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Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Cambridge today with a ten race program starting at 5:31pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Cambridge selections 14th January 2021 Best Bet:  R1 Demolition Man Best Value:  R5 Majestic Harry   Race 1 Demolition Man Doris Rae Storms Acoming Skyzrclearnsunny   Race 2 Brodie Lindenny Mailman Betterzippit Scottish Poacher   Race 3 Dun It Bad Bugalugs Ticking Over Roma Rosa   Race 4 Spirit Of Anzac Fleeting Grin Classey Robin Prodigal Pete   Race 5 Majestic Harry Littlebitoflove Safrakova Berrylicious Babe   Race 6 Ruby Mach Prop Rock Crimson Rain Pacing Hope   Race 7 About Turn Ace Strike On A Roll American Me   Race 8 Hezacrocwatcher Down The Hatch Show Me Heaven Sarandon    Race 9 The Last Gamble Delson Monkey Selfie Still Eyre   Race 10 Captain Nemo Miss Hathaway Jungle Gem Express Play   Harnesslink Media

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Trainer Ray Green felt a sense of relief as he watched his pride and joy Copy That take out the Group 2 McMillian Equine Feeds Flying Mile (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway on Friday night. The exciting pacer has been luckless in his last few starts, but he was finally dealt a good hand in Friday’s feature and he didn’t disappoint. Driver Maurice McKendry launched the son of American Ideal off the gate from his handy draw of three to take an early lead. McKendry kept a solid tempo throughout and Copy That was able to open up turning for home and hold off the late challenge of Self Assured to win by 1-1/2 lengths, in a time of 1:53.2. Green said he was relieved to get the win after a series of placings. “We have had no luck in his last few races. He has gone well in each of them but has had no luck,” he said. “Tonight he showed he is right up there with them.” Green took plenty of confidence into the race, with his main rivals Spankem and Self Assured drawing wide. “On paper I couldn’t see how they could beat him. As it turned out that is the way it was,” he said. “The draw was good and all the stars were aligned.” Green was philosophical about Copt That’s previous runs and he is now looking forward to further campaigns with his star pacer. “It is always frustrating, but that is horse racing. You can’t have everything going your way all of the time,” he said. “It was a relief to see him not encounter any hurdles and show what he can do.” Copy That will now head for a brief spell before Green decides what his next targets will be. “He won’t be heading over to Australia, COVID-19 has put a stop to that,” Green said. “He can do all of those races next year anyway, so he doesn’t have to go over. “He will go for a short spell and we will go from there.” Earlier on the card Majestic Man signed off his New Zealand campaign in style before he heads across the Tasman for some Group One targets. The Phil Williamson-trained gelding was backed into $1.20 favouritism for the Group 3 Les Harrison Transport Cambridge Flying Stakes (1700m), and duly delivered for punters, winning by three-quarters of a length over Temporale. He will now fly to Victoria on January 20 in preparation for the Dullard Cup later this month.

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Majestic Man will be out to end his New Zealand summer on a high at Cambridge Raceway on Friday before testing the waters on the other side of the Tasman. The Phil Williamson-trained gelding has been in scintillating form this season, finishing unplaced in just two of his 11 starts, and winning on two occasions, including the Gr.3 Ashburton Flying Mile (1609m) and Gr.2 Trotters Flying Mile (1609m) at Cambridge on Christmas Eve. The son of Majestic Son subsequently placed in the Gr.1 National Trot (2700m) at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve behind Sundees Son and Bolt For Brilliance, both of whom will bypass the Gr.3 Les Harrison Transport Cambridge Flying Stakes Mobile Trot (1700m) on Friday. Williamson was pleased with his gelding’s run and he is looking forward to facing a weaker field at Cambridge Raceway on Friday. “I was really happy with him,” he said. “They ran a national record and he trotted a quick last half, so he went well he just couldn’t catch the other two, they are both great horses. It’s no shame running third to them. “He looks tough to beat there for sure on Friday.” Majestic Man has been installed as a $1.15 favourite for the Flying Mile by TAB bookmakers, ahead of Group One winner Temporale at $7.50, and barring incident Williamson is confident of meeting his charge in the winner’s circle following the race. “He is the horse to beat,” Williamson said. “I have got plenty of respect for Temporale, but with the inside draw on him we should be in a dominant position. If he is good enough, he will be winning.” Friday night’s test will be Majestic Man’s final New Zealand hit-out before he travels across the Tasman with driver Brad Williamson to try and plunder some Australian trotting spoils. “We will take him over to Australia. The Dullard Cup will be his first race on January 30,” Williamson said. “The reason he is going is because there are about five Group Ones that he can run in over there over the month of February. “He is penciled to leave on the 20th (January) and he will stay over there until early March. Whether he goes up to Sydney will just depend on what COVID restrictions there are going to be at the state border. “Brad is going to go over and it will be a good opportunity for him to try and steer a Group One. “With the racing he will have, with a bit of luck he will be tough to beat in some of them.”

