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The Graham and Paul Court trained two-year-old Brilliant Strike credited Alabar’s Shadow Play with his first siring success when winning impressively at Winton yesterday. After taking up a handy position early, in form driver Jonny Cox sent the brown colt forward down the back straight. He then went to the front on the home bend before dashing away for an emphatic 4 & ¾ lenghts. Brilliant Strike, who finished a tidy third on debut, will now be spelled before being set for his three-year-old season. Jonny Cox also combined with Graham and Paul Court for success with speedy three-year-old Explosive Art, who notched up his third win in a row, while he also co-trained and drove Pay Me Quick to victory in the Maiden Claimers’ Final, giving him three winners on the card. Shadow Play, who won in excess of $1.5 million and paced a time of 1:47.8 during his racing career, has a further two qualifiers in New Zealand, while he has sired 8 winners to date in Australia including  the unbeaten Spot Ona  Shadow. Interestingly, he is out of a Christian Cullen mare as is yesterday’s winner, Brilliant Strike. By Mitchell Robertson

Terror To Love’s Menangle nightmare continues even before he gets on the plane to Sydney for Sunday’s A$750,000 Inter Dominion Final. And while the men behind the $2million earner are trying to put on a brave face after drawing the outside of the second line, the great Kiwi pacer could need a miracle come Sunday. Terror To Love drew barrier 14, meaning he will start from four on the second line in the 3009m thriller, with fellow Kiwi pacers Smolda (8) and The Gold Ace (10) rounding out a horror draw for the New Zealanders in the race. That saw all three drift in betting for the final, with Terror To Love now $15 in Australia, amazing odds for a three-time New Zealand Cup winner. The lack of love from Aussie bookies in understandable though as Terror To Love was dreadful when finishing last in the Miracle Mile at Menangle last November and has yet to win in six starts at the Sydney track. His connections openly admit they lack confidence with the stallion in Sydney and now face settling a lot closer to last than first in the giant field. “At first glance it is not ideal,” said co-trainer Paul Court. “But at least the other favourites Beautide and For A Reason as well as Smolda will probably settle back there too. “So if they go hard then we will all end up moving into the race later and that could work out well. “But sure, after how he went in the Miracle Mile there it is hard to be confident.” One excuse given for Terror To Love’s poor Menangle record is the track surface, which is soft on top of a hard base but Court says the big pacer will be re-shod to try and gain more grip. Smolda drifted to third favouritism of $5 in Australia and will start longer as he is unlikely to be asked to run the gate hard so looks certain to settle rearward. Beautide remains the favourite with his draw of two on the second line suggesting he will end up midfield in the running line without doing any work. “To be honest, the draw is perfect,” says trainer-driver James Rattray. Smolda’s trainer-driver Mark Purdon also had no luck in the draw for the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile, one of the seven group one at Sunday’s amazing meeting, with his champion mare Adore Me to start from the outside of the front line. But she is so highly regarded in Australia, where she has never raced, that she is still the $1.30 favourite for the race. Stablemates Isaiah (NSW Derby) and Willow (NSW Oaks) has both drawn perfectly though while Border Control heads a super-strong Kiwi team in the Chariots of Fire. The big winner in the draws for that race was trainer Robert Dunn, who has Franco Nelson drawn the ace and Elios barrier three in a powerful field. Meanwhile, Smolda has opened the $3.50 favourite in a confused market for the Auckland Trotting Cup on Friday week. He is one of six Interdom finalists who will only be confirmed to make the trip back to Auckland depending on how they perform on Sunday and would be 50-50 at best to start in the Cup. Terror To Love is more likely to back up and is the $4.50 Cup second favourite while Adore Me is $5. The field for the A$750,000 Inter Dominion final at Menangle on Sunday.---- I’m Victorious (1), Livingontheinterest (2), Seel N Print (3), Keayang Cullen (4), Forever Gold (5), Mach Beauty (6), Wartime Sweetheart (7), Smolda (8), Caribbean Blaster (9), The Gold Ace (10), Restrepo (11), Beautide (12), For A Reason (13), Terror To Love (14). Emergencies: Pub Blitz and Ardghal not draw in field and would take barrier of any scratched runner. By Michael Guerin (Harness Racing New Zealand)

