Day At The Track

The final stage of the 2018 Airpark Canterbury Cadet of the Year competition is upon us with the four finalists excelling in all of their regional challenges.   Representing Canterbury is the regional winner Ben Hope. Ben, a finalist last year, was a convincing winner who scored highly in all three components of the regional competition.   Travelling up from the Deep South to contest the title this year will be Ellie Barron, the Southern regional winner and the Northern regional winner Luke Whittaker will also make the trip down.   This year along with the three regional winners, the next highest score from all of the competitors would advance through to the final. Olivia Thornley, also from Canterbury, took these honours and will be joining her four counterparts.   All four finalists have displayed a comprehensive range of skills in their horsemanship, driving and all-round general knowledge to set the stage for an exciting and competitive final.   They will now battle it out for the right to call themselves the Airpark Canterbury Cadet of the Year.   The final competition has been designed to call on not only the contestant’s equine knowledge but to also challenge the finalists in a diverse range of practical, theoretical and technical tasks.   Each phase of the competition will be evaluated and marked and the Cadets will earn points for each task based on performance, accuracy and speed. The final will be held throughout Christchurch on Wednesday the 25th of July.   The winner will be announced at the 2018 Annual Harness Racing Awards Function on Saturday the 29th of September this year to be held at Alexandra Park.   For any further information please contact Natalie Gameson on 03) 964 1193 or   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc      

Christen Me N, Nike Franco N, Kept Under Wraps A, Anythingforlove A, Sky Major N, Lazarus N, among many other champions who raced in Australia and or New Zealand before making their way to North America. Aside from their gifts of gait speed and racing racing ability they also brought with them an incredible power,  they united two harness racing industries in two hemispheres. I am have been fortunate to see some of these now North American harness racing champions and sit along the rail to watch them race. I am always captivated by their racing ability. I have even had the chance to meet a few of them up and I am always a little star-struck when I do. I find it inspiring how people have been brought together because of these horses. I wonder if in adjusting to a new climate, new people and new routines if these champions realize how they have positively impacted the global harness racing industry? Personally, I have made new friends and made existing friendships stronger because of these champions. Here are my stories on some of the former  “Down Under” champions, racing in North America and the amazing friendships I made because of them. He was known as the “the Prince” when he faced Terror To Love, at tracks across his native New Zealand. Chances are you do not who I am talking about, unless you are involved in New Zealand racing or are like me and follow it. But, in the barn and with those that knew him best, he was “CC”. When the news broke that Christen Me N would be coming to race in the United States, I have to admit I was both thrilled and disappointed.  I have a soft spot for Christen Me N because he was the first New Zealand bred horse I took an interest in after I met his former driver Dexter Dunn in Ireland in 2016. I was thrilled because this meant I would have the opportunity to watch him race, but I also knew that he would be greatly missed by many in New Zealand. Then, I remembered that him coming to the North America meant friendships would be created and that was a good thing. He would be showcasing the very best of New Zealand racing talent, in the place some argue is the pinnacle of harness racing- the United States of America. Upon arrival in the United States, Christen Me N was placed in the care of Jim King Jr. and Joann Looney -King. I looked forward to the day that I would get to meet the famous “C.C”. One day in early summer of 2017, I got my opportunity because he was entered to race at what was at that time Mohawk Racetrack .That afternoon, I stopped by the farm where the King’s were stabling to see him in addition to some other horses they had racing in Ontario. As I arrived, Christen Me N was coming in from the paddock. He was so regal, standing there in the warmth of the sunshine while I admired him. I was at a loss for words and he looked like he knew what I was feeling. I got a little closer and he bowed his head, allowing me to stroke his face, and give him a kiss. Meeting him is an experience I will remember and cherish. That night he raced at what is now Woodbine- Mohawk Park, and of course I cheered. However, I was cheering him on for his fans in the southern hemisphere too. He unfortunately did not win that night, but just to be able watch him race live was a thrill for me.  When I posted the pictures from our visit and of him racing the following day; my social media buzzed. I received comments about how he was doing and how his race went and a few friend requests from people in New Zealand. The photos were also shared by people in New Zealand. Knowing that the small gesture of posting a few pictures meant a great deal to so many people warmed my heart. Next is my story of the horse who inspired this story- Nike Franco N. Nike Franco N is also is the care of Joann and Jim King Jr. I first met her on that same visit that I met ¨C.C” and she also raced on that same night. When she began racing in North America, a person by the name of Amanda Grieve was always tagged in many posts on Twitter (tweets) about Nike Franco N. So, after I met Nike Franco and posted the pictures of us, I decided to send her a message and find out she loved this mare. It turned that when Nike Franco N raced in Australia, Amanda was the caretaker for top mare and trained her for a period of time too.  Now Amanda and I talk every couple of weeks.Our friendship is all thanks to Nike Franco N. If it was not Nike Franco N being sold to American interests there is a very good chance that Amanda and I never would have met.  Earlier this season, when Nike Franco N raced in Canada in the Roses Are Red elimination and final, I video chatted with Amanda from the rail at Woodbine- Mohawk Park and I turned the camera so she could see the race, even though she lives on the other side of the world we were both cheering on Nike Franco N who she affectionately calls “Darling”.  It was truly a special opportunity for me and one I will cherish forever. In a recent conversation with Amanda,  she said something that tugged at my heartstrings and I felt was fitting for the sentiment of this very story. She said, “You get very attached to them. Especially working with them every day. And travelling with them too. Yes, I do miss her. But, I am still watching her race now.”  I can sympathize with how she feels, I would feel the same it was a horse I cared about. But, that is the great thing about social media. Nike Franco N may be across the Pacific [ocean], but the two of them are still connected through people in North America. Amanda is able to stay updated on Nike Franco N’s racing career and receive pictures is because of the friendships that Nike Franco N racing in North America has prompted. The horses that have crossed the Equator that I have also made friendships that I had before their move much stronger. Sired by Bettors Delight and foaled in 2011, Kept Under Wraps A was voted the two-year-old of the year for the state of Victoria. My friend Marcus Kirkwood owned a part of him, before Kept Under Wraps A was sold to North American interests.  I became friends with Marcus through Twitter, and when I went to Australia in February of 2017, we met in person. So, now that Kept Under Wraps A in racing in the United States, I periodically check the entries and results pages on the United States Trotting Association website to see how he is doing and then I send Marcus a message with an update. Anythingforlove A (spelled Anything For Love when racing in Australia) was bred by my friend Paul Humphreys. We became friends through social media and I also met him when I went to Australia in 2017.  When the horse had his first couple of starts in the United States, Paul and I messaged back and forth. I remember watching the race on my laptop. It was neat to be able to say “I know who bred that horse”. Anythingforlove gave us one more thing to talk about.  The story of how I got to meet Sky Major N is unique. My dad was talking with the trainer of Sky Major N, Duane Marfisi, and he it came up in conversation where he happened to be stabled, turns out we were at the same training center. When my dad told me I was elated. My filly, a future champion, was stabled steps away from a former New Zealand champion. Trevor Casey owns Sky Major N. I talk with his partner Kate Marriott often. I truly consider her a friend. During my visits with Sky Major N I gave him treats and kisses and my mom would take pictures. When I returned home I always sent Kate the pictures as soon as I could and told all about our visit.  Similarly, Trevor Casey also owned a share of the world-renowned champion, Lazarus N. Now that Lazarus N is in the United States being trained by Jimmy Takter, I send Kate all of the news and pictures I see of Lazarus. It always makes my day to send her updates of both of these champions. Every time the name of an overseas champion is printed in a North American [racing] program or their name graces a headline an “N” or an “A” is placed after their name to symbolize to everyone reading the program or the article they mentions them,  this horse is from Australia or New Zealand. I think of it as a symbol of pride.That extra letter also symbolizes the countless hours of care, hard work and dedication that the team of people looked after them in Australia or New Zealand put in that made them into the champion that now races in North America. I will forever be grateful for the friendships I have gained because of these horses. They have added so much joy to my life. I also look forward to creating many more friendships through these horses in the future. To everyone who has ever loved, taken care of, trained, owned or driven one of these now North American champions, thank you. Thank you for making these champions who they are. Without you they would not have broken the records they did, had the jaw-dropping victories they did. In addition, thank you for sharing your your champions with us here in North America. You will always be a part of who they are, no matter where in the world they race. To everyone in North America who has a horse who previously raced in Australia and New Zealand, know that these horses are extra special. I encourage you to find out who the connections were when the horse raced in Australia and or New Zealand and connect with them, if you have not already. I hope through these dual hemisphere champions you will make friendships like I have. These champions that have etched their names into greatness in both hemispheres make the big world seem a little smaller by bringing people together who are passionate about the same sport, but are oceans apart that is the power of these dual hemisphere champions. Sydney Weaver is 18 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, groom's horses, jogs them on the track, owns both a Standardbred and a Thoroughbred racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals. She will be attending Carleton University this fall in their Communications and Media Studies Honors Program. Footnote: Since I began writing this piece, Christen Me N, “C.C.” is no longer in the care of the Jim King Jr. and Joann Looney-King, he is now with other caring connections.

