Day At The Track
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81 to 96 of 20118

TIGER Tara’s spluttering campaign has come to an end. After weeks of uncertainty and below par form, trainer Kevin Pizzuto today confirmed the superstar would not tackle the NZ Cup or defend his Inter Dominion crown in Auckland. “The horse is in the paddock. He’ll be there for the next month or so and serve a few mares as well,” Pizzuto said.  “I tossed everything around and it’s the right thing to do.  “It really all stemmed from that gut-buster he had first-up in Queensland (the Blacks A Fake). It was at the start of the campaign, unsettled him and he just hasn’t been right since.  “You can’t go to an NZ Cup unless you’re 100 per cent and he’s not.”  But Pizzuto still hopes to salvage something from the season with his nine-year-old entire.  “Perth is the target now, the Fremantle and WA Cups,” he said. “He can have a month out now and I’ve still 10 weeks after that to get him ready for Perth.” Adam Hamilton

By Jonny Turner Pre-race study paid off for Gemma Thornley when Nemera Franco produced a barnstorming finish to notch the junior driver’s first career win at Motukarara on Sunday. Thornley got more than 15 lengths off the speed in the middle stages when driving the unbeaten mare, who is trained by her employer, Steven McRae. Other rookie drivers may have panicked when driving a favourite in the same position, but Thornley showed a cool head. The reinswoman had confidence in her charge because she put the time in to studying Nemera Franco’s race tapes and watching how her uncle, Craig Thornley, had previously driven the 5yr-old. “I had watched her tapes and looked at how Craig had driven her in her first two races,” Thornley said. “In her first start at Motukarara, he got a long way back with her and she finished off really well.” “And I knew she could be a bit lazy in the running, so I wasn’t too worried when we got back in the field.” Thornley got Nemera Franco rolling before the home turn, before the pair made a very wide bid in the home straight. The Bettor’s Delight pacer wound in to her work stylishly to make up many lengths on the leaders, before going on to make Thornley’s first driving win a sensational one. “Halfway down the straight, she put the burners on and sprinted past them and I knew I had it,” Thornley said. The rookie reinswoman admitted the feeling of being a race winning driver took time to get used to. “It is still sinking in, to be honest, I have been trying to take it all in, I guess.” Thornley’s path to the winners circle was short, but not smooth. She had driven in just eight races prior to her win, with several of those horses galloping out of contention.  “I have had a few rough drives.” “It was good to have a nice horse to drive and to be trusted to do a good job by the boss.” The reinswoman hopes driving her first winner will help boost her profile, so that she can secure more drives. Thornley is the daughter of trainer-driver Chris Thornley. She works alongside her uncle, Craig, at Spreydon Lodge. And she is thoroughly enjoying her experience under head trainer Steven McRae. “There are a lot of horses there and a lot of things to learn.” “Driving the young ones is good for my education and having my uncle there is even easier.” The Thornley family have enjoyed a good run of success in the new season. Gemma is also related to Olivia Thornley, who has recently scored back to back wins with All Stars 3yr-old, Taxman. Her brother, Sam, drove his first winner at Addington, earlier this season. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Destiny Jones will attempt to continue the resurgence of her form by defending her crown in Sunday’s Group 3 Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup at Motukarara. The 8yr-old nosed out Monty Python, who also returns for this year’s running, in an exciting finish to the 2018 edition of the 2810m grass track feature. The Dean Hunter trained squaregaiter ran the best race of her campaign when running second to Sundees Son in the Group 3 Ordeal Trotting Cup at Addington, earlier this month. The run signalled Destiny Jones was back to her best after her form tailed off at the end of last season and producing a fair resuming run, two weeks prior to her Ordeal Cup effort. “The last run was good, she certainly stepped up,” Hunter said. “The harder they go it suits her and when Sundees Son went such a good time it really suited her.” “She just keeps trucking and if she had been able to get on to Sundees Son’s back around the home turn she would have been even closer at the finish.” Destiny Jones’ return to form came after her hocks were treated while she had a short winter spell. It has been evident the mare has been feeling better in her recent work following the treatment, Hunter said. “She's been working really, really good so I just hope it continues.” Hunter is hoping for a repeat of last year’s performance in Sunday’s 2810m feature, but much different fortunes for Destiny Jones than she was dealt after her win. Destiny Jones had a troubled spring and summer following after she suffered a lingering lung infection. The trotter bounced back to her best form later in the season and went on to run a big fifth behind Sundees Son in the Rowe Cup, after botching the start. Destiny Jones and Monty Python will clash with a mixture of established open class trotters and those who have recently graduated to the open grade. Winterfell opened a short priced favourite for the race with bookmakers after his impressive effort to take ground off rising star, Oscar Bonavena, on fast closing sectionals at Oamaru, last weekend. The main concern for his backers should be that Winterfell has just had that one soft run to prepare him for Sunday’s 2810m grass track staying test. However, it would be unlike the All Stars stable not to have the horse ready to run a big race. Valloria went and put in a sound effort when running third behind Oscar Bonavena at Oamaru and he looks a genuine race contender. Fellow hopeful, Habibi Inta, set up the very strong pace of Sundees Son’s Ordeal Trotting Cup before fading to run a sound third. The horse looked in need of racing to reach full fitness when also running third behind Sundees Son in his prior run. The Paul Nairn trained trotter‘s condition should be much improved following his two starts this season and he looks a genuine threat to Winterfell. The Greg and Nina Hope trained duo of Matua Tana and Enghien add plenty of interest to the race. Matua Tana impressed in his first start for the Hope stable with a good win against middle grade trotters at Addington earlier this month. Enghien has failed to flatter in his first two starts this term after missing all of last season’s racing. Those two starts should have helped the trotter edge back to peak race fitness ahead of Sunday’s race. The Dominator and former Dominion winner, Amaretto Sun, add a complex Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

