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Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Marlborough today with a twelve race program starting at 1:40pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good afternoon of racing. Marlborough selections 15th January 2021 Best Bet:  R3 Blazing Impact Best Value:  R1 Jesper Fast   Race 1 Jesper Fast not far away from the placings in a strong field last start. One of the leading chances in this line up and is paying over the odds… Shiffty tidy form line and seems ok at the start. Good winning claims but bad draw…… Tyene has run some good races but manners a concern. No surprise to see her in the money if she trots all the way….. Greenbank Betty better  last start and only needs a safe beginning to be close to the placings here Selections:  Jesper Fast (1),   Shiffty (15),   Tyene (14)   Greenbank Betty (3)   Race 2 Twilight Bromac going well and going to get a cosy run on the pegs here. Has to be a big chance  from the draw.……. Cristiano Buccini building a reasonable form line and looks a good win hope again here. Has to be included…… Best Trio has promised a lot and looks back to his best form with a good workout win on grass last weekend. Good winning claims…… Beeps has been disappointing but not the worst in a weak field. One for longer odds Selections:  Twilight Bromac (1),  Best Trio (3),   Cristiano Buccini (6),   Beeps (11)   Race 3 Blazing Impact last run better than it looks on paper against a stronger field and she looks the leader early here. Nice draw and good chance in this field….. Le Pole Dancer good third last start and she should get a run through at the start. Has to be included here….. Play By Ear good third two starts ago and will be improved. Can run top three at longer odds from the fence draw….. Morries Girl better last start and has more improvement left in her. Over the odds and can run top three Selections:   Blazing Impact (4),   Le Pole Dancer (10),   Morries Girl (14)   Play By Ear (9)   Race 4 Olde Oak Emma quick beginner who will take some catching if she can land the front from the front row draw. Nice money available and has a good chance….. Donegal Carnbouy racing into form and has been on grass. Great winning chance at good odds from a tidy inside draw….. Lilac Change no room last start and a good draw to work with. Can win with a good run in transit ….. Auchtercairn  average effort for new stable last few starts but well placed if back to her best. Include at longer odds Selections:   Lilac Change (2),   Olde Oak Emma (3),   Auchtercairn  (6)   Donegal Carnbouy (9)   Race 5 One Over Dover loves the track and good win last start. Manners a concern and cross your fingers in the run to the judge but can win at nice odds with no errors….. That's The Story got too far back last start and would need to step quicker here to win but has claims….. Regal Appointment drawn well and looks the leader in the race. Building a nice form line and can win..….. Blink N Bones goes ok on grass and in good form. Place chances look best but good chance here Selections:   One Over Dover (8),   That's The Story (14),   Regal Appointment (7)   Blink N Bones (5)   Race 6 Ultimate Rocker conditions suit and drawn well on second line. Good winning claims and can run top three.…. Contractual Issues nice draw and should get a suck along on the fence. One for for longer odds…… Swap Over tricky draw but has a good finish when saved for one run at them. Place chances best..… Jazelle should be quick off the gate and will get a soft run. Winning claims Selections:  Ultimate Rocker (10),   Jazelle (3),   Swap Over (7),   Contractual Issues (1)   Race 7 Peraki Seelster building into fitness and well drawn. Looks one of the leading chances in this field …. Mordecai usually holds his form ok and paying good money. Would be no surprise to see him in the placings here from the nice draw….. Nerano has been fair the last couple but will be running on late. Could upset with grass track driver on board…. Glen Elgin Tomson getting better with racing and form is good. Has to be included from the good draw Selections:   Peraki Seelster (3),  Glen Elgin Tomson (2),   Mordecai (4),  Nerano (6)   Race 8 Bettor Talk Art good win last start and will be fitter. Stable in form and will be hard to beat if she goes forward early….. Booraa good last start and better drawn here. One for longer odds in this….. Annerie tricky draw but good last start. Should be close to the placings with luck in the running….. A Guinness Dance should get a run through early from the draw and form is ok. Needed in this field Selections:  Bettor Talk Art (7),   Annerie (8),   Booraa  (4)  A Guinness Dance (10)   Race 9 The Kaik racing well and paying great money. Distance suits and will be hard to beat if he can get handy before the home turn….. The Kapiti Express racing well and good stayer who should appreciate the 2400m on grass. Can run top three at nice odds….. Boom racing well and grass track driving specialist on board. Can go close with manners …..    