Day At The Track

Harness racing Kiwi duo too classy. New Zealand born, and now American based trainer Chris Ryder teamed up with fellow kiwi reins men Dexter Dunn to win the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial, with top three-year-old pacer Bettors Wish. Dunn simply outdrove the rest of the field. The pair found the front end from the three post early and ran a first half in a pedestrian 57 seconds, something unheard of in the open pacing ranks. From there Dunn knew, “If he got beat from there it would have to have been an off night”, so control was taken from that point as they blistered the last half in 53.3 to complete the mile in 1:50.3 on the half-mile track and win by 3 ½ lengths. With that victory, the 3yo son of Bettors Delight took his earnings to $1,096,600, joining the million dollar club and it was his 11th win of his career. It was also trainer Chris Ryder's 40th win of the season and notched his stake earnings to over the $1.7 million mark. Dunn continues to make a huge impact in the North American scene. Dexter has won 261 races this season and over $5.9 million in prize money to date. Top Down Under trotter Speeding Spur N bagged his first North American win impressively today Sunday the 11th of August. The 8yo son of Pegasus Spur was seen flying home to win the $148,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot at Tioga Downs, in a track record time for trotters of 1:52.4. The successful driver, Brian Sears commented after the victory, “He’s a classy horse, he knows what it’s all about” as he was extremely impressed with the Woodlands Stud owned trotter. Now trained by Linda Toscano, he promises plenty more to come in his North American career as he looks to expand his top quality reputation for a future breeding career. Previously prepared in New Zealand by John and Joshua Dickie, Speeding Spur was the winner of over $1.1 million including nine Group 1 victories across New Zealand and Australia. Sunday 4th August Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Torrid Bromac N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $7,000 Statement Made A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $14,500 Piccard A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $11,000 Our Positano N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $7,000   Tioga Downs NY Hugh Hefner N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $6,000   Monday 5th August Monticello Raceway NY Kamwood Laughter N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $5,500   Plainridge Park MA Buckeye N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $7,200 Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $14,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Glengarry Knight N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake, $16,000   Tuesday 6th August Monticello Raceway NY Power Dreaming N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $5,500 Kenrick N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $5,900   Yonkers Raceway NY Abraxas Blues N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,500   Thursday 8th August Monticello Raceway NY Lettucerocku A – Time: 1:57.3, Stake:$3,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Brookies Prince N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $14,500 Bronze Over N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,500   Friday 9th August Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Backup A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $17,050 Gold Class N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $19,750   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Queen Lostris N – Time 1:52.1, Stake: $12,500   Saratoga Harness NY Misty Memory N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $7,250 Jive Dancing A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $7,250   Yonkers Raceway NY Simply Sunsational N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $22,250 Kept Under Wraps A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $18,500 Miss You N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $30,000   Saturday 10th August Batavia Downs NY Kiwi Tintin N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $9,000 Lightning Raider N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $4,900   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Bravo Tex N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $12,500 Torrid Bromac N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $14,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Military Master A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $24,000 Mickey Gee N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $30,000   Sunday 11th August Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Mister Ohanzee A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $12,500 Our Max Phactor N – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $30,000 Bright Diamond N – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $11,000   Ocean Downs Get Outta Eyre N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $3,500   Tioga Downs NY Ascot Encounter A – Time:1:53.0, Stake: $6,000 Speeding Spur N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $148,000 Kotare Yael N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $9,000 Carter Dalgety

Canterbury harness racing trainer-driver Nigel Raymond McGrath has been cleared of a race-fixing charge arising from an 18-month industry investigation. It was the only charge McGrath, 45, faced as part of the police's Operation Inca inquiry into racing industry figures last year. Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave dismissed the charge and McGrath was able to walk away. He had no name suppression, but one aspect of the case remains suppressed. Prosecutor Karyn South told the court the Crown believed there was enough evidence but the "public interest test was not met". Defence counsel Pip Hall QC Hall said the defence position was always that there was not enough evidence for the charge to proceed. Read the full story here.   by David Clarkson Reprinted with permission of Stuff

The indecision is over and superstar pacer Tiger Tara will chase NZ Cup glory again this year. Trainer Kevin Pizzuto had refused to be drawn on plans with his reigning Inter Dominion champion, but today confirmed the NZ Cup was again his major target. “Everything now is about having at his top for NZ Cup Day,” Pizzuto said. “He’s back and going well and I’ll just take him through the free-for-alls here before we head back across to Christchurch. “He’s an older horse and I need to keep him in work, even though there aren’t any big races for him for a while.” Tiger Tara has won two of three runs back from a spell, the latest in a slick 1min53.9sec mile rate for the longer 2300m trip at Menangle in cold and very windy conditions last night. “I know he didn’t win by much, but it was a big win because the wind was so strong,” Pizzuto said. “I’m sure he’s going as well as ever and I’m still hurting over getting so close in last year’s NZ Cup without winning it.” Pizzuto has the option of heading to Melton for the $200,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup on October 12 – a race Tiger Tara won last year – but he said it’s more likely he would go across to NZ earlier than last year and have his final lead-up race over there. “That’s what I’m thinking, go over there earlier than last year. Maybe a race like Ashburton,” Pizzuto said. “If I do that, I wouldn’t take him to Victoria.” And what about defending that Inter Dominion crown in Auckland from November 29? “It’s likely, but I won’t say definite yet,” Pizzuto said. “I’m only looking as far as ahead as the NZ Cup. If he gets through that well, then I’ll look at staying over there.”   Adam Hamilton

Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) today announced that funding to clubs for the 2019-20 racing season remains unchanged (on a race-by-race basis) from 2018-19. This has been achieved due to the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) maintaining funding to the codes at a consistent level. Ken Spicer, Board Chair, said “We are delighted to be able to hold funding at existing levels and congratulate the new board of RITA for ensuring that distributions to the codes has allowed this to continue”.  All clubs are now bulk-funded by HRNZ and set their own stakes levels. It is the expectation of the HRNZ board that all clubs set stakes at a level that matches or betters the 2018-19 season. This season all clubs will pay stakes monies to the first five place getters (in line with the rating system) as well as making a payment to all starters. The minimum stake remains at $6,000 with most clubs choosing to pay well above this level. HRNZ has confirmed it will not continue with the first totalisator win supplement for the 2019-20 season. This initiative, introduced in March 2017, has largely been funded from reserves, in anticipation of new funding coming into the industry. There is an expectation that all codes will see several new sources of funding coming on stream later in the season (reduction in the Betting Levy, Race Fields, Point of Consumption) enabling a later review of this decision, however there is no certainty as to exactly when these funds will become available. “We know how popular the first winners supplement has been, however as a Board we must ensure we are acting in a fiscally responsible manner. HRNZ is keen to restore the first winners supplement as funding allows,” said Spicer.   HRNZ

Southland’s Harness Awards were presented tonight (Sunday) at a Gala dinner at Ascot Park Hotel. Unbeaten first season pacer U May Cullect took out the prestigious Horse of the Year title for owner Tom Kilkelly and trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis. The six year old is back in work and expected to return to the race track in early October. Gore trainer Ross Wilson won the Achievement of the Year award. Wilson’s stable star Robyns Playboy won six races and ran an excellent third at the end of season Harness Jewels. Christian Dreamer, owned by Vin and Daphne Devery, took out the Southland Broodmare of the Year. Amazing Dream was the mare’s outstanding performer on the track this season banking $205,467. Winter Rose was added to the Elite Broodmares Honours Board while a special award was presented to Charlie and Ailsa Smaill, owners of the prolific broodmare Janine Jaccka which has left the winners of 46 races. Southland’s leading Junior Driver Ellie Barron received an Excellence Award for her involvement as an Ambassador in the Women’s Cancer Fundraiser Team Teal. Contribution Awards were received by long time administrator and breeder Brendan Fahy and the Southland Kidz Karts group.   Here are all the winners:   Washington VC – Bryleigh Stud Southland Broodmare of the Year   Christian Dreamer (Christian Cullen – Dreamy Atom) Owners: Vin and Daphne Devery.   The dam of four horses to race this season, all winners. Catch The Dream (2) $19,070. Amazing Dream (3) $205,467 including wins in the Listed NZ Yearling Sale Two Year Old. Fillies Final, First in the Group One Caduceus Two Year Old Fillies Classic, Second in the Group One NZ Sires Stakes Two Year Old Fillies Championship and third in both the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic and Group One Two Year Old Diamond. Dream Major (1) $8,120. Chase The Dream - Now the winners $560,036 and 20 races in New Zealand, Australia and America.   Southland Harness Awards – Night N Day Southland Horse of the Year   U May Cullect - Owner: Tom Kilkelly. Recorded a new track and Southland mobile record at Winton for four year old and older geldings and entires over 1609 metres of 1-52.1. Unbeaten in his first seven races including the Listed Uncut Gems at Addington for geldings and entires and the Bluff Cup. NZB Standardbred Southland Achievement of the Year   Ross Wilson 2018- 2019 training stats: 162-15-17-15 $174,034 UDR .2357. Trained Southland leading stakes earning pacer Robyns Playboy which ran third in the $150,000 Group One Three Year Old Emerald . Recorded his 100th training win during the season when Bridesdale Robyn won at Gore. Biggest winners: Robyns Playboy (6), Bridesdale Robyn (4) and Annie Fitz (3). Elite Broodmare   Winter Rose (In The Pocket – Bella Chip) – Owner: John and Judy Stiven All of her ten foals of racing age have qualified with eight winning races. Her foals have won 47 races and $1,578,177. 2012 Southland Broodmare of the Year Award. 2014-2015 New Zealand Harness Racing Broodmare Excellence Award. Her biggest winner have been: Bettor’s Strike (16) $890,201, Southwind Arden (9) $150,127, Arden’s Choice (7) $282,296 and Rocknroll Arden (6) $172,154. Winter Roses fillies are now leaving winners – South Beach Arden (out of South Wind Arden -2 ) and Pearl Harbour (out of Arden Caviar -1).   Other Awards:   Special Broodmare Award   Janine Jaccka (Sundon – Spiritual Powers) –Owners: Charlie and Ailsa Smaill. All of her seven foals of racing age have qualified and won races. Her foals have won a total of 46 races. In all, Janine Jaccka’s foals have won $528,168. Her biggest winners have been Jaccka Jack (14) $138,746, Jaccka Justy (13) $235,467, Jen Jaccka (9) $81,473 and Jess Jaccka (5) $35,835. Southland Harness Racing Award of Excellence: Ellie Barron   Contribution to Harness Racing Recipients: BJ Fahy. Kidz Kartz Southland.   Southland’s Leading Drivers of Trotters: Nathan Williamson (16).   Southland Harness Awards – Two Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year: Cassius Bromac – MCC Syndicate; Trainer: BR Gray.   SSB Trophy (Leading Stake Earners 2018-2019): Three Year Old Filly: Allaboutdreams (M &Mrs S Little and BR Gray). Aged Race Mare: I’mallaboutthebase (SR & Mrs CJL Baucke).   New Zealand Record Holders: Melina Lowe (PD & BD Duffy) 2-53.6 2400 metres mobile 08/09/2018 – Winton. Please Shuddup (Tricode Syndicate, Tricode Number Two Syndicate and Dolce Syndicate) 2-53.3 2400 metre mobile 16/12/2018 – Winton.   SSB Fastest Mile Rate Filly/Mare 2018-2019 Shezacullengirl (M & Mrs S Little, Havtime Breeding Limited – Trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis 1-53.1 31/01/2019 – Wyndham.   1-58.0 Pins Better Galleon (CJ Murdoch, RE Wilson)               28/10/2018 Invercargill  1.57.8. English Rose (SWR Gillan) 14/09/2018 Auckland 1.57.8. Grace Burns (T Kilkelly) 08/09/2018 Winton 1.55.8. Honor And Glory (NJ & Mrs DC Cournane) 23/11/2018 Invercargill 1.57.3. Kilowatt Kid (LF Thomson, IG Thomson)               28/10/2018 Invercargill  1.56.7. Mach’s Back (MJ Little)  31/01/2019 Wyndham 1.52.5. Melina Lowe (P Duffy)  08/09/2018 Winton 1.56.4. Mossdale Art (AG Affleck) 16/12/2018 Winton 1.52.5. Mossdale Rose (AG Affleck) 22/10/2018               Ashburton 1.54.2. Mr Kiwi (BL & Mrs KE Calder) 23/11/2018 Invercargill 1.57.9. Rockabilly Blues (FJ & Mrs KV Price) 18/11/2018 Wyndham 1.55.6. Shezacullengirl (MJ Little) 16/12/2018 Winton 1.55.0. U May Cullect (T Kilkelly) 23/03/2019 Wairio 1.52.1. Vintage Cheddar (LF Thomson, IG Thomson) 17/05/2019 NZ Metro 1.55.0.   Robin Dundee Club Three Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year: Robyns Playboy: Owner: SR Wilson Trainer: SR Wilson.   Robin Dundee Club Three Year Old Filly of the Year: Swift Robyn: Owners: SR Wilson, R & Mrs HF Wilson Trainers; SR Wilson.   Caduceus Club of Southland Trotter of the Year: King Cassidy – CP Gerken, TR Davies, Miss TL Ashton Trainer: BR Gray.     Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

