Day At The Track

Trainer Logan Hollis knows Christianshavtime needs a new weapon to have a realistic chance of snaring a Group One this season. He just isn’t sure how he and training partner Shane Robertson are going to help him find it. The four-year-old showed five weeks between runs had done him no harm when he came from last to win the feature pace at Alexandra Park on Friday, clocking a super slick 1:55.4 mile rate for the 2200m mobile. It was his sixth career win and fifth this season as he continues to shape as one of the more promising pacers emerging in the north. His next three races will see him have to step up to the next level though, with group ones in the Taylor Mile, Messenger and the Jewels and in at least two of those gate speed could be crucial. Which is a shame because Christianshavtime doesn’t have any. Yet. “He got out of the gate better this week, actually quite good for him,” says Hollis. “But he doesn’t have that really high gate sped he might need in this grade yet. “We know that would come in handy but he just isn’t that sort of horse yet. But both Maurice and Tony have told us they think it will come with time.” Beating the likes of Copy That and Amazing Dream in the Taylor Mile without gate speed might be beyond Christianshavtime this autumn but by Christmas it wouldn’t surprise to see him competitive in an Auckland Cup, so steep has been his improvement curve. Herlihy, who was at Addington on Friday night, will be back in the sulky for the group ones coming up, with McKendry sliding back behind Copy That. But McKendry would have been smiling early in the 2200m mobile on Friday night as the leaders went super hard early, perfectly setting the race up for Christianshavetime to outswoop Havtime and the brave Kango, who led during the early burn. It was the 12th win of the season for the Pukekohe trainers and Hollis admits that number could be higher but for the sale of Luke John and Mr Ibiza. “But we have no complaints, we have had a great season both with our horses and at the sales.” Hollis and Robertson haven’t been scared to trust their eye, which is obviously very good, as the sales again and are syndicating two horses from the recent yearling sales. “We don’t spend big money and have a couple we really like, we still have shares in an Art Major we got for just $27,000 so we have room for owners and horses.”   By Michael Guerin

Newly-crowned Group One-winning trainer Craig Edmonds says he doesn’t like trotters any more than pacers. “I just like fast horses,” he laughs. But that comment gets harder to believe when Five Wise Men gave Edmonds and his daughter Aimee their first Group One winner in the $100,000 Livamol NZ Trotting Derby at Addington on Friday and you realise of their 51 career wins together 43 have been with trotters. “I suppose we just tend to get more trotters but I think we have done pretty well with the pacers we have had too,” says Edmonds. “But we have been involved with these owners for a long time and they have had such a great breed of trotters so the better horses we get are trotters. “And I do like the shoeing and mucking around with that part of it all so maybe that helps with the trotters.” Edmonds is being overly modest about his success with the squaregaiters as he does plenty of trotting work for son-in-law John Dunn, who is married to his other daughter Jenna. “We all work in well together and Aimee not only helps out with the horses but it great with the accounts and the owners,” says Edmonds. “So it is a real team effort even though Aimee and I don’t have that many horses in our own name.” They have a very good one now though in Five Wise Men, who has left little doubt he is the best of this three-year-old crop, which he had to be on Friday night. He was left out of the early burn by Dunn but got the breeze easily by the bell before giving punters a scare when chucking in a rough stride at the 850m when he started to race fiercely. But even learning on the job he was too good, holding out a luckless Time Up The Hill, a brave Son Of Patrick and Leaf Stride, who was another pushed back at a crucial stage. As good as he has been, Five Wise Men will have to learn a new skill and quickly before he comes to Auckland for the Sires Stakes Final and Northern Trotting Derby as he has never even been worked right-handed. “He does all his work on the beach so I haven’t tried him right-handed at all,” explains Edmonds. “But I will start that next week and I am confident he will be fine because he is good gaited. He hangs out a bit this way so I think he will hang in up there so we might need to tinker with his gear a bit.” Five Wise Men wasn’t the only major race winner on Friday to sit parked on their way to victory with stablemates Cosmic Major and Self Assured doing the same in the Welcome Stakes and the Superstars respectively. Self Assured slid up to the chair at the perfect time but it will still a commanding performance to hold out Amazing Dream after grinding past Pembrook Playboy. Cosmic Major sitting parked outside favourite Akuta in the Welcome Stakes was more of a surprise even though the son of Art Major has done nothing wrong in his two career starts. The wraps on Akuta were big but Cosmic Major was just too good with a no excuse performance in the hands of Tim Williams,  and suggested right now he might be the best of the Hayden Cullen freshman pacers who dominated the race with the first four home.   by Michael Guerin

