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If the extra distance of tonight's $100,000 Messenger is the only major question hanging over the head of hot favourite Field Marshal, then trainer Tim Butt is a happy man. Because he says the extra lap of Alexandra Park than what his stable star covered on the way to a brilliant win in the Taylor Mile last Friday shouldn't put punters off. Field Marshal defied the usual Taylor Mile racing pattern by coming from third last at the 1200m mark to loop the field four wide and bolt in, suggesting he has a decent class edge on most he meets tonight. He has been on an impressive improvement curve this season, with a throat operation last year enabling him to show his rare true potential. But his only two defeats this season though have both been at 2600m mobile, when he was outstayed in consecutive starts at Oamakau and Addington in January, at least raising the question of his stamina rating. Butt says he doesn't expect that to undo Field Marshal tonight. "That was a lot earlier in his campaign and while he is a fast horse, he is also a very relaxed horses so I don't think distance will bother him," said Butt. "I know some people might worry because of his past throat problem but it was one of those ones where the operation to fix it either works or it doesn't, and in his case it has." Field Marshal has the gate speed to go forward and try and dominate a race that seems to lack many natural attackers but regardless of where he ends up, he is clearly the horse to beat. My Kiwi Mate should be better over the longer distance and wasn't suited by having to sit parked last Friday so he looks the each way value. Hug The Wind is drawn to be close to the action and warrants respect as does Bettor Spirits in a field where those who don't have to burn too hard early should profit. Earlier in the night it is impossible to go past Spanish Armada in the $150,000 Fillies Sires' Stakes. "She put a line in the sand last week to say she is the best of this crop and I think the draw suits her," says co-trainer Mark Purdon. But Purdon warns there will be little between three-year-old stablemates Dream About Me and Golden Goddess when they resume at Addington tonight. Courtesy of Michael Guerin

Auckland Deputy Mayor turned the first sod on Thursday 28 April to officially mark the second stage of construction for Alexandra Park’s significant urban village development. The occasion took place at Alexandra Park’s former car-park on Green Lane West. Australasian construction company Ganellen will build the development’s second stage which will include two integrated buildings with 128 one-to-three-bedroom apartments and 2,500sqm of ground-floor retail space. Building B1 comprises of nine levels above ground, while Building B2 has five. The second stage will include 248 carparks within a shared two-level basement. Chief executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding says: “This is another great milestone for Alexandra Park and is one of the largest brownfield developments currently happening in the city. Having Ganellen construct stage two reinforces our complete focus on quality. We’re determined to be leaders.” Ganellen project leader Michael Doig says: “We’re delighted to lend our experience and expertise to this first-class urban village development. This is our first major new build project in Auckland and is completely in line with the type of large residential projects that we have built our reputation upon in Sydney.” Residents start moving into stage one from mid next year. Apartment sales for both stages have been strong, with the on-site apartment display suite open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or  

Superstar 3yo trotter Marcoola is looking to add the Group 1 Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby. Unbeaten in his pervious 6 starts including the NZ Derby, Marcoola was dominate winning basically untouched last week by ¾ Lengths. That was his first start right handed at “The Park”. Drawn well in barrier 2, Marcoola’s main danger appears to be handy Purdon/Rasmussen filly High Gait. The Muscles Yankee’s filly was huge last week after an early mistake cost her plenty of ground. She was seen storming home for co trainer and driver Natalie Rasmussen to finish 4th, only beaten 5L. An improved effort from Wilma’s Mate is expected, even after a early break last week, the Pegasus Spur filly looked to be coming into the race nicely before struggling to handy the last bend. Driver David Butt was unable to let his charge fully extend in the home straight. One of the races of the night, these trotters do battle at 8.14pm. Andrew Fitzgerald

