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The Greg and Nina Hope trained A G's White Socks got a desreved harness racing win in the Airpark Canterbury Gr3 Rangiora Classic yesterday, when he fired home late down the centre of the track to upset a brave Thefixer right on the line. Driven by Ricky May the underrated pacer had been the bridemaid in Group races on several occasions this season but yesterday his usual fast finishing burst was enough to see him home by a nose in the $27,000 race. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven will now be put out for a spell before preparing for a New Zealand Cup tilt in November. Thefixer was tough in second for Natalie Rasmussen after working around to lead with 1400m to go and then fighting hard and only getting beaten right on the line. He too is headed for a six week break while his third and fourth placed stablemates Chase Auckland and Ashley Locaz who both performed well fresh, are being aimed for the rich 4yo feature races the Taylor Mile and NZ Messenger in Auckland at the end of the month. A G's White Socks winning the Airpark Canterbury Gr3 Rangiora Classic   Harnesslink Media

Monbet’s road back to the top of New Zealand trotting just took another detour.  But driver Ricky May is hoping his latest setback doesn’t cost the former Horse of the Year a shot at the Rowe Cup in a few weeks.  The great trotter has only had one start back after a nearly two and a half year layoff during which he has battled a range of leg problems and general unsoundness.  With a race under his belt last month he won at the trials on March 13 and was all set for his return to group one action in the $100,000 NZ Trot Championships at Addington on Friday.  Except Monbet won’t be there after developing a splint in one of his hind legs.  “It shouldn’t be that big a deal and Greg (Hope, trainer) wasn’t that worried about it when I spoke to him yesterday,” said regular driver Ricky May.  “He was about 70 per cent on starting him this week so it wasn’t that bad but he has obviously decided against it.  “It is a real shame because he trialed so well and Greg thought he was ready to go after giving him a proper workout the other day. “But obviously it is still annoying him so it looks like he will miss this Friday.”  Hope could not be contacted last night.  Friday’s 2600m mobile was to be the first clash of trotting’s big three in Monbet, Speeding Spur and Marcoola.  The latter two are in the nominations for Friday’s group one and Monbet could theoretically join them still has nominations have been extended until this morning.  But if he doesn’t then May hopes Monbet can be back on track for the Anzac Cup (April 26) and Rowe Cup (May 3) both at Alexandra Park. The Trotting Champs won’t be without real depth though as rising stars Winterfell, King’s Landing and Sundees Son step up to the open class group one level for the first time. Friday night’s meeting is one of the strongest of the year with the $200,000 New Zealand Derby for the pacer and the $100,000 equivalent for the trotters as well as the Easter Cup.  Ultimate Sniper retains favouritism for the pacing Derby even after an expensive last-start gallop, rated a $1.70 by the TAB ahead of stablemate Jesse Duke at $4. Letterkenny Boy, who is third favourite in the futures market for the Derby has not been nominated and is instead entered for a lower grade race on Friday night so is very much a case of punter’s beware.  Enhance Your Calm will be unbackable in the Trotting Derby while the Easter Cup is likely to bring together New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer, Auckland Cup winner Turn It Up and Miracle Mile hero Spankem. But the shock of that race is the entry of superstar three-year-old filly Princess Tiffany, because her high rating means there are no other races on Friday, outside the Derby, she is eligible for. But she won’t be starting it was just trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen making a point about how poorly off the best three-year-olds, especially fillies, can be treated by the rating and programming systems when the country’s best filly can’t find a suitable race. Michael Guerin

The two most important drives of Ricky May’s weekend could hardly be more different.  But that doesn’t mean the result will be.  May treks north to Alexandra Park tomorrow night to try and lead throughout the $125,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks with Wainui Creek.  That is not giving away any pre-race secrets as May, who can sometimes lean toward the conservative, is open about what he intends to do in the classic. “She hasn’t had a lot of good draws and she has finally got one so I will be trying to use it,” says May.  “So she will attempting to stay in front and if they are good enough to come from behind her and beat her, then so be it.” Wainui Creek returned to racing with a storming late third at Alexandra Park last Friday and after drawing the ace she and arch rival Belle Of Montana (two) completely dominate the market for the Oaks, the feature at Alexandra Park’s premier meeting to start their Derby week.   Wainui Creek has been able to get in front of Belle Of Montana the last two times they have met and been run down by the northern speed machine both times but this time she could be on the markers while the latter could be covering extra ground in the running line, so often the kiss of death in Alexandra Park staying races.  “That other filly (Belle Of Montana) is very fast but I think you will see the best of Wainui Creek up to the 2700m,” says May. While May has only one plan in the Oaks he is going to let the horse do the talking when champion trotter Monbet returns on Sunday.  The incredible trotter hasn’t raced for over 27 months and at times during that period it felt like his injuries would rob us of ever seeing him again. But after a bold trial at Rangiora last week he has accepted to start in a 1980m mobile trot at Addington on Sunday afternoon in which he has drawn the outside of the front line.  “Greg (Hope, trainer) thought it was easier to go back to the races than chase them off a log mark at the trials,” explains May.  “But after such a long break from racing it is a big, big ask to expect him to win.  “He felt great at the trials last week and most importantly very sound but winning might be another thing.”  So how does a driver approach driving the best trotter, and maybe even the best harness horse in the country, fresh up after such a gigantic break?  “I can’t go out there with a plan. I will have to just drive him how he feels but I really don’t think he will win.”   Michael Guerin

Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that two of our industry participants have made the finals for this year’s Norwood Rural Games Awards. For the first time Harness Racing was included in the awards, which are held to celebrate sports with animal and rural backgrounds. Held in conjunction with the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North on March 9 and 10, the Norwood Awards are to be held on Friday 8 March at Awapuni Racecourse. Sheree Tomlinson has made the final three for the Fonterra New Zealand Rural Youth of the Year, with last year’s Australasian Young Drivers Championship victory and her history making Dominion Handicap win propelling her into the final. Whilst Ricky May made the final cut for the prestigious Toyota Lifetime Legacy category. The award is for sportspeople who have consistently delivered at the elite level in their sport – fitting for a seven time New Zealand Cup winning driver, with strong rural roots through his ‘other’ career in agriculture. Harness Racing New Zealand congratulates Sheree and Ricky on this huge achievement to just make the finals, given that this has been the most competitive year for the judges to decide on just three finalists. We wish them all the very best for the Awards on March 8. Full information on the Rural Games can be found at www.ruralgames.co.nz 2019 Norwood Rural Games Awards Finalists Norwood NZ Rural Sportsman Of The Year: • Tony Bouskill – Fencing – Napier • Kieran Fowler – Gumboot Throwing – Dunedin • James Kilpatrick – Tree Climbing - Tauranga Skellerup NZ Rural Sportswoman Of The Year: • Nicky Ward-Allen – Tree Climbing – Eltham • Pagan Karauria - Wool Handling – Alexandra • Bex Baynes – Sheep Dog Trials - Wairoa Fonterra NZ Rural Youth Of the Year: • Briar Burnett-Grant – Equestrian - Taupo • Bradley McDowell – Cowboy Action Shooting - Wanganui • Sheree Tomlinson – Harness Racing - Canterbury Levno Contribution To Rural Sport: • David James – NZ Arb – Blenheim • Neil Sidwell – Shearing – Waiwera • Nick Liefting – Fencing – Pukekohe Toyota Lifetime Legacy: • Ricky May – Harness Racing – Ashburton • Hugh McCarrol – Shearing – Whangamata • Maurice Beatson – Equestrian – Dannevirke   HRNZ Marketing

Border rivalry will be to the fore when the What The Hill Drivers Challenge takes place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Friday (23 November). The challenge repeats last year’s successful format where a team of six from North of the Waitaki took on a team from South of the Waitaki. The North of the Waitaki team took the team honours on that occasion spearheaded by a former Southlander now domiciled in Canterbury, Gavin Smith, who took the Individual honours. However both teams were tied on points going into the final heat so it was a close run thing. As the defending champion Smith returns as part of the north team this year joined by Ricky May, Blair Orange, Samantha Ottley, Tim Williams and Jim Curtin. Attempting to wrest the silverware back onto this side of the Waitaki is the South of the Waitaki team led by the Williamson brothers – Nathan, Matthew and Brad along with Brent Barclay, Craig Ferguson and Allan Beck. The invited drivers compete in four heats with points allocated to the first five home on each occasion with 10 points for a win, 7 for second, 5 for third, 3 for fourth and 1 for fifth. Each driver receives the points they accumulate towards finding an individual champion while their points also go into their teams score to find the champion team. The event is a twilight meeting with the first race timed to start at 3.38pm. It is a perfect night to come out and enjoy some top class racing. Admission to the course will be free. One punter will take home a meal voucher from Level One Restaurant & Bar in Invercargill when a draw of all losing on course tote tickets is made after Race 6 while also after race 6 all children on course receive a free bag of lollies.   HRNZ Marketing

Wow.....where do we start with the 2018 Gr.1 $800,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup? As the second leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the Kiwi feature is steeped in tradition after first being staged back in 1904 when Monte Carlo proved victorious while many great names line the pages of history. And another great pacer will etch their name into the record books on the famous second Tuesday in November at Addington. The build-up has been intense and absolutely relentless as we draw closer to the 3200m stand start feature. The early scratchings of Australian star Chicago Bull and local ace Ultimate Machete have only added to the pre-race drama. In fact, the race has seen more moves than a 1980’s disco dance floor! And so many questions need to be answered. All the normal types like who has the Best Stamina? Endurance? Willingness? Desire? And Hunger? But what about answers to the following; Can the All Stars win another Cup? The Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen combination has won 3 of the last 4 editions (Lazarus x 2 & Adore Me) and this year is represented by Thefixer, Cruz Bromac, Eamon Maguire and Dream About Me. Can Dream About Me become the latest mare to claim the Cup? The last mare to score in the Cup came from this stable with Adore Me triumphant four years ago. At this point, Dream About Me is the only mare starting in the Cup although Queen Bee Bardon is listed as the third emergency. Thefixer is facing the starter for only the 16th time, only Mainland Banner has had less starts prior to winning the Cup (it was her 12th start). Can the All Stars prepare the trifecta in the Cup? Back in 2016, they prepared 1st, 3rd & 4th (Lazarus, Titan Banner & Smolda). The biggest number of starters in a New Zealand Cup from All Stars is five (2012). Respected trainer Robert Dunn has the biggest representation in the Cup with five starters; he will gear up Alta Orlando, Captain Dolmio, Letspendanitetogetha, Billy Badger and Zadaka. Can he train his second winner of the event? Dunn scored with wonder mare Mainland Banner back in 2005. Can Ricky May score a record 8th Cup victory when he partners the Greg and Nina Hope trained A G’s White Socks? The next best is Cecil Devine who won 6 Cups. Can Aussie raider Tiger Tara join the likes of Steel Jaw, (My) Lightning Blue and Arden Rooney as an Australian trained winner of the Cup? Prepared by Sydney horseman Kevin Pizzuto, the $1.59 million earner will be handled by regular reinsman Todd McCarthy who is taking his 3rd Cup drive. Now an eight-year-old, Can Tiger Tara join Monkey King (2010) as the most recent winner of the Cup at that age? Tiger Tara is starting in his 4th Cup. Champion reinsman Tony Herlihy is chasing his 4th Cup victory and will partner the highly regarded Auckland trained Star Galleria for trainer Steve Reid. Can Barry Purdon train his 4th Cup winner when Jack’s Legend takes his spot in the Cup? If successful, it will be his 1st outright victory after preparing his trio of winners in partnership with his legendary father Roy. Can Zachary Butcher (Jack’s Legend) join his father David (Changeover – 2008) as a Cup winning driver? Oddly, Changeover (Geoff Small) was the most recent North Island trained winner of the Cup. Can Natalie Rasmussen (Thefixer), Sam Ottley (Forgotten Highway) or Sheree Tomlinson (Locharburn) join Kerryn Manning as a female winning driver of the Cup? Can super sire Bettors Delight claim his 5th Cup after winning the past 4 editions? This year, the record breaking stallion is represented by Thefixer, Dream About Me, Jack’s Legend, Forgotten Highway & Tiger Tara. Can 1998 Cup winner Christian Cullen produce his 2nd winner (Mainland Banner – 2005)? The wonder horse is represented by Locharburn and Baileys Knight (2nd emergency). Interestingly, the horse that has claimed the title of APG Grand Circuit champion for the past two seasons has won the Cup…..the one and only Lazarus! So, all this and more will make sense late on Tuesday afternoon. Because then, at 5.12pm Local time, it will be time for answers.   Chris Barsby

