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There was a bit of word out for first starter Crime Scene at Winton today. The Bettor's Delight three year old trained at Rakauhauka by Clark Barron had impressed at the Wyndham workouts last month, beating some handy types in a good time. "He went extra good that day," said Barron.  Crime Scene is owned by Alan and Liz Sloan who bought him privately as a yearling from Tony Barron. He qualified at his second attempt as a two year old and had one more run at the trials before being turned out. "He was very immature and didn't know what he was doing. He was always going to be better with a bit of time."  In today's Trevor Proctor Painter Mobile Pace he lead out early from barrier one, handed up briefly to Dennis Lillee before taking up the leaders roles again from the 2000 metre mark. At the top of the straight Barron was getting to work on the three year old and true to the Bettor's Delight type he battled hard to the line beating Tact Ollie by one and a quarter lengths.   "He was very lost in front today but that's all new and they've got to learn that." His time today of 2-59.8 for the 2400 metres was respectable for this time of the year.  Crime Scene returning to the birdcage                                                      Photo by Bruce Stewart Crime Scene is well related and it's a family all three Barron boys (Clark, Ken and Tony) know well. He was bred by Tony and is out of the Mach Three mare Gross Misconduct. She won once for Tony in Southland before winning another ten races in Australia. She was brought back to New Zealand when her racing career had finished and Tony bred Southern GNP which was trained by Ken Barron to win four of his nine starts before heading to Australia. The mare's other foal Wrongly Accused also won here before she headed offshore to Australia.  Tony also trained the grandam of Crime Scene, Godet, which won four races for the Smudge Syndicate. The family roots stem back to a pedigree made famous in the province by Peter and Jan Williams. So what's next for Crime Scene?  "It depends on what Alan wants to do but we may give him another race or two to educate him then give him a break. Hopefully he can improve to the next level. Most of the Bettor's Delights wake up eventually so it could be all ahead of him."    Bruce Stewart

Betta Go Fernco has been in work for a while but health issues have prevented her from getting to the races. Today's win with a clean bill of health after colds and other viruses had hindered the Gotta Go Cullect five year old mares progress for young trainer Aaron Swain. "She's been in work since November. Because I break in so many yearlings and they bring in so many bugs she caught a couple of colds when she'd been ready to go. Since I've had my operation I've sent her to Dad who just has racehorses, so I didn't need to worry about her getting those bugs," he said. Swain has had to watch from the side lines as she progressed to today's winning outing after having had reconstruction surgery on his left ankle. So his father Murray has put the finishing touches on the mare's training.  "I constantly rolled my ankle before I finally decided to get it fixed. It turned out that the ligaments were stretched and were off the bone so that needed fixing. I've been out of action for the last six to seven weeks so Dad's done a good job. I'm the sort of guy that barks orders as he's gone around the track, so he has listened." Murray initially trained Betta Go Fernco and won with her at Invercargill in June last year. Her last race before today's outing was in a heat of the South of the Waitaki Series at Addington in July 2015 where she finished seventh.  "After that she just got a bit silly so we turned her out to mature and grow. She's come back a lot bigger and stronger. She's also picked up a bit of speed this time in." To fit her for today's race Swain had taken her to three workouts for an unplaced run, a win and a fourth.   "I was confident because she hadn't had a bug."  From draw two on the second line driver Blair Orange held his ground early before ending up in the one one behind favourite Spinnaker. Spinnaker took Betta Go Fernco to the top of the straight before Orange peeled off her back and ran home well down the outside to beat Tuherbs Two by three quarters of a length. Betta Go Fernco returning to the birdcage                                                Photo by Bruce Stewart   The win was Aaron Swain's second. His first was with Beau Cishlom at Invercargill last November. Swain uses the colours of his aunty Denise who trained 124 winners including the likes of Clancy (12), The Orator (5), Milton Vance (5), Pickapocket (8), Chavelli (6), Crackem (5), and Just Royce (9). Those white and yellow colours won $990,971 in stakes for Denise, and adding Aaron's two wins and a second, the colours have just gone past the $1,000,000 mark with $1,000,379.  The young trainer recently bought 6 acres at Roslyn Bush that adjoins his fathers property. The new barn which can house up to 10 horses is just being finished and once all aspects of the setup have been completed he'll be utilising his father's track. "I want to throw away some of the breaking in of horses and start training a few more racehorses for people."   Betta Go Fernco is owned by Brian and Elizabeth Ferns along with Murray and Aaron Swain. She's out of the Miles McCool mare I'm A Star which won six races for Geoff Knight. Today's successful reinsman Blair Orange also won driving I'm A Star to win at Forbury Park in June 2008.   As a broodmare I'm A Star has also left Fernco Bobby G which won two for Murray Swain including a mile in 1-56.7 on this track in 2014.   Bruce Stewart

