Day At The Track

Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002

HARRISBURG PA - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the leading media organization in North American harness racing, has announced the winners of its Dan Patch Awards balloting for excellence exhibited among both equines and humans. The "best of the best" are normally honored at the writers' Dan Patch Annual Awards Banquet, but that event was cancelled this year due to the ongoing health crisis, so a special Virtual Awards show was broadcast Saturday. The Dan Patch Awards Show will be archived & available on the USHWA website ( & USHWA Facebook page ( and also on USTA's YouTube channel, on Sunday, January 17, 2021. This release focuses on the human and broodmare award winners. The racehorse winners, including the Horse of the Year, will be listed in a separate release being sent at approximately the same time as this one. DRIVER DEXTER DUNN, BREEDER BRITTANY FARMS REPEAT AS WINNERS IN THEIR DAN PATCH CATEGORY Dexter Dunn, a nine-time winner of the driving title in his native land of New Zealand before the age of 30, has now been in the United States and Canada for two years, and he has been voted Driver of the Year both years. 2020 was an especially rich year for him, in two senses of the word: he was the leading money-winning driver last year with almost $11.2 million bankrolled by his charges, many of whom were voted champions of their respective divisions. In September, October, and November alone in the shortened season, he drove the winners of 26 races worth more than $100,000, including the pacing filly champions in both the 2- and 3-year-old ranks, Fire Start Hanover and Party Girl Hill; the two champions among the older pacing set, stallion Bettor's Wish and mare Kissin In The Sand; champion trotting mare Manchego; and champion sophomore trotting male Amigo Volo. He again won four Breeders Crown races. During 2021 Brittany Farms has a very good chance of being only the third breeding concern to have been the first home of the winners of $200,000,000 - and that figure achieved despite producing a good many fewer horses than their nearest competitors. They have tied Hanover Shoe Farms as the #1 breeders of Breeders Crown winners at 27. Among the farm's divisional winners in 2020 were Manchego, Bettor's Wish, and the undefeated two-year-old colt pacer Perfect Sting. They were third among breeders in 2020, with their progeny earning over $5.5 million - again, with fewer starts that others clustered at the top of the list.   PINSKE STABLES GIVEN NOD AS OWNERS OF THE YEAR; KELLY SMITH VOTED LEADING CARETAKER Fifty years in the sport with their familiar gold and green colors, the Pinske Stables, in their current composition Marlys Pinske, her son Karl, and her grandson Carter, had a great year to win the closest vote in all of the Dan Patch categories, 55-48, over another family operation, the Chaffees' Caviart Farms. The Pinskes were in various tracks' winners circles after several victories by the richest two-year-olds of both sexes, the trotting colt Venerate ($767,914) and the pacing filly Fire Start Hanover ($592,562), along with the leading three-year-old trotting colt, Amigo Volo, who won his Breeders Crown and the Kentucky Futurity. All three were voted divisional championships in the writers' Dan Patch balloting (more detail in Racehorse release). The winner of the 2020 Caretaker of the Year Award, sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie's Fair Island Farm, is Kelly Smith, a longtime worker in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester. Smith was nominated by Sylvester himself, who called her "my unsung hero." Smith began working for Sylvester three decades ago, with one of her first champions being the 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky's Goal. Another of Smith's many champions and one of her all-time favorite horses is 2013 Breeders Crown champion Spider Blue Chip. In all, 16 nominations for the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award were submitted, with Smith chosen as a winner by a select group of seven USHWAns, all of whom were former caretakers themselves.   CHAMPION RACEHORSE JK SHE'SALADY NOW 2020 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR; VOTE FOR TOP TROTTING BROODMARE GOES TO STEAMY WINDOWS Voted Horse of the Year after going undefeated in twelve freshman starts, the Art Major - Presidential Lady pacing mare JK She'salady is also showing her quality as a broodmare by winning that Dan Patch Award against strong opposition. Bred and owned by 3 Brothers Stables, JK She'salady from her first two foals has produced two outstanding fillies who ranked among the best of their divisions - the Western Ideal miss JK First Lady, a winner of over $700,000 and a sub-1:50 performer at both two and three, and the Always B Miki distaff JK Alwaysbalady, who won her Breeders Crown elimination then was second in the final. Both raced for 3 Brothers Stable. Her trotting counterpart is Steamy Windows, a daughter of Muscle Massive - Commando Queen who was bred and is owned by Order By Stable. She produced the Trotter of the Year, the Chapter Seven stallion Gimpanzee, who won his third straight Breeders Crown and dominated the free-for-all ranks, raising his career bankroll to $2.7 million. Gimpanzee's two-year-old full sister, Iteration, won half of her ten freshman starts and bankrolled over $300,000. Nancy Takter, trainer of Horse of the Year Tall Dark Stranger, was previously announced as the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year after being nominated for the award by all of USHWA's chapters.   VOTING TOTALS 130 out of 185 (70.3%) of eligible voters submitted ballots Nancy Takter unanimously selected as Trainer of the Year by USHWA's chapters Caretaker of the Year selected by an USHWA panel   OWNER OF THE YEAR PINSKE STABLES 55 Caviart Farms 48 Crawford Farms 25 abstain 2 DRIVER OF THE YEAR DEXTER DUNN 114 David Miller 13 abstain 3 BREEDER OF THE YEAR BRITTANY FARMS 88 Order By Stable 30 Runthetable Stables 7 abstain 5 TROTTING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR STEAMY WINDOWS 79 Margarita Momma 31 Dunk The Donato 8 Nantab 7 abstain 2 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR JK SHE'SALADY 48 Great Memories 39 Beachy Girl 31 Swinging Beauty 8 abstain 1   U.S. Harness Writers Association

