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There’s plenty to race for in the early part of the Southern Harness racing season which begins next month. The season starts at Gore on Saturday 11th August with races carded for stakes of between $8,000 and $10,000. And as part of the early season calendar the Gore club will be running a $1,000 Spring Fling Bonus at its first three meetings; Saturday 11th August, Sunday 26th August and Saturday 6th October. The bonus, plus a cool down rug, will be awarded to the horse which has accumulated the most points over these three meetings. Points will be awarded to runners from first down to fifth placing. The Gore Club will also start the Gold Chip Trotters Series which was initiated last season. The series is for non-win, unqualified (at time of nomination) and one win trotters. The first final for the series, worth $12,000, will be held at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park on Saturday 6thOctober. In the Finals this season non winners will start off the front mark while R rated horses will run off 30 metres. The Final will be run over 2200 metres from the stand. The popular Nuggets Series will also be run over the Southern season with Gore hosting the first heat on the 11th. The first $12,000 final will be raced at Winton on Thursday 27th September over 2400 metres, from a mobile start. A new initiative this season is the Ladyship Mobile Series for fillies and mares. This series is for non-win or unqualified (at time of nomination) three year old and older fillies and mares. The first $12,000 final will be held at Gore on Saturday 13th October.  Full details of all three Series and the Spring Fling Bonus are in the special conditions section of the Gore HRC programme for August 11th on the HRNZ website. There’s plenty to like about the start of the 2018-2019 season. Meanwhile the first set of Southern trials will be held at Invercargill on Wednesday 8thAugust.   Bruce Stewart Southalnd Harness Racing

Despite Southland having its best summer in years, the dry hot conditions didn’t produce the number of track records we might have expected. Whereas last season over thirty track records were broken, this season the numbers were down with only thirteen pacing and seven trotting records broken across the province, including Southern tracks in Central Otago. The leading track for breaking records was Ascot Park Invercargill, with two pacing records and four trotting records broken. The two pacing records were three year old Christian Cullen gelding Karmic Way which recorded 2-04.43 for the 1700 metre mobile which was also a Southland record, and two year old colt A Bettor Act which ran 2200 metres from the mobile in 2-40.6, a new Southland and New Zealand record. Luby Lou, the winner of the inaugural Southland Trotting Oaks ran a new Southland record at Ascot Park when she recorded 2-47.9 for her 2200 metre mobile win. War Admiral showed his potential when he won over the same distance in 2-48.0 which was also a track and Southland record.  Finally quality two year old trotter Full Noise which debuted over 2700 metres from the stand against older opposition, created a new two year old track, Southland and National record when he trotted the distance in 3-35.0. Central Southland Raceway proved to be the fastest track in the province though with Franco Santino recording the fastest mile time of the season in the province when he won in March in a time of 1-52.0. It was also a Southland record for three year old colts and geldings. Somejoy added to her record when she broke the four year old and older mare’s track record running the mile in 1-53.2. Two trotters to break records this season on the Winton track were Jen Jaccka 3-00.9 for the 2400 metre stand which was also a New Zealand record, and Sundons Wish which ran 3-02.5 over the same distance to break the Open Entires and Geldings record. Young Quinn Raceway in Wyndham had four records broken this season. The Robbie Holmes trained Kiwi On Show recorded a 1-52.2 mile time and broke the Mares and All-Comers record while War Dan Delight broke the long standing Kindergarten Stakes race record when he posted 1-53.3 for the 1609 metre mobile. His time was also a track and Southland record for his age. Kiwi On Show                - Photo Bruce Stewart.           