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Sean McCaffrey described his last drive at Cambridge Raceway yesterday (Tuesday) as one of his most satisfying. The 57-year-old, who leaves for Australia this month to work at Yabby Dam Farms in Ballarat, won the $6,000 Sean McCaffrey Farewell Mobile for the R50 to R57 pacers behind the Ross Paynter trained Lambros. McCaffrey and Paynter were training partners up until this month. It was Lambros's third win in 20 starts and his second on the track. He was the $19.60 sixth favourite. “This feels pretty special. One of my more satisfying wins you could say. It’s a great way to bow out all right. I’ve lived in Cambridge for 50 years and this is a special way to say goodbye,” McCaffrey said in the winner’s circle immediately after the race. “The horse went super. I’m delighted for Ross,” he added. McCaffrey and Lambros led from gate two and stayed there throughout. As they crossed the finishing the line, McCaffrey gave the small crowd a big assertive army-like salute. “Did you like that? That was the last salute,” he joked. The R52-rated Lambros paced the 2200m mobile in 2:43.3 (mile rate 1:59.4) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 60.8 and 29.5. The brown Bettor's Delight 3-year-old gelding had two-and-a-half lengths and half a head to spare over Are You Ready Girl (David Butcher) and Tact Ollie (Peter Ferguson). “He’s been unlucky in his last few races and if I ever wanted to win behind him, it was today. He felt real good and hopefully it won’t be his last for Ross,” McCaffrey said. McCaffrey has lived in Cambridge for 50 years and will be farm manager at Pat Driscoll’s Yabby Dam Farms. “I went to the Sales with Pat last September and built up a good rapport with him. Then not long ago he asked me if I wanted to relocate to his magnificent farm and after some thought my wife, Joanne, and I agreed to move,” said McCaffrey. Meanwhile, Thames trainer Paul Springall believed one-on-one training was the secret behind The Last Gamble’s sudden form reversal following the 4-year-old mare’s third consecutive win in his colours at Cambridge Raceway yesterday (Tuesday). The trotter than finished 100 lengths last at the Thames meeting on January 21 has now won at Cambridge Raceway twice (also February 16), and New Plymouth (March 2) “Jay (Abernethy) knew I was on the lookout for a trotter and he gave her to me at our Thames meeting. I haven’t even had her for two months and already she’s developing into one of the best horses I have trained,” Springall said. “Tender loving care, the big Thames track and good tucker I think are some of the reasons why she has thrived,” he added. The Last Gamble simply out-stayed her seven opponents in yesterday’s $7,000 Garrard's Horse & Hound Handicap for the $9 and faster trot. Driven by Arna Donnelly for the first time, the Great Success mare trotted the 2700m stand in 3:32.9 (mile rate 2:06.8) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 61.9 and 30.8. She was the $8.20 fourth favourite. "I think she appreciates working on a big track compared to say amongst other horses in a big team. She really enjoys her work and can do eight rounds of the Thames track at good speed. “That’s why I thought she might out-stay them today. She has quite a bit of stamina and can grind her opposition down if she gets her own way,” Springall said. Donnelly agreed. “That was a great pick-up drive. All I had to do was just sit there and steer really. She did the rest. A real armchair drive,” the modest Cambridge horsewoman said. The Last Gamble was disqualified from her first three starts last October because of branding issues when racing under a different name. But Abernethy said he was now delighted for Springall. “We had trouble getting her to go away and we did a few saddle trots with her. I always liked her and I thought she might thrive on a change of scenery. Good on Paul. I hope he gets a few more wins out of her too,” Abernethy said. Duane Ranger

