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New Zealand born harness racing superstar Dexter Dunn won the $69,500 Allerge Farms Fillies and Mares Open trot yesterday (6th September) at The Red Mile with Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill, setting a new mares world record for trotters of 1:49. Dunn was also the winner on two other occasions that day winning the $270,000 Tattersalls Pace 3 year old Open with Dancing Lou in a time of 1:49.4 and with Down Under trainer Chris Ryder's top pacer Bettors Wish was successful in the other division of the $270,000 Tattersalls Pace 3 year old Open. The outstanding 3yo colt out toughed and fought off the high class pacer Captain Crunch to win in a time of 1:48.4. These wins take Dunn's 2019 season wins to 314, and over $8.7 million in stake earnings. Another Down Under trainer driver combination broke champion mare Shartin's 14 race winning streak. The down under duo of trainer Brett Pelling and driver Andrew McCarthy won the $87,000 Allerge Farms Mares Open with top US mare Caviart Ally. McCarthy sat third throughout the running with the daughter of Bettors Delight while Shartin lead from the gate in her usual tactics. Hitting the half in 54.3, Caviart Ally soon made her move to sit outside Shartin and having her measure in the home stretch in a time of 1:48.3. It was driver Andrew McCarthy's 196th winner for the season and extended his stake earinings for 2019 to over $5.1 million. It was also trainer Brett Pellings 35th winner for the season and taking his prize money earned to over $1.4 million for 2019. Gold Class N impressing in North America. The New Zealand bred and formerly New Zealand trained Gold Class won at The Red Mile on Friday in a time of 1:51.1 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Trent Stohler. The daughter of Bettors Delight has won half (eight) of her 16 North American starts this season. Her impressive 4 length victory stated that her future of racing in the US is bright. Gold Class was previously trained in New Zealand by Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins where she was a winner in a very lightly raced down under career. Monday 30th September   Harrington Raceway DE Gotta Minute N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $12,000 Senor Macray A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $11,000 Tuapeka Trick N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $12,500 Raksmach N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $6,000 Johnny Disco A – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $5,000   Plainridge Park MA Mach Doro A – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $14,000   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Chancellor Cullen N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $6,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Whats In The Sky A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $16,000 Christen Me N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $20,000     Tuesday 1st October Harrington Raceway DE Anytime N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $12,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Classy Chapel N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $17,000 Majestic Moment N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $17,000   Fryeburg ME Millwood Faith N – Time: 1:58.2, Stake: $2,900     Thursday 3rd October   Monticello Raceway NY Ideal Tyson A – Time: 2:00.3, Stake: $3,300   Saratoga Harness NY Eclipse Me N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $15,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Northern Assassin A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500 Vinny Gambini N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $12,500 Our Positano N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $17,000   Fryeburg ME Ideal Legacy A – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $3,600   Flamboro Downs CA Smooth Mara N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $7,000     Friday 4th October   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Brilliant Strike N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $12,500   The Red Mile KY Gold Class N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $12,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Imprincessgemma A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $27,000 Lady Dela Renta A – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $42,000 Sudden Change N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $20,000   Fryeburg ME Millwood Faith N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $2,900   Saturday 5th October   Freehold Raceway NJ Machtu N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $6,300   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Saying Grace N – Time: 1:48:4, Stake: $17,000   Saratoga Harness NY The Great Buzz N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $8,000 Vasari N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $11,000 Lord Willoughby A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $18,000   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Motown N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $11,000 Star Commander N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $8,500   The Meadows PA Fiery Lustre N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $9,900   Yonkers Raceway NY Mach Time N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $17,000 San Domino A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $42,000 Military Master A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $22,000 Don Domingo N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $27,000   Fryeburg ME Millwood Faith N – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $3,500     Sunday 6th October   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Weona Sizzler A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $14,500 Tact Tate N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $14,500   Saratoga Harness NY Mr Cool Seaeyre A – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $11,000   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $15,000   Rideau Carleton Raceway CA Brigadierbronski A – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $15,000 Previous weeks 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  

