Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 470
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Harness racing Team Rogerson arrived at Karaka this morning for the first standardbred yearling sales for New Zealand Bloodstock. Not long after, they had unloaded $190,000 after engaging in a furious bidding war to get what was to be the top lot of the sales in Billion Dollar Boy  Billion Dollar Boy is a fantastic looking colt by Art Major from Goodlookinggirl by Christian Cullen from the Butler BG mare Twice As Good.  Rogerson stable foreman Dylan Ferguson suggested the colt was a bargain when speaking to NZBStandardbred after the purchase. "We liked his pedigree right from day one out of the catalogue, being a half brother to a multiple group one winner. "When we inspected him his type matched his pedigree and we thought he was definitely the top colt in the sale and that is why we were so keen to get him. "After the first day I saw him I told Graeme (Rogerson) I thought he would make $200K so some would say we got him cheap," he said. Rogerson also paid $120,000 for a Bettor's Delight filly out of Eyre To The Throne later in the day. John Street and Lincoln Farms were also busy buying, paying $140,000 for Lot 20 a Bettor's Delight colt and full brother to 1-52 miler Lancewood Lizzie. Street also paid $80,000 for a Rock N Roll Heaven – Lady Fingers colt during the sales.  Other high priced lots to sell were a Muscle Hill – Love Ya Doosie colt for $110,000 to KPC Racing in Australia, a Bettor's Delight – Safedra filly to Canterbury trainer Mark Jones and a Sweet Lou – Pacing Delight to Jean Fiess from Victoria. Mr JR & Mrs W Giumelli from Western Australia paid $120,000 for a Somebeachsomewhere – Dancing Diamonds filly and Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety paid $100,000 for a Sweet Lou – Revere Me colt. Mark Purdon and All Stars Stables paid $130,000 for a Captaintreacherous – Veste colt and Phil and Glennis Kennard purchased a Muscle Hill – Alannah Hall colt for $100,000. Late in the day E & M Stride from NSW purchased a Bettor's Delight – Diamond Like colt for $100,000 after paying $90,000 earlier in the day for a Muscle Hill – Miss Pegasus filly.   Full sales results can be viewed here   Harnesslink Media

Master reinsman Gavin Lang predicts that bigger and better things could be on the horizon for victorious Kiwi harness racing raider Im Pats Delight, winner of the Shepparton Gold Cup on Saturday night. “I honestly believe we are yet to see the best of him – I think he has the makings of a grand circuit horse next season,” Lang said. Im Pats Delight (Bettors Delight-Righteous Franco) prepared at Christchurch, NZ, by highly successful trainer Cran Dalgety, showed his customary courage to dig deep late in the $60,000 Group Two feature event, run over the marathon journey of 2690 metres. At the finish, you could have thrown a blanket over the first four (to use a favorite racecallers’ description) with Im Pats Delight holding on by a metre from Our Triple Play, who nosed out Our Uncle Sam.  Sentimental hometown favorite San Carlo was a close-up fourth. With the Tim Butt-trained Let It Ride zooming along out in front and San Carlo (Bec Bartley) on the outside cutting the breeze, Lang supporters could have been excused for having big smiles in the early stages with “Pat” perfectly placed in the one-one. The leading brigade slipped into overdrive over the second last quarter in 27.6, with Let It Ride the first to surrender. San Carlo worked to the lead then was collared by Our Uncle Sam who launched wide from the back. But it was Im Pats Delight who swooped to take the honors, courtesy of another classic timed-to-perfection Lang drive.    The final 400m saw the survival of the fittest, being run in 29.6s. But in fairness, the mile rate for the staying trip of 1.56-2 was just .01 of a second outside the track record held by recent Inter Dominion series competitor Im The Boss, set on April 28 last year. Lang said his association with Dalgety “goes back a long time”. “I enjoy driving for him, because you know the horses are going to the races in prime condition,” Lang said. The combination has enjoyed considerable success over the years with talented pacers coming to mind including London Legend who ended up a M10 and C15. It was the second Victorian win for Im Pats Delight during this campaign, having won a heat of last month’s Inter Dominion at Ballarat in a career best of 1.52-2 for 1710m. Lang said while the horse held his own during the series, the tough runs eventually caught up with the four-year-old. He said Dalgety freshened “Pat” up after the series. “The horse had a nice hit-out in a Melton trial on the Tuesday prior to Shepparton, running a close-up third to Cruz Bromac and we knew that would have done him the world of good.” Lang, now back in the training ranks based at Bacchus Marsh, is also having a good season as a trainer. “My wife Meagan and I decided we could do around 12 to 13 between us,” he said. “But with a few winners we quickly found we were up to 18 and that meant employing staff, but we’re thoroughly enjoying it.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

