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Harness racing can be very cruel at times with luck playing its part but leading reinsman Ricky May is still shaking his head after his drive Terror To Love yet again drew a bad marble when the Hunter Cup draw was made on Tuesday night. Fresh off drawing the outside of the gate in the Victoria Cup, Terror To Love drew barrier thirteen for the 3280 metres Hunter Cup on Saturday but Ricky is confident that the horse can play a part. "You are dictated to  a certain extent by what happens in front of you when you draw the the second line but we must be due a change of luck," Ricky said. Restrained off the gate by Ricky last week, Terror To Love settled last and was still there as they turned for home before making ground stylishly late in the piece. Ricky toyed with the idea of going forward last week before deciding to go back but felt there would be plenty of mid race pressure which of course never eventuated. This week is a lot more to Terroe To Love's liking with the standing start and the 3280 metres right up his alley and Ricky just hopes to avoid any problems early in the piece.  Even though he finished ninth last week Ricky was impressed with Terror To Love. " He felt absolutely super last week, as good as he has ever felt and that has given me a lot of confidence heading into this weeks race." " Graham  has told me he is as good as he can get him so I give him a huge chance." " He has already proven this season that he can do a lot of work and still win so the draw is not as bad as it seems," Ricky said. With his great standing start record coupled with his record over 3200 metres in New Zealand, you take Terror To Love lightly on Saturday night at your peril. PS: When contacted today for his best drive over the weekend for the weekly ringaround, Ricky quickly nominated Terror To Love as his best drive, draw and all. Harnesslink Media

Ricky May could hardly believe what he was hearing the other day when he got the call that Terror To Love had drawn the outside of the front line in this weekend's Victoria Cup. Time and again throughout his appearances in Australia, Terror To Love has drawn the worst possible barrier and Ricky thought they were well overdue for a decent marble. But  that was not to be and while the longest run of bad barriers in major races is set to continue on Saturday night, Ricky is far from conceding defeat with Terror To Love. " Last year Christen Me came from last at the 400 metres and six wide on the corner to run third so I don't think we are out of it at all" I drove Monkey King here from the same draw and we ran fourth with a terrible run so with a little bit of luck we can get some of it." "Seeing Franco Ledger run past them the other night has given the camp some confidence that we can be more than competitive," Ricky said. Post Saturday Ricky is really looking forward to the standing start Hunter Cup where the draw will not be half as influential as it is on Saturday night. Before then Ricky has the New Zealand Premier Mares Championship on Friday night at Addington on his radar and once again his drive Helena Jet has drawn poorly. Twice second to champion mare Adore Me in mares races over Xmas at Alexandra Park, Ricky thought Helena Jet would be very hard to beat with no Adore Me around but the Jeremes Jet mare has had the misfortune to draw outside her main rival, Venus Serena. Ricky though still thinks he can still find the front from barrier six on Friday night. " She has blinding gate speed so I am pretty committed to going forward with her." " She doesn't have many more runs left as she is in foal so we are not going to die wondering." "I think she is good enough to work early and still win the race," Ricky said. The master reinsman has been in great touch this season and the chances of a little bit of Ricky May magic over the weekend at both Addington and Melton cannot be discounted. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing can be cruel at times as a lot of our tipsters found out last week when a lot of the selections had little luck on raceday. Both Playaway and Sweet Art had no luck on the first day at Otaki but both won on the second day so it does pay to not drop them in a hurry, Our best performer last week was Steven Reid who nailed Clarius at Otaki at $13:40 and he was unlucky not to make it a double for the weekend on the second day, again at good odds. Other selectors to pick winners were Ricky May, Peter Scaife,Scott Phelan, Blair Orange and Brad Williamson and we picked up three placings as well and a string of fourths. This week we have selections at Motukarara, Blenhiem, Auckland, and Invercargill and Gate Pa. Don't let the selections for Blenheim slip under your guard on Sunday if they miss on Friday. Motukarara - Thursday afternoon Robbie Holmes - Gave us two he couldn't separate. At the Mott it is Willie Shine in race 8 Ricky May - Thought Cullen Keefe could get back on track in race 10 Craig Thornley - Rates Franco Hammond