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Harness Racing New Zealand has announced its new General Manager, Racing. Catherine McDonald has been appointed to the position, effectively replacing Darrin Williams who left after 26 years to take up a position at Addington Raceway. “I’m really excited to be joining the HRNZ team,” she says. “Catherine brings exceptional depth both commercially and strategically to the GM Racing role that will add real value and deliver strong benefit to HRNZ as we move forward,” says HRNZ Interim Chief Executive Phil Holden. “Catherine comes to us from Lincoln University where she was a special projects manager initially supporting the university with its earthquake claims then moving onto to a project managing the successful business case for a new $80m science facility development.” McDonald has also worked at the Christchurch City Council where she led teams on a variety of major city initiatives and projects. She has been heavily involved with the racing industry : “I was born and bred into harness racing, arriving on Cup day and I’ve been an owner, breeder and trainer.” Her family’s breeding success stories include Master Musician and the best horse she trained was three-win pacer Fear Me in the mid 1990s. “I am excited about the commercial capability and impact Catherine will deliver for both HRNZ and the wider industry,” said Holden. McDonald starts at HRNZ on November 9, a day before the New Zealand Cup.   HRNZ

When the promising Elandee Youandme won effortlessly at Shepparton on Monday (October 26) he became the 19th individual three-year-old winner from the first Australian crop of former world champion He's Watching. A $1.1 million winner, He's Watching produced 57 foals in his first crop and of these 33 have raced and 19 have emerged successful - a 33 percent winners-to-foals strike rate. Private Eye, winner of a semi-final of the NSW Breeders Challenge in 1:50.3, Silent Rapture NZ, who won by 44 metres at his Aussie debut at Albury, and Belladonna Girl (1:57.1, Stawell) have been other recent three-year-old winners sired by He's Watching. He's Watching by also represented by two 'new' winners in the two-year-old filly Covered Kylie (1:56.6, Charlton) and the four-year-old Hezacrocwatcher, who won on debut in 1:58.5 at Cambridge Raceway, New Zealand. Hezacrocwatcher winning at Cambridge In North America, He's Watching has left a string of winners in the past week including the two-year-old Dabarndawgswatching, who won a leg of the Harvest Series in 1:56.6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and the three-year-olds Watchful Eye (1:52.6 and 1:54), Baywatching (1:56.2) and Dagger Watch (1:59.6). He’s Watching is now standing at Luke Primmer’s Tipperary Equine stud, Young (NSW), for a fee of $2,500 including GST.   By Peter Wharton

By Jonny Turner    Majestic Man served up a big reminder of his status as a proven short course star when leaving his rivals in his wake in the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile on Monday. At a time when the country’s crop of star four-year-olds are dominating the conversation ahead of the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All, the Phil Williamson trained six-year-old gave harness racing fans a quick refresher on his class when bolting in in the 1609m feature by a massive four and a half lengths. Majestic Man looked in the zone as soon as he arrived at Ashburton on Monday. And he had a look in his eye that even allowed his veteran trainer to get a little bit excited ahead of the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile. “I was actually getting half excited because I was thinking he is going to go a real race today,” Phil Williamson said. “And if he can’t do it there will be no excuses.” “I went in thinking he is really good today, some days you get that feeling – that the horse is really well.” “He settled really well in his box, sometimes he can get a bit excited.” “He was pretty calm and his work was super during the week and I was looking forward to the race.” With Majestic Man clearly fit and in the zone, there will be no need for Williamson to step the trotter out again before the New Zealand Cup Carnival. “There is no chance he will go to Kaikoura and he won’t be going to the cup trials.” “We don’t need to be leaving home any more.” One of the stars among the country’s much talked about crop of four-year-olds is the reason why the hot seat behind Majestic Man is about to be up for grabs leading into his group 1 assignment in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All. Driver Brad Williamson confirmed his stable star Cracker Hill has progressed well following his game second to Bolt For Brilliance in last week’s Sires Stakes Championship at Alexandra Park and he is on track to line up in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All. Cracker Hill needs to move up just one place in the race’s rankings to gain a start in the New Zealand Cup Week feature. If he does Brad Williamson will drive Cracker Hill, leaving the seat behind arguably the country’s best short course trotter up for grabs. That will leave Phil Williamson searching for a driver for Majestic Man – a task he is hardly stressing over. “I think I have bred enough drivers that finding one won’t be a problem,” the trainer quipped. Matthew Williamson is first in for the sought after steer. The pair combined at Addington ten days ago when Majestic was beaten by Muscle Mountain when favourite after getting fired up by a false start Though hardly a poor performance, Majestic Man’s fifth saw him out of the top three placings for the first time in his last fourteen starts in New Zealand. Monday’s win provided relief for his camp, who could quickly move on from the surprise defeat and focus on the New Zealand Cup Carnival. “The false start last time wasn’t ideal, especially when you are drawn beside the one that is crashing into the gate,” Williamson said. “But, that is just racing and we used that as our excuse.” Heavyweight Hero headed the pack that chased in vain down the Ashburton straight on Monday. The Bob Butt trained seven-year-old ran on well from three back on the markers to finish second. One Apollo closed well from midfield to take third. The South Island continued to be an unhappy hunting ground for Temporale. The Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett trained eight-year-old missed a top three placing in his sixth attempt in Canterbury after receiving a good run in the trail throughout.

