Day At The Track

I went to school with Graeme Anderson. We were in the same class at James Hargest High School in Invercargill back in the early 70’s. I can tell you first hand that the Turf Digest was the most read book he ever opened in those formative years and I can tell you he was in charge of the sweepstake on Melbourne Cup day – not that he got my money. He always had talent on the sports field too whether it was cricket or rugby and he always had an air of confidence about him. Those attributes have been well utilised to carve out a successful sporting and harness racing career. Graeme caught the racing bug at a young age through his connection to Riverton; his father Bill lived there for some of his life. “Riverton was a big thoroughbred area in those days and Dad’s sister ended up marrying Jack Cleaver. Jack trained a very good mare back in the sixties called Shangri-La. We would always go to the Easter races at Riverton. It was a family thing and mum would buy us new clothes. Other members of the family didn’t love it so much but I got hooked from a young age,” he said. Shangri-La’s many wins included the 1961 Winton 80th Anniversary Cup ridden by Rodney Marsh, the 1961 James Hazlett Gold Cup and the 1962 Wyndham Cup when ridden by Graeme Wright carrying 9lb 6oz. She was by Kurdistan out of Mystic. Kurdistan left 256 winners including Bagdad Note the winner of the Melbourne Cup, and Sydney Cup victor Gay Master. He also left versatile gallopers like Eiffel Tower, Kumai and Koral. Anderson was a pretty good rugby player as well. He played for the first fifteen at Hargest, was part of a successful Star senior side that won a few Galbreith Shields and also played for Central Pirates near the end of his playing career. “It was a bit of a change. Out there, there were Skinners, Browns, Deverys and Hunters. Brent McIntyre also played for us as well as Craig Hamilton. Wayne Adams played and coached us so there were plenty of harness boys.” He also played representative rugby for Southland. “We beat the Aussies in 1978 and French in 1979. Players like Leicester Rutledge, Ken Stewart, Brian McKechnie and Steve Pokere were around. One day we had seven to eight All Blacks playing for Southland so that was a pretty good side. There were also great trips away on the bus and a lot of the boys had a racing connection.” Later on, he had success as a coach, winning three Dunedin Rugby Premierships with the Taieri prems. “We started with nothing. We had a great group of managerial staff. I think fifteen of those boys played for Otago. There was Hayden Parker, Charlie O’Connell and Kieran Moffatt. We had a lot of high class players.” Some of that knowledge he gained throughout his rugby career he adapted in his horse training business. “I use a lot of the sports ideas when training.  I like to keep the legs fresh before playing rugby on Saturday. If you knocked yourself around on a Thursday or Friday you’d have dead legs. So with racehorses you get them fit the week before and just leave them alone. We do heart rates all the time and keep a comprehensive diary.” Although initially interested in gallopers he was also keen on the trotters and ventured into harness racing through Southland trainer Gary McEwan. “He taught me to drive and use a watch properly. He got me a trip to America on the horse plane. I went over with Donny Hayes. We stayed in California back then which was the centre of harness racing. It had three or four tracks. I had about six weeks over there and met a whole lot of people and that started my buying and selling career.” In the early years he also worked with Central Otago trainer Murray Hamilton. “We had a business together which didn’t last long. We shipped horses on the boat out of Bluff.” Early on Anderson also formed a good working relationship with legendary Gore galloping trainer Ted Winsloe. “I was training Standardbreds when I had Whisper Jet (galloper) and Ted had a few Standardbreds as well so I’d train his trotters and he trained my gallopers which was a nice arrangement. I ended up working a few (thoroughbreds) up. We got a few down from the North Island and had a bit of luck with them. It’s a bit tougher now (training gallopers). You can’t get the staff and the horses I used to buy at the South Island Sales have tripled in price. I’m not saying I won’t get another one but you just need to have the right people to work them.” One of the first pacers Anderson owned was the Fernside Bachelor gelding King Red. He was bred by John Higgins and trained by Bryce Buchanan. Fernside Bachelor was an unraced stallion by Bachelor Hanover out of Queen Ngaio. Queen Ngaio left good pacers Waratah (8 wins) and Trio (16 wins). King Red’s win was at Forbury Park in October 1988 and was the first winning drive for Doug Buchanan. “He was a claiming horse. We claimed a few back in those days. We’d take them to Addington because there was no racing down here in the winter. Tank Ellis and Tony Stratford were working for me back in those days. We used to have some great trips and we’d carry on to the Nelson and Blenheim circuits.” Anderson officially started training on his own account in 1998 and his first winner was Connor at Oamaru in October driven by Clark Barron. He also trained Ando’s Prospect to win three races. She later became a good source of winners for him leaving Southern Boy (5 wins), Southern Prospect (5) and Bonvoyage which won two races for him and another nine races in Australia. He ran second to Monkey King in a heat of the Interdominions at Harold Park in 2010. Another horse Anderson owned and trained was Good Prospect. By Son Of Afella out of Majestic Chance mare Karma, Good Prospect won three races and provided junior driver Belinda White with one of her six career winners. At that point he was mixing training with a fair bit of travel. “I was selling a lot of horses to Perth to guys like Greg Harper. One of the Australian guys decided to buy yearlings and leave them with me. I tried to farm them out but ended up buying a property at Rimu and building a big barn and doing them myself for him. Because I was also travelling a bit and selling I was only doing it when I was at home. “ At that point Tony Barron started to work for Anderson after a stint with Barry Purdon. The high point of Anderson’s buying and selling came in 1985 when he purchased Jay Bee’s Fella and Arden Meadow. “They quinellaed the 1986 West Australian Derby. They were two Son Of Afella’s I sent away to Greg Harper. That was the catalyst for me doing a lot of buying and selling of horses in Australia. On my trip to America I met a couple of boys from Perth who were over there trying to do the same thing. They’d run out of money. I didn’t have much but I lent them a couple of hundred bucks to get them home. They said that they would ring me. They did and it was through them that I sold Arden Meadow and Jay Bee’s Fella.” After Rimu, Anderson moved out to Winton where the success continued and he was able to train gallopers there. Xstream was one thoroughbred he trained there. He owned the mare in partnership with another harness trainer Allan Beck. She was good on dead to heavy tracks and won three races (all in a round), ridden each time by Riverton jockey Kerry Taplin. “We had success with Xstream, Carver (3), Feel The Heat (3) and Dusty Girl (5).” Anderson says training thoroughbreds gave him a good insight into training the modern day pacers. “We train pacers like thoroughbreds now. They’ve all got five or six generations of American blood in them and they just don’t take a lot of work.” After Winton he moved to Cambridge where he continued to train gallopers and travelling around Australia and Asia. In 2003 he headed back south and set up at Wingatui and from there re-established himself as a harness trainer at Westward Beach, adding another dimension to his training regime. “We’re lucky we’ve got the beach. It’s almost a three mile straight run. Sometimes it’s very difficult to work there but you’ve just got to get up and do it. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The other night we got home at 6:30pm in the dark because of a late tide. We don’t have a track so we can’t cheat ourselves. We just have to get out and do it.” He says horses get bored with just running around the same training track and the beach provides a different environment every day as the surfaces and vista changes with each tide. “You can do different things with them. We ride a few and canter a few. We have a couple of secrets when we work them which I’m not going to tell ya. If a horse is on R n R, he may have a paddle or trot in the sea for half an hour rather than work.” His Westward Beach stable isn’t flash – it doesn’t have any barns or boxes so the horses live outside. “They’re all out in the open. They’re all sand yards. It was Brenda Harland’s old place. She hadn’t trained for a long time and it was by fluke that I ended up there and I’ve never left. There are shelter sheds and plenty of trees and loopins to get their bums backed into. They’re all double rugged. With the sand hills around us it’s a lot warmer than you’d think. ” He actually came across the facility when he took a thoroughbred that had cut a leg in a fence to the beach. “I went out there to give it a bit of sea water treatment. That’s how I came to training at Westward Beach.” Since then his success rate in training horses and resurrecting careers has been outstanding. “95% of them you can improve but there’s 5% you can’t help. As long as they want to be with us we can help them.” Despite having a straight line sand surface it’s surprising that Anderson doesn’t train too many trotters. “This is a great environment for straight line training and we should have more trotters. They by pass me a go to Phil Williamson’s (laughter).” Anderson also likes to adopt a completely fresh approach when taking on tried horses. “We take off all the gear, ignore everything they’ve done before and start again. We have our tests. They’ve got to work a certain time and to have a certain heart rate at the end of that to know if they’re any good.” It’s also been noticeable over the years that a lot of his horses run without an over check. “That came from West Australia. I went over there and the great trainers like Fred Kersley, Greg Harper, Ray Duffy and the likes never had over checks and the horses were really relaxed and muscled up in the front. I came home here and saw guys pulling their horse’s heads up and the horses would be throwing themselves on the ground. I got criticised in some quarters when I did it originally because it wasn’t the done thing but there’s a few copying me now so I’m happy about that.” In recent times he’s gathered around him a loyal bunch of owners who have raced some of his better horses. Names like Brian Sceat, Ray Chalklin, Tony Dow, Stephen Pulley, and more recently Pauline Gillan. “They’re loyal but we’ve had a bit of success which helps keep them in.” And in those early years he trained for the much famed Essemdee (Sunday Morning Drinkers) Syndicate who raced gallopers Carver and pacers Ballindooly and Eb’s Fella. “It’s all fun when those guys are on the job.” Two of his best horses have come along in the last five years – Titan Banner and Eamon Maguire. “Titan was a tough horse but wasn’t as fluent in his gate as Eamon. Eamon has that high speed and beautiful gait and that helps you go a long way.” Eamon Maguire after his Supremacy Stakes win at Ascot Park   - Photo Bruce Stewart King Kenny is one of the few trotters he’s trained. “He came to me with a high suspensory problem. Then he went again then I got him back. When he was sound he was just a beast. He could work better than any of the pacers could. He could have been anything if he hadn’t succumb to an injury as a young horse. We never saw the best of him.” King Kenny won nine races from just twenty seven starts – two for Tim Butt and seven for Anderson. Anderson was also one of the first trainers to use World Champion reinsman Dexter Dunn and that partnership has proved formidable particularly at Anderson’s home track Forbury Park. “I remember the first day he drove. It was Front Page Girl. Cran had it and I was looking after it. He said to me he had this boy who had come back from Australia to work for him and the clients won’t put him on so he sent him down. I’d never met him. I said to him this horse will probably win tonight. He said ‘Mr Anderson this horse has been breaking at home.’ Big Stephen (Stephen Pulley one of Andersons owners) said to him ‘listen son, if Mr Anderson says it’ll win it’ll win.’ That’s how it started. He came down here as a junior and had a hell of a strike rate with me. I’m rapt to think that I was one of the catalysts for him being famous. We have that association and understanding and don’t have to say one word.” Dunn’s first winner for Anderson was the aptly named Dayinthepub on 19th June 2008. The winning margin was seven lengths. Dunn has driven 111 winners for Anderson as a solo trainer and 51 for Anderson and training partner for four seasons Amber Hoffman. Included in that tally were five winners on one night – Forbury Park 16th June 2011 when the Anderson/Dunn partnership scored with No Courage Russell, Grace Rex, Terrorway, Raven and Tom and Grace. Terrorway was one of the really good horses Anderson’s trained in the last decade. He bought the colt at the 2008 Sale of the Stars for $26,000 and raced him with Brian Sceat and Wendy Muldrew. He raced five times in New Zealand, winning at every start. He was sold to Aussie in July 2011 and won his first five races there. He went on to win 13 races in Australia including the Group One $100,000 The Blacks A Flake and Group One $100,000 Cranbourne Cup. He ended up posting a 1-52.6 mile. “He was a difficult horse to get going. He never raced until he was a four year old. He was a fizzy horse so we just took our time with him. We’d turn him out, bring him back and didn’t put any pressure on him. He was a good challenge.” Another one that Anderson was able to rejuvenate and get the best out of was Belkmyster. “He arrived as a four win horse and we got him to Cup class. He was one that we had to strip everything off. He was a Mach Three and he was a bit ‘sweaty’. We went back to basics and didn’t over work him. He came from Cran’s in great order but didn’t need to be a number. He just needed a bit of individual treatment. A lot of the Mach Three’s don’t have great feet so that’s where the beach training helped. It takes away a lot of the concussion.” But its Anderson’s UDR rating that is a true testament to his skill as a trainer. In the past five seasons he’s been one of the top three UDR trainers (UDR 20 + wins in the season). In 2017 he topped the UDR rating with .4706. In 2014 he finished third behind Mark Purdon and Geoff Dunn while in 2015, 2016 and 2018 he finished 2nd behind the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Over the years Anderson has been a solid supporter of the national yearling sales. Some haven’t made the grade, but a good portion have. Successful racehorses he bought at the Sales included: Terrorway $26,000 (2008), Highview Anwell $29,000 (2011), Mako Banner $20,000 (2012), Sovereign Banner $13,000 (2013), Titan Banner $80,000 (2013) and Eamon Maguire $34,000 (2015). At this year’s sale he brought Vintage Crop (Mach Three – Queen Of The Crop) for $14,000 and Celebrating (Mach Three – Rejoicing) for $17,000. Anderson still lives at Wingatui but the property has been reduced in size and some of it’s used as an agistment farm. “It was 20 acres when we bought it but we sold 10 acres to a developer about three or four years ago. We have a house there. That’s where the horses go after they’ve raced and need rest and recreation. When they’re ready to go again we take them back to the beach.” Below is a list of wins from his best horses which Anderson trained either on his own or in partnership with Amber Hoffman. Pretty impressive. Titan Banner (13) Starsky’s Dream (9) Eamon Maguire (9) Tartan Rover (8) Yokozuna (8) Ballindooley (8) Highview Anwell (8) Blechnum Grove (7) Expresso Martini (7) King Kenny (7) Belkmyster (7) Sovereign Banner (6) No Courage Russell (6) Ants (5) Motu Moonbeam (5) True Macatross (5) Graeme Anderson has trained some very good horse flesh over the years. He’s had the ability to get the best out of horses that appeared to be at the end of their careers, and he has a good eye for young stock. He’s realised the importance of looking after a core group of owners and he’s been able to provide them with winning racehorses. His record to date is impressive and we expect his UDR to be up there for more years to come.   Bruce Stewart

