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Alexandra Park harness racing fixed odds movers as at 3:15pm Race 1 - Easily the best backed runner early has been Il Pirata $37.00 - $31.00 with Yagunnakissmeornot $2.20 leading multi betting over Prince Fearless $1.95.   Race 2 - Gupta's Cullen $1.55 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 3 - Our Petite Lady $10.50 - $6.50 is the only runner wanted in win betting with Sequoia $7.00 leading multi betting over Tobruk $6.00. Largest bet $700 at $10.50 Our Petite Lady.   Race 4 - Sea Of Gold $3.50 leads multi betting over Bopper Jet $5.00.   Race 5 - Shay Scott $11.50 - $9.00 leads win betting with Sex On Fire $2.10 the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 6 - Lacey's Lad $2.60 - $2.00 easily leads multi betting over Anamajor $5.00.   Race 7 - Lovely Bundy $8.00 leads win & multi betting.   Race 8 - Gooddealehemily $2.10 leads multi betting with the big mover on the win 'book' Royal Lincoln $6.00 - $3.50.   Race 9 - Culpeka $1.80 easily leads multi betting over Step Up $8.00 and Juice Brogden $2.60.      Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

As harness racing sales week approaches the men behind New Zealand's biggest club are starting to believe the once impossible dream. And they say it could be reality inside three years. The sales kick off at Karaka on Monday with the stronger Australasian Classic Sale before a new format in Christchurch which sees a parade and trotters-only sale on Tuesday and 250 lots on Wednesday. But Karaka has become the hotbed of the three days, with more Australian interest and, because of a smaller catalogue, less lulls. While the sale will be strong, especially in demand for Bettors Delight and Art Major colts, Auckland Trotting Club bosses are hoping the dawning reality of what lies ahead at Alexandra Park will be enough to attract new buyers. The club has the very rare advantage of having businesspeople who are also long-time breeders and horse people on their board, giving them a handle on how one side of the industry feeds the other. And that menu is about to get a lot bigger. With Alexandra Park's first real estate developments expected to be finished by the end of this year the club is rumoured to be considering a stake structure with $15,000 maidens, $20,000 next grade races and $25,000 mid to higher level races at every Friday meeting. And that is expected to rise every year after, with an average stake of $25,000 per race at all meetings now realistic in four years. "While we can't outline the exact figures we are committed to an extra $40,000 in stakes every meeting next year and to keep increasing that," says ATC president Bruce Carter. Carter did not dismiss the figures mentioned above. Those sort of numbers would give the Alexandra Park and Karaka relationship a ratio unheard of for a major sale anywhere else in the world. The average yearling price at Karaka last season was around $38,000 but that is enormously propped up by Australian buyers looking for New Zealand's best. The actual average price paid by domestic buyers would be way lower, around the $25,000 mark. Which means the average price of buying a standardbred yearling in Auckland will by the time most of them are racing be the same as the average stake for a harness race in the city, which when you have a very strong sale is remarkable. "We are aware that is the sort of thing we have to aim at, to make racing horses viable," says Carter. "Our board know the sums of racing so we are determined to see money go into stakes. "That helps the sales but also goes into the pocket of all owners and trainers and for us it is not a case of if it will happen, but when." The remarkable ratio could make buying standardbreds a viable racing option for most chasing anything but the top lots, which on Monday are likely to be those sons, and occasional daughters, of Bettors Delight. The sales parade starts at 2.30pm tomorrow with first lot through the ring at 10.30am on Monday. Michael Guerin If you want to buy a winner then the odds are in your favour, big time, when you buy a yearling from the Breckon Farms draft at the 2018 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale. There is no doubt that this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale is the best Catalogue of yearlings ever produced in New Zealand. Be there. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale catalogue click on this link. To view the entire Breckon Farms yearlings click on this link. Art Major hits $170,000,000 in earnings Muscle Hill - World's greatest trotting sire Speedster He’s Watching a life-changer Golden cross, Andover Hall - Muscles Yankee Generational speed 1:47.4 ---- 1:46.4 The Australasian Classic Yearling Sale You need a Somebeachsomewhere filly How to buy a millionairess! This stallion has 14 colts in 1:48.4 or faster 1,846 winners for Art Major Golden cross, Bettor's Delight x Christian Cullen

Just because the Dickie stable has one of the more powerful hands at tonight's Alexandra Park meeting doesn't mean stable driver Josh Dickie is in for a big night. Because the young gun driver says there are some question marks over three of his key drives, not so much their talent but their readiness. Josh and father John take seven horses to the tote races tonight (and two to a non-tote) and they have dual acceptors in three of those. But while Josh gets his pick of the drives he admits they may not be the best winning chances, starting with Somethingaboutmary in the Nevele R Fillies heat (race three). "She can definitely win but is no better chance than our other one, New York Rain," says Dickie. "A lot will depend on the run they get over 1700m because it could end up being a tricky race for them both. If New York Rain can get handy she might be hard to beat." With plenty of speed drawn inside the pair, either could win but equally they could both get beaten and go good races. Dickie is on the likely favourite Sertorius in race four and the big horse looks headed to open class but his stablemate C K Spur is rated at least as good a chance tonight. "It is 2200m and Sertorius can be a bit slow away, which would be a real disadvantage in this grade with some experienced older trotters drawn behind him. "I think Sertorius is an open class horse in the making but if he is slow and C K Spur pings the tapes then he could beat him. So it is a tricky one." The same applies in race six where Sex On Fire is having only her second start after beating older horses as a juvenile by eight lengths. "She obviously has the ability but she has taken a while to come up this time and our other filly (Star Of Olesya) is race fit and also won easily last start. "So while there will be plenty of people keen on Sex On Fire, if you add in a handy filly like Aoraki it is another race I could easily get beaten in. "So I'm hoping to have a good night but if I went away with two wins or none I wouldn't be totally surprised," Dickie mused. Another man set to star tonight is Steve Telfer, who sits third on the national trainers premiership and has two huge hopes in American Brave (race seven) and Parker (race five) with a pretty strong support cast too. Barry Purdon looks the dominant trainer in the two-year-old race, with Star Of Montana and Supreme Dominator both looking youngsters with good seasons ahead of them. Michael Guerin