The sixth heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series is up for decision at the harness racing meeting at Forbury Park on Thursday night and RR Sand Dollar has all the form on the board to be the one to beat here. A three year old filly from the first crop of the now defunct Rob Roy Mattgregor, RR Sand Dollar has nothing in her favour except class and even from barrier seven over the 1700 metres trip she looks to carry too many guns for the opposition here.  RR Sand Dollar was beaten a nose here at Forbury Park in December over the 1700 metres at her only start on the track and she has improved dramatically since then. Three runs back she was beaten a nose by the brilliant Nek Time in a brilliant 1:54.8 mile rate at Addington Raceway and followed that with two effortless wins down south, with the big late finish at Winton especially impressive. Trainer Paul Court has enlisted the services of Blair Orange, the hottest driver in the south over the last few weeks to take the reins again and only bad luck should really beat her. Take out RR Sand Dollar and the race becomes very even, with four or five big winning chances. The Gavin Smith pair of Scarlett Banner and Allison Stokke have both shown enough at various stages this season to be big chances here from their draws of one and two. Scarlett Banner has been racing Golden Goddess, Piccadilly Princess, and Luisansbelle Midfrew most of the season and will appreciate the huge dropback in class here while Allison Stokke has run two beauties in her last two starts behind two very smart maidens in Heavens Rocks and Fiddlethefool and looms as a big improver here.  Rakarazor continues to go good races every week and her third in 1:54.1 for the mile at Winton on Saturday is good form for this race. Rakarazor has high gate speed and Clark Barron is sure to use that and attempt to lead all the way from barrier four with catch me if you can tactics. And so we come to Emily Blunt. Three months ago she would have been a hot favourite in this race and although she has performed admirably since, she has not been her old self lately. Blinds come off tomorrow night in an effort to sharpen her up and that just be enough to right the ship here.. She has the ability to beat most here and weather she has the aptitude we will see on Thursday night. Selections RR Sand Dollar is the clear first pick for us and should win barring accidents Scarlett Banner and Emily Blunt may not have the best form on the board right now but they are two high class fillies at their best and we found it hard to split them for second or third.  It is the same for 4th and 5th with Allison Stokke and Rakarazor both going consistently well and both are capable of finishing first four. Trifecta and First Four  8 --- 2, 3, 4, 5 Harnessjlink Media

He has a bit of growing to do and that's what the connections of two year old winner The Honey Badger plan to let him do after his gutsy win at the harness racing meeting at Winton Raceway yesterday.   From the outside draw driver Dexter Dunn nursed the big Somebeachsomewhere gelding into the first bend with Jayedgar holding an early lead. With 1200 metres to run, The Honey Badger cruised to the top. Just when stablemate Jody Direen and Jayedgar looked to be getting the better of The Honey Badger, Dunn lifted the gelding and he came back to win by a head from Jayedgar with another head back to Jody Direen. The Honey Badger was bred by Paul Hailes who races the gelding with friend Cane McIntyre.  He's out of the five win Live Or Die mare Glenburn Jewel.    "I sent away to Aussie to Do You Love Your Broodmare (website)." "They did the match (for Glenburn Jewel) and came back with Somebeachsomewhere being the top stallion," said Hailes.   It's the mare's second winner as his older sister Glenburn Joy won her maiden race at Wyndham last month.     "He's a big solid boy and doesn't look like a natural two year old."   The winning time yesterday was 1-57.9 with the last 800 metres in 56.8 and the 400 in 26.3.    Hailes says The Honey Badger will now have a good break and be left to mature into his big frame.   "He was supposed to have been turned out after last weekend." "Since this race was on, we thought we would nominate and see what the field looked like so the win is a bonus really," Halles said."  Bruce Stewart   -   Southland Harness Racing   -  Check site here P>

