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“She’s a lovely wee mare who seems to go good on the wet tracks,” said trainer Brett Gray after Born To Boogie won her fifth race at Gore today. The four year old was driven by the country’s leading junior John Morrison who was filling in for a suspended Brent Barclay. Morrison took the Rock N Roll Heaven mare to the front with 2000 metres to run before handing up to Santannas Rocket. Just before the top of the straight Morrison hooked Born To Boogie off the back of Santannas Rocket and she came down the middle of the track to beat him by a length and a quarter with Delightful Deal another length and a quarter back in third. Gray says Born To Boogie’s future may now be in the North Island. The Ryal Bush trainer is slowly getting back to full mobility after Full Noise kicked him in the leg after winning at Winton last Saturday. He says he hasn’t been able to drive fast work for most of the week but is now back in the cart. Full Noise, which ran third today behind Nottingham K Two, will have to wait until tomorrow’s Oamaru meeting before his place at the Harness Jewels is confirmed. Gray said he wasn’t too disappointed with the three year old’s performance today. “It was one of those races. In the past he hasn’t gone so well on the wet tracks. He just got a wee way back today and the wet track just takes the speed out of him.” It wasn’t the fairytale ending for Santanna Rocket’s Southland career. He’s heading to Australia on a 50/50 deal with Robert Morris. The Morris stable have had success with another Santanna Blue Chip gelding James Dean, winning three races with him since December. Meanwhile Robyns Playboy which had to be scratched from the race, is on a course of antibiotics after stablemate Hans Ideal kicked him after work during the week. Stable spokesperson Chris Wilson said it’s hoped that Robyns Playboy will take his place in the Harness Jewels in a fortnight. He said the stable hope to get another run into him before the Jewels after he broke at Winton last Saturday. That misdemeanour was caused by a cut to the mouth. Wilson says Robyns Playboy’s chances of making the Jewels will be known in the next few days. The stable gained some consolation when Swift Robyn won her maiden race and Hans Ideal ran second later in the programme.   Bruce Stewart

Wildwest had tongues wagging at Central Southland Raceway today when he impressively won on debut by twelve and a half lengths. “He’s always been a nice horse. We’ve always looked after him. He’s lost a bit of condition on the way through so we’ve put him aside then brought him back. He’s still a bit untapped,” says driver Brent Barclay. The Raging Bull three year old is trained by Barclay’s partner Lauren Pearson at Winton and was sent out hot favourite on the back of some impressive workouts and trials form. With the weight of money on the horse Barclay had no option but to take the horse to the front once he was safely underway from the stand. “I was a little bit worried at the start when he got a bit jumpy but he stepped real nice. He’s got a lot of speed and I would have liked to have seen him in behind today but in that type of field you have to drive him like the best horse.” His time was 3-03.6. The track record for three year old colts and gelding is 3-01.3 which was recorded by Shorty’s Chance in 2009. “It just felt like 3-10 not 3-03 but he’s very deceptive.” Wildwest winning his first start today The three year old has been patiently handled and local trainer Ian Jamieson managed his first two preparations. “He used to buck a bit early on but he’s been a real gentleman lately.” Wildwest is owned by Kevin Strong who has bred and raced many horses over the years. “He’s had so much bad luck so that’s why we’ve looked after him. It’s just great for Kev.” Trainer Lauren Pearson, Wildwest, Kevin Strong and driver Brent Barclay - Photo Bruce Stewart Barclay says the horse has been attracting the attention of buyers prior to his debut today. “We’ve had a lot of interest in him but we’ll discuss that with Kev.” And as for his future racing programme? “Probably Invercargill. He wouldn’t be going to Gore. I got suspended. There would have been plenty lining up to drive him there (laugh).” Pearson trained Wildwest’s dam Bay Jet which was by Jereme’s Jet. Bay Jet ran third and first at workouts but never qualified. Wildwest is her first foal. Wildwest in by the Christian Cullen stallion Raging Bull which won five of his ten starts for Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety.    Bruce Stewart

