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By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk    It looked doubtful for a while but the Geraldine Trotting Club will hold a meeting at its home course this Saturday. Orari was initially omitted from the racing calendar, prompting the club to look at hosting one meeting at Methven, a fifty minute drive away. But the club got a reprieve and is determined to make the most of it, according to president Mark Weaver. The response has been encouraging with 222 nominations and the likelihood of 11 races. Now Weaver wants the weather to play ball – with early forecasts predicting 17 degrees and no rain.

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk    Some people spend a lifetime waiting for a winner, a group of new owners at Manawatu literally waited minutes. They took “beginners luck” to a new level when Budvar Eyre raced clear at Manawatu last week. The five-year-old gelding capitalized on a perfect trip in the trail for David Butcher to get home by a length for owners, the Turbo 1 Syndicate. It was the syndicate’s debut as Budvar Eyre’s owner, and some of the members had literally only just joined. “Four of them signed up last Tuesday and an hour later the horse won,” says syndicate manager Brian Ahern, ”they thought this is awesome - on course it was like the Melbourne Cup!” There are 50 members in the syndicate with everyone paying $50 a month. It's a 12 month arrangement. “About 60 per cent are newbies to racing,” says Ahern. They come from all over New Zealand, even the Chatham Islands, some are work-mates or from the same golf club, many of them haven’t met each other or Brian the boss. Brian Ahern was brought up with racing – his father was long-standing commentator Doug Ahern – but he only got into the syndication side of things after he retired. “It’s a buzz, but it takes up a lot of time, there are registrations, bank accounts, APs, all sorts”. He’d spent his working life as a police officer and employment relations expert and is now also vice president of the Manawatu Harness Racing Club. Trained by Scott Dickson at Hunterville it was Budvar Eyre’s first win in 12 starts, after having three seconds and a third for Canterbury trainer Mike Brown. Two days later he was sixth on day 2 of the meeting. Budvar Eyre isn’t Turbo 1's only horse, it also leases Painted Lady. Trained by Stephen Doody the three-year-old was unplaced on debut last week. Ahern’s first foray into shared ownership was with the Captain Kirk Syndicate. It raced the horse of the same name which had two wins from 27 here before being a big winner in Perth and is now campaigning Greatest Showman, who has won two of his last three starts for Doody. At Manawatu last week Budvar Eyre won on the Tuesday, and Greatest Showman on the Thursday. Both banked $4950 for their wins, no matter the new syndicate members think this racing game’s easy.

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk     As if Dexter Dunn’s year couldn’t get much better – it has. At Meadowlands in New Jersey over the weekend the 10-time champion Kiwi driver won four of the eight stakes races, providing the dream finish for superstars Manchego, Kissin In The Sand and Bettors Wish in their last career starts. Always A Miki was the night’s other winner in the Governor’s Cup as champion trainer Nancy Takter provided three of Dunn’s winners, with expat Kiwi trainer Chris Ryder (Bettor’s Wish) the other. Manchego beat Atlanta by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:51.3. The five-year-old mare, the sport’s fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020, finishes her racing days with a record of 33 wins from 56 starts, and $US2.72 in stakes. Kissin In The Sand’s final start was her seventh straight win and her 27th in 58 starts, with reigning horse of the year Shartin N fading late to finish third, with Sneaky Peaky grabbing second. Kissin In The Sand will now be bred to the season’s highest stakes earner Tall Dark Stranger. Bettor’s Wish is heading to the stallion paddock after winning his final race by nearly three lengths for Dunn and Ryder. It was win number 24. It will be his second stint at stud having served 58 mares before starting his four-year-old campaign. Dunn’s continued success all but ensures he will be named US Harness Writers’ Association Driver of the Year for the second year running. The 30 year old is the only driver in the US to have topped $US10m in stakes earnings for the year. In a year that seen him drive 354 wins so far, his tally currently stands at $US10.655m, well ahead of nearest rivals Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras.