The big news surrounding Addington's feature harness racing rankings this week is undoubtedly Oscar Bonavena, who turned in a herculean performance to book his spot in the Dominion - coming from a relatively low ranking of 27. Oscar Bonavena showed tremendous character to recover from an early break and wear down defending Dominion champ Marcoola in the shadows of the post to take the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup and third place in the rankings (automatic qualifier). The only other move of note within the trotters' section was Theodosia, who continued her recent renaissance with a stylish win in the mid-grade handicap trot. Not a lot has changed in the NZ Cup rankings despite there being several race winners to consider. Spankem who won the Canterbury Classic was already locked for a start but moved up a spot by virtue of Tiger Tara's withdrawal. As a result of a stellar return to form, Henry Hubert, who placed second to Spankem, now slots into 5th on the rankings, with the first three home in the Classic given automatic qualification for our great race. Third placed Classie Brigade moves nowhere as he's already qualified for a start as a result of his Maurice Holmes Vase win. The other pacing winners across the week were Gran Chico, Cullenburn and Robyns Playboy. All three have moved up, sitting 19th, 20th and 21st respectively. Other withdrawals from the Cup and Dominion include: U May Cullect, The Bus, Sagwitch, Ronald J and Nottingham K Two. We can expect to see some more changes to the Rankings next week, following the sustaining payment, which is due Wednesday at 3.00pm. View the full rankings here.   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

By Jonny Turner South Island Freeze brander John Boyd has been recognised by Harness Racing New Zealand for his massive half-century of service to the industry. A presentation was made to Boyd at HRNZ headquarters recently, as he signs off from his 50-year role as the man in charge of branding foals in the upper South Island. The Cantabrian has stepped down and is in the process of helping his replacement, Paul Black, getting started in the job. Boyd has been responsible for the branding of foals born between the top of the South Island and as far south as Waikouaiti during his lengthy tenure. HRNZ have estimated he has branded an incredible tally of more than 83,000 foals. Boyd admitted he has enjoyed every minute of working away through that massive total. “It has been a great innings and I have really enjoyed it.” Boyd has not only branded every champion racehorse born in the South Island in the past half century – from Lazarus to Lord Module, Courage Under Fire and Lyell Creek. He has also had an up close view of the massive change the harness racing industry has seen in the past 50 years. And few would have had a better look at how standardbred breeding has seen foals evolve in to finer and sleeker racing machines. “A lot of the stallions coming in now, they are really made for speed.” “Years ago, when you had Holmes Hanover and those stallions, they were a heavier horse and they would stay all day.” “But, now, these stallions that are coming in have great mile rates and they are built for speed.” “And people don’t want to hang around, years ago you could have a trotter or something like that, that didn’t come right to it was 4yrs-old.” “Now they want them up and running as 2yrs-old.” Boyd has also witnessed the decline of breeding numbers from healthy levels the concerning state they are currently in. “When I started we did about 3800 and we are down to about 800 now.” “I used to go down to Oamaru and stay there for three days.” The breeders of yesteryear provided some of the highlights of Boyd’s career. His work would have him travelling to country stations all around the upper South Island. “You had the cockies that had big farms, they would be breeding seven or eight foals.” “You would go there and have lunch and have a great time.” “Nowadays it is a bit different, most of the foals are at the studs.” The farms he used to visit have also provided Boyd with some of the most comical moments of his career. “The cockies would have the mares and foals in the sheep yards and all of a sudden they would have jumped over to the next four or five sheep yards.” “I was asked the other day about seeing that sort of thing, they caught me on the hop.” “I wish I had started writing a book when I first started – I reckon it could be a best seller.” The end of Boyd’s career as a freeze brander does not mean the horseman will not stop working with horses. He will be kept busy helping at the stables of his son, Stephen. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Welcome to the Harness Half Hour Podcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing and Airpark Canterbury. Jess Smith brings the latest harness racing news and interviews with colorful and interesting industry participants from New Zealand and around the world. On this week’s show we chat to Cambridge trainer Kyle Marshall following his dream start to his training career; Glenn Hames talks about the new Fast10 Horse Racing concept which will launch at Addington on December 20; Graeme Harris of Airpark Canterbury updates us on the Addington Owners Card they have sponsored. Plus we have our regular update with Bookmaker, Richard Wilson.   Jess Smith

