Day At The Track
Sagwitch,Harness racing

Breen gets the Cup quinella

Gore trainer Syd Breen had a moment to cherish at Wyndham on Saturday when he prepared Sagwitch and Santanna's Rocket to quinella the MLT/Three Rivers Hotel Wyndham Cup. “I've never had a quinella in a race before,” an excited Breen said “but that's the second time I've had three in a race and Sagwitch has won them both.” “I broke him as a yearling and liked him, Paul Matheson bought him, then as a two-year-old sold him to Australia for $100,000,” explained Breen. “But he didn't pass a vet test so Paul and his wife Nancy carried on with him and gave me 10 percent. He is Nancy's first horse. After training for a period during the 1990s, Breen had a break and described Sagwitch - seven wins - as his best, at least since resuming in 2014. Matheson, who manages the Falls Hotel in Mataura for the race sponsoring Mataura Licensing Trust, also has a share in Santanna's Rocket. So too has Ross Cleland, described by Breen as an integral part of his operation. “Ross has had shares in a lot of good horses, Night Allowance was one of them.” Another enjoying the result was winning driver and former local,but now Rangiora-based Mark Hurrell, who had finished last aboard Sagwitch in the Autumn Cup at Ascot Park a fortnight ago. “He stepped good today, he's not always the best away,” Hurrell said. “He was slow away last time then they went slow and sprinted home, it didn't suit him. He's better if they go hard and he doesn't need to do any work.” Sagwitch settled fifth in line but when the one-out train formed a lap out, the five-year-old was shuffled back. Last from the 1200 to the 600, Hurrell then moved the five-year-old forward four wide and he kept the run going right to the post winning by a length and a quarter in a smart 4:00.9. “I could have moved when they went forward but I didn't want him to do much so waited before I put him in the race, he just kept going,” said Hurrell. Tyler Dewe's joy after winning aboard The Commando in the Lamb Drive/Cattle Graziers Trot at Wyndham on Saturday could well have been ever greater. The Commando was the 599th winner for trainer Phil Williamson who had expected a big run at Addington on Friday night from Ultimate Stride. The abandonment of the meeting, as consequence of the shooting drama in Christchurch, put paid to that. Had the juvenile made a winning debut on Friday, the next day Dewe would have been handed the honour of getting the 600th. However, the win itself was enough for Dewe who joined the staff at Williamsons around Christmas time and has relished his time in Oamaru. “It's good to get the opportunity, I love it there,” said Dewe who was scoring on a Williamson horse for the first time. “Matt helped me get the job and I stay with Brad.” Dewe was also thrilled to get the win for his grandfather Arnold Dewe “He has been one of my biggest supporters and is quite ill,” he said. The Commando was bred by Bev Williamson and passed to her son Matthew who had driven the four-year-old in all but one of his previous starts. Attendance at a birthday party in Australia meant Matthew missed the win. Bev Williamson also featured as the winning breeder of Chinese Whisper, successful in the Neville Cronin Memorial Trot. The three-year-old out of Little Contessa was trained and driven by Bev's son Nathan and is raced by Nathan's wife Katie in partnership with farrier Brendan Franks. A Sundon gelding, Chinese Whisper was racing for just the second time and despite the unruly draw of 13, was comfortable when making it two from two. Back in the field early, he got a drag up on the back of Robbie Royale commencing the last lap, led from the 900 and was too strong. “I've never pulled the plugs on him yet so I don't know what would happen but he is probably doing his best anyway,” Nathan Williamson said. “He's got good breeding, manners, gait, speed, but physically is not ready to do much more. There's a Gold Chip coming up for him so we'll have to make a decision whether to carry on or let him strengthen, he should be a better four-year-old.”   by Mac Henry for Southland Harness Racing

Woodham finally gets Kindergarten win

Big wins are nothing new to Gary Woodham but the success of Flying Even Bettor in the $30,000 group three Alabar NZ Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham on Saturday gave him a great deal of satisfaction. Along with his wife Kerry, the Plimmerton-based General Manager Customer for the New Zealand Racing Board races Flying Even Bettor with Glenys and Phil Kennard, Ken and Karen Breckon as Breckon Racing Syndicate, along with Jim and Ann Gibbs. The syndicate was formed three years ago and in our first year we got Spankem and The Devils Own,” Needham explained, “Another Masterpiece was the next and then Flying Even Bettor.” The Devils Own and Another Masterpiece finished second in the Kindergartens of their year, 2017 and 2018. “Three times we've tried, following the same preparation each time, and now we've won it,” Woodham said. At the end of their appropriate seasons, both Spankem and Another Masterpiece were named two-year-olds of the year with Spankem going on to land the million dollar Miracle Mile at the beginning of this month. “When The Devils Own went to Australia for the Victoria Derby last year he got a virus and was very ill. He's back in work now with Brent Mangos and he'll be the trainer when he races again.” But the win meant more to Woodham than picking up a group three. For some time he has been studying the operation of harness racing in the region and doesn't need a second excuse to visit. “Harness Racing New Zealand used the model of Southern Harness as a text book case and I wanted to know more about it,” he said. “With the help of Kevin McNaught (Chairman) and Jason Broad (General Manager), I've seen it up close and love the way all the clubs are working together. They're doing right for the region, take costs out and that allows them to increase stakes. This is my 12th visit.” Woodham also acknowledged their assistance when the Wyndham Club raced at Cromwell earlier in the year. “We were about to launch our new betting platform and needed their help with race times, we wanted them to finish earlier. They made the changes to work in with us and we are indebted to them. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen–trained Flying Even Bettor was driven by Blair Orange to give him his third win in the race. Three wide for the first 500 metres, the Bettor's Delight was gelding no sooner one-out than stablemate Copperfield arrived to give him cover. Once in the straight Flying Even Bettor was unleashed and soon put the issue beyond doubt, to win in 1:54.4. “He didn't show a lot of gate speed but it worked out well,” said Orange who was sitting behind the winner for the first time. “He felt good on the turn and when he let down he found the line well.” Earlier, Orange had won aboard the Paul Court-trained Major Sass. It was her third win from five starts, all of the wins at Wyndham. The three-year-old daughter of Art Major led out and pulled clear in the straight to win the Southland Harness Awards Ladyship Final by four and three quarters lengths in 1:56.2. Orange scored his third win for the day aboard Ohoka Achilles who clocked 2:55.9 for the mobile 2400 metres of the Astra Stu and Jean Pace. It was a comfortable win for the four-year-old who had chased U May Cullect home at Ascot Park last Saturday. The half-brother to Ohoka Texas is trained at Woodend Beach by former Wyndham horseman Regan Todd. After Tartan Robyn scored his second win in nine starts when taking out the PGG Wrightson Real Estate Cromwell Pace for owner and breeder Graeme Edgar, trainer Hamish Hunter described the four-year-old as a horse that couldn't be rushed. “He's got a patient owner and has taken lots of time,” said Hunter, “18 months ago he couldn't pace but turned the corner in the spring and gets a little better each time.”   by Mac Henry for Southland Harness Racing