The NZB Standardbred Harness Racing NZ Awards for the 2018/19 season were run last night, Saturday the 28th of September, at Addington Raceway.  Horse of the year honours went to Spankem, the Miracle Mile winner Harness Racing NZ are delighted to announce the following winners:   Standardbreds Make Great Pets 2YO Trotting Filly Of The Year Tailored Elegance PI & GJ Kennard  2YO Pacing Filly Of The Year Sweet On Me Clarkson Signs 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Of The Year Bolt For Brilliance Emblems NZ 2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding Of The Year One Change Inkwise 3YO Trotting Filly Of The Year Tickle Me Pink Vincent 3YO Pacing Filly Of The Year Belle Of Montana IRT 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Of The Year Lotamuscle Garrard's Horse & Hound 3YO Pacing Colt or Gelding Of The Year Ultimate Sniper Dyer Decorating 4YO Trotting Mare Of The Year Kenny's Dream Breckon Farms 4YO Pacing Mare Of The Year Elle Mac The Commodore Hotel 4YO Trotting Entire or Gelding Of The Year Sundees Son Brandwear 4YO Pacing Entire or Gelding Of The Year Spankem Trackside 5YO & Older Trotting Mare Of The Year Destiny Jones Hanley Formula 5YO & Older Pacing Mare Of The Year Dream About Me Majestic Horse Floats 5YO & Older Trotting Entire or Gelding Of The Year Speeding Spur Airpark Canterbury 5YO & Older Pacing Entire or Gelding Of The Year Thefixer The Breeders Trotting Broodmare Of The Year Della's Speed The Breeders Pacing Broodmare Of The Year Reality Check The Breeders Breeder Of The Year Charles Roberts gavelhouse.com Trotting Stallion Of The Year Majestic Son Auckland Trotting Club Pacing Stallion Of The Year Bettor's Delight Airpark Canterbury & Addington Owners Pass Owner Of The Year Jean Feiss Southern Harness Leading Junior Driver John Morrison Cruickshank Leading Junior Driver - UDR Ben Hope Harness Racing NZ Education & Training Leading Driver Blair Orange Lone Star Spitfire Leading Trainer Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen Catch Driver Cadet Of The Year Kaleb Bublitz Catch Driver Runner Up - Cadet Of The Year Alana Cameron What The Hill Trotter Of The Year Sundees Son Woodlands Stud Pacer Of The Year Spankem TAB Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing Colin & Julie DeFilippi NZB Standardbred Horse Of The Year Spankem Witches of Westview Best Moment Of The Season Overzealous - Comeback after accident Harness Racing NZ Outstanding Contribution to Life After Racing Julie DeFilippi   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc    

By Jonny Turner Stevie Golding scored his first win as a trainer in sensational style when Stunin Magic bolted in by more than six lengths at Addington on Friday night. Golding’s fiancé, Samantha Ottley, let the Stunin Cullen pacer loose at the 500m and the mare ran her rivals off their feet to score an empathic victory in just her third start. Golding admitted Stunin Magic’s impressive performance came as slight surprise to him.  “It was a massive thrill.” “She went good at the trials two weeks ago, so I didn’t think she would be too far away” “But, I wasn’t expecting her to win like that.” “Hopefully she can keep it going.” Stunin Magic has allowed Golding to keep his hand in harness racing while he works full time as a real estate agent. The 4yr-old is the only horse the former premiership winning junior driver has in work. “I only do it for a hobby and she is the only one I have in work.” “It is just a good to have one at the races so I can come along and have a beer and catch up with everyone.” Though Golding has made a flying start to his training career by producing a win and two seconds from just four starts, he does not plan on expanding his team, with real estate being his main focus.   Stunin Magic produced Golding’s two second placings when producing two runner-up performances in her first two starts, late last season. The mare then underwent surgery to remove bone chips, before Golding brought her back up to race fitness. Stunin Magic is raced by her breeder Terry McDonald along with Golding’s brother, Matt, and Soph Herbert. Another milestone was notched at Addington on Friday night when trainers Jason and Amber Lethaby scored their first quinella. Amber produced a well judged front running drive to help Justamollyarcher hold out Globe Trekker and Jonny Cox. The couple’s training effort was just also well judged as the neither horse had been sighted at the races recently. Justamollyarcher was having her first start since running a creditable sixth behind Ruthless Kayla in the Uncut Gems Trotters Classic at Addington in June. Globe Trekker was also having his first start since June, when he clashed with exciting trotter Oscar Bonavena at Ashburton. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight An inspired plan delivered immediate on-track results when Triple Eight took out the $30,000 Franklin Long Roofing Spring Cup at Alexandra Park on Friday night. Always regarded as a brilliant talent with impressive speed, the big son of American Ideal just had a couple of flaws that he needed to overcome if connections wanted to tackle the best races going forward. “He’s always had a roughness in his gait and, while it will never be perfect, we felt that part of it was because he just wasn’t strong enough,” trainer Steve Telfer told HRNZ post-race. “So, after he ran third in the Uncut Gems at Addington back in June, rather than spell him, we gave him six weeks on the water walker instead. “The result is he came back much bigger and stronger.” It took a canny David Butcher drive to get the win after the horse was four back on the markers with a lap to go. Butcher is the master of the legal push-out shortly after the winning post with a lap to go and he once again pulled it off at the expense of outsider Red Reactor, who was then forced to race three-wide the last lap. Butcher let Triple Eight down over the final two furlongs and he nailed a very brave Mach Shard, who sat parked throughout, in the shadows of the post. So, are we about to see the horse scale