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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

Late last season Blair Orange announced that he was leaving the all conquering All Stars stable and going to work for another leading harness racing trainer in Ken Barron. It raised a few eyebrows at the time as Blair had just had his most successful season in the bike with 106 wins, finishing second on the premiership behind Dexter Dunn. Many thought it may take the new partnership a few months to find their feet but they have started the season in great fashion and look to have a very progressive team of young horses. One of that team in Southern GNP made his debut last night at Addington Raceway (September 5th) and lived up to the hype which saw him sent out a warm favourite. Wide early from barrier six, Southern GNP found the death after 400 meters and got cover when a couple made moves with a lap to go. Sitting sixth for most of the last lap, Blair peeled him out passing the 300 meters and he quickly grabbed the lead and went to the line with Blair sitting quietly in the bike for a very impressive debut win. Southern GNP paced the 1950 meters in a smart 2:23, a mile rate of 1:57.9 with closing sectionals of 58.3 and 28.5 Only qualifying at the end of July when he won his heat by 11 lengths, Southern GNP looked like a horse short on ringcraft but long on ability. A 3 year old by leading sire Live Or Die, Southern GNP is the first foal from the very smart Mach Three mare in Gross Misconduct 1:59.4 ($92,570) It has been a hugely successful southern family with another Live Or Die gelding Mr Williams 1:55.7 ($133,242) close up in Southern GNP"s pedigree. The trainers scene in Canterbury has been a All Stars/Dalgety battle in the last few years but the new Barron/Orange partnership has brought some welcome competition to the top duo. Harnesslink Media      

Addington are pleased to announce that the Yaldhurst Hotel are the new sponsor for the time honoured Group 3 $25,000 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup, on 10 October. The race which takes place on the first premier night of the season at Addington, will be known as the  “Yaldhurst Hotel Canterbury Park Trotting Cup.” The Yaldhurst Hotel Christchurch is a country style hotel whose aim is to provide first class hospitality to its guests and patrons. The Yaldhurst Hotel also known as the “Yaldy” has a large sports bar, lounge bar, 18 gaming machine room, full service TAB and a beer garden.  Various levels of accommodation are available and guests are catered to by their Talbot Restaurant which operates 7-days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Known as “The Legend Out West” it is the meeting place for the trotting and galloping fraternity and is known for its friendliness and attention to detail. Dave McHugh owner of The Yaldy commented “that it was great to be involved at Addington and to be associated with such a time honoured trotting feature that was first held in 1963.  Many of our patrons are also customers and stakeholders at Addington, so it makes sense to have both our organisations aligned.”  The Yaldhurst Hotel Canterbury Park Trotting Cup on 10 October will see some top quality square gaiters assemble in the early part of their season, as they ready themselves for more riches later on. Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager - Addington  

A pleasing total of 74 nominations have been received by the Met for the Glenys & Philip  Kennard / Graphite Development Ltd Futurity Series that commences on 5 September at  Addington with total estimated stakes of $80,000. The well-patronised series caters for 3-year-old and older pacers assessed at C0 as at 1 July 2014.  A nominated horse must start at least twice in the period from 8 August to 31 October at a  Met meeting to be eligible for the Futurity Series Final on Show Day, 14 November. Field selection for the Final will be based on points earned in all totalisator races in New  Zealand from 1 August 2014 to 3 November 2014. In 2014 it is proposed to run up to five races in the Series on:  5 September - **Horses assessed at C0 to C1 2600m  17 October - **Horses assessed at C0 only 2600m   14 November - Futurity Series Final   28 November – **Horses who were not eligible to and did not contest the Final on 14  November  11 December – **Open to all Show Day Futurity Series horses excluding those  horses who finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Final on 14 November. **subject to programming. Full details can be viewed at www.addington.co.nz under Racing – Promotions and  Incentives. Alternatively, please phone Brian, Richard or Colin of Addington’s Racing  Department on 03 338-9094. Ged Mooar - Marketing & Commercial Manager. Addington Raceway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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