The other track record holder was the ill-fated Steiger which recorded 2-57.2 to break the 2400 metre stand record of aged entires and geldings. Omakau was the home of two track records this season; Maidonthebeach posted 2-27.5 for the 2000 metre mobile, a new mare’s track record, while Hicori ran his 2600 metre standing start in 3-20.9. A new record for three year old colts and geldings. At Roxburgh two records were broken. War Machine ran 3-28.2 over 2700 metres from the stand and Deliska broke the 2700 metre stand record when she won the Roxburgh Cup in 3-25.0. The Gore all weather surface produced just one track record when Nemura Franco broke the three year old fillies’ record for the 2200 metre mobile, winning in 2-41.4. No records were broken this season at the Gore grass track meeting while at Ascot Park at its first grass meeting in years, seven new records were created. At Cromwell on the grass two pacing and one trotting records were broken. Leah Mac broke Idealistic Lass’s mare's record over 1800 metres from the mobile. The new record is 2-13.8. Idealistic Lass remained in the record books however when she recorded 3-22.7 over 2600 metres from the stand. On the trotting front the promising Kenny’s Dream broke Dark Horse's three year old fillies record for the 2600 metre stand recording 3-28.8.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The Pres mare Pres The Belle is one of the most improved trotting mares south of the Waitaki. From thirteen starts this season she has won four races - the last three in a row. “She’s getting a bit of ring craft and is strengthening up. Getting her off the unruly was a big thing. It puts her in the race now. Being on the unruly did teach her to get away,” said Mosgiel trainer Darryn Simpson. Today’s at Gore, the country’s leading reinsman Blair Orange took the mare to the top with a lap to run. With 500 metres to go he pressed the go button and she put three lengths on her opposition. She came away in the straight to beat Miss Bamboocha by five and a quarter lengths. “She’s the real deal. Just a nice horse all round and steps up on race day.” Pres The Belle is raced on lease by Stewart Campbell, Des Minehan, Dexter Nind and Stewart Heal. Winning connections - Photo Bruce Stewart. “What she has done this year has been a bonus. She’s going to be better with time and I’d like to think she’s going to be better next season. There’s a race for her in Invercargill so that may be it for the season.”    Pres The Belle was bred by the Grice Brothers and is out of the eight win Sundon mare Daisy Belle which Stewart Campbell trained. It’s a family that has left primarily very good pacers like Palestine (18 wins), Barbara Del (9), Derby (11), Cock Robin (6) and Bahrein (5).   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Kiwi Crusher has always had ability but the string of outs early in this season indicate she doesn’t always bring her A game. Today (Saturday) at Gore she was on her best behaviour and at start twenty three and second run for new trainer Graeme Anderson, she recorded her second win. Anderson has had the four year old Sundon mare six weeks, after she’d spend time with Craig Laurenson and Brian Norman. “She arrived in good order from Brian Normans. The straight line beach training has changed her attitude,” said stable representative Andrew Suddaby. A return to form looked immanent after she ran third at Forbury in her previous start. “She was probably one run short at her last start. Today she was pretty spot on and it was a winnable race. The pull down blinds made a difference today.” From the unruly mark on the 35 metre handicap, driver Dexter Dunn settled the mare last of the bunch. With 800 metres to run he launched her three wide. She was shunted out four wide at the 600 but came five wide with her run turning in and trotting boldly down the middle of the track. Kiwi Crusher appeared not to see Nottingham K Two coming up the inside, so Dunn had to drive her right out to win by half a length. Dexter Dunn getting busy on Kiwi Crusher (14) - Photo Bruce Stewart. “It’s definitely not her last win today but she may find the step up a bit tougher. That run today showed she’s definitely got another couple of wins in her at least,” said Suddaby. Kiwi Crusher is out of the Son Of Afella mare Cushion. Cushion was out of Evasion which was by Lordship. Evasion left Arden Meadow which won nine races, and Arden’s Dream, one of the foundation mares for Arden Lodge in Tapanui.   The win on Kiwi Crusher was one of three by Dexter Dunn. His other wins were on the Tony Stratford trained Little Rain and Betstars Blue Jean trained by Matt Saunders. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

