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“He was travelling good throughout. He had a few traffic problems just around the top but once he cleared a few tired runners he felt good,” trainer driver Brendon McLellan said after driving Pass The Speights to win the McDowall Painting and Decorating Gore Grass Cup. The Bettor’s Delight gelding settled four back on the inside after the early rush for positions with Smooth Mara leading out. Star Commander, the hot favourite which was slow to begin, caught the field and made his move with 800 metres to run, looping the field to sit parked beside Smooth Mara. That left Pass The Speights last on the inside. Turning in, Pass The Speights still had a lot of ground to make up on Smooth Mara and Star Commander but he did it nicely; nabbing Star Commander by half a length at the line. “I could sort of tell that Blair’s horse (Star Commander) was coming to the end of it halfway down the straight so I thought I was going to pick him up.” Pass The Speights (7) and Brendon McLellan beating Star Commander (11) Photo Bruce Stewart Owned by Bruce and Al Sinclair, the five year old is relatively lightly raced having had only twenty seven starts prior to today’s run. “He’s come up good this season. I was happy with his first run – his fitness just gave out in that one. He missed away last week so you couldn’t get a line on him to be fair.” Today’s $12,000 feature was the gelding's fourth win and his first on the grass. “He’s a good pacer so he handles anything really.” Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing    