Hayden Cullen's dream homecoming at Cambridge tonight night is being dampened by one small detail: he won't be there. The man taking over Australasia's most powerful harness racing stable is learning the realities of what that means — work always comes first. Cullen is now the trainer for almost all the horses which until last week were part of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's All Stars brand, with the pair taking a sabbatical from training. The 36-year-old now runs the most powerful stable in the industry even though to casual punters it will look much the same tomorrow night, with Cullen also taking over Purdon's famous colours and Purdon and Rasmussen both driving. But this is Cullen's team now and he has been in the north working them this week. Until today. "I have had to come back to Christchurch to work the babies because they are at an important stage and we need to look forward with them," he tells the Herald. "So while I looked after the horses up there this week, I won't be going to Cambridge. That is a little bit of a shame because it is my home track and I'd love to have been there but this is my job now, I have to look after the whole team and delegate staff to be where I can't." Cullen says it was a surreal feeling to see his name in the form guides next to Self Assured and Spankem. "This isn't usually how it usually works. When you start training it is often with a few maidens and unraced horses, not New Zealand Cup and Miracle Mile winners. I don't think it has sunk in yet and I don't think it will for a few weeks." So what does all this mean for punters? It would be unrealistic to think Cullen, or anybody else, could maintain the standards Purdon and Rasmussen have set so some horses might eventually see a dip in performance. But there is no proof of that yet and if things change that should take a while to show up. Cullen is a young man taking on a massive job and while he has been trained by the best as their foreman, he is still going to learn as he goes. Cullens keen to stamp their own mark But the reality is Spankem and Ashley Locaz raced in the Auckland Cup only eight days ago so would have taken little work this week leading into a mile race, while Cullen says he is happy with Self Assured, who hasn't raced since winning the New Zealand Cup because of a corn. "I worked him on Wednesday and he worked well," he says. "He is not carrying any extra weight and is ready to go but the draws make it tough for all of ours because it looks like Copy That will lead and that will make him very hard to beat." Spankem raced in the Auckland Cup eight days ago so would have taken little work (Trish Dunell Photo) The Flying Mile at Cambridge being what it is, with leaders so hard to catch at this level, Cullen's debut with three of New Zealand's best pacers could well end in defeat because the best version of Copy That might be unbeatable in front. But Cullen should get his first solo training victory — he has 62 in partnership with Brent Mangos between 2011 and 2014 — with Italian Lad (R8, No 11). "He has worked well and is fitter for his last start so he will be hard to beat." If he is right Cullen and his wife Amanda, who will help run the stable, can raise a glass for their first win in a unique chapter of New Zealand racing. And then tomorrow get straight back to work. FIVE HORSES TO BACK AT CAMBRIDGE 1. Son Of Patrick (R5, No 3): High drop in grade and has experience in mobile racing taking on the best 3yos at Addington last year. If he trots all the way he should win, as he did in his only previous start here. 2. Italian Lad (R8, No 11): Sat parked outside top 3yo B D Joe here last start and ran him close. Only here to get a penalty-free win before heading to Sydney. 3. Majestic Man (R7, No 6): Last time he raced in a sprint here he beat Sundees Son. Too short to back but Pick6 and multi anchor. 4. Hot And Treacherous (R11, No 7): Has been racing primarily in the elite 3yo pacing grade and falls into a perfect race. Almost another Pick6 anchor. 5. Santa Maria (R6, No 3): Latest outings at Alex Park have been in stronger maidens, has the gate speed to use her draw and the boss (trainer, Tony Herlihy) is on board. By Michael Guerin Courtesy of The New Zealand Herald

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    South Auckland trainer Owen Gillies is enjoying his first season training under his own name and he is hoping he can add to his winning tally at Cambridge Raceway on Tuesday. Gillies trained in partnership with Derek Balle for four seasons, 10 years ago, before he spent some time across the Tasman to further his racing experience. “I went to work for Daren Garrard in Brisbane,” he said. “It’s not my sort of thing over there, it’s too hot. “I was in partnership with Derek for four seasons before I went to Australia and I came back to work for him before deciding it was time to do it on my own.” Gillies has recorded two wins this season, courtesy of Ohoka Achilles, and he is hoping the six-year-old gelding can add a third on Tuesday. The son of Art Major will start from the outside of the second row in the McMillian Equine Feeds Flying Mile – Jan 8th Mobile Pace (2200m). He heads into the race in good form, with two wins and two placings from his last five starts, and a last start fourth-placing at Cambridge Raceway last Thursday. “Ohoka Achilles has been going some really good races,” Gillies said. “He was very good on Christmas Eve. He probably should have run third, he had a skip around the home turn when he came out. “If he gets the right trip he should be thereabouts.” Gillies will also line-up Betterthanyouthink in the Gregory Equine Covers & Saddlery Mobile Pace (2200m). The daughter of Betterthancheddar placed in her 2200m Christmas Eve assignment at Cambridge and Gillies is hoping for a similar result on Tuesday. “Her run was good on Thursday, but she has still got to improve a wee bit to be able to win on Tuesday,” Gillies said. “She is definitely getting better as she goes, she is starting to relax a bit. I am very happy with her. “She is a chance on Tuesday and as long as she does everything right, we will be happy.” TAB bookmakers have labelled Betterthanyouthink a $9-winning chance while Ohoka Achilles has been installed a $5 equal second favourite for his race. Gillies will also hop in the cart on Tuesday behind Circus Circus in the Agrowquip | John Deere Cambridge Trot (2700m).

