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Harness racing trainer Gareth Dixon has been fined $6500 for producing a horse to race when not free of a prohibited substance. The horse in question was Gimmegold who won a race at Alexandra Park on the 16th December 2017. During the night he won, Gimmegold underwent a random Post Race urine swab and on the 9th January 2018 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the samples from “Gimmegold” had tested positive to Cobalt. The horse returned a Cobalt level of 293 ug/L (micrograms per litre). Cobalt at a concentration above 100 micrograms per litre in urine is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules. The horse Gimmegold has since been disqualified from winning the race on 16th December 2017. Full details below:   BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of the Rules of Harness Racing BETWEEN THE RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU) Informant AND Mr GR Dixon Licenced Public Harness Trainer Respondent Information No: A8465 Date of hearing: 8 April 2018 Venue: Counties Racecourse Appearing: Mr O Westerlund- Investigator, Racing Integrity Unit Mr G Dixon – Licenced Harness Trainer Mr R Lawson – Lay Advocate representing Mr Dixon Judicial Committee: Mr A Dooley, Chairman - Mr A Smith, Committee Member Charge The Informant Mr O Westerlund, Racing Investigator alleged that on Saturday the 16th December 2017, Gareth Ryan DIXON was the licenced Trainer of the Standardbred Harness Racehorse “Gimmegold” which was presented for and raced in Race 8, the New Year’s Eve Auckland Cup Twilight Races Mobile Pace 2200m, at a race meeting conducted by the Auckland Trotting Club at Auckland, when the said Standardbred was found to be presented to race with a Prohibited Substance in its system, namely Cobalt, being an offence under the provisions of Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3) and punishable pursuant to Rule 1004(7) and (8) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. The relevant Rules are as follows: Rule 1004(1A) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. Rule 1004(3) When a horse is presented to race in contravention of sub rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules Rule 1008 In the absence of any express provision to the contrary in any proceeding for a breach of these Rules: (a) it shall not be necessary for the informant to prove that the defendant or any person intended to commit that or any breach of the Rule; and (b) any breach of a Rule shall be considered as an offence of strict liability. Penalty Provisions Rule 1004(7) Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding 5 years. Rule 1004(8) Any horse connected with a breach of sub-rule (1), (2) or (3) shall be disqualified from any race entered and/or liable to a period of disqualification not exceeding five years Mr Dixon acknowledged that he understood the Rules and he confirmed that he admitted the breach. Mr R Lawson, Lay Advocate, represented Mr Dixon at the hearing. Mr Dixon acknowledged that all the relevant documents from the RIU had been disclosed to him. Mr Dixon confirmed that the Summary of Facts were not disputed. Mr Westerlund produced a letter from Mr M Godber, General Manager for the Racing Integrity Unit, authorising the filing of the Information pursuant to Rule 1108(2). Agreed Summary of Facts by the Informant The respondent Gareth Ryan DIXON is a licensed Public Trainer and Trials Driver under the Rules of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. On Saturday the 16th December 2017 “Gimmegold” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr DIXON in Race 8: 9.15pm – New Year’s Eve Auckland Cup Twilight Races Mobile Pace 2200m at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Gimmegold” is a 6 year-old bay gelding (Changeover – Charbella Gold) owned by Mr AM Roberts and Mrs CD Roberts and is trained by the Respondent, Mr DIXON. “Gimmegold” finished first of the nine horse field and won a stake of $7758. “Gimmegold” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr DIXON does not contest the swabbing process. All swab samples from the meeting were couriered to the New Zealand Racing Laboratory and were analysed for the presence of substances prohibited under the Rules of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. On the 9th January 2018 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the samples from “Gimmegold” had tested positive to Cobalt. The horse returned a Cobalt level of 293 ug/L (micrograms per litre). Cobalt at a concentration above 100 micrograms per litre in urine is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules. Cobalt is an essential trace element required for life through the actions of Vitamin B12 of which Cobalt makes up about 5% of its weight. Cobalt is absorbed from the gut either as elemental or incorporated in Vitamin B12. Mr Dixon was spoken to on Monday the 15th January 2018 at his Stable in Pukekohe. He could offer no explanation for the positive test result on the horse. In the Stable Block several items were located which contain Cobalt. Located ‘Blud-Boost-Equine Athlete’ a 1kg packet that was already opened - a supplement containing B12. When the ‘Blud-Boost’ was tested it was found to contain Cobalt at the level of 1.4 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). Also located ‘Ironcyclen’ 1 litre container. The label indicates that this product is an iron supplement with copper and cobalt for horses and dogs. Mr Dixon admitted giving the horse 10-15mls the day before it raced. When the ‘Ironcyclen was tested it was found to contain Cobalt at the level of 5.2 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). Also located was a 100 ml bottle of ‘Hemoplex’. The label indicates a supplement source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for horses, cattle, dogs and cats, for use during periods of stress and convalescence. Mr Dixon admitted giving the horse 10mls two days before the horse raced. When the ‘Hemoplex was tested’ it was found to contain Cobalt at the level of 81 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). A Certificate of analysis provided by the Assure Quality laboratory confirmed there were no anomalies in any of the products tested. Mr DIXON has been involved in the Harness Racing Industry for 35 years. He holds a Public Trainer and Trials Driver Licence and trains eight race horses. He has been training for 15 years. He is aged 45 years and has not previously appeared. An order is sought for the horse “Gimmegold” to be disqualified from the race and the stakes money to be repaid. In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Westerlund said that the RIU analysis of TAB betting records revealed that there was nothing out of the ordinary associated with the betting patterns on GIMMEGOLD. Submissions by the Respondent Mr Lawson made the following points: 1) The Positive Test result of the swab was notified to the RIU on the 9th Of January 2018. 2) Gimmegold (the horse concerned) raced again on January 13th (4 days later) 3) Mr Dixon was not notified until January 15th. 4) Gimmegold was swabbed on January 13th after finishing in sixth position. Mr Dixon felt this extremely unusual at the time. (although obviously on the following Monday he found out why) 5) Gimmegold was tested for Cobalt and returned a reading of 11 for the January 13th run. 6) Gimmegold was given the exact same proprietary items as his race winning (and positive swab for December 16th.) 7) Mr Dixon is at a complete and utter loss as to explain why the horse tested high on December 16th. 8) Cobalt is a natural substance and horses will have natural levels and each may also excrete excess Cobalt differently. 9) Many Horse feeds including hay have Cobalt in them and so do water supplies. 10) Trainers are not in a position to test their own horses for Cobalt levels so at any time are totally unaware of the levels in their horses. 11) Despite the proprietary items having low levels of Cobalt in them – on one occasion the horse tests high and then on the next occasion it tests low. 12) Cobalt in racehorses is a very inexact science. 13) There is no definitive scientific evidence that proves it is detrimental to a horse’s welfare and there is also no scientific evidence to prove that it improves equine performance. 14) However it is conceded that – it does not have to have either of the above to be determined that it is at a certain level – a prohibited substance. 15) The point we are making here is that despite a large amount of publicity surrounding Cobalt there is very little if any definitive evidence of how and why a horse can test high for it. 16) Mr Dixon has been and is extremely concerned and upset that he has received this positive result. He prides himself on his integrity and this is an unfortunate chapter in his training career. 17) Mr Dixon has compensated the owner of this horse for loss in winning stakes due to this positive test. 18) In an effort to keep costs to an absolute minimum the “B” sample was not requested to be tested. 19) It is accepted that the horse will be disqualified from the race in question. 20) Mr Dixon now takes extreme care and is fastidious in trying to ensure his horses are not exposed to potential Cobalt that could cause a high reading. Mr Dixon provided the Committee with two written character references and advised that he was also a commercial breeder and seller. He said that his reputation is everything and he wouldn’t knowingly put himself in this position. He added that his Trainers percentage for winning the race was $700. Decision As Mr Dixon admitted the breach the Committee found the charged proved. Submissions on Penalty by Informant 1. INTRODUCTION: 1.1 The respondent Gareth Ryan DIXON is a licensed Public Trainer and Trials Driver under the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. 1.2 He has been involved in the racing industry for 35 years and a trainer for 15 years. 1.3 Mr DIXON is 45 years of age. 1.4 It is submitted that a fine of $8000 is sought. 2. OFFENDING: 2.1 Mr DIXON has admitted the breach of the Rules in relation to the standard bred race horse “Gimmegold”. 2.2 “Gimmegold” raced at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting held at Alexandra Park on Saturday the 16th December 2017. 2.3 The details of Mr DIXON’s offending are contained in the Summary of Facts which is agreed. 2.4 The prohibited substance concerned is Cobalt. Noted: That the level for Cobalt under New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing was reduced on the 1st August 2017 from 200 ug/L to 100 ug/L (micrograms per litre). 3. PENALTY PROVISIONS: 3.1 The penalties which may be imposed are fully detailed in the Charge Rule Penalty Provisions document. 4. SENTENCING PRINCIPLES: 4.1 The four principles of sentencing can be summarised briefly: - Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his/her wrong doing. They are not meant to be retributive in the sense the punishment is disproportionate to the offence but the offender must be met with a punishment. - In a racing context it is extremely important that a penalty has the effect of deterring others from committing similar offences. - A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the JCA for the type of offending in question. - The need to rehabilitate the offender should be taken into account. 4.2 The first three principals have relevance in this case. 5. PRECEDENTS: 5.1 In support of this penalty I will refer to four previous decisions by the J.C.A which may be of some assistance. 5.1.1 RIU v BROSNAN (13.02.18) – 3 x Cobalt positives. Total fine imposed of $19,200. 5.1.2 RIU v DALGETY (16.05.2017) – 5x Cobalt positives. Total fine imposed of $32,000. 5.1.3 R.I.U v BAMBRY (4.12.17) - 1 x Cobalt positive. A fine imposed of $11,000. 5.1.4 RIU v O’SULLIVAN & SCOTT (22.03.2016) – 3x Cobalt positives. Total fine imposed of $50,000. 6. MITIGATING FACTORS: 6.1 That he has admitted the breach at the first opportunity. 6.2 That he has been fully co-operative throughout the process. 6.3 That he has had no previous charges before the Committee. 7. AGGRAVATING FEATURES: 7.1 No aggravating features. 8. CONCLUSION: 8.1 The RIU believe that the breach can be dealt with by way of a monetary penalty. To that end the RIU seek a fine of $8000. 8.2 Under Rule 1004(8) 8.2.1 “Gimmegold” is required to be disqualified from the respective race on the 16th December 2017 8.2.2 Any stake money paid out is required to be repaid. 8.3 The RIU are seeking no costs. Submissions of Penalty by Respondent Mr Lawson made the following points: 1. The JCA Penalty Guide shows a Starting Point as an $8000 fine for a Breach of The Prohibited Substance Rules. This is for a first offence and a single positive. 2. We are dealing with a first offence and a single positive in this case. 3. From the Starting Point we must add or detract based on the aggravating or mitigating circumstances of the case. 4. In this case we agree that there are no aggravating features. 5. There are a number of mitigating circumstances – they are as follows:- - The Guilty Plea and admission at first opportunity - Mr Dixon has been fully co-operative throughout the enquiry - Mr Dixon has no previous charges before the committee and in fact has an exemplary record. - The References as to the excellent character of Mr Dixon - His dismay at this charge and the effect on his reputation. 6. Mr Dixon is a family man with a new baby and two other young dependents. 7. He is able to pay a fine although would appreciate a modest one. In Summary given all of the above we submit that a fine based on the starting point of $8000 with a 20-25% discount for the mitigating factors would be appropriate. This would be in line with principles on previous cases (in particular the R Brosnan case) The RIU are generously not seeking any costs – that is appreciated and as the case is being heard on a raceday it would also be appreciated if there were no JCA costs – in line with a number of other similar cases heard on raceday. Reasons for Penalty The Committee have carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. The JCA Penalty Guidelines have a starting point of $8,000 fine for a first offence of presenting a horse to race with a prohibited substance in its system. That figure was adopted in this case. The Committee was conversant with the four precedent decisions referred to by the RIU. The Committee notes that the level of Cobalt detected (293 ug/L) in GIMMEGOLD’s system was in the mid-range compared to other cases involving this Prohibited Substance. There has been much publicity and discussion about Cobalt in both the Harness Racing Code and the Thoroughbred Code in New Zealand in recent years. This should have put all Licenced Holders on notice. The purpose of Rule 1004 is to maintain the integrity of Harness Racing and to impose an obligation on all Trainers to ensure horses are presented to race free of Prohibited Substances. It is a long established principle of racing that there is a high obligation on the part of Licence Holders who transport a horse to a race meeting to ensure compliance with the Rules. It is therefore paramount that racing is conducted on a level playing field. There were no aggravating factors that warranted an uplift in penalty. The mitigating factors for which we afforded Mr Dixon a reduction in penalty were: • Mr Dixon’s admission of the breach. • Mr Dixon was fully cooperative with the RIU during their investigations. • Mr Dixon has an unblemished record under this Rule after 15 years of training approximately 2,200 Standardbred horses. We had regard for the two written character references where both referees had known Mr Dixon for many years and both emphasised his honesty and integrity. After having regard for the particular circumstances of this case we consider that a fair and reasonable reduction from the starting point was $1,500. After taking into account all of the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate penalty was a $6,500 fine. Penalty Accordingly, Mr Dixon was fined the sum of $6,500. Disqualification of the Horse Pursuant to Rule 1004(8) the Committee orders the disqualification of GIMMEGOLD from, the New Year’s Eve Auckland Cup Twilight Races Mobile Pace 2200 metres. Disqualification effective from Monday, 16 April 2018. The amended placings are: 1st No.1 IDEAL LASS 2nd No. 3 WILL TAKE CHARGE 3rd No. 9 LYNTON CREEK 4th No. 2 STAND SURE The Committee was informed that the stake money for this race has not been paid out. Therefore the Committee authorised the payment of stakes in accordance with the amended placings. Costs The RIU has sought no costs. As this charge was heard on a raceday, there was no order for JCA costs. Dated this 10th day of April 2018 Adrian Dooley Chair   Harnesslink media

