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Sunday is shaping up as a definitive day for All Black halfback Andy Ellis. Ellis is part of a harness racing syndicate who race duel Group I winner Speeding Spur, a $1.30 favourite with the New Zealand TAB to win the Group I Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Melton on Sunday. The John and Josh Dickie trained Speeding Spur has not been helped by a tricky second row draw for the 2240m race, but his overwhelming favouritism suggests he should be good enough to overcome that. The Speeding Spur camp will be looking for redemption after the son of Pegasus Spur made an uncharacteristic break which ended his winning chances at the Harness Jewels at Ashburton in late May.  Ellis was on track to watch the disappointing result and will be looking for redemption of his own around three hours after Speeding Spur's race which starts at 3.09pm NZT. At 6.30pm the All Blacks squad for the Rugby World Cup will be announced. Fellow Speeding Spur owner Kieran Read is a certainty but Ellis' chances of playing in back-to-back World Cups appear to be dwindling. With Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara seemingly assured of their spots, Ellis also has to battle with a now fully fit Tawera Kerr-Barlow. And coach Steve Hansen has also hinted at only taking two halfbacks. If Ellis does miss out on what would be his final World Cup chance, he should hopefully be able to call himself a Breeders Crown winner. A Speeding Spur win looks a much better bet than an All Black call up on paper. Ellis and Read were invited into harness racing ownership by Woodlands Stud and have never looked back after first tasting success with Betters Delight pacer Victors Delight. Also in the Speeding Spur ownership is Crusaders forwards coach Dave Hewett and Commonwealth gold medallist Dick Tayler. A World Cup winner in 2011, Ellis makes no secret of his love of harness racing. New Zealand trained runners hold favouritism in seven of the eight Breeders Crown Group I events. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's 2-year-old trotting filly High Gait is a $1.20 favourite from the ace, as is stablemate Our Waikiki Beach who starts from the outside of the front row in the 2-year-old colts and geldings pacers final. Fellow All Stars pacers Our Dream About Me ($1.40) and Follow The Stars ($1.70) hold favouritism in the 2-year-old fillies and 3-year-old colts and geldings final. Our Dream About Me will have to come from barrier 12 but Follow The Stars has drawn four and inside main rival Menin Gate. The Bunty Hughes-trained The Orange Agent is at $1.50 to win the 3-year-old fillies pacing final from the second line and Paul Nairn's Conon Bridge is a $1.30 shot to win the 2-year-old trot for colts and geldings on the back of drawing the ace. The 3-year-old trotting final for fillies is the only race the Kiwis do not hold favouritism but Barry Purdon's Alannah Hall is a $14 chance from the outside of the front line. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ   -  Check site here

The big harness racing day at Maryborough today with its sole focus on the straight out trotter is akin to the holy grail for followers of the squaregaiter. The jewel in the crown today was the $75,000 Victoria Trotting Derby which drew together the best Australian three year old trotters with the undisputed New Zealand champion three year old Speeding Spur. Speeding Spur's main problem was that he drew barrier 13 which was the outside of the second line in the ten horse field. Due to scratchings there was only four runners on the front line and Josh Dickie, the driver of Speeding Spur took advantage of the small front line and sent the son of Pegasus Spur forward from the start and grabbed the lead within the first 200 metres. Blue Sky Commander settled into the trail behind Speeding Spur with My Arya facing the breeze. Second favourite Illawong Armstrong circled the field mid-race to sit outside Speeding Spur but he really latched on and as a result there was no let up in the hot speed as he pulled himself into the ground. Turning for home Speeding Spur still held the front but was being attacked on all sides. Blue Sky Commander and Kerryn Manning were issuing a challenge up the passing lane after their soft trip while Amarula and John Caldow were finishing on stoutly centre track. However as he has done all season in New Zealand, Speeding Spur kicked bigtime when he was challenged and was drawing away again at the line with Josh Dickie giving a little victory salute as he hit the line. Blue Sky Commander ran into second with Amarula battling the last bit to run third. Amarula's run was full of merit as she did have a short gallop in the score up but was with the field at dispatch. Speeding Spur trotted the 2690 metres in 3:21.8, a mile rate of 2:00.7 which was a new track record. Trained by Josh and John Dickie at Clevedon in South Auckland, todays win by Speeding Spur was his 11th from 14th starts as a three year old and took his seasonal earnings over the $250,000 mark. His win today from barrier 13 after being attacked savagely mid race in track record time is further proof if any was needed that he is a superstar in the making. New Zealand breeders would have had a big smile on their faces post race as the first three home were all bred in New Zealand and that carried on the great record that New Zealand bred trotters have in Australian age group classics. Harnesslink Media    

