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Punters and rivals are not the only ones surprised by Self Assured’s charge to the top. A maiden in May and a G1 winner in July he has even surprised Mark Purdon. “Probably as much the way he has handled the racing as anything else. I mean we knew he was good. But the way he has done it has been an eye opener. When the other horse put half a length on him in the back and I wasn’t really wanting to get into a fight for it at that stage he just came back to me as I wanted. They were running 26 second quarters and there was still a way to go. A lot of inexperienced horses would have wanted to pull in that situation. And earlier when Lochinvar Art, who is a smart pacer and went a big race,had a go with the whip cracking it didn’t faze him. He is a very very good horse” “I had decided to go to the front and stay there because if I had to sit parked it was going to be a big ask even for him. Once I pulled the ear plugs he found another gear” All of which has Mark thinking about likely tasks for him next season. “He should be back racing in the spring, maybe around October. He will have some tests on the way home at Matamata though they should be pretty clear and just a precaution and then we will give him about four weeks up there on the water walker as we have done with others. So he won’t be out of work altogether at all." “We will probably be aiming at the Cup meeting and I might throw in a nom for the Inter Dominions and see what develops” Mark, who posted his 182nd G1 winning drive on Saturday, said Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke will proceed to Melbourne as planned but an assessment of Princess Tiffany will be made there. “She has come through the race ok, just a little tender and whether she races in the Breeders Crown will be finally decided later in the week. She went a terrific race really on that time and from where she had to come from the draw”   Courtesy of All Stars Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/  

When Christchurch harness racing buff Peter O’Rourke was offered the role as booking agent in New Zealand for the mighty Lazarus he didn’t need to think twice about accepting the position. “How could you not want to be involved with the past pacer I’ve ever seen?” Peter said. Lazarus, the dual NZ Horse of the Year and Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile hero who is lining up for his first season at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga (NSW), is gaining widespread interest from Kiwi broodmare owners, according to Peter. “I’ve already had more than 40 confirmed bookings to him in New Zealand,” he said. O’Rourke is unquestionably one of the best known and most respected figures in Harness Racing breeding and racing - on either side of the ditch. His secondment to the Lazarus team adds yet another string to his bow. O’Rourke’s involvement in the sport began way back in January 1977. “Bob McArdle wanted me to give him a hand with his bloodstock business,” Peter recalls. “And I stayed for 23 years!” Peter, whose working life began as a high school teacher in Melbourne, was appointed as manager of the fledgling Nevele R Stud, near Christchurch in 1977. Peter O'Rourke “When I first started the three horses standing on the property were Timely Knight, Nevele Romeo and the trotter Gerry Mir,” Peter said. “Holmes Hanover, Live Or Die and Falcon Seelster were the three best sires to stand at Nevele R during my time.” The exalted trio won more than 20 NZ Sire Premiership between them. In 1999 Peter became the marketing manager of the late Wayne Francis’ Spreydon Lodge, the home of the ‘Franco’ breed, as well as general manager of Nevele R Stud Limited. “I sold more than 100 ‘Franco’ horses to both Australia and NZ including derby and oaks winners, two Australian Pacing Championship winners, a Chariots Of Fire winner and a Golden Nugget winner,” he stated. Some of the best horses sold by Peter include the NSW Oaks winners Scent and Shrub, Madam Steward (Queensland Oaks), the Chariots winner Kentuckiana, the Australian Pacing Championship winners Swapzee Bromac and Atitagian and the cup class pacer Our Ian Mac. One of his most expensive sales was the Boyden Hanover gelding Swapzee Bromac. “I purchased Swapzee Bromac as a foal off Bob McArdle and later sold him to clients of Perth trainer Trevor Warwick,” he said. “He went on to win more than $200,000 before being sold to USA for $100,000 plus.” In 2013 O’Rourke joined forces with well known Adelaide harness identity and good mate David Shammall to establish Stallions Australasia, which transports frozen semen for elite trotting sires from North America. “Unlike their pacing counterparts, the top trotting sires don’t ever shuttle to Australia or NZ,” Peter stated. ”So we identified a niche market for the trotters.” The Stallions Australasia roster includes the world’s No. 1 trotting sire Muscle Hill and his brilliant, young sons Trixton, Southwind Frank and Tactical Landing. Peter said the best horse he ever raced was Michele Bromac (Besta Fella-Milne Bay), who won 11 races including two heats of the Nevele R Fillies Series and finished second in the final and third in the NZ Oaks. He also tasted success recently with the three-year-old Artsplace gelding Arts Dash. “He had three starts for us for a win, a second and fifth before we sold him to Victoria where he won on debut at Geelong last week,” Peter said. Married to Sue, and the father of two children and grandfather of Lulu, 7, and Harry, 5, the 68 years-old O’Rourke still really enjoys harness racing. “I love the industry and I want to stay involved for a few more years yet,” he stated. By Peter Wharton

