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Harness racing driver Natalie Rasmussen has got up off the canvas like a prizefighter to win the Methven Cup. All looked rosy when Messini and Rasmussen won the Group III event, in the Art Major entire's first start back in New Zealand after campaigning in Australia with former Canterbury trainer Brent Lilley. But earlier in the day Rasmussen was smashed onto the track in race six after her drive Emmanuel appeared to slip just after the field he rounded the home bend. In a nasty crash, Gabby's Star, Maximus Prime, Stoney Eyre were all brought down. Drivers Robbie Holmes, Bob Butt and Rasmussen all escaped serious injury but Sam Ottley was airlifted to hospital after suffering moderate spinal injuries. She was to have x-rays on Sunday night. All horses involved are understood to have escaped serious injury. Rasmussen, who co-trains Australasia's leading harness racing stable with Mark Purdon, said she was a bit "battered and bruised" but it was going to take more than a few scrapes and cuts to keep the gritty Australian out of the sulky. The win does not give Messini automatic entry to the New Zealand Trotting Cup but it almost certainly assures his spot and Rasmussen said that takes some pressure off. "If he didn't go any good today we might have had to go to Ashburton just to try and get him a start and I think that would have been a bit soon for him to back up," Rasmussen said. Messini went into the race ranked 18th for the cup and although he did not upset any super stars he did beat four runners ranked ahead of him and with further defections from the top 15 likely he should be joining All Stars stablemate Smolda in the cup. Messini's next start will likely be the Kaikoura Cup Rasmussen and Purdon were expecting a bold run given Messini's quality horse but his driver puts the win down to getting such a good trip. It was a typically patient and calculated drive from Rasmussen who was happy to settle well back in the running line after starting from the 30m tape. But everything fell into place when Ideal Success made a three wide move with around 1000m to run and Rasmussen was able to jump on board the train behind Te Kawau. "It really helped that we didn't have to come out until very late, he hasn't had to do any work in the running," she said. Messini tired in the final stages to shrink his winning margin to half a length but he can be forgiven in his fresh up run over 3000m on the grass. "I think he'll definitely improve off the run," Rasmussen said. Methven was Messini's first run since the Breeders Crown on August 30. Messini paced the trip in 3-51.7 with a mile rate of  2-04.2 and closing sectionals of 58.0 and 29.5. Quick As A Trick put in a super run for second after being slow away from the tapes with No Doctor Needed, Mighty Flying Mac and Te Kawau filling out the top five. Cup hopefuls Belkmyster, Mach's Gladiator, Ideal Success and Lewy Risk did their chances more harm than good when finishing back in the field. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ   -  Check site here 

The harness racing debutante Idealindiamonds was well supported when he lined up for his first start at the invited drivers meeting on the grass at Waikouaiti today. The three year old son of American Ideal had been impressive at trials and workouts around Canterbury for trainers David and Catherine Butt. A second to subsequent winner Boundary Row at the Rangiora workouts was followed by a trial win last Monday at Addington over Just Ben who won at Oamaru on Sunday which suggested that Idealindiamonds  was always going to be a major player today. Driver Bob Butt got him away well from barrier four and grabbed an early lead before handing up to the well supported Edge Of Reason and Sam Ottley. Edge Of Reason took Idealindiamonds all the way to the passing lane and once angled into the lane by Bob, Idealindiamonds shot clear for a very impressive debut victory. Another well supported debutante Real Raider ran on well for second just in front of the pace making Edge Of Reason. Idealindiamonds paced the 1900 metres from a stand in 2:36 with the last 800 metres in 61.8 and the 400 metres in a sharp 27.5 A $32,500 purchase at the 2013 New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch, Idealindiamonds is bred to be well above average. He is from Imprint 1:58.4 ($22,622) who has already produced Opulent 1:54.9 ($219,906) and Imprint is a daughter of the former smart three year old filly Impish 1:54.9 ($45,032). Bob Butt thought he would go close on debut. " He is such a wee professional." " He is such a lovely pacer and has the manners as well so I thought he would be hard to beat." " It was his first time on the grass but he is so well gaited I didn't think it would worry him," Bob said One of things that made the win more memorable for Bob Butt was it continued a long standing trend between the owners and the Butt family. " I am the fourth generation of the Butt family to have driven a winner for these owners so that makes it pretty special," Bob said. Idealindiamonds will continue to race in grade racing around Canterbury and judging by today's win he won't have any trouble handling the rise in grade. Harnesslink Media   

