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“She’s a lot more relaxed now. She used to over race,” said co-trainer John Price after Pearl Harbour impressively won the Mitre 10 Winton Mobile Pace today. Driver Brent Barclay settled the four year old mare at the tail of the field and she had eight lengths to make up as they turned for home but she stuck her ears back and stormed down the outside to beat Bridesdale Robyn by a head. Pearl Harbour is usually driven by Nathan Williamson but he was committed to his own runner Franco Santino which sat parked and finished five and half lengths from the winner. “Brent drove her really well today but you have to give Nathan a heap of credit. He’s been patient with her and has got her to settle. Now she’s just so much more settled even when she’s working at home. I think she’s matured a lot.” Price who trains the mare with his wife Katrina says Pearl Harbour’s next target is a heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Addington on 8th October. “We’ll see how she goes in that and the next target will be the Southland Oaks. I hope we can qualify for the final of the Nevele R on Cup Day.” The Somebeachsomewhere mare is out of Arden Caviar and was bred by John and Katrina. “We’ve had a couple of good offers for her after her last couple of wins, but we’ve decided she’ll be a good addition to the broodmare paddock. She has so much high speed and she’s a beautiful pacer.” Today was her first run at the races this season. Prior to today’s success she’s been to two workouts and she won them both. “She’s been ticking over for a while but there’s been no races for her. It’s pretty hard when you’re racing in that 60 to 85 grade. The handicap system in my opinion is not good for mares. It’s too hard. We had a talk the other day. It might be better to get the Oaks out of the way and send her to Australia so she could get a good mile time at Menangle.” Pearl Harbour won three of her eight starts last season and today’s win was her fifth in her career.   by Bruce Stewart

Harness racing fans can expect early fireworks when a star-studded field attempt to make history by winning NZB Standardbred’s first ever lucrative Harness Million Race Series event at Alexandra Park on Friday night.  The barrier draws for the inaugural running of the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts & Geldings Final (2200m) are set to see the favourites Krug (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and It’s All About Faith (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) in an enthralling battle that will be crucial in deciding the first name initiating the Harness Million legacy.  Krug, who was recently crowned the New Zealand 2YO Pacing Colt Or Gelding of the Year at the NZB Standardbred New Zealand Harness Racing Awards, will start as the hot favourite for the race after securing the prized ace draw in barrier one. Krug will clash again with American Dealer (NZ) (American Ideal) after running second to him in last week’s $128,000 Group One Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes Final (1700m) at Alexandra Park. American Dealer faces a bigger challenge to lead, as he did in his standout victory, after drawing barrier four on the second row this week. It’s All About Faith, who nosed out last week’s fourth placegetter B D Joe (NZ) (Roll With Joe), will see a turnaround in circumstances when moving to the front row this week in barrier six. That gives driver Mark Purdon the option to challenge Krug for the lead in the early stages. How that early challenge plays out and what kind of run It’s All About Faith, Krug, American Dealer and B D Joe can secure after that should decide the race winner. “The top four are very good horses and it is going to be the run that separates them,” Purdon said. “It’s All About Faith is possibly going to be racing outside Krug this week, so he is going to have to be on his game.” Purdon takes confidence in to the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts & Geldings Final after It’s All About Faith’s strong effort to work around the field and run third in last week’s Group One Sires’ Stakes Final. “He did more work than the two that beat him home and he wasn’t far from them,” Purdon said. “So, I was pleased with him.” Purdon and Rasmussen start a stellar line up of five horses in Friday night’s history making feature. Aladdin (NZ) (Sweet Lou) looks a big player for the trainers after his eye-catching performance to flash home from last on the home turn to run fifth behind American Dealer last week. Aladdin will track through B D Joe at the start from barrier two on the second row. The All Stars stable also start Delightful Dude (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), Bettor Call Me (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and Nevada (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) in the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts & Geldings Final. The inaugural event is set down as Race 4 starting at 7.53pm on Friday night at Alexandra Park.     Horse Draw Comments Trainer Driver Krug 1 The well-performed Krug (NZ) (Bettor's Delight) has won seven of his 10 starts with two second placings and $136,000 in stakes. Krug will attempt to continue his brilliant form after recently being crowned New Zealand 2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year. Krug was purchased by Kentuckiana Lodge for $155,000 from Smolenski Stables at the 2019 National Yearling Sale.  Nathan Purdon & Chrissie Dalgety Blair Orange B D Joe 2 Up-and-coming B D Joe (NZ) (Roll With Joe) is another serious contender for the Listed Harness Million Series race. The Steve and Amanda Telfer trained gelding won his second start and placed fourth in last weekend’s Group One Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes Final (1700m), in his third start. B D Joe was secured for $65,000 from Brent Smith by Stonewall Stud.   