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An abandoned race has promoted next week’s Flying Stakes from a major New Zealand Cup lead-up to a virtual dress rehearsal. And it does raise the potential for a tricky question after the $50,000 group two at Ashbuton on Monday. The Flying Stakes is usually the most important trial for the NZ Cup, which is now less than three weeks away, but Monday’s 2400m standing start event got a lot more juicy when the final field was declared last night. The Ashburton club got only four entries for their intermediate grade pace so were forced to abandon it and move those four horses across to the Flying Stakes. And among the moved quartet were last-start open class winner Ultimate Sniper and maybe the most exciting pacer in the country in Self Assured. So now the Flying Stakes contains almost every horse given any chance of winning the Cup including Spankem and Thefixer as well as Aussie raiders Cruz Bromac and Our Uncle Sam. The only market big gun not there is Victorian pacer San Carlo, who doesn’t arrive in Christchurch to November 5. The Flying Stakes will now have a crucial effect on the Cup market but also raises a possibility which has until now been ruled out. If, and it is only an if, Self Assured comes out from barrier two and beats all the New Zealand Cup favourites on Monday, there must surely be a temptation to pay the $20,000 late entry fee for the Cup, that pathway available to his connections until November 6. While trainer Mark Purdon has always indicated that is unlikely and did let a four-year-old Spankem miss the Cup last season after winning the Kaikoura Cup, an emphatic victory on Monday would be hard to ignore and the Purdon-Rasmussen stable have sprung radical changes of plan before. With that in mind punters should steer clear of the NZ Cup market until after Monday’s race. Another key factor in the Flying Stakes is Chase Auckland moving to the unruly, which is likely to seriously dent his chances in the New Zealand Cup, with that almost as bad as a handicap. Two of the likely Cup starters missing from the Flying Stakes are Henry Hubert and Classie Brigade, with the Dunn-trained pair both suffering from minor lung infections and bypassing the race to head to Kaikoura a week later. The Dunn stable’s wonderful trotter Sundees Son is in Mondya’s Trotting Mile as he looks to redeem himself after a last start gallop but missing from that race are Enghien and Monbet. Enghien has already been ruled out of the Cup carnival after trotting poorly recently  but after some vastly-improved recent trials Monbet’s absence from Monday hardly looks ideal with Cup week so close. The field for the Ashburton Flying Stakes on Monday is.— $50,000, 2400m, 4.33pm.— A G’s White Socks (1), Self Assured (2), Ultimate Sniper (3), Cruz Bromac (4), Gran Chico (5), Another Masterpiece (6), Thefixer (7), Smokin By (8), Spankem (9), Our Uncle Sam (10), Chase Auckland (ur).   By Michael Guerin

By Garrick Knight The old adage that a change is as good as a holiday rung true at Ashburton on Sunday. It was there that former two-year-old Group 1 winner Renezmae made a return to the winner’s circle for the first time in 17 months. The pint-sized daughter of The Pres was having her first start for beach trainer Regan Todd, who admitted post-race to being a little surprised by the ease of her six-length win. “She went bloody good today, I thought. “I thought she’d race well but that definitely surprised us a bit. She really showed a bit of ‘lick’.” In the hands of Todd’s stable driver, Robbie Close, Renezmae sat last of the nine horses throughout before angling widest at the top of the straight and letting down with a superb sprint. Former trainer Jack Harrington sent Renezmae out to Todd at Woodend Beach after another disappointing effort, at Rangiora on August 11. “I’ve probably had her a month and we’ve just played around with her,” said Todd. “We started from scratch and gave her completely different training to what she was used to. “That sort of thing, with a change of scenery, can often pick them up. “Jack said she wasn’t half-pie going any good and he basically got to the end of the line with her. “He felt she was too good a horse not to try something with so that’s why he rung me.” It didn’t take Todd long to realise he had the basis of a nice horse to work with. “She’s gotten better and better since she arrived and the last few weeks has worked like a nice horse. “I took her down to the Geraldine trials last week thinking we were going to Methven today and she trialed well.” Renezmae is now a rating 69 and a return to Addington is most likely. “She’s up in the ratings a bit and I thought she was probably a bit hard done by being a 64 before today despite not winning for so long. “So, we can’t get too excited because now we’ll have to give her a go against the better ones.” Todd has made a typical impressive start to the season with five winners on the board already, including a double to Friday night winner Lets Hustle. “Things are going bloody good at the moment. “We’ve got 25 in work and some good clientele behind them so it’s exciting times.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Ashburton Trotting Club - Thursday 15 November A 12 race card, kicking off at 12.09pm.    