Yagunnakissmeornot’s new trainer Robert Dunn thinks the 5-year-old mare can go close in tonight’s Group Three $25,000 Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes at Alexandra Park, but deep down thinks she might be a run short. “Even though we are giving Idle Bones (40m) a 20m head-start, the Brent Mangos runner still looks the horse to beat. Our mare had two to three weeks off when we got her and we haven’t been able to get a suitable trial into her since then. “Don’t get me wrong she’s a classy animal and has been working well. She’s a beautiful looking horse and a natural athlete and can win, but the lack of racing is a slight concern,” Dunn said. Dunn obtained Yagunnakissmeornot off Sean McCaffrey, who after living in Cambridge for 50 years, this month takes up a position with Yabby Dam Farms in Ballarat. Yagunnakissmeornot last raced raced on January 26 at Alexandra Park when she finished a six-and-a-half length eighth (of 11) in a $15,000 Dunstan Mares R60 to R116 handicap trot. Tonight she will be driven by John Dunn for the first time. The daughter of Love You and Dutch Annie will be attempting to win her 13th race from 35 starts in the Sims Pacific Metals-sponsored 2700m standing start event - a distance she has been victorious five times from 15 attempts. In fact all 12 of her wins have been at 'The Park' and Dunn said he can see why. “She’s a lovely gaited trotter and it’s a pleasure having her in our barn. It comes as no surprise to us that she’s one of the favourites. Even though she’s not quite 100 per cent I think she can still measure up,” he said. Idle Bones was paying $1.70 favourite when the New Zealand TAB's fixed odds market opened mid-week. Yagunnakissmeornot was quoted at $3.30 and Sunset Peak (10m) was at $8.50. The remaining seven were all paying double figure dividends. Unlike the other two favourites Yagunnakissmeornot doesn’t have the unruly tag beside her name. “We really like the way she steps and have been impressed by her fluent gait. It’s just a matter of getting work into her and progressing along until the Rowe Cup next month (April 28),” Dunn said. He said that McCaffrey had told him the mare hadn’t been finishing off her races the way he wanted to and that was something Dunn had been looking at. “Sean just couldn’t put his finger on it. He said she was starting to wilt in her last 50 metres. He vet-checked her and there was nothing come from it, so it is something we will monitor and work at closely. “I think the little break will have done her the world of good. She gives me the impression that she is getting back to the form that saw her get to open class,” Dunn said. Yagunnakissmeornot finished a one-and-a-half length third in this race last year behind All Royal Girl and Whitney. She was the favourite that night and started from 30m behind. Meanwhile, Dunn had no hesitation labeling his two-win Bettor’s Delight gelding, Wrangler, as his best winning chance at Alexandra Park tonight, despite starting from four on the second row in the first event. The 3-year-old will start one of the favourites in the $20,000 Brancott Estate Mobile for the up to R63 pacers. “He’s a nice gelding and I was really happy with the way he went last start. That was a nice third and he’s back in grade now. That was a big strong run and I’m expecting him to do even better on Friday, even from out there,” he said. Duane Ranger

The opportunity to work with some of the world’s best trotting stallions and mares and to leave New Zealand’s handicapping system well behind him are the reasons Sean McCaffrey will leave Cambridge in the middle of next month (March). The Waikato horseman has been living in Cambridge for 50 years, but said the lure to be farm manager at Pat Driscoll’s Yabby Dam Farms in Ballarat, Victoria, was too great. “I went to the Sales with Pat last September and built up a good rapport with him. Then not long ago he asked me if I wanted to relocate to his magnificent farm and after some thought my wife, Joanne, and I agreed to move. McCaffrey said Anton Golino would continue as head trainer, while he would manage the 720 acre (almost 300 hectares) farm as well as conditioning the young horses at Yabby Dam Farms. “I will retain my property in Cambridge and Ross Payne will take over our team of about 15. It’s a good opportunity for him and he has the support of our owners. My wife will follow me once the loose ends have been tied up,” he said. McCaffrey, who is 57, has lived in Cambridge since he was seven. He said he had trained some very nice horses over the years, but the best of them was the 28-win ($780,386) multiple Group One winning trotter, Sovereignty. All up he has trained 442 winners ($3.7m) from 1986 to 2016 and 40 ($366,076) more with Ross Paynter this season and last. He’s also trained about 50 others overseas taking his tally well beyond the 500 mark. In the sulky McCaffrey saluted the judge 134 times ($903,524) between 1983 and 2017. However he wasn't always the stable's number one driver, often preferring to use Maurice McKendry. McCaffrey said he was looking forward to working for O’Driscoll’s elaborate and state-of-the-art Yabby Dam Farms. “I’m excited because I’ll be working with some of the best possible horse-flesh you could get. Pat has lured the best stallions and mares from all around the world,” he said. O'Driscoll said it was great to have someone with McCaffrey's experience on board. He said he would compliment the professionalism he had at his Farm. “The trotting world was undergoing something of a revolution as the best bloodlines of Europe and North America combined to produce horses of superior gait, outstanding speed and enhanced stamina. "Our mission is to provide Australian and New Zealand breeders with access to the best and most modern trotting bloodlines available in the world,” O’Driscoll said. He said his philosophy remains to continually evaluate and source the best available trotting genetics from around the globe and to make those genetics available to our clients, to assist them in breeding world-class Trotters in Australia and New Zealand." O’Driscoll said he had been busy over the past 12 months, having built the training and breeding facility in Ballarat, where we stand our French group winning stallion Used to Me. "Our roster of immaculately bred, race performed French stallions have continued to increasingly be influential with Love You being named ‘New Zealand Trotting Stallion of the Year’ and his son Monbet being crowned ‘New Zealand Horse of the Year’. "How can you not be excited about working with quality horse-flesh like that? That’s not forgetting the world-class 50 or 60 mares Pat also has on his property. “Sure the handicapping debacle was a reason why I’m leaving but the lure of Yabby Dam Farms and its state-of-the-art professionalism was the main reason,” McCaffrey said. Some of those mares include: La Coocaracha, Showmethemaori, La Biscuit, Donegal Flat, Calder Luck, Glenferrie Elixir, and from New Zealand - Kincaslough, Arboe, and Parisian Chic. Their best colt or gelding so far is the 17-win Ganymede (France) - Showmethemaori gelding, Vincennes. Duane Ranger

