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The Robert Dunn Racing Stable has accepted the charges laid by the Racing Integrity Unit in relation to the return of positive swabs from the Nelson Winter Cup two-day meeting in June. The Judicial Control Authority for Racing confirmed yesterday that the Dunn stable accepted the charges. A judicial committee are currently looking over the case and a disciplinary decision is expected in the coming weeks. The Dunn stable is charged with presenting horses with a banned substance. They returned four positive swabs for caffeine at the Nelson meeting which took place from June 9 to 11. Three of the horses which tested positive were directly from the Dunn stable, while the fourth was from Craig and Aimee Edmonds’ stable. However, that horse was under the care of the Dunn stable, which took it to Nelson. Dunn has previously claimed the horses were nobbled – where the caffeine is administered by an outside party. His claim caused rifts within the Canterbury harness racing community. He also enlisted the help of a private investigator to undertake his own investigation. The Dunn stable is currently second in the harness racing trainer’s premiership with 55 wins – 17 behind Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Robert Dunn has three previous convictions for breaches of the prohibited substance rule.   By  Gordon Findlater   Reprinted with permission of Star.Kiwi site  

Henry Hubert didn't like his one draw at Wyndham today (Sunday). After being well off the gate when it dispatched in the Nuggets Final, starter Ben Ward deemed that the horse behind Henry Hubert - Franco Rebel, was disadvantaged at the start and he called a false start. Henry Hubert was then sent to the outside of the second row for the re-run. But at the end of the day it didn't matter. Driver John Dunn settled the three year old last after the early rush with Vin Scully taking up the early lead. At the 1000 metre mark Dunn followed up a couple of improving horses and was putting the pressure on Vin Scully at the 800 metres. At the 600 metres Henry Hubert had taken the lead and there he stayed beating Vin Scully by two and a quarter lengths.  Easy winner in the rain - Henry Hubert - Photo Bruce Stewart. "The last two weeks he's drawn one which was probably the worst I could have drawn. He's been really good from outside the front line. There's no need for it (his behaviour) but he'll come to it," said Dunn. The Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes in April on Diamonds Day is certainly one of the Bettor's Delight colt's late season aims.  "He's got the ability but his manners and his gate manners would need to improve for us to bring him down. But that's definitely the aim. He went massive in the Sires Stakes Consolation getting home in the sectionals like he did."  Dunn was full of praise for the Southern Harness scene, complimenting the area on it's various series. "We have Pitch Black trained by father in-law (Craig Edmonds with his daughter Aimee) and Borntobeastar which we hope to bring down for the Southland Trotting Oaks."  The $20,000 feature will be held at the Northern Southland Trotting Club's feature day on Saturday 10th March. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

A leading harness racing stable under investigation for doping has enlisted a controversial restaurateur and private detective to help fight the case. Robert Dunn Harness Racing Stables, headed by Robert Dunn and his son John Dunn, has been the subject of a Racing Integrity Unit investigation which has dragged on for seven months. Four horses in the care of the of the stable returned positive swabs containing caffeine which were taken at the Nelson Winter Cup two-day meeting on June 9 and 11. The Dunns have claimed that the horses were nobbled – the caffeine was administered by an outside party. The claim has caused rifts within the Canterbury harness racing community, with those accused of the nobbling threatening their own legal action. Racing Integrity Unit general manager Mike Godber told The Star yesterday the investigation had been completed. But the decision on whether to charge the Dunns has been delayed for two weeks after Robert Dunn requested more time for a private investigator he has enlisted to complete his own inquiries. The private investigator, Simon Lamond, a former Christchurch police detective now based in Auckland, refused to talk to The Star. But his brother-in-law, controversial restaurateur and former jockey Leo Molloy, who is also making inquiries for the Dunns, believed the horses had been nobbled. Mr Molloy is the sister of TV reality queen Dame Julie Christie – the wife of Mr Lamond. “There is zero chance they weren’t nobbled,” said Mr Molloy. “I don’t think anyone believes the Dunns did it. “It’s an unfortunate situation. All I will say is that I hope whoever did it is held accountable. “My role is very minor and I really have little to offer. I have strong feelings about it but not always based on cold, hard facts.” West Coast-born Mr Molloy is a former jockey-turned-veterinarian who became a millionaire with his first venture into the hospitality trade, a student bar called the Fat Lady’s Arms in Palmerston North. He then co-founded the popular Euro Restaurant and Bar in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. Mr Molloy has also previously helped trainers under investigation by the Racing Integrity Unit. But he is often in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons, including: • Launching a string of personal attacks against a tattooed man who was denied service at a bar he owned on the Viaduct Harbour. • Getting into a heated Facebook stoush with a MasterChef contestant. Mr Molloy and Mr Lamond would not say who had engaged them to investigate. Said Mr Lamond: “Talk to Robert Dunn.” Neither Robert or John Dunn returned calls to The Star. But when The Star spoke to Robert Dunn in July he suspected foul play and believed that the horses had been nobbled. He was not at the race meeting in Nelson when the horses returned positive swabs. He has been based at his Pukekohe stables for the past five years, with John overseeing the Woodend stables where three of the four horses were from.   By  Gordon Findlater   Reprinted with permission of The Star.Kiwi