Krug’s superstar qualities turned pre-race concern into post-race jubilation as he left his rivals in his wake in a brilliant New Zealand Derby win at Addington on Friday night. Driver Blair Orange seized the opportunity to control the Group One feature in front and in the process delivered the quickest of answers following a week of pontificating by fans and pundits over how the Cran and Chrissie Dalgety trained colt would handle his wide front row.  The result afterwards was both predictable and a delight to the three-year-old’s army of fans as Krug and Orange never gave their rivals even a slight look-in in the home straight.    In winning, the star colt joined a select group of winners of both the New Zealand and Northern derbies.  After taking his camp on a wild ride during his incredible Northern Derby win, Cran Dalgety admitted this time relief was one of his overriding emotions.  “It is actually a thrill just to win one, let alone two.” “Coming into tonight expectations were high that he would perform – that he would win and do this and that.” “But as a trainer you just can’t take that on board until the job is actually done.” “It is a big thrill and a big relief as much as it is a big thrill.” Krug came to be a dual derby winner during a hectic three-year-old season, packed with two-year-old features rescheduled because of COVID19. The Dalgety stable have expertly guided their star colt through a busy schedule and under their management Krug just keeps getting better. Cran was modest when he and his wife were credited for an outstanding training performance.   “We planned to do this, we planned to get him fit and planned to get him healthy.” “But the last percentage is in the lap of the gods and we were lucky in that respect.” “Blair was able to drive him hard and he was still good enough to fight the others off.” The Harness Jewels are the next target for New Zealand’s star three-year-old. Beyond that the Dalgety camp are spoilt for choice with plenty of age-group features to target across the Tasman. Though nothing has been confirmed, the Dalgety stable is leaning towards venturing to Australia rather than aiming their derby winning star at the New Zealand Cup.  “What to do next is a very good question and a very hard one to answer," Cran said.  “To answer it half-pie, sure we would love to be in the New Zealand Cup.” “But I don’t want to miss the age-group racing on the way through because we can’t back-pedal on that.” “The New Zealand Cup will always be there every 365 days.” “You are only three once and to tentatively put it forward, I would love to have a crack at another derby or two in Australia.” The Dalgety camp have the Rising Sun (July 10), the Queensland Derby (July 24), Victoria Derby (October 9) and the Australasian Breeders Crown (November 21) as possible targets.  B D Joe chased hard from the trail to run second behind Krug, his second Group One second placing following his runner-up effort behind It’s All About Faith in the Sires Stakes Final.  The Falcon followed the quinella makers through from three-deep on the markers to run third.    by Jonny Turner 

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Ascot park today with a nine race program starting at 12:10pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good afternoon of racing. Invercargill selections 10th April 2021 Best Bet:  R4 Bizzie Lou Best Value:  R6 Classy Dancer   Race 1 Cautious Galleon (1) Beauty Barry (9) Father Quinn (11) Wonthavtime (5)   Race 2 American Lightning (7) Onesmartfella (6) Pearl Harbour (8) Franco Huntington (1)   Race 3 Keep On Dreaming (5) Beaudiene Hustler (6) Sweet Belle (1) Yankee Shard (9)   Race 4 Bizzie Lou (12) Black Ops (1) Magnetic Terror (2) Wattlebank Star (8)   Race 5 Ah Mach (7) Paradise Valley (2) Northview Peg (3) Threetimesbetter (5)   Race 6 Classy Dancer (4) Ohoka Agent (9) Stoneyroyd (13) So Art I (1)    Race 7 Tweedledee (6) Jimmy Carter (5) Fanny Hill (3) Crusher Collins (2)   Race 8 King Of The North (10) Prince Envy (11) Svelt (7) Miss Jessica (1)   Race 9 Tac Mac (4) Port Au Prince (3) Calico Hill (9) Changearound (1)   Harnesslink Media

Speedy four year old trotter Muscle Mountain landed a special Group One harness racing win tonight at Addington Raceway giving his driver Ben Hope his first Group One victory when winning the Fred Shaw Memorial NZ Trotting Championship. For Hope winning his first Group One was a dream come true, "Unbelievable, It's what I have dreamed about my whole life, winning races and especially Group Ones,"  he said after the race. "Going into the race I thought a place would be his lot against those top horses but he just proved to me he is just a winner. He just wants to win. "All the way up the straight I thought I would get second but he just stuck his neck out and it is just a huge credit to the horse," he said. Muscle Mountain (Muscle Hill - Paramount Faith) beat a game Sundees Son by 3/4 of a length with 2 1/2 lengths back to Bolt For Brilliance in third. The winners time was 3-14.6 for the 2600m mobile with a sizzling last 800m in 55.4 and 400m in 27.3 seconds.   Harnesslink Media

They could be two old men discussing great horses over a beer in the members lounge at Addington Raceway. Don Bates, in his 70s, is quietly spoken and retiring, Warwick Gendall, approaching 80, is confident and talkative. In fact the setting is more formal. Gendall, a retired High Court judge, is chairing a panel of the Judicial Control Authority (JCA) – a tribunal that adjudicates charges laid by racing's investigation and prosecution arm, the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU). Bates has been brought in to read a statement about the impact of frauds committed by young trainer Mitchell Kerr, who the panel has found guilty of selling a non-existent horse, over-selling shares in horses and charging owners for insurance not taken out. Gendall will go on to talk about integrity, the privilege of holding a licence, the profession of training horses and the responsibilities that entails. The bespectacled Bates, a former chartered accountant who has bred standardbred horses and been part of the harness racing scene in the South Island for more than 50 years, says he regards Kerr as a friend. He lent him money and gave him horses to train. Kerr, in the grip of a $1 million gambling addiction, cheated him of about $30,000, but worse for Bates was being robbed of the enjoyment of racing. His trust in trainers was in tatters, and he felt unwelcome at the races because of flak towards him over informing the RIU instead of keeping it in-house. Bates was not the only one hurting. In an industry based on integrity and its participants upholding certain standards to retain continued public confidence, Kerr's misdeeds are damaging. The young trainer, who has handed in his licence, is waiting to learn if the JCA will ban him for life.   Read the full story click here! by Martin Van Beynen Courtesy of Stuff

