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Former Grand Circuit winner Ideal Scott made a timely return to the harness racing winners circle yesterday (Tuesday). The big striding American Ideal – Tuapeka Wings gelding led throughout to score in the Noel and Chris Denning Pace over 1660m at Albion Park in a time of 1:53.2 defeating former glamour juvenile Majestic Mach and iron tough pacer Destreos. Ideal Scott posted sectionals of 27.9, 30.2, 27.4 and 27.8 seconds. Now prepared locally by Ian Gurney, the return to form comes at the right with the 2016 Brisbane winter carnival just around the corner. During the month of July, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will play host to a raft of feature open class events highlighted by the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake. “He went great and I expected him to perform well following his first-up run for me a few weeks back, he’s training well and hopefully he can return to that type of form that saw him collect the QPC a few years back. He’s a top horse who has been plagued by injury setbacks over time.” Gurney said. Ironically, it was first victory since claiming the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship back in 2013 at Albion Park. But amazingly, he’s only faced the starter 10 times since his latest win before yesterday’s triumph. Ideal Scott certainly adds plenty of depth to local free-for-all ranks plus he adds another dimension to the Gurney stable that already features dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova and the richly talented Mach Alert. Both horses were unplaced behind Ideal Scott yesterday; it was the first run since their Perth Campaign last year. “I was thrilled with both Nova and Mach; given how the race unfolded and where they were drawn, I thought they hit the line as good as anything in that race and they probably weren’t entitled to get as close as they did at the line. “All three horses will continue to improve and the winter carnival is what we’re looking at, that’s the main focus right now. We have other options like the Newcastle Mile and the Len Smith Mile in Sydney coming up but we’ll just play those races by ear currently. “We won the Sunshine Sprint last year with Nova and we’ll be trying to win it again this year while the Blacks A Fake is the jewel in the crown, that’s the race I want the most.” Another addition to the Gurney stable this week is the arrival of talented young horseman Nathan Purdon. The son of champion horseman Mark returns to the sunshine state after stints in Perth and Melbourne recently. Chris Barsby

Fireyourguns ($2.60) had a full arsenal ready to go in the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway but the harness racing 7-year-old gelding never had to re-load in cruising off to an easy 4-1/2 length victory over China Dream in a seasonal best 1:53.4 on Saturday night (April 23).   Being assigned the eight post, the only work driver Mike Caprio had to do with Fireyourguns was get to the top. Once clearing for the lead just past the opening quarter of 27.2, it was clear sailing the rest of the way home.   Fireyourguns covered the half in 55.4 and felt no resistance on the second circuit in easily drawing away from the other seven competitors. The lone issue was for the minor spoils and that went to China Dream (Drew Monti) who grabbed second and Beach Hero (Shawn McDonough) who took third.   Co-owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe along with trainer Terence McClory, it was the second win of the season in three starts for Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover). It moved his seasonal earnings to $10,000 and $314,341 lifetime.   Todd Cummings finished the night with three wins in the sulky while Jim McNeight, Monti and David McNeight III all doubled. Trainers Rose Russo and JD Perrin each conditioned two winners.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with an 11-race program set for 5 p.m. The card is expected to mark the return of three-time defending Buffalo Raceway driver's champion Kevin Cummings who was sidelined with a broken arm suffered in an off-track mishap. He is tentatively scheduled to drive in 10 races.   