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 Amanda Kiddie may never have trained a winner but she is going for a double at Alexandra Park on Thursday night. And her last win came there just five nights earlier. Confused? Read on. Kiddie has just started training and so far had only had a handful of start with old trotter Brookby Prince, who has been battling away as he always does. But just because she hasn’t trained a winner yet doesn’t mean Kiddie hasn’t been a winner herself this week because she took out the Groom of the Year award at the North Island Awards dinner at Alexandra Park last Saturday night. And just in the nick of time, because now she has a trainers licence she won’t be eligible for that category next season. “This award has been 10 years in the making,” she said on Saturday after what as a popular announcement. Kiddie’s last boss was Tony Grayling, who has retired from training to work at Woodlands Stud, which is how she inherited both Brookby Prince but more importantly Ideal Flybye, who makes her debut from the new stable at Alexandra Park tonight. The mare showed real talent last season and is way better than her class two assessment. Kiddie admits she is a hard mare to train but punters would be smart to keep an eye on her in the months ahead. Ideal Flybye does meet a tough field tonight, with the five-year-old up against the likes of The Wild Card and Electric Chapel, both of who will make it most of the way to open class. The Wild Card looks the value bet in the race as he was third to Cyamach and Te Kawau last start and six of his seven wins have come in Alexandra Park mobiles. He has the services of Tony Herlihy who will also partner the favourite for the feature trot in Leanne’s Boy. He has emerged a real up and comer over the winter and his win last Friday was effortless against similar opposition. Leanne’s Boy does however go back 10m for that and the run of the third-placed Sunshield last Friday was eyecatching after an early gallop so if he trots throughout he could give the favourite plenty to chase. Leanne’s Boy is just one favourite backing up from last Friday, with Lucky Fortune (race 10) and I Got Rhythm (race four) trotters who can win again as the remain in the same grade after penalty free wins in invited driver’s races. Courtesy Harness Racing New Zealand

The votes have been tallied and the winners announced at the 2014 New Zealand Harness Racing  Awards in Christchurch. Tonight our industry celebrated the many successes of the exciting 2013/14 season. Below are the winners for 2014. Please note a total of 21 voting papers were received. PGG Wrightson 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year  SUPERSONIC MISS 14 Owners: Butterworth Racing Syndicate, K J Riseley, D M Riseley, MacLean Family Syndicate, Kaos Syndicate. (Joanne’s A Delight - 5, Linda Lovegrace - 2) Woodlands Stud 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year VENUS SERENA 21 Owner: R L Sandford, Mrs J A Sandford, G R Dunn Nevele R Stud 4YO & Older Pacing Mare of the Year ADORE ME 21 Owner: Charles Roberts, Paul Kenny, Mary Kenny. McMillan Equine Feeds 2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year  FOLLOW THE STARS 20 Owners: Mrs G J Kennard, P I Kennard, N Pilcher, G R Douglas, P J Creighton, Mrs M C Creighton (Alta Orlando - 1) Copthorne Commodore 3YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year TIGER TARA 17 Owner: R L Sandford, Mrs J A Sandford, J S Gould, G R Dunn (Locharburn - 3, Isaiah - 1) Christchurch Casino 4YO & Older Pacing Entire or Gelding of the Year TERROR TO LOVE 21 Owner: McDonald Bloodstock Limited (Terry McDonald) Alabar Stud Pacer of the Year TERROR TO LOVE 19 Owner: McDonald Bloodstock Limited (Terry McDonald) (Adore Me - 2) Trotters Crombie Lockwood 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year WANNA PLAY 14 Owner: Trevor Casey, Natalie Rasmussen (Arya - 6, Yagunnakissmeornot - 1) XCM 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year MAJESTIC TIME 21 Owners: J M Ward, Mrs P L Ward, Miss S L Ward, C M Ward Advanced Joinery 4YO & Older Trotting Mare of the Year SUPERBOWLCHEERLEADER 21 Owner: Mrs Sue Grainger, Studholme Bloodstock Limited Lone Star 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year MONBET 20 Owners: Greg Hope, Mrs Nina Hope, Maurice Molloy (Prince Fearless - 1) The Caxton Press 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year KING DENNY 21 Owner: Butterworth Racing Syndicate NRM 4YO & Older Trotting Entire & Gelding of the Year MASTER LAVROS 20 Owner: Kypros Kotzikas (Peak - 1) Lincoln Farms Trotter of the Year MASTER LAVROS 21 Owners: Kypros Kotzikas Harness Racing New Zealand Horse of the Year TERROR TO LOVE 19 Owner: McDonald Bloodstock Limited (Terry McDonald) (Adore Me - 2)

