Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 29

Mach Three filly Machitelli showed she could be a Southland Oaks filly later in the season when she impressively won on debut at the Riverton Trotting Club's meeting at Ascot Park on Sunday. The three year old owned by Temuka couple Ivan and Ann Behrnes and trained by close neighbour Brent White was taken straight to the lead from gate one by driver Stephen McNally. He handed up to longshot Evangeline Franco before going round that runner to take the lead again.   Behrnes and his wife Ann raced Machitelli's third dam Assisi - a Vance Hanover mare which won four of her nineteen starts. "We wanted to get back into the family. Working with Alabar (Stud) we heard from Graham Henley that Sassi Bella (Presidential Ball - Assisi) was available to buy," Ivan Behrnes said. They've also recently purchased Big Jim mare Nga Mihi Nui which is out of Sabine who's by Christian Cullen out of Assisi and a full-sister to Roman Gladiator.   "So we've really invested in the family. We'd like to thank Peter Smith and Winky Foley who gave us the opportunity to buy Nga Mihi Nui who has just returned a positive to Sportswriter."  All the way through her preparations as a two and three year old there has been a bit of talk around Machitelli's ability.  "Brent is a neighbour to ours and he's been working her right the way through. He always had a high opinion of her and has a bit going for her. We just took faith because he's a very good judge and educator of a horse. Ann and I took the plunge and thought we might race this one ourselves. We knew she was commercial enough to get up and sell. She could have had a crack as a two year old but Brent sees her more as an end of season three year old in a race like the Southland Oaks if she improves."  Sassi Bella has left three foals - Machitelli, Ranieri (Art Major colt) and Bolzano (Sunshine Beach colt) and is currently in foal to Sportswriter.   "Machitelli is more like Assisi. The Art Major has an Art Major head but more of the family body while the Sunshine Beach has thrown more to the sire's side. He's got more length and strength about him." Prior to Sunday's debut Machitelli had had four workouts and three trials.  "She had a few workouts to get her confidence. She had a few steering issues which has been work in progress. She went to Ashburton and qualified and blasted from eight at the barrier, led and won by two lengths. We saw the ability she had then. She can sustain good pace and has stamina."  Winning connections                                  - Photo Bruce Stewart. Behrens also manages the Alabar Syndicate which races unbeaten Auckland Reactor colt Chase Auckland, one of the likely favourites for this Tuesday's $170,000 Group One NRM Sires Stakes Final at Addington.  "One of the guys in the syndicate calls him the excitement machine. There are trainers, people in their eighties and some very experienced horse people and to see the joy he brings is amazing. Press the accelerator and he just goes. He's not a grinding type of horse. He's just getting better and better and Natalie is still teaching him how to race."  Later in the programme White won with Xmas Joyella which was reined by junior driver Mikayla Lewis.  Mikayla Lewis and Xmas Joyella beating Eagle Galleon (11)    - Photo Bruce Stewart    Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Shards Halo is ready to turn her form line around at Oamaru on Sunday on the strength of a trial win. She is among prospects for the Temuka stable of Brent White, who has enjoyed his best season with 28 wins. White has had his team based at the Timaru racecourse, 18km south of Temuka, the past 10 days due to the wet weather. He returned home on Friday.  “It was pretty wet at home,’’ he said. He scratched Shards Halo and Mistacullect at Rangiora last Sunday in the wake of the weather event. Shards Halo has only managed three minor placings in 11 starts this season. “She was tying up and had some hormonal problems. She really hit the line strongly in her trial win and her work has been good since,’’ said White. ”She has let me down before and I am hoping this is not the case again.’’ Shards Halo won the trial at Ashburton on July 11, by two lengths from Glenferrie Classic with a nose to her stablemate Pay Me Art. She ran her last 800m in 56.8. “I was pleased with Pay Me Art as he gave them a good start,’’ said White. Pay Me Art, a last start winner at Palmerston North on May 25, is in Race 9, along with Mistacullect, The latter has had a first up win at Forbury Park and a fourth at Ashburton in two starts. Pay Me Art is the back marker on 25m over 2600m. White is without stable reinsman Stephen McNally, who is on holiday in Australia. Craig Thornley and Ricky May are the substitutes. Thornley is on Shards Halo, Mistacullect, Christmas Toyboy and Petite’s Blue Chip. May has been engaged for Pay Me Art, Lindsay Castleton and Wobbegong. Lindsay Castleton has been at the beach in the care of Amber Hoffman at Waikouaiti since he last raced on June 29. “I suggested to his owners (Lex and Heather Williams) that he go to the beach for some straight line training. Amber has been happy with his work,’’ said White. Lindsay Castleton (Race 4) has been disappointing since he won at Oamaru and Addington (twice) in the spring.“Christmas Toyboy got off on the wrong foot last time after his good second first up (to Mikey Maguire at Timaru). I have got him on the unruly hoping he won’t charge out this time.’’ Wobbegong and Petite’s Blue Chip are rivals in Race 8. Wobbegong, a useful fourth at Addington last time out, won at Oamaru 12 months ago.   Tayler Strong

