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John Dunn isn’t getting too far ahead of himself, but you can tell he’s getting excited about the future of Alta Orlando. And based on what the former Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained pacer managed to do as a young horse and the manner in which he has returned to form since joining the stable of Dunn’s father, Robert, it’s hard not to see why. The big pacer made light work of a 20 metre handicap on Sunday to claim a dominant victory in the Nelson Cup – leaving a handy field of pacers in his wake in the process. “I don’t think he could have gone much better,” Dunn said. “He was really travelling off the back straight and just wanted to run, he’s got a really big motor.” The Courage Under Fire gelding, who is now five, won the Welcome Stakes at two and was regarded as good enough to start favourite in the Sires’ Stakes Final on Cup Day that was won by subsequent Miracle Mile winner, Have Faith In Me. Injuries curtailed most of his juvenile career and he was almost forgotten about until he stepped out in the Dunn colours under the new ownership of Dunn’s wife Jenna, Robert Dunn, Mitzi Taylor and Dr Marg Evans. He’s been a real work in process for the stable since his arrival, but there’s never been any doubting the ability. “He just gets a bit hot-headed and fired up at times, especially with the standing starts, but he’s getting better every time. “When they can run like he can you are a little more forgiving with some of the bad tendencies.” Alta Orlando will head to this Sunday’s Marlborough Cup – bypassing the Prelude on Friday. “I think starting off a big handicap over 2300 metres would make it almost impossible for him to win so we are better off going straight into Sunday. “I might nominate him for Friday just in case they are light in numbers, but it’s unlikely he will start.” Long term a race like the Easter Cup may be a possibility for the horse.  It was a big weekend for Dunn who won eight races in the sulky over the two days of racing. Six of those came from his father’s stable while he also picked up wins on Muscles Galore and Tattinger Rose. “It was a good weekend, everything fell into place. “I wasn’t happy with a couple of my drives though, but hopefully the run can continue.” Tattinger Rose’s victory was particularly poignant as the dour mare has now been retired to stud. Trained in Nelson by Ian Thomas, yesterday was her first victory on her home track after 17 efforts. Dunn is enjoying a few days in Nelson with his family before relocating over to Blenheim for their two-day meeting this weekend. The Marlborough Harness Racing Club are offering an extra $100 incentive to connections of horses who travel through the Lewis Pass to attend the meeting after the Kaikoura Earthquake made the trip to the region significantly longer. Matt Markham

Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis only train one pacer at Karioitahi Beach just west of Waiuku – and that 6-year-old gelding won the Franklin duo their first ever Rotorua Cup on Sunday. Renown for their expertise in trotting, Hackett and Wallis train a team of about a dozen and were delighted that Full Speed Ahead finally the got the reward he had been hinting at for some time now. The son of Art Major was convincing when winning the $9,000 Armstrong Family Rotorua Grass Cup for the R66 and faster pacers. Todd Macfarlane settled Full Speed Ahead second early from gate two and then went at sat parked at the bell. When most horses would have chucked in the towel in the straight, Full Speed Ahead dug real deep to beat Mo Casino (Zac Butcher) and Dikerry (Brent Mangos) by a head and a head respectively. “That was a real tough performance breezing like he did in slippery conditions. I think there is a few more wins left in him yet before the handicapping system will force us to take him to Australia. “He would be real competitive over there. He will be rated too highly here soon and there will be nothing left for him to compete in here. They’ve had six months to sort this new ratings system out it and it’s still a mess,” Hackett said. Full Speed Ahead paced the 2600m stand in 3:29.4 (mile rate 2:09.6) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 59.4 and 29 even. It was his first look at Rotorua and first win since scoring for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen at Ashburton on December 26, 2014. He's now won five of his 22 starts and placed in five others for $36,845 in stakes. Full Speed Ahead was the $11.10 sixth favourite. "We'll just race him on the grass track circuit for now and then decide his future after that. We will start with the (Parawai) Thames Cup on Saturday," said Hackett. Full Speed Ahead’s dam Maheer Princess (by Christian Cullen) won four races for Steven Reid and Graeme Rogerson, and his grand dam Fern Glen (by New York Motoring) won 10 races for Irvin Behrns. He came north to the Hackett and Wallis barn in the middle of last year. “He’s got the breeding and is a bright horse who has nice gate speed. I think he would be a much better winning proposition on a dry Thames track,” Hackett said. Hackett and Wallis could nearly have had three wins at Rotorua’s Arawa Park. They finished a nose second in the up to R49 trot with Sundown In Paris and then three races later Princess Mackendon was a three-and-a-half length second from her 10m handicap in the R50 and faster trot. Hackett drove the former while Wallis got the chocolates on the latter. Duane Ranger