Fast 10 Horse Racing is arriving this December. Quick Horse Racing Ltd is excited to be bringing you a world first, Fast10 Horse Racing – a live action packed daytime event at Addington Raceway on 20th December 2019, starting from 11.30am. Fast10 Horse Racing is combining the best of racing for our true racing enthusiasts along with an exciting, action packed event including a colourful array of entertainment. This event will include ten races each featuring 10 horses in just over 2 ½ hours! Fast10 is the next level of racing - it’s faster and quicker than ever before, racing in half the time but doubling the fun. Owners, Tony Russell and Glenn Hames have been working on this concept for over two years and are thrilled to be bringing the first event to Christchurch. They are both passionate about the racing industry and wanted to “reignite passion and interest in the industry while creating a fun and exciting event to appeal to new customers”. The concept of Fast10 is similar to other sports such as T20 Cricket by creating a new product based on a traditional sport. “We have seen how T20 cricket has changed Cricket and we believe that Fast10 can provide that same effect to racing in New Zealand”. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for updates here  Hospitality options will be available soon, we will update the public as soon as they are on sale. For further information on Fast 10 Horse Racing, please contact: Glenn Hames - ghames.qhr@gmail.com or 0272032746 Tony Russell - trussell.qhr@gmail.com or 0274326522 Pure racing, Pure excitement, Pure fun   Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

By Garrick Knight The money was on him at Phar Lap Raceway yesterday and debuting trotter B D Yasothon delivered in style for his many supporters. The four-year-old son of Andover Hall displayed perfect manners in the hands of driver Matt Anderson to lead within half a lap and never give his opponents a look in thereafter. It confirmed the high opinion held of him by his Flaxton trainer Philip Iggo. “He’s got quite a lot of ability, this horse. “He can be a funny wee fellow at the start – he reaches for the bit and plays with his mouth so you can’t just get him to walk up and stand there. “But fortunately, because he’s so well-gaited he will move in to a trot quickly. “And once he’s underway, he’s got the ability to make his own luck.” Iggo and his wife, Martine, race B D Yasothon with his breeder, Brent Smith, who recently moved from North Canterbury to Otautau in Western Southland. “Brent is a very good friend of ours and the ‘B D’ prefix is made up of the B from his name and the D from his late son, Dallas, who died tragically at just eight years’ old. “Yasothon is a town in Bangkok, Thailand, that we once rented a house and stayed at. “BD Khaosan, his half-brother, was named for the same reason.” Next up for will be a junior drivers’ race at Addington on October 18 as Iggo tries to manage his horse to get in to a $25,000 race on New Zealand Cup day in five weeks’ time. “The race for him is a rating 48-60 so if he wins another race that will put him over the limit. “So, we have to look to a junior drivers’ race to keep him within that band.” The win of B D Yasothon continued the brilliant start to the season for Anderson, who sits a clear third on the drivers’ premiership, with 18 wins, behind only Blair Orange and John Dunn. “Matt drove him perfectly,” said Iggo. “I think he thought he had the best horse in the race and got him in to the best position to capitalize. “We are all seeing lately just what a good driver he is.” Anderson has also partnered Iggo’s stable star Bordeaux in three of his four recent trials as he makes a comeback from injury. He’ll keep the drive on race night, which looks like being the $15,000 mobile free for all at Addington next Friday night. “He’s had four runs now and is creeping closer and closer to full fitness. “The shorter trip is not his obvious preference but he’s got to get underway and he has won over the 1950 metres before. “We’ll head to Kaikoura after that. “Of course, we are hoping to avoid Sundees Son and Oscar Bonavena, but I think most are.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight A technique honed over more than 60 years of training horses has helped transform Majestic Sunset, a winner at Phar Lap Raceway in Timaru on Sunday. The four-year-old trotter was a freebie for his 86-year-old Christchurch trainer, Ivan Schwamm, who says he thinks his charge can go right through the grades. “I got him for nothing off Bruce Negus. Bruce bred him, and trained him, but didn’t really like him. “So, he sent him to Bruce Hutton, who put him on the jogging machine for five or six weeks, but he sent then it home saying it was going to take a long time to get him going. “I had a great association with Bruce Negus’ late father, Bob, and that’s what prompted him to offer me the horse. “He said he thought it might come right for me after working down the roadside and he was right.” Schwamm, who turns 87 later this week, says he finds the benefits of training on the roadside similar to that of another common training method. “The straight-line training is just like they do on the beach. I do it on one of the side roads in Springston, on the grass verge. “This horse has actually been quite well-mannered since I got him, he was just very fat and used to blow like hell. “He couldn’t really get around the corners in his first few races so I worked away at that and got him sorted. “But as I’ve worked him down, he’s changed in to a new horse. “I never put him on a track or work him with anyone other horses and he seems to like it that way.: Jimmy Curtin did the driving for Schwamm yesterday and despite sitting parked, he nursed the horse home with expert poise in a close finish. “I’ve known Jimmy since he was a 10-year-old boy. “He’s an excellent horseman and did the right thing by the horse today. “He could have asked him to go at the two furlongs and taken the ‘lick’ out of him, but he never really asked him until short of the line.” Schwamm gifted a half share in Majestic Sunset to Burnham couple, Phil and Ginge Silcock as a gesture for them letting him stable the horse at their property. “They are such nice people to me that I thought it was the right thing to do. “When you get to my age, it’s lovely to have good friends because you look around and many of them aren’t there anymore. “Some have passed away and others just can’t do anything and it gets to the stage that you lose contact with people.” Which is part of the reason Schwamm continues to train horses when most his age are in retirement homes. “It was so great at the races today, the number of people that called out to me, owners, trainers, drivers – many of them I’ve known for years and years. “It’s a fellowship and I love it.