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Patience isn’t a virtue you usually associate with a trainer who has just prepared a juvenile double on the same race night. But that is exactly what Steve Telfer believes is the key to his two-year-old winners Parker and Dance Time, who ended the season on a high at Alexandra Park on friday night.  It was Telfer’s final night training in partnership with Chris Garlick, who leaves the stable to head a new property being set up by South Auckland’s Ross Johnson. The astute training pair signed off in style after Parker wore down plunge filly Somethingaboutmary in the juvenile race while Dance Time was even more impressive, coming from last to beat older rivals in a quick last 800m. Both horses look to have bright futures, with Dance Time clearly the more advanced while Parker looks a genuine staying prospect. But Telfer is in no hurry to find out just how far they can go. “We didn’t even consider the Breeders Crown for them,” said Telfer. “They are not that advanced and we want to give them the time they need to mature. “So, to be honest, we will probably let them both miss the Sires’ Stakes early in the season too. “We will look after them and their first really big aim will be the Derby here next March.” Both two-year-olds are bred to be smart --- Dance Time is out of Time To Fly, who won the group one Breeders Stakes in 2008 after running fourth in the first ever Jewels race behind GTH Aveross. That makes Dance Time a half brother to his talented stablemate Check In, both owned or part owned by Time To Fly’s owner Scott Plant as well as Stonewall Stud. Parker is from a family Stonewall have had plenty of success with, being from eight-race winner Pepper Potts, whose dam Spicey won nine races for them as co-owners and nearly $200,000 in stakes. "It has been a good young family for us but I think this guy (Parker) will be better with some time.” Telfer said while he will be said to see Garlick move on it was the right decision for him. “We have had a great association but Chris has a young family and his new role will give him more time to spend with them so we are happy for him.” Meanwhile, No Doctor Needed, who is back from Australia and Bettor B Amazed, who ended up not being retired, will head to the workouts soon. “No Doctor Needed will be nominated for the Cup (NZ) and race in a similar programme to last season. “So we will get through Addington and then decide whether he stays here for Christmas racing or goes back to Sydney but we are happy with where he is at. “And Bettor Be Amazed will also be aimed at the Cup meeting, going to the mares race on Show Day, maybe after the free-for-all on Cup Day.” Friday’s double saw the partnership close with 39 wins for the season, just two short of their personal best of 41 last year but with their best stakes haul of $485,731. Garlick leaves having trained 190 winners with a good UDR of .2873 with Telfer. 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

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  

Irish-born Kiwi, Gerry Cronin, is over the moon. His brown McArdle mare, Lola Jones, has been named Dunstan Feeds Cambridge Raceway’s Horse of the Year. The Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained six-year-old won six times, and placed six times at Cambridge this season. She won the title by eight points from Fizzie Lizzi (32). KD Hall (31), Toot Toot (26) and Danke (25) completed the top five. Cronin, who owns Lola Jones, was ecstatic with Dunstan Feed’s $10,000 sponsorship. It’s the only horse he works in conjunction with Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick. “It’s a dream come true, a fairy tale, considering I only bought her to train and drive as an amateur horse. Now she’s won six races this season and has broodmare possibilities later on. “I’m delighted and want to thank Dunstan for their kind sponsorship. I targeted the series at the start of the season. It gives you something to strive for, and now that we’ve won it, well its worth another two wins isn’t it?” Cronin said. “I’m over the moon. The Club and Dunstan need to be applauded. Even though I’ll have to place her carefully, I’ll keep racing her next season as well. Maybe we can defend the title,” he added. Meanwhile, the Director of Dunstan Feeds Ltd, David Smith, was delighted that Cronin and Lola Jones claimed the prize. “Good on him. I’m delighted for both the horse and her connections. We are happy to be involved in the industry and with Cambridge Raceway. This is our fourth year now and we have signed up again for next year,” Smith said. The club's Business Development Manager, David Branch said Lola Jones and Cronin were worthy winners. He explained how Lola Jones got the prize. "This season the registered owner of the winning horse, with the highest points, as at the last meeting in which it competed at 'The Raceway' will receive $4,000; the trainer of that horse will receive a $3,000 product prize; the trainer of the second horse with the most points a $2,000 product prize; and trainer of third horse a $1,000 product prize.” He said each winning horse of a totalisator race at 'The Raceway' accumulated points relevant to its starting position, and every horse that placed second in a totalisator race will receive two points. The horse with the most points after “The Raceway's’ final meeting of the season was deemed the winner. Points were allocated as follows: Mobile races: barrier 1,2,3,4 = 5 pts; 5,6,9,10 = 7 pts; 7,8,11-16 & up = 8pts Standing start: Ft 5 pts; 10m 6 pts; 20m 7 pts; 30m. Meanwhile ‘The Raceway’s 2016-2017, and the club’s ‘Performance-of-the-Year’ went to the 2016 New Zealand Cup winner, Lazarus. Branch said a ‘Horse-of-the Meeting’ was selected among race winners with the most meritorious winning performance. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Lazarus won the award for his one-and-three-quarter length victory in the Group Two $60,000 Waikato Flying Mile on January 6. He was driven by Purdon and paced the mile in 1:54.9 and came home 55.5 and 26.8. Branch also explained how Lazarus got the award. “After the final meeting of the year (last Sunday) a panel of judges selected the Cambridge Raceway Horse of the Year from amongst the nightly winners. “The winning owner(s) of Lazarus will receive a trophy in recognition of their horse’s effort,” Branch explained. Meanwhile. Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick cleaned up as the 'Leading Trainer(s)' at 'The Raceway' this season.   All Cambridge Raceway winners in 2016-2017: Leading Trainer (sponsored by NRM)   1. Telfer/Garlick 126 2. Tim Vince 110 3. Todd Mitchell 101 4. Barry Purdon 89 5. Ray Green 82   Leading Junior Driver (Garrards Horse & Hound)   1. Jack MacKinnon 23 2. Dylan Ferguson 22 3. Robert Argue 18 4. Tony Cameron 15 5. Mark Johnson 14   Leading Driver of Trotters (Club House Sports Bar)   1. David Butcher 57 2. Todd Mitchell 37 3. Maurice McKendry 29 4. Kyle Marshall 29 5. Sailesh Abernethy 28 6. Robert Argue 28   Leading Trainer of Trotters (B & J Gordon)   1. Geoffrey Martin 37 2. Wallis/ Hackett 35 3. Ross Paynter 29 4. Tim Vince 28 5. James Stormont 24     Duane Ranger

