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Driver Natalie Rasmussen says she can’t see hot favourite Ultimate Sniper getting to his favourite position in Saturday’s $500,000 Inter Dominion Pacing Final at Alexandra Park. So she will take the next best option: being in front. The four-year-old has been unbeaten in the three rounds of heats and is $1.45 to win the final after drawing barrier five. His draw is made even better by his key rivals, many of them stablemates, drawing worse, with A G’s White Socks at barrier seven and Chase Auckland (9), Cruz Bromac (11) and Thefixer (13) all on the second line. After being trapped three wide in every heat of the series and still being too strong, Ultimate Sniper will be expected to stroll to the front after the early shuffling of positions and win. But Rasmussen, who also co-trains Ultimate Sniper, says he would probably be better sitting parked. “I know that sounds strange but sometimes he doesn’t concentrate quite so well in front,” says Rasmussen. “He is still good there but he really loves staring horse down from parked, as we have seen when he has been wide during this series.”So why not just sit parked with the hot favourite, as crazy as that sounds with Rasmussen and everybody else expecting the lead to be there? “I don’t know any of the other drivers in the front line are going to want him outside them staring them down,” she says matter-of-factly. A reluctant outside leading when they would rather have Ultimate Sniper’s back could mean a slower mid-race tempo which would bring the outsiders into the race and allow the likes of Cruz Bromac and Thefixer to creep closer three wide. So with one stablemate in Ashley Locaz and three outsiders rated $51 or longer drawn inside her, Rasmussen should only have to hold A G’s White Socks to her outside at the start and she probably ends up in front, with On The Cards and My Kiwi Mate the most likely followers. Rasmussen says all five of the All Stars pacing finalists have come through their busy week of heats in great order as well as trotting final favourite Winterfell. “We couldn’t be happier with how they have handled it and if anything they look like the series has brought them on,” she said. “They are likely to have their final fast work on Wednesday.”With Rasmussen on Ultimate Sniper and Mark Purdon sticking with Cruz Bromac, Blair Orange has picked up the drive on Thefixer, Tim Williams stays on Chase Auckland but no driver has been confirmed yet for Ashley Locaz. The stable has two odds-on final favourites with Winterfell $1.90 to win the trotting final after drawing perfectly at barrier two. He looked far more settled and happier winning his heat in national record time on Friday and while he is still not foolproof, Rasmussen says the big trotter has thrilled Purdon with his improvement in this series. It may not be a case of Winterfell simply strolling to the lead and on to the winner’s circle though, with Majestic Man drawn barrier four and with superior gate speed and therefore the likely early leader is driver Brad Williamson desires. But with Paramount King, Tough Monarch, Massive Metro and Marcoola all drawn to settle back the trotting final looks certain to contain plenty of movement. PACING FINAL, $500,000, 2700m mobile 1: My Kiwi Mate 2: Sicario 3: Ashley Locaz 4: On The Cards 5: Ultimate Sniper 6: Mach Shard 7: A G’s White Socks 8: Triple Eight 9: Chase Auckland (2nd line) 10: San Carlo 11: Cruz Bromac 12: Classie Brigade (em) 13: Thefixer   TROTTING FINAL $150,000, 2700m mobile 1: Big Jack Hammer 2: Winterfell 3: Destiny Jones 4: Majestic Man 5: Monty Python (em) 6: Valloria 7: Bonnie Highlander 8: Marcoola 9: Temporale (2nd line) 10: Habibi Inta 11: Tough Monarch 12: Paramount King 13: Massive Metro   Michael Guerin

By Garrick Knight    Jeremy Young was a pretty emotional man when Circus Boy won at Alexandra Park on Friday night. The horse he spent three years waiting on and slowly nursing back to health, rewarded him as both the owner and trainer with victory in a $20,000 race. “This would be one of the most satisfying wins of my career,” he told HRNZ post-race. “To have a horse with a broken bone like he did  make it back to the races and win on a night like this, it’s awesome. “I looked after him, now he’s looked after me.” Young took over training Circus Boy three-and-a-half years ago when sent the horse by Canterbury trainer Tony Barron. He had seven starts for a win before injury took hold. “He had a quarter crack that blew out so I gave him nine months out. “He was back in and coming up good a year later then he came off the track at Pukekohe lame one day. “I thought it must have been a stone under his shoe but we took an x-ray and he’d broken a hind pastern.” Young wasn’t in a position to pay for the conventional surgery option, but also couldn’t bear to see the horse put down. “He’s such a lovely, quiet horse and I like his character, so I rung my vet, Ivan Bridge, and asked him what the options were. “Since I couldn’t afford to screw him, Ivan said let’s bandage him up and put him in a box for four-and-a-half months. “So, that’s what we did. “When the time was up, I brought him back out of the box and he was walking sound, but it’s in the back of your mind about whether the leg was going to last” Just happy to have the horse safe and sound, and too scared to try him as a race horse, Young eventually just started working the horse as a guide to the rest of his team. “I used him in front of my young horses. He’s just such a quiet, placid trotter. “After eight months of slowly bringing him up I decided to try him again even though it was always in the back of my mind that it could fracture again.” Everything went smoothly and, this week, after a couple of runs to blow out the cobwebs, he shot up the passing lane to win at bolters’ odds. Young was noticeably emotional post-race and just so proud of the courage the horse has displayed. “It’s just such a pleasure to train this horse. “He’s part of the furniture; he can stay with me and maybe someone will want to ride him later on. “It would be my most satisfying win outside of the Northern Oaks with Best Western. “Because I saved his life and we’ve been through so much together. “It’s just so pleasing.