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Chris Wilson showed he could be the bad luck charm for his own training career when he scored his first win with Robyns Playboy at Ascot Park on Saturday. Wilson's training partnership with father Ross notched its maiden victory when their 4yr-old outclassed his rivals in the Northern Southland Trotting Club meeting's fast-class pace. The luck Chris had brought to the Wilson partnership had been the topic of joking between the trainers leading up to the race. "The old man has been telling me since we went in to partnership we haven't won a race for ages," Chris said. Wilson was unable to attend Saturday's races, which only strengthened the claim he may be the stable's bad luck charm. Statistics tell a different tale - that the Wilsons have made an excellent start to their new official combination. The trainers had notched four placings from 11 starts before Sunday's meeting. Two of those placings had come from perennial placegetter Han Ideal, who has been in the money 16 times in 66 starts without winning. "To be fair, we probably should have won a couple of races by now with Hans Ideal, but she just doesn't know how to put her nose in front on the line," Wilson said. There was no nailbiting finish from Robyn's Playboy as he and driver Craig Ferguson barely gave their rivals a look-in on Saturday. The pair made it to the front early before putting a break on the field at the 400m to win easily. Wilson may not get a chance at entering harness racing's history books by training a New Zealand Cup winner just weeks after getting his licence. Robyns Playboy's cup tilt is up in the air following his seventh in last month's Hannon Memorial. "We are tossing up whether this is his year for the cup. "The Hannon showed he is not as good as the All Stars [stable]. He might run a really good race and finish ninth or something like that. "So, we are just going to see how he comes through this race and decide if we make the next payment or we pull him out and hang around home and race in some of the country cups." Saturday's meeting was packed with highlights, including the winning return of driver Charlotte Purvis The reinswoman scored her first win since being out of the sulky to have daughter Sadie earlier this year when winning with Sheeza Sport. The Waikouaiti mare dashed home along the inner to win at huge $66 odds for trainer Amber Hoffman. Home-town pacer Onesmartfella upstaged Canterbury raiders Carlos Bromac and Willison to win Saturday's graduation final. Driver Nathan Williamson had the 4yr-old in front throughout, before Onesmartfella left his rivals in his dust with a fast closing 400m. Williamson also produced another well-judged front-running drive to win with Pembrook's Playboy. The pacer was one of two winners from his stable, Mark Hurrell driving Triroyale Brigade to win. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight Every stallion needs a flagship horse in their first crop if they want to join the elite ranks as time wears on. The new stallion game can be a cruel and unforgiving exercise for studs, who take the annual gamble on new sires to try and gather a bigger slice of the ever-dwindling market share. Christchurch’s Nevele R Stud, once the country’s flagship stud farm and nursery, had fallen off the pace in recent years as super sires the likes of Bettor’s Delight and Art Major had boosted their Auckland-based competitors. But like most things, the stud game is cyclical and Nevele R are on their way up the ladder thanks in to part to a little bit of luck. When Ged Mooar and the team at Nevele R secured the frozen semen rights to a new trotting stallion back in 2016, they could not have imagined just what a good move that would turn out to be. The USA-based son of Cantab Hall has since shot to stardom as the father of superstar three-year-old colt Greenshoe, who came from his first crop. “What it marks it more remarkable is that he only had 29 foals in that first crop,” said Mooar, the General Manager at Nevele R. “He was still racing at the time and only covered 40-odd mares. “So, to get a superstar like Greenshoe is quite amazing.” Early last week, the flow-on effects of that were evident when his full brother, Maverick, sold for US$1.1 Million at a Kentucky auction. And Nevele R are now are benefitting too with Father Patrick’s book for this breeding season fully subscribed well in advance. “We started getting calls back in March from a lot of people, a lot of top breeders with good trotting mares. “I must have put the sign up over a month ago that he was full and he’s attracted a wonderful book of mares.” Father Patrick’s first Down Under crop have just turned two and the New Zealand contingent numbers 29 foals, too. Despite the calendar only just ticking over to October, he already has a workout winner and it came from New Zealand’s best stable. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen took the filly, named La Reina Del Sur, for a public hit-out with a stablemate at Rangiora on September 25 and she got home in a 30-second quarter to win. Importantly, she trotted perfectly and did everything right. “That’s in line with everything we have heard from breakers and trainers who have done the early education with the Father Patrick stock,” said Mooar. “Quite a few have said they’re rapt with them and that has been reflected in his book this season. “We’ve been astounded, to be honest, at the interest in him.” And Greenshoe isn’t just a one-off freak, either. Father Patrick’s next crop, juveniles in North America, have been kicking goals too and he is battling it out with the established king of trotting sires, Muscle Hill, at the top of all metric tables there at present. Unfortunately, there are only 12 yearlings in New Zealand this season, but the next crop, foaling down this spring, will number more than 80 while next year’s is expected to be well in to six figures. Trotting buffs will get their chance to buy one though – Mooar says Nevele R and sister company Spreydon Lodge plan on consigning a colt out of the former good mare Hot Pants in the upcoming yearling sales. It wasn’t just Father Patrick doing the job for Nevele R in Kentucky last week – pacing sire Always B Miki also stuck his hand up, his progeny selling incredibly well. Eleven of his stock sold for six-figures at the premium ‘day 1’ sale, including a high price of US$290,000 for a filly. In fact, by all common indicators, he was second only to Somebeachsomewhere in terms of popularity. He’s stood two seasons in New Zealand so far, in a joint collaboration between Nevele R and Alabar Stud, getting just shy of 100 mares both times. But there will be none of the usual ‘third season hangover’ that strikes virtually every stallion – the breeding season before their first crop have been broken in or going through the yearling sales. “He’s going to serve more mares this year than in each of his first two,” said Mooar. “They sold like hot cakes in the USA last week and the feedback has been that he has really left a stamp on his stock. “Really impressive, athletic types with good conformation and that was reflected not only in his American sale results, but in the interest we have been getting down here. “Peter Lagan, from New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred, made a point of telling me that in his recent inspections, he was quite impressed by them” The third strong to the bow for Nevele R as they fight their way back up the stud ladder is Vincent, who is about to embark on his second season at stud, again in a joint deal with Alabar. “He got 260 mares between here and Australia last season, and 150 of them were in New Zealand. “The first foals are dropping now so are we are eagerly anticipating their arrivals. “He’ll serve a nice book again, going by the bookings we have so far.” Recently retired pacing star Ultimate Machete is a new sire for the Stud and already has in excess of 60 bookings. “He’s going ok – it’s never easy for a colonial stallion, but we are happy with the response to him. “He’s impeccably-bred; his brother was last season’s three-year-old of the year and his sister is a Group 1 winner in Perth. “We’re optimistic.” Not just about Ultimate Machete, but the future of the famous nursery, no doubt. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jamie Searle The death of Peter Burns has saddened the harness racing industry New Zealand-wide.  Many say his knowledge of the sport, attention to detail and being a straight-shooter made him a respected administrator. He died at Calvary Hospital in Invercargill last Tuesday.  Burns, who was secretary for most of Southland's harness racing clubs, held administrative roles from 1970 to 2005. He began reducing his workload in 2002. His vast knowledge of the sport was sought by Harness Racing New Zealand with him being on its board from 1991 to 2005. In 1997, he became treasurer. Receiving an Outstanding Contribution honour at the HRNZ annual awards in 2006 was a proud moment for him, as was being named Personality of the Year at the 1988 Southland Harness Awards.  Burns and HRNZ's racing and marketing manager Darrin Williams were the organisation's representatives at the World Trotting Conference in Sydney in 2000. "Peter was a gentleman with considerable knowledge and experience," Williams says. Some of the many changes Burns saw over the decades were the introduction all-weather grit tracks, running rails being replaced by safety pylons and different types of betting as technology advanced. Southern Harness Racing general manager Jason Broad says his knowledge of the industry  grew rapidly during the 12 years he worked for Burns. "He taught me everything I know about the game." When Burns retired in 2005 clubs transferred their secretarial work to Russell Freeman who was already the Wyndham club's secretary. On Freeman's retirement in 2016 Jason Broad was appointed his successor in the role of Southern Harness Racing general manager.  One of Broad's memories of Burns is the long days they put in when the Invercargill Harness Racing Club held its two-day Cup meeting on Wednesdays (twilight) and Saturdays in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They were at work getting calls from the TAB at 7.30am on the Wednesday and after the last race - held about 8pm - headed back to their office in Spey St to finalise fields for Saturday's race day. "We were still there at midnight," Broad says. Life became a lot easier for both men with the arrival of computers in the mid to late 1990s.  Advice and help from Burns was much appreciated by Freeman. "I certainly learned a lot from Peter ... I always respected his ability and he was a straight-shooter."  Other tributes to Burns include: NZ Harness Trainers & Drivers Association chairman Gordon Lee: "Peter was an influential figure in Southland harness racing and pioneered the strong position Southland harness finds itself in today." Senior steward Steve Mulcay: "I had a lot of respect for Peter. He was an astute administrator and had the industry's interests at heart ... a real gentleman." Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Blueblood 3yr-old Laver is set to serve up more excitement at Timaru on Sunday. The Geoff Dunn trained pacer turned heads and set up a track record breaking pace when leading by a big margin and holding on to run third by promising All Stars Italian Lad in his last start. Italian Lad took 1.3sec off the all comers 2000m track record at Oamaru courtesy of the sizzling speed set up by Laver. Driver Gerard O’Reilly’s front-running tactics on the son of Bettor’s Delight and Venus Serena were no fluke, or a result of the horse over-racing. Dunn had a plan for the horse to roll along in front and it will not be any different when he races again on Sunday. “We just felt that that he lacks a little bit of speed, but he just keeps on going, so we had a plan to keep rolling,” the trainer said.  “He probably rolled too fast, but it was the right idea.” Laver has clearly not been the early running type his star dam was. But, the 3yr-old is making up for that and is improving all the time. “We have sussed him out with what gear he needs to wear and how he is gaited up,” Dunn said.   “He is getting better and better all the time and he is starting to feel really good.” “I run him around as a 2yr-old and he was always jogging, but he didn’t sprint up that well.” “We thought he just needed more time, but actually we hadn’t worked out that he just keeps going.” Laver is not the only handy 3yr-old in Sunday’s 2000m mobile event. El Dorado returns for his first run, this term, after running in strong 2yr-old for trainer Nigel McGrath. The in form Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon stable have Invaluable and Alta Endeavor in the race. The Greg and Nina Hope trained Rockntommy Rulz adds depth to an intriguing contest. The Dunn stable also start Doctor Tim in Sunday’s rating 53-60 event. The 6yr-old has been moderate form, but Dunn is hopeful the pacer will soon turn that around. “He has not been himself – he has not been finding the line as we as he had.” “But, I just think he is starting to get better.” Doctor Tim will need to be at his best as he is taking on a strong line up in Sunday’s race. The Purdon and Dalgety stable again have two strong chances in impressive debut winner Chevron Flies and Pocket Watch. North Otago raider Standout and Naholo, who returns after an Auckland campaign add to the event. Former star reinswoman, Jo Herbert, will drive in her second race after a decade away from the track in the event. Herbert will steer Virginia Cool, for her employer Steven Boyd. The reinswoman will have her first start back in the sulky behind Dametoro for Boyd in an earlier race. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Junior driver Ellie Barron took luck out of the equation when she took Alpine Retreat straight to the lead in the first trot of the day at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park today (Saturday). She proceeded to open up a good margin on the chasing pack and with a good number of his rivals breaking, Alpine Retreat ended up winning by eleven lengths. The win was a family affair as Grandfather Ron and father Clark (who trains the gelding) share in the ownership. New Zealand’s leading driver Blair Orange made the most of a good draw when he took Yoha straight to the lead in the next race. He was able to dictate all the pace with favourite Renegade Rose on his back. The three year old Terror To Love filly proved too strong, beating Renegade Rose by a length and three quarters with Allaboutjoy running home nicely for third. Orange went back to back when another of the progeny of Terror To Love, Terror The Christian, beat another Canterbury visitor Payment Plan. Terror The Christian                                                                      --photo Bruce Stewart Co-trainer Chris Wilson missed seeing his first winner when Robyns Playboy returned to winning form in the Ultimate Machete at Alabar Handicap Pace. Wilson, who now trains in partnership with his father Ross, was away in Oamaru watching his sons Callum and Riley playing hockey. When Robyns Playboy last started in the Hannon Memorial, it finished seventh. Racing in a lower grade today helped his cause, and brought his wins to a total of seven. Robyns Playboy winning                                                        --photo Bruce Stewart Robbie Royale won his second race in as many weeks when he proved too strong for backmarker Monty Python in the feature trot of the day. The six year old lead for part of the race before handing up to Monty Python with a lap to run. When the field straightened for the run home, driver Brent Barclay came up the inside to beat Monty Python by half a length with the handicap being the difference at the business end of the race. Robbie Royale has now won seven races for Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray. Well known Southland Harness Administrator Peter Burns passed away in Invercargill on Tuesday. Peter Burns was an Accountant by profession and served for many years as Secretary for most of the Southern Clubs. He also spent a long period on the Executive of Harness Racing New Zealand. On the breeding front he was one of the leading lights in promoting the syndication of the successful imported sire Knowing Bret, and he managed the Syndicate’s financial affairs. His late wife Rewa also enjoyed the harness industry as a breeder and owner. The family’s finest homebred racehorse was Haughty Romeo. He was New Zealand’s first three year old pacer to go under two minutes when he ran 1-58.4 in a time trial at Winton. Peter’s funeral will be held on Monday. Bruce Stewart

