Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 342
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's success with ex-Australian pacers continued yesterday at Mt Harding racecourse when Cruz Bromac powered over the top of his rivals to win the Methven Cup by more than two lengths. The Falcon Seelster gelding was having his first start on the grass surface, a fact that did not worry his driver Natalie Rasmussen who commented on the All Stars website that the grass didn’t worry them because he is a good gaited horse. "He did scramble a bit early but that was probably getting used to the surface. "It was good to see him bouncing straight up with some form here. "We think he will probably go to the Kaikoura Cup. We have a huge week coming up and we expect to have 16 horses at Ashburton as well as some at Addington Friday and four at the trials on Wednesday," she said. Although the track was on the dead side the time for Cruze Bromac of 3-51.3 for the 3000m stand lowered the old track record held by Messini by nearly half a second, proving Cruz Bromac has what it takes to be a major force in the up-coming New Zealand Cup in November. The favourite for the race Star Galleria led for most of the way but weakened to only run third,while Forgotten Highway continued his good form and enhanced his Cup chances by running home well into second for driver Samantha Ottley.   Harnesslink Media

Natalie Rasmussen, the leading female driver in stakes won for the last five years is now free to drive at trials and on raceday. In a statement on the All Stars Website, Mark Purdon has said the RIU has reversed the decision on Natalie. "We were just getting on the plane home from Auckland when we got the news the RIU has reversed its decision and Natalie is free to drive at trials and raceday. "We were surprised it took this long but at least is happened and we can get on with it," he said. Rasmussen who has had an amazingly high UDR for the last several years is unbeaten with her drives so far this season, winning with her only two drives,both on Thefixer when he won his first two starts back this season. Rasmussen will drive the All Stars trained Eamon Maguire in the $50,000 Inkwise Canterbury Classic at Addington on Friday night after Thefixer was pulled out of the race with a minor foot problem.   Harnesslink Media and Courtesy of All Stars Website

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) today announced the winners of their 2018 Horse of the Year Awards, with Lazarus taking out Harness Horse of the Year honours. It was a stunning year for Lazarus in Australia earning a million dollars and winning the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup double for trainer-driver Mark Purdon. In addition to the Harness Horse of the Year award, the New Zealand bred horse also took out the Australian Pacer of the Year and Aged Pacing Horse of Gelding of the Year awards. In another stellar season for Mark Purdon, his star two year old pacing filly, Our Princess Tiffany won the Australian Two Year Old Pacing Filly trophy after her three-for-three season in Australia culminating in a terrific Breeders Crown win. Premier Victorian trainer Emma Stewart dominated the juvenile pacing boys divisions, with colts Centenario and Poster Boy taking out the Two Year Old and Three Year Old Colts and Gelding Awards respectively. Great Southern Star champ Sparkling Success was the big trotting winner for John and Mary Meade as he won 2018 Australian Trotter of the Year and Aged Trotting Horse or Gelding of the Year, which is sure to be a thrill for the Meade’s after the horse’s untimely injury this month.  Star Yabby Dam Farms trotter, Always Ready was the most clear cut winner this year. In a season in which he was not once out of the placings from eight starts for trainer Anton Golino, Always Ready was the overwhelming victor in the Two Year Old Trotting Colts and Geldings division. The performance criteria for the HRA Awards is for performances by Australian trained horses, as well as for Australian performances of New Zealand trained horses. The full list of Australian Horse of the Year winners and their performances across all categories is attached: Lawn Derby Awards - Pacers Vancleve Awards - Trotters For more information, please contact Harness Racing Australia on 03 9227 3000.   Harness Racing Australia