Canterbury harness racing trainer Barry Ward has always got a nice horse or two in his racing team and his runners often turn up at lucrative odds when you least expect them too. Add in the grass track at Motukarara and Barry's runners are a must include in any combinations for punters as his record at the rural Canterbury track is second to none. Today Barry lined up the three year old Bettors Delight filly Bird Of Paradise in the C1-2000 metre mobile and even though her form looked pretty bleak on paper, punters were well aware of the ability of the Ward runners on grass and sent her out third favourite in the 14 horse field. Taken back off the gate by driver Sam Ottley from barrier eight, Bird Of Paradise settled fourth last in the strung out field and didn't start to improve until she joined the three wide line with cover at the 600 metres mark.  Sam pulled her out four wide as they turned for home and she quickly ran to the leaders and just kept getting further in front the further they went. At the line Bird Of Paradise held a four length advantage over her nearest challengers in Party Rage and Expressive Victor. Barry Ward wasn't surprised by the ease of the win. " Her work at home has been super for a while but she has just been so unlucky on raceday." "Bad draws, checks in the running, you name it and she has copped it in the last few starts" " I thought the draw might be enough to stop us again today but Sam drove a beautiful race and Bird Of Paradise did the rest. "She may lack a touch of high speed but she will stay all day," Barry said. Bird Of Paradise is bred to be good being the ninth winner from Barry's former top racemare Time's On My Side (10 wins) ($85,865) Other smart winners from the mare include Wonderful Tonight (6 wins) ($118,740) Child In Time (10 wins) ($85,144) and Carl Lewis 1:52 ($71,350). Time's On My Side is now the ripe old age of 24 and is suffering badly from arthritis and Barry is concerned about her health. " She is like part of the furniture at home but the arthritis is really bad now and I don't think she will cope with another winter." "I  would really hate to see her suffering," Barry said. Todays win by Bird Of Paradise continued the great run of success that Barry has enjoyed on the track and punters have learned long ago to always include the Ward runner in your trifecta and first four bets at Motukarara. Harnesslink Media  

Last week we got a good old fashioned kick up the butt with just three of our tipsters selecting a winner and only six overall were in the money. Blair Orange, Terry Chmiel and Nathan Williamson furthered their good record as selectors whilst there were plenty of hard luck stories from others all over the country. They start with a clean slate this week and have come up with plenty of value for readers with plenty of runners whose form is not the best but who our selectors give a real chance to. Manawatu - Thursday night Scott Phelan - Even though he has drawn the second row thinks Art Magic should win race 3   Auckland - Friday night Todd Mitchell - Thought Elliesjet even from barrier 12 would be hard to beat in race1 Steven Reid - Very bullish about Unforgiving from barrier one in race 4 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Likes The Orange Agent to upset Unforgiving in race 4 John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Thinks Boizel even off 40 metres can win race 5 Tony Herlihy - Rates Downunder Stride from barrier one as hard to beat in race 6 Sean McCaffrey - Rates Le Lua Invasion a good chance against the fillies and mares in race 7 Maurice McKendry - Confident that Hughie Green will atone for last week and win race 8 Zac Butcher - Likes Saffron Castleton to turn her form around in race 9   Addington - Friday night Blair Orange - Rates Quaint Glen a big chance even from barrier 12 in race 2 Tim Williams - Confident that Adore Me's little brother Have Faith In Me can win race 6 John Dunn - Feedback from stable suggests Light Up Boss will win race 7 if driver at his best Brad Williamson - Thinks The Silver Fox just needs a change of luck to win race 8 Sam Ottley - Quite keen on Bird Of Paradise to turn her form around in race 10     Manawatu - Sunday afternoon Todd Macfarlane - Rates Hudy Haxwell a royal show on the second day at Manawatu Peter Scaife - Gives Johnny Vegas a big chance on the second day at Manawatu   Tuapeka - Sunday afternoon Dexter Dunn - Reckons Margarita can make it four wins from her last five in race 6 Matthew Williamson - Thinks Alley Way can go one better than last week and win race 7 Nathan Williamson - Likes stablerunner Onedin Mach to make it four in a row in race 8 Craig Thornley - Thought Drover's Eyre would be tough to roll in race 11   Ashburton - Monday afternoon Gerard O'Reilly - Confident that Never Fear can turn her form around in race 1 Jim Curtin - Thinks Star Of Dionysis is overdue and can win race 2 Ricky May - Keen on Brilliant Strike who has a decent draw for once to win race 4 Terry Chmiel -Thought That Guy Finn even in that super hot field can win race 6   Harnesslink Media