Cream Ridge, NJ - The New Zealand harness racing sensation, Lazarus N, will stand stud in 2019 in the USA, and his owner Duncan Taylor has generously donation a share to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF). The share will sell at the Harrisburg Sale on Thursday, November 8th.   Lazarus N is the richest Standardbred of all time from New Zealand and holds seven track records at various distances. He was New Zealand's Pacer of the Year in 2015, 2106 and 2017, and is that nation's defending Horse of the Year. He has earnings that top $4 Million.   Duncan Taylor, CEO of Taylor Made Sales and Stallions has been involved with horses most of his life, and is also a partner in California Chrome. Lazarus N was trained by Mark Purdon while in New Zealand, then Jimmy Takter in the U.S., and Ernie Martinez is the man who brought them all together.   "The Wonder from Down Under" will stand at Deo Volente farm. Coincidentally, the SRF story began because of a New Zealand horse, Nadala, who was owned by one of SRF's Founders.   "The SRF, its supporters and friends are most appreciative of this generous gift," said the Executive Director and co-founder Judith Bokman. "This wonderful gift could not have come at a better time in the history of the organization. We have 388 trotters and pacers under our expense. It's a monumental task to meet their needs, and more and more people are reaching out to us because of the program's unique way to protect each horse so no horse is ever at risk again. Funding the program has been the SRF's greatest struggle for 29 years."   For further information please contact SRF at (609) 738-3255 or via email at SrfHorsesandKids@gmail.com. Visit our website at AdoptaHorse.org.      

