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The Christchurch earthquakes and rebuild have thrown up a lot of characters in the last few years and none are any bigger than the owner of Southern Demolition, Alan Edge. This larger than life character, who has earned a reputation for being brusque and tough talking in the teak tough demolition game, is one of the major players in the massive demolition industry that has sprung up since the Christchurch earthquakes. The Edge name has also been around in Canterbury harness racing circles since the involvement of Alan's father Noel nearly fifty years ago. Today Alan's brother Neil trains a handy team from Maddisons Road in Weedons just south of Christchurch and its here that Alan has honed his driving skills in recent years on members of Neil's team. Always highly competitive throughout a very successful sporting career, Alan has become a regular in the amateur driving events. At last Sunday's Oamaru meeting Alan took the drive behind the well tried Edge stable runner Alta Capone. Drawn wide at nine, Alan dropped Alta Capone out to last early in the 2600 meters  mobile event and thats where he stayed until joining the three wide train at the 1100 meters mark. Getting a lovely drag into the race from there, Alta Capone finished stoutly in the straight to just get his nose in front at the right time. This was the fifth win lifetime for the son of The Big Dog who is owned by Alan and Neil and took his stake earnings to $28,973. Alta Capone paced the 2600 meters in 3:19.6, a mile rate of 2:03.5 with closing sectionals of 58.2 and 29 in the bitter winter conditions. This was Alan's third win in an Amateur drivers race along with seven placings from just 25 drives. If Sundays inch perfect drive is anything to go by, it certainly wont be Alans last winning drive. Hrnesslink Media

Margo Nyhan and Peter Davis always have a sizeable team at the Nelson harness racing meetings and this weekend was no exception. Their horses are always thereabouts and not many meetings go by without the black and white colours being seen in the winners circle. But even they wouldn't have expected Sounds Like Us to turn around a pretty bleak form line today. Developed initially by noted Mid-Canterbury horseman,Kerry O'Reilly and raced by him with well known Mid-Canterbury breeder, Vic Lamb, Sounds Like Us showed a lot of promise early in her career, running several placings to nice horses without ever breaking through for that elusive win. Sent to the Margo Nyhan barn for help with a leg problem in May 2013, Sounds Like Us was then leased by the Red and Blue syndicate in October last year. Since then she has lined up over 20 times for the syndicate with two seconds and three thirds her best performances in that time. With the Nyhan barn having three runners in todays race, a catch driver was required for Sounds Like Us and who better to fill in than Dexter Dunn, New Zealands leading reinsman. Sent straight to the front from a wide draw by Dexter, Sounds Like Us then trailed the stablemate Royal Cynic driven by Peter Davis who took over after 300 meters. She was still in the trail as they turned for home before Dexter angled her down on the inside and surged through for a narrow but deserved victory. Dexter Dunn has been in sublime form in the bike in recent weeks and todays inch perfect drive on Sounds Like Us was just another example of how good he is driving at present. Harnesslink media

