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Cullen Who should provide horseman Ken Barron with compensation in the fifth heat of the invited brother drivers series at Oamaru on Saturday. Barron and Leo O’Reilly have to sit out the heat as only 10 horses accepted, but Barron is the co-trainer with brother Tony of top prospect Cullen Who. They also have Gotta Del in the race. Gotta Del is not the least of chances. Nathan Williamson has drawn Cullen Who, who heralded an early win when second to Benicio at the New Zealand Cup meeting. Cullen Who was responsible for the pace that resulted in Benicio running the 1950m (mobile) in a swift 1.54.3 mile rate. Barron, who teams with his brother Clark for the drivers series at Oamaru, is aboard  The Persuader in the sixth and final heat. The Persuader, trained at Oamaru by Eion Latimer, has won on grass at Motukarara. Clark is driving  the Barron-trained Compliant in the same race. The fourth heat marks the return to racing of Sam Galleon, winner of three of his four starts this season. Trainer Phil Williamson gave Sam Galleon a spell after his last start win at Winton on September 4 as he felt he had advanced  rapidly through the grades. Sam Galleon had experience on grass when based at Cromwell  in January. He will be driven by Gerard O’Reilly. Williamson  also has Bobbins (Nathan Williamson)  in the same heat and he has been caring for Soney Beatt (Jay Abernethy). A 20m handicap should not trouble Alta Orlando in race 6. He won decisively over 2600m from 10m at Washdyke last time out, his second start since joining the Dunn stable at Woodend Beach  and his second after two years away from racing. He was a class act at two and three  with wins in the Welcome Stakes, Yearling Sales Open and two heats of the Sires’ Stakes from the stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. He has won five of his 10 starts. Delightful Dash, a proven performer on grass, ran second to Alta Orlando at Washdyke. Boomer Bailey is back on his favourite hunting ground. Boomer Bailey has gained four of his seven wins at Oamaru, divided between the grass and all-weather tracks. He won on  both surfaces at Oamaru last season and on the grass at this meeting two years ago. The 6yr-old has not won since May but he has been placed in six of his last seven starts. He ran third on grass  to Buster Brady and Franco Texas at Orari last Saturday for owner-trainer Graeme Telfer. Graduate Under Fire, another grass track specialist, is resuming. He has won his races  from the Dunn stable but his Hilderthorpe owner (near Oamaru) Ray Beale has brought him to hand for this race. Tayler Strong

The win of Franco Nelson in the Hannon Memorial Free-For-All at Oamaru on Sunday was tinged with sadness. Sharon McKay, a part-owner of Franco Nelson died on July 10. Her estate now shares the ownership of Franco Nelson with her parents, long time owners, Clive and Rona McKay, Mitzi Taylor and Jenna Dunn, wife of assistant trainer and driver, John Dunn. The ownership of Franco Nelson, now seven and dogged by unsoundness, was restructured in March to include Jenna Dunn and  Mitzi Taylor, wife of Sam Taylor, whose Rangiora veterinary  clinic services the Dunn stable. The McKays bought Franco Nelson as a 2yr-old from Spreydon Lodge after he had won his first start. He carried on to win a Sires’ Stakes Final at three when trained by Steven McRae. Franco Nelson was transferred  to trainer Robert Dunn at Woodend Beach late in his 3yr-old season and won the Harness Jewels at four in 1.53.1 at Cambridge in May, 2014. He was to remain winless until Sunday but the Christian Cullen entire had shown glimpses of  his ability. He finished second to Adore Me, beaten half a head in the 2014 New Zealand Cup won in a record 3.54.6 for the 3200m and fourth in the race last year when having his first start for 10 months. John Dunn is of a view that Franco Nelson is as sound as he has ever been. “ We took a bone chip of his front fetlock after the Easter Cup in March and that could have been his main problem,’’said Dunn. “I am just pleased to get him back to winning form.” A split second decision after 250m of the Hannon cost Dunn  $400 but it was crucial. He chose to ease Franco Nelson behind Tiger Tara when vying for the lead. He was fined for his action after admitting careless driving, causing a check to Pulp Fiction.  Franco Nelson followed Tiger Tara in the lead and took the passing lane after a blistering final 800m in 54.7. He downed Tiger Tara  by three quarters of a length. Cullect A Guiness, a stablemate of Franco Nelson, did well for third in a gap of two and a half lengths after racing in the open close up over the last 1200m. “I thought he (Franco Nelson) would  boom past Tiger Tara  in the straight but  the latter proved what a hard horse he is to get past,’’ said Dunn. He has no plan for Franco Nelson leading up to his third attempt  at the New Zealand Cup in eight weeks. “We have got a bit of time to think about it,” he said. Franco Nelson is due advancement on ninth in his NZ Cup  rating. The next race for the NZ Cup candidates is the New Brighton Cup ffa on September 23. It was Robert Dunn’s second Hannon Memorial win after Panky’s Pacer, driven by Ricky May, in 2002. Panky’s Pacer was pulled up in the NZ Cup that year. Franco Ledger was diagnosed by a veterinarian with a fractured pedal bone after he pulled up lame. He faltered near the 800m when racing in fifth place. “It is possibly a fracture in the lower part of his front leg. We will know more after he is X-rayed in the morning,’’ said Hamish Hunter, his Ryal Bush trainer and part-owner. “I thought he had stood on a shoe initially and  it was not until the straight that he showed up lame.’’ Franco Ledger, a nine-year-old entire, was resuming after a seven month break from racing racing. He won the Hannon Memorial  in 2012 and 13. He has won 25 races  and $682,000 in stakes for Hunter and the What Ever syndicate. The Dunn stable also won  the  main race for trotters on Sunday with Jag’s Invasion, who overcame a 40m handicap in his first race for three months. It was also a good result for Bill Bain, of Roxburgh, Andy Anderson and  Keith Stevens, both of Oamaru. They joined the ownership of the 9yr-old gelding last month. Jag’s Invasion, who had been off the winning list for just under two years, joined the Dunn stable in February after eight wins for Phil Williamson and another for Nathan Williamson. Anderson and Stevens are in the ownership of the runner up The Silver Fox. David McCormick drove his first winner for 10 years and continued a family tradition with the success of Sugar Cane in a C0 trot. McCormick is the trainer of Sugar Cane whom he races with his son, David.  David had not driven a winner since Good Charlotte at Omoto in 2006. His previous win as a trainer was with Glendaloch at Rangiora in 2012. David’s father, Doug trained and drove his first winner, Silver Wood  at Oamaru in 1953. Doug retired from training and driving in 2013 at the age of 83 Star Of Memphis won over 2000m (mobile) is 2.26, 0.7 outside the track record for his age when having his first start. He is a 3yr-old by Rock N Roll Heaven from Star Of Venus, trained by Jim Curtin for Wellington breeder, Reg Caldow. Star Of Memphis led from the 1600m and won by three and a half lengths. He is a half brother to Star Of Dionysis, who won five races in New Zealand  for Curtin and Caldow and another five from 10 starts in Australia this year. All Settled Down, who won a C1 trot in dashing style, will now be eased in work and served by  Love You. “She is unsound and has left a yearling colt by Majestic Son who is shaping nicely,” said Gavin Smith, her trainer.  All Settled Down was  served in 2013 as a 3yr-old  after one start when showing soreness in the pelvic area. Now six, she has had six starts since resuming racing on August 7 for two wins and two seconds. Tayler Strong

