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Return to harness racing at Alexandra Park, commences on Thursday 4 June, without spectators.  ​ The only people permitted to attend meetings will be those drivers competing at the meeting, trainers with runners engaged at the meeting, stable staff of those trainers as advised to the club, and essential race day personnel. Whilst we will still not have spectators on-course, we encourage you to watch from home on Trackside 62 or 63. Or for interviews with drivers and behind the scenes footage keep an eye on our social channels. via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! The Alex/TAB & Gaming Room will be open with a limit of 100 guests but there will be no access trackside.  Given this limited number, we expect there may be queues to get in.  However, if getting out of the house appeals, in addition to The Alex, both Grand Park - Chinese Restaurant and the new Lonestar Alexandra Park will be open for dining with the same limitations. At this stage the protocols are expected to remain in place until at least 22 June 2020.  

We understand that the global COVID-19 situation is raising unprecedented concerns for some events and conferences.  Our Management team is awaiting the Government announcement expected for the 17th March before our policy will be finalised around COVID-19 event disruption along with our broader ability to host events. As a sports events venue and function centre with the capability to host events from 10 to 10,000 guests clarity around the size and scope of activities permitted is integral to our business response. The current operating environment is unlike anything experienced before in New Zealand. As such, we are working to implement an operational and commercial framework around these new, interim measures as well as remaining agile to a fast-moving and constantly changing situation. This fluidity is possibly the most significant challenge in formalising policy and procedures. We are optimistic about partnering with our clients to achieve the best outcomes for each of our businesses in these challenging times. In doing so for those concerned about holding their event, we would urge consideration to deferment as opposed to cancellation and will be keen to explore ways in making this a preferred option for our clients. Advice from Ministry of Health for public events and mass gatherings If you are an event organiser, you should focus on: 1. Reminding your staff and guests not to attend if they are feeling unwell 2. Reminding your staff and guests not to attend if they have been to any country except those listed in Category 2 (excluding airport transit) in the past 14 days 3. Briefing your event staff on how to practice good hygiene and making it easy for staff and attendees to practice good hygiene.  Alexandra Park are committed to this for the benefit of both our staff and guests.  For more information, please visit Ministry of Health

International equine airfreight company IRT have shown their support for the harness racing industry by becoming the major sponsor of the IRT Harness Jewels 2020, to be held at Cambridge Raceway on May 30. Cambridge Raceway chief executive Dave Branch was delighted to announce IRT as the Harness Jewels' major sponsor. "The commitment IRT is showing to the harness racing industry is amazing, having sponsored the 2019 Jewels, 2019 Inter Dominions and now the 2020 Harness Jewels," Branch said. "We are really looking forward to working with a partner who is just as excited and passionate about the event as we are." IRT managing director Richard Cole said the company was pleased to become the major sponsor of the Jewels for a second successive year and show their support for the industry. "We are very proud to be the major sponsor of such a prestigious event that is the IRT Harness Jewels," Cole said. "It's an event that means a lot to the harness racing community and beyond, so for us to be able to give back on such a large scale is really important for us." IRT has a long association with the harness racing industry and Cole said it was important to show the company's support through sponsoring events like the Harness Jewels. "IRT has a long and rich history with harness racing. From being at the forefront of stallion shuttling to and from the US, flying the greats like Cardigan Bay and Young Quinn, to being the top airfreighter of Standardbreds from New Zealand to the US and Australia. "Harness racing has and always will be important to us, which makes it even more special to be sponsoring this event again for 2020." Cole said he is once again looking forward to being on track to take in the electric atmosphere of Jewels day. "We are very much looking forward to the event being held at Cambridge Raceway. "David Branch and his team know how to put on a good show and we are sure this will be another fantastic IRT Harness Jewels day with Group One racing at its best." 2020 will be the second year the Harness Jewels will be held at Cambridge Raceway under Branch's leadership and he said he is looking forward to the challenge. "The Jewels mean a lot to Cambridge and as a club it gives us a real focus and something to look forward to every couple of years," Branch said. "It is one of the best opportunities we get to showcase harness racing in our community. "2018 was all about the awareness with flags down the main street and signage all around town, 2020 will be about getting more of the community involved and along for the day." Branch is also looking forward to the Jewels Eve meeting, which will take place at Cambridge Raceway on May 29. "It's something we pushed for as it gives us another opportunity to host our out of town guests and visitors," he said. "The Friday night event will be laid back and a good chance for industry participants, out of town guests, and locals to relax before the big day." - Cambridge Raceway Hospitality packages for the IRT Harness Jewels 2020 go on sale Wednesday 5th of February 2020 Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc  

By Garrick Knight  With his retirement from training fast approaching, Wairarapa’s only harness horseman recorded a milestone win at Manawatu Raceway on Friday night The maiden success of He’s Gratis brought up 50 career training wins for Masterton’s Bryan Taylor and his first for more than four years. “It’s been a bit longer than I would have liked between wins,” he said with a chuckle. “But I suppose that’s what happens when you start getting older and only breed the occasional one. “I’m down to two horses now; I only train for my business partner and I, whereas I used to train for outside owners.” The doctors may also fast-track his retirement from the sport. “I have got to have a major shoulder reconstruction, which was part of the reason I have wound my numbers back. “My future in harness racing may not last for much longer unfortunately because I won’t be able to drive horses.” He’s Gratis is a homebred Auckland Reactor four-year-old that took 11 starts win his first race and required plenty of patience from Taylor. “I’ve had three Auckland Reactors and two of them I sacked simply because they were a little too rough for my liking. “He was a bit suspect too early on and that’s why it’s taken him 11 starts to get his first win; he’s always had some roughness about, he just needed confidence.” It wasn’t the strongest field to begin with, but when the two clear favourites, Jive and Razcal Alley, locked stays soon after the start and fell out of contention, it become anybody’s race. A heady drive from Taylor got the chocolates and a win he says had been on the cards for a while. “I suppose you need a bit of luck to go your way and we got that. “But he had had a couple of unlucky runs prior and I was pretty happy with him going in to it.” With a name like He’s Gratis, you can probably guess the backstory to how he came about. “The mare was supposed to be in foal to Somebeachsomewhere but failed to conceive. “In desperation, we got talking to the stud and they said Auckland Reactor was quite fertile. “He got in foal straight away and, before we could even pay for it, we ended up winning a free service to him. “With that in mind, we thought it was only fair to call him He’s Gratis.” Looking back on his training career, which started in 1985, Taylor points to well-performed trotter Mark Andrew as the best he trained. “He really exceeded my expectations as he wasn’t your traditional trotter, being by Holdonmyheart, but ended up winning 11 races. “He was frustrating at times, too; I would take him to the meetings all over the island that had big crowds and he would panic and gallop. “Then we’d go to Palmerston North with no one there and he would win off 60 or 70.” As for He’s Gratis, he won’t be heading to Otaki on Sunday for the grass track meeting. “I’ve already pulled him out; the heat has been 30 degrees here lately and he’s just lightened up a little bit. “He wasn’t eating that well, certainly not well enough to back him up two days later, so he’ll go back to Palmerston North in 10 days’ time.” Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand

By Garrick Knight An eye-catching run seven days prior gave an indication of what was to come from Accelere at Alexandra Park on Friday night. On the back of an aggressive drive from usual pilot Todd Mitchell, the Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson-trained gelding thumped his opponents with a jarring 2.40.2 (1.57.1 MR) run. Punters sent him out second favourite after an impressive finish in stronger company the week prior, despite only finishing sixth. “We were pretty confident heading in to tonight,” said Hollis. “His last three starts have been good, he’s just either had bad draws or bad luck.” They thought enough of him to tackle the Sires Stakes series this time last year and then the Northern Derby back in March, suffice to say his connections have turned down numerous decent offers to date. “He was just big and weak so we gave him a good two-month spell.” Mitchell went forward and set a strong tempo, not giving anything else a look in, though Magilligan Point mounted a strong late challenge to push him close to the line. “We don’t ever really tell Todd how to drive him. “Basically, it was just ‘pop him out of the gate and see how he feels.” Obviously, he was feeling pretty good. There are no major plans for the son of Auckland Reactor, though he will be “raced sparingly” according to his trainers. “We’ll just race him here and there and look after him. “It’s nice to be able to win a race as a rating 50 that carries a stake of $15,000. “It wasn’t the richest race on the night but it’s still good money.” Accelere continues the good record of his dam, Exposay who has now left four decent horses, including the former Hollis & Robertson pacer El Jacko, now a star in Perth. “He’s won 22 races. She’s also left Pakipaki, who did a good job for us, and VC Manoevure (13 wins). Emilio Rosati purchased the current two-year-old out of the mare – a filly by Somebeachsomewhere – and it’s in training next door to Hollis and Robertson’s at Lincoln Farms with Ray Green. The stable couldn’t quite pull off a double with their promising three-year-old maiden, Christianshavtime, who managed only fourth. They make up two thirds of the current race team, one which has been eroded in recent months by the sales of the likes of Big Mach, Katamach, Destined For Heaven, Three Kisses and The Notorious One. “We’ve sold six horses this year, which has really depleted our barn. “So, it’s pretty quiet at the moment but the yearlings are about to come in later this month to get ready for the sales. “We are preparing 14 this year, which will keep us very busy.” Elsewhere on the night, John and Josh Dickie, Arna Donnelly and Barry Purdon all recorded training doubles while Inter Dominion prospects, Temporale and Massive Metro, got their preparations back on track with good placings off long marks in the night’s feature trot. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

South Auckland harness racing driver Simon Lawson faces a near 18-month suspension from the sulky after admitting betting on other horses in two races he drove in. But Lawson, who has also received a $8000 fine, has been cleared of any race fixing or not trying with his horses, after investigations by both the police and racing authorities. Lawson admitted profiting from $205 worth of bets placed by friend and fellow harness racing licence holder Gareth Dixon, who not involved in the race, on winning horse Mr Natural in race 10 at Alexandra Park on May 25 last year. Lawson, who is believed to have been responsible for half of the stake of the bet, drove rival My Royal Roxy, who finished fifth in the race. Mr Dixon is alleged to have placed the bets on the race and was also charged by racing authorities but with a much lesser charge and no decision has been made public in his case. Lawson and Dixon won around $1000 each out of a series of bets on Mr Natural. Lawson also admitted having a $100 each way bet on pacer Madam Connoistre in an Alexandra Park race on July 20 even though he was driving race rival, Ziyad. Madam Connoistre finished second and Ziyad finished last when driven by Lawson and has not raced again because of a lack of ability. Lawson made $150 from the place component of the bet. Both cases were prosecuted by the Racing Integrity Unit in front of the Judicial Control Authority after police interviewed some of the drivers in the first race and found there was no race fixing involved. The betting patterns on the two races confirmed no illegal activity. The cases were separate matters from the on-going police investigation into alleged race fixing involving several South Island-based harness racing participants in the South Island which has resulted in legal charges still to be heard by the courts. The JCA ruling says Lawson can not drive in races from January 15 this year (when he was stood down by the RIU) until the end of next racing season on July 31, 2019. He was also fined $8000 but can still train horses, which he would not have been able to do if disqualified. With no suggestion of race fixing or foul play, the length of the suspension and the large fine can be seen as a very clear message to racing licence holders, that those who are not allowed to bet in races they can affect the outcome of, but still do, will face far stiffer penalties than in the past. Lawson was not available for comment.   Michael Guerin