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    New Zealand Cup winner Cruz Bromac set up an Australia versus New Zealand battle in next week’s Interdominion Pacing Championship with a faultless display to win the last heat of the series on Friday night. The All Stars pacer was rewarded both for his consistent form in the series and for his massively improved manners when holding out his stablemate Thefixer by three-quarters of a length. Cruz Bromac showed no signs of the wayward tendencies he displayed during and before the Interdominion series with his third faultless display of the series to win. The 8yr-old’s love of right-handed racing, where he can stride out more fluently than on a left handed track, has him ready to give his stablemate and series rock star Ultimate Sniper a stern test about in next week’s final. Part-owner Peter O’Shea said there was no doubt who Cruz Bromac will be resenting when the pacer takes to Alexandra Park for that battle. He and his fellow Australian owners could pull off a masterstroke that would win them an incredible New Zealand Cup and Interdominon double while flying the Australian flag with their move to place the horse with New Zealand champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen for the spring and summer. The final heat of the Interdominion pacing series bought mixed emotions for O’Shea, who races the horse with wife, Zilla, and Danny and Joanna Zavitsanos. The O’Sheas also race Bling It On, who dropped out to run a shock second last in the second of Friday night’s pacing heats. “I am excited about Cruz, but it has been disappointing with Bling It On.” “I thought he was really going to run a big race tonight and we were going to have a two pronged attack.” “He has had a shocking series, he choked down the first heat and he couldn’t get out in the first heat.” Driver Luke McCarthy put Bling It On’s chequered Interdominion campaign down to the horse being out of his comfort zone. “He just hasn’t been himself here, he is out of the routine he has been in at home.” “He has been collected three times a week at home and obviously his routine has been totally different over here.” McCarthy said Bling It On would not contest next week’s Interdominion Pacing Consolation. The All Stars quinella makers gapped the field, with Triple Eight holding the rest of the field home to take third and qualify for next week’s final. Triple Eight has already made one Australian owner’s dream come true by making the series final. Popular Octogenarian owner, Father Brian Glasheen, a final starter with his first runner an incredible 69 years afters after attending his first Interdominion series in 1950. Sicario was next home behind Triple Eight, ahead of dual heat winner, A G’s White Socks, who was sound in fifth.   The final field for the Interdominion Pacing Final in qualifying order. Ultimate Sniper, Cruz Bromac, A G's White Socks, Chase Auckland, Thefixer, Mach Shard, Ashley Locaz, Sicario, San Carlo, Triple Eight, On The Cards, My Kiwi Mate. Emergencies: Classie Brigade, Solid Gold. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

The IRT Inter Dominion final points are available here   Harness Racing New Zealand

The best indication of how remarkable Ultimate Sniper has been in this Inter Dominion pacing series is his own stablemate Cruz Bromac. Because after three wonderful runs in the series Cruz Bromac would make a compelling Inter Dominion Final favourite yet Ultimate Sniper is actually odds-on to win the title and nearly $3 tighter than Cruz Bromac in the pre-draw market. The All Stars pair wrapped the final round of the series at Alexandra Park last night by winning their heats, securing the top two spots on the points table and at the head of the market. After two huge but luckless runs on the first two nights Cruz Bromac was dominant last night, re-taking the lead from Thefixer and never looking in danger of defeat. Considering he won the New Zealand Cup less than a month ago you can make a strong case he can win the $500,000 final next Saturday. But while he has been good, very good and excellent in his three heats, Ultimate Sniper has been unbelievable, unbelievable and okay, we are starting to get used to this, but unbelievable again in this three heats.  