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

Wyndham trainer driver Brendon “Snow” McLellan has been involved in harness racing since the mid-1980s and it was through his association with the late Jim and Irene Holland that he started to become interested in breeding. “When they came back to Wyndham, Jimmy was jogging up a horse called Boyden’s Beau (Boyden Hanover – Honest Mistress). He’d been up at Terry Mays and had broken down. Jimmy brought him down to the racetrack and I carried on with him. He was the first one,” said McLellan when recounting a long and rewarding friendship with the Hollands. Boyden’s Beau won his first race at a Southland OTB Trial dead-heating with Truth. It was McLellan’s fourth training win. Boyden’s Beau ended up winning four races. Honest Mistress was by Honest Master out of Eden’s Pride which was a half-sister to Adios Adieu (11 wins) and Young Beau (5 wins). Also in the pedigree is Air Mail, the foundation mare to the wonderful family developed by Noel Drake. But it wasn’t until 2002 that McLellan started breeding in partnership with the Hollands and the legacy continues today for Brendon and his wife Megan as six of the eight mares they’re breeding from descend from the two strands of the Holland breed. “We started with Shania Patron. I said to Jimmy you send the mare to stud, I’ll pay for the service fee and we’ll go halves in the foal. That’s how we started off.” Shania Patron was by Holmes Hanover out of the El Patron mare Patroness. Patroness also left handy types in No Return (9 wins) and Anna Patron (5 wins). As a racehorse Shania Patron won seven races. At two she won the 2000 Sires Stakes Fillies Championship Final at Addington which was McLellan’s first group winner as a trainer. She also won the New Zealand Sires Stakes Fillies Championship at Alexandra Park that same season. At three she won the 2001 Wayne Francis Memorial New Zealand Oaks beating Sparks A Flyin by a nose. That was McLellan’s first Group One trained winner. But at stud she hasn’t quite left stock that have matched her ability. “She’s been average really. She hasn’t left anything as good as herself.” The McLellans have a number of unraced stock from the mare so there’s still hope. The mare has a three year old colt by Bettor’s Delight, a two year old filly by Betterthancheddar, A Rocknroll Dance yearling filly and a Terror To Love weanling colt. They’re also breeding from their quality Washington VC mare It’s Ella. She won sixteen races for Megan and Jimmy and Irene Holland. She belongs to the other side of the Holland breed which started with Exmoot (Hi Lo Forbes – Tactwyn). It’s a pedigree that belongs to the much famed First Water family and has left champions Noodlum and Tactile and many other top race horses. Exmoot’s 1984 foal by Son Of Afella was Just Ella which McLellan trained to win six races. Her last foal was It’s Ella. “She (It’s Ella) showed a fair bit of ability as an early three year old. She had soundness problems all the way through with her tendons. The swimming pool (at the Wyndham track) prolonged her racing career, we were probably lucky to get what we got out of her to be honest.” It’s Ella’s wins included the $100,000 Group One PGG Wrightson New Zealand Breeders Stakes and the Group Two Caduceus Club of Canterbury Premier Mares Championship (twice). “The horses that she has left have felt like good horses. Tetrick (Art Major) was a nice horse but he had soundness problems and we couldn’t get on top of them. I think she’s capable of leaving quite a nice one.” Joe Batters, an eight start maiden by Bettor’s Delight out of It’s Ella, looked promising in his first season of racing and he’s expected to improve when he returns as a four year old in the new season. “He’s got a bit of ability. He’s just taken a bit of time to come to it. He’s above average.” It’s Ella also has a two year old Somebeachsomewhere gelding called Running On Empty. The McLellans are also breeding from one of It’s Ella’s daughters - Falcon Seelster mare Ellakazoo. “She had a couple of starts and could run a bit but just used to get on her knees so we retired her.” She has left three fillies - by Bettor’s Delight, A Rocknroll Dance and Terror To Love. They are also breeding from Holly Patron, a Bettor’s Delight mare out of Shania Patron. Holly Patron won five races. She’s left colts by Mach Three and American Ideal as well as a Sportswriter yearling filly. “I don’t mind the American Ideal two year old.” A full sister to Shania Patron, I’m On My Way is also being bred from. As a racehorse she won once from seventeen starts. As a broodmare she’s left Barrack (Badlands Hanover) which won three of his fifteen starts here and another seven in Australia. She’s also the dam of Sammy The Bull -five New Zealand wins and another six races in America. Also on the list of mares they’re breeding from is Lucy Legacy (Pacific Rocket – Some Legacy). She won seven races and also traces back to Exmoot. Some Legacy won the 1990 Group One DB Draught Fillies Series Final at Addington when trained by Terry May. She was by Niatross stallion Silk Legacy and ended up winning five races. Lucy Legacy is also doing a good job at stud having already left Luciano the winner of five races. He’s recently been exported to America. She’s also left a colt and a filly by Bettor’s Delight. Separate from the mares that trace back to the two strands of the Holland breed, the McLellan’s are also breeding from Soky’s Atom mare Vera’s Atom - bred by Bruce Stirling. “I trained for Bruce early on. We raced Vera Lillian, Vera’s Atom’s mother. It’s a breed that leaves nice consistent horses so we’re just carrying on.” This family has produced quite a few nice racehorses over the years including quality mares Eden’s Joy and Evamay. The best of Vera’s Atoms foals to date is Vera’s Delight the winner of six.    Also on the McLellan breeding CV is the Mach three mare De Bruin which is out of Hilarious Blue Chip. “We’ve had a bit of success with the family. Rathbone, Honiball, Happy Patron, Smart Boy, Not Holm are all out of that breed. She’s the only filly.” Rathbone won nine races here and won a further eleven in America. He’s paced 1-52.1. Happy Patron won nine races in New Zealand with his major win being in the 1986 John Brandon Flying Pace. He also ran third in the New Zealand Derby a week later. He was exported to America in 1998 where he won another nine races. Smart Boy is another from the family. His lifetime record is 92-17-11-12. So as you can see the McLellans have plenty of well - bred youngsters coming on line and because they don’t send them to the yearling sales it’ll be enough to keep Brendon busy at his Wyndham stable. And of the youngsters; which one does he like? “The Bettor’s Delight two year old filly out of It’s Ella. She’s probably the pick of the young ones and the Somebeachsomewhere out of her goes alright too.” And with three times New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love popping up on the pedigree page a few times he’s one trainer who’ll get an early indication of how this former champion’s progeny will shape up down the track.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The South of the Waitaki Winter Warmer Series wouldn't be the same without Brendon McLellan and although he is down on numbers this year, he will be represented when the first of three heats is run at Addington on Friday night. McLellan all but made last year's final his own, winning it with Mr Handleman and running third and fourth with Luciano and Vera's Delight. On the way, he also won two of the heats and one of the heat winners, Vera's Delight will be carrying the stable colours again this July. A seven-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, she finished third, first and fifth in the three heats and McLellan is looking for more of the same. “She should be competitive again,” he said. Brett Gray produced Northview Betta to run fifth in the final last year and hopes El Capitan can improve on that this year. The Elsu four-year-old has a rating of 58 and his thirds last month at Invercargill and Oamaru point to a good showing on Friday. Stablemate and rating 54 mare Machjagger will also race at Addington on Friday. Gray plans to bypass the series this week but might line her up in the later heats. His current tally of 20 pacing and six trotting winners this season places him third behind Phil Williamson (42 trotters and one pacer) and Graeme Anderson (33 pacers) on the winner's table for trainers in the region. The series is for pacers assessed at up to rating 60 as of Monday 3, July who since May 1, have been with a trainer based south of the Waitaki River. To run in the final on July 28, a horse must compete in or be eliminated from at least two of the heats on 7, 14 and 21 July. The first and third heats will be over 1950 metres, the second heat and final over 2600 metres, and all will be mobile starts. Anderson said he is down to five in work at the moment and has nothing of that rating ready. Fourth on the table is Williamson's son Nathan (17 trotters and three pacers). Gangnam Style won the first heat for Williamson last year before finishing eighth in the second and being scratched from the final. Williamson hoped to have the rating 58 four-year-old on hand this year but is not sure now. “He finished second at Forbury Park last week but it was just an average second,” he said, “I'm getting tests done and he'll only go if his health is ok. Toby O'Gara is a possible but he'll probably go to the paddock after Forbury Park this week.” Tony Stratford has rating 56 filly Jody Direen primed for the heat on Friday and unbeaten Especial in another race, before joining the series a week later. “It's just so they are not against each other the first week,” Stratford said. “I'm very happy with them, they're both quality horses and have trained up to the mark. It is their first trip away but they are both good eaters and doers.” Craig Ferguson said the second line draw didn't help No More Change at Timaru on Sunday but he was pleased with the way she hit the line and looking forward to her over 1950 metres at Addington on Friday night. He'll also have Mordecai in the race, considers the six-year-old a “run or to away” but likely to improve through the series. Ferguson will handle No More Change himself with Sheree Tomlinson in charge of Mordecai. Melina Lowe, a winner at the final Invercargill meeting of the season before missing at Forbury Park, will represent Kirk Larsen on Friday. “Her last start was in the sprint series (1200 metres) at Forbury Park and she never got into it,” Larsen said. “The 1950 will suit better, she's a rating 55 so these are ideal races for her.” Mac Henry