Everyone in the harness racing industry has an opinion on the pros and cons of most runners contesting the Harness Jewels races at Cambridge this weekend so we here at Harnesslink thought we would put our two cents worth into the mix. Not only will the best in the country compete for over $1.2 Million in prize money but punters will also get their chance to win big with several big betting pools available on this year's Harness Racing Jewels Day at Cambridge. Click here for up to date betting options from the TAB. Today we will look at the three 4yo divisions, that is the 4yo Emerald, the 4yo Diamond and the 4yo Ruby. THE EMERALD - FOUR YEAR OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS  1) MAJOR STAR – (g, Art Major – Ciccio Star – Soky’s Atom) Has won seven races but this is his first time against the best of his age group. Draw a big help but appears more of a first four chance rather than a winning one. 2) DYNAMIC PARTY – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Dynamic Guest – Smooth Fella) The emergency for the race who has made it back in to the field. Nice horse but hard to see him being competitive here. Not for us. 3) MOSSDALE CONNER – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Mossdale Kara – In The Pocket) Has been thereabouts in a lot of the big age group races over the last two seasons without really threatening to win one. Draw a big help but place chances still appear best chance here. 4) RANDALSTOWN – (h, Badlands Hanover – Jessica Nicole – Ok Bye) Has won seven races but not in good enough form at the moment to be a chance in a field of this quality. Not fancied. 5) MIGHTY FLYING MAC – (g, Mach Three – Fleet’s Pocket – In The Pocket) Great third last start after doing plenty of work and has been placed in a Jewels at Cambridge before. He will go forward and is a first four chance with a run to suit. 6) GIVE THE WINK – (g, Bettor’s Delight Remmars – Smooth Fella) Has been going super all season. Nice second three starts back behind Elios in 1:55mr followed by a tidy fourth behind Besotted in the Taylor Mile in 1:53.5mr. He is a definite first four player. 7) LEWY RISK - SCRATCHED 8) ARISING EASTON – (g, Washington VC – Ararua Alley – Vance Hanover)  Has won five races this season but four of those have been on grass. Draw and strength of field makes it a really tough ask. Not for us. SECOND ROW 9) PACQUIAO – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Medea – Mach Three) Really nice horse who likes to race on the pace. From his draw here he could end up buried back on the inner which is not his go at all. Hard to see him getting into the finish from there. 10) BETTER ROCK ON – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Jingle Belle Rock – Caprock) Strung together a few wins in the spring in impressive fashion but has struggled to get back to that form since. Not the worst but hard to see as a first four contender. 11) MACH'S GLADIATOR – (g, Mach Three – Smooth Maker – Make A Deal) Hit a real purple patch form a couple of months ago with a string of impressive wins but seems to have gone completely off the boil lately. Not for us. 12) FRANCO NELSON – (h, Christian Cullen – Notafella Franco – Falcon Seelster) Has an outstanding overall record and if he had drawn the front line he would have been hard to roll. Instead he has a wide second row draw but he is still a major player here. 13) NORVIC NIGHTOWL - (g, Bettor’s Delight – Tania Bromac – Holmes Hanover) He is in career best form which he capped recently with a smart third in the Messenger. However he never really left the rails that night and he has a lot harder task from this draw. He is still a first four contender. 14) ELIOS – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Its Showtime – Falcon’s Future) The form horse of the race with the worst possible draw. If he had drawn the front line he would have been terribly hard to hold out. He is at the top of his game at the moment and as quick as he is tough. He is a huge chance even from this draw. COMMENT Having looked at all the variables in this race we have come to the conclusion that regardless how badly they have drawn, Elios and Franco Nelson are still the two to beat. Of the two, Elios gets the nod over Franco Nelson but there is very little between them. Their draws bring them back to the field a bit but they do have a class edge on this field. Major Star, Mossdale Conner, Mighty Flying Mac, Give The Wink, and Norvic Nightowl should be in the fight for the first four positions. THE DIAMOND – FOUR YEAR OLD PACING FILLIES AND MARES 1) MALOO – (m, Bettor’s Delight – Monaro – In The Pocket) Nice honest mare. Is likely to trail or be three back on inner at worst. Draw makes her a first four contender. 2) BECKINSALE – (m, Falcon Seelster – Ballroom Babe – Presidential Ball) Well travelled mare who has won eight but six of those wins have been in the Central Districts. It is hard to see her in the first four even from draw. Not for us. 3) CHILLYSJUSTASTRUTTER – (m, Sutter Hanover – Chilly Dawn – Deal Direct) Under-rated mare in good form. Huge rise in class here makes her an outside chance for a place at best. 4) HELENA JET – (m, Jereme’s Jet – Matai Marlene – Holmes Hanover) A twelve win mare who has won her last three but second appears her lot. Should work to the lead from her draw and then trail Adore Me but can't see how she beats her. Is the logical quinella with Adore Me. 5) ADORE ME – (m, Bettor’s Delight – Scuse Me – BG’s Bunny) Just wins. She is in a different league to these. Will work to the front from her handy draw and from there they can't beat her. 6) ONLYFORYOU – (m, Art Major – Destiny – Presidential Ball) Looked super in the spring but out of sorts in her last few runs. More than capable of placing in this at her best but seems a wee bit off that at the moment. 