Just over a decade ago, Australian Peter Chambers made the bold move of purchasing a 2YO trotting filly from France for a six figure sum and his instincts have proven right on the money, with the mare, subsequently named Glenferrie Unixa, having now produced multiple group one winner Une Belle Allure and good harness racing performer Beau Garcon. Glenferrie Farms’ Chambers was, looking to replace brilliant trotting filly Kahdon, who had gone amiss, and had heard of a promising 2YO filly in France through Canterbury horseman Craig Thornley, who knew the trainer’s daughter, Laura Hue, then working in Prebbleton, New Zealand. Thornley, was employed nearby at Spreydon Lodge, where Chambers was a client and understood he had wanted to purchase a trotter with maternal lines from what he considered the best trotters in the world, France. Chambers sent Thornley to France for a week and he was on hand when Unixa was sent to the Normandy port city of Caen to qualify as a 2YO, which entailed trotting flawlessly over 2000m in under 1'22.0 km/h. As Thornley recalled recently: “I went to Caen and watched her trial. There were nearly 200 horses there, all 2YOs and she was the fastest filly on the day and after that I had a few drives of her. She was a really lovely filly.” Indeed Unixa was not only was she the fastest filly on the day, she was actually the fourth fastest overall, trotting home in 1’19”5, which is a respectable time on the sand track at Caen. Thornley says Chambers secured the filly from the trainer, Marion Hue for a six figure sum which as those who have purchased from France know is what you have to pay for a lovely French filly who had qualified well. "He got a really good deal with her, they really looked after him. He actually ended up racing another couple of horses with Mr Hue in France, but he didn't bring those ones back," recalls Thornley. Hue has won some big races in France including the country’s top race for 2YO fillies, the Prix Une De Mai. Unixa is a daughter of Onyx du Goutier (by Franco-American Buvetier d’Aunou) out of Life Sign, by another successful Franco-American-sire in Corot (Workaholic). Both Workaholic and Buvetier d’Aunou’s sire Royal Prestige, are by Speedy Crown, who has proven an absolutely superb nick with the French breed. Life Sign was also a half-sister to the very good performers in O’Donnell (T1.53.4MR, 11 wins, 426.150 euros) and Mister President (T1.56MR, 9 wins, 361,840 euros), a monte specialist. Renamed Glenferrie Unixa, the filly was trained in New Zealand Thornley’s partner Joanne Burrows, and quickly placed three times although she had developed some issues. "She must have injured herself on the way out, must have hurt her stifles or something, because she was not the same horse when she landed here,” says Thornley. “She couldn't stretch out fully, and could not trot as fast as she did when I drove her in France. She only raced a handful of times and she went to stud.” Chambers bred a filly by Angus Hall but after Glenferrie Unixa missed in two subsequent breedings, the mare was put on the market. “I really wished I’d bought her myself, I always thought she’d be a super broodmare, with those French bloodlines, which of course was why Mr Chambers bought her originally,” says Thornley. French enthusiast and Yabby Dam Farms proprietor Pat Driscoll snapped her up, while he also secured the Angus Hall filly (soon to be named Une Belle Allure) as a yearling not long after. Une Belle Allure went on to win four Group Ones, proving Chambers instincts to have been correct all along and both mares are in Yabby Dam Farms broodmare band and have progeny in the  Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale on the weekend. Lot 177 (Pictured) is a colt by Father Patrick out of Une Belle Allure while Lot 178 is a filly by Trixton out Glenferrie Unixa, and should be two of the most sought after trotting yearlings in the sale.   Lot 178 is a filly by Trixton out Glenferrie Unixa Lot 177 is a colt by Father Patrick out of Une Belle Allure View the Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale website.   Yabby Dam Farms

