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I went to school with Graeme Anderson. We were in the same class at James Hargest High School in Invercargill back in the early 70’s. I can tell you first hand that the Turf Digest was the most read book he ever opened in those formative years and I can tell you he was in charge of the sweepstake on Melbourne Cup day – not that he got my money. He always had talent on the sports field too whether it was cricket or rugby and he always had an air of confidence about him. Those attributes have been well utilised to carve out a successful sporting and harness racing career. Graeme caught the racing bug at a young age through his connection to Riverton; his father Bill lived there for some of his life. “Riverton was a big thoroughbred area in those days and Dad’s sister ended up marrying Jack Cleaver. Jack trained a very good mare back in the sixties called Shangri-La. We would always go to the Easter races at Riverton. It was a family thing and mum would buy us new clothes. Other members of the family didn’t love it so much but I got hooked from a young age,” he said. Shangri-La’s many wins included the 1961 Winton 80th Anniversary Cup ridden by Rodney Marsh, the 1961 James Hazlett Gold Cup and the 1962 Wyndham Cup when ridden by Graeme Wright carrying 9lb 6oz. She was by Kurdistan out of Mystic. Kurdistan left 256 winners including Bagdad Note the winner of the Melbourne Cup, and Sydney Cup victor Gay Master. He also left versatile gallopers like Eiffel Tower, Kumai and Koral. Anderson was a pretty good rugby player as well. He played for the first fifteen at Hargest, was part of a successful Star senior side that won a few Galbreith Shields and also played for Central Pirates near the end of his playing career. “It was a bit of a change. Out there, there were Skinners, Browns, Deverys and Hunters. Brent McIntyre also played for us as well as Craig Hamilton. Wayne Adams played and coached us so there were plenty of harness boys.” He also played representative rugby for Southland. “We beat the Aussies in 1978 and French in 1979. Players like Leicester Rutledge, Ken Stewart, Brian McKechnie and Steve Pokere were around. One day we had seven to eight All Blacks playing for Southland so that was a pretty good side. There were also great trips away on the bus and a lot of the boys had a racing connection.” Later on, he had success as a coach, winning three Dunedin Rugby Premierships with the Taieri prems. “We started with nothing. We had a great group of managerial staff. I think fifteen of those boys played for Otago. There was Hayden Parker, Charlie O’Connell and Kieran Moffatt. We had a lot of high class players.” Some of that knowledge he gained throughout his rugby career he adapted in his horse training business. “I use a lot of the sports ideas when training.  I like to keep the legs fresh before playing rugby on Saturday. If you knocked yourself around on a Thursday or Friday you’d have dead legs. So with racehorses you get them fit the week before and just leave them alone. We do heart rates all the time and keep a comprehensive diary.” Although initially interested in gallopers he was also keen on the trotters and ventured into harness racing through Southland trainer Gary McEwan. “He taught me to drive and use a watch properly. He got me a trip to America on the horse plane. I went over with Donny Hayes. We stayed in California back then which was the centre of harness racing. It had three or four tracks. I had about six weeks over there and met a whole lot of people and that started my buying and selling career.” In the early years he also worked with Central Otago trainer Murray Hamilton. “We had a business together which didn’t last long. We shipped horses on the boat out of Bluff.” Early on Anderson also formed a good working relationship with legendary Gore galloping trainer Ted Winsloe. “I was training Standardbreds when I had Whisper Jet (galloper) and Ted had a few Standardbreds as well so I’d train his trotters and he trained my gallopers which was a nice arrangement. I ended up working a few (thoroughbreds) up. We got a few down from the North Island and had a bit of luck with them. It’s a bit tougher now (training gallopers). You can’t get the staff and the horses I used to buy at the South Island Sales have tripled in price. I’m not saying I won’t get another one but you just need to have the right people to work them.” One of the first pacers Anderson owned was the Fernside Bachelor gelding King Red. He was bred by John Higgins and trained by Bryce Buchanan. Fernside Bachelor was an unraced stallion by Bachelor Hanover out of Queen Ngaio. Queen Ngaio left good pacers Waratah (8 wins) and Trio (16 wins). King Red’s win was at Forbury Park in October 1988 and was the first winning drive for Doug Buchanan. “He was a claiming horse. We claimed a few back in those days. We’d take them to Addington because there was no racing down here in the winter. Tank Ellis and Tony Stratford were working for me back in those days. We used to have some great trips and we’d carry on to the Nelson and Blenheim circuits.” Anderson officially started training on his own account in 1998 and his first winner was Connor at Oamaru in October driven by Clark Barron. He also trained Ando’s Prospect to win three races. She later became a good source of winners for him leaving Southern Boy (5 wins), Southern Prospect (5) and Bonvoyage which won two races for him and another nine races in Australia. He ran second to Monkey King in a heat of the Interdominions at Harold Park in 2010. Another horse Anderson owned and trained was Good Prospect. By Son Of Afella out of Majestic Chance mare Karma, Good Prospect won three races and provided junior driver Belinda White with one of her six career winners. At that point he was mixing training with a fair bit of travel. “I was selling a lot of horses to Perth to guys like Greg Harper. One of the Australian guys decided to buy yearlings and leave them with me. I tried to farm them out but ended up buying a property at Rimu and building a big barn and doing them myself for him. Because I was also travelling a bit and selling I was only doing it when I was at home. “ At that point Tony Barron started to work for Anderson after a stint with Barry Purdon. The high point of Anderson’s buying and selling came in 1985 when he purchased Jay Bee’s Fella and Arden Meadow. “They quinellaed the 1986 West Australian Derby. They were two Son Of Afella’s I sent away to Greg Harper. That was the catalyst for me doing a lot of buying and selling of horses in Australia. On my trip to America I met a couple of boys from Perth who were over there trying to do the same thing. They’d run out of money. I didn’t have much but I lent them a couple of hundred bucks to get them home. They said that they would ring