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By Jonny Turner    Some brilliant home straight maneuvering from Robbie Close helped Bringitonhome head a track record breaking quinella for trainer Regan Todd at Nelson on Sunday. The 6yr-old unleashed a powerful finish after Close negotiated a passage out of a horror spot on the home bend to help Bringitonhome run down his stablemate Taxman and win in a sizzling mile (1609m) time of 1-52.2. Todd was full of praise for Close’s home straight handywork that guided Bringitonhome through the tightest of gaps. “It was a great drive by Robbie to get him through those gaps,” Todd said. Though he was beaten by more than a length, Todd rated Taxman’s effort to run second in the race’s hot time just as good as the winner. “They both went great – Taxman went just as good as the winner after doing a lot of work in the race.” “I was rapt with both of them.” The chance to race middle grade pacers off level marks in Sunday’s mile feature was a key to Bringitonhome scoring his first win since April of last year. “It was a really good opportunity to race those kind of horses off level marks,” Todd said. “He had raced in some pretty good fields through the cup carnival and that race was probably a bit easier than them.” “If there were more of those kind of races people might be able to keep more of the horses in that grade.” Bringitonhome and Taxman are likely to take different paths out of Sunday’s feature. Neither will return to the top of the South Island for this weekend’s Marlborough meeting. Bringitonhome could contest the Invercargill Cup later this month. Taxman will stick to mobile racing and head to the upcoming premier night at Addington. “I will discuss it with the owners, but Bringitonhome could go to the Invercargill Cup.” “It might just depend on what handicap he will be off.” The track record Bringitonhome broke lasted just two races. Earlier on Sunday, Marlborough battler Sonic Reign seriously upgraded his resume with a booming 1-53.9 mile (1609m) win in rating 40-45 company. Driver Tim Williams sat the Kevin Musso trained 5yr-old off a strong speed set up by Barkley and All Nuts N Bolts, before launching his winning run before the home turn. Todd will have two runners in his form hometown of Wyndham on Thursday. Seamark will attempt to go one better than his second on debut at Omakau. Swamp Major will contest the rerunning of the Central Otago Cup.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    Course specialist My Eyre will be out to continue his brilliant form at Nelson today after rocking punters there on Friday.  The Margo Nyhan trained squaregaiter took his record to a win and three placings at Richmond Racecourse when capitalising on a nice run handed to him by driver Bob Butt to win at 40 to one odds.  The victory might have caught punters off guard, but it did not come as a total surprise to Nyhan or her partner, driver Peter Davis. “He has always raced good here, he ran second on both days in the summer last year,” Davis said. “He raced good at Reefton in his last start, he usually has a couple of gallops in his first couple of runs back and once he gets that out of his system he is pretty reliable.” “I couldn’t believe the price to be honest.” Overzealous went a good race when fourth behind her stablemate, My Eyre, on Friday after giving him a 30m head start in their 2400m feature handicap. The pair meet again on the same marks, which makes My Eyre the top pick of Nyhan’s pair today.  “Overzealous went super on Friday - she was a bit unlucky - she got held up early in the run home,” Davis said.  “Off 30m you have to drive her for luck again and realistically he is going to get a nice trip again.” “Obviously My Eyre is not going have to go back in the handicaps either.” “Overzealous better than him, but it is just hard enough off 30m for her.” Great Things Happen and One Majic Kenny looks to of hardest horses for My Eyre and Overzealous to beat. Though he only finished 10th on Friday, One Majic Kenny went a huge race after losing a big chunk of ground when galloping at the start. Great Things Happen did well to run sixth after starting from the same 60m handicap he faces today.  Givemewhatineed bounced back to form for Nyhan and Davis when second behind Soundslikeart on Friday. Davis rates the horse the best winning chance of the team he and Nyhan combine with today when he steps out in race 6.  “He has been really frustrating – he went great when John Dunn had him when we were laid up and we were a little weary about how he would be when we got him back.” “He went huge first up for us and we were thrilled.” “But then he has been pretty dismal in between times.” “But his run at Reefton was good and he went pretty good on Friday and I think the horse that beat him does go pretty good.” Nyhan and Davis also combine with Prodigal Pete (race 4) and Bobby’s My Girl (race 9), who will both need to lift from the Friday runs to feature today. Davis has three outside drives at today’s meeting with Speciale Uno looking the strongest winning chance of them when she lines up from barrier 3 in race 1. “She had no show the first way from where she was drawn and it was a pretty nice maiden field.”  “She raced super on the West Coast and the draw will help her.” Fernleigh Colleen also brought good West Coast for to Nelson before going fairly on Friday. The 4yr-old could test her rivals if she bounces back to her prior form in race 3. Scelta Uno went a sound race on Friday and looks a solid each way hope in race 10 for Davis.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    A classy field will give punters plenty to ponder ahead of today’s Nelson Cup. The in-form line up means reigning winner Dadndave will need to be on his game to defend 2019 title. The Tim Trathen trained pacer showed toughness to conquer the 3000m feature as a 3yr-old last season. That victory left no doubt about 4yr-old’s staying credentials, which Trathen thinks will be the horse’s biggest asset when he takes on today’s smart line up.    “He is a tough wee bugger – he loves a bit of distance.” “The further, the better.” The timing appears right for Dadndave to defend his cup title. The 4yr-old has returned to peak form after a scratchy start to his season. “He had an abscess in a foot, then he had a bit of a snotty nose and things went wrong there for a while,” Trathen said. “He is definitely a bit perkier now and I think we are on the right track.” “He seems back to his best.” Dadndave went two from two at last year’s two day nelson meeting before ending a respectable 3yr-old run with creditable sixth behind Jesse Duke at the Harness Jewels. The pacer was not able to carry on that momentum with two below opening runs as a 4yr-old, which were followed by two slightly improved performances in strong company. “He drew back every time and we were back all of the way and it is hard to make a bit of a move in that company,” Trathen said. “I wasn’t disappointed, it is tough racing those good ones.” “I always thought he was good enough to be in them.” Backmarker Change Is Good is set to start race favourite following her brilliant run of spring and summer form. The adaptable Mitchell Kerr trained pacer starts alongside Bringitonhome, Hayden’s Meddle and Memphis Tennessee on the 20m mark. Dadndave, Stars Tonight, Yorkshire and Rah De Rah get a head start on them from the 10m mark . Kendra, Rocknroll Rod and recent grass track flop Taxman start off the front alongside Doctor Tim. Group 1 winning trotter Great Things Happen must overcome a huge 60m handicap to win today’s feature trot at Nelson. The Gavin Smith trained and driven will have 30m between him and Overzealous, who has the second biggest handicap in the 2400m event. Great Things Happens goes in to today’s race after producing a solid effort to run fifth behind Pres The Belle in a significantly stronger race at Addington. The 8yr-old travelled south to the recently abandoned Omakau meeting after that run. Great Things Happens has placed in both of his starts at Nelson. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson finally broke through for her maiden driving win at Nelson yesterday after coming close to a win a number of times and she did it aboard her family trained trotter Zsa Zara.  Tomlinson was very happy with the result, "I am super proud especially of the horse and driving in grandads colours has made the occasion really special. "People have supported me all the way and I would like to thank Reg from Storer Motors for sponsoring me, every one has just stuck with me and made this monent even more great. "Nana and grandad and mum and Clint all try to give me and Sheree an equal go and Mel and Brad Mowbray have been so good to me with drives so it is really good," she said after the race. After running a good second on the first day of the meeting Zsa Zara was first away from the standing start yesterday and led all the way to comfortably beat the Greg and Nina Hope trained Easy Pickings. Zsa Zara (Brylin Boyz - Zsa Zita) trotted the 2400m stand in 3-11.3 with a closing 800m in 59.8 The race was notable for a couple of horses breaking after they shied at the shadow of a plane flying overhead during the running of the race(1.50 in the video).     Harnesslink media  

