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Welcome to the Harness Analyst segment where we preview all the harness meetings with tips and selections for all races. Harness racing hits Geraldine today with an eleven race program starting at 12:05pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. The content and data on this page is provided for informational purposes only Check below for all of the races today for Geraldine  Geraldine selections 29th November 2020   Race 1 Prince Ranier in great form and has trialled well on the track. Should be hard to beat and top selection here.…… Line A Love disappointing last start but but can improve. Place claims best..… Make My Sundon last couple have been disappointing but better placed in this field off the front row draw. Include…… Bella Button racing herself into form and on her best day would be hard to beat here. Can run top three again here Selections:  Prince Ranier (9),   Line A Love (5),   Make My Sundon (4)   Bella Button (7)   Race 2 Stella's Delight much better draw here and could trail. Another top three finish looks on the cards here.……. Dixie Flyer plenty of ability and good finish last start. One of the leading chances in the race…… Le Pole Dancer disappointing last start but well drawn and can run top three at a decent price…… Hope For Love  running on last start and weaker field but wide draw. Has winning claims. Selections:  Dixie Flyer (6),  Stella's Delight (1),   Le Pole Dancer (5),   Hope For Love  (7)   Race 3 Mayhem In Malibu good draw to work with and will head forward early. Last run ok and can place at good odds ….. Last Of The Mohicans tricky draw but in good form at grass workouts. Can run top three in this field and top selection….. Mark O'Ronga has the game to beat a field like this and has been racing better fields. Freshened and can win….. Mongolian Marshal running on last start and drawn to get a cosy run handy. Winning claims Selections:   Last Of The Mohicans (8),   Mark O'Ronga (12),   Mongolian Marshal (7),   Mayhem In Malibu (5)   Race 4 Bettor Believe It good draw to work with and should get a good run in transit. One of the leading chances here….. Just Michael tricky draw but in good form at workouts prior to last start failure. One for longer odds….. Just N Awe has the game to beat a field like this but will need a good run in transit. Needed….. Standout good late finish last start and stand start no issues. Winning claims Selections:   Bettor Believe It (5),   Just N Awe (2),   Standout (11),   Just Michael (18)   Race 5 Superfast Lad conditions suit here and he should get a good run from the draw. Good winning claims.…. Mikemaro good win last start and this no harder. Might be the leader in the race. Include…… That's The Story running on ok last start and will be fitter. Nice draw and can win at good odds..… Clyde a bit in or out with form but has the ability and drawn to get a run through from the 10m handicap. Needed Selections:  Superfast Lad (1),   Mikemaro (7),   Clyde (13),   That's The Story (2)   Race 6 Duastar worked home well last start in a good field. Hard to beat in this field if close enough turning for home….. Arizonawildcat running on ok last start and has won on grass. Will need luck but can run top three here  …..  Mordecai  second row draw but getting fitter with racing. Look for him to be running on late and can run top three…. Highland Reign racing ok and likely to get a cosy run on the pegs. Place chances best….. Selections:   Duastar (4),  Arizonawildcat (6),   Highland Reign (2),  Mordecai  (12)   Race 7 Franco Josiah  has been running some big races with no luck and this race suits. Can win with a run close to the leaders and top selection…. Ali Lindenny looks the early leader and ok last start. Can place and likes grass  ….. Milliondollarmonkey good win last start but wider draw. If he can lead again he will take some catching…. Show Me The Gray racing into form and conditions suit here. One of the leading chances in the race at longer odds…. Selections:   Franco Josiah  (6),  Milliondollarmonkey (13),   Show Me The Gray (5),  Ali Lindenny (8)   Race 8 William Wallace likely to head for the front and will catching with no mid race attacks. Can run top three here….. Di Caprio last start was massive in a strong Cup field but wide hnadicap a concern. Should run top three ….. Steel The Show good staying type suited to a fast run race which he will get here. He will be finishing on if the pace is on all the way. Include…. Fynn Frost out of form but grass and distance suit. Can place at big odds….. Selections:   Di Caprio (12),   William Wallace (3),   Steel The Show (14),   Fynn Frost (2)   Race 9 Phoebe Onyx good draw to work with and will head forward early. Last run ok and can place at good odds ….. Globe Trekker tricky draw but in good form and likes grass. Can run top three in this field ….. Valley Star has the ability to compete well in a field like this and has been racing ok off tricky handicaps. One for longer odds….. Andoverlov out of form but drawn to get a cosy run handy. Winning claims Selections:   Globe Trekker (11),   Valley Star (2),   Phoebe Onyx (6),   Andoverlov (3)   Race 10 Yossi good draw to work with and is well placed here. Last run ok and can win ….. Georgie Zukov tricky draw and manners a concern but he did win well last start. Can run top three in this field ….. Blue Chip Delight has the game to beat a field like this and has been racing well with a good win last start. One for longer odds….. Mad Lu Li  loves grass and good win last start. Winning claims Selections:   Blue Chip Delight (6),   Yossi (1),   Mad Lu Li  (13),   Georgie Zukov (10)   Race 11 Superstar Legend good draw to work with and will get a cosy run on the pegs. Last run ok and can place at good odds ….. Yankee Shard tricky draw but in good form and grass suits. Can run top three in this field at decent odds….. Will He Rock has the speed to beat a field like this and top win in quick time last start. Tote the guide but can win….. Zambia battled on last start and drawn to get a cosy run handy. Winning claims Selections:   Yankee Shard (8),   Superstar Legend (1),   Zambia (2),   Will He Rock (12)   Harnesslink Media

By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk    It looked doubtful for a while but the Geraldine Trotting Club will hold a meeting at its home course this Saturday. Orari was initially omitted from the racing calendar, prompting the club to look at hosting one meeting at Methven, a fifty minute drive away. But the club got a reprieve and is determined to make the most of it, according to president Mark Weaver. The response has been encouraging with 222 nominations and the likelihood of 11 races. Now Weaver wants the weather to play ball – with early forecasts predicting 17 degrees and no rain.