Yesterday the Price family of Winton had one on those magical days that are rare in harness racing when Perfect Stride and Pearl Harbour each won their juvenile races at Alexandra Park in Auckland. Pearl Harbour won a heat of the Crombie Lockwood Bloodstock Young Guns Fillies Series while Perfect Stride, which they bred with John’s parents Roger and Helen Price, won its two year old race. “It’s lovely to see the babies stepping out. We’re pretty proud,” Katrina Price said. Pearl Harbour was broken in and developed by John and Katrina, qualifying the Somebeachsomewhere filly at Winton in mid December. She was then sent north to Barry Purdon’s stable with the aim of starting her in the Young Guns Fillies Series. This is not the first time they’ve sent a filly north to Purdon’s. Democrat Party as a two year old was sent north in 2013. She won at her first start and subsequently in March 2014 won the Young Guns Fillies Final. “John spoke to Barry during the week and he was pretty bullish heading into the race. He thinks she’s very strong and has plenty of speed. He was worried about the draw and he wasn’t sure what Scott (driver Scott Phelan) would do off the gate.” John and Katrina have been very patient with Pearl Harbour knowing the potential was always there but that it needed managing. “She was pretty hot when she was being broken in. Here at home we’ve done lots and lots of slow work. When we broke her in she did a couple of months of walking. We took her a few times to the Winton track and Nathan (Williamson) came and drove her. She had a workout and a trial and the first time he deliberately pulled her back just to educate her. In her trial there were only two runners so she when to the front. At that stage Nathan said she would have lots of gate speed but he didn’t want to pull that switch. From day one she knew how to race and had that real competitive streak.” Pearl Harbour The Prices have entered Captain Nemo (Lot 360) which is a three quarter brother to Pearl Harbour in next month’s NZB Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. He’s by first season sire Captaintreacherous. Price says that Captain Nemo was a late foal that’s going to appreciate time. “He’s at least at the same stage as Pearl Harbour was. He’s a big rangy horse with a completely different brain on him, laid back, relaxed - a big cruisy dude.” The win by Pearl Harbour was also a bonus for West Otago breeders John and Judy Stiven who bred her dam Arden Caviar. The Stivens have a Bettors Delight filly by Arden Caviar’s full-sister Rocknroll Arden in the sale and Southwind Arden which is also owned by them has a Captaintreacherous colt in the catalogue.     Arden's Delight and Captain Arden - Photos Supplied  The Prices bought Arden Caviar from the Stivens after she was withdrawn from the yearling sales in 2013 due to having a skin complaint. “She had speed but just didn’t have the racing brain. That family has so much depth to it. When you look at Winter Rose, the job she’s done and you go further back with horses like Bella’s Boy - It was a family that we really wanted to get into.” Arden Caviar has a Betting Line colt on the ground and she has been served again by Captaintreacherous. “In speaking to David James at Empire (Empire Stallions), the Captaintreacherous’s have a completely different attitude to the Somebeachsomewheres. We’ve had three Somebeachsomewhere’s and they’ve all been pretty hot. You’ve just had to be careful with how you develop them.” The Price’s other success last night, Perfect Stride, (formally named Chicago Cub) was bred by John, Katrina, Roger and Helen Price and was the top selling lot at last year’s National Yearling Sale in Christchurch. He was bought by Emilio and Mary Rosati for $190,000. Perfect Stride Added to the magical day was a workout win at Winton by Perfect Stride’s half-sister Rockabilly Blues. She’s won two of her three starts and will resume her racing career at the Invercargill Cup Meeting this Saturday where she’ll line up in the Arden Lodge Robin Dundee Crown. It’s great to see Southern Bred Southern Reared Two Year Olds having success on a premier track in Auckland. Bruce Stewart

