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Charlie and Ailsa Smaill have spent most of their adult life involved in harness racing. Both have been involved in administration of the industry with Ailsa being on the board of HRNZ for twelve years and Charlie serving as a director of Nevele R since 2009. They’ve owned and bred hundreds of horses. In fact an amazing 537 horses have their registered name ‘Jaccka’ as a prefix (colts and geldings) or as a suffix (fillies and mares) - 285 boys ranging from Jaccka Adobe to Jaccka Wizard and 252 girls from Alexandra Jaccka to Worthy Jaccka. Interestingly enough there is no Jaccka Charlie or Ailsa Jaccka!!! And right in the middle of the girl’s list is a mare that’s proved to be the best Jaccka of them all – Janine Jaccka. As a broodmare she’s produced a host of quality square gaiters and provided the Smaills with undoubtedly one of their many career highlights as owners – Jaccka Justy one of her sons winning the Dominion Handicap. But the story begins without a Jaccka in sight and a horse called Account. He was the first horse Charlie raced in partnership with his father Charlie H Smaill and trainer Phil Cross from Pyramid near Gore. He was by Majestic Chance out of Complete and was bred by Ascot Stud. He won his first start as a four year old at Gore in December 1983, driven by Robin Swain. In 1987 young Charlie bought with friend Archie Affleck, a filly called Keyali off Northern Southland breeder Neil Timms. She was by Gaines Minbar out of Keyanau who was by Key Club out of Lucky Surprise. Lucky Surprise left a handful of good mares – Orange Queen (Bachelor Hanover) who was the second dam of Lord Hillas, Queen’s Advocate, Carefree Princess and Noble Fella. Lucky Surprise also left Mini Clare who was the dam of Remote. The purchase of Keyali proved to be a masterstroke for the partnership. She not only won her first start for them and trainer Hori Lee but went on to win a total of seven races. “She’d run some pretty good quarters before we bought her. Archie had never been involved in horses at all. She started him off in the horse business. We had many a good day with her and a bit of fun,” said Charlie Smaill. As a broodmare Keyali’s first foal was Kute Jaccka which was by Holmes Hanover. She won four races. Smaill and Affleck raced Kute Jaccka early in her career but when she retired Affleck owned her outright and started to breed from the mare. Her first foal by In The Pocket was Mossdale Kara which is the dam of Mossdale Connor the winner of thirteen races. In the early days Smaill also raced Popsicle (Surmo Hanover – Classic Artist) which won ten races. He was good enough to finish second behind Honkin Vision in the 1989 New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes. At three he ran third in the New Zealand Derby. His best season was as a four year old when he won six races. He was also trained by Hori Lee at Wyndham. “Sometimes I wonder why I let him go. We had a lot of fun with him and he was such a nice horse to have around. He ended up in Canada in one of those heated barns. He was winning races right up until he was fourteen.” Popsicle ended up winning fifty five races overseas and with career earnings of $360, 806. His dam Classic Artist was by Knowing Bret out of Creation and was bred by Craig Legat. Popsicle was her first foal. She didn’t leave anything else of note although one of her last foals Champaign Jaccka bred by Smaill did leave the evergreen pacer Our Southern Man. Charlie did breed from one of Classic Artist’s daughters Cabsav Jaccka which left Tinted Cloud gelding Jaccka Clive which won thirty one races in Australia and $493,178. “It was a great family but it was boys only. You hardly ever saw a filly win a race. That was one of the reasons why I didn’t carry on breeding from that family.” Smaill has been a farmer most of his life, spending eight years at Clydevale from 1968 before moving to Glenlapa (in Northern Southland) in 1976 where he bred and reared sheep and cattle. From the early days he enjoyed being hands on. “Up at Glenlapa we put a track in and I was pre-training the odd one.” It was while they were at Glenlapa that they started to get a bit more serious about breeding. “When we were there we’d bought a property down the valley just next door to us. I met Bob McArdle when he bought Popsicle off us. He kept leaning on us to set up an AI centre. I had fifteen kilometres of deer fencing material on site. It was back in the days when you looked at diversifying your property the best you could. I sat down one day and looked into the economics of it and we decided to change direction. We set up an AI centre.” So Glenlapa became the first Jaccka Lodge in 1995. In 2002 Charlie and Ailsa leased Glenlapa to their son Charles and bought 600 acres, setting up the second home of Jaccka Lodge. So where did the Jaccka name originate from? “Once we started to breed a few we found it difficult to name them. It was an annual frustration. Ailsa and I put a prefix together using the initials of our names and our four kids – Kristine, Charles, Janine and Amanda.” After six years at Jaccka Lodge they decided to sell up and downscale. Brent and Sheree McIntyre bought the property in 2008 renaming it Macca Lodge. “It had become a seven day a week business. It really wasn’t the semi-retirement that it was set out to be and we’re very pleased that Brent and Sheree took it over.” They now have a 250 acre farm at Riversdale in Northern Southland.  “We breed about six to seven foals a year, we also fatten our son’s lambs.” Although they continue to breed pacers from a small number of mares their main focus is on trotters – particularly the stock of Sundon mare Janine Jaccka which Charlie bought as a weanling in 2002. “In those days we used to take a truck load of weanlings up to Christchurch. I was always on the lookout for a trotting mare. This filly walked into the ring as a weanling. I looked at her pedigree and it was pure trotting as far as you can see. There wasn’t a dual gaited sire in sight.” This unnamed weanling became Janine Jaccka. She was out of Spiritual Power a Pernod Eden mare out of an American bred mare Super Brenda (by Super Bowl). Super Brenda did a good job at stud leaving Real Force (Florida Pro) 11 wins, Chiola’s Luck (Chiola Hanover) 4 wins and Our Super Force (Pernod Eden) 10 wins. As the family is steeped in trotting blood Smaill is surprised the breed hasn’t been more successful in other branches. “I keep shaking my head and wondering why. I guess it’s the old adage – there are no rules in breeding. Everything we’ve had out of our mare has done well for us.”  For the first three seasons Janine Jaccka was sent to Continentalman. “He was sent down as a bit of a promotion when we first opened what is now Macca Lodge. I just liked the horse. He was lovely to handle. We had him around for a couple of weeks before he went back. Alex Milne broke the mother (Janine Jaccka) in and her foals. He said she was a bit slow. She was also a huge mare. We put her in foal as a two year old and got Jaccka Jack. No one was more surprised than Alex when Murray Gray turned up at the trial with Jack as a two year old. The breed’s a bit like that. Once you get them settled down and do a lot of ks with them, away they go. ” Smaill says most of Janine Jaccka’s foals have shown the same fiery trait. “I remember Jack, Justy and Jess – they were all wild foals. I can remember them squealing – they were difficult and weren’t easy.” But it’s a gait that he’s enjoyed the challenges of. “It’s something that has always interested me. It’s a different skill set to get them going. She’s (Janine Jaccka) not a friendly mare. The only time you can get near her is when she’s pregnant. They’ve all got that streak in them where they’ve been difficult to catch in the paddock.” Janine Jaccka is only fourteen and is still producing winners and good quality foals. “We’ve got an Andover Hall gelding. He’s been broken in and a bit like the first few. He wasn’t a real natural as a youngster but Alex keeps telling me that he (Jaccka Jeorge) will be a young horse. He’s just built like one. He’s the oldest of the Andover Halls and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on him.” Because she’s such a big mare breeding from Janine Jaccka hasn’t always been based on the right sized stallion match. “I would have gone to Love You but his foals are on the big side so I thought it wasn’t probably the right thing to do. I’ve never measured Janine Jaccka but the vet has to get up on a box to palpitate her.” As well as providing the Smaills with their biggest win in the industry, Jaccka Justy has also given Charlie as a small time trainer, his most satisfying moment. After being trained by Nathan Williamson for whom he won his first start in December 2010 Jaccka Justy then ran thirteenth in his next start. Smaill took him home to Riverdale and with plenty of patience and individual care he returned wearing his colours to Ascot Park in May 2011 where he provided Smaill with his first winner as a trainer. “It took me five months to get him back to the races. We just kept working away at him and tried to understand him a bit more. I’d been to a couple of workouts. If I’d have to pick a highlight in racing it’d be coming here (Ascot Park) and him winning his first start for me. It was Murray Gray that suggested that I keep him. I was actually looking for someone to give him to but Murray said why wouldn’t you keep going with him, and we did. He bolted in (that day) and I was staggered. I play that race so many times. Somehow we just clicked. It had a bit to do with the wind operation as well as it helped him relax.” Jaccka Justy was to win six more races under Smaill’s guidance. He ended up winning thirteen races and $235,467. His biggest win was in the 2014 Group One Hellers Dominion Handicap. He was driven by Jonny Cox and trained by him and Amber Hoffman. Of the six foals that have raced by Janine Jaccka - all have been winners. Jaccka Justy (13), Jaccka Jack (14), Jess Jaccka (5), Jocy Jaccka (3), Jen Jaccka (5) and Josh Jaccka (1). In all, her progeny have won forty one races and $462,322. Janine Jaccka from her seven named foals has left three fillies – two of which the Smaills are now breeding from - Jess Jaccka and Jocy Jaccka. “With Jess’s first foal (Jina Jaccka) we’ve had a frustrating time. Every time we’ve brought her in she’s been sore. We can’t seem to find out what it is.” And of all the Jacckas running around at the moment Smaill is most enthused about Jen Jaccka. “She’s starting to show that she may be competitive among the better grade horses.” Outside of Janine Jaccka he’s also breeding (on lease) from What Rose Trot the winner of five races for Graham Chalmers. She’s only left two named foals including the promising Pegarose which has won two of her three starts for Nathan Williamson. “Kevin Campbell our farrier was really keen on her. She’s in foal to Muscle Mass.” Although the Smaills have scaled down the number of pacing mares they are breeding from they still have some nicely bred mares to send to the breeding barn. Odette Jaccka, which won five, is in foal to A Rocknroll Dance and they’re also breeding from Badlands Hanover mare Expresso Jaccka. She’s left the promising Erin Jaccka the winner of two races and a former Winton track record holder for a mile in 1-53.9.  “We’ve given her (Erin Jaccka) a spell and we’re starting to do a bit of jogging with her now. Something went wrong with her, we just couldn’t put our finger on it. We’re just going to have a bit of a play with her ourselves and see where we end up.” Over the years, Charlie’s been looking to replicate in pacing what he’s achieved with trotting. And he did follow a line of success early on. “I’ve been looking for a pacing family like we have with the trotters but haven’t quite struck it yet. We did have a good one which we had a bit of luck with – a mare called The Other Woman (Falcon Seelster –Heirloom Hanover) but for some reason we’ve lost the family.” The Other Woman left a handful of foals including Jaccka Tana (Badlands Hanover) which won three races here and another nine in Australia and Jaccka Twain (Artsplace) which won three for trainers Geoff and Jude Knight and a further thirteen races in Australia. However Charlie says he given up that line of thought now. And after starting with pacers and breeding plenty of them, Charlie and Ailsa Smaill are now enjoying what Janine Jaccka is giving them and looking forward to racing the next generation of trotters from her daughters. “If this family goes into the next generation we’ll probably end up with predominantly this family. It wouldn’t worry me (just having trotters) because it’s the trotting side of it (the industry) that’s growing. The standards just got so much better and it’s great to be part of that.” Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Jonny Cox became the latest driver to win 500 races when he drove Rah De Rah which he also trains, to success in the Auckland Reactor At Alabar Mobile Pace at Winton today. He'd been sitting on 499 wins since June. "I wasn't too worry about it really. It was good to get it and move on," he said after the race. His first winner came on the Winton track almost fifteen years ago to the day when he reined the Tony Barron trained Godet to win. He compared the way races are driven these days to when he first started driving in 2002. "You used to be able to sit back and roar home and pick them up. Now they're running faster times and are faster off the front. You definitely need to be a lot handier these days." Win number 500 for Jonny Cox                                   - Photo Bruce Stewart                                                The former Southland driver has slowly migrated north. He was based out of Otago for a while and in recent years has worked for a number of Canterbury trainers. Up until this month he was working for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. He's also trained a small team of his own in the region.  "Happy to be a part of it (Canterbury Racing Scene). That's where it's at really. I've picked up some nice drives and had some good owners up there that have looked after me."  He rates the Dominion Handicap win on Jaccka Justy in 2014 as the highlight of his driving career. "I don't think I can top that."  Recently Cox became Tim Butt's new training partner in New Zealand as Butt looks to concentrate more on his Australian stable. "It's exciting and a new challenge. Tim has taken some nice horses to Australia but has left some nice ones here as well." Cox was Southland Junior Driver of the Year in 2005 with 40 wins and again in 2006 with 33 wins. He was also New Zealand's leading junior driver in 2005.  He rates Jasmyn's Gift, Lets Get Serious and Classic Cullen as some of the nicest horses he's driven outside of Jaccka Justy.  Later in the today's programme Cox drove the Brett Gray trained Jen Jaccka to win the Phillips Horse Transport Handicap Trot. Cox has a long association with Charlie and Ailsa Smaill who own Jen Jaccka, and has driven many of their horses over the years.  Winning in New Zealand record time - Jen Jaccka            - Photo Bruce Stewart Cox took the short way home in the race, and the six year old mare won easily by two and a quarter lengths in a new track, Southland and New Zealand record time of 3-00.9 for the 2400 metre stand. The previous track records were held by Spotlight The Valley (mares- 3-02.1), Santorini Sunset (open - 3-02.8) and the New Zealand record (mares) was held by her half-sister Jess Jaccka (3-01.9). Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   Jonny Cox getting win 500