Tura Lura Lural,Harness racing

Tura Lura Lural completes clean sweep

LEBANON, OH. - Tura Lura Lural (Kayne Kauffman) completed a clean sweep of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series, winning the $25,000 Championship leg on Friday night (March 15) at Miami Valley Raceway. The 4-year-old daughter of The Panderosa also captured a pair of preliminary legs before topping Avaline Hanover (Chris Page) and McPansy (Brett Miller) in the final. The Coven Memorial featured distaff pacers who lacked four wins or $40,000 in lifetime earnings at the series' commencement. Kauffman was intent on dictating the action, wrestling the lead away from McPansy just past the quarter mile mark of the race. Fending off a prolonged challenge by Scwartz Bros Beaty (Trace Tetrick), Tura Lura Lural then had to contend with Avaline Hanover for the length of the stretch before cruising under the wire a three-quarter length winner in 1:54.3. Kauffman's wife Natalie shares ownership of the winner with Douglas Millard and Sandra Burns of Ontario, Canada. She now sports five wins in just 25 lifetime starts and career earnings rapidly approaching $100,000.     -Conrad photo A $22,500 Mares Open Pace was won by Big Bad Jane, an Ohio-sired 5-year-old Big Bad John daughter making her initial start in open company for trainer-driver Dan Noble and owner Sandra Burnett. Content to sit next-to-last in the field of seven, Noble sent Big Bad Jane three wide at the halfway station, moved up to third with two furlongs to go, and cruised to a 2-1/4 length triumph over E R Hilary (LeWayne Miller) and fast-closing Rosemary Rose (Chris Page) in 1:53.4. Big Bad Jane has captured 17 of her 53 races to date and her bankroll has soared to $221,694. Big Bad Jane      - Conrad photo Racing resumes Saturday night (May 16) at Miami Valley with the $25,000 championship of the George Williams Memorial series on tap as well as a $25,000 Open I and a $20,000 Open II. Post time is 6:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

Vision Control

Board relies on Lawo VSM Broadcast Control System

Having devised its Vision Capture Project to move beyond established broadcast workflows and OB in 2017, the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) recently called on solutions from German broadcast innovator Lawo to further revise and streamline its production model. Now operating four OBs instead of six, with three Mercedes Sprinter vans and a fixed site to cover metropolitan race events from a central control room, using Lawo’s Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) provides integrated control. NZRB handles New Zealand’s Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) operation for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, scheduling daily racing and selling racing and sports bets through a retail network, online and telephony channels. NZRB is also behind the broadcast of racing on two national television channels and Trackside Radio. In 2017, and with OB trucks that were close on a decade of very hard use, the NZRB faced 1,100 OB days racing across the country each year – the number of events and variety of scale bringing into question its previous production standards and raising the opportunity of mixed OB and Remote Production. Following moving to an IP Layer 3 network, Phase 2 of the project saw the NZRB team work with Sony on four HD-capable and scalable OB trucks to cover its existing and very demanding nationwide OB workflow. As part of this design the NZRB team identified VSM as integral to achieving the same flexibility and scalability as seen in the Remote Production model, allowing the shared use of ‘Expansion’ vehicles to seamlessly enhance capability such as extra workspaces and camera count. VSM provides operators with overarching control over their systems in an extremely adaptable way – user panels and interfaces can be configured without limitation in order to meet the requirements of different workflows and applications, with the whole system under redundant control. “One of the key selling points of VSM was the portfolio of support and compatibility for third-party protocols, in addition to Lawo’s own products with Ember+. This was key given the wide range of products used in the design of the HD OBs, without compromising on capability,” says NZRB Broadcast Engineer Michael Tompkins. As Lawo regional representative, Professional Audio & Television (PAT) was instrumental in the successful application of the advanced technology underlying the migration. “Initially, we had several whiteboard sessions that gave us confidence we had a solid idea that could work,” says NZRB’s Vision Capture Project SME Jamie Annan. “PAT had the knowledge and expertise to assist in design, configure ,and troubleshoot a system using the equipment they sold, rather than being there just to sell a product.” Using the 1Gbps Layer 3 network between remote site and control room, and 10Gbps Layer 3 between control rooms, the new model uses a mix of J2K, SMPTE 2022-6, and AES67/Ravenna to provide video and audio between each layer of production under a VSM control system run from two separate locations, ensuring geographical redundancy. The OB design had to maintain the NZRB’s ability to cover the full extent of its racing, but be physically smaller in size, while also providing greater cost efficiencies across the production. Internally, the trucks had to provide cost-efficient yet scalable industry-standard capabilities – requiring VSM to provide integrated control of switchers, routers, and a replay server as well as the connecting network. The basic daily OB setup for a truck covers running up to ten system cameras, with capacity for 12 and other SDI, Commentary, Presentation area and roaming interviews, on a typical day internal crew is Director/Vision switcher, Sound Op, Replay op, Engineer, and a Vision Control op – all operating from within the truck. VSM supports all of these requirements, with the capacity to adapt to any future changes or expansion of the NZRB broadcast operation. By SVG Staff  Reprinted with permission of Sportsvideo.org