Another five winners last week with Scott Phelan, Todd Mitchell, Maurice McKendry, Matt Williamson and Blair Orange doing the business while another eight selections filled a minor placing. This week there are four meetings countrywide and we have selections for them all. Forbury Park - Thursday night Matthew Williamson - Thinks Davey's Gift can go back to back in race 2 Nathan Williamson -  Thought Bettakatethanneva might upset them in race 8   Alexandra Park - Friday night Todd Macfarlane - Quite keen on Even Flo in race 1 after her smart last start third Todd Mitchell - Thinks a couple of gear changes will see Courtney John win race 1 Scott Phelan - Shooting for three in a row with the lightly raced Jazz It Up in race 2 Tony Herlihy - Keen on the chances of Grumpy Possum in race 4 Steven Reid - Likes Elliot Daniel to continue his renaissance in race 9 Maurice Mckendry - Thinks Wings Of a Prayer can take race 10   Addington - Friday night Blair Orange - Very confident McArdle Star can make it two from two in race 1 John Dunn - Likes Wesley Silcox to make it three wins from four starts in race 2 Terry Chmiel - Very keen on Parramatta in the Junior Drivers event, race 4 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Keen on the first starter Add No Interest in race 8 Jim Curtin - Thought that The Persuader was overdue in race 8 as well Brad Williamson - Thinks Queen Kenny will be very hard to beat in race 9 John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Likes Lookofalegend to leave maidens in race 10 Ricky May - Rates Brilliant Strike a huge winning chance in race 10 as well   Rangiora - Sunday afternoon Gerard O"Reilly  Thinks Cracklin Rosie is overdue a winning turn in race 5 Sam Ottley - Likes Sterns Arising to cap off some good form in race 8

Pure Power, now an 8yo and with more than $300,000 to his name, is the latest big name acquisition to the Robert Dunn stables. Having been in Australia for around 18 months, Pure Power returned to New Zealand in May, rejoining the stable of his former trainers in David and Clare McGowan. He has worked pleasingly of late, having overcome an injury that ended his Australian campaign. He made his New Zealand reappearance at Saturday's Cambridge workouts with an encouraging 1.5 length victory. It was with the confidence of this workout that the decision was made to send him south to the Woodend stables of Robert and John Dunn. Samantha Ottley has been entrusted with the drive.  John is delighted with the news of the big Grinfromeartoear gelding joining the stable ranks. "It'll be great. Dave is really pleased with him and hopefully he should be heading down this weekend." Amongst his short term targets will most likely be the Maurice Holmes Vase. Depending on how he continues to progress the 2014 New Zealand Cup is definitely on the long-term planning sheet.        The horse has performed well on the big Addington track previously with his last start in NZ resullting in second place in the 2012 NZ Free-For-All, won by Gold Ace. There is a very real chance that the stable may be able to field 3 runners in this year's cup, with that race very much in the sights of stable stars Elios and Franco Nelson.  Courtesy Of Robert Dunn Harness Racing  

