Top squaregaiter Master Lavros will be sent to Matamata for further extensive tests after mixing his gait in the Dominion Handicap at Addington on Friday. Last year’s Dominion winner and the reigning Trotter of the Year hasn’t been 100 percent this spring. Despite the efforts of trainer Mark Jones to turn him round for Show day, the huge Sundon gelding gave further evidence of a hidden issue troubling him. “We’ll send him to Matamata and get them to run the dye through him,” Mark said. “We’re getting nothing the way we’re going so we’ll find out exactly what it is and let mother nature take its course ,” he said. The Overport trainer is prepared to give Master Lavros as much time as he needs to regain full health. Master Lavros, only six and young for a trotter, is the veteran of only 36 starts for 15 wins and earnings of $358,646. He stepped well from the inside of the back row on Friday, settling third, but broke when moving up in the open with 2450m left. He was out of contention thereafter, finishing 11th to runaway winner Jaccka Justy, for Westwood Beach (south Dunedin) co-trainer and driver Jonny Cox. The winner backed up was backing up from a fast late finish for fifth in Tuesday’s NZ Trotting Free-For-All. Settling five back on the outer after beginning off the unruly, Jaccka Justy improved with three-wide cover behind Doctor Hook from the 700m to the turn and unleashed an undeniable run turning for home. Jonny Cox, who trains with partner Amber Hoffman, couldn’t hide his delight, saluting as he crossed the line, the winner clocking a strong 4:05.2 for the 3200m. The successful strike-rate trainer emulated a great family tradition with squaregaiters. Jonny was just nine when former family hero David Moss won the first of his two back-to-back Dominion Handicaps at Addington in 1993. Jonny’s father John Cox prepared the giant-sized Gekoj gelding David Moss at Winton for the first 15 of 31 wins. David Moss went on to win just over $490,000 in stakes. Due to southern commitments, John Cox sent David Moss to Canterbury trainer Robert Cameron for both Dominion wins, and for feature north racing to former Papakura trainer Clive Herbert. Jonny’s late grand-father, Harry Cox, a successful Winton trainer, prepared and drove Poupette for an upset win in the 1965 Interdominion Trotting Grand Final at Forbury Park. This was Jonny and Amber’s first Group One training success in the $255,000 feature, securing the $137,500 winning bankroll for owner, Charlie and Ailsa Small. Last season, they gained a Group Three win with the same horse in the Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup. Jaccka Justy has now raced 49 times for 13 wins and five placings for $224,718 in stakes. The Westwood Beach trainers and Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones have built up a good rapport during their training careers. They have been able to utilise each others facilities when their respective horses travel around the South Island for racing opportunities. Courtesy Mark Jones Racing Stables - Check site here
Saturday's Kincsem Park featured Ezerjo DIJ went to the five year-old Love You mare Principessa Ovi with Mitja Slavic at the lines in Budapest, Hungary. She scored in 1.17kr over 1900 meters autostart on a rain soaked raceway. The Slovakia owned winner has been recently racing well in Italy where she was first and second in her two appearanced before the Kincsem Park victory. This one is from Goldy LB (11f Self Possessed-Rialba LB-Speedy Crown), the maternal family of Tarport Lady Ann, a daughter of legendary Lady Ann Reed. The Hungarian bred Orangyal (a daughter of Wall Street Banker) nosed out US import Andorra Gold, a Andover Hall daughter of Olympics, as this pair took second and third in hotly contested stretch battle. March 15, 2014 Kincsem Park, Ezerjo DIJ, 500,000Huf purse, 1900 meters autostart, 1.17kr 1st Principessa Ovi (5f Love Youi-Goldy LB), Mitja Slavic trainer/driver, Slavic I. owner (Slovakia) 2nd Orangyal (6f Wall Street Banker-Derengo), Pal Vicen up 3rd Andorra Gold (6f Andover Hall-Olympics),Csaba Lakatos trainer/driver aboard 4th Orifiamma Jet (6f Supergill-Ticket To Ride), Tibor Hajnal trainer/driver for Napsugar i. owner Prior weeks' Kincsem Park top trotting events went to Magic Diamond Way, Orinoco, Zavita Meerswal, Pretty Paper (by Credit Winner) and veteran Kiskarcsi. Kincsem Park, with its new French pari-mutuel partners, recently introduced its Pick Five Plus that is patterned after the Quinte+. The jackpot has now reached in excess of £30,000. Feature trotting results from February 22-March 8 are profiled below. March 8, 2014 Kincsem Park, Tavaszi Handicap, 1,100,000Huf, 1960 meters, 8 starters; time 1.18.5kr 1st Magic Diamond Way (8m Francis Diamond-Erika), Laszlo Kolozsi driver/trainer, Gazza Kft owner 2nd Orient Boy (6m Wall Street Banker-Golden Lady), Sandor Varga 3rd Ors (6m Pickaflick-Celia), A. Denes March 8, 2014 Kincsem Park, Varga Henriett Emlekverseny, 500,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart,9 starters; time 1.16.5kr 1st Orinoco (6f P.S. Dimo-Uxor), L Veres trainer/driver, Rikko Flash Kft owner 2nd Jogging (11g Valley Guardian-Sportlady), Sandor Varga 3rd Noraville (7f Tony Oaks-Izaville), Istvan Papp aboard March 1, 2014 Kincsem Park, Margaret Glass DIJ, 500,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap; 1.17kr 1st Zavita Meerswal (8f Good As Gold-Davidia Storm), Dora Kovacs trainer/driver, Drimwind 2011 Kft owner 2nd No Fear (7m Crown Sweep-Naughty Lobell), B. Juhasz 3rd Rosamundi (6f Chipmate-Kama Sutra), Cs. Lakatos trainer/driver February 22, 2014 Kincsem Park, SennyeyGeza Emlekverseny, 1.5 million Huf, 1800 meters autostart, 11 starters; race time 1.15.6kr 1st Pretty Paper (6f Credit Winner-Anticipation), A. Szucs, trainer Csaba Lakatos, owner Drimwind 2011 Kft 2nd Ollyan Nincs (6g Pickaflick-C'est la Guerre), Imre Fazekas trainer/driver 3rd Night Lady (7f Tony Oaks-Vas Lady), Tibor Hajnal February 22, 2014 Kincsem Park, Globus DIJ, 500,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart, 8 starters; 1.16.2kr 1st Kiskarcsi (10g Castelton Magic-Best Love), Istvan Papp up for Joseph Rutkai trainer, Prolongo Kft owner 2nd Zappadeo (7g Fast Photo-Chingola), H. Honemann (Austria) 3rd Nobody (7m Tony Oaks-Gunnel Diadem), Emil Csordas At Farjestad (Sweden) on Saturday March 15, the Scuderia Bolgheri (Jean-Pierre Dubois) bred Ne Me Quitte Pas won for reinsman Carl Johan Jepson. The seven year-old lightly raced son of Daguet Rapide scored his ninth career win in 32 starts. He's from Continental Victory (US) 1993; 1:52.1a; $ 1,611,170; 29 19-3-1. At 2, Continental Victory was winner of Johnston Memorial, Kentucky Standardbred Sale Company, American-National, International Stallion Stake/Lexington Filly Stakes, Breeders' Crown, second in Goldsmith Maid, New Jersey Sire Stake. At 3, she won the World Trotting Derby, Hambletonian, American-National, Yonkers Trot, New Jersey Sire Stake, third in Stanley Dancer Trot. She sold at Kentucky Standardbred Sale 1994 for 100,000 USD and produced several high-priced yearlings. 1999 Continentalman (US) 1:54.4a $ 595,349 h, by Malabar Man (US) - Continentalvictory (US) Sold at Tattersalls Select Yearling Sale 2000 for 450,000 USD; 3,q1:57 in US 2000 Ball Field (US) h, by Pine Chip (US) - Continentalvictory (US) Sold at Tattersalls Select Yearling Sale 2001 for 300,000 USD; 3, 1:55.3s $46,066 in US 2003 Continental Dream (US) - m, by Garland Lobell (US) - Continentalvictory (US) 2005 l'Arpege (IT) 1:56.4a $ 19,011 h, by Daguet Rapide (IT) - Continentalvictory (US) 2005 Larpege (US) h, by Daguet Rapide (IT) - Continentalvictory (US) At 2, third in Champlain Stakes Open.; 2, 1:58.2 $22,108 in North America 2006 Maradria (IT) $ 0 m, by Love You (FR) - Continentalvictory (US) 2007 Ne Me Quitte Pas (IT) 115 0.74 2:00.5v 1:57.4a $ 57,406 24 7- 3- 3 (p) h, by Daguet Rapide (IT) - Continentalvictory (US) 2009 Universal Success (US) m, by Andover Hall (US) - Continentalvictory (US) 3, 1:58.3f $4,650 in US 2011 Continental Divide (US) h, by Muscle Hill (US) - Continentalvictory (US) Continental Victory also has a 2012 colt foal by Donato Hanover named Little Round Top. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
Jimmy Johnstone has landed on the open class scene with a bang, after taking out yesterdays $35,000 Methven Cup (Gr3) at Mt Harding Racecourse. The lightly raced five-year-old, who was superbly driven by trainer-driver John Hay, settled one-one early doors before working to the front and subsequently landing the trail behind Pass Them By. He then emerged in the home straight to narrowly down last year’s winner Fly Like An Eagle, who was super in defeat after being trapped wide on a hot last 800 metres of 56.6. Sleepy Tripp was also good in third, while Pass Them By and Four Starzzz Flash dead heated for fourth. Jimmy Johnstone, a son of P-Forty-Seven, was second up after a fresh-up eighth at Addington last week. Last season he was successful in the Southern Country Cups Final as well as the Winton and Gore Cup. Jimmy Johnstone