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Southland’s Harness Awards were presented tonight (Sunday) at a Gala dinner at Ascot Park Hotel. Unbeaten first season pacer U May Cullect took out the prestigious Horse of the Year title for owner Tom Kilkelly and trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis. The six year old is back in work and expected to return to the race track in early October. Gore trainer Ross Wilson won the Achievement of the Year award. Wilson’s stable star Robyns Playboy won six races and ran an excellent third at the end of season Harness Jewels. Christian Dreamer, owned by Vin and Daphne Devery, took out the Southland Broodmare of the Year. Amazing Dream was the mare’s outstanding performer on the track this season banking $205,467. Winter Rose was added to the Elite Broodmares Honours Board while a special award was presented to Charlie and Ailsa Smaill, owners of the prolific broodmare Janine Jaccka which has left the winners of 46 races. Southland’s leading Junior Driver Ellie Barron received an Excellence Award for her involvement as an Ambassador in the Women’s Cancer Fundraiser Team Teal. Contribution Awards were received by long time administrator and breeder Brendan Fahy and the Southland Kidz Karts group.   Here are all the winners:   Washington VC – Bryleigh Stud Southland Broodmare of the Year   Christian Dreamer (Christian Cullen – Dreamy Atom) Owners: Vin and Daphne Devery.   The dam of four horses to race this season, all winners. Catch The Dream (2) $19,070. Amazing Dream (3) $205,467 including wins in the Listed NZ Yearling Sale Two Year Old. Fillies Final, First in the Group One Caduceus Two Year Old Fillies Classic, Second in the Group One NZ Sires Stakes Two Year Old Fillies Championship and third in both the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic and Group One Two Year Old Diamond. Dream Major (1) $8,120. Chase The Dream - Now the winners $560,036 and 20 races in New Zealand, Australia and America.   Southland Harness Awards – Night N Day Southland Horse of the Year   U May Cullect - Owner: Tom Kilkelly. Recorded a new track and Southland mobile record at Winton for four year old and older geldings and entires over 1609 metres of 1-52.1. Unbeaten in his first seven races including the Listed Uncut Gems at Addington for geldings and entires and the Bluff Cup. NZB Standardbred Southland Achievement of the Year   Ross Wilson 2018- 2019 training stats: 162-15-17-15 $174,034 UDR .2357. Trained Southland leading stakes earning pacer Robyns Playboy which ran third in the $150,000 Group One Three Year Old Emerald . Recorded his 100th training win during the season when Bridesdale Robyn won at Gore. Biggest winners: Robyns Playboy (6), Bridesdale Robyn (4) and Annie Fitz (3). Elite Broodmare   Winter Rose (In The Pocket – Bella Chip) – Owner: John and Judy Stiven All of her ten foals of racing age have qualified with eight winning races. Her foals have won 47 races and $1,578,177. 2012 Southland Broodmare of the Year Award. 2014-2015 New Zealand Harness Racing Broodmare Excellence Award. Her biggest winner have been: Bettor’s Strike (16) $890,201, Southwind Arden (9) $150,127, Arden’s Choice (7) $282,296 and Rocknroll Arden (6) $172,154. Winter Roses fillies are now leaving winners – South Beach Arden (out of South Wind Arden -2 ) and Pearl Harbour (out of Arden Caviar -1).   Other Awards:   Special Broodmare Award   Janine Jaccka (Sundon – Spiritual Powers) –Owners: Charlie and Ailsa Smaill. All of her seven foals of racing age have qualified and won races. Her foals have won a total of 46 races. In all, Janine Jaccka’s foals have won $528,168. Her biggest winners have been Jaccka Jack (14) $138,746, Jaccka Justy (13) $235,467, Jen Jaccka (9) $81,473 and Jess Jaccka (5) $35,835. Southland Harness Racing Award of Excellence: Ellie Barron   Contribution to Harness Racing Recipients: BJ Fahy. Kidz Kartz Southland.   Southland’s Leading Drivers of Trotters: Nathan Williamson (16).   Southland Harness Awards – Two Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year: Cassius Bromac – MCC Syndicate; Trainer: BR Gray.   SSB Trophy (Leading Stake Earners 2018-2019): Three Year Old Filly: Allaboutdreams (M &Mrs S Little and BR Gray). Aged Race Mare: I’mallaboutthebase (SR & Mrs CJL Baucke).   New Zealand Record Holders: Melina Lowe (PD & BD Duffy) 2-53.6 2400 metres mobile 08/09/2018 – Winton. Please Shuddup (Tricode Syndicate, Tricode Number Two Syndicate and Dolce Syndicate) 2-53.3 2400 metre mobile 16/12/2018 – Winton.   SSB Fastest Mile Rate Filly/Mare 2018-2019 Shezacullengirl (M & Mrs S Little, Havtime Breeding Limited – Trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis 1-53.1 31/01/2019 – Wyndham.   1-58.0 Pins Better Galleon (CJ Murdoch, RE Wilson)               28/10/2018 Invercargill  1.57.8. English Rose (SWR Gillan) 14/09/2018 Auckland 1.57.8. Grace Burns (T Kilkelly) 08/09/2018 Winton 1.55.8. Honor And Glory (NJ & Mrs DC Cournane) 23/11/2018 Invercargill 1.57.3. Kilowatt Kid (LF Thomson, IG Thomson)               28/10/2018 Invercargill  1.56.7. Mach’s Back (MJ Little)  31/01/2019 Wyndham 1.52.5. Melina Lowe (P Duffy)  08/09/2018 Winton 1.56.4. Mossdale Art (AG Affleck) 16/12/2018 Winton 1.52.5. Mossdale Rose (AG Affleck) 22/10/2018               Ashburton 1.54.2. Mr Kiwi (BL & Mrs KE Calder) 23/11/2018 Invercargill 1.57.9. Rockabilly Blues (FJ & Mrs KV Price) 18/11/2018 Wyndham 1.55.6. Shezacullengirl (MJ Little) 16/12/2018 Winton 1.55.0. U May Cullect (T Kilkelly) 23/03/2019 Wairio 1.52.1. Vintage Cheddar (LF Thomson, IG Thomson) 17/05/2019 NZ Metro 1.55.0.   Robin Dundee Club Three Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year: Robyns Playboy: Owner: SR Wilson Trainer: SR Wilson.   Robin Dundee Club Three Year Old Filly of the Year: Swift Robyn: Owners: SR Wilson, R & Mrs HF Wilson Trainers; SR Wilson.   Caduceus Club of Southland Trotter of the Year: King Cassidy – CP Gerken, TR Davies, Miss TL Ashton Trainer: BR Gray.     Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The Ivan Court trained Silk cleared maiden ranks at her sixth start at Gore today. The four year old Sir Lincoln mare has been placed in four of her first five starts and the win was overdue. Court said the mare can be a bit of a handful and she has got keen in some of her previous starts. She’s out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Brunswick which was unplaced in eight starts for Court. He said he was confident he’d get a win both days when he took the mare to Nelson in June, but she was unlucky on both days finishing third and fourth. At her last start at Addington she broke during the score up and missed the start by six lengths before driver Robbie Holmes took her to the lead with a lap to run. She was run down, finishing second by three quarters of a length. Silk winning her first race at Gore today                            - Photo Bruce Stewart Silk is likely to have a short break and be given light cart work to help settle her for her next set of race starts. Court predicts a good future for Silk. He says she’ll be aimed at the $15,000 Ladyship Final which will be held on the Gore track on the 12th October. Court has a Terror To Love gelding out of the mare which he says runs along nicely but is on the small side. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Local mare Elva Jaccka won her fourth race for owners Charlie and Alisa Smaill and trainer Brett Gray. The Tintin In America six year old hadn’t been sighted at early season workouts but Gray said her work during the week indicated she’d perform well today. Elva Jaccka easily                      - Photo Bruce Stewart After the early rush driver Brent Barclay had to settle Elva Jaccka three back on the inside as Star Ruler shot to the lead. At the 350 Barclay was able to move off the inside running line and was up quickly to challenge a tiring Star Ruler. Elva Jaccka just needed encouraging in the run home and Barclay didn’t have to activate the hood. The winning margin was four and three quarters of a length and her time for the 2200 metres of 2-46.6 was the fastest of the day. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Bettor’s Delight gelding Willison cemented his place in the first Nuggets Final when he won the Barclay-Ellis Racing Mobile Pace. From a second row draw driver Sam Ottley settled Willison fourth last on the outside. With just over a lap to run Ottley decided to move forward and he flushed out third favourite Leap Of Faith. Ottley was left three wide when Leap Of Faith got to the lead inside the 600. But he didn’t panic and waited just before straightening up before pulling the ear plugs. The gelding gave plenty to wear down Leap Of Faith and won by a neck. Jones says he’s a typical Bettors Delight: tough. Willison beating Leap Of Faith                  - Photo Bruce Stewart  The three year old is out of Classical Art which won five races here as a three year old for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen before heading to Australia. She won another seven races in Australia before being sent to stud. Willison is her first foal. Jones bought the horse at the Australian Sales and says he’s currently the pick of his three year olds. He’s owned by a host of owners whose names were all crammed into the race book. The first Nuggets Final will be held at the Northern Southland meeting on 5th October and is worth $15,000. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Well bred Spirit Of St Louis qualified nicely at Gore today. The three year old gelding by Sweet Lou is trained by Graeme Anderson and was bred by Trevor Casey who shares in the ownership with some of Anderson’s regular clients including Pauline Gillan, Steve Pulley and Ray Chaklin. That trio also have shares in Eamon Maguire. Spirit Of St Louis is out of the Art Major mare Spirit Of Art whose first foal Dracarys has won ten races in West Australia including the Group Three Two Year Old Gold Bracelet at Gloucester Park. Spirit Of St Louis with Mathew Williamson qualifying at Gore today       - Photo Bruce Stewart   Bruce Stewart

