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Chase Auckland may be running out of ways to get beaten in tonight's $250,000 Woodlands Northern Derby at Alexandra Park. The son of Auckland Reactor has looked every inch his father's son in his debut season, winning both the Sires' Stakes and Sales Series Pace before tasting defeat for the first time in the Derby prelude last Friday. That was when he was forced to sit parked outside stablemate Sicario and only just failed to grab him in his first start for two months, suggesting he will clearly strip fitter tonight. Even after that defeat the TAB opened Chase Auckland a $1.35 favourite and those taking the short will do so without too many obvious stumbling blocks. Already this crop has been shorn on several key rivals through injury, illness or sales overseas. In the last two weeks first Pat's Delight and then Sicario, with huge Alexandra Park wins, have emerged as genuine Derby threats to Chase Auckland, at least until Monday's barrier draw. Sicario, who may well be as talented as his stablemate on last Friday's run, drew the second line and while he is the only horse there he still looks set to settle closer to last than first. And Pat's Delight fared even worse, drawing the outside of the front line while Chase Auckland drew barrier six. Pat's Delight's trainer Cran Dalgety was pragmatic about the draw. "If we were going into the race as the big dog maybe we could roll the dice and go forward from barrier eight," said Dalgety. "But if we go blasting out and try and lead from there, even if we make the front, we will set the race up for something else." So with his two best credentialed rivals likely settling behind him, Chase Auckland's only major worries should be those in front of him. There are some handy, future open class rivals between him and the lead but only Sheriff would seem any hope of holding him out and even then any desire to do so would be sorely tested if Chase Auckland got serious inside the first lap. More and more, it looks like a Derby he should eventually lead and win. The classic is just one of a stretch of six major races in a row, starting with a small but very even Northern Mares Classic, which could be decided by how hard Delishka has to work. The open trot looks a lottery but CK Spur's manners are so good his improvement curve might continue, especially with the backmarkers not suited by the big field. The southern fillies dominate the Delightful Lady, with Bubbled Up probably the best value since there doesn't seem to be much between her, Princess Tiffany and Kendra. Jesse Duke looks the best of the freshman boys in the Young Guns Final but is still very much learning so maybe not a true multi bet anchor. And the return clash of Jack's Legend and Star Galleria in the City Of Auckland Free-For-All should be a beauty, with the former holding a crucial draw advantage tonight. Star Galleria may be flat out faster than Jack's Legend but if he has to move mid-race to sit parked while Jack's Legend leads then it is advantage Jack's Legend, and at $2.50 fixed he is a good bet. MIchael Guerin

Many are saying Saturday's Northern Southland Trotting Club harness racing fields are the best seen in the south for a long time and they're not wrong. The sight of a fresh crop of two year olds; split into fillies and colts and geldings races, is in itself great to see and that's just the start of the story here. The inaugural Haras des Trotteurs Southland Trotting Oaks has carded a field full of depth and is proof of the emergence of Majestic Son as a sire of quality squaregaiters. Six of the eleven starters in Saturday's feature for trotting fillies are by Majestic Son. And there's no doubting that Wintonian Michelle Caig will be on-course just to see Renezmae, a horse she bred and raised. Renezmae, the likely favourite, won the Group One Breeders Crown for two year old fillies in Australia last season. After racing tough at Ashburton in the Hambletonian Classic last month she ran a brave fourth. The trip away and the race at Ascot Park will improve her chances for the New Zealand Trotting Oaks in a fortnight. But a win on Saturday won't surprise either. There is no doubting that trotting is on the climb in this country and this inititive is one of the many good things to come out of the Southland region this season. The New Zealand Standardbred Breeders, led by John Mooney and Brad Reid, have been to the forefront in getting this $20,000 race off the ground and the Australian based Hara des Trotteurs have been quick to support the fillies feature. Another inititive this season in the south has been the Nuggets Series. Starting in August, all heats have been worth $12,000 and all winners and second placegetters have become eligible to race in the $20,000 final at Ascot Park on Saturday. All winners, with the exception of Ardtoo, have fronted up and it a race that looks like a preview for the Southern Supremacy Stakes Final on Diamonds Day at the end of next month. The highest rated horse by a mile is the Mark Jones trained The Bus at R81. He's won six races this season with the next best rated horse being Zealand Star (R70) the winner of three. This for me is the race of the day with favourite horses like Franco Santino drawing wide and The Bus and the highly rated Lawrence having to content with second line draws.  Then we get to the three; Group Three races, on a day where there seems to be no undercard. The Yaldhurst Hotel Northern Southland Trotting Cup has had many great winners over the years including Mossdale Connor, Isaiah, Terror To Love (twice), Stunin Cullen and Bondy. More The Better will probably be the favourite for Saturday distance feature. As a three year old, he really came on late in the season and put together a winning sequence of four while campaigning in Australia. His wins there included the Group Two Queensland Derby. He comes into this 2700 metre race fresh but having won two trials. He's won his only standing start in Australia last season.  The Group Three Southern Lights, sponsored by Pryde's Easifeeds, is another mouth watering affair. The return of Dark Horse, who has been fitted for her return to racing at the Winton Workouts, will bring many to the track.   Harriot Of Mot, who has a few ex- Southlanders as owners, looks to be her main rival. She won this race in 2016. Smokey Mac, who currently leads the four year old ranking for the Harness Jewels also lines up in this feature. Trainer Brett Gray will get a good idea as to where he's at by racing against the better class trotters.  The Caduceus Club of Southland, who sponsor The Super Nuggets Final, also sponsor the two year old fillies feature with Alabar Stud. It also carries Group Three status. This race has been around for sixteen years and some of the early winners were Western Dream and Beaudiene Bad Babe. More recently Joanne's A Delight, Delightful Memphis and Dizzy Miss Lizzy have won. There are some other intriguing battles as well on the day with Hail Christian up against Swamp Major in the last race and quality up-and-coming trotters BD Love, Zoey's Gift and Jaw D Nancy squaring off. The weather forecast looks good so all roads lead to Ascot Park on Saturday for what should be a bumper day of harness racing. See ya there.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness racing  

