Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 301
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Katrina Price was confident she had two high quality colts that were prepped and ready to sell at the National Standardbred Yearling Sales in Christchurch today, but to end up with the top two lots was an exceptional result. “It was pretty amazing. One out of the box,” she said. Both yearlings attracted lots of pre-sale interest and Katrina and husband John had high hopes of doing well. They were hoping they’d get into six figures. “They were two beautiful colts and I said a few times that you don’t get two colts like this every year.” Collectively the pair sold for a staggering $630,000 which must be a record for a vendor with just two yearlings in a sale. “When you get into those figures everything becomes a bit of a blur.” The stunning looking Chicago Bear was the first of their consignment to come into the ring and he was bought by Cran Dalgety for $310,000. “Anything after that was just going to be a bonus.” Forty six lots later Mandinka was sold to a phone bid for $320,000. “They both had beautiful pedigrees that were up to date. They were just great colts in the flesh and in temperament.” Mandinka is beautifully bred, being out of Hartofdixie an American Ideal mare. The family had left big winners including Maxim and Christian Me. Hartofdixie is a relatively recent purchase for the Prices, being bought during lockdown. They later bought her foal Mandinka. “We bought her colt as a speculative buy. We took the risk and have been well and truly rewarded. We’re thrilled to have the mare and she’s in foal to Bettor’s Delight and we’re hoping that she’ll have a filly.” The buyers were certainly chasing the better bred colts today, particularly those by leading sire Bettor’s Delight. Whereas yesterday a high number of yearlings were passed in. “Yesterday was a bit of a battle but today it’s heated up. If you brought along a good article with a good page by Bettor’s Delight you were certainly well rewarded.” In addition to taking out the top two lots Katrina and John prepared the highest selling trotter on the first day of the Sale. Concise, consigned by Dave Kennedy sold for $120,000. The Prices also prepared Tuapeka Dan for Tuapeka Lodge and he achieved the fourth highest pacer sold, going for $240,000. A stunning few days at the Sales for Price’s Bloodstock.   by Bruce Stewart

Under pressure for a while, Southland owner Neville Cleaver has agreed to sell his very promising colt Ragazzo Mach. Cleaver said the Mach Three youngster will remain in Nathan Williamson’s stable until the New Zealand Derby. He was bought by clients of Mike Reed with the deal been done by Peter Lagan. “They were quite happy for Nathan to carry on training him and for me to collect the trophy if he wins. Nathan’s really rapt to be hanging onto him,” Cleaver said. The sale process has been drawn out with more than six buyers looking at purchasing Ragazzo Mach. “He was vetted this morning and it’s all done as far as that’s concerned. Peter Lagan has got my bank account number so that’s the next stage.” The buyers began phoning Cleaver before Ragazzo Mach started racing. “It started at $150,000 which I turned down. He won impressively at Invercargill, then the offer went up to $200,000. I turned down $330,000 for him and ended up getting well north of that. After his last run at Addington Peter said the run was super and you couldn’t expect a horse to go better than that. I had a few sleepless nights. They kept putting the vetting off on me three times and they (early buyers) didn’t come up with the money, that crew. That all happened over a week so I took him off the market.” Not one to slow down, Cleaver was active on the buyers bench at today’s National Standardbred Yearling Sale in Christchurch, paying $140,000 for Flash Black – a Bettor’s Delight colt out of In The Pocket mare Simply Devine. “He’s a powerful colt and he’s got two year old written all over him. I wanted to buy a Bettor’s Delight colt. I had quite a few marked down to buy on pedigree.” Once Cleaver had the pedigree page sorted he inspected all of his choices. “I like to see the hind leg overstepping the front leg which tells you a horse in going to have a good stride on it and he fitted the bill there.” The colt attracted spirited bidding. “I thought I might get him for under $100,000. I just kept chipping away but they kept putting my weights up.” Today’s outlay was the biggest Cleaver has spent on one horse at a sale. “It’s been creeping up each time I go back. I’ve loosened the purse strings.” He paid $60,000 for Ragazzo Mach, $52,500 for Franco Santino, $50,000 for Hopes And Dreams and $20,000 for Onedin Mach. “I’ve got a Bettor’s Delight out of Hopes And Dreams that will be going to the workouts and trials, hoping to qualify.” Meanwhile, for the second day in a row a Southern Bred Southern Reared yearling topped the Sale. Tuapeka Dan, a Bettor’s Delight colt out of 10 win race mare Bonnie Joan was sold to Australian buyers for $240,000. The colt was prepared for the Cummings family by Katrina Price at Winton. And yesterday at the Trotters Sale, Southland breeder Dave Kennedy sold a Father Patrick colt out of Rae Galleon for $120,000 – the top price paid. The Sale continues tomorrow with some high quality lots which include Chicago Bear, a full brother to millionaire pacer Chicago Bull.   by Bruce Stewart

Rory Mcllwrick loves a bit of banter whether it be with the Williamson family, or the wider harness racing community. Today he was at the top of his game, winning a double at the Winton meeting including the feature mare’s race the Southern Belle Speed Series, with the Owen Lawrence trained Miss Auckland. The Auckland Reactor mare is in peak form at the moment having won her last three starts which includes today’s mares feature in which she beat Pay Me Speedy trained by Chelsea Faithful. “Chelsea and I have had a bit of banter going for a long time. I told her  I was coming for her and the banter started when Miss Auckland was dropping out and finishing last in a maiden. I really enjoyed that win. It was one of the better ones,” Mcllwrick said. From a handy inside draw Mcllwrick positioned Miss Auckland back on the inside after beginning well and trailing pacemaker Silk. Silk was pressured by A Taste Of Honey but took Miss Auckland to the passing lane and McIlwrick drove her up the inside to beat a brave Pay Me Speedy by three quarters of a length. “I was surprised we beat her to be fair but we’ll take it. She’s turned a corner. Speedy’s a pretty nice horse. Maybe if we reversed the draws it would have reversed the results but this girl she just hits the line real good. She’s now one of those horses that just keeps savaging the line. The harder they go the better. She’s got great gait speed and she can stay. She’s doing it all at the moment.” This is the first time Ascot Park trainer Owen Lawrence has won three races in a row with any horse. In the early 2000s Armbro Invasion trotter The Jailer won three of his last five starts running second in the other two. “I’ve always had faith in her. She’s improved as she’s got a wee bit older. When I first started her she ran last in her first three races. Hopefully there’s a wee bit of improvement yet,” Lawrence said. The win qualifies Miss Auckland for the $20,000 Southern Belle Speed Series final at the Winton Meeting on the 20th March. Earlier in the programme another mare continued her winning form for Mcllwrick. The Craig Laurenson trained trotter Miss Bamboocha won her second race in three starts when she came from back in the field to run down favourite Afterburner The eight year old mare has now won five races and has recorded eleven seconds and eleven thirds in ninety three starts.   by Bruce Stewart