Torrid Bromac, who is awaiting a flight to the United States after a change of ownership last week, won for caretaker trainer Gavin Smith at Oamaru on Sunday. “I have only had him (Torrid Bromac) a week so I can’t take much of the credit,’’ said the Kaiapoi (north Canterbury) – based Smith. “I bought him for Mike Casalino in America. He asked me to keep the horse fit as there is not a flight out until June 30.” The New Jersey-based Casalino has purchased other New Zealand pacers recently in Sir Richie, Hezabluechipboy, Media Queen and Nerida Franco. Sir Richie won four races when trained by Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins and latterly three for Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick. Hezabluechipboy won two for Jason and Megan Teaz; Media Queen three for Cran Dalgety and Nerida Franco three for Steven McRae. Casalino earlier bought Kotare Yael and Carrickmannon. Torrid Bromac, a 4-year-old entire by Courage Under Fire – Tanisa Bromac, won five races when trained by Steven McRae and later two for Regan Todd when raced by Max Taylor, of Halswell. Torrid Bromac set a track record of 3.11.8 (1.58.7 mile rate) for 2600m (mobile) at Oamaru in May last year. He ran 3.15.8 from a stand on Sunday and won by two and quarter lengths. He has rated 1.56.7 for 2000m (mobile) at Omakau. Torrid Bromac raced in the open for much of the way and out finished the favourite Ultimate Desire. Brad Mowbray, the trainer of Ultimate Desire, won with Gypsy’s Choice and Speedy Mach, taking his tally for the season to 19 wins. His previous best was nine in nine seasons as a public trainer. Gypsy’s Choice was having her second start for Mowbray after being leased two months ago by a group of owners. The 4-year-old Live Or Die mare had won from the stable of John Hay at Methven in September. Speedy Mach, who had not raced for four months, led for most of the way over 2000m. One Over Da Stars, a half-sister to One Over Da Moon, finished boldly to notch her first win as a trotter. She is a 3-year-old filly by Love You from two-time Rowe Cup winner One Over Kenny raced by Waimate breeders Lex and Heather Williams and their son, Brad, of Palmerston. One over Da Stars is the first horse raced by Brad. The filly is trained by Brent White. One Over Da Moon has won 22 races but he went off stride at Melton on Saturday night. Tijuana Taxi was impressive in her second win as a trotter. She came from tenth at the 400m to score by two and a half lengths. Tayler Strong  

