Day At The Track
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Boom Kiwi-bred filly My Sweetchilliphilly was a late scratching at Menangle in New South Wales yesterday (Tuesday) after casting a shoe. The winner of all five starts in emphatic fashion, the two-year-old daughter of Betterthancheddar is still on target for the rich Australasian Breeders Crown semifinals at Bendigo, Victoria, on August 19. She was due to clash with classy Mark Purdon-Natalie Rasmussen-trained gelding Sicario ($1.06), who bolted in at Menangle (1609m, mobile) yesterday in her absence, after leading for driver Luke McCarthy.  The Somebeachsomewhere flyer has now won six from nine starts and is also heading for the Breeders Crown. He clocked 1:55.1, the last 400m in 26sec. NSW-based co-trainers Shane and Lauren Tritton elected to play it safe with the unbeaten My Sweetchilliphilly, who is a half-sister to seven-win Kiwi pacer Max Phactor. “It’s nothing serious,” Shane Tritton said. “We don’t want to take any chances with her. “We decided to wrap up her foot [on Monday] and keep her in cotton wool for a few days.” Despite missing the outing, My Sweetchilliphilly will be in peak condition for the semis, according to Tritton. Mid-Canterbury breeder Melissa Tapp always believed My Sweetchilliphilly would be special. Tapp, 31, runs a 2000-cow dairy farm at Hinds with her husband Jimmy Illingworth and they also have a band of five broodmares, including Tact Philly, the dam of My Sweetchilliphilly and Max Phactor, who ran fourth in the 4YO Emerald at the Harness Jewels last season. My Sweetchilliphilly reeled off four straight wins to open her career, including the $A50,000 Group One Gold Tiara at Bathurst by 20.9 metres. Tapp bought her unraced dam Tact Philly (by In The Pocket) at an Auckland sale in foal to champion sire Bettor’s Delight for “way under the stud fee’’ and the mare was later mated with new Alabar Stud stallion Betterthancheddar (1:48), a champion three-year-old in the United States and the fastest ever stallion son of Bettor’s Delight. The result was My Sweetchilliphilly, who was sold to an Australian owner after being developed by West Melton horseman Greg Payne. “We thought she was something pretty special, but how special we didn’t know. Mark Jones [Canterbury trainer] trialled her and said if the [Australian] sale fell through he would take her,’’ said Tapp. “We didn’t get as much as we would have liked, but the market was a bit down at that stage. It was just a matter of numbers and we had to keep moving some along. She was a real cheap buy for them and hopefully they come back again.’’   NZ Harness News

The All Stars team  pleased Mark Purdon with their work on Wednesday as they have pleased him all week.   All but Big Lucy were sent over a steady 3200m with a quickening last half and  Friday's work is likely to be shorter and sharper.   BIG LUCY is the exception. "I kept her on a Tuesday/Thursday work option and I haven't been doing a lot with her.   She is fine but she has done a lot in a short time so I don't want  to be too hard on her" Mark said   I am just as happy with the trotter (My) Arya as I am with the pacers   "Arya is going very well actually and if she keeps going on like this I think she could be hard to beat"   "Happy enough" was Natalie's report from Mark on the draws for Sunday's final.   "You don't really want an inside second row draw like Linda Lovegrace has but we will just have to find a way out of there.   Follow The Stars is wide out on the front line but  he is out of trouble and he's strong so that's all good"   Natalie flies out on Saturday after some strong hoppled work  with the team in the morning and she and Mark will take a break in sunny Queensland after the big day.   "All good" was Mark's summation of how the Breeders Crown finalists came through their semis on Saturday by Sunday morning.   "They all licked the bowl and seem happy so I am happy as well"   Mark made a brief appearance in the stewards room after handing up the lead on Big Lucy to Katy Perry (Dexter Dunn) after getting to the front.   "I was mindful it was a strong fillies field and that Lucy had had quite a hard run at her previous start.   I thought if I tried to stay in front there were other good fillies who would be around to attack and it would just keep going on.   There was no problem with the stewards"   "I still don't know how Kept Under Wraps didn't get wiped out early.   I was sure he was going to get caught up in it but somehow he didn't so his was a big run"   Breeders Crown Finals Tips   Best Bet - Arya   Each Way - Linda Lovegrace   Value Bet - Kept Under Wraps   Courtesy Of All Stars Racing    