Trainer Steve Telfer says the Alexandra Park stakes increases have him ready to unleash a big team for the remainder of the season but don’t be fooled into backing the one with the most senior driver. Telfer takes six horses to Alexandra Park tonight for the first meeting of the new ATC stake levels, where most horses above maidens for $20,000 or $25,000, akin to premier meeting stakes in any other parts of the country. “The stake increases are a huge help because it means even if your horse can run a placing or two a month they pay for themselves,” said Telfer. “And that means winning stakes can be profit, which makes a real difference. “So we are going to be concentrating on racing closer to home. We have a lot of younger horses and three-year-olds in work and ready to go which we have sort of aimed at for the late autumn, winter months because the stakes are great but the fields aren’t as strong.” Telfer has three chances in tonight’s $25,000 main handicap and the stable number one driver David Butcher is on Hunter Bromac, even though both Parker and Check In are likely to be more favoured. Telfer says punters shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Butcher is automatically on the stable’s best chances so don't follow him blindly. “Different owners prefer different drivers and then you have different conditions for races so it isn’t always the case David is on our best chance. “I actually can’t split them tonight, they are all good each way chances but I think Parker will step well and try and run them along.” That standing start will be crucial for race favourite Mach Shard, whose manners have been iffy at best but looks the one to beat if he behaves. Telfer has only had $30,000 Graduette runner Olivia Rachel (race one) for a week and likes the filly but says the race tonight is her first race right-handed which could be tricky. “And we have two in race five. Triolet is suited by her drawing following the speed but Court On The Edge has gate speed so the second line draw negates that.” Double Rocket looks the horse to beat in the Sales Series Graduate (race two) coming out of last Friday’s Northern Derby where he was a strong fifth. Michael Guerin

Miracle Mile hero Spankem is set to race on this season setting up a big-three battle for harness racing’s Horse of the Year honour.  And crucial votes in the contest could end up being won at Alexandra Park next month as Spankem clashes with elite stablemates Turn It Up and Chase Auckland.  After his surprise thrashing of his Miracle Mile opponents at Menangle 12 days ago Spankem was sent for a veterinary examination as is so often the case with the better All Stars-trained runners at the end of long campaigns.  Any sign of soreness or issues would have probably seen the four-year-old sent to the paddock but trainer Mark Purdon liked what the vets had to report and Spankem will be Auckland-bound next month.  “They checked him out and said he is in great condition so we will aim him at the Taylor Mile (April 26) and the Messenger (May 3) at Alexandra Park,” said Purdon.   That means all three of the Purdon-Rasmussen mega race winners from this season will race on as Thefixer (New Zealand Cup) and Turn It Up (Auckland Cup) are also going to have autumn campaigns.  Thefixer will contest the Superstars at Addington on March 29 and then the Easter Cup and victory in the latter would go a long way to making him harness racing’s Horse of the Year.  But that will probably round out his season and if either Spankem or Turn It Up could sweep the Alexandra Park double they would enormously boost their chances on making the title race interesting.  Turn It Up could yet contest the Easter Cup but is more likely to head to the Rangiora Classic on April 7 before Alexandra Park.  There he will go head to head with Spankem and Chase Auckland in the group one four-year-old races before more than likely contesting the Jewels at Addington on June 1.  “He hasn’t had the summer racing of some of the others or the travel to Australia,” explains Purdon of Turn It Up.  “So he will probably press on to the Jewels whereas the two big races at Auckland will probably do it for Spankem.”  Spankem versus Turn It Up with the remainder of a strong four-year-old crop led by Chase Auckland would really spice up the Taylor Mile-Messenger double and could go some way to resolving the question of who the best pacer in the country is. The news Turn It Up is more than likely to race on until the Jewels will be welcomed by Addington officials as they prepare to host the massive day for the first time, with Auckland Cup-winning four-year-olds always a risk to miss the Jewels and be spelled to aim at the New Zealand Cup.   Michael Guerin

PHENOMENIAL RACING COMING UP AT ADDINGTON Racing is heating up at Addington later in March and early April, so be sure to secure your Trackside Dining delicious packages with mouth-watering dishes and beverages in advance (Booking details are below).   The Group races on the March 22 include Storer Motors New Zealand Trotting Oaks, Lamb & Hayward 4 & 5 year Old Trotting Championship, Vero Flying Stakes and Teltrac Communications Ltd FFA. The Storer Motors New Zealand Trotting Oaks promises to be an even affair with mixed results in the last few meetings between the likes of Cheerful, Majestic Chevron, Sunny’s Little Jestic and Swiss Miss. The Lamb & Hayward 4 & 5 Year Old Trotting Championship looks just as wide open with no single trotter in this age group being able to assert their own dominance.  However, one looking to stand out from the crowd in recent starts is Majestic Man who is starting to put together a handy record.  Others that look to have major chances are Kings Landing, Over The Love, Sundees Son and Winterfell.  The Vero Flying Stakes looks to have a more straight forward element to it, Ultimate Sniper looks to be the leading 3 Year Old male pacer this season although the chasing pack have closed the gap in recent weeks with stablemate Jesse Duke being the first to beat Ultimate Sniper, while another to keep an eye on is Supreme Dominator.  The Teltrac Communications Ltd FFA looks to be a good lead in to the Breckon Farms & All Stars Racing Stables Easter Cup, runners who could compete are Henry Hubert who coming off a hot run at Invercargill A G’s White Socks tried hard in defeat. Being a lead up race for the Group 1 Easter Cup there will be hope around having Jack’s Legend, On The Cards and Star Galleria down to contest these races.   April 5 brings the second 5 Star Meeting of Autumn and it promises to be a night of action. The New Zealand Trotting Derby, last year Luby Lou out classed the boys. Enhance Your Calm will be looking to continue his domination of the age group. Of the chasing bunch Full Noise, Get Lucky and Lotamuscle could be contenders in this race.  The Fred Shaw Memorial New Zealand Trotting Championship should host a range of talent including ‘Used To Me’ @ Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Trot winner Marcoola will be one of the leading hopes along with other stars Speeding Spur and Ronald J.  An interesting runner could be the returning champion Monbet who will be looking to return to the heights of form before some serious injuries.  The Avon City Ford New Zealand Welcome Stakes should get a field of gun 2 Year Olds, the most promising so far is the outstanding colt Smooth Deal who when doing things right has looked a step or two ahead of his rivals. Stablemates Copperfield, Flying Even Bettor and Virgil look to be his main dangers.  In the Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Pacing Derby the Vero Flying Stakes winner will bring advantage into this coveted race, Ultimate Sniper has looked the best of the crop so far this season and is there any reason why he can’t add another Group 1 Feature to his resume?  Finally the Breckon Farms & All Stars Racing Stables Easter Cup, in a race which historically has produced many great Grand Circuit Stars the depth of the race will depend on Inter-Island raiders. Jack’s Legend looks to be bouncing back to the best version of himself racking together winning his last four races in a row, he could come into this race as the leading hope but last year’s winner A G’s White Socks will put up a fight along with other northerner Star Galleria. Sheriff returned to the winners circle recently and if he continues to improve he can feature also.   Watch this space!  Good luck to everyone!      For bookings or for more information about Trackside Dining packages please contact Deb d’Guild on 338 9094 or deb.dguild@addington.co.nz    The Upcoming 5 Star Race Meeting Programmes; https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/032232pg.htm  March 22  https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/040532pg.htm  April 5 (Tentative)  We look forward to welcoming you all to the track. Have a great week. From the Addington Team   Methven Trotting Club - 31 March  The Methven Trotting Club is well underway with preparations for our final Autumn meeting on Sunday March 31 the big feature on the day being the Woodlands Mt Hutt Country Cup over the 3,000m distance. Recent rain has improved the track which was starting to feel  the effects of a dry 6 weeks. A big focus on the day will be an attempt to assist Pete Davis and Margo Nyhan with the club encouraging a gold coin donation the proceeds of which will be added to by the Methven Club and given to the pair in whichever means would be of most assistance. Go well and lots of love  Pete and Margo friend to so many in our local  harness community. Kudos to committeeman Nigel Armstrong for all his efforts in this cause. The club has arranged for former local Maurice McKendry to be guest driver and with  Morrie in the twilight of his career it may well be the last chance for locals to see this very popular and talented horseman in action. Maurice is the winner of 3239 races and stakes of $28,474,507 and the club is very serious about getting Maurice driving in every race and hoping to set something up through the T.A.B. whereby he goes head to head with our other local horseman Ricky May the winner of 2901 races and $31,357,872 in stakes. Anyone who can help us with an opportunity for Maurice please ring Richard Bromley 021888900 or Mike Heenan 0272999604. See you under the mountains on the 31st Mike Heenan for Methven Trotting Club   March/April NZ Bonus Quaddies Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday in March & April there will be a Bonus Quaddie on a NZ meeting. Thoroughbreds: $25k Bonus Late Quaddie every Saturday Harness: $5k Bonus Early Quaddie every Sunday Greyhounds: $5k Bonus Late Quaddie every Friday evening Fri 15 Mar Wanganui Dogs: $5k BONUS Quaddie on the Last 4 Races. Sat 16 Mar Trentham Races: $25k BONUS Quaddie on the Last 4 Races. Sun 17 Mar Motukarara Harness: $5k BONUS Early Quaddie on Races 2, 3, 4 & 5 Australian Bonus Pools Sat 16 Mar Flemington Races: A$300k BONUS First4 All Start Mile Pick6 this Week… JACKPOT Tue 12 Mar $20k TERMINATING at Palmerston North Twilight Harness Wed 13 Mar $25k Guaranteed at Matamata Races $8,221.00 Thu 14 Mar $40k Guaranteed at Palmerston North Twilight Harness $18,002.31 Fri 15 Mar $25k Guaranteed at Addington Night Harness Sat 16 Mar $25k Guaranteed at Trentham Races Sun 17 Mar $15k Guaranteed at Cambridge Dogs Mon 18 Mar $15k TERMINATING at Palmerston North Dogs (Commentators Day)   HRNZ Marketing