Oamaru Raceway could have easily been mistaken for the North Pole today. Not only was it was it freezing cold but Father Christmas was there. And, like every Decemeber, he didn’t disappoint. After starting from the unruly, Father Christmas and driver Brad Williamson looped the field three wide with cover with a lap to go, before surging to the front down the back straight. He then kicked strongly in the home straight to hold off a late challenge from Foreverman. Little Bro was a further two lenghts away in third. The Phil Williamson trained three-year-old, who was greeted in the winners’ circle by a syndicate of owners wearing Santa hats, has now won three of his six starts and placed on a further two occasions. However, had it not been for a couple of mistakes his record could be even more impressive. “Phil (Williamson) has always had a big opinion of him and he seems to be getting more full-proof all the time,” said wife Bev Williamson. “We think he has a pretty big future and he should still get better as he is only three,” she added. By top French stallion Love You, Father Christmas was bred to be good and should continue to get even better. He hails from a family of smart trotters including Dependable, Jo Anne, Shirley Temple, Ima Gold Digger, and Doctor Mickey. Meanwhile, junior reinswomen Samantha Ottley and Kimberly Butt both won two races on the card today and tied for first in the Streamline Freight Drivers Challenge. Kim was successful aboard the Tim Butt trained Pantheon and the Robbie Holmes trained Lurah, who provided her with not only her first double but also her first outside win “Before today I had only ever driven winners for Tim Butt (uncle) and Mark Jones (employer-second cousin),” explained Butt. Ottley was victorious aboard Valmagne and Joe The Hunter and now has a four win lead in the Junior Drivers Premiership over northern reinsman Sailesh Abernethy. By Mitchell Robertson

Last week was a bit quieter for the ring-around with just Matthew Williamson, Ricky May, Ken Barron, David Butt, and Tony Herlihy tipping out winners. Hopefully we can top that performance this week Cambridge - Thursday Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Present Arms - race three. Josh Dickie: Rates juvenile Monterey Jack as good each-way prospect in the sixth race on the card. Alexandra Park - Friday Scott Phelan: Thinks Cyamach, who was an impressive last start winner, can repeat the dose in the fifth race on the card. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Has opted for Ace Moment in the fourth event. Addington - Friday Craig Thornley: Thinks capabale type Al's Courage will measure up well in what is a very strong line-up - race seven. Samantha Ottley: Would love to win the Darren DeFilippi Memorial and thinks she can with Jayceekay - race seven. Ricky May: Has opted for Dalton Bromac who was super impressive when winning his South Island debut. - race eight. Anthony Butt:  Rates Gotta Go Artelect as a good each-way chance in the same event. Blair Orange: Has opted for Franco Tevez, who finished third last start, in the ninth event at Addington. Oamaru - Sunday Matthew Williamson: Has opted for Monnay, who has been herculean when overcoming back handicaps to win his last two starts. He will attempt to do that again in race five. Mark Jones and Jonny Cox: Both think smart filly Goodness Gracious Me, who was super at the recent Motukarara workouts, will prove very hard to beat in the seventh race. Nathan Williamson: Has selected capable three-year-old Onedin Mach, who races well when in a fresh state. He will take all sorts of beating in the ninth race.        

Champion harness racing reinsman Dexter Dunn may be home and hosed in the National Drivers’ Premiership, but the battle among the juniors is still on in earnest. And although Samantha Ottley’s recent link up with the powerful Dunn stable has made her a warm favourite to take this year’s junior drivers’ title, a double from Sailesh Abernethy at Cambridge last night has brought him right back into contention. Abernethy, who is now on 41 wins, just one win behind Ottley, guided Hudey Haxwell to an all of the way victory in the first race on the card, before doubling the dose in the fourth event when adopting similar tactics aboard the Andrew Grant trained Heart Of Jessie. Abernethy has three drives at Alexandra Park tonight, while Ottley, who has already set a record for the most wins by a junior female reinswoman in a season, has numbers on her side, with five drives at Forbury Park tonight and six drives at Rangiora on Sunday. Meanwhile, Amatuer driver Michelle Northcott nearly pulled off a remarkable double when finishing second aboard Easy For Cullen in the last race on the card.  The dual-coded Northcott, who is employeed by Graeme Rogerson, had earlier in the day flown down to Otago’s Wingatui Thoroughbred meeting, where she was victorious in an amatuer riders’ event aboard a galloper she owns herself in Mr Nobody. By Mitchell Robertson  