Alexandra Park - Friday 16 November Christmas At The Races popular as ever Alexandra Park’s eight Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings set down for November and December are selling fast but there’s still time. “Our three November evenings are probably where we’ve got the best availability. However individuals, businesses and organisations need to book now to avoid disappointment,” says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. The 2018 Christmas At The Races evenings will take place on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 8 and 15 December. The incredibly popular nights are promoted as the perfect work Christmas party with a gourmet buffet, stunning décor, and great entertainment including a visit from Santa himself!. Holly packages remain available from $70 per person, as do the delightful Mistletoe packages at $115 with the option of track-view dining outside on the Epsom Balconies. Also, still available are the premium Pohutukawa packages in the Tasman Room from $140 which include a premium drinks package. However, Pohutukawa packages in Alexandra Park’s level five Top of the Park venue, priced from $165, are now limited but with some availability still on 16 November and 21 December. Ms Visser says regardless of the hospitality package, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can-eat Christmas-style buffet. She says Alexandra Park’s exclusive President’s Suite can also be hired for private parties, with availability remaining on both 16 and 30 November as well as 21 December. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. ATC 2019 Syndicate: Over the last two decades, the Auckland Trotting Club has formed 17 syndicates, each comprising either 40 or 50 shares and racing between 2 and 4 horses. To date, all 17 syndicates have proved, or are proving, very successful: At this year’s Australasian Classic Yearling Sale or the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, the Auckland Trotting Club 2019 Syndicate’s yearlings were selected by the top trainers Robert Dunn, Brent Mangos and Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson: Name: Alta Redeemer Trainer: Robert Dunn Name: Christianshavtime Trainer: Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson Name: Bet West Trainer: Brent Mangos When you join an ATC Syndicate, not only do you get to enjoy the thrill of owning and racing harness racehorses, but you can also be very involved in Harness Racing generally, initially at Alexandra Park and the wider Auckland/Waikato area and then quite possibly venturing further afield in New Zealand and Australia, as some previous ATC Syndicates have. There are many advantages involved with being part of one of the Auckland Trotting Club Syndicates. These include; the comparatively low costs, the opportunity to share in the ownership of well bred horses trained by some of the best trainers in New Zealand, making new friendships with like-minded people, having total involvement in the Harness Racing industry and having the opportunity to participate in social events and possibly travel throughout the year. Every month, syndicate members receive a detailed newsletter documenting each horse’s progress, member news, and other information. Regular updates are placed on a phone-in message service, which can be accessed at anytime from anywhere in New Zealand free of charge. We have already had syndicate members from a wide geographical location around New Zealand, from Kaeo and Kaitaia in the North, to Dunedin and Invercargill in the South, as well as from the USA, Canada, England, Japan, Australia (Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) and even Iceland. Each year of establishing a new Syndicate, the Auckland Trotting Club has implemented their hugely successful formula of buying three richly bred yearlings at the Yearling Sales, with these horses being selected by and trained by some of New Zealand’s leading trainers. For further information please contact or go to www.alexandrapark.co.nz/racing/syndicates: Andrew Jamieson – ATC Syndication Manager Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:  ajamieson175@gmail.com If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email on dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or give us a call on 09 631 1165   Wyndham HRC - Sunday 18 November  SUPERB DAY OF RACING AT WYNDHAM   The southern harness racing is on the picturesque surrounds of Young Quinn Raceway in Wyndham this Sunday (18 November) when a ten race card starting at 12noon will see feature events - the Kubala Seeds Stella Frost Stakes Ladyship Final, the Southern Standardbred Breeders Assn Southern Belle Speed Series Heat and the Hunter Family Handicap Pace fought out. Admission to the course is free.   Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.   The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.   