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Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Cambridge tonight with an eight race program starting at 5:39pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good evening of racing. Cambridge selections 11th February 2021 Best Bet:  R1 Chalberg Best Value:  R8 Express Play   Race 1 Chalberg Jimmy Richter Mighty Monica Prodigal Pete Selections:  Chalberg (4),   Jimmy Richter (3),   Mighty Monica (1)   Prodigal Pete(5)   Race 2 Safrakova Majestic Harry Mackali Ya Know Selections:  Safrakova (4),   Majestic Harry (8),   Mackali (10)   Ya Know (5)   Race 3 Hooray Henry Joshua Richard Satchmo Ideal Prince Selections:  Hooray Henry (2),   Satchmo (1),   Joshua Richard (3)   Ideal Prince (4)   Race 4 Molly Bones The Last Gamble As Free As Air Delson Selections:  Molly Bones (8),   The Last Gamble (1),  As Free As Air (5)   Delson (9)   Race 5 Shanlou Nyla Gypsy Manhattan Sunshine Selections:  Shanlou (1),   Nyla (3),   Gypsy (6)   Manhattan Sunshine (5)   Race 6 Pull The Other Leg Spirit Of Anzac Ace Strike Show Me Heaven   Selections:  Pull The Other Leg (6),   Spirit Of Anzac (2),   Ace Strike (5)   Show Me Heaven (1)   Race 7 Ruby Mach Romanee Fleeting Grin Sunset Red Selections:  Ruby Mach (9),   Romanee (6),   Fleeting Grin (4)   Sunset Red (1)   Race 8 Express Play Hezashadowplaya The Peacemaker Eighteen Carat Selections:  Express Play (2),   Hezashadowplaya (1),  The Peacemaker (3)   Eighteen Carat (5)   Harnesslink Media

