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Exciting two-year old trotter Highgrove confirmed his number one tag for the upcoming harness racing jewels by easily winning tonights NZB Standardbred Harness Million Listed 2yo Trot at Addington raceway. Trained by Robert Dunn, the Love You gelding speared straight to the lead in the $75,000 event and was never in danger of defeat finally winning by three lengths untouched in the hands of driver John Dunn.  Wy Fi ran home well for second and Rakero Blaze held down third. The winning mile rate for Highgrove (Love You - Focus on Me)  was 2-01.8 with a final 800m in 58.5 seconds. Later on the card another big trot on the night was taken out by the Greg and Nina Hope trained Midnight Dash who won the $40,000 Listed Lone Star Aged Trotters Classic. The win came courtesy of a great Ben Hope drive when Midnight Dash (Muscle Hill - Lady Midnight) looped the field midrace to lead and then managed to hold off the opposition to win by three quarters of a length, beating Oscar Bonavena who ran a brave second and Chinese Whisper who battled home well for third. View the full results from Addington tonight click here!   Harnesslink Media

A private track work session with up to 20 big names involved has got Natalie Rasmussen suggesting a few horses to watch at Addington tonight. With partner Mark Purdon suspended Rasmussen takes the reins behind some of the best winning chances at Addington’s mega meeting tonight for trainer Hayden Cullen, who has been excelling since taking over the former All Stars barn in January. Rasmussen and Purdon have been involved as stable workers a few days a week lately and that included heading to Addington on Wednesday after poor weather in Canterbury left the training tracks at home soaked. While Bettor Twist will be Cullen’s best winning chance tonight with Rasmussen in the sulky, she said a few others impressed her enough to suggest they can win on Friday. “I tell you a horse who worked well and he actually worked with Bettor Twist was Oscar Bonavena,” says Rasmussen. “He strode out really well in the straight on Wednesday and I think in the small field this week he can be driven cold and sprint well. So I think he might go better this week.” Shan Noble is another who Rasmussen worked on Wednesday and expects to be hard to beat on Friday night as he resumes against stablemate Pace N Pride. “They are both going well but the draw suggests Shan Noble is Hayden’s best chance of that pair,” she offers. Rasmussen will have an interesting catch drive tonight in the Brent Mangos-trained South Coast Arden who was heavily backed yesterday from $4.40 opening quote into $2.30 last night and he threatens to wrest favouritism off the Cullen-trained Chase Auckland. “It is going to be really hard for Chase Auckland fresh up even though he is the best horse in the race,” says Rasmussen. “We have a lot of experience of horses coming back after long breaks and it is hard for them to win in their first few starts back. “Whereas the horse I am driving (South Coast Arden) has been staying at the stables and since I am driving him on Friday for Brent I drove him on Wednesday. “He is a really nice horse and I think he will be hard to beat.” But it is the $200,000 Harness Million for the two-year-old male pacers in which Rasmussen admits she doesn’t really know what to expect even though she knows many of the key contenders well. Rasmussen drives Franco Mac, who has the advantage of the ace draw and could end up following either stablemate Akuta or even northerner Montana D J. “It is so hard to work out this early in the season but I think maybe Akuta and Cosmic Major are the best of the two-year-olds right at the moment,” says Rasmussen. “But a horse like mine (Franco Mac) or Bollinger following him could surprise on the markers getting the soft run.”   by Michael Guerin

