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By Jonny Turner  Tapanui trainer Matt Saunders has not left room for many excuses if his pacers Rah De Rah and Sadhana do not perform at Winton on Thursday.  Both stable newcomers will attempt to continue their good form when starting from handy barrier draws for leading reinsman Blair Orange. Rah De Rah won his first start for Saunders at Gore, before running in to fifth behind Donegal Mary Francis at Ascot Park, last weekend. The trainer was initially disappointed with the 8yr-old’s last start effort, but a closer look at the race’s fast closing sectionals changed his mind.  “He is just not a sit sprinter – he used to be before, but against these wee bit better ones he needs to be out rolling and he gets his chance to do that this week,” Saunders said. Saunders is still learning about the 8yr-old after having him for less than a month. Rah De Rah had a quiet two weeks and could have still have had improvement left in him leading in to his last start.  “If there was any excuse, I was possibly a bit easy on him going in to that last run,” Saunders said.  “If anything I think he will be improved from the run.” Drawing barrier 1 in race 5 means Rah De Rah should be perfectly placed to land on the speed on Thursday.  Though Saunders will not be issuing any instructions to Orange, it looks a logical game plan for the horse to try to lead all of the way.  “Drawn one around Winton – he is unbeaten on that track,” the trainer said. Sadhana continued Saunders’ brilliant form with horses new to his stable when winning in her first start for him at Ascot Park on Saturday. The trainer admitted the strong front running victory surprised him, despite his good record with newcomers. “It was a hell of a surprise.” “She just kept running - I cant really put it down to anything.”  “I had no expectations.” Sadhana led and ran a smart 2:43.4 time in her 2200m win with Orange in the sulky. The 5yr-old faces a big step up in grade when taking on a higher class of horse in race 6 today.  Canterbury pacer Carlos Bromac will back up in the event after his impressive win at Ascot Park on Saturday.  Thursday’s feature trot sees an exciting clash between Picketts Ridge and Wee Man Trouble. Picketts Ridge impressed when downing his rival in his first start for the season at Winton, earlier this month. Wee Man Trouble launched a big finish to easily hold second in the event. Picketts Ridge had a 10m headstart in that race, but will not have that advantage this time.  Both trotters will start from the 30m back mark in their 2400m handicap.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Gore trainer John Ryan showed what a master he is with the square gaiters today at Winton (Sunday) when he produced Picketts Ridge to win the Majestic Son At Alabar Handicap Trot. The six year old Skyvalley gelding driven by regular pilot Nathan Williamson, hadn’t raced since the Riverton meeting at Ascot Park in November last year and had only two workouts to prepare him for today’s run. “I was thrilled with him. What a tremendous training effort by John to get him that sharp and go 3-02 on a cold day. Today was the best he’s felt as far as his gait goes. He felt really solid. He’s always had the ability to be a really good horse.” Picketts Ridge’s winning margin was two and a half lengths over Wee Man Trouble. The winning time on a cold eight degree day of 3-02.6 was 1.6 seconds outside of the track record of 3-01.0  held by Majestic Man. It was Picketts Ridge’s fifth win in eleven starts and he looks destined for a better grade. The day also proved rewarding for two Canterbury drivers. Leading reinsman Blair Orange drove three winners; Plutonium Lady for trainer Mark Jones, Rah De Rah for Tapanui trainer Matt Saunders and impressive looking Tom Martin which won his second race in as many starts. The Paul Court trained Tom Martin lead early before handing up to Kingmaker. But when Hazer started to come round the field with 1700 metres to run Orange took the Mach Three gelding to the front again and there he stayed. His winning margin over Amore Lancôme was a length and a quarter. Tom Martin holds out Amore Lancome                                             --Bruce Stewart photo “He’s a big strong guy who’s still learning but the motor’s there. He just hasn’t got the best pacing actions and he can chuck a few steps in here and there. He’s also not a great steering horse just yet but he’ll only get better. Today he was always travelling well so I was happy enough,” Orange said after the run. Tom Martin’s win capped off a good day for West Otago breeder and trainer John Stiven. He bought Raindowne, the dam of Tom Martin, a few years ago of Tuapeka Lodge. Later in the day Stiven produced Countess Of Arden to win her second race and his first win as a trainer. Canterbury driver John Dunn was also in good form, driving two winners back to back. The first was the Bettor’s Delight filly Need You Now – she beat second favourite Kickupyaheels by half a neck. The two locked wheels close to the finish and Robin Swain trainer of Kickupyaheels lodged a protest which was later dismissed. Need to Know just holding out Kickupyaheels – their wheels locked together   --Bruce Stewart photo Need You Now is raced by All Black captain Kieran Reed, former All Black Andy Ellis and the Woodlands Partnership Syndicate Number Two. She’s out of the Badlands’ Hanover mare Lady Antebellum and is a half-sister to Billy Badger which won eight races for Robert Dunn who also trains Need You Now. In the following race the father and son combination lined up three year old Sportswriter gelding Tyron’s Bit Of Lemon. He took the race out, beating Invaluable by a length and a quarter. Another success on the day was converted pacer Justan’s Sister which won her first race in the trotting gait for trainer Shane Matheson.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

By Garrick Knight The training sect of small West Otago town Tapanui had a day out at Sunday’s Winton races with two of its three licensed horsemen recording wins. And for John Stiven, better known as a highly successful commercial breeder, the win of Countess Of Arden gave him a memorable first training success. It’s not the first time he’s held a training license, but with 2019 being a landmark year for Arden Lodge, he was compelled to give it another crack. “This year is the 50th anniversary for Arden Lodge,” said Stiven. “It was established here in 1969 and that milestone was part of the reason I thought I’d have a wee crack at training again this year.” Stiven is no stranger to the craft, having helped his late father Doug with a team on the same property before his passing in 2001. “I’d been thinking about getting back in to it for a long time,” he told HRNZ. “I took over the licence when dad died, and had just one starter before giving it away to focus on the breeding side of things. “I used to help dad back in the day and knew the times they used to run back then. “So, I spoke to (fellow Tapanui trainer) Alan Shaw about it and he said I wouldn’t need to do much different than what we used to.” The first issue was the farm’s training track, which was somewhat dilapidated after 18 years without being used. “It had a fair bit of grass coming through it in parts that had to be worn off. I actually re-grited it a couple of weeks ago.” Then all he needed was the key part of the equation – a horse. Enter Countess Of Arden, who was a rising four-year-old daughter of Net Ten EOM that had been born and raised on the farm before going through three different stables. “She had been leased to Bob Sandford and Geoff Dunn and they sent her home in May after a couple of starts. “Well she arrived here with new shoes on and I thought, well, rather than pull them off, I’ll wear them off her.” After an encouraging fifth and second at the two Gore meetings, Stiven went to Winton on Sunday semi-confident. That was only magnified when white-hot favourite Chevron Flies was late-scratched an hour before the race. After showing early speed from the mobile start point, Countess Of Arden settled in the trail for junior driver Ben Laughton, whose appointment carried the added bonus of a penalty-free win. The short Winton straight meant she needed to show some zip to reel in leader, Betterthanspraying, but she got there by a half-head in the shadows of the post. With Barry Purdon, Brad Williamson and Dunn having handled her previously, it’s somewhat intriguing that Stiven has managed to get the best out of her. “She’s enjoying life. She’s happy to be home in Tapanui, just like we are.” So, does Stiven have any plans to ramp up his training operation? Probably not immediately with 16 mares nearing foaling and nine yearlings to prepare for next year’s sales. “Just for the moment we will see how it goes, but it’s probably fair to say I’ve got the bug back now.” An added thrill for Stiven was the win earlier in the day of Rah De Rah, who is prepared by fellow Tapanui trainer, Matt Saunders. “Those two horses worked together during the week so it was quite exciting to see them both win on the day. “Matt works them on the galloping track and does a great job. “He’s been up here once and I’ve been down there probably half-a-dozen times.” Like most of Saunders’ winners, he was a recent purchase out of Canterbury and was having his first start from new quarters. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight A heady Nathan Williamson drive spelled the end of U May Cullect’s unbeaten record at Winton on Sunday. Williamson, driving the horse he trains, Franco Santino, ensured a frantic pace throughout which meant the 50-metre handicap of the race favourite was insurmountable. Despite running a last half in a tick over 53 seconds, U May Cullect could still only manage third. “The way it worked out, once we made a good beginning, it just sort of made sense to keep them running,” Williamson told HRNZ. “We had a 30-metre advantage over him and there was no point letting him cruise back in to the race because he was always going to be too good in that situation. “I wasn’t actually expecting to be in front, but when the speed backed off early, I thought I would whip around and put it back on.” Franco Santino, kept in work through winter, had a distinct advantage on the score of fitness, and that paid dividends. And for Williamson, the second win in a row has been an overdue delivery of the ability he always knew the horse had. “He’s been a bit of a problem horse in that he showed a bit of ability early - he actually went 1.52 as a three-year-old – but has always struggled to get really physically stronger. “He couldn’t take a lot of work and we kind of had to baby him through it. “As well as that, he was a picky doer and we had to space out his runs because of it.” A trip to Addington for an unplaced effort in the Uncut Gems in June left Williamson scratching his head, “That’s the only time he’s only disappointed me badly and to be honest I think it’s because he didn’t travel up that well. “Being a colt, in new surrounds, he did not settle in and for two days was running around, not himself.” Not gelding the son of Christian Cullen was a conscious decision on the part of owner Neville Cleaver, but one that Williamson agreed with. “Neville loves colts and he spent a bit of money on him so didn’t want him gelded. “And because he’s always been physically a bit behind the others his age, I thought leaving him a colt might help is development. “That extra bit of testosterone would help him get stronger. “And he’s good-mannered for a colt so it worked out well.” Exactly why Franco Santino has come ahead the last couple of starts, firstly with a win at Gore and now Winton, isn’t something Williamson has put his finger on just yet. “Just in the last month he seems to have turned the corner for unknown reasons. “He feels a bit stronger and seems to be eating better so is copping a bit more work. “Hopefully it means we won’t have to space his races anymore.” Kirstin Barclay, revitalised after a holiday in Queensland, was over the moon with the fresh-up performance of her and Tank Ellis’ stable star, U May Cullect. “I was absolutely rapt with him. “He couldn’t have run home any quicker than what I timed him in. “He just got too far back and the horses in front didn’t cart him up.” But it was after the race that had Barclay particularly excited. “He pulled up a treat and would hardly have blown out a candle, so I think we are right on track for the Hannon Memorial next week.” Also heading that way will be Franco Santino, Williamson keen to get a line on where his in-form pacer sits against the big guns. “We might look at the Hannon with him. “Not because I think he’s a huge winning chance, but because it will give us a good line on where he’s at.“ Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Such is the ease in which star Southland pacer U May Cullect is winning, today driver and co-trainer Kirstin Barclay had to remind the five year old that getting to the line first is what good pacers do. “I had to give him a wee slap today. He’s just got into the habit of pulling up because there’s no competition. He’s actually going to be better coming off their backs. But really happy as that was a nice step up in grade,” she said after the gelding scored another emphatic victory at Winton today. From barrier three Barclay took the Tom Kilkelly owned gelding straight to the top and he easily won the 1609 metre trip by three lengths from stablemate Paddyproudfoot.  “Paddy went super. I was rapt with a wee man.” The winning time was 1-53.1. “There was a race for him at Addington but we decided to stay down here and support the local clubs at the end of the season because people are coming out to see him.” U May Cullect winning today Although in front again today, Barclay says she’d like to educate U May Cullect to race in the field. “If we can get a preferential race he should get a draw and take a sit. The first time in that higher grade that’s what I’d like to do to give him confidence.” So what’s next? “No plans. We’ll take him week by week. He still needs a spell somewhere along the line.” U May Cullect returning after winning - Photo Bruce Stewart This was the gelding’s fifth start and fifth win and I can’t remember the last Southland trained pacer to win their first five starts. Microscopic, after running fourth on debut won his next six races while Honkin Vision ran second on debut then won four straight. Later in the day today the Mitchell Kerr trained Zinny Mac driven by Nathan Williamson broke the track record for three year old colts and geldings. His time of 2-54.3 was 0.1 of a second better than the previous record broken in December by Robyns Playboy. The win was one of two for Kerr who trained Justasec to win the last race of the day. The win was also one of three for Southland’s leading reinsman Nathan Williamson. Meanwhile Jonny Cox did the right thing for his family by winning the Cox Family Celebration Trot on the Amber Hoffman trained Imran Khan. The Pegasus Spur six year old won by an impressive five lengths and Cox threw in a victory salute well before the winning post for good measure. Back to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart Imran Khan is part-owned by Trackside presenter Mark McNamara and Matt Cross, jockey Samantha Wynn and ODT Journalist Jonny Turner.   Bruce Stewart

Wildwest had tongues wagging at Central Southland Raceway today when he impressively won on debut by twelve and a half lengths. “He’s always been a nice horse. We’ve always looked after him. He’s lost a bit of condition on the way through so we’ve put him aside then brought him back. He’s still a bit untapped,” says driver Brent Barclay. The Raging Bull three year old is trained by Barclay’s partner Lauren Pearson at Winton and was sent out hot favourite on the back of some impressive workouts and trials form. With the weight of money on the horse Barclay had no option but to take the horse to the front once he was safely underway from the stand. “I was a little bit worried at the start when he got a bit jumpy but he stepped real nice. He’s got a lot of speed and I would have liked to have seen him in behind today but in that type of field you have to drive him like the best horse.” His time was 3-03.6. The track record for three year old colts and gelding is 3-01.3 which was recorded by Shorty’s Chance in 2009. “It just felt like 3-10 not 3-03 but he’s very deceptive.” Wildwest winning his first start today The three year old has been patiently handled and local trainer Ian Jamieson managed his first two preparations. “He used to buck a bit early on but he’s been a real gentleman lately.” Wildwest is owned by Kevin Strong who has bred and raced many horses over the years. “He’s had so much bad luck so that’s why we’ve looked after him. It’s just great for Kev.” Trainer Lauren Pearson, Wildwest, Kevin Strong and driver Brent Barclay - Photo Bruce Stewart Barclay says the horse has been attracting the attention of buyers prior to his debut today. “We’ve had a lot of interest in him but we’ll discuss that with Kev.” And as for his future racing programme? “Probably Invercargill. He wouldn’t be going to Gore. I got suspended. There would have been plenty lining up to drive him there (laugh).” Pearson trained Wildwest’s dam Bay Jet which was by Jereme’s Jet. Bay Jet ran third and first at workouts but never qualified. Wildwest is her first foal. Wildwest in by the Christian Cullen stallion Raging Bull which won five of his ten starts for Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety.    Bruce Stewart