highly and thought he could win again, also in race 10   Blenheim - Friday afternoon Jimmy Curtin - Likes the chances of the Brian O'Meara trained Mach Winger in race 2 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks Royal Caroline is due a change of luck and can win race 3  Robbie Holmes - The second of his selections this week is the talented Cyclone Kiwi in race 9 Blair Orange - Rates Take After Me a big chance of making it two wins in a row in race 11   Auckland - Friday night Tony Herlihy - Gives Uandmebabe a big show even from the second line in race 2 Maurice McKendry - Rates Hanoverdakash a great each way bet in race 3 Scott Phelan - Thought that Prince Of Pops could bounce back after a brief break and win race 4 John Curtin (Harnesslink)- Thought Gamma Lady on her workout win last weekend would win race 5   Steve Richardson (TAB) - Rates Charleston Belle a big chance to take out race 9 Todd Macfarlane - Knows the draw is dead against him but still likes Simply Stunning, also in race 9    Invercargill - Saturday afternoon Nathan Williamson - Thought if Splash Cola could get around the first bend then she would win race 1 John Dunn - Gives Alta Las Vegas a big rap even from barrier eight in race 3 Clark Barron - Gives I'm Full Of Excuses a big chance of taking out race 4 Matthew Williamson - Thinks Alley Way on last weeks run should win race 5 Brad Williamson - Thought he might be able to upset big brother with Father Christmas, also in race 5 Shane Walkinshaw - Rates Acolyte off the mobile a big chance to turn his form around in race 8 Tim Williams - Thought Meticulous had trained on great this week and would win race 9   Gate Pa - Sunday afternoon Peter Scaife - Confident that a shoeing change will have recent import Winsome Luck winning race 2 Todd Mitchell - Thought Shardon's Pearl would carry on the good work and win, also in race 2 Sean McCaffrey - With no Gold Ace or Adore Me about, he thought Norvic Nightowl could win race 9     

A couple of harness racing trainers who were happier than most to hear of Adore Me's attack on the Victoria and Hunter Cups were Greg and Nina Hope. It has been quite frustrating for the Woodend based couple to repeatedly line their star mare Helena Jet up against Adore Me over the last 12 months and know deep down that Adore Me had the wood on them. Helena Jet's last three runs against Adore Me have resulted in a second in the $150,000 Harness Jewels at Cambridge, a second in the $30,000 Northern Breeders Stakes at Alexandra Park and a second in the $100,000 Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park so to not have to face Adore Me in the $40,000 Garrards Premier Championship at the end of the month brought a smile to co-trainer Greg Hope's face when he spoke to Harnesslink today. "Adore Me is just a champion and arguably the best horse in the country so for her to be in Australia gives us a real chance." "Helena Jet has been going great races lately but Adore Me is a champion," Greg said. Sent south to contest the Oaks and Nevele R final as a three year old by her northern owners, Helena Jet failed to impress Greg when he first worked her. " She works like an average maiden at home and even now her work is not that flash." "I wasn't that confident when I first took her to the races at Addington." "Ricky May (driver) told me afterwards that she warmed up poorly as well but soon as she turned to get on the gate in the score up she was all business." "She went 1:54.9 that night and I knew then that she was everything her owners said she was," Greg said. Greg is confident that the daughter of Jeremes Jet is ready to step up in the the absence of Adore Me. "She is a ferocious competitor when she gets out on the track." "She can get really keen so we use a colt bit on her to make her a bit easier to control," Greg said. While several other runners such as Lancewood Lizzie and Venus Serena will have their admirers, the performances of Helena Jet behind Adore Me over the last few months means she is the one they all have to beat on January 30th at Addington. Harnesslink Media

The harness racing champion Terror To Love’s summer of glory is underway. The three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner was produced at the Ashburton trials and turned in a tidy performance to finish second after a false start and a slow releasing tape the second time around. Privately timed to run post-to-post in the 2400 metres in 2.56, Terror To Love wasn’t hurried by Ricky May as he finished two and a half lengths behind Jivin Cullen in the heat. The performance received a big tick from both May and the horse’s co-trainer Graham Court. “He’ll come along nicely with that run under his belt,’’ Court said. With a massive month to six weeks of racing ahead that will see Terror To Love do battle in the Victoria and Hunter Cups along with the Inter Dominion and Auckland Cup – there is still plenty of juice left in the tank. Court and Terror To Love fly to Australia later this week – taking a direct flight to Sydney for a few days before they make the eight hour trek to Melbourne which will become home for most of February. “I think he will improve a lot off the back of the Victoria Cup – which should see him bang on for the Hunter Cup.’’ Also back in action at the trials was Comeback Kid – Stig. The wonderful old trotter is defying the odds once again and staging a comeback from a seemingly career ending injury and was very good in his fresh up performance when finishing second to the talented Harrysul. Driven by Stacy Whatuira the multiple Group One winner found the lead with 1200 metres left to run and only yielded in the final stages – pleasing trainer Paul Nairn in the process. “I thought it was a good starting point. “We are taking things day by day and not making immediate plans.’’ Stig’s career was supposed to be over – but when Whatuira began working the old boy as a hack it was soon noticed that he was showing no signs of injury and he has slowly been brought back to fitness. “The leg got the all clear from our vet and we have just been taking it slowly. “I said to Stacy that it would be nice if she could at least drive him at the trials a couple of times. “Anything else that happens is a bonus really.’’ Nairn is thinking of at least one more trial or workout before he even toys with the idea of race. But it would be safe to assume that harness racing’s never ending story is set to roll on. Meanwhile, One of the few pacers to have won New Zealand’s two greatest pacing races has died. Neroship, who held the Auckland and New Zealand Cups at the same time in 1990, passed away in Canterbury last week aged 29. Trained by John Langdon, Neroship won 17 races and over $800,000 in stakes but captured our two biggest races as well as once holding the national mile record at 1:55.8. He later stood at stud. “He had been living at Dave Shadbolt’s property since he had been retired and was looked after superbly so he had a good retirement,” said owner John Webber. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones is considering the $A200,000 New South Wales Oaks for exciting harness racing filly Rocker Band. The NSW Oaks have $A20,000 heats scheduled at Menangle on February 21, with the final on March 1. Greg Brodie (Queensland owner) is keen on her to go for it,” said trainer Mark Jones. “First, we have to see if we pay the late payment for the Nevele R Fillies Series. We’ll be guided by Ricky (May’s) thoughts but it looks like we’ll pay it,” he said. Rocker Band, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner (1:55.1, 17 wins & $684,580), was surprisingly beaten into second first-up on a slushy track at Winton by Rakarolla in a 1:57.9 mile. However, she was much too good in a C0 fillies and mares pace at Invercargill on Thursday, January 15,  starting a hot $1.40 favourite, despite a tricky inside back row draw. Driver Ricky May eased her out from three back on the markers to stride clear at the 1600m and she was always in control from that point. Rocker Band lifted her work rate from the home turn to dash away by 4 1/4 lengths from Leola’s Delight (three back) and Thinking Smart (trail) to win in 2:47.5 (2:02.6 mile rate for the mobile 2200m. The winner quickened over her last 800m in 57.6s and her final 400m in 27.6s. Rocker Band is a half-sister to Peruvian Banner (1:52.1, US), Stunin Banner (11 wins, 1:59.5) and Return to Sender (four wins, 1:57.4 rate, 2400m). Her dam Mainland Banner, the only 4YO mare to have won the NZ Cup, was sold by Cullen Breeding in 2010 to Australian Glenferrie Farm owner Peter Chambers, for $135,000 at an Addington dispersal sale. Also the 2005 NZ Oaks winner and runnerup in an Auckland Cup, Mainland Banner can only leave foals by embryo transfer. Mr Chambers, who bred Rocker Band and her half-sister Glenferrie Classic (by Bettor’s Delight), before taking her to Australia two years ago, subsequently sold Rocker Band to Mark Jones. Glenferrie Classic also changed hands, being purchased by a group of NZ owners last year, including Gavin Saunders, who raced the ill-fated 1989 New Zealand Cup winner, Inky Lord. Mark Jones then passed Rocker Band on to fellow major Australian stable client, Greg Brodie, as a replacement for Ultimate CC, after the latter failed to fulfill her initial promise even though Ultimate CC did win a Nevele R Fillies Consolation. Mark qualified Rocker Band at Rangiora on April 7, winning in a smart 2:31.7 (mobile 2000m), from other smart fillies and subsequent 3YO filly winners in Storm Maguire, Whitershadeofpale (now unbeaten in four NSW starts and a 1:53.9 Menangle miler) and Maritime Arden. He then gave her time out with the prospect of developing into a classic 3YO. Meanwhile, last season’s Trotter of the Year Master Lavros will now miss the Glenferrie Challenge (also to be run on March 1) and be set for another Rowe Cup on April 24 after returning to work on Monday. By Jeff Scott - Courtesy of Mark Jones Racing Stables  

