Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 433
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Four quality drives await junior reinswoman Kerryn Tomlinson at Wingatui on Monday. Bookmakers are backing Tomlinson to enjoy a good afternoon at Forbury Park’s dual-code meeting, rating each of her four drives either first or second favourite. Olive Cook heads Tomlinson’s handy book following her solid fresh up second at Addington last week. The Peter and Mitchell Robertson trained mare looks to get a royal chance to strike winning form in race 5. “We were really happy with her at Addington,” Tomlinson said. “She was fresh up and she should be a little bit fitter this time.” “And the race on Monday looks a little bit easier, so she should be a good chance.” Olive Cook opened the $3.10 favourite for race 5 on the back of her second to Immer Besser last Thursday. Lincoln Moment, to be driven by Tomlinson’s sister Sheree, looks the main threat to Olive Cook. The Shane Matheson trained pacer struggled in his last start on a wet Oamaru track but should be back on firmer ground on Monday. Lincoln Moment has been rated the $4.80 second-favourite by bookmakers. Tomlinson also combines with Sundons Flyer in race 4. The Bruce Negus trained mare free-falls back in class considering she raced Dark Horse in free-for-all company two starts ago. If she brings her A-game the eight-year-old should offer plenty. “She hasn’t been going as well as she can but if she was on her game she would be a good chance,” Tomlinson said. “She likes grass and she is best driven with a sit so hopefully she can get a nice run somewhere.” “It’s a long straight at Wingatui so hopefully she is running home over top of them.” Sundons Flyer opened at $5 odds in fixed odds betting before being backed into $4.60. Top Pocket Chance was rated the $4 favourite for race 4 on market opening. Tomlinson combines with the consistent Summars in race 2. It will not be easy for the Ross Wilson trained mare to take on race winners as a maidener, but her form means she deserves good respect. “It is never easy being a maiden taking on those horses that have won races,” Tomlinson said. “But she is very consistent, she looks like she will need the right run and if she gets it she should be a good chance.” Summars was rated the $5.50 equal second favourite with Whangamata on fixed-odds market opening. Deborah’s Gem, who trialled well at Oamaru last week, was rated the $5 favourite. Tomlinson also drives Olive Cook’s stablemate Itz The Con Artist in race 3. The pacer worked too hard in his first-up effort when seventh at Addington last week. From barrier 1 the four-year-old should get a much more economical trip on Monday. “She just got caught a bit wide and had to do too much work at Addington,” Tomlinson said. “From [barrier] 1 she should get a nice run.” Itz The Con Artist opened at a $3.40 fixed odds win price, behind the $3.20 favourite for race 3, Arizona Doll. View the fields for Wingatui click here!   by Jonny Turner

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Wingatui today with a six race program starting at 12:00pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. Wingatui selections 22nd March 2021 Best Bet:  R4 Sundons Flyer Best Value:  R1 Paradise Valley   Race 1 Paradise Valley Valynda Wonthavtime Superfast   Race 2 Deborahs Gem Midnight Memories Pat The Monkey Whangamata   Race 3 Arizona Doll Honour Before Glory Shezdawon Southern Starr   Race 4 Sundons Flyer Top Pocket Chance Matai Jetstar Sage Trouble   Race 5 Bettors Atom Boulton Home Essence Of Easton Alexsjoy   Race 6 Wolfenstein Four Starzzz Shiraz To Ri Caitlin Tulsa Jaccka   Harnesslink media

Dunedin’s historic Forbury Park will close, the harness racing club has confirmed. The news came after a New Zealand Racing-commissioned review recommended the park be closed. The future of the park, which celebrated 100 years of harness racing in 2009, was untenable given current operating and expenditure costs, the Forbury Park Trotting Club said in a statement. The club was working with the Otago Racing Club for the benefit of both racing codes in Dunedin. Read more click here!   Hamish McNeilly courtesy of Stuff

By Jonny Turner    One of Forbury Park’s stalwarts enjoyed success just a day after the 60th anniversary of its first night meeting when Dem Bones Dem Bones trotted to victory on Wednesday. There was no need for lights as the sun shone on the trotter trained by Ray Hanson as she strode to victory during one of the few daytime meetings the track has hosted over the past six decades. Hanson was not on hand for the start of night racing at the Dunedin track but has been there for 50 years of its 60-year-run. “I worked out that I have been training for 50 years.” “I remember when they tested new lights before I started, I was in the fire service at the time.” “It was just incredible the way they lit up the whole area.” Hanson took out his training licence in 1980 and has racked up 31 wins working his horses at Forbury Park and at nearby Smaills Beach alongside friend and fellow Forbury Park Stalwart, the late Fergus Mathieson. Exactly what number of victories the veteran horseman finishes his career on with be up to Dem