Not many owners can claim to have won a New Zealand Derby, a New Zealand Messenger, and a Four Year Old Emerald. And to have had two consecutive sales toppers at the yearling sales, but that’s what Stu and Pauline Gillan of Lochiel have achieved. The Derby, the Messenger and the Emerald were all achieved this season with two horses - Eamon Maguire and Sheriff. It’s been an outstanding racing season for the couple who not only have shares in Sheriff and Eamon Maguire, but also in Thefixer, English Rose and Motu Top Mach. And between them all this season they’ve won thirteen races and stakes of $418,548. The Gillan’s sales toppers as yearlings were Titanium in 2013 and Bollinger in 2015. Stu doesn’t come from a racing background, but he says his interest was developed at an early age. “My father enjoyed his five bob doubles. He’d put the doubles on and listen to the first leg and normally miss out. Then he’d go to the pub and talk about what happened. He didn’t go to the races a lot. He went to Wingatui and Waikouaiti on News Years Day. I used to have bets (pretend) with my father and pick horses I could pronounce,” he said. Listening to the wireless in those early years also heightened his passion for the industry. “I remember as a nine year old running home from school to hear the 1954 New Zealand Trotting Cup which Johnny Globe won. We were all fans of Johnny Globe. He was a lovely black horse.” Stu was educated at Kings High School in Dunedin and loved sport. That’s where he met Phil Creighton. As teenagers they played cricket together for Albion and rugby for Pirates. “I loved rugby and cricket but I was bloody hopeless at playing them. I also played squash for years.” In later years he also refereed rugby in Southland.                                                                                           “I really enjoyed that because all you do is look after yourself while if you’re coaching you’ve got twenty guys you’ve got to try and get on the field. I got to know the Browns (Southland trainer Murray Brown and his brother Bevan). They didn’t mind helping me referee games.” Stu met Pauline in 1970 after he was transferred to Invercargill to work for New Zealand Insurance.   He subsequently worked for a number of different companies before setting up his own accounting business. “I worked for the Permanent Building Society, then got offered a job with John Harrington of Harrington and Partners. After five years the company merged with Forrest, Burns and Ashby. I was made redundant and Pauline talked me into having a go on my own. It’s good to be able to work on your own and be independent.” As an accountant he doesn’t have big flashy companies on his books, preferring to deal with the southern farming type. “I’ve got good smaller sheep farmers. I don’t have any dairy farmers because they owe too much money,” he chuckled. Pauline has been the receptionist at the Southland Hospital Children’s Ward for the past twenty six years and is also an ardent netball fan, having followed the Southern Steel and Sting since the franchise started in the old Invercargill Centennial Hall. She and her good friend Bronwyn Queale, also from Lochiel, were often first in line when it came to getting their seasons tickets. Stu’s first yearling purchase was in 1975 when he bought Scottish Hanover colt Pierre Scott for $3,000. It was out of the Thurber Frost mare Heather Frost. Pierre Scott started eighteen times for three different trainers; Hamish Hunter, Stu Campbell and Noel Creighton, without banking a cheque. “He was hopeless. Anyway the guy that bred him Roy Adam who was a Life Member of the West Australia Trotting Association, was so disappointed with the price he got (for Pierre Scott) that he took the mare home in foal (to Lumber Dream). That foal was Preux Chevalier.” Preux Chevalier went on to win forty one races in just fifty six starts and $791,331. His wins include an Interdominion Final in Melbourne, a West Australian Cup, NSW Miracle Mile and New Zealand Free For All. The one that got away!! Stu’s first winner was in 1995 when Mocca Magic, which he raced with Phil Creighton, won. She was by Vance Hanover out of the Local Light mare Mia Mocca. Trained by Greg Hope, she won another race before becoming a broodmare. Creighton and Gillian bred from her for a number of years and her best foal proved to be Angela Gold (In The Pocket) which won two races here before heading state side. She won a further twenty two races there, recording a best mile time of 1-53.0. “Phil gave me a share in her (Mocca Magic). She won at Forbury Park driven by Ricky May. Phil gave him fifty bucks unbeknown to me and I gave him fifty as well. Ricky didn’t say no to either.” (Laughter). So the breeding bug had begun. “Over a few years Phil bought three broodmares that I had shares in. 1981 was our first sale and we took a filly up to Christchurch. He’s had two or three in the sales each year ever since and I’ve had an average of one. We never made any money for many years but by selling them it kept the pot boiling.” Gillan also bought at the sales, purchasing a Bettor’s Delight colt Match Point at the 2011 Yearling Sales in Christchurch. He was out of the lightly raced Badlands Hanover mare Clijsters. Her second dam Vicario was a half-sister by Soky’s Atom to New Zealand Cup winner Il Vicolo. Vicario was a very good broodmare leaving Stunin Cullen the winner of the Hunter Cup, Great Northern Derby, Ashburton Flying Stakes, Sires Stakes Final, as well as twelve other races with total stakes of $1,493,716. Vicario also left Coburg (10 wins). “Dean Taylor trained him (Match Point) for three or four starts and said he was going to take time. Eventually we brought him down to Graeme Anderson to train on the beach. I think the beach work and more aggressive driving by Dexter Dunn helped him. I owned him with John Blakeley who passed away about a year ago. Unfortunately in New Zealand you soon get out of your class and he wasn’t good from a stand so we sold him to Australia.” Match Point won his first start at Forbury for Taylor and two other races from that stable before he was transferred to Anderson’s stable. He won first up for Anderson at Winton in March 2015. He won three other races before he was exported to Aussie later that year. In Australia he’s won another seven races and paced a mile in 1-51.6. “That was my introduction to Graeme Anderson. I’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to buy shares in three horses with him since.” Typical of his accounting background, Gillan has been calculating with these investments. From capital gained from the sale of his high end yearlings he’s reinvested in racing stock that have been up and running and with potential. That investment money has primarily come from broodmare gem Asabella. She was bought as a yearling at the 2002 yearling sales by Creighton for about $48,000 and Gillan bought into the ownership. She was by In The Pocket out of the Smooth Fella mare Bellisimo. It’s the family that has produced Jovial Jennie the winner of nine races and the dam of Happy Hazel which won twelve races including the 1989 Great Northern Oaks. Asabella was initially trained by Mark Purdon and won just two races. “She had a bit of speed but lacked toughness. She raced a bit in Auckland over the short distances and didn’t have much luck.” After her racing days were over the partnership set about breeding from her. In 2008 they sold Red River Hanover gelding Black Denim to Rob Storer for $27,500. He was renamed Code Red and won six in New Zealand and another six in Australia. The following year Dave Carville bought the mares next foal Bet On Black for $45,000 and he was renamed as well – Ohoka’s Bondy looked smart at two but was exported to Australia winless. However he ultimately won twenty two races in Australia including the $125,000 Group One Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park. Asabella’s next foal and first filly Dancing Diamonds was also sold at the yearling sales in 2010 - knocked down to Mark Purdon for $110,000. She was raced by Braeden and Caroline Whitelock. She won her first four races as a two year old and her two biggest wins were in the New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Two and Three Year Old Championship. She won $343,276. As a broodmare Dancing Diamonds has left two foals of racing age; Rock Diamonds which has won fourteen races in Australia including the Group Two Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park, the Group Three John Higgins Memorial and Group Two Westral Four Year Old Classic both at Gloucester Park. The mare’s other foal is the unbeaten Art Major filly Princess Tiffany. Her five wins include the Group One Caduceus Club Two Year Old Fillies Classic and Two Year Old Diamond at this year’s Harness Jewells at Cambridge. The following year Trevor Lindsay from Australia bought Asabella’s Mach Three filly Bluegrass Belle for $52,000. She was exported to Australia but never raced. Things were about to get even better for the Creighton and Gillan breeding partnership. In 2013 and 2015 they bred the top lot at the Christchurch yearling sales. Both out of Asabella; Titanium was bought by Emilo and Mary Rosati for $170,000 in 2013 while two sales later the same couple bought Asabella’s next foal Bollinger for $200,000. Since then Robinson Crusoe ($24,500) and Brantley ($35,000) the mare’s next two foals, have sold but are currently unraced.  Asabella’s eight foals when sold at the sales grossed $664,000 that being an average of $83,000 per foal. “She’s eighteen now and we’re very keen to get a filly out of her to carry on the bloodline. She aborted a Bettor’s Delight filly about eighteen months ago and is in foal to Art Major so hopefully we get a filly at Christmas time. Those sales (Titanium and Bollinger) gave us a bit of money to buy into pacers. Phil had a quarter share in three horses with the Kennards and he gave me a half of his quarter share in all three horses. They all won. Meticulous was the best, he was a nice horse but he had a lot of injuries.” Meticulous was the first foal by Christian Cullen out of the Falcon Seelster mare Syriana, and she’s from the famed Black Watch family.  He was bought by Mark Purdon for $100,000 at the 2012 Australasian Classic Yearling Sales.  “I love the sales. I study the catalogue every night. I’m more of a theory man than being hands on.” Since then Stu’s had shares in seven to eight horses with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. “Thefixer’s been the best. He’s back in work.” Thefixer has won six of his eleven starts, and won his last two during Cup week last November. He hasn’t been sighted since. “He got a nail in the foot at Auckland. He came back and raced at Cup Week on both days but then it got infected so we turned him out for two months.” The Gillans also bought into Titan Banner in October 2015 after the horse had won five races. He went on to win another eleven with Pauline in the ownership and finished his New Zealand career when he ran second to Vincent in the 2017 Auckland Cup. They also purchased a share in the Art Major gelding Eamon Maguire which had won two workouts and qualified before they joined the ownership.   Bruce Stewart

