Another strong nine race program is scheduled for the Albion Park Harness Racing Club this weekend. Highlights include several even and competitive metropolitan events plus an intriguing trotter’s handicap which will be staged over the staying distance of 2647m. Dual Queensland Trotter of the Year Goldstar Invasion must overcome a 40m handicap and meets talented types Releven Dream and Sharons Millicent among others. Goldstar Invasion, a runner-up at his past two starts looks suited by the small field and once again will be handled by talented reinsman Adam Sanderson with Shane Graham electing to partner stablemate Continental Boy. The Daren Garrard trained Releven Dream made a break last start when resuming from a freshen-up, he smashed the Albion Park 2647m track record two starts ago. Gambling giant UBET are offering several jackpots throughout the program including a guaranteed $30,000 trifecta pool on the opening race. The Quest Breakfast Creek Apartments Pace will be staged over 1660m and features several in-form pacers including last start winner Expressionist. Prepared by Shane Sanderson, the Live Or Die gelding recorded a ‘PB’ performance last start winning at this track and trip in a time of 1:52.6. Expressionist will start from gate nine, two off the second-line but drawn to follow fast beginner Buy Chevron Direct. A jackpot Quadrella pool of $15,000 is also scheduled – the quaddie will be staged on races 2, 3, 4 & 5. UBET are also offering a $5000 First 4 jackpot on race three. Check out Racing Queensland form analyst Darren Clayton’s thoughts on the program http://www.harness.org.au/punters-corner-details.cfm?keyNum=99950 The first of 9 races is scheduled to start at 5.08pm. Contact the club on (07) 3262 2577 or via the website at www.aphrc.com.au or simply drop an email@example.com Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 05 December 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 05 December 2015
Friday, September 11, 2015.... Chicago Illinois - The 27th edition of Super Night will take place Saturday, September 12th at Balmoral Park. The one mile oval will host eight championship races on the thirteen race harness racing program with a special first post of 6:30 central. The biggest night in Illinois racing will be a Super Night for horseplayers as well. Balmoral Park will offer four guaranteed pools totaling $135,000 on Saturday, giving players carryovers, a low takeout Pick Four and some of the biggest pools of the year to shoot at. Free program pages are now available courtesy of Track Master at www.ustrotting.com. The first guaranteed pool of the night starts on race 5 with a Pick Five carryover of $7,032. The Saturday Pick Five will have a guaranteed pool of $35,000. The opening leg of the Pick Five is the $155,000 Orange and Blue Championship for two year old pacing fillies. With a final pool of $35,000, this bet would have zero takeout. The minimum bet is fifty cents. The Pick Four starts on race 10. The Super Night Pick Four features four championship races on Saturday with purses of $507,000 and another guaranteed pool of $35,000. The opening leg of this multi race wager is the $92,000 Tony Maurello Championship for aged pacers featuring a spectacular field where six of the pacers possess a mark of under 1:50. The Pick Four has a one dollar minimum and is offered with a low takeout of 15 per cent. Race twelve brings out ten three year olds competing in the $112,000 Pete Langley Championship. This race offers trifecta wagering with a guaranteed pool of $40,000. Last week, this trifecta pool clocked in at a season high $63,365. The Balmoral Park trifecta has a low minimum of fifty cents. The final leg of the Pick Four also features the final guaranteed pool and the richest purse of the night. Race 13 on the card, the $187,000 Orange & Blue Championship for two-year-old pacers has a guaranteed pool of $25,000 for the 10-cent Hi-Five wager giving fans the "ultimate get out bet." This wager, which is wildly popular thanks to that low minimum of ten cents also brings out a very evenly matched field of ten youngsters and could produce a big payout for some lucky fans. Balmoral Park has made every attempt to make sure the wagering menu for Super Night XXVII is something special. Let me personally thank horseplayers, owners and their connections for their continued support of Illinois racing. By Michael Antoniades Balmoral Park Racing Analyst