The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019. Chris Craddock Vice President Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc. 027 410 2420         Southern Harness News  A TON OF FEED TO BE WON Thanks to McMillan Equine Feeds, there is a ton of feed to be won during the 2018/2019 Southern Harness Racing season. At every Sunday race meeting during the season the trainer of every race winner will win a free bag of McMillan Equine Feeds. At the conclusion of the Wyndham Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 18 November all trainers who have won a race on a Sunday up until that time will get one entry into a draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds. The competition then starts afresh with the trainer of each Sunday race winner for the remainder of the season getting one entry into a new draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds to be held after the Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 3 March. That is one ton of McMillan Equine Feeds up for grabs! Southern Harness Racing thanks McMillan Equine Feeds for their generous support. QUALIFYING DATES: Sunday 21 October Tuapeka HRC – Forbury Park, Dunedin Sunday 28 October Invercargill HRC – Invercargill Sunday 4 November Riverton TC – Invercargill Sunday 11 November Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 18 November Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 16 December Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 6 January Wyndham HRC - Cromwell Sunday 3 February Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 17 February Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 3 March Invercargill HRC - Invercargill    HRNZ Marketing

Steven Reid finds out today where Star Galleria is really at. While that could be the case for many of his rivals in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton, for Pukekohe trainer Reid and his speed freak pacer it feels like there is more at stake. A booming performance today and Star Galleria remains a serious New Zealand Cup player and a horse worth aiming at the Inter Dominions. But if he doesn’t shine, Reid admits he will start to worry. Star Galleria started this season as he ended last, showing brilliant speed to win and soon after huge money offers were pouring in from Australia.  Reid and his owners decided to keep the five-year-old, who has been beaten in next two — one when luckless, the other fair and square after leading at Methven last Sunday.  Reid is willing to give Star Galleria a leave pass for that defeat as he has missed work on his southern trip and probably had to work too hard to get the lead.  “So I think he will improve with the run and I also think over distance he might be better driven with a sit, not that Tony (Herlihy) had that option last week.  “But if he is going to be a big New Zealand Cup chance he needs to step up and we think he can but drawn wide it is not going  to be an easy race.” The problems for Reid and Star Galleria are two-fold: he is seeking improvement in the same pivotal race as the other main Cup dangers and he has drawn wide.  While the mysteries of standing start mean a poor draw can become a good one very quickly, if all the main players begin evenly then Star Galleria could be midfield on the outer at best, a very tough place to win a Flying Stakes from.  Especially so with star stablemates like Dream About Me, Eamon Maguire and Ultimate Machete drawn inside him.  Dream About Me has been so solid this season with the ace draw and usually good standing start manners she is the one to beat but Ultimate Machete, like Star Galleria, is looking to improve after his fourth at Methven and should be suit by the likely hot speed.  Quite simply, the race could come down to which one of the favourites leads or secures the best run close to the speed.  A similar scenario looks the winning formula in the Flying Mile for the elite trotters today, with Great Things Happen and Harriet Of Mot the big winners in the draw.  If they can lead and trail from the inside two barriers it is hard to envisage any of their rivals being good enough to trot past both of them.  While taking short odds about Harriet Of Mot would have sent you broke over the course of her career she has looked far more reliable so far this campaign and deserves favouritism.   Michael Guerin

Todays harness racing pick six at Ashburton raceway is terminating and guaranteed to $50,000. With with a premier day of racing ahead and large open fields, selecting the winning combination will not be easy. A highlight of the day is the Ashburton Flying Stakes, a traditional lead-up race to the New Zealand Cup in November. This years running of the Flying Stakes is one of the more even contests in the last several years. The All Stars Stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have three of the leading chances in the race including the New Zealand cup favourite Ultimate Machete. Natalie Rasmussen commented on the All Stars website that Eamon Maguire is probably the one of most interest. "I am very happy with him he worked good during the week and this race will tell us whether we go to the Kaikoura Cup or what happens next. "He has handled standing starts but especially when he is a bit fresh he can get a bit toey leading up to the start so that is a wee worry in a race like this. "But all going well he is really ready to go a big race if he does things right. "Dream About Me is just in great condition. Last year year she was a lovely big mare and now she is a huge big mare! but she has all the bases covered and she will be hard to beat. "Ultimate Machete has really cleaned up since Methven. Mark felt his work on Friday was as good as he has done this time in and he is right in a race like this. "Makes it difficult to pick out," she said The All Stars stable holds the key to several other legs of pick six as well especially in the second to last leg where they have six of the runners in the twelve horse field. The first leg of Pick Six starts on Race 6 at 3:04pm   Leg 1     Race 6 [3:04pm] An unlucky big finisher at his last start against the top horses in the Methven Cup sees Airpark Flyer as the main chance and possible anchor for the first leg of pick six. Probable leader Nearis Green is going to be hard to catch around his home track and would be a good back up along with the unbeaten Flying Mister Ideal who could fly home late.     