the heights of the open class ranks and become a serious threat to the All Stars army? Telfer isn’t getting carried away yet, but he does have ambitious plans. “We’ve mapped out a plan for him and that will include the Inter Dominions, Auckland Cup and then a trip to Aussie in the new year. “I don’t think I’ll be tempted to late nominate for the New Zealand Cup – you just can’t do it all. “To prepare for a big race like that, then return to Auckland for three races in a week, then possibly a final and the Auckland Cup, it’s just too much. “We’ll keep him at home and prepare for a big summer up here – that’s the best option for us.” After only one “soft” trial in the lead up, Telfer expects firm improvement heading forward, with the Holmes D G in a fortnight’s time the next logical aim. “He looked to be getting tired 100 out so I expect he will get a lot of benefit out of it.” Last night’s win was also the first start for a bunch of new Australian owners that purchased a quarter share in Triple Eight over the winter. The group, headed by Victorian commercial breeder Shannon Nixon, now race Triple Eight with his breed, Scott Plant, and Jill and Steve Stockman’s Stonewall Stud. While only finishing sixth, Star Galleria put up a superb performance off his 20-metre handicap to get as close as he did. Trainer/driver Steven Reid was ecstatic post-race. “I’m rapt with that; when they slowed to a 32 quarter that took us out of it, otherwise we might have been a chance of winning. “He’ll come back here in two weeks, over the 2700, a lot fitter horse, and be very hard to beat.” Reid also reported that a scope earlier in the work had cleared the horse of any recurrence of a throat issue that required minor surgery in November of last year. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight It may have said he ran last, but a quiet workout at Cambridge last Saturday told Andrew Neal everything he needed to know ahead of Credit Master’s resumption at Alexandra Park on Friday night. Local spies clocked him home in 56 seconds under a stranglehold and, sure enough, that translated to race night success when he upset hot favourite Lemond six days later in the night’s $23,000 feature trot. “Yeah, it was nice,” said Neal. “And I knew he would improve from it because he needed the run.” Credit Master blasted off the gate to lead and never looked like being headed, the clock stopped in 1.56.9. “I thought he would lead because he’s always shown us good speed. “As it turns out I didn’t really have a choice; he just bolted.” Neal and training partner/wife, Lyn, nominated Credit Master for the Inter Dominions yesterday, believing he is finally in the right head space to deliver on his potential. “We only did it because it’s here and it will help the numbers. “We have no big expectations with him and he will need to continue to improve but tonight was a great start.” The ability has never been in question with the now six-year-old son of Muscles Mass, it’s been his capacity to deal with life that has caused the Neals frustration. “He has mental health issues,” said Neal, seemingly only half-joking. “He worries about everything, especially on race night. “At home he is usually quiet as a lamb, but he gets himself so worried coming to the races. “That’s why we brought his little mate along to for the trip tonight – it helps keep him happy and in a good space.” By coincidence, the little chestnut stablemate, an unqualified three-year-old trotter, has some interesting breeding. “He’s a half-brother to Lemond.” The Neals, who have had a fairly quiet time of it on the racing front over the last 12 months, are about to roll out a plethora of three-year-olds, including four high-quality pacers. “We’ve already had Ideal Agent and Louie The Horse win as two-year-olds last season and they are both back at the workouts stage. “There are two more coming up that are just as good, we think.”   Marshall repays Casey’s faith Having one of the country’s leading owners send you horses is the dream for any young trainer trying to make it in the game. So, when Kyle Marshall produced a quinella at Alexandra Park last night for Canterbury owner Trevor Casey, it’s fair to see he was proud as punch. Casey, who raced champions Lazarus and Stent among many others, sent Cambridge-based Marshall Bettor Sensation and Pembrook Charlie after their previous trainers moved them on. The pair ran one-two in a $15,000 R40-55 mile, Bettor Sensation smoking through a gap late to peg back his smaller stablemate. “I was really happy to get the quinella for Trevor,” said Marshall, who drove Pembrook Charlie. “I got to know him when I was in Australia working for Brent Lilley and Trevor had horses in the stable. “I drove a few of his horses over there and he always said he would send me a horse to train one day. “To have the support of someone like him means a lot to me. “It’s just a shame we didn’t have two sets of the ‘Lone Star’ colours for the photo.” Bettor Sensation has always shown ability, he’s just struggled with getting himself organized early in his races, meaning he’s always had to be driven cold. “We are still working him out and making a few gear changes as we go. “He’s never been able to get going early but he led at the workouts a few weeks ago and there are still a couple of things I think we can do to further improve him.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight A matter of weeks in to her new role, Kimberley Blakemore is enjoying life as forewoman for the Auckland arm of Michael House’s stable. With the guidance of Pukekohe trainer Steven Reid, Blakemore is managing the dozen or so horses House has in the north. “I’m absolutely loving it; it’s nice to be able to run the barn and sort of do my own thing,” Blakemore told HRNZ. “Reidy writes up the board every day and checks in with me on how the horses were that day and it’s all going really well. “We are all working really good as a team and I’m just grateful for being trusted with the responsibility.” Blakemore drove Warloch to victory in a junior drivers’ race a fortnight ago and will hunt her second driving win for her new boss at Alexandra Park tonight. Santanna Mach is a newcomer to the north and is having his first start right-handed, but Blakemore says she cannot foresee any likely issues in the first on the card, another junior drivers’ event. He brings strong Addington form in to the race but has lucked out with a draw on the inside of the second line. “He’s settled in great.” “He’s a lovely big horse and I don’t