Prospect Park good run last start and very speedy. Hard to beat here if he can get near the lead early Selections:  The Kaik (12),  Boom (17),   Prospect Park (6)    The Kapiti Express (20)   Race 10 Teagan Banner drawn for a soft run on the fence again and he killed the opposition last start. Winning claims with a trail all the way….. Razors Edge running on last start and down in grade. Good winning claims at nice odds….. Lilac Star tricky draw but loves the track. One of the leading chances here and has to be hard to beat at good odds….. Luella coming in fresh but has the ability if anywhere near 100%. Quick improver and could upset Selections:   Razors Edge (5),   Lilac Star (9),   Teagan Banner (2)   Luella (8)   Race 11 Gilligans Island freshened for this and has been racing well on grass.  Good winning chance….. Franco Niven racing into form and has been good in stronger fields. Great winning chance at good odds….. Fynn Frost has run some good against similar opposition and well drawn. Tote the guide but has claims….. Plutonium Lady drawn for a soft run on the fence and has a good sprint. Needed Selections:   Franco Niven (9),   Plutonium Lady (1),   Gilligans Island (6)   Fynn Frost (4)   Race 12 Valley Star tricky draw but big on ability. Will be running on but no surprise to see him winning this at good odds….. Milliondollarmonkey in good form on grass and if he trots all the way he looks the winner. Opened way over the odds….. Idle Stuartia drawn well and should get a good run in transit. Can win with a soft run near the leaders..….. Zsa Zoe good last start and respect the stable on grass. Will need luck from the draw but has winning claims Selections:   Milliondollarmonkey (3),   Valley Star (15),   Zsa Zoe (12)   Idle Stuartia (5)   Harnesslink Media

Port Perry, OH — David Heffering of Tara Hills Stud has announced that Kadabra has been retired from stallion duty. “It is with great sadness that we announce Kadabra’s retirement from stud duty,” said Heffering. “Kadabra leaves a great legacy and influence on the Standardbred breed, not only in Ontario, but industry wide. “Over the course of a 17-year stallion career, Kadabra has cemented his place as one of the all-time great trotting stallions with progeny earnings of over C$101 million. “Champion fillies and colts included Bee A Magician, Emoticon Hanover, Daylon Magician, Flanagan Memory, Caprice Hill, Forbidden Trade, Poof She’s Gone, Will Take Charge, and many more. “It has been a great honor for us to have cared for and managed Kadabra throughout his stallion career. Thank you for your support over the years.” Canadian Trotting Classic Final 2002 -Kadabra Tara Hills Stud

Hightstown, NJ — The Meadowlands Racetrack will host its fourth edition of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Race on Saturday (Jan. 16). The 10-horse $15,000 pace, which features African American drivers, is race No. 2 on the harness racing card with a 6:22 p.m. post time. Among this year’s drivers are Montrell Teague, who won the event in 2018 and 2020, and 2019 winner Jim King Solomon. The race honors the memory of slain civil rights leader King, who was born Jan. 15, 1929. “This means a lot to me,” said Solomon, who has worked with Meadowlands race secretaries Peter Koch and Scott Warren over the years to help organize the event. “To be part of a race like this, to have them put it together, I’m very honored. This is for everyone, for all people. “Dr. King was a great man who stood for equal rights, not only for Black Americans but for all races where there was injustice. It’s an honor to even be a part of keeping his memory alive.” Teague will start the race from post 10 with Rufo. Teague, who turned 30 earlier this month, was harness racing’s 2015 Rising Star Award winner. He was the driver of 2015 Horse of the Year and fan favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit and has won 1,602 races in his career. Solomon, who recently returned to action after ankle surgery, starts Saturday from post two with Duckies Dynasty. Solomon also won an edition of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pace at Monticello Raceway in 2009. He remembers the details. “It was very cold,” Solomon said about the snowy 12-degree day in upstate New York. “I put my horse on the front, backed him down a little bit, and then came on home with him. It was a great thrill.” The remaining eight drivers participating in Saturday’s King Remembrance Race are Randy Crisler, Eric Tharps Jr., Orlando Greene, Deshawn Sample, Mark Sheridan, Jamaal Denson, Devon Tharps, and Chad Washington. Washington finished second in the past two editions of the race. Sheridan finished third in the previous two. “We’ve got good drivers, good horses,” Solomon said. “This is going to be a very good race.” For complete entries for Saturday’s 15-race Meadowlands card, which will be preceded by a one-hour show announcing the 2020 Dan Patch Awards, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Grove City, Ohio - For the second year in a row, Sectionline Bigry has been named the top aged harness racing pacer in the state of Ohio. Sectionline Bigry, the son of Pet Rock out of Aquatic Yankee, won eight of 19 races for owner Harold Lee Bauder and trainer