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By Garrick Knight    Natalie Rasmussen cemented her place in the annals of harness racing history with a record-equaling Inter Dominion triumph at Alexandra Park on Saturday night. The expat Queenslander equaled the record for most driving wins when reining Ultimate Sniper to a typically courageous win in the $500,000 showpiece event. It’s unlikely any horse will ever supersede her former champion pacer, and four-time Inter Dominion winner, Blacks A Fake, but Ultimate Sniper, who she co-trains in Christchurch with Mark Purdon, will hold a special place in her heart. “It’s pretty up there,” she said post-race. “I’ve been lucky enough to drive so many great horses but this is really quite special tonight because I matched Brian (Hancock)’s record. “And for a four-year-old to do it the way he’s done it – he never had an easy run or anything but he made his own luck – I’m just absolutely rapt for the horse.” The win cemented Ultimate Sniper’s position as the country’s premier pacer, even allowing for the absence of his illustrious stablemates Turn It Up, Spankem and Self Assured. He was dominant throughout the series, going through the three heats last week without any luck whatsoever but still proving too good, and decisively so. His Grand Final run was comparatively easy – sitting parked outside the leader A G’s White Socks for the past mile – and he had too much in reserve down the straight. “I didn’t sort of bustle him too much early and I did all the work. “He just relaxed so well and he’s so kind and lovely. “Then, when I asked him, he just had that kick left. He was tired on the line but he never gave up.” For Ultimate Sniper’s co-owner, Phil Kennard, the win was a continuation of a brilliant recent run across Australasia’s Grand Circuit. Between all-conquering champion Lazarus, last season’s Horse of the Year, Spankem, and now Ultimate Sniper, he, wife Glenys and many of their close friends have been on the ride of a life time. But this last win very nearly didn’t happen. For two reasons. “The Thursday after the Trotting Cup last month, we were talking to Mark and Natalie about what we were going to do with him. “It was really a toss of the coin about whether he contested this series. “But Nat said I think we should give him his chance, and try and go easy on him in the heats. “Obviously her idea of easy and a Kiwi’s idea aren’t the same thing!” His New Zealand Cup campaign was aborted after a below-par effort in the Ashburton Flying Stakes on Labour Weekend, one Kennard calls an “aberration”. But he came out “after a four-day freshener” and blew his opponent of the track on the undercard. It was enough to convince Rasmussen. And for Kennard, there was a lot of hesitation about going to $85,000 to buy the colt at the 2017 Christchurch yearling sale, having bought and raced his illustrious but injury-plagued older brother, Ultimate Machete. “There was lots of doubt. I’ve never really gone for the full brother of one we’ve raced before. “But we kept going back to him. We liked him and knew he was a different type of horse to Machete. “We were looking for a reason not to buy him, but Mark and Nat went over him and the decision was made when we got outbid on another horse earlier in the sale. “Phil Creighton, who is in the horse, tried to talk us out of it, but eventually came back and said he was on board.” Two flip of the coin decisions, both went their way. The pay off? A champion confirmed and history made. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Ultimate Sniper left no doubt as to who was the premier horse of the 2019 Inter Dominion with a brutal Championship victory, sitting in the breeze throughout to cap a perfect series. Trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen and driven by the latter, the All Stars continued an exceptional night in the $500,000 feature, when Ultimate Sniper became the first four-year-old since 1991 to sweep the series. The victory was apart of the stable winning seven of the opening nine races, including a clean sweep of the trotting (Winterfell) and pacing Inter Dominion finals as well as an extraordinary performance by Another Masterpiece to win the consolation. "We thought when the fields come out we could have a good night with a bit of luck," Rasmussen said. "This bloke (Ultimate Sniper) didn't have too much luck but he was good enough. We just can't believe it." Nothing has come easy for Ultimate Sniper throughout the series and that didn't change in tonight's final, with expectations that he would waltz to the lead proving unfounded. While the peg-line would ultimately settle A G's White Socks ahead of Mach Shard, On The Cards and My Kiwi Mate, Ultimate Sniper moved into the breeze with San Carlo on his back. WINTERFELL STARS TO SALUTE IN THE 2019 INTER DOM FINAL "I thought it could pan out like that, I didn't bustle him too early and he did all the work," Rasmussen said. "He relaxed so well and he's so kind and lovely, and then when I asked him he just had that kick left." With a lap to go the three-wide line emerged with Chase Auckland followed by stablemates Cruz Bromac and Thefixer, with Ultimate Sniper nosing A G's White Socks by the turn and then it was a matter of could he hold the chasers? Mach Shard emerged down the sprint lane and Thefixer was the best of those running on wide, but Ultimate Sniper had all the answers. "He was tired on the line, he just didn't give up," Rasmussen said. "For a four-year-old to come out and do it the way he has done it, he's never had an easy run or anything, but he made his own luck. I'm just absolutely rapt with the horse. "I've been so lucky to drive so many great horses, but this is really quite special tonight. For a four-year-old to go undefeated in a traditional series, all through the heats and the final, just a wonderful feat." While the All Stars Racing team have had many a magical night, this was a particularly special one at Alexandra Park. "They see Mark and I winning, they don't realise the crew behind it and the people involved - from the breeders to the preparers to the people at home getting them ready. All our staff ... they will just be thrilled to bits. It just touches so many people." Of the TeamVic quartet, Cruz Bromac finished fourth, Sicario seventh, My Kiwi Mate ninth and San Carlo 11th. WHERE DID YOU FINISH IN TROTSTARS? CLICK HERE   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