Whether the current harness racing race fixing blow ends up a bleeding nose or a gaping wound will almost certainly depend on the contents of texts and phone calls now in police hands. Some of the industry's biggest names spent at least part of today in police custody, and while unconfirmed, some have already been charged with race fixing or similar offences. Names at the centre of the investigation named Operation Inca include last season's premiership-winning driver Blair Orange, the man he dethroned for that title Dexter Dunn, and Dunn's brother John, himself a leading driver. The Herald understands at least one other successful Canterbury trainer was extensively questioned by police, while they also visited the stables of champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, with Purdon reportedly not part of the investigation. While police today suggested race fixing and potentially drugs are at the centre of their investigations the Herald was told that illegal performance-enhancing substances used on horses are not the focal point of Operation Inca. The investigation was sparked by information passed to police by the Racing Integrity Unit as early as April last year and police have tapped phones and checked text messages as part of the investigation. What they found or are still to find in those texts or calls will be crucial to building a case against any of those under investigation because race fixing is incredibly hard to prove. And often even harder to actually achieve. While there have and always will be those who are suspicious of racing being "fixed", the reality is it has never been cleaner because of technology. Most trainers and drivers/jockeys don't bet because it is too easy to trace, with bookies openly supplying betting records to authorities. So any of the people under investigation placing a bet on a race they were involved with would set off alarm bells regardless of the result. Which is why the spouses of several of those under investigation were also questioned today, to see whether they had placed bets on their partner's behalf. That is almost certain to be a dead end. What is more likely to end up at the centre of the investigation and any future charges will be betting activities of third parties who bet on information supplied by horsepeople and may have rewarded them for that information. That in itself is an offence but a relatively minor one. The real problem for harness racing would be if any of the parties involved colluded to rig a race, supplied that information to a third party and benefited from that information and any money subsequently won. That would have huge ramifications, an iceberg to racing's Titanic. Text messages, phone calls or face-to-face conversations between punters looking for a tip, even just an opinion, from horsepeople have been going on for as long as there have been phones or racetracks. So if the text messages, recordings and apparently emails, the latter a seemingly very strange way to fix a race, confirm that any drivers knew each other's plans and passed that information on, then harness racing has a problem like cricket's famous match fixing scandals. The other option is a punter ringing multiple horsepeople, putting that information together and betting accordingly for their own purposes. Christchurch-based owner Graham Beirne also had property raided today but was overseas and denies any wrongdoing. Whether any punter, in New Zealand or overseas, would have the money and more importantly the power to fix a race and convince the people at the centre of this investigation is questionable. Such scams are incredibly hard to pull off, as the mastermind needs drivers capable of controlling the main variables of the race without outside interference. The money gambled on New Zealand harness races is relatively small compared with overseas thoroughbred action and any unusual transactions are easily spotted and the driving tactics around them noted. The electronic trail is so pronounced, the telecommunications so easy to track, anybody engaging in prolonged race-fixing would be certain to get caught. This investigation could last a long time but regardless of how it pans out, to the punting public, perception is often reality, and harness racing's reputation has taken a huge blow. The irony is this: Orange and Dexter Dunn travelled to almost every race meeting they attended last season together. I spoke to them before, after and sometimes even during those meetings. They are, hand on heart, two of the worst tipsters I have ever met among the leading horsepeople and if your betting strategy was punting on what they thought was going to happen, you would go broke. But now the racing industry will wait to find out what was said, texted and written.   Michael Guerin

When the Kennards wrote their name down for Thefixer as a yearling they weren't going just by what was in front of them. They had already had race and sales success with Sir Tosti Mach, his half brother by Mach Three. Sir Tosti Mach ran second to Alta Christiano  in a Sales Graduate race and ran 4th in a very strong final that year. He later was a durable racehorse in Australia. So a version by Bettor's Delight was certainly no option from hell Seven wins from 12 starts later-plus a lot of patience as Mark and Natalie told them "Tosti" was a good horse in the making but needing time-showed that the trainers knew what they were talking about. Surprise, surprise. But what might be termed a surprise is not that Thefixer is good but that he is male. This is a family that has left useful colts and geldings and the odd case even better than that. But it is a filly family by any measure. Thefixer's dam Tosti Girl was a high bar perfomer earning nearly $200,000 in age group events. And her dam, Delightful Paula by the brilliant track performer but disappointing stallion, Jaguar Spur-once so fashionable he  had a yearing passed in at $100,000 at Christchurch when the average was less than $20,000-connected spectacularly with Christian Cullen to produce another outstanding filly, Delightful Christian, who won over $200,000 and ran 1.52. Her record would have been even better had she not returned a controversial positive to arsenic after winning a Harness Jewels 2yo Filly and being disqualified-a penalty legal action could not shake. Not only that but the next dam, Aristocratic, left another high class filly Paula Michelle who won the filly version of the Sires Stakes both at two and three. Colts anyone ? Why? At that stage this branch of the family, nurtured for many years by the Harrison family of Methven, had moved north after Central Standardbreds bought Patrician from Tom Harrison. Brian Hughes and John Green had considerable success breeding most of the above stars from her descendants.  We need hardly add that Patrician's dam, Undaunted, bred on the Light Brigade-U Scott cross more fashionable then than even the Bettor's Delight-Christian Cullen one today, left a very smart mare in the days before so many rich filly races in Ulight who won seven and granddam also of Local View. She did also leave a smart male pacer in Onassis.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com