The Geraldine Trotting Club says it is determined to make the most of the decision allowing it to host a meeting at its Orari course in November. As part of a wide-ranging review into racetracks around the country Orari was originally left without a meeting at its home track in the 2020-21 season, with their one and only meeting to be transferred to Methven. Now, TAB NZ has agreed that the Geraldine Trotting Club, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, can host a meeting after all. The Christmas at the Races meeting will be held on November 28. “It’s a chance to redeem ourselves,” says Geraldine TC president Mark Weaver, “ we want a good crowd, good turnover and everyone to have a relaxing fun time.” “And we are hoping that Mother Nature will play her part.” Weaver says the feedback to the decision has been very encouraging. The meeting will be subject to a review that will determine its future. "It’s our one chance," Weaver says. As well as the 150th milestone the meeting will also be the first since the death of club stalwart and commentator Lochie Marshall. He died in March after a battle with leukaemia. “We are keen to honour him with a race, and it would have to be a trot.” From 1992 - 2019 Marshall only trained trotters, and among his 13 winners (196 starts) Missie Castleton was the square-gaiter he was most associated with (6 wins from 81 starts). For more information about the day, bookings etc contact : Jackie@southernlink.net.nz Phone:0274 357398

By Jonny Turner   Smart trotter Muscle Mountain began his 3yr-old season just like he started his 2yr-old term when winning the Orari Challenge Stakes on Saturday. The Greg And Nina Hope trained gelding got his sophomore season off to the perfect start when beating a smart line up to win the first 3yr-old trotting feature of the season. With regular stable drivers Ricky May and Ben Hope sidelined it was left to Matthew Williamson to partner Muscle Mountain and the reinsman made the most of the one off opportunity. “With Ben being suspended it was a bit of a one off drive, so it was good to be able to win with him,” Williamson said. “He is a nice trotter and he should go on with it after today and be in for a big season.” Williamson gave Muscle Mountain a perfect run in the one-one throughout behind his stablemate, Midnight Dash. Midnight Dash rallied hard in the straight, but was eventually overhauled by Muscle Mountain to secure a Hope trained quinella. “He did it easy enough, but I did have to hold him together down the straight,” Williamson said. Muscle Mountain’s task was made slightly easier when several of the leading chances in the race galloped. One Majic Kenny botched the mobile score up before recovering to go a big race and run fourth. The favourite, Tailored Elegance, galloped when challenging in the home straight. The Hope stable took out another of the trotting races at Orari on Saturday when Bev K’s One broke her maiden. Williamson will attempt to keep his winning form up at Wyndham on Sunday. The reinsman rates the Hamish Hunter trained Holy Havoc in race 5 as the leading chance among his nine drives. “He went a pretty good race for fifth on Thursday and has a nice draw in one.” “He should get every hope and be a pretty good chance.” Williamson also drives I’m Watching You in race 2, Tartan Robyn in race 8 and Stingray Tara in race 9 for Hunter. The reinsman said each were good eachway hopes, without looking standouts in their races. Punters look to be banking on Williamson to turn around the fortunes of Delight N Gold in race 6. He is the new pilot of the Earl Swain trained mare, who opened at remarkably short $2 win odds in the race’s fixed odds market. Delight In Gold brings patchy form to a race almost without any strong exposed form. “She is in the right field and has gone some good races before.”    “Hopefully she can improve and she would be a chance.” Williamson drives Slainte in race 1 and Monty Python in race 4 for his father, Phil. “Monty Python is an eachway chance, but it will be hard for him off 45m.” “He hasn’t been going too bad and he is slowly getting back to his best.” “Slainte would be a good chance if he did everything right, but that is no certainty.” Williamson also drives Bub’s VC in race 3 and Jacks N Jazz in race 10.   

By Jonny Turner    Nathan did it last weekend, now it is Michael’s turn. That is the scenario for brothers Michael and Nathan Purdon, who line up One Guz Hall in a star studded early season clash of 3yr-old trotters in the Orari Challenge Stakes at Geraldine today. To win, the brothers must beat out their father Mark Purdon, who starts the favourite Tailored Elegance with training partner Natalie Rasmussen. Nathan downed his dad in last weekend’s Victoria Oaks when his filly, Dr Susan, was trailed home by Stylish Memphis with Mark in the sulky. Victory would not just mean getting one up on his old man for Michael. It would be a timely boost for his stable if One Guz Hall can continue his winning momentum ahead of the national yearling sales. The rookie trainer is hoping to expand his team, invest in young stock and attract new owners. “I am hoping to pick up a few more owners come sales time,” Purdon said. “I have got seven in work in the moment, I have got a few 2yr-olds out that will come back later in the season.” Purdon has kept up an excellent strike rate during his short career and hopes One Guz Hall can keep that going and help him to continue to build his reputation as a trainer. “You need those horses to fly your flag and people tend to take notice when those good ones step out.” The 3yr-old showed he returned better than last season with a comfortable maiden victory at Timaru last month. Purdon will get a good line on exactly how well the horse has come up when he clashes with a high quality field today. “He has got a fair amount of ability, but Saturday will be a real test for them.” “He is up against a lot of nice 3yr-olds, but he should hold his own.” Today’s brilliant field of 3yr-olds includes Cracker Hill, Muscle Mountain, Tailored Elegance and One Majic Kenny. Though it is hard to say exactly where One Guz Hall sits among them on ability, it is clear he does not have their experience with just two starts to his name. “He is still racing a bit green at the moment, where as horses like Tailored Elegance and Cracker Hill are the full package,” Purdon said. “You watch them racing around and they look absolutely professional.” Should One Guz Hall measure up Purdon will aim his 3yr-old at the upcoming features for 3yr-old trotters. “We will see how he goes on Saturday and is he shows me he is up to these 3yr-olds the next race we will be looking at will be the Hambletonian.” The leading contenders have each taken a different path towards today’s exciting Orari Challenge Stakes clash. Cracker Hill has made a perfect start to his season since running second at the Harness Jewels with two starts for two wins in smart times. Tailored Elegance kicked off her 3yr-old term when impressively beating older horses at Addington, last week. One Majic Kenny has also been mixing it with older horses. The Robert Dunn trained trotter should relish getting back to mobile racing and taking on his own age group, today. Exactly where last season’s early 2yr-old trotting star, Muscle Mountain, is ahead of his return today is somewhat of a mystery. The Greg and Nina Hope trained trotter has made mistakes in two of his the three trials and workouts ahead of his 3yr-old return. He was held up and was not fully tested in the other. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    Form-lines from the New Zealand Cup Carnival will converge when a quality field contests the Geraldine Cup at Orari on Saturday.  