Majestic Rose provided Hilderthorpe trainer Kerry Kelly with her first winner. The Majestic Son mare was having her twenty fourth start today and her second for this season. She was four wide going into the first turn before driver Mathew Williamson took her to the lead. She then handed up to Barham Belle. Williamson took the passing lane when the field turned in and held on to beat a late run from Justan’s Sister. She took the race by a neck. Kelly who first had a license in 1984, bought Majestic Rose from the yearling sales in 2016 for $8,000. “She was my first purchase at the yearling sales and I have no idea why I bought her. I just liked her,” she said.  “I’ve dabbled with horses for donkeys years but we had a house fire and had four young kids so we put the horses on the back burner. Because my husband (Bruce) is now retired we decided to go for it again. We enjoy it.” In the 1980s Kelly worked for Ray Wilkie and Ron Carter at Forbury Park and later for Oamaru trainer Clarrie Woodward. One of her first horses was Casey’s Chance (Jack Chance – Casey Girl). From seventeen starts his best placing was third at Forbury Park in April 1985 when driven by junior driver Ray Faithful. “He (Casey’s Chance) had accidents and only had one good leg.” Majestic Rose’s dam Duchess won once and is out of Sunvette which left the handy trotter Mountbatten – the winner of eight races.  Kelly says Majestic Rose is a flighty mare who has a few tricks. “That’s why I like to stick with one driver. She’s a bit of a problem child at times and you have to be careful when you’re shoeing her. Her favourite trick is rearing up in the air, slamming down on the over check snapping the middle of the harness. She also likes to swing sideways. That’s why she’s got full winkers and a hood on.” Majestic Rose (8) beating Justan's Sister (6)           - Photo Bruce Stewart  Kelly says the mare likes to keep moving while around at the start. “If you stand her still you’re asking for big problems. Any time the starter says ‘right’ or blows his whistle she’ll go in the air.” Kelly currently has five horses in work including Iron Woman which ran seventh today. She’s worked for most of her life on dairy farms while husband Bruce has been a chef. They jog their horses on a small clay track and float them to the Oamaru track which is only 1.5 k’s away for fast work.   Bruce Stewart