A big night for leading Junior Driver Brad Williamson as he extended his lead in the premiership to 29 wins. Saluting the judge on 3 runners tonight, Brads winning treble started in race 5 with Winners Shout, a 3yo Great Success gelding owned by Brad and Grant Gray who is trained by Phil Williamson. $6.10 - $2.10 were the tote odds for Winners Shout. “He has plenty of ability and did it really nice tonight” said Brad. In the next race Williamson drove Elusive Flight, a recent addition to the Graeme Anderson team Williamson was filling in for stable junior driver Rory Mcllwrick who is currently suspended. Forced to drag back from a wide barrier draw, Brad was quick to put the 7 Elsu gelding into the race. Finding the front near the 1400m, Elusive Flight ran away with the junior driver’s event, winning by 4 ¼ lengths over Happy As Larry (Stevie Golding) and No More Change (Craig Ferguson) paying a handy $11.50 - $3.00 Elusive Flight was purchased off by Charlotte Purvis, A D Gow, S R Pulley and R Chalklin. The win brought up ownership win no 1 for Charlotte, who’s brother Matt Purvis is a leading junior driver based in Canterbury with Robert Dunn, while Charlotte’s partner is Oamaru based driver Matthew Williamson. “It’s very exciting to get my first ownership win, big thanks go to trainer Graeme Anderson for a great trainer performance and also Brad (Williamson) for a wonderful drive. Hopefully it won’t be our last visit to the winners circle!” said Charlotte. Caesar Rocks brought up the treble for Williamson paying a massive $56.10 - $11.50. “He went nice a few starts ago, but last start didn’t offer too much confidence, he didn’t have to do anything tonight and the luck went our way to get over top of them” said Brad The victory brought up win number 1 for Lionel Sinnamon for the 15/16 season and also Caesar Rocks 2nd career win. Williamson currently sits on 60 wins for the season, which places 6th on the drivers premiership and 1st on the Junior Drivers Premiership with Kyle Marshall back in 2nd on 31 wins and Craig Ferguson on 26 wins. Andrew Fitzgerald

A few weeks back we had out first “Horses to look out for” write up. A successful night, with 5/6 tips saluting the judge, with one tip paying a handy $10FF. This week we are joined by the country’s leading Junior Driver Brad Williamson, to go through his book of drives, as well as pointing out a few runners who might sneak under the radar.   Brad Williamson: Race 1 – (8) Pyramid Mustang – Trainer Phil Williamson – “Manners let him down last start, if he brings them tonight I think he will be hard to beat” - BEST DRIVE OF THE NIGHT Race 2 – (14) Diptee Bromac – Trainer Eion Latimer – “He went okay last start in a strong field, this looks easier, and he’s a nice place chance” Race 5 – (1) Winners Shout – Trainer Phil Williamson – “He’s a handy wee horse, but still has plenty to learn, the draw could be tricky, but he’s a each way chance if he does it all right” Race 6 – (9) Elusive Flight – Trainer Graeme Anderson- “A new addition to Graeme’s team, although it’s a tricky draw if we can get a good run, I wouldn’t be surprised if he won it” Race 7 – (10) Caesar Rocks – Lionel Sinnamon – “He was disappointing last time, he would have to improve to upset these from the wide barrier” Race 8 – (8) Dissolution – Trainers Cox/McGrannachan - “It’s a strong field and he’s looking for some luck from the wide draw, although a win wouldn’t’ surprise after his good effort last week” - VALUE BET OF THE NIGHT Race 9 – (2) The Persuader – Eion Latimer – “It’s a tough field and he’ll need the run, one to follow over the following weeks” Race 10 – (1) Verdun – Barry Gooch – “He drew well, but it’s a strong field and he’s looking for some luck”   Others to fly under the radar include; Race 4 – (9) Shakey Loch – Trainer Graeme Anderson – Driver Dexter Dunn – New Addition to Anderson team, Dunn jumps aboard, drawn wide, handy recent workout, Hard to roll. Race 7 – (3) Thisgirlisonfire – Trainer John Howe –  Driver Jonny Cox - A handy 3yo filly who was only run down late last start on the grass, has manners and is drawn to get a nice trip. Win bet