Majestic Man may have earned himself a crack at Australasian trotting’s richest prize with his win at Cambridge on Thursday. Because trainer Phil Williamson thinks the A$300,000 Great Southern Star is perfectly suited to New Zealand’s sprinting star. Majestic Man claimed first blood in the clashes of the big three against Sundees Son and Bolt For Brilliance in the Group 1 Turf Bar Flying Mile at Cambridge. He blasted straight to the front and was beautifully rated by Brad Williamson to trot a 1:55.8 mile and Sundees Son never really looked like catching him. Bolt For Brilliance came from last on the outer for a brave third but also never looked a winning hope. Add in his demolition job in the Flying Mile at Ashburton in October and Majestic Man is making a name for himself as a mile sensation. So while he will add to round two of the clash of the giants in the National Trot next Thursday, the What The Hill Great Southern Star on Melton’s all-trotting programme on February 5 looks perfect. The Great Southern Star reverts to its original format of two heats over 1720m and a final the same night, which looks perfect for Majestic Man, especially with his blazing early gate speed. Williamson will see how his stable star handles the National Trot next week and maybe even the Flying Stakes at Cambridge on January 8 before making any final decisions about Victoria. “But it is very tempting,” he said. “I am keen to go but when I heard they having a few more Covid problems this week I started to waver a bit. “But if that is all in Sydney and things clear up then we have to think about it because he would love the two-sprint race format.” The campaign would make sense as it sounds like very few New Zealand trotters are going and the Australian ranks are, while no pushover, far from scary. The Great Southern Star will now be held on a Friday night on an all-trotting programme the night before the Hunter Cup also at Melton.   By Michael Guerin

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Christmas came early for Nicky Chilcott on Thursday, with the Cambridge trainer recording a winning treble at her home track. With a bumper 12 race card, local trainers were asked to gear up their horses in their own barns, and Chilcott said it worked wonders for two of her team. “Madeakillin and Ivegotbills are brothers and they both are really cool horses, but they just get quite anxious when they go to the races,” Chilcott said. “Because there were so many races, they (Cambridge Raceway) asked the local trainers if they could gear up at their own barns. My two thought they were going out for a training run and I think it helped both of them.” Madeakillin was the first on the board for Chilcott when taking out the $20 Steak, chips, & A Drink @ The Clubhouse On Fridays Trot (2200m). “I thought he was really brave,” Chilcott said. “He got monstered in the middle and they ran a pretty good time. “He gets quite wound up before the races. He is good enough to race at Auckland, but he gets really upset on the trip up. “It worked in our favour being able to gear up from the barn today.” Three races later Ivegotbills doubled Chilcott’s tally when winning the Agrowquip | John Deere Cambridge Trot (2200m) by 3-1/4 lengths over Demolition Man. “Ivegotbills has just taken a bit of time,” Chilcott said. “I have had a lot of juniors come through my stable and because he is my own horse, and he has good manners, I have used him to teach my kids how to drive. “Hence why he was six before he has even got to the races.” Chilcott wasn’t finished heading to the winner’s circle, with Phoebe Imperial securing a stable treble when comfortably taking out the Cambridge Homes Handicap Trot (2200m) after sitting parked throughout. What made the gelding’s win more impressive was his ongoing respiratory issues. “He is a very good horse, but he has a major lung disease,” Chilcott said. “If he didn’t have that he would be a seriously competitive open grade horse. “It was a bit of a relief today. I thought he was really good at Auckland (last start), he loomed into it like he was going to win, but just blew out the last little bit.” Chilcott said she wasn’t overly perturbed that Phoebe Imperial sat parked throughout. “It didn’t worry me that he was sitting parked. He can race anywhere and he has got speed,” she said. “If he ends up outside them he just drops the bit. He is a really good racehorse, it’s just a shame he can’t breathe. “He lives on the nebuliser and inhalers. It is very hard because all the medications we give him have got big withholding times on them. We can treat him while he is working, but when he gets up close to racing we have got to knock all of that off.” Chilcott was pleased with the treble and said it was a much needed boost for her and her team. “It tripled my number of winners for the season. It has been a challenging beginning to the season,” she said. “It was nice for the whole team. We haven’t had the rub of the green lately, so it was good.”

