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Field Marshal is due to begin an Australian campaign in the $50,000 Bulli Cup (one mile) at Menangle on April 29. “He is on a flight from Christchurch on April 28. It is not ideal racing the next day but it was the only flight available. I have done it before with horses,” said Tim Butt, his West Melton trainer. “ He (Field Marshal) will then go to the Newcastle Mile and could be in Australia for two or three months.’’ Butt is targeting the $150,000 Breeders Challenge for colts and geldings at Menangle on June 25 with Let It Ride, who has won four of his five starts and finished sixth in the New Zealand Derby. A triple Group One winner in New Zealand as a 4-year-old last season, Field Marshal finished fifth behind Lazarus in a Free-For-All at Addington on March 31 when resuming from a four and a half month break. “We were delighted with his run. We timed him to run his last half in 53,” said owner Syd Brown. Field Marshal raced in Australia at two and three, winning twice at Menangle and once at Yarra Valley. He won the Group Three Simpson Memorial at Menangle  in 1.55.1 and another mile race there in 1.54. He ran 1.53.1 in the Harness Jewels at Cambridge. Syd and Shona Brown and Butt won a race at Rangiora on Sunday with Rocknroll Magic, a 4-year-old half brother by Rocknroll Hanover to Field Marshal. He is the third winner from as many foals to race out of Foreal, who is also the dam of Madiba Magic (1.51.4). Stablemate Lady Chatto appears to have taken no harm from a fall in the Pink Bonnet at Menangle on Saturday. Winner of the Group Three Leonard Memorial at Addington; a heat of the Bathurst Gold Tiara and second in the Final from the Butt stable, she is due to have a quiet trial today (Tuesday) as a prelude to returning to New Zealand later in the day for the $110,000 Caduceus Club Classic in Auckland on April 21. She will trial at Cambridge if a trial tomorrow is ruled out. “She did not even have a graze and ate her supper that night,” said Tom Richardson, her Dunedin owner. “We think she dropped the tongue tie when she got fired up and veered to the inside of the track and went down. “I was watching the race on television with about 100 others at a function in Invercargill and it looked horrific.”   Tayler Strong

Tom Richardson, a standardbred breeder and owner for 41 years is being rewarded for perseverance with the filly Lady Chatto, the New Zealand-trained representative in the $A104,000 final of the Gold Tiara at Bathurst on Saturday night. The 2-year-old pacing filly is unbeaten in two starts—the  group three $24,000 Leonard Memorial Stakes at Addington and a heat of the Gold Tiara at Bathurst on March 15. ‘’Potentially she is the best I have bred,’’ said Richardson (74), a semi-retired property developer. The Tim Butt-trained Lady Chatto is in the Final with  the barrier draw (six) in her favour to down My Sweetchilliphilly. Lady Chatto won the fifth of six heats by 21.6m in a 1.57.5 mile rate for the 1730m (mobile) which was overshadowed by My Sweetchilliphilly winning the final heat by 22.3m in a 1.55.3 rate. The 1064m Bathurst track with a 186m straight has been in use since 2014 when it was built on a new location. Richardson and his wife, Loretta, of Saddle Hill (near Dunedin) are in Bathurst for the series. “We are here for the fortnight to attend the functions. It was pretty tough competition in the heats (six) and 15 horses had won races,” said Richardson. “Tim  Butt talked us into making the trip with Lady Chatto when were faced with a late entry payment of $15,000 for the Sires’ Stakes in NZ.” Lady Chatto had been staked for the Bathurst Crown series as a foal  and NZ Sires’ Stakes when consideration was given to entering her for the premier yearling sale. “We were up for $15,000 to start in the Sires’ Stakes when we missed a payment and I think it is a better system in Australia where they assume you are remaining in a series unless you withdraw,’’ he said. The NZ Sires’ Stakes Board took legal advice to set up their system as they are not a governing body able to enforce payments. The Pink Bonnet at Menangle and Breeders Crown are other opportunities for Lady Chatto in Australia. Richardson bred Lady Chatto from a mating of American Ideal and Lady Lozza (Mach Three – Be Reasonable) who won him races at Invercargill and Omakau  when trained  at Ocean View by Stu Campbell. Lady Chatto was foaled when the Richardsons lived in Central Otago for two years after buying the  former Chatto Creek golf course. Lady Lozza died after foaling Lady Chatto, her third foal.  Kim Taylor, of Mosgiel, bred the first two, both fillies by Big Jim who are yet to be registered. “Lady Lozza died in a freak accident last year with a broken leg. She was nine months in foal to American Ideal,’’ said Richardson. Richardson began breeding from the family in 1976  with Cheer Leader (Smooth Hanover – Granny). “Lady Chatto is the fifth generation from her branch of the Regina family,’’ he said. Cheer Leader left Cruising, who won him two races  raced in partnership with Invercargill trainer Roy Henley before being sold to North America. “Cruising ran fifth in a NZ Derby (1983, won by Mighty Me) after locking wheels. He should have run third. We sold him later that year for $50,000 which was big money.” Richardson, as a member of the Fleetfoot syndicate, had his first win with the pacer Bonny Saga at Gore in 1976. The Tempest Hanover – Raven’s Whisper mare won three races when trained by Clarrie Woodward at Edendale. Bonny Saga left the minor winners Pilgrim and Meteorite. Richardson paid $90,000 for the American – bred filly by No Nukes – Emerald Breeze at the National Bloodstock International yearling sale in Auckland in 1987. He was then living in Invercargill and raced the filly, Nukes Emerald  as a member of the Neither Confirm Nor Deny syndicate. Trained by Jack Smolenski, the filly foaled in March, 1986, won first up at Invercargill when a mere 23 months old, She then finished second to Diplomacy (trained by Roy and Barry Purdon and driven by Mark Purdon) in  the $120,000 International Classic, a sale race for her age group in Auckland. The syndicate returned Nukes Emerald to North America and she won 17 races and $139,000 there, taking a record of 1.56.8. She perished in a stable fire in Ontario in 1992. My Sweetchilliphilly, trained by Shane and Lauren Tritton and driven by Chris Geary, is also unbeaten in two starts. The daughter of Betterthancheddar – Tact Philly was bred at Ashburton by Melissa Tapp and exported unraced to Australia in January. The Bathurst Gold Crown series has been staged by the Bathurst Harness Racing Club since 1987. New Zealand trainers have won  the Final for colts and geldings with Master Musician (1990, Robert Dunn and driven by Robert Mitchell) and Another Party (Mark Purdon and Tony Herlihy). Lady Chatto will be driven by Butt’s brother, Anthony. The filly was taken to Australia by Anthony’s daughter, Kimberly and she returned to NZ on Tuesday when Tim was back to oversee Lady Chatto. Tayler Strong

