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The fact that Messini is returning to  the All Stars barn for a New Zealand Cup  preparation is not really a surprise. He has been there done that before with the Harness Jewels in June. But he has a better chance than many of the nominees going on his best performances in this country -which have all been from the All Stars barn. On Cup Day last year just after Bill and Jean Feiss sold a half-share in him to a syndicate which includes Trevor Casey , he smashed a record winning the Junior Free for All running 3.07.2 (mr 1.55.4) in the hands of Natalie, a stunning start to a great Cup day. He then ran a respectable sixth in the NZ FFA before transferring to Brent Lilley's Melbourne stable. After a short campaign in the four year old features in Auckland where his form was below par he celebrated being back at Rolleston with a withering win over Tiger Tara, Sky Magic and Dalton Bromac in the Christian Cullen FFA running 2.18.3 the last half in 54.8. Mark was again at the helm in the Harness Jewels when a 14 marble saw him back and making a big run in the middle stages. He couldn't quite foot it with Sky Major which came out of the one one when Mark attacked and lost second late to Te Kawau but it was a tough effort.                                                                                                   And if there is a drive going in the Cup for the stable Tim Williams is sure to put his hand up. Tim won his first race for Mark and Natalie when he was given the drive on Messini in the Kindergarten Stakes at a time when Tim was based in Southland. It all went good which is probably why Tim is where he is today. David McCarthy Reproduced with permission of All Star Racing Stables  

Our harness racing tipsters are having a bit of the winter blues at the moment with less than inspiring results some weeks. Last week saw only two of our tipsters pick winners with Sean McCaffrey and Nathan Williamson doing the honours but we did have eight placegetters and some of those such as Shane Walkinshaw's pick, Takitimu Express paid good money ($4:20) This week we have four meetings in the country and we have picks for them all. Forbury - Thursday night Nathan Williamson - Thought Spinyback was overdue and could win race 2 Shane Walkinshaw - Thinks on his work this week, Jetsdream will win race 4 Craig Ferguson - Gives Mordecai a good chance of going back to back in race 6   Auckland  - Friday night Steven Reid - Reckons Concorde even from barrier 8 will be hard to beat in race 2 Scott Phelan - If Superimposed has any luck from his bad draw,he thinks he can win race 2  Todd Mitchell - Thinks the millionaire Vulcan can add to the bankroll in race 6 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thought Vice Consul from the front line could win race 7 Tony Herlihy -  Gives The Almighty Johnson a big chance of winning race 8 John Dunn - Rates Return To Sender as hard to roll in race 9 Mark Jones - Thought Rocker Band would be very hard to beat, also in race 9   Addington - Friday night Bob Butt - Quite bullish about the chances of the two year old Matatoki in race 1 Terry Chmiel - Thinks Maddison Hill can upset them in race 2 Tim Williams - Gives Bird Of Paradise a big show even from the second line in race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Reckons Zin Zan must win one shortly and thinks it will be in race 7 Ricky May - Thought the southern raider Tetrick would be hard to beat in race 8 Brendon McLellan - Agrees with Ricky that Tetrick will be hard to beat in race 8 Matthew Williamson - Reckons Springbank Eden can get the chocolates in race 9   Timaru - Sunday afternoon  Blair Orange - Thought the first starter My Cash would be hard to beat in race 3 Gavin Smith - Very bullish about the chances of Great Things Happen in race 4 Brad Williamson - Reckons Kylie Castleton can bounce back and win race 6 Jim Curtin - Gives Insignificant a chance to upset them at odds, also in race 6  John Curtin - Thought Naughty Maravu only needed some luck for a change to win race 8 Robbie Holmes - Thinks Contractual Issues will be hard to hold out in race 10   Harnesslink Media

The Harness Jewels are the one harness racing meeting each year where all the best age group horses gather and do battle.   Ashburton is the scene of this years Harness Jewels and the race to kick off the programme was the Group 1 $150,000 two year old Diamond.   The hot favourite was the unbeaten Dream About Me who was four for four going in to the race and had trialed brilliantly on the track last Saturday.    Away well from the outside gate, Dream About Me and Tim Williams went forward on the back of her stablemate Northern Velocity and made it to the death seat outside Luisanabelle Midfrew with 800 metres to go.   As they went past the 400 metres mark Tim asked Dream About Me for her best and she shot clear.   Half way up the lane she looked to knock off at the same point as Arden's Choice and Natalie Rasmussen made her claim but once she saw the challenger Dream About Me grabbed the bit and drew clear for an emphatic victory.   Dream About cut the mile from the outside of the front line in a new New Zealand record time of 1:53.3 with closing sectionals of 55.5 and 26.2.   Arden's Choice was just as clearly second in front of Killer Queen from the Ray Green barn while Nek Time and Terry Chmiel ran on late for fourth.   Tim Williams was fulsome in his praise of the daughter of Bettor's Delight.   " When she got to the death seat as easy as she did, I was confident she would be hard to beat.   When I pulled the plugs she went clear but then knocked off as she couldn't see Arden's Choice coming.   I had to shake her up but she responded like the top filly she is, Tim said.   The run of the "Scuse Me" breed in New Zealand in the last few years has been fantastic and in Dream About Me they have another superstar.     Harnesslink Media