The racing programme is finally getting back to something like normal this week although there is no meeting in the Auckland/ Waikato region so the number of selections this week reflects that. Our "holiday" selectors were in good form with Scott Phelan, Ricky May, Blair Orange, Jim Curtin, Steve Richardson, Bob Butt, Nathan Williamson, Matthew Williamson and Brad Williamson all tipping out winners with Brad getting bragging rights on the back of Nureyev paying $10:90 at Winton. This week we have four meetings in the country covered with some interesting selections from our tipsters. Northern Southland - Thursday afternoon Shane Walkinshaw - Bullish about the chances of Acolyte in race 4 Bob Butt - Thinks that with an ounce of luck Justalittlebettor can win race 5 even from barrier 8 Terry Chmiel - Reckons Millwood Pink Lady from barrier two will be very hard to beat, also in race 5 Ricky May - Rates Rocker Band very hard to hold out if she gets clear air in race 6 Brendon McLellan - Reckons with his dropback to C1 Sammy The Bull can win race 8 Nathan Williamson - Gives Dwindle Mist a real chance of upsetting the favourites in race 9 Clark Barron - Thought even in a red hot field, Twilight Franco could upset them in race 10    Otaki - Friday afternoon John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Rates the chances of recent northern import Balius in race 6 Scott Phelan - Likes the chances of Sweet Art off the front mark to win race 7 Steven Reid - Thought Clarius was a chance to upset them in race 8 Peter Scaife - Thought Playaway was due a change of luck and could win race 10   Addington - Friday night Gerard O'Reilly - Rates Royal Caroline a big chance of leaving maidens in race 1 Craig Thornley - Thought Supreme Gem even from barrier 6 at the mile could win race 3 Robbie Holmes - Gives Petite Royal a chance of turning her form around and winning race 4 Blair Orange - Quite bullish about the chances of Bracken Ridge in race 6  Steve Richardson (TAB) - Likes the chances of Big Lucy winning first up for the season in race 8 Brad Williamson- Thought Monty Python could make it three in a row in race 9   Oamaru - Sunday Afternoon Matthew Williamson - Rates Brads Kenny a huge chance on his home track to win race 5

There are not many harness racing meetings at Nelson that don't have a big representation from the Greg and Nina Hope barn at Woodend and yesterday was no exception. Originally from Nelson, Greg especially seems to target meetings there and Greg and Nina have a great record over the years at the Richmond track. When you then add the champion driver Ricky May to the mix you have a lethal combination as evidenced yesterday when the Hope / May partnership won five of the eleven races on offer. Ricky May was quick to deflect all the praise to Greg and Nina when spoken to by Harnesslink this morning. " They are great trainers to drive for as you know their horses are going to be spot on when you drive for them." " It makes my job so much easier when the horses are turned out like Greg and Nina do them," Ricky said. Ricky knew going to Nelson that he had a top book of drives as he had driven most of the team at trials and races leading into yesterdays meeting. So here is Ricky's assessment of the five winners he drove yesterday. Arizona Atom  " He is a really nice horse that I thought would be tough to beat. He trialed super at Methven last weekend so I knew he was ready. He is still a bit green and inexperienced so I think he will just keep getting better." Usain Colt "Very similar to Arizona Atom and is another horse I have a wee bit of time for. I drove him when he qualified and I liked him then. He has a bit of raw speed and I think he could go a fair way" Monbet " He has come back as a 3 year old in fantastic form. He has really stepped up from his 2 year old season and I think he has a huge future. He trotted 3:4 for the 2400 metres yesterday and did it easy. Greg said he would be a lot better for the run at Ashburton and he was. I am really looking forward to driving him in the big races coming up." Chattanoogachoochoo " He surprised me a wee bit with how he went. We got a long way back and I had to use him to get around them. When he straightened up he really charged home and won with a bit of authority. That was his best run for a while." Eva Sophnally " She deserved that one. She has been going good for a while back in Canterbury. She just lacks a touch of high speed but makes up for it with her toughness. Once I got to the front I knew she would be hard to beat." When looking forward to the second day at Nelson tomorrow Ricky, while acknowledging that all the winners had gone up a grade still thought the two impressive maiden winners would be hard to hold out. " I think Arizona Atom and Usain Colt are both capable of taking the step up and winning again on Sunday." "I also think the maiden trotter Everybody Knows is a big chance in the first race," Ricky said. Greg and Nina Hope and Ricky May have built up a great record at Nelson over the last few years and punters should be very wary of this lethal combination when assessing the fields tomorrow. Harnesslink Media    

