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There is some great harness racing action this week, with the highlights being the Ashburton Flying Stakes and Ashburton Trotters Mile at Ashburton on Monday.  On Friday night, the Sires Stakes heat at Addington has also drawn a very good field of 3yo pacers, including unbeaten Auckland Reactor gelding Chase Auckland. This week we have a good spread of selections split between the four meetings programmed. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often. Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness at Cambridge on Thursday night. Jay Abernethy - Jay thinks his best chance this week is R Gee Bee at Cambridge in Race 3 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks that Yankee C J would be his best chance this week in Race 5 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best drive tonight would be George, at Cambridge in Race 6 John Curtin - John thinks Ideal Roman will go close to winning at Cambridge in Race 7   NZ Metro at Addington on Friday night Blair Orange - Blair says that Sheriff would be his best drive this week at Addington in Race 1 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Still Eyre as his best drive this week in Race 3 Racechat - Lance thinks Noble Lavros as a good winning chance having his first start also in Race 3 John Morrison - John thinks his best drive this week is Whatasista at Addington in Race 7 Mark Jones - Mark is going for Belle Of Brooklyn as his best chance at Addington in Race 10   Tuapeka at Forbury on Sunday Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week could be Scarlett Lane in Race 3 Sheree Tomlinson - Sheree thinks Rocknpop would be a place chance also in Race 3 Brad Williamson - Brad says his best chance this week is​ Executive Dash at Forbury in Race 4 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks his best drive would be It Ain't The Money this week at Forbury in Race 7 Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks his best chance this week is Fiery Ferret at Forbury in Race 9 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory agrees with Geoff and is going for Fiery Ferret at Forbury in Race 9   Ashburton on Monday Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Ohanzee can go close to winning at Ashburton in Race 1 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Great Things Happen as his best chance this week in Race 8 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - Stephen thinks that Wilmas Mate will be hard to beat also in Race 8       Harnesslink Media  

The odds are stacking up against one of New Zealand’s most talented horses. Because champion trotter Monbet is out of the New Zealand Cup carnival, almost certainly the summer and probably the whole season. And while trainer Greg Hope still remains optimistic we will see the best of the one-time Horse of the Year, doubts must be creeping into his mind and those of his army of followers. Monbet was supposed to have his first public trial this year at Ashburton today as as lead-up to his much-anticipated return in the Flying Mile on that track next Monday. But Hope has pulled the pin on both of those and says the defence of his Dominion title at the New Zealand Cup meeting is also over. “He is not quite right and he is too good to take any risks with,” says Hope, who trains the six-year-old with his wife Nina. “He has been nagged by something for a while and I think the knee we took the bone chips out of last season is still worrying him. “And that is now making him off-load and hurt his other knee. “Some people tell me he is fine and the vets say it isn’t that bad but I am not going to risk him because I’d hate to make it worse.  “He is still only six and if we look after him I hope we can get him back.  “But basically the Cup carnival is gone and so too is the summer probably. “What we will do next is looking at some stem cell injections in that area and if that all goes well hopefully we could get him back for the Rowe Cup in May. “But it is all a bit up in the air at the moment.” Monbet was crowned harness Horse of the Year last year but the bone chips saw him only race three times last season. That trio of starts reminded racing fans why he may be our most talented trotter since Lyell Creek as after a fresh-up win in the Flying Mile he won both the NZ Free-For-All and Dominion in national record time. He has not been seen in public since and trotting has been the worse for it. For all Hope’s optimism, Monbet’s body has often struggled with the demands of his record-breaking motor and the fact he couldn’t even make it back to the trials this campaign doesn’t boost confidence we are going to see any sustained racing from him this season or maybe ever again.  The TAB got whiff of Monbet’s problems two weeks ago and opened a market for the Dominion with him excluded from the getting and only re-opened their main market it with him in the futures betting yesterday. It is now closed again.  Last season’s injury cost Monbet’s connections a fortune as most of the group one trots Australasia-wide were won by horses who wouldn’t live with a fully fit and sound Monbet.  That class void worsened when his arch rival Speeding Spur was injured twice and missed many of the top races last season as as well while trotting millionaire Stent is still making his way back from injury.  He continues that path at the Motukarara trials today and could still make the New Zealand Cup meeting although he hasn’t raced for over 21 months.  The reports are good though for Speeding Spur, who has done two works faster work after a four-month slow build-up.  “He feels good and we have the green light with him to press so but he won’t make the Cup carnival,” says co-trainer John Dickie.  “But all going well, and I think it will because his injuries haven’t been because of unsoundness, we could have him back racing by mid December.” While Ashburton face having no Monbet for their huge meeting next Monday they have left entries open after securing only six nominations for the Flying Stakes, including four from the All Stars.  NZ Cup favourites Lazarus and Heaven Rocks warm up for that race with a workout at Ashburton today. Michael Guerin

