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He's raced against some of the best horses in harness racing history, including Hall of Fame legends Somebeachsomewhere and Foiled Again, and he is still going strong at the age of 14. Anderlecht, a male pacer who got his first win at Woodbine in 2007, entered Wednesday with 18 victories this season, which is tied for third most in North America, only two fewer than leader Rusty's Flying. And the gelding is still capable of producing memorable moments, like in June when he gave driver Bruce Ranger the 9,000th victory of his career. For his own career, Anderlecht has won 82 races (with 32 different drivers) in 367 starts and earned $978,027 (C$1.03 million). He captured the 2010 Des Smith Classic at Rideau Carleton and a year earlier won the Cam Fella Pacing Series championship at Woodbine. His career-best time of 1:48 came at the age of 9, when he beat triple-millionaire All Bets Off in a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Anderlecht will be pointed toward several more starts before mandatory retirement on Jan. 1, first at Scarborough Downs and then possibly at Monticello Raceway. "The old horse just feels good about himself," said Dennis Whittemore, who bought Anderlecht in May 2018 to race for his wife Diane. "He likes what he does, he loves his job, and when you put him on the racetrack, he knows what he's doing. If you put him in a position where he's got a shot at winning, he's going to come out on top most of the time." Whittemore, from Maine, was a fan of Anderlecht before buying him. He watched the horse race at Florida's Pompano Park, where Whittemore spent the winters, and thought the horse could be competitive in Maine. "I watched him race in Pompano and when he was good, he was super good," Whittemore said. "Just knowing I like to go to Maine in the summertime, if you take good old back class home, usually you do pretty good with it. He's just a class horse." First, though, Whittemore needed to help Anderlecht recover from a tendon sheath infection. Whittemore and his brother, Dana, who has trained the horse for most of his time in Maine, nursed the horse to health with eyes toward a healthy 2019. "Slowly but surely, he came around," Whittemore said. "My brother did a very good job with him. He took great care of him. He came back this year as a monster." Anderlecht has won 18 of 37 races this year and $37,878. He has raced at Scarborough and Bangor Raceway as well as the Maine fairs. "He's just a pleasure to have around," Whittemore said. "He plays little games with you, but he does everything to please you." Whittemore is working with a retirement group to find a forever home for Anderlecht following his career on the racetrack. "He raced some good ones over the years," Whittemore said. "There are not a lot of horses that win over 80 races. Everyone that's had him has done well with him. "He's had a pretty storied career." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

For the first time in the history of the Top Ten Poll the same horse stayed #1 all season long and that horse is none other than Shartin N. This is the final Top Ten Poll for the 2019 season. Shartin N closed out the year with 23 first place votes out of 35 voters. The final Top Ten Poll did not change at all from last week. Thanks to the USTA's Ken Weingartner for conducting the Top Ten Poll. Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (23) 6pm 19-15-3-0 $982,177 322 1 2 Bettor’s Wish (8) 3pc 19-13-6-0 $1,643,745 306 2 3 Greenshoe (3) 3tc 13-10-3-0 $1,277,049 253 3 4 Manchego (1) 4tm 17-8-1-0 $585,788 204 4 5 Warrawee Ubeaut 3pf 19-12-2-3 $950,610 173 5 6 Gimpanzee 3tc 14-8-1-2 $1,128,753 135 6 7 Caviart Ally 5pm 19-9-7-3 $672,215 114 7 8 Papi Rob Hanover 2pc 12-6-4-2 $754,774 71 8 9 Real Cool Sam 2tg 10-9-0-0 $497,774 56 9 10 Tall Dark Stranger 2pc 9-8-1-0 $717,514 51 10 ALSO: Atlanta 48; McWicked 41; Six Pack 39; Lather Up 38; Emoticon Hanover 10; When Dovescry 9; Captain Crunch, Forbidden Trade, Senorita Rita 8; Southwind Ozzi 6; Lyons Sentinel 5; Amigo Volo 4; Blue Ivy, Sister Sledge 3; Easy Lover Hanover, Elver Hanover, JK First Lady 2; Always A Prince, Bold Eagle, Shake That House, Winndevie 1. From the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown/USTA

Craig Demmler says the door to the Inter Dominion final is ajar, My Kiwi Mate just has to pace through it. And the 2700m of the final round of heats for the series at Alexandra Park on Friday night gives him in the perfect chance to do just that. My Kiwi Mate all but earned his spot in the A$500,000 final with his third placing on Tuesday night and he goes into Friday seventh on the points ladder with 19, giving him a huge buffer over the 13th equal pair of On The Cards and Bling It On, who sit on 13 points and at the moment tied for the emergency spot. That would suggest My Kiwi Mate could run seventh or even eighth on Friday night but Victorian horseman Demmler isn’t thinking too far ahead. “Sure, I’d love to make the final but I don’t want to be worrying about it too much cause we can’t control how the others go. “But we are a long way toward the final and he loves the series racing.” Demmler says the step up to 2700m for the final round of heats and the final will suit My Kiwi Mate, he just wishes he had more distance races to aim him at in Victoria. “He loves following a good speed and he gets a better drawn than some of those others who need points. “So getting into the final is the first thing and we will take anything else as a bonus. “We all know how hard it is going to be to beat a horse like Ultimate Sniper because he is flying but I think on our Victorian form we aren’t far behind Cruz Bromac.”Demmler is loving the series at his good friend Barry Purdon’s property, where some of the big guns of the series are also stationed. Depending on results on Friday night it is very possible five of the pacing Grand Final 12 could come from Purdon’s property as well as Marcoola for the trotting final. “I just love being here for the series, it is iconic,” says Demmler. “This is why we train horses, to come away and race the best and spend time with good friends and make new ones.” The series did however start on a sad note for Demmler, with his uncle Rodney passing away last Friday. “Rodney was in the horses early doors but got out of racing to drive trucks and he was a great guy,” remembers Demmler. “He was a very different guy from Dad (Ted, Rodney’s brother). Louder and more of a party guy. “I got the call from Dad before the heats last Friday to tell me he had passed and it really knocked me. "So I’d love to make the final to give the family something to cheer about.”   Michael Guerin

