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The most unlikely New Zealand Cup of champion trainer Mark Purdon’s career meant so much more because he didn’t drive the winner. Purdon provided the training quinella in the $750,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington yesterday but had to settle for second as a driver, as Cruz Bromac surged past his drive Spankem in the last 50m. But for Purdon the win means as much if not more than if he had clung on to win the race himself because of the man in the sulky behind Cruz Bromac. Blair Orange has won the last two national driver’s premierships but to any Canterbury harness racing driver, the New Zealand Cup is the holy grail and Purdon was thrilled to provide his former protege with the chance to get his hands on it. Orange was a long-time employee of Purdon’s famous All Stars barn and a close personal friend of Purdon, who has stuck by him in the toughest of times. He originally wasn’t in the frame to drive Cruz Bromac, who divides his time between Victoria and New Zealand. But through a series of events, including other horses being injured and other drivers being unavailable, Orange got his Cup with an inch-perfect display. “I am thrilled for Blair,” said Purdon. “He did a great job when he worked for us and has been very successful since he left. “So to be able to give him the drive on a Cup winner is immensley satisfying for us. He is a good guy and he deserves it.” Orange sure did after the drive he pulled off, firstly managing to negotiate the standing start safely with Cruz Bromac, who only rejoined the All Stars three weeks ago after spending the whole year in Victoria. They don’t have standing starts in Victoria any more so that first mini win was crucial.                                                                                                             -HRNZ photo Once safely away he has to wrest the lead off Classie Brigade and that could have left him vulnerable as Cruz Bromac is probably best known as a sprinter but the sedate Cup speed of 3:56.9 and the inches Orange saved around the marker pegs proved the difference. He grabbed Spankem, who had worked to the lead at the 1400m mark late and only by a neck, with Classie Brigade slightly luckless when forced to change ground in the home straight in third just ahead of Chase Auckland. Defending champion Thefixer was a battling fifth. There was great irony in Orange partnering Cruz Bromac to win as he had only driven him in public once before. That was when he failed to even qualify him in an early trial when Cruz Bromac was trained by Mark Jones before being sold to Australian interests and then coming back across this side of the Tasman to join the All Stars last year. He won the NZ Free-For-All then and could return to that race this Friday and now looms as a major contender for the Inter Dominions which begin at Alexandra Park in 16 days. Cruz Bromac’s win yesterday ticked him just over $1million in stakes and suggests the Australians could have a far greater role to play in the Inter Dominions than would have been expected even a few weeks ago. The horse who beat him in the Victoria Cup three starts ago in Bling It On is being set for the Auckland series while local stars like Self Assured have fallen by the wayside and while Cruz Bromac is officially trained here he will be very much claimed by the Australians as one of their's come the Inters. For Purdon it was his seventh New Zealand Cup training success as he continues to pen new pages in the record books with no end in sight. But that wasn’t why he was smiling last night. He was beaming because of what he had done for a friend.   Michael Guerin

It’s all about team work. But just how many people have played a role in the victory of Cruz Bromac in today’s (Tuesday) Gr.1 $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington is the great unknown? Highly-respected horseman Dean Braun has been a constant during his rise to greatness with previous trainer Amanda Grieve also a key member of the team while leading reinsman Greg Sugars has played his part this season. Obviously, the All Stars operation of Mark Purdon have also played a significant role, this is his second stint with the all-conquering Christchurch based stable following his highly successful campaign twelve months ago. Then there’s the behind-the-scenes people that mean just as much to Cruz Bromac as the above mentioned, the ‘farriers’ on both sides of the Tasman have played a masterful roles in making sure the big-striding Falcon Seelster gelding is pacing smoothly and at his best when it counts. At times throughout his career, he’s been bumpy and awkward but when right, he’s a magnificent sight to behold. And there was no better sight than today, on the biggest stage possible, the best day on the New Zealand racing calendar. Partnered by reigning New Zealand Driver of the Year Blair Orange, he had the eight-year-old away quickly and raced alongside early leader Classie Brigade and worked for almost half a lap to find the front, before being crossed by stablemates Thefixer and then Spankem, which left Victorian hope San Carlo exposed in the breeze. Over the course of the 3200m stand-start staying feature, Orange had Cruz Bromac sitting comfortably three back against the marker pegs. Race favourite Spankem continued to control the speed while San Carlo sat without cover, defending champion Thefixer sat poised behind the leader while Mach Shard, Cruz Bromac and Classie Brigade all occupied handy spots. Approaching the home turn, San Carlo started to give ground which enabled Orange to make his move aboard Cruz Bromac and brought the multiple feature race winner with his well-timed finishing burst. At the finish, Cruz Bromac scored by a neck margin from Spankem with a length away to the unlucky Classie Brigade in third who nosed out Chase Auckland and Thefixer. The All Stars team produced four of the first five place-getters while they have now won 5 of the past 6 editions of the Cup. The winning time was 3:56.9 - the mile rate was 1:59.1 – well outside of the Cup record of 3:53.1 set by Lazarus in 2016. For winning driver, Blair Orange has finally lifted the monkey off his back. Twice crowned New Zealand Driver of the Year, it was his 10th drive in the New Zealand Cup and his maiden success. He has been placed three times previously, twice with Highview Tommy (2011/12) and also with Titan Banner (2016). His tally of lifetime victories stands close to 1900 but today’s victory is easily his biggest triumph. “This is what dreams are made of; it’s just an unbelievable feeling,” Orange stated. “I’d like thank Mark and Natalie plus the owners for the opportunity, it’s an unforgettable day.” He added. Cruz Bromac is raced in partnership by Danny and Joanna Zavitsanos, Peter and Zilla O’Shea plus Warren Viney and was bred by the late Bob McArdle of Bromac Lodge. The victory for Sydney based Peter and Zilla O’Shea continues their amazing success with major features in harness racing after previously sharing in the ownership of former North American Mr Feelgood while they currently race last start Victoria Cup winner Bling It On. The next leg of the 2019/20 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit is the Inter Dominion in Auckland on December 14.   Chris Barsby

