Day At The Track

Pukekohe owner-breeders, Lindsay and Pam Turner of Top Notch Lodge, have won their first Franklin Park Yearling Parade after placing in the annual event last year. Their brown American Ideal – Tigerswish colt named Tycoon Tiger, won the supreme award at the Pukekohe track on Station Road on July 29. That victory came 12 months after Tiger Tycoon’s older brother, Bit Of A Tiger (by Bettor’s Delight) placed last year. Tiger Swift (by Mach Three and out of Tiger Tina) also placed at that same 2015 Yearling Parade. “Pam and I have always loved the annual Parade because it puts all horses and their breeds out there. It’s great for all owners. Todd Macfarlane is training Tiger Tycoon and he has had two preps now. “Todd thinks he will make an early two-year-old and wants to line him up in the Young Guns Series in December. So here’s hoping. We never get carried away with babies but we do have the Breeders Crown in mind this time next year if he’s good enough,” Turner (Lindsay) said. He said Tycoon Tiger was the only horse that he and his wife bred in 2015 so they decided to keep him. “He’s always been very independent since then. A loner you could say. Todd likes him and that’s good enough for us,” said Turner. Tycoon Tiger is the grand-son of the best horse that the Turners have owned - the late Butler B G mare, Tigerish. The multiple Group One winning filly and mare won 15 of her 79 starts and $491,957 in New Zealand and Australia between 1990 and 1996. Tigerish left 11 foals between 1997 and 2010. Tigerswish (by Holmes Hanover), who won one of her 12 starts, was foal number five. She in turn has left four foals between 2009 and 2015. Turner said Tigerish’s first foal, the 2009 Mach Three filly named Tiger Tamer, fetched $5,000 at the 2011 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale and was bought by Bill and Paulette Screen, before going on to be trained by Derek Balle and then Todd Mitchell. She won two races. Two years later Tigerswish gave birth to a Changeover colt named Haunui Tiger. That now brown gelding was sold for $35,000 to Rosslands Stud at the 2013 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale. "He had three starts here and then went on to win one in Australia. After him came Bit Of A Tiger in 2014. He's by Bettor's Delight and is three now. He qualified in January and is coming along okay for us," Turner said. Then in November 2015 Tycoon Tiger was born. "We have kept the mare empty this year. She breeds better when she is left empty for a season. We will probably take her back to American Ideal again," Turner said. He said he was delighted that Tigerish’s family had performed well at Franklin Yearling Parades over the years. “We will keep attending them. We want to thank all the sponsors and people who organised the day. We are very proud of what Tycoon Tiger achieved. “It would be a dream come true if he could be our next Tigerish,” Turner said. Tycoon Tiger races in the familiar Turner crimson and white colours. Results from the 2017 Franklin Park Yearling Parade: NRM McMillan Equine Feeds Yearling-of-the-Year: TYCOON TIGER (American Ideal – Tigerswish colt) TROTTING: Veterinary Associates Equine & Farm $500 product prize for first: SUNNYS LITTLE JESTIC (Majestic Son - Our Sunny Whiz filly) HR Fisken & Sons voucher for second: PEAKZ LUCK (Peak - Howz Lucky filly) The Stables Cafe Z voucher for third: ADELLE (Orlando Vici - Scusi Boyz filly) PACING: Franklin Vets – Equine $500 Voucher for first: SILVIA (Art Major - Hi Ho Silver Lining filly) H R Fisken & Sons voucher for second: ANAMAJOR ((Art Major - Mary Anastasia filly) The Stables Cafe Z voucher for third: EYESPYWITHMYLITTLEEYE (Mach Three - Eye Contact filly) PACING COLTS: The Vet Centre $500 voucher for first: JETSON HUNTER (Changeover - Saucy Operator colt) H R Fisken & Sons voucher for second: PALIO ARDEN (Panspacificflight - Ruby Morn colt) The Stables cafe Z voucher for third: FRANCO NIVEN (Christian Cullen - Nigella Franco colt) BEST OF THE REST: Dunstan voucher - RECKON IM SMART (American Ideal - Pacing Grace colt) Lincoln Farms Service fee to Sir Lincoln: THE BLUE BEAT (A Rocknroll Dance - The Blue Lotus filly)   (Horse was drawn out of a hat.)   Duane Ranger