Barry Purdon has no idea what is behind Jack’s Legend renaissance but he is keen to see if it can extend all the way to a Easter Cup.  So the most in-form pacer in the country will spearhead a stable assault on Addington in coming weeks as Purdon aims at premier racing there on two separate occasions in  the next few months. Jack’s Legend made it four open class wins on end in the City Of Auckland Free-For-All at Alexandra Park last Friday and it was the style in which he achieved the victory that filled Purdon was satisfaction.  “I thought he would go well because he has been in such good form but to it parked and win in that grade is a big performance,” says Purdon.  “There were some good horses in that field and sitting parked has never really been his go but as he had gotten older maybe he is just knuckling down more. They don’t often sit parked to win good races at Alexandra Park.”  While Purdon is full of praise for how new driver Scott Phelan has been handling Jack’s Legend he was just as happy with how regular pilot Zac Butcher had been, so he says the improvement in the five-year-old can’t be put down to that, as good as job as Phelan as done  “He seems to have gotten his confidence back but really there isn’t one reason for it.  “But he is a happy horse so he has earned a trip to Addington.”  Jack’s Legend has of course been to Addington plenty of times before and split Lazarus and Tiger Tara, no mean feat, when finishing second in the New Zealand Cup 17 months ago. He will return for the Four and Five-Year-Old Superstars on March 29 before the Easter Cup a week later.  “He will head down there with Supreme Dominator, who is going down for the Derby.  “Then Jack’s Legend might even come home and have another race before the end of the season because those $25,000 stakes at Alexandra Park are so good.”  Purdon is proud to see his home track boosting stakes to record levels but that won’t be his sole focus for the rest of the season. “After the Easter Cup meeting we will be looking south later in the season with Belle Of Montana and Havtime for the Nevele R and the Oaks and then maybe the Jewels, as we could have some other horses for that month of racing too.”   Michael Guerin

On Friday Harness driver Ellie Barron promised to make a 100 metre dash in costume at the Northern Southland Trotting Club meeting if $1,000 was pledged to the  Teal Pants Campaign.                                               And if the donations reached $2,000 it was to become a match race between Ellie and fellow harness driver Kirstin Barclay (also in costume). Southern Harness Racing Board member Tom Kilkelly also joined in as the Teal Pants campaign in the south is about to come to a spectacular end!!   Barron won the dash with Kilkelly and Barclay dead heating for second. Donations reached over $3,500.   Update: $7,353.40 (on course donations, dash for cash + $500 Caduceus Club, $500 SBSR & $200 Robin Dundee Club). $3,600.00 (plus 6 teal pants wins in the South over the campaign @ $600 each = $3600.00). $10,953.40  TOTAL RAISED BY THE SOUTHERN HARNESS REGION   Bruce Stewart