It was a content group of connection that joined Cup champion Terror To Love in the winner’s circle after last night’s $50,000 Inter Dominion heat at Addington. “He did everything I asked of him,” said driver Ricky May. “All you can do is win – and that is exactly what he did,” he added. “He felt really good out there and he was holding Smolda at the line which is no mean feat.” As expected, Terror To Love came off the gate with wings on from his inside alley, with Smolda and Mark Purdon quickly jumping on to his back for the trail. Terror To Love was then allowed to pace a couple of pedestrian halves before dashing up the lane in 25.6, the quickest quarter ever recorded at Addington, to win by a neck over Smolda, with a further 1 & ¾ lengths back to Jivin Cullen in third. The win took the six entire’s earning up and above the magical two million dollar mark. Terror To Love and Smolda will now both progress to the $A750,000 Grand Final on March 2, but while the two horses that were expected to qualify did the job in New Zealand, things weren’t so straight forward across the Tasman. The first shock of the Inter Dominion carnival came when series favourite Beautide was beaten by Seel N Print ($38.80), who was bred by Terror To Love’s owner Terry McDonald and formerly trained by Graham and Paul Court, while another shock came soon after when For A Reason was collared by Mach Beauty in the second of the Menangle heats. Keyang Cullen used the aid of a nice trip in the trail to down favourite Restrepo, who looked home for all money on the bend, in the Melton heat, while Im Victorious came out on top after a hard fought battle with Livingontheinterest in Perth. Oh and as for the Queensland heat, which was without a doubt the weakest of the six – It was taken out by star mare Forever Gold, who may now bypass the Ladyship Mile for an unlikely shot at Inter Dominion stardom. Meanwhile, Vice Chairman produced a brilliant front running display to set a new track record of 1-51.9 over the unpopular one mile distance at Addington. By Mitchell Robertson Order of entry - Inter Dominion Grand Final Following completion of the Inter Dominion Qualifying Heats tonight (Saturday 15 February 2014) Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) and the NSW Harness Racing Club (NSWHRC) have issued an Order of Entry for the Inter Dominion Grand Final on Sunday 2 March 2014. Connections of all 20 horses have until 10am on Monday 17 February 2014 to advise HRNSW of their decision to accept for the Inter Dominion Grand Final. The Final Field for the Grand Final, comprising 14 runners and at least two Emergencies, will be declared at 12 noon on Monday 17 February 2014 based on the Order of Entry after non-acceptors are taken into account. The barrier draw will be conducted on Monday 24 February. Horse Order of Qualification 1 Terror To Love 1st place NZ Qualifying Heat 2 Smolda 2nd place NZ Qualifying Heat 3 Seel N Print 1st place NSW Qualifying Heat 4 Beautide 2nd place NSW Qualifying Heat 5 Keayang Cullen 1st place VIC Qualifying Heat 6 Restrepo 2nd place VIC Qualifying Heat 7 Wartime Sweetheart 3rd place VIC Qualifying Heat 8 Mach Beauty 1st place NSW Supp Qualifying Heat 9 For A Reason 2nd place NSW Supp Qualifying Heat 10 Forever Gold 1st place QLD Qualifying Heat 11 Im Victorious 1st place WA Qualifying Heat 12 Livingontheinterest 2nd place WA Qualifying Heat 13  Caribbean Blaster Wildcard 1 14 The Gold Ace Wildcard 2 15 Franco Nelson Standby 1  16 Pub Blitz  Standby 2   17 Im Corzin Terror  Standby 3 18 Ardghal Standby 4 19 Mah Sish Standby 5  20 Abettorpunt Standby 6 It is anticipated that the Order of Entry will be announced as part of the Sky Racing 2 dedicated coverage of the Qualifying Heats and distributed as an official Inter Dominion Media Release at approximately 9.45pm on Saturday 15 February 2014.  