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound. Wolf Stride’s Wagga triumph Wolf Stride achieved yet another moment of glory in a brilliant season when he downed a star-studded field in the $100,000 Riverina Championship Final at Wagga. His superlative success in the Group 1 after being required to overcome a difficult barrier draw and a torrid passage, boosted his seasonal earnings to $349,430, behind only King Of Swing and Lochinvar Lad. Earlier in the year the Rock N Roll Heaven five-year-old gelding annexed the Allied Express NSW Sprint (in 1:49.1), the Bendigo and Terang Cups and the City of Melton Plate and finished third in the Miracle Mile and Ballarat Cup. The winner of $508,950 lifetime, Wolf Stride is out of the Breeders Crown champion Lilac Stride 1:54.4 ($276,140), an Art Major mare who is also the dam of the Group 3 winner Cherry Stride 1:51.2 (129,830). Lilac Stride was out of the Harold Park winner Labretta Franco (1:58.5), by Falcon Seelster from Looks The Part, by Nero’s B B from Living Doll, by Live Or Die. Labretta Franco, the dam of five sub 2:00 winners, was a sister to the NZ Group 2 winner Lewinsky Franco 1:51.4 ($172,980) and the exported Franco Looker (1:53.2) and a half-sister to the NZ Group 3 winner Let Loose and the WA Caduceus Club 3YO Classic winner Franco Look Alike. Wolf Stride was bred and is raced by Sydney enthusiasts Emilio and Mary Rosati.   WA Easter Cup winner   Leap Of Faith, who took out the $50,000 WA Easter Cup, main race of the Gloucester Park Good Friday meeting, is a McArdle mare from the same family as that which produced a top WA pacer in Our Max Phactor. Leap Of Faith – winning WA Easter Cup at Gloucester Park      – Daryl Hallows Photo   Leap Of Faith, who won her first five starts in WA as a four-year-old last season and has now won seven races, has a wealth of breeding on her dam’s side, being out of the Live Or Die mare Faith Philly, a member of the prolific Dusky Morn tribe. Faith Philly, who was only lightly raced, was a half-sister to the WA The Kersley winner Our Max Phactor 1:49.6 ($438,339), the Bathurst Gold Tiara and NSW Pink Bonnet winner My Sweetchilliphilly 1:52.1 ($122,440) and the Gloucester Park winner The Oyster Bar 1:57.1 ($142,184). Their dam, Tact Philly, was a half-sister to the glamour filly Classical 1:57.7, the winner of five and $291,590 in stakes, being out of Class Act (2:02.7), a Smooth Fella mare who was also the dam of The Lead 1:52 ($158,145) and the recent Newcastle winner Cant Explain It (1:56.3) and grand-dam of Mongolian Cavalry (1:53.2), Strawb’s Ideal Act (1:54.5) and Selling The Dream (1:55). This has been one of New Zealand’s most successful families over a long period. From the Class Act branch of it and to which Leap Of Faith belongs, others in the Australian Pacing Gold winner Park Life 1:53.2 ($188,571), the Bendigo Cup victor My Kiwi Mate 1:52.2 ($360,632), My Kiwi Lady 1:51.6 and A Bettor Act 1:55.7 (NZ Diamond Creek Farm Classic) are also members.   By Union Guy Ruby Wingate is proving herself a three-year-old of some worth in Victoria and over the Easter period she numbered the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic among her successes. Ruby Wingate – winning Vicbred Home Grown Classic at Melton    – Stuart McCormick Photo She is a filly by the deceased Western Hanover horse Union Guy from Albert’s Belle, an Albert Albert mare who produced earlier winners in Union Belle (1:55.6), Impressive Guy (1:54.3) and Wingate Guy, all fully related to Ruby Wingate. Albert’s Belle, who was unraced, was out of the American bred Sachet Hanover, an Albatross mare who left five winners including the Moonee Valley winner Youcansaythatagain. Ruby Wingate was bred by Allan Stephens, of Allendale, near Ballarat.   Inter City Pace winner from good racemare Im Quick As Fire, a Bettor’s Delight six-year-old and a winner of the time-honoured Inter City Pace at Maitland, is out of Queen Of Fire, a capable racemare with a record of 1:57.1 who is proving a successful broodmare. Queen Of Fire is also the dam of Bettor Under Fire (1:59.8), a winner of six races in NZ and NSW. Queen Of Fire was a Courage Under Fire mare from Penultimate, by What’s Next from Dream Chaser, by Classic Garry from Dreamwood, by Lumber Dream from Madame Han, who established a great winning line for Victorian breeders Helen and the late Graham Head. Queen Of Fire was a half-sister to the top Tasmanian juvenile Majestic Emperor 1:58.1 ($186,378), to Major Mac (1:59.2) and to the Village Jasper mare Twisted Jasper (2:00.2), dam of Machtwister 1:54.4 (winner of 30 races and $135,893). Their dam, Penultimate, was unraced, but she left seven winners. She was a half-sister to Detroit Dan 1:56.8 ($118,639), Mister Motown (1:59.2, who won 17) and Star Chaser 2:01.1 (7 wins), who, in turn, was the dam of the ‘Cups King’ Safari 1:55.7 ($535,445), the Vicbred 2YO champion Our Maid Marianne 1:57.9 ($110,338), Astronaut 1:53.4 ($264,177) and Major Frank 1:52.8 ($119,028). Other members of this family, which was founded in America by the John Nelson mare Agnes, were the Derby winner Garnet River (1:50), Dont Hold Back (VIcbred 3YO Final), Zeuss Bromac, Gemfire, Vancouver Mac and others. Im Quick As Fire was bred by Melbourne breeders Merv and Meg Butterworth.         Crack colt by A Rocknroll Dance A two-year-old to take high ranking in Victoria this year is Solesseo Matuca, a product of the Rocknroll Hanover horse A Rocknroll Dance, who stands at Alabar Bloodstock’s Echuca property. Solesseo Matuca – winning Shakamaker Classic at Melton         – Stuart McCormick Photo   He has won four races and been twice placed from six starts for $30,300. He won the Shakamaker Classic at Melton in the smart time of 1:55.5 and appears every bit as good as the Victorians rate himn. Solesseo Matuca, who was bred by the late Ken Griffey, is out of a useful racemare in  Princess Dilinger (1:58.2), the best of whose several progeny have been the Youthful Stakes and VHRC 3YO Cup winner Youaremy Sunshine 1:53.8 ($139,500) and Top The Ace 1:55.2 ($107,171). Princess Dilinger ranks as a half-sister to the Melton winner Chirpy Chuckles (1:54.8), being by D M Dilinger from Kylie’s Reason, by Muckalee Strike from Jazz Band, by Jazzy Spark from Smooth Light, a daughter of the Victoria Oaks winner Tail Light. Princess Dilinger was 15 when she left Solesseo Matuca.   Scooterwillrev wins Tasmanian Easter Cup Most important race of the Tasmanian autumn calendar, the $75,000 Easter Cup at Launceston, was won by the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Scooterwillrev, who downed Ryler Major in a photo finish. Scooterwillrev, who was bought for $42,000 as a yearling, has now won 27 races and $235,885 in stakes. He was a brilliant juvenile winning his first six starts including the Crystal Stakes and a Breeders Crown heat, won the Tasmanian Derby as a three-year-old and the Danbury Park Cup at five. By a champion sire in Somebeachsomewhere, he is out of a top broodmare in Karamea Toastime, dam of Australia’s first sub 1:50 mare Jadah Rose 1:49.6 ($465,424), who became the dam of the top Victorian stayer Guaranteed 1:50.4 ($856,316), now standing stud in Victoria, the cups winner Jadahson 1:53.9 ($277,390) and the grand-dam of last year’s outstanding three-year-old Pacifico Dream 1:51 ($251,430). Others from Karamea Toastime were the Melton and Menangle winner Timeseel 1:52.7 ($169,530), the top Tasmanian juvenile Karalta Shine 1:52.6 ($168,973) and Elegant Outlook, dam of this year’s King Island Cup winner Karalta Cruise. Karamea Toastime, who was unraced, was an Armbro Aussie mare from Toast To Missy, an American bred mare by the Bret Hanover who left five winners in Australia including the good Harold Park winner Clickety Clix.   First foal for Maori Time Maori Time, the fastest trotting mare ever bred in Australasia with a record of 1:51.5, foaled a colt by the Prix d’Amerique winner Readly Express at Menhammar Stuteri, one of Sweden’s largest and most successful breeding and training farms, last week. The foal was jointly bred by Fred and Elizabeth Crews, Duncan McPherson, of Aldebaran Park and Menhammar Stuteri. Maori Time won 24 races including four Group 1’s and $421,700 in stakes in her stellar racetrack career. She will be served by Readly Express again this season.   Unconditional is well bred Unconditional, who won at Gloucester Park on Good Friday beating a top rated filly in Black Jack Baby, has now won now four races and looks to be well in line for the forthcoming classics. She ranks as a three-year-old sister by Bettor’s Delight to the brilliant racemare Delightful Offer 1:51.4 ($336,928), now racing successfully in North America. Unconditional – winning at Gloucester Park      – Daryl Hallows Photo Their dam, Dream Offer, was a Dream Away mare from New Offer (1:58.3), by Surmo Hanover from Maria Abbe, has proved a most successful broodmare. She is also the dam of the top Australian pacer Cant Refuse 1:54.5 ($288,733), Our Bettor Dream 1:57.3 ($224,334), Bettor Offer 1:53 ($207,614) and Ultimate Offer (1:54.1), all metropolitan winners. Dream Offer won only once but she was a half-sister to Bella Who (2:00.3), who won three, and to the Frugal Gourmet mare Tightas, dam of the exported Lislight (1:50.8) and Aces N Eights (1:57.4, winner of 11 NZ races).   Up-and-coming trotter One of the most promising trotters racing in Victoria is Justamollyarcher, bred in NZ and trained by Andy Gath. An eight-year-old, Justamollyarcher has raced only twice in Australia for impressive wins in the heat and final of the Colin Redwood Memorial VSTA Trotters Handicap at Melton. Justamollyarcher – winning VSTA Trotters Handicap Final at Melton       – Stuart McCormick Photo   Justamollyarcher has a background of trotting blood second to none. His sire, Angus Hall, has left the great trotting sire Majestic Son, and other top trotters in My Arya, Endsino, Missaandei, Une Belle Allure and Kyvalley Clichy. His dam, Justa Kiwi Girl, a useful trotter herself, is by Gee Whiz II, the leading sire of trotters in NZ for many years. Justamollyarcher ranks as a half-brother to Justakiwiboy (4 wins) and Millwood Munchin (3 wins), the dam of Milly An Eyre, a double winner in Victoria this year.     by Peter Wharton