For more information including race replays, results, the latest news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 22 - A surprising mid-stretch break by the 1/2 favourite shook things up in the opening leg of the Princess Series Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A compact group of six three-year-old pacing fillies squared off in the $20,000 first round of the Princess. Ken Sucee trainee Shes Lights Out entered Friday's first leg two for two to start 2016 and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was appropriately made the public's choice. American Curves and driver Sylvain Filion floated out to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :28.1, while Shes Lights Out paced along in third. Paul MacDonell sent the favourite to the front in the second-quarter and posted a half-mile clocking of :56.2. Shes Lights Out led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and appeared to be well on her way to a third consecutive victory. However, the favourite made a costly break approaching the final-eighth and American Curves inherited the lead and finished the job in 1:53.3. Party In Rome finished a length and a quarter back in second, while Westluckycam edged out Never Any Doubt for third. Shes Lights Out paced across the wire in fifth. A daughter of American Ideal, American Curves was making her second start of the season Friday after a 1:54.3 victory last week. Murray Brethour trains and co-owns the sophomore pacing filly, who made just two starts as a rookie. American Curves increased her career earnings to $17,900 in her fourth career start for owners Brethour, Doug Millard, John and Jim Fielding and Kevin McKinlay. She paid $9.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Princess, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. The second leg of the Princess will take place next Friday (April 29). Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Fireyourguns made his 2016 seasonal debut at Buffalo Raceway a successful one as he went gate-to-wire in the $10,000 Open Pace to score an easy 1-1/4 length victory over Youwillwishyouhad in 1:54.2 over the fast track on Saturday night (April 16).   Being assigned the eight post, Fireyourguns ($5.40) and driver Mike Caprio went right to the lead and never looked back in posting fractions of 28.1, 57.3 and 1:26.2. A final split of 28.0 was more than enough to hold off any challenges from Youwillwishyouhad (Todd Cummings) and third place finisher Babe's I Scoot (Ray Fisher Jr.).   Trained and co-owned by Terence McClory along with Jennifer and Robert Lowe, it was just the second start of the season for Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover). He finished eighth at Pocono Downs on April 9 to kick off his 2016 campaign.   Fireyourguns holds the all-time Buffalo Raceway track record of 1:52.0 set last season. The 7-year-old gelding won 11 of 18 races in 2015, earning $84,220. This victory puts his lifetime winnings at $309,341.   Todd Cummings posted a driving triple on the night while Fisher Jr. and David McNeight III each notched doubles. Trainer JD Perrin, fresh off five wins on Friday evening, added three more on Saturday night.   Racing will resume on Wednesday night with an 11-race program slated for 5 p.m.   Fore more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Talented open class pacer Resurgent Spirit delivered arguably his best effort of the season when he powered his way to victory in the $10,000 Metropolitan Cup over 2579 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Resurgent Spirit was coming off a game second to Riverboat jasper in the $40,000 Harness Racing's Group 3 Easter Cup two weeks earlier but despite such outstanding form he was sent around at the lucrative price of $3.80 in a more suitable mobile event. Vande Velde showed good early speed to lead from the pole position but when driver James Austin sent Resurgent Spirit around the field to have a look for the lead Vande Velde's trainer-driver Christian Salter obliged to take the trail. The well-backed favourite Pachacuti ($2.50) settled near the rear in the one-out line from his wide second-row draw but when he was called on to improve in the back straight the last time he failed to improve. But when Austin released the reins nearing the home turn the Roger Whitmore-trained five-year-old gelding sped clear and had no trouble fending off his rivals in the home straight. Resurgent Spirit went on to score by over seven metres from Mister Lennox that ran on gamely after enjoying the one-out-one-back sit with Crusader Acey a close-up third. Melolyn ran on well but could have finished closer had he not been shut away three and four-back the fence for most of the race. It was Resurgent Spirit's fifth win from 12 starts this season with his only blemish coming in the Hobart Pacing Cup in January when ninth in a field of 12 but other than that he has won or been placed in 10 of his other 11 starts and finished no further back that fourth. The American Ideal gelding has amassed career prizemoney of $164,106 from his 41 starts courtesy of 23 wins and 10 minor placings. Peter Staples