After two monster wins in his first two heats Ultimate Sniper was expected to loop the field, sit parked and win the first heat last night. It didn’t pan out that way and he was stuck three wide for the last lap and looked to be labouring at the 600m mark, $1.40 punters thinking the bubble may be about to burst. But driver Natalie Rasmussen was foxing, conserving energy and when she asked the four-year-old to get busy in the home straight he was equal measures brave and brutal. He is in that zone some horses find themselves in during an Inter Dominion and is $1.90 to win the final before tomorrow’s barrier draw while Cruz Bromac is $4.80. Champion trainer Mark Purdon drove Cruz Bromac last night and beaming at how the athletic pacer has bounced through the series but is adamant Ultimate Sniper is their best chance in the final. “Cruz is going great but what Snipe has been doing in the heats makes him our best chance, he has been enormous.”If Ultimate Sniper draws well tomorrow and looks any chance to wresting the lead in the final he could get as short as $1.50. But if he draws the second line and Cruz Bromac, who has good gate speed, draws to lead the market gap will close. Australia has ended up with three in the final as has Barry Purdon, whose training performance to get A G’s White Socks, On The Card and Mach Shard into the great race a stunning effort considering where they sat two weeks ago. Barry also has Marcoola through to the $150,000 trotting final where Mark could potentially have he favourite in Winterfell. The latter was outstanding trotting a national record for 2700m winning the later trotting heat last night and looks a happy horse, hitting the ground more squarely and racing more generously last night. The other trotting heat was won in professional style by Temporale, who used his gate speed to lead and control. The trotting final looks more open than the pacers, with up to seven winning chances and two Australians in the mix. The pre-barrier draw field for the $500,000 Inter Dominion pacing final on Saturday is.—- Ultimate Sniper, Cruz Bromac, A G’s White Socks, Chase Auckland, Thefixer, Mach Shard, Ashley Locaz, Sicario, San Carlo, Triple Eight, On The Cards, My Kiwi Mate. Em: Classie Brigade.   Michael Guerin

Harness racing star Ultimate Sniper proved again how good he is by remaining unbeaten through the heats of this years Interdominion Championships at Alexandra Park. In fact how can they beat him in the final? Tonight, he again sat three wide on a hectic pace before powering home to win when most horses in his position would be going backward at the 600m. Driver Natalie Rasmussen was not worried when caught wide in midfield. "The race did not pan out like I thought it would," she said after the race. "But he is such a good horse. People do not realise how quick he is. He is tough and quick. "When the pace went on down the back I was not getting involved in that, but he can just sit out there doing it quite comfortable. "Then when I asked him to go in the straight he really just had another gear" All Stars stables grabbed the quinella when Chase Auckland ran a close second, with Aussie raider Colt Thirty One running a good race for third. The time for the 2700m Mobile was a slick 3-16.1 with a quick last 800m in 54.8 seconds.   Harnesslink Media

For most this has been a challenging punting Inter Dominion. So many of the big gun favourites, especially in the trotting series, have been beaten and/or luckless. Let’s hope we can turn it around and find some winners on night three. My three suggested bets for Friday are:   RACE 6 - PACING HEAT FIVE It’s been a horror series for star Queensland pacer COLT THIRTY ONE, but he can salvage something by at least running a place. Should race handy from gate two and I like him at around $2.20-ish for the place.   RACE 8 – PACING HEAT SIX While Ultimate Sniper has hogged the headlines, gee I think CRUZ BROMAC’S two runs have been fantastic. He’s drawn the two, has gate speed and gets his chance to go one better than his two second placings so far. Like him a lot at $2.30-ish the win.   RACE 9 – TROTTING HEAT SIX Seeing is believing and MAJESTIC MAN’S two runs have been superb. Treated them with disdain Tuesday and will relish the extra trip. So versatile and more reliable than his main rival, Winterfell. Keen at $2.60 or better.   Adam Hamilton

Night three of an Inter Dominion is about two things: motivation and reality. Because while of connections of the 44 horses still in the series all basically want the same thing at Alexandra Park tonight — victory — what they need is different. Probably two thirds of the qualifiers for Saturday week’s $500,000 pacing final are set in stone barring huge form reversals in tonight’s final round of heats, with six to eight rivals chasing the last four slots. In the trotting series there looks to be seven winning chances for their $150,000 final and they are all as good as in the group one already. Of course everybody would like another win tonight, such the nature of competitive sport and the Interdoms can be an expensive time off the track so money comes in handy. But there are still differing levels of motivation going into tonight’s four heats. Some have to get good points otherwise their series is over. Others know they are in the final and that is where reality kicks in. Take A G’s White Socks for example. He has been incredible in this series for trainer Barry Purdon and driver Maurice McKendry and both would love him to clean sweep the series. But he is obviously safely in the final and tonight is in a heat where two New Zealand Cup winners in Cruz Bromac and Thefixer are expected to lead and trail. Purdon is adamant barrier two on the second line is perfect for A G’s White Socks because he should be midfield on the outer without having to work. But is McKendry really going to take