The Ivan Court trained Silk cleared maiden ranks at her sixth start at Gore today. The four year old Sir Lincoln mare has been placed in four of her first five starts and the win was overdue. Court said the mare can be a bit of a handful and she has got keen in some of her previous starts. She’s out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Brunswick which was unplaced in eight starts for Court. He said he was confident he’d get a win both days when he took the mare to Nelson in June, but she was unlucky on both days finishing third and fourth. At her last start at Addington she broke during the score up and missed the start by six lengths before driver Robbie Holmes took her to the lead with a lap to run. She was run down, finishing second by three quarters of a length. Silk winning her first race at Gore today                            - Photo Bruce Stewart Silk is likely to have a short break and be given light cart work to help settle her for her next set of race starts. Court predicts a good future for Silk. He says she’ll be aimed at the $15,000 Ladyship Final which will be held on the Gore track on the 12th October. Court has a Terror To Love gelding out of the mare which he says runs along nicely but is on the small side. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Local mare Elva Jaccka won her fourth race for owners Charlie and Alisa Smaill and trainer Brett Gray. The Tintin In America six year old hadn’t been sighted at early season workouts but Gray said her work during the week indicated she’d perform well today. Elva Jaccka easily                      - Photo Bruce Stewart After the early rush driver Brent Barclay had to settle Elva Jaccka three back on the inside as Star Ruler shot to the lead. At the 350 Barclay was able to move off the inside running line and was up quickly to challenge a tiring Star Ruler. Elva Jaccka just needed encouraging in the run home and Barclay didn’t have to activate the hood. The winning margin was four and three quarters of a length and her time for the 2200 metres of 2-46.6 was the fastest of the day. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Bettor’s Delight gelding Willison cemented his place in the first Nuggets Final when he won the Barclay-Ellis Racing Mobile Pace. From a second row draw driver Sam Ottley settled Willison fourth last on the outside. With just over a lap to run Ottley decided to move forward and he flushed out third favourite Leap Of Faith. Ottley was left three wide when Leap Of Faith got to the lead inside the 600. But he didn’t panic and waited just before straightening up before pulling the ear plugs. The gelding gave plenty to wear down Leap Of Faith and won by a neck. Jones says he’s a typical Bettors Delight: tough. Willison beating Leap Of Faith                  - Photo Bruce Stewart  The three year old is out of Classical Art which won five races here as a three year old for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen before heading to Australia. She won another seven races in Australia before being sent to stud. Willison is her first foal. Jones bought the horse at the Australian Sales and says he’s currently the pick of his three year olds. He’s owned by a host of owners whose names were all crammed into the race book. The first Nuggets Final will be held at the Northern Southland meeting on 5th October and is worth $15,000. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Well bred Spirit Of St Louis qualified nicely at Gore today. The three year old gelding by Sweet Lou is trained by Graeme Anderson and was bred by Trevor Casey who shares in the ownership with some of Anderson’s regular clients including Pauline Gillan, Steve Pulley and Ray Chaklin. That trio also have shares in Eamon Maguire. Spirit Of St Louis is out of the Art Major mare Spirit Of Art whose first foal Dracarys has won ten races in West Australia including the Group Three Two Year Old Gold Bracelet at Gloucester Park. Spirit Of St Louis with Mathew Williamson qualifying at Gore today       - Photo Bruce Stewart   Bruce Stewart