The Bull Pen bred and owned by Riversdale breeder Neil Timms has come a long way in a short time. The Tintin In America five year old gelding is only in his second preparation after Timms completely forgot about him. “He (Timms) broke him in as a yearling and forgot about him until he was a four year old. We got him out of the paddock and started jogging him for about three months. We thought we‘d better throw some hopples on him to see whether he was any good. We qualified him in his first prep and he went 3-02. We threw him out and brought him back this year so it’s only really his first season of racing,” said trainer Brent McIntyre.  The Bull Pen (2) winning his second race at Gore - Photo Bruce Stewart. The Bull Pen is named after a Welsh holiday destination. “A friend of mine owned a cattle stud in Brecon in Wales and they made it into accommodation and called it The Bull Pens. It’s in Clanfigangel Nat Bran. I used to work for the guy's father in the 1970s when it was a farm,” said Timms. The Bull Pen is out of the Live Or Die mare One Ali which was trained by Ben Waldron. “She was a high speed mare who ran quite a few placings. She would have won from a stand but wasn’t good enough from behind a mobile. She’s in foal to Raging Bull,” Timms said. So why Tintin In America? “I went to him because of his high speed and he was within my price bracket for that year.” In today’s race, after the early rush, driver Maruia Parker who works for McIntyre restrained The Bull Pen into the one one. At the 300 metre mark she was travelling well enough to move out and start to challenge the leaders. And in a dogged finish, The Bull Pen got up to beat Misty Memories by a neck with another half a neck back to El Dinero. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Schweinsteiger looks to be a horse with a bit of speed and the way in which he finished off his race today (Saturday) at Gore the win in the Advance Agriculture Mobile Pace won’t be his last. The three year old gelding is raced by the What Ever Syndicate and trainer Hamish Hunter – the same group that won twenty five races and $682,514 with Cup Class pacer Franco Ledger. Schweinsteiger was purchased for $16,000 at the 2016 Sale of the Stars by the syndicate. “He was the only Falcon Seelster at the sale that year and he was a second thought. He was a similar size to Franco Ledger – very small,” said syndicate member Tony O’Neil. The What Ever Syndicate are mainly from Central Otago and are made up of Rugby fans. However Mike Cornelius is the odd one out.      “He’s the only soccer fan in the syndicate which is a bit sad. He’s happy that the horse is named Schweinsteiger because he’s named after a famous German soccer player. His stable name is Mad Mike,” said another syndicate member Ken McConnell. Tony O'Neil and his wife (left) with Ken McConnell and Schweinsteiger's  - Photo Bruce Stewart Football player Bastian Schweinsteiger played for thirteen seasons for Bayem Munich, represented Germany between 2004 and 2016 and is the fourth most capped German football player of all time. The syndicate was confident of a good showing today after a promising fourth at Winton last weekend. “Hamish doesn’t give much away but we were happy with the way he came home last week,” said Tony. The syndicate also race Broadway Banner and plan to have a get together next weekend at Invercargill. Their ‘frontman’ Brendon McIntyre was noticeably absent today. “He’s playing rugby and trying to kill himself. This is far easier,” said McConnell. O’Neil is also in the Gotashearasheep Syndicate that owned the third place getter Unloaded, trained by Peter Hunter. Schweinsteiger was bred by Cavalla Bloodstock and Canterbury Race Caller Mark McNamara and is out of Miss Moonlite Shadow. Miss Moonlite Shadow is by Christian Cullen out of Sirius Flight which is the dam of classy pacers Malak Uswaad (9 wins and 1-49.4 USA) and Timeless Perfection (6 wins). Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Another busy weekend of harness racing coming up with the highlight being the premier meeting at Addington on Friday night. There are four meetings this week starting with the Waikato Bay Of Plenty harness racing meeting tonight. Addington has the premier meeting on Friday night and the weekend harness racing heads to Gore on Saturday and Oamaru on Sunday.  Last week the biggest winning dividend in the ringaround selections went to Rory McIIwrick who thought I'm Trouble would go close to winning at Invercargill. I'm Trouble did win and paid $10.10 and $2.30 on the tote.  Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Waikato Bay Of Plenty at Cambridge on Thursday night. Andre Poutama - Andre is going for Gold Rocks as his best drive tonight in Race 2 Stephen Richardson (Odds Analyst) - Stephen thinks the Dickie trained Cullens Caviar can win Race 9 Jay Abernethy - Jay is going for Littlebitoflove as his best chance this week in Race 10 Todd Macfarlane - Todd thinks his best drive tonight would be Vatican Hill also in Race 10   Addington on Friday night John Morrison - John says that Ruthless Kayla would be his best drive this week at Addington in Race 2 Gavin Smith - Gavin says his best chance this week would be Miracle Rising also in Race 2 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is going for Oscar Bonavena as his best drive this week in Race 4 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks Gold Orchid would be a place chance this week in the Oaks at Addington in Race 6 Ricky May - Ricky is going for Enghien as his best drive this week at Addington in  Race 7 Cran Dalgety - Cran thinks Funatthebeach is going to be the hardest to beat at Addington in Race 10   Gore on Saturday Blair Orange - Blair says his best drive this week would be Artstanding at Gore in Race 1 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks his best drive this week is Allaboutdreams on Saturday at Gore also in Race 1 Brad Williamson - Brad says his best drive this week would be My Blue Heaven at Gore in Race 2 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week is Be Holme By Three at Gore in Race 4 Rory McIIwrick - Rory says that I'm Trouble would be his best drive again at Gore in Race 10 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane is going for Cullens Avenue as his best drive this week at Gore in Race 11   Oamaru on Sunday Racechat - Lance thinks that Bicton is a good chance of winning at Oamaru in Race 2 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Stars Tonight should go close to winning at Oamaru in Race 3 Terry Chmiel - Terry thinks his best drive this week could be Flyinova at Oamaru in Race 6 John Curtin - John thinks that Bringitonhome can go close to winning again this week in Race 7   Harnesslink Media

“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    

To say that Picketts Ridge has been a bit of a handful is a major understatement! The 'problem child' spent the early part of his life with Gore trainer Tony Holland who picked him up from Macca Lodge when he was looking for a horse to take on holiday to Cromwell. “He’d done six weeks jogging which suited me. He had a bit of a history of bucking. The wife was half scared of him. Thats why I ended up giving him to John. He’s got more carts than I have,” said Holland with a rye smile. Holland said Picketts Ridge has had some major meltdowns - twice on the Gore track and twice at home. “Out on the track one day I was jogging him and having a chat to Tony Stratford and a couple of horses came towards me. Did he go off! He broke the cart in half and got away, with the cart on, down to the far corner of the racecourse. I got within twenty metres of him and he just walked up to me. I’ve never had a horse do that to me. I went home, put another cart on him and we went straight back out. You couldn’t have got a quieter horse.” Picketts Ridge beating Nottingham K Two  - Photo Bruce Stewart Current trainer John Ryan says he got to know Picketts Ridge well in the early days working his own horses with the gelding last season, and also seeing him at the trials at Winton one day. “My mare (Kiwi Inspiration) trotted off the mark and after a while I looked back and Tony’s horse (Picketts Ridge) was still at the start. The next thing he was up beside me and won. He must have trotted 3-10 but didn’t qualify because he broke,” said Ryan. That was in March last year and Holland said at one point he was close to sacking the horse. “The day before the trials at Wyndham I was giving him standing start practice and once again he got into it (bucking and kicking). It was all in mid-air. You had to feel it. I said that was it, bugger him. A fella wanted to buy him and was supposed to be at the trials but he didn’t turn up. Nathan drove him at the trials and won on him and he qualified easily.”  That was in April last season as a three year old. After that his training was taken over by Ryan.  “I took him right back to basics. He’d had a few injuries and had a lot of healing to do so we used that time to put him back onto the long reins,” he said. Ryan says he’s also changed the gear the trotter was wearing, putting a special homemade add-on to the horse’s cropper (see picture). It’s a piece of polythene pipe that’s taped to the top of the cropper which holds the tail higher than usual. Picketts Ridges cropper - Photo Bruce Stewart “It’s actually off one of the markers on the track. It means he couldn’t get his tail down and start bucking. Nine times out of ten they clap their tail before they buck. When they clap their tail it sends a signal to the brain to kick and buck. He’s been picture perfect since.” Ryan says there’s still plenty of sorting out to do but the potential is certainly there. “He’s got a future. He feels like as good a horse as I’ve ever had. In saying that he trotted really roughly when he finished second at Wyndham. If I can get him trotting as good as he should be he could be anything.” Ryan says at the moment he has to be driven in a certain way. “I was working him on the grass and running him down the straight the other day. I just let him go and he rolled into a break. I said to Nathan 'keep him on the bit and hang on'. That’s what Williamson did today and he held on to beat Nottingham K Two by three quarters of a length. John also suspects the horse is feeling his hocks and he’s considering giving the horse a short break. “When I was in Auckland I stayed with Claire and Dave McGowan. Claire’s a wonderful horse physio. Six days a week she’s flat tak from daylight to dark. She’s advised me to ice pack his hocks. I’ve got a set (of special ice packs) arriving this week. She said to take him quietly and not work him too hard which I have done this week.” Picketts Ridge is out of the Sundon mare Come Follow Me and was bred by Macca Lodge. Come Follow Me is out of the nine win Gee Whiz II mare Be Not Afraid. Holland, who shares in the ownership of Picketts Ridge with his wife Philippa, works shift work at Fonterra and finished at 5am this morning. He doesn’t train too many horses and recently sold his unbeaten Washington VC pacer Back In The Day who will do his future racing in Melbourne. Philippa Holland, John Ryan and Tony Holland with Picketts Ridge - Photo Bruce Stewart. “I got four or five good offers for him. I said 'I’m keeping this one - he’s got the X factor'. I got a text (from Peter Larkin) with a huge offer and it buggered me seeing that. I said to the Aussie - you’ve stuffed me making the offer like that. He said that’s usually the best way.”  Meanwhile Ryan’s good mare Golden Gate is in foal to Love You. “She’s not at the peak of her powers at the moment but is enjoying being in work.  It’s good to have her so settled at this time of year. Normally she’s in and out of season and she can be a proper old dog. We can race her until the end of next month before the 120 days are up.” The win on Picketts Ridge was Southland driver Nathan Williamson’s 700th. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Gore harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:30am Race 1 - Picketts Ridge $1.90 - $1.70 is the only runner wanted in win & multi betting. Race 2 - Carlo Gambino $4.50 leads multi betting over Gotta Good Looker $7.00 & Honour Scroll $4.80. Race 3 - Davey Mac $3.20 is a clear leader in multi betting over Rydgemont Milly $15.00 - $10.00.  Race 4 - Arma Twospoons $5.50 - $5.00 is easily the best backed runner in win & multi betting. Race 5 - Nightmarch $3.40 leads win & multi betting over Annie Fitz $5.00. Race 6 - Convair Hustler $4.50 - $4.00 is the best backed runner in win betting over Blarney Babe $4.50. Money is also starting to come for Duff McKagan $9.00. Race 7 - Canardly Remember $12.50 - $8.50 leads win betting with The Go To Man $6.00 a clear leader in multi betting over Indiana Dreaming $4.00. Race 8 - Jakira $1.90 is the best backed runner on the win 'book' but also attracting some early support is Hurricane Banner $20.00 - $12.00. Jakira just leads multi betting over Hurricane Banner. Race 9 - Jen Jaccka $4.50 leads multi betting over Smokey Mac $3.80. Race 10 - Star Commander at $1.40 is obviously every ones multi anchor in this race with the best backed runner on the win 'book' Smooth Mara $11.00. Race 11 - Somejoy $1.30 is the only runner wanted in multi betting while Young Conqueror $10.00 leads win betting. Race 12 - Mighty Empire $4.00 - $3.40 has been well backed early with the largest bets $666 at $4.00, $769 at $3.60 & $833 at $3.40 (X2) Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)  