Pat’s Delight is on target for the New Zealand Free-For-All after a scintillating fresh up win in the Selwyn Paul Memorial Tuapeka Cup at Forbury Park today. Pat’s Delight eclipsed his eight rivals in close to track record time in his first race since he won the Harness Jewels for 3yr-old colts and geldings at Cambridge in June. Pat’s Delight ran the 2700m in 3.21.6, 0.3sec outside the track mark set by Wrath Of Robyn in 2015. Driver Ricky May sent Pat’s Delight to the front at the 1200m after starting from 30m and the son of Bettor’s Delight – Righteous Franco cleared out in the closing stages to win by six and three quarter lengths, the last 800m in 56.1. “Cran (Dalgety, the trainer) told me to drive him like that. He needed a decent run with the NZ Free-For-All in mind,’’ said May. It was May’s fourth win in the Tuapeka Cup, the first with Abbeyshrule in 1999 and the others with Owaka Jack (2001) and Explosive Art (2014). “He did begin very well so that’s a bonus. Many people have told me about Eamon Maguire last year. There was only nine in it (Tuapeka Cup) and he was hot favourite, off thirty (metres) and he only beat one home. It’s very hard to catch a front runner if they run like rabbits up front. He (Pat’s Delight) began well and Ricky at the mile rolled to the top. Then he controlled his own last mile so he didn’t turn into being a chaser. So a smart drive from Ricky,” said Dalgety. Pat’s Delight, raced by breeders Pat and Margaret Kubala, of Gore, has now won 10 of his 22 starts and $194,000 in stakes. “He (Pat’s Delight) has just strengthened up so much. I wanted to give him a decent break after the Jewels and that ruled out the NZ Cup this year,’’ said Pat Kubala. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the way things have gone.” Dalgety said he had the option of racing at Ashburton tomorrow or Tuapeka. “We tossed the coin between the Ashburton Handicap and this race. What swayed us was Pat living down there (in Gore) and being an older man he doesn’t come to Canterbury a lot. So I thought it was a great opportunity to show him off to him. The stakes and handicap were similar and it’s only another couple of hours down the road. We were lucky enough to get some happy owners,” he said. Dalgety says Pat’s Delight has developed into an impressive four year old stallion. “It’s interesting. You see a lot of age group two and three year olds have a hollow four year old year. I don’t know how it works. When we turned him out he had six weeks and he just went from being a boy to a man in physique. We’ve been able to lift his work load and the intensity a bit higher and he’s accepted it so that’s been exciting. From Jewels Day to now he could be 26-28 kg’s heavier. I’m sure he’ll get a touch better too.” Dalgety says he is considering the Kaikoura Cup as an option prior to the FFA but other than that he’ll remain close to home. “He’ll stay pretty tight now.” With today’s driver Ricky May committed to AG’s White Socks, Dalgety may have to look for another driver but he’s pretty relaxed about making that call. “I’m not one to plan too far ahead because it blows up in your face. I’ll naturally throw Ricky in the mix. If he can drive him that’s great if he can’t he can’t.” Trainer Dalgety and May also won with Buzinga and Just Dance. The stable had four horses at the meeting in charge of Dalgety’s son, Carter. Buzinga a 3yr-old Bettor’s Delight – Safedra filly scored comfortably after racing in the open over 1700m. It was her third win in four starts. Just Dance stormed home wide out. She is raced by the Woodlands Partnership syndicate No 23, Kieran Read and Andy Ellis.   Taylor Strong with quotes obtained by Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Greg Hope had two open class reasons to smile yesterday. And that could mean the long wait for champion trotter Monbet to return to the track is almost over. Hope not only trains Monbet but New Zealand Cup contender A G’s White Socks and both are coming off setbacks of wildly different lengths. Monbet hasn’t raced for 23 months after an array of leg issues while A G’s White Socks was dragged off the track just minutes before Sunday’s Methven Cup after soft tissue damage believed to have been suffered in a raceday slip. But the news is good for both. Monbet made one of his first public appearances since winning the Dominion at the Cup carnival two years ago when Hope snuck him on to the Rangiora track for a workout yesterday. There was nothing official about it, with Monbet working solo over 2600m but it was as good as a trial and a massive step in the right direction. He trotted 3:24 for 2600m, his last 800m in 60 seconds and final 400m in 28 and most importantly pulled up sound. It was nice work and showed he is ready for a trial next week and then the races at Addington on November 2,” said Hope.  “After that, all going well, we will aim him at the Trotting Free-For-All on Cup Day (November 13).”  Hope and his wife Nina pulled Monbet out of the Dominion, New Zealand’s richest trotting race on November 17, because they believe they couldn’t get enough competitive miles into his legs in time for the gutbusting 3200m.  “And we want to do the right thing by the horse. He has won it before and it is a long season so we didn’t want to rush him.”  A G’s White Socks is improving steadily after his weird setback on Sunday and has accepted for Monday’s Flying Stakes at Ashburton and looks 90 per cent likely to start.  “What happened last Sunday was very strange. I actually worked him the morning of the race and he was great then we put him away for a while before taking him to the races.  “During that break I think he must have slipped and hurt himself a little bit. There was no sign of it at the races until he started to warm up and we had to pull him off the track.  “But I am confident we are over that now and can still get the racing into him he needs for the New Zealand Cup.” Monday’s 2400m stand looks the most important New Zealand Cup lead-up of the season so far with many of the big namesheadlined by Dream About Me (barrier 1), Eamon Maguire (2), Ultimate Machete (7) and Star Galleria (8), with A G’s White Socks to start from barrier nine if he makes the race.  In the Flying Mile for the trotters Harriet Of Mot (barrier 2, but likely to start to one) and Great Things Happen (likely barrier 2) have got the best of the draws in what is traditionally New Zealand’s fastest open class trotting mile. Michael Guerin