A $10 bet late in April is still reaping the rewards for Jesse Alford. The Christchurch sales rep was standing at the Rangiora races on April 23 with $10 left in his betting budget for the day and was contemplating chucking it all on Classie Brigade to win the Rangiora Classic. A last minute change of heart however and a little inside knowledge saw what would have been a $48 return become one worth more than $5,500 after he took a percentage quaddie on the last four races. “I think I took $50 to the races that day and hadn’t had much luck.” Alford said. “I was going to put it on Classie Brigade but decided I was better anchoring him in the Quaddie.” Classie Brigade duly delivered in the Group Three and when Forgotten Highway won the next, things were on track, albeit looking set to be rather small. But when Lavros Jack came from nowhere to run past Missandei at odds of $16-to-one and then It’s All Over Now won the last at $12 - Alford was laughing his way right to the tote. “I’d been driving It’s All Over Now a bit lately and just chucked him in based on that. “So I guess I was a bit lucky in that sense.” With a full wallet and a smile on his face, Alford enjoyed the next couple of days before a phone call from Jonny Cox set the wheels in motion for a little more profit from the return. “Jonny rang me and asked if I still had any of that money left, and when I said I did, he said he had a horse for me to buy with it, Regal Assassin. “Initially I wasn’t that keen, but he talked me around.” Alford was joined in the ownership of the two-year-old trotter by Cox’s partner, Kim Butt and the Australian duo of Matt Peden and Josh Tinning. A fortnight ago things weren’t looking all that good though. “He wasn’t working that good to be fair, but we chucked him in the non tote at Addington to see where we were at with absolutely no expectations.” Regal Assassin made up many lengths behind the promising Marquis De Sade to finish second and all of a sudden, Alford could see there was some method to the madness after all. The on Friday night, the initial return of that Quaddie at Rangiora was returned when Regal Assassin got over the top of One Over Da Skye late to win the maiden trot. And the man who got it all to happen, courtesy of a bet, never had a cent on him. “I didn’t want to jinx it, so I didn’t back him.” The performance has resulted in a couple of offers being put in front of the quartet of owners so their time together could be quite short, but Alford has other interests to keep him going. He works all day until 4pm and then heads out to Cox’s stable to work a full-sister to Captain Peacock and a half-sister to American Tart to help earn his keep. “I enjoy it, it’s good fun and gives me something to do after work.” Alford is also involved in syndicates with young trainer Jack Harrington, including the talented trotter, Hey Yo. Matt Markham  