World first, real time 360° in race experience trialed at Alexandra Park, Successfully trialed at Australasia’s biggest harness racing meeting is set to revolutionise the New Zealand and global racing and wagering industry. Representatives from the New Zealand TAB and Australian Harness Racing were on site at Auckland’s Alexandra Park last Friday night when the new broadcast technology was unveiled at harness racing’s IRT sponsored Inter Dominion Championships. The successful trial featured on-site coverage of races involving 360-degree cameras mounted on the helmets of drivers, which will soon allow fans to use smartphones to experience the race in real-time from the perspective of the drivers. Racing officials globally are interested in the technology’s ability to deliver in-race wagering, opening a vital new revenue stream for the TAB and also acting as an attraction to lure fans and the next generation of event seekers, back to racing clubs suffering from declining attendances. “This has huge potential. Punters should get involved while attending the InterDoms. We need their feedback to make the experience the best it can be. Looking forward to the next stage. One of the more exciting things that’s happened to Racing for years,” says Racing Board general manager of customers, Gary Woodham “Once we have proven the system, we can look to monetise it for punters. Very exciting. TAB understands how this could change the game for Racing punters.” Representatives from 5G providers Huawei, have been contributors to the “proof-of-concept” which has been overseen by the inventor of the “BESTSEAT360” product, Aucklander Craig Meek. The innovative smartphone-delivered products allow spectators at track side or at home, to view the race in real-time from the perspective of the driver or jockey. The product allows users to rotate the view a full 360 degrees to see the horses in front, next and behind the chosen driver. Fans can also ‘teleport’ or ‘swap’ to different drivers during the race. “In the past, if you were at a track, you’d follow a race with a set of binoculars,” explained Meek. “Today, our product allows you to use a smartphone, while giving you the incredible experience of driving your horse in the race by simply rotating your view 360 degrees during the race allowing you to move from horse to horse for a better view, putting you right in the action.” A select group of 50 “VIPs” used the product for the first time during the Alexandra Park pilot and were unanimous in agreement; this trial was a glimpse into the future and could be a huge boost for the industry and other sporting codes. “Racing has probably lagged a bit in technology in recent times, but this could be a game-changer,” said Jamie MacKinnon, Board Director of Alexandra Park. “We need to find effective and stimulating ways to convince event seekers to come to race meetings and to better engage with our sport. This is the future of engaging sports viewership and a platform to improve revenues. It’s easy to use and very captivating. We saw positive response to the idea, especially by those not directly involved with harness racing.” “Many of them were blown away by the technology and say they want more.” Importantly, MacKinnon added, the future ability to bet through the BESTSEAT360 product could prove a huge benefit to the future of the racing industry. Harness racing officials both sides of the Tasman are enthusiastic about the products potential with the wagering community. “Having seen the amazing vision generated by the BestSeat360 technology, I sincerely believe that this innovative presentation of vision can be 'game changing' for the Harness Racing Industry. Not only does it provide the ability to revolutionise the way in which people view and experience our racing product, but it also has the potential to open new revenue streams to the Industry.” said Chairman - Harness Racing Australia, Michael Taranto. “The potential uses of the vision are endless.” Based on the success of this trial, BESTSEAT360 has been invited to present to the governing body of the China racing body responsible for horse racing and wagering on Hainan Island, China. Meek said 5G will be the “game-changer” that makes BESTSEAT360 the ultimate in sports engagement. While harness racing was the “first proof-of-concept”, the technology and product had a “natural fit” with other sporting codes and media coverage. The Alexandra Park trial was successful using 4.5G. “If we had 5G, the full-on experience would be mind-blowing,” said Meek. “Being Kiwis, we are overcoming all obstacles as they present. Working with the team at Spark and Huawei they upgraded the Alexandra Park cell site from 4G to 4.5G to provide us with enough band width to provide the VIPs with an exclusive experience from multiple horses. We have also tested the technology in the Spark 5G Lab.” MacKinnon said, “Alexandra Park has been working with Meek’s company since the beginning of the year and saw the IRT Inter-Dominion as the perfect event to pilot the technology.” “We have provided them with access to our facilities,” he explained. “The horse owners, drivers and staff have been amazingly helpful and realise they will be beneficiaries of the new technology and are part of a world first.” Meek said the test project had been invaluable in identifying and overcoming issues and that real-time, in-race wagering “is absolutely possible” and that the product is easily transferrable to the sports and entertainment world. He said BESTSEAT360 will roll out other world firsts with various sports over the next year and would also concentrate on adding an “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) component to assist users and take engagement to the next level. “We’re talking about smart media for smart phones that gives you the event in real-time, close up from the eyes of those in it the middle of it,” he said. “There is an obvious application to all manner of sports from motor-racing to rugby, cricket to baseball, basketball to netball, Tour de France to crazy extreme sports and a host of other sports. Not only does it offer fans gripping new perspectives from the view of the athlete but also the ability to create gamification to drive fan engagement and also maximise the wagering economy.” Meek said, “Licencing opportunities are underway with sports organisations, telcos and broadcasters in New Zealand and internationally with an investment round also planned early next year.”   Media Release

A personal milestone for Michelle Phillips has affirmed the effervescent Victorian horsewoman's decision to pursue harness racing ahead of her other sporting interests. The 22-year-old recently drove her 50th winner, and with her family background was probably always going to end up in harness racing, but she admits competitive basketball captured her love for several years. "I'd played basketball when I was growing up at Warragul in Gippsland and was lucky enough to get a position at Seda College while I was completing Year 11 and 12," she said. "The main emphasis of the college is basketball with the Melbourne United Club and Basketball Victoria working together to further develop the sport." Phillips represented Victoria a few times, mainly as a point guard, and also competed in school carnivals against other States. But as a graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre at Warragul (where she was selected as the inaugural Harness Racing Victoria-Community College Gippsland trots intern), harness racing was never far away. And ironically, her basketball interest was probably