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Westwood trainer Graeme Anderson reached a personal best training tally of 33, for this season in a solo capacity, with the wins of Azalea and Sweet As at Forbury Park on Thursday night. He is the top strike rate trainer in New Zealand with a UDR of .4747. His small team has raced 99 times this season. Azalea and Sweet As are among 16 individual winners during the season for Anderson, spearheaded by Eamon Maguire, who won seven races and $81,455. Anderson won 35 races with Amber Hoffman as a partnership in the 2010/11 season. His previous best on his own was 31 last season. Azalea was having her fourth start for the stable after being purchased six weeks ago by the Sue Ping, Bratk and High Hopes Racing syndicates. The four-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight and In Bloom had twice minor placed in four starts for trainer Jamie Gameson. In Bloom is the dam of winners Noddy, Blue Mint and Brindy, her three other foals to race. In Bloom is a daughter of In The Pocket and the great mare Blossom Lady, the dam of Mister D G. Sweet As joined Anderson after finishing fourth in a claiming race at Forbury Park a week earlier. She won two for Templeton trainer Peter Robertson and two for Southland trainer Alan Paisley. “She (Sweet As) just loves the place,” said Anderson referring to his beach training facility. Hoffman produced To Ri Alby to win in his first race for 13 months. “He has had three surgeries on his near front leg after he tore a tendon," said Hoffman, who trains on the beach at Waikouaiti. The surgery was carried out by veterinarian Peter Gillespie, a member of the In The Black syndicate, who lease To Ri Alby. Gerald Cayford, president of the Forbury Park club; Tony Gow, a committee member, track manager Ken McFarlane and Michelle Scarf are also in the syndicate. To Ri Alby, now a six-year-old, had two third placings in three starts before he went amiss. He is by Badlands Hanover from Carmel Maria, whose four progeny to race have been winners. They include Second Wind (10 wins) and Precious Mach (nine). Alan Clark, the Washdyke trainer-driver broke a drought when the two-year-old trotter Imperial Whiz was successful at his 24th start. Clark had not won a race since The Fiery Ginga was successful at Addington in October, 2014. Clark and his wife, Fiona bred Imperial Whiz, a half-brother by Imperial Count to Anothersuperstar (seven wins). Rocknroll Magic returned to Mosgiel with his owners Syd and Shona Brown after an eight and a half length win. The half-brother by Rocknroll Hanover to Len Smith Mile winner Field Marshal, will now be spelled. Trained by Tim Butt, Rocknroll Magic has won three of his nine starts. “Field Marshal has travelled well and settled at the Gold Coast stable of Shannon Price," said Syd Brown. His next start in the $50,000 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on July 8. Pat Campbell led through the $10,000 Final of the Sprint Series (1200m) in the hands of Jessica Young. Jackalack Sue won the final of the claiming series with the favourite Elusive Flight out of contention after breaking a hopple early in the race. Paul’s Verdict, trained 800km away at Blenheim by Sandra Mounce, led for most of the way to post his fifth win. “We came down for the Marlborough meeting at Addington on Sunday and decided to continue to Dunedin," said Sandra’s husband, John, the owner who accompanied Paul’s Verdict. The Mounces operate the One Tree Lodge motel and sponsored a race at the Marlborough meeting. Blazing Under Fire was back to his best with a dashing win. His trainer Phil Williamson has won 42 races for trotters this season. Springbank Eden has been sold out of the stable and he will do his immediate racing at Menangle. He won 10 races for owners Alistair and Denise Smith. Tayler Strong

The form of Clifton Tactic is hard to go past in race 10 at Forbury Park on Thursday night. Clifton Tactic has won three times in the past 12 months, including her last two starts.Two of those wins have been at Forbury Park and one in track record time for a mare of 2.40.6. She overcame a second line draw on that occasion suggesting she could cope with drawing seven on the front tonight. Sands Of Love, well beaten at Invercargill last Saturday when 3/6 favourite, has the chance to make amends from barrier two. Matt Anderson is making his play for the junior drivers premiership with drives tonight, Auckland tomorrow night, Ashburton on Saturday and Invercargill on Monday. His drives tonight are Duchess Grace (race 4), Fatherdantherodeoman (r6) and Go Getta (r7), Duchess Grace ran fourth last time out. Fatherdantherodeoman, who is having his first start, won a trial at Gore on May 24. He is now trained there by Tony Stratford after qualifying for Terry and Glenys Chmiel at Rangiora in December. Go Getta, who is in the race for junior drivers, won at Forbury Park last month. Anderson has won 19 races this season and he is chasing Rory McIlwrick, who leads the juniors with 32 wins. Anderson has been engaged for the Tim Vince-trained Drover’s Eyre in Alexandra Park. Armori, Azalea and War Horse, workout winners at Forbury Park  on Sunday, are worth attention tonight. Azalea (r3), a good fourth fresh up at Forbury Park on May 11, is now trained by Graeme Anderson. War Horse, a newcomer to the Amber Hoffman stable, begins afresh in the first heat of the sprint (1200m) series. Armori has an ideal opportunity in race 4. Tayler Strong

