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With only 6 weeks of the harness racing season to go, Addington is on track towards paying out $8.4m in stakes and bonuses for the 2016/17 year, up 8.4% from the $7.75m paid out in 2015/16. Of particular note has been the large increase in Met Multiplier bonuses paid out which is forecast to top $400,000, a mammoth 78% ahead of last season. Outgoing Addington Chief Executive Dean McKenzie commented: “These numbers are testament to the Clubs ability to maximise non racing revenue to underpin the large increases we have been able to sustain in stakes and bonuses over the last few years. In simple terms total Stakes and Bonuses have increased $2.1m or 34% here at Addington since 2012, a marvellous achievement for the Club”. “With additional industry funds looking like they are beginning to flow for next season and beyond, after a sustained period of flat returns, things are certainly on the upward plane which is really encouraging” Addington will look to announce its 2017/18 stakes and bonuses in the coming weeks prior to the new season kicking off on 1 August 2017.  Darlene Loader

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 5:00pm Race 1 - Idle Moose $2.05 - $1.70 has been heavily backed in win & multi betting. Largest bet $2,000 at $2.00 & $2,500 at $1.80.   Race 2 - Rocknroll Princess $2.40 easily leads win & multi betting over RR Sand Dollar $6.80.   Race 3 - Vinny Gambini $1.90 - $1.70 easily leads win & multi betting over Tara Tuaia $9.50 - $6.50.   Race 4 - Indiana Dreaming $2.10 is huge in multi & win betting.   Race 5 - Dark Horse $2.10 - $1.90 is easily the best backed with the largest bets $1,818 at $2.10 & $2,000 at $2.00.   Race 6 - Bright Diamond $3.00 & Sheriff $2.90 are best backed in win betting with Angel Of Harlem $2.70 leading multi betting over Sheriff $2.90.   Race 7 - Mongolian Storm $2.50 leads win betting over Duplicated $2.90 with that runner leading multi betting.   Race 8 - The only runner wanted here is Cuddly Jess $2.30.   Race 9 - Cash N Flow $1.80 - $1.60 is the best backed runner on the day in win & multi betting.   Race 10 - The debut runner Jungle Gem $2.30 is best backed in win betting over Burning Rubber $5.20 & Motu Bettor Be Quick $7.00.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Although Cup Day is widely known as the biggest day of the year for Addington Raceway when over 20,000 people come to socialise, celebrate and enjoy a day of hospitality and entertainment and harness racing, winter continues to be a very busy time with one of the biggest weekends just passed with the Crusaders vs The British and Irish Lions. Addington's General Manager-Operations, Brian Thompson commented: "Next to Cup Day, Saturday June 10 was our busiest event day of the year, with both stands full with more than 1500 people attending pre-and post-rugby events at the Raceway. There was an amazing atmosphere with a mix of both Crusaders and Lions supporters. The day was bigger than last year's All Blacks vs South Africa game, the recent Bruce Springsteen concert and the Crusaders vs Hurricanes super rugby match. Further information about this is attached. DARLENE LOADER

