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By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk    It wasn’t just winning the Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup at Addington that made Caitlin Schneider happy. It was the fact she won with Mr Darcy, a pony she took on as a “project”. Three years ago the Auckland teenager bought the purebred Welsh pony off Trade Me for $1500. “I saved up and saved up. He was an unbroken two-year-old and I did all the work with him. It’s very satisfying to win it – I was very proud.” Named after Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, the now five-year-old had an all-the-way win in the New Zealand Cup in front of a big Show day crowd though he was very nearly run down by the fast finishing Chaos and Kate Coppins and Seth Hill and Gizmo. “I was pretty nervous because in the parade he galloped and I thought ‘oh no’ – but he flew. Sometimes when he races at the front he looks around and waits for the other horses.” But she quickly adds , “he’s improving all the time”. After starting out in Kidz Kartz as a six-year-old, this was Caitlin’s first New Zealand Cup win after finishing second in her only other appearance in 2018. It will also be her last as she’s reached the 16 year age limit. The year 11 student at Rosehill College is now en route to Auckland with her first exams on Friday. She’s hoping the return won’t be as eventful as the jouney south, which was fraught by delayed ferry crossings because of bad weather, and then their truck running out of diesel near Kaikoura. A career as a lawyer is part of her longer term plan though Caitlin says she’ll always be around horses. “I’ve grown up with them, and while I ride horses too, I click more with driving.” Already the holder of a stablehand license, Caitlin says in the years ahead training and driving winners is very much on the radar. Her next big race will be the Kidz Kartz Auckland Cup on December 31 - and then at the end of the season in April she’ll say farewell to a sport that’s been a big part of her life for a decade.

Welcome to the Harness Analyst segment where we preview all the harness meetings with tips and selections for all races. Harness racing hits Palmerston North today with a ten race program starting at 3:32pm and in this video we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a massive day of racing. The content and data on this video is provided for informational purposes only Check out the selections for all of the races today for Manawatu. Manawatu selections 17th November 2020 Best Bet:     R8 Ace Strike Best Value Bets:  R5 Emmi Rose  &  R6 Lavazza Race 1 Caitlin's Surprise goes ok on the track but disappointing last start. Give another chance here.…… Get On The Sauce nice draw and he has run some cheeky races in previous races. Gets a big head start on the favourites and could surprise..… Haka Pride going ok and much better draw this time. Can upset at massive odds with a soft run in transit…….. Ardee Trouble  stable/driver combo hard to beat on the track and running ok races without a lot of luck. Tricky handicap but hard to beat. Selections:  Ardee Trouble  (10),   Caitlin's Surprise (7),   Get On The Sauce (5),    Haka Pride (2)   Race 2 Richmond Tiger  racing against better fields with merit and easier here. Can run top three here and top selection.……. Godziller has ability and nice fifth two starts ago. Track will suit and winning claims here …… Mac Paua disappointing last start but better than that. Drawn well and can win…… Sheza Rose getting fitter with racing and has been racing better fields. Might get a soft run from the draw and has winning claims…… Selections:  Richmond Tiger  (10),   Godziller (3),   Sheza Rose (8),   Mac Paua (1)   Race 3 Budvar Eyre change of stable but was running good races in the South and might be the early leader here. Good winning claims….. Fleeting Major good staying type who has already won a race and should get a good run here. Can surprise at good odds  ….. Scottish Poacher fair run last week and drawn to position near the leaders early. Can run in the top three…. Roma Rosa nice draw and stable has a good strike rate. Winning claims here….  Selections:   Budvar Eyre (1),  Fleeting Major (8),   Roma Rosa (2),  Scottish Poacher (3)   Race 4 Manhattan Sunshine good draw to work with and an easier field than last start. Winning claims ….. Super Duper Dude beaten by a nice horse fresh up will go forward early and should be hard to beat….. Sargent Best has the game to beat a field like this and good second last start. Needed….. Betancourt strike rate driver/stable combo on the track so look for a good run in this race. Include Selections:   Super Duper Dude (5),   Sargent Best (9),   Betancourt (3),   Manhattan Sunshine (1)   Race 5 Peter Forsberg conditions suit here and he is a major player in this field. Good winning claims from the draw.…. Emmi Rose disappointing last start but goes well on the track. Should be thereabouts and at good odds…… Matrika tricky drawn but the choice of the top driver. Can win and racing in good form… Scelta Uno goes well on the track and could be following the leader in the race. Needed Selections:  Emmi Rose (6),   Peter Forsberg (1),   Scelta Uno (8),   Matrika (7)   Race 6 Lavazza has been racing strong fields with merit. Should be a good winning chance in this lineup at nice odds . ……. Karmic Way tricky draw but good at workouts . Could upset at big odds if he paces all the way …… Delma Craze disappointing last start but better than that. One for longer odds in this field…… Greatest Showman good finisher who won well last start. One of the leading chances Selections:   Lavazza (5),   Greatest Showman (11),   Delma Craze (9),   Karmic Way (10)   Race 7 Eagle Watch has been running good races and getting fitter. Hard to beat in this field if he can find the front early….. Milner running on ok last start and races well on the track. Will need luck but can run top three here  ….. Rake good draw and top driver booked. Look for him to be finishing off well and can win….        Shezsomethinspecial drawn for a run through at the start and was massive in defeat last start. Can win….  Selections:   Eagle Watch (2),  Shezsomethinspecial (9),   Rake (1),  Milner (5)   Race 8 Ticking Over drawn to lead and will be very hard to beat if he can. Good winning chance at nice odds….. Ace Strike likes to race near the lead and love the track. Should run top three again….. Eastanbull has been disappointing recently but a big drop in class here. Can win…. Sunset Red racing ok and likely to go forward early. Not the worst at good odds…..  Selections:   Ace Strike (7),   Ticking Over (2),   Eastanbull (11),   Sunset Red (4)   Race 9 High Point racing well from bad draws and drawn to lead. Could be hard to get past with no attackers midrace ….. Sarandon races best near the lead and should get a good run on the outer. Winning claims ….. Mogul  racing well and loves the track. Will start favourite and hard to beat…. About Turn racing in great form but tricky draw. Can win if the gaps open for him ….  Selections:   High Point (5),   About Turn (8),   Sarandon (4),   Mogul  (7)   Harnesslink Media