Laurence Hanrahan has been in harness racing long enough to know what makes a good horse.  With a score sheet on the wall that includes New Age Man, The Tough Nut and Marika, the Ashburton horseman is more than qualified to back up any comments he might make about a horse in his stable.  So when he says that Cullen Keefe is potentially one of the best horses he has had for a few years, it’s worth taking notice. The new kid on the block might never reach the dizzying heights of those who stood in the stables before him. But you know that with Hanrahan at the helm, he’s going to get every chance to do so. Unbeaten in his three races so far everything about Cullen Keefe points towards him being a little bit better than just your normal horse. There is an arrogance and style in the way he goes about his business that is usually only reserved for those who have big futures in front of them. And as far as Hanrahan is concerned, the best is still to come. “I think we will see plenty of improvement out of him in the next 12 months,’’ he said.  “He’s a good horse now, definitely one of the better ones I have had for a few years, but with a bit more time on his side he could get even better.  “Especially physically, that’s where I think he will improve the most.’’ The unbeaten record of the well-bred pacer will go on the line at Ashburton on Boxing Day when he lines up in front of his home crowd in the middle of the day’s proceedings. With neither of his last two wins carrying a penalty, Cullen Keefe remains in the C1 grade which should see him hard to beat again – and starting at very short odds on the market. Hanrahan said he had come through his fresh up run at Forbury Park last week well. He was driven on that occasion by Kimberley Butt who is the grand-daughter of local racing identities Dick and Leonie Prendergast. “It was a good effort I thought, you are always a bit suspect when you haven’t had a race and but Kimberley drove him well. “You would expect him to be hard to beat this week, but it’s another challenge for him and there are a few nice horses in there so he will need to be on the top of his game.’’ Ricky May jumps back in the bike again on Friday and will also be in the sulky behind Hanrahan’s other two runners during the day – The Emperor Robyn (race 5) and Bute Courage (race 11). As long as both of his other runners are running on well at the finish their trainer is going to be happy. “I think we will learn a bit off The Emperor Robyn, I’m happy with him, but not completely happy with him. “Bute Courage has really strengthened up and come back well, but he has to take on three pretty smart ones so if he could run fourth I would be really happy.’’ Today’s feature, the Ashburton Cup, has drawn a small, but select, field of pacers to run over the 3200 metres. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen are represented by two runners in Isaiah and Meticulous while Greg and Nina Hope have Jason Rulz and Mossdale Conner. Cran Dalgety might hold the strongest hand in the race however with his talented pacer Bit Of A Legend. A winner at Addington last week, the former Breeders Crown winner will start off a 25 metre handicap but has the services of Dexter Dunn. “You know what to expect from him,’’ Dalgety said. “He will go out there and give you his all and you would like to think that he will be pretty hard to beat.’’ Later in the day Vulcan will attempt to join an elite list of trotters in the $1 million club. The 10-time Group One winner is just $5,000 shy of the magical mark and jumps into another small, but select, field of trotters. Courtesy of Matt Markham - HarnessRacing New Zealand  

Before last nights running of the $100,000 Queen Of Hearts the question on most harness racing followers minds was what would Adore Me's driver Mark Purdon do at the start from his tricky draw of one on the second line. Drawn right behind his biggest threat in Helena Jet, most thought Mark would kick through and hold her back but that left Adore Me vulnerable to having to rely on luck if Ricky May on Helena Jet took a trail. So Mark Purdon decided to take luck out of the equation and drive Adore Me like the best horse in the race. Dropping back at the start to get into the running line, Adore Me settled second last before Mark sent her forward three wide at the the 1200 mark. Finding the death seat outside Helena Jet at the 900 metres, Adore Me upped the tempo as they went past the 400 metres mark but Helena Jet went with her. As they turned for home these two were joined by noted sit sprinter Lancewood Lizzie up the passing lane and the three of them settled down to battle it out. Just when you could have excused Adore Me for feeling the pinch after such a hard run, she dug deep and saw off her challengers to pull clear for a 3/4 length victory over Helena Jet with Lancewood Lizzie holding third. Mark Purdon was effusive in his praise for "Ruby' after the