Brad Williamson has chosen to drive Majestic Man in the 2-year-old trotters section of the Harness Jewels at Ashburton on Saturday. Brad was given the choice of drives by his trainer father, Phil, who also Springbank Lachie and Majestic Connies in the race. Brother Matthew is driving Springbank Lachie and another brother, Nathan will take the reins on Majestic Connies. “It was a tough decision. They are all good horses. I drive Majestic Man and Springbank Lachie at home,’’ said Brad. “Springbank Lachie was a bit sick after his last start second (eight lengths behind One Muscle Hill in the Yearling Sales Final) but he seems right again.” Brad (22) drove Springback Lachie to impressively win the NZ Trotting Stakes and Majestic Man to a last start win the Sires’ Stakes Championship. He has driven Majestic Man in two other wins from four starts. Matthew drove Majestic Connies in his last start win at Invercargill. He was also aboard BJ Lindenny, runner up to Majestic Man in the SS race. Brad (22) has had four drives in the HJ with his best effort a third on Monnay when there was a section for 5-year-old trotters at Ashburton in 2013.   Trainer Graeme Anderson was pleased with Eamon Maguire after driving him to win workout at Forbury Park on Sunday in preparation for the 3-year-old pacers section of the Harness Jewels. Eamon Maguire led for the last 1200m and he was not extended to return 2.44 for 2200m (mobile), the last 800m in 58.1. He finished a length clear of stablemates Elusive Flight and Sovereign Banner. “It was just what he needed. He is very well and on target but couldn’t have got a worse draw (nine – the outside of the front line),’’ said Anderson. Eamon Maguire has made his mark among the 3-year-olds this season with a dashing win in the Southern Supremacy Stakes final, a third in the NZ Derby and second in the Sires Stakes Sophomore Classic. Break Dance, who has not raced since she won at Alexandra Park on April 28, won a workout at Ashburton on Saturday. There is a race to suit the Amber Hoffman-trained mare at Invercargill on Saturday week. War Horse, a newcomer to the stable, won a workout at Forbury Park on Sunday. Tayler Strong

Harness racing trainer Graeme Anderson probably remembers Barry McGuire singing The Eve Of Destruction. The Anderson trained Eamon Maguire wasn't on the eve today, he was out there destroying some pretty nice three year old colts and geldings in the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park.  After sitting back early, driver Dexter Dunn moved the Art Major gelding forward with 1400 metres to run to sit parked outside leader Major Hippie. At the 450 mark Dunn urged Eamon Maguire forward. At the top of the straight he had Mongolian Storm on his back. But then in a spurt of speed he was gone and headed down to the post to win by four and a half lengths. Mongolian Storm was second and Whittaker, which was taken back by a tiring Major Hippie, got going again to run third.   Returning to his winning owners and trainer          - Photo Bruce Stewart. The win caps off the geldings fine form. His third in the Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Derby proved a reliable guide to his winning of today's feature. “Always a bit of a worry coming back from the Derby but he obviously has handled it. He doesn’t take any work so it makes it easy. He's never missed a beat. As Bart Cummings said once 'when you get there don’t change anything.' One quiet hopple run in three weeks is all he’s done to get here,” said Anderson. His time of 3-19.1 equalled the race and track record held by 2009 Supremacy Stakes winner Highview Tommy. The time was just .1 of a second outside Sushi Sushi's  New Zealand record of 3-19.0 recorded at Alexandra Park in 2011. It's the second time Dunn has driven the winner of the Supremacy and the Southland Oaks on the same day. His last 'double' came in 2012 when he drove Gaylee's Delight to win the Oaks and Texican to win the Supremacy.  “I said to Dexter today you're the world champion so I’m not going to give you any instructions. He drove him nicely but the horse was just a class above them in the finish.” Eamon Maguire has strong Southland connections with Anderson and co-owner Steve Pulley growing up in the province while another owner Pauline Gillan resides in Winton.  Winning owners with sponsors           -  Photo Bruce Stewart  They share in the ownership with Brian Sceat, Ray Chalklin and Tony Gow. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Eamon Macguire delighted his trainer Graeme Anderson with his third in the New Zealand Derby and it made him the horse to beat in Sunday's Alabar Southland Supremacy Stakes at Ascot Park. “It was a beautiful drive by Jonny Cox and the horse capitalised on it, not all can,” Anderson said, “you never know when you step them up but he proved he's a group one horse. It was a tough run and took him a few days to get over but he's back now in good order and his work shows he's ready.” The disappointing aspect for Anderson is the 10 draw in the 10 horse field. He doesn't know what will happen at the start but is confident driver Dexter Dunn will make the right moves. “When you've got a world champion its no use me worrying,” he said. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen produced Heaven Rocks to win the Supremacy last year at his fourth start and are trying to go one better this year with Major Hippie. An easy winner on debut three weeks ago, Major Hippie had just his second start last week. Hung out wide early, he was pressured when he made the lead but good enough to hold on.  “It was a great effort,” said Purdon, “he was entitled to be tired but the reports are he is doing well. He doesn't have to lead but then he's probably not the horse others would want sitting outside them.” Drawn just inside Major Hippie is the Mark Jones rep Whittaker who is unbeaten in his two Southand starts, clocking 2:40.7 over 2200 at Ascot Park and 2:59.8 for 2400 at Wyndham. His second to Mongolian Hero at Rangiora last week will have him ready for a top run on Sunday.  Despite being the right age, Mongolian Hero didn't qualify for the Supremacy having not raced in Southland since his success on this day last year in the Diamond Creek Farm Two Year Old Classic. However, he will be running in the last of the day. As well as having a leading hope in the Supremacy, Jones has one in the Nevele R Stud/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks in the form of Delightful Memphis. A winner of the group three Caduceus Club of Southland Two Year Old Fillies Classic on Ascot Park last year, the daughter of Bettor's Delight continued her unbeaten run in the south winning on Wairio Mobile day in 1:51.9. She backed up a fortnight later from a stand in the 2400 metres Winton Businesses Cup, clocking a national record for females of 2:55.5. Regular driver Blair Orange was aboard for those wins but was at Alexandra Park the night of her next start at Addington. Although one of New Zealand's best was unavailable, Jones had the luxury of calling on a past World Champion and drove her himself. In a small but select field in a Nevele R Fillies heat, Delightful Memphis sat parked for the last 700 metres and failed by just half a length to get past Partyon.  