Day At The Track
Dexter Dunn, harness racing

NZ's Dexter Dunn invades Yonkers on Saturday

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 16, 2018-When driver changes were finalized for Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night (Aug. 18th) program, one name stood out amongst the rank of file. The 10-time New Zealand premiership driving champion finds himself with a pair of escorts, Pointomygranson (post position No. 3) for trainer Chris Ryder in the $23,000, third-race pace, and Quick Asa Trick N (post No. 7), trained by Darran Cassar, in the $23,000, ninth-race pace. Down Under connections are obvious, with Ryder a Kiwi and Cassar from Australia. Dunn, who turns 29 next month, won the 2015 World Driving Championship, held in Australia. He visited Yonkers-going 0-for-4-when the biennial event was stateside four years earlier. Dunn last drove in North America in 2017 as Canada hosted the competition. After some pesky passport issues, Dunn arrived in New Jersey, with Ryder serving as 'point man' for the excursion. "It's a three-year visa, but I don't have a return (to New Zealand) date," Dunn said, adding, "There's no plan. I'm just going to see how it works out." "When Pointomygranson wins off the screen, everyone is going to see how good Dexter is," Ryder said...without guaranteeing that result. Asked to describe his compatriot, Ryder was effusive. "He's just the right guy for the job, young but with a lot of experience. I've seen him get results from good horses and difficult ones. "The (driving) style between here and New Zealand is not as different as it used to be," Ryder said. "New Zealand racing his improved, so it's always about getting into the right position." The bulk of Dunn's Down Under small-track experience has been over three-turn, five-eighths-mile ovals, so Westchester's 'rustic' half-mile figures to provide a different challenge. "There are a lot of good drivers here, but I think he can adapt as well as anyone can," Ryder said. Dunn's lasting Yonkers Raceway impression from his first go-round? "Eight-holes stink." The guy's a quick study. Post time for Saturday's dozen-race card is the usual 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Great Things Happens,Harness racing

Gavin Smith is hoping patience pays off

Gavin Smith is hoping his patience pays off at Addington tonight. What Smith has done with stable star Great Things Happen and what he would liked to have done with him are two very different things. What he has done is craft a short but sometimes spectacular career, punctuated by breathtaking wins in races such as last season's NZ Free-For-All at Addington. On days like that Great Things Happen looks the equal of any trotter in Australasia outside of Monbet but when he resumes as a seven-year-old at Addington tonight it will be just his 32nd start. Which is not what Smith has wanted. He would relish a 12-14 start season, taking on the numerous group one opportunities for the open class trotters. He hopes that finally comes true this season. "That would be great, to be able to race him for a full season," says Smith. "But it just hasn't worked out that way. Last season, he had a recurring problem with a quarter crack and I thought I could keep patching it up and having half seasons with him or give him the whole six months off and start again. So I put the horse first and missed a lot of big races last season. But his feet are now great." They have looked that way in recent trials when Great Things Happen has dominated in the style of a fresh-up winner in what looks a perfect race tonight. "He obviously isn't at his peak and is still pretty round but he should still win," says Smith. "Then he can have another race and we will give him a short break, get ready for Cup week and start thinking about things like the Inter Dominion and all the big races later in the season. "But it is great to have a horse like him back." Although the domestic harness scene lacks any other stars this weekend, Harness Jewels winners Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece take on Aussie's best in semifinals of the Breeders Crown at Bendigo on Saturday night. Trainer Mark Purdon is thrilled with both horses but slightly concerned by their barrier draws, particularly the second line marble for Another Masterpiece.   Michael Guerin

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2017/18 Season HRNZ Award Contenders

Here are the 2017/18 NZB Standardbred Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Award Contenders PACERS 2YO Colts & Geldings A BETTOR ACT ANOTHER MASTERPIECE JESSE DUKE WAR DAN DELIGHT 3YO Colts & Geldings CHASE AUCKLAND PAT’S DELIGHT SHERIFF SICARIO 4YO Entires & Geldings A G’S WHITE SOCKS EAMON MAGUIRE JACK’S LEGEND STAR GALLERIA ULTIMATE MACHETE VINCENT (AUS) 5YO+ Entires & Geldings ALTA ORLANDO HEAVEN ROCKS LAZARUS TITAN BANNER 2YO Fillies DRACARYS HAVTIME KAYLA MARIE PRINCESS TIFFANY 3YO Fillies BETTOR JOY DIBABA ELLE MAC SHEZ ALL ROCK SOCIABLE 4YO Mares BONNIE JOAN DELISHKA OPOUTAMA PARTYON UTMOST DELIGHT 5YO+ Mares AMERICAN TART BETTER B AMAZED DREAM ABOUT ME JO’S DREAM TROTTERS 2YO Colts & Geldings ENHANCE YOUR CALM FULL NOISE ONE APOLLO OSCAR BONAVENA 3YO Colts & Geldings MAJESTIC MAN SUNDEES SON VALLORIA WINTERFELL 4YO Entires & Geldings ENGHIEN HABIBI INTA IZMOK MASSIVE METRO 5YO+ Entires & Geldings AMARETTO SUN GREAT THINGS HAPPEN LEMOND SPEEDING SPUR TEMPORALE 2YO Fillies CHEERFUL SHE REIGNS SUNNY’S LITTLE JESTIC TICKLE ME PINK 3YO Fillies LUBY LOU MONARO MIA RENEZMAE SHOW GAIT 4YO Mares BONNIE HIGHLANDER MADISON JANE MYSTICAL STAR PRES THE BELLE RUTHLESS KAYLA 5YO+ Mares DESTINY JONES HARRIET OF MOT MAJESTIC ALI SUNSET PEAK OTHER AWARDS Pacing Broodmare BETHANY DANCING DIAMONDS GOODLOOKINGGIRL Trotting Broodmare DELLA'S SPEED TEN TO ONE WHOSINTHENEST Pacing Stallion ART MAJOR BETTOR'S DELIGHT MACH THREE Trotting Stallion LOVE YOU MAJESTIC SON SUNDON Owner of the Year TREVOR CASEY JEAN FEISS PHILLIP & GLENYS KENNARD Breeder of the Year BRECKON FARMS BRAEDEN & CAROLINE WHITELOCK WOODLANDS STUD   HRNZ