Our champion stallion Skyvalley NZ is again the leading colonial sire of trotters in Australia for the sixth consecutive season. During the 2019/20 season his stock won 92 races with 215 placings for $1,164,196 in stakes. Skyvalley NZ has commenced the 2021 season on a high with five individual winners already including the homebred Aldebaran Poppy, who won twice including a heat of the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Mares’ Sprint Championship. Scenic Sky T 1.58.2 ($133,450), who notched his 14th win, and Skyline NZ emerged successful at Menangle and Albion Park respectively, the Aldebaran Park bred Jennysfavourite (Maryborough) and Kimkar Dash NZ, who came off a 30 metre handicap at Auckland, were other recent winners sired by SKYVALLEY NZ. The three-year-old filly Aldebaran Floss NZ, who was bred by Aldebaran Park, posted her maiden success on the grass at Methven, New Zealand, while Aldebaran Alissa NZ, a mare part-owned by Aldebaran Park, won at Geelong and Bendigo. Another Aldebaran Park part-owned mare, Sun Swinger NZ, who is in foal to Muscle Mass USA, posted her third success on the grass at Motukarara in New Zealand. The Aldebaran Park bred Aldebaran Ursula (by Yield Boko Se) was named the NSW 2YO Trotter of the Year for 2019/20. The filly won five races including three heats of the NSW Foundation Series and lowered the Australian two-year-old trotters’ mile record three times highlighted by a 1:55.7 effort in the Group 3 Graeme Lang Aldebaran Park Trotting Mile at Bendigo. An interesting foaling in January was Aldebaran Campbell, a colt with an all-American pedigree, being by Muscle Hill out of Aldebaran Turnpike USA (1:59.6), a Cantab Hall mare bred in America and raced in Victoria. The colt is named in honour of Campbell, a Warragul Cup and Melbourne Showgrounds winner owned by the late John McPherson, the father of Aldebaran Park principal Duncan McPherson and trained by the late Graeme Lang. We are sorry to report the death of our brilliant, young American-bred stallion Aldebaran Eagle USA, who succumbed to a long battle with illness on January 16. A son of Muscle Hill USA and the Self Possessed mare Letsjustalkaboutme USA (1:56.2), Aldebaran Park was purchased as a yearling by Aldebaran Park at the 2013 Harrisburg Sale. As a two-year-old he won a $76,000 division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile in 1:55.2 defeating Centurion ATM, while he took his lifetime mark of 1:52.2 at three years winning at The Meadowlands. He qualified for the 2015 Hambletonian Final and was placed in the Colonial Trot and New Jersey Sire Stakes Final and finished up with a stake tally of $240,926. He was later exported to the southern hemisphere where he qualified in NZ before an injury forced his early retirement. The first crop of Aldebaran Eagle USA will race as two-year-olds this season with those showing promise such as Aldebaran Yeurial (Aldebaran Eagle USA – Charming Yankee Nz) expected to be at the trials in Victoria in late February / early March.On the sales front, Aldebaran Park has nominated 9 yearlings – the largest draft by any vendor – for the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale to be held at the Oaklands Junction auditorium on Sunday, February 7 - 2020. All our Yearlings - Pedigrees, Photos and Videos are available to be viewed at the Yearlings Sales and Preparation section of our website at  www.aldebaranpark.com  or at www.austrottingsale.com.au The consignment comprises four colts and three fillies by the exciting first crop sire Aldebaran Eagle USA, colts by the highly credentialled sires Father Patrick and Love You and a filly by the world champion two-year-old Southwind Frank. Lot 106 – ALDEBARAN BRUTUS - A Father Patrick USA half-brother to the Group winner Hotjane Bling 1:53.9 ($132,230). Lot 115 – ALDEBARAN MARTY - An Aldebaran Eagle colt from the Group placegetter Naked Majesty (1:59.7) Lot 124 – ALDEBARAN BUDDY – An Aldebaran Eagle USA colt from Sundons Babe NZ – herself a daughter of the outstanding Merinai NZ. Lot 127 – ALDEBARAN SHAUNIE - A Love You FR half-brother to four winners from Aldebaran Sunset NZ Lot 129 – ALDEBARAN SIMBA – A colt by Aldebaran Eagle USA from Yankee Sister – who has left last season’s 2YO filly winner of the Sprinboard Trot in Queensland Aldebaran Selena Lot 131 – ALDEBARAN ZOE – An Aldebaran Eagle USA filly - the first foal of Zhenya NZ – 13 wins ($108,499). Lot 136 – ALDEBARAN BREE – An Aldebran Eagle USA filly from Aldebaran Breeze who has already left Breezin Around – Grp 1 placed Lot 138 – ALDEBARAN CHLOE - A Southwind Frank filly from Aldebaran Crumpet and the family of About Now, Now Another Look and Some Direction. Lot 141 – ALDEBARAN DAHLIA – An Aldebaran Eagle USA filly from 8 time winner Aldebaran Daisy. On the Stallion Front – Skyvalley NZ and Aldebaran Eagle USA were both extremely well patronised and we thank all those breeders around Australia who have again supported Aldebaran Park – we look forward with anticipation to the foals arriving later this year. There is no doubt that the enhanced VicBred scheme announced by Harness Racing Victoria has stimulated Victorian Broodmare owners which will see an increase in trotting numbers in coming seasons. We encourage you to Visit our website at www.aldebaranpark.com for further information. We are “Hot to Trot” at Aldebaran Park. READ MORE ABOUT THE BIG WINS OF SKYVALLEY'S BRILLIANT PROGENY TORNADO VALLEY BELOW: >> Great Southern Star: Tornado makes it two >> Great Southern Star: "A fairytale" as Tornado does it again     by Peter Wharton

Ottley joins 500 club Sam Ottley has become just the second female driver to record 500 wins in this country. The Teal Pants ambassador went into today's races at Oamaru on 498 wins, only to win race 2 with Mayhem in Malibu ($10.80/$2.40) and then Race 4 with favourite Deceptive Lee ($2.30 and $1.30).  The first to reach the milestone was Nicky Chilcott who’s currently on 648. Ottley's been in fine form this season, and now has 45 winners for the season and looks set to eclipse her previous season's best of 68 wins in 2020. Ottley is one of two South island ambassadors for Teal Pants, the annual campaign to raise awareness about and raise funds for ovarian cancer.  Spirit of St Louis heads north  Spirit of St Louis has moved from his Otago base to South Auckland. The four-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou has gone from Graeme Anderson and Mike Love to Joshua Dickie at Clevedon. With eight wins in 16 starts, his last effort was a fifth in the Group 3 Southern Supremacy Stakes final in Invercargill behind Burnham Boy. Four race winner Yankee Party has also changed stables, moving from Katrina and John Price to the stables of his regular driver Nathan Williamson. Dance Craze retired after 24 wins Prolific-winning trotter Dance Craze has been retired. Trained by Anton Golino and expat Kiwi Jack MacKinnon at their Ballarat stables in Victoria, the daughter of Muscle Hill recently pulled up sore. Golino : “It’s not really a bad injury. Any other horse you could probably give her a little break, come back and be fine. But she’s seven now, made half a million and she’s done her job.” She had 24 wins from 50 starts, including the 2017 Breeders Crown series, the 2019 Great Southern Star, and the 2020 Australian Trotting Grand Prix. Dance Craze raced once in this country, a third in the Ruby 4YO trot at the Jewels in Cambridge in 2018. Now she’ll become a mum. Four-for for Dexter Dunn Kiwi star Dexter Dunn has had a four win night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and is currently the second highest-earning driver in the U.S. for the year. Recently named Driver of the Year for the second consecutive time the 31 year old won with Forevernalways, Rockin The Aces, Whittaker N and Somebeach Baron at the Big M to now have 56 wins for 2021. His earnings of $USA566,249 are second to Trace Terick ($US594,895). Riverton turns 60. The Riverton Trotting Club is throwing a party for the public of Southland when it celebrates 60 years of racing at its annual Cup Day meeting at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Saturday 13 February.On course the day will see feature events including the 31st running of the $15,000 DT King’s Transport Ltd Riverton Cup, the Neville Cleaver Fishing Aparima Trot and the Bill Keast Memorial Gold Chip Trotting Final.   HRNZ