The multiple Group and Listed winning pacer, Cyclone Kate, has been retired. The rising 6-year-old Mach Three - Eyre To The Throne mare returns from Australia on Wednesday (July 12) in readiness for a broodmare career. She will be put to Art Major. Co-owner/breeder and former international cricketer Kyle Mills, who played 231 times for his country (19 tests, 170 one-dayers, and 42 T20s), believed he was “lucky” to have been associated with the ‘super mare’. “She has given us a great ride from when she first raced as an early 2-year-old (January 24, 2014) to her last win at Menangle last week,” Mills said. “We can't wait to see her foals on the ground,” he added. Former trainer and fellow co-owner/breeder, Gareth Dixon, said Cyclone Kate had her last race in in a $22,000 Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle on July 1. The brown mare was trained in Australia by John McCarthy and his son Todd did the driving in her last race. "It's a great way for her to bow out. The owners wanted to retire her a winner and that's exactly what she did. She paced the mile in 1:53.1, but has recorded a 1:50.3 mile (Sibelia Stakes – February 2011)," Dixon said. Cyclone Kate won her swansong event by three metres and was the hot $1.50 favourite. Dixon co-owns and co-bred Cyclone Kate with Mills - his brother Heath, who is the New Zealand Cricket's Players rep, former All Black Ant Strachan (11 matches), and Mark Lyon. The quintet own her dam - Eyre To The Throne (Presidential Ball - Erin Brockovich), who won three of her five starts before being retired in 2009 – the same year she was served by Mach Three. Cyclone Kate (by Mach Three) is the second of six foals left by the mare. Her first foal, Cyclone Prince (by Mach Three) won four races and $131,057, including the 2013 Group One Cardigan Bay/Young Guns 2yo Final. Dixon said the Eyre To The Throne was this season served by Bettor's Delight. “She’s been very good to us. Not many horses have won 21 races and won and placed in many Group and Listed races. I’m looking forward to either training or selling her progeny,” said Dixon. Cyclone Kate raced 29 times in New Zealand for seven wins and 11 placings. She won $107,302 in stakes here and her best performance was runner-up to Democrat party in the 2014 Group Two Delightful Lady Classic. She was exported on December 1, 2015 and has raced 34 times for another 14 wins, and seven placings. Her career earnings have now peaked at A$341,723. Cyclone Kate’s best winning performances across the Tasman were in the: 2017 Group Two $52,000 Sibelia Stakes; the 2016 Group Three $32,000 Teeny teeny Stakes; the 2016 Group Three $32,000 Breeders Crown Graduate; 2016 Group Three $32,000 Adore Me Stakes; the 2016 Group Three Frith Stakes; the 2016 Group Two $50,000 Carnival Stakes; and the 2016 Listed $26,000 Golden Guitar Final. She also placed in numerous other Group and Listed events including the 2014 Group One $300,000 Breeders Crown 2yo Final at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. Duane Ranger