Welcome to November everyone... It's that time of year where everything starts to really heat up - our upcoming meeting this Friday (16 November) will kick off the first of eight 'Christmas At The Races' meetings for us here at The Park and despite the dreaded 'Santa Cap' being back in action right up until our final C.A.T.R meeting on Friday 21 December, this period of racing really is a great opportunity for us all to showcase our sport to the wider viewing audience and convert the 10,000+ attendees we will host during this period into regular race-going harness racing fans! Friday 16 November will also mark the night that the new 'ATC Coloured Saddlecloths' are introduced into the racing action here at The Park - these are the same saddlecloths that are used with success throughout Australia and with many of our C.A.T.R guests having never placed a bet before, it is envisaged that these new coloured saddlecloths will help counteract some of the barriers that are currently prohibiting these new attendees to The Park from getting involved in the racing action from a punting side of things! Last year we had a couple of trainers/drivers put their hands up and kindly volunteer 5 minutes of their time to do a quick meet-and-greet with some of these groups - providing an industry insight for these patrons and a few tips for these new punters to follow throughout the night! If anyone would like to be involved with a similar thing this C.A.T.R please don't hesitate to get in touch with Regan - this would be a great way for trainers to showcase themselves to the wider general audience and you never know - you may just get an owner or two from it which would be great for everyone involved :) As mentioned in October's newsletter, the ATC will be re-introducing the parading of all horses in numerical order into the birdcage and also onto the track in the coming weeks - with the meeting of December 7 when this will fully enforced into racing policy here at the ATC. Further communication will be sent out to all those concerned in the coming weeks on the processes around this and how it will be managed/actioned. Digital clocks have now been installed in the stables and so there will be no excuses to miss out on being a part of this! If you have a known fractious horse and you feel it will be detrimental to both the horse & birdcage procedure to be parading prior to entry onto the track, please advise either Regan or the Stipes of this. Another item that the ATC has decided to action into our racing policy is for no talking between drivers once horses have entered onto the track prior to race commencement. At a time when we need to be highlighting and promoting the integrity in our sport, the ATC have decided that there is no need for drivers to be talking to each other once on track (in all instances other than where a driver needs to communicate with another due to an immediate safety issue). Again, this will be actioned into ATC racing policy as of the meeting of December 7 in order to allow for the smooth & successful implementation of these new policies but we encourage all participants to get used to both this and the numerical birdcage procedure over the remaining meetings in November so that come December 7 everyone is well ahead of the game and ready to kick this off in style! The ATC want to promote the professionalism in our sport and this is an integral part of ensuring that we are maintaining standards that promote & enable this to occur. There will be one more ATC O&T newsletter before the year's end however we would like to kindly remind all of those connections who have horses that may be on a path to 2018 Auckland Cup and/or National Trot Group One glory that initial nominations for both of these races close 11.00am on Friday November 30 - these can be given to Regan @ the ATC Racing Office on either 09 631 1163 / 027 249 1205. Please note that no initial nomination or sustaining payments are required if received by this date so no matter how likely you feel you are to be there come the big day on NYE, you have to be in it to win it so why not chance your arm, give your horse/s a nom and see how 2018 can end on a winning note! The tentative programme for this meeting of December 31 (and all of December for that matter) are currently available online at HRNZ and full race conditions for these Group One features can be found there. Looking ahead to the remaining three meetings for November and below are a few things to note down in your diary in terms of programming and what you can look forward to sinking your teeth into! - There is a junior drivers 2700m handicap trot programmed for the meeting of November 16 for up-to-R65 trotters - The meetings of November 16 & 30 both have a 2700m R60 & faster handicap pace programmed. We have been aiming to programme a standing start for these R60+ horses at the trials/workouts at Franklin over the past month or so and we will continue to do so over the balance of November & into December to help all horses who may have not seen the tapes prepare for these races. - Another Monte Saddle Trot has been included for the programme of November 23. Again this race will be dependent of the balance of nominations received for the approved race licence for this meeting - however with a Monte programmed for the Saturday meeting's of December 8 & 15 you get the feeling it won't be long now until the first Monte tote race is run here @ The Park. For any queries relating to the Monte races (and how to qualify your horse if you are interested), please speak to ATC Racing Committee Chair & Board Member Derek Balle. - The F&M race for the meeting of November 23 will be a 2200m handicap pace with a maximum back mark of 20m - this will be programmed as a R40-75 & (R76-80 with a junior concession claim) F&M's race and has being programmed in this way to see if greater support for these races can be garnered to help them get off the ground. - The first 2YO race for the season has been included for the programme of November 30 (subject to nominations) - The junior drivers race (pace) on the programme of November 30 has had the rating band extended to now include the R40-65 rated pacers. As usual, this race will include the standard field selection policy of preference going to those horses who have not previously won a penalty free drivers race & where possible and to mix the balance of the R40-65 open races, this race will be selected from the top rating downwards. A note for trainers & drivers - if you have any concerns over the condition of the track on racenight please direct these concerns directly to Todd Macfarlane (Chair of the Horsemen's Association). Todd and the ATC track staff communicate regularly on racenight and should there be any concerns over the condition of the track, these will be communicated to the track staff via Todd and rectified in a timely manner. Also a reminder for all drivers on racenight - could please remember to warm-up your horse on the outside of the track - this helps to minimise any deterioration to the inside of the track and the subsequent issues that comes with such effects. We wish everyone a great November and hope that together we can make the next two months great viewing for all involved! As always - if you ever have any queries relating to anything racing here at the ATC, please don't hesitate to give Regan a call! Regards, Regan Cotter Racing Manager 09 631 1163 027 249 1205 Additional information The SAAC (Stable Area Awareness Course) for children aged 6-14 years will take place 1 hour prior to the start of the first tote race on the first meeting of each month here at The Park. Children who pass this course will be issued with a temporary pass which will admit them to the stables when under the supervision of an adult. They will then be issued with photo ID and a lanyard for easy access on racenight (when again under the supervision of an adult). Children are permitted to turn up on the night to partake in the course but we do ask that parents/guardians let the club know (Racing Manager Regan Cotter) when their child will be attending to assist us through this period. Upcoming S.A.A.C (Stable Area Awareness Course for children aged 6-14) course dates as follows - Friday November 16 Friday December 7 If you have any questions relating to any of the H&S procedures & policies please don't hesitate to contact Regan or ATC H&S Manager Shane Primrose - shane.primrose@alexandrapark.nz / 09 631 1189 Programmes Programmes for November & December (tentative) are now online @ http://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/programm.htm Upcoming November & December Race Meetings @ The Park Friday November 16 Friday November 23 Friday November 30 Friday December 7 (G3 Summer Cup & Northern Breeders Stakes) Saturday December 8 Friday December 14 (G1 Queen Of Hearts) Saturday December 15 Friday December 21 Monday December 31 (G1 Auckland Cup & National Trot) Upcoming Trial & Workout dates For those of you who like to get in early and see the videos ASAP (prior to the official results been entered) please remember the race videos can be viewed on http://m.hrnz.co.nz/ (note these will be available via this link once Magness is able to upload the videos onto the HRNZ website). Saturday 17th November - Workouts - Franklin Saturday 24th November - Trials (RH) & Workouts - Franklin Saturday 1st December - Trials (RH) & Workouts - Franklin Tuesday 11th December - Workouts - Franklin Tuesday 18th December - Trials (RH) & Workouts - Franklin Saturday 22nd December - Trials (RH) & Workouts - Franklin Saturday 29th December - Workouts - Franklin   What's On @ The Park       Indulge in our amazing Christmas-themed all-you-can-eat buffet with beverage packages available     Nothing wrong with a bit of competition! Place your bets & feel the thrill with live harness-racing     The night goes on! Live DJ to follow in the Alex Bar & Eatery after the racing action       Get excited! We've got spot prizes to giveaway throughout the night. Are you feeling lucky?     Ooo-la-la! We'll have a photographer making the rounds, snapping shots & creating your Christmas memories     Ho! Ho! Ho! Top the night off with a visit from the jolly man himself who may be merry enough to dish out some pressies!           Want to be away from the crowds and in your own intimate setting for this years Christmas Party? We can provide the venue, food, drink and decorations... Just let us know when! Take the stress out of planning, contact us today & let's get started before it's too late! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO   From Weddings to Conferences, School Balls & Leavers Dinners. We have spaces and accompanying packages to suit all. • 8 function rooms • Accommodate up to 500 guests • Delicious, varied in-house catering • Selection of beverage packages • Decoration options • AV hire CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO   P: 09 630 9718 | E: events@alexandrapark.co.nz     Our Christmas Day Lunch is a definite crowd pleaser! Featuring a delicious buffet and a huge range of beverages to suit. We're excited for you and your family & friends to celebrate Christmas at Alexandra Park. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO   Auckland Cup Day is coming up fast and we want you there! Don't know what to do with the kids? Bring them along! We have the ultimate FREE family fun day planned with an amazing activities & entertainment line-up! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO     Alexandra Park Raceway Green Lane West, Epsom, Auckland      