off and attack potential Thefixer, knowing he almost certainly won’t beat him if he does? And if he does break him doesn’t that just make him vulnerable to Cruz Bromac, let alone give A G’s White Socks a headache a week out from the a final worth almost 17 times more than tonight’s race? Sure, they want to win. But the reality is he may not be able to if the race pans out as many think and it might be silly to try and find out. The same could apply, although not quite as dramatically, to Majestic Man in the last trotting heat. He has been sensational during this series but can’t lead from the second line so why would Brad Williamson send him mid-race to attack Winterfell or Massive Metro, potentially giving him a gutbuster for no profit. In a smaller field he can still win but in a race likely to lack tempo his odds will be too short. On the flip side of that coin are horses like Bling It On, San Carlo and Classie Brigade, who need to move and get forward before the sprint goes on, wanting at least top-six finishes to qualify for their finals. They have motivation to be in the finish, even if they can’t win. Motivation plus reality in the final round of heats of an Inter Dominion over 2700m, equals back those who can win without flattening themselves. Oh, and Ultimate Sniper, who the normal rules don’t seem to apply to just now.   By Michael Guerin

By Garrick Knight    You’ve got to hand it to Steve Telfer. The Ardmore trainer has been dealt three cruel blows that have devastated his carefully-laid Inter Dominion plans with stable star Triple Eight, but he’s not hanging his head. “I’m not frustrated, that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” he said. “You just have to take the good with the bad.” After getting caught wide early from an awkward draw on night 1 last Friday, Triple Eight flew home from well back for an unlucky sixth placing. On Tuesday, in the second round of heats, he drew even wider, over a shorter distance and ended up being stuck four and five wide the last lap. “Then he got a flat tyre for the last 500 metres as well, which was not beneficial.” In a series where every finishing position matters, and a $500,000 final is on the line next Saturday night, it was a tough pill to swallow for connections. Tonight, in the third and final round of heats, Triple Eight has drawn the inside of the second row, following out Star Galleria, who dropped out to finish last on Tuesday. With gate speed on the front line from Cruz Bromac, Bling It On, Atomic Red and Thefixer, Triple Eight maps to be stuck four back on the markers or worse. “We’re really reliant on what Star Galleria does but I don’t envisage that it’s going to work out too well for us,” said Telfer. “It’s a shame because tonight he gets out to his preferred distance and he’s very well within himself. “He’s come through the runs good and I’m happy in that regard. “It’s just been a tough series that hasn’t gone our way.” Triple Eight is still only three points off the 12th horse though, and Telfer is thinking a top three finish would be enough to sneak him in the back door to the final. “Top two definitely, top three probably, so he’s still a chance. “He’s a better stayer than a sprinter, and these next two 2700-metre races were always going to be his go.” If things don’t go his way, Telfer will cop it on the chin and turn the page. “We took our chances and missed the New Zealand Cup to set him for December. “And if we don’t make this final, we still have the Auckland Cup two weeks later.” Telfer actually has Dance Time closer to qualifying for the final after running fourth at bolters’ odds on Tuesday. “He’s way better over the short trip and that was his best chance to get points the other night. “He’s drawn outside of the back row which won’t help but if he did get a drag in to it, there’s no reason why he couldn’t run in the first six and maybe qualify for the final.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    With sprinting trips behind her and her airways clear, the real Destiny Jones can stand up in the third round of Interdominion heats on Friday night. The Canterbury trotter gets conditions to suit after battling back to full health to produce two sound fifth placings in the first two heats of the Alexandra Park series. Destiny Jones was lucky to even be in both of those races after pollen in the spring air was responsible for the mare’s failures in both the trotting features at the New Zealand Cup Carnival. It was not until after her Dominion run that vets handed trainer Dean Hunter the explanation for why her his mare’s form dropped off so badly after her excellent runs for second in the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile and the South Bay Trotters Cup.  “I wasn’t even sure if we were going to make it up to the Interdominions, the way she was after the Dominion,” Hunter said. “But, we managed to treat her and get a clear hear lungs and get a vet clearance the Wednesday before the first night.” “I was still unsure how she was going to go on the first night, but she hit the line good and came through the run super.” “On the second night we got a bad draw over 1700m and we didn’t have much show bar going back and crunching home and she did that.” Being able to put his horse’s illness behind him with two sound Interdominion runs is not the only reason Hunter can look forward to night three with some confidence. The step up to 2700m and drawing barrier 1 gives the trainer even more reason to smile. “It will be a big help to her stepping up in distance,” Hunter said.  “She has got the draw and hopefully she can capitalise on it.” “She should have enough speed to hold early and then we have got the choice of who we might hand up to.” Destiny Jones does not just go in to the second of Friday night’s trotting heats after thriving during the series.  Her recent illness is practically a distant memory since arriving at the Stonewall Stud stables of Steve Telfer. “She has actually thrived since she has been up here.” “She is really bright and Steve and I am really pleased with her.” If Destiny Jones can bounce back to the form she showed before she suffered allergy problems she would almost certainly run a top five placing again and qualify for the Interdominion trotting final.  She just needs a little bit more luck than she had at Ashburton when carted backwards before running home strongly behind Marcoola.  “I think if she wasn’t held up — she wouldn’t have beaten the winner — but she would have got a lot closer to him.” “And her run at Kaikoura was great too, she did a little bit more work than Habibi Inta and he was able to run past her.” “But, she went a very good race.” Destiny Jones faces no easy task to win on Friday night. She faces the white hot Majestic Man, All Stars trotter Winterfell and fellow staying specialist Massive Metro in her heat. It looks a tough ask for the mare to crack a top three placing, but the TAB’s promotion of paying out on the first four placings on fixed odds place bets in the Interdominion heats boosts punters chances of getting paid exponentially. Destiny Jones has been rated at $5 in the fixed odds place market for Friday night’s race.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

IT is a simple equation for Australia’s best trotting hope in the last round Inter Dominion qualifying heats. Tough Monarch needs to make the most of a gun draw (gate one), finish at least top four and he cements a spot in the Grand Final. And trainer Rickie Alchin says all the signs are finally great heading into this crucial race. “He’s really well. This is as happy as I’ve been with him since he came up to Auckland,” he said. “I’m still scratching my head about night and, I must simply have been too easy on him, but Ants (Butt, driver) was really happy with how he hit the line Tuesday after nothing went right early. “For me Tuesday was crucial, just to see him get to the line strongly and show he was over whatever happened the first night. “He’s been great since and now he’s got the draw. “The way I see it, he needs to finish top four to be safe. “I’ll be surprised and disappointed if he doesn’t. Everything points to a big run.” Tough Monarch is precariously placed in equal 11th spot, along with Monty Python and Valloria, on 12 points after the first two heats. Australia’s only other trotter in he series, dual Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer, is slightly better placed in 10th spot on the points table with 13. But he appears to have a harder task from gate four in his last heat, especially with big guns like Winterfell, Majestic Man and Massive Metro in the heat. One of Big Jack Hammer’s great strengths is his gate speed and Luke McCarthy will likely use all of it early to try and find the marker pegs, especially given the trotter looked “lost” away from the pegs on Tuesday night. As far as the final goes, Alchin has been most impressed with Majestic Man and Paramount King through the series. “Majestic Man is the one to beat, he just looked to jog that in fast time the other night,” he said. “And Paramount King’s two runs have beenoutstanding.”   Adam Hamilton

Craig Demmler says the door to the Inter Dominion final is ajar, My Kiwi Mate just has to pace through it. And the 2700m of the final round of heats for the series at Alexandra Park on Friday night gives him in the perfect chance to do just that. My Kiwi Mate all but earned his spot in the A$500,000 final with his third placing on Tuesday night and he goes into Friday seventh on the points ladder with 19, giving him a huge buffer over the 13th equal pair of On The Cards and Bling It On, who sit on 13 points and at the moment tied for the emergency spot. That would suggest My Kiwi Mate could run seventh or even eighth on Friday night but Victorian horseman Demmler isn’t thinking too far ahead. “Sure, I’d love to make the final but I don’t want to be worrying about it too much cause we can’t control how the others go. “But we are a long way toward the final and he loves the series racing.” Demmler says the step up to 2700m for the final round of heats and the final will suit My Kiwi Mate, he just wishes he had more distance races to aim him at in Victoria. “He loves following a good speed and he gets a better drawn than some of those others who need points. “So getting into the final is the first thing and we will take anything else as a bonus. “We all know how hard it is going to be to beat a horse like Ultimate Sniper because he is flying but I think on our Victorian form we aren’t far behind Cruz Bromac.”Demmler is loving the series at his good friend Barry Purdon’s property, where some of the big guns of the series are also stationed. Depending on results on Friday night it is very possible five of the pacing Grand Final 12 could come from Purdon’s property as well as Marcoola for the trotting final. “I just love being here for the series, it is iconic,” says Demmler. “This is why we train horses, to come away and race the best and spend time with good friends and make new ones.” The series did however start on a sad note for Demmler, with his uncle Rodney passing away last Friday. “Rodney was in the horses early doors but got out of racing to drive trucks and he was a great guy,” remembers Demmler. “He was a very different guy from Dad (Ted, Rodney’s brother). Louder and more of a party guy. “I got the call from Dad before the heats last Friday to tell me he had passed and it really knocked me. "So I’d love to make the final to give the family something to cheer about.”   Michael Guerin