Eamon Macguire delighted his trainer Graeme Anderson with his third in the New Zealand Derby and it made him the horse to beat in Sunday's Alabar Southland Supremacy Stakes at Ascot Park. “It was a beautiful drive by Jonny Cox and the horse capitalised on it, not all can,” Anderson said, “you never know when you step them up but he proved he's a group one horse. It was a tough run and took him a few days to get over but he's back now in good order and his work shows he's ready.” The disappointing aspect for Anderson is the 10 draw in the 10 horse field. He doesn't know what will happen at the start but is confident driver Dexter Dunn will make the right moves. “When you've got a world champion its no use me worrying,” he said. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen produced Heaven Rocks to win the Supremacy last year at his fourth start and are trying to go one better this year with Major Hippie. An easy winner on debut three weeks ago, Major Hippie had just his second start last week. Hung out wide early, he was pressured when he made the lead but good enough to hold on.  “It was a great effort,” said Purdon, “he was entitled to be tired but the reports are he is doing well. He doesn't have to lead but then he's probably not the horse others would want sitting outside them.” Drawn just inside Major Hippie is the Mark Jones rep Whittaker who is unbeaten in his two Southand starts, clocking 2:40.7 over 2200 at Ascot Park and 2:59.8 for 2400 at Wyndham. His second to Mongolian Hero at Rangiora last week will have him ready for a top run on Sunday.  Despite being the right age, Mongolian Hero didn't qualify for the Supremacy having not raced in Southland since his success on this day last year in the Diamond Creek Farm Two Year Old Classic. However, he will be running in the last of the day. As well as having a leading hope in the Supremacy, Jones has one in the Nevele R Stud/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks in the form of Delightful Memphis. A winner of the group three Caduceus Club of Southland Two Year Old Fillies Classic on Ascot Park last year, the daughter of Bettor's Delight continued her unbeaten run in the south winning on Wairio Mobile day in 1:51.9. She backed up a fortnight later from a stand in the 2400 metres Winton Businesses Cup, clocking a national record for females of 2:55.5. Regular driver Blair Orange was aboard for those wins but was at Alexandra Park the night of her next start at Addington. Although one of New Zealand's best was unavailable, Jones had the luxury of calling on a past World Champion and drove her himself. In a small but select field in a Nevele R Fillies heat, Delightful Memphis sat parked for the last 700 metres and failed by just half a length to get past Partyon.  That run, her competitiveness against the best throughout her career, and her draw on Sunday of two, make her the horse to beat. However, Seaswift Joy and Bonnie Joan are also well credentialled and their presence makes the Oaks the race of the day. After arriving in the south last spring and winning her way through the grades, Seaswift Joy ventured north for a Nevele R heat in the rain at Methven. One of her scalps that day was Delightful Memphis - the gap between them seven and a half lengths. Seaswift Joy was placed in her next three, behind Spanish Armada and Delightful Memphis in a heat at Addington, Delightful Memphis on Wairio Mile Day, and Bonnie Joan and Somejoy in a heat at Forbury Park.  Too soon to write her off though. At Ascot Park last week, from the outside of the front line. Seaswift Joy came over the top of a good field of all ages to win in 2:41.3. As an Oaks preview, her co-trainer and driver Gordon Lee was thrilled. Back in January, Seaswift Joy won over a mile at Wyndham in 1:54.2. Runner up, half a neck back, was Bonnie Joan who subsequently won a mile of her own at Ashburton in 1:52.8. Then, on the same day Delightful Memphis paced 2:55.5 from a stand at Winton, Bonnie Joan went 2:53.8 from behind the mobile. The Tuapeka Lodge-bred and owned filly, winner of six from nine, hasn't raced since her Nevele R heat win at Forbury Park but according to her trainer Cran Dalgety, is ready for a big one. “She just has to hold her form rather than improve but there are three strong chances and which one, your guess is as good as mine,” he said. “The 2700 shouldn't worry her, her mother was a stayer and the filly ran a quick time winning at 2400.”   Mac Henry