think right-handed will bother him whatsoever. “I’m just hoping for a bit of speed on early in the race, which will really suit him, but we will need things to go our way from the awkward draw.” Bookies opened Santanna Mach at $12, behind warm favourite Megastar ($2.40), who will be driven by Dylan Ferguson for trainer Robert Dunn. House has a three-strong attack on the night’s R56-67 mile, headed by race favourite Delightful Major, who had been backed in from an opening quote of $3.60 to $3 by Friday night. He made up a stack of ground coming wide in a similar race two weeks ago and Joshua Dickie sticks with the ship this time. But Blakemore is going with stablemate Warloch ($12) from the coveted ace draw while Shillelagh ($26) will need a lot of luck from barrier eight. “I would say Warloch is the best chance as he’s got the handy draw and if he does no work early, I can see him getting over them all at the finish.” Rounding out the team is Final Delight, who came in for a lot of support at the last mile night on September 13 following an impressive workout win in the hands of Reid the Saturday prior. Things didn’t go his way that night, being forced to sit parked in the race won by the exciting Line Up, and Blakemore is expecting a better performance in a modest field tonight. “We are happy with him and he’s drawn this week to get cover and not do it tough which will definitely suit him. “He’s a good chance if things go his way.” Bookies have Final Delight, who will be driven by Zachary Butcher, at $12. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Addington Catch Driver Championship Night – Friday 27 September   An amazing trip for two to Mooloolaba is up for grabs this Friday at Addington Raceway in the world’s first Harness Racing E-Sport Catch Driver Championship. Catch Driver is a harness racing game where players can race live against other players from all over the world by using their touchscreen mobile phone or device.   Catch Driver is now live in its new 3D version, which means players will be able to get closer to the action than ever be- fore, and it’s all at your fingertips on your smart phone.   Following the recent trials at Addington Raceway, Catch Driver will be holding the world’s first E-Sport Harness Racing Championship this Friday oncourse with three heats and final to be held between races. Run in conjunction with Addington Raceway and Harness Racing New Zealand, the Catch Driver team have finalized a live coverage of the game which will broadcast this Friday’s heats and finals. Contenders play in special and exclusive Addington ‘game events’ via their phone, while the race is broadcast live on the Big Screen on the infield, and also on selected television screens around the track. Three heats of nine players will be held this Friday, with the first three in each heat home through to the final to be held later in the evening. The fantastic prizes in the Addington Catch Driver Championship Grand Final are: First place – A trip for two to Mooloolaba, Queensland Australia. Accommodation at the stunning Peninsular Beachfront Resort, Mooloolaba for three nights thanks to Addington Raceway. With a $1,000 travel voucher towards travel costs, thanks to Westview Racing. Second Place – Two tickets to the Lindauer Lawn on Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day thanks to Addington Raceway. Third Place – 2,500 Catch Driver Horse Shoes thanks to the Catch Driver team in Canada. Players can register their interest by emailing Jess Smith at HRNZ – jess@hrnz.co.nz Space is very limited for this exciting event and successful entrants into the heats will be contacted directly and sent an entry form to complete.   Please note entrants must check in at the registration desk next to the Lanson Lawn by the birdcage area at least 30 min- utes before their heat is run. Should they fail to do so their space will be taken by the next person on the waiting list.   It is also the responsibility of the player to ensure they have enough ‘Catch Driver Cards’ to compete in the heat or final. Finalized times for the heats and finals will be made available very soon.   We are thrilled to present this Championship as an introduction to the Catch Driver game, giving the Harness Racing in- dustry a world first and the game will be a regular part of the Addington oncourse entertainment options for race goers.   To download the game visit: http://onelink.to/p9zknf   Catch Driver Championship Fields   Heat One - After Race Four at Addington 1 Matty Williamson 2 Mel Mowbray 3 Jonny Turner 4 Terry Grout 5 Emily Morgan 6 Mark Hurrell 7 Jacob Dunn 8 Julie McEwan 9 Jack Ryder   Heat Two - After Race Five at Addington 1 Gavin Smith 2 Jamie Keast 3 Luke Sutherland 4 Jesse Alford 5 Michael Morgan 6 Jemma Barltrop 7 Alana Cameron 8 John Morrison 9 Matt Purvis   Heat Three - After Race Six at Addington 1 Hayley Clarke 2 Jayden Wyke 3 Darren Keast 4 Hunter Haley 5 Marisiale Tunoka 6 Andrew Fitzgerald 7 Lacey Dunn 8 Wilson House 9 Ashleigh Stewart    

By Jonny Turner The lead up to New Zealand Cup has been robbed of one of its biggest talking points following the withdrawal of Southland sensation U May Cullect. The winner of seven of his eight career starts will not line up in the great race for trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis after suffering a small tear to a tendon. Barclay, who is known for her positive outlook, admitted this year’s New Zealand Cup dream being over for U May Cullect was shattering news for her stable. “Obviously I am gutted, but you have got to keep positive.” U May Cullect had been suffering from a stone bruise since he ran sensationally quick sectionals in his season’s pipe-opener at Winton, earlier this month. Barclay and Ellis were getting on top of that problem just as the tendon issue was developing in the horse’s opposite front leg. “In the last couple of days the stone bruise was coming right, but then he started getting some heat in the other leg,” Barclay said. That heat was discovered to be radiating from a small tear in the lower region of the horse’s tendon. After scanning the tendon, vets recommended the horse have four to six months of rest. Barclay said her stable vets were positive about U May Cullect’s chances of recovering from the injury and racing again. “We are pretty positive and they are being pretty positive.” “The main thing is if it heals up good so that he can race again and he has showed that he has done that with his previous injuries.” U May Cullect made a meteoric rise from harness racing obscurity to be one of the leading contenders for this year’s New Zealand Cup after recovering from two previous tendon injuries. The good news for the speedster’s legions of fans is that the horse has not reinjured one of his previously healed tendon tears. “It is on the same leg, but it is lower down and it is not as serious.” Barclay said. “So, we will get him back and rehab him and have another go next year.” U May Cullect will be put aside for the rest of the season and aimed at next year’s spring racing. The 6yr-old’s withdrawal from the New Zealand Cup had an immediate effect on the New Zealand Cup market. The favourite, Spankem, was the most significant mover, tightening from $3.40 to $3. The 5yr-old’s All Stars stablemate Ultimate Sniper moved in from $4.50 to $4. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner  A sensational line up of 3yr-olds will provide a mouth-watering entre for punters at Addington on Friday night ahead of the beginning of the Sires Stakes Series. Sires Stakes eligible pacers Skippy’s Delight, Tyron's Bit Of Lemon, Somekindawonderful and Above N Beyond will battle with fellow 3yr-olds Willison and Im A Gigolo and older pacers Letterkenny Boy, Lets Hustle and Givemewhatineed in a brilliant rating 52-59 event over 1980m. Skippy’s Delight will warm up for next week’s first South Island Sires Stakes Series heat when he starts from barrier 2 in the line up of emerging stars. Though next week’s race is his main aim, trainer Brendon Hill is hopeful Skippy’s Delight can run a big race. “I'd like to think he'd be top three or go really the race.” “He has got a good draw and he has got gate speed.” “He can be up handy on the speed.” Skippy’s Delight scored back-to-back wins after running in to major traffic problems and going to the line under a hold by driver Ricky May, behind One Change at the Harness Jewels. The Art Major pacer led in both of his wins and is likely to be on the speed again, on Friday. However, Hill is hopeful the horse will get the opportunity to show off more of his skill set soon. “He's won his last two in front and Ricky and I hope he will be better in behind.” “We haven't been to do that and I don't know if we'll get a chance to do that on Friday night.” “But, let's hope is another dimension to them that we haven't used.” Skippy’s Delight has tuned up for his return to racing with two Rangiora trials. The 3yr-old was off the pace in a leader dominated heat in his first attempt. Skippy’s Delight then impressed when sweeping around the field to beat a quality line up including race rival, Above N Beyond, and group 1 performer, Flying Even Bettor. Bookmakers rated Im A Gigolo the hardest horse to beat when making 3yr-old the $2.60 favourite on market opening. The Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon trained pacer won his debut by more than nine lengths before scoring a comfortable length victory against a field of largely race hardened older horses in his second start. Trainer Robert Dunn has a powerful hand in the race with debutante winners Tyron's Bit Of Lemon, Somekindawonderful and former smart 2yr-old, Above N Beyond. Above N Beyond stormed home wide on the track to reel off a smart last 400m when running in to second in Skippy’s Delight’s trial win. Tyron's Bit Of Lemon and Somekindawonderful will both step up sharply in grade after clearly maidens nicely in their first starts to the races. The Mark Jones trained Willison adds more depth to Friday night’s race. The 3yr-old fought on for second behind Kiwis Are Flying in his first start for six weeks at Addington last week. All Stars pacer Letterkenny Boy heads the older brigade taking on the race’s smart 3yr-olds. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained pacer finished ahead of Skippy’s Delight at the trials before going on to win another heat, last week. The 10 race Addington card is stacked with smart 3yr-olds. Arden's Reality , Pur Dan, and Gilligans Island go head to head in race 1. On A Roll, Diamond Party and A Delightful act clash in race 3. Smart All Stars pacer Aqua Sancta will battle older horses in race 10. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

The first open class race of the northern season tonight looks like being a game of catch me if you can. And plenty of trainers are thinking they can't. In one of the more unlikely turnarounds in recent Alexandra Park seasons, the $30,000 Franklin Long Roofing Spring Cup has drawn a full field of 14, with the handicap conditions over the 2200m meaning trainers are happy to take on proven topliners like Star Galleria (20m). And with some race fit, hard-running pacers drawn well on the front line a small child could read the race tactics, with drivers like Brent Mangos (The Devils Own) and Josh Dickie (Bettorstartdreaming) all but certain to try and roll along at a fast clip to not let the backmarkers into the race. That was the case in a similar race last Friday in which Bettorstartdreaming popped out of the trail to win in 2:42.2 for the 2200m stand, making it almost impossible for those back in the field to get close enough to threaten. "That could be the problem for us again," says Steve Telfer, trainer of 10m marker Triple Eight. "It looks like they will go hard off the front so the start will be crucial. "Our horse is forward enough to win because he trailed really well last Saturday but he probably needs to step well and settle in the first six. "It would be hard to make ground from further back than that." Scott Phelan, stable foreman for Barry Purdon, feels the same about the returning Mach Shard. "I think he will need the run regardless but the big field makes it hard for all the horses off handicaps," says Phelan. The one horse racing well enough to still be a factor from a handicap is Solid Gold, who has looked very sharp this season but he will still need plenty to go his way to power past the two leaders, while off a 20m handicap Star Galleria will need even more luck. While Bettorstartdreaming was too slick for The Devils Own last Friday the latter does move up 10m in the handicaps tonight and looks far more potent when able to build up a head of steam on the marker pegs so their battle looks far more even tonight. The return of the open class trotters in race six looks a different proposition as while Lemond has the outside draw punters can still bet with the confidence he can overcome it. He is a ruthless sprinter with five wins and three placings in mobile sprint trips but perhaps even more importantly he is a sound and happy horse at the moment judging by how he cruised passed race rival Pres The Belle at the Pukekohe workouts last Saturday. "He feels really good and quite forward," says trainer Ross Paynter. "He is also the soundest he has been for a while and he races well fresh so I think he is ready to win.'' The open class pacing scene has lost one of its x-factor horses for at least the remainder of the year. Southland sensation U May Cullect is out of the New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominions after vets found a small tear in a tendon yesterday. They have recommended a 4-6 month spell for the excitement machine, who has won seven of his eight career starts pacing times which suggested he had the motor for the big time. His loss and the problems affecting Thefixer's NZ Cup campaign have seen Spankem tighten into $3.20 favouritism for the Cup at Addington on November 12.   Michael Guerin