They might be training partners and they don’t always agree on everything – and that was certainly the case after the first race at Cambridge Raceway last Friday night (January 13). Sheryl Wigg was a tad upset with her winning drive behind Chal Shocked in the $8,000 McMillan Equine Feeds Amateur Mobile for the Up to R63 pacers. Her partner and trainer Tim Vince was rapt with the drive. “Sheryl wasn’t happy because she thought she went too hard down the back straight. I said I thought it was a lovely confident, positive drive. She’s too hard on herself. She works like a Trojan and has high standards. “She was first past the post and that was good enough for me. It’s funny how we had two perspectives on the race. That’s why she’s the stable’s number one amateur,” Vince said. Chal Shocked was the $3 favourite and it was definitely a daring drive from Wigg. She loomed up three wide in the straight and then ran a 28.4 second quarter as they surged away to a four length lead down the back straight. In the lane Chal Socked hung to beat eighth favourite, Shardon’s Pearl by a length. They paced the 2200m stand in 2:42.1 (mile rate 1:58.5) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 60.9 and 30.6. It was the 5-year-old Jereme's Jet gelding's fifth win from 30 starts. He's also ran second five times and won $27,213. That was Vince's third win with the 5-year-old since Vince paid $8,000 for him purely for amateur driving reasons last September. “He now has to leave the amateur ranks so I think he might be getting close to his mark. Perhaps Sheryl will drive him again if he is demoted back to amateur driving events. “I’ve just bought another amateur horse from the South Island named Franco Hamilton for Sheryl to drive. He’s won twice and placed twice from his last four starts in Otago and Southland. Vince said he would love to line him up in the Parawai Cup at Thames Cup on Sunday week (January 22), simply for sentimental reasons “One of our old favourites Celtic Warrior won the race for us last year. He was great old boy and sadly died last in June. He won seven races and more than $50,000 for us. “I’ll never forget him and for that reason I’d love to line Chal Shocked up in the Thames Cup just because of him. It’s a special race now because of that win last year. That was also his last win,” 61-year-old Vince said. As at Saturday, Vince is just one win behind his personal best of nine wins achieved last season. His eighth victory came via another ‘Old favourite’ - KD Hall in race five. While Chal Shocked was half-expected to win his race, KD Hall was the sixth favourite of nine and paid $11.80 when winning the $10,000 Breckon Farms Handicap for the R60 and faster trotters. Tony Herlihy (MNZM) got KD Hall home by three quarters of length. It was the 7-year-old Quite Easy gelding's ninth win in 61 starts. He's also placed 15 times and banked just shy of $90,000. "I think only just recently getting access to our neighbour's swimming pool in Kumeu in recent times has worked wonders for this fella. He is another horse who has done a wonderful job for us. “He’s the most expensive horse we have raced and he only cost us $10,000 when we got him off Murray Edmonds in November 2014. But that's his ninth win now and I think he's reached his mark. "I'm in two minds whether to retire him or not because the old boy (seven) has been so good to us, and four of his wins have been at Cambridge so what does that say about him. “I don’t think his rating will see him competitive any more and that’s not a ratings error, it’s just he’s met his mark and I can’t see him winning too many more, unless he drops back through the ratings quickly,” Vince said. “I’ll give it some serious thought. It won’t be easy either way,” he added. Footnote: Vince won another two races from two attempts at the Rotorua meeting yesterday (Sunday). He and Wigg won the first event behind Drover’s Eyre, while Brent Mangos got Monnay home for him in the fifth event. Four from four from Vince and two from two for Wigg! Season record. Duane Ranger

The decision by harness racing trainer Robert Dunn not to start Alta Orlando in the Nelson Pine Industries Prelude the first day of the Nelson Harness Racing Club meeting certainly paid dividends when he took out the Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Cup on day two. Alto Orlando won Sunday's feature race in a time of 3min 46.8sec for the 3000m event. Driver John Dunn took the race to his rivals slipping away on the final bend to win by six lengths from Hopeful Harriet and the fast finishing Mighty Flying Major. The gelding by Courage Under Fire is owned by Dunn's wife Jenna and father Robert, as well as Mitzi Taylor and Dr Marg Evans. Dr Evans also co-owns the second-place getter, Hopeful Harriet, with her husband Dr Bruce Taylor. John Dunn certainly had a great meeting, winning eight of the 22 races programmed. Robert Dunn trained six winners over the two days, while Greg and Nina Hope trained five winners over the weekend.   In the battle for the driving premiership, Blair Orange was leading by one win coming in to Sunday's racing but rival and good mate Dexter Dunn reined home three wins with Orange not securing a win to leave Dunn two wins ahead. Locally trained mare, Tattinger Rose, flew the flag for the Top of the South when she won the Dick Saunders Memorial Pace for Ian, Sue and daughter Nicole Thomas along with Kath and Darryl Eginton.   The club was delighted with the two days' racing which attracted a sizeable. By Kristie Hill Reprinted with permission of The Nelson Mail

