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A $40,000 Pick6 will be up for grabs at Manawatu Raceway this evening and what better person that to get a winning insight into the harness racing meeting than the ‘King of Palmy’ - Stephen Doody. The man nicknamed ‘Noddy’ trained Armabluechipboy to win the seventh race by two-and-a-three-quarter lengths from a worse draw on the first day (Tuesday), and rated the 4-year-old as his best winning chance at today's meeting. Armabluechipboy, a Santanna Blue Chip gelding, has had 33 wins for five starts and four placings and has drawn ideally at one in race five tonight. Doody has six horses entered for the meeting. Here’s what he had to say about the half dozen. Race 1: CD Express (9) – "She’s a two-year-old filly who is only nominated for this race to give her a run before we tip her out. We want her to get experience racing in big fields. She’s quite a capable girl but will be better for the experience. In saying that she can run of over the top of them if she gets the right run. Note: CD Express qualified 4.1 seconds under time in a one-horse trial at Manawatu Raceway on May 2.” Race 4: Narelle Franco (4): - "She was disappointing on the first day after trailing and you would have to take her on trust here. If the right Narelle Franco turned up she could place. Race 4: Sumthin Special (9): - "She should go better after yesterday’s run. She’s better than that and I’d rate her an each-way chance in this race. She won well at Hawera three starts back.” Race 5: Armabluechipboy (1) – "He is a great follower of speed and won very well from nine here yesterday. That was a bold run and I think he can repeat the dose if he gets a clear run through from one. Four of his five wins have been on the track. He’s also won three times over the distance. Go again." Race 6: Xtra Time (3) – "She is going to find this race a bit tough and I think the ones out the back will get the better of her. She's only an R49 rated horse who went okay for fourth (of six) on the first day. That was her first run and she needs more race-day experience." Race 6: Commando One (4) – "She is a nice enough trotter who can finish in the first three here. The mare has finished two nice seconds in her last two Manawatu starts. She has the draw to go close again today.” By Duane Ranger

An initiative to get more people involved in harness racing ownership and to get more people along to the track came to fruition at Manawatu Raceway on Friday night (March 31). Manawatu Harness Racing Club president, Dan Lynch, said the club’s syndicated 2-year-old Mach Three gelding – Captain Kirk – made his race-day debut at the meeting. The bay gelding is trained and driven by local horseman, Stephen Doody and finished a half-head second in the Somewhereinbrooklyn (David Butcher) in the fourth event. Captain Kirk was the favourite.. “We decided at one of our Board meetings that we needed to do something to get more owners involved in our great sport, and then in turn to get them along to the track. “So we decided to buy a horse and we sent our former president and current HRNZ Board member, Allan Brown to go and buy a yearling at last year’s Sales. We had a budget of $15,000 but in the end we paid $21,000 for Captain Kirk,” Lynch said. Captain Kirk is the sixth of seven foals out of the 10-win Live Or Die mare, Gail Devers. She has left one New Zealand winner so far - that being the former Tony Herlihy (MNZM) trained The Kingston Flyer. “We are happy with the way he has progressed. He’s a sensible little horse who seems to do everything right. But we are not getting too carried away. We hope he just doesn’t turn out to be a flop. “However the main goal has always been to have fun with this horse and get his owners to the track,” Lynch said Captain Kirk comprises 20 shares but has about 28 Syndicate shareholders ranging from a coal mining engineer in Australia, retired farmers, McDonalds franchise owners, truck contractors, and accountants. “Stephen had an open day and parade recently and about 40 people showed up with their partners etcetera. There has been huge interest in the horse and that is very satisfying because all along the purpose was to get more people involved. We hope they all flock to the track on Friday. “Huge thanks must go to Mark Bennett, who runs the HRNZ Syndicates. He has helped me a lot as Syndicate Manager. He has taught me to be communicative with all the owners – and that’s what I’ve tried to do,” Lynch said. Captain Kirk has had two trial wins on February 28 and March 7. The latter day he beat Hunter Red by 16 lengths in a two-horse trial at Manawatu Raceway - and in doing so qualified 3.1 seconds under time. He was bred by New Zealand Harness Racing New Zealand president, Ken Spicer and his wife Anne, and Roger and Anne Kirk, all of Christchurch. Duane Ranger  