Majestic Rose provided Hilderthorpe trainer Kerry Kelly with her first winner. The Majestic Son mare was having her twenty fourth start today and her second for this season. She was four wide going into the first turn before driver Mathew Williamson took her to the lead. She then handed up to Barham Belle. Williamson took the passing lane when the field turned in and held on to beat a late run from Justan’s Sister. She took the race by a neck. Kelly who first had a license in 1984, bought Majestic Rose from the yearling sales in 2016 for $8,000. “She was my first purchase at the yearling sales and I have no idea why I bought her. I just liked her,” she said.  “I’ve dabbled with horses for donkeys years but we had a house fire and had four young kids so we put the horses on the back burner. Because my husband (Bruce) is now retired we decided to go for it again. We enjoy it.” In the 1980s Kelly worked for Ray Wilkie and Ron Carter at Forbury Park and later for Oamaru trainer Clarrie Woodward. One of her first horses was Casey’s Chance (Jack Chance – Casey Girl). From seventeen starts his best placing was third at Forbury Park in April 1985 when driven by junior driver Ray Faithful. “He (Casey’s Chance) had accidents and only had one good leg.” Majestic Rose’s dam Duchess won once and is out of Sunvette which left the handy trotter Mountbatten – the winner of eight races.  Kelly says Majestic Rose is a flighty mare who has a few tricks. “That’s why I like to stick with one driver. She’s a bit of a problem child at times and you have to be careful when you’re shoeing her. Her favourite trick is rearing up in the air, slamming down on the over check snapping the middle of the harness. She also likes to swing sideways. That’s why she’s got full winkers and a hood on.” Majestic Rose (8) beating Justan's Sister (6)           - Photo Bruce Stewart  Kelly says the mare likes to keep moving while around at the start. “If you stand her still you’re asking for big problems. Any time the starter says ‘right’ or blows his whistle she’ll go in the air.” Kelly currently has five horses in work including Iron Woman which ran seventh today. She’s worked for most of her life on dairy farms while husband Bruce has been a chef. They jog their horses on a small clay track and float them to the Oamaru track which is only 1.5 k’s away for fast work.   Bruce Stewart

New Zealand-bred trotter Speeding Spur arrived in trainer Linda Toscano's barn this summer and quickly made a favorable impression. He hopes to leave a winning one, as well. Speeding Spur, who was last season's Trotter of the Year in New Zealand, has raced twice in the U.S. and trotted 1:51.1 both times. The 8-year-old stallion was fourth behind Manchego, Marion Marauder, and Lindy The Great in his debut and this past weekend finished sixth in the Vincennes on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands. On Sunday, Speeding Spur competes in the $148,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot at Tioga Downs, where he is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. Vincennes winner Mission Accepted is the 2-1 favorite. For his career, Speeding Spur has won 27 of 58 races and hit the board a total of 48 times on his way to $1.09 million in New Zealand dollars ($804,240 U.S. equivalent). He is owned by Woodlands Stud NZ Inc. and will race in North America the remainder of the season before returning home for stud duty. Speeding Spur, a son of Pegasus Spur out of the Chiola Hanover mare Della's Speed, is eligible to a number of stakes, including the Maple Leaf, Caesars Trotting Classic, Dayton Derby, and Allerage. "He's a classy old horse," Toscano said. "It's not easy to make a million dollars in New Zealand and he was able to do that. You can't ask for a nicer horse to be around. He's a beautiful horse, a handsome horse. He's a lovely horse to be around, you can tell he was cared for very well, like the champion he was down there. "They would like to stand him at stud because he's had such a nice career over there, but without North American credentials it's difficult because we ship semen over there. They wanted to send him over and see what he could do. He's eligible to everything from here on in. We'll see if he can step his game up and compete with them. If we can get him a (win) record and make a little bit of money with him, I know the owners will be real happy." Speeding Spur was a nine-time Group 1 winner Down Under. He was trained by John and Josh Dickie, with Josh handling the driving in all but one of his victories. He finished his home career in May with a second-place finish in the Rowe Cup, a race he won in 2018. Last week in the Vincennes, Speeding Spur and driver Tim Tetrick started from post eight in a 12-horse field and raced on the outside for the majority of the mile. Despite the trip, he was beaten only 3-3/4 lengths and only two horses trotted a faster final quarter-mile. "He was unlucky last week, just a bad post," Toscano said. "Four wide, three wide, and four wide around the last turn at The Meadowlands on Hambo Day is not exactly the most advantageous place, but Timmy had no choice. It's what he had to do." This weekend, Speeding Spur will start from post six in a six-horse field with Brian Sears in the sulky. The field also includes Pinkman, Run Director, The Veteran, and Fiftydallarbill. "His owners are thrilled with what he's done," Toscano said. "First and foremost, they want us to take care of the horse. The ultimate goal would be to see if he's good enough to compete in the International Trot (at Yonkers) at the end of the year. "I'm really impressed with his demeanor. He's made it very easy to make the transition (from New Zealand to the U.S). He looks like a million dollars. The people down there absolutely adored him. He's been a pleasure." Sunday's card at Tioga Downs also includes the $132,000 Joie De Vie Stakes for older female trotters. Atlanta is the 6-5 morning-line favorite, followed by Manchego at 3-1. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) and the Crawford Farms Open Trot and Joie De Vie are races eight and nine, respectively. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Things are looking pretty good for Luby Lou as she treads the comeback trail starting as early as next month at Addington. The brilliant younger trotter has not raced since winning the $100,000 NZ Trotting Derby at Addington in April 2018 her fourth win in five career starts. She beat Winterfell and Majestic Man that day but went amiss and was put aside for a long spell. Now a five year old she should not be hard to place in the coming season all going well. “She had problems in both knees and rest was a big part of the solution to that “ Mark said after working her alongside Oscar Bonavena on Saturday. “There is no sign of that so far. Its early stages yet in the prep but she is coming along well” Luby Lou also won the Trotting Oaks to make her the outstanding three year old trotter of her year. She is royally bred by Breckon Farms being by Muscle Hill from Luby Ann, an American mare by Andover Hall. Breckon Farms syndicated her for racing (the Super Six syndicate) and also syndicated her younger sister TICKLE ME PINK who won the Harness Jewels Ruby for Tony Herlihy’s stable at Addington in June giving Luby Ann her second G1 winner from her first two foals. Mark also trained the dam LUBY ANN who did not show quite the racing ability of her two foals though she had a private reputation and the best was probably not seen of her. She did win 4 of 18 starts though. Her breeding career has been otherwise a challenge for Breckon Farms. She failed to get in foal for two years after Tickle Me Pink before being served by What the Hill last November. There wouldn’t be many mares at stud with two Group 1 winners from their first two foals and Luby Lou should continue the good work all going well.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables

Woodlands Stud welcomed their first foal for the 2019-20 breeding season overnight, just nine days into the new season.   It is thought to be the first standardbred foal born in New Zealand this season and better yet the first foal in Australasia by Downbytheseaside, Woodlands Stud’s newest pacing sire.   The foal born is a filly out of the Falcon Seelster mare, Tania Tandias who is the dam of horses such as Lincoln Road and Tommy Lincoln. She is a terrific type, upright, strong and has plenty of leg.   Woodland Stud co-director Andrew Grierson has been designing a range of reproductive light masks for broodmares both foaling and getting in foal and Studmaster Tony Grayling thinks that this was part of the reason for such an early foal.   “She wasn’t due to foal for another seven days, but she is strong and healthy. The mare had a light mask on which promotes early foaling, so it seems to have done it’s job well on this one.”     Downbytheseaside stood his first season ‘down under’ last year and served a good number of quality mares both in New Zealand and Australia. He is a champion son of the late Somebeachsomewhere, he made $2.1 millon on the track and was the 3YO of his Year in 2017, defeating top horses such as Huntsville and Fear The Dragon.   He is currently being advertised for the upcoming breeding season at the special price of $4,800 + GST in New Zealand and $5,280 inc GST in Australia.   Woodlands Stud are expecting to have over 140 mares foal on the farm throughout the season and are also excited about the arrival of the first foals by their new trotting sire What The Hill.   The shuttle stallions are due to finish quarantine and arrive on the farm in 10 days time ahead of their first collect day on September 4th.   For bookings or more information please contact:   In New Zealand – Stacey White – 021 595492 –   In Australia – Mark Hughes – 0451650707 –   You can also view the stallion roster at     Stacey White

A total reboot of the Steve Telfer stable could make it one for harness punters to follow in the next month, starting at Alexandra Park tonight. Telfer has three hopes in the major handicap pace tonight and one of the bets of the night earlier in Flying Steps (race six) as he attempts to embellish his strong winter record in recent seasons. Telfer has long seen the logic of attacking winter racing at Alexandra Park, especially now the stakes are almost as lucrative as in the summer. But that attitude had to be shelved this year when his team was struck down with the same virus which has affected some of the north’s bigger stables in recent months. “We had a bug go through the team that probably 80 per cent of them got,” said Telfer. “So we just left them all alone, let them have a total rest for 10-14 days and that worked the trick. “It was frustrating but it worked and there seem to be no lingering effects with any of them.” None were obvious when Flying Steps, a mare involved in a horrific fall last December, was an impressive winner at Cambridge last Thursday. “She won well and should be even better this week,” says Telfer. “Her work was good on Wednesday and I am sure she has improved.” Telfer takes three to the $25,000 handicap tonight, including Dance Time who is back from a useful campaign with Menangle trainer John McCarthy. It is not the first time Telfer has sent horses to different trainers depending on what suits them at certain stages of his career, something he did with recently-retired stable star No Doctor Needed. But while Dance Time has returned looking well Telfer opts for backmarker Check In as the best of his three hopes in the 2700m standing start. “It is never easy to win off 30m but he is a good standing start horse and working well,” says Telfer. “I think both Dance Time and Ivana Flybye will improve with the race this week so Check In would be our best hope.” Tonight’s meeting has a $40,000 Pick6 and plenty of maiden depth and a good intermediate trot.   Michael Guerin