TAB News March/April NZ Bonus Quaddies Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday in March & April there will be a Bonus Quaddie on a NZ meeting. Thoroughbreds: $25k Bonus Late Quaddie every Saturday Harness: $5k Bonus Early Quaddie every Sunday - Rangiora Harness: $5k BONUS Early Quaddie on Races 2, 3, 4 & 5 Greyhounds: $5k Bonus Late Quaddie every Friday evening Pick6 this Week Thu 11 Apr $25k Guaranteed at Palmerston North Night Harness - Jackpot of $2,802.99. Fri 12 April $25k Guaranteed at Alexandra Park Night Harness   Addington Raceway – Friday Day Meeting 12 April Hello Everyone, IRT HARNESS JEWELS  - Remember to book your perfect spot! We are delighted to host the IRT Harness Jewels at Addington. Please see below details of all the festivities.   Welcome Pre Function Dinner – Thursday 30 May 6.00pm Silks & Satin Lounge, Level 2 Metropolitan Stand Hosted by Greg O’Connor and Michael Guerin, this special evening will celebrate the history of this wonderful event.  Included in the festivities will be the IRT Harness Jewels commentators Tony Lee, Mark McNamara and Aaron White who through their commentaries, will highlight this special race series.  As part of this night HRNZ will present the IRT Harness Jewels colours to the leading set of connections in each category. Evening includes; Three course plated dinner Cash bar facilities available $70 per person $650 for a table of 10 To book or for more information please contact Joanne McMaster on 339 7908 or   IRT in association with TAB Harness Jewels Golf Day – Friday 31 May This is a Four Ball Best Ball Stableford event to be held at the Templeton Golf Club.  The day will start with a pre-game BBQ from 10.30am with teams teeing off from 11.30am.  There will be a prize giving post game. Individual $50 per player Sponsorship $250+GST per hold including a team of 4 To book or for more information please contact Greg O’Connor at greg.o’   IRT Harness Jewels – Hospitality Packages – Saturday 1 June Ruby Lounge Located on level 3 of the Metropolitan Stand, enjoy panoramic views over the track in a lounge setting with casual seating.   Ideal for groups of friends wanting the best views, in a more relaxed atmosphere where you can mix and mingle with other racing enthusiasts. (No allocated seating) Package Includes: · Course admission, racebooks and access to the Ruby Lounge · Complimentary drink on arrival · Stand-up grazing stations with an array of antipasto and seafood platters, fresh salads, carvery meats, fresh breads, hot vegetables, and a dessert selection · A cash bar offering a selection of premium wines, NZ premium and standard beers, house spirits and non-alcoholic beverages (beverage tabs can be arranged on the day) · Barista coffee and tea available throughout the day · Private TAB facilities and Trackside TV’s · Racing Master of Ceremonies $195 per person   Silks & Satin Lounge Soak up the atmosphere and excitement in one of our largest lounges on course. Located on level 2 of the Metropolitan Stand with uninterrupted views of the winning post, this is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after positions for those wanting the complete hospitality experience. Allocated seating is at shared tables of 10 people. Package Includes: · Course admission, racebooks and access to the Silks & Satin Lounge · Three course buffet lunch, including cold meats, seafood and salads, hot dishes, carvery, and mouth-watering desserts · All beverages included – premium wines, NZ premium and standard beers, house spirits and non-alcoholic beverages · Barista coffee and tea available throughout the day · Live entertainment · Private TAB facilities and Trackside TV’s · Racing Master of Ceremonies $295 per person   Spectators Punters Lounge This is the perfect place for racing enthusiasts wanting a relaxed and casual place to mix and mingle. Enjoy the comfort of lounge facilities with access to the front of the Lindauer Lawn to watch all the trackside action. Spectators also offers a large screen, bar leaners and casual seating. (No allocated seating) Package Includes: · Course admission, racebooks and access to Spectators Punters Lounge · Continuous spit roast grazing stations including fresh vegetables, seasonal salads, pork, Canterbury lamb and sweet treats · A cash bar offering a selection of premium wines, NZ premium and standard beers, house spirits and non-alcoholic beverages (beverage tabs can be arranged on the day) · Barista coffee and tea available throughout the day · Private TAB facilities and Trackside TV’s · Racing Master of Ceremonies $125 per person        For hospitality bookings or for more information please contact Joanne McMaster on 339 7908 or All details and booking forms are also on our website – We are looking forward to hosting an outstanding day of our sport on Saturday 1 June.  Have a great week. From the Addington Team   Alexandra Park – Friday 12 April Friday 12 April 2019 – Mile Night Friday 12 April will see all races at Alexandra Park on the night run over the distance of a Mile. In the past this style of racing at Alexandra Park has resulted in some exciting racing and unexpected winners and now with the minimum stake of $15k on offer for all races there is bound to be some fireworks.   Friday 26 April 2019 – American Night Howdy Partner! Saddle up for Alexandra Park’s American Night on Friday 26th April from 5.30pm. Enjoy some harness racing action, all-you-can-eat southern style cuisine and a chance to wet your whistle. Cowboy hats and boots encouraged! Can you stay at the top of the mechanical bull leaderboard and take out the top prize? It’s gunna be a hoot. Ya'll get your group together and join in the fun. What are you waiting for? Secure your table today! Go to The night is supported by the Caduceus Club along with their loyal group of sponsors who support the running of the Woodlands Stud Caduceus Club Fillies Classic for 2 YO fillies as well as 6 other races on the card including the John Devlin Memorial Trot. Also run on the night we have the Taylor Mile for 4 YO pacers, the final of Haras des Trotteurs Sires Stakes for 3YO Trotters and the HR Fisken & Sons ANZAC Cup for the highest rated trotters. With this being the first night of the Premier racing in the Autumn at Alexandra Park all these horses will be able to compete for Group 1 glory again the following week if they happen to met with bad luck in the run.   Friday 3 May 2019 – 2019 Reharvest Rowe Cup Friday May 3rd Harness Racing at its best - 3 Group 1 races as well as the Magness Benrow Sires Stakes 2 YO Fillies Championship will be run during the evening at Alexandra Park. The other feature races through the night will be the Dawson Harford NZ Messenger Championship for 4 YO pacers, Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby for 3YO Trotters and the 2019 Reharvest Rowe Cup for the best trotters in the country racing for a stake of $150,000.00. Top of the Park will open on this night for all your dining requirements and should you like more information or would like to make a booking go to   Winton – Saturday 13 April BIG DAY OF RACING AT WINTON Feature races include the final of the Southern Belle Speed Series run over 1609 metres for a stake of $20,000. The series, supported by Regent Car Court, Fast Track Insurance, VetSouth Equine and the Southern Standardbred Breeders Association, is an important one for the southern harness racing industry. Other features include the Aldebaran Park Super Gold Chip Final Trot over 2400m for $20,000 and the Winton Businesses Cup also over 2400 metres for a stake of $14,999. On course patrons can also be in to win with two lucky losing ticket draws courtesy of Gypsy Kitchen Nightcaps after Race 6 on the day.  Racing is scheduled to start at 11.40am and admission to the course is free!   Rangiora Harness Racing Club – 14 April Rangiora Harness Racing Club will be holding its Rangiora Classic Race Day on Sunday 14th. The feature event will be the Airpark Canterbury Rangiora Classic, a Group Three Free For All carrying a stake of $30,000. This race has attracted some of the country’s best pacers in past years and the Club is hoping for a top field again this year. A second feature race on the programme is the Kotare Downs Rangiora Three Year Old Stakes for a stake of $13,000. This race provides an opportunity for, to date lesser performed horses to win a significant feature race before the end of their three year old season. This race has gone from strength to strength in recent years and the Club is looking forward to another exciting event this year. The winners of both races will receive silver trophies and dress rugs. The fillies and mares race for 3yo & older race horses on the card for this meeting will see the winner receive a free service to Terror to Love kindly donated by Harcourt Lodge.   HRNZ Marketing

Southland reinsman Brent Barclay joined a very small number of Southland horsemen to drive 700 winners when today on his home track be drove Nota Bene Denario to win. Clark Barron 1,038, Allan Beck 816, Nathan Williamson 749 and Henry Skinner 717 are the only other drivers in the province to have achieved the milestone. “That was my main aim this year and to get it early is really good,” he said after winning on the Brett Gray trained four year old. His first winner was Dougie Wood at Westport in 1989, a trotter that was trained by his father Keith. “I was only about sixteen then. It was a long time ago.” Over the thirty one seasons he’s been driving he’s driven some very good horses and says he seems to have had a special affinity with fillies and mares. “I’ve driven a lot of good fillies actually like Whanau, Natal Franco and Windermere Girl. A lot of them were three year old fillies.” Early in his career when he worked for Noel Creighton he drove the very good OK Bye juvenile pacer Corumba. He reined him to win the 1995 Welcome Stakes and 1995 Kindergarten Stakes. “Corumba was a bit of a standout. I was pretty young when I drove him. I think if I drove him now he’d be a lot better horse.” The following season he won the Southern Supremacy Stakes with Corumba. In all, Barclay drove him to win six times. He’s had stints with Findlay Road trainer Wayne Adams for whom he’s driven eighty two winners with the first being Nevalookbak in 1997). Other trainers he’s worked for include Kirk Larsen, Bud Baynes and in Australia Darrell Graham and Grant Dixon. These days he’s firmly attached to Brett Gray’s Ryal Bush stable and he feels he’s driving as good as ever. “This year I’m probably driving as good as I ever have. I said to Lauren (partner Lauren Pearson) and Brett at the start of the season that I’ve got to be a bit more aggressive this year especially at the start. If you get back these days and try to get round them with the speed they’re going it’s just too hard. But there are certain horses you can’t go forward and burn too much.” The win on Nota Bene Denerio was Barclay’s twenty seventh of the current season and his seventy second for Gray. “For me to get this many wins early in the season is really good. We’ve had a really good run with Brett since we’ve come back from Australia. Couldn’t have worked out better.” Barclay has ventured a couple of times to Australia to try his luck, linking up with Darrell Graham and the powerful Grant Dixon stable.     “Over there it’s just attack attack attack. There’s no looking after them there. I thought I’d go well when I went there but it backfired a bit. But we still had a good run. I might have driven 50 winners while I was there. You were only ever on the second stringers and when you’re working for a stable like that you very rarely got any outside drives.” Of the 700 New Zealand winners the horses he’s driven the most times to win (seven) have been Bonnie Lass, Be Not Afraid and Jamie.   Barclay rates Duke Of Wellington as the most underrated horse he’s driven. He won five races with him last season including the Southern Supremacy Stakes. “Last year he was still untapped I thought. We worked him up before he went over to Australia and I thought he’d improved immensely.” Nice trotters he’s driven include Be Not Afraid (7), Johnny Wishbone (6) and Smokey Mac (6). “I’m very lucky because I’ve driven 140 odd trotting winners and to be fair I think Full Noise is going to get there (best he’s driven). I really like driving a nice fluent trotter. Full Noise is a bit like that – he’s got a great gait, a good turn of speed and can also stay. I drove a trotter early on called Be Not Afraid. She was only one dimension. She was very fast, could trot all the way with a beautiful gait. This day and age she wouldn’t have won as many races.” But back to today’s 700th winner. It was fitting that it was for Brett Gray and that it carried the number seven saddle cloth. “People were probably saying he’s been disappointing but it was probably a drop in grade for him today. Brett’s changed a bit of gear on him and he just felt like his old self. He feels like quite a sharp horse.” After leading early Barclay decided to hand up to Allan Beck when he came round on Bettor Enforce.   “He felt super in front but when Becky came round I thought it was the one to beat. It worked out perfect.”   For the record the winning margin was one and a quarter lengths. All done and dusted - Photo Bruce Stewart  The Brent Barclay 700 winner’s fact file: Combined pacers and trotters: 7,355 starts, 700 winners, 684 seconds, 665 thirds for stakes of $4,765,303. Just trotters: 1266 starts, 142 winners, 130 seconds and 94 thirds. Only four other Southland drivers have driven more winners: Clark Barron (1,038), Allan Beck (816) Nathan Willliamson (749) and Henry Skinner (717). First winner was the trotter Dougie Wood on Boxing Day at Westport in 1989. He was trained by his father Keith. Trainers worked for: Keith Barclay, Wayne Adams, Noel Creighton, Kirk Larsen, Bud Baynes and Australian trainers Darrel Graham and Grant Dixon. Biggest winner: Corumba 1995 Welcome Stakes and 1995 Kindergarten Stakes. Southland Junior Driver of the Year 1996 (10 wins) and 1997 (11 wins) Southland races he’s won three times: Kindergarten Stakes; Corumba (1995), Bought In The Pub (2003) and Waikiki Beach (2015) Southern Country Cups Final; Bonnie Lass (2001), Whanau (2003) and The Jaccka (2005). AON Insurance Equine Stakes; Magnetic Chip (1993), Whanau (2002) and Shezacullengirl (2018) Supremacy Stakes; Corumba (1996), Looksaflyer (2006) and Duke Of Wellington (2018) Best season; 2003 – 51 winners Winner of 2006 Interprovincial Drivers Championship Winner of Southland Drivers Premiership in 2006 (37), 2007 (44) and 2008 (38) Trainers- Most winners for: Wayne Adams (82-First: Nevalookbak 1/11/1997), Brett Gray (72-First: Frampton Bromac 8/1/2009), Lauren Pearson (41 – First: Eweburn Sun 8/1/2004) and Roger, John and Katrina Price (31 – First: Gypsy Road 26/11/1999) Four winners in a day: Wairio 15th December 2006 (Jamie, Hillarys Home, Mystic Sun and Fino) and Forbury Park 13th December 2002 (Cool Chip, Sayonara, Cripple Creek and Jay See Eye). Biggest wins: 2018 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (Duke Of Wellington) 2015 Alabar Kindergarten Stakes (Waikiki Beach) 2006 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (Looksaflyer) 2006 NZ Sapling Stakes (Jackson Brown) 2005 Nevele R Stakes (Western Dream) 2003 Southern Country Cups Final (Whanau) 2001 Southern Country Cups Final (Bonnie Lass) 1999 Southland Oaks Final (Windermere Girl) 1995 New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes (Corumba) 1995 New Zealand Welcome Stakes (Corumba) 1996 Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (Corumba) Biggest winners; Bonnie Lass (7) Be Not Afraid (7) Jamie (7) Johnny Wishbone (6) Smokey Mac (6) Corumba (6) Duke Of Wellington (5) Windermere Girl (5) Natal Franco (5) Scotty Mac (5)   by Bruce Stewart

It appears that Riversdale trainer Brent McIntyre was meant to hang onto giant American Ideal pacer Huntaway. As an unraced horse he could easily have slipped through his fingers on a number of occasions. “I originally bred him for the sales but he was such a big lanky skinny thing that I was actually going to put him down. He was awful. In the end we tossed up whether or not to break him in and when we did he actually went all right,” he said. Roxburgh trainer Rory McIIwrick then leased him.                                        “I think he took him to the trials but he got lame in the back leg so he pulled the pin. A couple of other guys wanted to lease him but they never turned up so we started working the bugger and today’s the end result.” Huntaway is out of the qualified but unraced Christian Cullen mare Holly Marie. She’s only left four foals of racing age, one being Annajodi which won three races for Murray Brown and another seven in Australia. Huntaway’s third dam is the 1987 New Zealand Oaks winner Young Eden. “He’s five, so old enough to go to school but he’s just needed to mature. At home he’s a handful but he is getting better. The family leaves a lot of good horses, Ken Barron has had a few of them.” Wanting for his return, Trainer Brent McIntyre, son Kane who part owns Huntaway and good stable client Neil Timms - Photo Bruce Stewart Barron trained Ewie Duncan (8 New Zealand wins and 11 USA), Kenny The Cowboy (2 New Zealand wins and 18 USA wins), Roland John (6 New Zealand wins and 8 USA) and Captain Crazy (6 New Zealand and 8 USA wins). The timing of the win was perfect for McIntyre as he has Huntaway’s half-brother by Bettor’s Delight in this week’s NZB Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. The colt is owned by his breeder Ken Milne. “That’s one of the reasons I started him today.” From the outside of the second row driver Nathan Williamson settled Huntaway well off the pace. At the 1200 metres Williamson flushed out favourite Valiant Charger and got onto its back, progressing forward. At the 600 Williamson decided to go round Valiant Charger and in a good burst of speed was up challenging for the lead. He had hit the front with 400 metres to run and at the finish he had a three and a quarter length buffer on the second horse Hans Ideal. The winning time was 2-57.5. “He’s a nice horse. How good I don’t know but we’ll find out. I think he will progress. He didn’t even pull the plugs on him today. I’ll enjoy a beer on him.” Earlier this month McIntyre decided to sell his unbeaten three year old filly Balcatherine which was also by American Ideal so today’s win helped in a way, to ease the pain. “It was very hard to let her go.” Meanwhile Ashburton trainer Brent White’s hot Southland form continued when quality trotter One Apollo in only his third start overcame a rocky passage to impressively win the Gold Chip Trotters Final. The win was one of four for the country’s leading reinman Blair Orange who now sits on 100 wins for the current season. One Apollo winning for Blair Orange - Photo Bruce Stewart. One Apollo looked to be out of contention when turning in after Whatwillbeewillbee broke in front of him, forcing him to go off stride. He picked himself up off the canvas and started to trot again but was seven lengths from the leader Somethings Burning. In a phenomenal burst of speed One Apollo trotted down the middle of the track to win impressively by three lengths. He seems destined to win a big race at some point of his career.   by Bruce Stewart