what eventually brought her back to the trots. "Then when I finished Year 12, Deb and Gary Quinlan, from Drouin West, offered me a part-time job at their stables, I jumped at it - probably because I had renewed enthusiasm after the two-year break," she said. Phillips grew up around harness racing, with both her father Ken and grandfather Max being Clerks of the Course for many years at local trots meetings. "While I was at the Harness Racing Training Centre I had 12 months of learning everything about the industry and spent time in a number of leading stables here including Alison and Chris Alford, Anton Golino, Andy and Kate Gath, and with Mark Purdon in New Zealand," Phillips said. "A highlight was helping Mark with the preparation and care of Smolda, leading up to him winning the Inter Dominion," she said. Phillips drove her first winner in April last year at Ballarat when successful at her eighth race drive on Our Sir Oliver, trained by Norm McVitty. She then followed the April with with two further victories in May with the same horse at the same track! In her first season she finished with 10 wins and 26 placings. Last season she improved with 23 wins and 62 placings and now looks set for her best-ever with 18 wins and 30 placings to date. She landed her 50th winner at Maryborough last week on Lets Went for Bendigo trainer Laurie Wills. "I was absolutely stoked, and it was great to have the luck continue for a bit at Mildura the next night when I got home on Rocknroll Legend. But it was soured a little bit later in the night cos I got a suspension," Phillips said. Now attached to the successful Chris Svanosio barn, Phillips is busy helping with the stable's shift from their Bendigo base to a Romsey property where Svanosio's partner Elizabeth MacLean is established. "We are all looking forward to it because it's a magnificent complex," she said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness racing legend and Cambridge Raceway patron, Charlie Hunter, was recognised for his achievements in the sport at an event in Auckland on Thursday night ahead of the Inter Dominion carnival held at Alexandra Park. The long-time servant of harness racing was presented with an award for distinguished service by the Inter Dominion Event Committee and Hunter said the honour was a pleasant surprise. “I had been asked to accept the role as the Inter Dominion ambassador and at the function the other night one thing led to another,” he said. “It was a nice surprise. You don’t do the things you do in your life looking for acclaim and awards, but it is very nice when you are recognised, particularly from an Australasian viewpoint. “I have enjoyed everything I have done in harness racing, whether it be administration, training, or driving.” Hunter remains one of the most successful trainers to have competed in the series, winning three finals and the only trainer to have won both finals in the same year. He won his first Inter Dominion Final in 1971 when he trained and drove Geffin to win the Trotters series, and Hunter said that first series victory was a great thrill.  “I won it with Geffin who was the first four-year-old trotter to win the final. He was a lovely horse. “That was a real pleasure because he was a work in progress at that time. He had a very good season and won two heats and the final.” Four years later, at Alexandra Park in Auckland, Hunter became the first (and to date only) trainer to secure both titles in the same year, winning the Trotters Final with Castleton’s Pride, and taking out the Pacers Final with a horse he labelled as the best he has trained, Young Quinn. “He just did things that other horses haven’t done,” Hunter said. “In the 1975 season, he won 19 of his 22 starts, including the three heats and final of the Inter Dominion and a whole bunch of races prior to going over to Australia and winning top free-for-all pacing races, and then in Canada and the United States. He was just a super horse.” Hunter was unable to take the reins in either final in 1975 due to injury, however, he said it remains one of his most pleasing achievements in the sport.  “1975 was a mixed carnival for the fact that my horse was brought down on the second night and I was out of it as a driver from thereon in.  “But it didn’t stop the pleasure of seeing my team race well and win. That’s what you are trying to train them for.” The 1975 series was also a turning point for talented horseman John Langdon, who drove both horses in the absence of his then employer. Langdon went onto forge his own stellar training career, winning the 1992 Trotting Final with William Dee and subsequently inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame. “John Langdon was working for me at the time and had been for about three years. John was always a good horseman and he proved it at that carnival,” Hunter said. “The next year I was going to the States and we had started off the season well. I was going to be away for a long time, so I split the team and John took over one of the properties that I had leased and he started up on his own with some of the owners. I had encouraged my owners to go with him and away he went. “Everything worked out well for him.” As well as the three Inter Dominion Final victories, Hunter came close in other years, as both a trainer and an owner. “I was second at Auckland with French Pass back in 1968 and I was also second with Jenner in the early eighties, again at Auckland,” Hunter recalled. “Sovereignty ran a place in the Inter Dominions at Melbourne and then at Auckland we were fourth. He was thereabouts without getting the job done, but he did a lot of good things.” Hunter had been looking forward to contesting this year’s carnival with Group One-winning trotter Lemond, however, the Ross Paynter-trained seven-year-old was ruled out through injury. “He generally races pretty well at Auckland,” Hunter said. “He has set a couple of national records up there for the 1700m and 2400m stand, and has won Group One and Group Two races. “But it was evident to us a few weeks back that he was not going to make it. “He was doing things which he doesn’t normally do. One was making a break at Auckland, and we thought we had that fixed, and then he went to Cambridge for the two mile race and he broke on the first turn. He just couldn’t handle the turns. “We had him checked out by the vets. He went to Cambridge Equine Hospital where they have a scintigraphy scanner. That showed up a stress fracture in the left tibia between the hock and stifle. “That was the obvious cause of pain and it also showed up another smaller issue. He is confined to a stall for six weeks and then confined to a small area for another six weeks, so we are not looking at racing him until next season.” While Hunter is disappointed Lemond has been ruled out, he is still taking plenty of interest in the carnival, particularly with the performance of trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, who he believes can take out both finals this year. “It will be interesting to see what happens in this championship, particularly with the way Winterfell went on Friday night,” he said.  “Mark has got a real chance of winning both the Pacers and the Trotters series, so it will be interesting to see if he joins me in the title of winning both finals at the one carnival. I wouldn’t count him out.”   Joshua Smith for Cambridge Raceway