Just $95.00 separated the province's two leading trotters at the end of the season. The Tony Stratford trained War Machine started fifteen times for five wins and earned $43,995 while Smokey Mac trained by Brett Gray faced the starter fourteen times for six wins and banked $43,900 for his owners. If you’re picking a winner in this category there are so many angles to take. How many times did they meet? At what level did they race? What were the circumstances of the race? And there are many other factors. For the record War Machine and Smokey Mac met seven times as follows: Harness Jewels Four Year Old Ruby: War Machine 4th and Smokey Mac 8th. Group Three 4 and 5 Year Old Trotters Championship at Addington: War Machine 5th Smokey Mac 10th Wairio: Smokey Mac 1st War Machine 3rd Northern Southland: Smokey Mac 4th War Machine 9th Invercargill: Smokey Mac 1st War Machine 3rd Roxburgh: War Machine 1st Smokey Mac 5th Gore: Smokey Mac 2nd War Machine 10th   War Machine And if you’re picking Southland Trotter of the Year you’ll have to throw in two year old Full Noise who, in his debut season won first up against older horses before running second in his only other start in the Two Year Old Ruby at Cambridge. He won $25,278 in just two starts and handled the jump in class like a trotter going places. Also on the trotting front Southland based driver Sheree Tomlinson pulled off a moderate upset in the season’s biggest trot of the year the Dominion Handicap, when she reined Amaretto Son to win the Group One feature at Addington. Tomlinson is once again the province's leading junior driver.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