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk    Major All Stars Racing Stables supporter Phil Kennard has called today’s announcement “big news” and “a brave call”. Phil and Glenys Kennard have had co-ownership of a string of champions with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen including the likes of Lazarus, Spankem, Ultimate Sniper and Thefixer. Their association started with Purdon (and then training partner Grant Payne) with Fiery Falcon a dozen or so years ago.   Right now they estimate they have 12 to 14 horses at the All Stars’ Rolleston base, with many more at other stables in both the North and South Islands. “They are sensational at what they do,” says Kennard. According to HRNZ statistics the combo of Purdon and Rasmussen have trained 889 winners since 2014, with total stakes approaching $29m. Only last Tuesday they produced the trifecta in the New Zealand Cup with Self Assured, Spankem and Ashley Locaz.   News that they are disbanding their partnership at the end of the year was not totally unexpected for Kennard. He knows the physical and mental toll that running such a big operation has had on them. “We were not that surprised. .... It’s a brave call, and one you have to admire.” Purdon and Rasmussen say they will have at least a 12 month sabbatical. From January current stable foreman Hayden Cullen and his wife Amanda will take over the lease on the Rolleston property.  The new business will be known as Cullen Racing Stables.   Purdon and Rasmussen say they will continue to purchase yearlings, and  provide support for Cullen Racing Stables, especially in the lead up to big events like next June’s Harness Jewels. Kennard is yet to learn of the intricate details of what the new arrangement will mean for owners like himself. “We are treating it as a business as usual. We are not going to panic, as they say ‘one door shuts and another door opens’, and we have a lot of confidence in Hayden and Amanda.” “We are not rushing into anything and would be disappointed if anyone did.”

New Zealand's most successful ever horse racing stable is being disbanded in news that will stun the industry. All Stars Racing, the all-conquering harness racing stable of champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, will cease training from December 31. The pair remain together as a couple but has decided to take a year away from training horses and if and when they choose to return it will be on a much smaller scale than the huge operation they run at Rolleston on the outskirts of Christchurch. Their state of the art property will remain open but be run by current stable foreman Hayden Cullen and his wife Amanda, with Purdon and Rasmussen happy to help out around the times of the major carnivals if needed.   But the days of the All Stars machine which has dominated harness racing on both sides of the Tasman and is clearly one of the best in the world, are over. "It is time for a break," Purdon told the Herald. "Between us Nat and I have been training or working with horses almost 70 years combined," says Purdon who is 56. Rasmussen is 43. "We want to have a break, freshen up and take time to enjoy life next year. "And during that break we will take time to consider what our future looks like." Purdon says he will retain his race driving licence so he can still drive at major race meetings but Rasmussen is still considering whether she will. "Hayden is a good young trainer and we have made a commitment to him that at least initially we will drive the horses at major carnivals if needed. "We have told him we are happy to come help out leading in to these carnivals but the stables are going to be his with his wife Amanda's and the business will be theirs, definitely not ours.   "All Stars Racing will be closed down from December 31 and if we even come back to training full time I would say it would be a on a lot smaller scale. "But that is something we will think about during our year off." Purdon will take a team of elite horses to Australia for a small campaign in late summer to target major races there out of respect for their owners and the fact Cullen will be busy setting up his new business. Purdon and Rasmussen dominated the New Zealand Cup carnival at Addington last week, winning the New Zealand Cup for the sixth time the last seven years as well as three other group one races. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen Their domination is like nothing ever seen in New Zealand racing before with the stable having broken every record there is in the harness industry. Purdon is bred to be a champion trainer, like his father Roy and brother Barry but since he went out on his own training in 1995 he has trained the winners of a staggering $58million in New Zealand alone while he has won most of Australia's richest races multiple times.   Rasmussen joined him as life and training partner in 2013 and the All Stars operation went up a level, with the Australian trainer having a relentless work ethic and organisational skills as well as being a wonderful big race driver. Their army of superstar pacers is too long to list but is headlined by Lazarus and in the last 12 months they have trained the winner of the New Zealand and Auckland Cups as well as the Inter Dominion Pacing and Trotting Finals. Winning normal group ones like Oaks and Derby races are so common they barely register. Purdon and Rasmussen told their staff of their decision to step away from the industry full time this morning and were pleased many of their owners not only support their move but say they will support Cullen in his new business from the All Stars property. But the change to the landscape of New Zealand harness racing will be enormous. The stable dominate betting markets and race days and well as the yearling sales. For many of their rivals their leaving will create opportunity and even renewed optimism about their chances to win at the highest level. And new faces winning the biggest race won't do New Zealand harness racing any harm.   Will Purdon, and even Rasmussen, eventually return to fulltime training? Probably. But will the juggernaut that is All Stars Racing ever re-start and conquer all in its path? Almost certainly not. So today's news is not just the end of an era, but the end of one of the greatest chapters in New Zealand racing history.   Michael Guerin Courtesy of New Zealand Herald