Kentuckiana Lodge trainers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety have had a spring in their step this week and when Krug drew barrier 9 in the New Zealand Derby they were never even close to breaking stride. Excitement is building at their West Melton stable as the team prepare Krug for his second derby tilt at Addington on Friday night.   News of Krug’s wide front row draw has had harness racing fans and pundits a little concerned about how it will affect the star colt's chances of bagging a second derby crown. Cran and Chrissie do not share their concerns and have barely given the draw a second thought since it was announced on Tuesday. And there are two very good reasons for that. The first is that Krug is showing every sign that he will go into the New Zealand Derby at his absolute peak. And the second is that they have got full faith in driver Blair Orange.  “We are not too worried about the draw, there are a lot worse places he could be, like one on the second row or somewhere like that,” Cran said. “If the emergency inside him comes out he will come into (barrier) 8 and at least from there he will be out of trouble.” “Blair can decide when he wants to put him in the race, naturally there will be plenty inside us wanting to get the markers first.” “We can let that unfold and it will be up to Blair to work it out from there.” “He is the man for the job and we are happy he is driving for us and not against us.” Krug showed exactly how hard he is going to be to beat on Friday night when backing up his Northern Derby win by thrashing many of his rivals in the Flying Stakes at Addington a fortnight ago. Cran admitted he has been a little stunned by how much his star three-year-old has thrived since his standout win.  “It is incredible to say, but I can’t believe how much he has improved since his last run,” Cran said. “It is quite exciting, really.” “I would say that he is a better horse now than he was before the Northern Derby.” “He is maturing all the time and that would be what I would put it down to.” “I couldn’t be happier with him going into this week’s race.” Krug over-raced to set up one of the most stunning derby wins seen in New Zealand with his front-running display in the Northern Derby.  The chances of those scenes playing out again on Friday night are almost impossible.  “There won’t be anything like that again, he doesn’t have the blinds on that got him a bit fired-up up north,” Dalgety said.  “He will be nice and relaxed and he doesn’t need them any more either.” “He is in a really good mental space at the moment and he will have his game face on on Friday night.” Kentuckiana Lodge starts three more runners at Addington on Friday night including Admirable in race 3. The three-year-old has had two trials to prepare for his return to racing following a short break. Though his latest trial effort may have looked sedate, running fourth in moderate time at Ashburton, the Dalgety camp was pleased with it. “We were thinking of starting him last week so we just wanted him to have a quiet trial,” Cran said. “He is fit and ready and I would expect him to go a pretty tidy race first up in that field on Friday night.” Kentuckiana Lodge starts both Cardinal Sin and Invaluable in race 4. Cardinal Sin looks capable of featuring in the 1980m event going on his form. The four-year-old has also had two trials and has pleased his trainers ahead of his first run since November. “He has come back in really nice, his two trials have been good and I am very happy with him,” Cran said. “He is as fit as he can be without having a race and I would like to think he would go pretty good.” “But it is hard to go into a premier night fresh up being overconfident.” Invaluable returns to Addington after a strong second at Winton and a desperately unlucky run at Ascot Park. From barrier 3 the four-year-old looks a place chance in race 4. “He is a quiet achiever and if he were able to get into a nice spot I could see him getting into a dividend-bearing position,” Cran said. Cardinal Sin starts outside his stablemate in barrier 7.   By Jonny Turner