Driver Tim Williams is certain Dream About Me will strip a fitter pacer at Addington tonight than she did a week ago — he just isn't sure whether stablemate Thefixer will be just as improved. And the answer to that question could decide the first group race of the harness season, the $30,000 Maurice Holmes Vase. Williams will partner Dream About Me, who hasn't won a race since the 2016 Auckland Cup but has rarely gone a bad one since either. Last season she was dogged by bad luck and chasing Lazarus and the now six-year-old mare produced the run of the race in the first open class contest of the season at Addington last Thursday. Tipped by champion trainer Mark Purdon to be in need of a run, Dream About Me looked just that as she sat parked for the last 800m and was only caught late by Thefixer. So if Dream About Me is fitter, which Williams is sure she is, then back to free-for-all conditions tonight she should win, right? "That would seem to make sense and she will definitely be better but the thing is we don't know how much fitter Thefixer will be too," admits Williams. "They both hadn't raced for a long time heading into last week and I think reverse the runs and reverse the result. "But we don't really know how good Thefixer is. A couple of years ago he came off Vincent's back and beat him in the New Zealand Cup that day so maybe he is a really good horse. So either of them could win without surprising me because these small field can provide very tactical racing." If Dream About Me can lead the race looks hers to lose because last season when she led it took Lazarus to beat her in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton. One thing looks certain, an All Stars victory. As good as the opposition are, it is hard to see any of them holding both the Purdon-Rasmussen stars at bay, with key rival John Dunn opting for Captain Dolmio as the best of his three chances and he was beaten after leading last week.   Michael Guerin

Cruz Bromac, winner of the Len Smith Mile in 1.50.1 earlier this year, has joined All Stars with an eye on the New Zealand Cup in November for which he was  nominated last week. Cruz Bromac, raced by Danny Zavitsanos the owner of All Stars pinups, Enhance Your Calm and War Dan Delight, was to travel home with the Breeders Cup horses this week. His last racing outing was a disappointing effort in the Blacks a Fake in Brisbane but two starts earlier had caused an upset in the Smith Mile beating Field Marshall after hot favourite Soho Tribeca broke early and took no part. Prior to that Cruz Bromac had beaten a moderate field in the 2700m  Warragul Cup before switching stables to become a stablemate of Tiger Tara who is also bound for the New Zealand Cup. Cruz Bromac has generally battled in high class company though 4th in the G1 Sky Classic in Perth as a four year old in 2015 driven by Luke McCarthy. Last year he clocked a 1.50.7 mile rate over 1720m to win at Melton though was well beaten in the Victoria Cup when 8th behind Lazarus. In 2016 he won the Group 2 Casey Classic ($A50,000) at Melton in a  1.56.4 mile rate  Altogether he has won 15 of his 30 starts and over over $250,000  Chris Barsby

Mark's winning drive behind Show Gait, trained by Reagan Todd for Natalie's mother, Cheryl, in the 3yo filly trot at the Breeder's Crown was quickly outshone by the stunning performance from Princess Tiffany in posting her 9th win from 9 starts after being parked and severely tested by rival Kualoa who led most of the way in the 2yo Pacing Final. Tiffany looked to be battling after a scorching second to last quarter in 27 but living up to Mark's rating as the best juvenile filly he and Natalie have trained, rallied with true grit and class to win the $A290,000 stake in 2.40.2 giving All Stars its 11th Breeder's Crown win though it was the 13th for Mark as a driver. It was her third Group 1 win for Braeden and Caroline Whitelock and Phil and Margaret Creighton. Her mile rate of 1.55.3 was faster than that of the 3 year old colts race, giving some idea of the great performance Tiffany put up. She thus emulates the feat of Partyon who won the Jewels-BC double two years ago. She won her first 10 races in a row-something Princess Tiffany has right in her sights after a well deserved spell.  Unhappily it didn't work out quite so well for ANOTHER MASTERPIECE in the 3yo final. He was checked out of the race at the start and while mounting a huge effort after a classic drive from Mark he just found his early exertions a little too much in a last 800m in 54.5 settling for a valiant third. Earlier in the night Stress Factor, a former All Star, won the 3yo trot for the Brent Lilley stable.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stable http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/  