Bones Dem Bones. Hanson has decided the five-year-old will be the last horses he will continues to train. With the way she has progressed recently and her victory on Wednesday the trainer’s tally looks set to edge higher into the thirties. “She has been knocking, it has only been immaturity that has been stopping her,” Hanson said. “We have just been waiting for the penny to drop.” Dem Bones Dem Bones has taken a while to get her racing nous up to standard, often making slow beginnings before rushing home for a minor placing. Hanson took the mare off the unruly two starts ago and was immediately lumped with a wide draw at Ascot Park before being handed a second row draw in Wednesday’s race. The trainer had done his best to get the mare ready to win, so left it to driver Matthew Williamson to try to get Dem Bones Dem Bones into a handy spot. “I said to Matty you are just going to have to sort that one out yourself,” Hanson said. Williamson did exactly that and miraculously worked the mare into the trail with a lap to go when he was threatened with being left sitting parked. “It was out of character, she is normally chasing from a long way back, but here she was sitting behind the leader with a lap to go,” Hanson said. A lack of trials in the Dunedin region has not helped Dem Bones Dem Bones learn the racing game and Hanson believes it has cost her progressing further. “I have got a lot of time for her.” “I haven’t rushed her and if we weren’t so short of trials down here I think she would be a lot further forward.” Hanson credited Williamson for his help in teaching the mare to get away faster and race more tractably in the field. “I have been lucky with Matt’s father (Phil Williamson) not having many maidens at the moment I have been able to get him to drive her.” “It has just been a natural progression, he is a very knowledgeable driver.” “In fact, I rate him the best trotting driver there is.” Hanson races Dem Bones Dem Bones with Keith Campbell of Dunedin and Barry Dent of Christchurch. Williamson enjoyed a great run in the silky on Wednesday, winning four races.

By Jonny Turner    Kerryn Tomlinson hopes she can be the factor that gets Shards Fury a deserved win at Forbury Park on Wednesday. The five-year-old has been very consistent since joining Brad Williamson’s barn but so far has not been able to break through. Tomlinson has recently been at the helm of the Oamaru stable since Williamson left Australia to drive Majestic Man in his upcoming assignments. And she is enjoying the challenge. “It's great, I have got Mitch Robertson here helping work the team and I get to boss him around.” Tomlinson taking over the reins and the training from Williamson is not the only change that could help Shards Fury in race 3. Lining up from barrier 5 will be a massive improvement for the pacer. “It is the first time he has drawn the front row since he came here, that is the key,” Tomlinson said. “He used to have a bit of gate speed, so hopefully he will be able to get out and get handy.” “He has been working quite good this week, if he can get out and roll along a bit it should suit him.” On face value, Shards Fury ran a respectable third behind Mach O’Melley in his last start at Winton. But his team were a little disappointed with his effort and have made some gear alterations in the hope he can produce better. “He was a wee bit disappointing last time, so we have made some gear changes and hopefully we have sorted that out,” Tomlinson said. “With the way he has worked hopefully he will be a good chance.” Tomlinson also combines with the Williamson trained Jaguar Bay in race 5. The six-year-old looks to be dropping into a winnable race after running a sound sixth in her last start at Winton. Jaguar Bay’s chances will largely rely on how she handles the Forbury Park track in her first start there. “She had a few problems and it took her a while to come back up but she is all good now,” Tomlinson said. “It is going to be hard because she doesn’t trot as nice on the smaller tracks.” “If she can step away and she trots she will be a chance.” “She has to wear a (boring) pole but she can fight it, which is why she broke at Roxburgh.” Tomlinson has picked up a catch drive behind the Michael House trained Shillelagh in race 8 on Wednesday. The nine-year-old’s form does not look flash but he has been racing in strong company against horses like his cup-winning stablemate Kruizr. “I don’t know a lot about the horse to be honest, but he has obviously got a bit of ability to have won nine races,” Tomlinson said. “He has been racing in some good fields lately and at Addington before that.” “He could be a place chance if he gets a nice run with some cover.” Tomlinson is looking forward to taking the reins behind the Williamson trained Rydgemont Son at Addington on Friday night. The six-year-old made up a big slice of ground after missing away in his last start at Winton behind Springbank Mason. “He is probably the biggest winning chance this week.” “He missed away but he is behind the mobile this time.” “There are a couple in there that could be hard to beat like Missalyssa and Smokin Bandar.” “But he should go a good race.” Rydgemont Son has drawn barrier 8 in his 1980m assignment.

