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By Jonny Turner Exciting 3-year-old Spirit Of St Louis faces a stern test early in his career at Forbury Park on Sunday.  The Graeme Anderson trained pacer impressed when beating a field of up and comers when debuting at Gore last weekend. His front running effort got a big tick of approval from his driver, Matthew Williamson. “It was very impressive,” the reinsman said.  “His run was super and he rattled off a really nice [last 800m] and he showed good gate speed, too.” Spirit Of St Louis looked slightly vulnerable at early in the run home, before he found another gear and dashed away from his opposition to score. Williamson said it was a case of the horse bringing a very laid back attitude to the track. “He is just quite laid back is what I would say.” “That is why his trials have just looked ok and then he sharpened up on race day when he was asked for it.” “I would say with a few more starts he will sharpen up even more.” Spirit Of St Louis faces an almighty leap in race conditions in his second career start on Sunday.  The inexperienced pacer will square off with rugged veterans Aveross Rustler and Four Starzz Shiraz, as well as new season performer Arden Roanake. Though he concedes a lot of experience to his rivals, Spirit Of St Louis will have a draw advantage over his main rivals when he starts from barrier 3. Williamson hopes that good draw and the 3-year-old’s class can help him beat out his more seasoned rivals. “Because he has got a bit of class he can probably still win it,” the reinsman said.  “With the draw of course -  which is the only thing in his favour – if he gets his own way or a couple of cheap sectionals they won’t make any ground from behind him if he rattles off a 56sec [final 800m] again.” Aveross Rustler looks the best placed of Spirit Of St Louis’ main rivals to land near the speed from barrier 7. Four Starzz Shirazz starts from the outside of the front line in barrier 8 and Arden Roanoake will start from the inside of the second row in barrier 9. The Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon trained Arden Roanoake will give Spirit Of St Louis plenty of competition, and driver Matt Anderson can work the 4-year-old in to clear running. The pacer is shooting for a hat-trick of wins following his brilliant last to first victory at Oamaru, last weekend. Williamson also drives With The Stars in race 3 for the Anderson stable. The reinsman rated Hannity in race 7 alongside Spirit Of St Louis in race 9 as one of his best drives at Forbury Park on Sunday. The Colin Harrison trained pacer gets in to the race well as a rating 55 horse competing against horses rated between 40 and 55. “The start will be the only thing with him, he has been a good beginner, but he missed away last start.,” Williamson said. “If he got away on terms, to be honest I would be disappointed if he got beaten in that field.” “He has dropped back a long way in grade.” Williamson also drives Huckabee, who he described as a place chance in race 4 for the Harrison stable.   The Oamaru driver also combines with Cuddly Trouble in race 1, Maldito in race 2 and Solsbury Hill in race 8. Williamson rated Cuddly Trouble, who starts from a 30m handicap, the best of chance among that trio. “If she could step away and make up that 30m I definitely think she is an each-way chance,” he said.   Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Peter Craig This year’s inductees were announced at Addington Raceway on Friday 30 August 2019 as part of the seventeenth Canterbury Owners and Breeders Night. Two time winners of the NZ Trotting Cup in Monkey King and Dominion Handicap in Scotch Tar together with Canterbury harness racing identity Fred Fletcher are the latest to be honoured by the Addington Harness Hall of Fame. Monkey King – triple millionaire, thirteenth winner of two NZ Cups, winning thirty five races in NZ, nineteen at Addington, four in Australia. Winner of twenty group races including ten at Group One level (GN Derby, Messenger, NZ Cup/NZFFA/Easter Cup twice, Auckland Cup and Miracle Mile). Leading pacing/overall stake earner for 2009/10 season ($1,022,944), only horse to win consecutive NZ Cups/NZFFA’s, Pacer of Year, NZ Harness Horse of Year, Australasian Grand Circuit champion. Driven in majority of career by Addington Harness Hall of Famer Ricky May (24 wins) including when he established an Australian Pacers mile/Australasian Pacers race mile record of 1:50.8 at Menangle (Miracle Mile 2009). Trained by Stephen Reid (20 wins), Stephen Reid and Graeme Rogerson (2 wins) and Brendon Hill (17 wins).  A NZ Trotting Hall of Fame inductee. Scotch Tar – fifth trotter to win two Dominion Hcps, winner of twenty nine races, eighteen of these at Addington (T2:04.4, T1:58.9TT, $142,405). He was leading trotting stake earner for consecutive seasons : 1979/80 ($35,715), 1980/81 ($50,040). Scotch Tar won eight group races, two at Group One being his Dominion Hcp victories. He was aged trotting entire or gelding of year twice, Trotter of Year, time trialled in T1:58.9 at Addington, owned/trained by Slim Dykman (driver for 15 wins; Robert Cameron 10 wins and Peter Wolfenden 4 wins)) and a NZ Trotting Hall Of Fame inductee. Fred Fletcher is a Canterbury harness racing identity although he was born on the West Coast. A breeder and owner, he was prominent for nearly four decades as stud manager with responsibility for the running of Roydon Lodge where his stallion charges included Thurber Frost, Scottish Hanover Armbro Hurricane, Smooth Fella, Game Pride and Sundon. As a trainer/driver Fletcher drove 169 winners commencing with Roydon Scott in 1977 and concluding with Major Decision in 2002. His training record sits just under 500 successes (490) with 229 having been with trotters. Fred Fletcher has eight Group One wins on his training record, specifically Roydon Glen (4), Sundon and three Ruby Jewels with Jinja Gal, Royal Aspirations and Sunny Ruby (fastest trotting female in Australasia with t3, T1:54.7 at time record set). His rich assortment of both pacers and trotters have won numerous age group awards and a Trotter Of Year (Sundon) and Pacer/Harness Horse Of Year winner in Roydon Glen. These are just a few of many notable achievements in the careers of the latest inductees to Addington’s Harness Hall Of Fame.   Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Classie Brigade put a frustrating season behind him on Friday night when he dashed along the Addington passing lane to win the Maurice Holmes Vase and book his ticket to the New Zealand Cup. The one-time arch nemesis of Lazarus outsprinted the leader, Hail Christian, and held off a late dive from A G’s White Socks to win the Group 3 New Zealand Cup qualifier.  Classie Brigade enjoyed a fruitful 4-year-old season following his epic 3-year-old battles with Lazarus, but was not able to step on the track more than eight times in the next two years.  Thankfully for his owners Grant and Colin Eynon and Mark McKinnon, the stars look to be aligning for their pacer’s 7-year-old year. There is no Lazarus to contend with anymore, now he has settled in to his stud duties and Classie Brigade is fighting fit and ready for a title shot at the New Zealand Cup.   “Anytime when they go AWOL, you wonder if they are ever going to be anything like they used to be,” Grant Eynon said.  “We were thrilled with him as a 3-year-old, he ran second to Lazarus a few times and we wondered why we can’t beat that horse and we found no one else could either.” Classie Brigade’s resurgence has come following his move to the Woodend Beach stable of Robert Dunn, which is headed by his son John.  “He’s loving it at the beach,” Eynon said. “We can’t believe it – for him to come back from injury – we are just thrilled with the horse and thrilled with Robert and John for all the hard work they have done.” Though Classie Brigade has moved on from former trainer Nigel McGrath’s barn it does not mean the Eynon's can not combine with McGrath to take out the great race. The father and son pairing of Grant and Colin have their McGrath trained pacer Gran Chico nominated for the New Zealand Cup. Gran Chico has not made a public appearance this season, but is expected to trial later in the spring.  The Maurice Holmes Vase was run at a sedate pace for much of its 2600m.  Classie Brigade and driver John Dunn followed Hail Christian and Blair Orange, who led throughout.  The slow early speed set up Classie Brigade’s fast closing sectionals of 54.3sec (800m) and 26.7sec (400m). The winner wore down third placed Hail Christian early in the straight, before holding out the flying finish of runner-up A G’s White Socks.  Classie Brigade’s win saw him move to $17 in the New Zealand Cup market. A G’s White Socks was at $12 and Hail Christian at $31 on the reopening of betting following the Maurice Holmes Vase. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Spring is setting up as an exciting time for the newly formed father and son training partnership of Ross and Chris Wilson. The granting of Chris’s licence comes just days after Wilson stable star Robyns Playboy was nominated for the New Zealand Cup. The partnership was formed partly as due reward for Chris’s long service and also with an eye to future success of the Wilson’s ‘Robyn’ breed. “For the last 20 years he has been the right hand man, so he needs some recognition,” Ross said. “And hopefully he will carry things on when I am not here.” Chris will continue to juggle his work as a technical field rep for southern farming company Advance Agriculture with his stable duties. An eye to the future helped convince Ross to nominate Robyns Playboy for the New Zealand Cup. “I have only really done it because I am 69 in a couple of months time and I have never had a horse in the cup and this is the best opportunity to have one.” Robyns Playboy will take his first public step towards the New Zealand Cup in modest circumstances when he has a workout at Gore on Saturday. The 4-year-old will head to next week’s Winton meeting, where he is likely to square off with fellow Southland cup contender U May Cullect. The Wilsons will then aim Robyns Playboy at the Hannon Memorial. That race should give his trainers a good line on how their horse will measure up with his fellow New Zealand Cup nominees. “That is the plan – we will try to test the waters, so to speak,” Ross said.  “You don’t really know how he will measure up, you just have to race them to find out.” “When I looked at the nominations I thought there were horses there that we could beat and they think they should be there.” Robyns Playboy proved he was competitive in Group 1 company when third at the Harness Jewels behind Jesse Duke. That performance and his career best 15 wins helped Ross win the Achievement of the Year category at the Southland Harness Racing Awards, recently. Robyns Playboy enjoyed a break following his Harness Jewels effort and has returned to work in good order for a horse that does not carry a huge amount of condition. “He never looks that flash to be honest -  he is a good we eater – but you would never pick him out of a crowd,” Ross said. Robyns Playboy and U May Cullect and two of four Southland pacers nominated for the New Zealand Cup. Sagwitch and Franco Santino have also had their names put forward for the great race.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

MILTON, ON - August 29, 2019 - Rookie harness racing trotting fillies stepped into the Grand Circuit spotlight for the $195,597 Champlain Stakes on Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 18 two-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of divisions. Father Patrick filly Panem broke her maiden with a 1:55.4 score in the first split. The Nancy Johansson trainee and driver Dexter Dunn circled to the top from second going to the half and posted fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.3 before trotting home in :29.1 to secure the victory by a length and a half. She Rocks Kemp finished second, while Heat Wave Hanover was third. Panem had been winless in five starts entering the Champlain, but did have a pair of runner-up finishes along with a third-place effort. "She's not the easiest to drive, but if you talk to her nicely and just let do her thing, she can punch out a good mile," said Dunn about Panem. "She was getting a little bit lost on the front...so I just gave her a chirp and got her going. She's still learning, but the ability is there and she's got a nice future." Panem Panem is a homebred for Diamond Creek Racing and has now earned $62,206. She paid $9.90 to win. Panem Spoiled Princess spoiled the undefeated record of Whose Blues with a 1:55.2 victory in the second division. Dunn steered the daughter of Trixton to the victory to give the New Zealand native a sweep of