Northern Southland 10 January   Summer twilight racing at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill with the Northern Southland Trotting Club is the go on Thursday 10 January with the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup the feature event along with several other quality harness races. A losing ticket draw after Race 6 will see one lucky punter win a $250 betting voucher with an opportunity for that winner to go on and win a $1000 betting voucher at the club’s final meeting later in the season. Owners are welcome in the Alabar Owners Room and one owner will go in the club’s season long competition with three great prizes up for grabs. Admission is free and the first race is timed for 3.00pm.    Nelson 11 and 13 January GETTING IN THE GATE As it is a InterIslander Summer Festival race meeting there will be a gate charge so make sure you have your licence handy to get in the gate.  We will be sending all your owners a text/email so they can show that at the gate to get in. The big news is we have increased stakes from what they were last summer.  The stake for the Golden Edge Nelson Cup is now $14,000 and the Handicap Trot has increased to $9,000. The forecast is for fine weather so make sure you come on up and enjoy some Nelson hospitality. STAKE INCREASE   As mentioned above, stakes have increased for this race meeting, from last summer.  We couldn't do this without the continued support of all our sponsors - we are most thankful! Nelson Pine Industries  & Golden Edge are again sponsoring our Prelude and the Nelson Cup which we are excited to announce will be for stakes of $10,000 and $14,000 respectively. So bring your R60 plus pacer to Nelson and race for $24,000 in stake money! FOOD & BEVERAGES Food and drink will be available in the Drivers Room for all trainers, drivers and their staff. A coffee cart will be outside the numbers room in the stabling area.  Food and drink will also be available to purchase in the bar and at the food and drink stalls. BBQ ON US IN THE BIRDCAGE We would like to invite all trainers, drivers, staff and owners to attend a BBQ on Thursday 10th January in the Birdcage from 5 -7 pm.  The club are putting this on in recognition of your continued support of our race meeting. No need to rush off and find yourself dinner - come and join us for a bite and a beverage.  We will again be running some raffles so bring a few coins. BIG BREAKFAST Breakfast will be again available from 7 am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at the OTB rooms.  A huge thank you to the OTB members who make this happen at each of our race meetings!! CAMPING The trainers camp is available again this year for those wishing to stay on course.  For more information contact Kristie 0274118608 JUNIOR DRIVERS The top point scoring junior driver over the two days will receive a $250 Z voucher. This is kindly being donated by our good friends David & Jan Birdling Security Consultants. A big thank you to them and a nice reward for our juniors who make the trip North to Nelson!! BEST PRESENTED HORSE The Best Presented Horse in each race will receive a bag of Dunstan Speedfeed or Equifibre Lucerne Pro - a big thanks to Dunstan Horsefeeds!!  THE DUNSTAN DOUBLE Dunstan continue their growing association with Harness Racing by offering the "DUNSTAN DOUBLE". Any individual horse competing over the two days that completes a "double of wins" will win their trainer five bags of feed from the Dunstan or Equifibre range.  INTERISLANDER SUMMER FESTIVAL SELECTIONS This year we will be asking drivers of the selected horse in each race to wear a lime green helmet cover.   Cambridge Raceway 11 January - Club to mark Centenary in style A great night of summer racing with plenty of atmosphere promises to entertain racegoers attending Cambridge Raceway’s January 11 meeting next year, which will mark the centenary of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Harness Incorporated racing club. Established in 1919, the club has become an integral part of the Cambridge community. Not only has it become the epicenter for racing in the region, its facilities have also been widely utilised, including as a training camp for the New Zealand military during World War II. To mark the milestone, the club plans to celebrate in style with the night taking on a 1920’s Great Gatsby and Peaky Blinders theme and racegoers are encouraged to dress-up accordingly. “We want to make a really big night of the centenary meeting,” Cambridge Raceway chief executive Dave Branch said. “It’s all going to be dress-up, the whole place will be decked out in a 1920’s theme. “We want to create a great atmosphere and pack the grass verge out along the front of the grandstand with hospitality, the Skyline Lounge will also be open, the Alf Walsh Lounge will take on a speakeasy vibe for the night and we will also have our Colts and Fillies Club to entertain the children. “We’re not only celebrating racing at Cambridge but also the past 100 years of the Cambridge township and we’re involving the Cambridge Community in the promotions and the race night. “There will be a 1920s themed window dressing competition in the lead up to the event.” The night will also offer a great card of racing, including the Gr.2 Waikato Flying Mile (1609m) and the Gr.3 Cambridge Trotters Flying Stakes (1700m), which have been specifically moved to mark the celebration. “Traditionally they have been on that earlier January meeting, but this will space it out a bit more from the Auckland (new year’s eve) meeting, so hopefully we will get a few of the better horses from the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” Branch said. The Waikato Flying Mile has been a key race for the club, with its inaugural running in 1966, and plenty of quality graduates have gone on to perform at elite level. “It’s always a race that has brought the crowds,” Branch said. “I remember Christian Cullen when he won the race, and going through the past winners it’s a pretty impressive roll of honour.” Other notable winners include champion pacers Young Quinn, Luxury Liner and Christopher Vance, while recent winners include race record holder Adore Me (1.51.6) and current world-beater Lazarus. Branch said there has been many highlights for the club in its 100 years, including the running of the Harness Jewels every second year since its inception, but the construction of the grandstand in the 1970s has been the club’s biggest achievement. “The Jewels has definitely been a highlight, but building the grandstand has been the biggest highlight for the club,” Branch said. “The Jewels this year has been the biggest highlight for myself as chief executive of the club and also retaining it for 2020. There has been a lot of learning from this year’s event, so we’re excited to see what we can offer in 2020. “We have got a fairly new team at the raceway and everybody is keen and wanting to move the place forward, which is fantastic.” The gates to Cambridge Raceway will open at 5pm on January 11, with racegoers encouraged to dress-up for the 1920’s theme. For more information visit this page – Cambridge Raceway   Timaru Wednesday 16 January   Enjoy your holiday with a day’s racing at the Timaru HRC meeting at Phar Lap Raceway. 11 races First race start 12.20pm Ensure you have done your holiday racing research  to pick the winners in  our quality race day fields Watch and support our young people in the industry in the Junior Drivers race. Children’s activities include colouring in competition, lucky numbers, kids quiz and  kiddies castle.   Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.   The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.   The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019. Chris Craddock Vice President Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc. 027 410 2420         HRNZ Marketing