Waikouaiti trainer Amber Hoffman was ecstatic with her first career win at Alexandra Park last night. The Otago horsewoman trained $5.10 second favourite, Break Dance, to win the 42nd running of the $20,000 North Island Breeders Stakes. The 5-year-old Art Major - Wave Runner (Live Or Die) mare was driven by Jonny Cox in the Powell Transport sponsored time honoured event for 3-year-and-olderfillies and mares. “What a wonderful feeling,” Hoffman said in the winner’s circle moments after the race. “I wish we had more horses like her back home that we could bring up here. She’s the number one horse in the barn at present, even though she can be a bit of a head-case at times. “I am so proud of what she has achieved tonight after a serious injury almost cost her racing career. I am so grateful for what Bernie (Hackett) and Michelle (Wallis) have done for her since she came up earlier in the month. This is their win too,” Hoffman said. Driver Cox said Break Dance possessed a lot of speed and had a lot of bottom to her, but at the same time she had a few tricks to her game. “We had to put the jaw breaker on her tonightbecause she hung real bad last week and it did the trick tonight. She’s a lovely filly who can only improve with better ringcraft,” said Cox. “She’s very talented,” he stressed. Break Dance was having her second look at Alexandra Park after finishing a two-length eighth in a 3-year-and-older trot last Friday. Last night Cox settled Break In back in the field from their wide front row (8) draw and then landed her in the one-one at the bell. In the lane they had just enough stamina to get past Jo's Dream and Andre Poutama by half a length. Break In paced the 2700m stand in 3:24.5 (mile rate 2:01.8) and last 800m and 400m in 55.6 and 27.2. It was Break In's fifth win in 37 starts and she was the $5.10 third favourite. Comments from winningdrivers in tonight’s fourGroup One races are below. The Group One $80,000 Breckon Farms 3yo Northern Trotting Derby: Enghien (Ricky May) - “I took him to the lead to take all the luck out of it and he bowled along nicely in front. That’s the way he likes to race. I tried to take the sting out of the race and he obliged doing it very easily.” The Group One $150,000 Magness Benrow Sires Stakes 2yo Fillies Championship: Elle Mac (Natalie Rasmussen) NZ record (1700m mobile) 2:01.35 - “I was fairly confident throughout the race but she did pull between the 800m and 400m, but after that she felt great. She’s still got a lot to learn and that will come with racing. That’s four in a row now. She’s a lovely wee filly.” The Group One $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup: Temporale (MNZM) - “He began well and we got a lovely sit three-back. He’s only four and has done a good job. I didn’t think he would be quite this good so soon, but was hoping he would because Suzanne (wife) has a quarter share.The Jewels is the main aim with him now.” The Group One Dawson, Harford & Partners New Zealand Messenger 4yo Championship: Lazarus (Mark Purdon) - “I was happy when he drew one because I wanted to lead but I didn’t think we would get away with the cheap sectionals we did. He won very easily tonight and he deserves his break now. He’s done a terrific job and we will probably see him again in September in readiness for the New Zealand Cup.”   Duane Ranger    