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk    Even after bagging five winners at Blenheim yesterday there was no big celebration for Tim Williams. Instead he jumped in a car and headed four hours south to Christchurch. “Saturday’s always a big day for fast work …. And we fast worked four this morning.” After completing his commitments for trainer Hayden Cullen, now that he’s taken over the All Stars operation from Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, it was back on the road this afternoon for Williams for the second day of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s meeting tomorrow. As for yesterday, he says he knew he had a good book of drives – “I thought I could get a couple of wins, but some had tricky draws and you never know on the grass track, but I was lucky enough to get five and it was a dream day at the office.” The day started perfectly alright with two wins for trainer Paul Kerr (Greenbank Betty and Duffy Hollow) and then Ashes To Ashes won race 6, Peraki Seelster race 7 and I Dream Of Jeannie took out the last, at 18-to-one, despite galloping over the line. “That was an unusual win but the rules are there, it was a bit different to win like that but we got the chocolates so that was good.” One of the country’s premier drivers, Williams has had 542 winners since his first in 2008, though yesterday’s “fifer” is not his best result. At Winton on October 19 2014 he won six races, with Margarita, Fly Like An Eagle, Rockahula Arden, Ode To Success, Oneover and Dark Dana. That day there were only nine races held, with the three other winners all going to Nathan Williamson. There have been a slew of big race successes as well, with Williams a critical part of the All Stars operation and associated with the very best horses – the likes of Have Faith In Me, Dream About Me, Lazarus and Piccadilly Princess. He’s unsure how Purdon and Rasmussen’s decision to take a year’s break from full-time training will impact on him. “It’s a bit of the unknown, but if I get the chance to drive the very good ones, the Self Assureds I’d be keen.” Williams was third in the 2020 New Zealand Cup with Ashley Locaz, completing an All Stars trifecta with Self Assured and Spankem. It was his second third placing in the big race, with Dream About Me third in the 2018 edition won by stablemate Thefixer. Just how things pan out under Hayden Cullen’s tenure remains to be seen, with Williams’ immediate focus on seven drives at Blenheim tomorrow, including three first-day winners who will back up (Greenback Betty, Duffy Hollow and Peraki Seelster). “I just hope I haven’t used up all my good 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 Marlborough today with a twelve race program starting at 11:42am and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good afternoon of racing. Marlborough selections 17th January 2021 Best Bet:  R8 Booraa Best Value:  R7 Nerano   Race 1 Jesper Fast ok last start and will be fitter. Could upset with a good run in transit… Shiffty tidy form line and has to be hard to beat here. Should run top three…… Tyene big run  for third the first day but manners a concern. Looks the winner if she trots all the way….. Random Jude better  last start and only needs a safe beginning to be close to the placings here Selections:  Tyene (12),   Shiffty (11),   Jesper Fast (7)   Random Jude (2)   Race 2 Morries Girl going well and draw the only concern. Needs a cart into the race but can win at good odds.……. Spikey Boy got too far back on day one but better placed here. Has to be included…… Le Pole Dancer ok day one and drawn to lead. Good winning claims…… Play By Ear has been disappointing but running on day one. One for longer odds Selections:  Spikey Boy (4),  Le Pole Dancer (2),   Morries Girl (15),   Play By Ear (9)   Race 3 Donegal Carnbouy last run better than it looks on paper and should be improved. Nice draw and good chance at nice odds….. Malinka running on last start and better draw to play with. Has to be included here….. Cha Cha B looks the likely leader in the race and drawn well. Can run top three in this field….. Changeover Jo should get a cosy run on the pegs and could lob a place from there Selections:   Donegal Carnbouy (5),   Malinka (4),   Cha Cha B (2)   Changeover Jo (1)   Race 4 Perfect Cut quick beginner who will take some catching if he can land the front from the front row draw. Has a good winning chance….. High Flying Harry racing into form but tricky draw. Would need a good run in transit to win but looks a good place chance….. Cristiano Buccini knocked over last start when in a good place. Can win but would need a cart into it at the right time ….. Ashes Of Desire average effort last few starts but well placed from the draw. Include at longer odds Selections:   Perfect Cut (6),   Ashes Of Desire (2),   High Flying Harry (14)   Cristiano Buccini (16)   Race 5 One Over Dover loves the track and forgive last start. Cross your fingers again in the run to the judge but can win at nice odds with no errors….. Yuri got too far back last start and would need to step quicker here to win but has claims and running on day one….. Regal Appointment disappointing last start but building a nice form line and can win..….. Royal Pride  tidy run on day one but would need to trot all the way. Place chances look best with manners Selections:   One Over Dover (2),   Yuri (15),   Regal Appointment (11)   Royal Pride  (8)   Race 6 Ultimate Rocker conditions suit and drawn ok. Good winning claims and can run top three.…. Swap Over nice draw and might get a good run in transit from there. One for for longer odds…… Donegal Carrickfin tricky draw but has a good finish when saved for one run at them. Could upset here..… Jazelle should be quick off the gate and will get a soft run again. Hard to beat Selections:  Ultimate Rocker (6),   Jazelle (3),   Swap Over (4),   Donegal Carrickfin (12)   Race 7 Nerano building into fitness and well drawn on the second row. Looks one of the leading chances in this field …. Blazing Impact usually holds his form ok and paying good money. Would be no surprise to see him in the placings here from the nice draw….. Duffy Hollow has been fair the last couple but getting fitter. Could upset with in form driver on board…. Glen Elgin Tomson getting better with racing and form is good. Has to be included from the good draw Selections:   Nerano (10),  Glen Elgin Tomson (1),   Blazing Impact (6),  Duffy Hollow (13)   Race 8 Booraa good win last start and will be fitter. Looks hard to beat here….. Boudica good last start and better drawn here. One for longer odds in this…..   Bettor Talk Art tricky draw but good last start. Should be close to the placings with luck in the running….. A Guinness Dance should get a run through early from the draw and form is ok. Needed in this field Selections:   Booraa (8),   Bettor Talk Art (7),   A Guinness Dance (9)  Boudica (5)   Race 9 Queenofdance racing well and paying great money. Distance suits and will be hard to beat if she can get handy before the home turn….. Champagneandwine racing well and good stayer who should be hard to beat again after beating this field on day one. Include….. Hes Fast And Furious racing well and good third the first day. Can go close with manners ……Quarterback good run last start but might be better driven with a sit. Hard to beat here with one run at them Selections:  Champagneandwine (5),  Queenofdance (9),   Hes Fast And Furious 7)    Quarterback (10)   Race 10 Teagan Banner badly drawn but he was too good last start. Winning claims with a track into the race….. Mordecai running on last start and drawn for a cosy run in transit. Good winning claims at nice odds….. Lilac Star better draw and had no chance on day one after getting back early. One of the leading chances here at good odds….. Razors Edge hard run on day one but stuck on well. Quick improver and could upset Selections:   Teagan Banner (13),   Lilac Star (4),   Razors Edge (9)   Mordecai (1)   Race 11 Gilligans Island ok day one and has been racing well on grass.  Good winning claims….. Franco Niven racing into form and extra distance will help. Great winning chance at good odds….. Kruizr has run some good races against similar opposition and distance will suit. Include….. Plutonium Lady drawn for a soft run on the fence again and has a good sprint. Needed Selections:   Franco Niven (9),   Plutonium Lady (1),   Gilligans Island (6)   Kruizr (7)   Race 12 Valley Star tricky draw but running on ok day one. No surprise to see him winning this at good odds….. Mataderos in good form on grass and if he trots all the way he looks hard to beat. Needed….. Prince Teka drawn well and should get a good run in transit. Can win with a soft run near the leaders and always pays great money..….. Zsa Zoe good last start and extra distance will suit. Will need luck from the draw but has winning claims Selections:   Valley Star (12),   Mataderos (13),   Zsa Zoe (11)   Prince Teka (3)   Harnesslink Media