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Cambridge Raceway stalwart Donald Cossey had a memorable night at his home track on Thursday night when returning to the winner’s circle as a trainer for the first time in nearly 20 years. Cossey is a familiar face around the Waikato track, having driven the mobile on racenight for more than 15 years as well as being the track farrier. “I was shoeing horses and worked for the Cambridge trotting track for a few years,” Cossey said. “I was the course farrier as well as the mobile driver on race night. All those years I gave up training. “I turned 70 not too long ago and I thought when I turned 70 that would be it.” Cossey elected to hand in the driver’s keys at the start of the season and return to training and was rewarded with a win in the Happy Hour At The Clubhouse 4-6pm Mon-Wed Handicap Trot (2700m) on Thursday night with Highview Rockn Roll. “I am over the moon, she went very well,” Cossey said. “She had been working quite well and she has come through it well by the looks of things.” The filly extended her career tally to one win and two placings from just four starts, but it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the pacing-bred three-year-old. Cossey initially tried the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out as a pacer, but after she showed limited ability in that gait, he elected to try her without hopples, and she proved to be a natural trotter. “I couldn’t believe it when I got her, I thought she was going to be a pacer and I went out on the track at the workouts and she showed me nothing as a pacer, she was very ordinary,” he said. “I decided to take the hopples off one day and just work her with no hopples on and all she wanted to do was trot, so I thought ‘here we go, this is it’. “She is a great beginner and she hasn’t looked back. She has got great manners, that is the key with her.” Cossey initially happened across Highview Rockn Roll online and decided to lease her, and he said he is enjoying every minute having her in his barn. “Her former owners put her online for lease and I thought I would have a go with her,” he said. “We got her going and when she qualified I thought we would buy her. “My nephew, Nick Coxon, and I bought her and we are going to have a bit of fun with her.” Originally hailing from Taranaki, Cossey is a member of one of the region’s most prominent harness racing family’s, and he has enjoyed a lifelong involvement in the sport. “The family has been in harness racing all of our lives,” Cossey said. “Farley races down in Taranaki, and Jason had a win the other night down in Palmerston North. “When I left school I started working for Ivan Dickie, John Dickie’s father. I was with him for about eight years, he taught me a lot, he was a very good trainer. “I also worked with Jack Davies, and I was foreman for Ross Olivieri when he was in New Zealand for Curtin Farms.” Cossey transitioned to become a farrier and has shod a number of quality horses over the years, but admitted Highview Rockn Roll is his favourite horse that he has shod. “I shod Just An Excuse to win his first New Zealand Cup, but Sovereignty would be the best horse I have shod, I would say. He was a hell of a good trotter,” Cossey said. “But I like this little filly (Highview Rockn Roll). Being by Rock N Roll Heaven, I call her Angel because that is where Angels come from, heaven. “She is just an angel, she is just the best, and would be my favourite horse I have shod so far.” Cossey initially took out his trainer’s license in 1986 and he said Rannach Ruler was the best horse that went through his care. “I owned a horse called Rannach Ruler, he was the two-year-old trotter of the year in 1989. I sold him to Australia,” he said. Cossey is enjoying his return to training and is looking to breed from his mare Alanajane this coming season, after health issues forced him to end her racing career after he suffered health issues. “I have got a broodmare I want to put in-foal next season,” Cossey said. “She is a Monarchy mare out of an Armbro Invasion mare. She never raced. “I got her broken in and I took ill for a little while. I ended up with a stent and a heart pacemaker in 2013. I am still shoeing horses though. “She never went anywhere and I just want to breed a foal out of her.” In the meantime, Cossey is having the time of his life working his Angel and is hoping Thursday night won’t be the last time he visit’s the winner’s circle with his pride and joy View the full results for Cambridge click here!

Brent Mangos is treading warily about the return of his stable star South Coast Arden at Alexandra Park tonight and punters would be wise to do the same. The four-year-old is back for an autumn campaign that could see him contest three Group One targets and he looks up to that level after beating open class horses during a surprising spring that saw him progress from a three-win pacer to starting in an Auckland Cup. But while he is already open class material, Mangos says tonight is by no means South Coast Arden’s grand final and key rivals will be fitter. “He is ready to go and has won fresh up so I am not saying he can’t win,” says Mangos. “But in this grade when rivals are race fit it is very hard to beat them and I will drive him patiently. “I don’t want him doing too much and being flattened for the big races coming up so while he is very much there to win I am not sure he can.” South Coast Arden was at his most potent in the spring when driven hard in front, a trait that will make him a handy addition to the open class ranks but tonight he meets several other members of the emerging open class crop looking to fill the void left by good free-for-all pacers (Star Galleria, Mach Shard, On The Cards) heading off-shore. Two of those are Kango and Christianshavtime, who are very different in stature and racing style but similar in ability. Kango has been luckless yet huge in recent runs and if he can reach the front tonight it will take a good horse to get past him. Christianshavtime is a good horse but one who doesn’t possess the gate speed yet to lead and that could see him left vulnerable to the tempo of the race tonight, as it often the case in small field 2200m mobiles. The potential tempo in the race could come from a rejuvenated Dance Time who is fit and will probably press forward so at least gives those settling off the speed a ray of hope they can close late. But with draws and fitness taken into account big Kango is the one to beat. While Mangos isn’t getting carried away with South Coast Arden he is confident about the debut of juvenile Aztec Shard (5) in race six. He has won both his trials and showed gate speed in the second of them before sprinting his last 400m in 27.6 around Pukekohe so a performance of that level would make him hard to beat tonight. “I think he is a Sires’ Stakes horse,” says Mangos. “I’s also like to qualify him for the Jewels (Cambridge, June 6) and while it is never easy to win fresh up I think he is a good horse.”   by Michael Guerin

Tonight at Addington we see the Group 1 Fred Shaw Memorial NZ Trotting Championship.   The race is set to go at 7.01pm and here we showcase the horses that are racing at Group 1 level!!   Congratulations to all of the connections getting a chance to contest this year's Championship- we wish you all the very best of luck!