Leg 2     Race 7 [3:42pm] Leg two is the Ashburton Flying Stakes with several winning chances in what is an evenly matched race from the standing start 2400m.  NZ Cup favourite Ultimate Machete would be our top selection with Star Galleria, Dream About Me and Eammon Maguire all needed as well in what is a tricky leg.   Leg 3     Race 8 [4:18pm] Another tricky leg of pick six here with the leading chance Sundees Son occasionally prone to doing things wrong at the start or during the race. If his manners are good he looks the winner but backup could be needed. Globe Trekker,Ruthless Kayla, McLovin and We'll Meet Again are all chances but take as many as the budget allows in this leg.   Leg 4     Race 9 [4:53pm] The fourth leg is also tough with five horses we think that have the best winning chance. Harriet Of Mot is trotting so well at the moment and she might be the hardest to beat from the ace draw. Great Things Happen drawn beside her has gate speed and could lead early if Gavin Smith pushes the go button off the mobile gate. Marcoola and Winterfell will both appreciate the big track and will go forward at some stage and Woodstone could be the knockout if he gets a cart into the race at the right time.   Leg 5     Race 10 [5:33pm] The All Stars Stable dominate this leg of pick six training half of the twelve horse field. Turn It Up is the logical favourite and has been good from a stand in his previous starts. It would pay to include Ashley Locaz, Spankem and All You Need Is Faith as all are solid winning chances with the right trip.   Leg 6     Race 11 [6:12pm]  The final leg is an even go and there are a number of chances again. Artstanding is coming in fresh but has the draw and he did win in that condition last season. Ready To Bloom has a tricky draw but is needed along with Johnny White, Mama Knows Best, Wainui Creek and Mongolian Cavalry.   Suggested Pick Six   ($19.20 for 10%) Leg 1     7 Leg 2     1,2,7,8 Leg 3     11 Leg 4     2,3,7,8 Leg 5     4,5,7,8 Leg 6     5,6,7,10,12,15   Harnesslink Media  

It is time for New Zealand’s strongest stable to get serious again. So expect a sea of blue winning colours at Addington tonight and Ashburton on Monday as champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen start their countdown to Cup week. While the stable has already won Cup lead-ups with Thefixer, Dream About Me and Cruz Bromac they haven’t unleashed many of their lower grade and age group stars so far this season. But that changes this weekend. Tonight’s Addington meeting sees the return of high-class three-year-olds Jesse Duke and War Dan Delight in the Sires’ Stakes heat while plenty more serious age group performers return at Ashburton on Monday. Jesse Duke was arguably the most talented juvenile pacer in the country last season but had a few tricks and Purdon warns he could be vulnerable tonight. “We know how good he is but he has only had one trial before this so will improve and does have a wide draw,” says Purdon. “So maybe War Dan Delight is a better chance this week.” With the stable aiming to have five New Zealand Cup contenders in a few weeks they are still sorting out their pecking order and therefore who will eventually drive them all. But Purdon says Dream About Me has emerged as their best winning hope at this stage. “She has been really good winning her last two and is very sound at the moment so I would rate her just ahead of Cruz Bromac and Ultimate Machete. “But I wasn’t disappointed by Ultimate Machete at Methven and I think he will keep improving so Ashburton will tell us a lot.” Michael Guerin

Four harness racing meetings are programmed in again this week and with a few of our regular trainers and drivers away on holiday the ringaround list may end up being smaller than usual  for the next few weeks. The Forbury Park Trotting Club start proceedings tonight hosting two heats of the Junior Drivers Championship. Addington and Alexandra Park host meetings tomorrow night, then the weekend harness racing heads to Ashburton on Sunday. Last week the biggest winning dividend in the ringaround selections went to one of our our Harnesslink reporters who thought Jack Pack would win at Rangiora on Sunday. Jack Pack did win and paid $3.60 and $1.70 on the tote.  The TAB are running $50,000 terminating pick six Jackpots every Thursday and Friday for the month of July.   Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Forbury on Thursday night Matthew Williamson - Matthew thinks that Bush Man might be his best drive this week in Race 2 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance might be Grey Power at Forbury in Race 3 Geoff Knight - Geoff says Armstrong would be his best chance this week at Forbury in Race 5 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks that Loma Jaccka would be his best drive this week in Race 8   Alexandra Park on Friday night Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best chance this week would be Cyclone Banner at Alexandra Park in Race 1 Scott Phelan - Scott is going for In The Shadows as his best drive this week at Alexandra Park in Race 3 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks his best chance would be Forever Pearl this week at Auckland in Race 5 Stephen Richardson (Odds Analyst) - Stephen thinks that M'Lord Mackendon can go close to winning Race 6 Jay Abernethy - Jay is going for The Hulk as his best chance at Alexandra Park also in Race 6 Andre Poutama - Andre says his best drive this week would be Beg For Chevron at Auckland in Race 10   Addington on Friday night John Morrison - John is going for Ruthless Kayla as his best drive this week at Addington in Race 4 Brad Williamson - Brad thinks his best drive this week could be The Dominator also in Race 4 Ricky May - Ricky is going for Kingslayer as his best drive at Ashburton in Race 5 Blair Orange - Blair is going for Miss Pinocchio as his best drive this week at Addington in Race 9   Ashburton on Sunday John Curtin - John thinks Majestic Moment would be a good winning chance at Ashburton in Race 3 Harnesslink Reporter - says Fynn Frost would be a good chance at Ashburton in Race 4 Racechat - Lance thinks that Trailer Park Girl is a good winning chance at Ashburton in Race 8     Harnesslink Media

With recent events relating to Mycoplasma Bovis and stress on farmers locally some motivated individuals in conjunction with Rural Support Trust and Federated Farmers have put together a Farming Family Day at the Races on July 15 at the Ashburton Trotting Club meeting.  With the idea of a ‘Get off the farm day’ mid-winter to lift the spirits of rural families in what has become a challenging climate in recent times. The Ashburton Trotting Club are excited to be able to host this event in support of rural families. We will be providing food, refreshments, losing tote spot prizes, children’s entertainment and we also hope to have some accommodation packages to give away on the day with the focus on a positive day out for farmers. Anybody with a rural address and involved with the primary industry in Canterbury is welcome to come along for the day and enjoy some mid-winter relief, an exciting day of harness racing and entertainment.  A chance to meet the top harness drivers in New Zealand and many other sporting celebrities while enjoying the family atmosphere and betting a dollar or two. Also a chance for a rural fashion in the field competition so put on your best chaff sack and gumboots or tweed suit and hat for the men and for the ladies the options are limitless. Please register your interest via the Facebook page/event “Farming Families Day at the Races” to insure we get the catering and refreshment requirements correct. The first race will be approximately 11.30 am and the day will finish around 5pm with entry free.    Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

The emotion of Ashburton losing the Harness Jewels next season is vastly different from the reality of the decision. HRNZ voted that the hosting rights for the code’s second biggest day will go to Addington next year after Ashburton has held the South Island-based rights to the meeting since 2007.  Cambridge will hold this season’s meeting, which rotates between the North and South Islands, on June 2 and no decision has been made on the northern host for 2020. But if Cambridge have a successful meeting this season, and the early indications are very positive, then they will almost certainly retain their hosting rights.   Ashburton losing the Jewels will be an emotional decision for many who believe the  $1.275milion meeting sits better at a provincial track rather than at the major city tracks like Addington.  And that emotion is understandable. Jewels days at Ashburton have produced some magical moments on the best mile racing track in the country.  But off the track the day had started to feel stale, with few new innovations in recent seasons to suggest the day was moving forward.  However it has emerged that is not the reason the Jewels will move to Addington next season, rather it is a glaring hole in the Ashburton club.  The area is a strong hold of New Zealand harness racing but the actual club has no full-time administrator at present.  The club’s long-time boss Fiona Stuart stood down last season because of ill health while her assistant Gareth Murfitt has taken a job at Riccarton.  So there is nobody actually working in the office at Ashburton and while next season’s Jewels are 13 months away it would have been foolish, bordering on a dereliction of duty, if HRNZ has voted to retain the Jewels at a club with effectively no employees apart from a track manager.  Ashburton’s proposal indicated they would employ a project manager to oversee the Jewels for four or five months but most major race clubs in New Zealand start their planning and build-up to their major carnival the day after the last one finished.  