Every week, Harnesslink produces the harness racing ringaround where a group of twenty odd of our leading drivers give us their best tips for the weekend racing. Results in the main have been good with the odd shocker thrown in but last night at Addington Raceway the tipsters had a night to remember. The drivers selected horses in seven races last night at Addington and bagged five winners which is a great strike rate. In started in the first when Gavin Smith selected Paris Princess who led form go to whoa and returned a healthy dividend of $6:60 Blair Orange was the next tipster to see the winners circle with the very talented Southern GNP who was backed in very short but never gave his supporters any cause for concern with an effortless victory. Onto race 6 and Mark Jones was very bullish around the chances of Franco Harrington and the way he cruised to the front and ran away and hid in the home straight showed that his confidence was not misplaced. In race 8, North Canterbury trainer/driver Robbie Holmes had two horses involved in the race and he was very keen on the chances of Clean Break with Gavin Smith in the bike even from the outside of the gate, with Robbie taking the reins on the stablemate Tehoro Holly. The win dividend of $8:70 for Clean Break was a great return for the inform trotter. As happens, the best was saved for last. Three of our tipsters chose their best drives of the week in race 9 last night. Ricky May, John Dunn and Bob Butt were all keen on the chances of their runners and as it turned out none of them were far off the mark. John Dunn worked to the lead on Mr Meddle with Bob Butt settling in the trail with Justalittlebettor and Ricky May and Change The Rulz snookered away four back on the inner. John got away with a couple of cheap quarters in front with Mr Meddle which left enough in the tank to fight off all the challengers in the home straight. Ricky May and Change The Rulz flashed late for an unlucky second just in front of Justalittlebettor and Bob Butt who held third. Mr Meddle paid $10:90 for the win with the quinella paying $15:30 and the trifecta a healthy $185:20 Throw in the double result of Clean Break and Mr Meddle of $49:50 and followers of the ringaround should have made plenty last night. Harnesslink Media
Another week of alright results without being anything special. Our northern tipsters continue to outshine their southern counterparts as last weeks results show. There were five winners selected with Tony Herlihy, Scott Phelan and Maurice McKendry from the north and just Brad Williamson and John Dunn from the south. We managed six placegetters as well so a reasonable week allround. This week there are only three meetings once again so our number of selectors is down a little bit. Forbury Park - Thursday night Blair Orange - Gave Cerato from barrier one a big push in race 3 Nathan Williamson - Thinks Motu Moonbeam can win again, also in race 3 Brendon McLellan - Gives Eja Patron a chance of upsetting at odds, again in race 3 Brad Williamson - Thought Kylie Castleton could bounce back from Addington defeat and win race 4 Matthew Williamson - Reckons Anothersuperstar is in career best form and can win, also in race 4 Auckland - Friday night Peter Scaife - Rates Motown very hard to beat in race 2 John Curtin - Thought El Jacko was a big chance of taking out race 3 Tony Herlihy - Quite bullish about the chances of Bettabe Perfect in race 6 Steve Richardson - Rates Vulcan a chance to upset them at big odds in race 7 Todd Mitchell - Keen on the chances of Leanne's Boy, also in race 7 Maurice Mckendry - Finds it hard to see The Orange Agent beaten in race 8 Robbie Holmes - Thinks Cyclone Kiwi had improved again and would push the favourite, also in race 8 Scott Phelan - Gives Le Lua Invasion a big show, even from 20 metres behind of winning race 9 Geoff Small - Rates Everlasting Grace an upset chance with a run to suit in race 10 Todd MacFarlane - Likes the way Cyclone Chief is working and thinks he can win race 11 Rangiora - Sunday afternoon Mark Jones - Gives Derringer a chance of upsetting them in race 2 Bob Butt - Rates Easy Rider, even from its outside gate as very hard to beat, also in race 2 Terry Chmiel - Gave Going Going Gone a good chance of getting the chocolates in race 5 Ricky May - Thought Western Art stuck on really well last week and could win race 6 John Dunn - Thinks that Nikola on its last start effort can win this week, also in race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Rates Like A Prayer very hard to roll from barrier 1 in race 9 Jim Curtin - Thought Gunpowder had no luck last week and was a chance,also in race 9 Harnesslink Media