Local harness racing owners Robert and Sharyn Symon are enjoying watching their Gotta Go Cullect filly Nek Time perform not only on the big stage at Addington but also on their home turf in Southland.   Trained by Terry and Glenys Chmiel at Leeston, the three year old has been at the top of her game. From nine starts this season she's won three races and has run second and third twice.   In today's Hydroflow Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace Nek Time drew wide at barrier eight but Chmiel pushed the go button and after 500 metres she was in front. From that point she pricked her ears and enjoyed the front running role.   "I sort of had to go forward because I thought Dexter Dunn (driving Talkerup) would be hard to beat." "He had the second line so I wanted to get in front of him." "She jogged it today. It was pretty windy down the back but she did it pretty easy," said Terry Chmiel.      She's been one of the big improvers in the three year old pacing fillies ranks in the south and that hasn't gone unnoticed by her co-trainer.    "Since we won the other night she's come on leaps and bounds." "She's just getting better and better." "In the last month or so she's also grown a hand."   Nek Time is out of the one win Jenna's Beach Boy mare Braithwaite and was bought as an unraced two year old off Stephen Boyd. Her pedigree goes back on the dam side to open class mare Classiebawn.   "The first time I trialled her I knew she was a nice horse" Terry said.   The Symons were on-course today to celebrate the win.     "They don't spend a lot of money." We've been through the good times and the bad." "They do put their hand up and have been very loyal owners," said Terry.   The longterm goal for Nek Time is the Nevele R/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park on Sunday 17th April.   "She's coming back in a fortnights time (Northern Southland meeting) and if she doesn't run in the money she'll have to run the following week and stay on for the Southland Oaks." So how does Chmiel rate this filly?  "She's the best filly I've trained." There's a couple of nice fillies out there but who's to say we haven't got better too," Terry said.   But Chmiel admits that Nex Time is very much a ladies horse.  "She's a bit of an old madam." "She's got speed but she's tough too." "In the paddock if she doesn't like you she won't go near you and she'll chase you out of the paddock." "Glenys does most of the work with her at home." " All the credit goes to Glenys really." "Glenys just spoils her and she loves it,"  Terry said. Bruce Stewart - Southland Harness Racing - Check site here

While  Craig Kennett was doing the winning business in Auckland with trotter Valmayne, harness racing trainer Josh Kennett was at the other end of the country at the Winton Raceway winning with Veneto.    It was the junior driver and training licenseholder's first win in the south since he moved to Ryal Bush where he's stable foreman for Nathan Williamson.   Veneto is a Badlands Hanover mare and was a sales purchase on the second day of the 2013 Sale of the Stars.     "I liked her in the ring and she was an affordable sort of a horse that I got for two and a half thousand dollars." "She's been fun to muck around with." "She paced as a three year old and I won a race with her which was good." When she came back in she seemed to enjoy trotting so I just put trotting shoes on her and she trotted good so I thought I'd keep at it," said Josh.   She qualified at Ascot Park in December and today was her fifth start in a trotting race.     "She has improved after a ten day let up after her last race." "She has been working pretty good for a maiden trotter and I thought she'd be a good chance with the right sort of run today."   From barrier one she began well.    "She didn't have enough speed to trail but three back on the fence was okay," Josh sais.   The winning margin was three quarters of a length with Rydgemont Milly running second. Veneto Bruce Stewart - Southland Harness Racing  -  Check site here

