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Before harness racing at Alexandra Park and Addington tonight (Friday 27 May), Phil Williamson was just two wins short of a record 50 trotting wins for the season.  Should neither Blazing Under Fire (Auckland) nor Madam Spur (Christchurch) greet the judge, then attention will turn to Winton tomorrow (Saturday 28 May) where the winning trainer of 470 races for squaregaiters has three top hopes in two races. Three year old maiden Pyramid Mustang runs in the Happy Birthday Ray Hazlett Trot and following his second at Oamaru last Saturday, looks a ready-made favourite. While Redwood Invasion set all the pace at Oamaru, Pyramid Mustang went from the one-one to challenge in the lane and came up only a neck short. He rates highly in this small field. His half brother by Armbro Invasion, Pyramid Magic, is the winner of four and goes from 30 metres in the Alley Way Handicap trot. Two starts back, at Forbury Park, he went from 20 and settled back of midfield before closing well for third. His latest outing was back at Forbury last night (Thursday 26 May). After a similar run, Pyramid Magic finished solidly for second to The Jinja Ninja. That he was three lengths in arrears could be accounted for by the fact the race took four seconds longer than the week before and was a sprint home. Pyramid Magic is a definite winning chance on Saturday. Williamson has the two-win mare Bobbins as a valuable second string in the race. Two starts back, she finished second on the track on Wairio mile day in October and didn't race again until Timaru earlier this month. There, Bobbins was left parked for the final lap and faded in the straight to sixth in the race won by stablemate Alderbeck. Other good prospects at Winton include To Ri Alby in the Energizer Mobile. The Amber Hoffman-trained gelding broke at the stand start at Oamaru, got a cart forward and was then carted back on the last lap, but still managed a respectable fifth. Trendy's Bad Girl goes from the inside of the second line in the Zealandia Horticulture Fillies and Mares Mobile Mile. The draw could be a problem but the distance will suit, the mare having finished between one and one and a half lengths of the winner in her three most recent outings over 1700 metres, when third, second and third. The Happy 40th Birthday Ali Mountney Mobile sees Hoiho line up for the second time. After settling last on debut, he was carted up to sit parked from the 800 but didn't wilt at the business end winding up fourth. He has since won at the Winton trials and after sitting three back on the poles, challenged three wide on the turn and sprinted well. Mac Henry

A big night for leading Junior Driver Brad Williamson as he extended his lead in the premiership to 29 wins. Saluting the judge on 3 runners tonight, Brads winning treble started in race 5 with Winners Shout, a 3yo Great Success gelding owned by Brad and Grant Gray who is trained by Phil Williamson. $6.10 - $2.10 were the tote odds for Winners Shout. “He has plenty of ability and did it really nice tonight” said Brad. In the next race Williamson drove Elusive Flight, a recent addition to the Graeme Anderson team Williamson was filling in for stable junior driver Rory Mcllwrick who is currently suspended. Forced to drag back from a wide barrier draw, Brad was quick to put the 7 Elsu gelding into the race. Finding the front near the 1400m, Elusive Flight ran away with the junior driver’s event, winning by 4 ¼ lengths over Happy As Larry (Stevie Golding) and No More Change (Craig Ferguson) paying a handy $11.50 - $3.00 Elusive Flight was purchased off www.horsetrader.kiwi by Charlotte Purvis, A D Gow, S R Pulley and R Chalklin. The win brought up ownership win no 1 for Charlotte, who’s brother Matt Purvis is a leading junior driver based in Canterbury with Robert Dunn, while Charlotte’s partner is Oamaru based driver Matthew Williamson. “It’s very exciting to get my first ownership win, big thanks go to trainer Graeme Anderson for a great trainer performance and also Brad (Williamson) for a wonderful drive. Hopefully it won’t be our last visit to the winners circle!” said Charlotte. Caesar Rocks brought up the treble for Williamson paying a massive $56.10 - $11.50. “He went nice a few starts ago, but last start didn’t offer too much confidence, he didn’t have to do anything tonight and the luck went our way to get over top of them” said Brad The victory brought up win number 1 for Lionel Sinnamon for the 15/16 season and also Caesar Rocks 2nd career win. Williamson currently sits on 60 wins for the season, which places 6th on the drivers premiership and 1st on the Junior Drivers Premiership with Kyle Marshall back in 2nd on 31 wins and Craig Ferguson on 26 wins. Andrew Fitzgerald