Canterbury harness racing trainer Robert Dunn has a big team of horses engaged tonight at Addington and also has two runners entered at Alexandra Park. Robert thought the best chance of all his runners tonight was Alta Maestro in the NRM Sires Stakes heat at Addington, when speaking to TAB bookmaker Stephen Richardson today about his team and their chances tonight at both venues. " Alta Maestro has been getting back in his races from the draws but hopefully he can land further forward tonight. If he can lead then I think whatever beats him will win",he said,  "Last season he struggled a bit with tie up issues but I am much happier with him now and he is relishing the beach training". Robert speaks about his Addington runners: Race 2   Mahksman  - "I am very happy with the horse. Funatthebeach looks very hard to beat, but I give our horse a good chance of finishing in a place the way it is working at home".  Race 3  Woodstone  -  " John said it got a bit of a check last start but was travelling well at the time. I could see it finishing in the first four if it did everything right." Race 4  Better Chance - " The draw will help and she has been working well. Place chance"               Lovetodream - "Is as sit and sprint type of horse and might have to go back at the start from the wide barrier. The draw is a concern but she is well"               American Tart - "She is trialing well and is ready to go a big race.  She is targeting a 4yo listed mares race on show day but  I expect her to be in the first two tonight". Race 5  Foreverman - "He should go a good race and the field is not overly strong. The run at Kaikoura will have topped him off nicely". Race 6   Alta Orlando - " He is up against some tough opposition and will need luck in that field" Race 7   De Lancome - "Up against some good fillies and the draw is good but she will improve with the run" Race 8   Alta Maestro - "He has been getting back in his races from the draws but hopefully he can land further forward tonight. If he can lead then I think whatever beats him will win",he said,  "Last season he struggled a bit with tie up issues but I am much happier with him now and he is relishing the beach training".                Henry Hubert - "He is probably six months away from showing his best and a very strong field here".                The Brooklyn Brawler - "The draw is against him and he might struggle from there, especially if the pace is on".  Race 9   Yagunnakissmeornot - "She has never really gone that well left handed but I am happy with her. She can run a place with luck in the running"   Alexandra Park Race 4   Wrangler - "I was a bit disappointed with him last start but his bloods came back ok. I expect him to run in the first three with the drop in class". Race 6   Dreams To Reality - "He has a good draw and is working well. He will race forward and if he could find the lead he wont be far away"   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)  

Pukekohe harness racing trainer Ray Green has trained the quinella in the first heat of the NRM Sires Stakes Series at Cambridge Raceway last night. Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing led all the way in the hands of Philip Butcher to narrowly beat the Green trained stablemate Recco Lover by a short margin. The winner paced the 1700m journey in a 1-56.0 mile rate with a closing 800m in 56.0 and the final 400m in 27.1 seconds.  King Of Swing (Rocknroll Hanover - Twist And Twirl) and Recco Lover (Bettor's Delight - Castellina Lover) have both qualified for the $170,000 Group One Final at Addington on November 14. The Robert Dunn trained Alta Maestro, who was the TAB favourite in last nights race sat parked and faded to finish last. Tim Vince trained a double at last nights meeting when both Drover's Eyre and Romanite won their respective races.  Romanite won the amateur drivers race and paced a quick 1-57.4 mile rate when winning over 1700m in the hands of Sheree Wigg. The Art Official gelding zipped over his last 800m in 55.7 seconds to beat the Vince trained stablemate Curlimore. Drover's Eyre led all the way when winning the highest rated race of the night for junior driver Jack McKinnon. The Falcon Seelster eight year old was having his 87th start, but showed there was still some pep left in his legs with a 56.4 closing 800m off the back of a 2-01.3 mile rate for the standing start 2200m. King Of Swing winning last night Harnesslink Media

Ray Green is not stupid --- which means Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing will try for an all the way win at Cambridge tonight. The exciting three-year-old has drawn the ace in the first heat of what looks a very even Sires’ Stakes series, with the northern crop having way more depth than recent season. Already King Of Swing has won at group one level, as has race rival Mach Shard while Alta Maestro paced a couple of national records last season and returned with a win against older horses at Alexandra Park last Friday. There is little between the trio or their other three rivals tonight but early season Sires’ Stakes heats tend to be dominated by leaders and trailer as the sprint distance and reluctance for fresh horses to be given hard runs can often mean those up front get handed the race. Alta Maestro showed blistering gate speed last season but trainer Robert Dunn was keen to see him driven less aggressively when he won last Friday and if he opts for similar tactics tonight then King Of Swing should lead, always crucial in a Cambridge sprint. And Green says that will be the plan, especially after King Of Swing led to win the $300,000 Breeders Crown at Melton in late August.  “We would be stupid not to use the ace draw around Cambridge so that will be the plan,” says Green.  “He only had a week off after the Breeders and won well at the workouts last Saturday so I think he is ready for a 1:55 mile rate this week.” While Alta Maestro is an obvious danger, Green thinks his stable second stringer Recco Lover could trail and have an upset hope. “He has very good speed and isn’t much inferior, if at all, to King Of Swing. So if he trails he has a good hope.”  Mach Shard returns after a great start to last season but having little luck later and trainer Barry Purdon knows he faces a huge task from barrier five.  “We have seen enough of these Sires’ Stakes heats at Cambridge to know how hard they can be to win if there is no pressure so I am hoping they have a go at each other early,” says Purdon.  The heat is strangely not a leg of tonight’s $100,000 Pick6, one that lacks any real anchors but also has a few legs with only two or three major chances so it worth attacking.  The problem child for Pick6 punters is Agincourt, who should win the last leg on raw ability but whose manners have let punters down twice in as many starts. He should be anchored on one ticket but well covered on another. Michael Guerin