The Southland Harness Awards will celebrate a season of successes at the Ascot Park Hotel on Sunday 11th August. The night will be hosted by former Trackside presenter Jess Smith with the awards putting the spotlight on our best broodmares, horses, drivers, trainers, junior drivers, contributor’s, personalities and owners. Categories and contenders include: Washington VC – Bryleigh Stud Southland Broodmare of the Year   Touch of Rose (Mach Three – Rose Sand) Owner: Kelvin Reed The dam of three winners in the 2018-2019 season:  Ferritt’s Sister (3) $36,145 Fiery Ferret (2) $17,725 The Ideal Touch (1) $13,885 The Ideal Touch finished 4th in the Two Year Old Emerald at the Harness Jewels.   Chicago Blues (Christian Cullen – Bluejeanbabyqueen) Owners: John Price, Mrs. Katrina Price, Roger Price and Mrs. Helen Price. Dam of three horses to race this season which won a total of 15 races and $262,048 in the season under review. Chicago Bull won nine races, earned $186,473 and also won two Group Two races. Rockabilly Blues ($37,880 1-55.6) and Perfect Stride ($37,695 1.56.1) each winners of three races.   Christian Dreamer (Christian Cullen – Dreamy Atom) Owners: Vin and Daphne Devery The dam of two horses to race this season which won a total of $224,537. Catch The Dream (2) $19,070. Amazing Dream (3) $205,467 including wins in the Listed NZ Yearling Sales Two Year Old Fillies Final, and the Group One Caduceus Two Year Old Fillies Classic. She was second in the Group One NZ Sires Stakes Two Year Old Fillies Championship and third in both the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic and Group One Two Year Old Diamond.   Robyn Maree (Holmes Hanover – Maree Robyn) Owner: Ross Wilson The dam of two horses to race in the 2018-2019 season Robyns Playboy (6) $73,219. Rake (3) $25,615.     Southland Harness Awards – Night N Day - Southland Horse of the Year   Get Lucky - Owners: Ian and Lindsay Thomson Broke the Gore track and Southland trotter’s record for three year old colts and geldings for 2200 metre stand, recording 2-52.8. Southlands leading stakes earning trotter this season banking $76,976. Won the Listed PPG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Three Year Old Final.   I’mallaboutthebase - Owners: Steve and Carol Baucke Won three races during the season including the Listed Uncut Gem Mares Classic at Addington.   Vintage Cheddar - Owners: Ian and Lindsay Thomson The winner of five races during the season including two on premier nights at Addington.   Sagwitch - Owners: Paul Matheson, Mrs Nancy Matheson and Syd Breen. Won the 2019 Southland Country Cups series with 94 points. Won three races in the 2018-2019 season including the Winton and Wyndham Cups.   U May Cullect - Owner: Tom Kilkelly Recorded a new track and Southland mobile record at Winton for four year old and older geldings and entires over 1609 metres of 1-52.1. Won his first seven races including the Listed Uncut Gems at Addington for geldings and entires.   Robyns Playboy – Owner: Ross Wilson Recorded a new Wyndham track and Southland mobile record for three year old colts and geldings over 2400 metres of 2-53.0. This time was also a new all-comers track and Southland record. Southland leading trained pacer earning $70,299. Won the $20,000 Super Nuggets Final.   NZB Standardbred Southland Achievement of the Year nominations   Syd Breen 2018- 2019 training stats: 102-17-13-7 $137,299 - UDR .2603. Recorded his best ever training season with seventeen wins. Trained the winner of the Southland Country Cups competition Sagwitch. Biggest winners: Santanna’s Rocket (4), Mucho Macho Man (4), Lorretta Franco (3) and Sagwitch (3).   Kirstin Barclay and Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis 2018- 2019 training stats: 258-38-40-31 $372,919 - UDR .2703. Leading Southland trainers for the 2018-2019 season with 38 winners in their first season of training in partnership. Seventh on the national training premiership and fifth in the South Island premiership. Biggest winners: U May Cullect (7), Wee Man Trouble (5) and Paddyproudfoot (4)   Alister Black 2018- 2019 training stats: 46-13-7-3 $168,626 - UDR .3889. The highest ranked Southland UDR trainer with a rating of .3889. Fourth on the national UDR list of trainers with 10 or more winners behind Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Barry Purdon and Mitchell Kerr. Biggest winners: Vintage Cheddar (5) and Get Lucky (4). Won his first black type race during the season (PPG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Three Year Old Final.)   Ross Wilson 2018- 2019 training stats: 162-15-17-15 $174,034 - UDR .2357. Trained Southland leading stakes earning pacer Robyns Playboy. Recorded his 100th training win during the season when Bridesdale Robyn won at Gore. Biggest winners: Robyns Playboy (6), Bridesdale Robyn (4) and Annie Fitz (3).   Best of luck to all on the night.  Tickets for the Southland Harness Awards are still available on-line https://forms.gle/gWyNZ7bAKhMsibda7     Bruce Stewart