Below is a full run down of Club News over the holiday season. Be sure to check out what is happening new you and get your friends and family together and support a local meeting!    Southern Harness Regional News The Southern Harness holiday racing season kicks off in earnest with the Wairio Trotting Club meeting, featuring the Otautau 4 Square Supermarket Wairio Cup, at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Saturday 22 December. This is always a popular day with free tent sites available for groups and businesses. The kids are well catered for too with $2 mini jeep rides while Santa will pay a visit to the course to hold a lolly scramble. The first race is timed for 12noon and admission is free.   Great prizes to be won at Gore Gore is the place to be on 27 December where the Gore Harness Racing Club is holding a $10,000 Pick 10 winners competition that is sure to create a lot of interest. There is also a $1000 prize for the person who can pick the most continuous winners on the day - check out the Gore Harness Racing Club facebook page for details. There are plenty of free activities for the kids while on track the highlights are the MLT Gore Cup and a new open 3yo race with a new sponsor, ‘The Cardrona Distillery’ who are sponsoring alongside loyal sponsor the Mataura Licensing Trust – the trophy a case of alcohol from Cardrona Distillery.          The first race is at 2.28pm and admission is free. Relax on New Year’s Eve at Winton If you are looking for a nice, quiet relaxing, New Year’s Eve, look no further than Central Southland Raceway in Winton. The first race is scheduled for 1.48pm and the highlight will be the Fast Track Insurance Southern Belle Speed Series Heat. Bring the picnic, kick back and relax. Another great day in store at Omakau Trots The Central Otago Trotting Club always turn on a great day of entertainment and innovation and this year will be no exception when the Omakau Trots take place at the Omakau Racecourse on Wednesday, January 2. The Omakau Trots are an iconic event, one that provides a wonderful family atmosphere with top-class harness racing, heaps of free entertainment for the children, and plenty of activity, competitions and prizes for all ages. Prizes up for grabs this year include tickets to January's Gibbston Valley Winery concert and a 2019 season pass to Highlanders home games. The feature race will again be the McLaren Transport/RD Petroleum Central Otago Trotting Cup supported by a programme that will see superb harness racing action. Every year the club comes up with new innovations and this year it is the Witches Of West View 2 Syndicate Competition which will give two people the opportunity to own a share of their own racehorse for a year at no cost. Courtesy of Nigel Armstrong and the Central Otago Trotting Club details are available on the club's facebook page - "Omakau Trots 2019". The competition is open to ladies only and you must be on course on 2 January to participate. Entries close on the facebook page on 30 December so be quick. Another facebook based competition prior to the event is the Own The Moment Syndicate prize which will give someone the opportunity to receive owners privileges and the opportunity to own a share of a horse on race day courtesy of Kirk and Michelle Larsen. Entries for this competition will close on 24 December and the prize will provide a great experience for a racegoer. Fashion On The Field for the ladies (18 and over) will be one of the major highlights again this year, and with support from the Otago Daily Times, Jamie's Jewellers of Alexandra, Orbit House Of Travel, Dunedin and Henry's Wine, Beer & Spirits there are some great prizes on the line, first prize alone valued at over $1000. Entries are taken early in the day, so don’t be late! The Omakau Trots are a drawcard for families because of the fantastic array of free children’s entertainment. The biggest ever bouncy castle to come to the Omakau Racecourse, aqua bubble, mini-jeeps, pony rides, an obstacle course, kids tote, a massive lolly scramble and a scavenger hunt with fantastic prizes up for grabs and more are all part of a massive day. The family sulky derby has become a popular feature of the event and a Punters Club, lucky punter competitions and losing ticket draws for rides on the mobile barrier are popular features for the adults as is the big screen which allows you to follow the action closely. For more than 50 years holiday-makers have gathered at the Omakau Racecourse to enjoy quality family time under the trees with their picnics and often to catch up with friends from past race days. There is also a selection of local community groups offering a wide range of food and beverages, from espresso coffee to whitebait, plus a licensed booth on course. Gates open at 10.30am, and the first race is scheduled to start around 12.20pm. Admission is just $10 for adults, while under-18s are free. Great day out in Roxburgh Another hugely popular race meeting on the calendar of holiday makers takes place two days after Omakau when the Roxburgh Trotting Club hold their annual meeting at the Roxburgh Racecourse on 4 January. The Peters Genetics Roxburgh Cup headlines an action packed race programme on the track while in keeping with summertime harness racing in Central Otago there is a day of entertainment and fun for all ages which will guarantee a great day out for everyone. Gates open at 11am, and the first race is scheduled for 1.03pm.    Fashion in the Field is always a highlight, and once again a tremendous prize pool has been assembled – more details will appear on the Southern Harness Racing facebook page as the day approaches. A punters club will operate on the day, while the Jimmy’s Pies Lucky Punter Competition will give a punter $50 to spend on each race, and a lucky-losing-ticket draw will result in someone on course winning a mobile phone. There is a huge amount of entertainment for the kids including the bungy tramp, Mini Jeeps, Aqua Bubble, jousting, a bouncy castle, and Astro Ball. There will be a variety of food and beverages available around the course, in what has become a wonderful picnic day full of great racing and entertainment. Admission is $10 for adults, and under-18s are free. INTERISLANDER SUMMER FESTIVAL CROMWELL TROTS The final meeting of the Central Otago harness racing circuit takes place at Cromwell Racecourse on Sunday 6 January. The Interislander Summer Festival Cromwell Trots continues to grow in popularity and features grass track racing at its best with the feature event the Havtime Breeding/M&S Little Cromwell Cup. The first race is scheduled for 12noon and admission is $10 with under 18’s free. In addition to the exciting race programme there will be a tremendous entertainment programme with something for everyone. Fashion In The Field features categories for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Man, Best Dressed Couple, Best Dressed Boy, Best Dressed Girl, Best Dressed Under 7 and the Best Hat/Fascinator. For the boys there is the Abs For The Lads Competition while judges will be on the lookout for the Best Car Park Picnic. The More FM Kids Go Racing Area features plenty of great activity for the Under 12’s while there are also free mini jeep rides and a kids running race. Losing tote tickets can win you a ride on the mobile. A Punters Club will operate and there will be plenty of food and beverage on course. TWILIGHT RACING WITH THE NORTHERN SOUTHLAND TROTTING CLUB Summer twilight racing at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill with the Northern Southland Trotting Club is the go on Thursday 10 January with the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup the feature event along with several other quality harness races. A losing ticket draw after Race 6 will see one lucky punter win a $250 betting voucher with an opportunity for that winner to go on and win a $1000 betting voucher at the club’s final meeting later in the season. Owners are welcome in the Alabar Owners Room and one owner will go in the club’s season long competition with three great prizes up for grabs. Admission is free and the first race is timed for 3.00pm.    