Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 233
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

New Zealand Cup hero Thefixer is out of the Auckland Cup.  And he will be joined on the sidelines for that December 31 classic by Ultimate Machete as the pair are instead aimed at Australian races in the New Year.  Trainer Mark Purdon will not enter the high-profile pair for the Alexandra Park feature when nominations close at 11am on Friday for different reasons.  Both horses have spent much of the last two weeks on the water walker at Stephen Boyd’s property and while Purdon is happy with their condition he thinks the Cup will come up too soon for Thefixer. “He had that time off to get his body over the New Zealand Cup win and we don’t want to rush him back,” said Purdon.  “To be ready for the Auckland Cup he probably would have needed to trial next week and I’d rather give him time, maybe go to the Cambridge Mile and then the Ballarat and Hunter Cups in Victoria and even on to the Miracle Mile.”Ultimate Machete missed the New Zealand Cup, for which he was the one-time favourite, and Purdon is reluctant to aim him at standing start races in the near future.  “He actually hurt himself when he galloped away one night and I wouldn’t want to risk that again because then his season could be over.  “So we will let him miss the Auckland Cup and look at the mobile races in Aussie.”  The Purdon-Rasmussen stable still has the two Auckland Cup favourites in Dream About Me and potential star Turn It Up while the likes of All U Need Is Faith, Ashley Locaz and Sicario are others who will be entered for the Cup.  The All Stars northern team arrives on Saturday and will also include Elle Mac for the Queen of Hearts, star three-year-olds Ultimate Sniper and Another Masterpiece and last season’s champion filly Princess Tiffany Michael Guerin

The cloud of doom hovering over the career of Auckland Cup winner Vincent is clearing. The exceptional four-year-old is now rated a good chance of racing again next season just weeks after fears he may need to be retired to stud because of a suspensory injury. Trainer Mark Purdon says the magnificent looking pacer could even be back at the races as soon as early next year. "We are definitely aiming him at getting back to the races, not a stud career," Purdon confirmed to the Herald. "Initially when he got injured it looked like that may not be the case we really feared it might be the end of his racing career. "But things since then have been far more positive." Vincent had just won the Auckland Cup and was favourite for the Ballarat Cup and Chariots Of Fire when he damaged his suspensory in late January. That also ruled him out of the Miracle Mile and he was brought back to New Zealand for a thorough veterinary inspection, which had it suggested he was finished as a racehorse, would have seen negotiations start with stud farms. "But he has been at the clinic at Matamata and they are hopeful that stem cell injections into the area can help it heal 100 per cent," explained Purdon. "He has already had one course and is now on his next and apparently the nature of the injury is not as bad as it can be. So it is very early days but I'd like to think he will be back racing." Even all going well Vincent won't be back to try and thwart stablemate Lazarus's attempt at a third New Zealand Cup come November or the Inter Dominions in Victoria a few weeks later. But if and when he does make it back to the track he will add much needed glamour to the New Zealand pacing stocks. It is almost unprecedented to have so many top horses leave the country or be retired in such a short period of time, with Have Faith In Me, Heaven Rocks and Waikiki Beach having left over the summer while Smolda was retired last year. Add to that the injuries to great mares Dream About Me and The Orange Agent and Auckland Cup runner-up Titan Banner and the cupboard at the highest level is awfully bare. For once the Australian ranks seem to have more depth, with My Field Marshal there now and horses like Chicago Bull, Soho Tribeca and Jilliby Kung Fu having emerged. A fully healthy version of Vincent has done enough to suggest he is as good as them and if he can return to the track he remains the heir apparent to Lazarus, who you would have to think would be retired at the end of next season. One of the genuine class acts to have emerged from the sparse local summer of pacing has been Star Galleria, who blew his rivals away again at Alexandra Park last Friday. After a roller coaster three-year-old season last term he has developed strength to compliment his raw speed but trainer Steven Reid will not stretch him out to 3200m in the Easter Cup at Addington in a few weeks. Even though Star Galleria was a brave fourth in the Auckland Cup over that 3200m distance on December 31, Reid will stick to his original plans and aim him at the Taylor Mile and Messenger at Alexandra Park in late April and May before the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June. With some possibility Miracle Mile runner-up Jilliby Kung Fu could be lured to New Zealand for the Jewels a clash between he, Star Galleria and Jack's Legend would set that meeting alight. Michael Guerin

Auckland Cup hero Vincent won't be protected from champion stablemate Lazarus as the Miracle Mile looms as pacing's race of the season. The red hot favourite led home a Purdon-Rasmussen trifecta in the $250,000 Cup at Alexandra Park tonight (Sunday), downing Titan Banner and Heaven Rocks in a race of twists and turns. After Titan Banner led early and Vincent trailed punters could have expected that order to remain unchanged but David Butcher driving Northview Hustler had other ideas, deciding he didn't want to sit parked so attacked for the lead. He was successful, Titan Banner came out of the trail to re-take the lead and once that game of cat and mouse calmed down Vincent strolled to the front. The magnificent four-year-old then dawdled through the middle stages before things lit up again when Heaven Rocks worked around to sit parked, attacked down the back straight and even headed Vincent at the 500m before racing erratically. But the favourite kicked back in the style of a potential pacing great and at the line was easily holding Titan Banner. "That was a huge win when you consider he is only four," said Purdon, who watched the race from the outside fence of the parade ring because he is suspended. That meant training partner Natalie Rasmussen reined the winner and Purdon admitted it was a strange feeling watching rather than being out on the track. "But it was great to see all three of them perform to that level and when Tim [Williams, driving Heaven Rocks] attacked it made the last lap exciting. The winner is a wonderful horse but I thought the other two went great and it was good to see Heaven Rocks get around in one piece." The win was followed by Ashley Locaz winning the last race to give the All Stars a remarkable seven winners at the premier meeting from only eight races but now their gaze turns to Australia. Lazarus returns to racing in Perth this Friday and the following two weeks before returning to the eastern states, where Vincent will contest the A$200,000 Chariots Of Fire in Sydney on February 10. If they continue on their winning ways both will be invited to the A$750,000 Miracle Mile on February 24 and Purdon says he will not keep the pair apart. "If they are both going well enough and win their way into the Miracle Mile then I wouldn't be scared to start them against each other," he said. So could the new Auckland Cup winner beat the two-time New Zealand Cup winner in Lazarus? "I think he could," says Purdon of Vincent. "I am not saying he would but it is not impossible as Vincent is a very good horse and any horse, even Lazarus, is beatable as we saw in the early heats of the Inter Dominions. "So that could be the first time they clash and I think if it eventuated it would be great for the industry." Earlier, Temporale ended the argument over who is the best trotter racing in New Zealand when he outstayed Speeding Spur in the $100,000 National Trot, the second time he has beaten him this month and suggesting he has earned himself a trip to Victoria next month. Michael Guerin  