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Forbury today with an eight race program starting at 1:00pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. Forbury selections 27th January 2021 Best Bet:  R2 Boarding Call Best Value:  R6 Four Starzzz Shiraz   Race 1 Emdeegee Son Of Majestic Tease My Tartan Dem Bones Dem Bones   Race 2 Boarding Call La Rocca Southern Ideal Change At The Top   Race 3 Mark Dunnett Owes Me Dough Shards Fury Bobby Vinton   Race 4 Changearound Frosty Reception Cha Cha B The Night Watchman   Race 5 Fast Whispering Shandon Bells Svelt Listen Easy   Race 6 Four Starzzz Shiraz To Ri Caitlin Alexy Gabby's Star   Race 7 Missie Castleton Playboy's Brother Spotlight The Valley Horse Of Course   Race 8 Rocknroll King Art Courage American Mac Sagwitch   Harnesslink Media

By Jonny Turner    Striking Gladiator continued a winning run for trainer Gerard O’Reilly at Forbury Park on Wednesday night that looks set to add to the tally on Friday afternoon. The Rakaia horseman had Striking Gladiator ready to score a returning win with his daughter Sarah in the sulky and the pair delivered in style by taking out race 7. Set aside after clashing with star 3yr-old It’s All About Faith in July, Striking Gladiator thrived during recent time in the spelling paddock. “He has got better this time in and he is a bit stronger.” Gerard O’Reilly said. “He has got a big frame and even though he looks like a big, strong horse he has had growing issues.” “The spell did him well and he has come back good.” Punters did not miss the improvement in Striking Gladiator that was seen in his workout and trial wins leading into his resumption. The pacer, who is owned by his driver and The Clann Syndicate, was backed into a $1.80 win price. Striking Gladiator is now likely to be aimed at the two-day Nelson meeting on the second weekend in January. “Sarah is pretty keen to take him to Nelson, he will end up on the circuit up there all going well,” O’Reilly said. Striking Gladiator’s win came just three days after the O’Reilly stable unleashed another impressive 3yr-old winner. O’Reilly himself was in the sulky this time, behind Sweet Belle when she scored comfortably to remain unbeaten in two starts at Methven on Sunday. “She is a lovely filly,” O’Reilly said. “She had a spell after her first start as a two-year-old.” “She is not paid up for any fillies’ series, so we had the luxury of giving her a good break.” “She has come back good, she has been a lovely horse right from day one.” O’Reilly’s winning run could continue he when substitutes for the suspended Samantha Ottley behind open-class star Majestic Lavros at Addington on Friday afternoon. The reinsman admitted he was surprised to get the call up to drive the Mark Jones trained trotter, who has a key barrier draw advantage over his main rivals Heavyweight Hero and Dark Horse in race 9. Majestic Lavros just needs to improve his manners when he starts from barrier 4 after galloping when looming up to the leader The Dominator in last weekend’s Trotters’ Green Mile at Methven. Ifyousayso will attempt to continue the success the O’Reilly stable has enjoyed over the past week when lining up in race 4 at Addington. The 4yr-old resumed with a solid second behind runaway winner Storm at Addington last week. “He has bounced through the run really good, that has been his problem in the past,” O’Reilly said. “The runs have knocked him a bit and we have to space his races.” “But he is good and we are lining up with the good money up and we will see how we go.” O’Reilly’s brother, Leo, also cashed in on a rare trip to Forbury Park. On a night when Alexy made headlines for equalling New Zealand’s record for most starts, fellow 11yr-old Jerry Garcia took winning honours with his victory in race 4. The victory was Leo O’Reilly’s first as a driver at Forbury Park since he scored with Top Brass in 2013. The Rakaia horseman’s last win as a trainer at the Dunedin track came with Him Himself in 2000.