The men behind three-time New Zealand Cup hero Terror To Love have declared their hand going into tomorrow night’s $50,000 Inter Dominion heat at Addington. And that leaves key rival Smolda looks set to play the hunter over what should be a sizzling final section of the race. The pair headline the 2600m mobile heat, the first of six run at five different tracks around Australasia in the space of 80 minutes tomorrow night. Crucially the first two home in the Addington heat automatically qualify for the $A750,000 final at Menangle on March 2, which should turn the heat into a two-horse race. With Terror To Love drawn the ace and Smolda alongside in barrier two they look certain to lead and trail, leaving punters seeking the answers to two questions: Which one will lead? Can the trailer outsprint him? The first question looks easier to answer than the second with co-trainer Paul Court adamant Terror To Love will use the advantage of his ace draw. “We want to lead and I have told Ricky (May, driver) that,” said Court. “We have the advantage so why would be give it up and he is back on his home track. And Ricky agrees. “I am not saying Smolda can’t come off our back and beat us because he is a very good horse but good luck to him if he can. “As long as we finish first or second and are happy after the race he will be going to Sydney.”
 Terror To Love disappointed by his very high standards when second at Invercargill two weeks ago but looked tired after making that long road trip twice in a week and should be more potent racing from home, as many older stallions are. Smolda has been the big mover in the Inter Dominion market since a stunning return to racing last start but the reality is Terror To Love would have done the same thing with the same trip in that field. Trainer-driver Mark Purdon believes the five-year-old will have improved but seemed almost resigned to his fate of having to trail Terror To Love if the big horse wants to lead, especially as Smolda is not a natural flyer off the mobile. “I’m very happy with my horse but if we trail it will be hard to pick Terror To Love up,” says Purdon. “A lot will depend on the tempo of the race but the draw give him a slight advantage.” The TAB opened Terror To Love $1.55 to Smolda’s $2.30 but with the race certain to attract Australian punter’s interest where Smolda is more popular, they could be closer to $2 each on the tote. The Addington meeting also hosts Master Lavros and Stent as they prepare for the A$200,000 Glenferrie Farm Trot in Sydney, with the former having a huge advantage in the draws. Another top trotter preparing for that Sydney race is Irish Whisper, who returns to racing at an excellent Alexandra Park meeting tonight. He faces a 40m handicap but has gone to another level this season so can still, with a rejuvenated Dr Hook perhaps his greatest danger. Irish Whisper’s trainer-driver Tony Herlihy is the man to follow tonight as he lines up most of his stable stars, including Fly Like An Eagle (R11, No.6), Snooki (R10, No.1) and Ardee (R5, No.1) giving him the chance to continue a career-best summer. By Michael Guerin (Harness Racing New Zealand)

Trainer Paul Court admits Terror To Love is vulnerable in his comeback race at Invercargill today. The three-time New Zealand Cup winner hasn’t raced since a dreadful last in the Miracle Mile in Sydney in November but it isn’t just a lack of race fitness that worries co-trainer Court heading into today’s $50,000 Northern Southland Cup. It is also the hard-running presence of Arden Rooney off the front line and his ability to dictate the tempo of the race and therefore how many, if any, mid-race challengers eventuate. Arden Rooney may not be in the same class of Terror To Love yet but he continued a huge summer with a crushing Ashburton Cup win last start, winning by 11 lengths against many of his opponents today. “After what he did at Ashburton he will be hard to catch,” said Court. “We can’t be arrogant enough to think we will just turn up and win all the time and if Arden Rooney gets his way in front then he could sprint the last 800m in 56 seconds and we might be giving him a five-length start. “So it is a tricky race and while we are very happy with our horse he could easily get beaten.” Terror To Love looked sharp enough at the Ashburton trials last week but was all out to win this race last season and that was chasing inferior horses to those he faces today. The real problem could be that Arden Rooney is the only starter off the front so should easily lead and then after what he did at Ashburton rival drivers will be loathe to attack him, giving his trainer-driver Mark Purdon a huge tactical