New Zealand Cup starters Nandolo and Smokin By will clash with undercard performers Tango Tara and Heisenberg in the 2850m grass track staying test. Nandolo produced a respectable effort to run seventh in the New Zealand Cup, beating home Smokin By, who finished 12th. Nandolo went on to produce a big performance for third after botching the start of a handicap event on Show Day at Addington, three days later  The John Howe trained 5yr-old’s scratchy start had driver Jonny Cox concerned at the time, but it is not something he is worried about ahead of Saturday’s race.  “He didn’t miss it too bad, he bobbled away and then he over reacted a bit when I tried to get him to come back down – so it was probably more my fault than anything,” Cox said.  “He was very safe away in the cup, so I don’t think the start is going to be a big worry.” Nandolo made up ground following his tardy getaway at Addington and produced strong closing sectionals to run third behind Wild Excuse. “He went a great race afterwards, later on I looked at his sectional times and he run his last mile (1609m) in 1.53.8,” Cox said. “So, you couldn’t have asked much more of him.” Nandolo will step in to the unknown on Saturday, when racing on grass for the first time. Cox anticipates it is not likely to cause a problem for the horse.  “He is a pretty clean pacer, so I can’t imagine it would be too much of a problem for him.” “But, there is always that possibility that it could trip him up.” Smokin By also comes in to the Geraldine Cup after producing a poor beginning in his previous run. The Mitchell Kerr trained 5yr-old was not a factor in the New Zealand Cup after a lengthy early gallop made his task to win nearly impossible. Smokin By began safely in both of his previous runs in the Methven Cup and the Ashburton Flying Stakes. Stepping on to grass should be no problem for the pacer, judging by his good effort for third behind Chase Auckland at Methven. Nandolo and Smokin By share the 20m back mark in today’s feature.  They start alongside returning pacer, My Wee Man, who is a five time winner on grass. Heisenberg is the only runner starting from the 10m mark. The Robert Dunn trained pacer comes in to Saturday’s race after producing two second placings during New Zealand Cup week. Heisenberg produced strong efforts after having to sit parked in both races. Tango Tara is another to bring New Zealand Cup Carnival form to Saturday’s feature. The Jim Curtin trained pacer faces his biggest career test after winning a minor event on New Zealand Cup day. Tango Tara will start from the front line in today’s standing start alongside Nearis Green, The Kaik and Go Davey.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Harness racing trainer Kevin Townley has been fined $7000 for producing a horse to race when not free of a prohibited substance. The horse in question was Well Defined who won at Geraldine on the 3rd February 2018 but has since been disqualified. The Committee was satisfied that a fine of $7,000 was sufficient to satisfy the general purposes of sentencing and to hold Townley accountable for his actions, to promote in him a sense of responsibility, as well as acting as a deterent to other persons from committing the same or a similar offence.    Full details below.   BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing IN THE MATTER of Information No. A7220 BETWEEN KYLIE ROCHELLE WILLIAMS, Racing Investigator for the Racing Integrity Unit Informant AND KEVIN DAVID TOWNLEY of Russley, Licensed Public Trainer Respondent Judicial Committee: Mr RG McKenzie (Chair), Mr DJ Anderson (Committee Member) Venue: Addington Raceway, Christchurch Present: Mrs KR Williams, the Informant Mr KD Townley, the Respondent Mr SP Renault, Stipendiary Steward (Registrar) Date of Hearing: 2nd March 2018 Date of Decision: 12th March 2018 RESERVED PENALTY DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE The Charge [1] Information No. A7220 alleges that: On the 3rd day of February 2018, Kevin David Townley, being the registered trainer of the standardbred WELL DEFINED, presented the horse to race in Race 2, Michael Jones Geraldine Butchery / Team Teal Trot, at the Geraldine Trotting Club meeting, with a prohibited substance, namely Ketoprofen, in its system. This is in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule, Rule 1004(1A) (3) & (4). The Rules [2] Rule 1004 of the Rules of Harness Racing provides as follows: (1A) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (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. (4) A breach of sub-rule (1A), (2), or (3A) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the. . . prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. [3] The penalty Rule is Rule 1004 (7) which provides as follows: (1) Every person who commits a breach of sub-Rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000.00; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding five years. [4] Mrs Williams presented a letter signed by Mr M R Godber, General Manager of the Racing Integrity Unit, pursuant to Rule 1108(2) authorising the filing of the information. The Plea [5] The information was served on Mr Townley on 1 March 2018 and he had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that he admitted the breach of the Rule. [6] Mr Townley was present at the hearing of the information. The charge and relevant Rules were read to him, after which he confirmed that he admitted the breach. The charge was found proved accordingly. Summary of Facts [7] Mrs Williams presented the following Summary of Facts: 1. WELL DEFINED is a 3-year-old brown gelding and is trained by Mr Kevin David Townley. WELL DEFINED is owned by Mr Townley’s wife, Mrs M E Townley. WELL DEFINED has raced 10 times for 1 win and lifetime stakes of $7,545 as at 28 February 2018. 2. WELL DEFINED was correctly entered for and presented to race by trainer, Mr Kevin Townley, at the Geraldine Trotting Club meeting on 3 February 2018. WELL DEFINED was driven in Race 2, the MICHAEL JONES GERALDINE BUTCHERY/TEAM TEAL TROT by Mr D J Dunn, winning the race and a stake of $5,415. This stake has not been paid out. 3. Following the race, the Stipendiary Stewards ordered that WELL DEFINED be post-race swabbed. WELL DEFINED entered the swab box at 1.15pm and Swabbing Steward, Mr M P McCann, obtained a urine sample from the gelding at 1.20pm. The race was programmed to start at 12.58pm. The urine sample was taken in the presence of stable representative, Mr K Stevens. The urine samples were recorded with the Sample number 134362. Mr Stevens and Mr Townley do not contest the taking of the sample. 4. On the 15th February 2018, the New Zealand Racing Laboratory reported Ketoprofen was detected in Sample Number 134362. The Control Sample was clear. 5. On the 20th of February 2018, Racecourse Investigators Mrs Kylie Williams and Mr Peter Lamb went to the training establishment of Mr Townley at 59 Russley Road, Christchurch, and advised him of the positive swab returned by WELL DEFINED. 6. Mr Townley was given a copy of the Certificate of Analysis, copy of the Swab Card, RIU Swabbing Record Book and Race Results. 7. Mr Townley advised that he took WELL DEFINED to the races in his own float and that the gelding was one of three horses he had racing that day. 8. Mr Townley could not offer an explanation for the presence of Ketoprofen in the urine sample taken from WELL DEFINED and could not advise when the gelding was last treated with Ketoprofen. Mr Townley keeps a diary in which he enters treatments but admits that not all treatments are recorded. 9. A bottle of “Key Injection” which contains Ketoprofen was found in the stables which noted a 4-day withhold on the box and this was also written on the bottle by the administering Veterinarian. It was written by the Veterinarian on the bottle to use 10ml I/V (intravenously). On the box it states 10ml per 450kg bw (body weight). The bottle was one of two supplied on 26 July 2017. 