Canterbury trainer/driver Mark Jones is set to step in the boxing ring again. Jones will be in action this Friday against Guy McMenamin in the “Corporate Chaos” at the Hornby Workingmen’s Club. While in the ring, Delightful Memphis and Real Torque will represent Jones in both ends of NZ.  Delightful Memphis will start in the Magness Benrow Sire Stakes Fillies Championship while Real Torque will line up in a heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  Australian Campaign confirmed for Christen Me. As expected Trainer Cran Dalgety and connections have decided to set their eyes on the Len Smith Mile at Menangle (Sydney) on the 26th June. While the Brisbane Carnival is also on the radar depending on how he comes through his Sydney campaign. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ HRNZ NEWS Effective for the new racing season, commencing August 1st 2016; *Minimum programmed stakes for races will be increased from $5,000 to $6,000. *Clubs will be required to apply a stakes distribution model that guarantees a minimum of 2% of every programmed stake will be paid to all starters. *In addition, a Stakes Supplement Payment of $50 will be paid to all runners placed outside of the first four, in races with programmed stakes of less then $20,000. Andrew Fitzgerald

There is still plenty at stake for Monbet. The exceptional four-year-old trotting talent will start as a prohibitive harness racing favourite this Friday night in the Gr.1 $NZ150,000 Canam Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland – the final leg of the 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters. Following his scintillating victory in last week’s ANZAC Cup where he blew away Speeding Spur who was subsequently diagnosed with a season ending injury, Monbet can’t surpass his arch rival who gathered enough points to hold an unassailable lead heading into the final leg. Speeding Spur has 220 points while Monbet has 103 points prior to Friday’s feature. But there’s still plenty up for grabs for the Canterbury trained star. If Monbet proves successful in the Rowe Cup and then ventures to Cambridge in June for the Jewels and collects another Group One victory, he could easily claim the Trotter of the Year plus the overall Horse of the Year titles. The Love You gelding has already won five Group One races this season. On Friday night, Monbet will face twelve rivals in the grueling 3200m stand start feature including all bar Speeding Spur from last week’s ANZAC Cup. The Greg & Nina Hope trained performer is a stand start specialist but is foreign to the two mile distance range with 2700m being the longest he’s raced. Another intriguing factor to be considered this week for Monbet is his draw, the inside of the second-line. But if there is a scratching to his inside in the great race, Monbet will move from his inside second line draw to the outside of the front line, barrier nine, in direct contrast to what happens in mobile races. Most expect to him win regardless of where he starts from - front or second-line. And favourites have a great record in the race with the punters elect winning 7 of the last 9 editions, the exceptions being Stig in 2013 and I Can Doosit in 2011, the first of his two victories in the feature event. Champion reinsman Ricky May will once again handle Monbet and he is no stranger to success in the premier North Island trotting feature having won the race back in 1988 with Highwood. Key rivals this week include Sheemon, a runner-up in this event two years ago while the improving types of Blackguards Corner and Yagunnakissmeornot will also command respect. Realmein, Jag’s Invasion and Scarrymcleary all have upset chances on current form. Waterloo Sunset, Valmagne, Queen Kenny, Paramount Dream, Al Bundy and Quite A Moment will all require luck to claim the feature. The Canam Rowe Cup is race 8 on the program and scheduled to start at 9.13pm local time. Chris Barsby

Auckland Mayor Len Brown will turn the first sod tomorrow to officially mark the second stage of construction for Alexandra Park’s significant urban village development. The occasion will take place at Alexandra Park’s former car-park on Green Lane West at 4.30pm on Thursday, 28 April.  Attendees will include local dignitaries, leaders of Australasian construction company Ganellen, Auckland Trotting Club board members and staff, and representatives from Auckland Council, Campbell Brown Planning Limited, N-Compass, architects RTA Studio, and Colliers International. Ganellen will build the development’s second stage which will include two integrated buildings with 128 one-to-three-bedroom apartments and 2,500sqm of ground-floor retail space. Building B1 comprises of nine levels above ground, while Building B2 has five. The second stage will include 248 carparks within a shared two-level basement. Chief executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding says: “This is another great milestone for Alexandra Park and is one of the largest brownfield developments currently happening in the city. Having Ganellen construct stage two reinforces our complete focus on quality. We’re determined to be leaders.” Ganellen project leader Michael Doig says: “We’re delighted to lend our experience and expertise to this first-class urban village development. This is our first major new build project in Auckland and is completely in line with the type of large residential projects that we have built our reputation upon in Sydney.” Residents start moving into stage one from mid next year. Apartment sales for both stages have been strong, with the on-site apartment display suite open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or