The North Americans have been on a bit of a buying spree of New Zealand harness racing stock in the last few months and that has continued this week with the smart McArdle gelding Kippenberger under offer to New York interests. Due to be vetted on Monday, Kippenberger has been a model of consistency lately and was rewarded tonight for that consistency with a smart front running win in the Thames Cup prelude. Away well from his ten metre handicap for co-trainer Josh Dickie, Kippenberger worked his way to the front and from there he controlled the race. Josh upped the tempo from the 800 metres mark and it was evident a long way from home that Kippenberger was the horse to beat. Passing the 400 metres Josh pushed the go button a bit harder and the six year old responded in style to scoot home in the chilly conditions in 27 seconds for an easy victory. Smart intermediate grade pacer Johnny Fox got home well for second in front of Rockn Ruby who went her usual honest race for third. Co-trainer John Dickie was all smiles post race. " Kippenberger  is such an under rated horse." " His record of finishing in the first three in nearly half his races says it all about him." " He always gives his best and is such an honest horse." " He has been on the market and is under offer so he won't be back for the Thames Cup in a fortnight which is a shame because I think he would have been a real chance," John said. Kippenberger is one of those Kiwi horses that looks ideally suited to North American racing and should give a good account of himself in the northern hemisphere. Harnesslink Media    

The first of the Group 1 races at tonights big harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park was the $80,000 Northern Trotting Derby which looked a two horse race on paper and for once that's how it played out. Habibti Ivy and Blair Orange led early as expected before handing up to the warm favourite, Speeding Spur with co-trainer Joshua Dickie in the bike. The main danger to Speeding Spur in Monbet with Ricky May in the bike settled into the one by one early on the back of the smart Prince Fearless and that was the running order up front for the first lap. With just over a lap to go Arya and Mark Purdon worked around to the death seat, forcing Monbet back a further place to three back in the running line. Speeding Spur really upped the ante down the back and the first horse to feel the pinch was Prince Fearless who started to struggle to hold Arya's back which forced Monbet and Ricky May to come out three wide. Speeding Spur really upped the ante on the corner and straightened four lengths clear with Monbet and Arya still finishing on. Late in the piece Monbet took a lot of ground off Speeding Spur but the son of Pegasus Spur was never in any danger of being beaten. Arya never gave up and stuck on well for third in front of Prince Fearless who kept whacking away to finish fourth. Speeding Spur trotted the 2700 metres in 3:25.4, a mile rate of 2:02.4 with closing sectionals of 56.3 and 27.7  Joshua Dickie was in awe of the performance of Speeding Spur. " I knew he would better than last week but he just felt super tonight" " His work during during the week had been great and we were pretty confident tonight." "Dad has done a great job of having him peak for the Derbies and a lot of the credit must go to him," Joshua said. Trainer John Dickie was all smiles post race. " We had him a bit short last week but this week he was right on the mark. "I was really confident going into the race and he didn't let us down," John said. The plans for Speeding Spur for the rest of the season are already set. " He will go to the $75,000 sales race at Addington on May 15th and then to the Harness Jewels two weeks later, " John said. Monbet put in another huge run for second, making up a lot of ground on the leader off a 56.3 last 800 metres while the run of Arya was much more in keeping with her ability. Harnesslink Media  

