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MORE HARNESS RACING FOR WYNDHAM THIS WEEKEND After their opening meeting of the season last Sunday harness racing action returns to Young Quinn Raceway in Wyndham on Sunday 17 November. Highlights include the opening heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series supported by the Southern Standardbred Breeders Assn plus the Hunter Family Pace. Ten races are programmed with the first at 12.12pm and the last at 5.24pm. Admission to the course is free. Lindsay Beer Promotions Officer Southern Harness Racing 021 351 499   Alexandra Park News – Friday 1 November Alexandra Park Christmas at the Races  |  November & December Plan the perfect Christmas Party to celebrate the end of the year with Alexandra Park Christmas at the Races. Enjoy a delicious Christmas buffet surrounded by colleagues, friends and family. We’ve got premier harness racing action featuring the IRT Inter Dominion Championship and live entertainment after the last race. Don’t delay as this is our busiest time of year, head to alexandrapark.co.nz to get your tickets! IRT Inter Dominion Championship Series  |  November & December Witness the ultimate test of equine speed and strength at this years’ IRT Inter Dominion Championship Series at Alexandra Park throughout November and December. Start with the Welcome Cocktail Party being held at the Rydges Rooftop Terrace on Thursday 28th November. Then get absolutely engulfed in harness racing action with the IRT ID19 heats (29th November, 3rd December, 6th December). Don’t miss the Barrier Draw Brunch at The Alex Bar & Eatery on Sunday 8th December to get you amped up for the GRAND FINAL on Saturday 14th December where you’ll see the best of the best go head to head to take out the championship! Keen to find out more information? Go to www.id19.co.nz   Motukarara Trotting Association Inc - AGM Notice of: Annual General Meeting of Motukarara Trotting Association Inc to be held Motukarara Raceway - 43 Duck Pond Road, Motukarara, Christchurch 7672 20th November 2019 - 7.30pm. Caroline Bennett Secretary Motukarara Trotting Association (03) 3255-835   Cheviot Harness Racing Club – Stallion Tenders The Cheviot Harness Racing Club has two stallion tenders on offer. DOWNBYTHESEASIDE – a son of Somebeachsomewhere Equal fastest 2yo in Standardbred history, paced 1.49 - Breeders Crown Final 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $6,000+GST. PEGASUS SPUR – sire of Speeding Spur Sire of Speeding Spur – now competing at the highest level in the USA Sire of Paramount Gee Gee 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $3,000+GST. Please send all tenders to kirsten_mcnabb@yahoo.co.nz

The most unlikely New Zealand Cup of champion trainer Mark Purdon’s career meant so much more because he didn’t drive the winner. Purdon provided the training quinella in the $750,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington yesterday but had to settle for second as a driver, as Cruz Bromac surged past his drive Spankem in the last 50m. But for Purdon the win means as much if not more than if he had clung on to win the race himself because of the man in the sulky behind Cruz Bromac. Blair Orange has won the last two national driver’s premierships but to any Canterbury harness racing driver, the New Zealand Cup is the holy grail and Purdon was thrilled to provide his former protege with the chance to get his hands on it. Orange was a long-time employee of Purdon’s famous All Stars barn and a close personal friend of Purdon, who has stuck by him in the toughest of times. He originally wasn’t in the frame to drive Cruz Bromac, who divides his time between Victoria and New Zealand. But through a series of events, including other horses being injured and other drivers being unavailable, Orange got his Cup with an inch-perfect display. “I am thrilled for Blair,” said Purdon. “He did a great job when he worked for us and has been very successful since he left. “So to be able to give him the drive on a Cup winner is immensley satisfying for us. He is a good guy and he deserves it.” Orange sure did after the drive he pulled off, firstly managing to negotiate the standing start safely with Cruz Bromac, who only rejoined the All Stars three weeks ago after spending the whole year in Victoria. They don’t have standing starts in Victoria any more so that first mini win was crucial.                                                                                                             -HRNZ photo Once safely away he has to wrest the lead off Classie Brigade and that could have left him vulnerable as Cruz Bromac is probably best known as a sprinter but the sedate Cup speed of 3:56.9 and the inches Orange saved around the marker pegs proved the difference. He grabbed Spankem, who had worked to the lead at the 1400m mark late and only by a neck, with Classie Brigade slightly luckless when forced to change ground in the home straight in third just ahead of Chase Auckland. Defending champion Thefixer was a battling fifth. There was great irony in Orange partnering Cruz Bromac to win as he had only driven him in public once before. That was when he failed to even qualify him in an early trial when Cruz Bromac was trained by Mark Jones before being sold to Australian interests and then coming back across this side of the Tasman to join the All Stars last year. He won the NZ Free-For-All then and could return to that race this Friday and now looms as a major contender for the Inter Dominions which begin at Alexandra Park in 16 days. Cruz Bromac’s win yesterday ticked him just over $1million in stakes and suggests the Australians could have a far greater role to play in the Inter Dominions than would have been expected even a few weeks ago. The horse who beat him in the Victoria Cup three starts ago in Bling It On is being set for the Auckland series while local stars like Self Assured have fallen by the wayside and while Cruz Bromac is officially trained here he will be very much claimed by the Australians as one of their's come the Inters. For Purdon it was his seventh New Zealand Cup training success as he continues to pen new pages in the record books with no end in sight. But that wasn’t why he was smiling last night. He was beaming because of what he had done for a friend.   Michael Guerin