Just the 5 winners last week for the ring around, check back for updates as more selections come through. Nigel McGrath took 1st prize this week with his tip, Ears Burning who won the Kotare Downs 3yo Stakes on Sunday at Rangiora. A wonderful drive from N R McGrath himself saw Ears Burning salute at $4.30 $1.50 Others to select winners were, Steven Richardson, Ricky May, Gavin Smith and Bob Butt. This week’s selections are below and cover 6 meetings. Forbury Park – Thursday Night Mark Jones – sticks with Coringa Delight as his stables best chance this week, drawn well in barrier 2, she does look mighty hard to beat, Race 3.   Steven Richardson – Our bookie friend has gone for Shakey Loch, no doubt expecting some money for the new G Anderson runner, Race 4. Nathan Williamson – He’s travelling all around the country for drives at the moment, but Nathan goes for Statham as his best of the week, Race 9. Marlborough – Friday Afternoon Jay Abernethy – Thought Sunhaven Boss would go close in Race 2. Shaun Dayman - Back for one last chance, Shaun goes for Rock N Roll Delight, a possible quinella because she is also in Race 2. Alexandra Park – Friday Night Bob Butt – Thinks Le Reveur can double up and win again this week, Race 1. Joshua Dickie – Even from a tricky back row draw, Motown could win Race 2. John Curtin – Thought Miss Daisy could turn her form around in Race 4. Todd Mitchell – Goes with Glitzy Gal as his best of the week, Race 9. Addington – Friday Night Jonny Cox – Thought smart 2yo Custodian was his best chance of the week, Race 2. Gavin Smith - Says Sunny Ruby, who looks well placed off her 40m back mark, Race 4. Shane Walkinshaw – Went with New Years Jay as his best bet, with a good beginning is worthy of a each way bet, Race 9. Ashburton – Saturday Afternoon Andrew Fitzgerald – Goes for Nyree Franco, backed early by punters last week, this week appears easier and a big show to get the $$ back, Race 5. Matty Cross – Goes for Handsome Hero as his first ring around selection, also in Race 5. Ricky May - Thought Well Armed could handle the class rise and win again, Race 6. Brad Williamson – Sticks with handy 3yo Alderbeck as his best drive of the week, Race 9.   Andrew Fitzgerald