Steve & Amanda Telfer  Tony Herlihy Meetmeinsorrento   3 Meetmeinsorrento (NZ) (Bettor's Delight) won his last start for trainer Graeme Rogerson, tallying up two wins and a second placing from four starts in total. He was picked up for $32,000 by Rogerson Bloodstock from the draft of Breckon Farms at the 2019 National Yearling Sale.    Graeme Rogerson  Dylan Ferguson (J) Luke John  4 Last start winner Luke John (NZ) (Mach Three) could continue his form this Friday and take out the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Colts & Geldings (2200m) at Alexandra Park. Trained by Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson, the Mach Three colt was purchased for $21,000 from White Stables at the 2019 National Yearling Sale. He has now earned $12,350 in prizomoney.  Logan Hollis & Shane Robertson   Delightful Dude   5 Delightful Dude (NZ) (Bettor's Delight) has now claimed one first, two seconds and a third placing from eight starts, winning $17,245 in prizemoney. Flying the flag for All Stars Racing, the gelding cost $80,000 as a yearling and was secured from Belmont Park's draft.  Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen Scott Phelan It's All About Faith 6 Impressive performer It’s All About Faith (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) is a star graduate who has now claimed four wins, two second placings and one third from just eight starts. A main season rival of Krug, It’s All About Faith was also a finalist for New Zealand’s 2019-20 2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year. He has now earned $66,104 in prizemoney and was secured for $130,000 from Breckon Farms in 2019.  Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen Mark Purdon Mr Fantastic 7 Trained in partnership by Steven Reid and Simon McMullan, Mr Fantasic (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) was purchased for $62,500 from Woodlands Stud at the 2019 National Yearling Sale. The exciting Harness Million prospect has had two wins and one second placing from just five starts.  Steven Reid & Simon McMullan Zachary Butcher Captain Nemo 8 Captain Nemo (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) was bought for $110,000 by Lincoln Farms from Price Bloodstock. He has won one of his 10 starts, placing third on another two occasions and earning just over $13,000 to date. Ray Green Andre Poutama  ------- Second Line ------- Bettor Call Me   9 By titan sire Bettor's Delight, the promising Bettor Call Me NZ) has picked up one win, two seconds and one third from his six starts to date. He was secured for $50,000 by All Stars Racing from the draft of Breckon Farms.  Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen Brent Mangos Aladdin 10 Jean Feiss owned Aladdin (NZ) (Sweet Lou) has claimed one first, a second and a third placing earning more than $12,000 in stakes. He was a close fifth in the Group One Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final (1700m) last weekend. Aladdin was bought for $140,000 from Woodlands Stud at the 2019 National Yearling Sale.  Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen Olivia Thornley (J) Nevada 11 Racing in the Vela white and blue hoops, promising gelding Nevada (NZ) (Bettor's Delight) is compiling a good race record, having claimed one first placing, a second as well as a third from six starts and $12,965 in prizemoney to date. He was bred by the late Charles Roberts and was purchased for $40,000 by Sir Peter Vela as a yearling.  Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen Joshua Dickie Rock Legend 12 Scratched     American Dealer 13 Group One-winning graduate American Dealer (NZ) (American Ideal) will be looking to secure back-to-back victories in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Colts & Geldings (2200m) on Friday night. The Ray Green trained pacer showed himself to be a complete racehorse when taking out the Group One Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final (1700m) for driver David Butcher last week. His win became the latest in a lengthy list of Group One performers bred by leviathan breeder, the late Charles Roberts. Ray Green David Butcher Hot and Treacherous 14 Trained by Brian and Gareth Hughes, Hot And Treacherous (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) will be fighting for the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Colts & Geldings (2200m), set to be held at Alexandra Park this weekend. The gelding has had two wins from five starts and earned $15,678 in stakes. He was purchased for $60,000 from Brackon farms at the 2019 National Yearling Sale. Brian & Gareth Hughes Maurice McKendry Romanee 15 Romanee (NZ) (Bettor's Delight) comes into this race with promising form, securing two wins, one second placing and one third from just seven starts. He was bought by trainer Graeme Rogerson for $34,000 from Woodlands Stud in 2019.  Graeme Rogerson Peter Ferguson     NZB Standardbred

Please see here for the initial Rankings for the IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup and the Majestic Son Dominion Trot. Despite being installed a $2.50 favourite with the TAB, Copy That has been rated eighth in the first list of Rankings for the IRT New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 10.  In Cup week’s biggest race for the trotters, the Dominion Handicap,  last year’s champion Habibi Inta is ranked number one,  ahead of 2019 Inter Dominion champion Winterfell and Sundees Son, who opened his campaign with a second consecutive Ordeal Cup victory a fortnight ago.   The rankings will be updated every week in the lead-up to Cup week. A field of 15 will contest both features.  For more information contact Brian Rabbitt at Addington Raceway   brian.rabbitt@addington.co.nz or 03 338 9094.    