New Zealand-bred standardbreds have produced a timely reminder of their incredible success in Australia with a dominant weekend of harness racing in Victoria just days out from NZB Standardbred’s 2021 National Yearling Sale.  Melton at Mooney Valley is one of the many tracks across the world where New Zealand-bred pacers and trotters have stamped their class in elite races. The names of Australasian greats Lazarus (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and Tiger Tara (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) have been blasted across the Victorian track in recent seasons, with their stunning performances in Group One events adding to the incredible legacy of the New Zealand standardbred around the world.  Over the weekend, New Zealand-breds Tornado Valley (NZ) (Skyvalley), Princess Tiffany (NZ) (Art Major) and Boots Electric (NZ) (Somebeachsomewhere) claimed more Group One victories across the Tasman. Tornado Valley took out the $300,000 Group One Southern Star Final (1720m), while Princess Tiffany claimed the $100,000 Group One Alabar Ladyship Cup (1720m) and Boots Electrics claimed his first Group One victory in the $100,000 DNR Logistics 4YO Bonanza (1720m).  Kiwi breds Yorkshire (NZ) (A Rocknroll Dance) and Typhoon Stride (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) also produced stakes-winning victories claiming titles in the $50,000 Group Two Mercury80 Final (1200m) and $30,000 Group Three Benstud Rising Stars Final (2240m) respectively.  These conquests attributed to kiwi standardbreds winning 11 of the 19 races contested over one of Australian harness racing’s biggest weekends.  Although dominance in Australian Group One events is nothing new for New Zealand exports. From historic performers Blossom Lady (NZ), Christian Cullen (NZ) and Lyell Creek (NZ) to I’m Themightyquinn (NZ), each decade Australian harness racing history is littered with kiwi superstars. A glance at the statistics from the most recent Australian harness racing season back up those claims. During the 2019-20 season, New Zealand-bred pacers won 49% of all eligible Group One pacing races in Australia.  Their trotting counterparts won 58% of all eligible Group One trotting races last term.  Last season, New Zealand was the leading source of eligible Group One winners in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland in both the trotting and pacing gaits. New Zealand-bred stars to made their mark in Group One races during the last Australian harness racing season include A G’s White Socks (NZ) (Rocknroll Heaven), Belle Of Montana (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) (NZ), Bettors Heart (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), Stylish Memphis (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), Chicago Bull (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), McLovin (NZ) (Monarchy) and Lyell Creek (NZ) (Monarchy).  Just last week, kiwi breds dominated the leading categories at the prestigious 2020 Australian Harness Racing Awards. King of Swing (NZ) (Rocknroll Hanover) Four Group One titles in the $1,000,000 Miracle Mile (11609m), $500,0000 Hunter Cup (2760m), $175,660 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship (2680m) and $100,000 Allied Express Sprint (1609m) saw King Of Swing (NZ) (Rocknroll Hanover) crowned the 2020 Australian Harness Horse of the Year, Australian Pacer of the Year and Aged Horse/Gelding Pacer of the Year.  Sensational 1:48.9 mile winner Bettor Enforce (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) took out the top honour for mares in the Australian Aged Pacing Mare title. She claimed 13 races and nine placings from 25 seasonal starts.  Sweeping up more awards, Dr Susan (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) was crowned the Australian 3YO Filly Pacer of the Year and Line Up (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) won the Australian 3YO Colt/Gelding of the Year title.  Three Group One wins helped trotter Tornado Valley secure his second consecutive Australian Trotting Horse of the Year title and Aged Trotter of the Year title. New Zealand-breds have won nine of the past 12 Hunter Cups, six of the last eight Miracle Miles and 13 of the last 18 Australian Trotting Grand Prixs.  The dominance of New Zealand-breds in age-group races has seen them win 15 of the last 19 WA Derbies, seven of the last 10 WA Golden Nuggets and eight of the last 11 Golden Slipper Stakes. The New Zealand-bred standardbred also dominoes on kiwi soil, with New Zealand-bred horses defended 97% of all Stakes races in their home country last season.  Kiwi horses also claimed a total of 15 out of the 16 Group One pacing and trotting races on the 2020-19 calendar. Shartin (NZ) (Tintin In America) From the heady days of the world’s first millionaire standardbred Cardigan Bay (NZ) (Hal Tryax) to recently retired fastest mare in the world Shartin (NZ) (Tntin In America), New Zealand-breds have been starring on North American racetracks for decades.  Those wanting to ride the wave of success New Zealand standardbreds have created should look no further than the 2021 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale in Auckland and Christchurch, filled with the New Zealand-bred stars of tomorrow.  The recipe for that success is simple, premium genetics combined with lush, green pastures and a temperate climate make New Zealand a paradise for raising young stock.  All unbroken yearlings purchased at the 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale are eligible for the lucrative NZB Standardbred Harness Million Sale Race Series, with an estimated one million dollars in the prizepool.  View the full catalogue online here. Buyers are encouraged to visit standardbred.bidonline.nzb.co.nz to register and verify their accounts 24 hours prior to the Sale, which begins at 12PM (NZT) on Sunday 14 February at Karaka. Follow the step-by-step guide to NZB Standardbred’s online bidding platform here. View the full video tutorial demonstrating how to use the online bidding platform here. 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale Calendar Auckland Parade at Karaka: Saturday 13 February 2021, 1PM (NZT) Auckland Sale of Pacers & Trotters: Sunday 14 February 2021, 12PM (NZT) Christchurch Parade & Sale of Trotters: Monday 15 February 2021, 1PM (NZT) Christchurch Sale of Pacers: Tuesday 16 & Wednesday 17 February 2021, 1PM (NZT)   NZB Standardbred