This week's Bookie Update thanks to Richard Wilson Thursday – Forbury Park The most popular race on the card was R4.  $2,000 on Miss Fandango @ $3.30 Top3 paid well but $3,000 Pete's Dash @ $3.50 & $3,000 Pete's Dash @ $1.60 Top3 both missed.  Plenty of money for Kate's Carrera @ $1.90 & Born To Boogie @ $2 missed the mark.  Once Complete Package got to $3.60 from his opening quote of $3, there were some decent bets landed on him. Friday – Blenheim Punters got the better of us at Blenheim on Friday despite the largest 3 bets all missing the mark.  They were $3,600 & $2,000 bets on Nandolo @ $1.40 and $3,000 on Madeleine Stowe @ $2.60.  The not so big punts were cashing in on Be Mine Tonight @ $5.50 into $4, Raison D'Etre $2.30-$2, Red Hot Poker $3.10-$2.90, Forgotten Highway $3-$2.90 and Wrangler @ $1.85 into $1.60. Friday – Auckland Another Auckland plunge came off on Friday night with Scoob Operator $5 into $3.  The best of many tickets on him was $750 @ $5.  Commando One later in the night was also a terrible result for us with the largest bet on him being $3,000 @ $5.20.  Saving the night was the upset win of Suzie Pee Jay in R5.  She was $15 out to $18 and with plenty of support for to top half of the market, she was a great result.  $3,000 Seaswift Joy @ $1.43 also missed as did $1,200 Max Phactor @ $8.80 in the same race. Sunday – Blenheim Day 2 @ Blenheim not great for us with the big punters hitting form.  $5,000 Alta Shelby @ $3.10 the best bet with $5,000 & $3,000 on Madeleine Stowe @ $2.50 and $5,000 Red Hot Poker @ $2.20 not bad either.  $2,000 Tinker Taylor @ $3.60 struck in the last & $350 Doctor Time @ $14 got the cream in R2.  Thankfully not everything went punters way.  Nandolo proved costly again with bets of $10,000 and $4,500 @ $1.45 on there. Multi of the Week: $13 & Auckland on Friday: Scoob Operator @ $2.90 Commando One @ $5 Rose Ryal @ $5.50 (Top3) Miss Blissful @ $4.50 (Top3) Returned $4,665.40 (There was the same multi for $10 except ending on Miss Blissful to win @ $30 to return $37,440) HRNZ Marketing

If anybody thinks that in harness racing the New Zealand breds are not good enough to race in North America these days, you only need to look at Yonkers Raceway last Saturday night to think otherwise. Seven of the twelve races were won by New Zealand breds; Race 2, purse $21,000 winner Ima Tragedy N 1:53.4 Race 3, purse $22,000 winner Alotbettor N 1:52.2. Second Dream Out Loud N Race 4, purse $22,000 winner Seel The Deal N 1:52 Race 5, purse $22,750 winner Beyondthesilence N 1:53.3 Race 8, purse $33,000 winner Pacing Major N 1:52.1 Race 10, purse $22,000 winner American Boy N 1:53.1 Race 12, purse $27,500 winner Mach Time N 1:53.2 Besides these winners there were twelve other New Zealand breds that raced at Yonkers the same night. They were Blow A Cloud N, Torrid Bromac N, Macintosh N, Quick As A Trick N, Sprinter N, Sammy The Bull N, Go Collect N, Mr Euroman N, Bit Of A Legend N, Mister Daytona N, Simply Sensational N and Alberto Contador N. Other New Zealand bred winners throughout North America just last Saturday night include Mainland Key N, Raksmach N, Express Stride N, Classic American N and Lightning Raider N. If you go back just one night, Friday, at Yonkers Raceway, you will find another four New Zealand bred winners, Galactic Galleon N, Bronze Over N, Glenferrie Bronte N and Change The Rulz N. Then you can add in two of the top ten polling and richest horses racing in North America this year Shartin N (US earnings $605,000, 14 starts for 11 wins and a second) and Bit Of A Legend N (US earnings in 2018 are $334,000 and lifetime $2,680,000). Other New Zealand bred winners in North America during this past week include Simple Saver N, Cyclone Kiwi N, Mighty Peruvian N, Ultra Shok N, Fearless Leader N, Emperor Montana N, Coverdndiamonds N and Brookies Prince N. Shuttling stallions Down Under has dramatically improved the entire breed in New Zealand and the results speak for themselves. One can only wonder what New Zealand's very best can do in North America and no doubt that the best performed export to date, Lazarus will hopefully show us all how much the breed Down Under has gained over the last twenty years. From Harnesslink Media  

