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Pukekohe harness racing trainer Steven Reid has a two in five chance of claiming this year’s North Island Pacer of the Year award. Both Gold Ace and Easy On The Eye have been nominated for the premier pacing prize at the annual awards ceremony which will be held again in the Tasman Room at Alexandra Park on August 31. The awards are being sponsored by Alabar/Auckland Reactor. The three other pacing nominees are the Brent Mangos trained Bettor Cover Lover, the Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett trained Pass Them By, and the Barry Purdon trained Pembrook Benny. The Awards committee comprises Raelene Balle, Suzanne Herlihy, Janene Cole and Karen Blanchard. Balle said the committee had been granted ‘charitable trust status’ and are now known as the North Island Harness Racing Awards Trust. “We are an official fundraising umbrella for the non-profit Kindred Bodies who are the foundation of the awards ceremony, and an integral part of the Harness Racing industry – Auckland Trotting Owners Association, North Island Standardbred Breeders Association Inc and the NZ Harness Racing Trainers and Drivers Association (Northern Branch) Inc,” Balle said. The full list of nominees are: PACER (ATC): Bettor Cover Lover, Easy On The Eye, Gold Ace, Pass Them By, Pembrook Benny. TROTTER (HRNZ): Charlemagne, I Can Doosit, Realmein, Sovereignty. DRIVER (IRT): David Butcher, Tony Herlihy, Brent Mangos, Maurice McKendry, Scott Phelan. TRAINER (Vet Associates Equine and Farm): Tony Herlihy, Barry Purdon, Steven Reid, Geoff Small, Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick. JUNIOR DRIVER (Mitavite): Zac Butcher, Josh Dickie, Simon Lawson, Andre Poutama. AMATEUR (Graeme Blackburn Memorial): Jeff Darby, Michelle Northcott, Steve Phillips. GROOM (Glen Elgin Farm): Leon Adams, Michael Blakemore, Dylan Ferguson, Sean Grayling, Jacob Wallace. OWNER (Garrards Horse and Hound) Breckon Bloodstock, Lincoln Farms, Charlie Roberts, Stonewall Stud. BREEDER (Nevele R Stud): Alabar NZ, Alta Breeding, Breckon Bloodstock, Charlie Roberts. TRAINER-OWNER (Magness Video): David Cambie, Matthew Collins, Matthew Pemberton, Rob Lawson. 2YO COLT/GELDING (PGG Wrightson): Cyclone Prince, Maxim, Racer, Sky Major. 2YO FILLY (PGG Wrightson): Angelina Jolie, Priscillas Girl, Rockn Ruby, Snooki. 2YO TROTTER (Breckon Bloodstock): Bad Habbott, Hot Chocolate Tart, Schleck, Tereskova. 3YO TROTTER (Breckon Bloodstock): Mollyz Luck, Prime Power, Saffron Castleton, Wingsonhai. 3YO COLT/GELDING (Crombie Lockwood): Cyamach, Mista Mara, Norvic Nightowl, The Bucket List. 3YO FILLY (Crombie Lockwood): Adore Me, Delightful Christian, Georgia’s Jury, Rozelski, Splendour. FILLY-MARE OF THE YEAR (Caduceus Club) Adore Me, Bettor Cover Lover, Delightful Christian, Splendour. BROODMARE (Equine Vet Services): Hill Of Gold, Scuse Me, Sheezadoosie, Splendid Dreams. STALLION: American Ideal, Bettor’s Delight, Elsu, Mach Three. TO BE ANNOUNCED (on the night) – RACING ACHIEVEMENT (Lincoln Farms) and OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION (Alabar Auckland Reactor) AWARDS. Footnote: Tickets are on sale now for $125 per head from Suzanne Herlihy – phone her on 09 2981757. Ticket price includes a 3 course plated dinner with beer, wine, juices and spirits and dancing to live band “Off The Wall” after the formalities. Dress is formal and once again, Junior Drivers and Cadets are very gratefully sponsored by the Auckland Trotting Club. MCs will be Michael Guerin and Greg O’Connor. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

