Last week the ring-around produced five winners including my each-way bet of the week Dream Gal, which bolted in at odds of $6 and $1.80. Others to tip out winners included Mark Jones, Steve Richardson (TAB), Todd Mitchell, Matt Williamson, and Tim Williams. Let’s see what good oil we can dig up this week. Cambridge - Thursday Todd Mitchell: Has opted for unbeaten juvenile trotter The Driving God - race five. Scott Phelan: Thinks Seven Blue Chips can make the most of his ace alley in race number six. Stephen Richardson (T.A.B): Expects Thomas McBride to prove very hard to beat in the seventh race on the card. Simon Lawson: Has opted for Ton Tine as his Harnesslink Bet of the Week – race nine. Forbury - Thursday Nathan Williamson: Thinks the very consistent Nickelson will get some money in race three. Ricky May: Is very bullish about the chances of Pay Me Sush in the sixth race on the card. John Dunn: Has opted for Graduate Under Fire, who has been in brilliant form of late. He looks well placed in race number seven. Gavin Smith: Thinks Vincennes looks well suited to the short 1200 metre sprint distance in race nine on the card. Terry Chmiel: Expects Moondyne Joe, who was in need of a run when third in a good field last start at Addington, to prove too good - race eleven. Blair Orange & Mark Jones: Have both opted for Strike On Command, who is unbeaten from two appearances at Forbury Park - race twelve. Jonny Cox: Rates Sara Holley, who has drawn well for Thursday’s assignment, as a very good each-way bet. She also competes in the last race on the card. Tim Williams: Has added to the puzzle by tipping Bobbie McArdle in race twelve. Trifecta perhaps? Addington - Saturday Josh Dickie: Was impressed with how Speeding Spur trialled on Monday and expects him to highly competitive in the Two-year-old Trotting Stakes - race four. Anthony Butt: Has opted for impressive two-year-old trialist Curlimore, who looks a great chance from a good alley in race number six. Matthew Williamson: Expects Zhenya to appreciate the drop back in class in race number seven. Craig Thornley: Thinks Given only needs to trot to be competitive - race eleven. Ken Barron: Was very pleased with Pacquiao last start and expects him to prove very hard to beat in the last race on the card. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Best Bet: Snooki – Hawera (Saturday), race three. Each-way: Wanna Play – Addington (Saturday), race four. Curlimore - Addington (Saturday), race five Value: Dark Side - Forbury Park (Thursday), race five.
A quiet trial at Ashburton today should top pacing sensation Terror To Love off nicely as he heads into Saturday’s $100,000 Easter Cup at Addington. Given an easy time by Ricky May in the sedate two-horse trial, the bulky stallion was only pulled out very late in proceedings, dashing home for a narrow second behind 8-win pacer Smiling Star. “That is all he needed heading into Saturday,” said May, who was pleased with how the entire found the line. “I gave him a pretty stern warm-up and he is very forward so I’d say that the run was just perfect for him,” he added. “I know it was a very slowly run affair but he wouldn’t have blown a candle out afterwards. I was pretty happy with that to be honest,” concluded the champion reinsman. When asked what his confidence levels were like heading into Saturday, May admitted that he was very impressed with Adore Me last Friday. “She was just tremendous last week but I think ‘Terror’ only has to replicate his run in the Auckland Cup to beat her again. He has proven himself time and time again,” he enthused. “It’s obviously not going to be easy to give Adore Me 10 metres and beat her, especially if she goes like she did last week, but we all know how much he loves the two miles at Addington,” he concluded. The trial was run in a pedestrian 3-11.6, with quick sectionals of 55.5 and 26.7. As reported by Harnesslink last week, Adore Me will be driven by Blair Orange in