advantage. One attacker, like Jimmy Johnstone or Glencoe VC, could change the dynamic of the race but if his rivals fall into racing in pairs behind him, Arden Rooney might sneak the win. The local connections of Franco Ledger are hoping for a return to form after his libido got the best of him when he failed as favourite at Omakau last start. “He got very colty and had run his race before he even got on the track,” said managing owner Brendan McIntyre. “He was kicking out in his box and then got on to the track and pulled very hard there but he has apparently settled down well so we are confident he will go better.” At least Arden Rooney’s presence should ensure a solid tempo, which is what Franco Ledger needs to show his best. The day’s other feature, the $20,000 trot, sees track specialist Springbank Sam up against two of the rising stars of New Zealand trotting in Sheemon and Royal Aspirations in a clash that will even rival the Cup for highlight of the day. Meanwhile, one of New Zealand’s best pacers will try and end his standing start hoodoo in Victoria on Saturday night. The Gold Ace is now trained by Belinda McCarthy in Sydney and will head to Shepparton in Victoria for the standing start Cup there on Saturday, taking on Smoke Up. The Gold Ace won the New Zealand Free-For-All and Flying Mile last season but struggled in his standing start races but is dipping his toe back in that well with a view to the A$400,000 Hunter Cup at Melton in two weeks. “He has been stepping well at home and with the Hunter being worth so much it if worth giving him another go from the stands,” said driver Luke McCarthy. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of the New Zealand Herald)

USA import Johny Rock impressed his co-trainer Graham Court in his first public appearance since touching down in New Zealand. “He got out of the gate really good and just got piped on the post by a smart mare in Helena Jet,” enthused Court. “He should take plenty of improvement out of that trial and he will trial again before racing,” he added. Court said that while it will take some time for the four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover to adapt to New Zealand racing, Johny Rock is a very quick learner. “In America it is just handlebars down from the get-go, so he has got to learn to come back to you in the middle stages, before really kicking strongly again in the home straight,” explained Court. Court said that he is still yet to decide when and where the 1:48 pacer will kick off his New Zealand career. “It will depend on how he performs in his next trial, but at this stage I couldn’t be happier with him,” confirmed Court. “He has really high speed and is just going to be a tremendous stayer. He has all the attributes of a real top-liner.” Court said that while it is far too early to try and compare Johny Rock to a horse like ‘Terror’, his trackwork would indicate that he is the second best that Court has ever trained. Johny Rock was driven by co-trainer Paul Court in his first public appearance, but Graham confirmed that the man that has steered Terror To Love to victory in the last two New Zealand Cups, Ricky May, would be the entire’s regular driver. Meanwhile, Terror To Love will resume in the $50,000 Northern Southland Cup tomorrow, where he will face the stiff task of giving rising star Arden Rooney a 25 metre head start.   Johny Rock fact file: *25 starts – 9 wins – 7 seconds – 1 third *Stakes: $494,805 NZ *New Zealand assessment – C5 *As a two-year-old Johny Rock raced on 10 occasions for four wins and four placings, earning $151,241. His most important success was the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadowlands. *Johny Rock is out of Soggy Britches (1:50.4), a $200,000 winning daughter of the Woodrow Wilson winner Allamerican Ingot (1:50.6) *Johny Rock finished second to World Champion Captaintreacherous in a heat of the Metro Pace *Johny Rock was formerly trained by John Butenschoen and driven by Andy Miller *He had his last start in the USA in an elimination of the Little Brown Jug, where he finished an unlucky sixth. *He is a striking individual who stands at 15.3 hands  By Mitchell Robertson