The locally trained Onesmartfella won the gold when most thought the Nuggets Final at Ascot Park today would go to either of the Canterbury raiders, Willison or Carlos Bromac. In the great front running drive by Nathan Williamson and without too much attention from other runners, the Tintin In America gelding took out the $15,000 final by two and a half lengths from Carlos Bromac, with a head back to favourite Willison. Onesmartfella is trained at Ascot Park by Brent Shirley and is owned by breeder John Edminstin and good mate Tony Whaanga. Onesmartfella is out of the Lis Mara mare Kentucky Girl which won her first race,  but unfortunately broke down and was retired to the broodmare paddock. Onesmartfella which was named by Tony, is the mare’s first foal. “He named it in the Zoo Bar at the Falls Hotel in Mataura,” Shirley said. He said Onesmartfella was small in stature and the stable had to wait on him. “I always knew he had speed but I didn’t know how much bottom he had. We found out last time (when he ran second after been challenged) that he had a bit of bottom.” Shirley isn’t sure where Onesmartfella will start next but said he’ll look out for a Junior Drivers race which will be penalty free. The win was the forty first for Edminstin as an owner. His winners include When The Music’s Over and Rowchester. He’s also part of the BBC Syndicate.                                                                               – Photo Bruce Stewart Earlier in the day Williamson won with Pembrook Playboy who he’d thought would be a run short. But the horse showed good qualities after he lead and easily recorded his first win. “I just thought he might have needed the run but he got away with some easy sectionals in front and that helped.” From barrier five Williamson pushed forward and after 200 metres was in front. “He was pretty green in front – he was running round a bit. He was a bit lazy – but when I asked him to quicken he did.” The winning margin was four and a quarter lengths with outsider Kramer running second. “I think he’ll improve with the run.”                                                                                       – Photo Bruce Stewart Williamson says he’ll target the Nuggets races with the three year old and look at lining up in the Cardrona Distillery/MLT Three Year Old Stakes at Gore at Christmas time, and perhaps the Supremacy later in the season. Later in the day Triroyale Brigade also won for the stable. He capitalised on a nice trail and sprinted too well for junior driver Mark Hurrell to beat Lawrence and Betterthanbrie both of which came home late. Williamson says he’s expecting Triroyale Brigade to have a good season. The winning drive was the second of the day for Hurrell who also won on the Craig Laurenson trained Dismara. Given a great run, Dismara proved too good for thea twelve other runners in the Kubala Seeds Mobile Pace. Placed in the outside running line, Hurrell followed Black Ops forward at the 350 metre mark and came down the middle of the track to win impressively by one and a quarter lengths. It was the mare’s third win in forty five starts. Meanwhile Williamson’s quality trotter Dark Horse made an appearance at the Winton Workouts yesterday racing against the pacers. The Bacardi Lindy mare hasn’t been seen at the race track for nearly two years after sustaining a number of injuries. “She’s come through the run nice and is sound so that’s the main thing. She’ll have another run (workout) somewhere and we’ll access where we go after that,” Williamson said. Dark Horse holds a nomination for the Dominion Handicap.   Bruce Stewart

By Jonny Turner More questions were raised than answered when Spankem solidified his New Zealand Cup favouritism by winning the Canterbury Classic. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained pacer used his blistering speed to beat the Robert Dunn pairing of Henry Hubert and Classy Brigade in the group 2 Canterbury Classic. Spankem enjoyed a beautiful run in the trail throughout, thanks to some canny driving early in the race from Purdon, which effectively sealed the 5yr-old’s win a long way from home. Henry Hubert showed he was in for a big spring when running a strong second in his first start this term. The 5yr-old was one of just three runners in the event that gave away a race fitness edge to their rivals. Fourth placed Ashley Locaz, who was sound in fourth, was also one of those. Clouds hang over a number of the big names being aimed at New Zealand Cup glory following Friday night’s race. All Stars pacers Chase Auckland and Ultimate Sniper both botched the start of the race and failed to flatter afterwards. After catching the field, the pair made three wides runs on to the pace with a lap to go, before Chase Auckland faded at the 500m. Ultimate Sniper then battled in to fifth placing in the home straight. A G’s White Socks showed much improved barrier manners to pace off the mark for the first time this campaign in Friday night’s race. That was as good as it got for the Greg and Nina Hope trained pacer, who battled in to sixth after making a three wide bid before the home turn. New Zealand Cup aspirant Nandolo also produced a shocker in the event. The John Howe trained outsider galloped early after a hopple shortener problem, before racing fiercely throughout. It was a case of two out of three ain’t bad for the stars in Friday night’s Canterbury Park Trotting Cup. The winner, Oscar Bonavena, and runner-up, Marcoola, produced brilliant efforts when fighting out a close finish to the group 2 feature. Oscar Bonavena’s star rose again when he staged a huge recovery to win the race after failing to step away from barrier 1. The All Stars trotter settled five lengths off the back of the field, before catching the field and producing a sweeping finish to win. Marcoola was excellent in his first start for the season, going down by just a head. The shock performance of the race came from Sundees Son, who galloped when under pressure in the straight. The Robert Dunn barn enjoyed much better fortunes in the first South Island heat of the Sires Stakes Series. Above N Beyond sprinted quickly off a strong speed to win by two lengths over Skippys Delight. Aqua Sancta held third after sitting parked throughout.