Day At The Track
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Drivers challenge at Ascot Park

Border rivalry will be to the fore when the What The Hill Drivers Challenge takes place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Friday (23 November). The challenge repeats last year’s successful format where a team of six from North of the Waitaki took on a team from South of the Waitaki. The North of the Waitaki team took the team honours on that occasion spearheaded by a former Southlander now domiciled in Canterbury, Gavin Smith, who took the Individual honours. However both teams were tied on points going into the final heat so it was a close run thing. As the defending champion Smith returns as part of the north team this year joined by Ricky May, Blair Orange, Samantha Ottley, Tim Williams and Jim Curtin. Attempting to wrest the silverware back onto this side of the Waitaki is the South of the Waitaki team led by the Williamson brothers – Nathan, Matthew and Brad along with Brent Barclay, Craig Ferguson and Allan Beck. The invited drivers compete in four heats with points allocated to the first five home on each occasion with 10 points for a win, 7 for second, 5 for third, 3 for fourth and 1 for fifth. Each driver receives the points they accumulate towards finding an individual champion while their points also go into their teams score to find the champion team. The event is a twilight meeting with the first race timed to start at 3.38pm. It is a perfect night to come out and enjoy some top class racing. Admission to the course will be free. One punter will take home a meal voucher from Level One Restaurant & Bar in Invercargill when a draw of all losing on course tote tickets is made after Race 6 while also after race 6 all children on course receive a free bag of lollies.   HRNZ Marketing

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Club News this week from HRNZ

Alexandra Park - Friday 23 November Christmas At The Races popular as ever Alexandra Park’s eight Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings set down for November and December are selling fast but there’s still time. “Our three November evenings are probably where we’ve got the best availability. However individuals, businesses and organisations need to book now to avoid disappointment,” says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. The 2018 Christmas At The Races evenings will take place on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 8 and 15 December. The incredibly popular nights are promoted as the perfect work Christmas party with a gourmet buffet, stunning décor, and great entertainment including a visit from Santa himself!. Holly packages remain available from $70 per person, as do the delightful Mistletoe packages at $115 with the option of track-view dining outside on the Epsom Balconies. Also, still available are the premium Pohutukawa packages in the Tasman Room from $140 which include a premium drinks package. However, Pohutukawa packages in Alexandra Park’s level five Top of the Park venue, priced from $165, are now limited but with some availability still on 16 November and 21 December. Ms Visser says regardless of the hospitality package, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can-eat Christmas-style buffet. She says Alexandra Park’s exclusive President’s Suite can also be hired for private parties, with availability remaining on both 16 and 30 November as well as 21 December. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. 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 Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:  ajamieson175@gmail.com If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email on dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or give us a call on 09 631 1165   Invercargill HRC - Friday 23 November TOP DRIVERS SET FOR BORDER CLASH AT ASCOT PARK RACEWAY    Border rivalry will be to the fore when the What The Hill Drivers Challenge takes place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Friday (23 November). The challenge repeats last year’s successful format where a team of six from North of the Waitaki took on a team from South of the Waitaki. The North of the Waitaki team took the team honours on that occasion spearheaded by a former Southlander now domiciled in Canterbury, Gavin Smith, who took the Individual honours. However both teams were tied on points going into the final heat so it was a close run thing. As the defending champion Smith returns as part of the north team this year joined by Ricky May, Blair Orange, Samantha Ottley, Tim Williams and Jim Curtin. Attempting to wrest the silverware back onto this side of the Waitaki is the South of the Waitaki team led by the Williamson brothers – Nathan, Matthew and Brad along with Brent Barclay, Craig Ferguson and Allan Beck. The invited drivers compete in four heats with points allocated to the first five home on each occasion with 10 points for a win, 7 for second, 5 for third, 3 for fourth and 1 for fifth. Each driver receives the points they accumulate towards finding an individual champion while their points also go into their teams score to find the champion team. The event is a twilight meeting with the first race timed to start at 3.38pm. It is a perfect night to come out and enjoy some top class racing. Admission to the course will be free. One punter will take home a meal voucher from Level One Restaurant & Bar in Invercargill when a draw of all losing on course tote tickets is made after Race 6 while also after race 6 all children on course receive a free bag of lollies.   Geraldine TC - Saturday 24 November. Entry to this race day is free for owners, owners have been sent an email with details about the free entry and race book available for owners. The club will also be hosting owners hospitality before each race. For full information on the day please visit the Race Day office.   Banks Peninsula TC - Sunday 25 November At Motukukara Racecourse.    Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.   The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.   The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019. Chris Craddock Vice President Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc. 027 410 2420         Southern Harness News  A TON OF FEED TO BE WON Thanks to McMillan Equine Feeds, there is a ton of feed to be won during the 2018/2019 Southern Harness Racing season. At every Sunday race meeting during the season the trainer of every race winner will win a free bag of McMillan Equine Feeds. At the conclusion of the Wyndham Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 18 November all trainers who have won a race on a Sunday up until that time will get one entry into a draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds. The competition then starts afresh with the trainer of each Sunday race winner for the remainder of the season getting one entry into a new draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds to be held after the Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 3 March. That is one ton of McMillan Equine Feeds up for grabs! Southern Harness Racing thanks McMillan Equine Feeds for their generous support. QUALIFYING DATES: Sunday 16 December Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 6 January Wyndham HRC - Cromwell Sunday 3 February Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 17 February Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 3 March Invercargill HRC - Invercargill    HRNZ Marketing

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Young drivers en-route to Brisbane

Some of the world’s best young harness racing drivers have arrived in Queensland ahead of the 2018 Garrard’s Australasian Young Driver’s Championship to be staged in Brisbane between Thursday and Saturday. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said if last year’s series was anything to go by, the 2018 edition would provide plenty of thrills.  “The drivers from across Australia and New Zealand are not only recognised as the best young talents in harness racing, but as some of the most well-known names in the sport,” he said. “The 10 drivers have amassed a combined 2359 winners and more than $15 million in stakes, despite all being aged under-25.” The series returns to Queensland for a second-straight year where defending champion and Queenslander Narissa McMullen will join cousin and leading Queensland driver Nathan Dawson to try and keep the trophy in the Sunshine State. The points-based series will be determined over nine heats (four at Redcliffe on Thursday, two at Redcliffe on Friday and the final three heats at Albion Park on Saturday) with the leading point-scorer earning themselves glory for their state or country and, a new Rio Mark 2 sulky thanks to major sponsors Garrard’s – long-time supporters of harness racing in Queensland. Mr Brick said the young drivers had again agreed to throw their support behind a charity through the donation of their driver’s fees and raising funds throughout the series. “This year the young drivers will be racing in support of Youngcare,” he said. “The drivers will visit a Youngcare facility to meet some of the residents during their stay in Brisbane and have set a fundraising goal of at least $4000 to help provide appropriate housing for young people with high care needs.” The drivers will be welcomed to Queensland at an opening function at the famous Breakfast Creek Hotel – just steps away from the Albion Park club – on Thursday morning. To follow the series head to www.racingqueensland.com.au or follow Racing Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@racing_qld) or the event Twitter handle @AustralasianYDC               Driver State Drives Wins Places Stakes ($) Narissa McMullen QLD 6139 669 1345 $3,658,885 Deni Roberts   WA 1221 83 243 $697,257 Chris Geary   NSW 3711 501 914 $4,369,376 Nathan Dawson QLD 4688 549 1045 $2,549,854 Jack laugher   TAS 901 74 185 $555,994 Darby McGuigan VIC 1298 135 333 $929,157 Jayden Brewin   SA 1246 154 314 $664,869 Benjamin Butcher NZ (Nth Island) 1374 103 260 $988,218 Sheree Tomlinson NZ (Sth Island) 976 75 145 $840,111 Alicia Harrison   NZ (Nth Island) 128 16 22 $142,387   Racing Queensland