Sean McCaffrey has not doubt who his best horse is in the main trot at Cambridge but he isn’t sure Yagunnakissmeornot is his best chance. The once exciting local mare has been a shadow of her former self for the last year, having not won for 10 starts after ending 2015 with five wins on end at Alexandra Park. Back then she looked a potential serious player in open class but now co-trainer McCaffrey is scratching his head. “We can’t work out what has gone wrong with her,” he admits heading into race five tonight. “It isn’t ability because at her best she just kept on running like the good stock of Love You do. “We have tested her for all sorts of things and we found a gut issue recently which we have worked on. “But will that solve her for form issues? Tell the punters I really couldn’t say. “We will try and drive her quietly this week and have one run at them but I am not going in confident.” McCaffrey and training partner Ross Paynter also have Lemond in the race and suggest he could be the better chance, even though he hasn’t been well treated by the discretionary handicaps. “He was a bit unlucky at Alexandra Park last start but I am still not happy about his handicap.” While McCaffrey rates Lemond a safer option than Yagunnakissmeornot, he says South Island veteran Valmagne, who is staying at his stables, is at least as good a chance as both. “He is a tough old horse who keeps on trucking so if they go hard he could beat both of ours.” On a night with few stars another local adding at least of a touch of group one class is Prime Power, who was heavily backed in the open class trot last week but galloped early. If he behaves tonight the small field and his standing start speed brings him into play even from a 50m handicap. While McCaffrey isn’t bursting with confidence about his trotters, he rates Lambros a huge chance in race race six. “He if can hold up from the ace early, and I think he can, then this is a good race for him. Michael Guerin

Primus Inter Pares didn’t handle the sticky track at Manawatu Raceway on Tuesday and can make amends on the second-day (Thursday evening). That’s the opinion of 6-year-old’s Waikato-based co-trainer Ross Paynter. He said the brown gelding would also be better for Tuesday’s first up run in seven months. “Scotty (Phelan) said he didn’t like the track on the first day which caused him to gallop. He’s got a bit of a motor but will have to trot all the way to win on Thursday. “He’s way better than what he showed us on the first day,” said Payne who trains Primus Inter Pares with Sean McCaffrey at Cambridge. The son of Dr Ronerail will start from 10m behind in the $8,000 Paul Claridge Electrical Handicap for the R50 and faster rated trotters. Primus Inter Pares is rated 60. “He (Primus Inter Pares) only has to trot like he did at the Cambridge last Saturday. He went well good time that day. If he does things right he’s definitely the best of our four chances on Thursday,” Paynter said. Primus Inter Pares finished second behind Lemond (30m) in a seven-horse up to R90 trot. He trotted the 2700m handicap from 30m behind in 3:33.4 (2:07.2) mile rate. Toughest for him to beat tonight will be the R86-rated Master Monarchy who ran third from 45m behind on the first day. He gets the same handicap tonight. Paynter also commented on the three other runners from his stable fronting tonight. Here’s what he had to say: Race 2: Armabluechipboy (3) – "He raced good on first day. He lacks a little bit of gate speed. I just wish he could leave the gate a bit quicker. He’s an honest little horse who I think would be an each-way chance with trip.” Race 6: Artanne (5) – "She’s a nice little filly but still has quite a lot to learn. With right run she will sprint on okay. Still got to get find some ring-craft but I liked the way she came home on the first day. If she’s on or near the pace she can win.” Race 7: Spyda (4) – "He has good gait speed and if he gets to front without too much work he will be hard to beat especially on the tight Manawatu track. He’s also got a short sprint and the Manawatu home straight suits him nicely. He won well on the first day and can do so again but he will need to get to have own terms in front.” Duane Ranger