Harness racing speedster Franco Nelson has won the "PGG Wrightson Hannon Memorial" at Oamaru this afternoon .  Franco Nelson managed to slot into the trail after 400m, thanks to a nifty piece of driving by driver John Dunn. He then whipped home up the passing lane to beat the favorite and early leader Tiger Tara. Cullect A Guiness the stablemate of the winner made a midrace move to land outside the leader and held on for third ahead of a fresh up Quick As A Trick. Franco Nelson paced the 2600m stand in 3:17.6 with a blistering last 800m in 54.7 and 400m in 27.3. Southern pacer Costa Del Magnifico developed a minor foot problem earlier in the week and was scratched from the race. Robert Dunn had double reason to celebrate also winning with Jags Invasion later in the day. The 9yo Ambro invasion gelding was too good for the opposition in the feature trotting race on the program. Jags Invasion had a good run on the outer and and fought best in the straight to beat the Phill Williamson pairing of The Silver Fox and Monty Python. The winner came off a handicap of 40m to win and trotted the 2600m from a stand in a fast 3:18.6. PGG Wrightson Hannon Memorial Replay   Harnesslink Media

Early harness racing fixed odds action Oamaru 11th September 2016   Race 1-  Best backed in win & multi money is the $2.40 favourite Shoana Mary over Breenys Cullen $5.00.   Race 2 - All they want in this race is the $2.20 favourite Floating On Eyre.   Race 3 - Rocki Warrior the $2.10 favourite hasn't taken any serious win money but is huge in multi bets. Best backed on the win 'book' is Happy Ever Laughter at $4.20.   Race 4 - They have backed three runners in this race and thye are Speedy Mach $3.70 - $3.50, Glenferrie Duster $8.40 - $7.00 & Star Of Memphis $4.20  - $3.20.   Star Of Memphis leads multi bets over Speedy Mach.      Race 5 - A quiet market early here with Soney Beatt the best backed at $5.60.   Race 6 - Hottdiggettycullen is best backed $5.00 - $4.20 over Lottie Franco at $8.00.   Race 7 - Tiger Tara hold 83% of multi bets but Franco Nelson at $4.80 - $4.60 is the best backed over Mossdale Conner $6.50.   Race 8 - Only runner they want here is Perfectly Ideal $3.10 - $2.80.   Race 9 - A good even split here in the win 'book' & some money has come for the $21 chance Zachery Binx. Jag's Invasion at $1.85 does easily lead  multi bets.   Race 10 - A big go early for Stunnin Dude $5.40 - $4.80 but he only holds half the multi numbers of the $2.00 favourite Arden's Concorde.   Stephen Richardson

Tiger Tara is on the same path as two years ago to repeat his win in the Hannon Memorial free-for-all at Oamaru on Sunday.   Tiger Tara ($1.70 in final field betting) ran a bold race fresh up to finish a long neck second to Locharburn in the Maurice Holmes Vase (2600m) at Addington nine days ago. Two years ago he ran second to Christen Me in the Vase before holding off Four Starzzz Flash by a neck in the Hannon. Tiger Tara did not contest the Hannon last year, beginning his 5yr-old campaign  in the New Brighton Cup late in September. He finished second to Christen Me and won the Canterbury Classic at his next start.   “I was rapt with his run last week and he can only improve. I haven’t done much with him this week,’’ said his trainer Geoff Dunn.   Franco Ledger, winner of the Hannon in 2012 (fresh up) and 13 (second start in), is back  for a fourth attempt at the race. He ran sixth behind Tiger Tara in 2014. Franco Ledger is now nine, the age that Monkey King won the Hannon in 2011.  He has not raced since February and he is back with part-owner Hamish Hunter at Ryal Bush (Southland)  after a successful campaign in Victoria last season when he won five races, including the group one Bohemia Crystal FFA at Melton and finished second  to Arden Rooney in the Hunter Cup.   “I have had him at Winton for two or three workouts but I would expect him to need a couple of races, especially at his age,’’ said Hunter.   Franco Nelson could be expected to improve on his  third placing in the Vase last week.   Mossdale Conner ran third to outsider Mighty Flying Mac and Christen Me in the Hannon 12 months ago and he is fresh up again for the race. He ran Quick As a Trick to a neck in a trial at Ashburton on August 30. Quick As A Trick  followed up with a fourth of four behind Have Faith In Me  in a workout at Ashburton on Tuesday. He proved  himself with wins in the Green Mile at Methven and Central Otago Cup last season.   Rocker Band, winner of the Harness Jewels for 4yr-old mares in June  has had a trial and a workout in a fresh preparation. Rocker Band ran second to Lewy Risk (now with Brent Borcoskie) in a workout at Rangiora on August 31. Pulp Fiction won fresh up over a mile in 1.55.2 at Winton  last Sunday, suggesting he will not be out of his depth.     Tayler Strong