Times are changing ‘Down Under’ where first season sires are concerned. The nature of the majority of breeders was to breed to proven sires and let the new sires charter the own course, which was mainly through stormy waters! With this thought process, these sire’s chance of making a name and a book as a stallion was diminished.  Then, all of a sudden, things changed in the pacing ranks and now the trotting gait has joined in.  For Woodlands Stud, freshman sire ‘What The Hill’ represents that change. A star son of the legendary ‘Muscle Hill’, ‘What The Hill has successfully shuttled and his first crops appear in the NZ Standardbred Sale in Auckland and Christchurch from February 13th -17th.  A total of 25 yearlings are catalogued and for any sire, this is a great promotion, a quick look suggests that What The Hill may have the most square gaiters for sale in the sale! What The Hill was USTA 3yo trotter of the year and won the Breeders Crown and the Canadian Trotting Classic and defeated the older horses at The Meadowlands in 1.51.4 in the TVG Open Trot. What The Hill is represented by a number of high quality colts and filles, by world class dams including Regal Volo, Yagunnakissmeornot, Fear Factor, Landora’s Pearl and Luby Ann.  Lot 91 What The Hill – Fear Factor, Bay Colt      Lot 134 What The Hill – Miss Pegasus, Bay Colt   Lot 149  What The Hill – Surfin Sunsation, Bay Filly   Lot 154  What The Hill – Viola Eyre, Bay Colt What The Hill started the ‘down under’ sale season by clearing all lots in Melbourne and generated a great average for a first season sire. In North American, his progeny where very well received across all sales and there is a quiet optimism amongst trainers in the USA, that What The Hill will make it. What The Hill represents a changing of the guard in how breeders now think about breeding to first season sires and then placing their progeny in yearling sales.  Woodlands Stud wishes all NZ breeders the best our luck as they head towards their ‘grand final’ at the New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred sale in the coming days.     Woodlands Stud

Welcome to this weeks harness racing news update from Addington Raceway with Greg O'Connor and Darrin Williams.    Addington Raceway