Born and into the harness Racing industry in 1990, Finnbarr helped his father Sean McCaffrey, a well-known New Zealand trainer, at their stables in Cambridge doing boxes since the young age of five. Although he has been in the game for over 20 years, Finn has never driven in the gig and preferred to stick to the tractor. Sticking to the tractor paid off for Finnbarr, in 2016 he made the move from across the Tasman to Tabcorp Park Menangle to extend his knowledge in track management. He is now a well-respected employee at Harness Racing New South Wales working at the Menangle Park Training Centre as a Maintenance and Horticulture Worker. At the age of 24 Finnbarr had already started succeeding in his profession, becoming the Track Manager at the Cambridge Greyhound racetrack. At 25 he decided making the move to NSW would benefit him in the long run gaining experience and developing skills. He believes that the Australian Racing Industry has a greater prospect than back home and took the opportunity to work here as soon as the position arose. Finnbarr hopes to travel the world working throughout American and Europe at different racetracks, furthering his knowledge and hoping to direct everything he learns along the way into a Turf Management role. In 2015 Finnbarr lost his hero, his grandfather Jim Wilson. Finnbarr and Jim had a close relationship and admired that Jim taught him the ways of life, taking pride in the work ethic he has now, thanks to his father and grandfather. "There's always something to do and if in doubt grab a broom" - Finnbarr was often told as a child. Struck by tragedy in 2013, Finnbarr was building in Hamilton, New Zealand when he injured his back out, rupturing a disc. After having surgery, Finnbarr spent a long six months on the couch and shortly after commenced rehabilitation, essentially having to learn how to walk again. Finnbarr describes this time in his life as low, putting on 19 kilograms in the six months however he is better for it and has learnt to respect and to look after his body. Sadly with the accident, Finnbarr had to say goodbye to his sporting career. Although his sporting career was short lived, he accomplished playing Rugby Union in the Curtain Raiser game for the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton New Zealand. Favourite food: Homemade crumbed beef schnitzel that mum makes Favourite drink: Since moving to Oz, nothing beats a good can of Solo Footy team: Rugby Union will always take priority so, ALL BLACKS! AMANDA RANDO

Sean McCaffrey and Ross Paynter are only in their first full season of their training partnership together but already the signs are very encouraging heading into the future. Last night they took three runners to Alexandra Park and to even their surprise came away with three winners. First up was the smart Love You trotting mare in Yagunnakissmeornot who made it two from two for the season with another impressive victory. Sean was always of the opinion that the mare would get better with age. " She is a big daughter of Love You and I always thought time would be her best friend." "She has never really disappointed me the whole way through and I think she is probably still twelve months away from being at her peak." "That was her tenth win last night at just her 20th career start so you know if you are patient with her, she will reward you down the track," Sean said. Contrary to some reports, Yagunnakissmeornot did not get the bonus for winning ten races at the park as some of her two year old wins were penalty free. The second win for the partnership last night came in the form of the four year old Real Desire mare in Norvic Ruby. Sean has always had a bit of time for the mare. "I broke her in as a late two year old and she impressed me but just needed a little time." " She kinda got forgotten about and ended up having 15 months out." This is only her second time in and she has gone from unqualified to race winner in one preparation so she has a future. " She just needs to be driven cold and have one shot at them and James (Stormont) drove her beautifully last night," Sean said. The third winner for the partnership came in the form of the very well bred three year old trotter Royal Willie. The three year old son of Majestic Son and the former top racemare Miss Whiplash (13 wins) was driven a treat by the inform Maurice McKendry and grabbed the favourite Matatoki late for a stylish victory with the rest of the field over six lengths away. Talented enough to be competitive in the Harness Jewels last season, Royal Willie has really come on between campaigns. " He is very bossy and territorial at home and likes to let you know that he is about." This season he still does that at home but as soon as he gets to the track he is behaving like an old campaigner. " No noise at all last night and he was well behaved the whole time at the park." " Maurice was very confident going into the race and told me post race that he won it a bit easier than it looked from the stands," Sean said. Sean and Ross have made a good start to their training partnership and with the team they have around them, they should be in for a very successful season. Harnesslink Media