YOU hope to leave a night like Breeders Crown having seen some potential superstars and that was certainly the case on Saturday night at Melton. The series was built to showcase the emerging young stars of the sport and, despite being COVID compromised like so many of our feature events this year, the Crown still delivered in spades. Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin had 20 runners across the 10-race card, won four of the finals and produced the two brightest stars in juvenile winners Ladies In Red and Major Moth. You could argue their four-year-old Hurricane Harley, who downed Lochinvar Art in track record-equalling time, and their unbeaten three-year-old trotter Cover Of Darkness rounded-out the top four performances of the night. But it was the filly Ladies In Red, a Mach Three half-sister to Our Little General, who left everyone in awe after doing all the work and stretching her unbeaten record to seven wins in the $300,000 2YO fillies’ final. Ladies In Red’s clash with star stablemate Tough Tilly, who looked a certain leader, was billed as THE showdown of the night and it delivered in spades. As hard as Tough Tilly tried in front, Ladies In Red had all the answers and overpowered her late to win by 2.4m in a brilliant 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2240m. “She’s some sort of filly,” driver David Moran said. “When I got outside the leader I wanted to eye-ball her and I was able to do it on my terms. It took some work to get past the leader, but my filly was still strong on the line. I think she’d have found more again if something had come at her.” Ladies In Red’s lethal combination of speed and strength have stamped her as one of the best juvenile fillies we’ve seen in Australia for many years. She capped a big night for Bill and Anne Anderson’s Lauriston Bloodstock, who also raced Hurricane Harley. As powerful as Ladies In Red was, stablemate Major Moth turned heads more for his sheer brilliance in arrogantly winning the $300,000 2YO colts and geldings finals for Stewart and Tonkin with Damian Wilson aboard. Major Moth had the run behind the leader, main danger and stablemate Act Now, but it was the ease with which he roared past the leader in a 26.5sec last quarter (Major Moth ran his in 26.2sec) which astounded onlookers. It marked a career high for Wilson, who has been in-and-out of the game and only had the drive on Major Moth through the 20 years of support and loyalty owner-breeder Len Parker has shown him. “All thanks to Len. We’ve had some good moments together with some nice horses, but this tops them all,” he said. Wilson’s previous biggest win was the 2009 Kilmore Cup on Ohoka Nevada. Cover Of Darkness led throughout to take his unbeaten record to six wins for Stewart/Tonkin and driver Jodi Quinlan in the $80,000 Group 1 3YO trotting colts and geldings finals. Despite his relative inexperience and scaring Quinlan pre-race by bucking and kicking in the warm-up, Cover Of Darkness led from gate two and never really looked in danger on his way to a two metres win in a 1min57sec mile rate for 2240m. “He’s sort of come from nowhere a bit to win this and when you considered he’s nowhere near as seasoned as most of these horses, he should just keep getting better as well,” Quinlan said. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ NSW trainer Paul Fitzpatrick added some interstate flavour to the Crown when his talented former Kiwi colt Zeuss Bromac led throughout to win the $200,000 3YO colts and geldings final. The son of Bettors Delight had to burn to hold the lead early then overraced throughout the middle stages for driver Kerryn Manning, but still ripped home in 54.7 and 27.2sec to win by five metres over Jilliby Nitro. Zeuss Bromac was Manning’s third Crown final win, following three-year-old trotter Djerriwarrh (2000) and three-year-old pacer Emmas Only (2004). “He got a bit keen after the early burn and I tried to bring him back to me without cutting off his wind. It was really only at the bell he settled better so he did a good job. He battled on really well,” Manning said. COVID meant Fitzpatrick couldn’t campaign the horse in the Victoria, so his good friends Noel and Ruth Shinn were caretaker trainers for the stint. It was a similar story, but more official with Watts Up Majestic’s win in the $100,000 2YO trotting colts and geldings finals. Rickie Alchin of Tough Monarch fame wouldn’t been in Victoria were it not for COVID, but sent the youngster to Chris Svanosio to train and drive for the Crown series. Svanosio drove Watts Up Majestic superbly and pounced late for a runaway win. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ IT wouldn’t be a Breeders Crown trotting series without the powerhouse Yabby Dams team snaring a big one. This time it was lightly-raced Quaker Jet filly Im Ready Jet who went back-to-back, adding the three-year-old fillies’ title to the two-year-old crown she won last year. It came thanks to an inspired Jason Lee drive, seizing the gaps and opportunities while others galloped and weaving through from an inside back row draw to take the lead.  ________________________________________________________________________________________________ NOT even all the experience and genius of Chris Alford would lift gifted but wayward three-year-old filly Sweet Louise to a fairytale win in her $200,000 Crown final. She’s just one of three horses trained by hobbyist Phil Chircop and raced by John Dorrington, who has owned horses for decades without winning a Group race. Sweet Louise worked to lead from the pole but raced greenly and switched on-and-off at times, eventually being out-dashed along the sprint lane by Greg Sugars aboard The Panthiest, who won by 1.7m in a 1min54.7sec mile rate for 2240m. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE night finished on a high for the Caldow family with wins in the last two races courtesy of Sangreal and No Win No Feed. Sangreal, raced, trained and bred by the Caldows, caused a huge upset when pick-up driver Daryl Douglas weaved through the field late in an incident-packed race to win by a neck as a $50.60 outsider. The race was over at the start for star Kiwi raider Mexicana when she galloped away from the pole and lost all hope. John Caldow then made the most of a pick-up drive on NSW raider No Win No Feed for Craig Cross when he blasted to the front and gave nothing else a chance in the $60,000 Group 2 Crown 4YO Mares’ final. Glamour former Kiwi mare Our Princess Tiffany moved around to sit parked, but never really looked a hope and just battled into third spot.   by Adam Hamilton

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    It’s been more than a decade since Jo Herbert saluted the judge, but her winning drive behind Blue Chip Delight at Motukarara Raceway on Sunday showed she hasn’t lost any of her talent. Blue Chip Delight made a solid start to sit midfield before Herbert asked him to improve three-wide down the back straight to sit outside leader Eastwood Isabella. They hit the lead at the top of the straight and didn’t relinquish their advantage, holding out the fast-finishing The Kaik to win by a neck, with a further head back to Bettor Believe It in third. Herbert was delighted to get the win after such a long hiatus. “It felt really good, it’s been a long time between drinks,” she said. “I was pleased with the horse, he went well.” A pioneer for female drivers in New Zealand, Herbert won 193 races in the cart before she was forced to step away from the game 10 years ago to look after her son Brooklyn. “At the time it was in the too hard basket, he wasn’t that well,” Herbert said. “It got too hard, so I just focused on him. He is 13 now so he is quite good at self-managing.” Herbert returned to the industry last year after the urgings of trainer Stephen Boyd and she landed her ideal job with current employers Colin and Julie DeFilippi, for whom she drove Blue Chip Delight on Sunday, earlier this year. “I was initially influenced by Stephen Boyd in getting me out there, that definitely helped,” Herbert said. “I now work for Colin and Julie, you couldn’t ask for nicer people. “When I was pregnant he ended up training my trotter. I kept working him right up until I was 30 weeks pregnant and then sent him to Colin. He has always been like my father in harness racing.” When Herbert heard the DeFilippi’s were looking for another worker, she said she was quick to get on the phone, even though she was on the other side of the world at the time. “When I heard he was looking for someone I was straight on the phone from Spain. We went over there for five weeks back in February,” she said. “We were quite lucky because two days after we got home Barcelona was in lockdown. We timed perfectly.” Herbert’s win on Sunday has brought her just six wins shy of 200 driving career wins, a mark she would have tried to attain 10 years ago had she known she was so close. “At the time when I stopped I hadn’t actually looked at that (career win tally),” Herbert said. “It was more that I had to do it (give up driving) because of my son. “If I had known back then that I was that close I wouldn’t have given it up quite so soon.” Herbert said DeFilippi has been trying to get her back in the cart for some time, but she has been happy working behind the scenes. “He has been trying to, but I have been quite happy just gearing up, it hasn’t fazed me,” she said. But with three horses in the field of the Country Feasts Pace (2170m) on Sunday, DeFilippi was able to twist Herbert’s arm into taking the drive behind Blue Chip Delight, and they were both rewarded. “It was great to get the win today, but I am just happy to be working for him,” Herbert said.