Defending New Zealand Cup hero Thefixer is the centre of a radical plan to get him back to our greatest harness race. And while champion trainer Mark Purdon describes himself as “relatively confident” Thefixer can make it to Addington for the second Tuesday in November it is very much a case of punters beware in futures betting. Thefixer has yet to race this season and was supposed to trial this week but has been suffering from hoof soreness. Purdon, training partner Natalie Rasmussen, their vets and blacksmith have come up with an idea not even Purdon has tried before in his legendary career. They have found Thefixer is happiest when not wearing conventional shoes so they plan to shoe him the mornings he fast works, then immediately take the shoes off and only put them back on again for his next workout. “In between times he would wear a boot, similar to the ones endurance horses wear when they are competing on rocky surfaces, to protect the hooves. “It is not ideal obviously and we have never tried anything like this before but we think it can work.” Thefixer has long struggled with hoof problems, particularly in the frog area at the rear of the hoof. The stable tried to cover that with what is known as an egg-bar shoe but they found it was restricting the blood flow to the hoof and not letting it spread on impact with the ground and therefore dissipate the concussion load. “So his hooves were getting worse and after we took his shoes off on Monday he has been a lot happier since. “He will wear the endurance boots when he is on the treadmill or in the resistance cart and then shoes when he is fast worked.” Purdon says hoof issues aside Thefixer is very forward and he could even race in the Canterbury Classic at Addington tomorrow week, depending on how he handles his new regime and fast works on Monday. “Even if he can’t make it there he has races like the Methven Cup and Flying Stakes at Ashburton and the races even closer to the Cup. “So we think we can get him there but we also know things like this put him at a disadvantage compared with a horse like Spankem, whose campaign has gone so well so far.” Spankem’s track record-equalling win at Oamaru on Sunday has seen him ascend to  $3.40 favouritism for the Cup on November 12, while Thefixer is now the $4.20 second favourite but that is certain to drift. The reality is while Thefixer overcame some issues on his way to winning the Cup last year, he is at best of comparable ability to Spankem but at the moment one is in the zone and the other not so much. Both horses were among nine the All Stars nominated yesterday for the Inter Dominions, which start at Alexandra Park on November 29, with the leading stable entering six pacers and the trotters. Spankem and The Fixer are joined by Ultimate Sniper, Chase Auckland, Ashley Locaz and the surprise nomination of Queensland Derby winner Self Assured, who isn’t in the New Zealand Cup. And their trotting team is headed by Oscar Bonavena with Winterfell and Luby Lou. Entries for the Inter Dominion close at 11am on Monday morning and are free so while that may lure some decent Australian numbers in, how many make it to Auckland for the series will be interesting. There is an understandable fear of the Purdon-Rasmussen horses from Australian stables but in reality, with Thefixer’s issues, the fact Ultimate Sniper and Self Assured and only four-year-olds and Ashley Locaz and Chase Auckland lose more than they win in open class, Spankem is the only truly scary Interdom pacer the All Stars have and he was unplaced in the Final last season.   by Michael Guerin

By Jonny Turner  Tapanui trainer Matt Saunders has not left room for many excuses if his pacers Rah De Rah and Sadhana do not perform at Winton on Thursday.  Both stable newcomers will attempt to continue their good form when starting from handy barrier draws for leading reinsman Blair Orange. Rah De Rah won his first start for Saunders at Gore, before running in to fifth behind Donegal Mary Francis at Ascot Park, last weekend. The trainer was initially disappointed with the 8yr-old’s last start effort, but a closer look at the race’s fast closing sectionals changed his mind.  “He is just not a sit sprinter – he used to be before, but against these wee bit better ones he needs to be out rolling and he gets his chance to do that this week,” Saunders said. Saunders is still learning about the 8yr-old after having him for less than a month. Rah De Rah had a quiet two weeks and could have still have had improvement left in him leading in to his last start.  “If there was any excuse, I was possibly a bit easy on him going in to that last run,” Saunders said.  “If anything I think he will be improved from the run.” Drawing barrier 1 in race 5 means Rah De Rah should be perfectly placed to land on the speed on Thursday.  Though Saunders will not be issuing any instructions to Orange, it looks a logical game plan for the horse to try to lead all of the way.  “Drawn one around Winton – he is unbeaten on that track,” the trainer said. Sadhana continued Saunders’ brilliant form with horses new to his stable when winning in her first start for him at Ascot Park on Saturday. The trainer admitted the strong front running victory surprised him, despite his good record with newcomers. “It was a hell of a surprise.” “She just kept running - I cant really put it down to anything.”  “I had no expectations.” Sadhana led and ran a smart 2:43.4 time in her 2200m win with Orange in the sulky. The 5yr-old faces a big step up in grade when taking on a higher class of horse in race 6 today.  