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Canterbury 3yr-olds Willison and Carlos Bromac are set for an exciting clash at Ascot Park today. Willison heads south after producing a superb performance in rich company at Addington last week. The Mark Jones-trained pacer settled well off the pace after being checked early in a race filled with quality 3yr-olds. His effort to recover and produce the fastest last 800m and 400m sectionals of the race to run into fourth showed the potential his trainer knew he possessed. "He is a horse we have thought a bit of and he probably disappointed us with his first few runs," Jones said. "But his last two runs have been very good in very good fields." The heavy check Willison copped in his last run does not seem to have bothered the horse - Jones reported he had worked well ahead of his trip south. "He seems good. He is a pretty sensible type of horse and being a Bettor's Delight, he doesn't worry about much." Willison will start from barrier 6 in race 8, two spots inside Carlos Bromac, and has enough gate speed to pinch an early break on his main rival if driver Samantha Ottley chooses that plan. Jones said he would be just as happy if the horse was to settle off the pace again. "He is pretty quick off the gate. We haven't really drawn to use it, but if he wants to roll forward he can, and if he wants to drop back, he can; he is pretty adaptable." Carlos Bromac has impressed by starting his career with a good maiden victory in Invercargill before handling a significant rise in class to win again at Winton last week. He also brings adaptability to today's 2200m feature. The pacer won from the trail on debut before making a midrace move, and won from the parked position in his next run. Bookmakers do not see today's race as a showdown between Willison and Carlos Bromac. They rated Onesmartfella ($3) as the second favourite behind Willison ($1.90) on market opening. Carlos Bromac ($4) was the fourth favourite. Trainer Chris Wilson looks to have the perfect opportunity to score his first win with Robyn's Playboy in race 5. Wilson has produced four placegetters from his 11 starters after joining his father, Ross, in a training partnership recently. The scratching of Sagwitch means the 2700m handicap is Robyns Playboy's for the taking. The 4yr-old produced an excellent second behind Franco Santino at Winton before struggling to foot it with star pacer Spankem in the Hannon Memorial. Today's fast-class trot looks much more open. Picketts Ridge will try to improve on his fair third behind Robbie Royale at Winton. The pair will clash again alongside Imran Khan, Wee Man Trouble and Monty Python.  

By Garrick Knight There was no real hesitation for Merv Butterworth when he made the decision to outlay six figures on exciting colt Copy That back in July. The Melbournian, who races the son of American Ideal with his wife, Meg, took the word of the horse’s trainer and then-owner, Ray Green. “I have a very good relationship with Ray and if he says a horse will make a nice horse, I believe him,” Butterworth told HRNZ post-race. “He calls a spade a spade and is very straightforward with no bullshit. There’s no blinking or going red in the face; just my sort of bloke, really.” And if Copy That’s brilliant win at Auckland on September 20 didn’t tell Butterworth he had made the right call, his win in the first Sires Stakes Series heat for the spring at Cambridge on Thursday night certainly did. “When he won that race at Auckland by seven lengths back in July, that told me he was a bit better than average and he’s proved it with these last two wins. “I thought he was very good tonight, frankly speaking. All he had to be was tuned up and he was going to be hard to beat.” Driver Zachary Butcher reported that Copy That still has a few tricks that need ironing out if he is going to usurp the All Stars army in the $170,000 Final on New Zealand Cup Day at Addington next month. “He said that Copy That still put in a couple of funny ones but when he gave him a ‘flick’ he behaved himself. He’s just a big boof head, really.” Bookies moved Copy That in to a $12 seventh favourite for the final after the win, all six ahead of him in the market being trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. The Butterworths made a special trip to Cambridge for the meeting - where they had three racing - and managed to snare a second victory with promising mare, The Empress. “Everyone that has handled her has said she’s got some star quality – Ray is her third trainer and speaks highly of her. “She’s just gotten better and better with age.” The Butterworths purchased The Empress for $70,000 at the 2017 Melbourne APG sale before shipping her to New Zealand. She did her initial work with Purdon and Rasmussen before shifting to Robin Swain in Southland and, eventually, Green in Auckland. The Empress has now won four races and finds herself a rating 67, meaning her time with Green could be winding down. “If she wins another two races at Auckland, she’ll start to find it very hard,” said Butterworth. “Whether she goes to Melbourne or Perth, I’m not sure just yet, but Perth does cater very well for fillies and mares. We recently won a $30,000 mares’ race over there with another Kiwi, Crystal Sparkles.” The Butterworths will be glued to the television tonight before flying home tomorrow. “We’ve got three racing at Ballarat and another three at Gloucester Park. Rupert Of Lincoln, another one we bought off Ray, is having his first start back for Kerryn Manning.” It was a memorable night for the team at Lincoln Farms with stable worker Andre Poutama also training a double. After failing at her first start for him at Auckland last week, trotting mare Superfast Ninja righted the ship with a tidy win while Runcle clung on doggedly to win after leading. Superfast Ninja is raced by Poutama and Green’s wife, Debbie. Barry Purdon also scored a double, with promising mare Some Do and debutante three-year-old Major Jellis, who overcame and early gallop to get the chocolates in the hands of Scott Phelan. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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