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Harness racing exports in the last few weeks have been Beach Skipper, Inner light and Speedy Mach. They will all do their future racing in Australia. The Clive and Rona McKay owned Franco Nelson is in Australia already and will race out of the Tritton stable based at Menangle. Shane and Lauren Tritton have a good record of rejuvenating older horses and have already revitalized good horses like Mach Beauty, Suave Stuey Lombo and a host of others. ____________________________ The Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup futures market has dwindled down to twenty contenders, after the recent withdrawal of the Cran Dalgety pairing of Alpha Rock and Art Union.  The All Stars Stable have a stranglehold on the Cup favouritism with the top four favourites all trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Last years cup winner Lazarus, is a clear favourite on the FF win futures market at $2.20, with stablemate Heaven Rocks second favourite on $3.00. Have Faith In Me($9.00) and Dream About Me ($12.00) round out the top four favourites for the All Stars Stable.  Titian Banner who ran third in the great race last year when trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen is in the next line of betting at $13.00. Titian Banner is trained by Graeme Anderson and is currently the $1.70 favourite for the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru tomorrow. New Zealand Cup Futures Market Option 986 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Harness link Media  

The Gavin Smith trained Imola absolutely crushed his rivals at yesterdays Rangiora harness racing workouts.   Imola who narrowly beat the All Stars Stable pairing of Dream About Me and Have Faith In Me at last weeks trials, did not give his better performed opposition a chance of beating him yesterday. Driven to lead early by Gavin Smith, Imola (Jereme's Jet - Imprint) put the foot down and just went further in front the further they went. On a very windy day the speedy 5 year old gelding reeled off a sensational last half of 55.7 and quarter in 26.5 to demolish the opposition by 36 lengths. Imola holds a New Zealand Cup nomination and is currently last in the rankings at 28th, but might quickly climb up the order if that workout win is anything to go by. Earlier in the day smart three years old pacers Pat's Delight and Cullenburn, both showed they are ready for a return to the races, when winning their respective heats. Pat's Delight (Bettor's Delight - Righteous Franco) trained by Cran Dalgety was too strong winning his heat for driver Dexter Dunn.  He sped home from midfield on the outer and sprinted his last quarter in better than 27 seconds to narrowly beat the early leader Frankie Jones and Robbie Holmes. Cullenburn (Christian Cullen - Suzys Delight) trained and driven by Benny Hill, was also impressive winning his workout. Cullenburn sprinted a closing quarter in 27 seconds coming from the trail behind the leader Billy Badger to easily beat him in the run home. Harneslink Media

Handy pacer Art Union grabbed an easy win at todays Rangiora harness racing trials. Art Union who has won 16 of his 32 starts is nominated for the New Zealand Cup in November and will race against the likes of last years Cup winner Lazarus, who is now back in work at the All Stars Stable. In todays trial driver Rory Mcllwrick let the Cran Dalgety trained pacer find his feet early and settled back in the field for the first half of the race. The Art Major six year old followed smart 4yo Malik and Blair Orange into the race at the 800m and was too good in the straight winning by 1 length in 2-31.8 for the mobile 2000m. He sprinted the last 800m in 56.9 and 400m in 29.2.   Last 800m of todays trial.   Another winner at todays trials was Captain Dolmio. The six-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear is also being aimed at the $800,000 New Zealand Cup by trainer Robert Dunn, and was again impressive in his heat today. Captain Dolmio ran the 2600m stand in a sedate 3-27.0 but sped over his last 800m in 56.3 with a closing 400m in 27.6 Captain Dolmio raced well last season against the top class pacers including setting up a track record time over 3200m in the Invercargill Cup when second to Classie Brigade. He also ran second in the Easter Cup behind the brilliant Heaven Rocks proving he has what it takes to be a leading hope in the great race over two miles in November. Harriet Of Mot also won her trial today easily in preparation for her upcoming feature races in November. The speedy 6yo Monarchy mare won as she liked by six lengths for driver John Dunn   Harnesslink Media