The field for todays PGG Wrightson Hannon Memorial at Oamaru has been reduced down to a field of seven, with the latest scratching of the Greg and Nina Hope trained Usain Colt, who has been sold to Australia.  Hope still has the current second favourite Seel The Deal engaged in the race. He is a big mover on the FF win fixed odds, caving in to $3.80 after opening longer than $5.00 on Thursday night. There is a lot of confidence in the Hope stable that Seel The Deal can go a cheeky race today, in preparation for the New Zealand Trotting Cup in November. Driver Ricky May is also quietly confident about the seven year old geldings chances and said "he could need the run without any racing, but I like him a lot in that race" Seel The Deal has been ticking along nicely at the trials and workouts. He ran slashing final sectionals at the Rangiora trials on the 13th September, running home in around 55 seconds for his last 800m in that Rangiora trial. Race rival Alta Orlando trained by Robert Dunn, zipped over his last 800m in a tick over 54 seconds in the same trial, also justifying his readiness for todays race.  The Graeme Anderson trained and Dexter Dunn driven Titian Banner is currently the warm favourite ($1.65 FF) to win the Hannon Memorial, after an easy win fresh up at Addington on the 1st September and then a good second placing to Have Faith In Me in last weekends New Brighton Cup. Seel The Deal and Alta Orlando in their latest trial   Robert Dunn also has the speedy Tuapeka Trick engaged today in Race 6 with John Dunn doing the driving. Tuapeka Trick was placed last season in the group three kindergarten stakes behind stable-mate The Brooklyn Brawler and has come back a stronger horse judging by his latest dominant win at the workouts. The well bred Bettor's Delight colt is raced by the Westview Racing Super17 Syndicate, many of whom are heading down to watch the race today.     Harnesslink Media

High-class kiwi pacer Franco Nelson is moving to Australia. Trainer Shane Tritton confirmed the son of Christian Cullen would arrive at his Menangle stable on Friday. "It's exciting to have a horse of his calibre join the team. I know he's in the twilight of his career, but he raced in great form last season and has been out for a good break," he said. "I'm certainly not thinking he's joining the stable with retirement just around the corner. Quite the opposite, the handicapping system here is great for extending the careers and creating opportunities for horses like him. "And I've got a good record of rejuvenating older horses like him if you take a like through Mach Beauty, Suave Stuey Lombo and others." Tritton said the McKay clan, majority owners of Franco Nelson, initiated the move. "The McKays had horses with my Dad (Peter) and have sent me one already. They have said for a while they are keen to support me," he said. Franco Nelson hasn't raced since a second to Addington on May 12 when trained by Robert and John Dunn. He's battled injuries through his career, but still managed 65 starts for 18 wins, 22 placings and earned $758,127. "He ran some great races last season, including that unlucky fifth in the Inter Dominion final," Tritton said. "He's been out spelling so we are getting him from scratch. The aim is to have him back and primed for the Miracle Mile Carnival." In other stable news, Tritton is focused on a Perth Inter Dominion raid with the speedy Yayas Hot Spot. "I want to time-trial him at Penrith this Thursday night then I think we will go first-up into the Smoken Up (Melton, October 6) then the Victoria Cup (October 14)," he said. "Then it's onto Perth where he will love the tight track. Tritton's star four-year-old of last season Salty Robyn is recovering from surgery following an acute bout of colic. And his former glamour mare Arms Of An Angel is close to a racetrack return. "That's got us all excited. She's only a month away," he said. Adam Hamilton