Not many owners can claim to have won a New Zealand Derby, a New Zealand Messenger, and a Four Year Old Emerald. And to have had two consecutive sales toppers at the yearling sales, but that’s what Stu and Pauline Gillan of Lochiel have achieved. The Derby, the Messenger and the Emerald were all achieved this season with two horses - Eamon Maguire and Sheriff. It’s been an outstanding racing season for the couple who not only have shares in Sheriff and Eamon Maguire, but also in Thefixer, English Rose and Motu Top Mach. And between them all this season they’ve won thirteen races and stakes of $418,548. The Gillan’s sales toppers as yearlings were Titanium in 2013 and Bollinger in 2015. Stu doesn’t come from a racing background, but he says his interest was developed at an early age. “My father enjoyed his five bob doubles. He’d put the doubles on and listen to the first leg and normally miss out. Then he’d go to the pub and talk about what happened. He didn’t go to the races a lot. He went to Wingatui and Waikouaiti on News Years Day. I used to have bets (pretend) with my father and pick horses I could pronounce,” he said. Listening to the wireless in those early years also heightened his passion for the industry. “I remember as a nine year old running home from school to hear the 1954 New Zealand Trotting Cup which Johnny Globe won. We were all fans of Johnny Globe. He was a lovely black horse.” Stu was educated at Kings High School in Dunedin and loved sport. That’s where he met Phil Creighton. As teenagers they played cricket together for Albion and rugby for Pirates. “I loved rugby and cricket but I was bloody hopeless at playing them. I also played squash for years.” In later years he also refereed rugby in Southland.                                                                                           “I really enjoyed that because all you do is look after yourself while if you’re coaching you’ve got twenty guys you’ve got to try and get on the field. I got to know the Browns (Southland trainer Murray Brown and his brother Bevan). They didn’t mind helping me referee games.” Stu met Pauline in 1970 after he was transferred to Invercargill to work for New Zealand Insurance.   He subsequently worked for a number of different companies before setting up his own accounting business. “I worked for the Permanent Building Society, then got offered a job with John Harrington of Harrington and Partners. After five years the company merged with Forrest, Burns and Ashby. I was made redundant and Pauline talked me into having a go on my own. It’s good to be able to work on your own and be independent.” As an accountant he doesn’t have big flashy companies on his books, preferring to deal with the southern farming type. “I’ve got good smaller sheep farmers. I don’t have any dairy farmers because they owe too much money,” he chuckled. Pauline has been the receptionist at the Southland Hospital Children’s Ward for the past twenty six years and is also an ardent netball fan, having followed the Southern Steel and Sting since the franchise started in the old Invercargill Centennial Hall. She and her good friend Bronwyn Queale, also from Lochiel, were often first in line when it came to getting their seasons tickets. Stu’s first yearling purchase was in 1975 when he bought Scottish Hanover colt Pierre Scott for $3,000. It was out of the Thurber Frost mare Heather Frost. Pierre Scott started eighteen times for three different trainers; Hamish Hunter, Stu Campbell and Noel Creighton, without banking a cheque. “He was hopeless. Anyway the guy that bred him Roy Adam who was a Life Member of the West Australia Trotting Association, was so disappointed with the price he got (for Pierre Scott) that he took the mare home in foal (to Lumber Dream). That foal was Preux Chevalier.” Preux Chevalier went on to win forty one races in just fifty six starts and $791,331. His wins include an Interdominion Final in Melbourne, a West Australian Cup, NSW Miracle Mile and New Zealand Free For All. The one that got away!! Stu’s first winner was in 1995 when Mocca Magic, which he raced with Phil Creighton, won. She was by Vance Hanover out of the Local Light mare Mia Mocca. Trained by Greg Hope, she won another race before becoming a broodmare. Creighton and Gillian bred from her for a number of years and her best foal proved to be Angela Gold (In The Pocket) which won two races here before heading state side. She won a further twenty two races there, recording a best mile time of 1-53.0. “Phil gave me a share in her (Mocca Magic). She won at Forbury Park driven by Ricky May. Phil gave him fifty bucks unbeknown to me and I gave him fifty as well. Ricky didn’t say no to either.” (Laughter). So the breeding bug had begun. “Over a few years Phil bought three broodmares that I had shares in. 1981 was our first sale and we took a filly up to Christchurch. He’s had two or three in the sales each year ever since and I’ve had an average of one. We never made any money for many years but by selling them it kept the pot boiling.” Gillan also bought at the sales, purchasing a Bettor’s Delight colt Match Point at the 2011 Yearling Sales in Christchurch. He was out of the lightly raced Badlands Hanover mare Clijsters. Her second dam Vicario was a half-sister by Soky’s Atom to New Zealand Cup winner Il Vicolo. Vicario was a very good broodmare leaving Stunin Cullen the winner of the Hunter Cup, Great Northern Derby, Ashburton Flying Stakes, Sires Stakes Final, as well as twelve other races with total stakes of $1,493,716. Vicario also left Coburg (10 wins). “Dean Taylor trained him (Match Point) for three or four starts and said he was going to take time. Eventually we brought him down to Graeme Anderson to train on the beach. I think the beach work and more aggressive driving by Dexter Dunn helped him. I owned him with John Blakeley who passed away about a year ago. Unfortunately in New Zealand you soon get out of your class and he wasn’t good from a stand so we sold him to Australia.” Match Point won his first start at Forbury for Taylor and two other races from that stable before he was transferred to Anderson’s stable. He won first up for Anderson at Winton in March 2015. He won three other races before he was exported to Aussie later that year. In Australia he’s won another seven races and paced a mile in 1-51.6. “That was my introduction to Graeme Anderson. I’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to buy shares in three horses with him since.” Typical of his accounting background, Gillan has been calculating with these investments. From capital gained from the sale of his high end yearlings he’s reinvested in racing stock that have been up and running and with potential. That investment money has primarily come from broodmare gem Asabella. She was bought as a yearling at the 2002 yearling sales by Creighton for about $48,000 and Gillan bought into the ownership. She was by In The Pocket out of the Smooth Fella mare Bellisimo. It’s the family that has produced Jovial Jennie the winner of nine races and the dam of Happy Hazel which won twelve races including the 1989 Great Northern Oaks. Asabella was initially trained by Mark Purdon and won just two races. “She had a bit of speed but lacked toughness. She raced a bit in Auckland over the short distances and didn’t have much luck.” After her racing days were over the partnership set about breeding from her. In 2008 they sold Red River Hanover gelding Black Denim to Rob Storer for $27,500. He was renamed Code Red and won six in New Zealand and another six in Australia. The following year Dave Carville bought the mares next foal Bet On Black for $45,000 and he was renamed as well – Ohoka’s Bondy looked smart at two but was exported to Australia winless. However he ultimately won twenty two races in Australia including the $125,000 Group One Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park. Asabella’s next foal and first filly Dancing Diamonds was also sold at the yearling sales in 2010 - knocked down to Mark Purdon for $110,000. She was raced by Braeden and Caroline Whitelock. She won her first four races as a two year old and her two biggest wins were in the New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Two and Three Year Old Championship. She won $343,276. As a broodmare Dancing Diamonds has left two foals of racing age; Rock Diamonds which has won fourteen races in Australia including the Group Two Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park, the Group Three John Higgins Memorial and Group Two Westral Four Year Old Classic both at Gloucester Park. The mare’s other foal is the unbeaten Art Major filly Princess Tiffany. Her five wins include the Group One Caduceus Club Two Year Old Fillies Classic and Two Year Old Diamond at this year’s Harness Jewells at Cambridge. The following year Trevor Lindsay from Australia bought Asabella’s Mach Three filly Bluegrass Belle for $52,000. She was exported to Australia but never raced. Things were about to get even better for the Creighton and Gillan breeding partnership. In 2013 and 2015 they bred the top lot at the Christchurch yearling sales. Both out of Asabella; Titanium was bought by Emilo and Mary Rosati for $170,000 in 2013 while two sales later the same couple bought Asabella’s next foal Bollinger for $200,000. Since then Robinson Crusoe ($24,500) and Brantley ($35,000) the mare’s next two foals, have sold but are currently unraced.  Asabella’s eight foals when sold at the sales grossed $664,000 that being an average of $83,000 per foal. “She’s eighteen now and we’re very keen to get a filly out of her to carry on the bloodline. She aborted a Bettor’s Delight filly about eighteen months ago and is in foal to Art Major so hopefully we get a filly at Christmas time. Those sales (Titanium and Bollinger) gave us a bit of money to buy into pacers. Phil had a quarter share in three horses with the Kennards and he gave me a half of his quarter share in all three horses. They all won. Meticulous was the best, he was a nice horse but he had a lot of injuries.” Meticulous was the first foal by Christian Cullen out of the Falcon Seelster mare Syriana, and she’s from the famed Black Watch family.  He was bought by Mark Purdon for $100,000 at the 2012 Australasian Classic Yearling Sales.  “I love the sales. I study the catalogue every night. I’m more of a theory man than being hands on.” Since then Stu’s had shares in seven to eight horses with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. “Thefixer’s been the best. He’s back in work.” Thefixer has won six of his eleven starts, and won his last two during Cup week last November. He hasn’t been sighted since. “He got a nail in the foot at Auckland. He came back and raced at Cup Week on both days but then it got infected so we turned him out for two months.” The Gillans also bought into Titan Banner in October 2015 after the horse had won five races. He went on to win another eleven with Pauline in the ownership and finished his New Zealand career when he ran second to Vincent in the 2017 Auckland Cup. They also purchased a share in the Art Major gelding Eamon Maguire which had won two workouts and qualified before they joined the ownership.   Bruce Stewart

On Friday (November 2) it was announced that star New Zealand harness racing pacer Lazarus will stand stud in 2019. The announcement was jointly made by the stallion's owner, Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Sales and Stallions and Mike Gulotta of Deo Volente Farms. The "Wonder from Down Under" will stand in New Jersey at Deo Volente Farms. The richest pacing stallion in Australasian harness racing history, Lazarus (Bettors Delight-Bethany) had a record of 2-3-0 in six North American starts. He retires with a lifetime summary of 37-8-4 from 51 starts and more than $3.1 million in earnings.   Further details as to stud fee and syndication information will be announced as they become available.