Harness racing trotter Master Monarchy will be having his last start in New Zealand tonight at Manawatu Raceway. His last race will be in race three where he is the $3.20 favourite on the 'Fixed Odds' market and judging by his fast finishing third on Tuesday he should bow out a winner.  The 5 year old gelding by Monarchy out of Miss Powder Puff is raced by well known Wellington harness owner Tony Jack and trainer Stephen Doody. He was purchased in June 2015 after having the one raceday start for Gerard O'Reilly where he finished 10th to the smart mare Harriet Of Mot in a field of 15 at Timaru. Master Monarchy had his first start for Jack and Doody at Ashburton when deadheating for 4th with the present star of the trotting ranks Marcoola finishing 7th.      Part owner Jack has had previous success in harness racing with Disprove (11 wins) winner of 2001 Easter and 2002 Kaikoura Cups , All Talk (9 wins) & Di Maggio (7 wins).   In all (prior to tonight) Master Monarchy has had 29 starts for seven wins, four 2nds and six 3rds totalling $39,247 in stake money with his last win at Manawatu Raceway last month when he won over 2500m after starting from an 80m handicap. He started in last season's Jewel's at Cambridge where he drew the horror draw of 7 and finished 7th.   Master Monarchy will fly out to Victoria on Saturday and will be stabled at Anthony Butt's property.   Harnesslink Media

The “Bloss” as she was known, is one of sixteen harness racing mares (Reta Peter, Haughty twice) to have won the NZ Cup (to 2015). The 1984 bay Farm Timer mare from Lumber Dream mare Lumber Lady, was bred by Ashburton mates Bob Davison and Bill Cook and raced by the twelve strong Polly Syndicate headed by former HRNZ Chairman Ralph Kermode. The syndicate consisted of six couples, four from Palmerston North and one each from Auckland and Wellington.  Blossom Lady was the leading performer produced by Farm Timer retiring as the fifth NZ millionaire (Luxury Liner, Christopher Vance, Master Musician, Chokin) and first mare as well as being among first ten millionaires in Australasia. At Addington Raceway she won 17 races from 66 starts (placed 21 occasions) placing her among other leading performers such as Hands Down (23 wins), Take A Moment/Lordship (21), Christen Me (20), Monkey King (19), Caduceus (18) and False Step/Tussle (17).  Racing from three years old (ten starts, three wins, first at Manawatu Raceway on 9 February 1988) until her retirement aged eleven following her sixth placing in the 1996 NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes held on New Years Day, her 131 starts in NZ produced 36 victories, sixteen second placings and thirteen thirds for earnings of $879,605. She campaigned on six occasions in Australia for seven victories and nine placings from 24 starts. Her full career stats were : 155 : 43 – 20 – 18, $1,334,808. Best mile rate was 1:56.0 recorded over 1 mile in her first NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes win at the Canterbury Park meeting on 3 January 1991. Established the following national records for a mare all at Addington unless otherwise specified – 1 mile mobile 1:56.0 (1:56.5 AUS), 2000m stand 2:33.5, 2400m mobile (Ashburton) 2:57.0, 2600m stand 3:15.8/3:14.9 (also overall national records), 3200m stand 4:03.3 Blossom Lady’s six NZ Group One’s were all at Addington (NZ Cup/FFA, Easter Cup, 3 NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes) with a further two at Moonee Valley (2 Hunter Cups). Eleven of her twenty two Group race wins were at Addington (above plus 3 Premier Mares C/S, Interdominion heat, Alan Matson (Monsanto) FFA). Her remaining group race wins being Hannon Memorial (2), Ashburton Flying Stakes, Interdominion Consolation (Alexandra Park), Interdominion heats (2 Moonee Valley/Harold Park, 1 Alexandra Park).  Blossom Lady’s staying ability is borne out with her seven victories at the extreme distance of 3200m (3 at Addington including NZ Cup, Easter Cup, DB Draught Hcp) plus Ashburton Cup/DB Draught Hcp (Ashburton) and two Hunter Cups. A sixth of her wins coming from standing starts over two miles distance. Other major wins included 3 Easter Invitational FFA’s – all at Addington; Manawatu/Ashburton Cups, Invercargill Cup (2), Palmerstonian Classic, Forbury FFA’s (2), recording placings in the following major races : seconds at Addington in Honda/Peugeot Cars 2000 (2), New Brighton Cup (Avon City Ford), Premier Mares C/S, Easter Cup, ID heat and Hannon Memorial, ID heats (Harold Park, Albion Park), Victoria/Hunter Cups thirds at Addington in Monsanto FFA (2), NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes, Easter Cup, New Brighton Cup (Avon City Ford) and Ashburton Flying Stakes, ID Ht/Final (Albion Park), ID Final (Moonee Valley), Victoria/Cranbourne Cups Blossom Lady initially trained by Stephen Doody from his Palmerston North headquarters (25 starts for 6 wins) before moving in February 1990 to the Templeton stable of the legendary Derek Jones from where her major successes were engineered. Grand son Anthony Butt handled her for twenty seven victories in NZ plus seven in Australia with others to record wins with her being Stephen Doody (5), Derek Jones and son Peter two each. After retirement from the racetrack, Blossom Lady’s career as a broodmare saw her leave only three live foals, all of whom won races. Her first foal, son Mister DG (Camtastic), won 20 races (14 NZ/6 AUS), $795,749, 1:55.9 (Cambridge Classic, SBS/Heller FFA, Popular Arm FFA, Hunter/Cranbourne Cups, Hannon Memorial, Nobilio, Casey Classic, ID’s [2 heats, Consolation], Waikato Flying Mile). Her two filly foals, In Bloom and Bloss’s Flame. both won two races.  Blossom Lady died on 18 May 2004.  Already an inductee into the NZ Trotting Hall of Fame, Blossom Lady with a Lounge named after her at Addington, rightfully takes her place amongst the elite Standardbreds to have graced Addington Raceway as a 2016 inductee to the Addington Harness Hall of Fame.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Addington Hall Of Fame