race. " She had to work really hard for 300 metres to get around them so she was vulnerable" "We got a bit of a breather down the back and then she showed what a great mare she is up the straight." "She is so game, I am really thrilled with the win," Mark said Adore Me paced the 2200 metres in 2:40.3, a mile rate of 1:57.2 with the last 800 metres in 55.9 and the 400 metres in a very quick 26.6. Mark confirmed that her immediate racing programme had yet to be settled. " She will go to the Waikato Flying Mile at Cambridge in early January and then we will decide where she is going after that." "Australia is a possibility," Mark said. After last years effort to finish second in the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle from barrier 10, that race must loom large in the discussions to be held shortly. Harnesslink Media   

Anyone tuning in to the first race at Alexandra Park to see the emerging harness racing star Dalton Bromac would have been a touch puzzled to see leading reinsman Dexter Dunn in the bike instead of regular pilot Ricky May. Ricky had transport issues this afternoon and never made it to Auckland in time and trainer Benny Hill had the luxury of replacing one champion reinsman with another on his budding star. Allowed to ease off the gate by Dexter from barrier seven, Dalton Bromac settled last early while Te Kawau and No Doctor Needed went to war early with a lead time of under 40 seconds for the opening 600 metres for only the second time ever at Alexandra Park. As soon as Te Kawau went to ease the hectic pace, Dexter was off with Dalton Bromac looping the field to lead with 1100 metres to run. From there Dexter hardly moved as Dalton Bromac had them all gasping on the corner before strolling home for an effortless win by 2 3/4 lengths over a fast finishing The Bucket List. What grabbed everybody's attention was the time that Dalton Bromac ran for the 2200 metres which demolished the previous record set in 1999 by Bogan Fella of 2:38.2 by 2.1 seconds. The son of Major In Art paced the 2200 metres in 2:36.1, a mile rate of 1:54.2 with closing sectionals of 56.4 and 28. Dexter was quick to express a bit of sympathy for Ricky missing the drive. " I feel a bit sorry for Ricky missing the drive, it was a bit unfortunate,"  " They went really hard early and I got around them when they eased." "He was always travelling well after that and won pretty easily in the end" Dexter said. When asked how he rated Dalton Bromac Dexter was very positive in his comments. " He is still really green and has a bit to learn" "When he puts it all together its scary what he could be able to do" "He has a big future," Dexter said. Dalton Bromac now heads to Cambridge next Wednesday for the $50,000 Waikato Futurity against a small but quality lineup. If he can win that Dalton Bromac gets automatic entry to the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle which should really wet the appetite of all harness racing enthusiasts on both sides of the Tasman about what time this big impressive son of Major In Art could run on the super quick Menangle track. Harnesslink Media  

We must apologize for last weeks absense due to the staff member responsible being off ill and the "boss" not picking up the slack. It might have been an opportune time for a break anyway as our tipsters were digging themselves a bit of a hole in the last week or two. There are five meetings this week and we have selections for them all. Cambridge - Thursday night Zac Butcher - Thought Georgies Smile from the ace would be hard to roll in race 2 Todd Mitchell - Very keen on the chances of Thanks Shane also in race 2 Scott Phelan - Reckons Santana Jewel is way overdue to win one in race 4 Todd Macfarlane - Thinks if the breaks go her way that Simply Stunning can upset them in race 6 Maurice McKendry - Likes the chances of The Moonraker clearing maidens in race 8   Auckland - Friday night Ricky May - Thinks Dalton Bromac should continue the picket fence formline in race 1 Tony Herlihy - Rates The Fascinator a big chance even from barrier 12 in race 2 John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Reckons Classical Art can keep the winning streak intact in race 5 Blair Orange - Likes the chances of Mighty Flying Major to be a "major" player in race 7 Tim Williams - Not surprisingly Tim thinks that Have Faith In Me will win, also in race 7 Steven Richardson - Has gone a touch rougher with Express Stride to upstage the other two in race 7 Sean McCaffrey - Thought Yagunnakissmeornot can make it six from six at Alexandra Park in race 10 Gerard O'Reilly - Is confident that Zin Zan will strip a lot fitter this week and can win race 11   Addington - Friday night Robbie Holmes - Likes Tehoro Ruby from barrier 1 to break out of maidens in race 1 Bob Butt - Thought if Justalittlebettor could reproduce her Methven run she could win race 6 Matthew Williamson - Rates Monty Python a big chance to go back to back in race 7 Jim Curtin - Thinks Breeders Crown finalist Field Marshall will be to good in race 11   Wairio - Saturday afternoon Nathan Williamson - Thought if Grey Power put his best foot forward they wouldn't beat him in race 1 Dexter Dunn - Likes the chances of Leolas Delight making a winning debut in race 2 John Dunn - Very confident that Jay Dub can make it two from two this time in and take out race 6 Brendon McLellan - Thinks that Vera's Delight can get that long overdue win in race 7 Shane Walkinshaw - Rates Canardy Lover a big show to go back to back in race 8 Clark Barron - Reckons that Shezacheapy back on the roomy Winton track can win race 9   Rangiora - Sunday afternoon Craig Thornley - Thinks Inchbonnie Lad can go one better this week and win race 4   Harnesslink Media  