IN a shock twist Inter Dominion champion Tiger Tara won’t tackle Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Ballarat Cup. He’s the second big name in the space of just a few hours to pull out of Victoria’s biggest country cup. It follows Cran Dalgety’s decision to skip Ballarat and wait another week for the $100,000 Group 1 4YO Bonanza with Shepparton Cup winner Im Pats Delight. Tiger Tara was a clear prepost favourite for Ballarat before Pizzuto revealed his change of plans. “He’s right where I want him and I don’t want to have to take him down to Melbourne twice or have to leave him there for the time between Ballarat and the Hunter Cup,” he said. “I’ve got lots on at home with Majordan getting ready for the Miracle Mile and Picard for the Chariots Of Fire. I’m not just a one-horse trainer. “He doesn’t need to race at Ballarat. He’s very fit and I can sharpen him at home before the Hunter Cup.” Tiger Tara stepped-out for the first time since his stunning Melbourne Inter Dominion win when he toyed with a moderate field at Menangle last night. Todd McCarthy worked to the front and let Tiger Tara roll for a scorching 1min53.8sec mile rate iver the longer 2300m trip. He closed off in 54.2 and 26.6sec. With Tiger Tara and Im Pats Delight, the All Stars’ trio of Cruz Bromac, Thefixer and Spankem should dominate Ballarat.   Adam Hamilton

Tony and Cheryl Barron love returning home to Southland and winning races. It was the perfect scenario for them today at Gore when Global Domination beat a small but handy field of three year olds in The Cardrona Distillery/MLT Three Year Old Stakes. In doing so he also set a new three year old and all-comers track record. The winning time was 2-39.8.The previous record of 2-40.7 was held by the Cran Dalgety trained Art Union and was set in 2015. By Bettor’s Delight out of Christy Breanna, Global Domination was bred by Tony Barron and after qualifying last November won his first three starts before running eighth then fifth in Sire Stakes Heats at Addington. “He probably got there a bit early as far as the grades go. We werent scared to take on the big boys. He didn’t disgrace himself getting within four lengths (when he ran fifth behind Ultimate Sniper),” said Barron. In today’s three year old feature driver Matty Williamson (who was driving him for the first time) took an early trail behind pacemaker and favourite Robyns Playboy. As they approached the winning post for the first time Global Domination jumped footprints on the track (mine), broke, and came down pacing. “He’s always been a funny bugger like that. I had the shadow roll right up. It’s just a part of the breed. They’ve all done it.” Robyns Playboy took Global Domination to the Kubala Seeds Passing Lane and once balanced he came up the inside running line to beat Fear Cruisin by half a length with Cast No Shadow another half a length back in third. Win, lose or draw today, Barron said Global Domination is going out for a spell. “I took a blood test off him last week and he’s getting over a bug. I just wanted to get a start in him for the Supremacy (Southern Supremacy Stakes). So that one is out of the way and a bit of money in the bank.” Global Domination is out of the six win Lis Mara mare Christy Breanna, which Barron also trained.  Peter Marshall and the Barron family have had success with this breed over a few decades. “I think he’s the best one. The whole family have been nice horses and they’ve got better and better but I think this fella’s a notch up. Time will tell.” Winning connections                               - Photo Bruce Stewart Tony with wife Cheryl have scaled down their operation since Tony and his brother Ken decided to train separately. Tony and Cheryl are training between seven and ten horses and are currently preparing five colts for the February Sales. Tony’s pick is a Bettor’s Delights colt out of Elite Medley which is from the same family as today’s winner. There is also a full brother to Global Domination called Calatural Damage later in the sale. The Cardrona Distillery/MLT Three Year Old Stakes is an attempt by the Gore club to resonrecte the Tanqueray Stakes which was run on the course in the mid 1970’s and early 1980’s. The Tanqueray Stakes for three year olds was first run in 1974 when hot favourite Lunar Chance ($1.75 and $0.95) driven by Keith Lawlor won beating Flying Tempest and Eclipse. The race was run for eleven seasons with other winners were Bronze Regal (1975), Monarque (1976), Islafax (1977), Hurricane Squire (1978), Shona Way (1979), Ryal Pont (1980), Auburn Bret (1981), Trilobal (1982) Starling (1983) and North Fleet (1984). In 1980 it was afforded Group Two status. Once the Southland Oaks (1983) and Southern Supremacy (1984) became part of the Southland racing calendar the race was discontinued. Islafax caused the biggest upset in 1977 when she beat Sapling and Belmer’s Image. She was owned by local Harness Racing identity Ken McRae and trained and driven by Ray Todd. She paid $71.65 and $11.50. The race that year was raced for $5,250 by far the biggest stake of the day. Many also remembered the 1978 edition when Hurricane Squire trained and driven by Richard Brosnan beat the mighty Lord Module. Meanwhile Majestic Man won his sixth races when he held out arch rival War Admiral in the Gore Mitre 10 Handicap Trot.   Bruce Stewart