The big Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival might not just be all about Shane and Lauren Tritton. For the past two weeks, all the Bathurst talk has been about the Tritton’s star duo – filly My Sweetchillphilly and colt Divine State. On what we’ve seen so far, whatever beats them will win their respective finals. My Sweetchillyphilly is the first of them to step-out in the heats of the Gold Tiara for two-year-old fillies at Bathurst on Wednesday night. The daughter of Betterthancheddar won her only start at Bathurst on February 19 by a staggering 59.7m … and rated a blistering 1min55.3sec mile rate for 1730m. Just for good measure, the filly she beat, Now Eye See, bolted in at Parkes at her only run since. My Sweetchilliphilly should work to the front from gate six and win her heat (race nine) on Wednesday night. Excitingly, Kiwi trainer Tim Butt’s decision to whisk impressive debut winner Lady Chatto across the Tasman to Bathurst has added another dimension to the series. Lady Chatto won her only start at Addington last Sunday week by almost three lengths at Addington and clocked a solid 2min0.5sec mile rate for 2000m. Butt, renowned to travelling and taking on challenges, is well aware of the buzz around My Sweetchillphilly and not afraid to take her on. Lady Chatto has drawn the pole and will dominate betting in race five on Wednesday night. The other Tiara runner with Kiwi interest is Passions Delight, who is trained by Nicole Molander, driven by Chris Alford and owned by the US-based Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks. As exciting as My Sweetchilliphilly looks, the hype around the Trittons’ colt Divine State is even bigger. And you can see why when he won by almost 20m on debut at Menangle in a 1min52.8sec mile on January 31. He then raised the bar against the best babies seen so far this season when he strolled home by 12.8m and broke the Australasian two-year-old mile race record with a 1min51.6sec dash again at Menangle on February 18. Fans will have to wait until next Saturday night to see him in action in the heats of the Gold Crown. Adam Hamilton

Michael Palermo waited 10 years for Friday night.  So, when his maiden trotter, Rum In The Sun, dished up a trotting masterclass in the maiden trot at Addington, the highly-regarded horseman was more the justified in being over the moon.  The win gave Palermo his first tick in the win column as a trainer. “I’ve been waiting a while for it, so it’s good to finally have it off the back,” Palermo said.  “Hopefully the second one doesn’t take quite as long.” From limited opportunities, Palermo has had a horse in work when time has allowed, while also balancing his work at the Premier Stables of Tim Butt where he has been a senior staff member for more than a decade.  Palermo travelled with and looked after Mr Feelgood at the 2009 Interdominions on the Gold Coast which the former American pacer won.  Despite gaining enough satisfaction out of watching horses he has had an involvement with at the Butt stables be successful, the drive has always been there to train a winner on his own accord.  And even with Rum In The Sun it hasn’t been easy.  “I’ve always rated him a bit, he trotted a quarter in 30 seconds as a yearling. “But we couldn’t quite get the trotting business sorted out.” In his first six starts, the best offered up was an encouraging fourth mixed in between some gallops.  “Jonny Cox always said if we could get the trotting thing sorted we would have some fun.  “Then we discovered his bone chips so we had them removed and ever since then he’s been spot on.” Palermo took the son of Bacardi Lindy into Friday night without a workout or a trial but it never showed as the powerful trotter left his rivals gasping after sitting off of a hot speed and joining in before running away with the race.  “I knew he was ready, we just needed them to trot a long a bit and they did so it all worked out pretty well.” The 1:58 mile rate, and an overall time of 2:23.8 put into some context would translate to Rum In The Sun winning seven of the eight editions of the Summer Trotting Free-For-All.  Rum In The Sun is owned by Palermo’s wife, Kylie, who is the daughter of Hororata trainer David Moore who tasted success recently with Carter Michael.  Moore’s other daughter, Tania was the one who pointed Palermo towards Rum In The Sun while she was working at Roydon Lodge.  “She rang and said she had found me a horse and that it was pretty well bred.  “We went out to have a look and Kylie spotted one she liked in the paddock and it turned out to be the horse we were out there to see so we took him home with us.” Raced on lease from Keith Gibson, Rum In The Sun most definitely has some breeding on his side.  His grand-dam, Simone Roydon was a half-sister to the brilliant Sundon and the gelding’s blood traces back through to many outstanding trotters over the years.  Palermo said he would look to return to the races in a fortnight with the five-year-old.