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Addington tonight with a twelve race program starting at 4:27pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Addington selections 9th April 2021 Best Bet:  R10 American Pride Best Value:  R3 Artatac    Race 1 Bright Glow got the job done for Harnesslink followers at Motukarara and not without a place chance in this.Paying overs again..… Sundons Flyer has lost her form of old but would be hard to beat if anywhere near her best. Upset chance…… Regal Attire coming in fresh but looks hard to beat on trial form. Needed.….. Miss Crazed ok run last start and has trialled well. Big chance if she steps and lands handy to the speed Selections:  Miss Crazed (12),   Bright Glow (3),   Regal Attire (10)   Sundons Flyer (8)   Race 2 Fire Fox has a tricky draw but has raced well here in the past over the distance. Hard to beat here if he can get handy before the home turn..……. Lifes A Beach running good races and beat a good filly last start. Can go on with it but draw not great …… Franco Stefan never gets much luck in his races but top driver booked. A good winning chance with a soft run in transit…… Five Star General racing better than the form suggests but tricky draw. Place chances look best Selections:  Fire Fox (13),  Franco Stefan (6),   Lifes A Beach (8),   Five Star General (12)   Race 3 Artatac should be fitter now and one of the better horses in the race. Liked at good odds….. Bettor Call Me disappointed last start but drawn best here. Give another chance from the draw….. Bettor Grunter good beginner who was tidy here two starts back. Top three player…. First Class terrible draw but respect the stable. Not the worst at nice odds Selections:   Artatac (12),   Bettor Call Me (1),   Bettor Grunter (2)   First Class (17)   Race 4 A Delightful Act trialling well and just needs to go away with the field to be a good top three chance here. ….. Italian Lad has a reputation and in great form. Liked even from the wide draw….. Longview Lady not a great draw but she has speed and and ran on well last start. Could upset with a good run in transit.…..   Braeview Kelly freshened and well suited to this race. One of the better chances in the field Selections:   Italian Lad (8),   Braeview Kelly (1),   A Delightful Act (2)   Longview Lady (5)   Race 5 Majestic Chick manners not great but has the speed. Should go close to the top three with no mistakes in the running…... Mikemaro ok here last start and goes ok on the track. Could upset with a good run in transit. Include….. Sioux Princess nice run last start and will be fitter but tricky draw. Has to included on previous form. Needed..….. Time In A Bottle racing well in strong fields. Good beginner always a chance in these standing start races Selections:   Time In A Bottle (9),   Sioux Princess (13),   Mikemaro (6)   Majestic Chick (10)   Race 6 Bolt For Brilliance beat most of these last start with quick sectionals. Hardest to beat again here….. Muscle Mountain stronger now and looks very hard to beat in this. Should run in the placings with no mistakes….. Sundees Son class horse who looked a run short last start. Adds to the puzzle and can win….. Oscar Bonavena good run fresh and will be fitter. Can win with a cosy run and another good chance in what is turning out to be a cracking race. Selections:   Bolt For Brilliance (1),   Muscle Mountain (3),   Sundees Son (6),   Oscar Bonavena (8)   Race 7 Franco Mac good win fresh and strike rate driver on board. Major player here….. Akuta Kindergarten winner who looked to have plenty in reserve when winning last start. Good chance from the draw….. Cosmic Major respect the stable and form is good with a first and second in his first two runs. Include here….. Mr Ibiza form in the north was good and drawn ok. Hard to see him beating the favourites but has place claims at good odds Selections:   Akuta (1),   Franco Mac (5),   Cosmic Major (4)  Mr Ibiza (3)   Race 8 Five Wise Men terrible draw but racking up the wins against similar fields. Hard to beat again here….. Love N The Port mobile will suit and he looked a bit unlucky last start. Good place chance at nice odds…..         Outamyway draw not great but has the motor. Will need luck but a place chance at longer odds and top driver booked….. Wanna Play With Me has been disappointing but getting fitter and a better run last start. Upset chance here Selections:   Five Wise Men (7),   Love N The Port (1),   Outamyway (6)  Wanna Play With Me (2)   Race 9 Krug beat these easily last start but tricky draw. One of the better chances in the race ….. American Dealer racing well and hardly ever out of the money. Can run top three……. Ragazzo Mach has speed but will need luck from the second row draw.. If the pace is hot he can win…. Shan Noble looks to have as much ability as most in this field and racing well. Draw hurts but has claims Selections:  Krug (9),  American Dealer (13),   Ragazzo Mach (15)    Shan Noble (8)   Race 10 American Pride racing well but manners still a question mark.. Serious player with no mistakes and change of driver suits….. Missalyssa drawn to lead early and has been unlucky. Winning claims here with a front row draw……. Andoverlov better run last start and top driver booked. Needed…. Majestic Lavros coming in fresh from a tricky handicap but has the ability. Tote the guide Selections:  American Pride (12),  Andoverlov (9),   Missalyssa (7)    Majestic Lavros (14)   Race 11 Self Assured racing well and hardly ever out of the money. Best in the race at good odds….. Amazing Dream draw no help but has beaten most of these before and favourite distance. Needed here……. Pembrook Playboy could be the fastest horse in the race and unlucky last start. Can win with a good run in transit…. Tango Tara likes the distance and a bit underrated. Upset player with the right run Selections:  Self Assured (8),  Amazing Dream (7),   Pembrook Playboy (6)    Tango Tara (3)   Race 12 Folklore good draw and dangerous with a sit. Can win at good odds….. Samhara draw will help and step up in class will not worry him. He looks the early leader and needed here……. Oliver North good stayer who is over the odds. Any pace in the race and he can run top three…. Surfers Delight building up a tidy formline. Has winning claims if he can find the front  early Selections:  Folklore (1),  Samhara (4),   Oliver North (13)    Surfers Delight (3)   Harnesslink Media