The latest model of Strategic Wagering got off to a roaring start last weekend at the harness racing meeting at Balmoral Park. The idea that began four years ago with guaranteed pools of $400,000 a month in 2011 have been increased fivefold in 2015. Strategic Wagering will now offer at least one guaranteed trifecta pool, Pick Four pool and High Five pool every night for 31 straight days. The addition of the trifecta pools in August will see Strategic Wagering offer guaranteed pools in excess of $2,000,000 this month. The success of the three guaranteed pools last weekend is very encouraging and it appears that Strategic Wagering is on the right path. Bigger pools will most certainly bring bigger players. The weekend averages of the guaranteed pools at Balmoral Park were $54,206 on the trifecta, $36,001 on the pick four and $35,456 on the ten cent high five. Players will like the fast paced action of four races and three guaranteed pools in a little more than an hour. The debut of the three nightly guaranteed pools model at Balmoral Park saw total handle for the two days clock in at $2,171,438 for an average of $98,701 per race with a nightly average of $1,085,719. The final four races featuring the three guaranteed pools did extraordinary business. Handle on the last four races Saturday was $490,700. The Sunday final four sequence did over a half million dollars clocking in at $514,972. The handle for those eight races totaled $1,005,672, or $125,709 per race. The Sunday Pick five paid $11,717.30 for fifty cents. The guaranteed trifecta pools seemingly have the same effect as the guaranteed High Five pools that began in July. The low ten or twenty cent Guaranteed High Five has proven to be extremely popular. The low minimum allows the small player to be a part of the game. Last Friday the Maywood Park High Five pool totaled $26,671, second in the country behind the Del Mar High Five pool of $55,888. Saturday Del Mar had the top High Five pool in the country at $44,301 with Balmoral a close second with $39,214. Pretty admirable figures considering Del Mar averaged $12,087,844 per day during their 2014 summer meet. The pilot program kicked off with three tracks, Balmoral Park, Northfield Park and Maywood Park. During the month of August, Balmoral will offer $70,000 in nightly guarantees comprised of a guaranteed Pick Four pool, a High Five pool and a Trifecta pool every Saturday and Sunday. Northfield Park will offer three guaranteed pools every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Maywood Park will follow with three guaranteed pools each Thursday and Friday. In my opinion, the industry must try to create larger pools. There are so many potential players that would bet $1000 to win, a $200 exacta or a $50 trifecta if the pools would accommodate those wagers. The people who put in thousand dollar tickets on multi race wagers are out there. Creating larger pools will bring these valuable players and eventually increase participation. The lesson we are learning in thoroughbred racing and harness racing is that actually offering less pools per race may be beneficial to business. Free deluxe twelve line program pages for all Strategic Wagering guaranteed pools are available courtesy of Track Master at www.ustrotting.com. The entire August calendar is also available on the USTA website. Michael Antonaides
With Amanda Rando away, the team at iForm have had a good look at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night and have passed on some selections. The meeting will see the running of the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue events with the runners competing for $50,000 in each of the four finals. iForm’s best bet on the program appears in race four. Alta Jerome (number 4) was placed last week when beaten by Ultimate Art and was previously placed behind Monifieth on Breeders Challenge Day. The four year old has won five races at Menangle previously. The next best is Macworthy (race 9 number 4) for Steve and Amanda Turnbull. The gelding was impressive winning at Bathurst last start and will be having his first start on the 1400 metre track. Best Bet - Race 4 Number 4 Alta Jerome Next Best - Race 9 Number 4 Macworthy Quaddie - Leg 1 – 8 Always My Mate, 9 Rich Virgin, 10 Milliondollar Wave Leg 2 – 2 Keilor Misty, 5 Miss Rodriguez, 6 Miss Nickels Leg 3 – 4 Sport Report, 5 Pure Cam Leg 4 – 2 Purple Reighn, 4 Express Pass, 5 Master Dip, 6 Killara Hustler, 7 Allnight Greg Hayes
Night two of the Queensland winter harness racing carnival takes place at Albion Park this Saturday night. And what a star-studded program it is highlighted by the Gr.1 $100,000 Greg & Sharon Mitchell Queensland Oaks, a high quality field boasting outstanding depth with fillies from New Zealand, New South Wales and Victoria taking on the best local talents. The dominant combination of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have the two favourites for the event in the shape of multiple Oaks victor Fight For Glory plus the ultra-talented Linda Lovegrace, both have been impressive since arriving in Brisbane a few weeks ago. Fight For Glory is aiming for her fourth Oaks trophy this season following her success in the New South Wales, New Zealand and Gold Coast Oaks. The Art Major filly has drawn the second-line and Rasmussen is booked to drive. Other features include the Gr.2 $50,000 Gurney Group of Companies 4 & 5yo Championship, the Gr.3 $40,000 Mr Feelgood Gold Coast Derby, the Gr.3 $30,000 Burwood Stud Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes, the $20,000 Lunchbox Lodge Country Cup Final and the $20,000 Rising Stars Championship