In 26 visits to New Zealand Cup Day, Arden Rooney’s historic win stands alone as the one I treasure most, but gee yesterday came close. The whole package of Australia’s trailblazer Kerryn Manning becoming the first female to drive an NZ Cup winner in 2015 and doing it just a week after Michelle Payne was the first female jockey to win a Melbourne Cup. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. But a 24-year-old dream came true for Geelong businessman Danny Zavitsanos when the Aussie owner won the NZ Cup with Cruz Bromac. “It was Golden Reign winning here all those years ago (1995 Christchurch Inter Dominion) that first got me following the trots, now I’m here winning an NZ Cup myself,” Zavitsanos said. And Zavitsanos is a passionate and hugely important player in the game, on both sides of the ditch. Sitting next to him on the flight from Melbourne to Christchurch late on Cup Eve, he was oozing passion and daring to dream. Fast-forward less than 24 hours and the dream was reality. “I thought he was unlucky not to win this race last year, but a year older and a year more mature and he’s back here winning it,” Zavitsanos said. History will say Cruz Bromac won the Cup as a Kiwi given he’s trained by the All Stars’, but every bit as much a win for Australia, with a dash of magic from Mark Purdon, Natalie Rasmussen and Blair Orange. “We sent him back to Mark and Natalie a few weeks back to try and win this race. They’re the best for a reason,” Zavitsanos said. “But credit goes to Amanda (Grieve) and Dean (Braun), who did such a good job getting him ready back home (Victoria).” Cruz Bromac looks set to back-up in the Group 1 NZ free-for-all on Friday then it’s up to Auckland for the Inter Dominion. And Zavitsanos has a scary warning for Auckland: “He’s never raced that direction, but they think he goes better because he doesn’t get on himself like he does this direction.” Cruz Bromac’s win capped a day of huge Aussie influence. It certainly didn’t surprise any Aussies to see Tough Monarch and McLovin run the quinella in the Group 1 NZ Trotting free-for-all. And Aussie-owned pair Copy That (Merv and Meg Butterworth) and Line Up (Emilio and Mary Rosati) ran second and third respectively to the All Stars’ One Change in the Group 1 3YO Sires’ final. Tough Monarch and McLovin will back-up in Friday’s Group 1 Dominion Trot, albeit stepping-up in grade again to face NZ’s two best trotters Oscar Bonavena and Marcoola. The Aussie raid then stretches to the Auckland Inter Dominion from November 29 where Tough Monarch and now maybe McLovin as well will be our trotting hopefuls. Our best Inter Dominion pacing hopes look to be Bling It On and Colt Thirty One and I’m not writing off San Carlo after he missed the start and never looked happy in the NZ Cup yesterday.   by Adam Hamilton

By Jonny Turner Cheers of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” rang out from the Addington birdcage after New Zealand’s leading horse people combined with Australian owned pacer Cruz Bromac to win the New Zealand Cup yesterday. Cruz Bromac was an all-Australian pacer just a month before the two-mile Group 1 feature before his preparation was handed over to champion Rolleston trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. The All Stars stable’s recipe for New Zealand Cup success was completed when they engaged New Zealand’s record-breaking reinsman, Blair Orange, who produced a perfectly-timed run to win the country’s greatest race in his first drive behind the horse. Though Cruz Bromac would go down in the New Zealand Cup history books as a New Zealand-trained pacer, his part-owner Danny Zavitsanos left no uncertainty among the big Addington crowd that the New Zealand Cup was headed to Melbourne with him. Cruz Bromac’s victory delivered redemption for his group of owners following his effort for fourth in the race last year. The 9yr-old, bred by the late breeding giant Bob McArdle, paced roughly at a vital stage of last year’s race denying himself any chance of victory. “Last year he was unlucky; I really thought the horse should have won or been right in the photo. But this year he is a year older, a year wiser, everything just came to plan.   “What can I say? I am lost for words.” Purdon and Rasmussen’s masterful training ability was on show when Cruz Bromac paced perfectly throughout yesterday’s race. That was far from the case when the horse galloped wildly in a vital lead up race, the Ashburton Flying Stakes. They set about ironing out the often tricky pacer’s wild tendencies. “He hadn’t been with us long before he raced at Ashburton, with the extra time we had with him after, we worked on getting him right,” Purdon said. “I think the key to it was that he was on the inside, because he tends to go roughly the wider he goes.” “It was a great drive from Blair.” Purdon cemented his place in harness racing history with a seventh New Zealand Cup training win, five of them in partnership with Rasmussen. Orange produced a patient drive behind Cruz Bromac to add a New Zealand Cup title to his glittering harness racing record. The record-breaking reinsman had not even sat in a sulky behind the horse until three days prior to yesterday’s race. A trip to the All Stars Rolleston stable for one of the horse’s final training runs was his only contact with Cruz Bromac prior to their win. “It is just incredible, it is what dreams are made of,” Orange said. Cruz Bromac wore down his stablemate, Spankem, to win after the favourite appeared to have every chance to win the race with Purdon in the sulky. “He had his chance, but the distance just isn’t ideal for him,” the trainer-driver said. The hard luck story of the New Zealand Cup came from the camp of third-placed Classie Brigade. Driver John Dunn was desperately searching for clear room for the pacer trained by his father, Robert, for much of the run home after they ran in to a pocket behind the leaders. Classie Brigade got out when Cruz Bromac had the race won to narrowly take fourth from another All Stars pacer in Chase Auckland. The defending champions, Thefixer with Rasmussen in the sulky, battled in to fifth.   Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight Ex-pat Kiwi horseman Anthony Butt put aside a hellish 18 hours to win the day’s feature trot at Addington on Tuesday. Driving Sydney visitor Tough Monarch, Butt executed an aggressive front-running drive to win the $100,000 Group 1 New Zealand Trotting Free For All. In frantic scenes, the now Sydney-based Cantabrian Butt only arrived on course mere minutes before the horses were due to go on track. Smoke from the wild fires raging in New South Wales saw his flight cancelled last evening and he only landed in the country 1 hour before the start of the race. “It was a nightmare,” he said post-race. “I went there yesterday afternoon and when I’d nearly got to the airport, I got a text that said the flight was postponed for three hours until 10 o’clock last night. “I went to them and said, tell me now if it’s not going to go and I’ll get on something else. “They said no, no it’s definitely going to go and then at about 9 o’clock they cancelled on me. “By then it was too late to get on anything else.” So, Butt went back home to Menangle and tried everything he could to try and get to Addington the next day. “I was up half the night trying to find flights. “I tried everything – through Auckland, through Melbourne, through Brisbane. “But there was only one option and it got in at 2 o’clock.” The race was set down to start at 2.47 on the other side of town. It didn’t seem likely. “But luckily we landed 10 minutes early. Plus, I only had carry-on and the attendants put me right by the door so I was first off.” His mum, Jenny Butt, picked him up and rushed across town while Butt got changed in to his driving gear in the back seat. He ran in to the Addington stables just five minutes before the horses were called on to the track. Tough Monarch, off the back of an excellent trial on the track last Wednesday, was a $3 favourite with punters and never them any cause for concern. “He felt good the whole way,” said Butt. “We sort of had to a bit early but he was comfortable and Rickie (Alchin, trainer) said to not let them get up to him. “Round the bend they started to drop off and we put a gap on them.” About then, fellow Australian trotter, McLovin, was extracted to the outside by Kate Gath and launched a grinding finish. He got close, but not close enough, and the pair recorded a famous Australian quinella on New Zealand’s biggest race day. Tough Monarch has been there or thereabouts in all the features across the ditch in recent seasons, but Tuesday’s was his first Group 1 win after three placings. “He’s just a wee professional. “It was his first Group 1, but he’s been around about it a lot of the time so he really deserves this.” Gath was thrilled with McLovin’s effort, saying he overcome a less-than-preferable draw and trip to finish close up in second. “I was really happy with him. “I was a little bit disheartened when the draws came out and we knew Tough Monarch would be tough to beat off the front. “So, to get as close as we did was pleasing and it’s a good sign for the Dominion on Friday.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight Young Christchurch trainer Darren Keast had a day he will never forget when training two upset winners on New Zealand Cup Day, Tuesday. The 22-year-old could barely believe what had just unfolded before his eyes when Ascalabus won paying $49.10 with his dad, Jamie in the cart. A couple of hours earlier, the father-and-son combo had opened the day with a victory by trotter Lovey Dovey Moment. “I absolutely flippin’ can’t believe that that’s happened,” said the younger Keast after the second win. “At the start of the day I was thinking Lovey Dovey Moment was a live chance. “And Ascalabus, it’s hard to get confident at $50 but I thought his last start at Addington was as good as it could be. “He was three-wide and just got beat on the post by a horse we dragged in to the race.” In another layer to the story, Ascalabus is owned by one of the biggest names of yesteryear, local fisheries businessman, Kypros Kotzikas, who won the New Zealand Cup in 1997 with Iraklis. “I’m just unbelievably grateful to have Kypros behind me. “How many young fellas would have a big owner like him behind them? “We’ve had our issues with the horse. “This time last year he raced in the Cup Day maiden and finished fourth and we got offered really big money for him. “But when he was checked over by the vets, he had a niggle in a leg and had to be boxed for six weeks. “Kypros was probably entitled to take him off me then but he stuck by me and gave me a go.” Training two winners on the country’s biggest race day is one thing, but having his dad drive them was the cherry on top for Keast. “It’s just unbelievable. “He served it up with that trotter; he came out and attacked Majestic Hurricane, which is a known puller, and that was really ballsy. “But it was the winning of the race. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Dad and his support and I’m forever grateful for everything he’s done for me.” Keast left school at 15 to go and work in Sydney and then Brisbane before returning to Canterbury. “I got a bit home sick so came back and started working for Cran Dalgety.” He will now turn his attention to Auckland a crack at the Inter Dominions, which start at the end of the month. “Lovey Dovey Moment is about 95 percent sure to go because he trots so much better that way around. “I’m not sure about Ascalabus though; I’ll see what Kypros is happy doing and go from there.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Owners and racegoers looked on in disbelief as Ultimate Sniper produced a jaw-dropping performance to win the Junior Free-For-All on New Zealand Cup day. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained 4yr-old set a big Addington crowd buzzing with a tough effort that reminded harness fans why he is New Zealand’s reigning champion 3yr-old. Rasmussen was denied the chance to take the Bettor’s Delight pacer to the front early in the race, when driver Matt Anderson insisted on holding the front with A Bettor Act. That set Ultimate Sniper a massive task to win – one that co-owner Phil Kennard admitted he thought was impossible during the running 2600m Group 3 feature. “I wasn’t confident at all, when he was doing all that work.” “To run 3.06 with a run like that was phenomenal.” Ultimate Sniper stopped the clock in a sizzling 3-06.4, setting a new race record in the Junior Free-For-All on New Zealand Cup day. The performance was undoubtedly the best of Ultimate Sniper’s 4yr-old campaign, that has included a derailed New Zealand Cup bid. Kennard puts the horse bouncing back to his best on the country’s biggest stage down to his conditioning. The pacer was sent to the paddock for several months after his 3yr-old season was ended early by injury. Ultimate Sniper made the most of it, returning to work for his 5yr-old campaign far from the sleek athlete that won on Tuesday. “Today is the first day we have seen his ribs – he just hasn’t been ready,” Kennard said. “But, when I saw him at the stables yesterday I though this horse is ready.” Purdon said the All Stars stable would monitor Ultimate Sniper’s recovery before making a decision on whether the horse would start in Friday’s New Zealand Free-For-All. The master trainer said his first inclination was not to line the 4yr-old up on Friday. Rasmussen made sure her charge was not going to be unlucky by taking Ultimate Sniper to the parked position. The leading reinswoman said it was a case of taking advantage of the horse’s drop in class after he had competed in New Zealand Cup lead up races. “The way he did it - I knew I had to drive him with a fair amount of confidence,” Rasmussen said. “That [race] was a bit of a class drop from what he has been racing – he has been going good races behind Spankem and Chase Auckland.” Ultimate Sniper’s withdrawal from the New Zealand Cup and his win on Tuesday has now seen his season evolve in to a transitioning term. “It was just a year too soon for him for the cup,” Rasmussen said. “He is a good horse.” “I really think next year will be his year.” Rasmussen used contrasting tactics when driving One Change to win the New Zealand Sires Stakes Final. The All Stars 3yr-old held out stablemates Copy That and One Change in a thrilling finish to the Group 1 feature. Rasmussen elected to slot One Change in to the trail behind Line Up and driver Anthony Butt early in the race. The energy she saved there may have given One Change the winning edge to hold out the fast finish of Copy That and driver David Butcher. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

A dream was fulfilled at Addington today as Victorian owner Danny Zavitsanos grasped the famed New Zealand Trotting Cup after Cruz Bromac stormed past his celebrated stablemates to salute. The Geelong part-owner was thrilled to secure the $750,000 Group 1 race, captured when Cruz Bromac won for reinsman Blair Orange and co-trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. “When Golden Reign won the New Zealand Cup all those years ago I was always hoping I could get a horse to be in the NZ Cup, now to win it - I’m ecstatic," Mr Zavitsanos said. “I thought last year he was unlucky. I thought the horse really should have won or been in the photo. This year, he’s a year older, a year wiser, everything’s just come to plan." Mr Zavitsanos shares ownership with wife Joanna, New South Wales pair Peter and Zilla O'Shea and Tasmania's Warren Viney, while Cruz Bromac has recently been trained by Amanda Grieve in Victoria before recently rejoining New Zealand's All Stars team for this present campaign. “Lost for words, but I’d like to thank (reinsman Blair Orange), and ... Mark and Dean Braun and Amanda Grieve, who had the horse too, the plan just come together," Mr Zavitsanos said. “I’m rapt. Really excited. It all went to plan, really excited and happy to be part of this big day here." Orange had worked for almost half a lap to find the front early on Cruz Bromac, before being crossed by stablemates Thefixer and then Spankem, which left Victorian hope San Carlo exposed in the breeze. San Carlo had galloped away from the tapes in his first standing start but soon regained his gait and joined the running line, tracking Spankem until Mark Purdon slid to the front. While the pace was only fair, the occasion had taken its toll and San Carlo's race was run well before the final turn. The tiring running line enabled Cruz Bromac to emerge from three back the pegs at the turn and from there Orange and the Falcon Seelster eight-year-old did the rest. "I was a little worried, the speed down the back wasn’t that strong, but to the horse’s credit he travelled super around the corner and let down when I asked him," Orange said. “Around the corner Natalie seemed a wee bit flat-footed and I was still travelling pretty nicely. I just had to wait for him to get around the corner, he gets on the pole and gets a bit awkward, once he balanced up he let down really nice. “Full credit to the horse, Mark and Natalie prepared him super for the day. What a thrill." Spankem ran second while Classie Brigade was hunting a run in the closing stages and boxed on well for third ahead of Chase Auckland and Thefixer, with Purdon and Rasmussen's All Stars producing four of the first five placegetters.   HRV Trots Media

The Aussies have sent shockwaves through the Australasian trotting ranks with a dominant one-two in today's Commodore Airport Hotel Free For All. Tough Monarch led all-the-way to salute in the $100,000 Group 1 in track record time, with Rickie Alchin's New South Wales trotter narrowly holding off fast-finishing Victorian McLovin, who was a clear second for Andy and Kate Gath. Winning reinsman Anthony Butt, who arrived on track only minutes before the big race owing to a delayed flight, said he "could feel (McLovin) coming up the straight" but held on to win narrowly. “It’s a big thing for an Aussie horse to win a Group 1 over here, it doesn’t happen very often," Butt said. "Good on them for giving it a go and getting the result. “(Tough Monarch) has come on in leaps and bounds the last 12 months. Big credit to Rickie, he’s handled it beautifully and I’m very lucky to be on it." The result will only further fuel speculation, revealed pre-race by Adam Hamilton, that McLovin's on-again off-again tilt at the forthcoming Inter Dominion may be back on again. More is expected to be known at weeks end, Hamilton said on the Sky Racing Active coverage. For the victor, the win is enormous reward for Alchin, who invested great patience into Tough Monarch. Starting his life in Queensland, the young colt looked set to be a case of a talented horse who went off the rails, having been considered unsuitable for racing due to his headstrong nature. That was until talented young trainer Alchin broke the horse in. Tough Monarch then went to Dennis Wilson, who had trained the trotter’s mother in the latter part of her career, but two or three preps later and he had done all he could to little avail. “I had always had in the back of my mind that I’d like to have a go with him if the opportunity ever came up,” Alchin said. “Make no mistake, when I broke him in he was very difficult to handle, but you just couldn’t get to the bottom of him on the track, he was so strong. “I said to Dennis (Wilson) that if he ever had enough that I wouldn’t mind trying him out and that’s how it all sort of unfolded.” Almost four years later, the horse that was once destined for the scrap heap in an international Group 1 winner.   HRV Trots Media