View the Addington harness racing fields click here! He may be one of New Zealand’s astute harness trainers but Tony Barron knows there is something missing from his CV and he hopes Lifes A Beach may be the horse to fill that gap. The exciting filly looks to make the most of a front line draw in tonight’s $120,000 Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington in which she comes up against Bettor Twist. The latter will start a hot favourite and was too good for Lifes A Beach when they last met here last month but tonight Barron’s filly could have the advantage and she has actually beaten the favourite before. Lifes A Beach is drawn to start from barrier five tonight, while Bettor Twist and fellow favoured fillies The Honey Queen and La Rosa all start on the second line. “I think that is a huge help to us,” says Barron. “My filly hasn’t had the opportunity to show much gate speed in the past because she hasn’t had the right draws but she has to go forward tonight to at least stay in front of those good fillies. “She will have the gate speed when needed because she used to fly the gate at the trials but we actually had to work on her to come back to us and relax more. “So she will go forward and maybe Bettor Twist will be good enough to come and beat us but we have to make a race of it.” Lifes A Beach was luckless when second to another race rival tonight in Bettor Talk Art when that filly won the Southland Oaks last start and she could also be a value play for place punters at least tonight as she also has a good draw. Even if Lifes A Beach can’t win tonight Barron knows he has the Oaks next week and then the Jewels so three cracks in a month at Group One glory. “I have never trained a group one winner and obviously I’d love to so she at least gives us a chance.” The biggest hurdle for Lifes A Beach over the coming weeks may be that while she has improved lately so too seems to have Bettor Twist. Already the best pacing filly in the country Bettor Twist seems to be hitting the line even harder in recent starts and may be on the verge of becoming a pacing superstar. Add in Bettor Talk Art, The Honey Queen, Off N Gone, Darling Me, La Rosa and the emerging Allamericanlover and it looks a wonderful crop to contest those three Group Ones over the next four weeks.   by Michael Guerin

Premier harness racing returns to Addington on Friday night as the track hosts a number of feature races.   Here we look into the even fields and high-class battles that’ll keep fans interested.     The first of the feature events on the card comes around at 7.09pm. The NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Mobile Trot sees the flying Highgrove look to extend his dominance over his peers and he’d only need to produce another run as good as his recent Ashburton victory to do so. As with younger stock race manners will define fortunes here so it’ll be fingers and hooves crossed  for the connections of most of these juveniles. The draws have brought out some interesting potential scenarios too with Toro Stride and One Tree Hill having the opportunity to press forward from inside barriers while the Jason and Megan Teaz trained visitor in Emma Joy faces a frosty welcome to Addington given her #7 alley. All things considered the Dunn trained speed merchant does look the one here.       Race 8, due to be run at 8.10pm, sees the running of the Lone Star Sires Stakes Aged Trotters Classic at Listed level.  It’s a small field but while it might lack for numbers it doesn’t lack for quality. The progressive Majestic Lavros has looked very good at recent workouts and trials while the Hope trained Midnight Dash always gives his best and has runs on the board recently with a very sound 4th in behind Muscle Mountain. Along with those chances they’ll be two whispers going around, one for the N Williamson trained flyer in Chinese Whisper, and the other one being the fact that the brilliant Oscar Bonavena may well be back to somewhere near his best. An intriguing race.     The aged trotting feature is quickly followed by the 9th of on the card, the Nevele R Fillies Series Final at Group 1 level. The last running of the event saw Amazing Dream prove too good for a classy field with the overall time a strong 2.20.3 over the 1980m mobile trip. The Purdon / Rasmussen partnership has enjoyed a strong presence in the recent history of the race with Elle Mac, Spanish Armada and Dream About Me all having their names etched into the trophy recently. Historic winners of the race include the great Armalight (1980) Tigerish (1992) and the Anthony Butt driven Under Cover Lover who captured the title in 1998. This edition of the race will see Bettor Twist having to overcome a second row draw to claim victory. That task looks a difficult one given the depth of this field with Bettor Talk Art, Lifes A Beach,Darling Me and Off N Gone all enjoying front line draws. Throw in the Brian and Gareth Hughes trained The Honey Queen and the Mark Jones trained La Rosa and you have a very strong field indeed. Possibly the most competitive field of the night.   The feature racing on the card concludes with the running of the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts and Geldings Mobile Pace which is due to be run and won at 9.40pm. The champion Krug won the last running of the event in November of last year, other notable names that would catch your eye on the trophy include superstars Changeover (2006) Stunin Cullen (2008) and Lazarus (2015) It’s an interesting field this time around made a little more interesting by barrier draws. At first look Akuta would seem favoured to strike the front and possibly keep it from his cosy #4 barrier (subject to emergencies coming out) Cosmic Major,on exposed form, looks hard to beat but will have to earn the silverware here from a second line draw. Other factors in the race could be the strong northern raider Montana D J (drawn #3)  and Franco Mac who’ll be able to take the shortest way around the Addington track from his #1 barrier.   It’s a very good race night on Friday at Addington. Let’s hope the weather is fine and the champions put their best performances onto the track for all to enjoy.     Ben Mcmillan