Aveross Rustler, the Forbury Park specialist, is in line to win the $10,000 Final of the Sprint Series tonight (Thursday) at Forbury Park. Aveross Rustler powered home from a second line draw in a nine-horse field to win the second heat. His time of 1.25.1 was the fastest of three heats run in the past month. Aveross Rustler was returning after a three month break from racing. “He had trained off, and we gave him a five week break. We set him for this when we found out the rating for the series," said Faulks. “He has come through his race good as gold.” It was the third win in four starts over 1200m at Forbury Park for the Live Or Die eight-year-old. The Andrew Faulks-trained gelding has also won twice over 2200m on the track for Dunedin breeders Ross and Averil Pettitt. He won a heat in the December 2014 series, but he did not contest the final that year. He won a heat in 2015, and finished fifth in the final which was won by Hudson Sully. He did not contest the series last year. Bontz, who came off a second row draw to win the first heat in the hands of Stephen McNally, has Blair Orange as his driver this week. McNally has taken the drive on Mighty Empire, whom he drove to finish third to Jetenara and Takitimu Express in the heat last Thursday. Mighty Empire, who won over 2200m at Forbury Park on June 15, has thrived in the care of Amber Hoffman at Waikouaiti this month. Hoffman has also been caretaker trainer for Takitimu Express. Dexter Dunn, who drove Jetenara, has opted for Audi Hare, whom he drove to a last start win over 2200m at Forbury Park. The Michael House-trained Audi Hare ran Bontz to a neck in the first heat of the 1200m series after working hard. Andrew Suddaby is the replacement driver on Jetenara. Jackalack Sue is a ready-made favourite for the $10,000 claimers final. She has won two heats for trainer-driver Robbie Holmes. Her outside draw (seven) should not be a problem in a seven-horse field. Elusive Flight won the other heat in the absence of Jackalack Sue. Tayler Strong

Temuka trainer, Brent White, who is in the zone after three wins at Forbury Park on Wednesday night, is now viewing the West Coast circuit. “Wobbegong could be my best chance at Westport over the holiday circuit. He has not raced for a while but he has been performing at trials  and workouts lately,’’ said White who won with Ultimate Fella, Bear’s Rest and Belmont Jet (on promotion) at Forbury Park. It was his first training treble on a programme. Wobbegong, who has not raced since July 24, finished second to One Direction in a  trial at Orari on December 17. One Direction is now trained by Regan Todd after winning two races for Riversdale trainer Shane Matheson. The $14,000 Nelson Cup on January  15 is a possibility for Ultimate Fella, who led throughout and stalled of  mother-to - be Beyond Belief by half a length in the C3-6 free-for-all. Beyond Belief (five wins) is in foal to Terror To Love and she will required to stand down after two or three more starts. “We will look at the Nelson Cup with Ultimate Fella because he is owned there but he has an issue with standing starts,’’ said White. Ultimate Fella is owned by  Paul Kelly, of Nelson and Ross McCutcheon, of Temuka. Ultimate Fella credited Stephen McNally with his 400th winning drive. McNally drove his first winner, Fasta La Vista at Kaikoura  in November, 1999. Fasta La Vista was trained by McNally’s father, Ray. Stephen has driven the winners of 63 races for White. The first was Cassino Woman at Washdyke in 2007. McNally has driven the winners of the 16 races trained by White this season. Belmont Jet was promoted after the relegation from first to third of Lilac Flash for galloping in the last 50m. Lilac Flash, having his first start, was in front and the margins  between the first three horses were half a length and a nose. Dexter Dunn, the driver of Lilac Flash, contested the relegation at a judicial hearing. Belmont Jet is raced by Timaru veterinarian Donna Williamson. She bred Belmont Jet, the last foal  and seventh winner left by Holmes Royale, a Holmes Hanover mare who won six races. Belmont Jet, a 4yr-old by Jereme’s Jet, was foaled when Holmes Royale was 23. Belmont Fire (seven wins) is the best of the progeny of Holmes Royale. Williamson also bred the next winner on the card,  the trotter Belmont Invasion.The son of Bacardi Lindy – Sheez Cameronz Pride,  is owned and trained at Invercargill by 79-year-old Owen Lawrence. He has been involved with standardbreds for 60 years. He assisted trainer Jim Ferguson, then based in Invercargill and trained his first winner, Our Angela at Wyndham in 1987. Archie Armour, now based on the Gold Coast, bought Belmont Invasion on behalf of Lawrence for $7000 at the premier yearling sale. McCutcheon is also in the ownership of Bear’s Rest, winner of C0 trot from 30m. McCutcheon (known as Big Bear) races  Bear’s Rest with his daughter Katrina Glass (Teddy Bear), Tim White (son of the trainer) and Jo Chapman. Bear’s Rest is a half brother to Trouble Rieu, who won eight races from the White stable before he was sold to the United States in June. He has won there. “He (Bear’s Rest) is a big light framed horse so he will have a bit of time before his next race,’’ said White. Regal Gesture, having his first start for trainer Graeme Anderson, was an impressive winner. He lost a handy position in the running and came from eighth at the 300m to  win by a head. His stablemate Motu Time To Shine won narrowly in her first race for two months. “She was probably only about 80 per cent tonight,’’ said Anderson.  The speedy 3yr-old filly has now won three from five. Ross Wilson, a hobby trainer at Oamaru, won with Passion Flower, who led throughout 2200m in the hands of Brad Williamson. Wilson who had his previous win five years ago, races Passion Flower with his son, Jesse and sister, Fiona Gould on lease from Dave Phillips, of Auckland. Passion Flower is a half sister by Grinfromeartoear to Immortal (1.50.1 in the US) and Far Too Rusty (17 wins in NZ and Australia). Tayler Strong