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 2:10pm Race 1 - Best backed on the win 'book' has been Living Legend $15.00 with Elusive Flight the $2.90 favourite leading multi betting over Take After Me $5.00.   Race 2 - Easily the best backed runner has been Major Hippie $2.00 over Spondulicks $15.00 - $12.00 & Bettor Trix $5.50. Major Hippie easily leads multi betting over Bettor Trix.   Race 3 - A very quiet win 'book' early but the only runner wanted in multi betting is Mekong Princess the $2.50 favourite.   Race 4 - Bright Diamond $3.50 - $2.50 has been heavily backed early with some money also coming for Tennyson Bromac $6.50. Henry Hubert $3.80 leads multi betting over Bright Diamond & Tennyson Bromac.   Race 5 - Editorial was late scratched at 11:12am & any bets placed prior to this time will have 25% win & 20% deductions applied. Mockingjay $14.00 is best backed on the win 'book' with Bettor Than That $2.80 leading multi betting over Bubble Gum $5.00.   Race 6 - BD Love $2.00 is the only runner wanted in multi betting. Izmok $10.50 is best backed on the win 'book'.   Race 7 - The Dorchester $3.70 easily leads win betting with Whittaker $3.40 leading multi betting over the former runner.   Race 8 - The Foot Tapper $2.90 leads multi betting over Marcoola $4.50 with Monty Python $13.00 leading win betting.   Race 9 - Gupta's Cullen $6.50 - $6.00 leads early win betting over Patanjali $8.80 - $7.00.   Race 10 - Star Commander $1.60 - $1.35 is easily the best backed runner on the card early and is the only runner wanted in multi betting.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Last weeks harness racing saw the bets of the week ringaround go through a rather lean patch, but we still managed three winners and several place getters. The best winning dividend went to Gerard O'Reilly who selected No Fears as his best chance. No Fears won at Timaru and paid $3.20 to win on the tote. This week we have a good spread of selections split between the four meetings programmed. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often.   Addington on Thursday night Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard says his best drive this week is Cole Porter in Race 2 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Monty Python as his best drive this week in Race 8 Terry Chmiel - Terry is going for Patanjali as his best chance this week in Race 9 Ricky May - Ricky thinks that Goodlookin Chic would be his best drive this week in Race 9 Blair Orange - Blair says that Star Commander would be his best drive this week in Race 10 Mark Jones - Mark also thinks that Star Commander looks a winner at Addington in Race 10   Alexandra Park on Friday night Maurice McKendry - Maurice thinks his best drive this week is Jack Nicholson in Race 1 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks that Miss Holigan is a good place chance this week also in Race 1 Andre Poutama - Andre is opting for Eyesdown And Looking as his best drive this week in Race 2 John Curtin - John thinks Rubens will go close to winning at Alexandra Park in Race 6   Gore on Saturday Brent Barclay - Brent thinks his best drive would be Make My Day this week in Race 1 Andrew Suddaby - Andrew is going for Fleur Galleon as his best drive this week in Race 3 Brad Williamson - Brad says his best chance this week is​ Bettor Option at Gore in Race 4 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane is going for Lite Percussion as his best drive this week in Race 6 Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks his best chance this week is Jacks N Jazz at Gore also in Race 6 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week could be Poppymalda in Race 9   Methven on Sunday Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Ready To Bloom can win fresh up at Methven in Race 2 Racechat - Lance is going for Make Us Grin as a good winning chance in Race 4 John Morrison - John thinks his best drive this week is Sky City King at Methven in Race 8 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Red Moon Rising as his best chance this week in Race 11   Harnesslink Media            

Amateur harness racing driver Ray Reekie has been handed a near maximum suspension of ten months, for not giving his horse Zakspatrol every opportunity to win, in a race at Addington on the 16th September this year. Reekie was originally given a two and a half year sentence, but this penalty was quashed, after Chief Stipendiary Steward Nick Ydgren pointed out to the JCA, the maximum penalty for the charge could only be 12 months. A new hearing was held on the 29th September. The JCA concluded that Mr Reekie’s drive between the 2100 metres and the 1100 metres fell far short of the standard of a reasonable and prudent driver and that the chances of Zakspatrol in the race were significantly adversely lessened or reduced by the actions that Mr Reekie took.  They then handed down a near maximum penalty of 10 months suspension, meaning Reekie will not be able to drive again until the 5th August 2018. Full details of the hearing below: BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY HELD AT CHRISTCHURCH IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing IN THE MATTER of Information No. A09571 BETWEEN S W WALLIS, Stipendiary Steward for the Racing Integrity Unit Informant AND RAYMOND ALFRED REEKIE of Leeston, Licensed Advanced Amateur Driver Respondent Judicial Committee: R G McKenzie (Chair) S C Ching (Committee Member) Present: S W Wallis, the Informant T J Sissons, Counsel for the Respondent N M Ydgren, Chief Stipendiary Steward (Registrar) Date of Hearing: 29 September 2017 Date of Decision: 5 October 2017 RESERVED PENALTY DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE Background [1] Following Race 1, Bishopdale/Bush Inn TAB’s + Tavern Harewood (Amateur Drivers) Mobile Pace, held at the meeting of New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club at Addington