Harness Racing New Zealand, in conjunction with the Auckland Trotting Club, are pleased to announce that on Friday 10 August an Owners Night will be held in the Tasman Room at Alexandra Park. The event is a trial and part of the HRNZ Owners Subcommittee initiatives and will be held on race night. It is free for all owners, not just those with horses competing at the race meeting.  Guests are also encouraged to bring along friends and acquaintances who are interested in finding out more about becoming an owner themselves. Owners Night will run throughout the evening and will include competitions and draws, the chance for prospective owners to win phantom shares in a racehorse competing on the night and much more. An MC will interview various owners, trainers and drivers throughout the evening and promote the various aspects of the sport and experiences of the winning connections. Potential owners can also meet with trainers and syndicators on the night to learn about how they can become part of the action. There is also the opportunity for businesses to showcase their products to owners on the night, with a small expo operating in the room. This event is part of a trial that will explore multiple aspects on the night which will be used to present ideas to clubs for future events they may hold themselves. In the attempt to encourage owners to attend their race days, with options for all clubs covered.  It is important that we canvas as many owners as possible to be able to provide accurate feedback so clubs can provide owners rewards in future. These events could be an annual event for clubs to thank those who have supported them by racing their horse with them, or they could be held on a more regular basis. Further information on the event will follow soon. If you are interested in attending, or if you are a trainer, syndicator or business who is keen to be present to promote yourself, please contact Jess Smith at Harness Racing New Zealand to register your interest –   HRNZ Marketing

Invercargill lawyer Lester Smith has a good chance of picking up a couple of categories at this season’s Southland Harness Awards. American Ideal gelding Duke Of Wellington was the province's leading stake earner and his dam Galleons Cheer looks like a strong candidate for Broodmare of the Year. Duke Of Wellington qualified at the end of October last year and in his first season of racing he started ten times and was in the money each time. He won five races, including his last four, ran second three times, and third and fourth once each. He ended his season with an impressive win in the $45,000 Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes. His seasons earnings were $54,280. His success is a credit to his trainer Lauren Pearson and his driver Brent Barclay who had him peaking at the right end of the season. In the Supremacy he raced in Smith’s name along with the Butterworth Racing Syndicate which had bought into the horse at that point. Merv and Meg Butterworth now own the horse outright and he’s currently spelling at Diane Cournane’s Grove Bush agistment farm. Venice Beach (renamed My Venice Beach), which Smith sold in March last year has also had a successful season for her dam Galleons Cheer.  The Somebeachsomewhere mare has won six races this season, $25,738 and lowered her winning mile time to 1-53.6. Another of Galleon Cheers' foals; Rise Above This, won her first start at Winton pacing a mile in 1-58.5. To cap off the season the mare's only other foal to race this season - Laszlo - (formally Dazed And Confused), also won once at Globe Derby Park. The four horses are the mare’s first four foals of racing age. Her next foal also by Somebeachsomewhere, is a yearling. The next best Southland trained stake earner was Somejoy. She won six races from ten starts and earned her connections $47,230.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Seaswift Joy could have easily been in North America instead of racing at Alexandra Park tonight and her rivals are probably going to wish she was. The open class mare has a huge rating points advantage over her five rivals and brings a strong last-start third in the Jewels to tonight’s main pace.  But trainer James Stormont says the four-year-old could easily have been gone by now. “She was in the late stages of a deal to be sold to North America but it fell through,” says Stormont.  “I think she will do a good job in the mares races here next season but she will soon be going back to Malcolm (Shinn) and he will train her for next season.”  Seaswift Joy is both tough and fast and while she has the outside barrier tonight it doesn’t look a particularly quick front line so it wouldn’t surprise to see her press forward at the start, maybe following a key rival like Max Phactor across to get handy.  But even if she gets back in the field, unless she is last on a slow pace, she is clearly the one to beat over the 1700m.  “She missed a very small bit of work when she was close to being sold but the way she worked on Wednesday she is ready,” said Stormont.  She could help Stormont to a good night because while he only has three drives the two others also look winning chances.  Stormont took over training Sunny Pegasus from Richard Brosnan when he moved to Australia and won fresh up with him. He goes up in grade tonight but it is not an intimidating jump and he looks at least as each way hope. And Stormont says How Great Thou Art (race four) shouldn’t be too disadvantaged by having a worse drawn that last Friday.  “He is still very green so I think the chance to settle him in the field won’t do him any harm and he has a good turn of speed.” MIchael Guerin

Southland based owners have had a big season albeit with horses that were generally trained outside the province. Leading the charge was Lochiel owner Pauline Gillan who shares in the ownership of New Zealand Derby winner Sheriff and New Zealand Messenger and Four Year Old Emerald winner Eamon Maguire. She also had a share in Thefixer. Horses she raced this season won a total of $378,457.00. Pat Kubala's name was also to the fore. The Gore based principal of Charlton Park Enterprises Limited owns Pat’s Delight which beat Sheriff in the Three Year Old Emerald on Harness Jewels Day at Cambridge. Sheriff won five races and $186,344 while Pat’s Delight won six races and $171, 313. Their clash in the New Zealand Derby was one of the highlights of the season. Sheriff beat Pat's Delight by a nose running the 2600 metre mobile in a new New Zealand Record of 3-05.4. The New Zealand Derby and Three Year Old record for this distance has been broken in each of the past three years. Last year Vincent ran 3-06.0.The year before that Lazarus broke the record running 3-08.5 and in 2015 Have Faith In Me recorded 3-09.2. Pauline Gillan (second from right) after Eamon Maguire's win in last seasons Supremacy - Photo Bruce Stewart. Normally both Pat's Delight and Sheriff would have been well in contention to be named New Zealand Three Year Old of the Year. However Chase Auckland which won eight of his nine races and banked $392,329 is likely the leading candidate. It’s also worth mentioning Gore Harness Racing Club President Kenny Baynes who had a share in a good number of winners this season. War Admiral, War Machine, Royal Bengal, Especial, Envious, Too Cool, Full Noise and Convair Hustler. Collectively they won seventeen races. All horses bar Royal Bengal, were trained in Southland. Baynes had three starters in this season's Harness Jewels while Pauline Gillan had two. Other Southland owners to have a good season were Lindsay and Ian Thomson and Neville Cleaver. The Thomson's own Six Diamonds (2), Vintage Cheddar (2), Ossessione (1), Kilowatt Kid (3), Lawrence (2) and Chilli Franco (1).  Cleaver's winners include Franco Santino (4), Sundon's Wish (4), Foo Fighter (2), Scarlett Lane (2) and Sheezamonarchy (1).  Bruce Stewart