Steve Bauder earning $181,000 in 2020. The highlights of the year were winning the Ohio Sires Stakes Aged Pacing Championship at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway and the Gene Riegle Memorial Open Pace at the Great Darke County Fair. Sectionline Bigry was bred by Bauder of Delaware, Ohio, Michael Dixon of Hilliard, Ohio, and Harold L. Bauder of Delaware, Ohio. "It's a privilege to win this award two years in a row," said Bauder. "It puts Bigry in the company of Dancin Yankee a three-time winner. He has big shoes to fill to try and win three in a row." Sectionline Bigry will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Hightstown, NJ — It’s Time For Fun has brought plenty of pleasure to the Wilfong family over the years and harness racing trainer Brett Wilfong hopes the 6-year-old female pacer will add to the enjoyment in 2021. Lynn Wilfong, Brett’s dad, bred and owns It’s Time For Fun, who was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion at age 3. She has earned $312,395 during her career, winning 17 of 71 races and cashing a paycheck 55 times. After a brief bout with sickness, It’s Time For Fun makes her seasonal debut in Friday’s $22,500 open for fillies-and-mares at Miami Valley Raceway. Kyle Wilfong, Brett’s son, will be in the sulky, leaving from post five in a field of nine. It’s Time For Fun is 8-1 on the morning line. Miss You N is the 3-1 favorite. “I think if she stays healthy, she could have her best year this year,” Brett Wilfong said. “She’s going to have to battle the open mares or the class below that all year, but if we can keep her healthy, she can have a good year. She tries hard that last quarter, and that’s worth a lot. She has a real good closing kick. “She’s pretty competitive in that top class. If you can go for $15,000 to $25,000 every week, you can have a pretty good year.” It’s Time For Fun closed last season with five consecutive on-the-board finishes, including one victory. Earlier in the campaign, she finished second in the Indiana Sire Stakes championship for older female pacers. In 2018, It’s Time For Fun won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship at odds of 11-1 with Kyle Wilfong at the lines at Hoosier Park. “That sure was a nice evening,” Brett said. “There are a lot of good memories.” It’s Time For Fun is a daughter of Skydancer Hanover out of Irwin’s Character. She was limited to six starts at age 2 because of a foot infection, but Brett liked the horse all along. “We thought she had a lot of potential,” Brett said. “She was a beautiful animal. She could pace free-legged, didn’t really need the hobbles too much. She just had an effortless gait. Once she got over her foot infection, she had a lot more opportunity to show what she really was.” The Wilfongs owned It’s Time For Fun’s sire and dam. The family, which has farms in Indiana and Illinois, has bred hundreds of horses over the years. “It’s very family oriented,” Brett said about the Wilfongs’ involvement in harness racing. “Everyone is active, everyone enjoys the races, enjoys the horses. My mom (Barbara) and dad enjoy watching the races and they raise the yearlings and take care of some of the broodmares. Dad needs to be occupied. When you’ve been a self-employed horseperson your whole life it’s hard to sit down and not do anything.” Lynn Wilfong was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame last year. In addition to breeding and racing, he helped lobby for pari-mutuel racing in Indiana and spent a dozen years as president of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Association. In 1993, he received the very first Breeders Award given by the Standardbred Owners and Breeders of Indiana, now known as the Indiana Standardbred Association. “It’s a night we won’t forget,” Brett said. “My dad and uncle Ralph were part of the grassroots effort in Indiana to get pari-mutuel betting passed in the state legislature. My dad has a lot of ties other than owning a lot of horses over the years. I know my dad was very proud of it. It was pretty special for our whole family. “We have a lot of good memories.” With It’s Time For Fun aiming to create more. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Harness racing Hall of Fame driver John Campbell, who is the current President of the Hambletonian Society, is the highest money earning driver in the history of our sport.   He has won almost every major race that Harness Racing offers.   On today's broadcast of the Harness Racing Alumni Show, he joins Freddie, Trade and Bob to tell us all why he supports the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.   The legendary sulky pilot discusses the pros and cons of the bill and agrees to be part of an extended team of harness racing leaders that will sit down with all the top legislators in order to iron out any of our differences.   John Campbell will give us an important voice with the powerful thoroughbred community and a possible seat on the board of the soon to be Medication Authority.   You don't want to overlook this broadcast....!!!   Listen to "Harness Racing Alumni Show John Campbell 1 14 21" on Spreaker.    