7) RIVER POLKA – (m, American Ideal – Isle Of Inishfree – Roydon Glen) Been going great guns all season and Tony Herlihy drives so that is a big plus. Is a definite first four contender even from this draw. 8) TACTFUL LADY – (m, McArdle – Tact Philly – In The Pocket) Has won five in her career to date but her shocking draw coupled with the class of this field makes this way too hard. Not for us. SECOND ROW 9) THE FASCINATOR – (m, Bettor’s Delight – Impish – Falcon Seelster) Lovely mare in good form. Smart second two starts back to Sky Major, getting home in better than 55 seconds. Could end up four deep on inner from draw but can finish in first four with a little bit of luck in the running. 10) CHRISTY BREANNA – (m, Lis Mara – Holmes Dream – Holmes Hanover) In career best form following her brilliant 1:51.7TT in April at Ashburton. She hasn't faced a field of this class before but the bolter for first four takers. 11) RUSSLEY HASTE – (m, Mach Three – Russley Fiction – Road Machine) Has had a good season but form has tapered off and draw compounds the issue. Not for us. 12) WHISPER JET – (m, Jereme’s Jet – Nitouche Franco – Soky’s Atom) Has looked super at times and ordinary at other times. Hard to know which Whisper Jet will show up. If the right one does, she is more than capable of placing here. 13) LAURAMEGAN – (m, Tinted Cloud – Sensitive Poplar – Holmes Hanover) Last two runs at Auckland have been terrible but didn't look comfortable right handed. Back left handed here. Seven win mare with her share of ability so don't discount completely. 14) STEEL THE LIGHT – (m, Falcon Seelster – Star Empress – Fake Left) Six win mare who is the emergency for the race. Her draw and the class of this field will make this too big a task if she does gain a start. Not for us. COMMENT Adore Me looks unbeatable from the draw. Helena Jet should work to the lead and then trail Adore Me but second seems her lot. There are several other contenders for first four positions but form and the way the draws have fallen would suggest Maloo, River Polka, The Fascinator, Christy Breanna and Whisper Jet to be the main players.  THE RUBY – FOUR YEAR OLD TROTTERS 1) BONECHIP – (g, Monkey Bones – Lyn Chiola – Chiola Cola) He has been mixing it with the best lately. Great second to Sheemon two starts back, beaten just 0.4 of a length. Manners are an issue at times but has been placed seven from nine behind the mobile. Add in Tony Herlihy and he is a real contender. 2) OH NOVA – (m, Diedre Don – Tracy Nova – Chiola Hanover) Smart wee mare with a big sprint but several here look a touch better at this point in her career. Draw helps but outsider for a place at best 3) KINCASLOUGH – (m, Love You – Donegal Flat – Pine Chip) Is in career best form but this is a step up from the class he has been racing. good draw makes him a first four contender. 4) BALLYRONAN – (m, Love You – Lough Neagh – Sundon) Has compiled a tidy record to date but two many here look better at the moment. Not for us. 5) PARAMOUNT QUEEN – (m, Love You – Paramount Star – Sundon) Quality mare who has been in the first three in 16 of her 20 starts to date. Recent form has been excellent. She was placed in last year’s Jewels and is more than capable of doing so this year as well. 6) PRIME POWER – (g, Monarchy – Mega Belle – Sundon) At his best from this draw you would say he would win this race but there is a question mark after a less than impressive performance at his last start. His Trainer is confident he has him right again and hard to roll on his home track if that is the case. 7) ROYAL ASPIRATIONS  - (h, Monarchy – Aspiring Gal – Sundon) The enigma of this year’s race. Ran a brilliant New Zealand record over 2,600 metres against the best trotters in the country four starts back but that seems to have taken the edge off him with his next three runs well short of his normal standard. At his best he would be a huge winning chance but seems short of his best at the moment. 8) QUITE EASY DAMIT - (g, Quite Easy – Geddown Damit – Sundon) Has shown plenty of promise in his career to date but draw and class of field make his task impossible. Not for us. SECOND ROW 9) WINGSONHAI – (g, Pegasus Spur – Merinai – Tuff Choice) Has a tidy record but not going as well as he was earlier in the season. I cannot see him in the first four. Not fancied. 10) DOCTOR BONES – (g, Monkey Bones – Manakau Bay – Camtastic) Finally living up to his reputation, winning his last three with ease. Not far behind the best at three. His draw is no help but still a first four contender. 11) ASTRAL TRAVELLER – (g, Earl – Whiz Angel – Gee Whiz 11) Has won seven races but just a length or two off the best. This coupled with his draw makes it too hard for him. Not fancied. 12) PRINCESS SOPHIA – (m, Monarchy – Farisa – Chiola Hanover) Handy mare but draw and class of field makes her task impossible. Not for us. 13) SHEEMON – (g, Monarchy – Solar Fire – Yankee Reb) This year he has finally stepped out of the shadow of Prime Power and Royal Aspirations. He has copped the worst possible draw but can still roll these with the right run. With Dexter in the cart you can't say he won't get that run. 14) THE BOG – (m, Monarchy – Spin Ya Wheels – Grant Our Wishes) Emergency for the race. Promising trotter but draw and the class of this field makes his task impossible if he did get a start. Not fancied. COMMENT This race is a bit of a nightmare to predict. The two big guns drawn on the front line in Prime Power and Royal Aspirations have both been under a cloud after less than impressive performances at their last starts while the form trotter of the field in Sheemon has drawn the worst possible barrier. Several others such as Bonechip, Kincaslough, Paramount Queen and Doctor Bones have all been in career best form so an upset is more than possible. In the end we settled on Sheemon, even from the draw. Dexter is in unbelievable form at the moment and that should be just enough to give Sheemon the edge. The obvious dangers are Prime Power and Royal Aspirations while Bonechip, Kincaslough, Paramount Queen and Doctor Bones are all serious place chances. Harnesslink media  