Master Monarchy’s win at Manawatu Raceway yesterday (Sunday) has seen the talented trotter break into the 4-year-old Ruby Trot Harness Jewels grand final field at Cambridge Raceway on June 4. Ranked 10th, and with one week still remaining for qualifying, his trainer Stephen Doody said the brown gelding won’t now be lining up until early June. “If he makes the final I’ll line him up and try and run second behind Monbet. It will all depend on the draw if that happens. The draws are so vital at Cambridge over a mile. “If he doesn’t make it I’ll line him up at Alexandra Park the night before the Jewels Final and then I will put him out for a spell,” Doody said. Master Monarchy collected $4,000 for his crushing six-and-a-half length win in Sunday’s $7,000 Wright Handicap for the C2 and faster trotters. It took his season earnings to $27,399.50 - $5,294.50 more than 12th-placed Great Things Happen. Doody has had 10 Jewels finalists but never a Jewels winner, and with Monbet in this year’s Final, he believes he will have to wait at least another year to win his maiden Jewels crown. “Nothing will get near Monbet. He is in a class of his own. My wee fella goes good but he’s a long way from that class. I’ll spell him over the winter then bring him back next season for more northern racing,” Palmerston North-based Doody said. Master Monarchy and Doody made a safe start from their 10m handicap on Sunday and settled near the rear and then were third going down the back straight the last time – and stalking the leaders. In the home straight they simply left their opposition to it bolting away to a big victory. They were the $3.40 favourites and it was the brown Monarchy gelding’s third straight win at Manawatu Raceway and fifth overall. Master Monarchy is owned by Doody and Tony Jack. “He trots all right but I’m not getting too carried away with him. He’s a nice wee horse who has done a good job this season, after two unsuccessful starts last season. “He’s a not a big horse but he’s got a big heart. I think he will come back much stronger, and even better as a 5-year-old,” Doody said. Meanwhile, one of the highlights on the first day was Kilkeel Lady’s sixth win in 114 starts. The Sutter Hanover mare and driver Kyle Marshall sat parked, yet were too strong for their eight C1 and C2 pacing opponents. “She showed good gate speed and then when it mattered she dug deep. We were a bit lucky that Kotare Kasai and John (Dunn) worked hard in the race which helped. We were three-wide and then parked, but Colin’s mare showed a lot of heart,” Marshall said. The Colin Butler trained brown 6-year-old was the $5.60 third favourite on Thursday and paced the C1 and C2 Mares 1609m metre (mile) mobile in 1:58.6 and home in 60.5 and 29.7. She had half-a-neck and half-a-head to spare over Kotare Kasai and Atchoo (Jim Curtin). It was Kilkeel Lady’s third win this season and sixth overall – five of which have been at Manawatu Raceway. By Duane Ranger