Leading harness racing trainer Nigel McGrath has never had it easy with Luisanabelle Midfrew in his barn but all the problems she has had are quickly fading from his memory as the daughter of American Ideal starts to fulfill the potential she showed as an early two year old. After a great start to her career including a second to Dream About Me in the $138,000 Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park, Luisanabelle Midfrew all but died on two occasions after the Harness Jewels last year and her future was in doubt for quite a while. Nursed back to full health by Nigel McGrath, he has taken his time with the filly all season and only really trained her down for the $150,000 PGG Sales Final at Addington Raceway in early February which she won easily. The question then was could Luisanabelle Midfrew make that last step back up to the elite level fillies she had competed against at two after all her health issues. A start at Methven on the grass in a Nevele R Fillies heat left a lot of people having doubts after she battled into sixth but tonight at Addington Raceway she produced a performance right out of the top draw and announced herself as a major contender for the fillies classics at Addington in May. Driver Matthew Williamson sent her forward off the gate from her wide barrier of seven and settled her three back in the running line as Artful set up a good tempo in front. Going past the 800 metres, Matthew looped the field with Luisanabelle Midfrew and took over in front going past the 600 metres and then proceeded to slowly put daylight between her and the rest of the field. Matthew eased Luisanabelle Midfrew down over the last 150 metres as she coasted to the line an easy winner by 3 1/2 lengths in what was without doubt her most impressive win in her career to date. Luisanabelle Midfrew paced the 1950 metres in a smart 2:21.9, a mile rate of 1:57 with closing sectionals of 58.4 and 28.3. Matthew Williamson was thrilled with the performance. " That is the best she has ever gone for me in since I began driving her." " She was absolutely jogging at the 800 metres which is why I took off when I did." " I didn't even pull the plugs tonight she was traveling that well" " On that run tonight, she will be competitive against the best fillies," Matthew said. Nigel McGrath was still scratching his head tonight over the run of Luisanabelle Midfrew at Methven. " I thought I may have backed her up too quickly from the PGG Sales race as there was only a nine day gap but maybe it was just the grass track that tripped her up." " She has really come on lately and I was pretty confident she would go a big race tonight, " Nigel said. The manner of the win tonight by Luisanabelle Midfrew would suggest that she will be a major player in the 3 year old fillies classics in May at Addington Raceway Harnesslink Media

When it comes to people being passionate about harness racing, Canterbury owner John Mooney would be up there with the best. John wears his heart on his sleeve for all to see and in the countdown to last nights $150,000 PGG Sales Final at Addington Raceway he was struggling to control his emotions. Not only did John have a runner in the race but he had a serious winning chance in the well performed filly Luisanabelle Midfrew and he was nervous to the point of distraction. From the time John took her home from the yearling sales at Christchurch, the daughter of American Ideal had faced one hurdle after another in her racing career. " I had just sold Libertybelle Midfrew to Perth and she was going through the sales ring when Matty Williamson texted me to say what a great looking filly she was." "On the spur of the moment I decided to keep her." " When Nigel McGrath sat behind her for the first time, the first thing he said to me when he hopped out of the cart was that keeping her was the best decision I had made in a long time," John Mooney explained when speaking to Harnesslink last night. Second to Arden's Choice on debut and then subsequently second to Dream About Me in the $138,000 New Zealand Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park, Luisanabelle Midfrew was expected to be a big player on Harness Jewels day at Ashburton but failed to flatter at any point,finishing twelfth. "She was really sick at Ashburton and she was very lucky to survive, "She had an attack of small intestine colitis and it was touch and go for a while." " Just when it seemed she was on the mend,she had a relapse and all but died for a second time," John said. Trainer Nigel McGrath knew he faced major hurdles getting Luisanabelle Midfrew back to best form but nursed her through her first few runs back on the track. " The whole aim of this campaign was the Sales Race and I didn't want to put her under any serious pressure leading into that race. " She may have looked disappointing to people at times but we were working to a plan to have her spot on for one race. " I stepped up her workload in the last three weeks and her work leading into last nights race had been super," Nigel said. Away well last night for regular driver Matty Williamson from barrier two, Luisanabelle Midfrew led for the first 700 metres before handing up to the well supported front runner Killer Queen. From there she looked to travelling as good as anyone and when the passing lane appeared, Luisanabelle Midfrew was through in a flash and quickly put the race beyond doubt, coasting down to the line an easy winner. " Nigel had her spot on tonight, she felt the best she ever has." " The plan was to lead early and then hopefully hand up to Killer Queen who would get us to the passing lane and and the plan worked a treat." "I couldn't believe how easily she was travelling off the back straight." " She knocked off a bit when she went clear but she had plenty left in the tank at the finish." Matty said. Nigel McGrath was full of praise for his trainee. " She has been through so much but she is a very smart filly and it showed tonight." " Going forward we just have to look after her and not knock her about too much." " Something like the Southland Oaks is probably better for her at this stage of her comeback than taking on the very best," Nigel said. John Mooney post race was like a man who had just won Lotto, with the excitement of the win written all over his face. It was great to see that harness racing can still excite such passion. Harnesslink Media  

