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Alta Shelby looks to be getting back to the form he showed early in his three year old season when he comprehensively dealt to a field of R51 - R53s at Winton on Saturday. The Mach Three colt lead all the way and won easily by four and a half lengths running the 2400 metre mobile in a smart 2-56.0.  "He's just starting to come back into form which is pretty pleasing. I thought he would go really close today. We changed a bit of gear on him. He's a bit of a head shaker so I put a chinguard on him and it's made all the difference. He's starting to live up to his potential and what he showed early on," said trainer Mitch Kerr who's considering a start in the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes in a fortnight. The Winton Business's Cup was won by the Ken and Tony Barron trained Royal Bengal. The four year was originally trained in Southland by Robin Swain before heading to Canterbury. Owned by Baynes Racing Limited which is Kenny Baynes and his sister in-law Penny, he carries the colours made famous by Kenny's father the late Colin Baynes. The same colours were worn when Kamahl driven by Colin Baynes won this race in 1983. The winning margin today was a length and a quarter with Star Commander running second. Royal Bengal adding the Winton Cup to the Gore Cup he also won - Photo Bruce Stewart. The race was marred by the second favourite Aloka breaking at the 450 metre mark. He was pulled out of the race by driver Blair Orange and found to have fractured his left hind cannon bone. Unfortunately for all his connections he had to be euthanaised. Winton Cup winners last 10years Year Winner Age Sire Driver Trainer Distance Time 2008 Biella Star 4g Mattuity DJ Dunn RD Holmes 2400m 3-01.0 2009 Bettor's Strike 4g Bettor's Delight DJ Dunn CT Dalgety 2400m 2-58.8 2010 Lionels Meddle 4g Live Or Die JR Dunn RJ Dunn 3200m 4-04.6 2011 Van Washington Man 6g Washington VC RT May BA Waldron 3200m 4-06.5 2012 Texican 3g Bettor's Delight DJ Dunn CT Dalgety 3200m 4-05.5 2013 Jimmy Johnstone 4g P-Forty Seven JC Hay JC Hay 3200m 4-04.9 2014 Belkmyster 4g Mach Three DJ Dunn G Anderson 3200 metres 4-06.0 2015 That's Hunting Pink 5m Christian Cullen Terry Chmiel Dean Taylor 3200 metres 4-02.5 2015 Costa Del Magnifico 4h Mach Three Nathan Williamson Brent Shirley 3200 metres 3-59.8 2016 Democrat Party 4m American Ideal Nathan Williamson Katrina and John Price 2400 metre stand 3-01.2 2017 Delightful Memphis 3f Bettors Delight Blair Orange Mark Jones  2400 metre stand 2-55.5 2018 Royal Bengal 4g Bettors Delight Dexter Dunn Ken and Tony Barron 2400 metre stand 2-57.1   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness racing

Ana Malak, owned by Gaby Maghzal, added to the Southern Supremacy puzzle when he impressively won the seventh race at the Invercargill Harness Racing Club's meeting at Ascot Park today. "He's qualified now and we're going to take a little step up on Saturday and line him up again, just to see where we're at against the better ones. He'll be nominated for the Derby but the Supremacy is his number one aim at this stage," said co-trainer Tony Barron. The imposing Bettor's Delight colt sat parked for the entire journey taking over the lead when pacemaker Leah Mac broke with broken gear with 600 metres to run. He went down to the line easily with driver Blair Orange not having to turn the stick. His winning margin was two and a quarter lengths from Mr Woodlea. The time for the 2200 metres was 2-43.3.  "He's a very laid back colt. He's been in his box sleeping all afternoon. It was never ever going to worry him sitting out there. His work on Saturday was absolutely sensational so we expected a pretty big run. We've looked after him and he hasn't had too many starts. He just keeps developing every start and hopefully he'll continue to do so."  Ana Malak was driven by stable driver Blair Orange. Returning to scale                                          - Photo Bruce Stewart. "He's (Orange) pretty happy and left the ear plug in. He just jogged it really. It was a nice run without having a gut buster for Saturday," said Barron. Ana Malak is out of the Tinted Cloud mare Anna Livia which was bred by John and Karen Parsons. Anna Livia won nine races for Gaby Maghzal and is a half sister to Artiface which won ten. Anna Livia was trained by Davey and Catherine Butt.  Barron moved to Canterbury at the start of the 2016 season after training successfully in Southland for most of his career. He's now into his second full season of training with brother Ken.  "We're ticking over and getting wins every week. Love the move, but love getting back here and catching up with everyone."  Winning connections with Tony Barron (centre)                  - Photo Bruce Stewart. Horses already qualified for the $45,000 Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes on Diamonds Day in April include The  Bus, Kilowatt Kid and Franco Santino. Maghzal would dearly love to win the Supremacy. His horse Malak Uswaad ran second to Ohoka Texas in 2011 Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   Ana Malak winning today