The Methven Club is gearing up for it’s third meeting of the season which takes place this Friday, 30 October with the first of 8 races kicking off at 3pm. The theme of the day is various local rural contractors and firms who are doing the sponsoring. This is only the second time the Methven Club has attempted a twilight meeting and the club is hoping patrons and bettors will enjoy the change. Friday’s meeting follows on from a very successful Methven Cup Day in October where a record turnover was achieved. The club and McLeod family are very grateful for the generosity of patrons, who donated over $2000 for the two youngsters who are battling spinal muscular atrophy, a great effort, god bless you all. Stage one of the club’s housing development Equs Park is almost completely sold already, great work Dave Barley, Nigel Armstrong, Mark Lemon, Hamish Molloy, Ricky May and many others it will be very satisfying seeing the fruits of so many years of work going ahead... but for now see you Friday at Mount Harding track where the forecast is sun, sun, sun and lots of fun.   HRNZ

Only a protest denied Luke McCarthy a night of absolute perfection at Menangle’s stellar NSW Breeders Challenge meeting on Saturday. McCarthy drove in five races for five wins, but lost the third of them on protest when first past the post on Keep Rockin in the $125,000 Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO Fillies’ final, but relegated to second behind defending champion Pelosi. The ironic twist there was Pelosi’s trainer Anna Woodmansey asked McCarthy to drive her filly before the series, but he had already committed to partnering Keep Rockin. McCarthy’s romp started by winning the free-for-all on classy former Kiwi pacer and Miracle Mile placegetter Alta Orlando in a slick 1min49.8sec mile, then followed with three Group 1 wins in the other NSW Breeders Challenge pacing finals. First came the Danny Zavitsanos-owned and Tim Butt-trained Mach Dan, who began well, sat behind the leader and zipped home along the inside to win in a 1min51.7sec mile as a $16 outsider. Mach Dan had previously won an SA Derby and run fifth in the NSW Derby and sixth in a Victoria Derby for trainer Emma Stewart. McCarthy then teamed with Craig Cross and Victorian horseman Mick Stanley to win both 2YO Breeders Challenge finals with brilliant pair Bar Room Banta and Soho Almasi. “Sure it’s frustrating I couldn’t be up there and a part of it all, but we got the job done and it’s a huge thanks to Craig (Cross) and Luke (McCarthy),” Stanley said. “I told those close to me a few months back I thought my pair were good enough to win both finals and it’s great to see them come out and do it. They’re both outstanding.” Bar Room Banta blazed his way to the lead in a 25.9sec opening quarter, crossing his main danger Tasty Delight, and kept going in a slick 1min51.3sec mile. Soho Almasi was surprisingly crossed by Arma Renegade in the fillies’ final, but sat behind her and quickly put the race beyond doubt when she saw racing room along the inside in the home straight to post an Australasia record 1min51.8sec mile for a 2YO filly. “They head straight back home to me now because the Breeders Crown heats are just around the corner,” Stanley said. Woodmansey was thrilled when Pelosi got the protest verdict for interference in the home straight over Keep Rockin in the 3YO Fillies final. Pelosi successfully defended the Breeders Challenge crown she won last season. “I’m so proud of her, she’s a wonderful girl and did a great job tonight,” Woodmansey said. The star of the Breeders Challenge trotting finals was Darren Hancock’s Drop The Hammer, who won as he liked in the 4&5YO final in a 1min56.3sec mile.   By Adam Hamilton