It wasn’t to be for Victorian trainer-driver Bec Bartley and her popular pacer San Carlo on New Zealand Cup Day, but it is onward and upward to the Inter Dominion. “Unfortunately things didn’t go the way we expected,” Bartley said. “He appeared to have an off day as well as not handling the track 100 per cent.” Bartley, who co-trains San Carlo with Steve O’Donoghue, said the nine-year-old would “have a few light days before heading to Auckland”. Cruz Bromac produced a powerful finishing burst for driver Blair Orange to win the NZ Cup, delivering his Australian connections the silverware, while earlier in the day Tough Monarch captured the Group 1 New Zealand Trotters Free for All for New South Wales trainer Rickie Alchin and driver Anthony Butt. Victorian McLovin produced an enormous effort to finish second for the Kate and Andy Gath team. Both trotters will contest the Group 1 Dominion Trot at Addington.    HRV Trots Media

GOULBURN Valley harness racing identity, Warren Newbound, who died recently, will be remembered as a cheerful and thoughtful friend to many, and one of the true gentlemen of the sport. Warren was part of the famous Newbound family, being the son of the late Leo Newbound, who played a huge part in the sport when operating Forest Lodge firstly at Chiltern in the 1950s with his brother Kevin. The Newbound name has been to the fore for decades and Warren ensured this continued in his passion as a trainer, breeder, farrier and boot manufacturer. Well-known Shepparton trainer Laura Crossland said 57-year-old Warren, who trained out of stables nearby, was always happy and smiling. "He was such a good person. When he drove in each day he'd toot the car horn and give a big friendly wave," Laura said. "There was always a horse in his stable that he would have in work. We loved him and when we had horses racing, he'd be the first to send us a good luck message." All drivers at Cobram on Monday showed their respect by wearing black armbands in Warren Newbound's honor. His funeral will be held at St Brendan's Catholic Church at Shepparton on Monday at 11 am, with a wake afterwards at the Goulburn Valley Hotel. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ "GO Lions, Brisbane Lions...we'll kick the winning score...you'll hear our mighty roar!" And we bet there were plenty of roars (and maybe even a few renditions of the club song) in the Lions camp last weekend! Lions captain Dane Zorko and teammates Darcy Gardiner and Ryan Lester, along with Louie Taylor, who recently transferred to the Sydney Swans, are enthusiastic harness racing owners. They race a number of handy horses with outstanding Victorian trainer Marg Lee and her reinsman son Jason, including 5yo gelding Iam Erik (Shadow Play-Invigorate (Artsplace) who scored nicely at Melton in a time of 1.53-8. The links with the Western District Lee stable go way back, with Jason and Louie Taylor students at primary school together. "They are a fantastic group of owners. Darcy in particular just loves the sport and probably gives me a call or sends a text message nearly every day to check on the horses," Jason said. "We have three owned by the boys now. One of the others in Yankee CJ has been a good money-spinner and a few of them are in Code Bailey," he said. Marg Lee was at her best at the Melton meeting with a training treble- which took her to an outstanding personal career milestone of preparing 500 winners. While Jason is Lions through-and-through, Marg, despite her association with the star Lions, cannot be swayed and remains a devoted Carlton supporter. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ CRACK Queensland reinsman Pete McMullen is seeing the funny side of a bizarre incident at Hobart last weekend during the Australian Drivers Championship series. McMullen was driving the ominously-named Awayandrideyourself and was fortunately uninjured in the incident, which occurred just 100 metres from the finish in the third heat of the Championship series. Confident punters could have been excused for heading to the bar when the pair, sent out warm favorites, were sitting pretty in fourth spot rounding the home corner and in the clear running out wide. But as the race caller spotted Awayandrideyourself about to stake his claims, disaster struck when McMullen's sulky seat gave way and dumped the driver onto the track. As he slipped from the sulky, McMullen kept hold of the pacer and was pulled upright again to find himself momentarily doing some "skiing", before tumbling ungraciously to the track. Video from punters.com.au Somehow McMullen ended up with only some scrapes and bruises and was cleared fit to continue driving during the night. "The seat slipped off, which wasn't anyone's fault. It was just a gear malfunction and I'm all good," he said later. "Thankfully I was out wide at the time with none of the other runners tracking me." McMullen said it was the first time he'd experienced a "seat slip" - and hoped it was his last! McMullen (who had 192 wins last year and is enjoying a handy start to the season, with about 30 so far) won the inaugural National Driver's Championship for Qld in 2014 - but the incident didn't help his cause this year, finishing eighth. Gary Hall Jnr took the title for WA (77 points) well clear of Mark Yole (Tas) and Darby McGuigan (Vic)   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