One of the reasons behind the success of the latest Southland pacing star U May Cullect is Gore born Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis and the beach training he puts into the harness racing gelding. Ellis trains the gelding in partnership with Kirstin Barclay but prefers to let Barclay deal with all the media attention the pacer's attracting. Undoubtedly Ellis, and his team of helpers who operate out at the Oreti Beach arm of the operation have played a big part in getting U May Cullect to where he is at the moment. Ellis has been in the harness game a fair while having started out with Winton trainer Owen Cameron. “I played for Woodlands (Rugby Club) in the under 18s and a fella called Roy Sloan worked for Owen. I was working at the Makarewa Freezing Works in the season and doing a bit of rousing in the off season. Owen was involved in a race day crash and Roy, who was at practice that night wanted someone to do the boxes so that’s how I got started. Roy ended up leaving so I took over his job,” Ellis said. After doing his time with Cameron he joined up with Graeme Anderson who at the time was exporting race horses to Australia. Ellis took the opportunity to head across the ditch initially on holiday before it turned into work. “I was with Greg Harpur for eight years. I travelled all over the place with Jay Bee’s Fella (including) the Miracle Mile and Interdominions. He was the best horse I’d had anything to do with as far as speed goes until U May Cullect.” Jay Bee’s Fella qualified for Blake Eskdale and won his first start at Winton in March 1985 after which he was sold to Harpur. He did return to New Zealand a couple of times during his career, winning the Lion Red Semi Final at the end of March 1987 before winning the $200,000 final a week later, beating another Southland pacer Lord Lenny. He was driven both times by Peter Wolfenden. Jay Bee’s Fella returned to Auckland at Christmas time in the same year and after winning the Benson and Hedges Flying Mile he ran twelvth in the 1987 Auckland Cup - won by Luxury Liner. In Australia his big race wins were in the 1988 Moonee Valley Pacing Cup and a heat of the 1988 Interdominion Pacing Championships. He also ran third in the 1987 Miracle Mile won by Village Kid. Since the 1999 season Ellis has had his own training license with his first winner coming at Ascot Park in April of that year when Last Deal won, driven by Brendon Scobie. Over those early years Ellis trained some nice horses including Elrae Night (5), Southern Motoring (6), Montecrengle (3), Candy’s Dream (3) and Idle Bones (6). It was after he sold Idle Bones to Brent Mangos that he started to think about moving from Canterbury to Southland. “Ox (Trainer Wayne Ewan) and I had a yarn one day when I was in Christchurch. He was getting real busy with his work. Ox said about coming down here and by going to his place at Ryal Bush I could have my horses in work for nothing. When he was away I’d just do his horse in amongst mine. I said that if I was down there I wanted to beach train.” Consequently they drove around looking for suitable beach training establishments and came across Murray Little’s property on Pitt Road close to Oreti Beach. The Little property on Pitt Road                              - Photo Bruce Stewart  Late in the 2016-2017 season Ellis started training from Pitt Road, and two of his four winners that season were owned by Little. In the meantime McEwan’s place was put on the market and it was expected to sell. “At that point we had quite a good team of young horses in work and they were going to Kirstin’s. I thought if Ox’s property sells I’ll end up having nowhere to train so one night I had a yarn to Kirstin and the partnership started.” “Murray’s been unreal.” Murray Little’s property consists of 10 acres, all deer fenced with a small 400 metre jog track. The Richardson Group own the neighbouring property and because McEwan works for the Group he was able to arrange access through the Richardson property to Oreti Beach. “With the beach you make hay while the sun shines. If it’s good weather you can get them all done. You can do them three or four days in a row because you know you’ve got s.... weather coming up. Then they can have a couple of days off and if anything it helps them. It puts a spring in their step.” Ellis says the young horses get educated at the Tisbury property while the race horses are based at the beach. “Once they’ve qualified and are sensible enough to handle beach training they come out here. Murray, Ox and Tom (U May Cullect’s owner Tom Kilkelly) have just got in behind us. It’s been unreal.” Ellis also has a great band of helpers with experienced horseman Paul Hillis assisted by Colin Lindsay to name just two. “Colin worked for Sally McKay. He’s retired. He raced Campagna Park and does our jog frame. He’s worth his weight in gold. Kirstin and I have our names in the book but it’s such a team effort. As for Hilly you can’t keep him away. You say be here at 6.00 and he’s here at 5:30. You’ve got to get here early before he starts doing something he shouldn’t. In a good way.” And Ellis says the partnership and the two property set-up is working extremely well. “She (Kirstin) concentrates on the horses at her place but when the tides right she’ll come out here. It could be five the morning. Everything changes with the tide. I do a jog team here, then go over there to do boxes and then we’ve both come back here to work horses.” He says the beach is different every day and there’s only a small handful of trainers using it, including galloping trainers Stu Higgins Amanda Swartz and Sabin Kirkland.   Paul Hillis and Wee Man Trouble                          - Photo Bruce Stewart. “I love getting the early tide when there’s no one around. Christmas time is an absolute nightmare. But it’s everybody’s beach. Hilly fires up sometimes but people like to bring their dogs down.” And as for the stable star U May Cullect? “No tricks to him. He’s just the easiest horse to train.”   The day I saw him working on the beach he was wearing a hood and looked very relaxed and at home. “He probably doesn’t need it but it keeps him chilled out and relaxed.” Although he can easily get competitive. “Wee Man Trouble was on the lead one day and he was going stupid. Old Carlos (U May Cullect) got on the bit and he just switched into that horse.” U May Cullect with Kirstin Barclay galloping on Oreti Beach           - Photo Bruce Stewart  Ellis says the six year old is a natural pacer but can also trot. “You should see him in the paddock. He’s got so much style. He’d make a lovely trotter. He’s so little on his feet.” And there’s been no sign of any leg issues that plagued the horse early in his career. “We got him scanned when he came back in work and there’s been no drama; touch wood. Since he’s been down here he’s never had a lame day. I don’t like to hose them down. After being in the salt water you feel your own legs tighten up. It’s got to be good for you.” And the good news is that the winner of his first seven starts isn’t too far away from resuming. Getting his gear off                                              - Photo Bruce Stewart “Three or four week just playing round like this and he’ll be pretty good.” The plan at the moment is to take him to the workouts at the end of September and look at starting his racing season at Winton on the 8th October. “We haven’t got a finite plan. The Hannons is our first aim and we’ll just take it from there. We’re pretty cruisey about it all really. The horse will let us know. He’s an athlete. He doesn’t need much work.”   Bruce Stewart