Punters take note, Our Bettor Joy (Bettors Delight-Joyfulbelle) is a serious, serious filly.  That's the take of Anthony Butt, who piloted the Cran Dalgety-trained speedster to a Breeders Crown heat win in the two-year-old fillies' section on Tuesday night at Shepparton. Butt spoke glowingly in fact of both Dalgety juveniles that won B/C heats in recent days, with Art Major-Miss Moonlite colt Master Moonlite also successful at Kilmore last night. Meanwhile, Butt gave us an insight into veteran trotting superstar Keystone Del, who resumed with a win on Sunday at Maryborough ahead of this weekend's second-up assignment at Tabcorp Park Melton.   https://soundcloud.com/hrv-2/trots-media-trotline-anthony-butt-10817   Cody Winnell Trots Media

Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety didn’t have to wait long for his Victorian fortunes to change in an Australasian Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Heat at Shepparton on Tuesday night. The Dalgety-trained second favourite Our Bettor Joy charged home along the sprint lane for driver Anthony Butt to defeat front-running favourite Molly Kelly (Chris Alford) in the $A10,000 heat. The two favourites had the most speed early, crossing to lead and trail, with the pace buttoning off in the middle stages. Our Bettor Joy, a daughter of champion sire Bettor's Delight and Joyfulbelle, won going away at the line by 2.5 metres. The NZ Delightful Lady Classic winner rated a comfortable 2:02.3 for the full 2190m in her Australian debut, the lead time for the last 800m being cut out in 58.3s, with the final 400m off the front in a swift 27.5s. Dalgety’s three-year-old trotting filly Chevron Express flopped in the Victoria Trotting Derby on Sunday, but the Breeders Crown 3YO Final on August 26 remains her main target. NZ Harness News    

Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety is hoping for a change of luck with Australasian Breeders Crown two-year-old pacing hopefuls, Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite, in Victoria over the next two nights. Bettor Joy, a Group Two winner of the Delightful Lady Classic at Auckland in March, makes her Victoria debut from wide on the front row in a Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Heat, at Shepparton on Tuesday night. Master Moonlite, looking to emulate the Breeders Crown victories of his dam Miss Moonlite (2012 4YO mares champion) and grand-dam Dancingonmoonlight (2000 3YO fillies champion), starts from barrier four in a Breeders Crown 2YO colts and geldings heat at Kilmore on Wednesday night. Dalgety gave three-year-old trotting stablemate Chevron Express a chance for Group One glory in the Victoria Trotting Derby at Maryborough on Sunday, but the NZ Hambletonian and NZ Trotting Oaks winner was very disappointing. Chevron Express, given an economical trip three-back on the markers by Dalgety's brother-in-law Anthony Butt, had nothing to offer in the run home. She dropped away and finished 36.7 metres from winner Une Belle Allure, a daughter of Angus Hall trained by Anton Golino. "She was super before the race and Ants (Butt) said she felt so well until 299 metres to run. She made a right goose of me, but I don't think we have a health issue," Dalgety said on Monday. "In hindsight, it was probably more a case of being underdone for a 2690m race. "I don't usually worry about blood tests too much, but we'll take some bloods off her just in case."  The Breeders Crown 3YO Trot Final on August 26 remains her main target. Butt will also drive Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite.  Top NZ reinsman and the Dalgety stable's regular driver, Dexter Dunn, is currently preparing for this weekend’s World Driving Championships opening round in Canada. NZ Harness News http://www.theinformant.co.nz/

They've come from all over for a swing at Sunday’s Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, determined to salute in front of a boisterous crowd. New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety’s trotter Chevron Express and fellow Kiwi President Roydon, who is now in Kerryn Manning’s stable, will bring some international flair when they have an almighty crack at the $75,000 feature. Chevron Express is among a fearsome group of fillies who have amassed for the three-year-old feature, who equate for seven of the 13 Derby entrants and include Anton Golino’s Cardigan-based trio Dance Craze, Une Belle Allure and Nieta. For Manning, Sunday presents a chance to capture one of the few pieces of silverware that has thus far escaped her grasp. President Roydon has spent six weeks with team Manning, having previously raced with Mark Purdon’s all conquering All Stars team over the Tasman, where only highly-rated Enghien prevented him breaking through at Group 1 level. The Great Western trainer-driver held the reins as the gelding made his Australian debut at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, when President Roydon led and did the bulk of the work only to be picked off by Garshaway in the dying stages. “He’s a funny horse,” Manning said of President Roydon, who has drawn gate two for Sunday’s Group 1. “He’s not the most wonderful to drive, he’s a bit green and awkward at times, but he tries really hard.” Manning said he should improve from his Australian debut, when he “over raced a little bit in front and was found wanting a little in the last 50”. “He hasn’t had a start for a month and the run would have done him good and he seems to have pulled up well. The distance (2690m) will suit, he’s a strong horse.” The “good little sit-sprint horse” that whooshed past her was improving Garshaway, Myola-based trainer Graeme McDermott’s gelding who has drawn gate 13. He will be driven by New South Wales’ Leigh Sutton, who took the steer after Manning was unavailable due to her commitment with President Roydon and saluted at Melton at $19.60 on the TAB. “I come down with my trotter (last Friday) so they offered me the drive and said if he goes all right I can drive him in the Derby,” Sutton said. “It will be nice to have a drive in a Group 1 race.” The Victoria Trotters Derby takes place at 3.54pm. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