Champion driver Gavin Lang secured gate three for both his 2018 TAB Inter Dominion pacing and trotting drives at this morning's barrier draw. Held at Zinc Federation Square on the banks of the Yarra, the TAB ID18 Barrier Draw and Breakfast of Champions attracted plenty of guests and grabbed the attention of morning commuters in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. Lang, who pilots impressive Kiwi Im Pats Delight in the pacing grand final and trotter Save Our Pennys in the trotting decider, has two live chances on the biggest stage of all. The master reinsman said both horses were progressing well through the ID18 series to date but would have to step it up again to secure harness racing's holy grail. Save Our Pennys heads into the trotting decider a $14 shot after finishing second in all his qualifying heats behind the raging ID18 favourite Tornado Valley. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven a lot of very good trotters in my career and I would have been prepared to say this one’s not a patch on any of those ones, especially the three Inter Dominion winners,” Lang said when asked about the recent progress of the seven-year-old. “But I must say he’s really exceeded my expectations (through ID18).” Lang also said Save Our Pennys’ fitness was improving each run after his first-up second off a 30-metre handicap in the Geelong Trotting Cup. “He got beaten on his merits at Geelong and I thought if he improves 10 per cent from that in the first of the Inter Dominion heats I’d be pleased. I wasn’t expecting him to come out and run second,” Lang said. “He’s improved each run through this series and three seconds is more than I would have expected. “The distance of the final (2760m) is no burden for him and he’s just an old-fashioned horse who puts his head down and gets on with it. He’s got a great demeanour.” Cran Dalgety-trained Im Pats Delight is a four-year-old New Zealand pacer, who has gone from strength to strength through the heat rounds. “It’s a daunting task for a four-year-old to contest an Inter Dominion series but he is very mature and he seems to be getting through each run well,” Lang said. Meanwhile, Nat Rasmussen has chosen Cruz Bromac as her ID18 drive in the pacing final with partner Mark Purdon picking up the reins aboard fancied stablemate Spankem. Click here for the ID18 final fields   Trots Media - Cody Winnell

As good as Pats Delight has been during this Inter Dominion series trainer Cran Dalgety admits he is probably running for second tonight. And that will be fine by him as the heats of the series draw to a conclusion at Cranbourne. All five heats, two for the trotters and three for the pacers, have red hot favourites and it is hard to make much of a case for any of them to get beaten. Tornado Valley (first trotting heat) and Speeding Spur (second) look set to lead and win, with more interest in which one draws inside the other for next Saturday's final when the draws are made on Monday morning. The pacing heats also have three hotpots, two of them Kiwi-trained in Spankem (first of tonight's pacing heats) and Cruz Bromac (last) while Tiger Tara looks like leading and winning the middle heat. But while Cruz Bromac is expected to do the same, he at least has a quality fellow Kiwi opponent in Im Pats Delight (Aust name), who has been one of the surprise packages of this series and has emerged as one of maybe only five winning chances in next Saturday's A$500,000 final. "He has been super and is thriving over here," says Dalgety about the Canterbury four-year-old. "I'm glad we made the choice to come, it was very up in the air at one stage, because he is loving the racing style here and I think the trip will make him." After smashing his opponents, and the clock, winning his heat at Ballarat on Tuesday it is impossible to completely dismiss Pats Delight even from his second line draw over the 2555m mobile but Dalgety is realistic about the task ahead. "Cruz Bromac looks the leader and to be honest the winner," he says. "And the way he is racing and knowing Natalie (Rasmussen) won't hand up there is no point us taking off and sticking it to him mid race. "So we might end up parked and if we did then second would probably be a good result." Cruz Bromac is looking to go through the heats unbeaten and his already high chances improved when veteran Franco Nelson, who looked his only rival for the lead, was scratched out of the series yesterday. While four of tonight's hotpots should lead and win the most interesting heat tonight should be watching how Spankem overcomes his second line draw. He has at least some genuine competition in fellow heat winners Wrappers Delight and Galactic Star but if he races up to his two huge performances in the series so far he should win and could even be close to favourite for the final should he draw well on Monday.   Michael Guerin