Ideal Success may trek a path travelled previously by star harness racing stablemate Arden Rooney and head to Mildura in search of Group 2 glory. Last night’s record-breaking Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup winner could be headed north for the annual Sunraysia feature, the stable confirmed at Ararat. The five-year-old gelding, who last season set a record for number of country cup wins in New Zealand with five, has now pocketed cup victories at Ouyen and Ararat since joining the Kerryn Manning stable at Great Western. The son of American Ideal/Maheer Glen has in fact won three from three since donning the red and blue stars. “This is really special,” Manning told course MC Rob Auber post-race. “He’s such a safe beginner. He began very well tonight.” His standing start manners certainly held Ideal Success in great stead last night, making light work of the 10-metre impost in the space of about 100m before pushing on to the front. Punters who backed the ex-Kiwi into $2.80 would have been pretty comfortable with their investment from there as Ideal Success’s main danger, Almost El Eagle, lobbed the one-one. Ideal Success put a lead time of 76secs behind him before two identical 30.5secs opening splits for a 61secs first half at the bell. Manning then launched into action, upping the pressure with a 27.5 third quarter. Star Of Dionysis, who breezed throughout, started to struggle after pulling early and gave ground, which did Almost El Eagle no favours as Steam Washed battled on three-wide. Ideal Success’s stablemate The Noble Steed, who is having a super season, peeled off the favourite’s back with Grant Campbell in the cart to launch its claim at the corner, while Weallwantano (Matthew Craven) angled wider and ran on. But Manning and Ideal Success were having none of it, the champion reinswoman clearly elated with the win as her latest stable star crossed the post 2.9 metres clear, Weallwantano finishing on for second and The Noble Steed third, well clear of Delight Brigade in fourth. And in winning Ideal Success posted a track record mile rate of 2:00.5, which will never be broken as the race will become a mobile start event from next year. Representing the stable at the post-race presentation Grant Campbell thanked the club for putting on a terrific night and the sponsors for their support. He also made special mention of the stable’s “great staff” for their hard work. If Ideal Success does go on to Mildura Manning will be chasing a third victory in the Cup there after previous victories behind Go Charles in 2001 and Arden Rooney last season. Cody Winnell

American Girl (Trace Tetrick) ran her Miami Valley Raceway win streak to three by winning the $20,000 Mares Open pace on Friday (March 25) for the second consecutive week; while upstart Jackie’s Rocket (Brady Galliers) pulled a mild harness racing upset in the $20,000 championship leg of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial series. For the second straight week American Girl benefitted from a pocket ride behind Native Dream (John DeLong), collaring the pacesetter in the stretch to produce a repeat one-two finish from seven days ago with the exacta returning a surprisingly handsome $28.80.  Although A Little Starstruk and Igottafeelinfran each took a shot going first-up at the leaders during the midsection of the race,  the runnerup and eventual winner were charted first and second at each of the quarter mile substations, clocked in :27, :56 and 1:23.3 before American Girl stopped the clock in 1:52.1.  Owned by Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt, the seven-year-old daughter of Art’s Chip now has amassed 32 victories and $628,188 in earnings.  She has earned over $40,000 in eight seasonal starts at Miami Valley for conditioner Tyler George. The Herb Coven Jr. Memorial, one of nine series honoring ‘Lebanon Legends’ of years gone by, featured distaff pacers who were non-winners four pari-mutuel races or $30,000 at the time of nomination.  Jackie’s Rocket, a four-year-old American Ideal mare, pulled a mild upset with her usual impressive late-closing kick.  Twenty year old driver-trainer Brady Galliers, who also co-owns with his parents as Galliers Racing LLC, was content to sit seventh in the early going as Powered By Pink and favored Crystal Falls slugged it out up front through a :26.2 opening quarter.  Still seventh at the :55.2 half, Galliers waited until the three-quarters pole in 1:24 to swing three-wide for a sustained sprint to the wire in 1:53.4. The series finale featured a spirited stretch drive with six mares in contention.  Each of the first five finishers was one-half length apart at the wire with Jackie’s Rocket getting the nod over Do U Mind (Josh Sutton), Swinging Cami (Jeremy Smith), Gray Shadow (Kyle Ater) and Miss Princess Leah (Chris Page).  The $10,000 winner’s share was the largest purse Brady Galliers has captured in his young career and was particularly gratifying behind a horse he acquired as a “free” unraced throw-in in a three-horse acquisition two years ago. ·                            *                   *                        *                *                           * Miami Valley Raceway has announced a change in its starting time for the Wednesday, March 30 qualifying races to 12:00 noon.   This one-week only starting time change was necessary to allow time for necessary plumbing changes in all the paddock bath stalls to be completed without missing a race date. Gregg Keidel

