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Cambridge Raceway’s leading trainers in 2016-2017 – Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick can increase their lead at the top of the track’s training premiership tonight. Telfer and Garlick have notched up 107 points this season – 11 more than Todd Mitchell and 21 more than Barry Purdon. Tim Vince is fourth with 73 points. Garlick said his stable would be represented by two pacers in races eight and nine tonight - and rated them both winning chances - with runs to suit. “It’s hard to split the pair of them actually. They are both working well and can both win if things go their way. Happy Magic has the better draw but Lola Jones is a better beginner,” said Garlick who is working about 20 horses with Telfer at Ardmore. He then went in depth about the duo. Here’s what Garlick had to say: Race 8: Lola Jones (5) Todd Macfarlane - "Six-year-old McArdle mare who meets a stronger field this time, but in saying that she's a real genuine race-horse with great manners. From the 10m handicap, and with just two horses off the front, Todd should be able to put her in a nice position. She likes Cambridge (seven of her eight wins have been there) and hasn't been far away of late. She won well here earlier this month and even though there's a couple of smart ones in this, she can still go close. Each-way." Happy Magic (3) David Butcher - "Grinfromeartoear 3-year-old gelding, who is having his second run back since October. He drew one at Cambridge when resuming a couple of weeks ago and ended up three-back on the fence and came home real nice. I think this field might be a bit stronger, but he will be definitely better for the run as well. He should get handy again on Friday and is drawn to be thereabouts. He's won and has placed from three starts on the track. Each-way.” Meanwhile, the feature event - the $8,000 Ray O'Connor Memorial Handicap for the R71 to R78 pacers should see the Arna Donnelly trained Bat Out Of El (Zac Butcher) and the Scott Dickson trained duo of Ralph Elliot (Maurice McKendry - MNZM) and Marshall Star (Philip Butcher) be the hardest for Lola Jones to beat. With no racing at Alexandra Park this week Harness Racing Waikato was able to receive 99 nominations and therefore post 10 races - starting and finishing at 5.37pm and 10.06pm.   Duane Ranger

Over recent weeks the Cambridge raceway Board has been reviewing its current operation as a sustainable business and as a leading racing venue. As a result of this review it has been decided that a restructure of the business was crucial if we wanted to retain and grow as a vibrant organisation. It is well known that the harness racing industry is under increasing pressure and without change the ability to grow and prosper would be limited. The new structure will include a number of significant changes to roles and responsibilities. New positions include an Operations Manager taking over the reins responsible for racing, Waikato BOP race secretary, staff, facilities, budgeting and marketing. This position will be filled by David Branch the current Business Development Manager. Current GM Kerry Wells will take over a new part time position as Projects Manager where he will continue with special projects and consultancy to the new Ops Manager and the Board. The current Office Administration role will be disestablished and a new part time office support position focused mainly on Race day activities will be created. All Accounting functions will be done off site on a fixed fee contract basis by an Accountancy partner. The current Marketing and Promotions role will also be disestablished and a new position will be established of Sponsorship Executive. The outside track and facilities positions will be unchanged. This restructure will reduce costs to the business in the order of $100,000 per year. In announcing this restructure the Board Chairman Russell Fantham has acknowledged the past work done by current GM Kerry Wells over a the past 23 years.” Kerry’s contribution has been significant and the Board is very pleased that Kerry will continue in a key role with Cambridge Raceway as we strive to improve and grow the business” The Raceway Board believe that these changes are critical to the business and will add vital enthusiasm and fresh ideas to the operation. The new structure will become effective from 1st August 2017.

Cambridge harness racing fixed odds movers as at 2:55pm   Race 1 - Best backed in win & multi betting is Dreamy Nights $2.80 over P Tomado $8.50.   Race 2 - Shanocon $2.90 easily leads win & multi betting. Runcle at $11.50 is attracting some early multi support.    Race 3 - Majestic One $2.50 leads multi betting with Madhubala $8.00 & Meyer Lansky $15 the best backed runners in win betting.   Race 4 - In what is a quiet win 'book' early Shandance $4.20 - $3.60 leads multi betting over Lincoln Lovely $3.00.   Race 5 - Monnay $2.40 leads win betting over Dauntless $10 but he is currently friendless in multi betting.   Race 6 - Lola Jones $2.70 leads win betting over Sky Diamond $13. Stunin Banner, Tact Ollie & Fizzi Lizzi were all scratched this morning and all final field win & place bets placed prior to the scratching time will have 42% win & 39% place deductions applied.   Race 7 - Shadow Pass $2.90 leads multi betting easily with R Gee Three $8.80 & Better Than Most $16 best backed on the win 'book'.    Race 8 - Happy Magic $5.50 - $4.80 is best backed in win & multi betting over the $2.70 favourite Cherokee Warrior.   Maurice McKendry $3.50 - $3.30 is best backed in the Drivers Challenge (Option 519)   Best backed runners in multi betting at 2:45pm in order: R6 - Lola Jones $2.70 R7 - Shadow Pass $2.90 R5 - Monnay $2.40 R4 - Shandance $3.60  R2 - Shanocan $2.90 R8 - Happy Magic $4.80       