By Jonny Turner    History will be made at Forbury Park tonight when Waikouaiti pacer Alexy becomes just the second horse in modern-day harness racing to start 300 times in New Zealand. The Denis O’Connell trained veteran will notch a triple century of racetrack appearances when stepping out in race 5. The 11-year-old has already delivered plenty of thrills for his trainer and the group of his family members that race the rugged pacer. By 6.51 pm tonight Alexy will add a most unique achievement to his lengthy resumé. “He has been a grand old horse for us,” O’Connell said. “He has given us a lot of thrills and a lot of pleasure.” A steady regime of beach work has kept Alexy bringing home winner’s cheques since he joined the O’Connell stable in January of 2016. The veteran is no late bloomer, having stepped out as a 2yr-old for original trainer Mark Jones in 2012 and then racing in every harness racing season since. Alexy won once for Jones and once for O’Connell’s brother-in-law Bruce Negus before winning a further eight times after shifting to Waikouaiti. O’Connell puts the horse’s longevity down to him being able to shrug off any adversity quickly. “He is a real iron horse – he is very, very tough,” O’Connell said. “Nothing seems to worry him, he seems to get over any problems very quickly.” He may be something of a fan favourite, but Alexy is not always popular with other horses. Alexy does not just impose his will on the track with determined performances each week. The 11-year-old likes to be top dog and is quick to show other horses that with a quick draw of his back legs. “The big thing is at any stable he is always the boss,” O’Connell said. “He likes to dominate any new horse that comes around.” “He has a cunning way of doing it, he doesn’t go up to them and give them any cheek.” “He just walks over and he puts his neck out and his ears back.” “If there is any nonsense he is pretty quick to give them both barrels.” “He likes to be the boss.” Alexy will join Cambridge trotter Danke in the 300-start club tonight. Danke was the first horse to start 300 times since harness racing records were collated when he stepped out on his home track as a 12yr-old in his last outing in June. With Danke not having raced since then, Alexy requires just one more start beyond tonight’s race to hold the all-time record for starts in New Zealand. Alexy goes into tonight’s event after running eighth at Addington last week. Some light work at Waikouaiti beach, which O’Connell light-heartedly refers to as ‘surfing’ has the pacer ready to give his best. “He is working OK, he hasn’t done much since he last raced at Addington on Saturday night.” “He has just been surfing since then.” “He seems to be happy enough.” Alexy lines up alongside his stablemate, Pete’s Dash, in tonight’s 2200m event. O’Connell also starts another seasoned pacer in race 8 in 10yr-old Four Starzzz Shiraz. Though with 150 starts to his name he could be considered just a baby when compared with Alexy.

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Forbury today with a nine race program starting at 4.53pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a nice day of racing. Forbury selections 16th December 2020 Best bet: R6 Striking Gladiator Best value R1 Jay Bee And Lou   Race 1 Jay Bee And Lou strong run at recent workouts and drawn well…Manners the only concern but should be thereabouts. Top selection.…… Tease My Tartan normally a good beginner and top driver booked. Can win..… Pastrana change of trainer and a good chance if he can get handy with no mistakes. Include…… Dem Bones Dem Bones runs the odd good race and not the worst here. Could upset with manners Selections:  Jay Bee And Lou  (1),   Tease My Tartan (4),   Pastrana (7)   Dem Bones Dem Bones (10)   Race 2 Adhara tidy form before last start failure and looks the top winning chance here. Hard to beat with a good run in transit.……. Midnitetraintogeorga has the ability and top driver on board. Would be a player if she gets handy early from the wide draw…… Marie Long has run some good races previously and drawn to trail. One for longer odds…… Antoinette racing ok at trials and trainer does well on the track. Could run top three Selections:  Adhara (2),  Midnitetraintogeorga (7),   Marie Long (1),   Antoinette (5)   Race 3 Major Wilson down from Canterbury and running into form. Should give a good sight from the draw….. Magic Sign drawn to get a run through early. Good winning chance in this field….. Mayhem In Malibu has the ability to beat a field like this but needs a run handy to the lead and the speed on all the way. Can win….. The Naenae Express should land a cosy run on the fence. Place chances look best Selections:   Major Wilson (1),   The Naenae Express (9),   Magic Sign (2)    Mayhem In Malibu (3)   Race 4 Sundons Flyer ok last start and now in the hands of a master trainer of trotters. Top selection ….. Playboy's Brother racing into form and gets a head start on the favourites. Hard to beat if handy turning for home….. Missie Castleton ok trial form leading into this and now beach trained. Winning claims at good odds….. Jerry Garcia likely to get a good run close to the lead and looks a place hope again here Selections:   Sundons Flyer (9),   Jerry Garcia (2),   Playboy's Brother (4)  Missie Castleton (7)   Race 5 Jacks N Jazz ok last start and will probably lead here. Top selection ….. Pete's Dash racing into form and drawn favourably. Hard to beat if the pace is on all the way….. Myrcella getting fitter and drawn well. Winning claims at good odds….. Franco June tricky draw but top driver on. Rough place hope at big odds Selections:   Jacks N Jazz (5),   Pete's Dash (4),   Myrcella (3)   Franco June (8)   Race 6 Striking Gladiator conditions suit and workout form is pretty good. Will be hard to beat and should be winning.