Trainer Graeme Anderson and junior driver Rory McIlwrick had a 100 per cent record with two dazzling winners, Hopes and Dreams and Arden’s Concord, at the Oamaru meeting on Sunday. Both won in similar style over 2600m from the mobile gate. Arden’s Concord led for the last 1900m and had a five and a half length advantage at the finish. Hopes And Dreams led from the 2100m and won by three lengths. Arden’s Concord ran 3.15.6 (2.01 mile rate) and Hopes and Dreams, 3.15.2. Arden’s Concord has now won five races. Hopes And Dreams has had two wins and a second in three starts since transferring to the Anderson stable for beach training at Westwood in June. She also won last season as a 3-year-old for Roxburgh trainers Geoff and Jude Knight. A daughter of Christian Cullen and grand race mare One Dream and a $50,000 premier yearling purchase, she is now realizing her potential. Neville Cleaver, of Invercargill who races her with Kevin Strong said she was following the same path as Onedin Mach, who regained winning form when he transferred him to Anderson. Onedin Mach won eight for Nathan Williamson and two  for Anderson before being sold to the United States in 2015. Cleaver said both horses had strained hocks. Phil Williamson trained the winners of both races for trotters, The Silver Fox and Sam Galleon. The Silver Fox was driven by Blair Orange who had his previous win for the Williamson stable  behind Lets Get Serious in the Four-Year-Old Trotters Championship at Addington in 2006. Hayden Galway had his first win as a trainer and owner when I’m A Dreamer cleared C0 ranks. Galway (28) took out a licence last season to prepare two horses at Leeston. The other is Classie Margaret who was twice placed in three starts as a 3-year-old in July. Galway worked for two years for Weedons trainer Jamie Gameson. His grandfather Ray Paget  and great grandfather, John Docherty trained horses. Galway bought I’m A Dreamer as a 2-year-old from Brian West, of Studholme Bloodstock. “She was a December foal and a big filly needing time,’’ said Galway who races the 4-year-old daughter of Art Official – Simply Devine with his father, Anthony and Megan Earl. I’m A Dreamer was having her second start. She is a half sister to Start Dreaming, winner of the group two Robin Dundee Stakes at Menangle in 1.51.9 in February. Another half sister, Its My Style won four races in Australia. I’m A Dreamer is the third foal of Simply Devine. Trainer Brent White and driver Stephen McNally combined for their 50th win when Lindsay Castleton trounced his rivals in a C0 trot. He led for the last 1300m and won by six and a half lengths. White and McNally had their first win with Cassino Woman at a Timaru meeting in 2007. Trouble Rieu, Sell A Bit and Elios have been  good winners for the combo. Lindsay Castleton, a 5yr-old by Sundon from Anna Castleton, is a half brother to four winners including Castletonian (Sires’ Stakes Championship for 2-year-old trotters at two) and Juneamy Castleton. Lindsay Castleton is raced by Waimate breeders Lex and Heather Williams. Lex is out of action with a fractured vertebra. Stoney Eyre, having his first start for Chertsey trainer Garry Bates, led throughout his first race  for seven months. Bates took over the training of Stoney Eyre after the 5-year-old was bought by  a group of owners including Bates’ wife, Liz  in July. Stoney Eyre had a win at Oamaru 12 months earlier from 14 starts when trained by part-owner Craig Kennedy at Cust.   By Tayler Strong

Promising 6yo gelding Bettor Buy It won his fourth race in impressive fashion at the Kurow harness racing meeting on Sunday. By boom sire Bettor’s Delight and a half brother to good horses Sweet Talking Man and Stylish Sweetheart, Bettor Buy It had looked the best horse in the race on paper and started a logical favorite. He was given a perfect run in the one by one by talented junior driver Rory Mcllwrick and was not pushed to beat home last start winner Mr Handleman while pacing a quick 56.2 seconds for his closing 800m. The win gave trainers Greg and Nina Hope a trifecta of wins for the day after first starter A G’s White Socks shot clear and held on earlier in the day and then later on My Amour just lasted to salute the judge in the C1 trot. Greg and Nina currently lead the 2016/2017 trainers premiership with three wins from six starters. The Kurow Cup was won by Stunin Dude after a good drive by Blair Orange. He began well from his 10m handicap and was quickly away from the fence and up challenging for the lead after 600m. After trailing Provocative Prince for the rest of the race Stunin Dude scooted up the passing lane and beat a handy field, most of whom struggled to make ground on a quick overall time of 3:17.5 for the standing start 2600m. Blair Orange currently shares the lead with Andre Poutama in the 2016/2017 drivers premiership with three wins. Bettor Buy It video   Stunin Dude video   Harnesslink Media

With the big names falling out of contention for 4-year-old Diamond, Harness racing trainer ​Mark Jones believes Rocker Band is now a winning chance at the Harness Jewels - but there is a downside. The withdrawals of last year's three-year-old Diamond winner The Orange Agent (injured), Fight For Glory (retired), Start Dreaming (injured) and then Australian invite Arms Of An Angel (virus), there is no dominant favourite. Now the most open of the nine divisions, Jones knows there is probably eight or nine other trainers sharing his confidence.  Better B Amazed ($3.60), Expressive Victor ($4.20), Democrat Party ($4.60) and On The Town are the main pre-barrier draw hopes with Rocker Band at $9.50. Jones believes the draws with be crucial. "The second line wouldn't be too bad but we wouldn't want to draw wide as you need to be handy at Cambridge. "With her (Arms Of An Angel) coming out it's probably opened it up for eight or nine horses so it could be very even," Jones said. Sunday's Oamaru meeting is the last chance for potential Jewels runners to increase their season's stake money to qualify into the fields. The race has become much more of a priority to Jones and Rocker Band's owner Greg Brodie because of the defections of so many leading chances. Rocker Band, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, has been progressing nicely since her last-start 12th in the Group I Breeders Stakes on April 1, when she raced keenly for a good chunk of the 2600m trip. "Her record over a mile is pretty good and she's a speed horse," Jones said. Rocker Band's recent Rangiora Workout win Meanwhile, Tim Butt is a relieved man following duel Group I winner Field Marshal's recovery from a minor bout of colic on Tuesday. The Taylor Mile and Messenger winner was brilliant in his Auckland campaign and is a $1.55 favourite for the 4-year-old Emerald at the Jewels. Butt said you can never take anything for granted in the racing game and colic was an occupational hazard with horses but he was confident the minor setback was now behind the winner of eight of his last 10 races and 14 from 25 overall. "He'll just take it quietly for a couple of days but we kept the work into him after Auckland so that will help him," Butt said. Missing the Jewels would have been tough for Butt and owners Syd and Shona Brown, who bred the Art Major entire out of their outstanding race mare Foreal, because he missed much of his three-year-old season following a wind operation. Pre-barrier draw, Field Marshal looks the horse to beat but newcomer to the All Stars barn, Titan Banner, has been backed into $3.40.     "On form he looks like the best horse in the race but you still need a bit of luck in those big races." The All Stars stable looks to have both Group I features at Addington on Saturday in the bag with favourites in the New Zealand Oaks and 2-year-old Sires Stakes for colts and geldings. The All Stars barn of Mark Purdon​ and Natalie Rasmussen also looks likely to pick up a win across the Tasman to round out the day when High Gait, who will be driven by Darren Hancock, contests the Group II New South Wales Trotting Oaks. Christen Me should have enough class to win the Winter Cup (3200m) off 30m but front-markers New Years Jay and Titan Banner (off 10m) will make him work. Mat Kermeen