That run, her competitiveness against the best throughout her career, and her draw on Sunday of two, make her the horse to beat. However, Seaswift Joy and Bonnie Joan are also well credentialled and their presence makes the Oaks the race of the day. After arriving in the south last spring and winning her way through the grades, Seaswift Joy ventured north for a Nevele R heat in the rain at Methven. One of her scalps that day was Delightful Memphis - the gap between them seven and a half lengths. Seaswift Joy was placed in her next three, behind Spanish Armada and Delightful Memphis in a heat at Addington, Delightful Memphis on Wairio Mile Day, and Bonnie Joan and Somejoy in a heat at Forbury Park.  Too soon to write her off though. At Ascot Park last week, from the outside of the front line. Seaswift Joy came over the top of a good field of all ages to win in 2:41.3. As an Oaks preview, her co-trainer and driver Gordon Lee was thrilled. Back in January, Seaswift Joy won over a mile at Wyndham in 1:54.2. Runner up, half a neck back, was Bonnie Joan who subsequently won a mile of her own at Ashburton in 1:52.8. Then, on the same day Delightful Memphis paced 2:55.5 from a stand at Winton, Bonnie Joan went 2:53.8 from behind the mobile. The Tuapeka Lodge-bred and owned filly, winner of six from nine, hasn't raced since her Nevele R heat win at Forbury Park but according to her trainer Cran Dalgety, is ready for a big one. “She just has to hold her form rather than improve but there are three strong chances and which one, your guess is as good as mine,” he said. “The 2700 shouldn't worry her, her mother was a stayer and the filly ran a quick time winning at 2400.”   Mac Henry

Westward Beach harness racing trainer Graeme Anderson is having the season of his life with winners coming as regularly as his quick wit. Yesterday at Ascot Park he geared up three of his team for two impressive wins and an equally impressive second. Without a doubt with 28 winners on the board so far this season and with the fire power he's got he's easily going to beat his previous best training record of 35 which he recorded in 2011 with Amber Hoffman. All Star Magician which is owned by Trevor Casey, Neil Pilcher and Anderson got the ball rolling in race three. "He (driver Dexter Dunn) drove him a wee bit differently today. They thought he'd come out so they (other drivers) hunted to get the trail. Last week he sat parked and did the biz. I thought he could do that today but he (Dunn) decided to teach him how to race. He sat back and they ran a 26 quarter and he's come from six lengths off the lead so he's gone pretty well," said Anderson understating the talented three year old's performance. All Star Magician storming home to win by a neck                         - Photo Bruce Stewart. The Art Major gelding was initially trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen before being sent south to Anderson.   "They had six or seven three year olds that were better so the owners sent him to me. He's getting better every day and learning his trade. There is a bit of interest in buying him so if he's not bought he'll go to the Supremacy Final but I'm pretty sure after today he'll be sold."  Anderson says horse and trainer haven't always got on but things are a lot better now.   "He hasn't been easy and it's been a bit of a task for me. He had a big stable attitude and was a bit smart at times so we agreed to disagree for a while but now we're friends.He's a lovely horse to have." Even more impressive was Anderson's other three year old Eamon Mcguire. He drew seven behind the gate and was forced very wide going into the first bend when The Honey Badger and Envious locked wheels, disrupting a large portion of the field.  "Unbelievable today. When you get forced wide losing fifty metres going around that first bend. That was just phenomenal today. They've gone 2-39. That's just crazy and he didn't even pull the ear plugs." At the turn commentator Dave McDonald, like others watching the race, thought the Art Major gelding was flat and may not pick up the leaders Rakarolla and Jimmy Mack. But Anderson was always confident.  Eamon McGuire getting up to beat Rakarolla                                - Photo Bruce Stewart. "The great thing about him is that he can zip out of the gate if you want him to but then he'll relax and drop the bit." His time of 2-39.8 was a new track record for three year olds. It betters the 2-40.0 he recorded on Invercargill Cup Day in January this year.  So now the talk is centring around the New Zealand Derby at Addington.  "Yeah he'll go to the Derby. There's the Flying Stakes over 1950 metres as a lead up then after the Derby the Supremacy and The Jewels I guess. Obviously he's got to step up in class but he doesn't have to go a whole lot better to be competitive."  Eamon McGuire has now won six of his eight starts.  Anderson's other runner Titan Banner ran second to Ears Burning in the Northern Southland Cup and was a victim of circumstances in his race.  "He began too well and decided to have a dig and got keen. Another horse would have run fifty yards last and he almost won today. I was a wee bit annoyed with the situation initially but on reflection it was an enormous run." He has some big races on his radar in the next month or two.  "There's two races at Addington before the Easter Cup and I'm not too sure which one we'll go to."  Anderson's UDR record this season is .5671 - 65 starters, 28 winners, 12 seconds and 6 thirds for stakes of $143,790.