There are five meetings this week for the harness racing ringaround with two in the North and three in the South Last week there were several winners selected again with a number of placings as well. Blair Orange had the best dividend last week when Dizzy Miss Lizzy won Ashburton and paid $5.40 and $2.00 on the tote.   Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in, so check back often   Cambridge on Thursday night Jay Abernethy - Jay says his best chance is Regal Grin at Cambridge in Race 2 Maurice McKendry - Maurice thinks Shandance would be his best chance this week in Race 4 Andre Poutama - Andre is opting for Lincoln Lovely as his best drive this week also in Race 4 Stephen Richardson(TAB) says Lola Jones is a good winning chance tonight in Race 6   Nelson on Friday Harnesslink reporter - says Beach Skipper can run in the top three in Race 2 Ricky May - Ricky thinks his best this week is English Rose at Nelson in Race 10 Gavin Smith - Gavin says his best drive this week is Dreams To Reality also in Race 10   Alexandra Park on Friday night Scott Phelan - Scott thinks Primus Inter Pares would be his best drive this week in Race 1 John Curtin - John thinks Ideal World can go close to winning Race 4 Tony Herlihy - says that Moving Money would be a good place chance in Race 5   Invercargill on Saturday Andrew Suddaby - Is opting for Noble Gamble as his best drive this week in Race 1 Racechat - Lance thinks Danielle Amore can go close to winning in Race 2 Matthew Williamson - is going with The Arbitrator as his best chance in Race 3 Mark Jones - Mark thinks his best chance this week is Bettor Under Fire in Race 4 Brad Williamson - Brad is going for Alderbeck as his best drive in Race 8 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory is opting for Golden Gate as his best drive also in Race 8 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane says his best this week would be Cullens Avenue in Race 9 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks his best chance would be Tact Rousey in Race 10   Harnesslink Media

Less than a week after joining Tony Herlihy in the MNZM ranks, Maurice McKendry believes he can go close to training his first winner of the season at Cambridge Raceway tonight. McKendry (62) was bestowed with the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit at the annual Queen’s Birthday Awards last weekend. The Methven born and raised horseman, who has won 3,185 races since 1975, is second only to Tony Herlihy (3,417) on the list of all-time winners in New Zealand harness racing history. McKendry has trained 115 winners since 1982 and has had one second and a third from 13 starters in 2016-2017, but feels he can go close to breaking his duck tonight. “Both Shanocon (race 2) and Shandance (race 4) are capable of winning. They have both worked well, and of the five I have in work, they would be my best two," McKendry said. McKendry will steer Shanocon from gate five in the $6,000 Ooby Ryn Cambridge Mobile for the maiden for the up to R49 pacers. "He's a nice enough colt who was a little bit disappointing last start at Alexandra Park. He's better than what he showed that night and from the handy draw I think we will push forward. “I’m happy with the way he has progressed since that run and if he doesn’t win he can certainly place,” McKendry said. The 3-year-old Bettor's Delight - Veste colt has had one start at Cambridge for an encouraging second behind Father Frank on February 16. Although Shandance had drawn the outside of the front row, McKendry believed the 2-year-old Art Major filly could go also close in the $6,000 C N Taylor Consulting Mobile for the maiden pacers. "She's lightly raced but goes okay. She's a nice little filly who only needs time, but in saying that she can win first-up at Cambridge. "She went nice on debut at Auckland last month (fourth - May 12) and then was ordinary next start. She's in the same boat as her stablemate - good enough to win and certainly good enough to place," the Pukekohe horseman said. Shandance is the full sister to the former McKendry trained Shandale, who won eight races here, and is now plying his trade in Australia. Their dam is Delightful Dale, a 9-year-old Bettor's Delight mare who qualified for Gareth Dixon in 2010, but never raced. Meanwhile, McKendry has five drives at Cambridge Raceway tonight. He said the stablemates were his best winning chances, but also be wary of the Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett trained Donna May in race three; the Scott Dickson trained Ralph Elliott in race six; and the Eddy Clarke trained Will Desire in the last event (race eight). Donna May looks the pick of the rest but she will have to get past the likely favourite, Majestic One, who has drawn seven compared to Donna May’s eight. Duane Ranger

