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A horse racing club has been left reeling and bewildered after its national authority revealed plans to stop racing at the Blenheim racecourse. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has described Waterlea Racecourse as "no longer required" from this year, and said the Marlborough Racing Club should race at Riccarton Park instead. The NZTR Venue Plan, released this week, revealed plans to stop racing at nearly half the country's courses by 2030, following Racing Minister Winston Peters' Messara report last August, which recommended selling off tracks across the country to save the "deeply distressed industry". Club president Eric Bowers said the news came as a shock, as the Messara report said the Waterlea Racecourse deserved a refurbishment. "It is a bit disappointing. We were one of the ones that was supposed to be staying open," Bowers said. "But it's all open to negotiation, and we will be making a submission against it. They're happy to visit us and have a look at things, so I'm sure we can put something together that might change their mind." The plan said Marlborough had a lack of horses and relied on North Island horses at its meetings. It did not mention the venue's condition or facilities, but said many venues suffered from a lack of investment in recent years, and struggled to comply with health and safety regulations. "We can sit and do nothing, but in 10 years' time, when racing has withered on the vine, we will all be culpable for its demise," the report said. "Competition and technology have combined to marginalise racing to the extent that it no longer holds the same position in the Kiwi psyche as it once did." Bowers said Waterlea Racecourse was "a great grass track" with "pretty good" stables and was due to celebrate its centenary next January. Members were currently fixing a leak in the grandstand roof but generally, repair jobs were "nothing major". The club owned 50 per cent of the land and buildings, shared with the Marlborough Harness Racing Club. The harness racing club was not affected by the report as it had its own national racing authority, but it was unclear what would happen to the venue if the other club sold its share. Marlborough Mayor John Leggett would not say if he believed the club should continue racing at the site, saying it was something for the club to decide. If the racecourse closed altogether, Leggett said he expected most of the land to become residential. "We've got plans to develop the residential area out toward the northwest, so it would be good to keep as many parks and green spaces as we can. But that is well down the track, and ultimately the land owners would have the final say." The Ministry of Education had unsuccessfully approached the clubs about buying half the racecourse for the co-location of Marlborough Girls' and Boys' Colleges in 2016. Ministry head of education infrastructure service Kim Shannon said the plan would not change the decision to build on McLauchlan St, announced in December. NZTR's final decision about Waterlea Racecourse was likely to take "some months", and the ministry would not delay the co-location project to see what happened, she said. "Planning has commenced on how to best deliver modern, and fit-for-purpose, facilities to support students in Marlborough." Submissions about the NZTR plan close on March 19. Waterlea Racecourse is half owned by the Marlborough Racing Club, and half by the Marlborough Harness Racing Club.     SCOTT HAMMOND / STUFF PHOTO Marlborough Harness Racing Club vice president Mike Rangi, left, and Marlborough Racing Club president Eric Bowers at Waterlea Racecourse.     SCOTT HAMMOND / STUFF PHOTO The clubs are currently fixing a leak in a grandstand roof. By Jennifer Eder Reprinted with permission of The Marlborough Express

The Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s two-day meeting in January is all systems go, despite strong word that the meeting might have been in jeopardy. Word had been making it around the harness racing circle in Canterbury that a potential change in date or venue was possible for the popular summer destination but Marlborough Harness Racing club president, Brian Wastney was keen to dispel any myths floating around. “We are all good here and looking forward to holding our two day meeting in January,” he said. “I understand there have been a few different scenarios making the rounds but I can 100 per cent say that none of them are true and we intend to hold our meeting as always at our own Waterlea Racecourse.” The rumour mill kicked into gear courtesy of the tragic Kaikoura earthquakes last month with the current situation on State Highway One meaning that those coming from Canterbury and South would have to travel through the Lewis Pass as opposed to taking the coastal route through Kaikoura. It means an extended trip for many with an extra hour added on from the normal trip to Nelson to get to Blenheim, but Wastney confirmed the club were looking into paying a travel subsidy to those affected. “We had a committee meeting last night (Tuesday) and it was discussed that a travel subsidy could be given to those who travel through the Lewis Pass in an effort to try and ensure we get the usual number of stables travelling to the meeting. “We haven’t completely locked that in yet, but I would expect we will be able to make an announcement on it next week.” The closing of the week long gap between the Nelson and Blenheim meetings will come as a welcome one to those trainers planning on attending both meetings with the ability now to be based in the top of the South Island for the week and attend both meetings. Over the past few years the meeting have had a weekend in between which was met with much dismay among licence holders. “I think it’s beneficial to both clubs to have the two meetings back-to-back and with this current situation it may make the idea of travelling to the meetings a little more appealing.” The Marlborough Club hasn’t programmed it’s flagship event, the Pelorus Classic this year after poor nominations last year saw the race abandoned. Matt Markham

For the 5th time in his Harness Racing career, leading New Zealand driver Dexter Dunn has saluted on his 200th season winner. Many were expecting Dunn to pick up that milestone at Forbury Park last week (23rd June). The West Melton based driver headed to Forbury needing just the two wins, but could only manage the one. Dunn was successful on Lightning Mach for Cran Dalgety in the feature race for the night, but also picked up four second placing. Straight back on the road, Dexter arrived at Blenheim last friday needing just the one win from eight drives. Driving several runners for long time employer Cran Dalgety and father Robert Dunn, it would be no secret that Dunn would love to bring up his 200th win in one of their colours. But as a shock to all, Dexter couldn't manage a win and had to wait for today's Addington meeting to bring up his 200th. Driving Dusky Eyre for Katiki Beach trainer Ricky Allen, Dunn was off the mark quickly and in his favourite position, in front. From there on Dunn was able to hand up to faviourite Westy Boyz and was always traveling a winner at the turn. Hardly moving in the bike, Dunn captured win number 200 for the 3rd time in a row and 5th time in his career. Andrew Fitzgerald.

It’s a case of so far, so good for exciting 3-year-old pacer Franco Cristiano. Everything has gone to plan since the Robert Dunn trained son of Bettor’s Delight impressed in his first race day appearance in over seven months when winning at Blenheim Harness Racing Club on Friday. The only fly in the ointment came on Sunday when the meeting was abandoned due to surface flooding on the track taking the opportunity for two quick wins away from his connections. Dunn’s stable vet, Sam Taylor gave the gelding a pass with flying colours after a full examination yesterday upon his return to Woodend Beach and it’s now all systems go as they push toward a race at Addington on Thursday night. “It’s certainly great to have him back,” Robert said from Auckland yesterday. “You always worry about horses who have had injuries like he has but it would appear that the time off might have helped him. “That’s the best I think he’s raced on Friday. He’s never going to be perfect, but it’s a lot better than what he was like. “I still wonder if a lot of his problems were because of the injury, something wasn’t right with him and we can maybe now pinpoint it to the hairline fracture in his pastern.” The plan going forward very much depends on the outcome of Thursday night where Franco Cristiano takes on a stronger field than he raced on Friday. The line up includes Hypervelocity, GI Joe and Innocent Artist so he will need to be on top of his game. “We won’t make any firm plans until after Thursday probably, but it’s pretty likely he will head to the Breeders Crown heat after that. “And that in itself will be a good measuring stick for where we are at because Heaven Rocks will be there as well and from what I have seen of him, he’s a pretty special horse.” That heat for the 3-year-old colts and geldings is set down July 15. The abandonment of Sunday’s meeting won’t have helped Dunn’s chances of pegging back Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen in the trainers’ premiership. They are now 14 wins behind and were expecting a couple more to be added on Sunday. “We needed a real good day on Sunday to bring us right back into it I think. “And we could have had one of those days but that’s racing. “It’s going to take something special now I think, but we aren’t out of it. Mark and Natalie will race horses over the next few weeks with Breeders Crown heats and the like, but we’ve got numbers around the place and the plan is to keep pushing toward them and see what happens.” Dunn has 19 horses engaged at meetings between Addington, Forbury and Auckland early on in this week’s racing with a further nine nominated for the Timaru meeting on Sunday. The All Stars in contrast have two runners; GI Joe and Superfecta at Addington and then The Manipulator at Timaru. Matt Markham