The first of the group races on tonights big night of harness racing at Alexandra Park was the $55,000 Lone Star Riccarton Sires Stakes Championship and it  looked to be a two horse battle once the draw came out with Speeding Spur drawing beautifully at three with arch rival Prince Fearless at four. However all that changed 100 metres after the start when Prince Fearless went into a wild gallop losing all chance. Josh Dickie worked the Pegasus Spur colt  to the front after 300 metres from Habibti Ivy and Blair Orange who settled into the trail on the favourites back The rest of the field were in Indian file apart from Monbet and Ricky May who slowly worked their way forward to sit on the wheel of Speeding Spur with 800 metres to go.  Josh upped the tempo with Speeding Spur down the back the last time but Monbet stuck with him and was still on his wheel as they turned for home. All the way up the straight Monbet slowly took ground off Speeding Spur but come the finishing line was still a nose back with Habibti Ivy making ground up the passing lane to be only a 1/2 neck away in third. Josh was happy to have won the $55,000 feature but thought Speeding Spur wasn't 100% on his game tonight. " He didn't really switch on tonight like he can and was gawking about down the back straight." " With so many big races coming up we haven't done that much with him and didn't take him to the trials last Saturday so he will improve on tonight's run next week." " They were getting really close late but his way of racing with his neck stuck out helped in the end," Josh said. Monbet went huge in second and is a live chance next week to reverse the result if he can just for once draw inside Speeding Spur and Prince Fearless. Harnesslink Media  

The old adage in harness racing of their being no such thing as a certainty in racing was reinforced yet again tonight at Addington in Christchurch when Speeding Spur overcame the hot favourite Prince Fearless to win the New Zealand Trotting Derby. Prince Fearless from barrier three was all the rage with punters with Speeding Spur was allowed to drift to six to one after he drew barrier six. Habibti Ivy flew the gate from barrier seven and grabbed an early lead before handing up to Prince Fearless after 500 metres. No sooner had he reached the front, Prince Fearless was attacked by Speeding Spur and Josh Dickie and the two star three year olds went to war for the next 300 metres before Speeding Spur finally made the front. Josh kept up a steady tempo in front before upping the speed down the back straight the last time. As they turned for home Mark sprung out of the trail with Prince Fearless but try as he might he couldn't get up to Speeding Spur who went on for a decisive 1 1/4 length victory. Habibti Ivy fought on well on the inner for third in front of an unlucky Monbet who made up a huge amount of ground to run fourth. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Sky Commander who ran on well late for a close up fifth in his first outing at this level. Speeding Spur covered the 2600 metres from the mobile in a new New Zealand record for a three year old of 3:15.7, a mile rate of 2:01.1 with closing sectionals of 57.9 and 28.7 Trainer John Dickie was confident going into tonights race. " We learnt a lot from our defeat to Prince Fearless at Ashburton." " He is much better rolling along as he is such a good stayer. ' The plan tonight was to go forward and we never going to die wondering." "Once he got to the front, I didn't think they would beat him," John said.  Safely through tonight, Speeding Spur will now head home to Clevedon to prepare for a series of races at Alexandra Park. " The two big races are the Sires Stakes and the Northern Derby so there is plenty to look forward to," John said. Tonights win was one of the best performances this writer has ever seen from a three year old trotter and the son of Pegasus Spur looks to have a big future. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing and the Dickie family have had a long association and that looks set to continue for a long time into the future the way John and his son Josh have been churning out the winners this season. Ever since their move up to Clevedon from their former base in the Waikato, the father and son training partnership have been regularly winning races at Alexandra Park. They started tonight at Alexandra Park in the same vein, winning race one with the three year old trotting filly, Paramount Dream. The daughter of Pegasus Spur was slowly but safely away from barrier two and settled three back on the outer in the running line. Josh didn't make his move until 400 metres from home where he quickly swept up to the leaders three and four wide and ran away for an emphatic four length victory. She trotted the 2200 metres in 2:52.9, a mile rate of 2:06.4 with closing sectionals of 60.2 and 29.6. Josh had double reason to celebrate after tonights success. " Its my birthday today so it is nice to win one for the stable." " She is a lovely filly and has a really good future." "She did it really easily tonight and knocked off a bit in the straight when clear," Josh said. A $50,000 purchase at the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale at Christchurch, Paramont Dream is a full sister to a former Dickie trained star in Paramount Geegee 1:57.3 ($561,342) and a half sister to another talented trotter in Paramount Queen 1:59.7 ($121,691).  Tonights victory was the 22nd for the season for the Dickie partnership and they are closing in quickly on lasts season mark of 25 wins which was there first season in partnership. PS: Josh and John made it two for the night when Speeding Spur took out race six Harnesslink Media  