The drive by Brad Williamson set up the win for talented trotter Majestic Man in the Group Three Southern Lights at Ascot Park today (Saturday). When fthe avourite Kings Landing made the lead, his driver Tim Williams put the brakes on and Williamson was having none of that. With 2000 metres to run, in the lightning move, he shot Majestic Man forward and challenged the leader. “To be honest he’s a bit more of a speed horse but when Tim got to the front he backed off the tempo. I couldn’t allow that to happen. We had to get in a positive position,” he said. With 1400 metres to run Williamson was on top with the Majestic Son four year old and at the finish had half a neck to spare on Kings Landing which ran home up the passing lane. Williamson says there was confidence around the stable that the four year old would perform well despite  having been away from racing for 65 days. He trialled at Oamaru last Saturday winning his heat by six lengths. “He trialled exceptional. If you’d seen it you would have thought he was in with a very good show. He got home in 27 seconds and change, and was hard held. We had a lot of confidence that he was fit and ready.” It was a super effort by his trainer Phil Williamson to get Majestic Man ready. And it was a bit of a case of revenge as Kings Landing had beaten Majestic Man on Show Day at Addington. “A similar thing happened on Show Day. The speed wasn’t overly hot. Mark (Purdon) was up parked and he sprinted home and beat me. Today was the opposite.” The win was Majestic Man’s eighth in only nineteen starts. Back to the birdcage after win number eight - Photo Bruce Stewart. “We thought a bit of him as a young horse and he won the Two Year Old Sires Stakes Final but weakened right off quite badly after the run. He’s strengthening up and with hard racing he's got better as he’s got older. He’s still got to step up to the open graders yet.” The Jewels is well and truly on Majestic Man’s radar and another target is also possible.       “The Rowe Cup's been mentioned if he’s going good enough.” Majestic Man is raced by the Griffin Syndicate. Winning connections and sponsor - Photo Bruce Stewart  It was the fourth time Phil Williamson has won the Southern Lights. His previous winners were; Mystic Son (2009), Springbank Sam (2013) and Monty Python (2017). He brought his team south early this week, starting two well-bred two year old trotters Cracker Hill and Ultimate Stride at the Winton Workouts on Friday. Cracker Hill is a Muscle Hill – Juneamy Castleton gelding which is trained by Brad. It  beat Ultimate Stride, a Love You colt out of the millionaire trotter One Over Kenny. The winning margin was a nose but both horses we’re extended. Cracker Hill (8) just gets there from Ultimate Stride at the Winton Workouts - Photo Bruce Stewart Ultimate Stride was sold by Lex and Heather Williams of One Over Lodge in Waimate for $160,000 at the 2018 National Sales in Christchurch. He was bought by Australian’s Emilio and Mary Rosati and left with Williamson. Cracker Hill, which was also bred by the Williams, was passed in for $40,000 at the same sale.  Another impressive trotter that had a win on Friday was the Brent McIntyre trained Cuchulainn: a full-brother to the quality trotter Pickett’s Ridge the winner of four of his ten starts. Both are by Skyvalley out the Sundon mare Come Follow Me. Meanwhile Nathan Williamson’s classy trotter Chinese Whisper is staying put for the time being. He was under offer during the week but the deal fell through and he’s expected to have his next start in the province at Wyndham on Saturday.   Bruce Stewart

Premier Kiwi trainer Tim Butt was looking to the future in making the leap from New Zealand to Menangle last year – and his latest crop of yearling purchases is now providing prospective owners with the same opportunity. Team Butt was buzzing with excitement at some of the top-line babies they secured at the recent APG sales, and settling the youngsters in to their state-of-the-art surrounds has only boosted their confidence. “We’ve had terrific early interest from owners because these youngsters are beautifully-bred, but a share in them is still very affordable,” Tim said. “But they’ve settled in well, they’re smart and we’re really keen about the potential of all of them,” he said. The babies will certainly get their best chance to produce the goods. Tim Butt has trained more Grand Circuit Winners than any other trainer in Australasia, including champions such as great Lyell Creek and My Field Marshal (who currently holds the Australasian record of 1:46.9 in his 2018 Miracle Mile Victory). “We think these four yearlings represent some of the world’s best stallions and Down Under's best mares, and we’re hoping the affordability of an interest will attract new clients, potentially even international clients, to enjoy the thrill of harness racing in Australia,” Tim said. To contact Tim Butt email: tim@timbuttracing.com Or Phone +61447864456 The four yearlings; Lot 104 by Bettor's Delight - Rocknroll Rama - Rocknroll Hanover Just a great individual as his photo suggests A grandson of freakish mare - Pelican Rama - 55 wins. By the great Bettors Delight Looks like a 3 year old now 30% left in this colt Lot 104 Pedigree ................................................................................................................................................... Lot 218 by Captaintreacherous - Glenferrie Alexis - Courage Under Fire By the great racehorse and now sire Captaintreacherous. From a top NZ family Glenferrie Alexis ran 2nd in the NZ oaks and was a great race mare Great attitude colt - all class Trainer - Tim Butt - to keep 20% Lot 218 - Pedigree ......................................................................................................................................................... Lot 355    By Rock N Roll Heaven - Lettucereason - Art Major Fantastic Cross from a full sister to outstanding horse - For A Reason Very strong type - looked exactly like Let It Ride Trainer - Tim Butt - to keep 20% Lot 355 Pedigree ............................................................................................................................................ Lot 482  by Warrawee Needy - Bettor Believe It - Bettor's Delight Outstanding looking filly Great walk and confirmation Spectacular bloodlines with Cam Fella and Ambro Emerson Coming through sire and great fillies family Trainer - Tim Butt - to keep 20% Lot 482 Pedigree Harnesslink Media

The Robert Dunn filly Spellbound continued on her winning way yesterday in the Caduceus Club of Southland/Alabar Fillies Classic but she was pressured at the finish by first starter Stylish Memphis. Spellbound lead from the start and was allowed to get away with some soft sectionals. Stylish Memphis, a half-sister to the 2016 winner Delightful Memphis, got within a head of the winner but the post came up just in time for Spellbound. “That horse (Stylish Memphis) had trialled well so it wasn’t a surprise. It was a stroll around and a sprint up the straight. Halfway down the straight I was confident. The last wee bit I wasn’t” said driver John Dunn whose father Robert trains Spellbound. She was sold at the 2018 Sale of the Stars for $17,000 as Major Return, but was renamed Spellbound. The the Witches Of Westview Syndicate share in the ownership of the Art Major filly with the Westview Racing Number 19 Syndicate.The syndicates have some Southlanders as members, including Bruce Sutherland, local breeder Mark O’Connor; his brother Stephen O’Connor, Mike Pero Real Estate Agent Daryl Spence and the Manager of McCallum’s Dry Cleaning Paul Harrington. The winning syndicating watching her come into the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart. The official group photo - Photo Bruce Stewart    She’s out of the Armbro Operative mare Return To Gold which won four races and it's the filly’s third win in as many starts. It was the second time father and son have won this race. Yankee Dream won the classic in 2009. “Right from day dot she showed a bit. She’s well gaited and has good manners and that’s why we’ve had a go at these early two year old races. She’ll have a wee break now and we’ll look at a Sires Stakes Heat.” Dunn’s second win came in the $40,000 Yaldhurst Hotel Northern Southland Cup with Henry Hubert. After bungling the start Henry Hubert finally settled into his gait with only favourite Funatthebeach behind him. Royal Bengal lead early before Smokin By took over. Alta Maestro was then taken to the front ensuring there was plenty of early pace in the 2700 metre feature. Smokin By then popped out of the trail and took up the running again with 1600 metres to go. With a lap to run the one off line started to form lead by Tact Maggie, Eamon Maguire, AG’s White Socks and Henry Hubert got onto the train. Funathebeach took up the inside running line. With 600 metres to run Henry Hubert was last and nothing in front was wanting to move. So in what turned out to be the winning of the race Dunn let Henry Hubert run and he showed sharp speed to move within striking distance of a battling Smokin By and Tact Maggie. Dunn pinched a bit of a break at the top of the straight and held on to win. In a driving finish Henry Hubert and John Dunn on the inside hang on to beat Ricky May and A G's White Socks - Photo Bruce Stewart.  “I couldn’t really get him going early in the race after missing away so I had to wait for the 600. He felt super once he got pacing and to hold off A G’s White Socks was a good effort,” he said. A G’s White Socks got within a head of Henry Hubert with Funatthebeach a further three and a quarter lengths back in third. Dunn says the horse will go home now and head towards the Easter Cup. “We just have to get that standing start ironed out. We’re also looking at perhaps the Taylor Mile and The Messenger then the Jewels.” The winning time was 3-20.6, 0.5 outside the race record held by Isaiah. The win was the four year old's fourth this season and puts him in the top five for the end of season Harness Jewels.   Bruce Stewart