Matthew Williamson has been having one of those seasons that all harness racing drivers have every now and again. The winners for a driver of his ability had slowed to a trickle and although he has been getting reasonable sized books, the quality has been missing a lot of the time. The main source of drives for Matty is usually the Knight team from Roxburgh but they have had a disrupted season as well with health issues with their team which has added to Matty's woes. Not that you would know that Matty has been doing it hard with his positive attitude always there when you talk to him. When discussing his drives yesterday at Oamaru Raceway for this weeks Harnesslink ringaround, Matty thought Boomer Bailey on the dropback would be hard to beat but gave several other runners he was driving a plug as being good each way chances on the day. By the meetings end, Matty had driven four winners, mostly at big odds and well and truly got his 2016 season back on track. His first winner was the maiden trotter Stylish Duke at the juicy odds of $6:50 for a horse with a reputation. "He is a really nice trotter in the making but still has a lot to learn." "I thought if he trotted the whole way he would be hard to beat and so it proved," Matty said. The second winner for Matty was more of a surprise with Gene Time from the Knight barn clearing maidens at her 20th attempt. " Manners were the key here with her stepping quickly and being handy all the way." " She stuck it out good in the end and may go on with it now she has won one," Matty said. Next up was what Matty thought was his best drive of the day in Boomer Bailey and so it proved with the dropback proving decisive as he won his fifth race with some authority. " Boomer has been going really good races in strong C2 fields without much luck so I thought the dropback to C1 grade and on grass made him hard to beat." " I don't think he has finished winning yet either," Matty said. Now with three on his card, Matty sprung the surprise of the day when he got the $27:90 shot Ottawa home in race 9. " There has never been any doubt about the ability with Ottawa but he can beat himself at times." " However he is getting better in that regard and could easily win a few more races yet," Matty said. With his four wins yesterday Matty took his 2016 tally to 25 winners and now that he has that wee monkey off his back, it wouldn't be a surprise to see those numbers improve dramatically over the rest of the season. Harnesslink Media

The first of this season's non tote races for two year old trotters in the South Island was held at the harness racing meeting at Addington this evening and as expected a couple of the stock of Muscle Mass ran the quinella though maybe not in the order that most pundits had expected. The filly Willie McGoogan in the hands of part owner Matthew Williamson led early from barrier one as most of the rest of the field trotted rough or broke. The Roddy Butt trained Custodian had a short gallop early with driver David Butt letting him find his feet before settling third in the running line. Willie McGoogan looked to have them in trouble across the top but when Custodian was switched back to the passing lane in the straight, he quickly got on terms and was half a head to the good at the finish. Five and a half lengths away Eyrish Mist and Dexter Dunn held on well for third in front of another daughter of Muscle Mass in Needle. Roddy Butt was impressed with the effort from his inexperienced young trotter. " He has never galloped at trials or workouts but most of those around him were offstride tonight and I think he just reacted to what was happening around him." " After that he has trotted really well and it was a good effort to pick the leader up," Roddy Butt. Plans are in place for the gelding to take on the better two year old trotters later in the season but first he is due a short break. " If we don't give him a couple of weeks off now, then he won't get a break for the rest of the season." " I think he is good enough to be competitive against the good ones later on if I look after him now," Roddy said. Willie McGoogan was game in second and was fighting back strongly at the finishing line. Matthew Williamson was happy with the run but not so much his own drive. " She has done everything right and was coming again at the finishing line but maybe I have driven her a bit quiet." " I think if I had put the pressure on a lot further out, she may have won the race." " Having said that, Roddy's horse has gone great because we have got home in 28.1 off the front and he has come from off the pace," Matthew said. With a couple from the All Star barn going super at the trials as well as a Love You colt from the Paul Nairn barn, suggests that this years two year trotters division looks to have a lot of depth to it. Harnesslink Media