There are 14 days to the New Zealand Cup From now to November 10 we will feature some of the great races, horses and personalities  with a new letter for each day. M = Million     Only twice has the New Zealand Cup been worth a million dollars. In 2008 it was worth $1.2m with winner Changeover netting an impressive $650,000 for trainer Geoff Small and driver David Butcher. In 2009 the stake was exactly one million dollars with Monkey King winning the first of his two New Zealand Cups. The win was worth $538,860 for trainer Brendon Hill, driver Ricky May and owner Robert Famularo.   HRNZ

SO far, so good for the Turn It Up experiment in Queensland. The former budding star of the sport showed serious glimpses of the sort of form that won him an Auckland Cup among other features when he blitzed his rivals at Albion Park last night. It was just his second run back from ongoing and serious feet issues which sidelined him after his Harness Jewels 4YO win back on June 1, last year. Now leased and trained by Vicki Rasmussen, Turn It Up grabbed the eye at his first run back when a late-closing third to Colt Thirty One two weeks back. Fitter and drawn the front row, driver Shane Graham drove with aggression and confidence by blasting across the field from gate seven to lead and that was effectively the end of the race. Turn It Up cruised home in a 1min53sec mile rate for 1660m, running home in 55.4 and 27.9sec. He’s been given a long, slow build-up by Rasmussen and looks to be shaping nicely for the Queensland Summer Carnival, headed by the rescheduled Group 1 Blacks A Fake on December 12. Turn It Up’s won 12 of his 17 starts with four second and a third for earnings of $446,724. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE rampaging Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin stable flexed its muscle big time at Melton’s stellar card last Friday night. As usual, they dominated the juveniles features by winning both Edgar Tatlow finals for fillies and colts and geldings. Mach Three filly Ladies In Red confirmed her ranking as the best of the crop by sitting parked and dominantly winning her final where Stewart trained the first six placegetters. Ladies In Red, driven by David Moran, zoomed clear and the top of the straight in a 55.3sec last half to win easily by 5.4m over the exciting Treachery with Beach Music third in a 1min55.2sec mile rate for 2240m. Stewart had to settle for just the win the colts and geldings final when the powerhouse leader Act Now continued his hot form this campaign and won by 3.8m for driver Jodi Quinlan in a 1min55.1sec mile rate. Anthony Butt’s former Kiwi Vanquish Stride dashed home late for second and is on the up at the right time. Stewart’s star juvenile of last season, Maajida, looks primed for the Breeders Crown and Vicbred judging by barnstorming to victory in the strong Argent 3YO Fillies’ classic. Kiwi interest was in Victoria Oaks winner Dr Susan, but she drew poorly and was never a hope back in ninth spot, 32m from the winner. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE girls continue to dominate Australia’s open-class trotting races. Just two weeks after three-year-old filly Pink Galahs created history beating Australia’s best trotters in the Group 1 Bill Collins Sprint, one of the beaten brigade, Red Hot Tooth, bounced-back in the best possible way last Friday night. Red Hot Tooth, already a multiple Group 1 winner, pounced on the lead from gate five in the True Roman free-for-all (2240m) and produced arguably the best win of her career for driver Kerryn Manning. She cleared out to win by 19.5m in a 1min56.8sec mile rate, closing in 56.8 and 28.2sec. It was her 24th win from 80 starts and edged Red Hot Tooth close to $500,000 in earnings. Glamour mare Dance Craze got well back, was pushed deep and ran home fairly well for third. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ STILL on the stellar Melton card where Wolf Stride and Catch A Moment looks serious stars on the rise. Already a Group 1 winner, Wolf Stride looked awesome clearing out to win the opening race by 9.1m in a slick 1min52.1sec mile rate for 1720m. “He’ll make a Grand Circuit horse in time,” trainer-driver Anthony Butt said. Catch A Moment looks Amanda Turnbull’s next star judging by his breathtaking Melton win. The four-year-old led throughout, but it was the way he kept going further in front without being asked by driver James Herbertson to score by almost 35m in a 1min53sec mile rate for the longer 2240m trip. By comparison, Lochinvar Art went a track record 1min51.4sec for 2240m winning the Victoria Cup two weeks ago. “He could’ve gone much quicker,” Herbertson said. “I was trying to give him as easy a run as possible knowing he’s got the final of this race next week.” It was a big night for Turnbull, who also trained and drove Speak No Evil to a minor upset win in the Group 3 Angelique Club Pace (2240m) for mares’. NZ’s best mare Our Princess Tiffany was sent out a commanding $1.60 favourite, but couldn’t repeat her sparkling win in the Make Mine Cullen the previous week and disappointed in fourth spot. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ EVERGREEN Galactic Star upstaged his more glamour stablemates to win the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The younger Vampiro was sent out a $1.30 favourite, led as expected from the pole, dictated terms, but couldn’t hold-off Galactic Star’s finishing burst from the one-one trail. Maybe Team Bond’s stable driver Ryan Warwick gave punters the tip when he elected to drive Galactic Star of their six runners in the eight-horse field. Galactic Star powered home to win by 1.6m from Vampiro with Stroke Of Luck third. Reigning WA Pacing Cup winner Mighty Conqueror sat parked, never looked a winning hope and just battled on fairly for fourth. Being blunt, the race just reinforced Chicago Bull and Shockwave had a fair gap on their nearest rivals right now in the countdown to the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in late November/early December. The other star performer of the night was classy mare Balcatherine, who resumed from a spell to brilliantly win the mares’ race by 12.3m in a slick 1min55.1sec mile rate for 2130m. She led and dashed home in 55.3 and 27.7sec. The disappointment was former Kiwi mare Wainui Creek, who did some work and sat parked, but tired very badly to finish almost 30m from the winner in second-last spot. Balcatherine’s win quickly stamped her as the testing material for the upcoming Group 1 Mares’ Classic at Gloucester Park on November 27. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ KIMA Frenning’s focus on training just got more exciting. Frenning unveiled her recent Kiwi import Russley Rush for a sparkling Ballarat win last Thursday night. The four-year-old son of Art Major led and won as he liked by 10.6m in a 1min57sec mile rate for 1710m, zipping home in 27.5sec for driver Chris Alford. Russley Rush raced 15 times in NZ for Tony Herlihy for a win and six placings.   By Adam Hamilton