Impressive Regent Car Court Nugget Final winner Mossdale Art looks to be the early favourite for the Southland Oaks in April. The Bettor’s Delight three year old has been impressive in both her wins at Winton in the last three weeks and her win today against a field of primarily three year old colts and geldings stamped her as a quality filly. “I think she’s a filly that should have a pretty good season. She’s had two starts for two wins and hopefully she’ll carry on learning,” said driver Ben Hope, son of Greg and Nina Hope who train the filly. In today’s final Vintage Rose showed early gate speed to lead before Zinny Mach took over. With 1300 metres to run Hope moved Mossdale Art out from three back on the inside to take up the parked positon for 200 metres before taking her to the front. In the last 50 metres she held out Zinny Mach which came up the inside to get within a neck of the winner with another half a neck back to a late charging Just Wondering for third. Mossdale Art (1) hanging on to beat Zinny Mach (2)                  - Photo Bruce Stewart. “I had the second and third horse well covered. I let her cruise to the line herself. As soon as Zinny Mac snuck up I had to nurse her across the line again. She had them well covered but just pulled up because of her inexperience.” Mossdale Art is owned by Mossburn breeder Archie Affleck and Hope thinks she can perform at a higher level. “It’s hard to know how far she’ll go but I’d say she’ll be able to keep up with most of the fillies.”  Affleck was one of Greg and Nina Hopes first clients. They have been training horses for the Mossburn based breeder for fifteen years with the first ‘Mossdale’ winner (Mossdale Cam) winning at Marlborough in January 2003. Winning connections       - photo Bruce Stewart Today’s win was the 31st ‘Mossdale’ the Hopes have trained for Affleck. The combination’s biggest winner so far has been Mossdale Conner which won thirteen races including the 2015 Taylor Mile. “It’s really great to get another win for Archie. He’s been with Mum and Dad for ages. He couldn’t make it last time when she won over a mile so it was great to have him here today.”   Bruce Stewart

Rangiora trainer Mitchell Kerr won back to back races at the Wairio Trotting Club Meeting at Winton's Central Southland Raceway today. Zinny Mach made it two wins from two starts in six days when he impressively won the Net Ten EOM at Macca Lodge Mobile Pace. Driver Nathan Williamson got a nice run through from the second row and ended up three back on the inside. When Ideal Draw moved out of the one one and progressed forward, Williamson followed him round and with 1700 metres to run he was in front. The winning margin was one and a quarter lengths from I’m Trouble with third taken by Governor’s Bay. “He’s a lovely wee horse. Good gate speed and he loves rolling in front. He's had two good wins (in Southland). Hopefully he can make it three next week,” said driver Nathan Williamson in referring to the $12,000 Nuggets Final at the Winton meeting Monday week.  “He’s got the Nuggets on the 31st and he’ll be coming home after that.” Today’s winning time was 2-57.0. Zinny Mach stretching out at the finish                     - Photo Bruce Stewart. Zinny Mach is out of the Christian Cullen mare Zingara who's part of the famed Black Watch family. He was bought for $50,000 by part owner Ray Fleetwood at the 2017 Australasian Classic Yearling Sales in Auckland. In the following race it was a very similar scenario for the Kerr Wairio Cup runner Smokin By. After beginning well, Williamson had the four year old; four back on the inside before moving him forward with a lap to run. At the 600 metres he was travelling well when second favourite Nearis Green which had led and then trailed, started to fall away from Smokin By’s back. At the foot of the lane Smokin By was off and gone and commentator Dave McDonald aptly called it ‘a demolition job.’ The winning margin was six and a half-lengths and Williamson didn’t have to pull the ear plugs. Stablemates Shezacullengirl and Mach’s Back filled the minor places. “He’s going to be a really good horse one day. He’s got a massive motor,” Williamson said after the run. Trainer Mitchell Kerr also thinks the four year old has a future but that he’s still on a learning curve. “He’s got all the ability in the world. He’s just needs things to go his way. When he winds up he’s got amazing speed.”  The Cup had two false starts before it finally got underway and Williamson said Smokin By got better with each one. “That was really good. I was really pleased. It opens more races up for us now. That was probably the biggest take out of the day,” said Kerr. He says Smokin By will have a break now and come back and race through March and April. “I’d love to sneak him in to some of those nicer races later on.” Mitchell’s father Paul bought Smokin By for $30,000 at the 2016 New Zealand Premier Sales in Christchurch. He has a host of great winners in his immediate pedigree including Venus Serena, Gail Devers and Rona Lorraine. Smokin By winning the Wairio Cup Bruce Stewart

Below is a full run down of Club News over the holiday season. Be sure to check out what is happening new you and get your friends and family together and support a local meeting!    Southern Harness Regional News The Southern Harness holiday racing season kicks off in earnest with the Wairio Trotting Club meeting, featuring the Otautau 4 Square Supermarket Wairio Cup, at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Saturday 22 December. This is always a popular day with free tent sites available for groups and businesses. The kids are well catered for too with $2 mini jeep rides while Santa will pay a visit to the course to hold a lolly scramble. The first race is timed for 12noon and admission is free.   Great prizes to be won at Gore Gore is the place to be on 27 December where the Gore Harness Racing Club is holding a $10,000 Pick 10 winners competition that is sure to create a lot of interest. There is also a $1000 prize for the person who can pick the most continuous winners on the day - check out the Gore Harness Racing Club facebook page for details. There are plenty of free activities for the kids while on track the highlights are the MLT Gore Cup and a new open 3yo race with a new sponsor, ‘The Cardrona Distillery’ who are sponsoring alongside loyal sponsor the Mataura Licensing Trust – the trophy a case of alcohol from Cardrona Distillery.          The first race is at 2.28pm and admission is free. Relax on New Year’s Eve at Winton If you are looking for a nice, quiet relaxing, New Year’s Eve, look no further than Central Southland Raceway in Winton. The first race is scheduled for 1.48pm and the highlight will be the Fast Track Insurance Southern Belle Speed Series Heat. Bring the picnic, kick back and relax. Another great day in store at Omakau Trots The Central Otago Trotting Club always turn on a great day of entertainment and innovation and this year will be no exception when the Omakau Trots take place at the Omakau Racecourse on Wednesday, January 2. The Omakau Trots are an iconic event, one that provides a wonderful family atmosphere with top-class harness racing, heaps of free entertainment for the children, and plenty of activity, competitions and prizes for all ages. Prizes up for grabs this year include tickets to January's Gibbston Valley Winery concert and a 2019 season pass to Highlanders home games. The feature race will again be the McLaren Transport/RD Petroleum Central Otago Trotting Cup supported by a programme that will see superb harness racing action. Every year the club comes up with new innovations and this year it is the Witches Of West View 2 Syndicate Competition which will give two people the opportunity to own a share of their own racehorse for a year at no cost. Courtesy of Nigel Armstrong and the Central Otago Trotting Club details are available on the club's facebook page - "Omakau Trots 2019". The competition is open to ladies only and you must be on course on 2 January to participate. Entries close on the facebook page on 30 December so be quick. Another facebook based competition prior to the event is the Own The Moment Syndicate prize which will give someone the opportunity to receive owners privileges and the opportunity to own a share of a horse on race day courtesy of Kirk and Michelle Larsen. Entries for this competition will close on 24 December and the prize will provide a great experience for a racegoer. Fashion On The Field for the ladies (18 and over) will be one of the major highlights again this year, and with support from the Otago Daily Times, Jamie's Jewellers of Alexandra, Orbit House Of Travel, Dunedin and Henry's Wine, Beer & Spirits there are some great prizes on the line, first prize alone valued at over $1000. Entries are taken early in the day, so don’t be late! The Omakau Trots are a drawcard for families because of the fantastic array of free children’s entertainment. The biggest ever bouncy castle to come to the Omakau Racecourse, aqua bubble, mini-jeeps, pony rides, an obstacle course, kids tote, a massive lolly scramble and a scavenger hunt with fantastic prizes up for grabs and more are all part of a massive day. The family sulky derby has become a popular feature of the event and a Punters Club, lucky punter competitions and losing ticket draws for rides on the mobile barrier are popular features for the adults as is the big screen which allows you to follow the action closely. For more than 50 years holiday-makers have gathered at the Omakau Racecourse to enjoy quality family time under the trees with their picnics and often to catch up with friends from past race days. There is also a selection of local community groups offering a wide range of food and beverages, from espresso coffee to whitebait, plus a licensed booth on course. Gates open at 10.30am, and the first race is scheduled to start around 12.20pm. Admission is just $10 for adults, while under-18s are free. Great day out in Roxburgh Another hugely popular race meeting on the calendar of holiday makers takes place two days after Omakau when the Roxburgh Trotting Club hold their annual meeting at the Roxburgh Racecourse on 4 January. The Peters Genetics Roxburgh Cup headlines an action packed race programme on the track while in keeping with summertime harness racing in Central Otago there is a day of entertainment and fun for all ages which will guarantee a great day out for everyone. Gates open at 11am, and the first race is scheduled for 1.03pm.    