With three Group Ones and two Group Twos, race meetings don't come much bigger than Friday's meeting at Addington. Headlining the night is the Livamol New Zealand Trotting Derby at 7.59pm and the Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Pacing Derby at 8.29pm, as well as the Fred Shaw Memorial NZ Trotting Championship. Among those in action will be some of the sport's biggest stars, Sundees Son, Oscar Bonavena, Bolt For Brilliance, Self Assured, Amazing Dream and Krug, to name a few. To mark the occasion HRNZ has produced an 'Addington Premier Night Form Guide' with fields, bet selections and previews on the group races to help you navigate your way through the 12-race programme. Racing kicks off at 4.27pm with the last set to go at 9.56pm. You can download your copy here to read or print it out.   Harness Racing New Zealand

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Harness racing hits Auckland today with a seven race program starting at 6:39pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good afternoon of racing. Auckland selections 9th April 2021 Best Bet:  R3 Gaz Man Best Value:  R1 Lord Popinjay   Race 1 Lord Popinjay (8) Aldebaran Flame (13) Constellation (3) Queen Of Strathfield (2)   Race 2 Cashlodo Flybye (3) Down The Hatch (12) Sweet Chariot (1) Smokinhotcheddar (9)   Race 3 Gaz Man (8) The Big Bird (10) Saint Michel (7) Liaison (1)   Race 4 Alta Wiseguy (4) Mimi E Coco (6) Lord Verde (2) Cya Art (10)   Race 5 Kango (2) Christianshavtime (3) South Coast Arden (4) Dance Time (5)   Race 6 Cya Doit (6) Commander Cathy (1) Art Nouveau (4) Hail Lucius (7)    Race 7 Temporale (6) Invictus (2) Kay Cee (5) Forget The Price Tag (4)   Harnesslink Media

It’s NZ Derby night at Addington on Friday. Here we look through some of the quality fields and Group features on the harness racing card. The first of the Group 1 races is due to go at 7.01pm with the running of the Fred Shaw Memorial Trotting Championship. It promises to be one of the more exciting races of the night as we see Sundees Son, Oscar Bonavena and Bolt For Brilliance clash along with the progressive and talented Greg and Nina Hope trained pair of Midnight Dash and Muscle Mountain. The game mare Vacation Hill is also here but draws an outside barrier. There’ll be no mercy, the race most likely a war of attrition. Show us your guts and show us your heart. May the best trotter win. The Avon City Ford Welcome Stakes is due to run at 7.29pm for a stake of $50’000 over the 1980m sprint distance. On first look you’d imagine that Akuta will be hard to beat given his Southern win in the Kindergarten Stakes although he’ll face tough opposition from both Franco Mac and Cosmic Major. Arden’s Horizon makes the trip down after a Alexandra Park victory and will have options from the front line draw. The Livamol Trotting Derby at Group 1 level is the next feature on the card and sees a class field assembled for a 2600m mobile trotting event. The tote favourite comes in the form of the Craig and Aimee Edmonds trained Five Wise Men. Wise men have dictated that the son of Muscle Hill should go out shorter on the tote than the rest and rightfully so after his run of victories of late. He’ll operate from the #7 draw with J Dunn guiding him around the track. You’d  think that the 2600m distance would sort the quality out from the pretenders in this and we should see the best crowned barring any errant manners. Love N The Port, Leaf Stride and Son Of Patrick should all be respected on exposed form. Arguably the feature on this great card of action comes around at 8.29pm in the form of the Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Pacing Derby. Former winners of the event include Caduceus (1953) Noodlum (1974) Westburn Grant (1989) and Courage Under Fire (1999) while the All Stars barn have dominated much of the recent history of the race with Fly Like An Eagle, Border Control, Have Faith In Me, Lazarus, Vincent and Ultimate Sniper all winning the event in the last decade. The pre-race talk this year has been dominated by the Chrissie and Cran Dalgety trained Krug, an animal of immense ability, his last three wins have all been superb. He, like most of the field, will be tested by the 2600m distance although you’d have to think that the further they go the better his chances. The Hayden Cullen team is spearheaded by It’s All About Faith who has been well down on his best over recent weeks. His ability to settle mid-race will no doubt prove crucial to his chances late in this. Other chances lie with the R J Dunn team and the underrated Got You Covered, the horse has been burdened by some horror draws of late but has been finishing off his races better than most and could be the giant killer if able to find himself close to the action come the final furlong. B D Joe, the Telfer trained son of Roll With Joe, also demands respect with his late charge to the line last time sure to get a few people interested in his chances. Luke John (drawn #2) and Ragazzo Mach (drawn #15) would have to be included in thoughts also. While it would seem Krug holds sway over the field this is an interesting edition of the Derby all the same. The last feature on the card comes up at 9.28pm. The IRT Superstars 4YO & 5YO Pacers Championship at Group 2 level will be a helter-skelter affair over the 1980m distance. The field is a good one and has attracted a strong contingent of open-class types. The impressive Cranbourne, as tough as they come, looms as one of the main chances along with the J Curtain trained Tango Tara who’ll benefit from a nice draw. Other chances in this field come in the form of the Cullen trained Self Assured and Amazing Dream with both animals knowing how to win at the highest of levels.  The explosive speed of Pembrook Playboy may been seen late as he’s drawn wide while Belmont Major (drawn #1) will most probably receive an economical run throughout and have something to offer his followers late. A fine night of premier racing at Addington.   Ben McMillan