New Zealands top harness racing stables the "All Stars Stables" have produced The Fixer and Dream About Me to run the quinella in the National Handicap at Addington Raceway tonight. The race was the first totalizator hit-out for the New Zealand Cup entrants hoping to gain some early form for the big race in November later this year.  It turned into an eventful race, firstly with two of the six runners breaking and putting themselves out of contention at the start and then The Fixer running his last half 800m in a sizzling 53.71 seconds to get home late over the top of the stablemate Dream About Me in the shadows of the post. Tote favourite Captain Dolmio trained by Robert Dunn led for the majority of the race but was run down in the straight to finish a slightly disappointing third.  Natalie Rasmussen the driver and part trainer of The Fixer said on the All Stars Website after the race: "The Fixer is a grand little racehorse and when you consider how long his career is and what he has done he is up to the best classes.  "But he can be a naughty little bloke at times and I was a bit worried before the start but he began like a toff and got the best run after that. "I thought Dream About Me went as well having to do that bit more work," she said. The Fixer (Bettor's Delight - Tosti Girl) will probably run in the Maurice Holmes Trophy next and maybe the Victoria Cup if all goes well.     Race 7  TELTRAC COMMUNICATIONS LTD NATIONAL HANDICAP PACE, $12,096, R70 & FASTER DISCRETIONARY, 2600m   For R70 & faster pacers. This race has a maximum back mark of 30 metres.   Weather: Overcast     Track: Fast     Plc Bk Horse Barrier Hcap Stakes Fav Time Margin Driver Trainer 1 5 Thefixer 3 20m 7,632.00 2/2 3-15.4   N C Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 2 6 Dream About Me 1 30m 2,016.00 3/3 3-14.7 0.80 T M Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 3 3 Captain Dolmio 1 20m 1,008.00 1/1 3-15.6 1.40 J R Dunn R J Dunn 4 4 Classie Brigade 2 20m 648.00 5/5 3-15.7 1.50 B N Orange N R McGrath 5 1 Baileys Knight 1 fr 504.00 6/6 3-27.7 53.90 S J Ottley J D Harrington 6 2 Letspendanitetogetha 1 10m 288.00 4/4 3-29.3 65.50 M J Anderson R J Dunn $12,096.00   Scratchings SCR 7 Alta Orlando U1                     Divs: $2.40. $1.50. $2.40. Quinella $4.20. Trifecta $14.10. Margins: 1/2 length, 1 1/4 lengths, 1 1/2 lengths Times: Mile Rate: 2-00.9 Last 800m: 54.4 Last 400m: 26.8 Harnesslink Media    

Champion trainer Mark Purdon is as blunt as possible in assessing Dream About Me’s chances when New Zealand’s best pacing mare returns to Addington tonight.  “She will desperately need the run,” says Purdon matter-of-factly.  So while Dream About Me is by far the best performed horse in the National Handicap, Purdon doubts the former Auckland Cup winner will beat stablemate Thefixer, let alone win the race.  Dream About Me hasn’t raced since a luckless New Zealand Cup week last November, with hoof issues curtailing a season that earlier saw her push Lazarus to a half neck in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton.  The now six-year-old millionairess has had four trials to prepare her for tonight’s comeback but most have been quiet affairs and Purdon is adamant she will need the run.  “We have brought quite a few of ours up a little later this season and she is a big mare anyway so I’d be happy to see her running on,” he says.  “I would be pretty confident Thefixer would be too forward for her.” Punters might still be tempted by each way odds for Dream About Me as she comes in well at the handicaps and Purdon’s often cautious approach to his fresh runners have proven wrong before. But the reality is he will be happy to see driver Tim Williams relax Dream About Me and let her run on so for all her class even her biggest fans might be better off watching rather than punting tonight.  Thefixer is also fresh up from two wins at Cup week last November but is a more streamlined pacer and therefore forward enough to win but he is by no means a good thing as the Rovert Dunn stable have two reps who have looked more advanced than the Purdon-Rasmussen pair at recent public outings.  Letspendanitetogetha beat Alta Orlando, who has been scratched from tonight;’s race, and another stablemate Captain Dolmio at the most recent Rangiora workout that all of tonight’s big players lined up in.  A lot will depend on the tempo of the race and who gets the best run in what could be a game of cat and mouse but victory for Letspendanitetogetha or Captain Dolmio  wouldn’t surprise.  Purdon will watch the race from Victoria where he is putting the final touches on his powerful pair for Saturday night’s Breeders Crown finals at Melton. He is thrilled with unbeaten filly Princess Tiffany before her A$290,000 juvenile pace final while Another Masterpiece is also spot on heading into the boy’s equivalent but faces a second line draw.  “Princess Tiffany has handled the season incredibly well and she is as good if not better than she has been all year. I can’t fault her,” says Purdon.  “Another Masterpiece is also good but might have to sit parked which is a hard way to win.”  Purdon will also drive trotting filly Show Gait for young Canterbury trainer Regan Todd and says she worked the best she has this campaign yesterday morning and is the horse to beat in her A$70,000 final.   Michael Guerin