…. Immer Besser coming in fresh but has a lot of speed. Can run top three in this field…… Tartan Roxy racing well and should get a good run from the draw. Should be close to the placings..… Beaudiene Hustler change of trainer grabs our attention. Has some speed and could upset with a good run in transit Selections:  Striking Gladiator (7),   Immer Besser (5),   Tartan Roxy (4),   Beaudiene Hustler (6)   Race 7 Harry H in good form and conditions suit here. Hard to beat if he brings his manners.… Celebration Stride good win last start in lower grade. Hard to beat with a cart into the race ….. Zealous Spur speedy when caught in the right mood. Can win if they go hard up front and he has one run at them…. Maudarchy stable usually go well with new acquisitions. This one has manners and can run top three. Selections:   Harry H (11),  Celebration Stride (9),   Maudarchy (13),  Zealous Spur (12)   Race 8 Ferritts Sister pacer in form and likely to head for the front. Has winning claims and top selection….. Wolfenstein good draw and has the speed to compete with these. One for longer odds ….. Tres Chic good staying type who gets in well here. She will be finishing on if the pace is on all the way. Include…. Sagwitch tricky draw but if the pace is on he could surprise for a top three finish and has won a few times on the track.….. Selections:   Ferritts Sister (4),   Sagwitch (7),   Wolfenstein (3),   Tres Chic (8)   Race 9 In Chevron We Trust racing ok in better fields. Hard to beat here….. Ivana Legacy a bit out of form but loves the track and should give a good account over the sprint trip. Needed….. Brightest Moment has the ability to beat a field like this but needs a run near the lead and the speed on all the way. Can upset….. Gabby's Star has raced ok previously on the track and getting fitter but tricky draw. Place chances look best Selections:   In Chevron We Trust (3),   Ivana Legacy (4),   Gabby's Star (7)    Brightest Moment (9)   Harnesslink Media

By Jonny Turner    Plenty has gone wrong for star Otago pacer Spirit Of St Louis ahead of the season’s biggest race on his home track, Sunday’s Tuapeka Cup. The Graeme Anderson and Mike Love trained four-year-old comes into the 2700m Forbury Park handicap after overcoming a throat infection which was discovered after his last start at Winton. That diagnosis explained why Spirit Of St Louis produced a slightly disappointing effort for third when he could not go with the winner, Pembrook’s Playboy, after sitting on his back before the home turn. Not long after the Westwood Beach flier got over his throat problem, he developed a hoof abscess. That has left Anderson and Love in a race against time to get the four-year-old ready for the Tuapeka Cup and his big spring target, the group 2 Southern Supremacy Stakes. “He has had a few little setbacks, he had a sore foot the other day, so we had to put a pad on it,” Anderson said. “We gave him a good hit-out on Friday, he missed a trial at Oamaru because of his foot.” “It would have been nice to get that run into him.” “He seems bright and happy, but a lack of racing at the moment is counting against him.” “Everything about his demeanour is good, he seems healthy, so hopefully he is on the way back.” The Anderson-Love stable have been able to give Spirit Of St Louis one quiet workout since his last race, which he won in sedate time. Going into Sunday’s feature without having had a serious run in more than six weeks means driver Matthew Williamson could look to drive the four-year-old for one late finish from his 30m back mark. That would play to Spirit Of St Louis’ biggest strength – his high speed. But it could also leave the pacer relying on race tempo. “There is only eight left in it, so he is not going to too far back,” Anderson said. “It will depend on how he steps away and where he is with a lap to go.” “If they walked around and they sprinted home in 26sec it will be hard to get over the top of them.” “It will just depend on what happens on the day.” Robyns Playboy also comes into his Tuapeka Cup defence after a slightly disappointing effort in his last start. Like his fellow 30m backmarker, the Ross and Chris Wilson trained pacer could not hold the back of Pembrook Playboy after tracking him throughout in his last start Ascot Park. Robyns Playboy produced excellent efforts in his two prior starts, running second in the Hannon Memorial after breaking the Ascot Park track record three starts ago. Spirit Of St Louis and Robyns Playboy both concede a 10m headstart to Bettathanfast, who drops in class after racing in strong Addington company in Sunday’s race. Memphis Tennessee looks the best of the front markers, after beating Robyns Playboy when running second to Pembrook Playboy in his last start at Ascot Park. The Anderson-Love stable start five more horses at the Tuapeka meeting. Who’s Smokin (race 7), Petrea Bromac (race 8) and Tres Chic (race 11) each look strong eachway chances. Feelin Bettor has his first start for the trainers after his 12th from Michael Purdon’s stable at Oamaru, last weekend. Anderson and Love also line up Bev’s K One, who ran fifth after receiving a nice run in her last start at Winton.