Final. Another highlight is the BOTRA Pink Pants Lady Drivers Invitation Race which features several high profile local and interstate drivers who are playing their role in raising awareness in breast cancer. Gambling giant UBET are offering several jackpots for punters including a guaranteed $30,000 Quadrella pool which will be staged on races 2, 3, 4 & 5. And Trot Tips is keen to get involved. “It’s another cracking meeting with so many highlights and features, the carnival started with a bang last week and I’m tipping it will be even better this week and the following week which wraps up the Albion Park side of things." "I’m predicting a Kiwi quinella in the Queensland Oaks with Linda Lovegrace the filly to beat from her ideal draw; hopefully we’re cashed up by then.” Trot Tips Mick Polster said. The Quadrella takes in several feature races and Polster believes early favourites look set to dominate. “In the opening leg which is the Country Cup Final, I’m keen on Our Leonardo and Gentle Western as the two to beat." "Our Leonardo was excellent in defeat first-up and looks a certain leader while Gentle Western is a classy pacer still on the rise, although beaten last week." "I’m expecting more from him on the weekend." "For added insurance I would include Nureyev, a strong heat winner last week." “In the Fleur De Lil, the two winning chances are classy mare Forever Gold who faces a gigantic class drop after running a cracking race last week in the Sunshine Sprint behind Avonnova and Smolda." "Natalie Rasmussen drives this week too." "Sweet Molly Oshea was luckless behind Bling It On last week in her local debut, draws perfectly and has the services of Luke McCarthy this week." “The Rising Stars Final is wide open with several winning hopes but I think the main chances rest with Change Of Mind, Mista Natural, Cougar Oriely, Girl With Fire, Major Coup and Lenny The Legend." "In the Gold Coast Derby I think Menin Gate is the obvious while Hug The Wind and Burnaholeinmypocket being the main threats, you could go one out with Menin Gate while the other two are the insurance." "I will play around with these runners and for varying amounts.” UBET also have a $30,000 trifecta jackpot on the opening race while $2000 First 4 jackpots are being staged on races 3, 5, 7 and 8. For further information from Trot Tips, visit the website – trottips.com The first race is scheduled to start at 5.05pm. Racing Queensland
While fireworks filled the skies across the country on Saturday night, there were fireworks of a different kind around midnight as one lucky customer purchased the winning ticket in the last race jackpot super hi-5 which returned $173,094.02 at the harnes racing meeting at The Meadowlands. The lucky ticket was bought through the advance deposit wagering site, TVG. The correct combination of 7-6-9-3-8 included a 45-1 winner over the 1/2 betting choice followed by a 15-1 longshot, the 7/2 second choice and the longest shot on the board finishing fifth. This is the second highest payout in Meadowlands history, following a Jackpot Super Hi-5 that returned $200,000 earlier in the meet. The good news is there still is one Jackpot Super Hi-5 that is still alive at The Meadowlands, with a carryover now of $175,602. With major stakes races at The Meadowlands on the horizon, it was important for several of Ron Burke's contingent find their best stride. Rocklamation did her part on Friday and on Saturday it was Bettor's Edge and Sayitall BB's turn. Bettor's Edge won eight times in 2014 for earnings of over $673,000. While 2015 has not brought the same amount of success, the gelding still oozes class and that class was on display Saturday night at The Meadowlands. Sent off as the 4/5 favorite in a field of six in an upper-level condition pacing event, Bettor's Edge took no prisoners from the start of the race and was launched after Mister Virgin around the first turn and cleared the lead past the opening quarter in 26.3. From there, Bettor's Edge settled into his rhythmic stride and he would lead the charge to the half-mile in 55.1. At that point, a challenge came from Art History, who committed first over and tried to engage the favorite past three-quarters in 1:23, but Art History proved no match for Bettor's Edge. As the field turned for home, Joe Bongiorno called to his gelding for more speed and he responded, scampering three lengths clear. Melmerby Beach, who trailed throughout, was shown racetrack in the stretch and launched a relentless rally in the last eighth of a mile, but he came up just one-half of a length short as Bettor's Edge held on in 1:49.3. Mister Virgin was third. Bettor's Edge is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and M1 Stable. The win was the 23rd of his career and his earnings are rapidly approaching $1.5 Million. Sayitall BB also returned to her winning form, with an authoritative triumph in a condition event for fillies