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Progeny of former 2001 Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO filly champ Sparks A Flyin (1:52, US) won within hours on both sides of the Tasman on Friday night October 17, 2014. Smart colt Art Union took another stepping stone towards the $170,000 NRM Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington on November 11 at Addington, while older half-brother Bettors Fire returned to winning form at Gloucester Park, Perth. The Cran Dalgety-trained Art Union justified his hot $1.40 favouritism in the C3-6 pace at Addington, but he didn’t dominate from the outset as many anticipated. Driver Dexter Dunn, from barrier three with the Art Major colt, elected not to race second favourite Mighty Major (ace) for the early lead, settling him into a perfect one-one trail. When a move from the back came a lap out, Dexter was on the move, letting Art Union stride past Mighty Major at the 900m. The favourite kept up another strong run to hold Mighty Major by a length in a 1:57 rate for the 1950m, quickening over his last 800m in 56.1s and final 400m in 26.8s. Jim and Dr Susan Wakefield’s home-bred stretched his record to seven wins from 12 starts for $83,403, and remains unbeaten in three 3YO appearances. Bettors Fire justified his $1.70 favouritism in the $17,500 Demon Adios Discretionary Handicap in Perth. The Cran Dalgety-trained Art Union justified his hot $1.40 favouritism in the C3-6 pace at Addington, but he didn’t dominate from the outset as many anticipated. Driver Dexter Dunn, from barrier three with the Art Major colt, elected not to race second favourite Mighty Major (ace) for the early lead, settling him into a perfect one-one trail. When a move from the back came a lap out, Dexter was on the move, letting Art Union stride past Mighty Major at the 900m. The favourite kept up another strong run to hold Mighty Major by a length in a 1:57 rate for the 1950m, quickening over his last 800m in 56.1s and final 400m in 26.8s. Jim and Dr Susan Wakefield’s home-bred stretched his record to seven wins from 12 starts for $83,403, and remains unbeaten in three 3YO appearances. Bettors Fire justified his $1.70 favouritism in the $17,500 Demon Adios Discretionary Handicap in Perth. Despite start off the 30m line in a Class D pace, Bettors Fire played the iron horse, moving up parked outside fellow ex-Kiwi Bartowski over the final lap for trainer-driver Kyle Harper. The 6YO Bettors Delight gelding was too strong from the home turn, holding out fellow NZ-breds, To Transcend and False Promise, in a 2:04 rate over the 2503m. He scored by 2.4 metres, the leaders running their last 800m in 56.6s and final 400m in 28.3. Bettors Fire, who lowered his best mile rate to 1:53.8 in Perth last term, lifted his career earnings past the $A244,000 mark with his 19th win from 45 starts. Safedra (1:56.3 mile rate, 1700m), a successful half-sister to Art Union and Bettors Fire, has returned to New Zealand after an Australian stint in recent months, where she added a further two wins to her tally. The 5YO daughter of Mach Three is to commence a breeding career this term. Safedra’s best racetrack efforts have been a second to Adore Me in the 2013 Group One New Zealand Oaks, and winner of the Group Two $40,000 Southland Oaks Final. She is the winner of eight and has been 13 times placed in 35 starts for $135,577. Safedra rated 1:56.3 in a 1700m heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Forbury, while she has rated 1:59.8 over 2600m to win at Addington, and 1:58.7 to win over 2400m at Ashburton. Sparks A Flyin’s first five foals have all been well above average. Earlier foals from the Sands A Flyin-Belle Glade mare were Diomedes (1:57.5, Aust), the winner of 12 in Australasia, and Empyrean (1:56.2), the winner of 10 and $121,302. Bungalow Bill, the first of two Cran Dalgety-trained winners at Addington on October 17, delivered narrowly but well to beat favourite Matty Groves by half a head in the Murney Family Trust & Mid Canty Catholic Parish Mobile Maiden Pace. Driver Dexter Dunn settled him handy on the outer, then was denied the front by Ask Me Mach when having a dash for the lead a lap out. Bungalow Bill, a 3YO Bettor’s Delight gelding and the first foal from four-win 1:58.6 mare Strawberry Fields (Presidential Ball-Penny Lane), lengthened out when asked inside the final 100m to stick his head out in a three-way finish, rating 1:58 (1950m). The leaders ran their last 800m in 59s and final 400m in 27.5s. Bungalow Bill is raced by Chrissie Dalgety with Small Car World principal Graham Beirne. Chrissie gained her second win of the weekend when Margarita led over the last 900m as a $1.40 favourite to win her C1-2 fillies & mares mile at Winton in 1:57.1. Margarita, a 3YO Bettor’s Delight-Holloway filly, was the sixth consecutive winning drive on the Wairio card on a wonderful day for catch driver Tim Williams. Tim was unable to make it seven in a row in the final race with Kentuckiana Lodge debutante Tenacious Bromac, but they did well to hold third after being pressured strongly mid-race for the front by favourite Lookofalegend in a 1:56.7 mile. Courtesy Cran Dalgety Racing Stables - Check site here  