New Zealand's premier trainer of trotters says the national mile record could be smashed at Cambridge on Thursday night. But Phil Williamson fears while his stable star Majestic Man may set up the record, one of the other two huge names in the race may benefit most in the Group 1 Turf Bar Flying Mile. The sprint sees the first clash of Bolt For Brilliance with Sundees Son and Majestic Man, the latter pair having set national records the last two times they have raced. On both occasions Sundees Son has been able to sit outside Majestic Man and outstay him but that was over a 3200m standing start and 2200m mobile whereas Thursday is a mile around Cambridge, racing which typically suits leaders. With Majestic Man's blazing gate speed he should lead the small field and then the defining questions include whether Sundees Son handles the track, can put enough on the leader to puncture him and, if both those things eventuate, Bolt For Brilliance comes over the top of the older pair. It is a potentially delicious contest and one Williamson, the maestro of New Zealand trotting, believes could see the national mile record of 1:53.8 broken. That time was set by a rampant Marcoola at the rocket-fast Ashburton track last year but Williamson says with the three big names in Thursday's race having trotted last 800m sectionals in sub 55 seconds recently, the record is in danger. "If they go the first 800m in 57 seconds, or even 58, these horses can trot home in 55 seconds," he offers. "So you do the math. If it is a warm day, the way these horses have been breaking records — it is on." The connections of all three of the stars seem to concede Majestic Man will lead and Williamson realises this is his best chance of beating the other two but he is anything but confident. "It is hard to be confident the way Sundees Son has beaten us the last two starts. But we will give them something to chase." Sundees Son's driver John Dunn says being drawn barrier six of six doesn't worry him as he expects to settle early, work to the parked position as he has in his last two starts, and then pressure Majestic Man to outstay him. "I think he will handle the track well enough because he actually trots bends very well," says Dunn. "When you go back over his career almost all his gallops, apart from the one at Kaikoura three starts ago which wasn't his fault, have been on a straight. So I am not too worried about the track and as good a horse as Majestic Man is I think we can sit outside him and beat him again." That does however raise the scenario of Sundees Son being a sitting duck for Bolt For Brilliance, who might just be a little special. The fittest version of Bolt For Brilliance, if totally comfortable left-handed, might have been able to come off Sundees Son's back to beat him but it would seem unlikely that version can be on show with the 4-year-old not having raced for two months. The flying trotters aren't the only reason to tune in to the twilight meeting as talented three-year-old B D Joe warms up for next week's NZSB Harness Millions against smart older rivals in race 10. "It was actually my fault he got beaten at Alexandra Park last start because I don't think I had him ready enough," admits trainer Steve Telfer. "But that race has brought him on a lot and he will be a lot fitter this week."   Recipe the same for Dunn The two feature races John Dunn is chasing in the next few days could hardly be more different, but the astute reinsman says the recipe for success may ultimately be the same. Dunn steers favourite Sundees Son in the mobile mile trot on the all-weather at Cambridge whereas on Saturday he will partner another likely favourite in Belmont Major in the 3200m standing start Westport Cup on grass. "They might look very different races but Westport is a funny track and you need to get handy, like at Cambridge. And I think he (Belmont Major) is tough enough to do that." Belmont Major finished second to an open-class horse in waiting in Bad To The Bone on New Zealand Cup day and Dunn was happy with how he trialled last week. "I think he can do the work to get handy and will be hard to beat," he says. Dunn's other Boxing Day tip for Herald readers is Tas Girl Bromac (R1, No 12), who was impressive winning a recent workout.   By: Michael Guerin   Reprinted with permission of The New Zealand Herald