By Jonny Turner    It was hardly a nervous wait for Waikato reinsman Peter Ferguson when his 2000th driving win approached as Milliondollarmonkey coasted up the Oamaru straight to win on Saturday. Ferguson had time to decide how to celebrate the milestone victory when the Regan Todd trained trotter went to the line untested to win race 6 by more than two lengths. The reinsman eventually settled on a raise of his whip as he crossed to join just seven other drivers in the 2000-win club. The victory came more than 34 years after Ferguson set on his journey to become one of New Zealand’s most winning reinsman. The then junior driver drove Sobriety to victory to win a 3200m maiden event at a Te Awamutu Trotting Club meeting in 1986. Ferguson wasted no time in establishing his career, he then cemented himself as a star of the future by winning the group 1 Television NZ Mile behind Cinimod Junior in 1987, while still a junior licence holder. The reinsman then went on to win four consecutive national junior drivers’ premierships between the 1988 and 1991 seasons. Ferguson solidified himself as a premier open reinsman and soon started collecting more premier trophies. Of his 19 career group 1 wins, three came in the 1997 calendar year with star mare and Auckland Cup winner, Kate’s First. Another Auckland Cup win came in 2006 with Mi Muchacho. 23 years after his first Ferguson would win yet another Auckland Cup, but not in the harness code. After taking out his greyhound trainer’s licence and developing an excellent winning strike-rate, the reinsman prepared Silenci to win the Auckland Cup for greyhounds this year. Gold Ace was another key contributor to Ferguson’s big race haul in the sulky. The now-retired stallion won a treble of group 1 victories, including his win in the 2011 New Zealand Derby. While maintaining his position as a top-class reinsman over three decades, Ferguson won the New Zealand Drivers’ Premiership in both 2003 and 2007. Ferguson’s win last win in the championship saw him represent New Zealand in the World Drivers Championships in Norway. Ferguson ventured south to Saturday’s Family Feud Drivers’ competition at Oamaru, where he competed alongside his son, Dylan. The father and son finished second behind brothers Nathan and Matthew Williamson.

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Trainer Brian O’Meara is excited to have finally drawn a handy barrier with Voodoo Priestess. The five-year-old mare has drawn the ace barrier in the Country Feasts Pace (2710m) at Motukarara Raceway on Sunday and O’Meara believes she will give a good sight from that starting position. The daughter of Auckland Reactor has placed in two of her last three starts, including a fresh-up effort at Rangiora earlier this month, and O’Meara is hoping she can add a second career win to her tally this weekend. “I thought she ran great but she pulled too hard,” he said. “I put look-backs on her and she got a wee bit uptight and pulled, but she finished extremely well. “She is usually a good beginner. I swap between stands and mobiles but we have had no luck with the draws. We have drawn 10, 10, 14, and 15. “She is not a bad filly, she has just had no luck with the draws at all. Hopefully she will get her chance on Sunday with that draw.” Meanwhile, O’Meara is looking forward to resuming stablemate Di Caprio’s preparation after his pleasing fifth-placed result in the Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) earlier this month. O’Meara was over the moon with the run, but like many others was ruing the start of the race. “I thought he went huge,” said O’Meara, whose last runner in the race was back in 1998 with race victor Christian Cullen. “It was just a shame they had the terrible start. We drew in behind Ray Green’s horse (Copy That) and he never begun at all, so that made it nearly impossible. “I thought if he had got a cosy run he would take all sorts of beating. But he ran tremendous sections. “I went to the races at Rangiora and it was amazing to hear the amount of people who said if he had just got away with the field they thought he would have won. “I have always said he is a great stayer and he would have proven it there.” Di Caprio will resume at Geraldine next week before O’Meara will start to look for loftier targets. “He will start at Geraldine next Saturday and if he goes well there he will go to the Green Mile. We will just have to work out a programme from there.”

Welcome to the Harness Analyst segment where we preview all the harness meetings with tips and selections for all races. Harness racing hits Banks Peninsular today with a ten race program starting at 12:30pm and in this video we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a massive day of racing. The content and data on this page is provided for informational purposes only Check below the video for our selections for all of the races tonight for Banks Peninsular. Banks Peninsular selections 22nd November 2020 Best bet:       R4 Huego Bos Best Value:   R7 The Kaik Race 1 Hang On Suzie good beginner who should land a handy spot early. Over the odds and can run top three.…… Aldebaran Floss has been in great form at workouts and trials and coming in fresh. Winning claims..… Go Marg better run last start and grass suits. Place claims at good odds……Royal Del galloped last start but previous form good and grass will suit. Top selection here Selections:  Royal Del (7),   Hang On Suzie (6),   Aldebaran Floss (5)   Go Marg (4)   Race 2 Kerala Star racing into form and bred to suit the grass surface . Can run top three here from the draw and top selection.……. Vesnina plenty of ability but manners a concern. Track will suit and winning claims here at nice odds …… Hey Tonight disappointing last start but better than that. Drawn ok and can run top three…… Cristiano Buccini getting fitter with racing and grass no problems. Has winning claims. Selections:  Kerala Star (5),  Vesnina (12),   Hey Tonight (11),   Cristiano Buccini (4)   Race 3 Captain Confetti has been ok the last couple and trainer does well here. Good winning claims….. Buckingham respect the stable on grass and gets an ok draw to work with. Good beginner and one of the leading chances in this field ….. It's A Laugh runs his best races on grass and not the worst in this field. Can run in the top three at big odds…. Nadira Franco grass suits and trialling ok. Place chances best…. Selections:   Captain Confetti (6),  Buckingham (5),   It's A Laugh (11),  Nadira Franco (12)   Race 4 Huego Bos good draw to work with and will head forward early. Should run top three ….. Serious Moonlite better draw and will go forward early with top driver booked. Can run top three in this field….. Sportscam has the game to beat a field like this and good fourth last start. Needed….. Bad Hombre running on last start and grass should suit. Can run top three here Selections:   Huego Bos (6),   Sportscam (10),   Serious Moonlite (5),   Bad Hombre (12)   Race 5 Mikemaro conditions suit here and he will try to lead with top driver on board. Good winning claims here.…. Sunny Bill disappointing last start but give another chance. Should be thereabouts and at good odds…… Sods Law tricky draw but looks to have the measure of most of this field on grass. Can win if handy in the run home..… Take After Me a bit in or out with form but has the ability and drawn wide. One for longer odds Selections:  Mikemaro (5),   Sunny Bill (10),   Sods Law (16),   Take After Me (11)   Race 6 Mad Lu Li has been running ok races at trials and had a freshen up. Hard to beat in this field if she can find the front early….. Better Fly running on ok last start and should appreciate the drop in grade. Will need luck but can run top three here  ….. Lilac Star bad draw but likes grass. Look for her to be running on late and can run top three…. Already Gone racing well without luck and will be finishing on if the pace is strong. Good place claims at good odds…. Selections:   Mad Lu Li (7),  Better Fly (8),   Already Gone (12),  Lilac Star (9)   Race 7 The Kaik has been running big races with no luck and grass and draw will suit. Hard to beat in this field if close enough on the home turn….. Blue Chip Delight ok on grass and good beginner. One of the leading chances at nice money  ….. Chal Be good second two starts ago and grass suits. Nice chance at good odds and can run top three…. Classy Kid getting back into top form and grass stats ok. Can run top three with manners…. Selections:   The Kaik (4),  Blue Chip Delight (5),   Chal Be (6),  Classy Kid (2)   Race 8 Playa Vista likely to head for the front and good fifth last start. Good winning claims on the grass surface….. Copperhead Rose grass specialist with a trainer change. Money for him early and should be a top three player here from the draw….. Razors Edge good on grass but tricky draw He will be finishing on if the pace is on all the way. Include…. Skippys Delight in good form and grass ok. One of the leading chances in this field….. Selections:   Playa Vista (4),   Razors Edge (9),   Copperhead Rose (8),   Skippys Delight (11)   Race 9 Justamollyarcher out of form but goes well on grass and drawn to race handy . Can run top three here from the draw at big odds.……. That's The Story plenty of ability but manners a concern. Track will suit and winning claims here at nice odds …… Chief Of Staff disappointing last start but better than that and loves the grass surface. Can run top three…… Kahress getting fitter with racing and drawn race handy. Winning claims if she races handy. Selections:  Kahress (9),   That's The Story (13),   Chief Of Staff (10),   Justamollyarcher (6)   Race 10 Little Gee good win last start and trialled well last week on grass. Good winning claims even from the tricky draw….. Swap Over grass specialist with no form but a good draw. Can upset at big odds….. Mordecai good on grass but tricky draw .He will be finishing on if the pace is on all the way. Include…. In Chevron We Trust in good form and grass ok. One of the leading chances in this field….. Selections:   In Chevron We Trust (11),   Little Gee (13),   Swap Over (3),   Mordecai  (12)   Harnesslink Media