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Manawatu Raceway was slated for the chopping block earlier this year, but the Central Districts club was given a lifeline and retained 10 meetings this season. The first of those will take place on Tuesday and trainers from both Islands have shown their support for the club. Waikato horseman Dylan Ferguson and his employer Graeme Rogerson have thrown their support behind the meeting and will line-up five horses on the nine race card. Manawatu Raceway has been a happy hunting ground for Ferguson, who like many young northern reinsmen cut his teeth at the Palmerston North track. “Things were up in the air for a long time but a lot of work went on behind the scenes to retain some of their dates, and all credit to the club for doing so,” Ferguson said. “They have got great fields and some good numbers, so hopefully they are going to be rewarded for it. “I have had a lot of drives there in my career so far and Dad (Peter Ferguson) has had a lot of winners there. It is certainly a track that has its place in the industry.” Ferguson is looking forward to heading south on Tuesday and he believes the Rogerson barn has a number of winning prospects. “With no Cambridge for a month we thought that we would make the trek down for the two day meeting and try our luck down there,” he said. Splitting Image will kick-off proceedings in the Levin Woolbuyers Handicap Trot (2500m) and Ferguson is hoping she can replicate her last-start winning form on Tuesday. “You always get Miss Consistent with her,” Ferguson said. “She always trots all the way and tries really hard. “It’s a bit tricky off 45m. I know they are only maidens off the front but it’s still a long way to catch-up. “If she can get a drag up later in the race then she should be a good, honest chance.” Stablemate Romanee has been racing at Alexandra Park and Ferguson believes the drop back to Manawatu this week will benefit the gelding in the Masterton Club Mobile Pace (2000m). “He runs into Eagle Watch who was back in winning form last start. He should be a top-three chance,” Ferguson said. Ferguson will be looking to utilise High Point’s gate speed in the Mad Butcher Wairarapa Cup Mobile Pace (2000m) where she has drawn five. “A front-row draw aids her chances,” Ferguson said. “She gets off the gate really quick, so we will be putting her in the race this week and see how we go from there.” Stablemate Super Duper Dude heads into the PGG Wrightson Mobile Pace (2000m) off the back of a runner-up performance on debut, and Ferguson has labeled the Sir Lincoln gelding as the stable’s best chance of the day. “He went really good last start,” Ferguson said. “He got beaten by a nice horse and he seems to have improved off that run. It looks like he will be our best chance of the day.”

By Jonny Turner    The mood at Northern Southland stud Macca Lodge was sombre on Sunday, despite the win of Maya Angelou at Winton. The Brent McIntyre trained five-year-old broke through for her maiden victory just hours after the death of former racetrack star Franco Ledger. A heart attack claimed the life of the Macca Lodge stallion in the midst of his fourth season at stud. The loss of the former group 1 winner and two-time Southland Horse Of The Year came as a shock to Macca Lodge staff. “It was totally unexpected because he was such in such great shape and looking really good,” McIntyre said. “He was a lovely horse to have around and it is a big loss for his owners.” Franco Ledger retired to stud a 25-time race winner with over $600,000 in earnings for the Whatever Syndicate and his part-owner and former trainer and driver Hamish Hunter. The Falcon Seelster stallion had left 25 foals ahead of the current breeding season. He served 10 mares last season, who were due to foal this spring. Franco Seelster had also served a small number of mares this season before his death. Maya Angelo raced out of the pack to win yesterday’s opener, the Fear The Dragon at Macca Lodge Mobile Pace, handing McIntyre his race sponsorship back. Fear The Dragon has left his first New Zealand born foals this spring. The stallion has already made an impression in North America where his oldest crop have produced outstanding yearling sales results this season. McIntyre credited a good draw and a smart drive from junior reinsman Oliver Kite as they keys to Maya Angelo’s win. “She has been going good enough races, but just needed a decent draw and a bit of luck.” “She got that today, it was a really good drive from Ollie.” A successful day at Winton continued in race 7 when Macandrew Aviator, a son of Macca Lodge stallion Panspacificflight broke his maiden for trainers Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis and driver Brent Barclay. Kite works at Nathan Williamson’s Branxholme stable alongside Chelsea Faithful, who also tasted success at yesterday’s meeting. Despite giving away a race fitness advantage, starting for the first time since January, the Faithful trained Pay Me Speedy produced an impressive win in race 4. Faithful has recently halved her race team from six to three following the retirements of Tartan Trilogy and Imperial Trump and the sale of Toby O’Gara to Australia. It means the Winton horsewoman does not want to let Pay Me Speedy out of her sight. “I think she is quite a nice mare, she is quite green to it all and I haven’t ever really screwed her down.” “I would love to keep her, no doubt the phone will be ringing again, but for now I would like to say she is not for sale.” “She is my baby.” Pay Me Speedy’s winning time is certain to have caught the eye of bloodstock agents and potential buyers. The Mach Three pacer stopped the clock in her 2400m win in a slick 2.56.8. Faithful has a connection to the late Franco Ledger, having worked with the horse while employed by the Hunter stable. “It is sad, he was a lovely horse.” Pay Me Speedy’s win came in the race after Faithful’s friend and fellow Winton trainer Tracie McGrannachan produced Lock It Eddie to win race 3. The towering pacer scored his second career win when sprinting out of the one-one for driver Nathan Williamson.