Everyone in the harness racing industry has an opinion on the pros and cons of most runners contesting the Harness Jewels races at Cambridge this weekend so we here at Harnesslink thought we would put our two cents worth into the mix. Not only will the best in the country compete for over $1.2 Million in prize money but punters will also get their chance to win big with several big betting pools available on this year's Harness Racing Jewels Day at Cambridge. Click here for up todate betting options from the TAB. Today we will look at the three 3yo divisions, that is the 3yo Emerald, the 3yo Diamond and the 3yo Ruby. THE EMERALD - THREE YEAR OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS 1) PEPE BROMAC - (c, by Mach Three - Pascale Bromac - Holmes Hanover) Has looked promising in his brief career to date but several here look better. It is hard to see in him in the first four. 2) ISAIAH - (c, by Art Major - EJ Becks - In The Pocket) In unbelievable form in his last few, especially his win three back over 1,950 metres in a 1:54.6 mile rate. With his great draw and his high gate speed it is very hard to see him beaten. 3) TIGER TARA - (c, by Bettor's Delight - Tara Gold - Dream Away) Has had a great season but just seems to have tapered off a touch lately. From the draw he is the biggest danger to Isaiah. 4) EARTHBOUND - (g, by Elsu - Move Heaven Andearth - Christian Cullen) Has won five from fifteen but all in the Central Districts and he faces a huge jump in class here. Not for us. 5) NO DOCTOR NEEDED - (c, by Mach Three - Molly Darling - Christian Cullen) The find of the later part of the season in the south. Has blistering speed but drawing outside of the favoured duo makes his task a hard one. First four chance. 6) ALLELUIA - (g, by Art Major - Shy Annie - Village Jasper) Burst onto the scene early in the season but he has not really fulfilled his early promise. He has been thereabouts in all the major races without threatening to win one. He is a first four contender. 7) REGULUS - (g, by Mach Three - Hunter Franco - Sokys Atom) A high speed horse who has won six but wide draw makes it hard in our opinion. A great driver gives him a first four chance. 8) MESSINI - (c, by Art Major - Mesmerizing - Sir Vancelot) Super consistent all season and if he had drawn well would have been a major player. He was a great fourth to Isaiah, beaten less than a length just prior to the Derby in a dazzling 1:54.6 mile rate. First four contender. SECOND ROW 9) IDEAL SUCCESS - (g, by American Ideal - Maheer Glen - Holmes Hanover) Nice colt who has won three this year but thrown in the deep end here. Not for us. 10) JANGO FETT - (c, by Western Ideal - Regina Coeli - Christian Cullen) Looked very promising earlier in the season winning at Addington in a 1:55.7 mile rate for 1,950 metres but not the same horse since nasty fall in Southern Supremacy Final. Not fancied. 11) CYCLONE PRINCE - (c, by Mach Three - Eyre To The Throne - Presidential Ball) Nice last start winner but he has struggled at this level all season. It is hard to see in first four unless he lifts big time. 12) FRANCO SALISBURY - (g, by Lis Mara - Sally Franco - Badlands Hanover) Nice horse but way out of his comfort zone here if he does get a start. Not for us. 13) THOMAS McBRIDE - (g, by Extreme Three - Xinran - Badlands Hanover)  Looked quite promising earlier in the season but form has tapered off badly and that coupled with his draw makes this way too hard. 14) SKY MAJOR - (c, by Art Major - Sky Beauty - In The Pocket) Would have been a "Major" player if he had only drawn well but has his work cut out from here. He has only won two from 14 this season so from draw place chances look best. COMMENT ISAIAH looks the one they all have to beat here. No matter how many different ways you look at this race he still appears the logical winner. So in our view the fight is only for the minor places. Tiger Tara, No Doctor Needed, Alleluia, Messini and Sky Major look the five with the credentials to fill the spots behind Isaiah. THE DIAMOND – THREE YEAR OLD PACING FILLIES 1) ROYAL COUNSEL - (f, by Gotta Go Cullect - Seabreeze Franco - Holmes Hanover)  Very tough filly who won the Southland Oaks in a 1:56.6 mile rate for 2,200 metres. Not super quick off the gate but if she can hold her position early, she becomes a great place prospect. 2) COUGAR BROMAC - (f, by Art Major - Congo Breeze - Holmes Hanover) Nice filly who has won six races but they have all been in the Central Districts and none against a field of this class. Not for us. 3) MILLIE SAMPSON - (f, by Bettor's delight - Cullen's Creation - Christian Cullen) Emergency who is unlucky to have missed the final. Looked special earlier in the season and last start sixth in the New Zealand Oaks was okay. A place chance if she makes it back into the field. 4) SNOOKI - (f, by Bettor's Delight - Offagain - Soky's Atom) Very game and honest filly whose only real failure to date was in the Great Northern Oaks. It is hard to see her winning the race but a definite first four chance. 5) IDEAL BELLE - (f, by American Ideal - Blistering Belle - Butler BG) Has really stepped up lately and from the draw looks the one they have to beat. Still has a trick or two having galloped twice in the fillies’ features this season so no certainty. 6) SHEATHEREALDEAL - (f, by American Ideal - Blazing Spirit - Holmes Hanover) Has won five races this season but again they have all been in the Central Districts and in fields lacking the class of this race. Not for us. 7) ROCKNROLL ARDEN - (f, by Rocknroll Hanover - Winter Rose - In The Pocket) Lovely filly who has been thereabouts in all the big fillies’ features this season. It is hard to see her winning from the draw but a major first four player. 8) CHARLESTON BELLE - (f, by Christian Cullen - Elite Belle - Presidential Ball) Has real gate speed but the wide draw here negates that. Would have been a first four contender from a good draw but hard to have from out there.  SECOND ROW 9) RAKSDEAL - (f, by Western Ideal - Raksplace - Artsplace) This is the worst possible draw for this super tough free going filly. Good enough to win this from a front row draw. Needs to be out and running to maximise her talents and this draw makes that highly unlikely. 10) ROCKN RUBY - (f, by Mach Three - Doug's Choice - Soky's Atom) Good third in the Great Northern Oaks against most of these which she followed up with two smart wins and then spelled. Hasn't been as sharp since her return with her last run the worst she has gone all season. Place chance at huge odds. 11) SAHARAZONA - (f, by Ohoka Arizona - Sahara Starlight - Jeremy's Gambit) Should get an award for most appearances this season, but form has tapered off badly in the later part of the season. Not for us. 12) LANCEWOOD LIZZIE - (f, by Bettor's Delight - Kamwood Elsie - Falcon Seelster) Looked above average earlier in the season before failing badly in the Great Northern Oaks. Since transferred to Barry Purdon, where she has thrived, winning  two from two. I cannot see her winning from the draw but a definite first four player. 13) VENUS SERENA - (f, by Mach Three - Inspiring Dash - Falcon Seelster) Absolute super star who has over raced in her last couple. Her trainer is confident that he has fixed the problem. Has a four to one advantage head to head over Ideal Belle and at her very best would win, even from her bad draw. 14) TE AMO BROMAC - (f, by Mach Three - Tandias Courage - Stoneridge Scooter) Really at the top of her game at the moment but the draw gives her few options. She is still a serious first four player even from this draw. COMMENT Ideal Belle looks the logical choice from her great draw but we still favour Venus Serena, even though she has drawn so wide on the second line. She has over-raced in her last couple but her trainer is confident he has the problem sorted. At her very best she would win this. Ideal Belle is obviously a massive win chance even if the real Venus Serena turns up.  Any two of Royal Counsel, Snooki, Rocknroll Arden, Lancewood Lizzie and Te Amo Bromac should round out the first four. THE RUBY – THREE YEAR OLD TROTTERS 1) PHILL'S FOLLY - (g, by Great Success - Zesty - Gee Whiz 11) Won a couple in the deep South but this looks way to hard even from the ace draw. Not for us. 2) MONSEIGNEUR - (g, by Sundon - Duchess Of Whiz - Gee Whiz 11) Emergency who has only placed once from ten starts. No 3) TROUBLE RIEU - (c, by Great Success - Cong Chua Rieu - Sundon) Has gate speed so should get good run from the draw. Can't see him winning but he could sneak a first four placing. 4) MUM'S PRIDE - (g, by Monarchy - Teachers Pride - Evander's Gold) The find of the latter half of the season. First race left handed is a small question mark. Draw and manners make a serious contender. 5) KING KENNY - (g, by Majestic Son - A Touch Of Sun - Simon Roydon) He has had his issues lately but you wouldn't know it looking at his form. Stable a lot happier with him lately and he trialled super last weekend. The horse they all have to beat. 6) I'MNOTQUITESURE - (g, by Quite Easy - Wheresmemum - Muscles Yankee) One placing from just three starts makes this mission impossible. No 7) MAJESTIC TIME - (f, Majestic Son - Time To Shine - Sundon) Forget her last run as she didn't handle the Auckland way round. Has blinding speed and the mile distance is right up her alley.   8) ALL ROYAL GAL - (f, by Monarchy - Roydon Action - Sundon) Nice filly but appears to have gone right off the boil lately. Not fancied. SECOND LINE 9) ONE OVER DA MOON - (c, by Majestic Son - One Over Kenny - Sundon) The enigma of this field. Can win this race but the draw has seriously dented his chances. He has only recently come off the unruly so one on the second line is not ideal. No doubting the ability, just the ring craft. 10) SIR GEORGE GREY - (g, by Monkey Bones - Georgeina - Sundon) Has won five so deserves respect but a few just look better at this stage. He is an outsider for first four combinations. 11) K D MUSCLES - (f, by Muscle Mass - Kazzle Dazzle - Armbro Invasion) Even allowing for her last start second, she is not going as well as she was three months ago and it's hard to see her featuring from this draw. 12) DAVEY'S BROTHER - (g, by Sundon - Jasmyn's Sister - Holdonmyheart) Nice horse long term but not against these and not over a mile. Not fancied. 13) DJOKOVIC - (g, by Sundon - Lovinski - Earl) Likes to run along in front so draw a major handicap and just a notch below the top ones. Not for us 14) HANOVERDAKASH - (f, by Monarchy - Amanda's Gem - Sundon) Nice filly but not in this field and not from this draw. Not fancied. COMMENT To us this looks like a two horse war. King Kenny has won both Derbies this season. He has had the chiropractor working on him recently and trialled super last weekend. He is definitely the one to beat. The big danger has to be Majestic Time who has blinding speed and is a noted miler. There are only two other horses capable of toppling the favoured duo and they are Mum's Pride and One Over Da Moon. Both are more than capable of upsetting but probably need a touch of luck as well. Harnesslink media