The Southern Harness racing season kicks off at Gore on Saturday 10th August, and the Club have once again put up a $1,000 bonus plus a cool down rug for its Spring Fling. The bonus will be paid to the highest point’ earner for two catogories (filly or mares and colt or geldings) over the first three days the Club races in August and October. Points will be allocated from first to fifth placings. ______________________________ Star Southland pacer U May Cullect is into his second week of work at Oreti Beach for trainers Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis. His first major assignment is the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Thursday 24th October. In his first season of racing he became the first southern trained horse to win his first seven starts. He also paced a mile in 1-52.1 at Winton which was a track and Southland age record. U May Cullect in the surf at Oreti Beach with co-trainer Kirstin Barclay – Photo Bruce Stewart U May Cullect is one of the favourites for Southland Horse of the Year at the Southern Harness sponsored Harness Awards to be held at scot Park Hotel on Sunday 11th August. Meanwhile Kirstin Barclay and Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis in their first season of training in partnership, have won the Southland Trainers Premiership recording thirty eight wins, eight clear of last year’s winner Brett Gray. Their list of winners this season include U May Cullect (7), Wee Man Trouble (5) and Paddyproudfoot (4). Paul Ellis with Wee Man Trouble and U May Cullect – Photo Bruce Stewart Barclay and Ellis train out of two stables – Tisbury and Oreti Beach and their first season success could see them win the Southland Achievement of the Year Award. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Southern Harness will have a new mobile vehicle for the forthcoming season. They have taken delivery of a 2019 Ford Ranger 4WD Mobile Barrier Vehicle which has replaced the 2WD Holden Southern Harness has used since 2012. Southern Harness’s new mobile – Photo Supplied. The need to upgrade became urgent after the old vehicle lost traction a couple of times during the season. The purchase of the vehicle has been made possible with funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. EH Ball Ltd will continue to be branding sponsors. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Forgotten pacer Lamborne Road is being tried again by Tahakopa trainer Brian Norman. The rising eight year old by Washington VC last started at Addington at the end of March 2017 for Invercargill trainer Wayne Adams. He won five races for Adams from just eighteen starts before he began suffering from a lung infection. Norman says he’s progressing well in his new environment. Lamborne Road – Photo Bruce Stewart ____________________________________________________________________________________ The Peter Hunter trained Unloaded won his third race in as many starts when he wore down The Croupier in the Macca Lodge South of the Waitaki Final at Addington on Friday night. The four year old Mach Three gelding, raced by the Gottashearasheep Syndicate, sat parked for the last lap for driver Sam Ottley and proved too tough, beating The Croupier by a head. Unloaded and trainer Peter Hunter – Photo Bruce Stewart Unloaded has won $17,490 for his connections in the last three weeks, racing in the Macca Lodge sponsored series and winning two heats and the final. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Branxholme trainer Nathan Williamson says quality trotting mare Dark Horse is due to go to the workouts next month. The rising seven year old mare hasn’t started since running in the 2017 Dominion Handicap at Addington. “She seems fine at the moment. I’ll probably take her to Winton for a private run in the next couple of weeks. We’ll know how much this layoff has effected her when she starts racing I suppose,” said Williamson. Williamson says his other trotting star Chinese Whisper has just come back into work and won’t be seen until November. He won both of his two starts as a three year old impressively. Meanwhile Franco Santino will remain in work and will be aimed at the Kurow Cup. “The way it’s worked out, he’s been ready at the wrong time of year. We didn’t have much luck last season. When he was ready to race he got a wee bit of a bug, and later in the season he hurt his leg in the box. Another Williamson trotter Hawaiian Hula (Dream Vacation – Kylie Ree) is progressing well in a new preparation. She qualified in May 2018 as a two year old and hasn’t been sighted since. She’s a half sister to Springbank Lachie. “She had chips in her knee and was a wee bit scratchy every now and then so we decided to take the chips out. Because she was a big filly she was going to be best served with time.” Hawaiian Hula – Photo Bruce Stewart  ____________________________________________________________________________________ The Southern Programme Committee have decided that there won’t be a Super Nugget Final this season and instead they’ll programme six Nugget finals over the season, each worth $15,000. Southern Harness Manager Jason Broad says both the Nugget and Ladyship Finals in the new season could possibly be run under preferential barrier draw conditions based on winning stakes. He also says there’ll be a wider time gap between finals. In other programming news, Broad says junior driver races will continue to be for one win horses but will also include 40-55 rating events which will incorporate horses that have won two or more races. There’s also some consideration being given to holding $1,000 Two Year Old non-tote races from late November. Broad says this is to encourage horses to get out for a run without incurring a penalty. It’s planned to run these on race days.   Bruce Stewart

Auckland Reactor harness racing gelding The Great Buzz, formerly trained in Southland by Clark Barron is creating a bit of a stir in North America. “He was always a pretty nice maiden. While he didn’t win we threw him into a couple of Nugget Finals and he was never out of the money. I thought he’d get better as he got older. He was a big overgrown horse,” Barron said. The Great Buzz raced eight times for Barron finishing second three times and third twice before he was sold. He’s out of the unraced Bettor’s Delight mare Risonanza and was bred by Kakukuri Bloodstock Limited and Brian West of Studholme Bloodstock Limited. He was bought by Barron for $7,000 at the 2017 Sale of the Stars in Christchurch. Elmer Gantry (18 wins), Dillon Dean (20 wins) and Dillion Dale (17 wins) feature further back in his pedigree. In America, The Great Buzz won his qualifier in 1-56.2 on 15th June. “The horse that ran second (Starznheaven) has won 41 races and nearly $400,000,” said Auckland Bloodstock Agent John Curtin who sold him to regular American buyer Kevin Quinn. He won his first race in America at Saratoga, New York, on the 26th of June recording his lifetime mark of 1-53.3  The Great Buzz “53 on a half mile track is a hell of a run,” stated Curtin, who also sold Nerve Of Steel (5 wins) and Kiwi Tintin (9 wins) to Quinn. “That’s (The Great Buzz) the dearest horse he’s bought. I said to him it’ll be the best horse he’s ever bought. He said ‘no chance it’ll be Kiwi Tintin.’ He’s changed his mind now.” The Great Buzz is trained by Paul Zabielski and was driven on both occasions by James Devaux. “The owner rang me quite a few times. They’ve liked him from day one,” Barron said. The gelding is due to start at Saratoga again on Thursday where he’s drawn the outside of the gate. Because of his impressive form the Saratoga Club officials have also taken him out of the betting market and placed him on the outside. Curtin is not impressed. “He’s drawn seven on a half mile track. That’s brutal, it’s just a joke. The owner’s upset. This horse has only won $6,000.” Bruce Stewart

