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It was the 'old firm' at work on Sunday when the Regan Todd trained Spirit Of Delight and driver Brendon 'Snow' McLellan won the AON Insurance Southern Belle Equine Stakes at Winton. Todd began his harness career with McLellan before heading north to work for Davey and Catherine Butt and then later for Mark Jones.  "He drove my first winner (Del Sur - Gore September 2010) and my fiftieth winner. He's got a pretty good strike rate for me old Snowy," said Todd.  In Sunday's race, McLellan took Spirit O Delight straight to the front from barrier one and despite been tapped up inside the last 400 metres she came away to beat Kiwi On Show by three quarters of a length. Todd says this race had been on the stable radar for some time.  "When we turned her out at the end of last season Charlotte Mooney was in charge of the Syndicate and we thought this race would be a good one for her. Winning the race also qualifies her of the Southern Belle Speed Series Final. It's worked out perfectly and it's pretty pleasing when it pays off."   Spirit Of Delight has been with Todd since June last year after starting her career with Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick at Papakura. Her three wins to date have been from the Todd barn. "She raced in some good races up north but they decided to send her down for some beach training so we're pretty lucky to get her really. I think she used to feel her knees a bit but we've had no issues that way with her. Being on the soft surface all the time has helped her."  She's owned by the Woodlands Partnership Syndicate who are All Black captain Kieran Reed, former All Black halfback Andy Ellis, Dave Hewitt new Southland Stags coach, and RJ (Dick)Taylor. The same partnership owns trotter Speeding Spur. "I haven't met them yet but it'll be good to bump into them one day. I'm still a Stags fan." Todd says although Spirit Of Delight has started over shorter sprint distances for the majority of her career he feels she'll be even better over longer distances. "When she races in those mares races, (for example the) 2600 metre mobile you'll probably see the best of her then. She doesn't worry about things too much and she's pretty laidback and relaxed. It looked like she was going to get beat on Sunday, then at the end she kicked away."     Her dam Spirit Of Eros has been a great broodmare leaving Crown Law, the winner of 18 races in Australia and another 10 in America, Bettor Spirits the winner of 14 races, Spirit And Desire 14 wins and Spirit Of Art 6 wins.  Spirit Of Eros has a Sweet Lou colt in next month's Australasian Classic Yearling Sale in Auckland. "There's some good mares races (for Spirit Of Delight) at Addington at the start of February so I'll target them now to see if she can measure up to those better ones. I think she can, but you don't know until you try. I know she lead up the other day but she's probably better driven off them."   Todd had further success yesterday when first starter Hicori won at the Central Otago meeting at Omakau.  The three year old was initially trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen but was transferred to Todd's barn after having one workout as a two year old for the pair. "He's just needed time and it was good of the owners to send him out to me at the beach. He's probably another three months away from being at his best. He's still a bit weak in his gait."   Prior to yesterday's win he'd been to two workouts, won his qualifying trial at Banks Peninsula in October and finished third in another trial in North Canterbury in the middle of last month.  Hicori's winning time of 3-20.9 for the 2600 metre stand was a new track record for three year old colts and geldings. The old mark of 3-21.1 was set by Guru in 2004. "I've still got a bit of ironing out to do with him. He seems untapped really and every time he's gone off the place he's stepped up. He's going to have to keep improving but I don't think it's going to phase him going up in the grades. Dexter's (driver Dexter Dunn) of the opinion that he's still pretty green and he's going to take a lot of improvement out of it. It's good to hear that from a fella like him."  Hicori is out of the five win Christian Cullen mare Paddy Brown and was bred by the Braeside Lodge in Palmerston North which is run by the Whitelocks. "There's a Nuggets Final at Northern Southland next week but I've sent him home as it's probably going to be too much for him. It was stinking hot yesterday and you could tell he'd had a run after. We might come back in two or three weeks to see if he can measure up and be a Supremacy horse later in the season."   Todd has had a training license for eight years and says he has twenty horses in work at the moment at Woodend Beach. At one point he was also looking after a good number of horses for Burnham trainer Mark Jones whom he used to work for fulltime. "He just keeps two or three at the beach now. Not the numbers we used to. He's concentrating on the young ones now."   