CRUZ Bromac will be raging hot favourite to complete a cleansweep of the Inter Dominion heats after drawing superbly for the third night at Cranbourne on Saturday. The All Stars’ runner led throughout on night one, made a midrace move to sit parked and win easily last night and should lead throughout again from gate four at Cranbourne. Another Kiwi, Im Pats Delight, looks the only real danger, but he will need plenty of luck from an inside back row draw (gate eight). Cran Dalgety’s four-year-old has looked terrific with a second on night one and fastest-of-the-night win at Ballarat last night. Cruz Bromac’s stablemate, Spankem, is flying, but faces another tricky draw (gate nine) in his Cranbourne heat. It’s a fascinating heat with the three class runners all drawing the back row. Wrappers Delight (gate eight) and Galactic Star (10) the others. Long-time Grand Final favourite Tiger Tara has finally drawn well in a heat and looks a standout in his Cranbourne heat from gate four. Audi Hare looks the early leader from gate two and would happily trail Tiger Tara, who will relish the draw and the 2555m trip. Major rival San Carlo drew awfully outside the back row (gate 11) and now needs a top four finish to be certain of making the final. In the trotting series, big guns Tornado Valley and Speeding Spur will dominate betting in their final round heats. Speeding Spur, who sat parked and ran a brave third to Tornado Valley at Ballarat last night, drew superbly in gate two over the longer 2555m trip and Cranbourne in a heat lacking depth. He looks set to either lead or work to the front with Kyvalley Blur (gate five) and the emerging, Big Jack Hammer (eight), the others with winning chances. The other Kiwi, Monty Python, drew awfully in gate 11. Tornado Valley should complete a cleansweep of the heats after drawing gate four in the second of Saturday night’s heats. Save Our Pennys, who has finished second to Tornado Valley in both heats so far, has the pole and should trail Tornado Valley again and the only real danger. The other key player in the heat is Maori Law, who ran a slashing second to Speeding Spur on night one then galloped and finished last on night two. Kiwi outsiders Alderbeck (gate eight) and Wilmas Mate (10) will struggle. Adam Hamilton Click here for the third night ID18 fields

New Zealand’s Inter Dominion assault could swell to six after a couple of surprise additions. The annual trans tasman harness racing series returns to Victoria on Saturday week and has the added bonus of the return of the trotting series, which was last held in 2012. Both series will consist of three rounds of heats spread across Victoria and 2760m mobile finals at Melton on December 15 but the series, like last week’s New Zealand Cup, has been hit by the extraordinary number of injuries, retirements and overseas sales in the open class ranks this year. But while a brutal Cup week in Christchurch last week suggested New Zealand could have only two or three reps in the Inters, that number could double. Yesterday was the day many trainers sat down, dusted themselves off and planned the rest of the summer and one of the big winners has been the Auckland and Cambridge summer carnivals, with some of the industry’s glamour names staying home. That will include Thefixer, Dream About Me, Jack’s Legend, Turn It Up, Chase Auckland, Eamon Maguire and Elle Mac in the pacing ranks while Temporale, Lemond and Woodstone will also be coming north rather than heading to Melbourne.  Ultimate Machete, who missed Cup week with a hoof problem, has been on the water walker for the last week and co-trainer Mark Purdon will check on his progress before confirming an Auckland Cup campaign. That leaves the All Stars with Cruz Bromac as their confirmed Inter Dominon pacing hope with the option that Spankem could join him.  “We are still finalising a few different things and will firm everything up later in the week,” said Purdon.  While speedster Star Galleria is out of the Inters and will need a minor surgery, one surprise addition to the Kiwi pacing team could be Pat’s Delight. The Jewels winner has been both luckless and impressive over the last month and trainer Cran Dalgety is leaning toward going to Melbourne as the Inter Dominion final  could be no stronger than the Auckland Cup. “I am talking to the owner about it and he gets the final call but I am keen to go,” says Dalgety. In the trotting series Speeding Spur was always likely to go and after jogging out soundly for trainers John and Josh Dickie on Monday morning he will be in the series barring anything unforseen happening this week And he could be joined by two slightly unexpected fellow Kiwis in Alderbeck and Monty Python. Their trainer Phil Williamson says the Inter trip is on with the pair, who both had no luck in the Dominion last Friday. “I think they are both good enough to go to the series, make the final and get some money in it so we are keen,” says the champion trainer of trotters. But with driving sons Nathan, Brad and Matthew so busy at home, Williamson could be on the lookout for an Australian driver for the pair. Speeding Spur is rated the most likely New Zealand winner of one of an Inter final at $3.80 in most markets, while Tiger Tara heads many Inter Dominion pacing markets although Cruz Bromac could continue to shorten after his NZ Free-For-All win last Friday and once his participation in the series becomes more certain. Other plans for some of the big names from Cup week see three-year-old star Ultimate Sniper coming north for the Sales Series Pace at Alexandra Park on December 31 buy intermediate grade speed machine Alta Maestro will stick to a South Island standing start race programme for now to continue to educate him.   Michael Guerin