Invercargill plumber Trevor Ryder is having a ball, especially at present, racing his quality gelding Swamp Major with some good mates as well as breeding from a select group of well-bred mares. His interest in harness racing began in the 1990s when Diamond Field was racing out of the Alan Beck Winton stables. “A friend of mine, Geoff Mollett was in the syndicate that raced him. He worked at Mico Wakefield and my company dealt with them. I started going to the races. From there Geoff and I with some other friends raced a filly called Black Rain,” said Ryder. Black Rain was well bred, being by Vance Hanover out of Cassel’s Dream. Cassel’s Dream’s second dam, Vandette was by Great Evander which left handy horses in Van Forbes (6 wins), Van Garrison (6), Cassel (8) and Heidette (9). “She (Black Rain) didn’t fulfil her promise. Went out raging favourite in both of her starts and was quickly named blocked drain.” The lack of success didn’t put the group off and they commissioned Beck to go to the yearling sales where he purchased Franco Cuisine which was by Andrel out of the Overtrick mare Chateaubriand. “He had a lot of potential but was involved in a smash at Invercargill where Beckie was catapulted up in the air. He never came back quite the same after that.” Franco Cuisine ultimately won three races from thirty six starts. Ryder said at that point he really got the racing bug and was keen to go up another notch. Star Of The Ball was identified as a yearling that Ryder and trainer Gareth Dixon were keen on buying at the Auckland sale. “I wanted to get up into that premier racing – two and three year olds racing. I thought I’d have a crack myself at buying at the sales. I got a lot of help from Peter Lagan and Sandy Yardley. Peter gave me a list of five or six yearlings and at that particular time I met up with Gareth (Gareth Dixon). We weren’t sure whether we would get her as we thought she might be above my limit.” Gareth Dixon was a Southland boy. His father Ken ‘Fast Track’ Dixon was also a plumber. Star Of The Ball by Presidential Ball out of the OK Bye mare Star Fleet was duly purchased. Ryder particularly liked the fact that Black Watch was on the pedigree page. After racing three times at two, Star Of The Ball won her first race at her second start as a three year old at the Franklin meeting at Alexandra Park. “At that point I can remember Gareth saying that she could be one of the top three year old fillies in the country that year. Unfortunately along came Molly Darling, Foreal and Mainland Banner,” he said laughing.  Star Of The Ball won four of her eighteen starts as a three year old including a heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Ashburton running the 1609 metres in 1-56.1 “We also qualified for the Breeders Crown and that’s a trip I’ll never forget. We met John Caldow, Gavin Lang and Chris Alford (Aussie harness legends). We had a night out with a meal and few drinks and a few more drinks. She ran third in her heat and was a very unlucky sixth in the final.” Star Of The Ball ended her racing career having won eight races and was sent to Christian Cullen. The resulting foal was named Mervynstar after Ryder’s father who had passed away that same year. He was prepared for the sale by Top Notch Lodge and offered at the 2007 yearling sale in Auckland. Trevor and Linda Ryder with Pam and Lindsay Turner with Mervynstar “There was a bit of a rumour around that we might be surprised by the opening bid. It opened up at $150,000 and I just about fell off my perch. He ended up at $220,000 which was a pretty special start to the breeding game for us. It was the top lot of the sale.” The horse was bought by Clive and Rona McKay and raced out of Michael House’s stable. He was renamed Two Twenty. “He had potential but had breathing issues and he had a couple of operations.” Two Twenty won once in sixteen starts. The mare’s second foal by Bettor’s Delight was named Merv. He recorded four wins here before heading to Australia. “Because of the handicap system there was nothing really left for him in Auckland after that. He was racing against C6 and C7 horses and it got too hard. I raced him with good mates Alan and Joy Lindsay and Scott and Sue McCrea.” He was trained for the partnership (Tad Syndicate) in Australia by David Thorn and only started six times, but won four races. Ryder says members of the syndicate were lucky enough to be in Australia when he was in career best form. “The races just happened to be on the same night as the All Blacks were playing Australia. He won at Menangle in 1-53 flat which was quite good five or six years ago and the All Blacks beat Australia. That was a good trip.”  Star Of The Ball’s third foal was Macha (Mach Three). He was sold to clients of Ken Barron’s stable for $40,000 and qualified as a three year old when running second behind Arden Rooney at Rangiora. He was then on-sold to Australia and won eight races fairly quickly including a heat of the Victoria Derby beating Bit Of A Legend and Ohoka Punter. Ohoka Punter went on to win the final. Macha also ran second to Alta Christiano in the 2013 West Australian Derby. Hokuri Railrida (Mach Three) was the next foal. He won two races and is also now in Australia. “He started with Gareth and the Hokuri Syndicate who are a group of mates who go white baiting with me on the West Coast raced him. We bought him south to Murray Brown’s and on the way down he got travel sickness. Not many horses survive that but we got him racing but he didn’t show the promise he had in Auckland.” McArdle Star (McArdle) was the next colt out of Star Of The Ball. He was bought for $30,000 by Steve Thompson of Dunedin. He won his first three starts and ran fifth in Have Faith In Me’s 2015 New Zealand Derby. He won five races here before heading to Victoria where he’s won another two. The next foal was Swamp Major (Art Major).He’s raced by Trevor and his wife Linda, Alan Lindsay, Scott and Sue McCrea, Cleland Murdoch and John Duff. “Potentially he’s the best horse I’ve owned. He’s hopefully going to be back in work in May and back racing in early spring. He had an accident on the training track leading into Cup week and broke his pedal bone. In the Vero Stakes he was the only one making ground on Lazarus and Classie Brigade. Ken always said he’d like to be sitting in the back of those two horses over a short distance and see what happened.” Last season as a three year old Swamp Major won three races and was placed six times in only ten starts. “You can’t keep them all but I like to keep say, every second one and have some fun with my mates.”  The mare’s last foal of racing age is Rocknroll Star. He was bought by Michael House for $27,500 at the sales last year and sold recently in House’s two year old running sale for $75,000. He was bought by Emilio Rosati and has had a name change. He’s now called Times Stride. Star Of The Ball now resides at Kevin and Bonnie Williams Tall Tree Lodge, is in foal to Art Major and is likely to return to Bettor’s Delight. “She’s had eight colts in a row and I’m just praying for a filly.” Ryder is also breeding from Grinfromeartoear mare Selucam. She’s out of Tuapeka Pocket. She’s qualified but is unraced. “The feedback on her was always positive but she had fetlock problems. Normally I prefer to breed from mares that have had three wins or more but I decided to keep her based on the feedback I was getting from the stable.” She’s in foal to Auckland Reactor and lives locally at Macca Lodge. Another mare on the Ryder Bloodstock books is Christian Cullen mare Perfect Sensation. She won three races for Ryder when racing from the Dixon stable in Auckland. Her third dam is champion mare Hilarious Guest. “I decided I wanted a Cullen filly. She too had quite a lot of potential but she had some back and leg issues. Her first foal died and we had issues with the mare as a result of that.” Since then she’s produced a Better’s Delight colt called Bettor Sensation which was bought by Colin De Filippi and is owned by Trevor Casey. Trevor and Linda Ryder also owned a share in Falcon Seelster mare Falcon Flybye. She’s a sister to a host of winners including Flying Pocketlands, Mighty Flying Major and Mighty Flying Mac. Although they’ve opted out of the mare their names are still on four of her foals, all of whom have been winners. The best is Alotbettor (10) and Fleeting Grin (6). He also still has a share in Cher’s Magic as a part of The Watch Your Step Syndicate. Star Of The Ball’s latest yearling Ball Of Art - a full brother to Swamp Major, sold to Barry Purdon for $50,000. “Depending on our own sale we’ll be looking at getting a Bettor’s Delight filly. I’d also like to get an Art Major filly on board at some stage as well. I’m always looking at the top end. I think the odds are not in your favour if you’re at the other end of the scale.” Ryder says he likes to look after his mares and not over race them because long term he believes they will produce better foals. “Gareth did a great job in looking after Star. She only had thirty odd starts and that’s where I like it to be with breeding in mind. I don’t like the mare to be burnt out. He says he enjoys his involvement in harness racing as an owner, breeder and sponsor. “I’ve had a ball since I jumped onboard in 1990. I’ve raced a couple of nice mares in Highview Jude (9 wins) and Star of The Ball and now we’ve got Swamp (Swamp Major) and that’s in the space of just twenty five years. I probably enjoy it more (ownership) if it’s in a syndicate.” So like many southern breeders Ryder is seeing an opportunity to buy into some of the best New Zealand families, gathering around him a small group of well-bred mares. It keeps his passion alive, and combined with racing some of his horses with his mates, it’s the perfect scenario.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