The Geoff Gibson-Smith trained Chinook Winds was lucky to stay on her feet during the Arden Lodge Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace at Gore today(Wednesday). Driver Robin Swain had to take evasive action when favourite Liberty Rose ducked out in the run home. “I think she was lucky to stand up and for Robin to stay in the cart,” said Gibson-Smith. The Santanna Blue Chip mare in only her tenth start, recorded her first win and Gibson-Smith wasn’t overly confident with a second line draw. “Drawn twelve I thought that it might be hard enough but she got a beautiful run through. The driver made the difference.” The four year old is a ‘home bred’ and goes back to a breed that Bruce Stirling developed.  As a three year old Chinook Winds recorded a number of places but at the end of the season she was having problems tying up. “She’s always been nice. She ran a half in 55 (seconds) at the workouts one day. She’s been a nice pacer but I’ve had a few problems with her tying up last season so we turned her out. I’ve been mindful of that this year. I’ve been feeding her Vitamin E as much as I can. I’m normally a seller but the kids are in on her. We’ll see how she handles the next grade.” Chinook Winds is owned by Kent Gibson-Smith, Scott Gibson-Smith and his partner Charlotte Berry and Glen and Ange Gibson-Smith along with Geoff’s wife Jill. Action photos    -  Bruce Stewart Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

After winning two trotting races early in the day Kenny and Penny Baynes were in the spotlight again when they won the Mataura Licensing Trust Gore Cup with Royal Bengal.  "We developed him down here with Robin Swain. Penny wanted to race a horse in Christchurch. Last season he got a virus and didn't finished off the season every well. We spelled him and sent him directly to Ken and Tony Barron in the winter. They've developed the horse and done a great job. He ran some good times over Cup Week. He's a nice wee horse," said Kenny.  In today's pacing feature driver Dexter Dunn settled the four year old into the one one. At the top of the straight Royal Bengal had hit the lead and held out a spirited late challenge by outsider Gotta Del.  Returning with winning driver Dexter Dunn - Photo Bruce Stewart. Baynes says short term the horse, which has now won four races, is likely to race in New Zealand.  "Penny's not a great seller so we might hang onto this one. He might go to Australia and race in Perth later on." So in the final washup, Kenny in partnership with his wife Jo and sister in-law Penny won three races on the card today on their home track.  "It's pretty special and a goal of mine. I ran second in 2007 Gore Cup with Wattie. I've been around this Club for a long time. I first worked here about forty years ago when I was a kid keeping the birdcage clean. I was watering the track today and turning up here and winning three races was just a delight."  Kenny's father Colin won the Gore Cup in 1982 with Dab Chick.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Lindsay and Ian Thomson and horses bred by Tuapeka Lodge are on a bit of a roll at the moment. On the back of Kilowatt Kid winning at Winton at the end of last month Lawrence and Six Diamonds added to the tally at Gore yesterday (Sunday). All three horses were bred by the Cummings Family of Tuapeka Lodge and are owned by the Thomsons of Branxholme. Six Diamonds, a five year old gelding out of Raindowne, was having his first start since winning at Forbury in June. He'd been fitted for yesterday's assignment with two workouts.  "His first workout was very good while the second one wasn't so good. But we had a few issues that we had to tidy up which we did. He's trained good since," said trainer Alister Black. The gelding has only had nineteen starts and has been well looked after by Black.  "He's only a wee horse and he used to fire up but now he's a bit more tractable." He's now won five races and his connections will look at perhaps targeting some the Country Cup races around Christmas-New Year.  "He's very good from a stand but there's going to be some nice horses in those Country Cup races this year."   Black's second success for the day was the wellbred Lawrence when he easily won the Gore Windscreen 'N' Glass 2000 Ltd Mobile Pace. He's improved from his previous start which was also his first, when he ran fourth.   "I didn't think he could beat Kirk. (Thatswhatisaid) Normally I don't say anything to the driver but Brad (driver Brad Williamson) hadn't driven this guy. I said before he went out as soon as they button off don't be afraid to go round. If you get round don't be frightened to give it to them from the 600 and that's what he did," said Black commending his driver on a perfect drive. Like Six Diamonds, Lawrence has been well looked after and not rushed into racing early.  "When he was a two year old he had a couple of little foot issues and he wasn't all that good in his gait. We looked after him. Carl Hanna drove him at the workouts and I drove him when he qualified. We never really let him go. I always knew he was going to be alright. His feet are real good now and he's a lot happier." Both Six Diamonds and Kilowatt Kid have Tuapeka Dream in their pedigree while Lawrence comes from the other Cummings family which traces back to Sakuntala.  "I'm quite lucky I've got two owners that quite like buying their horses. They're so natural. Dan Cummings and the rest of the family do a wonderful job. They make your job easy." Meanwhile Kilowatt Kid is having a bit of a break from the race track after impressing at both of his starts this season. He was a very good winner at Winton on debut before running quality colt The Bus to three quarters of a length in the Nuggets Finals at the Northern Southland meeting last Saturday.  "He's having ten days off. I haven't mapped out a plan for him but he won't be too overtaxed this year. His two main goals are the Super Nuggets Final ($20,000 at Northern Southland in March) and the Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (April on Diamonds Day)." Black says there have been offers for the gelding but he's not on the market. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing Lawrence winning Six Diamonds winning

The royally breed Bridesdale Robyn impressed when she won at Gore yesterday. She's owned by Judy Dillon and Ross Wilson who also trains the filly. Wilson and Graeme Edgar raced Robyn's Treasure, Bridesdale Robyn's dam. She won seven races including the 1994 New Zealand Oaks, DB Fillies Final double at Addington.  Judy was given the mare by Wilson and Edgar so she could retire on the Dillon family farm. "I was allowed a foal which we got but when Bridey (Bridesdale Robyn) was six weeks old Robyn's Treasure had a paddock accident. She shattered her shoulder and had to be put down. I had to hand rear the foal and she wouldn't drink for a start. I was pulling my hair out but then she started to drink from a bucket. She must have got really hungry. Since then she never looked back and was drinking ten litres a day. Two and a half litres, four times a day," she said.  By Christian Cullen, Bridesdale Robyn is named after stock that the Dillons produce on their farm 'Bridesdale' at Ardlussa in Northern Southland. They raise Romney and Dorset Downs sheep on what was originally an 800 acre block - some of the farm has since been sold to their son. The home block is now 100 acres. "All my sheep have the prefix Bridesdale and I couldn't get that name so Ross suggested I try Bridesdale Robyn." Bridesdale Robyn started twice as a two year old last season. "She was up against the Purdon/Rasmussen horses and the boys (colts and geldings) but went round and did everything right." In yesterday's win driver Craig Ferguson took her straight to the lead.  "She likes it out in front. She hasn't learned to relax when she's trailing up so she's a work in progress. It wasn't a very hard run for her today. She'll be lining up again shortly but that's (programming) Ross's job."  She was taken to just two workouts this season prior to yesterday's start   "Ross has always liked her. He broke her in and has done all the preparation. At the workouts two weeks ago she just strolled round and won easily. We don't know what sort of bottom (depth) she has to her yet."  There's plenty of heritage in the Dillon family name. Judy's husband Richard's uncle Charlie Dillon (C.E. Dillon) owned and trained horses at Kaweku near Riversdale. "Bryce Buchanan and John Ryan worked for him. He raced Novelda (Dillon Hall - Charming Child) which won the 1947 Wyndham Juvenile Stakes." He also bred and raced King Hal which won the 1960 Great Northern Derby. He was trained by Ces Donald and driven by Derek Jones.  Novelda's full-sister Nadine left the handy pacer Johnny Dean (Johnny Globe - Nadine) which Charlie raced. He won five races, four as a four year old in the 1960-61 season. He was trained by RJ (Sid) Kemble. Garrison Royal was another handy horse Charlie Dillon raced, also trained by Ces Donald. Dillon raced many horses with the Sherwood prefix. Judy is still an active breeder with a handful of mares. Her Camtastic mare Daisy Belle, which has left the nine win gelding Jimbob Jac, has a nice colt by Somebeachsomewhere called Archman. He's three and is currently getting ready to qualify for Geoff and Jude Knight.  