The old trotting warrior Vulcan has run his last race after pulling up sore at the Oamaru Harness Racing Club meeting at Oamaru Raceway last Thursday. A star from the time he hit the track at three, Vulcan was brilliant winning the Harness Jewels at Cambridge at that age before going on to win most of the major trotting races on both sides of the Tasman in a career that spanned seven seasons on the track. Vulcan won the Harness Jewels for a second time at Ashburton as a four year old and from that point on was a constant threat in all the major races. Consistency would become his forte as he went through his career as he built up a record that places him right up there with New Zealand's best ever trotters. Vulcan reached the peak of the career in his 2013 campaign in Australia when he won four Group 1 races in the space of a fortnight including the heat and final of the Great Southern Star, Australian Grand Prix and the Knight Pistol. With the wear and tear of such a long and successful career affecting his performance in the last eighteen months, Vulcan had been under the care of Roddy Butt at the beach at Woodend from where he reached the $1,000,000 in earnings when winning at Omakau in January 2015. That saw him join a very select club of New Zealand bred trotters to have earned seven figures including such greats as Lyell Creek, I Can Doosit, Take A Moment, Stent and One Over Kenny  Subsequently he was transferred to the Amber Hoffman stable last October so he could take in racing in the Southland/Otago region where he could still be competitive.  Vulcan's career came to an end last Thursday at career start number 127 during which the son of Earl saluted the judge 20 times as well as placing on a further 45 occasions on his way to earning $1,025,892 in stakes. Harnesslink Media

Matthew Williamson has been having one of those seasons that all harness racing drivers have every now and again. The winners for a driver of his ability had slowed to a trickle and although he has been getting reasonable sized books, the quality has been missing a lot of the time. The main source of drives for Matty is usually the Knight team from Roxburgh but they have had a disrupted season as well with health issues with their team which has added to Matty's woes. Not that you would know that Matty has been doing it hard with his positive attitude always there when you talk to him. When discussing his drives yesterday at Oamaru Raceway for this weeks Harnesslink ringaround, Matty thought Boomer Bailey on the dropback would be hard to beat but gave several other runners he was driving a plug as being good each way chances on the day. By the meetings end, Matty had driven four winners, mostly at big odds and well and truly got his 2016 season back on track. His first winner was the maiden trotter Stylish Duke at the juicy odds of $6:50 for a horse with a reputation. "He is a really nice trotter in the making but still has a lot to learn." "I thought if he trotted the whole way he would be hard to beat and so it proved," Matty said. The second winner for Matty was more of a surprise with Gene Time from the Knight barn clearing maidens at her 20th attempt. " Manners were the key here with her stepping quickly and being handy all the way." " She stuck it out good in the end and may go on with it now she has won one," Matty said. Next up was what Matty thought was his best drive of the day in Boomer Bailey and so it proved with the dropback proving decisive as he won his fifth race with some authority. " Boomer has been going really good races in strong C2 fields without much luck so I thought the dropback to C1 grade and on grass made him hard to beat." " I don't think he has finished winning yet either," Matty said. Now with three on his card, Matty sprung the surprise of the day when he got the $27:90 shot Ottawa home in race 9. " There has never been any doubt about the ability with Ottawa but he can beat himself at times." " However he is getting better in that regard and could easily win a few more races yet," Matty said. With his four wins yesterday Matty took his 2016 tally to 25 winners and now that he has that wee monkey off his back, it wouldn't be a surprise to see those numbers improve dramatically over the rest of the season. Harnesslink Media

Christian Cullen 6yr old Callenberg has always enjoyed a bit of a reputation in the Robert Dunn stable, but has often been one bereft of luck in his races. However, with four solid runs to start his current campaign, there was a fair bit of confidence in the camp going into today's contest for the junior drivers at Oamaru Raceway. At his last start at Motukarara, Callenberg was badly squeezed at the start of his race, losing much of his front line advantage right away. He then did work in the race, before finishing a nice 5th behind a very much in form Lightning Mach. That was enough to rate him a very strong chance in today's race. Allowed to stay out of the early rush for positions, a succession of lead changes saw Callenberg parked for the last 1200m of the 2000m contest. On a day dominated by runners near the front, it was a very confident Matt Purvis that sent Callenberg for home at the 250m. While he had done all the work in the breeze and was vulnerable to runners coming off his back, he showed a real tenacity in the run to the line, winning by a convincing three and a quarter lengths in 2.40.29. It was the closing sectionals that were most telling running home in 800m 58.5 and 400m 27.9. Today's win was Callenberg's third from 20 starts and takes his stakes won to over $20,000. In his current vein of form, he is sure to pick up another win in C2 company pretty quick, today's being win being penalty free. For his driver Matt Purvis, today's win was his 5th from just the 51 starts this season. While having limited opportunities, Matt is certainly driving with a lot of maturity this season. Robert Dunn Racing Stables - Check site here

One of the highlights of winter harness racing in the Canterbury region this year was the run enjoyed by the barn of Gavin Smith. Hardly a week went by without the North Canterbury horseman winning a race with one of his stable and the barn has carried that form into the new season. Yesterday at Oamaru Raceway the stable produced two winners and went within a half head of making it three.  First up was October Rain in the junior drivers event in the hands of Matt Anderson. After settling back early, October Rain was still last at the 800 metres mark before Matt looped the field down the back straight four and five wide and then October Rain dug in and showed a fair degree of fight to hold off the challengers in the straight. Gavin has always known that the mare had more than her fair share of ability. " She had a stifle operation at two which wasn't that successful and it still affects her." " She is better fresh but I thought she might just be a run short today so to race like she did surprised me a bit. " The motor has always been there but the stifle issues have held her back although she does seem a bit better this time in." " She is tentatively booked to be served this spring and race on in foal before being retired," Gavin said. The other winner for the barn was the well travelled Tango's Delight. Away well for Gavin Smith, Tangos Delight sat in the trail and watched as Boomer Bailey and Reklaw Supreme went to war in front of him. Aware that both runners had used a lot of petrol early, Gavin eased Tangos Delight out into the running line at the 900 metres to sit on Reklaw Supreme's wheel. When Gavin said go at the top of the straight, Tangos Delight sprinted away for an easy win by over two lengths. As Gavin had indicated earlier in the week on the Harnesslink ringaround, he thought Tangos Delight was his best winning chance of the weekend. " She got hurt up north nearly a year ago and the owner Ronnie Dawe let me have a go at getting her back to the track." " Her fitness has been improving with each run and I thought she would be hard to beat today." " With the run she got early it played right into our hands really." " She is another one that is heading to the broodmare paddock this spring," Gavin said. Gavin almost tore off a treble with his runner in the last Incredible Anvil going under by just half a head. While his team is going great at the moment, Gavin is really looking forward to the next few weeks with a group of horses hitting the workouts this week. " It is the nicest group of young horses I have ever had and I am quite excited about a few of them." " If a couple make the step up, then the stable could be in for some really exciting times," Gavin said. If his recent results are anything to go by then his next batch of runners could signal the breakthrough that all young trainers look for. Harnesslink Media      