When Geoff Knight set up the Central Courage syndicate ten years ago, he hoped for a bit of success for the locals who had joined but he never envisaged the syndicate being as successful as it has become. On Friday night at Addington Raceway, the current syndicate star Zenmach made it four wins from his last five starts with an impressive front running display. Driver Matthew Williamson was more than impressed with the son of Mach Three. " He has gone super again." "I had to lead from one but I probably went a bit slow in the middle stages." " They got a bit close halfway up the straight but he really found and was holding them comfortably at the finish," Matthew said. The Central Courage syndicate came to own Zenmack when they were on the lookout for a horse or two after selling their well performed mare Al Raza to North America. "Justin Le Lievre rang me and said he had one I might be interested in." " I watched the trial and workout tapes and really liked here." " Mark Smolenski had broken him in and educated him and he did a super job with him." " He is such a grouse little horse to train, he does everything you ask of him," Geoff said. Geoff has his program pretty well mapped out from here on in. " We will bring him back next week for the $23,500 Alabar Super Series Final but with horses such as Franco Cristiano involved it might be a bit rich for him at this stage." " After that we will set him for a start at Addington during Cup Week." " The syndicate have always wanted to have a horse start at Addington during Cup Week so that is were we we are going." "After that he can have a break and then we will get him back for his main aim for the season which is the Southern Supremacy down south," Geoff said. The syndicate purchased another horse around the same time as Zenmach by the name of Seduce Me and the daughter of Ohoka Arizona has run three seconds in her three lifetime starts todate and it won't be long until the Central Courage has another winner on their hands. Harnesslink Media  

One of New Zealands most promising harness racing reinsman Matthew Williamson has been on edge for several weeks now. Cemented onto 499 lifetime wins, the North Otago reinsman has run second after second in his quest to crack the 500 mark. The longer it took the more good humoured banter he has taken from his fellow reinsman and people within the industry. Speaking to him mid-week Matthew wasn't over confident that he could turn it around with this weeks book of drives. His best undoubtedly was Springbank Eden at Addington Raceway but Matthew felt that Springbank Eden's luck was about as good as his and that they would probably run second again. With a lap to go tonight that looked very likely as Springbank Eden was parked outside a tearaway leader in Lisa Marie P with Dexter Dunn in the bike. However passing the 800 metres mark Matthew was able to slip Springbank Eden down onto Lisa Marie P's back and from there Springbank Eden was always a big winning chance. These two drew away from the field on the corner and Springbank Eden took the whole length of the Addington straight to nail Lisa Marie P and help bring up Matty's 500th win as a reinsman. Matty was all smiles as he returned to scale and was quick to deflect all the accolades heading his way. " It is good to get the monkey off the back." "Half way up the straight I thought I was going to run second again but to his credit Springbank Eden has dug in and got the job done." " With natural improvement, he should be a nice drive in the next twelve months," Matty said. Since his first drive Matty has always looked someone headed to the top and he was quick to thank those who have helped him along the way. " Dad (Phil) has been a big help all the way through and it was great to crack the 500 wins on one he trained." "Geoff and Jude Knight have been super as well and without their support I wouldn't be where I am today so I can't thank them enough," Matty said. As someone who has regular contact with Matty in relation to his upcoming drives, I can attest to the fact that he is always open and honest and a pleasure to deal with which is not always the way with leading reinsman. The way Matty is driving and the success he is having it won't be that long before we are celebrating the 1000 win mark for this talented reinsman. Harnesslink Media