Thursday’s Tabcorp Park Melton meeting belonged to Riddell trainer Adam Kelly and stable reinsman Gavin Lang, Kelly chalking up a stable treble and Lang a driving quartet. Four-year-old Mach Three/Going Royce gelding Pushkin was first to greet the judge in the SEW-Eurodrive Pace for R2 to R4 class over 2240 metres. Trapped in the open from gate three in the early stages, Pushkin extended to cross the surprise pacemaker Danish King and Pushkin enjoyed a sweet time at the head of affairs. Kicking clear at the straight entrance, Pushkin just lasted from a flying Jeans Mattjesty, which had been at the tail of the field for most of the trip, scoring by a nose in a rate of 2:06.5, with Voce (one/one – three wide home turn) an eye-catching third when first-up since April. Kiwi-bred Art Major/Strathrowan filly Dazzling Arded was next to come along in the Alabar 3YO Pace over 1720 metres. First-up since June and on debut in Australia, Dazzling Arden starting from gate two on the second line raced three-wide for most of the trip, with the polemarker Shes Pinkalicious retaining the front running. Showing plenty of intestinal fortitude, Dazzling Arden outstayed her rivals to record a 2.8-metre victory in 2:01.5 over the first-starter Kristy Ann Hanover along the sprint lane after trailing the leader. Richly Deserved (four-wide home turn) from last looked a big chance on straightening and finished third. Ex-Sunraysia seven-year-old gelding Eyes On The Sky, having his first outing since May 2013, was a tough victor of the Woodlands Stud Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres. Making his first appearance for the stable, Eyes On The Sky a son of D M Dilinger and Gipsy Belle who’s most recent victory had been at Mildura on May 26, 2013 raced in the open from gate five, proving too strong over the concluding stages for Pas Mate (one/two – three wide home turn) which joined him halfway up the running appearing to be going better, with Bucksaroo third after following the runner up throughout. The mile rate 2:05.1. Lang was the “punters pal” on the day, also snaring the Pegasus Club 3Y0 Pace over 1720 metres aboard the Sue Hunter (Melton) trained Kenneth J/Artistic Dash gelding Kool Kenny. Given a beaut trip one/one from gate five, Kool Kenny was switched to the sprint lane on straightening, scoring by a half-neck from Gowan Loch, which led from the pole, and Daddywho (three back the markers) The mile rate 2:00.6. It was a great day for the Macedon Ranges district with Kyneton duo Greg and Steve Leight taking the Aldebaran Park 3Y0 Trotters Handicap over 2240 metres with Lawman/Kellybrooke gelding Law Legend, leading all of the way from barrier two, accounting for Eureka Encounter and Fire To Rain in a rate of 2:12.3 in appalling conditions. Four-year-old Britewell/Jenola Bay gelding Our St Pierre gave Bolinda’s Brent Lilley another winner for the week when successful in the Trotters Handicap for TRO & TR1 class over 2240 metres in a rate of 2:09.5. With Chris Alford in the spider, Our St Pierre starting from the 10 metre mark settled six back along the markers, with Atego Turbo beginning like a rocket from outside 10 metres to lead. Moving to be one/one racing for the bell, Our St Pierre was eased three wide on the final bend and finished strongly to gain the day in advance of Our Elvis which moved to face the breeze at the bell before striding clear on the home turn. Only One Aussie which trailed the weakening pacemaker finished third. Len Baker - Harness Racing Victoria  