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Teal Pants campaign award

Harness Racing New Zealand and Flair are proud to announce the Contribution to theTeal Pants Campaign Award. The award proudly sponsored by Flair will be awarded to the NZ female driver who's contribution to the 2019 Teal Pants Campaign is above and beyond. The award will recognise hard work contributing to the campaign and going the extra mile to publicize and support the cause.  The Teal Pants Campaign will run from February 1st to March 10th 2019 and nominations will be taken throughout this period. Nominations for this award can be sent to courtney@hrnz.co.nz or 0276364355 with the drivers name and why they deserve the award. Nominations will go forward to the Flair Committee and the winner will be announced via the HRNZ Website & Social Media Channels by 22nd March. The winner of this award will also receive a trophy courtesy of Flair.    Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc  

It was a month behind schedule but yesterday Ana Malak made his Western Australian debut, and was an impressive winner at Pinjarra Harness Racing Club. “He did what I was hoping he would,” said co-trainer Greg Bond following the win. “His work at home had been good so we expected a good run today, we had a slight setback with him otherwise he would have been racing a month ago so today was a bit of a fact-finding mission.” The 4yo Bettors Delight import was nursed out of the gate by driver Ryan Warwick who was able to find cover and race in the one-out-one-back position for a majority of the event. The $1.04 favourite made his move at the 750 metre mark and showed brilliant speed to level up with, and pass the leaders before the final quarter. Racing home in 56.8 seconds, covering the final 400 metres in 28.2, Ana Malak rated 1:56.0 for the 2185 metre mobile, winning by 37.1 metres. WATCH RACE REPLAY HERE  “He seems to be the sort of horse that you really have to ask him to perform, but as you saw today, when you ask him to do it, he does," said Bond. “He ticked all the boxes today, now onto the classics.” Ana Malak is nominated for the Golden Nugget Prelude this Friday night, with Bond aiming at gaining a start in the Gr.1 4yo Classic on November 30 at Gloucester Park. It was another successful meeting for the Bond camp; with Starlight Brigade ($1.30), and Bettor Aim ($1.04) both scoring effortless victories on the card.   Scott Hamilton

It was a days for the Pats at Wyndham on Sunday with up and coming trotter Super Fast Pat winning his second race on the trot and Gore owner Pat Kubala winning a maiden race with Art Major gelding Prince Art. On the trotting front the question on most punters minds was whether Super Fast pat could take the next step up after impressively winning his last start by thirty and a half lengths. It took just over three minutes for us to find out, and it was an emphatic yes! “He’s got a lot of speed but he just hung badly today. I wanted to get round them and be handy but I just couldn’t quite cross to the one off at the 500. He was still doing it easy enough within himself at the finish but he had a few rough strides today,” said driver Brent Barclay. The Superfast Stuart four year old has always shown potential and Barclay admits that he does get anxious when driving the talented trotter.     “For sure. You just can’t let his head go (yet) but you know the motors there. He’s just got to get his rhythm. Once he gets that in another twelve months he’ll be a nice horse. He’s starting to learn all about the grit. I was real happy with him today.” After impressing at workouts early on, trainer Lauren Pearson and partner Barclay have found the key to Super Fast Pat. “We just do a lot of strong work with him. We follows the pacemaker a lot (and it) throws a lot of grit back. That’s the main thing with him. When the grit comes back he throws his head around and it throws him off balance. Once he’s got his rhythm and he’s going, he’s not too bad. He’s always had the ability.” Barclay says he’s a totally different horse at the race track compared to being at home.    “At home he pulls and is real fierce but when you bring him out on race day he’s the friendliest horse. He’s getting there but he still needs miles.” Barclay says the horse’s next target is the $20,000 Super Gold Chips Final at Winton on 13th April. “We’ll have to school him up for that but at this stage we’ll stick to the big tracks.” His standing start manners have also improved. “He was perfect today. You still just have to nurse him really.”   Meanwhile Pat’s Delight’s brother Prince Art created a good impression when he won on debut at Wyndham on Sunday. “He gave me the impression he was going to get there but it took the length of the straight. It was a good effort to pick himself up and make up the ground. There are some promising signs there,” said driver Tim Williams. Bruce Stewart