Fashion in the Field is always a highlight, and once again a tremendous prize pool has been assembled – more details will appear on the Southern Harness Racing facebook page as the day approaches. A punters club will operate on the day, while the Jimmy’s Pies Lucky Punter Competition will give a punter $50 to spend on each race, and a lucky-losing-ticket draw will result in someone on course winning a mobile phone. There is a huge amount of entertainment for the kids including the bungy tramp, Mini Jeeps, Aqua Bubble, jousting, a bouncy castle, and Astro Ball. There will be a variety of food and beverages available around the course, in what has become a wonderful picnic day full of great racing and entertainment. Admission is $10 for adults, and under-18s are free. INTERISLANDER SUMMER FESTIVAL CROMWELL TROTS The final meeting of the Central Otago harness racing circuit takes place at Cromwell Racecourse on Sunday 6 January. The Interislander Summer Festival Cromwell Trots continues to grow in popularity and features grass track racing at its best with the feature event the Havtime Breeding/M&S Little Cromwell Cup. The first race is scheduled for 12noon and admission is $10 with under 18’s free. In addition to the exciting race programme there will be a tremendous entertainment programme with something for everyone. Fashion In The Field features categories for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Man, Best Dressed Couple, Best Dressed Boy, Best Dressed Girl, Best Dressed Under 7 and the Best Hat/Fascinator. For the boys there is the Abs For The Lads Competition while judges will be on the lookout for the Best Car Park Picnic. The More FM Kids Go Racing Area features plenty of great activity for the Under 12’s while there are also free mini jeep rides and a kids running race. Losing tote tickets can win you a ride on the mobile. A Punters Club will operate and there will be plenty of food and beverage on course. TWILIGHT RACING WITH THE NORTHERN SOUTHLAND TROTTING CLUB Summer twilight racing at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill with the Northern Southland Trotting Club is the go on Thursday 10 January with the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup the feature event along with several other quality harness races. A losing ticket draw after Race 6 will see one lucky punter win a $250 betting voucher with an opportunity for that winner to go on and win a $1000 betting voucher at the club’s final meeting later in the season. Owners are welcome in the Alabar Owners Room and one owner will go in the club’s season long competition with three great prizes up for grabs. Admission is free and the first race is timed for 3.00pm.    Cambridge Raceway - Club to mark Centenary in style A great night of summer racing with plenty of atmosphere promises to entertain racegoers attending Cambridge Raceway’s January 11 meeting next year, which will mark the centenary of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Harness Incorporated racing club. Established in 1919, the club has become an integral part of the Cambridge community. Not only has it become the epicenter for racing in the region, its facilities have also been widely utilised, including as a training camp for the New Zealand military during World War II. To mark the milestone, the club plans to celebrate in style with the night taking on a 1920’s Great Gatsby and Peaky Blinders theme and racegoers are encouraged to dress-up accordingly. “We want to make a really big night of the centenary meeting,” Cambridge Raceway chief executive Dave Branch said. “It’s all going to be dress-up, the whole place will be decked out in a 1920’s theme. “We want to create a great atmosphere and pack the grass verge out along the front of the grandstand with hospitality, the Skyline Lounge will also be open, the Alf Walsh Lounge will take on a speakeasy vibe for the night and we will also have our Colts and Fillies Club to entertain the children. “We’re not only celebrating racing at Cambridge but also the past 100 years of the Cambridge township and we’re involving the Cambridge Community in the promotions and the race night. “There will be a 1920s themed window dressing competition in the lead up to the event.” The night will also offer a great card of racing, including the Gr.2 Waikato Flying Mile (1609m) and the Gr.3 Cambridge Trotters Flying Stakes (1700m), which have been specifically moved to mark the celebration. “Traditionally they have been on that earlier January meeting, but this will space it out a bit more from the Auckland (new year’s eve) meeting, so hopefully we will get a few of the better horses from the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m),” Branch said. The Waikato Flying Mile has been a key race for the club, with its inaugural running in 1966, and plenty of quality graduates have gone on to perform at elite level. “It’s always a race that has brought the crowds,” Branch said. “I remember Christian Cullen when he won the race, and going through the past winners it’s a pretty impressive roll of honour.” Other notable winners include champion pacers Young Quinn, Luxury Liner and Christopher Vance, while recent winners include race record holder Adore Me (1.51.6) and current world-beater Lazarus. Branch said there has been many highlights for the club in its 100 years, including the running of the Harness Jewels every second year since its inception, but the construction of the grandstand in the 1970s has been the club’s biggest achievement. “The Jewels has definitely been a highlight, but building the grandstand has been the biggest highlight for the club,” Branch said. “The Jewels this year has been the biggest highlight for myself as chief executive of the club and also retaining it for 2020. There has been a lot of learning from this year’s event, so we’re excited to see what we can offer in 2020. “We have got a fairly new team at the raceway and everybody is keen and wanting to move the place forward, which is fantastic.” The gates to Cambridge Raceway will open at 5pm on January 11, with racegoers encouraged to dress-up for the 1920’s theme. For more information visit this page – Cambridge Raceway   Ashburton Trotting Club Sunday 23rd December Meeting The Ashburton Trotting Club are running a meeting on Sunday 23rd December. This meeting will be run to raise funds for the Ashburton Branch of the NZ Cancer Society. The local Pakeke Lions club will on hand to collect a gold coin donation as an entry fee, as well as running a BBQ lunch also with a gold coin donation. All funds raised from this will go to the Ashburton Branch of the NZ Cancer Society. The meeting will also be run as a family fun day with children’s running races and activities, with Santa Claus making an appearance throughout the day. It will be a relaxed picnic atmosphere with light entertainment and music for families and groups to enjoy. Owners on the day will be able to collect an owners ribbon from the secretary’s office which will entitle them for a 20% discount on refreshments around the course.   Westport Trotting Club – 26, 28 December The Westport Trotting Club is looking forward to their two day summer meeting on the 26th and 27th of December. Early indications are that Boxing Day will be a popular event with the marquees sold out and patrons coming from far and wide to support the Club. After the flood surge in February the Tearooms and Grandstand Bar have both been extensively renovated and completed in time for this meeting. The latest edition of the Westport Trotting Club caps are proving popular and it has been noted that a few have made their way to the East Coast and have been featuring prominently around the Canterbury grass track circuit. Caps will be on sale both days at Westport for the giveaway price of $10. The Club was slightly disappointed last year with the number of horses in the feature race the Westport Cup. While the quality was there the club had hoped for a full field given the stake money available and the prestige attached to the Cup. In an effort to encourage greater participation the Club has joined with Fasttrack insurance in providing a $5000 “prize” which will be drawn after the Cup Race with all runners, barring the winner, going in to the draw. In essence any horse finishing second to last could win the $5000. As usual there will be plenty of on course entertainment as part of the Interislander Summer Festival. Included in this package will be the Fashion in the Fields Competition which grows in popularity from year to year. As for the weather well it has been a hot summer so far with enough moisture to keep the grass green and the track in great order. The forecast for Boxing Day is for a morning shower, sun and some cloud with a high of 20 degrees. Sounds like just another day in Paradise.   