Early indications are that this year’s three-year-old top pacing boys’ division is a bumper crop. Ignatius stamped his authority at Menangle last weekend in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge to take his record to 14 wins from 15 starts. Is he the benchmark? Some are comparing him to Beautide – but that may be merely because both were trained by Jimmy Rattray. The picture should be clearer – but of course could be muddied – after Saturday night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Emma Stewart-trained Ride High carries a 100 per cent win strike rate into the $125,000 big dance but has to overcome barrier 12 against an outstanding field, including rising star stablemates Poster Boy and Konan. Poster Boy is the reigning Vicbred champ and New South Wales Derby winner, while Konan has looked every bit the barbarian in his Vicbred heat and semi-final wins. Whichever young prodigy wins Vicbred has legitimate claims to be part of the ‘best three-year-old’ discussion, but if Ride High overcomes the draw and delivers a KO despite doing a power of work in the run, he might just be No.1 seed. Among the conversation are Brisbane gun Colt Thirty One from Grant Dixon’s stable, who outpointed Poster Boy in the Victoria Derby, reigning Breeders Crown champ and WA Derby winner King Of Swing and south-west Victorian luminary Lumineer, last year’s APG Final victor. Then there's the mystery of the Kiwis. Chase Auckland has a magnificent record with eight wins from nine starts, including victory in the Great Northern Derby for the Mark Purdon All Stars team, while Jewels winner Pats Delight for Cran Dalgety is a serious youngster.  Deciding which beast is best this year is hard enough, predicting how the alumni will be positioned looking back years from now is next level difficult. However, there are parallels between this season’s young guns and that of the super draft of 2012-13. The latter crop contained superstar Lennytheshark, millionaire earners Ohoka Punter and Bit Of A Legend, Dixon-trained Majestic Mach and Stewart-prepared Guaranteed. Of the most impressive three-year-olds in recent seasons only some have gone to be genuine Grand Circuit stars – think Bling It On (2013-14), Chicago Bull and Lazarus (2015-16). Others like Menin Gate – Victorian Horse of the Year at three in 2014-15 – and Our Waikiki Beach – 11 out of 12 at three in 2015-16 – looked potential world-beaters at three but are yet to necessarily replicate that at open-age. So will the next champion please stand up? Cody Winnell

Harness racing trainer Cran Dalgety won the Gr 1 $150,000 3yo Emerald this afternoon with Pat's Delight at Cambridge Raceway.  Driven by Dexter Dunn, Pat's Delight blasted to the front early before handing up to Blair Orange and Sheriff with a lap to go.   In the straight Pat's Delight was too strong and easily beat Sheriff by a length to give Dexter a great going away present for his upcoming trip to North America. Solid Gold ran home well from three deep on the fence for third and Alta Maestro had to settle for fourth after sitting parked for the majority of the race. Dexter was euphoric after the race and gave credit to the horse. "He had a great season and although he got beaten a few times he always put up a good run.  "He deserved to get a Group One.  "Coming around that last bend I was travelling that good I was almost galloping but he was spot on  today. "Cran had him perfect," he said. Bettor's Delight managed a trifecta in the last with the first three placings all sired by the Woodlands Stud stallion. Pat's Delight paced the mile in a slick 1-52.7 with the last 800m in 55.6 and closing 400m in 27.4 seconds Harnesslink Media Interview with Chrissie Dalgety Pat's Delight DUNSTAN FEEDS 3YO EMERALD (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1), $150,000, 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS, 1609m   For 3-year-old pacing colts & geldings. Video  Weather: Overcast     Track: Fast      Race History     Plc Bk Horse Barrier Hcap Stakes Fav Time Margin Driver Trainer 1 2 Pat's Delight 2 fr 75,000.00 2/1 1-52.7   D J Dunn C T Dalgety 2 3 Sheriff 3 fr 22,500.00 3/3 1-52.9 1.00 B N Orange N R McGrath 3 1 Solid Gold 1 fr 15,000.00 7/6 1-53.0 1.30 J P Stormont F D Cooney & T R Hopkins 4 5 Alta Maestro 5 fr 6,375.00 5/5 1-53.7 4.90 J R Dunn R J Dunn 5 12 Sicario 12 fr 4,735.00 1/2 1-53.7 5.00 Mark Purdon M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 6 10 Triple Eight 10 fr 3,770.00 9/8 1-54.1 6.70 D J Butcher S G Telfer 7 11 Bettor Step Aside 11 fr 3,770.00 12/12 1-54.1 6.80 D M Balle D M Balle 8 7 Hail Christian 7 fr 3,770.00 8/9 1-54.4 8.40 R T May P T Court 9 6 Funatthebeach 6 fr 3,770.00 6/7 1-54.4 8.50 N C Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 10 13 Ohanzee 13 fr 3,770.00 4/4 1-54.4 8.60 T M Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 11 9 Culpeka 9 fr 3,770.00 11/10 1-54.5 8.70 B M Mangos B M Mangos 12 8 Henry Hubert 8 fr 3,770.00 10/11 1-56.5 19.10 G D Smith R J Dunn $150,000.00   Scratchings SCR 4 Hundie 4                     Divs: $3.30. $1.30. $1.60. $4.60. Quinella $4.60. Trifecta $117.20. TAB Double[races-8,9]:(1,2) $4.00. TAB Conc.:(1,3) $1.80. TAB Treble[races-7,8,9]:(10,1,2) $13.50. First4 $809.10. Quaddie[races-6,7,8,9]:(5,10,1,2) $50.30. Pick6[races-4,5,6,7,8,9]:(13,1,5,10,1,2) $200.60. Margins: 1 length, neck, 3 1/2 lengths Times: Mile Rate: 1-52.7 Last 800m: 55.6 Last 400m: 27.4 Placed Horses:       Pat's Delight 2014 3 B c Bettor's Delight - Righteous Franco   (by Falcon Seelster)    Trainer: C T Dalgety, West Melton    Owner: Charlton Park Enterprises Ltd(P Kubala)    Breeder: Charlton Park Enterprises Ltd(P Kubala)    Sheriff 2014 3 B c Bettor's Delight - Jen Marie   (by Christian Cullen)    Trainer: N R McGrath, Weedons    Owner: G W Deakins, Mrs P P Gillan, R V Masefield, Small Car World Ltd    Breeder: K N Spicer,Mrs A M Spicer    Solid Gold 2014 3 B g Bettor's Delight - Aquileia   (by Falcon Seelster)    Trainer: F D Cooney & T R Hopkins, Taupaki    Owner: Mrs A F Cooney, W H Outtrim, P J Haslam    Breeder: Old Ridge Services No 4 Ltd