Canterbury pacer Carlos Bromac will back up in the event after his impressive win at Ascot Park on Saturday.  Thursday’s feature trot sees an exciting clash between Picketts Ridge and Wee Man Trouble. Picketts Ridge impressed when downing his rival in his first start for the season at Winton, earlier this month. Wee Man Trouble launched a big finish to easily hold second in the event. Picketts Ridge had a 10m headstart in that race, but will not have that advantage this time.  Both trotters will start from the 30m back mark in their 2400m handicap.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight Inter Dom noms shaping nicely Australian interest in the upcoming Inter Dominion series is strong, according to early nominations received by the Auckland Trotting Club. Racing Manager Regan Cotter says 11 of the 25 pacing nominations received to date are Australian-trained, and there have been indications from connections of a further half-dozen that they are likely to nominate ahead of Monday’s deadline. Among those officially nominated are five from Amanda Turnball’s Sydney stable, two trained by Melbourne’s Craig Demmler and the familiar names San Carlo, Our Uncle Sam, Cruz Bromac and Sicario. Defending champion Tiger Tara, comeback millionaire pacer Bling It On and rising Queensland star Colt Thirty One are all expected to nominated by Monday. Leading trainer Emma Stewart is expected to make a decision over the weekend on a few of her stars, including Shadow Sax and Poster Boy while Kiwi trainer Tim Butt will do the same with Our Field Marshal. In the trotters section, there are already 29 names, including the Australia-trained Kyvalley Blur and Fratellino. At least another six are expected by Monday, including the likes of Tough Monarch, McLovin and Big Jack Hammer. Defending champion Tornado Valley has been ruled out by his trainer, Andy Gath, citing the horse’s dislike for travel. Cotter says while the on-track stuff largely takes care of itself, it’s the off-the-track stuff that is consuming most of his team’s time. “It was always going to come around quicker than we thought and that has sort of been the case. “And for us with 40 other meetings a year, life still goes on, so we’ve been very busy. “The planning for the event is coming along quite well and there are some really exciting things in the pipeline that we hope to announce within the coming weeks.” A massive crowd, possibly the biggest seen in decades, is expected at most of the carnival’s four meetings. “The carnival falls at the same time as Christmas at the Races, which on any given year would see two or three thousand people on course. “Add in all the racing purists and fans that turn up for the sheer fact it’s the Inter Dominions and we are expecting a massive attendance. “We are pretty confident that everything is tracking quite well.”   Retirement for injured trotter Well-performed trotter Heard The Whisper has been retired after fracturing a pedal bone during a race at Alexandra Park last Friday night. Initially disappointed with the run given he didn’t gallop, trainers Jason and Megan Teaz soon realised why he had dropped away from the field down the straight. “As soon as we took the gear off, he was standing on his tip toes, which was unusual,” said Jason Teaz. “Then as we went to walk him away for a wash, he couldn’t put the foot on the ground.” The attending race night vet suspected a fractured pastern and put a special splint on the foot to stabilise it. Heard The Whisper was dropped at a veterinary clinic in Cambridge at 1am, his trainers fearing the worst and hoping for the best. Saturday morning x-rays identified the broken pedal bone and, while far from ideal, it was a best-case scenario. “A broken pedal bone is better news than a broken pastern. “He won’t need surgery, just a bar shoe and being confined to a small yard for a few weeks.” Eventually, the seven-race winner will return to owner Gerald Cayford’s property in North Otago. “Gerald said he will give him a home for life down there in Waikouaiti. “He’s going to put him in a paddock next to his horse and they hope one day to be able to ride him along the beach.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ  

TAB News Pick6 this week - $25K Pick Six Winton Thursday. $25K Pick Six at Addington Friday. September - Harness First4 - $6K Bonus First4 Race 4 Addington Friday.   Addington Raceway and Events Centre – Friday 27 September World first to be held at Addington Raceway this Friday In a world first, the Addington Catch Driver Championship will be held at Addington this Friday night. Players of Catch Driver who are oncourse can enter the heats, and if they win the final will win a trip to Mooloolaba for two courtesy of Addington Raceway and Westview Racing! Plus other great prizes on offer too! To enter you must register with Jess Smith at HRNZ before 12noon Thursday 26 September. Entrants will be drawn after that. Register by emailing jess@hrnz.co.nz Hello Everyone, It is all go at Addington!  We are pretty much racing every week up until Cup Week!  We have exciting racing ahead with the Road to the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup underway and the Road to the Airpark Canterbury Dominion Trot soon to commence! Below we have outlined all the fun areas for the week.  Be sure to read what is available and visit addington.co.nz to book your spot and to be part of the magic! CHRISTCHURCH CASINO NZ TROTTING CUP DAY – PUBLIC TICKETS NOW ON SALE! A big congratulations to Christchurch Casino, our naming rights sponsor and principal partner, on celebrating their 25th anniversary in November!  Please join Christchurch Casino and Addington Raceway as together we offer an exceptional range of places to toast their anniversary and enjoy Australasia’s biggest harness racing day. #letscelebrate #nzcup19 GENERAL ADMISSION You will be right in the heart of the action to view all races on the trackside grassed area or via big screens.  Venture into The Edge Public Village to have an epic experience in The Edge Activation Garden.  Thanks to The Edge, there will also be a phone charging station to keep you up to date with your social media and betting. The cutting-edge fashion heats and semi-finals of The Crossing Fashion Starts Here Best Dressed Competition are now open and will be held in The Edge Public Village.  If you wish to become fashion royalty of the year and to be in to win thousands of dollars in prizes, make sure you enter this elite event.  You will be at crossroads of what to do between races!  