After a strong maiden win on day one, Samantha Ottley again combined with Secret Lotion for a convincing victory over a strong field of C1 pacers. Well placed in the trail throughout, a gap appeared on the turn and the 3yr old Courage Under Fire filly charged through and ran away for a convincing win. This was the filly's 3rd start for the stable and with a 2nd and two victories from her three starts she looks one to follow in the coming weeks. For Sam, this was win 39 for the season and she has now tied up the junior drivers premiership with Sailesh Abernethy. With 4 wins from the two days, the Robert Dunn stable have now charged to 90 wins for the season. With a big team in training and 7 weeks until the end of the season they now look odds on to achieve the magical 100 wins for the season. John is also on for back to back 100's in the drivers premiership and sits well placed on 86 wins. Meanwhile, the younger of the Dunn's Dexter, continues his charge for the double century. From 894 drives for the season, he has driven 173 winners at an amazing UDR of 0.3177. He has also passed the $2 million mark in stake-earnings for only the second tine in his career.     A new iniative for Dexter this season has been supporting Koru Care Southland. Wearing the sponsored colours of this organisation on raceday has raised an outstanding $6000 for this group and has helped two children get to Disneyland. The trust are extremely grateful for Dexter's support.      By Mike Drury (Robert Dunn Racing)

On Friday the progeny of Carmenchita won two races on the Nelson card and today it was Putting On The Glitz’s turn. The first of the Walton Hanover mares’ winners was two-year-old Expresso Martini, who was a game winner for driver Blair Orange after being taken on in front on several occasions. Expresso Martini, who is a son of Bettor’s Delight, is trained by Mark Jones and is owned by the Met Eight Syndicate. He has now won one of his five starts and placed on a further three occasions. Putting On The Glitz’s second winner for the day was Secret Lotion, who notched up back-to-back wins at the Nelson meeting when winning in the hands of Samantha Ottley. She has won two of three starts since joining the Woodend stable of Robert Dunn and placed second on the other occasion Secret Lotion is a Courage Under Fire full-sister to Group One winning mare Secret Potion. Other well performed progeny of Putting On The Glitz, who is a half-sister to the well performed American mare Silver Lined Pocket, include four-win pacer How Do Mate. By Mitchell Robertson  

Top junior horsewoman Samantha Ottley crept within one win of Sailesh Abernethy in the Junior Drivers’ premiership when guiding Secret Lotion to victory at Nelson yesterday. In doing so, she also notched up her first win for Robert and John Dunn, after recently joining forces with the powerful Woodened Beach stable. “Colin (DeFilippi) is pretty quiet at the moment so he had a chat to John Dunn and suggested that I go and work for them for a while to increase my chances of winning the Junior Drivers’ premiership,” said Ottley. ”I am very grateful to Colin and Julie and of course the Dunns for giving me this opportunity,” said Ottley. “It’s my last season as a junior so it’s now or never as far as winning the premiership goes,” she added. Ottley now sits on 38 wins for the season with North Island reinsman Saliesh Abernethy on 39. Brad Williamson currently sits in third with 29 wins to date. “I really wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Colin (DeFillipi),”advised Ottley. “He has been my mentor and continues to help me achieve the best results possible,” she enthused. The Dunns have done a bit of a swap with the DeFilippi stable and have sent junior horsewoman Loren Lester to work for DeFilippi stable during Ottley’s absence. “I just hope it works out well for everyone in the finish,” concluded Ottley. Meanwhile, the Nelson Winter Cup Prelude, was taken out by Beckinsale, who clung on win over the fast-finish Fifth Edition at odds of $38.30 and $7.40. Other impressive winners on the day included debut maiden winners Wesley Silcox and Robbie Burns, both whom should have no problems measuring up in C1 company on Sunday. By Mitchell Robertson

A new addition to the Robert Dunn stable is top junior driver Samantha Ottley. "Sam" is on loan to the stable with the blessing of her employers Colin and Julie De Filippi.  "Colin approached us and said he was a bit quiet at the moment," said John. "He is very keen for Sam to win the premiership and felt that the best chance of doing so was by linking up with a top stable." At present Sam trails northern reinsman Sailesh Abernethy (39 wins) by two wins in the junior drivers premiership. Sam will have her first drives for the stable at this weekend's two day Nelson meeting. Race 3 - Can't Get Enough Race 7 - Secret Potion Race 11 - Nikola  By Mike Drury (ROBERT DUNN RACING)