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Ohoka trainer Paul Kerr took two runners to Waterlea Raceway on Friday and he went home with the perfect result. Greenback Betty started the day off well when winning the opening race of the card, the Kiwiseed Trot (2400m). She had an early gallop going over the crossing but quickly settled. At the top of the backstraight driver Tim Williams pushed his charge forward to take the lead and they did not relinquish their advantage, running away to a three-length victory over Shiffty, with a further nine lengths back to Tyene in third. “It was good to see the trotter practically do everything right,” Kerr said. “She went away really well, she just broke going over the crossing and Tim said she just went out in sympathy when the one on the outside galloped. It was only for a few strides and she went straight back into it (trotting gait) and never put a foot wrong from there.” Kerr was just as pleased with Duffy Hollow’s fresh-up victory in the following race, the Coles & JT Best Contracting Mobile Pace (1850m). The three-year-old gelding was stuck out three-wide early on before gaining cover behind Best Trio. He then found the trail after Best Trio broke and he was able dash up the passing lane to record a 1-3/4 length victory over Alta Redeemer, with Perfect Cut a further two lengths back in third. “Duffy Hollow really deserved his win because he just had no luck prior to Christmas racing, so we gave him a break for three weeks and he has just come back terrific,” Kerr said. “Today just worked out perfectly for him and he showed he has a lot of speed and he finished it off beautifully.” Kerr said getting the early double was made even sweeter by the fact he was able to relax for the rest of the meeting and take in the atmosphere at the summer meeting. “It was a good way to tick it off, especially in the first two races, you can get it over and done with nice and early,” he said. “I love coming up to Blenheim. It is a terrific club and they always look after everybody. “The weather has been great and they have had a good crowd, which is good for a Friday afternoon.” Kerr is now hoping both of his runners can replicate their results on the second day of the meeting on Sunday. “They will back-up on the second day and see what happens, they both rise in class,” he said. “It is never easy but Duffy Hollows comes in on the fresh side and he won it really nice today with a bit in hand, so I expect another really good run from him on Sunday.”