Sixteen year old Tristan Larsen has always been around horses with his father Kirk and mother Michelle running a successful harness racing stable at Branxholme. “I just sat on Dad’s knee when I was younger and started from there,” he said. The first horse he was allowed to drive was Auckland Cup winner Howard Bromac. “He was sort of retired, and Dad let me drive him. He was quiet and nice to drive.” Although the fire was lit early on, it really sparked into life when Tristan leased his first horse. “What really got me into it was leasing a horse off Nevele R Stud. He was by Changeover and I broke him in and did all the work with it. That got me really keen. Unfortunately he broke down before Larsen got him to the races. Larsen left school in January this year and at the moment is working at his father’s stable and also for Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray. “It works out really well for me. I do two hours at Dad’s in the morning, I go to Brett’s at about 8:30 and when I get home I help Dad again. It’s good being in two stables, getting more drives.” This season he’s driven at the workouts. He’s also had one race day start at Ascot Park after he and James Forbes were called on to fill in when junior drivers Sheree Tomlinson and John Morrison were not able to make it on time for an Invercargill meeting. “I’ve got the hang of how it (driving) works at the workouts. I had that race day drive when the drivers’ plane got delayed so that gave me a bit of a taster.” Tristan has also bred his first horse, a filly by Stunin Cullen out of Hoshi Bromac.  “It’s going along very nicely. I’ve done all the work including breaking in to the cart.” Hoshi Bromac, a full sister to Howard Bromac, won once from twenty starts and has left Sur Le Fur (Courage Under Fire) the winner of thirteen, Varenna, Divine Justice and Calypso Rock, (A Rocknroll Dance three year old) which qualified this season. Larsen says the best horse he’s seen is Adore Me and his favourite driver is Blair Orange. “He can rate a horse and is a good horseman to learn off.” Larsen hopes to have his junior drivers licence this coming season.   Bruce Stewart

Seventeen year old Tom Nally was destined to get into harness racing one way or another. His grandfather Vin Nally has been involved in the industry in Southland since the 1970s and he was always keen to get the next generation involved. “I never knew too much about horses and only knew he worked with them when I was about eleven. That’s when I clicked onto it. I love going out there its great fun,” Tom said. He said a few of Vin’s grandchildren helped out at the Nally farm at Makarewa over the holidays and he enjoyed breaking in young stock with his grandfather. Some of those included Maidonthebeach (7 wins), Tiziano (8 wins), Holly Havoc a recent winner at Forbury Park, and Whiskeyinthejar. Tom left school when he was 16. “School wasn’t really my thing. I just wanted to start working with horse’s full time.” Most of the horses Vin Nally breaks in are for his good friend Graham Cooney and they all head to Ryal Bush trainer Hamish Hunter, which is where Tom has ended up as well. He says the move has given him the chance to learn how to drive and rate horses. “I used to like working with the young ones but lately I’ve loved driving them. I’ve come a long way. Hamish and Vincey have taught me a lot.” Nally works between thirty five to fifty hours a week at Hunters and he says driving a horse to a stopwatch has been one of the more challenging aspects of his probation. “It didn’t come easy for a start and it took me a while to get the hang of it especially round different tracks. I’ve been getting better lately.” He currently holds a stable hands licence and has almost completed the required number of workout drives to get his trials licence. “I’ve got three more drives at the workouts and then in September or October I’ll be able to get it.” Nally is also a part of the Southland Cadet Scheme and says he enjoys the activities and being part of the group. “It’s good fun actually and it’s not too hard. The bookwork is the hardest for me because I’m not really into that sort of stuff but I knuckle down and do it. I’ll get it done and get my licenses.” He says the best horse he’s driven is Maidonthebeach while the best horse he’s seen racing is Scarrymcleary, owned by Vin and The Dolomite Syndicate,. He’s won thirteen pacing and a further eight trotting. He rates Matty Williamson as his favourite driver.   Bruce Stewart

Boom Southland pacer U May Cullect continued on his winning way at Addington last night. He had to draw on all his reserves but he beat Classie Brigade by a nose. However after the win, the rumour mill began churning which owner Tom Kilkelly found disappointing. “The word round Christchurch is that the horse has broken down. I had a couple of phone calls this morning asking what had gone wrong with him. We don’t have any issues. Kirstin put him on the truck this morning and wrapped his legs and said there was no sign of anything. We’ll get him scanned on Monday just to make sure,” he said.   In last night’s PGG Wrightson Standardbred Uncut Gems Classic driver Kirstin Barclay took U May Cullect to the front early before handing up to Classie Brigade and driver John Dunn. From there the pace was on. “They went down the back in 27. I think Dunn’s idea was to run us off our feet so that we couldn’t beat him.” Classie Brigade, U May Cullect, Triple Eight and Smokin By gapped themselves from the rest of the field and coming down the straight it became a battle of two mighty willing horses with U May Cullect beating Classie Brigade by a nose. “I was a wee bit concerned when he took the passing lane. He sprinted for a wee bit then he lost his way but Kirstin felt he just got lost because he’s never taken the passing lane. He’s always either lead or come round them. It was a bit tense in that he didn’t win by lengths like he normally does but he was racing against Cup horses.” Kilkelly wasn’t even sure whether it was a win or not. “Everyone round me reckoned he’d won but I didn’t know – I thought it was pretty close. There was only a nose in it. I was talking to Graham Court this morning and he said that’s the sign of a real good horse. They just dig in and have got that wee bit extra.” The winning time was 3-08.7 on a showery night, on an easy track. The New Zealand record for 2600 metre mobile of 3-05.5 is held by Sheriff. The run of Classie Brigade was full of merit and was only his third race back since a nine month injury break. Kilkelly says U May Cullect pulled up well and that now’s the right time for a break. “He’s a bit of a dumbo. I went down to the barn afterwards and washed him down and he was just standing there like he normally does. He’s definitely going to get a nice month in the paddock now.” Next on the cards will be the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru in September. “If we’re competitive we’ll carry on to the Cup.” Despite the horse’s rapid rise through the grades Kilkelly says there have never been any offers to buy him. “There’s never been any money put up. We’ve made it very very clear that he’s not for sale. I don’t care what the offers are. I’ve spend my life waiting for a good horse and this is it.” He says without doubt U May Cullect’s win at Addington last night was a career highlight, surpassing Shard Ark’s win in the 2009 Yearling Sales Series Final. “Shard Ark hadn’t done much until that race whereas the journey with this fella has been unbelievable.” Kilkelly says the horse’s notoriety has spread far beyond Southland. “I was sitting in the stand last night and there was a guy sitting just along from me and he said to me after the race ‘I was cheering louder than you were and I’ve flown down from Auckland just to watch this horse’. It was just an unbelievable feeling. Everyone at Addington congratulating us. Money can’t buy that.”   Bruce Stewart