While the heavy-hitters strut their stuff at Alexandra Park, the pressure is on New Zealand Derby aspirant, The Bachelor to show some form at Addington tonight. The Tim Butt trained runner is the sole representative of the nominations for the Derby at the Addington meeting with a hoard of starters up in Auckland preparing for the Great Northern Derby next weekend. Unsighted since running fourth behind All You Need Is Faith back at the end of September, the son of Art Major will be without doubt in need of a run as he heads to headquarters tonight. But a solid trial a fortnight ago, in behind two other classy three-year-olds in Pacing Major and More The Better, will see the gelding strip a lot fitter than what many might expect him to. Also in his favour is the current form of Butt, who has really hit the ground running in 2017. He’s trained eight winners in the two months of the year as he slowly begins to rebuild to an impressive looking racing team. He will have a double pronged attack on the seventh race tonight with The Bachelor joined by stablemate, Mt Hutt Harry who will be looking to make it back-to-back wins after a strong maiden victory last time. Purchased out of the Methven stable of Danny McKendry for a modest amount after just one workout on the grass at Methven the son of Vintage Master looks to have plenty of scope, and a rather big future. He will start from the pole spot in the mobile event with Kim Butt in the sulky while Craig Thornley will wear the Syd and Shona Brown colours on The Bachelor. When the second round of withdrawals closed this week for the $200,000 Group One event, The Bachelor’s named was joined by 21 others who are still in the mix for the race. The market is being dominated by the All Stars classy three-year-olds Vincent and Ultimate Machete with Tiger Thompson and More The Bettor the only other runners in single figures in the fixed odds market. That could change at Alexandra Park tonight with some quality three-year-olds, including Tiger Thompson doing battle ahead of the Great Northern Derby. The Brad Mowbray trained runner will take on fellow Derby aspirants; Jack’s Legend, Rakapuka Ruler, Stars Align, Pacing Major, Alta Intrigue, Billy Badger and Mongolian Hero while More The Bettor will take on the older horses in the most tightly assessed pace of the night. Addington Super Selector - By Matt Markham Race 1: Eja Patron, Sweet Loress, Handlebar Hank, Illegal Immigrant Race 2: Over The Love, Reign On Me, Rum In The Sun, Ruthless Kayla Race 3: Clarendon’s Last, Bella Jones, Selena Franco, Tahlia Franco Race 4: Run Riot, Supreme Banner, Sky City King, Asset Control Race 5: Queen Bee Bardon, A G’s Whitesocks, Star Fantasy, Sparkling Delight Race 6: Gunpowder, Benji Mara, Rah De Rah, Real South Race 7: The Bachelor, Bailey’s Knight, Mt Hutt Harry, Micky Gee Race 8: All Settled Down, Ace Commander, Kingdom Come, Tehoro Dazzle Race 9: Real Obsession, Debnita Rose, Pretty Janice, Scotlyn Made Race 10: Born Again Delight, Blue Chip Lad, Elite Excuse, Got A Beauty Best Bet: Run Riot (Race 4) Value: All Settled Down (Race 8)