Temuka harness racing trainer Brent White likes racing horses in Southland.   He's been a regular visitor to the province over the years and recorded his biggest 'southern' win last season when quality mare Sell A Bit won the Southern Belle Speed Series in race record time at Winton.   His latest winner at Gore Raceway today was Shards Halo - an American Ideal mare out of You're So Hot which was bred in the province by Debbie and Mark Smith, breeders of last months yearling sales topper Mach Shard.   Today she was having her third start for White after starting her career with Greg Payne.     "The owner formed a syndicate before Christmas made up of people from Canterbury and Nelson." "They asked me to train her." "I've had her for about three to four months," said White.    Since taking over her training the mare has been in the money and according to White has been unlucky not to have won a race before today.    "She been a certainty beat the last two times." "At Forbury she was the hot pot and Stephen (regular driver Stephen McNally) got buried five back on the fence. " "He launched her down the outside and she got home in 26. 2 and at Addington the other night she got crossed and got out late and ran third." "Getting a bit of place money isn't the worst though."   White says he hasn't changed too much but has just concentrated on keeping Shards Halo happy.    "She seems pretty happy in herself." "We don't do a lot of work with her and we just try to keep her happy really." "That's what we do with all our fillies and mares and vary their work a bit." "She used to get up and pull." "We've worked on that and she's just got better and better as we've gone along." "She's got some speed and is nice to have around the place."    White's talented trotter Trouble Rieu was also supposed to make the trip.   "He went awful last weekend at Addington." "We pulled bloods off him during the week and they were awful so he didn't make the trip. "She (Shard Halo) was just going to be another drive for Stephen." "But it didn't matter where she was going to go she was going to win a maiden race pretty soon." "We're racing for $7,500 here today and next Thursday at Addington they're racing for $6,500." "I thought that if we picked up one today we may go to Waikouaiti in fourteen days where there's a penalty free race for invited drivers."   So we can expect to see more of the white colours in the south in the future?    "If I don't come down I send them down to Alister Black." "He looks after them and does a good job." "I like the Southland style of racing." "It's about putting your horse in the right company." "Now that my partner and I have bought a property in Temuka it's a bit closer."    The Gore grass surface was lightning fast today and track records broken were:   Titan Banner -  3-27-6 for the 2600 metre stand beating stablemates Belkmyster's previous record of 3-28.7 Ottawa -  3-33.0 - a new track record for trotters over 2600 metres. Dickey Bill was the holder of the previous record of 3-34.6 (1976). Vera's Delight -  2-21-5 a new mares and open record for the 1800 metre mobile. Fiery Ferret -  2-19.4 a new three year old colts and geldings record for 1800 metres mobile. The previous record of 2-23.7 was recorded at this meeting by Smithy last season. Tartan Trilogy -  2-17.5 for the 1800 metres mobile and new open track record for colts and gelding.             Bruce Stewart  - Southland Harness Racing  -  Check site here  