me. They did and it was through them that I sold Arden Meadow and Jay Bee’s Fella.” After Rimu, Anderson moved out to Winton where the success continued and he was able to train gallopers there. Xstream was one thoroughbred he trained there. He owned the mare in partnership with another harness trainer Allan Beck. She was good on dead to heavy tracks and won three races (all in a round), ridden each time by Riverton jockey Kerry Taplin. “We had success with Xstream, Carver (3), Feel The Heat (3) and Dusty Girl (5).” Anderson says training thoroughbreds gave him a good insight into training the modern day pacers. “We train pacers like thoroughbreds now. They’ve all got five or six generations of American blood in them and they just don’t take a lot of work.” After Winton he moved to Cambridge where he continued to train gallopers and travelling around Australia and Asia. In 2003 he headed back south and set up at Wingatui and from there re-established himself as a harness trainer at Westward Beach, adding another dimension to his training regime. “We’re lucky we’ve got the beach. It’s almost a three mile straight run. Sometimes it’s very difficult to work there but you’ve just got to get up and do it. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The other night we got home at 6:30pm in the dark because of a late tide. We don’t have a track so we can’t cheat ourselves. We just have to get out and do it.” He says horses get bored with just running around the same training track and the beach provides a different environment every day as the surfaces and vista changes with each tide. “You can do different things with them. We ride a few and canter a few. We have a couple of secrets when we work them which I’m not going to tell ya. If a horse is on R n R, he may have a paddle or trot in the sea for half an hour rather than work.” His Westward Beach stable isn’t flash – it doesn’t have any barns or boxes so the horses live outside. “They’re all out in the open. They’re all sand yards. It was Brenda Harland’s old place. She hadn’t trained for a long time and it was by fluke that I ended up there and I’ve never left. There are shelter sheds and plenty of trees and loopins to get their bums backed into. They’re all double rugged. With the sand hills around us it’s a lot warmer than you’d think. ” He actually came across the facility when he took a thoroughbred that had cut a leg in a fence to the beach. “I went out there to give it a bit of sea water treatment. That’s how I came to training at Westward Beach.” Since then his success rate in training horses and resurrecting careers has been outstanding. “95% of them you can improve but there’s 5% you can’t help. As long as they want to be with us we can help them.” Despite having a straight line sand surface it’s surprising that Anderson doesn’t train too many trotters. “This is a great environment for straight line training and we should have more trotters. They by pass me a go to Phil Williamson’s (laughter).” Anderson also likes to adopt a completely fresh approach when taking on tried horses. “We take off all the gear, ignore everything they’ve done before and start again. We have our tests. They’ve got to work a certain time and to have a certain heart rate at the end of that to know if they’re any good.” It’s also been noticeable over the years that a lot of his horses run without an over check. “That came from West Australia. I went over there and the great trainers like Fred Kersley, Greg Harper, Ray Duffy and the likes never had over checks and the horses were really relaxed and muscled up in the front. I came home here and saw guys pulling their horse’s heads up and the horses would be throwing themselves on the ground. I got criticised in some quarters when I did it originally because it wasn’t the done thing but there’s a few copying me now so I’m happy about that.” In recent times he’s gathered around him a loyal bunch of owners who have raced some of his better horses. Names like Brian Sceat, Ray Chalklin, Tony Dow, Stephen Pulley, and more recently Pauline Gillan. “They’re loyal but we’ve had a bit of success which helps keep them in.” And in those early years he trained for the much famed Essemdee (Sunday Morning Drinkers) Syndicate who raced gallopers Carver and pacers Ballindooly and Eb’s Fella. “It’s all fun when those guys are on the job.” Two of his best horses have come along in the last five years – Titan Banner and Eamon Maguire. “Titan was a tough horse but wasn’t as fluent in his gate as Eamon. Eamon has that high speed and beautiful gait and that helps you go a long way.” Eamon Maguire after his Supremacy Stakes win at Ascot Park   - Photo Bruce Stewart King Kenny is one of the few trotters he’s trained. “He came to me with a high suspensory problem. Then he went again then I got him back. When he was sound he was just a beast. He could work better than any of the pacers could. He could have been anything if he hadn’t succumb to an injury as a young horse. We never saw the best of him.” King Kenny won nine races from just twenty seven starts – two for Tim Butt and seven for Anderson. Anderson was also one of the first trainers to use World Champion reinsman Dexter Dunn and that partnership has proved formidable particularly at Anderson’s home track Forbury Park. “I remember the first day he drove. It was Front Page Girl. Cran had it and I was looking after it. He said to me he had this boy who had come back from Australia to work for him and the clients won’t put him on so he sent him down. I’d never met him. I said to him this horse will probably win tonight. He said ‘Mr Anderson this horse has been breaking at home.’ Big Stephen (Stephen Pulley one of Andersons owners) said to him ‘listen son, if Mr Anderson says it’ll win it’ll win.’ That’s how it started. He came down here as a junior and had a hell of a strike rate with me. I’m rapt to think that I was one of the catalysts for him being famous. We have that association and understanding and don’t have to say one word.” Dunn’s first winner for Anderson was the aptly named Dayinthepub on 19th June 2008. The winning margin was seven lengths. Dunn has driven 111 winners for Anderson as a solo trainer and 51 for Anderson and training partner for four seasons Amber Hoffman. Included in that tally were five winners on one night – Forbury Park 16th June 2011 when the Anderson/Dunn partnership scored with No Courage Russell, Grace Rex, Terrorway, Raven and Tom and Grace. Terrorway was one of the really good horses Anderson’s trained in the last decade. He bought the colt at the 2008 Sale of the Stars for $26,000 and raced him with Brian Sceat and Wendy Muldrew. He raced five times in New Zealand, winning at every start. He was sold to Aussie in July 2011 and won his first five races there. He went on to win 13 races in Australia including the Group