideally, a few more would be the perfect result, but even if Paul Court only trains one more winner this season he’ll be a happy man. In just his second season of solo training, the West Melton horseman has drawn level with his debut season tally of wins with 35 victories on the board and four weeks of racing still remaining. That should spell a new personal best by the time August rolls around and Court considers that mission accomplished. “You set out at the start of the season with the goal of going better than the season before,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have had a good season again, with some nice horses wearing the colours and doing the job out on the track.” After training in partnership with his father, Graham for seven seasons with close to 100 wins, the pressure was always going to be on the young trainer when he broke out on his own accord. But with 70 winners in his first two seasons and a strong team of horses around him, things are looking pretty bright. “It’s been good to be able to pick up where Dad and I left off in a way, we’d set things in motion and I’ve been able to carry it on which is great.” Incidentally, one of the finds of the season for Court was the horse who registered his 35th victory on Friday night at Addington. And he’s hoping that Malik isn’t finished either. The Somebeachsomewhere colt has now won four of his last five starts and is a horse on the rise. He beat a tidy field of intermediate grade pacers on Friday night showing some impressive qualities in the process. “He’s just getting better and better, I was a wee bit hesitant on Friday because we had taken him off the unruly, but he handled it really well and showed a bit of class against what I thought was a pretty good field. “He’s starting to stand up and show what he’s got now which is great, and the best part is that I think he will just keep getting better. “We’ll press on through the winter with him too, so hopefully he’s not finished.” The other leg of Court’s winning double on Friday night came from Beach Skipper, who took longer to win his first race than anticipated. He’d technically already won a race, but that was a dead-heat at Methven, so Friday’s victory was well overdue. And adding double the delight to the win, was the fact Court did the driving himself. Despite not driving often these days and preferring to leave that job to the likes of Blair Orange and Ricky May, Court has still managed to grab himself a win each season for the past 12 years from very limited opportunities. Matt Markham  

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 12:05pm Race 1 - Di'z Luck $1.75 easily leads multi betting with the best backed runner on the win 'book' Carley Maguire $5.20 - $4.80.   Race 2 - For The Corz $2.40 is racing away with multi betting support.   Race 3 - Early money is saying this race is over & it will only be a matter of what the winning margin will be for the $1.60 favourite Indiana Dreaming.   Race 4 - Bacardi N Coke $17.00 & Rum In The Sun $7.50 - $6.50 are the best backed runners on the win 'book'.   Race 5 - Earthquake $8.50 leads win & multi betting.   Race 6 - Malik $6.80 - $3.20 is easily the best backed runner on the win 'book' over Torrid Bromac $4.80 - $4.50. In multi betting Billy Badger $2.70 leads over Torrid Bromac.    Race 7 - Duplicated $1.65 - $1.55 is the only runner wanted here in multi betting.     Race 8 - Donegal Bettorgretch $2.30 easily leads win & multi betting.   Race 9 - My Nikayla $3.00 is best backed in win betting over Living Glory $2.50 with those runners joint leaders in multi betting.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

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