Settlemoir had a double Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. And both could be a factor in the upcoming $600,000 Bobby Weiss Series of harness racing events starting in early April at Pocono.   Jason Settlemoir, CEO/GM of Meadowlands Racetrack, was in the spotlight first with a filly he purchased a part of in January, American Major, an American Ideal out of a ¾ sister to top sire/racehorse Yankee Cruiser. Dismissed at 9-1 despite the presence of ace pilot George Napolitano Jr., American Major came her back half in 57 despite a first-over trip to win easily in a maiden mark of 1:57 for Settlemoir and his partner, trainer Kevin McDermott, in his first start for the joint ownership.   Then came Settlemoir the horse, a Western Ideal gelding (nothing implied there) who was also a January purchase, going from the Takter barn to that of trainer Gil Garcia-Herrera, co-owner with Michi Yvette Abday.   The equine Settlemoir, now racing with Lasix, made a break in his 2016 bow at Freehold, but a 1:55.1 - 55.4 qualifying followup at The Downs showed he was sharp, and he furthered that opinion on Tuesday, racing three-high to get the top in a 27 quarter, yielding for the pocket, then rallying in the lane to pass odds-on Bank Shot Hanover and take a new mark of 1:52.4 for driver Matt Kakaley. The bay Settlemoir also shows a good maternal side, the first living foal of a dam whose dam produced seven $100,000 winners.   PHHA/Pocono    

When harness racing driver Kate Gath left South Australia’s Port Pirie as a teenager bound for the big smoke she took with her lofty ambitions and big plans.  When the Long Forrest driver departed the same coastal town at the weekend – some 16 years on – she took with her a hefty haul of trophies and a big purse.  Along with husband Andy Gath, Kate dominated Saturday’s Port Pirie Cup night. She won on all five of her drives, three of which were trained by Andy, including with Star Of Dionysis in the 2016 Ubet Port Pirie Pacing Cup.  “They all had really good chances and I thought they would probably win, but in racing there is no such thing as a certainty,” Gath said. “I haven’t had that many wins before, so it was a good night.”  Born and raised in Port Pirie, Gath said she gets back to the township when she can, but this was the first time she had departed with the pacing cup in tow.  “I have all my extended family there, so they all come out and get into it,” Gath said.  “It makes for a very busy day because there is a lot of people to talk to and catch up with. It is 16 years since I left, so it is really good to get back and catch up. They haven’t changed and hopefully I haven’t changed either.”  Also unchanged is the stable’s high opinion of Star Of Dionysis, who recorded a fourth win in five starts since he was brought across the Tasman.  “He had strong form in New Zealand and is sensational in standing starts, where his form is just impeccable,” Gath said.  The six-year-old gelding by American Ideal out of Star Of Venus will get to again exercise those talents in Saturday’s Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup, a standing start over 2570m.  To win Star Of Dionysis, who Gath said pulled up well from Saturday’s win, will have to outpoint Kerryn Manning’s Ouyen Pacing Cup winner Ideal Success.  Unbeaten in two starts in Australia, Ideal Success has been similarly outstanding since being imported from New Zealand, while prolific country cup campaigner Almost El Eagle has also been nominated for Ararat. by Michael Howard Race programme for Ararat, Saturday 26 March 2016

Buffalo Raceway had their own version of 'March Madness' in the $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (March 19) as Burton Blue Chip delivered a $21.40 harness racing upset victory in a seasonal best 1:56.0 over the fast track.   Drawing the rail, Burton Blue Chip managed a perfect pocket trip as Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) posted fractions on the front end of 28.3, 58.1 and 1:27.0. In the stretch run, the two closers, Youwillwishyouhad and China Dream were nowhere to be found, thus leaving Burton Blue Chip and Western Alumni to battle it out for top honors.   Driver Lee Dahn gave Burton Blue Chip a little encouragement in the lane and the 7-year-old gelding responded to roll past Western Alumni, scoring the 3/4-length decision. Cobble Beach (David McNeight III), the lukewarm favorite, finished in third.   