The All Stars barn via Dave McCarthy preview their runners at the harness racing meetings every week.   This week of course is the Harness Jewels meeting at Ashburton on Saturday (May 30th) and with their kind permission we reproduce here the comments for the 23 runners the All Stars barn have in on Saturday      HARNESS JEWELS- Rated out of 10 as a winning chance with the comment by the driver of the horse on Staurday     Race 1 - Two Year Old Diamond   Northern Velocity (7)   Form: Won Sales Final at Addington.   Comment:   7- "I would rate her a 7 and a good one. Equal second best of ours on form. " (Mark)   Dream About Me (9)   Form: Just keeps winning and bold in trials last week.   Comment: 9 " The draw seems a problem though she has never really had good draws. Doing everything right and I am hoping she will just be too good for them" (Tim)   Arden's Choice (11)   Form: Good in 1.54 MR after getting back early at Auckland. G1 winner previous.   Comment: 6 "She might be better than that but as a win chance it is going to be very hard from that draw. I think it is the worst draw of the lot in some respects because it is harder to get on the three line line" (Natalie)   Race 2 - Two Year Old Ruby   Missandei (2)   Form: Looked the winner last time until stablemate came on the scene. This her best draw yet.   Comment: 7 "Gets better with each run and this is the best draw she has had if she can hold up early" (Mark)   High Gait (12)   Form: Huge run last time to come from impossible possie to win.   Comment: 9 "I don't like the draw but she can follow Missandei out which is a help. She is working terrific and only the draw stops her from being my best for the day" (Natalie)   Race 3 - Four Year Old Diamond   Willow (12)   Form: Three on end is hard to beat even if some easier than this.   Comment: 8 "Again a draw I am not thrilled about but she is following some useful early speed. She is good enough to make her own luck and she tries so hard she could offer some value" (Natalie)   Race 4 -  Three Year Old Ruby   Prince Fearless (3)   Form: Raced solidly in the north and at Addington without being quite as impressive as formerly.   Comment: 8 "I am very pleased with him and his work has been excellent. He likes Ashburton and is at his best in sprint type races.  He is a danger" (Natalie)   Petite One (10)   Form:  Returned to near her best at Addington winning well.   Comment; 6 "She seems well but that draw is going to make things hard for her against the boys and they will probably be too strong." (Mark)   Race 5 - Three Year Old Diamond   Supersonic Miss (9)   Form: Faded after hard run in the Oaks. Nearly landed third in G1 start before.   Comment: 5 "It looks tough for her from out there especially with the pace inside. You can only hope you get on to a train when she would be competitive but it won't be easy" (Mark)   Linda Lovegrace (10)   Form: Been running on strongly from bad draws. Has a moderate one again.   Comment: 7 "She can run home strongly over a mile as she has shown here before. Blair will drive his own race but if she got the run she can be at least in the finish" (Natalie)   Fight for Glory (11)   Form: Outstanding in the NZ Oaks and tested  The Orange Agent in the Nevele R Final after being parked.   Comment: 7  "I really don't like that draw. I reckon even 12 would have been better. We are in behind some speed certainly but she has to have luck to get a crack at them which is why I have her down a bit as a win chance. She is doing everything right at home" (Natalie)   Classical Art (14)   Form: Ran on in Oaks after enjoying nice trail. Likes this trip   Comment: 5 "It is going to be hard to win from there. But she is very well and she could surprise a few. Mark said after he worked her Wednesday if she had drawn the front line she could be right in it. The mile will really suit her where she can go hard all the way. Might be a place bet at odds" (Tim)   Race 6 - Two Year Old Emerald   Motu Premier (2)   Form: Consistently placed at highest level including the Sapling Stakes here earlier.   Comment: 6 "A couple of our others might have it on him for brilliance but he has a bit going for him even though a place looks more likely. I think he has the gate speed to get a nice trip from a good draw and he is a genuine horse. He will try all day. " (Tim)     Chase the Dream (4)   Form: Winner of the Sires Stakes Final at his last start and other juvenile features earlier.   Comment: 9 "He is my best drive of the day I think. He can speed out of the gate and he is as tough as. The draw is going to be a big help for those abilities (Natalie)   Lazarus (7)   Form: Brilliant late run for second in Sires Stakes Final after easy win in Sales Pace.   Comment: 8 "A brilliant horse so you use him out of the gate if you need to or use him during the race. Has an ideal draw. He is probably a bit quicker than Chase The Stars but not quite as  tough at this stage. He can win but Chase The Dream will be tough to beat" (Mark)   Cash n Flow (11)   Form:  Finished on in Sires Stakes Final and a late arriving two year old with ability (Jim Curtin to drive)   Comment: 6 "A really lovely horse but he is going to find it hard to beat the top one from where he is" (Natalie)   Race 7 - Four Year Old Ruby   King Denny (1)   Form: Beat all but Master Lavros at Addington in lead up race.   Comment: 9 "I would say my best chance on the day. He has trained on well has a nice draw which gives him options and no Master Lavros or Stents in this time" (Mark)   Race 8 - Four Year Old Emerald   Isaiah (13)   Form: Faded after tough run last time and has trained well this week   Comment: 4 "I suppose that sounds harsh but it is just that for this race he is in a bad place from the draw and personally I don't think a mile is his best trip " (Natalie)   Messini (14)   Form: Outstanding win at Addington back to left handed track last start.   Comment: 8 "He is just back to the best form he showed in Australia really. The mile will not bother him. He's a tough customer and he has a shot at them" (Mark)   Race 9 - Three Year Old Emerald   Hug The Wind (1)   Form: Outstanding win in class racing at Addington showed his real class.   Comment: 6 "I just don't think he is quite with the other two at this stage. He has the draw and has the gate speed to hold up. If I landed in front I would probably stay there as long as I could because that is his best chance of upsetting them. He was terrific last start but this is a way stronger field " (Natalie)   Have Faith In Me (4)   Form:  First race since late March when he won the NZ Derby. Trials since.   Comment: 9 "I don't think the lack of racing will be a problem for him. He has had two good hitouts at trials and has done it easily. The thing about him is that he loves to be out there and really enjoys his racing. From the draw there are options and while I was reluctant to put a number on him he should be the one to beat" (Tim)   Follow the Stars (5)   Form: Runner up in three Derby's this season and three wins in easier company in Australia to fit him for this. Worked well this week.   Comment: 8 "I don't think that he can beat Have Faith In Me all things being equal. The pecking order is fairly well established now. For all that he seems very well and he has been enjoying his work. He is a class horse even if there seems to be one better at the moment " (Mark)   Lightfingered (13)   Form: Battled into fifth at Addington last start. Has made strong progress this year however.   Comment: 3 "I don't like to put a number on him. I am just grateful I have been given an opportunity to drive on the day and behind a horse I know won't let anybody down. Sure there are stars in there but I like to think he will go a pretty good race" (Matt)     Courtesy Of Dave McCarthy - All Stars Racing Stables - Check site here  

