Day At The Track
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In form pacer Turn It Up has captured the Gr.2 $60,000 Waikato Flying Mile at Cambridge tonight. After being driven hard out of the gate early by co-trainer Mark Purdon, the classy Courage Under Fire gelding had to settle for the trail as Tony Herlihy and Star Galleria were intent on leading in the early war in the race. Turning for home Turn It Up soon had the measure of Star Galleria and he cruised to the line to win by three quarters of a length in 1-54.5. Star Galleria fought gamely for second and Ashley Locaz battled on well for third after sitting parked for the trip. New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer could not make any impression on the leaders after settling last in the seven horse field. Turn It Up will now be aimed at the rich Gr1 Waste Management Taylor mile at Alexandra Park on April 26 and also the Gr1 Messenger on 3rd May. Earlier in the night Temporale led all the way in the Cambridge Trotting Stakes for trainer/driver Tony Herlihy. Speeding Spur got closest to the winner after trailing but was still a neck away at the line.  Temporale trotted the mobile mile in 1-58.5 with a final 800m in 59.0 seconds. Temporale winning the mile   Harnesslink media  

The injury plagued elite grade pacer Franco Nelson is to have a change of scenery once again as he heads over to join the Victorian barn of former Kiwi driver Anthony Butt Anthony and his new partner are in the process of setting up a small boutique stable on Gavin Lang's old property and there wouldn't be a better horse to get things under way with The six year old son of Christian Cullen is lightly raced considering he was mixing it with the best at two and Anthony will be his fourth trainer to date in his stop start career. Franco Nelson had his last start for his present trainer Michael House in the $57,500 Waikato Flying Mile at Cambridge Raceway on Friday night where he ran a very creditable third after leading easily off the gate in the hands of his soon to be regular pilot Anthony Butt who made the trip from Melbourne to drive the entire. Anthony is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be involved with a horse of the class of Franco Nelson. " He went great in the New Zealand Cup in his first run for such a long time and Dexter had no luck in the Auckland Cup, being shoved out wide at the 800 metres mark so I think you can disregard that run". " There are so many opportunities for a horse like him in Australia" " With his proven class, he shouldn't be a hard horse to place," Anthony said. Anthony is not getting ahead of himself, fully aware of all the issues that have troubled the star pacer in recent times. " I have been really lucky in having such a quality horse sent to me to train but I have a pool there which he needs so I can do a lot of the day to day work with him." " If we can get him back to his best, it could be very exciting." " I can't wait to get him home and and sort out a programme for him," said Anthony. Franco Nelson is not the only horse that has Anthony excited heading into the major cup races and series in Victoria. " I have driven Keystone Del to his last two wins since he joined Brent's barn and he has gone super both times." " I think he will be very competitive when all the big trotting races come around," Anthony said. Anthony is also hopeful of attracting some more New Zealand owned horses to his new training establishment. " It would work out great if a few more horses came over from home." " There are great opportunities here for a promising horse and I more than happy to look after any visitors as well," Anthony said. Harnesslink Media   This is a corrected version of a article Harnesslink first published on Friday 8th January 2016.

You had to feel really sorry for Harness Racing Waikato at Cambridge Raceway last night as their big night of the year was ruined by atrocious weather conditions. With some great fields carded throughout the night, the club had the potential to have  a huge night  but were thwarted to a big extent by heavy rain throughout the day. The $57,500 Waikato Flying Mile drew a really strong field even after a few scratchings but what seemed a very competitive race beforehand was turned into a procession soon after the start when the freakish mare The Orange Agent strode to the front and from then on completely dominated the contest. With driver Maurice McKendry merely lifting the reins in the home straight, The Orange Agent just ran away and hid by over three lengths in a smart time for the conditions of 1:56.3 with brilliant sectionals of 55.8 and 26.9 on the slushy track. Ohoka Punter looked more like his old self working home late for second in front of a game Franco Nelson who burnt the gate early Maurice couldn't contain his appreciation of the mares run post race. " She went super at the workouts last weekend and even better tonight. " Being wider on the track early helped her find the front in those conditions, but once there she was just absolutely jogging the rest of the race." " It was very heavy down on the inner but the track conditions didn't seem to affect her at all." " She was just doing it so easy on the corner I couldn't believe it," Maurice said. While trips across the Tasman have been mooted in some quarters this week, it now appears that The Orange Agent will stay closer to home at least in the short term. " This mare has never stopped improving from the day she started racing and I don't think she has stopped yet." "Patience is a virtue in this game and I think this mare has a huge future in front of her if we take our time with her," Maurice said. While a lot of Australian trainers will be glad to hear that The Orange Agent is not crossing the Tasman, a lot of New Zealand clubs will be just as thrilled to have this brilliant daughter of American Ideal racing at home. Harnesslink Media  

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