10. Mr Townley advised that WELL DEFINED had never had any lameness issues, but he makes a point of going over his horses once they have worked and checks for any muscle soreness or any signs of tying up for which Mr Townley then administers Ketoprofen, if needed. 11. Mr Townley is well aware of the 4.2 day withholding time for Ketoprofen and is particular to adhere to any withholding time of any drug. 12. Mr Townley advised that he weighed WELL DEFINED on 21st February and that the gelding only weighed 355kgs with a rug on. 13. Mr Townley, when administering Ketoprofen, always administers 10ml as directed by the Veterinarian. Mr Townley cannot discount that he may have given WELL DEFINED 10ml of Ketoprofen earlier in the week after fast work. This would have been outside the withholding time of 4.2 days from raceday. Mr Townley concedes that, due to the gelding’s small stature and weight, it should be given a smaller dose. The appropriate dose for the gelding would be 7.9mls based on its weight. 14. On 23rd February 2018 Mr Townley was given a report from Dr Andrew Grierson, Chief Veterinarian HRNZ, confirming that Ketoprofen is a prohibited substance under the Prohibited Substances Regulation. 15. Mr Townley has been training since 1986/87, initially in partnership with D J Townley and then on his own from 1994/95. Mr Townley has trained over 460 winners. 16. Mr Townley was previously charged with a breach of the prohibited substance rule in Australia in 2003 for Clenbuterol and was fined $2,000 with a three-months suspension, suspended for 12 months. [8] Mr Townley said that he accepted the facts as set out in the summary presented by Mrs Williams, but he wished to make a comment. He said that the summary, based on the interview he gave at the time he was originally spoken to, stated that he had no idea how the prohibited substance got in the horse’s system. In fact, he said, he was now sure that he was responsible for it, as he was in the practice of administering the “Key Injection” to his horses but is always very aware of the withholding period. He would have treated WELL DEFINED on the Tuesday morning before Saturday’s race, he said (see also Mr Townley’s submissions in para [11] hereunder). [9] Mrs Williams confirmed that she had received an email in response to her question to Dr Andrew Grierson as to whether the weight of the horse would affect the withholding period which stated: “Dose rate should have been 8.3 for a 375 kilogram horse [7.9 mls based on the actual weight of the horse, 355 kilograms] but because a plasma elimination half-life is 18 minutes that dose should not affect the result unless there are damaged tissues. Ketoprofen is known to store in affected tissues exudate and not all stored in plasma and eliminates slowly over time. This is a classic two-compartment model so in theory a high dose rate can affect the detection time (see the Casey case below). In summary, a high dose rate may possibly increase the detection time in some horses especially if they had inflammatory tissues in a drug bound to the exudate. Perhaps this is the explanation depending when he said he actually administered”. Informant’s Penalty Submissions [10] Mrs Williams presented the following penalty submissions: 1. Mr Townley has pleaded guilty to a breach of Rules 1004(1A), (3) & (4) after presenting WELL DEFINED at the races with a prohibited substance in its system, namely Ketoprofen, at the Geraldine TC meeting on the 3rd February 2018. 2. The penalty provisions that apply in this case are outlined in Rule 1104(7). 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 five years. 3. The rules also require the mandatory disqualification of the horse: Rule 1004(8) states: 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. 1004D Any horse which has been taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race which is found to have administered to it or ingested by it any prohibited substance shall be disqualified from that race. 4. Sentencing Principles - The four principles of sentencing can be summarised briefly ● Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his / her wrongdoing. They are not retributive in the sense that 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 like offences. ● A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the JCA for the type of behaviour in question. ● The need to rehabilitate the offender should be taken into account. The first three principles are particularly important here. 5. Relevant Precedents – In addition to the sentencing principles the Judicial Committee should have regard to relevant precedents. R.I.U. v C & A Edmonds – 31 March 2016 Subject: Ketoprofen positive with two horses – fined $9,000. Extract from Edmonds’ decision: “The Committee finds that it was negligent on the part of the Respondents to leave their medication cabinet unlocked and this is an aggravating factor”. NZTR v A D Scott – 22 November 2010 Subject: Ketoprofen positive with a thoroughbred – fined $6,000, costs $750 NZTR, $600 JCA. NZTR v K & L Rae – 28 May 2009 Subject: Ketoprofen positive with a thoroughbred – fined $4,000, costs $3,000 NZTR, $500 JCA. NZTR v A W Pike & M Donoghue – 22 August 2008 Subject: Ketoprofen positive with a thoroughbred – fined $6,000. R.I.U. v J M Whittaker – 17 August 2015 Subject: Caffeine positive with a horse – fined $1,000, costs $1,800. Extract from Whittaker decision: “RIU v L J Justice (2011) where that Committee stated ….. penalties will be imposed for breaches of the rule which will recognise, reinforce and give effect to the pivotal significance of the rule in maintaining the integrity of racing, whether or not culpable conduct is involved. Naturally where culpable conduct is involved, penalties imposed will normally be greater than in cases where such conduct is absent but we think it is wrong and contrary to the intent and purpose of the rule to assume the absence of culpable conduct should attract no, or only a token penalty.” R.I.U. v P M Williamson – 10 December 2012 Subject: Procaine positive with a horse – fined $3,500, costs $350 to JCA. The source of the positive swab was not identified. “Against those factors is the ever-present need to maintain the integrity of and public confidence in harness racing by adequately punishing the breach and deterring Mr Williamson and others from offending in a similar manner in the future.” The EVA withholding time of 4.2 days is only a guideline. Veterinary Council of New Zealand v Dr P Casey - 8 July 2013 “In October 2011, a revised list entitled “NZEVA Prohibited Substance Recommended Withholding Times” was issued. Amongst other cautionary statements, it stated: “The information in this list is predominantly derived from NZ practitioner experience and not necessarily from scientific studies with adequate numbers of animals. This guideline includes a buffer time to allow for individual variation between horses’ drug excretion times. The list does not however, account absolutely for the possibility that an individual horse may have a delayed elimination period for a substance because of the slow metabolism of that animal, delayed hepatic conjugational renal clearance, the interaction of more than one treatment use concurrently, the “stepping” of multiply (sic) treatments over days accumulating to high body levels, or the normal statistical variations seen in individuals. … adherence by veterinarians to the administration guidelines in the NZEVA Prohibited Substance Recommended Withholding List will ensure that their obligations under the NZEVA Professional Code of Conduct are being met.” 6. Aggravating Features – Mr Townley cannot categorically confirm how the Ketoprofen came to be in the horse’s system on raceday but believes that the gelding may have been given the recommended 10ml dose for a 450kg horse outside the 4.2 day withholding time. WELL DEFINED is only a small horse weighing approximately 355kg and should be given a smaller dose of 7.9mls. By giving a larger dose this may lead to an increase in the withholding and detection time which may result in the horse returning a positive swab. A bottle was found on the property with the recommended dose rate of 10mls written on it. This bottle was not purchased for a specific horse but was to be used on any horse in the stable that showed signs of muscle soreness or tie up. Mr Townley cannot confirm what day he may have treated or when WELL DEFINED was last treated with Ketoprofen. Mr Townley keeps a diary but admits that he does not always record treatments. Mr Townley kept Ketoprofen on the premises in an unlocked area. Mr Townley has a clear record in New Zealand however was charged with a breach in 2003 for Clenbuterol in Australia. 