There’ll be a new spin on an old classic this year. One of the world’s greatest ever cricketers Shane Warne will be Guest of Honour at this year’s Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup in November to add further glamour to this country’s biggest race day. Despite already attracting regular crowds exceeding 22,000, the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) sought to take the event to new levels of entertainment by inviting a celebrity with huge appeal and a personality that would complement the occasion. “While Cup Day is a renowned showcase for the best harness horses in Australasia, it’s important to keep adding value to the day out for all those attending,” says NZMTC Marketing Manager Ged Mooar. “A colourful character like Shane who loves a punt and a good time will get people talking about Cup Day long before November 11 and long after.” Warne, the first bowler to capture 700 test wickets, was a dominant figure in international cricket for more than a decade and is widely regarded as the best spin bowler of all time. Outside of the picket fence, the ‘Sheik of Tweak’ continues to lead a high profile lifestyle that makes regular headlines. Warne is also known for his support of great causes notably through the Shane Warne Foundation that assists seriously ill and underprivileged children. “This seemed a great innovation by the club and I’m delighted to help out. It’s an event that has a terrific reputation this side of the Tasman and I’m very much looking forward to being part of it.” says Warne.  Apart from this international guest appearance, The Christchurch Casino NZ Cup Day will play host to an array of stars from the worlds of fashion and entertainment. While not forgetting the other superstar turn on the day - Terror To Love’s attempt to be the first horse to win four Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cups. NZMTC will be hosting a media conference for Shane Warne on Cup Day, 11 November. Ticketing and event information is available at www.addington.co.nz For further details or interview requests pertaining to Warne’s visit please contact: Ged Mooar, NZMTC on 0274 736 753

One of the notable withdrawals from the Holy Grail of harness racing, the  New Zealand Cup is the Steven Reid trained pacer, Easy On The Eye. Ranked ninth on the list for entry into the Addington feature in November, the connections of Easy On The Eye weren't that keen on a Cup start according to trainer Steven Reid. " He is not really a two miler and we weren't that serious about starting to be honest. We nominated him in case there was a high attrition rate amongst the top handful but that didn't happen so we took him out when the sustaining payment was due," he said. Easy On The Eye had his first start for the season in last weeks Holmes D G Pace at Alexandra Park and performed up to his trainers expectations. "He really needed the run so to finish third at this stage of his preparation after sitting parked is about right for where he is at this point of his campaign" Steven told Harnesslink this week. Even though Easy On The Eye is not heading south for the New Zealand Cup, he will still be at Addington for Cup Day. Steven plans on taking a two pronged attack to Addington for supporting races during Cup week and is confident they will be very competitive. "Easy On The Eye will race on Cup Day in the Junior Free For All and then then go into the New Zealand Free For All on Show Day. "The two mobile sprints are right up his alley and as he proved last year he can be very competitive over the sprint trips. We have had an offer for the horse so these plans may change," he said The other horse that is making the trip south is the stable star Gold Ace and Steven gives him a real chance of winning the New Zealand Free For All. "I won't start Gold Ace on Cup Day and will kick off his season in the Free For All on Show Day. "He goes super fresh and a lot of the Cup horses struggle to go as good on Friday after a hard run in Tuesday's Cup so I think we are a real chance" he said. Gold Ace has come back from Australia in great order and Reid is looking to trial him before his resumption. "The Cup trials before Cup Week is where we are aiming to start him prior to the Free For All if everything goes to plan" he said. Both of the Reid team excel over shorter distances and will attract solid support during their Cup Week engagements. Harnesslink Media