In 26 visits to New Zealand Cup Day, Arden Rooney’s historic win stands alone as the one I treasure most, but gee yesterday came close. The whole package of Australia’s trailblazer Kerryn Manning becoming the first female to drive an NZ Cup winner in 2015 and doing it just a week after Michelle Payne was the first female jockey to win a Melbourne Cup. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. But a 24-year-old dream came true for Geelong businessman Danny Zavitsanos when the Aussie owner won the NZ Cup with Cruz Bromac. “It was Golden Reign winning here all those years ago (1995 Christchurch Inter Dominion) that first got me following the trots, now I’m here winning an NZ Cup myself,” Zavitsanos said. And Zavitsanos is a passionate and hugely important player in the game, on both sides of the ditch. Sitting next to him on the flight from Melbourne to Christchurch late on Cup Eve, he was oozing passion and daring to dream. Fast-forward less than 24 hours and the dream was reality. “I thought he was unlucky not to win this race last year, but a year older and a year more mature and he’s back here winning it,” Zavitsanos said. History will say Cruz Bromac won the Cup as a Kiwi given he’s trained by the All Stars’, but every bit as much a win for Australia, with a dash of magic from Mark Purdon, Natalie Rasmussen and Blair Orange. “We sent him back to Mark and Natalie a few weeks back to try and win this race. They’re the best for a reason,” Zavitsanos said. “But credit goes to Amanda (Grieve) and Dean (Braun), who did such a good job getting him ready back home (Victoria).” Cruz Bromac looks set to back-up in the Group 1 NZ free-for-all on Friday then it’s up to Auckland for the Inter Dominion. And Zavitsanos has a scary warning for Auckland: “He’s never raced that direction, but they think he goes better because he doesn’t get on himself like he does this direction.” Cruz Bromac’s win capped a day of huge Aussie influence. It certainly didn’t surprise any Aussies to see Tough Monarch and McLovin run the quinella in the Group 1 NZ Trotting free-for-all. And Aussie-owned pair Copy That (Merv and Meg Butterworth) and Line Up (Emilio and Mary Rosati) ran second and third respectively to the All Stars’ One Change in the Group 1 3YO Sires’ final. Tough Monarch and McLovin will back-up in Friday’s Group 1 Dominion Trot, albeit stepping-up in grade again to face NZ’s two best trotters Oscar Bonavena and Marcoola. The Aussie raid then stretches to the Auckland Inter Dominion from November 29 where Tough Monarch and now maybe McLovin as well will be our trotting hopefuls. Our best Inter Dominion pacing hopes look to be Bling It On and Colt Thirty One and I’m not writing off San Carlo after he missed the start and never looked happy in the NZ Cup yesterday.   by Adam Hamilton

A dream was fulfilled at Addington today as Victorian owner Danny Zavitsanos grasped the famed New Zealand Trotting Cup after Cruz Bromac stormed past his celebrated stablemates to salute. The Geelong part-owner was thrilled to secure the $750,000 Group 1 race, captured when Cruz Bromac won for reinsman Blair Orange and co-trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. “When Golden Reign won the New Zealand Cup all those years ago I was always hoping I could get a horse to be in the NZ Cup, now to win it - I’m ecstatic," Mr Zavitsanos said. “I thought last year he was unlucky. I thought the horse really should have won or been in the photo. This year, he’s a year older, a year wiser, everything’s just come to plan." Mr Zavitsanos shares ownership with wife Joanna, New South Wales pair Peter and Zilla O'Shea and Tasmania's Warren Viney, while Cruz Bromac has recently been trained by Amanda Grieve in Victoria before recently rejoining New Zealand's All Stars team for this present campaign. “Lost for words, but I’d like to thank (reinsman Blair Orange), and ... Mark and Dean Braun and Amanda Grieve, who had the horse too, the plan just come together," Mr Zavitsanos said. “I’m rapt. Really excited. It all went to plan, really excited and happy to be part of this big day here." Orange had worked for almost half a lap to find the front early on Cruz Bromac, before being crossed by stablemates Thefixer and then Spankem, which left Victorian hope San Carlo exposed in the breeze. San Carlo had galloped away from the tapes in his first standing start but soon regained his gait and joined the running line, tracking Spankem until Mark Purdon slid to the front. While the pace was only fair, the occasion had taken its toll and San Carlo's race was run well before the final turn. The tiring running line enabled Cruz Bromac to emerge from three back the pegs at the turn and from there Orange and the Falcon Seelster eight-year-old did the rest. "I was a little worried, the speed down the back wasn’t that strong, but to the horse’s credit he travelled super around the corner and let down when I asked him," Orange said. “Around the corner Natalie seemed a wee bit flat-footed and I was still travelling pretty nicely. I just had to wait for him to get around the corner, he gets on the pole and gets a bit awkward, once he balanced up he let down really nice. “Full credit to the horse, Mark and Natalie prepared him super for the day. What a thrill." Spankem ran second while Classie Brigade was hunting a run in the closing stages and boxed on well for third ahead of Chase Auckland and Thefixer, with Purdon and Rasmussen's All Stars producing four of the first five placegetters.   HRV Trots Media

The Aussies have sent shockwaves through the Australasian trotting ranks with a dominant one-two in today's Commodore Airport Hotel Free For All. Tough Monarch led all-the-way to salute in the $100,000 Group 1 in track record time, with Rickie Alchin's New South Wales trotter narrowly holding off fast-finishing Victorian McLovin, who was a clear second for Andy and Kate Gath. Winning reinsman Anthony Butt, who arrived on track only minutes before the big race owing to a delayed flight, said he "could feel (McLovin) coming up the straight" but held on to win narrowly. “It’s a big thing for an Aussie horse to win a Group 1 over here, it doesn’t happen very often," Butt said. "Good on them for giving it a go and getting the result. “(Tough Monarch) has come on in leaps and bounds the last 12 months. Big credit to Rickie, he’s handled it beautifully and I’m very lucky to be on it." The result will only further fuel speculation, revealed pre-race by Adam Hamilton, that McLovin's on-again off-again tilt at the forthcoming Inter Dominion may be back on again. More is expected to be known at weeks end, Hamilton said on the Sky Racing Active coverage. For the victor, the win is enormous reward for Alchin, who invested great patience into Tough Monarch. Starting his life in Queensland, the young colt looked set to be a case of a talented horse who went off the rails, having been considered unsuitable for racing due to his headstrong nature. That was until talented young trainer Alchin broke the horse in. Tough Monarch then went to Dennis Wilson, who had trained the trotter’s mother in the latter part of her career, but two or three preps later and he had done all he could to little avail. “I had always had in the back of my mind that I’d like to have a go with him if the opportunity ever came up,” Alchin said. “Make no mistake, when I broke him in he was very difficult to handle, but you just couldn’t get to the bottom of him on the track, he was so strong. “I said to Dennis (Wilson) that if he ever had enough that I wouldn’t mind trying him out and that’s how it all sort of unfolded.” Almost four years later, the horse that was once destined for the scrap heap in an international Group 1 winner.   HRV Trots Media

