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Alister Black has always had a high opinion of the royally bred Kilowatt Kid and his judgement was reinforced today when he dealt to a strong field of maiden pacers at Winton. By American Ideal out of the eight win Live Or Die mare Wave Runner, Kilowatt Kid is owned by brothers Lindsay and Ian Thomson. "We spotted him at Dan Cumming's place on the Southern Yearling Tour. Alister liked him. A couple of years before, we'd bought Six Diamonds, which was also by American Ideal, off the (Cummings) family," said Lindsay. Wave Runner is also the dam of Break Dance (5 wins and 1-53.3) and Bonnie Joan (7 wins and 1-52.8). "We bought Kilowatt Kid before Bonnie Joan showed up so we were lucky to buy him when we did." The stable have been very patient with the gelding and were rewarded today when he won by a length and a half from another first starter in The Heart Rulz.  Kilowatt Kid and Brad Williamson beating The Heart Rulz (obscured)         - Photo Bruce Stewart. "Alister said he was a nice horse from day one and he's just looked after him. He qualified last season and was turned out. We thought he'd be a better three year old. I was always told that if you haven't got the best two year old in the country don't go chasing them." Black fitted the gelding for today's debut with two workouts. "We were confident. We weren't too sure about Chmiels horse (Nota Bene Denario) and we'd looked at the videos. I was pretty confident anyway (laughter)."  Kilowatt Kid was driven by Oamaru reinsman Brad Williamson who was also impressed by the horse's effort. "He's bred to get better with racing so hopefully that's the case. He feels very green and is still learning. Potentially he could be a nice horse," said Williamson. The early pace was set by favourite Nota Bene Denario and Dodgethebullet. Williamson followed The Heart Rulz forward. At the top of the straight it was all on for two of Southland's best early season maiden horses - The Heart Rulz held a slender lead before Kilowatt Kid slowly ground him down. The winning time was 2-59.9 and the winning margin was a length and a half. There were a further six and a half lengths back to third placegetter The Maroon Marauder.   "He wasn't travelling all that well and it wasn't until I was halfway round the last bend that I knew he was going to win - at the 500."  Birdcage group                                 - Photo Bruce Stewart The Thomson brothers, who have a farm and stable at Branxholme have been keen investers in harness racing since they sold their sheep farm about nine years ago. "When we sold the farm we set up at Branxholme and Alister came here and the hobby got out of hand (laughter)," said Lindsay. So understandably the brothesr are excited about Kilowatt Kid's future.  "Potentially he could be the best. Six Diamonds is a nice horse and we've looked after him too. We had New York Town and he's won a further six races in America." Lindsay has been racing horses since 1986. He bred and raced Young Reb - a Yankee Reb trotter which also won at it's first start on the Winton track for Wyndham trainer Brendon McLellan. "It was probably the worst thing that could have happened," he said highlighting the fact that he'd caught the harness racing bug. "I also had horses with Jim Ferguson in Canterbury."  They are for good reason, fans of the Woodland Stud stallion American Ideal and their latest 'project' by that stallion is Dazzle Me. He's a two year old out of Diamante and is closely related to Smiling Armada, Pembrook's Delight and Swamp Major.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Winton harness racing fixed odds movers as at 10:30am Race 1 - The $1.60 favourite 'Allonback' driven by Dexter Dunn is easily leading multi betting with 'Ideal Denario' $10.50 - $8.50 the best backed runner on the win 'book' over 'Motu Belle Du Jour' $9.00.    Race 2 - 'Delight N Gold' $8.20 leads win betting over 'Betty Boo' $5.80 with 'Jacks N Jazz' $3.70 leading multi betting over 'Lite Percussion' $4.50.   Race 3 - The long-shot  runner 'Sky Tower' $46.00 - $35.00 leads early win betting over 'Laura Bush' $4.20 with that runner leading multi betting.   Race 4 - The best backed runner early on the card has been 'Rah De Rah' who opened the 5th favourite at $9.50 and is now the $4.60 favourite and he also easily leads multi betting over 'Silver Dale' $5.00.     Race 5 - The debut runner 'Nota Bene Denario' $2.10 leads win and multi betting over 'The Heart Rulz' $5.80 with 'Kilowatt Kid' $9.50 also attracting some early win support.    Race 6 - The $2.90 favourite 'Smokey Mac' easily leads multi betting over 'Sundons Wish' $3.30.   Race 7 - 'Gypsy's Choice' $5.00 is the best backed in win and multi betting over 'Gupta's Cullen' $10.00 - $9.00.   Race 8 - 'Rockaball' $1.55 -$1.50 is the only runner wanted in the last race of the day.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Southland's leading trainer from last season Brett Gray, was back training winners at Winton today. Four year old mare Ideal Conquest capped off solid maiden form by leading all the way to win the Terror To Love At Pinelea Farm Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace.  