Harness Racing Trainer Paul Court has a Blenheim winter double in mind to wind down Expressive Victor's stellar season on a high.  Court will start the Harness Jewels runner-up in the Winter Cup Prelude on the first day of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club's double header and she is likely to go again in Sunday's Winter Cup. Expressive Victor was given a week off following her second in the four-year-old Diamond behind Rocker Band. She has not been sighted publicly since but her West Melton-based trainer is confident she is forward enough to be competitive on both days Waterlea. "If anything she might be better for the run on Friday, but I wouldn't be coming if I didn't think she could (win)," Court said. Expressive Victor starts off 10m in Friday's Prelude but being the reliable and speedy beginner she is from the stand, the winner of seven races should be able to find the front if Blair Orange wants it. Court believes Expressive Victor is versatile and is not concerned if she does not lead. The daughter of Changeover raced by the De Novo Syndicate has chalked up five wins and six minor placings from 16 starts this season to exceed Court's expectations. "We always thought she was a pretty handy horse that could win two or three pretty quick but she just keeps stepping up." But Expressive Victor has not been the only bright point of Court's first season training on his own accord. Before Thursday night's Forbury Park meeting, he had already tallied 25 winners and could not be happier with how the season has panned out. He spent seven seasons training in partnership with his father Graham - highlighted by three consecutive New Zealand Trotting Cup victories with champion pacer-turned-sire Terror To Love. Thirty winners for the season looks possible but Court is not targeting any specific number. "I'm over the moon really. I didn't think about how many we might get beforehand, I just like to let it play out and see what happens. "I've been really happy with how many runners we have had in the Group races and how competitive we have been in them," Court said. Court also has a couple of leading hopes in c1 races over 2300m on the first day at Blenheim. Hypervelocity​ (race 6) and Courage To Live (race 9) both start from barrier two and although Court is not brimming with confidence, he rates both winning chances. The Bruce Hutton-trained Ideal Arden, who won the Nelson Winter Cup Prelude and Nelson Winter Cup will look to repeat the double in Blenheim. Highview Freddy​ ran two placings behind Ideal Arden at Nelson with stablemate Graduate Under Fire finishing just in behind with two top five finishes for the Robert Dunn stable. "Highview Freddy would have to be the pick of them just on that Nelson form," stable representative John Dunn said.      The highlight for the Dunn stable will be the return of exciting pacer Franco Cristiano​ who makes his makes his comeback from a long injury layoff in the c2-c3 pace over 2300m. The three-year-old was one of the main challengers to the All Stars colts before fracturing a pedal bone earlier this season. "He's pretty forward, he's had two nice trials," Dunn said. Mat Kermeen