It’s official. The biggest threat to Lazarus, the current champion of Australasian harness racing, lies within his own stable. This will not shock most fans, the depth of the All Stars stable is at an all-time high and the result of the Gr.1 $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park today (Sunday) only solidifies the point. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen provided the top three finishers with boom four-year-old and race favourite Vincent defeating Titan Banner and Heaven Rocks in the 3200m stand-start feature. While Lazarus has dominated most open class features this season including his powerful and relentless thrashings of rivals in the New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominion, his stablemate Vincent is well on the way to being his nemesis. His winning effort in the Auckland Cup, his first foray into the Grand Circuit level of elite pacing, clearly underlines the enormous talent that fits into his hulking frame. It’s a lethal combination. Stepping safely and landing behind Titan Banner soon after the start, Vincent travelled comfortably while outsider Northview Hustler challenged hard for the lead and eventually found it before releasing both Titan Banner and Vincent again. Rasmussen positioned Vincent in the lead role passing the 2100m mark. The lead time was covered in a moderate 2:04.9. With Vincent dictating terms, Heaven Rocks and Tim Williams whistled around the field before parking outside of his stablemate with 1200m remaining. The first half of the final mile was covered in splits of 32.7 and 32.7 seconds. Entering the back straight, Vincent was tested by Heaven Rocks who raced keenly albeit pacing like a startled giraffe. Heaven Rocks actually headed Vincent coming off the back straight before pacing very awkwardly, the back straight quarter was covered in 27.4 seconds. But Rasmussen wasn’t perturbed and allowed Vincent to pace comfortably within himself before releasing the shackles in the straight, the margin soon expanded and the highly decorated pacer scored easily by 1.5 lengths from Titan Banner who used inside runs while Heaven Rocks was a further head away in third. The final quarter was covered in 27 seconds. The overall time was 4:04.7 – a winning mile rate of 2:03.0. “That was a professional effort, he stepped away safely and travelled really well and felt terrific in the straight when challenged. He’s a very good horse.” Winning driver Natalie Rasmussen declared. It was Rasmussen’s maiden victory in the North Island feature. The victory of Vincent also provided his champion sire Art Major with his first Auckland Cup winner. The All Stars stable have now won the Auckland Cup on six occasions and have recorded back to back victories following the success of Dream About Me last year. Other winners include Sharp And Telford, Young Rufus, Auckland Reactor and Have Faith In Me. With four legs now complete in the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the All Stars stable has won three legs (New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and Auckland Cup) while Lennytheshark won the opening leg of the 2017/18 series, the Victoria Cup. The next leg of the APG Grand Circuit takes place on January 19 at Gloucester Park with the running of the Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup, an event that will feature Lazarus. Collectively, the combination of Purdon and Rasmussen have either trained or driven in excess of 50 Grand Circuit winners! Auckland Cup By Chris Barsby