Several leading harness racing drivers have had their fines reduced after being charged for failing to come up into and/or maintain their position behind the starting gate at this years harness jewels at Cambridge. The normal penalty for breaking this rule is $100 but the Judicial Committee however, in all cases imposed higher penalties as the meeting was a major one with all stakes being higher than $40,000. Gavin Smith, Ricky May and Mark Purdon were fined $400. Natalie Rasmussen was fined $500 because she had been warned earlier in the day. Brent Barclay was fined $200 and his licence was suspended for one day and Terry Chmiel had imposed on him a three day suspension. All drivers appealed their penalties and all were succesfull with the fines reduced to $200 for Mark Purdon, Gavin Smith, Ricky May and Natalie Rasmussen. Terry Chmiel had his suspension reduced to two days and since two days had already been served there was no further penalty. Brent Barclay had his penalty reduced to the fine of $200 only.   Full details below: BEFORE AN APPEALS TRIBUNAL OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY FOR RACING UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Harness Racing BETWEEN MARK PURDON TERRY CHMIEL BRENT BARCLAY NATALIE RASMUSSEN RICKY MAY GAVIN SMITH Appellants AND RACING INTEGRITY UNIT Respondent Appeals Tribunal: Mr Garry Thompson, Chairman Mr Russell McKenzie, Member Written decision issued on the 30th June 2018 It was ordered by consent that the appeals be dealt with on the papers. DECISION OF THE APPEALS TRIBUNAL OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Each Appellant was charged under Rule 857(7) which states “no horseman shall fail to come up into and/or maintain his position” 1.2 The Rule referred to above is normally dealt with as a minor offence being listed in the Minor Infringement Schedule but the Race meeting at which this was held being the Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Racing Club (Harness Jewels meeting) meeting on 2nd June 2018 at Cambridge Raceway had every race carrying a stake of $40,000 or greater being what is described in the Penalty Guide as a major race. 1.3 Accordingly, the RIU stewards sought to uplift the penalty amount which had a standard penalty of $100 and therefore filed the charge with the raceday Judicial Committee. 1.4 The Stewards submitted that a 100% increase in the normal penalty be imposed since in all cases these were major races. They therefore submitted that a penalty of $200.00 or an equivalent suspension was appropriate. 1.5 The Judicial Committee, however, in all cases imposed higher penalties. Messrs Smith, May and Purdon were fined $400. Ms Rasmussen was fined $500 because she had been warned earlier in the day. Mr Barclay was fined $200 and his licence was suspended for one day and Mr Chmiel had imposed on him a three day suspension. All have appealed. 2. THE APPEAL 2.1 It is necessary for the Appeals Tribunal to form its own decision on the matters placed before it and in this case the Tribunal has directed that this be dealt with on the papers. 3. SUBMISSIONS FOR THE APPELLANTS 3.1 Mr Lawson submitted that what the Stewards submitted by way of penalty was appropriate and that the penalties imposed by the Judicial Committee were excessive. 3.2 Mr Lawson raised a number of relevant matters including the fact that it was not suggested that the penalties had previously been manifestly inadequate, the losing driving fees after 6th position were the same as any other meeting, the visual aspects of knowing where 1609m starting point was created a difficulty and the mobile barrier moved faster than normal because of the distance of the race and the quality of the horses. 3.3 Mr Lawson admitted that the penalties should all be $200.00 except that Mr Barclay who received a one day suspension as well as a $200 fine simply have this replaced by a $200 fine only and Mr Chmiel who received a three day suspension, but no fine have his suspension reduced to two days. 4. SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RESPONDENT 4.1 Mr Ydgren submitted that a 100% increase on $100 being the standard penalty to $200 was appropriate except in the case of Mr Chmiel who had a previous breach of the rule so his penalty it was submitted be a two day suspension which had already been served. 4.2 Mr Ydgren explained the allowance horsemen have of half a length grace and stated that drivers are required to know where the starting position is on the track and that in the circumstances all the horseman either made a simple error and misjudged their position or were unaware of where the actual starting point was. 5. DECISION Having considered the submissions on behalf of the Appellants and the Respondent we are satisfied that a 100% increase in the penalty prescribed by Minor infringement Scheme is appropriate in the circumstances this being the submission of the RIU stewards at the Race Day Hearing. The onus is on the Appellants to show that the penalty imposed by the Judicial Committee was manifestly excessive and in our view the Appellants have discharged that onus. 6. PENALTIES We impose a penalty of $200 fine on Mark Purdon, Gavin Smith, Ricky May and Natalie Rasmussen. We impose a penalty of a two day suspension on Terry Chmiel he having had a previous breach of this rule and since two days have already been served there is no further penalty. Brent Barclay was issued with a fine of $200 and had his licence suspended for one day and his penalty is reduced to the fine of $200 only. 7. COST AND FILLING FEE Mr Lawson has made no application for costs and submits that costs should lie where they fall. He has submitted that the $250 filing fee be refunded. We agree with both those submissions. The penalties we are imposing are what were submitted by the RIU at the hearing and the Respondent should not be penalised because the appeal is successful. The Appellants should not be out of pocket as they were successful. Dated this 30th June 2018 Garry Thompson CHAIRMAN   Harnesslink Media