Raceway on Saturday, 16 September 2017, Mr Reekie was charged by Stewards with a breach of Rule 869 (3) (g) in that, as the driver of ZAKSPATROL in the race, he “drove in a manner capable of diminishing his chances by challenging for the lead between the 2100 metres and the 1100 metres unsuccessfully resulting in his horse tiring badly from the 900 metres.” [2] Rule 869 provides as follows: (3) No horseman in any race shall drive:- (g) in any manner capable of diminishing the chances of his horse winning. [3] Mr Reekie denied the charge and, after a hearing before this Committee, the charge was found proven. [4] Submissions in relation to penalty were then heard from Mr Wallis at a hearing at which Mr Reekie elected not to be present, following which the Committee suspended Mr Reekie’s Advanced Amateur licence for a period of 2½ years up to and including 15 March 2020. [5] By Memorandum of this Committee dated 19 September 2017, the Committee quashed and set aside that penalty decision on the grounds set out in that Memorandum. [6] A hearing as to penalty subsequently took place on 29 September 2017 and, at that hearing, penalty submissions were heard from Mr Wallis and Mr T J Sissons, representing Mr Reekie. [7] At the conclusion of that hearing, the Committee reserved its decision. Submissions of Informant [8] Mr Reekie has had three drives this season prior to the drive in question. He had 16 drives in the 2016/2017 season and has had a total of 109 career drives since obtaining an amateur driver’s licence in 2009. He is, therefore, a busy amateur driver, consistently driving in races in the Canterbury area. [9] Mr Reekie’s actions have had a detrimental effect, not only on punters who invested on the race, but also on potential punters who may have been “turned away” by his actions. Those actions have only served to dent the reputation of harness racing. [10] As with all drivers, Mr Reekie carries with him the weight of public money and the integrity of harness racing - two things that cannot be compromised. The Stewards and the JCA must be seen to be protecting these. The Committee is charged with the responsibility of enhancing confidence and integrity within harness racing by imposing the right penalties when asked. [11] The penalty imposed in this case should reflect the serious nature of the breach and also serve as a deterrent to any other driver who believes that style of driving to be acceptable. Mr Reekie’s offending falls towards the higher end of the scale. He has challenged for the lead for approximately 1100 metres, tiring rapidly from the 900 metres and finishing some 35 lengths from the winner. [12] Mr Reekie cannot be given any credit for admitting the breach although a person charged is entitled to defend himself. [13] There have been no charges under the Rule since the new Penalty Guide came into force in May 2015. There have been charges under the race duelling and miscounting the rounds provisions but not for incompetent driving as in this case. The Penalty Guide starting point for incompetent driving under Rule 869 (3) (g) is 60 drives or a $3,000 fine. [14] Mr Reekie has the opportunity to drive in only 24 races per year on the basis of there being two amateur drivers’ races per month. The maximum term of suspension for a breach of the Rule is 12 months so the starting point of 60 drives is irrelevant in this case. [15] While the penalty in this case must be seen as a deterrent, it must also be seen as being fair and reasonable. Stewards submit that a fair and reasonable penalty in this case, in the circumstances, is a suspension of Mr Reekie’s amateur driver’s licence for 7 months and a fine of $500. If there was to be no fine, the Stewards would be seeking a suspension for 12 months. Submissions on Behalf of Respondent [16] Mr Sissons indicated that Mr Reekie would accept either a fine or a suspension but, if possible, not a combination of both. [17] Although there were no relevant recent cases under the Rule, there were a number of earlier cases to which the Committee should have regard. [18] This case was not at the higher end of offences under the Rules, Mr Sissons submitted. He submitted that the appropriate penalty is a suspension of 3-6 months. It was not clear which of the three categories of diminishing chances applied to this case and there was a wide range of starting point for the various starting points, Mr Sissons submitted – from 15 drives (miscounting rounds) to 40 drives (race duelling) to 60 drives (incompetent driving). [19] Mr Sissons referred the Committee to the case of O’Connell (January 2017) in which the Judicial Committee said: Mr O’Connell has made a mistake. He has miscounted the laps and, in doing so, he has improved his horse into the passing lane and asked it for an effort before realising his error. The horse has subsequently dropped away finishing second last behind a horse that had broken early in the race. The connections of the horse and those persons who invested on the horse have been adversely affected by his actions. Mr Sissons submitted that such comment could well apply to Mr Reekie who, instead of miscounting the rounds, had misjudged the pace. The penalty starting point in that race was 15 drives. A starting point of 60 drives in Mr Reekie’s case is not consistent. [20] Mr Sissons then showed a video replay of a race from June 2014 involving an amateur driver contesting the lead for about 1500 metres before the horse compounded and finished last. The Judicial Committee, in that case, imposed a 10-weeks’ suspension, he said. The circumstances of that case were almost identical, Mr Sissons submitted. He quoted from the Judicial Committee decision: We take into account that this is a serious breach and that Mr Frampton has admitted the breach at the first opportunity. Balanced against that is the fact that Mr Frampton persisted in attempting to take the lead when it was clear that the driver of the leading horse was not intending to relinquish the lead, and in doing so extinguished his horse’s chances. The video films confirmed the duelling