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Captain Dolmio's dominating group three Summer Cup win at Addington last month points to him being the horse to beat in the $40,000 Yaldhurst Hotel Northern Southland Cup at Ascot Park on Saturday. His previous two outings had also been in group threes and hadn't been that bad either. First of those had seen him just edged out by the McGrath pair Classie Brigade and Ears Burning in the Central Otago Cup and the next by Classie Brigade alone in the Invercargill Cup. At Addington, Classie Brigade was among the tidy line-up chasing Captain Dolmio and with from some notable individual exceptions, Saturday's Cup field doesn't have the same depth. Most notable of the exceptions is Titan Banner who was superb when winning last Saturday's 3200 metres Wyndham Cup in 3:58.9 after starting off 50 metres. The win was a credit to the conditioning skills of his trainer Graeme Anderson and there is no doubt he will have him ready for another top run. This, despite the seven-day back-up after a couple of months away from racing. However, the New Zealand Cup placegetter will be giving Captain Dolmio 20 metres at the start and even in a small field, that will be a big ask over just 2700 metres this weekend. Last year's Northern Southland Cup runner-up Costa Del Magnifico has been a tad below his best this campaign. From the same mark as Titan Banner, he looks unlikely to threaten the top two. While certainly a trifecta chance, so too are Ears Burning and Luciano. Since running sixth in Harriot Of Mot's group three Prydes Easi-Feed Southern Lights Trot at this meeting 12 months ago, Bordeaux has competed at the highest level. Fourth in the Dominion in November, the six year old had his most recent outing at Alexandra Park in the group one National Trot. From back in the pack at the 800. Bordeaux worked hard to get in contention and clocked 3:20.0 for the 2700 metre mobile, failing by just three quarters of a length to overhaul Quite A Moment. He was given a trial at Rangiora on Wednesday a week ago and after running in the pack mostly, stretched out nicely the last bit to ready him for Saturday.  Eyre I Come returns to Ascot Park for the first time since failing in this race in 2015. He is a previous winner at 3200 metres and has won his latest three starts including the group three Summer Free For All at Addington last month. Although the six year old gives Bordeaux a 10 metre start, he won't make it easy for him. Dual jewels winner King Denny also failed in this race in 2015 and has had injury problems since. There will be plenty of interest in his performance, and that of up and coming Wyndham winner De Vito. The group three Alabar New Zealand Caduceus Club of Southland two year old fillies Classic brings together three Canterbury and four Southland runners, all but one not seen before on raceday. A trial at Winton on Wednesday a week ago showcased three of the southerners with Shawami Lass, after trailing the leader to the turn, running home best to win by three and a half lengths in 1:59.6. However, Excellent, a trial winner back in December, was hard held on the back of Iwanadancewitsumbody when fourth and appeared to have more to show. Nice trials by Dizzy Miss Lizzy suggest she may be the best of the Cantabrians. Mac Henry

Rory McIlwrick, the leading junior driver this season, notched his 100th on Thursday night at Forbury Park when he drove Och Aye The Noo.   McIlwrick drove Hopes And Dreams to win earlier in the night. He rated the trotter Och Aye The Noo well in front over 2700m and she lasted by half a head from favourite Brads Kenny in a blanket finish. It her first win for 21 months.   McIlwrick took Hopes And Dreams to the front at 1000m over 2200m after starting from the second row and she held on by three parts of a length.   Och Aye The Noo is trained at East Taieri by part-owner Martin Denton, a loyal supporter of McIlwrick. Denton has just been appointed the club representative on the board of management of the Forbury Park club.   He replaces Geoff Knight, who remains the vice-president. Trainer Graeme Anderson is back on the committee and Stephen Pulley, has also been co-opted to the committee.   McIlwrick (24) has won 26 races this season, 14 more than his nearest rival, Matt Anderson. It is equal to his best tally of last season.   McIlwrick stood down from driving in June when he reached a total of 74 wins in order to remain junior driver this season and pursue the premiership title.   A total of 75 wins would have elevated him to the ranks of open drivers. He drove his first winner, Tactical Attraction at Ascot Park in December, 2011.   Anderson, the trainer of Hopes And Dreams, also won with Bakari and Delighful Jay to give him a 100 per cent record for the meeting. The performance of Bakari was outstanding as he raced in the open over 2700m, hung in and went keenly.   Delightful Jay has another five weeks racing in her present campaign after clearing maiden ranks. She was served by Washington VC on December 16 and she is permitted to race for 120 days from that date.   She was having her second start and first for Anderson when she overcame a second line draw. She improved to outside the leader at the 1000m in the 2200m (mobile) and drew clear in the run home.    Her owner Brian Anderton, who races the 4-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight – Jay’s Glen with the estate of Bryan Kennedy, is planning to return Delightful Jay to work after she has foaled.   “I will put her back in work after the foal is weaned,’’ said Anderton, also the co-breeder and operator of the White Robe Lodge thoroughbred breeding and training establishment at North Taieri.   Delightful Jay is a half sister to New Years Jay (by Washington VC) who won eight races and took a record of 1.54.6 for the same owners before she was mated with Bettor’s Delight, her last service on December 30.    The 9-year-old did not conceive and Anderton is toying with bringing her back into work.   Delightful Jay is the last of nine foals of Jay’s Glen, a Roydon Glen mare.   