Today is Auckland harness racing’s biggest race of the year - the $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup. Interest and anticipation in this year’s Auckland Cup Day has been bigger than usual, with Alexandra Park promising some of New Zealand’s best racing combined with a growing number of free off-track attractions. With the gates set to open from 2pm, there will be food trucks, ice creams, a bouncy castle, face painting and much more. Then after the last race there will be a fireworks’ display and a performance by band Split Second. “We’ve brought back the fireworks which promises to be awesome, and will be set off just on dark, so people don’t have to wait around until midnight to celebrate New Year. There is so much for families to enjoy,” says Joel Reichardt, Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager. General admission into Alexandra Park, car-parking, race books and entertainment – both on and off the track - are all free to enjoy. “With over $800,000 in stakes on offer, we can’t wait to see all the Group One action on track today. For the Auckland Cup itself, the field is set to be one of the best and most competitive we’ve seen in years,” says Regan Cotter, Alexandra Park’s Racing Manager. Known as the race of champions, in the past the Auckland Cup has been won by sporting greats such as Cardigan Bay, Young Quinn, Christian Cullen, Elsu and Themightyquinn. For further information on 2017 Auckland Cup Day, visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Contact: Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or Joel Reichardt – Sales & Marketing Manager - (021) 786-034. Here are the fields;            Race 1 [2:04pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES FILLIES SILVER (MOBILE PACE)  $12,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m  Race 2 [2:39pm] BRECKON FARMS YOUNG GUNS SERIES (HEAT 2) MOBILE PACE  $25,000, 2YO, 1700m  Race 3 [3:14pm] CROMBIE LOCKWOOD HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R50 TO R60 SPECIAL, 2700m  Race 4 [3:49pm] WOODLANDS STUD YEARLING PARADE JANUARY 15 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER F&M UP TO & INCLUDING R67, 2200m  Race 5 [4:24pm] JACOBSEN HEADSTONES HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, R61 TO R105 SPECIAL, 2700m  Race 6 [4:59pm] SIMS PACIFIC METALS MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R52 TO R60, 2200m  Race 7 [5:32pm] PGG WRIGHTSON NZ YEARLING SALES 3YO FINAL (MOBILE PACE) (Listed)  $230,000, 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS, 2200m  Race 8 [6:02pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES 3YO FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1)  $150,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m  Race 9 [6:34pm] LINCOLN FARMS BLOODSTOCK MOBILE PACE  $20,000, R85 & FASTER, 2200m  Race 10 [7:04pm] WINGER MOTORS 2017 NATIONAL TROT (FFA MOBILE) (Gr1)  $100,000, FFA, 2700m  Race 11 [7:35pm] TRILLIAN TRUST 2017 AUCKLAND CUP (FFA PACE) (Gr1)  $250,000, FFA, 3200m  Race 12 [8:04pm] AUCKLAND CO-OP TAXIS 300-3000 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R62 TO R83, 2200m   Race 1 [2:04pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES FILLIES SILVER (MOBILE PACE)  $12,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      For 3-year-old pacing fillies. Estimated stake for the consolation (with 6 acceptors) to be $12,000. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 35X10P 3 f     Come Dance With Me   R53 1 Front Zachary Butcher M P Kerr   2 61X352 3 f     Harpagus   MR52 2 Front Philip Butcher B & G J Hughes   3 80X292 3 f     A Lister   MR50 3 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   4 380X32 3 f     Harmony Blue   MR53 4 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   5 86 3 f     Feel The Burn   MR48 5 Front Todd Macfarlane B & G J Hughes   6 33X308 3 f     Shandance   MR50 6 Front Maurice McKendry M W McKendry MNZM            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Come Dance With Me to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, A Lister to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 2 [2:39pm] BRECKON FARMS YOUNG GUNS SERIES (HEAT 2) MOBILE PACE  $25,000, 2YO, 1700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For 2-year-old pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Sex (fillies drawn inside colts and geldings) using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 4 2 c     Beaudiene Western   MR50 1 Front David Butcher R W Green   2   2 g     Supreme Dominator   MR50 2 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   3   2 g     Star Of Montana   MR50 3 Front Scott Phelan B Purdon   4 2 2 c     Bettor Getta Lover   MR51 4 Front Gerard O'Reilly G R Dunn   5   2 c     Power Dreaming   MR50 5 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   6   2 g     Arden Voyager   MR50 6 Front Brent Mangos B Purdon   7 3 2 c     Stun Gun   MR51 7 Front Ricky May P T Court   8   2 c     Jesse Duke   MR50 8 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9   2 c     Tycoon Tiger   MR50 9 Front Todd Macfarlane T A Macfarlane   10 5 2 c     Pembrook Charlie   MR49 10 Front                Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Bettor Getta Lover to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Stun Gun to Steven Reid at Pukekohe, Jesse Duke to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 3 [3:14pm] CROMBIE LOCKWOOD HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R50 TO R60 SPECIAL, 2700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      For R50 to R60 3yo-&-older trotters. Front: R50 to R58. 10m: R59 to R60. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 210322 4 g     Musculus   R55 1 Front Dexter Dunn C P Iggo   2 235D23 9 g     Jomo   R56 2 Front John Robinson J M Robinson   3 345221 5 g     Swinging   R55 3 Front Tony Herlihy T R Vince   4 94D9X1 3 g     Stress Factor   R58 4 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 DX1 3 g     All American   R58 5 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   6 96X132 5 m     Magnafique   R53 6 Front Michelle Wallis Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   7 D78254 5 g     Blood And Whisky   R51 7 Front John Dunn Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   8 06010X 4 g     Mass Destruction   R54 U1 Front Maurice McKendry Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   9 157X33 4 m     One Bid Buys   R55 U2 Front Todd Macfarlane J L & Mrs M A Teaz   10 X71083 4 g     Galleons Victory   R54 U3 Front Blair Orange Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   11 10357X 4 g     Billy At Salsa   R50 U4 Front Todd Mitchell Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   12 X0X351 7 m     Alta Venetia   R60 U1 10m Andre Poutama I J Moody            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Musculus to Richard Brosnan at Ardmore, Stress Factor to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 4 [3:49pm] WOODLANDS STUD YEARLING PARADE JANUARY 15 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER F&M UP TO & INCLUDING R67, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For up to & including R67 3yo-&-older pacing fillies & mares. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 217544 4 m     Lynbar Rose   R54 1 Front Maurice McKendry J M Young   2 332831 4 m     Kaitlyn   R56 2 Front Rhys Fensom Mrs P N Fensom   3 1P24 3 f     Ideal Lass   R57 3 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   4 967680 6 m     Gupta's Cullen   R58 4 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   5 376451 4 m     Christanna   R58 5 Front       6 717450 4 m     Three Kisses   R62 6 Front Logan Hollis L G Hollis & S M Robertson   7 945301 4 m     American Empress   R64 7 Front Sailesh Abernethy J M Young   8 75X138 4 m     Juice Brogden   R67 8 Front Nicky Chilcott Miss N A Chilcott   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 065413 4 m     Queen Lostris   R58 9 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Gupta's Cullen: SL-Off, BL-On, Ideal Lass: BL-Off    Legend         Race 5 [4:24pm] JACOBSEN HEADSTONES HANDICAP TROT  $20,000, R61 TO R105 SPECIAL, 2700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      For R61 to R105 trotters. Front: R61 to R65. 10m: R66 to R71. 20m: R72 to R80. 30m: R81 to R88. 40m: R89 to R105. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 627255 6 m     Lovely Bundy   R61 1 Front       2 0X3124 5 g     Geena's Success   R63 U1 Front Maurice McKendry Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   3 413555 6 g     Angus Burga   R61 U2 Front Peter Ferguson K D Sefonte   4 206165 7 g     Primus Inter Pares   R67 1 10m Robert Argue(J) R O Paynter   5 266X61 4 g     Sertorius   R66 U1 10m Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   6 222891 7 m     Tereskova   R72 1 20m Luk Chin Dr L S Chin   7 L42363 5 h     Royal Willie   R73 2 20m David Butcher R O Paynter   8 505411 6 g     The Crown Jewels   R74 U1 20m Nicky Chilcott Miss N A Chilcott   9 1175X1 4 g     Heavyweight Hero   R81 1 30m Todd Macfarlane T A Macfarlane   10 061343 5 m     Shady Sadie   R81 2 30m James Stormont J P Stormont   11 98X816 6 m     Princess Mackendon   R88 3 30m Michelle Wallis Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   12 367722 8 g     KD Hall   R85 U1 30m Tony Herlihy T R Vince   13 414659 7 g     Commander Paris   R94 1 40m       14 846530 7 g     Eyre I Come   R105 U1 40m                Notifiable Gear Changes:    Geena's Success: SL-On    Legend         Race 6 [4:59pm] SIMS PACIFIC METALS MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R52 TO R60, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For R52 to R60 pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 176222 6 g     Hunter Bromac   R52 1 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   2 824935 4 h     Makers Mark   R53 2 Front Peter Ferguson A P & L M Neal   3 13589X 6 g     Loud An Proud   R54 3 Front James Stormont J P Stormont   4 X20681 3 f     Shenandoah   R55 4 Front Nathan Purdon(J) M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 713X2 3 f     Gooddealehemily   R55 5 Front Todd Macfarlane B & G J Hughes   6 771327 4 g     Madiba   R57 6 Front Andre Poutama D C Morrison   7 5436X1 3 c     Charlie Mach   R58 7 Front Tony Cameron(J) A G Herlihy MNZM   8 213285 4 g     Italian Delight   R58 8 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 41 3 f     La Prix   R56 9 Front Maurice McKendry B & G J Hughes   10 022216 3 f     Conway Beach   R56 10 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   11 886134 6 g     M T Pockets   R60 11 Front Jack MacKinnon(J) T R Vince   12 X963X3 5 g     Freedom Fighter   R60 12 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   13 971722 4 g     Wrangler   R60 13 Front John Dunn R J Dunn            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Loud An Proud: SL-Off, RD-On    Legend      Horse Movements:    Shenandoah to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Madiba to Peter Fraser at Cambridge, Conway Beach to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 7 [5:32pm] PGG WRIGHTSON NZ YEARLING SALES 3YO FINAL (MOBILE PACE) (Listed)  $230,000, 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For 3-year-old pacing colts & geldings. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 111226 3 c     King Of Swing   R91 1 Front David Butcher R W Green   2 9X2171 3 c     Culpeka   R71 2 Front Brent Mangos B M Mangos   3 343X13 3 g     Rain Man   R58 3 Front Dexter Dunn S J Reid   4 509X22 3 g     Bettor Step Aside   MR49 4 Front       5 12611 3 g     On The Cards   R71 5 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   6 651035 3 c     Alta Maestro   R82 6 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   7 222024 3 c     The Devils Own   R75 7 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   8 3X3293 3 c     Spankem   R75 8 Front Tony Herlihy M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 792231 3 c     Hail Christian   R65 9 Front Blair Orange P T Court   10 1X311 3 c     Sheriff   R67 10 Front Ricky May N R McGrath   11 111111 3 g     Chase Auckland   R94 11 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   12 143412 3 c     All U Need Is Faith   R79 12 Front Nathan Purdon(J) M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Rain Man: BL-Off    Legend      Horse Movements:    The Devils Own to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Spankem to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Hail Christian to Steven Reid at Pukekohe, Sheriff to Barry Purdon at Clevedon, Chase Auckland to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, All U Need Is Faith to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 8 [6:02pm] ALABAR SIRES STAKES 3YO FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1)  $150,000, 3YO FILLIES, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For 3-year-old pacing fillies. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 790898 3 f     Alta Shangri La   R51 1 Front Zachary Butcher R W Green   2 353 3 f     Tiger Swift   MR51 2 Front James Stormont T A Macfarlane   3 33X308 3 f     Shandance E1 MR50 3 Front       4 X10624 3 f     Bare Knuckle   R57 4 Front Tony Herlihy M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 66X307 3 f     Purest Silk   R54 5 Front Brent Mangos B M Mangos   6 13525 3 f     Delight In Me   R54 6 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   7 21373 3 f     Somethingaboutmary   R57 7 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   8 5102 3 f     Kotare Cullen   R57 8 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 114X11 3 f     Bettor Joy   R88 9 Front Dexter Dunn C T Dalgety   10 863147 3 f     Sea Of Gold   R55 10 Front David Butcher R W Green   11 112252 3 f     Bettor Trix   R59 11 Front Nathan Purdon(J) M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   12 35X10P 3 f     Come Dance With Me E2 R53 12 Front       13 9X0430 3 f     New York Rain   R59 13 Front Simon Lawson J W Dickie & J I Dickie   14 42X144 3 f     Elle Mac   R83 14 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   15 511X16 3 f     Dizzy Miss Lizzy   R82 15 Front Blair Orange N R McGrath            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Bettor Joy: SL-Off, Purest Silk: BL-Off    Legend      Horse Movements:    Bare Knuckle to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Delight In Me to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Bettor Joy to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Bettor Trix to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Come Dance With Me to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Elle Mac to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Dizzy Miss Lizzy to Barry Purdon at Clevedon         Race 9 [6:34pm] LINCOLN FARMS BLOODSTOCK MOBILE PACE  $20,000, R85 & FASTER, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For R85 & faster pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 5111X1 4 m     Utmost Delight   R85 1 Front Brent Mangos S J Reid   2 X51313 4 m     Step Up   R80 2 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   3 X23P17 4 h     Mongolian Storm   R87 3 Front Blair Orange P T Court   4 58X551 6 m     Jo's Dream   R87 4 Front Andre Poutama Miss A M Kiddie   5 116317 4 g     Raptors Flight   R90 5 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   6 1X1293 5 g     Motown   R97 6 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   7 13X413 4 m     Partyon   R105 7 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   8 X22113 4 m     Bonnie Joan   R106 8 Front Dexter Dunn C T Dalgety   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 2X1504 5 m     American Tart   R92 9 Front John Dunn R J Dunn   10 X71751 4 m     Seaswift Joy   R96 10 Front James Stormont J P Stormont   11 X11259 6 m     Better B Amazed   R118 11 Front Ben Butcher(J) S G Telfer            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Mongolian Storm to Steven Reid at Pukekohe, Partyon to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Bonnie Joan to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe         Race 10 [7:04pm] WINGER MOTORS 2017 NATIONAL TROT (FFA MOBILE) (Gr1)  $100,000, FFA, 2700m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For all trotters. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 330874 6 m     Yagunnakissmeornot   R103 1 Front Blair Orange R J Dunn   2 221X22 6 h     Speeding Spur   R121 2 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   3 574144 10 g     Charlemagne   R83 3 Front Kyle Marshall C J Butler   4 230598 6 m     Destiny Jones   R99 4 Front John Dunn K D Townley   5 571361 10 g     Kyvalley Blur   R123 5 Front Tim Williams B A Lilley   6 60X211 5 g     Temporale   R117 6 Front Tony Herlihy A G Herlihy MNZM   7 252233 6 g     The Almighty Johnson   R99 7 Front Tony Cameron(J) A G Herlihy MNZM   8 312615 6 g     Everybody Knows   R113 8 Front Ricky May G P & Mrs N M Hope   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 846530 7 g     Eyre I Come   R105 9 Front Brent Mangos Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   10 18280X 6 m     Sunny Ruby   R122 10 Front David Butcher Miss A M Donnelly   11 414659 7 g     Commander Paris   R94 11 Front Todd Mitchell Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett   12 112275 7 g     The Foot Tapper   R91 12 Front Barry Purdon B Purdon   13 381507 7 g     Djokovic   R95 13 Front Luk Chin Dr L S Chin            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Eyre I Come: SL-On    Legend      Horse Movements:    Destiny Jones to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe, Kyvalley Blur to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Everybody Knows to David & Clare McGowan at Pukekohe         Race 11 [7:35pm] TRILLIAN TRUST 2017 AUCKLAND CUP (FFA PACE) (Gr1)  $250,000, FFA, 3200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Front Line Limit      Race History   For all pacers. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 3X4486 9 g     Brydon Ideal   R85 1 Front Maurice McKendry J M Young   2 112963 6 g     Titan Banner   R125 2 Front Dexter Dunn M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   3 312235 4 g     Jack's Legend   R100 3 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   4 111X11 4 h     Vincent(AUS)   R114 4 Front Natalie Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   5 10D514 7 g     Maxim   R120 5 Front Brent Mangos B M Mangos   6 431664 4 h     Northview Hustler   R90 6 Front David Butcher R W Green   7 254364 5 g     Max Phactor   R83 7 Front Ben Butcher(J) M G Berger   8 11X112 4 g     Star Galleria   R101 8 Front Tony Herlihy S J Reid   9 94X212 4 g     A G's White Socks   R84 9 Front Ricky May G P & Mrs N M Hope   10 022135 8 g     Imajollywally   R82 10 Front Arna Donnelly Miss A M Donnelly   11 531020 5 g     Heaven Rocks   R125 U1 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   12 337706 6 m     Lusty Mac   R91 U2 Front Philip Butcher M G Berger            Notifiable Gear Changes:    No Gear Changes      Horse Movements:    Titan Banner to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Vincent(AUS) to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, A G's White Socks to David & Clare McGowan at Pukekohe, Heaven Rocks to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton         Race 12 [8:04pm] AUCKLAND CO-OP TAXIS 300-3000 MOBILE PACE  $20,000, 3YO & OLDER R62 TO R83, 2200m    Racebook    Trottech    Gear    Preferential Grid      For R62 to R83 pacers. Preferential Barrier Draw Based on: Rating using the track grid. Book Form Age Sex     Name   Rating Draw Hdcp Driver Trainer   1 612653 3 c     Royal Lincoln   R62 1 Front Andre Poutama R W Green   2 1X2102 3 g     Park Avenue   R63 2 Front Joshua Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie   3 1X7424 5 h     Zadaka   R70 3 Front       4 X33353 4 g     Rhythm N Blues   R71 4 Front Ben Butcher(J) S G Telfer   5 1X4225 3 g     Ashley Locaz   R71 5 Front Tim Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen   6 9X3257 4 g     Forgotten Highway   R74 6 Front       7 422227 4 m     Opoutama   R76 7 Front Zachary Butcher B Purdon   8 312942 5 g     Ideal Roman   R77 8 Front Philip Butcher S G Telfer   ---------------------------- Second Line ---------------------------- 9 29X355 4 g     Check In   R71 9 Front Jack MacKinnon(J) S G Telfer   10 11132 3 g     Triple Eight   R72 10 Front David Butcher S G Telfer   11 1X8200 5 m     Rocknroll Princess   R80 11 Front John Dunn S G Telfer   12 421517 4 h     My Generation   R83 12 Front Kyle Marshall D M Balle            Notifiable Gear Changes:    Ashley Locaz: BL-On    Legend      Horse Movements:    Ashley Locaz to Graeme Rogerson at Hamilton, Forgotten Highway to Robert Dunn at Pukekohe      