With uncut gems on the line, a princess would be a more than fitting winner tonight at Addington. And Gavin Smith feels he has the perfect candidate for a major race success in one of three new races to the calendar at tonight’s meeting - the Uncut Gems. Smith picks up the drive on North Island mare, Rocknroll Princess in the $40,000 event and the pair will be looking to emulate their effort when they last combined at Addington, which saw them impressive victors. The Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained mare hasn’t been sighted since the Harness Jewels, but will relish a drop in class for tonight’s assignment - even from her outside of the second line draw. “She was massive the last time I drove her at Addington,” Smith said. “Her bad draw at the Jewels over a mile pretty much took her out of play straight away, but back to the 2600 metres should really suit her I think. “With no real superstars in the mix she has to be a pretty big show.” Domiciled at the Robert Dunn stable on Woodend Beach while in the South Island, Rocknroll Princess should start close to favourite in what is a reasonably even looking field. Her potential in the second race of the night could see Smith kick off in style on what should be a good night at the office. He has a number of his own runners engaged at the meeting, including the reigning two-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, Di’z Luck who is again a chance in an open maiden trot. Smith was blaming himself her for her last start effort at Ashburton but is still realistic about her chances tonight. “She was driven upside down last time out, as she is better saved for the one run. “We’ve got a tough draw this week, but she will be running on strong at the end of things.” Smith will chase a second uncut gem when He’s Like The Wind lines up in the trotters’ event - taking on the likes of Lemond and Dark Horse. He too disappointed when heavily supported at Ashburton. “He was awful,” Smith said. “So I’ve upped his workload and made a few changes in his diet. “I wouldn’t say I’m sure he’s 100 per cent, but at his best he could probably lead them up and place I think.” All Settled Down will also line up for the North Canterbury trainer, and on her best day she would go close to winning tonight in an even field, but her chances often are a reflection of her mood and manners. “I’m not sure a big gap in between her races was the right thing for her last time. “She’s good enough to win, and her work has been strong, but she will need to behave and get that little bit of luck.” Smith’s final runner tonight is arguably the most exciting prospect in his stable in two-year-old Bright Diamond who looked set to cause a major upset short of the post at the Harness Jewels before he laboured late and finished fourth. “I thought his run was super, we were over the moon with it.” The promising colt lines up in a $8,000 two-year-old event tonight and even with some quality opposition on hand to try and spoil his party, Smith still feels he’s a big winning chance. “I think he will be hard to beat, even with some really nice types in there.” Smith also has a decent each way chance early in the night with Sharknado who will operate from a handy draw for Phil Burrows.   Matt Markham’s Addington Selections Race 1: Idle Moose, Di’z Luck, Sunrise Spur, Unique Marshall Race 2: Rocknroll Princess, Sails, RR Sand Dollar, Amazon Lily Race 3: Vinny Gambini, Sharknado, Covered N Diamonds, Camwell Park Race 4: Pirate Bay, Indianna Dreaming, Daylight Robbery, Hayley Nicole Race 5: Dark Horse, Lemond, Petite One, He’s Like The Wind Race 6: Sheriff, Bright Diamond, Angel Of Harlem, Samskara Race 7: Mongolian Storm, Duplicated, Shineonyoucrazydiamond, Franco Tai Race 8: All Settled Down, Craddock, Rum In The Sun, Cuddly Jess Race 9: Cash N Flow, Moonrock, Superfecta, Usain Colt Race 10: Jungle Gem, Burning Rubber, Motu Bettor Be Quick, Dance N Jewel Best Bet: Cash N Flow (Race 9) Value: All Settled Down (Race 8)

Cambridge Raceway’s leading trainers in 2016-2017 – Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick can increase their lead at the top of the track’s training premiership tonight. Telfer and Garlick have notched up 107 points this season – 11 more than Todd Mitchell and 21 more than Barry Purdon. Tim Vince is fourth with 73 points. Garlick said his stable would be represented by two pacers in races eight and nine tonight - and rated them both winning chances - with runs to suit. “It’s hard to split the pair of them actually. They are both working well and can both win if things go their way. Happy Magic has the better draw but Lola Jones is a better beginner,” said Garlick who is working about 20 horses with Telfer at Ardmore. He then went in depth about the duo. Here’s what Garlick had to say: Race 8: Lola Jones (5) Todd Macfarlane - "Six-year-old McArdle mare who meets a stronger field this time, but in saying that she's a real genuine race-horse with great manners. From the 10m handicap, and with just two horses off the front, Todd should be able to put her in a nice position. She likes Cambridge (seven of her eight wins have been there) and hasn't been far away of late. She won well here earlier this month and even though there's a couple of smart ones in this, she can still go close. Each-way." Happy Magic (3) David Butcher - "Grinfromeartoear 3-year-old gelding, who is having his second run back since October. He drew one at Cambridge when resuming a couple of weeks ago and ended up three-back on the fence and came home real nice. I think this field might be a bit stronger, but he will be definitely better for the run as well. He should get handy again on Friday and is drawn to be thereabouts. He's won and has placed from three starts on the track. Each-way.” Meanwhile, the feature event - the $8,000 Ray O'Connor Memorial Handicap for the R71 to R78 pacers should see the Arna Donnelly trained Bat Out Of El (Zac Butcher) and the Scott Dickson trained duo of Ralph Elliot (Maurice McKendry - MNZM) and Marshall Star (Philip Butcher) be the hardest for Lola Jones to beat. With no racing at Alexandra Park this week Harness Racing Waikato was able to receive 99 nominations and therefore post 10 races - starting and finishing at 5.37pm and 10.06pm.   Duane Ranger