Well bred Delson surprisingly paid $8.00 when he won easily at Wyndham on Sunday. Trained by Nathan Williamson he boasted a good workout and trial grounding and he certainly has pedigree on his side. From a second row draw Williamson had little option but to settle Delson back on the inside. With 1600 metres to run he was able to move the gelding off the running line. At the 1000 metres he was still at least twelve lengths off the leader Star Dude but started to make up ground. In the home straight trotting out in the centre of the track Delson went to the lead with 200 metres to run, travelling so easy he had time to prick up his ears. It was a performance that might remind us of the easy wins Dark Horse recorded when she was trotting through the grades. “He wasn’t trotting real smoothly for the first lap of the race,” said Williamson. “Once I got him out and moving he was a lot better. He evened up and went nice.” Prior to Sunday’s debut Delson had been to five workouts and a qualifying trial so he was well schooled for his debut. “He’s been a work in progress. I’ve just been concentrating on his manners but he’s got a lot of ability.” He was bred by and is owned by Ian Hunter who’s on the committee of the Wyndham Trotting Club. “We’re just going to take our time with him. It’ll be three or four weeks before he starts again. Nathan says he takes a bit of teaching but he’s got a motor. We’ll keep him to the big tracks for now,” he said. Williamson was quick to confirm the horse’s potential. “I’ve never really opened him up yet but he feels like a nice horse and he’s very willing.” Delson is a full brother to Delestic and a half to Splash Cola. Both started their careers with Williamson, and Splash Cola is now trained at Woodend Beach by Regan Todd. “She’s seems to be thriving up there. Her feet are good. She got gifted a fourth on Show Day (promoted). We were quite happy with that run,” said Hunter. Delson is out of Delcola. Hunter bought Aran Del the dam of Delcola in foal to Chiola Cola in 2000. “We got a bonus off her. The first five two and three year old winners by Chiola Cola got a bonus of five thousand dollars. There weren’t many two year old winners but we just squeezed in and got the three year old bonus.” Delcola’s last three foals have been via embryo transplant. “The last foal we bred was by Andover Hall which she carried herself. She had a big rupture and we weren’t too sure if we were going to get a foal or not. She foaled okay and we got a colt (Andy Hall). He’s a three year old and is in work now. He’d be sixteen plus hands and I doubt whether he will race as a three year old. Nathan likes him, he could be the best one.” The other ET foals are by Pegasus Spur and Creatine. “I’ve sent her back to Andover Hall. There’s a bit of a risk in that because they don’t like frozen semen when they’re doing embryo transplants.” Hunter is also breeding from another branch of the family; Aron Del’s half-sister Delivion (Oblivion II) which was bought by Hunter in the early 1990s.                                                                                                  Her Son Of Afella foal Delamaid is still being bred from by Hunter with her best foal to date being Gotta Del - the winner of four races.      Bruce Stewart

New Zealand’s Inter Dominion assault could swell to six after a couple of surprise additions. The annual trans tasman harness racing series returns to Victoria on Saturday week and has the added bonus of the return of the trotting series, which was last held in 2012. Both series will consist of three rounds of heats spread across Victoria and 2760m mobile finals at Melton on December 15 but the series, like last week’s New Zealand Cup, has been hit by the extraordinary number of injuries, retirements and overseas sales in the open class ranks this year. But while a brutal Cup week in Christchurch last week suggested New Zealand could have only two or three reps in the Inters, that number could double. Yesterday was the day many trainers sat down, dusted themselves off and planned the rest of the summer and one of the big winners has been the Auckland and Cambridge summer carnivals, with some of the industry’s glamour names staying home. That will include Thefixer, Dream About Me, Jack’s Legend, Turn It Up, Chase Auckland, Eamon Maguire and Elle Mac in the pacing ranks while Temporale, Lemond and Woodstone will also be coming north rather than heading to Melbourne.  Ultimate Machete, who missed Cup week with a hoof problem, has been on the water walker for the last week and co-trainer Mark Purdon will check on his progress before confirming an Auckland Cup campaign. That leaves the All Stars with Cruz Bromac as their confirmed Inter Dominon pacing hope with the option that Spankem could join him.  “We are still finalising a few different things and will firm everything up later in the week,” said Purdon.  While speedster Star Galleria is out of the Inters and will need a minor surgery, one surprise addition to the Kiwi pacing team could be Pat’s Delight. The Jewels winner has been both luckless and impressive over the last month and trainer Cran Dalgety is leaning toward going to Melbourne as the Inter Dominion final  could be no stronger than the Auckland Cup. “I am talking to the owner about it and he gets the final call but I am keen to go,” says Dalgety. In the trotting series Speeding Spur was always likely to go and after jogging out soundly for trainers John and Josh Dickie on Monday morning he will be in the series barring anything unforseen happening this week And he could be joined by two slightly unexpected fellow Kiwis in Alderbeck and Monty Python. Their trainer Phil Williamson says the Inter trip is on with the pair, who both had no luck in the Dominion last Friday. “I think they are both good enough to go to the series, make the final and get some money in it so we are keen,” says the champion trainer of trotters. But with driving sons Nathan, Brad and Matthew so busy at home, Williamson could be on the lookout for an Australian driver for the pair. Speeding Spur is rated the most likely New Zealand winner of one of an Inter final at $3.80 in most markets, while Tiger Tara heads many Inter Dominion pacing markets although Cruz Bromac could continue to shorten after his NZ Free-For-All win last Friday and once his participation in the series becomes more certain. Other plans for some of the big names from Cup week see three-year-old star Ultimate Sniper coming north for the Sales Series Pace at Alexandra Park on December 31 buy intermediate grade speed machine Alta Maestro will stick to a South Island standing start race programme for now to continue to educate him.   Michael Guerin

There were plenty of surprises related to Robyns Playboy’s win at Wyndham today. With a winning margin of an impressive nine and a half lengths, and a time of 2-53.0 - a new track and Southland record for both three year olds and all-comers, Robyn’s Playboy was the standout performer of the day. “We were hoping for cover and to drive him for just one run. He hadn’t had a workout and had a fair spell,” said Gore trainer Ross Wilson after the win. Driver Craig Ferguson sat the Shadow Play gelding parked for the first 800 metres before he took the lead. With 400 metres to run he had his eight other rivals struggling. On straightening Ferguson pulled the ear plugs and Robyns Playboy instantly extended his lead, going down to the finish line nine and a half lengths ahead of I’m Trouble. “He’s just got a great cruising speed and doesn’t stop. He’s got a real big motor in him we know that. It was very pleasing.” The time 2-53.0 bettered Return To Senders 2014 Three Year Old and All-comers track record of 2-55.1, broke the long standing 2007 Three Year Old Southland record held by Rider On The Storm (2-54.5) and equalled Nex Time’s Southland’s All-comers record of 2-53.0. The time was only 0.5 of a second outside of the National Three Year Old record of 2-52.5 held by The Dorchester. This season Wilson has seen Robyns Playboy become the real deal and live up to the high opinion he had of the horse when he started his career last season. “Initially he could run but didn’t know what to do. You’d pull him out and he’d just muck around beside the other horse. He’s cottoned on now. When you pull him out he’s got to get going. He’s been working with Bridey (Bridesdale Robyn) the last couple of weeks and she went well at Addington. There’s not much between them. He’s the all-round horse. He’s got gate speed and he can stay.” So now the main worry for Wilson is where to place the quality three year old. “I don’t know what to do with him now because if you start again you’re racing horses that are near cup class.” One race for three year olds that Wilson is considering is at Gore on 27th December. It’s worth fifteen thousand dollar and is sponsored by Cadrona Distillery. The Gore Club hopes to make this race an annual feature. “I won’t go north with him, I’ll just muck around with him down here. We’ve had a few inquiries for him but he’s not for sale. He gets you out of bed in the mornings.” So impressed with Robyn’s Playboy is he, that Wilson plans to send his dam Robyn Maree back to Shadow Play.   Bruce Stewart