Boots Electric’s Group success Boots Electric, who won the Group 3 Metropolitan Pace Final at Melton, after carving out the last 800 metres in 55.3 seconds, has now won seven races and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. He ranks as a four-year-old brother by Somebeachsomewhere to The Honey Badger (1:57.9) and a half-brother to Glenburn Joy (1:58.8) and Smokin Annie (2:00). Their dam, Glenburn Jewel (1:59.3), a Live Or Die mare from Glenburn Rose, by Stand Together from Bretella, was a capable racemare who won five races and $51,981 in stakes. She was a half-sister to the Listed winner Chesterton 1:56.1 ($136,984), the Melton and Albion Park winner Novena Rose (1:55) and Debnita Rose (1:57.4), winner of four races in NZ. Boots Electric                         --Stuart McCormick photo   This has been one of the most successful branches of the Dolly (by Young Irvington) family, Glenburn Rose being a half-sister to the metropolitan winners Glenburn Prince and Glenburn Flame and to the Admiral Halsey mare Glenburn Lass, dam of the exported Glenburn Comet (1:54).   Cups double for half-brothers  Two of Victoria’s star trotters at present, and both winners last weekend who promise to be a force in the land in the trotters’ section of the Grand Circuit, are McLovin and Havehorsewilltravel. McLovin, an eight-year-old by Monarchy, won the $50,000 Aldebaran Park Maori Mile in 1:54.2 at Bendigo, while Havehorsewilltravel took out the Trotters Cup at the Cobram Cup meeting. McLovin                     --Stuart McCormick photo Both trained by Andy Gath are out of Winfield Invasion, a trotter herself, and who has left another straightout trotting winner in Say Your Pres. Winfield Invasion was by the Speedy Crown horse Armbro Invasion from Egnal, by Noodlum from the Armbro Del mare Winfield Del, a sister to the Dominion Handicap winner and successful sire Alias Armbro.   By Roll With Joe A bright future is being predicted for the Roll With Joe six-year-old The Croupier, whose success in the Group 3 feature at Menangle last Saturday was his second winning run from five starts on Australian soil. On the score of blood The Croupier lacks nothing. Apart from being by Roll With Joe, and one of his second crop, The Croupier is out of the Beach Towel mare Sam’s Beach Babe, the dam also of the high class NSW pacer Freyberg 1:51 ($422,590) and Vanhalem (1:58.4), a winner of 12 races in NZ and $102,548 in stakes. Sam’s Beach Babe (2:01.5), who won twice, ranks as a half-sister to the Globe Derby Park winner Im The Last Samurai (2:01.4) and to the In The Pocket mare Knot A Patch (2:01.1), the grand-dam of the prolific Gloucester Park winner Jimmy Mack 1:56.5 ($143,635) and Kinky Boots (1:59.9), who won eight.  Sam’s Beach Babe was out of Most Happy Patch, by Smooth Fella from Moody Patch, a good producer by Light Mood from First Despatch (by Dillon Hall) and tracing to the Harold Rothschild mare First Water, whose family today is one of the best in the NZ stud book. From the First Despatch branch of it and to which The Croupier belongs, others in Karter Brown 1:54.3 (QBred Triad 4YO), Hy Commissioner 1:55 ($190,894), the NZ Sapling Stakes and Southern Supremacy winner Malaz, Model Hardcraft (Timaru Nursery) and other fine pacers belong.     Village Kid Sprint winner from good broodmare Bletchley Park, an American Ideal five-year-old and the winner of the $50,000 Village Kid Sprint at Gloucester Park in a new lifetime mark of 1:52.4, is out of Alldatglittersisgold, an unraced Caprock mare who is proving a champion broodmare. Bletchley Park                                --Paceway Photography Alldatglittersisgold is also the dam of Bling It On 1:50.2 ($1.8 million), winner of six Group 1’s including the A. G. Hunter Cup and Victoria Cup, and his half-sister Baby Bling 1:50.5 ($854,490), the Miracle Mile winner. Others from Alldatglittersisgold are Blingittothemax (1:55.3), Hectic (1:56.7), Show Me The Bling (1:53.1) and The Code Breaker (1:57.9). A full brother to Bling It On and Bletchley Park will be offered as Lot 205 at the Nutrien Equine Standardbred Sale at Oaklands Junction in April. Alldatglittersisold is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Our Graedy 1:52.8 ($307,713) and Sparks Will Fly 1:54.8 ($225,186), who is being bred from successfully in America, and to the Vance Hanover mare Fleet Vance (1:55.2), the dam of the NSW Golden Mile winner Place Of Glory 1:56.6 ($200,412) and Passion N Glory 1:55.9 ($150,501) and the grand-dam of the Caduceus Club Classic and Breeders Crown winner Flying Pocketlands 1:52.6 ($442,423), Mighty Flying Thomas 1:54.6 ($354,622), Mighty Flying Mac 1:55.7 ($265,837) and so on.   Krafty Bart’s Championship Krafty Bart, who won the time-honoured Central Victorian Pacing Championship at Boort, is a four-year-old expected to graduate far beyond his present rating. A member of Emma Stewart’s Ballarat team, he has a good deal more in his favour on the score of blood than most. By Betterthancheddar, who sired Group winning performers in Caviar Star, My Sweetchilliphilly and Jenden Strike, Krafty Bart is out of the Badlands Hanover mare Incendio (1:56.7), whose dam Dawn Bromac (by Ok Bye), was a very successful broodmare. Besides Incendio, a thrice winner at Gloucester Park, she was also the dam of the Abion Park winner Dixie Bromac (1:57), Dougie Bromac (1:58.4) and the Victorian winner Bromac Del Mara (1:56.5). Dawn Bromac was out of Desero, a Nero’s B B mare from Desette, by Adover Rainbow from Desitudor, a half-sister by Tudor Hanover to the NZ Messenger winner Josias and the cup winners Elias and Matthias. Other members of this family, which was founded in New Zealand by the Bellman mare Rita Bell, were the Inter Dominion heat winner Buck The Odds, Stabilizer (1:51.2), Northern Assassin (1:51.8), Eden Paige (1:52.6), Abdias (NZ 4YO of the Year), Drew Bromac and the J. D. Watts Memorial winner Machtavish (1:52.9).   Well related three-year-old Bondi Lockdown, who hoisted a fresh track record of 1:55 at Charlton, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when he finished second to Jacks Hawk in the Vicbred Silver Pace. He has opened his three-year-old season on a winning note and will be well in line for the major juvenile classics. Bondi Lockdown has not been the most reliable, but has proved himself a young pacer of great ability. By Somebeachsomewhere, and one of the second last commercial crop of the American horse to race in Australia, Bondi Lockdown is out of the Art Major mare Without Guile, a daughter of the former glamour racemare Innocent Eyes 1:57.6 ($421,875), by Safely Kept from the grand Lordship mare Cerebrano, the dam of eleven winners and grand-dam of the Victorian ‘Cups King’ Restrepo 1:52.4 ($527,118), also by Art Major. A half-brother to Bondi Lockdown in Joey’s Hangover (by Well Said) won at Cranbourne recently, while Cordero (Western Terror-Innocent Eyes) won in 1:56.9 at Pinjarra on the same day as Bondi Lockdown won.    Siblings win at Albion Park It was no mean feat for the siblings Just Joshin and Jiggle And Jive to win on the same night at Albion Park recently. Both are by the Cam’s Card Shark horse Bettor’s Delight (Australasia’s leading sire). Versace Woman, the dam of Just Joshin and Jiggle And Jive, was out of a capable racemare in Caesar’s Woman (1:59.5), who won the NZ Yearling Sales Series as a two-year-old. Besides Versace Woman (2:01.4), she was also the dam of Roman Ruler 1:55.5 ($114,020), who won 14 races including three at Albion Park. Caesar’s Woman was out of the Holmes Hanover mare Fine Cut, who proved a very successful broodmare. She was the dam of the Gloucester Park winner Seelster Cut, Rennie (1:59.2) and the dual Moonee Valley winner Universal First (TT1:58.8), who, in turn, became the grand-dam of the prolific Perth winner Braeview Bondi 1:55.1 ($198,793), Flaming Courage (1:55.2) and Manly Mach (1:58.2). A half-sister to Fine Cut in Michele Bromac 1:57.8 ($155,500), was a top flight racemare who numbered the Kaikoura Cup and NZ Junior Free-for-all among her eleven successes. She became the dam of the Canberra Cup winner High Finance (1:59.2) and the NZ Queen of Hearts victor Holly Golightly (1:58.9).   Bettor’s Delight tops USA sires’ list Bettor’s Delight has headed the North American sires’ list for the fifth time. His stock in 2020 earned $17.1 million, almost $350,000 more than the second placed Somebeachsomewhere ($16.8), the leading sire of two-year-olds. Captaintreacherous, who topped the three-year-old list for the second time, finished third on the all aged list with $10.6 million, followed by American Ideal ($9.1 million), Mach Three ($8.2 million), Art Major ($7.9 million) and Sweet Lou ($5.9 million). Always B Miki was the leading first crop sire with $2.3 million, followed by Betting Line ($1.4 million) and JK Endofanera ($1 million). Muscle Hill again topped every category of the trotters’ section. During 2020 his progeny earned $9.7 million, of which his two and three-year-olds won $7.3 million. Bar Hopping ($1.4 million) and Southwind Frank ($1.1 million), both sons of Muscle Hill, were the two leading first season trotting sires.   Broodmare double The Armbro Operative mare Tori Miss left winners in consecutive races at Mount Gambier recently with Smart Play (by Shadow Play) and Auckland Miss (by Auckland Reactor). Both bred, raced and trained by Glencoe horseman Graeme Howard are the first two foals of their dam. Tori Miss, a race-winning mare, is out of To Ri Ray, by To Ri Daon (son of Nero) from Raydonist, by Hedonist, a son of Gallant Knight who won 14 races at Wayville including the SA Labour Day Cup and Gawler Cup. This family has strong breeding links to south-east South Australia, Raydonist being the dam of nine winners including Border Prospect 2:00 (14 wins).   by Peter Wharton