is currently paying $51 for a win and $15 for a place in the futures market for the New Zealand Cup. He was ranked 29th when the last official Cup rankings were released, but yesterday’s win is sure to see him leapfrog many of his opposition. He is owned by J K McRae, A J O'Donnell, Mrs D J G McRae and Miss I M Lee, and is now verging on $100,000 in stakes. Meanwhile, the feature trot for the day, the $13,000 Pegasus Spur Trotbred Fillies & Mares Handicap Trot, was taken out by Mamselle, who broke through for her fifth win after a string of minor places. Co-trainer and owner Leonne Jones said the Continentalman granddaughter of top mare Tussle is likely to be breed from this season but will carry on racing while in foal. “We will see if she can’t pick up another race or two while in foal,” said Jones. “She is booked to Majestic Son,” she added. The win edged Mamselle’s stake earnings over the $50,000 mark. By Mitchell Robertson
Riverside owner-breeder Charlie Smaill said his feet still hadn’t touched the ground some three days after Jaccka Justy pulled off the biggest win of his 35-race career on Sunday (September 29). The Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman (Westwood Beach) trained 7-year-old put up a huge performance to over-power his nine rivals in the $25,000 Group Three D.G. Jones Trotting Cup on the Motukarara grass. “This is as special as when I had my first training success with him at Ascot Park in May 2011. I won’t forget this in a while. A Group win is to be treasured. “I’ve always wanted to travel up to Canterbury and grab a nice stake. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a speech after winning a Group race. Now I have to wonder no more,” said Smaill who owned and bred Jaccka Justy with is Harness Racing New Zealand Board Member wife, Ailsa. Jaccka Justy skipped away from his front line draw and was second last and a long way off the leaders trotting into the big Motukarara straight the first time. But the further they went the better it suited the Continentalman – Janine Jaccka gelding. In fact the 2810m played right into his hands because in the straight Cox was able to power down the outside to win by 1-1/2 and 1-3/4 lengths from Clover Don (Colin De Filippi) and Dr Hook (Jim Curtin). One of five horses off the front line, Jaccka Justy stopped the clock in 3:54.7. Mile rate: 2.14.3. Last 800m: 60.9. He was the eighth favourite and paid a whopping $30 to win. It was Cox’s ninth driving success of the season and Cox and Hoffman’s six training success of 2013-2014. It was just his third race of the season and Smaill said he would now start in the Cliff Irvine Memorial Trot in a couple of weeks and then possibly one more Canterbury start before the Group One Dominion in November. “He takes a bit of recovering from his races, especially on the grass so we will see how he pulls up this week. “It would be great to have another Dominion starter. Jonny drove my last starter in the big race when Jaccka Jack ran in 11th in 2011,” Smaill said. Jaccka Justy is the second of five foals out of the unraced Sundon mare Janine Jaccka. Full brother and sister Jaccka Jack (12 wins) and Jess Jaccka (five wins) banked $124,579 and $21,110 races respectively. He has now had 35 starts for 11 wins, two placings and $67,594. The bay gelding started out with Nathan Williamson in December 2010 before Smaill took over a year later. Smaill then handed the reins over to Dave Anderson in April 2012 before Jonny Cox was given the training duties in May. Smaill has trained him intermittently throughout his career. He said it was exciting to nail a Group winner again. “I think my last Group winner came about 10 years ago when The Jaccka won a Country Cups Final. “I still can’t believe this latest win. It was a huge performance for him to get up and win. It’s exciting times alright,” Smaill said. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)