No final decision has been made but if it was a sentimental decision you could not help thinking it would be Thefixer. Not that it would need to be a sentimental decision. He just might be the best chance. Eight wins from 14 starts is not to be sneezed at in any company. And in his first start since mid-September you would expect even more improvement from this run his last before the Cup. Instead he gave them all a chance to beat him and held them at bay. Rated well four back on the outer by Natalie, Thefixer came into the race quickly went clear and fought off all challenges the most impressive of who was Dream About Me who had Tim and Paul and Mary Kenny all smiles with her super effort. Natalie’s affection for Thefixer is never hidden. “Just about the perfect racehorse. Tries so hard has the manners and the pace to get where you want him to be and just does everything you ask of him” she said “I mean he hadn’t raced for so long compared to most here and you would hardly know” Mark was not so happy about Ultimate Machete “A pass mark, just. He will have to be sharper to win the Cup I was hoping for better really”   Thefixer winning at Addington last night   Courtesy of All Stars Racing stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

American harness racing TV and media personality Heather Vitale is ready for a huge trip Down Under for New Zealand Cup week in Christchurch.   Vitale is a third-generation in the harness racing business, who presently lives on her family’s horse farm/Standardbred training facility in Harrington, Delaware. Although she grew up enjoying the hands-on experience of working with horses, the licensed Standardbred horse trainer found her forte in the sport to be through the avenue of publicity. With an army of social media fans she's using social media to report on harness racing to a global audience. She not only brings a behind-the-scenes and fresh look at horse racing to the fans, but also a candid look at her life in racing. Her fun and easy-going attitude has made her Facebook Live broadcasts incredibly popular.  On her trip to New Zealand, Heather can not wait to get here, I'M GOING TO NEW ZEALAND NEXT WEEK! How am I feeling? Well, I only said the word "excited" about 1,329 times during my phone interview with Jess Smith....so, yeah, we'll go with I'M REALLY EXCITED!  Heather told Harnesslink today she has quite a few stops planned when making her way down the country. "I leave America on November 4th and I'll be in Auckland for a couple days to visit Alabar Farm Stud and Woodlands, as well as the Herlihy stable.   "Then, when I get to Christchurch I'm visiting Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen All Stars Stable as well as Grant Crabbe (Breeder of Shartin) and former Cup winners Monkey King and Christian Cullen at Dancingonmoonlight Farm.   "In addition to NZ Trotting Cup Day, I'm taking in the action for the Thoroughbreds and Greyhounds during the week," she said.   http://www.heathervitale.com/home.html   Harnesslink Media

Ultimate Machete has to be Mr Perfect to leave Addington tonight as a deserved favourite for the New Zealand Trotting Cup. The long-time favourite has been unplaced in all three races this season and yet punters have stuck firm with him, especially after Aussie star Chicago Bull was withdrawn with injury this week. Memories of his previous Cup week heroics, winning the Sires’ Stakes at three and crushing Tiger Tara in the free-for-all last season, as well as the fact he is trained by Purdon-Rasmussen have seen Ultimate Machete still lead the market even though he has galloped away in two of his three starts this term. But now the time for excuses are over. With just 11 days until the New Zealand Cup fitness can no longer be a concern and he will never get a better chance to step away safely than off the 30m mark tonight, with plenty of room and horses to follow out and keep his mind on the job. A safe beginning from Ultimate Machete should enable him to work forward and bully most of his rivals tonight and win. Anything less, and Tiger Tara deserves to be Cup favourite. Trainer Mark Purdon is cautiously optimistic the composition of tonight’s race suits his stocky five-year-old. “Usually following them out like that they get their chance to step away and at home he can actually be brilliant away but you have to get him on the right foot,” says Purdon. “So I’d like to see that this week because he goes back to a full front line in the Cup where his manners will need to be perfect.”Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen hold the aces in the feature and he says Dream About Me is every bit as good achance as Ultimate Machete while Thefixer is over a recent setback and worked pleasingly on Wednesday morning so along with the likes of Alta Orlando mean Ultimate Machete will have to earn that Cup favouritism tonight. Tonight’s meeting sees some important pre-Cup meeting clashes, with the next heat of the Sires’ Stakes and class three-year-olds Ultimate Sniper (Ultimate Machete’s little brother) versus Major Trojan in a lower grade race.   Michael Guerin

Record growth in customer numbers underpins New Zealand Racing Board result Operating Profit up 4.7% Record distributions to racing and sporting industry 20% growth in account customers The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) continues to increase its support to New Zealand racing and sport, announcing an operating profit result of $154.9 million for the year ending 31 July 2018, up $6.9 million (4.7%) on last year. Including the investment in its strategic initiatives, reported net profit was $145.9 million, $1.9 million (1.3%) ahead of last year, despite the delay in 'Racefields' legislation which was budgeted to provide more than $4.9 million to racing. Financial highlights released ahead of the NZRB's 2018 Annual Report, which is due out later this year, include distributions to the three racing codes reaching a record $148.2 million, an increase of $10.6 million on last year. A further $1 million was allocated from NZRB's industry enhancement funds to improve stakes, infrastructure and youth development. "These results continue our track record of increasing profits and distributions year on year and are underpinned by record growth in customer numbers combined with margin improvement and disciplined cost management," says NZRB Chair, Glenda Hughes. "An additional $12 million in funding provided the industry with a much needed boost in stakes money in 2017/18," says NZRB CEO, John Allen. "As well as record distributions to the racing industry, commission payments of $10.2 million were made to 34 national sporting organisations, up $1.0 million (10.4%) on last year. In addition, our gaming activities have delivered $12.8 million in funding applied to the racing industry and $3.4 million in grants to community sporting organisations, up 6.8% on last year." "These strong results have been enabled by Kiwis connecting with the TAB like never before. Over the past year NZRB has delivered a number of customer and channels initiatives which has seen the total number of account customers betting with us during the year reach a record 230,000, up 20% on last year." "During the year, the NZRB has continued to ensure our costs are strictly managed and as a result our underlying operating expenses to run the business increased by a modest $0.8 million (0.6%) compared to last year, while underlying staff expenses decreased by $3.1 million or 5.1% on last year," says Allen. "We are delivering on our financial commitments to racing and sport that supports the future sustainability of our industry, and these results show that the TAB is a significant and valuable industry asset. "Looking forward, we are confident of achieving our long term ambitious targets however the outcomes of the recent review of the racing industry by Mr John Messara will be a key consideration for the Board." "We have considered the report in detail and agree with a majority of the recommendations, however the potential outsourcing of the TAB will need to be thoroughly analysed to ensure any decisions which are made are in the best, long term interests of our customers and the industry" says Allen. The full NZRB Annual Report for 2017/18 will be released at the NZRB AGM at NZRB Head Office in Petone on Friday 7 December.   Kate Gourdie   Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board    