Mark Purdon’s 100th Group 1 training triumph marked the arrival of his next superstar.  All who watched Self Assured roar through four stunning Queensland Winter Carnival wins were convinced he’s poised to become the sport’s next big thing.  As if last week’s narrow but mesmerizing South-East Derby win wasn’t head-spinning enough, Self Assured raised the bar again with the first of what should be many Group 1 wins in last night’s (Saturday) $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby.  Self Assured used a good draw to lead, but copped plenty of pressure, most notably from Lochinvar Art down the back straight, but still left his rivals standing in track record time.  Unbeaten in six runs, he smashed the race record and Self Assured’s 1min54.2sec mile rate for the 2680m was only 0.5sec slower than they ran in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake – a Grand Circuit race - on the same night.  Just as he did the week before, Self Assured smashed the clock with closing splits of 53.8 and 27.1sec.  “I was a little bit worried (when the pressure came on). Either one of those horses, you could’ve let go, but he’d worked so good during the week I didn’t want to take any risks,” Purdon said.  “I was a little bit concerned when we straightened for home, but when I pulled the plugs he went into another gear.  “He’s a really good horse and he showed that tonight.”  Self Assured, the latest All Stars’ gun to be owned by Australian Jean Feiss, is not Breeders Crown eligible so it’s spell time now.  “Heads to Melbourne with Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke, then onto to Auckland where he will agist and have a bit of a break with a view to having him back in November for the support races at Cup time. It’ll be a.8/27 nice introduction to Cup class racing for him.”  The All Stars’ also grabbed third and fourth in the Derby with Jesse Duke (third) and Our Princess Tiffany (fourth) and that pair now head to the Breeders Crown.  The run of Lochinvar Art to finished second after powering the pressure on Self Assured down the back straight in a 26.7sec split was enormous and he looks the horse to beat in his Breeders Crown division despite a long season.   Adam Hamilton

The harness racing win of Auckland Reactor gelding Jazzy Star had to be seen to be believed at Addington on Friday night. At the turn you would have said the chances of the speedy 4yo winning looked hopeless as he was last on the fence with a wall of horses in front of him, and even with 100m to go when he was still looking for room you would have thrown your win ticket into the bin. But driver Stephen McNally had other ideas and when he finally extricated Jazzy Star into the clear and pulled the plugs the response was immediate.  The Brent White trained Jazzy Star grew wings over the last 50m and collared the leader Jay Tee Tyron right on the line eventually winning by a neck. In the end the only surprising thing was the price. Opening around $3.60 on the FF win market, off the back of a scintillating Ashburton workout where he sat parked and ran his last 800m in 55.5 seconds under a stranglehold, Jazzy Star (Auckland Reactor - Shikaka) drifted in the betting and ended up paying $7.10 and $2.70 on the tote.  The progeny of Auckland Reactor also had a win in the North Island last night when Akarana Prince (Auckland Reactor - Love To Travel) led for most of the way and won his first race at Alexandra Park. Brent Mangos was in the sulky for the win and the trainer was Tim Vince. Akarana Prince won by 2 3/4 lengths and paced the 2200m mobile in 2-46.1 seconds. Harnesslink Media    

Some people say that the majority of the really good race horses have an attitude or act as if they know they are or were good at racing. Diana Ferguson explains this is the case with champion trotter Stent. “He was a very good race horse so he sort of just does what he wants, he keeps the other horses in check.” Stent who is now 10 years old and resides in Timaru won 30 races including the Anzac Cup, Rowe Cup and the NZ Trotting FFA. He was owned by the Bowdens and also Trevor Casey who’s partner Kate organised for Stent to be rehomed to Diana. Diana has owned Stent for over a year where he is living a life of luxury. Diana describes Stent as a,“bit of an old paddock mate, who loves to rip his cover.”  Stent has been ridden a few times but hasn’t taken to being ridden in the same way he did as a race horse. “He’s very happy for you to sit on him but if you try and make him walk he will bite your legs,” explained Diana. Diana loves Stent’s character and loves having him around the paddock. Eventually she would like to show Stent and said he will always have a home with her.   HRNZ Marketing and Dunstan Horsefeeds

A former Kiwi pacer destined to become a star in NSW has a huge fan in ace Sydney harness racing horseman Robert Morris. Three-year-old gelding Balraj NZ (Art Major-Mahendra (Courage Under Fire) has burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion, with three spine-tingling undefeated runs. Prepared by astute hobby trainer Shaun Simiana, who trains at Hawkesbury, Balraj has not only got faster at each of his three appearances on Australian soil, but his winning margins have got bigger. Morris was understandably impressed with Balraj's first two runs, but his most recent start at Newcastle took the cake when he absolutely blew away his rivals to set a new track record of 1.50-9 and a winning margin of 55.9 metres! "The horse has been a bit of a surprise packet because he's still got a lot to learn, which might sound scary," Morris said. "He's still a little green and certainly not your typical horse that glides along. He can get on one rein at times, as well as become a little rough," he said. "But incredibly, while there's a lot for Balraj to learn, there doesn't seem to be an ending to him. The horse is quite unreal in the way he just gets the job done. "There's certainly some fun times ahead for Shaun (trainer) and his three mates who purchased the horse. He's certainly exciting and Shaun has him looking an absolute picture." Newcastle Harness Racing Club secretary-manager Wayne Smith believed Monday's winning margin was the biggest seen at the track, beating the effort of the Shane Tritton-trained Arms Of An Angel (32.4m) in 2015. Balraj blitzes them!  