Millionaire pacer Highview Tommy is set to try his hand at stud. And where better to do so than alongside his famous sire Bettor’s Delight at Woodlands? A natural talent right from day one, Highview Tommy was purchased out of the Ready-To-Run Sale for $200,000 after recording the quickest last half of the day. Just a few months later, under the guidance of Mark Purdon, he won the $100,000 Welcome Stakes and the $200,000 2YO Harness Jewels, which was more than enough to see him crowned New Zealand 2yo of the season in his freshman year. As a 3yo he was the winner of the Southern Supremacy Stakes, was placed second in the 3yo Sales Series Final and was placed third in the 3YO Sires Stakes Final. A resilient type, Highview Tommy remarkably won $100,000 in each racing season from the time he stepped on to the track until the end of his 7YO season. Among his career highlights was the 2012 Group One Ballarat Cup, where he came with a potent finishing burst to down the legendary Australian pacer Smoken Up and the extremely talented Sushi Sushi, who was shooting 17 straight victories. Some of his other major victories included wins in the Superstars Championship, Invercargill Cup, Franklin Cup, Manukau Summer Cup, The Pure Steel, and the Interdominion Consolation. He also placed twice in the New Zealand Cup behind none other than Terror To Love, and set a New Zealand record of 3-08.5 for a 2600 metre mobile when smashing his rivals on Cup Day of 2009. Highview Tommy raced against the best and defeated the best during his career. Included in this list are fellow sires Changeover, Stunin Cullen, and Tintin N America. They say the apple never falls far from the tree and that is definitely the case with Bettor’s Delight and Highview Tommy. Highview Tommy has inherited nearly all of his father’s characteristics including his dark colour and powerful frame. He is without a doubt his father’s son. Highview Tommy, who is out of Christian Cullen mare Baptism Of Fire, is bred on the ‘Golden cross’ which has proved potent right throughout Australasia. Others bred on this cross include Group and Listed winners Bettor’s Strike, Gold Ace, Ohoka Punter, Texican, Dancing Diamonds, Arden’s Darlin, and Pembrook’s Delight. Highview Tommy, who quickly became a ‘crowd favourite’ on the racetrack, is now set to be a ‘Breeders’ favourite’ with a service fee of NZ$3,000 plus GST or A$3,300 for the upcoming breeding season.  Woodlands Stud is also happy to confirm a price freeze for the World’s best stallion Bettor’s Delight for the 2014/15 season. His service fee will be $ 12,500 plus GST. AUD$ 13,750 GST INC.  American Ideal, who is having a big impact down under, especially in Australia, will stand at $8,000 plus GST (AUD$8,800), while Group One winning trotting stallion Pegasus Spur will stand at $3,000 plus GST (AUD$3,300). Frozen semen will again be available from Crazed for $5,000 plus GST (AUD$5,500) payable on live foal. For New Zealand inquires contact Woodlands NZ agent – Hazel van Opzeeland – 021 595 492 or 0800 117 883 Australian inquires to Woodlands Australian Agent – Mark Hughes on 0451650707 or email By Mitchell Robertson

Harness racing pundits were divided before today's sale as to how it would evolve with just as many having a pessimistic view as those with a positive outlook. No one was prepared for the large buyer’s bench or the spirited bidding which took hold right from the first broodmare lots and which extended right through to the end of the weanling lots. When the dust had settled, the sale had rewritten the record books and rewarded both Woodlands and Alabar studs for their continued support of the weanling section of the sale. The first twenty lots were for the broodmares and there was strong demand for the well-bred and performed lots. The top price lot in this section was the wonderful race mare and successful broodmare, Coburg 1:56.8 ($201,302), This half-sister to the outstanding racehorse and now sire, Stunin Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,384,864) has already produced a quality filly in Veste, 1:57.1($106,024) and was sold in foal to Bettors Delight to well-known Christchurch breeder Katie Carville for $34,000. Other lots to attract support included; * Lot 2 - Petite's Legacy- In foal to Majestic Son. $16,000 * Lot 4 - Pocketful Of Dreams-In foal to Bettor's Delight. $12,000 * Lot 8 - Talks To Angels-In foal to Art Major. $11,000 * Lot 11 - Angela Patron- In foal to Rock N Roll Hanover $12,500 * Lot 13 - Bronze Lady-Colt at foot by Art Major $11,000. * Lot 16 - Dontdrinkthendrive-In foal to Rock N Roll Hanover $16,000 The sale of the weanlings carried on in the same vein as the broodmares with good looking, well bred stock being in strong demand. As expected there was wide spread interest in the full brother to the brilliant three year old Isaiah 1:54.6 ($457,904) but no one expected him to make $75,000. But, that was reflective of the overall demand being so strong and with such a large buying bench, buyers had to go a lot higher to secure the horses they wanted than they may have envisaged before the sale. Other colts to bring good money included; * Lot 36 - American Ideal / Rearmachable $27,000 * Lot 57 - Bettor's Delight / Christian Doll $42,000 *Lot 64 - Bettor's Delight / Finiamo $35,000 *Lot 73 - Bettor's Delight / Inevitable $23,000 *Lot 94 - Bettor's Delight / Maries Legend $24,000 Fillies are usually the poor cousins when it comes to sales but several brought great money today. The highest price went to the Mach Three filly from the Pacific Rocket mare, Russian Rocket who made $31,000. Others to bring good money included; * Lot 29 - Bettor's Delight / Pocketmore $24,000 * Lot 53 - Bettor's Delight / Beach Parade $20,000 * Lot 60 - Bettor's Delight / Elegant Art $23,000 * Lot 92 - Christian Cullen / Mhairi $30,000 PGG Wrightson representative Bruce Barlass was delighted with the day’s proceedings. “With the number of mares being bred still in decline, it is important for the studs to pick up some of that slack. For the studs to be rewarded today with such great prices will hopefully lead to them expanding their broodmare bands in the future to help arrest the decline in foal numbers we are currently experiencing he said. The average today at $10,012 was nearly double that of last year why the clearance rate of 87% was also impressive. After the recent disastrous all aged sale in Christchurch, today's sale was a real pick me up for New Zealand breeders. Harnesslink media