The radar is now definitely on the Nevele R/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final for impressive Winton winner Scarlett Falcon.   The Elsu filly lead after two hundred metres of the Southland Vehicle Sales Mobile Pace and easily beat Bootie Bromac by two and a quarter lengths.    Scarlett Falcon owned by Cedric Coll and Kevin Cloag and is out of the three win Live Or Die mare Genuine Franco. She arrived as a young horse at trainer Stephen McNally's property to be broken in.     "She's always shown enough but we didn't ask too much of her when she was two." "She was just a bit big but qualified late as a two year old." Every time she's gone off the property she's shown something," he said.     From barrier four McNally guided the filly out and took the lead off favourite Picobello early in the race.   "There was no plan set in concrete but she did leave the gate nicely without asking too much of her so from there it was the best place to be really." "She's got a bit of speed but feels as though she could stay a bit better."   Part owner Cedric Coll had to lead the filly into the birdcage and clip her up with the lead rope before returning her to her box after the race.    "She's lovely to drive but she's a real handful to walk around. It's just her. I think she'll grow out of it slowly."   McNally plans to visit Southland again later in the season to ensure Scarlett Falcon has the two required runs in Southland to qualify for the $45,000 Group Two Southland Oaks Final.   Bruce Stewart  -  Southland Harness Racing    

Everybody involved in harness racing knows the dangers that are ever present when you are racing 500 kg horses at thirty miles a hour in very close proximity to each over. The margin for error is very small and a small  incident can turn into a major smash in a blink of the eye. Last night at Forbury Park in Dunedin in race three, Twitch who was racing in the parked position stumbled and fell with 500 metres to go which resulted in several runners directly behind her crashing into the resulting melee. The stewards report makes grim reading: "With approximately 550 metres to run Twitch(S McNally) which was racing in the parked position stumbled and fell dislodging Mr McNally from the sulky. As a result Rightaround(J Dunn), Real South(M Neilson), Russet Norkotah(K Cox), Eilean Shona(K Grant), Houdini(K Butt) Hez Only The Lonely(R McIlwrick) and Buscemi (R Jenkins) were all severely checked in this incident. Rightaround, Russet Norkotah, Eilean Shona, Hez Only The Lonely and Buscemi all lost their drivers during this incident. Following this race drivers R Jenkins, K Cox, R McIlwrick, S McNally and J Dunn were all examined by the on-course St John Paramedics and cleared to drive. Junior horsewoman K Grant was transported to Dunedin Hospital for further examination and x-rays of her hip region. A medical clearance is required prior to Ms Grant resuming driving. All the respective horses were examined by the club veterinarian with Twitch being the worst effected runner after suffering abrasions to the eye region which required further treatment. Buscemi and Hez Only The Lonely both suffered abrasions. Trainer J McDermott advised the Stewards that Twitch was now retired from racing as the mare is in foal. The only good thing to come out of last nights smash is the fact that it looks as though no driver or horse has been seriously hurt and for that we should be thankful. Harnesslink Media  

The ring-around once again delivered for punters last week, with five winners and four placegetters. Among them was Lady Mackendon ($6), who was labelled a ‘good thing’ by Mark Jones, Galleon’s Triumph ($6.60, and Russet Norkotah, who was tipped out by Josh Dickie and paid a phenomenal $20 for a place ($31FF). Let’s hope for a repeat performance this week: Forbury – Thursday Nathan Williamson: Rates Hope And Pray as a good each-way prospect at odds – race one. Jonny Cox: Believes that King Louie only has to run up to his best to be a serious contender in the fourth race on the card. Tim Williams: Thinks impressive last start winner Scottish Duchess can figure in the finish again – race five. Matthew Williamson: Has opted for last start winner Monnay despite her huge 60 metre handicap – race six. Ricky May: Expects Riga Doon to prove very hard to beat from his ace alley in the last race on the card. Addington – Friday Stephen McNally: Has opted for Hikoi in the first race on the card. She looks a strong chance on the back of a good trial performance. Craig Thornely: Thinks Playaway, who is drawn to get a nice trip, can figure in the finish at nice odds. Ken Barron:  Couldn’t spit Mighty Major – race four & Mighty Flying Major – Alexandra Park race seven. Both look to have very good chances. Terry Chmiel: Thinks stable newcomer Trips On Me can bob up at odds in the fifth race on the card. David Butt: Rates the chances of Stingray, who drops back to a C1 and will seek a penalty free win – race six. Anthony Butt: Has opted for Prestine, who looked to be travelling well before galloping last start – race eight. Alexandra Park – Friday Tony Herlihy: Rates Whisper Jet, who has been racing well and looks extremely well placed as his bet of the week – race one. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Has opted for Crocket’s Cullen, who has trialled up stylishly and looks the winner of the eighth race on the card. Josh Dickie: Is keen on three-year-old trotting filly Katieellen Castleton, who was a good second last start and has worked on well during the week – race nine. Timaru – Sunday Mark Jones: Isn’t labelling anything a ‘good thing’ this week. However, he does like the chances of Kowhai Sunrise – race three. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Big Lucy – race seven  