View the harness racing results from Addington click here. Michael House deflected praise after producing both Smokin Annie and Cha Cha B to win at Addington on Tuesday. Smokin Annie continued her brilliant form the man who arguably rates as New Zealand’s most enterprising trainer when scoring a front-running win for driver Sheree Wigg. Smokin Annie has won three times has never been further back than fifth since joining House’s stable. “It is not just my effort, it is the effort of my wonderful staff and some great drivers,” the trainer said. “I would say she was always a reasonable horse but when she came to me she had some issues with her feet, she had quarter-cracks.” “They have resolved themselves, I can’t take the credit there, my blacksmith gets the credit.” “And the drivers have driven her well.” “Sarah O’Reilly drove her well at Manawatu and whoever has jumped on her has driven her well.” “And Sheree drove her great today. Smokin Annie, raced on lease by House from Southland breeder Paul Hailes, is now likely to head back to her home province. “I am going to send her down south for the mares series that is coming up down there for the rating 50-59s.” House again poured praise on his driver when Cha Cha B took out race 3. Blair Orange made a mid-race move with the six-year-old and slotted him into a sweet trip in the one-one set up his victory. “It was a great drive, the trainer can’t take the credit there, the driver won that one.” House’s Addington double following on from his win at Rangiora on Sunday with Rake. The victory was the pacer’s sixth since joining House’s stable two years ago. “Rake is a good horse.” “When I first got him I put lengths on him and everyone that deals with him just loves him.” “I won too much with him and it took a long time for him to come back down (in rating) to where he could win again.” “He actually tries too hard, he is not a great horse for the ratings system because he runs a lot of fourths, fifths and sixths and doesn’t lose too many points.” “The other day was good and he could do it again if he found the right race.” “But then he would be in trouble.” House said a major factor in his three wins over the past four days was having each horse in what he called the ‘right race’. The trainer said the spread of horses across wide ratings bands in Canterbury was problematic for horses, especially rated in the lower 40s. “For example, there were nine races which a rating 40 horse could gone in last weekend,” House said. “And that displaces those horses and they become field fillers.” “There were a number of 40-48 bracket that don’t go anywhere and their starts to win ratio is very high.” House said with more streamlined programming and tighter rating bands in Canterbury the horse population would be served better. “I go back to what they told us when the rating system came in – race like with like.” House has also produced good results recently from his Southland stable recently with Johnny Mac and Changearound both saluting. House said the programming of races in Southland is not such an issue. “Southland is a little different to what we do here.” “We get them ready here and then send them down.” “They are there to race every week and if their form tails off or they get a bit tired they come back to Canterbury.” “Tyler Dewe is doing a great job down there for me.” House starts eight horses from his Invercargill barn at Winton on Saturday.   By Jonny Turner