Excitement is ramping up for Auckland harness racing’s biggest race of the year - the $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve. Known as the race of champions, in the past it has been won by sporting greats such as Cardigan Bay, Young Quinn, Christian Cullen, Elsu and Themightyquinn. Alexandra Park is again promising some of New Zealand’s best racing combined with a growing number of free off-track attractions. Racing Manager Regan Cotter says the Auckland Trotting Club’s focus is now well and truly on the big one – an afternoon of exhilarating Group One racing on 31 December. “For the Auckland Cup itself, we’re confident the field will be one of the best and most competitive we’ve had in years. The Group One National Trot will also be a real battle of the titans. “With over $800,000 in stakes on offer for the big day, we can’t wait to see all the action on track under the glorious Auckland sun. New Year’s Eve simply promises to be one mouth-watering event with many fighting it out for Group One glory,” says Mr Cotter. Trackside presenter Michael Guerin believes the Auckland Trotting Club has gotten its Auckland Cup concept spot on, delivering top level racing but with the relaxed feel of a summer holiday meeting. He says the move back to a 3200m standing start Auckland Cup has been a massive success. He agrees the National Trot will also be a show-stopper and believes it will be “the strongest trotting race in New Zealand so far this season.”  Alexandra Park Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt says the interest and anticipation in this year’s Auckland Cup Day has been huge, with dining packages nearly all sold out. He says they’re expecting possibly the biggest crowd they’ve seen for some time if the weather is fine, helped by the fact that general admission, car-parking, race books and entertainment – both on and off the track - are all free. With the gates set to open from 2pm, there will be food trucks, ice creams, a bouncy castle, face painting and much more. Then after the last race there will be a fireworks’ display and a performance by band Split Second. “This is a perfect family event as there’ll be so much for parents and so much for children to all enjoy. We’ve brought back the fireworks which promises to be awesome, and will be set off just on dark, so people don’t have to wait around until midnight to celebrate New Year,” says Mr Reichardt. For further information on 2017 Auckland Cup Day, visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or Joel Reichardt – Sales & Marketing Manager - (021) 786-034.