Up until last Thursday it had been 19 months since Fergus Schumacher last drove a New Zealand winner - and sadly his future wins might also be few and far between. The 22-year-old Cambridge junior driver saluted behind the Derek Balle trained Janet Guthrie at Cambridge Raceway last week. “I was rapt to drive a winner for both Derek and Owen Gillies (owner). Owen has put a lot of time and effort into the game and I respect him and Derek a lot. That was a very satisfying win,” Schumacher said. Schumacher’s previous New Zealand victory came behind the Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained Better B Amazed, also at Cambridge in October 2015. “It’s not an easy game to make money and in September I intend returning to Milan Park. That’s where I went and worked when I returned from Australia last October,” Schumacher said. Milan Park is a thoroughbred Stud in Hamilton. Schumacher was employed there throughout the summer and did yearling preparation up until February. That’s when the work dried up he went and worked for Nicky Chilcott in Cambridge. Schumacher left New Zealand last April in search of better driving opportunities. He ended up working for former Kiwi trainer Brent Lilley in Victoria (Bolinda). He drove four winners during his five-month stay in Australia, including his first city win behind Let’s Elope in July last year. Then on August 21 Schumacher drove the Lilley trained Motown Muscle to victory at a Sunday meeting at Melton's Tabcorp Park. That was his last Aussie triumph. “It was a good learning curve over there but it’s racing, racing, and more racing almost seven days a week. It wasn’t what I was looking for so I returned home and worked for Milan Park. “I’ll be heading back there (Milan Park) in September to do more yearling preps. I’ve always enjoyed galloping and Dad (Brendan) used to have thoroughbreds early on, and my Uncle Aidan still has them,” Schumacher said. However, Schumacher said he wouldn’t be entirely lost to harness racing. “I still intend keeping my licence and will hopefully get the odd junior drive. Dad still has his team so I’d still be keen to drive for him. I’m 22 now and want to lay a bit of a platform in life and it’s really hard to do that being a junior driver,” Schumacher said. The Morrinsville based horseman has driven 13 winners from 221 drives since 2013. He's also placed 20 times and banked just over $100,000 in stakes. Janet Guthrie's one-and-a-half length victory was Schumacher's first for the season. His first winning drive came behind the Brendan Schumacher trained Tuxedo Junction at Alexandra Park on March 15, 2013. "I love driving and I love winning, but it can be hard paying the bills sometimes. Australia was a good experience for me and so was Milan Park. I just want to further my experience with horses,” Schumacher said. The former Hillcrest High School student left Mike Berger’s Cambridge stable a week before flying to Victoria in April 2016. It was his first flight abroad. Now, and back then, he said he was grateful for learning so much from so many trainers. “John Dickie, Todd Mitchell, Arna Donnelly, Steve Telfer, Chris Garlick, Nicky Chilcott and Derek Balle have all been a big help to me over the years, but the highlight has been able to work and drive for Dad," Schumacher said. “The former Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins trained Let’s Elope would be the best horse I have driven,” he added. Duane Ranger  

This season’s Parawai Thames Grass Cup winner, Sir Richie, is now the 2017 North Island Country Cups champion. The 5-year-old Christian Cullen - Wicklow Express gelding won last night's (Tuesday) $25,000 Revital Fertilisers sponsored event at Cambridge Raceway by two lengths. It was Sir Richie’s seventh career win in 35 starts and he was the $23.40, 10th favourite of the 11 starters. He was the seventh highest qualifier for the Final. For his trainers Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick, it was their first North Island Country Cups title. “It’s really satisfying winning a race that you have set a horse for several months ago. He’s been a bit unlucky in recent starts and Maurice (McKendry) has got on well with the horse for most of his career. “He might have paid more than $20 but going into the Final I thought he was an each-way chance because it was a fairly even field and any horse with a good trip could have won,” Telfer said. After a nice start from gate two McKendry settled Sir Richie third and then nabbed the one-one position at the bell. In the lane Sir Richie had too much stamina and held out second favourite Mo Casino (Zac Butcher) and the pace-making, Beyond The Silence (Lyn Neal). Sir Richie paced the 2700m stand in 3:23.1 (mile rate 2:01 even) and came home in 60.9 and 30.5. Telfer said Sir Richie’s owners could be looking to sell him but he would know more when they had returned from overseas. “He’s found Alexandra Park a bit tough in recent starts and I know there was talk about selling him. Tim and Jane Fleming from Taranaki own him and we will be talking to them when they return from Canada. “Apparently they are delighted with his win. They watched the race on the internet,” said Telfer who is working about 25 standardbreds with Garlick at Ardmore. “He’s a good honest horse who would do a good job in Australia, but I think there’s still a win or two left in him here. Maurice drove the horse a treat last night. “He gave him the good trip and then got him home without over-using him. We are rapt. That was a lovely drive,” Telfer said. Sir Richie was bred by Brian Fleming. Meanwhile, the Peter and Vaughan Blanchard trained Tact Ollie (Peter Ferguson) was the only horse to record a sub-two minute mile-rate at yesterday's twilight meeting. The 5-year-old Badlands Hanover gelding notched up his second career win in the second event - $10,000 Lizzie Of Rosslands Kidz Kartz Pace. The most impressive winner of the evening came in the third event when the Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson trained Three Kisses (Hollis), won the $8,000 WF Feeds Maiden Pace by a whopping 10 lengths. It was the 3-year-old Mach Three filly's first win in 11 starts.   Duane Ranger    