Scott Phelan claimed his second Otaki Cup in three years on Sunday but admits he hasn’t had a great deal of luck on the grass since first donning the silks back in 2000. “I think Sunday’s win was my first grass track victory this season. I haven’t won a lot of Country Cups either. I think the only other one was also the Otaki Cup a couple of years ago,” the gifted South Auckland reinsman said. That was in fact behind the Anne-Marie Best trained Tijuana Bromac in 2013. But Phelan was at his driving best when steering the Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained Sweet Art to victory in the 2015 edition of the Railway Hotel Otaki Cup on the grass. Two days earlier they finished a three-length fifth in the Cup Prelude won by the Tijuana Bromac and Sailesh Abernethy. “She’s the sort of horse that if she can get to the front early she can be hard to beat. She paced along at a solid tempo out in front on Sunday and felt really good turning for home. “At the finish she had plenty in hand. She’s the sort of horse that doesn’t have a lot of high speed but she’s a tough mare who can out-grind them,” Phelan said. The 32-year-old sent the Steve Telfer and Chris Garlic trained Sweet Art straight to the front from their one draw and dictated all the pace to win the 3000m standing start event by 1-3/4 lengths from roughie Cougar Bromac (Stephen Doody). Beckinsale and Kyle Marshall were three quarters of a length back in third. Sweet Art paced the Kapiti Harness Racing Club’s feature event in 3:58.2 (mile rate 2:07.7) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 57.8 and 28.9. It was the daughter of Art Major’s mare’s fifth win in 33 starts. She was the fifth favourite of 14 and paid $9.10 to win. Phelan, who is one of the best front-running drivers in New Zealand, dictated all the pace from the outset with the 4-year-old. His hands again proved to be the winning of the race. “I think she’s the sort of horse who would go real well in Australia, but I am not sure if that is in the owners’ plans or not. “I think the Wairarapa Cup is. It’s a $15,000 race and is one of her immediate targets and is a race which is well within her grasp,” Phelan said. Sweet Art was bred and is owned by Stonewall Stud. The Geoff Small trained and David Butcher driven Major Change was the only horse to win on both days of the KCHRC’s two-day meeting. On Friday the Art Major gelding justified favouritism ($3.60) by winning the Palamountains Scientific maiden pace, and then he had 2-1/4 lengths to spare in the Personnel Touch Mobile for C1 pacers on Sunday. He paid $3.10 to win and is a promising 3-year-old who can go on with it. Duane Ranger - Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand PS - Scott gave Sweet Art as his best drive of the week on the Harnesslink ringaround last week. Fifth on the first day, those who stuck with the ship would have loved the $9:10 dividend on Sunday.  

The North Island has won the fifth annual ‘Island Of Origin’ series at Alexandra Park. The Peter Ferguson captained team of six beat the South Island by 25 points to 11 tonight (Friday August 29th). Points were awarded on a 3-2-1 basis for first, second, and third. Ferguson was rapt with the victory. “We didn’t come here to run second. It’s a great concept and I’m rapt to have won it. We all did our bit. 3-2 sounds very nice,” Fergie said. South Island captain Ricky May, who replaced the suspended Anthony Butt as skipper, enjoyed the night. “It’s a great concept especially with owners getting penalty free wins. We were going pretty good early on and then we faded a bit," May said. The North Island paid $1.80 for their third victory. “I really enjoyed it and am always proud to represent the South Island,” he added. Zac Butcher won the Individual title and paid $4.60 on the New Zealand TAB. He amassed eight points thanks to two wins and a second. Blair Orange (six points) finished second with two wins, while Tony Herlihy (MNZM) was third with five points from two seconds and a third. ‘The Postman’ aka Orange delivered in the first heat with a win behind the Andrew and Lyn Neal trained Lucky Fortune. Butcher then won the second heat behind the Stephen Doody trained Te Kawau, while Ferguson led the way with a third heat victory behind the Richard Brosnan trained Torbjorn. The fourth heat went to Orange and the Roni Lauren trained I Got Rhythm before Butcher won the fifth heat behind the Stewart Ashworth trained Machinegun Kelly. The last heat was won by Todd Mitchell and the Peter Scaife trained Rip Roaring. The teams were: North Island: Peter Ferguson (c), Tony Herlihy (MNZM), Todd Mitchell, Philip Butcher, Zac Butcher, and Scott Phelan. South Island: Ricky May (c), Gerard O’Reilly, Dexter Dunn, Blair Orange, Jim Curtin, and Mark Jones. The Island Of Origin winners: 2014: North Island. 2013: North Island. 2012: South Island. 2011: South Island. 2010: North Island. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