He’s already grabbed a Group One winner this weekend, but Jonny Cox’s feature race weekend might not be over.  The talented horseman made the most of a pickup drive on classy two-year-old filly Elle Mac on Friday night at Alexandra Park in the Caduceus Club Classic for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.  It was Cox’s first Group One pacing victory having won a Dominion Handicap with the ill-fated Jaccka Justy and his first winning drive at Alexandra Park since 2007 when he drove Washakie to victory while based in the North Island.  Today, at Rangiora, Cox has another strong pickup drive for the All Stars stable in Piccadilly Princess in the Rangiora Classic, giving him the perfect opportunity to complete a unique treble for the harness racing weekend.  Having driven a winner at Forbury on Thursday night and then one at Auckland on Friday, Cox will be shooting for three from three meetings when he gets out on the track with Piccadilly Princess.  The classy mare was an eye-catching sixth in last weekend’s Easter Cup behind Heaven’s Rock after missing away from the stand start. The Bettor’s Delight four-year-old reverts to the mobile today but does have the outside barrier draw to contend with.  That will put the mare’s fate in the hands of Cox who will have to look to get into the race at some stage, especially with noted speedsters Franco Nelson  and Field Marshal likely to be handy to the speed from early on in proceedings.  The Rangiora Classic hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the All Stars in the past with Imagine That’s win back in 2005 the last time they tasted success. Purdon won the race as a driver in 2009 when he drove Fake Chance to victory for Stan Moore.  As well as Piccadilly Princess they have Chase The Dream in this year’s edition with Sam Ottley doing the driving. Classie Brigade, who was also very good in the Easter Cup, will give Nigel McGrath a chance at big race success as Blair Orange looks for his third win in the race having won with Pure Power (2011) and Belkmyster (2015).  Super Selector – By Matt Markham  Race 1: War Spirit, Red Hot Poker, Gin Rummy, Native’s Lasting Love Race 2: Patanjali, Honour The Bet, Bubble Gum, Playingintheshadows Race 3: Ohoka Jimmy, Rock N Roll Delight, Omar Sharif, Sails Race 4: Donegal Carrickfin, Celestial Arden, Shillelagh, Christopher Banner Race 5:  Whittaker, Mongolian Hero, Shineonyourcrazydiamond, Franco Hampton Race 6: Sexy Rexy, Daiquiri, Foreverman, Galleon’s Royale Race 7: Franco Nelson, Piccadilly Princess, Classie Brigade, Chase The Dream Race 8: A G’s White Socks, Forgotten Highway, Sparkling Delight, Torrid Bromac Race 9: Lavros Jack, Belle’s Son, Royal Shine, Destiny Jones Race 10: Sacred Angel, Debnita Rose, Sweet Mary, Classie Margaret Best Bet: Whittaker (Race 5) Value: Sexy Rexy (Race 6)

Despite the formline the Amber Hoffman trained Break Dance was expected to play at best, a minor role behind two mares with better credentials in the feature harness racing mares race at Winton on Sunday. But as we all know in racing the pre-race script often changes. That was the case in the $20,000 Southern Belle Mares Speed Series Final when fourth win favourite Break Dance charged home late to beat the more fancied Kayteeoh Denario and Glenferrie Classic. The early speed was set by Tact Rousey from Gate One before Kayteeoh Denario took over in front. The pace was breakneck and driver Jonny Cox was locked away in the midfield. At the 400 metres Cox had a lap full of horse and was dead last. He then latched onto the back of an improving RR Sand Dollar and progressed forward. Once the plugs were pulled Break Dance came with a wet sail down the outside to beat Kayteeoh Denario by three quarters of a length. So from where she was at the 600, was Cox ever a worried man?  “I was a wee bit when we were three or four back in the middle. We were buried but we managed to get out and get going and got a good drag into it,” he said. The win was the mare's fourth and caps off a very consistent formline.  “She’s been unlucky a few times getting too far back. They went so hard today and it suited her down to the ground and we had the momentum going forward when we needed it. She’s not a top line mare but she tries hard every week. I think she’s only missed getting a cheque once since Amber has had her and on that day it was because of the run.” The Art Major mare was bred by Tuapeka Lodge and is out of eight win Live Or Die mare Wave Runner. Break Dance started her career with trainer Simon Adlam but it's been Hoffman that has found the key to her. And in what I understand is typical - she didn't want to hang around for the presentation.  Winning connections                                                - Photo Bruce Stewart.  “She doesn’t like staying still for very long but you don’t mind it when they put in a performance like that.” The winning time of 1-53.3 was a new race record. The Southland and track record for 1609 metres of 1-51.9 is held by Delightful Memphis. In the last race of the day Break Dance's younger half-sister Bonnie Joan raced by the Tuapeka Lodge Syndicate which share in the ownership of Break Dance, won in a smart time of 2-53.8 for the 2400 metres. The track record of 2-53.1 is held by Nek Time. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing    