New Zealand faltering challenge for the Breeders Crown roared back into life yesterday. Because three wins in as many races for the Kiwi-trained pacers at Menangle have boosted chances of a serious New Zealand team at the rich Crown finals day at Melton in Victoria next month. For much of the last decade New Zealand horses --- both pacers and trotters --- have dominated Breeders Crown day, with the added bonus of Kiwi horses who travelled to the meeting extending their season by a month because of the late finish to the Australian harness racing season. That has often promoted the crazy situation of horses turning four in New Zealand on August 1, yet reverting to racing as three-year-olds when they cross the Tasman for the Crown a few weeks later. But while the Breeders Crown, with its two-year-old pacing finals worth money than A$300,000, has been enormously lucrative for New Zealand horses, this year’s representation was looking shaky. Already the biggest names from the two and three-year-old pacing ranks have pulled out, their trainers instead preferring to spell horses like Vincent, Ultimate Machete and Spankem after long seasons rather than press to until last August, meaning they would probably not race again until after Christmas. So the all-conquering Purdon-Rasmussen stable won’t have their absolute superstars at the Breeders Crown and Mark Purdon even expressed doubts over whether he would have any reps at the meeting unless they could win their heats in impressive fashion yesterday. That box was ticked on three separate occasions as first juvenile Sicario, then group-one winning filly Partyon and Queensland Derby winner The More The Better also easily won their heats at Menangle.  None of them were asked for their best by catch driver Luke McCarthy but Partyon still paced her last 400m in a sizzling 25.9 to confirm she will be returning to Melton to defend the title she won as a two-year-old last season. The More The Better won even easier and in a similar final sectional with a 26.1 last 400m while Sicario’s win was mere trackwork so the All Stars will have three major players for the Crown semi finals on August 19, followed by the finals on August 27. But they will be readied for the series without the Purdon-Rasmussen polish, with Purdon leaving yesterday for a holiday before representing New Zealand at the World Drivers Champs, with Rasmussen also holidaying before supporting her partner at the series.  “We are lucky we have good staff but it still makes it tricky getting them ready for the Crown with both of us being in Canada,” admitted Purdon. Top horseman Cran Dalgety is also taking three reps to the Breeders Crown, even after two of them, Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite, were beaten in their non-tote heats at Addington last Friday. Bettor Joy was clearly outpointed by Angel Of Harlem, who trainer Barry Ward is likely to send to Anthony Butt to train and drive for the Crown. But with those defeats for Dalgety’s big name pacers and Purdon-Rasmussen not sending their top guns, the New Zealand team for the Crown is in the usually unthinkable position of not having any dominant favourites for the pacing series. Northern pacers King Of Swing and Big Mach are also likely starters but Alexandra Park heat winner Utmost Delight is out of the series and heading to the paddock. New Zealand’s trotting team for the Crown is also lighter than usual but does boost the shining light of three-year-old star Enghien, who will be red hot to win his division as well as the Victoria Trotting Derby in two weeks on the way through. Michael Guerin