Alexandra Park is celebrating ‘The Year of the Dog’ with a dedicated Chinese New Year harness racing night on Friday, 9 February. Off the back of its popularity last year, Alexandra Park is set to host an even bigger evening showcasing traditional entertainment and a delicious all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet dinner. “We’re going much bigger on our decorations this year, with our talented Chinese decorators set to create an entranceway which will have plenty of wow factor. Also featuring will be some outstanding traditional Chinese entertainment and dancing,” says Joel Reichardt, Sales & Marketing Manager at Alexandra Park. He says tickets are selling fast for the plentiful Chinese-themed hospitality which will take place from 5.30pm at Alexandra Park’s premier 5th floor function venue, Top of the Park. Dining packages start from just $60pp for top-level viewing and buffet only, through to $120pp for prime viewing and the premium beverage package. The buffet menu includes soup, Peking pancakes, San choy bau, and an array of tasty hot dishes, salads, and desserts. As well as the sumptuous buffet and traditional entertainment, attendees will also enjoy an outstanding view from Alexandra Park’s beautifully themed, Top of the Park, overlooking all the exciting harness racing action under lights below. “Alexandra Park has been harness racing since 1890 and Chinese Aucklanders are a big part of our story, helped by the fact that for many years we’ve also been home to the best Chinese restaurant in Auckland, Grand Park. It’s a real privilege then for us to help celebrate Chinese New Year,” he says. Mr Reichardt says following rave reviews from last year’s event, Alexandra Park’s first-class chefs have once again designed a Chinese buffet menu packed with delicious traditional flavours as well as some modern twists. Sales & Events Coordinator Danielle Upton says given the popularity of last year, Alexandra Park is expecting a sell-out for its Chinese New Year celebration on 9 February. “This is set to be another fantastic evening so we’re really encouraging people to organise their colleagues, family or friends and get their tickets sooner rather than later,” she says.  To secure tickets phone (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz, or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz  

There is some great harness racing action this week including a rare double grass track meeting at Marlborough. There is also grass track action for the north at Te Awamutu on Saturday. Wyndham race on Thursday this week with Auckland and Marlborough on Friday.  Last week on the ringaround Lance from racechat had the best winning dividend when Major Classic easily won and paid $6.00 and $2.30 on the tote. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often.   Wyndham on Thursday Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks that Lis Amore would be his best chance this week at Wyndham in Race 2 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory agrees and says his best drive would be Lis Amore in Race 2 Blair Orange - Blair thinks his best drive would be Samskara at Wyndham in Race 5 Brad Willamson - Brad says his best drive would be Vin Scully at Wyndham in Race 7 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is going for Rakarover as his best drive today in Race 8 Nathan Williamson - Nathan thinks that Idealistic Lass would be his best chance this week in Race 9 Brent Barclay - Brent is opting for Funatthebeach as his best chance at Invercargill in Wyndham in Race 10   Marlborough on Friday (Grass) Jim Curtin - Jimmy thinks his best drive would be Caviar Star at Marlborough in Race 2 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Miracle Rising as his best chance this week at Marlborough in Race 5 Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard says his best drive this week would be Motu Better be Quick in Race 6 Mark Jones - Mark thought Black Art  looked like a great bet back in grade this week at Marlborough in Race 7   Auckand on Friday Night Todd Macfarlane - Todd thinks Tiger Swift would be his best chance this week at Auckland in Race 5 John Curtin - John thinks Utmost Delight would be a great winning chance at Auckland in Race 7 Andre Poutama - Andre - says his best drive would be Jo's Dream at Auckland also in Race 7 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Arma Indie can go close to winning at at Auckland in Race 8   Waikato Harness on Saturday (Grass) Racechat - Lance thinks that Burt munro is a good winning chance at Te Awamutu in Race 6 Scott Phelan - Scott thinks that Whale Rider would be his best chance this week in Race 9 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - Stephen thinks that Charlie Harper will be hard to beat on grass in Race 10   Harnesslink Media  

One of the world’s best ever drivers will be showcasing his skills in New Zealand over the next fortnight. And for Hall Of Fame horseman David Miller that will hopefully mean his first time race driving on grass at Motukarara on Sunday week. Miller is accompanying Kiwi horseman Richard “Nifty” Norman, who has been based in North America for much of his career, when Norman returns home this week. So Miller will bring his driving bag and is available for drives at Alexandra Park this Friday, at Addington the following Friday and at Motukarara the following Sunday. Trainers interested in using his services should either contact the clubs involved or Cran Dalgety. “It is great to have a guy like David driving down here and Nifty tells me he is really looking forward to it,” says Dalgety. “So I’d love to see him get some drives up there (Auckland) and then of course down here. “Apparently he is really looking forward to having a go on the grass.” While Alexandra Park’s right-handed track and the grass at The Mot may be relatively new experiences for Miller, not much else in harness racing is. He has driven around 13,000 winner in his extraordinary career and the winners of over US$10million in a season a remarkable 13 times. Michael Guerin

Auckland Cup hero Vincent won't be protected from champion stablemate Lazarus as the Miracle Mile looms as pacing's race of the season. The red hot favourite led home a Purdon-Rasmussen trifecta in the $250,000 Cup at Alexandra Park tonight (Sunday), downing Titan Banner and Heaven Rocks in a race of twists and turns. After Titan Banner led early and Vincent trailed punters could have expected that order to remain unchanged but David Butcher driving Northview Hustler had other ideas, deciding he didn't want to sit parked so attacked for the lead. He was successful, Titan Banner came out of the trail to re-take the lead and once that game of cat and mouse calmed down Vincent strolled to the front. The magnificent four-year-old then dawdled through the middle stages before things lit up again when Heaven Rocks worked around to sit parked, attacked down the back straight and even headed Vincent at the 500m before racing erratically. But the favourite kicked back in the style of a potential pacing great and at the line was easily holding Titan Banner. "That was a huge win when you consider he is only four," said Purdon, who watched the race from the outside fence of the parade ring because he is suspended. That meant training partner Natalie Rasmussen reined the winner and Purdon admitted it was a strange feeling watching rather than being out on the track. "But it was great to see all three of them perform to that level and when Tim [Williams, driving Heaven Rocks] attacked it made the last lap exciting. The winner is a wonderful horse but I thought the other two went great and it was good to see Heaven Rocks get around in one piece." The win was followed by Ashley Locaz winning the last race to give the All Stars a remarkable seven winners at the premier meeting from only eight races but now their gaze turns to Australia. Lazarus returns to racing in Perth this Friday and the following two weeks before returning to the eastern states, where Vincent will contest the A$200,000 Chariots Of Fire in Sydney on February 10. If they continue on their winning ways both will be invited to the A$750,000 Miracle Mile on February 24 and Purdon says he will not keep the pair apart. "If they are both going well enough and win their way into the Miracle Mile then I wouldn't be scared to start them against each other," he said. So could the new Auckland Cup winner beat the two-time New Zealand Cup winner in Lazarus? "I think he could," says Purdon of Vincent. "I am not saying he would but it is not impossible as Vincent is a very good horse and any horse, even Lazarus, is beatable as we saw in the early heats of the Inter Dominions. "So that could be the first time they clash and I think if it eventuated it would be great for the industry." Earlier, Temporale ended the argument over who is the best trotter racing in New Zealand when he outstayed Speeding Spur in the $100,000 National Trot, the second time he has beaten him this month and suggesting he has earned himself a trip to Victoria next month. Michael Guerin  