Exciting young Kiwi Mexicana is a hot favourite to cap a remarkable Aussie raid by winning next Saturday night’s Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Already with the Group 1 Redwood in the bag, Mexicana was wayward winning her Crown heat, but snared he coveted pole draw for the final. She’s a $1.65 Aussie TAB favourite to make it three-from-three in Australia for young Kiwi trainer Josh Dickie and driver Greg Sugars. Kate and Andy Gath’s filly Aldebaran Ursula, who has chased home Mexicana at her past two runs, is drawn to follow her throughout from inside the back row (gate eight). She’s $5.50 equal second favourite with another Kiwi raider, Brent Lilley’s Queen Elida (gate two). Another former Kiwi, Anthony Butt’s Have No Fear, heads the betting in the 2YO colts and geldings Crown final from the pole. He was beaten in his heat, but looks the leader from the pole and will be as hard to beat as any in a more open race. Lilley’s Aldebaran Zeus (gate four, $3.40) and Jodi Quinlan’s headstrong but talented Illawong Barmah (gate 12, $4.80) look the other major players. And NSW visitor Watts Up Majestic has had good support ($6 into $4.60) from gate three. In the other Crown trotting finals, Matty Craven’s Queen Of Crime is $3 favourite from the pole in the 3YO fillies with Im Ready Jet drawn behind (gate eight, $3.50) and looking the main danger. One of very few trotters Emma and Clayton Tonkin train, Cover Of Darkness, is $2.25 favourite to stretch his unbeaten record to six starts from gate two in a strong 3YO colts and geldings final. It’s likely he’ll ease with so many other key players like NSW raiders Gimondi (gate six, $4.50), Elite Stride (10, $6.50) as well as the tough and talented local Powderkeg (gate three, $4.50). ______________________________________________________________________________________ The Kiwi connections flows into the 3YO colts and geldings Crown pacing final with former Kiwi Zeuss Bromac favourite from the pole. He’s kept getting better over time for trainer Blake Fitzpatrick and a superb Kerryn Manning drive helped him win the strongest semi last night. Manning takes the reins again in the final on the $2.60 favourite, who’s good draw is made even better with his major dangers all off the back. They are headed by Mach Dan (gate nine, $4), Pacifico Dream (13, $6.50) and Loorim Lake (12, $9). The 3YO fillies final looks one of the weakest of the series with Techys Angel and Sweet Marie winning the semis. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Tough Tilly has the draw to end the unbeaten streak of her glamour stablemate Ladies In Red in the Breeders Crown 2YO fillies’ pacing final. In fact, Tough Tilly was so impressive leading throughout in her semi-final for driver Kate Gath she is favourite to use gate two to lead and win again. Ladies In Red has sparkled winning all five starts, including a powerhouse semi final win, but has to overcome the back row (gate 10). Tough Tilly heads the market at $1.70 from Ladies In Red, to be driven by David Moran, at $2.30. One of the big guns of the 2YO colts and geldings series Beyond Delight failed to make the final after suffering cardiac arrhythmia and leading and dropping out in his semi. But his trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton still dominate the final with semi winners Major Moth and Act Now drawn gates one and two. Mick Stanley’s NSW Breeders Challenge winner Bar Room Banta could be the blowout from inside the back row (gate eight).   Adam Hamilton

Auckland Reactor sired a winning harness racing double with Love The Blues NZ and Atomic Blast NZ at The Meadowlands, New Jersey on Saturday night (November 14). Love The Blues won in 1:50.8 and Atomic Blast was successful in a career-best 1:51.4. Both geldings are owned by leading international bloodstock agent John Curtin, managing owner of JC International. Love The Blues, who posted his fourth win in 12 starts in North America, is out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Delightful Lover. Atomic Blast, who has won three and been twice placed from nine starts in the US, is from Caroline’s Cullen, a Christian Cullen mare who took a record of 1:51.4 and banked $450,140 in stakes. Atomic Blast winning at the Meadowlands Imported from America after her racing career by Curtin, Caroline’s Cullen has produced two foals in Atomic Blast and the two-year-old filly Bettor Blast. Auckland Reactor was also represented by Nuclear Poker, who posted his fifth lifetime success at Bunbury on Friday night (November 13). The gelding is out of an Aces N Sevens mare.   Harnesslink Media