Tonights harness racing meeting at Addington was notable for having a two year old pace for non winners which surprisingly only drew seven runners. As is normal for two year old races in New Zealand, the All Star barn was represented by a couple of the runners and they both went huge. Cash N Flow in the hands of form reinsman Tim Williams dropped off the gate early as Chittybangbang and Blair Orange sped to the front. Tim waited until 1100 metres from home before looping the field and finding the death seat with Cash N Flow with 900 metres to go. Tim was content to sit on the wheel of Chittybangbang until they turned for home where he asked the son of Mach Three to run and he breezed on bye for an effortless debut win by 2 1/4 lengths. Tim was suitably impressed with the performance. " He did that really easily in the end." " He relaxed out there in the death and I was pretty confident as he was travelling so well. " I didn't even pull the plugs in the straight so he had plenty left," Tim said.  Cash N Flow was a recent addition to the All Stars barn after being purchased by stable clients after impressing at trials in Canterbury for trainers Craig and Aimee Edmonds. Tim Williams was a part of the group that sold the colt to clients of his employers, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Cash N Flow paced the 1950 metres in a quick 2:23.2, a mile rate of 1:58.1 with closing sectionals of 57.9 and 28.1 The other All Star runner was Bevan's Cullen who dropped out last early and was still there as they turned for home but flew late to just about grab second off Chittybangbang. Driver Matt Anderson was full of praise for the son of Christian Cullen. "The plan was to give him a soft run and let run home as he can get a bit rough in his gait at times still." "He is getting better in that regard and really didn't put a foot wrong tonight." " He has made a lot of ground up in the straight when they were sprinting so he has gone super," Matt said. Harnesslink Media  