It took driver Josh Dickie just a few seconds to find out how good Gamma Lady was at Alexandra Park last Friday. And the talented horseman liked what he felt. The first northern fillies juvenile pace of the season was a two horse war on the tote and so it proved to be on the track, with southerner Nek Time the leader and Gamma Lady the midfield stalker. Often in a juvenile race at Alexandra Park leading is enough to get you home and that looked to be the case at the top of the 400m mark, with Nek Tike going well and Gamma Lady forced four wide. But when the daughter of Mach Three straightened she put her head down like a little pro and demonstrated high leg speed to catch the leader in the shadows of the post. It was impressive stuff from the Brian Hughes-trained filly, rating 1:58.6 for the 1700m and she must have clocked not much over 27 seconds for her last 400m. Dickie got the drive through his association with Rosslands Stud, who bred and own Gamma Lady and he was beaming. “That was a big win and she is a lovely filly,” said Dickie. “They don’t often show you speed like that so she has a big future. “And it is exciting because she has the final of this series not too far away,” he said in reference to the Delightful Lady Classic, the culmination of the Young Guns fillies series. Gamma Lady is bred to be good, being out of Maheer Lady, who won six herself and was a daughter of Fern Glen. Michael Guerin - Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand  

The Group One National Trot, the Group Two Lyell Creek Stakes and Waikato Trotters Flying Mile - all in December - are the short-term targets for Prime Power who resumes his racing career at Alexandra Park tonight. The 5-year-old Monarchy gelding will have his first race since running third behind Sheemon and Doctor Bones in the Harness Jewels 4yo trot final at Cambridge Raceway on May 31. He will join fellow Waikato squaregaiter Charlemagne on the 40m back mark in Friday’s $14,999 Alabar Handicap for C3 to OC trotters. Trainer-driver Todd Mitchell is very happy with where his stable star is at. “We won’t be heading south and perhaps Australia could be an option after his December races. "At this stage we will play it one race at a time, but he’s come back bigger and stronger this time in and I couldn’t be happier with him even though he has only had a couple of trials,” Mitchell said. Prime Power has recently been trialling with a galloping pacemaker and Mitchell also gave him a run on the Raglan Beach. “He was unplaced from 60 metres behind in a workout a couple of weeks ago and before than on October 18 he won a four-horse workout by 16 lengths. "I’ve tried to get as much work into him as possible. “He can win on Friday but will be better for the run. "Forty metres behind is a big ask but it’s negated a bit by the small field, so I think he is good enough to go close fresh-up,” said Mitchell. Mitchell said Prime Power had niggles before the Jewels but more than five months off the scene has seen those problems disappear. “I just want to see him back to his best and I think he can get there this campaign. "The thought of Christchurch never really entered my mind. "If we did go it would have been for the Free-For-All,” Mitchell said. Prime Power has won 11 of his 25 starts – 8 of them on his home track and seven over tonight's 2700m standing start distance. The toughest for him to beat will be the John and Josh Dickie trained consistent Pegasus Spur 6-year-old brown mare, Miss Pegasus. She was a gutsy second behind Cool Cobber when second favourite at Alexandra Park a fortnight ago and two week’s prior to that run she was an easy winner of a C3 to OC trot at Alexandra Park. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