Auckland Cup winner Amazing Dream could be sold as soon as this weekend. New Zealand’s best pacing mare is the centre of a huge offer from a US-based ownership group but current owner Jean Feiss says she will get through Friday night’s $100,000 Breeders Stakes at Addington before any decision is made. Amazing Dream is a $1.25 favourite to win that group one and add it to her magnificent Auckland Cup win of six weeks ago. But Feiss is entertaining an offer from North America that could see Amazing Dream head to the Ladyship Mile at Menangle next month over her way to a future race career in North America. “I haven’t decided yet,” says Feiss. “I’d be really sad to sell her but I don’t usually breed from my mares and if she does stay with me then I will retire her at the end of this season anyway. “But no decision will be made until after the weekend.” While the New Zealand open class season slows dramatically after the Easter Cup on April 3, Amazing Dream is one horse not affected by that so any perspective buyer would have numerous Australasian-based options before any US campaign. Not only could Amazing Dream head to the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle but she is eligible for the Taylor Mile and Messenger at Alexandra Park and would be an unbackable favourite for the four-year-old mares division of the Jewels at Cambridge.   by Michael Guerin

Top filly Darling Me has gone to the top of the Nevele R Fillies Series leaderboard following her win at Auckland on February 5. In the opening heat of the series, the Sweet Lou - Adore Me three-year-old was debuting for Steve and Amanda Telfer after earlier being trained by the All Stars. It was her fourth win in 11 starts.  Shes No Lady (Sweet Lou - Bettor Be A Lady), trained by Steven Reid and Simon McMullan, was second, followed by Santa Maria (Bettor's Delight - Galleons Supreme), trained and driven by Tony Herlihy.  Heat 2 is at the Hororata Trotting Club's grass track meeting at Methven on Sunday.  In all there will be seven heats, with the final set down for Addington on Friday, May 14. NZ Sires Stakes Series 'Road to the Final' updates: Nevele R Fillies Series 43

Ottley set to join 500 club Going into the Oamaru races today Team Teal ambassador Sam Ottley is just two wins away from being just the second female driver to drive 500 winners in this country. The Canterbury-based driver sits on 498. The first to reach the milestone was Nicky Chilcott who’s currently on 648. Spirit of St Louis heads north  Spirit of St Louis has moved from his Otago base to South Auckland. The four-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou has gone from Graeme Anderson and Mike Love to Joshua Dickie at Clevedon. With eight wins in 16 starts, his last effort was a fifth in the Group 3 Southern Supremacy Stakes final in Invercargill behind Burnham Boy. Four race winner Yankee Party has also changed stables, moving from Katrina and John Price to the stables of his regular driver Nathan Williamson. Dance Craze retired after 24 wins Prolific-winning trotter Dance Craze has been retired. Trained by Anton Golino and expat Kiwi Jack MacKinnon at their Ballarat stables in Victoria, the daughter of Muscle Hill recently pulled up sore. Golino : “It’s not really a bad injury. Any other horse you could probably give her a little break, come back and be fine. But she’s seven now, made half a million and she’s done her job.” She had 24 wins from 50 starts, including the 2017 Breeders Crown series, the 2019 Great Southern Star, and the 2020 Australian Trotting Grand Prix. Dance Craze raced once in this country, a third in the Ruby 4YO trot at the Jewels in Cambridge in 2018. Now she’ll become a mum. Four-for for Dexter Dunn Kiwi star Dexter Dunn has had a four win night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and is currently the second highest-earning driver in the U.S. for the year. Recently named Driver of the Year for the second consecutive time the 31 year old won with Forevernalways, Rockin The Aces, Whittaker N and Somebeach Baron at the Big M to now have 56 wins for 2021. His earnings of $USA566,249 are second to Trace Terick ($US594,895). Riverton turns 60. The Riverton Trotting Club is throwing a party for the public of Southland when it celebrates 60 years of racing at its annual Cup Day meeting at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Saturday 13 February.On course the day will see feature events including the 31st running of the $15,000 DT King’s Transport Ltd Riverton Cup, the Neville Cleaver Fishing Aparima Trot and the Bill Keast Memorial Gold Chip Trotting Final.   HRNZ