He may not have been able to beat him in the national drivers premiership, but Blair Orange is in a position to take control of another title that Dexter Dunn has had a stranglehold on. Heading into the last meeting of the season at Addington tonight, Orange has a slim, one-win, margin in the Addington drivers’ premiership with 58 winners for the term at Harness HQ. With 57, Dunn is breathing down the neck of his good mate but he is also in the unfamiliar territory of being the one who is doing the chasing as opposed to the being the one who is getting chased. He does have the huge advantage however of two non-tote drives that should see him put himself in front. He jumps on the Cran Dalgety trained pair of Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite, both of whom should taste success in their respective Breeders Crown heats, putting Dunn back in the hotseat and setting up an intriguing battle over the night. Dunn also has strong winning hopes with Especial in the South of the Waitaki Series early in the night while Kamwood Kid and Mikey Maguire are also good winning options. Orange’s book tonight is full of each way chances with no superstar standouts. His best could be the Roger Austin trained pair of Idle Moose and Idle Monkey. Both are talented trotters with the all-round game to be victorious and provided they bring their manners they will be right in the fight. Theboyslightup and Reaza Grunter are also good chances for Orange. The remainder of the Addington premiership races are all over with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen prominent figures among the prize winners. With 53 wins they are well clear on the overall trainers’ premiership - 25 wins clear of Greg and Nina Hope, while they also lead the Universal Trainer Rating with an impressive .4381 % from 174 starters. Paul Court is next on that list with a strike-rate of .3118 % from his 67 starters. Rasmussen has the strike rate drivers prize all to herself with an incredible .6580% from her 51 winners. With no junior drivers race tonight, Kim Butt will finish a one-point victor in the Junior Drivers Prize and Spanish Armada has the popular Filly or Mare of the Year award. Meanwhile, Addington officials will make a decision on tonight’s meeting around 1pm today. Inclement weather is tearing it’s way down the country with a deluge of rain and the threat of some heavy snowfalls. Contingency plans were put in place yesterday that could see the meeting shift to tomorrow if need be. Those decision are expected to be made after lunchtime to allow enough time to see how the storm is going to play out.   Matt Markham - Addington Selections Race 1: Sharknado, Lloydin Magic, All Nuts N Bolts, As Kiwi As Race 2: Jerry Garcia, Spurred By Success, Sunshadz, Spurofthemoment Race 3: Vera’s Delight, Especial, Jody Direen, Melina Lowe Race 4: Gunpower, Rocknroll Nevin, Sportscaster, Takitimu Express Race 5: Beyond The Horizon, Jean Sebastien, Idle Moose, Diana Harbour Race 6: Boults On Fire, Hypervelocity, Bite The Bullet, Compliant Race 7: Ronald J, Idle Monkey, He’s Like The Wind, All Settled Down Race 8: Christmas Toyboy, Kamwood Kid, My Nikayla, Theboyslightup Race 9: Mikey Maguire, Spirit Of Delight, One Direction, Reaza Grunter Best Bet: Christmas Toyboy (Race 8) Value: Vera’s Delight (Race 3) Matt Markham

He’s changing the goalposts, ever so slightly, but don’t expect too much to change for Cran Dalgety going forward. The West Melton horseman, who has so long been regarded as a man who chases wins and stake money in the bank is looking at life from a different perspective theses days while still very much conscious of the need to produce the results. Dalgety said that one of his more primary focuses now was looking at the bottom line of the balance sheet and that’s forced him to look at the way he operates his business. “You need things to be balancing up correctly and they haven’t been,” he said last week. “So while we will still be out there each week chasing the winners, you’ll probably see us selling a few more horses too from now on.” Traditionally a stable that hasn’t sold a lot of stock, Dalgety has preferred to keep horses in his care for as long as he possibly can to filter out as many victories as possible, but there are always exceptions to the rule. A glance at New Zealand horses in action in America on any given week would results in the discovery of a number of former Dalgety pacers - all of whom are doing a grand job in the States. And the sale of top-flight horses such as Bit Of A Legend and Christen Me in the past few seasons has opened a door that he’s quite keen to explore even further moving forward. “Everything has a shelf life and it’s about being a bit more aware of what you need to do to keep the business ticking over. “You can’t be spending a whole heap of money and then not getting it back. “So it guess it is more about me being conscious of that than it is anything else really.” With 59 wins on the board for the term, Dalgety should reach and surpass his final tally of 61 from last season and considers that to be a passable effort in the grand scheme of things. “They aren’t huge numbers, but they are satisfactory.” He cited the Northern Derby victory and the emergence of Rakapuka Ruler as a real highlight. “Watching him develop and win a race like the Northern Derby was really a high point for me this season for sure.” He’s unleashed three promising types in the past fortnight as well, all of whom were victorious on debut; Master Moonlite, Some Legend and Mistahmistah.  Matt Markham