Last week the ring-around produced five winners including Kowhai Sunrise (Mark Jones), who romped in at odds of $6.10. Let’s see what racings leading lads have got for us this week. Forbury Park – Thursday Gavin Smith & David Butt:  Have both opted for Eagles Nest, who is a lot better than his form suggests. However, he does run into a couple of smart types in Media Queen and Smokin Bird – race three. Stephen McNally: Has opted for Bonora Boy who will also attempt to break maidens in the third event. Nathan Williamson: Thinks the consistent Nickelson will get some money again tonight – race four. Matthew Williamson: Has a good book of drives, but rates Al Razza as the best of them – race nine. Tim Williams: Thinks Memorable can get a slice of the pie in the last race of the card. Alexandra Park – Friday Ken Barron: Has opted for last start winner Real Intentions as his bet of the week. She also competes in the first event. Scott Phelan: Thinks Prince Of Pops, who was an impressive last start winner, can double the dose on Friday. – race one. Josh Dickie: Has opted for debutant Connoisseur, who has been impressive at the trials.  He competes in the third race on the card. Blenheim– Friday Jonny Cox: Thinks capable trotter Free Dreams can win his stable debut – race five. Craig Thornley: Rates the chances of Al’s Courage, who was very good on both days of the Nelson circuit. Ricky May: Rates Franco Salisbury as his best drive of the week – race eight. Terry Chmiel: Thinks Swarovski will prove very hard to beat in the eighth race on the card. Anthony Butt: Is very bullish about the chances of Motu Prince Of Peru – race eleven. Blenheim - Sunday Blair Orange: Has opted for Vice Consul, who will come into the meeting fresh on the second day. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Vice Consul  

Congratulations to Matthew Williamson, Ricky May, Todd Mitchell, Joshua Dickie, Jonny Cox, and Nathan Williamson who all produced ‘the goods’ last week. The best result was Katieellen Castleton, who was backed into a closing price of $6.50. Let’s see what good oil the boys have come up with on this massive week of harness racing. Addington - Thursday Colin DeFilippi: Has opted for Strathfield Sun, who recovered well to finish fourth after an early gallop last start - race one. Gavin Smith: Was impressed with Karanga Red Fantasy’s fresh-up second behind Anton Oliver, and think she can go one better in race six tonight. Mark Jones: Has opted for Rock Till You Drop on the back of a couple of impressive workout performances. - race six. Ricky May: Is bullish about the chances of Nevertheless, who has been very good in his last two starts - race seven. Franklin - Friday Jay Abernethy: Likes the chances of Pacific Rapture, who produced a big performance after breaking behind the mobile last start- race six. Simon Lawson: Has opted for the consistent Gold Elite - race eight. Josh Dickie: Rates Kippenberger as a good each-way chance- race nine Forbury Park - Friday Nathan Williamson: Thinks Mr Majestic can break his maiden status in the first race on Friday. Tim Williams: Believes it won’t be long before Mordecai cracks maidens. Probably Friday night- race three. Cambridge Harness Jewels - Saturday Greg Hope: Thinks he has Monbet right back on top of his game and expects him to prove very hard to beat in the 2YO Ruby - race two. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Has also opted for Monbet on the back of an impressive workout at Cambridge. - race two. John Dunn: Thinks Venus Serena has a cracking winning chance despite her tricky second-line - race three. David Butt: Thinks One Over Da Moon only needs a touch of luck to be a major player in the 3YO Ruby - race four. Ken Barron: Thinks that if Majestic Time is at her best come Saturday she will be a force to be reckoned with - race four. Anthony Butt: Has opted for smart filly Joannes A Delight, who should strip a better horse this week after missing work last week due to a foot abscess - race five. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Supersonic Miss - race five Todd Mitchell: Is very happy with Prime Power, who will attempt to defend his Jewels title on Saturday - race seven. Matt Markham (HRNZ): Rates Prime Power as the bet of the day on Harness Jewels Day - race seven. Ashburton - Sunday Dexter Dunn: Has a good book of drives on Jewels Day, but has instead opted for Artismee in race two on Sunday Stephen McNally: Thinks Hikoi is closing in rapidly on his maiden win- race five. Terry Chmiel: Thinks last start winner That Guy Finn, can repeat the dose on Sunday - race seven. Sam Ottley: Rates the chances of Mattjestic Rebeck - race nine. Invercargill - Monday Jonny Cox: Is bullish about the chances of King Louie - race five. Clark Barron:  Rates Royal Taz as his best chance of the weekend - race eleven.  