Alexandra Park's eight Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings set down for November and December are selling fast but there's still time. "Our three November evenings are probably where we've got the best availability. However individuals, businesses and organisations need to book now to avoid disappointment," says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. The 2018 Christmas At The Races evenings will take place on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 8 and 15 December. The incredibly popular nights are promoted as the perfect work Christmas party with a gourmet buffet, stunning décor, and great entertainment including a visit from Santa himself!. Holly packages remain available from $70 per person, as do the delightful Mistletoe packages at $115 with the option of track-view dining outside on the Epsom Balconies. Also, still available are the premium Pohutukawa packages in the Tasman Room from $140 which include a premium drinks package. However, Pohutukawa packages in Alexandra Park's level five Top of the Park venue, priced from $165, are now limited but with some availability still on 16 November and 21 December. Ms Visser says regardless of the hospitality package, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can-eat Christmas-style buffet. She says Alexandra Park's exclusive President's Suite can also be hired for private parties, with availability remaining on both 16 and 30 November as well as 21 December. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. Cameron Brewer

After his second in the South Bay Trotters Cup at Kaikoura Ronald J moves to 10th place in the Dominion Rankings. The Almighty Johnson and Le Lievre's Gift both enjoyed good jumps up the Rankings following solid showings at Kaikoura and prior. Tornado Valley was the only withdrawal from the Dominion this week. In the Cup Rankings we saw one of the Australian charges Chicago Bull be withdrawn due to an injury. With less than two weeks to go until the big race the final chance to move up the rankings comes this weekend at Addington. View the full ranking list here!   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Harness Racing Victoria  has announced the third round of rankings for the 2018 TAB Inter Dominion for both pacing and trotting.   To view the full list of rankings click here!   Cody Winnell MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA

TAB News Thu 01 November - $25k Palmerston North Night Harness Fri 02 November - $25k TURBO Alex Park/Addington Night Harness   New Zealand Cup Week Golf Tournament – Sunday 11 November Once again the New Zealand Cup Week Golf tournament will be held on Sunday 11 November at the Waimari Beach Golf Club. In its 12th year, this tournament is a hugely popular Cup Week tradition and one you will not want to miss. Organised by Laurie Goodson, this year the tournament will raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand and also funds to support Jacob Dunn’s journey to Melbourne to represents New Zealand in the Mini  Trot Interdominion Championship this December. The tournament will be best three of four stablefords. Entry is just $60 per player and includes on course food and refreshments and also a top quality prize table. Limited spaces remain and everyone is welcome. To enter please contact Laurie on 021 713 340 or email thegoodsons53@gmail.com   Manawatu – Thursday 1 November Night two of this week's Manawatu meeting. An eight race card starting at 5.18pm.    Addington – Friday 2 November  Hello Everyone, We literally have one meeting left until Melbourne Cup and then our big Cup Week.  Good luck to all leading up to our big week. Next Tuesday – Melbourne Cup Day….have a break and come along to Spectators! With free entry, great food, tasty brews and awesome views of all the live action on our big screens, Spectators is the place to be this Melbourne Cup Day! What is included? Happy Hour between 1.30pm and 3.00pm On-site TAB facilities Losing ticket draws and sweepstakes MC giving out Spot prizes including best dressed Just a reminder - First race - 12.50pm I Melbourne Cup Race - 5.00pm I Last Race - 7.20pm We recommend bookings; please phone: 339 7915 or email: info@spectators.co.nz See you there!  Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day General Admission / Public Village – only $22 until today - 31 October (1 November - $32 per ticket). PURCHASE YOUR GENERAL ADMISSION / PUBLIC VILLAGE TICKET on 31 OCTOBER AND SAVE $10! Entertainment New Zealand based DJ/Production duo SWEET MIX KIDS will get the party going the in the Public Village. SWEET MIX KIDS have played some of the worlds coolest parties, clubs and festivals – Coachella, Wanderlust, Rhythm & Vines – and toured supporting or playing private parties for Adele, Ed Sheeran, Martin Garrix, Flume, Coldplay, Deadmau5, Schoolboy Q, Empire Of The Sun, Marshmello, Rae Sremmurd & Kimbra. The stylish and highly sought-after Lindauer Lawn – only $70 a ticket The headline entertainment on Lindauer Lawn Rooftop this year is New Zealand’s popular band SONS OF ZION who will be living it up with their explosive sets as members seamlessly switch from vocals, to guitar, to drums and then back again. SONS OF ZIONare the opening act to the sold out Six60 concert at Western Springs in February 2019 and have amassed an impressive 22 million streams on Spotify, more than 15 million views on Youtube and 100,000-plus followers on social media.  Attention all Owners for Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day Please can you ensure your email address and mobile number is up to date and registered with HRNZ, as this year your Cup Day Admission tickets will be sent by email, AND further Cup Information will also be text to you.  If you are unsure if your details are registered correctly or need to register please contact Addington Raceway Department on 03 338 9094. Show Day Races – No Public Surcharges Show Day Races are nearly here!  Entry is by gold coin donation only for the charity, Maia Health Foundation.  There is a free children’s entertainment zone for the first time this year. One of Christchurch’s favourite bands Sky Machine will be the lead act on the Lindauer Lawn.  Gates open at 10.30am for public (hospitality opens at 11.45am).  It will be exciting to see who wins the Kiwi Punters Championship Grand Final and the 12 races, especially for the Group One Races Used to Me @ Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Trot, Woodlands NZ Free For All and for the exciting Kidz Kartz Final!  UPCOMING RACE MEETING PROGRAMMES AT THE NZMTC https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/111332pg.htm       CUP DAY https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/111632pg.htm       SHOW DAY https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/programmes/113032pg.htm       November 30 (Tentative) For tickets and assistance with any of the above please visit addington.co.nz or ring 03 338 9094. Safe travels everyone and we look forward to welcoming you to Addington again soon. From the Addington Team    Alexandra Park – Friday 2 November Christmas at the Races - November 16th – December 21st Everything you need to know for your night at Christmas at the Races! Christmas at the Races is one of our most popular events of the year. If you’re looking for a fantastic and easy to organise Christmas Party, with delicious food, stunning decor and entertainment, then look no further! Packages starting at $70 ATC 2019 Syndicate: Over the last two decades, the Auckland Trotting Club has formed 17 syndicates, each comprising either 40 or 50 shares and racing between 2 and 4 horses. To date, all 17 syndicates have proved, or are proving, very successful: At this year’s Australasian Classic Yearling Sale or the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, the Auckland Trotting Club 2019 Syndicate’s yearlings were selected by the top trainers Robert Dunn, Brent Mangos and Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson: Name: Alta Redeemer Trainer: Robert Dunn Name: Christianshavtime Trainer: Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson Name: Bet West Trainer: Brent Mangos When you join an ATC Syndicate, not only do you get to enjoy the thrill of owning and racing harness racehorses, but you can also be very involved in Harness Racing generally, initially at Alexandra Park and the wider Auckland/Waikato area and then quite possibly venturing further afield in New Zealand and Australia, as some previous ATC Syndicates have. There are many advantages involved with being part of one of the Auckland Trotting Club Syndicates. These include; the comparatively low costs, the opportunity to share in the ownership of well bred horses trained by some of the best trainers in New Zealand, making new friendships with like-minded people, having total involvement in the Harness Racing industry and having the opportunity to participate in social events and possibly travel throughout the year. Every month, syndicate members receive a detailed newsletter documenting each horse’s progress, member news, and other information. Regular updates are placed on a phone-in message service, which can be accessed at anytime from anywhere in New Zealand free of charge. We have already had syndicate members from a wide geographical location around New Zealand, from Kaeo and Kaitaia in the North, to Dunedin and Invercargill in the South, as well as from the USA, Canada, England, Japan, Australia (Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) and even Iceland. Each year of establishing a new Syndicate, the Auckland Trotting Club has implemented their hugely successful formula of buying three richly bred yearlings at the Yearling Sales, with these horses being selected by and trained by some of New Zealand’s leading trainers. For further information please contact or go to www.alexandrapark.co.nz/racing/syndicates: Andrew Jamieson – ATC Syndication Manager Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:  ajamieson175@gmail.com If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email on dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or give us a call on 09 631 1165   Timaru Harness Racing Club – Saturday 3 November Timaru Cup meeting to be held at Phar Lap Raceway.   Riverton Trotting Club – Sunday 4 November RIVERTON TROTTING CLUB PLANS GREAT DAY TO MARK MILESTONE The Riverton Trotting Club is planning an exciting day to mark a significant milestone when they host their annual race meeting at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Sunday 4 November. This year marks forty years since the clubs first totalisator meeting held at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on 2 December 1978. The first winner on the card that day was Hispaniola which was owned by the Setarip Syndicate. The syndicate which originated from members of the Pirates Rugby Club (Setarip is Pirates spelt backwards) is still in existence today, and will in fact celebrate 50 years next season. The current members have been invited to join the club to mark the 40 year milestone. Ironically that win in the Riverton Club’s first ever totalisator race was also the syndicate’s very first win. The Riverton Club itself has been in existence since the 1960’s. The club now races on the all-weather track at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill and the feature races on the day will be the DT Kings Transport Riverton Cup and the Neville Cleaver Fishing Aparima Handicap Trot. The club is excited by the support of DT Kings who are a new sponsor for the club’s premier race of the season. Two races also acknowledge two of the club’s stalwarts, the late Bill Keast and Graeme ‘GB’ Robertson, QSM. The club will also run a competition in conjunction with More FM, the winner becoming the Owner Of The Day. That person will be given a horse in the Cup and will become part of the ownership team for the day. The prize will include hospitality in the sponsor area, the opportunity to visit the horse in the stabling area prior to the race and talk to the trainer and driver plus the opportunity to have their photo taken with the horse after the race. The winner will also receive a dual sulky ride on the day and will be presented with a $100 voucher for use at Emberz Restaurant at the Ascot Park Hotel. Two pictorial quizzes will feature in the racebook with a $50 betting voucher up for grabs on each of them. On-course the very popular gift baskets will also be presented to each winner. Teams from the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club will also be on-course battling it out in their very popular, annual punters competition. The first race is scheduled for 12.25pm and admission to the course is free!   Southern Harness News  A TON OF FEED TO BE WON      Thanks to McMillan Equine Feeds, there is a ton of feed to be won during the 2018/2019 Southern Harness Racing season. At every Sunday race meeting during the season the trainer of every race winner will win a free bag of McMillan Equine Feeds. At the conclusion of the Wyndham Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 18 November all trainers who have won a race on a Sunday up until that time will get one entry into a draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds. The competition then starts afresh with the trainer of each Sunday race winner for the remainder of the season getting one entry into a new draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds to be held after the Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 3 March. That is one ton of McMillan Equine Feeds up for grabs! Southern Harness Racing thanks McMillan Equine Feeds for their generous support. QUALIFYING DATES: Sunday 21 October Tuapeka HRC – Forbury Park, Dunedin Sunday 28 October Invercargill HRC – Invercargill Sunday 4 November Riverton TC – Invercargill Sunday 11 November Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 18 November Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 16 December Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 6 January Wyndham HRC - Cromwell Sunday 3 February Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 17 February Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 3 March Invercargill HRC - Invercargill    HRNZ Marketing

A freakish injury to Chicago Bull has turned his connection’s New Zealand Trotting Cup dream into a nightmare. The brave little pacer surged to Cup favouritism with an incredible victory at Alexandra Park last Friday but an injury suffered just hours later means he won’t race again this season. The prolific pacing pony flipped over backwards when being treated on Saturday morning and fell on his back, ultimately suffering six or eight fractures to his whither region. “It didn’t look great but he seemed fine afterwards and we were able to jog him on Sunday and Monday,” says driver and caretaker trainer Gary Hall junior. “But then it got worse and his movement got worse so we took him to the vets where they discovered the fractures. “It is something I have heard of but never seen a horse get injured like that before. And the vet said he had seen a horse suffered a couple of fractures like that before but not six or eight. “The most important news is the long-term prognosis is good and they are confident he will be able to race again. “So he will have two months in a box here in Pukekohe, then two more months spelling and then maybe start jogging again. But this season is gone.” While Chicago Bull had numerous feature race options this season the one that burned brightest for the Halls was the New Zealand Cup in 13 days time. It is a race trainer Gary Hall senior has always cherished but been unable to get his best horses to for one reason or another. Now he has found the cruellest way of all to be ruled out of it. The way he won last Friday night Chicago Bull deserved favouritism for the Cup, especially in a year when the New Zealand open class ranks are lacking a genuine superstar. Instead for Team Hall the New Zealand Cup 2018 will forever be the one that got away. He joins a remarkable list of open class pacers who will be missing from this year’s Cup due to injury, sale or retirement. Of the biggest names who contested the Cups, Inter Dominion and/or the Miracle Mile carnival last season Lazarus, Vincent, Heaven Rocks, Soho Tribeca, My Field Marshal, Jilliby Kung Fu and Lennytheshark will not be around for the pivotal next six weeks during which the Cup and Inter Dominion will be decided. It is rare case of the Cup non-starters far outweighing the star power of those left in the great race, held for $800,000 at Addington on November 13. Tiger Tara is now the only Australian-trained pacer in the Cup and could well start favourite depending what happens at Addington on Friday night. One-time Cup favourite Ultimate Machete could snare that role back if he wins his final lead-up race over 2600m standing start in which he meets stablemate Dream About Me. But much like the Dominion Trot on November 16, which has been shorn of injured champion trotter Monbet, the Cup is the most open in years. One horse who won’t be coming to Cup week is in-form Victorian trotter Tornado Valley, with trainer Andy Gath deciding to stay home and concentrate on the Inter Dominion starting December 1 as the gelding doesn’t travel well. Michael Guerin