One of the very few chinks in the armour of Terror To Love might just have been his undoing in Saturday night’s bizarre event that was otherwise known as the Ballarat Cup. That’s the opinion of his driver Ricky May anyway, who has come under some hefty criticism for his drive on the three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner. After the field was decimated to just four runners following the controversy that is now known as Sulkygate, many expected Terror To Love to just rock up and win against what appeared to be four horses who seemed far inferior to himself. The predictions looked correct too when May managed to flush Uncle Wingut off the fence to grab a one out one back ride home, but when Chris Alford and the Amanda Grieve trained Im Corzin Terror dashed home in just over 53 seconds it proved too much for Terror To Love to run down. May is being criticised for his decision not to put the horse in the race, just as he had seven days earlier when he wore down the Miracle Mile winning Christen Me. He’s not one to let the opinions of others worry him too much and had he felt a little different about the way Terror To Love travelled through the race things might very well of panned out different. But they didn’t and May was left feeling even more confused than what he had as he watched a good portion of his opposition disappear before the race. “He didn’t feel like the same horse that he had last week,’’ May said. “I had to chase him along quite a bit, he just didn’t really get up on the bit like he normally can.’’ And that’s where the chink in the armour comes into it. Those who know Terror To Love will attest to the fact that he isn’t the greatest of horses when it comes to trials and workouts. In fact he’s renowned for goofing around and never really putting in his best efforts. And as silly as it might sound to some, that could have been exactly what happened on Saturday night. “He felt a lot like what he does when he goes to the trials. “He knows when things are serious and he knows when it’s just a trial. “I do wonder if that’s why he didn’t feel quite as sharp, it could be.’’ May said he still felt confident coming off the back when Uncle Wingnut had applied pressure to the leader and they ran their first quarter of the last half in 26 seconds. “When that happened I thought he would be pretty hard to beat. “But he just didn’t come out and go like he can, he did work into late but by then it was too late.’’ Terror To Love will return back to his West Melton base tomorrow and be freshened up before heading back across the Tasman to tackle the plethora of riches up for offer early on next year. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

FINALLY ! !  Last night Australian harness racing followers got to see what all the fuss Kiwis make about Terror To Love is all about. The Cranbourne Cup on paper looked a two horse war between Christen Me and Terror To Love but it was hard to find anybody who actually thought the "Terror" could roll the Miracle Mile champ. Ricky May was one who did and when speaking to Harnesslink midweek left no one in any doubt that he was over the moon with Terror To Love's run in the Miracle Mile and gave himself a big chance of turning the tables in the Cranbourne Cup. " He went huge in the Miracle Mile and I was rapt in his run." "If I had gone three fence earlier, he would have been a lot closer," "I don't know if Terror To Love can sit outside Christen Me and beat  him but we are going to find out," Ricky said. Last night as expected Christen Me led easily from barrier one for Dexter Dunn with Terror To Love and Ricky May settling three back in the running line. With 1100 metres to go Ricky May came out three wide and found the death seat with 900 metres to go and from there it turned into a Bonecrusher/Waverley Star type of race with the two champions going head to head and the rest of the field struggling to stay in touch. On the corner Christen Me pinched a wee advantage but Terror To Love kept coming and was not to be denied as he grabbed Christen Me in the shadows of the post for a memorable win which will talked about for years to come. Ricky May is not one to show a lot ot emotion normally but last night was an exception. "I'm thrilled for the horse to finally silence the knockers