Forbury harness racing fixed odds movers as at 2:10pm Race 1 - Robbie Royale $17.00 - $11.00 leads win betting with Wayward Roc $6.00 leading multi betting over Our Foxy Lady $3.40.    Race 2 - Dodgethebullet $2.30 easily leads multi betting with Christie Marie $12.00 leading win betting over Walk Like A Man $7.20 - $6.50 & Bobbie's Medley $21.00.   Race 3 - Calendar Girlz $2.60 is the best backed runner in multi betting.   Race 4 - The $1.75 favourite Get It On is the only runner wanted in multi betting. Armstrong $12.00 is attracting some early win support.   Race 5 - Easton Foxglove $3.00 leads multi betting over Excellent $4.50. Blarney Babe $7.50 leads win betting.   Race 6 - Playboy's Brother $2.60 easily leads win & multi betting.   Race 7 - Say Your Pres $3.50 is the only runner wanted in win & multi betting.   Race 8 - Smooth Mara $2.60 easily leads multi betting with some early win money coming for For The Corz $12.50 - $11.00.   Race 9 - Jakira $3.40 leads multi betting over Double rainbow $5.00 & Power Surge $6.50. Power Surge leads win betting.   Race 10 - Arma Twospoons $12.00 - $10.00 leads win betting over Hedonist Franco $11.00 with Editorial $2.50 dominating multi betting.    Race 11 - Passion Flower $12.00 - $11.00 leads win betting.   In place betting Christie Marie $3.60 has been well backed in race 2 along with Gunpowder $5.00 in race 5 & Thaboyz Toy $3.60 in race 10.       Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Grass track harness racing continues in the South this week with a two day meeting on the West Coast at Westport and Reefton. The highlight this week is the group racing at Alexandra on Friday night with the Woodlands Northern Derby the feature. Northern Southland on Saturday and Forbury tonight make up the rest of the harness racing meetings to be held this week. Another good week on the ringaround last week where there were several long priced winners and a large number of placings. Terry Chmiel had the best winning dividend when his best chance of the week Titanium won at Cheviot and paid $11.30 and $2.40 on the tote.  Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Forbury on Thursday Brad Williamson - Brad says his best drive this week would be Motu Time To Shine at Forbury in Race 8 John Morrison - John is going for Lorretta Franco as his best drive this week at Forbury in Race 9 Craig Ferguson - Craig says his best chance this week is Rozzano at Forbury in Race 10   Alexandra Park on Friday Matthew Williamson - Matthew says his best drive would be Delishka on Friday at Auckland in Race 4 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Steve thinks The Almighy Johnson can win at Auckland in Race 5 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best chance this week is Cheesy Fingers at Auckland in Race 6 Andre Poutama - Andre is going for Jo's Dream as his best drive this week in Race 9   Menangle on Friday Night Mark Jones - Mark is going for Delightful Memphis again as his best chance this week in Race 6 at Menangle   Westport on Friday John Curtin - John likes the chances of Getarattleon at Westport in Race 1 Gavin Smith - Gavin is going for Change Is Good as his best drive this week in Race 2 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Betterthankaty can go close to winning at Westport in Race 5   Northern Southland on Friday Shane Walkinshaw - Shane thinks his best drive this week would be Franco Huntington in Race 2 Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks that Archman would be his best chance this week also in Race 2 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory agrees and says Archman would be his best chance this week in Race 2 Blair Orange - Blair thought Zenola's Art would be his best drive this week at Ascot Park in Race 3 Racechat - Lance thinks that Dark Horse is a good winning chance at Ascot Park in Race 10 Brent Barclay - Brent is opting for Please Shuddup as his best chance this week in Race 11     Harnesslink Media  