World first, real time 360° in race experience trialed at Alexandra Park, Successfully trialed at Australasia’s biggest harness racing meeting is set to revolutionise the New Zealand and global racing and wagering industry. Representatives from the New Zealand TAB and Australian Harness Racing were on site at Auckland’s Alexandra Park last Friday night when the new broadcast technology was unveiled at harness racing’s IRT sponsored Inter Dominion Championships. The successful trial featured on-site coverage of races involving 360-degree cameras mounted on the helmets of drivers, which will soon allow fans to use smartphones to experience the race in real-time from the perspective of the drivers. Racing officials globally are interested in the technology’s ability to deliver in-race wagering, opening a vital new revenue stream for the TAB and also acting as an attraction to lure fans and the next generation of event seekers, back to racing clubs suffering from declining attendances. “This has huge potential. Punters should get involved while attending the InterDoms. We need their feedback to make the experience the best it can be. Looking forward to the next stage. One of the more exciting things that’s happened to Racing for years,” says Racing Board general manager of customers, Gary Woodham “Once we have proven the system, we can look to monetise it for punters. Very exciting. TAB understands how this could change the game for Racing punters.” Representatives from 5G providers Huawei, have been contributors to the “proof-of-concept” which has been overseen by the inventor of the “BESTSEAT360” product, Aucklander Craig Meek. The innovative smartphone-delivered products allow spectators at track side or at home, to view the race in real-time from the perspective of the driver or jockey. The product allows users to rotate the view a full 360 degrees to see the horses in front, next and behind the chosen driver. Fans can also ‘teleport’ or ‘swap’ to different drivers during the race. “In the past, if you were at a track, you’d follow a race with a set of binoculars,” explained Meek. “Today, our product allows you to use a smartphone, while giving you the incredible experience of driving your horse in the race by simply rotating your view 360 degrees during the race allowing you to move from horse to horse for a better view, putting you right in the action.” A select group of 50 “VIPs” used the product for the first time during the Alexandra Park pilot and were unanimous in agreement; this trial was a glimpse into the future and could be a huge boost for the industry and other sporting codes. “Racing has probably lagged a bit in technology in recent times, but this could be a game-changer,” said Jamie MacKinnon, Board Director of Alexandra Park. “We need to find effective and stimulating ways to convince event seekers to come to race meetings and to better engage with our sport. This is the future of engaging sports viewership and a platform to improve revenues. It’s easy to use and very captivating. We saw positive response to the idea, especially by those not directly involved with harness racing.” “Many of them were blown away by the technology and say they want more.” Importantly, MacKinnon added, the future ability to bet through the BESTSEAT360 product could prove a huge benefit to the future of the racing industry. Harness racing officials both sides of the Tasman are enthusiastic about the products potential with the wagering community. “Having seen the amazing vision generated by the BestSeat360 technology, I sincerely believe that this innovative presentation of vision can be 'game changing' for the Harness Racing Industry. Not only does it provide the ability to revolutionise the way in which people view and experience our racing product, but it also has the potential to open new revenue streams to the Industry.” said Chairman - Harness Racing Australia, Michael Taranto. “The potential uses of the vision are endless.” Based on the success of this trial, BESTSEAT360 has been invited to present to the governing body of the China racing body responsible for horse racing and wagering on Hainan Island, China. Meek said 5G will be the “game-changer” that makes BESTSEAT360 the ultimate in sports engagement. While harness racing was the “first proof-of-concept”, the technology and product had a “natural fit” with other sporting codes and media coverage. The Alexandra Park trial was successful using 4.5G. “If we had 5G, the full-on experience would be mind-blowing,” said Meek. “Being Kiwis, we are overcoming all obstacles as they present. Working with the team at Spark and Huawei they upgraded the Alexandra Park cell site from 4G to 4.5G to provide us with enough band width to provide the VIPs with an exclusive experience from multiple horses. We have also tested the technology