“It was great to see Southland getting some of the chocolates for once. It was also good seeing U May Cullect getting up to get the job done,” said Southland trainer Steve Baucke after his mare I’mallaboutthebase won the $40,000 Listed Uncut Gems Mares Classic at Addington last night. From gate six driver Tim Williams positioned the mare three back on the running line with Flying Milly Mac setting the pace. The order remained the same until the top of the straight when I’mallaboutthebase was presented with the passing lane and she came through nicely to nail Flying Milly Mac by a length with Naiya Franco another length and a quarter back in third. The winning time was 3-12.7. “It worked out well. Her sister (Delight My Soul) was deadly three back on the fence. She’s (I’mallaboutthebase) proving to be just as deadly. Tim was stoked and it was just the perfect trip for her really.” The win was I’mallaboutthebase’s fourth in thirty six starts over three seasons. She has now won $64,898. I’mallaboutthebase is by underrated sire Shadow Play out of the In The Pocket mare Soleil D’or and was bred by Steve and his wife Carol. “When she was born she had a bit of a rear end on her. I rang Graeme Henley (from Alabar Stud) and told him I was going to call her I’mallaboutthebase. He said ‘are you sure’, and I said I am.” The Bauckes no longer own Soleil D’or. After I’mallaboutthebase was born they sold her to Aucklander Kevin Haycock who has an Auckland Reactor colt out of her. Soleil D’Or’s fifth foal Delight My Soul won seven races for the Bauckes. She was retired from racing earlier this year after being served by Sweet Lou. It was the first time Baucke has won a race at Addington. Four different drivers have now won on the Shadow Play mare; Craig Ferguson, Matthew Williamson, Blair Orange and now Tim Williams. It was the mare’s first black type win. She previously ran second behind Dizzy Miss Lizzy in the 2017 Group Three Caduceus Club Of Southland Fillies Mobile Pace. “We’ll give her a bit of a holiday now and we’ll line up again next season. There has been a bit of interest (buyers) in her but we’ve always wanted to keep her.”   Bruce Stewart

The plan to take The Paua Diver to the front by trainer driver Allan Beck worked perfectly at Ascot Park today when the four year old cleared maiden ranks at his fifth harness racing start. The Live Or Die gelding showed promise early when he ran third behind the talented Zinny Mac at Winton in mid December, pacing the 2400 metres in 2-56.2. “After that first run he got himself a bit worked up. Before that he was a perfect natured horse. He’s been a bit disappointing in a couple of his runs,” said Beck who part owns the gelding with breeders Ben and Karen Calder. From Gate Six Beck used the horse’s natural early speed and took The Paua Diver to the lead. From that point he ran good solid even quarters before Flaming Jim made a lightening quick move to challenge inside the last 800 metres. Duty Bound, driven by Robin Swain, which had trailed The Paua Diver for most of the way pulled out and forced Flaming Jim three wide before taking the lead. “They showed a bit too much speed for me so I just let them go in the finish. Robin’s one was going alright.” Once Duty Bound had taken The Paua Diver to the passing lane Beck pushed the go button again and the gelding showed he was too good for his rivals, beating Duke Of Dundee by two lengths with Flaming Jim another length back in third. “He’s like his sister (Bettor Enforce). You just have to let them go. The harder you go the more they seem to enjoy it.” Coming back to the birdcage                                  - Photo Bruce Stewart Beck trained The Paua Divers dam Their Excuse which won her first race but was unplaced in three further starts. The win with The Paua Diver was one of two for Beck today. He also drove the Brian Nicol trained Cast A Shadow to win the Sheet Metalcraft Mobile Pace.   Bruce Stewart