Dexter Dunn drove Bakari and Delightful Jay. He also won with Aveross Don and Expresso Martini. The 3-year-old trotter Aveross Don led for most of the way.   He is trained by Andrew Faulks for Dunedin breeders Ross and Averil Pettit. Aveross Don is he first foal of Earl Aveross, who did not raced due to injury.   She is by Earl from OK Aveross, who won seven, the first as a pacer. The OK Bye mare had only one surviving foal.   Rozzano won at her second start for Wyndham trainer – driver Craig Ferguson when she led all the way.    The 5-year-old Lis Mara mare was bought a month ago by Ferguson and Amanda Tomlinson (for daughter Sheree) from Peter Toomey. Rozzano had nine minor placings in 30 starts for Toomey.   The addition of blinds worked the oracle for Southern Lights, who was successful at his fourth start after racing wide. He is trained by Peter Hunter for Gary Preston, of Queenstown and the Fly Under The Radar syndicate.   The 3-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding is on lease from breeder Mandy Davis. Southern Lights is the first foal of Southern Sun, a Thunder N Lightning mare who won nine races, all in Southland.   Tayler Strong

Graeme Anderson, the leading strike rate New Zealand trainer this season for those with more than 20 starters, will be out to enhance his record at Forbury Park on Thursday night with Delightful Jay (race 2), Hopes And Dreams (race 7) and Bakari (race 9).   Anderson advanced his score to 23 wins from 59 starters when Titan Banner and All Star Musician were successful at Wyndham last Saturday. His strike rate is .5273. Both those horses and stablemate Eamon Maguire are engaged at Invercargill on Saturday.   “I am happy with them all. Delightful Jay is an unknown having her first start for us,’’ said Anderson, who trains on the beach at Westwood, near Dunedin.   Bakari (race 9 )has been freshened since he last raced in December. He won at Forbury Park late in November in his first start from the Anderson stable. The runner up that night, Royal Bengal carried on to win at Gore and Roxburgh. Bakari was placed in his two subsequent starts in December before he was freshened.   Hopes And Dreams (race 7) was a winner two starts back at Waikouaiti then finished second to Break Dance at Winton. She has won at Forbury Park.   Her owners Neville Cleaver and Kevin Strong also have Gangnam Style in the race. Gangnam Style should be the better for his race at Wyndham last Saturday when he finished fifth after becoming awkwardly placed. He won a double at Forbury Park during the winter and carried on to win at Addington.   Delightful Jay, who has not raced since November, finished two and half lengths from Titan Banner in a two-horse trial at Forbury Park on February 18.   Brads Kenny (race 8), unbeaten in two starts at Forbury Park, is in the right order to extend his record there. The Phil Williamson-trained trotter has been minor placed in his three starts since he won at Forbury Park on February 2. He started a fresh campaign with a nine and three quarter length win at Omakau in January.   Brads Kenny has had his racing restricted to 11 starts by a knee ailment.   Bear’s Rest, who has won twice at Forbury Park, shares the 20m handicap with Brads Kenny.   The 3yr-old filly Madison Jane is among four horses Williamson has engaged in race 5.    The others are Bobbins, Pyramid Monarch and Jeddy R Ya Reddy. Madison Jane was freshened after finishing third at Invercargill on January 28. She had won fresh up at Roxburgh earlier in the month after a win at Forbury Park in July.   The Williamson stable won heats  at the Washdyke trials on Wednesday with Pyramid Magic and Bet’s Commando.   The 3yr-old filly Bet’s Commando has not raced since July and Pyramid Magic has been off the scene since he won from a 60m handicap at Invercargill in November.   Trainer Aaron Swain has sounded a note of caution about Expresso Martini (race 10), a standout on form and assessment in the claiming race.   “He could be a run short but his class should carry him through,’’ said Swain, who took over Expresso Martini (11 wins) after he was successful in a claimer at Invercargill on January 23.  Expresso Martini ran fourth in a workout at Wyndham on February 4.   “A stone bruise popped out after his workout which could have accounted for his showing. He had to miss a week’s work.”   Tayler Strong

Eamon Maguire set Invercargill Cup day alight by breaking the mobile 2200 metre three year old track record for males, held jointly by Cup candidates Costa Del Magnifico and Heaven Rocks. A three year old son of Art Major, Eamon Maguire led from the outset in the opening event the Zilco Products Mobile and paced the trip in 2:40.0, shaving a tenth of a second off the previous record. From the family of Changeover, he was purchased at the 2015 premier sale by his trainer Graeme Anderson and Wendy Muldrew for $34,000. Anderson has retained a share in Eamon Maguire and races him with Brian Sceats, Ray Chalklin, Stephen Pulley, Tony Gow and Pauline Gillan. The win added another $6600 to the gelding's earnings putting him well up the qualifiers table for the Southern Supremacy Stakes. He was the first of two winners for Dexter Dunn whose second was a record-equalling one aboard Betta Go Fernco in the Arden Lodge Robin Dundee Crown Mares Mobile 1700. Sent out from the outside on the front line, Betta Go Fernco was soon in front and despite being pestered by RR Sand Dollar across the top, held firm to the line. She stopped the clock at 2:01.4, matching the previous best by a female, Raksdeal in 2014. It was the second win in a row for the mare, trained by new-comer Aaron Swan who said a change in regime was helping. “I was working her a bit much and she was getting tired, I just jog her between races now,” he said. “She recovers so well and has blossomed, having Dexter helps too.” Swain said 2400 metres is closer to her best distance and a place in the Country Cups final was his aim. However, she has already qualified for the Southern Belle Speed Series and he is likely to look that way as well now. Foo Fighter on debut was all the rage for the SBS Bank 2700 but his trainer and driver Nathan Williamson