Addington is pleased to report that in the seven harness race meetings in the 2014-15 season to date, combined turnovers of both on and off course are up on the corresponding time period last year. On course figures are up a significant 15% and combined figures for off course and fixed odds betting are up 4.4% on the seven harness meetings up to and including 10 October.  Total turnover is up 5% even though there have been five fewer races in the season to date.  A considerable contributor to the improved on course figures is the new Kiwi Punters Championship – (KPC) that was introduced on 5 September and has been run at five meetings through September and October to date.  This initiative has obviously attracted punters on course with substantial cash prizes up for grabs throughout the championship. With a total of seven KPC heats at Addington and the winners of each heat receiving $2,000 cash, team numbers taking part have been excellent as they punt to gain a spot in the KPC Final on Show Day, Friday 14 November where’s there’s $80,000 to be won.  Just last Friday there were 34 Teams taking part. Organiser Richard Bromley commented “numbers and turnover for the competition have been pleasing and with just three heats left to gain a spot in the final there’s sure to be good numbers competing.” Two heats remain at Addington and one at Alexandra Park before the final.  It’s just four weeks to go to Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day and tickets are selling well. The 11th of the 11th could be a very special day as champion pacer Terror To Love shoots for his fourth consecutive Cup win and would write his name in the record books.  For Cup Week tickets and details on the KPC visit www.addington.co.nz GED MOOAR MARKETING AND COMMERCIAL MANAGER  

Meticulous was supposed to be sold before he raced at Addington on Friday -but his connections are glad now that he wasn't. Syndicate manager, Phil Kennard, was at All Stars stable before 7 am on Friday to decide with Mark and Natalie what course they should follow. An Australian offer was on the table, Meticulous had passed vet tests and he seemed set for sale. But the prospective buyers wanted to check out another detail and wanted the horse scratched pending the sale. "It was a $20,000 race and we didn't want to do that. Then it came to maybe a late scratching and we weren't happy with that either. It was indicated that if he won the sale would be off. I didn't think it was fair on our partners to scratch and we decided to go ahead. The way things are we are not worried whether we sell him or not" Meticulous has now won four on end and the latest was as easy as the rest. Tim had him cranked out from the outside of the gate and got the front from Backup which was happy to trail. Tim dictated but Meticulous still ran home in 27.9 to win untested. It was a great fillip for the syndicate who have had more than their share of troubles with Meticulous who had more than one smackup on raceday and then a wind problem. But he has staged a great comeback. Oh and one who was very pleased about the failure of the sale ? Ashleigh (to the right of the winner). Meticulous is just her favourite horse in the stable and she is more than happy he is to stay. Courtesy Of All Star Racing - Check site here    

The Group 2 harness racing Canterbury Classic at Addington tonight drew most of the best horses in commission in New Zealand but once again Terror To Love showed that at Addington he is just about unbeatable. Slow away for regular driver Ricky May, Terror To Love settled five back on the outer as the tear away leader Pure Power went for broke from barrier rise and skied away to a big lead. Christen Me ended up in the death seat outside Franco Ledger and had the job of slowly dragging the field up to the leader into a stiff head wind. Pure Power still had a 5 length advantage over Christen Me with 800 metres to go while Terror To Love was  still third last. Christen Me mastered Pure Power at the 400 metres mark at which point Ricky May set the "Terror" alight from the back. Pushed four and five wide on the corner, Terror To Love boomed home, grabbing Christen Me 100 metres out and then staved off a late finish from Franco Nelson who had sat on his back the whole way. Christen Me stuck on really well for third after doing all the donkey work while Hands Christian went huge for fourth in his first race for over 27 months. Driver Natalie Rasmussen thought she was a touch unlucky with Hands Christian. " But for locking wheels on the last bend with Pass Them By, Hands Christian would have been right with them," she said. It was Terror To Loves 30th lifetime win and his 15th on his favourite track, Addington. Ricky May was full of praise for the 7 year old entire. " He paced away then galloped for a few strides when things got tight but he settled really quickly. He was a long way off them at the 500 metres but they had gone quick the whole way and when I moved he really sprinted around them," he said. "He knocked off a touch after hitting the front but grabbed the bit again when he heard Franco Nelson coming. "They were never going to beat him" he said. Even though it appeared a dominant win by Terror To Love, Ricky thought the run of Christen Me was also full of merit. " He had to drag the field up into the teeth of that strong head wind so I thought he went super," he said. The lead up to the Cup action now moves to Methven next weekend and then to the Flying Stakes at Ashburton. At this stage Terror To Love looks a big chance to do the unthinkable and win four New Zealand Cups in a row. Harnesslink Media    