It’s official. The biggest threat to Lazarus, the current champion of Australasian harness racing, lies within his own stable. This will not shock most fans, the depth of the All Stars stable is at an all-time high and the result of the Gr.1 $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park today (Sunday) only solidifies the point. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen provided the top three finishers with boom four-year-old and race favourite Vincent defeating Titan Banner and Heaven Rocks in the 3200m stand-start feature. While Lazarus has dominated most open class features this season including his powerful and relentless thrashings of rivals in the New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominion, his stablemate Vincent is well on the way to being his nemesis. His winning effort in the Auckland Cup, his first foray into the Grand Circuit level of elite pacing, clearly underlines the enormous talent that fits into his hulking frame. It’s a lethal combination. Stepping safely and landing behind Titan Banner soon after the start, Vincent travelled comfortably while outsider Northview Hustler challenged hard for the lead and eventually found it before releasing both Titan Banner and Vincent again. Rasmussen positioned Vincent in the lead role passing the 2100m mark. The lead time was covered in a moderate 2:04.9. With Vincent dictating terms, Heaven Rocks and Tim Williams whistled around the field before parking outside of his stablemate with 1200m remaining. The first half of the final mile was covered in splits of 32.7 and 32.7 seconds. Entering the back straight, Vincent was tested by Heaven Rocks who raced keenly albeit pacing like a startled giraffe. Heaven Rocks actually headed Vincent coming off the back straight before pacing very awkwardly, the back straight quarter was covered in 27.4 seconds. But Rasmussen wasn’t perturbed and allowed Vincent to pace comfortably within himself before releasing the shackles in the straight, the margin soon expanded and the highly decorated pacer scored easily by 1.5 lengths from Titan Banner who used inside runs while Heaven Rocks was a further head away in third. The final quarter was covered in 27 seconds. The overall time was 4:04.7 – a winning mile rate of 2:03.0. “That was a professional effort, he stepped away safely and travelled really well and felt terrific in the straight when challenged. He’s a very good horse.” Winning driver Natalie Rasmussen declared. It was Rasmussen’s maiden victory in the North Island feature. The victory of Vincent also provided his champion sire Art Major with his first Auckland Cup winner. The All Stars stable have now won the Auckland Cup on six occasions and have recorded back to back victories following the success of Dream About Me last year. Other winners include Sharp And Telford, Young Rufus, Auckland Reactor and Have Faith In Me. With four legs now complete in the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the All Stars stable has won three legs (New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and Auckland Cup) while Lennytheshark won the opening leg of the 2017/18 series, the Victoria Cup. The next leg of the APG Grand Circuit takes place on January 19 at Gloucester Park with the running of the Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup, an event that will feature Lazarus. Collectively, the combination of Purdon and Rasmussen have either trained or driven in excess of 50 Grand Circuit winners! Auckland Cup By Chris Barsby

