Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 61
1 2 3 4 Next »

Royal Tribute an impressive looking son of Stunin Cullen has improved on his trials third last week by winning todays 2yo qualifying heat at the Chertsey harness racing trials.   Stunin Cullen had oodles of speed and Royal Tribute looks to have inherited a fair bit of that speed judging by todays win on the Ashburton track. The colt cruised to an easy one length victory in very hot conditions for driver Ricky May. Royal Tribute ran the 1609m journey in 2-02.5 with a fast final 800 metres in an impressive 56.5 seconds with a closing 400m in 26.6 seconds. He is trained by Paul Court and owned by his father Graham who stands Stunin Cullen at Pinlea Farm Stud.   Royal Tribute running third at last weeks trial. (Todays video will be available later)   Harnesslink Media  

Breaking out on your own after a successful harness racing partnership that has lasted many years is supposed to be hard yakka, but Paul Court can be forgiven though for thinking it’s all a little too easy. The West Melton horseman, who was alongside his father Graham in training partnership for close to a decade, is making a pretty good fist of the solo training caper and yesterday, on the first day of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s Winter meeting, he picked up his first training hatrick. “It’s been a pretty dream start really, better than I could have ever expected anyway,” Court said. Yesterday’s three wins came less than 24 hours after Stunin Dude won at Forbury Park on Thursday night in the hands of Blair Orange and it was the Postman who was in the sulky for two thirds of his Friday success. Orange drove both Hypervelocity and Expressive Victor to victory while Ricky May was on board Courage To Live who won the last race of the day. “I thought that they were all good chances, but for all three to win was great. “You got to the race expecting to have a good day and often it’s the opposite.” Expressive Victor’s win in the Winter Cup Prelude was impressive. The 4-year-old mare, who was second behind Rocker Band in the 4YO Ruby at the Harness Jewels three weeks ago, overcame an early bobble to sit off the speed before unwinding brilliantly down centre track to secure victory. “The gallop was a bit of a worry, she’s usually such a good beginner. “Blair said she got a bit of a fright when the tapes went, I don’t think one on the 10 metre line was a good draw for her.” The imposing mare will start a warm order favourite on Sunday to go back-to-back on what is fast becoming her favourite track. From five starts on the Waterlea Raceway surface she’s won twice and placed on as many occasions with her only failure coming when she choked down and crashed to the deck at the Summer meeting earlier this year. Both Hypervelocity and Courage To Live will both also be in action on Sunday.   The former will have to deal with the impressive Franco Cristiano who made light work of his race track return earlier in yesterday’s programme for Robert and John Dunn. Courage To Live also has a tough ask from a wider draw, but his free going racing style means he will be on the speed at some stage in the race and that’s here he seems to race best. “He probably lacks that really high speed, but he will just keep going. “I was pretty impressed with the way he won, he looked like he could have kept going at that speed too. “He’s just got better and better each time I’ve taken him to the races.” Closely related to Terror To Love, the Jereme’s Jet colt was one of two winners for Terry McDonald who also shares owns Hypervelocity. McDonald went had the perfect day on Friday with Letspendanitetogetha, who he owns with good friend Reg Storer, finishing second to Courage To Live. While Court’s three wins was impressive, Orange’s driving talents were on full display. He won three races to go with the three he picked up on Thursday night, taking him to 117 winners for the season and 16 wins clear in second position on the national premiership which is being led by Dexter Dunn. Dunn endured a winless day at the office and will have to wait until next week to get New Zealand win No. 200 as he’s on a plane to drive Christen Me in Queensland on Saturday night and isn’t returning to Blenheim for Sunday’s meeting. Matt Markham

Former US pacer Johny Rock started his harness racing career competing against the best juveniles in North America.  He raced in the 2013 Meadowlands Pace behind Captaintreacherous and after being purchased by an Australasian syndicate made his way to New Zealand to be trained by Graham and Paul Court. The son of Rocknroll Hanover has had eight starts across the Tasman and has been placed four times with a third behind Vice Chairman in 1:51.9 the pick of his runs.  On Saturday night Johny Rock will have his first Australian start when he steps out in a heat of the Carousel at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Paul Court arrived in Sydney on Wednesday in preparation for the weekend and is interested to see how Johny Rock competes in Australian conditions. “I think he is going to be better suited in Australia than he has been back in New Zealand. There tends to be genuine speed in the races in Australia and that is probably because the drivers in New Zealand are a little more conservative,” Court said. “The horse has come a long way since he has arrived in New Zealand, he had a bit of an attitude and had to adjust a great deal to our style of racing which has taken some time but I’m happy with the transition he has made.” Johny Rock needed to learn to relax in his races on arrival. “He just wanted to run his rivals ragged when he first got here and that didn’t suit the racing pattern so he needed to learn to sit in and peel off a 26 second final quarter rather than just running flat chat and getting home in 28. “It might come as a bit of a surprise to a few who don’t know the horse that well but he is a great stayer and I’m sure we will see the best of him in Australia.” Saturday night’s race makes for an interesting comparison.  Johny Rock has banked $405,653 while his rivals combined have won $311,256. “He is only assessed C3 in Australia so he does look well placed and has drawn well but he will probably be lacking a little bit of race fitness. He will be at his best when he can race week to week which will definitely be available in Sydney.” “I’m not sure how long we will stay over for, we will play it by ear. It probably all depends on how he is racing because if he is going well and handling the conditions then it makes sense to stay.”  Greg Hayes