It’s been 3,376 days since Craig Jamieson drove his last winner and wow was he rapt to be back in the winner’s circle last Friday night at Cambridge Raceway. Not only did he rein home BK Superstar to win the fifth event, but he also trained his first career winner with his younger brother Tony. The Putaruru-based brothers have now had five starters to the races for a win and three placings. “It was an awesome feeling to do it in front of my family because BK Superstar is a family-owned horse. Tony does all the work with her. I just sat in the sulky tonight and she did the rest. “All the credit must go to Tony. It’s easy to win when you have a horse set for a race in the mint condition this girl was in. Tony reminds me a lot of Dad (Kevin) – a real masterclass when it comes to horsemanship,” Jamieson said. Jamieson is the oldest of four brothers – and all four and their partners have shares in BK Superstar, as do as parents Kevin and Cheryl. “I’m the oldest, then there’s Carl and his partner Cindy; then Tony and Becky; and then Lance and Katie. I’m so pleased we all had a win. The victory was also for our family members who couldn’t be there tonight like both sets of grandparents who are no longer with us. “We have always been into harness racing. Mum’s late brother was another big influence. It’s just a great feeling to be back winning again,” Jamieson said. The last time Jamieson drove a winner was behind the Gareth Dixon trained Whistler at Alexandra Park on December 16, 2008. All up he's driven 42 winners from 312 starters since 2000, bu he hasn't always been in New Zealand to drive. “I lived in Australia for more than five years driving for a transport company. We bought a house over there and I never drove at the races. The plan was to buy over there and then come home and buy some land for the horses with our house money. “Ideally Tony and I would like to have six to eight horses in work. We only have one racehorse at the moment but we are building up towards that goal,” Jamieson said. The Jamieson brothers trained BK Superstar started cautiously from barrier one in the $7,000 St Patrick's Day Handicap for the Up to R48 and R47 trotters. Jamieson had her parked down the back straight the first time and then went to the lead on the far corner. They then ran their 10 opponents of their feet, trotting the 2200m stand in 2;54.2 (mile rate 2:07.4) and home in 61.1 and 30.7. The Majestic Son mare bolted in by five-and-a-half lengths. It was her first win in nine starts. The 5-year-old bay was the $1.90 favourite. “It’s just nice to have the family’s purple, white and blue colours in the winner’s circle. Going by how well she did it, I don’t think this will be her last win,” Jamieson said. The brothers have been a training partnership for a couple of months now. "We bought her off the 'Horse Trader' website and lease the horse off her breeder Brent Smith. She comes from Greg and Nina Hope's stable in Canterbury and has really thrived since she got here. "I think she is enjoying the one-to-one care compared to the big stable where she started out," Jamieson (Tony) said. “It’s just so cool to have a family-owned horse and to train your first winner with the bro. The driving was just a bonus, but I must say it was great to be out there again and get that winning feeling back,” big brother Craig added. BK Superstar is owned by the 'White Diamond Racing Syndicate' and was bred by Brent Smith.   Duane Ranger