and mares on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. On the heels of an excellent three year old campaign that included a Breeders Crown Championship, Sayitall BB has struggled while making her transition to her four year old season, winning just once in eleven starts in 2015 entering her Saturday night contest. She took a positive step tonight. Sent off as the 6/5 choice, Sayitall BB went forward off the gate and allowed the speed to settle through an opening quarter of 26.4, before launching her bid for the lead as the field moved into the backstretch, where she would clear the front as the field straightened up. From there, the Breeders Crown champion reached the half-mile in 55-seconds before facing a challenge from All About Kisses who looked the favorite in the eye past three-quarters in 1:22.3. But, Sayitall BB had plenty left in the tank and when Joe Bongiorno called on his mare for pace, the response was instantaneous as Sayitall BB sprinted away from the field in the stretch to win going away in 1:50.1. Sayitall BB is eligible to The Golden Girls at The Meadowlands, as is her stablemate Rocklamation who won on Friday night. The Final for that event is Meadowlands Pace night, Saturday July 18th, with eliminations on July 11th if necessary. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC and is approaching $600,000 in lifetime earnings. Lady Winona, who could be making her next start in the Del Miller Memorial was an emphatic winner of a condition trotting event on Saturday night. Allowed to settled off the speed, Lady Winona launched a first over blitz into fractions of 27.4 and 56.2 before clearing the lead and drawing away impressively to win decisively in 1:54.1. The win was the second of the season for the Credit Winner filly for owner Stroy Inc and trainer Julie Miller. Steve Smith was at the lines. Revenge Shark may have earned a berth in The Meadowlands Pace with a powerful stretch drive to score in a tough condition event in 1:50.2. Jim Marshall III guided the three year old colt to victory for trainer Tony Alagna in come-from-behind fashion. He defeated three other Meadowlands Pace eligible colts and a pair of talented New York Sire Stakes performers in the process. Revenge Shark is owned by Alagna Racing LLC and Bradley Grant. The $25,000 Dash For The "G" Notes Final went to Kingofthejungle who worked out a perfect second over trip and rallied boldly in the stretch to score his second victory of the season in a lifetime best 1:50.4 with Jim Pantaleano in the sulky. The winner is trained by Brandon Simpson, who co-owns the four year old gelding with Fox Racing Inc. Untouchable One captured the $20,000 Mini-Series Final for the $10,000 claimers rallying into a frantic speed duel that included a 53.2 half-mile to win going away with Joe Bongiorno in 1:51.1. It was Bongiorno's second win on the card. The winner was trained by Bill Mac Kenzie for Anthony and Alma Iafelice. Racing returns on Friday, July 10th with a special post time of 5:30 P.M. Saturday's racing card, which is Meadowlands Pace night, also has a special 5:30 P.M. start time. Darin Zoccali
Pompano Beach, FL...May 20, 2015...Maybe driver Wally Hennessey had an inkling that the Super Hi-5 mandatory payout event, held Wednesday night at Pompano Park, might just get the headlines over the duet of co-feature "Winners Over" events. Not taking any chances, Wally swept all three! With the "must go" Super Hi-5 jackpot swelling over the past 40 programs going into the mid-week program, an astounding amount well over $1,000,000 pushed the total pool to $1,247,507, sending the Wednesday handle at the track to $1,381,817, an all-time record covering the 51 year history of the track. After Hennessey guided Brianna Bennett's American Gold to victory in that finale, 2,114 astute handicappers were in line to cash in to the tune of $501.86 for each 20 cent investment covering the 6-5-8-9-11 combo featuring the two co-favorites finishing one-two and two of the three other "single digit" performers finishing three-four. It was quite a night for the Hennessey's--driver Wally and trainer Dan--and owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil as the Hennessey-O'Neil connection captured both featured "Winner's Over" events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (May 20). First, in the $8,500 "Winner's Over" pace for mares, Godiva Seelster, back in action after a week's vacation, stretched her amazing streak of "in the money" starts to 54 with a handy 1:52.2 win measuring 2 3/4 lengths over Senorita Santanna (Kevin Wallis) with Winbak Heavenly (Matt Romano) next. Just Fine and Cheap N Easy picked up minor awards in the sextet. Godiva Seelster has not missed a single purse check covering all of her starts as a three year-old, four year-old and, now, as a five year-old. The daughter of Camluck engaged in a brief early battle lasting all of an eighth of a mile before taking command from Senorita Santanna and then strolling through panels of :27, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before sealing the deal with a :27.1 finale for her fifth win of the year in eight starts. She has been second in her other trio of trips back of the gate. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "I know I have said this before, but, it's true. This mare knows how to take care of herself in the stable area or on the racetrack. She's just such a handy thing. She is amazing the way she has remained this sharp for so long...very rare, especially among mares. I asked her early for some speed and she made the lead around the turn and, when we turned for home, I didn't have to asked her for anything. She just knew what to do on her own!" Trained by Dan Hennessey for the aforementioned owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster sent her seasonal bounty to $33,250 and $141,092 lifetime. Even money on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster paid $4.20 to her many followers. In the companion, $8,500 "Winner's Over" handicap trot, Verdi, also trained by Dan and driven by brother Wally for the O'Neil's, scored a handy win measuring 2 1/2 lengths in a lifetime best 1:54.3. Gold Savage (Mickey Mc Nichol) finished second with My Revenuer (Robbie Hoffman) next. Dream Lake finished fourth while On The Tab picked up the nickel in the septet. Verdi, a four year-old son of Kadabra, left alertly--but cautiously--from his outside seven post, grinding forward and reaching the lead 3/8s into the mile after a :27.4 opener by Gold Savage. Once on top, Verdi clipped off subsequent fractions of :57 and 1:25.2 and never had an anxious moment thereafter, striding home in :29.1 for his new mark. After that event, Hennessey grinned, "It's been quite a night, especially for the O'Neil's. I'm very happy for them! This horse has really come into his own this season. He can leave...he can brush...he's handy...he's solid...and I love the fact that he digs in every step of the mile. I hope he can keep going!" Verdi now is officially seven-for-nine this year, good for $26,205 in seasonal earnings. He's banked $130,804 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 "chalk," Verdi paid $3.20 to win. Racing continues on Saturday night with a fresh start to the Super Hi-5. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
At last weeks harness racing meetings, our selectors went okay with the exception of the Addington meeting where after the heavy rain, a lot of the races became a bit of a lottery. There were several selections that were well supported but really struggled in the slushy conditions so we have decided to put a line under last week and move on. For the record our selectors picked four winners via Tony Herlihy, John Dunn, Brad Williamson and Jim Curtin while another seven were first three finishers. This week we only have four meetings and we are a bit light at Auckland where a lot of our regulars are not engaged. Forbury Park - Thursday night John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Thinks Blade even from barrier 14 can win race 3 Matthew Williamson - Gives Sage from barrier one a real chance of winning race 5 Nathan Williamson - Thought Sheeza Shark was overdue and could win race 10 Auckland - Friday night Todd Mitchell - Rates Lady J a big chance of clearing maidens in race 1 Tony Herlihy - Likes The Almighty Johnson to go back to back in race 4 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Reckons Paramount Dream can bounce back, also in race 4 Scott Phelan - Thought Happy To Go could leave maidens in race 8 Addington - Friday night Ricky May - Thinks Dalton Bromac will lead and be awfully hard to beat in race 3 Gerard O'Reilly - Reckons Tiger Tara can get a piece of the action, also in race 3 Terry Chimel - Expects improvement with driver change on Little Tess in race 7 Blair Orange - Gives Expresso Martini a good chance of winning race 8 Jim Curtin - Rates Lucky Fortune a big chance of winning race 9 Bob Butt - Waterloo Sunset is my best drive of the week in race 9 Tim Williams - Only drive on the night and will be trying hard in race 10 Sam Ottley - Opting for stable runner Secret Lotion in race 10. Winton - Sunday afternoon Brad Williamson - Thinks River Patrol can go back to back in race 3 Clark Barron - Thought Mass Invasion could go one better this week and win race 4 Brendon McLellan - Forget Leigh Major's last run, she can win race 8 Shane Walkinshaw - Likes Winton and will get the money in race 10 Harnesslink Media