Canterbury trainer Nigel McGrath is just 10 wins away from reaching the notable milestone of 500 career training wins and will soon launch an impressive spring racing team. Classie Brigade, the winner of 11 from 35 starts, is being aimed at the New Zealand Cup (3200m) on the second Tuesday of November at Addington. “He’s back in work and looking toward the New Zealand Cup,” McGrath said of the five-year-old Bettor’s Delight stallion, who has not raced since May.  He won six from 13 last season, including the 3200m Invercargill Cup in January in 3:53.5, after starting from 30m behind. Lazarus clocked 3:51.3 in winning the NZ Cup by 10 lengths. “Ears Burning [seven wins] will head in the same direction. It won’t be easy but both deserve the shot.” Also waiting in the wings until the weather turns are Aloka, Sherriff, Star Commander and Dizzy Miss Lizzy - all capable of doing very good things this season. “On what they all showed in their previous campaigns you would like to think that one or two of them will take the next step up. “Aloka showed how good he can be early on, while Sherriff and Star Commander both have a heap of potential. “Dizzy Miss Lizzy will be aimed towards the filly races which will see her come in a bit later on in the season. “They’ll all target the classic races.” But before the big guns start firing, McGrath has some useful firepower to help him edge towards the 500-win mark, after starting training in the year 2000. Two of them will step out at Sunday’s Rangiora meeting, with Turkish Trousers and My Wee Man both flying the stable flag. Both horses are fresh-up and will derive benefit from their races, but both are strong chances after trialling well. Turkish Trousers, second at Rangiora in January, was tidy at a recent workout and McGrath is expecting a good showing from the one draw on Sunday in race four, the first leg of a $25,000 Pick6. “She’s a nice enough mare who is more than capable of going close fresh-up. I wouldn’t say she’s a world beater, but she should do a nice enough job this time in. With her good gate speed I would expect her to settle handy to the speed. “I thought her workout last week was pretty good. She’ll improve with the run, but gets a good chance fresh-up.” My Wee Man is a horse who McGrath has always had plenty of time for. “We had issues with his gait last time, but the motor has always been there. I think he will do a good job this time in and gelding him really seems to have worked the oracle. Hopefully, he lives up to what I think he is capable off.” A four-year-old entire by Changeover, My Wee Man’s sole win in nine starts was at Rangiora. He takes on impressive Ashburton winner The Kiwi Way in race nine, who has drawn the ace for trainer-driver Robbie Holmes. NZ Harness News http://www.theinformant.co.nz/