Saturday’s Group One feature, with Purdon heading across the Tasman to drive Supersonic Miss in the APG semi-final. Orange will also steer the champion mare in the Taylor Mile 13 days later, with Purdon committing to star two-year-old Follow The Stars in the rich $A300,000 Australian Pacing Gold Colts & Gelding Final. “It is an absolute privilege to drive a horse like her,” said Orange, who is two from two on the champion mare. “It’s going to be a tactical affair with just the six horses in the field, so I will just see how the race unfolds, but I am confident she can win,” he added. The other four horses in the Easter Cup are: Arden Rooney, Jivin Cullen, Donegal’s Guest, and Pemberton Shard. By Mitchell Robertson
Master trainer Mark Purdon looks a cracking chance of notching up his third straight New Zealand Derby success after his quartet all drew favourably in Friday’s $175,000 Group One feature at Addington. “Last week the majority of the team drew wide or second-line, so the draws for this week were a pleasant surprise,” enthused Purdon, who admits that none of his four can be ruled out from the barrier draw. The Purdon/Rasmussen quartet are: Messini (1), Aldo Rossi (2), Isaiah (4), and Alleluia (5). “They have all worked on well since last week, so I think all four of them have at least a First4 chance under the right circumstances,” said Purdon. When asked how he thinks the race to pan out, Purdon said that he expects Isaiah to be the early leader, however he is predicting mid-race pressure from Locharburn. “I don’t think Messini, Quick As A Trick, or Aldo Rossi, will have the gate speed to hold him out, so I suspect that Nat (Rasmussen) will be pushing the go button early,” advised Purdon. “If that’s the case and she decides to hold up, it will bring Messini (Blair Orange) right into the race as he should settle in the trail,” he added. Purdon also warns not to underestimate Aldo Rossi (Sam Ottley), who worked very well on Wednesday, while he is expecting a much improved performance from Alleluia (Mark Purdon), who was disappointing in last week’s Vero Flying Stakes. “His bloods came back fine and he has worked on good since, so I don’t know quite what to make of last week.” “I’ve added the sliding blind to his gear this week to hopefully sharpen him up, as I just felt he was a bit half hearted about things last week,” he added. “At his best he will be right in it as he is very fast, but I think Isaiah has to be the pick of our four. I thought he was absolutely super last week and he has drawn to be in it for a long way.” The fly in the ointment for the Purdon/Rasmussen team is favourite Locharburn, who is likely to go the attack mid-race, while Great Northern Derby winner Tiger Tara will be looking for luck after landing the awkward one on the second line barrier. Meanwhile, Purdon is hopeful rather than confident with superstar mare Adore Me, who has been forced to start in a discretionary handicap after the Superstars Championship was scrapped due to lack of no nominations. “She is pretty sensible so I am hoping she will step well from the back mark, but it is not going to be easy to give Border Control (stablemate) a 30 metre head-start and beat him,” he admits. Purdon and Rasmussen also have a superb team on the undercard; however Purdon leans towards Paramount Queen and Raesawinner as the best of them. “Paramount Queen looks well placed and really should be winning, while Raesawinner is improving all of the time and has really surprised me of late,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson
Last week the ring-around produced six winners, including my bet of the week and my two each-way bets of the week. Others to tip out winners were Jonny Cox, Steve Richardson, and Ken Barron. Let’s see if some of the trainers and drivers can hold up their end of the bargain this week! Forbury – Thursday Dexter Dunn: Has surprisingly opted for Phat Freddy’s Drop, who will look to break maidens in the first race on the card. Jonny Cox: Rates Mako Banner as a very good each-way chance in race three. Quinella with Katy Perry perhaps? Craig Thornley: Was pleased with U Can I Can at the recent Motukarara workouts - race four Mark Jones: Expects Ultimate CC to prove very hard to beat in the ninth race on the card Terry Chmiel: Is expecting a bold performance from Angus T Jones in the ninth race. Alexandra Park - Friday Scott Phelan: Expects Cheers Kathy to be very hard to roll in the first race on the card. Simon Lawson: Has opted for impressive last start winner Destination Moon - race six Todd Mitchell: Is a very big fan of Mach's Gladiator, and expects him to be hard to roll in the ninth race on the card. Addington - Friday Blair Orange: Is bullish about the chances of Paramount Queen, who looks very well placed in race two. Anthony Butt: Thinks Thebestlove is a big chance in the NZ Trotting Derby - race four David Butt: Warns punters not to drop One Over Da Moon, who also competes in the NZ Trotting Derby - race four Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Expects Locharburn to prove to strong in the NZ Derby - race nine Ken Barron: Rates the chances of capable two-year-old filly Livura, who has drawn well for Friday’s assignment - race twelve Gavin Smith: Thinks Dana Duke could be well over the odds in the same event - race twelve Invercargill - Sunday Matthew Williamson: Has opted for the capable yet enigmatic Bet's Sun, who would only need to trot to win the first race on the card. Tim Williams: Thinks Just A Delight, who has finished second in her last three outings, is overdue a winning turn - race ten Andrew Armour Thinks Blanco, who has raced well since joining the barn of Tom Kilkelly, is a good each-way chance in race eleven. Motukarara – Sunday Ricky May: Believes Franco Salisbury will take all sorts of beating from his ace draw – race seven. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Best Bet: Char Do Neigh – Invercargill, race five Each-way: Dream Gal – Forbury Park, race five Emmanuel – Addington, race three Value: Ranfurly Rulz – Addington, race one
The All Stars team look a great chance of nailing their third straight New Zealand Derby after their stable representatives drew barriers 1, 2, 4, and 5 in Friday’s $175,000 Group One feature. And while Messini (1), Aldo Rossi (2), and the more favoured Isaiah (4), and Alleluia (5) look set to dominate the race from their prominent barriers,likely favourite Locharburn has drawn outside them in barrier six, while Great Northern Derby winner Tiger Tara has landed the tricky one on the second-line barrier. MUSCARA STANDARDBREDS NEW ZEALAND DERBY (MOBILE) (Gr1) 1 - Messini 2 – Aldo Rossi 3- Quick As A Trick 4- Isaiah 5- Alleluia 6 – Locharburn 7 – Bettor Buy It 8 – Naughty Maravu 9 – Sky Major ----------------------------------------------------------------- 10 – Tiger Tara 11- Music 12 – Return To Sender 13 – No Doctor Needed Meanwhile superstar mare Adore Me, who will start in C5 & Faster on Friday due to the 4YO Superstars being scrapped, is likely to by driven by Blair Orange in next Saturday’s Easter Cup as Mark Purdon is probably going to head to Sydney to drive in the APG semi finals. In other news, Natalie Rasmussen has confirmed that NZ Derby hopeful Aldo Rossi will head to Queensland next month for upcoming Brisbane features including the Group Two Seymour Nursery Pace. By Mitchell Robertson