The photo finish of this week’s record-breaking Newcastle run Prior to crossing the Tasman Sea, Balraj had three unplaced runs at Addington, Rangiora and Omakau, but then turned it around with two wins at Forbury. Two months later, Simiana produced his newly-acquired pacer at Penrith where they won a qualifying trial over 1720m in two minutes. It was four weeks later when they returned to Penrith, but this time it was at the races. Morris worked forward in the early stages, and despite having to balance him up on the final bend, Balraj was too good. He won by 7.1 metres in 1.58-7. The next assignment was Newcastle on June 14. After galloping for a few strides at the start, the youngster again went forward. Morris allowed him to stretch out over the final stages and they recorded a 25.7m victory in an impressive 1.52-7. But it was his latest performance at Newcastle that has everyone, rightfully so, touting Balraj as a shining star of the future. In taking out the $6360 Tooheys Pace by one of the biggest winning margins ever seen at the venue, the pacer eclipsed the previous track record of 1.51-4 held by Majordan, by half a second. "I knew we were running along, but the time did surprise me," Morris said. "The third quarter was 26.4 and he went a bit awkward around the bend, but then he straightened up and dug in again with a final split of 27.9. He's got some class about him." Morris said Simiana had only ever worked small teams of horses. "He's always had one or two going around and does them as a hobby around his work. "They decided to buy one from New Zealand with the idea of having a bit of fun. They all love the sport and I'm certain they are in for some great times." Morris, 27, who began driving professionally just over a decade ago, has now landed more than 1250 winners. The Menangle Park based reinsman forms a formidable combination with his talented, horse training wife Kerry Ann.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Plainville, MA --- A pair of $8,500 races topped the harness racing card at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon and the winner of each found victory by small margins. In the mid-level condition event for distaff pacers Rockin Ruby N (Nick Graffam) cut the mile and walked to the half in :58 flat. Having enough of that, Jaded Dream (Mitchell Cushing) and Bye Bye Felicia (Drew Monti) pulled out by the half and applied heavy pressure from there to the head of the lane. When they straightened out for home, Rockin Ruby N maintained a length advantage but Bye Bye Felicia was flying at her on the outside and closing with every stride. However Rockin Ruby N held her lead to the wire to win in 1:53.4, with a swift :55.4 back half. It was the fifth win in 24 starts this year for Rockin Ruby N ($7.20) and 29th win in North America, now with over $270,000 in earnings. Rockin Ruby N is owned by Kathleen Brewer and trained by Artie Brewer II. Four races later it was a non-winners event for the 5-year-old and under set that saw Lyons Beachboy (Drew Monti) take an early lead before finding Stroman (Mitchell Cushing) at his side by the half. These two then paced stride for stride to three-quarters in 1:24.4 when Stroman took over the front on the outside and looked to be in good shape. But Monti kept working Lyons Beachboy down the stretch and he was game and responded well to came back to win by a nose in 1:54. It was the second straight win and fourth of the year for Lyons Beachboy ($7.60) and his connections Lases Racing. Jaymes Mcassey trains the winner. Shawn Gray scored a natural Hat Trick in races two through four and ended up leading all drivers for wins on the card as a result. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta jackpot continues to grow. With no winners once again in races six or nine, the carryover pool for race six at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 19) will be a record $46,238. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

For most harness racing enthusiasts winter is a timely opportunity to catch a break in preparation for the fast approaching busy season.   But for four young Cadets flying the flag for their regions respectively, the excitement is just beginning as they gear up to compete in the 2019 Catch Driver Cadet of the Year Final on Wednesday the 24th of July at Addington Raceway. Based on a similar concept to the Young Farmer of the Year competition, the event has been designed to test Cadets throughout New Zealand in a diverse range of exciting challenges on both a theoretical and practical level. Advancing from the regional competitions held in Canterbury, Southland and the Northern area the four finalists will have to call on not only their equine knowledge but acquired ‘life-skills’ in hope of securing the coveted Cadet of the Year trophy. For finalists Oliver Kite, who represents the Deep South and Kaleb Bublitz from the North, their pathway into the industry was carved at a young age by means of the invaluable Kidz Kartz scheme. Kidz Kartz has now firmly established itself as a major player in the Harness Racing Scene. Kidz Kartz programmes running throughout both the North and South Island encourage the younger generation to try their hand at driving in a fun, educational and safe manner. Experienced professional tutors and ponies carefully selected for their calm temperament help ensure the training programmes provided are committed to helping develop a well-rounded horseperson. Emphasis is put not only on Harness Racing but also the knowledge of caring for your pony. Kidz Kartz encourages friendship, fair play and friendly competition. Kidz Kartz is an all-inclusive initiative; youngsters from all walks of life regardless of their horse experience are welcomed into the industry and given the opportunity to transition their passion of horses into a foreseeable career. Oliver and Kaleb are perfect examples of how the Kidz Kartz programme offers a clearly defined path into the Harness Racing industry. Regular Kidz Kartz races throughout the year imitate the thrill of driving in real races including the biggest inter-club race of the season, the Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup. This prestigious race is held annually on Show Day during the biggest event on the racing Calendar- New Zealand Cup and Show Week. The Kidz Kartz members along with their ponies have to qualify for this race where they will race for glory in front of maximum capacity crowd at Addington Raceway. Kidz Kartz also offers Trans-Tasman opportunities; a selected Kidz Kartz member each year travels to Australia to compete in the NSW Mini Trot Interdominion and there is a Lizzie of Rossland Rising Stars Drivers Series held in Auckland.  