Today is Auckland harness racing’s biggest race of the year - the $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup. Interest and anticipation in this year’s Auckland Cup Day has been bigger than usual, with Alexandra Park promising some of New Zealand’s best racing combined with a growing number of free off-track attractions. With the gates set to open from 2pm, there will be food trucks, ice creams, a bouncy castle, face painting and much more. Then after the last race there will be a fireworks’ display and a performance by band Split Second. “We’ve brought back the fireworks which promises to be awesome, and will be set off just on dark, so people don’t have to wait around until midnight to celebrate New Year. There is so much for families to enjoy,” says Joel Reichardt, Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager. General admission into Alexandra Park, car-parking, race books and entertainment – both on and off the track - are all free to enjoy. “With over $800,000 in stakes on offer, we can’t wait to see all the Group One action on track today. For the Auckland Cup itself, the field is set to be one of the best and most competitive we’ve seen in years,” says Regan Cotter, Alexandra Park’s Racing Manager. Known as the race of champions, in the past the Auckland Cup has been won by sporting greats such as Cardigan Bay, Young Quinn, Christian Cullen, Elsu and Themightyquinn. For further information on 2017 Auckland Cup Day, visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Contact: Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or Joel Reichardt – Sales & Marketing Manager - (021) 786-034. Here are the fields;            Race 1 [2:04pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES FILLIES SILVER (MOBILE PACE)  $12,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m  Race 2 [2:39pm] BRECKON FARMS YOUNG GUNS SERIES (HEAT 2) MOBILE PACE  $25,000, 2YO, 1700m  Race 3 [3:14pm] CROMBIE LOCKWOOD HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R50 TO R60 SPECIAL, 2700m  Race 4 [3:49pm] WOODLANDS STUD YEARLING PARADE JANUARY 15 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER F&M UP TO & INCLUDING R67, 2200m  Race 5 [4:24pm] JACOBSEN HEADSTONES HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, R61 TO R105 SPECIAL, 2700m  Race 6 [4:59pm] SIMS PACIFIC METALS MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R52 TO R60, 2200m  Race 7 [5:32pm] PGG WRIGHTSON NZ YEARLING SALES 3YO FINAL (MOBILE PACE) (Listed)  $230,000, 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS, 2200m  Race 8 [6:02pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES 3YO FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1)  $150,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m  Race 9 [6:34pm] LINCOLN FARMS BLOODSTOCK MOBILE PACE  $20,000, R85 & FASTER, 2200m  Race 10 [7:04pm] WINGER MOTORS 2017 NATIONAL TROT (FFA MOBILE) (Gr1)  $100,000, FFA, 2700m  Race 11 [7:35pm] TRILLIAN TRUST 2017 AUCKLAND CUP (FFA PACE) (Gr1)  $250,000, FFA, 3200m  Race 12 [8:04pm] AUCKLAND CO-OP TAXIS 300-3000 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R62 TO R83, 2200m   Race 1 [2:04pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES FILLIES SILVER (MOBILE PACE)  $12,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      For 3-year-old pacing fillies. Estimated stake for the consolation (with 6 acceptors) to be $12,000. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 35X10P 3 f     Come Dance With Me   R53 1 Front Zachary Butcher M P Kerr   2 61X352 3 f     Harpagus   MR52 2 Front Philip Butcher B & G J Hughes   3 80X292 3 f     A Lister   MR50 3 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   4 380X32 3 f     Harmony Blue   MR53 4 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   5 86 3 f     Feel The Burn   MR48 5 Front Todd Macfarlane B & G J Hughes   6 33X308 3 f     Shandance   MR50 6 Front Maurice McKendry M W McKendry MNZM            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Come Dance With Me to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, A Lister to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 2 [2:39pm] BRECKON FARMS YOUNG GUNS SERIES (HEAT 2) MOBILE PACE  $25,000, 2YO, 1700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For 2-year-old pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Sex (fillies drawn inside colts and geldings) using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 4 2 c     Beaudiene Western   MR50 1 Front David Butcher R W Green   2   2 g     Supreme Dominator   MR50 2 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   3   2 g     Star Of Montana   MR50 3 Front Scott Phelan B Purdon   4 2 2 c     Bettor Getta Lover   MR51 4 Front Gerard O'Reilly G R Dunn   5   2 c     Power Dreaming   MR50 5 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   6   2 g     Arden Voyager   MR50 6 Front Brent Mangos B Purdon   7 3 2 c     Stun Gun   MR51 7 Front Ricky May P T Court   8   2 c     Jesse Duke   MR50 8 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9   2 c     Tycoon Tiger   MR50 9 Front Todd Macfarlane T A Macfarlane   10 5 2 c     Pembrook Charlie   MR49 10 Front                Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Bettor Getta Lover to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Stun Gun to Steven Reid at Pukekohe, Jesse Duke to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 3 [3:14pm] CROMBIE LOCKWOOD HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R50 TO R60 SPECIAL, 2700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      For R50 to R60 3yo-&-older trotters. Front: R50 to R58. 10m: R59 to R60. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 210322 4 g     Musculus   R55 1 Front Dexter Dunn C P Iggo   2 235D23 9 g     Jomo   R56 2 Front John Robinson J M Robinson   3 345221 5 g     Swinging   R55 3 Front Tony Herlihy T R Vince   4 94D9X1 3 g     Stress Factor   R58 4 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 DX1 3 g     All American   R58 5 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   6 96X132 5 m     Magnafique   R53 6 Front Michelle Wallis Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   7 D78254 5 g     Blood And Whisky   R51 7 Front John Dunn Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   8 06010X 4 g     Mass Destruction   R54 U1 Front Maurice McKendry Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   9 157X33 4 m     One Bid Buys   R55 U2 Front Todd Macfarlane J L & Mrs M A Teaz   10 X71083 4 g     Galleons Victory   R54 U3 Front Blair Orange Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   11 10357X 4 g     Billy At Salsa   R50 U4 Front Todd Mitchell Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   12 X0X351 7 m     Alta Venetia   R60 U1 10m Andre Poutama I J Moody            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Musculus to Richard Brosnan at Ardmore, Stress Factor to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 4 [3:49pm] WOODLANDS STUD YEARLING PARADE JANUARY 15 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER F&M UP TO & INCLUDING R67, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For up to & including R67 3yo-&-older pacing fillies & mares. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 217544 4 m     Lynbar Rose   R54 1 Front Maurice McKendry J M Young   2 332831 4 m     Kaitlyn   R56 2 Front Rhys Fensom Mrs P N Fensom   3 1P24 3 f     Ideal Lass   R57 3 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   4 967680 6 m     Gupta's Cullen   R58 4 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   5 376451 4 m     Christanna   R58 5 Front       6 717450 4 m     Three Kisses   R62 6 Front Logan Hollis L G Hollis & S M Robertson   7 945301 4 m     American Empress   R64 7 Front Sailesh Abernethy J M Young   8 75X138 4 m     Juice Brogden   R67 8 Front Nicky Chilcott Miss N A Chilcott   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 065413 4 m     Queen Lostris   R58 9 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Gupta's Cullen: SL-Off, BL-On, Ideal Lass: BL-Off    Legend         Race 5 [4:24pm] JACOBSEN HEADSTONES HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, R61 TO R105 SPECIAL, 2700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      For R61 to R105 trotters. Front: R61 to R65. 10m: R66 to R71. 20m: R72 to R80. 30m: R81 to R88. 40m: R89 to R105. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 627255 6 m     Lovely Bundy   R61 1 Front       2 0X3124 5 g     Geena's Success   R63 U1 Front Maurice McKendry Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   3 413555 6 g     Angus Burga   R61 U2 Front Peter Ferguson K D Sefonte   4 206165 7 g     Primus Inter Pares   R67 1 10m Robert Argue(J) R O Paynter   5 266X61 4 g     Sertorius   R66 U1 10m Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   6 222891 7 m     Tereskova   R72 1 20m Luk Chin Dr L S Chin   7 L42363 5 h     Royal Willie   R73 2 20m David Butcher R O Paynter   8 505411 6 g     The Crown Jewels   R74 U1 20m Nicky Chilcott Miss N A Chilcott   9 1175X1 4 g     Heavyweight Hero   R81 1 30m Todd Macfarlane T A Macfarlane   10 061343 5 m     Shady Sadie   R81 2 30m James Stormont J P Stormont   11 98X816 6 m     Princess Mackendon   R88 3 30m Michelle Wallis Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   12 367722 8 g     KD Hall   R85 U1 30m Tony Herlihy T R Vince   13 414659 7 g     Commander Paris   R94 1 40m       14 846530 7 g     Eyre I Come   R105 U1 40m                Notifiable Gear Changes:    Geena's Success: SL-On    Legend         Race 6 [4:59pm] SIMS PACIFIC METALS MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R52 TO R60, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For R52 to R60 pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 176222 6 g     Hunter Bromac   R52 1 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   2 824935 4 h     Makers Mark   R53 2 Front Peter Ferguson A P & L M Neal   3 13589X 6 g     Loud An Proud   R54 3 Front James Stormont J P Stormont   4 X20681 3 f     Shenandoah   R55 4 Front Nathan Purdon(J) M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 713X2 3 f     Gooddealehemily   R55 5 Front Todd Macfarlane B & G J Hughes   6 771327 4 g     Madiba   R57 6 Front Andre Poutama D C Morrison   7 5436X1 3 c     Charlie Mach   R58 7 Front Tony Cameron(J) A G Herlihy MNZM   8 213285 4 g     Italian Delight   R58 8 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 41 3 f     La Prix   R56 9 Front Maurice McKendry B & G J Hughes   10 022216 3 f     Conway Beach   R56 10 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   11 886134 6 g     M T Pockets   R60 11 Front Jack MacKinnon(J) T R Vince   12 X963X3 5 g     Freedom Fighter   R60 12 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   13 971722 4 g     Wrangler   R60 13 Front John Dunn R J Dunn            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Loud An Proud: SL-Off, RD-On    Legend      Horse Movements:    Shenandoah to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Madiba to Peter Fraser at Cambridge, Conway Beach to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 7 [5:32pm] PGG WRIGHTSON NZ YEARLING SALES 3YO FINAL (MOBILE PACE) (Listed)  $230,000, 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For 3-year-old pacing colts & geldings. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 111226 3 c     King Of Swing   R91 1 Front David Butcher R W Green   2 9X2171 3 c     Culpeka   R71 2 Front Brent Mangos B M Mangos   3 343X13 3 g     Rain Man   R58 3 Front Dexter Dunn S J Reid   4 509X22 3 g     Bettor Step Aside   MR49 4 Front       5 12611 3 g     On The Cards   R71 5 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   6 651035 3 c     Alta Maestro   R82 6 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   7 222024 3 c     The Devils Own   R75 7 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   8 3X3293 3 c     Spankem   R75 8 Front Tony Herlihy M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 792231 3 c     Hail Christian   R65 9 Front Blair Orange P T Court   10 1X311 3 c     Sheriff   R67 10 Front Ricky May N R McGrath   11 111111 3 g     Chase Auckland   R94 11 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   12 143412 3 c     All U Need Is Faith   R79 12 Front Nathan Purdon(J) M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Rain Man: BL-Off    Legend      Horse Movements:    The Devils Own to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Spankem to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Hail Christian to Steven Reid at Pukekohe, Sheriff to Barry Purdon at Clevedon, Chase Auckland to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, All U Need Is Faith to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 8 [6:02pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES 3YO FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1)  $150,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For 3-year-old pacing fillies. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 790898 3 f     Alta Shangri La   R51 1 Front Zachary Butcher R W Green   2 353 3 f     Tiger Swift   MR51 2 Front James Stormont T A Macfarlane   3 33X308 3 f     Shandance E1 MR50 3 Front       4 X10624 3 f     Bare Knuckle   R57 4 Front Tony Herlihy M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 66X307 3 f     Purest Silk   R54 5 Front Brent Mangos B M Mangos   6 13525 3 f     Delight In Me   R54 6 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   7 21373 3 f     Somethingaboutmary   R57 7 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   8 5102 3 f     Kotare Cullen   R57 8 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 114X11 3 f     Bettor Joy   R88 9 Front Dexter Dunn C T Dalgety   10 863147 3 f     Sea Of Gold   R55 10 Front David Butcher R W Green   11 112252 3 f     Bettor Trix   R59 11 Front Nathan Purdon(J) M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   12 35X10P 3 f     Come Dance With Me E2 R53 12 Front       13 9X0430 3 f     New York Rain   R59 13 Front Simon Lawson J W Dickie & J I Dickie   14 42X144 3 f     Elle Mac   R83 14 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   15 511X16 3 f     Dizzy Miss Lizzy   R82 15 Front Blair Orange N R McGrath            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Bettor Joy: SL-Off, Purest Silk: BL-Off    Legend      Horse Movements:    Bare Knuckle to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Delight In Me to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Bettor Joy to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Bettor Trix to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Come Dance With Me to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Elle Mac to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Dizzy Miss Lizzy to Barry Purdon at Clevedon         Race 9 [6:34pm] LINCOLN FARMS BLOODSTOCK MOBILE PACE  $20,000, R85 & FASTER, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For R85 & faster pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 5111X1 4 m     Utmost Delight   R85 1 Front Brent Mangos S J Reid   2 X51313 4 m     Step Up   R80 2 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   3 X23P17 4 h     Mongolian Storm   R87 3 Front Blair Orange P T Court   4 58X551 6 m     Jo's Dream   R87 4 Front Andre Poutama Miss A M Kiddie   5 116317 4 g     Raptors Flight   R90 5 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   6 1X1293 5 g     Motown   R97 6 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   7 13X413 4 m     Partyon   R105 7 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   8 X22113 4 m     Bonnie Joan   R106 8 Front Dexter Dunn C T Dalgety   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 2X1504 5 m     American Tart   R92 9 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   10 X71751 4 m     Seaswift Joy   R96 10 Front James Stormont J P Stormont   11 X11259 6 m     Better B Amazed   R118 11 Front Ben Butcher(J) S G Telfer            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Mongolian Storm to Steven Reid at Pukekohe, Partyon to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Bonnie Joan to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe         Race 10 [7:04pm] WINGER MOTORS 2017 NATIONAL TROT (FFA MOBILE) (Gr1)  $100,000, FFA, 2700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For all trotters. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 330874 6 m     Yagunnakissmeornot   R103 1 Front Blair Orange R J Dunn   2 221X22 6 h     Speeding Spur   R121 2 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   3 574144 10 g     Charlemagne   R83 3 Front Kyle Marshall C J Butler   4 230598 6 m     Destiny Jones   R99 4 Front John Dunn K D Townley   5 571361 10 g     Kyvalley Blur   R123 5 Front Tim Williams B A Lilley   6 60X211 5 g     Temporale   R117 6 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   7 252233 6 g     The Almighty Johnson   R99 7 Front Tony Cameron(J) A G Herlihy MNZM   8 312615 6 g     Everybody Knows   R113 8 Front Ricky May G P & Mrs N M Hope   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 846530 7 g     Eyre I Come   R105 9 Front Brent Mangos Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   10 18280X 6 m     Sunny Ruby   R122 10 Front David Butcher Miss A M Donnelly   11 414659 7 g     Commander Paris   R94 11 Front Todd Mitchell Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   12 112275 7 g     The Foot Tapper   R91 12 Front Barry Purdon B Purdon   13 381507 7 g     Djokovic   R95 13 Front Luk Chin Dr L S Chin            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Eyre I Come: SL-On    Legend      Horse Movements:    Destiny Jones to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Kyvalley Blur to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Everybody Knows to David & Clare McGowan at Pukekohe         Race 11 [7:35pm] TRILLIAN TRUST 2017 AUCKLAND CUP (FFA PACE) (Gr1)  $250,000, FFA, 3200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For all pacers. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 3X4486 9 g     Brydon Ideal   R85 1 Front Maurice McKendry J M Young   2 112963 6 g     Titan Banner   R125 2 Front Dexter Dunn M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   3 312235 4 g     Jack's Legend   R100 3 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   4 111X11 4 h     Vincent(AUS)   R114 4 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 10D514 7 g     Maxim   R120 5 Front Brent Mangos B M Mangos   6 431664 4 h     Northview Hustler   R90 6 Front David Butcher R W Green   7 254364 5 g     Max Phactor   R83 7 Front Ben Butcher(J) M G Berger   8 11X112 4 g     Star Galleria   R101 8 Front Tony Herlihy S J Reid   9 94X212 4 g     A G's White Socks   R84 9 Front Ricky May G P & Mrs N M Hope   10 022135 8 g     Imajollywally   R82 10 Front Arna Donnelly Miss A M Donnelly   11 531020 5 g     Heaven Rocks   R125 U1 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   12 337706 6 m     Lusty Mac   R91 U2 Front Philip Butcher M G Berger            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Titan Banner to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Vincent(AUS) to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, A G's White Socks to David & Clare McGowan at Pukekohe, Heaven Rocks to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 12 [8:04pm] AUCKLAND CO-OP TAXIS 300-3000 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R62 TO R83, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For R62 to R83 pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 612653 3 c     Royal Lincoln   R62 1 Front Andre Poutama R W Green   2 1X2102 3 g     Park Avenue   R63 2 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   3 1X7424 5 h     Zadaka   R70 3 Front       4 X33353 4 g     Rhythm N Blues   R71 4 Front Ben Butcher(J) S G Telfer   5 1X4225 3 g     Ashley Locaz   R71 5 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   6 9X3257 4 g     Forgotten Highway   R74 6 Front       7 422227 4 m     Opoutama   R76 7 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   8 312942 5 g     Ideal Roman   R77 8 Front Philip Butcher S G Telfer   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 29X355 4 g     Check In   R71 9 Front Jack MacKinnon(J) S G Telfer   10 11132 3 g     Triple Eight   R72 10 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   11 1X8200 5 m     Rocknroll Princess   R80 11 Front John Dunn S G Telfer   12 421517 4 h     My Generation   R83 12 Front Kyle Marshall D M Balle            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Ashley Locaz: BL-On    Legend      Horse Movements:    Ashley Locaz to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Forgotten Highway to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe      