The Ross Olivieri-trained Thats Perfect is a popular choice as a best bet with members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. Veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas and TABradio’s Matt Young believe punters can add to their banks by supporting Thats Perfect in race nine. “Thats Perfect drops down in class when he starts from an awkward draw at barrier six in the third heat of the 1730m Nights of Thunder on Friday night and he is my best bet for the evening,” Casellas said. “He was doing his best work at the finish when fifth behind Bletchley Park in the Group 2 Village Kid Sprint last week. He is likely to have to work hard in the breeze this week, but I’m sure his class will tell at the finish.” Young agrees. “Thats Perfect is coming out of a stronger race and with that run under his belt this should be a good race for him,” Young said. “Small field suits and looks to be speed on.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart is keen on Master Publisher in the opening event. “No. 2 Master Publisher in the first race is a capable type who looks well placed in this,” Wishart said. “Has gate speed, so he should lead and will be too good for them.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has made prolific winner Magnificent Storm his star bet. “Magnificent Storm is undefeated through 10 local starts, jumping as an odds-on favourite on each occasion,” Havercroft said. “The son of American Ideal did all of the work at his last outing when tiring late and will be favoured to start his four-year-old season with Group 2 success.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning believes Jack William can make it back-to-back victories. “Jack William has barrier one for the second time in a week and looks capable of repeating the front-running victory he notched last Friday night,” Manning said. “Trainer Nathan Turvey has elected to retain leading reinswoman Emily Suvaljko as Jack William’s driver when he attempts to record the 15th win of his career. The Victorian import, who last week broke a 14-run losing sequence, appears to have regained his best form.” Longshot guru Pat Harding is pinning his hopes on Carrera Mach. “A tough night for tipsters and punters alike at GP last week, hopefully we can all do better this week,” Harding said. “My best bet comes in race three with No.11 Carrera Mach. This horse is overdue for a win and has been about the place in four starts since a spell. I think this is his best chance to reward punters.” TABradio’s Hayden King has opted for Touch Of Success as his best bet for the meeting. “Although drawn awkwardly, I feel Touch Of Success may have a class edge over rivals,” King said. “He has tremendous gate speed, however they may be reluctant to use it. In any case, he can sit off them and be strongest late if the speed is honest, which I think it will be.” Guild president Wayne Currall believes Kilowatt Kid can post an all-the-way victory in the first heat of the Nights of Thunder series. “Kilowatt Kid has come up with the ace and driver Ryan Warwick will attempt to lead from start to finish,” Currall said. “The horse has had five starts back from a spell and should be at his peak now. He can carve out some strong sectionals and should prove too strong for his rivals.” VALUE BETS KEN: For value, I suggest Vivere Damore off the 20m mark in the 2503m Westral Blinds And Awnings Handicap. She is in wonderful form and will be flying home. MATT: Quick Stride is racing well and just needs tempo on to power over the top for victory. WARREN: Jesse Allwood hasn’t had much luck lately and off the front can land a nice forward position and run a race at odds. RYAN: Rabchenko would come into calculations should Hayden Charles be able to find the top. Unsuited when breezing last time out. ERNIE: Cavalry Call has been beaten in his past eight races and he faces a big class jump after running third at Busselton on January 1. But gate one is a bonus and his trainer Peter Tilbrook is inform. PAT: My value bet comes up in race six with No. 5 Delightful Reaction. Coming off the inside of the 10 metre line, I think Aiden De Campo can steer her to victory. HAYDEN: If you put a pen through Gran Chico's last run where he worked hard, he was building into some really promising form. I think he can regather his handicap and he may be too good for rivals at a generous price. WAYNE: Race two is an open affair and I think Marquisard will get out to a good each-way price. He’s drawn awkwardly on the inside of the backline, but if Aldo Cortopassi can get him into the clear he will be charging late. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr declares “that it is time we got the picket fence going for him” when assessing superstar Chicago Bull’s prospects in the $25,000 Joe and Margaret Petricevich Memorial Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chicago Bull has enjoyed a brief respite from racing over the past six weeks after finishing second at his past two outings, behind Perfect Major in the Group 2 RWWA Cup and Vultan Tin in the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup. Before those defeats as an odds-on favourite Chicago Bull had built a picket fence of six firsts in succession. “He’s had a little freshen up, and I think he had only a week off,” said Hall. “Looking at the field, there’s not a huge issue that I can see. I think that the biggest obstacle for him will be fitness. “However, his trackwork has been good; he’s been working with Balcatherine and is keen to be out there.” Hall said that he would be going into the race with no set plans but said that Chicago Bull (who will start from the outside barrier No. 9) would have to be driven tough at some stage. “The runner I’m most concerned about is Bletchley