Josh Dickie’s first serious assault into harness racing ownership looks set to be successful one if his pride and joy Giuliana Rancic is anything to go by. The 2-year-old filly, named after the courageous Italian/American television personality, looks to have the tenacious fighting qualities of her namesake. Driven by Dickie, Giuliana Rancic led all the way to win last Thursday’s Dunstan Feeds Fillies and Mares Maiden at Cambridge Raceway. She was a pronounced $1.40 favourite and never looked like losing the 2200m mobile cruising to victory in 2:45.7 (mile rate 2:01.2), with final 800m and 400m bursts of 58.1 and 28.5 seconds. “I think she has a nice future but I’m not getting too carried away after just one start,’’ Dickie said, who co-trains the daughter of American Ideal with his father John at Clevedon. “She’s an athletic type who has a great conformation. “I liked her from day one because she was a big natural looking horse who had a good size about her.’’ Dickie paid Woodlands Stud $10,000 for the filly as a weanling at the All Age Sale. He then tried to sell her at the annual Yearling Sale but received no bids. “I’d never done this sort of thing before, so it was quite new - yet quite exciting. “I thought she might have been okay when I saw Bunty Hughes was doing the under-bidding at the All Age Sale, that was an encouraging sign. “Since then she has progressed really well, but when I bought her I had to convince my grandmother (Gwen Dickie) to free up the money to purchase her. “My Nana looks after my finances and she was quite reluctant to fork out that much for a baby. “I talked her into it and I think she’s now a bit happier after last week’s result,” Dickie said. He said he named the big bay after Giuliana Rancic because both he and his girlfriend Angela admired the TV journalist. “She had both of her breasts removed and then had to resort to an embryo transfer after not being able to give birth. “She has fighting qualities that both Ange and I really admire. “If my horse is half as gutsy as what Giuliana Rancic is then I’ll be a very happy owner,” the 23-year-old said. Dickie said the filly’s dam line also lured him into buying Giuliana Rancic. “I thought she was worth a crack because her mother (Finiamo) had good bloodlines via Party Baby and Bee Gee’s Dream. “She was put together very well,” Dickie said. He said he could give Giuliana Rancic perhaps one more run before spelling her for her 3-year-old season. “I’m not too concerned about the Jewels. “If she did qualify I don’t think I would line her up, I think she is a better long-term proposition. “She’s ready just yet to line up against quality opposition after just one start, It could break her. “Her long-term welfare means a lot to me. “I’ll bring her back as an early 3-year-old and take it from there.’’ Giuliana Rancic easily won her debut start by five lengths after leading all the way from barrier two. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

After waking up at 5am to do her daily exercises which consist of 100 sit-ups and 80 press-ups, harness racing superwoman, Natalie Rasmussen, hoppled the whole team at Rolleston before flying to Auckland to steer Linda Lovegrace to an all-of-the-way win in the $130,000 Group One Caduceus Club Classic. “She is a lovely filly with a lot of speed and a heap of bottom to her,” said Rasmussen, who was very confident going into tonight’s race. “She was crook when she finished third in the Young Guns and probably shouldn’t have even started. Her effort to finish third was huge, so I knew she could turn the tables on Democrat Party tonight,” she added. After burning out early, Linda Lovegrace enjoyed a nice run in front before unleashing a supersonic last 400 metres to win by 1 & ¾ lenghts over Katy Perry, who enjoyed a nice run in the trail. Joannes A Delight and Democrat Party, who locked wheels and lost considerable ground down the back straight, were both good finishing in third and fourth respectively. Linda Lovegrace, who is a daughter of champion sire Bettor’s Delight, will now eye the $150,000 Sires Stakes next Friday. She is owned by the ‘The Good sports Syndicate’ and was bred by Woodlands Stud. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Tasman, Mark Purdon made up for his unlucky fourth in the fillies APG Final with Supersonic Miss by winning the $322,000 colts final in emphatic fashion with Follow The Stars. The freakishly good two-year-old, who was now won six from six, crushed his rivals by 13.6 metres despite racing parked for the majority of the journey, backing up Mark Purdon’s statement that he is the best horse he has ever purchased from the Australian Pacing Gold Sale. Follow The Stars, who paced a blistering mile rate of 1:54.1, will now return home to prepare for the Harness Jewels. By Mitchell Robertson