Southland reinsman Brent Barclay joined a very small number of Southland horsemen to drive 700 winners when today on his home track be drove Nota Bene Denario to win. Clark Barron 1,038, Allan Beck 816, Nathan Williamson 749 and Henry Skinner 717 are the only other drivers in the province to have achieved the milestone. “That was my main aim this year and to get it early is really good,” he said after winning on the Brett Gray trained four year old. His first winner was Dougie Wood at Westport in 1989, a trotter that was trained by his father Keith. “I was only about sixteen then. It was a long time ago.” Over the thirty one seasons he’s been driving he’s driven some very good horses and says he seems to have had a special affinity with fillies and mares. “I’ve driven a lot of good fillies actually like Whanau, Natal Franco and Windermere Girl. A lot of them were three year old fillies.” Early in his career when he worked for Noel Creighton he drove the very good OK Bye juvenile pacer Corumba. He reined him to win the 1995 Welcome Stakes and 1995 Kindergarten Stakes. “Corumba was a bit of a standout. I was pretty young when I drove him. I think if I drove him now he’d be a lot better horse.” The following season he won the Southern Supremacy Stakes with Corumba. In all, Barclay drove him to win six times. He’s had stints with Findlay Road trainer Wayne Adams for whom he’s driven eighty two winners with the first being Nevalookbak in 1997). Other trainers he’s worked for include Kirk Larsen, Bud Baynes and in Australia Darrell Graham and Grant Dixon. These days he’s firmly attached to Brett Gray’s Ryal Bush stable and he feels he’s driving as good as ever. “This year I’m probably driving as good as I ever have. I said to Lauren (partner Lauren Pearson) and Brett at the start of the season that I’ve got to be a bit more aggressive this year especially at the start. If you get back these days and try to get round them with the speed they’re going it’s just too hard. But there are certain horses you can’t go forward and burn too much.” The win on Nota Bene Denerio was Barclay’s twenty seventh of the current season and his seventy second for Gray. “For me to get this many wins early in the season is really good. We’ve had a really good run with Brett since we’ve come back from Australia. Couldn’t have worked out better.” Barclay has ventured a couple of times to Australia to try his luck, linking up with Darrell Graham and the powerful Grant Dixon stable.     “Over there it’s just attack attack attack. There’s no looking after them there. I thought I’d go well when I went there but it backfired a bit. But we still had a good run. I might have driven 50 winners while I was there. You were only ever on the second stringers and when you’re working for a stable like that you very rarely got any outside drives.” Of the 700 New Zealand winners the horses he’s driven the most times to win (seven) have been Bonnie Lass, Be Not Afraid and Jamie.   Barclay rates Duke Of Wellington as the most underrated horse he’s driven. He won five races with him last season including the Southern Supremacy Stakes. “Last year he was still untapped I thought. We worked him up before he went over to Australia and I thought he’d improved immensely.” Nice trotters he’s driven include Be Not Afraid (7), Johnny Wishbone (6) and Smokey Mac (6). “I’m very lucky because I’ve driven 140 odd trotting winners and to be fair I think Full Noise is going to get there (best he’s driven). I really like driving a nice fluent trotter. Full Noise is a bit like that – he’s got a great gait, a good turn of speed and can also stay. I drove a trotter early on called Be Not Afraid. She was only one dimension. She was very fast, could trot all the way with a beautiful gait. This day and age she wouldn’t have won as many races.” But back to today’s 700th winner. It was fitting that it was for Brett Gray and that it carried the number seven saddle cloth. “People were probably saying he’s been disappointing but it was probably a drop in grade for him today. Brett’s changed a bit of gear on him and he just felt like his old self. He feels like quite a sharp horse.” After leading early Barclay decided to hand up to Allan Beck when he came round on Bettor Enforce.   “He felt super in front but when Becky came round I thought it was the one to beat. It worked out perfect.”   For the record the winning margin was one and a quarter lengths. All done and dusted - Photo Bruce Stewart  The Brent Barclay 700 winner’s fact file: Combined pacers and trotters: 7,355 starts, 700 winners, 684 seconds, 665 thirds for stakes of $4,765,303. Just trotters: 1266 starts, 142 winners, 130 seconds and 94 thirds. Only four other Southland drivers have driven more winners: Clark Barron (1,038), Allan Beck (816) Nathan Willliamson (749) and Henry Skinner (717). First winner was the trotter Dougie Wood on Boxing Day at Westport in 1989. He was trained by his father Keith. Trainers worked for: Keith Barclay, Wayne Adams, Noel Creighton, Kirk Larsen, Bud Baynes and Australian trainers Darrel Graham and Grant Dixon. Biggest winner: Corumba 1995 Welcome Stakes and 1995 Kindergarten Stakes. Southland Junior Driver of the Year 1996 (10 wins) and 1997 (11 wins) Southland races he’s won three times: Kindergarten Stakes; Corumba (1995), Bought In The Pub (2003) and Waikiki Beach (2015) Southern Country Cups Final; Bonnie Lass (2001), Whanau (2003) and The Jaccka (2005). AON Insurance Equine Stakes; Magnetic Chip (1993), Whanau (2002) and Shezacullengirl (2018) Supremacy Stakes; Corumba (1996), Looksaflyer (2006) and Duke Of Wellington (2018) Best season; 2003 – 51 winners Winner of 2006 Interprovincial Drivers Championship Winner of Southland Drivers Premiership in 2006 (37), 2007 (44) and 2008 (38) Trainers- Most winners for: Wayne Adams (82-First: Nevalookbak 1/11/1997), Brett Gray (72-First: Frampton Bromac 8/1/2009), Lauren Pearson (41 – First: Eweburn Sun 8/1/2004) and Roger, John and Katrina Price (31 – First: Gypsy Road 26/11/1999) Four winners in a day: Wairio 15th December 2006 (Jamie, Hillarys Home, Mystic Sun and Fino) and Forbury Park 13th December 2002 (Cool Chip, Sayonara, Cripple Creek and Jay See Eye). Biggest wins: 2018 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (Duke Of Wellington) 2015 Alabar Kindergarten Stakes (Waikiki Beach) 2006 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (Looksaflyer) 2006 NZ Sapling Stakes (Jackson Brown) 2005 Nevele R Stakes (Western Dream) 2003 Southern Country Cups Final (Whanau) 2001 Southern Country Cups Final (Bonnie Lass) 1999 Southland Oaks Final (Windermere Girl) 1995 New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes (Corumba) 1995 New Zealand Welcome Stakes (Corumba) 1996 Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (Corumba) Biggest winners; Bonnie Lass (7) Be Not Afraid (7) Jamie (7) Johnny Wishbone (6) Smokey Mac (6) Corumba (6) Duke Of Wellington (5) Windermere Girl (5) Natal Franco (5) Scotty Mac (5)   by Bruce Stewart