Throughout New Zealand amongst both the Junior and Senior ranks are a number of successful Kidz Kartz graduates with Oliver and Kaleb already proving they too will be added to this list. At a young age Alana Cameron and Cameron Kirkwood, both representing Canterbury, already had a foot in the stable door so to speak however this industry involvement was cemented at High School with them both engaging in the Gateway programme that Harness Racing New Zealand offers. The Gateway programme was implemented as a way of providing wider educational opportunities to High School senior students, Year 11 and above. Gateway enables students, who are interested in or have a passion for horses, to gain credits towards their NCEA Qualification by completing equine related unit standards. Gateway is offered at most High Schools throughout New Zealand.  The Education Team at Harness Racing New Zealand assist the students and school co-ordinators in selection of appropriate unit standards in relation to the level of learning including work placement in stables. Gateway provides valuable learning and employment opportunities and is available not only for harness racing enthusiasts but for anybody with an interest in the wider equine industry. Through Gateway, Cameron was able to experience life at the races by means of a work placement with the Stipendiary Stewards. Cameron learnt first-hand the rules and regulations involved in harness racing and was exposed to the judicial process in a practical manner. Cameron went on to secure a job at Harness Racing New Zealand in the racing and registrations department along with picking up a stable job at Regan Todd’s; an opportunity he credits to the Gateway programme . Cadet of the Year is the perfect initiative to showcase the talent of our emerging future stars and also to promote the various avenues available to those wishing to pursue a career in Harness Racing. We wish the four finalists the best of luck. Harness Racing New Zealand

Haras des Trotteurs are delighted to announce that Swedish Group 1-winning stallion Volstead, who went 1.51.5 on a 1000m track, will stand the coming harness racing season at Cardigan (Ballarat) and will be available to both New Zealand and Australian breeders. This will make the beautifully American-bred stallion the first son of Cantab Hall to be available as a chilled semen option in the Southern Hemisphere. Cantab Hall has become an outstanding sire of sires with with his sons Father Patrick, Explosive Matter and Uncle Peter all in the top 10 of 3YOs US sires this season An outstanding competitor in Sweden’s elite gold division Volstead raced out of the top Swedish barn of Stefan Melander and won 5.87M SEK from 23 of his 72 race starts including the Group 1 King’s Cup and the prestigious Sweden Cup, or Little Elitlopp, in 2017. Volstead Sweden Cup He qualified for the Elitloppet the following year where he just missed out on the final (won by his stablemate Nuncio) and was also an unlucky second to Nuncio in the Group 1 Swedish Sprint Masters, after sitting parked the whole race, getting to the front in the shadows of the post only for his stablemate to come off his back and nab him on the line. Volstead and Johnny Takter “Volstead was very fast from the beginning when we started training him and was a very very strong horse.” said his Swedish owner-trainer Stefan Melander. “Volstead could race on the outside the whole race. If it was a distance race or a mile race, it didn't matter and he could still win racing outside the entire race. Melander bought Volstead as a yearling because of his great conformation and excellent pedigree (by Cantab Hall from a Yankee Glide mare) with a tremendous number of stakes winners and race horses he said. ‘I have retained breedings to breed my own mares in USA as I can see Volstead within the next five years becoming highly successful and one of the top trotting Stallions in the world,” said Melander. Volstead will stand for $A5500 (gst inclusive) and $NZ5000 + gst  at Haras des Trotteurs in Cardigan, Victoria, alongside successful group winning French stallion Used To Me. Both stallions will be available in chilled semen form in Australia and New Zealand. Multi-mare discounts are available, with a special single mare discount available for Volstead for VSTA  and NZSBA members.   In Australia contact; Karen Starr karen@harasdestrotteurs.com.au M: +61 459 342 525 ​ In New Zealand contact; Dave Sanders dave@harasdestrotteurs.com.au M: +64 212 452 584  

Gavelhouse.com has launched their inaugural online Standardbred auction catalogue comprising 23 Lots with bidding set to close starting with Lot 1 at 7pm on Wednesday 24 July.   The catalogue features weanlings, yearlings, two-year-olds, racehorses and broodmares both empty and in-foal.   Of the in-foal mares the covering sires include Buy Kiwi Made, Creatine, Downbytheseaside, He’s Watching, Gold Ace, Sweet Lou and Vincent with some of the highlights in the sale including:    Lot 4 - Dothraki. A weanling colt by Champion French sire Love You from the great race mare Pocaro (1.57.5). Dothraki is a half-brother to three winners including Group 1 winner Missandei and from the same family as Springbank Sam, Sun Of Anarchy and Daenerys Targaryen.    Lot 7 - Errani. Out of a half-sister to Group 1 Tasmanian Derby winner I’m Mark Anthony, Errani herself a half-sister to two Australian winners in Machitelli and Ranieri. This is also the family of Three-year-old Pacer of the Year Roman Gladiator. This filly has been broken in and is currently spelling.    Lot 8 - Maggie May. A full sister to 2013-14 Trotting Filly of the Year and Group 2 winner Wanna Play, Maggie May is from the Group 1 placed and Group 3 winning mare Miss Whiplash. Broken in and currently spelling.    