Harness racing can be very cruel at times with luck playing its part but leading reinsman Ricky May is still shaking his head after his drive Terror To Love yet again drew a bad marble when the Hunter Cup draw was made on Tuesday night. Fresh off drawing the outside of the gate in the Victoria Cup, Terror To Love drew barrier thirteen for the 3280 metres Hunter Cup on Saturday but Ricky is confident that the horse can play a part. "You are dictated to  a certain extent by what happens in front of you when you draw the the second line but we must be due a change of luck," Ricky said. Restrained off the gate by Ricky last week, Terror To Love settled last and was still there as they turned for home before making ground stylishly late in the piece. Ricky toyed with the idea of going forward last week before deciding to go back but felt there would be plenty of mid race pressure which of course never eventuated. This week is a lot more to Terroe To Love's liking with the standing start and the 3280 metres right up his alley and Ricky just hopes to avoid any problems early in the piece.  Even though he finished ninth last week Ricky was impressed with Terror To Love. " He felt absolutely super last week, as good as he has ever felt and that has given me a lot of confidence heading into this weeks race." " Graham  has told me he is as good as he can get him so I give him a huge chance." " He has already proven this season that he can do a lot of work and still win so the draw is not as bad as it seems," Ricky said. With his great standing start record coupled with his record over 3200 metres in New Zealand, you take Terror To Love lightly on Saturday night at your peril. PS: When contacted today for his best drive over the weekend for the weekly ringaround, Ricky quickly nominated Terror To Love as his best drive, draw and all. Harnesslink Media

The harness racing champion Terror To Love’s summer of glory is underway. The three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner was produced at the Ashburton trials and turned in a tidy performance to finish second after a false start and a slow releasing tape the second time around. Privately timed to run post-to-post in the 2400 metres in 2.56, Terror To Love wasn’t hurried by Ricky May as he finished two and a half lengths behind Jivin Cullen in the heat. The performance received a big tick from both May and the horse’s co-trainer Graham Court. “He’ll come along nicely with that run under his belt,’’ Court said. With a massive month to six weeks of racing ahead that will see Terror To Love do battle in the Victoria and Hunter Cups along with the Inter Dominion and Auckland Cup – there is still plenty of juice left in the tank. Court and Terror To Love fly to Australia later this week – taking a direct flight to Sydney for a few days before they make the eight hour trek to Melbourne which will become home for most of February. “I think he will improve a lot off the back of the Victoria Cup – which should see him bang on for the Hunter Cup.’’ Also back in action at the trials was Comeback Kid – Stig. The wonderful old trotter is defying the odds once again and staging a comeback from a seemingly career ending injury and was very good in his fresh up performance when finishing second to the talented Harrysul. Driven by Stacy Whatuira the multiple Group One winner found the lead with 1200 metres left to run and only yielded in the final stages – pleasing trainer Paul Nairn in the process. “I thought it was a good starting point. “We are taking things day by day and not making immediate plans.’’ Stig’s career was supposed to be over – but when Whatuira began working the old boy as a hack it was soon noticed that he was showing no signs of injury and he has slowly been brought back to fitness. “The leg got the all clear from our vet and we have just been taking it slowly. “I said to Stacy that it would be nice if she could at least drive him at the trials a couple of times. “Anything else that happens is a bonus really.’’ Nairn is thinking of at least one more trial or workout before he even toys with the idea of race. But it would be safe to assume that harness racing’s never ending story is set to roll on. Meanwhile, One of the few pacers to have won New Zealand’s two greatest pacing races has died. Neroship, who held the Auckland and New Zealand Cups at the same time in 1990, passed away in Canterbury last week aged 29. Trained by John Langdon, Neroship won 17 races and over $800,000 in stakes but captured our two biggest races as well as once holding the national mile record at 1:55.8. He later stood at stud. “He had been living at Dave Shadbolt’s property since he had been retired and was looked after superbly so he had a good retirement,” said owner John Webber. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