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk     If hotpot Krug wins the first ever Harness Million Colts and Geldings Final at Alexandra Park tomorrow night it will have shades of 2012. Back then it was Bit of A Legend, driven by Dexter Dunn, and trained by Cran Dalgety,who won what was then called the PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales 2YO Open. Tomorrow’s race is for NZB Standardbred yearling sales graduates, and has attracted 14 starters, including five from the all-powerful All Stars stable. Like Bit of a Legend, Krug was initially trained by Cran Dalgety (and Nathan Purdon),until Chrissie Dalgety officially replaced her husband in the partnership this season. The recently-crowned two-year-old of the year is currently at $1.45 to make it career win number eight from just 11 starts. Coincidentally it’s Purdon’s father Mark who has been involved in every victory in the race since 2012, that’s seven wins in a row for the All Stars stable, with horses such as One Change last year and Lazarus (2015). Purdon has driven the winner six times while training partner Natalie Rasmussen has won it twice (The Devils Own 2017 and Alta Orlando 2014).This Friday they will line up five horses. Blair Orange has also won it three times (Western Cullen 2011, Steve McQueen 2007, and Lennon 2003). Friday’s race is like a re-run of last week’s Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final for the 3YO Colts and Geldings over 1700 metres at Alexandra Park.Paying $11.70 American Dealer made the most of his handy draw (4) to beat Krug and It’s All About faith. This week the draws have many picking the result will be very different. Krug has drawn one and has been installed the sharpest of favourites, with It’s All About Faith ($3.20), the All Stars’ top chance, drawing six, and American Dealer ($18) at 13. The $200,000 final – the first ever Harness Million Final for 3YO Colts and Geldings - will be raced over the slightly longer distance of 2200 metres. Champions over the years have included such superstars as Changeover (2006) and Courage Under Fire (1998) and Christian Cullen (1997). For a list of previous winners and to watch previous editions of the race click here :

Delaware, OH - Harness racing driver Dexter Dunn swept both the elims and final of the Jugette. He also swept both divisions of the Buckette en route to a six-win afternoon at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. There were two divisions of the $82,200 (div) Buckette for three-year-old filly trotters and Dunn won them both. Caviart Eva took the first division by two lengths in 1:54 over Hannah (Andy Miller). Nancy Takter trains the Trixon lass for Caviart Farm.   The second $41,100 division went to another Trixon filly Spoiled Princess. Spoiled Princess defeated Deswanslittlelorie (Aaron Merriman) by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.2. Nifty Norman conditions the winner for Robert McNerney and Hauser Bros Racing. Dunn is the ten-time New Zealand champion driver, who started driving in the United States full time last year. Standardbred Filly Pace to Fighting Evil The Sweet Lou filly, Fighting Evil (Mike Wilder) took the $39,406 Standardbred filly pace in 1:54.2. Tava (Tim Tetrick) and Always B Laughin (Andy Miller) was second and third. Trainer Daniel Lee Snyder co-owns the filly with Jason Ash of Delaware, Ohio. Treasure Gems K Takes Standardbred Trot Treasure Gems K (Chris Page) broke her maiden in the $43,506 Standardbred two-year-old filly trot in 1:59. Josh Joshing (Andy Miller) and Gothic Girl (Dan Noble) rounded out the trifecta. The Encore Encore filly is trained by Paul Reid for Robert J. Key. World Mark Lower Twice in OBC Three-Year-Old Colt Trot A pair of world records were established in the Ohio Breeders Champioships for three-year-old colt trotters. In the opening division $48,421, It's Academic (Chris Page) lowered the world mark to 1:53.1 with a 3 ½ length victory over Stonefire Us (Dewayne Minor) and Big Box Hanover (Dan Noble). The Uncle Peter colt won for the fourth time in 10 seasonal starts and has amassed just short of $340,000 for Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, Joe Sbrocco and Hatfield Stables. The record stood for approximately two hours as Action Uncle (Brett Miller) lowered the world mark to 1:52.4 in the second division with 5 ¾ length score over Buxton (Dan Noble). Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the Uncle Peter colt for Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland and Larry Wills.   Action Uncle has been ultra-consistent this season with eight wins and a second in nine 2020 starts. He has won $570,035 for his career. Action Uncle already owned the two-year-old world record that he established last year at the Delaware County Fair. Firsts  There will be a trio of trainers hitching up their first Jug starter in 2020. John Ackley, Carmine Auciello and Eric Mollor all look to make their first Jug start a winning one.  The 28 year-old Austin Siegelman will be driving in his first Jug. Siegelman is nearing 1,600 career wins and $12.7 million in career earnings.  Jug Post Times  The first elimination (Race #15) is scheduled for a 4:56 PM post time. The second elimination (Race #16) should go postward at 5:19 PM. The $335,400 second heat (Race #20) is expected to go at 6:50 PM.  Baldachino to “Perform” on Jug Day  Lexi Baldachino of Millstone, NJ has been selected to virtually perform the National Anthem during the Little Brown Jug’s “Jug Day” broadcast.  Baldachino, 22, studied dance and theatre at Penn State University and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.   She currently lives in NYC and her performing credits include roles in Flashdance: the Musical and The Wedding Singer.   by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