Three of the country's harness racing stars prepare to take on the best at home and across the Ditch. New Zealand Cup hero Terror To Love is back but exactly where he is going remains a mystery. The millionaire pacer had his first public outing since his dramatic Miracle Mile failure on November 30 when he easily overcame a 30m handicap to win the main event at yesterday's Ashburton trials. While the times were nothing spectacular because of strong winds, Terror To Love beat one of our most exciting pacers in Smolda, who finished third in his comeback since injury forced him out last March. The connections of both pacers were pleased with their performances, with Terror To Love now set to defend the Northern Southland Cup next Thursday at Invercargill. But then trainers Graham and Paul Court need to make some big-money decisions. Graham had favoured contesting the Addington Inter Dominion heat on February 15 before returning to Menangle on March 2 for the A$750,000 Final.   But the main issue with that is Terror To Love has been very up and down - in fact, mainly down - at Menangle and there is no reason to expect him to perform any better there come March off the back of two not overly challenging South Island lead-ups. So both Courts are now leaning towards a different Australian classic as their first, and maybe even main, target. They are considering the A$400,000 Hunter Cup at Melton on February 1, which is a free-for-all for the first time so basically run under the same conditions as the New Zealand Cup. That would give them the near-perfect two weeks between races from Invercargill to Melton, then an Inter Dominion heat in Sydney and the Inter Dom Final. And the get-out clause that if the Inter Dominion heat in Sydney on February 15 brought another Menangle failure they could pull the pin on the series and return to Auckland for the Cup meeting here. "There are a lot of options but we are warming to the Hunter Cup," admits Graham Court. "The fact it is a free-for-all now and we hear that some of the best Aussies won't be there, and of course being a stand-start staying race, well all of those things suit us perfectly. "So we will investigate flights to see what is available and then probably make our decision after he races next week." Terror To Love is unlikely to meet Smolda next Thursday, as while the Invercargill race was originally on his schedule, a small setback two weeks ago means Smolda will probably wait for an easier kick-off option. The Inter Dominions are starting to look less likely, although if Terror To Love goes to Australia, Smolda could be gifted a spot in the final through an easier Addington heat. But the Auckland Cup is looking a more likely target. That pair weren't the only glamour pacers making their public returns yesterday, with dual Derby winner Ohoka Punter having his first outing for the season at the Pukekohe trials. He didn't need to be extended to beat moderate opponents easily but trainer-driver Tony Herlihy was still pleased. "He feels good and is almost ready to race," said Herlihy. "So I will probably look to trial him again on Saturday week and then maybe kick off at Alexandra Park on the 24th." Ohoka Punter won a hotly contested 3-year-old of the year title and his first major target is the A$200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Inter Dominion Final day. To be eligible for that he will need to contest one of two lead-up races there in the preceding fortnight, most likely February 22, when stablemates Snooki (NSW Oaks) and Irish Whisper (Glenferrie Farm Challenge) could also race in previews to group ones a week later. Big names return for autumn campaigns • Three of New Zealand's glamour pacers return. • Terror To Love, Smolda and Ohoka Punter all trialled well yesterday. • Terror To Love races next week then his connections need to make some big choices. • Ohoka Punter returns at Alexandra Park on January 24. Courtesy of  Michael Guerin and the New Zealand Herald

Terror To Love’s Australian campaign is over but the confusion over his record there is no clearer to being resolved. The three-time New Zealand Cup winner has been pulled out of next week’s Victoria Cup in Melbourne after an embarrassing last placing in Saturday’s Miracle Mile. Terror To Love settled last in the A$750,000 race, hung badly and then improved wide before dropping in the home straight. It was his sixth failure at Menangle, where he has yet to win a race, and his connections are as stunned as any of the fans who watched him win his third New Zealand Cup so incredibly three weeks ago, “We have no idea what is going on with him,” said co-trainer Paul Court. “He just never seemed happy. He hung, which he can sometimes do in New Zealand but he also straightens up in the straights. “But on Saturday he actually paced roughly in the home straight too. “He just wasn’t himself at all and we have no idea why. “So we will miss the Victoria Cup and he can come home, but we are none the wiser as to what is going on.” His performances at Menangle are baffling because you can argue against any conceivable explanation. While some horses struggle with the intense Mile