Last week was a disappointing one for the ring-around with just Blair Orange and Mark Jones producing the goods, however a form reversal is expected this weekend.   Here is what some of New Zealand's leading harness racing participants came up with for us this week.   Addington - Thursday   Josh Dickie: Was pleased with Speeding Spur in his South Island debut and expects him to be hard to roll in the feature two-year-old trot - race two.   Mark Jones:  Has opted for impressive trialist Fleeting Grin, who should take all sorts of stopping in race five on the card   Craig Thornely:  Expects Gotta Grunter, who is now on the beach with Mark Jones, to break maidens at short notice - race five   Stephen Richardson (T.A.B): Was impressed with the way Fifth Edition found the line last start. He looks well placed in race six on the card after dropping back from C2.   Matthew Williamson: Thinks Mokosun can make it three wins on end in race eight on the card.   Nigel McGrath:  Believes that Heza Mighty Monarch will take a power of beating if he is to do things right in race ten.   Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Has opted for Iceobar on the back of an eyecatching fresh-up third - race eleven   Gavin Smith:  Thinks Waihemo Art is a strong chance in what looks an average maiden line-up - race twelve   Alexandra Park - Friday   Blair Orange: Expects a bold preformance from  Paramount Queen in the first race of the card. Stephen McNally: Thinks K D Muscles, who has been racing well in age group company, looks the one in race three.   Scott Phelan: Rates Sweet Art  as a good each-way chance- race seven   Todd Mitchell: Was impresed with how Prime Power worked during the week and expects him to be very hard to beat in the Anzac Cup - race nine   David Butt: Expects One Over Da Moon to prove too good if he can jump to the lead early - race eleven   Simon Lawson: Has opted for classy two-year-old Beaudiene Boaz - race twelve   Gore - Saturday   Tim Williams:  Thinks Bettor Buy It  will prove hard to beat in the Southern Supremacy- race ten   Rangiora - Sunday   Terry Chmiel: Thinks Dynamic Party looks well placed in race two despite his tricky barrier draw.   Ken Barron: Believes Pacquiao can top off a string of good runs with a win in race five.   Jonny Cox:  Is bullish about the chances of Jaccka Justy, who was a game second behind Master Lavros last start - race seven   Ricky May:  Expects Terror To Love to finish his season in style in the Rangiora Classic - race eight

Art Union should not be lining up for career start number two in the Resource Recycling Technologies NZ $8,000 Pace for 2-year-olds at Addington Raceway on Saturday. In fact he should have been retired long before his racing career started. Trainer Cran Dalgety said the well-bred Art Major colt could easily have been wandering around in a paddock now retired from what he termed a “one in a million” injury. “He could have been racing for us three months ago, but we lost valuable ground with him. If you raced a thousand times you wouldn’t see what happened to the poor buggar in a trial at Ashburton back in December. “He was in the one-one and the parked horse came back on him and he got his foot stuck up in the cart and fractured his hock,” Dalgety said. Vets then told the West Melton horseman there was little or no chance of Art Union ever racing again. They did toy with operating and putting a screw in his leg but Dalgety opted against it. “I told the vets if he was out in the wild he wouldn’t be able to get operated on, so we just swum him. It’s a bit of a miracle but time, swimming, and Mother Nature have cured it,” Dalgety said. “Well fingers crossed it’s cured. He’s shown no signs of distress and has bounced back well from his win the other night,” he added. Art Union won his Motukarara Workout on April 5 and then his Rangiora Trial two days later before making a winning debut at Addington Raceway last Friday (April 11). The brown colt was backed into a $3.20 favourite and never looked like losing the $8,000 Spectators Bar & Bistro Open ‘Til Late Mobile Pace. He won the 1950m mobile by 1-1/4 lengths in 2:24.2. Mile rate: 1:58.9. last 800m: 57.2. Last 400m: 27.4. Art Union was eased back early, improved to be parked at the 900m and then drew clear inside the closing 100m proving too strong for Dana Duke (Gavin Smith) and Abbey Cullen (Stephen McNally). “His dam Sparks A Flyin (21 wins and $627,218) was a very good horse winning several big races here and was a New South Wales Oaks winner. She also went 1:51 in America. She was also 3yo Filly-Of-The-Year and just keeps popping them out for the Wakefields (owners and breeders),” Dalgety said. Art Union is a half-brother to earlier classy performers, Diomedes (1:57.5), Empyrean (1:56.2), Bettor’s Fire (1:57.4) and Safedra (1:56.3). Last Friday he became the fifth sub 2:00 winner from Sparks A Flyin (1:52). Dalgety said he would race him in the Sires Stakes heat at Addington after this weekend’s mission, and if he still didn’t have enough money in the bank he could possibly head north to qualify for the 2yo Emerald Final at the Harness Jewels meeting at Cambridge Raceway on May 31. “He’d be right up there with some of the best colts I’ve trained. He has really bulked up since coming back from his injury. He now looks like a 3-year-old. “He’s a tall and long legged creature. Almost thoroughbred like. He’s certainly no flash in the pan,” Dalgety said. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of HRNZ)