Angus Fogg is starting to lose his “bull at a gate” tendencies and is slowly developing into a nice racehorse. That’s the opinion of the 4-year-old gelding’s trainer Derek Balle after the son of Angus Hall and Sun Isa nailed his first win in 12 starts at Cambridge Raceway yesterday (Monday). Angus Fogg didn’t just win, he bolted in by 6-1/2 lengths. “He’s starting to put it all together. He’s been a real handful. He gets wound up real easy. I think it’s in his breed. He’s a big horse at 16 hands,” Balle said. Lincoln Farms (John Street) paid $42,000 for Angus Fogg at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka in 2013. He is a half-brother to Flying Isa (by Pegasus Spur) who won 17 races and almost half a million dollars in stakes. “We got him off Ray Green as a 3-year-old and we he came to us he was pretty wound up. He attacks everything at 100 miles an hour. “That’s why I think after a couple of more wins he would go well in Australia. I think the mobile races at Menangle would suit him down to the ground,” Balle said. David Butcher shot Angus Fogg to the lead after 300m in the $6,000 Anzac Day Remembrance Mobile for the maiden trotters. Angus Fogg then trotted beautifully for the remainder of the 2200m mobile stopping the clock in 2:49.9. They lead by three lengths on the turn and then turned it into a one-horse race at the finish. The winning mile rate was 2:04.2 with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 61.4 and 30.6. Angus Fogg was the $1.90 favourite in 10-horse field. He was bred by Cambridge librarian Kym Kearns. “If we can just take the hyper out of him I think he can turn into a serious trotter but he has some way to go yet. He’s gone pretty good after he’s broken a few times at Alexandra Park. “It’s a just a matter of maturity with him and trying to quieten him down a bit. I think the horse that ran second has a brighter future though,” Balle said. The Pukekohe trainer was referring to his Pegasus Spur colt, War Machine. Balle did the driving behind the 2-year-old. “I am hoping to him qualify for the Jewels. He’s a really nice young trotter with a bright future. That was just his second start and I’m hoping he can pick up a cheque or two to make the Jewels Final,” Balle said. It was Balle’s third quinella since April 15. At Alexandra Park that day he drove and trained Kenrick to beat stablemate Ideal World (James Stormont) in a C1 pace and then on April 22 at the same venue it was the same result. “I’ve had a good run of late and I’m hoping it continues,” said Balle who works a team of 18 at Franklin Park on Station Road in Pukekohe. Courtesy of HRNZ and Duane Ranger