To put nearly $1.3million of the industry’s money and its second biggest day after New Zealand Cup day in the hands of a club without a paid employee to start planningimmediately would be unprofessional. HRNZ boss Edward Rennell realises the move will be unpopular is some quarters of the industry although that is nothing new as barely any decision in harness racing these days meets with universal approval.  But he says the door is far from closed on Ashburton hosting Jewels day again.  “The Ashburton club have been through some changes and will obviously go through some more but they have a lot to be proud of over the last decade of holding the Jewels and I hope they come back with a bid for the series in 2021,” said Rennell.  “But we are also lucky as an industry we have Addington coming on board because we know they can run a big event, they don’t come any bigger than New Zealand Cup day.” The move to Addington will see the first Jewels races run not over the mile distance, with the nine group one races to be staged over 1950m next season as Addington’s mile start point is ridiculous. Michael Guerin

Southland harness racing trainer Clark Barron scored a double at Ashburton today (Sunday) when Raksbet and Somejoy both won. Barron, who has a handful of nice three year old fillies in his stable, rates Raksbet as the pick of them and that judgement was vindicated today when she came from a second line draw to get up by a neck to win the The Nevele R Three Year Old Fillies Series Conditional Heat. Owned by her breeder Brendon Fahy, it was the filly's second win in five race day appearances.  "Brendon and I have spoken a few times about one day the penny will drop for her after missing a full season of racing. It's taken a long time to get her fitness up because she's a gross doing filly. She was aided by a perfect run today and she made the most of it," said Barron. The Bettor's Delight filly missed her entire two year old season because of injury. "She had an operation to get a bone chip off her hock. It was a paddock accident at Brendon's. She was out for four months." Barron says the Bettor's Delight filly's main target for the season is the Group Two $45,000 Nevele R/ Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final on Diamonds Day at the end of April.  She is now also eligible for the Nevele R Fillies Series Final. Her half-sister Raksdeal finished fourth in the Nevele R Series Fillies Final in 2014 and ran second behind Royal Counsel in the Southland Oaks Final so there's some unfinished business for Fahy and Barron.  The result also elevates Raksbet into the top twenty five for the end of season Harness Jewels.  Somejoy was also very impressive in winning the Studholme Bloodstock Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace. From the inside of the second row driver Blair Orange settled the Somebeachsomewhere mare seventh on the outside. With just over 800 metres to run, he sent her forward and she quickly when to the lead. Orange waited until inside the last 200 metres to pull the ear plugs and Somejoy, despite running out into the middle of the track, won easily by two and a half lengths. "She was pretty dominant wasn't she? She just suits that grade to be fair. She's qualified for the Southern Belle so we'll head down those lines."  Somejoy is owned by the Miracle Lodge Syndicate which consists of Clark and Eric Parr. The win puts Somejoy in the top three for the end of season Four Year Old Diamonds. "Eric and Wendy (Parr) were both on-course today."  Winning races at Ashburton isn't new to Barron but this is the first time he's trained two on the course on one day. Prior to today's wins he was successful with Motu Mister Quest in 1998, Kyak in 1992 and Rakalooka in 1990. On the breeding front Rakalooka was by Clever Innocence out of Sentimental Belle. Sentimental Belle is the third dam of Raksbet. Raksplace, the dam of Raksbet, has been a great broodmare for Fahy. All of her foals of racing age have been winners. Raksdeal won five races and $121,096, Rakarolla won four races in New Zealand and another five in Australia while Raksmach won once here before heading to Australia where he's won another ten races.  Jumpforjoy, the dam of Somejoy, ran third to Carabella in the 2011 Group One Three Year Old Diamond at Ashburton on Harness Jewels Day. Somejoy was her first foal while her second, a filly by Art Major, was sold to Malcolm and Sarndra Little at the 2017 Sale of the Stars for $27,000. She has a Mach Three colt at foot.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing    