occurred over various stages of the race and carried on until the 700 metres when MISTER DANN weakened badly to finish a long last. Clearly Mr Frampton made a poor decision and an error of judgement in assessing the pace of the race. In this instance the standard of driving was well below what is acceptable, with the chances of LOFTY BROGDEN being diminished when finishing unplaced and 17 lengths from the winner. The Committee did have regard to the fact that Mr Frampton is an amateur driver. In assessing a suitable penalty in this matter the Committee has to have regard to the penalties handed down to other drivers who have breached this Rule, and to look at the circumstances surrounding those penalties. Those recorded penalties showed a range between 2 days and 12 weeks suspension from driving in races. [21] Mr Sissons then referred to the decision of the Appeals Tribunal in Chilcott (March 2010), a speed-duelling case, in which the Tribunal, referring to the decision in J & C (2000), said: Each case has to depend on its own facts, but the Tribunal identified as a particularly relevant factor, the extent to which the chances of the horse were diminished by the particular driving tactics adopted. Also of relevance to penalty, was the degree of experience of the drivers involved. Ready admission of fault and any previous breach of the Rule were also to be weighed. [22] Mr Sissons dealt with those factors in turn. Mr Reekie has no previous breaches. It is accepted that Mr Reekie cannot receive credit for admitting the breach. While Mr Reekie has been an amateur driver for a number of years, the standard required of an amateur driver is not the same as that for a professional driver. In the case of a breach of a Rule, the professional horseman is held to a slightly higher standard. It is more understandable for an inexperienced driver to “make poor choices” and lapse in judgement. [23] Mr Sissons then referred to three other case in which the inexperience of the driver was specifically referred to. The fact that Mr Reekie is an amateur driver is very relevant in this case and should be weighed in his favour, Mr Sissons submitted. This case should, therefore, not be regarded as being at the high end of the spectrum in terms of penalty. [24] Mr Sissons submitted that, in terms of diminishing the horse’s chances, the “calibre and ability” of the horse is relevant in these cases. Mr Reekie’s horse was 9/10 in the betting. In the recent case of Williamson, the horse was 3rd favourite - the penalty was 24 drives. [25] Mr Reekie has been driving the horse with different tactics in the horse’s recent races. On 10 September, Mr Reekie went back from the start then went around with cover to sit outside the leader. He tried to sprint, but only “plugged”, finishing 6th. The start before that the horse was driven by Open Horseman, Mr J R Dunn. It settled mid-field and finished 8th. On 13 August, driven by Mr Reekie, the horse went around to sit outside the leader before getting cover. It was pulled out at the home turn and only ran on for 9th. ZAKSPATROL is not a good horse, Mr Sissons submitted. While it was accepted that the horse’s chances were diminished, this scenario was different from favourites duelling out in front. The horse’s chances were not significantly affected by Mr Reekie’s drive, Mr Sissons submitted, as it was never going to run in a stakes-bearing position. Neither did it upset the balance of the race, as the favourite won and the 3rd favourite was 4th by a nose. The 2nd favourite had a similar run to the favourite but could not run into it racing down the back. [26] Mr Sissons submitted that amateur drivers’ races are clearly identified as such and the level of risk in investing on such races is increased. [27] Mr Sissons then referred to the case of Stratford (2013), in which the charge was under 869 (3) (a) – incompetent driving – a starting point for penalty of 80 drives or a $4,000 fine. This is a more serious offence, Mr Sissons submitted. He referred to the penalty in that case of a 4-months’ suspension and a $750 fine. Consistency and common sense required that Mr Reekie’s penalty be less severe than that, he submitted. [28] Finally, Mr Sissons reiterated his earlier submission for a penalty of a suspension in the range of 3-6 months. This would be in line with the Stratford and more serious cases. Mr Reekie has been inconvenienced by having to retain counsel and face public reaction to the charge and, even though the original penalty has been vacated, some damage has already been done to Mr Reekie. He submitted that calculation of a suspension for an amateur driver in terms of number of drives may not be appropriate. [29] Mr Reekie had not instructed Mr Sissons as to whether he would prefer a suspension alone or a fine alone. However, Mr Reekie regards a suspension as being the more appropriate penalty for amateurs as they do not earn money from their drives, Mr Sissons said. The Penalty Rule [30] Rule 1003 provides as follows:- (1) A person who commits a breach of any Rule shall (subject to the provisions of Rule 111(1), 113(5), 451(3), 507(3), 1001 or 1004 hereof) shall be liable to the following penalties: (a) a fine not exceeding $10,000.00; and/or (b) suspension from holding or obtaining a licence for a period not exceeding 12 months; and/or (c) disqualification for a period not exceeding 12 months. Reasons for Penalty [31] The starting point for a Judicial Committee tasked with imposing penalty for a breach of any Rule is the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees (effective 1 May 2015). That guide provides that: Committees are expected to operate within the guidelines unless the committee has good reason to believe that the case before it has some special characteristic that justifies the imposition of a penalty greater or lesser than that suggested by the guidelines. [32] That Penalty Guide, for a breach of Rule 869 (3) (g) – diminishing chances by incompetent driving – provides for a starting point of 60 drives or a $3,000 fine. [33] The Committee is satisfied that the