By Jonny Turner    Copy That went into beast mode to reel off stunning sectionals to win the Ashburton Flying Stakes in what a perfect dress rehearsal for the New Zealand Cup on Monday. The Ray Green trained four-year-old set the Ashburton track alight when unleashing a scorching 25.2sec last 400m to bolt in in the most important lead up to the country’s greatest race. After making a better beginning than his key rivals Self Assured and Spankem, Copy That was able to unleash that stunning final split and round out a 53.4sec last 800m after working to the lead early in the 2400m feature. “He was very good, he made a good beginning and once he got to the front it was going to be hard for the others to catch him,” Green said. The All Stars pairing’s New Zealand Cup stocks did not take a hit when they produced game efforts to fill the trifecta in a race Copy That made mathematically impossible for them to win. His brilliant victory was not the only way Copy That made his presence felt at Ashburton on Monday. The entire had plenty to say before and after the Ashburton Flying Stakes – letting out plenty of roars and squeals at any horses that got close to him. Though that might just sound like ‘coltish’ behaviour, it also gives an insight into what makes Copy That such a brilliant and determined racehorse. “He is never like this at home, he is usually pretty quiet,” Green said. “But when he gets here – or to any racetrack – he sees all these strange horses and everything going on and he just puffs himself right up.” Copy That shot back into New Zealand Cup favouritism just as quickly as he fired down the Ashburton straight. The northern sensation is now the $2.80 equal favourite for the great race alongside Ashburton Flying Stakes runner-up, Self Assured. Trainer-driver Mark Purdon was pleased with Self Assured’s effort to fight on for second after sitting parked throughout. The five-year-old stepped well in his third attempt from the unruly, which made him eligible to start from a regular barrier spot in the New Zealand Cup. Purdon said he would consider taking the five-year-old off the unruly, but it is most likely he will remain there for the 3200m feature. Spankem could not match Self Assured’s good beginning and made a rare blunder at the start before recovering quickly and finding a nice run in the one-one. The six-year-old then put in a sound effort to run third, which saw him hold down third favouritism for the New Zealand Cup at a $3.50 price. Thefixer and Ashley Locaz both produced encouraging runs given their recent circumstances when fourth and fifth, respectively, Thefixer was just a head behind Spankem in a much-improved effort following his fair last start fourth behind Classie Brigade at Addington. Ashley Locaz was another head away in fifth after touching down in Canterbury just days before Monday’s race following his recent Australian campaign. The first five horses home in the Ashburton Flying Stakes are all expected to make their final public appearances before the New Zealand Cup at the New Zealand Cup Trials.

