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Normal service has resumed. Dream About Me has improved her record to 13 wins from 14 starts with an emphatic return to form in the $140,000 Group I Nevele R fillies final at Addington on Saturday. ​If she wanted to make a statement that her first loss in 13 starts was just a small bump in the road, bouncing back with a Group I in national record time is a good way to do it. She reinstated her reputation as the best 3-year-old filly in the country when pacing the1950m in 2:18.10 to go under the national record of 2:18.2 set by The Orange Agent in the same race 12 months earlier. The time was exceptional given the blustery conditions at Addington. It was a dramatic return to form for Dream About Me following her first career defeat at Addington on April 29 when she was second behind stablemate Golden Goddess. The Mark Purdon​ and Natalie Rasmussen-trained filly by Bettor's Delight out of Splendid Dreams is part of Charlie Roberts' high-class breeding operation at Woodlands Stud. She is raced by Roberts, his wife June and their daughter and son-in-law Mary and Paul Kenny. Even the usually reserved Purdon was all smiles as he heaped praise on the star filly.   In between the smiles and congratulations it was clear that Purdon and Rasmussen were over the moon to get the real Dream About Me back. Purdon confirmed Dream About Me will be back for another Group I start at Addington next week in the Group I New Zealand Oaks in her final start before the Harness Jewels. "It's hard to say there would be further improvement in her after that but I think she's definitely back to her old self," Purdon said. Golden Goddess and Piccadilly Princess were far better than average when running into second and third to give the All Stars stable the trifecta but were one-and-a-half and three lengths behind Dream About Me. "The other two are very good fillies but she's just another level again," Rasmussen said. Purdon said it was a lack of race fitness that tripped her up in her first defeat when she was well beaten by Golden Goddess. "I wasn't rapt with her Monday but I was a lot happier (with her work) on Thursday," he said of Dream About Me. Fittingly Dream About Me joins a list of standout fillies to win the race with The Orange Agent, Venus Serena, Adore Me, O Baby and Carabella​ taking out the previous five editions. Dream About Me Mat Kermeen

The $140,000 Nevele R Fillies "Series 38" Final highlights an amazing day of Harness Racing set to take place at Addington Raceway tomorrow afternoon. The Group 1 event will see the highly talented trio of All Stars fillies clash for the first time. Golden Goddess has been labeled their best chance after the Art Major filly picked up barrier one and the services of Natalie Rasmussen. While Dream About Me who's 12 long winning streak came to an end last week drew barrier 5, it is hard to see her being aloud to roll to the top and dictate with a natural front runner in Golden Goddess drawn inside here. The third of the Purdon/Rasmussen runners is Vic Oaks winner Piccadilly Princess, who continues to improve with racing but drawing the outside of the front row (7) makes it differcult for the daughter of Bettor's Delight. Barry Purdon could upset his brother with his filly Arden's Choice, formally trained by Mark, the daughter of Panspacificflight who has been in super form since shifting north should receive a beautiful trip behind Golden Goddess, while it is unlikely she could upset the three All Stars runners, she is a must have for the trifecta and first 4s. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  The $200,000 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales 2yo Open Final at Listed level is again dominated by the Purdon/Rasmussen Stables. The All Star's team have seven of the 13 runners engaged and have drawn well with one of their top colt More The Better. The Bettor's Delight colt won the Breckon Farms Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes back in March, and with the aid of the ace draw has to talent to push his stakes earnings over $100,000 from just the 8 starts. Smart Northerner Vasari drew well in barrier 4, but it is unlikely that he will be able to find the front where he is most deadly. While i wouldn't write of Bettor Be Gold who is drawn to follow out More The Better and could provide an upset if the favourite was to get plenty of visitors. Andrew Fitzgerald  