Canterbury junior reinsman Matt Anderson has become a regular visitor to Southland and it's proving to be a rewarding exercise as six of his ten winning drives so far this harness racing season have been in Southland. At last weekends Wyndham meeting he scored a back to back double driving The Best Beg and Don Domingo to win.  Anderson took The Best Beg to the front with just over a lap to run after being in the open for a short time and from there the result was never in doubt. "He warmed up nice so we were always in with a bit of a show. When one of Tim Butt's horses travel to Wyndham you have to have a good level of confidence," he said. The Love You five year old went down to the line winning easily by three and a quarter lengths from Pyramid Mustang who ran home late.  Stretching out at the finish for an easy win          - Photo Bruce Stewart "I never asked for an effort so it was very encouraging." The Best Beg is out of the CR Commando mare Lough Beg. Her second dam Kahu Del left Harnett's Creek (13 wins), Swan Creek (8) and Cullen's Creek (9). Butt trained Swan Creek and Cullen's Creek. It's also the same family as champion trotter Lyal Creek. In the next race Anderson got hot favourite Don Domingo home in the Marshalls Garage 2005 Limited Junior Drivers Mobile Pace. The four year old by American Ideal has now won three of his five starts for West Melton trainer Ken and Tony Barron.  "He's a lovely horse coming through the grades. Ken,Tony and Blair (regular driver Blair Orange) have a good opinion of him. He's a horse going places."  The four year sat parked for most of the trip with Roxy Dale setting a solid pace. He was up challenging the leader at the 300 metres and held out a late charge from Don Sebastian to win by three quarters of a length. Don Domingo (2) holding out Don Sebastion (3)       - Photo Bruce Stewart. "He just shut off in the last little bit but when I asked for an effort I got a response. He's very green but he's good enough to sit parked and win on raw ability at this stage." His winning time for the 2400 metre mobile was 2-57.6 Don Domingo is out of the nine win In The Pocket mare Ohoka Moon and was bred by Cavalla Bloodstock. He stems from an old Southland family developed by the late Colin Baynes. His fifth dam is Donna Charles.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Tim Butt has described Daryl Boko an unlucky little horse whom he termed an opportunist who can go on and win a Group One trotting event either here or in Australia this season. The brown Majestic Son - Insider Trade gelding notched up his first New Zealand Group win at Cambridge Raceway last Friday night. Driven by Dexter Dunn, the 7-year-old had too much class in the Group Three Harcourts Te Awamutu Trotters Flying Stakes. They trotted the 1700m mobile in 2:03.4 (mile rate 1:56.8) and home in 58.1 and 28.7. He had three lengths and a length to spare over Sunny Ruby and favourite Quite A Moment. It was his first New Zealand win since arriving from Sweden, Finland and then Australia in November 2015. “He’s a great little stayer who hasn’t had much luck in the running this season. I think he’s got a Group One win in him, but in saying that he’s not up there with Lyell Creek and Take A Moment,” Butt said. Butt said he was delighted with Daryl Boko’s Group Three win. “He had a nice draw this time (one) and was helped that some of the good ones weren’t there ans some of the others had already had a tough season. “He’s a lot better than what he’s shown so far and he goes well fresh. That was his first race since mid December,” Butt said. He said Daryl Boko would next race Ballarat in a fortnight and then have his races spaced out between that race and the Great Southern Star on March 11. “We will then stay on in Melbourne for a month and take on the Australian Grand Prix. Spacing his races seems to work for him,” Butt said. Most of Butt's loyal owners who had shares in another Swedish trotter he trained – Peak – have come in on Daryl Boko, with a few newcomers as well, Butt said. They are G A Ayers, S J Gormley, R C Johnson, Miss J H Cole, The Fab Fin Syndicate, Clearwater Syndicate, S M Ellis, and J L Scott. All-up Daryl Boko has raced 48 times for 10 wins, 11 placings and $183,444 in stakes. He was Bred by Boko Stables in Holland. Duane Ranger

The lion’s share of the $50,000 stake on offer would be nice, but for a few contenders in Monday’s Ashburton Flying Stakes there’s a little more riding on the race than just stake monies.  With the New Zealand Trotting Cup just around the corner, there’s plenty of ground to be both won and lost in the Ashburton feature and a couple of starters will be looking to shape up, or ship right on out.  Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s assault on the race was reduced from three to two on Friday when Methven Cup winner, Smolda was withdrawn due to irregular bloods.  “It’s nothing to serious, they were just out a wee bit and we would rather be safe than sorry,” Purdon said.  “At this stage he will head to Kaikoura which wasn’t our initial plan.” Purdon said his remaining chances, Lazarus and Have Faith In Me had both trained on well from their Canterbury Classic runs.  “They’re both really well and should be pretty strong this week.  “Obviously there is a bit of pressure on Have Faith In Me to step away well after not quite getting it right, but Natalie believes he will eventually get there.  “But you would really want to see him getting away this week against a small field.” Christen Me joins the All Stars duo after the late decision was made to start him after the race was initially off the radar.  There’s also Field Marshal. He’s not a Cup nominee, but is being aimed towards the New Zealand Free-For-All on Show Day so a good showing against a small shadow field of the Cup will be a good pointer toward his chances.  Tim Butt never had this race on the radar, but was keen to find out exactly where he was at and the only way he could do that was by heading to the races.  “We could keep going to the trials and running home in fast last halves, but you never really know until you go to the races,” Butt said.  “So we will have a look and see what transpires. He will obviously need the run, but you have to start somewhere.” Probably the horse with the most pressure on him though is Tiger Tara.  A lacklustre, by his usual high standards, fifth when last produced left Geoff Dunn not completely happy so he backed right off last year’s New Zealand Free-For-All winner with a view to freshening him up for this assignment.  So there’s a bit of pressure on him to get back to somewhere near his best this weekend too.  Half an hour after the Flying Stakes the attention will turn to the Trotters’ Flying Mile and the resumption of Monbet.  The reigning Horse of the Year will kick off his bid to the Dominion Handicap from barrier seven.  Second at the workouts on Tuesday at Ashburton, Greg and Nina Hope and also Ricky May were all pleased with the effort and know that whatever the son of Love You produces this weekend, he will improve on.  His biggest danger, Marcoola has drawn on the second line which has left Clint Ford relying on a little luck.  “We will just have to see how things unfold, hopefully we can get a nice run through,” Ford said.  The race was robbed of Habibti yesterday after she was withdrawn due to a foot infection.   Super Selector  - By Matt Markham  Race 1: Vincent, Pay Me Interest, Boults On Fire, Pirate Bay Race 2: Mr Mojito, Kotare Yael, Usain Colt, Ears Burning Race 3: Kingdom Come, Jean Sebastien, The Fox, Ella Abbe Race 4: You Gotta Have Faith, Sparkling Delight, Cmeerock, Mr Woodlea Race 5: Royal Shine, Lothario, All Star Angus, All Lit Up Race 6: Piccadilly Princess, Dream About Me, Little Rascal, Quick As A Trick Race 7: Lazarus, Have Faith In Me, Field Marshal, Christen Me Race 8: Monbet, Marcoola, Sunny Ruby, Harriet Of Mot Race 9: Crackared, Dalness Xchange, Gupta’s Cullen, Beyond Belief Race 10: Superfecta, Christopher Banner, Chapter One, Well Armed Best Bet: You Gotta Have Faith (Race 4) Value: Crackared (Race 9)

