Day At The Track

NZ premiership race update - Training ranks

10:20 AM 03 May 2021 NZST
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Here we provide a start of May update into the current NZ training premiership. A race that looks to be run and won already?


The Robert Dunn stable continues in its stride towards another premiership. The stable, who enjoys a strong National harness racing presence given their two-base system, recently brought up 100 training wins for the season and has enjoyed some fine results in feature events over the last fortnight in particular.

Notable recent wins coming via a Sundees Son Anzac Cup / Rowe Cup double and the win of Highgrove in the 2YO Trotting Stakes when victorious over the Hayden Cullen trained Ellaria Sands.  Their current earnings sit at $1.78 million for the season so far and with Harness Jewels and some notable feature dates to come you’d expect the team to fly past their historic earnings high of just under 1.8million set in 2019. It’s most probably a case of putting the whip away and cantering down to the line for the premiership win here.  


Michael House continues to hold down second place in the premiership so far although that position looks to be under siege from the fast closing Stephen and Amanda Telfer barn. It’s worth noting that there’s depth in strength when it comes to the Telfer performance given that their last nine winners have come from eight individual performers rather than having leading lights gathering multiple wins. Dance Time, Super Bass and Down The Hatch just a few of the nice types that have been adding to their win column lately.


Arna Donnelly continues to find winners and finds herself second from the Northern based training stables. The recent Cambridge win of Oroua was most impressive and certainly raised a few questions about just how far the horse could go in time. The Sweet Lou gelding bringing up his second win in just five race day appearances. New York Minute and The Banker are other Donnelly trained runners who have been saluting at regular intervals lately.   


Nathan Williamson leads the Southern brigade with his winning tally being 40 wins so far this season. His forays into the Canterbury racing scene punctuated with very sound wins from both Andy Hall and Chinese Whisper at Addington recently while Bettastar scored a comfortable victory at Winton a fortnight ago. His number of victories added to in fine style over the last weekend at Invercargill with both Pembrook Playboy and Ragazzo Mach proving too strong for their respective rivals on “Diamonds Day”


And as for UDR figures?


The performance of one horse in particular has seen one stable stand out so far this season.

Five Wise Men and his eight superb victories mean an almost unbelievable UDR of .7273 for the Craig and Aimee Edmonds stable. He’s certainly stamped his mark on the 3YO trotting ranks this year and could very well turn into something quite special over the coming seasons given his strong pedigree and tremendous ability. 


Other stables that should be mentioned in the UDR conversation would be the Steven McRae barn who has 13 wins from just the 40 race day starts for a UDR of .413 and the Hayden Cullen stable who, having some known performers continue their winning ways of late, sit at a healthy .404… and how about the performance of the Murray Alfeld trained Aldebaran Floss, the daughter of Muscle Mass has enjoy 3 wins and 4 minor placings from just the 10 race day starts helping maintain a UDR of .5000 for the hobby trainer.      



In the coming weeks we’ll provide updates into both divisions of the driving premierships, those being open drivers and the junior ranks


Ben McMillan  

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