Westwood Beach trainers’ Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman enjoyed their biggest win to date yesterday when taking out the Group 3 DG Jones Trotting Cup with Jaccka Justy. “It was a huge thrill for Amber and I as it was out first Group training success,” said Cox. “It also meant a lot to win a race in honour of the great Derek Jones,” he added. Jaccka Justy was slow away at the start and settled five back on the fence, but due to a perfect Jonny Cox drive he was able to find clear air in the straight and come with a whirlwind finish to down Clover Don, Dr Hook and Cyclone U Bolt. “It has taken him a while to get used to the quicker tempo of the races in Christchurch but he seems to be there now,” enthused Cox. “All those trips to Addington have paid off. He used to be able to sprint real quickly after they had gone slow during the race but he found it a bit harder trying to sprint off the back of a good tempo.” Jaccka Justy was one of the outsiders, and paid odds of $30 for a win and $6 for a place. But the win did not surprise Cox. “Both his runs back had been good and I knew the grass track would suit him more than most. He was super in a couple of trials on the grass last season.” Cox said that Jaccka Justy is definitely the quickest trotter that he has sat behind and that was evident yesterday. The Canterbury Park Trotting Cup on 11th of October is next on the agenda for the seven-year-old son of Continentalman. “He doesn’t back up that well, so we will just keep looking for a good race for him every two or three weeks. If he is still going well around Cup time the Dominion is the obvious aim.” The win topped off a great weekend for Amber Hoffman, who also enjoyed success with galloper Enchanter at Wingatui on Saturday. Meanwhile, earlier on in the day at Motukarara, Mark McNamara and the YOR! Racing With Boes McNally Syndicate enjoyed their first win with Ataahua Tiki. “It was great for the Syndicate,” said trainer Stephen McNally. “They thought it was Christmas,” he added. “She has been knocking on the door for a while and really deserved a win.” By Mitchell Robertson
The Nyah Harness Racing Club hosted the May 1 Wednesday night meeting at the Swan Hill Racing Centre which featured a thrilling fast class event - the Nevele R Stud Pace for C5 or better class over 2240 metres which saw the Bruce Rose trained Port Pirie Cup winner Have A Bender (Luke Watson) do battle with the Shayne Cramp trained Ouyen Cup winner Jamies Boy (John Caldow), with Jamies Boy the victor.
West Melton harness racing trainer Marty Larter describes The Blazing Conman's win at Addington on Friday night (February 22) as one of his best ever.
Shelbourne (Bendigo) harness racing trainer Michelle Eastman's exciting 5-Y-0 mare Aleppo Midas scored an outstanding victory in the Mick & Tom Mahar Memorial Trotters Handicap for T2 or better class over 2200 metres at Bray Raceway Ballarat on Thursday
The Cobram Harness Racing Club situated on the border of Victoria and NSW staged their annual cup day program on Thursday December 27 attended by a large number of holiday makers.
New Zealand's oldest active harness racing conditioner - Bill Darrah says he wants to train one more winner and then he could consider retiring. "I'll keep going until I'm 100 if that's how long it takes," the Thames horseman told Harnesslink.
Zac Butcher loves driving so much he couldn't wait for his recent holiday on Australia's Gold Coast to finish. And going by the results of the first three races at northern harness racing headquarters in Auckland tonight (Friday September 14) you could tell why the gifted 21-year-old was biting at the bit to get back to Alexandra Park.
Daylesford harness racing trainer Mick Barby chalked up a first ever stable double at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday - Remember Jasper taking the $15,000 Petstock Vicbred Pace for M0 class over 2240 metres and Miss Southern Land the $15,000 Glenferrie Farm Trotters Handicap for TM0 or better class over 2760 metres, both driven by Melton freelance Rod Petroff.
One-horse harness racing trainer Gary Noakes created his own slice of New Zealand racing history last weekend when he trained and drove Patienceofasaint to a nice trotting victory at Alexandra Park. That was a remarkable feat in itself - because it was 31-year-old's first training success. It was also his first driving win since saluting the judge with Jodie's Express at Te Aroha eight-and-a-half years ago.
1991 World champion reinsman Maurice McKendry knows a good horse when he sees one and without getting too carried away you could sense the Pukekohe harness racing trainer and driver is looking forward to the career of Beau Vite.
Maryborough in Central Victoria was the venue for Monday harness racing on April 2, when a compact eight event card catering for all classes was held.
Mysta Magical Mach warmed up for the V75 interdominion pacing championship series in grand style at Gloucester Park on Friday night when harness racing driver Morgan Woodley drove the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old to a dazzling victory in the $50,000 V75 Punters Club Pace.