Brad Williamson might have missed his plane on the way to the Inter Dominions last night but he still got the chance to fly. Because the Oamaru driver and Majestic Man were airbourne in their heat of the trotting series as they threw down the gauntlet to their rivals with a stunning all-the-way win. After some brilliant but luckless performances at Alexandra Park in the past, Majestic Man was able to find the front last night and Williamson, driving for his trainer father Phil, barely looked around as Majestic Man controlled the 1700m mobile before racing clear of Habibi Inta, Massive Metro and Winterfell. Williamson knows he is lucky to have a serious Inter Dominion winning chance at such a young age but he was also lucky just to be in Auckland at all. “I missed my first plane out of Dunedin but it wasn’t my fault,” Williamson sheepishly said after the win. “I tried to check in and there was nobody at the counters and then nothing went right. “I was lucky to get here at all because there was only one seat on the next plane, otherwise I was going home to watch.” Majestic Man’s gate speed is going to be a handy weapon come the $150,000 final on Saturday week but he has also been superb when coming with one run in races like the Rowe Cup so he has plenty of strings to his bow. The second trotting heat last night, and fourth overall, went to Temporale who has re-emerged after trainer Tony Herlihy struggled to pin down soreness issues which bothered him last season. Almost at his wits end Herlihy sent the former Rowe Cup winner out to friends Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett to beach train and they have worked the oracle, with Temporale having been faultless this campaign. He was beaten off the gate last night but soon retook the lead and held the sizzling late run from Marcoola while Paramount King showed his first night win was no fluke his a massive third.   ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE It is going to take a very good horse to deny Ultimate Sniper the Inter Dominion Pacing title in 10 days time. That was the booming message the four-year-old sent to his rivals in the strongest pacing heat last night when he was again three wide for much of the race yet still beat stablemate Cruz Bromac. His win mirrored his stunning first night run when he was three wide for 1400m of his 2200m heat but last night was perhaps even more impressive as he was three wide the entire opening lap. That he could still surge clear at the top of the straight was a graphic example of his incredible stamina and he should only be better over 2700m in Friday night’s last round of heats and the final. Cruz Bromac would have lost few fans in second, with stewards questioning Mark Purdon over failing to hold the parked out position at the 500m mark, with the inquiry being adjourned. Earlier in the night A G’s White Sock continued his remarkable form turnaround since joining Barry Purdon just a week ago when he powered to the lead and was then too good for Chase Auckland. The night was a mixed bag for the Australians though, with Colt Thirty One all but out of the series after being trapped wide and dropping out but My Kiwi Mate, San Carlo and Bling It On still have hopes of making the final. The fields for the final round of heats will be out early this afternoon.   by Michael Guerin

By Garrick Knight    Temporale added his name in the mix of an open Inter Dominion Trotting Championship with an impressive front-running victory over the short course at Alexandra Park on Tuesday night. Beach training appears to have worked the oracle with the seven-year-old son of Monarchy, who has been boarding with Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis in Waiuku for the past couple of months. “He’s just trotting so good now,” said Tony Herlihy, who drive the horse and is still officially the trainer. “Bernie and Michelle have done a great job on the beach with him. “His couple of races before the series were really good and he trialed nicely the week before, too.” He was a brave fourth behind Winterfell on night 1 last Friday after first leading, then trailing and moving to parked half a lap from home. But it was straight to the front on night 2 and race favourite Marcoola was unable to bridge the gap from three back on the markers. Now safely ensconced in next Saturday’s $150,000 Final, Herlihy can’t help but cast his eye ahead. “My fella has been terrific, but the longer trip will suit a few of the good horses, too. “I just hope we get no bad luck in the run and have our show. “Massive Metro will suit the 2700 metres and a few of the other boys can stay. “Majestic Man is racing so terrifically at the moment, and Marcoola, too.” Michelle Wallis said Temporale is a low-fuss commodity that is a pleasure to train on loan from Herlihy. “He’s a cool horse to do anything with. He just does what you ask him to and does it well. “We didn’t do much with him between Friday and today, just kept him happy, really.” Wallis and Hackett’s own horse, Massive Metro, made good ground from a hopeless position to finish third over an unsuitable short trip. Perhaps with a touch of bias, she declared he was the stable’s better chance in the final, but that it was a very open race. “Any one of half-a-dozen could win it. “It’s a good bunch of trotters with no real standout in my eyes. “Marcoola might be the one to beat – he’s had two nice soft trips on the markers and has ran home well both times.” Marcoola’s driver, Sheree Tomlinson, was thrilled with his performance and said everything is boding well for the final. “Really happy with him again tonight. He’s so well within himself and is thriving up here. “Probably drawing one isn’t helping us as he just can’t quite go with them early on.” Night 1 winner Paramount King was superb again, looping the field over the last half-lap and pushing the first two home to half-a-length. Co-trainer and driver Joshua Dickie couldn’t have been more pleased with the effort and said it gives him further confidence that the horse is a legitimate chance of winning the final with the right run. Trotters’ points after night 2. 