Lot 13 - Cullen’s Creation. A daughter of Christian Cullen from Adios Dream who was a multiple Group 2 winner, Cullen’s Creation is offered for sale in foal to Sweet Lou. Cullen’s Creation is the dam of five to race, all of which are winners in 2.00 including the Group 1 placed Quite A Delight.    Lot 20 - Sportzilluztrated. A racing or breeding proposition, Sportzilluztrated is a daughter of the American bred mare Saddle Ridge and is a half-sister to multiple Group 2 West Australian winner The Bucket List. She is also a full-sister to Group 2 placed Somethingaboutmary.   Owned by New Zealand Bloodstock and with the backing of the NZB Standardbred team, the gavelhouse.com team is excited to see the monthly online auctions embraced as the harness fraternity become more familiar with the platform and see the value in the regular, hassle free trading option.   gavelhouse.com Standardbred representative Cam Bray is pleased with the concept’s reception   “This is certainly a new concept to the harness world and a welcome one at that with plenty of encouraging feedback about us entering the market,”   “This catalogue represents a great start with some quality horses up for grabs straight off the bat and we look forward to working with people going forward to help them market their horses in the best possible light.”   Buyers are encouraged to exercise their due diligence including inspecting the horses or engaging someone to undertake an inspection on their behalf before bidding. The bidding process itself is a simple one involving registering on the site and then going to the Lot of interest’s page and either typing in the amount you’d like to bid or bidding the next bid amount by clicking the ‘Place Bid’ button.   There is plenty of information in the FAQ section of the gavelhouse.com Standardbred site to help buyers and sellers alike while the gavelhouse.com team is happy to answer any questions via info@gavelhouse.com or +64 9 296 4436 or contact Cam Bray +64 21 737 199. Follow the link for future Standardbred sale dates.   Haylie Martin General Manager  

TAB News Pick6 this week - $40k Terminating at Forbury Park Harness on Thursday night. $40 Terminating Turbo Pick6 Friday night between Alexandra Park and Addington.   Wish for Fish Fundraiser – Addington Raceway 19 July We are a registered charitable trust called wish for fish (www.wish4fish.co.nz). We help people with physical disabilities, mental illness and financial hardship to enjoy salt water activities. We have a large fundraising dinner planned at Addington Raceway, Christchurch on 19th of July. This event is to be held to raise our profile, some funds for our cause and also launch our supporters club. We are excited this year to be working in conjunction with the Child Cancer Foundation  https://www.childcancer.org.nz/) & Conductive Education Canterbury http://www.cecanterbury.org/)  in which funds raised will support their awesome causes. Help an amazing cause and enjoy a fabulous night out at Addington Raceway. TICKET COST: $130pp includes 3 course buffet & drinks package. The night will include charity auctions, raffles, lucky draws and a punters club ($10 per share). For more information and to order tickets please phone Mac on 027 471 2000, Bryce on 021 616 601 or email bryce@wish4fish.co.nz    Addington Raceway and Events Centre – Friday 19 July What’s happening at Addington? Thousands of dollars to be won - Pascoes The Jewellers Ladies Night Friday 26 July is based in Silks Lounge to view all the races! TICKETS ON SALE, please go to - https://www.addington.co.nz/events-centre/events/ladies-night/ Major Prizes to be won include; 1 carat diamond ring valued at $3,300 thanks to our overall naming rights sponsor and principal partner Pascoes The Jewellers. 3-night escape on the Sunshine coast at the Peninsular Beachfront Resort Mooloolaba courtesy of Addington, with $1,000 towards airfares from Harness Racing New Zealand.   This fabulous night includes; A glass of bubbles on arrival Gourmet buffet dinner Treat yourself to our nail art bar or a neck massage Opportunity to win a horse ownership experience on the night Entertainment throughout the night with harness racing action and live music after the last race Spot prizes throughout the night from Pascoes The Jewellers, Caci Riccarton, Lancôme and Addington Macca Lodge South of the Waitaki Winter Warmer Series is underway! This series consists of three heats and has a total stake money of $43,000.  To be eligible for this series, horses had to be registered with HRNZ in the name of a trainer(s) based South of the Waitaki River as at 1 May through to 26 July 2019.  The series will be for 3YO and older pacers assessed up to R60 as at the closing of nominations for heat one.  The first place getters in each heat will have automatic entry into the final on Friday 26 July. For further details, please visit; http://www.addington.co.nz/racing/promotions-incentives/, or call Brian Rabbitt on 027 407 7234. Only 3 chances left to win $500 in our $50 All Up July Challenge!! 12, 19 and 26 July 2019 Simply place a $50 All Up on any of our last three meetings in July and if your bet has the highest return for the week you will win an extra $500. Entries and further enquiries contact Richard Bromley, Email: richard@addington.co.nz or call him on 021 888 900.  Richard will be based in Christian Cullen  Lounge each week.  Please also visit our website for further - https://www.addington.co.nz/racing/50-all-up-july-challenge/ Have a great week everyone.  We look forward to hosting you again soon.  