7. Mitigating Factors – Mr Townley admits full liability as the trainer and admitted the breach at the first opportunity and has cooperated fully throughout the investigation. Mr Townley has been training for over 30 years and has trained over 460 winners. 8. Conclusion – The Racing Integrity Unit seeks a monetary penalty of a fine of $6,000. The reason for this figure is that the JCA guidelines, 1st May 2015, have a starting point of $8,000 for a first offence of presenting a horse with a drug in its system. Mr Townley has to be given credit for the manner in which he has conducted himself during this enquiry and admitting the breach at the first opportunity however the onus is on trainers at all times to ensure that a horse in their care and control is completely drug free when presented at the races. We also seek the disqualification of WELL DEFINED under Rule 1004(8). 9. The R.I.U. is not seeking to recover any costs in this matter. Respondent’s Submissions [11] Mr Townley presented to the hearing the following written submissions: I was shocked and dismayed to hear that a horse of mine had received a positive swab. Although I had not written it down I must have given it to WELL DEFINED but I am very sure I did not administer it to him inside the guidelines as I am extremely aware and careful when I have horses racing. The vet’s sticker label wraps around the bottle and it said to give it 10 ml, 4.2 day withholding. When it is needed, I have always done it as directed. After giving the situation a lot of thought I wonder if the very small size of WELL DEFINED could have anything to do with it. On looking into further I found that a 10 ml dose was recommended for a 450 kg horse. No vet I have ever had has ever said to vary the dose so I do as per label. I then weighed the horse and he was found to be 355 kg with a cover on. Perhaps he should have had a smaller dose? Although I know I am responsible, I offered this to Mrs Williams as an explanation who emailed Dr Grierson for his opinion. Mrs Williams will have his reply (see para [9]) which does indicate that this could be the trouble. I am sure that this is what went wrong. I understand the seriousness of this, both for myself and our industry and have already taken steps to make sure it never happens again. Although not relevant to this case, I know I should have had my medications locked up and to that end I have now purchased a safe. Reasons for Decision [12] Mr Townley has admitted a charge of presenting WELL DEFINED, trained by him, to race at the Geraldine Trotting Club’s meeting at Orari on 3rd February 2018 not free of prohibited substances. Ketoprofen, a non-steroidal analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent and a prohibited substance under the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing, was detected in a post-race urine sample taken from the gelding. [13] The facts, as set out in paragraph 7 above, are not disputed by the Respondent. [14] It was established that the source of the Ketoprofen was “Key Injection”, a bottle of which was found at Mr Townley’s stables. [15] Mr Townley, initially, could offer no explanation for the presence of Ketoprofen in the urine sample and was unable to say when WELL DEFINED had last been treated with the product, “Key Injection”. During the hearing before the Committee, he admitted that he was responsible for it, having treated WELL DEFINED with a 10ml injection of “Key Injection” on the Tuesday prior to the Geraldine race on the Saturday. [16] In doing so, Mr Townley said, he was cognisant of the 4.2 days withholding period for the product. However, he had used a dose of 10ml, the stated recommended dose for a 450kg horse. He attributes the positive swab to this – the quantity of the dose was possibly, in hindsight, greater than ought to have been given to a horse of WELL DEFINED’s weight which, he claimed, was only 355 kg with a cover on. [17] The Committee is satisfied that the most likely cause of the positive swab returned by WELL DEFINED was indeed the “Key Injection” administered by Mr Townley on the Tuesday morning prior to the race. It does Mr Townley little credit that it was only as an afterthought that he realised that the dosage may have been excessive for a smaller horse – on the product’s box it was stated that the appropriate dosage was 10ml per 450kg body weight. Furthermore, it seems to the Committee that it was fraught with risk to use the product a bare 4 days before the horse was to race, leaving little margin for error, the recommended withholding period being 4.2 days. Finally, the Committee notes that Mr Townley kept the “Key Injection” in an unlocked and insecure area. The Committee finds that Mr Townley was negligent in each of these respects and has identified them as aggravating factors. [18] We note that Mr Townley conducted himself well during the investigation and admitted the breach at the first opportunity. We regard Mr Townley’s record as being a good one and, in this respect, we have not had regard to the breach in Australia in 2003, which is historical. These are mitigating factors. [19] The Penalty Guide suggests a starting point of an $8,000 fine for a mid-range breach of presenting under the Prohibited Substance Rule. We have taken that as a starting point for determining penalty in this case. The aggravating factors referred to in para [17], in the view of the Committee, call for an uplift in that starting point and we have fixed that uplift at $1,000. [20] For the mitigating factors referred to in para [18], we have allowed Mr Townley a discount of $2,000 from the starting point of $9,000 arrived at. [21] The Committee is satisfied that a fine of $7,000 will suffice to satisfy the general purposes of sentencing which are well-established – to hold the offender accountable for his actions, to promote in the offender a sense of responsibility, to denounce the conduct of the offender and to deter the offender or other persons from committing the same or a similar offence. The Committee has also had regard, as always, to the important consideration of the need to maintain integrity and public confidence in Harness Racing. Penalty [22] Mr Townley is fined the sum of $7,000. Disqualification of the Horse [23] The disqualification of WELL DEFINED from Race 2, Michael Jones Geraldine Butchery / Team Teal Trot, at the meeting of Geraldine Trotting Club on 3rd February 2018 was earlier ordered by a Minute of this Committee dated 2nd March 2018. Costs [24] No order for costs was sought by the Informant and, since the hearing of the information took place on a raceday, there will be no order for costs in favour of the JCA. R G McKenzie  