Addington Raceway are moving form analysis in New Zealand into the future by becoming the first club to support in-depth punting data guide, The Ultimate Racebook. Utilising data available through the StrideMASTER system which individually times every horse who races at Addington, The Ultimate Racebook will provide punters with crucial information on which horses have the speed to be prominent at certain stages of races. It will also show “time equivalent” sectionals, breaking down how fast horses have actually run a certain sectional inafter taking into account how much extra ground they covered. “We are looking forward to working with Dan Cooney from The Ultimate Racebook to provide more in-depth information than has ever been available to New Zealand punters before,” says Darrin Williams, Racing Industry Manager for Addington Raceway. Dan Cooney, created The Ultimate Racebook. “I first started working on this during the covid lockdown. As a keen follower of racing I was impressed with the amount of information StrideMASTER provides and thought about how that information could be presented to make it easier for punters when looking at form for a race meeting. Addington have been tremendous to partner with and we are very pleased to launch this week” Dan said. The Ultimate Racebook and Addington will also produce a cheat sheet for each meeting to show which horses racing at that meeting has the most early and/or closing speeds to help punters find crucial value. For more information on this next step in the future of New Zealand harness racing punting check out The Ultimate Racebook at For more information on StrideMASTER at Addington visit our website here.    Addington Raceway

It’s proving to be a competitive junior driving premiership this year.   Here we look into those that are impressing this season and who is making a late bid to challenge for the title.     As we head into the middle of May John Morrison continues to head the standings. His winning tally of 45 wins so far meaning his lead is currently nine. Notable recent victories include a winning turn on the flying Lifes A Beach at Addington and his Wyndham Cup winning steer while behind Memphis Tennessee.   The real mover in the ranks has been Sarah O Reilly who now finds herself leading the chasing pack after a successful last two months or so. Her partnership with Michael House trained runners has paid handsome dividends of late with wins coming aboard Rake, Abadabado and Smokin Annie at Manawatu along with an impressive front running display on Changearound at Invercargill. O’Reilly has also piloted home the likes of Spanna, who was able to get over the top of rivals at Methven,and Ideal Invasion who surprised them all at Waimate, the horse paying an attractive $30.10 dividend.   If there’s such a thing as premiership momentum then it most certainly lies with O’Reilly currently.   Sheree Tomlinson and Ben Hope (both on 33 wins) are both within sight of Morrison too and shouldn’t be dismissed from premiership calculations. The sound form of known stand-starter Homebush Lad adding a couple of wins to the tally of Hope alongside his memorable driving display to snare his first Group One success when guiding Muscle Mountain to a win in the Fred Shaw Memorial NZ Trotting Championship when beating out the reining king of the squaregaiters in Sundees Son.           Luke Whittaker and Alicia Harrison are currently locked in the tightest of battles for Northern honours with the pair each on 16 wins for the season so far .Whittaker recently pulled of a brace of driving wins at Cambridge on the 15th of April aboard Pull The Other Leg and Bankers Gold while Harrison answered that threat to her premiership aspirations by guiding home Emmber and Sarandon at Cambridge on the 6th of May.  It’ll be exciting to see how this riace plays out over the coming weeks.      In the South Ellie Barron has enjoyed 13 wins this season with Sheree Tomlinson and Mark Hurrell also plying their trade across the Southern parts of the Country with success.   As for impressive UDR figures Devon Van Til is a notable performer. While only the single victory has been achieved by Van Til (the memorable win coming aboard High Flying Harry at Banks Peninsula) a further 6 minor placings mean her UDR is a strong .2292. and you’d have to think that more wins aren’t too far away either. Alana Cameron, with her strong association with the M Purvis stable, continues to see her season be a successful one and her UDR remains a competitive.2083 with 9 victories so far from the 72 starts. Tristan Larsen has also been driving well of late with two wins behind King Of The North and Stoneyroyd coming on the 23th of April. His UDR is currently .1437 in only his second season within the junior ranks with 8 winning drives and 14 minor placings from just under one hundred race day drives.   A dynamic premiership that’s still got a few twists and turns to come yet.            Ben McMillan     