Gerald Cayford is a man with many levels of involvement within the harness racing industry. He’s not only a regular race sponsor and a passionate owner and breeder, but he is also currently the President of the Kurow Harness Racing Club, and Vice President of the Waikouaiti Trotting Club. Gerald and his bus have become a familiar landmark at race meetings around the southern parts of the country, and when he’s not hauling whitebait from the rivers of the West Coast, he’s serving them to industry participants from his perfectly set up house bus. The bus comes complete with a live trackside feed on tv, food preparation facilities and a well-stocked bar. Gerald and the bus will be in operation next Sunday when the Kurow Harness Racing Club holds its annual race meeting at Oamaru, and as an owner himself the President of the Club is once again thanking owners for racing at the meeting by offering them a free BBQ complete with whitebait patties. He says it was only natural that he would gravitate towards racing in some way, shape or form, with his family being keen on the sport. “My family has always been into racing. My uncle was a professional punter, he never smoked, never drank, but just loved racing. He was based in Dunedin and would drive around all the meetings and trials and follow the form,” explained Gerald. “Our ownership journey actually started in gallopers. But I had a mate that had horses with Ian Munro who was based in Otematata in the Waitaki Valley, and they suggested I look into harness ownership.” “The first harness horse that won for us was Affitoeti, who was a syndicate horse that my brother Alex trained.” “I was actually away at a golf tournament in Nelson when it won. I remember watching it on the tv at the pub and everyone at the pub backed it. I thought if this loses, I’m going to get my backside kicked. But the whole place was just roaring with excitement when it won,” Gerald laughed. The wins have continued to tally up for Gerald over the years, but despite that he still finds the magnitude of the occasion can affect him when watching his horses compete. “I actually get quite flustered and uptight when my horse is anywhere near the front turning for home,” he admits.  “But if they do win it takes me awhile to wind down. It doesn’t matter if it’s a seven win horse winning, or a maiden win. I still get just as excited every time we get a win.” “The thrill that I get seeing other people as first time winning owners is just as exciting too,” Gerald explained. “The other week I was at Forbury and a young lady had just trained her first winner. We took them up to the members bar afterwards and to see that thrill and emotion they were feeling was so special. We couldn’t get a word in for twenty minutes they were so excited. It was just awesome.” Gerald and his wife Rose have formed a great relationship with Amber Hoffman, who trains the majority of their horses from her Waikouaiti Beach stable. “We have been involved with Amber Hoffman for a number of years now, we live next door. Amber would be the hardest working person that I have ever met. She just needed an opportunity.” “She does a lot of work with sore horses, and a lot of people won’t realise that she works with a lot of horses that have problems and she does an amazing job.” And despite the fact he lives right next door to most of his horses, a bad past experience of the equine variety has led him to be very cautious around the stable. “When I had gallopers I got bitten badly by one. I had my back turned to it and it lunged out with its teeth and picked me up by the shoulder. So now I am not hands on, I keep my distance from the horses and I’m weary, but I love them.” Along with ownership, came the chance for Gerald to dip his toe in the water with breeding, to the point where he now has ten mares booked to be bred in the upcoming season. “I suppose the breeding side was always sitting at the back of my mind,” he said. “I bought Tara Magic in foal from Ray Anicich, and I ended up losing the colt. But she had left Class of Tara who raced here and in Australia and it had won a big race in Aussie so it was a great family.” “We bred Shez Good out of her, who has won three races for Patrick O’Reilly, and she is going to go in foal this year. And I’ve also got another filly out of her too that I will breed from in Gerrys Girl.” When asked who might be his favourite horse, a fond glint appears in his eye. “Heard The Whisper is such a gentleman,” he smiles. “He’s only had 48 starts and 7 wins, and is lightly raced for a nine-year-old as he’s had so many issues,” explained Gerald. “Amber Hoffman and Peter Gillespie put so much into the horse to try and get him right. Amber was just so heartbroken.” “She came to me twice in a week and was really upset, and she said she just can’t work out what is going on with the horse and why she can’t get him right.” “So I said to her, it’s not your fault. Just find the problem and we will fix the horse.” So after extensive work with vet Peter Gillespie coming out to film the horse working on the beach, and assistance from a farrier and Amber, they finally found out exactly what the issue was. “The farrier did some work and found that he has to be shod specially for his feet, he wears a pad and a silicone layer and then there’s a layer that goes over the top. He looks like he’s walking on tip toes but when he flattens out it’s amazing how much he had actually been hurting.” “So they found the problem and the results were amazing. He’s now gone north to Jason and Megan Teaz and is so competitive up there.” Gerald admits that the horse has a special place in his heart. “We’ve had a lot of offers from Australia, but when he’s retired he’s coming back to a paddock at our place. He’s not going anywhere.” For Gerald his dream would be to just have a horse good enough to compete at the highest level. “I’d love to have a horse that could run in the New Zealand Cup. I had a friend who had Mighty Silks in the Cup and I just cheered it from the start to the finish, and I wasn’t even the owner”. “Way back then I thought to myself if could have a horse good enough to just be in a race like that that would be an amazing thrill.” And when it comes to getting other people involved he can’t recommend it enough. “I would encourage people to get into ownership, even if it’s in a syndicate as a more affordable option.” The bigger the syndicates are, the bigger the crowd at the races and the more whitebait patties I get to giveaway!” “It’s just a great sport. It’s my hobby and I Iove it.” For more information about ownership opportunities and how you can become a harness racing owner, contact Jess Smith at Harness Racing New Zealand   HRNZ

Balraj crossed the ditch without much fanfare, but it hasn’t taken long for him to become one off the buzz horses of Australia. The lightly-raced Art Major three-year-old is unbeaten in four Aussie starts and made one heck of a statement scoring at his first Menangle run yesterday (Tuesday). Balraj won by 22.4m, but it was his time which did most of the talking. The gelding’s 1min49.1sec mile was an Australasian record for a three-year-old, slicing 0.5sec off Muscle Factory’s record. Just as he did winning by what seemed the length of the home straight at Newcastle a few weeks ago, driver Robbie Morris crushed his rivals with a 26.1sec split from the 800-400m.  It’s the second time in as many starts the Shaun Simiana-trained pacer has smashed a record. His 1min50.9sec mile win at Newcastle two starts back on July 15 was an all-aged record for the track which has hosted some off the sport’s greats in the Newcastle Mile. Balraj raced just five times in NZ for trainer Steven McRae, missing a place in first three runs then showing a glimpse of his potential winning back-to-back Forbury Park races on February 21 and March 7. He was sold to Australia soon after and won his Aussie debut at Penrith by 7.1m on June 6. Since then he’s won by 25.7m at Newcastle on June 14, 55.9m again at Newcastle on July 15 and now Menangle by 22.4m   Adam Hamilton