Park, particularly if he leads,” Hall admitted. “Bletchley Park (drawn wide at barrier eight) hasn’t got scintillating gate speed, and if he happens to end up in front, it will want to be without him doing a bit of work.” Bletchley Park, to be driven by Lindsay Harper for Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed, gave a bold frontrunning display (from barrier two) to score an easy victory over the strong-finishing Vultan Tin in the Village Kid Sprint, rating 1.52.4 over 1730m last Friday night. Ravenswood trainer-reinsman Nathan Turvey will be looking for a strong performance from Simba Bromac from a favourable draw at barrier two on the front line. Simba Bromac caught the eye with an excellent fourth in the Village Kid Sprint. He started from the outside of the back line, was seventh on the pegs at the bell and was hampered for room in the home straight. Trainer Ray Williams said that Cyclone Banner, a winner at two of his past three starts, faced a stiff test from out wide at barrier seven. “However, I’m sure he will run an honest race,” Williams said. “He’ll be finding a spot and, hopefully, he will be coming home.”   Ken Casellas

Three heats of the Nights of Thunder will be decided over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo holds a strong hand. There is only one last-start winner in each of the three heats and de Campo will drive each of them The Kraken, Tellmetoattack and Blue Blazer. De Campo is not bursting with confidence, but he considers that all three pacers have each-way prospects. The Kraken, a brilliant beginner and fine frontrunner, will start from the outside barrier in the field of seven in the first heat. He has won in dashing style at his past two appearances (over 2130m) at Gloucester Park when he has led from the No. 1 and the No. 8 barriers. “There are some quick beginners inside of him on Friday night,” said de Campo. “So, I’ll be playing it by ear. He is not a one-trick pony who doesn’t have to go forward.” The likely favourite in this heat is the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Kilowatt Kid, who has drawn perfectly at barrier one for star reinsman Ryan Warwick. Kilowatt Kid has a losing sequence of eight and is not a noted frontrunner who has fair gate speed, but certainly is not blessed with sparkling early speed. Nineteen of his 38 starts have been in stands, and he has drawn the No. 1 barrier in two of his 19 appearances in mobiles for a second over 2400m at Winton in December 2017 when he sat behind the pacemaker and then raced three back on the pegs before finishing fast, and a fading sixth behind Duke of Wellington after setting the pace in the 2700m group 2 Supremacy Stakes at Invercargill in April 2018. Kilowatt Kid has contested only three mobile events in his 13 WA appearances running on from sixth at the bell to be a head second to Cyclone Banner over 2130m at Gloucester Park on May 19, 2020, covering a lot of extra ground before winning by a neck from Shadow Roll over 2185m at Pinjarra on May 25, 2020, and racing wide early and then in the one-out and one-back position before finishing solidly to be third behind stablemates Justasec and Taroona Bromac at a 1.56.2 rate over 2130m at Gloucester park on December 28 last year. Tellmetoattack has excellent prospects in the second heat in which he is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2. He warmed up for this assignment with a smart all-the-way victory over 2265m at Albany last Saturday week. “He is up in class a little bit,” said de Campo. “If he had drawn one, I would have been quite confident. But I’m not quite sure whether he will be able to cross Im Rocknroll Magic. I’ll have a crack for the top, but if we can’t get there I’ll just drop in behind the leader.” The Debra Lewis-trained Im Rocknroll Magic has a losing sequence of 16, but his past two efforts have been encouraging thirds behind Tellmetoattack at Albany and behind Walsh and Carrera Mach at Gloucester Park last week. A most interesting runner is the Bond-trained six-year-old Bettor Aim, who will start from the outside in the field of seven at his first start in a race for 23 months. He has won at nine of his 16 starts and is capable of causing a surprise. The Bonds also will be represented by Infatuation, who has won at ten of his 19 starts and will have many admirers at his first appearance since last July. He set the pace and won a 2150m Byford trial last Sunday morning, beating Sergeant Oats by two lengths and rating 2.0.4. The Ross Olivieri-trained Queen Shenandoah has been performing soundly in strong company and is capable of a bold showing from the No. 3 barrier. “She will go well,” said reinsman Chris Voak. “She should get a nice soft trip and if she gets a split inside the 300m she will storm home.” Blue Blazer, who ran home gamely to beat Rock Me Over by a neck over 2536m last Friday night, will start from the outside in the field of seven in the third heat. “He went good last week, but the sprint distance this week is probably not his go,” said de Campo. However, if the speed is on, he will be coming home late.” The Olivieri-Voak combination looks very hard to beat in this heat in which former Victorian pacer Thats Perfect will start from the No. 6 barrier. He finished strongly when fifth behind Bletchley Park in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday night. “If it was a 2130m race I’d say that Thats Perfect would be unbeatable,” said Voak. “But average horses can run a good mile. He will probably have to do it the tradesman’s way again.”   Ken Casellas