The $18,500 sixth heat of this years Nevele R Fillies Series was run at the harness racing meeting at Forbury Park on Thursday night and the Southland owned and trained Rakarazor upset a handy field of three year old fillies with a nice staying performance that suggests she is more than a forlorn place chance in the final in May at Addington Raceway. After an early dig for the lead by trainer/driver Clark Barron on Rakarazor which was rebuffed by Scarlett Banner and Gavin Smith, Rakarazor was parked for the first 700 metres before slotting into the one by one behind the well supported RR Sand Dollar. RR Sand Dollar went for home at the 300 metres mark and skipped away by two or three lengths with Love Ova Gold going with her after a wide searching run from back in the field. These two look set to fight out the finish but Rakarazor kept taking ground off the first two all the way up the straight, grabbing first Love Ova Gold and then right in the shadows of the of the winning post RR Sand Dollar. Rakarazor paced the 1700 metres in 2:03, a mile rate of 1:56.4 with closing sectionals of 59 and 28.2 It was the second lifetime victory for the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover from twelve starts but she has also been placed on a further six occasions including a nice third in 1:54.1 only last weekend. Clark Barron felt that RR Sand Dollar having a very hard run had brought his filly into contention. " I knew that RR Sand Dollar was the horse to beat and she had had a hard run so when I got onto her back I knew we wouldn't be far away." " My filly is a really good stayer and she has kept improving with every run lately so with the run we got for the last 1000 metres, we were always going to be a big chance." " I owe a big depth of gratitude for the win to Brent Barclay who has been driving her in her last few starts." " She wasn't really finding the line for me over that last 100 metres or so but Brent has turned her around in that regard so I owe him for getting her to attack the line like she does now," Clark said. Harnesslink Media

The sixth heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series is up for decision at the harness racing meeting at Forbury Park on Thursday night and RR Sand Dollar has all the form on the board to be the one to beat here. A three year old filly from the first crop of the now defunct Rob Roy Mattgregor, RR Sand Dollar has nothing in her favour except class and even from barrier seven over the 1700 metres trip she looks to carry too many guns for the opposition here.  RR Sand Dollar was beaten a nose here at Forbury Park in December over the 1700 metres at her only start on the track and she has improved dramatically since then. Three runs back she was beaten a nose by the brilliant Nek Time in a brilliant 1:54.8 mile rate at Addington Raceway and followed that with two effortless wins down south, with the big late finish at Winton especially impressive. Trainer Paul Court has enlisted the services of Blair Orange, the hottest driver in the south over the last few weeks to take the reins again and only bad luck should really beat her. Take out RR Sand Dollar and the race becomes very even, with four or five big winning chances. The Gavin Smith pair of Scarlett Banner and Allison Stokke have both shown enough at various stages this season to be big chances here from their draws of one and two. Scarlett Banner has been racing Golden Goddess, Piccadilly Princess, and Luisansbelle Midfrew most of the season and will appreciate the huge dropback in class here while Allison Stokke has run two beauties in her last two starts behind two very smart maidens in Heavens Rocks and Fiddlethefool and looms as a big improver here.  Rakarazor continues to go good races every week and her third in 1:54.1 for the mile at Winton on Saturday is good form for this race. Rakarazor has high gate speed and Clark Barron is sure to use that and attempt to lead all the way from barrier four with catch me if you can tactics. And so we come to Emily Blunt. Three months ago she would have been a hot favourite in this race and although she has performed admirably since, she has not been her old self lately. Blinds come off tomorrow night in an effort to sharpen her up and that just be enough to right the ship here.. She has the ability to beat most here and weather she has the aptitude we will see on Thursday night. Selections RR Sand Dollar is the clear first pick for us and should win barring accidents Scarlett Banner and Emily Blunt may not have the best form on the board right now but they are two high class fillies at their best and we found it hard to split them for second or third.  It is the same for 4th and 5th with Allison Stokke and Rakarazor both going consistently well and both are capable of finishing first four. Trifecta and First Four  8 --- 2, 3, 4, 5 Harnessjlink Media

Every now and again a horse comes along in harness racing that has everybody reaching for the superlatives and shaking their heads in disbelief at what they have just witnessed. Today at Addington (May 9th) we were privalidged to witness one of the best performances ever produced by a three year old filly in New Zealand when The Orange Agent demolished her rivals in the $150,000 Nevele R Fillies Final. Sent straight to the front by driver Maurice McKendry from barrier two, the American Ideal filly put the foot down from the start and once they settled down after 250 metres there was no mid race moves as the speed was on. Second favourite Fight For Glory with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike ended up in the death seat from barrier six and sat on The Orange Agent's wheel with Democrat Party and Zac Butcher getting the dream run in the one by one. Going past the 400 metres Maurice applied some pressure and The Orange Agent immediately shot clear and but for knocking off when well clear would have won by a lot more than the official margin of 1 3/4 lengths. Fight For Glory went super to finish second after sitting parked the whole journey and she was clear of Democrat Party who just held third from a fast finishing Supersonic Miss. The Orange Agent broke the New Zealand record for the 1950 metres of  2:18.2, a mile rate of 1:54 with closing sectionals of 55.1 and 27.1. The previous record of 2.19.1 was held by Venus Serena. The Orange Agent is trained by Brian Hughes of Ardmore and is owned by her breeders Mrs P C Green, J P Green, Mrs M E Green and P C Bult. Harnesslink Media