Branxholme trainer Alister Black has a good bunch of quality three year olds this season and Idealism got his name on the winner’s board when he impressively won the John Kennan Memorial Mobile Pace at Winton today. “He’s a pretty laidback character like most of the American Ideals. He just goes about his job and does it well,” said Black. From a second line draw driver Nathan Williamson positioned the three year mid field before moving up to sit parked. “It didn’t worry me at all. I was dumbfounded that he wasn’t a $1.80 favourite after his last race. That run was nothing short of superb.” Idealism let down nicely in the straight to win by a length and three quarters from favourite Captain Pins. “He’ll go to the Nuggets and then we’ll give him a wee let up. We’ll look at the Supremacy in May but he’ll have to win another race at least.” The three year old is owned by Craig Milne, his father Ian, Pete and Lorraine Carnie, Lyn Philp, Paul McEntyre and Black’s wide Sheree. Winning connections                           --Bruce Stewart Photo Both Milne and McEntyre work for Black on a casual basis. “Paul brings his own wages. He does the boxes and has a couple in work including Wai Key Wee so he’s having a good run. Most of these owners were in Dazzle Me.” Black said winning the John Keenan Memorial bought make memories of when he drove as a junior driver. “This win was special. I drove a couple of winners for John (Glen Atom 2002 and Cool Man Cam 2001). He was a real good guy.” Another promising three year old Ohoka Agent, owned by Black’s key stable clients the Thomson brothers finished on for third after having no luck in the run home. “I’m pretty lucky. Ian and Lindsay Thomson are massive supporters. They put a lot of money into the game.” The next Nuggets Final will be run at the Riverton meeting at Winton on Thursday 4th March and it promises to be a cracker with the Thomson owned Keep On Dreaming set to clash with Idealism and a number of other promising three year olds.   by Bruce Stewart

Southern Bred Southern Reared has thoroughly established it’s brand and is a market leader in the preparation and sale of Standardbred yearlings for the Christchurch Sales. The group heads to the Sales having hosted another very successful yearling tour within the Southland and Otago regions, and having marketed their stock across a wider variety of media platforms than in previous years. “As the tour rolled on it grew from ten cars following the bus to thirty. It was great,” said group spokesman Mark Smith. Smith says interest in the tour is widening with new prospective buyers checking out the bloodstock. “Joshua Dickie, Matty and Brent White, Ian Middleton from Lincoln Farms and Marty Smith who took the place of John Dunn (attended). We might have to have a mini van behind the bus next year!” Smith says the comments from trainers and buyers were very positive. “Very high standard and the preparation of the SBSR yearlings is just getting better and better.” The Christchurch Sale which starts on Monday at 3.00pm has strong representation of SBSR yearlings. “You look through the catalogue and there’s some great pedigrees on both the trotting and pacing side. You look at how many Captaintreacherous colts and fillies are available. It’s just amazing.” Smith says the auctioneers are going to be busy verbally updating the catalogue as SBSR yearlings come into the sales ring. “Since the catalogue went to print there have been winners all over Australasia, like Boots Electric winning the Group One Bonanza in Melton last week.” SBSR has embraced digital technology and have done a number of things a bit differently this year. “We’ve been doing podcasts on Campbell’s Comment and Nigel Armstrong from harnessracingunhinged was down live streaming on his phone. Debbie (wife) was at home watching all of the SBSR parades on her phone. The parade had two thousand likes the day after. As a group we’re embracing the new technology.” Smith feels that despite Covid preventing Australian buyers from attending the Sale, horses will continue to be sold across the Tasman. “We had a spare seat on the tour so we put Lindsay Colwell (vet) on the tour. I believe she’s been inundated with requests to look at horses by Australian buyers.” The after match function at John and Katrina Price’s When questioned about standout types on this tour Smith had no trouble highlighting some that he believes will attract strong bidding. “I do like the Chicago Bear. He’s an absolute stunner. The Arden Lodge Captaintreacherous colts were standouts. Lot 398 (Capitaine Arden) and Lot 274 (Venturesome Arden). The Bettor’s Delight colt out of Galleon’s Cheer for Dave and Dawn Kennedy was a standout. The trotting colt at the White’s (lot 135) One Over Da Line looked great.” Chicago Bear not fazed by the attention For the past two seasons SBSR has sponsored a race night at Addington and this year they spread their wings a bit further, venturing to Auckland and sponsoring a complete race night at Alexandra Park. “The promotion was very successful. The comment was that we’d come all the way from Invercargill to promote the SBSR brand, so we were well received. We had all our yearling videos playing in the hospitality room.” With only a few days left Mark Smith feels this will be another good Sale for SBSR. “We’re feeling quite confident going into the Sale. I understand Lincoln Farms are looking at buying up to twelve yearling so that’s good numbers.” And the future? “We’re all volunteers and we can’t do much more. We’d like to get a couple more people on our committee.”   by Bruce Stewart