Expect New Zealand's leading amateur driver to go four wins ahead in the national premiership following the first race at Cambridge Raceway tonight. Sheryl Wigg has driven seven winners from 16 starts in 2016-2017. She has also placed four times and boasts and very healthy 0.5625 UDR strike-rate. Canterbury amateur, Colleen Negus, is second with four wins. “I’m hoping I can make it eight wins after Thursday because my drive is working real well and should go close. He’s copped an awkward draw but I still think he’s good enough to win from seven,” Wigg said. The 45-year-old Kumeu driver opted for the Tim Vince trained and R66 rated Drover’s Eyre over the R71 ranked Chal Shocked (David Branch), who has drawn the outside of the front row in the $6,000 Fairview Amateur Drivers Mobile for the R56-plus pacers. “I actually thought my (twin) sister was going to drive Drover’s Eyre but she has her own horse in the race (Bourbon Street). “Drover’s Eyre worked real well this morning and is really firing on all cylinders at the moment. I think he can win,” Wigg said. Meanwhile, the top six North Island and top six South Island amateurs will head to Canterbury next week for the New Zealand Amateur Driving Champs at Addington Raceway and Rangiora. “I’ll be heading down for one heat at Addington next Friday and then another two at Rangiora two days later. I finished second behind John McDermott last year and would so love to go one better. I want to be New Zealand champion,” said Wigg. Wigg has now driven 14 winners from 47 starters (all pacers) since becoming an advanced amateur in 2014-2015. Her career UDR strike rate is a brilliant 0.4539. “My aim at the start of the season was to double my tally (5) and win 10 this season. I’d like to think that I can still get there but it’s so hard when there’s only one club in the North Island that conducts amateur races,” said Wigg. Wigg, who owns the 'Meow Meow Motel' boarding cattery in Waimauku, also works at her partner Tim Vince's Kumeu stable. Vince and Wigg are experiencing their best season yet with 16 winners, 18 place-getters and $107,237 won in stakes. That is seven wins and $38,804 more than his previous best season he recorded in 2015-2016.. In February Vince-trained standardbreds had won eight of their last 11 races. His last win came when Romanite and Wigg won at Cambridge Raceway on March 23. “Romanite is a nice horse but I really like Driver’s Eyre. He’s a real buddy. I’ve won three races on him this season – hopefully four on Thursday,” said Wigg.   Duane Ranger

The town’s rugby league team isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire, but Newcastle sure does know how to produce promising young harness racing drivers. Evidence of that came at Alexandra Park last Friday night when Newcastle 15-year-old Andrew Bourke claimed the eighth edition of the Lizzie Of Rosslands Rising Stars Kidz Kart Drivers Series. Twelve Kidz Kartz drivers (eight girls) took part in the six-race series at Cambridge Raceway and Alexandra Park. Bourke, was one of two Australians in the line-up. Gemma Howard-Coney, who finished fifth, was also representing New South Wales. Both Islands here were also represented. Bourke won the Series easily with 70 points. Tayla Collins (Taranaki) and Kaleb Bublitz (Cambridge) both finished with 57 points but Collins won the runner-up prize on a count-back. Bourke was rapt with his win. “I’ve competed in the New South Wales Champs, the Mini Miracle Mile and the Interdominions back home but this is the best I have ever done. “It’s different driving over here, but I loved it. I’m glad I won because this will be my last year with the mini trotters,” Bourke said. Three races were staged at Cambridge Raceway last Tuesday and then another three at Alexandra Park on Friday. The drivers sat behind ponies that were allocated to them. The champion pony – Ruff Rufus was trained by long-time Kidz Kartz stalwart, Murray Goldsworthy from the Kumeu Club. Bourke is in Year 10 at Maitland Grossmann High School and said he would like to be a vet when he left school and also drive in his spare time. “I really enjoyed driving over here. Alexandra Park was very different to back home. That’s the first time I’ve driven that way around. “It was a memorable trip and I would like to thank all the organisers and hosts for what they did for us. I really appreciated it and had a great time in New Zealand,” Bourke said. Series spokeswoman Gayleen MacKinnon termed the two-night event as a success and paid a special tribute to the series sponsors: The Hoggard family, Drill Force, Dunstan Horse feeds, Wallfield Farm, Tony Shaw Transport, Brogden Horse transport, Lincoln Farms, and Photo Force Photography. The final points were: Andrew Bourke (NSW) 70, Tayla Collins (Taranaki) 57, Kaleb Bublitz (Cambridge) 57, Jordyn Bublitz (Cambridge) 52, Anna Howard-Coney (NSW) 51; Brittany Edwards (Franklin) 46, Navana McLachlan (Kumeu) 42, Temika Apuwai Bishop (Otago) 39, Harrison Darby (Franklin) 39, Tyrone Neil (Canterbury) 35, Amber Mitchell (Franklin) 33, Kate Coppins (Waikato) 31. Past winners of the Lizzie Of Rosslands Rising Stars Drivers Series have been: 2015: Kerryn Tomlinson (Canterbury); Kerryn Tomlinson (Canterbury); 2014: Linda Pringle (Kumeu); 2013: Sheridan Rapley (Kumeu); 2012: Dylan Ferguson (Waikato); 2011: Dylan Ferguson (Waikato); 2010: Shane Chalklen (Franklin).   Duane Ranger