The Marlborough Harness Racing Club carded four races last week and Nelson trainer Murray Pash won three of them – with just two horses. Pash cleaned up one day one of the dual-code meeting on Thursday winning with Arcano and Rosetta Stone. Then three days later Arcano did the business again. All three were driven by visiting Palmerston North driver, Stephen Doody. Pash said he would have loved to have driven his team, but said he lost putting Doody in the bike. “Stephen is a very accomplished and underrated driver. I asked him a while back if he could drive my horses and he said yes if he was coming down. He did a super job. I have always rated Stephen’s abilities in the cart. You have to - he’s driven more than 450 winners,” Pash said. Pash was taken to hospital following a three-horse crash at the Westport meeting on March 7. He is still waiting for a clearance to drive. “I’ll be seeing the Specialist in a week’s time and hopefully I’ll be right to get back in the sulky then. In saying that I’m still getting severe headaches so it will be interesting to see what he has to say,” Pash said. The 69-year-old only has three horses in work and it was his grey 4-year-old Arcano who got the chocolates on Thursday and Sunday. The son of Klondike Kid came from the second row (10) to win Thursday’s $7,000 Crafar Crouch Construction Mobile for the maiden pacers. He then repeated the dose from gate 11 on the second day in the $7,000 Haack Construction Mobile for the C1 and C2 pacers. His winning times for the 2400m were 3:31.7 and then 3:25 even. He won by 4-3/4 lengths and two lengths respectively. Mile rates: 2:21.9 and 2:17.5. Sectionals: 67.9 & 32.8 and then 64.2 & 31.6. Arcano has now won two of his 15 starts and placed in four others. Sixth favourite Rosetta Stone got up by a nose in the $70,000 Nigel & Trevor Mobile for C1 and C2 pacers on the first day. Winning time for the 2400m mobile: 3:29.6. Mile rate: 2;20.5. Last 80m: 65.5. Last 400m: 32 even. Rosetta Stone is a 4-year-old black Julius Caesar mare who has now won two of her 25 starts and placed in two others. “There’s not much between them. They are much of a muchness. Rosetta Stone was the first to win and the first to become a C2 pacer so I suppose she is slightly ahead on the points count at the moment,” Pash said. The Nelson horseman has been training out of Richmond Park since 1972 and said he still loved working and driving horses in his retirement. He regarded Eastburn Gee, Mac Raider and Bonnie’s Lass as the best three he had trained and said time would tell as whether or not Rosetta Stone and Arcano would go on with it. Pash has trained 40 winners since the 1970s and three of his five winners this season came at Waterlea last week. He’s also saluted the judge 60 times in his driving career. Arcano is owned by his breeder Ms M. R. Bickley, and M. P. Robinson, while Rosetta Stone is owned by her breeder Mrs D. M Berkett, and Mrs P. L. Gaugler, and Mrs C. B. Pash. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Hunterville horsewoman Abbie Bligh enjoyed her first training success when Sunbrite upset at huge odds of $65.70 & $10.20 at Wanganui yesterday. Bligh, who has been involved in the racing industry for 20 odd years, got her trainers earlier in the season. She had started Sunbrite, the only horse she has in work, four times before yesterday’s win. “It was a huge thrill and a very exciting day,” said Bligh. Bligh said that the win did come as a bit of a surprise, although she did think Sunbrite’s prior run hinted a win was on the horizon. “He went really well when he finished fourth at Manawatu, so I was hopeful he could finish in the money yesterday.” “He is usually a good beginner so I told Saliesh (Abernethy) to head straight to the front. In the end he gave him a great trip,” she added Megan Teaz drove Sunbrite in his first three starts for Bligh, but when she couldn’t drive the gelding at Manawatu on Thursday, Bligh asked Abernethy to take the reins. Bligh gained experience with horses working for Trevor Harris in Bulls before working for Stephen Doody about nine years ago. She has since been back working for Harris, but is now employed by Scott Dickson. “Scott has been great and really encouraged me to get my licence,” said Bligh. “He previously trained Sunbrite and told me he would be a great one first horse for me to train. After yesterday, I’m guessing he was right.” Ferguson father & son Quinella Peter Ferguson and son Dylan combined with Graeme Rogerson and Peter Blanchard for their first Quinella yesterday. Dylan Ferguson, who works for Rogerson and Blanchard, ranged up strongly with Change Gear and the 200 metres and looked the winner, but dad was only foxing, kicking back strongly with stable newcomer Spectacular to win by a neck at the line. Meanwhile, grass track specialist Millview Sarah was successful in the Wanganui Cup. By Mitchell Robertson    