FANS will have to wait at least another week for the first clash of glamour Aussie pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art. In a surprise late twist, Ride High was nominated, but then pulled-out of Saturday night’s $30,000 Minuteman free-for-all (2240m) at Melton. Connections have remained tight-lipped on the circumstances, but it is now expected Ride High will run in Saturday week’s $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton to sharpen-up for the $300,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup a week later. This week’s race is still a pearler with Lochinvar Art (gate 11) meeting reigning NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac (10) and Australasian 2300m record-holder Zennart (seven). Lochinvar Art has been crunched from $1.80 into $1.60 favourite in the Aussie TAB’s early market, ahead of Zennart ($4.80 to $4.60) and Cruz Bromac ($4.60 to $5). “He’s come through last week’s run really well and it’s definitely brought him on for sure,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said. Cruz Bromac, first-up since his fifth in the Auckland Cup last New Year’s Eve, has been sharpened-up for his return with two recent trial wins. __________________________________________________________________________________________ THE excitement around this season’s Aussie juvenile crop gained more momentum with Bar Room Banta’s blistering Menangle win yesterday (Tuesday). The powerfully looking son of A Rocknroll Dance sped to the front for Luke McCarthy from gate seven, cruised through a 57.8sec first half, then scorched home in 54 flat and 26.6sec. Bar Room Banta’s 1min51.8sec mile, at just his third start, was just a half-second outside the Australasian record of 1min51.3sec set by Ignatius back on June 25, 2017. Bar Room Banta is trained by Mick Stanley in Victoria, but loan to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy to target the NSW Breeders Challenge. The same combination brilliantly won a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge for two-year-old fillies with Soho Almasi a week earlier. Bar Room Banta and Soho Almasi are nominal favourites to win their finals. “I’ve got a fantastic crop of babies this season and these are the pick of them,” Stanley said. “Almasi is the fastest and potentially best filly I’ve had, while ‘Banta’ is something else … he’s just so fast and exciting.”   by Adam Hamilton

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Winton today with an eleven race program starting at 12:33pm and in this video we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. The content and data on this video is provided for informational purposes only Check below the video for our selections for all of the races today for Winton. Winton Thursday 24th September 2020 Race 1 Madrik manners have not been up to scratch his last few races but mobile will help. Big on ability and top selection.…… Count Eyre tidy second two starts ago and likely early leader. Can win if he gets his own way in front.… Only One Way out of form but the conditions of the race suit. Include…….. Kiwi Crusher tricky draw but stable/driver combo have a good record and dropping out of better fields. Needed Selections:  Madrik (7),   Kiwi Crusher (6),   Count Eyre (3),    Only One Way (5)   Race 2 Mighty George building up a tidy formline and best draw for some time. Good winning claims……. Swift Robyn has ability and forgive last start effort in a stronger field. Will be hard to beat with a good run in transit …… Kagee VC has been slightly disappointing on raceday but getting fitter. Place claims here with and likely early leader…… Man I'm Good always a place chance with a good run doing no work. Place chances best at good money Selections:  Mighty George (1),   Swift Robyn (12),   Kagee VC (4),   Man I'm Good (2)   Race 3 Dress Code tricky draw but first two runs have been ok .Could upset at good odds if she can get handy before the home turn….. Insarchatwist been racing ok in strong fields and drawn handy. Has to be a good chance here at nice odds….. Allabout Time stable has a good record with first starters and workouts tidy on this one. Might start favourite…. Adhara tricky draw but in a winnable race. Been very good at trials and can win fresh up Selections:   Adhara (10),   Insarchatwist (3),   Dress Code (11),   Allabout Time (5)   Race 4 Mach Quillan beaten by a nice type last start and can go one better here. Top selection….. New York Man could get a cosy trip from the draw and has been finishing ok at trials. Good winning claims at big odds….. Shards Fury mobile will suit and he has some ability. Liked at good odds…. The Kingsman Butterworth owned pacer who comfortably beat race winners at the workouts. Opened $34.00. Give me some of that! Selections:   The Kingsman (2),   Mach Quillan (3),   Shards Fury (10),   New York Man (4)   Race 5 Glenledi Captain he ran some big races last season and has trialled up well. Top selection…… Racing Minister disappointing last start but drawn well. Should be in or near the top three here… Leconte drawn to get a cosy run on the fence. Can run into the placings if close enough on the home turn… Her Majesty good second last start and can upset although place chances best. Selections:  Glenledi Captain (4),   Racing Minister (1),   Leconte (9),   Her Majesty (2)   Race 6 Bardot in top form and getting fitter. No reason she won’t be in the top three again here. Liked at good odds even from the draw….. Swell Time getting better with racing and likely leader early. Can run top three and likely favourite…… Star Of Timpany only fair at last start but stronger now and coming out of Addington form races.  Place hopes at nice money.… American Eyretime form is impeccable and has gate speed. Should be hard to beat Selections:  Swell Time (3),   Bardot (7),   American Eyretime (6),   Star Of Timpany (4)   Race 7 The Peaky Blinder good form prior to last start failure. Allow another chance here and can.……. Cody Banner going ok but up in grade. Could surprise at good money but place chances look best.… Jannah Jaccka has been going well in similar races. Can win with a good run in transit ….. Maudarchy getting fitter and has run some good races recently. Should be thereabouts in this field Selections:  The Peaky Blinder (9),   Cody Banner (10),  Maudarchy (8),  Jannah Jaccka (2)   Race 8 Franco Santino tidy run in the Hannon last weekend and huge drop in grade. Looks the one to beat here……. Pearl Harbour coming in fresh but has speed to burn. Could worry the favourite if she got a good run in transit ….. Nemera Franco another with a good finishing burst. A top three finish looks on the cards if she can have one last run at them….. Bridesdale Robyn she has good form over the sprint trips but some of these look too strong. Place chances best Selections:  Franco Santino (8),   Pearl Harbour (6),   Nemera Franco (2)    Bridesdale Robyn (5)   Race 9 Airwaves huge run to win two starts ago and draw suits. Can upset at big odds with a similar effort……. I'm Trouble likely to go on with it now he is back in form. One of the better chances in the race..… Franco Huntington has been solid in similar races and big track suits. Has claims if he goes forward early….. Toby O'Gara likely to geta soft fence run here and had excuses last start. Place chances best Selections:  Airwaves (5),   I'm Trouble (12),   Franco Huntington (2)    Toby O'Gara (1)   Race 10 Rydgemont Son has been racing top Addington fields and this is easier. Should be very hard to roll  and top selection……. Tweedledee good win last start but this is harder. With manners a top four finish is on the cards...… Chloe Rose big on ability and down from Canterbury. Include in combinations….. Humble Ladd conditions of the race should suit and he is a major player in this field Selections:  Rydgemont Son (6),   Humble Ladd (7),   Tweedledee (4)    Chloe Rose (3)   Race 11 Dynamite drawn to get a good run in transit. Should be hard to beat and top selection……. Opawa Mach good finish last start and a chance again at good odds with a similar effort in this field...… Dangerous tricky draw but he is getting fitter and has ability. Include in combinations….. The Night Watchman conditions of the race should suit and he could get a soft run on the fence. Place chance from there Selections:  Dynamite (1),   Opawa Mach (10),   Dangerous (14)    The Night Watchman (9)   Harnesslink Media