There’s a long term goal so at the moment anything else is a bonus with The Bachelor. And with Tim Butt at the helm you just know the promising pacer is going to get every chance to put his best hoof forward when the opportunity presents itself. Off the back of an eye-catching fourth last time out behind You Gotta Have Faith the three-year-old returns to Addington tonight to contest another heat of the Sires’ Stakes Series with Butt hopeful of maybe doing enough to sneak his way into the final. “He’s going to be a better horse in time, he’s really got the makings of a Derby horse I think,” Butt said. “What he’s doing now, he’s doing on raw potential. He went from having not been off the place a while back to running fourth in a Sires’ Stakes heat and I know he can only get better. “I think we might be a little bit short this week, he will definitely improve with the run but it doesn’t put him out of it. “Hopefully we can settle a little closer to the speed and get our chance.” It’s a very good Sires’ Stakes field with More The Better, King Solomon and On The Rantan leading the contenders list. Butt takes four horses to Addington tonight with four chances. Maiden pacer Rocknroll Magic has let the punters down so far but there is some promise there. “He’s probably been a little over-hyped so far, there is ability there but he might take some time to come to it.” New stable recruit Joey Maguire has impressed his new boss in a short time at West Melton since leaving the Robert Dunn stable. “He’s a great wee horse, I found this race for him a while ago because I thought he got into quite well so we will just see what happens. “He’s going to be a nice horse to have running around over the summer circuit I think, that’s his real go.” Butt’s final chance of the night is Beg Hall – a talented , but sometimes erratic, trotter, who will take on a very good junior drivers’ field with Kim Butt in the bike. “I’ve always had a bit of time for him but you just never know with him. “If he does everything right I think he will be right there, but fresh up and in a junior drivers race anything could happen.” Once tonight is out of the way, the focus will shift to Ashburton for Butt with Field Marshal stepping out of his comfort zone to tackle the Ashburton Flying Stakes. The race jumped onto the radar when it became apparent there would be low numbers and Butt is also keen to get a good mark on where the five-year-old is at in his preparation for the New Zealand Free-For-All. “There’s only one way to find out and that’s to take them on. “I’m really happy with everything he’s done, but it’s just a case of getting some racing into him now.” Blair Orange will handle the driving duties with Dexter Dunn sticking with Christen Me.   Matt Markham

One of the forgotten horses of the open class pacing ranks this season is chipping away quite nicely thank you very much. Because he’s not nominated for the New Zealand Trotting Cup, Field Marshal isn’t probably getting the notice he deserves as he points towards the New Zealand Free-For-All a few days after the big dance at Addington. But the Tim Butt trained pacer, who has come back as a five-year-old in splendid order, may put himself in the spotlight in the next couple of weeks with a surprise twist in his preparation potentially on the horizon. A little frustrated with workouts and trials that equate to nothing more than a sprint home, Butt is toying with the idea of lining the three-time Group One winner up in the Ashburton Flying Stakes - but nothing is confirmed yet. “I’ll have to have a chat with the owners first, but it is a possibility,” Butt said. “We would gain a lot more out of going to a race like that than returning to the workouts and trials. He can just be driven quietly and get a good run under his belt before Cup Week.” The entire looked pretty on song yesterday when he won at the Ashburton workouts beating Piccadilly Princess and Dream About Me in a sprint from the 800 metre mark after Dexter Dunn surged the imposing pacer forward. For a man who has had a lot of top line horses during his illustrious training career, Butt is certainly fizzing about the prospect of having his star performer back at the races. “He’s come back up great, he really looks like a stallion. “He’s still lazy though, he just does what he has to do and no more but I’m lucky that he is a pretty natural athlete.” Should Butt and Field Marshal’s owners, Syd and Shona Brown elect to go to the Ashburton Flying Stakes on Monday week then they could rest easy in the fact they wouldn’t have to find a driver with Christen Me not heading to Ashburton meaning Dunn would be available to take the reins. Mark Purdon gave his two runners good marks for their first up efforts. Piccadilly Princess worked forward into a strong wind down the back straight for Tim Williams while Dream About Me followed her forward and went to the line comfortably. “It was good start, about where I thought they both would be. “At this stage both of them will come to the Ashburton meeting and then we will go from there.” It was a big 24 hours for Dream About Me after her dam, Splendid Dreams foal a full-sister to her overnight Monday. The filly, who automatically has a massive price tag attached to her due to her breeding is also a half-sister to Christen Me.   Matt Markham