25 Majestic Man, 25 Paramount King, 24 Marcoola, 23 Temporale, 23 Winterfell, 22 Massive Metro, 18 Habibi Inta, 15 Destiny Jones, 14 Bonnie Highlander, 13 Big Jack Hammer, 12 Monty Python, 12 Tough Monarch, 12 Valloria, 10 C K Spur, 10 Sertorius, 8 Pres The Belle, 7 Ronald J, 6 Didjabringthebeers, 6 Kenny’s Dream, 4 Woodstone Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    All Stars pacer Ultimate Sniper again stamped himself as the horse to beat in this year’s Interdominion pacing series with an incredible winning performance on night two of the championship. A tough run three-wide, before eventually making the parked position, proved a minor inconvenience for the 4yr-old, who remained unbeaten in the series in the hands of co-trainer and driver Natalie Rasmussen. Ultimate Sniper is now the firm favourite for next week’s final – an incredible position for a horse that was not even meant to be in the series. Co-owners Phil and Glenys Kennard revealed after their horse’s 1700m that just a matter of days prior to the championship Ultimate Sniper was destined to be in the spelling paddock, rather than in Auckland. “This series wasn’t on the agenda – he was going to go the paddock for two weeks and go to the Auckland Cup,” Phil said. A freshen up after the horse’s lack lustre run in the Ashburton Flying Stakes has proven to the catalyst for Ultimate Sniper charging to the top of the Interdominion pacing series. “We wanted to go in the New Zealand Cup, but he had to do everything right on the way through to the cup,” Kennard said. “But, when he had that wee glitch in the Ashburton Flying Stakes we had to pull the pin.” “And if he had to have stayed for that last ten days of hard work before the second Tuesday in the month.” “Nat said if we back off him we will see how he comes back through it.” Ultimate Sniper did not just again prove he was back on his best on Tuesday, he produced a performance even his owners did not see coming. “It was just an arrogant display tonight, he has had no favours drawn 7, he was never near the fence going three wide,” Kennard said. “If he had’ve run fourth or fifth tonight I would have been happy, but he just kept coming.” Ultimate Sniper held out his stablemate Cruz Bromac by a head at the finish. Though the margin was small, the win was comfortable, Rasmussen said. “He is just a fighter, he really wants to win for you, give his best, and he still felt good on the line.” “I’m just thrilled with him.” Cruz Bromac was excellent when also working harder than most of his rivals to take second. Mach Shard took third after showing excellent gate speed to cross the pole-horse San Carlo. San Carlo battled in to sixth in the run home with fellow Austrailian Bling It On beating him home to finish fifth behind the fourth placed Classie Brigade. After the completion of Tuesday night’s racing Ultimate Sniper was rated the $2.50 favourite for the Interdominion pacing final by bookmakers. A G’s White Socks ($4.50), Cruz Bromac ($5), and Thefixer ($5.50) are rated closely behind him.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

If he hadn't already - he had! - Ultimate Sniper has stamped himself the horse to beat in this year's Inter Dominion pacing championship with an extraordinary victory in the fourth heat. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained four-year-old went two-from-two with a sprint distance victory, despite having to do plenty in the run including sit three-wide for much of it. "He's just a great trier," reinswoman Rasmussen told Sky Racing. "He just wants to win for you and do his best, and he still felt good on the line." And in a warning shot to all other contestants Rasmussen said Ultimate Sniper should only be better come Friday's final heat. "He loves a bit of a distance," she said. "He just seems to be in a great place and bring on Friday." Victorian co-owned Cruz Bromac, who wears his TeamVic silks this ID19 series, hit the line well to run into second and reaffirm his contender reputation, while Mach Shard was third and Classie Brigade fourth. Double-crossed early, Victorian fancy San Carlo was luckless, having suffered a puncture at the final turn, but battled on gamely to finish sixth and secure vital points. The race also saw a vastly improved performance from Victoria Cup winner Bling It On, who come from the back of the field to finish fifth, but will be chasing big points this Friday to ensure final qualification. CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER IRT Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Heat 3 A G's White Socks, the flyer of this year's Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, doubled down on his night one heroics to lead and win in the opening pacing heat of night two at Alexandra Park. The new addition to Barry Purdon's stable crossed polemarker Chase Auckland and then led a peg-line domination, which would see Victorian hope My Kiwi Mate turn a three-pegs placement into a third placing. There were big smiles again in the Sky Racing Active post-race interviews when reinsman Maurice McKendry revealed A G's White Socks overcame an early hiccup to score. "One of the shorterners come out so I had to pull it early, so he wasn't as sharp out of the gate as he could have been, (but) it all worked out," McKendry said. "He's in the zone at the moment, but he's got a hard one in a couple days time - 2700 - that will sort them out." The heat was a horror show for highly-rated Queenslander Colt Thirty One, who never settled, having been three-wide for much of the trip and fading to last for another low-point result, which will put his finals qualification under a huge cloud. It was a much better story for Sicario who ran on well to finish sixth and stay in the mix for trainer Brent Lilley and his Victorian owners. CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER Caduceus Club Inter Dominion Trotting Championship fourth heat Temporale's career has new life after the Tony Herlihy trained and driven trotter added to an impressive comeback story with victory in tonight's final heat. Giving much credit to the preparation work of Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett, Herlihy worked to the lead, crossing Bonnie Highlander who had earlier crossed favoured Marcoola. Heat two winner Paramount King loomed likely in an impressive late go and Marcoola flew home late along the peg line to run second, but the headline belonged to Temporale. "As we know, I owe a lot to Michelle and Bernie," Herlihy told Sky Racing. "He's going great, going like he can. I think the runs will do him no harm, he will get better with them." That includes this Friday's 2700-metre final night of heats. "It won't worry him at all. He's a good stayer, he's trotting really good - that's the main thing - and doing really well." It was a rough race for TeamVic's Big Jack Hammer, who galloped in the final straight to drop out, while Tough Monarch recovered from a horror start when he galloped from the gate to run fifth. CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER Southern Bred Southern Reared Inter Dominion Trotting Championship Heat 3 Majestic Man flew the gate and made a mighty statement in the third ID19 trotting heat, dominating the all-Kiwi affair. With Habibi Inta on his back Majestic Man had no difficulty in shrugging off his trailers, using his high speed to salute for reinsman Brad Williamson and trainer Phil Williamson. Habibi Inta held on to run second with Massive Metro third and heat one winner Winterfell fourth, but it was a happy Brad Williamson who spoke to Sky Racing Active post-race. "Tonight he had a nice draw and just made it look easy," Williamson said. "I just went with them out of the gate. He wanted to come out a whole lot quicker than he did, but he crossed them so quickly I was just a passenger early and he just travelled so easily the whole way. He won really easily in the finish. "Dad's done a super job with him, bringing him up here after his run in the Dominion ... and turned his form around. The horse is flying. He's a privilege to drive." CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