Harness Racing Victoria today announced prizemoney for the 2018 Inter Dominion (ID) series of races.   For pacers, the prizemoney will be distributed across three rounds of three heats ($30,000 per heat), a $50,000 Consolation Final and a $500,000 Group 1 Grand Final, while for trotters there will be three rounds of two trotting heats ($20,000 a heat) and a $150,000 Group 1 Grand Final.   Harness Racing New South Wales and Harness Racing New Zealand confirmed the same prizemoney for Inter Dominion finals over the following two years.   The ID hosts acknowledged the importance of maintaining the Inter Dominion’s position as Australasia’s premier harness racing series, while also committing to a financially sustainable model that ensures its survival.   Speaking on behalf of the ID hosts, HRV CEO David Martin said: “By working together we have ensured the future for the Inter Dominion series at a level that the three jurisdictions can afford.   “The Inter Dominion brand and tradition is an essential part of the Australasian harness racing industry. Our collaboration means we can all continue to celebrate our champions and feature their battles to hold the illustrious title of Inter Dominion champion.   “From the first night of heats this year on 1 December through to the final on 15 December, HRV will deliver an event that re-engages past trots-lovers and attracts new fans to our international sport.”   For the first time in 10 years Victoria will host the Inter Dominion, with both trotters and pacers being featured.   Cody Winnell 

The New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Association welcomes the arrival of New Zealand Bloodstock into the harness racing community.   You read that right.   Last Thursday the New Zealand harness racing industry was delivered the news that New Zealand’s leading bloodstock company was entering the Standardbred market.   The feedback since has been overwhelmingly positive. Breeders, vendors, purchasers and horsemen and horsewomen have all been quick to rejoice.   This comes as no surprise given in recent years, many breeders had voiced concerns surrounding the direction and future of the only platform they had to sell young bloodstock in New Zealand.   Marketing of the sales, health & safety concerns, along with a declining buyer bench were some of the pertinent issues at hand for vendors.   The future is now a lot clearer, and that future looks to be with NZB Standardbred.   “We have plans to take this to a whole new level – it won’t just be business as usual,” said New Zealand Bloodstock’s Managing Director Andrew Seabrook this week.   “Sir Peter Vela (one of two brothers who established New Zealand Bloodstock in the mid-90s headquartered at the world-class Karaka Sales Centre) is really excited by the challenge and the opportunity to grow the company.”   With access to a range of proven bloodstock, finance, airfreight and insurance services, and increased promotion to domestic and international markets, the harness racing community is assured of a company working in their best interests on several fronts.   Seabrook says NZB prides itself on its lease-to-own scheme and its in-house finance division.   “All I know is our business got a huge shot in the arm in 1997 when, after being purchased by the Vela brothers, we opened up a credit arm and started financing both short and long-term.   “We see it as a pretty significant part of our thoroughbred business, giving people an opportunity to secure their future breeding stock, and it has been a very successful endeavor for us.   “For young trainers, especially, this will significantly change their approach to the sales,” commented Seabrook.   “After the 2017 Sales, breeders asked the NZBSA to advocate for changes with PGW,” said NZSBA Chairman John Mooney.   “The primary concerns were around the lack of marketing and the diminishing small buyers bench. We are confident that the NZB ‘machine’ will address these issues aggressively.   “They are a company whose sole focus is selling horses. Andrew Seabrook and his team have made it clear to ‘The Breeders’ that they will leave no stone unturned when supporting vendors.”   New Zealand Bloodstock has an illustrious track record of success as the source of New Zealand champions to the global thoroughbred market.   The New Zealand Standardbred is a world class equine athlete capable of dominating on the world stage.   The Australians know it, so too the North American industry.   NZB’s Andrew Seabrook is also aware of the dominance of the New Zealand Standardbred.   “Obviously, the thoroughbred breeding industry is much more aligned to international markets and the yearling sales rely heavily upon those buyers.   “But when one market dries up you have to try and develop other markets and we have people employed to do that.   “I think the New Zealand Standardbred has probably been more successful than the thoroughbreds in Australia in recent times and that’s something which should be promoted.   “The American market especially, looks to have been neglected in recent years.   “But with some good New Zealand-bred horses up there like Lazarus, we plan on making a splash in that market, too.   “We are quite excited about the future of this and are not going in to this lightly.”   Highlights   Yearling Sales: Yearlings will sell in their traditional February timeslot at both the Karaka and Christchurch venues. The entry fee will slightly increase by $50 (+GST) at each venue, however entries will be invoiced in January and deducted from the yearling sale proceeds.   There is a confirmed commitment to holding a Christchurch Sale.    Payments to vendors will be received within 30 days of sale.   Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale: A big change to the current market will be the ability to sell yearlings at the Christchurch Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale in late April – with all yearling stock going through each ring to be Sales Series eligible.   Breeders have been wanting this concept for years, and it can only be positive. Yearlings that need time or may suffer an injury close to February now have another opportunity to be sold for their vendors.   Two-Year-Old Sale: September 2019 will see a return of the Ready-to-Run format. This could potentially open a speculative buying market at both the Yearling and Weanling Sales. Particularly with NZB’s finance facilities such as pin hook funding.   Horsemen and horsewomen, and breeders have another platform to chance their arm on stock purchased or retained with a view to get them up and going for a sale at the 2YO Sale.   Finance Facilities: Through NZB’s own finance arm, pin hook funding and lease to purchase facilities on fillies and mares, purchasers will find life much easier to secure bloodstock at the Sales.   Marketing: The NZB marketing machine have already hit the ground running with digital media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already in use with the Standardbred handle.   Sales Calendar   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling Sale: Auckland Sale 17 & 18 February at Karaka Christchurch Sale 19 & 20 February at Canterbury Agricultural Park Entries Open: 01 July Entries Close: 01 August   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale: Christchurch Sale, 29 April   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Weanling & All Age Sale: Auckland Sale at Karaka, May - date tbc   2019 New Zealand National Standardbred 2YO Sale: Christchurch Sale, September - date tbc     Brad Reid New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Association  