Cup week is over and now grass track harness racing gets cranked up in earnest. Both Canterbury grass track meetings this weekend have drawn big even fields and the weather forecast looks perfect for Saturday and Sunday.  It was another good week for the ringaround last week with several winners selected. Brad Williamson had the highest dividend when Two Ply won at Wyndham and paid $15.80 and $3.60 on the tote. This week there are five meetings with two in the north and three in the south.   Manawatu on Thursday night Blair Orange - Blair thinks his best drive would be Santana Mach this week at Manawatu in Race 1 Jay Abernethy - Jay thinks that R Gee Bee would be his best drive this week in Race 5 Jim Curtin - Jimmy is going for Captain Kirk as his best drive this week at Manawatu in Race 7   Invercargill on Friday afternoon Shane Walkinshaw - Shane says his best chance this week is Bella Sara at Ascot Park in Race 1 Andrew Suddaby - Andrew is going for Kansas City Jim as his best drive this week at Ascot Park in Race 2 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance today could be Wayward Rock in Race 3 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory thinks his best chance this week is Foo Fighter at Ascot Park in Race 6 Sheree Tomlinson - Sheree thinks her best drive this week is Deliska at Invercargill in Race 7 Brent Barclay - Brent is going for Rakarover as his best chance this week also in Race 7 Brad Williamson - Brad thinks his best drive this week is​ Bettor Option at Invercargill in Race 8   For more tips for Invercargill click here!   Alexandra Park on Friday night Stephen Richardson - Steve thinks Lovely Bundy can win at Alexandra Park in Race 1 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best chance would be Sweet N Fast at Auckland in Race 2 Andre Poutama - Andre is going for Will Take Charge as his best chance this week also in Race 2 John Curtin - John thinks Culpeka will go close to winning at Alexandra Park in Race 4 Maurice McKendry - Maurice is going for Shandance as his best chance this week in Race 5   Geraldine on Saturday Harnesslink Reporter - thinks The Dominator can go close to winning at Geraldine in Race 5 Ricky May - Ricky is going for Saving Grace as his best drive this week at Orari in Race 6 Terry Chmiel - Terry says his best drive this week is Betterthanspraying in Race 7 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Monty Python as his best drive this week in Race 10   Banks Peninsular on Sunday Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard is going for Cole Porter as his best drive this week at Motukarara in Race 9 Mark Jones - Mark thinks that Belle Of Brooklyn would be his best chance at Motukarara in Race 11 Racechat - Lance agrees and thinks that Belle Of Brooklyn is a good winning chance in Race 11 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Friend as his best chance this week at Motukarara also in Race 11   Harnesslink Media

Kim Butt wouldn’t mind if they held races at Orari every week. The talented junior driver made it two wins from as many meetings at the South Canterbury track on Sunday when she piloted OK I’m Bad to success for local trainer Denise Ottley at the Geraldine Trotting Club’s meeting. Butt had found herself in the winners’ circle at the first meeting their for the season, incidentally also in the junior drivers’ event, when she managed to get Real Torque home over the top of his opposition. Sunday was a little different though with Butt dictating terms from the outset and holding far too many guns for her rivals. “It worked out really well, we managed to get across them easy enough and then got a pretty good time of it in front,” Butt said. “He’s a nice horse, he felt really strong coming up to the home turn and he really kicked when I asked him too. “I’m just really lucky that I was given the opportunity to drive him by Denise and Sam (Ottley), you always know when you get on one of Denise’s horses that you are going to have a chance.” The win took Butt’s tally for the season to 10 and in with a sniff of her best mark of 20. A six-year-old gelding by Badland’s Hanover, OK I’m Bad’s win was his second from 10 starts. He’s a half-brother to the extremely talented Lislea’s Flame who unfortunately had his career cut short by injury. While Mum tasted success, Sam Ottley made sure she wasn’t left out of the action when she produced a confident drive on Trailer Park Girl to win impressively. Ottley is fashioning a good record on her old home track, winning races frequently when they do race there. A Courage Under Fire filly trained by Steve Dolan, Trailer Park Girl backed up a good second on debut behind Carter Michael with the victory on Sunday and there’s promise of plenty more. “She’s a really nice filly,” Ottley said. “When you get on one of Steve’s horses you can be quite confident because you know they are always ready to go a big race.” The win took Dolan’s tally for the season to eight, from just 17 starters, which sees him with the highest UDR of a trainer in the country who has had more than 10 starters for the season. Matt Markham

Grass track three-year-old trots might not be the traditional path to Group One success, but today’s Orari meeting may prove to have a major impact on the age group for the remainder of the season. A lot of that lays with which version of exciting young trotter, Enghien turns up. If the best version arrives on the green surface, then the race should become a fait accompli - but if he doesn’t, things become a little bit like open slather. Last season’s two-year-old colt and gelding trotter of the year has produced a mixed bag so far in his three-year-old season with a stunning fresh up win at Addington late last year, undone with a late gallop when looking likely in the Hambletonian Classic at Ashburton earlier in the month. That’s put the pressure on his trainers Greg and Nina Hope to get things sorted with the well-bred gelding. “He’s come through Ashburton ok,” Greg Hope said. “I guess we just have to wait and see which one will show up, we know what he’s capable of if he does it all right.” The son of Love You has the advantage of having placed on a grass track back when he ran second at Methven last season behind Habibi Inta - so the Orari surface shouldn’t prove too much of a foil for him. With some major assignments ahead of him, gaining confidence will be a big boost for the camp. Off the second row Enghien does have to contend with a decent field in the $10,000 event including Hambletonian runner-up Muscles Galore and last season’s two-year-old filly of the year, Di’z Luck. The Gavin Smith trained filly was very good fresh up at Rangiora and with natural improvement and a good draw she may prove to be the horse to beat for Enghien.   Super Selector - By Matt Markham Race 1: Whataboyz, Moment Of Kaos, Princess Harbour, Scarlet Bromac Race 2: Sharknado, Sky City King, Master Jordy, Garry’s Legacy Race 3: Fear Rockn, Supreme Banner, Dying To See You, Enchantee Race 4: Free Bird, Tijuana Taxi, Monkey Luck, Glenis Marie Race 5: Mickey Gee, Unico Legend, It’s All Over Now, Clarendon’s Last Race 6: Shadow Galleon, Missie Castleton, Chivasion, Native’s Lasting Love Race 7: Trailer Park Girl, Jemima Franco, Crystal Slipper, Scotlyn Made Race 8: Enghien, Di’z Luck, Muscles Galore, Firenze Race 9: Tahlia Franco, Ok I’m Bad, My Cash, Star In The Future Race 10: Errol Finn, Franco Tmick, Cimarron, Wozniacki Race 11: Franco Texas, Clive, Scotty’s Image, Highview Freddy Best Bet: Mickey Gee (Race 5) Value: Sharknado (Race 2)