Follow The Stars makes it three straight in Cardigan Bay Stakes Mark Purdon won his eighth Cardigan Bay Stakes in 14 years when favourite Follow The Stars cleaned up in tonight's 2014 edition of the The Group One $100,000 Breckon Farms Young Guns Final at Alexandra Park. Starting from the outside of the front row, Follow The Stars was fortunate to avoid the breakers inside him therefore leaving Purdon no option to avoid the breakers and patiently wait for Jonny B Good and Todd Mitchell to drag him into the race. When Jonny B Good was started to fade Purdon pounced with the $2.10 shot and zoomed to the front at the 500m. From that point it was a matter of catch me if you can. They couldn't. The Art Major colt won easily by 3-1/2 lengths and 1-1/4 lengths in 2:02.92 (mile rate: 1:56.3) with final 800m sprints of 58.3 and 28.6. Express Stride (Tony Herlihy - MNZM) was second, with Bettor Sprits (Philip Butcher) third. Purdon also co-trains Follow The Stars with his partner Natalie Rasmussen. "He's a nice colt and had to be good to win from the outside of the front line. I like him a lot. We will head to Australia with him now for the APG Series in Melbourne in April," Purdon said. It was Follow The Star's third consecutive win since making his winning debut at Alexandra Park on December 13. He also won the $25,000 Group Three Sapling Stakes at Ashburton on February 14. Follow The Stars is owned by Mrs G. J. Kennard, P. I Kennard, N. Pilcher, G. R. Douglas, P. J. Creighton, and Mrs M. C Creighton. He was bred by Lauriston Bloodstock. The bay colt has now won $81,477 Past winners (and times) of the Group One Cardigan Bay Stakes Young Guns Final for 2yo colts & geldings have been: 2013: Cyclone Prince (Todd Mitchell) 2:04.6; 2012: Five Card Draw (Brent Mangos) 2:02.5; 2011: Fly Like An Eagle (Mark Purdon) 2:02.5; 2010: Major Mark (Mark Purdon) 2:04.1; 2009: Anvils Best Ever (Anthony Butt) 2:05.6; 2008: Gotta Go Cullect (Jay Abernethy) 2:03.7; 2007: Steve McQueen (Mark Purdon) 2:06.1; 2006: Gotta Go Cullen (Nicole Molander) 2:05.0. by Duane Ranger  