Jonny Cox is confident that Benicio can return to winning form today at Timaru thanks to the ground beneath his feet. The talented horseman has driven the former All Stars runner in his last two starts and has felt he hasn’t been completely happy on the grass track surfaces and expects that returning to the grit this afternoon will see him turn things around. Now in the stable of Leonne Jones, the four race winner has the added bonus of the inside barrier draw and opposition that is a level below what he has recently faced in strong Country Cup races around Canterbury. “He wasn’t that comfortable at Rangiora,” Cox said. “There were a couple of spots up the straight that he hit and just didn’t feel right. “I thought he still went good though.” Benicio had only been in the care of Jones for a short period leading up the Rangiora run, but with an extra two weeks up the sleeve for today’s assignment it’s all looking positive. “We’ve got the draw to work with so hopefully we can make the most of it.” Benicio opened up as a $3.40 favourite last night with bookmakers. Christopher Banner ($7.60), Boomer Bailey ($5.40), Donegal Rundlescreek ($5.20) and Ultimate Fella ($5.50) are the other runners in single figures. Cox is heading South to the meeting for three drives - looking to add to his win tally for the season which sits at 10. He takes the reins on the Neil Munro trained Jemima Franco who was a solid fourth fresh up. “I drove her a bit in her last prep and quite liked her. “She went good first up so hopefully we can get a right run and be in contention.” His third drive is Two Right an impressive maiden winner at the last Timaru meeting. The Mark Fuller trained son of Art Official meets a strong C1 field with plenty of depth. “He might have to grow another leg like he did last time, but the ability is obviously there.” Two Right was $11.50 with bookmakers last night.   Super Selector by Matt Markham Race 1: One Over Da Stars, Sunny CJ, Saxon Rose, Ruthless Kayla Race 2: Woosh Factor, Best Defence, Absolutely Delighted, Sweet Loress Race 3: Turkish Trousers, Tahlia Franco, Jemima Franco, Classie Margaret Race 4: Trouble Giero, Arannalea, Needle, Idle Boys Race 5: Novak, Carbonado, Locked Out Of Heaven, Speedy Mach Race 6: Debaneyre, Madam Spur, Bobbins, Sundon’s Flyer Race 7: Canderdel, All About Henry, Kayteeoh Denario, Wobbegong Race 8: Righteous Hanover, Handsome Hero, Daimond Life, Ice Crusher Race 9: Benicio, Christopher Banner, Ultimate Fella, Stunin Dude Race 10: Let’s Rocknroll, Dying To See You, Tuscany Miss, Smooth Mara Race 11: Dana Duke, Givematasteofkiwi, Marat Saf Finn, Sans Le Sou Best Bet: Dana Duke (Race 11) Value: Canderdel (Race 7)

There’s been no fear of missing out so far for the FOMO Syndicate. The group of harness racing enthusiasts, who are plain and simply there for a good time and to enjoy the thrill of having a horse at the races continued their grand start to horse ownership last night at Addington when Gupta’s Cullen made it two from two for the Jonny Cox stable after being purchased early in the season. It follows on from their success with Weedon’s Express who did a similar thing when winning for the group before being on sold. A winner at Forbury last week, Gupta’s Cullen showed that a change of environment had worked the oracle when he came from dead last the 200 metre mark to run past some quality opposition last night – much to the delight of the entourage of supporters in the grand stand. “They’re a great bunch of people to train for,” Cox said. “Mitchell Robertson has done a great job setting it all up, there are some new owners in there this time around too who haven’t owned a horse before so they are really getting the best out of it. “Hopefully we can keep it up for them.” Handled last night by Cox’s partner, Kim Butt, Gupta’s Cullen got the shuffle up in the final half of the race but unwound stylishly to win – surprising her trainer in the process. “I thought she would go a good race, but she really let down. At the top of the straight I thought she might be able to run into third or something but the closer they got to the post the more confident I got.” There was no exact reason for the turnaround in form according to Cox although he did give tribute to caretaker trainer, Ben Laughton who looked after the Cox team while he and Butt were away on a holiday recently. “Ben came around every day and worked her for me and did a great job because she was ready to go when he got back. “We haven’t done a lot with her to be honest, she seems to thrive on a very little amount of serious work.” Cox and Butt will be hoping to make it a double for the weekend tomorrow at Methven when they combine with the talented, but erratic Sunny Demon. “He went to charge into a gap last night and just got too keen and galloped, he’s working good but it’s just a case of if he wants to be out there or not. “If you catch him on the right day he’s pretty smart.” Cox tasted another victory last night when he made his debut in the blue and silver stars of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen guiding Thefixer to victory on debut. He’s working there every morning at the moment, helping with the fast work side of the operation before heading off mid-morning to care for his own team. “It’s good, they are great people to work for and it was nice to get the colours on and get a result for them.” Cox is a chance to return to the sulky behind Thefixer in next week’s Sires’ Stakes heat.   Matt Markham

As reported by the All Stars Website, they needed a backup work driver while Mark was away in Australia and didn't have to look far. Only as far as Yaldhurst where talented horseman, Jonny Cox, was available for hopple mornings at Rolleston.  So the former southerner has quickly made the transition to being the driver of Lazarus in his NZ Cup preparation until Mark returns. "It fits in quite well for me" said Cox a Group One winning driver and one of he most talented to come out of Southland in recent years. "I've got four or five in work at the moment so I can help out here and still do my team later on. Our best one, Franco Saxon, is out at the moment too so there is not a lot of pressure on the home front team" Jonny won the Dominion Handicap at long odds with Jacka Justy in 2014 and also trained the gelding in partnership with Amber Hoffman before moving to Canterbury where he is working to get up a good sized team, never an easy task. While the plan was that he would only be assisting at All Stars during Mark's absence that contract could be extended. Natalie said that all going to plan Jonny would continue to help out after Mark's return. "On real busy mornings like today (Tuesday) someone of his experience and skill helps the day go more smoothly so I expect that he will be around in the longer term" she said.   Click here to go to the "All Stars Website"   All Stars Website 