The unfortunate demise of the Akaroa meeting on March 16 due to the remnants of Cyclone Lusi has this week afforded harness racing punters a rare opportunity to enjoy three strong harness meetings on the same afternoon this Sunday and a $40,000 Turbo Quaddie across the meetings. It will be a nice mix of meetings too. The renaissance of Central Districts harness looks set to continue with the Taranaki Trotting Club’s annual meeting. The two features on Sunday are the Woodlands Stud Taranaki Breeders Stakes and the Revital Fertilisers Taranaki Cup. A day of mobile racing on the grass, with full fields, should make for an action-packed meeting. The Akaroa Troting Club gets its belated chance to shine, two weeks after the abandonment of their last meeting. The ‘goHarness Syndications’ promotion will be in full swing and 11 even fields face punters with the club’s Cup definite highlight at Race 9. Lastly, but certainly not least is ‘Finals Day’ at Ascot Park, Invercargill. Three features highlight the Super Feature meeting, they being the Southland Oaks (R8), Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes (R9), Southern Country Cups Final (R10). A strong Canterbury strike force has been ushered south for the meeting with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen looking to hold the whip-hand in the two three-year-old features. Binding the above meetings together on Sunday will be a $40,000 Turbo Quaddie. Encapsulated in the four high-stakes races commencing at 4.13pm are: Southern Supremacy Stakes (G2), Akaroa Cup, Taranaki Cup and Southern Country Cups Final. The last Quaddie leg is set down to be run at 4.51pm. Harness Racing New Zealand

Nominations closed today with the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club for the running of the 2014 Muscara Standardbreds New Zealand Derby at Addington on Friday 11 April. At the time of closing at 3.00pm this afternoon, 27 three year old pacers had been nominated for the prestigious event that this year carries a total stake of $175,000 an increase of $25,000 from 2013. Notable nominations included Woodlands Stud Northern Derby victor Tiger Tara and the next three home in that race Locharburn, Maxim and Sky Major. 10 nominations came from leading Canterbury trainers Mark Purdon, Natalie Rasmussen and Robert Dunn with six from the Purdon / Rasmussen partnership and four from the Dunn stable. Addington’s Racing Manager Brian Rabbitt was happy the number of nominations. “It is very pleasing to receive such a high level of nominations for this time honoured event. Our three year old crop this year is of high quality and we’ll be looking forward to hopefully carding a full field on 11 April.” Any horse not nominated, may upon making the late entry fee of $2,000 plus GST per horse become eligible. This fee is due no later than 1pm NZ time on Monday 7 April. A full list of nominations can be viewed at A fixed odds book on the nominations will be released by Stephen Richardson and his team at the TAB this Friday afternoon.    Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington

Bob Sandford has owned standardbreds since the mid-1970s, but he and his wife Jennifer only started to get serious about ownership in the early 1990s. Now almost a quarter of a century later the Canterbury couple have arguably the best 3-year-old pacing filly and colt going around at present. Both Tiger Tara and Venus Serena have are last start Group One winners, and the Sandfords, who are both 72, still say they can’t quite believe that both champion pacers have really come into their own in 2014. “We are over the moon. We have spent several decades trying to get a top-line horse and now we have two. It’s quite unbelievable really. It’s a dream come true,” Sandford (Bob) said. With the Harness Racing New Zealand Awards still a few months away the Sandfords must surely rate as warm favourites to win their first ‘Owner-of-the-Year title. “I must have owned about 60 plus horses over the years and last week’s (Woodlands Northern) Derby is the richest race I have won. We flew up to Alexandra Park to watch Tiger Tara win. “We were also on track the week before to watch ‘Venus’ win the (Northern) Oaks. It’s been an incredible couple of weeks,” Sandford said. To be fair it’s been an incredible couple of seasons. Since making her debut in February 2013 Venus Serena has won 11 of her 16 starts and placed in three others for $503,622. This includes four Group One victories, a Group Two and a Group Three. The four Group Ones came via the Nevele R Caduceus Club 2yo Fillies Classic at Alexandra Park on April 19; the Magness Benrow Sires Stakes 2yo Fillies Championship at Alexandra Park on May 3; the Ashburton Guardian 2yo Fillies Harness Jewels Diamond at Ashburton on June 1; and the Pascoes The Jewellers Northern Oaks for 3yo fillies at Alexandra Park on February 28. Tiger Tara has won seven of his 18 starts and placed in seven others for $277,375. This comprises two Group One victories – the NRM Sires Stakes 3yo Final at Addington Raceway on November 12, and of course the Woodlands Stud Northern Derby at Alexandra Park on March 7. Sandford said he was introduced to ownership by his late brother Brian, who bred many good horses over the years, including the 10-win ($588,106) son of Mach Three, Fiery Falcon. “The first horse I owned was Tarbar in the mid-1970s and then my brother and I owned Tarsudi. I dabbled in a few more over the years but it wasn’t until about 1990 when we started to buy two or three a year from then on,” Sandford said. He said 2002 Wellington Cup winner Agios Nikolaos (eight wins) was one of the better horses he owned. He also rated Rocket Reign (14 wins) and his full brother Cullens Reign (eight wins) as another couple of his well performed pacers. “The two that are going around at the moment have the potential to be my best. I think they will race against each other one day but not this season. “Ultimately I’d love to win a big Cup with one of them. They both stay pretty well so it’s not an impossibility. I’d really like that for Geoff and Jen,” Sandford said. Geoff is Geoff Dunn, Sandford’s trainer since 1992. “He’s a great horseman and has done a wonderful job with my horses over the years. ‘Tara’ and ‘Venus’ are very much evidence of his great horsemanship,” Sandford said. Cheviot born and Christchurch Boys High School educated Sandford said he bought two fillies at this year’s yearling sales and bought back a half-brother to Venus Serena named Bettor Bolt (bettor’s delight – Inspiring Dash). The two fillies are named Nikita Banner (Bettor’s delight – Corporate Banner) and Flyingretna (Mach Three – Gretna’s Girl). They also bred Venus Serena from their Falcon Seelster mare, Inspiring Dash, who won five races for Dunn. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

