Day At The Track
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Mark Purdon and Grant Payne have just experienced their most successful harness racing season yet - thanks to Highview Chartom's neck victory in a 0-2 win fillies & mares pace at Cambridge Raceway tonight (Thursday July 29).

Mark Purdon and Grant Payne's North Island team has all of a sudden got a heap stronger with the addition of James Stormont and Jeremy Young at their Pukekohe barn. The changes have come about as a result of stable foreman Nicole Molander easing her workload to have her second child.

Franklin trainer Rhys Fensom couldn't have wished for a better start to his last night as a single man. The Pukekohe-based trainer dead-heated the first harness racing event at Alexandra Park tonight (Friday) when his 7-year-old gelding Manotick Express and Asafa Powell shared the in the $9000 Wild Nut Mobile for 2-4 Win pacers.

The inductees didn't all attend but more than 100 harness racing fans and supporters still flocked to Alexandra Park's Noel Taylor Museum yesterday afternoon (Friday) to see 12 horsemen and five champion pacers inducted into the New Zealand Trotting Of Fame. Included in the line-up was Monkey King, who some five and a bit hours after being inducted stepped out onto the track and won the 2010 Auckland Cup.

If Big Dog can get an easy run with cover in next Friday's Auckland Cup then he has the sprint to claim a big cheque in the $500,000 Group One harness racing feature. He's proved that twice in the last 14 days at Alexandra Park with emphatic wins, albeit in lesser company.

Warren Taylor is not one to get excited about young horses but he's been in the harness racing game long enough to know that Sapphire Castleton is a little bit special. Unbeaten in trials and workouts his promising filly made it two from two on race night at Alexandra Park tonight (Friday - Feb 19).

Love him or loathe him, controversial Patumahoe trainer, Geoff Small has an impressive harness racing CV and it is his brilliance with standardbreds that has ensured his inclusion in the New Zealand Trotting Hall Of Fame.

In the fast-paced world of harness racing, an opportunity to catch up and review is always welcome. The Harness Racing New Zealand annual conference on 14 and 15 August is such an opportunity. The two day conference, to be held in Christchurch, will allow the industry to review the future of the sport, and its contribution to New Zealand's community and economy.

The times might not have been anything flash but there were a couple of standout performers at this week's Franklin Trotting Club Workouts at its Station Road track in Pukekohe. Mark down Ebony Girl, Mercurio and Dynamic Storm as horses to watch.

The times might not have been anything flash but there were a couple of standout performers at this week's Franklin Trotting Club Workouts at its Station Road track in Pukekohe. Mark down Ebony Girl, Mercurio and Dynamic Storm as horses to watch.

In the past two weeks since our last 'Update', two drivers have reached outstanding milestones. First up was James Stormont who became the 18th driver in NZ to reach 100 driving wins when he won at Cambridge behind Galleons Enforcer. He began driving in 1982 and since then has won 11 Group 1, 11 Group 2 and six Group 3 races.

Last night at the Cambridge-Te Awamutu HRC meeting, James Stormont became only the 18th driver in New Zealand to reach 1000 lifetime wins. The proud moment for the Pukekohe-based driver and trainer, came in the last race of the evening behind Galleons Enforcer.

One of New Zealand harness racing's good guys - James Stormont - became the countrys 18th reinsman to join the 'Four-Figure Club' when notching up his 1000th win at Cambridge Raceway tonight (Thursday May 25). Stormont rightly clenched his fist in triumph as he steered maiden trotter Galleons Enforcer to win the last of the nine races on the card.

With five months of the 2008-2009 New Zealand harness racing season left, the prestigious 1000-win club may have three new members, whilst the $1million stakes for a season is also very close for two drivers.

Does the Northland Harness Racing Club president, Rob Pooley know a next-up winner when he sees one or what! Mr President, his daughter Robyn and mates Allan Ford and Steve Lane reaped their reward at Alexandra Park tonight (Thursday) thanks to a deal they made at The Northland Club's dual code meeting at Ruakaka on January 6.

The North Island Standardbred Breeders Association's bus tour to the stables of nine different Auckland preparers didn't exactly go to plan today (Tuesday), but distractions aside, the tour was a success.

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