One $100,000 The Blacks A Flake and Group One $100,000 Cranbourne Cup. He ended up posting a 1-52.6 mile. “He was a difficult horse to get going. He never raced until he was a four year old. He was a fizzy horse so we just took our time with him. We’d turn him out, bring him back and didn’t put any pressure on him. He was a good challenge.” Another one that Anderson was able to rejuvenate and get the best out of was Belkmyster. “He arrived as a four win horse and we got him to Cup class. He was one that we had to strip everything off. He was a Mach Three and he was a bit ‘sweaty’. We went back to basics and didn’t over work him. He came from Cran’s in great order but didn’t need to be a number. He just needed a bit of individual treatment. A lot of the Mach Three’s don’t have great feet so that’s where the beach training helped. It takes away a lot of the concussion.” But its Anderson’s UDR rating that is a true testament to his skill as a trainer. In the past five seasons he’s been one of the top three UDR trainers (UDR 20 + wins in the season). In 2017 he topped the UDR rating with .4706. In 2014 he finished third behind Mark Purdon and Geoff Dunn while in 2015, 2016 and 2018 he finished 2nd behind the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Over the years Anderson has been a solid supporter of the national yearling sales. Some haven’t made the grade, but a good portion have. Successful racehorses he bought at the Sales included: Terrorway $26,000 (2008), Highview Anwell $29,000 (2011), Mako Banner $20,000 (2012), Sovereign Banner $13,000 (2013), Titan Banner $80,000 (2013) and Eamon Maguire $34,000 (2015). At this year’s sale he brought Vintage Crop (Mach Three – Queen Of The Crop) for $14,000 and Celebrating (Mach Three – Rejoicing) for $17,000. Anderson still lives at Wingatui but the property has been reduced in size and some of it’s used as an agistment farm. “It was 20 acres when we bought it but we sold 10 acres to a developer about three or four years ago. We have a house there. That’s where the horses go after they’ve raced and need rest and recreation. When they’re ready to go again we take them back to the beach.” Below is a list of wins from his best horses which Anderson trained either on his own or in partnership with Amber Hoffman. Pretty impressive. Titan Banner (13) Starsky’s Dream (9) Eamon Maguire (9) Tartan Rover (8) Yokozuna (8) Ballindooley (8) Highview Anwell (8) Blechnum Grove (7) Expresso Martini (7) King Kenny (7) Belkmyster (7) Sovereign Banner (6) No Courage Russell (6) Ants (5) Motu Moonbeam (5) True Macatross (5) Graeme Anderson has trained some very good horse flesh over the years. He’s had the ability to get the best out of horses that appeared to be at the end of their careers, and he has a good eye for young stock. He’s realised the importance of looking after a core group of owners and he’s been able to provide them with winning racehorses. His record to date is impressive and we expect his UDR to be up there for more years to come.   Bruce Stewart

Not many owners can claim to have won a New Zealand Derby, a New Zealand Messenger, and a Four Year Old Emerald. And to have had two consecutive sales toppers at the yearling sales, but that’s what Stu and Pauline Gillan of Lochiel have achieved. The Derby, the Messenger and the Emerald were all achieved this season with two horses - Eamon Maguire and Sheriff. It’s been an outstanding racing season for the couple who not only have shares in Sheriff and Eamon Maguire, but also in Thefixer, English Rose and Motu Top Mach. And between them all this season they’ve won thirteen races and stakes of $418,548. The Gillan’s sales toppers as yearlings were Titanium in 2013 and Bollinger in 2015. Stu doesn’t come from a racing background, but he says his interest was developed at an early age. “My father enjoyed his five bob doubles. He’d put the doubles on and listen to the first leg and normally miss out. Then he’d go to the pub and talk about what happened. He didn’t go to the races a lot. He went to Wingatui and Waikouaiti on News Years Day. I used to have bets (pretend) with my father and pick horses I could pronounce,” he said. Listening to the wireless in those early years also heightened his passion for the industry. “I remember as a nine year old running home from school to hear the 1954 New Zealand Trotting Cup which Johnny Globe won. We were all fans of Johnny Globe. He was a lovely black horse.” Stu was educated at Kings High School in Dunedin and loved sport. That’s where he met Phil Creighton. As teenagers they played cricket together for Albion and rugby for Pirates. “I loved rugby and cricket but I was bloody hopeless at playing them. I also played squash for years.” In later years he also refereed rugby in Southland.                                                                                           “I really enjoyed that because all you do is look after yourself while if you’re coaching you’ve got twenty guys you’ve got to try and get on the field. I got to know the Browns (Southland trainer Murray Brown and his brother Bevan). They didn’t mind helping me referee games.” Stu met Pauline in 1970 after he was transferred to Invercargill to work for New Zealand Insurance.   He subsequently worked for a number of different companies before setting up his own accounting business. “I worked for the Permanent Building Society, then got offered a job with John Harrington of Harrington and Partners. After five years the company merged with Forrest, Burns and Ashby. I was made redundant and Pauline talked me into having a go on my own. It’s good to be able to work on your own and be independent.” As an accountant he doesn’t have big flashy companies on his books, preferring to deal with the southern farming type. “I’ve got good smaller sheep farmers. I don’t have any dairy farmers because they owe too much money,” he chuckled. Pauline has been the receptionist at the Southland Hospital Children’s Ward for the past twenty six years and is also an ardent netball fan, having followed the Southern Steel and Sting since the franchise started in the old Invercargill Centennial Hall. She and her good friend Bronwyn Queale, also from Lochiel, were often first in line when it came to getting their seasons tickets. Stu’s first yearling purchase was in 1975 when he bought Scottish Hanover colt Pierre Scott for $3,000. It was out of the Thurber Frost mare Heather Frost. Pierre Scott started eighteen times for three different trainers; Hamish Hunter, Stu Campbell and Noel Creighton, without banking a cheque. “He was hopeless. Anyway the guy that bred him Roy Adam who was a Life Member of the West Australia Trotting Association, was so disappointed with the price he got (for Pierre Scott) that he took the mare home in foal (to Lumber Dream). That foal was Preux Chevalier.” Preux Chevalier