Long hours of work, long hours of planning and organisation and long hours out on the training and racing tracks paid off big time for Mark and Natalie this week-but after a short celebration and relaxation it will soon be all systems go for the next big assignments -the Auckland Cup carnival and Inter Dominions. That is the key to their success-moving forward to the next target. Natalie had an unforgettable meeting training and driving the winners of three of the Group Ones at the meeting, the only ones in which they had a runner. “Well its been wonderful. You plan for that but its got to happen. We are lucky we have the horses and the staff to be able to do these things “ Natalie’s biggest moment was the NZ Cup with her special favourite Thefixer and while she keeps working he will have some R and R “We’ve sent him to the water walker for a couple of weeks. He had that foot problem through the spring and we don’t want to risk any aggravation of that so he can have an easy time” Natalie said. “It was a marvellous Cup run really. He got a nice trip but he hadn’t had the seasoning of most of the others but he was just as determined as I was !’ It is doubtful if any Cup winner, and especially in modern times, has won a NZ Cup at his 16th start. Even the great Lazarus had 21 starts before his first Cup. In fact, in a number of respects, Thefixer is a “throwback” to the old time Cup winners often sparingly raced because of lack of opportunity. Once Natalie took the drive on Cruz Bromac it was ominous news for his rivals “He has high speed and I will be looking to lead” Natalie said pre-race. She made no secret to any likely challenger like Todd McCarthy that she was going to stay there and when Tiger Tara faded at the 300m she went for broke and it was the winning of the race. “A lot of our horses were to be standing up to be counted this week and they nearly all did it” The balance Natalie has in her thinking that eases the pressure in big races is typified by the fact she left the course late in the afternoon to go shopping for groceries ! Returning to win the Free for All. Mark came to the fore again on Friday with three wins of the four. TURN IT UP and KINGS LANDING were probably the most interesting in the longer term and both produced positive results. Kings Landing and Winterfell were often compared as younger horses. Originally Kings Landing was rated tops but gradually Winterfell overhauled him and went clear in the comparison stakes. Not so much now. “The gap is narrowing” Mark said. “He’s really pleased me this week. He is stepping up each time and you love to see that in a trotter especially. So there is not a lot between them now” Turn it Up is a talent of almost frightening potential and the Free for All confirmed that. “You couldn’t fault him on that after so few starts. The nomination for the Inter Dominion was really only a wild card but he has shown he can compete at the best level and we will be bearing that in mind “ Mark and Natalie will be following their traditional plan of taking it easy in the next week and and finalising plans for the “A” team. It is never easy but this year it looks an overwhelming task.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Harness racing driver Natalie Rasmussen capped off an amazing week by reining Cruz Bromac to an easy front running victory in yesterdays $184,000 Woodlands New Zealand Pacing Free For All at Addington Raceway.  After an unlucky run in Tuesday's New Zealand Trotting Cup, Cruz Bromac relished the shorter 1980m distance of yesterday's race and the son of Falcon Seelster blasted to the lead shortly after the mobile barrier arms folded. From there the race turned into a procession. With main rival and TAB favourite Tiger Tara caught three wide early and then parked, Cruz Bromac never really eased the pace and won easing down in a super quick 2-18.5 for the 1980m mobile. That equated to a mile rate of 1-52.5 with the last 800m cut out in 55.6 and the closing 400m run in 27.0 seconds. Stable mate of the winner Turn It Up ran on from three deep on the fence to grab second off the trailing Jack's Legend who battled on well for third. Tiger Tara wilted to last after finding his early efforts out wide too big a hurdle to overcome. Natalie Rasmussen really burned early on Cruz Bromac and thought he might be found wanting at the finish, "I really maxed him out to get across and sometimes they are found wanting when you do that, but he really tried hard down the straight.He was getting tired but he really gave it his all. "Since he joined us he has really impressed us, each run he has been really solid and good. "Mark and I will sit down next week and work out where we go, but I would say more than likely Inter Dominions first and then go from there," she said. The win by Cruz Bromac gave Natalie her third Group one success for the week after also winning the NZ Cup with Thefixer and the Sires Stakes Final with Ultimate Sniper on Tuesday.   Harnesslink Media

Clint Ford's greatest moment in the sulky might also be his last on raceday. Because the Canterbury part-timer suggested he might give up driving after Marcoola's magical win in yesterday's $300,000 Dominion at Addington. The magnificent squaregaiter came from third last with a sustained burst of brilliance to smash our best trotters, clearing out before the top of the straight and winning effortlessly. Marcoola is officially trained by Ford's father Ken, giving him one of the most unlikely doubles in trotting history after he won the Dominion last season with 90-1 chance Amaretto Sun. But it is Clint who does most of the training and all of the driving of the former age group star, even against his better judgment sometimes. Ford rarely drives other horses and has been his own harshest critic at times during Marcoola's career. So after his beautifully-timed surge to victory yesterday he suggested he might give up the driving game. "That might be it for me, I am only a part-timer and I might not drive anymore," he said. Yesterday's win in our biggest trotting race was only the 29th of Ford's driving career and having climbed the mountain it wouldn't surprise to see him keep his word and hand the reins on Marcoola to niece and high-class reinswoman Sheree Tomlinson. But for now the Ford and Tomlinson family can enjoy having back-to-back winners in their version of the New Zealand Cup because to trotting people the Dominion is the ultimate goal. They won't be chasing the other great trotting prize, the Inter Dominion in Melbourne next month, though as Marcoola was not nominated for the series. That would suggest he is likely to come north to contest the rich trots at Alexandra Park and Cambridge and finally live up to his enormous potential. When Marcoola emerged as a 3-year-old and then challenged Monbet as a 4-year-old he looked a superstar in the making but the next 18 months of his career had more lows than highs. But a long spell last season has seen him return bigger and stronger and yesterday's run suggests at his best he is the premier trotter in Australasia. While Marcoola's dominance was so complete there was no point making any excuses for the others, there was plenty to admire about the booming late run from Aussie raider Kyvalley Blur for second while Lemond was vastly improved on his first-day performance to hold third. But favourite Speeding Spur might have been feeling his first-day win in the Free-For-All as he performed slightly below his best in fourth place. Michael Guerin