Harness Racing's millionaire pacer Terror To Love is on the slow burn while his rivals are on fire. But co-trainer Paul Court isn’t letting a weekend of remarkable performances from those rivals intimidate their camp heading into the richest five weeks in harness racing.  Almost all of pacing’s open class superstars will converge on Victoria in two weeks for the race of the year, the A$400,000 Victoria Cup, to be followed by the Hunter Cup a week later, the A$750,000 Inter Dominion and then for some the Auckland Cup.  That means in the space of 34 days the elite pacers can race for $1.9million in stakes and the big guns are already firing.  Adore Me fired the first shot when she sat parked and effortlessly paced 1:51.6 in the Flying Mile at Cambridge on Friday night before two Emma Stewart-trained pacers threw down the gauntlet to the Kiwis in Australia over the weekend.  Miracle Mile placegetter Guaranteed also sat parked before obliterating the track record in an admittedly weak South Australia Cup on Saturday night, but regardless of the standard of the opposition it was a serious win.  Then on Sunday his stablemate Philadelphia Man lived up to his huge hype by sitting parked and crushing For A Reason in another track record Horsham Cup.  So that trio are going into the Victoria Cup on January 31 in faultless form while pacing’s two greatest arch rivals Beautide and Christen Me renew their rivalry in the Bendigo Cup this Saturday.  But while all of this is happening, three-time New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love is cooling his heels in Canterbury, ready for a short, sharp Australian assault.  He hasn’t raced since a bizarre defeat in the Ballarat Cup on December 14 and won’t even start the public side of his campaign until next week.  “We will take him to the trials at Ashburton next Tuesday,” says Court.  “And then he will go straight to Melbourne and he will go into the Victoria Cup fresh.”  Court and his father Graham know that will likely leave Terror To Love a touch underdone for the first battle of the giants but they are thinking longer term.  “He is well in himself and didn’t really put any weight on when he had his two weeks off after the Ballarat Cup,” says Paul.  “And he does go well fresh so he can still be a factor in the Victoria Cup.  “But the way some of these other horses are racing it will be a awfully hard race to win and you will need a lot of luck.  “Whereas I think he will improve through that entire campaign and the week after, the Hunter Cup, is probably more his go being a standing start staying race. “Then we have the Inters so by then maybe some of these other horses who have raced over the summer might be getting a little tired and we should still be going.”  Court says while two years ago Terror To Love may have struggled with the busy racing schedule he is about to embark on, he showed he can handle it now by winning the Cranbourne Cup last month after a huge month of racing on both sides of the Tasman.  “We are happy with where we are at but we have also been watching all those other horses running fast times over the weekend and we know none of these races are going to be easy to win.  “So I think it is going to be a pretty incredible month.”   Courtesy of Michael Guerin - Harness Racing New Zealand  

One of the very few chinks in the armour of Terror To Love might just have been his undoing in Saturday night’s bizarre event that was otherwise known as the Ballarat Cup. That’s the opinion of his driver Ricky May anyway, who has come under some hefty criticism for his drive on the three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner. After the field was decimated to just four runners following the controversy that is now known as Sulkygate, many expected Terror To Love to just rock up and win against what appeared to be four horses who seemed far inferior to himself. The predictions looked correct too when May managed to flush Uncle Wingut off the fence to grab a one out one back ride home, but when Chris Alford and the Amanda Grieve trained Im Corzin Terror dashed home in just over 53 seconds it proved too much for Terror To Love to run down. May is being criticised for his decision not to put the horse in the race, just as he had seven days earlier when he wore down the Miracle Mile winning Christen Me. He’s not one to let the opinions of others worry him too much and had he felt a little different about the way Terror To Love travelled through the race things might very well of panned out different. But they didn’t and May was left feeling even more confused than what he had as he watched a good portion of his opposition disappear before the race. “He didn’t feel like the same horse that he had last week,’’ May said. “I had to chase him along quite a bit, he just didn’t really get up on the bit like he normally can.’’ And that’s where the chink in the armour comes into it. Those who know Terror To Love will attest to the fact that he isn’t the greatest of horses when it comes to trials and workouts. In fact he’s renowned for goofing around and never really putting in his best efforts. And as silly as it might sound to some, that could have been exactly what happened on Saturday night. “He felt a lot like what he does when he goes to the trials. “He knows when things are serious and he knows when it’s just a trial. “I do wonder if that’s why he didn’t feel quite as sharp, it could be.’’ May said he still felt confident coming off the back when Uncle Wingnut had applied pressure to the leader and they ran their first quarter of the last half in 26 seconds. “When that happened I thought he would be pretty hard to beat. “But he just didn’t come out and go like he can, he did work into late but by then it was too late.’’ Terror To Love will return back to his West Melton base tomorrow and be freshened up before heading back across the Tasman to tackle the plethora of riches up for offer early on next year. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