North Island reinsman Andre Poutama claimed the title of Australasian Young Drivers Champion after the final heat was held at Tabcorp Park Menangle in New South Wales yesterday. The Championships were held over six days, with ten heats run over that period. Ten drivers from across Australasia competed in the Championships. Poutama took the lead in the second day of competition and maintained a comfortable lead throughout. From the ten heats, Poutama picked up one win, two seconds, four thirds and a fourth. The two other representatives from New Zealand, Samantha Ottley and Simon McMullan, also drove well The two other representatives from New Zealand, Samantha Ottley and Simon McMullan, also drove well throughout the Championship. Ottley was the only driver that could have beaten Poutama heading into the final heat, but after an unlucky run she finished in third place overall. Dylan Ford from Tasmania finished into second, after winning the last heat. The three representatives from New Zealand are made up of the best North Island driver, the best South Island driver and the driver with the best UDR (Universal Driver Rating), these drivers are all junior drivers as they must be under 25 to qualify for the event. The 2015 Australasian Young Drivers Championship is set to be held in New Zealand. Harness Racing New Zealand

This Friday will see a particularly fortuitous character of the celestial Zodiac gallop in for the Chinese New Year - the Horse. To celebrate, the TAB will be giving out traditional Chinese 'Red Envelopes' containing betting vouchers in $8 multiples to the first 25 customers who buy a $20 Triple Trio Easybet at Alexandra Park TAB on Friday and Saturday. TAB Triple Trio - a Hong Kong import and one of the region's favourite bets - has already proven lucky for a number of bettors including two people winning six figures in the first two weeks. The third running of the Triple Trio will be this Saturday - the second day of the Year of the Horse. TAB Executive General Manager Glenn Patrick said the TAB definitely expected a spike in betting on horses to mark the Year of the Horse and wished people luck. "Some people don't believe in luck or coincidences - but I can tell you we've already had some very lucky Triple Trio punters, and it wouldn't surprise me if our third Triple Trio sees another massive win during the Chinese New Year holiday." January 31 marks the beginning of the New Year in many Asian countries, and with it a change in the Zodiac animal. It is believed that the horse symbolises momentum, positivity and independence. The latter is particularly evident, as a foal can stand up less than 10 minutes after birth and begins to walk soon after. Characteristics such as speed, bravado and a little bit of attitude come naturally to the equine zodiac. Red Envelopes are traditionally exchanged during important occasions or holidays, to ward off evil spirits, and usually contain money in an even numbered denomination. This week's Triple Trio has a $500,000 pool for the Dunedin Races at Wingatui. The Triple Trio challenges customers to pick the first three place getters in each of the three Triple Trio nominated races. The order of the horses doesn't matter - just that they placed in the top three. Triple Trio bets can be purchased at the racecourse, from local TABs, at and over the phone. Tom Judd Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board    