Last night’s premier harness racing at Addington will long be remembered by those of us in the south. There was great excitement when having her last race in New Zealand, Southern mare Watch Me Now upset hot favourite Amazing Dream in the $102,000 Group One Breeders Stakes. Driver Kirstin Barclay schooled Watch Me Now off the gate from a wide draw and took the lead just after the winning post, before handing up to hot favourite Amazing Dream. Inside the last 400 metres Amazing Dream, Watch Me Now and Need You Now broke away from the field. On straightening Amazing Dream and Watch Me Now set down for a stride by stride battle with Barclay throwing everything at the Southern mare to get her up to win by a head. “Everything went to plan for once. You’re always hopeful that you can beat mares like her but you don’t expect to,” Barclay said. The time of 3-07.2 was a new New Zealand record, bettering The Orange Agent’s previous record of 3-07.4. The last 800 metres was run in 55.1. “She was travelling well all the way. She was bang on ready.” Owned by the Sloan and Gibb families, the mainstream public were unaware the Breeders Stakes was to be her last race in New Zealand, as she had recently been sold to American interests. “It was bitter sweet and pretty emotional. It’s a bit heart breaking really but she’ll do a massive job over there.” It was by far Barclay’s biggest race day win in her twenty two years of driving. She has previously won a Listed race on U May Cullect and the Group Three Kindergarten Stakes driving El Nino. It was also the first Group win for Watch Me Now’s Oreti Beach training partnership of Barclay and Tank Ellis. “We’ve liked her from day one. Kerry O’Reilly broke her in and said she was a nice horse.” Southland mares have a great record in the race. Bonnies Chance won it three times in 1980s, Shortys Girl won in 2002 and 2003 and Tact Lizzie won at long odds of 63-1 in 2010. Meanwhile Pembrook Playboy underlined his rising status at last night’s meeting, taking the next step and winning the Group Three Coca Cola Summer Cup. He beat last year’s New Zealand Cup winner Self Assured by the barest of margins. Williamson secured the trail behind pacemaker The Fixer and the entire ran up the passing lane and held out Self Assured by a nose. “I heard Matt Cross say that I got there, but I wasn’t really sure because I couldn’t see that other horse. Were absolutely rapt,” said Williamson. Williamson took his horses north midweek and he said Pembrook Playboy didn’t travel that well. “He’s bit of the bugger not to settle in. He gets a bit worked up when he’s away. He’s good at home as he knows his routine. He seemed a little bit more settled tonight. He’s doing a bit of travelling coming up so we hope that’ll be the making of him.” Prior to last nights Group Three Williamson made sure the Bettor’s Delight entire had his mind on the job, giving him a sharp section in his warm up. “He travelled pretty keenly in the running and was definitely focused, and he dug in well at the finish. When the money is handed out it’s a good habit to get into.” Although last night’s win was up there as a career highlight Williamson said winning the Invercargill Cup is still at the top of the list. At the conclusion of last night’s meeting in Christchurch Williamson was travelling south to Oamaru for the night. It would be an early start to get back home and then into Invercargill for the Riverton Meeting at Ascot Park today. Williamson said last night, “We’ll get him home and get him on the green grass. He tucked up a bit on this trip. We’ll set him for the Northern Southland Cup. I might have him at the Riverton Meeting (4th March) as there’s a Free for All which could be a good leadup.” It was the Bettor’s Delight four year olds eighth career win from fifteen starts and his third in a row. The win elevates him to second behind Copy That in the Four Year Old Diamond for the end of season Harness Jewels. Also at last night’s meeting the Williamson trained Ragazzo Mach ran a gallant second in a high quality R57-R75 pace – a race that included a few New Zealand Derby aspirants. After covering extra ground he came on strongly at the end of the 1980 metre race and got within three quarters of a length of favourite It’s All About The Faith. “He went a great race. He was working the whole way. It was a slick time and he certainly wasn’t disgraced.” Williamson trained trotter Dark Horse also had to settle for second, beaten by Muscle Mountain by half a length. “I think she wasn’t quite at her best without taking anything away from the winner. It was a phenomenal run. He’s the new kid on the block and was pretty impressive.” It’s proving to be a pretty successful season for southern trained horses which we would expect would be reflected at the Sales this week. Click here for full results from last nights Addington meeting   by Bruce Stewart

Southland bred Boots Electric scored an upset win in the Group One $100,000 Four Year Bonanza at Melton in Australia on Saturday night and this is a major boost for Northern Southland breeder Paul Hailes just ahead of next week’s yearling sales. Formally trained by Hailes father in-law Brent McIntyre and owned by his son Cain and Hailes, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding qualified in spectacular fashion this time last year at Wyndham when he won by ten lengths, running the 2400 metre mobile in 2-58.1. Paul and Cain then sold the gelding to clients of Australian trainer Anthony Butt and he’s now won nine of his seventeen starts and banked $119,560. “We were pretty lucky to get the deal done there. He went to Cran’s (Dalgety) for a wee bit. They were intending on giving him a couple of starts over here but Covid came and that never happened,” Paul said. Boots Electric’s other major win this season was in the Group Three VHRC Caduceus Metropolitan Pace Final at Melton. Some large bets were placed on the four year old leading into Saturday night’s feature and his odds which had opened at 101-1 were reduced to 31-1. “I had a wee bet on him but I didn’t break the bank. It was pretty exciting.” His winning time for the 1720 metres was 1-58.9 – a mile rate of 1-51.2. The win qualifies Boots Electric for the Chariots of Fire. Watch the race replay click here! The win was a timely one for Hailes who has a Sweet Lou colt in next week’s NZB National Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. Zamperini is out of Glenburn Joy an American Ideal mare which won two races. Glenburn Joy is a half-sister to Boots Electric. Zamperini is being prepared by Halies father in-law Brent McIntyre at Macca Lodge. “He’s a nice wee guy. He’s not a big horse but he’s athletic and a racy type. They say the smaller Sweet Lous are the good ones.” Glenburn Jewel has two other colts of racing age –  Castledrum, a Captaintreacherous three year old and Redcastle a two year old by Sweet Lou. “We actually haven’t done too much with them yet. Castledrum is quite a big horse so we thought we’d leave him. After the sales are out of the way we might start working on him. We’ll probably bring in the Sweet Lou as well.” Saturday night was the first time Hailes has bred a group one winner. Boots Electric was named by Cain after musician Jesse ‘Boots Electric’ Hughes. Hailes says Glenburn Jewel slipped her Fear The Dragon foal, but is now in foal to Always B Miki while Glenburn Joy is in foal to Betting Line.   by Bruce Stewart

Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson has always had an opinion of Tres Chic and he’s just had to wait to prove his point. The Mach Three mare qualified as a three year old but didn’t race at that age because she kicked a fence and injured the lower part of a leg. As a four year old she raced just twice. “The time out hasn’t done her any harm,” said Anderson who trains the mare with Mike Love. Neither Anderson or Love were on-course today with Anderson recuperating from a recent operation. “I had a few bone chips removed from the knee about six weeks ago. It was a bit of a struggle at the start but I’m going right. It’s a long way to come south and Mikes having a few days off.” Anderson hasn’t worked a horses since his operation and was unable to celebrate because of his medications. “I’ll have to go and have a cup of tea. Mikes been driving her. We’ve changed a few things on her. She’s been going really well but she’s had a few breaks in her races so we had to get to the bottom of that.” Today’s win was the five year olds third, and second on this track. She’s only had eleven career starts and was driven today by junior driver Ellie Barron. “I talked to Ellie this morning and said to her that Tres Chic is a big strong mare. And when they eased the pace she got a lovely trail behind Pay Me Speedy. It was a very good drive and I was very happy with that. It was a very good field today and the horse had to be on her game.” Tres Chic was bred by Lochiel Accountant Stu Gillian who races her in partnership with Anderson. “I played cricket against him but he’s a lot older than me. You can put that in the story (laughter). He used to referee me in rugby. We had a horse called Match Point who did a good job. He’s also had a share in Titan Banner, Eamon Maguire and Spirit Of St Louis.” Anderson says Spirit Of St Louis is now in the Joshua Dickie stable in Auckland and is due to go to the workouts. “There’s nothing down here for him. We’re targeting the New Zealand Messenger and the Noel Taylor Mile.”   by Bruce Stewart

Leithen Burn is one of a handful of quality three year olds racing in the province this season. And judging by his win today at Winton it won’t be his last. Trained by Tony Stratford the Bettors Delight gelding was purchased for $18,000 at the 2018 Autumn Weanling Sale in Auckland when offered by Woodlands Stud. “He took a long time to get gaited up. He never paced when we broke him in but he just gets better and better,” Stratford said. Leithen Burn showed promise when he qualified at Winton in December and in both of his races this season prior to today’s win, he’s raced greenly. “Blair told me we needed to change a few things. He’s a Bettor’s Delight so he’s willing.” In today’s Goodman Plumbing Mobile Pace driver Blair Orange settled Leithen Burn fourth with White Lightning taking up the pacemaker’s role. With 1100 metres to run Orange hooked the three year old out from the running line and took him to the front. He was confident having a good look around inside the 400 metres. Orange just had to rein Leithen Burn up to win by a length and three quarters from Tommy Waterhouse with another three quarters of a length back to first starter Idealism. Early pacemaker White Lightning was thirteen and a quarter lengths back in fourth. “Those Bettors Delights – the harder they go the better they go.” The winning time was 2-56.8 or the 2400 metre mobile. Leithen Burn is owned by the same owners as Pulp Fiction and Lilac Flash with Stratford’s uncle, Alan Steel, heading up the group. Leithen Burn is out of the Mach Three mare Eyecatcher Three whose second dam Atomic Lass is the mother of champion pacer Auckland Reactor, the winner of twenty seven races and almost one and a half million dollars. Also at Winton today Bettors’ Delight filly Bettastar looked like Southland Oaks material when she cleared maiden ranks for trainer driver Nathan Williamson. Bred and raced by Tuapeka Lodge, Bettastar was taken to the lead and held out Endless Dreams by three quarters of a length. The winning time was 1-54.5. Bettastar is out of the three win Christian Cullen mare Petra’s Star who’s the dam of big Australian winner Galactic Star. Tuapeka Lodge is offering a Sweet Lou filly out of Petra’s Star at the yearling sale next week so the win by Bettastar was perfect timing. Southern Harness Chairman Tom Kilkelly shared in the ownership of two winners today with Kase winning his maiden in the hands of co-trainer Kirstin Barclay and Smokin Bandar doing everything right for Kerryn Tomlinson in winning the Enfield Generics Mobile Trot by five and quarter lengths. He ran the mile in 1-57.5. Smokin Bandar trained by Craig Ferguson wins in the Kilkelly colours   -- Bruce Stewart photo Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray scored a double when Peregrine won her maiden trot and Cassius Bromac won his second race for the MCC Syndicate. Flight Crew was just .3 of the second outside Melina Lowe’s New Zealand and Southland record when she won the New World Winton Mobile Pace. The Panspacificflight four year old owned by Katie Williamson and trained and driven by husband Nathan did battle with pacemaker Lynryd Skynryd inside the 400 metres and then had to fight off a late charge from Onesmartfella, to win by half a neck. The winning time was 2-53.9. Meanwhile trials were held at Winton on Friday and it was great to see the fresh faces of the two years olds. Kirk Larsen produced Scarlet Ribbon to win his qualifier over 1609 metres. The Captaintreacherous filly is out of the ten win Washington VC mare Askmenow. She ran second to Rozelski as a two year old in the 2012 Caduceus Club of Southland/Nevele R Fillies Classic at the Northern Southland meeting. Scarlett Ribbon beat another well bred filly in Joyfuldolly by a neck. The winning time was 2-01.8. Bertie Jones set tongues wagging when he won his qualifier in 3-00.8 running his last half in 56.0 seconds. The son of Prodigal Seelster had two and a half lengths to share over Stoneyroyd. Bertie Jones is a member of the Black Watch family and is trained at Wyndham by Gordon and Colin Lee. Quality three year old Ragazzo Mach won his workout beating another quality three year old American Lightning by a length. His winning time was 3-00.7 with the last 800 metres run in an impressive 55.2 and 400 metres in 27.1. He’s down to start next Friday at Addington in the $40,000 Listed Woodlands Stud Sires Stakes Harness ‘7,000’ over 1950 metres.   by Bruce Stewart