said he wasn't confident after the preliminaries of getting away safely from the stand-start. Williamson had deliberately targetted the big money for his first start and the 2200 metre mobile had been an option. “The 2700 distance suited and although the stand was a question, the field wasn't as strong” he said. “I gave him practice before the race and he wasn't good but he went away ok.” The American Ideal three year old was initially trained by John Earl who took him to the trialling stage in partnership with wife Juliet and the gelding's breeders Karen and Ben Calder. Nathan Williamson drove the gelding to qualify for Earl in April and later, some of his good clients bought into him. Juliet Earl and Karen Calder remained and were joined by Williamson's wife Katie, her mother and grandfather Raewyn and Alan Jones, along with Neville Cleaver, Kevin Strong and Syd Slee. “The Northern Southland Futurity is his next aim,” Williamson said. Dark Horse provided Williamson with a second trainer-driver win taking out the Brendan Franks Farrier Trot in emphatic fashion. She is out of Juliana, making her a half sister to Monty Python and Father Christmas who finished second and fourth in the race. Williamson got a third driving win on the Brett Gray-trained Young Conqueror who is raced by Robert and Sharyn Symon. They owned last year's Southland Oaks winner Nek Time and hope Young Conqueror is the horse to give them the Supremacy Stakes this year. With three wins from four starts, it is far from a forlorn hope. Gray produced a second winner when Brent Barclay guided Jimmy Mack from the outside of the second line to win the PGG Wrightson Pace stylishly. A winner on the course in June for trainer Peter Hunter, the Washington VC gelding was subsequently purchased by Butterworth Racing and having his first start since. Whittaker sat parked for most of the 2200 metres McKnight & Brown mobile and reeled of a last quarter in 26.9 to give trainer Mark Jones and driver Samantha Ottley the first of two wins on the day. The three year old son of Sportswriter was a private purchase last season by Greg Brodie and won on debut. His latest run was in a non-tote four-horse Breeders Crown heat at Addington in which he finished second to Pacing Major. Second winner for the Jones-Ottley combo was Ariadne Lavra, group-race placed on the track last season at two and a winner at the Riverton meeting there in October. The filly went off 20 metres in the 2700 metre stand-start contest and sat parked for much of the second half of the race. Ottley said the way the races were run, being parked wasn't the worst place to be and both were comfortable and relaxed. In addition it said something about the pair that had previously been “a bit unknown”. “They are both nice horses and we knew they had high speed,” she said, “it showed they've got the all round game.” Gordon Lee took Moment Of Sun, back marker in the 2700 metres Invercargill Workouts Committee Trot to the front early in the race and she looked the winner a long way out. It was an overdue sixth win for the consistent mare, owned by Lee's wife Betty and Brian Church of Riversdale. Mac Henry

The return to racing under claiming conditions has Expresso Martini a standout at the Oamaru Harness Racing Club meeting on Wednesday. Expresso Martini, the winner of nine races and assessed at C6 is competing against C1 to 3 horses in the mobile 2600m (race 10). He is in the field courtesy his $6000 price tag. The last time the Graeme Anderson-trained Expresso Martini raced under similar conditions was at Washdyke on November 19 when he won by five and a half lengths. His stablemate Eamon Maguire will be all the rage in race 9. The 3-year-old winner of three races and second in his two other starts, has had the chance to freshen since he was runner up at Forbury Park  on October 23. Cable Beach, a fresh up winner in a smart 2.55.6 for 2400m (mobile) at Ashburton on December 26, could step up a grade in race 7. A Somebeachsomewhere 5-year-old entire trained by Paul Court, Cable Beach was having his first race for seven months. He won at Addington from five starts last season. American Spirit, a good third last time out in the Roxburgh Cup, has been scratched from race 7. “He has just not come through his Roxburgh race as well as I would have liked so I will just back off him,’’ said his trainer Darryn Simpson. Jonny Cox has taken over the training Prestine, who is to race at  the Nelson meeting on Friday and Sunday. Bill Roberts, who has been training Prestine, fractured ribs in a training accident. Prestine won first up at a Nelson meeting in June, 2014 when trained by Tim Butt. Prestine has been placed in her last three starts. Mossdale  Conner, who returned to winning form in the Roxburgh Cup on January 4, has the Invercargill Cup next on his programme. The Greg and Nina Hope –trained Mossdale Conner will be handicapped on 30m for the $32,000 race over 3200m on January 28.He started from 40m in the Roxburgh Cup and added to his handicap at the start. Stablemate Quite A Moment, winner of the group one National Trot on December 31 is booked on a flight to Melbourne on January 25. She has the Dullard Cup at Melton three days later followed by the Great Southern Star. Quite A Moment has gained 10 or her 16 wins in Australia. She won the group three Lenin Free-For-All at Melton last February and finished third to Speeding Spur and Glenferrie Typhoon in the Great Southern Star. Tayler Strong