Not many trainers win a galloping, pacing and trotting race all within the space of three days but that’s what Todd Mitchell achieved on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week. On Wednesday afternoon his galloper My Pride And Joy and jockey Mark Du Plessis paid $9.10 when winning the seventh event at Pukekohe Park. The following night, he drove pacer Raschker to victory at odds of $6.20 athis beloved Cambridge Raceway, and then last night (Friday) Mitchell achieved his most satisfying victory when he steered Prime Power to win the feature trot at Alexandra Park. “It’s been a week to remember all right. The hard work is paying off. They were all very rewarding, but Prime Power is my ‘pride and joy’. He’s the horse I trained and drove my first Group One winner back in 2013 (Jewels 3yo Ruby Trot). “It hasn’t been easy for him racing off long marks this season. He hasn’t had much luck because of it, but he felt extra tonight and got a nice sit and sprint at them. I couldn’t be happier with him going into some of the big Group Ones in the next couple of months,” Mitchell said. Prime Power notched up his 16th career win from his 51st start when proving too good for The Almighty Johnson, Lemond and company in the $16,000 Dawson Harford Handicap for the R66 to R 109 trotters.  The 7-year-old Monarchy - Mega Belle gelding was rated 109 and started from the 40m back-mark. He was the $6.90 third favourite. “He went super. I’ve been making mid-race moves in his previous starts and it’s just been too tough for him off these long marks because he can’t sprint three times. “The race panned out beautifully. He was so fluent in his gait and he hit the line well. Hopefully he will get some front-line relief when the Anzac Cup and Rowe Cup roll around in late April,” Mitchell said. Prime Power flew away from his back-mark and Mitchell settled him back in the field, but two back in the running line. Then at the 600m he made his move before looming up on turn and winning by one-and-a-quarter lengths. He trotted the 2700m stand in 3:24.7 (mile rate 2:01.9) and home in 59 even and 29.2. “I’ve changed his feed and he looks much more powerful and stronger this time in. I don’t think he’s ever been healthier. He’s so fit and athletic looking that he looks like one of my thoroughbreds. Putting him out for four months in March last year has been the making of him,” Mitchell said. The Waikato horseman thought he would be a real show in the Anzac Cup on April 21. “He badly needs a front-line draw and then we will see the best of him. I’m not saying he can win the Anzac Cup or Rowe Cup, but off the front I think we will see a different horse and the others will know they are in a race. “Thereafter who knows where he will line up. I will talk to Bryan and Marilyn (Macey – owner/breeders) and see what they think. But I reckon he could win another $200,000 in free-for-all races in Australia,” Mitchell said. “His big handicaps here might ensure that. It’s something I will have to sit down with Bryan and have a serious talk about his future,” he added. Mitchell works a team of 20 at Tauwhare, including six thoroughbreds. He had no hesitation saying Prime Power was his stable star. Thirteen of Prime Power's 16 wins have come at Alexandra Park - 12 of them over last night's distance. Mitchell is experiencing one of his best seasons and is the leading trainer at Cambridge Raceway this season with 83 points – eight clear of Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick. In 2016-2017 he has conditioned 16 winners from 111 starters and also placed 33 times. His $125,174 in stakes earnings this season has ensured he's cracked the $100,000 mark for the last five seasons. In a training career spanning back to 2000 Mitchell has conditioned 241 winners from 1,992 starters. He's also placed on 489 occasions and banked $1.9 million in career stakes. The four-time New Zealand Cup winning driver is also having a good year in the sulky. In 2016-2017 he's reined home 17 winners from 203 starters, placed 48 times and netted $181, 024 in stakes. Since 1988 his career stats read 1,072 winners from 10,502 starters; 2,079 placings and $11.3 million in stake earnings. No wonder they call him ‘The Wizard!’ Duane Ranger