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Passing of Royce Cleal

The death occurred in early March, after a long illness, of D.R.  (Royce) Cleal. Royce trained and drove many horses in a long career notching up many winners from a limited number of drives each season. His first win was with Star Raider at the Hokitika races in 1955. He trained Intercede (Smokey Hanover-Caprice) for Digger Hartigan and Peter Phibbs. She was the winner of four races before being sold to America. Black Pan (Jerry Adios -Garrison Lady ) won four races as did  Braeburn (Brahman -Direct Approach.) He had a great day at Methven in February 1979 when he reined in two winners. The first was behind Greymouth’s Len and Rosie Goodall trained Karleda Maid (Port Boxer-Viva Lady) who paid $34 for a win. In the next leg of the treble he drove the Westport Wonder, Canny Tina (Canny Scott-New Tina) to victory. She was trained at Westport by Paddy O’Toole and paid $31.  Thurber’s Command won the last leg of the treble but there were no live tickets on him so the treble pool ($92,000) was shared by the two ticket holders on the second horse. One was Bob Dayne from Greymouth and the other was Royce’s brother-in-law, Max Walsh. Max and Royce headed to the Yearling sales with the winnings (well some of them) and purchased an H.T Luca –Sly Imp yearling filly they named Lady Luca. Royce trained and drove Lady Luca throughout her career for Max and wife Jeanette. She only had 32 starts for 3 wins, 7 seconds and three thirds. Lady Luca ran second in the 1982 Westport Cup to the well performed Ansett (her next start was in the NZ Breeders Cup in which she finished 5th to Bonnies Chance and Armalight.) The winning margin for Ansett was half a head with four lengths back to the third horse. Royce drove many horses for local trainers and among the ones he reined home first were: Stoney Cold for K.J. Beveridge, Omanu and Neveles Own for FP Higgins, King Turk for T.A. Craddock, Rosewood Lady for C.R. Woodcock, and Ailsa Hanover for W.N Forsyth. With limited opportunities he was chosen as a reserve for the Drivers’ Championship in 1980. The other reserve drivers were Pat O’Reilly, Kevin Townley and Trevor Thomas so he was in pretty good company. Royce drove well over seventy winners from limited opportunities with his final winner being at Nelson at the ripe old age of 69. Today his nephew, Trevor Walsh carries on the family tradition training at Patterson Park and driving on race days.   Courtesy of Dan Moloney Westport Trotting Club  

There are just the three meetings programmed in again this week so we are in the quietest stretch of the new season for harness racing in New Zealand. Several of our regular contributors are also away on holiday during this time so the ringaround page is a bit smaller than normal over this period.  Waikato Bay Of Plenty host a meeting tonight at Cambridge raceway, while the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club hold their Mid August racenight at Addington Raceway on Friday night Kurow host their annual meeting at Oamaru on Sunday. Last week the biggest winning dividend in the ringaround selections went to Tony Herlihy who thought Red Reactor would be hard to beat last Friday night. Red Reactor did win and paid $6.20 and $2.30 on the tote.  Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Cambridge on Thursday night John Curtin - John thinks that Just Wing It would be a winning chance at Cambridge in Race 3 Andre Poutama - Andre says his best drive would be Royal Lincoln at Cambridge in Race 5 Jay Abernethy - Jay is going for The Hulk as his best chance this week at Cambridge in Race 6 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best drive is probably Rise To Success at Cambridge in Race 8   Addington on Friday night Stephen Richardson (Odds Analyst) - Stephen thinks Gran Chico can go close to winning Race 4 Ricky May -  Ricky thinks his best drive would be Kingslayer at Addington in Race 6 Harnesslink Reporter - says Beau Vista can go close to winning at Addington in Race 8 Mark Jones - Mark is going for Robyn's Gem as his best chance this week at Addington in Race 10   Oamaru on Sunday Matthew Williamson - Matthew thinks that Rydgemont Son might be his best drive this week in Race 1 Blair Orange - Blair is going for Change The Print as his best drive this week at Oamaru in Race 3 Racechat - Lance thinks that Fancy Schmancy is a good winning chance at Oamaru in Race 4 Brad Williamson - Brad says his best drive this week could be Jen Jaccka in Race 6     Harnesslink Media

The recently named Southland Horse of the Year Duke of Wellington is back in work at Lauren Pearson’s Winton stable. Now owned by the Butterworth Racing Syndicate, the four year old gelding has been lodging at Diane Cournane’s property (Pearson’s aunt) since winning the Alabar Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes on the 29th April. “He’s just back to be jogged up for Merv and then he’ll go elsewhere I suppose. I’m not too sure where he’s going after that. He’s come back in real good order, didn’t get too fat and he’s still got a shine on his coat so he looks real good. The break did him the world of good,” Pearson said. She’s resigned to the fact that her star will only be here for a short time but she’s pleased to have been a part of his early four year old preparation. “It’s great having a nice horse in your stable to make you get up and out on the cold mornings.” Pearson says the Duke of Wellington is also pleased to be back. “He went straight back into his old box down in the back paddock. He’s still lazy as on the track but he’s bucking around and playing in the paddock.” The American Ideal gelding qualified at Ascot Park in late October and in ten starts won five races and was placed another four times. He won his last four starts in a row including the Supremacy. “That was his first season (last season) because he didn’t do anything as a two year old. To do what he did on one prep was a hell of a good feat.” Pearson and partner Brent Barclay are jogging up three Butterworth horses; Governor’s Bay, Zealand Star and Duke Of Wellington. All horses have been in work since the 24th July and will have six weeks jogging. “He’ll (Merv Butterworth) give us a yodel and tell us what’s happening after that.” Pearson says Governor’s Bay has been well looked after since being turned out. “He’s in really good condition and has got a lot to fall back on. Hopefully he does a good job for Merv.” Governor's Bay                           - Photo Bruce Stewart He was owned by George Bennett, Paula Holmes and Peter and Ann Bagrie and won two races for Tom Bagrie before he was bought by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He had one start at the end of his four year old season for Brett Gray’s stable, running seventh in the fast run 2400 metre mobile event at Winton on 14th April. He was turned out after that. Pearson, after a two week holiday in Cairns and Townsville has most her team back in work, including promising trotter Super Fast Pat. “When he gets his mind on the job he’ll earn his keep. The motor’s there and he’s got a lot of ability. He hates the grit so that’s the main problem with him.”   Bruce Stewart Souhtland Harness Racing