Its been a seven month absence from the track, but talented three year old Franco Cristiano looks set to make a winning return on day one at Blenheim tomorrow for Harness Racing Trainer Robert Dunn. Good enough to win a Sires Stakes heat in the spring, Franco Cristiano was well supported in the final on Cup Day. However, after blowing to bits soon after the start, he would take no part in the Group One feature, won outstandingly by Lazarus. Shortly after this, Franco Cristiano headed north to Pukekohe under Robert's tutelage. However, very soon things began to unravel for the talented Bettor's Delight 3yr old. He had been a bit off in his work and Robert's worst fears were realised when after a scan, a hairline fracture of the pastern was revealed. After a successful surgery, he returned to the beach nearly three months ago and has been given plenty of time as he makes his progress back to the track. It was a winning turn at last week's Ashburton trials that told John that all was well and that it was time to get back to the track. "He was pretty impressive alright and just jogged it in some pretty quick sectionals." The news gets even better for his very patient connections. "He does seem a very different racehorse this time in and is definitely a lot more settled. Of course you never know until you get to the races though," said John. While the TAB have him installed the shortest of favourites in the early markets at $1.10, John said that first up, he must be some sort of risk. "Celestial Arden is in good form and is race fit, so we will need to be near enough to get the win." Win or lose, plans are a bit up in the air past tomorrow. "We are no certainty to go around again on Sunday. We will see how he is after the race, how he eats up and that sort of thing, but we won't be taking any risks with him." When assessing the rest of the team's chances tomorrow, John was a little frustrated by some of the draws and felt that perhaps their chances will be better on day two. "I really liked Mr Preston, but we have had to pull him out after he pulled up sore yesterday. Blood And Whisky is probably one of the best chances after Franco Cristiano. While he broke at the trials last week, I have made a couple of gear adjustments since then. He seems a nice type and should get one pretty quickly. Then later in the day, Highview Freddy and Graduate Under Fire should both go good races. They have both been near enough."Ex And when asked where things sit in terms of the much talked about premiership race, John was quite philosophical about things. "Realistically we will need to get a few wins this weekend if we are any chance. We will just keep on doing what we are doing and either way it has been a great season." Robert Dunn Trotting Stables

Updated 8am Friday Morning Todd Macfarlane produced the top tip for last week with his winning tip, Mr Natural winning at Alexandra Park, paying a nice $5.10 & $2.00. John Dunn deserves a honorably mention with his tip Katgotstyle who raced twice last week and was successful on Sunday at Rangiora paying $9.10. Others to tip winners were Andrew Fitzgerald, Kyle Marshall and Matt Cross. This week we have a few additions to the ring around - "Short priced special" will hopefully be one you can anchor in all bets. While a new mystery tipster will try to bump up our winning %. This week we cover 3 meetings, including Blenheim which is a dual meeting so make sure to follow the tips through to the second day. Forbury Park Thursday Night Brad Williamson – Madison Jane, Race 1. (2nd, $3.40 tote) Nathan Williamson – Gangnam Style, Race 2. (1st, $1.70, 1.40 tote) Rory Mcllwrick – Golden Gate, Race 6 (1st, $4.70 $2.30 tote) Craig Ferguson – Van Eva, Race 7. (2nd, $2.80 tote) Mystery Tipster - Hudson Sally, Race 8.  (7th) Matt Cross - Highview Illusion, Race 8. (2nd, $1.60 tote) John Dunn - Donegal Jimmy Dave, Race 11. (2nd, $1.50 tote) Blenheim - Friday Afternoon/Sunday Afternoon Blair Orange - Wot Up, Race 1. John Curtin - Glenferrie Classic, Race 2. Andrew Fitzgerald - Dancing In The Dark, Race 3. Ricky May - Pradas Ideal Dahling, Race 3. Jonny Cox - Thisgirlisonfire, Race 5. Peter Scaife - Also likes - Thisgirlisonfire, Race 5. Robbie Holmes - Gabby's Star, Race 7. Short priced special - Franco Cristiano, Race 7. Alexandra Park - Friday Night Todd Macfarlance - Stunning Shadow, Race 2. Mark Jones - Aymar, Race 4. Kyle Marshall - No Way Else, Race 6. Jay Abernethy - Elliot Daniel, Race 6. Dylan Ferguson - On The Razzle, Race 6. Scott Phelan - Rocknroll Princess, Race 9. Andre Poutama - Norvic Ruby, Race 10. Gavin Smith - Di'z Luck, Race 11. Andrew Fitzgerald