With partners Braeden and Caroline Whitelock otherwise occupied at a rugby ground in Sydney, Phil Creighton made a lightning return trip to  Melbourne on Saturday to witness Princess Tiffany score an impressive win in her Breeder's Crown semi-final. He was pleased to hear Mark tell him everything was on schedule for the final next weekend and thrilled when Mark told an interviewer after the race he doubted he had had a better juvenile filly than Princess Tiffany, now unbeaten in eight starts and an emphatic favourite for the BC Final after an authority-stamping end to end victory home in 27.1 "Mark said to me the draw was a wee bit of a worry and he might try for the front rather than end up parked and it worked out well" said Phil who bred the filly's dam, big winner Dancing Diamonds with Stu Gillan and raced her with the Whitelocks. An earlier foal of the mare, Rock Diamonds, bred by the Whitelocks is a good winner in Perth. "I thought I should make the effort to go and see the semi. She is a very special filly. You  love to watch your own horses even if you have to make the effort and Mark's words made it worthwhile. He has had some very smart juvenile fillies, like Dream About Me and many more" Phil, who also races Ultimate Machete a G1 winner in Australia this season,  has since lost Asabella the dam of Dancing Diamonds whose two previous foals had been smart pacer Code Red and the high class pacer Ohoka's Bondy. Phil and wife Margaret have recently cut back on their commercial breeding interests but Princess Tiffany will be claiming a lot of his attention for some time.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables   View the video here!   2 5:34pm ALWAYS B MIKI ALABAR BREEDERS CROWN SERIES 21 (2YO FILLIES) (1ST SEMI-FINAL) 2150M $20,000 2YO Fillies. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 OUR PRINCESS TIFFANY NZ      Fr4 4 Mark Purdon Mark Purdon   $ 1.50 fav  PRS GS L 1 SWAB   BAY FILLY 2 by ART MAJOR USA out of DANCING DIAMONDS (NZ) (BETTORS DELIGHT USA)  Owner(s): B J Whitelock, C J Whitelock, P J Creighton, M C Creighton  Breeder(s): B J Whitelock, C J Whitelock 2 KUALOA      Fr3 3 Emma Stewart Chris Alford 5.70 $ 3.00   RRAS LCD B LCRT 4 3 SWIMSUIT EDITION      Fr1 1 Emma Stewart Mark Pitt 11.30 $ 11.10   RRAS WI 2 4 ENCHANTED STRIDE      Fr7 7 David Miles David Miles 14.10 $ 33.00   PRS GS INC 6 5 LARAJAY MACRAY      Sr1 8 Jess Tubbs Greg Sugars 17.70 $ 35.30   5 RR SHO 6 MY GIRL PEARL      Fr2 2 Ahmed Taiba Monique Burnett 17.90 $ 76.70   GS 3 7 MY ANNA RANI      Fr5 5 Roy Roots Jnr Kima Frenning 19.90 $ 79.80   RES 8 8 ROSIE SAMBROSIE      Fr6 6 Chris Svanosio Chris Svanosio 35.10 $ 150.00   RAS 9 9 ILLAWONG ASTRO      Sr2 9 Jodi Quinlan Craig Demmler 61.60 $ 215.00   7 TIRE NAT Scratchings   NO WIN NO FEED 10 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:39:2 Mile Rate: 1:59:1 Lead Time: 39.5 First Quarter: 32.5 Second Quarter: 31.6 Third Quarter: 28.4 Fourth Quarter: 27.2 Margins: 5.7m x 5.6m  