One of our country's greatest harness racing horsewomen Jodi Quinlan is back on the track doing what she loves - albeit with due care and caution. Quinlan is based at Parwan, near Bacchus Marsh, with her partner Craig Demmler and returned to race driving recently after being sidelined by injury for nearly 11 months. "I really wasn't nervous at all. I thought I may have been, but I guess it's just like getting back on a bike," Quinlan said. "But I can say that I've lost some of my strength and fitness and that was a bit surprising. So I'm going to have to work on that!" she said. "I've still got on-going physio and osteotherapy once a week. But I'm using muscles now that I haven't used for 11 months so it will take time to build those up again." Quinlan suffered severe injuries when she was kicked by a horse that took fright in the float parking area at Tabcorp Park Melton last Christmas Eve. She received a lacerated kidney and three fractures to her spine along with muscle damage on her left-hand side. "It has certainly been a long road back with the rehabilitation. There's also been a fair amount of frustration along the way, but I've learnt that I just have to preserve myself through proper management," she said. "As part of my rehabilitation and to work towards getting back to the races, I've been driving some horses at home. It's only been a few here and there, probably more like when I feel up to it!" Quinlan had her first drive back at Melton 10 days ago in the Allied Express Sokyola Sprint finishing 7th on 7/1 chance My Kiwi Mate, prepared by Demmler. But a comeback win appears not far away with a third at Yarra Valley with Hezatoff before Quinlan finished second on Illawong Armstrong at Melton on Saturday night. Quinlan said she was training a team of 26 prior to being injured. "Craig had his own team up and going and then found himself filling the gap with about six of mine being lobbed onto him," she said. "I really felt for him because it's hard work. There was also a number of babies that were having their early preparations. "If I decide down the track to increase the stable numbers, I'll have to put on other staff that's for sure." Quinlan said she hadn't really thought much about returning to race driving while recovering. "I probably wasn't brave enough to look that far ahead - anyway it was up to the doctors to make the call. When I got through the period when pain was a big issue, I didn't know if I wanted to drive, but some of my owners sort of inspired me," she said. "Dr Martin Hartnett and his wife Kaye, who have been fantastic over the past five or six years, kept encouraging me. All my owners have been supportive. It was then I started pushing myself. "Martin's own health has been up and down a bit. So I thought okay let's do this and get back at the track and drive their team of trotters." The energetic horsewoman makes no secret she has high hopes for the Hartnett's three year old Illawong Stardust who will be set for the rich Vicbred and Breeders series as well as the Oaks. The Quinlan-Hartnett combination has tasted Group one success in the past with talented Illawong Armstrong and Illawong Byron. "Firstly, I'm happy just to be back, and secondly I'm happy to stick with the square gaiters at the races," she said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness racing Down Under "Breeders Crown winners" this week take out the Matron Stakes. New Zealand born trainer/driver duo, Nifty Norman and Dexter Dunn were once again successful this time in the $181,000 Matron Stakes on Thursday at Dover Downs. They teamed up with Amigo Volo a 2yo trotting gelding by Father Patrick gapping rivals to win in a time of 1:52.4. Coming in a huge 1.6 seconds in front of the second place getter.  Just two weeks ago the same trio won the $790,000 2yo Trotting Colts and Geldings Final in Canada. Amigo Hall has had 11 starts for 6 wins and 2 seconds for earnings of $700,000 lifetime to date. A recent arrival in North America that is making news is Lifeonthebeach A at Saratoga. A Somebeachsomewhere 5yo gelding that raced in Australia, Lifeonthebeach had 34 starts for 7 wins 11 seconds and 3 thirds for $76,410. His last 10 starts at Albion Park resulted in no wins.  Lifeonthebeach bled in Australia twice and as a result was barred from racing for life from its last start on the 22nd of June 2019. What a waste of of very good horse! Sold to North America for next to nothing Lifeonthebeach has had 10 starts for 7 wins and 1 second for $35,000 in earnings to date and has taken a record of 1:53 on a half-mile track. Why Lasix cannot be used Down Under to help a horse really does not make sense to me. Monday 4th November Dover Downs DE Bad Boy Brad A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $7,000   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Crombie A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $4,500   Plainridge Park MA Zinny Mach N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $12,000 Stihl N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $8,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Shecandance N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $19,000   Tuesday 5th November   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Benson Boys N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $15,000 Lynbar Rose N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $11,000   The Meadows PA Hilary Barry N – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $7,500 Amelia’s Courage A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $20,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Beyondthesilence