Make sure you check out the Speights Beer Garden with your mates as The Rock will be on course with their ‘Beat The Bar Activation Challenge’. Check out our crossroads signage in The Edge Public Village to choose a bet you won’t forget at one of our many totes.  For refreshing beverages and delicious treats, race over to our bars and some of Christchurch’s top international food providers. Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day headline act on The Edge Public Village Stage will be ..…… avoid FOMO, make sure you follow our social media pages to be the first to hear who will be entertaining you! 2019 General Admission Ticket Prices: Earlybird (2 September to 31 October) – $25 per person + booking fee Standard (1 to 12 November) – $35 per person + booking fee At the gate (12 November) – $45 per person (cash only)   Reserved Seating Tickets – only $65 per person + booking fee A reserved seat offers prime viewing to capture all the entertainment and thrilling racing action.  There are only 100 tickets available in the public stand (uncovered), so be sure to get in quick!  Anyone booking a reserved ticket is able to access everything that is available in the General Admission area!  LINDAUER LAWN You will be making a beeline to the sought after revamped Lindauer Lawn to watch spectacular racing, fashion finals and presentations from the lawn, or via an elevated view from the rooftop. But wait, what is Lindauer doing this year? For the first time, Lindauer are giving the first 100 people on course an elaborate glam gift.  Prior to entering the Lindauer Lawn be sure to stop, a complimentary Lindauer will be served to the first 1,000 stylish and racing ready people! For delicious treats and thirst-quenching refreshments, make sure you trot over to one of our many bars and food offerings. To make a bet you won’t forget, race over to one of our tote operators who will be happy to assist. Addington is also raising the stakes!  Only those who purchase a Lindauer Lawn ticket will be in to win!  But, to win what…watch this space! Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day headline act on the Lindauer Lawn Rooftop Stage will be……??? All will be revealed about Addington’s prize and entertainment on the Lindauer Lawn & Rooftop via our social media pages!  Make sure you follow us to be the first to hear everything that will be on offer in this fabulous area. Please note this is an R18 Area. Guests will be age-verified. 2019 Lindauer Lawn Ticket Price: Lindauer Lawn (available 2 September until sold out) – $75 per person + booking fee Oops, you were after Corporate Hospitality as you wish to provide the ultimate hosting experience to thank valued clients, staff, and friends, and to network with business leaders who attend this iconic event every year? That’s fine, for further details or to book visit addington.co.nz. TAB Trackside Retreat -  For the ultimate betting experience with friends or colleagues there is no better place to view all the top racing action.  TAB Trackside Retreat is positioned in a reserved area in The Edge Public Village directly in line with the 75m mark.  It has easy access to a private viewing area and direct views to the large screen.  Be in to win – book your spot! PLEASE NOTE This is an R18 Event Fully licensed venue and no food or alcohol is able to be brought on course SHOW DAY RACES – PUBLIC TICKETS NOW ON SALE! Show Day Races is truly a fun cost-effective day out for everyone.  There will be no public surcharges, and entry will be by gold coin donation to Maia Health Foundation.   So be sure to pop along and celebrate elite racing at its best on one of NZ’s richest race days. Racing highlights of the day are the Woodlands NZ Free-For-All and the Airpark Canterbury Dominion Trot.  The NZ Kidz Kartz Final is definitely a crowd pleaser for all ages. This year we will have again having a FREE kids’ entertainment zone, home to many exciting activities for all ages including, for the first time a FREE petting zoo. There are numerous public areas available with your gold coin entry including the Lindauer and Blanc de Blanc Lawns, Twiggers and the Christian Cullen Lounge where tasty Kiwi treats and refreshments will be available. Show Day Races headline act on the Lindauer Lawn will be……, make sure you follow our social media pages to be the first to hear who will be entertaining you! SPECTATORS BAR & BISTRO A seat in Spectators to watch all the racing action on TV’s or via the exclusive outdoor area to the Lindauer Lawn.  You’ll have the opportunity to order one of Spectators famous pizzas amongst other delicious treats, snacks and refreshments off the menu. Yay – children aged 14 years and under are FREE.  Be sure to get in quick as numbers are limited. 2019 Spectators Bar & Bistro Ticket Prices: Adult (available 2 Sept until sold out) – $30 per person + booking fee Children (aged 14 years and under) – Free (limited tickets) Spectators will be open to everyone after the last race. #letscelebrate #showdayraces Have a great week everyone.  We look forward to hosting you soon!   Alexandra Park News – Friday 27 September 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     Cheviot Harness Racing Club – Stallion Tenders The Cheviot Harness Racing Club has two stallion tenders on offer. DOWNBYTHESEASIDE – a son of Somebeachsomewhere Equal fastest 2yo in Standardbred history, paced 1.49 - Breeders Crown Final 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $6,000+GST. PEGASUS SPUR – sire of Speeding Spur Sire of Speeding Spur – now competing at the highest level in the USA Sire of Paramount Gee Gee 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $3,000+GST. Tenders close 14 October, please send all tenders before then to kirsten_mcnabb@yahoo.co.nz   Cambridge - Waikato Bay of Plenty Faulty Towers at The Races- October 3rd 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/    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 Kaikoura TC Stallion Tenders Thanks to ALABAR NZ, the Kaikoura Trotting Club is pleased to be able to offer the following stallions for tender: One service to Art Major (valued at $14,000) One service to Majestic Son (valued at $5,000) Tenders close at 5pm on Wednesday, 25 September 2019 For enquiries and copy of Tender Form please contact Geraldine Stanbury 021 351 615 or email on ger.stanbury@xtra.co.nz   Southern Harness Website Southern Harness is pleased to announce the launch of their new website.  www.southernharness.co.nz

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