Yesterdays Hannon Memorial at Oamaru Raceway was meant to be a walk in the park for harness racings pin up boy,Christen Me. After all here was a two time Australasian Grand Circuit champion with $2.3 million in the bank starting off level marks against a field several notches below what he faces on the Grand Circuit. However right from the start of the race things didn't pan out for the champion pacer. Christen Me with usual pilot Dexter Dunn in the bike went away okay but not quick enough to cross the field early and as a result he was forced to settle second last in the eleven horse field. Mossdale Conner, having his first run back this season bounced straight to the front for driver Gerard O"Reilly and kept up a steady tempo in front. With a lap to go Dexter sent Christen Me forward three wide and that is where he was posted for the remainder of the race. Christen Me looked to be still travelling like a winner as they turned for home and he quickly mastered Mossdale Conner and looked to be the winner half way up the straight. However Mighty Flying Mac and Robbie Holmes had eased out of the one by one as they turned for home and started to descend on Christen Me late and to everybodys surprise sailed on pass for a decisive win. Christen Me held second while Mossdale Conner stuck on gamely for third. Mighty Flying Mac cut out the 2600 metres in a smart 3:14.8 in the windy conditions, a mile rate of 2:00.5 with sharp closing sectionals of 55.6 and 27.4. It was the twelfth career victory for the son of Mach Three and took his earnings over the $170,000 mark Robbie Holmes was all smiles post race. " The secret this week is he stepped away so well." " I was pretty confident on the corner that I would be in it as he was travelling really well and I hadn't pulled the plugs yet." " He did it fairly easily in the end," Robbie said. Cran Dalgety, the trainer of both Christen Me and Mighty Flying Mac was scratching his head a bit after the race. " I thought Mighty Flying Mac would go a big race as he has been working the house down at home but I didn't think he would beat Christen Me." "Robbie drove him a treat though but it is still a bit of a surprise." " I really thought Christen Me would just win the race but considering he was out three wide for a lap in that wind and they ran home in a touch over 55 for the last half, I can't be too disappointed with the run." " There is certainly no need to panic at this stage," Cran said. Being a seven year old, Christen Me will take an extra run or two to hit top gear this season and he looks on track for the second week in November. Harnesslink Media  

The new harness racing season gets underway tomorrow with the running of the Kurow meeting at Oamaru and it is the race meeting that sees the first appearance on raceday of the Mid Canterbury junior driver John Morrison. The seventeen year old is well known in harness racing circles in Canterbury as he has helped his father Chris Morrison of Morrisons Saddlery out at race meetings throughout Canterbury over a number of years. John has been around horses since he was a wee kid and has always had his heart set on being a driver. " I helped dad out with the horses when I was really young and from about the age of nine I started going up to Mike Heenan's on the weekend." "Mike has been great to work for and taught me a lot over the years." " I owe him a lot," John said when talking to Harnesslink this week. John has been driving at workouts and trials  around Mid Canterbury for several months and has created a favourable impression with senior drivers like Ricky May and Gerald O'Reilly who both spoke very positively about John when talking to Harnesslink this week. John has three drives on his first day as a driver, two of which are for his father Chris and it is one of these which has the local trackwatchers buzzing.  Dreamcoat is having his first start for Chris Morrison after previously having spells with both Kerry and Leo O'Reilly. " His work at home has been super" "We took him to the trials at Timaru last weekend and he went really well, winning in good time." " If he can bring that kind of form to the races tomorrow, he has to be a chance," John said. Regardless of the results tomorrow on his first day of driving, John Morrison is a name that we are going to hear a lot more about in the future. Harnesslink Media

Not a bad week overall as our selectors added some value with their picks. As I have been reminded all week, the "Boss" topped the tipsters last week, throwing out Squaw ($12:80) at Rangiora. Other tipsters to join him in the winners circle were Maurice McKendry, Geoff Small, Tony Herlihy and Matthew Williamson while we had another four placegetters as well. This week we have four meetings and we have selections for them all. Kumeu - Thursday night Mark Jones - Gives Zakspatrol from barrier one a big chance of winning race 3 Todd MacFarlane - Thought Vulcan was a big chance to go one better this week and win race 6   Auckland - Friday night Steve Richardson - Keen on the chances of Djokovic in race 3 Peter Scaife - Very bullish about the chances of the recently gelded Vibhuti in race 4 Tony Herlihy - Rates Vice Consul as well overdue and a big winning chance, also in race 4 Steven Reid - Thinks Unforgiving can make it four in a row in a very crowded race 4 John Dunn - Reckons Joey Maguire is ready to strike and again it is in race 4 Maurice McKendry - Predictably he thought The Orange Agent could win again in race 6 Todd Mitchell - Gives Risk a big push to win race 7 Scott Phelan - Thinks from the draw Rocknroll Princess could win race 8   Addington - Friday night John Curtin - Thought Astral Ruler looked hard to beat in race 1 Brendon McLellan - Reckons Wick can make it three in a row in race 2 Gerard O'Reilly - Rates Goshawk a chance to upset them at odds in race 3 Tim Williams - Gives Eilish Aimee a real show of taking out race 5 Jim Curtin - Thought Gunpowder was going great at the moment and could win race 6 Blair Orange - Thinks McClinchie will be very hard to beat in race 8 Bob Butt - Gives Easy Rider a huge chance of clearing maidens in race 10   Kurow - Sunday afternoon Gavin Smith - Gives Paris Princess a good chance of leaving maidens in race1 Matthew Williamson - Thinks Snow Raker can cement his good form lately with a wine in race 4 Nathan Williamson - Rates Sun's Invasion a chance to win again in race 6 Brad Williamson - Reckons Princess Arts from the nice draw will be very hard to beat in race 7 Ricky May - Gives course specialist Live The Dream a big chance of winning race 9   Harnesslink Media  