Horse trainers usually treat the news a key rival has been scratched from a group one race with a kind of political grace. Which means they more or less lie and pretend they are upset for their fellow trainers, when in reality they are thrilled their horse is one step closer to the winner’s circle. But not Cran Dalgety. Not this Saturday. Dalgety was genuinely shocked and disappointed to hear star Aussie mare Carla’s Pixel was pulled out of the Harness Jewels on Monday, even though she might have been the hardest for Dalgety’s mare Bonnie Joan to beat. The pair were set to both start off the second line in the $150,000 four-year-old Diamond but Carla’s Pixel will now not get on the plane across the Tasman after a poor last start performance.  While that should make Bonnie Joan’s task on Saturday easier, it has almost certainly made it enormously more difficult. Bonnie Joan was originally drawn barrier two on the second line and set to follow through behind a fast beginner and get handy, which is about as good as life gets from the second line in a mile race at Cambridge. But Carla’s Pixel’s withdrawal has hit Bonnie Joan hard on two front fronts. Firstly she moves to the inside of the second line, but it also lets emergency Christanna into the race and she has drawn the ace. So Bonnie Joan has gone from being all but guaranteed being handy in the running line to starting directly behind an 80-1 chance who is certain to take a trail, meaning Bonnie Joan is facing a traffic nightmare.  “Oh, that is not good,” said Dalgety upon hearing the news of Carla’s Pixel’s scratching.  “I was quite comfortable with two on the second line but now everything has changed. I’m really happy with the mare but Dexter (Dunn, driver) is going to have to find some luck somewhere. And to be honest, I don’t know where.” The race is likely to be Bonnie Joan’s last as she heads to the broodmare paddock a valuable commodity and the scratching of Carla’s Pixel and the subsequent draw reshuffle makes the race one of the most puzzling of the day. Dalgety takes seven horses to the Cambridge mega meeting and while others have draws suggesting they will need luck, he is very keen to take that out of the equation with Pat’s Delight in the last race for the three-year-old boys. The speedster has had a rollercoaster season, looking a potential early star when beating good older horses, racing below par on his Northern Derby trip then only going down a nose in the New Zealand Derby. “We have had some good luck and bad but we want to take that out of the equation this Saturday,” said Dalgety.  “We are drawn inside the other favourites and have good gate speed so I want to see him in front and staying there.  “If we do that and they are still good enough to beat us then so be it, “But we don’t want to be handing up and I don’t think there are going to be a lot of drivers who do this week.” Pat’s Delight is locked in a three-way battle for favourtism around the $3 mark with his Derby conqueror Sheriff and Sicario for the last race, always one of the more dramatic on Jewels day.  The blazing early gate speed from at least of the horse on the front line coupled with the fact the All Stars have three reps in the race who will need to move early to have any chance suggest it will be one of the highlights of the day again.   Michael Guerin