Meanwhile quality gelding Swamp Major, who was knocked over and injured his hind fetlock at Winton last month is on the road to recovery. He had to be boxed after the injury and has been looked after by local vets Brendon Bell and Heather Cottle. "The vets (Canterbury) are going to see him today and hopefully we can get him out into a paddock and get a bit of weight on him because he's lightened up heaps. Brendon and Heather did a great job in looking after him down south. He was boxed for four days before he was floated home. He should be alright. It's just a matter of letting that wound heal up. It's pretty disappointing because the owners have waited eighteen months to get him back to the races."  Hicori winning at Omakau   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The Wyndham trained Ardtoo upset some more fancied runners in the Fairbairn Plumbing Limited Nuggets Final at Winton on Sunday. He was the rank outsider in the small field at $62.60 to win on the tote. Driver Craig Ferguson got the Auckland Reactor gelding through from the second line draw but was left parked for the first 1400 metres of the races. When Born To Run came around Ardtoo finally got cover. At the top of the straight he came out four wide and ran home resolutely down the middle of the track to win easily by two and a half lengths from favourite Shebang. His time of 2-59.1 was good on the slushy Central Southland Raceway.  The three year old is owned by his trainer Russell Ferguson and his wife Susan. Sunday's win was his second in a row, having had a win earlier in the month at Invercargill. "I knew it was a strong field but I was half confident because he's got this sheer amount of ability. People didn't share my confidence." Russell said he was surprised at how much the gelding paid. As part of the horse's training regime Ferguson has been taking him into Invercargill for some fast work. "I brought him to Invercargill on Thursday and he fast worked against one of Steve Lock's galloping pacemakers. He worked super."  Ferguson says he's now considering taking the horse for a road trip to Addington. "Yes, we'll look at that because he'll need to be ready for what we're targeting. We'll look at some age group racing so we can watch our rating points. We don't want to be racing older seasoned horses. Craig has backed me on that and has said to aim him at some decent races."  In the meantime Ardtoo has been turned out for a bit of a mid season break.  "He's in the paddock for ten days to a fortnight. Then we'll come back for the super final of the Nuggets. We'll support that Series all the way through because its a good concept. That'll lead us to the Supremacy Stakes."   Ardtoo is named after Wyndham Rural Delivery (RD2). "We own the RD run at Wyndham which Susan does so that's how he got his name."  Ferguson says he had some interest in the horse as a two year old but he declined it, and says he's not surprised he hasn't been approached this season. "It doesn't surprise me. I turned them all down last season and told them I was keen to keep him. We'll carry on racing him at the moment because we're having a bit of fun."    Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Hopes And Dreams added to her very good record when she outstayed a game Steiger in the 2017 edition of the Wairio Cup. "When they started to come at the 800 I'd had such a good run I had to come out and get going. So I worked forward and it worked out lovely. Dexter had pinched a bit of a break down the back and around the side. I knew she was a good stayer so I thought I'd get rolling from the 400 and make it hard for the ones at the back. It was 27 flat from the quarter so it did make it hard for the horses coming from the back. She hasn't got instant speed but rolling from that quarter she was pretty good," said driver Nathan Williamson. Back to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart The five year old mare by Christian Cullen out of One Dream is raced by Neville Cleaver and Kevin Strong and is trained at Westward Beach by Graeme Anderson. She has now won seven races and banked $49,400. The winning owners are Kevin Strong (third from left) and Neville Cleaver (fifth from left) - Photo Bruce Stewart. Prior to yesterday's race she was taken out on the track and warmed up by Sheree Tomlinson.  "I think she feels her joints every now and then so they warm her up the race before every time she races. It seems to have done the trick again." It's third time Williamson has won the Wairio Cup. His previous two winners were; Here Comes Soky in 2006 and Costa Del Magnifico in 2015.  Hopes And Dreams is likely to head to the broodmare paddock this season as her owners are keen to get her in foal to Bettors Delight. Cleaver is having a great season, having success with Hopes And Dreams, Sundons Wish, Franco Santino and Scarlett Lane. The cup time was 2-58.7. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Broodmare Satire Franco produced another winner when John Coltrane won his first race at the Winton Harness racing meeting today (Sunday). The Real Desire four year old became the sixth winner of the nine foals Satire Franco has produced. And her three other foals of racing age have all qualified. Her progeny have now won forty six races between them.   The best of these is Costa Del Magnifico the winner of twelve races here and another three in Australia. Other winners out of the mare are; When The Music’s Over (five New Zealand wins and six in Australia), Turbine (three), Rowchester (three New Zealand wins and eight Australian) and I Smart (six). It’s a family that Peter Van Der Looy had lots of success with, racing Vanderel (Holmes Hanover) which won fourteen races and Impish which won six. It’s produced its fair share of quality colts including Smart Son, Grobbelaar, Sherlock, Kincaid, Idealindiamonds and King Of Swing. The fillies have been good as well with the pedigree page including The Fascinator (10 wins), Opulent (18) and Twist and Twirl (7 wins). In today's race, driver Matt Anderson settled John Coltrane back from the wide draw. He followed up favourite Zealand Star with 1200 metres to run. At the 800 metres he was sitting parked and with 600 metres to run Anderson put the pressure on leader Zealand Star. At the top of the straight he pinched a break and that proved to be the winning of the race as the only challenger Major McRae was clearing traffic back in the field. John Coltrane just held on to beat a fast finishing Major McRae by a nose.  John Coltrane (13) on the inside holding out Major McRae (6) by a nose - Photo Bruce Stewart. John Coltrane, is named after an American jazz saxophonist and composer, and is owned by Calvin Claridge, Raywen Shirley, Brendon Hiini and Craig McKenzie. They've had success with other horses in the Shirley stable including 2012 Riverton Cup winner Chokullen and Tuapeka Troy. "They're also luck enough to be in on a colt by Art Major out of the mare. I don't want to say too much about him because they'll just get big headed," joked John Coltrane's trainer Brent Shirley. John Coltrane qualified impressively at Wyndham thirteen months ago and has had four workouts and two races prior to today's win.  "He's just taken a bit of time and is still six months away. He's basically like a pupil that's a year behind at school. A four year old but we have to treat him like a three year old. When he was two we turned him out and he didn't do very well. It took him a whole year to come right." Shirley says the horse will be turned out for a short spell now and he'll look at racing him in the New Year. Meanwhile, Some Excusesomewhere capped off a great weekend for Rakauhauka trainer Clark Barron. The upstanding gelding handled the wet conditions well and beat a brave Cast A Shadow by half a length. He was driven by the country's leading reinsman Blair Orange. Some Excusesomewhere (11) winning for Blair Orange - Photo Bruce Stewart. On Friday night at Alexandra Park a horse Barron part-bred, Bettor Joy, won the Group Two Peter Breckon Memorial Caduceus Club Ladyship Stakes Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Winton horseman Allan Beck has driven twenty three winners for Browns trainer Des Baynes and three of those were at the Winton meeting today (Sunday) when Gotta Minute, Quartz and Better Buy It all won for the combination. Beck's first winning drive for Baynes was at Forbury Park in April 1998 when he reined home Blow The Whistle.  On the training front, Baynes has trained two winners in one day eight times before but this was the first time he's trained three winners on the same day. His first double came at the Forbury meeting in January 1994 when Out All Knight and Toss The Dice both won. His second double came a week later on the same course with the same pair. The first of the three winners today was Gotta Minute in Race Three. From barrier six Beck was caught wide early before he was left parked. He finally got cover with 1000 metres to run. Turning in, Beck angled Gotta Minute three wide to make his challenge. The Badland's Hanover gelding came resolutely down the middle of the track to hang on and beat Gunslinger Bromac by a head. Gotta Minute, which is owned by Baynes, is out the Armbro Operative mare Jay Bee's Snap and is closely related to the Southland bred Jay Bee's Fella the winner of thirteen races including the Lion Red Four Year Old Mile Grand Final at Alexandra Park. In the that race he won by eight and a half lengths beating another Southland bred pacer in Lord Lenny. Jay Bee's Fella also won another four races in Australia.  Gotta Minute winning at Winton                            -- Photo Bruce Stewart. "He's (Gotta Minute) normally the sort of horse that needs a bit of cover. Well, I thought he did. He showed a bit of guts today," said stable representative Ian Jamieson.    