Thursday's stakes. Race-favourite Whose Blues moved to the lead in the second-quarter from second, but got company quickly in the form of She Must Be Magic, who took the lead at the half in :56.4. Whose Blues angled out nearing three-quarters, which was reached in 1:25.4. Spoiled Princess and Dunn sat patiently in fourth during the opening-half, before getting underway and sitting three-lengths from the top at three-quarters. In the stretch, Spoiled Princess tracked down Whose Blues and overtook the undefeated filly to win by a length and half. Sheer Energy finished third. Spoiled Princess improved her record to three wins in six starts with the Champlain score. She has now earned $89,649 for owner/breeders Robert McNerney and Hauser Bros Rcing Ent LLC. "To have a homebred and win this is fantastic," said McNerney. "We went easy with this horse from the beginning and didn't want to race a lot, we want to take our time and it's paid off." Spoiled Princess paid $10.30 to win. Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings headlines the 11-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Local trainer Ross Paynter’s aim of a personal best season could get a double boost, maybe even more, at Cambridge tonight. Paynter has started the new term well, with three winners from just nine starters, and the laidback horseman admits he would like to break fresh ground this term. “I have trained 23 winners in each of the last two seasons so I’d like to get past that this season,” Paynter said. “And I think I can do it. I have 27 horses here at the moment, which is a good number for me and some better bred ones than I usually have. “I am not usually a numbers man but I know my best is 23 and getting past that has to be the aim.” Stable star Lemond is among the entries for the Dominion at Addington taken this week so will likely head south before returning for a shot at the Auckland Inter Dominions but it is some of the lesser lights of the stable who should continue Paynter's PB quest as Cambridge host a rare Friday night meeting tonight. He has last-start trotting winners Molly Bones (race three) and As Free As Air (race eight) in and believes they can both win again. “Molly Bones is better than the grade she is in and the mobile start will really help her,” says Paynter. “And I actually think she is better left-handed than at Alexandra Park even though she won there last start. “She is going really well and while Sex On Fire might be a danger I think we can hold her.” As Free As Air was very brave sitting parked to win last start and while she meets fresh opposition in her own stablemate Gershwin and impressive last-start winner Invictus, she probably hasn’t finished winning yet. “She is a nervy mare but has been better lately and is a very good stayer so I’d favour her over Gershwin with him being fresh up.” While 20 of Paynter’s 23 wins last season came with trotters he is confident of more pacing success this season and says he has two tonight who can be factors for punters. “New Frontier (race four) is a horse who has worked well this week and I think he will go better than last start, when he finished second in a very similar field. “He has a bad barrier but if he can get handy he can go close to winning. “And Super Actor in race two is a good tough horse who can touch a knee a bit but has the gate speed to get handy and be there at the finish.”   Michael Guerin

By Jonny Turner Classie Brigade will take the first step in what trainer Robert Dunn hopes will be a season of making up for lost time when he lines up in the Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington on Friday night.  Dunn is eyeing a big 12 months with the pacer, who missed most of last term through injury. Classie Brigade was not sighted at the races for nearly nine months after his mediocre run in last year’s Maurice Holmes Vase.  The 7-year-old put a series of minor niggles behind him with a victory and hard fighting second to U May Cullect in a three start winter campaign after transferring to the Dunn stable from trainer Nigel McGrath.  Classie Brigade’s mini winter campaign could give him a slight fitness edge over his key rivals in Friday night’s race.  “He has only had a few weeks off because obviously during the course of the last year he had extended time recovering from injury,” Dunn said.  “He trialled up well and he is training super and we are looking forward to his resumption because I think he is going to have a great year.” Though he can not comment on the state of Classie Brigade’s rivals, Dunn knows his horse will be fit and ready to win.  “There will be no excuses,” the trainer said. “He is ready and he has had a couple of trials.” “His first one was a bit quiet and the second one was a bit more strenuous.” Classie Brigade looked sharp when sprinting late to win at the Rangiora trials more than two weeks ago. He beat one of his main rivals, Hail Christian, who was not pulled out and asked to sprint in the straight.  Hail Christian trialled again at Ashburton a week later and impressed when running down Ive Already Told You to win after being asked for a full effort.  A G’s White Socks is the leading New Zealand Cup contender among Friday night’s small field, which has been reduced to five runners with the scratching of the Dunn trained Hayden’s Meddle. However, the Greg And Nina Hope trained pacer could strip in far from his New Zealand Cup condition for the race.  A G’s White Socks goes in to the 2600m standing start without having a trial or workout ahead of his new campaign. The 6-year-old was last sighted when winning the Rangiora Winter Classic in July.  Classie Brigade, Hail Christian and A G’s White Socks look to have a decent class edge on the remaining runners in the Maurice Holmes Vase in Storm Prince and Stick Man. The Dunn stable made significant progress towards the New Zealand Cup carnival ahead of the Addington meeting.  New Zealand Trotter Of The Year contender, Sundees Sun, had his first public appearance of the new season when winning at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday. The 4-year-old held out his stablemate, Woodstone, who also impressed when going down by just a neck.  Dunn also stepped New Zealand Cup hopeful Henry Hubert out at Rangiora. The 5-year-old enjoyed a quiet trial and was not fully tested when running third.   Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight Southland superstar to race next week The wait is almost over for the many, many fans of unbeaten Southland pacer U May Cullect. He’ll return to the races at Winton next Sunday, contesting a 2400-metre handicap off 50 metres. Co-trainer Kirstin Barclay confirmed the plans on Thursday as she and Tank Ellis ramp up proceedings for a tilt at November’s New Zealand Trotting Cup. “That’s the plan (to go to Winton) and we’ll be treating it like a workout. “We can’t be tripping up to Canterbury every other week so we just have to cop racing him off a big handicap.” “He had a private workout at Winton on Tuesday and we were really happy with him. “The main thing at the moment is to get the standing start practice in to him. “His training on the beach has been bang on and we are very happy with his fitness.” Safely through next week, the $30,000 Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on September 22 is the first goal of the Spring. “That will be his first time from a standing start with the rest of the field so it will be a big test for him.” U May Cullect was third favourite for the New Zealand Trotting Cup before nominations closed on Wednesday and bookies took the market down.   Setback for Cup-nominated pacer A foot abscess has delayed the racetrack return of exciting Canterbury prospect, Ive Already Told You. Trainer Stephen Boyd confirmed on Thursday that a foot complaint had seen the four-year-old withdrawn from the nominations for Friday night’s Maurice Holmes Vase. “He’s got a foot abscess and it’s half-pie looking like a quarter crack,” he said. “We’re just going to see how it heals up over the next week before making any decisions.” Boyd was so elated by the work of the son of Prodigal Seelster, that he was prepared to throw him in the deep end against the country’s best pacers this spring, and that included the New Zealand Cup. “He was working very good and he ran a half in 54 at the trials last week. “I’m a bit gutted because we were all set-up to have a crack at the Maurice Holmes Vase this week. “But I’m feeling a lot better about things today than I did on Tuesday.” A week on Boyd’s water walker awaits Ive Already Told You while his trainer waits for the abscess to burst out. From there he will decide if a spring campaign is viable or not.   Purdon sells promising pacer One of the north’s more progressive types from last season has been sold to American interests. Benson Boys will fly out of Auckland on Friday destined for New York according to his trainer, Barry Purdon. Purdon and wife, Katrina, bred Benson Boys and named the son of Art Major after their neighbours’ children. Racing exclusively as a four-year-old in New Zealand, Benson Boys won five races and over $60,000 and contested both the Taylor Mile and Harness Jewels. Others on the American consignment include impressive last start Oamaru winner, Montefalco, and low-grade northern pacers, Sea Change and Two Fiftyeight and four-win Auckland trotter, All American.   Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

TAB News Pick6 this week - $25K Pick6 Friday Night at Addington August and September - Harness First4 $6,000 Bonus First4 on a Race 4 Every Friday Night in Aug/Sept and on Race 4 at Addington on Thu 19 Sept.   Addington Raceway and Events Centre – Friday 30 August Hello Everyone, Only 76 days til Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day!  Let’s get excited! Cup Week Public Tickets on sale – Monday 2 September! Not long now!   Be sure to visit addington.co.nz this Monday to find out all the fabulous things happening during cup week. Remember to book your spot for Cup Week.  Our fabulous hospitality packages are on sale for Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day and Show Day Races.  Be sure to book soon and #bepartofthemagic, as three areas are already sold out for Tuesday and limited availability on Show Day. For further details, please visit; http://www.addington.co.nz/cup-week/hospitality/.  Alternatively, if you have any questions, or wish to book, please contact Joanne McMaster on joanne.mcmaster@addington.co.nz, or 021 0298 5972.  We look forward to hosting you all! Have a great week everyone and we look forward to welcoming you to the races on Friday for the start of Road to the Cup with the Allied Security Maurice Holmes Vase Group 3 Race.  Good luck to all the connections!  From the Addington Team.   Cambridge - Waikato Bay of Plenty Friday 30 August Faulty Towers at The Races- September 5th at Cambridge Raceway In what is almost certainly a world first we're hosting a very special Faulty Towers Dinner Show at the races!  Featuring the side-splittingly funny trio of Basil, Sybil and Manuel alongside thrilling harness racing action. The Auckland-based comedy troupe is returning to Cambridge Raceway following their hilarious debut at the venue in June, but this time they're merging their renowned performances with the racing action.  Enjoy their performance from the comfort of the Skyline Lounge, the custom show will take place between the races and it will be an interactive experience like never before.  Fingers-crossed they'll be able to steer you into a winner or two! Tickets are only $35 per person! For more info or to book tickets headlong to: https://www.cambridgeraceway.co.nz/page/faulty-towers-dinner-show/ INTRODUCING OUR LATEST INNOVATIVE RACE NIGHT EXPERIENCE AT CAMBRIDGE RACEWAY START YOUR WEEKEND RIGHT... UNDER THE LIGHTS Friday Nights Under The Lights is a fusion of harness racing action, social interaction, exciting light displays, inspired music and culinary adventure. Held at Cambridge Raceway over seven Fridays, Friday Nights Under The Lights is the perfect event to take after work drinks to the next level or commit to a regular night out with your besties. Feel the rush of the harness racing action, reach out and network, indulge in the food truck-style cuisine, witness the bright lights, catch up with your mates, make new friends, listen to the music, dance the night away and repeat. It's light therapy for your senses! For more info, head along to: https://www.cambridgeraceway.co.nz/page/friday-nights-under-the-lights/   Forbury Park – Sunday 1 September Come and enjoy Father’s Day at Forbury Park! Free kids entertainment, and Equinox Restaurant are doing an $18 roast & dessert special for the day. Overnight stabling charge  Forbury Park Trotting Club would like to advise that we are happy for trainers & their teams to stop over at Forbury Park on your way to other race meetings, however there will be a small charge @ $7.50 + gst per horse, per night - This is to cover our staff & use of facilities. There is a form to complete prior to a visit which is available from the Forbury Office.  