You may not be able to be in two places at once but Cran Dalgety has two good reasons to try tonight. The Canterbury trainer has winning chances in $290,000 worth of fillies races and he would love to see both. The only problem is one is at Addington in Christchurch, the other at Alexandra Park in Auckland. Dalgety has Sezana in the $150,000 Sales Series Pace for juvenile fillies at Alexandra Park at 5.39pm, where after a brave second against older horses last Friday she looms as a huge chance. But just 2-hours later, Dalgety has one of his stable stars Bettor Joy taking on Elle Mac in the $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Final, where she has the ace draw to test arch rival Elle Mac. "I'd love to see both races because they are the two biggest races of the weekend," said Dalgety. "Sezana is a special horse to us because our son Carter did all the research and chose her from the sales and basically bought him, although he is only 14 so he is not allowed to own a horse so Chrissy [wife] owns him. "She has kept improving with every start and she finds herself in with a real chance tonight so I will definitely fly to Auckland to oversee her earlier in the day and would ideally like to stay for the race. "But that would be pushing it pretty fine to get back to Addington for Bettor Joy, where I think the draw really brings her into play. "So it might even work out I go to Auckland, get Sezana all set up and the leave to get to Addington in time to do the same for Bettor Joy." While Sezana's race lacks the best juvenile fillies it actually adds to the contest, with the four fillies with inside draws all capable of winning. But the Nevele R Final at Addington could be a two-horse race between Bettor Joy and Elle Mac, with Dalgety aware his filly may only have one shot at winning. "I think we have to use the draw and stay in front," he says. "If we let Elle Mac go she could dawdle around and sprint home [last 400m] in 26 seconds and we would have no chance. "So while I haven't spoken to Dexter [Dunn] about it yet I'd say they will be the tactics. "And if we do that and Elle Mac beats us then so be it." Elle Mac might simply be the better filly and looked sharp beating the likes of Sicario at the trials last week but could have to sit parked to win. If the pair do go to war then Dizzy Miss Lizzy could be sitting just in behind them as a perfect place chance and maybe even a blowout hope. On a night where the big money at Addington takes centre stage, the $70,000 Sales Series Trot looks some juicy long-hanging fruit as the three best-performed trotters in the country are missing while NZ Derby winner Sheriff returns against a race-hardened Alta Orlando in the main free-for-all. And at Alexandra Park, anything like the best version of Girls On Film should win the Northern Trotting Oaks while the Breeders Stakes could come down to the standing start manners of the runners. Michael Guerin

Chase Auckland may be running out of ways to get beaten in tonight's $250,000 Woodlands Northern Derby at Alexandra Park. The son of Auckland Reactor has looked every inch his father's son in his debut season, winning both the Sires' Stakes and Sales Series Pace before tasting defeat for the first time in the Derby prelude last Friday. That was when he was forced to sit parked outside stablemate Sicario and only just failed to grab him in his first start for two months, suggesting he will clearly strip fitter tonight. Even after that defeat the TAB opened Chase Auckland a $1.35 favourite and those taking the short will do so without too many obvious stumbling blocks. Already this crop has been shorn on several key rivals through injury, illness or sales overseas. In the last two weeks first Pat's Delight and then Sicario, with huge Alexandra Park wins, have emerged as genuine Derby threats to Chase Auckland, at least until Monday's barrier draw. Sicario, who may well be as talented as his stablemate on last Friday's run, drew the second line and while he is the only horse there he still looks set to settle closer to last than first. And Pat's Delight fared even worse, drawing the outside of the front line while Chase Auckland drew barrier six. Pat's Delight's trainer Cran Dalgety was pragmatic about the draw. "If we were going into the race as the big dog maybe we could roll the dice and go forward from barrier eight," said Dalgety. "But if we go blasting out and try and lead from there, even if we make the front, we will set the race up for something else." So with his two best credentialed rivals likely settling behind him, Chase Auckland's only major worries should be those in front of him. There are some handy, future open class rivals between him and the lead but only Sheriff would seem any hope of holding him out and even then any desire to do so would be sorely tested if Chase Auckland got serious inside the first lap. More and more, it looks like a Derby he should eventually lead and win. The classic is just one of a stretch of six major races in a row, starting with a small but very even Northern Mares Classic, which could be decided by how hard Delishka has to work. The open trot looks a lottery but CK Spur's manners are so good his improvement curve might continue, especially with the backmarkers not suited by the big field. The southern fillies dominate the Delightful Lady, with Bubbled Up probably the best value since there doesn't seem to be much between her, Princess Tiffany and Kendra. Jesse Duke looks the best of the freshman boys in the Young Guns Final but is still very much learning so maybe not a true multi bet anchor. And the return clash of Jack's Legend and Star Galleria in the City Of Auckland Free-For-All should be a beauty, with the former holding a crucial draw advantage tonight. Star Galleria may be flat out faster than Jack's Legend but if he has to move mid-race to sit parked while Jack's Legend leads then it is advantage Jack's Legend, and at $2.50 fixed he is a good bet. MIchael Guerin