Mark Purdon is a relieved man after his star pairing of Self Assured and Spankem got through their trial at Rangiora today. The pair finished 1-2 in a field that also included Thefixer and Stylish Memphis.  But more importantly for Purdon was that Self Assured got a clean getaway after messing up the start in his recent races. His standing start issues have become a big talking point especially with the New Zealand Cup only six weeks away. Both Spankem and Self Assured were also scratched from last Sunday’s Hannon Memorial because of minor hoof issues. Purdon knows race day and especially New Zealand Cup day is a far cry from a midweek trial in North Canterbury but he’s encouraged by the progress and says it’s onwards and upwards for both horses.   HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    New Zealand Cup contender Franco Santino heads a strong book of drives at Winton on Thursday for Nathan Williamson. The 6yr-old drops back in class after chasing home Classie Brigade in last weekend’s Hannon Memorial. Franco Santino blew the start of the group 3 feature and was left at the back of the field as the winner reeled off a scintillating 54sec last 800m. Williamson hopes the pacer can reproduce the kind of run that saw him set the Winton mile (1609m) track record at 1.52.0 when he starts from behind the mobile in race 8. “If he is going to go to the cup you would want to see him pretty hard to beat on Thursday,” the trainer-driver said. “Once he missed away at Oamaru he was never going to catch Classie Brigade running a 54sec half [800m].” “He had a good blow afterwards – we had a pretty tough week of weather before the race and I am not making any excuses – but should be better for the run.” Williamson needs to get a good line on his horse ahead of the New Zealand Cup and he will he should get one when he puts Franco Santino right in Thursday’s race. “He has got good gate speed, but it will depend on what the others are doing inside me are doing.” “Either way he will be going forward at some stage.” Mach Quillan looks a strong chance in race 4 for Williamson following his second placing behind smart winner R K Finn at Winton earlier this month. The 4yr-old takes on the Jonny Cox trained and driven first starter, Sportscam, who looks to be the Matt Brinsdon trained 4yr-old’s biggest threat. “I was pretty happy with the way he went first up, he just peaked on his run,” Williamson said. “I imagine he has improved off that and he should be hard to beat.” Williamson will pair with trainer Chelsea Faithful’s pairing of Tartan Roxy and Toby O’Gara on Thursday. Toby O’Gara, who starts from barrier 1 in race 9, suffered a heart fibrillation in his last start but the reports about his recovery have been good. “Chelsea has been rapt with his work and he has come up with a good marble,” Williamson said. “His form before his last start was great, so going on that he should be a good chance.” Tartan Roxy was won and run second in her two workout appearances ahead of her first start from Faithful’s stable. Williamson thinks the 6yr-old, who starts from barrier 8 in race 5, can go a cheeky race despite having been away from the races since April of last year. “Chelsea has had hers since lockdown and has really put a good base in to her.” “She won her workout pretty easy, she led them up and won nice.” “From her draw she is probably going to have to go back, but I thought if she could get on the [three-wide] train at the right time she could be a winner.” Williamson also drives a pair of horses for trainer Lyndon Bond in The Peaky Blinder (race 7) and Tweedledee (race 10). The Peaky Blinder disappointed in his last start after going agonisingly close to winning his prior run at Ascot Park. “Bondy said he has been quite happy with the horse and he has trained on good after his last run.” “He is best with one run, so we will try to hide him away.” Tweedledee was a good winner of his last start, but faces a tougher test when clashing with Chloe Rose, Rydgemont Son and Humble Ladd on Thursday. Williamson also drives outside hopes Major Menace in race 2, Bardot in race 6 and Dangerous in race 11. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

The Box Seat is back Today marks the return of harness racing show The Box Seat. The Greg O’Connor and Michael Guerin-hosted show will be recorded weekly and will be played on Trackside at various times, including 10am every Thursday morning. It will also be available at hrnz.co.nz. The popular show will review the week’s best action and also look ahead to what’s coming up with meetings this week at Winton (Thursday), Auckland and Addington (Friday) and Banks Peninsula (Sunday). Arden Messi sold Three-win pacer Arden Messi has been sold and will do his future racing in Australia. The four-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight won three of seven starts for trainer Grant Payne, including an impressive last start victory at Addington on September 11. Magical Mali moving on Three starts ago John Dunn drove Magical Mali to victory at Addington at odds of 30-to one. Now the five-year-old is being transferred from owner-breeder Kevin Fairbairn’s barn to the Dunn stable at Woodend. Since Magical Mali’s first and only win the horse was pulled up at Methven and then finished eighth at Addington on September 17. Fairbairn is currently recovering from recent hip surgery. Teaz hits the half ton Harness racing personality Jason Teaz clocked up his 50th training success after a double at Cambridge on Sunday. The commentator-tipster-trainer was successful with Hezashadowplaya ($12.10) and Brookies Jaffa ($18.10). Eleven of his 50 wins were when he trained on his own (2003-11) but the last 39 have been in partnership with wife Megan from their establishment at Ohaupo in the Waikato. Milestone for Little Brown Jug The 75th running of the Little Brown Jug – the Great American harness race – will be held in Ohio this week. 14 horses will be involved in two eliminations with the top four finishers in each going through to the final. 10-time Kiwi champion Dexter Dunn is listed to drive Seeyou At Thebeach in the first elimination, and either Major Betts or Capt Midnight in the second.   Harness Racing New Zealand