With uncut gems on the line, a princess would be a more than fitting winner tonight at Addington. And Gavin Smith feels he has the perfect candidate for a major race success in one of three new races to the calendar at tonight’s meeting - the Uncut Gems. Smith picks up the drive on North Island mare, Rocknroll Princess in the $40,000 event and the pair will be looking to emulate their effort when they last combined at Addington, which saw them impressive victors. The Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained mare hasn’t been sighted since the Harness Jewels, but will relish a drop in class for tonight’s assignment - even from her outside of the second line draw. “She was massive the last time I drove her at Addington,” Smith said. “Her bad draw at the Jewels over a mile pretty much took her out of play straight away, but back to the 2600 metres should really suit her I think. “With no real superstars in the mix she has to be a pretty big show.” Domiciled at the Robert Dunn stable on Woodend Beach while in the South Island, Rocknroll Princess should start close to favourite in what is a reasonably even looking field. Her potential in the second race of the night could see Smith kick off in style on what should be a good night at the office. He has a number of his own runners engaged at the meeting, including the reigning two-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, Di’z Luck who is again a chance in an open maiden trot. Smith was blaming himself her for her last start effort at Ashburton but is still realistic about her chances tonight. “She was driven upside down last time out, as she is better saved for the one run. “We’ve got a tough draw this week, but she will be running on strong at the end of things.” Smith will chase a second uncut gem when He’s Like The Wind lines up in the trotters’ event - taking on the likes of Lemond and Dark Horse. He too disappointed when heavily supported at Ashburton. “He was awful,” Smith said. “So I’ve upped his workload and made a few changes in his diet. “I wouldn’t say I’m sure he’s 100 per cent, but at his best he could probably lead them up and place I think.” All Settled Down will also line up for the North Canterbury trainer, and on her best day she would go close to winning tonight in an even field, but her chances often are a reflection of her mood and manners. “I’m not sure a big gap in between her races was the right thing for her last time. “She’s good enough to win, and her work has been strong, but she will need to behave and get that little bit of luck.” Smith’s final runner tonight is arguably the most exciting prospect in his stable in two-year-old Bright Diamond who looked set to cause a major upset short of the post at the Harness Jewels before he laboured late and finished fourth. “I thought his run was super, we were over the moon with it.” The promising colt lines up in a $8,000 two-year-old event tonight and even with some quality opposition on hand to try and spoil his party, Smith still feels he’s a big winning chance. “I think he will be hard to beat, even with some really nice types in there.” Smith also has a decent each way chance early in the night with Sharknado who will operate from a handy draw for Phil Burrows.   Matt Markham’s Addington Selections Race 1: Idle Moose, Di’z Luck, Sunrise Spur, Unique Marshall Race 2: Rocknroll Princess, Sails, RR Sand Dollar, Amazon Lily Race 3: Vinny Gambini, Sharknado, Covered N Diamonds, Camwell Park Race 4: Pirate Bay, Indianna Dreaming, Daylight Robbery, Hayley Nicole Race 5: Dark Horse, Lemond, Petite One, He’s Like The Wind Race 6: Sheriff, Bright Diamond, Angel Of Harlem, Samskara Race 7: Mongolian Storm, Duplicated, Shineonyoucrazydiamond, Franco Tai Race 8: All Settled Down, Craddock, Rum In The Sun, Cuddly Jess Race 9: Cash N Flow, Moonrock, Superfecta, Usain Colt Race 10: Jungle Gem, Burning Rubber, Motu Bettor Be Quick, Dance N Jewel Best Bet: Cash N Flow (Race 9) Value: All Settled Down (Race 8)

Dark Horse has found almost the perfect race to end her breakout season. Because while the $40,000 Uncut Gems Trot at Addington tonight is ideal as of now, in a totally perfect scenario Dark Horse wouldn’t be eligible for it. The new series is for horses four-year-old and over who are Sires’ Stakes eligible but have yet to win a race worth more than $50,000 or run in the top two (trot) or top three (pacing race) at the Jewels. Dark Horse sneaks into that criteria because she was third, after being heavily backed, in the four-year-old trot at the Jewels two weeks ago. So while trainer Nathan Williamson would rather have won then and not been eligible for tonight’s 2600m standing start, he loves the conditions of the race now it is back on his radar. “Since she didn’t win at the Jewels, or run second, this race couldn’t be more perfect,” says the Southland trainer. “It is back to a standing start, not a huge field and nowhere as strong as the Jewels but still worth big money. “And I really wanted to give her a start at Addington before she went for a spell because she will probably race there quite a bit next season. “So maybe it all works out well.” While Dark Horse was anything but disgraced at the Jewels on a day when horses coming from off the marker pegs struggled, Williamson is adamant the best wasn’t seen of the speed freak. “It was her first big trip away and she didn’t really settle or eat that well. “So I left her at Dad’s stables (Oamaru) and he said she is far more relaxed now than she was two weeks ago so I am sure she will be better this time around.” While she faces a 20m handicap tonight, Williamson was confident enough to advise Dark Horse’s owners to pay a $2000 late entry fee to get into the race. Northern trotter Lemond, who also came from off the speed for fourth to Dark Horse’s third at the Jewels, is an obvious class danger tonight even though his improvement curve seems to have momentarily flattened out. Tonight’s Uncut Gem for the male pacers looks ideal for Cash N Flow, who has had no luck lately after galloping from a stand and then drawing poor in the Jewels. The mares Uncut Gem looks the most even of the three new races but if northern mare Rocknroll Princess can race up to her national record win two starts ago she has to be hard to beat. Michael Guerin