Four meetings are programmed in again this week, starting with the Forbury Park meeting in Dunedin tonight. Marlborough hold the first of a two day meeting tomorrow in Blenhiem and Auckland race tomorrow night. The weekend harness racing heads back to Marlborough for their second day on Sunday.   Last week the biggest winning dividend in the ringaround selections went to Rory Mcllwrick who thought Machie Mach would go close to winning at Forbury last Friday night. Machie Mach did win and paid $9.20 and $2.30 on the tote.  The TAB have again injected $10,000 into the Quaddie starting pool on races 2-5 at Auckland on Friday night.   Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Forbury on Thursday night Matthew Williamson - Matthew thinks that Majestic Rose might be his best drive this week at Forbury in Race 1 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best drive this week might be Beaudine Gambler at Forbury in Race 5 John Morrison - John says that Neverneverland would be his best drive this week at Forbury in Race 6 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks that Born To Boogie would be his best drive this week in Race 9 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane says that Glens Of Tekoa would be his best drive this week also in Race 9 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory is going for Machie Mach  this week as his best drive at Forbury in Race 10 Geoff Knight - Geoff also thought Machie Mach  would be a good chance at Forbury in Race 10   Marlborough on Friday Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard thinks that his best drive this week is Shamrock Bromac at Marlborough in Race 3 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Nandolo would be a good winning chance at Marlborough in Race 4 Ricky May - Ricky is going for Unico Legend as his best drive this week at Marlborough in Race 8 John Curtin - John thinks Wrangler would be a good winning chance at Marlborough in Race 9   Alexandra Park on Friday night Scott Phelan - Scott is going for Realmein as his best drive at Alexandra Park on Friday night in Race 1 Maurice McKendry - Maurice says his best drive would probably be Trinity Bromac in Race 2 Racechat - Lance thinks that Whale Rider is a good chance this week at Auckland also in Race 2 Stephen Richardson (Odds Analyst) - Stephen thinks that Lacey's Lad can go close to winning in Race 4 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks Forever Pearl would be his best chance this week at Alexandra Park in Race 7 Andre Poutama - Andre is going for Commando One as his best drive this week in Race 8   Harnesslink Media

Starting this week, Alexandra Park’s Mid-winter Christmas parties are set to be held over four consecutive Friday race nights on 22 and 29 June and 6 and 13 July with tickets still available. “Our popular annual Mid-winter Christmas parties are selling well and so if people want to secure a spot they really need to get moving,” says Alexandra Park Sales & Events Coordinator, Roxanne Visser. She says a lot of people have bought their tickets through Alexandra Park’s website with the parties appealing to groups of friends, colleagues, sports teams, and families keen to come in from the cold and have some fun in the middle of winter. “We’ve still got capacity across the four nights in the Rutherford Room where buffet tickets are just $68 per person, while the Tasman Room is filling up fast with packages from $100 per person. However, the Top of the Park packages have now completely sold out.” Described as exceptional value, the evenings include delicious all-you-can-eat carveries and buffets, spectacular harness racing under lights, and plenty of atmosphere with the rooms beautifully themed. Then after the last race there’ll be live entertainment featuring DJs Ronnie and Reggie from The Production Agency. For further information or to purchase Mid-winter Christmas tickets visit or telephone (09) 631-1165 or email Ms Visser says private rooms also remain available with both the President’s Suite and Hobson Room ideal for larger groups and showcasing excellent views of the track. General admission into Alexandra Park as well as car-parking and race books remain free on Friday night.   Cameron Brewer