By Jonny Turner    Otago trotter Majestic Man made a stunning statement on night two of the Interdominions at Alexandra Park last night when thumping his rivals with incredible ease. Driver Brad Williamson sat motionless in the cart in the home straight the trotter trained by his father, Phil, dashed away from a high class field to win by four and a half lengths. The reinsman confirmed the win was as easy as it looked. “He never left second gear tonight, he just cruised it.” “He is just in the zone right now, he loves it here and Dad has done a great job with him.” The way the first 1700m trotting heat panned out meant Williamson’s journey to the races proved more stressful than the race. Williamson missed an earlier drive at Alexandra Park behind Fanny Hill after striking flight troubles. The reinsman was forced to rebook a flight from Dunedin and struck it lucky when securing the last available seat. Master trainer Phil Williamson had Majestic Man in prime condition for last night’s heat after the horse had failed to back up from a short turn around in his previous attempt. Majestic Man struggled in Habibi Inta’s Dominion after going a slashing race for fourth in the New Zealand Free-For-All three days earlier. There were no such troubles when Majestic Man produced his brilliant performance last night just four days after his sensation run for third on night one of the Interdominions. “It was a wee bit different, that was two miles (3200m) and this was basically one.” “He went a huge race in the free-for-all, he was three wide down back, if he had had a better draw he could have won that race.” “We definitely had some concerns after the Dominion, it was just out of character for him to go that bad.” Habibi Inta chased in vain to finish four and a half lengths behind Majestic Man. Though the Paul Nairn trained trotter was comprehensively beaten, his Interdominion campaign took a major upward turn after his head-scratching performance on night one. Massive Metro produced a sound performance to run third, after trailling the quinella makers home. Winterfell ran fourth after getting trapped in the one-one before the home turn and not finding clear air until the race was effectively over. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight    It’s the comeback story of the year. And until now, the reason behind A G’s White Socks’ disastrous Spring has been kept quiet. But after another brilliant win on the second night of the Inter Dominion Carnival – his second in four days – part-owner and usual co-trainer Greg Hope was finally prepared to talk about what had been troubling his stable star. “For the last two-and-a-half months, he’s been scouring constantly,” Hope told HRNZ. “He basically had the shits every day and it would only be exasperated by going to the races. “And the standing starts weren’t giving him much confidence either.” Hope says he tried everything under the sun to curb the problem, but nothing worked. “I tried every probiotic, every antibiotic, every ulcer treatment known to man. “But it still wouldn’t bring it right. “After Cup week I said to the other owners that we have to pull the pin on the Inter Dominions and get him right. “Then, out of desperation, I tried him on a grain-free feed and it just turned him around. Within three days. “He was back pooing right and seemed to be a different horse.” Those three days were the last three days before the final acceptance fee was due for the Inter Dominions. It was a Friday morning and Hope fast-worked him to see if they would change their plans at the last minute. “The $450 was due that day and it was only after he trained super that I thought we might as well have a go. “The fact we were able to fly up on the Monday made it much more attractive as well.” But Hope and training partner/wife Nina decided they would stay home and focus on their horses given there had been a bug go through the stable. “We had to sort through all the issues with them and that meant we couldn’t afford to come away. “That’s the best way to fall out with owners is to head to Auckland with a horse of your own while the ones at home are having issues. “We just felt it was the right to do, and he was never going to miss out at Barry Purdon’s.” The fact A G’s White Socks was a nervous horse “with a history of a crook guts” meant his first choice of Maurice McKendry as trainer wasn’t going to be suitable. “With Maurice having just moved properties and needing to float the horse every day, that wasn’t going to work. “He suggested Barry (Purdon) and once Ricky May said he was only going up for the final night, we decided to offer the drive to Maurice.” Hope confirmed McKendry would retain the drive in next Saturday’s Grand Final. Hope said he, Nina and son Ben were overjoyed watching Tuesday night’s front-running win at home in North Canterbury. “He’s always been a good horse, he’s just turned the corner and is a lot happier now. “He was bolting in the (NZ) Free For All when he galloped and he would have run top four. “In the Flying Stakes he gave them 100 metres and beat half of them home. “This gut problem was exaggerated by his nerves and he was constantly getting himself work up on race day. “It was just such a shame he lost his confidence.” But it’s back now, and he’s vindicating his owners’ decision not to sell a month ago in spades. Connections were offered in excess of $300,000 by American interests, but it was turned down. Hope owns 40 percent of the horse so that is a ringing endorsement of his faith in the horse if ever there was one. “We always knew the horse was up to very best and the money wasn’t enough really with all the owners in him and what we knew he was capable of.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

MILTON, ON - December 2, 2019 - World champion harness racing trotter Emoticon Hanover capped off her legendary career with a coast-to-coast 1:53.3 victory Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The six-year-old trotting mare was sent to the top by driver Bob McClure and got things her own way, trotting home in :27 for a three-quarter length victory in the $34,000 Preferred. Trainer Luc Blais confirmed Monday morning that Emoticon Hanover, a two-time Breeders Crown champion, would be retired following that evening's start. "I was very nervous before the race," said an emotional Blais following 'Emoticon's' final start. "She gave me an incredible thrill. She never (had) a bad race and always gave a 150 per cent of her." A daughter of Kadabra, Emoticon Hanover was purchased for $165,000 at the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale by Serge Godin's Determination and went on to become one of the greatest Ontario sired trotters of all-time. "We (made) the decision in the last minute," said Blais. "We had a meeting in Montreal and it was not an easy decision, but she deserves that, she deserves to breed with the best stallion." Blais noted that the connections first choice is to breed Emoticon Hanover to Muscle Hill. Emoticon Hanover spent the majority of her two and three-year-old campaigns battling with rival Caprice Hill for Ontario Sires Stakes glory. The talented ladies exchanged victories in the 2015 and 2016 OSS Super Finals. The Blais trainee gained recognition across North America as a four-year-old with a dominating stretch of victories that included a pair of World Record performances, 1:50.2 at Tioga Downs in the Joie De Vie and 1:52 at the Delaware County Fair in the Miss Versatility. 