Robbie Royale was always going to be hard to beat at Ascot Park today. He ran a creditable seventh in strong company at Wyndham on Thursday and today's race was a massive drop in class. Trained by Brett Gray and driven by Brent Barclay he began safely and was allowed to settle into his gait for the first 100 metres. With 1600 metres to run Barclay moved the five year old forward and was forced three wide by Zoned Scarlett which also improved on his inside. Barclay allowed Zoned Scarlett to trot to the front before taking the top with 1200 metres to run. From there he held the lead beating her by three quarters of a length.   "He was good in front today. We thought we'd take everything else out of play by taking him to the front and let him roll," said Brent Barclay.  It was Robbie Royale's second win and the first for Brett Gray who took over his training last month from owner trainer Brian Norman. He's always shown he has the potential to progress further, but has broken in a number of his starts.  "He's a work in progress because he's still got a few rough strides in his gait but he feels like he'll win another couple of races alright. He's just very touchy in the mouth. When you grab him he's inclined to throw his head and that's when you lose him. You just have to go with him for the first three hundred metres until he balances up. We've got a softer bit in his mouth and he's getting better." His sire Raffaello Ambrosia left 50 foals in New Zealand with sixteen qualifiers or race winners. The best so far is Conon Bridge which has now won twenty one races and $264,367. He was good enough in 2015 as a two year old to win a Breeders Crown. Robbie Royale's fourth dam Castleton Queen is the mother of Sir Castleton, the winner of forty four races and of Castleton Pride which won eleven including the 1975 Interdominion Trotters Grand Final at Alexandra Park.  Sir Castleton won nine of his first twelve starts. He started an amazing four times in the Group One Rowe Cup finishing tenth in 1981, third in 1982, first in 1983 and second in 1984. He was trained for all bar three of his starts by Mawson MacPherson. Wayne Smart trained him for the lfinal three races and he won them all.  Meanwhile Star Reactor credited his sire Auckland Reactor with his sixty ninth individual winner; thirty seven in Australia and thirty two in New Zealand. Star Reactor - Photo File The Allan Beck trained mare trailed the leader and favourite Duke Of Dundee throughout the 2200 metres and she let down nicely up the passing lane to beat Duke Of Dundee by half a length with Don't Need An Excuse another two and a half lengths back in third. Auckland Reactor prodigy have now won $1.7 million between them.   Bruce Stewart

Full Noise’s win at the Wyndham Meeting came with a huge sense of relief for Ryal Bush trainer Brent Gray who admitted to getting nervous prior to yesterdays’ race. “I do because I love the horse and he is special. I’m just glad we didn’t do too much damage on the horrible day at Cromwell,” Gray said. The stable was confident of a good showing after Full Noise had shown during the week that he’d taken no harm from his run on a heavy track at Cromwell. “I was away for the weekend and Craig O’Callaghan drove him on Saturday and he was really rapt with him. I took him to Nathan’s (Nathan Williamson) on Tuesday and worked him and Robbie Royale there and he (Full Noise) worked really nice. I just wanted to give him a change of scenery.” After a good beginning driver Brent Barclay settled Full Noise in fourth on the outside. With just over a lap to run Barclay had designs on the lead and moved the Majestic Son three year old forward to take over from Star Dude with 1200 metres to run. With 400 metres to run Full Noise had a four length advantage with second favourite Only One Way the only real challenger. Full Noise proved too strong beating Only One Way by a length and three quarters. All the way down the straight it was noticeable that Barclay was driving Full Noise on one rein. “It looked as though he (Only One Way) was going to get us but as I said he was on one rein. Brent said as soon as our horse saw him coming he got going. We’ve got a big year coming up and we have to time things just right. I just want to get his steering a bit better.” Full Noise beating Only One Way                           - Photo Bruce Stewart. His winning time was 3-05.7 a new track record for three year olds erasing Jaccka Jack’s 2009 record of 3-06.6. Gray was considering starting the three year old in the Hanley Formula Orari Challenge Stakes a 1850 mobile race for three year old trotters at Geraldine on Saturday 2nd February but he’s now not so sure. “I don’t know. We could miss that. I just don’t want to go to the well too much this season. We just need to get things right for up the road (Addington). I want to stick to few stands before he goes to the mobiles like the Hambletonian.” Full Noise is owned by Baynes Racing Limited which is Kenny Baynes and his sister in-law Penny. Winning connections and sponsor Michelle Caig                        - Photo Bruce Stewart    Bruce Stewart