The long-awaited clash between the best NZ and Australian fillies in the Breeder's Crown gets off to a cracking start at Bendigo on Saturday evening. PRINCESS TIFFANY faces her toughest task yet in a scintillating career when she goes from gate four in her semi over 2140m While she should still be too good, her clash with two of the Emma Stewart stars both of whom are drawn inside her will be of considerable interest on both sides of the Tasman. KUALOA (gate 3) has only been beaten once when going down to TWO TIMES BETTOR in her BC heat, At her previous start she continued her near perfect record by winning the VicBred Final at a meeting where Stewart horses completely dominated, and beating Two Times Bettor in an impressive 1.56.6 mile rate. She has won 6 from 8  though she disappointed in the APG final when caught wide improving and finishing only 7th 22m from the winner, Soho Nolita in 1.53. Two Times Bettor has drawn awkwardly in the 2nd heat on Saturday. The other possible upset hope  to Princess Tiffany is SWIMSUIT EDITION another Stewart runner drawn the ace though she would have to improve on her two starts to date. She won her heat of the BC at odds-on but only with a neck to spare and a 1.59.5 mr. Her debut at Ballarat when a $1.60 fave was disappointing in that she did not pace well early which cost her her winning chance. Princess Tiffany has posted a 1.58.9 mile rate over 2200m in New Zealand Kualoa is by Art Major from an American Ideal mare and Swimsuit Edition by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare. Another Masterpiece also faces a major clash with a representative of the Stewart stable on CENTENARIO winner of 7 of his 9 starts including the Vicbred Final with a 1.55.9 mile rate. An American Ideal youngster from an Art Major mare, he also won the APG Gold Final of $A350,000 and has gate 3 on Saturday while Another Masterpiece has gate 9,outside of the second row but with only two runners in it and he may be able to track his strongest rival. Former All Stars runners THINK ABOUT ME and DUPLICATED are in the three year old heats with another, MACH UP, a withdrawal. Think About Me disappointed when 6th in his heat and Duplicated, with strong Queensland form recently is up against the unbeaten IGNATIUS  (11 starts) who has posted a 1.51.3 mile time at Menangle and Stewart star POSTER BOY  a sensational two year old last term who went on to win the NSW Derby this season  Courtesy of All Stars Website http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Graeme Anderson has proved as good as his word now that Eamon Maguire is back at All Stars and ready to embark on a NZ Cup preparation. Last season co-owner Graeme, an astute trainer in his own right, handled Eamon Maguire through his summer and early autumn preparation before transferring him to All Stars near the end of April for his northern campaign. But after the Harness Jewels win Graeme made the decision that the NZ Cup prep. would be entirely at Rolleston even if that was the more expensive option. He based that on the progress Titan Banner had shown when undergoing a full prep there for the 2016 Cup. That was ok with Mark and Natalie, especially Natalie who has a high opinion of the gelding.  Like Graeme she puts the horse first and it has paid in spades in 2018. And 2018 is not over yet **Lazarus is a 6/5 favourite for is US debut at Hoosier Park in spite of drawing the outside. The only real threat, McWicked, a 7 yo who has done stud duty is the 2-1 2nd fav.   Courtesy of All Stars Stables  

It was paint by numbers simple for the three Kiwi trio using yesterday's low-key Menangle meeting as a lead-in to the Breeders Crown. All three - Show Gait, Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece - led and won their their Australian debuts easily before they head to Victoria next week for the rich Breeders Crown finals on August 25. Both Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece are Harness Jewels winners so it was no surprise they were able to win without being extended but trainer-driver Mark Purdon was thrilled with how they came through their first proper races in two months. "They were both really good without being asked for their best, which is ideal for this stage of the preparation," said Purdon. "Before we loaded Another Masterpiece on the float to come home he was really full of himself so I think he is in a good place," said Purdon. Both juvenile pacers will have to contest semifinals of the Breeders Crown at Bendigo on Saturday week, where finishing in the top half of the field will get them into the final. Show Gait won't have to contest a semi for her three-year-old trotters division at the Crown, with heat winners straight into the final. She took on the older horses yesterday and also worked to the front easily, with Purdon doing the driving for young Canterbury trainer Regan Todd, who is travelling with the Purdon-Rasmussen runners. Purdon had to shake Show Gait up inside the last 50m to keep her mind on the job.   Michael Guerin