Winton trainer Chelsea Faithful admits she gets nervous prior to her horses racing and today on her home track at Winton she was doubly so, with two runners in the New Zealand Bloodstock Junior Drivers Mobile Pace. Four year old mare Pay Me Speedy, having only her second start, duly did the business, coming from the back and winning by three quarters on a length from Robyns Shadow. “It’s always a bit nerve wracking watching one of your own especially her, because I’ve got a bit of a wrap on her,” Faithful commented after the win. Although she holds a junior license herself,  she chose to give the drives to Mark Hurrell (Pay Me Speedy)and Ollie Kite (Tartan Roxy 11th ). Prior to today’s run Pay Me Speedy had had two workouts. “I just wanted a quiet one for the first (workout) but she wanted to over race and broke. Nathan drove her the next time and we changed a bit of gear.” Driven by Mark Hurrell today, her winning time of 2-56.8 was impressive for a mare of her grade. This was her second win in as many starts. “She settled pretty well for Mark today. She can get keen but she’s still learning the game. I did expect her to go well but perhaps need the run and to do something like that was pretty impressive.” Pay Me Speedy is owned by Faithful, her grandparents Norm and Bev Cox, and her mother Louise Cox. She’s out of the Artsplace mare Pay Me Painter which won four races and was placed in the Southland Oaks. “She’s still pretty green and I’ve never really screwed her down. Providing everything goes to plan I think she’ll have a bright enough future. The phone will start ringing again and for now I’d like to say I’ll keep her. She’s my baby.” Norm, Bev and Louise Cox, Chelsea Faithful, Pay Me Speedy and Mark Hurrell – Photo Bruce Stewart The win reinforces Faithful’s remarkable strike rate but with the recent retirement of Tartan Trilogy, the sale of Toby O’Gara to Australia, and Imperial Tartan breaking down, her training numbers have been halved. “I’ve gone from six to three so I’ve got a bit of time on my hands and I don’t know what to do with myself.” Meanwhile Panspacificflight gelding Macandrew Aviator won at his second start for trainers Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis. The four year old came home nicely on debut on this course in October in the hands of Brent Barclay. He reined the gelding today as well, beating second favourite Angus by a nose. Harry H having his third start for Southland trainer Shane Matheson won at odds of 29 to 1. The Muscle Yankee gelding had previously won seven races for a number of North Island trainers. He’s a half -brother to Martina H and Tony H.   by Bruce Stewart

Not many trainers would have had the faith to lock horse Lock It In Eddie in to a long term contract but Winton trainer Tracie McGrannachan has a special bond with the six year old and doesn’t have any problems with the gelding these days. The horse got it’s name from a phrase contestants use in the Australian Television Series “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” hosted by Eddie McGuire. He’s related to handy types Mark Hanover and Mark Roy. Lock It In Eddie rewarded Tracie’s faith in him once again when he won his second race on his home track today. “He was the worst horse you’ve ever seen when we got him. He was gelded the day he came home. He haemorrhaged, and the vets came out a few hours later. We thought he was going to die. I stayed with him the night and he ended up pulling through,” she said. The six year old Changeover gelding is owned by McGrannachan, her daughter Brooke, her husband to be Bryan Trethowen, Ian Goodman and Peter Kane. “He has taken a wee while but as you can see he’s big and overgrown. Every time you did something with him he’d buck and kick. He was a shocker so we’d turn him out and bring him back in. We just kept doing that. Every time we did it he forgot what his habit was the time before.” In today’s event driver Nathan Williamson settled the gelding back. With a lap to run he settled into the one one after sitting parked. With 450 metres to run Williamson moved off the tiring The Night Watchman’s back to come down the centre of the track. Bunter’s Dream, which took the inside passing lane, got a half a length in front but Lock It In Eddie under a hard drive from Williamson got up to win by half a neck. McGrannachan says the horse reponds well to hitting the shaft and making some noise. “I dare say Nathan’s probably got a sore throat.” “He’s really chilled now but early on everything scared him. John Dunn drove him at Wyndham one day and he nearly put him over the fence. That was what he was like. Brad Williamson said one day ‘if he clicks he should win a couple in a row.” Winners side by side – Pay Me Speed and Chelsea Faithful and Lock It In Eddie and Tracie McGrannachan- Photo Bruce Stewart Maybe this is the first of a double Tracie?   Bruce Stewart

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Winton trainer Chelsea Faithful will be throwing everything at her local meeting on Sunday when she lines-up her entire team. While it may only be three runners, Faithful is hopeful of taking home a few cheques at the end of the day, particularly in the New Zealand Bloodstock Junior Drivers Mobile Pace (2400m) where she will line-up last start winners Tartan Roxy and Pay Me Speedy. Pay Me Speedy won on debut in January and Faithful said the four-year-old mare has the ability to win first-up despite drawing the outside of the front-row. “Pay Me Speedy hasn’t raced in a while,” Faithful said. “It’s not a great draw, but for her it might not be too bad. She will have to go back and have one run at them. “On her day she would be the horse to beat in that field, but I think she will need the run. “It wouldn’t surprise me if she were to run over the top of them, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if she were just to run a place.” Faithful has been pleased with her other runner, Tartan Roxy’s, two efforts this preparation, placing first-up at Winton in September before recording her maiden victory at Wairio, and she is hoping the daughter of Bettor’s Delight can continue that form this weekend. “I have been pleased with both of her runs,” Faithful said. “She had a long time off for no reason in particular and she has turned out to be quite a nice, genuine mare. “It’s a strong field on Sunday but I think she is over the odds, especially for a place chance. I expect her to go well. “I have been trying to keep her to the big track. Depending on what sort of run she gets she might back-up at Winton on Thursday.” Later on the card, four-year-old gelding Tartan Raider will make his debut in the Downbytheseaside At Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace (2400m). “Tartan Raider, he is a nice wee fella,” Faithful said. “He will go around and it will be a bit of experience for him. He is pretty sensible. “I expect him to go well. He is extremely well at home and is jumping out of this skin. “I don’t think he will be too far away.”