present case has a “special characteristic” in that Mr Reekie is an amateur driver and, as such, has the opportunity generally speaking to drive in two races per month and any penalty calculated with reference to a number of drives would result in a very long period of suspension. It was accepted by both parties that, in the particular circumstances of this case, it was inappropriate to adopt a starting point of a particular number of drives. [34] We could deal with Mr Reekie under the fine provision in the Penalty Guide - that is to say, a fine with a starting point of $3,000. However, Mr Sissons, on behalf of Mr Reekie, told us that Mr Reekie’s preference was for a suspension rather than either a fine or a combined penalty of a suspension and a fine. We have considered penalty on that basis and, in any event, we are of the view that a term of suspension is the appropriate penalty for this particular breach. [35] Although, for the reasons given, the Committee does not intend to assess an appropriate period of suspension on the basis of a number of drives, the Penalty Guide starting point of 60 drives is, nevertheless, relevant as we note that particular starting point is the second highest for all breaches provided for in the guide, ranking behind only incompetent driving, Rule 869 (3) (a), for which the starting point is 80 drives, and alongside improper driving in a major race, which is 60 drives. This fact points to the charge of diminishing chances by incompetent driving as being one of the most serious of driving offences and the Committee is treating it as such. Mr Reekie’s drive on ZAKSPATROL in the race in question was more than an error of judgement and displayed a high degree of culpability. [36] This Committee found, in relation to Mr Reekie’s drive in question: The Committee is satisfied that Mr Reekie’s drive between the 2100 metres and the 1100 metres fell far short of the standard of a reasonable and prudent driver and that the chances of ZAKSPATROL in the race were significantly adversely lessened or reduced by the actions that Mr Reekie took. These actions basically involved hotly contesting the lead, resulting in a hot pace . . . with no chance of the lead being available to him. Notwithstanding that, throughout the relevant part of the race, between the 2100 metres and the 1100 metres, Mr Reekie activated the removable deafeners at an early stage and urged his horse throughout with the reins and the whip. That the chances of his horse were diminished is evidenced by the fact that the horse commenced to tire some 900 metres from the finish before dropping out and finishing a long last . . . 35.3 lengths from the winner. The hard run to which Mr Reekie had subjected it had, clearly, taken its toll on the horse and it inevitably weakened out a long way from home. Its chances had been diminished. [37] The Committee has taken into account the seriousness of this breach in comparison with other types of driving breaches. Taking the maximum term of suspension permitted by Rule 1003 of a 12 months’ suspension, we must impose a penalty near to the maximum in this case, since the offending in this case is, in the Committee’s view, near to the most serious of cases for which the penalty is prescribed. At the same time, we must impose the least restrictive penalty that is appropriate. [38] The most important purposes of sentencing to which the Committee has had regard in this case are to hold Mr Reekie accountable for his actions, to promote in him a sense of responsibility for and acknowledgement of his actions, to denounce his driving tactics and to deter him or other persons from committing the same or a similar breach. We have also had regard to the need to assist Mr Reekie in his rehabilitation with a view to enabling him to pursue, in the future, his passion of driving standardbred racehorses in amateur races. [39] The Committee believes that those purposes can all be adequately served by the imposition of a term of suspension of Mr Reekie’s Advanced Amateur licence for a period of 10 months from the date of this decision. A term of suspension of that duration is required to make the penalty for a serious breach of the Rule meaningful in the case of an amateur driver. [40] In arriving at that penalty, the Committee has taken into account Mr Reekie’s previous good record. He has driven, we were told, in 109 races since obtaining his licence in 2009. We accept that Mr Reekie is one of the most experienced amateur drivers in the country and his record is, therefore, a good one. However, along with recognising his experience, comes the expectation of a higher standard of driving than was demonstrated by him in this case, even allowing for the fact he is an amateur driver. [41] Finally, the Committee does not propose to address individually in this decision the previous cases and principles referred to by Mr Sissons in his submissions, except to say that we have taken them into account, where relevant, in deciding the final penalty. We were grateful to Mr Sissons for his most helpful submissions. Penalty [42] Mr Reekie’s Advanced Amateur licence is suspended immediately from the date of this decision for a period of 10 months, expiring on 5th August 2018. Costs [43] There will be no order as to costs as this was the conclusion of a hearing commenced on raceday. R G McKenzie       S C Ching Chair                    Committee Member