Classie Brigade showed Southlanders when he won easily at Winton Raceway on Saturday against older more experienced campaigners that he'll be a serious contender for the end of season Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes .   The Bettor's Delight colt was driven by Ricky May who's been associated with him from day one.   "I actually drove him the first time he went off the place." It was at a workout at Methven (February 2015) and he slipped over but he got up and paced and I've driven him ever since," said May.   He had six starts at two, recording two seconds.   "He was a nice two year old and got third in the Sires Stakes Final at Addington (behind Lazarus and Chase The Dream) at three so he's been right there." At Auckland (in the Sales Series Final) a hopple shorter came out going into the first bend and hit him in the stomach and he started bucking." "It was a shame because it was the first time he'd drawn handy." "He's come down here instead of going to Auckland," Ricky said.   In today's Plumbing World Mobile Pace, May decided to stay out of the early rush and settled in the one one as All Jokes Aside sped to the top. With Macy Blue Chip softening up the leader, May waited until the 400 metres before he got a nice tow into the race on the back of an improving Machie Mach. Just before straightening May let the colt run and he quickly improved to challenge All Jokes Aside. Halfway down the straight he'd hit the lead and came away to win easily by one and a half lengths from All Jokes Aside. The winning time was 2-57.1.   "I didn't let him run out of the gate." "He's run out of the gate a couple of times but today I decided not to go out." It worked out good really. He got a nice run. He's good at coming off their backs," Ricky said. Classie Brigade is out of the seven win Mach Three mare Trigirl Brigade and has strong Southland roots.   His fourth dam Paula Brigade won six races for Harry Cox. She was owned by the late Peter (AD) Campbell.     Ryal Bush trainer Nathan Williamson bought a full brother to Classie Brigade at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale in Auckland last week for $50,000.  Bruce Stewart - Southland Harness Racing - Check site here  

New Zealand's leading junior driver Brad Williamson is having one of those seasons that just keeps getting better and better. Week in, week out, Brad is churning out the winners at a great rate and the run he is experiencing is showing no signs of abating. Today at Winton Racetrack Brad added another three winners to this season's tally and showed why he is so highly rated by a lot of his contemporaries on the track. "That is the first time I have driven three winners in one day so it was a big thrill especially because I only had four drives on the program," Brad explained when talking to Harnesslink this afternoon His first winner came in the form of the three year old trotter Sam Galleon who after missing away and settling a long way from the leaders, got over the top of them late in the piece for an impressive victory. The son of The Pres looked pretty green throughout the run and looks to have plenty of upside going forward. "He has got a lot to learn but there is no doubting the ability is there." "He is a half brother to three open class trotters so he is bred to be above average." "There is a lot of improvement there yet when he learns a bit more ringcraft," Brad said. Brad's second winner today was the smart Monarchy mare Pyramid Monarch who backed up her impressive second at Addington last Friday night to Harriet Of Mot with an impressive front running victory. Away brilliantly from her 30 metre handicap to grab the lead after just 400 metres, Pyramid Monarch was never in danger afterwards, coasting down to the line for an easy victory. It was win number eight for the mare and her fourth this season and took her earnings over the $70,000 mark. "She is such a lovely mare to drive." "Her manners are great and she tries so hard every time she goes to the races." "She is just a little money making machine at the moment and I don't think she is finished yet," Brad said. Brad's third winner was the four year old Real Desire gelding Dissolution who surprised everybody by sitting parked out the whole journey and still having enough petrol in the tank to scoot away and win easily in the end. "He is really starting to come into his own this horse." "Not long ago he wouldn't have been able to do that but he has been a big improver recently and that was a good effort today," Brad said. Todays wins took Brad's tally for the season to an impressive 41 victories which is 23 ahead of the chasing pack and barring injury he looks to have the New Zealand Junior Driving premiership in the bag with six months of the season still to go. Harnesslink Media      

Doug McLeish usually has a handy horse but today's winner has tested his patience.    In the past he raced nice trotter Perfect Hold which won eight races, shared in the ownership in Winton Cup winner Future Fortune and Nelson Cup winner Scottish Sailor, and and he owned Motu Crusader which won four races here including a Sires Stakes Heat at Forbury before he was sold for big money to Australia.   Over the years he's attended most of the yearling sales in Christchurch and has tended to purchase at the lower end of the market.   One of those purchases was an unnamed colt by Real Desire out of the In The Pocket mare Gemside.   Bought for $7,000.00 he was later named Dissolution, and qualified as at two year old in February 2014.    "We had him in the Sires Stakes heat at Addington last year because we thought he was good enough to go there." "If he hadn't gone good enough today I was going to sack him so he's had a reprieve." "The last time he started at Invercargill he was dehydrated and he didn't go any good." He's not very good at drinking - not like his owner. He did go good at the workouts last Thursday though," said McLeish.     His twenty starts up until today yielded a couple of seconds. Just enough the keep the Real Desire gelding in work.    From a wide draw, in-form driver Brad Williamson took the four year old gelding back before getting three back on the outside. He got onto the back of an improving Get Carter and got a nice drag along until the top of the straight. Once he was let down by Williamson, Dissolution came home resolutely to beat Get Carter by one and a half lengths running the 2400 metre mobile trip in 2-59.1.    McLeish enjoyed today's success with his nephew Keith Bond son of former Southland trainer Graham Bond and Amberley based horsewoman Robyn McLeish. Keith is one of the ground staff at Eden Park in Auckland.  Bruce Stewart  -  Southland Harness Racing      -   Check site here  