went on to win forty one races in just fifty six starts and $791,331. His wins include an Interdominion Final in Melbourne, a West Australian Cup, NSW Miracle Mile and New Zealand Free For All. The one that got away!! Stu’s first winner was in 1995 when Mocca Magic, which he raced with Phil Creighton, won. She was by Vance Hanover out of the Local Light mare Mia Mocca. Trained by Greg Hope, she won another race before becoming a broodmare. Creighton and Gillian bred from her for a number of years and her best foal proved to be Angela Gold (In The Pocket) which won two races here before heading state side. She won a further twenty two races there, recording a best mile time of 1-53.0. “Phil gave me a share in her (Mocca Magic). She won at Forbury Park driven by Ricky May. Phil gave him fifty bucks unbeknown to me and I gave him fifty as well. Ricky didn’t say no to either.” (Laughter). So the breeding bug had begun. “Over a few years Phil bought three broodmares that I had shares in. 1981 was our first sale and we took a filly up to Christchurch. He’s had two or three in the sales each year ever since and I’ve had an average of one. We never made any money for many years but by selling them it kept the pot boiling.” Gillan also bought at the sales, purchasing a Bettor’s Delight colt Match Point at the 2011 Yearling Sales in Christchurch. He was out of the lightly raced Badlands Hanover mare Clijsters. Her second dam Vicario was a half-sister by Soky’s Atom to New Zealand Cup winner Il Vicolo. Vicario was a very good broodmare leaving Stunin Cullen the winner of the Hunter Cup, Great Northern Derby, Ashburton Flying Stakes, Sires Stakes Final, as well as twelve other races with total stakes of $1,493,716. Vicario also left Coburg (10 wins). “Dean Taylor trained him (Match Point) for three or four starts and said he was going to take time. Eventually we brought him down to Graeme Anderson to train on the beach. I think the beach work and more aggressive driving by Dexter Dunn helped him. I owned him with John Blakeley who passed away about a year ago. Unfortunately in New Zealand you soon get out of your class and he wasn’t good from a stand so we sold him to Australia.” Match Point won his first start at Forbury for Taylor and two other races from that stable before he was transferred to Anderson’s stable. He won first up for Anderson at Winton in March 2015. He won three other races before he was exported to Aussie later that year. In Australia he’s won another seven races and paced a mile in 1-51.6. “That was my introduction to Graeme Anderson. I’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to buy shares in three horses with him since.” Typical of his accounting background, Gillan has been calculating with these investments. From capital gained from the sale of his high end yearlings he’s reinvested in racing stock that have been up and running and with potential. That investment money has primarily come from broodmare gem Asabella. She was bought as a yearling at the 2002 yearling sales by Creighton for about $48,000 and Gillan bought into the ownership. She was by In The Pocket out of the Smooth Fella mare Bellisimo. It’s the family that has produced Jovial Jennie the winner of nine races and the dam of Happy Hazel which won twelve races including the 1989 Great Northern Oaks. Asabella was initially trained by Mark Purdon and won just two races. “She had a bit of speed but lacked toughness. She raced a bit in Auckland over the short distances and didn’t have much luck.” After her racing days were over the partnership set about breeding from her. In 2008 they sold Red River Hanover gelding Black Denim to Rob Storer for $27,500. He was renamed Code Red and won six in New Zealand and another six in Australia. The following year Dave Carville bought the mares next foal Bet On Black for $45,000 and he was renamed as well – Ohoka’s Bondy looked smart at two but was exported to Australia winless. However he ultimately won twenty two races in Australia including the $125,000 Group One Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park. Asabella’s next foal and first filly Dancing Diamonds was also sold at the yearling sales in 2010 - knocked down to Mark Purdon for $110,000. She was raced by Braeden and Caroline Whitelock. She won her first four races as a two year old and her two biggest wins were in the New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Two and Three Year Old Championship. She won $343,276. As a broodmare Dancing Diamonds has left two foals of racing age; Rock Diamonds which has won fourteen races in Australia including the Group Two Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park, the Group Three John Higgins Memorial and Group Two Westral Four Year Old Classic both at Gloucester Park. The mare’s other foal is the unbeaten Art Major filly Princess Tiffany. Her five wins include the Group One Caduceus Club Two Year Old Fillies Classic and Two Year Old Diamond at this year’s Harness Jewells at Cambridge. The following year Trevor Lindsay from Australia bought Asabella’s Mach Three filly Bluegrass Belle for $52,000. She was exported to Australia but never raced. Things were about to get even better for the Creighton and Gillan breeding partnership. In 2013 and 2015 they bred the top lot at the Christchurch yearling sales. Both out of Asabella; Titanium was bought by Emilo and Mary Rosati for $170,000 in 2013 while two sales later the same couple bought Asabella’s next foal Bollinger for $200,000. Since then Robinson Crusoe ($24,500) and Brantley ($35,000) the mare’s next two foals, have sold but are currently unraced.  Asabella’s eight foals when sold at the sales grossed $664,000 that being an average of $83,000 per foal. “She’s eighteen now and we’re very keen to get a filly out of her to carry on the bloodline. She aborted a Bettor’s Delight filly about eighteen months ago and is in foal to Art Major so hopefully we get a filly at Christmas time. Those sales (Titanium and Bollinger) gave us a bit of money to buy into pacers. Phil had a quarter share in three horses with the Kennards and he gave me a half of his quarter share in all three horses. They all won. Meticulous was the best, he was a nice horse but he had a lot of injuries.” Meticulous was the first foal by Christian Cullen out of the Falcon Seelster mare Syriana, and she’s from the famed Black Watch family.  He was bought by Mark Purdon for $100,000 at the 2012 Australasian Classic Yearling Sales.  “I love the sales. I study the catalogue every night. I’m more of a theory man than being hands on.” Since then Stu’s had shares in seven to eight horses with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. “Thefixer’s been the best. He’s back in work.” Thefixer has won six of his eleven starts, and won his last two during Cup week last November. He hasn’t been sighted since. “He got a nail in the foot at Auckland. He came back and raced at Cup Week on both days but then it got infected so we turned him out for two months.” The Gillans also bought into Titan Banner in October 2015 after the horse had won five races. He went on to win another eleven with Pauline in the ownership and finished his New Zealand career when he ran second to Vincent in the 2017 Auckland Cup. They also purchased a share in the Art Major gelding Eamon Maguire which had won two workouts and qualified before they joined the ownership.   Bruce Stewart