A highly successful Auckland Inter Dominion Carnival concluded at Alexandra Park last Saturday and it was no surprise to see the dominance of the “All Stars” stable throughout the carnival. With five runners to contest the 2700 metre $500,000 IRT Pacers Grand Final, the stage was set for a terrific contest with a memorable victory to 4Y0 Bettor’s Delight-Reality Check entire Ultimate Sniper who was unbeaten, outstanding and sensational during the heats take the ultimate prize. Driven all through by Natalie, Ultimate Sniper starting from gate five was given time to balance mid-field in the running line before going forward to park outside Barry Purdon’s A G’s White Socks (gate 7) which had taken over from stablemate Mark Shard (gate 6) after crossing another stablemate On The Cards (gate 4) . There were no further moves until the bell when Chase Auckland went forward three wide from four back being trailed by Cruze Bromac, Thefixer and Triple Eight from the rear. Cruising up to A G’s White Socks on turning, Ultimate Sniper showed great staying prowess to prevail by a neck from Mark Shard along the sprint lane, with Thefixer flashing home late for third a nose away a half neck in advance of Cruze Bromac and A G’s white Socks. Running the journey in 3-14.7, Ultimate Sniper returned a mile rate of 1-56 (last half mile 55.2 – quarter 27.9). Raced by a large ownership involving former Inter winners Phil and Glenys Kennard - Smolda & Lazarus), Gavin Douglas, Phil & Margaret Creighton and Kevin Riseley who had tasted victory with both Lennytheshark and Lazarus, Ultimate Sniper recorded his 14th success from 20 outings which include 3 placings and stakes of $842,793. It was Natalie’s fifth Inter Grand Final after steering the great Blacks A Fake to victory in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010, while Mark Purdon has now figured as a trainer or driver four times Mark Hanover 1991 (D), Smolda 2016 (T/D) and Lazarus 2017 (T/D).   THE TROTTERS Five year old Majestic Son-Una Bromac gelding Winterfell, a top class youngster of his era after winning two heats, was victorious in the $150,000 HR Fisken & Sons Trotters Grand Final over 2700 metres in a time of 3-21.7. Trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Winterfell with Mark in the sulky began swiftly from gate two to lead, with Majestic Man (gate 4) crossing him shortly after to momentarily assume control. Coming away from the inside entering the front straight to once again take over, Winterfel was allowed to roll around unpressured with Sydneysider Tough Monarch outside him. When Todd Mitchell went forward in the last lap from three back with Massive Metro to join him on straightening a blowout result looked eminent, however after the soft passage Winterfell defied all rivals to prevail by a half neck over Majestic Man along the sprint lane, with Massive Metro a nose away in third place. In a last half of 58.3 – quarter 29, Winterfell raced by Lone Star Christchurch proprietor Trevor Casey returned a mile rate of  2-00.1.   Harness Racing Australia

Harness racing super star Ultimate Sniper has completed a clean sweep of the 2019 Inter Dominion by winning tonights Gr1 $5000,000 IRT Pacing Grand Final at Alexandra Park. As he did in when winning all three of his heats the tough Bettor's Delight 4yo never saw the fence at any stage in the final but still had too much petrol for his opposition, racing clear in the straight and holding on grimly over the final stages to record a remarkable win. Driver Natalie Rasmussen never entertained the thought the final would be easy. "I sort of thought it might pan out like that. I didn't do too much early and then he did all the work but he relaxed so well," Natalie said after the race. "When I asked him, he just had that kick left. He was getting tired at the line but he never gave up," she said. Outsider Mach Shard rushed at Ultimate Sniper late and got within a neck of him at the post running second, and Thefixer ran home well from back in the field to grab a fast closing third. Ultimate Sniper paced the 2700m mobile in 3-14.7 a mile rate of 1-56.0. The last 800m was run in 55.2 seconds. Super sire Bettor's Delight had a night to remember winning three of the Group One races on offer, and All Stars Stables also had a terrific night winning seven of the eight races they contested.   Harnesslink Media

Harness racing master trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have grabbed another Gr1 title after Winterfell won the $150,000 HR Fisken & Sons 2019 Inter Dominion Trotting Final in a thrilling finish tonight at Alexandra Park. Driver Mark Purdon seized the initiative early in the race re-taking the lead from Majestic Man after that horse had crossed him out of the mobile at the beginning of the race. Despite being nursed around the final turn and being headed early in the run home Winterfell fought back like a top horse and stuck his head in front just before the line to get a deserved win. "I had to nurse him a bit around the final turn," Purdon said after the race. "Once he got around the final turn he trotted faultlessly. But he did have ground to make up again, because he had been headed at that stage by the horse on the outside of him"  "I was a bit concerned but he was very tenacious to the line," he said. Massive Metro was brave in defeat fighting on well for third after heading the favourite on the turn and Majestic Man got going late in the run home and dashed into second. Winterfell (5g Majestic Son - Una Bromac by Live Or Die) trotted the 2700m mobile in 3-21.6 a mile rate of 2-00.1. The last 800m was run in 58.2 and the final 400m was trotted in 28.9 seconds. Harnesslink Media

At 92 years of age, harness racing stalwart Helen Head is still as passionate about the sport as she has ever been. And the Shepparton local makes no secret that when she is trackside at another Inter Dominion Final at Alexandra Park in Auckland tonight, she will be cheering for her hometown hero San Carlo. Nine-year-old "Murray" as he's known around the stables, is prepared by joint trainers Steve O'Donoghue and Bec Bartley at Morley Park, Kialla, just outside Shepparton. "It would be wonderful if they could pull it off, but I'll be barracking for all the Aussies," Helen said. "I've been over here in New Zealand as part of a tour group and we've all had a ball. We've been taken here, there and everywhere. The winery visits have been a lot of fun," she laughed. "At my age, you may as well enjoy things when you can, you know!" And after a lifetime of racing a host of quality horses and breeding many of the country's best, it's most fitting that Helen Head is sitting back to enjoy tonight's "big dance" in Auckland. Helen, who was honoured as a recipient of the Angelique Club's Pearl Kelly Award in 2016, recalls attending her first Inter Dominion Championship back in 1974. "I sort of got hooked on them because there's really been very few that I've missed since," she said. Helen and her late husband Graham developed a reputation over decades as one of harness racing's best known and most successful names in breeding and ownership. Helen shared the couple's remarkable story a few years ago with harness racing scribe Gus Underwood, recalling that as a young dress designer in Melbourne in the 1950s, she'd always dreamt of one day owning her own horse. Graham had started his working life as a structural engineer at the age of 16 and after the couple shared a trip around the world in a converted Volkswagen, they purchased their first farm at Sunbury, 40 kms north-west of Melbourne and their harness racing story began. After trying their hand at running cattle and sheep, Helen saw her