The New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club has released its annual report for the 2014 financial year. In a pleasing result, the club has announced an operating surplus of $347,276. Combined with other revenue, including net fair value gains on investment and development property, a final surplus of $2,579,836 was posted. Chairman Barry Dent stated: “Given the context of general industry returns, an average 2013 Christchurch Casino Trotting Cup Day weather-wise and increased competition in the functions and events business this result is one the club is very proud to have achieved.” In what was a sensational result for the industry as a whole, the club also increased stakes by six per cent, with $6.9million distributed. Other notable developments during the year were the opening of Spectators Bar and Bistro, starter numbers increasing from 10.58 to 10.98 per race, the Functions and Events Centre continuing to play a key role for the club, and strong returns from commercial property interests. “These developments reflect our Strategic and Business Plans to future proof our club,” Dent decalred. The Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday, October 13. The Annual Report can be viewed at www.addington.co.nz NZMTC Media

This Friday's Addington meeting features two interesting runners for the Robert Dunn stable in Wesley Silcox and Superintendent. Wesley Silcox is having just his 5th race start and already has an inpressive formline of three wins and a second from just four starts. Contrastingly, Superintendent is a six start maiden that started his career in the north, headed to Australia after an ownership change, before being "sacked" and ending up at the Woodend Beach stable of the Dunns. Having tasted defeat for the first time last start, (a good second to the highly rated Dalton Bromac) Wesley Silcox was then given a let-up before coming back in a month ago. He has worked towards Friday night's resumption with a workout last week and then a very impressive trial win at Rangiora yesterday. "He was pretty impressive alright," reflected co-trainer John. "We really ran some time down the back with the tailwind (a 26.7 quarter), before completing a last 800m in a tick over 55 seconds." "He has strengthened up nicely, even after only a brief break. He should definitely give a good account Friday." John has labelled Wesley Silcox as a real watch horse for punters following the stable over the next couple of months. Going back nearly two years ago, Superintendent was picked out as a promising 2yr old for the "Bunty" Hughes stable. He was good enough to run third in a heat of the Young Guns. This promise was duly noted and the horse changed hands for "big money" before heading to Australia and to the powerful McCarthy stable. To put it bluntly, the horse failed to measure up and was eventually "sacked". "Having paid the money that they had, the owners figured that it was worth another shot and sent the horse over to us," said John. "He'd had his last race in July so he didn't take a lot of work to be honest." Despite the horse's somewhat checkered career, his new trainers are quite upbeat about what he has shown to date. "Yea I like him," said John. "He's not a real speed horse and it is his size and strength that are standing out with him at the moment."   Superintendent has been fitted for his reappearance with two workouts, the most recent of which saw him run a convincing winner by 4 lengths. His closing sectionals of 800m 57.3 and 400m 28.6 would suggest that his maiden win should be close at hand. Like Wesley Silcox, he too is one to follow closely on Friday and over the next couple of months.   Courtesy Of Robert Dunn Racing - View site here             