racing there, Terror To Love jogged a 1:51 mile at Ashburton back in June, when arguably not as screwed down as he was on Saturday. The Ashburton track and Menangle are almost identical and while driver Ricky May was concerned the track surface was hard on Saturday, that would hardly explain Terror To Love hanging so badly early in the race when he can’t possibly have been jarred up. He paraded before the event looking amazing and when you consider he gave Christen Me a 30m start and thrashed him in the New Zealand Cup, it is impossible to work out how he could perform 20m inferior to his fellow Kiwi rival just 18 days later. It also raises a serious question for his connections: whether they should even bother taking Terror To Love back to Menangle for the Interdominion Final on March 2? They would almost certainly win their Addington heat on February 15 but can’t have any great confidence he would bring anything like his A-game to Sydney. Whereas if they elected to bypass the Inter, they could aim as the Ballarat and Hunter Cups in Victoria in late January before the Auckland Cup in March, worth a total of $950,000. “The problem is we want a big Aussie win for his stud career,” admits Court. “It could boost his future service fee by $2000 or something, which is a lot of money over a few seasons. “But we almost don’t know where to start with that.” One of the great ironies of the race was that Terror To Love’s arch rival Christen Me looked far more at home at Menangle than he has been on his home track at Addington. He will now head to the Victoria Cup and could be best placed staying in Australia for the entire summer, culminating in the Interdoms. The Kiwi invasion on the Victorian carnivals started well on Saturday when Tim Butt prepared Vulcan and Pass Them By to win at Melton while Mah Sish was a greatly-improved third in a free-for-all. There rapid improvement matches their form last season in Victoria, where Butt’s team seem to grow another leg, suggesting they are in for another profitable summer. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Two weeks ago Terror To Love was being hailed as one of our greatest ever pacers after his record third New Zealand Cup win. Now, you get can $10 about him to win Saturday’s A$750,000 Miracle Mile in Sydney, without the magnificent Canterbury stallion having done a thing wrong in the interim. Welcome to November, the longest month in harness racing. With so many huge races on both sides of the Tasman crammed into a few weeks, November is the month that can change horse’s careers for ever. And what seemed reality at the start of the month is quickly replaced by what has unfolded since. After all, two weeks ago this morning Christen Me was the NZ Cup and Miracle Mile favourite. Now, he is just another face in the Miracle Mile crowd. The first step down that path was when Terror To Love overcome his early gallop in the Cup and stamped himself an all-time great. Fast forward 14 days and a bad barrier draw in the Mile makes him a relative outsider. It goes both ways though. A few days ago Smoken Up was a warhorse who had been in too many wars, now he is the Mile favourite, an 11-yerar-old who attracted a bet of $5000 at $3.20 to win the Mile in Sydney yesterday. Pacing’s landscape is changing so fast who knows who will be flavour of the month by the time the dust settles after the Mile on Saturday night. But one thing the men behind Terror To Love are certain of is the big horse is more ready now for the unique challenges of Menangle than he ever has been before. Terror To Love has had five starts at the home of Sydney harness racing and his form actually hasn’t been to bad --- second in last April’s rescheduled Miracle Mile and fourth in an Interdominion Final. But that looks poor compared with his Addington form, where he is near-on unbeatable in the biggest races. He is not the only visitor to Menangle to struggle at the elite level as the explosive early sectionals of mile racing there gets many horses out of their aerobic comfort zone extremely quickly. And he hasn’t been aided by poor draws either, which again looms as a problem from barrier six this week. But co-trainer Paul Court says Terror To Love might be more prepared now for the rigours of a sub 1:50 mile this weekend. “I don’t think it is his fault how he has gone there before, with the draws really taking him out of play,” says Court. “But as good as his first two Cup wins were, what he did two weeks ago was pretty incredible. “So I think he is stronger now and he has been to Menangle enough times to have his head around it. “So I think we are going there with a better horse. But we might need to