Harness racing Down Under "Breeders Crown winners" this week take out the Matron Stakes. New Zealand born trainer/driver duo, Nifty Norman and Dexter Dunn were once again successful this time in the $181,000 Matron Stakes on Thursday at Dover Downs. They teamed up with Amigo Volo a 2yo trotting gelding by Father Patrick gapping rivals to win in a time of 1:52.4. Coming in a huge 1.6 seconds in front of the second place getter.  Just two weeks ago the same trio won the $790,000 2yo Trotting Colts and Geldings Final in Canada. Amigo Hall has had 11 starts for 6 wins and 2 seconds for earnings of $700,000 lifetime to date. A recent arrival in North America that is making news is Lifeonthebeach A at Saratoga. A Somebeachsomewhere 5yo gelding that raced in Australia, Lifeonthebeach had 34 starts for 7 wins 11 seconds and 3 thirds for $76,410. His last 10 starts at Albion Park resulted in no wins.  Lifeonthebeach bled in Australia twice and as a result was barred from racing for life from its last start on the 22nd of June 2019. What a waste of of very good horse! Sold to North America for next to nothing Lifeonthebeach has had 10 starts for 7 wins and 1 second for $35,000 in earnings to date and has taken a record of 1:53 on a half-mile track. Why Lasix cannot be used Down Under to help a horse really does not make sense to me. Monday 4th November Dover Downs DE Bad Boy Brad A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $7,000   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Crombie A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $4,500   Plainridge Park MA Zinny Mach N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $12,000 Stihl N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $8,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Shecandance N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $19,000   Tuesday 5th November   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Benson Boys N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $15,000 Lynbar Rose N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $11,000   The Meadows PA Hilary Barry N – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $7,500 Amelia’s Courage A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $20,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Beyondthesilence N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $12,500 Shes Sporty A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500 Lettucerockthem A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $17,000   Wednesday 6th November   Dover Downs DE Lincolns Girl N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $14,000 Delishka N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $25,000   The Meadows PA The Spinster N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $9,600   Thursday 7th November   Dover Downs DE Mister Ohanzee A – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $9,000 Johnny Disco A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $15,000   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Djokovic N – Time: 1:58.2, Stake: $7,000   Monticello Raceway NY Milady Denver A – Time: 1:59.1, Stake: $3,300   Plainridge Park MA Tisadream N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $10,500 Fernleigh Rebel N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $9,000 Bettors Fire N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $20,000   Saratoga Harness NY Myeyesadoreya N – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $4,500 Miss Irish Rose A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $14,000 The Charging Moa N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,000 Gina Grace N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $14,000 Culinary Delight N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $4,500   Harrahs Hoosier Park IN Captain Dolmio N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $10,000 Backup A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $8,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Lovin Miss Daisy N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $17,000 Highview Conall N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $12,500   Friday 8th November   Batavia Downs NY Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $4,900   Freehold Raceway NJ Eden Paige N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $6,300   Harrahs Hoosier Park IN The Empiressister N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $12,000   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Gold Orchid N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $18,000 Lucky Artist A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $11,000 American Empress N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $8,500   Meadowlands NJ Shezza GNP N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $12,500 Rockin The Boys A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $16,000 Glenferrie Bronte N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $9,750   Yonkers Raceway NY Kaitlyn N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $42,000   Saturday 9th November   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Sammy The Bull N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $15,000   Meadowlands NJ Whittaker N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $9,000 Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $21,000 Franco Totem N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $16,000 Barimah A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $12,500   Saratoga Harness NY Fcee N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $6,420 Chumlee A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $5,000 Bettor Not Bitter A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $18,000 Lifeonthebeach A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $11,770   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Stars Align A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $12,500   Sunday 10th November   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Billy Badger N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,000 Persistent Threat A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $11,000 Firenglow A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $7,000 Bright Diamond N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $12,500   Pompano Park FL Kotare Yael N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $7,000   Saratoga Harness NY Mr Cool Seaeyre N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $18,000   Scarborough Downs ME Milwood Faith N – Time: 1:57.1, Stake: $4,400   Previous weeks 12th November 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 5th of Nov 2019 + Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 29th October 2019 + Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 22nd October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 15th October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 8th October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 1st October 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 24th Sep 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 17th Sep 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 11th Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 3rd Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 27th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 20th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 12th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 5th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 29 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 24 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety   Carter Dalgety