This season’s Parawai Thames Grass Cup winner, Sir Richie, is now the 2017 North Island Country Cups champion. The 5-year-old Christian Cullen - Wicklow Express gelding won last night's (Tuesday) $25,000 Revital Fertilisers sponsored event at Cambridge Raceway by two lengths. It was Sir Richie’s seventh career win in 35 starts and he was the $23.40, 10th favourite of the 11 starters. He was the seventh highest qualifier for the Final. For his trainers Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick, it was their first North Island Country Cups title. “It’s really satisfying winning a race that you have set a horse for several months ago. He’s been a bit unlucky in recent starts and Maurice (McKendry) has got on well with the horse for most of his career. “He might have paid more than $20 but going into the Final I thought he was an each-way chance because it was a fairly even field and any horse with a good trip could have won,” Telfer said. After a nice start from gate two McKendry settled Sir Richie third and then nabbed the one-one position at the bell. In the lane Sir Richie had too much stamina and held out second favourite Mo Casino (Zac Butcher) and the pace-making, Beyond The Silence (Lyn Neal). Sir Richie paced the 2700m stand in 3:23.1 (mile rate 2:01 even) and came home in 60.9 and 30.5. Telfer said Sir Richie’s owners could be looking to sell him but he would know more when they had returned from overseas. “He’s found Alexandra Park a bit tough in recent starts and I know there was talk about selling him. Tim and Jane Fleming from Taranaki own him and we will be talking to them when they return from Canada. “Apparently they are delighted with his win. They watched the race on the internet,” said Telfer who is working about 25 standardbreds with Garlick at Ardmore. “He’s a good honest horse who would do a good job in Australia, but I think there’s still a win or two left in him here. Maurice drove the horse a treat last night. “He gave him the good trip and then got him home without over-using him. We are rapt. That was a lovely drive,” Telfer said. Sir Richie was bred by Brian Fleming. Meanwhile, the Peter and Vaughan Blanchard trained Tact Ollie (Peter Ferguson) was the only horse to record a sub-two minute mile-rate at yesterday's twilight meeting. The 5-year-old Badlands Hanover gelding notched up his second career win in the second event - $10,000 Lizzie Of Rosslands Kidz Kartz Pace. The most impressive winner of the evening came in the third event when the Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson trained Three Kisses (Hollis), won the $8,000 WF Feeds Maiden Pace by a whopping 10 lengths. It was the 3-year-old Mach Three filly's first win in 11 starts.   Duane Ranger    