Eamon Maguire, who was desperately unlucky when beaten at Gore last Sunday, is a standout in race 8 at the Tuapeka Harness Racing Club meeting at Forbury Park this Sunday.   Eamon Maguire had won his three previous starts, two of them at Forbury Park. Dexter Dunn is back  in the sulky of the Graeme Anderson-trained 3-year-old.   Eamon Maguire was checked and tangled after 300m at Gore, then  recovered to lead at the 1400m.   He left stride again at the 300m when a hopple carrier strap broke. He was not comfortable but rallied to run Bettor Ops to half a head.   Anderson and Dunn, who teamed to win the Tuapeka Cup last year with Titan Banner, have Sovereign Banner, a fine prospect for the race on Sunday.    Sovereign Banner was not disgraced when run down by Robyn’s Bad Boy in a mobile 2200m at Gore.   He has won five of his six starts. Sovereign Banner is unruly for his first standing start race.   Robyn’s Bad Boy had won his previous start from a stand and has to be respected.   Stunin Dude, who won the Kurow Cup at Oamaru in August, is in contention.   He was freshened by trainer Paul Court after finishing second to Arden’s Concord at Oamaru at his last start on September 11. He finished second  to Christopher Banner in a workout at Motukarara last Saturday. Stunin Dude has won at Forbury Park with Blair Orange his driver.   Captain Dolmio has not raced for five months but he has had four workouts in a fresh preparation, three in Southland and the most recent at Rangiora when a close third for John Dunn. A winner in a  1.56.1 mile rate for 2600m (mobile) at Addington in April, he could surprise.   Susies Desire confirmed a workout win in fast time when runner up to Pembrook Ideal  at Forbury Park on Thursday night.    The Big Boss, who won twice from four starts last season, is ready to  resume in race 9.  He ran second to Tas Man Bromac (nine wins) in a workout at Invercargill on October 15.     Tayler Strong  

The 3-year-old filly Pembrook Ideal led home a procession at Forbury Park on Thursday night when having her first race.   Pembrook Ideal led for the last 1600m of 2200m in a field of fillies and mares and won by a  length  from Susie’s Desire with eight and a half lengths to the third horse and 14 3/4 lengths to the fourth placegetter. Pembrook Ideal ran the 2200m (mobile) in 2.44.7, a 2.00.5 mile rate, the fastest of the night.   Trained by Cran Dalgety, she is by American Ideal from Dudinka and raced by her Kaiapoi breeders Wally and Gwynneth Power. She is a half sister to the winners Dudinka’s Cullen, Dudinka’s Beau, Dudinka’s Star, Dudinka’s Christian and Dudinka’s Angel. Dudinka’s Cullen won 41 races – six in NZ, three in Australia and the remainder in the United States where he took a record of 1.52.4.   Pembrook Ideal is the last of nine foals produced by Dudinka, a Save Fuel – Liminka mare.    Pembrook Ideal  was left in the care of trainer Graeme Anderson at Westwood for a fillies and mares race at Forbury Park on Sunday.   Anderson had a hand in  the winners Motu Time To Shine and Four Starzzz Special  on Thursday night, both driven by Dexter Dunn, who drove Pembrook Ideal.   Anderson is the trainer of Motu Time To Shine, who led and came again after being headed a length at the 350m. Anderson said he would decide in the next two days if he would start Motu Time To Shine on Sunday. She is in the same race as Pembrook Ideal.   Four Starzzz Special, who led over 2200m has been  in the care of Anderson for the past three days.   He is trained at Amberley by Kevin Chapman for Brent Cusdin. Four Starzzz Special is by Four Starzzz Shark and the first foal of Special Pocket, who won two races for Martin Brereton. Chapman had  good success with the Four Starzzz Shark entire, Four Starzzz Flash and won races with another progeny  of the same sire, Four Starzzz Shiraz.   Glenstone, a $6000 purchase by Carl Nordqvist, of Methven at the 2014 premier yearling sale, cleared maiden ranks with an all-the-way win.  The Stonebridge Regal – Glendowan mare is trained at Waikouaiti by Amber Hoffman.   Belmont’s Greatest who was passed in for $1500 at the 2013 premier sale, won a C0 trot for Ashburton trainer David McCormick and his wife, Liz. They leased the son of Great Success – Florika from Timaru breeder Donna Williamson. Belmont’s Greatest is the first foal of Florika (Britewell – Jenola Bay), an unraced sister to Uncle Petrika and Neville Vaughan.   Uncle Petrika won the 2003 Interdominion Final in Adelaide and a Great Northern Trotting Derby.   Neville Vaughan numbered a Greenlane Cup among his 10 wins in NZ and he won another 23 races in Australia.     Tayler Strong

More The Better, Two-old Pacer of the Year,  is primed and drawn to resume racing on a winning note in a heat of the NRM Sires’ Stakes at Forbury Park on Thursday night. More The Better, who has not raced since winning the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June, ran Titan Banner to a nose in a workout at  Ashburton on  September 27, the last 800m in 56.5. Titan Banner has won 10 races and he is a nominee for the NZ Trotting Cup. More The Better has drawn one, which has provided the winner of four of the seven Sires’ Stakes heat winners at Forbury Park since the distance was changed  from a mile to 1700m (mobile) in 2009. More The Better is  trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, who trained the 2013 winner, Alleleluia. More The Better was outstanding as a 2yr-old with  six wins from 10 starts. His other major race victories were the Sires’ Stakes Final  and Yearling Sales Final at Addington and the Cardigan Bay Stakes in Auckland. The Purdon- Rasmussen stable also has Ultimate Machete and Spondulicks in the Sires’ Stakes heat on Thursday night. Ultimate Machete ran More The Better to  half a head in the HJ and won a heat of the Sires’ Stakes at Addington in March. Ultimate Machete won a workout at Ashburton on September 27, the last 800m in 57.2. He has has drawn the outer in a six-horse field. Spondulicks, who is having his first start, qualified in 3.05.5 for 2400m (mobile) when second at Ashburton on September 20. He won a workout there a week later. Mongolian Hero, a winner fresh up at Addington on September in a C2-4 race could make his presence felt. The Paul Court –trained colt won a heat of the Young Guns series at Alexandra Park in February. Eamon Maguire (race 8) and Torrid Bromac ( r7) are top chances on a nine-race programme. The Graeme Anderson-trained Eamon Maguire was a first up winner at Forbury Park in July and he returned after a break to succeed at Invercargill on September 17. Torrid Bromac won over 2600m (mobile) in track record time of 3.11.8 for all ages at Oamaru in May, one of his five wins from the West Melton stable of Steven McRae. Torrid Bromac is now trained at Woodend Beach by Regan Todd. “His owner felt he (Torrid Bromac) would be suited at the beach and I am pleased to have him,’’ said Todd. “He has had a couple of trials and was just nabbed by Expressive Victor in the second  of them. Expressive Victor came out and won last week.” Todd had hoped to give Torrid Bromac another run in company at Rangiora last Wednesday but he settled for a workout there with well performed trotter Habibti when the organised workouts were abandoned. Matt Anderson, who has won 46 races, combines with Torrid Bromac in the race for junior drivers. Zenmach is among those opposing Torrid Bromac. The Geoff and Jude Knight-trained Zenmach won five races between July and November last year. He was put aside in March after his form slumped. He ran second to Captain Dolmio in a workout at Gore on September 24. Tayler Strong