Many of you are probably in the same boat as all of us here at The Park trying to figure out where on earth 2018 has gone! In saying that though, you can't really complain when the sun & daylight has replaced the chill and darkness! Spring racing really kicked into action last Friday night on our Cancer Society Daffodil Raceday - which also coincided with the second of our 'mile night's' which once again provided a very entertaining and competitive night of racing action. A big thanks goes to everyone involved in these nights so far - the support that we have received from both owners and trainers has been fantastic and really has allowed us to create a new level of hype around these nights. A big congratulations goes to the connections of Mortician who was victorious in the mile trot - earning himself and his connections a national record for his efforts. And no we haven't missed (how could you possibly forget) the heroics of the Ray Green trained and Andre Poutama driven Northview Hustler with his all-the-way victory in the Spring Cup. It was a superbly rated drive from Andre and made for one heck of a finish down the straight. It was great to see (and hear) the winning connections showing such emotion as victory edged closer come the final 200m - highlighting the thrill that harness racing ownership has to offer. We wish all the connections of the Northern trained NZ Cup aspirants the very best of luck as they prepare for the second Tuesday of November - we'll be cheering for you all! October has two meetings for the month, on the 12th & 26th respectively and we can assure you that there won't be any shortage of action-packed entertainment on track. Club officials have been in touch with Gary Hall Snr and if all plays out as expected over the next few weeks,  the star of WA Chicago Bull will be gracing us with his presence on the night of October 26th as he makes his way also down to Addington for the NZ Cup. Other features on this night will be Heat 1 of the Alabar Sires Stakes series for 3YO Fillies & Heat 4 of the McMillan Equine Feeds Series for the 3YO C&G as well as the much anticipated Monte Saddle trot tote race. The Monte horses and committee behind getting these races off the ground have been grinding away in preparation for this historical event and we are looking forward to seeing them on track. It must be made mention though that this race will only be run should nominations not hold up for the balance of the 10 race licence on this date. The ATC has made a commitment to programming at least three Monte tote races for $6K throughout October-December and should this not get off the ground on the 26th, another has been programmed for November 23 with the programmes of December 8 & 15 (both Saturday meetings) to include a Monte race too. Other points of note to make for connections is the programming of a 3200m handicap trot for R40 - 60 trotters on the programme of October 12. Again this race will be subject to nominations but it would be great to get the support the mile trot did so we can continue to programme these types of races that offer something a little different from the norm and a great viewing spectacle and something for punters to sink their teeth into. A claimers only race has also been programmed for this night for horses with a claiming price of up to $10K and it would be great to get this off the ground. Racing for a stake of $14,500 against like animals, why not put a claiming price on your horse and see how you go - or even better, should the race get off the ground, round-up a group of your mates and put in a claim - the best part is you can all come back to the track the following meeting and see your new pride and joy already racing under your name! The highlight of October 12 will no doubt be the $20K Kerry Hoggard Memorial - The Holmes DG & after last Friday's running of the Spring Cup, it promises to be another not-to-be-missed event. Looking forward to the coming months and there is plenty to talk about (however we will cover all of this off in November's edition of the ATC O&T newsletter). Below are a few things to note down in your diary for November & early December -  - The first 2YO race for the season has been included for the programme of November 30(however again subject to nominations) - There is a junior drivers 2700m handicap trot programmed for the meeting of November 16 for the up-to-R65 trotters - The junior drivers race (pace) on the programme of November 30 has had the rating band extended to now include the R40-65 rated pacers. As usual, this race will include the standard field selection policy of preference going to those horses who have not previously won a penalty free drivers race & where possible and to mix the balance of the R40-65 open races, this race will be selected from the top rating downwards.  - The programmes of November 16 & 30 both have a R60 & faster handicap pace included in them - so if you have a horse who falls into this category and may not have seen the tapes before, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Regan when nominating for the workouts to express your interest in having a go behind the tapes. - An amateur drivers race will be included in the programme for both Saturday December 8 & 15 for a stake TBC.  The club will measure the success of these races and the support they receive however it is envisaged that throughout the winter months of June-August 2019 an amateur winter series will be programmed here at The Park. Conditions and ratings bands for both the December races and the proposed winter series in 2019 are also still TBC. ​Going forward (and confirmation of this will be communicated to all horsemen/women prior to this coming into force) the ATC have decided that the birdcage procedure of parading in numerical order prior to going on track will once again be re-instated. Countdown clocks will be installed throughout the stables prior to the commencement of this to help allow for the smooth transition of re-instating this protocol. Coinciding with this will be the introduction of new colored saddlecloths (similar to that used at a majority of Metropolitan tracks in Australia). These are due to arrive in the next few weeks and will allow for greater interaction between punters and our racing product. A note for trainers & drivers - if you have any concerns over the condition of the track on racenight please direct these concerns directly to Todd Macfarlane (Chair of the Horsemen's Association). Todd and the ATC track staff communicate regularly on racenight and should there be any concerns over the condition of the track, these will be communicated to the track staff via Todd and rectified in a timely manner. Also a reminder for all drivers on racenight - could please remember to warm-up your horse on the outside of the track - this helps to minimise any deterioration to the inside of the track and the subsequent issues that comes with such effects. Regan Cotter Racing Manager 09 631 1163 027 249 1205 Additional information The SAAC (Stable Area Awareness Course) for children aged 6-14 years will take place 1 hour prior to the start of the first tote race on the first meeting of each month here at The Park. Children who pass this course will be issued with a temporary pass which will admit them to the stables when under the supervision of an adult. They will then be issued with photo ID and a lanyard for easy access on racenight (when again under the supervision of an adult). Children are permitted to turn up on the night to partake in the course but we do ask that parents/guardians let the club know (Racing Manager Regan Cotter) when their child will be attending to assist us through this period. Upcoming S.A.A.C (Stable Area Awareness Course for children aged 6-14) course dates as follows - Friday October 12 If you have any questions relating to any of the new H&S procedures & policies please don't hesitate to contact Regan or ATC H&S Manager Shane Primrose - shane.primrose@alexandrapark.nz / 09 631 1189 Programmes Programmes for October & November (tentative) are now online  @ http://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/programm.htm Upcoming  Race Meetings @ The Park Friday October 12 - (The Holmes DG) Friday August 26 Upcoming Trial & Workout dates For those of you who like to get in early and see the videos ASAP (prior to the official results been entered) please remember the race videos can be viewed on http://m.hrnz.co.nz/ (note these will be available via this link once Magness is able to upload the videos onto the HRNZ website). Saturday 6th October- Trials (RH) & Workouts – Franklin Saturday 13th October- Trials (LH) & Workouts – Franklin Saturday 20th October - Workouts – Franklin Saturday 27th October- Trials (RH) & Workouts – Franklin