It’s been just over nine years since David Broadhurst drove his last winner, but at Blenheim on Sunday the 69-year-old trained, drove, owned, and bred Patrick Bee to victory. “He’s a promising horse and I think he will win a few more. It was a great feeling to be saluting the judge again,” the Kaikoura horsemen said. It was Patrick Bee’s first win in 28 starts. He’s also placed 12 times. His three-quarter length victory comes 3,416 days after  Broadhurst drove Patrick Jay to win at Nelson. It was the January 12, 2007 and he was a $9.40 third favourite. Patrick Bee, who is no relation, was the $4 second favourite after finishing fourth when favourite on the first day. “He’s the second of three foals left by Ima Showoff. She died when giving birth to a Sands A Flyin foal in 2012. She was a cantankerous, dirty ole thing who didn’t win a race but did go two minutes. “I was given her for free when I was working for Inter Island Transport. She was from the Vin Devery breed. He’s actually very well bred. His line goes back to the Tactics family, which includes some good ones like Tactile, Noodlum, and Blacks A Fake,” Broadhurst said. He said he was just rapt to have Patrick Bee back racing again. “I’m very proud where he’s at considering he broke a pastern. He only started racing as a late 5-year-old. In think I’ll target the two-day Nelson meeting with him next month,” Broadhurst said. The Kaikoura horseman said he was introduced to harness racing by his next door neighbour Heber Henson back in the 1950s. He was also on the New Zealand Trotting Conference back in the day. “He had the two-time world trotting champion Rip Cord. He gave me my first drive behind a horse and I became hooked.  “I’ve been involved a long time. The first winner I owned and drove was Patrick Sean in the Kaikoura Trot back in 1970. I love the game and have a couple of others coming through. “I’ve got a 5-year-old Armbro Invasion mare named Schoolhouse Road and she is a work in progress. I’ve also got a 3-year-old Bettor’s Delight filly named Donegal Carrickfin. “I named her after the place where my family are from in Northern Ireland. She is out of a sister to Lyell Creek. I qualified her at Blenheim on April 23 when she won by four lengths,” Broadhurst said. Broadhurst has now driven seven winners since 1978 and trained a further six more since 1981. Patrick Bee won Sunday’s $7,000 Royal Hotel 2400m mobile on the Waterlea grass in 3:17.7 (mile rate 2;12.6) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 60.1 and 28.3. Courtesy of Duane Ranger

In many ways, Isaiah is close to the perfect racehorse. And Natalie Rasmussen gives the impression she wouldn’t mind a stable full of horses exactly like him. The ultra-consistent pacer added another black-type victory to his career record yesterday when he took out the Group 2 Pelorus Classic on the first of two days at the Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s meeting at Waterlea Raceway in Blenheim. It was a tradesman like victory of the highest order. Buzzed out of the gate by Rasmussen to secure the lead over Venus Serena, the four-year-old entire then ensured that a fresh up Tiger Tara was made to work hard to get past him when he went in search of the lead himself with a lap to run. But despite all the early attention, Rasmussen’s confidence never waned. “I wasn’t too worried, he’s just the ultimate guy this horse,’’ she said. “You can ask him to work in his races, but you know he will still give you everything at the finish. “He was travelling so well coming off the back straight.’’ His victory – No.13 of his career – continued a great run of consistency for the son of Art Major and E J Becks. In 31 starts he has finished first, second or third on 26 occasions – often racing in black type races against some of the best horses in the business. His gate speed, toughness and will to win will make him a force to be reckoned with wherever he goes, but Rasmussen was of the opinion that it was time to see what he was capable of in Australia. The Pelorus victory comes with the added carrot of an automatic invite to the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Inter Dominion Grand Final day – an offering Rasmussen was keen to take up. “I think a race like the Chariots would be right up his alley. “He’s done a great job this season racing in open handicaps, but I think we will stick to his own age group with him now and then hopefully have a look at some of the bigger races next season. “He never lets you down. He just gets out there and does the job.’’ Despite Isaiah’s dominant victory, the Pelorus, although small in numbers, underlined just how good the current four-year-old crop is. Tiger Tara, fresh up since his sixth in the New Zealand Trotting Cup fought as only he can to finish in second placing after looking a forlorn hope to finish in the top three half way down the straight and Te Kawau and Venus Serena were both also very meritorious in their third and fourth placings respectively. Rasmussen and Purdon won’t be at Blenheim tomorrow for the meeting’s second day but they will still be represented. Yesterday’s Cup Prelude winner, Backup, will do exactly as his name suggests in the $18,000 3200 metre event. Stable junior driver, Matt Anderson will step in to do the driving duties on the pacer and will do the same with Big Lucy earlier in the day. Matt Markham - Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand  