Harness racing fixed odds movers for the second day at Nelson as at 11:45am Race 1 - Unico Enchantress $1.35 is easily the best backed in win and multi betting. Out Of Aces $7.50 is starting to attract some support.   Race 2 -  BD Khaosan $2.60 is clearly the best backed runner in win and multi betting.   Race 3 - Idealagain $9.20 - $7.00 is all punter's want here but the clear leader in multi betting is Lolita Franco $2.30.   Race 4 - Clarendon Falcon $11.50 is best backed on the win book but in multi betting it's all one way traffic on Johnny White $1.80.    Race 5 - Red Ranger $8.50 is best backed on the win book over JJ's Delight $3.80.   Race 6 - Destiny Jones $2.10 is easily the best backed runner in win & multi betting. Little Mo $7.20 is starting to get some support on the win book.    Race 7-  The Governor $2.20 has taken a $2,000 bet at the opening price of $2.50 and easily leads win betting but in multi betting Gotta Go Ya Hu $1.75 is going 2 to 1 in ticket sales over The Governor.   Race 8 - Born Again Delight $6.00 leads win betting over the longshot Moytura $21 - $18. Unico Legend $2.10 easily leads multi betting.   Race 9 - The money has come for Alta Orlando $4.60 - $3.60 and he easily leads win betting over Mighty Flying Major $4.40 and Franco Texas $23 - $20.   Race 10 - Judging by the early win and multi money that has come for the $1.90 - $1.65 favourite  A G's White Socks punter's give little hope for his rivals to beat him.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

The 4-year-old gelding who finished fourth in Vincent’s stunning New Zealand record win at Alexandra Park on December 31 is going to take all sorts of beating in Sunday’s 2017 Rotorua Grass Cup. In fact Mo Casino’s driver, Zac Butcher, rated him “a very good” winning chance, and easily the best of his four drives at the Harness Racing Waikato’s meeting at Arawa Park. If Butcher is right, the classy South Auckland reinsman will achieve back-to-back wins in the Cup. Last year he got up the passing lane with the Barry Purdon trained Hartofdixie. Hartofdixie paced the 2600m stand in 3:24.1. It’s a time that Butcher believes Mo Casino can at least match in the $8,000 Armstrong Family sponsored feature pace for the R66 and faster pacers – especially after his electrifying New Year’s Eve run. The Steven Reid and Simon McMullan trained son of Butler’s Delight has drawn six of 10. “This is ‘Mo’s’ first start back since he ran a real creditable fourth behind Vincent, and he felt superb that night finishing less than two seconds behind the very good colt. If anything that horse is the big mover in the New Zealand 3-year-old pacing ranks. “This is a big drop in class from city company and if I’m patient in the big long straight, I’m confident he’ will be too good,” Butcher said. Vincent set that New Zealand record in the $20,000 The Woodlands Yearling Parade Handicap for the R67 to R95 pacers. The 3-year-old Art Major colt stopped the clock in 3:19.6 for the 2700m stand beating Lancome's all-comers record of 3:20.9 set at Cambridge Raceway in 2011. It also beat Tas Man Bromac's 3-year-old record of 3:22 even set at Ascot Park in January 2015. Vincent is now headed for the Victoria Cup at Melton’s Tabcorp Park on February 4. “The standing start suits Mo Casino perfectly because he steps so well. He’s a genuine racehorse and if I drive him correctly you should see that come out in him on Sunday,” the 25-year-old Clevedon horseman said. Mo Casino is having his first look at Arawa Park and he is also having his first race on grass. The bay has placed in one of his two standing starts, and all-up he’s had 19 starts for three wins, thee seconds and a third ($29,003). Meanwhile Butcher said the Reid and McMullan trained My Kiwi Lady was the second best of his four drives at the meeting. “Simon told me today that they would scratch the filly from race nine (2) in favour of the seventh now that there have been a couple of scratchings.” That means the 3-year-old daughter of Art Major will race in the $6,000 - R48 to R56 pace, over the $6,500 - R55 to R64 rated event. “She’s been racing against some nice horses at Cambridge and Alexandra Park and gets back in grade here. “It’s an 1800m mobile so she’s going to have to do things right and then if I’m handy I just have to be patient on the bigger track. She can get some of it with the trip.” Here’s what Butcher said about his two other drives: Race 3: Charlie Harper (7): “ I drove him when he was fourth (and second favourite) at Waipa last start. He did a good job last start but will still need the run to suit in this. He’s the sort of horse who needs a bit of luck but if he gets it he can win one very soon.” Race 6: Delray (2): “He’s an honest entire (4yo) who people should follow. He’s lightly raced and not a big fella, and need to follow the speed. He has the draw and can go close if given one run at them. If not Sunday his time will come.” The Rotorua Grass Cup is the second race in the five-strong 2016-2017 North Island Country Cups Championship. The John and Josh Dickie trained Joanednobettor won the first race – the Te Awamutu Grass Cup on December 28. The three others are the Parawai Cup at Thames (January 21), the Wellington Cup at the Kapiti Coast on (January 27), and the Otaki Cup also at the Kapiti Coast (January 29). Duane Ranger