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk    Until now Matthew Williamson was training just the one horse - Boarding Call owned by his wife Charlotte. And he laughs when asked about taking over the horses previously prepared by Geoff and Jude Knight at Roxburgh, who have announced that they are stepping down from training . “I’m tripling the stable in one day,” he says. About to make the trek north to Williamson’s Oamaru base are Wednesday’s impressive Northern Southland Summer Cup winner Deus Ex and three race winner Wolfenstein. Another Knight runner, Jacks N Jazz (5 wins- 82 starts) is off to Australia “He’s got some young ones too, a yearling and a two-year-old and they could come up too later, but we’ll see.” As a busy and successful freelance driver with 924 wins over the past decade or so, Williamson has only recently dipped his toes into training. His sole success so far came with Flossie at Invercargill in June last year, before the mare was sold to North America. From one of racing’s best known and respected harness racing families Matty Williamson is the second of three brothers (Nathan and Brad) who are all drivers and trainers. He lives just down the road from his parents Phil and Bev – “but close enough to smell a roast” - and uses the track there most days. “I think with the driving I do, and also working for dad, the capacity for training is about three – so it should work out good.” Williamson and the Knights go way back though he says he only heard about the Knights’ plans in the past few weeks – “around Christmas time”. On Wednesday with Williamson in the bike Deus Ex produced the perfect finale when they won the Cup, upsetting at odds on 15-to-one. It got Geoff Knight all choked up. “It was great to see,” says Williamson, “Geoff always wears his heart on his sleeve and gets emotional. But that was a notch up on what I’d seen before.” Geoff and Jude Knight finish up with 255 training successes since 2010, with their most successful season being the 40 wins they had in 2015. On his own account Geoff Knight also trained 36 winners from 1987 to 2009. While they’ll no longer be training, the Knights will still be involved in the industry and devote time to a mail contracting business they have around Roxburgh. “I just can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me, and what they have done in the game is outstanding,” says Williamson. Wolfenstein is likely to debut from his new quarters at Forbury Park towards the end of the month. “I haven’t spoken to Geoff about how Deus Ex came through his hard run but he’s a good horse and the country cups might be good for him, if he could win one or a couple of them I’d be rapt.”