This weeks harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park is one of the best of the season in New Zealand with four Group 1 races on the card. We thought we would do a runner by runner preview of each of the Group 1 races. First up is the $80,000 Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby 1) Paramount Dream - Starts: 8 Wins: 3 Secs: 0 Thirds: 1 Life: $13,138 Very nice filly who has won three from just eight starts so ability is there. The draw and Tony Herlihy in the bike are a plus but this race while small in number has huge depth. Outside first four chance for us in this field. 2) Habibti Ivy - Starts: 8 Wins: 3 Secs: 0 Thirds: 4 Life: $44,484 This filly just continues to get better with every run. Has used plenty of petrol off the gate to lead in her last two starts but this week from barrier two it will be a lot easier for her to grab the early lead before handing up to either Speeding Spur or Monbet. A couple here may be half a metre better but it is a fine line and from the draw she is a big chance. Include in everything. 3) Speeding Spur - Starts: 14 Wins: 8 Secs: 2 Thirds: 2 Life: $141,623 Without a doubt the horse to beat in this race. Left a touch fresh last week but still had enough in the tank to hold out a game Monbet. Will be much improved this week and at a distance much more to his liking. Drawn inside his main danger and has gate speed so the one they have to beat. 4) Monbet - Starts: 13 Wins: 6 Secs: 2 Thirds: 1 Life: $99,041 Outstanding young trotter who started the season in great fashion but an injury prior to the Southern Derby meant he went into that race underdone so that run full of merit. Great performance last week to sit parked the whole journey and run Speeding Spur to a nose but yet again he has drawn outside that horse. We think the only way Monbet can beat Speeding Spur over 2700 metres is to beat him out of the gate. He does have high gate speed but debatable weather he has enough to cross Speeding Spur. The main danger to the favourite and a definite winning chance. 5) Prince Fearless - Starts: 12 Wins: 3 Secs: 4 Thirds: 0 Life: $102,974 The enigma of this years field for sure and hard to know what to expect. More than capable of matching it with Speeding Spur and Monbet but his first start right handed last week was not flash with an early gallop. The funny thing is after the early gallop, Prince Fearless trotted beautifully the Auckland way round and made up a huge amount of ground on a hot pace. From barrier five Natalie can let him settle early over the 2700 metres and then work into the race and for us he is a must have for quinella,trifecta and first four players. 6) Arya - Starts: 17 Wins: 10 Secs: 3 Thirds: 1 Life: $161,336 After a handful of starts in Australia this season in which she was unbeaten, Arya disappointed first up back in New Zealand in the Trotting Oaks with an average run for fourth. Much improved last week in the Sires Stakes final where she again ran fourth but in a much stronger field. Did get a lovely run in the one by one the whole way so hard to see her winning this but a trifecta and first four chance for us. 7) Yagunnakissmeornot - Starts: 15 Wins: 7 Secs: 2 Thirds: 4 Life: $55,458 Never out of the money in her first thirteen starts but her last two have been a touch disappointing. Should have finished closer than fifth from a soft run on the inner from barrier one last week and hard to see from this weeks draw how she can turn the tables on a few here. Rough first four player for us at best. 8) Rock Tonight - 14 Wins: 2 Secs: 1 Thirds: 1 Life: $20,666 The ability is not the question here, it is the manners and ringcraft. Broke twice in the score up last week and then once during the race which at this level is terminal. Already handicapped by being on the unruly so hard to see him here as a major player here. Not for us. SELECTIONS Top pick from the draw has to be Speeding Spur who over a distance he loves will be very hard to beat. The clear second pick for us is Monbet who has the all round game to threaten Speeding Spur but needs a touch of luck having drawn outside his main rival. After that Habibti Ivy and Prince Fearless look the main challengers but hard to see either beating both Speeding Spur and Monbet Arya as cover for first four players. Harnesslink Media
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The Meadowlands Racetrack has offered the best bet in harness racing for years and on Meadowlands Pace night, it will be even better. That's because The Late Pick Four will double its guarantee. On Saturday night, that wager, covering races 7 through 10 will carry a $100,000 guaranteed pool.
Ok harness racing fans, after seven weeks I have picked horses in 39 races with only 17 winners, not that good. I had three out of five winners last week which made a $6.00 overall profit. We are in the minus earning column by only (-$1.30) going into this weekend.
TAB's 'Fourtune' promotion is one week down and with three left it's not long until harness racing punters get another crack at some massive First 4 pools at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Congratulations to Blair Orange, Jonny Cox and Matthew and Nathan Williamson who tipped out winners last week.