The Dominion is all about the Ford factory. However, it’s horsepower of a different variety – equine! For the second straight year, West Melton trainer Ken Ford has walked away with the biggest trotting cheque in the southern hemisphere after his brilliant performer Marcoola delivered a stunning performance to win the Gr.1 $300,000 Used To Me @ Haras de Trotteurs Dominion at Addington today (Friday). Twelve months ago, the Ford family was left shell-shocked after Amaretto Sun and young Sheree Tomlinson (Ford's grand-daughter) pulled off a longshot shocker to win the south island feature and again today, they were left a little gob smacked by the sheer arrogance and blinding acceleration of their star trotter as he raced away with the 3200m standing start feature. Handled by Ford's son Clint, it was utter domination from Marcoola. Unlike last year, the performance today didn’t completely shock anyone because most are acutely aware of the rich talent the Sundon six-year-old entire possesses. In lead-up to the event, his form has been true and consistent but the barrier allowed punters to gain a juicy price about the speedy performer. Race favourite Speeding Spur was backing-up following his Gr.1 FFA victory on Tuesday and was attempting to claim the Rowe Cup/Dominion double in the same year while join the other 17 trotters to claim the Cup week double. With Alderbeck, Temporale and Hey Yo all beginning quickly and vying for the early supremacy, Speeding Spur stepped safely and landed in a handy spot just behind the leaders. Classy mare Harriet Of Mot galloped away badly and lost considerable ground. Within the first lap, changes swept over the field with the highly fancied Great Things Happen finding the lead while Lemond was left parked without cover and Speeding Spur sitting right on his back. The tempo was dawdling with Great Things Happen and driver Gavin Smith walking the big field through the opening lap. The lead time was covered in 2:08.1. Speeding Spur made a move around the 1200m point and parked outside Great Things Happen while Ronald J soon followed and raced outside the leader. The first half was covered in 29.2 and 31.7 seconds. Entering the back straight, Great Things Happen led Ronald J while Speeding Spur sat poised ready to strike. Passing the 1000m point, driver Clint Ford made his move with Marcoola and allowed him to stride forward three wide and his run was unimpeded. And he came with a rush as he built massive momentum. The third quarter was covered in 29.7 seconds. With his blinding acceleration, Marcoola surged to the lead and soon opened up the field and raced away to lead by a clear margin entering the home straight. Ford kept his charge focused as Australian trotter Kyvalley Blur started to charge down the outside but the margin was too great. Marcoola scored convincingly and registered a margin of 4 lengths from Kyvalley Blur with a further 2.75 lengths back to Lemond in third while Speeding Spur finished fourth. The winning time was 4:08 – a mile rate of 2:04.6 with a final split of 28.7 seconds. Yet again, it was time for celebration for the Ford family. “He felt really good and there was some cat and mouse tactics from Anthony (Butt – Kyvalley Blur) and Tony (Herlihy – Temporale) and I just went for it. He trotted great and showed great speed but I kept thinking they were coming and I kept checking but he did it well.” Driver Clint Ford said. Marcoola is raced in partnership by Clint and his father Ken. The last time a trainer prepared back to back winners in the Dominion was Tim Butt back in 2003/04 after Take A Moment and Lyell Creek proved triumphant. Interestingly, Marcoola is closely related to Lyell Creek and takes his record to 14 wins from 31 starts while his earnings now exceed $410,000. The next leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters is the $150,000 Inter Dominion in Melbourne on December 15. Chris Barsby

The Owners representative took a quick visit to All Stars Stable on Wednesday to see how Chase Auckland was progressing towards his return to harness racing and the news is very positive.  “We are looking at taking him to a trial in 3 or 4 weeks and then aim at a possible race at Cambridge followed by a suitable race in Auckland perhaps on Christmas Eve,” Mark Purdon said. He says "I do not think he would be ready for such a tough and demanding race like the Auckland Cup at this stage instead Id rather race him as much as possible against his own age group". This could involve such races as the $50,000 Futurity Stakes at Cambridge on January 24, and in Australia, the $50,000 Hondo Grattan Stakes on February 2, the $50,000 Paleface Adios Sprint on February 9 with the main one being the $200,000 Chariots of Fire on February 16 – all at Tabcorp Park in NSW. It would then be back to New Zealand for such possible races as the $50,000 Superstars Champs at Addington on March 29, the $100,000 Taylor Mile on April 26, the $100,000 NZ Messenger (both at Auckland) and $150,000 Harness Jewels at Addington. At the time of taking his New Zealand record in The 3YR Sires Stakes Final in 2017, Chase Auckland recorded the fastest ever time for not only three-year-olds but for all-comers rating a 1:52.2 mile rate over the 1950 metres. He also holds a second record at Auckland over 2700 metres in The Great Northern Derby rating 3:16.8 for the distance. This son of Auckland Reactor has had just the nine starts for eight wins and a second to date with $392,329 in the bank. His return to racing will be eagerly watched and waited for by his large numbers of Owners and Fans across the Country. The photos taken and shown here are spectacular to say the least. Chase Auckland - Group 1 New Zealand Sires Stakes Final 2017 Chase Auckland - Woodlands Great Northern Derby 2018 Harnesslink Media