Southland owner-breeder Brendan Fahy says Rakarazor isn’t he best pacer he’s had but the talented 4-year-old is heading that way. “She has some way to go to beat Raksdeal but she is improving with every run. She has learnt to race in front now which is encouraging. “Simon (Lawson) said when the other horses came up to her the other night she found another gear. That’s very encouraging,” Fahy said. Rakarazor and Lawson proved too tough in last Friday night’s $12,500 NRM Mobile for the R65 to R70 Pacing Fillies & Mares at Alexandra Park. It was Pukekohe trainer, Gareth Dixon’s first win of the season and 349th in a career spanning back to 2002. He’s also had 613 place-getters and banked just over $4 million in purses. Rakarazor and Lawson went around to the lead 300 metres into their 2200m mobile and that’s where they stayed for the remainder. The Rocknroll Hanover mare stopped the clock in 2:41.6 (mile rate 1:58.2) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 57.3 and 28.8. She was the $2 favourite and had held out Eclipse Me (Sean Grayling) and My Kiwi Lady (Josh Dickie) by three quarters of a length and a length. Rakarazor is owned and was bred by Fahy. She is the seventh of eight foals out of the two-win Son Of Afella mare, Rakarach. “It’s all been a bit sad lately because we lost Rakarach when she was giving birth to a Christian Cullen foal. “Ironically my daughter Rachel, whom the mare was named after, gave birth to Ellie Grace on the same day, so that was a great consolation,” Fahy said. “It’s been both sad and happy times,” he added. He said Rakarazor was closing in on the best two horses he had owned and bred - Raksdeal and Stands Reason. They won five ($121,096) and six races ($161,985) respectively. Raksdeal was 2013-2014 Southland Horse of the year, and Fahy won his only Group One with Stands To Reason in the Nevele R 2yo Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park in May 1990. Rakarazor has now won three of her 25 starts and placed 14 times for $52,975 in purses. Fahy’s foray into harness racing started out with his foundation mare Sentimental Belle in the 1970s. “She was a 1978 Lumber Dream and was the most expensive filly at the Yearling Sales. I remember I paid $10,000 for her,” Fahy said. He said he was only drawn into harness racing by his Uncle’s neighbour who raced horses. “Andrew Sellars lived across the road from my Uncle who I used to work part-time for. It all started from there really. I later sent Sentimental Belle’s full sister – Sentimental Reason to Andrew’s stallion, Stampede. “The result was Stands To Reason and it’s all developed from there. A sheep farmer by trade, Fahy now breeds from several mares on his property which is situated just south of the Makarewa River, and 15km south-west of Invercargill. His nickname, which he was bestowed with at the mighty St Kevin’s College in Oamaru, is ‘Rark’. “I watched the race on TV the other night and was pleasantly surprised how the mare won. I hope to get up there (Auckland) in December to watch her go around. “Gareth is pleased with the way she has developed especially from two to three and now three to four. She’s potentially a good racehorse in the making because she has gone the times. She went 1:53.9 when finishing fourth in this year’s Jewels final at Cambridge,” Fahy said. Meanwhile, Dixon said he would be talking to Fahy today (Monday) to plan Rakarazor’s future. “I’ll know more later today when we talk but she will head to Sydney in the next month, and whether she tackles races at Alexandra Park like the (Group One) Queen Of Hearts in December is up to Brendan,” Dixon said. "I'd doubt it though - more likely just the early December meeting," he added. By Duane Ranger