Acton, Ontario – Sydney Weaver’s unnamed Pet Rock filly was the center of attention yesterday as Sydney “Pinky” Seelster’s little girl was blessed in a special stall ceremony. Chaplain Ken Carter of the Standardbred Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada came out to the farm and officially blessed “Baby Joe”. “Today was a very special day for me,” Said Sydney Weaver. “It truly meant a lot. Thank you Ken Carter and also to Kim, Nicholas and Garnet Barnsdale for being part of our special day.” Sydney refers to Pinky’s filly as “Baby Joe” after Pet Rock’s owner, Joe Bellino, who donated the breeding for Pinky. “Every day Baby Joe and I are bonding more and more,” Sydney said. “This is such a wonderful experience. She now comes up to me in the stall and loves it when I brush her.” The beautiful filly still needs a name and everyone is encouraged to enter the “Name Pinky’s Foal Contest” before it closes next Sunday, May 1 at midnight. There is no purchase necessary to enter the contest. You must be age 18 or older and a legal resident of the country you live in. All entries must be submitted in English. Just go to and fill out all the required information. The winning name selected will receive a free breeding to the multiple world champion pacing stallion HE’S WATCHING, who stands at both Tara Hills Farm in Port Perry, Ontario and at Alabar Bloodstock in New Zealand. His stud fee for the 2016 season is at $5,000. The breeding was generously donated by Muscara Racing Trust, Menary Racing, Inc., Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. There is also second place prizes of $500 in wagers on That prize winner must be a USA citizen residing in a state that does not have a conflict with Flamboro Downs management is offering dinner for two packages to Canadian winners. Within one week after the deadline date, Sydney Weaver will select six approved names for the foal. Management at Flamboro Downs, where Pinky raced for most of her career, has graciously agreed to hold a Name Pinky’s Foal Contest Night at the track on Sunday, May 8 (Mother’s Day), when the final name will be announced in a unique presentation. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Ears Burning not only surprised a few people on course but also his trainer Nigel McGrath with the ease of his victory is today’s Kotare Downs Rangiora 3yo Stakes. A half brother to talented types in Fuoco, El Fuego and Burning, the 3yo Grinfromeartoear colt was bred Rankin Bloodstock Limited and I J Rule who still share in the ownership today. “The Rankin family have been big supporters of mine, they have had some nice horses before but it’s good to see them with another nice one in this guy (Ears Burning)” said trainer/driver Nigel McGrath. “Apart from a wee problem last start, he’s basically unbeaten and doing a really good job in all his races. He’s behind those good ones, but I think if he can qualify for the jewels, he would acquit himself well” Ears Burning currently sits 23rd on the jewels ladder after today’s victory, with just over $5,000.00 between him and the 12th placed Swamp Major. Away nicely from barrier 5, McGrath soon found himself parked, but soon cover arrived in the form of Wannabet (Blair Orange). That was the only move of the race and with everyone else happy to sit back as John Dunn and Bite The Bullet strolled along in front, McGrath found himself in a lovely 1x1 spot. When extricated to the outside with 400m, Ears Burning quickly found himself in front and burning away to win by 3 ¼ lengths back to another McGrath runner in Kashana. “He surprised me how easily he’s done that, we got a lovely run but it was a handy field and he won that comfortably” said Nigel. McGrath's star Classie Brigade has been sent for a freshen up. "Those runs behind Lazarus took it out of him, and Ricky said he just didn't feel as sharp as usual down south, he was a very tired horse last week, so he can have a freshen up and have a trial or two before the jewels"  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Christen Me’s return to the grand circuit took a huge leap today, when he won the Group 3 Dawe Contracting Ltd Rangiora Classic. Up against arch rival Locharburn, Christen Me was having his first race day run for the best part of 7 months, which saw him miss the 2015 NZ Cup. Driver Dexter Dunn fired the 7 year old Christian Cullen gelding across to lead early, but Mighty Flying Mac was quickly around to take over with Dunn happy to take a sit. Meanwhile main rival Locharburn was having a tough run sitting parked before receiving the 1x1 at the bell, it appeared early on that Christen Me was the likely winner. With Blair Orange launching Locharburn out from his spot at the 600m to deal it up to the leader, D Dunn was able to push out of the trail and follow Locharburn into it before these two top class horses went to war, with Christen Me sticking his head in front at the line to beat a super brave and tough Locharburn. The official margin was a head, with 10 ½ lengths back to early leader Mighty Flying Mac, who set up a NZ record equalling time, 3-06.5. Funny enough Christen Me now holds that record with today’s rival Locharburn who only set the record back in February’s summer cup at Addington. “He was super today, as he had to be to beat a brave Locharburn. It’s great to have him back” said trainer Cran Dalgety. “The Len Mile is a possibly target, all the big guns will be there and there isn’t much here for him.  The long term aim is the NZ cup but the inter dominions is also at the back of my mind. I’ll see how he comes through today’s run, but Sydney does look a great option” Check out our story on former New Zealander and Dalgety trained runner Bit Of  A Legend's win in America this morning on our New Zealand home page. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Meanwhile Rangiora driver Robbie Close saluted the judge twice today, winning on Claus for Stan Moore and Pay Me Visa for Andrew Stuart; both trainers are also based in Rangiora. Claus, a 3yo Tintin in America gelding, put the writing on the wall with a handy 3rd at Addington just 3days ago. Sent out as a $26.00 chance by punters, Robbie Close or “Goose” as he’s called around the stables, had Claus in front early but soon found himself 3 back the pegs and looking for a bit of luck. “He came out really well from the ace draw and got a lovely trip from then on. He hit the gap at the top of the straight nicely and was still trucking at the line, he will be a handy horse in 6months time” said Close. “It’s always nice to get a winner for the Moore’s, they are lovely people and Stan’s breed has produced some nice horses, it’s great to see them getting some success” Stan won the Rangiora Classic back in 2009 with his star Fake Chance, a winner of 12 from 127 starts including 27 placings; the Fake Left gelding was a regular in free for all races. While Claus isn’t at those heights yet, it’s always nice to see small trainers getting success on a large day. Robbie’s second winner came in the last race of the day for Rangiora Racecourse based trainer Andrew Stuart. Pay Me Visa, now a winner of 5 from 25 starts was having his first start on the all weather track today. “Being his first start on the grit, it was a question mark on how he would handle it. We got a decent trip and he was bolting on the turn, when he found some room he hit the line really nicely” said Close. A 4yo McArdle gelding owned by Andrew himself, rated the 2000m in 2-25 flat, a mile rate of 1.56.6 57.2 28.4. He paid $11.60 & $2.10 on the tote. By the look of today’s win, it certainly won’t be Pay Me Visa’s last. Andrew Fitzgerald  