The system of setting up a ranking order for the New Zealand Cup which gave all horses a pathway to gaining entry has a lot of merit. It means all the Cup aspirants know where they stand and what they have to do to gain a start. Where it has the potential to fall down is when there is no form from the current season and subjective judgments have to made on performances from last season. The criteria as announced earlier in the season goes like this. Horses shall be ranked in the following descending order: Horse   -   Name   -   Winner   -   Details Winner 2013 New Zealand Trotting Cup - Terror To Love Winner 2014 Interdominion - Beautide (Not nominated) Winner 2014 Auckland Cup - Terror To Love Winner 2014 Maurice Holmes Vase - Christen Me Winner 2014 Avon City Ford Cup - Terror To Love Winner, 2nd, 3rd 2014 Canterbury Classic - ..................... *Then competitiveness and performance in this seasons Group races leading up to the 2014 Cup. *The competitiveness and performance in previous seasons Group races. *The competitiveness and performance in non black type races this season. Most of the rankings would seem straight forward but two struck us as being debatable so we thought a closer look at the reasons and rational for the list was warranted. Easy On The Eye - Rank 9  Hasn't raced this season so his ranking is solely based on his performances from last season. Last season Easy On The Eye had 14 starts for two wins and three seconds for stakes of $102,871 *Won the Group 2 Franklin Cup *2nd in the Group 1 New Zealand Free For All *2nd in the Group 2 City Of Auckland Free For All Of the races identified as being part the road way to the Cup, he won the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park but was unplaced in the Canterbury Classsic, Kaikoura Cup and ran tenth in the New Zealand Cup itself. Fly Like An Eagle - Rank 15 Hasn't raced this season so his ranking is solely based on his performances from last season. Last season Fly Like An Eagle had 15 starts for 1 win and two seconds for stakes of $154,324 *Won the Group 2 Kaikoura Cup *2nd in Group 1 New Zealand Cup *2nd in Group 3 Methven Cup Of the races identified as being part of the road way to the Cup, he won the Kaikoura Cup and was beaten a neck in both the Methven Cup and the New Zealand Cup itself. A difference of six places would seem hard to understand going by last seasons performances so we went to HRNZ for an explanation. Chief handicapper Andrew Morris agreed that looking from the outside there would appear to be little between the pair but it wasn't as straight forward as that. " When considering form from last season, the panel looks at the whole season of each horse involved and not just the races in the road way to the Cup from last year, he said. "Easy On the Eye carried on after Cup week and won a Group race after that and was placed in another Group race whereas Fly Like An Eagle's form fell away badly after the Cup meeting and he was disappointing for the rest of the season" he said "The horses between Easy On The Eye and Fly Like An Eagle all won Group 1 races last season and it was just a matter of where we slotted them in." 'Having said all of that their fate is in their own hands really and good performances in the remaining races before the Cup could see either horse quickly rise up the rankings" he said. The panel of six have an unenviable job in our view and why we may not agree with all the decisions, in the main they do a great job. To view the latest rankings click here. Harnesslink Media 

Big Cody Singer continues to be a work in progress but is a contender for the upcoming maiden graduation series to be run at Addington on October 10, and another during NZ Cup week. “After he galloped in his debut (mobile start), I tried to settle him down by going to the stand starts for a couple of races,” said trainer Cran Dalgety. There is a $23k graduation (mobile 2600m) at Addington on the 10th, so we’ll have a go at that. I did put him in that series in Cup week so thats on the radar too.” Cody Singer, now four, took trainer Cran Dalgety’s eye at the 2012 NZ Yearling Sales. The son of Christian Cullen and fourth line descendant of former top mare Van Glory was a $45,000 buy for a quartet of owners, Solid Gold Standardbreds, Ross Stanbury, Terry Flynn and Chrissie Dalgety. But due to Cody Singer’s growing frame and strong personality, Cran resisted any temptation to race him until turning four. Cody Singer was an impressive qualifier at Addington in March, overcoming a slow start to beat Cullen Keefe by 3 1/2 lengths in 3:21.2 (2600m stand), but he didn’t make his race debut until September 6, breaking in the score-up and being pulled up. He was a solid fifth second-up at Oamaru, after working in the open in a strong maiden, won by Tas Man Bromac, then saluted third-up at Addington on Friday, September 26, appropriately in the Christian Cullen-sponsored pace. Cody Singer tangled for a few strides again at the start off the unruly last Friday, but quickly recovered and rolled to the top after the opening 800m. After racing greenly and drifting wide turning for home, Cody Singer was reeled in and momentarily looked like running fourth, before Dexter had him balanced up and asked him for a final effort. Cody Singer lifted to take a half-length victory, but it was far from plain sailing for the $1.60 favourite. MARGARITA WINS 1:57.9 MILE Margarita earned herself a 1:57.9 mile mark at her fifth start in the C1-2 Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace at Addington on September 26. “She had a lovely trail but is a typical Bettor’s Delight and they do go up a grade,” said trainer Cran Dalgety. “She has a wee grouse body and fast legs.” Margarita, co-bred by her trainer with wife Chrissie, was racking up her third win from five starts. The daughter of top sire Bettor’s Delight and former good stable winner Holloway (six wins, 1:57.4) has continued to thrive since winning her Forbury debut on July 3. “She has no friends at home in the paddock. She has a bit of attitude about her which she takes to the races.” Margarita has been nominated for another Addington mile dash this Friday. As the only C1 assessed filly in the C0-5 $12,000 event, will draw the ace if she starts. “Drawing the inside is a big bonus with 1609m start at Addington,” Cran said. Courtesy Of Cran Dalgety Racing - Check site here        