The Karaka yearling sale this weekend may not have an Australian buyers on the grounds but it has something more important: the strongest catalogue ever put together for a Southern Hemisphere sale. After the recent thoroughbred sales held by New Zealand Bloodstock they put on their harness racing hat for five days to offer over 400 pacers and trotters, with the selling starting at Karaka on Sunday after a parade day on Saturday. Like the thoroughbred sales NZBS will have to sell to overseas buyers through their new real-time online bidding platform, which is now well bedded in after two successful sales in recent months. But the reality is the loss of overseas buyers on the ground shouldn’t have as much effect as at the thoroughbred sales because there is close to no Asian market for harness horses as well as a very strong domestic buying bench. Harness racing does have fewer agents who would have inspected all the yearlings to advise overseas clients but harness buyers tend to be less exacting than the thoroughbred code where almost all horses are x-rayed and scoped before the sale. The loss of the Australians on the sales ground will still affect the sale but anybody serious about harness racing in Australasia will be watching for the simple fact the sale is remarkably in its depth. The Karaka sale has been the Australasian benchmark for the last decade, with its boutique catalogue and a more commercial feel to the breeding and sales industry in the north, dominated by huge farms like Woodlands Stud and Breckon Farms. But even by Karaka’s high standards this sale is incredibly deep, with almost every dam of the yearlings a black type performer, has left a black type performer or is a sibling to a black type performer. Some of the older families have been weeded out by the larger farms culling less commercial mares while both Woodlands and Breckon Farms, by far the two biggest vendors, are putting even their most valuable yearlings under the hammer. The result is a sale with more depth, current families and potential $100,000 colts than anything ever seen in this part of the world. “We are opening up the jewel box,” says Breckon Farms boss Ken Breckon. “We have decided to really get behind the sale after a tough last year for the industry and we have 36 in our draft, 34 of which Karen and I own ourselves. “Of those 36 we are taking to Karaka, 33 have group one winners in their first or second dams.” Along those is the three-quarter brother to Miracle Mile winner King Of Swing while Breckon Farms are selling some blueblood trotters, with that gait no longer the poor relations of the standardbred yearling sales. Woodlands boss Andrew Grierson is also bouyant about Sunday’s sale with a draft fill of brothers and sisters to group one winners. The sale will be anchored by the enormous popularity of Woodlands stallion Bettors Delight but along with the demand for regular sales favourite Art Major there is newcomer back-up in Sweet Lou, Captaintreacherous and there will be increased interest in the stock of Always B Miki after a sensational freshman season in North America for the Alabar stallion. Domestically there has been good interest in parades and yearling tours and most of the big players have indicated they will be buying, including on-sabbatical champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen who will be advising established owners even though they don’t intend training again this year or maybe ever. Whether the sale has many $200,000-plus lots, which is real blue chip level at a harness sale, will depend on just how many of the big players get a crush on the same horse. But on depth alone the sale is certain to be strong even at a time when the Australians can’t get into the country. KARAKA Saturday: Parade starts at 1pm Sunday: Sale starts noon. CHRISTCHURCH Monday: Parade starts at 1pm; trotting sale at 3pm Tuesday and Wednesday: Sales starts 1pm both days. Catalogue: www.nzbstandardbred.co.nz   by Michael Guerin

By Jonny Turner    Driver Mark Hurrell does not plan to leave the fate of his leading hopes to chance at Oamaru on Wednesday. Hurrell will combine again with Jonique, who is out to make it three wins from her last four starts in race 8. Though her recent winning run ended in a last start eighth at Ashburton, the five-year-old still produced a sound effort to finish just over two lengths from the winner, Senorita Margarita. “It didn’t really go how I wanted it to go, just everything went wrong,” Hurrell said. “So we just put a line through it, but she only finished a couple of lengths from the winner after being three-wide for most of the way.” Hurrell has full faith Jonique can bounce back to winning form in Wednesday’s race. “We are pretty confident with her on Wednesday.” “She is probably the best horse in the race and we will probably drive her like that, too.” “She would need some pretty bad luck to stop her I would think.” Hurrell combines with Pete’s Dash in race 6 following his second in an amateur drivers race at Addington. The reinsman hopes the pacer can bring that kind of form to Oamaru after he ran a less impressive fifth in his prior outing at Forbury Park. “He went good in the amateurs’ race last week,” Hurrell said. “He didn’t go as good at Forbury before that, but I probably drove him a bit hard.” “I sort of tried to break the rest of them, but he just got found wanting that last little bit.” Hurrell hopes to make full use of Pete’s Dash’s barrier 2 draw on Wednesday. “He is the same as Jonique, really.” “We will try to be pretty positive, I don’t think anything else would be good enough to take me on too much.” “I would say he is my best chance of the day.” Hurrell again combines with Ultimate Sassenach in race 3. The five-year-old has been a consistent performer over summer and looks set to go another strong race despite clashing with the hot favourite American Lightning. “I think American Lightning would have to do things wrong for me to beat him, to be honest.” “But she is going good races, she ran second to Tres Chic, who has come out and won again.” Hurrell reunites with Owes Me Dough following his second to Magic Sign in his last start at Forbury. The reinsman can not see why the four-year-old will not put in another bold effort in race 5. “He was pretty good at Forbury.” “He was disappointing in his first start, he didn’t appreciate the grit and we changed some things.” “He ran home quite nice at Forbury, he probably lacks a little bit of speed.” “But if he gets the right run he is probably as good as any of them in that field.” “There are probably four or five equal chances in that.” Hurrell also drives Son Of Majestic (race 1) and Deborah’s Gem (race 7), who both look outside place chances.