N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $12,500 Shes Sporty A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500 Lettucerockthem A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $17,000   Wednesday 6th November   Dover Downs DE Lincolns Girl N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $14,000 Delishka N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $25,000   The Meadows PA The Spinster N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $9,600   Thursday 7th November   Dover Downs DE Mister Ohanzee A – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $9,000 Johnny Disco A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $15,000   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Djokovic N – Time: 1:58.2, Stake: $7,000   Monticello Raceway NY Milady Denver A – Time: 1:59.1, Stake: $3,300   Plainridge Park MA Tisadream N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $10,500 Fernleigh Rebel N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $9,000 Bettors Fire N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $20,000   Saratoga Harness NY Myeyesadoreya N – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $4,500 Miss Irish Rose A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $14,000 The Charging Moa N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,000 Gina Grace N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $14,000 Culinary Delight N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $4,500   Harrahs Hoosier Park IN Captain Dolmio N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $10,000 Backup A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $8,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Lovin Miss Daisy N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $17,000 Highview Conall N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $12,500   Friday 8th November   Batavia Downs NY Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $4,900   Freehold Raceway NJ Eden Paige N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $6,300   Harrahs Hoosier Park IN The Empiressister N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $12,000   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Gold Orchid N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $18,000 Lucky Artist A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $11,000 American Empress N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $8,500   Meadowlands NJ Shezza GNP N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $12,500 Rockin The Boys A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $16,000 Glenferrie Bronte N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $9,750   Yonkers Raceway NY Kaitlyn N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $42,000   Saturday 9th November   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Sammy The Bull N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $15,000   Meadowlands NJ Whittaker N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $9,000 Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $21,000 Franco Totem N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $16,000 Barimah A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $12,500   Saratoga Harness NY Fcee N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $6,420 Chumlee A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $5,000 Bettor Not Bitter A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $18,000 Lifeonthebeach A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $11,770   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Stars Align A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $12,500   Sunday 10th November   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Billy Badger N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,000 Persistent Threat A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $11,000 Firenglow A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $7,000 Bright Diamond N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $12,500   Pompano Park FL Kotare Yael N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $7,000   Saratoga Harness NY Mr Cool Seaeyre N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $18,000   Scarborough Downs ME Milwood Faith N – Time: 1:57.1, Stake: $4,400   Previous weeks 12th November 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 5th of Nov 2019 + Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 29th October 2019 + Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 22nd October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 15th October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 8th October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 1st October 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 24th Sep 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 17th Sep 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 11th Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 3rd Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 27th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 20th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 12th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 5th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 29 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 24 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety   Carter Dalgety

"It was a evening of action and excitement both on and off the track at last Friday (November 8th) night's thrill packed Bankstown Paceway harness race meeting which featured the continuation of live trackside music and drew a standing ovation from racing enthusiasts dining in the oncourse Champions Restaurant," according to Bankstown Paceway committeeman Andrew Ho. "Condell Park's eight hundred metre trotting track, under the ribbon of light, bore witness to stand out wins by seven year old bay gelding Matai Valour NZ, five year old brown gelding True Confessions, seven year old bay chestnut mare Gracie Taljuice, four year old black gelding The Jay Doug, six year old bay horse Goodlookin Rooster NZ, and six year old bay gelding Smoking Zak, ably driven by reinsman Jimmy Douglas," Mr Ho told Harnesslink. "Next Friday, November 22nd, will see the running of the 2019 Canterbury Bankstown City Council Cup and the Mayor's Cup, as well as the presentation of the 2019 Bankstown Paceway Premiership Awards, at a star-studded gala race night," he said. "Bankstown Paceway's Summer Carnival Series of Friday Night Harness Racing then continues on Friday, December 6th (Schweppes Sydney Cup Gala Race Night), Friday, December 20th (Christmas Race Night) and Friday, December 27th, 2019 (Holiday Race Night) - and we look forward to welcoming the harness racing community and all of their families and friends back on track," Mr Ho added.   Harnesslink Media