After winning two trotting races early in the day Kenny and Penny Baynes were in the spotlight again when they won the Mataura Licensing Trust Gore Cup with Royal Bengal.  "We developed him down here with Robin Swain. Penny wanted to race a horse in Christchurch. Last season he got a virus and didn't finished off the season every well. We spelled him and sent him directly to Ken and Tony Barron in the winter. They've developed the horse and done a great job. He ran some good times over Cup Week. He's a nice wee horse," said Kenny.  In today's pacing feature driver Dexter Dunn settled the four year old into the one one. At the top of the straight Royal Bengal had hit the lead and held out a spirited late challenge by outsider Gotta Del.  Returning with winning driver Dexter Dunn - Photo Bruce Stewart. Baynes says short term the horse, which has now won four races, is likely to race in New Zealand.  "Penny's not a great seller so we might hang onto this one. He might go to Australia and race in Perth later on." So in the final washup, Kenny in partnership with his wife Jo and sister in-law Penny won three races on the card today on their home track.  "It's pretty special and a goal of mine. I ran second in 2007 Gore Cup with Wattie. I've been around this Club for a long time. I first worked here about forty years ago when I was a kid keeping the birdcage clean. I was watering the track today and turning up here and winning three races was just a delight."  Kenny's father Colin won the Gore Cup in 1982 with Dab Chick.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Quality Art Major gelding Swamp Major is back on the active list at Ken and Tony Barron’s West Melton stable. The now five year old has been away from the stable for 10 months and by the time he's expected to return to the track in October it’ll be sixteen months since he last raced. He missed all of his four year old season. How he was injured still remains a mystery. “Tony was out jogging him in the cart with two other horses on the lead. We don’t know what happened but the next thing the horses were bolting around the place. Swamp Major with the cart on went mental, and we couldn’t catch him. Tony was tipped out and was kicked in the head by one of the lead horses. He had blood coming out his ear and was taken to hospital. He can’t remember what happened. When he (Swamp Major) came back he was sore. It was an accident. A few weeks later we discovered a stray cat without a tail hanging around. We think it could have come out of the hedge and frightened the horses but we don’t really know,” said Ken. Swamp Major was x-rayed and had cracked a pedal bone and was turned out. The injury was scanned at three months and again at six months and he was given the all clear and returned to work in May. “He spent the first two weeks on the tread mill and then we mixed jogging with tread mill work. Then we started pace work. He’s getting a good mixture and we're giving him a long buildup. Normally it takes three months but we’ve designed it to take four to five months.” And the Barron’s are very pleased with his current condition. “He ran a quarter in 32 the other day and felt very very good. He’s grown a bit but has really filled out.” Ken says he’s expecting Swamp Major will go to the trials at the end of September or beginning of October. “He’ll have one or two runs (races) before going to Cup Week.” His last race was the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June last year in which he ran tenth behind Heaven Rocks. During his three year old year he also ran third behind Heaven Rocks and Classie Brigade in the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes and third in the Flying Stakes at Addington. As a two year old he ran second twice in the Young Guns series behind Lazarus. His ten career starts have yielded three wins, two seconds and two thirds with $43,296 in stakes. He’s owned by his breeder Trevor Ryder along with friends Alan Lindsay, Cleland Murdoch and John Duff of Southland and Scott and Sue McCrea of Christchurch. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Canterbury junior harness racing driver Matt Anderson won both junior driver events at the Young Quinn raceway at Wyndham on Saturday. Compliant was the first of the double, winning the Nip Crooks Memorial Junior Drivers Mobile Pace. The Live Or Die gelding trained by Ken and Tony Barron settled wide early before Anderson took him to the lead with a mile to run. Rory Mcllwrick surprised all when he whipped Shortys Mate around to the lead with 900 metres to run. Once in front Shortys Mate took Compliant to the passing lane and from there all Anderson had to do was to shake Compliant up and he speared away to beat Shortys Mate by a length and a quarter. "Yeah he went nice. The Canterbury form stacked up," said Anderson. The second win came two races later when The High Roller capped off consistent form to win his second race in ten starts. After being wide at the 800 metres Anderson cleverly slotted the four year old into the one one as Tact Rousey took over as pace maker. At the 600 Tact Rousey was bolting for driver Chelsea Faithful and when she let the mare go with 450 metres to run, she cut away by five lengths with Anderson and The High Roller the only serious chaser. Tact Rousey hit the wall 50 metres out and The High Roller shot up the inside to nab the lead and win by one and a quarter lengths.  