The first South Island harness racing juveniles to step out publicly in the new season have been at the workouts in the last few weeks. Yesterday at Ashburton "Art Banker" a 2yo filly by Art Official scooted over a mile by herself in 1;59.8 with closing sectionals of 57.0 for the 800m and 27.0 for the 400m. Trainer Gavin Smith was very happy with the run saying "she does have a lot of speed".  A race later and Gavin had a 2yo colt by Auckland Reactor and also a 2yo gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven racing. They finished second and third behind the Tim Butt trained Tribeca who won the 1609m race in 2:01.2 speeding over the last 800m in 57.1 and 400m in 26.8. Gavin thought both his went good. "The Auckland Reactor colt actually has a bit of a cough this week and went better last week" he said. "He will be turned out and prepared for the "Young Gun" series if not sold prior".   The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding might have one more workout and then he too will be set for the "Young Gun" series. Gavin said all three of his 2yos at the Ashburton workouts were for sale.            Harnesslink Media  

Tim Butt is heading to Addington tonight feeling more hopeful than he is confident. His Swedish trotter, Daryl Boko, will begin his march to the Dominion Handicap when he tackles tonight’s Ordeal Cup - taking on the likes of Sunny Ruby, Amaretto Sun and Sheemon. But there’s no massive expectations on the shoulders of a diminutive trotter, Butt will just be happy to see him there and being competitive. “I don’t know if he can win it fresh up or not,” Butt said. “His trials have been very good, he trotted home in 56.2 at Rangiora behind Jag’s Invasion, so he’s ready to go.” Unsighted in New Zealand since he finished fifth behind Springbank Sam at Addington back in January, Daryl Boko campaign unsuccessfully in Australia. “Here we had problems with manners, but the ability was always there. “But over in Australia he had the manners but wasn’t showing his best ability.” The aim is the Dominion Handicap on Show Day in November, but there’s a slight possibility that Butt might forgo that opportunity to target the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All on the Tuesday. “We’ve got to make that decision at some point, I’m hearing Monbet won’t be there on the Tuesday so we may be better heading to that and trying to win there. “It’s something we have to weigh up because he doesn’t back up so it’s one or the other.” Tonight’s Ordeal Cup does look at the mercy of Sunny Ruby who was stunning winning fresh up last week for Sam Smolenski. The speedy mare looks capable of sitting last in such a small field and swamping her rivals late and Butt is certainly impressed with her. “She’s up near the Monbet league the way she can sprint, it’s pretty impressive.” Amaretto Sun, who missed away last week, but was making up a lot of ground late looks her biggest danger while Sheemon will also be improved off the back of his fresh up effort last week. Meanwhile, Butt’s stable star, Field Marshall, is about a month away from stepping out at the trials. “He’s come back really well, we’ll head to the trials and see where we are at from there.” The Junior-Free-For-All on Cup Day is the immediate aim and then, all going well, the New Zealand Free-For-All on Show Day - but don’t expect to see the speedy merchant before then. “I’m thinking Cup Day fresh up will be us, then onto the Free-For-All on the Friday from there. “After that we will look at a couple of nice races at Cambridge around Christmas time before heading to Australia.” Matt Markim

Dexter Dunn is fast becoming the biggest fan of Harness Jewels harness racing at Cambridge. The unparalleled horseman notched up his sixth Cambridge Harness Jewels victory, and his second for the day, when he produced a perfect drive on Field Marshal to get the Tim Butt trained pacer home for victory in the 4YO Emerald. “I’m quite liking this place at the moment,” Dunn said. “I’ve had a bit of luck here that’s for sure.” The victory was Dunn at his front running best. He snuck a 29 second quarter in down the back straight the final time which he said was the winning of the race. “Being able to get that wee breather in then really helped, although Ricky (May and Usain Colt) really came at us late and I thought we were in a bit of trouble. “But he kept fighting, he really deserves this when you look at the season he’s had.” Tim Butt said that the speedy pacer would now head to the paddock for a well-deserved spell for six weeks before being slowly brought back up. “We will have no preconceived plans, I’m not sure about the New Zealand Cup, but he will be at Cup Week in some capacity,” Butt said. “He’s still a big immature horse who has a bit to learn, he’s getting there though.” Owned by Syd and Shona Brown of Otago, who also bred the entire from their former great female pacer, Foreal, Butt said winning another big race for them was special. “They are great people and great owners. Syd’s dad was a great galloping trainer and he’s a great stockman too. “They’ve done all the work with this horse from very early on so it’s great to be able to put the final polish on for them and get success.” Usain Colt went close to the upset of the day when he snuck up the markers to run a narrowly beaten second. “I thought I had him at the top of the straight,” Ricky May said. Titan Banner put in a herculean effort to run third after working overtime down the back straight while Australian raider, My Kiwi Mate was a brave third. Winner: Field Marshal - Driver: Dexter Dunn - Trainer: Tim Butt - Owners and Breeders: Shona and Syd Brown. Time: 1:53.15 - Margin: Long Neck - 800m: 55.9 - 400m: 27.1 - 2nd: Usain Colt - 3rd: Titan Banner Matt Markham