Last Friday night (17th January 2014) was the first race meeting of 2014 for the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club and also the start of the much anticipated $500 Breeders' Bonus initiative. Four bonuses were won on the night. The NZMTC and the NZSBA congratulate the NZSBA members who each won $500: Spreydon Lodge, breeder of Fernleigh Rebel, winner of the Gotta Go Cullen Mobile Pace for three-year-old and older C0 Pacers. Russell and Carolyn Nelson, breeders of Crackaheiny, winner of the Active Electrical Mobile Pace for four-year-old and older C2 to C3 pacers. Alta Breeding Co Ltd (Tony Dickinson), breeder of Alta Jerome, winner of the PGG Wrightson Sale of the Stars three-year-old and older C1 pacers. Gaby and Julie Maghzal, breeders of Lothario, winner of the Hydroflow Trot for three-year-old and older C1 trotters. The $500 is paid to any member of the NZSBA who breeds the winner of a totalisator race at a NZMTC meeting, held at Addington Raceway. Kiely Buttell, NZSBA's Executive Manager said "it is never too late to join the NZSBA. An $89.95 membership fee could give breeders an instant $500 return! " Full terms and conditions are available at or Kiely Buttell, NZ Standardbred Breeders' Assn  

On the 31st of December 2013 the Auckland Trotting Club will honour recently-retired champion trotter I Can Doosit. I Can Doosit, the winner of 36 races and $1.45million will lead out the field for the Group 1 National Trot before trotting one last lap at Alexandra Park and being presented with a special dress rug to celebrate his career. There will be promotional give a ways such as sun caps, posters and a commemorative race book. The racing action kicks off at 12:15pm and I Can Doosit will be on track around 2:25pm. DAVID BRANCH  

Addington is pleased to announce the second running of the Pre-Christmas Day Maiden Bonus race on its first Premier Night of harness racing in 2014 on Friday 31 January.   The race will be eligible for pacers who were assessed as C0 as at Christmas Day 2013.   Field selection will be based on points earned in all Totalisator races in New Zealand from 25 December 2013 up to and including 27 January 2014. Points will be awarded as follows: 5 points for a 1st placing, 3 points for a 2nd placing, 2 points for a 3rd placing and 1 point for each start in that period. The race will be conducted with a preferential barrier draw based on: assessment then earnings using the track grid.   The Pre-Christmas Day Maiden Bonus will carry a stake of $15,000 and run over 1950m from a mobile start.   Addington’s Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt said “this initiative provides owners and trainers with an ideal opportunity to race their horses at the conclusion of the New Year circuit for a healthy stake for those horses that meet the criteria. It’s a race that is programmed for those horses that have won or perhaps even won twice since Christmas Day but also for horses that are still maidens.”   Further details will be available in the 8 January edition of the Harness Racing Weekly within the NZMTC Programme for 31 January 2014. Alternatively, please call Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley on (03) 338 9094.   Ged Mooar    

For the very first time, Alexandra Park has partnered with Air New Zealand and the Rendezvous Grand Hotel to offer out of town visitors a special Grabaseat offer for Auckland Cup Week. The Auckland Cup, first run in 1890 has been won by some of world's greatest harness racing horses. Steeped in history, yet firmly focused on the future, Auckland Cup Week 2014 at Alexandra Park promises a unique festival feeling with the best in kiwi entertainment, cocktail competitions, food displays, Fabulous fashion and the best of the best in harness racing. Alexandra Park will kick off Auckland Cup Week 2014 with the first race meeting and official opening on Friday 28 February. Night two of Auckland Cup Week on the 7th of March is headlined by the Auckland Cup & Northern Derby. The festive environment, combined with live entertainment, variety, glamour and of course the stars on track gives everyone a reason to party. This special is live for one week from 10:00 am Wednesday 4 December and has a limited number of tickets available. For details, please visit this link. David Branch Sales & Marketing Coordinator    

The Dunstan Speed Series has been completed and what a great series it was, with plenty of excitement, controversy and great racing. With the abandonment of the second heat of the Dunstan Trotters Speed Series the final got underway with the completion of heat one only, but it was a very close final. Too close in fact with a 'dead heat' being announced - "Be Seein Ya", driven by Todd MacFarlane and trained by David and Claire McGowan shared the win with "Continental Auto" driven and trained by Todd Mitchell. The Pacers final was always going to be keenly watched, with an impressive performance from "Pepper Pots", trained by Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick and driven by Scott Phelan in the first heat. Then an outstanding run from "Lincolns Megastar", trained by Ray Green and driven by Maurice McKendry in the second heat ensured it would be a hotly contested final. The final however went the way of "Saharazona", with elated connections joining the Dunstan Sponsors after the race. The team at Dunstan are very proud to sponsor the Series and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the connections of the wonderful horses that have featured throughout. Dunstan would like to extend a big "thank you" to the team at Alexandra Park, and to David Branch in particular for his contribution to the Dunstan Speed Series. Dunstan would also like to acknowledge the great support shown to them by Owners, Breeders and Trainers within the Harness Sector, and in return are committed to continuing to support their Industry. Gretel Webber m. 021 557 316 p. 07 8498160 f. 07 8492719 D U N S T A N NUTRITION LIMITED  