Bidding in the eight Lots in the latest gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction is set to close tonight from 7pm. As of Wednesday morning four of the Lots have met their reserves with the auction feautring youngstock, racehorses and an empty broodmare. Bidding is set to close, starting with Lot 1, from 7pm tonight, Wednesday 23 September. Following are some bidding tips to help you navigate the process. Lot 1 will close from 7pm. If a bid is placed in the final 30 seconds, another 30 seconds is added onto the auction and to all subsequent Lots. This will keep happening until there are no further bids placed. If you are are outbid, you must type in the next bid amount, the site does not automatically update the bid amount for you. There is no benefit in letting auctions run down to the last second before bidding as the auction will just keep auto-extending until no further bids are placed. This practice increases your chances of missing out on horse.  gavelhouse.com cannot identify loss of online connection, a slow internet connection or browser issues at the user’s end. Even a slight loss of internet connection that may not be noticeable can interrupt the user’s browser in following the sale in real-time therefore setting up an auto-bid is the best way to ensure your bids are placed. Google Chrome or Safari are the recommended internet browsers. gavelhouse.com staff are able assist in actively supporting both buyers and vendors during the sale, if you need a hand with registration or bidding, we are available on phone +64 9 296 4436 or email  info@gavelhouse.com during our online auction to help. VIEW FULL CATALOGUE Featured Lots Lot 2 WOODY PAIGE  A half-brother to two winners including the very smart WA pacer Parmesan - the winner of 12 races in the 2019/20 season. His dam is a half-sister to Delight Brigade ($156,312) and Trigirl Brigade ($143,711) – the dam of Open Class star Classie Brigade (Kaikoura Cup, 3rd NZ Cup). This colt has a pronounced roman nose and was entered to be sold with the farm's other weanlings in the May Sale but was withdrawn to see how he developed. He is reported to havedone very well and his nose has been scoped all clear.  Sire: Sportswriter Dam: Tristar Brigade Seller: Alabar NZ Location: Waiau Pa VIEW ONLINE Lot 3 CARRERA BELLE  A mare who qualified on 08 September 2020 at Ashburton in 3.07 from a stand - last half in 57.2, quarter in 26.8. She is reported to be clean gaited with perfect manners, completely sound and would be a lot of fun for someone placing her through the grades from zero rating in Australia. She is bred on a successful cross being by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen race winning mare who is a half sister to seven in black type including Ideal Belle and Five Card Draw. Sire: Bettor's Delight Dam: Belle Arising Seller: Carrera Location: Dunsandel VIEW ONLINE Lot 5 SMOKIN BY  Currently located in Sydney, Australia at Cobbitty Equine Farm. A quality open class horse, Smokin By has raced at the highest level in New Zealand and has since gone to Australia. Unfortunately, he got quite sick in his last preparation and the owners decided to give him a good break to get over it. They have since made a decision to sell as they're not interested in racing a horse in Australia where they can't see him in person.  Sire: Mach Three Dam: Flo Jo Seller: OffnRacing Location: Sydney VIEW ONLINE Lot 8 RAVE NATION  A recently retired winner of three by Muscle Mass, Rave Nation is  out of the Jewels winner Merckx whose first five to the races are all winners. The first colt from Merckx is doing a good job in Australia and the second colt recently qualified from the All Stars barn. She is reported to be in great order. Sire: Muscle Mass Dam: Merckx Seller: Steeno Location: Cambridge VIEW ONLINE   gavelhouse.com

Owners will be allowed back at Alexandra Park for Friday night’s Spring Cup meeting. With Auckland reverting to Covid Alert Level 2 owners with horses racing will be allowed back at the track for the first time in over a month but are being asked to register, via a link sent to them in an email. While gatherings can be no more than 100 people the Auckland Trotting Club can have more than that on track as they will be accommodating owners in the Lyell Creek bar and restaurant area while the Alex Sports Bar is a separate area so can also host 100 people. And so too can the two restaurants on track, which remain open to the public but with separate access points to the owner’s areas and with no access to the front of the track or any area with industry participants. For the rest of the country the move to Alert Level One means there will be no restrictions at racecourses. Previously under Alert Levels only owners and essential workers were allowed. This week’s harness meetings are at Winton (Thursday), Auckland and Addington (Friday) and Banks Peninsula (Sunday).   HRNZ

Changeover has made a great start with his progeny in the new New Zealand racing season. The Burwood Stud-based stallion has already left seven individual winners including three in the space of 72 hours last week – Jungle Gem (1:59.1, Cambridge Raceway), I’m Trouble (Invercargill) and a ‘new’ winner Rockngoodtime (Oamaru). In Australia, Changeover was represented by winners in three different States last week. Controversial NZ posted win No. 31 at Menangle to raise his stake tally to $246,266, Little Change won for the 13th time at Redcliffe and the three-year-old filly Changeup notched her fourth success from 10 starts at Globe Derby Park in a career-best 1:57.3. Changeover has sired 63 individual winners in Australia this season and they have amassed over $1.4 million in stakes. Jungle Gem winning at Cambridge.   By Peter Wharton