All harness racing series involving a heats and final structure run into the odd problem every now and again due entirely to the rules which are necessary for such series to function. This years Nevele R Fillies series is a good example of the issues that can arise which tend to make the casual observer wonder what the hell is going on. Like all of the age group series run in New Zealand, the Nevele R Fillies series has a set of rules that go with it which are black and white and leave no room for argument. Where you finish in a heat of this series is the defining qualification of weather or not you progress to the final. This year we have one of the season's better performed fillies in Better B Amazed only listed as a second emergency for the final on Saturday. The winner of six from twelve lifetime with five placings to boot, Better B Amazed due to other issues was only able to contest one heat of the Nevele R series this season. That was at Addington recently but she was unfortunate to strike a heat with all the All Stars fillies involved and after being bottled up back on the inner finished seventh in her only heat appearance. A few fillies who have made the final have no where near as an impressive record as Better B Amazed but they did finish fifth or sixth in a qualifying heat and consequently are higher up the starting order when it comes to selection for the Nevele R Fillies Final. Its All Over Now is a good example of such a filly. She finished fifth in her Nevele R Fillies heat on the grass at Methven in 2:3.7 for the mile and has won a race on the grass this season but is yet to place in seven starts on grit. People have argued to us here at Harnesslink that exceptions should be made for fillies such as Better B Amazed and that her presense would enhance the quality of the field. However in our view everybody knows the rules and the qualifying protocol before the series starts and as much as Better B Amazed would raise the overall standard on Saturday if she was in the field, places in the final must go in the first instance to those who have qualified via the heats and within the rules. You have to feel for the connections of Better B Amazed a bit as she seems right in the zone at the moment but she will get her chance in the New Zeakland Oaks next week and she is also qualified for the Harness Jewels on May 30th. Harnesslink Media

The last $20,000 heat of the Nevele R Fillies series at the harness racing meeting at Addington last night saw the reappearance of Fight For Glory for the first time since her outstanding win in the New South Wales Oaks at Menangle on March 1st. Not only did she give away race fitness to her opponents but she drew the outside of the gate at barrier nine in the 1950 metres mobile. When the mobile left Classical Art and Tim Williams came out quickly and grabbed an early lead with Fight For Glory and Natalie Rasmussen settling last from her wide draw. Passing the 1400 metres mark On The Town and Dexter Dunn worked around the field three wide and Fight For Glory followed her around and found the death seat outside Classical Art with 1000 metres to go.  That was still the order as they turned for home but half way up the Addington straight, Fight For Glory went clear for an emphatic victory by a length over a game Classical Art. Linda Lovegrace stormed home late on the inner to be close up in third after being held up on the corner while Supersonic Miss finished on into fourth to give the All Star barn the first four home. Fight For Glory paced the 1950 metres in the chilly conditions in 2:22.4, a mile rate of 1:57.4 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 27.6. She was privately timed to run her last mile in a swift 1:56.8 while working three wide and sitting parked. Natalie Rasmussen was pleased with the run. " She's gone great really for a first up effort" " She is such a wee fatty and will improve a lot with that run under her belt." " In the early stages she got a bit keen but was fine after that," Natalie said. Tim Williams was really happy with the run of Classical Art. " She got a bit keen coming off the gate but relaxed when she found the front. " She is getting better that way all the time and I was really pleased how she fought on in the straight," Tim said. Ricky May was lamenting the lack of clear air early in the run home. " I got held up as we turned for home and its definitely cost her second. " Once she got clear she has really found the line and I think she has gone super," Ricky said. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Supersonic Miss to finish fourth. She was privately timed to run her last 800 metres in 56 out three and four wide and still finished on well. The Nevele R Fillies final is shaping up to be one of the races of the season with the All Star four to be joined by The Orange Agent and Democrat Party from the north which should make for an exciting final. Harnesslink Media  