A $10 bet late in April is still reaping the rewards for Jesse Alford. The Christchurch sales rep was standing at the Rangiora races on April 23 with $10 left in his betting budget for the day and was contemplating chucking it all on Classie Brigade to win the Rangiora Classic. A last minute change of heart however and a little inside knowledge saw what would have been a $48 return become one worth more than $5,500 after he took a percentage quaddie on the last four races. “I think I took $50 to the races that day and hadn’t had much luck.” Alford said. “I was going to put it on Classie Brigade but decided I was better anchoring him in the Quaddie.” Classie Brigade duly delivered in the Group Three and when Forgotten Highway won the next, things were on track, albeit looking set to be rather small. But when Lavros Jack came from nowhere to run past Missandei at odds of $16-to-one and then It’s All Over Now won the last at $12 - Alford was laughing his way right to the tote. “I’d been driving It’s All Over Now a bit lately and just chucked him in based on that. “So I guess I was a bit lucky in that sense.” With a full wallet and a smile on his face, Alford enjoyed the next couple of days before a phone call from Jonny Cox set the wheels in motion for a little more profit from the return. “Jonny rang me and asked if I still had any of that money left, and when I said I did, he said he had a horse for me to buy with it, Regal Assassin. “Initially I wasn’t that keen, but he talked me around.” Alford was joined in the ownership of the two-year-old trotter by Cox’s partner, Kim Butt and the Australian duo of Matt Peden and Josh Tinning. A fortnight ago things weren’t looking all that good though. “He wasn’t working that good to be fair, but we chucked him in the non tote at Addington to see where we were at with absolutely no expectations.” Regal Assassin made up many lengths behind the promising Marquis De Sade to finish second and all of a sudden, Alford could see there was some method to the madness after all. The on Friday night, the initial return of that Quaddie at Rangiora was returned when Regal Assassin got over the top of One Over Da Skye late to win the maiden trot. And the man who got it all to happen, courtesy of a bet, never had a cent on him. “I didn’t want to jinx it, so I didn’t back him.” The performance has resulted in a couple of offers being put in front of the quartet of owners so their time together could be quite short, but Alford has other interests to keep him going. He works all day until 4pm and then heads out to Cox’s stable to work a full-sister to Captain Peacock and a half-sister to American Tart to help earn his keep. “I enjoy it, it’s good fun and gives me something to do after work.” Alford is also involved in syndicates with young trainer Jack Harrington, including the talented trotter, Hey Yo. Matt Markham  

For a horse who four weeks ago wasn’t a show of making the Harness Jewels, Buster Brady has certainly risen to the occasion. And judging by his effort to win Friday night’s Winter Cup at Addington, the old Buster is firmly back in business and that means he’s not without a forlorn hope in a very good field in the 4YO Emerald in two weeks time. The win also gave further plaudits to the decision of Buster Brady’s trainer Jock Austin to send his star pacer out to the beach and into the care of Regan Todd. “He’ certainly feels like the old version of Buster Brady,” driver Dexter Dunn said after the race. Having his third start since becoming a beach resident, Buster Brady enjoyed a saloon run in the trail throughout the two mile event behind the pace-making Classie Brigade. With that run and a last mile which was recorded in 1:53, Dunn had the pleasure of simply angling Buster Brady into the clear air up the passing lane and surging him to the line to hold off the late challenge of Piccadilly Princess to claim the win. The performance will elevate Buster Brady up the rankings ahead of the Jewels - a race which now becomes a realistic target. “We have to have a look at it now,” Todd said. “But ultimately that will be up to Jock, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t work out that way. “He’s going good and really enjoying the beach.” The second placing of Piccadilly Princess should be enough to see her into Jewels contention, although there are some contenders still to race over the weekend who could usurp her if they are successful. Waikiki Beach, who started off a 30 metre handicap, was brave in his effort for third after sitting parked -a performance which sees him right in contention for Jewels success when he squares off with Heaven Rocks on June 3. Matt Markham  