Turning the first sod to mark construction for the second stage of Alexandra Park’s significant urban village development on Green Lane West will take place at 4.30pm on Thursday, 28 April. Attendees will include local dignitaries, leaders of construction company Ganellen, project partners, and Auckland Trotting Club board members and staff. Ganellen - tasked with building the development’s second stage – is an established and successful design and construction contractor. Operating in both Australia and New Zealand, Ganellen has specialist expertise in commercial, retail, multi-storey residential developments, hotels, and government buildings. In recent years the company has been heavily involved in the Christchurch rebuild. “This is another great milestone for Alexandra Park and a great day for Auckland. We’re delighted to have Ganellen on board to construct our stage two buildings. Ganellen has a growing reputation in this country and it’s great to secure them for such a significant development here in Auckland,” says Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding. Co-founder and CEO of Ganellen, Sydney-based Peter Maneas will be in attendance as will Kiwi Michael Doig who is Ganellen’s New Zealand Director and the company’s project leader for stage two of the Alexandra Park development. Ganellen project leader Michael Doig says: “This is a landmark project and a really exciting one for Ganellen as we continue to expand our New Zealand business and commitment. We’re delighted to lend our experience and expertise to this first-class urban village development at Auckland’s iconic Alexandra Park. “Ganellen has been conserving heritage buildings as well as constructing new A-grade commercial buildings and retirement complexes in Christchurch for a few years now. However this is our first major new build project in Auckland and is much more in line with the type of large residential projects that we have built our reputation upon in Sydney. It’s a key project for our company and the outcome will be outstanding. These will be high spec apartments, showcasing the best in design, workmanship, construction and building materials,” says Mr Doig. Alexandra Park’s second stage will include two integrated buildings with 128 one-to-three-bedroom apartments and 2,500sqm of ground-floor retail space. Building B1 comprises of nine levels above ground, while Building B2 has five. The second stage will include 248 carparks within a shared two-level basement. First up of course are the earthworks which will see 36,000 cubic metres of soil and basalt rock excavated. “Having Ganellen delivering stage two reinforces our complete focus on quality. We can’t wait to see the dramatic transformation of what was just a big outside car-park. This is one of the largest brownfield developments currently happening in the city and we’re determined to be leaders,” says Ms Dowding. “With our Green Lane West building site moving ahead in leaps and bounds, interest from purchasers is at an all-time high and our display suite is flat-out selling the remaining apartments. By the middle of next year our first residents and commercial tenants will be moving into stage one. It’s all go,” she says. Attendees joining Ganellen and ATC at Thursday’s sod-turning will include representatives from Auckland Council, Campbell Brown Planning Limited, N-Compass, RTA Studio, and Colliers International. Canam Construction Limited is building stage one of the urban village, with the design of both stages led by award-winning Auckland architects, RTA Studio. The on-site apartment display suite is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or visiting For further information contact: CEO of Alexandra Park Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or NZ Director of Ganellen, Michael Doig on (021) 458-661