Browns harness racing trainer Des Baynes has been training horses for the Eight Proof Syndicate for a while now and the partnership proved successful again when Ideal Breeze won at Gore today. The syndicate's last winner was Ideal Breeze's dam Windproof which won her second race at Forbury Park in October 2010. She injured a leg which put an end to her racing career.   "She (Ideal Breeze) brushes her knees a bit but I think she'll come out of that next year. She's a lovely wee thing to work with and I'm real pleased for the syndicate that owns her. We'll probably start her at Winton next week on her home track and then put her aside for next year," said Baynes who has trained 125 winners since taking up a licence in 1980. The American Ideal filly was given a perfect trip by Brendon McLellan tucked away three back on the inside. The gaps opened halfway down the straight and Ideal Breeze shot through to beat Country Grammer and two year old Repartee. Ideal Breeze and Brendon McLellan winning easily - Photo Bruce Stewart It was noticeable that Ideal Breeze was on the job today with McLellan having a tight grip on the filly's reins when warming her up.  "She's just been getting on the job a wee bit lately and I knew the false start today wouldn't help. As soon as she leaves the gate she just relaxes. I think that's just a maturity thing."   As a broodmare Windproof has left Gabby's Delight, which has had one win for Alan Paisley.     Bruce Stewart Southland harness Racing  

After training Luciano, a $91 long shot at Addington on Showday, Wyndham trainer driver Brendon McLellan drove a $48 winner in Lady Go Cullect on his home course today. Trained just down the round at Edendale by Craig Laurenson, the Gotta Go Cullect four year old had been decidedly average in her five previous starts but Laurenson knew she didn't lack ability.  "She had a lot of ability as a two year old but she used to tie up and she's aways had a few issues. Today she had no issues, " Laurenson said. Going into today's race he wasn't overly confident.  "She was in season when I hoppled her on Thursday and I told Snow (Brendon McLellan) that she'd worked hopeless. And then she goes out and wins. It just panned out good for her in the end. She's done it wrong until today." From the 1700 Gabby's Delight was taken forward by driver Rory McIIwrick and from that point Andrew Suddaby and favourite Sketching were up challenging with both drivers exchanging plenty of 'chat' before Sketching got to the lead with  1200 metres to run.  At that point Lady Go Cullect which had sat parked finally got some cover with Cullens Avenue coming off the running line to sit parked. At the 300 Sketching and Cullens Avenue had two lengths to spare on the chasing bunch with Lady Go Cullect reined up to take the passing lane. Lady Go Cullect toughed it out to beat a fast finishing Don Sebastian by half a neck.   Lady Go Cullect (4) winning at Wyndham                Photo by Bruce Stewart The mare, which was breed by Bill Bain of Roxburgh is part owned by Peter O'Brien who was on-course to see the run and he was happy with the $48.80 win and $10.50 place dividends. "He's just bought a new range (oven) and said the win's paid for it" said Laurenson. Lady Go Cullect is out of the Washington VC mare Lady of Eden which won one race from nineteen starts. Laurenson trained the mare's first foal Ain't Misbehavin which won it's first start in Invercargill and has won a further two starts in Australia.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