Enghien's​ tardy effort at Saturday's Harness Jewels workouts has the warning bells ringing with a deafening tone for favourite punters. The dominant two-year-old Ruby favourite was never comfortable behind the mobile and galloped away from the gate at Cambridge Raceway. His fractious performance was enough for co-trainer Greg Hope to admit he now has some serious concerns around the son of Love You's manners heading in to the $100,000 Group I next Saturday. So much so, Hope made a plea to move Enghien to the unruly because he thought he was a better chance of stepping away and was probably still good enough to win from there. But his request to give away his handy draw of barrier three was declined because punters had already bet into the post-draw market. Hope said he cannot give punters any guarantees and Enghien's post-barrier draw quote of $1.18 seems sure to drift when the Jewels markets re-open on Sunday. "I'm not overly confident with him now, more hopeful. "We've got some work to do with him during the week," Hope said. Hope officially trains in partnership with wife Nina but their son Ben, an integral part of their Woodend Beach operation, will also be working triple overtime in the next seven days. Enghien was still good enough to beat home Mortician, the only other runner in the heat, but he will not be winning the Jewels if he gives away 50m like he did at the workouts. "He trotted lovely afterwards, he finished it off really well but the start is a concern," Hope said. Everything centres around the start for Enghien – if he gets away safely it is most likely game over for his rivals. Enghien only arrived in the north on Thursday and Hope said it is a possibility the trip may have taken something out of the talented trotter and he may settle in this week. It was a morning of rocks and diamonds for the Hope team with four-year-old Ruby favourite Monbet looking every bit the champion he is with a leisurely jog in 2:00.6 for the mile on an easy-rated track. Hope cannot fault Monbet, a winner of six Group I races already this season, and was "really happy" with his hit-out. Meanwhile, any doubts around the health of Field Marshal have been put to bed. An impressive workout win has confirmed to punters what trainer Tim Butt already knew – a minor bout of colic on May 17 has done nothing to decrease his chances in the four-year-old Emerald. Field Marshal did a bit of work off the gate to lead all the way. He cut out the 2200m trip in 2:44.5 with a mile rate of 2:00.3 and closing sectionals of 58.1 and 26.6 to beat home Bettor Spirits by one-and-a-quarter lengths with a further two-and-a-quarter back to Chase The Dream. "It was probably the perfect trial for him," Butt said. A dual Group I winner in his last two starts when winning the Taylor Mile and Messenger, Field Marshal's chances of a third win on the trot at the elite level have only been helped by drawing the ace. Field Marshal can burn the gate and in the hands of Dexter Dunn will be going straight to the front and Butt is not cornered about leading all the way. "People have him as a speed horse, which he is, but he's put in some really tough runs too. "I'll leave it up to Dexter but when you draw there over a mile your hand is forced to try and lead all the way really," Butt said. Field Marshal's favouritism is likely to firm off the workout win, especially with main rival Titan Banner starting from the outside of the front-line. Mat Kermeen

With the big names falling out of contention for 4-year-old Diamond, Harness racing trainer ​Mark Jones believes Rocker Band is now a winning chance at the Harness Jewels - but there is a downside. The withdrawals of last year's three-year-old Diamond winner The Orange Agent (injured), Fight For Glory (retired), Start Dreaming (injured) and then Australian invite Arms Of An Angel (virus), there is no dominant favourite. Now the most open of the nine divisions, Jones knows there is probably eight or nine other trainers sharing his confidence.  Better B Amazed ($3.60), Expressive Victor ($4.20), Democrat Party ($4.60) and On The Town are the main pre-barrier draw hopes with Rocker Band at $9.50. Jones believes the draws with be crucial. "The second line wouldn't be too bad but we wouldn't want to draw wide as you need to be handy at Cambridge. "With her (Arms Of An Angel) coming out it's probably opened it up for eight or nine horses so it could be very even," Jones said. Sunday's Oamaru meeting is the last chance for potential Jewels runners to increase their season's stake money to qualify into the fields. The race has become much more of a priority to Jones and Rocker Band's owner Greg Brodie because of the defections of so many leading chances. Rocker Band, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, has been progressing nicely since her last-start 12th in the Group I Breeders Stakes on April 1, when she raced keenly for a good chunk of the 2600m trip. "Her record over a mile is pretty good and she's a speed horse," Jones said. Rocker Band's recent Rangiora Workout win Meanwhile, Tim Butt is a relieved man following duel Group I winner Field Marshal's recovery from a minor bout of colic on Tuesday. The Taylor Mile and Messenger winner was brilliant in his Auckland campaign and is a $1.55 favourite for the 4-year-old Emerald at the Jewels. Butt said you can never take anything for granted in the racing game and colic was an occupational hazard with horses but he was confident the minor setback was now behind the winner of eight of his last 10 races and 14 from 25 overall. "He'll just take it quietly for a couple of days but we kept the work into him after Auckland so that will help him," Butt said. Missing the Jewels would have been tough for Butt and owners Syd and Shona Brown, who bred the Art Major entire out of their outstanding race mare Foreal, because he missed much of his three-year-old season following a wind operation. Pre-barrier draw, Field Marshal looks the horse to beat but newcomer to the All Stars barn, Titan Banner, has been backed into $3.40.     "On form he looks like the best horse in the race but you still need a bit of luck in those big races." The All Stars stable looks to have both Group I features at Addington on Saturday in the bag with favourites in the New Zealand Oaks and 2-year-old Sires Stakes for colts and geldings. The All Stars barn of Mark Purdon​ and Natalie Rasmussen also looks likely to pick up a win across the Tasman to round out the day when High Gait, who will be driven by Darren Hancock, contests the Group II New South Wales Trotting Oaks. Christen Me should have enough class to win the Winter Cup (3200m) off 30m but front-markers New Years Jay and Titan Banner (off 10m) will make him work. Mat Kermeen