Cambridge Raceway - Club to mark Centenary in style A great night of summer racing with plenty of atmosphere promises to entertain racegoers attending Cambridge Raceway’s January 11 meeting next year, which will mark the centenary of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Harness Incorporated racing club. Established in 1919, the club has become an integral part of the Cambridge community. Not only has it become the epicenter for racing in the region, its facilities have also been widely utilised, including as a training camp for the New Zealand military during World War II. To mark the milestone, the club plans to celebrate in style with the night taking on a 1920’s Great Gatsby and Peaky Blinders theme and racegoers are encouraged to dress-up accordingly. “We want to make a really big night of the centenary meeting,” Cambridge Raceway chief executive Dave Branch said. “It’s all going to be dress-up, the whole place will be decked out in a 1920’s theme. “We want to create a great atmosphere and pack the grass verge out along the front of the grandstand with hospitality, the Skyline Lounge will also be open, the Alf Walsh Lounge will take on a speakeasy vibe for the night and we will also have our Colts and Fillies Club to entertain the children. “We’re not only celebrating racing at Cambridge but also the past 100 years of the Cambridge township and we’re involving the Cambridge Community in the promotions and the race night. “There will be a 1920s themed window dressing competition in the lead up to the event.” The night will also offer a great card of racing, including the Gr.2 Waikato Flying Mile (1609m) and the Gr.3 Cambridge Trotters Flying Stakes (1700m), which have been specifically moved to mark the celebration. “Traditionally they have been on that earlier January meeting, but this will space it out a bit more from the Auckland (new year’s eve) meeting, so hopefully we will get a few of the better horses from the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” Branch said. The Waikato Flying Mile has been a key race for the club, with its inaugural running in 1966, and plenty of quality graduates have gone on to perform at elite level. “It’s always a race that has brought the crowds,” Branch said. “I remember Christian Cullen when he won the race, and going through the past winners it’s a pretty impressive roll of honour.” Other notable winners include champion pacers Young Quinn, Luxury Liner and Christopher Vance, while recent winners include race record holder Adore Me (1.51.6) and current world-beater Lazarus. Branch said there has been many highlights for the club in its 100 years, including the running of the Harness Jewels every second year since its inception, but the construction of the grandstand in the 1970s has been the club’s biggest achievement. “The Jewels has definitely been a highlight, but building the grandstand has been the biggest highlight for the club,” Branch said. “The Jewels this year has been the biggest highlight for myself as chief executive of the club and also retaining it for 2020. There has been a lot of learning from this year’s event, so we’re excited to see what we can offer in 2020. “We have got a fairly new team at the raceway and everybody is keen and wanting to move the place forward, which is fantastic.” The gates to Cambridge Raceway will open at 5pm on January 11, with racegoers encouraged to dress-up for the 1920’s theme. For more information visit this page – Cambridge Raceway   Ashburton Trotting Club Sunday 23rd December Meeting The Ashburton Trotting Club are running a meeting on Sunday 23rd December. This meeting will be run to raise funds for the Ashburton Branch of the NZ Cancer Society. The local Pakeke Lions club will on hand to collect a gold coin donation as an entry fee, as well as running a BBQ lunch also with a gold coin donation. All funds raised from this will go to the Ashburton Branch of the NZ Cancer Society. The meeting will also be run as a family fun day with children’s running races and activities, with Santa Claus making an appearance throughout the day. It will be a relaxed picnic atmosphere with light entertainment and music for families and groups to enjoy. Owners on the day will be able to collect an owners ribbon from the secretary’s office which will entitle them for a 20% discount on refreshments around the course.   Westport Trotting Club – 26, 28 December The Westport Trotting Club is looking forward to their two day summer meeting on the 26th and 27th of December. Early indications are that Boxing Day will be a popular event with the marquees sold out and patrons coming from far and wide to support the Club. After the flood surge in February the Tearooms and Grandstand Bar have both been extensively renovated and completed in time for this meeting. The latest edition of the Westport Trotting Club caps are proving popular and it has been noted that a few have made their way to the East Coast and have been featuring prominently around the Canterbury grass track circuit. Caps will be on sale both days at Westport for the giveaway price of $10. The Club was slightly disappointed last year with the number of horses in the feature race the Westport Cup. While the quality was there the club had hoped for a full field given the stake money available and the prestige attached to the Cup. In an effort to encourage greater participation the Club has joined with Fasttrack insurance in providing a $5000 “prize” which will be drawn after the Cup Race with all runners, barring the winner, going in to the draw. In essence any horse finishing second to last could win the $5000. As usual there will be plenty of on course entertainment as part of the Interislander Summer Festival. Included in this package will be the Fashion in the Fields Competition which grows in popularity from year to year. As for the weather well it has been a hot summer so far with enough moisture to keep the grass green and the track in great order. The forecast for Boxing Day is for a morning shower, sun and some cloud with a high of 20 degrees. Sounds like just another day in Paradise.   Banks Peninsula – 29 December Join us for our fantastic Race Day Event at The Trots At Mot on Saturday 29th December. We will have 10 amazing grass track harness races, at the Motukarara Raceway, kicking off from 12noon to 5pm. A day at Interislander Summer Festival Motukarara Trots is a popular way to enjoy the break between Christmas and New Year. It's one of the biggest racedays on the calendar for the South Island - attracting a crowd of thousands. Make sure you're there to join the celebrations! There will be a host of free children’s entertainment including pony rides, bouncy castle, face painting and the big bouncy bungee! We will also have an array of food trucks to feed the crowds. Secure your trackside spot and invite your friends, Whānau, colleagues, fellow social clubbers or sports club members to celebrate the holidays at The Trots At Mot! We have the following options available: Exclusive Mot Hill Sites: We have a limited number of Exclusive Mot Hill Sites, slap bang in the middle of the action, right next to the bird cage and members stand. From your elevated vantage point, you will have clear views of the track, bird cage and stables giving you a 360 view of all the grass track harness race action!   