Invercargill harness racing trainer Murray Brown is proud of the performance of Southland three year old Mighty Flying Art in the Group One Sires Stakes Finals at Addington a week ago. Although originally on the ballot for the $166,660 feature he managed to get back in the field because of a scratching.  “Those front three got away. He had the third fastest last half and last quarter. How many horses go 1-52 (mile rate) at their sixth start,” said Brown. Ultimate Sniper’s winning time for the 1980 metres was 2-19.0 a new New Zealand record. Brown says his phone’s been running hot but the horse is not on the market. “Yeah they’re going mad. Brent (owner Brent Ballantyne) bought him to race him. He said “what I am going to do next Friday if he’s sold.” And Brown predicts the best is ahead for Mighty Flying Art. “He’s never really had a hard run because of his draws. Up here he just followed them round. Brent Barclay (driver) has been looking after him. After his run (Sires Stakes Final) we took him home and he licked his bowl clean.” He says his next target is the $20,000 Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting on Saturday 9thMarch. The colt was bought by Brown for $50,000 at the Sale of the Stars. He had two starts at two, running fourth behind Another Masterpiece on debut before finishing sixth in last season’s Kindergarten Stakes behind War Dan Delight. He won his first start as a three year old at Winton in late September before running a close second behind Memphis Tennessee a month later. His next start was at Addington in the last Sires Stakes Heat in which he locked wheels in the straight and finished an unlucky seventh. Ballantyne also owns Mighty Flying Art’s half-brother Mightyflying Macatak which he bought for $55,000 at the sales. He’s by Mach Three and is a two year old. “We went back and bought his half-brother. He bowls round alright but we won’t know how good he is until after Christmas. With the Mach Three’s you just have to be a bit careful because you can fire them up a bit.”   Meanwhile other “Super” finals will be held for the Ladyship Fillies and Mares series at the Invercargill meeting on the 6th April and the Gold Chip for trotters at the Winton meeting on 13th April. All finals are worth $20,000.   Bruce Stewart

With the scratching of Rockabilly Blues, Honor And Glory was always going to be hard to beat in today’s Nuggets Final at Ascot Park. Although only sixth at his last start driver Brent Barclay wasn’t too disappointed with the run. “We just got too far back. They ran a good half and a good quarter and he still made ground at the finish. At the end of the day when I analysed it, it wasn’t a bad run after all,” he said. In todays $12,000 feature, Barclay settled the gelding four back on the inside. At the 400 metres he moved forward and was forced three wide when Bottle Rock came off the inside running line. Once balanced Honor And Glory ran home nicely down the middle of the track to beat Bottle Rock by four and three quarter lengths running the 2200 metres in 2-40.5. “He’s still very green. Today is only his third start and he’s had a couple of workouts and a trial. We might just give him a wee spell and see what’s coming up further down the track. It didn’t feel like 2-40 (pace) today but he got to the line really good.” Returning to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart One of Honor And Glory’s main goals is the $20,000 Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting on 9th March. He’s out of the former New Zealand record holder for 2200 metres Breath Of Life and is owned by Diane and Noel Cournane and The Butterworth Racing Syndicate. Rockabilly Blues was scratched due to a minor leg injury.   Bruce Stewart

It was a days for the Pats at Wyndham on Sunday with up and coming trotter Super Fast Pat winning his second race on the trot and Gore owner Pat Kubala winning a maiden race with Art Major gelding Prince Art. On the trotting front the question on most punters minds was whether Super Fast pat could take the next step up after impressively winning his last start by thirty and a half lengths. It took just over three minutes for us to find out, and it was an emphatic yes! “He’s got a lot of speed but he just hung badly today. I wanted to get round them and be handy but I just couldn’t quite cross to the one off at the 500. He was still doing it easy enough within himself at the finish but he had a few rough strides today,” said driver Brent Barclay. The Superfast Stuart four year old has always shown potential and Barclay admits that he does get anxious when driving the talented trotter.     “For sure. You just can’t let his head go (yet) but you know the motors there. He’s just got to get his rhythm. Once he gets that in another twelve months he’ll be a nice horse. He’s starting to learn all about the grit. I was real happy with him today.” After impressing at workouts early on, trainer Lauren Pearson and partner Barclay have found the key to Super Fast Pat. “We just do a lot of strong work with him. We follows the pacemaker a lot (and it) throws a lot of grit back. That’s the main thing with him. When the grit comes back he throws his head around and it throws him off balance. Once he’s got his rhythm and he’s going, he’s not too bad. He’s always had the ability.” Barclay says he’s a totally different horse at the race track compared to being at home.    “At home he pulls and is real fierce but when you bring him out on race day he’s the friendliest horse. He’s getting there but he still needs miles.” Barclay says the horse’s next target is the $20,000 Super Gold Chips Final at Winton on 13th April. “We’ll have to school him up for that but at this stage we’ll stick to the big tracks.” His standing start manners have also improved. “He was perfect today. You still just have to nurse him really.”   Meanwhile Pat’s Delight’s brother Prince Art created a good impression when he won on debut at Wyndham on Sunday. “He gave me the impression he was going to get there but it took the length of the straight. It was a good effort to pick himself up and make up the ground. There are some promising signs there,” said driver Tim Williams. Bruce Stewart