Harness racing trainer Mark Purdon knows a thing or two about the Auckland Cup. The champion horseman has trained the winner of the North Island feature five times, including last year’s heroine Dream About Me in race record time. His other past champions include Have Faith In Me, Auckland Reactor, Young Rufus and Sharp And Telford. On Sunday night at Alexandra Park, the All Stars stable will be represented by a trio of charges in the Gr.1 $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup including boom four-year-old Vincent plus Titan Banner and the enigmatic Heaven Rocks. Unbeaten in both starts this term, Vincent is clearly the horse to beat following his record breaking victory in the $50,000 Franklin Cup on December 15 followed by his easy romp in the $50,000 Futurity at Cambridge on Christmas Eve. The hulking Art Major - Kept For Pleasure entire has landed barrier four in the 3200m stand-start feature. With Purdon currently suspended, star reinsperson Natalie Rasmussen will take the drive again, just like she did in the Franklin Cup. But there is something eerily similar between his past winners and his loaded gun this year. Four of his five Auckland Cup winners have all been four-year-olds, just like Vincent. Dream About Me, Have Faith In Me, Auckland Reactor and Sharp And Telford were all baby faced assassins when triumphant in the Auckland Cup. Young Rufus was a five-year-old when triumphant. So, despite his inexperience and Grand Circuit smarts, Purdon will have Vincent primed for his big open class test. Big brother Barry is also very familiar with the Auckland Cup, having prepared the winner 8 times previously. All but Holmes DG were prepared in partnership with his legendary father Roy - starting with Sole Command and followed by Comedy Lad, Luxury Liner (x 2), Christopher Vance and Chokin ( x 2). Driving champions Peter Wolfenden (Sole Command) and Tony Herlihy (all others) took driving honours for the father/son partnership. Barry took the winning drive himself when successful with Holmes DG. This year, Barry will send out talented four-year-old Jacks Legend while entrusting the drive with skillful reinsman Zachary Butcher. Other four-year-old’s competing this year include the Steve Reid prepared Star Galleria and the Greg and Nine Hope trained A G’s White Socks. Both are extremely talented types and should prove dangerous given the right luck. Herlihy will partner Star Galleria while dual Auckland Cup winning reinsman Ricky May takes the lines behind A G’s White Socks. Cup winning trainer Ray Green (2012 - Sir Lincoln) prepares Northview Hustler and will engage dual Cup winning driver David Butcher (Elsu - 2003/04) for the drive. Surprisingly, respected horseman Brent Mangos is chasing his maiden success in the Auckland Cup and will partner his talented runner Maxim. Mangos has won most features at the premier North Island track. Also chasing Cup success for the first time include Jeremy Young (Bryson Ideal), Mike Berger (Max Phactor & Lusty Mac) and Anna Donnelly (Imajollywally). As it stands, the dominant force of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have won two of the three legs this season of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit following the victories of mighty pacer Lazarus in the New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominion. The opening leg of the 2017/18 series, the Victoria Cup was taken out by hometown hero Lennytheshark in clinical style. The Auckland Cup is the 4th leg of the 8 race series. Start time for the Auckland Cup is 7.35pm local. Chris Barsby

Alexandra Park’s dining packages for the 2017 Auckland Cup are selling faster than previous years with just two weeks until the popular New Year’s Eve harness racing meeting. As Auckland harness racing’s biggest race of the season, the $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup is known as the race of champions. This year again promises some of New Zealand’s best racing combined with a growing number of free off-track attractions. Tickets to the sumptuous buffet dinner in the Tasman Room range from $60 per person through to $100 for premium beverage packages. Alexandra Park Sales & Events Coordinator Danielle Upton says the spacious Tasman Room has stunning floor-to-ceiling windows offering a fantastic view of all the racing action. She says Alexandra Park can accommodate any groups from two to 100 people on 31 December, with the President’s Suite still available for groups larger than 30 people looking for a more VIP experience with colleagues, friends, or family. The Alex Bar & Eatery and The Lyell Creek Lounge will also be open, offering more casual dining options. Chief Executive Dominique Dowding says they’ve worked hard to design a fabulous day that is free for the whole family to attend. General admission, car-parking, race books and entertainment – both on and off the track - are all free. With the gates set to open from 2pm, there will be food trucks, ice creams, a bouncy castle, horse rides, face painting and much more, with racing taking place from around 3pm to 8pm. Then after the last race there will be a fireworks’ display and a performance by band Split Second. Tickets and bookings however are required for those who want to secure dining packages in the Tasman Room to enjoy the last afternoon of 2017 in style. For Tasman Room bookings, phone (09) 631-1165; email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz; or visit https://www.alexandrapark.co.nz/whats-on/auckland-cup-day-2017/ For further information on 2017 Auckland Cup Day, visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or Joel Reichardt – Sales & Marketing Manager - (021) 786-034.

“We are arguably the best proof in Auckland that New Year’s Eve fun doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, we’ve designed a fabulous day that is free for the whole family to attend and it even includes a fireworks display,” says Alexandra Park harness racing Chief Executive Dominique Dowding. Ms Dowding’s comments come as preparations ramp up for the 2017 Auckland Trotting Cup on 31 December with the promise again of some of New Zealand’s best racing combined with a growing number of off-track attractions As Auckland harness racing’s biggest race of the season, the $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup is known as the race of champions. In the past it has been won by sporting greats like Cardigan Bay, Young Quinn, Christian Cullen, Elsu, Themightyquinn and Auckland Reactor. Alexandra Park is again expecting a big crowd on New Year’s Eve, with the gates set to open from 2.00pm. There will be food trucks, ice creams, activities, face painting and much more, with premier racing taking place from around 3pm to 8pm. “We are so excited with the quality of racing lining up and the action-packed afternoon and evening we’ve got planned. We’ve put a big emphasis on making the day really family friendly. It’s an ideal starter for whatever festivities people have planned for later on that evening,” says Ms Dowding Activities after the last race will include a fireworks’ display and a performance by band Split Second. Sales & Marketing Manager Joel Reichardt says the intimate nature of Alexandra Park always ensures an exciting atmosphere for attendees. “We often hear that many families are being priced out of many events. Well our general admission, car-parking, race books and entertainment – both on and off the track - are all free to enjoy. It’s becoming a real point of difference and we’ve worked hard to come up with a great programme of attractions without passing on any cost to the public.” Tickets however are on sale for those who want to secure dining packages. Sales & Events Coordinator Danielle Upton says Alexandra Park’s dining packages for Auckland Cup Day are already proving popular, and any groups from two to 100 people can be accommodated. Tickets to the sumptuous buffet dinner range from $60 per person through to $110 for premium beverage packages and prime viewing. Hosted in the Tasman Room, the spacious venue has stunning floor-to-ceiling windows offering a fantastic view of all the racing action. Bookings are only required for the Tasman Room. The Alex Bar & Eatery and The Lyell Creek Lounge will also be open, offering more casual dining options. “This Auckland Cup will appeal to families more than ever before. There’s plenty of great reasons to come along, enjoy the sun and the last afternoon of 2017 before your New Year’s celebrations start up for the night,” says Ms Upton. For Tasman Room bookings, phone (09) 631-1165; email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz; or visit here. For further information on 2017 Auckland Cup Day, visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Alexandra Park CEO Dominique Dowding: (021) 377-303 or Joel Reichardt – Sales & Marketing Manager - (021) 786-034.