Ashburton harness racing fixed odds movers as at 12:00pm Race 1 - I W McNik $7.20 - $6.50 leads win betting over Girls Get Loose $24.00 - $9.00 with Kings Landing $2.90 - $3.30 leading multi betting over the stablemate Winterfell $2.70 - $3.50.   Race 2 - Smokin By $5.20 easily leads win betting over Tom Me Gun $22.00 - $16.00 & With The Band $10.00 - $8.00.    Race 3 - Feel The Money $5.20 is the best backed runner on the win 'book' with Bettor Trix $3.00 leading multi betting.    Race 4 - Governor's Bay $2.10 is the multi leader over Di Caprio $3.50 & Pembrook Legacy $6.00.   Race 5 - The only runner wanted here in win & multi betting is Somejoy $1.90 - $1.75. Largest win bet early $8,000 at $1.90.   Race 6 - Heisenberg $3.50 - $3.30 leads win & multi betting over War Dan Delight $3.10.    Race 7 - One Over Da Stars $3.70 just leads multi betting over Time For Diamonds $4.80.   Race 8 - Easily the best backed runner on the win 'book' has been Valloria $5.50 - $5.00. Majestic Man $5.50 leads multi betting over Renezmae $4.80.   Race 9 - Stone The Crows $11.00 leads win betting with the multi leader Pradas Ideal Darling $6.80 over Doitson $4.20.   Race 10 - Bringitonhome $2.00 easily leads multi betting.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Ashburton harness racing fixed odds movers as at 12:30pm Race 1 - Prestonpans $4.80 - $3.40 is easily best backed over Lilac Star $8.00 - $7.00.   Race 2 - Morven Lass  $5.00 leads multi betting over Art Collector $6.00 & To Ri Caitlin $15.00 who leads win betting.   Race 3 - Heisenberg $1.90 easily leads win & multi betting.   Race 4 - Mystical Star $2.80 leads multi betting in what is a quiet early win 'book'.   Race 5 - Sails $12.50 - $6.50 is the big mover here and is only slightly behind the $2.30 favourite Some Legend in multi betting.   Race 6 - James Dean $3.40 - $2.70 leads win & multi betting easily.   Race 7 - Mac Almighty $6.80 - $5.50 easily leads win betting over Cable Beach $5.50.   Race 8 - Bonnie Highlander $7.50 - $6.80 is best backed on the win 'book' over Time For Diamonds $6.50 - $5.50.   Race 9 - Delishka $3.60 leads win & multi betting.   Race 10 - Franco Lamar $4.20 leads multi betting over Vinny Gambini $4.20.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of TAB    

Ashburton harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:20am   Race 1 - Queen Of Love $3.10 leads win & multi betting over Geena's Girl $3.10 - $3.30. Razor $6.80 is starting to attract some win support.   Race 2 - Come Dance With me $1.85 - $1.80 easily leads win & multi betting over Double O Heaven $4.50 - $3.80.     Race 3 - Noble Lavros $6.80 - $4.50 is best backed with the largest bet $1,000 at $5.00. Monarco $5.20 - $5.50 leads multi bets over Grand Princess $4.50 - $4.80 & Noble Lavros.   Race 4 - Naholo $3.70 easily leads win & multi betting.   Race 5 - Summer Wealth $1.75 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 6 - Ranfurly Rulz $2.80 leads multi betting over Havinaravup $11.00.    Race 7 - Nui Ba Den $2.60 - $2.30 leads multi betting over Ideal Draw $3.60 with that runner leading early win betting over Playa Vista $14.00 - $11.00.    Race 8 - Kai Time $19.00 - $15.00 leads win betting over Time For Diamonds $12.50 - $9.50.   Race 9 - Bushido $2.50 - $2.20 easily leads multi betting with the win mover Christian Who $13.00 - $7.50.   Race 10 - Sheez Good $15.00 - $11.00 leads win betting over Pradas Ideal Dahling $5.50 with Petite's Blue Chip $3.30 leading multi betting over Zimfandel $6.00.   Race 11 - Some Legend $1.95 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Best backed runners in multi betting in order: R2 - Come Dance With Me $1.80  R5 - Summer Wealth $1.75  R11 - Some legend $1.95  R4 - Naholo $3.70  R9 - Bushido $2.20 R1 - Queen Of Love $3.10    Best backed runner in win betting is in race 2 'Come Dance With Me' $1.80.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

We are half-way through cup week 2017 with some great racing still to come, including the $300,000 Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Handicap on Friday along with an abundance of fanastic supporting races. Last week Tony Herlihy had the best winning dividend, when Classy Chapel won the last race at Cambridge and paid $6.10 and $2.20 on the tote. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often. Ashburton on Thursday John Curtin - John says Come Dance With Me will go close to winning at Ashburton in Race 2 Mark Jones - Mark thinks that Noble Lavros is a chance at Ashburton in Race 3 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Major Hippie can go close to winning at Ashburton in Race 11   Addington on Friday Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard is going for Agatha Tyron as his best drive this week at Addington in Race 1 Blair Orange - Blair thinks his best drive would be Some Joy at Addington in Race 3 Bob Butt -  Bob says his best chance this week is Ronald J at Addington in Race 4 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Great Things Happen as his best chance this week in Race 9 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week is Dark Horse in the Dominion Handicap Race 9 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Delishka as his best drive this week in Race 10 John Morrison - John likes the chances of Seaswift Joy at Addington in Race 10 Cran Dalgety - Cran thinks Tiger Tara can go close in the NZ FFA on Friday at Addington in Race 11   Auckland on Friday night Andre Poutama - Andre is going for Sea Of Gold as his best chance this week in Race 1 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks that Hot Flush would be a place chance this week also in Race 1 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best chance would be Caitlyn Clarke at Auckland in Race 4 Maurice McKendry - Maurice is going for Lemond as his best chance this week in Race 6 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - Stephen thinks that Motown will be hard to beat in Race 7   Wyndham on Sunday Craig Ferguson - Craig thinks his best drive this week could be Rocking Robyn in Race 3 Andrew Suddaby - Andrew is going for Larch as his best drive this week at Wyndham in Race 4 Brad Williamson - Brad thinks his best drive this week is​ Two Ply at Wyndham in Race 5 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory thinks his best chance this week is Gotta Good Looker at Wyndham in Race 6 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane says his best chance this week is Navajo Art at Wyndham in Race 7 Racechat - Lance thinks that Millwood Daisy is a good winning chance at Wyndham in Race 8 Terry Chmiel - Terry says his best drive this week is Black Regal Princess also in Race 8 Brent Barclay - Brent is going for Duke Of Wellington as his best chance this week in Race 10   Harnesslink Media  