Cran Dalgety is going against his usual modus operandi with Pat's Delight at Alexandra Park in the last race tonight and that is a pretty strong tip for the three-year-old. The colt comes to Auckland for the first time with the Northern Derby in two weeks as his main target but after beating some serious mid-grade opponents at Addington last start he has to take on another bunch of tough older opponents again at Alexandra Park. Making it even trickier is Pat's Delight being drawn wide over 1700m in a small field but Dalgety has some soothing words for punters who want to bet against Pat's Delight. "Usually I would bring a horse north and race it next week and then into the Derby, that is my usual pre-Derby pattern," says Dalgety,   "But this horse is forward enough to take on older horses now, he is that ready," says Dalgety. "He is about 98 per cent right as we saw at Addington last week and even though he will improve with the outing at Alexandra Park because most Canterbury horses do, he is ready to go." With plenty of gate speed inside him and a rugged Auckland Cup fourth-placegetter in Northview Hustler outside him, Pat's Delight is probably going to be driven for one run. "But that was how he won last week and will have to be driven that way again but the small field helps." Punters will probably want $2 to make Pat's Delight value though as being even one spot too far back, or forward, can be a hard way to win a 1700m race where they could rate close to 1:54. Earlier in the night Dalgety kicks off his northern assault with Master Moonlite in race two, one of the two PGG Sales Graduate races for the three-year-olds. "I wanted to bring him up here at Christmas but he wasn't that tractable right-handed then," says Dalgety. "But he sneaks into this race and being $30,000 it is more or less his Derby final. "But he is still not perfect right-handed so punters should be a little bit careful." After tonight's meeting Dalgety heads to Menangle to enjoy tomorrow night's Miracle Mile meeting. It's a race he won just over three years ago with Christen Me. So does he think champion pacer Lazarus can overcome a terrible build-up to tomorrow night's $750,000 sprint. "When you look at a horse like Anything For Love, who wasn't rated one of the elites before last week, pace 1:48.7 in front you realise what a huge task Lazarus faces this week. "He is a champion but he might have to go 1:46 to win and I don't think he could do that." Michael Guerin

One of the world’s best ever drivers will be showcasing his skills in New Zealand over the next fortnight. And for Hall Of Fame horseman David Miller that will hopefully mean his first time race driving on grass at Motukarara on Sunday week. Miller is accompanying Kiwi horseman Richard “Nifty” Norman, who has been based in North America for much of his career, when Norman returns home this week. So Miller will bring his driving bag and is available for drives at Alexandra Park this Friday, at Addington the following Friday and at Motukarara the following Sunday. Trainers interested in using his services should either contact the clubs involved or Cran Dalgety. “It is great to have a guy like David driving down here and Nifty tells me he is really looking forward to it,” says Dalgety. “So I’d love to see him get some drives up there (Auckland) and then of course down here. “Apparently he is really looking forward to having a go on the grass.” While Alexandra Park’s right-handed track and the grass at The Mot may be relatively new experiences for Miller, not much else in harness racing is. He has driven around 13,000 winner in his extraordinary career and the winners of over US$10million in a season a remarkable 13 times. Michael Guerin

Geraldine Cup bound Raukapuka Ruler had a quiet run around at the Rangiora workouts yesterday. Settling near last of the six horse field the Cran Dalgety trained Raukapuka Ruler was under no urgency to improve his position midrace, instead just cruising around at the back of the field while stable-mate Art Union set a fast tempo up front. Raukapuka Ruler sped up over his last 800m in around 57.5 seconds running home under his own steam with out being pushed by driver Dexter Dunn. The workout was won by the Tim Butt trained Lanikai who rated a very fast 1-56.8 mile rate over the mobile 2000m. Lanikai blasted over his last 800m in 55.8 seconds and won going away by more than 5lengths from stable-mate Lady Chatto. ________________________________________________________________________________________ The annual trans-tasman invited drivers series at Ascot Park will be an invited kiwis only affair, after timing and date issues ruled out any Australian participation this year. Instead the series will be a North of the Waitaki vs South of the Waitaki drivers challenge with the series being sponsored by Sweet Lou. The invited drivers will compete in five heats on the day with points allocated to the first five home on each occasion with 10 points for a win, 7 for second, 5 for third, 3 for fourth and 1 for fifth. Each driver receives the points they accumulate towards finding an individual champion while their points also go into their teams score to find the champion team. Spearheading the North of the Waitaki team are the current New Zealand top two drivers based on number of wins in Blair Orange and Dexter Dunn. They will be joined by Tim Williams, Samantha Ottley, Ricky May and Gavin Smith.   The south of the Waitaki line-up is led by the three Williamson brothers – Nathan, Matthew and Brad. Rory McIlwrick, Brent Barclay and Sheree Tomlinson make up the rest of a strong local team. Competition gets under way in Race 3 timed to start at 5:03pm on Friday 24th November.   Harnesslink Media      

1 to 16 of 470
1 2 3 4 5 Next »