Here at Harnesslink we are regularly amazed at some of the charges leveled against harness racing drivers and how there seems to be a disconnect between the reality of race driving and the perfect world that the Racing Integrity Unit and the JCA live in. A good example in our view is the recent appeal brought by Terry Chmiel against a JCA decision that he had driven carelessly. The transcript below had us here at Harnesslink just shaking our heads. Date of Hearing: 10 June 2015 Venue: Stewards’ Room, Addington Raceway, Christchurch Tribunal: R G McKenzie, Chairman - K G Hales, Panelist Present: Mr T S Chmiel (the Appellant) Mr S P Renault, Stipendiary Steward (representing the Respondent) Mr N M Ydgren (Registrar) Date of Decision: 22 June 2015 RESERVED DECISION OF APPEALS TRIBUNAL Background [1] Following the running of Race 10, Changeover Mobile Pace, at the meeting of Oamaru Harness Racing Club at Oamaru Racecourse on 17 May 2015, the Appellant was charged with careless driving in that, as the driver of PARRAMATTA in the race, he “drove carelessly with 400 metres to run when shifting inwards crowding ON THE TOWN (D J Dunn) with this horse locking wheels with HERETIC FRANCO (J R Dunn)”. [2] Mr Chmiel defended the charge and, following a quite lengthy hearing held after the last race on that day, Race 11, the Judicial Committee found the charge of careless driving to be proved. After hearing penalty submissions, the Judicial Committee imposed a fine of $450. [3] Mr Chmiel now appeals both the finding of the Judicial Committee that he drove carelessly and the penalty imposed. Mr Chmiel’s Notice of Appeal states that the grounds for his disagreeing with the finding and penalty are “inconclusive video evidence and also not guilty of the penalty”. Procedure [4] Rule 1205 (2) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing provides: All appeals shall, except when and to the extent that the Appeals Tribunal otherwise directs, be by way of rehearing based on the evidence adduced at the hearing conducted by the persons or body whose decision is appealed against. [5] This Tribunal must carry out its own assessment of the facts, and it should not hesitate to substitute its own findings of fact where it is appropriate to do so. While this Tribunal must apply an independent judgment to the conclusions reached by the Judicial Committee, the onus is still on the Applicant to show that the Judicial Committee was wrong. [6] The standard of proof is the balance of probabilities (Rule 1008A). This is widely understood to mean that facts are required to be proved as being more probable than not. [7] At the outset of the appeal hearing, it was agreed by the parties, at the Tribunal’s suggestion, that the “raceday” procedure for the hearing of charges be adopted – that is to say, the Stewards (in this case the Respondent) present their case showing what they are alleging with the assistance of video replays, after which the Appellant is to present his case in support of his appeal. Submissions of the Respondent [8] Mr Renault began by showing side-on and head-on video replays of the relevant part of the race – approximately 400 metres from the finish as the field was leaving the back straight. He pointed out HERETIC FRANCO (J R Dunn) leading the field at that point, with ON THE TOWN (D J Dunn) outside the leader and Mr Chmiel, driving PARRAMATTA, improving 3-wide. [9] Mr Chmiel had been racing in second-to-last position before commencing to improve 3-wide with cover, and then 4-wide past the tiring CHIEF KAPAI. He got up alongside ON THE TOWN. HERETIC FRANCO and ON THE TOWN then locked wheels and drifted back through the field, Mr Renault said. [10] At the hearing before the Judicial Committee, Mr John Dunn said that his horse’s head was turned outwards but round the bend, he said, he was holding his line rather than running outwards and going wider. Mr Dunn had said that his horse had “run out quite bad down the back” but on the bend he was not having any difficulty with the horse and it was “settled”. Mr Renault submitted that Mr John Dunn’s horse had not contributed to the incident which followed. [11] Mr Dexter Dunn, driving ON THE TOWN, had been parked for some distance and he was having no difficulty with that horse. The following evidence was given by Mr Dexter Dunn at the raceday hearing: DD Yeah just on the video there obviously I was sitting parked and half way round the bend I’ve run out of room and because my wheel is behind John Dunn on the inside. I’ve ended up running out of room and locking wheels with John. Basically, just had no room. SR So was the pressure from the outside here Mr Dunn? DD Yeah it got pretty tight. Yeah at the time it felt like it was from the outside yeah. SR And did you call to Mr Chmiel? DD I just yelled out for a bit of room. Probably a bit before, yeah it just sort of happened really. It happened pretty quick, it just sort of, we were racing there and then all of a sudden it happened you know, right at full speed. When I was out there anyway it felt pretty quick. SR You weren’t having any difficulty with your horse? DD No she was SR Travelling fine DD Yeap SR So there was contact, wheel on wheel, before? DD Just um, yeah, just our stays, obviously we’re touching. SR And he was tight to you, he was hard on your wheel before there, have you got any option to come outwards, can you relieve the pressure, with him to your outside there? Are you able to come any wider if he’s putting pressure on you? DD Yeah, it sort of happened that quick I probably, by the time, I did I’d already locked wheels when it happened SR So did you feel there was any movement from the inside? DD I couldn’t tell at the time, didn’t even look at the horse on the inside, I didn’t even SR So out there live, you felt it was from the outside, when you were out there? DD Yeah probably because I was behind John Dunn, it was mainly me and Mr Chmiel that were um. Obviously you can feel the pressure when you are cart on cart but, maybe if I was up level with John as well I would have felt if there was pressure from the inside but I couldn’t really tell when I was out there. [12] Mr Renault referred again to the video replays. He submitted that Mr Dexter Dunn was clear of Mr John Dunn and there was a clear gap between them. Mr Chmiel then came across and levelled up to Mr Dunn. The locking of wheels had not yet taken place, he submitted. Mr Dunn then looked to his outside and had called to Mr Chmiel and then he locked wheels with Mr John Dunn. [13] The stays of the sulkies of Mr Dexter Dunn and Mr Chmiel had touched, Mr Renault submitted. He pointed out on the video replay that the outside sulky wheel of Mr Chmiel could be seen to be throwing up grit from the track. This was where the “touching” took place, Mr Renault submitted, and this was prior to Mr Dunn locking wheels with the sulky of the horse on his inner. Mr Renault accepted, in response to a question from the Committee, that grit from the track had also been thrown up by the wheel of Dexter Dunn’s sulky. [14] Mr Chmiel had shifted down from a 4-wide position and placed pressure on Dexter Dunn. The onus is on the driver shifting ground, Mr Chmiel in this case, Mr Renault said. Mr Dexter Dunn could be seen to be “wiggling” in the sulky, as he was about to lock wheels. Mr Dunn had nowhere to go to relieve the pressure – he could not come wider. No driver had been in difficulty until Mr Chmiel had come around, Mr Renault submitted. [15] Mr Renault referred to the transcript of the raceday hearing and pointed out that Mr Chmiel had declined the opportunity given to him by the Chairman to ask questions of either Mr Dexter Dunn or Mr John Dunn. He submitted that Mr Chmiel had accepted the evidence given by those witnesses. [16] This was a clear case of careless driving in