The Southland Harness Awards will celebrate a season of successes at the Ascot Park Hotel on Sunday 11th August. The night will be hosted by former Trackside presenter Jess Smith with the awards putting the spotlight on our best broodmares, horses, drivers, trainers, junior drivers, contributor’s, personalities and owners. Categories and contenders include: Washington VC – Bryleigh Stud Southland Broodmare of the Year   Touch of Rose (Mach Three – Rose Sand) Owner: Kelvin Reed The dam of three winners in the 2018-2019 season:  Ferritt’s Sister (3) $36,145 Fiery Ferret (2) $17,725 The Ideal Touch (1) $13,885 The Ideal Touch finished 4th in the Two Year Old Emerald at the Harness Jewels.   Chicago Blues (Christian Cullen – Bluejeanbabyqueen) Owners: John Price, Mrs. Katrina Price, Roger Price and Mrs. Helen Price. Dam of three horses to race this season which won a total of 15 races and $262,048 in the season under review. Chicago Bull won nine races, earned $186,473 and also won two Group Two races. Rockabilly Blues ($37,880 1-55.6) and Perfect Stride ($37,695 1.56.1) each winners of three races.   Christian Dreamer (Christian Cullen – Dreamy Atom) Owners: Vin and Daphne Devery The dam of two horses to race this season which won a total of $224,537. Catch The Dream (2) $19,070. Amazing Dream (3) $205,467 including wins in the Listed NZ Yearling Sales Two Year Old Fillies Final, and the Group One Caduceus Two Year Old Fillies Classic. She was second in the Group One NZ Sires Stakes Two Year Old Fillies Championship and third in both the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic and Group One Two Year Old Diamond.   Robyn Maree (Holmes Hanover – Maree Robyn) Owner: Ross Wilson The dam of two horses to race in the 2018-2019 season Robyns Playboy (6) $73,219. Rake (3) $25,615.     Southland Harness Awards – Night N Day - Southland Horse of the Year   Get Lucky - Owners: Ian and Lindsay Thomson Broke the Gore track and Southland trotter’s record for three year old colts and geldings for 2200 metre stand, recording 2-52.8. Southlands leading stakes earning trotter this season banking $76,976. Won the Listed PPG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Three Year Old Final.   I’mallaboutthebase - Owners: Steve and Carol Baucke Won three races during the season including the Listed Uncut Gem Mares Classic at Addington.   Vintage Cheddar - Owners: Ian and Lindsay Thomson The winner of five races during the season including two on premier nights at Addington.   Sagwitch - Owners: Paul Matheson, Mrs Nancy Matheson and Syd Breen. Won the 2019 Southland Country Cups series with 94 points. Won three races in the 2018-2019 season including the Winton and Wyndham Cups.   U May Cullect - Owner: Tom Kilkelly Recorded a new track and Southland mobile record at Winton for four year old and older geldings and entires over 1609 metres of 1-52.1. Won his first seven races including the Listed Uncut Gems at Addington for geldings and entires.   Robyns Playboy – Owner: Ross Wilson Recorded a new Wyndham track and Southland mobile record for three year old colts and geldings over 2400 metres of 2-53.0. This time was also a new all-comers track and Southland record. Southland leading trained pacer earning $70,299. Won the $20,000 Super Nuggets Final.   NZB Standardbred Southland Achievement of the Year nominations   Syd Breen 2018- 2019 training stats: 102-17-13-7 $137,299 - UDR .2603. Recorded his best ever training season with seventeen wins. Trained the winner of the Southland Country Cups competition Sagwitch. Biggest winners: Santanna’s Rocket (4), Mucho Macho Man (4), Lorretta Franco (3) and Sagwitch (3).   Kirstin Barclay and Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis 2018- 2019 training stats: 258-38-40-31 $372,919 - UDR .2703. Leading Southland trainers for the 2018-2019 season with 38 winners in their first season of training in partnership. Seventh on the national training premiership and fifth in the South Island premiership. Biggest winners: U May Cullect (7), Wee Man Trouble (5) and Paddyproudfoot (4)   Alister Black 2018- 2019 training stats: 46-13-7-3 $168,626 - UDR .3889. The highest ranked Southland UDR trainer with a rating of .3889. Fourth on the national UDR list of trainers with 10 or more winners behind Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Barry Purdon and Mitchell Kerr. Biggest winners: Vintage Cheddar (5) and Get Lucky (4). Won his first black type race during the season (PPG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Three Year Old Final.)   Ross Wilson 2018- 2019 training stats: 162-15-17-15 $174,034 - UDR .2357. Trained Southland leading stakes earning pacer Robyns Playboy. Recorded his 100th training win during the season when Bridesdale Robyn won at Gore. Biggest winners: Robyns Playboy (6), Bridesdale Robyn (4) and Annie Fitz (3).   Best of luck to all on the night.  Tickets for the Southland Harness Awards are still available on-line     Bruce Stewart