Graeme Anderson has proved as good as his word now that Eamon Maguire is back at All Stars and ready to embark on a NZ Cup preparation. Last season co-owner Graeme, an astute trainer in his own right, handled Eamon Maguire through his summer and early autumn preparation before transferring him to All Stars near the end of April for his northern campaign. But after the Harness Jewels win Graeme made the decision that the NZ Cup prep. would be entirely at Rolleston even if that was the more expensive option. He based that on the progress Titan Banner had shown when undergoing a full prep there for the 2016 Cup. That was ok with Mark and Natalie, especially Natalie who has a high opinion of the gelding.  Like Graeme she puts the horse first and it has paid in spades in 2018. And 2018 is not over yet **Lazarus is a 6/5 favourite for is US debut at Hoosier Park in spite of drawing the outside. The only real threat, McWicked, a 7 yo who has done stud duty is the 2-1 2nd fav.   Courtesy of All Stars Stables  

Westward Beach harness racing trainer Graeme Anderson doesn't start too many two year olds and Motu Top Mach was the first he's taken to the races since Eamon Maguire won his first start at Forbury in July 2016. "He's a natural strong wee two year old. I had his half-sister Motu Moonbeam which was a good mare for me. She's won about $450,000 in America. That was the reason I bought him. He was only seven thousand dollars so that helped," said Anderson. From two on the second line driver Dexter Dunn pushed the gelding through and was in front inside the first four hundred metres. From there it was easy with Motu Top Mach winning by four and three quarter lengths without the removable deafeners being released.  Victory salute                    - Photo Bruce Stewart.  "He's been in front in his previous start. He's got a bit of gate speed and got through from the second line today. Dexter said he wasn't concentrating last week so I put the half blinds on him today and it was a lot better. There's still improvement in him." Motu Top Mach was broken in by Mark Fuller in Christchurch. "He did a wonderful job. He came home to me bullet proof and gaited up. I get the easy part really."   He's owned by Gerard Cayford, Ray Chalklin, Stuart Gillan, Tony Gow, Steve Pulley, Anderson and the Hunter Boys Syndicate. Chalklin, Gow, Anderson and Pulley along with Stuart Gillan's wife Pauline share in the ownership of Eamon Maguire which is one of the favourites for the $150,000 Group One Four Year Old Emerald at Cambridge next Saturday.  "This is the first horse the Hunter Boys have had with me. There's fifteen in the syndicate including Andrew Hunter and David Hunter who trains the Taieri Rugby Prems (Seniors)." Anderson has had a good run with the stock of Mach Three. Other winners from the stable by that stallion have been Belkmyster, Onedin Mach and Mako Banner. Motu Top Mach is the sixth foal out of the Live Or Die mare Top Tart. Her best winner is Motu Moonbeam which won four of her five wins for Anderson before heading to America. All of her six foals have qualified and won races.   The win was great for Tony O'Neil who's part of the Hunter Boys Syndicate. He's also in the Shearasheep Syndicate which owns Unloaded which also won earlier in the day. And he's a member of the What Ever Syndicate which own Schweinsteiger which won at Gore last Saturday.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Kiwi Crusher has always had ability but the string of outs early in this season indicate she doesn’t always bring her A game. Today (Saturday) at Gore she was on her best behaviour and at start twenty three and second run for new trainer Graeme Anderson, she recorded her second win. Anderson has had the four year old Sundon mare six weeks, after she’d spend time with Craig Laurenson and Brian Norman. “She arrived in good order from Brian Normans. The straight line beach training has changed her attitude,” said stable representative Andrew Suddaby. A return to form looked immanent after she ran third at Forbury in her previous start. “She was probably one run short at her last start. Today she was pretty spot on and it was a winnable race. The pull down blinds made a difference today.” From the unruly mark on the 35 metre handicap, driver Dexter Dunn settled the mare last of the bunch. With 800 metres to run he launched her three wide. She was shunted out four wide at the 600 but came five wide with her run turning in and trotting boldly down the middle of the track. Kiwi Crusher appeared not to see Nottingham K Two coming up the inside, so Dunn had to drive her right out to win by half a length. Dexter Dunn getting busy on Kiwi Crusher (14) - Photo Bruce Stewart. “It’s definitely not her last win today but she may find the step up a bit tougher. That run today showed she’s definitely got another couple of wins in her at least,” said Suddaby. Kiwi Crusher is out of the Son Of Afella mare Cushion. Cushion was out of Evasion which was by Lordship. Evasion left Arden Meadow which won nine races, and Arden’s Dream, one of the foundation mares for Arden Lodge in Tapanui.   The win on Kiwi Crusher was one of three by Dexter Dunn. His other wins were on the Tony Stratford trained Little Rain and Betstars Blue Jean trained by Matt Saunders. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Iron horse Eamon Maguire has narrowly won tonight's Group One $100,000 NZ Messenger. Eamon Maguire showed blazing gate speed to lead early before handing up to Tony Herlihy driving Star Galleria. In the straight Eamon Maguire (Art Major-Kim Maguire) was always the horse to beat given the great run in transit he had received and he levelled up to Star Galleria and clawed his way to a half head victory.  Driver Natalie Rasmussen gave a lot of the credit for the win to former trainer Graeme Anderson. "We have only had the horse ten days," she said after the race, so a lot of the credit has to go to Graeme. "This horse is a pleasure to have in the barn, he's got perfect manners and he zipped off the gate and got that perfect trail tonight. "A few of them were getting pretty tired near the finish but my guy had that little advantage and held it," she said. Eamon Maguire paced the 2700m mobile in 3-15.7 with a final 800m in 56.2 and 400m in 27.9 seconds.  Star Galleria battled on gamely for second to give sire Art Major the quinella in the race and A G's White Socks ran home well for third.   Eamon Maguire winning the Group One Messenger Harnesslink Media