Nathan Purdon is "coming home" in the new season rejoining the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen harness racing stable after gaining valuable experience on both sides of the Tasman. Nathan has lived and breathed horses for a long time and his association with the champion mare ADORE ME from where he was never far away as a stropper throughout her career. But that was watching and Nathan never wanted to be just watching.  Nathan with his special fave Adore Me.  His first drive was a pointer to the future. He drove subsequent NZ Cup winner  Arden Rooney at Rangiora in a track record 3.09 for 2600m. It was a thrill but Nathan knew it was just the beginning and there was a long way to go, In 2015 he followed Mark's footsteps and headed to Australia for new opportunities. That began with Ian Gurney, trainer of Avonova who was a great supporter. Nathan won 28 of 114 drives on this stint in Brisbane.  "I was very lucky with the people I was associated with over there. Ian gave me every opportunity,  Luke and Belinda McCarthy got me some nice drives and then I had a good learning time with Greg and Skye Bond in Perth winning the Group 2 San Simeon Final at Gloucester Park. Then last year he hooked up with Dean Braun in Victoria but then when offered the opportunity to train and drive Ohoka Punter for the Brisbane carnival he was headed back north "where the opportunities for concession drivers are so good" Nathan realised his G1 dream earlier than even he thought he might, guiding Ohoka Punter to a lead up win in the Blacks a Fake beating Hectorjayjay and Ultimate Art in the rain at Albion Park. "Really unbelievable the way it happened. Obviously my biggest thrill in racing so far. I could hardly believe it " This year Nathan returned to New Zealand and took up an offer to work with Cran Dalgety's stable. "That was a great opportunity. Cran has given me every opportunity and I am really grateful for that support. It has meant a lot to me" Now it is back into the All Stars colours and Nathan looking to make his final mark in Junior Driver races. "I have one season left and I want to make the most of it, make my mark on the Junior scene" "But there will be plenty to do with the stable horses and driving those sort of animals in work is something that is obviously a big plus. But I will be just happy to learn a bit more from the old man. He knows a bit." And the next generation is there to learn as much as he can. Courtesy of All Stars Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Jim Dalgety won with Time Traveller at Forbury Park on Thursday night 58 years after he caused a boil over on the Dunedin track. Dalgety (84), who has had a lifetime association with harness racing as a reinsman, trainer, owner, stud master and breeder, was discharged from hospital in Christchurch on Tuesday after a stroke two months ago. He was in hospital for seven weeks. He watched the race on Trackside television at his home in West Melton with his trainer son Cran, who has been caring for Time Traveller. “We watched the race and the win sparked him up. He is talking well but is still physically lethargic,’’ said Cran. “My brother Blair is helping manage the farm.’’ Cran originally trained Time Traveller but the gelding was transferred to Jim earlier this year as the 3-year-old was not making the grade. Jim shares the ownership of Time Traveller with Cran’s wife, Chrissy, Hazel van Opzeeland, of Christchurch and Daryl Brown, of Perth. Chrissy and Brown were in the ownership of Bit Of A Legend and Katy Perry, trained by Cran. Bit Of A Legend won Breeders Crown races at two and three and a New Zealand Yearling Sales Final at two. He has won 16 races and $US917,000 and run 1.51 in the United States after being sold. Katy Perry won a Breeders Crown at two and 22 other races. She has also been sold. Time Traveller was a $71,000 purchase at the 2015 Pyne Gould Guiness premier yearling sale when offered by Cavalla Bloodstock and J C International Ltd. He is by Mach Three and the first foal of Timeless Perfection, a Christian Cullen mare who won seven races and took a record of 1.56.9 in the Ladies Mile at Ashburton. Jim Dalgety had his first win as a trainer and driver with Vanity Scott at Forbury Park in January, 1959 at odds of 156 to one. Jim had taken over the training of Vanity Scott from his father Jim for whom she had won four races. The Dalgety family was based at Kakanui (Otago). Vanity Scott was the outsider in a 15-horse field. Vanity Scott, driven in five of her eight wins by Maurice Holmes, was starting afresh after a seven month break when she won for Jim. Time Traveller was among four wins on Thursday for leading reinsman Dexter Dunn, who took his tally to 200 for the season when he won the opening race with Lord Roydon. He added wins with Audi Hare and Elusive Flight. It is the sixth time he has reached 200 wins in a season with a best tally of 220 in 2010-11 when he was a junior. He is headed for his tenth straight premiership with a lead of 32 wins over Blair Orange. Elusive Flight, who won the claiming race, is the first horse raced by Mike Kerr, of Mosgiel and the first standardbred winner for Wayne Stewart, the manager of the stud side of the White Robe Lodge thoroughbred operation at North Taieri. They share ownership with trainer Graeme Anderson, Ray Chalklin, Stephen Pulley and Tony Gow. Lord Roydon raced four back on the inner and stormed home wide out from seventh at the 350m in his first win as a trotter. He is raced by the Griffins syndicate and Peter Hynes, of Greymouth and trained by Michael House. “He (Lord Roydon) has been sacked by a couple of other trainers. He has a lot of ability but is a bit of a nut case,” said syndicate member Greg Crawford. The syndicate have also won races this season with Dark Horse, Monty Python and Majestic Man. Lord Roydon, a 4-year-old by Monarchy from Dear Diedre, is a brother to The Earth Moved (six wins) and Duchess Diedre (five) and a half-brother to President Roydon, who ran second to Enghien in the Harness Jewels. Aveross Rustler had his third win over 1200m at Forbury Park in a heat of the Sprint series. Trained and driven by Andrew Faulks for Dunedin breeders Ross and Averil Pettitt, the 8-year-old Aveross Rustler had not raced for three months. “We set him for this because he has such speed but I did not think he would handle the wet track,” said Ross Pettitt. Aveross Rustler won heats of the sprint series in 2014 and 15. The John Howe-trained Mighty Empire, who has been in the care of Amber Hoffman at Waikouaiti the past fortnight, led over 2200m to post his third win and win number 499 for driver Jonny Cox. The Murray Edmonds-trained Fatal Reunion was left in the care of Darryn Simpson at Mosgiel after leading for most of the way against trotters for her second win. Neville Ellen, who races her with Kelly Edmonds and Dave Cousins, made the trip for Christchurch to see her race. Blair Orange drove Fatal Reunion and Den’s Legacy, a winner trained by Ken and Tony Barron for the Spriggs Bar Burnside No 1 syndicate. They have the Live Or Die – Pocket Royce 3-year-old leased from Toliman Lodge Limited. The 3-year-old Toby O’Gara won at his second start, Trained by Nathan Williamson for breeders Ross and Robyn Jones and Barry Dent, Toby O’Gara is a half-brother by Western Ideal to Statham (six wins) and Bernie Winkle (three). Statham is back jogging with Williamson after being side-lined with a viral infection.   Tayler Strong  