Judy's father Eric Butler with Alan Jones operated the first mobile vehicle in Southland. Eric also bred horses producing Mister Majestic (Majestic Chance - Mary Bank) which won eight races and was the first horse Ross Wilson trained. He was also his winner when he won at Roxburgh in April 1980. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Smokey Mac is starting to string together a good formline but trainer Brett Gray isn't looking too far ahead with the promising trotter. In yesterday's main trotting race at Gore driver Brent Barclay took the son of Thanksgiving to the lead from the 10 metre mark and made the backmarkers Poppymalda (40 metres), Alderbeck (50 metres) and Father Christmas (40 metres) work hard. The handicap proved too much for this trio with Smokey Mac holding on to win by a length and a quarter from Poppymalda with a nose back to a late finishing Alderbeck in third. "With the draw and with the backmarkers you want to keep them working a bit so we took him to the front. But he's got a great sprint from in behind," said trainer Brett Gray.  Smokey Mac is out of the Armbro Invasion mare Uncatchable and is closely related to Charlie Wood and Perfect du Jour both of which won seven races. He's owned by John and Pam Macleod from Winton who also him and Gray says he's been a bit of a project. "He's just one of those horses. He's always had ability but you just don't know which way he's going to go. So the jury is out at the moment. It'll really be interesting how good he goes when he has to really dig deep. But he does keep on surprising me."  And the stable have sorted out what works best for Smokey Mac particularly on race days.  "As long as his attitude doesn't pull him up I think he'll be okay. We do work him on race day morning and we've got permission to take him around to the start late, it's really working well at the moment. Every time he races now he relaxes and drops the bit. At home he just ambles round and doesn't work that great by himself but if you take a stick with you he'll be away, so he's a bit of a character. He's still only learning but he's really made some progress this year."   Later in the programme Erin Jaccka returned to the winners circle when she held on by a neck to beat Jabali. It was the five year old mare's third win from eighteen starts and Gray says he was pleased to see her win yesterday on the rain affected track.  "Maybe with the wet track she appreciated it a bit more. I was a bit worried about the track though, as she can jump out of her gear." Erin Jaccka looked very smart as a three year old winning a mile race at Winton in what was then a track and Southland record time of 1-53.9, but she hasn't built on that form. "We suspect it was a joint issue (that was affecting her) but we haven't really got to the bottom of it. We work on her knees a bit. We do give her treatment for arthritis by injecting her in the muscle which covers all the joints." Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Gore harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:00am Race 1 - Best backed on the win 'book' has been Crusher Collins the $2.20 who is also leading multi betting.   Race 2 - Easily the best backed runner has been Motu Belle Du Jour $2.10 over Bridesdale Robyn $10.00. Motu Belle Du Jour easily leads multi betting over Arizona Atom.   Race 3 - A very quiet win 'book' early but the only runner wanted in multi betting is Tilly Patron the $2.60 favourite.   Race 4 - The Red Robber $2.90 - $2.50 has been backed early with some money also coming for Sefton Hooligan $5.50.    Race 5 - Danielle Amore $3.20 is best backed on the win 'book' and multi betting over Eagle Galleon $5.00.   Race 6 - Major McRae is the big mover here from $4.20 in to $3.50 and is the only runner wanted. Thatswhatisaid leads in multi betting.   Race 7 - A very quiet win 'book' early but Arthur Lowe leads win betting with Lorretta Franco $5.50 leading multi betting over the former runner.     Race 8 - Lilac Flash $3.30 leads multi betting over Statham $4.80    Race 9 - Poppymalda $2.70 leads early win betting. Father Christmas is starting to attract money   Race 10 - Canardly Remember $4.20 is the best backed runner early on a quiet market and also leads multi betting.   Race 11 - Western Delight $2.90 is easily the best backed runner early and is the only runner wanted in multi betting.     Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

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