Fields are now set for the first leg of the harness racing 2017 World Driving Championship, set for Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs in Balzac, Alberta. Eleven of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe will compete in the first of five legs.  Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The Century Downs leg consists of five races, with the WDC races slated for Races 4-8. Each race will feature 11-horse fields. Here are the entries for the World Driving Championship races. World Driving Championship - Race 1 (Century Downs - Race 4) Purse: $5,400 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Drawing Dead - Shane Graham (Australia) 2. Tigra Seelster - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 3. Dream N Of Mona - James MacDonald (Canada) 4. Freesia - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 5. Viola - Mark Purdon (New Zealand)   6. Run And Tell - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 7. Sacred Valley - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 8. Whitehouse Secret - Mika Forss (Finland) 9. Janet Rose - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 10. Ashlynn Grace - Marcus Miller (USA) 11. Triple Action - Rik Depuydt (Belgium)   World Driving Championship - Race 2  (Century Downs - Race 5) Purse: $9,200 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Emmas Big Girl - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 2. Mystery Mania - Shane Graham (Australia) 3. You Name It - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 4. Brighten Your Life - Mika Forss (Finland) 5. Big Shir - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 6. Moon Struct - Marcus Miller (USA) 7. Im Gracies Wigwam - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 8. Lucky Lucka - James MacDonald (Canada) 9. Lissoy - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 10. Wild Chic - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 11. Remember Terror - Gerhard Mayr (Austria)   World Driving Championship - Race 3 (Century Downs - Race 6) Purse: $6,500 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Debonator - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 2. Exclusive - James MacDonald (Canada) 3. Crack The Cognac - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 4. Kavola - Marcus Miller (USA) 5. Pinkmakesboyswink - Shane Graham (Australia) 6. Miss Bojangles - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 7. Mods Mystery - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 8. Alfa Bagel Hanover - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 9. Rain Delay - Mika Forss (Finland) 10. Wazzup Buttercup - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 11. Astrid The Axe - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand)   World Driving Championship - Race 4 (Century Downs - Race 7) Purse: $6,100 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Test Pattern - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 2. Is Santa Real - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 3. Sufferin Succotash - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 4. Starry Eyes - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 5. Orangevale Gazette - Marcus Miller (USA) 6. Blue Star Eclipse - James MacDonald (Canada) 7. Make Some Smiles - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 8. Newport Min - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 9. Barbarela Rose - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 10. Outlawintriguedbyu - Shane Graham (Australia) 11. Wild Flight - Mika Forss (Finland)     World Driving Championship - Race 5 (Century Downs - Race 8) Purse: $6,500 - 1-1/16 miles (nine on gate, two trailers) (Post - Horse - Driver - Country) 1. Pocket Novel - Dexter Dunn (Defending Champion / New Zealand) 2. Coliseum Hanover - Rik Depuydt (Belgium) 3. Vow To Win - Mika Forss (Finland) 4. Sin Machqueen - Gerhard Mayr (Austria) 5. Big Zeus - Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) 6. Charge And Go - Mark Purdon (New Zealand) 7. Gray Zee - Marcus Miller (USA) 8. Amysterytome - Noel Baldacchino (Malta) 9. Chief Saratoga - Shane Graham (Australia) 10. Cenalta Eclipse - Bjorn Goop (Sweden) 11. Barossa Blue Genes - James MacDonald (Canada) The WDC leg is the culmination of the First Annual Calgary Racing Festival. The week-long event, running through to Saturday, includes an Industry Day, Mid-Summer Classic card, Charity Bowling and Charity Golf tournaments, and a Charity Gala. The defending champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn, represents the International Trotting Association. The World Driving Championship will also consist of the following top-ranked international competitors: Shane Graham of Australia; Gerhard Mayr of Austria; Ric Depuydt of Belgium; James MacDonald of Canada; Mika Forss of Finland; Noel Baldacchino of Malta; Mark Purdon of New Zealand; Eirik Hoitomt of Norway; Bjorn Goop of Sweden; and Marcus Miller of the United States. The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville on August 14 and Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Que. on August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The World Driving Championship -- along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown --  are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations. All legs of the World Drivers Championship will be televised live on Sky Racing, starting on Sunday morning Australian time.   Important Links:   Full entries for Saturday's card (morning line odds to be added when available) http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0812cnden.dat   Electronic program pages for the World Driving Championship races: https://goo.gl/AystvB   For more information about the 2017 World Driving Championship, visit www.worlddrivingchamps.com

Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety didn’t have to wait long for his Victorian fortunes to change in an Australasian Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Heat at Shepparton on Tuesday night. The Dalgety-trained second favourite Our Bettor Joy charged home along the sprint lane for driver Anthony Butt to defeat front-running favourite Molly Kelly (Chris Alford) in the $A10,000 heat. The two favourites had the most speed early, crossing to lead and trail, with the pace buttoning off in the middle stages. Our Bettor Joy, a daughter of champion sire Bettor's Delight and Joyfulbelle, won going away at the line by 2.5 metres. The NZ Delightful Lady Classic winner rated a comfortable 2:02.3 for the full 2190m in her Australian debut, the lead time for the last 800m being cut out in 58.3s, with the final 400m off the front in a swift 27.5s. Dalgety’s three-year-old trotting filly Chevron Express flopped in the Victoria Trotting Derby on Sunday, but the Breeders Crown 3YO Final on August 26 remains her main target. NZ Harness News    

