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Following two very successful runnings of the Seasonal Super Series held at Addington in 2013 the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (NZMTC) will stage a third Super Series on Friday 2 May, 2014.   The two rounds of the Series held in October and December last year proved to be very successful with a good level of runners (an average of 13 starters) competing in both the finals and consolations.   It was encouraging to see a “spread” of winners from a wide range of trainers taking out their share of the stakes, providing a number of different owners with a healthy return. As well as some current top 20 premiership placed trainers including Robert Dunn, Terry and Glenys Chmiel, Ken Barron, Tim Butt, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen cashing in, wins were achieved by Peter Bagrie, Brian Fahey, Gavin Cook, Craig Edmonds, Alex Hastie and Noel Taylor. Total stakes paid out in the new Series will result in $316,500 including the May round.   The third Series, to be staged also at Addington, will once again cater for lower grade horses with projected stakes totalling greater than $100,000 over six events.   There will be opportunities for:    C0There will be opportunities for:    C0 pacers at 21 December 2013 – Stake $23,500    C1 to C2 pacers at 21 December 2013 – Stake $23,500    C0 to C2 trotters at 21 December 2013 – Stake $23,500   Consolations for these races will be run should numbers warrant, with each consolation carrying a total stake of $12,500. All starters in the open race (final) are to receive a minimum stake of $500 and all starters in the consolations will receive a minimum stake of $250.   Field selection will be based on a points system.   To qualify to start in these races on 2 May 2014, a horse must have started in at least one race at a NZMTC meeting between 17 January 2014 and 24 April 2014. There is no enrolment fee payable.   It is the intention of the NZMTC that a similar series will take place later in the year on 8 August 2014 under like conditions.   Full details and conditions are to follow and will be able to be viewed at www.addington.co.nz from Friday 21 February. Alternatively, please call Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley of Addington’s Racing Department on (03) 338 9094.   Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington  

Following last week’s announcement by Racing Queensland (RQ) to increase the Metropolitan penalty threshold to $15,000, we continue to receive feedback regarding the change. The Queensland Harness Racing Board (QHRB) first raised the proposal to increase the threshold in line with other states in November 2013 and then sought feedback from stakeholders and industry groups. Feedback was received supporting both an increase to the threshold and for it to remain at the current level. All feedback was duly considered by the members of the QHRB before the decision to increase the threshold was voted upon. The QHRB considered that the benefit of increasing the threshold outweighed any potential drawbacks. The decision was made to benefit the wider harness racing industry in Queensland and in particular owners. The QHRB placed particular value on the ability for Queensland horses to race in Career Penalty assessed races locally for greater prizemoney than that offered in most other states. Additionally, the potential for Queensland horses to race interstate in lower assessed Metropolitan Penalty racing when travelling was also considered a benefit of the change. As an example; A horse that starts a campaign out as an M1 C11 R11 competes under the existing threshold and wins an M1 assessed race, then an M2, an M3, and finally M4 with one of these being the $16,000 final. Its total earning would be circa $31,700 and would end the campaign a horse assessed M5 C15 R15 throughout Australia. Under the new system the same horse would win a Q1 assessed race, a Q2, a Q3, and a Q4 with one of these being the $14,999 final. Its total earnings would be circa $31,000 and would end the campaign a horse assessed Q5 C15 R15 in Queensland, however outside Queensland it would be assessed as M1 C15 R15.   This leaves the opportunity for four metropolitan graded wins outside of Queensland before reaching the same mark. This could amass a potential prizemoney earning of between $40,000 and $50,000. As with all changes introduced by RQ, the implementation will be monitored to ensure that the foreseen benefits are realised. RQ will continue to work with RISE to implement this change. Racing Queensland  

A free berth in the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) - that's the prize for the winner of the 'Pick & Pray Free WHHC Qualifier' handicapping contest The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will conduct Saturday, July 20, as part of a harness racing card that features eliminations for the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios.

Ok harness racing fans, after seven weeks I have picked horses in 44 races with only 19 winners, not that good. I had two out of five winners last week which made for a $3.00 overall loss. We are in the minus earning column still at (-$4.30) going into this weekend.

Slow and steady has gotten Mark McKelvie, the 2012 HANA Harness Handicapping Champion back on top in HANA Harness' 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, with a net profit of $7.50 for the four Grand Circuit Stakes this past week.

Ok harness racing fans, after seven weeks I have picked horses in 39 races with only 17 winners, not that good. I had three out of five winners last week which made a $6.00 overall profit. We are in the minus earning column by only (-$1.30) going into this weekend.

Harness racing experts may have thought Smilin Eli couldn't lose, but Sally Hinckley wasn't convinced and it turned out she was right as she earned $138 by supporting Corky in the Earl Beal Jr. stakes to cap off a big night in HANA Harness' 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, as she jumped from seventh to fourth place with her $233.50 profit at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs.

Grand River Raceway has launched its first online handicapping contest, The Grand River Raceway Challenge (GRRC).

With two strong two-horse entries in the TVG/Meadowlands FFA trotting series which was the sole event this past week in HANA Harness' 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, reality was there was little opportunity for anyone to make a significant move.

In a weekend where there were nine harness racing stake races to be played with a minimum of $270 to be wagered, the potential for movement in any handicapping contest was clear.

In a weekend with six wagering events in the 2013 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, Chicago Racing, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, Rusty Nash managed to stretch his lead over the other handicappers thanks to his net profit of $39.05 for the week.

In a weekend with six wagering events in the 2013 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, Chicago Racing, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, Rusty Nash managed to stretch his lead over the other harness racing handicappers thanks to his net profit of $39.05 for the week.

The contestants of the 2013 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, Chicago Racing, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs welcomed the change in scenery this week with many of the challengers being successful one or both days this weekend.

The contestants of the 2013 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, Chicago Racing, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs will welcome the change of scenery this coming weekend, when the handicapping contest visits Hoosier Park and Harrah's Philadelphia for as a group they have been finding thus far the Meadowlands a tough nut to crack.

In the early portion of the 2013 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, Chicago Racing, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs the old adage 'home runs are nice but singles are what makes the game' seems to be holding true.

After launching a similar contest at Vernon Downs last month with more than 500 entries, Tioga Downs has opened registration for its own version of the harness racing Showdown Online Handicapping Contest.

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