Harness racing trainers will tell you that patience is a must have when developing racehorses and young trotters even more so. On Friday night at Addington the four year old mare Petite Royal rewarded the patience of trainer Robbie Holmes and owner Mark Nichel when she broke through for her maiden win at her ninth lifetime start. Purchased out of the 2012 Premier Sale at Addington by Nichel for $30,000, the daughter of Monarchy is bred to be something special. Petite Royal is the first foal from the very talented Sundon mare Petite Sunset 1:57.8 ($115,070) whose dam was none other than the champion trotter Pride Of Petite 1:57.4 ($811,816). The second foal from Petite Sunset is last seasons smart two year old winner by Angus Hall in Petite One. Petite Royal has always impressed Robbie right from the start. "She qualified at two and had a couple of starts but was becoming a bit hot so we put her aside"he said when speaking to Harnesslink this week. Brought back as a 3 year old, Petite Royal had five starts last season but again Robbie thought she was her own worst enemy. "She didnt like the mobile much and had a couple of other wee niggles and while she was winning trials, the hype of raceday was unsettling her and she was doing things wrong so we gave her another break." Brought back this season as a 4 year old, Petite Royal has been a lot more settled this time in and Robbie thought the first win wasn't far away and so it proved at Addington on Friday night. "She has matured and is a lot more settled this time in. I thought if I could grab the lead on Friday night and run them along she would be very hard to catch" he said. Which is exactly what happened with Petite Royal settling third early before Robbie sent her to the front after 600 metres. From there it was a one horse affair with Petite Royal having the foot down the whole way. She turned for home eight lengths clear and won easing down by 2 1/4 lengths in 3:25.7 for the 2600 metres stand. Robbie thinks there is a fair bit of upside for Petite Royal going forward. "She is a lovely mare to do anything with and now she has got the hang of the racing game she could go a fair way. She is actually a lot better with a sit where she can come off a horses back and really ping but I drove her in front on Friday night just to get that maiden win monkey off our back" he said Petite Royal's owner Mark Nickel has been a long time client of Robbie's and is a TAB operator from Wellington who races a lot of his horses with the "Tabman" handle. Petite Royal is just another example of the old theory that if you are patient with horses you will be rewarded in the long run. Harnesslink Media    

While the New Brighton Cup held most peoples attention at Addington last night with the return of Terror To Love and Smolda, racegoers got a look at another future topliner in Kincaslough in the C3-C6 handicap trot that preceeded the cup Away slowly from her 30 meter handicap, John Dunn settled the daughter of Love You at the back of the bunch early before sending her forward three wide with 1600 metres to run. Grabbing the lead with 1300 metres to go, Kincaslough then proceeded to apply the pressure and rounding the home turn it was clear she had the field in trouble. In the end she won easing down by three lengths and the manner of her victory suggests she won't be out of place in the big trotting features later in the season. Kincaslough is by Love You from the Pine Chip mare Donegal Flat who is a half sister to the dam of the champion trotter Lyeel Creek 1:52.4 ($2,961,137) She is owned by Australian Pat Driscoll of Yabby Dam Frams Ltd who brought the mare as a weanling off her breeder Mark Smith. Trainer Craig Edmonds was expecting a good run from his talented mare last night. " I put a Murphy blind on her on Monday at the trials and she didnt like it at all. She likes to see whats going on around her but I was just trying to get her to drive a bit better. "I put a Murphy blind with a hole in it so she could see on Wednesday and she worked really nice and was a lot more accepting of it he" said.  Lightly raced at three, Kincaslough had her first serious campaign last season at four and according to Craig still has a lot to learn. " She has only had one campaign really and is still learning what racing is all about. She is reaching a stage where she is going to have to start racing the topliners and for that she is going to have to develop a bit more ringcraft" he said. The winner of eight from just eighteen starts, Kincaslough has a few more strings to her bow that it may look to the casual observer and Craig thinks she will measure up in top company. "A lot of people think that she is just a frontrunner but she can really sprint off a horses back so she should be suited in those big races where they run along a bit" he said. Last night Kincaslough trotted the 2600 metres from a stand in a smart 3:18.3, a mile rate of 2:02.7 She trotted her last mile in 2:00 even with the last 800 metres in 57.5 and 400 metres in 28.5 Craig thinks there is plenty of room for improvement. "John said she had plenty left at the finish last night and she has come home and eaten up good. There should be plenty of natural improvement with that run under her belt" he said The trotting ranks are particularly strong in Canterbury at the moment but on last nights performance Kincaslough looks more than capable of holding her own in the best company. Harnesslink Media      