Champion harness racing pacer Lazarus has won the (G2) $50,000 Inkwise Canterbury Classic at Addington tonight, and in the process reclaimed his status as New Zealand Trotting Cup favourite with the TAB bookmakers.  Lazarus who was only in to the field to get the race off the ground, began well for driver Mark Purdon and trailed for most of the race, before zipping up the passing lane to grab the leader Have Faith In Me with 50m to go. The winner paced the the 2600m stand in 3-19.3 with a final 800m in a quick 55.3 and 400m in 26.1 seconds.  Heaven Rocks who was expected to be more forward than Lazarus and a better chance tonight, never paced well at any stage and dropped out to finish last of the five horse field. Driver Natalie Rasmussen said, "early indications by the vet, was that Heavens Rock had suffered a fractured pastern, but they would be investigating further after the horse had cooled down". Earlier in the night Bordeaux won the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup for Flaxton (North Canterbury) trainer Philip Iggo.  Bordeaux was taken to the front by driver Dexter Dunn after 600m and he led for the rest of the race, before holding off the strong finish of Great Things Happen and Gavin Smith, to win by a narrow margin. Dexter drove a double for the night when Pat's Delight surged to an impressive win in the 2nd NRM Sires Stakes Heat.  Pat's Delight rated 1-56.0 when defeating a strong field, with a closing 800m in 55.7 and 400m in 27.7 Lazarus narrowly winning the (G2) $50,000 Inkwise Canterbury Classic   Harnesslink Media  

Back New Zealands best pacer Lazarus at your own peril in his $50,000 comeback race at Addington tonight. Trainer-driver Mark Purdon is adamant stablemate Heaven Rocks is a better chance in the 2600m stand and his clear best hope in a race where he has four of the five starters. Lazarus would usually deserve to be favourite in any race he lines up in. After all, he won the New Zealand Cup by 10 lengths last season and easily beat Heaven Rocks the only time they met on race night in March. But champion trainer Purdon warns punters Lazarus is only in tonights race because otherwise it would not have got off the ground.   Initially, I only nominated Heaven Rocks and Have Faith In Me and I was going to trial Lazarus and Dream About Me again, explains Purdon. But when the race only got three entries I had to put the other two in otherwise it would have been scrapped. Laz being Laz he will go great and the race wont hurt him but being a five-year-old stallion he has taken a little longer to come up, whereas Heaven Rocks is right in the zone. Heaven Rockss manners seem good too and while you can never be sure, we are going into the race expecting him to be too fit for Lazarus at this stage. Anything can happen in racing but I think it is important punters know this race wasnt initially going to be on Lazs programme and he might need a run or two before he is back to his best. Heaven Rocks opened the favourite for tonights next step on the path to the New Zealand Cup because he easily accounted for Lazarus in a Rangiora trial last week and looks far more advanced, being an athletic gelding.   Michael Guerin

The harness racing ringaround was in good form last week with six winners and a number of placings again.  Kyle Marshall had the best dividend last week when My Generation got home at Alexandra Park and paid $8.00 and $1.70 on the tote. There are four meetings this week, with one in the North and Three in the South. The highlight this week is the premier meeting at Addington on Friday night, where Lazarus and Heaven Rocks do battle in preparation for the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup in November. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in, so check back often.   Cambridge on Thursday night Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Master George can win at Cambridge in Race 3 Andre Poutama - Andre is opting for Spring Campaign as his best drive this week in Race 9 Jay Abernethy - Jay thinks his best drive on Thursday is Franco Lennox also in Race 9 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks that Our Rosa is a good chance at Cambridge in Race 10   Addington on Friday night Steve Richardson(TAB) - Steve thinks Majestic Moment can go close to winning Race 1 Terry Chmiel - Terry is going for Eden Creek as his best chance this week in Race 3 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week could be Poppymalda in Race 5 Bob Butt - Bob thinks that Wilma's Mate would be his best drive at Addington also in Race 5 John Curtin - John thinks Chase Auckland will win again at Addington in Race 6 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory says his drive Golden Gate could be his best at Addington in Race 9   Northern Southland at Ascot Park on Saturday Mark Jones - Mark says that Si Si Senior would be his best chance this week in Race 4 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks his best drive would be Erin Jaccka this week in Race 8 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Benio Ben as his best drive this week in Race 9 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane is going for Seniorita Margarita as his best drive this week in Race 11 Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks his best chance this week is Silver Dale at Ascot Park also in Race 11   Timaru on Sunday Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard says his best drive this week is No Fears in Race 1 Racechat - Lance is going for Nerve Of Steel as a good winning chance in Race 3 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Baileys Knight as his best bet this week in Race 4 Blair Orange - Blair says that Mongolian Mars would be his best drive this week in Race 5 Brad Williamson - Brad is going for Playboy's Brother as his best chance this week in Race 6 John Morrison - John thinks his best drive this week is Leading The Way at Timaru in Race 9   Harnesslink Media  