Greg and Nina Hope wouldn’t have had too many concerns in signing off on Ricky May’s driving fee for his effort behind Enghien in the PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Series Final last night. Because while horses winning is as much about the motor they possess, success should also be attributed to, and if often not, the person sitting behind and guiding them and in May’s case last night, it was great horsemanship. It was as clear as day for all in sundry to see that Enghien wasn’t handling the Addington bends as well as he should, and it was just as clear that it was May’s patient and kind hands that helped nurse him through those rough patches which ultimately won him the race. “I think the track was a bit hard for him” May said after the race. “He just wasn’t that comfortable on them as what he should be, he never trots them that well but he was a little worse than usual tonight.” While many will see it as a major flaw heading into the Harness Jewels in two weeks time, there was very little concern if any from the Hope camp. A few gear changes and the more roomy Ashburton bend should help sort the issues. “I’m not worried,” Greg Hope said. “It’s just minor things that we can sort I think. The main thing is that the motor is there.” While May’s drive drew plenty of plaudits there was also just as many for Mark Purdon for his effort on President Roydon who set the terms from the top and went down fighting. Purdon identified that Enghien wasn’t comfortable around the bends and did everything he could to try and ensure that his rival was hitting the bends at speed by holding the running line. In the end Enghien’s class, once balanced up in the straight, showed through and he won reasonably comfortably with May rather quiet in the sulky up the straight. The two bits of horsemanship drew plenty of praise on social media with former World Champion driver, Mark Jones weighing in on twitter to say that it was “true horsemanship from two of the best.” An hour later it was Brad Williamson who was earning the praise for his handling of the exciting Majestic Man who was simply stunning winning the Sires’ Stakes Final for the baby trotters. Trained by his father, Phil the excitement machine did some work after being balanced along early by Williamson and showed his staying potential with a bold effort to run past BJ Lidenny and the brave More Shades Of Gold who set the speed from the front. “I nearly lost him a few times around the first bend,” Brad said. “But after that he was great, he’s going to be a really good three-year-old but is doing a good job now.” Owned by the well-populated, Griffins Syndicate, most of whom were on hand last night to enjoy the win, Majestic Man gives Brad a great chance to follow in the footsteps of his brothers, Nathan and Matty and become a Jewels winning driver in two weeks time. Matt Markham

Natalie Rasmussen’s reserved, but powerful, raise of the fist at the end of last night’s New Zealand Oaks at Addington was a salute to a filly who she is fast considering to be one of her favourite horses of all time. Naturally, nothing will ever quite measure up to the legendary Black’s A Fake, but if you asked the 16-time New Zealand Group One winning driver who was next, Spanish Armada’s name would be right up there. “I’ve just got so much time for this horse,” Rasmussen said. “She’s everything you could ask for in a horse really, she’s one of my most favourite horses at the moment.” With brimming confidence and a strong knowledge of what was going on around her, Rasmussen was on a one-way mission in the $150,000 Group One last night and was never going to back down from the challenge of starting off the second row and having to work her way into the race. “I just had so much faith in her, and what she is capable of. “Her work during the week was exceptional I thought and she really felt on top of her game so I knew we were good to go heading into the race. “The circumstances worked out alright, but she did have to work quite a few times in the race in tricky conditions. “But her staying ability was always going to be her best asset and it showed with the way she really kept at it the entire way to the line.” Despite the inclement weather, Spanish Armada still managed to stop the clock in a staggering 3:09.1, obliterating the previous best mark for a three-year-old filly in a 2600 metre mobile, which was held by De Lovely from when we won the Oaks in 3:10.9 back in 2010. It was another magical moment for Jean Feiss, who has enjoyed a stellar run over the past few seasons. And that fun hasn’t stopped. The Harness Jewels are the next stop on the path to greatness for Spanish Armada and based on her performances over the past two weeks, she’s going to be the one they all have to beat again over the mile at Ashburton. Bonnie Joan was a gallant second, beaten by a superstar, after doing plenty of work. “She’s gone great, as good as she could have really,” Dexter Dunn said of his drive. Upmost Delight emerged from the pack to run a strong third and earn herself a Jewels berth while Mark Purdon was simply beaming at the effort of Partyon who ran on strongly from well back in the field for fourth. Purdon, less than 45 minutes earlier, had been tasting big race success himself as a driver when he partnered Spankem to win the Sires’ Stakes Final for the two-year-olds. The Jewels leader in the Emerald, Spankem enjoyed a nice trip just off the speed before unleashing to win effortlessly. “He deserved that big one,” Purdon said after the race. “And with that run he was always going to be very hard to beat I thought. “He’s quite an exceptional horse.” Spankem is owned by the same connections who enjoyed the win of The Devil’s Own in last week’s Yearling Sales Series Final, capping a big week for the group who will now look forward to the Jewels with both horses.   Matt Markham  