Winton horsewoman Julie Baynes-White has been around horses all her life and recently has joined the list of preparers for the National Standardbred Yearling Sales. “I’ve always had dressage horses and bred my own ponies. I’ve been showing horses for about thirty years. All the Standardbred guys didn’t really know who I was,” she said. Baynes-White has certainly made a name for herself in the pony and show horse world. Three of the ponies she’s bred have been champions in their sections at the Horse of the Year Show – Beechcroft Chablis, Beechcroft Socialite, and Beechcraft Playboy. Beechcraft Playboy was the Supreme Champion at the 2016 Canterbury A&P Show. Her hack Villa Maria also won Supreme In-hand at Horse of the Year. “Over the years I’ve bred some top hacks and ponies. Ponies that have gone over to Australia with the New Zealand Showing Team.” Julie grew up on Stoney Creek Station near Mandeville. Her grandfather William McLeod raced gallopers in the 1960’s. She first became involved with Standardbreds when she worked at Colin Baynes at Otama. “I worked with John (Baynes) on the stud and did my apprenticeship there, and then I married Kenny (Baynes).” One of the highlights in her early Standardbred days was seeing Clancy run second in the 1991 New Zealand Cup. The Haughty Romeo gelding was bred by Colin Baynes and owned by members of the Baynes family. At this year’s Christchurch Sale to be held this month Julie has six yearlings on her books and she says she’ll be calling on some of her showing and pony friends to help present her horses. “We’ve got a really good bunch coming up to give us a hand. They’re some of my showing friends and they’re experienced. They know how to walk horses out and how to stand them up which is a big thing when you’re showing them to prospective buyers. The showing game is like prepping young stock for the sales. You make them look good, you cover up faults if you can, make them behave well and feed them well.” At the 2019 sales Julie prepared four colts, all of which have been winners. They were Outamyway (Love You – Do It Your Way), American Dealer (American Ideal – Maddison Delight), Brannigan (American Ideal – Paula’s On Fire) and Luke John (Mach Three – Zenardle). “American Dealer was our favourite. He was such a nice guy to have around. A real tradesman.  Luke John has done such a good job and so has Outamyway.” Since his sale Outamyway has started seven times, winning the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 1 Trot. He was also second in the Group Two Sires Stakes Championship. American Dealer has won seven of his fifteen starts including the Group One Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final and the Group Two Alabar Three Year Old Classic. Luke John has recorded three wins from his twelve starts and he ran third to American Dealer in the Group Two Alabar Three Year Old Classic. Whilst Brannigan (renamed Soho Bob) has won three races as a two year old in Australia. Last year Julie took four yearlings to the sales and reports out of the Brent Mangos stable suggest Lets Fly Together (Art Major – Flying Miss Williams) has a bit of X factor. Baynes-White operates from her property just out of Winton where she’s been for fifteen years, buying the property off Wayne and Lesley Deegan. She runs the property with husband Tim White. “When we came here there was a basic stable block and not a lot of fencing. I’ve put in a few extra sheds, shelter belts, fences and an arena.” The 30 acre property has a 900 metres all-weather track. “It’s a good track to work on with a good camber. This area is also a good producing area. It’s dry because we’re on a river bed.” Tim is a well- known farrier and has trained thirty seven winners in the twenty three seasons he’s held a licence including trotters Perfect Hold (8) and McArthur Park (6). His best two pacers were McBeths Boy (5) and Motu Crusader (4). Motu Crusader went on to win another twenty three races in Australia and ran second in the 2010 Queensland Derby. “I do the horses and Tim looks after the PR.” After the sales Julie will be packing up the float and heading north again for the Horse of the Year. “As soon as I finish the sales we come back and I have a week or ten days off then I’m way back up to Hastings. I’ll take two of mine, (horses) and a couple of friends may come up with me.” This year the stable is taking six standardbred yearlings to the Christchurch sale. 135- One Over Da Line (Majestic Son-One Over Kenny – colt) A bay colt out of the twenty six race winning mare One Over Kenny. She’s been an excellent broodmare leaving seven winners from her seven foals of racing age. One Over Da Line is a full-brother to sixteen win trotter One Over Da Moon which won the Harness Jewels Two Year Old Ruby and the Ashburton Flying Mile. One Over Kenny has also left quality trotter Ultimate Stride the winner of five races and $84,801. One Over The Line            – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders    “He’s a really good type. We’ve had him since he was weaned. We get Lex’s (Williams) yearlings quite early which is great. They get used to our routine. He’s got a purposeful walk which I like. He takes you and you don’t have to drag him. He’s a good size and I think there’ll be quite a bit of interest in him.”   181 – Moment Of What (What The Hill – Moment Of Sun – colt) The first foal out of the six win Love You mare Moment Of Sun. There’s plenty of depth to his pedigree with his third dam Naraya being the mother of Stig, the winner of twenty two races including the Dominion Handicap and Rowe Cup. Moment Of What             – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders “He’s a very good natured horse. He’s well bodied, has a good walk and is very easy to deal with.”   221 – Sweet Woodbine (Sweet Lou – Shezcheaphy – filly) This Sweet Lou filly is the second foal out the two win Royal Mattjesty mare Shezacheapy that Tim and Julie own. There’s plenty of stout staying blood in this family with Holmes Hanover and Plat Du Jour featuring on this filly’s dam side. Sweet Woodbine                              – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders “Right from when she was a foal she stood up and said ‘look at me.’ Clark Barron has her brother by Washington VC which he really likes.”   306 – Ubid Ubuy (Bettor’s Delight – Catalina Banner – filly) This fillies pedigree features the ‘golden cross,’ being by Bettor’s Delight out of a Christian Cullen mare. Ubid UBuy’s third dam is Corporate Banner the dam of Mainland Banner – the New Zealand Cup winner plus winner of sixteen other races. It’s also the family of Rocker Band, Return To Sender and Titan Banner. Ubi Ubuy                   – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders “She’s got the sweetest nature. She’s easy to do anything with. She came in a bit later than the others and is a bit finer.”   342 – Mightyflyin Supastar (Art Major – Fleet’s Pocket – colt) Out of the remarkable producer Fleet’s Pocket this colt is a brother to a host of winners including Flying Pocketlands (21 wins), Mighty Flying Thomas (24 wins) and Mighty Flying Mac (16 wins). This family seems to nick with Art Major and this colt is by that sire. Mightyflyin Supastar                  – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders “He’s super. I really like him. He’s got something about him. When he came here he was little but he’s really blossomed. He’s one of my picks after working with him. He moves really well round the paddock.”   363 – Always In Action (Always B Miki – Heart Stealer – colt) Plenty to like in this colt’s pedigree. His dam is an unraced Bettor’s Delight mare whose mother Fight Fire With Fire (Artiscape) won seven races and $151,656. This family has also produced Mark Dennis (46 wins) and Elle Mac the winner of twelve races. Always In Action         – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders “He’s quite an athletic type. He’s a bit smaller but zooms round the paddock. He’s got a nice way of going and he’ll fill out to be a nice colt.” Buyers can view Julie’s yearlings on Monday 8th February between 6:30pm and 6:55pm at 41 Substation Road Winton.   by Bruce Stewart