This week’s ring-around is smaller than usual as many trainers and drivers have been busy during the week with the sales. However, I am sure the ring-around will, like always, throw out a few winners. Andrew Armour: Believes Macardo is a good bet in the third race at Wyndham on Saturday. Craig Thornley: Thinks Franco Harrington, who was desperately unlucky at Waikouaiti, can make amends in the ninth race at Methven on Sunday. David Butt: Expects Lothario to be hard to beat in the third race at Timaru on Sunday. Gavin Smith: Rates Vincennes as a good each-way chance in the fifth race at Methven on Friday. Jim Curtin: Thinks the consistent Vitali is overdue a winning turn – Timaru, race one. John Dunn: Expects Lovemetwotimes to be tough to toss in the sixth race at Timaru on Sunday. Jonny Cox: Thinks Simply Susational is a good each-way chance from his ace alley in seventh race at Timaru on Sunday. Scott Phelan: Is bullish about the chances of Rocknroll Lass in the sixth race at Manawatu tonight. Stephen McNally: Has opted for the talented Trouble Rieu as his bet of the week. He competes in the third race at Timaru on Sunday. Steve Richardson (T.A.B):  Has been impressed by No Doctor Needed at the trials. He makes his debut in the last race at Wyndham on Saturday. Simon Lawson: Will wait until Monday for his best bet – Bute Mach – Avondale, race ten. Tim Williams: Thinks smart last start winner Come On Jaccka can repeat the dose on Saturday – Wyndham, race ten. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): Best bet – Franco Harrington –Methven, race nine. Each-way – Lovemetwotimes – Timaru, race six. Each-way - Tazzy's Devil - Alexandra Park, race eight. Value – Eyre I Come – Timaru, race three.

The ring-around was a bit quiet last week, producing just four winners. Those who did pick winners were Blair Orange, Nathan Williamson, Scott Phelan, and I. However, the ring-around rarely has two bad weeks in a row, so this could be the time to jump on the bandwagon. Good luck and happy punting! Andrew Armour: Thinks Double Impact can make up for his last start mishap in the first race at Invercargill on Sunday. Blair Orange: Rates the consistent Juneamy Castleton as a good each-way prospect in sixth race at Motukarara on Sunday.   Craig Thornely: Thinks North American import Johny Rock can make his presence felt in his New Zealand debut – Addington, race ten. David Butt: Has opted for the talented yet untrustworthy Mundaka. He will compete in the first race at Addington on Saturday. Gavin Smith: Thinks Vincennes will be very hard to beat provided she can overcome her tricky barrier draw. Motukarara– race ten. Jim Curtin: Hopes Damon Runyon can finally break his maiden status in the sixth race at Addington on Saturday. Jonny Cox: Rates Danny Cool as a good each-way prospect in race six at Invercargill on Sunday. Josh Dickie: Thinks Voluntad will give them something to chase for her ace alley in the eighth race at Alexandra Park on Friday. Ken Barron: Expects the consistent Red Under Fire to be ‘there or thereabouts’ again in the fourth race at Motukarara on Friday. Mark Jones: Expects Superior Desire to be very hard to beat in the first race at Motukarara on Friday. Matty Williamson: Is bullish about the chances of Milligan from his handy gate in race four at Invercargill on Sunday. Ricky May: Said he couldn’t look past NZ Cup champion Terror To Love – Addington, race eight. Scott Phelan: Thinks the aptly named Big Ern will prove hard to beat in the fourth race at Stratford on Sunday. Simon Lawson:  Likes the chances of Art Major debutant Love Is My Drug – Alexandra Park, race seven. Stephen McNally: Has opted for Easy Empress in the third race at Motukarara on Friday. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Thinks Cyclone Prince will be tough to toss in the tenth race at Alexandra Park on Friday. Todd Mitchell: Has opted for Mister Harris in the ninth race at Stratford on Sunday. Tim Williams: Thinks classy mare Here We Go Again will be very hard to beat in the ninth race at Invercargill on Sunday. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink) Best bet – Don’t Call Me Su – Motukarara, race four Each-way – Bootie Bromac – Invercargill, race four Value -  Playaway – Addington, race three                                                                                                                 