Well known harness racing owner and breeder Basil Blackwell has never been short of a nice horse around him and in Voluntad 1:56.4 ($28,766) he has another classy racehorse. Bred and owned by Basil and raced out of the Dickie barn as are most of his horses, Voluntad is a six year old mare by Real Desire from the Road Machine mare White Nights who has already left two smart winners in Mont Ventoux 1:55.5 and Lively Nights 1:58.4. Voluntad is from the family of Miranda Star which has been so successful for so long for Robert Reid. Voluntad only started racing in December 2013 and quickly showed she was above average. Going into tonights (September 19th) race at Alexandra Park she had already won three times from just ten starts and the punters made her a warm favourite. Two fixed odds bets of $5,000 were placed on her late in the piece but the punters would have been smiling to themselves from the time she left the mobile. Sent straight to the front from barrier two by regular pilot Josh Dickie, Voluntad kept up a steady pace before being attacked by Rykaard with 1200 meters to go. The next 400 meters was cut out in 29.4 before Voluntad regained control as they went to the 800 meters mark. She then ran down the back straight in 28.9 before scooting home in 28.1 for an effortless victory with Josh hardly moving in the bike all the way up the straight. Voluntad hit the finishing line nearly three lengths clear without being extended which bodes well for her as she works her way through the grades. She paced the 2200 meters in 2:43.3, a mile rate of 1:59.4 with closing sectionals of 57 and 28.1 Voluntad looks capable of mixing it with the better mares later in the season in races such as the Queen Of Hearts if she can keep improving at her present rate of progress. Harnesslink Media  

Harness Jewels winner Beaudine Boaz is set to make his Australian debut in the $125,000 Group One Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Saturday. And if his recent Byford trial where he mile rated 1:58.6 on his way to an impressive win is anything to go by he will take all sorts of beating. The Badlands Hanover colt dashed his last half in 56.4 in his trial and impressed driver Gary Hall Jnr, who bypassed the opportunity to drive Im Themightyquinn in Queensland in order to handle the 2YO Emerald winner in his main hit-out before Saturday’s prestigious two-year-old event.  Beaudiene Boaz, who is a half-brother to top mare Beaudiene Bad Babe, is just one of a few expensive purchases made by clients of the Gary Hall Snr stable in recent months.  Other classy New Zealand juveniles they have snapped up included high priced fillies Nuala and Giuliana Rancic. Meanwhile, impressive debut juvenile winner Connoisseur, who was purchased out off the barn of John and Joshua Dickie by clients of  Greg Bond for a large six-figure sum, will miss the Golden Slipper, with his new connections opting to spell him before bringing him back for early three-year-old racing. Rycroft, an Elsu two-year-old who was also very impressive when winning his debut for Tony Herlihy at Alexandra Park a fortnight ago, is also in Perth after being secured for big money. He has joined the stable of Mike Reed, who has enjoyed tremendious success with former kiwi filly Libertybelle Midfrew this season. Rycroft, like Connoisseur, will now be spelled and will therefore miss this weekend’s two-year-old feature. By Mitchell Robertson