By Jonny Turner    Driver Samantha Ottley pulled off a miraculous win with Bonnie Boy after being jolted out of her sulky and going within millimetres of crashing to Forbury Park track on Thursday night. Ottley was facing the prospect of being thrown out of her cart and amongst a line of oncoming horses when a tightening of runners racing in to the first bend started to flip her cart sideways. As her disaster approached, the Canterbury reinswoman hoped she would somehow be able to avoid what would have been an ugly and terrifying scene. Ottley got her wish, but admitted she had no idea quite what saved her. “I don’t really know how I got back in, it happens quick.” “I am sore on my side, so I must have really strained to get back in.” “But let’s just say I am really pleased that I did.” After avoiding catastrophe, winning race 4 was not at the forefront of Ottley’s mind. Instead, she was calming her nerves, which had just been fully tested. “At the time I got back in the cart and around the first bend I was taking some deep breathes and thought OK, I’m safe now.” Once Ottley and Bonnie Boy composed themselves it was not long before they were heading around the field to take the lead from the favourites To Ri Caitlin and Mark Hurrell. Though it did not seem like the front was there for the taking, a fired up Bonnie Boy soon made sure it was “The front wasn’t really there, but the horse latched on and I got up next to Mark,” Ottley said. “I was hoping he would get a neck in front and then start to relax.” “But the horse had other ideas.” “He has won his other two races in front, so he does love it out there bowling along.” A homestraight battle loomed for Bonnie Boy as he turned the corner with the To Ri Caitlin ready to come off his back and pounce. But the 7yr-old dug deep to pull off the most incredible of comeback victories. Bonnie Boy is trained by Anne-Marie Best, who is in the process of moving her stables from Fairhall, near Blenheim, to Canterbury. Ottley had a much smoother trip towards victory when taking out the first race back at Forbury Park since it had its doors shut and then reopened for racing last night. With a number of runners going off stride, Ottley and The Good Doctor were left clear in the lead throughout race 1. The pair eventually went on to win the 2200m maiden trot untested by six and three-quarter lengths. Ottley made it a winning treble at Forbury Park when The Peaky Blinder took out race 7 by a nose. The reinswoman drives the favourite for Friday night’s $150,000 NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Fillies Pace at Addington in La Rosa. The filly produced a powerful win in maiden company last week with trainer Mark Jones in the sulky. Ottley expected Jones would drive La Rosa in tonight’s race, but he insisted she take the reins. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    It will be as if nothing has changed if trainer Graeme Anderson’s colours are seen in the winner’s circle at Forbury Park on Thursday. The strike-rate trainer was regularly winning races at Forbury Park meetings until racing at the venue was halted earlier this year when the track’s future was in doubt. After a reprieve, racing will be back at Forbury Park on Thursday and Anderson will be, too. And though his set up has changed slightly – having new training partner Mike Love alongside him – the sight of the Westwood Beach horseman bringing a strong team to the track has certainly not. The Anderson-Love combination’s biggest chance on their return to Forbury Park comes in race 8 with American Lightning. The 3yr-old looks a class most above his rivals in the 2200m event. The only concern for his trainers heading in to the race is that the horse has not been sighted publicly since winning at Oamaru more than six weeks ago. “Everything is good with him,” Anderson said. “They are older horses he is racing and I haven’t been able to get a trial or anything in to him.” “But he has had a lot of miles in to his legs.” “He seems well and I am happy enough with him without having to have knocked him around lately.” Safely through his Forbury Park outing could head to a heat of the Sires Stakes Series at Addington. Anderson and Love will start Bev’s K One for the first time from their stable in race 7. The 4yr-old should find the race easier than some of her previous clashes with some of last season’s best 3yr-old trotters. “She trialled nicely at Oamaru a couple of weeks ago, I was happy with her,” Anderson said. “She has taken a bit of work, but I think she has enough ability.” “She would be a chance if she did everything right.” Bev’s K One clashes with, Cody Banner from Rikki Allen’s Katiki Beach stable, who Anderson part-owns. Cody Banner looks a serious player in Thursday night’s race after he unwound strongly from the rear of the field in his last start at Winton. Who’s Smokin will be out to improve on her last start last placing at Winton in race 6. Anderson hopes the mare can get a more economical run than in her last outing when she starts from barrier 2 in a junior driver’s event for Ellie Barron. “She was probably a bit flat last time, she followed them around and got caught three-wide.” “From that draw on Thursday night she could cross the horse inside her and get a nice run.” “She has freshened up quite nicely.” “It would be nice to see her get a quiet run for once in her life, rather than having to be doing the work.” Petrea Bromac starts the night for Anderson and Love’s four strong team at Forbury Park in race 5. The 4yr-old ran her best race in three starts for the stable when coming from off the speed to run second at Winton. Anderson hopes Love, who jumps in the sulky behind the mare for the first time, can bring Petrea Bromac in to the picture at the right time from her barrier 8 draw. “She has got a bad draw, so she will have to go back at the start.” “She doesn’t need to do too much early, which has been happening in her last two starts.”” “She went really good for us when she sat back and ran home well.