Last week was an adequate one for the ring-around with just, Blair Orange, Nathan Williamson, and yours truly selecting winners. Let’s see if we can add to that tally this week. Forbury Park - Thursday Matthew Williamson: Thinks Cullen's Finest looks well placed in the second race on the card. Blair Orange: Has opted for Doves Veecee, who is now with Jamie Gameson. He was an impressive trialist earlier in the month and looks hard to beat - race five. Ricky May: Rates the fresh-up Even Flo as a very good each-way bet - race seven. Mark Jones: Has opted for capable two-year-old Pomme Roy, who was unlucky in last week’s Sires Stakes Final. Expect him to lead and win race nine. Alexandra Park - Friday Scott Phelan: Rates Berlusconi as his best bet of the week - race four. Simon Lawson: Thinks that The Wonkey Donkey, with manners, can win race six on the card. Todd Mitchell: Has opted for smart three-year-old Cyclone Prince, who looks well placed on Friday night - race eight. Anthony Butt: Thinks smart filly Joanne’s A Delight can lead and win the Sales Series Final - race nine. Jay Abernethy: Has opted for The Early Wicket, who finished a nice second on debut - race twelve. Josh Dickie: Thinks Katieellen Castleton can provide some value in race twelve. Addington - Friday David Butt:  Expects One Over Da Moon, who was sensational in the Northern Derby after making an early break, to prove too good in race five on the card. Colin DeFilippi:  Has opted for smart mare Elusive Chick, who is now back with Derek and Adele Jones. She has trialled up super in preparation for her resumption and looks the one they all have to beat- race six. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Elusive Chick - race six. Samantha Ottley:  Thinks the consistent Spell, who has finished second in her last three starts, can breakthrough for her second win - race eight. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Rates the chances of Lucky VC, who downed a smart type in Mach Winger at a recent trial - race ten. Winton - Sunday Jonny Cox:  Has opted for stable newcomer Pay Me Quick, who looks a good each-way chance in the maiden Claimers Final - race two. Nathan Williamson: Thinks Spash Cola, who produced a herculean performance to win her debut, can repeat the dose - race four. Clark Barron: Has selected Strategic Miss, who looks a strong chance in an average C0-1 line-up - race five. Andrew Armour: Thinks Trial By Jury, who finished second on debut, can go one better on Sunday - race six. Addington - Sunday Dexter Dunn: Expects Delightful Dash, who downed a nice field last start, to win again on Sunday - race two.  

Last week the ring-around produced six winners including, Waitoto Express ($6.40), Doubleodeano ($6.10), and Lancewood Lizzie, who was backed in from an opening quote of $9 and ended up starting a warm favourite. Let’s see what good oil we can dig up this week! Cambridge - Thursday Todd Mitchell: Expects Jovani, who was a luckless fresh-up sixth, to prove hard to beat from her ace alley - race three Simon Lawson: Is bullish about the chances of two-year-old Blinding Light, who will shoot for two from two in the sixth race on the card. Jay Abernethy: Is expecting the inform Beta B Quick to go another good race - race nine Josh Dickie: Expects Giuliana Rancic to make a winning debut on the back of some handy trial form - race ten Alexandra Park - Friday Blair Orange: Expects in form trotting mare Paramount Queen to carry on her winning way- race one. Scott Phelan: Rates Pretty Awesome as his best drive this week - race three. Anthony Butt: Has opted for Joanne's A Delight, who was a brilliant third after dragging a flat tyre last week - race four. David Butt: Thinks a few gear changes and the extra distance can see One Over Da Moon claim Group One glory in the Northern Trotting Derby - race six. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Thinks Franco Nelson, who has recorded some very good sectionals in his last two starts, is a very good chance in the NZ Messenger - race seven. Forbury - Friday Matthew Williamson: Has opted for Imperial Ace as his best bet of the week - race two Nathan Williamson: Thinks Nothingforthemedia is a very good chance at odds in the same race - race two Jonny Cox: Is bullish about the chances of Play Action, who was a very good second behind a smart type last start. Take a boxed quinella and trifecta with the three of them? - race two Mark Jones: Thinks Jaccka Len can cap off some consistent form with a win in race five on the card. Tim Williams: Has opted for Never Sighted, who looks very hard to beat on debut off the back of some super trials performances - race seven Addington – Saturday Dexter Dunn: Thinks Speights Girl will take all sorts of beating in the first race on the card. Ricky May: Has opted for the talent Monbet as his bet of the week - race five Craig Thornley: Rates Playaway as a good each-way chance - race six John Dunn: Thinks Say My Name can give Alta Orlando a run for his money in the Sales Series Final – race ten. Timaru - Sunday Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Field Marshall - race three Samantha Ottley: Rates Spell, who has been very good in her last two outings, as her best chance of the week - race six Gavin Smith: Thinks Waihemo Art can get some money in what looks an average maiden line-up - race nine. By Mitchell Robertson