Cran Dalgety expected Bonnie Joan to run in the top three of last week’s Nevele R Fillies Final, but the manner in which she produced the performance to dead-heat for second, left even the usually collected Dalgety suitably impressed. Off a second line draw the Southland Oaks winner was fantastic in defeat, working hard to get outside the leader before applying the pressure inside the final 600 metres. “It was a huge performance,” Dalgety said. “I expected her to run a big race, but even that exceeded my expectations and probably justified the opinion I have of her in some ways too.” The Somebeachsomewhere filly who has now won seven of her 12 career appearances gets her chance to go one better this week in the Group One $150,000 New Zealand Oaks, where instead of being handicapped by the barrier draw like she was last week, she’s now firmly in the box seat to make the play if her driver Dexter Dunn should choose to do so. Even more pleasing for Dalgety this week however than the front line barrier draw has been the manner in which Bonnie Joan has come through last week’s assignment with flying colours. “Dare I say it that she’s actually improved off the run which is quite encouraging from my perspective. “She was bright and bubbly the next day and has really been good in her work this week so hopefully we are that little bit better again this week because we know we will have to be.” With her good draw, the expectation is that Dunn might light the speedy filly up early to win the race to the markers and with Dunn’s knack of producing huge front-running drives in big races, an attempted all of the way performance isn’t out of the question. Bookmakers have reacted to the performance of Bonnie Joan by enlisting her a $2.60 favourite behind last week’s Nevele R Fillies winner, Spanish Armada ($2.30) in their early markets. They are the only two horses dominating the betting with the third line being held by Partyon who has the outside of the front line barrier draw of nine to contend with if she is to become a Northern and New Zealand Oaks winner.   Matt Markham