dream of horse ownership come true with the purchase of a mare as a pleasure horse - but before she even got to ride it, the mare was put in foal! Selling their farm to developers, the couple moved to Seymour, then to nearby Mangalore, on the Goulburn River. This was to become the renowned Grenada Park and over the next 20 years, Graham and Helen got fully involved with standardbred breeding. They had the support of a close friend in Graham Cochran, then Chairman of the Victorian Trotting Control Board, who was a keen breeder, but owned no property. Their first foray into breeding was with the Bachelor Hanover matron Madame Han, who left 10 foals and established a great winning line. A decision to downsize in 2000 saw the couple purchase Manna Lodge from Gerald Farrell at Congupna and they continued their breeding pursuits, although now as a partnership, after the death of Cochrane. The couple considered renaming the property Grenada Park, but to prevent any confusion, left it as Manna Lodge, but adding to the title: 'Home of Grenada Park'. Countless top horses were bred at both Mangalore and Congupna, and in 2007 the Heads were named Victorian Breeder of the Year. Sadly, Graham passed away in 2009, but, after 57 years of marriage, Helen's upbeat approach to life saw her commit to continuing the couple's breeding program. "I think there's now been 24 of our breed who have each won over $100,000 in stakemoney," Helen said yesterday. "And there's also been two-Safari and Garnet River- who passed the half a million dollars mark. Safari was trained by Clayton Tonkin and Emma Stewart, and won 28 races while Hughie Cathels had Garnet River, who later ended up over in America with Noel Daley." Choosing a favorite among recent topliners is no mean feat, but youngster The Storm Inside (bred from Spirited Storm, a filly Helen travelled to America to buy) must surely rank highly, with the stunning colt recording 14 wins from only 16 starts for Tonkin and Stewart. Helen Head with Emma Stewart after The Storm Inside’s APG win But it's the sensational Tell Me Tales (Tell All-Soaring Falcon (Falcon Seelster) that Helen names as her first choice. Tell Me Tales put together a string of 11 consecutive wins during her 3yo season in 2018 before serious injury two months ago. Her record stands at 20 wins and seven placings from 32 starts for $360,000 in stakemoney. "Tell Me Tales is definitely my favorite, and I was very sad when she broke a bone in her hind leg," Helen said. But this optimistic nonagenarian always has an eye to the future and a positive outlook. "We've had it pinned and she's doing well - and we've taken an embryo as well, so she might also get a foal and that would certainly be lovely," Helen said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Training legend Barry Purdon may not win either Inter Dominion final at Alexandra Park tonight but his horses might hold the keys to who does. Purdon rivals his brother Mark for trainer of the carnival as he has three in tonight’s $500,000 pacing final and Marcoola in the $150,000 trotting group one. That is a fair leap from just a month ago when he didn’t even train Marcoola or dual series heat winner A G’s White Socks, while Mach Shard was jarred up after a New Zealand Cup shocker and his other pacing finalist On The Cards had just started his campaign with a third in a moderate race. So Purdon has taken two stable newcomers and two $150 chances and squeezed the absolute best out of them to give them a shot at the title. That, after all, is what horse training at its most basic level is all about. To turn that training genius into something a little more spendable Purdon’s trio in tonight’s $500,000 pacing final are going to need to be in the right place at the right time and for that A G’s White Socks, Mach Shard and On The Cards all have a very valuable weapon: gate speed. They are all on the front line surrounding hot favourite Ultimate Sniper and while anything could happen inside them it looks better than even money one of Barry’s horses will lead early. On The Cards, from barrier four, is the most likely to cross to the pegs but he could easily be joined by Mach Shard and/or A G’s White Socks if they can beat Ultimate Sniper off the gate. That is very possible as Natalie Rasmussen is often neutral for the first 400m of major races. The other side of that coin flip is Ultimate Sniper attaching itself to On The Cards, following it straight across and pretty much waltzing to the lead, which would give it the luxury of a $100 chance on his back and maybe seal the fate of Ultimate Sniper’s rivals. Purdon says his three are all well, have handled the rigours of the series and are ready to run up to the best form. “We know it is going to be hard to beat Ultimate Sniper, when horses start racing like he has during an Inter Dominion they tend to hold that form and I think he will too,” says Barry. “So maybe he will be too good but our horses should be up there and handy and that will give their drivers options.” If an A G’s White Socks or Mach Shard is given free rein to charge forward and can cross Ultimate Sniper then they get their chance to lead and almost certainly trail after so any one of Purdon’s three could sneak into a quinella or trifecta spot. But while it is hard for the master trainer to be too confident of beating Ultimate Sniper, he is more upbeat about an upset in the trotting final. Marcoola was always likely to be a better horse for tonight than in the heats, with the week off a chance for him to put on weight and Purdon to train him, rather than just look after him. He has worked well this week and after driver Sheree Tomlinson impressed Purdon with her patient handling of Marcoola in his heats, the boss is happy for her to power up the big boy tonight. “I will tell Sheree I am happy for her to drive him forward if he feels like that,” says Purdon. “He is fit and ready and we realise if we let Winterfell get his way in front then he might get it too easy so we will probably be rolling forward. “I couldn’t be happier with him and with a horse like Majestic Man fast off the gate too there could be some pressure early.” Purdon has trained 31 winners in just 101 starts this season, giving him a higher strike rate than even the All Stars, and should snare another group one before the Interdom Finals are even run tonight. He has speed freak mare Belle Of Montana headlining a four-pronged attack on the $100,000 Queen Of Hearts and even though she has drawn the second line it shouldn’t matter. Belle Of Montana is so fast she almost certainly would have made the pacing final had she contested the Interdom series and she is racing horses tonight who wouldn’t have. She sat parked to beat most of them last Friday and Purdon says she will be fitter tonight. “She will definitely come on from last week and while she has the second line she is the only horse starting there so Zac (Butcher) has options. And she is probably good enough she could parked and win if she had to.”   Where: Alexandra Park When: Saturday night, first race 5.45pm What: $500,000 Interdom Pacing Final, $150,000 Interdom Trotting Final, $100,000 Queen Of Hearts, $100,000 Peter Breckon Memorial, $50,000 Alabar Classic, $40,000 Lincoln Farms Classic. Support card: Oscar Bonavena, Enhance Your Calm and Tickle Me Pink in the free-for-all trot, Miracle Mile favourite Self Assured in race nine. The Punt: Tote and Fixed all races, $10,000 included in First4 pools for Interdom Finals, head to head markets and special bet options, all at Watch: Live on Trackside 2 (Sky 63) from 5.14pm including live interviews with drivers in pre-race warm ups. On track: Free admission, dining packages sold out but Macs Bar (Party Zone) open on the infield as well as seating still available in stand, Lyell Creek and Alex Park. After party after racing programme finishes.   by Michael Guerin