'Emoticon' followed those dazzling performances with a score in the Allerage at The Red Mile and her first Breeders Crown title. "Any kind of race we liked to watch her, she tries hard and I can't tell you what is the best (race)," said Blais. "I think the race at Tioga 1:50.2 was very impressive for me, it was a big race that afternoon." The World Champion returned to the races as a five-year-old and finished off the 2018 campaign in style by winning her second-consecutive Breeders Crown and her first TVG Mares Trot. Emoticon Hanover won the O'Brien Award as Canada's top older mare trotter in 2018. Determination's superstar continued to compete at the highest level this season, racing against the boys in her second consecutive Maple Leaf Trot. The highlight of her six-year-old season came a little over a week ago when she reached up in the final strides to defeat Atlanta in the TVG Mare Trot, surpassing $2 million in career earnings. The TVG victory was also the 1,000th career training victory for trainer Blais. "I'm going to remember my 1,000th win," said Blais. "It's going to be easy to remember this one." Emoticon Hanover finishes her career with 27 wins, 56 top-three finishes, $2,044,663 earned and a mark of 1:50.2 in 74 starts. Woodbine Entertainment made a special presentation to Emoticon Hanover and Blais following Monday's race to recognize their accomplishments. TRAINING CANCELLED TUESDAY MORNING Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to notify all horsepeople that training has been cancelled for Tuesday morning. The track will reopen for training on Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

By Garrick Knight    Will he? Won’t he? Whether San Carlo can hold the lead over the sprint trip from barrier 1 presents as the biggest burning question ahead of tonight’s second round of Inter Dominion Pacing Championship heats at Alexandra Park. The Victorian star has never been crossed when drawing barrier one, but co-trainer and driver, Bec Bartley, isn’t about to declare him the leader tonight. “I’d like to stay in front the whole way, but he’s not blisteringly fast out,” she told HRNZ today. “I think he’s been good enough to hold his own in the past so I’ll look to get him really wound up tonight.” That will mean a searching warm-up for the nine-year-old veteran. San Carlo has led 17 times in his career and won 16 of those races, so if he can hold the top over 1700 metres tonight, he does become a key player. But Bartley does warn that the short-course is not ideal. “A mile is not his go so we are lucky we’ve got a draw to be able to give us a chance at getting some good points. “Of course, you want a good draw in every heat but this is the one where we really needed it.” If San Carlo holds the lead that then dramatically increases the chances of Bling It On, who follows him out. But Bartley takes the view that she would rather lead and know what to expect than take a forced trail, which is an unusual circumstance. “I don’t think he’s ever had the opportunity to sit in the trail so it would be interesting to how he does go if he gets crossed. “If we did, it might not be the worst thing because it would put Bling It On three back.” Bling It On is arguably the most lethal sit-sprint horse of his generation and driver Luke McCarthy has advised it was best to forget his round 1 heat performance, when he over-raced in an unfamiliar leading role. “Drawing inside the back, behind the likely leader San Carlo, is just perfect,” McCarthy told HRNZ over the weekend. The most likely candidate to challenge San Carlo for the early leader appears to be Classie Brigade, a natural speedster who finished on nicely from a bad draw on night 1. New Zealand Cup winner Cruz Bromac has superior gate speed to anything in the race, but is drawn the outside of the front line and driver Mark Purdon may opt for a more measured approach in to the first turn. Bartley reported she was very pleased with how San Carlo handled his first look at the right-handed Auckland track. “He was really good; I was quite surprised with how well he handled it. We changed a bit of gear during week and that helped a lot. “My biggest worry was how he was going to handle it but he was near perfect. “He got hanging on the last turn when getting tired but that’s him, he always hangs at home.” In late news for the heat, Tony Herlihy will reunite with Our Uncle Sam 10 days after they combined to win at Alexandra Park, usual driver Anthony Frisby staying in Australia for the birth of his first child. Ultimate Sniper remains the $1.90 favourite for the race, despite drawing one from the outside, with stablemate Cruz Bromac. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Sharp Down Under harness racing pacer doing extra well in North America. Former Australian pacer Anythingforlove A was seen winning the $15,000 Open Pace at Northfield Park on Monday, for trainer C Brian Loney and driver Simon Allard. The son of Rock n Roll Heaven paced the mile in 1:51.1 making it his 6th win and notching over $130,000 in stake earnings for the current season in North America. While racing Down Under, Anythingforlove was the winner of 19 races and over $374,000 in prize money notably placing at Group level on three occasions and also winning at group level on 3 occasions. With his biggest win coming in the $100,000 Allied Express Sprint in 1:48.7 at Menangle in Sydney Australia. Anythingforlove and driver Aaron Merriman Consistent Down Under gelding continues to excel in North American racing career. New Zealand bred Benhope Rulz won on Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway in the $20,000 pace for current trainer Darran Cassar and driver Brent Holland. Clocking a time of 1:53.4 around the half mile (800m) track, the son of Courage Under Fire was far too good for rivals, proving his ability while racing in his third country. He started off his career racing in New Zealand, but was soon relocated to Western Australia to race successfully, and now presently racing in North America. The 5yos Down Under racing career consisted of 11 wins and just shy of $150,000 in prize money, while impressively winning three of his first four career starts and highlight being winning a $50,000 Group 2 at Gloucester Park in Western Australia.   