Congratulations to Matthew Williamson, Ricky May, Todd Mitchell, Joshua Dickie, Jonny Cox, and Nathan Williamson who all produced ‘the goods’ last week. The best result was Katieellen Castleton, who was backed into a closing price of $6.50. Let’s see what good oil the boys have come up with on this massive week of harness racing. Addington - Thursday Colin DeFilippi: Has opted for Strathfield Sun, who recovered well to finish fourth after an early gallop last start - race one. Gavin Smith: Was impressed with Karanga Red Fantasy’s fresh-up second behind Anton Oliver, and think she can go one better in race six tonight. Mark Jones: Has opted for Rock Till You Drop on the back of a couple of impressive workout performances. - race six. Ricky May: Is bullish about the chances of Nevertheless, who has been very good in his last two starts - race seven. Franklin - Friday Jay Abernethy: Likes the chances of Pacific Rapture, who produced a big performance after breaking behind the mobile last start- race six. Simon Lawson: Has opted for the consistent Gold Elite - race eight. Josh Dickie: Rates Kippenberger as a good each-way chance- race nine Forbury Park - Friday Nathan Williamson: Thinks Mr Majestic can break his maiden status in the first race on Friday. Tim Williams: Believes it won’t be long before Mordecai cracks maidens. Probably Friday night- race three. Cambridge Harness Jewels - Saturday Greg Hope: Thinks he has Monbet right back on top of his game and expects him to prove very hard to beat in the 2YO Ruby - race two. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Has also opted for Monbet on the back of an impressive workout at Cambridge. - race two. John Dunn: Thinks Venus Serena has a cracking winning chance despite her tricky second-line - race three. David Butt: Thinks One Over Da Moon only needs a touch of luck to be a major player in the 3YO Ruby - race four. Ken Barron: Thinks that if Majestic Time is at her best come Saturday she will be a force to be reckoned with - race four. Anthony Butt: Has opted for smart filly Joannes A Delight, who should strip a better horse this week after missing work last week due to a foot abscess - race five. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Supersonic Miss - race five Todd Mitchell: Is very happy with Prime Power, who will attempt to defend his Jewels title on Saturday - race seven. Matt Markham (HRNZ): Rates Prime Power as the bet of the day on Harness Jewels Day - race seven. Ashburton - Sunday Dexter Dunn: Has a good book of drives on Jewels Day, but has instead opted for Artismee in race two on Sunday Stephen McNally: Thinks Hikoi is closing in rapidly on his maiden win- race five. Terry Chmiel: Thinks last start winner That Guy Finn, can repeat the dose on Sunday - race seven. Sam Ottley: Rates the chances of Mattjestic Rebeck - race nine. Invercargill - Monday Jonny Cox: Is bullish about the chances of King Louie - race five. Clark Barron:  Rates Royal Taz as his best chance of the weekend - race eleven.  

Josh Dickie’s first serious assault into harness racing ownership looks set to be successful one if his pride and joy Giuliana Rancic is anything to go by. The 2-year-old filly, named after the courageous Italian/American television personality, looks to have the tenacious fighting qualities of her namesake. Driven by Dickie, Giuliana Rancic led all the way to win last Thursday’s Dunstan Feeds Fillies and Mares Maiden at Cambridge Raceway. She was a pronounced $1.40 favourite and never looked like losing the 2200m mobile cruising to victory in 2:45.7 (mile rate 2:01.2), with final 800m and 400m bursts of 58.1 and 28.5 seconds. “I think she has a nice future but I’m not getting too carried away after just one start,’’ Dickie said, who co-trains the daughter of American Ideal with his father John at Clevedon. “She’s an athletic type who has a great conformation. “I liked her from day one because she was a big natural looking horse who had a good size about her.’’ Dickie paid Woodlands Stud $10,000 for the filly as a weanling at the All Age Sale. He then tried to sell her at the annual Yearling Sale but received no bids. “I’d never done this sort of thing before, so it was quite new - yet quite exciting. “I thought she might have been okay when I saw Bunty Hughes was doing the under-bidding at the All Age Sale, that was an encouraging sign. “Since then she has progressed really well, but when I bought her I had to convince my grandmother (Gwen Dickie) to free up the money to purchase her. “My Nana looks after my finances and she was quite reluctant to fork out that much for a baby. “I talked her into it and I think she’s now a bit happier after last week’s result,” Dickie said. He said he named the big bay after Giuliana Rancic because both he and his girlfriend Angela admired the TV journalist. “She had both of her breasts removed and then had to resort to an embryo transfer after not being able to give birth. “She has fighting qualities that both Ange and I really admire. “If my horse is half as gutsy as what Giuliana Rancic is then I’ll be a very happy owner,” the 23-year-old said. Dickie said the filly’s dam line also lured him into buying Giuliana Rancic. “I thought she was worth a crack because her mother (Finiamo) had good bloodlines via Party Baby and Bee Gee’s Dream. “She was put together very well,” Dickie said. He said he could give Giuliana Rancic perhaps one more run before spelling her for her 3-year-old season. “I’m not too concerned about the Jewels. “If she did qualify I don’t think I would line her up, I think she is a better long-term proposition. “She’s ready just yet to line up against quality opposition after just one start, It could break her. “Her long-term welfare means a lot to me. “I’ll bring her back as an early 3-year-old and take it from there.’’ Giuliana Rancic easily won her debut start by five lengths after leading all the way from barrier two. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