Chicago Bull’s win in last night’s Freemantle Cup in West Australia elevated him on a number of fronts. He’s a diminutive wee champ. He won by 5.7 metres over another Southern Bred Southern Reared horse Galactic Star, and the win was his sixtieth. Chicago Bull is now the second highest race winner in the history of Southland Harness Racing, with only champion Cardigan Bay ahead of him at 80 lifetime wins. Themightyquinn (58 wins) still holds the record for the highest stake earning horse to come out of the province, having won $5,520,066. “He’s (Chicago Bull) exceeded everyone’s expectations. Just the way he tries so hard in every race. He’s so consistent and never lets anyone down,” said Katrina Price who bred Chicago Bull with her husband John and his parents Roger and Helen Price of Winton. It was Chicago Bull’s fifth Group One and second Freemantle Cup and his stake earnings are fast heading towards a quarter of a million. All his wins bar one, have been at Gloucester Park. He also becomes his sire Bettor’s Delight’s second biggest Australian stake earner with only Lazarus ahead of him with $4,423,391. Adore Me is third on the list with $1,677,032. Price says Chicago Bull may now be aimed at The Hunter Cup in February after he runs in the WA Pacing Cup early next month. Chicago Bull as a two year old at Winton Chicago Bull is out of the Christian Cullen mare Chicago Blues. “She’s having a forty two day scan on Monday so hopefully there’s a little baby sister there.” The Prices have a full-brother to Chicago Bull named Chicago Bear going to next year’s sale. “He’s got rock star good looks whereas poor little Chicago Bull missed out on all that. He’s pretty determined and was really tough to break in but he’s onside now. He loves people and is very social. If he has that determination out on the racetrack he’ll do alright.” Katrina and John recently purchased American Ideal mare Hartofdixie that won six races for Barry Purdon. She’s out of a half-sister to Maxim which won twelve races including the 2014 Victoria Derby. Hartofdixie’s third dam is Scuse Me, New Zealand Broodmare of the Year in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. “We’re preparing her yearling colt by Bettor’s Delight and he’s going to go through the sale.” Katrina is also preparing four yearlings for Tuapeka Lodge, including Tuapeka Dan, the first foal out of Bonnie Joan – the winner of ten races and just over $200,000. He’s by Bettor’s Delight. Also in the draft is a Bettor’s Delight colt out of five win Art Major mare Break Dance, named Point Break. “They’re coming down on Tuesday. It’ll be a pretty nice draft. I’ve also got two of Dave Kennedy’s trotters. There’s a bit of everything this year and with eight yearlings we’re going to be pretty busy.”   by Bruce Stewart

The days of consolation races look over for Luke John. And that means stepping up against the best three-year-olds around for the Christmas carnival at Alexandra Park next month. The son of Mach Three made it three wins in his last four starts with his most professional victory yet against older rivals at Alexandra Park on Friday night. He worked to the lead early for Tony Herlihy and had an in-form pacer in Jack Ryan covered around the home bend and won like a horse heading places. That means stepping into the big time, something he only just missed three starts ago. Luke John was an emergency for the Sales Series Pace, the delayed two-year-old version, won by Krug in September but won the consolation that night instead. Now as a horse set to be rated in the 60s band the days of consolations are over and that suits Shane Robertson, who not only owns a share in Luke John but trains him in partnership with Logan Hollis. “That is his big goal now, the three-year-old Sales Series Final on New Years Eve,” says Robertson. “He can head there via the Alabar Classic a couple of weeks earlier so he is up against the best ones now.” Robertson and his fellow owners have had some tasty offers for Luke John but he remains with them and their timing may well prove to be ideal. While races like the Sales Series and Alabar are always tough to win they may lack some of the biggest names this season after the delayed and elongated two-year-old divisions so exactly who of the Canterbury stars makes it north is still unsure. Regardless of what happens in December, Luke John looks to have a good future because staying looks more his forte so it would surprise to see him not in at least of the Derbys in the second half of the season. Whether he is the stable star for Robertson and Hollis will be a good battle in itself over the summer as they have Christianshavtime back at the workout on Saturday and he looks an open class horse in the making. “We think he will make his way there but maybe not next month,” says Robertson. “We we aren’t aiming him at the Auckland Cup this year, but those sort of races will be the plan all going well next season.”
 One horse who looks certain to be in that Auckland Cup is South Coast Arden, who made it three wins from four starters this season winning Friday’s main race off a 25m handicap. He was sent on a searching mid-race run by trainer-driver Brent Mangos and held out Dina Brown late, pacing 3:22 for the 2700m amended. With his only defeat this term having comes at the hooves of Copy That, South Coast Arden could take plenty of catching for any horses chasing him off handicaps over the Christmas carnival. The night’s other feature went to Sertorius in the main trot, making it back to back wins after sitting parked and outstaying stablemate Tricky Ric.   By Michael Guerin