She was bought by Winton Plumber Marty Fairbairn at the 2015 Australian Classic Yearling Sale when offered by Woodlands Stud on behalf of Charlie Roberts.   "I thought she was sold. I was talking to Tony Barron and said to him - gee that was a cheap horse. A guy overheard me and told me the horse hadn't sold and would I help him out. The reserve was $5,000. I said give me a minute. I shot outside and rang Robert Symon. He's the man with all the money. 'Robert Butterworth' I call him. We bought her and decided that the girls (wives) would own her (Sharon Symon and Daphne Fairbairn). I took her home and the first thing she did was kick a horse I'd paid quite a bit more for. We discovered that you couldn't get near her so that's why she was a $5,000 purchase," Gray said. Ideal Conquest is by American Ideal out of the one win In The Pocket mare Pocket Conquest. Her dam is the smart seventeen win mare Victor Supreme. Her winning time over the 1609 metres today was 1-56.9 and she won by three lengths. She was driven by regular pilot Brent Barclay.  Ideal Conquest winning easily "She's such a big mare we wondered whether a mile was suitable. We were going to be looking for standing starts but she's got a bit of an attitude," added Fairbairn. Some thought will be given now, to whether she'll be set for the Southern Belle Speed Series or take on more staying tests.  "I haven't worked that out yet. We'll see what the owners think. We've just got to go with her rather than plan," said trainer Brett Gray.  The Gray trained trotter Smokey Mac was sensational when he won Race Three. The four year old Monarchy gelding was slow to go and settled well off the pace early. He was second to last of the main bunch with a lap to run. At the 400 metre mark he skipped for a few strides when following a retreating Our Budd and was taken back to last. As the field opened driver Brent Barclay wove a path through the middle of the field and he stormed home to beat pacemaker Scarlet Lane easily by a length and a half.   Smokey Mac winning "He was unbelievable. He had a wee skip and still won. He's perfect around the place but when he gets to the races he gets a bit hypo. We've had a couple of workouts but we've been careful with him because he can over race. He's got the ability but it's his attitude we have to work on," said Gray about the talented squaregaiter.  "We just work him in the morning on the day of the races and that takes a wee bit of the sting out of him and try to take him onto the track as late as possible."  Meanwhile Gray also won both the days qualifying heats. The well bred Mr Kiwi, which is a half brother by American Ideal to Mr Mojito, won his mobile heat in 3-05.3.  "He's pretty green. He's got a bit of ability but he just has to switch into it. I'll look to freshen him up." The Ryal Bush trainer's second winner was Live Or Die entire The Heart Rulz. He's owned by loyal owner Caroline Pannett. "She's getting excited and we're all happy for her. She's got a nice horse." He's out of the three win Master Mood mare Nevalookbak.  Bruce Stewart Southern Harness Racing

Trainer driver Nathan Williamson says Tas Man Bromac is likely to start in the Group Three Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Sunday 24th September. "I don't think the class will worry him. The better the company the better he goes. In the likes of todays company you have to make your own luck but in a race like the Hannon if he began good and settled handy he can follow speed," said Williamson.    The six year old starting from the 35 metre mark held off a late challenge from 10 metre marker Crime Scene to win by a neck. Tas Man Bromac ran the 2400 metre stand post to post in 3-03.3 with the last 800 metres run in 57.7. He's now won ten races from his thirty one starts.   "He felt great out there today. He still can improve. Now that he's an older horse he's going to take a wee bit more racing." Tas Man Bromac after winning at Winton                Photo Bruce Stewart Williamson also trained and drove Splash Cola to win the Majestic Son at Alabar Handicap Trot. She took over the lead early in the running after a good beginning from the unruly position and always had the back markers chasing.  "Happy with her and I just hope she progresses. Her coat's come on since that first run and I just hope it improves as much next time." Splash Cola beating Mass Invasion at Winton         Photo by Bruce Stewart The seven year old Sundon mare owned by Ian Hunter has now won seven races in a limited career of nineteen starts over four seasons.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing      