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Talented but erratic trotter Credit Master will be carrying the hopes of the locals when he contests the Gr.2 Group 1 Turf Bar Trotters Flying Mile Mobile Trot (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday. The Cambridge trotter will meet a small but select field on Christmas Eve and will have his work cut out against the likes of Group One winner Sundees Son, Group One performer Majestic Man, and arguably the most exciting square-gaiter in this part of the world, Bolt For Brilliance. Credit Master heads into Thursday in good form, having won two of his five starts this preparation, and placing in two others, including the Gr.2 Lyell Creek Stakes (2200m) at Alexandra Park last start. “His run in the Lyell Creek sharpened him,” said Andrew Neal, who trains in partnership with his wife, Lyn. “He knocked off a bit with a round to go. He just drifted and wouldn’t go and all of a sudden he took off again.” The son of Muscle Mass has been battling some mental issues in previous campaigns, which halted a southern campaign this spring, but Neal is hoping he is starting to mature. “He is in good form, but his issues are still there, we are working around them,” Andrew Neal said. “It’s been a combination of a whole lot of things, but we have been using a few herbal tonics on him. “The more racing he gets he is starting to settle a little bit. He wasn’t too bad at Auckland last start, it’s more prior to the race that he gets wound up in the stall area. He is not so bad on the track. I think he is learning to manage that now. “Last season he was really stressed in the stalls and then would make a break in the running just because he was so wound up. He is maturing, but has been a slow learner.” Neal will hop in the cart himself on Christmas Eve and is delighted that his charge has drawn the ace barrier, but expects fireworks early from a couple of his rivals. “I’ll trot out as quick as I can,” he said. “Majestic Man usually likes to run forward so we will just see what happens. The worst we will end up is possibly the trail. “He has got good form over that distance. He trotted 1.56 twice last year and is probably a better horse now. “We have made a couple of gear changes and he is racing with the blinkers on this week and I think that will help him, especially over a mile.” Neal will also line-up Ideal Agent in the Mark Wambold Memorial Mobile Pace (2200m) where he will be reunited with last start-winning driver Matthew White. “He has been unlucky at Auckland and has got some bad trips. In every one of them he has run home well,” Neal said. “The other night Matty go him out nice and dropped him in the trail and he really showed his true form. “I am looking forward to giving him another start. He really relished the run last start and he should be as good, if not better.” Meanwhile, Neal is looking forward to the raceday return of exciting pacer Alterior Motif, who has had a slight setback in his preparation since returning from a two-run campaign in Christchurch over the New Zealand Cup Carnival. “He hadn’t been away before and when he got home he was a wee bit down, so we gave him 10 days off,” Neal said. “We were planning on having him race on Thursday night but he got a stone bruise, which set him back another week. “He is not far off it now, but it wasn’t worth pushing him for Christmas Eve. But he will line-up in the next couple of weeks.” Neal was happy enough with his runs at Addington Raceway, but said he will now space the gelding’s races in the future. “The first day he went well (despite carrying a flat tyre over the final stages) and David (Butcher, driver) said he just has to learn to race. He was over-racing and not settling,” Neal said. “The second day he didn’t really back-up. It was only his fourth start and I thought he may have handled the second day, but he just didn’t back-up. “We are learning what he can do, and we will just space his races.”

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Ricki Herbert is well-known for his association with football, coaching the All Whites to an historic World Cup campaign a decade ago, but on Thursday night he made a return to his other passion – harness racing. More than three decades ago Herbert developed a passion for the sport upon his return from playing international football when he started to help out his father Clive at his stable. “I had been overseas playing football and when I got back and wasn’t quite sure where to go or what to do, I jumped onboard with Dad,” Herbert said. “I didn’t know anything about horses back then. “10 years later I had a really good experience with it and got into the training side of things and then got my (driver’s) license and had 10 drives. “I thoroughly enjoyed it and then I went overseas and had national team jobs (with football). “I haven’t been in it for a long time, but it was a strong part of my life and I am really pleased that I have got a chance to be back involved.” Herbert had 10 raceday drives in the early nineties, for two placings, and is enjoying being back in the sulky after a 27-year hiatus, albeit at amateur level. He has been working his way to attaining his amateur driver credentials over the last few months, a pursuit that was motivated by his father’s passing 18 months ago. “My Mum passed away four years ago and my Dad passed away 18 months ago. He loved the game and was heavily involved in it,” Herbert said. “He had some nice horses and the family is really proud of the colours. I just thought we could try and get back into it. “I always said to Dad that I would try and have another drive and it’s just come to fruition. “It’s a sport I love and when I get a bit of time, I enjoy it and I like doing it.” Together with a group of mates, Herbert bought into the Luke Whittaker-trained Chalberg and he has enjoyed racing the son of Art Official over the last couple of months, highlighted by his maiden win at Cambridge in September. “There’s eight of us who bought a 50 percent share in him,” Herbert said. “We have had him going around a little bit, just having a bit of fun with him.” That sense of fun was enhanced at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday when Herbert drove him in the Downbytheseaside At Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace (2700m). While the pair finished unplaced, Herbert was delighted to be back out on the track. “Wherever he came was irrelevant, I was just so proud to have Dad’s colours on and being out there driving,” he said. While kept busy with football obligations, the Cambridge resident said he tries to get down to Cambridge Raceway most mornings to help out local trainer Kyle Marshall. “I try and get down to the track most mornings,” Herbert said. “I am helping out Kyle Marshall and he has been great. I try and get some early starts and work a couple of horses, just depending on what my timetable looks like. “I am down there doing something completely different and then it’s a long day of football activity. It’s quite a nice balance.” Herbert said harness racing adds a healthy mix to his life and helps him unwind from the pressure of football. “Football has been my life – it’s my passion, it’s what I love,” he said. “The racing side of it just adds that bit of relaxation and it can just take your mind away and you can chill out a little bit and enjoy other people’s company and have some fun.” On the football front, Herbert said he is currently enjoying running his own academy as well as being involved with a couple of local football clubs. “I am Football Development Manager at Hamilton Wanderers and Technical Director of the Cambridge Football Club,” he said. “I have also got my own academy, we have got 10 centres around the North Island. “There are some great kids, both male and female, coming through in the game, so it’s exciting times for football.” While football will always be the leading light in Herbert’s life, he said he is enjoying being back in the sport introduced to him by his late father. “It’s an industry that I love and it’s good to be back with it,” he said.