Franco Saxon. Add him to your 'Race Tracker' and remember the name, because the way the Jonny Cox-trained runner won his maiden at Addington Raceway last Friday night was spectacular and certainly won't be his last time visiting the winner's circle.                             Owned by the recently-launched goHarness 'Staxofun' Syndicate, the performance from the 3yo Live Or Die gelding even impressed commentator Mark McNamara. "There's a debut win," said McNamara as Franco Saxon crossed the line to win by a half-head over West Point (Ken Barron), with a length back to Junior (David & Catherine Butt) in third. Starting from barrier 9 in the 1950m mobile, Franco Saxon was always going to have to do plenty of work to win - and that's exactly what he did. Away well, Cox soon had him marching forward to find the parked spot. With the three-wide train still coming, Cox was determined to keep the parked spot for the remaining 800 metres. "It was a tricky draw to work with, but we got a good drag up behind Sam (Ottley) to land outside the leader," said Jonny. "He turned up in great condition from previous trainer Steven McRae and trialled nicely at Ashburton when he won. He's a nice horse, but that performance showed us he has got the ability to go through the grades." Despite being under pressure and looking gone at the 400m point, Franco Saxon showed great tenacity to rally past the leader Dancinginthedark and hit the front. With the heavily-backed West Point and Blair Orange darting up the lane, it appeared as if the goHarness team would have to settle for a brave second but 'Sax' had other ideas and stuck his head out to grab the victory. "It's a dream start for the Staxofun Syndicate," said Co-Manager Johnny Robinson. "We've had a lot of members of our previous syndicates coming into Saxon, as well as another large group of first-time owners - which is not only great for us, but it promotes harness racing for the fun that can be had for very little outlay."" Robinson said there are still shares available in this latest syndicate launched by goHarness, priced at $730 each which is the equivalent of just a dollar a day. "The one-off fee gets you a share in Franco Saxon for two whole years, with no other payments needed, and if the horse is still performing well enough at the end of our two years with him there's also the possibility of the syndicate being extended. "He's a decent-sized fella, and we expect him to improve with more racing and as he grows into his frame," Robinson added. Friday's win by Franco Saxon was the first for Cox since he began training from his new base at Fred & Joy Morris's Yaldhurst property, called Yaldy Farm. "It's a wonderful property, with great paddocks and boxes as well as a nice track. They also have a pool, which is a great asset for the training programmes of some of my horses," Cox said. Shifting north from Dunedin 18 months ago, Cox originally worked for Ken Barron before switching to the Michael House stable in the mornings while doing his own team in the afternoons. "It was time to branch out and concentrate on having a team of my own. I've got eight in work at the moment and there's room for a few more," Cox said. Cox trained 52 winners in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons when in partnership with Amber Hoffman at Westwood Beach, just out of Dunedin. The pair trained Jaccka Justy to win the 2014 Dominion Handicap, providing Cox with his biggest training and driving success to date. An accomplished driver, Jonny is currently on 460 career victories and has saluted the judge on 28 occasions so far this season, while he has trained 26 winners from just the 282 starters on his own. Cox was also a dual winner of the Junior Drivers' Premiership in 2005 and 2006. Andrew Fitzgerald                

Tonight’s harness racing meeting at Addington Raceway sees Noel Kennard’s "GoHarness" syndication brand unveil a new Syndicate. The GoHarness team have been a revelation to the industry and currently have four different syndicates up and running, and pride themselves on the fact that every horse they have taken to the races has been successful on at least one occasion. That record doesn't look like disappearing anytime soon with their latest syndication horse Franco Saxon set to debut in race 2 at Addington tonight. Purchased off Spreydon Lodge several weeks ago, the 3yo Live Or Die gelding was a handy recent trial winner at Ashburton for trainer/driver Jonny Cox. "I have plenty of time for him, he's a lovely relaxed horse and he pleased me with his trial. He arrived in wonderful condition from Steven McRae (Spreydon Lodge) so we've just had to keep him ticking over" said Jonny. "The draw isn't a great help, especially over 1950m but if the luck goes our way I wouldn't be surprised if he won" Franco Saxon is owned by the "Staxofun syndicate" and there are still shares available. Astro Boy also resumes for GoHarness and Cox at Rangiora on Sunday. "He came to the end of it last time, so we spelled him and he has come back really well. He's had a couple of workouts and trials to get ready for this, he actually missed away at the trials the other day but usually he's a good beginner. From the front line he should get a nice enough trip and be thereabouts" said Cox. Astro Boy races for the “Double The Fun” Syndicate who also raced Western Art who unfortunately picked up a career ending injury. At his best Western Art was a handy winner of the Nelson Cup at the club’s early January meeting. Another recently set up was the “Buy, Race and Sell” Syndicate. Involving 50 shares with just the one lump sum payment, which the GoHarness name have become well known for, the Syndicate looks to win a few races with each horse first before hopefully flicking them on for a tidy profit. All horses for the Buy, Race and Sell syndicate are trained by Ken Barron. Barron currently has Order Online and Regal Grin in work for the GoHarness team. Order Online was a handy maiden winner at the start of the month and provided an instant return for Syndicate members after only having purchased the 3yo Washington VC gelding off Clark Barron a few weeks earlier. Regal Grin finished 2nd at the trials last week and the son of Grinfromeartoear is defiantly one to look out for over the next few weeks. Andrew Fitzgerald