Addington’s massive night that featured three Group Ones and two Group Twos also saw the biggest betting turnover in April.  The meeting on Friday April 9 resulted in turnover of $1,544,624.  Among the features on the card were the NZ Trotting Championship, the Welcome Stakes, the New Zealand Trotting Derby, and the New Zealand Pacing Derby.   Other meetings to go over seven figures were Banks Peninsula on April 5 ($1,053,418), Methven April 11 ($1,150,337), and Auckland April 30 ($1,126,451).  Total betting turnover for the month was $22,383,951.  Harness Racing New Zealand plans to release the turnovers every month so participants can see how the industry is faring from a betting perspective.    You can view April 2021 Turnovers here   Harness Racing New Zealand

View the Addington harness racing fields click here! By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk     Group Three winner Pres The Belle will be looking to get her career back on track at Addington Raceway on Friday. The 13-win mare has had four starts for her new trainers, Geoff and James Dunn, and they believe she is capable of recording her first victory in their colours in the Haras des Trotteurs Heather Williams Memorial Mobile Trot (1980m). She has failed to flatter since joining the West Melton barn, but showed a glimpse of her former self when winning by five lengths in her 2600m trial last week. “We have changed her front shoes and she has trotted really well at the trials, so hopefully she can do it at Addington,” James Dunn said. “She doesn’t like Addington as much as other tracks, but she has been going good enough. “This is probably the most winnable race she has come up against since we have had her. If she brings her manners and doesn’t pull too hard, she should be a good chance.” Pres The Belle will come up against the likes of Group Three winner Splash Cola and in-form mare Gold Chains, but Dunn believes his mare is capable of holding her own on Friday. “Splash Cola is pretty good when they bring their A-game over the short trip, but Gold Chain is flying,” he said. “Pres The Belle is the class horse of the field. At her best she would be very hard to beat, but she is not there anymore, so we have got to get her 90-95 percent and she should be in the top three.” Dunn will also line-up Laver in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Mobile Pace (1980m) after he disappointed when fading late at Addington in his last start in March. He has subsequently freshened and has pleased in his resuming trials where he has placed and won in the lead up to Friday. “He was well short for that last start and after that we found out he was a little bit crook, so we have treated him and gave him some time, took him back to the trials and started again,” Dunn said. “He is still quite heavy. He got away on us a little bit. That is a good sign, it usually means he is pretty well. “We are using this as a fitness run looking towards the Jewels.” The Dunns final runner of the night will be Derby placegetter The Falcon, who put in a subpar performance at Rangiora last month. “He was disappointing last start,” Dunn said. “We probably asked him to come out of the gate a little bit (hard) and maybe backing up from the Derby he just found it a bit tough. “We have given him a bit of a freshen-up. We were going to go to the trials, but with the premier meeting next week we thought that we might as well go to a race instead of straight into a premier meeting after a month off racing.” Dunn is enjoying his first season training in partnership with his father, with 11 wins to their name so far. “It is going well,” he said. “We haven’t had a winner for a while, but we are pretty happy with how the season has gone so far. Laver has helped a lot and has won five. I am enjoying it.”

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Premier harness racing hits Addington tonight with a ten race program starting at 5:02pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Addington selections 7th May 2021 Best Bet:  R3 Willow Bay Best Value:  R9 Artatac    Race 1 Valley Star (6) Majestic Chick (5) One Majic Kenny (8) Sekkie Monkey (7)   Race 2 Folklore (5) Soundsofcash (2) Silk (3) Cheezel (8)   Race 3 Willow Bay (2) Always Have Faith (5) Star Casino (7) Strength And Honour (3)   Race 4 Jimmy Paul (6) Still Truckin (5) Acento (4) Royal Ruby (2)   Race 5 Maui (6) Miss Crazed (7) Franco Jorik (3) Paramount Princess (4)   Race 6 Watch Me Now (6) Laver (5) Plutonium Lady (7) Kruizr (4)    Race 7 Splash Cola (7) Pres The Belle (8) Gold Chain (6) Time In A Bottle (5)   Race 8 Jimmy Arma (2) Sense Of Occasion (1) Lincoln Skipper (10) Boarding Call (13)   Race 9 Artatac (12) Little Gee (2) Serg Blanco (6) Wee Ring The Changes (11)   Race 10 The Falcon (5) Not Over (11) Perfect Cut (1) Teagan Banner (7)   Harnesslink Media

Welcome to the Addington Raceway harness racing news update for May 5 with Greg O'Connor and Darrin Williams.