Expensive yearling Honor and Glory recouped some of his $170,000 price tag when he impressively won his first race at Ascot Park today (Sunday). He was bred by local breeder Diane Cournane who shares in the ownership with her husband Noel and The Butterworth Racing Syndicate. Honor and Glory was originally assigned to Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s Rolleston stable after his sale to Merv and Meg Butterworth but because of his size he was never going to race as a young horse. “I think he was just growing too fast for his body,” said trainer Lauren Pearson who's also a niece of the Cournanes. The gelding was also trained for a short period by Knapdale trainer Robin Swain. “He was at Robin's jogging up. He couldn’t get around his track and kept galloping. Thankfully for us Robin recommended that he come here so he could be trained on a big track. We’ve had no problem with him galloping here.” Honor and Glory winning easily on debut - Photo Bruce Stewart. Prior to today’s debut the four year old Art Major gelding had won two workouts and two trials, hence his $1.30 starting price. “The first time he went to the workouts he showed a bit of speed and has just got better and better.” Pearson and her partner Brent Barclay who drove Honor and Glory, were relatively confident of a good showing today but had question marks around how he would go on the smaller Invercargill track. “He worked really well with Duke Of Wellington on Tuesday but you can never be too confident. We were just worried about the track and the first bend.” Brent Barclay, Honor And Glory, Lauren Peason and Diane Cournane - Photo Bruce Stewart. Meanwhile Pearson is happy with the way Duke Of Wellington went at Friday’s workouts. He won his three horse heat in a good fashion and looks set for another very good season. “He went real well and we’ll take him back (to the Workouts) again. He’s pulled up well and was bucking and kicking which is not like him.”   Bruce Stewart

When a horse is having it's first start and is paying $2.10 to win, the expectations are understandably high and it imposes some pressure for both trainer and driver. However after she managed to navigate around the breaking Elegant Jewel at Winton yesterday, there were no doubts The Empress was going to live up to her reputation. Driver Brent Barclay pushed her forward from the second line and had to go four wide into the first bend in his quest for the lead. On straightening to run down the back of the track the Art Major filly was in front and thats where she stayed, winning impressively. Barclay only had to run the reins over her rump for her to pull away and win by two and a quarter lengths. "Like most horses she's probably better from behind. Being favourite and having her first start, Brent took the initative and took out any bad luck," said trainer Robin Swain.  The Empress was bred in Australia but has a strong Southern breeding connection. She's out of the Washington VC mare Easton All Action which was owned by Brian Norman and won three of she nine starts for Graeme Anderson and Amber Hoffman in 2011. Easton All Action won another nine races in Australia and The Empress is her first foal. "I think when the mare finished racing (in Australia) Brian actually tried to buy her back."   The Express is owned by the Butterworth Racing Syndicate which normally buys New Zealand horses and sends them to other New Zealand stables or flys them over to Australia. However for The Express the trip went the other way.  "Merv bought her at the sales and sent her over here. I broke her in and also had her as a two year old. She went up to Mark's (Mark Purdon) for a month and got a small injury. It was nothing major and she just needed a bit of time out. Merv has just left her with me for a while and we'll see what happens."   Swain says she was always going to take time.  "I had her running along for a bit as a two year old but she was such a big filly. When I picked her up at Diane Cournane's place as a yearling I thought she looked like a two year old."   He says The Empress will have her next start in the first Ladyship Stakes Final at Gore in a fortnight. It's a $12,000 race over 1700 metres.  "After Christmas I think she's got the potential to be right up there with those good fillies I've driven if she keeps improving. She's got a strong will to win and Brent said she got lost a bit in front and would be better coming from behind." The win on The Empress was the first of three for Barclay who followed it up with back to back wins on Mighty Flying Art and King Cassidy.   Bruce Stewart

Harness racing sire Changeover produced back to back winners at Gore today(Sunday) when Edie Jaccka and Jacks N Jazz won their respective races. Edie Jackka, which is raced by her breeder Charlie Smaill, had six starts as a three year old last season but trainer Brett Gray said she was always going to improve with age. “She went near enough but was just a little bit weak. We had a few starts and then Charlie chucked her in the paddock. I didn’t realise that Nathan’s one was scratched (Delightful Deal was late scratched in the race because of a foot abcess). It would have been the one to beat so I thought that was pretty cool. It made life easier. She had to do a bit of work and left no excuses for anything else. She’s actually been working super at home,” said Gray. After sitting back early driver Brent Barclay took the four year old mare to the lead with just over a lap to run and she won by a length and a quarter from Heavens Art. Edie Jaccka and Brent Barclay winning at Gore - Photo Bruce Stewart One race later another horse sired by Changeover, Jacks N Jazz won his R47-R49 mobile pace.   Out of the Union Guy mare Surfing Franco, he was bought for $6,000 at the yearling sales by co-trainer Jude Knight. “He was one of the last lots and she felt a bit sorry for him. He was a big dumb bugger, always going to take a bit of time and last year was a good year for him. We kept him on the unruly because he was a bit panicky last season. But by the end of the season we were confident that this year would be a better one for him,” said Geoff Knight, who co-trains the five year old. Craig Ferguson has a firm grip on Jacks N Jazz with a lap to run - Photo Bruce Stewart Jacks n Jazz is named after Geoff’s daughter Jazmin and grandson Jackson. Jasmine’s husband Tony Crofts has a quarter share in the horse, Jude owns a quarter, while the other half share is leased to the Have Fun Syndicate. Driver Craig Ferguson took Jacks N Jazz straight to the lead from barrier three and withstood a number of challenges throughout the 2200 metre journey holding on to beat Triple VC by a head.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing    