The N.Z. Sires Stakes Board has reviewed the budget for the Nevele R Fillies Series and is pleased to announce that the stake of the Final, to be held at Addington on Saturday 9th May, will rise from $140,000 to $150,000.   There are two more heats left to be run – Forbury Park on 2nd April and Addington on 23rd April.   Fight For Glory, The Agent Orange and Rocker Band are all automatic qualifers for the Nevele R Final with their heat wins.   Both The Agent Orange and Rocker Bank have won two heats and are ineligible to contest the remaining heats.   An estimated $15,000 consolation is to be held the same date as the Final, providing there four or more acceptors.   Doreen Graham  

Rocker Band booked a start in the $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington on May 9 when defeating last season’s Breeders Crown-winning 2YO filly Katy Perry at Methven on Sunday, February 22. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner shared favouritism with Katy Perry in the Hororata Trotting Club’s Nevele R heat on the grass. Both had turns at leading, with Rocker Band having the early gate speed to cross, then driver Ricky May elected to take a trail on Katy Perry nearing the final 800m. Rocker Band had the superior sprint in the run home, coming clear by 2 1/4 lengths in a useful 2:02.3 (1609m) on a drizzle-affected grass track. She was a slightly disappointing fourth at her previous start in the Ashburton Nevele R Heat for trainer Mark Jones, who expected more after securing the perfect trail. She was still racetimed in 1:55.6 there, but couldn’t go with the top Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen-trained fillies of Fight For Glory, who was too good in 1:54.5 from Linda Lovegrace and Supersonic Miss. Both Fight For Glory (New South Wales Oaks Heat) and Supersonic Miss (Pascoes The Jewellers Northern Oaks Prelude) complimented the Ashburton heat run by winning again last weekend. Rocker Band had also been earmarked for the New South Wales Oaks series, but the domestic Nevele R heat was a more suitable target after Ashburton. She was recording her second win at her fifth start for Queensland owner Greg Brodie. The Overport Lodge stable moved to 34 wins and crashed through the $300,000 stakes barrier for the season wtih Rocker Band’s success. The stable also produced Zakspatrol for an upset $40.80 win price in the hands of Kimberly Butt at Addington on Friday night. Kim was able to secure a good trail on the outer with the Grant and Katherine Hatton-owned Zakspatrol in the Blue Star Taxis Pace. They finished too well for Sunnivue Bay Boy, Little Lion Man and Mach’s Terminator in 3:21.5 for the stand start 2600m. The stable also went close at Auckland with trotter Charming Lavra, who ran a close second after moving up in the open for Blair Orange. Courtesy of Mark Jones Racing Stables - Check site here  

The New Zealand Sires Stakes Board together, with The Met at Addington, will be staging a new race on Show Day, Friday 14 November solely catering for 4 year old and over pacing mares. The race, to be known as the Nevele R Sires Stakes Southern Mares Classic, will carry a significant stake of $40,000. It will be staged over 1950 metres from a mobile start with a preferential barrier draw based on assessment and winning stakes using the Addington track grid. Any filly (now mare) where the foal nomination fee was paid for either the New Zealand Sires Stakes or the Nevele R Fillies Series, or where a late entry was paid for these, will be eligible to race  Those mares that have either won a Group One race or a race of $100,000 or more are ineligible. Doreen Graham, Secretary- Manager of the New Zealand Sires Stakes Board commented “that this is one of five new feature races being introduced this season extending the Sires Stakes programme to older age group racing.” Further details about the Nevele R Sires Stakes Southern Mares Classic can be found at the following website. nzsiresstakes.co.nz Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager-Addington

Smart filly Rocknroll Arden backed up a string of minor placings with a dominant win in the ninth heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Addington tonight. “She has been going very good races without things going here way, but Blair (Orange – driver) took luck out of the equation tonight,” said co-trainer Mark Purdon. Rockroll Arden led all of the way to win easily by 2 & ¼ lenghts over Goodness Gracious Me, who enjoyed a good run in the trail, and stablemate Te Amo Bromac (Natalie Rasmussen), who loomed large but died on her run late. “It was her first run for seven months and she just blew out. She will take plenty of benefit out of that,” Purdon added Purdon and Rasmussen also enjoyed success on the card with Raesawinner, who provided a good tonic for co-owner Neil Piltcher, who came out of hospital after some heart treatments on Thursday. Meanwhile, Purdon is happy with talented three-year-old Alleluia, who has been the big early mover in the New Zealand Derby market. “He has been working up really well,” enthused Purdon. “He is going to the workouts at Motukarara tomorrow and will race at Addington next week.” Other winners on tonight’s card included European import Sir Lexington, who was one of three winners for driver Anthony Butt. It was the six-year-olds first win in New Zealand and fifth in his career. By Mitchell Robertson