Ride High allayed any fears his trainer Clayton Tonkin had following a potentially taxing trial performance with an impressive return to racing on Saturday night. In his first run back from more than a year on the sidelines, the ultra-talented four-year-old made it nine wins from 10 career starts by taking out the Group 2 COGS 4YO & 5YO Championship (2240m) at Tabcorp Park Melton. After zipping out of barrier two, Ride High ($1.50) was given an easy time in the lead by Greg Sugars and then scorched home in a 53.7-second last half to just hold off the fast-finishing Hurricane Harley. Tonkin, the partner of Emma Stewart who was having the first runner in his name since July 2004, said he thought Ride High might have worked too hard in a recent trial, where he and Tam Major equalled Lennytheshark’s 2040-metre Melton record. “I thought they probably did a bit too much last week, but the money was sort of good and there wasn’t a heap of speed in the race,” Tonkin said after the win. “It really worried me tonight the way the racing was run because nothing in the breeze or in front was (winning)… it was a bit of a swoopers' night. I was a little bit concerned being first up. The track hasn’t raced real true tonight.” Saturday night was the first time Sugars had steered the 2018 Breeders Crown 3YO Colts and Geldings champion in a race and he liked what he saw. “I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to sit behind a horse like this,” Sugars said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are, it’s always hard to come up against a quality field that is already wound up when you are on the way up. “But thankfully he had the barrier draw in his favour and got away with very steady sectionals for the first lap and was able to be too slick up the straight.” Stewart runners filled the placings with Hurricane Harley sizzling home to be beaten just a half-neck, while stablemate Tam Major was third. Another feature on the night was the Allied Express Cinderella Stakes (1720m, mares NR 70-120) and it was Margaret Lee’s Keayang Shekitout ($26.30) that caused a major boilover.                                                                                      --Stuart McCormick photo Stewart runners Berisari and Nostra Villa were both well fancied in the race, but weren’t able to fire as Keayang Shekitout sat outside the leader and toughed it out to score a narrow success. The win was the six-year-old’s ninth in a career spanning 33 starts and was one of three winners on the card for her trainer. Lee also scored with Iam Erik ($3.80) in the Heathglen Retirement Village Pace (1720m, 4YO and older) and Jilliby Chevy ($2.10) in the Keilor East Probus Group Pace (1720m, NR 90-105). Jason Lee drove Iam Erik and Jilliby Chevy, while Glen Craven (Keayang Shekitout and Dance Craze, $1.10) and James Herbertson (Jodan, $34.20, and Are Doubleyou, $27.80) also celebrated winning doubles. Dance Craze’s success came in the other Group 3 race on the card, the Apco La Coocaracha Trotters Free For All (1720m, trotting mares NR 70-120) for trainer Anton Gollino.   HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

Astute young Sydney harness racing trainer Rickie Alchin can't wait to showcase his exciting trotter in New Zealand - but he has the utmost respect for his rivals. Eight-year-old Tough Monarch (Monarch USA-Tough Tussle NZ (Wrestle NZ) will step out today (Tuesday) at Addington in the $100,000 Group One NZ Trotting FFA over the 1980m trip. It will be run at 2.47pm NZ (12.47pm Australian) time. "He is right where I wanted him to be-he's settled in well, but these types of races are hard to win," Alchin said. "We ended up with a nice barrier draw in gate five, with a chance we will move in one closer if the emergency doesn't get a start, so we'll be looking for the top," he said. "But I have a lot of respect for a few of our rivals. McLovin, from the Andy and Kate Gath barn hasn't put a foot wrong and Winterfell (Mark Purdon) was eye-catching at the trials recently. "And there's some others as well including Sundees Son from the Dunn stable. From what I've seen of this horse, potentially he could be anything. If he turns up on the day, we could all have our work cut out." Alchin, who drove Tough Monarch to win at Menangle on October 19 in his most recent victory, said he was elated to have the services of master driver Anthony Butt. "I enjoy driving, but it just made sense to put 'Ants' on. He's an ex-Kiwi and over here he knows a bit more than me about the tracks, the other horses and their drivers," Alchin said. Butt and Tough Monarch combined last week to post an impressive two length trial win, seemingly in cruise mode. The mile rate was a tick over two minutes for 1980m and they ran to the line in 28.8 secs. Alchin, who flew out with Tough Monarch on October 29, is stabled with renowned NZ trainer Cran Dalgety, of Kentuckiana Lodge, West Melton, Canterbury. The 32-year-old admits that he sometimes has to stop and pinch himself in what has so far been a marvellous ride. After learning the basics of harness racing growing up in the strong harness racing town of Temora, in the NSW Riverina, he left for the city to better himself aged just 18. "My pop Russell Harpley was a hobby trainer and was a big influence, along with Nanna Pam. They are so proud and are now my number one fans," he said. "I also worked full-time for Ray Walker, who is an amazing horseman. So I certainly did get a good head start." Alchin said Tough Monarch, who is chasing his first Group One success, had benefitted greatly by competing in his first Inter Dominion in Melbourne late last year. "I guess I could say the same thing about myself - it certainly was a big learning curve," he said. "So hopefully with two Inters under our belts come Sydney next year, we both should be pretty seasoned," Alchin laughed. Shepparton co-trainers Steve O'Donoghue and Bec Bartley will also compete with their nine-year-old 'war horse' San Carlo at the same meeting in the $750,000 G1 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup at 5.12pm NZ (3.12 pm Australian) time. San Carlo, known around the stables as Murray, has drawn the pole. He comes up against some hot opposition in the Purdon-Rasmussen quartet of Spankem, Thefixer, Chase Auckland and Cruz Bromac. Bathurst pacer Our Uncle Sam (trained by Chris Frisby) will join San Carlo in trying to fly the Australian flag for honors.