For the third time in just a few days one of the country’s pacing elite has been surprisingly scratched from a major race but in the case of Princess Tiffany there is nothing to worry about. And punters can feel just as relaxed about New Zealand Cup big guns Self Assured and Spankem after they started the race-missing trend. Princess Tiffany was in the field to take on Copy That and the northern stars in the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park on Friday night but a longer than expected float trip north will see her miss the race. “She took a day longer to get up there than we hoped and she missed some work,” said trainer Mark Purdon. “She is totally fine but you can’t go into those sort of races after missing a hoppled run so I’d rather be cautious.” The start was to have been Princess Tiffany’s last in New Zealand for a while as she flies out to Victoria next week to be aimed at the mares Triple Crown there culminating in the Queen of the Pacific at Melton. Stablemate Another Masterpiece will be on the same plane to Victoria next week but he will start in the Spring Cup on Friday, a race which is shaping as the toughest test of Copy That’s season so far. The four-year-old has been spectacular this campaign and is now the $2.50 favourite for the New Zealand Cup and while he has beaten most of those be meets this Friday all season he has drawn barrier nine this week, coming into the outside of the front line. That means possibly giving many of the open class stars he has been getting starts from an advantage which, along with the possibility of traffic concerns, means the 2200m standing start may be anything but the walk in the park Copy That’s form would suggest. His place at the head of the New Zealand Cup market comes not only because of his supersonic form but after setbacks to long-time Cup favourite Self Assured and to a lesser extent last season’s runner-up Spankem. Both were supposed to start in the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Sunday yet missed the race after having sore hooves from working on a track which has got unseasonably hard at the All Stars’s property. That comes on top of Self Assured galloping so badly at his last start he tailed off and has been put on the unruly, which means he will in all likelihood be giving Copy That, and everybody else, a start in the $540,000 Cup at Addington on November 10. Future punters are a jittery bunch and the fact Self Assured and Spankem were scratched will have tongues wagging as there is nothing punters like more than a good rumour. But any long-term concerns about the pair should be allayed by the fact they are both in at the Rangiora trials today. “They have had some farrier work done and are good to go so they can trial here and then race at Addington next week,” says Purdon. “So this won’t affect their NZ Cup build-up at all, not this far out from the race.” Friday night’s Alex Park meeting also features the richest New Zealand harness race since Covid bullied its way into our lives, with the $200,000 Harness Million, the first running of New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred’s new sales final. While hot favourite Krug had his coloured lowered by American Dealer in the Sires’ Stakes Final last Friday he will still be be red hot to win this week’s 2200m return match after drawing the ace, with American Dealer on the second line and the horse probably rated the only other winning chance It’s All About Faith drawn barrier five. The meeting also see exciting four-year-old trotter Bolt For Brilliance taking on former stablemate Temporale in the main trot in the greatest test of his career so far after being quite stunning winning last Friday.   by Michael Guerin

By Jonny Turner    Junior driver Olivia Thornley is keeping a cool head as her drive in one of the country’s richest age-group races of the season looms. The twenty-year-old has been entrusted with the drive behind Aladdin, a genuine contender in the inaugural running of the listed $200,000 Harness Million Two-Year-Old Colts And Geldings Final at Alexandra Park on Friday night. Thornley took the drive behind Aladdin when he caught the eye when flashing home for fifth placing behind American Dealer in last week’s Group 1 Sires Stakes Final at the same track. With even more cash on the line this week, trainer Mark Purdon is more than happy having the rookie reinswoman in the sulky behind his pacer. “Olivia has really stepped up for us over the last six months and she is worthy of the opportunity.” Thornley is naturally thrilled to get the opportunity to drive Aladdin in two on the country’s biggest age group races in the space of a week. The reinswoman said her Sires Stakes Final outing has eased her nerves leading in to the Harness Million. “I probably got rid of the nerves last week because that was a group 1, so now I am focussing on the race.” Aladdin was second last on the home turn before unleashing a powerful finish in last week’s race. Thornley admitted she did not think her pacer would flash home quite as well as he did. “He went very good.” “When we were turning for home I thought we could run in the top six, but I didn’t expect him to finish off the way he did.” Aladdin has not drawn ideally again this week, but is slightly better off in the Harness Million with barrier 2 on the second row. “As long as we get a little bit of luck we should get a good run and hopefully we should be there abouts at the finish,” Thornley said. Thornley drives Aladdin with the support of Purdon and Rasmussen, as well as the horse’s owner Jean Feiss. The prominent owner has backed the reinswoman in the past by giving her the drive on her former classy racemare, Elle Mac. Repaying that faith would make victory in the Harness Million a extra special, Thornley said. “It would be a huge thrill, especially to do it for Jean, she has been such a great supporter of mine throughout my All Stars career.” “To get a win like that for Mark and Nat would be great, too.” Aladdin disappointed in his first look at Alexandra Park in Krug’s win in the last heat of the Sires Stakes Series. But now that the horse has a better feel for the track Purdon can not see why the pacer will not go a big race in Friday night’s history making race. “I think his first up run helped him a bit – it sometimes does going the Auckland way for the first time,” the trainer said. “His run last week showed more of the ability I thought he had.” “He is going to be handy in the run given the horse he follows out [B D Joe].” “With a better run than he got last week you would think he could feature in the finish.” Aladdin opened the equal fourth favourite for the Harness Million Two-Year-Old Colts And Geldings with his stablemate Bettor Call Me at $34 odds. Krug headed the market at $1.55 ahead of It’s All About Faith ($3.10) and American Dealer ($18). Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Down Under Pacers have a successful harness racing day at Plainridge Park on Monday. The raceway in Massachusetts of Plainridge Park saw four down under horses win and a further two placings. It all started off with Ideal Star N pacing 1:51.3 around the 5/8th mile track (1000m) to win his $15,000 pace. That was quickly backed up by Audi Hare N who came out on top in a close finish in 1:52.1, giving trainer Sheena Mcelhiney and driver Shawn T Gray a double with Ideal Star N and Audi Hare N. Next up was Fernleigh Rebel N who was far too good for his field winning in 1:53.4. Finally the amazing winner of over $1 million Bettors Fire scored another victory for his career winning the $12,000 pace in 1:52.1. This 12yo son of Bettors Delight has raced in 3 countries over his racing career and holds a lifetime mark of 1:50.2.  The four Down Under horses that won on the day were aged 6, 8, 10, and 12.  A great representation of the successful future a harness horse can have racing in a different hemisphere after racing Down Under.    Down Under Trotter keeps on winning in North America. Majestic Player A has put up yet another big winning performance on Saturday night racing at Hoosier Park in Indiana. It was a convincing win on the night just like the way she has been winning all year. The Walter Haynes Jr trained and Sam Widger driven gelding trotted the mile in 1:51.4. It was the 6yo son of Majestic Sons 13th victory for the season in the US and has also placed a further two seconds. An export from Yabby Dam Farms in Melbourne, Australia, Majestic Player A is really flying the flag for the few Down Under Trotters racing in North America.   Monday 14th September   Plainridge Park MA Ideal Star N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $15,000   Audi Hare N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $10,500 Fernleigh Rebel N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $9,000 Bettors Fire N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $12,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Luciano N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $8,500 Mr Cool Seaeyre N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $8,500 Zach Maguire N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500 Down Under First 4 – 2nd Soho Wallstreet A, 3rd Wardan Express A, 4th Yayas Hot Spot N Provocativeprince N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $12,500   Tuesday 15th September   Harrington Raceway DE Lincolns Girl N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $7,500 Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Quite A Delight N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $5,200 My Kiwi Lady N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $9,000   Saratoga Harness NY Barynya A – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $3,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Amrcanbootscoota A – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $8,500 Walkinshaw N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $12,500 Anne Bonney N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,000 Military Master A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $15,000   Wednesday 16th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Myidealson N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $7,600 Delishka N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $14,400 American Empress N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,800   Thursday 17th September   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Executive Dash N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $3,600 Yonkers Raceway NY Shes Sporty A – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $8,500 Kimani N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500 Lucky Artist A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $15,000 Upper Sandusky OH Iam Erik N – Time: 1:57.1, Stake: $1,750   Friday 18th September   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Captain Dolmio N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $5,000 Shenandoah Downs VA Hugh Hefner N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $4,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Tin Roof Raider A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $8,500 Soho Lennon N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $15,000 Mickey Gee N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $25,000 Runrunjimmydunn N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $15,000   Saturday 19th September   Batavia Downs NY Sir Richie N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $5,000   Freehold Raceway NJ Power Dreaming N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $5,000 Imarocnrollegend N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $12,000 Vapour N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $7,700   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Majestic Player A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $18,000   Hawthorne Racecourse IL Tulhurstsantanna A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $10,500   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Cyclone Kiwi N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $9,900   Meadowlands NJ Whitehaven Lass A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $8,000   Ocean Downs MD Shneonucrzydiamnd A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $5,600   Shenandoah Downs VA Kotare Yael N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $4,500   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Need Luck N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $11,200 Stromont Czar A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $10,000 Lachie Maguire N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $16,000 Kerford Road A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $11,200 Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $11,200   Kawartha Downs CA Brigadierbronski A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $4,900   Sunday 20th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Ana Afreet N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $10,000 Vettel N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $11,600 Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $8,800 Paduka N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $6,800   Northfield Park OH Lettucerockthem A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $7,200 He Can Fly N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,800   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Coveredndiamonds N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $6,800 Shezza GnP A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $8,800   Flamboro Downs CA  Toot Toot N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $6,500   Leamington Raceway CA Bute Courage N – Time: 1:59.4, Stake: $4,200 Cullens Kefe N – Time: 1:59.3, Stake: $5,000   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

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