The Gore trained Robyns Playboy looked to be on target for the New Zealand Derby when he impressively beat a quality field of mainly three year olds in the Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park yesterday. In the $20,000 feature, Zinny Mach took an early lead but Robyns Playboy’s driver Craig Ferguson pressed forward and hit the lead with 1600 metres to run. “I thought he had a bit more gate speed and that he would hold the front but when Zinny Mach crossed him it was looking a bit dangerous particularly if Nathan didn’t hand up,” said trainer Ross Wilson. Ferguson then dictated the speed of the race and with his ears pinned back Robyns Playboy went down to the finish line beating two latecomers Memphis Tennessee (second by one length) and Barrett a nose back in third. Wilson says Robyns Playboy has a strong character and can be a bit of a handful at home as well as on raceday sometimes, but today he was fine. “Sometimes he'll pull in the pre-lim and you can’t pull him up but he was more settled today.” So his next start will be on the 5th April is the $200,000 Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Derby. “I’m not going to go for any lead up race. That’ll be his next start. He’s a very fit horse and he doesn’t take a lot of work. He hasn’t come to the end of his run yet. At home he does quite a bit of cantering on the frame and leading up to a race he only needs about three hopples.” This will be the first time Wilson has had a runner in the Derby. “Hopefully we’ll carry on to the Jewels. We’re aiming Bridesdale Robyn at the Jewels too. To have a horse at those events is a real thrill.” Today’s win elevates Robyns Playboy to fourth in the Harness Jewels Three Year Old Emerald. The winning Wilsons - Photo Bruce Stewart  The win was Ferguson’s seventeenth of the season and equals his best season as an open driver and Robyns Playboy is clearly the best horse he’s driven. “He’s got a very high cruising speed and Craig says he just waits on them.” Meanwhile the biggest upset of the day came in the Haras des Trotteurs Southland Trotting Oaks when the Gavin Smith trained Swiss Miss beat more fancied runners in the $20,000 feature for three year old trotting fillies. Just when it looked like Cheerful and Majestic Chevron were going to fight out the finish Nathan Williamson got Swiss Miss wound up and she stormed down the outside to beat Majestic Chevron by half a neck with a nose back to Cheerful. The winning time of 2-47.9 equals the race and track record held by last year’s winner Luby Lou. The New Zealand Trotting Oaks at Addington on the 22nd March looks to be shaping up to be a fairly even contest. Bruce Stewart

There was a bit of talk around first starter U May Cullect at Ascot Park yesterday and a few punters were obviously listening. The five year old, which started as second favourite, doesn’t have a flash pedigree but as we know in racing that doesn’t always count. The Gotta Go Cullect gelding has also been a lesson in perseverance for owner Tom Kilkelly and his trainers Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis. “We took him to the workouts when he was three and he went pretty good. One of the guys that worked for asked me if I'd sell him. I said no. He said I’ll give you $50,000 for him. I said SOLD. The next day he popped a tendon. We turned him out and we had another go and he popped it again. So we gave him a big break on the block out at Riverton on the hill,” said Kilkelly. Since returning to training he’s been worked on Oreti Beach by Ellis. In today’s 2200 metre mobile driver Kirstin Barclay took U May Cullect straight to the front from Barrier Six. And at the end of the 2200 metres he had plenty to spare, beating favourite Ohoka Achilles by an impressive four lengths running the journey in 2-41.2. Winning salute - Photo Bruce Stewart U May Cullect is out of the Albert Albert mare Ides Of May which has also left Victoria May, a 1-51 horse in America, and he was bought at the 2014 Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale for $5,200. “...We were pretty confident. His tendon has stayed perfect so far and if he stays sound he’ll win some more races. When he broke down we thought that was the end of it. A lot of people told me I was wasting my time. He’s still a day to to day proposition.” Ask Me Major was another horse Kilkelly owned that showed promise, winning once from just three starts, but unfortunately his career was shortened by injury. Kilkelly says U May Cullect is the nicest horse he’s raced since Shard Ark and Guns N Roses. Winning connections - Photo Bruce Stewart  Meanwhile Wee Man Trouble also trained by Barclay and Ellis , did the right thing for major sponsor of the Northern Southland Cup Meeting, Dave McHugh. He began well from the back mark and driver Blair Orange positioned him back on the outside. He joined pacemaker Crusher Collins with 600 metres to run and 100 metres off the winning post Wee Man Trouble got to the lead to beat a brave Crusher Collins  by a length and a quarter. The Superfast Stuart four year old has been a consistent performer throughout his short career, winning four of his seventeen starts and being placed in three others.   Bruce Stewart