Banks Peninsula – 29 December Join us for our fantastic Race Day Event at The Trots At Mot on Saturday 29th December. We will have 10 amazing grass track harness races, at the Motukarara Raceway, kicking off from 12noon to 5pm. A day at Interislander Summer Festival Motukarara Trots is a popular way to enjoy the break between Christmas and New Year. It's one of the biggest racedays on the calendar for the South Island - attracting a crowd of thousands. Make sure you're there to join the celebrations! There will be a host of free children’s entertainment including pony rides, bouncy castle, face painting and the big bouncy bungee! We will also have an array of food trucks to feed the crowds. Secure your trackside spot and invite your friends, Whānau, colleagues, fellow social clubbers or sports club members to celebrate the holidays at The Trots At Mot! We have the following options available: Exclusive Mot Hill Sites: We have a limited number of Exclusive Mot Hill Sites, slap bang in the middle of the action, right next to the bird cage and members stand. From your elevated vantage point, you will have clear views of the track, bird cage and stables giving you a 360 view of all the grass track harness race action!   Reefton Trotting Club – 30 December A New Promotion this year for our forth coming "Interislander Summer Festival of Racing" Race day on 30th December 2018. For the dedicated and hardworking persons behind the scenes, presenting their horses professionally with sometimes not a lot of recognition, the Reefton Trotting Club are excited to announce a new competition for this section of the industry to look forward to at our meeting. Format as follows:  The previous format of a "Best Presented Horse" and the associated prize in each race remains as per normal. The connections of the winning "Best Presented Horse' in each race are then obilged to nominate their horse's "Strapper" to the secretary’s office immediately following their success. Whilst the runners for Race 10 are completing their preliminaries, the days results will be collated and the "Supreme Strapper' for 2018 will be announced. In the birdcage immediately following Race 10 the winner or winners representative will be presented with the Reefton Trotting Club's "Strappers Cup" for 2018 and a $100 voucher. Reefton Trotting Club's "Interislander Summer Festival of Racing" continues this year and one of the "Off" track features is the extremely popular "Glamour in the Goldfields" best dressed competition.  This event over recent years has developed from a minor side attraction to a integral and vital part of our race day. Embracing all ages from children, to the elegant lady, to the fine gentleman, this event appeals to the general public who each year continue to greet the contestants presentation with great enthusiasm. "Kids Go Racing" ensure that the children are well entertained and this year the Reefton Trotting Club have commissioned the services of a top Christchurch band for between race ambience and relaxation Good Coffee, Good Food, Great Mr Whppy ice creams and best of all Great Racing make the Reefton Racecourse the place to be on Sunday 30th December.   Central Otago Trotting Club News - 2 January The Central Otago Trotting Club is proud to announce two exciting competitions which will soon be live on their facebook page! Witches of Westview competition  Be in to win a share in a syndicate of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ courtesy of Nigel Armstrong & Central Otago Trotting Club. This is your opportunity to ‘own’ a share in your own racehorse from 2nd January 2019 through to ………………… You will not have to contribute any money at any stage to pay for the syndicate. This is an opportunity to be involved in racing up to 6 horses throughout New Zealand. At the end of it you may even receive a pay-out – if the horses do well enough, though we can’t guarantee that. This is a fantastic no risk opportunity for you to experience the thrill of racing as an owner. To enter you all you need to do is type Witches in the comments, tag a friend and share the Facebook page. On race day entries will be drawn against a horse (in a yet to be specified race) in a sweepstake manner. The winning and 2ndplace getting horses in that race will receive a share each. In the event of a dead heat for 2nd, the club will try to get an additional share, otherwise it would be decided by coin toss. Entries close 30 Dec 2018 Terms & Conditions of ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ Open only to females Be 18yrs or over to enter Only one entry per person Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’ Must be on course at Omakau Racecourse, 2 January 2019 to pick up prize or will it will be redrawn. Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions. To have photo ID on the day All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday. COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter. For full terms and conditions see ‘Witches of West View 2 Syndicate’ rules. ‘Own the Moment Syndicate’ compliments of Kirk & Michelle Larsen This competition will give you a phantom share of a racehorse at Omakau on 2nd January 2019. The winner will receive complimentary admission and carpark tickets for 4 people. At the course once you have identified yourself at the secretary’s office you will receive 4 complimentary race books, you will be treated like an owner throughout the day. A COTC committee member will take you to meet the trainer and horse. You will be invited to watch the race from the owners & trainers stand. If the horse is a winner, then you will have the opportunity to have your photo taken with it. The club will put $50 each way on the horse for you – if you win the dividend is yours. After the race you will receive an invite to the president’s bar. To enter all you have to do is type Own the Moment in the comments, tag a mate and share the facebook page. Entries close on 24 Dec 12 noon If you are excited about owning a share in a syndicate, follow the link Terms & Conditions of ‘Own the Moment Syndicate’ Be 18yrs or over to enter Only one entry per person Enter on Facebook page ‘Omakau Trots 2019’ Will be drawn on 24 Dec 2018 Must be on course on the day to collect prize – 2ndJan Photos & names may be used by the COTC or syndicate for future promotions. To have photo ID on the day All bona fide entries will go into a draw to be drawn on raceday. COTC committee members & partners are ineligible to enter. For all full terms and conditions see the Facebook Page.    Rangiora - 3 January Join the action. Twilight race meeting. Free  On Course Entry Family focused Harness Racing  Top Quality Racing plus Family Entertainment for everyone including Bouncy castle, Drive World Self Drive Jeeps , Face Painting, Air Brush Tattoos , plus more.   Nelson Harness Racing Club, Friday Jan 11 & Sunday Jan 13 Richmond Park The Nelson Harness Club extends an invitation to all owners and trainers to race in sunny Nelson for their two-day summer race meeting. Come and join us for great hospitality, weather and racing and entertainment Great stakes are on offer with the club increasing their purses from last summer.  The Nelson Pine Industries Summer Cup has a stake of $14000 and it Prelude has a stake of $10000.  All other races are for purses of $8000 to $9000, with maiden winners collecting a bonus $1500. FOOD & BEVERAGES Hot food and drink will be available in the Drivers Room for all trainers, drivers and their staff.  A coffee cart will be outside the numbers room in the stabling area.  Food and drink will also be available to purchase at the food and drink stalls. BBQ & BREAKFASTS The club would like to invite all trainers, drivers, staff and owners to attend a BBQ on Thursday 10th January from 5 -7 pm.  The club are putting this on in recognition of your continued support of our race meeting.  There will be raffles available so bring a few coins. Breakfast will be again available from 7am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at the OTB rooms. All winning connections are invited to celebrate their success in the Presidents room after photos in the birdcage.  Race Images will be on course and will have a range of options for winning connections to purchase! Kidz Kartz will be in action both days of the meeting, back where it all started in 2007, with Nelson holding the very first Kidz Kartz races in the South Island. The Dunstan Double – Dunstan Horse Feeds continue their growing association within the harness racing industry by offering five bags of feed to each and every horse that completes a double at the meeting. So any horse that wins both days at Richmond Park will take home five bags of feed for their trainer. A reminder that as this is an Inter-Island Summer Festival meeting there will be a charge at the gate so do bring with you an email/text you will receive when fields are finalised, which will give you free entry onto the course. Programmes are available on the HRNZ website contact Jason Broad for all nominations and stabling requirements. PH: 021 127 2912 The Nelson Harness Racing Club would like to thank all their sponsors the trainers, drivers and owners who support them in bringing Harness Racing to the Top of the South!   Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.   The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.   The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019. Chris Craddock Vice President Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc. 027 410 2420         HRNZ Marketing