Nigel McGrath is prepared to take a bit of the blame for the first up performance of Classie Brigade during Cup Week.   The promising four-year-old was a, at first glance, disappointing fifth behind Chase The Dream, but his Weedon’s trainer was keen to sweep it under the rug and move on.   “I’ll take a bit of the blame for that, he was probably a little under done,” McGrath said.   “We went there with only one trial and they ran a super quick time and he was just left short a bit.   “But he has trained on super since, and that run has really tidied him up.”   That bodes well for Saturday when McGrath chucks the entire on the truck and treks south to Geraldine for the $18,500 Geraldine Cup on the grass track at Orari.   One of only a few horses last season who was capable of getting close to a rampant Lazarus, the now four-year-old has been earmarked for big things this season but does face a strong line up today.   “His form from last season looks pretty good now,” McGrath said.   “He will get better with racing under his belt too, and you would think if we can get back to where we were six months ago that he should be in for a good summer.   “What he does next will depend a lot on what he does this weekend, the Green Mile and the Ashburton Cup are both on the radar but there is a chance of going to Auckland, I’m going to wait until he’s raced before we make the decision.”   The son of Bettor’s Delight and great mare Trigirl Brigade has previous form on grass tracks having won at Methven early on in his career so the green top of the Orari course should provide no problems.   Jimmy Curtin will step up to take the drive on the stallion with regular driver, Ricky May electing to stick with the Greg and Nina Hope trained, Mossdale Conner. Curtin has the task of getting Classie Brigade to step away from behind the barrier strand for the first time in his career.   “He’s had a bit of practice at home but nothing at workouts or trials.   “I think he will be ok though, he’s a pretty sensible horse, so I wouldn’t think it will worry him too much.”   McGrath also has Maverick in the race but concedes it will be hard for him off the back mark.   “He’s crying out for some relief from the handicapper, we are on the same mark as Mossdale Conner.   “At the moment he is really well, but we just need a bit of a let up to make us really competitive.”   The Geraldine Cup has drawn a cracking field with Brilliant Strike, Mossdale Conner and Quick As A Trick all coming out of Cup Week Group One features.   One who might slip under the guard is noted grass track performer, Johnny Eyre.   Fourth in the Methven Cup behind Smolda, the Mike Brown trained pacer looks tailormade for an assignment like this.   Super Selector - Matt Markham Race 1: Trouble Giero, Chevron Express, Prince George, Time For Diamonds Race 2: Beach Skipper, Franco Tmick, Dream To Reality, Bettor To Be Tricky Race 3: Augusta, Handsome Hero, Run Boy Run, Likely Jereme Race 4: Franco Texas, Buster Brady, Superfecta, Torrid Bromac Race 5: Young Stranger, Everybody Knows, All Star Angus, Gershwin Race 6: Myidealson, Magical Mitch, Rozzano, Honour The Bet Race 7: Ready To Fire, Alta Teresa, Le Vado, My Blue Heaven Race 8: Ruakapuka Ruler, Christopher Banner, Ariadne Lavra, Crackabella Race 9: Johnny Eyre, Mossdale Conner, Classie Brigade, Quick As A Trick Race 10: Amaretto Sun, Harrysul, Valmagne, Belle’s Son Race 11: Rocknroll Legend, Real Torque, Mrs Browns Boys. Mysistersastar   Best Bet: Augusta (Race 3) Value: Johnny Eyre (Race 9)

As many will be aware prior to the late November 2015 date for the Harness Racing Club, it would appear that the grass track at Orari had been sprayed with a chemical that badly affected the grass cover in parts of the home straight and the bend going out of the straight.   Whilst the Club have tried to find out what exactly happened to the track, they have also been proactive in repairing the surface as quickly as possible. HRNZ Track and Venue Manager- John Denton has been in constant contact with the Club in relation to this.   The Club direct drilled the track immediately following the November race date to establish new turf in the affected areas. Unfortunately there are still areas of the track where the grass seed has not established itself leaving prominent dry patches which are not consistent with the rest of the track.    The worst affected areas are 100m prior to the finish line and then 50m past the finish line with the majority of damage on the running line. After consultation between RIU Stewards, John Denton, Club officials and HRNZ , it has been decided the best course of action to allow the meeting to go ahead is for the pylons to stay out from the point of the passing lane(2.4m) and remain so until the apex of the bend out of the straight.    This will have the effect of providing a better racing strip for the horses and eliminate the need for them to race over the majority of the affected grass area. This will also result in the Club racing this meeting only without a passing lane.    This decision has been made in the interest of safety and to allow the Club to run the meeting on their home track.    The Clubs November race date was very successful and they look forward to another fantastic grass track meeting on 31st January.   Stacey Markham Marketing & Communications Manager | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Geraldine Trotting Club president Lochie Marshall fears more acts of senseless vandalism could hurt the Orari based club and industry participants. A section of the Orari track, approximately 80 square metres, was sprayed with a grass killing chemical in the lead up to last Saturday's meeting. Police could not be reached on Saturday but it's understood they are investigating the incident and are yet to charge anyone. The club fears further attacks could come before its next meeting and is urging anyone with any information to contact it or the police. Marshall believes the section of the track was likely sprayed around a week before the meeting by one or two people. Test results, that could be back this week, should confirm what chemical was used. Because of the size of the area and its location on the course, the club believe there was definitely malicious intent. "It's a serious act of wilful damage," Marshall said. "It's obviously someone who has got a vendetta against the club to go to that much effort. Whoever did it knows exactly what they were doing because they targeted the winning post and right in front of where the camera's film from." Usually a one meeting a year club, Geraldine has secured a second meeting on January 31 and the club holds concerns similar attacks could come in the days before the meeting so will be looking to beef up security. Surveillance cameras were in operation but did not bring any conclusive evidence as they are not focussed on the track. "We never thought we would have to worry about someone trying to sabotage the track," Marshall said. Stipendiary steward Shane Renault walked the track on the Wednesday before the meeting and said the area concerned looked like a dry patch but by Saturday it was much worse and in his opinion it was clear the area had been sprayed with some type of chemical. The condition of the track has further deteriorated since the meeting. "If they had of sprayed it a week earlier we wouldn't have been racing on it," Marshall said. He confirmed the track has been direct drilled and the club's annual Christmas trials may have to be ran at a different venue. Thankfully because the patch of baron earth was such a large area horses did not shy away from it and because the ground surface was not damaged, the meeting was not interrupted. Marshall said the attack on the club was absolutely gutting after receiving nothing but praise after the meeting. The club had worked tirelessly on sponsorship to secure a minimum $10,000 stake and every runner was paid $200 for starting - a considerable outlay given the fields were almost all at capacity. Trainers and owners have been glowing with their praise of the club. Many volunteers had given significant amounts of time to get the picturesque grounds of the complex looking picture perfect. Track vandalism is nothing new in racing although it is rare. Back in February 2012 around 120 lead head nails where spread across the Ascot Park track in Invercargill. An anonymous telephone tipoff 90 minutes before racing was due to start led to be the discovery but the offenders were never identified. In November 2011 the Foxton Racing Club was the focus of four arson attacks in 10 days. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ    -    Check site here