Our harness racing tipsters are having a bit of the winter blues at the moment with less than inspiring results some weeks. Last week saw only two of our tipsters pick winners with Sean McCaffrey and Nathan Williamson doing the honours but we did have eight placegetters and some of those such as Shane Walkinshaw's pick, Takitimu Express paid good money ($4:20) This week we have four meetings in the country and we have picks for them all. Forbury - Thursday night Nathan Williamson - Thought Spinyback was overdue and could win race 2 Shane Walkinshaw - Thinks on his work this week, Jetsdream will win race 4 Craig Ferguson - Gives Mordecai a good chance of going back to back in race 6   Auckland  - Friday night Steven Reid - Reckons Concorde even from barrier 8 will be hard to beat in race 2 Scott Phelan - If Superimposed has any luck from his bad draw,he thinks he can win race 2  Todd Mitchell - Thinks the millionaire Vulcan can add to the bankroll in race 6 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thought Vice Consul from the front line could win race 7 Tony Herlihy -  Gives The Almighty Johnson a big chance of winning race 8 John Dunn - Rates Return To Sender as hard to roll in race 9 Mark Jones - Thought Rocker Band would be very hard to beat, also in race 9   Addington - Friday night Bob Butt - Quite bullish about the chances of the two year old Matatoki in race 1 Terry Chmiel - Thinks Maddison Hill can upset them in race 2 Tim Williams - Gives Bird Of Paradise a big show even from the second line in race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Reckons Zin Zan must win one shortly and thinks it will be in race 7 Ricky May - Thought the southern raider Tetrick would be hard to beat in race 8 Brendon McLellan - Agrees with Ricky that Tetrick will be hard to beat in race 8 Matthew Williamson - Reckons Springbank Eden can get the chocolates in race 9   Timaru - Sunday afternoon  Blair Orange - Thought the first starter My Cash would be hard to beat in race 3 Gavin Smith - Very bullish about the chances of Great Things Happen in race 4 Brad Williamson - Reckons Kylie Castleton can bounce back and win race 6 Jim Curtin - Gives Insignificant a chance to upset them at odds, also in race 6  John Curtin - Thought Naughty Maravu only needed some luck for a change to win race 8 Robbie Holmes - Thinks Contractual Issues will be hard to hold out in race 10   Harnesslink Media

Last week was one of the better weeks overall for a while with our tipsters not far off all weekend. Six selected winners with Kyle Marshall leading the way with the $6 shot, JC Jock while Scott Phelan, Blair Orange, Tim Williams, Nathan Williamson and Ricky May also got the job done. What was so frustrating was the tipsters had eleven placegetters including ten second placings over the weekend. This week however we only have three meetings around the country and quite a few of our regulars are not in action this weekend but as usual it would pay to follow the tipsters selections on the first day at Blenheim on Friday to the second day on Sunday. Forbury Park - Thursday night Shane Walkinshaw - Thought Jetsdream just needed an ounce of luck to win race 2 Brendon McLellan - Thinks Mr Handleman is a chance at huge odds, also in race 2 Craig Ferguson - Rates Lamborne Road a big chance to bounce back and win race 5 Nathan Williamson - Thinks Betta Go Fernco can turn it around and win, also in race 5 Brad Williamson - Hopes to celebrate his 21st birthday with a win on Elusive Flight in race 7 Gavin Smith - Gives the two year old Late Mail a big chance of winning race 9 Matthew Williamson - Rates Springbank Eden a chance of upsetting them in race 11   Blenhiem - Friday afternoon Bob Butt - Quite keen on the chances of the first starter Dusky Eyre in race 1 Ricky May - Rates Delightful Jack as well overdue and thinks he will win race 2 John Dunn - Very bullish about the chances of stable runner Mr Meddle in race 6 Blair Orange - Gives Expresso Martini a big push to win race 7 Terry Chmiel - Thinks Art Exhibit is ready to strike and will win race 8     Franklin - Friday night Scott Phelan - Thinks Ideal Roman is a big chance from barrier two in race 1 Todd MacFarlane - Rates I Am The One a good each way prospect in race 4 John Curtin - Thought Bettormack second up from a break would win, also in race 4 Todd Mitchell - Reckons The Tracker can carry on his winning streak in race 5 Steven Reid - Gives Franco Nikau a chance of rolling them at big odds, also in race 5 Steven Richardson (TAB) - Rates Chosen Path fresh up a big chance of winning race 6 Kyle Marshall - Thought Kilkeel Lady from barrier two could upset them in race 10   Harnesslink Media