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Winton today with a ten race program starting at 12:00pm and in this video we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a massive day of racing. The content and data on this video is provided for informational purposes only Check below the video for our selections for all of the races today for Winton. Winton selections 15th November 2020 Race 1 Saint Tropez plenty of ability but disappointed on race day last campaign. Trialled ok and top selection.…… Midnight In Memphis nice draw and he has run some cheeky races against good fields. Major player here..… Maya Angelou going ok and much better draw this time. Can upset with a soft run in transit…….. Greenback Boogie running ok races without a lot of luck and drawn well. Could surprise here at nice odds. Selections:  Saint Tropez (12),   Midnight In Memphis (4),   Greenback Boogie (1),    Maya Angelou (5)   Race 2 Count Eyre trotterr with form against some nice Canterbury fields. Can run top three here and top selection.……. Tweedledee has ability and nice second last start. Big track will suit and winning claims here …… Dipendra disappointing last start but better than that. One for longer odds …… Only One Way getting fitter with racing and has been racing better fields. Winning claims from the draw…… Selections:  Count Eyre (5),   Tweedledee (10),   Dipendra (9),   Only One Way(11)   Race 3 Bunter's Dream has been running good races and might be the early leader here. Could upset if the pace is on all the way….. Hazer good staying type who is nearing peak form at the right time. Top selection and hard to beat if he finds the front  ….. Dallas Grimes fair run last week and drawn to position near the leaders early. Can run in the top three…. Swift Robyn nice inside second row draw and could follow the leader in the race. Winning claims here….  Selections:   Hazer (1),  Bunter's Dream (2),   Swift Robyn (9),  Dallas Grimes (4)   Race 4 Onesmartfella good draw to work with and an easier field than last start. Top selection here ….. Glenledi Captain too good last start but up in grade. Winning claims at nice odds….. Suzie Rocks has the game to beat a field like this and good win last start. Needed….. Major Menace could get a cosy run on the fence and finished ok last start. One for longer odds Selections:   Onesmartfella (1),   Glenledi Captain (2),   Suzie Rocks (7),   Major Menace (9)   Race 5 Peregrine conditions suit here and he is a major player in this field. Good winning claims and top selection.…. Steve has won his last couple but this is harder. Should be thereabouts but 20m handicap a concern. Include…… Cody Banner tricky handicap but big track will suit. Can win and racing in good form… Madrik manners not great but a huge hope if he trots all the way. Needed Selections:  Peregrine (3),   Cody Banner (12),   Steve (13),   Madrik (11)   Race 6 Insarchatwist has been racing strong fields with merit. Should be a good winning chance in this lineup and top selection . ……. Emma Stone tricky draw but good second three starts ago . Good winning claims if she can clear traffic …… Sherwood Maggie disappointing last start but better than that. One for longer odds…… Adhara good finisher who has drawn well here. One of the leading chances Selections:   Insarchatwist (10),   Adhara (4),   Emma Stone (9),   Sherwood Maggie (5)   Race 7 Stars N Bars has been running good races and getting fitter. Hard to beat in this field from the draw….. Port Au Prince running on ok last start but draw not great. Will need luck but can run top three here  ….. Macandrew Aviator draw not great but has speed. Look for him to be finishing off well and can win…. The Kingsman drawn for a run through at the start and has been racing well. Money for him at both his starts so where there is smoke….  Selections:   Macandrew Aviator (16),  Stars N Bars (2),   Port Au Prince (11),  The Kingsman (10)   Race 8 Swell Time drawn to lead and will be very hard to beat if she can. Good winning chance….. Sweet Lizzie likes to race near the lead and top driver booked. Should run top three again….. Ferritts Sister should get a soft trip on the fence and will be running on late. Can win if she clears traffic…. Virginia Cool racing ok and likely to trail early. Not the worst at good odds…..  Selections:   Swell Time  (2),   Sweet Lizzie  (2),   Ferritts Sister (9),   Virginia Cool  (1)   Race 9 Black Ops racing well and drawn to lead. Could be hard to get past with no attackers midrace ….. Ultimate Sassenach races best near the lead and should get a good run on the outer. Winning claims ….. Freddiesam racing well and he could trail the favourite. Can run top three…. Call Me Keith racing his way back into form but tricky draw. Place chance at nice odds with room in the straight ….  Selections:   Ultimate Sassenach (10),   Call Me Keith (9),   Freddiesam (1),   Black Ops (4)   Race 10 El Dorado good second last start and he should press forward early. Can win with a soft lead here…… Mighty Flying Art tricky draw but racing ok and big track suits. One for longer odds….. Tony The Pony last start he got knocked over when going ok. One of the leading chances here at good odds….. Allaboutdreams drawn well and should get a nice run in transit. Needed….  Selections:  El Dorado (3),   Mighty Flying Art (8),   Tony The Pony (5),   Allaboutdreams (2)   Harnesslink Media