A furious Cran Dalgety has slammed a process of what he says is horse trainers being treated like guinea pigs around murky cobalt laws. The Canterbury harness racing trainer has been fined $32,000 after horses he trained returned five positive swabs for the prohibited substance. But with legal fees and other associated costs, including paying back the horses winning stakes after they were disqualified, Dalgety said he was out of pocket more than $100,000 for something he is adamant is not his fault. Dalgety labelled the fine "incredibly excessive" and he holds concerns that financial penalties of that magnitude could be crippling to trainers livelihoods when they have simply used a contaminated supplement through no fault of their own. Dalgety, a third generation horse trainer, presented horses to race with cobalt levels above the allowed threshold on December 16, 29 and November 19 (three runners). He was first notified of a positive swab on January 10. He admitted the charges but said he had no choice because under the rules of racing it is the trainer's obligation to present a horse free of prohibited substances. Dalgety, a highly successful trainer best known for guiding the career of champion pacer Christen Me, is one of many trainers who feel that is too much power for officials to have when the source is not proven. "There is no other industry in the world where you are found guilty until you can prove yourself innocent," he said. In the Judicial Control Authority (JCA) decision, Dr Andrew Grierson, chief veterinarian for Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ), said analysis of samples taken from the feed supplement at Dalgety's stable were found to be extremely high in cobalt and he concluded it was the likely cause of the positive swabs. Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) investigators agree but said Dalgety's culpability was his failure to obtain appropriate advice on the use of a product containing cobalt after HRNZ introduced a cobalt threshold 200 ug/L in May 2015. The product Dalgety used was McGrouthers Equine Mineral Mix - a feed supplement he had used for more than 10 years without incident and that he believed to be perfectly legal. He had previously purchased the product made by the late Dr Cliff McGrouther and it continued to be produced by McGrouther's daughter. Dalgety, a former premiership-winning trainer, said the product was established by a veterinarian so he did not feel the need to seek further veterinary advice. The product was labelled as "will not return a positive swab" and "Licensed under Animal Remedies Act 1967 No 3392". However, despite what the label showed and unbeknown to Dalgety, the RIU said it had not been licensed since at least 1997. The four Dalgety trained horses returned high readings that ranged between 226 ug/L to greater than 600 ug/L. He stopped using the product the day he was notified of the first positive. Raukapuka Ruler, Linton Shard, Benchmark and Fatima Siad (twice) were disqualified from the races in question. Dalgety said the fact Raukapuka Ruler went on to win the Group I Northern Derby, with a cobalt level well under the threshold, was proof the elevated levels had not effected the horse's performance when it had tested positive in a much easier race back in December. Dalgety said appealing the severity of the fine would be a case of Russian roulette. "If I appeal I could get the fine reduced by $5000 but it might cost me $10,000 to appeal it. "How far do you go? Where does it stop?"  Dalgety questioned why he was given such a hefty fine when Southland trainer Shane Walkinshaw had two charges dropped last year when a feed supplement was proven to be at fault for two of his horses returning high cobalt readings. Other trainers have also had presenting charges dropped or received fines under $1000. However, Dalgety is not the hardest hit. Last year thoroughbred trainers Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott were handed down a $50,000 fine and costs of $10,500 after cobalt was detected in three of their horses. The fine came after a nine-month investigation. Dalgety has previously admitted two presentation charges. In 2009 he was fined $3500 for a positive swab to caffeine and in 2012 he was fined $6000 for a bute positive but the JCA decision concluded the two previous breaches were not similar to the cobalt charge because one was from contaminated feed and the other was when the wrong horse was treated with bute. Dalgety will also have to pay $2000 in costs to the JCA. The RIU acknowledged Dalgety had been fully cooperative throughout their investigation. WHAT IS COBALT? Cobalt is an essential trace element that is naturally occurring in horses, dogs and other mammals but has been demonstrated to have an effect on the blood system by stimulating the production of red blood cells making for a similar effect to Erythropoietin (EPO) doping.   MAT KERMEEN Reprinted with permission of Stuff

