Day At The Track
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The New Zealand TAB opened the four Group One races at the Rowe Cup harness racing meeting last Wednesday morning, and all four events were won by the favourites. In fact seven favourites won 10 of the races on Friday (May 7) meeting.

The future of the heir to the New Zealand pacing throne will be decided next week. That is when ATC Trot Syndicate members will consider a huge offer for Tintin In America, the freakish pacer set to step up to harness racing superstardom next season.

Friday's $500,000 Auckland Trotting Cup has emerged relatively unscathed from Sunday's brutal Interdominion Pacing Final, with favourite Monkey King now a certain starter. The Interdominion runnerup had been under a slight cloud after Sunday's record run at Menangle left him with a cough, but Canterbury harness racing trainer Brendon Hill says a veterinary examination has cleared Monkey King to take his place on Friday at Alexandra Park.

The New Zealand TAB's harness racing bookie, Steve Richardson (pictured), was at Alexandra Park last Friday night (March 5) to get all the inside information on this week's $500,000 Woodlands Northern Derby. He has released his odds for this week's Group One Final.

Monkey King's magical harness racing season looks set to end on a high after the super pacer drew perfectly for Friday's $500,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup. The multi-millionaire will start from barrier three and was last night quoted as a $2.20 chance by the TAB, although he could start even shorter on the night.

The New Zealand TAB's harness racing bookie, Steve Richardson has released the odds for the two Group races tomorrow night (Friday) at Alexandra Park. The initial markets see the Mark Purdon/Grant Payne pair of Lancome and Highview Tommy both highly fancied their respective races.

One of New Zealand's most aggressive reinsmen is conceding the chances of a weekend harness racing treble could be dictated by the tactics of those around him. David Butcher has established a reputation for being proactive, rather than reactive, but says that isn't the way to tackle his three massive tasks this weekend: the A$1 million Interdominion Final, the $150,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks and the $50,000 NZ Herald Free-For-All.

Dean Molander has more than 600 reasons why he should thank his wife Nicole for some brilliant driving at harness racing's 'Northern Headquarters' tonight (Friday). The Pukekohe reinswomen only had three drives at Alexandra Park and won all three.

For the first time in 13 years the Auckland Trotting Club opted not to buy horses at this week's PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales in Auckland. Their syndication programme has proved extremely popular over the years and has converted many galloping cohorts to harness racing. It has even changed lives.

Punters should not be in a hurry to drop talented northern colt and hot favourite Tintin In America after he was beaten into third position in the Recreation Hotel Greymouth Mobile Pace (2600 metres) at Addington tonight.

Changeover, Awesome Armbro, Matai Mackenzie, Tintin In America . . . and now Kobe Bryant. The Auckland Trotting Club's ownership syndicates have been operating for 11 years, and tonight (Thursday) at Cambridge Raceway another potential star was revealed.

If you can't beat em, join em. That could be the harness racing catch-cry for former Wellington, now Cambridge resident and Bee (Beryl) Pears. In fact the trots annoyed Pears so much when she was a youngster that she felt her Friday and Saturday nights were being ruined by the persistent interruption of race-calls on her favourite children's radio series.

Lesser favoured 3 Year Old Rowan Direct went within an ace of upsetting the hot favourite and stable mate Tintin In America in the Sires' Stakes Heat of a mile at Cambridge tonight Thursday 2 October.

Tintin In America came back bigger and brighter than ever to stage an auspicious winning 3 Year Old debut in the Glenfield Tavern Mobile Pace (2200 metres) at Alexandra Park in Auckland tonight Friday 19 September.

The next batch of stars for the Auckland Trotting Club-managed racing syndicates are going through their paces with trainers Gareth Dixon, Michelle Wallis and Steven Reid.

Such has been the interest by NZ breeders in up-and-coming stallion McArdle, his book has been closed for the 2008/09 season.

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