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 Marlborough today with a twelve race program starting at 1:40pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good afternoon of racing. Marlborough selections 15th January 2021 Best Bet:  R3 Blazing Impact Best Value:  R1 Jesper Fast   Race 1 Jesper Fast not far away from the placings in a strong field last start. One of the leading chances in this line up and is paying over the odds… Shiffty tidy form line and seems ok at the start. Good winning claims but bad draw…… Tyene has run some good races but manners a concern. No surprise to see her in the money if she trots all the way….. Greenbank Betty better  last start and only needs a safe beginning to be close to the placings here Selections:  Jesper Fast (1),   Shiffty (15),   Tyene (14)   Greenbank Betty (3)   Race 2 Twilight Bromac going well and going to get a cosy run on the pegs here. Has to be a big chance  from the draw.……. Cristiano Buccini building a reasonable form line and looks a good win hope again here. Has to be included…… Best Trio has promised a lot and looks back to his best form with a good workout win on grass last weekend. Good winning claims…… Beeps has been disappointing but not the worst in a weak field. One for longer odds Selections:  Twilight Bromac (1),  Best Trio (3),   Cristiano Buccini (6),   Beeps (11)   Race 3 Blazing Impact last run better than it looks on paper against a stronger field and she looks the leader early here. Nice draw and good chance in this field….. Le Pole Dancer good third last start and she should get a run through at the start. Has to be included here….. Play By Ear good third two starts ago and will be improved. Can run top three at longer odds from the fence draw….. Morries Girl better last start and has more improvement left in her. Over the odds and can run top three Selections:   Blazing Impact (4),   Le Pole Dancer (10),   Morries Girl (14)   Play By Ear (9)   Race 4 Olde Oak Emma quick beginner who will take some catching if she can land the front from the front row draw. Nice money available and has a good chance….. Donegal Carnbouy racing into form and has been on grass. Great winning chance at good odds from a tidy inside draw….. Lilac Change no room last start and a good draw to work with. Can win with a good run in transit ….. Auchtercairn  average effort for new stable last few starts but well placed if back to her best. Include at longer odds Selections:   Lilac Change (2),   Olde Oak Emma (3),   Auchtercairn  (6)   Donegal Carnbouy (9)   Race 5 One Over Dover loves the track and good win last start. Manners a concern and cross your fingers in the run to the judge but can win at nice odds with no errors….. That's The Story got too far back last start and would need to step quicker here to win but has claims….. Regal Appointment drawn well and looks the leader in the race. Building a nice form line and can win..….. Blink N Bones goes ok on grass and in good form. Place chances look best but good chance here Selections:   One Over Dover (8),   That's The Story (14),   Regal Appointment (7)   Blink N Bones (5)   Race 6 Ultimate Rocker conditions suit and drawn well on second line. Good winning claims and can run top three.…. Contractual Issues nice draw and should get a suck along on the fence. One for for longer odds…… Swap Over tricky draw but has a good finish when saved for one run at them. Place chances best..… Jazelle should be quick off the gate and will get a soft run. Winning claims Selections:  Ultimate Rocker (10),   Jazelle (3),   Swap Over (7),   Contractual Issues (1)   Race 7 Peraki Seelster building into fitness and well drawn. Looks one of the leading chances in this field …. Mordecai usually holds his form ok and paying good money. Would be no surprise to see him in the placings here from the nice draw….. Nerano has been fair the last couple but will be running on late. Could upset with grass track driver on board…. Glen Elgin Tomson getting better with racing and form is good. Has to be included from the good draw Selections:   Peraki Seelster (3),  Glen Elgin Tomson (2),   Mordecai (4),  Nerano (6)   Race 8 Bettor Talk Art good win last start and will be fitter. Stable in form and will be hard to beat if she goes forward early….. Booraa good last start and better drawn here. One for longer odds in this….. Annerie tricky draw but good last start. Should be close to the placings with luck in the running….. A Guinness Dance should get a run through early from the draw and form is ok. Needed in this field Selections:  Bettor Talk Art (7),   Annerie (8),   Booraa  (4)  A Guinness Dance (10)   Race 9 The Kaik racing well and paying great money. Distance suits and will be hard to beat if he can get handy before the home turn….. The Kapiti Express racing well and good stayer who should appreciate the 2400m on grass. Can run top three at nice odds….. Boom racing well and grass track driving specialist on board. Can go close with manners …..    Prospect Park good run last start and very speedy. Hard to beat here if he can get near the lead early Selections:  The Kaik (12),  Boom (17),   Prospect Park (6)    The Kapiti Express (20)   Race 10 Teagan Banner drawn for a soft run on the fence again and he killed the opposition last start. Winning claims with a trail all the way….. Razors Edge running on last start and down in grade. Good winning claims at nice odds….. Lilac Star tricky draw but loves the track. One of the leading chances here and has to be hard to beat at good odds….. Luella coming in fresh but has the ability if anywhere near 100%. Quick improver and could upset Selections:   Razors Edge (5),   Lilac Star (9),   Teagan Banner (2)   Luella (8)   Race 11 Gilligans Island freshened for this and has been racing well on grass.  Good winning chance….. Franco Niven racing into form and has been good in stronger fields. Great winning chance at good odds….. Fynn Frost has run some good against similar opposition and well drawn. Tote the guide but has claims….. Plutonium Lady drawn for a soft run on the fence and has a good sprint. Needed Selections:   Franco Niven (9),   Plutonium Lady (1),   Gilligans Island (6)   Fynn Frost (4)   Race 12 Valley Star tricky draw but big on ability. Will be running on but no surprise to see him winning this at good odds….. Milliondollarmonkey in good form on grass and if he trots all the way he looks the winner. Opened way over the odds….. Idle Stuartia drawn well and should get a good run in transit. Can win with a soft run near the leaders..….. Zsa Zoe good last start and respect the stable on grass. Will need luck from the draw but has winning claims Selections:   Milliondollarmonkey (3),   Valley Star (15),   Zsa Zoe (12)   Idle Stuartia (5)   Harnesslink Media

The countdown to NZB Standardbred's 2021 National Yearling Sale is on, with various tours around the country beginning as early as next Tuesday. We welcome all to join us as we inspect an incredible line up of standardbred yearlings heading to Karaka and Christchurch to go under the hammer this February. The annual on-farm tour begins in the North Island, with visits across multiple farms on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 January. Parades continue in the Canterbury region of the South Island on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 February and finishes with the famous SBSR tour in Southland on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 February. View the schedule here We look forward to seeing you at the picturesque New Zealand stud farms before heading north for the beginning of our 2021 National Yearling Sale. Should you wish for an agent to inspect yearlings on your behalf, please get in touch with one of our Standardbred team members below. For more information about the tours contact Rachel Deegan +64 3 381 0141 or email  

One of New Zealand’s best pacing mares is heading off-shore and trainer Mark Jones admits he doesn’t know when to expect her back. Jones is sending Stylish Memphis to Sydney to be trained by former Kiwi horseman Jack Trainor, who trains alongside Jason Grimson at Menangle. The plan was hatched when it became clear the All Stars runners Amazing Dream and Beyond Words were not heading across the Tasman, with trainer Hayden Cullen set to have no Aussie reps for the summer. “With Amazing Dream in particular not going the Sydney races like the Ladyship Mile become very attractive,” says Jones. “Not just because she won’t be there but because it also means she will be here and that makes the Addington mares races here so much harder, especially with Beyond Words also being here. “So Sydney is the best place for her and Jack had been hassling me for a while to send her over and now is the time.” It is not the first time Jones has sent Stylish Memphis to another trainer to maximise her potential, with Mark Purdon himself training the filly to win last season’s NSW Oaks after being a huge second in the Victoria Oaks. “It is about placing them where they are best suited and can make the most money,” explains Jones. “After those two mares races here at Addington she has no real mares opportunities until the Jewels and even that could mean taking on Amazing Dream again. “I don’t think we have enough good mares races here and after the two coming up she has to race the likes of Copy That and Self Assured. “Whereas at Menangle she has two A$50,000 mares races before the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile and then can races in mares races every second week.” While Jones and his owners are leaving the option of Stylish Memphis returning for the Jewels open she could also possibly head to North America. “That is another option for her because of all the mares races and the times she can get for her future broodmare career.” Stylish Memphis won’t be the only former Jones-trained good pacer plying her trade at Menangle soon, with Burnham Boy having already started his career there with a win two weeks ago after a two-third share in him was sold to big-time US owners Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover.   By Michael Guerin