Hellavahanover has been withdrawn from the Timaru meeting on Saturday and is leaving the Mark Jones stable to do her future racing in New South Wales. The 4YO Brylin Boyz mare is being sent to Sydney trainer Joe Rando after being pulled up for the second consecutive time with suspect stand start manners at Addington on Show day when driven by Tony Herlihy. The Rando stable has had success with a close relative in Romper’s Monarchy (5m Monarchy-Amandas Gem), who has won four from 20 starts and scored back-to-back Tabcorp Park, Menangle, wins last month. Hellavahanover did step off the unruly off 20m and proved too good in a C0-1 trot at the Tuapeka meeting at Forbury on October 26 for driver Blair Orange. She was also a maiden winner at Auckland over 2200m from a stand in March, first-up in her northern stint for Gareth Dixon. Hellavahanover, from a half-sister to Romper Stomper (2:00.1 mile rate 2600m, 12 wins & $180,579) and two-race winner Amanda’s Flash, won two of 15 NZ starts. Courtesy Of Mark Jones Racing    

Well known Reporoa harness racing enthusiast Danny McGill has had a lot of smart horses over the years and in last nights Alexandra Park winner Elliesjet  he seems to have another one to keep the bank manager happy. Danny has had a great run over the years breeding such smart types as Magie Lilly Rose 1:54.1 ($202,718), Golden Trowel 1:52.4 ($117,056) and Maximus Meridius 1:52.3 ($109,515). His latest winner though has been a bit of a surprise to the noted stockman. "She is a big filly, I mean really big and I didn't think she would have any speed," he told Harnesslink today. By Jeremes Jet from the speedy Village Jasper mare Elle Mary Rose 2:00.7, Elliesjet has been given plenty of time to grow into her large frame. "The original plan was to get her up and running and try to sell her but after after the way she has gone the last two weeks we have taken the for sale sign down," Danny said today. The 4 year old mare was having just her third lifetime start last night and on the back of a super third last week was warmly supported even though she drew the outside of the second row. Patiently driven in the early stages by driver Todd Mitchell, Elliesjet settled back in the running line before Todd sent her forward after 600 metres to grab the lead. From there it turned into a procession as Elliesjet gradually increased the tempo and then powered away in the home straight for an emphatic win by four lengths. Elliesjet paced the 2200 metres in 2:45.9, a mile rate of 2:01.3 with closing sectionals of 58.1 and 28.9 Today Danny was musing that you should never judge a book by its cover. " Todd said she absolutely jogged it and had plenty left at the finish so thats very encouraging,"  "Gareth Dixon (trainer) has suggested we should look at some of the support races over the Xmas carnival at Auckland so thats where we are heading,"  he said. Its been a big week for Danny as a half sister to Elliesjet in Annie Morva was successful at Menangle last Saturday night. "She ran second in the Ladyship stakes to Adore Me at three at Alexandra Park and then we sent her to Blake Fitzpatrick in Sydney to race. "Its worked out really well as she has topped the $100,000 mark in earnings and took a mark of 1:52.9 when she won last week," Danny said Danny almost made it a trifecta for the week as a breeder when the trotter he bred Al Bundy was an unlucky third at Alexandra Park last night. With Elliesjet and Annie Morva in such fine form, Danny looks in for a very profitable summer over the next few months. Harnesslink Media  