Hopes And Dreams added to her very good record when she outstayed a game Steiger in the 2017 edition of the Wairio Cup. "When they started to come at the 800 I'd had such a good run I had to come out and get going. So I worked forward and it worked out lovely. Dexter had pinched a bit of a break down the back and around the side. I knew she was a good stayer so I thought I'd get rolling from the 400 and make it hard for the ones at the back. It was 27 flat from the quarter so it did make it hard for the horses coming from the back. She hasn't got instant speed but rolling from that quarter she was pretty good," said driver Nathan Williamson. Back to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart The five year old mare by Christian Cullen out of One Dream is raced by Neville Cleaver and Kevin Strong and is trained at Westward Beach by Graeme Anderson. She has now won seven races and banked $49,400. The winning owners are Kevin Strong (third from left) and Neville Cleaver (fifth from left) - Photo Bruce Stewart. Prior to yesterday's race she was taken out on the track and warmed up by Sheree Tomlinson.  "I think she feels her joints every now and then so they warm her up the race before every time she races. It seems to have done the trick again." It's third time Williamson has won the Wairio Cup. His previous two winners were; Here Comes Soky in 2006 and Costa Del Magnifico in 2015.  Hopes And Dreams is likely to head to the broodmare paddock this season as her owners are keen to get her in foal to Bettors Delight. Cleaver is having a great season, having success with Hopes And Dreams, Sundons Wish, Franco Santino and Scarlett Lane. The cup time was 2-58.7. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

The mindset of just one rival driver could determine whether Lazarus enjoys an effortless New Zealand Cup warm up at Kaikoura today. The country's best pacer is the $1.18 bookies favourite for the $50,000 Kaikoura Cup, his final race before his New Zealand Cup defence in 15 days. After two wins in as many starts this campaign and without stablemates Dream About Me, Have Faith In Me and Heaven Rocks among his six rivals today, anything but a victory for Lazarus would surprise and cause a shift in the New Zealand Cup market. But for all its beauty, the Kaikoura track can be a nightmare for punters as its flat bends enormously favour leaders and plenty of good horses have had their journey to the New Zealand Cup run aground at Kaikoura. Today that snag could be Titan Banner, a former stablemate of Lazarus racing in wonderful form now back with former trainer Graeme Anderson. Titan Banner led in the middle stages and parked Dream About Me to win the Methven Cup two weeks ago and has the standing start manners to attempt the same today. He is very quick from a standing start and could be the first of the favoured pair to the markers. Then the question of the race will be asked. Will his driver Dexter Dunn want to stay in front and run hard over the 2400m or will he be happy to concede that role to Lazarus should trainer-driver Mark Purdon come knocking, knowing there are richer targets in the weeks ahead? If the answer is the latter Lazarus's army of punters should be in for an easy ride as the champ has never been run past in a race, so if he leads he wins. But if Titan Banner parks him out then those taking the short odds could be in for an uncomfortable last lap. As much as Lazarus is probably two, maybe more, lengths better than Titan Banner, around Kaikoura the $1.18 is too short because of that question alone. Northerners Better B Amazed and No Doctor Needed have drawn wide and probably need fast beginnings to be factors in the race whereas the remaining two Purdon-Rasmussen pacers Waikiki Beach and Piccadilly Princess are still very much on the way up. The Cup isn't the only feature today in which Dunn might play catch me if you can as he pilots free-goer Bordeaux in the $30,000 South Bay Trotters Cup. The bold chestnut is sticking to standing start races heading into the Dominion on November 17 and won this race last year with step and run tactics. With the open class trotting ranks a mess without Monbet and Speeding Spur, Bordeaux has the chance over the summer to bank some serious coin if he can stay sound and keep his manners intact and victory today would earn him valuable respect for Cup week. Michael Guerin

Harness racing driver Dexter Dunn has moved to second place on the national drivers premiership, after winning with the Cran Dalgety trained Times Stride at Addington on Friday night.  Dexter is currently sitting on 18 wins for the season, but is still 23 wins behind leader Blair Orange who has won 41 races since the season started in August. Both drivers head to Forbury today, where they each have a good book of drives. Art Major four year old, Eamon Maquire is the TAB FF win favourite ($1.95) for todays Tuapeka Cup, where he will be driven by Dexter Dunn. The Graeme Anderson trained 4yo starts off the back mark of 30m for the 2700m, where he will be having his first standing start at the races.  Eamon Maquire is being aimed at the $50,000 PGG Wrightson YSS Aged Classic for 4yo and faster pacers at Kaikoura on the 30th October 2017. __________________________________________________________________________________ The speedy Nigel McGrath trained Sheriff has been stood down for thirty days, after winning his race at Addington on Friday night. Sheriff returned to the stabling area with blood present in the nostrils and after a Veterinary examination was confirmed to be a bleeder. The horse was stood down for the mandatory 30 days. A veterinary clearance and one satisfactory trial are required prior to resuming. Sheriff won his race by more than four lengths on Friday and ran a mile rate of 1-57.3 for the 1950m mobile. He sped over his last half in a slick 56.5 seconds. Sheriff winning his race on Friday night Harnesslink Media