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Harness racing in Otago is under a cloud, with rumors circulating around the possibility Forbury Park may have lost all or a number of racing meetings when a new draft racing calendar is released within the next week. The Covid-19 pandemic has already seen Forbury lose it's winter meetings and leaks from RITA suggest it is about to lose most of the racing dates that were pencilled in for the new season. Several industry participants Harnesslink spoke to all said that nothing was set in concrete on the dates yet and the leaked information was just a draft of a draft. There was still a chance Forbury would retain meetings, with talks being held today to finalise details.  Drastic cost cutting by RITA to slash 30% of it's workforce, has already seen most of the TAB trackside team decimated with no on course presenters to be at race meetings in the near future. Craig Thompson (The Whale) and Michael Guerin, well known drivers of turnover for harness racing have been let go with a number of commentators now also out of a job.   Harnesslink Media

By Jonny Turner    Early starts and late finishes paid off for Invercargill trainer-driver Tim Robertson when Miss Jessica won at Forbury Park on Wednesday night. The 4yr-old registered her sire Master Glide’s first victory in New Zealand when producing a tough maiden victory over 2200m. Sitting parked throughout and getting in to a three-way battle for the lead for much of the race’s last lap proved no obstacle for Miss Jessica, who produced a gritty win at massive $48 odds. The victory helped to put a spring in Robertson’s step on Thursday morning. The horseman had a 4.30am start on Wednesday before his win and had to be up again at the same time after travelling back to Invercargill from Dunedin after the Forbury Park meeting. Robertson juggles work as both a truck driver and a chef with working his team of seven horses. Victories like Wednesday night’s made all that work worth it, Robertson said. “I am a chef at night, doing a couple of nights, but mostly I am a truck driver in the mornings.” “I was up at 4.30am this morning trying to get all the jobs done so we could get to the races.” “This makes it worth it - especially because I have had her since she was a baby.” Robertson leased Miss Jessica when she was a yearling. The mare’s career hung in the balance after she had a float mishap on the way to qualify at Forbury Park, earlier this year. Robertson spelled the mare and worked her back up to full fitness and she has not looked back. Miss Jessica hinted she was capable of a winning performance in her debut at Ascot Park behind Dream Of Pat, earlier this month. The 4yr-old galloped early, before making up good ground to run fifth. Robertson said adjustments to the horse’s tongue tie were key to her improving on her debut on Wednesday night. “She is quite a heavy breather, so just getting her used to the tongue tie did the trick, really.” Miss Jessica qualified on grass at Balfour earlier this month and Robertson plans to try her on grass again at next month’s Cromwell meeting. Miss Jessica is from the first of Master Glide’s five New Zealand crops. The Yankee Glide stallion has left an Australian winner from his first book in New Zealand in Doug, the winner of five of his 15 starts in Victoria.   Master Glide, who has left 52 live foals in New Zealand, stands at Wai Eyre Farm for a fee of $2500.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    Southland trainer Nathan Williamson will be out to continue his stable’s incredible form when he starts two runners at Forbury Park tonight. Williamson has made a brilliant start to the racing season, producing 10 wins and 11 placings from 31 starts from his barn. That strike rate is better than what the all-conquering All Stars stable have produced this term. Williamson was quick to deflect praise for his stunning stats and modestly puts the brilliant numbers down to the quality of his horses. “I am pretty happy with it – we have just got some nice horses,” he said. 4yr-old trotter Hawaiian Hula, who starts in race 8 at Forbury Park tonight, added one of Williamson’s 10 wins in her last start at Ascot Park. She steps out of maiden grade to race more competitive trotters, including recent Oamaru winner Da Moons Mission, in tonight’s 2700m contest for junior drivers. Williamson thinks this mare is capable of handling the move up in grade. “I think a wee bit of her, she is a pretty talented sort of mare.” “She has had a few niggles and she is hard to keep right, but I think she has got a bit of a future.” Williamson set a slow pace before letting Hawaiian Hula show off