Another great week for the harness racing ringaround last week with several winners and a number of placings. The Gavin Smith and Craig Ferguson selections combined for a $45.00 quinella in the first race at Addington on Friday night, while Jay Abernethy had the best winning dividend, when Jude's Gem won at Auckland and paid $7.10 to win on the tote. There are four meetings this week with one in the North Island and three in the South. Island. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in, so check back often   Winton on Thursday Geoff Knight - Geoff says his best chance this week is Jacks N Jazz at Winton in Race 1 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane thinks his best drive is Shawami Lass at Winton in Race 2 Brad Williamson - Brad says his best drive this week is Danielle Amore in Race 3 Craig Ferguson - Craig is going for Overcast as his best drive this week also in Race 3 Matthew Williamson - Matthew says his best drive this week would be Benio Ben in Race 4 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory says his best drive this week is Golden Gate at Winton in Race 5 Nathan Williamson - Nathan is going for Splash Cola as his best chance this week also in Race 5 John Morrison - John thinks his best drive this week is Tara Tutaia at Winton in Race 6   Cambridge on Thursday night Tony Herlihy - Tony likes the chances of Miss Keesha at Cambridge in Race 1 Andre Poutama - Andre is going for CD Express as his best drive in Race 3 Steve Richardson(TAB) - Steve thinks Double Twist can win this race for Trent Lethaby in Race 4 Jay Abernethy - Jay says Kate Jackson is his best drive this week at Cambridge in Race 6 Maurice McKendry - Maurice says his best chance this week is Aramis in Race 10   Addington on Friday John Curtin - John thinks Rum In The Sun is a good winning chance in Race 1 Gavin Smith - Gavin says Shebang would be his best chance this week in Race 2 Mark Jones - Mark thought that Mekong Princess would be a good winning chance Addington in Race 3 Cran Dalgety - Cran liked the chances of Regal Major at Addington on Friday in Race 8 Harnesslink Reporter - says Real Obsession can win the last leg of Pick Six in Race 9   Rangiora on Sunday Jim Curtin - Jim is going for Sheza Tricky Bridge as his best drive this week in Race 3 Racechat - Lance agrees and thinks Sheza Tricky Bridge is a good winning chance in Race 3 Ricky May - Ricky is opting for Diamond Life as his best drive this week also in Race 3 Bob Butt - Bob is going for Hallowed Turf as his best chance this week in Race 4 Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard thinks Glengarry Rose would be his best drive this week also in Race 4 Terry Chmiel - Terry is opting for Laytons Lass as his best chance at Rangiora in Race 8 Blair Orange - Blair thought Goodlookin Chick was a good chance this week also in Race 8   Harnesslink Media  

Murray Swain has an eye for a bargain and when he spotted an American bred mare with a Tintin In America filly foal at foot being offered by Spreydon Lodge in the 2014 harness racing Christchurch Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale he liked what he saw.  Seven hundred dollars later he had purchased High Tops Hanover and her filly foal. It was that filly, named Share The Road that won at Winton today. High Tops Hanover is by Western Hanover out of Haps Hanover a Big Towner mare. Haps Hanover is out of Hazel Hanover the dam of Holmes Hanover, four times champion New Zealand sire. “All Holmes Hanover’s cross well with Direct Scooters so that’s why I liked Tintin In America. It just adds speed to the breed,” said Swain who shares in the ownership of the three year old with his wife Wendy. Share The Road is trained by their son Aaron. Tintin In America is out of Zenterfold which is by In The Pocket, a Direct Scooter stallion.  "Craig (Craig Thornley who works at Spreydon Lodge) said she (High Tops Hanover) was a nice mare but she couldn’t run.” And Murray Swain remembers going to see his prospective purchase on the day of the sale. "She (the foal) was quite a flighty filly in the box with the mare and Denice (sister Denice Swain) always said some of the flighty quick moving ones turn out to be okay. I didn’t mind her for $700." Wendy and Murray Swain with trainer Aaron and Share The Road  - Photo Bruce Stewart. In the score up from barrier one Share The Road broke for driver Dexter Dunn and a false start was declared by starter Ben Ward. Dunn quickly decided in the interests of safety that his charge would be better starting from the outside of the front row. “The one draw at the end of the day wasn’t the best draw for her. I’ve been looking after her at home and at the workouts because she can lose the plot a wee bit as she did today. Today was the first time someone else had driven her. If she doesn’t do what you want to do you just have to give her some rein. You can’t pull her in. I thought 'we’re not going to win from the unruly.' But she did stick on.” From the new outside starting position Dunn didn't rush Share The Road, letting her settle two lengths last after the early rush for positions.  With a 1000 metres to run he sent the filly forward and with a lightning move he had her sitting outside the leader and favourite Tara Tutaia inside the 800. At the top of the lane these two started a dog fight that lasted the length of the straight and in the end Share The Road beat Tara Tutaia by three quarters of a length. Repartee was a nose back in third. Share The Road (1) and Dexter Dunn beating Tara Tuaia on her inside - Photo Bruce Stewart. “The plan is to put her in the paddock until next year and target the mares races like the Southern Belle." Swain said he just puts today's misdemeanours down to inexperience. "She’s not like that at home. We have to lead her out of the box. She just got a bit fired up and she didn't have plugs in. It’s just a learning thing.” High Tops Hanover's next foal is a yearling by Net Ten EOM. “He’d be the pick of my yearlings. I’ve got Art Majors and some Mach Threes and I still think this guy is the pick. He’s very solid and the sort of horse that could run at two. I’m going to call him Stiven as John (John Stiven) convinced me to go to Net Ten EOM.” Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Ryal Bush harness racing trainer Brett Gray knows that when Australian owner Merv Butterworth sends him horses it's generally for a short time. It doesn't bother him though, because he just feels privileged to be training for one of Australiasian's biggest players. So when Jimmy Mack won today in record time at Winton it could have been one of his last runs in the Gray colours.  “He and G I Joe are Melbourne bound. Not 100 per cent when. We’ll see what Merv says but the longer would be better. To get horses like Jimmy Mack and G I Joe in the stable is great. I don’t often get horses like that,” Gray said after Jimmy Mack beat another Australian owned pacer in Bettor Ops by a neck. Gray had four runners in today's pacing feature - The High Roller (8th), Young Conqueror (9th), G I Joe (4th) and Jimmy Mack. “I thought he (Jimmy Mack) was the one for today. But every time he comes to Winton he gets a bit het up.”  G I Joe was the favourite after it was widely publicised that he'd beaten both Jimmy Mack and Tas Man Bromac in the workout on the track last Friday. He'd in fact finished third behind them respectively.  In the hotly contested Marshall Industries Mobile Pace Jimmy Mack took an early lead before handing up to Tas Man Bromac with a lap to run. Tas Man Bromac took the field to the top of the straight where Jimmy Mack was given a run up the passing lane. Bettor Ops made his run down the middle of the track. At the finish Jimmy Mack held on to beat a game Bettor Ops by a neck with a nose back to Tas Man Bromac who was having his first race since October last year.  Jimmy Mack (6) beating Bettor Ops (7) and Tas Man Bromac (8) - Photo Bruce Stewart The winning time of 2-54.0 was a new track and Southland record for colts and geldings for the 2400 metres mobile. The previous record of 2-54.1 was jointly held by Robyn's Bad Boy and Rocking Robyn. Nek Time holds the All-Comers record of 2-53.0. The win today takes Brett Gray's training tally for the season to 20; three in front of Nathan Williamson on 17. “I’m not big on that sort of thing. If it happens it happens. Chasing stuff like that can get out of control. Nathan's a good mate so it doesn’t worry me,”  Gray said about winning the Southland Training Premiership. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

As predicted rising Southland trotting star Dark Horse got the right conditions and had the class to break a Southland trotting record at Winton today. Her 2-58.9 for the 2400 metre mobile betters the old record set in 2010 by Ready Set. The last 800 metres was run in 57.1 and 400 metres in 27.9. The national record over this distance for mares of 2-58.5 was recorded by Habibti Ivy when she won at Ashburton in February. From barrier five driver Nathan Williamson sent Dark Horse forward and after 200 metres the Bacardi Lindy mare was in front. "It's just nice to know that I have that gate speed if we have to use it. It’s the first time she’s drawn the gate. The last time she won behind the mobile she drew the second line. In the New Zealand Trotting Oaks last year she drew one but was planted up behind runners and she was never happy,” he said. With 900 metres to run driver Blair Orange took second favourite Eyre I Come to the lead. “We didn’t have to trail. I could have parked him but it was just a good experience." Once the field straightened up Dark Horse was presented with the passing lane and she comfortably cruised up the inside to beat Eyre I Come by three lengths. Well clear in track record time                           - Photo Bruce Stewart "I didn’t have to pull the plugs today. The main thing I have to watch with her is that she can come through (the passing lane)and go too quickly. She only had to do what she has to and I didn’t have to get after her. She was nice and controlled with everything she did.” So all roads now for the Griffins and Seafield Trotting Syndicates lead to Ashburton for the $100,000 McMillan Feeds Four Year Old Ruby in just over three weeks times. There she'll meet Rowe Cup winner Temporale and quality trotter Marcoola. "There are no plans to race her again before Ashburton but she may have a workout. It just depends on whether I think she needs one or not.” Winning owners                                         - Photo Bruce Stewart. The Williamson family have a good record in this race. Nathan and his father Phil won it at Cambridge in 2008 while Springbank Richard and Phil and Matty Williamson won with Leighton Hest the following year at Ashburton.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