Monday 25th November   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Nicol Shard N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $4,000   Northfield Park OH Anythingforlove A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $15,000   Plainridge Park MA Zinny Mach N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $14,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Benson Boys N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $19,000     Tuesday 26th November   Dover Downs DE Stella A – Time: 1:59.0, Stake: $15,000 Shared Interest A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,500   The Meadows PA Amelia’s Courage A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $20,000   Wednesday 27th November   Dover Downs DE Bettor Trix N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $6,500   Plainridge Park MA Stihl N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $8,500   Saratoga Harness NY Dibaba N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $18,000 Two Fiftyeight N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $6,400   Friday 29th November   Batavia Downs NY Empire Earl N – Time: 2:00.0, Stake: $9,000   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Ideal Lifestyle A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $7,000 Islay N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $12,500   The Meadows PA Statham N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,500 Blow a Cloud N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $6,600   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Bettor Be Donna N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $26,000 High Rolling A – Time: 2:38.4 (1 3/8 Miles), Stake: $16,000   Saturday 30th November   Freehold Raceway NJ Bobjacks Angle A – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,800   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Three Of The Best A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $17,500   Meadowlands NJ San Domino A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $22,500   Saratoga Harness NY Khun Ratha A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $9,500 Redbank Blaze A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $15,000 Fcee N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $8,500   Scarborough Downs ME Emperor Montana N – Time: 2:00.2, Stake: $3,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Vapour N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $17,000 Ambro Courage N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $20,000 Benhope Rulz N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $20,000     Sunday 1st December   Scarborough Downs ME Ideal Legacy A – Time: 1:56.4, Stake:    Previous weeks 26th November 2019 + Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 19th November 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 12th November 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 5th of Nov 2019 + Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 29th October 2019 + Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 22nd October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 15th October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 8th October 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 1st October 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 24th Sep 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 17th Sep 2019 - Down Under Winners with Carter Dalgety 11th Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 3rd Sep 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 27th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 20th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 12th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 5th Aug 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 29 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 24 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety Carter Dalgety    

Classy gelding Emain Macha, who overcame a life-threatening illness earlier in his career, continued his stellar Victorian country cups harness racing campaign by taking out the Stawell Cup on Sunday. The six-year-old, known around the stables as Fritz, was having only his fifth start for the season, but has now claimed two country cups this stint- having won the St Arnaud Cup on November 10. Emain Macha (Safari-Machabella (Mach Three) is trained by astute horseman Greg Scholefield, who a few years ago decided to concentrate on preparing his small team on a full-time basis. A builder by trade, Scholefield is based at Naracoorte, a small sheep, cattle and wheat farming town in south-east South Australia near the State border with Victoria. Emain Macha took an early lead in the Group Three $45,000 feature for in-form junior reinsman James Herbertson, of Ballarat, and narrowly got the money over short-priced race favorite Code Black (Greg Sugars). "He felt terrific in the run and Greg certainly had him cherry ripe for the assignment," Herbertson said. "When I put the foot down with 600 metres to go, the horse really hit top gear," he said. "He knocked off a bit over the final stages, but I wasn't concerned because he always does that." It's been an admirable training achievement by Scholefield to return Emain Macha to prime health and fitness. After winning the $20,000 Guineas at Mildura on April 8, 2017, in what was his 14th career victory from just 18 starts, Emain Macha contracted a virus, which put him on the sidelines for almost a year. Aside from the effects of the virus, the horse later came down with bronchitis, his weight dropped away, he developed foot swelling and there were fears for his life. Trainer and part-owner Scholefield sought the advice of local vet Tony Tully who put "Fritz" on a course of treatment and a long and arduous road to recovery began. Emain Macha resumed racing in late February the following year, winning at a Mt Gambier meeting first up. The pacer, owned by Scholefield, Gail Davis, Peter Lamond, and father-and-son John and Sean Penny, now has a total of 29 wins and 13 placings from his 50 starts, amassing $258,000 in stakes. At Stawell, Herbertson certainly didn't dawdle over the mini marathon Cup distance of 2600m with early splits of 31.4 and 29.9. He later cranked up the tempo with a strong last half of 56 secs (28.8 and 27.2) to hold off Code Black, a recent winner of the Yarra Valley Pacing Cup. "We decided before the event to go for the lead because he bowls along nicely out in front. He's a lovely horse and he's been good to me because in my three drives on him he's had two wins and a second," he said. Watch the race replay here: Herbertson last season topped the ton (102 wins) for the first time in his short career, and is off to a flying start this season, with 37 wins and 75 places, racking up an impressive 43% strike rate. He also got the chocolates at Stawell with Seemepearlywhites (Grinfromeartoear-Numismatic (Elsu). "She is a handy mare and she gives her best. The Platinum Sprint heat was a good race to win and they picked up a Vicbred bonus as well," Herbertson said. Seemepearlywhites is trained by popular Maryborough track curator-trainer Tim Mortlock. Mortlock trains only two horses but comes from a good pedigree with his late father Rob and legendary grandfather Jack Hargreaves both successful horsemen.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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