Odds-on favorite Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.60, part of entry)  was the best Free-For-Aller entering and the best exiting Saturday night, winning the $609,000 harness racing final of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The 29th Levy, again honoring the memory of the Harness Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, served as both the richest race in the history of the event and richest race of the season to date. Bit of a Legend N, after winning all five of his series prelims (including a track-record dead-heat [with Wiggle It Jiggleit] a week ago), drew post position No. 2 in the final. He was away third early, behind pole-sitting Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) and that one's stablemate, All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley). All Bets Off, from post No. 5, paid a 27-second price for the first lead. Stratton, wanting no part of a three-hole, quickly moved Bit of a Legend N to the front, finding a :55.2 intermission. "Terry" then took out of third, trying his luck down the backside the second time, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) happily accepted that one's tow. However, Take it Back Terry never came that close to the "Legend," who maintained an open lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters. The advantage was a length-and-a-half entering the lane, and Bit of Legend N was about to close the sale. All Bets Off ducked in but never threatened as the people's preference won by a length in a life-best 1:51. Hr also become the first Down Under winner of this event. Texican N (Yannick Gingras), stable buddy of the winner, rallied quite nice for third, with P H Supercam and "Terry" earning the minor moolah. Texas Terror N (Brett Miller), Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) and Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the order. The final time of 1:51 also matched Maltese Artist's (Greg Grismore) stakes record set in 2007, when the series returned after an 11-year hiatus. For Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his eighth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $4.60, with no triple wagering offered to the limited number (five) of wagering interests. For Stratton, it was the biggest win of his career. "He's perfect for Yonkers, a small horse who gets around this track great. "Anything can happen when you go for this money," Stratton said. "I let everything settle and then went to the front. He's been great through the series and I'm just fortunate to be able to drive him. "He's the best horse I've ever trained and Jordan's taken good care of him," his Aussie-born trainer said, before giving a shout out to the owner "(Harry von Knoblauch) is 90-years-old and he's on a cruise with his daughter right now. He said, 'I wish I could get off this boat and be there.' I told him he'd feel a lot better when he got the check." What's next? "He gets some time off, and then, since he's not staked to very much, we're hoping for Invitationals at other half-miles (Western Fair, Harrington, and Northfield). The $304,500 winner's share upped Bit of a Legend N's seasonal earnings to an industry-best $451,250. A $100,000 series consolation was won by death-and-taxes Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague, $2.10) in 1:51. Frank Drucker

Highly talented and current Great Southern Star's Champion, Speeding Spur will miss next week's $150,000 Rowe Cup as well as the Cambridge Jewels. While on first glance, his run in last night's Anzac Cup seemed disappointing, it's the resulting swelling in his off hind leg after running 2nd behind Monbet, ringing alarm bells for co trainer Joshua Dickie. Able to find the front, Speeding Spur and Josh Dickie were able to control the race and it looked like we were in for a classic battle of 2 superstars, but when Monbet darted up the lane, Spur could offer no more. "It is impossible to tell what actually happened because he was fine before the race, but he wasn't himself in that last 150m" said Josh Dickie when spoken to by Mick Guerin. With Speeding Spur out, Monbet will start a short priced favourite in both, next week’s Rowe Cup and his 4yo section of the Jewels. Although Greg Hope, co trainer of Monbet, has floated the idea of missing this year’s jewels to allow his charge a decent spell before targeting the Group 1 Dominion Handicap in November. If that happens, then classy mares, Sunny Ruby and Harriet Of Mot come into contention for Jewels Glory   Andrew Fitzgerald

Advantage Monbet.   That was the overwhelming feeling out of last night’s $100,000 Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park last night, when the southern sensation blew away northern arch rival Speeding Spur.   The two exceptional four-year-old trotters dominated betting in the group one but Monbet turned it into a one-horse race, even though it was one with a twist.   His driver Ricky May surprisingly conceded the lead at the start and took the trail with Monbet, giving Speeding Spur the tactical advantage.   But in the home straight Monbet exploded up the passing lane for one of the most comprehensive victories in the pair’s personal rivalry.   That not only gives him a huge confidence advantage heading into next Friday’s Rowe Cup but also all but assures him of the Trotter of the Year title.   “He was super and Greg (trainer, Greg Hope) left it up to me at the start so I was happy to trail,” said driver Ricky May.   “He actually didn’t handle the bends perfectly, being his first start here for a while, he has that much speed.”   Speed was the story of most of the feature races last night, with Field Marshal using his blistering turn of foot to come from near last to win the $100,00 Taylor Mile.   He was third last starting the last lap and burned down the back straight three wide, leaving himself a sitting duck but he never flinched and raced clear in the straight to win like a open class star of the future.   Field Marshal, whose career was saved by a throat operation in Victoria last season, is now the warm favourite for next Friday’s Messenger and his division of the Harness Jewels on June 4.   By Michael Guerin   *note, News came through this morning that Speeding Spur will miss the rest of the season due to a leg injury sustained in last night's Anzac Cup.

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