Follow Dylan Egerton-Green. That was the message to punters after he had landed four winners Our Mista Kalle ($4.10), Talks Up A Storm ($1.80), Nigel Ernest ($8) and Chumani ($2.60) at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. Egerton-Green has a great opportunity to get away to a flying start at Gloucester Park on Friday night by driving Pocket The Cash to victory in the opening event, the 2536m TABtouch Pace in which he will start out wide at barrier eight. Pocket The Cash, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed, is racing with great heart and looks set to be very hard to beat this week. He started from barrier six in a 2536m event last week and settled down in eighth position before losing ground in the back straight, racing for the bell. He was sixth with 550m to travel before finishing with a spirited burst to be second, a short half-head behind Antero. Reed was impressed with the performance, saying: “He got inconvenienced at about the 1200m when the horse in front of him galloped. This probably cost him at least ten metres. It may have been the difference. But in saying that, we had our chance down the straight to run down Antero, who was strong enough to hold us off.” Pocket The Cash, a smart winner at Bunbury at his previous outing, has been a model of consistency, with his 37 starts producing eleven wins, ten seconds and five thirds. His major rival this week, and the likely favourite is another New Zealand-bred four-year-old in Master Publisher, who will be having his first start for two months and is ideally drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line. Master Publisher, trained by Gary Hall Snr, was unplaced at his three starts in New Zealand and has raced 15 times in WA for six wins and a second placing. He has won first-up after a spell for the Hall stable at his WA debut when he led from the No. 1 barrier over 2536m in December 2019 and over 2100m at Bunbury last April. His reinsman Gary Hall Jnr said that he gave Master Publisher a good winning chance. “It is a pretty suitable race for him, particularly if he can get to the top. If he’s anywhere near right he should go close to winning. If he had drawn in the middle of the line, I’d be a bit concerned first-up. But he’s got the barrier advantage, so he should be hard to beat.”   Ken Casellas

Chris Voak celebrated his wonderful performance to be the State’s leading driver last season with a treble at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, and is looking forward to a busy night at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he will have a drive in nine of the ten events. He has chosen the Terry Ferguson-trained mare Bettor Copagoodone as his best winning prospect. The five-year-old, a winner at seven of her past 16 starts, has been racing in fine form on South-West and Great Southern tracks. She has had made only six appearances at Gloucester Park and has yet to be placed there. She has won five mobile events at Albany, two stands at Pinjarra and one stand at Bunbury in her 43-start career. Bettor Copagoodone will start from the inside barrier on the front line and Voak is hoping the mare will maintain her sound form from a standing start. She gave an excellent frontrunning performance to win by four lengths from Be On Guard and Kilowatt Kid in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. “She went really good at Pinjarra, and she went even better when she ran on to win a 2265m mobile at Albany at her previous start,” said Voak. “She can win again. At Pinjarra she felt strong and that’s why I let her slide (in front) and just kept her company. “She won very easily and her last 1200m was excellent. If she can lead again, there’s no reason why on the half-mile track she can’t repeat the dose if she steps away like she did on Monday.” Bettor Copagoodone’s chief rival appears the Peter Tilbrook-trained Vivere Damore, who will start off 20m and will be handled by Emily Suvaljko. Vivere Damore ran on powerfully from eighth (and last) at the bell to finish second to Waltzingwithsierra in a 2130m mobile last Friday night. She looks set to fight out the finish. Voak has given punters a good lead by opting to drive Carrera Mach in preference to Rock Me Over in the 2130m Retravision Pace. Voak drove the Matt Scott-trained Rock Me Over last Friday night when the six-year-old, favourite at $1.50, set the pace and finished second to the fast-finishing Blue Blazer over 2536m. Gary Hall jnr has been engaged to drive Rock Me Over, who has solid winning claims from barrier four. Carrera Mach, prepared by Ross Olivieri, will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Carrera Mach started from the No. 9 barrier in a 2130m event last Friday night and impressed in sustaining a powerful three-wide burst from last at the bell to finish a half-head second to Walsh. “He will go well this week,” said Voak. “Hopefully, he won’t get too far back; we don’t want to be any worse than one-out, two-back. His past two runs have been very good.”   Ken Casellas

Star pacer Magnificent Storm has recovered from the debilitating effects of racing in blistering heat at 3 o’clock three Thursdays ago and is fighting fit and poised to extend his winning sequence to eleven when he contests the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred gelding has drawn awkwardly at barrier six in the 2130m Group 2 feature event which has attracted a quality field and has left astute Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams considering that Magnificent Storm is facing the biggest test in his short but dazzling career. “lt will be a test for him, but I think he will come through all right,” Williams said. “I’m excited and am looking forward to Friday night. It is a good field, and this will tell us where we’re at with the horse. “No doubt, this will be his biggest test and he will tell us whether he’s up to it (to be set for the Group 1 Four-Year-Old Classic in a fortnight and the Group 1 Golden Nugget two weeks later). “We