Bettor's Delight mare Utmost Delight has won a brutal Jewels race, finally claiming a narrow victory in stirring home stretch battle with harness racing rival Delishka. Utmost Delight had to be the best horse to win after sitting three wide and parked for most of the race while Mark Purdon took the bull by the horns and launched to the front early on All Stars runner Partyon. In the straight Utmost Delight dug deepest and beat Deliska by a half a length with a further length back to Seaswift Joy in third. Driver Ricky May gave credit to trainer Steven Reid after the race. "I have only driven her five times and she has never been out of the first two for me, so Steven always has her pretty spot on,"he said. Steven Reid said it was a great week for him. "All I can say is it has been a great week. "I had my doubts today that she could win but the way she worked during the week I thought she only needs an ounce of luck and she had no luck but still won. "I am just rapt. I am really rapt for the owners and everyone involved in the horse," he said. Utmost Delight paced the mile in 1-52.7  Harnesslink Media   Listen to owner Charlie Roberts son in law Paul Kenny Utmost Delight WOODLANDS STUD 4YO DIAMOND (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1), $150,000, 4YO MARES, 1609m   For 4-year-old pacing mares. Video  Weather: Overcast     Track: Fast      Race History     Plc Bk Horse Barrier Hcap Stakes Fav Time Margin Driver Trainer 1 13 Utmost Delight 13 fr 75,000.00 1/2 1-52.7   R T May S J Reid 2 5 Delishka 5 fr 22,500.00 3/3 1-52.8 0.50 M J Williamson B K Mowbray 3 2 Seaswift Joy 2 fr 15,000.00 2/1 1-53.2 2.40 J P Stormont J P Stormont 4 11 Opoutama 11 fr 6,375.00 8/8 1-53.3 2.80 Z E Butcher B Purdon 5 12 Partyon 12 fr 4,735.00 5/4 1-53.3 3.00 Mark Purdon M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 6 7 Step Up 7 fr 3,770.00 9/9 1-53.9 5.60 D J Butcher S G Telfer 7 3 Juice Brogden 3 fr 3,770.00 6/6 1-53.9 6.00 N A Chilcott Miss N A Chilcott 8 10 Bonnie Joan 10 fr 3,770.00 4/5 1-54.0 6.10 D J Dunn C T Dalgety 9 1 Christanna 1 fr 3,770.00 10/10 1-54.5 8.90 P A Butcher M G Berger 10 8 American Empress 8 fr 3,770.00 11/12 1-54.7 9.90 S W Abernethy J M Young 11 6 Bettor's Heart 6 fr 3,770.00 7/7 1-56.0 16.10 J R Dunn P D Bagrie 12 4 Lynbar Rose 4 fr 3,770.00 12/11 1-56.7 19.60 M W McKendry MNZM J M Young $150,000.00   Scratchings SCR 9 Carlas Pixel 9                     Divs: $4.20. $1.70. $2.10. $1.60. Quinella $9.30. Trifecta $72.70. First4 $508.20. Margins: 1/2 length, 2 lengths, 1/2 length Times: Mile Rate: 1-52.7 Last 800m: 56.0 Last 400m: 28.2 Placed Horses:       Utmost Delight 2013 4 B m Bettor's Delight - Victor Supreme   (by Placid Victor)    Trainer: S J Reid, Pukekohe    Owner: C J Roberts    Breeder: C J Roberts    Delishka 2013 4 Br m Bettor's Delight - Balishka   (by Badlands Hanover)    Trainer: B K Mowbray, Russley    Owner: Nanticoke Racing Inc    Breeder: E W Knight,B K Mowbray    Seaswift Joy 2013 4 B m Bettor's Delight - Swift Belle   (by Christian Cullen)    Trainer: J P Stormont, Pukekohe    Owner: M I Shinn, Mrs P G Redmond, J R Redmond, G S Redmond, D C Redmond, A G Redmond    Breeder: M J Prendergast,Mrs P G Redmond,M I Shinn