Reefton Trotting Club – 30 December A New Promotion this year for our forth coming "Interislander Summer Festival of Racing" Race day on 30th December 2018. For the dedicated and hardworking persons behind the scenes, presenting their horses professionally with sometimes not a lot of recognition, the Reefton Trotting Club are excited to announce a new competition for this section of the industry to look forward to at our meeting. Format as follows:  The previous format of a "Best Presented Horse" and the associated prize in each race remains as per normal. The connections of the winning "Best Presented Horse' in each race are then obilged to nominate their horse's "Strapper" to the secretary’s office immediately following their success. Whilst the runners for Race 10 are completing their preliminaries, the days results will be collated and the "Supreme Strapper' for 2018 will be announced. In the birdcage immediately following Race 10 the winner or winners representative will be presented with the Reefton Trotting Club's "Strappers Cup" for 2018 and a $100 voucher. Reefton Trotting Club's "Interislander Summer Festival of Racing" continues this year and one of the "Off" track features is the extremely popular "Glamour in the Goldfields" best dressed competition.  This event over recent years has developed from a minor side attraction to a integral and vital part of our race day. Embracing all ages from children, to the elegant lady, to the fine gentleman, this event appeals to the general public who each year continue to greet the contestants presentation with great enthusiasm. "Kids Go Racing" ensure that the children are well entertained and this year the Reefton Trotting Club have commissioned the services of a top Christchurch band for between race ambience and relaxation Good Coffee, Good Food, Great Mr Whppy ice creams and best of all Great Racing make the Reefton Racecourse the place to be on Sunday 30th December.   Central Otago Trotting Club News - 2 January The Central Otago Trotting Club is proud to announce two exciting competitions which will soon be live on their facebook page! Witches of Westview competition  Be in to win a share in a syndicate of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ courtesy of Nigel Armstrong & Central Otago Trotting Club. This is your opportunity to ‘own’ a share in your own racehorse from 2nd January 2019 through to ………………… You will not have to contribute any money at any stage to pay for the syndicate. This is an opportunity to be involved in racing up to 6 horses throughout New Zealand. At the end of it you may even receive a pay-out – if the horses do well enough, though we can’t guarantee that. This is a fantastic no risk opportunity for you to experience the thrill of racing as an owner. To enter you all you need to do is type Witches in the comments, tag a friend and share the Facebook page. On race day entries will be drawn against a horse (in a yet to be specified race) in a sweepstake manner. The winning and 2ndplace getting horses in that race will receive a share each. In the event of a dead heat for 2nd, the club will try to get an additional share, otherwise it would be decided by coin toss. Entries close 30 Dec 2018 Terms & Conditions of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ Open only to females Be 18yrs or over to enter Only one entry per person Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’ Must be on course at Omakau Racecourse, 2 January 2019 to pick up prize or will it will be redrawn. Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions. To have photo ID on the day All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday. COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter. For full terms and conditions see ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ rules. ‘Own the Moment Syndicate’ compliments of Kirk & Michelle Larsen This competition will give you a phantom share of a racehorse at Omakau on 2nd January 2019. The winner will receive complimentary admission and carpark tickets for 4 people. At the course once you have identified yourself at the secretary’s office you will receive 4 complimentary race books, you will be treated like an owner throughout the day. A COTC committee member will take you to meet the trainer and horse. You will be invited to watch the race from the owners & trainers stand. If the horse is a winner, then you will have the opportunity to have your photo taken with it. The club will put $50 each way on the horse for you – if you win the dividend is yours. After the race you will receive an invite to the president’s bar. To enter all you have to do is type Own the Moment in the comments, tag a mate and share the facebook page. Entries close on 24 Dec 12 noon If you are excited about owning a share in a syndicate, follow the link Terms & Conditions of ‘Own the Moment Syndicate’ Be 18yrs or over to enter Only one entry per person Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’ Will be drawn on 24 Dec 2018 Must be on course on the day to collect prize – 2ndJan Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions. To have photo ID on the day All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday. COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter. For all full terms and conditions see the Facebook Page.    Rangiora - 3 January Join the action. Twilight race meeting. Free  On Course Entry Family focused Harness Racing  Top Quality Racing plus Family Entertainment for everyone including Bouncy castle, Drive World Self Drive Jeeps , Face Painting, Air Brush Tattoos , plus more.   Nelson Harness Racing Club, Friday Jan 11 & Sunday Jan 13 Richmond Park The Nelson Harness Club extends an invitation to all owners and trainers to race in sunny Nelson for their two-day summer race meeting. Come and join us for great hospitality, weather and racing and entertainment Great stakes are on offer with the club increasing their purses from last summer.  The Nelson Pine Industries Summer Cup has a stake of $14000 and it Prelude has a stake of $10000.  All other races are for purses of $8000 to $9000, with maiden winners collecting a bonus $1500. FOOD & BEVERAGES Hot food and drink will be available in the Drivers Room for all trainers, drivers and their staff.  A coffee cart will be outside the numbers room in the stabling area.  Food and drink will also be available to purchase at the food and drink stalls. BBQ & BREAKFASTS The club would like to invite all trainers, drivers, staff and owners to attend a BBQ on Thursday 10th January from 5 -7 pm.  The club are putting this on in recognition of your continued support of our race meeting.  There will be raffles available so bring a few coins. Breakfast will be again available from 7am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at the OTB rooms. All winning connections are invited to celebrate their success in the Presidents room after photos in the birdcage.  Race Images will be on course and will have a range of options for winning connections to purchase! Kidz Kartz will be in action both days of the meeting, back where it all started in 2007, with Nelson holding the very first Kidz Kartz races in the South Island. The Dunstan Double – Dunstan Horse Feeds continue their growing association within the harness racing industry by offering five bags of feed to each and every horse that completes a double at the meeting. So any horse that wins both days at Richmond Park will take home five bags of feed for their trainer. A reminder that as this is an Inter-Island Summer Festival meeting there will be a charge at the gate so do bring with you an email/text you will receive when fields are finalised, which will give you free entry onto the course. Programmes are available on the HRNZ website contact Jason Broad for all nominations and stabling requirements. PH: 021 127 2912 The Nelson Harness Racing Club would like to thank all their sponsors the trainers, drivers and owners who support them in bringing Harness Racing to the Top of the South!   Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.   The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.   The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019. Chris Craddock Vice President Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc. 027 410 2420         HRNZ Marketing