New Zealand’s most successful ever horseman is finally over one of the worst injuries of his career. But don’t expect to see champion driver Tony Herlihy back at Alexandra Park tomorrow night or any time in the next month. Herlihy resumed driving fast work at his South Auckland training established this week, over five weeks after a race smash at Alexandra Park left him with ribs broken in a particularly nasty place. That ruled Herlihy — who has won more races than any other New Zealand-based driver or jockey —out of the Harness Jewels and a spectator at his own stables for much of the first month. “It took a while to get over, longer than last time I had a similar injury, but it is good to be back driving fast work,” he said. “But I am not going to rush back into race driving. I am going on holiday in a few weeks and I rather give the injured ribs that extra time to recover. “So I probably won’t be back driving on racenight for another three or even four weeks.” That will see his stable’s young reinsmen Tony Cameron and junior Luke Whittaker do the majority of his driving at what is admittedly a quieter time of the season. But Herlihy still has some major winter goals with juvenile trotter Tickle Me Pink, who is being set for an Australian campaign. The previously unbeaten filly broke for no apparent reason at the start of her Jewels final but is heading to Victoria in early August. “We are still keen to take her to the Breeders Crown, especially as there is a separate juvenile filly trotting section which she is eligible for. “So she might also go to the Redwood at Maryborough before that and could even contest her Breeders Crown heat over there in Victoria depending on how the timing works out.”  Herlihy’s stable star Temporale has also rejoined the stable after a huge season which saw him win the National Trot and finish second in two of Australia’s biggest races. That form plateaued toward the end of the season but Temporale raced like a horse still growing into his big frame and could be even better next season. “He looks like he has put a bit of muscle on and all going well we will give him a shot at Cup week in Christchurch this time in.” Michael Guerin

Forbury Park - Thursday 21 June  Forbury Park welcomes on board John Harley and the House of Travel & Orbit World Travel team as primary sponsors of a Junior Drivers Series to be run through our winter programme. The series will consist of 7 races over 4 nights with the first 2 heats run on Friday 15 June, with 2 more heats on Thursday 21 June and Thursday 28 June with the Grand Final staged on Friday 6 July. The winner driver will receive a $2000 travel voucher from House of Travel & Orbit World - but wait there’s more! Just by entering any of the heats, EVERY driver and trainer will be included into a random draw after the Grand Final with Forbury Park Trotting Club presenting a $1000 travel voucher each to a lucky driver and trainer pulled out of the hat. Your support for this series would be greatly appreciated, as is the sponsorship of House of Travel & Orbit World. Thank you John! This week Forbury host the claimer series and junior drivers series, our Bistro is also open from 4pm.   Marlborough - Friday 22 and Sunday 24 June  BACK TO BLENHEIM Good news, with the coast road now open 24/7 we are back racing at Waterlea for our upcoming two day winter meeting after last year holding one day at Addington ALL WEATHER TRACK RESURFACE Thank you to Trainers and Drivers who provided constructive feedback after our 2017 summer meeting regarding improvements needed to the track surface. We are pleased to advise that in March this year a total track resurface project was completed with the assistance of John Denton. Surplus material was removed from inside the pylon line to improve drainage, plus all of the old track surface material has been removed.  Approx 500 ton of washed crusher dust was spread on the track, this has provided consistent footing and a superior racing surface. TRAINERS VOUCHERS BACK FOR WINTER MEETING Kindly sponsored by The Grove Tavern the winning trainer of each race over our two day winter meeting will receive a $50 Grove Tavern voucher   Auckland Trotting Club - Friday 22 June  Wish or Fish Fundraiser Tasman Room Friday 20th July. A Night of Fundraising The Wish for Fish charitable trust are holding their 3rd annual fundraising night for the Wish for Fish charitable trust. Action aplenty with raffles, giveaways, a punters club ($10 per share) and a live charity auction. Tickets are $130 per person which includes an amazing food and beverage package courtesy of Alexandra Park. Visit to find out more about this great cause and help make a difference!  Even if you are unable to attend the event, you can still support this great cause by clicking here. To secure your ticket please call Bryce on 021616601 or email   Mid-Winter Christmas. Friday 22nd June, Friday 29th June Friday, 6th July and Friday 20th of July. Join us for our annual Mid-Winter Christmas Party, offering a night of exciting Harness Racing action, a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet and drinks aplenty. Mid-Winter Christmas is a great idea for a night out with colleagues, family, your sports team or social club – the more the merrier! Packages start at $68.00- $145.00   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 Andrew Jamieson – ATC Syndication Manager Tel:  + 64 9 238 9212 Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:   Addington Raceway and Event Centre Hello Everyone, $50 ALL UP PUNTING CHALLENGE – 3 CHANCES TO WIN $500.  FRIDAY 13, 20 & 27 JULY! – Simply place a $50 All Up at any of these three meetings, and if your bet has the highest return for the week, you will win an extra $500.  No limit on entries, overall winner to receive an entry into a 2018 Kiwi Punters Championship heat.  Entries and further enquires please visit; MACCA LODGE SOUTH OF THE WAITAKI WINTER WARMER SERIES IS BACK FOR ALL JULY RACE MEETINGS!  This series consists of three heats and has a total stake money of $42,000.  To be eligible for this series, horses had to be registered with HRNZ in the name of a trainer(s) based South of the Waitaki River as at 1 May through to 27 July 2018.  The series will be for 3YO and older pacers assessed up to R60 as at the closing of nominations for heat one.  The first place getters in each heat will have automatic entry into the final. For further details, please visit;, or ring Brian Rabbitt on 027 407 7234. BE IN TO WIN …. LADIES’ RACE NIGHT – FRIDAY 20 JULY. Dust off your heels, Ladies’ Night is back.  Bookings are essential due to such a great night out, PLUS BE IN TO WIN A FREE TRIP TO SYDNEY; This fabulous night out includes; Glass of bubbles on arrival Gourmet buffet dinner Entertainment throughout the night with live harness racing action and DJ Luke Demonstrations and a chance to win a $300 tailored skin care package by Caci Riccarton Opportunity to win spot prizes throughout the night including a $350 gift basket from Lancôme Losing betting ticket draw for a $1,500 escape to Sydney, courtesy of HRNZ.  Prize includes return flights for 2 and $500 spending money. Spend $10 in one transaction at the Totalisator and go in draw to win a 1 carat diamond ring, valued at $2,400, courtesy of Pascoes The Jewellers! OUR FABULOUS CUP WEEK HOSPITALITY PACKAGES ARE NOW ON SALE!  Be the first to secure one of the best spots on course and #bepartofthemagic.  For further details, please visit;  Alternatively, if you have any questions, or wish to book, please contact Joanne McMaster on, or 021 0298 5972. FRIENDLY REMINDER OF OUR ALMIGHTY MET MULTIPLIER $7,500 BONUS – HAVE YOU WON THIS YET? Be sure to remember what the Met Multiplier could mean to you when thinking about where to race your horse(s) over the coming months!   HOW DO I GET IT? - Start a horse at NZMTC Meetings a minimum of 15 TIMES over a rolling 12 MONTH period and WIN or dead heat in just ONE of these starts.  For full terms & conditions for all of the above please view UPCOMING RACE MEETING PROGRAMMES AT THE NZMTC June 29 July 5 July 13 (Tentative) July 20 (Tentative) To contact us about any of the above please call 03 338 9094 or email Take care, travel safe and we look forward to seeing you soon. From the Addington Team.   Win with the Kurow Harness Racing Club - 19 August  We have a brand new Facebook Page! Be sure to like Kurow Harness Racing Club on Facebook, like and share our competition post and you could win a $100 dining voucher thanks to Fat Sally’s Pub and Restaurant in Oamaru! Winner is drawn Friday 29 June so be quick. We will also be utilizing our Facebook page on race day to bring you race previews, interviews and aftermaths with winning connections for our 19 August annual meeting.   Motukarara Workouts and Trials Please note that following this weekend there will not be workouts held at Motukarara during May, June and July.    HRNZ Marketing