Many talented types were put through their paces in preparation for tonight’s premier meeting at Alexandra Park at the workouts last Saturday and it is fair to say more than one of them caught my eye. The third heat consisted of seven of the nine two-year-olds that will do battle in the first heat of the Young Guns tonight and, while the Ray Green trained pair of Chachingchaching and Beaudine Boaz were impressive in finishing first and second, there were also a couple of handy runs in behind them. One of them was Tembi, who has opened at very nice odds for tonight’s event. He was never asked for the supreme effort by driver Joshua Dickie and found the line very strongly, finishing hard on the back of second placegetter Beaudine Boaz. He has also impressed me previously at the trials and is definitely one worth specking for value.  Ardee and Follow The Stars also trialled strongly. Race 3  2YO MOBILE PACE.    (Qualifying Time: 2-13.4) Video  Distance: 1700m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 3 Chachingchaching fr 2-16.4 R C Downey R W Green 2 6 Beaudiene Boaz fr     R W Green 3 4 Follow The Stars fr     M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 4 5 Ardee fr     A G Herlihy MNZM Other Starters not necessarily in finishing order UPL 1 Jonny B Good fr     G R Dixon UPL 2 Tembi fr     Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett UPL 7 Iceobar fr     M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen         In the fifth heat of the day Lewy Risk proved he will have no problems going the Auckland way round by destroying his rivals by eight lengths. Sent straight to the front by Lew Driver, Lewy Risk defied a mid-race attack from Stars And Sounds, before bolting away over the concluding stages. Lewy Risk competes in the fourth race tonight and looks to have a very strong chance, despite meeting a field which includes talented types Someardensomewhere and Ultimate Major.   Race 5  MOBILE PACE. (C1) Video  Distance: 2200m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 4 Lewy Risk fr 2-49.2 L C Driver K D Sefonte 2 3 Stars And Sound fr     B M Mangos & H J Cullen 3 2 Going To California fr     B Purdon 4 1 Bronze Ecstasy fr     J W Dickie & J I Dickie       Margins: 8 lengths, 1 length, 1/2 length Times: Mile Rate: 2-03.7 Last 800m: 57.8 Last 400m: 28.9   Bettor Offer, Cyclone Prince, and Tiago Bromac all trialled up strongly in the sixth heat of the day, with Bettor Offer bursting up the inside to beat the latter pair late in proceedings. He looks very hard to beat from his ace alley in the last race of the night, while Master Charlie, who found the line strongly in the same workout, could be one to spice up Trifectas and First Fours. Race 6  MOBILE PACE. (C2 & faster) Video  Distance: 2200m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 1 Bettor Offer fr 2-50.6 Z E Butcher B Purdon 2 2 Cyclone Prince fr     G R Dixon 3 6 Tiago Bromac fr     S J Reid & S W McMullan 4 4 Chokullen fr     Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett Other Starters not necessarily in finishing order UPL 3 Sandpark Senator fr     Miss V S Facoory UPL 5 Master Charlie fr     D M Balle       Margins: 1/2 head, 1 length, neck Times: Mile Rate: 2-04.7 Last 800m: 57.3 Last 40   Love Ya Doosie looks set for the Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes after trialling sensationally in the eighth heat of the day.  After starting from 30 metres behind, driver Zac Butcher circled the field to take up the lead, before handing to Dauntless and taking a trail. The half-sister to the recently retired I Can Doosit then galloped down the back straight, before finding her feet again and powering over the top of them to win by ¾ lengths. Race 8  TROT. (C0 & faster) Video  Distance: 2700m     Weather: Fine     Track: Fast    Plc Bk Horse Hcap Time Driver Trainer 1 6 Love Ya Doosie 30m 3-39.5 Z E Butcher B Purdon 2 9 Equulei 30m     Miss A M Matthews 3 8 Dauntless 30m     E J Edwards 4 1 Belles Son fr     K K Chapman Other Starters not necessarily in finishing order UPL 2 Creamee fr     J W Dickie & J I Dickie UPL 3 Sundonna fr     G J Dempsey UPL 4 First Vintage fr     E J Edwards UPL 5 Pretty Awesome 10m     M J Pemberton UPL 7 Maori Invasion 30m     Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett       Margins: 3/4 length, nose, 2 lengths Times: Mile Rate: 2-10.8 Last 800m: 61.2 Last 400m: 30.7   By Mitchell Robertson