that Mr Chmiel had placed obvious pressure on Dexter Dunn who, in turn, has been forced onto John Dunn, Mr Renault submitted. [17] Mr Renault submitted that Mr Chmiel had not been in a true 3-wide position but, rather, 2½ carts wide. He pointed out the position of the horse, CHIEF KAPAI, which was in a true 3-wide position, he submitted. [18] Mr Renault then showed the video replay of the race from the point of the alleged interference to the finish. He said that, once Mr Chmiel came around 3-wide and the two inside runners locked wheels, Mr Chmiel continued to the lead and put a break of 2-3 lengths on the field. With the two horses locking wheels, the majority of the field behind them had been inconvenienced. [19] Mr Renault submitted that a reasonable and prudent driver would not have put himself in the position that Mr Chmiel had. His drive fell well short of the standard of that expected of a driver. He had failed to take due care. Submissions of the Appellant [20] Mr Chmiel first addressed the submission by Mr Renault that CHIEF KAPAI had been in a true 3-wide position prior to the incident. He submitted that this was not the case as SECRETS’ OUT (R T May), on the inside of CHIEF KAPAI, had commenced an outwards movement to get on his, Mr Chmiel’s, back and had forced CHIEF KAPAI wider. [21] Mr Chmiel then referred to the head-on video replay of that part the race as the field raced down the back straight. He submitted that, as the field approached the bend out of the back straight, the sulky wheel of ON THE TOWN, which wore a boring pole on its near side, was already inside the sulky wheel of the inside runner, driven by John Dunn, long before any contact was made from his outside. Dexter Dunn had put himself in that situation, he submitted. The pressure came when Dexter Dunn had “panicked” and tried to come out. Mr Chmiel submitted that Dexter Dunn had called for room after he had locked wheels. He referred to the evidence of Mr John Dunn who had said that his horse “did run out quite bad down the back”. It was possible that it had also run out around the bend but the video was not helpful in resolving this. Only a small amount of movement was required to have contributed to the locking of wheels, Mr Chmiel submitted. His own horse’s head was “as straight as a die”, Mr Chmiel submitted, and the horse was in a true 3-wide position. He was unaware that Dexter Dunn was not in a true 2-wide position. [22] Mr Chmiel said that the raceday hearing had commenced some 30 minutes after the last race on the day. This had upset him because he had his horses loaded ready to travel home. He did not have the opportunity to carefully view the videos of the incident until he had got home and was able to study them. He has appealed the raceday finding as he believes that he had done nothing wrong. He had placed no downwards pressure on Dexter Dunn, he said. Further Submissions of the Respondent [23] Mr Renault refuted the submission of Mr Chmiel that Dexter Dunn was inside John Dunn’s wheel prior to being joined by Mr Chmiel. Mr Dunn had not referred to having any difficulty or that he was getting close to John Dunn. [24] The allegation of the Stewards is that Mr Chmiel had driven carelessly by crowding Dexter Dunn. There was clear contact between the stays of the sulkies of Dexter Dunn and Mr Chmiel – this was prior to the former “wiggling” in the sulky and the locking of wheels. Further Submissions of the Appellant [25] Dexter Dunn had plenty of time to get his wheel out before Mr Chmiel got to him. However, he had allowed his horse to run in and, in doing so, had put himself in that situation. He was not just “a little bit inside” John Dunn’s wheel, he was well inside, he submitted, at least 15 to 20 centimetres. Dexter Dunn had called late and Mr Chmiel had given him room and come out. He would have given more room had he realised that Dexter Dunn was inside the wheel of John Dunn’s sulky. [26] His horse wears a rein pricker on the inside and never runs in but runs out, Mr Chmiel said. His horse’s head had not been turned in at any relevant time, he submitted. 27] Tight racing is common and carts touch in every race and that is “just racing”, Mr Chmiel said. He did not believe that he had driven carelessly. He was not aware of any respect in which he had been careless as alleged. Comments on the Video of the Whole Race [28] At the request of the Tribunal, a video replay of the entire race, a mobile start event over 2000 metres, was shown to the hearing. It was shown that HERETIC FRANCO (J R Dunn) took the lead from the start, and the lead time was 26.3 seconds. At the winning post with a lap (1200 metres) to run, ON THE TOWN (D J Dunn) challenged for the lead and took a lead of approximately 1 length without being able to cross the leader, before HERETIC FRANCO was urged along to hold the lead. As the field entered the back straight, PARRAMATTA, driven by Mr Chmiel, was racing in 2nd to last position in the 11-horse field. It then improved quickly 3-wide and then 4-wide to go up alongside ON THE TOWN which was racing on the outside of HERETIC FRANCO. When those two runners locked wheels, there was some disruption to the field and PARRAMATTA established a break of several lengths over the field. It was run down in the straight and finished in 6th placing, 2.7 lengths from the winner. ON THE TOWN finished in 9th placing and HERETIC FRANCO finished in last placing. Appeal Against Penalty [29] Mr Chmiel confirmed that his appeal was also against the level of fine ($450) imposed by the raceday Judicial Committee. The reasons given by that Committee, either at the conclusion of the hearing or in its subsequent written decision, were read to Mr Chmiel. The Stewards had submitted for a fine of between $450 and $500. The Committee took a starting point of a fine of $500 as suggested in the Penalty Guide. The Committee identified that an aggravating factor was the disruption to the majority of the field, making the level of carelessness, in the Committee’s view, at the higher end of the scale. The Committee also referred to Mr Chmiel’s “clean record”. [30] Mr Chmiel submitted that a fine of $450 was excessive. Reasons for Decision [31] Mr Chmiel has appealed against the finding of the raceday Judicial Committee that he drove carelessly when shifting inwards crowding ON THE TOWN with that horse locking wheels with HERETIC FRANCO. [32] This Tribunal has had the benefit of being able to view the various video replays of the incident, and to consider the evidence and submissions without the pressure that is inevitably on a raceday Judicial Committee. [33] We think that it is relevant, in the case of this appeal, for this Tribunal to have regard to the fact, as we were told, that the hearing commenced some 30 minutes after the running of the last race. This means that the hearing of the charge would have commenced at approximately 5.00pm. This, no doubt, placed pressure on all participants including Mr Chmiel and the Judicial Committee. Mr Chmiel told us that he had his horses loaded on his truck awaiting transport home to Leeston. [34] The grounds of Mr Chmiel’s appeal, as set out in his Notice of Appeal, are “inconclusive video evidence and not guilty of penalty”. It was not helpful to the Respondent or, indeed, this Tribunal that the grounds were not spelt out in greater detail. The Tribunal is aware of the provision in Rule 1205 (3) where it states: Except by special leave of the Appeals Tribunal no appellant shall argue or be permitted to argue any ground of appeal not set out in the notice of appeal. [35] In the circumstances, the Tribunal was prepared to allow Mr Chmiel some latitude in this regard. His reference to the “inconclusive video evidence” we took as a reference to the fact that there was no true head-on video of the