Phone number:  03 455 2154, or email:  lisa@forburypark.co.nz.  We would appreciate a couple of days’ notice ahead of an intended visit so that we can have the facilities ready for your stay, and to arrange access at a suitable time for us.   Methven Trotting Club – Sunday 15 September As winter slowly fades  the Methven Trotting Club committee are hard at work preparing for the first grass track meeting of the season scheduled for Sunday September 15 at the picturesque Mt Harding course. Track supervisor Carl Markham and groundsman Pete ‘Stalky ‘ McLeod have overseen a complete removal and replacement of 400 meters of topsoil  just after the winning post which appears to have rejuvenated nicely ready for the new season. Among the patrons on-course will be a large number from working men’s clubs all over Canterbury. One of the highlights is always the presidents race which usually generates plenty of colourful comment from the crowd as the ‘drivers’ reveal a few unusual tactics in endeavouring to grab bragging rights for the next year. Over the last season the Mid Canterbury harness community lost some wonderful members including hardworking Methven committee men in John Stackhouse and Bernie Davidson. Both made huge contributions and will be irreplaceable. Popular trainers Doug McCormick and Pat Melville were also huge losses their big smiles will be sorely missed. Lastly Pauline O’Reilly who along with late husband Pat  were friend to so many in all walks of life. The Methven Club acknowledges and is grateful for all their contributions. Rest in peace. Recently the club had its annual awards night and results were as follows; Morrison Saddlery leading driver-John Morrison John and Robyn Nicholl leading junior driver-John Morrison. Horse Shoe Brands leading trainer-Greg and Nina Hope Trouble Lodge and R.T. and J. May Young Achiever Award-Sarah O’Reilly. This year the club is trailing an extra meeting which will be a eight race twilight meeting on Friday November 1. The club’s sponsorship  theme for the day will  be based around local rural contractors and their staff and a barbeque type social day. It is new ground for Methven and we have been encouraged by progress to date. So see you under the mountains on the 15th at Methven where the sun always shines. Mike Heenan for Methven Trotting Club   Alexandra Park News TENDER: Auckland Trotting Club in Conjection with Alabar have a Service Fee for Tender to Ultimate Machete. All tenders to be received by 8.00pm on Friday 20 September. For more information or to lodge your tender, contact Karen Blanchard at karen.blanchard@alexandrapark.nz or call 027 808 3150 MEZZE: A Night of Sharing |  Friday 13 September from 5.30pm Inspired by the Mediterranean. Join us in Alexandra Park’s premier restaurant, Top of the Park for a night of sharing and harness racing action. Begin the night with a drink on arrival and an antipasto platter to your table followed by a grazing buffet filled with goodies and scrumptious desserts to finish the night. We have group discounts available with packages starting from $65pp. Please note; groups of less than 8 may be required to share a table. Embrace the family traditions of the Mediterranean and book today! Save time, book online www.alexandrapark.co.nz/whats-on/mezze-a-night-of-sharing/ [WIN!] Journey to Thailand with Thai Airways |  Friday 27 September from 5.30pm Revel in the beauty of Southeast Asia, a tropical wonderland known for its’ rich culture, diverse communities and flavoursome food. Our ever popular Thai-inspired night at the races will take place in the Tasman Room located on level one with direct access trackside. Those who book and attend have the chance to go in the draw to WIN Flights for Two to Bangkok, Thailand thanks to our friends at Thai Airways. This is a night you do not want to miss so we recommended booking sooner rather than later! Save time, book online www.alexandrapark.co.nz/whats-on/journey-to-thailand   Kaikoura Trotting Club – November 3 and 4 The Kaikoura Trotting Club is already preparing for the annual two day meeting at South Bay Racecourse to be held this year on Sunday November 3 and Monday November 4. Working bees are underway, and the club are calling for trainers to please contact them in advance to arrange horse accommodation and assistance with any accommodation for trainers/drivers and owners. Minimum stake on Day One’s twilight meeting is $8,000, with other races with stakes of $10,000 and $12,000. On Alabar Kaikoura Cup Day on Monday the minimum stake is $10,000. If anyone has any questions or wants to book their accommodation for horses please contact the club directly or Grant Anderson on 027 450 5468 Otago Harness Racing Awards - September 14 A star studded line up of New Zealand’s best pacers and broodmares will vie for titles at next month’s Otago Harness Racing Awards in Dunedin. Classy youngsters Princess Tiffany and Ultimate Sniper will take on home town favourites Eamon Maguire and Majestic Man and northerners Speeding Spur and Havtime in the Best Otago Owned Horse category. Bethany, the dam of Lazarus, One Over Kenny, the dam of Ultimate Stride, and Foreal, the dam of Field Marshal with square off with 100-win producer, Fleet’s Pocket, in the Broodmare Excellence category. Each of those broodmare’s owners, Gavin Chin, Lex and Heather Williams and Syd and Shona Brown are finalists for Otago Breeder Of The Year alongside Archie Affleck. Winners of the breeding awards and the Otago Horse Of The Year will be announced at a gala evening at Forbury Park on September 14. A massive total of 23 titles will be awarded in age group trotting and pacing and training and driving categories. Winners of the age group trotting and pacing awards will be eligible to be crowned Otago’s horse of the year. Big race performers Cracker Hill, Ultimate Stride, Majestic Man and Jess Jaccka look to be some of the strongest contenders for the overall title. More than one significant contribution award will industry members at the Otago awards. Former champion thoroughbred trainer Dave O’Sullivan will be the guest speaker at the awards. Tickets are available by contacting Lisa Butler at the Forbury Park Trotting Club on lisa@forburypark.co.nz or 03 455 2154.   