New Zealander Sarah O'Reilly emerged victorious in the 2019 Hanley Formula Australasian Young Drivers Championship after the final heat was run and won at Alexandra Park on Friday night. It was a combination of relief and excitement for Sarah following the race, ''I was relieved that I crossed the finish line in the last race because I knew I had won the series. I just wanted to drive the best I could in the series and get one winner and have fun.'' O'Reilly led the series by eleven points over NSW representative Cameron Hart leading into the tenth and final heat and only a win or second from Hart would have caused an upset victory. It was not to be for Hart with his drive Johnny Mac finishing 6th, one position behind O'Reilly's drive, M T Pockets. The race was won in great fashion by The Paua Diver for Sheree Tomlinson for trainers Josh and John Dickie over Dina Brown for South Australian, Brodie Webster and Pekeson for the Tasmanian representative, Conor Crook. Sarah's victory in the 2019 AYDC was a result of brilliant and consistent driving for the entire series. Her two wins and four second placings from her ten drives earned her a total of 101 points, 12 points in front of Cameron Hart who won three races, and third was kiwi Sheree Tomlinson who finished with 68 points.   Final 2019 AYDC Points Score:   Sarah O’Reilly (NZ) 101 Cam Hart (NSW) 89 Sheree Tomlinson (NZ) 68 Corey Peterson (WA) 65 Matt Elkins (QLD) 64 John Morrison (SI, NZ) 60 Benjamin Butcher (NI, NZ) 57 Brodie Webster (SA) 49 Zac Phillips (VIC) 46 Conor Crook (TAS) 42     Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

By Garrick Knight    It’s been a whirlwind six months for New Zealand’s most promising junior driver, Sarah O’Reilly. After a thrilling week of competition against the best of her peers from here and in Australia, she was crowned Australasian Junior Driving Champion at Alexandra Park in Auckland on Friday. It comes just five months after she secured the New Zealand title at Addington during the winter. The attention and fanfare that comes with such accomplishments has proved daunting for the quietly-spoken teenager from Rakaia. And it’s fair to say having a virtually unassailable lead for the past 24 hours weighed heavily on her shoulders. “I woke up a couple of times last night because I was so nervous,” she said. “But I was trying not to overthink it. They told me last night what I said to do in the last race to stay in front so I was just focused on that.” After reining M T Pockets in to fifth place – enough to secure the title – she finally let herself enjoy the moment, joined by her horseman father, Gerard, and mum, Jane. “It’s pretty amazing, I can’t believe it. I didn’t expect any of this. “I was just happy to drive 20 winners last season.” Gerard taught her everything she knows, she reckons, but she made special mention of another lady driver who has become a mentor and role model for her. “Sam Ottley has been really good to me. She’s been there for me since my very first workout drive.” With the two big goals already ticked off her ‘to-do’ list, O’Reilly has a rather modest target moving forward. “I just want to keep going the way I am, keep driving winners and, hopefully, beat last season’s total.” One thing’s for sure – she’s a lifer in the game.  “I just want to keep driving as much as I can for the rest of my life.” Sydney’s Cam Hart finished second after a very hot and cold series where he drove the first three winners only to have his next two drives pulled up without taking any serious part. O’Reilly’s fellow Cantabrian, Sheree Tomlinson, who won the final heat with The Paua Diver, rounded out the podium finishers, unable to defend the title she won 12 months ago. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Owner-breeder Peter Gleeson believes his star pacer Ride High had some of the brilliance taken out of him before a much-hyped return to racing last month. The Clayton Tonkin-trained and part-owned son of Art Major won his first start back from injury at Tabcorp Park Melton on November 9, but was far from breathtaking in a narrow victory over Hurricane Harley, who ran him to a half-neck despite some cheap sections in the lead. Gleeson felt Ride High worked too hard in two trials, which included a sizzling effort alongside Tam Major that equalled Lennytheshark's 2040-metre Tabcorp Park 2018 record. "He didn’t look so impressive when he won that race, the (Group 2) 4YO & 5YO Championship, and I said to Clayton a few days later that I reckon he’s had the edge taken off him in those two trials and he said: ‘so do I’,” Gleeson told Gleeson said Tonkin had then backed off the horse in his work and given him some time between his next run, which will be in this Saturday night’s TAB Multiplier Westburn Grant Free For All (2240m). “(Clayton) won’t start a horse unless he is 100 per cent happy with the way it’s going to go,” Gleeson said. “He wants to win every time he goes out… not only with Ride High, but with any horse he has got.” Gleeson, 70, has been involved in horses for most of his life and believes Ride High could reach - or even surpass - the heights of a grand pacer he bred named Safe And Sound. That son of Safely Kept won close to $1 million in prizemoney in a career that captured many big races, including the 2002 A. G. Hunter Cup. "If he stays sound, he’ll be as good as Safe And Sound, or maybe better,” he said. “Clayton just thinks he is the best horse he’s ever had. So we just have to wait and see how it all unfolds … the biggest worry is little niggling injuries that come along. “And you never know from one day to the next when they’re going to go amiss. And then you spend your life trying to patch them up again.” Ride High will be driven by Greg Sugars on Saturday night and has drawn barrier four in the small field of eight starters. His rivals include Greg Scholefield’s recent Stawell Pacing Cup champ Emain Macha, Mick Stanley’s top-liner Rackemup Tigerpie and Peter Manning’s quality mare Reciprocity. Saturday’s 12-race card kicks off from 4.54pm.   HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound.   Half-brothers win at Cambridge   It was no mean feat for the half-brothers The Lone Ranger and Cruzee Mach to win consecutive races at Cambridge Raceway last week.   