Well known Cambridge harness racing trainer Sean McCaffrey has decided that it is time that the man who does most of the work at his barn, Ross Paynter gets the recognition that he deserves. To that end Sean and Ross have gone into a training partnership together and Sean can only see upside in the move. " Ross is a very knowledgeable horseman" " Over the years he has spent long periods working for trainers such as Mark Purdon, Mike Berger, Charlie Hunter and Jeff  Whittaker so he has gained a lot of experience in the process." " He has also had a couple of spells in Sweden so he is very handy to have around with all the young trotters we have here." " Actually Ross is in Sweden at the moment which means I have had to put in an honest days work while he is away so I'm looking forward to his return," Sean said. The majority of the McCaffrey- Paynter barn are trotters and Sean is looking forward to the season with their five qualified three year old trotters. Gershwin and Royal Willie were both very competitive in the two year old classics last season and Sean is very happy with their progress this time in. " There is not very much for three year old trotters before February-March next year so you get to teach them a bit more ringcraft beforehand without the real pressure." " I am confident they are good enough and its job of Ross and I to get them there at their peak," Sean said. One person wasn't surprised by the partnership announcement. " My better half has told me that she wasn't surprised at all by the move." " She has been telling me for a while that I am only half the man I use to be and needed help," Sean said. Noted as a barn that excels with young trotters, the new partnership looks more than capable of building on that reputation. Harnesslink Media

We are at that point of the harness racing season where all the cream in the two year old ranks rises to the surface. That is especially so with the two year old trotters who line up on Friday night in the $60,000 Lone Star Riccarton Sires Stakes Championship at Addington. The northern raider Gershwin has shown plenty of ability in his short career and the beautifully bred colt looms as a major chance in Friday nights feature. A son of the champion North American sire Muscles Yankee, Gershwin is the second live foal of the former outstanding racemare Allegro Agitato (22 wins) ($529,854) and looks to have inherited a lot of the family ability. Trainer Sean McCaffrey has a high opinion of his two year old colt. " He is just such a natural trotter." " We raced him in aluminums all round and he doesn't need or appreciate any weight." " Once he is underway a kid could drive him," Sean told Harnesslink this week. Gershwin has met the hot favourite High Gait twice and Sean took a lot of confidence out of their last meeting. " My fella did a lot more work in the race and she only got us by a nose up the passing lane." " Gershwin has really improved since then as well and we have a big advantage at the barrier so I give him a big chance," Sean said. Gershwin is not the only two year old trotter that Sean has sent south with the stablemate Royal Willie also on the trip. " The owners missed a payment for the the Sire Stakes series which is why he is not there this week but he is third on the Harness Jewels rankings and will be at Ashburton." " His last start win at Alexandra Park where he sat parked against the maidens showed us he has a fair bit of bottom to him and they will know he is there on Jewels day,"Sean said. A son of the leading sire Majestic Son from the former smart racemare Miss Whiplash (13 wins) ($151,765) Royal Willie has always impressed Sean. " I have always liked him and there is nothing between him and Gershwin ability wise." " It is hard enough to get one nice two year old trotter most years but this year I have been lucky enough to strike two," Sean said. Seam McCaffrey is no stranger to winning age group trotting classics at Addington and in Gershwin he looks to have a royal chance of adding to the trophy cabinet on Friday night. Harnesslink Media