2019 Woodlands Stud Canterbury Harness Awards Dinner - Saturday 21 September Silks Lounge - Addington Raceway, Addington 6.30pm for a 7.15pm start Tickets $60.00 incl. GST Drinks extra at individual's cost. Watch our for our stallion tender for Downbytheseaside and Pegasus Spur services which close on 02 September 2019. All enquiries to 021 969 969 or cantyawardsdinner@gmail.com Canterbury Combined Awards Dinner Committee - Stallion Services Purchase by Tender  The Canterbury Combined Awards Dinner has two Woodlands Stud Services for purchase by Tender. DOWNBYTHESEASIDE Equal fastest 2yo in Standardbred history, paced 1.49 - Breeders Crown Final Foaled in 2014 – Son of Somebeachsomewhere Banked $2,179,558 from 35 career starts Second year standing in New Zealand 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $6,000+GST. PEGASUS SPUR ‘Trotting’s Mr Consistent’ Sire of 124 NZ bred and 35 Australian bred winners including: Maori Time – Australasia’s Fastest ever Trotter, t,1:51.5 Speeding Spur – winner of 17 Group 1’s including Prydes Great Southern Star - $1.1 million Paramount Gee Gee – 2yo Colt of The Year,  3yo Colt of The Year, 4yo Entire of The Year 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $3,000+GST. Conditions of Tender: All tenders submitted shall be plus GST. The Canterbury Combined Awards Dinner Committee have the right to select any tender they so desire. They may decline all or any tender/s and their decision shall be final. The successful purchaser will be advised within 3 working days and will immediately be issued with a tax invoice for a deposit of $250.00+GST with payment required within 21 days. This deposit will be deducted from the amount tendered in the tender. This deposit will be refunded only if the mare fails to get in foal. The Canterbury Combined Awards Dinner Committee will invoice the purchaser for the remaining amount submitted and accepted as the tender amount once the mare has a 42 day positive test, and payment of this tax invoice is due within 21 days. The tender is for the ‘Service Fee’ only. All other farm charges apply and will be payable by the successful purchaser. The successful purchaser will be required to complete and sign a Woodlands Stud Stallion Service Agreement. All the terms and conditions set out in this Stallion Service Agreement shall apply in full to the successful purchaser.  A live foal guarantee applies only if the conditions of the Woodlands Stud Stallion Service Agreement are complied with. Written tenders are to be posted to 7 Clare Road, St Albans, Christchurch 8014 or e-mailed to cantyawardsdinner@gmail.com .  The closing date for tenders is Tuesday 02 September 2019 at 4.00 pm.   Southland Owners Day - 21 September Harness Racing New Zealand, in conjunction with the Invercargill Harness Racing Club, are pleased to announce that on Saturday 21 September an Owners Day will be held at Ascot Park. The event is a trial and part of the HRNZ ownership initiatives and will be held on race day. It is free for all owners, not just those with horses competing at the race meeting. Guests are also encouraged to bring along friends and acquaintances who are interested in finding out more about becoming an owner themselves. Owners Day will run throughout the race meeting and will include competitions and draws, the chance for prospective owners to win phantom shares in a racehorse competing on the day and much more. An MC will interview various owners, trainers and drivers throughout the event and promote the various aspects of the sport and experiences of the winning connections. Potential owners can also meet with trainers and syndicators to learn about how they can become part of the action. There is also the opportunity for businesses to showcase their products to owners on the day, with a small expo operating in the room. This event is part of a trial following on from previous functions at Alexandra Park and Addington that will explore multiple aspects which will be used to present ideas to clubs for future events they may hold themselves. In the attempt to encourage owners to attend their race days, with options for all clubs covered. It is important that we canvas as many owners as possible to be able to provide accurate feedback so clubs can provide owners rewards in future. These events could be an annual event for clubs to thank those who have supported them by racing their horse with them, or they could be held on a more regular basis. Further information on the event will follow soon. If you are interested in attending, or if you are a trainer, syndicator or business who is keen to be present to promote yourself, please contact Jess Smith at Harness Racing New Zealand to register your interest. Space is limited so an RSVP is advised – jess@hrnz.co.nz   

Harness racing's champion race horse Lazarus has featured on Channel Nine News in Australia. An icon of harness racing both "Down Under" and in North America, Lazarus won over $4 million dollars in stakes when racing but now the international super star is embarking on a stud career at Yirribee Pacing Stud in Wagga. Club Menangle own the rights to the outstanding stallion in the Southern Hemisphere, with 170 mares already booked in, including Tara Gold, dam of the legendary pacer Tiger Tara.  Other high profile mares booked to Lazarus in Australia are the 2002 2YO of the Year Lombo La Fe Fe, the NSW Ladyship Mile winner Vansumic, Miss Trickin Lombo (Vic. Silver Chalice), Ocean Diva (1:51.1), Gilt Bromac NZ (Vic. Gold Chalice), Rarifield Air USA (sister to Rocknroll Hanover), National Gallery (dam of Rocknroll Icon), Texan Cowgirl (dam of Aussie Reactor 1:50.6, $616,425), Magic Maddy Lombo (dam of three $100,000 winners), Eyes Of Courage (dam of Ameretto $565,419), Very Chic (Shakamaker Classic) and The Blue Lotus NZ (1:56.6).   Harnesslink Media