Hughies Sister is nothing like her big brother – the 2015 Auckland Cup runner-up, Hughie Green, but it appears they do possess one thing in common - their mother’s ability to pace. That’s the opinion of her new co-trainer Gareth Hughes. As of August 1, the 31-year-old officially joined forces with his father Brian (Bunty) at Ardmore. He has, however, been working alongside him for much of his life. The Bunty Hughes trained Alta Serena was a multiple Group One winning mare, who won 21 races and $593,618. Hughie Green is her third and most successful foal with 11 wins here and four in Australia (A$227,438). His full Art Major sister, Hughies Sister (foal number five), won effortlessly the right-handed way around at the Pukekohe Workouts yesterday (Tuesday). The Hughes’ trained filly was having her first start as a three-year-old. Hughes (Gareth) liked his first sniff of victory with his father – albeit a low key winter workout.  “She couldn’t be more different to her older brother. For one, she’s not as big, and two she also has a completely different nature. She’s kinder. “The filly is a real work in progress. Every time she has stepped off the track she has gone better. She has a lot of stamina and tries hard, which is encouraging. That’s all we can ask for,” Hughes said. Driver, Josh Dickie, trailed with Hughies Sister and they were then three-deep before going to sit parked at the 800m. They then cruised home to win the maiden 2050m mobile by a length stopping the clock in 2:41.7 (mile rate 2:06.9) and came home in 60.6 and 28.2. Hughies Sister qualified 1.3 seconds under time (left handed) at Pukekohe on November 26. Hughes said she would finally make her race-night debut at Alexandra Park on August 25. He hopes by then he will have officially trained his first winner. Hughes and his father have two horses nominated for Friday’s first meeting of 2017-2018 at Alexandra Park, and he thought either of them could break his duck. Tony Herlihy (MNZM) will drive Marcy Runkle from gate five in race four, while Todd Macfarlane will steer Kaitlyn from barrier three in the last of the nine races. “I think they are both good each-way chances. It would be a great way to kick off our training career together if either, or both of them won. “It’s a bit of an honour to be training with Dad. He’s taught me a lot over the years and given me a lot of confidence with the horses. He’s also put a fair bit of trust in me. Not many people get to work with their fathers. It’s a privilege,” Hughes said. The well-bred Marcy Runkle (Mach Three - Pullover Brown) should start one of the favourites after finishing fourth and then second (both from gate one) at Alexandra Park on July 14 and 21. Both of those starts were over the 1700m mobile and the step up to 2200m should suit her nicely. Kaitlyn can also go close in the $14,500 NISBA Winter Bonus Fillies & Mares Pace. Her only win came on the track and over Friday’s distance back in November - when she also drew the ace. Her most recent form-line of 2-2-4 says it all really in what looks a match-race with the Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson trained Pakipaki (Philip Butcher), who has drawn three spots wider at six (of seven). Duane Ranger

You Ninety Two became Auckland Reactor's tenth individual two-year-old winner from his harness racing debut crop with an explosive win at Charlton yesterday.   Recently joining the stables of Amanda Turnbull, You Ninety Two showed enough gate speed to lead.   He was always travelling comfortably before showin a great turn of foot to quickly put a space on his rivals.   Sprinting home his final 800 metres in 56.7, You Ninety Two won by 23 metres under only very mild urging.   Bred and owned by Peter Salthiel, You Ninety Two was one of Auckland Reactor's first qualifiers in Australia and now becomes his tenth individual winner.   Auckland Reactor is currently the leading first season sire in Australia. To date he has 29 qualifiers and 8 two-year-old winners to date including Gold Reactor, the Group 1 winner of the $100,000 Redcliff Series Final.   The eight winners in Australia are Gold Reactor, You Ninety Two, Soho Burning Love, Justcallmejules, Anterro, Ezy Rider, Gotta React and Hayaku Harry.   In New Zealand Auckland Reactor is the sire of 26 qualifiers and 2 two-year-old winners which places him equal seventh with Christian Cullen and Well Said on the sires list for numbers of two-year-old winners. The 2 winners are Miss Ethel Sunshine (winner if the first fillies Sire Stakes Heat) and Admiral, winner of his second start just last week.   All up between Australia and New Zealand Auckland Reactor has 55 qualifiers and 10 two-year-old winners with the Australian two-year-old season having three weeks still to go.    You Ninety Two       Sires - First Crop Starters Crop Age Crop Size Starters Starts Winners Wins Places Aust $ Av. $ per Starter min. 10 startersmin. 1 starter AUCKLAND REACTOR NZ 2 115 20 112 8 8 26 $140,982 $7,049 BETTERTHANCHEDDAR USA 2 67 22 97 8 12 19 $79,205 $3,600 WE WILL SEE USA 2 51 9 54 3 4 16 $51,991 $5,777

8 August 2017 - Initial harness racing nominations for the 2017 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup, Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Handicap and Graphite Developments Ltd Glenys & Philip Kennard Show Day Futurity Series close on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 at 3pm (NZ time). Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup - $800,000 - Group 1 - 14 November 2017 Initial Nomination Fee (incl GST) Due Date $460.00 Wednesday 16 August 2017 3pm (NZ Time)   Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Trot - $300,000 - Group 1 - 17 November 2017   Initial Nomination Fee (incl GST) Due Date $172.50 Wednesday 16 August 2017 3pm (NZ Time)   Graphite Developments Ltd Glenys & Philip Kennard Show Day Futurity Series This series is for 3YO and older pacers assessed at MR (Non Winner) as at 1 July 2017. A horse must start at two NZMTC meetings from 4 August to 3 November 2017 to be eligible to start in the series race on Show Day. Nomination Fee (incl GST) Due Date $115 Wednesday 16 August 2017 3pm (NZ Time)   For information on when all the fees are due and the full terms and conditions on these racing initiatives please visit here.  Alternatively, please call Addington’s Racing Department on 03 338 9094. 

Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety is hoping for a change of luck with Australasian Breeders Crown two-year-old pacing hopefuls, Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite, in Victoria over the next two nights. Bettor Joy, a Group Two winner of the Delightful Lady Classic at Auckland in March, makes her Victoria debut from wide on the front row in a Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Heat, at Shepparton on Tuesday night. Master Moonlite, looking to emulate the Breeders Crown victories of his dam Miss Moonlite (2012 4YO mares champion) and grand-dam Dancingonmoonlight (2000 3YO fillies champion), starts from barrier four in a Breeders Crown 2YO colts and geldings heat at Kilmore on Wednesday night. Dalgety gave three-year-old trotting stablemate Chevron Express a chance for Group One glory in the Victoria Trotting Derby at Maryborough on Sunday, but the NZ Hambletonian and NZ Trotting Oaks winner was very disappointing. Chevron Express, given an economical trip three-back on the markers by Dalgety's brother-in-law Anthony Butt, had nothing to offer in the run home. She dropped away and finished 36.7 metres from winner Une Belle Allure, a daughter of Angus Hall trained by Anton Golino. "She was super before the race and Ants (Butt) said she felt so well until 299 metres to run. She made a right goose of me, but I don't think we have a health issue," Dalgety said on Monday. "In hindsight, it was probably more a case of being underdone for a 2690m race. "I don't usually worry about blood tests too much, but we'll take some bloods off her just in case."  The Breeders Crown 3YO Trot Final on August 26 remains her main target. Butt will also drive Bettor Joy and Master Moonlite.  Top NZ reinsman and the Dalgety stable's regular driver, Dexter Dunn, is currently preparing for this weekend’s World Driving Championships opening round in Canada. NZ Harness News http://www.theinformant.co.nz/

Rookie Rangiora trainer Mitchell Kerr has two potential Derby contenders and a perfect three wins from three starts to open the new harness racing season. Kerr, 25, is in his first full season as a trainer based at Rangiora Raceway and produced impressive Addington three-year-old winner The Dorchester on Friday night, followed by another exciting three-year-old in Alta Shelby, who scored easily at Oamaru on Sunday. He also trains four-year-old American Ideal gelding Run Boy Run, who won well at Oamaru. “It’s been a lucky start really. I’m still pinching myself,’’ Kerr said on Monday. The Dorchester, by Mach Three, is the first foal of five-win Falcon Seelster mare Meet Me In Mayfair. “He’s got a big motor there and a lot of natural ability … I think he’ll go a long way but he’s as green as grass. “He was going to win by two or three lengths, but knocked off and started pissing round. He’s got a lot to learn,’’ said Kerr. The colt settled back and moved up parked at the 800m at Addington, but ran greenly in the last 200m for leading driver Blair Orange, hanging on to beat Benhope Rulz by a head and deny rookie junior driver Ben Hope his first race win.  The Dorchester ($1.60) clocked 2:25.8 (mobile 1950m), with his last 800m in 55.7s and the 400m in 26.9. “He’s paid up for all the big three-year-old races so hopefully he keeps improving,’’ said Kerr. “It was his first time off the place, apart from the Rangiora workouts where I train from.  ‘’There was a bit of an unknown factor on Friday night, but he delivered which was great.’’ Alta Shelby, a half-brother by Mach Three to Alta Orlando (six wins, 2014 Sales Series winner), is also a potential Derby contender and was never out of second gear winning at Oamaru for driver Matt Anderson.  “The more racing he has the better he’ll be,’’ said Kerr.  Kerr is the son of veteran Ohoka-based trainer Paul Kerr, who gets the young horses up and going before sending them to Mitchell for the last two months of their build-up to racing. ‘’Dad had him [Alta Shelby] originally and had a good opinion of him. His manners are improving all the time.’’ Anderson, who recently left the Mark Purdon-Natalie Rasmussen All Stars stable, helps Kerr in the mornings at Rangiora and the trainer is keen to give him more chances.  “He’s a good wee driver with a future. He’s really neat, looks good in the cart and makes good decisions.’’ Anderson gave Run Boy Run a dream run in the trail and he scored nicely in the junior drivers’ race at Oamaru, clocking 3.15 for the mobile 2600m, his last 800m in 56.9s. “He’s been knocking on the door and was really unlucky [third when late clear] at Rangiora the start before. He’s developed into a nice horse and won it pretty easily.’’ The Dorchester will probably head to the Kurow meeting at Oamaru on August 20, while Alta Shelby will target Addington. ‘’The Dorchester has the edge at this stage on ability, but they are both really nice horses.’’ Kerr says talented four-win pacer Forgotten Highway is ‘’coming up really good’’ after a short spell. “Hopefully, we can get him to the New Zealand Cup meeting and up to Auckland in December.’’ Kerr has previously worked for his father, Robert Dunn at Woodend Beach and Gareth Dixon in Auckland, going out on his own full time this season after securing 10 boxes and a barn at Rangiora Raceway and developing the outside yards and paddocks, before moving the horses in about June 20. “Dad does the young ones and jogs them up - then they come over to me for the last couple of months. It works out really good.’’ Kerr has driven 112 winners since 2009, but always wanted to train on his own. “I have always really loved the training side of it … Dad pretty much taught me everything I know and you just sort of take the good points from trainers like Gareth Dixon and Robert Dunn and mould it all together with your own ideas.’’ With his blue and yellow colours atop the national premiership early on, he has made the ideal start. NZ Harness News http://www.theinformant.co.nz/