New Zealand’s leading Standardbred Stud ‘ Woodlands Stud’ is expanding its support for Manawatu Harness Racing by sponsoring the Bettor’s Delight F & M Mile Series for the remainder of the season, and in 2014-15. Woodlands Stud is the southern hemisphere home of world champion stallion Bettors Delight, after which the racing series is named. Bettor’s Delight has just added Inter Dominion winner ‘Beautide’ to his amazing CV as a stallion. It was Bettor’s Delights tenth Group One Winner for the 2013/14 season in Australasia The Manawatu Harness Racing Club (MHRC) has already held two races this season for the c1–c2 pacing fillies and mares (3yo & older) over 1609 metres, which resulted in sub- two minute ratings by Real Faith (1:58.2) on November 7 and Chanelle Bromac (1:59.1) on February 6. In both cases, at least the next five horses across the line ran times under two minutes. The fields are limited to 11 starters, with six on the front row and five on the second row behind the mobile gate on a preferential draw. Horses must be rated c1 or c2 at time of nomination. Woodlands Stud will come on board for the remaining two races this season, and will review the concept at the end of this term, with a view to announcing full details for 2014-15. Each of the races will be named the “Bettor’s Delight F & M Mile”, with the owners of each winner receiving vouchers for a 30 per cent discount on either a Bettor’s Delight or American Ideal service fee. The two remaining races this season are on Thursday, March 13 (Palmerstonian Classic night) and Friday, May 16. It is hoped that each series race in the new season will be for a total stake of $10,000. The MHRC will provide a dress rug for all winners during the series, with the appropriate Woodlands Stud insignia included. Manawatu president Allan Brown said Woodlands Stud has been granted naming rights to the Manawatu Raceway “passing lane”, which will now be called the “Bettor’s Delight Passing Lane”. “This is an overwhelming response by Woodlands Stud to support our fillies and mares’ mile series,” he said. “And MHRC is most appreciative of the interest that was shown by other studs in this promotion. “The club’s committee is acutely aware of the declining number of mares being bred, and sees this partnership with Woodlands Stud as a positive step toward addressing the concerns,” he added. “It is hoped that by obtaining a sub-two minute mile rating for their horses it will, in turn, stimulate owners and breeders to breed from those mares in the future. “Obviously, that is the main reason why Woodlands Stud want to come on board, and at the same time promote their stallions and stud in the lower North Island.”

Sires Stakes winner Tiger Tara is also the 2014 Group One $250,000 Woodlands Stud Northern Derby champion. But the three-year-old colt's trainer, Geoff Dunn and driver Gerard O'Reilly were both surprised by the neck victory. "I thought he was flat going into his this race and I did not expect this win. I had his bloods taken during the week and they returned nothing. After last week's run (sixth) I thought he'd go average tonight. It was a pleasant surprise," Dunn said. O'Reilly said he would have just been happy to place after his lack lustre performance in the Derby Prelude seven nights ago. "That was ordinary and even though we won tonight I still don't think he was at 100 per cent. It's very hard to believe the quarters he ran because he can go better than what he did tonight," said driver O'Reilly. Tiger Tara, who was having his second start at Alexandra Park, paced a sensational 54.5 last half, which included a 27.4 last quarter. He stopped the clock in 3:18.10. His winning mile rate for the 2700m mobile was a slick 1:54.8. They are very good times considering favourite Locharburn and Dexter Dunn set a leisurely pace for the first half of the race. But they didn't count on Tiger Tara whipping along the passing lane to get the chocolates. Maxim  (Zac Butcher) was 1-1/2 lengths back in third. Tiger Tara was the second favourite and paid $4.40 to win. He is owned by Dunn, R. L. Sandford & Mrs J. A. Sandford, and J. S. Gould. His breeder was R. P. Anicich. He has now won seven of his 18 starts and placed in seven others for $277,375 in stakes. by Duane Ranger (Courtesy of HRNZ)  