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 3:10pm Race 1 - Sweet Loress $13 - $12 is best backed in win betting over Delight My Soul $29 - $26 with Pirate Bay $3.80 a clear leader in multi betting.   Race 2 - Lavros Jack $3.80 easily leads multi betting but best backed in win betting is The Foot Tapper $7.00 - $5.00.   Race 3 - The $1.17 favourite Enghien has stifled win betting but in multi betting punters are happy to include him.    Race 4 - Mac Almighty $2.80 leads win & multi betting easily. The $2.30 opening favourite Don Domingo was late scratched at 12:17pm with 35% win and 23% place deductions applying to any bets placed prior to that time.   Race 5 - One Muscle Hill $2.40 is best backed over Castlereagh $11.50 - $8.50 & Renezmae $11.00. One Muscle Hill easily leads multi betting.   Race 6 - Piccadilly Princess $10 - $9.00 leads win betting over Cash N Flow $1.70 but that runner leads multi betting easily & is going 2 to 1 in ticket sales over Waikiki Beach $3.80.   Race 7 - The Fixer $4.20 - $3.20 is the big win mover here & is best backed over Eamon Maguire $3.50. There isn't a lot of ticket sale difference between the first three favourites early in multi betting (Let It Ride $3.80 is the 3rd favourite).   Race 8 - Elle Mac $1.60 is huge in multi betting but in win betting Shenandoah $4.50 is easily the best backed runner.   Race 9 - Spankem $1.95 just leads win betting over Alta Maestro $2.70 but the favourite is going 8 to 1 in multi ticket sales over the 2nd favourite.   Race 10 - Habibiti Ivy $3.20 just leads win & multi betting over Wilma's Mate $3.80.   Race 11 - Bonnie Joan $2.40 leads win betting but a clear multi leader early is the $2.20 favourite Spanish Armada $2.20.   Race 12 - Moonrock $3.90 has been easily the best backed runner early & also leads multi betting easily.   Best backed multi runners in order: R8 -   Elle Mac $1.60  R9 -   Spankem $1.95 R3 -   Enghien $1.17  R11 - Spanish Armada $2.20  R5 -   One Muscle Hill $2.40  R6 -   Cash N Flow $1.70  R7 -   Thefixer $3.20    6 of the above 7 multi favourites are trained by the All Star Stable. A $10 multi on the above 7 runners will return you $1,048 at the current odds.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