Pembrook Playboy’s star is well and truly on the rise. With two Group harness racing wins in his last two starts he’s already being talked about as a potential New Zealand Cup runner next season. After a great beginning in today’s Ascot Park Hotel Invercargill Cup Nathan Williamson settled the entire in third place as Franco Santino took over the pacemakers role. With 1600 metres to run Williamson came off the inside running line and took Pembrook Playboy to the front. “I thought the opportunity was there to take the lead and then they have to come and get you. He’s never been beaten when he’s been in front. He travelled lovely throughout and dropped the bit when he got to the lead. I think it was the right move,” Williamson said. Henry Hubert began to put pressure on Pembrook Playboy inside the last 600, and the second favourite The Fixer was on Henry Hubert’s back. Williamson had a quick peek inside the last 400 metres knowing  his horse was still travelling well within himself. Driven out,  Pembrook Playboy responded. “He actually pulled up in the home straight. He just knocked off once he sprinted clear. Luckily he’s so quick he put a bit of a gap on them and he was good enough to hold on.” The winning time was 3-20.2 just outside Robyns Playboy’s track record of 3-19.8. The time was a new race record, bettering Dadndave’s 3-22.9 recorded last season. This is the second year the race has been run over 2700 metres. The closing splits 54.4 from the 800 metres, and 26.3 from the 400 metres, made it too hard for his rivals to chase him down. The Fixer got closest, a length and a quarter away in second, with Henry Hubert another length and a half away for third. The win was the first for a Southland trained horse since 2016 when Costa Del Magniifico won the feature. “It was a massive thrill winning the race. I’ve made Southland my home for the last ten, twelve years. I’ve always thought it’s the biggest race in our province to win,” said Williamson. Williamson, who only arrived home from driving at Addington at 4.00am this morning says Pembrook Playboy has grown up in the last few months and backing him up after his Central Otago win was not a problem. “He’s so much more mature now. Since Cup Week he’s come on leaps and bounds. I’m looking forward to giving him a few more trips away.  He’s definitely a better horse than he was three months ago.” Pembrook Playboy is owned by Chris Alcock and has now won eight of his fifteen starts and has banked over $80,000. Chris Alcock holding the Invercargill Cup with Chairman of the ILT Alan Dennis       – Photo Bruce Stewart Williamson says the horse will start next in the $30,000 Group Three Summer Cup at Addington in a fortnight. The race is run over 1950 metres under free for all conditions. His travelling companion will be Ragazzo Mach who will line up in the Listed Woodlands Stud Sires Stakes Harness 7000. It’s  worth $40,000.   by Bruce Stewart

Branxholme trainer Alister Black is running hot at the moment, winning three  races at the Invercargill Cup Meeting at Ascot Park today. Zaccy Mac got the ball rolling. Having his second start, he beat Beauty Barry by a length and a quarter in the Beach Road Holiday Park Mobile Pace. “I was pretty happy with his run at Winton. Nathan (Williamson) came back in and said if the horse had got a go he would have run in the first six,” Black said. Driver Matty Williamson settled the Net Ten EOM gelding just beyond midfield on the outside running line before improving to sit parked with a lap to run. “I said to Matty today not to be frightened to send him (forward). He just lacks that bit of high speed so he took the speed out of them down the back, so it couldn’t have worked out better.” With 600 metres to run Williamson served it up to pacemaker Beauty Barry and finished the race off too well. Zaccy Mac was bred by Brent McIntyre at Macca Lodge and is named after his grandson Zac. He’s out of the Falcon Seelster mare Lillian which was bred by Tuapeka Lodge. The gelding is raced by the Thomson brothers Lindsay and Ian, who raced Lawrence, a half-brother to Zaccy Mac. Winners circle, pretty relaxed.                  --Photo Bruce Stewart Three races later Wai Key Wee won his second race from as many starts in the hands of Blair Orange. By The Pres, the four year old began well and with two laps to run Orange took Wai Key Wee to the front. There he stayed, winning by a length and a quarter from early pacemaker Steve. “He’s got beautiful manners. He hasn’t really learned his trade yet. It’ll come. Being out of a Sundon mare, I’ve just let him find his way. Blair said he had plenty left,” Black said. It was the gelding’s second win for his owners Art Shirley, Paul McEntyre and the estates of KJ Egerton and RD Hampton. “It’s hard in Southland. They just get handicapped out of it. We’ll try and find a penalty free race now.” Normally Oamaru driver Brad Williamson would be at the reins for Black but he’s in Australia looking to win Group races with Majestic Man. “I hope he drives a couple of Group Ones over there because he’s missed out on about six winners so far. Hat’s off to him to be going.” Later in the day Black made it three winners for the day when the highly talented Keep On Dreaming won his second race in two starts. The Better’s Delight showed just how green he is, goofing around a bit while challenging for the lead with 1600 metres to run. The win was one of two for Matty Williamson who is in a hot vein of form at the moment too, winning four races at Forbury Park on Thursday. Keep On Dreaming is also owned by Lindsay and Ian Thomson and looks to be a leading candidate for the end of season Southern Supremacy Stakes. Meanwhile Boarding Pass won for Kennington trainer Greg Hunter . She won the first race on Cup day in the hands of Craig Ferguson.   by Bruce Stewart