Titan Banner became the first Otago trained horse to win the Hannon Memorial for over thirty years, when he won the time honoured race yesterday at Oamaru for harness racing trainer Graeme Anderson. In the hands of driver Dexter Dunn, Titan Banner was hunted up early to trail second favourite Seel The Deal, who led from the start and kept up a strong pace. Turning for home Titan Banner ultilized the passing lane to lead at the 100m marker, before holding off the fast finish of his stablemate New Years Jay to win by short margin.   The Art Major gelding stopped the clock at 3-16.8 for the 2600m stand, with a quick 54.9 for the last 800m and home in 27.0 seconds flat for the last 400m. New Years Jay was superb in second running her last 800m an unbelievable 53.9 seconds to run the winner to a neck at the line. Dexter Dunn grabbed another two wins on the day when he was successful with both Debnita Rose and Michelangelo.  Debnita Rose ran a fast mile rate of 1-57.4 when leading all the way for Dunn to win her first race against a strong maiden field. Debnita Rose upset the warm favourite Tuapeka Trick who made up ten lengths in the straight when running third for driver John Dunn. Michelangelo sat parked in his win and was simply too fast for the opposition running home a quick last half in 55.4 seconds to beat Run Boy Run who had tried to lead all the way.  Titan Banner winning the Hannon Memorial   Harnesslink Media

Harness racing iron horse Titan Banner gained an automatic entry to this years Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup when he won the Allied Security Maurice Holmes Vase last night (Friday) at Addington Raceway.  A condition of the race was the winner was guaranteed a start in this years Cup and Titan Banner proved too good, winning easily for strike rate trainer Graeme Anderson. The Art Major six year old gelding was the highest rated horse in the race last night and started a hot favourite on the tote.   Driver Dexter Dunn fresh from competing in the World Drivers Championship, had Titan Banner in front early and then trailing another cup aspirant in Art Union. Turning for home Dexter hooked out of the trail and Titan Banner coasted to the line winning with plenty in hand.  The winners time was a sedate 3-21.5 with a closing 800m in 58.1 and 400m in a quicker 27.8. Titan Banner winning the Maurice Holmes Vase A race earlier the Phil Williamson trained Alderbeck capped of some good form by beating the Paul Nairn trained and Dominion bound Habibti Ivy by a narrow margin.  Alderbeck (Pegasus Spur - J D Pat) trailed for the last lap and the five year old mare was too good in the straight shooting to the lead and then lasting to beat the favourite Habibti Ivy by a nose.  Alderbeck winning narrowly Mitchell Kerr continued his remarkable run of form in the last race when he trained his seventh winner for the season from only eleven starters. Alta Shelby (Mach Three - La Joconde) was driven to the lead early for driver Matt Anderson and the speedy three year old utilised the passing lane in the straight to win comfortably from outsider Pat Cambell and Colin DeFilippi. The win propelled Kerr back to an equal lead in the trainers premiership with Steve Telfer who picked up two wins at Alexandra Park on Thursday night to also get to seven wins. Alta Shelby giving Mitchell Kerr his seventh win of the season   Harnesslink Media

Paul Nairn says a “fair handicap” has him confused going into the feature trot at Addington on Friday night. The champion trainer of trotters brings the first of his big guns back to the track this week, with Anzac Cup winner Habibti Ivy kicking off her campaign in the same race as stablemate The Foot Tapper.  As the Rowe Cup runner-up and a multiple national record holder Habibti Ivy deserves favouritism for the 2600m standing but Nairn says he can’t choose between the pair. “She is a very, very good mare and a very good stayer but it is hard to win off a 30m handicap,” says Nairn.  “So if they step and trot 3:19 or something off off the front and she has to come wide then she becomes vulnerable.” And Nairn says The Foot Tapper, who made great progress after joining his team last season, is just the type of horse to do that.  “He is really well and what he has on his side is his manners,” says Nairn. “I think he could be the one to lead and run along so I really can’t decide between the two of them as my best winning chance this week. “The handicap is really evened it up and made it fair.” Meanwhile, Nairn’s Harness Jewels winner Wilma’s Mate has just started fast work and won’t be seen until October at the earliest, with the Flying Mile at Ashburton her first main aim. Friday night’s trot is anything but a Nairn benefit, even though his famous colours -- those worn by the mighty Caduceus -- strike fear into bookmakers, with the likes of Harriet Of Mot, Hey Yo, Petite One and Arya all good enough to win under the right circumstances. The feature pace of the night sees the first steps on the path to the New Zealand Cup for last season’s third placegetter in the great race Titan Banner. Now back with Graeme Anderson after a wonderful season that ended on an Easter Cup low when he was sick, Titan Banner may not have the race fitness of some of his rivals but he has a great record when fresh.  And the reality is, while rivals like stablemate New Years Jay and Art Union are good, open class level horses, Titan Banner has won at close to the highest level so deserves favouritism.   Michael Guerin

Young harness racing trainer Mitchell Kerr holds the key for today’s Kurow pick six at Oamaru Raceway. Mitchell has two runners entered today and both are in legs of the $30,000 pick six. Both horses are red hot favourites and both horses have won their previous starts. Mitchell has Run Boy Run engaged in the last leg of pick six today. The four-year-old American Ideal gelding won easily on the Oamaru track last start and looks to have turned the corner on some previous average form. Run Boy Run will be driven again by Matt Anderson who also drove him at his last win on the course. Kerr’s other runner is The Dorchester in Leg 3 of the pick six. A very quick three-year-old by Mach Three, he is a $1.50 favorite on the fixed odds FF market and he looks like he can step up to the next grade. The Dorchester is a potential derby horse in the making and he ran fast sectionals to win his first start at Addington three weeks ago. A wet track and an outside draw look to be the only question marks in his quest to win todays race. Blair Orange will again be the pilot for the The Dorchester, and he also has chances in other legs of pick six today with Glenferrie Classic in the Kurow Cup and Sundons Flyer in the R56 & faster trot. Glenferrie Classic who starts of the front in the Kurow Cup is up against classy mare New Years Jay who is having her first start this season for trainer Graeme Anderson. James Dean going for four wins on end for trainer Leo O’Reilly is also a big chance in that leg along with the Robert Dunn trained Bite The Bullet who also ran quick sectionals on the Oamaru track last start. Sundons Flyer has been freshened and is having her first start since the end of June, but has a liking for rain affected tracks and the Sundon mare is the TAB second favourite. Earlier in the day the Greg and Nina Hope trained Benhope Rulz (Courage Under Fire-Victoria Rulz ) looks a great bet to give junior driver Ben Hope his first driving win in Race 2. Benhope Rulz has had one start for a narrow second to The Dorchester at Addington and is a $1.50 chance to win on the FF fixed odds market. Harnesslink Media