From a breeding perspective it couldn’t have been a better result for Malcolm, Sarndra and Murray Little. Their harness racing mare Shezacullengirl overcame a second row draw to win the thirty seventh running of the Equine Stakes sponsored this year again by AON Insurance. “Murray and Malcolm put a lot into the industry and are really big supporters of our stable. We use Murray’s beach property to train the horses. It’s great to get a good win for good owners like that,” said Kirstin Barclay who co-trains the Christian Cullen mare with Tank Ellis. In today’s mares feature she started from gate two on the second row. The early pace from the start was hot so that opened up some gaps and driver Brent Barclay was able to get a nice run through. But when Sadhana went to the lead Shezacullengirl was left parked. However cover arrived when Bridesdale Robyn improved to take the parked spot. Bridesdale Robyn hit the front early in the run home but Shezacullengirl was coming with a sustained run down the middle of the track and had to be driven hard to beat a late run along the passing lane from outsider Dachy. “He (Brent Barclay) said she was angry in the prelim but during the race she just drove perfect.” The winning margin was a head. Shezacullengirl (10) beating Dachy on the inside. Owners Sarndra (pink top) and Malcolm Little (black with blue stripes) can be seen to the left of the widest runner Bettor Enforce (6) - Photo Bruce Stewart. “Last start she hung in at the start and the trailing horse smoked her wheel so that came off the rim. She only went 100 metres and had to be pulled up. She did feel really good last week and we were expecting her to go good with a bit of luck.” It was the five year olds sixth win from twenty seven starts. Today’s time for the mile was 1-55.0. “Tank and I will have to look at a programme for her. I don’t think she’s eligible for the Southern Belle. A broodmare career is beckoning sooner rather than later I would imagine now that she’s got her mile time.”     Bruce Stewart

Invercargill harness racing trainer Murray Brown is proud of the performance of Southland three year old Mighty Flying Art in the Group One Sires Stakes Finals at Addington a week ago. Although originally on the ballot for the $166,660 feature he managed to get back in the field because of a scratching.  “Those front three got away. He had the third fastest last half and last quarter. How many horses go 1-52 (mile rate) at their sixth start,” said Brown. Ultimate Sniper’s winning time for the 1980 metres was 2-19.0 a new New Zealand record. Brown says his phone’s been running hot but the horse is not on the market. “Yeah they’re going mad. Brent (owner Brent Ballantyne) bought him to race him. He said “what I am going to do next Friday if he’s sold.” And Brown predicts the best is ahead for Mighty Flying Art. “He’s never really had a hard run because of his draws. Up here he just followed them round. Brent Barclay (driver) has been looking after him. After his run (Sires Stakes Final) we took him home and he licked his bowl clean.” He says his next target is the $20,000 Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting on Saturday 9thMarch. The colt was bought by Brown for $50,000 at the Sale of the Stars. He had two starts at two, running fourth behind Another Masterpiece on debut before finishing sixth in last season’s Kindergarten Stakes behind War Dan Delight. He won his first start as a three year old at Winton in late September before running a close second behind Memphis Tennessee a month later. His next start was at Addington in the last Sires Stakes Heat in which he locked wheels in the straight and finished an unlucky seventh. Ballantyne also owns Mighty Flying Art’s half-brother Mightyflying Macatak which he bought for $55,000 at the sales. He’s by Mach Three and is a two year old. “We went back and bought his half-brother. He bowls round alright but we won’t know how good he is until after Christmas. With the Mach Three’s you just have to be a bit careful because you can fire them up a bit.”   Meanwhile other “Super” finals will be held for the Ladyship Fillies and Mares series at the Invercargill meeting on the 6th April and the Gold Chip for trotters at the Winton meeting on 13th April. All finals are worth $20,000.   Bruce Stewart

Winton trainer Lauren Pearson will get an idea on Friday after the Winton Workouts as to where four of her tighter assessed pacers will be headed. Duke Of Wellington, Governor’s Bay, Thisismylastflight and Zealand Star will start the serious part of their season during the next fortnight. Pearson will then map out where they'll race subsequently. Duke Of Wellington was Southland’s Horse of the Year last season winning five of his ten starts including his last four in a row. The season finished for the American Ideal gelding at Invercargill on Diamonds Day when he won the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes after which he was spelled. “We’ll give him a couple of workouts to see how he’s coming up. We haven’t made any plans for him and Merv (owner Merv Batterworth) doesn’t know what he’s doing with him yet. He feels well in himself and I reckon he’s got taller. I used to be able to reach over and put the cart on. Now I can’t,” said Pearson. Once the four year old's had a couple of workout runs Pearson will get serious about where Duke Of Wellington will start his four year old season. “We’ve had a rough look (at the programmes) and maybe the second day at Wyndham, but he’ll be off a handicap. We had a look at the Junior Free For All but that was too tough first up.” Governor’s Bay, a recent addition to the stable is also progressing nicely in the new campaign. He was owned by Peter and Anne Bagrie and former Southlanders George Bennett and Paula Holmes before he was purchased out of Tom Bagrie’s stable in March by Butterworth. He had one start at Winton for Brett Gray’s stable in April running seventh before heading out for a spell. His current rating is R54. Another Butterworth owned pacer now with Pearson, Zealand Star, won three races last season including a Nuggets Final at Winton in February. “They’re on the same path as Duke Of Wellington. We’ll see how they come through their workouts and try and find a race for them if they’re still here. Governor’s Bay is a 54 (rating horse) so he’ll be easy to place. Zealand Star is a 66 so he’ll be a little bit harder (to place).” Pearson is now also training Thisismylastflight, the winner of four races. He was previously trained at Steven McRae’s Canterbury stable.   Bruce Stewart  

Ellie Barron reckons it's taken a while for Mach Three mare Queen Of The Nite to click onto the racing game. But she feels that by driving her back in the field the well bred mare is gaining more confidence and racing a lot better. "The biggest thing for her is just confidence. Dad tried driving her a couple of times in front and she was galloping and all sorts. It's about putting her to sleep in the race and running her home really," Barron said. From gate five Barron eased Queen Of The Nite back, settling third last. With 750 metres to run she got onto the back of an improving Poldark and progressed forward. She was pushed four wide at the 600 when Jamies Bad Boy pushed out. From there she ran home resolutely down the centre of the track to beat Flogging Molly by half a head.  "She was travelling sweet. She's a lovely horse to drive. I probably would have won a bit easier but she got pushed four wide so she's actually gone very well. I felt I was comfortable 100 (metres) out, then I could just see the ears of Nathan's horse (Flogging Molly) and it was quite close at the finish."  Queen Of The Nite was initially trained by Ken and Tony Barron in Canterbury and was sent south for better opportunities last season. Ellie's mother Jackie took over the ownership in July this year and Queen Of The Nite's form this season has been very solid. "I think she'll be competitive in the next grade as she doesn't mind a bit of distance. The harder they go the happier she is."   Her pedigree is stacked full of winners. Her dam Sirius Flight by Big Dog won all of her five starts in America while her mother, Vance Hanover mare Pacific Flight won a total of forty seven races. Thirty eight of those were in America winning a total of $562,345. Sirius Flight, which is owned by Cavalla Bloodstock has also left Timeless Perfection, the winner of seven and Malak Uswaad which won nine races.    Bruce Stewart

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