Michelle Caig has been in the Standardbred industry for twenty five years and has experience of highs and lows that come with selling yearlings at the sales. She’s fought a few battles in that time, but her upbringing has certainly made her resilient. “I’ve come from pretty much doing. I went to eleven different schools and lived in twenty eight houses; living in State Houses and off Birthright. I never dreamt I’d own the land that I’ve got or have the horses I’ve got,” she said. Over the years she developed a critical eye for horse flesh and started to hone those skills as a judge at the show pony section of local shows. “I initially plaited horses up for the late Paul Browman and attended the national yearling sales in Christchurch for twenty three years. I’ve only missed two sales in that time.” The first mare Michelle bought was Mitequila, an Andrel mare out of the four win Transport Chip mare Trist Mist which was raced in Southland by Terry Stumbles, Peter Donaldson, Ian Donaldson and Noel Eade. She won four races from eighteen starts for Wyndham trainer Gary McEwan. Michelle bred her first foal by Courage Under Fire out of the mare. Named Mistefire, he was her first sales yearling in 2005 and was bought by Tim Butt for $30,000. Most of her success at the sales in twenty three years has been with yearling out of Sundon trotting mare Sun Mist a daughter of champion trotting mare Merenai. She leased Sun Mist in 2010 after she’d answered an advertisement in the Harness Racing Weekly. “She had a terrible reputation as been cantankerous. They paid $38,000 for her at the yearling sales. She was trained by Geoff Small and used to stop the jogger. She just didn’t want to be a race horse so they sent her to Michelle Hackett’s on the beach. Most horses love the straight line training. She used to get up to the point where they turned around and she’d lie down.” Sun Mist was promptly sent to stud and when she was leased by Caig she’d already left Sonofanearl. Over the years Caig has bred Rosemma (10 wins), Stuey D (12 wins), October Rain (5 wins), He’s Like The Wind (6 wins), Shes Like The Wind (1 win), Dreamsinthemist, Leaf Stride (2 wins) and her weanling colt by Pegasus Spur was sold late last year for $25,000 to Neville Cleaver and is with Southland trainer Nathan Williamson. In total, Sun Mist from nine foals that have raced, has left the winners of seventy four races. Australians Sue and Mike McGuire have been great supporters of Sun Mist’s progeny, buying Pretty Sunday and Rosemma. They’ve raced both successfully in Australia and are now breeding from the pair. They’ve been given good chances to succeed with Pretty Sunday producing foals by Angus Hall, Majestic Son and Father Patrick while Rosemma has two foals by Majestic Son. Caig is also breeding from one of Sun Mist’s daughters Shes Like The Wind, who’s in foal to Pegasus Spur. “She (Shes Like The Wind) won in track record time at Omakau at her first start and hit the mobile arm at her third start in the Southland Trotting Oaks. She never wanted to be a race horse after that. She just got herself so upset when she got onto the track.” Unfortunately two fillies by Sun Mist had to be put down. This season she hoped, like a host of trotting breeders, to be able to send Sun Mist to Bold Eagle. “I waited for the semen but it hasn’t come. It’s coming next year so she’s booked in. I had her served by What The Hill but I don’t know whether she’s in foal. She’s getting older and didn’t get in foal last season so it’s a bit of a challenge.” At the end of her breeding career Michelle was also given Merinai. “I met John Bedwell at Alexandra Park one night through my wonderful friend Neil Pilcher. We got talking about yearlings and mares and he realised that I had Sun Mist, a daughter of Merinai. She (Merinai) was at Woodlands Stud on a three year lease. John offered the mare to me and I said yes.” Merinai Caig only managed to get one foal out of Merinai – Master Merlin, which won one race for Arna Donnelly. Merinai was served by Angus Hall, Majestic Son, Pegasus Spur and The Pres between 2014 and 2017 but never got in foal. She died in 2019. Although Merinai had moderate success at stud her daughters lead by Sun Mist are doing an excellent job at stud. Madam Spur won five races and has left two foals by What The Hill. Owned by Woodland Stud they’re offering an unnamed yearling filly at the Auckland sale next month. Miss Pegasus won nine races. She’s the dam of the highly promising Miss Crazed which has won three races from eleven starts. A yearling colt by What The Hill out of Miss Pegasus is also in the Auckland sale. Classic Armbro was the winner of two races. As a broodmare she’s left Sertorius, the winner of ten, Tailored Elegance which won four including the Southland Trotting Oaks, and the promising I See Fire which has won two of his six starts for Tony Herlihy. Michelle has been at her Price Road property for sixteen years, where she runs her mares and prepares her yearlings. She built a new house on the property and then subdivided the house and two acres, retaining the stable block and the balance of the land. “It’s really good land. I’ve got a bit of iron in my bore. You can’t drink the bore water out of the ground but the horses do really really well on it. If I have a really good sale this year I’ll build another house.” Michelle is taking four yearlings to the Christchurch Sale next month including a Pegasus Spur colt out of the Lindy Lane mare City Lane. Lindy Lane won seven races, competing in Victoria and New South Wales and has left Australasian Breeders Crown winner Our Renezmae and Saratoga, the winner of seven races. Lot 165 – Pegasus Spur – City Lane “He’s the nicest type that City Lane has had. Renezmae was pretty and feminine whereas this yearling is a real boy. He’s got a nice bright eye and he just trots around the paddock. He’s a lot like his mother and runs along with his head out like Speeding Spur. He’s easy to get along with and he’ll be a two year old.” The first pacing yearling she’ll be leading into the sales ring is a filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of Christian Cullen mare Sonjador. This is the family that’s left quality pacing stock including millionaire pacer Holmes DG which won twenty two, and Giovanetto the winner of eighteen races including the Welcome Stakes at two, Southern Supremacy Stakes at three and Superstars Four Year Old Championship. Lot 228 Rock N Roll Heaven – Sonjador “John Curtin really likes her. She can get a bit toey but every time you get her in she’s just getting better and better. She’s a lovely long rangy filly and I bet she can run. It’s an old family so why not a Rock N Roll Heaven filly out of a Christian Cullen mare?” She’ll also be presenting an Art Major colt out of the Life Sign mare Zoe’s Charm. He too is out of the family that has left Holmes DG and Giovanetto. Lot 269 Art Major – Zoe’s Charm “He’s just got better and better. He could go through the ring now. He’s got a bit of Art Major in him but he’s stunning. He’s big and strong and could make a late two year old.” Her final yearling is the second lot on Day Two of the sale. He’s a colt by Sweet Lou out of the Grinfromeartoear mare Chloe Finn whose second dam is the tough Holmes Hanover mare Chloe Hanover which won eleven races and was named Four Year Old Pacing Mare of the Year in 1999-2000. Lot 307 Sweet Lou – Chloe Finn “They reckon the smaller Sweet Lou colts are the better ones and he fits into that bracket. I love him. I trimmed his ears the other day without the twitch which never happens so he’s pretty sensible. He’ll be tough because he comes from a tough family.” Caig like all breeders, goes into the Christchurch sale with a good level of hope that her yearlings will attract plenty of buyer interest. She’s hoping those house plans can be implemented. “I’m not one that requires the glory. It’s just a nice feeling to know that you’ve done it.” Buyers can see Michelle Caig’s yearlings on Monday 8th February between 7:00pm and 7:20pm at 110 Price Road Winton.   by Bruce Stewart