Ricky May says suggestions Terror To Love is vulnerable heading into tonight's Easter Cup are off the mark. Questions have been swirling this week after the champion reinsman gave the three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner a quiet time of it in a two-horse trial at Ashburton on Tuesday. But while some may ponder whether or not the run will have been enough to get Terror To Love in shape to defeat champion mare Adore Me in tonight's $100,000 Group I event, May is keeping his cool, calm attitude. "I've been driving at the trials at Ashburton for 30 years," May said yesterday. "I know what a hard run can do to a horse there when they are four or five days out from a race. There have been plenty who have set that track alight during the week only to fail at the weekend." Terror To Love was timed to run his 2400m heat in 3min 8sec - a sedate effort considering he went 2min and 54.9sec for the Ashburton Flying Stakes on the course, over the same distance, last October. To May the time is irrelevant. The most successful horseman in New Zealand Trotting Cup history with seven wins was impressed with how Terror To Love looked and felt. "I thought he looked fantastic, certainly not like a horse who hasn't raced for a while. I gave him a really strong preliminary before the heat too and he felt awesome. "You can never get a [true] line on him at the trials anyway, he knows when it's raceday and grows another leg. "I was really pleased with the trial, I definitely don't think we have too much to worry about other than Adore Me." Back at his favourite track and racing over his pet distance, Terror To Love will still be favoured by many to down Adore Me tonight. The pair clashed for the first time last month in the Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park and Terror To Love emerged on top after giving the brilliant mare six to seven lengths at the top of the straight and running her down. "I think we can beat her for speed. "I'd be a little more worried if we had to sit outside her and try and beat her though." Adore Me, too, has some question marks hanging over her head. She is backing up from a gruelling 2600m event last week in which she started off a 40m handicap and set the stop watches alight by smashing the New Zealand all-comers record while also going within a whisker of beating the national mobile record as well. Tonight will be the first time Adore Me races over the ultimate distance of 3200m. In her favour though is that it is likely the lead will be waiting for her whenever she decides to come forward, with stablemate Arden Rooney looking the most likely early pacemaker. Ad Feedback "I don't think we would get the lead if we went around and he [Arden Rooney] was in front. So it's going to be pretty tactical and moves in the race will be crucial." Terror To Love was last night rated a $1.70 favourite to win the Group I with Adore Me at $2.10. Both horses are likely to offer more on the tote tonight, although the value for Adore Me is sure to entice some punters. The TAB have already taken a $5000 bet on Terror To Love. May holds a strong hand in tonight's secondary feature - the Group III $25,000 New Zealand Trotting Stakes for two-year-olds. He will drive smart trotter Monbet for Greg and Nina Hope, who suffered defeat for the first time in his career at Rangiora when beaten by BD Love. ❏ Samantha Ottley became the first female to reach 100 career driving wins while a junior driver when she was victorious with Gogirl Bromac at Forbury Park on Thursday night. After a couple of weeks stuck on 99, the talented young driver, who hails from Orari in South Canterbury, finally broke the duck and notched up the ton to continue her remarkable fledgling career.. In her first raceday drive, Ottley was successful when Nigel Paul won at the Kurow meeting on her 18th birthday. Attached to the stable of Colin and Julie de Filippi, Ottley currently sits second on the national junior drivers' championship behind North Island horseman Sailesh Abernethy. By Matt Markham (Courtesy of The Press)            

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