Three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Terror To Love has won a classic Group 1 Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup after a memorable battle with last-start Miracle Mile champion Christen Me. The finish to tonight’s $100,000 feature race will have harness fans talking for years – two champion horses with two superstar reinsman aboard fighting tooth and nail to the finish. But there can only be one winner and tonight it was Ricky May aboard Terror To Love, who narrowly out-stayed Christen Me and Dexter Dunn in the $100,000, 2555m event. “He’s had no luck with the draws and he showed his true worth tonight,” May said of Terror To Love, who paid $3.10 on the tote. Terror To Love took off to sit outside of Christen Me mid-race and the pair kicked well clear of the field as they headed towards the home turn. Once in the straight it was clear the star Kiwis had it between them, Terror To Love slowly but surely reigning in Christen Me before sticking his head in front right on the line for a remarkable victory. “He’s been at his best all the way through. He might have been just down a wee notch for the (New Zealand) Cup,” said May. “We decided the only way we had a show of beating him (Christen Me) was to try and out-stay him.” May’s tactics worked a treat, Terror To Love proving too strong for the gallant runner-up, who was odds-on favourite, with a further 20m back in third place to Flaming Flutter, who enjoyed a cosy run on the leader’s back throughout for trainer/driver Geoff Webster. The winner’s mile rate was 1:57.1  with the last half covered in 55.4. Uncle Wingnut was fourth, Hilltop Hustler fifth and Im Corzin Terror sixth. Bitobliss failed to finish, choking down after pulling in the run, and will have to trial before racing again.   by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Superman has Kryptonite…harness racing star Terror To Love has Menangle! Just like the green fragments are capable of bringing the last son of Kyrpton to his knees, Menangle has the ability to neutralise New Zealand’s favourite son’s powers. Terror To Love has failed to flatter at the world class venue, with two seconds his best results from seven starts. The son of Western Terror has also been a beaten favourite in numerous occasions. And as though Lex Luthor was behind connection’s torment, Terror To Love’s run of horror draws has continued. Terror To Love’s latest “visitors’ draw” will see him begin from the outside of the front row in Saturday night’s Miracle Mile. Frustrated with the starting position, co-trainer Paul Court remains quietly confident the multi-millionaire can emerge triumphant. Court prepares Terror to Love with his father, Graham. “We just can’t get a decent barrier there,” Court declared. “Perhaps this time it could be a blessing in disguise. “There is a lot of speed drawn inside him and from out wide he won’t be getting involved in an early battles.” Aware Terror To Love’s critics will be out in force once again if the seven-year-old competes below his best, Court admitted he feels as though his stable star has something to prove in Australia. “For one reason or another, he just hasn’t had any luck in Australia, which has people doubting him,” Court said. “That in itself is strange as he has run second in a Miracle Mile and Group One Cordina Sprint. “The draw hasn’t been good to us again, but hopefully this time things can go his way a little. “It would mean more to win the Miracle Mile over there than it would a record fourth New Zealand Cup.” PAUL COURTS

New Zealand pacer Terror To Love has been granted another opportunity to produce his best in Australia after being invited to harness racing’s premier sprint – the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile. Despite his homeland heroics, Terror To Love has failed to flatter on the opposite side of the Tasman, with two seconds his best results from seven starts. The son of Western Terror has also been a beaten favourite in numerous occasions. Terror To Love’s passage into the time-honoured feature will mark his fourth Miracle Mile appearance, with connections hoping to go better than his tail of the field performance in last year’s edition. Terror To Love also failed to beat a runner home in 2011. Co-trainer Paul Court is looking forward to taking the seven-year-old back to Menangle for the November 28 showdown. “We are very excited to receive the invite,” Court said. “I have heard a lot of good things about the improvements at Menangle Park with the track and the facilities including the retention barn and day yards. “Terror To Love didn’t get knocked around in the Free-For-All and has come out of the run really well.” Terror To Love joins defending champion Beautide, Avonnova, Christen Me and For A Reason as acceptors into the Grand Circuit gem. Club Directors offered New Zealand Cup winner, Adore Me, a position in the elite field, with connections deciding to bypass the prestigious event. PAUL COURTS

Creating harness racing history is the driving force behind Terror To Love’s preparation for the New Zealand Cup. One of only three pacers to capture the premier event three times in its 110-year history, Terror To Love is on target for an unprecedented fourth success in the handicap. As it stands, Terror To Love is equal with Indianapolis, which was triumphant in 1934, ’35 and 36’ and False Step, which was victorious in 1958, ’59 and ’60. According to co-trainer Paul Court, claiming the record outright is the season’s number one priority. Court prepares the son of Western Terror with his father, Graham. “To be part of history by him winning a fourth Cup would be something beyond words,” Court said. “We would love nothing more than for him to have the record to himself and there is no reason why he can’t do it again. “He has come back in great shape and will continue to improve in coming weeks to be at his peak for the Cup.” Second-up from a spell at Addington last night, Terror To Love was untroubled to account for Franco Nelson and Christen Me with Ricky May in the cart. Covering the last half in 57.8 seconds, the stallion rated 1:58.5 for the 2600 metres, taking his record to 30 wins and 20 placings from 64 starts for earnings of $2,238,356. “We were happy with his first-up run when he won at Addington a couple of weeks ago and he went better again last night,” Court said. “It was a big, full field and he had to get the job done, but we know what he is capable of and weren’t concerned. “In the end he’s done it with a bit up his sleeve and was pretty impressive.” PAUL COURTS