Rookie Rangiora trainer Mitchell Kerr has two potential Derby contenders and a perfect three wins from three starts to open the new harness racing season. Kerr, 25, is in his first full season as a trainer based at Rangiora Raceway and produced impressive Addington three-year-old winner The Dorchester on Friday night, followed by another exciting three-year-old in Alta Shelby, who scored easily at Oamaru on Sunday. He also trains four-year-old American Ideal gelding Run Boy Run, who won well at Oamaru. “It’s been a lucky start really. I’m still pinching myself,’’ Kerr said on Monday. The Dorchester, by Mach Three, is the first foal of five-win Falcon Seelster mare Meet Me In Mayfair. “He’s got a big motor there and a lot of natural ability … I think he’ll go a long way but he’s as green as grass. “He was going to win by two or three lengths, but knocked off and started pissing round. He’s got a lot to learn,’’ said Kerr. The colt settled back and moved up parked at the 800m at Addington, but ran greenly in the last 200m for leading driver Blair Orange, hanging on to beat Benhope Rulz by a head and deny rookie junior driver Ben Hope his first race win.  The Dorchester ($1.60) clocked 2:25.8 (mobile 1950m), with his last 800m in 55.7s and the 400m in 26.9. “He’s paid up for all the big three-year-old races so hopefully he keeps improving,’’ said Kerr. “It was his first time off the place, apart from the Rangiora workouts where I train from.  ‘’There was a bit of an unknown factor on Friday night, but he delivered which was great.’’ Alta Shelby, a half-brother by Mach Three to Alta Orlando (six wins, 2014 Sales Series winner), is also a potential Derby contender and was never out of second gear winning at Oamaru for driver Matt Anderson.  “The more racing he has the better he’ll be,’’ said Kerr.  Kerr is the son of veteran Ohoka-based trainer Paul Kerr, who gets the young horses up and going before sending them to Mitchell for the last two months of their build-up to racing. ‘’Dad had him [Alta Shelby] originally and had a good opinion of him. His manners are improving all the time.’’ Anderson, who recently left the Mark Purdon-Natalie Rasmussen All Stars stable, helps Kerr in the mornings at Rangiora and the trainer is keen to give him more chances.  “He’s a good wee driver with a future. He’s really neat, looks good in the cart and makes good decisions.’’ Anderson gave Run Boy Run a dream run in the trail and he scored nicely in the junior drivers’ race at Oamaru, clocking 3.15 for the mobile 2600m, his last 800m in 56.9s. “He’s been knocking on the door and was really unlucky [third when late clear] at Rangiora the start before. He’s developed into a nice horse and won it pretty easily.’’ The Dorchester will probably head to the Kurow meeting at Oamaru on August 20, while Alta Shelby will target Addington. ‘’The Dorchester has the edge at this stage on ability, but they are both really nice horses.’’ Kerr says talented four-win pacer Forgotten Highway is ‘’coming up really good’’ after a short spell. “Hopefully, we can get him to the New Zealand Cup meeting and up to Auckland in December.’’ Kerr has previously worked for his father, Robert Dunn at Woodend Beach and Gareth Dixon in Auckland, going out on his own full time this season after securing 10 boxes and a barn at Rangiora Raceway and developing the outside yards and paddocks, before moving the horses in about June 20. “Dad does the young ones and jogs them up - then they come over to me for the last couple of months. It works out really good.’’ Kerr has driven 112 winners since 2009, but always wanted to train on his own. “I have always really loved the training side of it … Dad pretty much taught me everything I know and you just sort of take the good points from trainers like Gareth Dixon and Robert Dunn and mould it all together with your own ideas.’’ With his blue and yellow colours atop the national premiership early on, he has made the ideal start. NZ Harness News