Just as it looked like it was going to be a war between the favourites Locharburn and Tiger Tara, Isaiah sprouted wings late to nab victory in the $40,000 Group Two feature at Addington. “Mark (Purdon) thought we might be a run short tonight so I’m pleasantly surprised,” said co-owner Phil Kennard. “I’m really looking forward to next week’s Derby now, especially if he improves on that,” he enthused. Driven by Natalie Rasmussen, who combined with the three-year-old to win the Sales Series Final on New Year’s Eve, Isaiah came with a powerful run down centre track to claim victory by a nose over Locharburn. Tiger Tara, who set up the hot tempo, was a further neck back in third. “He has been going good races all season and the hot tempo really suited him tonight,” said co-trainer Mark Purdon. Purdon was also pleased with the run of Messini, who finished fourth, while Alleluia, who was the top rated stable three-year-old going into the race, disappointed finishing at the tail of the field. Isaiah, who paced the 1950 metre journey in a scintillating 2-18.9, was just one of three winning drives for Natalie Rasmussen, who alongside partner Mark trained six winners tonight. Those winners were: All Star Man (Natalie Rasmussen), King Denny (Mark Purdon), Raesawinner (Natalie Rasmussen), Isaiah (Natalie Rasmussen), Hug The Wind (Blair Orange), and Saratoga (Tony Herlihy), who was successful at Alexandra Park. Meanwhile, Royal Aspirations trotted a New Zealand record when winning the 4 & 5YO Trotters Championship, while Majestic Time showed her class by winning NZ Trotting Oaks in emphatic fashion. By Mitchell Robertson
Congratulations to David Butt, Josh Dickie, Mark Jones, Simon Lawson, and Tim Williams who all tipped out winners last week. Unfortunately Blair Orange came up a ½ length short of tipping six consecutive winners, with the stablemate that he did highlight as the horse to beat holding on to win narrowly. Let’s find out what the boys have sorted out for us this week: Andrew Armour: Expects Armbro Courage to break maidens at very short notice – Winton, race six. Anthony Butt: Thinks Ideal Power can make it three straight victories – Addington, race seven. Blair Orange: Has opted to go head-to-head with Anthony, tipping Rocknroll Arden in the same event - Addington, race seven. Craig Thornely: Believes Gotta Grunter can break maidens after a string of seconds to open her career. She competes in the sixth race at Rangiora on Sunday. David Butt: Has a big opinion of One Over Da Moon and expects him to win the second race at Addington on Friday. Gavin Smith: Thinks the unbeaten Karanga Red Fantasy, who trialled well behind Adore Me on Monday, will prove hard to beat in race three at Addington on Friday. Jonny Cox: Expects Goodness Gracious Me, who was a game third in the Southland Oaks, to be very hard to beat in the seventh race at Winton on Sunday. Josh Dickie: Has opted for Sunny Vacation as his bet of the week – Alexandra Park, race ten. Ken Barron: Was keen around the chances of Quality Invasion but in the end opted for Majestic Time who will take all sorts of stopping in the NZ Trotting Oaks – Addington, race four. Mark Jones: Is very happy with Master Lavros and expects him to bounce back to winning for in the race ten at Addington on Friday. Matthew Williamson: Thinks talented but enigmatic trotter Bet’s Sun can bet its best foot forward in the third race at Rangiora on Sunday. Nathan Williamson: Thinks the consistent Defy is overdue a winning turn – Winton, race six. Ricky May: Expects extremely talented two-year-old trotter Monbet to prove too good in the first race at Rangiora on Sunday. Simon Lawson: Rates the chances of Besotted in the Kumeu Stakes at Alexandra Park on Friday. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Likes the chances of speedy filly God Forbid who should be better for her fresh up run – Alexandra Park, race five. Terry Chmiel: Thinks Little Less can get some money in the seventh race at Addington on Friday. Tim Williams: Has opted for Popular, who should be just that with punters after a very good run behind Raksdeal last start – Winton, race two. Todd Mitchell: Expects his stable star Prime Power to prove very hard to beat in the eighth race at Alexandra Park on Friday. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Best Bet: Saratoga – Alexandra Park, race ten. Each-way: Hug The Wind – Addington, race eleven. Smiles For Miles – Winton, race six. Value: Pomme Roy – Addington, race six.