Race 1 Winner: Meticulous Trainer: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen Driver: Tim Williams Owners: Phil & Glenys Kennard Bloodstock Ltd, Grant Dickey, Rex & Heather Knowler, Stewart Gillan and Phil Creighton.  The For Sale sign has been taken down from the window of Meticulous. For most of this week there was speculation the Christian Cullen four-year-old would be withdrawn from this week’s assignment due to a pending sale which never eventuated. Now, following the impressive geldings eighth win from 21 starts, Mark Purdon is quite keen to keep him in the barn. “It’s probably a bit hard to sell him after that,’’ he said. “He’s had his fair share of problems, but right now he seems the best he has ever been in terms of his calmness. “He could carry on and do quite a nice job I think.’’ Handled expertly by Tim Williams, the speedy pacer crossed the outside of the front line from his 9 barrier and led with ease. Stablemate, Backup sat on his back throughout and was the only one close at the finish when running second.  The one for next time: Phoenix Warrior: Left in no man’s land from the barrier draw but managed to weave a path through from near last at the 800 metre mark to finish a bold third.   Race 2 Winner: Hug The Wind Trainer: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen Driver: Mark Purdon Owners: Anne & Tony Parker, Jim and Ann Gibbs and Kevin Warneford Mark Purdon might have picked Alta Orlando to win the Sires’ Stake heat but that never meant he didn’t think he couldn’t win it with his drive, Hug The Wind. As it turned out his prediction proved wrong as he and Hug The Wind wore down Natalie Rasmussen and Alta Orlando in the shadows of the post. “He kept giving and trying the whole way up the straight,’’ he said. “He’s a beautiful cut of a horse and he has quite a future. “I would expect he would improve a bit with the run too as he is still carrying a bit of condition.’’ Rasmussen revealed that Alta Orlando’s tendencies to make life difficult for himself by over racing and wanting to things wrong seem to have carried into his three-year-old days. “He’s just fighting a bit too much out there and pulled to hard tonight,’’ she said. “But hopefully with a few good runs under his belt those wee issues might sort themselves out.’’ The All Stars Stable made it a clean sweep of the race by picking up third placing with Change Stride who snuck along the markers to complete a stable trifecta. The one for next time: Zin Zan: Got going quite late in proceedings after looking like he was labouring at the top of the straight. A good run in his first look at the elite company.   Race: 3 Winner: Donaldson Trainer: Greg and Nina Hope Driver: Stevie Golding Owners: Greg & Nina Hope, Morrie Molloy, William Middleton and the Coffey Family Syndicate. Greg Hope feels Donaldson deserves a crack at the Dominion Handicap during Cup Week, but he’s not sure whether or not he will get the chance. The consistent trotter mate it win number seven against a small but handy field in the lower grade trot continuing a great run this season for himself and his young driver, Stevie Golding. The pair have footed it with the best in Canterbury and took the opportunity to drop in grade this week and then went and made the most of it. “He’s been really good this time in,’’ Greg Hope said. “I’d like to think he could work his way into the Dominion but he’s quite low in the grades so it might be hard for him. “He definitely deserves a shot though.’’ Golding joined up with the Woodend Beach stable at the start of the season and has been in a purple patch of form winning six races and currently leading the national junior drivers premiership. He showed real patience with the son of Earl keep him held up until he could have one shot at them in the run to the line, snatching victory from the jaws of Rare Opportunity who was a brave runner up. The one for next time: Oh Nova: Nothing really went right for the speedy little trotter. Got caught on the markers but was putting gin some pretty telling strides late in the piece. Race: 4 Winner: Bio Marinus Trainer: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen Driver: Mark Purdon Owners: Lavros Lodge Ltd Usually a horse who takes him time to come to peak fitness after a spell, Bio Marinus has, for this campaign anyway, hit the ground running at full speed. After a bold fresh-up second behind the smart Wesley Silcox last week the Art Major four-year-old was very impressive winning after sitting parked for the last lap and then wearing down a brave Billie’s A Star in the run to the line. “He probably wasn’t travelling that good at the top of the straight. “But each time I asked him for some effort he gave me a little bit more. “He’s not an all and all out star, but he is a very nice horse who will keep doing a good job.’’ Billie’s A Star was massive in defeat and will snare another win at short notice for Phil Burrows. The one for next time: Nicky’s Dynamic: Dragged the three wide line up in the last lap and never gave up the task in the run to the line. Should drop into something a little easier in the coming weeks and be hard to beat.     Race: 5 Winner: Habibti Trainer: David and Catherine Butt Driver: David Butt Owners: Robert Paterson, Birchbrook Breeding Ltd, Lynne Paterson David Butt isn’t quite sure what to make of Habibti. The Woodend Beach horseman hasn’t been all that happy with his star performer so far this season, but each time he takes the brilliant mare to the races she seems to lift. That was the case this week when she wore down a star-studded field in the Group 3 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup, showing her blistering turn of foot. “She surprised me a bit to be honest,’’ Butt said. “I haven’t been at all happy with her at home, but she’s certainly lifted when we have taken her to the races that is for sure.’’ Camped off the speed while those in front were running a hot pace, Butt angled Habibti to the middle of the track and she stormed home to win impressively from Mr Consistent AKA: Sheemon with Stent third and Master Lavros fourth. Butt will now point Habibti toward a run at Methven next week off a long handicap in a $13,000 Fillies and Mares’ Trot. Mark Jones reported he was much happier with Master Lavros whose condition told inside the final 200 metres. The one for next time: Superbowlcheerleader: Forced to sit parked on a hot speed the tough mare never shirked the challenge and although beaten she kept fighting.     Race: 6 Winner: Tiger Tara Trainer: Geoff Dunn Driver: Gerard O’Reilly Owners: Bob & Jen Sandford, John Gould and Geoff Dunn Don’t be fooled by the narrow margin, Tiger Tara made things look a little more difficult than they were. The Geoff Dunn trained pacer continued his incredible run which should culminate in a run in the New Zealand Trotting Cup with a tradesman like performance in a small, but talented intermediate grade pace. In front and rolling along the tough little pacer showed, again, his liking to allow horses to get close to  him before kicking clear again. “He’s just mucking around,’’ Gerard O’Reilly said. “At the end of the race he was actually doing it pretty easily.’’ Dunn will now consider his options looking forward with Tiger Tara already inside the cut off line in the rankings for the Cup. He may look to keep him away from the big guns for as long as possible which could mean he won’t take them on until Cup Day itself. American import, Johny Rock, was a very good second after flying out of the mobile gate and he will continue to improve as he gets more racing under his belt. The one for next time: Mighty Flying Mac: Expect this guy to take huge benefit out of his first up run. He wasn’t far away but clearly his condition told in the closing stages.     Race: 7 Winner: Terror To Love Trainer: Graham and Paul Court Driver: Ricky May Owner: Terry McDonald If connections of horses in the New Zealand Trotting Cup weren’t already worried about Terror To Love, they are now. The three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winners was simply freakish in winning the Canterbury Classic coming from a mile off the speed to breeze on by some quality opposition and win in style. In a typically patient and no fuss fashion, Ricky May never panicked despite at one stage being at least 15 lengths off the leader, Pure Power. Forced wide on the bend, Terror To Love was vulnerable without doubt but he flattened out and stormed into it. “His speed is pretty unreal,’’ May said. “He picked them up pretty easily in the end, it was a really good performance.’’ The win left the camp behind the champ all smiles with Paul and Graham Court both adamant there is still some improvement to come yet. What was more concerning was that he had a small gallop at the beginning of the race. “He actually paced away, and then things got a little tight and I think he got a fright. “I don’t know if we need to be too concerned about it but it doesn’t help the cause.’’ In behind the action there were plenty of meritorious performances. Franco Nelson boomed home from well back as well to nab second while Christen Me who was forced to sit parked on a slick pacer was brave to the end in running third. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen pairing of Hands Christian and Adore Me were both hitting the line well – as was Four Starzzz Flash. The one for next time: Adore Me: She made up a tonne of ground. A really good starting performance from wonderful mare. She won’t be out of contention in a Cup.     Race: 8 Winner: Parramatta Trainer: Terry and Glenys Chmiel Driver: Terry Chmiel Owners: Audrey and Thomas Piercy Terry Chmiel has always had a high opinion of Parramatta and this week he showed why. The talented four-year-old entire overcame an outside of the second row barrier draw to win the Super Series final for horses who were graded as CO at the 9th of August. Chmiel took bad luck out of the equation by pushing forward from his back row draw to find the lead within the first 600 metres and from there he dominated – dashing away to win in stylish fashion by a big margin. Out of the former speedy mare Sheng Li, the son of McArdle has had raps on him since day one. “He’s going to be a pretty nice horse in time,’’ Chmiel said following an earlier win. Parramatta was the fifth winner for the stable for the season who set a personal best tally of 36 last term. Brilliant Strike who worked around to sit parked outside the winner kept whacking away up the straight and will win a race at short notice. The one for next time: Bird Of Paradise: Was probably going to run second had it not been for a check late in proceedings. One for odds in the coming weeks.     Race: 9 Winner: Hot Pants Trainer: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen Driver: Mark Purdon Owner: Trevor Casey and Natalie Rasmussen Trevor Casey had double the reason to smile this week. Not only did his star trotter Stent return to form with a good third in the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup but he also produced a winner with Hot Pants who he co-owns along with Natalie Rasmussen. After a luckless resuming run, the speedy little trotter took luck out of the equation by working to the lead early in proceedings before handing the lead to Shell Seeker with a lap left to run. With one cold shot at them the daughter of Majestic Son was too slick The race itself was farcical with gallopers a plenty both early and late in the race. After training six winners for the season prior to the night beginning, Purdon and Rasmussen almost doubled their tally in one night with a quartet of wins. That puts them right up into the top three or four trainers for the season. The one for next time: Indiana Jones: Making up huge ground late in the piece and looks set to be in for a good few months. Trotter with a lot of ability.     Race: 10 Winner: Mr Franklin Trainer: Steve Dolan Driver: Blair Orange Owner: Mark Wotton, Max Braithwaite, Neil Struthers, Wayne Milligan, Simon Consedine and John Gould. Good manners, a perfect drive and some good old fashioned luck all led to back-to-back victories for Mr Franklin. The Steve Dolan trained pacer was very good winning a junior drivers race last week when handled perfectly by Tom Bagrie but he stepped up a level again this week to sneak along the markers and grab a very brave Provocative Prince in the shadows of the post. When race favourite, Tokahoka went bush on the bend and extinguished his chances Orange seized on the opportunity to sneak to the inside and grab the dream run along the markers to sneak the win. A four-year-old gelding by Grinfromeartoear has now won four from 22 and placed on a further six occasions. The runner up, Provocative Prince was massive in second after doing plenty of work and only faded in the dying the stages – will win one soon. The one for next time: Johnny Eyre: Came from a long way back again and only needs an ounce of luck before he wins a race – maybe Methven next week?     Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand                                                                            