Co-owned by trainer Lee Dahn and Larry Dahn, Burton Blue Chip (American Ideal-Crickets Can Talk) has now recorded two wins in seven tries in 2016, earning $12,260 and $126,757 lifetime.   Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Jack Flanigen had a three-bagger while Todd Cummings doubled.   Trainers JD Perrin and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each conditioned two winners.   Racing continues on Wednesday night with an 11-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest mews, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Seven-year-old female pacer Handsoffmycookie, a multiple harness racing stakes winner of more than $1.40 million, has been retired, trainer Scott DiDomenico said Thursday. Handsoffmycookie was owned throughout her career by Joann Fucci’s JFE Enterprise LLC and trained by DiDomenico. She won 33 of 116 lifetime races and hit the board a total of 58 times. Her victories included the 2011 New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old filly pacers, the 2012 Lismore Pace, and 2013 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Consolation. In addition, in 2011 Handsoffmycookie finished second to Economy Terror in both the Breeders Crown and Three Diamonds and second to Pirouette Hanover in the Sweetheart Pace. All three races were won in either world- or stakes-record times. She also finished second to Romantic Moment in the 2012 New York Sire Stakes championship. “She was a true warrior and probably my best friend throughout the whole time I trained her,” DiDomenico said. “Our biggest thrills with her were probably her whole 2-year-old year year. She raced well every time and took us to a lot of levels we never anticipated with her.” Handsoffmycookie is a daughter of stallion Art Major out of the unraced Cambest mare Observe Me. She was purchased under the name Winbak Artzy Gal for $25,000 at the 2010 Standardbred Horse Sale. She was one of the first ventures into the yearling market by DiDomenico and Fucci. As for the horse’s name change, Fucci once said there was no particular significance, other than a love of cookies. “We were just playing around with some names,” Fucci said. “I had a bunch of different variations with the word ‘cookie’ and it just came to me. Everybody loves the name. Who doesn’t love cookies?” DiDomenico said the plan is for Handsoffmycookie to go to Majestic View Farms in Gardiner, N.Y., and be bred to stallion American Ideal. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Leading harness racing trainer Nigel McGrath has never had it easy with Luisanabelle Midfrew in his barn but all the problems she has had are quickly fading from his memory as the daughter of American Ideal starts to fulfill the potential she showed as an early two year old. After a great start to her career including a second to Dream About Me in the $138,000 Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park, Luisanabelle Midfrew all but died on two occasions after the Harness Jewels last year and her future was in doubt for quite a while. Nursed back to full health by Nigel McGrath, he has taken his time with the filly all season and only really trained her down for the $150,000 PGG Sales Final at Addington Raceway in early February which she won easily. The question then was could Luisanabelle Midfrew make that last step back up to the elite level fillies she had competed against at two after all her health issues. A start at Methven on the grass in a Nevele R Fillies heat left a lot of people having doubts after she battled into sixth but tonight at Addington Raceway she produced a performance right out of the top draw and announced herself as a major contender for the fillies classics at Addington in May. Driver Matthew Williamson sent her forward off the gate from her wide barrier of seven and settled her three back in the running line as Artful set up a good tempo in front. Going past the 800 metres, Matthew looped the field with Luisanabelle Midfrew and took over in front going past the 600 metres and then proceeded to slowly put daylight between her and the rest of the field. Matthew eased Luisanabelle Midfrew down over the last 150 metres as she coasted to the line an easy winner by 3 1/2 lengths in what was without doubt her most impressive win in her career to date. Luisanabelle Midfrew paced the 1950 metres in a smart 2:21.9, a mile rate of 1:57 with closing sectionals of 58.4 and 28.3. Matthew Williamson was thrilled with the performance. " That is the best she has ever gone for me in since I began driving her." " She was absolutely jogging at the 800 metres which is why I took off when I did." " I didn't even pull the plugs tonight she was traveling that well" " On that run tonight, she will be competitive against the best fillies," Matthew said. Nigel McGrath was still scratching his head tonight over the run of Luisanabelle Midfrew at Methven. " I thought I may have backed her up too quickly from the PGG Sales race as there was only a nine day gap but maybe it was just the grass track that tripped her up." " She has really come on lately and I was pretty confident she would go a big race tonight, " Nigel said. The manner of the win tonight by Luisanabelle Midfrew would suggest that she will be a major player in the 3 year old fillies classics in May at Addington Raceway Harnesslink Media