Roxburgh breeder Bill Bain has been involved in animal genetics most of his life. It just happens that he’s gone from breeding award winning sheep, to breeding and racing Standardbreds. Bill is a fourth generation farmer in the Roxburgh district, and prior to retirement farmed five miles south of Roxburgh on a 1500 acre block. He also had a runoff block which backed onto the Old Man Range. For years he successfully bred Corriedales continuing on with the breed that had been started by his late father Arnold. “It’s a New Zealand breed that started in the 1890s. Dad started a stud in the early 1940s. When I left school at the end of 1960 I wanted to get into them a bit more. Dad had sixty ewes. I’ve been share farming for the last ten years with the Wilsons in West Melton and we got up to five to six hundred ewes,” he said. Bain started showing his stock at A & P Shows in the Central Otago area in the early days before heading to the Christchurch shows in 1970. “In 1971 I took two sheep there and blow me down I ended up getting two red tickets (first prizes). In 1974 there was a World Conference in Christchurch and I took out first woolly sheep at the show and he ended up scooping the pool. And it was also named champion.” Sheep bred by Bain still go to the shows but are now under his breeding partner’s name of GR and RW Wilson.   In the 1970s Bain also started a Dorset Downs Stud and for fifteen years he held a one day sale on his farm, selling up to 120 rams at each sale. “I think we were averaging seven to eight hundred dollars. That was really good money for sheep then.” The high point of those sales was receiving nine thousand dollars for one ram selling a half share in another for ten thousand dollars. Always in amongst the sheep there were horses which were mainly ridden as hacks on the farm. “My father had gallopers with Hec Anderton. We always used to make good lucerne hay. I tried to keep it for my rams but he always kept the best for his horses. His best galloper was Harkaway. It only won one race but he thought he’d won the Melbourne Cup I think. He started to breed off her but she had twins and that was the finish of her.”  Arnold Bain was also the first Clerk of the Course for the Roxburgh Trotting Club so there was an early connection to the local Standardbred community. Bill’s brother-in-law Norman Sinclair who lived at Lincoln, got Bill and his wife Pauline interested in racing. “He got Pauline and I a horse called Reklaw’s Girl in the early 2000s. She was bred by Merv Walker. We gave it to Alan Parker to train. We took her to her first race meeting and she came home in the middle of the field. At her second start she came flying home and got third. Someone wanted to buy her but I said ‘no way.’ It took 26 starts before she won (laughter).”   In 2001 Bill and Pauline decided to retire from the farm handing it over to their son David. Tragically he was killed in a car accident shortly after. The following year they sold the farm. In amongst the racing of horses Bill Bain progressed his interest in the breeding side and in 2006 he bought into Presidential Ball mare Onedin Dancer. “Geoff and Jude Knight had been given this filly to break in by Lynley Stockdale. After she qualified they wanted to put her on the market, so I approached them to see whether they would sell a half share. I finished up buying Lynley out. She (Onedin Dancer) had a lot more ability than she showed.” She won twice as a three year old before being retired at four at which point they started breeding from her. Onedin Dancer was well enough bred being a half -sister to Onedin Crusader (the winner of seven here and a further 15 in Western Australia) and Onedin Legacy who’s nine wins included an Invercargill Cup. Of the foals she (Onedin Dancer) has left, Changeover gelding Onedin Onyx has been the best of her foals, winning six races. In the years that followed, Bain bought more of the Stockdale’s Onedin line including Washington VC mare Ashanna who had won three races in the North Island for Mike Stormont. “We won two more races at Forbury that winter then I put her to stud. I also bought the last of the Onedin line Stylish Onedin. She’s been the best mare for me at the sales. Her foals have sold for reasonable money. Her best has been Onedin Mach who won ten here and was sold to America. She’s got a full brother foal to Onedin Mach at foot.” Stylish Onedin a Stand Together mare won twice. She’s also left a couple of very good race horses in Onedin Hustler which won seven races for Peter Hunter and has gone on to do a good job in Australia winning another seventeen. After taking horses to the sales and getting moderate returns Bain realised that he had to look at buying into more modern families and in 2009 he sorted out five well-bred fillies at the Christchurch sale and headed north with a $30,000 budget. At the end of the second day of the sale he got what he finally wanted. “I was looking at buying a filly that was well bred with a mother that had won races with a good time. I was told not to spend too much so we bought Pembrook’s Delight.” Friend Judy Campbell was bought into the partnership and the Bettor’s Delight filly began her racing career as a three year old. As a four year old she was in her prime winning five races that season including the $150,000 Group One 2012 Four Year Old Mares Diamond at Cambridge. “We were rapt just to have one in the race. Pauline and I had just come back from South America. Geoff (co-trainer Geoff Knight) had rung me a couple of weeks before, after she had a run at Addington where she went terrible. They found out she was dehydrated. I rang him when we got into Auckland and he said ‘she’s just worked super.’ Matty was told to go to the front and hand up to one horse (Bettor Cover Lover). It worked out perfectly. I didn’t realise she’d won because we were back a bit from the winning post. Just to get a place for us was good enough. To win we were over the moon. I’m not a big bettor but I got her at fixed odds of 51 to 1. I got enough to shout for the locals when we got home. We took the cup and cover down to the pub. It was a good night for the district.” Pembrook’s Delight ended up winning nine races before heading to stud. Her first foal by Somebeachsomewhere (named Beach Boy) was sold to Michael House who reoffered him last year at his Ready to Run sale. He remains unsold. “I spoke to Michael and he said he was going well. He got a bit crook. It took him a long time to get over the sales. He said he’s turned down $50,000 for him. He said they’ll have to pay more than that for him now.” Her next foal, a filly by Art Major, was bought by Robert Dunn at this year’s sale. “Although we only got $35,000 for her I don’t think she was too dear at all.” Her latest foal is another filly by Art Major. Although he still has a handful of young progeny from his older mares Bain freely admits that the Onedin horses have probably served their purpose and it’s time to move on and head in a more commercial direction. “It’s probably an old fashioned breed. But if you want to sell at the sales you’ve got to have a bit more background.” To that end he has recently bought two very well bred mares. Heart Stealer was bought at the 2013 Australian Classic Yearling Sale for $95,000. He now shares in the ownership with his wife Pauline and friend Doug Gollan. She’s a five year old mare by Bettor’s Delight out of Fight Fire With Fire. Fight Fire With Fire was trained throughout her career by Mark Purdon and Grant Payne winning seven times in forty four starts banking $151,657. Heart Stealer is unraced and has a yearling filly by Sir Lincoln. “She (Heart Stealer) looked good on the sale day but she never grew from the day we bought her. She could have qualified but we decided to put her in foal.” In 2015 he also bought Change Time which had won seven races when trained by Ken Barron. She’s by Christian Cullen out of Chaanger and as a yearling was bought by Thompson Bloodstock for $45,000. Bain has bred an Art Major filly from the mare. “We bought her (Change Time) after we sold the Corriedale stud. I gave my grandson Ryan a half share. He’s a qualified mechanic.” Chaanger which was by Vance Hanover won six races in a limited career. Her claim to fame though was leaving Changeover the winner of 29 races and nearly two and a half million dollars. Bain has also recently purchased a weanling off Vin Devery which is by Bettor’s Delight out the 14 win Badland’s Hanover mare Western Dream. “Paul Davies did the deal. He also found Change Time for me. My nick name round here is Bunter so I’ve called this young one Bunter’s Dream. He’s being broken in at the moment.”  Bain has also been a part of the strong group of racing syndicates that Geoff and Jude Knight have set up in the Central Otago area. As well as being part of the successful Central Courage Syndicate he’s also in the Yshearasheep Syndicate which raced six win pacer Christian Ruler and the Gottashearasheep Syndicate which had success with Memphis Mafia. That syndicate’s latest race horse, a two year old by Mach Three colt out of Cap Off called Unloaded, qualified recently. “I said to somebody that you’re better off having a tenth share in ten horses than having one by yourself.” Bain was also a handy rugby player in his day playing halfback for Otago Country. He played in the same era as All Black halfback Chris Laidlaw. “I never played against him. He was too good for Town versus Country games.” He’s played golf over the years and has won local junior bowls titles. He also recently received a special contribution award for Harness Racing in Otago and is in his last year as President of the Roxburgh Trotting Club During his sheep breeding days he was President of the New Zealand Corriedale Society and the New Zealand Sheep Breeders Association. After he ceased breeding he was named a Life Member of both Associations as well as the Dorset Downs Association. After a lifetime involvement in matching rams with ewes, Bill Bain is more than ever carrying that knowledge and experience into breeding racehorses. He’s getting a lot of enjoyment from it and with his recent investment in modern bloodlines, I’m sure there’ll be more success to come. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