The win by Justasip at Winton today was great on a couple of fronts. Trainer Peter Hunter is recovering from a nasty crash on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park and one of the horse's owners is celebrating a big birthday this month. “It’s good for Ivy Keenan who is celebrating her 85th birthday. She’s having a family gathering with quite a few friends next Sunday,” said Peter Hunter's wife Jo. The mare which has been in the Hunter stable since December 2015 is raced on lease by Ivy and other members of the Keenan family from Canterbury breeder James Geddes and is due to be returned to him at the end of the season. Today's win was her third in sixty four starts. Both wins have been from the Hunter stable. Driver Dexter Dunn got a nice drag into the race inside the last 500 metres behind Don't Pass I'm Fast and the free legged pacer sprinted nicely down the outside to win by three quarters of a length from Man I'm Good.  “She seems to go better with the hopples off. We got a bit more speed out of her.” Today's win didn't come as a surprise to Hunter. “I thought she’d go better at Gore but Dexter used her up and she can’t be used. She’s a funny girl. She just needs to be covered up." Winning connections                         - Photo Bruce Stewart.  Peter Hunter was on-course today catching up with friends and Jo says he's making good progress in his recovery.  “He’s out keeping an eye on things. He’s doing the odd box and basically handing out the orders. He just needs a lie down in the afternoon to recharge the batteries. I’ve had a couple of nice cooked meals this week. He’s actually improved a lot (in the kitchen). I don’t know what’s happened.” The Hunters are grateful to family and the wider harness racing community for their support.  “I’ve had great support around me so it’s been terrific really. My brother (Brendon McIntyre) has been terrific. He got our sister Megan down from Christchurch and sent one of his workers out to get us through. It's very much appreciated all round.” And as for Peter's return? "Hopefully he'll be driving work at home in a couple of weeks but won’t be back driving at the races until next season.” The Hunter's other horse in the race Bold Ruler which was favourite failed to go with the rest of the field and was pulled out of the race by driver Brent Barclay. Meanwhile the JCA announced today that as a result of an enquiry into the Foveaux Communications Mobile Pace on Diamonds Day - the race that led to Peter Hunters accident, Winton reinsman Allan Beck has had his driving licence suspended for nine days.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Winton harness racing fixed odds movers as at 10:30am Race 1 - Tessa's Pride $6.50 is best backed over Ambro Ameigo $4.20 with Too Cool $2.70 easily leading multi betting.   Race 2 - Nerve Of Steel $2.30 easily leads win & multi betting.   Race 3 - Sugar Cane is the big mover here $3.50 - $2.50.   Race 4 - Loretta Franco $2.50 leads multi betting over Get Real $8.20.   Race 5 - Tara Tutaia $1.60 is the good thing of the day according to the early money   Race 6 - Southbound Train $4.20 leads in betting over Flying $6.50.   Race 7 - Tiziano $15 is the best backed runner in multi betting over Iodean $8.20.   Race 8 - Dark Horse $1.80 is racing away in multi betting over Eyre I Come $2.10.   Race 9 - GI Joe is the big mover here $4.20 - $3.00.   Race 10 - Justamollyarcher $14 leads win betting over Sundons Wish $7.50.   Race 11 - Boom Time $2.60 easily leads multi betting.   Race 12 - Santanna's Rocket $4.20 - $3.90 leads win & multi betting Shezacullengirl $5.80.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)    

Steven McRae has had 14 career wins on Winton's Central Southland raceway. Ten of them had Franco in their name and he's got a good chance of increasing the tally there on Saturday. Three of McRae's four runners are Franco's and the first of them, in the Mico Plumbing Supplies Mobile for non-winners, is Loretta Franco for Spreydon Lodge and the Organ Donation Saves Lives Syndicate. McRae points out he hasn't had the four year old long but she has a good draw, her training suggests she can be competitive and a top-four would not surprize. Next up is the non-Franco, Tara Tutaia in the Breckon Farms Fillies and Mares Mobile Mile. She is racing for just the third time but hasalready tasted mile racing on the Winton track, finishing runner-up, a length and a half behind Somejoy in December and clocking 1:55.7. The three year old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has drawn two and McRae said that while her gate speed has never been tested, she has enough ability to make use of the good marble. Light Year Franco tackles the Goodman Plumbing Ltd Mobile for non-winners and will go from five off the front. Racing for just the fifth time, the filly already has placings to her credit with McRae commenting she hasn't had a lot of luck in good fields. He notes it is a good field again but reckons with a half-decent run she can get some of it. Selena Franco steps out from gate seven in the PGG Wrightson Mobile, for the same ownership as Loretta Franco. The four year old is a daughter of San Rafael, winner on the course of the 2011 Equine Stakes in 1:54.8. Since winning then running second on the grass at Cromwell and Waikouaiti in January and February, Selena Franco has had a run of outs. In part, McRae blames bad luck. “She's due some luck and we've got her steering a lot better, I'd be disappointed if she's not in three,” he said. Brett Gray has 11 runners going round on Saturday including four in the R58 to R90 pace but considers his one-start trotter might be his best chance. Too Cool was the beaten favourite on debut at Gore, breaking on straightening when in a challenging position. On Saturday, she contests the AB Lime Ltd Trot and Gray is expecting a better result. “I think we've sorted her out,” he said In the Aburns Glass Mobile, The High Roller (Matt Anderson-3), Young Conqueror (Brad Williamson-5), Jimmy Mack (Brent Barclay-6) and GI Joe (Blair Orange-12), all go round for Gray. In a strong line-up, he rates the Butterworth Racing pair, Jimmy Mack and GI Joe, the stronger chances. “It's hard to split them,” he added. Mac Henry