Smart three-year-old trotter Trouble Rieu is the latest to emerge on to the scene in time for Saturday’s $30,000 Group Three Hambletonian Classic at Ashburton, which is shaping up to be a stellar field. After disappointing when fifth at Addington on January 17, the Brent White trained son of Great Success looked right back to his best at Geraldine on Saturday where he easily accounted for his 14 rivals after looping the field to sit parked. “Brent (White) has had a few minor issues with him, but he seems right back on top of his game now,” said driver Stephen McNally. “At his best he is definitely capable of matching it with the best of them,” warned McNally. “He proved that last season and I always thought he would be better at three,” he added. Trainer Brent White was quick to agree. “He is a lovely horse, who has derby type written all over him,” said White. “He generally has good manners too, which could be a big assist in a race like the Hambletonian.” Others who will more than likely compete in Saturday’s trotting feature include Thebestlove and Majestic Time, who were both super impressive when winning at Rangiora last Tuesday. In fact, Thebestlove set a new 2000 metre New Zealand record for three-year-trotters when downing Lothario, who will also stake a claim on Saturday. “And of course One Over Da Moon will be there, and we all saw how good he was last season,” added White. Meanwhile, Thorn In My Side, who was the winner of the ninth race on the Geraldine card has been retired on a winning note in foal to super sire Bettor’s Delight. “She is actually a really nice mare, but she has been plagued with soreness issues and bad luck her whole career,” said trainer Peter Robertson. “She is by Falcon Seelster from a sister to multiple Group One winner Lanercost, so she should make a lovely broodmare,” he added. In other news from Geraldine, junior driver Nathan Purdon continued his good association with Uncle Grant Payne when guiding Little Miss Sunshine to victory at odds of $27.90. Purdon has now driven for Payne on six occasions, resulting in three wins and a placing. Little Miss Sunshine was having just her second start for Payne after being transferred from the barn of Robbie Holmes. “She was in need of the run her first start for Grant and she ended up having a tough trip, so we were actually quietly confident of a bold run today.” By Mitchell Robertson

After a couple of weeks absence during the Christmas/New Year period, the ring-around is now back in action and ready to once again steer you in the direction of a winner or ten! Blair Orange: Thinks Bio Marinus will take all sorts of beating in the eleventh race at Blenheim on Friday. Craig Thornley & Terry Chmiel:  Think the consistent Thorn In My Side will be tough to roll from her frontline position in race seven at Blenheim on Friday Gavin Smith:  Has opted for four-win mare All Shook Up, who looks well placed in the ninth race at Oamaru today. Jim Curtin:  Is bullish about the chances of Star Of Dionysis. He competes in the sixth race at Blenheim on Friday. John Dunn: Has opted for stable newcomer Light Up Boss. He competes in the fourth race at Blenheim on Friday. Mark Jones: Just needs to stay in the cart to win aboard Sunoflindenny in the fifth race at Blenheim on Friday. Matthew Williamson: Thinks the consistent Scotty’s Image can break his maiden status at Oamaru today. Ricky May: Has opted for Live The Dream in race six at Oamaru today. Scott Phelan: Thinks Rocknroll Lass is a good each-way chance in race one at Cambridge on Friday. Simon Lawson: Has opted for the consistent Ace Of Delight who has a strong chance in the second race at Cambridge on Friday. Stephen McNally: Gives Culinary Delight a chance in the sixth race at Blenheim on Friday. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Might have found some value in the form of Westburn Courage. He competes in the Morrinsville Cup on Sunday. Todd Mitchell: Thinks classy three-year-old Cyclone Prince can atone in the Waikato Guineas at Cambridge on Friday. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink) Best Bet – Mixed Emotions – Oamaru, race ten. Each-way – Thorn In My Side – Blenheim, race seven Value – Somebeach N Clovelly – Cambridge, race five By Mitchell Robertson

1 to 16 of 29