Harness racing reinsman Peter Davis dedicated his win on Little Bro at Blenheim on Sunday to Nip (Robert) Crooks, a man he described as being like a second father. Crooks sadly passed away on Saturday morning after heath complications at the age of 70. “He was certainly one of the biggest influences in the early part of my career and he put me on when not many others would,” said Davis. Davis said that one of the better horses Nip Crooks trained during his career was a mare called Smoothover. She won seven races in total, with Davis in the cart in the majority of them. “They used to have races at Addington on the 1st and 2nd of January and she won on both days in 1979,” recalled Davis. “They were two of my first ever wins at Addington,” he added. Davis said that the whole Crooks family are lovely people and Nip was certainly no exception. Another nice horse Crooks trained was five-win pacer Silent Assassin. “He was out of a nice mare that I trained called Western Knight,” said Davis. Davis wore a black arm bard in all of his eight drives at Waterlea raceway on Sunday and said his win on Little Bro meant a lot to him. “He is a nice wee horse with good manners and he should improve next season as he is still a bit weak and is only three,” said Davis. “We got him off Michael House and changed his name to ‘Little Bro’ as we had previous trained two of his older siblings in capable trotters, Buster Keaton (7 wins) and Zealous Lady (8 wins),” Davis concluded. Davis and his partner Margo Nyhan also enjoyed success on the first day of the circuit with Lacroix Franco, who broke maidens after a string of placings. Nip Crooks funeral will be at held at the Working Mens Club in Invercargill on Tuesday. By Mitchell Robertson

A dazzling display in yesterday’s Marlborough Cup at Waterlea Raceway hasn’t persuaded Mark Jones to take his pacing star Saveapatrol to Australia for a shot at the Chariots Of Fire. “If we had had have won the Pelorus on the first day and gained automatic, we would have had a crack, but we are not going over there to race around like a headless chock to try and get a start,” said Jones.  “We will let the all others go to war over there, while we pick up all the leftovers back home,” he added. The start of those leftovers Jones refers to is the Group 3 $40,000 Invercargill Cup, a race that Jones won back in 2012 with Ohoka Texas. “The Northern Southland Cup is a bit close and Terror To Love will be there anyway, so we will bypass that and focus in on the Invercargill Cup.” The $18,000 Marlborough Cup saw a brilliant two horse war unfold between Saveapatrol and Donegal’s Guest, who was previously unbeaten on the circuit, but in the end it was the imposing son of Christian Cullen that proved too powerful. “He just jogged it and still had plenty of gas left in the tank said Blair Orange, who is yet to be beaten aboard the classy four-year-old. It was the second time that Mark Jones and owner Grant Hatton have combined to win the Marlborough Cup, having previously taken it out with My Man Dan in 2010. “He was a nice horse, but I think this fella will take us a fair bit further,” enthused Hatton. Saveapatrol stopped the clock at 4-05.4 for the 3200 metre journey. His last 800 metres was recorded in a slick 56.5. Meanwhile, Jones has also qualified Goodness Gracious Me for the Nevele R Fillies Final, after finishing a narrow second to the Robert Dunn trained Murphy Brown. By Mitchell Robertson    