The Lone Ranger, a six-year-old gelding by Sportswriter, won for the fifth time, while Cruzee Mach, a three-year-old Mach Three gelding, notched his maiden success.   Cruzee Lass, the dam of The Lone Ranger and Cruzee Mach, was a smart racemare in her own right, winning nine races, earning $99,544 and taking a mile record of 1:58.4. At the stud she has left eight individual winners – six inside 2:00 – from nine foals of racing age including Rocknroll Princess 1:54.6 ($94,153), Sweet Art (1:56.6) and Ace Strike, who won at Manawatu last Tuesday in 1:57.8.   By Christian Cullen, Cruzee Lass was out of the Holmes Hanover mare Shivna (1:57.2), the winning dam of the exported Freespin 1:52.2 ($253,744) and the Gloucester Park winner Cruzee Princess (1:57.4).   Shivna, who won the Great Northern Breeders Stakes at Auckland, was a half-sister to five winners including the Hannon Memorial winner Derby (1:58.1), being out of Anna Pavlova, by Armbro Del from the grand producing mare Coo Doo.   Other members of this family have been the NZ Derby winner Captain Peacock, Life Of Luxury (1:51), a Stakes winner in America, Extender (1:49.2), Moscow (Bunbury Cup), Elegant Christian (WA Western Gateway) and Shoobee Doo (NSW Tatlow).   The Lone Ranger winning at Cambridge     Inter Dominion lineups   Bettor’s Delight will be represented by five runners in the 12-horse field for next Saturday’s $500,000 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Final.   The quintet are Ultimate Sniper, Thefixer, Ashley Locaz, On The Cards and My Kiwi Mate.   Mach Three is the only other sire with multiple representation – Mach Shard and San Carlo.   Five other stallions have a single runner.   In the trotters’ section, Majestic Son has three runners including the two leading pointscorers, Winterfell and Majestic Man. His third rep is Valloria.   Monarchy, Love You, The Pres and Muscle Mass all have two finalists, while Sundon has a single entrant, Marcoola.       Treble for Woodlands Stud   Woodlands Stud bred the first three winners on the third night of the Auckland Inter Dominion carnival in Some Do (Bettor’s Delight-Dream Offer) and the three-year-olds Need You Know (Bettor’s Delight-Lady Antebellum) and Copy That (American Ideal-Lively Nights).   Some Do winning at Alexandra Park     Country Cups King   A double winner on the Victorian Country Cups circuit this season is the Ballarat pacer Phoenix Prince, who is expected to be Grand Circuit material.   Only a six-year-old, he showed up last season as a five-year-old above average when he won twice in Free-for-all company at Melton.   Phoenix Prince                                                          photo by Stuart McCormick   Phoenix Prince is by a champion American pacer in Somebeachsomewhere from Classic Cathy, by Classic Garry from the broodmare gem Sans Pareil. This is the family that left a grand juvenile in Part Of Glory, a cups class pacer in Swishinon and an Oaks winning filly in Doug’s Courage.   The 10th foal and sixth winner of his dam, Phoenix Prince was bred by Bacchus Marsh enthusiasts Shannon and Meaghan Nixon, who part-own him.     Gabbana the top banana!   Gotta Go Gabbana, a grand looking Gotta Go Cullect mare, is rated Western Australia’s top female pacer this season, particularly after her success in the Group 1 $125,000 Westral Mares Classic, one of the season’s major feature races.                                                                                         -- photo by Jodie Hallows   She has now won 13 races with 19 placings from 49 starts for $228,614 in stakes.   In the Mares Classic, Gotta Go Gabbana was never really extended in running out the 2536 metres in a 1:57.3 rate, the last 800 in 56.1 and the final 400 in 27.5 – figures which she could have sharply improved.   She is a six-year-old by Gotta Go Cullect, a top colt pacer in NZ by Christian Cullen out of Elect To Live, a champion filly who won 19 races – five at Group 1 level – and a record $535,800.   On her dam’s side, Gotta Go Gabanna has a good deal in her favour than most. She is out of Lady Gabbana (2:02), a WA Sires Stake 2YO Final placegetter, by Kinney Hanover from Whitby’s Beachbabe, by Beach Towel from Whitby Bay, by Tarport Adios from Appro Bay.   Gotta Go Gabbana is the best winner from this family in recent years but in an earlier decade it produced a top flight youngster in Henry Te Whitby, who won nine races.     Noted family of trotters   Maorishadow, who has won four races this season including two at Melton, was bred in Victoria and is a member of Australia’s most successful family of trotters.   By Pegasus Spur, Maorishadow could well have distinguished herself as a pacer as her dam, Maoris Lass, was out of the Romeo Hanover mare Lauretta, who won as both a pacer and trotter.   Lauretta’s dam, Maori Mia, a daughter of leading pacing sire Kentucky, left five winners including the Group 1 winning square-gaiters Maori’s Glory ($109,366) and Maori Demon, and was the ancestress of top trotters Broke As Usual, Kyvalley Kyrie, Master Maori, Vincennes, Kinvara Sue and others.   Maori Mia, who was only lightly raced, was out of Maori Miss, a dual-gaited mare who left eight individual winners including the legendary Maori’s Idol and was awarded Broodmare of the Year on three occasions.     Bettor’s Delight trifecta   The Group 3 Northern Breeders Stakes, run at Auckland, was a triumph for Bettor’s Delight as the sire of the first three placegetters, Belle Of Montana 1 st , Wainui Creek 2 nd and Bettor’s Heart 3 rd – rather a notable siring feat.     Bettor’s Delight was also the sire of the dam of the fourth placegetter, Havtime.     Tiffany Rose is classics material   The New Zealand bred filly Tiffany Rose is proving herself a smart three-year-old – she is unbeaten in four starts on Australian soil – and could develop into one of the best her age this season.   A filly by Somebeachsomewhere, Tiffany Rose ranks as a half-sister to a top flight pacer in Code Black 1:50.8 ($338,235), who ran a close third in the Cranbourne Cup last Saturday, the exported Lovin Miss Daisy 1:50.4 ($199,695) and Nakuru (1:55.2), a winner of three races in NZ to date.   Their dam, Christian Watch, who was only lightly raced, was by Falcon Seelster from the Christian Cullen mare Turkana 1:58.3 ($112,148), whose six successes included the 2004 Queensland Oaks and the Nevele R DB Filly Series. At the stud Turkana became the dam of four winners – three in 2:00 – headed up by the recent NSW provincial winner Dark Side 1:57.6 ($93,554).   Turkana was out of Kisumu, a NZ Sires Stakes 2YO champion by Nero’s B B from Kinshasha, by Armbro Del from Hindu Star, a daughter of the NZ Oaks winner Petro Star.   Bred by Graeme Iggo, Tiffany Rose looks a three-year-old with the potential one would expect of her breeding.     First winner for Franco Jamar   Franco Jamar, a well performed Courage Under Fire horse from a strong NZ family, and who is standing in Bridgetown (WA), was represented by his first winner in the three-year-old gelding Keptain Courageous.   The gelding had been placed in five of his previous eight starts. Franco Jamar has only eight foals of racing age.   Franco Jamar         -- James Jubb photo   Keptain Courageous is the fourth foal of his dam, Switch Me On (2:01.9), a Safely Kept half- sister to the prolific Gloucester Park winner Black As Knight (1:58).     Last foal of Our Sir Vancelot   The six-year-old Pensare Princess, who notched her second win at Wagga, is the last foal of the triple Inter Dominion champion Our Sir Vancelot.   The mare was bred and is raced by the Junee-based Allamby family who owned Our Sir Vancelot throughout his stellar racetrack career.   Pensare, the dam of Pensare Princess, is a granddaughter of champion racemare Sabilize, who twice won the NSW Ladyship Mile and was twice placed in the Miracle Mile.   Our Sir Vancelot, who died in 2017, sired 244 individual winners and almost $11 million inprogeny earnings.         By Peter Wharton