Top Canterbury harness racing trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have been forced to add Dream About Me and Lazarus to the Inkwise Canterbury Classic field on Friday night just to get the race off the ground.  Mark Purdon said on the stable website, " It is not ideal but I have been quite happy with Dream About Me. Lazarus I wanted to be as forward as could be in terms of race fitness before he went racing but with only three nominations we want the race to go ahead. It is disappointing but that is the reality of the situation". The field for the 2600m standing start Inkwise Canterbury Classic is:   Book Form   Name Rating Draw Hdcp Trainer 1 6111X3   Dream About Me R129 1 Front M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 2 20X1X3   Seel The Deal R109 2 Front G P & Mrs N M Hope 3 31111X   Lazarus R130 3 Front M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 4 12111X   Heaven Rocks R125 U1 Front M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 5 2623X1   Have Faith In Me R125 U2 Front M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen Also on Friday night, the first Sires Stakes heat at Addington has drawn a top field, including unbeaten Auckland Reactor three year old Chase Auckland. Chase Auckland has looked like a potential top-liner in his first two wins, beating strong fields and running quick sectionals. The field on Friday will be his biggest test to date, with several classy two year olds from last season entered for the race. Wilma's Mate, Great Things Happen and Bordeax are all having their first start back at the races this season in the Yaldhurst Hotel Canterbury Trotting Cup. All four classy trotters have the $300,000 Dominion Handicap in November as their major target. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing and Alta Maestro head a strong field at Cambridge in the first Northern Sires Stakes heat. Robert Dunn has labelled Alta Maestro one of the fastest horses he has trained, and the plan is to head South after the qualifying heat.   Harnesslink Media  

It was a case of minor changes mostly for the respective rankings this week, with two exceptions. In the Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Trot Doctor Bones gained kudos for his impressive win last week, earning him a bump from 33 to 26. No Doctor Needed, in winning the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park last Friday leapt three spots to ninth in the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup rankings. Other than the aforementioned it was a case of jockeying for positions. Monty Python, Arya, Yagunnakissmeornot, Gee Up Needy and Hey Yo enjoyed small improvements in the Dominion. In 'The Cup' other improvers were Jack's Legend and Moonrock. A new set of rankings will be released next week, following the first night of Premier racing for the season at Addington Raceway - with several races on the programme having rankings implications.   For the latest rankings click here!   Courtney Clarke Media and Communications Executive | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 4:20pm Race 1    Chase Auckland is the only horse wanted in this race and he easily leads both FF win and multibetting from Hail Christian Race 2    A quiet market in this race with Rum In The Sun leading multibetting. Some early FF win money for Lundquist and Sunny Demon Race 3    Shebang is best backed in both FF win and multibetting from the Allstars first starter Bettor Trix who is also taking money. Race 4    Renkse B is the mover here and best backed on the FF win from $5.00 to $4.20 and she leads multibetting from Red Moon Rising Race 5    It is one way traffic here for Pats Legacy who leads both win and multibetting from The Brooklyn Brawler Race 6    B D Love is best backed here and he leads both FF win and multibetting from Sundons Flyer Race 7    Alta Orlando is best backed on the FF win and he also leads multibetting from Whittaker Race 8    Ready To Rumble is easily best backed in this race and he also leads multi-betting from Donegal Davy Boyd Race 9    A quiet market in this race with Idle Moose leading multibetting. Some early FF win money for Agatha Tyrone and Redwood Invasion Race 10   The Bus is the only runner wanted in this race and he leads both FF win and multis Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

It could be an advantage to Heaven Rocks for the first major clash of the harness racing season. The biggest names in pacing -- Lazarus, Heaven Rocks and Have Faith In Me --- trialled at Rangiora on Wednesday, as their final public lead-ups to Addington on Friday week. And the way Heaven Rocks dealt to his two superstar stablemates suggests he could start favourite for their season-opening clash. Heaven Rocks displayed perfect manners not only at the start of the 2600m standing start but also at near full speed over the last 800m in 55 seconds. That was enough to see him overcome his 40m handicap to beat Robbie Burns, who started off the front, with Lazarus (40m) not asked for his maximum effort in third. Have Faith In Me galloped badly early and was fourth. While it was only a trial and Lazarus was not asked for his best, the ease with which Heaven Rocks won, suggested he is more forward than the NZ Cup winner, which driver and co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen was quick to confirm. “Lazarus has developed into a real stallion, very big and thick through the neck and the shoulder so he is taking a little longer to come up,” says Rasmussen. “And being a stallion, they often take a race or two to come to hand and get that fat out of them. “Whereas Heaven Rocks is a big, athletic horse, obviously not a stallion, and he is very forward. “His manners have been great this time in and I have done a lot of one on one work with him, which I think suits him because he is a very finicky horse. “So while we are very happy with them both, Heaven Rocks will probably be the more naturally forward of the two when they race next week. “Still, it will be hard to tip against Lazarus, because he always turns up on raceday.” The pair will makes their seasonal debuts in the $50,000 Canterbury Classic on Friday week, with Have Faith In Me certain to be among their rivals and Dream About Me also a possibility. That would make the race a serious early trial for the New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 14, with potentially only the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on October 23, likely to be as strong among the lead-up race. While nobody at the All Stars is panicking over Lazarus’s fitness, the consistently positive news about Heaven Rocks has seen him shorten into $2.60 with the NZ TAB for the Cup, while the defending champion is out to $2.30, suggesting they could be joint favourites in just over a week if Heaven Rocks resumes with a victory. Michael Guerin