The month of May features a number of high-class harness racing feature races.   Here we have a look at just what lies ahead.     Invercargill kicks off the Group racing features for the month of May with The Diamond Creek 2yo Classic, Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes (last won by Burnham Boy) and the Macca Lodge/ Nevele R Southland Oaks all to take place on the 2nd of the month. The Southland Oaks in particular has been a race that attracts a strong field with recent winners including Stylish Memphis, the flying Nek Time, and Safedra who has since gone on to be a successful broodmare with Dr Susan and La Rosa among her progeny. Among those looking to hoist the title this year are a pair of nice fillies from the Mark Jones stable in Braeview Kelly and Don't Lie To Me along with the progressive Lifes A Beach, a filly who has draws well and has fine recent form about her.    The Group racing focus shifts North thereafter with The Haras Des Trotteurs Northern Trotting Oaks and Harness Million 2YO Fillies Final to be run and won on the 13th of May at Alexandra Park. The Northern Trotting Oaks being last won in 2019 by the Tony Herlihy driven Tickle Me Pink who would go on to further success at the Jewels capturing the 3YO Ruby title. These features are quickly followed by a stellar card at Addington on the 14th   The Addington card features the Group 1 Nevele R Fillies Series Final alongside two Harness Million features at Listed level, these being the Harness Million for 2YO Trotting types and the 2YO Colts and Geldings final. The Lone Star NZ Sires Stakes Aged Trotters Classic also takes place and rounds off what will be a strong night of racing.   The Group features of May comes to an end with an outstanding night of action on the 21st . The Garrards NZ Sires Stakes 2YO final and The Breeders NZ Oaks are the two Group 1 races that’ll be contested. Princess Tiffany won the Oaks title in 2019 while past winners of the event also include Adore Me (2013) Kiwi Ingenuity (2008) Kate’s First (1997) and Armalight (1980) The all-class Robyn Dundee  won the race in 1960 when driven by one Charlie Franks while Perpetua won the event not so long after peace was declared way back in 1948.   The NZ Sires Stakes 2YO Trotter Championship (Group 2 level) the Garrards NZ Sires Stakes Sophomore Classic and NZB Harness Million 3YO Trot round off the card.   While it’s getting towards the end of the season that doesn’t mean the quality stops.   Ben McMillan 