For the first time in his twenty seven season training career Gore trainer Allan McVicar trained two harness racing winners on the same day at Ascot Park yesterday. Both Will I Am and It Ain't The Money, both out of the Riverboat King mare Macy Belle were purchased at the Sale of the Stars in Christchurch. Will I Am for $13,000 and It Ain't The Money for $17,000.  "I didn't want to buy this fella (It Ain't the Money) but I liked him as soon as I saw him. I'd missed out on everything else I was going to get so I ended up with this fella," McVicar said. Prior to the four year old's first start where he finished thirteenth at Gore earlier this month he had had a very extensive workout and trial education.  "He's had eight to nine workouts and won seven of them. I qualified him last season as a three year old but he was by Lis Mara and they take a bit of time. He qualified in 3-04 but I thought he wasn't quite mature enough. He's still got a bit of filling out to do. He's always been a nice pacer but I've just had to wait on him."  The win was also the first for junior driver Mark Hurrell who has was also on board when the horse qualified.   Winning smile by Mark Hurrell                                  Photo Bruce Stewart In yesterday's SBS Bank Mobile Pace Hurrell took the gelding straight to the lead after favourite Sportzstar broke shortly after the start. It Ain't The Money maintained that spot holding on easily to beat Jayedgar by two and a half lengths. "That was quite a good maiden field and my fella's pretty green so I wasn't overly confident."  It Aint The Money heading to the birdcage                                                 Photo Bruce Stewart Earlier in the day Will I Am who had beaten Riverton Cup winner Pulp Fiction in a workout at Gore nine days ago was made favourite in the Ryder Plumbing Mobile Pace. He duly obiliged holding on to beat Mighty Flying Deal by a head running the 2200 metre mobile in 2-42.8. He was handled by Blair Orange   Bruce Stewart

Harness Racing trainer Brendon McLellan is back in Canterbury and hoping to go one better than last year. The Southland horseman arrived in Christchurch on Tuesday night with a four horse contingent to contest winter racing at Addington and around Canterbury over the next month. The main target is the South of the Waitaki Winter Warmer Series which begins next week with the first heat and culminates at the end of the month with an $11,000 Final. The series is available for horses graded up to the C1 level before the close of nominations for the first heat on Friday, July 8 provided they were registered as being trained in the Southland region prior to May 1, 2016. McLellan had moderate success in the series last year with Wick winning two of the four heats before finishing second to the exciting four-year-old Tact Tate who has since gone on to do good things in Australia. “It’s a good series, especially with very no options at home other than Forbury,” he said. “It certainly makes it worth coming up and having a crack anyway.” Three of the McLellan team will line up tonight at Addington to kick off their campaigns. Maiden pacer Luciano meets an even looking maiden field early on in the night and is expected to improve with the run. “I’m picking he’d be a run short, he does go ok though and will improve.” Mr Handleman, who raced in a heat of the South of the Waitaki Series last year goes around in the junior drivers’ event with Craig Ferguson in the sulky. “He’s a bit of an in and out sort of horse. He’s got some ability, but he doesn’t always put it out on the track. “We’ve gone back to the stand because he can begin when he wants too. “He’s here for the Series so we will know where we are at after this week anyway.” The third runner is the consistent Vera’s Delight who has been handed a tough barrier draw of nine in a 1950 metre mobile event for fillies and mares. The field includes Glenferrie Classic, Smoke N Fire, Donegal Rundlescreek, My Cash and Kotare Kasai so won’t be an easy task. “She’s got a job in front of her from out there, it’s going to be pretty tough. “But she does go alright and is more than capable, she will take some benefit out of the run too.” McLellan is based at the Woodend Beach branch of the Mark Jones stable while in Canterbury and will split his time between there and his home base in Southland. He is travelling down to Forbury on Friday to drive Vera Mac from his own stable and also Robyn Kim in the opening race of the night. Meanwhile the $3,000 bonuses offered for the First 4’s at Sunday’s abandoned Marlborough meeting have been transferred to tonight’s meeting meaning there’s extra reason to get involved throughout the night. With big even fields there’s every possibility of a few jackpots during proceedings which could see pools get significantly large as the night progresses. Super Selector - By Matt Markham Race 1: Westy Boyz, Deva Jones, Fira Sunset, Brylin Rose Race 2: Rapid Flight, Stunning Deal, Dalness Mac, Sheeza GNP Race 3: Freedom Fighter, Art I Am, Regal Grin, Big Buddie Race 4: He’s Like The Wind, Matatoki, Jean Sebastien, We’ll Meet Again Race 5: Kashana, Glenferrie Classic, Smoke N Fire, My Cash Race 6: Superfecta, Franco Nate, Woosh Factor, Mighty Empire Race 7: Franco Cristiano, GI Joe, Hypervelocity, Innocent Artist Race 8: Amaretto Sun, Clover Mac, Gee Up Neddy, Tornado Valley Race 9: Letspendanitetogetha, On The Rantan, McClinchie, Gabby’s Star Race 10: Junior, Ballymore Boy, Returntorocknroll, Franco Hamilton Best Bet: Freedon Fighter (Race 3) Value: Kashana (Race 5) Longshot: Franco Hamilton (Race 10) Matt Markham