Addington club Racing Manager, Brian Rabbitt, is pleased with the volume of Nominations for both the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup and the Airpark Canterbury Dominion Trot. He is also happy with the level of interest shown from Australia. Connections have nominated eight pacers and three trotters for their respective features. To view the Nominations click HERE    Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Addington have won the battle to get their first open class race of the season off the ground but racing bosses there fear it is a war they will eventually lose. The $30,000 group three Maurice Holmes Vase on Friday night has been saved after late entries enabled Addington to card the 2600m standing start with six starters after it looked certain to be canned yesterday morning. But in reality the race contains three open class horses, Classie Brigade, Hail Christian and A G’s White Socks and three who have simply been thrown in to make up the field. While trainers boosting fields with horses well out of their grade to ensure their better horses get the opportunity to race is common world wide, Addington racing manager Brian Rabbitt can see the writing on the way for the early season open class races. “It is getting harder and harder,” admits Rabbitt. “It used to be that trainers wanted to be racing in August to get ready for the New Zealand Cup but the reality is most of them don’t start racing now until September. “So while we are happy to get this race of the ground maybe we need to look at where it sits. “But with open class races almost every week down here from the middle of next month, if we had lost it this week it might have been lost for the season, which obviously we don’t want.” Even the next South Island open class event, the Avon City Ford Cup on September 13 is unlikely to attract significantly bigger numbers as the elite pacers like New Zealand Cup favourites Thefixer and Spankem will only be trialing by then. While the steady flow of open class horses being sold or exported to race overseas is a major part of the problem, the reality is trainers are bringing their best horses back to the races later and later. It used to be that four or fives races were seen as the minimum in a campaign before the Cup, much in the same way the late, great Bart Cummings used to say a Melbourne Cup winner needed 10,000m of races in its legs in a campaign. So the road to the winner’s circle both both the iconic November races, run on Tuesdays just one week apart, appears to have changed for ever. “I think the Jewels being so late in the season has been a factor as well as the compact racing programme once the horses do get up and racing,” says Rabbitt. This season that will include four more races in December for many of the best pacers as the Inter Dominions return to Alexandra Park. One horse who won’t be at the Inters or the New Zealand Cup is WA superstar Chicago Bull, who was nominated for the Cup last week but withdrawn over the weekend. His trainer Gary Hall is concerned injuries suffered in the life-threatening fall last term are still nagging the tiny pacer and he has been spelled. Entries for the Cup and Dominion close with Addington today and while most of the big name Kiwis will nominate late, as tends to be the way with so many harness trainers, Rabbitt is thrilled to have Tiger Tara already among the entries. “We have him and a few from Australia like Uncle Sam and Buster Brady entered while Tough Monarch and McLovin are nominated for the Dominion.”   Michael Guerin

Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone ($2,359,150), who has served as a harness racing stallion in New Jersey and Ohio, enjoyed tremendous success Sunday afternoon (Aug. 25) in Denmark as a stallion. The Danish Trotting Derby for 4-year-old trotters, raced at Charlottenlund in Copenhagen, was a big triumph for Wishing Stone, who not only was the sire of the first two horses past the post, Dumbo and Donatello Garbo, but is also the sire of fourth-place Diamant Østervang and fifth-place Diamondwind. From a crop of just 14 foals, Wishing Stone managed to have six sons qualify for the Derby and further, he had one mare in the Hoppe Derby, Doyouwishdiamond, who finished third. The judges had to call for a photo before it was announced that Dumbo, driven by his trainer Gordon Dahl, was the winner of the Derby. The Danish Trotting Derby is raced over 3,000 meters (1-7/8 miles) and the winner was timed in 1:59.3 (mile rate). The purse for the winner was $90,000. Wishing Stone is now standing at stud in Italy and has served 120 mares there plus 40 mares in Denmark in 2019. In the Netherlands the Dutch Derby, Derby J for 3-year-old trotters at Duindigt, was won by John King Boko (sired by Yankee Glide) with Hugo Langeweg Jr. in the bike. The race distance was 1-5/8 miles and the win time was 2:02.2 (mile rate). by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

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. This week's guest are Phil Williamson; following his first dual Group One winning haul; Grant Anderson of the Kaikoura Trotting Club updates us on this years' meeting and Jill Stockman of Stonewall Stud talks ownership opportunities. Also Richard Wilson is back for this week's Bookie Update.   Jess Smith

New Zealand’s very own ten time driving premiership winner Dexter Dunn continues to go above and beyond the public's expectations of his North American harness racing sojourn. Since heading to the northern hemisphere to expand his career just over 12 months ago, Dunn has gone ahead in leaps and bounds by picking up some quality stock to drive. Highlighted by the Chris Ryder trainer Bettors Wish, Dunn has also picked up the drive on top trotting filly Millie’s Possession. Currently he has driven 278 winners, and won over $6.4 Million dollars in stake money this season in North America. Bit Of A Legend wins 50th careers race. Gallant Down Under pacer Bit Of A Legend, won his 50th career race at Yonkers on Saturday . The 10yo Stallion paced the mile in 1:52.4 around the half mile (800m) track and extended his career earnings to over $2.5 million. Bit Of A Legend is trained by Peter Tritton and has been driven by Jordan Stratton in North America. Formerly trained by Cran Dalgety in New Zealand, he was the winner of 20 races and over $800,000 in New Zealand and Australia, including the Australian Breeders Crown twice at ages 2 and 3, and the New Zealand Yearling Sales 2yo Open Final. A stallion by Bettors Delight, Bit Of A Legend is building a very strong CV for a future in Breeding. Bit Of A Legend, winning his 50th career race at Yonkers   Monday 19th August   Harrington Raceway DE Delishka N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $17,000 Tuapeka Trick N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $11,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Liberty