There’s everything to gain and everything to lose for plenty on a big night of harness racing tonight at Addington. With the Harness Jewels meeting creeping ever closer as each day passess, the potential permutations who head into harness headquarters this evening, chasing big stake money and any form of advantage that might fall their way ahead of big meeting. From a punter’s perspective the most attention will come, not in the two or three major races of the night, but more courtesy of some of the lower profile events on the card. In particular, Four-Year-Old Ruby joint-favourite, Marcoola. The rising star hasn’t raced this year and is unlikely to race again before the Jewels, so a good run under the belt tonight will be paramount to justify his $2.60 quote that is on offer with bookmakers now. From the outside of the front line from behind the mobile, we won’t expect too many fireworks from Clint Ford, but if the speed is lacking during the middle stages, he’ll be moving and Marcoola will find himself up on the speed. Defeat tonight may result in a drifting of his current Jewels quote, so punters would be best served to take the wait and see approach with the multiple Derby winner. Of all the horses going around tonight though, the pressure is the most on Piccadilly Princess. She needs stake money to work her way into the Jewels. Currently she sits in the 13th spot on the order of entry for the Four-Year-Old Diamond, but with Rockstar Angel looking likely to fill the Australian invite spot in that race, 13th won’t be good enough to give her the chance to go for back-to-back Jewels successes. Should she only fill a minor placing tonight, the potential is still there for her spot to be taken from over the course of the weekend with both Hopes And Dreams and Idealistic Lass within striking distance if they can pick up easy kills at both Invercargill and Oamaru respectively. The former particularly looks a really strong winning chance which will see her rise up and into the top 12 for Graeme Anderson. Piccadilly Princess has the arduous task of contending with her high class stablemates, Waikiki Beach and Cash N Flow tonight which will just make her task all that much harder. Cash N Flow was given a very strong push by Natalie Rasmussen on the All Stars website this week. The four-year-old has slipped under the guard for much of his career, but compiled a rather impressive record and isn’t without a show in the Four-Year-Old Emerald next month against some quality opposition.   Matt Markham’s Addington Selections Race 1: #6 Pirate Bay, #7 Delight My Soul, #11 Hilarious Magic, #9 Late Mail Race 2: #12 Needle, #13 Lavros Jack, #3 Habibi Inta, #2 Regal Love Race 3: #5 Enghien, #6 President Roydon, #8 Kissmeimloaded, #3 Di’z Luck Race 4: #8 Don Domingo, #3 Mac Almighty, #11 Patanjali, #5 Franco Tai Race 5: #8 Sundee’s Son, #4 Paramount King, #3 One Muscle Hill, #14 Majestic Man Race 6: #3 Cash N Flow, #10 Waikiki Beach, #9 Classie Brigade, #8 Piccadilly Princess Race 7: #8 Let It Ride, #9 Eamon Maguire, #5 The Fixer, #4 Star Galleria Race 8: #8 Elle Mac, #3 Shenandoah, #4 Dizzy Miss Lizzy, #7 Bettor Joy Race 9: #3 Alta Maestro, #4 Spankem, #8 The Devil’s Own, #1 Aloka Race 10: #7 Wilma’s Mate, #9 Marcoola, #8 Habibti Ivy, #1 Missandei Race 11: #12 Spanish Armada, #6 Bonnie Joan, #9 Partyon, #5 Juice Brogden Race 12: #8 Moonrock, #4 Sparkling Delight, #13 Mongolian Hero, #1 Donegal Carrickfinn Best Bet: Don Domingo (Race 4) Value: Needle (Race 2)