Welcome to the Harness Analyst segment where we preview all the harness meetings with tips and selections for all races. Harness racing hits Oamaru today with a nine race program starting at 12:20pm and in this video we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a massive day of racing. The content and data on this page is provided for informational purposes only  Check below the video for our selections for all of the races tonight for Oamaru. Oamaru selections 21st November 2020 Best Bet:  R9  Champagneandwine Best Value: R2  Prince Ranier   Race 1 Iron Woman  good beginner who should land a handy spot early. Over the odds and can run top three.…… Missmollygoodgolly another good beginner coming in fresh. Good at trials and can win..… Falcon's Monarch better run last start and top driver booked. Winning claims……Jeremy Wells disappointing the last couple but grass should suit. Place chances Selections:  Iron Woman  (5),   Missmollygoodgolly (2),   Falcon's Monarch (4)   Jeremy Wells (8)   Race 2 Prince Ranier racing into form and has trialled well on grass . Can run top three here from the draw and top selection.……. Line A Love plenty of ability but manners a concern. Track will suit and winning claims here at nice odds …… Sacred Mountain disappointing last start after a gallop but better than that. Drawn ok with top driver booked and can run top three…… Dudes Star getting fitter with racing and drawn to trail. Has winning claims. Selections:  Prince Ranier (5),   Line A Love (3),   Dudes Star (1),   Sacred Mountain (7)   Race 3 Not Over impressive sectionals at recent trials. Wins this on that performance….. Friendly Eyre respect the stable on grass and gets an ok draw to work with. One of the leading chances in this field at good odds ….. Silent Shadow runs his best races on grass and not the worst in this field. Can run in the top three…. Santeria nice draw to get a run through early and not the worst in this field. Place chances best…. Selections:   Not Over (3),  Friendly Eyre (6),   Silent Shadow (4),  Santeria (11)   Race 4 Playboy's Brother good draw to work with and will head forward early. Could upset at big odds ….. Superfast Lad better draw and will go forward early. Can run top three in this field….. Valley Star has the game to beat a field like this and good fourth last start. Needed….. Clyde running on last start and seems reliable at the start. Can run top three here Selections:   Valley Star (13),   Clyde (3),   Superfast Lad (4),   Playboy's Brother (5)   Race 5 Paul's Verdict conditions suit here and he will try to lead. Good winning claims here.…. Pete's Dash disappointing last start but give another chance. Should be thereabouts and at good odds…… Highland Reign tricky draw but looks to have the measure of most of this field on ability. Can win with gaps in the run home..… Szybka Lane a bit in or out with form but has the ability and drawn wide. One for longer odds Selections:  Paul's Verdict (1),   Pete's Dash (2),   Highland Reign (10),   Szybka Lane (8)   Race 6 Milliondollarmonkey has been running ok races at trials and had a freshen up. Hard to beat in this field if he can find the front early….. Tequila Sunset running on ok last start and should appreciate the inside draw. Will need luck but can run top three here  ….. Grand Princess good draw and good beginner. Look for her to be near the lead and can run top three…. Franco Josiah getting back into top form and manners the only concern. Can win if he trots all the way…. Selections:   Franco Josiah (5),  Grand Princess (3),   Tequila Sunset (2),  Milliondollarmonkey (8)   Race 7 Hurricane Banner has been running big races with no luck and grass and draw will suit. Hard to beat in this field if close enough on the home turn….. Hells Shadow ok on grass and has gate speed. One of the leading chances at nice money  ….. Superstar Legend good second last start and good gate speed if they use it. Look for her to be near the front in the running and can run top three…. Markham Eyre getting back into top form and grass stats ok. Can run top three with manners…. Selections:   Hurricane Banner (11),  Superstar Legend (8),   Hells Shadow (4),  Markham Eyre (7)   Race 8 Ultimate Sassenach likely to head for the front and can win again. Good winning claims….. Chiller Bay has been running good races and should be a top three player here from the draw….. Essence Of Easton  good on grass and drawn to get a cosy run on the fence. Include…. Georgie Zukov runs the odd good race but place chances best here from the draw….. Selections:   Ultimate Sassenach (4),   Chiller Bay (10),   Georgie Zukov (9),   Essence Of Easton  (1)   Race 9 Champagneandwine out of form but goes well on grass and drawn to race handy . Can run top three here from the draw and top selection.……. Helluva plenty of ability but manners a concern. Track will suit and winning claims here at nice odds …… Sister's Delight disappointing last few starts but better than that and loves the grass surface. Can run top three…… Pine Cone getting fitter with racing and drawn to trail. Place claims best. Selections:  Champagneandwine  (1),   Sister's Delight (9),   Pine Cone (2),   Helluva  (7)   Harnesslink Media

Soho Tribeca won 21 races in a four season career including three Group One races. Victims of his speed and never say die attitude included the mighty warriors of recent years in Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Tiger Tara and Chicago Bull. Sometimes though horses are remembered by their courage in defeat. On 24th February 2018 Soho Tribeca displayed something rarely seen anywhere in the Harness Racing World. The occasion was the 2018 edition of the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle. Sure he finished third, beaten by just a head and a half neck, but with the winner rating 1.46.9 and with Tribeca parked in the breeze for the entire journey it was truly a remarkable performance. Greg Sugars held the reins that day and with Lauren Tritton blasting Anything For Love to the front there was very little that Greg could do other than to sit parked. So the sectionals went by like this; 26.3 / 53.6 / 1.19.8 and 1.46.9 Now just for a moment lets compare the run of Soho Tribeca that day with the existing World Records of 1.46 held jointly by Always B Miki and Lather Up. Always B Miki 26.2 / 52.4 / 1.19.8 and 1.46. Lather Up 25.6 / 52.0 / 1.19.2 and 1.46. In his memorable performance at The Red Mile, Always B Miki slotted in third on the rails at the first turn, charged to the front in the back straight and then led for the rest of the journey. Lather Up attained his World Record status at The Meadowlands in 2019. He took a pocket trip behind the tearaway leader Always A Prince to the ¾ pole and then pulled to the lead as he entered the long Meadowlands straight. So both Always B Miki and Lather Up didn’t cover any extra ground in their memorable wins. In comparison Soho Tribeca was in the one wide line around the two Menangle bends so how much extra ground did he cover above the 1609 metres of the race ? A mathematical formula would give us the answer. There is no suggestion here that Soho Tribeca is a better horse than the two current World’s fastest ever pacers but it does highlight the fact that our very best Pacers are the equal of any in the World. By the way - Tiger Tara, Lennytheshark and Lazarus finished a combined 48 metres astern of Soho Tribeca that day in February 2018. Soho Tribeca had a high cruising speed and an incredible never say die attitude to his racing. He was so tough and never ever gave up even if beaten. That run in the Miracle Mile was a victory that just got away. Greg Sugars, who drove Soho Tribeca in the Miracle Mile, Hunter Cup and Kilmore Cup. Soho Tribeca   A Son of a Miracle mare and a Champion stallion. Soho Tribeca’s breeding would not be out of place if he appeared at the famed North American tracks of The Red Mile and The Meadowlands - being by American Ideal from an Art Major mare and a very special mare as well as she was crowned the Australian Broodmare of the Year in 2018. American Ideal is an extremely fast son of Western Ideal and it appears that this stallion line commenced by one of the fastest horses in history , No Nukes, back in the early 1980’s is now being sustained through the blood of Western Ideal. There is no doubt that Western Ideal 1.48 inherited some of his stunning ability and bit of toughness from his Abercrombie dam Leah Almahurst, the winner of over $1million. Western Ideal along with Artsplace are the two stallions that we repeatedly see today in the pedigrees of the elite racehorses. So Soho Tribeca is blessed with the Best in Breeding with these two stallions very prominent in his pedigree. His dam Pixel Perfect, by the champion son of Artsplace in Art Major, has been a revelation in the Australian Stud Book. She is now the dam of seven  foals of racing age including a current 2 year old. Five of these have sub 1.55 records whilst the 2 year old Soho Broadway already has a 1.56.1 record. The seven winners have now collectively won over $2.366 million and all but the 2 year old have won over $100,000. Pixel Perfect, who was unraced, was in fact the only foal of her Dam’s [Amarillen] first 9 foals not to win - the other eight foals won over $1.35 million between them. So it would be difficult to argue that Soho Tribeca wasn’t one of the best Bred stallions to be registered for Stud duty in Australia in the past 20 years at least. Add a Bonus to a Booking. Soho Tribeca has received outstanding support from breeders in all States of Australia and still has some Bookings available before reaching the 150 target. If your mare is based in Victoria the resulting foal from a breeding to the tall and handsome man will be Eligible for the First Win Vicbred Colonial Stallion Bonus of $12,000.   Northern Rivers Equine