The ring-around continues to gain momentum, so much so that it debuted on The Box Seat last night and will now hold a weekly spot on the show. Last week the Harnesslink ring-around produced seven winners with the best result being the Stephen Richardson tipped Djokovic who romped in by 8 & ½ lengths at odds of $6.20. Other winners included Sunhaven Express, who was victorious at a nice each-way price of $5.30 and $2.20. So, let see what the boys have come up with for us this week! Andrew Armour: Rates Armbro Courage as his best chance of the week – Invercargill, race three Blair Orange: Who is shooting for six winning tips in a row, expects Itz Bettor To Win to remain unbeaten after the first race at Invercargill on Sunday. Craig Thornely: Has opted for Smithy in the eighth race at Addington on Friday. David Butt: Rates Lotalov as a very good each-way bet in the seventh race at Addington on Friday. Dexter Dunn: Thinks the highly capable trotter Sheemon will prove very hard to beat in race seven at Addington on Friday. Gavin Smith: Has opted for Zena Mac, who was a bold second last start at Methven – Akaroa @ Motukarara, race four. Jonny Cox: Expects Smiles For Miles to be very hard to beat on Sunday – Invercargill, race three. Josh Dickie: Is bullish about the chances of Destination Moon in the last race at Cambridge tonight. Ken Barron: Expects Mighty Major to be very hard to stop from his inside barrier draw – Addington, race four. Mark Jones: Is prepared to give The Ultimate Storm one last chance - Addington, race eleven. Matthew Williamson: Rates Zhenya as his best chance of the week – Addington, race ten. Nathan Williamson: Thinks talented filly I Smart can get some money in the Southland Oaks – Invercargill, race eight. Simon Lawson: Has a high opinion of Unforgiving, and expects her to be very hard to beat in the third race at Cambridge tonight. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Thinks Robyn's Raider can make it back-to-back wins in the tenth race at Invercargill on Sunday. Terry Chmiel: Expects Swarozki to be competitive in the second race at Addington on Friday. Tim Williams: Has opted for Bobbie McArdle, who looks a good each-way chance in race five at Invercargill on Sunday. Todd Mitchell: Thinks It's All On will offer some good each-way value for punters – Cambridge, race ten. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink) Best Bets: Alleluia – Addington, race eight Tokohoka – Invercargill, race five Each-way: Blue Eyed Suzie – Invercargill, race seven Value: Holy Grail – Addington, race nine
Last week ring-around followers walked away with full pockets after Anthony Butt, Blair Orange, Jonny Cox, Ken Barron, Steve Richardson, Tim Williams, and Todd Mitchell, all tipped out winners. Let’s see what the boys have rustled up for us this week. Andrew Armour: Likes the chances of Dazzling Arden from her ace alley in the second race at Invercargill on Saturday. Blair Orange: Has opted for Rocknroll Arden, who was a luckless second last start. She competes in the third race at Timaru (Addington) on Friday. Craig Thornley: Thinks Gotta Grunter, who put in a couple of very tidy runs on the West Coast, is a good each-way chance in the sixth event at Timaru (Addington) on Friday. Jim Curtin: Thinks the enigmatic Sunchita will make it two wins in quick succession on Sunday at Methven. Jonny Cox: Rates Sunhaven Express as a strong each-way chance in the second race at Invercargill on Saturday. Matthew Williamson: Rates the chances of Royal Squeeze in the first race at Invercargill on Saturday. Mark Jones: Said he didn’t have an overly strong team in this week, but rated Goodness Gracious Me as the best of them. – Timaru (Addington), race five. Nathan Williamson: Has a lot of time for I Smart and expects her to be hard to beat in the sixth race at Invercargill on Saturday. Ricky May: Has opted for Pay Me Sush, who was a luckless second on debut. She competes in the sixth event at Timaru (Addington) on Friday. Simon Lawson: Is expecting a bold performance from Ton Tine, who is a newcomer to his father’s stable – Alexandra Park, race five. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Thinks Djokovic, with manners, will prove too strong in the third race at Cambridge tonight. Terry Chmiel: Is expecting a bold performance from Little Tess in the eighth race at Timaru (Addington) on Friday. Tim Williams: likes the chances of Just A Delight in the seventh race at Invercargill on Saturday. Todd Mitchell: Thinks Mach’s Gladiator can go back-to-back-to-back in the eighth race at Alexandra Park on Friday. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink) Best bets: Splendour – Cambridge, race eleven. No Doctor Needed – Invercargill, race eleven. Each-way: Royal Mach – Addington, race seven. Value: Real Life Hero – Methven, race two.