Nothing Delightful Memphis does surprises driver Blair Orange and when she smashed the New Zealand Three Year Old Fillies record at Winton yesterday it wasn't a surprise either. Her time of 2-55.5 for the 2400 metre stand was over four seconds better than the previous record of 2-59.9 recorded by Talkerup at Ashburton. The time was also a new track and Southland record for three year old fillies and the fastest 2400 metre stand ever recorded on the Central Southland Raceway. The time also beats Adore Me's open mare record of 2-56.0 recorded at Ashburton in 2014. Sure, Orange had concerns about Delightful Memphis, a three year old filly fronting up against the hardened mid-grade horses for the first time. But that wasn't the only concern.  "The stand was always going to be a concern. She'd never had one (standing start practice) at the trials, workouts or anywhere but she went away really nice today," he said.   Once away Orange settled the Better's Delight filly in the outside running line. With 600 metres to run when he saw Royal Counsel starting to make a three wide run, he decided it was time to go and progressed forward three wide. With 400 metres to run he'd joined pacemaker Torrid Bromac and these two cut away rounding the final bend. Half way down the lane Orange pulled the ear plugs and Delightful Memphis sprinted away to easily beat Bettor Ops by a length and a quarter.   Easy as - Delightful Memphis winning at Winton     - Photo Bruce Stewart. "We settled close to the front so her speed was always going to bring her into it whenever she needed. I just let her slide from the 600 and she kept it up all the way to the line. Her forte is probably her speed. A couple of times I 've asked her to run tough and she's always hung on in there. She's pretty versatile and you just drive her the way you need to in a race."   The win cements Delightful Memphis as the early favourite for the Nevele R/ Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park on Sunday 30th April. This year's final is one of the most competitive in years. The Bettor's Delight filly now holds two Southland records, having broken the Southland 1609 metre mobile record at the Wairio meeting at the end of last month. The win was her sixth for owners Wayne Higgs, former New Zealand Cricketer Simon Doull, Sir Loins Limited and Debra and Pete Smith   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Harness racing trainer Gary McEwan never gave up on trotter Our Budd a longshot winner at Winton yesterday. He was the rank outsider of the thirteen horse field in the Cox Family Trot but the win didn't surprise his trainer.  “He’d been working really well and going some good races but he’s a difficult horse to drive and if you get in behind on the rails anything can happen. You just have to be out in clear air. It just suited him good today. He stepped well in not a very strong field and got it done,” said McEwan. After the horse warmed up McEwan decided that if the seven year old stepped he was going to take the veteran of thirty five starts and just one win straight to the front.  “He warmed up quietly and you could have driven him on a piece of cotton wool. I thought the best option was that if he stepped we’d go to the front and keep rolling along.” The trotter opened by a sizeable lead and clung on to win by a head from Topnotch Eagle. Our Budd holding on to beat Topnotch Eagle       Photo Bruce Stewart Our Budd has had a number of trainers including Leo O'Reilly, Ray Jenkins and Allan Beck with whom he started his career. He's been a tricky character for all his trainers but today was his day and due reward goes to McEwan for his perseverance.  “The other day in town he galloped at the half mile and I couldn’t hang onto him any longer. He would have gone over the horse clean in front of him so I ran the bit through his mouth to try and settle him down and I just exited through the pylons to safety." McEwan says the horse may struggle to take the next step down here and says the geldings future maybe in the North Island where he sees the horse as being much better right handed. The win also triggered memories for McEwan who remembers riding for the late Harry Cox in saddle trots many years ago. In the main trot of the day the Robert Wilson trained Spotlight The Valley broke a track record for mares over 2400 metres from the stand when she beat former record holder Moment Of Sun by half a length. The new record is now 3-02.1 Meanwhile the 'display of the day' in the trotting ranks came from hot favourite War Admiral in the first race when he went into a wild gallop while coming up the main straight. Unfortunately he lost all chance but judging from his trial success he should turn into a nice trotter. War Admiral breaking mid race             Photo by Bruce Stewart Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing      