As we come up to the big night of harness racing at Addington on Friday we thought we would do an in- depth preview of some of the group races. First up is the New Zealand Trotting Oaks. 1) Natives Lasting Love -  Starts: 7    Wins: 0    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $1,562  -  (1st Emerg) A seven start maiden who has shown promise at times but has a mountain to climb here if she made it back into the field. Not for us. 2) Habibti Ivy -  Starts: 5    Wins: 2    Secs: 0    Thirds: 2    Life: $11,495 The full sister to the brilliant Habibti has inherited all the family ability and looms as a major winning chance from the draw. Showed high gate speed at her last start and was finishing over the top of Monbet and Prince Fearless late which is great form going into this. Winning chance from the draw and a must have in all combinations. 3) Alvira Hest - Starts: 3    Wins: 1    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $4,073  Outstanding win last week at Addington, coming from last at the 600 metres to loop them wide out and win easily. Huge step up here and showed no gate speed last week which negates the good draw. Could sneak into the first four with the right trip. 4) Eilish Aimee - Scratched 5) One Yankee Hall - Starts: 8    Wins: 0    Secs: 2    Thirds: 2    Life: $2,980  Promising maiden who went off the rails a couple of times recently but seems back on track now. Well beaten by Alvira Hest last week which doesn't bode well for this assignment. Not for us. 6) Fiery Mountain Girl - Starts: 5    Wins: 2    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $15,143  Very promising filly who has won a couple of races in good style. Showed gate speed when winning at Addington prior to Xmas and has come on in leaps and bounds since then. Can't see her as the winner but a serious trifecta and first four player from the draw 7) Agnes Brown - Starts: 4    Wins: 1    Secs: 1    Thirds: 0    Life: $7,153 Showed a fair bit of promise in her first two starts which were both from a stand which gave her time to balance up. Two mobiles since have seen her self destruct which is a major handicap in this race. Even with Dexter on board, we can't have her as a first four player. 8) Arya - Starts: 15    Wins: 10    Secs: 3    Thirds: 1    Life: $157,486  The half sister to Stent has been a star from day one and has only missed a placing once in 15 starts when she was disqualified from second in the Harness Jewels. Faultless manners are a big plus and she is race fit after a string of Australian wins recently. Comes into barrier six and has gate speed so will settle handy to the speed. The one to beat for us and a must have for all combinations. 9) Zsa Zara - Starts: 7    Wins: 0    Secs: 2    Thirds: 1    Life: $3,598 Nice filly in the making but this looks a bit rich at this stage of her career. Would need all favours to finish in the first half of the field and from barrier nine that is not going to happen. Not for us.                                                                      SECOND LINE 10) Sunny Ruby - Starts: 17    Wins: 2    Secs: 2    Thirds: 1    Life: $15,448 Smart front running filly who is the fastest filly off the gate in the country but all of that advantage is negated by the draw. Will be interesting to see how she goes with a sit because there is no doubting the ability. Still only an outside first four player for us. 11) Wanna Play - Starts: 15    Wins: 2    Secs: 3    Thirds: 4    Life: $58,795  Very talented filly who doesn't quite have the ringcraft of some here but has as much natural ability as any. Will really appreciate the mobile and the left hand way of going as she is better the Addington way round. Throw in the best driver going round at the moment in Natalie Rasmussen and Wanna Play is a serious winning chance and a must have for all combinations.  12) Yagunnakissmeornot - Starts: 13    Wins: 7    Secs: 2    Thirds: 4    Life: $52,820 Another high class filly who has won seven races and never missed a placing in thirteen starts. Does tend to run in on the corners left handed but trainer Sean McCaffrey confident it won't be an issue on the roomy Addington track. Really good coming off a sit recently and can get a big piece of this with a run to suit. A must have for all combinations. 13) Petite One - Starts: 7    Wins: 3    Secs: 2    Thirds: 0    Life: $28,871  Has looked very talented in her career to date, pushing Speeding Spur at Auckland and beating Al Bundy as well so no doubting the ability. Disregard last run as got taken out by breaker with a lap to go and was to far off them afterwards but did make up a lot of ground to run fifth in a field that included Monbet and Prince Fearless. Definite trifecta and first four player for us. 14) Jen Jaccka - Starts: 3    Wins: 1    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $4,238 Promising filly who ran 3:04 for 2400 metres at her second lifetime start so the ability is there. Big step up here and our concern is the lack of ringcraft against a field of this quality. Combine that with the draw and we can't find a place for her. Not for us 15) Gael Ludlow - Starts: 14    Wins: 1    Secs: 1    Thirds: 0    Life: $6,564 Very good from a stand and also has a liking for grass tracks, neither of which she gets here. This looks out of reach at this stage of her career. Not for us. 16) Cyclone Jeter - Starts: 6    Wins: 1    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $5,904 Has won a race but last couple of starts have been very disappointing. Throw in the draw and it looks hard to see her being a player here. Not for us. SELECTIONS  Arya who comes in to barrier six looks very hard to beat. She has an all round game and is race fit for this and will have the All Star finishing touches on her preparation this week. The main danger for us is Habibti Ivy who showed real gate speed at her last start and then finished the race off strongly against the two of the best colts in the country in Monbet and Prince Fearless. Blair Orange takes the drive and with the Paul Nairn polish on her she is a big chance of rolling the favourite. Yagunnakissmeornot is hindered here by the draw and had she drawn better would have been a huge winning chance. Can still get a big piece of it but will have to do more work than any of the other favoured runners. The same applies to Wanna Play who has drawn behind Alvira Hest who is not quick off the gate. Any luck in the running brings her right into calculations.  For trifectas and first four players add in Fiery Mountain Girl and Petite One