Don't get too carried away with the royally bred Bettor Think Twice when assessing chances for Friday night's PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Series 2yo Fillies Graduette at Addington Raceway - Click here to view the field. Trainer Cran Dalgety said he was treating the night's richest race as a $18,500 trial, and believed the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Fight For Glory had the race all parcelled up. "My girl is as green as what I am, and like me needs a bit of time. She's not race hardened enough yet but hopefully come the Jewels Final she will be fizzing," the West Melton horseman said. "I can't see any of them beating Fight For Glory," he added. The $78,000 purchase at last year's New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch is the first of three Bettor's Delight foals out of the three-win Christian Cullen - Inspiring Dash mare, Rona Lorraine . She won the Group One Nevele R Stud Caduceus Club 2yo Fillies Classic, and also won Friday's Sales Series Graduette race - both in 2008. "It would be nice to pick up some crumbs behind Mark's horse, but after a few Sires Stakes heats and more race experience I think she will develop into a nice filly," Dalgety said. Bettor Think Twice, who will be driven by Dexter Dunn, has drawn two - one outside the favourite. With two races under her belt Fight For Glory is the most experienced pacer in the six-horse field. She won her only start at Addington, when making her debut as a $1.60 favourite on February 14. The Art Major filly then finished a neck second behind stablemate, Supersonic Miss and Blair Orange at the Cheviot meeting on March 2. The best of the rest appears to be the last start workout winner (mile rate: 2:04.5), the Nigel McGrath trained and Anthony Butt driven Joanne's A Delight. By Duane Ranger *Supersonic Miss, who beat Fight For Glory on debut, has had a setback which could affect the chances of an Australian campaign next month. The impressive Leonard Memorial winner did herself a mischief rolling her her box. She had been on the short list to go to Australia with Follow The Stars but no that could be in doubt. At this stage there is no substitute though Mark and Natalie have not ruled out a travelling companion for Follow The Stars.
Congratulations to Blair Orange, Jim Curtin, Matthew Williamson, and Nathan Williamson, who were last week’s top tipsters. Let’s see what good oil we can dig up this week Andrew Armour: Likes the chances of Armbro Courage in race five at Winton on Saturday. Anthony Butt: Is bullish about the chances of capable maiden Blingiton in the seventh race at Addington on Friday. Blair Orange: Thinks Gentle Western will prove awfully hard to beat in the tenth race at Winton on Saturday. David Butt: Thinks war horse Stig can return to winning form in the fifth race at Addington on Friday. Gavin Smith: Rates Zena Mac as a good each-way prospect in the first race at Motukarara on Sunday. Jonny Cox: Expects William H Bonny to be very hard to beat in the second race at Winton on Saturday. Ken Barron: Has a lot of time for smart trotting filly Majestic Time, who was impressive at the recent Addington trials. She will compete in the sixth race at Addington on Friday. Matthew Williamson: Thinks Cam Before The Storm can make it three straight wins at Winton on Saturday. Nathan Williamson: Is bullish about the chances of I Smart in seventh race at Winton on Saturday. Scott Phelan: Has opted for Washington Diva as his bet of the week – Manawatu, race three. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Think First Holme might be exactly that in the first race at Alexandra Park on Friday. Tim Williams: Rates the chances of capable three-year-old Bettor Buy It in the race twelve at Winton. Todd Mitchell: Has opted for Cullies Delight in the last race at Manawatu tonight as his bet of the week. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink) Best Bet: Tazzy’s Devil – Alexandra Park, race 10 Each-way: Johnny Fox – Addington, race three Value: Spinyback – Motukarara, race one