Bettor Ops, Dark Horse and Seaswift Joy have been short-listed for the title of Southland Horse-of-the-Year for the 2016-17 season. The 30th anniversary harness awards dinner will be held on Sunday in Invercargill. With a win in the $40,000 Uncut Gems Classic and third at the Harness Jewels, the Nathan Williamson-trained trotter Dark Horse is favourite for the award, winning six times last season. Southern Country Cups final winner Bettor Ops is trained by Kirk Larsen, while the Canterbury-owned Seaswift Joy had 11 of her 17 starts from the Wyndham stable of Gordon and Colin Lee, winning six. On Wairio Mile day she paced 1:52 when second to Delightful Memphis and was third in the Group Two Southland Oaks.   NZ Harness News http://www.theinformant.co.nz/

Canterbury-trained two-year-old filly Our Renezmae finished third behind Australian star Wobelee ($1.40) in the $A50,000 Redwood Classic 2yo stand trot at Maryborough, Victoria, on Sunday. Young trainer Jack Harrington’s filly was no match for Wobelee, a son of Down Under Muscles, was has won eight from 10 starts for driver Chris Alford and clocked 2:49.3 over 2190m (stand) in the Group One classic. He started from one on the second line, but Alford stepped him out to lead as the one horse, Whizbang Dan, broke and veered sideways. Our Renezmae began well to trail, but was under pressure when the leader took off at the 800m, with Regal Assassin, who broke early, coming on strongly for second. The Cran Dalgety-trained filly Chevron Express failed in the Gr.1 $A70,000 Victoria Trotters 3YO Derby (2690m, mobile) behind Une Belle Allure. The Kiwi filly was driven by expat reinsman Anthony Butt, but drifted badly when three-back on the inner soon after turning for home. She was later examined by a vet. The Anton Golino-trained, Angus Hall-sired filly Une Belle Allure ($7.70) was too strong for favourites Dance Craze and President Roydon after taking over early from stablemate Dance Craze, as she won her seventh from 12 starts, including the NSW and Victoria Oaks. She sprinted home in 57.9s for her last 800m, clocking 3:25.9 overall. Earlier, Butt reined nine-year-old champion trotter Keystone Del ($6) to a fresh-up win, moving up from last at the 800m three-wide and powering home to win brilliantly for expat Kiwi trainer Brent Lilley over 2190m (mobile), clocking 2.42.1 and winning by 6.7 metres. By Dr Ronerail out of Kiwi-bred mare Flipside (by Aereus), he has now won 42 from 68 starts and $1.1m.   NZ Harness News http://www.theinformant.co.nz/