Scott Phelan won his second consecutive Taranaki Cup on the New Plymouth grass yesterday (Thursday) thanks largely to Canadian-based Kiwi trainer, Mark Herlihy. Herlihy, who turned 33 today (Friday) got married to Casie Coleman in Florida last week and his father Tony Herlihy (MNZM) wasn’t expected back from the wedding until today. He will drive at Alexandra Park tonight. Phelan was the replacement driver and nailed the $11,000 Revital Fertilisers Taranaki Cup for the up to R90 pacers behind the Herlihy trained and R81 ranked Walkinshaw. The Mach Three entire, who started from four on the second row, was the $2.20 favourite. Phelan won last year’s Taranaki Cup behind the Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained Prince Of Pops. Thirty-four-year-old Phelan, who works for Steve Telfer at Chris Garlick at Ardmore, was delighted with his first drive behind the tough 4-year-old. “He’s a nice horse and felt extra good today. He went into the race in good condition. I hope the Herlihys are happy with the drive because I was rapt to get him home. “I can see why he has won a lot of money in stakes. He just had a nice fell about him. I thought he would be hard to beat going into the race,” said on his long road trip back to Auckland. “It’s always nice driving winners, but New Plymouth has been kind to me. I enjoy driving there,” he added.. The last time Herlihy won the Cup was in 2011 when he trained and drove Swift Therapy to a length victory. That was the same margin as Walkinshaw’s sixth career win yesterday. He held out $8.70 (place) outsider Fleeting Grin and Peter Ferguson pacing the 2600m mobile in 3:21 even (mile rate 2:04.4) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 59.2 and 30.1. The victory also took Walkinshaw’s earnings past the $100,000 mark. It was his first start in the 2017 North Island Country Cup Series and first on grass. Walkinshaw hadn’t raced this year. He was spelled after finishing 10th in a $20,000 R67 to R85 pace at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve. That 2700m stand was won by last Saturday night’s Group One $200,000 New South Wales Derby winner, Vincent. Walkinshaw went into the Taranaki Cup with a fair four-length fourth behind The Orange Agent and Sir Richie in an R73 and faster 2500m mobile workout at Pukekohe on February 18. There were seven starters. Herlihy also won the second event with the Tony Cameron driven first starter, Powder Chief. The 3-year-old was the $8.50 fourth favourite in the 6,000 Taranaki Associated Cleaners Fillies and Mares Maiden. The Bettor's Delight brown filly qualified 6.1 seconds under time when sixth of six at the Cambridge Raceway trials on May 20 last year. She then hinted a win was imminent when winning her 2050m workout at Pukekohe on February 11. Hawera trainer Fred Mitchell also had a good day winning two races and finishing fourth twice from his four starters. He won with the Sailesh Abernethy driven Hold All bets in race four and then repeated the dose a race later with the Kyle Marshall reined Jack Bates. They were the $7.10 third and $8.10 fourth favourites respectively. Mitchell looks poised to record his best season in 13 seasons of training. Last year he conditioned six winners and did the same in 2013-2015. With just under five months of 2016-2017 remaining he has already been victorious five times. Waiau Pa reinsman, Kyle Marshall won the TAB’s Driver Challenge with two wins behind Jack Bates (race 5) and Joemaro (race 7); and three seconds with Bouton (race 2) and Saint Michel (race 3), and Alta Roulette (race 4). Duane Ranger

When you have been training for as long as Barry Purdon there aren’t many firsts left to achieve. But the Hall of Famer thinks he might have produced one when he trained the first four home in the Holmes D G, a race named after one of Purdon’s all-time greats, at Alexandra Park on Friday. Aliante headed home an all-mares trifecta by trailing and using the passing lane to run down Ideal Belle, with Arden’s Choice close up in third. Purdon also trains fourth-placed The Faithful and the result is even more remarkable as he has been the caretaker trainer of Rocker Band, who finished fifth, for the last few weeks. So he took five horses to the race and they finished first to fifth, which would be a wonderful achievement in any race, let alone a serious open class feature. Purdon was “pretty sure” it was his first career first four, definitely since training on his own account, although the stable may have pulled it off when he trained in partnership with father Roy decades ago. “I don’t think I have had four in a race that many times and they well went great,” he said. “So while I can’t be sure I think that would be my first first four.” Then came one of the most prophetic statements of the harness racing season so far. “I am sure Mark has done it before though. He has probably trained the first four home in a Sires’ Stakes Final or something,” laughed Purdon, talking about his brother. Boom. Just 10 minutes after those words came out of Purdon’s mouth, his little brother and partner Natalie Rasmussen trained the first four in the last race at Addington. So two brothers, 1000kms apart, training first fours at metropolitan tracks an hour apart? I am not sure if anybody, anywhere keeps records on that sort of thing but you can bet if it has happened before it wouldn’t be very often. With the first three home being mares Purdon has some serious ammunition to aim at the Queen of Hearts at Alexandra Park in December, what is shaping as one of the best races of that carnival. But while all was good at Alexandra Park on Friday, the stable’s best mare Start Dreaming is recovering from a health scare. She suffered a bout of pneumonia a few days after her last start two weeks ago, so bad her lungs needed to be drained. “She is coming back to it now but it is a real rarity and she was pretty sick there for a while. “But she will be back jogging soon and should still be on target for the Queen of Hearts, which is the logical aim for all these mares.” While the Purdon team were on fire in the Holmes D G, favourite punters had little reason for joy with Hughie Green. He hit traffic early, got back behind the wrong horses and then when driver Maurice McKendry went to the markers to try and make ground with a lap to go he never got clear again. The other punter stinger was No Doctor Needed, who had no luck either and dropped out late, understandably considering the 3:22.6 for the 2700m stand. His trainer Steve Telfer wasn’t too disappointed, citing the lack of racing luck as the main reason, and he still heads to the Kaikoura Cup with the New Zealand Cup the aim after that. Michael Guerin