The Auckland Trotting Club is taking a dramatic approach to becoming the country's premier harness racing club by turning every race night into a premier meeting. The ATC will boost stakes for all meetings next year to be at what is now the premier level, an increase of $40,000 per meeting. For now, New Zealand premier meetings have minimum $20,000 stakes and from next March that will be the average stake at Alexandra Park for all meetings. ATC president Bruce Carter has announced starting March 2019 the club's normal Friday night meetings will consist of two $25,000 races, two $15,000 races for maidens or those for the weak 40-50 rating band and the rest of the races will be worth $20,000. That means the non-group races at Alexandra Park from next March will average $20,000. "The stakes are based on nine-race programmes at our meetings and they will be guaranteed, we won't be relying on external funding from things like the race fields legislation which we can't control," says Carter. "We realise stakes have to go up because costs continue to go up and we want to show this commitment now. "We need more horses racing at Alexandra Park. At the moment that number is about 9.3 per race on average and we aim to get that to 11 per race and then more after that. "That is crucial to helping boost turnover but also make the industry more sustainable for trainers." The two $25,000 race guaranteed each night will usually be for the tightest class pacing and trotting races, meaning some meetings in winter races mere two or three-win front races will carry the $25,000 stake. "We realise how hard it is to keep those intermediate grade horses in the country because owners get tempted to send them offshore or sell them. "But this should mean those horses who are in that grade or just below the best open class horses can race here every meeting for usually $25,000 at never below $20,000, which makes them very viable." The new stake levels will catapult Alexandra Park further ahead of the pack Australasian-wide but their greatest problem is still field sizes. "It is remarkable, we can't attract rating 40-50 horses for plenty of meetings now racing for $14,000 whereas trainers will race at Cambridge, instead, for a lot less than that. "And the thing about it is, they are still racing the same horses, rating 40-50s, who are hardly the stars of the game," says Carter. "So I think some trainers and owners could look at their attitudes to racing here and hopefully this will help with that." The ATC will not raise stakes for their actual premier meetings but the most comforting part of Carter's announcement is that it isn't reliant on the New Zealand Racing Board reaching its financial targets, which are being hampered by the delays to the race fields legislation being passed. The money will come from the completion of the of the two major real estate developments at Alexandra Park, with their commercial and residential spaces. The first tower has already been significantly delayed but almost all the owners of the apartments pre-purchased are sticking with the development as they have increased in price since they were originally purchased. "The delay is unfortunate but were circumstances beyond our control but we are confident we will have the first building open in the New Year," says Carter. "And with that money coming online I want to thank the board and management who have worked incredibly hard to make this all happen." The latest series of increases in stakes means Alexandra Park have almost doubled stakes in five years. On the up - Alexandra Park have announced their highest stakes level increases. - From next year all meetings at Alexandra Park will have an average stake of $20,000. - The first real estate development at Alexandra Park should, after delays, be open in the New Year. Michael Guerin