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Megan and Jason Teaz will be hoping for another solid performance from Armed Reactor when he lines-up in the Dunstan Horse Feeds Mobile Pace (2200m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday night. The six-year-old gelding takes a solid form line into the race, with a win and five placings from his last six starts, and his trainers see no reason why he can’t produce a similar result this week. He has drawn barrier five in the six-horse field and Megan Teaz believes it will be a nice hit-out for the son of Auckland Reactor ahead of his trip south to Palmerston North next week. “We were originally going to trial him on Saturday before he heads to Manawatu next week, but we thought we would put him in and when we saw the field was so small we thought it would be better than a trial,” she said. “It will be tricky in the small field. Having drawn wide we will have to go back in the beginning and see what Peter (Ferguson, driver) wants to do mid-race. “His training has been very good and he has come through his last run (third in the Manawatu Cup) really well. We are confident for a top run.” The stable will also line-up Panspacificjet and Hezashadowplaya in the O’Connor Warren Insurance Brokers Mobile Pace (2200m). Both geldings head into Thursday in a fresh state and Teaz said they will need the run ahead of their summer campaigns. “It will be their first run back for quite a while and both of them will be needing the run,” she said. “Panspacificjet should get a comfier run from the draw (1), but both will definitely take improvement from the race.” Teaz will hop in the bike herself in the Gregory Equine Saddlery For The Best Fit Mobile Trot (2200m) to steer Majestic Harry. “I was a bit disappointed with his run last week (finishing fifth at Alexandra Park),” she said. “I thought he should have finished it off better. “This week from the mobile and drawn wide (7) is going to make it tough. We will just see where he sits at the beginning.” While Teaz was forced to scratch Hezacrocwatcher from Thursday’s card, she said it’s nothing serious and she is looking forward to campaigning him over the summer. “Hezacrocwatcher has been very promising in his first few races and should carry it on,” she said. “We have scratched him from Thursday night, but it’s nothing too serious.”

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    A refreshed Presidential Jewel made an impressive return to Cambridge Raceway on Friday night when taking out the Loveridge Enterprise Builders Handicap Trot (2700m). The Roger Villiger-trained seven-year-old began well from the 20m mark and driver Joshua Dickie sent the mare forward off a sedate pace to take an early lead before handing up to Horace Horse. Horace Horse began to tire with two furlongs to go and Dickie was able to extricate Presidential Jewel from the trail and chase down race favourite Delson to win by 1-3/4 lengths. Villiger was in awe of the win and said he wasn’t expecting to witness such a dominant victory fresh-up from the mare. “It was impressive that’s for sure,” he said. “Fresh up you never quite know but she has always raced well in that state before. You always go in hoping, but I didn’t quite expect that.” Villger was also full of praise for Dickie’s performance in the cart. “It was aided by a perfect drive,” Villiger said. “He popped around to the front when there wasn’t a huge amount of pace on and handed up. “Things got a bit ugly there at the quarter but he got around that horse (Horace Horse). I thought if she ran second to the other guy (Delson) it would be a good run first-up, but she just proved to be too good on the night.” While pleased with the win, Villiger had admiration for Delson’s effort from the 45m mark. “To be fair, Delson did do a fair bit of work in the race and he was off 45m. He ran a great race, you can take nothing away from his effort.” Villiger said he elected to send Presidential Jewel for a break two months ago after sub-par performances in a couple of junior driver races. “Things just went a little bit awry,” he said. “She won really well at Auckland with a similar run (as Friday night) and then she went to a couple of boys races and we tried to get a free win and things just didn’t go to plan. “We gave her a let-up and she appears to have come back really well.” After Friday’s win Villiger was quick to deflect praise to his off-sider Barry Cullen. “Barry Cullen helps me and he does all the work with her,” Villiger said. “She was a real handful to break-in and there were a few good judges that said they wouldn’t have persevered. “She has just ended up a beautifully mannered mare and it was his perseverance and good horsemanship that has made her what she is.”

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Clevedon trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan are hoping promising trotter Horace Horse will bring his manners to Cambridge Raceway on Friday. The son of Quaker Jet broke twice in his last start at the Waikato track and his connections have their fingers-crossed that was an anomaly. “It was a bit unfortunate last time, he just threw his toys out of the cot. Hopefully it’s just the one start, he is usually pretty good with his manners,” Phelan said. “We will just forget about last time.” Horace Horse will return to Cambridge on Friday to contest the Loveridge Enterprise Builders Handicap Trot (2700m). He has already won two of his eight starts and Phelan said he is starting to realise his potential. “I think he is a reasonable chance on Friday,” Phelan said. “He has taken a while to come to this time, but he has got at least two or three more wins in him. “He is going to end up in the grades a little bit but just how far we don’t know.” Junior driver Nathan Delany will take the reins behind stablemate Jemma in the Agrowquip I John Deere Cambridge Mobile Pace (2200m). The four-year-old mare has placed in her last two starts and Phelan is hoping she can add another win to her tally from barrier five. “It will be a tricky little race for Jemma but it will be up to Nathan how he drives her. Her work has been good, so I can’t complain there,” Phelan said. Last start winner Little Miss Perfect has drawn three in the Fuji Xerox Mobile Pace (2700m) and Phelan will be looking to adopt similar tactics when he hops in the cart on Friday. “Little Miss Perfect seemed a lot happier in front,” Phelan said. “She has got a good draw and has got good gate speed which she showed last time. I expect her to run a really good race.”