A day in the sun at Nelson on Friday quickly became a day belonging to Johnny Dunn. The North Canterbury horseman, who wears two hats as an unofficial trainer and as a driver, stole the show on the first day of the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s two day meeting winning five in the sulky with four coming from the stable of his father, Robert. In a display of aggressive driving, making full use of a notable front runners bias yesterday, Dunn took the bull by the horns and set about dominating from the outset. He won early in the day with Muscles Galore in the maiden trot for his father-in-law and sister-in-law Craig and Aimee Edmonds. A Muscle Mass three-year-old gelding out of the former smart trotting filly, Harriet Hughes who hailed from the same stable, Muscle Mass went to war with BD Khaosan a long way out from home but kept finding and drew clear inside the final 100 metres to claim victory. Dunn the saluted on maiden pacers, Kotare Mist and Returntorocknroll - the latter finally breaking the maiden status after 19 starts for owners, Trent and Wendy Yesberg. Returntorocknroll is the sixth foal to the races from Jingle Belle Rock and now all six have won at least one race with noted performers, Bettor Rock On, J D Fortune and Great Balls A Flyin also hailing from the mare. Kotare Mist is also well bred being a Christian Cullen out of Kotare Yangtze who has left Bella Star, Kotare Mahdi and Kotare Mahal - she is raced by prominent owners and breeders, Tony and Gay Abell. Dunn’s remaining two winners come from consistent trotter, Foreverman and then he won the last with handy three-year-old pacer, Billy Badger who was levels ahead of his opposition in the last of the day. Greg and Nina Hope picked up a few of the scraps following the Dunn demoltion. They won the Nelson Cup Prelude with Usain Colt who continued a great run of luck for his owners, Wayne and Connie Stewart and then A G’s White Socks lived up to his reputation by remaining unbeaten with a big win later in the day after doing a power of work inside the final lap. Ricky May was on board both of the Hope winners. While it was Dunn’s day, Ladbrooks trainer, Dean Taylor achieved a notable milestone when he notched up his 500th training success when Jessica Young produced a peach of a drive on Go Davey to get him home against a handy field of pacers. Taylor has held a licence since 1989 - 1990 season, training his first winner at Westport when Lumber Scott won with Jeff Whittaker in the sulky. He’s prepared top open class pacer, Waipawa Lad to win a New Zealand Free-For-All and Captain Peacock won a New Zealand Derby. In recent years Taylor has formed a strong association with Young and he is currently enjoying a good season with eight winners on the board already.   Nelson Second Day selections - By Matt Markham   Race 1: Unico Enchantress, Out Of Aces, Living Glory, Jersey joe Wilcott Race 2: BD Khaosan, Gold Sovereign, Scarlet Bromac, Geena’s Girl Race 3: The New Man, Jimmy Nga, Lolita Franco, Idealagain Race 4: Johnny White, Black Art, Spooky, Clarendon Falcon Race 5: Tattinger Rose, Franco Lamar, JJ’s Delight, Red Ranger Race 6: Destiny Jones, Forverman, Prestine, Alvira Hest Race 7: Gotta Go Ya Hu, Bella Jones, Mac Toddy, Handlebar Hank Race 8: Unico Legend, One Off, Smooth N Easy, Born Again Delight Race 9: Mighty Flying Major, Usain Colt, Alta Orlando, Smithy Race 10: A G’s White Socks, Waimac Attack, Mrs Browns Boys, Gunpowder Race 11: Cmeerock, Torrid Bromac, Emily Blunt, Go Davey   Best Bet: A G’s White Socks (Race 10) Longshot: Geena’s Girl (Race 2)

Riverton fisherman Neville Cleaver can't get enough of the progeny of top harness racing sire Sundon despite the stallion not being around anymore. Sundon was put down in April 2015 but still has stored semen available, and Cleaver says the champion stallion just seems to nick with the family he's breeding from. Cleaver's association with his latest winner, Sundons Wish (Sundon - Yule Ana) began when he was jogging a few horses on the north beach at Riverton over a decade ago.  "I was working horses along the Riverton beach with Bert Wohlers and Alex Jenkins and at the time they had Sun Watch. Murray Darnill (who owned Sun Watch) was there as well and he decided that he would sell the mare (Little Miss Watch dam of Sun Watch). He put her in a mixed aged sale in Christchurch but she didn't sell so I approached him and he sold her to me. She was in foal when I bought her to Continentalman and we sold the filly (Miss Continental) for $10,000 to Adrian Wohlers and Kevin Strong. I then used the money to breed a Sundon out of her which was Sunrise Delight. One thing led to another and I got the Armbro Invasion mare (Yule Ana) which was one of Little Miss Watch's daughters off Murray," said Cleaver. Sundons Wish was Yule Ana's second foal. Her first Yelande won one race for Alister Kyle and was sold to the Butterworth Racing Syndicate. She won a further two races for Tony Herlihy before heading to Australia where she won another two races. Since leaving Sundons Wish, Cleaver has lent Yule Ana to Pauline Pattullo but she hasn't had too much luck in breeding from the Armbro Invasion mare.    "One was born with a bent leg and the other had it's face ripped off. She's just foaled to Pegasus Spur and I've just served her with Sundon." Sundons Wish was until recently trained by Ian Jamieson who qualified the horse as a four year old in November 2015, but he has recently joined Nathan Williamson's barn.  Trainer driver Nathan Williamson and Neville Cleaver                           - Photo Bruce Stewart. "Ian's done a really good job. The horse's manners are impeccable but he was just having trouble rounding the horse off so he suggested that I get someone else to train him. Nathan's changed a few thing around with shoeing and diet and given him different work. He's just grown another leg. He hasn't had half hopples on but Nathan thought he wasn't using the muscles he should have been so he's put them on to make him use those muscles. He's ready to take them off but today he didn't want to change anything around."  In yesterdays race Sundons Wish trotted soundly the whole way while some of his rivals made mistakes and Cleaver is hopeful that he can develop into a good mid-grade trotter in the province.  "He's got a lot of speed. He can run a quarter in 27. I would say he'd advance a few more classes yet."  And as for the colours Williamson wears when driving horses owned by Cleaver?  "I got them off Paul Hillis about ten years ago. They're the Bonecrusher colours." Little Miss Watch which was bred by Clarrie Woodward started her racing career off with Shane Mathieson winning once. She was then bought by the Tick Tock Syndicate and send to Graham Bond before Dick Prendergast trained her to win at Forbury Park. She ended her racing career winning once for Ray Jenkins. As a broodmare she has left a stack of winners including Musgrove (16) Hardwick (22), Aleana (6), Carnley (3) and Sunrise Delight (3). Murray Darnill is still breeding from Aleana and has a yearling filly by Pegasus Spur out of the mare while Cleaver has a two year old filly out of Sunrise Delight and a colt by Love You stallion Quatre Juillet (one of nine foals born in this country by that stallion).  Later in the programme yesterday Grace O'Malley capped off her solid trotting formline with a well deserved win in the Grinaldi Lodge/Gordon Sutherland Memorial Trot. Grace O'Malley winning at Ascot Park          photo Bruce Stewart Driver Peter Hunter took the eight year old Sundon mare straight to the lead and held on easily to beat Moa Bones who ran home well after an early break. Bred by the late Bill Keast, Grace O'Malley is trained by Curly Thomas at Ascot Park. It was the mare's first win since April last year. Three of her four career wins have been at Ascot Park.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Magicol Delight improved on his debut second when he lead all the way to win the Omalass - The New Dried Molasses Mobile Pace at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park yesterday. "I've always had a lot of time for him. He hasn't done a lot. He's a very inexperienced horse. We went to Omakau off the back of just one workout then he won today," said Gore trainer Tony Stratford after the win. The three year old is owned and raced by his breeders Paul and Margaret Collet who did farm at Wright Bush and are now retired and on a small holding between Alexandra and Clyde. Magicol Delight qualified at Gore in October 2015 as a two year old behind stablemates Mucho Macho Man and The Honey Badger andwas put aside to mature and develop. "Although he doesn't look it, he's a big boy. He's twelve months away to be fair. Being a Bettor's (by sire Bettors Delight) out of a nice mare he could develop into a good horse."  Winning connections                                                   - Photo Bruce Stewart Driver Dexter Dunn made the most of the horse's good draw and took the gelding straight to the lead. He held on to beat a late inside charge from Manuka Valley and a spirited finish out wide by Navajo Art.  "He got a nice draw and was able to utilise it."   Stratford said Magicol Delight will have his next start in a three year old race at the Invercargill Cup meeting at the end of the month.    Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The well performed Rocker Band has joined the Clevedon stable of Barry Purdon. Rocker Band, owned by Greg Brodie, has won 10 races including the Harness Jewels for 4-year-old mares at Cambridge from the Burnham stable of Mark Jones. Rocker Band has been campaigning in the Auckland area since the end of September, compiling a win and five minor placings in seven starts. She ran second to Chase The Dream in the Futurity Stakes at Cambridge last time. Gotta Del, a dashing winner on grass at Cromwell last Sunday, has been transferred to the Rakauhauka (Southland) stable of Clark Barron. Gotta Del was previously with Ken and Tony Barron at West Melton. Rakarazor, who won a Sires’ Stakes heat for 3-year-old fillies at Forbury Park last year when trained by Barron for Brendan Fahy, has transferred to the Cobbitty (New South Wales) stable of John McCarthy. Rakarazor was a winner at Alexandra Park last month when trained at Papakura by Gareth Dixon. “She (Rakarazor) will target the Golden Guitar series,’’ said Dixon. A heat and final of that series at Tamworth was won last year by Cyclone Kate, part-owned by Dixon and trained by McCarthy. Cyclone Kate, who won six races in New Zealand, has added another 10 in Australia. She has won three feature races for mares at Menangle and taken a record of 1.50.8. Extreme Guest, a winner at Washdyke on January 6, has been sold to patrons of the Victoria stable of David Aiken. Extreme Guest was trained at Temuka by Brent White for his last win. The Extreme Three 6-year-old won two races from the Robert Dunn stable. Franco Hamilton has been bought out of the White stable by Kumeu owner-trainer Tim Vince. Franco Hamilton won at Forbury Park and Winton last month in four starts after being bought by Peter McDermott, of Christchurch. Tayler Strong

Swap Over after eleven starts finally delivered on the promise he'd shown when he cleared maiden harness racing ranks at Ascot Park yesterday. The now four year old started his career by running in the 2015 Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham- the race was won by Waikiki Beach. Since then the Changeover entire has started first favourite three times on the back of good workouts form but he has failed to deliver.  "He's had a lot of bad luck really. He was going to win at Winton and the cart split in half and Nathan had to pull him up," said trainer Brent Shirley. Swap Over from a good draw yesterday was taken wide going into the first bend by junior reinsman Matt Anderson before going to the front. He held on to win by a neck from Ideal Denario. He's owned by Shirley's wife Raywyn, Ross Anderson and his sister Donna Proudman.  Swap Over with winning connections             Photo Bruce Stewart "I think he'll be sold to Australia" said Shirley when discussing Swap Overs future. He's out of the Live Or Die mare Jenna Franco. Swap Over's full-brother My Wee Man won for Nigel McGrath earlier this month at Rangiora. Later in the programme class pacer Costa Del Magnifico returned to winning form with a stunning victory in the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup. He began brilliantly from the 50 metre mark and with 1600 metres to run driver Nathan Williamson took him to the front leaving second favourite The Big Boss parked. Williamson let him run from the top of the straight and he went down to the finish line untouched to win by five and a half lengths. Flashing On was the best of the rest running on for second.  "Nathan says be felt real sharp and he's where he should be. The Omakau run although hard didn't knock him and he's pulled up real good after the run yesterday too. The next race for him is the Invercargill Cup. He's started twice in Country Cups races now and won so he's qualified for the final. We don't have to push him like we had to last season," said Shirley.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Harness racing fixed odds movers at Nelson as at 10:30am Race 1 - Hayden's Meddle $1.50 hasn't taken a win bet as yet but is all punter's want to be on in multi betting.   Race 2 - Geena's Girl $11 - $8.50 is best backed on the win book over Chevron Express $6.20 - $5.40. BD Khaosan $3.70 leads multi betting.   Race 3 - Kotare Mist $2.90 - $2.70 is easily the best backed on the win book with little early interest on any other runner.     Race 4 - Unico Enchantress $3.80 - $3.50 is best backed on the win book over Clarendon Falcon $16. In multi betting Johnny White $2.70 easily leads over Unico Enchantress.    Race 5 - Unico Legend $2.05 - $1.90 is best backed with the largest bet taken so far $2,000 at $2.00.   Race 6 - The Governor $1.90 - $1.70 in early betting is overall the best backed runner at the meeting attracting bets of $1,850 at $1.90 & $2,500 at $1.80.   Race 7 - Little Mo $4.50 leads win betting over Lady Beatrix Bourbon $8.20 with Prestine $2.90 leading multi betting.     Race 8 - Smithy $8.20 - $7.50 is best backed on the win book over Franco Texas $12 with Usain Colt $2.70 easily leading multi betting.   Race 9 - Living Legend $9.20 - $8.50 leads win betting over Taittinger Rose $11.50 - $9.50 with Rum Delight leading multi betting over Living Legend.   Race 10 - A G's White Socks $2.20- $2.00 is the best backed runner with the largest early bet $1,666 at $2.20 but Waimac Attack $2.60 leads multi betting over the former.   Race 11 - Billy Badger  $2.10 - $1.95 is the best backed runner with the largest bet so far $1,8118 at $2.10 and he easily leads early multi betting over Torrid Bromac $5.50.    In the Drivers Challenge (betting option 829) John Dunn  has opened up as the $2.30 favourite and has taken a $500 bet. Ricky May is at $2.50, Dexter Dunn $3.20 with Any Other Driver at $26.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)  