Second top qualifier, Everything, only needs to step to be a huge chance in this evening's $25,000 North Island Country Cups Final at Cambridge Raceway. This season's Otaki and Stratford Grass Cup winner has won twice and placed twice from four standing starts, but it's the first 100 metres that worries his Cambridge trainer/driver Nicky Chilcott. “He’s been a bit iffy in his last couple of stands. Last start at Hawera he missed away and then recovered to run third. I haven’t given him too much practice from a stand because I think more could worsen the problem. “We won’t be able to afford to give them a start this time because horses like Fleeting Grin (top qualifier) can run a quick 2700m off the front. Apart from that little concern the horse is very well and it’s amazing to think just how much he’s progressed this season,” Chilcott said. Everything shot to prominence on January 29 when he nailed the first of his two Country Cups at Otaki. Everything, who is out of the seven-win ($45, 478) Camtastic mare For The Girls, won the Otaki Cup in 3:57.1 (mile rate for the 3,000m stand: 2:07.1) and home in 58.5 and 30.6. Then on March 5 the 5-year-old Sands A Flyin gelding was the $3.40 favourite when winning the Stratford Grass Cup in 3:31.6 (mile rate for the 2,600m stand: 2:10.9) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 60.3 and 29.6. “He’s a special horse because he keeps on turning up. He’s also such a lovely pacer to drive because you can sit parked, trail, or get back in the field with him - and then when you push the ‘go-button’ he goes. “He also relaxes when you want him to. He’s an absolute pleasure to be around as well. Imajollywally is the horse to beat but if my fella can step then he’s right in this,” Chilcott said. The 45-year-old Cambridge horsewoman has a special affinity with Everything. On the first day of her Otaki Cup win the gelding notched up her 400th training victory. Everything won four of his first five workouts before qualifying 4.6 seconds under time at Cambridge Raceway on July 9 in 2015. "Les White, who works for me, noticed that the horse wasn’t doing much and I got him through Les. He did a lot of his early work, so the horse is a credit to him,” Chilcott said. She said Everything galloped on debut at Alexandra Park on August 14 and then defibrillated next start. He was then turned out and has come back a new horse winning four of his last six starts. “We formed the Syndicate because a lot of people wanted me to get them involved in racing. We have had a wee bit of success to date but nothing major. “It’s all about fun and affording what you can. Some of the 30 to 40 owners might only only a hair out of the tail but they will have fun. I’m sure they did tonight even though I didn’t see too many on-course," aid Chilcott. Everything was bred by Hambletonian Limited. He is owned by the Summer Fun Number 1 Syndicate. Tonight’s Revital Fertilisers-sponsored NI Country Cups Final is the feature event at tonight's 10-strong HarnessRacing Waikato – Bay of Plenty twilight meeting. Chilcott also said Everything was her best winning chance. Past North Island Country Cup winners have been: 2016 (at New Plymouth) - The Anne-Marie Best trained Tijuana Bromac (David Butcher). 2015 (at Manawatu Raceway): The Tony Herlihy (MNZM) trained and driven Darcee. 2014 (at Hawera): The Pat & Mike O'Brien trained Beckinsale (Dylan Ferguson - j). 2013 (at Manawatu): The Tony Grayling trained Brydon Delight (Sailesh Abernethy - j). 2012 (at New Plymouth): The Ian Small trained Zenola Seelster (David Butcher). 2011 (at Alexandra Park): The Barry Purdon & Scott Phelan trained Kobe Bryant (Brent Mangos). 2010 (at Alexandra Park): The Maurice McKendry trained and driven Percy The Punter. 2009: (at Alexandra Park): The Tony Herlihy (MNZM) trained and driven Ohoka Dallas. 2008 (at Alexandra Park): The Geoff Small trained Victory Spirit (David Butcher). 2007: (at Alexandra Park): The Tony Herlihy (MNZM) trained and driven Armbro The Thug. 2006: (at Alexandra Park): The Pat & Mike O'Brien trained Kay N Kayes (Peter Ferguson). North Island Country Cup winners this season were: December 28: Te Awamutu Grass Cup - The John & Josh Dickie trained Joanednobettor (Josh Dickie). January 15: Rotorua Grass Cup - The Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett trained Full Speed Ahead (Todd Macfarlane). January 21: Parawai Grass Cup - The Steve Telfer & Chris Garlick trained Sir Richie (Maurice McKendry). January 27: Wellington Grass Cup - The Andrew Stuart trained Pay Me Visa (Kyle Marshall). January 29: Otaki Grass Cup - The Nicky Chilcott trained and driven Everything. February 5: Tauranga Grass Cup - The Chris Webber trained Fleeting Grin (Peter Ferguson). February 9: The Manawatu Cup - The Mike Berger trained Lusty Mac (Philip Butcher). February 12: Wanganui Grass Cup - The Brent Mangos trained and driven Maxim. February 24: The Franklin Country Cup (Alexandra Park) - The Brent Mangos trained and driven Maxim. March 2: Taranaki Grass Cup - The Tony Herlihy (MNZM) trained Walkinshaw (Scott Phelan). March 5: Stratford Grass Cup - The Nicky Chilcott trained and driven Everything. March 31: Palmerston North Gold Cup - The Mike Berger trained Bettor Spirits (Philip Butcher). April 17: Hawera Grass Cup - The Arna Donnelly trained and driven Imajollywally. The top qualifiers for the North Island Country Cups Final (with points) are: Fleeting Grin 39, Everything 36, Imajollywally 22, Maxim 20, Full Speed Ahead 18, Bettor Spirits 15, Sir Richie 15, Pay Me Visa 14, Beyond the Silence 10, Joanednobettor 10, Lusty Mac 10, Mo Casino 10, Walkinshaw 10, Extra Guinness 8, Kenrick, Eldolar 5, Major Classic 4, Dikerry 3, Hudy Haxwell 3, The Tracker 3. Duane Ranger

Don’t be put off by Walkinshaw’s terrible standing start record in the $25,000 Country Cups Final at Cambridge today. Because if the best version of the smart four-year-old turns up he can overcome his 20m handicap, even on a track where chasing can be hard work. The field brings together mainly the journeymen of the country pacing circuit, whereas Walkinshaw and Bettor Spirits are genuine Alexandra Park horses who have raced in the big time. Walkinshaw finished third to Lazarus and Chase The Dream in last season’s Northern Derby but has failed to reach those heights this campaign. “He has had some up and down runs but the grade he is racing in can be very, very tough especially at the carnivals,”says trainer-driver Tony Herlihy. Which is one reason Walkinshaw has had five standing start races without a placing. Two of his most recent stands have been behind superstars in Vincent and Heaven Rocks at Alex Park premier meeting, while another of his standing start failures was in the Sales Series Pace at Kaikoura. The last was in the Hawera Cup last start when he clearly didn’t handle the softer track so his poor stand statistics may not be relevant and with the front line for today’s 2700m stand not overly imposing he looks the one to beat. “You always need luck in this sort of race at Cambridge but he is well and he can definitely win,” said Herlihy. Bettor Spirits has similar career highlights to Walkinshaw but his manners early and luck from the 30m backmark could decide his chances. Victory with either Eldolar or Imajollywally in the Final could cap a huge season for trainer Arna Donnelly, who has been in career-best form. With a stable lacking any high-priced stars Donnelly has won a personal best 24 races this season, taking her past the 100 career training wins and she sits an impressive 14th on the national trainers premiership. One of the other highlights of today’s twilight meeting will be another northern two-year-old trot, races which have been better supported early this season than in the past. If Paramount King trots all the way he should win race one as he uses the race as his final trial before heading southern to take on baby trotters who have been racing in far bigger fields. “Our horse may not have the experience some of the southerners have but we think he is pretty good,” said trainer John Dickie, one of the best in the business with young trotters. Michael Guerin