Tonight's harness racing meeting at Forbury Park in Dunedin saw Matthew Williamson continue in the same vein he was in last weekend when Matty drove four winners. Early in the programme Matthew got the beautifully bred son of Bettors Delight from the former top racemare in Tartan Lady in Tartan Troubles home in race three after he looked beaten half way up the straight. Matty thinks he could develop into a nice horse with time. " He has got the ability without question to win races." " The issue is how much he wants to put in." " He should of won a lot easier tonight but he does switch off at times," Matty said. Two races later Matty was at it again with the well supported Sage. Away well to lead in the 1200 metres sprint series, Sage skipped clear on the corner and held too many guns in the straight. Matty was confident that Sage would be hard to beat. " She has had a drop back and has been racing some really smart horses lately." " I thought she would be hard to roll over the 1200 metres if she held the front and that's how it worked out." " She is quite a nice mare and I don't think that will be her last win," Matty said. In just his second year in the open ranks Matty has already racked up 75 winners to date this season and currently sits fourth on the New Zealand drivers premiership. Matty is now firmly established in the upper echelon of New Zealand drivers. Harnesslink Media   

By the time the PGG Sales Series final for two year old fillies was due to be run at tonights harness racing meeting at Addington, the driving rain had well and truly set in and had made conditions atrocious. The hot favourite was the Mach Three filly Northern Velocity who drew nicely at barrier five while her main opposition  Luisanabelle Midfrew drew two further out at seven. The two favourites both came off the gate at speed but due to her better barrier Northern Velocity found the front first and driver Mark Purdon was in no mood to hand up in the slushy conditions. Luisanabelle Midfrew and Matthew Williamson ended up parked in the driving rain with Kashana and Ricky May in the trail. There was no moves mid race and as they turned for home  Northern Velocity went clear and still held a 3/4 length advantage at the finish from Kashana and Killer Queen and David Butcher who had been three back on the inner. Luisanabelle finished a big fourth after sitting out parked the whole way. Northern Velocity paced the 1950 metres in 2:28.2, a mile rate of 2:02.2 with closing sectionals of 59.7 and 28. Mark Purdon was a relieved man post race.  " I didn't know how she would handle those track conditions but I knew the place to be was in front. " The conditions are really bad out there so I'm just happy to have got the job done," Mark said. Mark thought time would be Northern Velocity's best friend. " I think she will develop into a lovely three year old and if it wasn't for the Harness Jewels, she would be headed for the spelling paddock," Mark said. While probably not up with a couple of her stablemates, Northern Velocity still shapes as a player on Harness Jewels day. Harnesslink Media  

Our harness racing tipsters had another so so week although to be fair they did have a lot of close second placings over the four meetings. There were five winners selected with Clark Barron continuing his hot run at the moment along with Bob Butt, Tony Herlihy, Shane Walkinshaw and Tim Williams and they also had seven placings as well, a lot of them at good odds. This week we have five meetings but none in the deep south which has affected our number of tipsters a bit. Forbury - Thursday night Nathan Williamson - Thought Chantrey back to his favourite track could upset them in race 3 Brendon McLellan - Gives new stable runner Continental Boy a good chance of winning race 5 Shane Walkinshaw - Likes the chances of smart 3 year old Robyn's Bad Boy winning race 6 Matthew Williamson - Rates Hezabluechipboy a big winning chance in race 8  Steve Richardson - Thought The Edge Of Reason could upset them at good odds in race 9   Auckland - Friday night  Maurice McKendry - Really quite keen on the chances of the out of form Sir Richie in race 1 Todd MacFarlane - Gives the 2 year old Cyclone Chief a good chance of winning race 2 Sean McCaffrey - Thinks Yagunnakissmeornot can bounce back to winning form in race 4 Todd Mitchell - Rates Charming Lavra a big chance of winning again, also in race 4 Steven Reid - Confident that Shedontloveme will go one better this week and win 6 John Dunn - Thought Barry was due a change of luck and could win race 8   Addington - Friday night Terry Chmiel - Reckons Saint Michel with the help of the mobile will win race 2 Bob Butt - With two runs under his belt, thought Any Old Way was ready to win, also in race 2  Brad Williamson - Looks like a trifecta as Brad thinks The Silver Fox will win race 2 Tim Williams - Rates the debutante Cash N Flow as very hard to beat in race 5 Jim Curtin - Thought One Over Da Moon on his Rowe Cup run would win race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks King Of Strathfield has been going great and could win, also in race 6 Scott Phelan - Rates Bettor B Amazed a big winning chance even from barrier 9 in race 7 Blair Orange - Gives Bracken Ridge a big show of turning his form around and winning race 9   Thames - Sunday afternoon Tony Herlihy - Very bullish about the chances of Mighty Regal in race 4   Ashburton - Sunday afternoon Ricky May - Rates the first starter Cable Beach very highly and thinks he will win race 4 John Curtin - Thought Gracious Star and Michelle Neilson would make it two in a row and win race 6   Harnesslink Media