The first of this years $25,000 Sires Stakes heats comes up for decision on Thursday night at the Harness Racing Waikato's meeting at Cambridge and it is truly a wide open race. Even though it is only a field of ten, half of those starters have a realistic winning chances and it may come down to which one of these runners gets the best run. Hughie Green from barrier four deserves to be favourite on the back of two very impressive wins this time in for trainer Brian Hughes. A son of Art Major from the former outstanding racemare in Alta Serena 1:56.6 ($593,618) Hughie Green has that touch of class and looks the one they have to beat. Bettor Spirits from the Mike Berger barn is a proven performer at this level having finished second in the Harness Jewels on this track while earning $61,601 as a 2 year old. One second line is a tricky draw but he does follow out Jonny B Good who has gate speed so he should only be three back on the inner at worst and should get a shot at the leaders late in the piece. Chachingchaching from the Ray Green barn won three times at two and won a sires stakes heat on this track last season in 1:56.6 so he has to come right in to calculations. He likes to run along in front which is unlikely from two on the second line but he is following out his stablemate Strike The Gold so should be handy enough if he is good enough. Jonny B Good from the Gareth Dixon barn looked a nice horse as a 2 year old racing against the best juveniles and looks to have come back better as a 3 year old. A nice first up second last week in good time and barrier one means he can make his own luck and that makes him a player in this field. Hughie Green's stablemate My Kiwi Mate looks a live chance from barrier three after a stunning first up win for the season last week where he worked bigtime during the race yet still ran home the last 800 meters in 56.6 for an easy win in a smart 1:58.9 mile rate. Chachinchaching's stablemate Strike The Gold who starts from barrier two was thereabouts in the big races at two with a fifth placing in the Harness Jewels his best reult at that level. A recent workout win in smart time by 11 lengths with closing sectionals of 57.9 and 28.3 would suggest this full brother to Gold Ace is ready to make the step up at three. For us we still rate Hughie Green the one to beat but their are a handful of talented pacers drawn around him which make him no certainty. Bettor Spirits, Chachingchaching and My Kiwi Mate all look way above average and could test the favourite with a run to suit while throw in Strike The Gold and Jonny B Good for trifectas and first fours. Harnesslink Media

Mojo Major thrust himself into Breeders Crown betting calculations with a tough repechage win at the harness racing meeting at Geelong on Wednesday night. The Amanda Grieve trained two-year-old son of Art Major sat parked outside leader Avalon Castle before putting him away with a 28.6 third quarter, sprinting to the lead at the 300m and holding off a fierce late challenge from Andy Gath’s rising star, Burnaholeinmypocket. Mojo Major held on by a neck, Burnaholeinmypocket the other key runner to follow out of the race as he attacked the line impressively. The winner went 1:59.5 for the mile rate and came home with a last half of 57.5 seconds, his time the quickest of all the two-year-old repechages on the night. The favourite, Mach Doro, sensationally galloped out of contention at the start of the race. Highly rated New South Welsh colt Birdy Mach won repechage two by 3.7 metres over Stening in 2:00.8 for Luke McCarthy. Down the back the first time McCarthy launched his claim on the odds-on favourite, sending Birdy Mach ($1.60) around the field in a lightning move to grab the lead off early pacemaker Feeling Arty. Birdy Mach kicked away on the top turn as Iceobar gave chase for Chris Alford. In the home straight the sprint-lane run opened up for Feeling Arty and Stening, but the McCarthy son of Mach Three fought on for a comfortable win. Stening ran second for John Caldow and Feeling Arty was third, with Iceobar close-up fourth. Two top-notch New Zealanders took out the two-year-old fillies’ repechages, with Cyclone Kate getting the job done for Gareth Dixon and John Caldow in repechage one before Katy Perry roared to a 3.4m win in the second repechage for Cran Dalgety and Dexter Dunn. Cyclone Kate made her move down the back the final time after McCarthy and Smooth Showgirl had softened up the early leader Gotta Glow at the 1000m mark. Smooth Showgirl hit the lead as the field headed off the back straight but her lead was short-lived as Cyclone Kate descended and shot to the front around the home turn. At the finish Cyclone Kate had 6.9 metres to spare over the runner-up, fast-finishing Ameretto, who scorched home out wide, with Lettucesomewhere finishing third for Kerry Ann Turner. Smooth Showgirl held on well for fourth after sitting in the breeze. Tatlow Stakes winner Katy Perry took out the second of the fillies’ repechages, the daughter of Bettors Delight 3.4 metres too strong for Missed By Red for Amanda Turnbull, with Glamour Art third for Alison Chisholm. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Last season’s Young Guns winner Cyclone Prince resumed in fine style last night at Cambridge by winning the first heat of the 2013 NRM Sires Stakes Series. The Gareth Dixon trainer three-year-old was driven to perfection by “The Wizard” Todd Mitchell, who was able to slot the son of Mach Three into the trail when Ohoka Cooper went up to tussle for the lead with Dean Martin. That proved the winning of the race, with Cyclone Prince finishing too strongly over the concluding stages for Dean Martin, who was game in defeat. Favourite Ohoka Cooper tired to finish a disappointing sixth. Both the first and second horses, Cyclone Prince and Dean Martin, have now confirmed themselves a spot in the $180,000 Final on Cup Day (November 12) Cyclone Prince paced the mile journey in 1-57.1, with closing sectionals of 57.5 and 27.8 Cyclone Prince has some high profile connections including Blackcaps, Brendon McCullum and Kyle Mills as well as former Allblack Ant Strachan. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that impressive Machtu, who was scratched out of last night’s heat, has been sold to Perth. With his trainer Brian Hughes saying the offer was simply too good to refuse. Earlier in the night David Kaa claimed an early double with Threestones and Omar who were both tidy winners, while the fast class pass was taken out by former Sires Stakes Final Lets Elope. By Andrew Fitzgerald