We should be about to find out just how good unbeaten three-year-old Chase Auckland really is. Because we know he is very, very good but to win tomorrow's $230,000 Sales Series Pace at Alexandra Park he might need to be special. The three-year-old has suggested that might be the case with six straight wins since he debuted on September 16 including a national record group one in the Sires' Stakes and a last start stunner in the Alabar Classic. But as freakish as he has been, he has led or trailed in five of those wins and sat parked against moderate opposition in his second start. Tomorrow is a totally different challenge, starting off the second line against group one winning opponents in a race where a sizzling time is all but guaranteed. Co-trainer Mark Purdon is undaunted. "He is very, very good and if they go hard I think he can still come sit parked and be the one to beat," he said. Whether punters want to brave taking $1.40 to multi up Chase Auckland (R7, No.11), especially with key rival King Of Swing (1) drawn to lead or trail is another matter. In a deep field the favourite should still win but for bad luck's sake alone the $1.40 may not be worth it as a multi anchor and stablemate All U Need Is Faith (12) might make better place sense. Also facing what looks a tricky draw on paper is Bettor Joy (R8, No.9) but her inside second line marble may not be a disaster as the 150-1 chance she follows out has gate speed and could create a gap early. It has been a mixed crop with no dominant filly but Dizzy Miss Lizzy (15) and Elle Mac (14) can win at their best and Bare Knuckle (4) looks like getting one of the better runs of the favourites. Speeding Spur (R10, No.2) is the best horse in the National Trot but was disappointing by his very high standards when he couldn't run down Kyvalley Blur (5) at Cambridge last Sunday. That was only his second run back after nine months off and with the better draw he is still the one to beat, with Temporale (6) having the weapons to test the two favourites. Early season juvenile races are often not as straight forward as they seem that could apply to Jessie Duke (R2, No.8) who has a reputation as big as his yearling sales-topping price. He has a tricky draw to work with and no Alexandra Park experience so while the opposition don't look stellar yet, if he is odds on, move on. Stress Factor (R3, No.4) was racing out of his grade when he won last start so meets some of the same horses, like Musculus (1), on the same mark so if he behaves he looks the best of the early bank builders. Heavyweight Hero (R5, No.9) is an open class trotter of the future still maturing and even though he is not well handicapped it may not matter while Freedom Fighter (R6, No.12) looks one of the better value options for the day. He was third to two good three-year-olds last start, meets a mixed bunch and his second line draw will boost his dividend. If Vincent (R11, No.3) steps and races up to his recent two wins the Auckland Cup is his to lose with stablemates Titan Banner (2) the logical danger and Jack's Legend (4) the improver and he was, after all, runner-up to Lazarus in the New Zealand Cup. Michael Guerin