Invercargill Jeweller Kevin Schuck can thank a handful of slow gallopers for his switch to Standardbreds and hence his love of the straight out trotter. Schuck was born in Dunedin and has a mix of European blood running through his veins. His grandfather was born in Austria and he also has German and Dutch ancestry. Maybe this explains his love of trotters. His father Bill, was in the New Zealand Police force for over twenty years and the family moved to Invercargill when Kevin was about eight months old. He attended St Patricks Primary School before heading to Marist Primary and then on to Marist College. At the age of thirteen his father got him an after school job with local jeweller Russell Coats and Kevin has been in that industry ever since, even though he initially didn’t have an interest in jewellery. “Dad had a real interest in antiques, trying to make the odd dollar here and there, wheeling and dealing. I really wanted to have something to do with wildlife like being a wild life ranger. But after a few years working for Russ I thought ‘I can do this.’ Coats and Schuck eventually became partners in the jewellery business and also in a host of other ventures over the years. “We’ve had a go at a few things. Coatsy and I had a go at farming possums – that failed dismally. I’ve had goats and reared calves.” As an twenty year old Kevin Schuck bought fifteen acres at Longbush just outside of Invercargill and that lead to his involvement with horses. “I had some money put aside to put in some drainage tiles. I didn’t know the front end from the back end of a horse. Russ said ‘would you like to make a bit of money’ so we put $600 ($300 each) for a place on a galloper. It was the first bet I ever had. It paid $2.40. For the next week and a half I didn’t leave the Northern TAB thinking this was an easy lark. I was just betting on their names and form. After a week and a half I‘d earned $600 to $700 but after that, it all went pear shaped and has been ever since. ”   Kevin also worked in The Gold Room on the West Coast for seven months in the late 1980s and one horse he vividly remembers at the time was Besta Kara which won three races for Bill Cummings and a further six for Doody and Kevin Townley. The Gold Room was owned by Rhett Robinson who owned a mine in the area and turned gold nuggets into jewellery. “After I left he got into breeding in a big way.” Robinson and his daugther Fiona bred Village Green under the Aird-righ Bloodstock Limited banner. She was by Tuapeka Knight out of Totara Road and won three races. They also bred from Village Green with her best foal being Indy Village which was by In The Pocket and won seven races when trained by Robbie Holmes. The first horse Kevin owned was a galloper called Mr Jay Jay (Palatable – Miss Jumbo Jet) which was trained by Longbush trainer Kelly Thompson. Mr Jay Jay had three starts for an 8th, 6th and 15th before breaking a leg at the trials. One of his next ventures in the galloping game was through his brother Stephen who had a bit to do with local trainer Cecil Beckett (trainer of Wellington Cup winner Ed). “I ended up buying Ravensdale off Cecil. Dad and I went halves in her and we bred a couple of Codeenes. We also bred a colt called Fast Forward which Cecil wanted to buy but Dad and I hung onto it. I ended up swapping a car for Dad’s share. I gave him a Mitsubishi Tredia Turbo for his half. He drove the car for about 15 kilometres before the turbo blew up. He was very sour about that and probably still is.”    Ravensdale was by Grey Gull out of Game Girl.  Fast Forward won once, at Gore in October 1994. Trained by Lenny Casey who shared in his ownership he was sold to Macau for $25,000. “To be fair galloping was not my go. In general if you want to get to the top in galloping you have to go to the top sires which cost more. That’s why I got into trotting.” Thus Schuck switched gaits. His first Standardbred winner was pacer Barbed Wire; a Majestic Chance gelding out of Lively Air which ended up winning four races from Murray Brown’s stable. The horse’s first win was at a Southland OTB trial in December 1991 when driven by junior driver Richard Stevens. Kevin’s interest in trotters started to develop. “Because there’s less of them you’ve got a better chance of getting a winner. The game has changed now, they’re going that quick. Going back twenty years you just needed something that could just trot all the way and if it stayed down you’d generally get a cheque. That’s changed and they’ve got to have speed now. That’s the French and American influence coming through.”    The first trotter he raced was Dean’s Pride which was bred by John Lischner who initially trained the Game Pride gelding. His only win in twenty five starts was for Murray Brown at Forbury in January 1991 driven by Henry Skinner. “I remember Wattie Muir walking past and saying to Russ and I ‘there we are boys you’ve had your win.’ Schuck said he and Coats didn’t understand what he meant. However he now says “I saw what he meant. It was his only win. It’s not that easy this game.” Schuck also raced Sundon trotter Don Pauli which won two races for Brian Norman after stints with Kevin Townley and Alan Paisley. Don Pauli also raced in America trotting a mile in 1-55.2 and winning another eight races there. Schuck also raced Don Pauli’s full brother Son Of Elgin and half-brother Leonard. Leonard, a Chiola Hanover gelding and the second foal of Elgin Princess, was initially trained by Townley but won his four races for Paisley who shared in the ownership with Schuck and JF Smith. He was exported to Australia and won another four races there. Elgin Princess the winner of six races was out of Elgin Lady which won five. This family goes back to Desmond’s Pride mare Bettagain whose best two foals were Cee Ar (11 wins) and Tronso (10 wins). Tronso is the second dam of Elgin Princess. Cee Ar, trained by Roderick DeFilippi, raced in the mid to late 1970s when there were a host of very good trotters including Easton Light, Waipounamu, Screws Loose, Bachelor Tom, Frontier, Edis Nova, Dupreez, Robyn Evander, Castleton’s Pride, Petite Evander and Nigel Craig. Cee Ar’s best wins were in the 1974 Rowe Cup and the 1975 New Zealand Trotting FFA. Schuck bred from Elgin Princess from 2004. The mare left Muscle Yankee colt Leave It Alone which won once from twelve starts, Lady Eileen (Armbro Invasion) which was unraced and Mr Mayfly (Earl) which won six races here and a further eight in Australia. He’s still racing in South Australia. Mr Mayfly was Elgin Princess’s last foal but Kevin continues to breed from Lady Eileen. Her first foal was the talented De Vito which has won five races and has had stints with Southern trainers Billy Heads and Nathan Williamson. He was then trained in the north by Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett but has since returned to Southland where Robert Wilson will train him. “There’s always been something niggling at him. He’s a head tosser.” Lady Eileen has since left foals by