Alexandra Park harness racing fixed odds movers as at 12:30pm   Race 1 - Lovely Bundy $2.70 & Madam Spur $3.00 are joint leaders in multi betting.   Race 2 - Better Step Aside is the big win mover here $12.00 - $7.00 with early money also coming for The Big Cheese $5.50.   Race 3 - The Crown Jewels $5.20 - $4.60 is the only runner wanted early here.    Race 4 - Culpeka $2.50 is huge in win & multi betting.    Race 5 - The only two runners wanted early here are Sea Of Gold $5.00 - $4.00 & Caitlyn Clarke $4.40.   Race 6 - A quiet win & multi market early here with Bopper Jet $6.20 the best backed on the win 'book'.   Race 7 - Star Galleria $1.45 is easily the best backed in win & multi betting with the only other runner attracting some interest Step Up at $6.00.   Race 8 - Loveonthelawn $3.00 leads early win & multi betting.   Race 9 - Swinging $4.50 easily leads early multi betting.    Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Members of the Auckland Trotting Club formally received and signed off their 2017 Annual Report at the harness racings organisation’s Annual General Meeting this week. Chief Executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding, says considerable progress has been made on the club’s number one strategic priority to reinvigorate harness racing. This was helped by the fact that all 246 apartments in the club’s mixed-use development had sold unconditionally - raising nearly $295 million, with the ‘urban village’ on Green Lane West now well under construction. “The ongoing development of Green Lane West will ensure the club can keep revitalising both its venues and products going forward. For example, by 2018/19 the club will be receiving additional revenue via the likes of its new retail leases,” says Ms Dowding. Auckland Trotting Club president Bruce Carter says the past year was one of continued improvement for the club’s financial position, with a substantial uplift in the valuation of its total assets. This follows recent rezoning approval and subdivision consent for the rest of Alexandra Park’s Green Lane West frontage. “The club has increased its net asset base to $164m in 2017 and is one of the strongest asset-based racing clubs in New Zealand, something its members can be proud of,” he says. Overall the club reported a net surplus of over $6.5m for the 2016/17 financial year. It also reported an operating profit after depreciation and amortisation of $69,000 – which was $519,000 better than the $450,000 loss budgeted for the same period. Mr Carter reported on the growth in stakes, with the club’s goal to increase them further over the next five-years.  This year with the help of the NZ Racing Board, the club increased the minimum stake per race at Alexandra Park to $12,000 - the highest for a harness racing club in New Zealand. He says further increases to stakes will be made possible with the completion of the development. He thanked members for their ongoing support and reassured them the board and staff are fully committed to ensuring the Auckland Trotting Club’s core ideals are upheld. Ms Dowding reflected on the changing racing scene in recent decades, and how in 2013 the club’s board and management embarked on an ambitious and aggressive strategy with the vision to ensure future sustainability and control its own destiny. Since then, enormous work has gone into reshaping and extracting the highest and best use of the club’s land holdings. “Four years ago, when the strategy was deployed, we had a declining racing industry, funding had plateaued, over $16m in deferred maintenance, an asset that was in dire need of revitalisation, and an organisation that had flat-lined through a lack of reinvestment. “Today there are positive signs for our industry via the growth in funding, stakes and an extremely bright future for the business of the Auckland Trotting Club. An increase in industry funding has not only enabled an increase in our stakes, but the number of race meetings has also increased from 37 to 41 for the 2017/18 season.” The Annual Report showed that demand for Alexandra Park’s functions facilities and its meetings business continues. In 2016/17 the food and beverage division earned around $6.2m in revenue, with the function centre contributing around $4.6m of that. The functions team managed over 867 events, achieving occupancy levels consistent with the previous year. Race night dining grew strongly with revenue per race night up 16% on the previous year. While the sponsorship team was successful in attracting $790,000 of revenue - an increase of 6.5%. The club’s commissions from its onsite TAB increased following a staggering operating result. In the past year the TAB at Alexandra Park lifted its turnover from $15.7m to $22m - an annual turnover that puts it $10m higher than its closest TAB competitor and cements it as New Zealand’s largest. The club’s property division contributed $2.6m in revenue this year up from $2.3m in 2016. This was driven by an increase in income from the club’s existing rental properties and by strong parking revenues including from visiting campervans during the Lions Tour. Overall operational savings were also reported, and a commitment was made that costs will continue to be challenged throughout the organisation. Ms Dowding says 62% of the club’s total revenue is now generated by other departments outside of racing which continues to grow. Nonetheless at 38%, racing income growth remains important. Field sizes have increased from 9.3 to 9.7, while the amalgamation in recent years to create the Franklin Park Training Centre continues to deliver, with the numbers of horse training at Pukekohe lifting on average from 120 to 240. Looking forward to the coming year, the club will ensure the development is completed, as well as roll out its new strategic plan for the next five years – again in the name of sustaining harness racing into the future. In racing, the club aims to continue to raise the numbers of owners, young trainers and drivers helped by a continued lift in stakes, as well as work to attract and grow new audiences. On other aspects of its business the club will continue to improve customer service, focus on driving overall sales and additional revenue streams, as well as review its current assets and venues. With the opening of its urban village from next year, including new restaurants and cafes, the club is determined to “bring back Alexandra Park as an attractive destination”. At the Annual General Meeting, Auckland Trotting Club members voted on the election of board members and the return of Bruce Carter as president. Members also voted in a new constitution, and were advised that a decision around whether to roll out a further stage of the club’s urban village development would be made later this year or early next year after a review of market conditions. www.alexandrapark.co.nz Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700

Alexandra Park, the home of harness racing in the North Island, has been named a finalist in the ‘Excellence in Marketing’ category for the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2017 - Central. Chief executive Dominique Dowding says Alexandra Park’s entry focused on the marketing success of their significant new urban village development, currently under construction on Green Lane West. Within 18 months of launching the development, Alexandra Park had sold all 246 apartments in stage one and two, achieving nearly $300m in sales by late last year. Research confirmed that from all the off-plan projects in Auckland, Alexandra Park achieved the highest values and was the fastest selling. Ms Dowding says being a finalist was a credit to the Auckland Trotting Club’s board, management team, staff, and key project partners such asColliers International. Alexandra Park’s urban village marketing strategy was ground-breaking, with its look and feel breaking from tradition and its clever targeting achieving the exact desired demographics. At the same time, it was backed by a strong internal communications programme which ensured the development got off the ground and stayed on track. “Marketing was key to our apartment sales and critical to the success of our ground-floor leasing for retail and hospitality. But it was more than that. We were one of the first examples in Auckland of a completely master-planned luxury lifestyle apartment product located in suburban context. We also broke the mould by convincing the likes of well-established locals and empty nesters to opt for apartment living which was quite a sea change for Auckland.” The chief executive says for a membership-based sporting organisation to receive this business acknowledgement in a largely corporate arena reflects just how comprehensively and successfully the club has commercially transformed in recent years. Alexandra Park congratulates all category finalists and looks forward to the gala dinner on 14 November for the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2017 - Central. For a full list of the Westpac Business Award finalists click here. www.alexandrapark.co.nz For further information contact, Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or (09) 630-9700  