Highly capable trotter Sheemon kept his unbeaten four-year-old record intact, when coming with a whirlwind finish to down a handy field of trotters at Waterlea Raceway in Blenhiem. The win was Sheemon’s third since resuming in November and ninth in total. “He is a very nice wee trotter and I think he will work his way through to Open Class easy enough,” said driver Dexter Dunn.  “He isn’t far behind the other top four-year-old trotters like Royal Aspirations, Prime Power and Habibti,” he added. The Kevin Townley trained son of Monarchy and top mare Solar Fire will now head to Invercargill on Thursday for a two mile trot worth $20,000, where he will meet some very smart types including Springbank Sam, Phil’s Gift, Jag’s Invasion, and fellow age-group rival Royal Aspirations. The Northern Southland card at Invercargill on Thursday will also see New Zealand Cup champion Terror To Love do battle in the Group 3 Northern Southland Cup, where he will face the tough task of giving rising star Arden Rooney a 25 metre head start. By Mitchell Robertson

Mark Jones has decided to freshen Dominion winner Master Lavros after he galloped twice and finished down the track in yesterday’s Green Mile at Methven. “I drove Choise Achiever a couple of races prior to the Trotters Green Mile and didn’t think the track was that bad, but by the time his race came along it had really deteriorated,” said Jones. He didn’t handle it at all and if I had of known it was going to be that bad, I wouldn’t have bothered starting him,” he added. Jones said that Master Lavros’s Australian campaign is his main priority which is why he will now briefly spell the five-year-old Sundon gelding before preparing him for feature racing across the Tasman in February and March. “I think pressing on to the Auckland carnival and then going to Australia would just be too much as there wouldn’t be any chance to give him a let-up. At this stage of his career I really want to look after him.” He added. “The Glenferrie Farm Challenge in Sydney on the 3rd of March is his main  target but provided things go well there he could press on to the Great Southern Star in Victoria later on in that month.” That could see the giant trotter race for in excess of $500,000 during his Australian sojourn. Master Lavros will be accompanied during his Australian raid by Jones’s pacing stable star Saveapatrol, who will look to gain automatic entry into the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire by winning the Pelorus Classic at Waterlea Raceway early next month. “I think I will test my training skills and bring him into the Pelorus fresh,” said Jones. “There is the Grass Track Championship Final on the 29th of the month at  Motukarara but  the field selection is done by points on grass tracks and we have only had one start for one win, so I’m not sure if we will get a start,” he added. Jones said that even if Saveapatrol doesn’t gain automatic entry into the Chariots through winning the Pelorus, he will still head to Sydney. “There will be plenty $20,000 races for him in Sydney anyway and there isn’t a lot for him at home during the time he will be away, so at this stage he is definitely going,” Jones concluded. By Mitchell Robertson

The New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services has advised the Racing Integrity Unit of an elevated TCO2 result from the blood sample taken from the horse Wally’s Girl following its win in Race 6, the Breeder’s Golden Girls Mobile Trot at the Timaru Harness Racing Club’s meeting on Sunday 7 July 2013. Wally’s Girl is trained by Mr J T Keast & Ms H Westrum. Wally's Girl's high TCO2 is the third in the last month, the first was the Neville Gorrie trained Mattjestic Rebeck who return one when finishing third at Blenhiem on the 27th of June while the Gavin Cook trained Valhalla also returned an elevated level when unplaced at Rangiora on the 30th of June. RIU Officials are conducting inquiries into all three cases.  

Greg Hope, who was born and raised in Blenheim, just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Waterlea Racecourse, was smiling back home at Woodend yesterday as stable new-comer Reklaw Supreme claimed victory in his hometown Cup.

West Melton based harness racing trainer Ken Ford never goes too long without a handy trotter in the stable and looks to have found another one in the form of Rebma.

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