On a 12 race programme at Winton on Sunday, seven of the races were mobile 2400 metre contests and all were run in faster than three minutes. Quickest was Bonnie Jean in 2:53.8 then Delight My Soul 2:55.1, Major Hippie 2:55.3, Steiger 2:56.4, Boom Time 2:56.8, Comic Book Hero 2:57.1 and Gabby's Delight 2:58.2. Other highlights of the under-card included: * After breaking for more than 50 metres in the final 200 at Invercargill and being disqualified, Bets Commando never put foot wrong on Sunday. Leading all the way she took the Winton Workouts Committee Trot for non-winners; * When you're hot you're hot and after starting April with just three wins for the season, trainer Alan Paisley has doubled his tally. He got two last week at Invercargill and Gabby's Delight in the Advance Agriculture Ltd up to M46 Mobile Pace at Winton; * More than 57 years after driving his first winner, Winterloch on the big grass track at Invercargill in October 1959, and 10 years since his previous, Village Lord at Invercargill in March 2007, Gary McEwan's win meter ticked again on Sunday when Our Budd took out the Cox Family Trot for up to R52 trotters. Included in his wins is one at Sacramento in California on a New Zealand horse Sholtz End. The 75 year old McEwan also trains Our Budd and had a second runner in the race, Eyre's Rag Doll driven by Hamish Hunter, who finished seventh. This was a reverse of the situation at Invercargill last November when Eyre's Rag Doll with Hunter aboard won - to credit McEwan with his first training success since Summit Invasion in 2005 - while Our Budd and McEwan finished seventh; * Woodlands trainer Steve Baucke dedicated the win of Delight My Soul in the SBS Bank Mobile for R52 to R54 pacers to the memory of his brother Darrin, who passed away in Hamilton on Thursday from prostate cancer, aged 51. With four racehorses, two joggers and one breaker in work, Baucke said he has more on the go than ever. Three wins, courtesy of Delight My Soul (two) and I'm Jimmy James, put him on target to beat his best from the 2011/12 term when Citylight won four. Citylight and I'm Jimmy James are half sister and brother. * Boom Time's win in the PGG Wrightson Mobile for MR47 to MR52 pacers added to the southern success of the Butterworth Racing Syndicate who won last week with Jimmy Mack. A Gotta Go Cullect three year old, he was bred by Robin and Mandy Swain with Robin also the trainer and driver. Boom Time qualified in December and changed hands the same week; * Comic Hero won the Lamb & Cattle Graziers Mobile for up to R44 pacers for his Tauranga-based owner and breeder Graham Cooney and local trainer Hamish Hunter. It was Hunter's eighth win of the season, four have been with horses bred and owned by the RIB board member alone and the other four with horses he has bred and owns in partnership; * From a 20 metre handicap in the Murray Gray Memorial R52 and faster Trot, Spotlight the Valley created a new all-comers track record for 2400 metres of 3:02.1. The record was previously held by Santorini Sunset of 3:02.8 set in March 2015. It was the five year old Skyvalley mare's third win since Christmas, all with Blair Orange in the sulky. She is trained at Balfour by Robert Wilson who is enjoying his best season, having won also with Another Delight (2), Eagle Galleon, Major Vibes and Machie Mach; * A second line draw didn't stop Steiger and driver Kirk Larsen early and they soon had the one-one in the Gallagher Animal Management R46 to R51 Mobile Pace. Three-back from the 900 meant they had work to do turning in though but wove a path through to get up by three quarters of a length. It was Larsen's second win from 10 drives on the son of Bettor's Delight who was bred and is raced by Jim and Alistair Veint and Warren Tuckey and trained by Lindsay Veint at West Plains; * All Stars first-starter Major Hippie dominated the New World Winton Mobile Pace in the day's fastest time for non-winners over 2400 metres from behind the mobile. The three year old is raced by Trevor Casey, Neil Pilcher, Jim Gibbs and Cheryl Rasmussen; * Bonnie Jean made it five from eight, and two from two for her dam Wave Runner when winning the Drainage & Excavation Services for R55 to R70 pacers and three year olds up R75. Bred by Julie Davie and Peter and Dan Cummings of Tuapeka Lodge, Bonnie Jean is a younger half sister to Southern Belle Speed Series winner Break Dance.   Mac Henry