Sean McCaffrey has not doubt who his best horse is in the main trot at Cambridge but he isn’t sure Yagunnakissmeornot is his best chance. The once exciting local mare has been a shadow of her former self for the last year, having not won for 10 starts after ending 2015 with five wins on end at Alexandra Park. Back then she looked a potential serious player in open class but now co-trainer McCaffrey is scratching his head. “We can’t work out what has gone wrong with her,” he admits heading into race five tonight. “It isn’t ability because at her best she just kept on running like the good stock of Love You do. “We have tested her for all sorts of things and we found a gut issue recently which we have worked on. “But will that solve her for form issues? Tell the punters I really couldn’t say. “We will try and drive her quietly this week and have one run at them but I am not going in confident.” McCaffrey and training partner Ross Paynter also have Lemond in the race and suggest he could be the better chance, even though he hasn’t been well treated by the discretionary handicaps. “He was a bit unlucky at Alexandra Park last start but I am still not happy about his handicap.” While McCaffrey rates Lemond a safer option than Yagunnakissmeornot, he says South Island veteran Valmagne, who is staying at his stables, is at least as good a chance as both. “He is a tough old horse who keeps on trucking so if they go hard he could beat both of ours.” On a night with few stars another local adding at least of a touch of group one class is Prime Power, who was heavily backed in the open class trot last week but galloped early. If he behaves tonight the small field and his standing start speed brings him into play even from a 50m handicap. While McCaffrey isn’t bursting with confidence about his trotters, he rates Lambros a huge chance in race race six. “He if can hold up from the ace early, and I think he can, then this is a good race for him. Michael Guerin

If you are unsure about picking a winner at Cambridge today (Friday) stick with the tried and true – the Raceway’s leading trainer of last season, Jay Abernethy. Abernethy is taking just one horse to the Harness Racing Waikato meeting and punters won’t have to wait long to see his stable representative line up. The consistent Gotta Go Cullect gelding start in the first event - the McMillan Equine Feeds Amateur Mobile for the 4-year-and-older 63 rated paces. The 5-year-old start from gate four, which is really three because there is one scratching inside him. John Kriechbaumer will do the driving. “He’s been racing really well lately and even though this is a step up in grade he seems to get through his races well. With the right run he can be a good chance, but looking at the field he is going to need a few things go his way,” said trainer Abernethy. Collection placed in three starts before winning at Hawera last Sunday. He is having his first look at ‘The Raceway’ tonight but he has placed at Alexandra Park, and he has the draw to find a nice sit early. Abernethy said coming north from Brian Johnson’s stable at Richmond Park in December had been a positive move “Brian organised him to come after the last Manawatu meeting because there was lack of opportunity for him in Blenheim without doing heaps of travelling with him. “Brian sent him up in super order and all we have done is tick him over so most of the credit goes to him. He was in fantastic order and because of that we haven't done anything different with him,” Abernethy said. The toughest for Collection to beat will be the Cheree Wigg trained and driven Elliot Daniel, who was hampered in the straight when heavily supported at Waipa. But her twin sister Sheryl could get over the top of them both with the Tim Vince trained Chal Shocked. The Jereme’s Jet 5-year-old goes well in amateur events and it's best you ignore his last start gallop, also at Waipa. The main event of the evening – the $9,000 Georgia Brooke Memorial Handicap for the R66 and faster pacers is an even affair. Pukekohe trainer Derek Balle has a high opinion of Kenrick, and the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight entire only needs to get a nice sit from barrier his 10m handicap to be a major threat. Kenrick has won one of his five starts at Cambridge Raceway and placed in two others. He's lightly raced having won four of his 25 starts, including one over tonight's 2700m stand. Duane Ranger

He’s ticking things off the bucket list left, right and centre and this weekend Greg Hope has a chance to cross another milestone off when he heads to the top of the South Island and to Richmond Park in Nelson. Hope heads to the meeting having trained 48 winners at Richmond Park during his career, five of them coming while training on his own account and a further 43 coming since he joined in partnership with his wife Nina. And with a particularly ominous looking line up of horses from the stable in action this weekend, there’s every chance that he will achieve the required two wins before the weekend is out. The stable has dominated Nelson over the past few years with a number of winners coming from their trips up the Coast from Woodend Beach including a six win haul up at the same two-day meeting last season. Today’s team of runners totals eight with the little known pacer, A G’s White Socks the stable’s leading chance for the day. He finished a strong second behind Usain Colt, who contests the Nelson Summer Cup Prelude earlier in the day, at