The recently named Southland Horse of the Year Duke of Wellington is back in work at Lauren Pearson’s Winton stable. Now owned by the Butterworth Racing Syndicate, the four year old gelding has been lodging at Diane Cournane’s property (Pearson’s aunt) since winning the Alabar Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes on the 29th April. “He’s just back to be jogged up for Merv and then he’ll go elsewhere I suppose. I’m not too sure where he’s going after that. He’s come back in real good order, didn’t get too fat and he’s still got a shine on his coat so he looks real good. The break did him the world of good,” Pearson said. She’s resigned to the fact that her star will only be here for a short time but she’s pleased to have been a part of his early four year old preparation. “It’s great having a nice horse in your stable to make you get up and out on the cold mornings.” Pearson says the Duke of Wellington is also pleased to be back. “He went straight back into his old box down in the back paddock. He’s still lazy as on the track but he’s bucking around and playing in the paddock.” The American Ideal gelding qualified at Ascot Park in late October and in ten starts won five races and was placed another four times. He won his last four starts in a row including the Supremacy. “That was his first season (last season) because he didn’t do anything as a two year old. To do what he did on one prep was a hell of a good feat.” Pearson and partner Brent Barclay are jogging up three Butterworth horses; Governor’s Bay, Zealand Star and Duke Of Wellington. All horses have been in work since the 24th July and will have six weeks jogging. “He’ll (Merv Butterworth) give us a yodel and tell us what’s happening after that.” Pearson says Governor’s Bay has been well looked after since being turned out. “He’s in really good condition and has got a lot to fall back on. Hopefully he does a good job for Merv.” Governor's Bay                           - Photo Bruce Stewart He was owned by George Bennett, Paula Holmes and Peter and Ann Bagrie and won two races for Tom Bagrie before he was bought by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He had one start at the end of his four year old season for Brett Gray’s stable, running seventh in the fast run 2400 metre mobile event at Winton on 14th April. He was turned out after that. Pearson, after a two week holiday in Cairns and Townsville has most her team back in work, including promising trotter Super Fast Pat. “When he gets his mind on the job he’ll earn his keep. The motor’s there and he’s got a lot of ability. He hates the grit so that’s the main problem with him.”   Bruce Stewart Souhtland Harness Racing