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Breeding of NZ Cup winner Self Assured, who won the NZ Trotting Cup, main race of the NZ Cup carnival at Addington, is a Bettor’s Delight gelding from the same family as that which produced the dual NZ Cup winner Lazarus. Self Assured, who was an Auckland Cup winner as a four-year-old, has only been sparingly raced, but he has shown up as a brilliant pacer, and it was a top field he beat at Addington. Bred by Wellington businessman Reg Caldow, the five-year-old gelding is out of Star Of Venus (TT1:53), by Christian Cullen from Starlitnight, by Tuapeka Knight from the Soky’s Atom mare Star Of Bethlehem.  Lazarus, also sired by Bettor’s Delight, is from the Christian Cullen mare, Bethany, whose dam, Spirit Of Beth is a sister to Star Of Bethlehem, the third dam of Self Assured.   Aussie winners at NZ Cup carnival Two promising young horses to win at the NZ Cup carnival were the three-year-old Riveered and the four-year-old Jawbreaker, both very closely related and both bred in Victoria by Glenn Taylor. Riveered, who has won two of his last four starts, is a striking colt by Bettor’s Delight out of a capable racemare in Arivee (1:59.3), by Safely Kept from Willing Greek, by Golden Greek (a free-legged son of Abercrombie) from a fine racemare in Willing Whiz, by Armbro Whiz. Arivee, who won 13 races and $83,953, left earlier winners in Fighting Fire (1:53.9), Im Very Willing (1:59) and the Presidential Ball mare Eye Like Candy (1:55.8), the dam of Jawbreaker (by Art Major), who has won two. Arivee ranks as a sister to Kalypso (2:00.8), who became the dam of the Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster and the exported War Dan (1:50), and a half-sister to the NSW Breeders Challenge winners Grand Stride 1:52.4 ($324,658) and Sapphire Stride 1:52.2 ($134,115). This family has had an association of some 110 years in Australia, and it has been responsible for a long line of winners such as the Fremantle Cup and Inter Dominion heat winner Willadios, Charlaval (NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO), Rohan Home (Breeders Crown Open), Zaneden (NSW Hondo Grattan Sprint), Katasopos (Tatlow Memorial), Lachlan Missie (Queensland Oaks) and The Night Pearl (SA Derby).   Brother to My Hard Copy Copy N Pace, who won the opening race at Gloucester Park, after racing wide most of the way, has now won six races and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. He ranks as a three-year-old brother by American Ideal to the dual WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy 1:51.6 ($1.2 million), now at the stud in WA. Copy N Pace                                   --Jodie Hallows photo Their dam, Readallaboutit, a Presidential Ball mare from Natalia’s Joy (2:00.6), by Butler B G from the American-bred Natalia Lobell, has proved a most successful broodmare. Besides My Hard Copy and Copy N Pace, others of her progeny have been the Group 3 winner My Carbon Copy 1:54.6 ($116,468), Our Front Page (1:58.1) and Press Release (1:59.5). Readallaboutit was not of much account herself but she was a half-sister to Money In The Pocket (1:58.8, 10 wins) and to the dam of Secret Rendezvous 1:51 ($109,772) and the Presidential Ball mare Presidential Belle (1:57.6), who, in turn, is the dam of the dual Inter Dominion heat winner Run Oneover 1:50.8 ($584,119). This has been one of the most successful branches of the Lettie family, Natalia’s Joy being a half-sister to the dam of the former Australian 3YO of the Year and Chariots of Fire winner Manifold Bay 1:58.1 ($538,604).   Techy’s Angel is tops The most improved three-year-old in recent weeks is Techy’s Angel, from Emma Stewart’s Ballarat stable, and she will be among the leading fancies for tomorrow night’s $200,000 Breeders Crown Final. She won a semi-final last weekend in a new lifetime mark of 1:55.5 for 2240 metres after being required to overcome a difficult barrier. Techy’s Angel                            --Stuart McCormick photo The winner of six races, Techy’s Angel is a grand type of filly by the defunct Alta Christiano (a Derby winner and son of Christian Cullen) from a capable racemare in Venus Williams (1:55.3), a half-sister by Washington VC to Giddyupandgobaby 1:56 (WA Golden Girls Mile) and the metropolitan winners Lavros Cam (1:56.7) and Motoring With Marty. Mighty Dear (2:00.6), the second dam of Techy’s Angel, was a sister to the Traralgon Cup winner Doncaster and a half-sister to Major Rae (1:58), Cut The Cake (1:58.4) and to the Noodlum mare Dear Donna, dam of OK Ado 1:54.1 (Invercargill and Timaru Cups). Techy’s Angel was bred and is raced by Goulburn Valley breeder Mario Cirillo.   Zeuss Bromac’s maternal line The three-year-old Zeuss Bromac, who won a semi-final of the Breeders Crown, was bred and originally raced in NZ but has a breeding background with deep roots in Victoria. By Bettor’s Delight, he is out of the Mach Three mare Zeta Bromac (1:55.5), who won five races, including a Breeders Crown heat in the North Island. Zeta Bromac, who was bred in Canterbury, was out of Zante Beach, by Fake Left from the Tatlow winner Gemfire, by Torado Hanover from Gold Mistress, by Golden Money Maker from Madame Han, who established a great winning line for Helen and the late Graham Head. She left the Nyah Cup winner Chipmunk and five Moonee Valley winners including Easymark, Good Mistress and Cocky Benz. Zeuss Bromac            --Stuart McCormick photo                      Zante Beach, who won 16 races and $115,160 in stakes and took a record of 1:59, became the dam of the exported My Zach Bromac (1:52), the NSW Country Series winner Zorro Bromac (1:56.6) and recent Gloucester Park three-year-old winner Savvy Bromac (1:57.9), a sister to Zeta Bromac. Zante Beach was a half-sister to the Derby winner Garnet River 1:50 ($555,822), the NSW Tatlow winner The Godine Machine (1:58.5), Mota Mate (SA Sires Produce) and Western Blaze (1:53.7 (a winner of 25 races and $171,220).   Let’s Katchmeifucan in 1:51.8 Let’s Katchmeifucan gave a taste of his class when he easily won the Group 3 $30,600 Pace, the main event at the weekend meeting at Menangle running out the 1609 metres in a sparkling 1:51.8. He was not in danger of defeat over the last 800 metres. By Panspacificflight, a son of The Panderosa, Let’s Katchmeifucan is out of the McArdle mare McKenzie Jaccka (1:59), whose dam, Marianna Jaccka (1:59.9), was by Holmes Hanover from the Admiral Halsey mare Miss Priscilla, a half-sister to the NZ Oaks winner Josephine Bret. McKenzie Jaccka left a capable pacer in Fairy Tinkabell (1:51.6), a winner at Menangle earlier this year. Panspacificflight, the sire of Let’s Katchmeifucan, has produced the Group 1 winner Arden’s Choice, Little Rascal (1:50.2), Last Flight In (1:52), Wattlebank Flyer and Wick (1:51) from his NZ crops, and in America, has left nine in the 1:50 list.   Granny Smith winner The Brighton mare Still Hungover, who firmly clinched her claim to being the best four-year-old mare in Tasmania when she won the $50,000 Granny Smith at Devonport, is a member of one of Tasmania’s top ranking standardbred families. Still Hungover, who has now won 10 races and $110,654, is a mare by the Dragon Again horse Sutter Hanover, who stood his early seasons at the stud in Victoria and has been located at Elderslie near Hobart while at the stud in Tasmania. Sutter Hanover has enjoyed moderate success from restricted stud chances. His stock include the top WA filly Blacknsweet Adda and the smart Tasmanian pacer Fortino. Still Hungover is out of Crystal Still, by the Canadian bred sire Time Stands Still, from Crystal Gold, a Tasmanian bred mare by the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Golden Alley from Golden Mood, by Light Mood from Brown Cobber, by Cobber O’Mine and tracing to the taproot Blue Eyes. Crystal Gold was the dam of a top ranking pacer in Simply Electric 1:58.4 ($248,664), winner of 38 races including the Hobart Pacing Cup and the Tasmanian Gold Mile twice, and Seddon Mitch (1:58), who won the Globe Derby Stakes. Clear Gold, a sister to Crystal Gold, won 18 races including the Tasmanian Sires Produce and St Mary’s Cup. The champion Tasmanian mare Jane Ellen, a triple Oaks winner, is a member of this family.   From family of Donna Who Sweet Louise, who won a semi-final of the Breeders Crown at Melton, is a Sweet Lou filly from the same family as that which produced a top Queensland racemare in Donna Who. Sweet Louise                          --Stuart McCormick photo   Sweet Louise, who won a heat of the Crown at Bendigo, has only been sparingly raced, but she has shown up as a very useful pacer, and it was a strong field she beat at Melton. She has a good deal in her favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by Sweet Lou, and one of his second crop, Sweet Louise is out of the Modern Art mare Artistic Dancer, who has proved a very successful broodmare. Others of her progeny have been Plain Baby (1:57), Black Derby (1:56) and Dance Of Fire (1:57.4). Artistic Dancer, who was unraced, from the NZ bred mare Whola Dancer (2:00.9), a good winner at Globe Derby Park, by Holmes Hanover from Donna Who (1:57.1), a winner of 19 races and $244,668 in stakes including the APG Final. At the stud Donna Who became the dam of five winners including Wholigan (1:57.2) and is the grand-dam of the Southland Oaks winner Smokin Bird (1:55.1), High Courage 1:53.2 ($143,950), the Menangle winner Whos Escaped 1:52.7 ($127,377) and the Bettor’s Delight mare Slick Bird (1:55.7), the dam of the high class WA pacers Slick Artist 1:52.2 ($204,557) and While They Pray 1:54.7 ($120,088). Sweet Louise was bred and is raced by Melbourne enthusiast John Dorrington.   Victorian trotter has strong bloodlines Peregrine Phoenix, who won her fourth race from her last five starts at the Geelong midweek meeting, is a four-year-old trotter of some potential. A member of Chris Svanosio’s Romsey team, she has a good deal more in her favour on the score of blood than most. By Muscle Hill, who sired top trotters in Dance Craze and Elite Stride, Peregrine Phoenix is out of the Malabar Maple mare Maple Eve Phoenix whose dam,  Dodo Rocket, was a Wagon Apollo mare who left trotters of the calibre of Princess Phoenix (1:55.5), the winner of 12 races including the Vicbred 2YO Final, and Hadrian’s Phoenix (2:00), who won five. Dodo Rocket was out of a good producer in Jolabyrd, who ranked as a sister to the cups winning trotter Joseph Boppard and a half-sister to the Moonee Valley winners Supreme Gent and Kinnoul. Peregrine Phoenix is a half-sister to the former brilliant juvenile trotter Eljaykay Phoenix 1:58.6 ($256,877), who won five Group races.    Three winners from the same family The three-year-olds Dance Class and Star Rocker and the six-year-old Somewhere Secret, who all won at the recent Kilmore meeting, are all members of the same family. Dance Class, a filly by A Rocknroll Dance, ranks as a half-sister to the Vicbred champion Out To Play 1:53.3 ($215,627), Paintball 1:54.4 ($100,508) and Stay And Play (1:55.5), being out the Presidential Ball mare, Play Ball, whose dam, Secret Life, is the dam of Somewhere Secret (by Somebeachsomewhere). Star Rocker, a son of A Rocknroll Dance, is from the Silver Chalice winner Starburst Girl 1:53.6 ($143,670), an Art Major mare from Celebrity Ball, by Presidential Ball from the noted producer Larrakeyah Lady, the third dam of Somewhere Secret and the fourth dam of Dance Class. Other members of the immediately family have been the Victoria Oaks and Breeders Crown winner Beauty Secret, Major Secret (NSW Derby), the dual Southern Cross winner That’s Perfect, Perfect Major (WA The Preux Chevalier) and the smart two-year-old Rogue Wave.   by Peter Wharton