From the Addington Team   Alexandra Park News – Friday 19 July  Arabian Night – Friday 26th July from 5.30pm – Top of the Park Nurahib bik, we welcome you! We are extremely excited to host the first ever Arabian Night here at Alexandra Park! Let your senses get carried into a world of rich culture and mystical wonder, with the all-you-can-eat buffet transporting your taste buds to the Middle-East and the ever-exciting harness racing action taking place on the track below! Set in Top of the Park on Friday 26th July from 5.30pm, be sure to secure your table today! Phone 09 631 1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or book online at https://racenight.alexandrapark.co.nz/event/TOP260719/ Christmas at the Races featuring the Inter Dominion Championship 2019 Christmas at the Races are some of the hottest nights on the Alexandra Park Harness Racing calendar. Choose from our various rooms and packages the best option to suit your guests, get into the festive spirit with our amazing Christmas themed all-you-can-eat buffet and keep your eye out for Santa. There will be competitions, entertainment, photographers and non-stop harness racing excitement, plus live entertainment after the last race. This year offers added value with the Inter Dominion Championship being run in New Zealand for the first time in 8 years. Explore the best Alexandra Park has to offer, but don’t forget to book quickly as these popular nights don’t last long. For more information visit: https://www.alexandrapark.co.nz/whats-on/christmas-races-2019/ To make a booking, do it online or contact us 09 631 1165 or email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz   Gore Harness Racing Club return of the SPRING FLING BONUS Following the success of this bonus last season the Club would like to announce that the SPRING FLING BONUS returns this season to be run over their race meetings on the 10th and 25th August and the 12th October.  Two categories, fillies/mares and colts/geldings.  Winner (highest points scorer) of each category to receive $1,000 plus cool down rug. Points: 1st = 10pts, 2nd = 6pts, 3rd = 3pts, 4th = 2 pts, 5th = 1 pt.    Cambridge Raceway News – New Season Launch! You’re invited to a birthday party! Join us to celebrate the brand new racing season and the horse’s birthday! We are holding a special season launch event on Thursday 1 August at Cambridge Raceway in the Skyline Lounge (level 2). Kick off is 5pm, first race 5.21pm. And entry is free!   Canterbury Harness Racing Awards - 21 September 2019 Woodlands Stud Canterbury Harness Awards Dinner - Saturday 21 September Silks Lounge - Addington Raceway, Addington 6.30pm for a 7.15pm start Tickets $60.00 incl. GST Drinks extra at individual's cost. Watch our for our stallion tender for Downbytheseaside and Pegasus Spur services which close on 02 September 2019. All enquiries to 021 969 969 or cantyawardsdinner@gmail.com    HRNZ Marketing

This year’s Interdominions return to New Zealand for the first time in eight years. Last held at Alexandra Park (transferred from Addington, Christchurch as a result of the devastating earthquake of 22 February 2011), the Auckland Trotting Club are this year’s Championship hosts. Christchurch (NZ) based travel agency Holland, Clarke and Beatson (HCB) whose specialist tours include many sporting events, will this year offer three tour durations (17 or 10 nights or Grand Finals weekend packages) for the 2019 Interdominion Championships to be held in Auckland, New Zealand. This year’s Championships feature both Pacing and Trotting heats and Grand Finals. All transfers, accommodation (various options available), tours/functions and specified meals/drinks are included in the tour costs. Air Travel bookings can also be arranged for you by HCB. Full tour details are available by viewing HCB’s Interdominion brochure and registration form below : Registration Form Brochure    

Welcome to the Harness Half Hour Podcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing and Airpark Canterbury. Jess Smith brings the latest harness racing news and interviews with colorful and interesting industry participants from New Zealand and around the world. This week’s show features Jo Herbert, who will make a comeback to race driving after nine years out of the sulky; Kirsty Adams, co-owner of Rake, who remarkably paid for the horse with bags of feed. And Barry Dent chats to us about the upcoming Combined Canterbury Awards Dinner. Richard Wilson takes a break this week, but will return next week with our Bookie Update.   Jess Smith HRNZ Marketing

The future of the TAB and the way Kiwis bet on racing and sport is under the most in-depth investigation in its history. But those expecting quick changes or a wholesale outsourcing of the TAB's activities to overseas operators could be in for a shock. The Racing Industry Transition Authority took over the running of what used to be known as the New Zealand Racing Board last week, the six-person RITA panel replacing the former NZRB executive on July 1, a change that will have gone largely unnoticed by most punters. But RITA will now be charged with deciding the future path of the racing industry and which recommendations outlined in the Messara Report, released by Racing Minister Winston Peters last year, can and will be implemented. While there were initial calls for the Messara report to be implemented in its totality, that won't, and almost certainly legally can't, happen. Several key recommendations around betting levies, race fields legislation and the formation of RITA have already been put in place and the Weekend Herald understands RITA met with the TAB's leaders this week to ask some hard questions. The answers they glean about the TAB's performance, both in the marketplace and internally, will help with their eventual report to the Minister around any potential outsourcing of the TAB or the creation of joint ventures. Outsourcing of the TAB was one of the hottest topics post the Messara report, especially as many in the racing industry are disappointed or angry at the TAB's performance, costs and returns to the industry. Those returns would seem unlikely to grow this year although the exact funding figures for the new season are yet to be released. There have been very vocal calls for the whole TAB business to be outsourced, which would mean a lot less costs but would result in the industry being controlled by an overseas betting agency. As that conversation has matured the appetite for a total outsourcing has waned in many quarters as it has become more apparent while the licence to bet on New Zealand racing and sport could be granted for a set period of time, once the local TAB is dismantled, there would be no putting it back together