Several leading harness racing drivers have had their fines reduced after being charged for failing to come up into and/or maintain their position behind the starting gate at this years harness jewels at Cambridge. The normal penalty for breaking this rule is $100 but the Judicial Committee however, in all cases imposed higher penalties as the meeting was a major one with all stakes being higher than $40,000. Gavin Smith, Ricky May and Mark Purdon were fined $400. Natalie Rasmussen was fined $500 because she had been warned earlier in the day. Brent Barclay was fined $200 and his licence was suspended for one day and Terry Chmiel had imposed on him a three day suspension. All drivers appealed their penalties and all were succesfull with the fines reduced to $200 for Mark Purdon, Gavin Smith, Ricky May and Natalie Rasmussen. Terry Chmiel had his suspension reduced to two days and since two days had already been served there was no further penalty. Brent Barclay had his penalty reduced to the fine of $200 only.   Full details below: BEFORE AN APPEALS TRIBUNAL OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY FOR RACING UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Harness Racing BETWEEN MARK PURDON TERRY CHMIEL BRENT BARCLAY NATALIE RASMUSSEN RICKY MAY GAVIN SMITH Appellants AND RACING INTEGRITY UNIT Respondent Appeals Tribunal: Mr Garry Thompson, Chairman Mr Russell McKenzie, Member Written decision issued on the 30th June 2018 It was ordered by consent that the appeals be dealt with on the papers. DECISION OF THE APPEALS TRIBUNAL OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Each Appellant was charged under Rule 857(7) which states “no horseman shall fail to come up into and/or maintain his position” 1.2 The Rule referred to above is normally dealt with as a minor offence being listed in the Minor Infringement Schedule but the Race meeting at which this was held being the Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Racing Club (Harness Jewels meeting) meeting on 2nd June 2018 at Cambridge Raceway had every race carrying a stake of $40,000 or greater being what is described in the Penalty Guide as a major race. 1.3 Accordingly, the RIU stewards sought to uplift the penalty amount which had a standard penalty of $100 and therefore filed the charge with the raceday Judicial Committee. 1.4 The Stewards submitted that a 100% increase in the normal penalty be imposed since in all cases these were major races. They therefore submitted that a penalty of $200.00 or an equivalent suspension was appropriate. 1.5 The Judicial Committee, however, in all cases imposed higher penalties. Messrs Smith, May and Purdon were fined $400. Ms Rasmussen was fined $500 because she had been warned earlier in the day. Mr Barclay was fined $200 and his licence was suspended for one day and Mr Chmiel had imposed on him a three day suspension. All have appealed. 2. THE APPEAL 2.1 It is necessary for the Appeals Tribunal to form its own decision on the matters placed before it and in this case the Tribunal has directed that this be dealt with on the papers. 3. SUBMISSIONS FOR THE APPELLANTS 3.1 Mr Lawson submitted that what the Stewards submitted by way of penalty was appropriate and that the penalties imposed by the Judicial Committee were excessive. 3.2 Mr Lawson raised a number of relevant matters including the fact that it was not suggested that the penalties had previously been manifestly inadequate, the losing driving fees after 6th position were the same as any other meeting, the visual aspects of knowing where 1609m starting point was created a difficulty and the mobile barrier moved faster than normal because of the distance of the race and the quality of the horses. 3.3 Mr Lawson admitted that the penalties should all be $200.00 except that Mr Barclay who received a one day suspension as well as a $200 fine simply have this replaced by a $200 fine only and Mr Chmiel who received a three day suspension, but no fine have his suspension reduced to two days. 4. SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RESPONDENT 4.1 Mr Ydgren submitted that a 100% increase on $100 being the standard penalty to $200 was appropriate except in the case of Mr Chmiel who had a previous breach of the rule so his penalty it was submitted be a two day suspension which had already been served. 4.2 Mr Ydgren explained the allowance horsemen have of half a length grace and stated that drivers are required to know where the starting position is on the track and that in the circumstances all the horseman either made a simple error and misjudged their position or were unaware of where the actual starting point was. 5. DECISION Having considered the submissions on behalf of the Appellants and the Respondent we are satisfied that a 100% increase in the penalty prescribed by Minor infringement Scheme is appropriate in the circumstances this being the submission of the RIU stewards at the Race Day Hearing. The onus is on the Appellants to show that the penalty imposed by the Judicial Committee was manifestly excessive and in our view the Appellants have discharged that onus. 6. PENALTIES We impose a penalty of $200 fine on Mark Purdon, Gavin Smith, Ricky May and Natalie Rasmussen. We impose a penalty of a two day suspension on Terry Chmiel he having had a previous breach of this rule and since two days have already been served there is no further penalty. Brent Barclay was issued with a fine of $200 and had his licence suspended for one day and his penalty is reduced to the fine of $200 only. 7. COST AND FILLING FEE Mr Lawson has made no application for costs and submits that costs should lie where they fall. He has submitted that the $250 filing fee be refunded. We agree with both those submissions. The penalties we are imposing are what were submitted by the RIU at the hearing and the Respondent should not be penalised because the appeal is successful. The Appellants should not be out of pocket as they were successful. Dated this 30th June 2018 Garry Thompson CHAIRMAN   Harnesslink Media

Invercargill lawyer Lester Smith has a good chance of picking up a couple of categories at this season’s Southland Harness Awards. American Ideal gelding Duke Of Wellington was the province's leading stake earner and his dam Galleons Cheer looks like a strong candidate for Broodmare of the Year. Duke Of Wellington qualified at the end of October last year and in his first season of racing he started ten times and was in the money each time. He won five races, including his last four, ran second three times, and third and fourth once each. He ended his season with an impressive win in the $45,000 Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes. His seasons earnings were $54,280. His success is a credit to his trainer Lauren Pearson and his driver Brent Barclay who had him peaking at the right end of the season. In the Supremacy he raced in Smith’s name along with the Butterworth Racing Syndicate which had bought into the horse at that point. Merv and Meg Butterworth now own the horse outright and he’s currently spelling at Diane Cournane’s Grove Bush agistment farm. Venice Beach (renamed My Venice Beach), which Smith sold in March last year has also had a successful season for her dam Galleons Cheer.  The Somebeachsomewhere mare has won six races this season, $25,738 and lowered her winning mile time to 1-53.6. Another of Galleon Cheers' foals; Rise Above This, won her first start at Winton pacing a mile in 1-58.5. To cap off the season the mare's only other foal to race this season - Laszlo - (formally Dazed And Confused), also won once at Globe Derby Park. The four horses are the mare’s first four foals of racing age. Her next foal also by Somebeachsomewhere, is a yearling. The next best Southland trained stake earner was Somejoy. She won six races from ten starts and earned her connections $47,230.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