TAB News Pick6 this week - $40 Pick6 Friday night at Alexandra Park. August and September - Harness First4 $6,000 Bonus First4 on a Race 4 Every Friday Night in Aug/Sept and on Race 4 at Addington on Thu 19 Sept.   Alexandra Park News – Friday 9 August Christmas at the Races featuring the Inter Dominion Championship 2019 Christmas at the Races are some of the hottest nights on the Alexandra Park Harness Racing calendar. Choose from our various rooms and packages the best option to suit your guests, get into the festive spirit with our amazing Christmas themed all-you-can-eat buffet and keep your eye out for Santa. There will be competitions, entertainment, photographers and non-stop harness racing excitement, plus live entertainment after the last race. This year offers added value with the Inter Dominion Championship being run in New Zealand for the first time in 8 years. Explore the best Alexandra Park has to offer, but don’t forget to book quickly as these popular nights don’t last long. For more information visit: To make a booking, do it online or contact us 09 631 1165 or email   Gore Harness Racing Club - 10 August The new season in the south kicks off this Saturday with the Gore Harness Racing Club hosting an 8 race card. As a lead in to this the Club are hosting their AGM on Friday night with Guest Speaker ‘Matthew Williamson’ speaking on his recent trip to the World Driving Champs in Sweden. The Southland Harness Awards follow on Sunday night so it’s a big weekend for Harness Racing in the deep south. The Gore Harness Racing Club would like to announce the return of the ‘Spring Fling Bonus’. The Club will be paying a $1,000 Bonus (plus a cool down rug) to the highest points earner for a filly/mare and a colt/gelding over the 3 days racing at the clubs meetings on 10th August, 25th August and 12th October. Points will be awarded as follows: 1st-10pts, 2nd-6pts, 3rd-3pts, 4th-2pts, 5th-1pt. In the event after the three days there is a tie a countback will determine the winner. This will be based on: 1. most wins, 2. most seconds, 3. most thirds, 4. most fourths, 5. most fifths.  If still equal on points the bonus will be divided evenly. Saturday will also be the first official outing for the new Southern Harness 4WD Ford Ranger Mobile Barrier Vehicle.   Southern Harness Racing - Southern Awards - Sunday 11 August Sunday 11 August 2019 Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill Doors open 5.15pm, starting 6 pm sharp Master of ceremonies - Jess Smith  Tickets $70 online $75 cash or cheque Please use the following link to purchase your tickets Any problems phone Karen 03 206 6545 or Nicole 03 206 6965   Addington Raceway and Events Centre Hello Everyone, Remember to book your spot for Cup Week.  Our fabulous hospitality packages are on sale for Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day and Show Day Races.  Be sure to book soon and #bepartofthemagic, as three areas are already sold out for Tuesday. For further details, please visit;  Alternatively, if you have any questions, or wish to book, please contact Joanne McMaster on, or 021 0298 5972.  We look forward to hosting you all! Inaugural $20K Dunstan Horse Feeds Met Mega Series – Commences Friday 16 August Addington Raceway in conjunction with Dunstan Horse Feeds are proud to announce the beginning of a new series called Dunstan Horse Feeds Met Mega Series. Starting on Friday 16 August and finishing Friday 25 October, this series looks to be a great lead into the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day on Tuesday 12 November. The Dunstan Horse Feeds Met Mega Series allows for horses of all ages, ratings, sex and gaits to be eligible and on a level playing field. It is hoped to bring a competitive nature between all who will be chasing the total prize money of the series. The eleven meetings that the $20k Dunstan Horse Feeds Met Mega Series covers will have allocated points as per performance. At the end of the series the $20k prize pool will be divided between the top 5 points scorers. With this series, Dunstan Horse Feeds and Addington Raceway are looking to reward owners for their loyalty and competitiveness at Addington Raceway. Using this points system, it is designed that Non-Win horses have the same opportunity to take out the prizes as the horses whom are in Free-For-All grade.  Along with this, trotters have the equal opportunities that the pacers have of taking a prize home. For further information and to view our terms and conditions please visit:, or for more information please contact Addington’s Racing Department on (03) 338 9094. Even though we are not racing this week, feel free to pop into Spectators for a bit to eat and drink.  We would love to see you. Have a great week everyone!    2019 Woodlands Stud Canterbury Harness Awards Dinner - Saturday 21 September Silks Lounge - Addington Raceway, Addington 6.30pm for a 7.15pm start Tickets $60.00 incl. GST Drinks extra at individual's cost. Watch our for our stallion tender for Downbytheseaside and Pegasus Spur services which close on 02 September 2019. All enquiries to 021 969 969 or   HRNZ Marketing

Champion expat reinsman Anthony Butt has a word of warning for Kiwi punters as our interest in the Breeders Crown heats ramps up at Shepparton tonight. Talented juveniles Zeuss Bromac and Perfect Stride contest different heats of the male series, which has a A$300,000 final at Melton on August 24, with Butt to partner Perfect Stride. Regular reinsman Zachary Butcher is actually in Victoria and will drive Zeuss Bromac, who he trains, but Butt will drive Perfect Stride as he has become the go-to man for big-money NSW owner Emilio Rosati. Butt partnered Ultimate Stride, owned by Rosati, to win the A$50,000 Redwood Trot at Maryborough on Sunday and is engaged to partner four of the eight New Zealand reps in the Breeders Crown. “It works well for me and I hope well for the horses connections,” says Butt mater-of-factly. “Obviously I watch the racing back home very close but also do the form for over here. And I have been thrilled by the support I am getting.” While former Canterbury-based Butt rates Perfect Stride a real speedster who can shock the Aussies in his heat tonight he does say changes to the series suggest punters on horses not drawn to lead should be careful. “With the changes to the series (all heats now in Victoria) all the horses starting in those two heats are guaranteed a place in the semi final next week. “So they could be tame races because those drawn to get back might not be able to win. “A horse like Perfect Stride follows out a good beginner and should be handy on the outer but he looks best driven with a sit. “And with this heat and semi make-up and maybe not much pressure in the heats I can see him having a hard job to win, unless somebody goes hard up front.” The usual leader bias of Breeders Crown heats, and often semis, could aid Zeuss Bromac tonight because while he is in by far the stronger heat he should settle handy from a front line draw Butt will also partner Pukekohe filly Best Western in her three-year-old fillies heat at Kilmore on tomorrow night but she also faces a second line draw but more importantly series hot favourite Princess Tiffany, who has drawn barrier one.   Michael Guerin