Steven Reid knows he’s taking a gamble but an impressive workout at Pukekohe last Saturday has convinced the Franklin conditioner to take Star Galleria south and try and qualify him for the Harness Jewels Final. Star Galleria and Tony Herlihy (MNZM) will start from gate four in tonight's Garrards New Zealand Sires Stakes Sophomore Classic for the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The Listed 1950m mobile is worth $40,000 and Reid knows he is going to have to finish in the first two to qualify for the Group One $150,000 3yo Emerald at Ashburton Raceway on June 3. Star Galleria is currently ranked 21 and has earned $23,675 this season. He needs another $8,711 to make the 12-strong final. “It’s a bit of a punt. He went so well at the workouts on Saturday I just had to give him his chance to line up against the best. I honestly think he’s a very good 3-year-old and at his best would hold his own against the guns,” Reid said. Six months ago Reid would have given him little chance of heading south. The Art Major gelding kicked out at a gate and suffered serious leg injuries. “He suffered a massive hole in his leg and I actually thought that might be his career all over before it hardly started. The vet told me if the hole had been three or four inches lower on the hock that would have been the end of him ever racing again. “He left last night (Monday) and I’ll go down later in the week. Simon (McMullan) is looking after him,” Reid said. Star Galleria and Reid trailed Alta Intrigue for most of Saturday's left handed R64 to R77 Workout. In the lane they strolled passed the pace-maker to win by half a length under a huge hold. The gifted bay paced the 2500m mobile in 3:12.9 (mile rate 2:04 even) and home in 57.7 and 27.1. “I actually timed him to go 26.8. I never let him go. That was a pretty nice win and showed me that he’s back. He was once exceptional in work but it’s taken him a long time after his injury to get back to where he should be. “He’s starting to show signs of his old self and if he keeps improving like I think he can win on Friday. It won’t be easier but he is one of the better 3-year-olds I have ever put a bridle on and he feels like the old Star Galleria again,” Reid said. Reid said he regretted throwing Star Galleria into the deep end and then backed him up when he resumed from his spell at Alexandra Park on April 21 and 28. “They went 2:39 in his first run back for almost five months and then the following week they went 2:36.9. That’s a hell of a big ask after what he went through. You can’t change history but looking back now I shouldn’t have backed him up,” said Reid. Star Galleria was fifth in both of those races finishing two-and-a-half lengths and six lengths from the winners respectively. If he doesn’t finish in the first two on Friday Reid said he would bring the gelding home and then possibly look at the Queensland Derby in Brisbane in July. He is not paid up for the Breeders’ Crown. Star Galleria has raced six times this season for two wins. All-up his career record stands at seven starts, three wins, no placings and $34,44 in stakes. Reid owns him with his breeder Reg Caldow and John Screen and Terese Screen. Duane Ranger

The 2017 version of the Kiwi Punting Championship (KPC) has just got a whole lot better with the addition of automatic qualification for the winner of the KPC Final into the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) to be held in Las Vegas in February 2018. The most recent NHC offered prize money and rewards totalling more than US$2.9m and was limited to approximately 660 entrants. So, the winner of this year’s KPC Final, to be held at Addington on Show Day November 17, will not only take home $50,000 cash but will also win an all-expenses paid trip for two to Las Vegas to be New Zealand’s rep to compete for a prize pool in the vicinity of US$2.9m. In conjunction with the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), Addington Raceway see this as a natural extension to the $100,000 KPC prize pool that has been up for grabs since inception in 2014. Addington Raceway CEO Dean McKenzie commented, “The chance to go to Las Vegas, all expenses paid and have an approximate 1 in 660 chance of taking home a piece of US$2.9m makes this year’s KPC the most exciting contest yet. The NHC is a fabulous event hosted right on the strip in Las Vegas and is a once in a lifetime chance to compete for a huge pot of gold with realistic odds on offer. We would like to thank the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) in North America for all their assistance in making this announcement possible”. “The continued involvement and support of the NZRB is also critical for the KPC to reach its true potential and together we are working on even bigger and better innovations. We acknowledge our sincere appreciation of this on-going partnership”.  Finalised 2017 KPC information and registration details will be announced in the near future.   HRNZ  

The warning light is blinking above the head of talented trotter Marcoola as he prepares for his belated return at Addington tomorrow night. Because trainer-driver Clint Ford says while the four-year-old is good enough to win only his second start of the year he may not find himself into a position to do so. Marcoola is using tomorrow night’s $20,000 trot as his lead-up to the Jewels at Ashburton on June 3 and goes into the race without only one trial in the last three months. Complicating that is the fact he has drawn the outside of the front line over the mobile 1950m, with some serious speedsters in Lemond, Wilma’s Mate and Habibti Ivy drawn inside him. At his best this season Marcoola has been stunning -- winning the Flying Mile at Cambridge by 12 lengths and pushing Monbet to a half-head in the NZ Free-For-All. But he has also proved expensive for punters, finishing unplaced in three of his last four, with Ford admitting his driving tactics have not helped on occasion. “I drove him too hard in a couple of races but I don’t think that will be the case this week,” he warns. “Sure, I’d love to win but with all that speed inside me he is more likely to be driven in the field for at least the first half of the race. “I think that will be good for him and if the tempo doesn’t suit he might not be able to win.”Marcoola is in the strange position of being joined by Dark Horse, who has never even raced in a major trot, as favourite for the four-year-old Jewels trot, incredible considering Marcoola’s open class achievements. Ford believes the free-going stallion can peak for Jewels day and he won’t make the mistake of bypassing the Jewels trials, as he did last year. “That was my mistake and he was too fresh last season. “But this year he will go to the Jewels trials and if he draws well I will be very surprised if he can’t trot 1:55 (for a mile) around Ashburton at the Jewels.” Meanwhile, northern pacer Rhythm N Blues could win his way into the Jewels in a mere $7500 race at Cambridge tonight. The speedster sits 14th in the entry of order so winning race five tonight would all but guarantee him his spot in the three-year-old Emerald on June 3. His divisions has an added question mark over it with trainer Cran Dalgety informing HRNZ that Northern Derby winner Raukapuka Ruler has been under a slight health cloud this week and could be doubtful for the Jewels, although more will be known tomorrow.   Michael Guerin