The first four races at Menangle on a quiet Tuesday afternoon usually slip by without a lot of interest on this side of the Tasman. But then again, they rarely contain two Harness Jewels winners and a Sales Series Trot star. So today's mid-afternoon Sydney harness should not only be worth a watch but also prove a valuable guide to the rich Breeders Crown in Victoria on August 25. The meeting is headlined by unbeaten juvenile pacing filly Princess Tiffany (race three) and fellow Jewels winner Another Masterpiece (four). Princess Tiffany meets some handy two-year-old rivals but is so brilliant, anything but a victory would be disappointing, especially as trainer Mark Purdon has been thrilled with her preparation. Rivals like Regulus have shown themselves to be good 1m 55s mile juveniles but Princess Tiffany came from last to win her Jewels untouched in 1m 54.2s, suggesting she will remain unbeaten. To split his pair, Purdon has put Another Masterpiece in a maiden race, but oddly, he ends up against former talented stablemate Gentle Giant, who was an Ashburton feature raceday winner for the All Stars last October and could have been expected to go further in life than he has. So while he might have to pace 1m 55s for his mobile mile, Another Masterpiece has gone two seconds faster than that and should also jog home. The programme kicks off with Show Gait, who has been travelling with the Purdon-Rasmussen team, making her Australian debut in a lower grade standing start 2300m trot. The Sales Series winner has shown high speed for a three-year-old trotting filly but trainer Regan Todd says she is still peaking. "My aim is to have her spot on for the Breeders Final so she has to be a little bit underdone but she has definitely improved since she got here," Todd said. "It is a lot warmer here than at home [Canterbury] and it has really brought her on. And her race being 2300m and a stand suits better than some of the mad miles over here." To add to the strong Kiwi flavour at the meeting, former northern pacer Bettor Step Aside makes his Australian debut in race five after being sold out of the Derek Balle stable and looks ideally placed. Michael Guerin

Chase Auckland’s New Zealand Cup campaign may be over before it really got started. A champion three-year-old pacer he is almost certainly out of contention for November’s  $800,000 Addington classic as he is taking longer than expected to recover from a pulled muscle in his hind quarters. “It is not a major thing but it is costing him valuable work from a Cup point of view,” says co-trainer Mark Purdon. “He has been sidelined for 10-12 days now and I don’t see him coming back into work for at least another 10 days. And even then it could be longer. We will let him tell us when he is ready.” While the Cup is still over three months away the setback could cost Chase Auckland a full month of ground work and means at best he would be trialing by mid October, which makes the New Zealand Cup almost impossible. “I am not totally writing it off but I would say it is very unlikely he will be there,” says Purdon. “He is going to be a long way behind our other horses as well as the other open class horses from other stables. “For his first season in open class and his first Cup you would want a perfect build-up and a chance for him to get used to that grade. “So I think he might miss the Cup carnival and while that would be disappointing it was never set in stone for him. “Being a four-year-old he has a lot of other options this season and will get his chance at the Cup next year.” Chase Auckland was clearly New Zealand’s best three-year-old pacer in the season just finished, emerging from maidens to win the Sires’ Stakes, Sales Series Pace and the Northern Derby. He was listed as one of the favourites Australasian-wide for the NZ Cup last night, alongside last season’s runner-up Jacks Legend and Inter Dominion runner-up Chicago Bull. The latter is looking more and more likely to became a rare West Australian-trained New Zealand Cup starter for a variety of reasons. Not only is Chicago Bull back racing and winning effortless, admittedly in moderate fields, in Perth, but the New Zealand Cup has already lost another big name in the injured Soho Tribeca and it looking a more attractive target by the day. But, perhaps most importantly, Chicago Bull is being aimed at the Victoria Cup in Melbourne on October 13 and will therefore be halfway to Christchurch. Trainer Gary Hall is planning to send him to New Zealand soon after before heading back for the Inter Dominion, which starts at Melton on December 1. While Chase Auckland is sidelined, a smaller than usual All Stars team left for Australia yesterday to contest the Breeders Crown on August 25. Both Harness Jewels-winning juveniles Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece have been flown to Sydney where they will race at Menangle next Tuesday before heading south to Melbourne. They have been joined by open class stablemate Cash N Flow, who faces a wide draw on his A$20,000 Menangle debut on Saturday night, while the Regan Todd-trained Show Gait will travel with the All Stars team and also race next Tuesday before heading to Melton for the three-year-old Breeders Crown trot. Michael Guerin for Trots Media

1 to 16 of 342
1 2 3 4 5 Next »