Our harness racing tipsters had another so so week although to be fair they did have a lot of close second placings over the four meetings. There were five winners selected with Clark Barron continuing his hot run at the moment along with Bob Butt, Tony Herlihy, Shane Walkinshaw and Tim Williams and they also had seven placings as well, a lot of them at good odds. This week we have five meetings but none in the deep south which has affected our number of tipsters a bit. Forbury - Thursday night Nathan Williamson - Thought Chantrey back to his favourite track could upset them in race 3 Brendon McLellan - Gives new stable runner Continental Boy a good chance of winning race 5 Shane Walkinshaw - Likes the chances of smart 3 year old Robyn's Bad Boy winning race 6 Matthew Williamson - Rates Hezabluechipboy a big winning chance in race 8  Steve Richardson - Thought The Edge Of Reason could upset them at good odds in race 9   Auckland - Friday night  Maurice McKendry - Really quite keen on the chances of the out of form Sir Richie in race 1 Todd MacFarlane - Gives the 2 year old Cyclone Chief a good chance of winning race 2 Sean McCaffrey - Thinks Yagunnakissmeornot can bounce back to winning form in race 4 Todd Mitchell - Rates Charming Lavra a big chance of winning again, also in race 4 Steven Reid - Confident that Shedontloveme will go one better this week and win 6 John Dunn - Thought Barry was due a change of luck and could win race 8   Addington - Friday night Terry Chmiel - Reckons Saint Michel with the help of the mobile will win race 2 Bob Butt - With two runs under his belt, thought Any Old Way was ready to win, also in race 2  Brad Williamson - Looks like a trifecta as Brad thinks The Silver Fox will win race 2 Tim Williams - Rates the debutante Cash N Flow as very hard to beat in race 5 Jim Curtin - Thought One Over Da Moon on his Rowe Cup run would win race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks King Of Strathfield has been going great and could win, also in race 6 Scott Phelan - Rates Bettor B Amazed a big winning chance even from barrier 9 in race 7 Blair Orange - Gives Bracken Ridge a big show of turning his form around and winning race 9   Thames - Sunday afternoon Tony Herlihy - Very bullish about the chances of Mighty Regal in race 4   Ashburton - Sunday afternoon Ricky May - Rates the first starter Cable Beach very highly and thinks he will win race 4 John Curtin - Thought Gracious Star and Michelle Neilson would make it two in a row and win race 6   Harnesslink Media

Harness racing royalty is the only way to describe the Scuse Me family these days as it continues to dominate a lot of the Group races in New Zealand. The latest star to hit the headlines is the unbeaten two year old filly by Bettor's Delight, Dream About Me who was a warm favourite for the $138,000 two year old Sires Stakes Final for fillies at Alexandra Park tonight. Dream About Me missed a race last week with a hoof abscess but punters hadn't forgotten her dominant win in the Young Guns Final. As expected Luisanabelle Midfrew flew the gate to lead early before handing up to Dream About Me with 1100 metres to go. The speed had been pretty torrid early but there was no let up in the tempo as second elect Arden's Choice was posted three wide in the open. With 600 metres to go Mark Purdon took Arden's Choice to the death seat but Dream About Me still seemed to be cruising as they went past the 400 metres mark. As they turned for home Dream About Me kicked clear and seemed to pretty much stroll to the line with Tim Williams hardly moving in the bike. At the line she was 1 3/4 lengths in front of  Luisanabelle Midfrew who used the passing lane to good effect to run second with a gap back to a game Arden's Choice in third. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Sophisticated Lady who came from last at the 400 metres mark to run fourth. Dream About Me paced the 1700 metres in 2:01.4, a mile rate of 1:54.9 with closing sectionals of 56.2 and 27.6. The time was a new New Zealand record, taking a tenth of a second off the time set by the champion filly Bettor Cover Lover. Tim Williams was very confident heading into the race. " She is a high class filly and she is just getting better every time she goes to the races." " I missed the early speed duel and got the lead quite easily and she was always travelling after that." " She knocked off half way up the straight and I never pulled the ear plugs so she had plenty left,"Tim said. Tonight's victory was the latest big win in a huge season for the young reinsman but he was quick to deflect any praise from himself to the stable. "Driving horses of this quality makes my job really easy and most of the credit has to go to the team at All Stars," Tim said. Charlie Roberts bred the half sister to Christen Me and races her with his family and he must pinch himself daily at how the ride justs keeps on going with the Scuse Me breed at the moment. Harnesslink Media  