Two more of Kentuckiana Lodge's Two-Year-Old Class Of 2021 will make their highly anticipated debuts this weekend. National Yearling Sales purchases will step out across the South Island with Ajira in race 1 at Addington on Friday and Republican Party to start in the Group 2 Diamond Creek Farm Stakes at Ascot Park on Sunday. Republican Party was set to debut over the summer before Cran & Chrissie made the call to give him a short spell after he went through a growth spurt. That decision looks to have paid off with the colt trialling superbly in his latest outing at Rangiora. "He has come up super and we were very pleased with his last trial, he really got to the line and he was under a nice hold," Cran said. "That told us he was ready to get to the races and now we are off to Invercargill." Cran admitted he was a little surprised when Republican Party was opened the fixed odds favourite for the Group 2 Diamond Creek Farm Stakes. But he goes into the race knowing the colt won't lack class. "I just hope that the bookies are really good judges, that is all I can say," Cran joked. "He will get better, he is not the biggest horse in the field, but he is very fast." "The only thing he lacks is racing and ringcraft and he can only get that by going to the races." "In summary, he is in the well above average category." Ajira has also pleased in his trial efforts leading into his debut in a two-year-old lineup at Addington. The gelding got keen in his latest trial and dug deep to run third after Cran & Chrissie experimented with his gear. "He has pleased us and he is ready now to get to the races," Cran said. "He is a typical Bettor's Delight, they can be very relaxed at home but when they get to the races they tend to lift a couple of notches." "I am expecting him to do that and I am sure he will race well." Kentuckiana Lodge also start Fabrizio and Cardinal Sin at Addington in race 9. Both will head back to the races fitter for their last outings. "The race really wasn't run to suit Fabrizio first up." "Off 20m and back in the field he didn't have a chance when it turned into a walk and sprint up front." "Physically he is very well and he loves the mobile." "I think this week he is going to be very competitive." Cardinal Sin goes into race 9 after disappointing in his last outing at Rangiora following his booming third first-up at Addington. Cran expects the pacer to quickly bounce back to his best. "He went super first up but in hindsight he deceived us a bit going into Rangiora." "I will put my hand up there and say that was my fault." "He is a much better horse than that and we are expecting much better things on Friday night." Alta Sensation and Invaluable will accompany Republican Party on his trip to Diamonds Day on Sunday. Alta Sensation looks a genuine threat in the Group 2 Southern Supremacy Stakes Final despite drawing the outside of the gate. "This race looks within his range, he has been to the top level and run in the Northern Derby," Cran said. "We have respect for the opposition but we definitely won't be fearing any of them." "He should race well." After running into an open class pacer at Addington in Matt Damon and finishing just a length from him, Invaluable gets into a winnable race at Invercargill. Cran hopes the four-year-old can race well on the home patch of his co-owner Ross McKerchar. "He is very honest and he is a bit of a quiet achiever." "He tries his guts out and runs well no matter who he lines up against." "He looks well placed in that race on Sunday so I expect him to go well." McKerchar races Invaluable with the estate of one of Kentuckiana Lodge's best longtime supporters, the late Trevor Beaton. Alta Sensation also has connections in the deep south through his owners Keiran Fahy and Nigel Fahy, who is now based in the North with Breckon Farms. The Fahys race the pacer with friend John Holding, with Chrissie Dalgety also in the ownership.   By Jonny Turner

View the Addington harness racing fields click here! By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Amanda Telfer is dipping her toes into Canterbury life before she makes the plunge later this year and moves south from her South Auckland base. Telfer, who trains in partnership with her brother Steve, is campaigning a handful of their runners in Canterbury and she is looking forward to heading their permanent South Island barn from November. “We (Stonewall Stud) have bought Jack Smolenski’s old place,” Telfer said. “It doesn’t actually all happen until the end of November this year. We are looking at setting up a stable down here as well as one up north.” While she spends a good portion of her year in the South Island, she said the region’s harsh winters will take some getting used to. “It’s pretty good down here, but I am not too fond of the frosty, cold mornings. We don’t get that in Auckland,” she quipped. “But it is going to be good to be able to split our horses up. Up there (Auckland) we have four or five in a race, so to split the stable up will be a good thing.” While their new Canterbury base won’t be available until later this year, Telfer is enjoying utilising the facilities at Dancingonmoonlight Farm in the interim. “Sara (Famularo) has a few broodmares of ours down here. They invited us to come to their place and it has been good,” Telfer said. Telfer will have three runners at Addington Raceway on Friday, all of which have Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks ambitions. Their charge will be led by Allamericanlover in the ‘Hilarious Guest’ 3YO Fillies Prelude (1980m). The promising filly has won two of her three starts to date, and finished runner-up two starts back behind The Honey Queen. Telfer is happy with the way she has settled into her new surroundings ahead of her first southern hit-out where she will be driven for the first time by northern reinsman David Butcher. “She has settled in really well down here,” she said. “She went good against The Honey Queen so hopefully she measures up against La Rosa.” “David is coming down to drive her, so that’s an advantage. David hasn’t driven her before and he is going to be driving her in the Nevele R Final and Oaks.” Allamericanlover will be joined on Friday by stablemate Ruby Mach who has drawn two on the front line and will be driven by Craig Thornley. She finished fifth in her first-up southern run last week behind Bettor Twist and Telfer is hoping for an improved result on Friday. “She is an honest little filly, she tries hard,” Telfer said. “She has got a better draw on Friday so we will just see what happens. “She is always running on so if she can get a bit more handy she might be a place chance.” Although Show Me Heaven is entered in the same race, she is dual accepted for the meeting and Telfer is leaning towards starting her in the First Direct Taxis Mobile Pace (1980m). “She will probably start in the last race,” Telfer said. “We have got two already in the other one, so it will be good to split them up a little bit.” The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere disappointed when tailing the field home at Addington last week and Telfer expects an improved performance on Friday. “She did a fair bit of work early, but I thought she would have boxed on a bit better,” Telfer said. “She has come through the race well and has been working well. Hopefully she has improved this week.”