By Jonny Turner    With grass track form on the board, trainer Brad Mowbray’s team is ready to make an impact at Oamaru on Saturday. Mowbray will start recent turf winners Spicy Girl Becqui and She’s Tough alongside maiden Bombolla. She’s Tough looks a key player in race 8, a heat of the Family Feud Drivers Series. The four-year-old comes into race 7 for driver Dylan Ferguson with three starts for two wins on grass and following an excellent last start effort at Ashburton. “She seems to pace a bit better on the grass,” Mowbray said. “She was a bit scratchy at the start as Ashburton and then before that at Oamaru she was horrible around the south corner.” “But she was really good when she won on the grass at Methven, so hopefully she can do the same at Oamaru.” “She seems fit and well within herself, so fingers crossed she should be a good chance.” In a handy middle-grade field Standout and She’s Tough’s regular driver Matthew Williamson look the toughest pair for the Ferguson and the Mowbray trained mare to hold out. The John Morrison trained pacer ran a good third in the final event on New Zealand Cup Day behind Riveered in his last start. Spicy Girl Becqui looks another strong chance for Mowbray in race 7, another heat of the Family Feud Drivers Series. Another grass track specialist, the mare should get every chance for driver Jay Abernethy from barrier 1. “I am hoping that one might get across and she might be able to trail or even if she was three-back she would be pretty hard to roll if she had a pretty sweet trip and got home.” “For some reason, she is a little bit better on the grass, she seems to let down better.” “If she is ever going to go really good, it is always on the grass.” B K Swy also comes out of Riveered’s win on New Zealand Cup and looks one of the hardest horses for Spicy Girl Bequi to beat. Jay Abernethy will combine with the Brent White trained mare. Bombolla gets an excellent chance to break his maiden with Matthew Williamson in the cart in race 3, an event outside the Family Feud series. The four-year-old went sound races in his last two starts before a short spell when slow away from the mobile and then making up good ground. Bombolla left the gate well in a recent Ashburton trial, where he ran third behind race rival Not Over. “I was really happy with his trial, he hasn’t got a lot of speed,” Mowbray said. “They ran home in 25.7sec (400m), so I was rapt.” “He is a good stayer, so he should love going up the hill at Oamaru.” “In that field, he should have a good show.” “He has been missing away and going pretty good races.” “The horse that beat him at the trials is in there, but they are not going to run home in that time on the grass at Oamaru.” “It will be a totally different kind of race.” Santeria looks the main threat to both Bombolla and Not Over on Saturday. The five-year-old has produced good thirds in much stronger fields in her last two starts. 