The long-awaited clash between the best NZ and Australian fillies in the Breeder's Crown gets off to a cracking start at Bendigo on Saturday evening. PRINCESS TIFFANY faces her toughest task yet in a scintillating career when she goes from gate four in her semi over 2140m While she should still be too good, her clash with two of the Emma Stewart stars both of whom are drawn inside her will be of considerable interest on both sides of the Tasman. KUALOA (gate 3) has only been beaten once when going down to TWO TIMES BETTOR in her BC heat, At her previous start she continued her near perfect record by winning the VicBred Final at a meeting where Stewart horses completely dominated, and beating Two Times Bettor in an impressive 1.56.6 mile rate. She has won 6 from 8  though she disappointed in the APG final when caught wide improving and finishing only 7th 22m from the winner, Soho Nolita in 1.53. Two Times Bettor has drawn awkwardly in the 2nd heat on Saturday. The other possible upset hope  to Princess Tiffany is SWIMSUIT EDITION another Stewart runner drawn the ace though she would have to improve on her two starts to date. She won her heat of the BC at odds-on but only with a neck to spare and a 1.59.5 mr. Her debut at Ballarat when a $1.60 fave was disappointing in that she did not pace well early which cost her her winning chance. Princess Tiffany has posted a 1.58.9 mile rate over 2200m in New Zealand Kualoa is by Art Major from an American Ideal mare and Swimsuit Edition by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare. Another Masterpiece also faces a major clash with a representative of the Stewart stable on CENTENARIO winner of 7 of his 9 starts including the Vicbred Final with a 1.55.9 mile rate. An American Ideal youngster from an Art Major mare, he also won the APG Gold Final of $A350,000 and has gate 3 on Saturday while Another Masterpiece has gate 9,outside of the second row but with only two runners in it and he may be able to track his strongest rival. Former All Stars runners THINK ABOUT ME and DUPLICATED are in the three year old heats with another, MACH UP, a withdrawal. Think About Me disappointed when 6th in his heat and Duplicated, with strong Queensland form recently is up against the unbeaten IGNATIUS  (11 starts) who has posted a 1.51.3 mile time at Menangle and Stewart star POSTER BOY  a sensational two year old last term who went on to win the NSW Derby this season  Courtesy of All Stars Website http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Trackside Listings Thursday Cambridge (TS1) Friday Addington (TS1) Sunday Kurow (TS1)   TAB Jackpots Friday night - $25,000 Pick Six at Auckland August and September - Every Sunday will have a $20,000 Guaranteed Quaddie on the last four races   Cambridge - Thursday Night 8 races starting at 5.40pm   Addington Raceway and Event Centre Hello Everyone, It is exciting, we are back racing this week.  RACE NIGHT DINING – FABULOUS OPTIONS AVAILABLE THIS FRIDAY, 23 & 31 AUGUST! TRACKSIDE DINING OPTIONS   We have three fabulous packages to choose from.  Bookings essential, phone 338 9094 or email info@addington.co.nz Gold Package – Premier viewing, divine four course buffet dining, premium beverage package and effective & innovative marketing. This cost effective package varies in price, dependent on group size. Silver Package – Premier viewing, divine four course buffet dining and premium beverage package. $80 + GST per person. Bronze Package – Premier viewing and divine four course buffet dining. $54 + GST per person. $15 A LA CARTE DINING – Choose from five of our divine dishes that are available in the Christian Cullen Lounge, located on level 1 of the Metropolitan Stand. (Gluten free and vegetarian options available). STABLES BBQ – Enjoy a bite to eat from the Stables BBQ. Whether it is a juicy burger or a pottle of chips, your hunger cravings will be satisfied. The BBQ is located at the stables entrance directly beside the Lindauer Lawn. KIWI PUNTERS CHAMPIONSHIP HEAT 3 IS THIS FRIDAY AT ADDINGTON AND WE’RE LOOKING FOR NEW ZEALAND’S BEST PUNTER We invite you to register online to compete for your slice of over $100,000 in local prizes and a trip for two to LAS VEGAS, where you’ll contend for US$2.5M at the National Horseplayers Championship Tour Final in February 2019.   Important information to assist you becoming New Zealand’s best punter: § There is no entry fee payable. Receipt of $500 (per syndicate) betting funds validate entry. § For the first time this year, selected Fixed Odds Betting is available. § There are 12 heats/opportunities to gain entry into the Kiwi Punters Championship Grand Final that is being held at Addington Raceway on Friday 16 November.  § For information on heat dates, locations, terms and conditions and to register, Please visit; http://www.addington.co.nz/racing/kiwi-punters-championship/ THE MET MULTIPLIER $7,000 BONUS HAS BECOME EVEN MORE ACCESSIBLE THIS SEASON HAVE YOU WON THIS YET? Be sure to remember what the Met Multiplier could mean to you when thinking about where to race your horse(s) over the coming months!  (Bonus split - $5,000 to owner(s) / $2,000 to trainers) HOW DO I GET IT? - Start a horse at NZMTC Meetings a minimum of 15 TIMES (up to five of these can be amateur races) over a rolling 12 MONTH period and WIN or dead heat in just ONE of these starts. Your win can also come in an amateur race.  For full terms & conditions for all of the above please view addington.co.nz/racing/promotions-incentives/ UPCOMING RACE MEETING PROGRAMMES AT THE NZMTC https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/082332pg.htm  August 23 https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/083132pg.htm        August 31 (Tentative) To contact us about any of the above please call 03 338 9094 or email info@addington.co.nz Take care, travel safe and we look forward to seeing you soon. From the Addington Team.   Kurow Harness Racing Club –  Sunday 19 August, Owners Appreciation BBQ We have a brand new Facebook Page! We will also be utilizing our Facebook page on race day to bring you race previews, interviews and aftermaths with winning connections for our 19 August annual meeting. Free kids entertainment and free entry.  Gerald Cayford, the new president of the Kurow Harness Racing Club, will host a barbeque for owners and licence holders at the annual race meeting of the club at Oamaru on Sunday, August 19. Cayford has succeeded Tony Wall, who had four years as president. ‘’Entertainment is my specialty and we will have the bus and a marquee tent set up for the barbeque,” said Cayford, who will be assisted by his son, Jason, a member of the committee. The “bus” is a mobile motor home often used by Gerald to attend race meetings and entertain. “Anyone can come along and have a chat to us about racing.” Gerald has also stepped in to sponsor the $14,500 Kurow Cup. “A sponsor dropped out at the last minute so I decided to front up and give trainer Amber Hoffman a boost,’’ he said. The cup will be sponsored under the name of her Glamour Hooves stable at Waikouaiti. Cayford has raced numerous horses among them the trotter Heard The Whisper, winner of six races but subsequently hindered by injury. Gerald is in the ownership of Motu Top Mach, the up and coming 3yr-old, who has won twice in four starts. He hopes to be represented at the Kurow meeting by Sheez Good and Sefton Hooligan, both raced in partnerships. Sheez Good, trained by Patrick O’Reilly, has won three races. Sefton Hooligan is trained by Hoffman.   Alexandra Park  Friday 14th of September - Thai Night. Thai night features an all you can eat Thai buffet, traditional entertainment, live harness racing and more! Book for your chance to win big with Thai airways! If you have any further questions or to book, don’t hesitate to contact us via email on dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or give us a call on 09 631 1165 ATC 2019 Syndicate: Over the last two decades, the Auckland Trotting Club has formed 17 syndicates, each comprising either 40 or 50 shares and racing between 2 and 4 horses. To date, all 17 syndicates have proved, or are proving, very successful: At this year’s Australasian Classic Yearling Sale or the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, the Auckland Trotting Club 2019 Syndicate’s yearlings were selected by the top trainers Robert Dunn, Brent Mangos and Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson: Name: Alta Redeemer Trainer: Robert Dunn Name: Christianshavtime Trainer: Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson Name: Bet West Trainer: Brent Mangos When you join an ATC Syndicate, not only do you get to enjoy the thrill of owning and racing harness racehorses, but you can also be very involved in Harness Racing generally, initially at Alexandra Park and the wider Auckland/Waikato area and then quite possibly venturing further afield in New Zealand and Australia, as some previous ATC Syndicates have. There are many advantages involved with being part of one of the Auckland Trotting Club Syndicates. These include; the comparatively low costs, the opportunity to share in the ownership of well bred horses trained by some of the best trainers in New Zealand, making new friendships with like-minded people, having total involvement in the Harness Racing industry and having the opportunity to participate in social events and possibly travel throughout the year. Every month, syndicate members receive a detailed newsletter documenting each horse’s progress, member news, and other information. Regular updates are placed on a phone-in message service, which can be accessed at anytime from anywhere in New Zealand free of charge. We have already had syndicate members from a wide geographical location around New Zealand, from Kaeo and Kaitaia in the North, to Dunedin and Invercargill in the South, as well as from the USA, Canada, England, Japan, Australia (Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) and even Iceland. Each year of establishing a new Syndicate, the Auckland Trotting Club has implemented their hugely successful formula of buying three richly bred yearlings at the Yearling Sales, with these horses being selected by and trained by some of New Zealand’s leading trainers. For further information please contact or go to www.alexandrapark.co.nz/racing/syndicates: Andrew Jamieson – ATC Syndication Manager Tel:  + 64 9 238 9212 Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:  ajamieson175@gmail.com   North Island Awards – Saturday 1 September To be held in the Tasman Room at Alexandra Park. Commencing at 5.30pm, three course dinner, beer, wine, spirits and juices and live band on the night. Tickets are $130 per head, with juniors and cadets full subsidized. Formal dress, jacket and tie. For tickets and more information contact Suzanne Herlihy 027 407 1057.   Canterbury Combined Awards Dinner - Saturday 15 September 2018 6.30pm pre-dinner drinks - 7.15pm dinner and awards. Master of Ceremonies will be Mark McNamara – race caller extraordinaire! Tickets $55 each -Table of ten $550 Includes a superb buffet dinner, introductory drink and platters, interspersed with the presentation of awards. Numbers limited to 300 To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Noel Kennard 021 969 969, 347 9699, Email: noel@goharness.co.nz   HRNZ Marketing