Top Otago-based reinsmen Matthew Williamson and Jonny Cox yesterday provided Otago with their first ever win in the Inter-Provincial Challenge at Invercargill’s Ascot Park.  First run in 1989, Otago, up until yesterday, were the only province (team) that compete in the challenge that had never won it. Williamson was successful aboard Deano Robyn and finished second with Free Dreams, while Cox was victorious with Canardly Lover, giving the team a combined total of 32 points. Canterbury (John and Dexter Dunn) were second on 25 points, while Mid Canterbury (John Hay and Gerard O’Reilly) were third after accumulating 21 points. While Williamson and Cox took out the team division, Dexter Dunn was the individual winner (24) narrowly downing Matthew Williamson (22). David Butcher representing the Waikato was a distant third of 12 points. Below is a list of the past winners: Year Individual Winner Team Winner 1989 Hamish Hunter Southland 1990 Kirk Larsen Southland Under 20 1991 Anthony Butt Canterbury 1992 Anthony Butt Waikato 1993 Ken Barron Southland    1994 Trevor Walsh Mid Canterbury 1995 Jan Gould Central Districts 1996 Greg Cowie Mid Canterbury 1997 Ali Malcolmson Mid Canterbury 1998 Hamish Hunter Southland 1999 Colin De Fillipi Canterbury 2000 Colin De Fillipi Canterbury 2001 Clark Barron Southland 2001 Stephen Doody Southland 2002 Maurice McKendry Auckland 2003 Peter Ferguson Waikato 2004 Clark Barron Southland 2005 Ricky May Central Districts 2006 Brent Barclay Southland 2007 Mark Jones Waikato 2008 Ricky May Canterbury 2009 Dexter Dunn Canterbury 2010 Dexter Dunn Southland 2011 David Butcher Waikato 2012 Blair Orange Canterbury By Mitchell Robertson

On a relatively placid day of racing at Invercargill on Sunday, the Inter-provincial Drivers’ Challenge will be the clear highlight. First run in 1989, the Inter-Provincial Challenge has been won by every province that competes in, most have won it on multiple occasions, apart from Otago that is, they are still sitting on a duck egg. Out to change that on Sunday are gun reinsmen Matthew Williamson and Jonny Cox, who, no offence to previous Otago reinsmen, are probably two of the best representatives they have ever had. “Between me and Jonny we look to have some decent drives, so hopefully we can break the drought,” said Williamson. “We shouldn’t go any worse than the Highlanders anyway,” he laughed. Williamson has a good book, headlined by Free Dreams and Deano Robyn, while Cox, on paper, looks to have a few place chances as well as a good winning chance in the form of Canardly Lover. “I think Free Dreams is my best chance for the day,” confirmed Williamson. “He is quite a nice trotter and I am fortunate enough to know the horse a little bit, whereas a lot of the other fellas will be driving their steeds for the first time,” he added.  The other teams competing in the 25th running of the Inter-Provincial Challenge are: AUCKLAND: Z Butcher, S Phelan WAIKATO: P C Ferguson, D J Butcher CENTRAL DISTRICTS: A Poutama, B Weaver CANTERBURY: D J Dunn, J R Dunn MID-CANTERBURY: G D O’Reilly, J Hay OTAGO: M Williamson, J W Cox SOUTHLAND: N P Williamson, T M Williams. Interprovincial Drivers Championship Winners Year Individual Winner Team Winner 1989 Hamish Hunter Southland 1990 Kirk Larsen Southland Under 20 1991 Anthony Butt Canterbury 1992 Anthony Butt Waikato 1993 Ken Barron Southland    1994 Trevor Walsh Mid Canterbury 1995 Jan Gould Central Districts 1996 Greg Cowie Mid Canterbury 1997 Ali Malcolmson Mid Canterbury 1998 Hamish Hunter Southland 1999 Colin De Fillipi Canterbury 2000 Colin De Fillipi Canterbury 2001 Clark Barron Southland 2001 Stephen Doody Southland 2002 Maurice McKendry Auckland 2003 Peter Ferguson Waikato 2004 Clark Barron Southland 2005 Ricky May Central Districts 2006 Brent Barclay Southland 2007 Mark Jones Waikato 2008 Ricky May Canterbury 2009 Dexter Dunn Canterbury 2010 Dexter Dunn Southland 2011 David Butcher Waikato 2012 Blair Orange Canterbury   By Mitchell Robertson