Free-legged pacer Take A Bet capped off a successful stay in Southland when she won the $12,000 Ryal Bush Transport Limited Nuggets Final at Ascot Park today. The Mach Three filly has won $21,200 in the space of five weeks for Canterbury harness racing trainer Geoff Dunn whilst down here, and she’s become the first horse to win both a Ladyship and Nugget final. Punters had some anxious moments though after Take A Bet which was the favourite, galloped in the score up. Starter Ben Ward declared a false start but Take A Bet galloped round to the start point before Williams was able to pull her up. “It’s uncharacteristic for her. I think Brett (caretaker trainer Brett Gray) must have let the hopples out on her during the week (laugh). She just needs to learn how to be a racehorse,” said Williams who decided to stand in Gate Two for the re-start. When the field left for the second time the mare paced away perfectly and was taken straight to the lead where she stayed, withstanding a late charge up the passing lane by American Mac. She won by three quarters of a length. “She’s getting better each time. The trips down here have been the making of her. She’s starting to develop a bit of speed now. Brett and the team have done a good job in looking after her and making sure she’s been ready to go.”  Take a Bet is raced by William’s parents Brent and Suzanne along with Gary and Keri Woodham who were all on-course today. Brent Williams, Gary Woodham, Suzanne Williams and Keri Woodham - Photo Bruce Stewart She’s out of the six win Bettor’s Delight mare Kabet which started favourite in the 2013 Southland Oaks Finals - then driven by Tim. As a broodmare Kabet has also left Above N Beyond which ran fifth in the Two Year Emerald in the recently held Harness Jewels at Addington. Kabet’s third dam is the 1994-1995 Broodmare of the Year Sakuntala which left Brad Adios the 1977-1978 Three Year Old Pacer of the Year in Australia and Tuapeka Star who was the winner of twenty two races and the dam of New Zealand Cup winner Iraklis. Meanwhile Robbie Royale capped off a consistent season by winning The Williamson Racing Stables Handicap Trot. The five year gelding trained by Brett Gray has won four races this season from twenty three starts and has banked $27,745. for his connections.    Bruce Stewart

Three Southland Harness Jewels runners shared their final hit out in the same race at Ascot Park today with Robyns Playboy beating Rockabilly Blues and Mighty Flying Art finishing fourth. Robyns Playboy was scratched at Gore last Saturday after he was kicked on the leg by stablemate Hans Ideal the Tuesday before the races. Gore was supposed to have been his last run before the Jewels. “If he’d run at Gore I wouldn’t have come here. Very happy with the run and he showed a bit of ticker. He didn’t blow and he surprises you with how fit he is when you think he needs the run,” said trainer Ross Wilson. In today’s Cruickshank Pryde Mobile Pace over 2200 metres driver Craig Ferguson slotted Robyns Playboy into the one one before he took him to the front with a lap to run. He held on to beat Rockabilly Blues by half a length, running the journey in 2-42.5 with Nota Bene Denario nabbing Mighty Flying Art by a nose for third. Winning smile                            - Photo Bruce Stewart  Consequently it’s straight into the Jewels on Saturday at Addington for him where he’s drawn two on the front row. “In the perfect world he’d hop in behind Heisenburg (drawn one) and sit two or three back on the fence all the way. This is going to be a different kettle of fish for him. They’re going to go a 1-53 mile rate which he’s never done before.” Mighty Flying Art’s trainer Murray Brown wasn’t overly happy with his charge’s performance. “Not really. He was travelling real good and then he dropped the bit. When that other horse (Robyns Playboy) went up to take the lead he wanted to go. Brent took a hold of him and he dropped the bit and let him go. He’s done it before. He went in a bit fresh so we’re hoping he won’t do it next start,” Brown said.   Meanwhile Winton mare Rockabilly Blues received a kick by Clerk of the Course horse Vi Et Animo when she was returning to the birdcage. Rockabilly Blues has a dislike of the on-course speakers and she swung round when coming down the lane leading into the birdcage. Clerk of the Course Sally McKay came up to assist and her horse kicked Rockabilly Blues just above the knee, causing it to bleed. The mare’s leg will be monitored over the next few days and it’s hoped she can take her place in the Four Year Old Diamond this Saturday at Addington. Another Jewels runner Wee Man Trouble capped off his preparation with a win at Ascot Park today. The four year old added to his 20 metre handicap when he broke with 2300 metres to run. He regained his gait and stormed home down the middle of the track to win easily by three and a quarter lengths for driver Blair Orange. Wee Man Trouble winning for Blair Orange                - Photo Bruce Stewart. Other winners on the day included Sounds Bettor for Geoff and Jude Knight, Melton Mafia for trainers Gordon and Colin Lee, Sherry Baby for junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson, No More Change for Jamie Campbell and trainer Craig Ferguson and Bettor Rock Again for Ray and Tracee Faithful.   Bruce Stewart

“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

Two years ago Fiery Ferret’s harness racing career looked to be over but the Mister Big gelding had other ideas. “We were going to retire him because he had quite sore hocks. The owner Kelvin Reed just had so many other horses. I asked him if I could I have him for my granddaughter as a riding horse and he said that was fine. I put him in the paddock and he hated it so he was back on the jogging frame two weeks later. Kelvin and I went fifty fifty in the horse. He’s won five more races since then,” said co-trainer Jude Knight who drives the gelding in all of his work. Jude trains in partnership with husband Geoff and she says the horse seems to be free of any leg problems. “His legs are better than they’ve ever been. He had weak joints as a two year old. He’s out now for a few months and will be back for the new season.” Knight says there was some confidence in the stable today, as the horse had good wet track form and his warm up indicated to her that he was ready to perform.  “When he was jigging around in the warm up and wouldn’t pace I got confident. When he does that at home it means he wants to get on with the job. Once we got to the lead I was pretty confident.” Driver John Morrison took the six year old straight to the lead and after a few cheap sectionals he went down to the line, beating Groomsman, which trailed him for most to the journey by two and three quarter lengths. “My sister and I booked a trip to Fiji next month. I said to Geoff that I feel so guilty about doing the trip on my own. Now I can pay for it and don’t feel guilty anymore (laugh).” It’s been a great month for Fiery Ferret’s dam Touch Of Rose with three of her progeny winning. The Ideal Touch (American Ideal) won at Invercargill while her older sister Ferritt’s Sister (Bettor’s Delight) won fresh up at Alexandra Park for her new trainer Nicky Chilcott. The mare’s next two foals are colts. One by Art Major, which is a yearling and the other is by He’s Watching.   Meanwhile Nottingham K Two won his second race this season on his home track. Both wins have been in the hands of Southland’s leading junior driver Ellie Barron. Trainer George Orr and Ellie Barron enjoy the win with Nottingham K Two - Photo Bruce Stewart By Bruce Stewart

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