Champion driver Dexter Dunn's much-delayed North American campaign is finally about to begin. The 10-time premiership winning harness driver flies to New York tonight for at least six weeks of driving on the East Coast of the United States and it is very much a case of better late than never. Dunn had hoped to be in New Jersey two months ago so he could drive and make contacts in North American harness racing for at least three or even four months. But visa issues have frustrated Dunn and instead now he expects to be back home in Canterbury inside two months. "It has been frustrating but at least the visa I did eventually get is valid for three years so I won't have to go through this again next year," says Dunn. "I am looking forward to getting up there and ideally would love to pick up a few drives next week." Dunn will be based with family friend and former Kiwi trainer Chris Ryder and thinks he is most likely to pick up drives at Chester, Pocono or Yonkers. The latter would be the best chance for Kiwi harness racing fans to track Dunn's progress or even take the chance to bet on him as Yonkers is covered on Trackside television. "To be honesty it might not be the ideal time to be going as the good horses will start racing here soon but I didn't have that much lined up in the way of open class pacers. "And I still really want to go and experience the racing up there again. If it all goes well I could stay a little longer but at this stage I think I will be back around early October. "While that isn't as long as I would have liked it should at least give me a break as well as a chance to make contacts for when I go back next season, all going well." With Dunn set to be off the New Zealand scene for at least six weeks don't expect the TAB to open a market on the driver's premiership any time soon. After years of pressure they finally did so last season as Blair Orange broke Dunn's stranglehold on the premiership but with Orange likely to have at least a six week headstart over Dunn this term the race for the premiership could be over before it begins. Orange's defence of his title could come down to whether he is willing to make regular trips to Manawatu as his wins there, mainly on Michael House-trained horses, were the difference in last season's premiership. "I'll be going back for sure," confirms Orange. "I have spoken to Michael and he will be looking to take a team to a lot of their meetings and I was well looked after there last season so I plan to be driving there again." Michael Guerin