The Group 2 harness racing Canterbury Classic at Addington tonight drew most of the best horses in commission in New Zealand but once again Terror To Love showed that at Addington he is just about unbeatable. Slow away for regular driver Ricky May, Terror To Love settled five back on the outer as the tear away leader Pure Power went for broke from barrier rise and skied away to a big lead. Christen Me ended up in the death seat outside Franco Ledger and had the job of slowly dragging the field up to the leader into a stiff head wind. Pure Power still had a 5 length advantage over Christen Me with 800 metres to go while Terror To Love was  still third last. Christen Me mastered Pure Power at the 400 metres mark at which point Ricky May set the "Terror" alight from the back. Pushed four and five wide on the corner, Terror To Love boomed home, grabbing Christen Me 100 metres out and then staved off a late finish from Franco Nelson who had sat on his back the whole way. Christen Me stuck on really well for third after doing all the donkey work while Hands Christian went huge for fourth in his first race for over 27 months. Driver Natalie Rasmussen thought she was a touch unlucky with Hands Christian. " But for locking wheels on the last bend with Pass Them By, Hands Christian would have been right with them," she said. It was Terror To Loves 30th lifetime win and his 15th on his favourite track, Addington. Ricky May was full of praise for the 7 year old entire. " He paced away then galloped for a few strides when things got tight but he settled really quickly. He was a long way off them at the 500 metres but they had gone quick the whole way and when I moved he really sprinted around them," he said. "He knocked off a touch after hitting the front but grabbed the bit again when he heard Franco Nelson coming. "They were never going to beat him" he said. Even though it appeared a dominant win by Terror To Love, Ricky thought the run of Christen Me was also full of merit. " He had to drag the field up into the teeth of that strong head wind so I thought he went super," he said. The lead up to the Cup action now moves to Methven next weekend and then to the Flying Stakes at Ashburton. At this stage Terror To Love looks a big chance to do the unthinkable and win four New Zealand Cups in a row. Harnesslink Media    