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Cambridge trainer Ross Paynter took two horses north to Alexandra Park’s meeting on Friday night and he almost went home with the perfect result. Expensive Crumpet started the night in perfect fashion when winning the Dunstan Speedfeed Summer Series Trot (2200m). The daughter of Quaker Jet made a slow but solid start and driver David Butcher was able to find a handy position four back on the fence before securing the one-one behind Tobruk. Butcher asked her to improve three-wide turning for home and Expensive Crumpet was able to run over the top of her rivals to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Tobruk, with a further 1-1/2 lengths back to Rosie in third. Paynter was pleased with the result and said he was relatively confident heading into the race despite his charge breaking last start. “It was on the cards,” Paynter said. “She had been racing really well. “David drove her perfectly. She probably should have won last start, she was getting a nice trip, that’s when she tapped a knee and had a gallop. “Her runs before that were pretty good really.” Later on the card, stablemate Anditover nearly caused an upset when going down by just over a head to Sertorius in the Hydroflow Handicap Trot (2200m). Paynter was pleased to see Anditover put it all together on Friday night after breaking at the Auckland track when first-up a fortnight ago. “It was really good because the first run back he had a little gallop out of the gates, so we didn’t really get a race under his belt at all,” Paynter said. “He was probably just short of a run tonight but he went well. He sat outside the leader for a good majority of it and only went down by just over a head (in third). “He just keeps coming. He is a real little stayer and tries his guts out. He is a pretty handy horse when he is right.” The five-win gelding will now be set for some targets over the Christmas-New Year period, while Paynter said Expensive Crumpet will likely head to the spelling paddock. “We may give Expensive Crumpet a break because there are some nice mares races coming up later in the year, so if we don’t give her a break soon she probably won’t get one,” Paynter said. “We plan to aim Anditover for Christmas racing with the better stakes. He should be coming into his own by then.”

After today’s impressive win in the Macca Lodge South of the Waitaki Mobile Pace co-trainer and driver Kirstin Barclay had no hesitation in rating Watch Me Now as the best mare she’s driven. “I’ve been lucky to drive some nice horses but she’d be by far the best mare,” she said. Into today’s $30,000 feature for horses trained south of the Waitaki River, Barclay said she was unsure what her raceday plan was but she felt she had options from a wide draw. “She’s more than a one trick pony. She can do a bit of work, sit parked or lead.” From gate seven Barclay pushed the mare forward early. “Once she scored up behind the gate she was pretty keen, came out well and we got across quite easily.” Once in front she settled into a nice rhythm. “She’s a funny mare. She switches off easily and relaxes. She just enjoys rolling along and that’s what she did.” At the 600 metres Watch Me Now was just cruising. “I thought I’d gone a lap too soon. I expected them to come at her at the bend but they didn’t.  She did it very easy in the end.” At the finish she was six and a half lengths clear of second place getter Sentry. “I didn’t think it was going to be easy by any means. Primarily she’s been racing against fillies and mares so it was quite a step up. I was confident of a good showing but I wasn’t dead set confident she would come out and win like she did.” The winning time for the 2600 metre mobile was 3-10.0 – a mile rate of 1-57.5. The last half was cut out in 56.0 with the last 400 run in 26.8. Today’s win was Watch Me Now’s sixth from just ten starts. “That’s a credit to Tank. He’s spaced her races out really well and looked after her. That’s one of his talents – plotting a path with horses and he’s done it to perfection with her.” Watch Me Now is out of the Mach Three mare Mach N Elle which is owned by Steve and Claire Sloan and Macca Lodge Stud master Brent McIntyre who sponsored today’s race. As a broodmare Mach N Elle has left Darcee the winner of eight races in New Zealand, and she was also successful in America. Barclay and Ellis have had Watch Me Now from day one, Ellis having had success with her half-sister Machjagger. “Right from day one we liked her.v She’s always been a beautiful gaited horse who felt like she had a bit of a motor.” So are there any bigger plans for the mare? “No. I’ll leave that to Tank. He does all the planning. My job is to drive these sorts of horses in work and on race day.” Watch Me Now is owned by Steve Sloan, Claire Sloan, Brad Sloan, Mrs J Sloan and Hayley Gibb. Meanwhile other stable star U May Cullect has come home to Southland after an unsuccessful campaign running in some of the big races leading into the New Zealand Cup for which he held a nomination. “He’s home having a month off on good grass. He lost a bit of condition and he had a couple of joint issues which we thought we were on top of.  His dicky leg is really good. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong but the good thing is that he’s sound. When you’re racing at that level you just have to be one hundred percent right. We were just on the back foot all the way through. We just have to get him right and happy again.”   by Bruce Stewart