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Cambridge again today with a ten race program starting at 5:36pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. The content is provided for informational purposes only Cambridge selections 6th November 2020 Race 1 New York Minute in top form and nice win here last start. Top selection and should run top three.…… Ideal Agent best draw and coming in fresh. One for longer odds and can upset… Eagle Watch  out of form but on his best day would compete well here. Can upset with a soft run in transit…….. Delightful Catherine freshened but workouts ok. Good chance here Selections:  New York Minute (2),   Ideal Agent (1),   Delightful Catherine (7),    Eagle Watch  (4)   Race 2 Kelvinz Luck trotter with form who should be running top three here. Could go forward early and hard to beat.……. Demolition Man has ability, and the draw might be an assist but manners a concern. Good winning claims with a safe getaway …… Flying Scotsman workout form good and coming in fresh. Can win…… Haka Pride getting fitter with racing and paying a huge price. Form not great but first four chance at massive odds Selections:  Kelvinz Luck (2),   Flying Scotsman (6),   Demolition Man (1),   Haka Pride (5)   Race 3 Anam Nunu has been running good races but tricky draw. Hard to beat with a cart into the race before the home turn….. Jungle Gem has not had a lot of luck with draws in her races but has been running on. Can upset at good odds with luck in the running  ….. Lavazza draw not great but she was finishing ok last start. Can place at longer odds…. Bet West nice draw and has been racing ok. Winning claims here Selections:   Anam Nunu (11),  Jungle Gem (8),   Lavazza (7),   Bet West (3)   Race 4 Super Duper Dude stable does well on the track and look for a strong showing here at nice odds on fixed. Top selection ….. Greatest Showman likes to race near the lead and could be hard to catch if he found the front from the widish draw. Winning claims….. Starlito disappointing at the races but better draw to contend with here. Has ability and could upset…. Barbarossa going well at workouts but drawn badly. Chance if the pace is on all the way Selections:   Super Duper Dude (10),   Greatest Showman (7),   Starlito (2),   Barbarossa (14)   Race 5 Lukyanova conditions suit here and she is a major player from the nice draw. Can win with manners.…. Grey Stoke not much room last start and trotting well. Should be thereabouts with luck in the running…… Delson has been racing ok but handicap a concern. A winning chance with a quick getaway.… Presidential Jewel out of form but at her best would be right in this. Include at longer odds Selections:  Lukyanova (1),   Presidential Jewel (10),   Delson (12),   Grey Stoke (9)   Race 6  Enjoy Me first starter from strike rate stable with decent workout form. Watch the tote for move but has a good winning chance in this . ……. Sargent Best has ability and the draw and should be handy early . Good winning claims at his first start…… Suidelike Major running into form and should get a good run on the fence. Needed…… New Frontier good beginner who is the likely leader early. Place chances best here Selections:   Enjoy Me (12),   Sargent Best (1),   Suidelike Major (10),   New Frontier (3)   Race 7 About Turn has been running good races from bad draws and better draw here. Hard to beat in this field….. High Point tricky draw but will be running on late. Can upset at good odds with luck in the running  ….. Young Conqueror draw not great but is tough. Can go forward and inject some speed into the race. Place hopes best here…. Little Miss Perfect nice draw and has been racing ok. Winning claims if the pace is on all the way Selections:   About Turn (4),  Little Miss Perfect (3),   High Point (7),   Young Conqueror (6)   Race 8 Emmber form is strong against better fields than this from bad draws. Ace draw here and top selection ….. Ace Strike likes to race near the lead and could be hard to catch if he found the front early. Winning claims….. All Yours bit disappointing last start. Has ability and could place with driver change…. Pocket Book racing ok but tricky draw. Chance at nice odds with a cart into the race at the right time Selections:   Emmber (1),   Ace Strike (7),   All Yours (4),   Pocket Book (11)   Race 9 Express Play good beginner who could be the leader in the race. Needed here….. Ticking Over races best near the lead and drivers tactics crucial to her chances here. Can win….. Fleeting Grin draw a problem but he is tough. Could place with a cart into the race…. Peter Forsberg racing his way back into form. Chance at nice odds if he is handy early and extra distance suits Selections:   Express Play (7),   Peter Forsberg (5),   Fleeting Grin (12),   Ticking Over (4)   Race 10 Sir Henry Castleton running on late last start and gets in well off the front. Can win with manners…… Littlebitoflove tricky draw but racing ok. One for longer odds….. Set Me Free win last start very good but suspect manners. Can run top three with no mistakes in the running….. Alana good win last start and should hold her form. Needed Selections:  Set Me Free (2),   Sir Henry Castleton (3),   Littlebitoflove (9),   Alana (4)   Harnesslink Media