The last $20,000 heat of the Nevele R Fillies series at the harness racing meeting at Addington last night saw the reappearance of Fight For Glory for the first time since her outstanding win in the New South Wales Oaks at Menangle on March 1st. Not only did she give away race fitness to her opponents but she drew the outside of the gate at barrier nine in the 1950 metres mobile. When the mobile left Classical Art and Tim Williams came out quickly and grabbed an early lead with Fight For Glory and Natalie Rasmussen settling last from her wide draw. Passing the 1400 metres mark On The Town and Dexter Dunn worked around the field three wide and Fight For Glory followed her around and found the death seat outside Classical Art with 1000 metres to go.  That was still the order as they turned for home but half way up the Addington straight, Fight For Glory went clear for an emphatic victory by a length over a game Classical Art. Linda Lovegrace stormed home late on the inner to be close up in third after being held up on the corner while Supersonic Miss finished on into fourth to give the All Star barn the first four home. Fight For Glory paced the 1950 metres in the chilly conditions in 2:22.4, a mile rate of 1:57.4 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 27.6. She was privately timed to run her last mile in a swift 1:56.8 while working three wide and sitting parked. Natalie Rasmussen was pleased with the run. " She's gone great really for a first up effort" " She is such a wee fatty and will improve a lot with that run under her belt." " In the early stages she got a bit keen but was fine after that," Natalie said. Tim Williams was really happy with the run of Classical Art. " She got a bit keen coming off the gate but relaxed when she found the front. " She is getting better that way all the time and I was really pleased how she fought on in the straight," Tim said. Ricky May was lamenting the lack of clear air early in the run home. " I got held up as we turned for home and its definitely cost her second. " Once she got clear she has really found the line and I think she has gone super," Ricky said. A minor highlight of the race was the run of Supersonic Miss to finish fourth. She was privately timed to run her last 800 metres in 56 out three and four wide and still finished on well. The Nevele R Fillies final is shaping up to be one of the races of the season with the All Star four to be joined by The Orange Agent and Democrat Party from the north which should make for an exciting final. Harnesslink Media  

Syndicates have been around in harness racing for as long as anyone can remember with varying degrees of success or failure. One syndicate that has had a long run of success is the Central Courage syndicate which has been having a great ride for over ten years now. Their latest winner is the very smart Gotta Go Cullect mare Al Raza who won her ninth race from just twenty two starts when she took out the $25,000 Southern Country Cups final on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park on Sunday. Away well from the 30 metres mark for driver Tim Williams, Al Raza settled fifth in indian file early before slotting into the one by one when Sheeza Shark and Nathan Williamson moved to the death seat outside the leader I Smart. Positions stayed the same until a lap out when The Wrath Of Robyn looped the field to sit outside I Smart. Passing the 400 metres Sheeza Shark peeled out three wide and quickly went to the lead while Al Raza loomed up four wide as they straightened for home. These two smart mares drew clear with Al Raza proving too good on the day as she went to the line a comfortable winner by 1 1/4 lengths over a game Sheeza Shark who just held out a flying That's Hunting Pink for second. Al Raza paced the 2700 metres from a stand in a smart 3:24.4 in the cool and windy conditions, a mile rate of 2:01.8 with closing sectionals of 58.5 and 28.9. As you can hear on the video the syndicate are a very enthusastic group of owners and you certainly knew they were on track on Sunday. Driver Tim Williams was impressed with the run. " She did it a bit easier than it looked actually." " We got a lovely run following Sheeza Shark and I was pretty confident she would be hard to beat a fair way out. " I feel for Matty (Williamson) a bit as I was only on today because Matty got suspended," Tim said. Co trainer Geoff Knight would love to have a barnful like Al Raza. " She is such an easy horse to train and always gives of her best." "It doesn't matter weather it is a stand or a mobile or a mile or two miles, Al Raza is always competitive." " I was looking for a horse for this syndicate and Bill Keeler was working her on our property and I was quite taken by her." "It took a wee while but we managed to buy her in the end and she is just the perfect syndicate horse as she is always a chance in her races," Geoff said. The Central Courage syndicate has been in existence for over ten years and have rarely had a horse who hasn't paid their way. " It is a really good syndicate of people from Cental Otago mainly and we have had a ball over the last ten years." "We have had a lot of success with this syndicate but Al Raza would be the best of them,"Geoff said. Geoff and Jude Knight have built up a really successful training operation based at Roxburgh and judging by the smiles of the syndicate post race, there may be a few more people in the southern region lining up to join one of their syndicates in the next few months. Harnesslink Media  