her speed when running to a five length victory in her second start. The trotter debuted at Forbury Park prior to that win, producing a solid, but unspectacular second placing behind Orlando Magic. Williamson said the mare will return to the track a better prospect tonight. “I just wasn’t that happy with her run at Forbury last time, even though she ran second. “But, she has really come on since then.” Tonight’s junior driver’s attempt could be a battle between trotters out to further reward their patient owners. Hawaiian Hula’s connections have had to wait until the middle stages of her 4yr-old term for their first win after the mare suffered setbacks at 2 and 3yrs-old. “I had her up and going as a 2yr-old and I was considering taking her to the Australasian Breeders Crown, but she kept growing and she lightened in her condition so I decided to turn her out,” Williamson said.  “She came back as a 3yr-old and trialled really nicely with Get Lucky and I was really happy with her.” “But she was a bit scratchy after that and she ended up getting bone chips taken out of her knees.” Stable junior driver Chelsea Faithful takes the reins behind Hawaiian Hula tonight as she attempts to continue make up for lost time with a second win. Westwood Beach trotter Da Moons Mission goes in to the race in a similar position. The owners of squaregaiter have also had to wait until the same stage of their 4yr-old’s season for him to step out and win. Da Moons Mission did it in style, with an impressive late closing win at Oamaru last weekend. Trainer Graeme Anderson told the Otago Daily Times after the winthat Da Moons Mission’s had the potential to owners reward his owners with more victories. Canterbury junior driver Mark Hurrell will be out to help him do that in tonight’s event. Hawaian Hula and Da Moons Mission look two of the biggest winning chances in race 8, but they do not have the race completely to themselves. Both Clyde and Lisa Marie P bring consistent form to the event. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    Progressive Forbury Park pacer Parama will return a bigger and stronger prospect when he steps out on his home track on Thursday night.  The Darryn Simpson trained pacer will have his first start as a 4yr-old after creating a good impression when winning three of his five starts last season. Simpson and his major owner, Garry Clarke, decided to give the horse a decent break to allow him to strengthen following his last start win at Forbury Park in May. That decision looks to have paid off judging by the way Parama is preparing for his return.  “He strengthened up big time, he has done really well,” Simpson said. Parama gives away a race fitness edge to most of his opponents in race 3, who have had the benefit of several recent starts.  A lack of trials and workouts in Otago recently means the 4yr-old has not been able to make any public appearances ahead of his race return. Despite that, Simpson is confident his horse is fit enough to be competitive tonight. “He has had a decent break and is going in fresh, but I am pretty happy with his work.” “The way he worked earlier this week — he should be thereabouts.” “He will be improving from the run, but I still think he will be up there.” Junior driver Ellie Barron will take the reins behind Parama in the hope he could score a penalty free win in Thursday night’s 2200m mobile. Simpson expects the junior driver to work his 4yr-old in to the race from his wide barrier 8 draw. “I am picking he will be able to make his own luck, even though he is first up.” Simpson hopes to target some of Otago and Southland’s country cup races after Parama gets his campaign underway on Thursday.  “The country cups were always going to be the option, the standing starts should be right up his alley” Simpson said. “We missed cup week because we decided to leave him out that wee bit longer so we could bring him up just a little bit slower.” Simpson and Clarke will also start Nikasa in race 5 on Thursday night.  The 3yr-old put in a respectable effort when running sixth in her first start at Wyndham earlier this month. Nikasa did plenty of mid race work behind the smart winner, Stylish Memphis. Despite the strong showing in a highly talented line up, Simpson was disappointed with his filly. “I was half disappointed with her because I do think a bit of her,” the trainer said. “I came home and took some blood tests and she just wasn’t 100%, but she seems to have bounced back now.” Nikasa will go in to her 2200m mobile for driver Brent Barclay without starting for over two weeks.  The filly’s recent work alongside Parama has her trainer confident Nikasa is fit and ready to race.  “She worked with Parama earlier this week and I am more than happy with her,” Simpson said. Simpson and Clarke have a two-pronged attack on race 6 with Mack Sheer and Makara. Both would be eachway chances if they brought their A games to the 2200m mobile. “Makara can run a bit, but he is very green,” Simpson said. “He has a massive motor, but it is going to take him a wee while to click.” “Mack Sheer went a good race first up, but has been disappointing since then.” “I have done a few wee different things with him since then and freshened him up, so I have been pretty happy with him.”  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

1 to 16 of 433
1 2 3 4 5 Next »