Two grass track specialists have combined for a massive boil over win at the Geraldine Trotting Club's annual meeting. Junior driver Jessica Young has found the best in Karanga Red Fantasy to win the final race of the day at $73.40 for the win. Trained by Donald Jones at Greendale, the 6-year-old Red River Hanover mare out of Beaudiene Fantasy, has been struggling for form in her current preparation but was back to the real Karanga Red Fantasy at the Orari Racecourse. Given a charmed run by Young, Karanga Red Fantasy let down in the straight to run past the field and win by one and a quarter lengths with her last quarter in 28.8 on the grass track. It was Karanga Red Fantasy's first win in 53 weeks and the first time Young has sat behind her. Raced by Jacqueline Jones, Karanga Red Fantasy is lightly raced but now has a more than handy record of six wins from 26 starts. Five of those wins have come on the grass. Young's strike rate on the grass is phenomenal and she only enhanced her reputation on Saturday with a winning double. She picked up a winner earlier in the day with the Dean Taylor trained Franco Texas in the junior drivers race. All Stars stablemates Alta Ronaldo and Itz Bettor To Win picked up the quinella in the Geraldine Cup ahead of Brilliant Strike. Natalie Rasmussen moved Itz Bettor To Win up three wide to roll to the front with just under a lap to run before handing up to stablemate Alta Ronaldo and Mark Purdon. Just a long neck separated the stablemates with a further half length back to Brilliant Strike. Valmagne picked up the tenth win of his career for trainer Josh Kennett in the same race he won 12 months earlier. Tim Butt pulled off the training performance of the day with Bettor's Delight mare Millies Creek broke maidens in just her third start with a half a head victory in the fillies and mares maiden. Her last start at the races was way back in January. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ   -   Check site here

It is not often you can go to a harness racing meeting in New Zealand and see a free legged pacer but yesterday at Geraldine Justasip strutted her stuff without the aid of a pair of hopples. The daughter of Bettors Delight has been prominent in all her four starts this campaign without the hobbles with a neck second at Oamaru her best result before yesterday. Settling four back in the running line from her second line draw, Justasip peeled four wide at the top of the straight and finished over the top of them late to claim a narrow but impressive win. Driver James Geddes was not surprised with yesterdays effort.. "Since we took the hobbles off in early November she has really turned the corner." " Her three runs before today all had merit and I don't think that will be her last win," James said. After qualifying well at three, Justasip had been very disappointing in the seven starts she had last season. This time in she again went terribly at her first start back at the trials so James decided to change tack with her. "I was about to quit with her but dad kept reminding me of how well she had qualified and that we should try something different with her," "We decided to use her as a galloping pacemaker but all she would do was free leg the whole time." "I took her to the trials free legged and she ran third at the first one and then won the second so I knew we were on the right track, " James said. James always had it in the back of his mind that Justasip would break without the hopples on at some point  but to date it hasn't happened. " She hasn't looked like making a mistake to date and is pretty foolproof really." " I did toy with selling her when she won a trial without the hopples but I am glad I didn't now." "Really all the credit should go to dad who knew she was a lot better than what she was showing, "James said. Free legged pacers are a rarity on the New Zealand harness racing scene with most trainers having doubts about how solid they will be but as Justasip showed yesterday,sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. Harnesslink Media  

All harness racing enthusiasts eyes in Australasia were focused on Menangle this weekend especially for the staff at Kentuckiana Lodge in Canterbury. Their stable pin up boy Christen Me was looking to end a mini drought for Kiwi trained horses in the $750,000 Miracle Mile and looked a huge chance after a perfect draw. Cran Dalgety and Dexter Dunn were there in Sydney but on the local front the stable had a handful involved at the Geraldine meeting held at Orari yesterday and the last thing they needed to do was to take their eye off the ball with the boss away. This years $20,000 Mainfreight Geraldine for C4 and faster pacers drew a great field of intermediate grade pacers with a lot of the lower grade stars of Cup week involved. Representing Kentuckiana Lodge was Mighty Flying Mac who was handicapped off 20 metres in the 2850 metres standing start event. Away slowly for reinsman Matthew Williamson, Mighty Flying Mac settled in the last couple early as first Karanga Red Fantasy and then Bio Marinus set the tempo in front. Following the well supported All Star stable runner Meticulous everywhere he went, Mighty Flying Mac was still at the tail of the field with 400 metres to run but still hard on Meticulous's back as they turned for home. Peeling wider as they straightened, Mighty Flying Mac fair flew the last 100 metres to grab Meticulous for a very impressive victory. It was the 10th lifetime win from start 46 and along with 20 placings took his earnings to $144,753. The 5 year son of Mach Three paced the 2850 metres in 3:40.8, a mile rate of 2:04.6 with closing sectionals off the front off the front of 59 and 28.9 which Mighty Flying Mac would have bettered by quite a margin coming from last. It was driver Matthew Williamson's 21st winner for the season and he currently lies fifth on the New Zealand drivers premiership. Matthew knew that he had to bide his time with Mighty Flying Mac during the race. " With the race being run at such a solid clip I knew I had to be patient." " I was itching to go as he was traveling so well but I was following the right horse and being patient was definitely the key to the win," Matthew said Matthew knew Mighty Flying Mac would finish the race off in style. "He went super during Cup Week in very strong fields and the stable was happy with him." "Cran's horses are always ready to run," he said While Mighty Flying Mac is just a notch below the elite level horses, give him a run like he had today and he is a big chance to add to his winning tally in the future. Postscript - High class 3 year old Art Union made it a double for the day for Kentuckiana Lodge when he took out the last at Gerdaldine yesterday and then later in the evening in Sydney Christen Me was at his brilliant best as he beat the best in Australasia in the $750,000 Miracle Mile. Harnesslink Media    

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