Alexandra Park’s popular dining packages for Auckland trotting Cup Day on New Year’s Eve have now been released and interest has again been strong. “We’re telling people that if they want a table for New Year’s Eve to book now to avoid disappointment,” says Danielle Upton, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. Tickets to the sumptuous buffet dinner range from $60 per person through to $110 for premium beverage packages and prime viewing. Hosted in the Tasman Room, the spacious venue has stunning floor-to-ceiling windows offering a fantastic view of all the racing action. Bookings are only required for the Tasman Room. The Alex Bar & Eatery and The Lyell Creek Lounge will also be open, offering more casual dining options. “Auckland Cup Day will again be a fun family afternoon with entry into Alexandra Park free, along with free parking and race books. There’s plenty of great reasons to come along, enjoy the sun and the last afternoon of 2017 before your New Year’s celebrations start up for the night.” Kicking off from 2pm on New Year’s Eve, there will be food trucks, ice creams, activities, face painting and much more. Premier racing will take place from around 3pm to 8pm followed by a fireworks’ display after dark. Chief Executive of Alexandra Park, Dominique Dowding, says the spectacle of some of the country’s best harness racing, as well as plenty of off-track attractions will ensure a big crowd and a fun day on Sunday 31 December. For Tasman Room tickets phone (09) 631-1165; email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz; or visit https://www.alexandrapark.co.nz/whats-on/auckland-cup-day-2017/ Ms Upton says Alexandra Park’s Hobson and President’s rooms remain available for large private groups to hire to enjoy Auckland Cup Day. In the meantime, on Friday 27 October Alexandra Park is hosting another Tropical Night from its Top of the Park venue, with dining packages starting from $60 per person. That night a fantastic trip to Vanuatu for two flying Air Vanuatu and staying at Mangoes Resort & Restaurant is up for grabs. Alexandra Park is also getting set to host eight Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings -  on Fridays 17 and 24 November and 1, 8, 15 and 22 December as well as Thursday 30 November and Saturday 16 December. Ms Upton says December is fast selling out, with tickets and tables still available for the Christmas At The Races evenings in November. For further information on Alexandra Park’s Tropical Night, Christmas At The Races, or 2017 Auckland Cup Day, visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz Joel Reichardt – Sales & Marketing Manager - (021) 786-034.

The man behind the magic mares won't compare them out of respect. Because having been lucky enough to train both Adore Me and Dream About Me, Mark Purdon knows he have been blessed. Dream About Me obliterated the Auckland Cup race record and her opponents in the $250,000 group one at Alexandra Park tonight, crowing herself the new queen of Australasian pacing. Settling well back off a startling speed set by Christen Me and Titan Banner, the daughter of Bettor's Delight swept into the race at the bell, sat parked and left her rivals gasping at the top of the straight. She clipped four seconds off Chokin's race and track record taking her record to 19 wins from 22 starts, with two of her defeats coming when she was luckless and the other when she was fresh-up and not at her peak. At only the halfway point of her four-year-old season she already has a record that sits alongside some of the great female pacers in New Zealand history, with the promise of so much more to come. Already in that mare's Hall Of Fame is her close relation Adore Me, who Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen trained to win a New Zealand Cup in record time and then pace the then fastest ever mile in Australasian history when she clocked 1:47.7 at Menangle. Adore Me couldn't win an Auckland Cup though, the race sadly ending her career when she injured herself in it two years ago. Purdon drove both and shakes his head at one following the other so quickly. "You couldn't believe you could get Dream About Me so soon after Adore Me," said Purdon. "But it is hard to compare them because I don't want to disrespect either. "Adore Me was an amazing mare but she (Dream About Me) has done just as much and more at this stage of her career. "So while we never got to see what Adore Me could have been later in her career because of her injury, maybe we will with this mare." While mares winning the Auckland Cup are rare -- Dream About Me became just the third in 33 years tonight -- she won't be asked to tackle the open class male pacers too often again this season. She is off next to Sydney for the Ladyship Mile, which means she will dodge the Miracle Mile and then her connections have a big decision to make: race into the autumn or pull stumps and have a big winter break to set her for the New Zealand Cup, a recipe that worked with Lazarus this season. Dream About Me She wasn't the only mare to smash her male rivals tonight as Quite A Moment broke the the 2700m mobile trot record in the National Trot, continuing the domination of the open class trot features for trainers Greg and Nina Hope. They have won almost everything that matters with Monbet in the last 12 months but even with the champ sidelined Quite A Moment simply outstayed her rivals, including hot favourite Marcoola. The latter pulled too hard in front and was beaten on the home bend. Quite A Moment Earlier in the meeting Ultimate Machete left no doubt as to who is the best three-year-old pacer in Australasia when he was too good for More The Better in the $200,000 PGG Wrightson Sales Series Pace. Ultimate Machete He will join Dream About Me and Lazarus, who worked well before the first race today, in Sydney with his aim being the NSW Derby. - NZ Herald Read more by Michael Guerin

Scott Plant is an Auckland Cup winner no matter where No Doctor Needed finishes in tomorrow’s Group One $250,000 feature Pace. Plant, who is a harness racing traditionalist, was one of three Auckland Trotting Club Board members that ensured the great race reverted back to a 3200m standing start on December 31 last year. “It was a 2700m mobile from 2007 until the March Auckland Cup in 2015. The race has enormous history and I was saddened to see it revert to a 2700m mobile in 2007. “I personally think it should have always be a standing start staying test. I’m not one who likes to break from tradition. The New Zealand Cup is a two-mile stand, and they haven’t tampered with that distance,” Epsom-based Plant said. “The Auckland Cup should have always been the same without change. I’m excited. It would be a dream come true to win my home-town Cup,” he added. Plant said he, Jamie MacKinnon, and Phil Cook were on the ATC’s Racing Committee, which ensured the change two years ago. Plant knew the 1968 Auckland Cup was run from a two mile (3200m) stand, and perhaps that’s where his passion for tradition stemmed from. “I was just 12. My parents made me stay at home with family while they went to the Auckland Cup. They had friends with Tommy Knowles and he won the Auckland Cup that year with Cardinal Garrison. I remember it very clearly,” Plant said. They strolled home in 4:09.2 that day – just 3.2 seconds slower than Have Faith In Me’s sedate time last December. “That was the first 3200m race since March 2006 and I hope they go a bit quicker this time. If not the Purdon (Mark) horses could get away with murder and kill us. “I’m not saying No Doctor Needed (7) can win over two miles but he can stay and if he can get away on terms, and then gets the trip to suit, he can run over the top of them. We just need a solid pace. “I don’t think he’s the worst chance at all. I certainly think he’s capable of surprising a few,” Plant said. No Doctor Needed is the $26 fifth-favourite to win Saturday’s 11-horse Trillian Trust Auckland Cup. He’s had one start in the race previously – finishing a six- length ninth behind Have Faith In Me last March.He was driven by Scott Phelan that night. Ricky May will drive him for the third consecutive time after finishing third and 10th in the Group Three Summer Cup (December 9) and the Group Two Franklin Cup (December 16) respectively. Auckland Cup second favourite Titan Banner got the better of him both times in those races. “I’m really excited. He has matured a lot this year but a gallop at the start cost him in the Franklin Cup. He will cop the two miles okay. We just want him to step away,” Plant stressed. No Doctor Needed is owned by Plant (60%), former 'Voice of the Park' –commentator, Alby Gain (10%); past Auckland Trotting Club president Steve Stockman (10%); and Plant's son and daughter - Greg and Nicki who have a 10% share each. The 6-year-old Mach Three gelding has now won 12 of his 47 starts, placed in 19 others, and netted $208,700 in stakes, Five of his wins have come at Alexandra Park, but he is yet to nail a cheque in three starts over the 3200m stand. No Doctor Needed’s biggest wins to date have come via the Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes as a 3-year-old in April 2014 and the Group Three Kumeu Founders Cup in March this year. He finished an 18-length second when 10th favourite (of 15) in this year’s New Zealand Cup at Addington Raceway. “Prior to breaking last start No Doctor Needed had placed twice at Alexandra Park. I was delighted with the way he came home two starts ago. He’s been racing off handicaps when they have gone New Zealand records. “He is off the front this time and hopefully he can get a nice sit and then one run at them. I think he can at least place,” said Plant. No Doctor Needed is paying $5 on the TAB’s Futures place market. After The Auckland Cup No Doctor Needed will transfer to Paul Fitzpatrick’s Sydney stable where he will race for three months. “He deserves a chance in mobile races over there. I think he will be well placed in some of their races, and if he has to take on the guns later on he should start off the front. “It will be a good chance for him to develop even further,” said Plant. No Doctor Needed was bred by Plant Racing Limited. He is out of the now 15-year-old Christian Cullen – Wisha (Vance Hanover) mare, Molly Darling. Plant owned Molly Darling with Warren Oliver, and breeder Brian Hewes and Brent Mangos before she was sold to America. They paid $16,000 for her in 2003. Molly Darling was a multiple Group One winning mare who raced 72 times for 24 wins, 18 placings and won $575,150 in stakes. She raced in New Zealand 21 times for eight wins, five placings and netted $178,229 in stakes. Duane Ranger