the Mt Hutt Workouts at Methven last Saturday - showing his readiness for this week’s assignment. “He’s a pretty nice horse, we’ve got a fair bit of time for him,” Greg Hope said. “He won first up at Oamaru, after being unbeaten off the place. That workout is the only time he’s actually been beaten in public.” A Rock N Roll Heaven three-year-old gelding, A G’s White Socks is a half-brother to former open class pacer, Power Of Tara. “I don’t know what to expect from him this season, but we will see what happens at Nelson and then go from there. “I’d like to think he’s got a decent future in front of him.” The Hope’s took a large team to Methven last weekend to have their final hit out before today’s meeting and A G’s White Socks was just one of a number of impressive performers. Usain Colt showed a very good turn of foot to win the feature heat of the day with young Ben Hope in the sulky. “He’s going really good against good fields, he’d be a chance this week with a bit of luck.” Mares Bella Jones and Emily Blunt won’t get many better chances to get another win than their respective races while there are also big chances from Unico Legend, Gold Sovereign and Franco Lamar. The entire team with be driven today by regular stable driver, Ricky May. Super Selector - By Matt Markham Race 1: Hayden’s Meddle, Calendar Girls, Mac Toddy, Black Art Race 2: BD Khaosan, Gold Sovereign, Muscles Galore, Fira Sunset Race 3: Jimmy Nga, Kotare Mist, Wall Street Wolf, The New Man Race 4: JJ’S Delight, Spooky, Out Of Aces, Johnny White Race 5: Unico Legend, Returntorocknroll, Smooth N Easy, One Off Race 6: The Govenor, Mighty Empire, Franco Lamar, Go Davey Race 7: Prestine, Alvia Hest, Little Mo, Lady Beatrix Bourbon Race 8: Usain Colt, Franco Texas, Linton Shard, Miss Daisy Race 9: Bella Jones, Living Legend, Rum Delight, Nova Time Race 10: A G’s White Socks, Waimac Attack, Mrs Browns Boys, Gunpowder Race 11: Billy Badger, Franco Saxon, Emily Blunt, Torrid Bromac Best Bet: Bella Jones (Race 9) Value: JJ’s Delight (Race 4)  

Graeme and Caryl Telfer had their day in the sun at Oamaru on Wednesday, winning with their two horses, Boomer Bailey and  Red Hot Poker. Boomer Bailey enhanced the occasion with a track record. It was the first time the Telfers had won two races in a day since Graeme was licensed to train in 2002. “It is a big thrill,’’ said Caryl. The Telfers rarely have more than one horse racing on a day. They have six horses in work on their 12 hectare property at Claremont, west of Timaru.  The pacer Boomer Bailey and trotter Red Hot Poker are both raced on lease from Ashburton breeders Bevan and Keith Grice. Boomer ran his rivals ragged in 3.11.5 for the 2600m from the mobile gate. He scorched the last 800m in 54.9 and held out favourite Cable Beach by three quarters of a length. Boomer Bailey has now won eight races and  $62,531 in stakes. His time was 0.3 inside the  track record set by Torrid Bromac as a 3yr-old in May. Boomer Bailey is a 6-year-old who has won four of his races, including one on the grass, at Oamaru. Red Hot Poker won a C0 trot by five and three quarter lengths. He is a  powerful 4-year-old by The Pres from Jasmyne (Sundon – Janetta’s Pride), a winning sister to highly performed trotters Dependable, Jo Anne, Ima Gold Digger and Shirley Temple. The 3-year-old Nearis Green set a track record for all ages when he won a Co pace in 2.30.5 for 2000m from a standing start. The previous mark was 2.30.7 set by Countess Kala 17 1/2 years ago. The John Hay-trained and driven Nearis Green capped  minor placings in four starts when he led over the last 1600m.  A son of American Ideal – Uroc M’Lady he is raced by Hay with Owen and Sharyn Wylie, of Ashburton, Dennis James and “Sooty” Moffett, of Christchurch. The same owners won three races with Uroc M’Lady. The 3yr-old Hilarious Magic returned a brave performance to clear maiden ranks.  The Rocknroll Hanover – Hilarious Leigh colt is trained by Paul Court for Mark Dyer, of Christchurch. Hilarious Magic was bought by Mr Dyer after being passed in for $30,000 at the premier yearling sale. Expresso Martini was  transferred to the East Taieri stable of Martin Denton after being claimed for $6000. He led over the last 2000m of 2600m.  Expresso Martini won 10 races for the Met Eight syndicate, who were out in force top see his win on Wednesday. The claimant after a draw with three others was Tony Gow, of East Taieri, who  is in the ownership of Eamon Maguire, the 3yr-old who won the previous race stylishly.  Eamon Maguire was three back on the inner until the 350m then charged home to win by a length and a quarter. Expresso Martini has been trained on the beach for his last seven wins by Graeme Anderson, who has Eamon Maguire. Dexter Dunn drove the two Telfer-trained winners in addition to Eamon Maguire and Expresso Martini. He is now on 78 wins for the season, three behind premiership leader Blair Orange. Lilac Reign came from last at the 400m in a nine-horse field to clear maiden ranks. The 4yr-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight – Lilac Splash, driven by Jessica Young, is trained by Dean Taylor for Andrew Grant and Wayne Frampton. She is the first foal of Lilac Splash, who won three races. Tayler Strong

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