With Cup Day on the horizon I thought we would test our readers ‘Cup Day’ knowledge and give one lucky reader the chance to win a $50 Final Field each-way bet on Cup Day courtesy of Steve Richardson and the New Zealand T.A.B – Who said they weren’t generous? The winner of the quiz, and therefore the $50 Final Field each-way bet will be the first person to answer 10 or more of the 15 questions correctly. So, here goes.... Q1: What horse won the New Zealand Cup as a 4yo and then came back and won it again as an 8yo? Q2: Name the horse that was a promoted winner of the 2006 Sires’ Stakes Final? Who crossed the line in first place? Q3: Two trotters have won the New Zealand Cup. Name them? Q4: Who was the last horse to win a New Zealand Cup from a handicap? Q5: How many times has Anthony Butt won the New Zealand Trotting-Free-For-All? Q6: In the Sires Stakes Final that Auckland Reactor won Mark Purdon and Grant Payne lined up six horses in the race. Name the other five? Q7: Who was the original trainer of the 2008 Sires Stakes winner Stunin Cullen? Q8: Who is the only free-legged pacer to win the New Zealand Trotting Cup to date? Q9: Who was disqualified from the New Zealand Cup that Spry was a promoted winner of? Q10: Name the only mare to win the New Zealand Cup as a four-year-old? Q11: Name the last six mares to win the New Zealand Cup? Q12: What horse started favourite twice in the New Zealand Cup during the 2000’s but never won one? Q13: New Zealand Cup winners Gold Bar and Haughty crossed to leave what open class pacer? Q14: Who is the only horse to win the Junior Free-For-All twice? Q15: Who is the only three-year-old to finish in the money in a New Zealand Cup? *To enter – comment below. By Mitchell Robertson  

Grant Payne made the most of what was possibly his last ever day in the blue and silver colours of Mark Purdon when winning on Quick As I Can at the Cheviot harness racing meeting run at Addington yesterday (Sunday March 3).

Fly Like An Eagle's New Zealand Cup campaign hangs in the balance at Kaikoura today. He could easily win the $50,000 Kaikoura Cup and not only seal his start in the New Zealand Cup on November 13 but even move into second favouritism. But it wouldn't surprise anybody if he galloped away for the third standing start in a row, cost punters a fortune and harness racing trainer Mark Purdon pulled the pin on his Cup bid.

Brendon Hill asked the question of New Zealand harness racing hero Monkey King, but the 10-year-old today (Thursday September 13) told 'Benny' - "enough is enough".

The harness racing meeting at Addington Raceway yesterday (Sunday July 29) ) marked the end of an error for the Mark Purdon and Grant Payne training partnership.

Several of Canterbury's finest harness racing trainers are enjoying their most lucrative season yet with the soon to be disbanded partnership of Mark Purdon and Grant Payne leading the way at the top of the Trainers Premiership.

All winners from the All Stars harness racing stable based in Rolleston, Christchurch, from now on will feature one name instead of two in the record books.

New Zealand's assault on the Australian harness racing winter riches has started with a winning treble. And with up to 20 Kiwi-trained pacers set to cross the Tasman in the next two months, Aussie punters are waking up to the invasion.

Two New Zealand harness racing stars who have won 61 races between them and $3 million in purses left Pukekohe this morning (Tuesday June 19).

Fly Like An Eagle will fly from Auckland next Wednesday (May 20) bound for the 2012 Breeder's Crown at Melton's Tabcorp Park in Victoria. He will go into that prestigious age-group harness racing championship a last start Listed winner.

It wasn't the quickest or most fluent pacing race seen at Alexandra Park in recent times but winner Maybe Baby hinted she has more potential than most of the harness racing babies competing against her in tonight's (Friday June 8) PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Prelude.

The best was saved to last on Harness Jewels Day 2012 at Cambridge Raceway when Smolda equalled the New Zealand mile record of 1:52.1 in today's (Saturday June 2) $150,000 Emerald for 3yo pacing colts and geldings.

'It's right up there with having a son named in the All Black team'. Those words came from Caroline Whitelock - the co-owner of O Baby - immediately after the talented bay won today's (Saturday June 2) Group One harness racing $150,000 Diamond for 3yo pacing fillies.

Donegal Delight hasn't had much luck in her two seasons of harness racing but tonight (Friday May 25) at Alexandra Park the perennial underdog nailed her first Listed event. The Cran Dalgety trained mare won the $20,000 Powell Transport 38th North Island Fillies & Mares Breeders Stakes. It was justice really.

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