Last month saw the running of the South of the Waitaki River Harness Racing Series held over three heats and culminating in a final at Addington Raceway on 31 July. The series catered for three year old and older pacers assessed at C1 at the closing of nominations for heat one, whilst being registered in the name of a trainer(s) based south of the Waitaki River as at 10 April. Held for the first time in July the series was well supported with 32 starters over the heats and final. The Trevor Proctor trained Tact Tate took out the $12,000 final and was also a heat winner. The Brendon “Snow” McLellan trained Wick was the winner of two heats. Snow commented “It gave me the opportunity to race some talented horses in races for good stakes at a quiet time of the year for us and we’ll be back up next year if the series returns.” The series saw a good level of tote turnovers with strong results showing support on and off the track from punters. The second heat on 16 July recorded $81,000 in total turnover, 25% above the average race figure for that meeting. It is the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club’s intention to run the series again in July next year given the positive feedback received and the support from those involved. The South of the Waitaki River race held for the first time on Show Day during Cup Week last year when won by the Tony Barron trained Phoenix Warrior, will once again take place in 2015. This year will see a new sponsor with Brent and Sheree McIntyre’s Macca Lodge located in Riversdale, Northern Southland supporting the $20,000 race. To add further flavour from the south well known southern commentator Dave McDonald will be venturing north to call the race. Details about the “Macca Lodge South of the Waitaki River” will be posted shortly  on Ged Mooar Addington Raceway

Wyndham harness racing trainer Brendon McLellan is no stranger to having a good horse in his barn and in Wick he has another one to carry his blue and red colours with distinction. Brought up to Canterbury for the South Of the Waitaki series at Addington during July, Wick has just got better and bettor and even though he was badly drawn at barrier eight over the 1950 metres tonight in the $23,500 C0 and faster Alabar Super Series Final, he was made a warm favourite. Away well but not super quick from out wide, driver John Dunn had Wick in the three wide line early before working to the front with 1200 metres to go with Lucky Luciano and Gavin Smith taking a trail and Western Art and Ricky May facing the breeze. Nearing the turn John Dunn upped the ante and shot clear and although Lucky Luciano took some ground off him late, Wick won with a lot in hand. John Dunn was full of praise for the son of Panspacificflight post race. "He did that really easily and could have won have won by a lot more but I let him coast the last 100 metres tonight." " Every start he just gets better and has become a much more rounded racehorse." " He has got real speed and a bit of bottom to him and I think there is a fair bit of improvement in him yet," John said. Brendon McLellan was all smiles in the birdcage. " The South of Waitaki series has made this horse and he has come a long way in a short time." "He was always a bit of a big dummy but he has come of age up here." " He can have a wee break now and should come back better again," Brendon said. The South of Waitaki series was a great concept from the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club over the winter and lets hope it becomes a permanent fixture on the racing calendar. Harnesslink Media  

