On Wednesday Septemeber 25, about 70 Canterbury standardbred breeders joined together to celebrate and recognise the achievements of their fellow members at the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders’ Awards Evening. Gold pins were awarded to over 50 members for breeding a horse that achieved a mile rate of 1.58 or greater (pacing) and 2.00.0 (trotting). The New Zealand Standardbred Breeders’ also presented to breeders a raft of trophies for Group and Listed race success, and a new award to the breeder of an NZ record-holder at season end. In total over 20 members were recognised on the night in these categories. For a list of members who received awards visit our website www.harnessracing.co.nz. There were six main awards presented. These were: Contribution to Canterbury Breeding – awarded to Noel Kennard for his tireless enthusiasm and involvement in the harness racing industry. Noel has had a long association with harness racing as an administrator for various breeder’s associations, as a stallion owner and manager and more recently syndicate promoter and manager. Professional Person of the Year – awarded to HRNZ Keeper of the Stud Book Wayne Reid. Wayne has worked at HRNZ for 34 years, starting as a Statistician in the days when every horse had a hand written card. Wayne then went on to become handicapper and subsequently the Keeper of the Stud Book in 1997. Lifetime Breeding Achievement – Spreydon Lodge established by the late Wayne Francis is a major contributor to the breeding industry. Consistently one of the top ten breeders Spreydon Lodge bred 309 winners over the last five seasons. Quality performers from this grand nursery and racing stable include Franco Nelson, Franco Emirate, Nearea Franco, Franco Jamar, Franco Ledger and Franco Nelson to name but a few. Canterbury Broodmare of Excellence – Love To Live, dam of Terror To Love bred by Terry McDonald. Two-time New Zealand Cup Winner Terror To Love needs no introduction, he is currently sitting on 22 wins from 50 starts with earnings of $1,544,667. Love To Live is also dam of Bad All Over who enjoyed eight wins and Cee J P winner of one race by Falcon Seelster. Trotting Breeder of the Year – Trevor Casey. Trevor is a long time supporter of harness racing who bring enthusiasm and a significant contribution to the industry, particularly excellence in trotting. This investment is paying dividends with a string of winners to his name. Escapee, Daenerys Targaryen, Springbank Sam and Stent being last season’s top performers for Trevor as a breeder and three of them as owner. Pacing Breeder of the Year –Jennifer and Bob Sandford. Venus Serena was the stand-out 2YO filly for this season. Bred and owned by the Christchurch couple, the multiple Group 1 winning filly is entering her 3YO season on stakes of $247,635 from five wins. Chairman John Mooney hosted the evening and thanked members for their interest in the industry and continued support. John said: ”the feedback from the studs and from individual breeders about this season is very positive. People are saying that are looking to increase the number of mares they are breeding, with several new breeders starting out with two or three mares.” John also said that next year CSBA is looking to host a joint Canterbury Awards evening with the owners and licence holders. “Working together in recognising individuals and their achievements will strengthen us all” he said. Kiely Buttell Executive Manager
The first foal of dual Group One winning mare Nearea Franco, $417,157 (Badlands Hanover- No Paba) kept her unbeaten record intact, when winning her second public appearance today (Wednesday March 6)- a 2yo qualifier at Ashburton.
Top harness racing mare Nearea Franco has been retired to stud. The winner of eleven races and $441,000 in stake earnings failed to flatter in her latest outing, forcing trainer Steven McRae to make a decision on the future of the daughter of Badlands Hanover who has been suffering from a number of troublesome issues this season following a return from injury.
Top class harness racing mare Nearea Franco has also been withdrawn from the up-coming Interdominion Series. The daughter of Badlands Hanover led in the Ladyship Mile held at Menangle before compounding badly in the straight to finish in sixth position.
The Cranbourne, Fremantle and Western Australia Pacing Cup winner Im Themightyquinn is the favourite to win harness racing's 2011 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Addington Raceway in Christchurch on Friday April 8.
Watch out North Island girls - two of the South Island's best harness racing mares will travel together to the Auckland next month on a mission to win two Group races at Alexandra Park on December 10 and 17.
The Steven McRae trained Nearea Franco is back to her brilliant best if her win in the today's (Tuesday November 9) Firestone Junior Free-For-All at Addington Raceway is anything to go by. The harness racing queen simply blitzed her 11 rivals in the Group Three $40,000 event.
The Steven McRae trained Nearea Franco will be out of harness racing action for at least the next three months. The daughter of Badlands Hanover had developed a slight swelling in her nearside foreleg and on closer examination by veterinarian Bill Bishop, it was discovered the nearside pastern on her foreleg was in the process of cracking.
The New Zealand Metropolitan Troting Club has finalised its New Zealand Cup field for next Tuesday (November 10) to be run at Addington Raceway in Christchurch. Harness Racing New Zealand's showpiece event will be worth $1 million and run from the 3200m stand. The field is:
Next Monday's (November 2) $60,000 Kaikoura Cup will be the 'last chance saloon' for several budding New Zealand Cup aspirants. The winner of the Group Two, 2400m standing start harness racing event should get an automatic entry into the Cup field. . . but for those that don't perform - the dream of a start in the $1m Cup at Addington Raceway on November 10 could be over.
Nearea Franco's suspect manners from a standing start may act against her capitalizing on the ace draw in the $40,000 Gr 3 Hannon Memorial (2600 metres) at Oamaru tomorrow Sunday 27 September. Trainer Steve McRae pointed out to Harnesslink today Saturday 26 September that she "bombed'' two of her three harness racing starts from a stand last season, namely the Kaikoura and Invercargill Cups.
High class pacers Nearea Franco and Mr Feelgood served notice of their readiness to resume racing in the Avon City Ford Cup at Addington on Friday week (18 September) when they engaged in a sensible and not too demanding two horse war at the Chertsey Trotting Club's harness racing trials at Ashburton today Tuesday 8 September.
Outstanding race mare Nearea Franco (1:54.4) has completed a month of jogging with Spreydon Lodge trainer Steve McRae and will soon begin hoppled work in preparation for the new season.
Established Spreydon trainer Steve McRae might have some slight reservations concerning his mare Nearea Franco's condition in the countdown to the $60,000 Invercargill Cup (3200 metres) at Ascot Park on Saturday.
Nearea Franco seldom wins in mile rates greater than two minutes and such was the case again at Forbury Park tonight (6 February) when she exploded out of the gates and immediately made the Barton Memorial Free For All her own.
Another New Zealand harness racing season has been run and won, with the case-closing awards dinner being held in Auckland on Saturday night.