For the second time in a week a major Cup could come down to tempo at Addington on Tuesday Because just as the dawdling 3200m and genius Craig Williams ride won Vow And Declare the Melbourne Cup last Tuesday, the speed today’s $750,000 New Zealand Cup is run at might decide whether Thefixer or Spankem emerges victorious. Of course the Mark Purdon-trained pair aren’t the only winning chances in the 13-strong field but they dominate the market for a reason, they are the only two proven group one winners at the highest level in today’s race. Rivals like Cruz Bromac (NZ F-F-A), A G’s White Socks (Easter Cup) and Our Uncle Sam (Bohemia F-F-A) have won group one open class races but not one of the majors, whereas Thefixer is the defending NZ Cup champ and Spankem downed him in the Miracle Mile. So they go into today’s race not needing to reach a new peak to win whereas their rivals do. After differing but impressive lead-up form, with usually perfect manners and on their home track it is hard to see how one of the pair won’t win. But which one could come down to tempo. If the Cup turns into a heavyweight slugfest Thefixer would seem the best equipped to handle it, whereas a slower Cup with a winning time between 3:55 and 4:00 would seem to play into Spankem’s hooves. “I think it is fair to say Thefixer can do more work in a race but Spankem might be a touch faster,” says Purdon, aiming for his fourth Cup in a row. “I couldn’t be happier with them. Spankem has gone well all campaign while Thefixer has really improved in the last two weeks. "So it might come down to manners and the runs they get.” If punters assume the pair both step equally then the problem for Thefixer could be a rival to push the pace, with Victorian visitor San Carlo looking the most likely to turn this into a sub 3:55 Cup but his ace draw is a worry. Thefixer overcame a mid-campaign setback to win the Cup last year and might deserve to be closer in the market to his stablemate but Spankem has so few weaknesses and looks in the zone so he is still the one to beat. Purdon doesn’t have the usual domination of all markets today but suggests, in order, Amazing Dream (race eight), Taxman (race 12) and One Change (race seven) are his next best winning hopes after his Cup quartet. And while he believes Ultimate Sniper is working well enough to take the junior free-for-all he admits to favouring northern Triple Eight after his booming Kaikoura Cup third.   Michael Guerin

John Dunn may not finish New Zealand Cup day the most successful driver of the meeting but goes into it as the most important. Because in all three groups one races at Addington today there is an element of “but what if John’s horse does this” while Dunn has serious winning hopes in a quartet of support races. Which means Dunn holds the key to punting success on harness racing’s biggest day. Dunn has the potential early leader in both the $750,000 New Zealand Cup and the $170,000 Sires’ Stakes Final which gives him options to hand to a favoured rival, securing the passing lane and the almost guaranteed decent big money an economical trip would provide. Or decide to stay in front and make life harder for his challengers, opening the races up to upsets. In the $100,000 NZ Trot Free-For-All he drives the best horse in Sundees Son, his concern being the Trotter of the Year’s mental rather than physical condition. But Cup day is about the Cup and while Dunn’s father Robert trains both Classie Brigade and Henry Hubert, it is the former who has the manners to be the kingmaker. Classie Brigade begun brilliantly before leading throughout in the Kaikoura Cup last Monday but that was against weaker opposition on a leader’s track in a race 800m shorter. With standing start manners concerns over some on the front line, especially the Australians, Classie Brigade could well lead again first time into the Addington straight today. So what would Dunn, who has parked out his arch rivals the All Stars more than any driver in New Zealand in recent years, do? “I don’t think you can make those decisions in advance and of course he would have to step away quickly first,” says Dunn in the expected response.  “And he (Classie Brigade) is a good horse. You would like to think he could win the race.”
 But big deeper and Dunn admits that the two favourites Spankem and Thefixer might be better than his charge. He won’t say it, but you get the feeling if either came seriously looking for the lead Dunn would take the short way home. A decision like that from Dunn, or any rival driver, would seem to hand the Cup to whoever out of Spankem or Thefixer got their first and could set up a lead-trail scenario for the favourites. The horse least likely to bend to the favoured pair’s will is Victorian pacer San Carlo but with zero standing start experience and the dreaded ace draw, the start could be a lottery he doesn’t have a winning ticket in. While all of that makes Classic Brigade a great place bet at $3.50, in the Sires’ Stakes things look trickier from barrier one for Above N Beyond. He is good, maybe really good, but even though it is a sprint the Sires’ Final can be brutal for leaders. So Dunn wants to lead early and see how much pressure is poured on. “It is easy to think I would hand to One Change (barrier two and favourite) and get the trail but I doubt he will be the first horse there and anything on the front line could come out fast. “So it is a really hard to race to predict. But I’d rather be barrier one than nine.” Sundees Son is one on the second line in the trot but that is not as big a concern as the fact he has galloped in his last three public appearances. “I think it is in his head now and that is a worry,” says Dunn. “He is not sore anywhere and feels fine but we have to get his head right and I am not sure he is there yet.” In the support races Dunn reins four favoured runners, starting with debutante Sugar Loaf in race two. “She has really impressed me at the trials and has the speed to stay handy early. “Bonnie Highlander (race three) was really good at the trials last week and I’d rate her the better of our two chances off the front line. “And Heisenberg (race eight) has to be hard to beat. He won really well at Kaikoura last week and has bounced through that well.” Add in another impressive trialist last week in Belmont Major (race nine) and Dunn is in for a big Cup day. But punters would be smartest to put their big money on him when the smaller money is on the line.   Michael Guerin