Continentalman, The Pres, Angus Hall, Dream Vacation and Bacardi Lindy. The Bacardi Lindy colt named Napoleon Bonaparte was bred by D.R.Beckingsale. Schuck also ended up breeding from another branch of the family, Elgin Princess’s first foal Sylvia Star. “Kevin (Townley) offered me a couple of mares to breed from and I ended up taking Sylvia Star. I wanted to go to Chiola Hanover and Kevin had a service to him which he wasn’t keen on using. I leased Sylvia Star off him for one season and bred Cochy Bondhu. I went back to Kevin a few years later and ended up buying Elgin Princess. I must have had too much money back then when I was young.” Sylvia’s Star has left a host of winners including Constar (7), Mitchell (5), The Promise (6), Lenny B (4 New Zealand and 20 USA wins) War Spirit (2 New Zealand and 4 Australia including the Group One Breeders Crowns for three year old colts and geldings). During the early years he also bought into trotting royalty with the purchase of Sundon’s Sister – a half-sister by Gee Whiz II to Sundon. “When we got her home we found out she had a condition called Bog Spavin (soft swelling on the medial surface of the hock joint). Dick Prendergast trained her. She ended up winning one race but she cost a shit load of money. I thought I’d put her in foal to Call Me Now. Kevin Townley leased that foal off me but it died in a thunderstorm, snapping its neck.”              Schuck shared in the ownership of Sundon’s Sister with Russell Coats and two other jewellers Bas O’Connell and Ian Shackley. Her win was at Invercargill in October 1996. She was exported to Australia in August 1999 but never raced over there. She did leave Likeaplayboy (Dream Vacation) which won 24 of its 104 starts and banked $96,669.00 for his owners. Two of Sundon’s Sisters’ daughters have bred on. Springhasprung has left a couple of handy types in Miss Cully (Great Success) which has won four races and Aussie Beach Blonde (Bacardi Lindy) which has won six. Another daughter Sister Ra has left I’m Princess Sophie which has won 14 races and ran second in the 2017 Group Two South Australian Trotters Cup at Globe Derby. So in total Schuck is breeding from four: Lady Eileen, Streaming Sunbeam, Overcast and Cochy Bondhu. Cochy Bondhu (Chiola Hanover – Sylvia Star) won four races and has left Overcast (9 wins), Coppertone Lad (1 win) and Over The Love (3 wins from just 8 starts). Schuck says Over The Love, which is by Love You, has shown plenty of potential for Canterbury trainer Ken Barron. “Another one which I can’t take the credit for is Over The Love. Frank Marrion and I did a one for one swap. I bred Coppertone Lad and he bred Over The Love. Frank didn’t do the paperwork and left Cochy Bondhu in my name so I’m getting all the credit for it (Over The Love) which I shouldn’t be.” As an owner his most successful trotter to date has been Overcast, a Sundon mare which finished racing this season winning nine races for him and trainer Alan Paisley. She was served by Majestic Son but didn’t hold so she’ll be served by Love You this season. Other foals out of Cochy Bondhu are a colt by Dream Vacation called Cochy Malc which Ken Barron bought as a weanling and a Father Patrick colt named Father On Down. He’s also breeding from Streaming Sunbeam which he brought in 2011. “After I sold Sundon’s Sister I got a bit more money and thought bugger this I want to get back into that breed. I bought Streaming Sunbeam which was by Armbro Invasion out of A Touch Of Sun. Streaming Sunbeam was a very average horse but had very strong genetics.”   She was trained over a 20 start career by Alan Paisley and Billy Heads and her best two runs were for Paisley - a second and a third. Bred by Dennis Bennett and Linda Joyce, A Touch Of Sun won five races and is out of elite broodmare Sungait Song the dam of champion trotter and sire Sundon (27 wins), Arnsong (9 wins), Roydon Arnie (9 wins), Sungait Reb (15 wins) and Sunning (8 wins). Streaming Sunbeam’s foals to date are; Spotlight The Valley (Skyvalley), Danangus Fella (Angus Hall colt) and Steaming Live (Muscle Mass filly).  She’s just foaled to Sundon. Ross Jones with Streaming Sunbeam and her day old Sundon foal - Photo Supplied Of the four broodmares he’s breeding from he’s most excited about progeny out of Overcast. “Because there’s a chance we could breed something pretty smart. There wouldn’t be too many mares that have Sundon, Gee Whiz II and Chiola Hanover in their pedigree. Without a standout there’s some still nice racehorses in there and I think the first five or six generations are all race winners.” With a host of stallions to choose from Schuck says it’s becoming more difficult to match his mares. “Every year I have everything worked out on paper, then I listen to people and read books and then my breeding theory just goes out the back door. We are spoilt here for what we can get now. There are just so many new stallions coming through and you’ve got to weigh up the cost. You also have the same problem as all breeders have – are these stallions going to be in vogue in two years’ time? Even if you’re not breeding for the sale you still want to try and breed a commercial race horse that if it shows potential you can sell and even as a weanling there’ll be interest from trainers to buy it.” Schuck has decided to send all his mares to Love You this coming season – at this stage. “The best value for money, in my mind is Love You. If you look at the rest of the world there’s no doubt that Muscle Hill is up on a pedestal at the moment. If I had the money though Muscle Hill would perhaps be worth a punt.” Some consideration was given to what he reckons are two underrated stallions in Majestic Son and Bacardi Lindy. “The thing with my breed is that most of the progeny get better with time. With Love You you can’t beat the statistics. For eight grand you’re getting what was the best in the world. I know it’s not there now but he’s still right up there.” Although Kevin has been to the national sales as a buyer he’d love to return as a seller but is just biding his time, aware that it’s an exact science. “If we can get a Love You out of Overcast we’d consider it. They’ve got to be 100 percent correct or you’re wasting your time. Until we get something that’s 100 percent we’ll just have to keep chipping away.” As a breeder he says the Rowe Cup is the race he’d most like to win but it’s just as big a thrill seeing a horse win a maiden race. “When I was getting started the Rowe Cup at the time was the prestige race to win as a trotter but there’s so many others now.” Schuck is one of the few in the south breeding just straight trotters. He’s become a student of pedigree but remains very much hands off when it comes to horses. “I’d rather walk a cow around. Mike Brown (who was a well know Southland vet) once said ‘if you’re not confident with a horse don’t go near them because you’ll get hurt.’ No one has ever taught me and at 55 I have no desire to start learning now either. Better to stick to my jewellery.”   Bruce Stewart