Dream About Me has one glaring weakness heading into tomorrow's $250,000 Auckland Cup - her sex. The exceptional 4-year-old has been the long-time favourite for the great race, even though a second-line draw could see her lose that mantle to stablemate Titan Banner on the tote tomorrow. Trainer-driver Mark Purdon isn't overly worried by her draw, suggesting the fact Dream About Me is following out good beginners negates the damage. That aside, she has the breeding, the group one record, the track stats, the x-factor and is in the perfect stable to win an Auckland Cup. However, while she may be on the way to becoming a champion mare, that last part should be reason for concern, because mares have a worse record in the Auckland Cup that just about any other major race in this country. The last mare to win the Cup was Flight South in 2000 and she paid $108, while the only other girl to grab the gold in the past 33 years is Kate's First. Some exceptional mares have tried and failed in that time, including New Zealand Cup winners Adore Me, Mainland Banner and Kym's Girl. Add to that the fact Dream About Me is still only four, has had only one serious open class start for a luckless sixth in the NZ Free-For-All and she has that pesky second-line draw and she starts to look a false favourite, or, at least, too short. She is a special mare who has run some sensational times and Purdon has openly compared her to Adore Me but she might need to be every bit as good as her close relation to win tomorrow. So while she has spent most of the week around the $2.20 quote, punters will want $2.80 or even $3 to be getting real value and that probably won't turn up, especially with the strong Australian co-mingling as Dream About Me is unbeaten there. Aiding her chances of ending the girl power drought is the fact this is hardly a deep Auckland Cup, with plenty of very good horses but not many great ones, the obvious exception being Dream About Me's older half-brother Christen Me. He has nothing left to prove in his awesome career, which is just as well because he looks a two- or three-length inferior horse to what he was when he won this race two seasons ago. Others like Hughie Green, Hug The Wind, Tara Tiger, obviously Chase The Dream and even No Doctor Needed have shown enough to suggest they have blowout hopes but the horses who ticks almost all the boxes for tomorrow is Titan Banner. He has been amazing in the past month, overcoming two brutally hard runs to win the Summer and Franklin Cups and was a brave third in Lazarus's New Zealand Cup last month. Titan Banner looks to be in the zone, happy and healthy, has good standing start manners and is a natural stayer. If he can get to the front without having to do anything silly, it is going to take a huge performance to run him down. While standing start manners and luck in the running always have a role to play in 3200m cups, the markets and recent wins suggest those factors won't be as important in tomorrow's other huge races. Ultimate Machete seems to have too much physical strength for his rivals in the $200,000 Sales Series Pace but is so short he is really only of use as a multi anchor. The same could be said for Spanish Armada in the Sires' Stakes Fillies Champs, although the best version of Delightful Memphis can always test her. And anybody who saw Marcoola put nearly 12 lengths on his rivals at Cambridge last Saturday will be reluctant to back against him in the $80,000 National Trot. The tactics of his trainer-driver Clint Ford will be interesting as he probably can't risk going forward hard at the start so may have to settle before looping the field in the middle stages. If he can do that and wrest the front he looks home, if he has to sit parked then being a 4-year-old over 2700m mobile he could be slightly vulnerable, with Bordeaux and Quite A Moment having the stamina to suggest they could upset if the favourite has a tough night at the office. Auckland Cup twilight Best bet: Gupta's Cullen (R4, No 6): Comes out of similar race last start so should win again. Improver: Spankem (R1, No 7): Had interrupted prep before brave debut second in same field. Derby bound: Vincent (R2, No 7): Off to the Victoria Derby and handled standing start well when winning last time. - NZ Herald Read more by Michael Guerin

Dream About Me has one glaring weakness heading into tomorrow’s $250,000 Auckland Cup -- her sex. The exceptional four-year-old has been the long-time favourite for the great race, even though a second line draw could see her lose that mantle to stablemate Titan Banner on the tote tomorrow. Trainer-driver Mark Purdon isn’t overly worried by her draw, suggesting the fact Dream About Me is following out good beginners negates the damage. That aside, she has the breeding, the group one record, the track stats, the x-factor and is in the perfect stable to win an Auckland Cup. But while she may be on the way to becoming a champion mare, that last part should be reason for concern. Because mares have a worse record in the Auckland Cup that just about any other major race in this country. The last mare to win the Cup was Flight South in 2000 and she paid $108, while the only other girl to grab the gold in the last 33 years is Kate’s First. Some exceptional mares have tried and failed in that time, including New Zealand Cup winners Adore Me, Mainland Banner and Kym’s Girl. Add to that the fact Dream About Me is still only four, has only had one serious open class start for a luckless 6th in the NZ Free-For-All and she has that pesky second line draw and she starts to look a false favourite, or at least too short. She is a special mare who has run some sensational times and Purdon has openly compared her to Adore Me but she might need to be every bit as good as her close relation to win tomorrow. So while she has spent most of the week around the $2.20 quote, punters will want $2.80 or even $3 to be getting real value and that probably won’t turn up, especially with the strong Australian co-mingling as Dream About Me is unbeaten there.  Aiding her chances of ending the girl power drought is the fact this is hardly a deep Auckland Cup, with plenty of very good horses but not many great ones, the obvious exception being Dream About Me’s older half-brother Christen Me.  He has nothing left to prove in his awesome career, which is just as well because he looks a two or three length inferior horse to what he was when he won this race two seasons ago. Others like Hughie Green, Hug The Wind, Tara Tiger, obviously Chase The Dream and even No Doctor Needed have shown enough to suggest they have blowout hopes but the horses who ticks almost all the boxes for tomorrow is Titan Banner.  He has been amazing in the last month, overcoming two brutally hard runs to win both the Summer and Franklin Cups and was a brave third in Lazarus’s New Zealand Cup last month. Titan Banner looks to be in the zone, happy and healthy, has good standing start manners and is a natural stayer. If he can get to the front without having to do anything silly, it is going to take a huge performance to run him down. While standing start manners and luck in the running always have a role to play in 3200m cups, the markets and recent wins suggest those factors won’t be as important in tomorrow’s other huge races. Ultimate Machete seems to have too much physical strength for his rivals in the $200,000 Sales Series Pace but is so short he is really only of use as a multi anchor. The same could be said for Spanish Armada in the Sires’ Stakes Fillies Champs, although the best version of Delightful Memphis can always test her. And anybody who saw Marcoola put nearly 12 lengths on his rivals at Cambridge last Saturday will be reluctant to back against him in the $80,000 National Trot. The tactics of his trainer-driver Clint Ford will be interesting as he probably can’t risk going forward hard at the start so may have to settle before looping the field in the middle stages. If he can do that and wrest the front he looks home, if he has to sit parked then being a four-year-old over 2700m mobile he could be slightly vulnerable, with Bordeaux and Quite A Moment having the stamia to suggest they could upset if the favourite has a tough night at the office.   Michael Guerin