Alexandra Park’s Sales & Marketing Manager, Joel Reichardt, says while the Park is steeped in harness racing history, it also boasts a proud historic connection to a critical Lions encounter over a century ago. Alexandra Park says its role in providing accommodation and hospitality for rugby fans this weekend might just be a good omen for the All Blacks as they take on The British & Irish Lions for the all-important third Test decider at Eden Park. Mr Reichardt has dusted off the history books which show the All Blacks beating the touring Anglo-Welsh Lions by 29-0 when they played at Alexandra Park, known then as Potters Paddock, on 25 July 1908. Twelve thousand people reportedly attended the Alexandra Park Test match which marked the last of the New Zealand tour. What’s more, it was the third Test and series decider after the Lions drew 3-3 with the All Blacks in Wellington the month before. “The fact that we’ve been given an official role this weekend as a pop-up campervan site builds on Alexandra Park’s long connections to rugby. “Let’s not forget the Auckland Blues’ training headquarters is based here and of course they were victorious against the Lions at Eden Park on 7 June. So, we’re all hoping the Alexandra Park rugby association bodes well for another positive result this Saturday.” Mr Reichardt says they’re receiving more campervan bookings for this weekend than they did for the first Test. Fans are paying $100 per self-contained campervan per night for two people, with an extra $15 for each additional guest. Facilities available to campers at Alexandra Park’s non-powered sites include plenty of toilets and showers, dumping facilities, charging stations, on-site security, a pop-up information centre and 24/7 telephone helpline. Plenty of atmosphere is also guaranteed with access to the newly-upgraded Alex Bar & Eatery, specific food and beverage deals, and of course free entry to Alexandra Park’s iconic Friday night trots. “I suspect after hearing about Alexandra Park’s legendary role in such a critical Test match over a century ago, Lions fans will probably be keener to stay with us to see if some of our magic can rub off on them,” says Joel Reichardt. For more information on the 1908 British Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia click here For further information on the campervan sites, or bookings, contact Danielle Upton (booking co-ordinator) on (027) 808-2362 or danielle.upton@alexandrapark.nz or visit https://www.alexandrapark.co.nz/rugby-tour-campervan-parking www.alexandrapark.co.nz For further information contact: Joel Reichardt: (021) 786-034

Presented by Winger Motors, the 2017 Oaks & Derby Festival continues with its final harness racing night, Derby Night, this Friday at Auckland’s Alexandra Park.  The big race is the Group One Woodlands Stud Northern Derby, but it’s an annual fashion competition which is also creating a lot of public interest, says Joel Reichardt, Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager. The Best Dressed At The Races competition on Derby Night is open to any fashion-forward track-goers 18 years or over. There are three categories - Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Man and Best Headwear - with some amazing prizes on offer and one grand prize for the overall Best Dressed Supreme winner. This year the total prize pool is worth over $5,000, with the supreme winner also taking away the keys to a stylish Jeep for a week of adventure; a weekend for two at the grand Duke of Marlborough Hotel in historic Russell; and a Magnum of Mumm champagne. Friday night’s competition promises plenty of catwalk action in the Tasman Room, with the latest information on Alexandra Park’s Facebook page and website. Four of New Zealand’s most respected sartorial minds in fashion will judge the Best Dressed At The Races competition on 10 March.  The country’s most famous fashionable man, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, will be bringing his flair trackside. He will be flanked by racing darlings, Best Dressed Lady from the country’s racing tracks, Carena West and in-demand milliner and stylish woman, Claire Hahn. The group will be finished off nicely with the Herald on Sunday Fashion Editor, Michiko Hylands. Tickets are selling fast for both the Tasman Room and Top of the Park but Mr Reichardt says there remains some availability for those keen to secure the popular beverage and dining packages. Tables and tickets can be reserved and purchased by calling (09) 631-1165 or emailing dining@alexandrapark.co.nz. General admission into Alexandra Park, car-parking and race books remain free.  For further information on the 2017 Oaks & Derby Festival visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz

Alexandra Park has announced four of New Zealand’s most respected sartorial minds in fashion to judge its Best Dressed At The Races competition on Great Northern Derby Night, Friday 10 March.  The country’s most famous fashionable man, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, will be bringing his flair trackside. He will be flanked by racing darlings, Best Dressed Lady from the country’s racing tracks, Carena West and in-demand milliner and stylish woman, Claire Hahn. The group will be finished off nicely with the Herald on Sunday Fashion Editor, Michiko Hylands. “We’re incredibly excited to have secured these judges. All four come with a vast amount of experience in fashion and in judging some of New Zealand’s best dressed competitions,” says Joel Reichardt, Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager. He says the judges are looking look forward to seeing what the trotting set is wearing in 2017, spotting emerging trends as well as classic race wear. Tips for those 18 years or over who may like to enter include: putting flair into what you wear; making sure your outfit is well thought out head to toe; and making your fashion mark for the twilight hours. There are three categories - Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Man and Best Headwear - with some amazing prizes on offer and one grand prize for the best dressed overall. The 10 March competition promises plenty of catwalk action in the Tasman Room, with further information on Alexandra Park’s Facebook page and website. Presented by Winger Motors, the 2017 Oaks & Derby Festival will in fact deliver two exciting evenings of top harness racing and great fashion. Fashion At The Oaks will take place on Friday 3 March with tickets for the glamorous evening in the Tasman Room available for $99 per person. Attendees will not only enjoy a gourmet three-course meal but a glass of bubbles on arrival, a deluxe goodie bag, and a great night of fashion shows featuring the latest collections from leading designers Adrienne Winkelmann, Kay Goss, Yvonne Bennetti, Augustine and Hailwood. On Oaks Night, New Zealand’s best three-year-old fillies will battle it out in the Group One Pascoe The Jewellers Northern Oaks. While the big race on Derby Night is the Group One Woodlands Stud Northern Derby. Tables and tickets during the festival can be reserved and purchased by calling (09) 631-1165 or emailing dining@alexandrapark.co.nz. General admission into Alexandra Park, car-parking and race books remain free on both evenings. For further information on the 2017 Oaks & Derby Festival visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz  

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