be.” As strong as the Interdom Final and the two previous Miracle Miles that Terror To Love has been in were, Saturday’s race is on another level, with every starter probably capable of a sub 1:50 mile and maybe half of the eight ready to run 1:49 if they have to. Which leaves Court and driver Ricky May hoping that their arch rival might end up being this best friend. Terror To Love is drawn alongside Christen Me, his fellow Kiwi pacer who likes to roll forward in his races and is unbeaten in two hot Mile races at Menangle. If May can put Terror To Love straight on to the back of Christen Me and get dragged into a handy position they have a chance. If he has to settle beyond midfield and come wide without cover he will need the proverbial miracle. And Cup Day at Addington will seem a very long time ago. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Otago bred Junior reinsman Jack Trainor will try his luck in New South Wales in the near future after taking up a position with leading Australian trainer Shane Tritton. Trainor, who moved from Dunedin to Christchurch at the tender age of 16, had a 6 month stint at Graham & Paul Court’s before taking up a position at Cran Dalgety’s Kentuckiana Lodge, where he has been ever since. “Cran is a great trainer who has taught me a lot, but now it’s time to try my luck somewhere else,” said Trainor. Trainor also said he was very thankful to everyone else that had given him a go. Trainor has racked up 17 wins in just over two seasons of racedriving in New Zealand, including 10 wins in his debut season. His first win was on Hip Hop Anvil in September of 2011. "I'm on a one-way ticket. I'll just see how it goes, but I want to make the most of my junior claim over there," said Trainor. “Shane’s team is absolutely flying at the moment and he has a lot of nice types so I can’t wait to get over there.” Tritton also recently took on young Australian sensational Lauren Panella, who is an employee of his Hunter Valley stable and his first string driver. “Lauren will outdrive her claim very soon, so hopefully I will get some good opportunities.” When Trainor made his move to Newcastle, Australia official on Facebook, Panella responded by saying “Welcome to the good life buddy”, while Tritton just reminded him not to forget his work boots. Shane Tritton is the son of former successful Australian trainer Peter Tritton, who subsequently relocated to North America. He already has Newcastle trainers’ premiership under his belt as his training career continues to gain momentum. Tritton  is currently preparing much improved pacer Suave Stuey Lombo (1:51.8) for a crack at the New Zealand Cup, while his other stable star, Mach Beauty, is getting ready for a shot at the Miracle Mile. Trainor will fly out on Wednesday (September 25) but will be available for any driving engagements up until then. Good luck Jack! *Attached is a interview with Jack Trainor after he won his first race. By Mitchell Robertson          

One of the fastest pacers in history is heading to New Zealand and he could double in value before he gets here. Soon-to-be-reunited father and son training team Graham and Paul Court have all but sewn up the syndication of US flyer Johny Rock, who will arrive in New Zealand next month to be set for the major open class and four-year-old races next year. While the Courts announced their purchase a few weeks ago, there might be a few potential owners who feel they have missed the boat after weekend developments. Johny Rock was already rated one of the best three-year-old pacers in North America but stepped up a notch when he paced a staggering 1:48 mile beating older horses at Pocono on Saturday night. He time was just 0.2 of a second outside the world record for a 1000m track and confirms Johny Rock is on target for his last major North American assignment, the Little Brown Jug on September 19. The colt’s new personal best wasn’t the only good news for Johny Rock’s new owners over the weekend, with early Jug favourite Captaintreacherous withdrawn from the race last night. If Johny Rock can win the US$550,000 Jug his value will skyrocket just the day before he enters quarantine to come to New Zealand. “It is pretty exciting,” says Paul Court, who is living in Canada but returns home to train with his father again late next month. “It is always a risk paying the sort of money we did for this horse but he is already proving it was the right move and if he wins the Jug, that would be a dream result for everybody involved.” “We only have a couple of shares in him left to sell but I am picking they will disappear pretty quick after this.” Johny Rock will arrive in New Zealand mid