again. The thoroughbred code has been by far the biggest advocate for outsourcing but they failed to get their preferred nominated rep on RITA and the six-person panel now has a neutral look to it, whereas an NZTR rep would almost certainly be a vote for outsourcing. Instead it looks more likely RITA would advise the Minister that rather than outsourcing the TAB as a whole, all and any joint ventures should be investigated and any future bidding process for betting rights should be open to all parties to increase competition and boost the price. The Australian TAB, known as Tabcorp, are certain to bid for the licence and most other facets of the TAB's business, while Sportsbet, like Tabcorp, put forward an initial soft offer when outsourcing was first investigated by a committee from NZRB and the codes last year. The Weekend Herald understands those initial offers, which were always going to be lowball, were of around $100 million for a 25-year licence, including broadcasting and digital media rights as well as the right to programme New Zealand race times. While $4m a year doesn't sound a lot of money, the real benefit to the industry was seen as the cost savings. Betting industry insiders suggest at least two other massive overseas bookmakers are investigating bidding for the New Zealand betting licence, one reason RITA will want any tendering process to start with a clean sheet of paper. While that TAB entire package could still potentially be up for grabs for the right money, RITA's members are more likely to suggest to the Minister he protect the independence of New Zealand racing first and look at joint ventures to increase returns to the industry without dismantling the TAB. That could mean protecting the likes of broadcasting and the times local meetings are programmed, inside a co-operative framework with Australia, which already takes place. Complicating the matter is how any overseas operator who won the licence for betting on New Zealand racing and sport would meet retail obligations — running your local TAB or pub tab. Retail outlets are expensive and nowhere near as profitable as ever-growing online gambling but are still seen as an important link between betting and the general public. That is just another piece of a very complicated outsourcing or joint venture puzzle and one that RITA looks increasingly likely to start working on with a clean sheet of paper. And if overseas examples are anything to go by, the process could take more than two years to complete if a major outsourcing, or more likely joint venture, was entered into. WHAT THE CODES THINK Mauro Barsi, chief executive, Greyhound Racing NZ: "There is merit in investigating the outsource option, and we should definitely complete a proper due diligence process for the industry, one capable of clearly communicating the risks and rewards of such a major transaction for an iconic New Zealand owned business. Outsourcing is, however, only one option of many. This type of choice is a once in a lifetime decision. Once outsourced it would be very difficult to return to the industry and while there may be substantial monetary rewards initially, there are also questions to be answered about commitments to ongoing investment, control of the racing calendar and the place for "industry good" in a more commercial environment. Overall, we welcome the discussion and believe that the outcome of a robust process — whatever that might be — will be good for the industry." Bernard Saundry, chief executive NZ Thoroughbred Racing: "Outsourcing is not a true description of what we are attempting to achieve — in effect, the racing industry is seeking to partner with an international operator to run the TAB. This would allow continued investment in the betting business to stay relevant and compete. We do not have the scale to compete successfully in a global betting and entertainment marketplace. Improving returns to the 50,000 people involved in NZ racing is our priority. Partnering with an international operator will provide operational synergies, access to better technology and an improved customer experience for punters on and off the track while ensuring we can control our industry and its future." Peter Jensen, chief executive, Harness Racing NZ: "Our focus is on improving returns to our stakeholders and the key to this is growing distributions, in a meaningful way, from the wagering operator. We are agnostic on whether this is achieved through improved performance from the TAB or via an outsourcing or joint-venture arrangement with an off-shore operator. Punters in New Zealand now have many options in terms of who they choose to bet with so the focus must be on innovation, improving engagement and ensuring the local offer is competitive. As an industry we cannot take a short-term view on this decision. While we need an immediate injection of new funding, what is equally important is that we are building a sustainable industry that our participants are able to invest with." $400m dilemma for industry It is the industry money maker nobody seems to be talking about and many punters won't want put in place. But banning New Zealanders from betting with overseas agencies could be one of the quickest money makers for the struggling racing industry. At present Kiwi punters enjoy some of the most liberal internet betting laws in the world and many, including those at the top of the three racing codes, bet not just with the TAB but with overseas bookmakers, most via the internet. Latest estimates suggest more than $400 million a year is lost to overseas betting agencies and while the new point of consumption tax and race fields legislation will claw some profits back from that, if that $400m was bet with the New Zealand TAB, the returns to the local industry would be enormously higher. Of course not all that $400m would bet here if the overseas options disappeared but put simply, if Kiwis could only bet with the TAB here, the racing and sports industries would make a lot more money. That would effectively give the TAB a monopoly on all racing and sports gambling conducted in New Zealand and has a second, hugely important benefit. Officials from overseas agencies set to bid for a New Zealand betting licence have confirmed they would pay significantly more for those rights if they were a monopoly, which would translate to a much bigger up-front payment to the racing industry. Of course, having only one bookmaker available to New Zealand punters could see them at the mercy of markets set to brutally high percentages but that could be tempered by rules around setting markets and even a punters' watchdog agency, who ensured markets and restrictions on winning punters were kept in line with overseas norms. Closing New Zealand punting borders would require a legislative change and wouldn't be popular with the punters who currently enjoy a myriad of options. But it poses the question for punters: are you willing to cop less choice about where you bet if the whole industry profits?   Michael Guerin