Following the HRNZ Annual General Meeting on 18th November 2020, Harness Racing New Zealand is pleased to announce that John Coulam has been elected as the new HRNZ Board Chair, with John Grainger taking up the position of Vice Chair. They replace Ken Spicer and Colin Hair respectively who did not seek re-election for these positions, but will remain on the Board. Colin Hair replaces John Coulam as Finance Chair. It has also been confirmed that new Chief Executive, Gary Woodham, will take up his new role in the New Year, commencing on 11 January. Following Gary Woodham assuming the role of Chief Executive, Phil Holden will return to the Board as an Independent Director. Mr Holden was selected by a three-strong panel that included John Grainger (HRNZ Board), the TAB’s General Manager Corporate and Governance Services, Jessica Meech, and executive recruitment specialist, Hamish Ott. The eight members of the HRNZ Board are as follows: - John Coulam (Chair) - John Grainger (Vice Chair) - Colin Hair (Finance Chair) - Ken Spicer - Kevin McNaught - Ross Johnson - Victoria McCrea (Independent Director) - Phil Holden (Independent Director)   HRNZ

The key to why Josh Dickie may be one of the big movers in the New Zealand training ranks could lie in what he won’t be doing with Inter Dominion champion Winterfell this summer. Which is racing him. And the racing Gods could repay Dickie for his impending patience with a group win of a different type this weekend regardless. After a brief but very successful partnership with his father John, Dickie is now out on his own account after his father took a step back from fulltime training. Josh has already had good success but his career looks set to go on a steep improvement curve as better horses start to come under his care. One of those is Inter Dominion Trotting champion Winterfell who has just joined the stable and while he has been a flop in the South Island this season, his right handed record last season made him trotter of the year. “It is a real privilege to get a Trotter of the Year given to you,” says Dickie. But rather than be too eager to show off his new toy, Dickie has decided to spell Winterfell for a month, the sort of patience few young trainers would have in a similar situation. “It is the right thing to do because his head is a bit all over the place at the moment. Both Mark (Purdon) and Regan (Todd) did their best to get him going left-handed down there but he doesn’t like it as much as right handed, which we all know. “So rather than keep going we will ease up on him and start again, aiming at the Rowe Cup.” Dickie won’t have to wait so long for his next shot at group one trotting glory though as he has Mexicana in the two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown at Melton in Victoria tomorrow. With Anthony Butt driving and the filly drawn one she is the favourite. “She is a lovely filly also owned by Trevor (Casey, owner of Winterfell) so we are fingers crossed for Saturday night cause we love the Breeders Crown,” says Dickie, who had a remarkable strike rate at the Victorian series with his father. Dickie takes a small but smart team to Alexandra Park tonight but finds himself off a difficult handicap with talented mare Callie’s Delight (R7, No.6). She won well in a good field last Friday but is back on a 25m handicap over 2700m tonight standing right alongside the north’s most improved pacer South Coast Arden, who has been starring in open class. “I really like this mare but South Coast Arden has been flying so being back on 25m with him is hardly ideal,” says Dickie. Dickie fans could be better advised to go each way on Tricky Ric (R6, No.4) the race before in which the stable also has last-start winner Sertorius. “Sertorius won well last week but he goes back to 35m tonight because of that while Tricky Ric is only off 25m. They have been coming up together and there isn’t much between them so that makes Tricky Ric the better chance.” Both may struggle to hold back maker Credit Master at bay though, especially if the early tempo lets the Cambridge trotter into the race too easily.   by Michael Guerin

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