Brent Mangos came within one win of achieving a personal milestone at Cambridge Raceway last Thursday (August 22). On the eve of his 50th birthday the South Auckland reinsman won four of the nine races at the Waikato Harness Racing meeting. ‘Mango’ drove the winners of the first three races – Te Kawau, Quite Easy Damit, and For Your Eyes Only – as well as nailing the last event with Lambrusco. He also had two seconds and a third from his seven drives. “I’ve won four races at a meeting four or five times now. It was a satisfying night because I’ve been quiet the last couple of months. I haven’t been driving as much as I would have liked,” Mangos said. After the first two races Mangos had driven a double for Palmerston North trainer Stephen Doody, and also won for Graeme Rogerson and Peter Blanchard in the final race. He was also victorious with the 3-year-old Christian Cullen filly he trains with Hayden Cullen, named For Your Eyes Only. “She’s quite a tall filly and has needed time. She had enough ability as a 2-year-old but just wasn’t strong enough. “She’s a nice type but I think her best will come after Christmas,” Waiau-Pa based Mangos said. Meanwhile Mangos is gearing up for a West Australia campaign for his stable star Better Cover lover. “She will have two trials, the first at Alexandra Park on September 14 and then at Cambridge the following week. “I’m taking five to Perth at the end of September or early October depending on flights. ‘Betty’ will have three mares’ races in Western Australia before coming back for the Queen Of Hearts in Auckland. “Then she will follow a similar programme to last year. After Alexandra Park she’ll compete in the two Group One mare’s races at Addington before heading to Sydney again to take on the mares over there,” Mangos said. He said Three Blind Mice, Agent Ninety Nine, and The Black Forest were all booked to join ‘Betty’ while Three King’s journey across the Tasman was still to be confirmed. Mangos hinted that this would more than likely be 6-year-old Bettor Cover Lover’s last year of racing. He said he never really considered the New Zealand Cup option. “I know she would go a great race in the Cup but you have to be realistic and go where the money is. You don’t get a lot for finishing fourth or fifth in the Cup,” he said. Mangos is working a team of 20 ain Franklin – a young team comprising mostly two and three-year-old pacers. “We have a young team and have had to start again, and so far some of the young ones are showing a lot of promise. “We qualified three at Alexandra Park on Saturday. Cheers Kathy and Bettor Bianca went seven and six seconds under the qualifying mark, while Tout Noir went more than seven seconds under when winning his qualifying trot. “I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s a 3-year-old black gelding out of the good Straphanger mare Strapless. One of the Tony Milina breed,” Mangos said. The vodeos of Brent Mangos winning drives are attached. By Duane Ranger Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand

It looked ugly - even life threatening - but they breed 'em tough in Cambridge and thankfully these harness racing photos look worse than what eventuated. Both Shewasashowgirl and Josh Dickie are originally from Cambridge. They both had a home-coming they would like to forget after both crashed heavily to the ground with a lap remaining in last Friday's (January 6) 0-2-Win Pace at Cambridge Raceway.

Central Districts trainer Stephen Doody had a pearler of a night at the Wairarapa Harness Racing Club's meeting held tonight (Thursday April 14)) at Manawatu Raceway. Doody bagged himself a hat-trick training of wins including the Wairarapa Cup with impressive four year old River Field.

Talented junior harness racing driver Mitchell Kerr might just be 19-years old but the way he continues to impress in the sulky you couldn't be blamed for thinking he was at least twice his age. The Otago-born reinsman again produced a drive of absolute quality at the Manawatu Harness Racing Club's meeting held at Manawatu Raceway in Palmerston North tonight (Thursday March 17).

The Stephen Doody trained and driven open class trotter, Braig has been withdrawn from the 2011 Interdominion Championships in April and May - in fact the Palmerston North-based harness racing 9-year-old will never race again.

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