When the eldest son of 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner won at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday night it continued a long and successful association with Bruce Tarry and the Mitchell family. Tarry, who co-owns Stunin Banner, wasn’t on track to watch the 8-year-old entire notch up his 16th career win in the $9,000 Furnware Industries R60 & faster handicap due to the severe weather warnings. “I live at Mangawhai Heads and was going to come down but when I rang Todd he said Cambridge could cope with the rain but the strong winds could have posed problems. He wasn’t sure at that stage if the meeting would progress. “I like to get and watch my horses run as much as possible, but this time Iremained a bit cautious and stayed at home. It was a great training and driving effort by Todd. We were delighted,” Tarry said. Stunin Banner started from the 10m handicap and led after 100m due to the only horse off the front line (Romanite) breaking at the start. Mitchell then controlled the pace throughout to hold on and win by three quarters of a length and a length over Ideal Roman (David Butcher) and Lola Jones (Todd Macfarlane). The son of McArdle paced the 2700m stand in 3;26.7 (mile rate 2:03.1) and came home in 56.9 and 28.1. He was the $16.70 seventh favourite (of eight). "He's been a nice horse to claim. Todd claimed him from Graeme Rogerson at the Cambridge meeting last May,and he's done a good job for us since. I think we paid $6,000 for him and we've so far got about $10,000 to $15,000 in the bank," said Tarry. The retired businessman owns Stunin Banner with Mitchell, his partner Catherine Cameron, and Murray Gower. He was bred by Ian Dobson. Tarry said he had raced horses with Mitchell's father Robert for many years and got to know Todd through that connection. "I think Todd had one of his first drives behind one of my horses back in the early 1980s and then when his Dad retired from training I sent my horses to Todd. "I go back several decades with the Mitchells and they have always been very professional horsemen and treated our horses very well. That was a great front-running drive from Toddy on Thursday," Tarry said. Stunin Banner has now had 81 starts for 16 wins, 17 seconds and 12 thirds. His stake earnings currently sit at $129,987. Mitchell has now had three wins and five placings (plus three fourths) from 16 starts with the bay. Stunin Banner is the second of five foals left by the 17-race ($684,579) Christian Cullen - Corporate Banner mare, Mainland Banner. Foal number four Rocker Band (by Rocknroll Hanover) was born via embryo transfer. She has so far won 10 of her 32 starts including this year's Group One $100,000 Ladyship Cup at Melton's Tabcorp Park on February 17. "We always knew Stunin Banner was from a good family and he has given us some happy times. I think claiming is great for harness racing. It gives everyone the same drink out of the well," Tarry said. Tarry, a former galloping owner, said he loved harness racing because of its people. "They are down-to-earth friendly people who are all trying to make a buck. I love the game and will never forget winning my first Group One with Linda Lovegrace. "I'm hoping Spandau Ballet will follow suit," Tarry said. Stunin Banner will line up next at Cambridge Raceway in a fortnight. There were eight races at Thursday's Harness Racing Waikato - Bay of Plenty meeting and eight different stables were successful. David Butcher was the most successful reinsman with two wins behind the Craig & Tony Jamieson trained $5.90 fourth favourite, BK Superstar in race one; and the Ray Green trained $1.40 hotpot, Onedin Amethyst, in the second event.   Duane Ranger  

Harness racing fixed odds early movers for Cambridge today as at 3:30pm Race 1 - Megamind $4.50 is best backed in win & multi betting.    Race 2 -  All the win & multi money is for Onedin Amethyst $1.60 - $1.50 with the largest bets $2,000 at $1.55 & $1,000 at $1.50.    Race 3 - Ring The Till $2.90 leads multi betting over The Dali Express $7.50.   Race 4 - De Lancome $3.20 is easily the best backed runner in win betting over Rosa Belle $21 and Gold Orchid $4.00. De Lancome also leads multi betting over Gold Orchid and Linc's Tiger $1.85.    Race 5 - Monkey Luck $14 - $12 leads win betting over Tereskova $8.80 - $7.70.   Race 6 - American Empress $4.20 leads win betting over Kiwi Tinttin $14.   Race 7 - Ideal Roman $7.00 - $6.00 easily leads early win betting with the largest bet $1,400 at $7.00. Lola Jones $5.80 is a clear leader in multi betting early over Bettor Spirits $3.60.   Race 8 - R Gee Three $5.50 leads win betting with Father Frank $3.20 a clear leader in multi betting. The $1.80 opening favourite Robert The Bruce was scratched at 11:09am this morning and 40% win and 24% place deductions will be applied to any win or multi bets placed prior to that scratching time.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