This is now Lazarus’s New Zealand Trotting Cup to lose. That was the only possible conclusion from yesterday’s Ashburton Flying Stakes, traditionally the best guide to Addington’s great race three weeks today. Lazarus did was Lazarus does yesterday, stepped away safely, settled beautifully and then did enough to win without needing to be asked to delve too far into oxygen debt by trainer-driver Mark Purdon. It was professional, perfect and another step on his peerless path to the Cup and while it may not have looked sensational to the eye, the defending Cup champ paced a 53.5 second last 800m even though he only got serious in the final 200m. That was enough for him to wear down stablemate leader Dream About Me, who was brave in second but perhaps just as important as the win from a NZ Cup point of view was the third placing of Heaven Rocks. He bobbled away, caught the field and paced roughly at times before making good ground into third but while his performance would have been satisfying from any normal pacer what it did was show the gap between him and Lazarus. The latter is the complete package and will draw the front line in the NZ Cup while Heaven Rocks will start from the unruly which almost guarantees he will settle close to last even on his best behaviour. For all his ability, it is getting harder and harder to make a case for Heaven Rocks giving Lazarus a start and a beating in the Cup, especially as the champ gets fitter and returns to the 3200m distance he loves. The TAB bookies have Lazarus at $1.70 to defend his title and while hardly enticing 21 days from the race, serious dangers are in short supply. Lazarus is likely to go to the Kaikoura Cup next Monday while Heaven Rocks and Dream About Me could race at Addington on November 3 as their final Cup build up. Lazarus might meet Titan Banner at Kaikoura which will give a good indication of where the latter sits in the pecking order. Unless Titan Banner can at least push Lazarus at Kaikoura, the NZ Cup looks a Purdon-Rasmussen benefit but there is one shining light of competitiveness with Sydney trainer Kevin Pizzuto suggesting last season’s Cup runner-up Tiger Tara could now make a surprise trip to Addington. That would add depth and Australian interest to the race while lost another entry yesterday with Cash N Flow sidelined with a minor setback. While Lazarus was all class in the Flying Stakes, Great Things Happen continued his steep improvement curve in the Trotters Flying Mile. He backed up an enormous comeback second at Addington last start by bullying his way to the lead early yesterday and easily holding off a huge late finish from Habibti Ivy.  The performances suggested they are two of the trotters to beat in the Dominion during Cup week, with Great Things Happen now favourite in front of Bordeaux, who was allowed to miss yesterday’s race.  While only fifth Stent was solid in his first race start for 21 months and will be fitter come the NZ Trotting Free-For-All on NZ Cup day but whether trainers Colin and Julie De Filippi can get enough miles into his legs for a start in the 3200m Dominion in 24 days remains to be seen.  Earlier in the day three-year-old The Dorchester produced a stunning performance to set a national all comers 2400m record with a 2:52.5 clocking winning by seven lengths for young trainer Mitchell Kerr. Michael Guerin

Harness racing trotter Great Things Happen led all the way to win yesterdays Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile for trainer Gavin Smith. Smith had the speedy Love You gelding blasting off the mobile from barrier seven and the 6yo gelding was in front after 400m. He kept up a strong pace and always had the field covered, coasting to an easy win in quick time of 1-55.4.  Habibti Ivy finished quickly from the rear of the field in the straight for second and the Greg and Nina Hope trained Everybody Knows ran on well for third. The time for the mobile mile was the second fastest in the history of the race, with only Monbet last year going a fraction faster in 1-55.2. By winning yesterday Great Things Happen has cemented his tag as favourite for the (Gr 1) $300,000 Dominion Handicap at Addington in November. The TAB bookmakers have shortened him in to $3.60 on the FF win futures market, with Bordeax a $4.20 second favourite. Habibti Ivy has also firmed in to $5.00 in the Dominion after her slashing late run for second in yesterdays race.   Great Things Happen winning the Flying Mile   Harnesslink Media

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