Southlands harness racings Diamond Day at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill today, dodged a bullet when the predicted heavy rain never materalised but the very strong winds forecast were present. The programme was opened by the $22,000 Diamond Creek two year old pace which featured the star All Stars juvenile Lazarus who didn't disappoint anyone with an outstanding performance. Last early from barrier seven in the small field, driver Tim Williams was content to sit there for the first 600 metres before launching Lazarus around the field and taking control from the early leader Three Ways and Shane Walkinshaw with 1200 metres to go. Dictatating the tempo from there, Tim was looked in the eye down the back by Envious with Dexter Dunn in the bike. Passing the 400 metres Tim gave Lazarus his head and the rest of the field were immediately in trouble. The further they went the bigger the gap became and at the finish Lazarus was out by 2 ½ lengths from a game Three Ways with the rest headed by the debutante Franco Rayner a further 7 ¾ lengths away in third. Lazarus paced the 2200 metres in the very windy conditions in 2:47 with the last 800 metres in 58.9 and 400 metres in 27.9. Tim Williams was impressed by the son of Bettors Delight. “ He did that really easily in the end.” “ I didn't want to lead in that wind but when they eased the pace near the mile, I thought it better to take luck out of the equation and lead. “ He was cruising on the corner and just did what he had to in the straight,” Tim said. Todays win was the fourth for Lazarus from just five starts as a two year old and took his earnings so far this season to $70,800. Lazarus looms as a major player in all the big two year classics coming up. Harnesslink Media

Last weeks selections at the four harness racing meetings looked ok on paper but it turned into our worst performance since we started doing the ringaround. Todd MacFarlane has bragging rights this week because he was the only tipster to select a winner last week. We did have eleven placings but it is still hard to fathom how we only managed one winner from twenty odd selections. Still as Steve Hansen would say, "flush the dunny" and move on to this week. There are five meetings this week and we have selections for them all. Forbury Park - Thursday night Brad Williamson - Gives The Silver Fox a big chance of taking out race 3 Shane Walkinshaw - Thought Astro Boy was a good each way chance in race 4 Terry Chmiel - Rates Parramatta very hard to beat, also in race 4   Alexandra Park - Friday night Todd Mitchell - Thinks the two year old filly Are You Ready Girl can win race 1 Tony Herlihy - Rates Rub Of The Green a good each way chance in race 4 Scott Phelan - Reckons Prince Of Pops will be very hard to beat,also in race 4 Todd MacFarlane - Gives Twoandahalf Tigers a good each way show in race 5 Steven Reid - Very bullish about the chances of Art Form, also in race 5 John Curtin (Harnesslink) Quite keen on the chances of Chachingchaching in race 7 Maurice McKendry - Thought Makarewa Jake was a big chance in race 8   Addington - Friday night Blair Orange - Rates Bracken Ridge a big winning chance in race 1 Bob Butt - Thrilled with Conon Bridge last week and thinks he will win race 4 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thinks Trouble Rieu will be too smart for them in race 5  Ricky May - Very bullish about the chances of Brilliant Strike in race 9   Motukarara - Sunday afternoon Gerard O'Reilly  - Gives Hit The Spot a good chance fresh up to win race 7 John Dunn - Thinks Geisha Girl can bounce back to her winning ways, also in race 7    Invercargill - Sunday afternoon Tim Williams - Can't see the very smart Lazarus being beaten in race 1 Clark Barron - Thinks he can bring up win number 1000 on Mass Invasion in race 3 Nathan Williamson - Thought Sue Me from barrier one would be hard to beat in race 5 Brendon McLellan - Reckons Leigh Major just needs a little bit of luck from her barrier to win race 11   Harnesslink Media