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Consistent pacer Le Pole Dancer will be seeking to break maiden ranks at Waterlea Raceway on Friday when she lines-up in the Marlborough Racing Club Mobile Pace (1850m). The Margo Nyhan-trained four-year-old recaptured form last start when placing at Nelson on Sunday following an unplaced run on the first day of the circuit. “I didn’t think she had much of a show on the first day,” Nyhan said. “While she came off four seconds, she drew awfully (8) and it was a super-hot field. “She went well last start. She got a nice run and I thought she could run third or fourth in that field and she duly obliged with running third.” Le Pole Dancer has drawn two on the second line on Friday and Nyhan is happy with that marble. “That’s not a bad draw,” she said. “If the two horse goes forward she will be in the running line and won’t have to cover extra ground. Hopefully she can settle somewhere near the pace and she should be quite a good show.” Le Pole Dancer boasts five runner-up performances from 12 starts and Nyhan is hoping she can shed her bridesmaids tag on Friday. “She has been a slow learner,” Nyhan said. “But she has learnt a lot now so hopefully if she wins she is ready to take the step up to the next grade. “She is getting the ringcraft and it would be great to get a win on the board with her.” Stablemate Madeleine Stowe will by vying for back-to-back victories in the Masie’s Holdings Vineyard Handicap Trot (2400m) following her win at Nelson on Sunday. “She went super,” Nyhan said. “I thought she was our best shot the whole trip. I told Pete (Davis) he was driving the wrong one because I thought she was a super shot. “She is probably not as good on the grass and with the win she is going back 10m. She is super bright but it’s going to be tough with a 17-horse field.” Madeleine Stowe will be joined by stablemate Overzelous, who will also start behind the 20m mark, and Nyhan said she too could be questionable on the grass surface. “With 17 horses it is quite tough and she is probably not as good on the grass,” she said. “There were only 12 originally nominated but they have had such good noms they have transferred quite a few over. “She is well and is racing as good as she can, but she is not getting much luck at the moment.” Her half-sister Far More Zealous will contest the Kiwiseed Trot (2400m) and Nyhan is advising punters to look elsewhere. “Far More Zealous is a bit of a funny one,” she said. “We worked her with Madeleine Stowe yesterday (Wednesday) and she came off Madeleine Stow and just ran on by her. “She has got super high speed, but she must have some wee niggle and we are working on a few things. “We think she is quite a nice filly, but I wouldn’t be keen on backing her if I was having a bet.” Nyhan will also line-up Owhatanight in the Coles & JT Best Contracting Mobile Pace (1850m) and Givemewhatineed in the Isabel Wines Mobile Pace (1850m). “Owhatanight hasn’t drawn (14) great,” Nyhan said. “She looks like she might come into five on the second row, which isn’t a great draw. “She is racing great. She has not long come off the unruly and she is still learning things and is a bit green. “I would expect her to be running on at the finish. “Givemewhatineed has been taking part in both days at Nelson. We have done a massive lot of gear changes for tomorrow, so fingers crossed. If he goes like he can, he would be a shot, but we are not trusting him that much at the moment.” Nyhan has enjoyed her trip away to the top of the South Island and said it is a mini holiday of sorts for a lot of the harness racing community. “It’s brilliant,” she said. “Johnny Dunn and Blair Orange come up with their families and camp up here. We stay in a motel because we are older. It is a great buzz around the track. “This is the closest thing we get to a holiday, it’s great up here.”

By Courtney Clarke - Harness Racing NZ Harness Racing New Zealand is excited to announce our Team Teal Ambassadors for 2021. All female drivers in New Zealand will wear teal driving pants from February 1 to March 14 to raise awareness and funds for Ovarian Cancer.  In addition to that our four ambassadors will wear teal designed silks to further promote the cause.  The ambassadors for 2021 are Nicky Chilcott (North Island), Alicia Harrison (North Island), Samantha Ottley (South Island) and Ellie Barron (South Island).  We are also pleased to announce that the individual sponsors for each of our ambassadors have agreed to come on board again to support the campaign.  Nicky Chilcott: Whales Harness (Craig Thompson) Alicia Harrison: Arbonne (Ange Herlihy) Samantha Ottley: Harcourts (Stevie Golding) Ellie Barron: McCallums Group Most of our Clubs racing during the campaign have also committed to donating to the cause this year as well as Harness Racing NZ who will donate $100 per female win. We are also extremely thankful of the support from Woodlands Stud who have agreed to be a part of the campaign again in 2021 and will donate $100 per female win. Various clubs will also host teal themed events this year including, Team Teal racedays, ladies only races, and fashion in the field, to help in the fundraising efforts. We are looking forward to announcing some exciting events very soon on our website Founded by Duncan McPherson in Victoria in 2014, the campaign was started to help raise awareness and raise funds for research of Ovarian Cancer. McPherson lost his wife to Ovarian Cancer and vowed to continue her fight, and has grown the movement from Victoria, to nationwide Australia and now New Zealand. If anyone would like to be involved in the Team Teal Campaign or would like any further information please contact Courtney Clarke at Harness Racing NZ - or 027 635 4355