Our harness racing tipsters are having a bit of the winter blues at the moment with less than inspiring results some weeks. Last week saw only two of our tipsters pick winners with Sean McCaffrey and Nathan Williamson doing the honours but we did have eight placegetters and some of those such as Shane Walkinshaw's pick, Takitimu Express paid good money ($4:20) This week we have four meetings in the country and we have picks for them all. Forbury - Thursday night Nathan Williamson - Thought Spinyback was overdue and could win race 2 Shane Walkinshaw - Thinks on his work this week, Jetsdream will win race 4 Craig Ferguson - Gives Mordecai a good chance of going back to back in race 6   Auckland  - Friday night Steven Reid - Reckons Concorde even from barrier 8 will be hard to beat in race 2 Scott Phelan - If Superimposed has any luck from his bad draw,he thinks he can win race 2  Todd Mitchell - Thinks the millionaire Vulcan can add to the bankroll in race 6 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thought Vice Consul from the front line could win race 7 Tony Herlihy -  Gives The Almighty Johnson a big chance of winning race 8 John Dunn - Rates Return To Sender as hard to roll in race 9 Mark Jones - Thought Rocker Band would be very hard to beat, also in race 9   Addington - Friday night Bob Butt - Quite bullish about the chances of the two year old Matatoki in race 1 Terry Chmiel - Thinks Maddison Hill can upset them in race 2 Tim Williams - Gives Bird Of Paradise a big show even from the second line in race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Reckons Zin Zan must win one shortly and thinks it will be in race 7 Ricky May - Thought the southern raider Tetrick would be hard to beat in race 8 Brendon McLellan - Agrees with Ricky that Tetrick will be hard to beat in race 8 Matthew Williamson - Reckons Springbank Eden can get the chocolates in race 9   Timaru - Sunday afternoon  Blair Orange - Thought the first starter My Cash would be hard to beat in race 3 Gavin Smith - Very bullish about the chances of Great Things Happen in race 4 Brad Williamson - Reckons Kylie Castleton can bounce back and win race 6 Jim Curtin - Gives Insignificant a chance to upset them at odds, also in race 6  John Curtin - Thought Naughty Maravu only needed some luck for a change to win race 8 Robbie Holmes - Thinks Contractual Issues will be hard to hold out in race 10   Harnesslink Media

Last week was one of the better weeks overall for a while with our tipsters not far off all weekend. Six selected winners with Kyle Marshall leading the way with the $6 shot, JC Jock while Scott Phelan, Blair Orange, Tim Williams, Nathan Williamson and Ricky May also got the job done. What was so frustrating was the tipsters had eleven placegetters including ten second placings over the weekend. This week however we only have three meetings around the country and quite a few of our regulars are not in action this weekend but as usual it would pay to follow the tipsters selections on the first day at Blenheim on Friday to the second day on Sunday. Forbury Park - Thursday night Shane Walkinshaw - Thought Jetsdream just needed an ounce of luck to win race 2 Brendon McLellan - Thinks Mr Handleman is a chance at huge odds, also in race 2 Craig Ferguson - Rates Lamborne Road a big chance to bounce back and win race 5 Nathan Williamson - Thinks Betta Go Fernco can turn it around and win, also in race 5 Brad Williamson - Hopes to celebrate his 21st birthday with a win on Elusive Flight in race 7 Gavin Smith - Gives the two year old Late Mail a big chance of winning race 9 Matthew Williamson - Rates Springbank Eden a chance of upsetting them in race 11   Blenhiem - Friday afternoon Bob Butt - Quite keen on the chances of the first starter Dusky Eyre in race 1 Ricky May - Rates Delightful Jack as well overdue and thinks he will win race 2 John Dunn - Very bullish about the chances of stable runner Mr Meddle in race 6 Blair Orange - Gives Expresso Martini a big push to win race 7 Terry Chmiel - Thinks Art Exhibit is ready to strike and will win race 8     Franklin - Friday night Scott Phelan - Thinks Ideal Roman is a big chance from barrier two in race 1 Todd MacFarlane - Rates I Am The One a good each way prospect in race 4 John Curtin - Thought Bettormack second up from a break would win, also in race 4 Todd Mitchell - Reckons The Tracker can carry on his winning streak in race 5 Steven Reid - Gives Franco Nikau a chance of rolling them at big odds, also in race 5 Steven Richardson (TAB) - Rates Chosen Path fresh up a big chance of winning race 6 Kyle Marshall - Thought Kilkeel Lady from barrier two could upset them in race 10   Harnesslink Media