Last week was a mixed bag but two very wet tracks at both Ascot Park and Methven didn't help with the conditions hampering a lot of runners. We managed five winners with the best dividend going to Bob Butt at Methven with Ancient Moonlight while others to select winners were John Dunn, Tim Williams, Nathan Williamson and Scott Phelan and we also had five placings as well. This week there are only the four meetings and we cover them all. Manawatu - Thursday night Kyle Marshall - Gives Soul Hanover a great each way chance in race 2 Todd Mitchell - Thinks on his runs to date they can't beat Alta Leroy in race 8    Auckland - Friday night Tony Herlihy - Thought Uandmebabe would be hard to beat from her good draw in race 7 Scott Phelan - Very bullish about the chances of Bettor B Amazed, also in race 7 Maurice McKendry - Gives the two year old Shandale a big chance of winning race 8 Steven Reid - Rates Aquickone on her work this week as the one to beat in race 9   Addington - Friday night Terry Chmiel - Thought Danny Del Vito from barrier one could upset them in race 1 John Dunn - Gives Culinary Delight a big push to return to the winners list, also in race 1 Bob Butt - Looking for the trifecta in race one where Bob thinks Gracious Me will be hard to beat Robbie Holmes - Thought Aile Rouge could get a piece of it at good odds in race 2 Brad Williamson - Very bullish about the chances of the very smart Father Christmas, also in race 2 John Curtin (Harnesslink) Reckons Waikiki Beach will beat Chase The Dream and win race 4 Blair Orange - Thinks Habibti Ivy will match it with the boys in the Derby and win race 5 Gerard O'Reilly - Thought Tiger Tara would be improved this week and a each way chance in race 6 Matthew Williamson - Knows Alley Way is up against it this week but a great place chance in race 7 Tim Williams - Keeps giving out Have Faith In Me and he keeps winning, this week in race 8 Ricky May - Rapt with the run of Dalton Bromac last week and won't have him beaten in race 9   Invercargill - Sunday afternoon Brendon McLellan - Reckons Leigh Major must be due a change of luck and can win race1 Steve Richardson(TAB) - Really likes the chances of Denn Nee Nose Best in race 3 Clark Barron - Gave Real Raider a big chance to clear maidens in race 4 Nathan Williamson - Thought Franco Tyson would be a great each way chance at good odds in race 8   Harnesslink Media