By Jonny Turner    Spankem’s dished up a powerful reminder of his status as the country’s leading short-course pacer when calling on his sensational speed to win the New Zealand Free-For-All at Addington on Friday. The first 100m of the 1980m group 1 feature proved as vital as its last furlong after driver Natalie Rasmussen made Spankem’s rivals pay when controlling the race in front. Rasmussen used the All Stars’ pacer’s speed to cross to the lead early, which proved the key to her six-year-old getting a deserved victory after having to settle for second behind his stablemate Self Assured in Tuesday’s New Zealand Cup. Though his early burn was important Rasmussen said it was what happened immediately after Spankem crossed to the lead that set up his front-running win. “He just dropped the bit, he is one that can get up on the chewy a bit,” the trainer-driver said. “It was nice that he was able to drop the bit and relax and do his own thing and then starting picking up from the 1000m and start rolling.” Though Rasmussen was clearly able to give Spankem a comfortable middle section of the New Zealand Free-For-All there was little respite for his rivals. The six-year-old stopped the clock in 2-19.2 equating to a 1.53.1 milerate for 1980m “He is fast, I think the 3200m just sees him out, but over the short trips he is pretty lethal.” Self Assured clearly had Spankem’s measure over the 3200m of the New Zealand Cup, but there was no chance to compare the pair over 1980m under group 1 conditions after the former was scratched from yesterday’s race. Rasmussen expects it to be a mighty clash when the pair meet in a similar race in the future. “They are both so fast.” “I do think Self Assured has everything, he is just so quick and he is so strong.” “Spankem is quick and I would hate to see Self Assured try to sit outside him and beat him over a short trip.” Spankem scored by three-lengths over Thefixer, who went the best race of his spring campaign when running into second from near the rear. Ashley Locaz backed up his third in the New Zealand Cup with a strong third after sitting parked in Friday’s feature. Rasmussen also used front-running tactics to win the listed Southern Mares’ Classic with Beyond Words. In just her sixth start, the four-year-old handed a field of more experienced rivals defeat in the smart time of 2.21.6 for 1980m. “She is really lightly raced, but she has got a bit of class, we actually quite like her,” Rasmussen said Niggling problems prevented Beyond Words from getting to the track sooner than her debut in August. The All Stars stable eventually got on top of what was troubling the mare in her work after she underwent a bone scan. “She is a funny one, we could never work out what was worrying her,” Rasmussen said “So we sent her up to get a bone scintigraphy [scan] because we always thought it was her knees.” “And it turned out to be edima – bone bruising in her knees -  from her maturing late.” “So we just kept putting her out [for a spell] and putting her out.” “This is actually her first actual go at being fit, so she has done a huge job to go from nothing to this.” Beyond Words scored by a length over Spellbound, who followed her everywhere in Friday’s race. Outsider Sagano again showed her competitiveness in mares’ races when running third. 

By Jonny Turner    Sundees Son shone brightly at Addington on Friday, leaving his rivals chasing his shadow when he won the fastest ever running of the Dominion with perfect poise. The Robert Dunn trained trotter produced one of the most polished performances of his career to show New Zealand Cup week fans exactly how good he is when bolting away with the 3200m feature by nearly four lengths. The scare Sundees Son put into his legion of backers and that camp that prepares when galloping in his last start at Kaikoura him looked a distant memory when the six-year-old trotted off the mark to take up a handy early position. From there, driver John Dunn’s intentions looked clear – to keep his horse relaxed and out of trouble – and the reinsman was rewarded with New Zealand Trotting’s ultimate trophy. “After Kaikoura Johnny and I had a talk and we decided we had to take bad luck out of the equation,” Robert Dun said.  “Pres The Belle was keen and had to come off the fence, but it wasn’t long until Johnny decided to get around to sit parked.” “He is just such a beautifully relaxed horse outside the leader, he goes to sleep.” Sundees Son’s Dominion win was made possible by a family effort led by the Dunn’s father and son combination. John Dunn’s father-in-law Craig Edmonds also played a huge role in the horse’s record-breaking victory with his dedication. “Craig does all the shoeing with him and he takes him down to the beach all the time,” Dunn said. “We can show up at 5.30 in the morning and Craig is already gone with him, taking him down for a paddle in the water on his jog days.” “He loves the horse and Johnny obviously has a wonderful combination with him, too.” Sundees Son will now head to Auckland where he is set to take part in one of the biggest clashes in open class trotting in recent history. Trotting purists are set to be treated to a clash of two trotters with raw ability like few others in the past decade when Sundees Son will almost certainly take on speed machine Bolt For Brilliance in the Lyell Creek Stakes and National Trot at Alexandra Park. “He will go to Auckland next, he handles the Auckland way of going as good as he does going the Addington way,” Dunn said. Sundees Son’s Dominion victory topped an outstanding past 12 months for Robert Dunn and his team. The trainer notched both his 1500th career win in New Zealand and his first national premiership in the past year. During that time, Sundees Son has provided a few headaches for the Dunn camp and his breeder-owners, Colin and Nancy Hair. The squaregaiter went 12 months without trotting throughout an entire race and his tilt at last year’s Dominion had to be abandoned. “He tells us when he is not right and though he made a break at Kaikoura, it was because he had to take a slight bit of evasive action,” Dunn said. “And it doesn’t take much with him.” “The key to him is his soundness and when he is sound he is such a pleasure to have around the place.” Clearly, nothing was bothering Sundees Son on Friday as he trotted to victory in 4-00.5, taking 0.2sec off Monbet’s national 3200m record, set in his 2016 Dominion win. Sundees Son’s performance meant runner-up Majestic Man had to settle for yet another big race placing. Despite that trainer Phil Williamson was proud of his six-year-old “He gave it all he could, the winner is just a great, great horse.” “I am proud of him.” “He would have to be the best one I have had that hasn’t won a group 1.” Aussie raider Tough Monarch turned around two disappointing efforts in New Zealand when running into third, half a length behind Majestic Man. 

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