The High Roller beating Tact Rousey                                      - Photo Bruce Stewart. "Being a junior drivers race it can be messy in parts but we just navigated our way through. He feels like he can go on with it."  Last month Anderson scored a double on the same course with Don Domingo and The Best Beg.  "I get good support from the trainers down here. It just goes to show that if you get support you can capitalise."    Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Greg and Nina Hope gave up being surprised by Everybody Knows a long time ago. So when the dour little trotter stepped out on Friday night in an underdone condition and beat a handy field of trotters, there was a little bit of head shaking from the Woodend Beach camp, but not too much shock. “He’s done that for most of his career,” Greg Hope said. “When you least expect him to go a great race, he’ll go out and run something like he did just then.” Unsighted since winning in December 16, Everybody Knows extended the winning sequence to three on Friday night when he took full use of a quiet run on the markers and snuck up the fence to win. “With nothing serious under the belt I thought we might be a bit vulnerable, but it panned out beautifully.” The Quite Easy gelding has now eight of 38 career starts. There’s always been a belief within the Hope stable that he would make it to open class at some point, but no one probably expected it to play out the way it has. “I’ve known he’d make it to the top grade, but I just thought he’d do it through the back door. “But it’s snuck up on us a wee bit.” Everybody Knows will now be aimed and the Four & Five Year-Old Trotting Championships before taking on the big guns in some of the other open class trotting features at Addington. “He follows speed pretty well, so he should be able to hold himself up well in those big races.” Cullen Who enhanced her claims as a broodmare later in the night on Friday when she rated 1:55 for the mile to win the 1950 speed event. The Ken and Tony Barron trained mare, who was a $100,000 purchase, was too good for her rivals, running them into the deck to win from Superfecta. Blair Orange handled the mare on Friday night and she was the first leg of a driving treble for Orange as e went on to win with Reaza Grunter and Idle Monkey in the next two races. His effort was only matched by Dexter Dunn who managed to win with Absolutely Delight, Raukapuka Ruler and Chevron Express. Matt Markham

If Motukarara is known as harness racing’s own version of the Bermuda Triangle then today’s Akaroa Cup is the plane that is about to go missing somewhere in it. The field of pacers drawn for the $10,000 event is one of the most even to race so far this season with plenty of exposed form and is a real taste tester to the kind of fields we can expected over the coming couple of months as the country grass track circuit really kicks into gear. Exposed form on the green surface is always a key factor to take into account in Country Cup type races but the grass track credentials of the likely favourite for today’s Akaroa Cup has never started on a grass track. Mighty Flying Major from the Ken and Tony Barron stable is yet to race on the grass but has two workout victories at Methven back in 2013 and 2014 to suggest he shouldn’t have any problems with handling the track. The well-bred pacer, who has been troubled throughout his career by injury problems, has been outstanding in his five starts this time in, winning twice and placing on a further three occasions. The only major concern is that in two starts he has been unable to win from a standing start – although in one performance from behind the barrier he finished third behind Moonrock and then in the other he was second behind Captain Dolmio. His biggest opposition could come from the speed of last week’s Methven Green Mile winner, Franco Texas. The Dean Taylor trained pacer was brilliant beating a quality field in the one mile feature and with a safe beginning and plenty of time to wind up that high speed the Changevover gelding will be right in the fight again. Others who deserve a bit of attention in the race include; Johnny Eyre, Karanga Red Fantasy and Imola. Super Selector – by Matt Markham Race 1: Time For Diamonds, Red Hot Poker, China Express, Jacinta Franco Race 2: Waihemo Art, Dapper George, Blingiton, Loose Cannon Race 3: Rockthedon, Idle Bones, Izmok, Prince George Race 4: Zimfandel, Go Davey, Franco Tmick, All About Henry Race 5: Uralla Sue, Pick My Pocket, Maw Of A Woman, Christian Who Race 6: Sky City King, Supreme Harmony, Shark Attack, Extreme Spark Race 7: Volatile Lavra, Best Defence, Bird Of Paradise, Midfrew Tarpediem Race 8: Lavros Texas, Westar Bella, Debaneyre, BK Dawn Race 9: Mighty Flying Major, Franco Texas, Karanga Red Fantasy, Johnny Eyre Race 10: Bella Jones, Supreme Blue Chip, Ashes Of Tears, Booster Race 11: Torrid Bromac, Clasina Maria, Shadow Rider, Bevan’s Cullen Best Bet: Bella Jones (Race 10) Value: Zimfandel (Race 4)