The second winner was six year old Mach Three gelding Quartz. He too was parked early before he got cover with a lap to run. Beck was looking for room prior to turning in, as TC Business which he was following, was under a hard drive. At the top of the straight he pushed Quartz out to the middle of the track and he came with a stayers run to beat Broadway Banner by a half a length. It was only the gelding's third start. "He's had feet problems but we're on top of it now. We've put him out in the paddock and let the feet grow right out because he had a couple of bad quarter cracks. We weren't surprised at the win today because he's gone good at the workouts," said Jamieson.  Quartz winning at Winton                            -- Photo Bruce Stewart Bettor Buy It capped of a great day for Baynes and Beck winning the feature pacers race of the day the PGG Wrightson Sale Of The Stars Mobile Pace. Beck slotted him three back in the inside. With 500 metres to run the pair moved off the markers and followed through Jayedgar before Beck decided to duck down into the vacant passing lane. The seven year old let down nicely to beat a game The Big Boss by a length and a quarter with another two and quarter lengths back to Jayedgar. "He's also been going good at the workouts. He's a 100% sound."  Bettor Buy It is raced by The Test Syndicate - a group of old rugby mates from the Edendale Rugby Club of which Baynes was a member of. He's also a part of the syndicate. Bettor Buy It had been going well at local workouts before today's run - winning once and running a close second to the smart Nota Bene Denario in the other. The horse's last win at the races was at Kurow in August 2016 when he was trained by Greg and Nina Hope. Today was his fifth win from only twenty four starts. He was injured during the running of the 2014 Southern Supremacy Stakes at Gore and he missed the whole of his four year old season. The injury has restricted his career. The three successes today put driver Allan Beck on 798 career wins.  Meanwhile Des Baynes's cousin Kenny was in the money at Winton as well when his Pegasus Spur four year old trotter War Machine impressively won his third race in a row. He looks destined for higher honours for trainer Tony Stratford, driver Dexter Dunn and owners Kenny and Jo Baynes. The win was his seventh and third for Stratford. His other wins came in the North Island for Derek Balle. Today he beat an improving Grey Power by three quarters of a length.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing Bettor Buy It winning at Winton  

Two horses from Tactile Farm qualified impressively at the Winton trials yesterday, although both need paperwork to be completed to get final sign off. Trainer Trevor Proctor says it's just a formality. Lis Mara mare Tact Maggie paced the 2400 metres in 3-02.7 nearly 9 seconds under the required qualifying time. She won her heat by an impressive nine lengths. She’s out of ten win mare Tact Lizzie. “She’s like her mother. She relaxes and just keeps trucking on. She does it at her own pace unless you ask her to do something,” said Proctor. Tact Maggie had been to three workouts before yesterday’s trial, winning twice. “At the other one she had a gear malfunction and was pulled up. But Brent Barclay (driver) said she was travelling well at the time.” The other qualifier was Auckland Reactor filly Tact Bess which is named after the matriarch of the Dynes family Bessie Dynes who passed away earlier this year. Tact Bess won by three and a half lengths with the last 800 metres run in 56.7 seconds. “She’s more of a sit and sprint type. She’s got a good turn of foot.” Tact Bess is out of Tact Hayley who has left a host of winners including Tact Lizzie (10), Tact Hayley Jane (10) and Spectactular (8). The last time Proctor had two handy mares in the stable they both won their first races on the same day. It was at the Invercargill January meeting in 2008 when Tact Aunty won and Tact Lizzie repeated the dose a few races later. For the first time Proctor has entered a yearling in next year’s sale. He’s by Rock N Roll Hanover out of Tact Lizzie but Proctor says he’s unsure if the colt will make sale day. “He just has a bit of swelling in one of his hocks so we’ll get it x-rayed. He’s a striking horse. That’s why we entered him in the sale but he may have to come out.” Two of Tact Lizzie's foals that have raced have been winners. Tact Tate has won fourteen races, eleven in Australia and paced a mile in 1-51.9 while Tact Rousey, which was recently retired, won once here and recorded a further four wins in Australia. Her best mile time is 1-53.2.  Another impressive qualifier at the trials was Washington VC filly Alfie Romeo. She ran the 2400 metres in 3-01.7; the fastest of the day winning by five and a half lengths. She’s trained by Des Baynes at Browns and is out of the Holmes Hanover mare Holmezy which won seven races for Ryal Bush trainer Hamish Hunter. She ran sixth as a four year old, in the first ever race at the Harness Jewels at Ashburton in 2007.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

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)    

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