and for Graham and Paul to have finally shown the Australians what a great horse Terror To Love is." " The plan was to try to turn it into a staying race and thats how it turned out. " He felt great on that track, the surface was a credit to the club". " I hadn't intended to look Christen Me in the eye but  down the back Terror To Love latched on and was really keen" "I wasn't that confident on the home turn as Christen Me was traveling as good as we were but with 100 metres to go I knew "Terror" was going to pick him up, " Ricky said. Christen Me went super but found one a touch better on the night while the rest of the field were outclassed with Flaming Flutter third over 20 metres away. While Christen Me now heads home to New Zealand, Terror To Love will head to Ballarat for a showdown with Beautide, Guaranteed and rising star Philadelphia Man which should fill the stands next Saturday night. Kiwi's have known for a while that Terror To Love is a champion in every sense of the word and he has a huge following in his homeland and last night Australians got a wee taste of why Kiwis are so passionate about this great horse. Harnesslink Media  

Three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Terror To Love has won a classic Group 1 Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup after a memorable battle with last-start Miracle Mile champion Christen Me. The finish to tonight’s $100,000 feature race will have harness fans talking for years – two champion horses with two superstar reinsman aboard fighting tooth and nail to the finish. But there can only be one winner and tonight it was Ricky May aboard Terror To Love, who narrowly out-stayed Christen Me and Dexter Dunn in the $100,000, 2555m event. “He’s had no luck with the draws and he showed his true worth tonight,” May said of Terror To Love, who paid $3.10 on the tote. Terror To Love took off to sit outside of Christen Me mid-race and the pair kicked well clear of the field as they headed towards the home turn. Once in the straight it was clear the star Kiwis had it between them, Terror To Love slowly but surely reigning in Christen Me before sticking his head in front right on the line for a remarkable victory. “He’s been at his best all the way through. He might have been just down a wee notch for the (New Zealand) Cup,” said May. “We decided the only way we had a show of beating him (Christen Me) was to try and out-stay him.” May’s tactics worked a treat, Terror To Love proving too strong for the gallant runner-up, who was odds-on favourite, with a further 20m back in third place to Flaming Flutter, who enjoyed a cosy run on the leader’s back throughout for trainer/driver Geoff Webster. The winner’s mile rate was 1:57.1  with the last half covered in 55.4. Uncle Wingnut was fourth, Hilltop Hustler fifth and Im Corzin Terror sixth. Bitobliss failed to finish, choking down after pulling in the run, and will have to trial before racing again.   by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

As any harness racing driver will tell you, when things are not going your way it seems that there is not much you can do to change things. Whatever calls you make during a race turn out in retrospect to have been the wrong one and sometimes you start to doubt both your horse and yourself. Mention Australia and Terror To Love in the same breath and his long time driver Ricky May knows exactly how those drivers feel. An absolute champion in New Zealand, Terror To Love has failed in the main to reproduce anything like his real form at Menangle prior to the other night and Ricky is sure he knows why. "Prior to the other night in the Miracle Mile, he has always felt uncomfortable on the track and raced accordingly." "The club has done a lot of work on the track in the last year and Terror To Love felt like he does at home on Saturday night, " Ricky told Harnesslink this week. "We should have finished closer as well as I should have gone three rails when I had the chance but I waited and Guarantee beat me for that spot." "To finish where he did after drawing bad and then having to come wide into the straight was a great run and I was rapt with his performance ," Ricky said. This week Terror To Love is off to Cranbourne and once again he has drawn outside of his main rival Christen Me but Ricky hasn't given up on beating his long time adversary. 'If I had drawn two or three I would have been very keen to have a go at the lead as Terror To Love can really leave the gate if you ask him." "Drawn four makes it a bit tougher but the way he went the other night he still has to be a big chance on Saturday night, " Ricky said. All Kiwi racegoers know what a champion Terror To Love is from years of outstanding performances on this side of the Tasman. It would be nice on Saturday night if Australians finally got to see what a great horse Terror To Love is as well as reaffirm Ricky May's faith in one of his favourite horses. Harnesslink Media

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