In Sydney.--- The words of champion New Zealand driver Tony Herlihy were ringing in the ears of James Rattray when his Inter Dominion dream turned into a nightmare yesterday. And that helped what started out perfectly, then went horribly wrong, end in triumph. Rattray’s incredible pacer Beautide graduated from superstar to champion in the$A750,000 final at Menangle with one of the great staying performances in pacing history. Rattray pulled the right reins with the favourite early in the 3009m mobile classc and looked set to dominate the race when he moved at the 1800m mark to waltz to the lead. But he was stunned when the driver of leader Mach Beauty first fought him off but then even more disappointingly let Smolda run to the front at the bell, leaving Beautide parked outside his biggest danger. “About then things weren’t going well,” admitted Rattray. “I didn’t see myself sitting parked, especially not outside Smolda. But I remembered something Tony always told me and that was no matter what happens in a race never panic.” That advise was handed to the young Tasmanian horseman during his time working for Herlihy, the king of cool, at his South Auckland stables five years ago. “Those at the sort of things you don’t forget, especially from a guy like Tony, and once I ended up parked I realised I needed to relax so he would.”
 What happened next was breathtaking as Beautide, who looked to be off the bit at the 600m, changed gear at the top of the straight and exploded past Smolda before putting four lengths on his rivals. He won easing down from fellow Menangle regulars Seel N Print and For A Reason, confirming the Sydney track as the new powerhouse of Australasian harness racing. Had Beautide won in that style off a suitable tempo that favoured those on the speed it would have been dramatic --- the fact he was able to do it in the fastest staying race ever paced in this part of the world was the performance of a champion. He adds the win to his Miracle Mile triumph in November, a double not completed for 12 years and provides the ultimate dividend for Rattray’s gamble to move from his native Tasmania to Menangle to chase the mega bucks on offer there last year. “The Miracle Mile was special but this was something else.” Rattray’s time in Auckland was not the only vein of Kiwi success in the race as Beautide is by Bettors Delight, the world champion sire who stands at Woodlands Stud in South Auckland. But the Kiwi joy stopped there was Smolda could manage only fourth, perhaps a victim of only having two lead-up runs because of his late start to the season after injury last term. And Terror To Love’s hatred of Menangle was confirmed when he raced 10 lengths below his best, once again pacing roughly early. “He just hates it here but we had to have a go,” said trainer Graham Court. “But we won’t be coming back. He can stay home next season and try and win his fourth New Zealand Cup.” By Michael Guerin (Courtesy ofHarness Racing New Zealand)

A Bettor’s Delight colt with ‘Rockstar looks’ out of Christian Cullen mare Galleons Supreme  has topped the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale, fetching $130,000 for his Woodlands Stud vendors. Bettor Cheer, who is out of a half-sister to star Bettor’s Delight mare Cheer The Lady ($314,625), was purchased by prolific Australian owners Emilio and Maria Rosati and is likely to be trained in New Zealand by Tony Herlihy The bay colt, who was lot 57, hails from the family of top producer No Regrets, who herself was a half sister to Cup winner Globe Bay and a relative of the immortal Cardigan Bay. Galleon’s Cheer, Galleon’s Treasure, No Equal, Nevermore, Chancellor Cullen, Franco Nester, and Franco Nelson are just some of the names printed in black on Bettor Cheer’s pedigree page. John Street of Lincoln Farms was another who was prepared to fork out big dollars at the sale. His most expensive purchase was a Mach Three colt out of top mare Angelina Jane called Like A Hurricane who set him back $96,000, while he also secured a full-brother to Besotted for $32,500, and a Real Desire half-brother to Tintin In America for 84,000. Purdon brothers, Mark and Barry, both purchased yearlings from families they have had great success with in the past, with Barry securing a brother to Bettor Offer for $46,000 and a sister to Five Card Draw and (half) Ideal Belle for $75,000. Mark on the other hand, purchased a Mach Three half-brother to his Oaks winning filly O Baby for $48,000. His other buys included Conversion (Christian Cullen – Coburg), $45,000, and Sophisticated Lady (Mach Three – Gentle Anvil) $70,000, while his large band of owners were also very active. The other top lots were lot 45 - Alta Las Vegas, Bettor's Delight - Alta Camilla ($77,500 - Robert Dunn), lot 75 – Derringer, Bettor’s Delight – Bury My Heart ($75,000 – Mark Jones), lot 76 – Zadaka, Mach Three – Copper Beach ($115, 000 – Geoff Small), and lot 108 – Mavros, Bettor’s Delight – Its Showtime ($75,000 – Rosslands Stud) The overseas contingent once again played a strong part in the sale with many yearlings now Australian bound and two possibly even heading for the USA.   Those two particular yearlings are Cyclone Charlie (Rock N Roll Heaven – Eyre To The Throne) and Maia Maguire (Bettor’s Delight – Mystic Gold) who were purchased by G L Banks & M J Hanover of the USA for $74,000 and $31,000 respectively. Meanwhile, the top trotting lot of the day was lot 47, Gunners Coin, a stunning Muscle Hill colt out of Galleons Dream. He reached $100,000 but that fell well short of  his $200,000 reserve. To view full results for the Australasian Classic Yearling Sales click here. By Mitchell Robertson