Cran Dalgety couldn't be happier with Christen Me heading in to Saturday's $250,000 Auckland Trotting Cup - it is just the opposition he isn't thrilled with. The Canterbury trainer says the $2.4 million earner is working as well as he ever has leading in to the 3200m group one and he wouldn't change a thing. But that may still not be good enough to win. "I have been thrilled with a couple of his recent runs, but we just keep meeting one better," says Dalgety. "Three starts ago, you would have thought he was enormous running second in the (NZ) free-for-all but Lazarus was just unbelievable. "And then, last start here in the Franklin Cup, I was thrilled with him again but Titan Banner just outstayed him. "He feels great, is working well and is actually running times like he always has but the reality is the best horses of Mark and Natalie's are simply going better. "They are having a freakish run and, while we haven't given up beating them this week, on paper it is hard to make a case we will." Christen Me is the $12 fourth favourite for the Cup, with his half-sister Dream About Me heading a trio of favourites from the All Stars barn alongside Titan Banner and Chase The Dream. That trio have age on their side, with Dream About Me and Chase The Dream only four-year-olds while Titan Banner is a lightly-raced five-year-old, the veteran of only 32 starts. The younger, fresher legs have been the most potent in New Zealand harness racing in the last 12 months, with Have Faith In Me winning this cup last season, Lazarus the New Zealand Cup last month and Monbet dominant as a four-year-old trotter last season. Marcoola did the same in the champ's absence this summer. "It feels a bit like that. My horse feels as good as when he was winning Miracle Miles and when he won this race two seasons ago but the younger horses have gone to another level," says Dalgety. "It is a bit like our horse is Dan Carter and some of the others are Beauden Barrett. " Christen Me's improved standing start manners this season should ensure he gets that luck as he should settle handy, which would give wonder driver Dexter Dunn plenty of options. But the reality is, while he looks a picture and his performances would be excellent coming from most other horses, Christen Me hasn't been as razor sharp as when he went on his Miracle Mile-Victoria Cup-Auckland Cup winning rampage two seasons ago. One rival who seems to have slipped even further, again without any identifiable reason, is last season's Auckland Cup runner-up Hughie Green. This time last year he led the cup until the last few strides and it took a rampant Have Faith In Me to deny him, with Inter Dominion hero Smolda in third. Hughie Green has only shown glimpses of that form since and trainer Brian Hughes says he is happy with the big horse but his racetrack performances have lacked bite. "When you look at his last two runs, he has probably paced his personal best times," offers Hughes. "So I can't be disappointed with him. Maybe the opposition has just gotten better? "Can he win? I hope so, but he would need things to go his way." While Dream About Me ($2.20) and Titan Banner ($2.60) battle over cup favouritism, there is no such dispute in a couple of Saturday's other big money races. Marcoola has come up a jaw-droppingly short $1.20 to win the National Trot even from the outside of the front line, while Ultimate Machete is $1.19 to win the $200,000 Sales Series Pace. Which almost makes the $1.38 for Spanish Armada in the Sires' Stakes Championship Final seem like a decent price. Read more by Michael Guerin  Email Michael Guerin Courtesy of The New Zealand Herald            

Cran Dalgety couldn’t he happier with Christen Me heading into Saturday’s $250,000 Auckland Trotting Cup -- it is just the opposition he isn’t thrilled with.  The Canterbury trainer says the $2.4million earner is working as well as he ever has leading into the 3200m group one and he wouldn’t change a thing. But that may still not be good enough to win.  “I have been thrilled with a couple of his recent runs, but we just keep meeting one better,” says Dalgety.  “Three starts ago you would have thought he was enormous running second in the (NZ) free-for-all but Lazarus was just unbelievable.  “And then last start here in the Franklin Cup I was thrilled with him again but Titan Banner just outstayed him.  “He feels great, is working well and is actually running times like he always has but the reality is the best horses of Mark and Natalie’s are simply going better.  “They are having a freakish run and while we haven’t given up beating them this week, on paper it is hard to make a case we will.”  Christen Me is the $12 fourth favourite for the Cup, with his half-sister Dream About Me heading a trio of favourites from the All Stars barn alongside Titan Banner and Chase The Dream.  That trio have age on their side, with Dream About Me and Chase The Dream only four-year-olds while Titan Banner is a lightly-raced five-year-old, the veteran of only 32 starts.  The younger, fresher legs have been the most potent in New Zealand harness racing in the last 12 months, with Have Faith In Me winning this Cup last season, Lazarus the New Zealand Cup last month and Monbet dominant as a four-year-old trotter last season and then Marcoola doing the same in the champ’s absence this summer.  “It feels a bit like that. My horse feels as good as when he was winning Miracle Miles and when he won this race two seasons ago but the younger horses have gone to another level,” says Dalgety.  “It is a bit like our horse is Dan Carter and some of the others are Beauden Barrett. “So I am not saying we can’t beat them. But we might need some luck.”   Christen Me’s improved standing start manners this season should ensure he gets that luck as he should settle handy, possibly even on the markers pegs, which would give wonder driver Dexter Dunn plenty of options.  But the reality is while he looks a picture and his performances would be excellent coming from most other horses, Christen Me hasn’t been as razor sharp as when he went on his Miracle Mile-Victoria Cup-Auckland Cup winning rampage two seasons ago.  One rival who seems to have slipped even further, again without any identifiable reason, is last season’s Auckland Cup runner-up Hughie Green.  This time last year he led the Cup till the last few strides and it took a rampant Have Faith In Me to deny him, with Inter Dominion hero Smolda in third.  Hughie Green has only shown glimpses of that form since and trainer Brian Hughes says he is happy with the big horse but his racetrack performances have lacked bite.  “When you look at his last two runs he has probably paced his personal best times,” offers Hughes.  “So I can’t be disappointed with him. Maybe the opposition has just gotten better?  “But I think he will step away and put himself in the race so he will get his chance.  “Can he win? I hope so, but he would need things to go his way.”  While Dream About Me ($2.20) and Titan Banner ($2.60) battle over Cup favouritism, there is no such dispute in a couple of Saturday’s other big money races.  Marcoola has come up an jaw-droppingly short $1.20 to win the National Trot even from the outside of the front line, while Ultimate Machete is $1.19 to win the $200,000 Sales Series Pace.  Which almost makes the $1.38 for Spanish Armada in the Sires’ Stakes Championship Final seem like a decent price.   Michael Guerin

1 to 16 of 233
1 2 3 4 5 Next »