Trainer-driver James Stormont has been enjoying a good run of late and that could very well continue into the not so distant future. Last night, Stormont was successful in a heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Cambridge with smart filly Charleston Belle, who narrowly downed her close relation, Ideal Belle, a daughter of Charleston Belle’s granddam Blistering Belle. Tonight however, Stormont will bring a strong three horse team to Alexandra Park, all of which look to have realistic chances. Highlighting his team, is Mum’s Pride, who backed up her terrific qualifying performance with an eye-catching debut fourth. She will only need to trot to win the second event on the card. Stormont’s other two runners on the card are Our Dainty Lady, who looks a good place chance from her front mark, and Wynberg Sally, who Stormont believes is not too inferior to Charleston Belle. Wynberg Sally, who was actually relegated from third to four last start, was desperately unlucky on that occasion and finished powerfully after being dragged back by tiring horses at a vital stage of the race. She competes in the last race at Alexandra Park tonight where she meets a couple of smart types in Rockn Ruby and God Forbid; however she looks a very good each-way prospect. Stormont will also do the driving on Chattan and Art Exhibit, both of which are capable of picking up some money. Another Stormont trained runner that is worth following in upcoming weeks is talented two-year-old trotter Primz Luck, who backed up some super trials with a game third on debut at Alexandra Park on March 14. By Mitchell Robertson

Smart filly Snooki looks primed and ready for next week’s Great Northern Oaks after leading all of the way in Friday’s $15,000 prelude. After showing good gatespeed, trainer-driver Tony Herlihy quickly had Snooki up vying for the lead. He then let the Bettor’s Delight filly roll along in front, before kicking strongly in the straight to hold of Rocknroll Arden, who had ample opportunity to slick shot her after enjoying the gun run in the trail. Pricillas Girl finished on well for third, but was no match for the first two. Snooki paced the 2200 metre journey in a slick 2-41.9, with slick sectionals of 57.5 and 27.3. She has now won six of her 11 career starts and placed on a further four occasions. Meanwhile, Ideal Power proved to be a very good second-stringer for Nigel McGrath on Friday, winning the fifth heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Methven. McGrath, who recently sold his star filly Libertybelle Midfrew to Perth, sent the daughter of Western Ideal straight to the top, where he set a stern tempo. Ideal Power then packed too many guns in the home stretch, holding of Cala and Angelina Jolie to win in a slick time of 1-57.9 in what was the first ever heat of the Nevele R Fillies run on a grass track. By Mitchell Robertson  

The Hororata Trotting Club will return to its roots in 2014 with their annual race meeting to be held in the countryside, at the picturesque Mt Harding Racecourse in Methven. The club has had to look for an alternative venue to Addington Raceway, where they have raced since 2002, due to two large events taking place in the Addington vicinity on the night of Friday, Feburary 21. The Hollies will be rocking out the stage at the CBS Arena and the Crusaders will kick off their Super Rugby campaign at AMI Stadium against the defending championship side, the Chiefs. The logistics of holding a race meeting on the same night as both of the events were near impossible, so Hororata sought out to shift their meeting and settled with Methven. The Mt Harding Track, which is nestled under the Southern Alps, with Mount Hutt as it’s backdrop, closely resembles a return to the norm for the Hororata Club, who until 1984 raced on a grass track surface of their own before shifting to Ashburton, and then onto Addington. Club president, Bruce Hutton, said the decision to go to Methven was a simple one, once they had approval from the Methven Trotting Club to do so. “Methven is about as close as we can get to racing at home so it was always a logical option,’’ he said. Just 20 minutes drive from Hororata, the meeting, which will be held as a Friday afternoon event, is expected to draw a decent sized crowd with plenty of interest already, from both areas. Hutton said one of the most pleasing parts about the shift was that there was no need to make any changes to their normal racing programme, other than shifting from a night meeting to day, including keeping their heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series. In a New Zealand first, the series, which has seen some of the best female pacers to grace the track compete, will hold a heat on a grass track racing surface over the speed distance of one mile. “It’s really pleasing that we could keep that particular race and I think the fact its on the grass will make it a real unique race.’’ Classy filly, Libertybelle Midfrew, who was a gallant third behind top filly, Venus Serena at Ashburton on Saturday is touted as a potential starter in the race as she tries to earn herself a spot in the Group I Final at Alexandra Park. Also on offer will be the running of the Mountain River Processors Hororata Cup for a stake of $14,999. First race is set down for 12.25pm with free entry onto the course. [Matt Markham | The Press [Sports & Racing Journalist]