Richard Wilson from the TAB with last weeks harness racing bookie update. Thursday – Cambridge Not many large bets to report from Cambridge.  Franco Empire was well backed @ $2 & scored nicely in R3 but the best backed runner on the night was Some Change in R5.  Almost $20,000 was held in win bets on him @ $2.40-$1.90. Friday – Nelson Another quiet meeting for big bets @ Nelson but a well placed $50 on The Jandel Machine @ $81 provided a $4,000 profit.  Some decent collects provided by Pembrook's Passion @ $9.50-$7.50 & Storm Prince was very solid in the last @ $3.20-$3.30.  The best backed runner on the card was Saying Grace @ $2.20-$1.85. Friday – Auckland A good old plunge came off on Friday night.  Alta Leonie was strongly backed as soon as the markets opened on Thursday night.  $900 @ $5.50 and $2,500 @ $2.80 were the best of a heap on bets on her.  Also strongly backed on the night was Classie Brigade @ $1.95-$1.50.  The best bet on him was $8,500 @ $1.70.  Also providing a nice return was $500 on Bubbles O'Leary @ $8.  Saving our bacon were a $10,000 bet on Megamind @ $2.40, $5,000 Geena's Girl @ $3.60 & $3,800 Geena's Girl @ $3.40. Saturday – Invercargill Another quiet day in terms of big bets on Saturday.  Punters on the mark with Glens Of Tekoa very solid @ $2.70, Born To Boogie @ $3.60 into $3 and Dachy $5 into $3.80.  Strongly backed in the last was Repartee @ $3.10-$2.70, but a bad tyre problem there let us off the hook with Franco Huntington $28-$41 a good result. Sunday – Nelson Punters had the midas touch on Sunday at Nelson.  The best bets were $5,000 Change Is Good @ $2.70 and $10,000 on the outside Saddlecloths in R5 @ $1.71.  A couple of horses redeemed themselves from Friday.  Saying Grace @ $2-$1.75, $2,000 or $3,000 bets @ each of $1.90, $1.80 @ $1.70 & Johnny White @ $3-$3.30 was hit late @ $3.30.  The only result that went our way was R1 where Bettor Trenz wasn't wanted by punters @ $4.50-$5.80 whilst Three Ideas was popular @ $2.20-$1.95. Multi of the Week: (placed May 7th) $200 ending on Sunday: Another Masterpiece @ $2.50 (Jewels Futures) Enhance Your Calm @ $2.30 (Jewels Futures) Winterfell @ $1.80 (Jewels Futures) Justify to win the Triple Crown @ $4 Returned $8,280

Winter is definitely here but the winter racing season is not showing signs of slowing down with five meetings programmed in again this week, starting with the Waikato Bay of Plenty harness racing meeting tonight. Nelson host the first day of their annual two day winter meeting on Friday and Auckland has a 9 race card on Friday night. Then the weekend harness racing heads to Invercargill on Saturday, followed by the second day of Nelson on Sunday.   Last week the biggest winning dividend in the ringaround selections went to Rory Mcllwrick who thought I'm Trouble would go close to winning at Invercargill on Monday. I'm Trouble did win and paid $5.80 and $2.00 on the tote.  Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Cambridge on Thursday night Jay Abernethy - Jay is opting for Julie Johnston as his best chance this week at Cambridge in Race 5   Nelson on Friday Racechat - Lance thinks that Obi One is a good chance of winning first up for Dexter at Nelson in Race 1 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks A Better Dancer would be a good chance at Nelson in Race 4 Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard thinks his best drive this week is Cole Porter at Nelson in Race 7 Ricky May - Ricky is going for Saying Grace as his best drive this week at Nelson in Race 10   Auckland on Friday night Andre Poutama - Andre says his best chance this week is Commando One at Auckland in Race 5 Stephen Richardson (Odds Analyst) - Stephen thinks that Mr Good And Evil can go close to winning in Race 6 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks Forever Pearl would be his best chance this week at Alexandra Park in Race 7  and goes one further saying he thinks the qunella will be Forever Pearl and Jack Nicholson John Curtin - John thinks Max Phactor would be a winning chance from the draw at Alexandra Park in Race 9    Invercargill on Saturday Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week is Crusher Collins at Invercargill in Race 1 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane thinks his best chance this week is Doubt Me Not at Invercargill in Race 2 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is going for Splash Cola as his best drive this week at Invercargill in Race 4 Brent Barclay - Brent says that Allaboutdreams would be his best chance this week in Race 5 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory is going for I'm Trouble again this week as his best drive at Ascot Park in Race 8 John Morrison - John says that Navajo Art would be his best drive this week at Invercargill in Race 10   Harnesslink Media

Nelson fixed odds movers as at 11:20am Race 1 - Tyrons Bettor,s Ella easily leads multi betting over Over Charged.   Race 2 - Dolly Jones is the big mover in from $14.00 on opening to a current price of $8.00. Valloria leads multibetting from Loveyoutidoit.   Race 3 - Editorial leads multi betting over Bronx Village who is best backed.   Race 4 - When I See You $1.55 is the only runner wanted and easily leads multi betting .Longshot The Bounder has taken some early money and is in from $26.00 to $18.00   Race 5 - Earthquake $2.20 easily leads win & multi betting.   Race 6 - Red Moon Rising $1.95 - $1.85 is the only runner wanted in win betting & he leads multi betting over Tuapeka Trick $5.00   Race 7 - Destiny Jones $5.50 is best backed but Sundees Son is racing away in multi betting.   Race 8 - Black Art is the big mover $11.00 in to $7.50 but Saying Grace $1.90 easily leads multi betting.   Race 9 - The Bus is the best backed in this race in from $4.50 to $3.90 and Hopeful Harriet has taken some early support and is in from $13.00 to $9.50. Don Domingo leads Multibetting.   Race 10 - Feel The Money is best backed in multi betting and FF win from Benhope Rulz.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

January will see the start of a new era for two South Island harness racing clubs, when their new female leaders step into their first race meetings at the helm. Kristie Hill was elected President of the Nelson Harness Racing Club in October, whilst Petrina Shutkowski became Chairperson of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club just over six weeks ago. Both are the first females in these roles for their respective club. Kristie Hill was a former Education Officer at Harness Racing New Zealand, but has also held her driver’s licence for 21 years. She works part time for Pro-Doosa Boost, as Sales and Marketing Manager and works horses with her father, Brian. Hill is kept busy volunteering her time for the committee of the Motueka Pony Club, which her daughter Ava attends. Her involvement with the club is a huge part of her family history. “My late grandfather Joe Hill was the President of the Nelson Trotting Club, as it was called then, for many years and was instrumental in the building of our Members Stand and Redwood Hall. He was also the President of the Nelson Jockey Club,” Hill explains. “My father Brian has been on the committee for over thirty years, and my mother Cheryl stepped down from the committee when I came on in April 2015, she is still involved as a steward.” Her first year on the committee provided many rewarding challenges as she was heavily involved in the club’s 125th Jubilee celebrations. A huge milestone to reach. She has some big goals ahead too for the club, the first of which has already been completed. The first goal for our club this season was to address the racing surface of our track which we had some issues with over the winter.  In December we were able to start this project and completely removing the current surface and replacing it with a washed crush dust.  We were extremely fortunate to be able to have John Denton come and oversee this project for us, and he will be working with our staff over the races to ensure the track is in the best possible condition so watch for some records to fall!” said Hill.  Another goal for our club is to see an increase in patronage for both our summer and winter race meetings.  