Alderbeck today became the first winner of the new harness racing season for quiet achievers Phil and Bev Williamson.  After accepting the award for "Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing" at the national awards last Thursday, it was business as usual for the duo at the Oamaru harness racing club this afternoon (Sunday). Alderbeck was Phil Williamson's 546th winner since he started training in 1993. 526 of those wins or 96% have come from trotters proving what a great trainer of trotters Phil is. Phil was fairly confident of a good showing today from Alderbeck, saying " I think she will go a good race but I would not be putting the house on it at the short odds she is at today."   He said "there are quite a few in that race that could win with the right run". Son Brad gave punters of the favorite no cause for concern, firstly sitting parked and then pulling away in the straight to win easily by more than two lengths at the line.  Alderbeck (Pegasus Spur - J D Pat) trotted the 2600m race in a quick 3:20.2, with a closing 800m in 58.4 seconds.  Earlier in the day Bite The Bullet (Mach Three - Pistol Packing Mama) blasted home from the 800m in 54.2 to beat stablemate Dreams To Reality by a head giving John Dunn his second win of the season. Young trainer Mitchell Kerr has started the 2017/2018 season with a bang as another 3yo colt he trains in Alta Shelby easily won the last race at todays meeting. Alta Shelby (Mach Three - La Joconde) led for the last lap for driver Matt Anderson and sprinted his last 400m in a quick 27.4 seconds winning with plenty of petrol left in the tank. Kerr has gone to the top of the leaderboard in the trainers premiership with 3 wins from 3 starters giving him a perfect UDR of 1.0000 from his three starts so far this season. Alderbeck winning her race.     Harnesslink Media

Oamaru harness racing fixed odds movers as at 11:45pm Race 1 - Still Eyre $7.00 just leads win betting over Scarlett Lane $2.20 and Leo's Gift $4.80 with Scarlett Lane a clear leader in multi betting over Still Eyre.   Race 2 - Bite The Bullet $2.20 is the only runner wanted in win betting with the largest bets $1,200 and $500 at the current odds.   Race 3 - Sands Of Love $4.20 leads win betting over To Ri Alby $7.50 and OK I'm Bad $5.20. In multi betting Sands Of Love leads over OK I'm Bad and Diamond Life $7.80.   Race 4 - The $2.40 favourite Alderbeck dominates multi betting with Stylish Duke $8.50 leading win betting over Zachary Binx $5.50 and Alderbeck.    Race 5 - Only two runners are wanted here early in win betting with Run Boy Run $2.80 just attracting slightly more support than Woodlea Shawn $4.20.   Race 6 - Say Your Pres $2.50 is the best backed runner on the card in win betting and easily leads multi betting over Sarah Palin $10.00 and Dusky Eyre $4.80.   Race 7 - Alta Shelby $1.65 is the best backed runner on the card in multi betting with God Only Knows best backed in this race on the win 'book'. Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Taranaki not only lost one of its most valued club cricketers but the province also lost a much respected harness racing stalwart on Wednesday (August 2). (Keith) William Ernest Keith Chittenden passed away in his home-town of Hawera. He was 66. The man who introduced Kidz Kartz to Hawera trained 42 winners ($331,557) between 1977 and 2017.  His wife of 40 years, Marilyn, said her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nine years ago. “It’s an absolute miracle he lived as long as he did. He loved his family and he loved his horses. He recently bought a weanling (American Ideal - Classic Vicolo colt) at the Sales. That kept him going,” Mrs Chittenden said. His son-in-law Mark also said horses were his life. “He’d have treatment on Monday and then be driving at the races the next day. He loved them that much,” he said. The last time Chittenden’s familiar gold, red and black silks saluted the judge came at Manawatu Raceway on May 2, when his then 11-year-old Sundon mare which he bred, Above The Rest, won an R41 to R42 Trot with Sailesh Abernethy in the bike. “Keith loved his trotters. He’s had some nice horses over the years. Chaucer (three wins), Bye Bye Cathy (two wins), Aholics Born To Trot (five wins), Palais Royal (six wins), Arbie (five wins), and one of his favourites, good ole - Repayment (five wins). "Dad drove him mostly but one time he told us about the time Nicky Chilcott and the Repayment won at Hawera 'by the length of the straight' (April 2001)," Mark said. Chittenden won 23 ($179,456) races in the sulky between 1982 and 2017. His last driving success came behind Palais Royal at Wairarapa on April 3, 2014. Born in Hawera, Chittenden farmed on his father Basil’s dairy farm at Mokoia all of his life. In fact he took over the family’s dairy herd at just 15. “Keith always had a fascination with horses. His father dabbled with them and had one named Special Feature (1946 Josedale Grattan gelding). “He had a close rapport with horses from an early age, and when his father died aged 64, it was something he wanted to carry on in his memory. For as long as I’ve known Keith he has absolutely loved horses – and like the family said – especially his trotters,” Mrs Chittenden said. The Chittendens placed a 50/50 sharemilker on their farm due to Keith's illness one month ago. They still have an all-purpose harness racing property some five minutes away at Manutahi. “Several years ago Keith transformed a former galloping complex into his owning training establishment which has an 1132m track, stables, and a donko (smoko room) covered in harness racing photos and paraphernalia. The family will now have to decide what to do with it,” Mrs Chittenden said. Her husband also started Hawera Kidz Kartz several years ago, with four of his own mini ponies and his sister's family members. Taranaki Kidz Kartz grew from there. Chittenden was as much a harness racing stalwart as he was a South Taranaki cricket stalwart. He was a classy top order bowler, who bowled right arm offies. He played premier cricket for 20 years in Taranaki and scored several centuries and took many five wicket bags. He also coached his children who went on to play premier and representative cricket. “He always tells about the time he got a century with a piece of plywood (the mighty Mitre). That was a classic. He loved his cricket very much,” the family said. Mr Chittenden was the only son in a family of four children. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, his three children and their partners– with all six being school teachers – Jarad and Paula; Heath and Catherine; and Loralee and Mark; as well as his 12 grandchildren. His funeral will be held at the TSB Hub in Hawera on Monday, starting at 11am. One line in Mr Chittenden’s funeral notice aptly sums up this obituary: “Keith crossed the finish line on Wednesday.”   Duane Ranger