The radar is now definitely on the Nevele R/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final for impressive Winton winner Scarlett Falcon.   The Elsu filly lead after two hundred metres of the Southland Vehicle Sales Mobile Pace and easily beat Bootie Bromac by two and a quarter lengths.    Scarlett Falcon owned by Cedric Coll and Kevin Cloag and is out of the three win Live Or Die mare Genuine Franco. She arrived as a young horse at trainer Stephen McNally's property to be broken in.     "She's always shown enough but we didn't ask too much of her when she was two." "She was just a bit big but qualified late as a two year old." Every time she's gone off the property she's shown something," he said.     From barrier four McNally guided the filly out and took the lead off favourite Picobello early in the race.   "There was no plan set in concrete but she did leave the gate nicely without asking too much of her so from there it was the best place to be really." "She's got a bit of speed but feels as though she could stay a bit better."   Part owner Cedric Coll had to lead the filly into the birdcage and clip her up with the lead rope before returning her to her box after the race.    "She's lovely to drive but she's a real handful to walk around. It's just her. I think she'll grow out of it slowly."   McNally plans to visit Southland again later in the season to ensure Scarlett Falcon has the two required runs in Southland to qualify for the $45,000 Group Two Southland Oaks Final.   Bruce Stewart  -  Southland Harness Racing    

"Amazing. To win like that was an absolute thrill," was the reaction by trainer Brent Shirley after his charge Costa Del Magnifico impressively won the Alabar Centenary Cup at Winton on Sunday.   Not only did he annihilate his rivals winning by six lengths, he smashed the race record and fittingly became the first horse to run 3200 metres on the Winton track in under four minutes (3-59.8). His last 800 metres off the front was a sensational 54.8 seconds.     Since travelling to Canterbury Shirley has noticed a change in the Mach Three entire.    "He went away." "He settled and came back and felt different in training."   He's also very complimentary of regular driver Nathan Williamson who didn't over push the horse last season preferring him to find his feet.    "He was handled with kid gloves." "Nathan knew that potentially he was a nice horse and he drove him accordingly," said Shirley.   "I just made sure he didn't make any mistakes or gallop in his races because he was pretty green." "The best thing is that we've had standing starts and mobiles with him and he's adept at either and he's become a lot more tractable," said Williamson.    Once on the very fast Winton track yesterday Williamson knew he had a good show of winning the feature.    "He was just spot on for today." "He just loved it out there." "I could tell the moment he hit the track that he was on the ball."   The winning of the race came when Williamson saw I'm Full Of Excuses progressing forward with 2000 metres to run and he decided to leave the trail behind Rainbow Romance to take up the front.    "He's a great stayer." "I thought at the 600 that we had them in a whole heap of trouble and he was just jogging it." "So I just increased the speed." "He's proving himself now."   The Southland record for 3200 metres of 3-57.0 and is held by Franco Ledger. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   -   Check site here   Costa Del Magnifico