The strong Auckland-based Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick stable opted for easier pickings at Manawatu Raceway yesterday and then duly won three of the seven races on offer. They had four pacers nominated for the first day’s meeting yesterday on Tuesday and won with Brookes Rose (race 2), Flying Arizona (race 3), and Our Wicklow (race 5). Scott Phelan drove all three. Garlick said their fourth runner, Olivia’s Rose, didn’t get much luck in the running and finished sixth behind Brookes Rose. “Brookes Rose was probably out most impressive winner but I wouldn’t write Olivia’s Secret off on the second day (Thursday evening). “She was second favourite behind Brookes Rose on Tuesday and never really got a go at them. Even though she’s drawn badly (10) in the first tomorrow, I think she is one for value and if things go her way she can win,” Garlick said. Following the first day of the season at the Palmerston North track, the Telfer and Garlick team have now won four races this season and believe they can add to that tally tomorrow night. “They are all racing easier opposition to what they have met up here and at Cambridge. Brookes Rose led from the start and won well. That was pleasing because she had been a bit disappointing early on. “It was good for her to get that first win out of the way. I think she can win a C1 race all right but it might be a wee bit tougher from six tomorrow after drawing two on the first day,” Garlick said. “She does have gate speed so it will be up to Scotty at the start to see if she can get across them,” he added. Garlick was also impressed with Flying Arizona who won from barrier five when a $3 second favourite. “We’ve only had him for about six weeks. He came from up from Ashburton after he had one start there, and now he’s won second-up for us after finishing a disappointing seventh at Cambridge last month. “That was a nice drive by Scott. He got all the gaps at the right time and then won well by a neck. he’s drawn eight compared to five yesterday. He has gate speed as well but I think Scott will drive him for luck this time. He can back up,” Garlick said. Our Wicklow, who won from gate seven, has drawn the widest front row nine draw in the fourth event on Thursday. “He went okay in his first two runs at Cambridge. He has got some speed and show that on the first day. It’s going to be tough to win from out there and it will be interesting to see who he follows out, but he can repeat,” Garlick said. He said Brookes Rose was probably the pick of their quartet tomorrow but said with the trip anyone of the four could win. “The 3-year-old filly is the only one of ours to cop a front row draw so the others are going to have to rely on a bit of luck, but they can all go close. “That’s why we brought them down here for the easier pickings,” said Garlick. Phelan was the most impressive driver on day one with three wins followed by Andre Poutama who won the last two races on his former home-track behind the Ray Green trained Lincoln’s Keepsake in race six and the Craig Sharpe trained Rarangi Jewel in the last event.   Duane Ranger

The former ‘Voice of The Park’ turned 72 last Saturday (September 17) and despite his heavy workload away from racing these days, Alby Gain is still very much involved in harness racing. His pride and joy – No Doctor Needed is aiming at his second New Zealand Cup on November 8. The 6-year-old Mach Three - Molly Darling gelding finished ninth when 11th favourite of 15 in the great race last year. “I probably won’t be there this time because I’m so busy at work, but I wouldn’t mind getting down there to watch him in the Kaikoura Cup if times allows,” Gain said. Gain shares in the ownership of No Doctor Needed with Scott Plant, the Plant family, and Steve Stockman. The winner of 12 of his 29 starts and nine placings ($175,240) was bred by Plant Racing Limited. His biggest wins to date have come via the 2014 Group 2 Southern Supremacy Stakes at Gore and this year’s (March) Group Three Kumeu Founders Cup at Alexandra Park. Gain is also the sales manager of the Swiss Deli Small Goods Company in Auckland and because of that doubts he will make it to Addington again this year. “I’d love to be there but it’s such a busy time of year for us. I’ll be watching it very closely don’t you worry about that. He has still to qualify for the big race of course but Kaikoura suits my work schedule better. “I should be on track for his next start in the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park on Friday week,” Gain said. Gain had his last night calling at Alexandra Park on August 13, 2010. He was commentator there for 27 years and all-up called at New Zealand tracks for 35 years. He took over from another legendary commentator, the late Reg Clapp in 1983. Born in Palmerston North in 1944, Gain broke into race-calling part-time after doing trials in the early 1970s. A couple of years later he got his break. "Back then Rotorua used to have an Easter meeting that clashed with Ellerslie so I got asked to call at Rotorua while Hauby (Keith Haub), who had just taken over from Syd Tonks, did Ellerslie," Gain reminisced. More jobs came until Radio Pacific, who employed him, took over as the main racing broadcaster in 1981. "Radio Pacific covered racing all over New Zealand which meant I had to go everywhere. One year I commentated at about 250 meetings," Gain said. "A packing field' and ‘the twinkling of an eye' were two clichés that were synonymous with Gain’s calling. And even right up until his last race call Gain admitted he was nervous. No doubt those same nerves will surface again on November 8. No Doctor Needed is paying $81 to win the New Zealand Cup. So far this season he has finished with two thirds from as many starts for his Ardmore trainers, Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick. His next assignment is the $20,000 Spring Cup on Friday week for R80 and faster pacers. No Doctor Needed’s rating is 106 and he is currently assessed at C9.   Duane Ranger