Hi everyone, the Media Bites are back. We’re fast closing in on the end of the season and all that comes with it; awards, season reviews, conferences and of course the Breeders Crown. Here’s the news as we see it. Bit Of A Legend to add new spin to trainers’ race It looks highly likely that Bit Of A Legend will race twice this Friday night at Addington. The star three-year-old will first go around in a three-horse Breeders Crown heat then saddle up again in the feature handicap of the night some two hours later. Should he win both that would mean he’s won 10 races for the season. What could turn out to be three wins for Dalgety would edge him that much closer to Mark Purdon in the trainers’ premiership. Currently Purdon sits on 113 wins, Dalgety 105. Dalgety has the numbers to make things very interesting across the last two weeks of the season. Purdon cashes in again in Melbourne Star 2YO trotting filly Daenerys Targaryen took out the rich Redwood Classic at Maryborough last Sunday with a very gritty performance. The win kept up Mark Purdon’s tremendous strike rate with horses competing in Australia and strengthening her claims for end-of-season honours. In other Purdon news, Ross Payne (brother of Grant and Greg) will move home to Christchurch to take over the foremanship of the All Stars Stable operation. It is yet undecided whether star trotter Blitzthemcalder will come with Payne or not. Of course the new season would also see Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen formalise their training partnership. In other partnership news, high-profile trainer Steven Reid will pair up with long-time foreman Simon McMullan in the new season. More horses winning more money in 2012/2013 Despite some of the negative press regarding the direction harness racing is heading at present, some telling stats will paint a much rosier picture in the 2012/13 season. With two weekends of racing yet to be run we can announce that 45% of all horses that have raced this season have won at least one race.  19% of horses have won two races or more. 21% of the horse population have won $10,000 or more - the highest since records began. This season will also see resurgence in stakes paid. This year’s stakes paid will be an estimated $1.5 million up on last year to around $28.6 million. This is down on the record year of 2008 and 2009 but the upward trend is a definite positive for harness racing going forward. Finding Nemo this season’s 1500th individual winner Finding Nemo found his own little bit of history with his maiden win at Oamaru on Sunday. To date this season 3336 harness horses have raced and we’ve now had 1500 individual winners. Just the 5th time in history this has happened. Dunn on target for another 200 – bro could crack a ton Dexter Dunn is closing in on another 200 winning drives in a season and this week will could be a deciding factor whether he makes it. As already stated Bit Of A Legend is earmarked to run twice this Friday. He looks poised to pick up two wins on paper. Then there’s fine filly Safedra who’s found a walkover in a Breeders Crown heat at Addington (backing up on Sunday at Ashburton). Dunn also has a wealth of other handy drives across three meetings in the South Island this week. Should he make it, it will be Dunn’s third time winning 200 races in a season. Dexter’s older brother John is only four away from his own milestone – 100 driving wins for the season. The now Woodend-based Dunn has thrived since taking over the Beach Training arm of the Dunn stable and the winners have flowed. In what has to be a great success for the Dunn family, father Robert has racked up his own record of 87 wins for the season under review. In a fine career spanning nearly four decades Dunn has trained 863 winners. Horse of the Year Voting Voting has closed for the Harness of the Year Awards with the winners announced at the Horse of the Year Dinner on Saturday 27 July in Christchurch. There are several fascinating categories, including Horse of the Year, which has come down to a three horse contest involving Adore Me, Christen Me and Terror To Love. The same three will fight it out for Pacer of the Year too. Another award that has voters split is the three-year-old pacing colt or gelding of the year. Border Control and Ohoka Punter or the two protagonists in that one. Handicapping Changes To review the recently approved changes to the harness racing handicapping system you can find them at this link Harness Racing New Zealand  

The Steven Reid trained Easy On The Eye backed up his super third to Terror To Love in the 5YO Emerald with a brilliant win in last night's 2013 Auckland Trotting Club Winter Cup ($20,000).

Steven Reid would still love to win a New Zealand Cup but it won't be with Gold Ace in the 110th edition of the great race at Addington Raceway in November.

The Gold Ace form rollercoaster hit another mini high yesterday, suggesting he is not ready to concede next week's Jewels to arch rival Terror To Love. The five-year-old stallion has been the most frustrating of the elite pacers this season, not just for trainer Steven Reid but his ever-shrinking army of harness racing followers.

Steven Reid will venture south with a small but select team for this year's Trust Ashburton Harness Jewels. And fears his stable star Gold Ace wouldn't captain that team have recently been allayed.

One of the world's most successful harness racing syndicates has attracted some of the best rugby players in the world into our wonderful sport.

Respected New Zealand harness racing trainer Steve Reid will take improved pacer Easy On The Eye to the Newcastle Mile on Saturday night in an attempt to qualify for this month's Miracle Mile. With Saturday night's winner guaranteed an invite to the $750,000 sprint feature, Reid is expecting a bold effort from the son of Christian Cullen despite drawing barrier eight.

Brian (Bunty) Hughes trained his first solo winner in 11 years when the talented Cillas Boy won tonight's (Thursday March 28) first harness racing event at Cambridge Raceway - the $5,500 Changeover@Nevele R Stud for one win pacers.

Harness racing trainer Steven Reid would love to see Gold Ace lead in Saturday's (February 16) Alexandra Park Interdominion heat. Then again Paul Court wouldn't mind seeing Terror To Love making the play, and Ray Green is also sharing some very similar thoughts.

The race to Sydney for the 2013 Inter Dominion is drawing closer and today (Monday February 11) the barrier draw for the Victorian heat was conducted. The early indications are that up and coming harness racing star Caribbean Blaster will be running despite having a minor hiccup late last week and he was a winner at the barrier draw – gaining mobile position four on the front line.

Clash of Gold Ace, Sir Lincoln highlights return to harness racing at Alexandra Park tonight. Gold Ace will be looking to make a slight correction to the great anomaly of his career at Alexandra Park tonight.

Pukekohe trainer Steven Reid will be running his own little harness racing trial on Friday night (January 25) at Alexandra Park when four horses from his stable, including his three stable stars clash in a four win and faster 1700m mobile.

They were falling out of trees to back the harness racing favourite Smolda in the Sky City Waikato Flying Mile but the hype was misplaced as the $1.80 Mark Purdon trained runner faded in the straight to run fifth having sat parked for the duration of the race.

Want a harness racing trainer to follow in 2013? Look no further than Pukekohe horseman - Steven Reid.

Punters should be careful when Kiwi Ideal makes his long-awaited return to the track at Alexandra Park tonight (Thursday December 20th). While the winter star would most likely thrash his rivals with a peak effort in race eight, he might not be ready to produce one.

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