It might seem strange two of Auckland's greatest staying races are so dependent on what happens at the start, three or even four minutes before the finish. But the start might be the winning and losing of the two biggest group ones at Alexandra Park tonight. Both the $150,000 Rowe Cup and $100,000 Messenger have enough depth to make them even but their natural lead-up races last Friday — the Anzac Cup and Taylor Mile — suggested trainer Greg Hope has the horse to beat in both. A G's White Socks led, trailed and bolted away with the Taylor Mile and has the draw to potentially do something similar in the Messenger, while Enghien has been so good in his last two starts, including the Anzac Cup when he was pushed off the track down the back straight, he is clearly the trotter to beat in the Rowe Cup.   But both face very obvious challenges in the early stages of their races. A G's White Socks might, and it is only a might, have the gate speed to hold Eamon Maguire and Star Galleria at the start of the 2700m mobile Messenger and if he does Hope will be reluctant to see driver Ricky May trail like he did last week. "I think if we hand the lead to Eamon Maguire then he will hand to his stablemate (More The Better) and we are three deep on the markers and in trouble," says Hope. "Ricky and I have discussed it and we are of the mind that if he leads we will want to stay there and take our chances." A G's White Socks's two recent group one wins, the other being the Easter Cup three starts ago, have been when he trailed and the possibility of him wanting to lead throughout if he can hold fast beginner Eamon Maguire at the start, sets the tone for a competitive race. While most major Alexandra Park staying races are won by the horses saving ground on the markers, any early battle could play into the hooves of Star Galleria, who emerges as the value in the race. But Eamon Maguire, still a very new recruit to the All Stars, was the run of the race when second in the Taylor Mile and if he crosses straight to the front he has all the options. The start of the Rowe Cup may not be as much about options as manners, with Enghien still very much a work in progress and one who has had very few standing starts on a full front line in his career. That could mean some early nerves for both he and punters tonight but Hope is confident he will handle the stand. "He is actually a very sensible horse and can begin quickly," says Hope. "When he did gallop from a stand three start ago it wasn't his fault, he got a shock when horses rushed up behind him because he had blinkers on. "But I am confident he will get it right and I am sure he is better than when he ran second in the Anzac Cup last Friday." That, coupled with the mixed form of many of his rivals, makes Enghien the horse to beat but you can make each way cases for Speeding Spur (draw and career record), Lemond (blazing Anzac Cup win) and Harriet Of Mot (occasional bursts of brilliance). The two other group ones tonight are vastly different. It is silly to bet against Winterfell in the Trotting Derby while the Sires' Stakes Championship has been thrown wide open by the unfortunate scratching of Princess Tiffany.   Michael Guerin

When it came to getting involved with horses, Philippa Hanley really didn’t have a choice. It was literally inscribed into her life the day she was born. Whilst the Hanley name is well known and respected in the animal nutrition world, it is her first name that spelled out her future. Philippa literally means ‘lover of horses.’ “I’m so horse mad,” admits Hanley. “I have always loved horses and got the bug from my late father Paul Hanley. He always had a share in a galloper.” She was admittedly ‘thoroughbred mad’ as a teenager, but found the allure of Standardbreds ten years ago when she got involved with Cool Sandy, a Sands A Flying mare she would later breed from. “I now have a few young horses and two racehorses. They are Cool Changes, who I bred, and Back In Black who I bought at the yearling sales. I have been extremely rewarded with both horses winning two races each since December. They are both having a well-earned break and are trained by Stephen Boyd and his team,” said Hanley. Cool Changes is a six-year-old Changeover gelding Hanley bred from Cool Sandy and has won three races so far.  Whilst Back In Black is a lightly raced three-year-old with a record of two wins from just eight starts to date. Some of her personal highlights so far in ownership include overcoming adversity. “Cool Changes came back from two wind operations to win a trial and Motukarara and then his first race back. That was over the top amazing and Steve Boyd did a huge job to get him back,” explained Hanley. “And my first home bred horse, Betabecool went to Australia and the USA and won over 35 races. Beginners luck but you can’t go wrong with a Bettor’s Delight can you?” “Buying De Lovely’s filly, Porscha, at this year’s yearling sales was a highlight too. I love her so much.” While winning races is a huge thrill, it’s not what drives Hanley to own Standardbreds. “My favourite thing is to be involved with a horse who just loves to race,” Hanley said. “Cool Changes and Back In Black are not champions but they just love the whole race day ritual of getting ready and being involved. As I am so horse mad I really love being a team with a keen horse and all the Boyd racing crew.” Her animal nutrition business, Hanley Supplements, specializes in very high specification nutritional products for dogs, horses and farm animals. It allows her to follow her passion in life, but to also to give back to those who desperately need support. “I heal animals with food and it works well. Through my business I sponsor free food to New Zealand’s dog shelters, and give hundreds of bags of my Hanley Formula to horse shows and horse rescue operations.” The well-being of horses is never far from her mind either, sponsoring a Kaimanawa horse each muster and also supporting life after racing. “I put a lot of cash directly into Standardbred showing and racing in New Zealand,” explained Hanley. “I’m really excited about the Standardbred as a riding horse for after they finish racing, so I help where ever I am needed.” “For my own horses racing is only the first half of their life, it’s up to me to get them trained for a cool life after racing. This costs me but I factor this in when buying and breeding, and I will pay to have a horse saddle broken when it’s finished racing.” Hanley is humble about her generosity. “There are so many amazing people in this industry doing a lot more than me. I’m just a small help to a special breed of horses which I love so much.” If you’re considering ownership Hanley would recommend it strongly to those who want a fun experience. “Some people expect to win all the time and want cash back for their investment, these people are better off buying a rental property,” she laughs. “I would recommend it if you want to have fun or love horses. It’s addictive!” - If you are wanting to find out more on how you can get involved in harness racing ownership, email Jess Smith jess@hrnz.co.nz    HRNZ Marketing