Lucky Lucka dueled with Call Me Lil Terror for more than a quarter mile before wearing her down and taking the fastest division in Monday's second leg of the Donna Dunn Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Wasaga Beach and Tricky Girl won the other $12,000 second-leg splits in the harness racing series for 3- and 4-year-old filly and mare pacers. Lucky Lucka was fourth down the backside when Dave Palone sent her after Call Me Lil Terror. The two were inseparable until mid-stretch when Lucky Lucka inched away to score in 1:56, a career best. Ashlee's Quik closed well for second, 2 lengths back, while Call Me Lil Terror saved show. Gerald Lee, Jr. trains Lucky Lucka, a 3-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Erika Z, for Leah Rhoades. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Spreester used two moves -- one for early position, one to brush through the lane -- to capture her third straight win in a career-best 1:51.2. Early leader Set Me Up was second, a neck back, with Coffee Addict third. Aaron Merriman drove the 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Rodeo Spree -- who now boasts $416,421 in lifetime earnings, for owner/trainer Bill Bercury. Dave Palone piloted five winners on the 15-race card, giving him 11 victories over the last two programs, while Eric Goodell fashioned a three-bagger. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Ideal Success and the gelding’s harness racing trainer/driver Kerryn Manning dominated on a hot Ouyen Cup Day on Sunday. The mercury hit the low 40s and several horses were scratched due to the heat policy, meaning Ideal Success’s odds were never going to match the Celsius figure. In fact Ideal Success was sent out a $1.20 by punters. And he won like it. Once he stepped well to lead from the tapes it was never in doubt. Out in front Ideal Success was never challenged but still ran time, a 29.9 second quarter followed by an electric 27.5 third split. The son of American Ideal out of Maheer Glen found the line in 28.3 for a 55.8 last 800m, defeating Uncle Wingnut by 7.1m with polemarker Primo Tapia third. Ideal Success has now won both his Australian starts since joining the Manning stable at Great Western. He's an 11-time winner from 39 starts for $95,589 in stakes. Manning finished the day with three winners, also piloting Cashwrangs Smoker and Little Lyn to victory. Cody Winnell

Temuka harness racing trainer Brent White likes racing horses in Southland.   He's been a regular visitor to the province over the years and recorded his biggest 'southern' win last season when quality mare Sell A Bit won the Southern Belle Speed Series in race record time at Winton.   His latest winner at Gore Raceway today was Shards Halo - an American Ideal mare out of You're So Hot which was bred in the province by Debbie and Mark Smith, breeders of last months yearling sales topper Mach Shard.   Today she was having her third start for White after starting her career with Greg Payne.     "The owner formed a syndicate before Christmas made up of people from Canterbury and Nelson." "They asked me to train her." "I've had her for about three to four months," said White.    Since taking over her training the mare has been in the money and according to White has been unlucky not to have won a race before today.    "She been a certainty beat the last two times." "At Forbury she was the hot pot and Stephen (regular driver Stephen McNally) got buried five back on the fence. " "He launched her down the outside and she got home in 26. 2 and at Addington the other night she got crossed and got out late and ran third." "Getting a bit of place money isn't the worst though."   White says he hasn't changed too much but has just concentrated on keeping Shards Halo happy.    "She seems pretty happy in herself." "We don't do a lot of work with her and we just try to keep her happy really." "That's what we do with all our fillies and mares and vary their work a bit." "She used to get up and pull." "We've worked on that and she's just got better and better as we've gone along." "She's got some speed and is nice to have around the place."    White's talented trotter Trouble Rieu was also supposed to make the trip.   "He went awful last weekend at Addington." "We pulled bloods off him during the week and they were awful so he didn't make the trip. "She (Shard Halo) was just going to be another drive for Stephen." "But it didn't matter where she was going to go she was going to win a maiden race pretty soon." "We're racing for $7,500 here today and next Thursday at Addington they're racing for $6,500." "I thought that if we picked up one today we may go to Waikouaiti in fourteen days where there's a penalty free race for invited drivers."   So we can expect to see more of the white colours in the south in the future?    "If I don't come down I send them down to Alister Black." "He looks after them and does a good job." "I like the Southland style of racing." "It's about putting your horse in the right company." "Now that my partner and I have bought a property in Temuka it's a bit closer."    The Gore grass surface was lightning fast today and track records broken were:   Titan Banner -  3-27-6 for the 2600 metre stand beating stablemates Belkmyster's previous record of 3-28.7 Ottawa -  3-33.0 - a new track record for trotters over 2600 metres. Dickey Bill was the holder of the previous record of 3-34.6 (1976). Vera's Delight -  2-21-5 a new mares and open record for the 1800 metre mobile. Fiery Ferret -  2-19.4 a new three year old colts and geldings record for 1800 metres mobile. The previous record of 2-23.7 was recorded at this meeting by Smithy last season. Tartan Trilogy -  2-17.5 for the 1800 metres mobile and new open track record for colts and gelding.             Bruce Stewart  - Southland Harness Racing  -  Check site here  

The name of 'Geddes' has been heavily involved in harness racing in New Zealand as long as the records go back. As Jim Geddes was explaining to the writer yesterday afternoon at Reefton, his great great grand father was driving in a race in Canterbury as far back as 1868 and the family have been involved ever since. These days Jim trains in conjunction with his son James Geddes and they always have a handy horse or two in the barn. Yesterday they lined up four starters at the Reefton meeting and came away with two winners and a placegetter for a great result for the small Norwood based barn. First up was the four year old American Ideal mare in Bontz who lead early for James before taking a trail behind the favourite Blade and when angled into the clear at the top of the straight, she simply ran away and hid from the opposition by 3 1/2 lengths. Extremely unlucky on the first day at Westport on Friday, James was very confident going into yesterday's race. " I took a trail on Friday behind the $2.00 shot but it stopped badly on the last corner and dragged me out the back." " I was absolutely jogging at the time and would have won easily so I was out early today to make sure I didn't get caught again." " I thought Bontz was good enough to go around in the good fillies races last year but she use to tie up something shocking and we had to put her aside. " This year we give her a mixture of swimming and galloping but not too much of either to be honest and it seems to be working.' She has got the ability to win a few more races yet, James told Harnesslink yesterday afternoon. Four races later the stablemate Mogul made it two wins from two starts over the weekend when he proved way too strong for a good field of C1 pacers in the hands of stand in driver Ricky May as James was driving the stablemate Buckeye. Away well early, Mogul joined the three wide line and progressed to the parked position with a lap to go. From there he got cover behind the favourite Latin Lloyd and when Ricky asked him for an effort on the corner, Mogul quickly sprinted up to them and past them for an impressive victory. Ricky May was suitably impressed. " He doesn't know anything yet but he has got a lot of bottom to him and showed a bit of speed when I pulled him out. " He has got the makings of a nice horse." James was just as impressed with the son of American Ideal. " That is only the fourth time off the place in his career to date." " He qualified the first time we took him off the place in mid January and then we gave him a quiet C0 trial before coming to the coast." " Both his wins here have been on raw ability as he hasn't got any ring craft yet." " He gives you the feel of a really nice horse in the making but whether that is for me or not is another matter." "I am milking 800 cows and have heaps of young ones at home so the racehorses are all for sale at the moment." Megan Mcintyre has been a great help with the young ones at home and I can't thank her enough but we have nine yearlings and seven weanlings at the moment so we need to be turning them over," James said. Harnesslink Media

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