A second line draw for the likely pre-post favourite and an outside of the front line draw for her high class stable mate has done enough just to throw some murky cloud over Friday night’s Group One New Zealand Oaks at Addington. Last Friday night’s Nevele R Fillies Final winner, Spanish Armada was handed the outside of the second line as she shoot for a second Group One victory in seven days while Partyon has been given the much despised barrier of nine from behind the mobile arm. While a step up to 2600 metres should negate many of the issues for Spanish Armada, who has shown she is good enough to do work in her races and still find the required at the business end of a race, it does leave the door slightly ajar for her rivals. In particular Bonnie Joan, who showed she’s as good as anything else going around at the moment with her bold dead-heat effort for second with Delightful Memphis last Friday night behind Spanish Armada. With high early speed the Cran Dalgety trained filly should be able to get across and find the markers before any of her rivals in the $150,000 event. Delightful Memphis hasn’t been quite as well served in the draw as what she was a week ago, despite picking up the same marble. The Mark Jones trained filly will start from the inside of the second row for the second time in a week, but doesn’t have the luxury of following a favoured runner through on Friday night. Northern Oaks runner-up, Juice Brogden will bring fresh legs to the party after missing the Nevele R Final for her trainer Nicky Chilcott and will have the advantage of drawing inside Bonnie Joan with the potential to follow her across. With more than $750,000 worth of stake money up for grabs on Friday night there will be plenty of attention on Addington. Trotting star Enghien will make an appearance, and start a short priced favourite in the $80,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final for the three-year-old trotters while Alta Maestro and Spankem look well drawn to dominate the $170,000 Sires Stakes final for the two-year-old male pacers. Elle Mac, the unbeaten two-year-old filly will have to overcome an outside of the front line draw if she is to keep her winning record intact and win the NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final. The night’s open class feature, the Winter Cup will see a number of those pointing towards next month’s Harness Jewels having another hit out with Piccadilly Princess needing a top three finish if she is to make her way into the Top 12 for the Four-Year-Old Diamond category. Matt Markham

Addington Raceway’s newest initiative, Stridemaster, is providing punters, owners and trainers with more statistical information than has ever been made able to them before. The tracking system, which was designed to specifically measure a horse’s performance through GPS tracking and precision sensor data. The system has been in place for almost a month now and after a few early teething problems, things are now fully operational with up to date data released both during and after race meetings for each horse that steps onto the Addington surface. Sorted out over 200 metre intervals, the system provides timing, positional data and horse performance data for each horse through the use of a recording device located on the saddlecloth. That data is fed back to the central system before the results are compiled and made available for public consumption. What the system does is gives people access to data that has never been truly available to them before, other than through their own time-keeping methods. They can now analyse each horse’s performance and see exactly how their race breaks down. This should, in theory, give punters an inside edge with the data showing, quite clearly, the horses who have run the fastest sectionals in the race which is ideal when searching for a horse who might not have been in the top half a dozen, but has made up a lot of ground. There have been some mixed reviews around the country for the system, but the majority have seemed to find its services more than useful. All results from each night of racing are posted on the Addington Raceway website with full access to all data made available for free to anyone who wishes to access it.   Matt Markham   Stridemaster can be accessed here!

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