Our harness racing tipsters had another so so week although to be fair they did have a lot of close second placings over the four meetings. There were five winners selected with Clark Barron continuing his hot run at the moment along with Bob Butt, Tony Herlihy, Shane Walkinshaw and Tim Williams and they also had seven placings as well, a lot of them at good odds. This week we have five meetings but none in the deep south which has affected our number of tipsters a bit. Forbury - Thursday night Nathan Williamson - Thought Chantrey back to his favourite track could upset them in race 3 Brendon McLellan - Gives new stable runner Continental Boy a good chance of winning race 5 Shane Walkinshaw - Likes the chances of smart 3 year old Robyn's Bad Boy winning race 6 Matthew Williamson - Rates Hezabluechipboy a big winning chance in race 8  Steve Richardson - Thought The Edge Of Reason could upset them at good odds in race 9   Auckland - Friday night  Maurice McKendry - Really quite keen on the chances of the out of form Sir Richie in race 1 Todd MacFarlane - Gives the 2 year old Cyclone Chief a good chance of winning race 2 Sean McCaffrey - Thinks Yagunnakissmeornot can bounce back to winning form in race 4 Todd Mitchell - Rates Charming Lavra a big chance of winning again, also in race 4 Steven Reid - Confident that Shedontloveme will go one better this week and win 6 John Dunn - Thought Barry was due a change of luck and could win race 8   Addington - Friday night Terry Chmiel - Reckons Saint Michel with the help of the mobile will win race 2 Bob Butt - With two runs under his belt, thought Any Old Way was ready to win, also in race 2  Brad Williamson - Looks like a trifecta as Brad thinks The Silver Fox will win race 2 Tim Williams - Rates the debutante Cash N Flow as very hard to beat in race 5 Jim Curtin - Thought One Over Da Moon on his Rowe Cup run would win race 6 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks King Of Strathfield has been going great and could win, also in race 6 Scott Phelan - Rates Bettor B Amazed a big winning chance even from barrier 9 in race 7 Blair Orange - Gives Bracken Ridge a big show of turning his form around and winning race 9   Thames - Sunday afternoon Tony Herlihy - Very bullish about the chances of Mighty Regal in race 4   Ashburton - Sunday afternoon Ricky May - Rates the first starter Cable Beach very highly and thinks he will win race 4 John Curtin - Thought Gracious Star and Michelle Neilson would make it two in a row and win race 6   Harnesslink Media

Last weeks selections at the four harness racing meetings looked ok on paper but it turned into our worst performance since we started doing the ringaround. Todd MacFarlane has bragging rights this week because he was the only tipster to select a winner last week. We did have eleven placings but it is still hard to fathom how we only managed one winner from twenty odd selections. Still as Steve Hansen would say, "flush the dunny" and move on to this week. There are five meetings this week and we have selections for them all. Forbury Park - Thursday night Brad Williamson - Gives The Silver Fox a big chance of taking out race 3 Shane Walkinshaw - Thought Astro Boy was a good each way chance in race 4 Terry Chmiel - Rates Parramatta very hard to beat, also in race 4   Alexandra Park - Friday night Todd Mitchell - Thinks the two year old filly Are You Ready Girl can win race 1 Tony Herlihy - Rates Rub Of The Green a good each way chance in race 4 Scott Phelan - Reckons Prince Of Pops will be very hard to beat,also in race 4 Todd MacFarlane - Gives Twoandahalf Tigers a good each way show in race 5 Steven Reid - Very bullish about the chances of Art Form, also in race 5 John Curtin (Harnesslink) Quite keen on the chances of Chachingchaching in race 7 Maurice McKendry - Thought Makarewa Jake was a big chance in race 8   Addington - Friday night Blair Orange - Rates Bracken Ridge a big winning chance in race 1 Bob Butt - Thrilled with Conon Bridge last week and thinks he will win race 4 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thinks Trouble Rieu will be too smart for them in race 5  Ricky May - Very bullish about the chances of Brilliant Strike in race 9   Motukarara - Sunday afternoon Gerard O'Reilly  - Gives Hit The Spot a good chance fresh up to win race 7 John Dunn - Thinks Geisha Girl can bounce back to her winning ways, also in race 7    Invercargill - Sunday afternoon Tim Williams - Can't see the very smart Lazarus being beaten in race 1 Clark Barron - Thinks he can bring up win number 1000 on Mass Invasion in race 3 Nathan Williamson - Thought Sue Me from barrier one would be hard to beat in race 5 Brendon McLellan - Reckons Leigh Major just needs a little bit of luck from her barrier to win race 11   Harnesslink Media