Canterbury trainers Mark Jones and Regan Todd are both chasing the features at Winton on Sunday with favoured runners and both have realistic chances. Todd's representative in the $20,000 final of the Southern Belle Speed Series for mares four year old and older is Kayteeoh Denario who has the right credentials to win. On hand for the first race of the series at Winton in December, Kayteeoh Denario drew one but was crossed and shuffled. She had a wall in front of her turning in, waited, then flew for third.  At Wyndham on 5 February for the third heat, she was clearly superior when winning in 1:54.9, and didn't race again until the Addington meeting on the last day of March. From the 13 draw over 1950 metres, the mare sat back, joined the three-wide line, bided her time and ran home strongly for second out wide.  “She seems on song for this week,” Todd said, “we ran at Addington with the Southern Belle in mind, with a bit of luck she won't be far away.” Glenferrie Classic, daughter of Mainland Banner and part-owned in the south, is the Jones entrant. She won the Winton heat in December in 1:55.9 and raced on until a disappointing result in the Waikouaiti Cup on 12 February.  As preparation for Sunday, the four year old reappeared at the Addington trials on 27 March. In the hands of Jones and up against the stars in murky conditions, the mare sat fourth in line until asked to sprint from the 400. Waikiki Beach, who had dictated in front, reeled off a final 400 on the easy track in 27.8 and although Glenferrie Classic chased in vain, she looked solid to the end. Another Canterbury visitor in contention is the Brad Mowbray-trained Ultimate Desire who also contested the December heat at Winton. Drawn outside on the second line, the daughter of Real Desire ended up parked for the majority of the trip and was swamped late finishing sixth in 1:56.3. In the second heat, at Ascot Park, Ultimate Desire drew the outside of the front line, was parked briefly, got the one-one then snuck into the trail down the back. No explosive finish but she kept on for third. Another outside-of-the-front line draw at Ashburton on 4 February but with Dexter Dunn in the sulky she was soon in the one-one, applied the pressure across the top and held to win in an impressive 1:52.6. Although she goes from the outside of the front again on Sunday, Dunn will have the reins. “Dexter asked where we were going and when he knew, he was happy to stick with her,” Mowbray said. “She's good enough to lead or follow and Dexter's the expert, I'll leave it to him.” In her latest start, Ultimate Desire took on the top liners in the group one Breeders Stakes, again went from wide on the front line, sat back and ran home gamely along the poles for sixth. In the $14,000 Winton Businesses Cup, all eyes will be on top filly Delightful Memphis. Last time on the track, on Wairio Mile Day, she ran home from the back of the small field to stop the clock in a provincial record 1:51.9. On Sunday she has to go from a stand in public for the first time in her career.  In her favour, Delightful Memphis will be alone on the 20 metre back-mark and she has the services of top driver Blair Orange. Given a safe and not too tardy beginning, class should be enough to see her retain her unbeaten record in Southland. Just by starting, she will become eligible to run in the group two Southland Oaks at Ascot Park on April 30. Todd's Cup entrant is Torrid Bromac who was previously with Steven McRae and ran fifth behind Heaven Rocks and Classie Brigade in last season's Southern Supremacy Stakes. He has the services of Dunn on Sunday. “Dexter drives a few for me, he's never driven Torrid Bromac but I was talking to him at the trials and he's got the job,” Todd said. “There was no race for him at Addington so we thought we may as well have a crack. He's race hardened and should be competitive in that field. Take Delightful Memphis out and its fairly even. He goes from four on the 10 metre mark, outside the locally-bred half-brother to Fight for Glory in G I Joe. The Butterworth-owned four year old, now with Brett Gray, hasn't raced since July but won a workout at Wyndham in 3:02.8 last Saturday, beating race rivals, Bettor Ops and The Big Boss.   Mac Henry

Changeover gelding My Georgie Boy backed up his consistent form by winning at the Wairio harness racing meeting yesterday at the Central Southland Raceway. The three year old gelding is owned by Brendon McIntyre, Bill Moffatt, Paddy Cullen, Malcolm Pennack and Denis Mullally who are all good stable clients of trainer Peter Hunter. Hunter took My Georgie Boy straight to the lead and was able to dictate the pace from the top.  "We got it easy down the back and it worked out pretty good really," he said after the win. The horse was bred by Mandy Davis and was owned by her when he qualified at Wyndham last April.  "Mandy sold the farmlet at Mossburn so we decided to get a syndicate together and buy this one. He qualified behind Foo Fighter as a two year old but he's taken a wee while to come up." My Georgie Boy with winning connections      -Photo Bruce Stewart The winning margin was two lengths and the time was 1-57.0.  My Georgie Boy is out of the Holmes Hanover mare Mystic Maiden which has left a mixture of trotting and pacing stock. Mystic Sun by Sundon and bred by Colin McLean won ten races trotting while Southern Sun which was by Thunder N Lightning won nine races pacing, including The Robin Dundee Crown.  Southern Light, a one win daughter of Southern Sun, is also trained by Hunter.  Second to My Georgie Boy today was Maidonthebeach trained by Peter Hunter's brother Hamish. Hamish later won with Tiziano which continues the great run that stable client and breeder Graham Cooney is having at the moment. He co-bred Tiziano and also bred and owns two of the Hamish Hunter winners at Oamaru last weekend in Acolyte and Groomsman. My Georgie Boy winning at Winton Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

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