This is our 3rd edition of “Horse’s to look out for at Forbury Park”, last time we featured Oamaru Junior Driver Brad Williamson. That night Williamson picked up a treble, in 3 consecutive races when he saluted with Winners Shout ($6.10), Elusive Flight ($11.50) and Caesar Rocks who provided the upset of the night at $56.10. This week, Christchurch based Jonny Cox will run us through his 8 drives. Race 1: 5 The Toiler – G & J Knight – “He’s a new addition to the Knight team; obviously his form is average so he’s probably a watch horse first up for them” Race 2: 6 Jetenara – K Barclay – “She won her maiden well last start, and while she steps up a grade the field lacks standout form, she’s a nice each way chance with a good trip” Race 3: 2 The High Achiever – G & J Knight – “They had a wee bit of a wrap on this fella, he’s only a 2yo but the draw helps, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was fighting out the finish” Race 4: 2 Shies Good – W Heads – “She was super first up, but we had no luck last time. Another one that draw well and she can definitely win this” Race 5: 4 Strathmores Charm – W Heads – “Obviously the back markers will be hard to beat, but he has good manners and could sneak into a place or top4 spot” Race 8:  6 Ma Cille – W Heads – “Her last couple of runs have put the writing on the wall, from the draw we will look to get handy, she’s my best chance of the night” Race 9: 9 Superior Desire – M House – “He won nicely at the workouts, but he will probably need the run and it’s a hard draw to play with” Race 10: 4 The Charging Moa – G & J Knight - “There are a couple of 3yo’s in this race who look tough to beat” Ma Cille's last start 3rd.  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Even from a tricky draw, the Brent White trained Shards Halo looks tough to beat in the Junior Drivers race. Brad Williamson jumps aboard and with the speed maps showing that she should be no worse then 3 back the fence, the 4yo America Ideal mare will be looking to slice through gaps and pick up the penalty free win. Earlier on in the night, Elusive Flight looks poised to add victory number 2 from just the 3 start for Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson. Known as a leading improver of horses, Anderson also had Laughing Cavalier in Race 9, and with the services of leading driver Dexter Dunn again, the 5yo Mach Three gelding is another looking to double up for Anderson. Elusive Flight's last start 2nd. Andrew Fitzgerald

Invercargill trainer Ray Faithful didn't know what to make of Geordie Sivad's run last weekend at Wyndham but at the finishing line he looked a bit stiff. Today on the same course luck wasn't in the equation when the gelding dealt to a good field of class one horses.   "It was a funny run last week." "He looked a bit flat at the 400 then he was unlucky at the finish." "Things just didn't work out right." I thought he'd run second to Clark's horse (Rakarolla) today but Jonny (Cox) drove him a wee bit more positively which is the way to drive him." "He hasn't got a lot of speed so you have to make it a staying contest," said Faithful.   At the finish Geordie Sivad had a four length winning margin and his time of 2-57.1 made it a race for the hardy.    The four year gelding had eight starts last season for an all the way win at Winton and three other minor placings.  "He's come up super good." "He's better this season than he was last." "Jonny thought he went good and made a few suggestions about changing some of his gear and he said he was pulling up a bit at the finish." "He also said he could have won by more." "He's a hard horse to train because he's a big dumb ignorant shit." "We'll race locally and space his races fortnightly and see what unfolds."   Mr Handleman's run fresh up was good and indicated his season should be profitable while Rakarolla's effort for third was huge. He  improved three wide from the 1250 metres and didn't get any cover from that point on. Annajodi looked a shade unlucky in running eighth.  Bruce Stewart Reproduced with permission of Southland Harness Racing   -   Check site here 

Harness racing trainer Sam Smolenski is a newcomer to the training ranks in New Zealand but it hasn't taken him long to chalk up his first training win. Last night in the maiden 1950 mobile trot at Addington Raceway, Sam had two runners and both were well supported in the market. Paris Princess and Gleneleven were both given a big rap by Sam when he spoke to Harnesslink earlier on Friday. Sam thought they were both in the right shape to win if things went their way but found it hard to favour one over the other. As the gate went, Gavin Smith sent Paris Princess forward with purpose but it took him nearly 400 metres to grab the lead from Dragon Sun. Gleneleven in the meantime had gone off stride out wide and took little further part in proceedings. After the early burn, Gavin was able to button off the speed with Paris Princess and got away with a couple of cheap quarters. The warm favourite Cuddly Jess with Jonny Cox in the bike had worked forward to the death seat outside Paris Princess with a lap to travel and it was clear a long way from home that these two would fight out the finish. Paris Princess started to really up  the tempo from the 500 metres mark and although Cuddly Jess stayed with her, Paris Princess had her covered in the home straight. Paris Princess trotted the 1950 metres in 2:30.5 with closing sectionals of 60 and 28.8. One group who were more than happy with the result was the TAB who had taken several large four figure bets on Cuddly Jess. Training trotters is a specialized part of harness racing but Sam's mentor Fred Fletcher has long been recognized as one of the best exponents at it in New Zealand and Sam seems set to follow in his footsteps. Harnesslink Media  

The inaugural running of  Southern Harness Racing's “ Diamonds Day” is based around the finals of the Southland Oaks, the Southern Supremacy final and the Southern Country Cups final all being held on the same day at Ascot Park in Invercargill..   The first of these to be run today was the Southland Oaks which looked a two horse race on paper but as we all know races are never run on paper.   Rocker Band had been in great form all season and even from the second line was sent out a warm favourite in front of the Cran Dalgety trained Donegal Kahlum who drew badly on the outside of the second line.   The well performed Smokin Bird and Jonny Cox lead early and held the lead for the first 700 metres before handing up to Dexter and Donegal Kahlum who had looped the field from last.   Rocker Band and Ricky May were seemingly cruising three back on the outer before taking off with 1300 metres to go and finding the death seat with 900 metres to run.    When the pressure went on at the 500 metres Rocker Band surprisingly folded immediately and drifted back through the field.   Donegal Kahlum headed for home in front but Smokin Bird after a lovely run in the trail zipped through on the inside and claimed a well deserved success.   Donegal Kahlum fought on bravely for second in front of a very unlucky Princess Arts who ran on well for third after being three wide for most of the last round.   Jonny Cox was all smiles post race.   “The race panned out beautifully for my filly.”   “She got the run of the race and was travelling like a winner a long way out.”   “ The draw made a lot of difference and if you reversed the draw you probably reversed the result,”Jonny said.    The irony of picking up the drive from Matthew Williamson after his recent suspension for a raceday duel with Jonny was not lost on Jonny Cox.   “ It is just the way it worked out and it could just have happened the other way round to be honest,” Jonny said.   Trainer Kevin Court has a rich pedigree in unearthing age group talent and in Smokin Bird he has a filly who won't be out of place in the New Zealand Oaks and Harness Jewels.   Smokin Bird Harnesslink Media 

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