The harness racing ringaround was in good form last week with five winners and a number of placings again.  Shane Walkinshaw had the best dividend when Always The Brave got home at Invercargill and paid $8.70 and $1.80 on the tote. There are four meetings this week, with one in the North and Three in the South. The highlight this weekend is the (G3) Banks Peninsular Troting Cup at Motukarara Raceway on Sunday. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in, so check back often   Winton on Thursday Brad Williamson - Brad says his best chance this week is Big Smoke at Winton in Race 2 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane is going for Lite Percussion as his best drive this week also in Race 2 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory says his drive Takenoprisoners could be his best at Winton in Race 3 Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks his best chance is Silver Dale at Winton in Race 4 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Gypsy's Choice as his best drive this week in Race 7 John Morrison - John thinks his best drive this week is Lorretta Franco at Winton in Race 8   Auckland on Friday night Jay Abernethy - Jay thinks his best drive on Friday is The Hulk in Race 2 Maurice McKendry - Maurice says his best drive is Jack Nicholson at Alexandra Park in Race 4 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks his best chance is Queen Lostris at Alexandra Park in Race 5 Kyle Marshall - Kyle is going for My Generation as his best drivew this week in Race 7 Andre Poutama - Andre is opting for Valour Lustre as his best drive this week in Race 8   Addington on Friday night John Curtin - John thinks Chase Auckland will win again at Addington in Race 1 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Shebang as his best bet this week in Race 3 Steve Richardson(TAB) - Steve thinks Bubble Gum can go close to winning in Race 8 Racechat - Lance is going for Spondulicks as a good winning chance also in Race 8 Mark Jones - Mark says that The Bus would be his best chance this week in Race 10   Banks Peninsular on Sunday Harnesslink Reporter - likes Downtown Train for some value at Motukarara in Race 3 Jim Curtin - Jim is opting for Mega Watt as his best chance this week in Race 4 Bob Butt - Bob thinks his best drive this week would be Stompem in Race 7 Blair Orange - Blair says that Habibty Ivy would be his best drive this week in Race 8 Ricky May - Ricky thinks his best drive is Augusta at Motukarara in Race 9 Terry Chmiel - Terry is going for Laytons Lass as his best chance this week in Race 10   Harnesslink Media  

The progeny of harness racing champion Auckland Reactor are starting to emerge throughout Australasia, including a potential topliner who won his first race-day start in good fashion at Addington today (Saturday). Chase Auckland was having his first start out of the Purdon/Rasmussen All Stars Stable and ended up demolished a strong field without being fully extended by his driver Natalie Rasmussen. The race was run at a solid clip, with Rasmaussen taking Chase Auckland to the front after 600m. Despite a strong mid race attack by second favourite Ready To Rumble and Blair Orange, Chase Auckland had the field covered at the turn, and he went on to win by more than five lengths with no urging needed from the driver. The speedy Auckland Reactor gelding paced the 1950m mobile in a 1.58.8 mile rate with a closing 800m in 58.4 and 400m in 28.7 seconds. Ironically it was exactly 10 years to the day that Auckland Reactor won his first start. It was on the 16th of September 2007 at Timaru rating a 2.01.9 mile rate over 2000 metres.. Chase Auckland will now head to a heat of the Sires Stakes Series in a few weeks time. Chase Auckland winning easily in quick time. Harnesslink Media

Canterbury amateur harness racing driver Ray Reekie was suspended for 2 1/2 years for driving in a manner which diminished his chances of winning a race at Addington today.  Reekie who is well known for his agressive driving, challenged Alan Edge driving Russian Express for the lead between the 2100 metres and 1100 metres before weakening from the 900 metres to finishing a distant last on his own horse Zakspatrol. Of particular concern to the Stewards was his decision to maintain his challenge for the lead for such an extended period, after his initial challenge had been unsuccessful. After hearing the explanation tendered by Mr Reekie, Stewards issued him a charge under Rule 869(3)(g) in that he drove in a manner capable of diminishing Zakspatrol's chance of winning the race.  The JCA subsequently suspended Reekie's Amateur Horseman's licence from the conclusion of racing today up to and including 15th March 2020, a period of 2 1/2 years. Harnesslink Media

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 10.40am Race 1     Gunpowder is easily best backed in FF win and leads multi-betting over Russian Express. Race 2     Karmic Way is best backed in both FF win and multi-betting and is in from an opening quote of $2.30 to $1.75 Some money early for Just Dance Race 3     Best backed in this race is Michele and she is leading multi betting from Idle Moose. Race 4     Chase Auckland is the best backed horse for the day and is in from $2.00 to $1.55 He also easily leads multi-betting. Race 5     The Foot Tapper easily leads both FF win and multi-betting with some money for Donsmedad Race 6     This race is a quiet market early with best backed in FF win and multi-betting being Mikey Maguire at $2.50 Race 7     Have Faith In Me attracted a $1000 bet early and leads FF win betting . Dream About Me leads multi-betting. Race 8     Leader in FF win is Cullenburn in from $2.60 to $2.20 with Beachbabebeauty also taking money Race 9     A big move here for Habibti Ivy in from $2.00 to $1.70. She is easily best backed in FF win and multi-betting. Race 10    An even market here with Micky Gee best backed $4.20 to $3.70 and leading multi-betting over Amazon Lily.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

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