Welcome to the Harness Half Hour podcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing. Jess Smith brings the latest harness racing news and interviews with colorful and interesting industry participants from New Zealand and around the world. This week we feature John Denton - Addington Racecourse Manager, Duncan Taylor owner of Lazarus, live straight after the Dan Patch, Grant Crabbe breeder of Shartin the USA’s leading pacer in earnings this year, Dominque Dowding CEO Alexandra Park, trainer Andre Poutama and Bookmaker Richard Wilson.   Jess Smith

Southland celebrated another very good harness racing season last night with Southern Harness supporters celebrating the achievements of 2017-18 at Ascot Park Hotel. The big awards for the season went to Kenny Baynes, Duke Of Wellington and Joyfuljoy. Chatton farmer and horseman Kenny Baynes won the Achievement of the Year Award on the back of a stellar season as an owner. Kenny races horses in partnership with his wife Jo as well as Penny his sister-in-law under Baynes Racing Limited. Horses he owned won twenty one races, of which seventeen were trained in Southland. Three of his horses qualified for the Harness Jewels at Cambridge with young trotter Full Noise running second in the 2 year old Ruby. Baynes is also President of the Gore Harness Racing Club and a generous sponsor of harness racing in the province. It was a good night for Baynes, Full Noise won the Two Year Old of the Year - the first time a trotter has taken out this category. The Southland Horse of the Year this year sponsored by Elite Racing Products, was won by quality three year old Duke Of Wellington. He was also named Southland Three Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year. The strapping American Ideal gelding was bred by local lawyer Lester Smith who owned him up until he end of the season, when he was bought by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He faced the starter ten times for five wins and four placings, earning stakes of $54,280. He then capped off his season with a good win in the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes over 2700 metres. Duke Of Wellington was trained by Lauren Pearson at Winton and he proved his versality by recording a 1.53.6 mile at Wairio in March. Road Machine mare Joyfulbelle won the prestigious Southland Broodmare of the Year. She’s owned by the Miracle Lodge Syndicate which consists of Eric Parr and Clark Barron. As a broodmare Joyfulbelle has produced eight named foals. These include; Joyfuljoy (11 NZ wins and 1-51.6 USA), Jumpforjoy (7 wins), Fullofjoy (1 win), Pride N Joy (Qualified 1-59.5), Bettor Joy (10 wins), and Somejoy (6 wins).    Pride N Joy is the dam of two winners this season; Gift Of Joy, and this year’s Group One winner in Australia Majorpride. Joyfulbelle's latest two foals are Vergeofgreatness (a Washington VC 3 year old colt) and Alexjoy (an Art Major two year old filly). Her breeding legacy now extends into her daughters who are also leaving quality race horses. Other awards:   Contribution Awards   Jason Broad Jason has held the position as Secretary of many different harness associations over the years, and include the Trainer & Drivers Association, Southland Standardbred Breeders, Caduceus Club, S.T.O.T.B, Invercargill Workouts, and NZ Racing Managers. He has also been raceday secretary for the Omakau Trotting Club since 2002 and the Nelson Trotting Club since 2006. He's currently a trustee of Kids Kartz, which he helped set up 2009. Jason was appointed General Manager of Southern Harness in 2016.    Ross Wilson Ross has been instrumental in helping junior drivers to get on the map.  Dexter Dunn drove the five Wilson winners in 2010, Adam Sanderson 12 wins, Craig Ferguson 19 as a junior and 11 since becoming an open driver and many others have had wins for the stable.  Outside training, Ross has been on the Gore Harness Racing Club for many years and the Gore Workouts Committee. Ross has held a icence to train since 1980.   Graeme Robertson QSM Graeme has made an extraordinary contribution to the Riverton Trotting Club, being elected to the Committee in 1961 and serving concurrently for the next fifty seven years. He served as Vice-President between 1972 and 1974 and was Club President 1974-1977. Since 1978 he’s been the Treasurer of the Club - forty years! He clearly remembers 1978 as the year the club was granted its first totalizator licence.  Graham was made a life member in 2002. He’s seen the club develop from a small on-course only club that raced on a Thursday to a fully licenced trotting club that punches above its weight.  Graeme was awarded the QSM for his Services to Sport in 2017.     Southern Standardbred Breeders Trophies (leading stake earners 2017-2018) Two Year Old Filly: Rise Above This - Owner: Lester Smith - Trainer: Lauren Pearson. Three Year Old Filly: Betterthanbrie - Owner: Murray Little - Trainer: Paul Ellis.  Aged Mare: Somejoy - Owner: Miracle Lodge Syndicate - Trainer: Clark Barron.    1-58.0 Pins Betterthanbrie - Murray Little - Wyndham 17.03/2018 1-56.2. Debnita Rose - Paul Hailes, Jonny Turner and Carl McIntyre - Oamaru 24/09/2017 1-57.4.  Franco Tai - Robert and Sharon Symon - NZ Metro 20/10/2017 1-57.0. Havtime - Murray Little and Malcolm and Sarndra Little - Auckland 11/05/2018 1-58.0. Mach's Back - Murray Little - Winton 14/04/2018 1-57.3. Mighty Conqueror - Mark Shirley and Malcolm Dewe - Winton 14/04/2018 1-57.7. Patanjali - Robert and Sharon Symon - Forbury Park 05/04/2018 1-58.0 Raksbet - Brendan Fahy - Ashburton 25/02/2018 1-55.1 and Wyndham 18/01/2018 1-56.5 Group Certificates  Bettor Joy - Breeder - Miracle Lodge Syndicate (Group Two Ladyship Stakes) Duke Of Wellington - Breeder - Lester Smith (Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes) Pat's Delight - Breeder - Charlton Park Enterprises (Pat Kubala) (Group One Three Year Old Emerald and Group Two Summer Cup). New Zealand Records Jen Jaccka - Charlie and Alisa Smaill - 2400 metre stand (trotting mares) 28/09/2017 - Winton - 3-00.9. Full Noise - Baynes Racing Limited 2700 metre stand (two year old trotting colts and geldings) 07/05/2018 -Ascot Park -3-35.2.  Southern Standardbred Breeders Fastest Mile Rate - Filly or mare 2017-2018 Somejoy 1-53.2 Wairio Trotting Club at Winton 24th March 2018 - Owner: Miracle Lodge Syndicate - Trainer: Clark Barron.  Southland Harness Awards - Two Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year Full Noise - Owner: Baynes Racing Limited - Trainer: Brett Gray. Robin Dundee Club - Three Year Olds Of The Year  I'mallaboutthebase (filly) -Owners: Steve and Carol Baucke - Trainer: Steve Baucke. Duke of Wellington (colt/gelding) - Owner: Lester Smith - Trainer: Lauren Pearson.  Caduceus Club of Southland Trotter of the Year Grace O'Malley - Owner: Go Ziggy Go Limited - Trainer: Curly Thomas     Southland Trainers and Drivers Association 2018 Awards Trainer of the Year: Brett Gray (34) Driver of the Year: Nathan Williamson (42) Junior Driver of the Year: Sheree Tomlinson (30) Trotting Driver of the Year: Brent Barclay (12) Southland Harness Racing Award of Excellence Sheree Tomlinson - First woman driver to win the time honoured Dominion Handicap Trot Pat's Delight - Winner of the Group One Three Year Old Emerald. Havtime - Winner of the $146,250 Listed New Zealand Yearling Sales Fillies Final It's Ella was also honoured on the night. The Washington VC mare won sixteen races including the Group Two Caduceus Club Mares Championship in 2007 and 2008 as well as the 2007 Group One PGG Wrightson New Zealand Breeders Stakes.  Another excellent season for Harness Racing in Southland. Congratulations to all winners and to those who were nominated. We look forward to another successful season where Southland breeders, trainers and drivers put their names on the harness racing map. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