The YOR ! Racing With Mark Jones Syndicate scored the perfect result, after only three days as lessees, when Crazy Heart won the Signprint Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace at Forbury on Thursday, March 6. The syndicate obtained the lease of the 3YO Santanna Blue Chip filly from breeders, Frances and Max Bowden, after she ran a first-up seventh at Timaru on February 23. However, Crazy Heart stepped up a gear for the syndicate, powering home from three back on the outer with a well-timed finish in the hands of Blair Orange. Crazy Heart arrived in time to wear down front-running Expressive Art, and Delightful Dash (parked), in a 1:57.4 rate for the 1700m. The 120-strong Syndicate, managed by Canterbury racecaller Mark McNamara, includes Racing Board colleague Maryanne Twentyman, who gained a pleasant surprise to see Crazy Heart win when hosting Thursday’s Trackside Radio show. Northern racecaller George Simon, and champion netballer Irene Van Dyk, are other celebrities in the syndicate. This is the third Syndicate win for the Mark Jones-based syndicate and third at Forbury Park. They first tasted success when Curve won at Forbury on June 6 last year, while Pat’s First Sun obliged for them at the December 13 Forbury meeting. Both earlier winners were returned to their original owners. Crazy Heart is the third foal and first winner from the two-win In The Pocket mare Belle’s Girl. Meanwhile, the Mark Jones stable racked up its 46th win of the season when Strike On Command delivered in the final event, the C1 Next Meeting 24 March at Wingatui Mobile Pace. Strike On Command, handily placed on the outer by Blair Orange, swept to the front early in the run home and held fellow Canterbury visitor Memorable by two lengths in a 2:00 rate (2200m). The consistent 3YO McArdle-Noble Strike colt took his record to three wins and five placings in 11 starts for Australian owner Kevin Stanley. By Jeff Scott (Courtesy of MARK JONES RACING)
Last week was a memorable one for the New Zealand bets of the week ring-around. Aside from my three tips which all won, Anthony Butt, Blair Orange, Gavin Smith, Jim Curtin, Ricky May, and Todd Mitchell also tipped out winners. The best result was Gavin Smith’s bet of the week in The Mighty Falcon, who got home at odds of $10, while my value bet of the week Scotlynn Jiggs ($7) wasn’t too far behind. Let’s see what good oil we can dig up this week. Andrew Armour: Thinks two-year-old First Flight In is a good each-way prospect in the fourth race at Gore on Sunday. Anthony Butt: Thinks talented two-year-old The Jazzman will be tough to beat from his inside alley in the eighth race at Forbury Park tonight. Blair Orange: Rates the chances of Strike On Command in the last race at Forbury Park tonight. Craig Thornley: Will take the reins behind Franco Harrington at Reefton where he expects him to be very hard to beat. David Butt: Thinks Georgie Mach can go back-to-back in the eighth race at Westport on Friday. Gavin Smith: Who was last week’s top tipster, has opted for True Legend in the fourth race at Westport on Friday. Jim Curtin: Thinks the talented but enigmatic Sunchita can win the tenth race at Westport on Friday. Jonny Cox: Rates the chances of Sharpenuff in the eighth race at Gore on Sunday. Ken Barron: Thinks Sapling Stakes runner-up Mighty Flying Major will be tough to beat in race eight at Forbury tonight. Mark Jones: Thinks The Ultimate Storm will take a power of beating in the third race at Forbury Park tonight. Matthew Williamson: Expects Quick As A Trick to regain top form in the 12th race at Forbury tonight. Nathan Williamson: Thinks Aidan’s Rocket will be tough to toss in the last race at Gore on Sunday. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Has thrown out some value in the form of Goodboy Tiger – Forbury, race seven. Tim Williams: Thinks Waitoto Express has a good each-way chance in the seventh race at Gore on Sunday. Todd Mitchell: Expects Cyclone Kate to be thereabouts in the Delightful Lady Classic at Alexandra Park on Friday. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink) Best Bet: The Ultimate Storm – Forbury Park, race three Each-way: Linda Lovegrace – Alexandra Park, race four. Value: Whynotagrey – Gore, race two.