Smart 2yo old pacer Smooth Deal capped off a great night for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen by winning the $90,000 Gr1 Breckon Farms Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes at Alexandra Park last night. Smooth Deal a future harness racing star was too good for his opposition in last night 2yo feature. Trainer and driver Mark Purdon was quite happy to settle near the back of the field and bide his time before launching wide at the 800m and then carreering away in the straight for the easiest of wins on the Bettor's Delight gelding. Stable-mate of the winner Virgil rushed home late for second after an early gallop and the Mike Berger trained Eagle Watch finished third after trailing. Purdon said after the race Smooth Deal was a smart pacer who ticked all the boxes. "He is pretty versatile. When I asked him to go around and lengthen out down the back he really strode out like a smart horse and just strode away at the top of the straight. "He is a great stayer and ticks all the boxes. Just a lovely horse," he said. Smooth Deal paced the 1700m in 2-03.4 a mile rate of 1-56.8. The last 800m was run in a quick 55.9 seconds and a closing 400m in 27.8. Earlier in the night Purdon also won the $75,200 Gr2 Delightful Lady Fillies Classic with the impeccably bred 2yo filly Sweet On Me who came from a difficult second row draw to outmuscle her rivals. in a 1-56.4 mile rate. Sweet On Me is out of the champion New Zealand Cup winning mare Adore Me who won 26 races from 36 starts. Sweet On Me(Sweet Lou - Adore Me)  looks to have inherited all of the family ability going on last nights impressive victory.     Harnesslink Media