“Like I said to you during the week it’s the only way he could have won today,” said Nathan Williamson after Franco Santino won the Heartland Hotel Mobile Pace at Gore. It couldn’t have panned out better, with a fresh Benio Ben and driver Dexter Dunn setting a very solid clip in front. Dunn had his charge humming with 400 metres to run and Franco Santino was off the speed by seven lengths. “They went fast up front and got (they) tired in the straight and they came back to me.” The winning margin was half a length with Franco Huntington up close in third, three quarters of a length back.  The time was a respectable 2-42.5 on a track that had a new sand surface put down during the week. “There’s plenty of nice races coming up with the Cup races around Christmas time. He’s not too bad off in the ratings being 78 after today. We’ll try and pick up a junior drivers race. He’s going to keep working through the grades hopefully.” With the Cup races on the radar Williamson was asked about Franco Santino’s standing start ability. “He’s only had one start from the stand which he won at Oamaru. He was safe away. He's so sensible and doesn’t have any hype or get wound up. Starting off those handicaps sometimes can be quite good. You can go in and be away and it gives them good confidence.” The win today was the entire's fifth in only nine starts. He’s owned by Riverton fisherman Neville Cleaver. Franco Santino, Nathan Williamson, Oliver Kite and Neville Cleaver - Photo Bruce Stewart.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Changeover gelding Bold Ruler won his forth race when,aided by a super drive by trainer Peter Hunter, he held on to win the Barclay-Ellis Harness Racing Mobile Pace. Hunter who darted from the back to take the lead with 600 metres to run said the win didn’t surprise him.      “No not really. He’s had a couple of good runs at Winton and he raced good at the end of last season. It’s probably the best he’s ever gone (last season). He’s good to have around now. He wasn’t in the early days,” he said. The now seven year old seems to have been around for a lifetime and Hunter says the owners Brendon McIntyre and Bill Moffatt have a goal in mind.  “The owners want to get a hundred caps for Southland and he’s four starts away from getting that.” It was the second win of the day for McIntyre. He won the previous race as part of the What Ever Syndicate when Broadway Banner cleared maiden ranks in the Sir Lincoln at Alabar Mobile Pace.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The man enjoying the ride behind Kiwi pacing sensation Lazarus says only one horse may be able to stop him becoming the fastest pacer in history. And that would be Lazarus himself. Champion driver Yannick Gingras was still buzzing hours after driving Lazarus to a dominant victory in his first North American start, the pair overcoming the outside barrier to lead for the last half of the US$325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana on Saturday afternoon (NZ time). It was Lazarus’s first start in the United States since being sold for an estimated record price of $4million to Taylor Made Stallions. While he had been the best standardbred in Australasia for two years and qualified in sensational time in the US two weeks ago, any horse traveling to the other side of the world to take on their best comes with question marks. Lazarus turned those into exclamations marks with his 1:48.8 mile. The win has already justified his purchase price because with North American breeders now seeing how powerful Lazarus is in full flight he is guaranteed a commercial start to a dual hemisphere stallion career. That leaves the $3.8million earner with just a couple of major targets that could greatly embellish his reputation — winning at the Breeders Crown in late October and pacing a super fast mile time, close to the world record of 1:46 held by Always B Miki. But while Gingras says that time may be within Lazraus physical capabilities, the horse himself might need some company. “A lot of things need to happen to get down to that speed but I think he can do it,” Gingras said. “I have no doubt with the improvement he has in him he can pace 1:46 and change, maybe even 1:46 flat. “But to do that you need the right track, the right conditions and the right horses to push you. “Tonight he would have gone a lot faster if he had needed to and I think he is a horse who will always find more when another horse gets close to him and pushes him. “So to pace 1:46 he will need all of those things and a horse good enough to push him to that time. Otherwise I don’t think he is a horse who will want to go much faster than he has to to win. “But anything is possible because he had only had that one qualifier here before tonight’s race so he is obviously going to get better and better.” Lazraus’s next starts are likely to be in the heat and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby on August 25 and September 1 and yesterday’s win guarantees him a start in the Hoosier Park Derby on September 21. After that looms the US$500,000 major free-for-all at the rocket fast Red Mile (October 7) in Kentucky, the ideal track to attempt a lightning quick mile. “Tonight was the perfect starting point. He won, we got to show people how good he is but he wasn’t put under any strain.” What was it like driving the Kiwi hero? “It is a real thrill. Driving any great horse is amazing but the novelty around him tonight and the way the race was promoted, and knowing so many people Down Under were watching. It was pretty special.” Michael Guerin