The New Zealand Sires Stakes Board together, with The Met at Addington, will be staging a new race on Show Day, Friday 14 November solely catering for 4 year old and over pacing mares. The race, to be known as the Nevele R Sires Stakes Southern Mares Classic, will carry a significant stake of $40,000. It will be staged over 1950 metres from a mobile start with a preferential barrier draw based on assessment and winning stakes using the Addington track grid. Any filly (now mare) where the foal nomination fee was paid for either the New Zealand Sires Stakes or the Nevele R Fillies Series, or where a late entry was paid for these, will be eligible to race  Those mares that have either won a Group One race or a race of $100,000 or more are ineligible. Doreen Graham, Secretary- Manager of the New Zealand Sires Stakes Board commented “that this is one of five new feature races being introduced this season extending the Sires Stakes programme to older age group racing.” Further details about the Nevele R Sires Stakes Southern Mares Classic can be found at the following website. nzsiresstakes.co.nz Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager-Addington

Whenever the Mark Purdon/ Natalie Rasmussen barn lines up a maiden 3 year old at any harness racing meeting in New Zealand, it usually means the opposition is racing for second money. That's the way the betting public saw it tonight in race two at Addington Raceway (September 12th) with the All Stars runner Alta Ronaldo a prohibitive short priced favourite. The general consensus was that Alta Ronaldo should be a class above this lot having raced against the better 2 year olds last season. But as we all know there is no such thing as a certainty in racing and Margarita proved once again that no race is easy to win. Bred and owned by Cran Dalgety and his wife Chrissie and trained by Cran at West Melton, Margarita had the form on the board heading into tonights race. She won a race at two at Forbury in a 2:00.8 mile rate and resumed at three with a meritorious second to the very talented Bettor Scott in a 1:58.8 mile rate. Dexter Dunn sent Margarita forward from barrier seven and grabbed the lead after 300 meters with Alta Ronaldo sitting parked from the start. Mark Purdon sent Alta Ronaldo up to eyeball Margarita at the 600 meters mark but it was obvious passing the 400 meters mark that Margarita still had plenty to offer. And so it proved in the straight with Margarita holding a three quarters of a length advantage over Alta Ronaldo all the way to the finishing line. A 3 year old daughter of Bettor's Delight, she paced the 1950 meters in 2:25.4, a mile rate of 1:59.9 with the last 800 meters in 56 .4 and the closing 400 meters in a very sharp 26.9 The dam of Margarita is the smart Badlands Hanover mare Holloway 1:56.1 ($56,432) who won six races on the track in New Zealand. Holloway is a half sister to two handy types in Ducks A Flyin 1:55.2 ($93,581) and Simple Saver 1:52 ($84,658) and is closely related to the very smart Telemeconique 1:52.2 ($185,615) Why it is early in the season, Margarita looks the type with natural improvement that could mix it with the elite fillies by the time the classics come around. Harnesslink Media   