It might lack the numbers, but you just know the feature trot tonight at Addington is going to pack a punch. That’s the view Mark Jones is taking too as he approaches the race with his star trotter Master Lavros who begins his campaign for back-to-back Dominion Handicaps in the race. But Jones isn’t too concerned if things are hastened along a bit by the natural front-running, aggressive style of Alan Clark with The Fiery Ginga – in fact he’s hoping for it. “My guy goes better when he has had hard racing,’’ Jones said. “Those quiet races where you just sprint home don’t actually do a lot for his fitness. “With The Fiery Ginga there you know things are going to run along a bit so a small field helps us out there as I can probably drive him for his raw speed if I want to.’’ A three-time Group One winner last season, Master Lavros has made two public appearances in preparation for tomorrow night – one was rather uninspiring while the other was simply fantastic. “He was just a wee bit too well the first time and he had a bit of a gallop, but I was pretty happy with him afterwards. “The second time though he was much better as we changed his bit and he wasn’t quite so much on the fresh side. “It was just a walk and sprint home but he did it really nicely.’’ The trial performance alone will be enough to see Master Lavros head out tomorrow night a raging hot favourite and Jones is adamant he is taking a horse to the races who he knows can win despite a lack of race fitness. “He can win it I’ve got no doubts about that.’’ Master Lavros meets five other runners in the race including impressive fresh-up winner last week, Kincaslough. The Craig and Aimee Edmonds trained mare was sublime in victory six days ago and will be sure to give her connections a grand sight again. Group One winning mare Superbowlcheerleader also resumes in the race and has looked good and strong in her workouts and trials so will be worth keeping an eye on as well. Away from the trotting ranks, the pacing feature of tomorrow’s meeting will see the return of American import Johny Rock. The Graham and Paul Court trained pacer is being aimed a spot in the New Zealand Free-For-All on Show Day and kicks off his campaign over 1950 metre tomorrow night against a small, but select, field of pacers which comprises of Lumos, Jivin Cullen, Arden Rooney and Vice Chairman. Courtesy of Matt Markham - Harness Racing New Zealand