Barry Purdon signed the dockets for both Lot 162 and Lot 167 at Karaka in 2012 and two years later the pair produced the quinella in the A$200,000 Victoria Derby. Along the way Maxim has won the $150,000 NZ Sires’ Stakes 2YO Final and Sky Major took out the overall title of NZ Two-Year-Old of the Year. Maxim  purchased from the Woodlands Stud draft for $35,000 was bred by none other than Charlie Roberts, who else. A $50,000 purchase,  Sky Major  was offered by Brian and Heather Hedger from  Clevedon and Greg Sweeney of Auckland. The Sales have been a happy hunting ground for Barry Purdon in the past few years with Cheer The Lady(NZ Oaks and Breeders Crown), Five Card Draw(also NZ 2YO of the Year), Precious Rose and Bettor Offer all coming out of either Auckland or Christchurch Yearling Sales. Six NZ breds won on Derby night at Melton,  including Padrisimo, Inky Cullen and Chilli Palmer  from the Yearling Sales as well as Lysenko and Our Blackbird.

In Sydney.--- Miracle Mile hero James Rattray says his time with two of the legends of New Zealand racing helped him to his greatest career victory. Rattray produced the perfect driving display behind Beautide to win Saturday’s A$750,000 thriller at Menangle, gunning down Kiwi star Christen Me in the last 100m in a race record 1:50.2. Rattray gave up the coveted one-one early in the race to tuck Beautide away three deep on the markers, a gamble that paid the ultimate dividend as they barely went around a horse on their way to giving Tasmania just its second win in the Mile. Rattray is from Tasmania’s most famous harness racing family and only moved to Sydney three months ago to chase the enormous riches at Menangle. But he cut his teeth driving in New Zealand, learning from the best --- Tony Herlihy. "Working for Tony changed everything for me,” said Rattray. “Just watching him drive and talking to him about it, I learned so much. “And there was the bonus of having Roy Purdon there every morning too. “For somebody like me to have two legends like them to learn from was a dream come true.” Remarkably, while Beautide has been the find of the Australian pacing season, Rattray still struggles for recognition in Sydney, where the most dominant stables already have regular drivers. “I am training about five horses and probably only want to get to eight so I can give them as much attention as possible. “But I’d love to get more drives. I really only drive my own horses and probably have one or two drives most weeks. “Hopefully this will help change that.” Beautide is yet another success story for Woodlands Stud’s champion stallion Bettors Delight, who is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest pacing stallions to ever stand in Australasia. The five-year-old now heads to the Victoria Cup in 12 days, where he will be joined by Saturday’s brave runner-up Christen Me. The Canterbury pacer was magnificent in second after sitting parked and hitting the lead at the top of the long Menangle straight, putting a difficult November behind him. But while he has bounced back to his top form the connections of fellow Kiwi rep Terror To Love were left scratching their heads as he dropped out to finish last. The three-time New Zealand Cup winner never looked comfortable on the track and while he briefly loomed up three wide he raced 10 lengths below his Addington form of just three weeks ago. He has now failed to win in six starts at Menangle, which raises questions over whether the Interdominions there in March are the most logical long-term aim for him. The other expensive failure in Saturday’s Mile was Smoken Up, who led but was beaten at the top of the straight, racing well below his 1:49.9 win just seven days earlier. Meanwhile, rejoining the Grand Circuit will be Auckland-owned pacer The Gold Ace after his win in a A$50,000 free-for-all on Saturday night. Having his first start for new trainer Belinda McCarthy, who won six races at the meeting, The Gold Ace was brilliant beating the second stringer open class horses and could finally have found his niche in the pacing world. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

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