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Oamaru today with an eight race program starting at 1:53pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good afternoon of racing. Oamaru selections 10th February 2021 Best Bet:  R4 Deceptive Lee Best Value:  R8 Mad Lu Li   Race 1 Emdeegee Gift Card Son Of Majestic Majestic Jag Selections:  Emdeegee (11),   Gift Card (16),   Son Of Majestic (6)   Majestic Jag (1)   Race 2 Maldito Mayhem In Malibu  Manon The Run Silent Shadow Selections:  Maldito (13),   Mayhem In Malibu  (3),   Manon The Run (1)   Silent Shadow (15)   Race 3 American Lightning Overarm Ultimate Sassenach Canstar Selections:  American Lightning (4),   Overarm (10),   Ultimate Sassenach (5)   Canstar (1)   Race 4 Deceptive Lee Missmollygoodgolly Mark Dunnett Iron Woman Selections:  Deceptive Lee (7),   Missmollygoodgolly (10),  Mark Dunnett (8)   Iron Woman (3)   Race 5 Angel Of Montana Best Trio Shards Fury Owes Me Dough Selections:  Angel Of Montana (8),   Best Trio (3),   Shards Fury (12)   Owes Me Dough (15)   Race 6 Makasar Boy Alexy Pete's Dash Betstars Blue Jean Selections:  Makasar Boy (4),   Alexy (9),   Pete's Dash (6)   Betstars Blue Jean (13)   Race 7 Jaguar Bay Jerry Garcia Horse Of Course Missie Castleton Selections:  Jaguar Bay (3),   Horse Of Course (6),   Jerry Garcia (9)   Missie Castleton (1)   Race 8 Mad Lu Li Gabby's Star Jonique  Mighty Reactor Selections:  Mad Lu Li (8),   Gabby's Star (7),  Mighty Reactor (10)   Jonique  (9)   Harnesslink Media

Southland bred Boots Electric scored an upset win in the Group One $100,000 Four Year Bonanza at Melton in Australia on Saturday night and this is a major boost for Northern Southland breeder Paul Hailes just ahead of next week’s yearling sales. Formally trained by Hailes father in-law Brent McIntyre and owned by his son Cain and Hailes, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding qualified in spectacular fashion this time last year at Wyndham when he won by ten lengths, running the 2400 metre mobile in 2-58.1. Paul and Cain then sold the gelding to clients of Australian trainer Anthony Butt and he’s now won nine of his seventeen starts and banked $119,560. “We were pretty lucky to get the deal done there. He went to Cran’s (Dalgety) for a wee bit. They were intending on giving him a couple of starts over here but Covid came and that never happened,” Paul said. Boots Electric’s other major win this season was in the Group Three VHRC Caduceus Metropolitan Pace Final at Melton. Some large bets were placed on the four year old leading into Saturday night’s feature and his odds which had opened at 101-1 were reduced to 31-1. “I had a wee bet on him but I didn’t break the bank. It was pretty exciting.” His winning time for the 1720 metres was 1-58.9 – a mile rate of 1-51.2. The win qualifies Boots Electric for the Chariots of Fire. Watch the race replay click here! The win was a timely one for Hailes who has a Sweet Lou colt in next week’s NZB National Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. Zamperini is out of Glenburn Joy an American Ideal mare which won two races. Glenburn Joy is a half-sister to Boots Electric. Zamperini is being prepared by Halies father in-law Brent McIntyre at Macca Lodge. “He’s a nice wee guy. He’s not a big horse but he’s athletic and a racy type. They say the smaller Sweet Lous are the good ones.” Glenburn Jewel has two other colts of racing age –  Castledrum, a Captaintreacherous three year old and Redcastle a two year old by Sweet Lou. “We actually haven’t done too much with them yet. Castledrum is quite a big horse so we thought we’d leave him. After the sales are out of the way we might start working on him. We’ll probably bring in the Sweet Lou as well.” Saturday night was the first time Hailes has bred a group one winner. Boots Electric was named by Cain after musician Jesse ‘Boots Electric’ Hughes. Hailes says Glenburn Jewel slipped her Fear The Dragon foal, but is now in foal to Always B Miki while Glenburn Joy is in foal to Betting Line.   by Bruce Stewart