The heats of the McKillop Insurance Brokers Tassie Golden Apple and the last two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge make up four of the seven races in Launceston tonight. The Tassie Golden Apple heats have attracted a rare mix of free-for-all pacers, horses that are just in the next group down, claimers and horses that appear to be destined to head to the country cup carnival over the summer. The mix is seen in heat two where Illegal Immigrant will start race favourite from his 30-metre handicap. One pacer in the race who’s performance will help their trainer determine on what path they go down over the summer months is the Mark Reggett trained Dasher Houli in heat two. The gelded son of Stonebridge Regal is first up since contesting a heat of the Tasmania Cup in early March where he finished in the back half of the field, and the trainer is happy with the pacers recent trial performances. “His first trial he had a decent blow, he needed the hit out but I was really happy with his last trial where he went to the line really good,” said Reggett about the 25 November trial in Hobart. “He will take some benefit from the run but he is ready to run a good race first-up,” added the trainer. Reggett was concerned about where the pacer was going to be when harness racing in Australia moved to a new national rating system on 1 July but he is happy with where the pacer is rated at with the conversion. “I wasn’t sure about the rating system but he is at the lower end of the free-for-all class which is good with the number of standing starts coming up,” explained Reggett.  Illegal Immigrant winning in Hobart earlier this year.   The Brighton based trainer rates the 30-metre backmarker Illegal Immigrant as the hardest to beat. “Illegal Immigrant is the hardest to beat so we need to capitalise on the front row draw,” Reggett said. Dasher Houli is yet to win a standing start race in four tries but the trainer was pleased with his manners in a recent trial. “Taylor (Ford) hunted him away in his last standing start trial and he got away real good,” said the trainer who has given Ford the drive tonight. Tonight’s assignment will help the trainer work out where he goes next with the seven-year-old gelding. “If he performs well in the series we will aim at some of the better races this season, if not we will just look for races that will be suitable for him.” Heat one of the Golden Apple is race three on the card where Ryley Major will start a short-priced favourite. Ryley Major is arguable the best pacer racing in the state at present and despite a 30-metre handicap, the race does appear to be a drop-in class for the talented pacer who has won 21 of his 31 starts. His trainer, Rohan Hillier will take the reins once again in tonight’s event. The first six horses past the post qualify for the $30,000 final that will be held in Launceston on Saturday night 21 December. The Launceston card tonight also sees the final two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge. The series for the states best young up and coming drivers have seen heats staged in Devonport and Hobart in recent weeks and it is a tightly contested leader board. Andrew Freeman heads the points table on 40 points with Ben Woodsford and Taylor Ford on 39 with Charlie Castles heading the rest on 22. Races two and five are the final two heats of the six-race series.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

The McKillop Insurance Brokers Tassie Golden Apple Heats in Launceston Friday night highlights a great weekend of Harness Racing in Tasmania. But first, we take a look back at the action in Hobart last Sunday where there was plenty of highlights across the nine races staged. The Stars Ben Yole – prepared five winners on the Hobart card Sunday night. It was the fourth time in his career that the leading trainer has achieved the feat. Yole without a doubt prepares the state’s largest stable. He is eight winners behind where he was at the same stage last season where he ended up with 182 winners in the state. Willybe wins the opening race in Hobart on Sunday. Andrew Freeman – hadn’t driven in a race since June until round one of the 6ty° Youngbloods challenge. A few reasons for his absence were that his father had no horses racing and with the new claiming novice drivers system that was introduced with the new national ratings meant a lot of experienced drivers got their claim back which forced people like Freeman to sit on the sidelines. The 21-year-old has certainly made his presence felt in the series with two winners including The Shallows in heat four in Hobart. Taylor Ford – is only one-point off Freeman in the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge and she certainly continued her good run of recent weeks with a driving double on Sunday night. Ryley Major – warmed up for Friday night’s Tassie Golden Apple heats with an effortless win in the free-for-all in Hobart which was his fifth win in a row. One Yankee Ginga – is a talented Marc Butler trained trotter who won his sixth race in the state in the last race of the Hobart card. Multiple Winners Hobart – Sunday evening Ben Yole – training quintet; Willybe, Quick Changeover, Mach Charm, Give Me The Night and Jeans Mattjesty. Taylor Ford – driving double: Quick Changeover and Jeans Mattjesty. Ben Woodsford – driving double; Mach Charm and Streitkid. Gareth Rattray – driving double; Give Me The Night and One Yankee Ginga. Streitkid wins in Hobart for driver Ben Woodsford on Sunday. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action. Hobart – Sunday evening Chasing Cheetahs 57.04s, Blackbird Power 57.37s, Jeans Mattjesty 57.52s, Bounty Eyre 57.58s and Ryley Major 57.88s. View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here. Tasracing Official Price Hobart – Sunday evening Hit’s: The Shallows $2.15 into $2.10, Jeans Mattjesty $9.00 into $8.50 and One Yankee Ginga $1.80 into $1.50. Defied The Drift: Willybe $2.70 out to $3.00, Quick Changeover $8.00 out to $9.00 and Mach Charm $3.60 out to $3.80. Missed: Really Ellen $21.00 into $12.00, Finn Mac Kee $21.00 into $13.00 and Macray Muchacho $3.20 into $2.80. Trial File Hobart – Monday evening Last season’s two-year-old filly of the year Blame It On Me was back at the trials and was in winning form, scoring in a mile rate of 2m 2.6s. Doug Nettlefold gave the driving responsibilities to Taylor Ford who took the filly to the lead from barrier two and recorded a lead time of 37.2s before running quarters of 31.7s, 31.8s, 28.5s and 30.1s. Blame It On Me scored by 25-metres over Sign Of Oro. Other winners included; Stylish Trend 2m 3.7s and Jaccka Len 2m 9.3s. Carrick Park – Monday evening Goggo Gee Gee flew around the Carrick circuit in a mile rate of 2m 0.1s when winning a 59 to 76 rated trial over 2150 metres. The Rachel Williams trained pacer was driven in the trial by Ben Parker who was able to lead all the way to defeat Bettabrown Tiger by two-metres with Flashy Ruler a further 18 metres away third. Other winners included; Sunny Sanz 2m 5.8s, Jakes A Joy 2m 5.4s, Auckland Ruby 2m 16.9s, Impulsive George 2m 5.5s, Thatswatilike 2m 4.8s, He Got Rocked 2m 6.5s, Mister Last 2m 7.2s and A Spanish Dance 2m 8.0s. Week Ahead Beauty Point brothers Rohan and Troy Hillier will play a strong hand in the heats of the McKillop Insurance Brokers Tassie Golden Apple on Friday night in Launceston. Rohan trains and drives Ryley Major who will be chasing his sixth win in a row in heat one. Ryley Major wins again in Hobart Sunday night. Illegal Immigrant who is trained and driven by Troy looks to be the main fancy in heat two. The Launceston card also features the final two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge. Hobart is the venue for Harness racing on Sunday afternoon with the first of eight races set down for 13:15. The last race of the day is a rating 71 to 79 event which has attracted a quality field including Usain Jolt who was fourth to Ryley Major last week, Chasing Cheetahs who recorded the quickest last half on last Sunday’s card and the inform Sreitkid who has won two of his past three starts. Interstate and overseas this week at metropolitan venues some of our Tasmanian representatives include; AYDC – Tasmania represented by Conor Crook Alexandra Park – Friday twilight Race 2 Horse 6 Pekeson. Black Friday Bash – Tasmania represented by Mark Yole Wayville (Adelaide) – Friday night Race 1 Horse 4 Buriton Bailey, Race 2 Horse 1 Majestic Lustre, Race 3 Horse 7 The Deal, Race 5 Horse 4 Artegra, Race 6 Horse 3 Scrawl, Race 7 Horse 3 Springfield Desire. Inter Dominion Grand Final Alexandra Park, Auckland – Saturday twilight Race 9 Horse 11 Cruz Bromac. Menangle – Saturday night Race 5 Horse 1 No Apachemee and Horse 3 Ignatius, Race 7 Horse 2 Zhukov Leis.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Watching a free-legged pacer in action is one of the most exciting and exhilarating spectacles of our harness racing sport today. And on Wednesday, two horses competing in different States, gave faultless exhibitions to post impressive victories within two hours of each other. South Australian-based youngster Sir Roman is destined for a bright future and made it two wins from two lifetime starts when he trounced his rivals at the Victorian fixture in Mildura. Then evergreen nine-year-old gelding Magic Oats stepped out at Sydney's Menangle venue to take the honors in the Schweppes Claiming Pace. Only a small percentage of pacers are capable of maintaining gait without hopples under race conditions. But it can bring satisfying results for astute trainers with a level of confidence in their horse to make the leap of faith. Adelaide horseman David Harding said he decided to ditch the hopples from his imposing youngster Sir Roman after realizing the horse wasn't happy. "I gave him a couple of trials last season when he was a two-year-old and I had him in a 63 inch hopple length because he's a big boy," Harding said. "But they were flapping about a bit and he just didn't seem comfortable," he said. "I persevered for a while and actually got him qualified with them on, but when I jogged him on the training track, he'd almost immediately just swing into a free-legged pace. One day I just thought I had nothing to lose by trying him without the hopples. We started to push him along and he didn't miss a beat." Harding had to re-trial Sir Roman satisfactorily before stewards after notifying them he was removing the hopples. "He actually had two trials because I wanted to be sure and we drove him out of the gate hard to really put him to the test," he said. Harding, who works a team of eight with his father, highly-respected veteran trainer Les, said he had never previously trained a free-legged pacer. "And I don't think I ever even drove one in a race, either, back in my days when I was a race driving," he said. Sir Roman (Somebeachsomewhere-Morgan Abby (Aces n Sevens) was bred by Benstud Standardbreds and bought at the SA yearling sales by Bill Hartwig and his sons Scott and Chris (former Chairman of HRSA). Harding, said in the early days the horse was "all arms and legs". "He's still like a big baby and can be highly-strung at times. I'd describe him more like a thoroughbred, but he's getting better," he said. "We think he has the makings of a very nice horse. At this stage his next run may be in St Leger series. He's also paid up for the Southern Cross." Sir Roman has been handled in both his runs by Harding's partner, champion driver Dani Hill. In his debut at Globe Derby on November 23, the three year old raced in the death-seat for most of the trip before winning in a decent 1.58-5. At Mildura, it was even better, as they were spotting the leaders 40m at one stage. Hill made her move at the bell and let down with 400m to go, sweeping to the lead. Sir Roman was unextended in winning by 20 metres and getting his Vicbred bonus. He was one of three winners on the program for Hill, a regular visit to Mildura. Watch Sir Roman's barnstorming win here. And while Sir Roman's career is just getting started, the second free-legged pacer to win on Wednesday night was a veteran who's been racing without hopples for the past two years. Magic Oats had won 17 races before he had the hopples taken off as a seven year old - and has gone on to win a further seven races, most recently at Menangle for trainer Paul Russo and driver Anthony Butt. Although it's not common practice, throughout history there have been some speedy free-legged competitors, perhaps the fastest being Zooka who paced a mile in 1.49-3 on July 23, 2007, at Kawartha Downs, Ontario, Canada. Of course, back in the 1930s, Lawn Derby showed fans he was something special from the beginning of his career with then-champion reinsman George Gath (father of Bendigo legend Brian) claiming he was the finest of all pacers he'd ever seen. Lawn Derby went on to make history as the first horse to better two minutes outside America when he paced a mile free legged in 1.59-4. His major wins included NSW Pacers Derby (1934), Easter Cup, Ascot Pacers Cup, Ascot 500 and Presidents Handicap (all in 1937). He set records in five States and NZ. Robalan was labelled the best free-legged pacer seen in NZ since Lawn Derby when he won the 1974 NZ Cup. From 123 starts over seven seasons, he won 40 races (17 at Addington) and gained 39 placings for $190,820. Robalan's sire Lumber Dream, also a free-legged pacer, won 12 of his 30 races. In more recent times, Art Major-sired pacer Avonnova thrilled fans with some breath-taking free-legged performances in NSW and Qld. From mid-2009 to late 2013, the gelding recorded 23 wins. Then Qld horseman Ian Gurney claimed him for a modest sum in a Goulburn race and a rags to riches tale began. Over the next five years, the pair won 32 races. The old warrior finished with 55 wins and 57 placings for $967,000.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