Last week wasn't one of our best but the missing link was our southern tipsters who had a shocker at Winton last Saturday. Everybody else was thereabouts with their selections with Jim Curtin, Todd Mitchell, Maurice McKendry and Ricky May tipping us into winners and we had seven placegetters as well. This week there are only four meetings in the country and we have selections for them all. Taranaki - Thursday afternoon John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Gave Sheza Springfield a big chance of clearing maidens in race 3 Peter Scaife - Likes Prime Legal to improve on his first day run and win race 4 Scott Phelan - Rates Better B Amazed as very hard to beat in race 9 Sean McCaffrey - Thought Styx It To Em was right in the zone and would win race 10   Addington - Friday night John Dunn - Very bullish about the chances of Boom Gate in race 1 Blair Orange - Gives Goodness Gracious Me a big chance in race 2 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thought Jaccka Justy would be hard to beat in race 3 Tony Herilhy - Thinks Hug The Wind will be very hard to beat from barrier 1 in race 6 Tim Williams - Very keen on the very smart Have Faith In Me, also in race 6 Todd Mitchell - Reckons Prime Power is at his best and will win race 8   Ascot Park - Saturday afternoon Shane Walkinshaw - Likes the chances of Geordie Sivad to make it two in a row in race 4 Brad Williamson - Thought Mokosun from the front line would be hard to beat in race 5 Brendon McLellan - Gives Leigh Major a big chance in race 7 Nathan Williamson - Very bullish about the chances of Statham in race 8 Clark Barron - Not sure if Bonnies Khaleesi can beat Statham but a great place bet, also in race 8   Methven - Sunday afternoon Matthew Williamson - Likes the chances of the first starter Toot Toot in race 1 Bob Butt - Quite bullish about the chances of Ancient Moonlight in race 3 Jim Curtin - Gives Trial Separation a big chance of leaving maidens in race 4 Terry Chmiel - Really keen on the chances of Another Delight, also in race 4 Ricky May - Thought Jack Hammer would be very hard to beat in race 8 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks Break Dance is a big chance to make it two in a row in race 9   Harnesslink Media

With five group races at the harness racing meeting at Addington on Friday night, punters are spoilt for choice with so many great races in prospect. One of the most even is the $40,000 Group 2 Trotting Oaks which has drawn together a quality field of three year old trotting fillies and picking a winner is fraught with difficulties. Several of the favoured runners have drawn poorly which has tended to even the playing field a bit. One of those who has been disadvantaged by the draw is the very smart daughter of Love You in Yagunnakissmeornot who will start from three on the second line. Yagunnakissmeornot is the winner of seven races and has never been out of the first three in thirteen lifetime starts. Trainer Sean McCaffrey was philosphocial about the draw when he spoke to Harnesslink today. " Yeah she has got the visitors draw but i couldn't be happier with her going into the race." " She is actually a lot better with a sit so the draw may work out well for us." " She can run in a bit on the corners left handed but I don't think it will be an issue on the bigger Addington track."  " I have done my bit so now it is up to Maurice," Sean said with a laugh. Yagunnakissmeornot is a noted front runner but Sean says that is more to do with keeping the young filly out of trouble more than anything else. " With young trotters it pays to keep them out of the wars so we have led in a lot of our races with her." " The last couple of starts we have taken a sit and and she has really sprinted when she has got clear, Sean said. When quizzed about who he saw as the major danger on Friday night, Sean was quick with the answer. " Any runner in blue with the grey stars is a runner to be wary of" Sean said. Sean McCaffrey and Maurice McKendry are a combination that has had a lot of success over the years in age group trotting classics and in Yagunnakissmeornot they have another filly capable of adding to that great record. Harnesslink Media