Last week wasn't one of our best but the missing link was our southern tipsters who had a shocker at Winton last Saturday. Everybody else was thereabouts with their selections with Jim Curtin, Todd Mitchell, Maurice McKendry and Ricky May tipping us into winners and we had seven placegetters as well. This week there are only four meetings in the country and we have selections for them all. Taranaki - Thursday afternoon John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Gave Sheza Springfield a big chance of clearing maidens in race 3 Peter Scaife - Likes Prime Legal to improve on his first day run and win race 4 Scott Phelan - Rates Better B Amazed as very hard to beat in race 9 Sean McCaffrey - Thought Styx It To Em was right in the zone and would win race 10   Addington - Friday night John Dunn - Very bullish about the chances of Boom Gate in race 1 Blair Orange - Gives Goodness Gracious Me a big chance in race 2 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Thought Jaccka Justy would be hard to beat in race 3 Tony Herilhy - Thinks Hug The Wind will be very hard to beat from barrier 1 in race 6 Tim Williams - Very keen on the very smart Have Faith In Me, also in race 6 Todd Mitchell - Reckons Prime Power is at his best and will win race 8   Ascot Park - Saturday afternoon Shane Walkinshaw - Likes the chances of Geordie Sivad to make it two in a row in race 4 Brad Williamson - Thought Mokosun from the front line would be hard to beat in race 5 Brendon McLellan - Gives Leigh Major a big chance in race 7 Nathan Williamson - Very bullish about the chances of Statham in race 8 Clark Barron - Not sure if Bonnies Khaleesi can beat Statham but a great place bet, also in race 8   Methven - Sunday afternoon Matthew Williamson - Likes the chances of the first starter Toot Toot in race 1 Bob Butt - Quite bullish about the chances of Ancient Moonlight in race 3 Jim Curtin - Gives Trial Separation a big chance of leaving maidens in race 4 Terry Chmiel - Really keen on the chances of Another Delight, also in race 4 Ricky May - Thought Jack Hammer would be very hard to beat in race 8 Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks Break Dance is a big chance to make it two in a row in race 9   Harnesslink Media

Last week was an improvement from the week before with our tipsters selecting six winners along with eight placegetters so not far away from a great result. Clark Barron, Todd Mitchell, Zac Butcher, John Curtin, Matthew Williamson and Maurice McKendry all got their selections home first to carry on the good strike rate that most of that group have. This week we are covering the four meetings with declared fields but we would suggest that anyone backing a horse at Westport on Friday follows their selection through to Reefton on Sunday. Forbury - Thursday night Terry Chmiel - Gives Moment Of Love a big chance of turning her form around and winning race 4 Brad Williamson - Very bullish about the chances of Mokosun in race 9   Westport - Friday afternoon Jim Curtin - Likes the chances of Insignificant even off 30 metres in race 2 Robbie Holmes - Thought As Kiwi As was due a change of luck and could win race 4 Gerard O'Reilly - Reckons Breakdance can turn her form around and win race 5 Steve Richardson (Tab) - Thought the durable Ideal Arden would be hard to beat in race 7 John Dunn - Rates Geisha Girl a huge chance to make it three in a row, also in race 7 Bob Butt - Gives Georgie Mach a big winning chance even from the unruly mark in race 8   Auckland - Friday night Maurice McKendry - Reckons Yagunnakissmeornot can carry on her winning way in race 2 Blair Orange - Thinks Barry with a drop back this week would be very hard to beat, also in race 2 John Curtin - Gives Chase The Dream a big chance of upsetting Lazarus in race 3  Scott Phelan - Thought First Home, even from barrier eight could upset them in race 4  Tim Williams - Rates Dream About Me a big chance to make it three from three in race 5 Todd Mitchell - Gives Prime Power a great chance of going back to back in race 7 Ricky May - Thinks Jason Rulz is a great place chance from barrier two in race 8 Tony Herlihy - Rates San Diego Love coming in fresh a big chance of winning race 9   Gore - Sunday afternoon Brendon McLellan - Gives Taranto a good chance on grass to win race 2 Matthew Williamson - Thought Falcon Asset would be hard to roll in race 6 Nathan Williamson - Reckons Statham has kept improving lately and will win race 7 Shane Walkinshaw - Thought with a drag into the race Viscountess could get some of it, also in race 7 Clark Barron - Gives Flight Deck a good chance of making a winning debut in race 10

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