The man with the perfect draws to dominate the two glamour races at Alexandra Park tonight says it may not be that simple. Because Ricky May says while he can win both the Taylor Mile and Anzac Cup, it may not be a comfortable watch for punters. May has barrier one with A G's White Socks in the Taylor Mile and as the winner of the Easter Cup two starts ago he looks good enough to be master of his own destiny, which is exactly what he didn't do at Addington last start. "I stuffed up the drive last start, I gave Mark [Purdon, driving More The Better] the lead too easy and we had no chance after that," admits May. "So we have the ace this time and I think I have to be aggressive from the inside but the question is how aggressive because there is plenty of speed next to us. "I can see them going really hard and some of us are going to have to make decisions around the first bend." Translated into non-racing speak that means: we want to lead or trail the right horse but we don't want to go crazy trying to do so. That pretty much sums up the likes of key rivals Star Galleria, Let It Ride and Raukapuka Ruler, the drivers of all will want to get to the markers but not spend too much energy doing so because that could set the race up for More The Better. As good as his group one winning rivals are, Star Galleria has been brilliant this season and has the raw speed to give driver Tony Herlihy options so he deserves favouritism and if he can run to the front it will take a special performance to get past him. Let It Ride has had the right preparation of speed racing and was good enough at the workouts last Saturday to win while More The Better could be sitting just off the speed after a sizzling open sectional and swoop in what shapes as a great race. Enghien showed with his luckless last-start second at Addington he is now strong enough to beat the older trotters but if you are expecting a lead-and-win performance from barrier two you might be disappointed. For all his stamina he is still a quirky trotter who doesn't like being bustled and May suggests he will have to be patient early before making his move later. "He is at his best right-handed and I am sure he can win but he has been funny this season so I don't see us racing to the lead or anything like that." Enghien can undoubtedly win but with the possibility Lemond, Bordeaux and even Temporale could surge forward to get in front of him punters might be understandably reluctant to take his $2.50 opening price. Lemond appeals as the value in the race as he bounced right back to his best over 1700m last week and showed good gate speed. A repeat of that could see him press forward and even lead tonight from where he would take enormous running down. Earlier in the night the scratching of Luby Lou after she got tangled in a fence has opened up the Sires' Stakes Trot, with Renezmae and Winterfell the greatest beneficiaries while it is hard to make a case to bet on, or against, Princess Tiffany at $1.30 in the Caduceus Club Classic for the juvenile pacing fillies. Michael Guerin

In what was a minor harness racing upset, Rock N Roll Heaven gelding A G’s White Socks has ruined an All Stars clean sweep by beating the favourite More The Bettor in yesterdays $90,000 Group 1 Easter Cup. The Purdon/Rasmussen team had looked on target for winning all six of the races they had starters in, until the Greg and Nina Hope trained A G’s White Socks charged down the centre of the track to claim a deserved win in the Addington feature race. Driver Ricky May said after the race that he always thought A G’s White Socks was suited to the extreme distance of 3200m. "He has gone well over the distance before in the Auckland Cup. " Today he really sprinted when I asked him to go and he picked More The Better Up easily," he said. A G’s White Socks paced the 3200m from a stand in 4-02.1 with a closing 800m in a sizzling 55.2 with the 400m in 27.1 seconds. More The Bettor stuck on well for second after trying to lead all the way and Tiger Thompson also battled on well for third after working hard mid-race. The Hope stable also picked up the 4& 5yo Trotting Championship when Enghien led for the last 800m and won easily with May in the sulky. A G’s White Socks winning the Easter Cup Harnesslink Media

Invercargill lawyer Murray Little was in the winners circle twice at the Wyndham harness racing meeting yesterday (Saturday) when two of the horses he owns and bred won their respective races. Betterthanbrie started the ball rolling in Race Two. She settled in the last group of runners after drawing barrier thirteen and improved three wide on the back of Thisexcusebetterbeit inside the last 700 metres. Driver Dexter Dunn brought the three year old wide into the straight and she let down strongly to beat Thisexcusebetterbeit by a length and a quarter with a half a length back to favourite Semiramide who was late getting clear.  The Betterthancheddar filly qualified as a two year old from Wayne Adams barn but is now trained by Paul 'Tank' Ellis at Oreti Beach. "She got a wee injury about four or five months ago. We turned her out and decided to put her on the beach which is quite good because I get to drive her on Saturdays and Sundays," said Little who owns the barn Ellis trains out of. Betterthanbrie is out of the nine win Holmes Hanover mare Suvarno Hanover which Little owns. "I've had her (Betterthanbrie) since she was weaned and I'm never going to sell her because she's the only filly I've got out of Suvarno Hanover." Little got into the family when be bought Mach Varno at the sales. "Then Ged Mooar rang me and said do you want to buy the mother in foal to Courage Under Fire. I bought her and I've been breeding from her ever since." The Courage Under Fire colt never raced but the next foal by Bettors Delight named Wannabet won three in New Zealand and another eight in Australia. He's paced a mile there in 1-53.9. Suvarno Hanover's next foal is Betterthanbrie while she also has an American Ideal two year old colt named Wannahavtime. "He's growing and going to be a big horse so we just tipped him out this week. Kirstin Barclay's got him and he was going really well on his second prep." Little also sold the mare's yearling colt by He's Watching at the recent Christchurch sale for $18,000. He thinks there's still improvement in Betterthanbrie judging from the way she's been running on in her previous starts and he says he'd love to start her in Invercargill at the end of next month.  "I'll talk to Tank but I'd love her to race in the Southland Oaks because her mum won it." Murray Little with stable helpers                      - Photo Bruce Stewart  Later in the day the talented Mach's Back returned to the winners circle after a horror run of noughts. He settled in the last group of horses early. With 1300 metres to run, driver Ricky May sent the four year old forward three wide. He got cover briefly from favourite Come Dance With Me which had followed him up. At the 400 these two horses got down to business and under the urgings of May, Mach's Back proved too good winning by a length and a quarter. The winning time was 2-56.3. "He had teeth problems and was crossfiring but they've got that sorted out," said Little prior to the win yesterday. Like Betterthanbrie he also bred Mach's Back which is by Mach Three out of Dream Angel a full-sister to high class mare One Dream which won eighteen races and nearly $900,000.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   Betterthanbrie winning    Mach's Back winning  

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