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Border rivalry will be to the fore when the What The Hill Drivers Challenge takes place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Friday (23 November). The challenge repeats last year’s successful format where a team of six from North of the Waitaki took on a team from South of the Waitaki. The North of the Waitaki team took the team honours on that occasion spearheaded by a former Southlander now domiciled in Canterbury, Gavin Smith, who took the Individual honours. However both teams were tied on points going into the final heat so it was a close run thing. As the defending champion Smith returns as part of the north team this year joined by Ricky May, Blair Orange, Samantha Ottley, Tim Williams and Jim Curtin. Attempting to wrest the silverware back onto this side of the Waitaki is the South of the Waitaki team led by the Williamson brothers – Nathan, Matthew and Brad along with Brent Barclay, Craig Ferguson and Allan Beck. The invited drivers compete in four heats with points allocated to the first five home on each occasion with 10 points for a win, 7 for second, 5 for third, 3 for fourth and 1 for fifth. Each driver receives the points they accumulate towards finding an individual champion while their points also go into their teams score to find the champion team. The event is a twilight meeting with the first race timed to start at 3.38pm. It is a perfect night to come out and enjoy some top class racing. Admission to the course will be free. One punter will take home a meal voucher from Level One Restaurant & Bar in Invercargill when a draw of all losing on course tote tickets is made after Race 6 while also after race 6 all children on course receive a free bag of lollies.   HRNZ Marketing
Alexandra Park - Friday 23 November Christmas At The Races popular as ever Alexandra Park’s eight Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings set down for November and December are selling fast but there’s still time. “Our three November evenings are probably where we’ve got the best availability. However individuals, businesses and organisations need to book now to avoid disappointment,” says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. The 2018 Christmas At The Races evenings will take place on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 8 and 15 December. The incredibly popular nights are promoted as the perfect work Christmas party with a gourmet buffet, stunning décor, and great entertainment including a visit from Santa himself!. Holly packages remain available from $70 per person, as do the delightful Mistletoe packages at $115 with the option of track-view dining outside on the Epsom Balconies. Also, still available are the premium Pohutukawa packages in the Tasman Room from $140 which include a premium drinks package. However, Pohutukawa packages in Alexandra Park’s level five Top of the Park venue, priced from $165, are now limited but with some availability still on 16 November and 21 December. Ms Visser says regardless of the hospitality package, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can-eat Christmas-style buffet. She says Alexandra Park’s exclusive President’s Suite can also be hired for private parties, with availability remaining on both 16 and 30 November as well as 21 December. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. 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 Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:  ajamieson175@gmail.com If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email on dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or give us a call on 09 631 1165   Invercargill HRC - Friday 23 November TOP DRIVERS SET FOR BORDER CLASH AT ASCOT PARK RACEWAY    Border rivalry will be to the fore when the What The Hill Drivers Challenge takes place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Friday (23 November). The challenge repeats last year’s successful format where a team of six from North of the Waitaki took on a team from South of the Waitaki. The North of the Waitaki team took the team honours on that occasion spearheaded by a former Southlander now domiciled in Canterbury, Gavin Smith, who took the Individual honours. However both teams were tied on points going into the final heat so it was a close run thing. As the defending champion Smith returns as part of the north team this year joined by Ricky May, Blair Orange, Samantha Ottley, Tim Williams and Jim Curtin. Attempting to wrest the silverware back onto this side of the Waitaki is the South of the Waitaki team led by the Williamson brothers – Nathan, Matthew and Brad along with Brent Barclay, Craig Ferguson and Allan Beck. The invited drivers compete in four heats with points allocated to the first five home on each occasion with 10 points for a win, 7 for second, 5 for third, 3 for fourth and 1 for fifth. Each driver receives the points they accumulate towards finding an individual champion while their points also go into their teams score to find the champion team. The event is a twilight meeting with the first race timed to start at 3.38pm. It is a perfect night to come out and enjoy some top class racing. Admission to the course will be free. One punter will take home a meal voucher from Level One Restaurant & Bar in Invercargill when a draw of all losing on course tote tickets is made after Race 6 while also after race 6 all children on course receive a free bag of lollies.   Geraldine TC - Saturday 24 November. Entry to this race day is free for owners, owners have been sent an email with details about the free entry and race book available for owners. The club will also be hosting owners hospitality before each race. For full information on the day please visit the Race Day office.   Banks Peninsula TC - Sunday 25 November At Motukukara Racecourse.    Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc Update Fantastic news Harness racing enthusiasts and participants. The Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club can confirm that our 2019 Racing License has been recently granted by the NZ Racing Board for Friday 1st February and Sunday 3rd February to be held on the MAIN OUTSIDE TRACK of the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki. This is North Island GRASS TRACK harness racing at its very best. A successful galloping race meeting was held last Thursday on the Otaki Maori Race course and the track came through with ‘flying colours’ , after extensive drainage work and grass reseeding of the surface. By February 2019 we expect the grass track to offer a near “perfect” racing surface for all HARNESS participants.   The Club anticipates that stakes will be on a par with our 2018 meeting, being $9,000 per race , with the Wellington Trotting Cup run on the Friday with a stake of $12,000 and the Otaki Cup run on the Sunday for $12,000.[ These stakes were the highest of any North Island Grass track harness meeting in 2018]. There will be 10 races programmed each day.   The usual Kapiti hospitality will be on offer for all industry participants and owners. We welcome you all with open arms on the Kapiti Coast at Otaki Racecourse in early February 2019. Chris Craddock Vice President Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club Inc. 027 410 2420         Southern Harness News  A TON OF FEED TO BE WON Thanks to McMillan Equine Feeds, there is a ton of feed to be won during the 2018/2019 Southern Harness Racing season. At every Sunday race meeting during the season the trainer of every race winner will win a free bag of McMillan Equine Feeds. At the conclusion of the Wyndham Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 18 November all trainers who have won a race on a Sunday up until that time will get one entry into a draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds. The competition then starts afresh with the trainer of each Sunday race winner for the remainder of the season getting one entry into a new draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds to be held after the Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 3 March. That is one ton of McMillan Equine Feeds up for grabs! Southern Harness Racing thanks McMillan Equine Feeds for their generous support. QUALIFYING DATES: Sunday 16 December Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 6 January Wyndham HRC - Cromwell Sunday 3 February Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 17 February Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 3 March Invercargill HRC - Invercargill    HRNZ Marketing
Some of the world’s best young harness racing drivers have arrived in Queensland ahead of the 2018 Garrard’s Australasian Young Driver’s Championship to be staged in Brisbane between Thursday and Saturday. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said if last year’s series was anything to go by, the 2018 edition would provide plenty of thrills.  “The drivers from across Australia and New Zealand are not only recognised as the best young talents in harness racing, but as some of the most well-known names in the sport,” he said. “The 10 drivers have amassed a combined 2359 winners and more than $15 million in stakes, despite all being aged under-25.” The series returns to Queensland for a second-straight year where defending champion and Queenslander Narissa McMullen will join cousin and leading Queensland driver Nathan Dawson to try and keep the trophy in the Sunshine State. The points-based series will be determined over nine heats (four at Redcliffe on Thursday, two at Redcliffe on Friday and the final three heats at Albion Park on Saturday) with the leading point-scorer earning themselves glory for their state or country and, a new Rio Mark 2 sulky thanks to major sponsors Garrard’s – long-time supporters of harness racing in Queensland. Mr Brick said the young drivers had again agreed to throw their support behind a charity through the donation of their driver’s fees and raising funds throughout the series. “This year the young drivers will be racing in support of Youngcare,” he said. “The drivers will visit a Youngcare facility to meet some of the residents during their stay in Brisbane and have set a fundraising goal of at least $4000 to help provide appropriate housing for young people with high care needs.” The drivers will be welcomed to Queensland at an opening function at the famous Breakfast Creek Hotel – just steps away from the Albion Park club – on Thursday morning. To follow the series head to www.racingqueensland.com.au or follow Racing Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@racing_qld) or the event Twitter handle @AustralasianYDC               Driver State Drives Wins Places Stakes ($) Narissa McMullen QLD 6139 669 1345 $3,658,885 Deni Roberts   WA 1221 83 243 $697,257 Chris Geary   NSW 3711 501 914 $4,369,376 Nathan Dawson QLD 4688 549 1045 $2,549,854 Jack laugher   TAS 901 74 185 $555,994 Darby McGuigan VIC 1298 135 333 $929,157 Jayden Brewin   SA 1246 154 314 $664,869 Benjamin Butcher NZ (Nth Island) 1374 103 260 $988,218 Sheree Tomlinson NZ (Sth Island) 976 75 145 $840,111 Alicia Harrison   NZ (Nth Island) 128 16 22 $142,387   Racing Queensland
Harness Racing New Zealand and Flair are proud to announce the Contribution to theTeal Pants Campaign Award. The award proudly sponsored by Flair will be awarded to the NZ female driver who's contribution to the 2019 Teal Pants Campaign is above and beyond. The award will recognise hard work contributing to the campaign and going the extra mile to publicize and support the cause.  The Teal Pants Campaign will run from February 1st to March 10th 2019 and nominations will be taken throughout this period. Nominations for this award can be sent to courtney@hrnz.co.nz or 0276364355 with the drivers name and why they deserve the award. Nominations will go forward to the Flair Committee and the winner will be announced via the HRNZ Website & Social Media Channels by 22nd March. The winner of this award will also receive a trophy courtesy of Flair.    Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc  
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