Driver Samantha Ottley didn't have a plan going into yesterdays AON Insurance Equine Stakes at the harness racing meeting at Winton  but the race panned out well when her drive Rocker Band won the mares feature in a Southland and race record time of 1-53.3.    The four year old Rocknroll Hanover mare drew barrier eight with her main rival Lightning Mach driven by Dexter Dunn drawing outside of her.    "She just cruised off the gate." "To be honest I didn't have any plans on going forward." "I was going to play it by ear because it was her first run back." "But she just came (off the gate) so easy." "I thought I was going to cross those horses easy as and I knew Dexter was going forward and that he was the one to trail so it all just fell into place."  Dunn leaning back in the cart dictated terms and he took the field in a fast clip to the top of the straight when Ottley knew she was travelling well enough to be in with a chance.    "Turning for home is the only time that she got a bit keen which is what you like." "I looked across and Nigel (McGrath driving Lovetodream) was doing his best and Dexter had done a little bit and I was just hoping that nothing from behind was going to run over the top."   One surprise was the winning time.    "She's got a beautiful gait but the time shocks me."   Ottley isn't long back from injury and with wins at Forbury Park and yesterday's win she's back on track for another good season.   "I've been doing all of the work for her at the moment out at Woodend Beach." "Mark put me on her at the last few workouts and trials and he told Greg (owner Greg Brodie) that I'll have the drive here."    Rocker Band is out of classy mare Mainland Banner which also left Return To Sender, the winner of race eleven.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   -   Check site site  

Ryal Bush harness racing trainer Shane Walkinshaw has had plenty on his plate lately but it is obviously not affecting his driving as he showed at Winton yesterday with a trio of lovely drives that got three double figure winners home. First up was one for the boss Hamish Hunter in the form of Stanley Ross Robyn. Shane sent him out of the gate early to lead before taking a trail after 500 metres behind the well supported Paddy McCole. Once the passing lane presented itself in the home straight, the race was all over in a few strides with Stanley Ross Robyn bolting clear for an emphatic victory with Shane sitting as quiet as in the bike. It was win one at start four for the son of Extreme Three and Shane has always had a bit of time for him. " It is only bad luck that he hasn't won a race before now." "Bad draws haven't helped and he has had no racing luck but he is way better than a maiden" "I thought he was way over the odds at $10:90 to be honest," Shane said. The second winner was another Hamish Hunter trainee in Understudy. Shane burned him off the gate early from barrier five to find the lead which he kept for the first 1000 metres before trailing Majjestic Breeze. When that horse took a trail  at the 600 metres mark Understudy got dragged back a touch on the home turn. Shane navigated a passage through the traffic and half way up the lane burst through and grabbed the lead for quite a smart victory. The win dividend of $22:10 didn't surprise Shane. " He hadn't really shown anything prior to yesterday so the dividend is about right." " I used him out the gate to find the lead and then he got held up across the top so to go on and win like that was a good effort." " He was actually getting away from them the last little bit." " They ran the 2400 metres in 2:58.6 as well which is a great time so he has gone up a lot in my opinion on that run," Shane said. The third winner that Shane drove yesterday was the Trevor Proctor trained three year old filly Tact Rousey. Drawn poorly at 13 for the mile journey, Shane got a nice run through to be up in the leading group early on but was then left wide for the next 600 metres before finding the death seat at the 950 metre mark. At that point the hot favourite Kashana galloped in the trail and Shane was able to angle Tact Rousey down into the trail behind the leader Millwood Maizie.  As soon as the passing lane became available, Tact Rousey shot through and grabbed the lead and went on for a very narrow but smart win in a sharp 1:55.4 Shane again thought the win price of $14:10 was way over the odds. " Since the first time I sat behind this filly at the trials I have really liked her."  " Her last start second behind Pat Campbell was really good so she was way over the odds at $14." "Yesterdays run had plenty of merit as she was wide for over 600 metres before finding the death." " Being able to slip into the trail certainly helped but it was still a super run," Shane said. Shane is presently in his twelth season of driving and he seems in career best form with his current season UDR of .2091 his best since he started driving. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing trainers Geoff and Jude Knight have always been keen supporters of the syndication of horses to race. They have many syndicates in operation but the Central Courage syndicate is the jewel in the crown. Established ten years ago, the syndicate has thirty wins on the board todate and the way their latest acquisition Zenmach is going, there are a few more wins in store yet. Geoff Knight is thrilled with the run they have had. " They are a great bunch of people to train for and they have had a great ride todate. " Tonight actually we are having a tenth anniversary dinner to celebrate our success and hopefully there is plenty more still to come," Geoff said. The old saying about one door shutting and another one opening is never better exemplified by this syndicate. Hot on the heels of selling the well performed Al Raza to North America, the syndicate purchased Zenmach off Mark Smolenski and Lew Driver. Geoff was thrilled with the purchase. " Mark Smolenski has done such a great job educating him and teaching him the ropes." " He is a lovely horse to do anything with and a credit to Mark," Geoff said. A handy first up fourth at Addington was quickly followed by a very smart four length win over some handy two year olds at the same venue a week later. Zenmach franked that form with a last to first performance at Winton in early September and will look to carry on his winning ways at Invercargill this Sunday. Safely through that run, Zenmach will again head back to Addington. " There is a nice $11,000 C1 race for him on October 2nd and then a week later he has qualified for one of those $23,000 Alabar Super Series finals so he will start in that as well." " While he is a very nice three year old, I am not sure I want to take on the All Stars team at this stage of his career so we will just play it by ear in the meantime." " His main aim at this stage is the Southern Supremacy series and his program will be around that series," Geoff said. With the luck the Central Courage syndicate has had in the last ten years, Zenmach may just measure up to the big boys by the end of the season. Harnesslink Media