Arden’s Concord is now in the Papakura stable of Tony Herlihy after changing hands. The 5-year-old son of Panspacificflight- Madam Maroussia gelding  won six of his 18 starts for Westwood trainer Graeme Anderson, Brian Sceats and Wendy Muldrew.  Arden’s Concord has won  his last two starts, both at Oamaru. His most recent win was under difficulties when a hopple shortener pin did not release. One Over Da Moon, winner of two of his three starts this season for Herlihy, is back with Paul Nairn at Leeston for a South Island campaign. One Over Da Moon won eight races when trained initially by Nairn. The Majestic Son entire has carried on to win another 13 races, the majority with Herlihy. Highview Illusion who was claimed out of the Anderson stable after his last start win at Invercargill, is now with Bruce Graham at Charing Cross. King Kone has his first start since joining the Roxburgh stable of Geoff and Jude Knight at the Northern Southland meeting on Saturday. He will be driven by his new part-owner, Genevieve Crawford, a junior with the stable. The Earl gelding won two races at Forbury Park during the winter when in the care of Craig Buchan at North Taieri for Brent Borcoskie.   Tayler Strong

Graeme Anderson is a confident bloke and he always seems to have the horse power to back up his certainty. The Westwood Beach trainer looks to have the strike power this season to be a potent force in the southern training ranks and with top reinsman Dexter Dunn and junior driver Rory McIIwrick on board he looks to be in for a good season. Highview Illusion started the Anderson trifecta when he ran down stable mate Elusive Flight to win the claimers race. The five year old, bred by Highview Stud was passed in at the 2013 sales for $14,000 and was given to Anderson to train. He later purchased the Better's Delight gelding and from twenty starts he's won three races and run numerous placings. He was claimed after today's win and will do his future racing in Canterbury. Highview Illusion (10) about to collar stablemate Elusive Flight at the top of the straight Photo by Bruce Stewart   A race later, the Anderson name was to the fore again when quality three year old Eamon Maguire remained unbeaten, winning The Lincoln Farms Mobile Pace. It was the Art Major gelding's second career win. His first was last season as a two year old when he won on his home track of Forbury.  "He's still a little bit immature so we're going to take our normal patience policy. He's quite fine boned but he is getting there. He's got high speed and he's got all the marks of a good horse as long as the trainer waits on him," said Anderson. He was a $34,000 purchase at the sales and is from the same family as Changeover. He was syndicated just prior to his debut.  "There's a Sires Stakes heat at Forbury on the 6th October and I'll give him a chance in that. I'm not saying he's a Sires Stakes horse because he's only had a couple of starts. Normally these races are won by those good two year olds from last year. But it's at home and a $22,000. race. He's eligible so he might as well have a crack." In today's race Eamon McGuire drew the outside of the front row. He was caught five wide on the first corner. At the 1600 metre Dunn speared the hot favourite forward to take the lead and from there he was too good, beating Better Than Most by two lengths. "He wanted to leave the gate but Dexter eased him out and went round to the front and got a soft kill. Probably the slowest time of the day but you get the same prize. Dexter likes him a lot." Eamon McGuire returning to the birdcage                             Photo by Bruce Stewart   Meanwhile in the 'Thanks Davey Mac for the 40 years' Mobile Pace the Anderson trained Sovereign Banner resumed where he ended last season. On a winning note.  "He's come back a bigger horse. His work and trials showed me that it's been a good spell and I expected him to win today." He didn't get it easy with That Cat challenging the favourite all the way in the parked position. Sovereign Banner had a length and a quarter to share from Jabali at the finish. "He's a big strong going horse. The good thing about his Gore trial was it was slowly run and he ran a 26.4 quarter - something he hadn't been giving in his last campaign so there's been natural improvement."   Anderson certainly has more stock to keep the season interesting.  It looks as though the promising Arden Concord has been sold but Invercargill trainer Matt Saunders is developing three two year old colts for Anderson by Big Jim, Betterthanchedder and Art Official. Simply Dreaming (Art Official - Simply Devine) is a half brother to Start Dreaming which was place in the Great Northern Oaks and Harness Jewels. Lucca Radich (Betterthanchedder - Saccha Maguire) is from the same family as Eamon Maguire while Midnight Party (Big Jim - Isabella Anvil) is a half brother to Mighty Major.  "We couldn't afford to buy the Art Majors and Better's Delights this year so we went for the different sires. But all our buys are from good dams."   Rory McIIwrick, commentator Jason Teaz, part owner Brian Sceats and trainer Graeme Anderson - Photo Bruce Stewart.    Bruce Stewart

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