We will be working on developing the experience on course for our patrons, so they have a great time and come back next meeting bringing friends with them.” “We are most definitely looking to promote race horse ownership in the Nelson/Tasman region. Another goal for our committee is to hold the Jewels which will mean some work on our infrastructure. But what a weekend to be had with the Abel Tasman and Nelson Lakes on our backdoor, and a newly laid track with the ideal mile start. Giving opportunity to all starters.” Meanwhile over in stunning Marlborough, Petrina Shutkowski has been involved with harness racing for over 30 years, having helped her husband Allan train horses in the district. “I’ve been with the club for two years, and the reason I didn’t get involved sooner was due to having a full time job with BNZ and also running a small vineyard, along with working our own horses. I just didn’t have the time to fully commit,” Shutkowski explains. “But now I can give it my full attention and I really think it’s a great opportunity for me to give back to racing and get some new ideas out there.” The Marlborough meeting this year will be unique in that it will be held on the grass surface. “Our caretaker has been working on the track and it is in good condition. We are really looking forward to being able to bring the racing action closer to the crowd given the 1850m mobile start point will be right there in front of them,” Shutkowski says. The newly reopened state highway between Picton and Christchurch will hugely assist those wanting to travel to the meeting, be it socially or to bring horses to race. “The Majestic Horse Truck recently travelled the new road, and reported it only took half an hour longer than it did pre earthquake,” said Shutkowski.  “The new road is a very scenic drive, and another good reason for people to get away and enjoy our two day meeting.” The Marlborough club secretary, Cheryl Thompson, is also a new comer and is new to the sport of harness racing too.  The Nelson summer meeting will be held January 12 and 14, whilst Marlborough will follow on January 19 and 21. Those contemplating starting horses at the meeting are encouraged to contact the clubs to arrange accommodation or paddocks, should they need any assistance. Kristie Hill advises there are multiple options for accommodation for racegoers and horse people at Nelson also. We have the Richmond Holiday Park that is located two minutes from the track. They have a variety of accommodation options.  If you would like to be situated in Nelson City (12 mins from the track) the Palms Motels also sponsor at the race meeting.  For those of you who want to try camping we have that option available on course.  If you have any specific stabling requirements do contact the club.” Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand

Positive drug tests have been taken from horses trained at the stables of top Canterbury harness racing trainer Robert Dunn.  The positive tests were taken from some stable runners at the Nelson two day meeting in June this year, which has been confirmed by the Racing Integrity Unit manager Mike Godber. Godber said "the investigation was still ongoing and it would be another week or two before the RIU determined what further action would follow" Robert Dunn is currently sitting second on the trainers premiership table with 87 wins from 663 starters this season.   Harnesslink Media

Nelson harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:15am   Race 1 - Mr Fahrenheit $2.00 is easily the best backed runner in win & multi betting. Muchacha Bonita $15 has taken some early win money.    Race 2 - The early money is all on Boults On Fire $1.90 - $1.80 and the weight of support is saying it's only a matter of what the winning margin will be.       Race 3 - My Nikayla $9.50 - $7.80 is best backed over Rafa Novak $21.   Race 4 - Spondulicks $2.90 is best backed in win betting over Theboyslightup $2.50 but that runner easily leads multi betting.   Race 5 - Trouble Giero $3.80 leads win betting over Kia Time $7.20.   Race 6 - Takitmu Express $3.00 - $2.80 easily leads win & multi betting but strong support is also coming for GameChanger $12.50 - $8.50.   Race 7 - Shards Halo $15 - $9.50 leads win betting with Hayden's Meddle $3.90 $3.40 leading multi betting over Jakira $3.20.   Race 8 - Alpha Rock $2.30 - $2.20 is racing away in win & multi betting. Benicio $9.20 & Ultimate Fella $18 have taken some early win money.   Race 9 - Hopeful Harriet $7.00 is easily the best backed runner in win betting over Rocknrol Nevin $14. It's All Over Now $3.50 leads multi betting over Emily Brunt $3.00.   Race 10 - Billy Badger $2.90 - $2.50 is the only runner wanted in win betting & is going 2 to 1 in multi tickets sold over the second favourite Ace High $2.80.   In the Drivers Challenge Ricky May $2.40 is best backed over John Dunn $2.80.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

The decision by harness racing trainer Robert Dunn not to start Alta Orlando in the Nelson Pine Industries Prelude the first day of the Nelson Harness Racing Club meeting certainly paid dividends when he took out the Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Cup on day two. Alto Orlando won Sunday's feature race in a time of 3min 46.8sec for the 3000m event. Driver John Dunn took the race to his rivals slipping away on the final bend to win by six lengths from Hopeful Harriet and the fast finishing Mighty Flying Major. The gelding by Courage Under Fire is owned by Dunn's wife Jenna and father Robert, as well as Mitzi Taylor and Dr Marg Evans. Dr Evans also co-owns the second-place getter, Hopeful Harriet, with her husband Dr Bruce Taylor. John Dunn certainly had a great meeting, winning eight of the 22 races programmed. Robert Dunn trained six winners over the two days, while Greg and Nina Hope trained five winners over the weekend.   In the battle for the driving premiership, Blair Orange was leading by one win coming in to Sunday's racing but rival and good mate Dexter Dunn reined home three wins with Orange not securing a win to leave Dunn two wins ahead. Locally trained mare, Tattinger Rose, flew the flag for the Top of the South when she won the Dick Saunders Memorial Pace for Ian, Sue and daughter Nicole Thomas along with Kath and Darryl Eginton.   The club was delighted with the two days' racing which attracted a sizeable. By Kristie Hill Reprinted with permission of The Nelson Mail

A day in the sun at Nelson on Friday quickly became a day belonging to Johnny Dunn. The North Canterbury horseman, who wears two hats as an unofficial trainer and as a driver, stole the show on the first day of the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s two day meeting winning five in the sulky with four coming from the stable of his father, Robert. In a display of aggressive driving, making full use of a notable front runners bias yesterday, Dunn took the bull by the horns and set about dominating from the outset. He won early in the day with Muscles Galore in the maiden trot for his father-in-law and sister-in-law Craig and Aimee Edmonds. A Muscle Mass three-year-old gelding out of the former smart trotting filly, Harriet Hughes who hailed from the same stable, Muscle Mass went to war with BD Khaosan a long way out from home but kept finding and drew clear inside the final 100 metres to claim victory. Dunn the saluted on maiden pacers, Kotare Mist and Returntorocknroll - the latter finally breaking the maiden status after 19 starts for owners, Trent and Wendy Yesberg. Returntorocknroll is the sixth foal to the races from Jingle Belle Rock and now all six have won at least one race with noted performers, Bettor Rock On, J D Fortune and Great Balls A Flyin also hailing from the mare. Kotare Mist is also well bred being a Christian Cullen out of Kotare Yangtze who has left Bella Star, Kotare Mahdi and Kotare Mahal - she is raced by prominent owners and breeders, Tony and Gay Abell. Dunn’s remaining two winners come from consistent trotter, Foreverman and then he won the last with handy three-year-old pacer, Billy Badger who was levels ahead of his opposition in the last of the day. Greg and Nina Hope picked up a few of the scraps following the Dunn demoltion. They won the Nelson Cup Prelude with Usain Colt who continued a great run of luck for his owners, Wayne and Connie Stewart and then A G’s White Socks lived up to his reputation by remaining unbeaten with a big win later in the day after doing a power of work inside the final lap. Ricky May was on board both of the Hope winners. While it was Dunn’s day, Ladbrooks trainer, Dean Taylor achieved a notable milestone when he notched up his 500th training success when Jessica Young produced a peach of a drive on Go Davey to get him home against a handy field of pacers. Taylor has held a licence since 1989 - 1990 season, training his first winner at Westport when Lumber Scott won with Jeff Whittaker in the sulky. He’s prepared top open class pacer, Waipawa Lad to win a New Zealand Free-For-All and Captain Peacock won a New Zealand Derby. In recent years Taylor has formed a strong association with Young and he is currently enjoying a good season with eight winners on the board already.   