The heats of the 2015 Southland Golden Girls Series have been run culminating in a strong field of harness racing four-year-old and older mares heading to the final this Sunday at Winton.   The previous four heats held in Winton, Gore, Forbury Park and Invercargill in April and May attracted good fields with three of the four heats producing sub 1.58.0 winners. A great addition to their pedigree pages upon retirement.   At Winton, Leigh Major bred and owned by Bruce and Alistair Sinclair was the fastest mare home, earning a time of 1.56.4. The Art Major mare out of My Sharona also took out Heat 2 of the series at Gore in a time of 1.57.7. Well and truly securing her spot in the final.   Forbury Park was host for Heat 3 with Ask Me Mach delivering for breeder/owner and NZSBA member John Rennie. She whizzed home in 1.57.4 outperforming her rivals by four lengths. This was her second win and first sub 1.58.0 mile rate.   The last heat was held at Invercargill with Sicilian Secret the victor. Owned by the Georgeson family the Bettor’s Delight four-year-old held off a good field of mares winning by half a length and securing her spot in the final.    The field for the Southland Series Final is as follow:   For The Goodtimes    Pennyana   Flushing Meadows   Vera’s Delight   Beaudiene Clemintyne   Ask Me Mach   Sicilian Secret   Leigh Major   Kiwi Focus   Van Eva   Donnamach   To view the 2015 LeaderBoard visit www.harnessracing.co.nz/golden-girls-leaderboard-20154   Kiely Buttell   Executive Manager

When we were doing the harness racing ringaround prior to Xmas for horses to follow over the holiday period, there was quite a bit of friendly banter when we rang the Williamson household. Phil jokingly told us while Matthew and Nathan were in great touch, Brad was going through a bit of a dry patch and we might be waiting a while for him to salute the judge. Of course at Gore on Boxing Day Nathan drove and trained three winners and Matthew also got his horse to follow over the holidays home in Brads Kenny up on debut but Brad remained winless. At Winton yesterday both Nathan and Matthew had chalked up another winner each by the time it came to race ten where Brad was down to drive Nureyev for Murray Brown. Given out by Brad as his horse to follow over the holidays, Nureyev was not liked by the punters but Brad was quietly confident. " Murray was quite bullish about his chances and told me he would be hard to beat." "I've driven for Murray in the past and when he tells you they are ready, they are." "That is my sixth winner for Murray so I wouldn't mind driving a few more for him,"  Brad told Harnesslink this morning. Nureyev is bred to be good being by Christian Cullen from the former smart racemare Idancedallnight 1:57.5 ($103,656) and Brad says the stable has always had an opinion of the 4 year old gelding. " Murray said nothing had gone right with his last campaign but this time in it had all gone to script." " It was a penalty free win yesterday and he is still a C1 so he could easily win another couple quickly on what he showed yesterday. "Murray was adamant he would improve further with racing as well." " He didn't strike me as a real quick horse and I think stamina will be his strength," " That win price ($10:90) was good for those who follow the ringaround, "Brad said. They say you are only as good as your last drive so Brad can expect a lot less banter at home in the next few days. Harnesslink Media    

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