The fields for the harness racing meeting at Addington tomorrow night are full of horses in the lower grades who are embarking on new campaigns. One who has caught our eye is the Shadow Play colt Brilliant Strike who resumes from the dreaded barrier nine in race 10 tomorrow night over 1950 metres. A winner at Winton over 2400 metres as a 2 year old, Brilliant Strike has been to the fore at recent trials with a slashing second to Have Faith In Me at the Addington trials ten days ago his most recent effort. Co-trainer Paul Court is expecting a big run from his charge tomorrow night. " I think he will go really well on Friday night but he will definitely improve with the run "He is as good as he can be without having had a race" he said The stable has always had a high opinion of the colt and long term they are looking to test him against the best come Derby time. "The 1950 metres tomorrow is probably a bit short for him but will still go a big race" Paul said when talking to Harnesslink this afternoon. "We are really looking forward to the Derbies later in the season over the longer trips where we think he will really excell as he is such a tough stayer" "He is such a pleasure to do anything with and Ricky really likes him so thats always a good sign" he said From the first crop of a son of The Panderosa in Shadow Play, Brilliant Strike is not the only horse by the sire that the stable has in work. Paul has a lot of time for the Shadow Plays. "We have a filly by him that we qualified as a 2 year old called Beyond Belief who is off to the trials next Tuesday and we think a bit of her. "Dad and I both bred a couple of mares to Shadow Play last year on the back of how much we liked these two and we got some of the stable clients to go to him as well" he said An interesting aside is that both of the Shadow Play's at the Court barn are from mares by Christian Cullen. With only has 19 foals from his first crop, Shadow Play has had a low profile to date but Brilliant Strike looks capable of changing that in the next few months. Harnesslink Media

Wow. How’s that for a pipe-opener? The 2014 edition of the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup has been built up over the last few months as potentially being something special. A race for the ages. An historic event. Yet, if it was even possible, our greatest race might just have gone to a whole new level tonight after the performance of the horse on the tip of everyone’s tongues. Terror To Love. The three-time Cup winner produced a stunning resumption to win the Avon City Ford Cup at his favourite place of Addington tonight. And in doing so he sent a collective shiver through the spines of those who will line up to try and stop him from creating history on November 11. In short, Terror To Love was sensational. Forget the fact that he faced only a small portion of those who will make the Cup field on the second Tuesday of November for a minute, as far as resuming runs go for him, this was as good as we have seen. Driven confidently and aggressively by Ricky May, the champ found himself in front with a lap to run and from there never let the bit drop from his mouth as he cut out some impressive closing sectional to win under double wraps. “He jogged it to be fair,’’ May said. “In fact he was bolting that much on the bend that he actually got a little rough. “Gee he’s come back super, that was a great performance fresh up.’’ History will show that normally whatever Terror To Love does fresh up, he improves on. His condition was still a little on the burly side last night, but you just know that with a race under his belt he will shed any extra coating by the time he returns for the Canterbury Classic on October 10. Terror To Love stopped the clock at 3.13 for the 2600 metre stand start – running his last one mile in a shade over 1.55 seconds. And as much as he enjoyed watching it, Paul Court, who trains with his father Graham, admitted to being a little surprised. “We knew he was as ready as he wanted him, but that was a really good effort. “He’s got so much improvement left in him yet, it’s the perfect start.’’ So what about those who finished in behind? Smolda looked on first impressions to be the most disappointing of the lot after tiring to finish fourth after sitting parked for the last 1000 metres. But the Purdon/Rasmussen barn are adamant to there is a lot of improvement left in the big pacer and race fitness is the only way they will get that. "He just blew out" said Mark Purdon. "It was his first race since March and you just need the racing to beat these top horses. "I am not really surprised to be honest especially with some of those sectionals. He should get a lot of improvement from that run" he said. Runner-up Bit Of A Legend showed he will foot it with the big guns based on his determined and tradesman like performance – pleasing both Dexter Dunn and Cran Dalgety while Franco Nelson, who missed away, was an eye-catching performance to boom home and finish in third. So the foundation has been set for Terror To Love to write his way into the record books with the next step the Canterbury Classic next month. There ready and waiting to take him on will be a host of stars which look set to include Christen Me, Adore Me, Hands Christian, Tiger Tara and others. Bring it on. Matt Markham - Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand    

1 to 16 of 61
1 2 3 4 Next »