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

It’s taken just over three months but Charlie and Anne Hunter have finally opened up about the death of their champion trotter Sovereignty. “It was so sad when we had to have him put down." We wanted to tell no-one because he meant so much to us." "You are the first to get the news simply because you heard about it first. “We didn’t want to announce it because it still hurts.' "He was not only one of the best trotters I have ever owned but he was a wonderful horse with it." "Very sad,” said Hunter the man who has an ONZM for his services to harness racing. Sovereignty, who was put down in September, became the first 3-year-old to win ‘Trotter-of-the-Year’ in the 2007-2008 season. He won 28 of his 94 starts and placed on 34 occasions for $780,386. His Group One wins included the 2008 Northern Trotting Derby, and the 2010 National Trot. He also won three Group Two events including the 2008 Cambridge Trotters Final on his beloved home track. In fact Sovereignty’s last race was in the 2013 edition of the Cambridge Trotters Final on Christmas Eve. He finished second behind Stent. The Monarchy - Lockerup (by Sundon) gelding also won the 3-year-old Ruby Jewels Final in 2008 before it was classed a Group One event. He was 10 when he as put down. “We announced his retirement in the middle of last year." "He had very bad arthritis in his off-front coffin joint." "We had been treating it but it gradually got worse." “We tried several options but the injury gradually got worse." "He was in a lot of pain." "We tried lots of pain relief to treat his nerves but in the end we had to make the decision which was best for the horse." “It was a horrible day when he passed away." "We kept it quiet all these months simply because it hurts every time you mention his name." "He was very special to Anne and I,” Hunter said. Sovereignty was treated throughout his career by Waikato vet Ian McKay. He also did his spelling at McKay’s son’s Ross’s Leanoch Lodge in Cambridge. “Ross kindly allocated him a spot on his property to be buried on." "That was very nice." "We know where he is if we ever want to go and see him,” said Hunter who turns 81 tomorrow (January 3). “He was just such a great horse and great individual." "I’ve still got a Love You 2-year-old gelding with Sean, who is spelling at the moment." "His name is Lemond and he will still keep me interested in the game, which I love so much,” Hunter added. Hunter co-trained Sovereignty with Sean McCaffrey at Cambridge. He rated him right up there with his champions of years gone by – Young Quinn and Jenner. Courtesy of Duane Ranger - Harness Racing New Zealand  

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

We thought it would be interesting to get the viewpoint of all our regular tipsters with regards how they see the New Zealand Cup this week and so the following selections are how they see the race. Maurice McKendry --- Adore Me -- Terror To Love -- Christen Me Tony Herlihy --- Adore Me -- Terror To Love -- Tiger Tara Sean McCaffrey --- Terror To Love -- Hands Christian --Christen Me Scott Phelan --- Terror To Love -- Adore Me --Christen Me Todd Macfarlane --- Terror To Love -- Adore Me -- For A Reason Todd Mitchell --- Terror To Love -- Adore Me -- For A Reason John Curtin --- Christen Me -- For A Reason -- Terror To Love Matthew Williamson --- Terror To Love -- Hands Christian -- Christen Me Nathan Williamson --- Terror To Love -- Christen Me -- Adore Me Brad Williamson --- Terror To Love -- Adore Me -- Christen Me Shane Walkinshaw --- Terror To Love -- Christen Me -- Adore Me Brendon McLellan --- Terror To Love -- Christen Me -- Adore Me Clark Barron --- Christen Me -- Terror To Love -- Hands Christian Tim Williams --- Adore Me --- Terror To Love --- Christen Me   Terry Chmiel --- Terror To Love -- Hands Christian -- For A Reason Steve Richardson --- Terror To Love --For A Reason -- Tiger Tara Robbie Holmes --- Christen Me -- Terror To Love -- Franco Nelson Gerard O'Reilly --- Terror To Love -- Hands Christian -- Tiger Tara  Craig Thornley --- Terror To Love -- Hands Christian --Jimmy Johnstone Jim Curtin --- Terror To Love -- Christen Me -- Hands Christian Ricky May --- Terror To Love -- Christen Me -- Hands Christian Blair Orange --- Terror To Love -- Christen Me -- Adore Me John Dunn --- Terror To Love -- Christen Me -- Franco Nelson                                                                 Cup Day Ringaround   With a lot of our regular tipsters involved in Cup Day we thought we would ask them for their best drive from their book tomorrow. Blair Orange - Quite bullish about the chances of Eyre I Come in race 1 Tony Herlihy -  Rates Tokohoka from the All Stars team as tough to beat in race 2 Gerard O"Reilly - Thought King Of Strathfield had freshened up nicely and could win race 3 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Like Gerard, Steve thinks that King Of Strathfield will win race 3 Ricky May - Very bullish about Dalton Bromac even fron barrier 9 winning race 4 John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Thinks Fly Like An Eagle can confound the pundits and win race 5 Matthew Williamson - Reckons Springbank Sam is a great place chance in race 6 Maurice McKendry - As you would expect, Maurice thinks Hughie Green will win race 7 Robbie Holmes - If Cyclone Kiwi steps Robbie thinks he will win race 8 Craig Thornley - Thought All Delight was a good place chance at odds, also in race 8 Jimmy Curtin - Thinks Te Kawau from barrier three will win  race 9 Tim Williams - Reckons Here We Go Again can overcome the bad draw and win, also in race 9 Nathan Williamson - Confident that Spash Cola is a big chance to win race 11 John Dunn - Rates No Doctor Needed very hard to beat in race 12 Terry Chmiel - Likes Happy Heidi to run the Quinella with No Doctor Needed  in race 12   Harnesslink Media

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