Although it’s early days, the race is on for the Southland Horse of the Year title and Pembrook Playboy continues to stake his claim for the prestigious award that will be announced at the end of the harness racing season. With the likes of Vintage Cheddar, Watch Me Now and rising star Ragazzo Mach also in the frame, the Group Three win in the Central Otago Trotting Cup run at Winton yesterday was an important step for Pembrook Playboy in order to be in the frame for the title. The pacing feature at the Winton track yesterday for the second time in as many years, was not held at Omakau. Unfortunately the Ricky May incident halted the feature last year and this year the Omakau meeting was abandoned because of heavy rain. Yesterday’s Cup wasn’t without a small dollop of drama either,  as Pembrook Playboy cast a shoe and had to be reshod before the start. “He handled that well. He was better out there than he is here (stables) because he can get worked up around other horses,” said trainer driver Nathan Williamson. Once underway Pembrook Playboy showed he was in the zone early. “The plan wasn’t to go forward. He was quite keen off the gate.” The Robert Dunn trained pair Henry Hubert and Classie Brigade took up the early running with Henry Hubert taking the lead and Classie Brigade slotting into the trail. “We got squeezed up early and ended up three back. I always knew we were going to get a good run behind Classie Brigade.” Inside the last 400 metres the small field was compressed with runners starting to improve around the outside and Pembrook Playboy was shuffled back to last on the inside. “I thought Classie was just going to shoot through but he just went through the gap okay. I really wanted to follow him through and come off his back.” Williamson followed Classie Brigade through but had to wait for a tiring Henry Hubert before getting a clear run to the finish line. By that stage it looked as if Classie Brigade and Watch Me Now were going to fight out the finish with most of the crowd and the course commentator thinking Classie Brigade had the win. “I just got out so late. I wasn’t sure whether I got there but it was good – we got the money.” Pembrook Playboy was coming so fast the winning margin ended up being a half a head. The win was the four year old entire’s seventh in fourteen starts and the most important to date for Invercargill owner Chris Alcock. Williamson with owner Chris Alford (right) and his daughter Justine       --Bruce Stewart photo “You couldn’t get a better owner. We’ve had our setbacks like you do with horses and it’s never been a problem.” Williamson says the Invercargill Cup at the end of the month and the Summer Cup at Addington are the next targets for the Better’s Delight entire. Later in the programme exciting three year old Ragazzo Mach blitzed a field of R56 and R70 pacers, winning the Fairbairn Plumbing Mobile Pace by nine and three quarter lengths. Owned by Neville Cleaver the son of Mach Three ran the 2400 metre mobile on an easy track in 2-58.2. In his first season of racing for Nathan Williamson he’s won five of his six starts.   by Bruce Stewart

She has a number of false starts on her score card but trainer Clark Barron has never gave up hope on Washington VC mare Omaggio. “One day we thought she’d get it right. We had her in the Ladyship at Invercargill and she ran a very good third,” he said. Yesterday’s Ladyship final at Winton was a tough ask with outstanding filly Better’s Tart, Wattlebank Star and Seventh Heaven among the opposition. But the four year old showed her toughness and took out the $12,000 feature. “The harder the run the better and that’s what happened today. Perhaps the weather helped us a wee bit and a few of the favourites had hard runs. The slowest part of the race was the last bit and we knew she’d keep going.” Omaggio is out of ten win mare Whanau whose wins include the 2002 Group One Nevele R Fillies Final.  Whanau’s best foal has been Mabrook which won twenty races – nineteen in Australia. “She (Omaggio) was very slow to mature. All the rest of Whanau’s progeny showed something as late two year olds or three year olds. Although Omaggio had ability we just had to wait on her.” Barron said Whanau had to be put down during lockdown last year. “She got a bad parrot mouth and the condition fell off her. Her last foal is a colt by Always B Miki.” Today’s win was Omaggio’s first in ten starts. “It’s quite a good maiden win when it’s a $12,000 race. She’ll just race through the grades now.” Omaggio is raced by Miracle Lodge which consist of Barron and Eric Parr. Barron is credited with introducing the idea of Ladyship Finals to the province so it was fitting that a horse he trained won the fillies and mares feature today. “He (Parr) raced gallopers and we were talking and he told me they could win a maiden race and then have a crack at a $20,000 race. That’s how I got the idea for these races. We’re not racing for that much though.” Barron says the concept has also found favour with punters. “These races are always the best betting races on the day.” Barron’s daughter Ellie drove Omaggio. Meanwhile Branxholme trainer Alister Black uncovered another quality horse when he produced first starter Keep On Dreaming to win the PGG Wrightson Mobile easily by two and a half lengths. Owned by Lindsay and Ian Thomson the three year old looks like Southern Supremacy Stakes material.   Bruce Stewart

“We’ve decided to pull the pin. It’s pretty emotional,” said Geoff Knight after Deus Ex won today’s Northern Southland Summer Cup at Ascot Park. The fifth favourite got back early for regular pilot Matty Williamson before he made a lightning move and took up the leader’s role. He hung on to beat favourite Watch Me Now by a neck. “He’s a good horse and I said to Matty don’t be unlucky.” It was fitting that Williamson was the driver for the win. “We’ve trained 250 odd winners and he’s driven over 200 of them for us. He’s been so loyal from the time he was a kid. He’s part of the family.” Geoff started training in 1987 and had thirty six winners in his own right before Jude came into the partnership in 2010. Their biggest winner was Pembrook’s Delight in the Group One Four Year Old Diamonds at Cambridge in 2012. Geoff says he and Jude will carry on with the Rural Mail Run and are still breeding horses. “We’re going to take life a bit easier. Matty’s going to train Deus Ex and a few of the others. Instead of sending out the bills we’re going to be paying them. I’m sure I’ll miss it, particularly the people, because the people are everything. I’m still on the board of Southern Harness and the Horseman’s Association. Jude’s good with it. She said it had to be my decision because it’s been my passion.” Although Pembrook’s Delight holds a special place in the couple’s training career Deus Ex also rates highly. “I’ve always said that this horse from the age of three could be the best horse I’ve trained. I don’t think I’ve had any other horses including Trojan and Pembrook’s Delight that could have done what he did today so that backs my judgement.” And who knows they could be back at some stage. “I’m not selling all my gear.”   Bruce Stewart 

1 to 16 of 301
1 2 3 4 5 Next »