Nelson Second Day selections - By Matt Markham   Race 1: Unico Enchantress, Out Of Aces, Living Glory, Jersey joe Wilcott Race 2: BD Khaosan, Gold Sovereign, Scarlet Bromac, Geena’s Girl Race 3: The New Man, Jimmy Nga, Lolita Franco, Idealagain Race 4: Johnny White, Black Art, Spooky, Clarendon Falcon Race 5: Tattinger Rose, Franco Lamar, JJ’s Delight, Red Ranger Race 6: Destiny Jones, Forverman, Prestine, Alvira Hest Race 7: Gotta Go Ya Hu, Bella Jones, Mac Toddy, Handlebar Hank Race 8: Unico Legend, One Off, Smooth N Easy, Born Again Delight Race 9: Mighty Flying Major, Usain Colt, Alta Orlando, Smithy Race 10: A G’s White Socks, Waimac Attack, Mrs Browns Boys, Gunpowder Race 11: Cmeerock, Torrid Bromac, Emily Blunt, Go Davey   Best Bet: A G’s White Socks (Race 10) Longshot: Geena’s Girl (Race 2)

He’s ticking things off the bucket list left, right and centre and this weekend Greg Hope has a chance to cross another milestone off when he heads to the top of the South Island and to Richmond Park in Nelson. Hope heads to the meeting having trained 48 winners at Richmond Park during his career, five of them coming while training on his own account and a further 43 coming since he joined in partnership with his wife Nina. And with a particularly ominous looking line up of horses from the stable in action this weekend, there’s every chance that he will achieve the required two wins before the weekend is out. The stable has dominated Nelson over the past few years with a number of winners coming from their trips up the Coast from Woodend Beach including a six win haul up at the same two-day meeting last season. Today’s team of runners totals eight with the little known pacer, A G’s White Socks the stable’s leading chance for the day. He finished a strong second behind Usain Colt, who contests the Nelson Summer Cup Prelude earlier in the day, at the Mt Hutt Workouts at Methven last Saturday - showing his readiness for this week’s assignment. “He’s a pretty nice horse, we’ve got a fair bit of time for him,” Greg Hope said. “He won first up at Oamaru, after being unbeaten off the place. That workout is the only time he’s actually been beaten in public.” A Rock N Roll Heaven three-year-old gelding, A G’s White Socks is a half-brother to former open class pacer, Power Of Tara. “I don’t know what to expect from him this season, but we will see what happens at Nelson and then go from there. “I’d like to think he’s got a decent future in front of him.” The Hope’s took a large team to Methven last weekend to have their final hit out before today’s meeting and A G’s White Socks was just one of a number of impressive performers. Usain Colt showed a very good turn of foot to win the feature heat of the day with young Ben Hope in the sulky. “He’s going really good against good fields, he’d be a chance this week with a bit of luck.” Mares Bella Jones and Emily Blunt won’t get many better chances to get another win than their respective races while there are also big chances from Unico Legend, Gold Sovereign and Franco Lamar. The entire team with be driven today by regular stable driver, Ricky May. Super Selector - By Matt Markham Race 1: Hayden’s Meddle, Calendar Girls, Mac Toddy, Black Art Race 2: BD Khaosan, Gold Sovereign, Muscles Galore, Fira Sunset Race 3: Jimmy Nga, Kotare Mist, Wall Street Wolf, The New Man Race 4: JJ’S Delight, Spooky, Out Of Aces, Johnny White Race 5: Unico Legend, Returntorocknroll, Smooth N Easy, One Off Race 6: The Govenor, Mighty Empire, Franco Lamar, Go Davey Race 7: Prestine, Alvia Hest, Little Mo, Lady Beatrix Bourbon Race 8: Usain Colt, Franco Texas, Linton Shard, Miss Daisy Race 9: Bella Jones, Living Legend, Rum Delight, Nova Time Race 10: A G’s White Socks, Waimac Attack, Mrs Browns Boys, Gunpowder Race 11: Billy Badger, Franco Saxon, Emily Blunt, Torrid Bromac Best Bet: Bella Jones (Race 9) Value: JJ’s Delight (Race 4)  

The Nelson Harness Racing Club is adamant it will continue its 125-year legacy for many more to come despite a difficult climate for the industry. Club president John McKenzie was quick to dismiss any speculation that the future of harness racing at Richmond Park was in any jeopardy. He said the recent Winter Cup meet as one of the best attended for some time. The club has had a difficult year as it faces an estimated $140,000 tax bill after discovering late last year that it had over-claimed on GST for the past four years. A junior auditor uncovered the accounting error after finding the club had claimed for GST on stakes payments to all winning owners and trainers instead of claiming only for those that were already GST-registered. At the time, McKenzie said the potential bill was "concerning" but that Inland Revenue was informed of the error immediately Speaking last week, he said the matter was now before the IRD and declined to comment further.  However, McKenzie said the club was still in a good position. "It's certainly hard for all racing clubs to make ends meet at the moment and our committee has undergone a significant restructuring period over the last six months. "We will, however, keep holding our two race meets each year. As long as I'm here there will still be a club." The club had received great support from the Canterbury harness fraternity in attending the Nelson races, McKenzie said. He pointed to a sharp drop in horse breeding numbers and fewer drivers on the harness circuit as reasons for any perceived dip in field numbers. Unlike Australia where the racing industry was big enough to support weekly meetings at a variety of venues, he said provincial locations like Nelson struggled to get the corporate backing to support them. "There's not the big money in it right now and you're seeing more horses that do have the talent heading (overseas) for that very reason," he said. The summer and winter trots have been a popular fixture on the Nelson events calendar for generations. In recent years, the family-friendly aspect had been extended to include kids entertainment and on course activities. While having such facilities came at a cost to the club, McKenzie said it was seen as an investment in introducing harness racing to a wider audience. The club leases the Richmond Park facilities from the Nelson A & P association on a right to use basis. Along with McKenzie an eight-strong committee works behind the scenes throughout the year to ensure the four race days run as smoothly as possible. Club membership sits at about fifty. Attracting larger numbers to race meetings is the main focus of the club - which in turn would bring in greater revenue. McKenzie said one of the challenges faced was educating people on the betting process, therefore enabling more first time punters to try their luck. As it stands, clubs receive 16 cents for every betting dollar placed on site but only 10 cents to the dollar on every bet made off the track. The latter figure includes those using their mobile device to access TAB accounts, which often means punters in the Richmond Park grandstands are choosing the convenience of an online transaction over waiting in line. The next Nelson Harness Club meet is the summer meet scheduled for January 13 and 15. Tim O'Connell Nelson Mail Reprinted with premission

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