A 40m handicap coupled with a junior driver might usually be a recipe that makes punters nervous but trainer Robert Dunn is comfortable with both at Alexandra Park tonight. Dunn trains rejuvenated mare Yagunnakissmeornot who faces that often prohibitive back mark with young Jack MacKinnon in the sulky tonight, taking over from her recent winning driver Maurice McKendry. MacKinnon is no novice, his 16 wins for the season placing him sixth on the national junior driver’s premiership and second equal among the North Island junior and boss Dunn has no concerns by the driver change. “Jack knows her well and a very good young driver as well as being very mature,” said Dunn. “She can be a funny horse to drive and took us a long time to work out because she is vastly better when you drive her with a sit, which Maurice has done brilliantly lately. “But Jack knows that and in many ways that and her handicap takes any pressure off him because he already knows where he is likely to be and what he needs to do.” Backing favourites off 40m handicaps in feature trots at Alexandra Park is not a sound long-term financial plan but Yagunnakissmeornot has been racing like an open class trotter, beating many of her rivals tonight by six lengths under similar circumstances two starts ago. “And the make up of the field helps us,” says Dunn. “Most of the really good horses in the race are back on 30m so she should be with them straight after the start and I don’t see a tearaway leader to run them really hard off the front line.  “So I think she can win, even though they don’t often off 40m.” Dunn, who trains the northern arm of his team while son John takes care of the Canterbury horses, sits second on the national premiership with 87 wins and thinks he can end the season with at least two, maybe three tonight.  “Cmeerock has a good chance in race two because it is her sort of field, although we have worked out she is also best when driven with a sit. “And the horse who has really improved for us has been Johnny White (race six).  “He has always had ability but developed a few problems and took us ages to get right. “But he won well last Friday and has the draw to be handy again this week. If he leads or trails, which I think he will, then he has to be hard to beat.” The pacing highlight of the night will be Butcher dominated, with drivers David (Vasari), Zac (Northview Hustler) and Ben (Max Phactor) on the three favourites. Max Phactor was a very brave second when the tempo of his comeback race was against him last Friday and might have an experience/class edge over his three-year-old rivals but tonight is his first standing start so punters will want $3.50 to take the chance, even though as a very clean pacer who should handle the stand.  Michael Guerin