The prodigal son of Canterbury harness racing laughs about returning to its greatest day as the enemy. But the result could still be the same. Anthony Butt may live in Sydney these days and be driving a NSW trotter in Tough Monarch in Tuesday's $100,000 NZ Trotting Free-For-All but he is about as Canterbury as horsepeople come. “It will always be home, even if I don’t live here,” says Butt, a member of the Jones-Butt dynasty that ruled harness racing in the region for decades. Butt and his brother Tim so dominated the trotting scene Anthony has won our greatest trot race the Dominion nine times as a drive, which makes his mere five wins in the Trotting Free-For-All almost seem normal by comparison. They also pillaged Australia’s best trotting races and of course won almost every major pacing race as well but now Butt is returning home to help the Aussies snare one of our group ones. "It is a bit ironic coming back home to try and win one for Australia,” says Butt. “And I think he can do it. He is a very good horse, has great gate speed and is trotting beautifully. “So I am confident he will end up in front and take plenty of running down.” The Free-For-All may be a group one but its awkward timing three days before the far richer Dominion means Oscar Bonavena and Marcoola are not there and the most favoured locals are drawn poorly. So with back up from now Victorian ex-pat trotter McLovin, the Australians have a very rare shot at group one trotting glory during Cup week. It isn’t Butt’s only shot though as he thinks North Island three-year-old Line Up is a real show in the $170,000 Sires’ Stakes Final. Butt has become the go-to driver for NSW’s biggest harness owner Emilio Rosati so picks up the drive on the Ray Green-trained speedster and he loved the feel he got from him at the trials last week. “He is real ability and I think he can win, he is good enough,” says Butt. “Some years the Sires’ Stakes has a standout three-year-old who turns out to be a champion but this year hasn’t shown us one of those yet so it might be more even than usual.” As for his homecoming, Butt says Cup Day is one of the world’s great harness meetings. “I have driven all over the world, obviously everywhere in Australasia, at a lot of Elitlopp (Sweden) meetings and on Hambletonian Day in the States and there is no place in the world where the city stops for a harness meeting like it does on Tuesday.”   Michael Guerin

Astute young Sydney harness racing trainer Rickie Alchin can't wait to showcase his exciting trotter in New Zealand - but he has the utmost respect for his rivals. Eight-year-old Tough Monarch (Monarch USA-Tough Tussle NZ (Wrestle NZ) will step out today (Tuesday) at Addington in the $100,000 Group One NZ Trotting FFA over the 1980m trip. It will be run at 2.47pm NZ (12.47pm Australian) time. "He is right where I wanted him to be-he's settled in well, but these types of races are hard to win," Alchin said. "We ended up with a nice barrier draw in gate five, with a chance we will move in one closer if the emergency doesn't get a start, so we'll be looking for the top," he said. "But I have a lot of respect for a few of our rivals. McLovin, from the Andy and Kate Gath barn hasn't put a foot wrong and Winterfell (Mark Purdon) was eye-catching at the trials recently. "And there's some others as well including Sundees Son from the Dunn stable. From what I've seen of this horse, potentially he could be anything. If he turns up on the day, we could all have our work cut out." Alchin, who drove Tough Monarch to win at Menangle on October 19 in his most recent victory, said he was elated to have the services of master driver Anthony Butt. "I enjoy driving, but it just made sense to put 'Ants' on. He's an ex-Kiwi and over here he knows a bit more than me about the tracks, the other horses and their drivers," Alchin said. Butt and Tough Monarch combined last week to post an impressive two length trial win, seemingly in cruise mode. The mile rate was a tick over two minutes for 1980m and they ran to the line in 28.8 secs. Alchin, who flew out with Tough Monarch on October 29, is stabled with renowned NZ trainer Cran Dalgety, of Kentuckiana Lodge, West Melton, Canterbury. The 32-year-old admits that he sometimes has to stop and pinch himself in what has so far been a marvellous ride. After learning the basics of harness racing growing up in the strong harness racing town of Temora, in the NSW Riverina, he left for the city to better himself aged just 18. "My pop Russell Harpley was a hobby trainer and was a big influence, along with Nanna Pam. They are so proud and are now my number one fans," he said. "I also worked full-time for Ray Walker, who is an amazing horseman. So I certainly did get a good head start." Alchin said Tough Monarch, who is chasing his first Group One success, had benefitted greatly by competing in his first Inter Dominion in Melbourne late last year. "I guess I could say the same thing about myself - it certainly was a big learning curve," he said. "So hopefully with two Inters under our belts come Sydney next year, we both should be pretty seasoned," Alchin laughed. Shepparton co-trainers Steve O'Donoghue and Bec Bartley will also compete with their nine-year-old 'war horse' San Carlo at the same meeting in the $750,000 G1 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup at 5.12pm NZ (3.12 pm Australian) time. San Carlo, known around the stables as Murray, has drawn the pole. He comes up against some hot opposition in the Purdon-Rasmussen quartet of Spankem, Thefixer, Chase Auckland and Cruz Bromac. Bathurst pacer Our Uncle Sam (trained by Chris Frisby) will join San Carlo in trying to fly the Australian flag for honors.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