There is a little bit of Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling about Jack’s Legend’s Auckland Trotting Cup bid on Sunday. But even champion trainer Barry Purdon admits his talented pacer might struggle to get the same result as the now famed Irish raider. In case you have forgotten, it has been less than two months since Rekindling won the Melbourne Cup as officially a four-year-old even though, being Northern Hemisphere bred, he doesn’t physically turn four until March 23 next year. Jack’s Legend also had a decent November, finishing second to Lazarus in the New Zealand Cup and is in the same boat, racing as a four-year-old when he is also bred to Northern Hemisphere time and doesn’t actually turn four until next Friday. “He has done a super job when you consider how late a foal he was,” says Purdon.  “He has only had one really big year of racing and has come from maidens to running second to Lazarus in the Cup in about 14 months. “So with another season like this under his belt I think he will be even stronger, both mentally and physically.” That immaturity may have been why Jack’s Legend disappointed in the Franklin Cup last start, a race won in national record time by Vincent, the $1.35 favourite for Sunday’s $250,000 Cup.  “He had two big races in a short space of time in Christchurch and when he came back his blood wasn’t quite right. So he went into the Franklin Cup needing the run and I think that is why he hit the wall at the 100m mark. But he has trained on well since and is back to his New Zealand Cup form. So with that in mind if he steps well on Sunday I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t in the money. But I am not sure he can beat Vincent at the moment because there might be something a little special about him.” Jack’s Legend and Titan Banner are drawn either side of Vincent handy on the front line and their already obvious chances have been boasted by a little-known change to the Alexandra Park standing start conditions. Many punters will have forgotten the front line limits for standing starts at the track reduced from nine to eight last year, meaning Franklin Cup runner-up A G’s White Socks has to start from the inside of the second line on Sunday. He probably wasn’t a huge winning chance in the race but a legitimate place hope. Now he faces a more difficult task. Meanwhile, Purdon will have remarkably only his second drive of the season behind The Foot Tapper, who he now trains, in the $100,000 National Trot on Sunday. He has won 610 races in the sulky in New Zealand as well as Miracle Miles, Hunter and Victoria Cups in Australia but rarely drives these days, with Zachary Butcher doing most of the stable driving. “It was good to get back out there again last Sunday driving on this horse but his draw this week makes it tough,” he offers. Michael Guerin