In Melbourne.--- From the mud, to the beach to the big stage. That is the journey that has taken Kiwi trainers Greg and Nina Hope from battling trainers on the circuit to the winners circle at Melton on Breeders Crown day yesterday. The Canterbury couple trained their first group one winner when Quite A Moment upset local hero Blitzthemcalder in the A$95,000 three-year-old trot at the ABC meeting. For the Hopes, glamour days like yesterday used to be something they watched on television from afar as they prepared a team of lower grade scrubbers but that all started to change two years ago when they dedicated themselves to beach training. That saw them quickly turn castoffs into cash and with that came some better bred horses and this season appearances at major racedays. “We used to battle around, doing a lot of pre-training for other people and something like this was just a dream,” said Greg Hope. “And it is that much more special because the owners of this filly have been with us a long time, right from the start.”
 And Hope says results like yesterday should prove to plenty of other battling trainers that their luck can turn. “Of course I admire all the top trainers but sometimes it comes down to the horses you get and because of the beach training we are getting better horses these days.” While it was their first group one, for fellow Kiwi trainer Gareth Dixon yesterday’s victory with Carpenter’s Daughter was almost a homecoming. Some of Dixon’s biggest wins have come in Australia, including two early Breeders Crown trot finals with Super Command. After a tough season in New Zealand, Dixon gave owners a reminder of his skills, peaking Carpenters Daughter for her A$100,000 final and a perfect drive from John Caldow did the rest. A mare dogged by seasonal problems, Carpenters Daughter has now sealed her future broodmare career. While punters were stunned by her win, the hottest favourite in Breeders Crown history hardly raised a sweat winning his A$175,000 three-year-old final. Kiwi colt Bit Of A Legend started the at the minimum allowed price of $1.04 on the tote and won untested by 9.5metres, driver Dexter Dunn let him cruise down the home straight after he had put 15m on his rivals at the 300m mark. While his final was decimated by withdrawals of key rivals, Bit Of A Legend has developed into a world class three-year-old and it will be interesting to see how far he goes in open class, where his pony-like size is often a disadvantage. While New Zealand owned or training horses took out four of yesterday’s nine group ones, the most hyped contest of the day went to Team McCarthy, who quinellaed the A$302,000 two-year-old male final with Bling It On and Lettucerockthem. They led and trailed and that gave no tactical chance to the Barry Purdon-trained pair of Sky Major and Maxim, who were brave in third and fourth. And earlier in the meeting Harness Jewels winner One Over Da Moon had to settle for second in the juvenile trot after coming from 30m off favourite I’m Stately. Courtesy of Michael Guerin and Harness Racing New Zealand  

The punters didn’t certianly get it right in the Group 1 Breeders Crown final for four-year-old mares as $16 chance Carpenters Daughter negated her second row draw to overhaul early leader Light In Every Day late. The classy Kiwi native was having her sixth start in Victoria this preparation, all designed around gearing her up for Super Sunday. It took a clever drive from John Caldow to pop into the three wide line early before finding the death and handing it up to odds-on favourite Cheer The Lady. When they went a blistering 27.2 third quarter, there were plenty of horses back in the ruck off the bit and as they swung for home Caldow hooked off the tiring favourites back to make a run down the centre of the track. Halfway down the straight the leader found a kick and was holding both Carpenters Daughter and sprint-laner Born Again Sassy however the eventual winner dug in and lunged in the final 50 metres. There was barely a metre separating the first three passing the post and they ran the race in a mile rate of 1:56.1 with a last half of 57.5secs. John Caldow spoke to Rob Auber on the track about the thrills of the Breeders Crown and his association with Kiwi trainer Gareth Dixon. “I always say it’s only a bad draw after the race, we drew 11 the last two years but it all worked out early,” Caldow said. “He’s a great trainer (Gareth Dixon), this is our third Breeders Crown together, he didn’t think she was quite good enough last year but he brought her over here a bit earlier this year and it worked out well. “Coming off the back and around the corner she was pretty flat so she did really well to keep on coming.” Carpenters Daughter is now a winner of 10 starts from her 41 tries and she has banked over $240,000 in prizemoney for connections. A video is attached. by Blake Redden Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria  

Mike Grainger says, "stick with Allblack Stride in the Copthorne Commodore 2-year-old pace." Two awful barrier draws have played havoc with his form but neither run has been poor.

It's been a couple of years between drinks but two of the North Island's top horseman have experienced Group One harness racing glory at Alexandra Park tonight (Friday March 8).

The Gareth Dixon trained Cyclone Prince improved on his debut fourth to take out tonight's (Friday February 15) $25,000 fifth Breckon Bloodstock Young Guns heat for 2yo colts and geldings at northern harness racing headquarters - Alexandra Park.

One of the North Island's top trainers has had his stable numbers cut in half by Harness Racing New Zealand board member and prominent Auckland owner - Kerry Hoggard.

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