Harness racing filly Terracotta trained by Ken and Tony Barron has been disqualified from a race win at Rangiora on 25th September 2016 after a urine swab tested positive to the anaesthetic Ketamine. After an RIU investigation it was accepted by the RIU that Terracotta had been in a paddock containing Ketamine contaminated grass after a colt was castrated in it 10 days earlier.  Ken and Tony Barron have not been charged over this matter infuriating some trainers who have been charged with similar offences. Craig Edmonds and daughter Aimee were fined $9000 in April after being charged with presenting Harriet Of Mot to race not free of a prohibited substance and John Howe was fined $5000 in November last year after a horse he trained, Jackalack Sue, returned a positive swab to Dextrorphan, commonly found in cough medicines and cough suppressants. Read the full judicial hearing here   Harnesslink Media  

Ryal Bush harness racing trainer Brett Gray produced Mighty Flying Deal to win his fourth race today. He was left down here after racing at the Winton meeting in October for Ken and Tony Barron. The four year old by American Ideal is raced locally by the MCC Syndicate and has been with Gray for his last three starts.  He was driven by Nathan Williamson. A happy Nathan Williamson - Photo Bruce Stewart.   Meanwhile Justan's Sister returned to winning form for new trainer Shane Matheson. She started her career with Gary Argyle before transferring to Paul Ellis with whom she won a race. Today's win was his second in thirty one attempts.  Justan's Sister and Maruia Parker (6) get up by a nose                   Photo Bruce Stewart.      Justan's Sister returning after winning at Ascot Park               Photo Bruce Stewart   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Sketching was 4/2 in the betting at Wyndham last Sunday and looked likely to pay a dividend until a costly check turning in. The Matt Saunders-trained four-year-old had drawn the ace, led out then trailled, and after being held up turning in, was checked and broke. He goes again today (Sunday) and again has fared well in the draw. From two behind the arm and with an uninterrupted run, the son of Art Official could be the one to have on the ticket for the first leg of the first quaddie. Third leg and first of pick six features three nice Canterbury visitors with Terracotta probably the best of them. A filly by Big Jim, she is trained by Ken and Tony Barron and had proved costly at the Riverton meeting a fortnight ago when green and unable to get a clear run in the straight. Different last week, she was soon in the trail, went up to challenge at the 400 and continued on to stop the clock at 1:57.7 for the mobile mile. She stays in the same class this week over the same trip and even from six in a nine horse field, looks the one to beat. Third leg of pick six is also the opening leg of the second quaddie and its hard to go past The High Roller. Trained by Brett Gray, The High Roller went close last week after starting from two on the second line. Not rushed early, the son of Christian Cullen was three and four back on the outer, improved across the top, went up five wide turning in and finished rapidly for second. He has another second line draw this week but the ability to overcome it. There is only one Canterbury-trained starter in the third leg of the second quaddie and fifth of pick six. Regan Todd, a native of Wyndham, is sending Righteous Brother south in top form. The three-year-old lines up in a stand start affair, his third in a row. He as started well in the previous two and both times finished in the top three. The first came after a strong finish at Addington and the second at Kaikoura where he fought gamely after trailling and taking the lane. Righteous Brother goes from10 of the 12 front markers this week but looks good enough to cope. In the final leg of the second quaddie and of pick six, Crime Scene appears capable of improving on his first day third. In that race, when trailling the leader, the Clark Barron-trained and driven three-year-old looked to lose some momentum on the corner before kicking again for third. He has drawn two this week and it would be a surprise if he wasn't able to capitalise. Mac Henry

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