October and will join the Court stable in November, around the time new stablemate Terror To Love chases this third New Zealand Cup win. “But we won’t be rushing him. He becomes a four-year-old the day he arrives in New Zealand but when you are talking about a 1:48 pacer that little age disadvantage won’t matter,” said Court. If Johny Rock wins the Jug he will join another former Jug winner to race in Australasia in Mr Feelgood, the most successful ever North American import to this part of the world. Meanwhile, Terror To Love has moved into $3.60 favouritism for the New Zealand Cup on November 12, heading off Christen Me at $3.80. Both are set to resume racing at Addington on September 27 and their tightening has seen three-time Interdominion champion I’m Themightyquinn drift out to $5.50 with the TAB. Bitobliss, who set tongues wagging with a brilliant win at Melton last Friday, shortened to $10 but is still almost certain to miss the Cup. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

New Zealand’s best pacer could be about to get a world class stablemate as he starts his countdown to New Zealand Cup history. Terror To Love has thrilled trainer Graham Court in his new preparation, one aimed at a third New Zealand Cup on November 12. Only two horses have ever won the Cup three times --- Indianapolis and False Step -- and if Terror To Love can become the third he will forever sit among the greats of New Zealand harness racing. With that in mind and the Cup being the sole goal for owner Terry McDonald, Court says it is all that really matters this season. “We would love to win a big race in Aussie like the Miracle Mile but if we win the Cup for the third time everything else is a bonus,” says Court. Terror To Love has added some muscle to a frame that already resembles an equine Sonny Bill Williams and will resume at Addington on September 27. “He will follow the same programme as last season so we will have three or four starts before the Cup.” Addington bosses have started receiving nominations for the Cup and the first one they took was from three-time Interdominion hero I’m Themightyquinn. Add the freakish Christen Me and somewhat forgotten Smolda and the TAB bookies have some serious head-scratching to do before the first markets open in around two weeks. Court’s son and former training partner Paul could be back in Christchurch by Cup time, being lured back into the family business after a brief stint in Canada. And he could be bringing some serious horsepower with him in the shape of Johny Rock, one of the better three-year-old pacers in North America. The Courts are putting together a deal to buy him before he contests the famous Little Brown Jug series and then bring him to New Zealand for an open class career. “He is 1:48.6 miler and will do a super job if we can get him down home so here is hoping,” said Paul Court from Canada. “We are syndicating him with 25 shares so people who couldn’t usually afford to get into a horse like him have a chance to experience racing a really top horse.” With Terror To Love chasing a spot among the legends and one of the best three-year-olds in the world earmarked for the stable, the Courts would seem to have more than enough on their plate. But Graham is also stepping up the stud activities at Pinelea Farm, including some bonuses for those sending mares to millionaire pacer Stunin Cullen. “He has got 60 mares already and we want to reward broodmare owners with something different,” said Court. “So anybody who gets a filly foal gets the option to return to him the following season at half price. “And we will also have a $10,000 bonus for the first filly and first colt by him to win totalisator two-year-old races.” Courtesy of Michael Guerin and Harness Racing New Zealand

Harness racing's dominant kiwi star Terror To Love is on track to compete in the New Zealand heat of the Inter Dominion on Saturday February 16 after resuming with a stylish victory last week.

Methven harness racing driver, Ricky May created New Zealand Cup history at Addington Raceway this afternoon (Tuesday November 13). When May reined Terror To Love to his second consecutive victory in the $600,000 Group One event, May equalled the immortal Ces Devine's record of six Cup wins.

History-making New Zealand Cup winning harness racing trainer Paul Court has had five unbelievable years since meeting his wife on the day of his wedding back on September 27, 2012.

It's been 17 years since Canterbury harness racing legend Jimmy Curtin last won a New Zealand Cup. But after today's electrifying late run by Terror To Love the wait was worth it.

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