Rose N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $23,000   Tuesday 20th August   Harrington Raceway DE Anytime N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $11,000   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Rockin The Boys A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $12,500 Somwherenbrookln N – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $8,500   Yonkers Raceway NY   Brookies Prince N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $13,500 Armbro Courage N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,500 Shebang N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $18,500     Wednesday 21st August   Batavia Downs NY Electric Chapel N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $3,300   Thursday 22nd August   Ocean Downs MD Gotta Minute N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $8,200     Friday 23rd August   Saratoga Harness NY Bontz N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $12,500 Misty Memory N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $7,760   The Meadows PA Gold Class N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $11,200 Fiery Lustre N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $9,000   Tioga Downs NY Glenferrie Bronte N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $4,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Statesman N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $20,500 Hez Orl Black N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $22,250 Bronze Over N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $24,000     Saturday 24th August   Batavia Downs NY Harry Hoo N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $9,500 Tullow N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $12,500 In Runaway Bay N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $10,000   Northfield Park OH Uncle Lile A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $6,500 Elrama N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $7,000   Saratoga Harness NY Itsonlyrocknroll A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $4,500 Kenrick N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $12,500 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Christen Me N, 3rd Bettors Spirits N Chumlee A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $8,500 Teo Enteo N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $8,030   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Torrid Bromac N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $11,000 Soho Chelsea A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $14,000   Yonkers Raceway NY None Bettor N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $46,000 San Domino N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $30,000 Bit Of A Legend N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $30,000 Runrunjimmydunn N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $24,000 Joe Bongoirno & None Bettor A winning The Battle of Lake Erie in all aged Track Record of 1:49 a few weeks earlier   Sunday 25th August   Tioga Downs NY Ascot Encounter A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $6,000   Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety posted 20th of August Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety posted 12th of August Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety posted 5th of August Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety posted 29th of July Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety posted 24th of July   By Carter Dalgety

By Garrick Knight.  Steve Lock really didn’t want to take on Tact Denzel late last year. Until he heard the magic word. “They’ve got to be priced right for me, and that is free,” he quipped after the seven-year-old finally cleared maidens at Gore on Sunday. “I wasn’t that interested because he’d been through a few stables. “He beat my horse Shindal when they qualified at the Balfour trials and that’s really the only reason I agreed to take him. “Bill McDonald had him then, and he sacked him, then I think Rory (McIlwrick) bought him and got sick of him. “After that Brian Norman got him then Matt Saunders had him and he didn’t hang around there for long at all. One start, I think. “And that’s when I got him. “He was free and he had beaten Shindal so I figured there must have been some ability in there somewhere.” There hasn’t been any magic turnaround for Lock – Tact Denzel had placed just twice for him in 28 runs before Sunday’s win in the hands of McIlwrick. “He had been a wee bit of a pain in the butt on the lead so the last couple of weeks I’ve put him in the cart to gallop and it seems to have woken him up. “Rory said that today he was a lot better and more enthusiastic whereas usually he would be trying to scrub him up a lap out.” Lock doesn’t expect Tact Denzel to suddenly start winning with regularity after clearing maidens. “He’s just an ordinary horse; the two times he ran second, things went his way and he got a reasonably handy trip. “And that was the key today – he stepped and got handy in the trail, which was half the battle. “They didn’t go any great time, but he still went faster than the other ones.” The win was the third for the Lock/McIlwrick combination since the latter returned to driving late last season after the best part of a year away from race day driving. “I was short a driver one day and I text Rory and asked him if he would be interested. “He was working for Phil Williamson and happy just doing that but I twisted his arm and I think he’s glad I did. “He said to me, you know, if you hadn’t contacted me, I still wouldn’t be driving. He’s in a good space and was happy with his lot. “But I know he’s loving being back out there driving again. “What I love about Rory is none of the horses come back in with a welt mark.” Lock is the first to admit he’s never had the best winning strike-rate as a trainer because he only gets other trainer’s giveaways, but he’s had five winners this year and is arguably in ‘career best’ form. He admits to being just as excited by the run of stable newcomer Honour Scroll, who ran home well for sixth. “I think I took more enjoyment out of her run than Tact Denzel’s win. “I’m excited by what she could do this season.”   Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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