Top harness racing mare New Years Jay won her first trial back on a new campaign today at Oamaru. A lightly raced ten year old mare by Washington VC, New Years Jay has won eight of her 26 lifetime starts and is being prepared by supreme strike rate trainer Graeme Anderson. In todays trial she started off a back mark of 40m, but was still too strong at the finish winning narrowly but comfortably in 3:26.0 for the 2600m.  New Years Jay sprinted her last half in 58.7 in the hands of trainer Graeme Anderson who is putting the polish on her this season. Anderson, who trains on the beach at Westwood had a great strike rate of 0.4706 last season and is well known for having his horses fit and ready to go first up at the races. Over the 2017 season his stable won 34 races from 102 starts. His tally was a personal best training on his own accord. He had previously won 35 races in 2011 when training in partnership with Amber Hoffman. New Years Jay has not raced since winning her last race on the 29th July last year, when she won at Alexandra Park in a 1:54.9 mile rate over 1700m. On that occasion she was trained out of the Clevedon stable of Barry Purdon.     Harnesslink Media

Four Starzzz Shiraz has joined the Christchurch stable of Brad Mowbray after being claimed at Rangiora on Sunday. Four Starzzz Shiraz, who finished third to Alexy and Bevan’s Cullen, was claimed for $5000 and the rising seven-year-old will continue his racing career in the ownership of Mowbray and Christine Maynard. The winner of eight races, Four Starzzz Shiraz has been entered for the Addington meeting on Friday night. It was the third time Four Starzzz Shiraz has been claimed. He was claimed for $10,000 out of the stable of Graeme Anderson, after winning at Forbury Park in June last year, and won at his next start when trained by Brian Norman for Shane Forgie. The Four Starzzz Shark gelding was subsequently claimed for $7500 by Gerald Cayford, and transferred to Billy Heads and then Amber Hoffman. Mowbray has enjoyed his best season as a trainer with 20 wins. The three-year-old filly Delishka has won four; Ultimate Desire four and Tiger Thompson three. Delishka was spelled after finishing sixth in the Harness Jewels, and she is due back in work next week. Her West Melton co-breeder Ernie Knight, who raced her with Mowbray, his father-in-law, died last week. Delishka is the first foal to race out of Balishka, who won seven races for Knight and Mowbray. Knight bred Mister Zion (Red River Hanover – Cross Lady), who won at Group One level as a pacer (2010 South Australian Cup) and trotter (2013 Australian Trotting Championship Final). He had won two races as a pacer in New Zealand as Zion when trained by Jim Curtin. Ultimate Desire is back with her Blenheim part-owner Brent Weaver. “She is out spelling and I will bring her up for the Country Cups and then send her to Queensland,’’ said Weaver. Ultimate Desire (seven wins) was prepared initially by Weaver for two wins at Forbury Park and Ashburton. Mowbray said Tiger Thompson, winner of the listed $40,000 Sires’ Stakes Harness 5000 for three-year-olds at Addington in February, will remain in the spelling paddock until the end of August. Tayler Strong

The South of the Waitaki Winter Warmer Series wouldn't be the same without Brendon McLellan and although he is down on numbers this year, he will be represented when the first of three heats is run at Addington on Friday night. McLellan all but made last year's final his own, winning it with Mr Handleman and running third and fourth with Luciano and Vera's Delight. On the way, he also won two of the heats and one of the heat winners, Vera's Delight will be carrying the stable colours again this July. A seven-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, she finished third, first and fifth in the three heats and McLellan is looking for more of the same. “She should be competitive again,” he said. Brett Gray produced Northview Betta to run fifth in the final last year and hopes El Capitan can improve on that this year. The Elsu four-year-old has a rating of 58 and his thirds last month at Invercargill and Oamaru point to a good showing on Friday. Stablemate and rating 54 mare Machjagger will also race at Addington on Friday. Gray plans to bypass the series this week but might line her up in the later heats. His current tally of 20 pacing and six trotting winners this season places him third behind Phil Williamson (42 trotters and one pacer) and Graeme Anderson (33 pacers) on the winner's table for trainers in the region. The series is for pacers assessed at up to rating 60 as of Monday 3, July who since May 1, have been with a trainer based south of the Waitaki River. To run in the final on July 28, a horse must compete in or be eliminated from at least two of the heats on 7, 14 and 21 July. The first and third heats will be over 1950 metres, the second heat and final over 2600 metres, and all will be mobile starts. Anderson said he is down to five in work at the moment and has nothing of that rating ready. Fourth on the table is Williamson's son Nathan (17 trotters and three pacers). Gangnam Style won the first heat for Williamson last year before finishing eighth in the second and being scratched from the final. Williamson hoped to have the rating 58 four-year-old on hand this year but is not sure now. “He finished second at Forbury Park last week but it was just an average second,” he said, “I'm getting tests done and he'll only go if his health is ok. Toby O'Gara is a possible but he'll probably go to the paddock after Forbury Park this week.” Tony Stratford has rating 56 filly Jody Direen primed for the heat on Friday and unbeaten Especial in another race, before joining the series a week later. “It's just so they are not against each other the first week,” Stratford said. “I'm very happy with them, they're both quality horses and have trained up to the mark. It is their first trip away but they are both good eaters and doers.” Craig Ferguson said the second line draw didn't help No More Change at Timaru on Sunday but he was pleased with the way she hit the line and looking forward to her over 1950 metres at Addington on Friday night. He'll also have Mordecai in the race, considers the six-year-old a “run or to away” but likely to improve through the series. Ferguson will handle No More Change himself with Sheree Tomlinson in charge of Mordecai. Melina Lowe, a winner at the final Invercargill meeting of the season before missing at Forbury Park, will represent Kirk Larsen on Friday. “Her last start was in the sprint series (1200 metres) at Forbury Park and she never got into it,” Larsen said. “The 1950 will suit better, she's a rating 55 so these are ideal races for her.” Mac Henry

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