in the Spark 5G Lab.” MacKinnon said, “Alexandra Park has been working with Meek’s company since the beginning of the year and saw the IRT Inter-Dominion as the perfect event to pilot the technology.” “We have provided them with access to our facilities,” he explained. “The horse owners, drivers and staff have been amazingly helpful and realise they will be beneficiaries of the new technology and are part of a world first.” Meek said the test project had been invaluable in identifying and overcoming issues and that real-time, in-race wagering “is absolutely possible” and that the product is easily transferrable to the sports and entertainment world. He said BESTSEAT360 will roll out other world firsts with various sports over the next year and would also concentrate on adding an “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) component to assist users and take engagement to the next level. “We’re talking about smart media for smart phones that gives you the event in real-time, close up from the eyes of those in it the middle of it,” he said. “There is an obvious application to all manner of sports from motor-racing to rugby, cricket to baseball, basketball to netball, Tour de France to crazy extreme sports and a host of other sports. Not only does it offer fans gripping new perspectives from the view of the athlete but also the ability to create gamification to drive fan engagement and also maximise the wagering economy.” Meek said, “Licencing opportunities are underway with sports organisations, telcos and broadcasters in New Zealand and internationally with an investment round also planned early next year.”   Media Release

Brad Williamson might have missed his plane on the way to the Inter Dominions last night but he still got the chance to fly. Because the Oamaru driver and Majestic Man were airbourne in their heat of the trotting series as they threw down the gauntlet to their rivals with a stunning all-the-way win. After some brilliant but luckless performances at Alexandra Park in the past, Majestic Man was able to find the front last night and Williamson, driving for his trainer father Phil, barely looked around as Majestic Man controlled the 1700m mobile before racing clear of Habibi Inta, Massive Metro and Winterfell. Williamson knows he is lucky to have a serious Inter Dominion winning chance at such a young age but he was also lucky just to be in Auckland at all. “I missed my first plane out of Dunedin but it wasn’t my fault,” Williamson sheepishly said after the win. “I tried to check in and there was nobody at the counters and then nothing went right. “I was lucky to get here at all because there was only one seat on the next plane, otherwise I was going home to watch.” Majestic Man’s gate speed is going to be a handy weapon come the $150,000 final on Saturday week but he has also been superb when coming with one run in races like the Rowe Cup so he has plenty of strings to his bow. The second trotting heat last night, and fourth overall, went to Temporale who has re-emerged after trainer Tony Herlihy struggled to pin down soreness issues which bothered him last season. Almost at his wits end Herlihy sent the former Rowe Cup winner out to friends Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett to beach train and they have worked the oracle, with Temporale having been faultless this campaign. He was beaten off the gate last night but soon retook the lead and held the sizzling late run from Marcoola while Paramount King showed his first night win was no fluke his a massive third.   ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE It is going to take a very good horse to deny Ultimate Sniper the Inter Dominion Pacing title in 10 days time. That was the booming message the four-year-old sent to his rivals in the strongest pacing heat last night when he was again three wide for much of the race yet still beat stablemate Cruz Bromac. His win mirrored his stunning first night run when he was three wide for 1400m of his 2200m heat but last night was perhaps even more impressive as he was three wide the entire opening lap. That he could still surge clear at the top of the straight was a graphic example of his incredible stamina and he should only be better over 2700m in Friday night’s last round of heats and the final. Cruz Bromac would have lost few fans in second, with stewards questioning Mark Purdon over failing to hold the parked out position at the 500m mark, with the inquiry being adjourned. Earlier in the night A G’s White Sock continued his remarkable form turnaround since joining Barry Purdon just a week ago when he powered to the lead and was then too good for Chase Auckland. The night was a mixed bag for the Australians though, with Colt Thirty One all but out of the series after being trapped wide and dropping out but My Kiwi Mate, San Carlo and Bling It On still have hopes of making the final. The fields for the final round of heats will be out early this afternoon.   by Michael Guerin