decided not to contest the Pinjarra Four-Year-Old Classic last Monday week because it was pretty hot when he won at Gloucester Park eleven days earlier. He has come through that pretty well and he has worked well. “The draw hasn’t done us any favours, but I’m not too concerned about that. He doesn’t have to lead; he’s a nice horse who is easy to drive. So, we’ll grab a spot and see what happens. “He doesn’t do any track work and the only time he sees the track and is hoppled is when he’s in a race. He gallops in the cart and enjoys galloping up the hill at home.” Aldo Cortopassi will determine his tactics with Magnificent Storm as the race unfolds. The major danger looms large as the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Patronus Star, a winner at ten of his 17 starts. Patronus Star, to be driven by Ryan Warwick from the No. 3 barrier on the front line, is in top form. He started out wide at barrier seven in the Pinjarra Classic and raced three wide in the middle stages and then in the breeze when a fighting second to talented stablemate Howard Hughes, who notched is twelfth win from just 15 starts when he raced three back on the pegs and finished strongly along the sprint lane. Howard Hughes is handily drawn on the inside of the back line on Friday night when he will be handled by Deni Roberts. Stuart McDonald will drive Copy N Pace for trainer Gary Hall Snr, and will have admirers from barrier two on the back line. Copy N Pace impressed two starts ago with his fast-finishing third behind Magnificent Storm and Jaspervellabeach. Michael Grantham has chosen to drive the Mike Reed-trained Power And Grace from the No. 1 barrier in preference to trainer Michael Brennan’s Withoutthetuh (barrier No. 8). Gary Hall Jnr has been engaged to handle Withoutthetuh, who faces a difficult assignment from his wide draw. Chris Voak is looking forward to driving Henrik Larsson, who won for the fifth time from eight starts when he covered extra ground early before taking the lead and winning easily from The Stars Above at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. However, barrier No. 7 is likely to make life tough for Henrik Larsson. Henrik Larsson’s trainer Luke Edwards said that the horse was on track to contest the coming feature events for four-year-olds. “I was very happy with his run at Pinjarra,” he said. “He did a lot of work early and finished the race in good fashion, with the ear plugs in. We will be going back at the start and hopefully he hits the line strongly. “He is still on the way up and I aim to have him peaking for the big events over the next four weeks.” Voak was impressed with Henrik Larsson at Pinjarra, saying: “He still had gears left. But the draw on Friday certainly won’t help his cause.” Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo said that Alta Engen, a winner at eight of his 12 starts, was capable of a solid showing. “But the draw (No. 9) hurts,” he said. “He has improved a lot since his last-start sixth behind Howard Hughes and Patronus Star at Pinjarra, and his work since then has been good.”   Ken Casellas

The countdown to NZB Standardbred's 2021 National Yearling Sale is on, with various tours around the country beginning as early as next Tuesday. We welcome all to join us as we inspect an incredible line up of standardbred yearlings heading to Karaka and Christchurch to go under the hammer this February. The annual on-farm tour begins in the North Island, with visits across multiple farms on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 January. Parades continue in the Canterbury region of the South Island on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 February and finishes with the famous SBSR tour in Southland on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 February. View the schedule here We look forward to seeing you at the picturesque New Zealand stud farms before heading north for the beginning of our 2021 National Yearling Sale. Should you wish for an agent to inspect yearlings on your behalf, please get in touch with one of our Standardbred team members below. For more information about the tours contact Rachel Deegan +64 3 381 0141 or email rachel.deegan@nzb.co.nz.  

One of New Zealand’s best pacing mares is heading off-shore and trainer Mark Jones admits he doesn’t know when to expect her back. Jones is sending Stylish Memphis to Sydney to be trained by former Kiwi horseman Jack Trainor, who trains alongside Jason Grimson at Menangle. The plan was hatched when it became clear the All Stars runners Amazing Dream and Beyond Words were not heading across the Tasman, with trainer Hayden Cullen set to have no Aussie reps for the summer. “With Amazing Dream in particular not going the Sydney races like the Ladyship Mile become very attractive,” says Jones. “Not just because she won’t be there but because it also means she will be here and that makes the Addington mares races here so much harder, especially with Beyond Words also being here. “So Sydney is the best place for her and Jack had been hassling me for a while to send her over and now is the time.” It is not the first time Jones has sent Stylish Memphis to another trainer to maximise her potential, with Mark Purdon himself training the filly to win last season’s NSW Oaks after being a huge second in the Victoria Oaks. “It is about placing them where they are best suited and can make the most money,” explains Jones. “After those two mares races here at Addington she has no real mares opportunities until the Jewels and even that could mean taking on Amazing Dream again. “I don’t think we have enough good mares races here and after the two coming up she has to race the likes of Copy That and Self Assured. “Whereas at Menangle she has two A$50,000 mares races before the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile and then can races in mares races every second week.” While Jones and his owners are leaving the option of Stylish Memphis returning for the Jewels open she could also possibly head to North America. “That is another option for her because of all the mares races and the times she can get for her future broodmare career.” Stylish Memphis won’t be the only former Jones-trained good pacer plying her trade at Menangle soon, with Burnham Boy having already started his career there with a win two weeks ago after a two-third share in him was sold to big-time US owners Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover.   By Michael Guerin