Will Shartin be crowned the USTA Horse of the Year? Following her victory in the $270,00 Breeders Crown Open Mares Pace at Pocono Downs last weekend, the New Zealand bred mare has clearly established herself as the best pacing mare in the world. It is the first time a ‘down under’ performer has won a Breeders Crown Final. Other feature race victories include the $373,000 Matchmaker at Yonkers, $150,000 Betsy Ross at Harrah’s, $102,200 Sam ‘Chip’ Noble Memorial at Miami Valley, Ohio, $370,000 Roses are Red at Mohawk, $197,400 Lady Liberty at Meadowlands and the $98,500 Allerage Farms Mare Pace at The Red Mile. Overall, Shartin has won 18 of her 23 starts in North America this season for trainer Jim King Jr. and owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. And with earnings currently sitting at $968,361 – she has surpassed the previous record of Dreamfair Eternal's seasonal earnings record for a pacing mare of $925,575 set in 2010 as well as moving nearer the million-dollar mark. Her next assignment will come in the $175,000 TVG Mares FFA at Meadowlands on November 24. Given the fact that Atlanta, a winner of the Hambletonian against the colts and geldings earlier this year, was beaten in her Breeders Crown Final only strengthens the claims of Shartin taking the top gong. The Tintin In America mare was developed by astute Victorian based horseman Dean Braun and won 7 of her 13 starts including both the Queensland and Tasmanian Oaks. And it was great to see Braun part of the celebrations trackside last weekend. “That was something else to be trackside to watch her achieve something that has never been done before, a horse to come from the southern hemisphere and win a Breeders Crown plus all of the other features she’s claimed is truly remarkable,” Braun said. “It was super to finally meet Richard and the King’s after countless phone-calls during the journey, they’ve done an unbelievable job with her and I wish them continued success. The scary part is I think she is far from finished and the team behind her believes that too.” He added. Only recently, Braun sold Duplicated to Poillucci and he has entered the stables of Team King. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding qualified recently at Harrah’s Chester in Philadelphia winning in a time of 1:56.2 Duplicated is scheduled to make his North American debut later this week.   by Chris Barsby

Queensland will not be represented in the 2018 New Zealand Cup. The famed two mile stand-start feature staged in Christchurch at Addington Raceway will take place on November 14 and Alleluia won’t be making the trip. Prepared by Grant Dixon for leading owner Greg Mitchell, a late entry payment was made last month which had the Art Major gelding on the cusp of the final field of 15 starters before slipping to 17th in the latest rankings form Harness Racing New Zealand. Following his third placing behind Let It Ride in the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park during the winter carnival back in July, Alleluia continued his strong form with a string of open class victories at Albion Park during August and September. As a result, connections decided to chase the New Zealand Cup. But his form has dipped slightly in recent weeks including his latest effort last weekend when fourth behind his stable mate Ohoka Punter after leading. “While he’s a proven Redcliffe Cup winner he’s not entirely comfortable on the track, the other major factor of not going ahead with New Zealand is the travel involved. There is no direct flight into Christchurch meaning we have to road down to Sydney before flying to Auckland and then getting a connecting flight to Christchurch which is very taxing.” Dixon said. Alleluia remains in contention for the Inter Dominion series coming up in Melbourne starting on December 1. In the latest rankings from Harness Racing Victoria, he sits 36th. The Queensland Summer Carnival is another option available for connections with a trio of open class features scheduled The local carnival starts on December 1. “We’ll see where he ends up with the rankings for the Inter but the local carnival is a nice back-up and he’ll be very competitive in each of those races. “His form is still very solid, the open class races are very competitive here and once we return to Albion Park, I think his best will return.” Alleluia has won 33 races from 138 starts while banking more than $521,000.   Chris Barsby

Patience brings its own rewards and that was certainly the case for the connections of Spankem when he triumphed with a masterly Tim Williams drive to give All Stars a win on the 50th anniversary of the Purdon family’s first runner in the Kaikoura Cup. Phil and Glenys Kennard, Ken and Karen Breckon, Jim and Ann Gibbs and Gary and Kerre Woodham learned patience early with the well-bred Spankem. He posted four smart placed performances as a two year old before a winning turn but then he got his due reward winning the Sires Stakes Final after a great placed run from outside the second row in the PGG Wrightson Sales Pace. Then he had to settle for third in a tight finish behind stablemates Ashley Locaz and The Devil’s Own in the Harness Jewels. The same thing happened to him as a three year old in the rich Sales Pace running third to Chase Auckland and All U Need is Faith and after a win in a heat of the Victoria Derby but a fourth in the final Mark and Natalie specified a lengthy spell to regain his fire and fitness after a busy younger campaign. He seems to have come back better than ever and after his bold run at Ashburton it seemed only a matter of time before he took out a feature race. That was up to Tim who seized the lead off Natalie and Eamon Maguire and dictated the terms. The time for the race was the slowest since Natalie drove Arden Rooney to victory four years ago and over three seconds slower than Lazarus posted with his easy win last year. But Tim sprinted them home in 55.6 and 26.4 and that gave nothing else, including Eamon Maguire, a chance of overhauling him on the flat- cambered Kaikoura track. It was the Kennard’s third win in the race in five years, Fly Like an Eagle having won in 2013 but a first for his partners. Jim Gibbs, busy celebrating a birthday could not be there but he is sure to be on hand for Spankem’s next run in the Junior Free for All on New Zealand Cup day. All Stars have now won four of the last six Kaikoura Cups and All Stars have won nine in all. Eamon Maguire fought on and Cruz Bromac lost no New Zealand Cup caste on his sectionals after appearing to have not all favours at the start.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com