A new weekly harness racing segement on, Around the Traps will, each Tuesday, put together happenings from around New Zealand and Australia over the weekend just been. NEK TIME TRIALS IMPRESSIVELY Speedy Canterbury 3-year-old filly, Nek Time, was an impressive winner of a trial at Albion Park on Friday night as she readies herself for the Gold Coast and Queensland Oaks. The Terry and Glenys Chmiel trainer filly, who is based at the stable of Ian Gurney, paced her 1660 metre trial in 1:58.9 which equates to a 1.55 mile rate. The Southland Oaks winner, will kick off her campaign in the Gold Coast Oaks this weekend before tackling the Queensland Oaks a week later. Dexter Dunn has been booked to drive the filly during her Australian campaign. TELFER/GARLICK TEAM DRAW LEVEL North Island trainers, Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick drew level with their best ever season tally of 37 with a winning double at Alexandra Park on Friday night. The Papkura Stable won on Friday with River Emperor and First Home to take them to 37 and continue what has been a great season. Just inside the Top 10 trainers on the national premiership, the partnership have produced 16 individual winners this season with Better B Amazed (5 wins), Prince Of Pops and Ashton K (4 wins) and Superimposed, No Doctor Needed, American Flybye and Ideal Flybye (3 wins) their best performers. MAINLAND BANNER’S PERFECT RECORD The win of Glenferrie Classic on Friday at Blenheim kept former New Zealand Trotting Cup winning mare, Mainland Banner’s strike rate perfect. Of the five foals the daughter of Christian Cullen has produced, all five have now been winners with Glenferrie Classic the latest. Aside from Stunin Banner (13 wins) her other four foals; Peruvian Banner (1 win), Return To Sender (8 wins), Rocker Band (9 wins) and Glenferrie Classic (1 win) have all been embryo transfer foals. Incidentally, Stunin Banner will race this weekend at Alexandra Park in a claimers event carrying a price tag of $9,000. He is currently domiciled with Todd Mitchell. GILL SUSPENDED Marlborough horsewoman, Kendra Gill has her licence suspended until the middle of August on the opening, and only, day of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s meeting on Friday. Gill, the daughter of local trainer, Mark, was suspended for careless driving after her charge, Gotta Ticket was shifted into a position in which there is was insufficient room to allow it to happen. Gill’s suspension ends on the 14th of August. OUR WAIKIKI BEACH TRIALS TODAY Embattled 3-year-old pacer, (Our) Waikiki Beach will trial today (Tuesday) at Menangle as he continues his preparations for the rich Australasian Breeders Crown. In the care of leading Australian stable, Belinda McCarthy, the unbeaten pacer, who has won all 20 of his career starts, is earmarked to return to the race next Tuesday in a C3-C5 pace before tackling a heat of the Breeders Crown seven days later. VOTING CLOSED Voting for the annual Harness Racing New Zealand Awards, which are to be held in the Mashina Lounge at Christchurch Casino on Saturday, July 30, closed on Friday. There has been plenty of speculation around the Awards this year - in particular the battle for Horse of the Year between freakish pacer Have Faith In Me and superstar trotter, Monbet. 29 votes are allocated for each of the categories, which this year include the return of the 5-year-old and older categories. The voting panel is made up largely of members of the harness racing media in New Zealand which also includes commentators and Trackside presenters. BREEDERS CROWN HEATS KICK OFF The first round of heats for the rich Australasian Breeders Crown will be held this week. Addington plays host to heats for the 3YO Trotting Colts and Geldings as well as the 3YO Trotting fillies. Three horses will go around in the male event; Blood And Whiskey, Conon Bridge and My Armour while the fillies race will be contested by Oona and Wilma’s Mate. Further heats will be held at Addington on the 8th, the 15th and the 22nd of July and at Cambridge on July 10 and 21. By Matt Markham

John Dunn is hoping the return of two potential open class pacers will offset the loss of No Doctor Needed. No Doctor Needed, who ran ninth in the New Zealand Trotting Cup for Dunn's father Robert earlier this month, has been switched to the Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick barn in Papakura for his future racing. But providing they can stay sound, two replacements are waiting in the wings for the Dunn stable. Elios made a long awaited return at the North Canterbury workouts at Rangiora  Raceway on Wednesday in his first outing since failing badly in last season's Auckland Cup. A Group I winner in the 2014 Messenger when he beat the likes of Arden Rooney, Franco Nelson, Mossdale Conner and Besotted, Elios got so ill from a virus late last season there were no guarantees of him making it back to the races. Additional issues along the way have not helped his cause. Elios' first outing was more than satisfactory and the Dunns will be hopefully of a similar performance when Wesley Silcox makes his comeback from injury at Saturday's workouts at Pukekohe. A winner of 10 from 28 and more than $220,000 in stakes, Elios ran second to Bay Emerald by half a length in a 2:00.1 mile rate for the 2000m but made up late ground sharply from the back of the six horse field. In context, Bay Emerald has only won one from 36 but Dunn was happy to see the lightly raced 6-year-old get through the run safely. He said they would be looking after Elios in the short term and will let him guide them when he is ready to step back up. "I've said to the owners that we are not making any strong plans at this stage, we will just get through another couple of trials and see where we are at then." A winner of eight from 12, Wesley Silcox won his last three starts on the trot before pulling up lame with a tendon injury back in March. "He might not have been a horse that attracted a lot of hype but he always seemed to step up and get the job done," Dunn said. At this stage there are no plans for a race day return with Wesley Silcox. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ    -    Check site here

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