Day At The Track
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It is not often that a low key harness racing meeting on a Thursday night  at Addington unearths a horse on his way to much better things but the performance of Chittybangbang last night at Addington Raceway suggested that this is a three year old with a big future. Settling well back in the field in  the 1950 metres mobile from his wide second row draw, Chittybangbang was sent forward by driver Blair Orange on the three wide train and reached the death seat with 1100 metres to go. Taking cover behind Extreme Guest who had followed him forward, Chittybangbang was forced three back in the running line down the back straight. Turning for home, Chittybangbang was still several lengths off the leaders but once Blair had got him balanced, he flew down the outside late to pick them up and beat them with ease. A three year old son of Gotta Go Cullen, Chittybangbang has a real' blue blood' maternal family being closely related to several smart horses including Courage Under Fire 1:54.2 ($1,485,672) while the three quarter brother to Chittybangbang in Chattanoogachoochoo 1:54.5 ($107,163) continues to race well in Australia. Chittybangbang has always been held in the highest regard by the Toliman Lodge barn but immaturity has held up his progress to date. A very good second first up as a two year old behind the talented Cash N Flow suggested a big future at that age but it wasn't to be. Part owner Wendy Kennard thinks they may have got ahead of themselves. " Chittybangbang stands close to 16.3 hands and is a big framed horse with it." " For such a big horse, he has tremendous high speed and showed that at his first start at two but didn't have the strength to go on with it then."  " Ken (Barron) has always had a very big opinion of the horse and is very confident that once he fully matures, we are going to have a lot of fun with him." " He likes Chittybangbang that much that he went and bought his three quarter brother at the yearling sales this week." " Even tonight you can see he is a work in progress but I think he will come into his own in the next 12 months and show people what he is really capable of," Wendy said. Wendy and Noel Kennard have bought a number of good memories to a lot of people with their "Go Harness " racing syndicates and it was nice to see them getting so much pleasure themselves from last nights win at Addington. Harnesslink Media  

Syndication in harness racing has had it's share of problems in the past but one syndicator who is showing the others how it should be done is the Go Harness team. They have several large syndicates in operation with membership in some topping 100 people with the aim of making the thrill of racing a horse affordable to the wider public. Yesterday another one of their syndicated horses in Harriet Of Mot showed with a stylish win at Timaru that she has a very bright future. The Craig and Aimee Edmonds trained trotter was away safely from the standing start and driver John Dunn worked her to the lead after 600 metres. From there she turned the race into a procession and when John Dunn said go on the corner she scooted away for a very impressive win by six lengths with John sitting quietly in the bike. Harriet Of Mot trotted the 2600 metres in 3:26.1 with closing sectionals of 58.1 and 28.5 A daughter of Monarchy from the former smart age group trotter in Harriet Hughes, Harriet Of Mot impressed driver John Dunn. " She is a lovely filly with really high speed for a trotter" " Her first start at Addington under the lights tripped her up and she had no luck at Ashburton when she was checked." " Just a really nice filly who has a future," John said. The multitude of owners in the birdcage to celebrate the win included Trevor Casey whose winning run just seems endless at the moment. Noel and Wendy Kennard along with right hand man John Robinson seem to have the right formula with the Go Harness syndicates and they continue to go from strength to strength. Harnesslink Media   

Noel and Wendy Kennard are use to the ups and the downs you suffer being involved with the harness racing industry but nothing could prepare them for what they had to do today. Monkey Bones, the distinctive grey son of Andover Hall who had really started to make a name for himself in the trotting ranks in New Zealand had to be humanely destroyed after his long running battle with ligament and tendon injuries suffered a few seasons back eventually caught up with the stallion. Noel and Wendy have known for some time that this day would come at some point but that still doesn't prepare you for the day when you have to give the vet the go ahead. It is presumed that Monkey Bones has done the splits in the paddock and tore all the ligaments and tendons in his knee. As a result Monkey Bones has gradually become more and more immobile as time passed. " We gave him everything possible down his throat and by injection to help him. " We x-rayed him before and after every season to check his status and condition. " The vet told us that last season would most likely be his last and that's how it has worked out," Noel told Harnesslink this afternoon. Noel and Wendy went to great lengths to make Monkey Bones as comfortable over the last few seasons as possible and their affection for the horse is evident when talking to them. " He had such a lovely nature and was great to do anything with." " Even when he was in pain, it never changed his nature, he was such a kind horse," Noel said Monkey Bones served a quality book of 66 mares in his last season and will still be available for many seasons to come via frozen semen. " We have enough frozen semen barring accidents to see us through a few seasons so the last hasn't been seen of Monkey Bones by any means," Noel said. We at Harnesslink would like to express our condolences to Noel and Wendy on the loss of a horse that they were obviously very close to. Harnesslink Media

North American Hall Of Fame harness racing driver Tim Tetrick is to give harness racing enthusiasts in New Zealand a real treat on Friday night when he takes the reins behind the Tony Herlihy trained The Fascinator at Alexandra Park. Since he starting driving in the late 1990s, Tim Tetrick has taken the industry by storm in North America. His stats as of today are mind boggling to anyone from the southern hemisphere as his numbers below show. Drives - 43,941 Wins - 8522 Seconds - 6613 Thirds - 5662 Total Stakes won - $153,717,572 Tim drove his first winner at age 16 and the records haven't stopped coming since then. Tim holds the record for most winners in a season at 1189 and was the leading driver in North America for seven consecutive seasons. Nicknamed the "Bionic Man" after having two hip replacements done, Tim has been the regular driver for such great horses as Captain Treacherous, Artistic Fella and A Rocknroll Dance. Tim and his wife Ashley will be in New Zealand for a little over a week and have a very full Itinerary in that time. They will visit both Tony Herlihy and Ray Green's training establishments on Friday before Tim will take the reins behind The Fascinator on Friday night at Alexandra Park. On Saturday they are going deep-sea fishing with Tony Herlihy in the Bay of Islands followed on Sunday by the first of two public meetings where people will get the opportunity to get up close to the leading driver in the world. A good part of Monday will be spent at the Auckland sales before flying to Christchurch for the sales on Tuesday with a second public meeting being held that evening. After that Tim and Ashley with the help of local trotting identity Noel Kennard as their guide plan to have a look around the rest of the South Island before flying out late next week. Friday night at Alexandra Park should be a real treat for harness racing followers in New Zealand as we get to witness first hand the driving style and skill of the best in the business. Harnesslink Media

The Canterbury rural districts are in the midst of a real dry spell at the moment with the result that conditions in much of the province are tinder dry. Several fire outbreaks have already occurred recently but harness racing trainers have managed to avoid being caught up in the mayhem up until today. Today a fire broke out on the property adjoining Nigel McGrath's Maddisons Road property at Weedons and quickly spread into Nigels place and continued on its way through more properties. The fire brigade were quickly on the scene in full force along with many water trucks and the helicopter with its water bucket. Word very quickly spread through the local harness racing community and before long the place was swamped with people and their floats wanting to help out and do whatever they could to help. A few horses were moved off the property and just when everyone thought that things were under control the fire department issued instructions that every horse on Nigel's property had to be moved immediately. So back everyone came and before very long all the stock had been removed from Nigel's property in what was obviously a safety precaution on behalf of the fire department. It was all done in incredibly quick time and and was a credit to those involved. If ever you needed an example of just how tight knit the local harness racing community is, then the response today would be as good as you could get. It was just great to be part of the great team helping out and seeing everyone else do likewise. Courtesy Of Noel Kennard - Canterbury

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