Hororata Trotting Club president Jamie Gameson can see no reason why the current popularity of grass track racing won’t rub off on them when they host their annual meeting at Methven on Sunday.  Mt Harding has been the club’s “home” track since 2014, after previous stints at Addington, Ashburton and their own track until 1984 (at the Hororata Domain).   “We’re expecting a good day,” says Gameson, “the grass tracks have been going crazy, everyone’s flocking to them.”  Among the highlights of the day will be a Nevele R fillies heat  and the Hororata Cup.      The first Hororata Cup was held in 1967 and won by Merry Morning  for the driver-trainer combo of Jack Carmichael and Felix Newfield .   Teal Pants, the annual fund-raiser for ovarian cancer research, will also have a strong presence, with collectors asking for donations from racegoers. There will also be a teal-themed  Fashion in the Field competition.  “This has been building well in recent years. We’d expect over 20 people getting involved.”    As for expectations about what the day will bring Gameson is confident it will hold its own with similar grasstrack meetings this summer.  “We would rapt if we hit a million (off-course turnover) and between 45 and 65 (thousand)   on course would be great.”   Gameson, who’s trained over 200 winners since starting out 20 years ago, is standing down as president this year though he plans to remain on the committee.  “We have a great bunch of people on our committee, the club is in good hands.”   First race starts at 12 noon.    HRNZ

By Brian Cross    Success at Motukarara for seven-year-old mare Sun Swinger in January was a fitting reminder of the Williams family’s contribution to harness racing and the Banks Peninsula Trotting Club over many years. While trainer Kevin Williams is well known for his association with the ‘pocket battleship’ of the 1980’s Master Mood, wife Bonnie has been a stalwart on the BPTC since the 1990s. Active on the club committee and one of the first to arrive at pre-meeting working bees, Bonnie is a driving force for the Trots at Mot. As the daughter of harness racing legend Cecil Devine, Bonnie was destined to have a life-long involvement in the sport. It was an uncle, George Mugford, who founded her family’s long association with BPTC. George was a typical early Mot man, a farmer and hobby trainer who pitched in at every level and became president in 1979. When he bred to Cecil’s NZ Cup winner Van Dieman in the late ‘50s, George named the resulting foal Lord Cecil. “That caused a family disagreement,” as Bonnie tells it. “Banks Peninsula is a very much a family-focussed club,” says Bonnie, “that originated with the support of local people, most of whom had an association with horses and wanted to share their enthusiasm for harness racing.“ Kevin and daughter Kelly acquired Sun Swinger at the 2017 Roydon Lodge dispersal sale, knocked down to them as a qualified trotter for $500. She was bought primarily as a future broodmare, being by Sundon and a full sister to the successful All Shook Up (5 wins). “Richard Aubrey took her home from the sale and trained her for us,” said Bonnie. “After 3 months work with her he suggested we send her to Greg and Nina Hope at the beach as she was not trotting quite right.” “Greg had the mare trotting a lot better, but at the workouts she would not trot away and went at a snail’s pace,” Bonnie explained. Another spell and another preparation at the beach saw slow progress. “So we just kept going with her ourselves and eventually she got the idea.” By this stage Aldebaran Lodge’s Duncan McPherson had joined in the ownership. These days Bonnie does most of the work with Sun Swinger. “I’ve told Kevin it’s all very well out on the track in February, but I won’t be doing it any more in the winter!” For her part Sun Swinger is now in foal to Muscle Mass. Her value as a broodmare is no doubt secure with the ongoing breeding success of her dam Shimmie Shook Shook, also producing All Settled Down (4 wins) which in turn left top juvenile trotter Enhance Your Calm. Sun Swinger is coming to the end of her eventful career, one that has given her owners some real highlights along the way with three wins to date. None more so than in celebrating her latest success, and accepting hearty congratulations all round one January race day at the Mot.

Grasstrack racing has been a real success story with big crowds, and good betting turnovers all summer Yesterday, on Superbowl Monday, the Amberley Trotting Club hosted its meeting at at Rangiora and with temperatures pushing 30 degrees it was a good time, with some embracing the American theme.   HRNZ

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