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk    A Group One victory at one of Victoria’s biggest nights of racing has been hailed as a victory for the small-time breeder. Canterbury breeder Grant Beckett was overjoyed when Keayang Livana won the 4YO Trotting mares feature at Tabcorp Park Melton on Vicbred Super series grand final night because he stands her sire Imperial Count at stud. “She’s always shown a lot of ability, and it shows you can produce Group One winners without having to spend a lot of money,” says Beckett, who runs Phoebe Standardbreds at Broadfield, just out of Christchurch. The stud was named after Phoebe, an area of farmland in North Canterbury where the Becketts have farmed for four generations. He’s hoping Keayang Livana’s success - she’s won 10 from 21 starts – will translate into increased interest and business coming his way. “Certainly there’s been a lot of feedback.” Standing for $1500, Imperial Count is one of three stallions at the stud, along with Royal Aspirations and Locharburn. By Angus Hall out of Miss Imperial, Imperial Count won 17 in North America (2010-15) before embarking on his stud career. “Imperial Count came to New Zealand for a year then had three seasons in Australia and then came back.” “He has served 20 mares this season but it’s still disappointing that he can’t attract bigger numbers.” Keayang Livana was not bred here. Out of an unraced Sundon mare Poignant she was foaled in Victoria in October 2015. Her win in the Vicbred super series on New Year’s Eve took her earnings over $130,000 and was Imperial Count’s first Group One success as a sire. Among other Imperial Count progeny to have excelled are Monaro Mia (13 wins, $AUD180,302) , Imperial Whiz (17 wins, $AUD168,532) and Phoebe Imperial, who’s trained by Nicky Chilcott. He’s won six from 34, his latest win being at Cambridge on Christmas Eve. “We have to celebrate success,” says Beckett, who’s realistic about where he stands compared to breeding heavyweights like Alabar, Woodlands Stud and Nevele R. “We have a role to play, and it is at the bottom end of the market.” Beckett estimates that horses bred by Phoebe Stud have won over 170 races over the years and he has no doubts as to the race he’d like to win more than any other. “Some trotting breeders look at the Dominion but for me it’s the Rowe Cup, who knows, but that would be a big one for me.”

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Demolition Man will be looking to shed his bridesmaids tag at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday when he contests the Kidz Kartz Course Starts Jan 18th Book Today Trot (2200m). The Trevor Phillips-trained entire has finished runner-up on 11 occasions, including his last three starts, and his connections are hopeful he will be able to finally breakthrough for his maiden win on Thursday. Phillips believes had it not been for his breathing issues, the five-year-old would have a number of wins under his belt by now. “He is going well. He has just got a few breathing issues that we are trying to sort out at the moment,” he said. “He has got a Cornell Collar on now, which shows he has got a breathing problem, hopefully that works.” Phillips has been pleased with the way Demolition Man has been performing of late and he is hopeful of another bold showing on Thursday. “Last start was a nice run,” he said. “They just outsprinted him. He is not a sit and sprint horse, he likes them to bowl along a bit. “The week before he had them shot to bits. He had about four or five lengths on them turning for home, and I thought he was in, but he flipped his palate.” Demolition Man now boasts 11 seconds and three thirds from 22 starts, and Phillips said much of that success has come down to his impeccable racing manners. “He has got the manners and that’s what takes him a long way,” Phillips said. “He puts in his best all the time, he is a really honest little fella. “If he steps, which he should do, he will be in it for a long way.” Demolition Man has drawn seven and will be driven by local reinsman Kyle Marshall. TAB bookmakers have installed him as a $1.95 favourite, ahead of Storms Acoming at $4.20, and Skyzrclearnsunny at $5.

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 Cambridge today with a ten race program starting at 5:31pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Cambridge selections 14th January 2021 Best Bet:  R1 Demolition Man Best Value:  R5 Majestic Harry   Race 1 Demolition Man Doris Rae Storms Acoming Skyzrclearnsunny   Race 2 Brodie Lindenny Mailman Betterzippit Scottish Poacher   Race 3 Dun It Bad Bugalugs Ticking Over Roma Rosa   Race 4 Spirit Of Anzac Fleeting Grin Classey Robin Prodigal Pete   Race 5 Majestic Harry Littlebitoflove Safrakova Berrylicious Babe   Race 6 Ruby Mach Prop Rock Crimson Rain Pacing Hope   Race 7 About Turn Ace Strike On A Roll American Me   Race 8 Hezacrocwatcher Down The Hatch Show Me Heaven Sarandon    Race 9 The Last Gamble Delson Monkey Selfie Still Eyre   Race 10 Captain Nemo Miss Hathaway Jungle Gem Express Play   Harnesslink Media

“We’ve decided to pull the pin. It’s pretty emotional,” said Geoff Knight after Deus Ex won today’s Northern Southland Summer Cup at Ascot Park. The fifth favourite got back early for regular pilot Matty Williamson before he made a lightning move and took up the leader’s role. He hung on to beat favourite Watch Me Now by a neck. “He’s a good horse and I said to Matty don’t be unlucky.” It was fitting that Williamson was the driver for the win. “We’ve trained 250 odd winners and he’s driven over 200 of them for us. He’s been so loyal from the time he was a kid. He’s part of the family.” Geoff started training in 1987 and had thirty six winners in his own right before Jude came into the partnership in 2010. Their biggest winner was Pembrook’s Delight in the Group One Four Year Old Diamonds at Cambridge in 2012. Geoff says he and Jude will carry on with the Rural Mail Run and are still breeding horses. “We’re going to take life a bit easier. Matty’s going to train Deus Ex and a few of the others. Instead of sending out the bills we’re going to be paying them. I’m sure I’ll miss it, particularly the people, because the people are everything. I’m still on the board of Southern Harness and the Horseman’s Association. Jude’s good with it. She said it had to be my decision because it’s been my passion.” Although Pembrook’s Delight holds a special place in the couple’s training career Deus Ex also rates highly. “I’ve always said that this horse from the age of three could be the best horse I’ve trained. I don’t think I’ve had any other horses including Trojan and Pembrook’s Delight that could have done what he did today so that backs my judgement.” And who knows they could be back at some stage. “I’m not selling all my gear.”   Bruce Stewart