By Garrick Knight    When you talk to Brad Williamson, it quickly becomes apparent that he has an aptitude for race tactics. He’s a student of the game. Does his research. Knows his opponents and what he needs to do to beat them. So, it’s no surprise that he has a clear idea in his head ahead of Saturday night’s $150,000 Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final at Alexandra Park. Williamson drives second-favourite Majestic Man for his father, Phil and they face a rather daunting task trying to beat the even-money pop Winterfell, and Mark Purdon. “Just at the moment, Winterfell appears to be in the zone and I don’t think any trotter could sit outside him and beat him,” Williamson says. With that statement he’s justifying what was a meritorious effort by Majestic Man to run third after sitting parked outside Winterfell in a New Zealand record in the final heat last Friday night. This week is a different kettle of fish though – both horses are drawn well and Williamson fancies his chances of finding the markers first. But it’s not as much of a formality as many might think. “It’s a tricky one because obviously Majestic Man has super gate speed, but Winterfell is also a lot quicker than people realise. “I had trouble crossing him in the Northern Derby and I wasn’t able to get across him when we were drawn side by side in another race. “That being said, Majestic Man is in the zone and the markers are the place to be so I have to get there.” Williamson confirmed his father had given him a clear directive accordingly. “Dad mentioned to me that he does want me to cross and, realistically, looking at the race, that’s the only way I could see us winning.” But the lead isn’t something Williamson wants, either. In fact, he wants the trail. “I don’t think he’ll be able to lead and win in this race.” So, does he hand to Marcoola and put Winterfell three back, or is he expecting Purdon to immediately come out and challenge for the front? Honestly? he doesn’t especially care. “Both Winterfell and Marcoola are stayers and when they find the front won’t be giving it away. “So, we’ll be handing up to which ever is the first of them to come looking. “And I’m 90 percent sure that will be Winterfell.” Williamson is banking on his horse’s sheer speed coming to pass in one last stretch battle. “Majestic Man is as fast as anything in the race over a quarter but I’m picking Mark is not going to leave it to a sharp sprint home. “It’s not going to be a slowly run race, that’s guaranteed being an Inter Dominion Grand Final. “Winterfell broke the New Zealand record under a hold last week and probably had a couple of seconds up his sleeve, too.” Even then, it will be out of Purdon’s hands anyway as a bevvy of decent trotters try and get in to the race from wide or second line draws, primarily Marcoola. “It’s not really going to affect me, what the other horses do, because the markers are the place to be in this race. “But, being a Grand Final, I don’t think everybody is going to be sitting back and not moving.” Outside of the big three, Williamson reckons Temporale, who maps to sit four pegs for most of the race, could be the blowout option. “Looking for an outsider, Temporale has got the best draw of the others outside of Winterfell, in my opinion. “He’s drawn to sit on the markers on a likely record run and all he’ll need is a wee bit of luck of the last 800 metres. “And you’d back Tony Herlihy, out of anyone, to find a path through them. “He knows the track better than anyone and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take advantage of a cold shot at them.” With all the planning and thinking done ahead of time, Williamson was looking forward to getting up to Auckland and just taking it all in. After all, he’s a live chance of joining the greats of the game – Anthony Butt, Mark Purdon, Gavin Lang, Tony Herlihy, Barry Purdon, Doody Townley, David Butt, Peter Jones – as the winning driver in an Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final. The annals of harness racing history await the lad from Oamaru. “There is just something about it that I’m really looking forward to. “The Inter Doms are all anyone is talking about at the moment and I’m privileged to be a part of it.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Heats seven to nine of the of the 2019 Hanley Australasian Drivers Championship were held at Manawatu Raceway on Thursday with three first time AYDC winning drivers saluting. Series leader Sarah O'Reilly extended her lead in the series to 11 points, with the final race held at Alexandra Park on Friday night. With 17 points awarded to the winner of the final race, Cameron Hart would have to win or finish second with O'Reilly finishing down the track to upset the kiwi. Victories tonight were shared by New Zealander, John Morrison, West Australian, Corey Peterson and Queensland representative Matt Elkins, with the Australians both saluting for the first time on New Zealand soil. Elkins drove Ripsnorter for trainer Michael House to an all the way victory in heat seven of the series with the Brisbane local thrilled with his first AYDC win, ''It was great to tick a New Zealand winner off my bucket list'', he said following the win. Series leaders Sarah O'Reilly and Cameron Hart again both drove consistent races to fill the placings. Western Australian Corey Peterson drove Sheikh Yabooty to a fast finishing win from a near impossible four pegs position in heat eight. In a tight finish, Sheikh Yabooty prevailed over the favourite Matai Minky for Corey Peterson and Play Ball for Victorian Zac Phillips. Peterson was appreciative for the Manawatu Club hospitality after his victory ''Thanks to the Manawatu Harness Racing Club for a great few days in Palmerston North, with some great times had by all.'' In the final heat of the night, Ace Stride backed up his Tuesday win with another first over crush victory for South Island representative John Morrison. O'Reilly drove another placegetter, her fourth for the series along with two winners, with Matt Elkins rounding out the trifecta. The AYDC drivers now fly north to Auckland for the final heat at Alexandra Park on Friday and to experience the Inter Dominion on Saturday night to complete their trip.   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

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