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    The horse labelled with the biggest heart in Graeme Rogerson’s barn was finally rewarded with a win at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday. Splitting Image has gone through plenty of trying times throughout her career and Rogerson’s stable foreman and driver Dylan Ferguson was rapt with her one length victory in the Off Road Sponsors Driver Prize – Nov 6th Trot (2200m). “She has got the biggest heart of any horse we have got and there is no horse in the stable that deserves to win more than she does,” Ferguson said. “If people knew the troubles she has had in her life they would be amazed that she is racing let alone winning.” Bred and raced by her trainer in partnership with his granddaughter Bailey Rogerson, and Merv and Meg Butterworth, the mare’s struggles began well before Ferguson returned to the Hamilton stable. “Before I started at Rogies she had surgery on one of her knees, which was more to save her as a broodmare than a racehorse,” Ferguson said. “There was a lot of work from the previous staff and the vets. When I started back working there we put in some long hours with her and she was in work for a long time before she started racing again. “Those problems have created other problems since she has been racing.” Those issues still plague the five-year-old who was only cleared to race on Sunday morning. “Right up until this week she has had a bit of trouble with one of her back hooves,” Ferguson said. “I only got the shoe back on her on Sunday and jogged her in the morning to make sure she was going to be alright to race. “She is definitely not the soundest horse in the world, but she has got the biggest heart. That takes her a long way.” Splitting Image is now in-foal to Majestic Son, but Ferguson is hoping she can add to her three-win tally before heading to the broodmare paddock. Earlier in the night Ferguson was pleased to see talented but erratic trotter Delson trot the entire 2200m journey of the John Deere Cambridge Hanidcap Trot to finished runner-up by a head to Griffins Hall. “It was good to see him do everything right and go well,” Ferguson said. “I don’t think he could have gone much better first-up with no trials, but once he has done it a few more times I will be a bit happier.” Ferguson’s partner Jo Stevens will have some bragging rights in their household having trained the victor, with Ferguson’s father Peter doing the steering. “Griffins Hall is a trotter that is in form at the moment and when trotters are trotting well and doing things right they generally can hold their form for a while,” he said. “But it was a good effort from Delson from 40m behind. To trot 2:47.1 first-up with no trials reminded us that he does have ability.” If he continues to improve this preparation, Ferguson is eyeing some loftier targets with the six-year-old gelding. “We are going to head back to Cambridge in a fortnight,” he said. “We would like to head back to Auckland at some stage and race for a bit better coin. If he is going well he will hopefully race in the Christmas features at Cambridge and Auckland.”

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    It may be nearing summer, but snow is back - Snow Weaver that is. After a seven year hiatus from the training ranks, the man behind star trotters Petite Evander and Pride of Petite made a winning return at Cambridge Raceway earlier this month with debutant Petitewillshine. Weaver was delighted with the win and said the four-year-old gelding favoured the left-handed way of going at Cambridge. “We had been having trouble getting him to go right-handed and he won two of his first three workouts left-handed and then we switched to right-handed and we got into trouble,” he said. “It was good to see him come back left-handed and win so well.” The Takanini trainer will return to Cambridge Raceway on Sunday with Petitewillshine where he will line-up in the John Deere Cambridge Handicap Trot (2200m). “We should go alright on Sunday,” Weaver said. “I only hope that he trots all the way.” Weaver said he owes a lot of Petitewillshine’s success to his stepson Peter McCormick who is the main reason why he is back training. “I had a crook back and sitting in the cart was no good, so I was pre-training them and then giving them to James (Stormont, trainer),” Weaver said. “Eighteen months ago Pete said to me to keep my license and he’ll look after the horses. “He has got his own business installing showers and has three guys working for him. He gets up at 4am to work this horse, so they are big days.” Weaver said he has scaled back his breeding operation over the last few years and Petitewillshine is the only horse he has in work. “We are working just the one at the moment,” he said. “I sold two broodmares to Woodlands Stud and I leased another one out.” While Weaver will be hoping Petitewillshine can make it back-to-back wins at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday he will be keeping close tabs on Trackside. Weaver sent Out Spitfire, who was trained in New Zealand by Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis, to Brent Lilley in Victoria and the five-year-old gelding will be having his fifth Australian start at Maryborough on Sunday. The Majestic Son gelding won first-up at Bendigo and has finished runner-up in two of his other starts. Weaver has been pleased with the way he has been performing and he is hoping he is toasting trans-Tasman success on Sunday night.

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