Natalie’s sister Kylie has joined the Rasmussen train of G1 winners in partnership with Mark Purdon with an effortless effort in the Queensland Oaks, one that almost guarantees she will run in the Queensland Derby next week. That being the case Kylie will again most likely be in the cart. “All going well through tonight I think I would be asking Kylie to drive her again and I would drive Self Assured” Mark said before Saturday’s race. He drove Princess Tiffany to win the Breeders Crown last August. It will add a real edge to the race. Self Assured is unbeaten and his form has been a revelation in Queensland, at least outside the stable where he has always been held in high regard. But Princess Tiffany quickly back to the peak of her rare ability meaning the club has a blood curdling clash on its hands. Mark conceded yesterday it was very rare for him to tackle a Derby with his best filly. He hasn’t done it since the days of Adore Me who wasn’t a bad sort of pacer. “No I don’t often do it but I feel this filly is good enough to do it and she is in a good place at the moment. This is All Stars third win in the race. Natalie pioneered the trip in 2012 with O Baby and repeated the triumph with Fight for Glory. Kylie had previously won the race with Forever Gold in 2011 a filly Natalie also drove to G1 glory in Australia.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Harness racing veteran reinsman Jim O’Sullivan, who makes no secret of still having an unbelievable love of the game, wound back the clock at Swan Hill this week. The highly respected horseman, now in his early 70s, showed fine touch to take out the Elliott Print Pace with brown gelding Sands Of Zanzibar (Art Colony USA-Spy Games (Armbro Operative USA) in one of his rare visits to the far north-west circuit. After not showing much gate speed at all, the pair found themselves buried three back the pegs early on.  But O’Sullivan was quick to pop off into the one-out two-back position, then got shuffled back to near-last with 600 metres to go. A well-timed run out five wide saw Sands Of Zanzibar snatch a narrow win. O’Sullivan, based at Heathcote, near Bendigo, is well remembered through the deeds of terrific horses like My Lightning Blue, winner of the 1987 Inter Dominion grand final at Christchurch; Yankee Loch who took the 1991 Trotters Inter at Moonee Valley and multiple cups winner Quite Famous, purchased from the Charles family at Mildura. O’Sullivan enjoyed a tremendous relationship with big-spending owner Alan Hunter in the heady days of the 1980s and 90s. Another more recent highlight was becoming the 17th recipient of the Gordon Rothacker Medal In 2017. These days O’Sullivan trains a small team and can be found helping out other trainers with farrier duties, as well as cheering on his daughter Shannon, who is steadily making her mark as a talented junior driver. A passionate and successful competitor in the annual Indigenous Drivers’ Series in NSW in recent years, Danny Gibson, is again wearing a huge smile. Gibson, who lives at Elrington, near Cessnock (two hours north of Sydney), made the long trip to Albury on Tuesday along with nine other drivers. The popular hobbyist took the honors in the HRNSW and Tabcorp Park heat, landing 3yo filly Madame Annie (Sportswriter-Madame Lily (John Street North USA) for trainer Robert Walters. Madame Annie showed her customary gate speed and was well rated by Gibson, who had a handy eight metre advantage up his sleeve at the finish. The mile rate was a creditable 2.00 for the 2170m journey. Gibson and his wife Janelle aren’t afraid to travel.  Earlier this year they hit the road for a 13 hour trip to campaign with two horses at the famous NSW Silver City mining town of Broken Hill. They tasted success with Evils Afoot and enjoyed a holiday to remember! Danny and Janelle Gibson Buyers at this Sunday’s Shepparton Mixed Sale have some interesting opportunities to invest in the bloodlines of promising sire Auckland Reactor (Mach Three – Atomic Lass (Sokys Atom), who’s continuing to get winners on both sides of the Tasman. Offspring of the former champion NZ pacer were again to the fore this week, winning in good style in WA and NSW. Chestnut gelding Gold Horseshoe (Auckland Reactor-Aussie Vision (Grinfromeartoear) looked good at Pinjarra for trainer Colin Reeves and driver Morgan Woodley. Sent out the punters’ elect at $2.30 fav, the three-year-old came with a late rush and proved too good. Astute NSW trainer Dean Chapple produced Aucklander (Auckland Reactor-Leagueoferown (Fake Left) to land the money at Tamworth on Thursday. Chapple took the reins and had a four-metre advantage over his rivals on the line. One lot at the Shepparton sale that will generate interest from buyers is the magnificent-looking Lot 27 weanling filly.  The youngster, out of Passionate Embrace, is one of several offered on behalf of clients by Alabar Farms. There’s also an unnamed colt by Auckland Reactor out of Elegant Art. Breeders should also take note of broodmare Kitty Macguire (Badlands Hanover-Tuapeka Dancer) who has a positive to Auckland Reactor. The Shepparton sale starts at 12 noon. Auckland Reactor Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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