By Jonny Turner A perfect preparation has reigning national horse of the year Spankem ready to tackle a distance far from perfect for him in the New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington on Tuesday. Trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have overseen an incredibly faultless lead up to New Zealand’s greatest harness race, with Spankem displaying the speed, stamina and poise of a deserving favourite. The Miracle Mile winner has cruised over every hurdle the champion trainers have put in front of him, speeding to victory in traditional lead up races the Hannon Memorial, Canterbury Classic and Ashburton Flying Stakes. The only question the 5yr-old has not been able to answer in the lead up to the New Zealand Cup is whether he will handle its 3200m distance. Purdon is confident his horse will stay the distance under the pressure environment of a New Zealand Cup. But the master trainer-driver admits it is not the ideal trip for his speed machine. “I wouldn’t think it is his go – he is better over shorter distances,” he said. “But at the same time, he is in a great place and his form suggests he is probably still going to be the one to beat, even though it is not his pet distance.” Spankem’s staying qualities have drawn attention as he has been unplaced in two starts past 2700m. The first of those came when the pacer ran a creditable, but well beaten fourth in last year’s 2760m Interdominion final, won by Tiger Tara. The second came in this year’s 3200m Easter Cup, won by Turn It Up, when the he was first up from a short spell. Whether Spankem or any of the field see out Tuesday’s distance relies heavily on what kind of run and how they are driven. Purdon looks to have limitless options from barrier 6 with his excellent beginner.   The five time New Zealand Cup winning driver would not be drawn in to talking too many tactics, but hinted that taking a trail could help Spankem show his best.  “One thing is that he will follow any speed, it won’t matter how quick they go, he will follow that speed and come out and show his own high speed.” “The way he has been going he is the horse to beat, so I can afford to drive him with some confidence.” The favourite’s stablemate, Thefixer, comes in to the race in a majorly contrasting situation to Spankem.   There are absolutely no queries over his staying prowess, following his tenacious win in the New Zealand Cup last year. That victory came after hoof problems dogged his preparation, which havr also caused his camp grief again this year. Thefixer appears to be ahead of where he was going in to last year’s race – by being able to race in the Ashburton Flying Stakes and Methven Cup. But, Purdon would not go as far as confirming that. However, the trainer was willing to go one step further and suggest Thefixer was a better horse than when he won last year’s edition. “I think he is a stronger horse than he was last year.” “He is a horse that can make his own luck – and he is probably one of the few in the field that could.” “I am really happy with him and I think over the last fortnight he has really tightened up and he is hitting peak fitness.” Purdon has two more horses that can help he can land him an incredible seventh New Zealand Cup training win and a fourth in partnership with Rasmussen. Chase Auckland has stepped up to the big leagues with excellent performances in open company this season. The 5yr-old has shown impressive staying prowess, especially in his strong Methven Cup win. It looks like Chase Auckland will need to call on that strength to win from the unruly starting position on Tuesday. Purdon is confident that is something he can handle “He is very fit and well and he will go a big race.” Cruz Bromac will return to Addington after producing the hard luck story of last year’s New Zealand Cup. The veteran paced roughly at a vital stage, losing momentum that could have put him in the finishing photo beside Thefixer. Cruz Bromac showed he can still put in rough steps when galloping out of commission in the Ashburton Flying Stakes, before producing a better showing for second behind Classie Brigade in the Kaikoura Cup. With manners and some manoeuvring from driver Blair Orange to keep him off the outside of the track – where he tends to pace roughly – he could go a strong race. “He is probably good enough to move up and at some stage and put himself in the race,” Purdon said. “He just can’t be too wide on the last corner.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Otago trainer Steve Ashton's racing-keen grandson helped him get back in the winner's circle at Wyndham on Sunday. Ashton scored his first training win since 2015 when Sunnivue Phileah notched her maiden victory in race 1. Family circumstances have limited Ashton's ability to step out many horses in recent seasons. His grandson, Lukus Johnston, has been key to the trainer putting out a runner again in Sunnivue Phileah. "Our grandson Lukus is mad keen on harness racing and he has been working down in Wyndham with Craig Ferguson and Brendon McLellan," Ashton said. "He took the horse down there and drove her at the trials." Johnston caught the harness racing bug when Ashton campaigned his good former winners Better To Be Bad and Sunnivue Ted. "He is only 15, but he has been driving horses since he was 10." Ashton and his grandson's work paid off when Sunnivue Phileah overhauled the warm favourite, Kiwi Trix, in the straight to win. The 6yr-old showed she was close to a win when running second to Lisa Marie P at Forbury Park, last week. That effort, when going close to downing a horse that had won three races, was even better than it may have appeared. "She dragged a flat tyre at Forbury - it had worn right through the plastic rim and down to the spokes," Ashton said. Sunnivue Phileah showed promise as a 2yr-old, but has been given plenty of time to strengthen and mature by her trainer. That could pay off again when the trotter lines up in a graduation final at Invercargill later this month. Driver Craig Ferguson could be faced with a tough choice after he drove both Sunnivue Phileah and Abbey May to win at Wyndham yesterday. Abbey May became eligible for the final after scoring the second win of her career for Milton trainer Lyndon Durham in race 4. Canterbury pacer Diamond Party caused sensational scenes when winning race 10 yesterday. The 3yr-old produced a brilliant win, pacing a fast 2-56.7 for 2400m on the rain-affected Wyndham track, to beat talented types See Ya Write and Pembrook Playboy. Diamond Party then shocked onlookers when running sideways and crashing into the running rail shortly after the winning post. Thankfully the Art Major filly and her driver Alana Cameron emerged from the incident without any major injuries. Trainer Matt Purvis, who is Cameron's partner, said Diamond Party may have emerged slightly better off than the junior reinswoman. "They are both fine, but I would say Alana might have a couple of bruises tomorrow," he said. The trainer put Diamond Party's sideways shuffle down to greenness. "She has got all the ability in the world, but she doesn't have the ringcraft yet.” "Half the issue is her last two wins have been really impressive and she gets to the front and knocks off and starts skylarking." Stewards ordered Diamond Party go back to the trials before she is able to race again. Purvis plans to freshen the filly after she gets her ticket to race back. The trainer's long term goal for the 3yr-old is the Southland Oaks. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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