Locharburn cemented favouritism for next week’s Group One Woodlands Northern Derby when fighting back to win tonight’s Derby Prelude. The son of Christian Cullen walked them for most of the race before low flying home to win in 2:43.5. The Kevin Chapman trained and Dexter Dunn driven 3-year-old colt sprinted his last 800m and 400m sectionals in 55.4 and 27.8. Mile rate: 1:59.5. He had a head and two lengths to spare over place-getters Maxim (Zac Butcher), who sat in the trail throughout, and Aldo Rossi (Blair Orange). Locharburn has now won eight of his 10 starts and $119,658. He is owned by his trainer and Mrs B.G. Chapman. Breeder: M. J. Stratford. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)
Last week the ring-around produced six winners, including Eyre I Come, who opened up at $31 fixed odds. Let’s see if we can dig up some more value this week. Anthony Butt: Thinks talented trotter Thebestove will be hard to beat in tonight’s Sales Series Trot at Addington. Blair Orange: Thinks Twentyten, who showed plenty of ability as a two-year-old, can make a winning return at three – Cheviot, race two. David Butt: Expects Lothario to make amends for his last start gallop in the third race at Cheviot (Addington) on Sunday. Gavin Smith: Rates The Mighty Falcon as a good each-way chance from his ace alley in the first race at the Cheviot meeting at Addington on Sunday. Jim Curtin: Believes the consistent Vitali is overdue a winning turn – Cheviot, race five. Ken Barron: Thinks Mighty Mara can make a winning debut in the first race at Addington on Sunday. Nathan Williamson: Believes in form trotter Springbank Sam can carry on his winning way – Cheviot, race seven. Ricky May: Expects Pal Amino, who has trialled up nicely for her fresh-up assignment, to be tough to toss from her ace barrier in the ninth race at Addington tonight. Terry Chmiel: Thinks Little Tess, who caught the eye flashing home late last start, is a good each-way prospect in the last race at Addington tonight. Todd Mitchell: Expects Prime Power to add to his picket-line fence in fifth race at Alexandra Park on Friday. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Best Bet : Free Falling – Cheviot, race four. Each-way: Unforgiving – Alexandra Park, race four. Value: Scotlynn Jiggs – Addington, race ten.
The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Itz Bettor To Win was an emphatic debut winner in Saturday’s $25,000 Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham. With the aid of the ace barrier draw, driver Blair Orange positioned the brown colt in the trail behind early leader Pulp Fiction. He then burst up the passing lane in the home stretch to down Say My Name, who was game in defeat after sitting parked, and stablemate Alta Ronaldo, who finished a close-up third. Itz Bettor To Win, who is by Bettor’s Delight out of a full-sister to top filly Itz Cherry Ripe, paced the mile in a stunning 1-54.3, which equalled the race, track, and Southland record, held by Le Sol, winner of the Kindergarten in 2010. Itz Bettor To Win was purchased for a six figure sum by prolific Australian harness racing owners Merv & Meg Butterworth after winning a trial impressively for trainer-driver Mark Jones, who then recommended the colt to the Butterworths. Itz Bettor To Win is the second horse that the Butterworths have purchased off Rob and Norma McMeeking, who also bred the colt. The first one is Itz Dreamin Jonesy who has won six of his ten starts in Australia to date. Purdon has now trained the winner of six Kindergarten Stakes while Blair Orange has driven three. Messini, who won the race last year for Purdon, was an impressive winner of race eight, the following event on the 11-race card. Merv & Meg Butterworth, who also own Arden Rooney who finished second in the Wyndham Cup, were own track to enjoy the winning spoils on Saturday. Meanwhile, Franco Ledger who won the Wyndham Cup in a track record time of 3-57.0, will now be given a three month spell. By Mitchell Robertson