Jack MacKinnon will be looking to put the icing on another premiership-winning season at Alexandra Park on Friday. The 22-year-old Pukekohe horseman has all but wrapped up the 2016-2017 Junior Driving premiership at northern headquarters and should seal the title when he reins hot favourite Yagunnakissmeornot in the seventh event. MacKinnon’s title comes a year after he won last season's Junior Driving premiership by a 0.159 of a point on the UDR strike rate. Both he, Andre Poutama and Kyle Marshall all recorded seven wins apiece. This year MacKinnon has won nine races at Alexandra Park – three more than Robert Argue. Sean Grayling is actually second, with eight wins, but he now resides in New South Wales. Unless Argue can win all three of his Friday drives and MacKinnon can't pick up a winner in four attempts on then MacKinnon will pick up his second consecutive Alexandra Park Junior Driving title. “It’s been an a very good season and I’m delighted to have won the Alexandra Park premiership again, because it is the main track in the North island and you never get sick of winning there. “I have been able to drive better horses this year and that’s why I’m getting more winners. I’m grateful to everyone who has helped me especially Robert Dunn, Tim Vince and Steve Telfer & Chris Garlick. They have been very supportive. “I think my season highlight was training and driving Kissmeimloaded in the Jewels Final (3yo Ruby Trot) this year. That was my goal at the start of the season and I achieved it,” MacKinnon said. “My next goal would be to represent New Zealand at the Australasian Junior Driving Champs,” he added. MacKinnon has recorded a personal best 16 wins this season ($155,745) – nine at ‘The Park’ and seven at Cambridge Raceway. His previous best in five seasons of driving was the 12 wins ($145,123) he recorded last year. All-up the former Mount Albert Grammar student has won 40 of his 523 lifetimes starts, placed 95 times, and netted $426,406 in career stakes. His lifetime UDR is 0.1606 compared to his 0.1942 this season. The Robert Dunn employee should win at least one race on Friday. He said Yagunnakissmeornot had come of age lately and MacKinnon thought he would be very hard to beat. “Robert has worked her out and since then she’s really come of age. She seems to be getting better with each race. She is my best drive on Friday,” MacKinnon said. Here’s what he had to say about his quartet of drives: Race 4: The Ivan Court trained Arden Lustre (8) - “He’s up here from the South Island staying with Steve and Chris, and he won his workout pretty well on Saturday. It’s not going to be easy from the draw, but Steve is happy with him and we expect him to go a bold race first-up.” Race 5: The Stephen Argue trained Speedy Lavros (10) - “He didn’t go too bad last time but he can be a funny horse at the start. He’s a hit or miss type but feels like he will win one next season. Things would have to go his way from his unruly (five) draw.” Race 6: The Robert Dunn trained Lambros (9) - “Three-year-old who should go better this week. He’s still learning but follows out his stablemate (last start winner, Johnny White) which should assist him. First four.” Race 7: The Robert Dunn trained Yagunnakissmeornot (11) - “Lovely mare who shouldn’t be too bothered with the 40m handicap, because she does things right at the start and loves this distance (2700m). She has won three of her last four starts and finished second and it's good to be back driving her again. She’s the best horse in Robert’s Pukekohe barn. It took a while for Robert to work her out but now that he’s achieved that she’s a very serious trotter. She’s been unstoppable of late and I think that trend should continue on Friday. The other good horses in the race are also handicapped. It would be a great way to end the season for me. I would love to win my 10th race on the track and I’ve got a very sensible horse to do it.” Duane Ranger

Positive drug tests have been taken from horses trained at the stables of top Canterbury harness racing trainer Robert Dunn.  The positive tests were taken from some stable runners at the Nelson two day meeting in June this year, which has been confirmed by the Racing Integrity Unit manager Mike Godber. Godber said "the investigation was still ongoing and it would be another week or two before the RIU determined what further action would follow" Robert Dunn is currently sitting second on the trainers premiership table with 87 wins from 663 starters this season.   Harnesslink Media

Steve Telfer has purposely taken his time with rising three-year-old, Dance Time, and that strategy worked the oracle second-up at Alexandra Park on Friday night. The black son of Rock N Roll Heaven justified his favouritism in the first of the nine races carded by the Auckland Trotting Club. He was having just his second start after finishing second behind Gooddealehemily on debut on the same track a fortnight earlier. David Butcher has driven the two-year-old both times. "We gelded him and held him back until late in the season. His mother was a Group One winner and she was a big nice filly who took time to get going. He’s from the type of family that needs time and that’s why we held back on him. “He’s got a lot of ability and I thought he would go close to winning that race, but he’s still very green and has a heap to learn. He’s had some wayward traits all right, but has got better and better with time,” Telfer said. “Ability-wise he’s one of the better two-year-olds we have got,” he added. The Telfer and Garlick trained gelding was too strong pacing the $12,000 Franklin Park Yearling Parade (July 29) Mobile, for two-year-olds, pacing the 1700m mobile in 2:08.1 (mile rate 2:01.2) and came home in 57.1 and 27.4 He got up by a head and paid $2.50. Dance Time is fourth of five foals out of the 2002 Sands A Flyin mare, Time To Fly. She won eight races ($105,153) for trainer Robert Dunn - including the $200,000 Group One 2008 New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes. “I’ll give him another three or four starts this preparation, and then bring him back later in the season, when he’s a more mature three-year-old. It’s all about ridding him of that green-ness now,” said Telfer who works a team of about 30 with Garlick at Ardmore. They have now won 37 races this season - four less than their best year recorded in 2015-2016, but the $469,509 they have earned this season, is a personal best by $63,575. Ray Green was the most successful trainer on Friday night, landing three winners via Alta Intrigue (Zac Butcher) in the feature pace, the $14,999 Italian Night (August 11) R75 to R93 Pace; Spring Campaign (David Butcher) in the $14,000 Hydroflow R55 to R65 Mobile; and King Of Swing (David Butcher) in the Australasian Breeders Crown 2YO Colts and Geldings Pace. Green's 34 winners ($422,755) this season is also a personal best - by three. Alta Intrigue was the most impressive winner on Friday night notching up his fourth win in 26 starts ($98,631) with a slashing 1:57.6 mile rate. The only other horse to go a sub two-minute mile rate was the Steven Reid trained, and Zac Butcher driven Utmost Delight (1:59.7) in the fourth event. Alta Intrigue and Zac Butcher led all the way in the 1700m mobile holding out favourite, Max Phactor (Philip Butcher) by half a head. The three-year-old Mach Three colt stopped the clock in 2:04.3, and came home in 57 even and 28.1. Lola Jones and Todd Macfarlane were a head back in third. Duane Ranger  