Everything went to plan for the four harness racing big guns tonight at the Auckland Trotting Club's meeting at Alexandra Park. Spanish Armada got things off to a flying start when she was successful in the $138,000.00 Group 1 Magness Benrow Sire Stakes Fillies Championship. Away nicely from barrier 6, co trainer and driver Natalie Rasmussen had the classy 2yo Bettor’s Delight in front and dictating after 300m. No one was keen to take the recent Caduceus Club Final winner on and she was allowed to stride along in front. While some punters who took the $1.30 around the favourite would have been nervous when the Mark Jones trained filly Delightful Memphis popped out of her 1-1 spot to issue a serious challenge, to wear the leader down to just a winner margin of a neck. The winner’s time for the 1700m trip was 2:02.3, Last mile in 1.55.7 – 800m 56.4 – 400m 27.7. The PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales 2yo Fillies Final set down for the 13th May will be the next clash of these two talented fillies. No doubt with a handy draw Delightful Memphis could turn the tables on the top seed Purdon/Rasmussen runner. Spanish Armada _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Tonight’s Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby victory for Marcoola once again justified owner/driver Clint Ford’s decision to not sell his star 3yo colt. With an offer reportedly around the $250,000.00 mark, Ford was quick to make it clear that he wouldn’t be for sale. Since that offer Marcoola has won just over $120,000.00 in stakes, while adding the NZ Trotters Derby, Sire Stakes Trotting Championship and now the Northern Trotting Derby to his resume. A 3yo Colt by Champion sire Sundon out of the Ford Family’s handy race mare Arabess – Marcoola is the horse most people dream of breeding and owner themselves. A smart drive from Clint tonight got the chocolates as he once again showcased his class by demolishing a top class field. Allowed to settle early by Ford, Marcoola was then set around to find the top, this move left 2nd favourite High Gait in a world of trouble covered up four back the pegs. In a surprise move, High Gait’s driver Natalie Rasmussen was happy to stay tucked along the rail and was seen storming home for an unlucky 3rd. Marcoola went to the line, with plenty in the tank as Ford only flicked the reins at his charge in the home straight to score by 1 length in an overall time of 3:23.7, Mile rate of 2:01.4 – 800m in 58.2 – 400m in 29.6. The Harness Jewels looks his race to lose on the back of this 7 race winning streak. Marcoola _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Field Marshal was another short favourite to salute the judge, this time doing the sort after Taylor Mile/Messenger double. After a huge performance in last weeks Taylor Mile, Trainer Tim Butt was confident his top class Art Major 4yo would handle every part of the 2700m trip.  Given a lovely trip by leading driver Dexter Dunn, Field Marshal was dominate beating Australia visitor My Kiwi Mate by 1 ¼ Lengths in a sizzling 3:15.8. With tonight’s victory, Field Marshal climbs over the $250,000.00 mark in stakes earnings, with a healthy record of 14 wins from just the 25 starts. While Field Marshal in a clear leader on top of the Harness Jewels leader board, Australian My Kiwi Mate catapulted himself into 22nd spot, just $10,000.00 short of the 12th place Captain Doimio. With connections chasing a jewels spot, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see My Kiwi Mate line up at Alexandra Park over the next few weeks in order to qualify. The 4yo Jewels invite is likely to go to the Amanda Turnbull trained Tact Tate, who will make their decision in the coming days. Field Marshal _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Superstar trotter Monbet was absolutely sensational in the 2016 Rowe Cup, winning from an awkward, inside the back row draw. Trained at Woodend Beach by Greg and Nina Hope, Monbet started one of the hottest favourites in history after arch rival Speeding Spur was stuck down by a suspensory injury that could see him sidelined for 10-12 months. Away nicely from the tapes, Monbet settled in before driver Ricky May sent the $1.11 favourite around to the lead with two laps to run. From there on after the 4yo Love You gelding never looks in danger. Owned by the Hopes and M J Molloy, they also turned down a reported offer of $600,000.00 a few weeks back. Since that offer Monbet has earn't a tidy $184,000.00. Co trainer Greg Hope confirmed last night that providing his charge recovers well they will look to take their place in the Cambridge Harness Jewels, where he will start one of the shortest jewels favourites ever. Waimate trotter Valmagne was the run of the race behind the winner. Co Trainer Josh Kennett was stoked with the performance of his stable star, “He has gone super, last week he broke just as he was getting into it” said Kennett. Monbet Andrew Fitzgerald

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