Last week wasn't one of our best but the missing link was our southern tipsters who had a shocker at Winton last Saturday. Everybody else was thereabouts with their selections with Jim Curtin, Todd Mitchell, Maurice McKendry and Ricky May tipping us into winners and we had seven placegetters as well. This week there are only four meetings in the country and we have selections for them all. Taranaki - Thursday afternoon John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Gave Sheza Springfield a big chance of clearing maidens in race 3 Peter Scaife - Likes Prime Legal to improve on his first day run and win race 4 Scott Phelan - Rates Better B Amazed as very hard to beat in race 9 Sean McCaffrey - Thought Styx It To Em was right in the zone and would win race 10   Addington - Friday night John Dunn - Very bullish about the chances of Boom Gate in race 1 Blair Orange - Gives Goodness Gracious Me a big chance in race 2 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thought Jaccka Justy would be hard to beat in race 3 Tony Herilhy - Thinks Hug The Wind will be very hard to beat from barrier 1 in race 6 Tim Williams - Very keen on the very smart Have Faith In Me, also in race 6 Todd Mitchell - Reckons Prime Power is at his best and will win race 8   Ascot Park - Saturday afternoon Shane Walkinshaw - Likes the chances of Geordie Sivad to make it two in a row in race 4 Brad Williamson - Thought Mokosun from the front line would be hard to beat in race 5 Brendon McLellan - Gives Leigh Major a big chance in race 7 Nathan Williamson - Very bullish about the chances of Statham in race 8 Clark Barron - Not sure if Bonnies Khaleesi can beat Statham but a great place bet, also in race 8   Methven - Sunday afternoon Matthew Williamson - Likes the chances of the first starter Toot Toot in race 1 Bob Butt - Quite bullish about the chances of Ancient Moonlight in race 3 Jim Curtin - Gives Trial Separation a big chance of leaving maidens in race 4 Terry Chmiel - Really keen on the chances of Another Delight, also in race 4 Ricky May - Thought Jack Hammer would be very hard to beat in race 8 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks Break Dance is a big chance to make it two in a row in race 9   Harnesslink Media

The Greg Brodie sponsored invited drivers competition at the harness racing meeting at Waikouaiti today was keenly fought out between ten drivers from all over New Zealand as well as a couple from Australia. Lance Justice and Amanda Turnbull crossed the Tasman for the competition and were joined by David and Zac Butcher from the North island as well as a good cross section of the leading drivers from Canterbury down to Southland. There were two parts to the competition with the individual title at stake as well as the team competition with six established drivers making up the experienced team and the six younger drivers making up the youth team. Points were available from 12 to the winner down to 1 for last in each heat. The first heat was taken out by Zac Butcher on the Margo Nyhan trained Canndew with Aveross Rustler and Dexter Dunn finishing second and Scanreco Bay and Ricky May third.  The second heat saw Booster trained by Nathan Williamson make it four in a row with Ken Barron in the bike while Flagpole and Craig Ferguson ran into second ahead of Balagio and Jim Curtin. Heat three was for the one win grade and saw the Steven McRae trained No Mas with Amanda Turnbull in the bike home first just ahead of Livy Franco and Zac Butcher and Red Under Fire and David Butcher The fourth heat was for trotters and another Steven McRae trainer runner in Indiana Jones was too smart with Craig Ferguson in the bike in front of Blue Don and Zac Butcher with Anothersuperstar and Matthew Williamson in third. Heat five was taken out by the recent addition to the Graeme Anderson barn in Onedin Mach who had Ricky May in the bike in front of Destined For Glory and Dexter Dunn with Graduate Under Fire and Jim Curtin running into third. The last of the six heats for the invited drivers was taken out by the Greg and Nina Hope trained Bobby T with Ken Barron in the bike in front of Sammy The Bull and Craig Ferguson who ran second with Scotlynn Justis and Matthew Williamson in third. When the points were all tallied up, Zac Butcher had romped home with 51 points, well clear of Ken Barron and Craig Ferguson on 44 points. For his efforts Zac was presented with a commemorative scroll and a $2000 cash prize courtesy of sponsorship from Greg Brodie and he gets to hold the Greg Brodie Drivers Challenge Trophy for twelve months. The youth team were too strong for the experienced team coming out on top by 243.5 points to 229.5 points. Points for each team were as follows:                               Youth Team                                                                         Experienced Team                               Zac Butcher - 51                                                                  Ken Barron - 44                               Craig Ferguson - 44                                                            David Butcher - 43.5                               Matthew Williamson - 43                                                     Lance Justice - 38                               Amanda Turnbull - 38                                                         Allan Beck - 36                                Samantha Ottley - 34.5                                                        Ricky May - 35                               Dexter Dunn - 33                                                                 Jimmy Curtin - 33                               Total Points - 243.5                                                            Total Points - 229.5       This is the second year that the invited drivers competition has been held and if today's event is anything to go by, it has a great future. Harnesslink Media    

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