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Consistent pacer Le Pole Dancer will be seeking to break maiden ranks at Waterlea Raceway on Friday when she lines-up in the Marlborough Racing Club Mobile Pace (1850m). The Margo Nyhan-trained four-year-old recaptured form last start when placing at Nelson on Sunday following an unplaced run on the first day of the circuit. “I didn’t think she had much of a show on the first day,” Nyhan said. “While she came off four seconds, she drew awfully (8) and it was a super-hot field. “She went well last start. She got a nice run and I thought she could run third or fourth in that field and she duly obliged with running third.” Le Pole Dancer has drawn two on the second line on Friday and Nyhan is happy with that marble. “That’s not a bad draw,” she said. “If the two horse goes forward she will be in the running line and won’t have to cover extra ground. Hopefully she can settle somewhere near the pace and she should be quite a good show.” Le Pole Dancer boasts five runner-up performances from 12 starts and Nyhan is hoping she can shed her bridesmaids tag on Friday. “She has been a slow learner,” Nyhan said. “But she has learnt a lot now so hopefully if she wins she is ready to take the step up to the next grade. “She is getting the ringcraft and it would be great to get a win on the board with her.” Stablemate Madeleine Stowe will by vying for back-to-back victories in the Masie’s Holdings Vineyard Handicap Trot (2400m) following her win at Nelson on Sunday. “She went super,” Nyhan said. “I thought she was our best shot the whole trip. I told Pete (Davis) he was driving the wrong one because I thought she was a super shot. “She is probably not as good on the grass and with the win she is going back 10m. She is super bright but it’s going to be tough with a 17-horse field.” Madeleine Stowe will be joined by stablemate Overzelous, who will also start behind the 20m mark, and Nyhan said she too could be questionable on the grass surface. “With 17 horses it is quite tough and she is probably not as good on the grass,” she said. “There were only 12 originally nominated but they have had such good noms they have transferred quite a few over. “She is well and is racing as good as she can, but she is not getting much luck at the moment.” Her half-sister Far More Zealous will contest the Kiwiseed Trot (2400m) and Nyhan is advising punters to look elsewhere. “Far More Zealous is a bit of a funny one,” she said. “We worked her with Madeleine Stowe yesterday (Wednesday) and she came off Madeleine Stow and just ran on by her. “She has got super high speed, but she must have some wee niggle and we are working on a few things. “We think she is quite a nice filly, but I wouldn’t be keen on backing her if I was having a bet.” Nyhan will also line-up Owhatanight in the Coles & JT Best Contracting Mobile Pace (1850m) and Givemewhatineed in the Isabel Wines Mobile Pace (1850m). “Owhatanight hasn’t drawn (14) great,” Nyhan said. “She looks like she might come into five on the second row, which isn’t a great draw. “She is racing great. She has not long come off the unruly and she is still learning things and is a bit green. “I would expect her to be running on at the finish. “Givemewhatineed has been taking part in both days at Nelson. We have done a massive lot of gear changes for tomorrow, so fingers crossed. If he goes like he can, he would be a shot, but we are not trusting him that much at the moment.” Nyhan has enjoyed her trip away to the top of the South Island and said it is a mini holiday of sorts for a lot of the harness racing community. “It’s brilliant,” she said. “Johnny Dunn and Blair Orange come up with their families and camp up here. We stay in a motel because we are older. It is a great buzz around the track. “This is the closest thing we get to a holiday, it’s great up here.”

The first of 36 Vicbred Platinum Maidens scheduled for 2021 brought a special result for owner/trainer Alan Ratnasingham, with Illawong Phoenix winning the $10,000 opening race at Geelong last night. An outstanding James Herbertson drive helped produce the trainer’s first victory since February 2017, which proved a big windfall for Ratnasingham, who secured the $5700 for first place plus his $7000 Vicbred first win bonus. Making the win in the Alabar Vicbred Platinum Maiden Pace all the more notable was that it was Illawong Phoenix’s first at start 12, having previously failed to place and amassed a modest $1960 in stakes. The win was the eighth and most richest of Ratnasingham’s career, which stretches back to the 1997-98 season and features 516 starts. Each month in 2021 there will be three $10,000 Vicbred Platinum Maiden races held, two for pacers and one for trotters. The next will be a trotting race at Bendigo on January 27 followed by a pacing race at Wedderburn on January 31. In February, the $10,000 maidens are programmed for February 8 at Yarra Valley and February 28 at Boort for the pacers, and at Geelong on February 26 for trotters.   Harness Racing Victoria

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