When it comes to juvenile racing - It pays to follow the stars, the All Stars that is. The potent team were once again to the fore in the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton yesterday, with Mark Purdon and co-owners Phil & Glenys Kennard going back to back in the prestigious two-year-old event after having won the race with Isaiah, who is also by Art Major, last season. “Last year was our first win in the race, so to go back-to-back is a huge thrill,” said co- owner Glenys Kennard. Follow The Stars sat back off the hot speed, before coming with an explosive finish to win nicely over Mighty Flying Major, Say My Name, and Pulp Fiction, all of which are sired by Art Major. Co-owner Phil Kennard was astonished by his colts performance. “We were told he was only about 85% going into today and he has just run 1-53.8 for a mile. “If that’s the case I’d hate to see him screwed down.” “He had a bit of a blow after the race, so I do think there is still improvement in him,” said co-trainer-driver Purdon. “He will now head north for a heat of the Young Guns next week, before setting his sights on the final, which he has already qualified for through his debut win.” The Purdon camp was also very pleased with the run of Alta Ronaldo in finishing fifth. “He and Jay Dubb are both targeting the Kindergarten Stakes,” advised Purdon. Follow The Stars continues the unbelievable success that Purdon, Rasmussen and the Kennards have had through buying out of the APG Sale in Australia. “We have just bought a few more from the APG Sale at Melbourne last week, so hopefully they can also do a job.” If the success of Smolda, Border Control, and Fly Like An Eagle is anything to go by, I’m sure they will. The other Ashburton feature, the Hambletonian Classic for three-year-old trotters, was taken out in impressive style by Majestic Time, who came with a whirlwind finish to down Any Old Way, who was game in defeat. Meanwhile, Venus Serena set a New Zealand record for three-year-old fillies when winning a heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series in a staggering time of 1-52.2, which shaved 0.2 of a second off the previous record, held by none other than Adore Me. “She is just freakish,” said trainer Geoff Dunn. “She never ceases to surprise me.” “Most horses would be on their hands and knees after a run like she had in the Sales Series race the other week, but she thrived on it and came home and ate all of her tea followed by two breakfasts the next morning.” By Mitchell Robertson

After running one-two in last week’s New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Fillies Final, star fillies Venus Serena and Libertybelle Midfrew will do battle again this week in a heat over of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Ashburton over one mile. But while you can expect to see the same Quinella, will it be in the same order? One thing that I do know is that with Venus Serena drawn one and Libertybelle Midfrew only a couple of places outside her in three, the early speed could be break-neck, with both fillies likely to want to lead. “My filly loves to lead, as she is very tough to run past, but in saying that she is pretty adaptable,” said Venus Serena’s trainer Geoff Dunn. “I really did think she had done too much work early last week, so for her to hang on and win like that was a terrific effort,” he added “Libertybelle Midfrew is very good though, and Angelina Jolie can absolutely fly out, so things could get pretty interesting early. If the early pace is it, there is a chance of a very quick mile time, which could be of great benefit to the fillies after their racing days are numbered. If taking Trifectas and First4’s in the race, be sure not to leave out Ideal Power, who was the only filly to make ground in last week’s Sales Series Final. I’m not saying she can beat the two big guns, but on last week’s run I do expect her to be the next home, which should spice up your multiples. Meanwhile, the fifth heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series, which was to be staged by the Hororata Trotting Club at Addington, will now be held at Methven’s Mt  Harding Racecourse on the 21st of February “It will be the first heat of the Nevele R Fillies ever to be run on a grass track, so it will be something a little bit different,” said Hororata Club President, Bruce Hutton. Hutton said the change of venue was due to a clash with the rugby at Addington’s AMI Stadium on the same night.   By Mitchell Robertson

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