Welcome to the Addington Raceway harness racing news update for April 28 2021 with Greg O'Connor and Darrin Williams.    

Folklore, the little mare that could, helped Jonny Cox continue a brilliant week in the sulky at Addington on Thursday night. Cox followed on from his win in last weekend’s Group Three Rangiora Classic with Self Assured by scoring with both Folklore and Stag Party. Folklore notched back-to-back Addington victories with her signature style – sitting off the speed and sticking her neck out and running home with purpose. “She tries really hard, I would love to have a stable full of horses that try as hard as her,” Cox said. “The last couple of times we have been lucky enough to get a bit of luck and sit off a good speed and we have got the gaps when we have needed them.” “She has got a good turn of foot which helps and they have gone hard enough that she just keeps trucking away.” “She puts her head down and she tries as hard as she can.” Folklore may have never looked like an out and out star in her career, but she is on track to finish with the record of a very good mare as she continues to handle rises in grade. The five-year-old has now won six of her 34 starts for Cox’s aunty and uncle, Iain and Nola Wilson. “Iain and Nola are loving it, she is their pride and joy and they are having a lot of fun with her.” Cox was back in the winner’s circle two races later on Thursday night when Stag Party justified his hot favouritism for race 10. The reinsman negotiated a path to the front from barrier 1 on the second row to help the Hayden Cullen trained pacer score his second career win. “It was a tricky draw on paper, I thought there might have been a bit more gate speed than what there was.” “I didn’t really know where we were going to end up but it worked out good having a gap to get off.” “I thought I had stuffed it up when I went three-wide when the parked horse took the leader on.” “But he has raced in better fields, he probably wouldn’t want to be doing that much work all the time, but he was definitely very good tonight.” Stag Party’s win continued the strong association Cox has with owner Jean Feiss. Cox drove his first Group One pacing winner when the Feiss-owned Elle Mac took out the Caduceus Club Classic at Alexandra Park in 2017. The reinsman helped the Victorian owner add another group race trophy to her massive collection when Self Assured won last weekend. “I have been really lucky to drive some really nice horses for Jean, she has been very good to me.” “And it goes back to when I drove Elle Mac for her when I had my first stint working at the All Stars (stable).” “It is great being back there working for Hayden and I have been pretty lucky that Jean has been happy to put me on a few more of her nice horses.” Self Assured’s season-ending win may have looked very simple at first glance. He was hot favourite, he led and he won in slick time. But it wasn’t quite as straight forward according to Cox, who admitted he wasn’t filled with confidence at the 600m. “We were cruising along but he was never on the bit, he is a bit of a deceiving horse.” “When I pulled up I said to Tim (Williams) it felt like a sprint home, but he said he thought we bowled along a bit.” “When the time came up I get a hell of a surprise, he is just such a deceiving horse.” “He never travelled like he was going to win it and when Tim (and Spankem) came off my back I thought he was going to go straight past us.” “But he is a good horse and he knew what he was there for and he kept his nose out in front.” Cox will attempt to continue his successful week at Winton on Friday. View the Addington results click here!   By Jonny Turner

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