Every week David McCarthy of All Stars Racing Stables does a preview of the stables runners at that weeks harness racing meeting.   With their kind permission we reproduce this week's preview of their runners at the Easter Cup meeting on Saturday night.   Race 3 - C4-C6 1950m Pace   Meticulous (6) (Tim)   Form: Worked hard to lead then dictated last week. Early effort told.   Comment: "He is heading off to Australia soon but he can give a good account of himself here. He had to work last week and that told and there are one or two here who might have an edge on him but he is an each way hope. He's done a good job for us and I hope he goes out on a good note"   Race 4 - New Zealand 2yo Trotting Stakes    All Star Angus UR1 (Mark)   Form: Unqualified after making trial mistake but did well here in trial on Monday.   Comment: "I am not really wanting to pick between the three of them. This guy is a bold trotter. He messed up in a qualifier at Rangiora because we had been running him in block winkers and he started to charge the gate a bit. We have changed some gear and put him on the unruly.  He lacks experience but should develop into a nice trotter"   Missandei (5) (Tim)   Form: Qualified nicely at Rangiora and again solid in Monday trial.   Comment: "She has proved reliable at the trials and that is a big thing in races like this. She's done nothing wrong and she can win "   High Gait (6) (Natalie)   Form: Just back from Auckland and unbeaten. Ran last half in 58 and change at Cambridge.   Comment: "Yes she is unbeaten and has proven reliable on raceday which is always the big factor in two year old trotting races. But in spite of the form I would not put her far in front of the other two if in front at all. These races are hard to assess and I don't want to pick one out. The run of the race will probably decide that"   Race 6 - SIRES STAKES HEAT   Arden's Choice (4) (Mark)   Form: Tangled when looking likely to place against the boys in the Welcome Stakes last week,.   Comment: "She had a gallop last week when looking as if she would get amongst the boys,. We have shortened up her gear to help cure that but she would rate No 2 for us here"   Northern Velocity (7) (Natalie)   Form: Slayed them in the Caduceus down south and looks the part.   Comment: "She is the pick of ours and has trained on nicely. I think she is the one to beat. She is our best for the night"   Sophisticated Lady (2) (Tim)   Form: Failed in off track last time. Been a little below the top ones.   Comment: "Look she is just a little behind the other two at the moment. Has a nice draw to get a run but I think the other two of ours will hold her"   Race 9 - EASTER CUP   Border Control (5)(Mark)   Form: Outstanding finish behind Christen Me in leadup and suits this trip.   Comment: "He hasn't been over the distance but I don't think that is going to be a problem the way he races. He is a tough horse and he is racing well. It is an interesting field and Ohoka Punter is probably the one to worry me the most. He is off the front and has had the racing now to match it with these and he's a good stayer too. He does seem to battle a bit for the first few strides when the pace suddenly sharpens. I thought perhaps he was half- pie bludging on me. But then he winds up real good like last week though Christen Me might have been easing off a bit as he does. Maybe a little query over  Christen Me in a hard run 3200m and Terror To Love maybe not quite where he was.  "   Smolda (1) 10m (Natalie)   Form: Won lesser event here last start. Looks near his best. Up to all of these then.   Comment: "He is such a good stayer I would be surprised if he doesn't make his mark. He didn't have a lot of  racing before Auckland and he is better this way around of course. He has been aimed at this race and I am happy with where he is at. It might not pay to forget how good he is when he is right. He hasn't been 3200m either but that is not a worry for me"   Race 11 - C1 Mobile   The Manipulator  (Natalie)   Form: Not raced since October but had a long buildup and be ready   Comment: "He hasn't raced in a long time but he has done the work and should be forward for this. We put him aside because he was light on and having a few issues but he was not unsound. He just needed time to strengthen. He should match a C1 field I think. He should be ready for that"   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stable    

Harness racing looks to have a budding superstar in the form of this years outstanding three year old, Have Faith In Me. This years Muscara Standardbreds New Zealand Derby at Addington in Christchurch was expected to be a two horse battle between Follow The Stars and Have Faith In Me and thats exactly how it turned out. Brilliant Strike led out from barrier one for Ricky May but handed up after 250 metres to Follow The Stars and Mark Purdon. The rest of the field were in single file with Have Faith In Me five back on the inner. With 1700 metres to run Itz Bettor To Win moved out into the running line and Have Faith In Me was straight onto his back in the one by one. With 1200 metres to go Tim Williams hooked the full brother to Adore Me out of the one by one and went up and sat parked on the wheel of Follow The Stars. The two went together all the way to the straight where Have Faith In Me just ran straight past Follow The Stars and strolled to what seemed an effortless victory by 1 3/4 lengths from a gallant Follow The Stars with another 1 3/4 lengths back to Brilliant Strike in third. The son of Bettor's Delight paced the 2600 metres from the mobile in chilly conditions in a very quick 3:09.2, a mile rate of 1:57 with closing sectionals of 55 and 27.4. That broke the New Zealand record held by Classiesistar by one tenth of a second and broke the race record held by Auckland Reactor by two tenths of a second. And believe it or not, when Have Faith In Me came back to the birdcage, the ear plugs were still in. Tim Williams was a happy man speaking to Harnesslink post race. " I came out and sat parked because I wanted to get handy before the speed really went on." " He actually got to the front really easily and won with a bit in hand."  " He knocked off when he got to the front tonight or else he would have won by a bit more, " Tim said. Tim thinks we haven't seen the best of Have Faith In Me yet. " He still a big kid really so there is plenty of upside with him yet," Tim said. Mark Purdon was more than happy with Follow The Stars. " He has gone super but the other horse just has his measure at the moment." " My horse has run time and stuck on great but it hasn't been good enough," Mark said. Ricky May was shaking his head post race with the run of Brilliant Strike. " My horse has gone super but just when I thought I was going to join in on the corner, the other two got away from me." " I couldn't ask anything more of my horse but it just shows you how good you have to be these days, " Ricky said. Trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Have Faith In Me continues to go from strength to strength and looks a horse with a huge future. Harnesslink Media