Excitement is ramping up for Auckland harness racing’s biggest race of the year - the $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve. Known as the race of champions, in the past it has been won by sporting greats such as Cardigan Bay, Young Quinn, Christian Cullen, Elsu and Themightyquinn. Alexandra Park is again promising some of New Zealand’s best racing combined with a growing number of free off-track attractions. Racing Manager Regan Cotter says the Auckland Trotting Club’s focus is now well and truly on the big one – an afternoon of exhilarating Group One racing on 31 December. “For the Auckland Cup itself, we’re confident the field will be one of the best and most competitive we’ve had in years. The Group One National Trot will also be a real battle of the titans. “With over $800,000 in stakes on offer for the big day, we can’t wait to see all the action on track under the glorious Auckland sun. New Year’s Eve simply promises to be one mouth-watering event with many fighting it out for Group One glory,” says Mr Cotter. Trackside presenter Michael Guerin believes the Auckland Trotting Club has gotten its Auckland Cup concept spot on, delivering top level racing but with the relaxed feel of a summer holiday meeting. He says the move back to a 3200m standing start Auckland Cup has been a massive success. He agrees the National Trot will also be a show-stopper and believes it will be “the strongest trotting race in New Zealand so far this season.”  Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt says the interest and anticipation in this year’s Auckland Cup Day has been huge, with dining packages nearly all sold out. He says they’re expecting possibly the biggest crowd they’ve seen for some time if the weather is fine, helped by the fact that general admission, car-parking, race books and entertainment – both on and off the track - are all free. With the gates set to open from 2pm, there will be food trucks, ice creams, a bouncy castle, face painting and much more. Then after the last race there will be a fireworks’ display and a performance by band Split Second. “This is a perfect family event as there’ll be so much for parents and so much for children to all enjoy. We’ve brought back the fireworks which promises to be awesome, and will be set off just on dark, so people don’t have to wait around until midnight to celebrate New Year,” says Mr Reichardt. For further information on 2017 Auckland Cup Day, visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or Joel Reichardt – Sales & Marketing Manager - (021) 786-034.

Vincent may have a fair way to go to match champion stablemate Lazarus but you wouldn’t know it looking at the Auckland Cup market. The exceptional four-year-old pacer is set to start one of the shortest Auckland Trotting Cup favourites in history in the $250,000 classic at Alexandra Park early on Sunday night. Bookies are likely to have Vincent around the $1.40 mark to win the great race, matching what Lazarus was a few days out from the New Zealand Cup in November. Lazarus bolted away with that race and justified his record short price and has since gone on to win the Inter Dominion. But was already established as the best pacer in Australia before his second NZ Cup win, having already won the Cup the previous season by 10 lengths, the Victoria Cup in record time, two Flying Stakes and a NZ Free-For-All. Remarkably, Vincent is approaching Lazarus-type odds for Sunday at what will be only his second open class start. He bolted away with the first in the Franklin Cup at Alexandra Park two weeks ago and showed he had taken no harm from that when he jogged to victory in the $50,000 Four and Five-Year-Old Futurity at Cambridge on Sunday. With Mark Purdon losing his appeal against a 26-day suspension in Perth, co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen has been confirmed to partner Vincent while Tim Williams, who drove Vincent to win at Cambridge will be behind Heaven Rocks. Dexter Dunn will drive the third All Stars runner Titan Banner. While Vincent’s odds seem ridiculously short considering his lack of experience against top class older rivals, bookmakers probably don’t have much percentage to pay as they took a staggering $20,000 each way bet on him at $1.60 on Sunday and it is hard to make a case for any of his rivals to down the budding superstar. While the Auckland Cup contains New Zealand Cup runner-up Jacks Legend and the mad mammoth Heaven Rocks, it does lack Tiger Tara and Dream About Me from the NZ Cup, so Vincent’s rivals are not as strong as those Lazarus beat on November 14. While Vincent has an awfully long way to go to be compared with the open class version of Lazarus, their records are almost identical at the same stage of their careers: after 18 starts both had 15 wins with some luckless placed efforts.  Vincent’s record should be even better because the only time he has finished out of the money was when his sulky tyre was flattened by a rival in the Victoria Derby, a race he was a $1.10 favourite for. The two imposing stallions could be on the pathway to a thrilling clash in the Miracle Mile in two months after Vincent’s win at Cambridge on Sunday. That earned him an invite to the A$200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on February 10 and if he won that, or even placed, he should be invited to the Miracle Mile two weeks later, a race that at this stage Lazarus’s final major target for the season.  With barrier four on Sunday the Auckland Cup may look Vincent’s to lose but Titan Banner’s closing sectionals were similar to his stablemate in the Franklin Cup and as a good standing start horse drawn barrier two he looms at the logical danger. Another big winner in the draws for Sunday is Speeding Spur, who has drawn barrier two in the $100,000 National Trot.  He was surprisingly beaten on his merits by Kyvalley Blur at Cambridge on Sunday but should appreciate the 2700m mobile while Kyvalley Blur (5) and Temporale (6) have drawn wider.   The National Trot lost a key player yesterday with bold chestnut Bordeaux was withdrawn with his summer campaign over.  “He has banged a hind leg and I was battling to get him right and I’d rather do the right thing by the horse and take him home,” says trainer Philip Iggo.  “So he will have a break and be set for the Rowe Cup.” But the draws for the Sires’ Stakes Fillies Championship and the Sales Series Pace have added intrigue with big names like Chase Auckland, Bettor Joy and Dizzy Miss Lizzy drawing poorly. Michael Guerin