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    The horse labelled with the biggest heart in Graeme Rogerson’s barn was finally rewarded with a win at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday. Splitting Image has gone through plenty of trying times throughout her career and Rogerson’s stable foreman and driver Dylan Ferguson was rapt with her one length victory in the Off Road Sponsors Driver Prize – Nov 6th Trot (2200m). “She has got the biggest heart of any horse we have got and there is no horse in the stable that deserves to win more than she does,” Ferguson said. “If people knew the troubles she has had in her life they would be amazed that she is racing let alone winning.” Bred and raced by her trainer in partnership with his granddaughter Bailey Rogerson, and Merv and Meg Butterworth, the mare’s struggles began well before Ferguson returned to the Hamilton stable. “Before I started at Rogies she had surgery on one of her knees, which was more to save her as a broodmare than a racehorse,” Ferguson said. “There was a lot of work from the previous staff and the vets. When I started back working there we put in some long hours with her and she was in work for a long time before she started racing again. “Those problems have created other problems since she has been racing.” Those issues still plague the five-year-old who was only cleared to race on Sunday morning. “Right up until this week she has had a bit of trouble with one of her back hooves,” Ferguson said. “I only got the shoe back on her on Sunday and jogged her in the morning to make sure she was going to be alright to race. “She is definitely not the soundest horse in the world, but she has got the biggest heart. That takes her a long way.” Splitting Image is now in-foal to Majestic Son, but Ferguson is hoping she can add to her three-win tally before heading to the broodmare paddock. Earlier in the night Ferguson was pleased to see talented but erratic trotter Delson trot the entire 2200m journey of the John Deere Cambridge Hanidcap Trot to finished runner-up by a head to Griffins Hall. “It was good to see him do everything right and go well,” Ferguson said. “I don’t think he could have gone much better first-up with no trials, but once he has done it a few more times I will be a bit happier.” Ferguson’s partner Jo Stevens will have some bragging rights in their household having trained the victor, with Ferguson’s father Peter doing the steering. “Griffins Hall is a trotter that is in form at the moment and when trotters are trotting well and doing things right they generally can hold their form for a while,” he said. “But it was a good effort from Delson from 40m behind. To trot 2:47.1 first-up with no trials reminded us that he does have ability.” If he continues to improve this preparation, Ferguson is eyeing some loftier targets with the six-year-old gelding. “We are going to head back to Cambridge in a fortnight,” he said. “We would like to head back to Auckland at some stage and race for a bit better coin. If he is going well he will hopefully race in the Christmas features at Cambridge and Auckland.”