A new sale concept for harness racing broodmares and mixed stock had its first outing tonight and it didn't quite go to script. All up there were 73 broodmares and 18 mixed stock that went under the hammer this evening at Addington Raceway. There was a good crowd of over 100 people in the Blossom Lady lounge at Addington when the auction began but it was soon apparent that if the broodmare had a bit of age or had a hole in her pedigree then there was absolutely no interest from the buyers present. The passed in rate was very high with only 16 of the 73 broodmares changing hands on the night although the auctioneers were confident of doubling that number from post auction sales. Top price as expected was lot 2 which was the In The Pocket mare Zenola's Princess who was sold in foal to the  leading sire Art Major for $10,000.  The second best price was for lot 41 which was the Christian Cullen mare Stronecullen who was sold in foal to Shadow Play for $3,500 Lot 31, the Soky's Atom mare Bionic Reign who was not in foal made $3,000 as did lot 58, the Mach Three mare Triple Sec who was in foal to Betterthancheddar. Several mares were passed in when the last bid ended up with the vendor at the rerserve price and no more bids were forthcoming. Lot 20, Glenferrie Skipper was passed in for $10,000 while lot 50 Sun Goddess was also passed in at $7,000. Two other passings of note were lot 7, A Touch Of Sun who was not in foal and lot 44 Hayley Brogden who was in foal to Mach Three. Both made $6,000 on the night but went home with their vendors but negotiations are continuing. In the mixed stock side of the sale the trend was the same as with the broodmares with the two most keenly sought lots reaching $6,000 but on their vendors bid. Both times the auctioneer announced that one more bid would buy the horse involved but no further bids were made from the buyers bench. The two lots involved were lot 1, the American Ideal filly Miss Patriot and lot 2, the Sam Bourbon colt. While there were a lot of things they would do slightly differently in hindsight, The Canterbury Standardbred Breeders are to be congratulated for trying to bring a low cost sale option to the market to try to help the average breeder. With its low entry fee and no commission and no travel involved for the lots to be auctioned, the sale concept definitely has a future. What was sadly lacking today was a lot more quality lots but that was due in no small part to the uncertainty about how the sale would pan out for the vendors. Well bred stock sold well tonight and hopefully next year a much stronger draft will be catalogued. Harnesslink Media

The latest harness racing rankings for the New Zealand Trotting Cup have been released and nothing much has changed although a few eyebrows have been raised about the placement of Lochaburn after his two outstanding runs this campaign. To see Lochaburn still below Jimmy Johnstone after beating him home twice this season is hard to fathom. Otherwise a very perdictable list. NEW ZEALAND METROPOLITAN TROTTING CLUB INC - ADDINGTON RACEWAY - TUESDAY 11TH NOVEMBER   Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup - Stakes $700,000 Distance 3200 Metres - Standing Start - No Handicaps Apply - Maximum of 15 horses to start, with provision of 3 horses as Right-of-Re-Entries -  RANKINGS                                                            26th August                               9th September Terror To Love                                              1                                                    1 Christen Me                                                   2                                                    2  For A Reason                                                3                                                    3  Themightyquinn                                            4                                                     4 Adore Me                                                      5                                                     5 Pembrook Benny                                          6                                                     6 Seel N Print                                                   7                                                     7   Franco Ledger                                               8                                                     8 Smolda                                                          9                                                     9 Easy On The Eye                                         10                                                   10 Abettorpunt                                                   11                                                   11  Franco Nelson                                              12                                                   12  Besotted                                                       13                                                   13 Jason Rulz                                                    15                                                    14 Fly Like An Eagle                                          14                                                    15 Tiger Tara                                                      19                                                   16 Jimmy Johnstone                                          16                                                    17                                       Pemberton Shard                                          17                                                    18  Bit Of A Legend                                             18                                                    19 Locharburn                                                    20                                                    20  Hands Christian                                             21                                                    21 Arden Rooney                                               22                                                     22  Pass Them By                                               25                                                    23 Four Starzzz Flash                                        23                                                    24 Lets Elope                                                     24                                                    25 Pure Power                                                   26                                                    26   Maximan                                                        27                                                    27  Jivin Cullen                                                    28                                                    28 Classiesistar                                                  29                                                    29 Vice Chairman                                               30                                                    30 Averil’s Quest                                                31                                                    31  Belkmyster                                                     32                                                    32  Ballindooley                                                   33                                                    33  Lewy Risk                                                      36                                                    34 The Wrath Of Robyn                                     34                                                    35    Maiden Rome                                               35                                                     36  Franco Harrington                                         37                                                    37     Harnesslink Media

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