As far as exceeding expectations go, Bite The Bullet well and truly met the brief at Addington on Sunday. So much so in fact that John Dunn considered himself more than impressed with the four-year-old’s effort to produce a dashing final furlong to win in his first appearance since April of last year. “After such a long time away from the track, to produce an effort like that first up was pretty impressive,” Dunn said.  The Mach Three gelding, who ran sixth behind Lazarus in the Sires’ Stakes Final as a three-year-old, is owned by the Ashburton trio of Alan and Ian Neumann along with Brent Clarke and has endured a rather tumultuous last couple of years. He’s had two wind operations, the second coming after the first was unsuccessful and it’s been a long and slow build up to get back to the track. But judging by Sunday’s win, the wait has been worth it. “His work and everything leading up to the weekend had been really good, we thought he would go a good race. “But even half-way down the straight I thought he was just going to finish the race off strongly, but I didn’t really expect him to pick them up in the way he did. “He really flattened out and sprinted, to get to them as quick as he did left me pretty impressed.” With a record of four wins and seven placings from 23 starts and his wind issues, hopefully, behind him there’s a good platform from which Bite The Bullet can now launch from - although the direction he’s headed is still up in the air. As a Rating 70 pacer, options are limited but not scarce and being a part of the dual-located Dunn stable will has its advantages. Auckland is an option, particularly with the stake levels on offer, but Dunn is happy to take it day by day and see what transpires. “We haven’t worked that out what we will do next,” Dunn said. “There are options there but it’s a case of sitting down and figuring them out.” Bite The Bullet was one half of a driving double for Dunn on Sunday. He also saluted with the ever-improving son of The Pres, Red Hot Poker for Graeme Telfer. With 68 wins next to his name for the season, it’s not going to end quite as fruitful as some of his recent seasons but Dunn is still a happy man and he and his father Robert will go close to triple figures again in the training ranks. “We’ve got a really nice team due to come back to the track soon, some really talented types so that’s always exciting. “But it’s been a good season, the wins have come again and we have to be happy with what we have achieved.” Dunn sighted the emergence of the talented Captain Dolmio as one of his real highlights from the season. The former Southlander is back in work at Woodend Beach and will be aimed at a New Zealand Trotting Cup campaign in the spring. Matt Markham

The continued improvement of Donegal Carrickfin has seen the once rogue pacer become one of the finds of Canterbury racing season and the fun might not be over yet. The former Kaikoura pacer, who is now in the barn of Ken Ford at West Melton, has been in stellar form since the end of January, winning four times in his last nine starts. But today, in the Marlborough Winter Cup at the transferred meeting at Addington, the four-year-old will face one of his toughest challenges. Yet, Amanda Tomlinson who takes the reins this week from her daughter Sheree, is seemingly unfazed. “He seems to handle everything we have thrown at him,” she said. “I think he’s always been a very good horse,” Tomlinson said. “We’ve just done a bit of fine tuning and changed a few wee things here and there and he’s grown up a bit.” Sunday will bring a new challenge though with the stand start an interesting aspect. Tomlinson didn’t say it would be a problem, but then again she didn’t say it wouldn’t be either. All she’s hoping for is another good performance to help lift the spirits of the pacer’s former trainer and still owner, David Broadhurst. “David’s not well at the moment, so it’s been a real privilege for us to be able to give him some enjoyment with the horse going so well.” Had everything gone to plan, Broadhurst would have got a real kick last Friday night but a mix up early on in the life of Donegal Carrickfin meant his nomination for the Uncut Gem wasn’t accepted due to his ineligibility as he wasn’t paid up.   “That was gutting, we thought it would be a great opportunity for him. “We tried everything and had a lot of people helping us, but in the end he wasn’t paid up so he couldn’t race.” The task on today won’t be easy even taking into account the standing start as the Marlborough Harness Racing Club will be over the moon with strong nominations received for the major race of the meeting. Impressive Oamaru winner, Torrid Bromac will be joined in the leading contenders list by the likes of Usain Colt, Ultimate Desire, Boomer Bailey and Alpha Rock while there will be plenty of eyes on the talented Lovetodream who makes her debut for the Robert Dunn stable. Formerly trained by Nigel McGrath, the five-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight hasn’t raced since winning at Ashburton back in October of last year but showed her readiness for a big showing this weekend with two impressive victories at Rangiora workouts and trials in recent weeks. Usain Colt may be the handicappers special in the event due to a drop back in quality from fields he has faced recently. The Greg and Nina Hope trained tradesman has been beaten in three of his last four starts by the talented Cash N Flow and has been running home strongly in each performance. He will start off the 20 metre backmark with three others on today  Matt Markham

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