precise point of the race when the sulky wheels of the two Messrs Dunn locked. This is not a slight on the video coverage, as it is just not possible to have perfect video coverage of every point in a race. [36] Of course, a Judicial Committee and, if appropriate, an Appeals Tribunal has regard to not only the video evidence but also the evidence of the parties to the proceedings and their witnesses. In this case, we had available to us a full transcript of the raceday hearing. We were able to read what Mr Renault and Mr Chmiel had said in their evidence to the Committee and, also, what the drivers of the other two runners involved had to say. [37] The Tribunal is aware that issues of credibility of witnesses arise and concedes that the Judicial Committee had the advantage of seeing the witnesses. However, no deference is required beyond the customary caution appropriate when seeing the witnesses provides an advantage. [38] Having said that, the Tribunal did not find the video evidence entirely inconclusive but, rather, found it to be of considerable assistance. So, our finding has relied on both the video evidence and the evidence given by the parties and witnesses at the raceday hearing. [39] The Tribunal allowed Mr Chmiel to make points in his submissions before us that he did not make before the raceday Committee and did not specify in his Notice of Appeal. We allowed him to do so because we felt that Mr Chmiel was placed in a position, on the raceday, in which he was not able to properly consider the video evidence prior to the hearing and to mount a full and proper defence to the charge of careless driving against him. We do not say this by way of criticism of the raceday process, other than to say that it may well have been appropriate for Mr Chmiel to have been offered the option of having the hearing of the charge adjourned in the circumstances - see paragraph [33] above. It is not ideal, and may even be prejudicial to a Respondent, for the hearing of a charge to be proceeded with in such circumstances. [40] In his submissions before this Tribunal, Mr Chmiel relied quite heavily on a video replay that, he submitted, clearly showed the line of Mr Dexter Dunn’s inside sulky wheel inside the line of the sulky wheel of the horse on his inside, HERETIC FRANCO, driven by Mr John Dunn, prior to his placing the alleged pressure on Mr Dexter Dunn. This was not something raised by Mr Chmiel before the raceday Committee. We feel sure that this was because he had not had the opportunity to properly study the video replays at that time. [41] The Tribunal is of the view that there is more than a little merit in that submission. From our own observation of the video evidence available, it did appear to be the case that Dexter Dunn’s inside sulky wheel was tracking inside the sulky wheel of John Dunn prior to the locking of wheels. In fact, we note that Dexter Dunn told the Judicial Committee: “Yeah, it sort of happened that quick I probably, by the time I did I’d already locked wheels when it happened”. [42] We do not consider the parol evidence of Dexter and John Dunn, as set out in the transcript, to be overly convincing. The former, in response to being asked if there was any movement from the inside, said “I couldn’t tell at the time, didn’t even look at the horse on the inside at the time”. He went on to say that the pressure was “probably” from the outside. Then, asked if there was any pressure from the inside prior to locking wheels, Mr Dexter Dunn stated: “I actually couldn’t actually tell you at the time yeah”. [43] Mr John Dunn, when asked whether his horse had contributed by hanging out or running out slightly responded: “Yeah running out slightly”. Later, when asked whether he was running outwards or holding his line he replied: “Probably yeah probably more holding my line”. Earlier, he had said: “My horse has run out down the back straight, he’s run off a good cart and back. Also, it had its head round a fraction round the bend. So it sort of runs out the whole way but”. [44] This Tribunal also noted that the two witnesses for the Stewards, Messrs Dexter and John Dunn, were each present at the hearing while the other gave evidence. In that situation, there is a very real danger that the evidence given by one witness will be coloured by the evidence given by the other. This should be avoided wherever possible. [45] The Tribunal’s conclusion, from studying the transcript and carefully viewing the available video replays, is that what happened was, simply, a racing incident. It is clear that the three horses concerned were racing tightly and at speed as a result of which ON THE TOWN and HERETIC FRANCO locked wheels. Any inwards movement by Mr Chmiel was not great. Mr Chmiel did not deny that the sulky stays of his and Mr Dexter Dunn’s horse had touched which, he told us and we accept, was not an uncommon happening in a race situation. That they touched was illustrated by the fact that, as shown on the video, track grit was thrown up by the sulky wheels of both of those runners. We especially note that the word “touched” was used in the raceday hearing to describe the degree of contact between the two sulkies. It appeared to be no more than a touch. [46] Mr Renault told the Tribunal that the onus is on the driver shifting ground to leave sufficient room. It does not necessarily follow, however, that any incident as on this occasion must be the result of and the fault of that driver shifting ground. [47] The Tribunal believes that the locking of wheels of the two runners was most likely the result of a number of factors. It is undeniable that the three runners were racing tightly. The possibility that HERETIC FRANCO, which had been running out prior to the incident, had contributed by hanging out on the bend cannot be dismissed. Even more cogent is the fact, which we find, that Mr Dexter Dunn’s inside wheel was tracking a path inside the wheel of HERETIC FRANCO, prior to being joined by Mr Chmiel. Mr Chmiel could not have been aware of this at the time and his submission was that he had heard a call for room from Mr Dunn as Mr Dunn was about to lock wheels, to which he immediately responded by giving room, but only after their stays had briefly contacted, or “touched”. Mr Chmiel correctly pointed out that his horse had its head straight at all material times. [48] The Rules of Harness Racing do not require a horseman to achieve standards of perfection. A horseman must drive to the standard of a reasonable, competent and prudent driver. This Tribunal is not satisfied that Mr Chmiel’s driving fell below that standard on this occasion. [49] The Tribunal finds that the locking of wheels of HERETIC FRANCO and ON THE TOWN was what is commonly referred to as a “racing incident”, which is an occurrence in a race which is not attributable to the actions of any one horse or driver but which occurs, usually, as a result of a combination of factors and as a result of the speed and very competitive nature of a harness race, and was not the result of Mr Chmiel driving carelessly. It was, we believe, the result of a combination of factors with each of the three horses involved contributing to a greater or lesser extent. We are not satisfied, to the required standard of the balance of probabilities, that Mr Chmiel drove in a manner that was careless. Decision [50] The appeal is upheld. The decision of the raceday Judicial Committee at the meeting of Oamaru Harness Racing Club on 17 May 2015 is therefore set aside and the penalty imposed of a fine of $450 is quashed. Costs [51] No order is made as to costs. The fee paid to the Judicial Control Authority on the filing of the appeal shall be forfeited to that body. R G McKenzie        K G Hales Chair                     Panelist

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