Alexandra Park is pleased to welcome Mitavite NZ as a new sponsor for the 2013/14 season. Mitavite will play an active role at Alexandra Park throughout the season with the introduction of the 'Mitavite Bonus Series' The Mitavite Bonus Series will be run over 6 key dates with one race at each meeting being allocated as the bonus race. The winning trainer of each bonus race will receive 10 bags of Mitavite feed. Series dates are: Friday 1st November Friday 6th December Tuesday 31st December Friday 21st February Friday 7th March Friday 4th April An indication of each bonus race will be available in the respective official programmes. Alexandra Park is looking forward to its association with Mitavite NZ and establishing a mutually beneficial relationship. DAVID BRANCH  

On Friday 13th September, Alexandra Park played host to 40 Year 8 students from Diocesan as part of the school’s “New to You” Programme. This programme gives girls the opportunity to try something new and different and with Alexandra Park so close to the school it was a chance to learn about activities and facilities in the local area. The programme offered was based on the very popular Kidz Kartz format which uses miniature horses and ponies to bring harness racing to younger people. The tutors were 24 ponies, 9 Kidz Kartz children and 11 adults from Counties and Cambridge Kidz Kartz. Even HRNZ Education and Training Manager Natalie Gameson came up to give support and guidance to the day. The programme focused on teaching and building the basics of the sport in a fun learning environment. The usual Kidz Kartz course was modified to allow the students to have maximum time on task allowing them to work through grooming, anatomy, safety and confidence around horses, long reining to learn steering, gearing up and team work. All the girls, even though most had never touched a horse before, successfully drove on their own with some skill by the end of the day. “Alexandra Park is a perfect venue” said Anne Phillips, “with the wonderful stable complex, the weather doesn’t have to be a concern and there is plenty of enclosed space for lots of fun activities in an environment that is supportive and safe.” Alexandra Park as part of its Community Programme wants to collaborate with schools in order to deliver “Harnessing Your Horse Power” to as many kids as possible.  CEO of Alexandra Park Dominique Dowding says “Harnessing Your Horse Power” is a really important programme for youth as it’s foundation within the programme is to promote team work, collaboration, responsibility and commitment.” Each student received a booklet about learning to drive, brochures, a Hot to Trot magazine and certificate. Overall it was a successful day for 40 students who have now had a successful and fun Harness Racing experience. Kim Algie Sales & Marketing Manager

The innovative Northern Southland Trotting Club host the first of their three 2013/2014 harness racing meetings at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill this Friday (27 September). For the third consecutive year the club will have a $5000 "Anywhere In The World" trip supported by House Of Travel Lakers Invercargill and Gore plus the Northern Southland Trotting Club up for grabs during their three meetings. At each of their meetings this year - (Friday 27 September, Thursday 16 January and Saturday 22 March) a lucky draw will be made from all losing on course TAB tickets after race nine. After the third winner is found at the clubs final meeting in March the three winners go into the final draw. One of the lucky three will win the $5000 world trip while the other two race day winners will be in contention for second and third prizes - second is a two night stay at the Luxmore Distinction Hotel in Te Anau and third a one night luxury stay at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill including dinner and beverage to the value of $100 plus two cooked breakfasts. Details of the competition will be in the race book but entrants must be over 18 years of age and be on course when the draw is made to win. As always owners will be well looked after this season with the very popular Kina Craig/Alabar Owners Room operating on the first floor of the main grandstand with complimentary food and beverage for owners, an acknowledgement of the club's appreciation of the owners support of their meetings. Macca Lodge have also instigated a new 'BIG MACCA' prize, providing a $100 McDonald's voucher for the leading trainer and driver each race day based on 5 points for each win, 3 points for second and 1 for third. On course patrons can also, if they wish, purchase a Gold Card which gives access to prime viewing at the Top Of The Park along with food and beverage throughout the day. The Gold card offers wonderfull value at $150 per season for a couple and $60 for a single day pass. The club has also announced that they are delighted that The Yaldhurst Hotel and Dave McHugh are the new sponsor of the $50,000 Northern Southland Cup in January. Lindsay Beer Promotions Officer Southern Harness Racing  

The Auckland Trotting Club is pleased to announce the following bonuses for Owners and Breeders on Friday Night (30th August).   Glenferrie Farms are kindly donating a service fee for Tintin In America to the winning owners of both of their sponsored races (races 1 & 9). Five time Group One winner Tintin In America is standing at Nevele R Stud for a fee of $2250 +GST.   The Auckland Trotting Club is also offering a service to Tintin in America for tender (any collection, transport or other associated costs are not included). Tenders should be forwarded in writing to the following address before 5pm Friday 6th September 2013;   Auckland Trotting Club PO Box 26021 Epsom Auckland 1344   (Please note highest or any tender not necessarily accepted)   As a bonus for Breeders, the winning Breeder of the ‘Equibreed NZ Mobile Pace’ will receive a $500 Equibreed voucher to be used towards a breeding programme.   Friday night will also see the annual running of the Island Of Origin Drivers Series with 12 of New Zealand’s leading drivers competing.   David Branch

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