The Dorchester won his first harness racing start last night at Addington in impressive fashion for trainer Mitchell Kerr. After sitting parked for the last lap he shot clear and held off the big finish of Benhop Rulz to deny Ben Hope his first winning drive. Blair Orange was bang on with his prediction that The Dorchester would be very hard to beat with no mistakes. The smart three year old Mach Three colt ran his last 800m in a quick 55.7 seconds on the back of a 2:00.3 mile rate, suggesting that he could be a force to be reckoned with in the three year old feature races later in the season. Earlier in the night Kardesler also had tongues wagging after easily winning in the fastest mile rate of the night and beating the hot $1.50 favorite Hayley Nicole in the process. Kardesler (American Ideal - Kusadasi) made a big run from midfield at the 400m and pulled clear in the run home winning by more than 2 lengths in a 1:56.1 mile rate. James Dean won the feature pace and his third win in a row for trainer driver Leo O'Reilly. James Dean (Santanna Blue Chip - Alegria) took the lead for the last lap and was never headed winning by a neck beating Lovetodream and Bite The Bullet who was third. Blair Orange started the new season with three wins, building an early lead on rival and friend Dexter Dunn while he is away in Canada at the World Drivers Championship.     Harnesslink Media

The Oamaru Harness Racing Club holds their first meeting of the new season on Sunday. Only a seven race card is on offer but the fields are very even and there will be some good racing on the day. We highlight the pick six held on races two through to seven inclusive, which is for a guaranteed pool of $25,000   Leg 1  The two Robert Dunn trained runners look to have the wood on this field and we favour Bite The Bullet who ran home well last night at Addington in fast sectionals. Dreams To Reality is a danger and possibly Hannity who improved last start on the track. Leg 2 A tricky leg of pick six here with a number of chances from the standing start. We like OK Im Bad, Vera's Delight, Diamond Life, Sands Of Love and Out Of Aces any of which could win with the right run. Leg 3 An even field of trotters and many chances. Favorite Alderbeck has to be the main chance and she has the form to get the win here. Zachary Binx has a lot of ability but was making mistakes last season. If he is on his game then a big danger to the favorite. All Setlled Down, Sam Galleon and Stylish Duke can all be a threat if the favorites make a mistake. Leg 4 This race could be dominated from the front and Run Boy Run and Earthquake both have the speed to lead with their good draws. Dangers are the two Peter Robertson trained runners in Gunpowder and Woodlea Shawn. Leg 5 Say Your Pres is the top selection here after a nice run fresh up at Addington. Samantha Ottley takes the reins and Mark Jones thought this one was his best hope this week. I could see her leading and being too good for this field.  Tijuana Taxi and Clover Lady look the main dangers. Leg 6 This race looks to have the best anchor of pick six in Alta Shelby. He raced with merit against some classy two year olds last season and was spotted putting in some nice late work at recent trials in Canterbury. He has gate speed and should win if he can find the front early. Suggested pick six. Leg 1      4,5,6 Leg 2      2,4,5,9,10 Leg 3      4,5,6,7,8 Leg 4      1,3,5,11 Leg 5      2 Leg 6      4 Cost $30 for 20%   Harnesslink Media