A Swedish-bred entire having his first race outing for over four years has given the perfect start to a new harness racing training partnership. Head trainer at Pat Driscoll's Yabby Dam Farms, near Ballarat, Anton Golino has joined forces with former New Zealander Jack MacKinnon, and the pair hasn't wasted any time in putting a victory on the board. The impeccably-bred seven-year-old bay horse Dreamcatcher (Love You (FRA)-Saorse (US) started a warm favorite in the maiden trot event at Bendigo's latest meeting and won accordingly by nearly nine metres in 2.01-7 for ace reinsman Anthony Butt. Dreamcatcher had previously had just one race start, at the same track, back in May 2016, and in the time away from the track through injury sired a number of foals. He will next year be part of the impressive line-up of the Haras Des Trotteurs stallion roster at Yabby Dam Farms. The new partnership made it a double later in the night when Goodman (Wishing Stone-Olesya (Pegasus Spur) was good enough to get home by a head in the Max Bakery Trot for Darby McGuigan. Golino said he was excited by the decision to have MacKinnon in partnership. "Jack has been with us for two years. He's a hard worker who doesn't mind putting in the hours because he wants to see the operation succeed," Golino said. "There's a bit going on here with 80 broodmares, stallions, foals and thoroughbreds. In addition, there's a team of 20 in our harness racing stable at the moment. "While it's a great opportunity for Jack, it will allow me to focus on the breeding side of our operation. I'm also thrilled that I'll be able to spend more time with my partner Sarah and our 10-month-old daughter Sophie." MacKinnon, 25, has a wealth of experience having worked for some leading NZ stables including Steve Telfer's Stonewall Stud, Robert Dunn, Paul Nairn, and husband and wife team of Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis. The Golino-MacKinnon combination has posted wins at Melton and Maryborough since the Bendigo double. Four-year-old bay horse Always Ready (Ready Cash (FRA)-Class Of Her Own (Yankee Paco (USA) was too good for his rivals in the $20,000 Aldebaran Park VicBred Trot at Melton last Friday. He was well rated by Jason Lee. Two days later, talented filly Amour Maternal (Love You (FRA)-My Valerie NZ (Majestic Son) didn't miss a beat in taking out the Colin and Dot Redwood Memorial 2yo Maiden Trot at Maryborough. Despite admitting to having a preference for the training side, MacKinnon showed he's no slouch at driving with a polished display. Anton Golino (above) is now co-trainer at Yabby Dam Farms with Jack MacKinnon. Golino grew up in Sydney and on the advice of his father he learnt to be a farrier. But breaking both legs in a serious motorcycle accident changed his life. After being wheelchair bound for 12 months, he decided to travel to the USA to learn more about harness racing and a planned six-month adventure turned into eight years. He landed a job with top North American trainer and expat Aussie Noel Daley in New Jersey, and while there learnt the craft of horse-shoeing from Mark Vanderkemp and Brett Hampton. Golino later had stints in Sweden with Timo Nurmos in Solvalla and then one of the world's premier horsemen in Jean Pierre Dubois, of France, who employed him to educate 60 yearlings. "I still do the majority of shoeing at Yabby Dam Farms. I don't do all of them, but it's enjoyable and satisfying to do the good ones," he said. Golino said the Dreamcatcher story was an intriguing one. "He had one start at Bendigo as a baby. He just wasn't ready," he said. "Later on, we noticed a splint right under a joint. My partner Sarah is a vet and she checked it out and came across a tiny hairline fracture-so with the horse being so well bred, it was decided to retire him. "We threw him over some of our mares, but he wasn't getting many outside bookings and I noticed him trotting up and down the fence a fair bit so I suggested to Pat that we try him again as a racehorse. "Pat was enthusiastic, and Dreamcatcher was ready to go earlier in the year, but COVID threw a bit of a spanner in the works. "We turned Dreamcatcher out and a heap of others - on one day alone I pulled off 25 sets of shoes. We just didn't know what the future held." Golino said Dreamcatcher was a most talented horse, as well as being very intelligent. "We'll keep racing him and if he stays sound, we'll have a lot of fun. He's just a beautiful horse with absolutely no malice and just wants to do everything you want him to do," he said. "He's nowhere near wound up. He's big and heavy at the moment. The plan is to give him a season of racing and then late next year for him to be part of our stallion roster."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Sunday’s Haras Des Trotteurs Victoria Trotters Derby Final may have changed complexion in the minds of some after the heats were contested at Maryborough yesterday. The horse many thought series favourite, Elite Stride, had to settle for third in his qualifier behind Matt Craven’s flying filly Pink Galahs (pictured), who made it four straight wins after sprinting a head triumph over Lisa Miles’ brave Powderkeg in the second heat. Elite Stride led and appeared to have every chance before finishing 4.4m third, while Chris Lang’s rising star Red White An Bloom ran on into fourth place from an extreme back-row draw. Pink Galahs, a daughter of Skyvalley, has now won 12 of 18 starts, including a Group 1 double in the Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint and TAB Victoria Trotters Oaks.  Earlier New South Wales raider Gimondi did all the work and took the chocolates in the first of the heats, the Blake Fitzpatrick-trained sone of Peak NDK 4m too good for Michael Hughes’ Is That A Bid, with Emmanuel Portelli’s underrated Sky Eagle running into third place from the back ahead of Cracker Jet. Highly rated French import Holzarte Vedaquais galloped twice in running and came in last in his heat after initially showing terrific gate speed to lead from the pole. Meanwhile, two-year-old Father Patrick gelding Have No Fear shortened in markets for the Volstead Redwood Classic after extending his unbeaten run to three in the Garry Angus Memorial 2YO Handicap yesterday. Trained and driven by Anthony Butt (pictured above), Have No Fear stepped professionally to lead before drawing clear to score by over 10m in 2:07.1. “He’s been really well mannered the whole way along,” Butt said on Trots Vision post-race. “We’ve given him a couple of standing start trials and he’s always been away beautifully. That won’t worry him next week. “It’s great to be able to give him a run on the track a week out.” Butt won last year’s Redwood Classic aboard Ultimate Stride.   HRV - Cody Winnell