Smart filly Millie Sampson justified the $17,000 late payment her connections made to have her eligible for the Alabar Sires’ Stakes by winning the second heat of the series at Cambridge Raceway tonight. Millie Sampson, who is now unbeaten in three starts, was sent forward from the gate by co-trainer Joshua Dickie, and set a tidy clip in front, before proving too strong in the home stretch for Pricillas Girl, who enjoyed the gun run in the trail, and Lincolns Megastar, who was game in third. The Dickies have had the Sires’ Stakes on the radar since Millie Sampson’s emphatic first start win, but waited until after her second win to give her owners (Mrs J R Davies & J B Davies) the green light to make the late payment. The daughter of Bettor’s Delight paced the 1700m journey in a slick 2-02.7 (1-56.1), with sectionals of 57.0 and 27.7. Millie Sampson and Pricillas Girl are now both guaranteed spots in the $160,000 Group One final on New Years’ Eve. Meanwhile, Continental Auto, who finished second in the second race tonight, has run her last race in New Zealand. The four win mare, who was good enough to finish third in the Great Northern Trotting Derby as a three-year-old, will fly out to Australia on Monday. Tonight’s meeting also saw the birth of the driving career of Dylan Ferguson, who enjoyed two placegetters from four drives. His first win should come at short notice. By Mitchell Robertson  

Last week was just an average one for the ring-around with only John Dunn, and Sean McCaffrey tipping out winners, but this week I am sure it will bounce back to its brilliant best. Anthony Butt:  Has opted for the capable three-year-old Major Sam. He competes in the sixth race at Addington on Friday. Blair Orange: Is extremely bullish about the chances of Someardensomewhere, who baring bad luck, will be winning the ninth race at Forbury Park on Sunday. Craig Thornley: Thinks that if U Dream is on her best behaviour, she can win race five at Ashburton on Monday. David Butt: Likes the chances of Stig, who will attempt to win his third Ashburton Trotters’ Flying Mile on Monday. His run last start had plenty of merit and from all reports, he has worked on good since. Gavin Smith: Thinks All Shook Up is atleast an each-way chance in the first race at Ashburton on Monday. John Dunn: Has opted for smart filly Venus Serena, who resumes in the seventh race at Forbury on Sunday. Jonny Cox: Is torn between Washington Flier and Homeforabubbly. Both runners compete at Forbury on Sunday. Joshua Dickie: Thinks Showtime Lady could offer some value in the second race at Alexandra Park. Ken Barron: Rates the chances of Red Hot Toddy, who has been super in winning her last two starts. She looks the one in race sixth at Forbury Park. Matthew Williamson: Is big on the chances of Yankee One, who made a super return to racing at Addington on October 11. Look out for him in the third race at Ashburton on Monday. Nathan Williamson: Has opted for Livvy Franco, who looks a good each-way prospect from the ace draw in race six at Forbury Park on Sunday. Ricky May: Found it hard to pick one in what is such a good week of racing, but in the end opted for Lady Godiva. She looks a great chance in race nine at Addington on Friday. Sean McCaffrey:  Who tipped a winner in his first attempt last week, has opted for Sodeska. The capable trotter will compete in race seven at Alexandra Park. Simon Lawson: Has selected the consistent Hot Mach, who is set to do battle in the first race at Alexandra Park on Friday. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Likes the chances of Hi Jinx in the first race at Addington on Friday. Todd Mitchell: Thinks Te Kawau should be winning the second race at Manawatu tonight. Tim Williams: Is bullish about the chances of Brindy, who should have benefited greatly off his fresh-up third. He looks the one they all have to beat in the last race at Forbury on Sunday. *More horses may be added to the ring-around later in the day. By Mitchell Robertson

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