The harness racing ringaround again selected a few winners last week and several placings. This week there are five meetings with selections, with the highlight the Easter Cup at Addington on Saturday night. It looks like being a wet and wild weekend and wet track form could provide a few winners especially on grass at Motukarara and Hawera. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in, so check back often   Forbury on Thursday night Andrew Suddaby - thinks Delightful Dani would be his best chance this week in Race 4 Ricky May - Ricky says his best drive at Forbury is Cullenz Diamond also in Race 4 Cran Dalgety - Cran thinks it will be very hard to beat Partyon in Race 5 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory says his best drive would be Belmont Invasion at Forbury in Race 7 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Dream Big as his best drive also in Race 7 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks his best drive at Forbury would be Jimmy Mack in Race 8 Geoff Knight - Geoff is going for Idealistic Lass as his best chance at Forbury in Race 11   Cambridge on Thursday night Stephen Richardson (TAB) - thinks BK Superstar can go close to winning at Cambridge in Race 1 Todd Mcfarlane - Todd thinks Dreamy Nights would be his best drive this week in Race 3 Tony Herlihy - Tony is going for Gold Orchid to be his best chance this week in Race 4 Scott Phelan - Scott says Admiral's Flight would be his best drive at Cambridge in Race 8   Hawera on Saturday Andre Poutama - Andre is opting for Commando One as his best drive in Race 2 Kyle Marshall - Kyle thinks his best chance is Take A Gamble at Hawera in Race 4 Jay Abernethy - Jay is going for R Gee Bee as his best drive at Hawera also in Race 4   Addington on Saturday night Sheree Tomlinson - Sheree thinks her best chance this week is Donegal Carrickfin in Race 2 Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard is picking Tornado Valley as his best chance in Race 4 Blair Orange - Blair says his best chance could be Aloka at Addington in Race 7 Nathan Williamson - is opting for Captain Dolmio in the Easter Cup as his best drive in Race 9 Terry Chmiel - Terry says his best chance this week is Framco Tai in Race 10 Bob Butt - says his best chance this week is Hashtag at Addington in Race 11 Mark Jones thinks his best chance this week is Bushido at Addington also in Race 11 Racechat - Lance thinks Corena Lea is a chance at longer odds also in Race 11   Banks Peninsular on Monday Jim Curtin - Jimmy thinks his best drive this week is Red Terror at Motukarara in Race 3 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Glenis Marie can go close to winning in Race 4 Gavin Smith - Gavin is going for Di'z Luck this week also in Race 4 John Curtin - John says Julia Lady could win again at Motukarara in Race 8 John Morrison - John thinks his best drive this week is Leading The Way in Race 11   Good luck and Happy Easter!   Harnesslink Media  

The mare that was named after the character ‘Fizz’ on Coronation Street can notch up her eighth career win at Cambridge Raceway tonight. Fizzi Lizzi goes into the $7,000 Furnware Industries Bodyfurn Handicap for the R60 and faster pacers with a nice workout win at 'The Raceway' on Saturday. "She's a reliable little mare who steps well and doesn't have a problem sitting parked. Back-marker Bettor Spirits (35m) will be the toughest to beat and even though she's beaten some of those old claimers before, it's never a given from 25 metres behind,"Hamilton-based MacKenzie said. He said he was delighted with where the McArdle mare was at, but half expected her to win her Workout last Saturday. "She's had a few niggles in recent seasons and all four of my wins this season have come via her. "I gave her a couple of weeks off and she has come back nice and strong. I would have been a bit surprised had she not won on Saturday," Mackenzie said. James Stormont will drive her on Thursday but Kyle Marshall did a good job of steering her to a one-and-a-half length victory over Sypda in Saturday's 2200m mobile for the R51 and faster pacers. Fizzi Lizzi currently has a R88 rating brought largely on by her three consecutive wins at Cambridge Raceway in November and December. On Saturday she stopped the clock (off the front) in 2:47.1 (mile rate 2:02.2) and came home in 58.8 and 29 even. "The small field (eight) should help her, but in saying that the speeds they go up front these days turns a 25m handicap into 40m. "I know she can step okay and she loves the track and distance and is race-fit, so yes I think she can go close," the Waikato horseman said. Three of Fizzi Lizzi’s four wins this season have been over Thursday’s 2700m distance, and five of her of seven wins have come at Cambridge, including three over the distance. Her standing start record is also impressive: 6-3-2. "She's the only one I've got in work. I'm also breaking in a Bettor's Delight youngster," said Mackenzie who works Fizzi Lizzi on the Tuhikaramea galloping track. The mare copped her name thanks to Myross Bush breeder Debbie Smith, who loves watching Jennie McAlpine - the actress who plays ‘Fizz’ on Coronation Street. Smith and her husband Mark have owned and operated Shard Farm Standardbreds since March 2004. They have put thousands of hours into their breeding empire, but Smith (Debbie) admits she was in and out of the Fizzi Lizzi breed within a month. “We bought the mare, Averil’s Atom (by Soky’s Atom) privately off Sylvia Purdue after the Sales. That wasn’t long after Sylvia’s husband John passed away. Mark O’Connor bought her and then bred from her after we had her for about a month. “The only horse we bred from the mare was Fizzi Lizzi but we then sold her as a weanling to Rod,” Smith said. Fizzi Lizzi is owned by MacKenzie, Jaymz Mackenzie-Hooper, Catherine Smith, and Nancey Taylor.   Duane Ranger

Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins will unleash their 2-year-old filly, Gottabearose and Cambridge Raceway on Thursday, but Positano is a better winning chance in the second event. Gottabearose has drawn three, of seven, in the fourth race - the $7,000 Autex Industries Maiden for the 2-year-old pacers, whereas Positano has copped the widest second row draw in the NSSC Mobile for maiden pacers. "It wouldn't surprise me if Gottabearose won on debut. She's good enough but at this stage of her career she just lacks a bit of ringcraft and confidence. "Positano has had nine starts and has been real consistent of late. He's a nice 3-year-old gelding who just needs luck in the running from gate 14," said Tate Hopkins who trains the duo with Frank Cooney at Taupaki. Gottabearose is the third of four foals out of the two-win 2002 Live Or Die mare, Gottabeseptember. Gottabearose finished fifth (of five) when qualifying 4.4 seconds under time at Pukekohe last Saturday. The Sir Lincoln filly finished half a second behind winner, Caitlyn Clarke and Scott Phelan. "Whatever happens on Thursday she will benefit from the run. She appears to be an honest filly who tries her guts out, and from gate three she will have every show. "We are working about 14 horses at the moment - six of which are two-year-olds. This filly would rate third or fourth best 2-year-old we have got. Last week’s winner Churchill Downs is right up there," Hopkins said. Maurice McKendry drove Gottabearose to qualify, but has opted to drive the likely favourite - the Robert Dunn trained De Lancome in the 2-year-old pace. James Stormont will drive Gottabearose. De Lancome was a beaten four-length favourite when making his debut at Alexandra Park last Friday night. He drew two that night and has copped the one marble on Thursday. That run would have done him the world of good. Hopkins said regular reinsman, Tony Herlihy (MNZM) would again drive Positano, who has placed four times from nine lifetime starts and has a two from three place record at Cambridge - and four from nine over Thursday's 2200m mobile distance. “Sure he will need a bit of luck from out there but he’s been racing real well of late and has the driver to win. He went 2:46 when finishing a close-up fourth (from gate 10) at Alexandra Park last start. “That was an encouraging performance and this race doesn’t look any harder. He got well back and ran home well that night. We’ve only got two in on Thursday and he’s our best winning chance,” Hopkins said. Cooney and Hopkins have been training together since 2012-2013 and have trained 40 winners from 302 starters since then. They have so far conditioned six winners from 41 starters this season.   Duane Ranger

Kumeu amateur driver, Cheree Wigg is on the verge of creating a bit of New Zealand amateur driving history. The 45-year-old horsewoman is not far from winning the Summer Series and North Island Championship for the third consecutive year. “I don't think anyone has done that before and it was one of my goals at the start of the season to win them both. “I'm inching closer to achieving that, and hopefully in the next two weeks it will be realised,” Wigg said. Wigg is one of six drivers currently competing in the North Island Championships. She has already qualified for the New Zealand Championships later in the season. The founder of New Zealand Amateur Driving, Steve Phillips said Wigg was competing against Phil Niall, Angela Temu, Jeff Darby, Logan Darby and her partner Mike Stevens in the North Island Championships. “We have had two of the four heats and the third will be staged this Saturday (April 8) at Alexandra Park. Cheree won first heat from Jeff and Angela while Phil won the second heat from Cheree and Mike. “The fourth and final heat will be run at the Alexandra Park Workouts the Saturday after Easter (April 22),” Phillips said. He said the North Island Champion would be crowned at the ‘2017 North Island Amateur Driver-of-the-Year’ at the annual ‘North Island Harness Racing Awards’ ceremony. “The New Zealand Champs are in May and will be tote races. The finalists for that Series qualify from a combination of summer series and tote races. To qualify all amateurs must hold an advanced amateur licence,” said Phillips. “I would love to win this North Island Championship and then repeat the dose at the New Zealand Champs. Until then I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. It will be my first time in the New Zealand Championships. I've qualified. Points are accumulated via race-day results and Summer Series points. “I would love to win them both and then ultimately the World Championship one day,” Wigg said. Wigg, who also has four training successes to her name, has two horses in work – one of which is the at present one is the eight-win Art Major 7-year-old gelding, Minstrel Boy, who is resuming after a spell. Wigg drove two winners last season and has saluted the judge once in 2016-2017, that was when she trained and drove Elliott Daniel to win at Cambridge Raceway on February 5. She has also placed six times from 14 starts this season. Last year she won two of her five drives and placed in one other. Her UDR strike-rate this season is 0.2460 compared to her life-time UDR which is a very healthy 0.3041. Her fiercest rivals are her twin sister Sheryl and her partner Stevens, who is about to embark on his amateur TAB career. “I don’t care who I’m driving against. I just want to beat the lot of them,” said Wigg. Points after two of four heats of the North Island Amateur Championships are: Cheree Wigg 16; Phil Niall 14; Jeff Darby 11; Angela Temu 11; Mike Stevens 9 and Logan Darby 7. Points are allocated 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, from first to sixth    Duane Ranger

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