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Winning his first-ever country cup yesterday, junior reinsman James "Herbie" Herbertson showed the brilliance that stamps him one of Victorian harness racing's brightest young stars. The 20-year-old, based at Lexton, near Ballarat, teamed up with well-performed six-year-old gelding Emain Macha (Safari-Machabella (Mach Three) to win the 2019 $14,500 Weirs Supa IGA St Arnaud Pacing Cup. Showing a cool head and a touch of class to weave through tight traffic after despatch, Herbertson balanced Emain Macha up then made a race-winning move to ping him to the death-seat with 1000 metres to go. "He's a real nice horse that's for sure. I asked him to do a bit of work and then he responded on the home corner when I went for him," Herbertson said. "It's always a great day at St Arnaud, but getting my first country cup win there made it extra special," he said. Emain Macha showed plenty of grit to hold out the fast-finishing Rupert of Lincoln (Kerryn Manning) and Hashtag (Tayla French). The victory was another success for his astute Naracoorte-based trainer, Greg Scholefield, who continues to bob up with winners from just a small stable of runners. Scholefield, a builder by trade, has concentrated solely on horses for the past decade and races Emain Macha in partnership with Gail Davis, Peter Lamond, and father and son John and Sean Penny. Scholefield had his stable star back to his best after a short let-up and made use of Herbertson's junior claiming status to be eligible for the cup. "I've been to St Arnaud on three previous occasions-going back quite a few years ago-and was lucky enough to get two wins, while another runner cut himself and was a late scratching," Scholefield said. "Emain Macha went very well to win the cup and he's pulled up terrific. I got told the time was .9 of a second outside the race record so we're thrilled," he said. "James certainly deserves credit as he got him through to a lovely spot after starting on the outside of the back row. They had to work early, but the horse finished off well." Scholefield said he hadn't picked out where he would race next. "We'll sit down and look at suitable races, but it will most likely be at Melton because with the national ratings system he will be high up with points and it's hard to place him," he said. Emain Macha has now won 28 races with 12 placings from 48 starts. He has earnt more than $230,000 in stakemoney. The win continues a satisfying run for Herbertson who has now landed winners at three different tracks in the past three days. He got the money with Im Shadow Boxer at Bendigo on Friday night for his father Ashleigh, and then followed up the next night at Melton with a longshot double-Jodan (33/1) for the Tindall camp, and Are Doubleyou (25/1) for Kevin Wheatley. He continues a rapid rise in the sport. This season, just his fourth, is shaping well with 27 wins and 49 placings to date. This follows his record-breaking 2018-19 term when he drove more than 100 winners for the first time. "I copped a two-week suspension a while ago which put a dent in things, but the season is going along nicely with a fair few trainers giving me race opportunities," Herbertson said. The St Arnaud club was again thrilled with the success of its annual Cup meeting - with a big crowd enjoying perfect weather and great racing at the picturesque Northern Victorian track. https://www.facebook.com/StArnaudTrots/videos/970013270029256/ The other feature event on the program, the St Arnaud Sporting Club Trotters Cup was taken out by the in-form Chris Svanosio, who trained and drove Kyvalley Finn.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

POTENTIAL superstar Ride High marked two comebacks with his $75,000 Group 2 4&5YO Championship win at Melton last night. The entire was first-up after 16 months sidelined by a suspensory ligament injury following his Breeders Crown 3YO win. And his trainer, Clayton Tonkin, had his first runner in his own name for almost 15 years, having been the silent partner with Emma Stewart for so long. “I’ve got a special connection with this horse and it just felt right to take out my licence again for his comeback,” Tonkin said. Driver Greg Sugars used gate two to lead, controlled the race with a cosy 62.8sec middle half then zoomed home in 53.7 and 26.8sec to win, albeit by just a half-neck. Virtual stablemate Hurricane Harley smashed the clock, running his own last half in 53.4sec to almost rundown Ride High, while another Emma Stewart runner, Tam Major, was third after trailing the leader. The race lost plenty of gloss at the start when Victoria Cup runner-up and Auckland Inter Dominion contender Colt Thirty One galloped and effectively took no part in the race. Ride High’s win was his ninth from just 10 starts (he ran third in the Group 1 Vicbred final at his only defeat) and it will be fascinating when Tonkin opts to try him at the elite level, potentially in races like the Hunter Cup and/or Miracle Mile. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ TRAINER Craig Cross had half the field in Menangle’s feature race last night (Saturday), but didn’t punters any favours. That’s because the outsider of his quintet, the much-improved Wrangler, stormed to victory as a $61 shot over stablemate and $1.65 favourite Cash N Flow. Little Rascal grabbed third to make it a trifecta for Cross. The scorched over the mile in 1min49.9sec.  Steve Turnbull’s two Auckland Inter Dominion contenders, Atomic Red and Conviction, ran fourth and seventh respectively.  Atomic Red was terrific after leading at just his second run back from a long spell and finishing just 5.8m from Wrangler.  Wrangler’s win was the fourth on the night for Cross, following Admiral Bronski, Under Worked and Bettor Enforce. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ GREAT Southern Star winner Dance Craze just did enough to make a winning return at Melton last night (Saturday). The Muscle Hill mare led home a trifecta for trainer Anton Golino and the Yabby Dams team in the Group 3 La Coocaracha free-for-all with Destinee Jenilou second and Amour De Frere third. Another classy trotter to win on the night was former superstar juvenile, Wobelee, who clocked a 1min59.6sec mile rate for 2240m. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ TEAM Bond won the big race at Gloucester Park last Friday night, but just not with the horse punters hoped for. It was Vampiro, the outsider of Greg and Skye Bond’s three runners in the $50,000 Group 2 JP Stratton Cup, who poked his head out on the line to snatch a head win over stablemate and favourite El Jacko. Their other runner, Ana Malak, was the run of the race after sitting parked in quick time and fighting on strongly for a close fourth. They mile-rated a slick 1min54.7sec for the 2130m trip. Driver Colin Brown challenged for the lead early on Vampiro, then took a trail on Ana Malak and finished strongly in a 55.8sec last half. Team Bond will be a major force in January’s Fremantle and WA Cups with last night’s trio along with buzz pacer Mighty Conqueror heading its charge. Another impressive winner on the night was much-travelled five-year-old Bill Haley. The Kiwi-bred created a big impression during a short Queensland stint before heading to Debbie Lewis stable in WA where he’s unbeaten in three runs. Bill Haley is still racing through the grades, but has elite speed and could be a major race player. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ BUZZ Kiwi-bred Wildwest is turning the tide for top WA trainer Gary Hall Sr. In recent months he’s lost stable stars Chicago Bull and Major Trojan to injury. But, such is his stable depth, Wildwest has quickly stepped-up. The four-year-old son of Raging Bull made it eight wins from as many starts with by far his best and biggest victory so far at Pinjarra last Monday. Wildwest drew wide on the back row in a cracking field, but driver Gary Hall Sr showed his confidence on the gelding by making a midrace move to sit parked outside the talented leader, Patrickthepiranha, who was dictated terms. Just when it seemed Patrickthepiranha was doing enough, Wildwest lifted late in closing splits of 54.8 and 26.7sec to snatch a half-head win in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2185m. It was the win of a very serious horse. And WA’s string of four-year-old feature races, headed by the Group 1 Golden Nugget, are just around the corner. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ INTER Dominion champ Tornado Valley found a 50m handicap beyond him in the Group 3 Yarra Valley Trotters Cup last Thursday. It was the rejuvenated Magicool who continued trainer-driver Chris Svanosio’s recent red hot form, by popping out of the trail to beat the leader, Father Christmas. Tornado Valley chased hard, but was a never a winning hope before closing strongly late for third. The Group 3 Yarra Valley Pacing Cup went to Emma Stewart’s in-form Code Black, who was simply too good despite sitting parked in a 1min59sec mile rate for 2650m in wet and miserable conditions. Lance Justice’s underrated Rishi ran second while former classy Kiwi pacer Sicario was third.   Adam Hamilton

THE Aussies are descending on Addington for Cup Day. Our Aussie correspondent ADAM HAMILTON takes a look at his compatriots’ prospects in the two feature races. NZ CUP SAN CARLO: He’s a ripper. Don’t worry about his age (nine), he’s a late maturer and heads to Addington in career-best form. “It’s like he’s gone to another level this campaign,” co-trainer and driver Bec Bartley said. There’s no doubt he’s good enough to win a race like this, but he will need to do everything right at the start from barrier one. If he happened to step to the lead, he’d be the horse to beat. If not, luck becomes everything. CRUZ BROMAC: Well, we can sort of claim him given he prepared for the race back in Victoria for trainer Amanda Grieve then re-joined the All Stars barn. Terrific third in the Victoria Cup three starts back. Certainly did enough after a tardy start then sitting parked at Kaikoura, albeit against lesser opposition. Probably looks a tad below stablemates Spankem and Thefixer, but he’s got class and could surprise. OUR UNCLE SAM: The “find” of last year’s Melbourne Inter Dominion series, but hasn’t quite gone on with it since. Tired after doing the work at Ashburton then lost all hope when he bungled the start at Kaikoura. Local hero Mark Jones jumps aboard and he can certainly improve, but a place hope looks best.   NZ TROTTING FFA TOUGH MONARCH: Gee he’ll be hard to beat. Racing in career-best form and smashed the clock with 1min54.4sec all-the-way win over 1720m at Melton in hot field three starts back. “I’ve never had him better,” trainer Rickie Alchin said. Quick beginner, drawn well, awfully hard to beat if he finds the front, which seems very likely. MCLOVIN: Former Kiwi who has been a revelation for Andy Gath in Victoria. Specifically set for the two big races this week. Amazing first-up win in Group 1 Bill Collins Mile when off the track most of the trip and just kept coming. Classy, very strong and has a turn of speed. Needs luck from back row, but he’s certainly good enough if the race is run to suit.   Adam Hamilton for HRNZ

The four-year-old Our Millionaire is proving a splendid advertisement for the Cam's Card Shark horse Million Dollar Cam, a Little Brown Jug and Adios Stake winner and who stands at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga. Our Millionaire equalled the track record at Bendigo on Friday night (November 8), rating 1:52.1 over 1650 metres after a difficult draw and a torrid. The bay entire, who was bred by Yirribee Stud, won by 21.8 metres to advance his record to seven wins and one placing from only 16 starts. Million Dollar Cam, who has made a flying start to the season, was also represented by the 1:59 Tamworth winner Christian Shannon and the Bathurst victor Bill Shannon. Tintin In America, the sire of North America's No 1 female pacer Shartin N, left winners on both sides of the Tasman last week. Lady Sharnae NZ made it three wins from four starts on Australian soil with a career-best 1:59.7 win at Tamworth, while Bella Sara broke maiden ranks at her seventh appearance at Invercargill in NZ's deep south. Another Yirribee Stud product, the four-year-old Hudsen, took a new lifetime mark of 1:55.1 when scoring at Melton on Saturday night (November 9). The gelding has won eight of his 14 starts to date. Million Dollar Cam and Tintin In America are part of a select Yirribee Stud sire roster which includes Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Fear The Dragon, Warrawee Needy, Caribbean Blaster and Lombo Pocket Watch.   By Peter Wharton

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