Day At The Track
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This years Harness Jewels is done and dusted for another year and the harness racing has been covered in great detail by all and sundry. So Harnesslink thought we would review all the other aspects of the day as we saw them. * Big kudos to Stacey Markham and her team from Harness Racing New Zealand for putting on a near flawless display of promotion and marketing for this years Harness Jewels. It showed that it is possible to get everybody on the same page with a bit of give and take and the team should take a bow for a job well done. *On big days like this it is not uncommon for the media room to have plenty of grizzles and moans about things but yesterday was quite the opposite. Nothing but compliments for the Ashburton hosting club and for once the journalists were looked after in style. Believe me it is a really stressful day for journalists and to be looked after so well made the day a lot easier for all concerned. Lets hope that is the standard at all Harness Jewels meetings from now on. * The only quibble the media had all day was down to being denied entry with our passes to the stabling area. Those lovely officious security people really do need to take some people management skills courses before they are registered to work in the community. I suppose they had a job to do but it is the manner in which they do that job that needs attention. * One thing that was spot on on the day was the track which was in fantastic condition. A lot of the leading drivers we spoke to during the day were fulsome in their praise for what a great racing surface the track manager had delivered. * The absence of several leading racing journalists such as Barry Lichter was disappointing in the extreme but something the industry is going to have to get more and more used to. The Fairfax restructuring that is underway meant half the journalists there yesterday are having to reapply for their jobs at present. Specialized racing journalists are an endangered species and the coverage we receive in the mainstream media is about to be cut severely. It looks like only Harness Racing New Zealand and Harnesslink will be left standing when the dust settles. * As someone who covers all the major race meetings it can get a bit repetitive at times when you are interviewing the same people again and again. So it was really refreshing yesterday to watch the connections of Sunny Ruby after her brilliant win in the three year old Ruby. Fred Fletcher was bouncing around like a twenty one year old and the whole extended family were in the same frame of mind. It was a timely reminder of why people race horses. Amanda Tomlinson reinforced that feeling later in the day with a display of emotion not often seen these days. * Hats off to Greg O'Connor for his outstanding and impartial coverage in the leadup to and on the day of the Harness Jewels. Greg manages to put forward his opinions without feeling the need to denigrate or ridicule some of the runners and its that professional impartiality that connects with so many in the industry. *Finally we would like to thank all the tech guys that got us back up and running after we went down after race one. Murphy's law to go down on the big day but with their help we got back on track late in the afternoon. Harnesslink Media

A night of mixed results tonight with some short-priced favourites getting home & a few rather rough results. Three players found the going particularly tough with Casino #5, Steve Smith & Gary Allen all failing to score. After a random draw at TAB head office - Steve Smith is the unlucky one to be eliminated this week. www.RaceChat pick up the lifeline with a strong $15.90 score this week. Study up for next week’s action which is at Alexandra Park.    2013 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup ‘Survivor’ $5,000 Challenge Round 2 Challenger Name & Representing Terry McDonald  The 'Christchurch Casino' Sponsors of the 2013 NZ Trotting Cup     $6.30 Christchurch Casino Challenger # 2  The 'Christchurch Casino' Sponsors of the 2013 NZ Trotting Cup $9.60 Christchurch Casino Challenger # 3 The 'Christchurch Casino' Sponsors of the 2013 NZ Trotting Cup $6.90 Christchurch Casino Challenger # 4 The 'Christchurch Casino' Sponsors of the 2013 NZ Trotting Cup $5.90 Christchurch Casino Challenger # 5 The 'Christchurch Casino' Sponsors of the 2013 NZ Trotting Cup $0.00 Reilly Mallard $1.50 Steve Smith Eliminated Round 2  $0.00 Gary Allen  Charmain HRNZ $0.00 Greg O'Connor TABTV/Trackside $7.80 Sam Langrope The Box Seat $3.40 Ben McMillan $14.00 Duane Ranger Eliminated Round 1 HRNZ Racing Correspondent $0.00 Lifeline Wellington RDA $15.90 Sean Morris Radio Trackside $6.30  

Harness racing trainer Mark Purdon's outstanding record with juveniles should continue in the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton today. Purdon's All Stars stable record in the group three feature has him winning five of the last 11 editions and with three runners today the odds are again in his favour.

Trackside presenter Greg O'Conner made a presentation to harness racing's 'Wonder Boy' Dexter Dunn on behalf of the Auckland Trotting Club at Alexandra Park last Friday night (June 17). The club wanted to acknowledge the service Dunn had given to Alexandra Park before leaving for the United States today (Monday June 20).

Canterbury based Trackside Presenter Greg O'Connor came away from the Banks Peninsula Racing Club's meeting held yesterday (Sunday) sporting a brand new haircut for the up-coming Interdom Finals. The popular harness racing front-man got himself involved in a head shaving venture organised by North Canterbury jockey Jamie Bates.

The New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) has announced a change in date for the 2011 Christchurch Casino Inter Dominion Grand Final harness racing meeting. Originally scheduled to be conducted on Saturday Night 9 April 2011, the Inter Dominion Grand Final meeting will now be conducted at Addington on Friday Night 8 April.

The New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) has announced a number of feature harness racing stake reductions for 2010/11. The feature race cuts totaling $700,000 have been required following the continued downturn in domestic off course turnovers, the reduction in gaming trust distributions and to ensure that the Club continues to operate within its financial means.

Harness racing media personality Greg O'Connor will next month make a full-time shift to work as a dual code Trackside Presenter. O'Connor will relinquish his position as Marketing and Advertising Management for Addington Raceway effective at the beginning of September.

Do the socks people wear match their personalities? In the case of this writer perhaps it's true. Call me odd, call me unorthodox, or call me just plain weird but for just over 30 years I have been wearing odd socks.

The final premier meeting for the 2009-2010 harness racing season at Addington Raceway this tomorrow night (Friday May 21) is packed with loads of talent both on and off the track.

Australian raider Cullen Bromac has arrived in New Zealand and will be in action at Addington Raceway on Saturday (May 15) in a classic hit and run harness racing mission. Unbeaten in five starts to date the son of Christian Cullen had his first look at Addington Raceway today (Wednesday) pleasing his connections with his work leading into this week's $300,000 PGGWrightson 2yo Sales Series Final.

The $250,000 Christian Cullen New Zealand Derby draw conducted at a luncheon at Addington Raceway yesterday (Tuesday April 6) certainly added to what should be an intriguing harness racing contest come Friday night.

The New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) today announced that Christchurch Casino will sponsor Australasia's annual harness racing championship - the 2011 Interdominions to be conducted at Addington Raceway.

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