Last week was a mixed bag but two very wet tracks at both Ascot Park and Methven didn't help with the conditions hampering a lot of runners. We managed five winners with the best dividend going to Bob Butt at Methven with Ancient Moonlight while others to select winners were John Dunn, Tim Williams, Nathan Williamson and Scott Phelan and we also had five placings as well. This week there are only the four meetings and we cover them all. Manawatu - Thursday night Kyle Marshall - Gives Soul Hanover a great each way chance in race 2 Todd Mitchell - Thinks on his runs to date they can't beat Alta Leroy in race 8    Auckland - Friday night Tony Herlihy - Thought Uandmebabe would be hard to beat from her good draw in race 7 Scott Phelan - Very bullish about the chances of Bettor B Amazed, also in race 7 Maurice McKendry - Gives the two year old Shandale a big chance of winning race 8 Steven Reid - Rates Aquickone on her work this week as the one to beat in race 9   Addington - Friday night Terry Chmiel - Thought Danny Del Vito from barrier one could upset them in race 1 John Dunn - Gives Culinary Delight a big push to return to the winners list, also in race 1 Bob Butt - Looking for the trifecta in race one where Bob thinks Gracious Me will be hard to beat Robbie Holmes - Thought Aile Rouge could get a piece of it at good odds in race 2 Brad Williamson - Very bullish about the chances of the very smart Father Christmas, also in race 2 John Curtin (Harnesslink) Reckons Waikiki Beach will beat Chase The Dream and win race 4 Blair Orange - Thinks Habibti Ivy will match it with the boys in the Derby and win race 5 Gerard O'Reilly - Thought Tiger Tara would be improved this week and a each way chance in race 6 Matthew Williamson - Knows Alley Way is up against it this week but a great place chance in race 7 Tim Williams - Keeps giving out Have Faith In Me and he keeps winning, this week in race 8 Ricky May - Rapt with the run of Dalton Bromac last week and won't have him beaten in race 9   Invercargill - Sunday afternoon Brendon McLellan - Reckons Leigh Major must be due a change of luck and can win race1 Steve Richardson(TAB) - Really likes the chances of Denn Nee Nose Best in race 3 Clark Barron - Gave Real Raider a big chance to clear maidens in race 4 Nathan Williamson - Thought Franco Tyson would be a great each way chance at good odds in race 8   Harnesslink Media

The Group 2 Flying Stakes at tonights harness racing meeting at Addington may have been short on numbers but every runner was a quality three year old. The All Star barn seem to have frightened a lot of smart three year olds into hiding if the five who lined up in the Flying Stakes tonight is any guide. Hug The Wind with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike flew the gate from barrier one but was immediately challenged by Art Union and Dexter Dunn. They flew the first 200 metres before Dexter eased Art Union into the trail with the other three runners in single file. With 1200 metres to go Tim Williams eased Have Faith In Me out into the death seat outside Hug The Wind and Follow The Stars and Mark Purdon immediately hopped onto his back in the one by one. The tempo increased down the back straight and as they passed the 400 metres mark they really sprinted. Hug The WInd led for home but was quickly grabbed by Have Faith In Me and he was immediately challenged by Follow The Stars who had the last shot at his stablemate but came up a half a head short. Hug The Wind held on for third in front of Brilliant Strike but they were over three lengths behind the first two. Have Faith In Me paced the 1950 metres in 2:21.4, a mile rate of 1:56.6 with the last 800 metre in a very quick 54.8 and the 400 metres in a sizzling 26.7 which considering the strong wind they ran into twice was a great effort. Tim Williams was all smiles post race. " He just continues to get better and better with every race" " I came out and sat parked because he is such a laid back horse I was confident he would relax out there and he did." " He can muster high speed really quickly when you ask him and that's what got him home tonight," Tim said. Mark Purdon was philosophical about Follow The Stars suffering another defeat. " He has gone huge but the other horse just keeps improving." " I am really pleased with how Follow The Stars is going but I think a couple have caught up to him at three." " He is still a big chance in the Derby the way he is going," Mark said. Natalie Rasmussen was pleased with the run of Hug The Wind. " That was his first run for three weeks and he will derive a lot of benefit from it." " He is probably a touch behind the other two but with the right run he could be right there in the Derby, "Natalie said. The way the All Stars barn runners went in the Flying Stakes it is hard to see the winner coming from outside their three runners tonight. Harnesslink Media 

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

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