On what was a run-of-the-mill raceday at Ascot Park today a two year old trotter emerged as being a horse to watch in the future. Majestic Son gelding Full Noise handled the pressures of his first start against more experienced runners like a pro, and easily beat eleven other runners in the Hamil Saddlery Trot over 2700 metres. Full Noise began slowly but well and settled in sixth place early. With 1600 metres to run driver Brent Barclay moved him off the running line to sit parked for the last lap.  "He never batted an eyelid out there. He's so laid back when he's parked so it worked out really good. I'd say he's got a very bright future," said Barclay.  As the leaders turned for home Full Noise was asked to go and he trotted nicely down to the winning post to beat Superfast Ninja by three quarters of a length.  "He's a lovely horse and a beautiful trotter. I've driven him in every workout and trial and he's just a natural." His time of 3-35.2 was a new track record for two year old trotters who rarely run this distance.  Full Noise winning on debut in those famous Baynes colours - Photo Bruce Stewart. Trainer Brett Gray was also suitably impressed but he's known what's under the horses bonnet for a while.  "Kirstin (Barclay) broke him in. I did a few weeks with him before Christmas and loved him. I turned him out and brought him back in. He's just a natural. The second row draw today worried me a bit but Brent drove him a treat and the horse would have learned a lot today. He hasn't raced in a big field," he said.  After the win Gray wouldn't be drawn as to what the plans are for the two year old. "I've just got to talk to the owners. I think he's a horse for the future and I really want to look after him." The Majestic Son gelding which is owned by Kenny Baynes and his sister in-law Penny, is out of the Sundon mare Knapdale Girl which won three races in New Zealand and a further five in Australia. Knapdale Girl is from a family the late Colin Baynes developed and raced over many years. It's the family that's produced quality trotters like Cool Cat which won ten races and Bearcat which won seven. Winning connections                           - Photo Bruce Stewart.  Full Noise is the first foal from Knapdale Girl. She has a yearling colt by Coktail Jet stallion The Best Madrik and a weanling filly by Pegasus Spur.   Another branch of the family produced many good trotters for Maurice Skinner including Adiantum which won eight races and Maori Maiden the winner of seven.  Full Noise is named after a Yak-3 V12 World War Two fighter owned by Graeme Frew, an Air New Zealand pilot. Frew qualified for the National Championship Air Races in Reno in America where he broke a race record last year. He also recently bought the plane down to Wanaka for the Warbirds Over Wanaka. And in true pioneering spirit the plane carries the same number (35) as Southlander Burt Munro's Indian Motorcycle which also raced in America. "We were actually in Reno last year when he was there. They put the plane in a container and took it over there. A local guy Jay McIntyre who is a renowned engineer who lives in Blenheim now, went over with him and put the plane back together. They did a fantastic job over there," said Penny.  The win by Full Noise brings the number of wins for Kenny Baynes this season to 17. War Machine (5), War Admiral (3), Especial, Convair Hustler(1) Too Cool (1) Royal Bengal (3), Full Noise (1) Envious (1) and Especial (2).  Full Noise, Royal Bengal and Convair Hustler are raced by Baynes Racing Limited (Kenny and Penny) while the other horses are raced by Kenny and his wife Jo.    Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

"It worked out really well. Everything went to plan," were the comments from driver Brent Barclay after winning the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes on the Winton trained Duke Of Wellington. In today's Group Three feature, Barclay settled the American Ideal gelding in seventh place off the rails. With two laps to run he was sitting four back on the outside. With 850 metres to run Barclay pushed out and got into the three wide line to followed up Mighty Conqueror and Hail Christian. Turning in he made his challenge four wide and Duke Of Wellington let down nicely to beat Hail Christian by three quarters of a length. "He was a bit keen today and did well to keep going so I was really happy. He just knocks off when he gets there (to the front)."  Winning connections, trainer Lauren Pearson holding rug and owner Lester Smith next to her - Photo Bruce Stewart. Duke Of Wellington, which was Winton trainer Lauren Pearson's biggest training win, was bred by Invercargill Lawyer Lester Smith who had raced the gelding up until the Supremacy today. He was sold last week to Australians Merv and Meg Butterworth and part of the arrangement was that Smith remained in the horse for today's race. "Merv phoned before the race and said 'make sure you make a good speech' so I hope I didn't let him down," Smith said he was reluctant to sell but he looks to have a nice filly to carry on with. "I was but I've got this filly (half-sister Rise Above This) to go on with."  Duke Of Wellington is named after a hotel in Melbourne. "The hotel was established in 1853. It's the oldest pub in Melbourne. I drink there sometimes when I'm there for the Australian Open in January." Smith used to buy yearlings at the sales but changed tack when prices rose. "I used to go to the sales and found the ones that I wanted were far too expensive so I decided to breed from a couple of mares - Weka Lass and Galleons Honour." Galleons Honour, the dam of Duke Of Wellington, is by Christian Cullen out of Galleon Cheer.   "I got her from a dispersal sale at Kerry Hoggards. He'd bought her for $80,000 as a yearling and she won her first race beating the likes of De Lovely. She wasn't the same afterwards. So I bought her as a broodmare."   The win today was a great boost for the locals. Southland horses have had a lean run in this race over the past decade. Since it's inception in 1984, Southland trained horses have won the race 14 times. The last Southland winner was I’m Full Of Excuses, winning for Clark Barron in 2015. Prior to that Looksaflyer won in 2006 driven by Brent Barclay. "It's great today for Brent and Lauren.That's the biggest thrill really," Smith said after the race. Smith won the 1997 Supremacy Stakes with Atitagain which was trained by Wayne Adams. The gelding won four of his eleven three year old starts and ran fifth in Bogan Fella’s 2007 New Zealand Derby. He was exported shortly after and did a grand job in Australia, winning a further twenty two races. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

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