By Garrick Knight    Temporale added his name in the mix of an open Inter Dominion Trotting Championship with an impressive front-running victory over the short course at Alexandra Park on Tuesday night. Beach training appears to have worked the oracle with the seven-year-old son of Monarchy, who has been boarding with Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis in Waiuku for the past couple of months. “He’s just trotting so good now,” said Tony Herlihy, who drive the horse and is still officially the trainer. “Bernie and Michelle have done a great job on the beach with him. “His couple of races before the series were really good and he trialed nicely the week before, too.” He was a brave fourth behind Winterfell on night 1 last Friday after first leading, then trailing and moving to parked half a lap from home. But it was straight to the front on night 2 and race favourite Marcoola was unable to bridge the gap from three back on the markers. Now safely ensconced in next Saturday’s $150,000 Final, Herlihy can’t help but cast his eye ahead. “My fella has been terrific, but the longer trip will suit a few of the good horses, too. “I just hope we get no bad luck in the run and have our show. “Massive Metro will suit the 2700 metres and a few of the other boys can stay. “Majestic Man is racing so terrifically at the moment, and Marcoola, too.” Michelle Wallis said Temporale is a low-fuss commodity that is a pleasure to train on loan from Herlihy. “He’s a cool horse to do anything with. He just does what you ask him to and does it well. “We didn’t do much with him between Friday and today, just kept him happy, really.” Wallis and Hackett’s own horse, Massive Metro, made good ground from a hopeless position to finish third over an unsuitable short trip. Perhaps with a touch of bias, she declared he was the stable’s better chance in the final, but that it was a very open race. “Any one of half-a-dozen could win it. “It’s a good bunch of trotters with no real standout in my eyes. “Marcoola might be the one to beat – he’s had two nice soft trips on the markers and has ran home well both times.” Marcoola’s driver, Sheree Tomlinson, was thrilled with his performance and said everything is boding well for the final. “Really happy with him again tonight. He’s so well within himself and is thriving up here. “Probably drawing one isn’t helping us as he just can’t quite go with them early on.” Night 1 winner Paramount King was superb again, looping the field over the last half-lap and pushing the first two home to half-a-length. Co-trainer and driver Joshua Dickie couldn’t have been more pleased with the effort and said it gives him further confidence that the horse is a legitimate chance of winning the final with the right run. Trotters’ points after night 2. 25 Majestic Man, 25 Paramount King, 24 Marcoola, 23 Temporale, 23 Winterfell, 22 Massive Metro, 18 Habibi Inta, 15 Destiny Jones, 14 Bonnie Highlander, 13 Big Jack Hammer, 12 Monty Python, 12 Tough Monarch, 12 Valloria, 10 C K Spur, 10 Sertorius, 8 Pres The Belle, 7 Ronald J, 6 Didjabringthebeers, 6 Kenny’s Dream, 4 Woodstone Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    All Stars pacer Ultimate Sniper again stamped himself as the horse to beat in this year’s Interdominion pacing series with an incredible winning performance on night two of the championship. A tough run three-wide, before eventually making the parked position, proved a minor inconvenience for the 4yr-old, who remained unbeaten in the series in the hands of co-trainer and driver Natalie Rasmussen. Ultimate Sniper is now the firm favourite for next week’s final – an incredible position for a horse that was not even meant to be in the series. Co-owners Phil and Glenys Kennard revealed after their horse’s 1700m that just a matter of days prior to the championship Ultimate Sniper was destined to be in the spelling paddock, rather than in Auckland. “This series wasn’t on the agenda – he was going to go the paddock for two weeks and go to the Auckland Cup,” Phil said. A freshen up after the horse’s lack lustre run in the Ashburton Flying Stakes has proven to the catalyst for Ultimate Sniper charging to the top of the Interdominion pacing series. “We wanted to go in the New Zealand Cup, but he had to do everything right on the way through to the cup,” Kennard said. “But, when he had that wee glitch in the Ashburton Flying Stakes we had to pull the pin.” “And if he had to have stayed for that last ten days of hard work before the second Tuesday in the month.” “Nat said if we back off him we will see how he comes back through it.” Ultimate Sniper did not just again prove he was back on his best on Tuesday, he produced a performance even his owners did not see coming. “It was just an arrogant display tonight, he has had no favours drawn 7, he was never near the fence going three wide,” Kennard said. “If he had’ve run fourth or fifth tonight I would have been happy, but he just kept coming.” Ultimate Sniper held out his stablemate Cruz Bromac by a head at the finish. Though the margin was small, the win was comfortable, Rasmussen said. “He is just a fighter, he really wants to win for you, give his best, and he still felt good on the line.” “I’m just thrilled with him.” Cruz Bromac was excellent when also working harder than most of his rivals to take second. Mach Shard took third after showing excellent gate speed to cross the pole-horse San Carlo. San Carlo battled in to sixth in the run home with fellow Austrailian Bling It On beating him home to finish fifth behind the fourth placed Classie Brigade. After the completion of Tuesday night’s racing Ultimate Sniper was rated the $2.50 favourite for the Interdominion pacing final by bookmakers. A G’s White Socks ($4.50), Cruz Bromac ($5), and Thefixer ($5.50) are rated closely behind him.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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