A fresh Australian mile record for a two-year-old trotting colt was established by the Love You colt Affaire De Cover of 1:59 – bettering the previous record of 1:59.6 held by Blitzthemcalder by 3/5th of a second – when he won the $30,000 Trot NSW Final at Menangle. Affaire De Cover, who registered his first success, clocked quarters of 29.7, 30.4, 30.5 and 28.4 on the rainsodden track. Watch the race replay click here! Bred and raced by Tim Cregan, the colt is the fourth winner out of the Live Or Die mare Nigella Bites NZ, who won twice as a pacer at three years. Another ‘new’ two-year-old winner by Love You was the filly Amour Maternal, bred and owned by Haras Des Trotteurs’ principal Pat Driscoll, who won at her third start at the all-trotters meeting at Maryborough. Love You was also represented by the Dunedin, New Zealand winner Bev K’s One, while Andoverlov, a winner at the Ashburton Flying Stakes meeting, is from a mare by Love You. Love You is a member of the powerful Haras Des Trotteurs sire roster for the 2020/21 season.     by Peter Wharton

Talented Riverina youngster The Mountain is proving a fine advertisement for the world champion pacer Warrawee Needy, who is standing at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga (NSW). The gelding, who was bred by Yirribee, notched his fifth win from eight starts when he sat parked against older rivals at Albury recently. The Mountain is one of nine winners from 18 starters and 47 foals in Warrawee Needy’s first Australian crop. Destiny Jane, a three-year-old daughter of Tintin In America, a Yirribee studmate of Warrawee Needy, posted her maiden success in scintillating fashion at Albion Park. Leading from the outset, the filly won by 22 metres in a 1:57.9 rate over 1660 metres. Goodonya Mate, a three-year-old gelding by new Yirribee sire Renaissance Man, reeled off a flying 56.7 seconds last 800 to notch his second success at Pinjarra. Renaissance Man has been represented by nine individual winners from his second crop of 27 foals. Yirribee Stud’s Little Brown Jug winner Million Dollar Cam left winners in NSW and Canada last week. Young Cambo, who was bred by Yirribee, won for the sixth time at Parkes, while Arrived Late scored in 1:57.2 at Summerside Raceway, Prince Edward Island.     by Peter Wharton

By Jonny Turner    The clash harness racing fans have been waiting for will finally happen in the Ashburton Flying Stakes on Monday when Copy That takes on Self Assured and Spankem. Punters will get the most crucial line on their fancies for the New Zealand Cup with Copy That stepping out in the South Island first time this season to take on the All Stars pair after setting Alexandra Park alight in the spring. It will not just be a challenged for the northerner, as he is set to provide Self Assured and Spankem with their most serious tests of their campaigns in the race that is likely to decide which of the trio will start favourite in the New Zealand Cup. Trainer Mark Purdon knows exactly what kind of Copy That will throw at challenge Spankem and Self Assured. “He is a very good horse, Copy That, he is only young but he has been going great races and he is going to be hard to beat at Ashburton.” The Ashburton Flying Stakes has come about at precisely the right time for Spankem. The six-year-old produced a brilliant first-up run in the Canterbury Classic behind Self Assured turning the tables on him right on the line in the Methven Cup. His improvement from those two runs has the Miracle Mile ready to defend his Ashburton Flying Stakes crown. “He was really good first up and he improved from that run,” Purdon said. “It was a great effort at Methven, we were really happy with him.” “He would be getting towards 95% for Monday and then he should be spot on for the cup.” Self Assured made his second good beginning in the Methven Cup in second start since transferring to the unruly. The five-year-old was game in defeat, just being nosed out by his stablemate after being the only horse to make a midrace move. “He went a great race, he made that mid race move and he had it won everywhere but the post,” Purdon said. “I am really pleased with him going in to Ashburton.” All Stars pacer Ashley Locaz joins Copy That and fellow northerner Mach Shard in having his first start in a South Island lead up to the New Zealand Cup in Monday’s race. The six-year-old has returned to the All Stars stable after a brief Australian stint where he was sound, but not outstanding in five starts. Ashley Locaz was in the care of Matt ‘Poi’ Bowden at the All Stars’ Pukekohe base before flying back to Canterbury on Thursday. “He flew in on Thursday night, thankfully there weren’t any problems with his travel arrangements,” Purdon said. “Poi was quite happy with his work before he came down.” “I would expect him to go a nice race.” Ashley Locaz was rated at $17 win odds alongside his former stablemate, Thefixer, when the fixed odds market for the Ashburton Flying Stakes opened. Self Assured headed betting as the $2.30 favourite. Spankem was rated at a $2.60 win price, ahead Copy That, who was at $4.80.