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Gore trainer Syd Breen had a moment to cherish at Wyndham on Saturday when he prepared Sagwitch and Santanna's Rocket to quinella the MLT/Three Rivers Hotel Wyndham Cup. “I've never had a quinella in a race before,” an excited Breen said “but that's the second time I've had three in a race and Sagwitch has won them both.” “I broke him as a yearling and liked him, Paul Matheson bought him, then as a two-year-old sold him to Australia for $100,000,” explained Breen. “But he didn't pass a vet test so Paul and his wife Nancy carried on with him and gave me 10 percent. He is Nancy's first horse. After training for a period during the 1990s, Breen had a break and described Sagwitch - seven wins - as his best, at least since resuming in 2014. Matheson, who manages the Falls Hotel in Mataura for the race sponsoring Mataura Licensing Trust, also has a share in Santanna's Rocket. So too has Ross Cleland, described by Breen as an integral part of his operation. “Ross has had shares in a lot of good horses, Night Allowance was one of them.” Another enjoying the result was winning driver and former local,but now Rangiora-based Mark Hurrell, who had finished last aboard Sagwitch in the Autumn Cup at Ascot Park a fortnight ago. “He stepped good today, he's not always the best away,” Hurrell said. “He was slow away last time then they went slow and sprinted home, it didn't suit him. He's better if they go hard and he doesn't need to do any work.” Sagwitch settled fifth in line but when the one-out train formed a lap out, the five-year-old was shuffled back. Last from the 1200 to the 600, Hurrell then moved the five-year-old forward four wide and he kept the run going right to the post winning by a length and a quarter in a smart 4:00.9. “I could have moved when they went forward but I didn't want him to do much so waited before I put him in the race, he just kept going,” said Hurrell. Tyler Dewe's joy after winning aboard The Commando in the Lamb Drive/Cattle Graziers Trot at Wyndham on Saturday could well have been ever greater. The Commando was the 599th winner for trainer Phil Williamson who had expected a big run at Addington on Friday night from Ultimate Stride. The abandonment of the meeting, as consequence of the shooting drama in Christchurch, put paid to that. Had the juvenile made a winning debut on Friday, the next day Dewe would have been handed the honour of getting the 600th. However, the win itself was enough for Dewe who joined the staff at Williamsons around Christmas time and has relished his time in Oamaru. “It's good to get the opportunity, I love it there,” said Dewe who was scoring on a Williamson horse for the first time. “Matt helped me get the job and I stay with Brad.” Dewe was also thrilled to get the win for his grandfather Arnold Dewe “He has been one of my biggest supporters and is quite ill,” he said. The Commando was bred by Bev Williamson and passed to her son Matthew who had driven the four-year-old in all but one of his previous starts. Attendance at a birthday party in Australia meant Matthew missed the win. Bev Williamson also featured as the winning breeder of Chinese Whisper, successful in the Neville Cronin Memorial Trot. The three-year-old out of Little Contessa was trained and driven by Bev's son Nathan and is raced by Nathan's wife Katie in partnership with farrier Brendan Franks. A Sundon gelding, Chinese Whisper was racing for just the second time and despite the unruly draw of 13, was comfortable when making it two from two. Back in the field early, he got a drag up on the back of Robbie Royale commencing the last lap, led from the 900 and was too strong. “I've never pulled the plugs on him yet so I don't know what would happen but he is probably doing his best anyway,” Nathan Williamson said. “He's got good breeding, manners, gait, speed, but physically is not ready to do much more. There's a Gold Chip coming up for him so we'll have to make a decision whether to carry on or let him strengthen, he should be a better four-year-old.”   by Mac Henry for Southland Harness Racing
Big wins are nothing new to Gary Woodham but the success of Flying Even Bettor in the $30,000 group three Alabar NZ Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham on Saturday gave him a great deal of satisfaction. Along with his wife Kerry, the Plimmerton-based General Manager Customer for the New Zealand Racing Board races Flying Even Bettor with Glenys and Phil Kennard, Ken and Karen Breckon as Breckon Racing Syndicate, along with Jim and Ann Gibbs. The syndicate was formed three years ago and in our first year we got Spankem and The Devils Own,” Needham explained, “Another Masterpiece was the next and then Flying Even Bettor.” The Devils Own and Another Masterpiece finished second in the Kindergartens of their year, 2017 and 2018. “Three times we've tried, following the same preparation each time, and now we've won it,” Woodham said. At the end of their appropriate seasons, both Spankem and Another Masterpiece were named two-year-olds of the year with Spankem going on to land the million dollar Miracle Mile at the beginning of this month. “When The Devils Own went to Australia for the Victoria Derby last year he got a virus and was very ill. He's back in work now with Brent Mangos and he'll be the trainer when he races again.” But the win meant more to Woodham than picking up a group three. For some time he has been studying the operation of harness racing in the region and doesn't need a second excuse to visit. “Harness Racing New Zealand used the model of Southern Harness as a text book case and I wanted to know more about it,” he said. “With the help of Kevin McNaught (Chairman) and Jason Broad (General Manager), I've seen it up close and love the way all the clubs are working together. They're doing right for the region, take costs out and that allows them to increase stakes. This is my 12th visit.” Woodham also acknowledged their assistance when the Wyndham Club raced at Cromwell earlier in the year. “We were about to launch our new betting platform and needed their help with race times, we wanted them to finish earlier. They made the changes to work in with us and we are indebted to them. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen–trained Flying Even Bettor was driven by Blair Orange to give him his third win in the race. Three wide for the first 500 metres, the Bettor's Delight was gelding no sooner one-out than stablemate Copperfield arrived to give him cover. Once in the straight Flying Even Bettor was unleashed and soon put the issue beyond doubt, to win in 1:54.4. “He didn't show a lot of gate speed but it worked out well,” said Orange who was sitting behind the winner for the first time. “He felt good on the turn and when he let down he found the line well.” Earlier, Orange had won aboard the Paul Court-trained Major Sass. It was her third win from five starts, all of the wins at Wyndham. The three-year-old daughter of Art Major led out and pulled clear in the straight to win the Southland Harness Awards Ladyship Final by four and three quarters lengths in 1:56.2. Orange scored his third win for the day aboard Ohoka Achilles who clocked 2:55.9 for the mobile 2400 metres of the Astra Stu and Jean Pace. It was a comfortable win for the four-year-old who had chased U May Cullect home at Ascot Park last Saturday. The half-brother to Ohoka Texas is trained at Woodend Beach by former Wyndham horseman Regan Todd. After Tartan Robyn scored his second win in nine starts when taking out the PGG Wrightson Real Estate Cromwell Pace for owner and breeder Graeme Edgar, trainer Hamish Hunter described the four-year-old as a horse that couldn't be rushed. “He's got a patient owner and has taken lots of time,” said Hunter, “18 months ago he couldn't pace but turned the corner in the spring and gets a little better each time.”   by Mac Henry for Southland Harness Racing
LEBANON, OH. - Tura Lura Lural (Kayne Kauffman) completed a clean sweep of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series, winning the $25,000 Championship leg on Friday night (March 15) at Miami Valley Raceway. The 4-year-old daughter of The Panderosa also captured a pair of preliminary legs before topping Avaline Hanover (Chris Page) and McPansy (Brett Miller) in the final. The Coven Memorial featured distaff pacers who lacked four wins or $40,000 in lifetime earnings at the series' commencement. Kauffman was intent on dictating the action, wrestling the lead away from McPansy just past the quarter mile mark of the race. Fending off a prolonged challenge by Scwartz Bros Beaty (Trace Tetrick), Tura Lura Lural then had to contend with Avaline Hanover for the length of the stretch before cruising under the wire a three-quarter length winner in 1:54.3. Kauffman's wife Natalie shares ownership of the winner with Douglas Millard and Sandra Burns of Ontario, Canada. She now sports five wins in just 25 lifetime starts and career earnings rapidly approaching $100,000.     -Conrad photo A $22,500 Mares Open Pace was won by Big Bad Jane, an Ohio-sired 5-year-old Big Bad John daughter making her initial start in open company for trainer-driver Dan Noble and owner Sandra Burnett. Content to sit next-to-last in the field of seven, Noble sent Big Bad Jane three wide at the halfway station, moved up to third with two furlongs to go, and cruised to a 2-1/4 length triumph over E R Hilary (LeWayne Miller) and fast-closing Rosemary Rose (Chris Page) in 1:53.4. Big Bad Jane has captured 17 of her 53 races to date and her bankroll has soared to $221,694. Big Bad Jane      - Conrad photo Racing resumes Saturday night (May 16) at Miami Valley with the $25,000 championship of the George Williams Memorial series on tap as well as a $25,000 Open I and a $20,000 Open II. Post time is 6:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel
Having devised its Vision Capture Project to move beyond established broadcast workflows and OB in 2017, the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) recently called on solutions from German broadcast innovator Lawo to further revise and streamline its production model. Now operating four OBs instead of six, with three Mercedes Sprinter vans and a fixed site to cover metropolitan race events from a central control room, using Lawo’s Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) provides integrated control. NZRB handles New Zealand’s Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) operation for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, scheduling daily racing and selling racing and sports bets through a retail network, online and telephony channels. NZRB is also behind the broadcast of racing on two national television channels and Trackside Radio. In 2017, and with OB trucks that were close on a decade of very hard use, the NZRB faced 1,100 OB days racing across the country each year – the number of events and variety of scale bringing into question its previous production standards and raising the opportunity of mixed OB and Remote Production. Following moving to an IP Layer 3 network, Phase 2 of the project saw the NZRB team work with Sony on four HD-capable and scalable OB trucks to cover its existing and very demanding nationwide OB workflow. As part of this design the NZRB team identified VSM as integral to achieving the same flexibility and scalability as seen in the Remote Production model, allowing the shared use of ‘Expansion’ vehicles to seamlessly enhance capability such as extra workspaces and camera count. VSM provides operators with overarching control over their systems in an extremely adaptable way – user panels and interfaces can be configured without limitation in order to meet the requirements of different workflows and applications, with the whole system under redundant control. “One of the key selling points of VSM was the portfolio of support and compatibility for third-party protocols, in addition to Lawo’s own products with Ember+. This was key given the wide range of products used in the design of the HD OBs, without compromising on capability,” says NZRB Broadcast Engineer Michael Tompkins. As Lawo regional representative, Professional Audio & Television (PAT) was instrumental in the successful application of the advanced technology underlying the migration. “Initially, we had several whiteboard sessions that gave us confidence we had a solid idea that could work,” says NZRB’s Vision Capture Project SME Jamie Annan. “PAT had the knowledge and expertise to assist in design, configure ,and troubleshoot a system using the equipment they sold, rather than being there just to sell a product.” Using the 1Gbps Layer 3 network between remote site and control room, and 10Gbps Layer 3 between control rooms, the new model uses a mix of J2K, SMPTE 2022-6, and AES67/Ravenna to provide video and audio between each layer of production under a VSM control system run from two separate locations, ensuring geographical redundancy. The OB design had to maintain the NZRB’s ability to cover the full extent of its racing, but be physically smaller in size, while also providing greater cost efficiencies across the production. Internally, the trucks had to provide cost-efficient yet scalable industry-standard capabilities – requiring VSM to provide integrated control of switchers, routers, and a replay server as well as the connecting network. The basic daily OB setup for a truck covers running up to ten system cameras, with capacity for 12 and other SDI, Commentary, Presentation area and roaming interviews, on a typical day internal crew is Director/Vision switcher, Sound Op, Replay op, Engineer, and a Vision Control op – all operating from within the truck. VSM supports all of these requirements, with the capacity to adapt to any future changes or expansion of the NZRB broadcast operation. By SVG Staff  Reprinted with permission of Sportsvideo.org
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