Harness racing trainer Mark Purdon knows a thing or two about the Auckland Cup. The champion horseman has trained the winner of the North Island feature five times, including last year’s heroine Dream About Me in race record time. His other past champions include Have Faith In Me, Auckland Reactor, Young Rufus and Sharp And Telford. On Sunday night at Alexandra Park, the All Stars stable will be represented by a trio of charges in the Gr.1 $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup including boom four-year-old Vincent plus Titan Banner and the enigmatic Heaven Rocks. Unbeaten in both starts this term, Vincent is clearly the horse to beat following his record breaking victory in the $50,000 Franklin Cup on December 15 followed by his easy romp in the $50,000 Futurity at Cambridge on Christmas Eve. The hulking Art Major - Kept For Pleasure entire has landed barrier four in the 3200m stand-start feature. With Purdon currently suspended, star reinsperson Natalie Rasmussen will take the drive again, just like she did in the Franklin Cup. But there is something eerily similar between his past winners and his loaded gun this year. Four of his five Auckland Cup winners have all been four-year-olds, just like Vincent. Dream About Me, Have Faith In Me, Auckland Reactor and Sharp And Telford were all baby faced assassins when triumphant in the Auckland Cup. Young Rufus was a five-year-old when triumphant. So, despite his inexperience and Grand Circuit smarts, Purdon will have Vincent primed for his big open class test. Big brother Barry is also very familiar with the Auckland Cup, having prepared the winner 8 times previously. All but Holmes DG were prepared in partnership with his legendary father Roy - starting with Sole Command and followed by Comedy Lad, Luxury Liner (x 2), Christopher Vance and Chokin ( x 2). Driving champions Peter Wolfenden (Sole Command) and Tony Herlihy (all others) took driving honours for the father/son partnership. Barry took the winning drive himself when successful with Holmes DG. This year, Barry will send out talented four-year-old Jacks Legend while entrusting the drive with skillful reinsman Zachary Butcher. Other four-year-old’s competing this year include the Steve Reid prepared Star Galleria and the Greg and Nine Hope trained A G’s White Socks. Both are extremely talented types and should prove dangerous given the right luck. Herlihy will partner Star Galleria while dual Auckland Cup winning reinsman Ricky May takes the lines behind A G’s White Socks. Cup winning trainer Ray Green (2012 - Sir Lincoln) prepares Northview Hustler and will engage dual Cup winning driver David Butcher (Elsu - 2003/04) for the drive. Surprisingly, respected horseman Brent Mangos is chasing his maiden success in the Auckland Cup and will partner his talented runner Maxim. Mangos has won most features at the premier North Island track. Also chasing Cup success for the first time include Jeremy Young (Bryson Ideal), Mike Berger (Max Phactor & Lusty Mac) and Anna Donnelly (Imajollywally). As it stands, the dominant force of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have won two of the three legs this season of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit following the victories of mighty pacer Lazarus in the New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominion. The opening leg of the 2017/18 series, the Victoria Cup was taken out by hometown hero Lennytheshark in clinical style. The Auckland Cup is the 4th leg of the 8 race series. Start time for the Auckland Cup is 7.35pm local. Chris Barsby

Auckland harness racing fixed odds movers as at 2:20pm Race 1 - Missy Moo $12.50 - $9.50 is best backed on the win 'book'  with the $1.70 favourite All Over The Stars $1.70 easily leading multi betting.   Race 2 - Tiger Swift $3.70 - $2.80 is easily leading win & multi betting. Ruebe Star $16.00 - $12.00 is also starting to attract some strong support.   Race 3 - The only runner backed in win betting is Positano $5.00 - $4.50. The Thug $2.30 leads multi betting over Hunter Bromac $7.00 - $6.50.     Race 4 - Triple Eight $2.20 - $1.95 leads win and multi betting. Freedom Fighter $6.80 - $6.00 is starting to take some win money.     Race 5 - Sertorius $1.75 -$1.60 is the only runner wanted here.   Race 6 - Seaswift Joy $3.20 - $2.20 is easily leading win & multi betting over Motown $2.10.   Race 7 - American Empress $4.60 leads win and multi betting over Pakipaki $3.40 - $3.10.   Race 8 - Heavyweight Hero $1.75 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 9 - Banner OF Art $10.00 has taken some early win money with the $1.75 favourite Storm Prince leading multi betting.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Two disasters from last Friday night should redeem themselves tonight and kickstart a huge weekend for father and son training team John and Josh Dickie. The pair have a host of winning chances at the two northern meetings, with Speeding Spur set to start a red hot favourite in the $50,000 Flying Mile at Cambridge on Sunday. But before then the South Auckland trainers head to Alexandra Park tonight looking for redemption with Motown (race six) and Sertorius (race five), who both failed in stronger fields last Friday. On that occasion Motown was poorly handicapped against Vincent and Heaven Rocks but still hung when under pressure. "There was no reason he should hang like that but he has been good as gold this week and we are still aiming him at the Auckland Cup next week," says Josh Dickie, who drives the team.   "So he really should win this week even though he is off 30m because the small field helps." Sertorius was trialling well before pacing early in the minor trot last Friday but meets an easier field tonight, giving Dickie confidence he can settle the four-year-old early before putting him into the race. "I think against this grade of horse he can give them a bit of a start and still win because we rate him highly enough to go through the grades." One of the horses Sertorius beat at the trials recently is the highly-rated Heavyweight Hero, who returns from some national record performances last term in race eight tonight. Trainer-driver Todd MacFarlane has been ironing out a few minor issues with the four-year-old but at his peak he has an open class motor. One of the better races tonight is the fourth, where talented three-year-olds Sheriff and Triple Eight clash, with the latter's experience at Alexandra Park potentially a deciding factor. Meanwhile, the Dickie camp are stunned with how Speeding Spur came through his comeback last week as they eye up an ideal target at Cambridge on Sunday. "He has actually put on weight since last Friday and seems like he is just thrilled to be back racing," says Josh. He will dominate betting on the main trot but Star Galleria will ensure there are at least some punters willing to bet against Vincent in Sunday's other group race, the $50,000 Futurity.   Michael Guerin

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