A second line draw for the likely pre-post favourite and an outside of the front line draw for her high class stable mate has done enough just to throw some murky cloud over Friday night’s Group One New Zealand Oaks at Addington. Last Friday night’s Nevele R Fillies Final winner, Spanish Armada was handed the outside of the second line as she shoot for a second Group One victory in seven days while Partyon has been given the much despised barrier of nine from behind the mobile arm. While a step up to 2600 metres should negate many of the issues for Spanish Armada, who has shown she is good enough to do work in her races and still find the required at the business end of a race, it does leave the door slightly ajar for her rivals. In particular Bonnie Joan, who showed she’s as good as anything else going around at the moment with her bold dead-heat effort for second with Delightful Memphis last Friday night behind Spanish Armada. With high early speed the Cran Dalgety trained filly should be able to get across and find the markers before any of her rivals in the $150,000 event. Delightful Memphis hasn’t been quite as well served in the draw as what she was a week ago, despite picking up the same marble. The Mark Jones trained filly will start from the inside of the second row for the second time in a week, but doesn’t have the luxury of following a favoured runner through on Friday night. Northern Oaks runner-up, Juice Brogden will bring fresh legs to the party after missing the Nevele R Final for her trainer Nicky Chilcott and will have the advantage of drawing inside Bonnie Joan with the potential to follow her across. With more than $750,000 worth of stake money up for grabs on Friday night there will be plenty of attention on Addington. Trotting star Enghien will make an appearance, and start a short priced favourite in the $80,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final for the three-year-old trotters while Alta Maestro and Spankem look well drawn to dominate the $170,000 Sires Stakes final for the two-year-old male pacers. Elle Mac, the unbeaten two-year-old filly will have to overcome an outside of the front line draw if she is to keep her winning record intact and win the NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final. The night’s open class feature, the Winter Cup will see a number of those pointing towards next month’s Harness Jewels having another hit out with Piccadilly Princess needing a top three finish if she is to make her way into the Top 12 for the Four-Year-Old Diamond category. Matt Markham

Clifton Tactic ran a track record for a mare over 2200m (mobile) of 2.40.6  (1.57.6 mile rate) when she overcame a second line draw at Forbury Park last Thursday. The daughter of Washington VC –Clifton Flier gave trainer Martin Denton his first win since he transferred his stable about 10km from East Taieri to Momona. Rory McIlwrick, the leading junior driver, settled Clifton Tactic sixth on the outer in a 10-horse field and she finished boldly wide out to win by a length and a half, She took  0.1sec of the previous track record set by Nui Le in April last year. It was the 29th win of the season for McIlwrick, who had a previous best of 26 last season. Poppymalda was within 0.1sec of the track record for a trotters when she stormed home  to win  in 3.27.6 for 2700m after starting from 40m. Trainer Cran Dalgety won with his three representatives, Pat’s Delight, Courageous Becqui and Ace High. The trio were driven by Dexter Dunn, who also drove Go Getta to win. Pat Kubala, the Gore owner of  the 2-year-old Pat’s Delight with his wife, Margaret, said the colt, would bypass the Harness Jewels. “He  (Pat’s Delight) will go out for six weeks now. He will be better next season,” said Kubala. Pat’s Delight left stride at the start of the 2200m (mobile), recovered to lead at the 1400 and won by two and three quarter lengths. He ran his last 800m in 57.6  and final quarter in 27.4, the fastest sectionals of the night. He was not accorded an overall time due to a malfunction with equipment. Courageous Becqui and Ace High, both 3-year-olds having their first starts, raced in the open close to the pace. Ace High (Bettor’s Delight – Splendid Deal) is a brother to Maxim (Sires’ Stakes Final at two) and Splendour (Gold Coast Oaks and Sires’ Stakes Silver at three). He is raced by Auckland breeder Charlie Roberts.  Splendid Deal (by In The Pocket)  has left four winners from four foals to race. Courageous Becqui is a filly by Courage Under Fire from Millwood Becqui raced by Kelvin Home Holdings. She is the seventh winner from as many foals to race out of Millwood Becqui (by Live Or Die). All the winners are by different sires. Millwood Becqui is the dam of Mr Nice Guy (20 wins in Australia), Ohoka Mach (17) and Party Girl Becqui (13). Ross and Maria Hurrell came to see their son, Mark drive on Thursday night and they were thrilled when he extricated Smooth Mara from four back on the inner at the 400m to win by a nose. Hurrell (19) has driven the winners of five races this season, his first as a junior. He has worked for Brendon McLellan for three years and he will shortly do stint with Nathan Williamson. He has won two races on the Peter Bagrie-trained Smooth Mara. Tayler Strong  

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