This week's Bookie Update thanks to Richard Wilson Thursday – Addington A lot of support for three Ken & Tony Barron trained runners on Thursday night.  Thankfully, 2 out of three winning avoided a disaster for us.  Bettorbeontoit was the first of them, opeing @ $2.40 into $1.95.  $3,200 @ $2.20 & $5,000 @ $2 were the largest of plenty of bets on him.  Over The Love was the other Barron winner @ $2.10 into $1.70.  $5,600 @ $1.75 the largest bet there after $1,800 @ $2.10. $2,000 @ $1.95 & $2,000 @ $1.90 had forced the price in.  Shezza GNP was the one that let us off the hook.  She was $2.10 into $1.75 with $2,000 bets @ $2 & $1.85.  Also missing the mark were $5,000 bets on Dexter Dunn in the Driver Challenge @ $1.42 and London Delight @ $3.70. Friday – Auckland Friday night a bit tougher for punters than Thursday.  The best bet was $1,000 on Sundees Sun @ $4.60.  English Rose @ $2.90 and Opoutama @ $2.60 hardly moved but maybe they should have come in as there were plenty of happy punters after their races.  The miss of the night was Classie Brigade.  He was backed as if unbeatable.  $4,400 @ $1.45, $10,000 @ $1.38 & $7,200 @ $1.35 the largest bets on him. Friday – Forbury Park $5,000 Debnita Rose @ $2.20 was the best bet @ Forbury.  She was strongly backed in from her opening $2.60 price as were the winners of the previous 2 races, Ohoka Johnny @ $2.80-$2.40 and Machs Mareta @ $4-$3.60.  A couple of big misses early in the programme where Kiwi Cusher was $4.80 into $3.40 & Motu Top Mach was very solid including a $4,000 bet @ $1.55. Sunday – Oamaru Punters finished the week with a flourish on Sunday.  Sikx of the eight winners were shorteners from their opening quotes.  The best bet was $5,000 Franco Santino @ $1.95 and a couple of $1,000 bets on Sweeney Todd @ $3.60 were pretty lucrative after some nervous moments midrace.  The biggest move of the day was the first-starter Naiya Franco $2.90 into $1.95.  Providing some relief for us was Race 5 where Aran Chief was a well backed favourite including $2,000 @ $2.90 and Red Hot Poker was $8.80 into $5.50 whilst the winner, Beond The Horizon @ $8.80 out to $10. Multi of the Week: $50 Boxed Multi on Friday night Massive Metro (7) @ $3.40 Sundees Son (U1) @ $4.20 How Great Thou Art (3) @ $2.40 (Missed) Bettor Step Aside (2) @ $3 Madison Jane (2)10 @ $3.90 (Missed) Dismara (2) @ $5.50 Machs Mareta (5) @ $4 Glenisthebettor (4) @ $3.20 (Top3) Aveross Ferrari (1) @ $3.50 (Top3) Returned $8,932.20 (even with 2 misses)   HRNZ Marketing