Shadow Play colt Stick Man delivered on his $1.60 favourites tag when he won the Hanley Formula Mobile Pace at Gore today. Stick Man was bought as a foal by Reg Storer and trainer Paul Court. Storer shares in the ownership with Georgia Bay Limited. He’s out of the Pacific Rocket mare Aziza who is also the dam of quality racehorse Tiger Thompson. “When we bought him we didn’t know too much about Tiger Thompson so it’s worked out to be a good buy really,” Court said. Stick Man qualified in November as a two year old at Ashburton. “I probably could have raced him but I thought we should look after him. We gave him a bit of time out and he’s come back really good.” In today’s race driver Blair Orange positioned the colt nicely on the outside and moved forward to challenge leader Beaudiene Overtake with a lap to run. He was taken to the lead with 600 metres to run and held on to beat The Croupier by three quarters of a length. “I told Blair not to be unlucky because he was good enough to win and he proved that today. The track was a bit testing. He did it pretty easily and Blair said he knocked off when he got to the front. That’s a sign of a nice horse - they know when to go and when to button off. I think we’re not finished with him yet.” Prior to today’s debut he’d been to the trials twice for a first up second followed by a win at Rangiora on the 25th July. Heading back to the birdcage                          - Photo Bruce Stewart  “When my horses go back to the trials for the first time (new season) it’s a building process. Every trial he’s got better. In the last trial we pepped it up a wee bit and ran home. I expect him to improve quite a bit on that run. He’s still quite big and round so we’ve got a bit to work with.” This was also Stick Man’s first real trip away. “I’m going back tonight so it’s going to be a big long trip for him but he’s handling his first trip away really well.” And Court is upbeat about the progress he thinks the horse can make. “I think he’s a very good stayer but he does have speed. The further and the harder they go it’ll be right up his alley.” And he says he’s got a host of three year olds, all maidens, ready to appear at the races. They include Mongolian Cavalry (Mach Three), Mongolian Spear (A Rocknroll Dance) and Mongolian Machete (Art Major). All three were at the Ashburton trials on Tuesday. Meanwhile junior driver Chelsea Faithful got her season off to the perfect start when in her first drive for the all conquering Phil Williamson stable, she drove Pyramid Magic to easily win the Brendon Franks Farrier Handicap Trot. Pyramid Magic and Chelsea Faithful winning easily       -photo Bruce stewart It was the eight year old's twelfth win from eighty eight starts. He's owned by Southlanders Steve Hardiman and Neville Hazlett and won his first race on this course in August 2014.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness

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YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 16, 2018-When driver changes were finalized for Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night (Aug. 18th) program, one name stood out amongst the rank of file. The 10-time New Zealand premiership driving champion finds himself with a pair of escorts, Pointomygranson (post position No. 3) for trainer Chris Ryder in the $23,000, third-race pace, and Quick Asa Trick N (post No. 7), trained by Darran Cassar, in the $23,000, ninth-race pace. Down Under connections are obvious, with Ryder a Kiwi and Cassar from Australia. Dunn, who turns 29 next month, won the 2015 World Driving Championship, held in Australia. He visited Yonkers-going 0-for-4-when the biennial event was stateside four years earlier. Dunn last drove in North America in 2017 as Canada hosted the competition. After some pesky passport issues, Dunn arrived in New Jersey, with Ryder serving as 'point man' for the excursion. "It's a three-year visa, but I don't have a return (to New Zealand) date," Dunn said, adding, "There's no plan. I'm just going to see how it works out." "When Pointomygranson wins off the screen, everyone is going to see how good Dexter is," Ryder said...without guaranteeing that result. Asked to describe his compatriot, Ryder was effusive. "He's just the right guy for the job, young but with a lot of experience. I've seen him get results from good horses and difficult ones. "The (driving) style between here and New Zealand is not as different as it used to be," Ryder said. "New Zealand racing his improved, so it's always about getting into the right position." The bulk of Dunn's Down Under small-track experience has been over three-turn, five-eighths-mile ovals, so Westchester's 'rustic' half-mile figures to provide a different challenge. "There are a lot of good drivers here, but I think he can adapt as well as anyone can," Ryder said. Dunn's lasting Yonkers Raceway impression from his first go-round? "Eight-holes stink." The guy's a quick study. Post time for Saturday's dozen-race card is the usual 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  
Gavin Smith is hoping his patience pays off at Addington tonight. What Smith has done with stable star Great Things Happen and what he would liked to have done with him are two very different things. What he has done is craft a short but sometimes spectacular career, punctuated by breathtaking wins in races such as last season's NZ Free-For-All at Addington. On days like that Great Things Happen looks the equal of any trotter in Australasia outside of Monbet but when he resumes as a seven-year-old at Addington tonight it will be just his 32nd start. Which is not what Smith has wanted. He would relish a 12-14 start season, taking on the numerous group one opportunities for the open class trotters. He hopes that finally comes true this season. "That would be great, to be able to race him for a full season," says Smith. "But it just hasn't worked out that way. Last season, he had a recurring problem with a quarter crack and I thought I could keep patching it up and having half seasons with him or give him the whole six months off and start again. So I put the horse first and missed a lot of big races last season. But his feet are now great." They have looked that way in recent trials when Great Things Happen has dominated in the style of a fresh-up winner in what looks a perfect race tonight. "He obviously isn't at his peak and is still pretty round but he should still win," says Smith. "Then he can have another race and we will give him a short break, get ready for Cup week and start thinking about things like the Inter Dominion and all the big races later in the season. "But it is great to have a horse like him back." Although the domestic harness scene lacks any other stars this weekend, Harness Jewels winners Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece take on Aussie's best in semifinals of the Breeders Crown at Bendigo on Saturday night. Trainer Mark Purdon is thrilled with both horses but slightly concerned by their barrier draws, particularly the second line marble for Another Masterpiece.   Michael Guerin
Here are the 2017/18 NZB Standardbred Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Award Contenders PACERS 2YO Colts & Geldings A BETTOR ACT ANOTHER MASTERPIECE JESSE DUKE WAR DAN DELIGHT 3YO Colts & Geldings CHASE AUCKLAND PAT’S DELIGHT SHERIFF SICARIO 4YO Entires & Geldings A G’S WHITE SOCKS EAMON MAGUIRE JACK’S LEGEND STAR GALLERIA ULTIMATE MACHETE VINCENT (AUS) 5YO+ Entires & Geldings ALTA ORLANDO HEAVEN ROCKS LAZARUS TITAN BANNER 2YO Fillies DRACARYS HAVTIME KAYLA MARIE PRINCESS TIFFANY 3YO Fillies BETTOR JOY DIBABA ELLE MAC SHEZ ALL ROCK SOCIABLE 4YO Mares BONNIE JOAN DELISHKA OPOUTAMA PARTYON UTMOST DELIGHT 5YO+ Mares AMERICAN TART BETTER B AMAZED DREAM ABOUT ME JO’S DREAM TROTTERS 2YO Colts & Geldings ENHANCE YOUR CALM FULL NOISE ONE APOLLO OSCAR BONAVENA 3YO Colts & Geldings MAJESTIC MAN SUNDEES SON VALLORIA WINTERFELL 4YO Entires & Geldings ENGHIEN HABIBI INTA IZMOK MASSIVE METRO 5YO+ Entires & Geldings AMARETTO SUN GREAT THINGS HAPPEN LEMOND SPEEDING SPUR TEMPORALE 2YO Fillies CHEERFUL SHE REIGNS SUNNY’S LITTLE JESTIC TICKLE ME PINK 3YO Fillies LUBY LOU MONARO MIA RENEZMAE SHOW GAIT 4YO Mares BONNIE HIGHLANDER MADISON JANE MYSTICAL STAR PRES THE BELLE RUTHLESS KAYLA 5YO+ Mares DESTINY JONES HARRIET OF MOT MAJESTIC ALI SUNSET PEAK OTHER AWARDS Pacing Broodmare BETHANY DANCING DIAMONDS GOODLOOKINGGIRL Trotting Broodmare DELLA'S SPEED TEN TO ONE WHOSINTHENEST Pacing Stallion ART MAJOR BETTOR'S DELIGHT MACH THREE Trotting Stallion LOVE YOU MAJESTIC SON SUNDON Owner of the Year TREVOR CASEY JEAN FEISS PHILLIP & GLENYS KENNARD Breeder of the Year BRECKON FARMS BRAEDEN & CAROLINE WHITELOCK WOODLANDS STUD   HRNZ
The death occurred in early March, after a long illness, of D.R.  (Royce) Cleal. Royce trained and drove many horses in a long career notching up many winners from a limited number of drives each season. His first win was with Star Raider at the Hokitika races in 1955. He trained Intercede (Smokey Hanover-Caprice) for Digger Hartigan and Peter Phibbs. She was the winner of four races before being sold to America. Black Pan (Jerry Adios -Garrison Lady ) won four races as did  Braeburn (Brahman -Direct Approach.) He had a great day at Methven in February 1979 when he reined in two winners. The first was behind Greymouth’s Len and Rosie Goodall trained Karleda Maid (Port Boxer-Viva Lady) who paid $34 for a win. In the next leg of the treble he drove the Westport Wonder, Canny Tina (Canny Scott-New Tina) to victory. She was trained at Westport by Paddy O’Toole and paid $31.  Thurber’s Command won the last leg of the treble but there were no live tickets on him so the treble pool ($92,000) was shared by the two ticket holders on the second horse. One was Bob Dayne from Greymouth and the other was Royce’s brother-in-law, Max Walsh. Max and Royce headed to the Yearling sales with the winnings (well some of them) and purchased an H.T Luca –Sly Imp yearling filly they named Lady Luca. Royce trained and drove Lady Luca throughout her career for Max and wife Jeanette. She only had 32 starts for 3 wins, 7 seconds and three thirds. Lady Luca ran second in the 1982 Westport Cup to the well performed Ansett (her next start was in the NZ Breeders Cup in which she finished 5th to Bonnies Chance and Armalight.) The winning margin for Ansett was half a head with four lengths back to the third horse. Royce drove many horses for local trainers and among the ones he reined home first were: Stoney Cold for K.J. Beveridge, Omanu and Neveles Own for FP Higgins, King Turk for T.A. Craddock, Rosewood Lady for C.R. Woodcock, and Ailsa Hanover for W.N Forsyth. With limited opportunities he was chosen as a reserve for the Drivers’ Championship in 1980. The other reserve drivers were Pat O’Reilly, Kevin Townley and Trevor Thomas so he was in pretty good company. Royce drove well over seventy winners from limited opportunities with his final winner being at Nelson at the ripe old age of 69. Today his nephew, Trevor Walsh carries on the family tradition training at Patterson Park and driving on race days.   Courtesy of Dan Moloney Westport Trotting Club  
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