Good wishes from around Australia are a welcome tonic for two harness racing drivers injured in separate race falls at a Victorian race meeting seven days ago. One of the State’s most experienced competitors Austin “Aussie” Mifsud is facing a long road to recovery and remains in the Bendigo Base Hospital’s intensive care unit after being hurt in a fall at Charlton. The other injured driver was Ryan Sanderson who is now out of hospital and resting at the Sydney home of his parents, Shane and Naomi. Mifsud’s wife Julie said her husband suffered three broken ribs and a collapsed lung when he was flipped from the sulky. (A collapsed lung is when air escapes from the lung and fills the space between the lung wall and chest wall. The build-up of air puts pressure on the lung, so it cannot expand as much as it normally would in taking a breath.) “He has been in terrible pain, so much so that he’s hardly been able to talk. He seemed much better today because he was able to get to the shower for the first time,” Julie said yesterday. “The doctors have been concerned with his breathing and he’s been on oxygen because of low oxygen saturation levels,” she said. Austin “Aussie” Mifsud remains in hospital “We are all rapt with his improvement though—he’s in pretty good spirits and hopefully it’s all upwards from now on. There’s a long recovery road ahead, but he’s getting back to his old self – he’s been shouting out the orders today about the horses at home!” Julie said doctors had told her that previous injuries Aussie had suffered were hindering the recovery process. “Aussie’s had a couple of race falls over the years and also he had a nasty one at home a while ago,” she said. “Our daughter Mary-Jane lives at Bagshot, which isn’t far from Bendigo, so she has been doing a terrific job in visiting and getting anything he needs. “Our niece Monique (Burnett) and her fiancé Josh Duggan had a baby boy on Friday named Hudson Leigh, so Aussie’s been busy passing on that news to everyone!” Julie said the family had been overwhelmed by good wishes from harness racing people from everywhere. “Kylie Harrison, who was the chair of stewards at Charlton, has contacted us, along with Charlton club officials and we’re so grateful that so many people have been in touch and wished Aussie well.” Gifted youngster Ryan Sanderson is at home on crutches after being released from Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital last Thursday. Ryan Sanderson Sanderson was competing in the race after Mifsud’s accident, and was thrown into the air before crashing to the track. A trailing horse was then unable to avoid hitting him. “I’ve got bruised lungs, but no broken bones. The doctors are saying I got out of it okay because I’m young and my bones are flexible. They are keeping a watch on some internal bleeding, but I’m going really good,” he said. “Apart from physio and doctor appointments, I’ve got to take it easy. Mum won’t let me do anything anyway! I can still remember most of the fall, and it was worse than one I had previously at Bankstown.” The popular 17-year-old reinsman, who has been based at the Aiken stables at Avenel for the past nine months, said he was glad to have fellow driver Shannon O’Sullivan fly down with him in the air helicopter to Melbourne. “That was awesome. It was great to have some company, even though Shannon wasn’t allowed in the hospital once we got there. Mum and dad came down from Sydney – I think they left as soon as I had the fall and they drove all night. That lifted my spirits as well as all the messages I’ve received,” he said. “The doctors are thinking I may be back driving in about four weeks. I hope so because I’ve just got my metro licence, so I’m already counting down the days.”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

It’s 15 days to the New Zealand Cup. From now to November 10 we will feature some of the great races, horses and personalities  with a new letter for each day. L = Lord Module Lord Module in 1979 was Cecil Devine’s 19th and last Cup drive. A winner of the great race 6 times (1951-79) Devine had reached the compulsory driving retirement age of 65. After missing away Lord Module was wide at the turn and charged home out of the ruck to win in 4:09.It was widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Cup runs ever. His sire Lordship won the Cup twice in 1962/66 as did his sire Johnny Globe in 1954.   HRNZ

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