The North Island Trainers and Drivers Association have appointed Scott Phelan as Youth Development Officer for the region. The role has been created to assist the youth of the industry with their development and knowledge and act as a support role for any young person who may require assistance or advice. Todd Macfarlane of the North Island Trainers and Drivers Association explained that Phelan will be available for all youth in the industry on an open door approach. “There is a lot of talent out there and we want to help nurture them and help them be the best they can be,” said Macfarlane. “Scott will be available in a support role at race meetings and trials and can be contacted at any time.” “He can also assist in enquires and view race videos, and if a rule has been breached he can also help explain what could have been done to help drivers learn from mistakes. The stipendiary stewards are also very supportive of Scott and we feel that this is a positive support base for cadets and young drivers and trainers.” “The trainers and drivers association also would like to thank the North Island Amateur and North Island Owners association for their support financially in creating this role.” Anyone wishing to seek advice or support from Phelan is encouraged to contact him directly on 022-329-9455. The Northern Harness Racing Cadets in conjunction with the North Island Branch of NZ Trainers & Drivers Association will also hold an Industry Field Day at Franklin Park Training Centre. This will be on Monday 26 March starting with lunch at 12 noon and the activities beginning at 12.30pm. Both groups are encouraging the North Island harness trainers to send along their stable hands, cadets and junior drivers so they have the opportunity to gain knowledge from our industry leaders. Speakers on the day will be Graeme Henley on pedigrees, Tony Grayling on stud duties from getting mares in foal until they are ready for the next step which is Yearling preparation. This topic will be covered by Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson. Brent Mangos and Steven Reid will part with their knowledge and opinions for selecting Yearlings to purchase and then following on Derek Balle and Owen Gillies will demonstrate how the breaking and gaiting process works. Syndication with ATC Syndicate Manager Andrew Jamieson will be the last topic on the day. The day will have its share of fun along the way with quizzes, prizes and giveaways for those in attendance. Scott Phelan in his role as the Youth Development Officer along with a delegation of the North Island Trainers & Drivers will be there to co-ordinate and over-see the afternoon. The North Island Trainers & Drivers have organised for an MVP Award for the 2017/18 season with a trip to leading trainer Gary Hall in Perth. This will be points based with all cadets and junior drivers eligible. For any further information on the day contact Sally Waters the North Island Education & Training Co-ordinator on 027 494 2850.

Cambridge harness racing fixed odds movers as at 2:10pm Race 1 - The Persuader $3.60 easily leads win & multi betting over Atom Hanover $12.50.   Race 2 - For Tony $16.00 - $14.00 leads win betting with Ideal Star $2.20 & Lacey's Lad dominating multi betting.     Race 3 - Highview Illusion $7.50 - $5.50 is the best backed runner in win & multi betting.     Race 4 - Hughies Sister $2.60 easily leads multi betting.    Race 5 - Queen Lostris $2.30 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 6 - Shay Scott $10.00 leads win betting and is the 2nd best backed in multi betting behind the $3.00 favourite Trouble Giero.   Race 7 - The outsider Spandau Ballet $30.00 - $21.00 leads win betting over Volando Denario $4.20 & The C E O $9.00 - $7.50.   Race 8 - The debut runner Awhi Mai $2.80 & Rave Nation $3.10 equally lead multi betting.      Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

HRNZ is pleased to announce the appointment of Liz Bishop as General Manager - Operations. This position follows an internal restructuring following the resignation of Commercial Development Manager, Pete Ydgren, in January. Liz is currently employed as Senior Consultant in the Transaction Advisory Services team at Ernst Young. An accountant, she has wide management experience across a range of industries, working for major accounting firms in Great Britain and New Zealand. She has also previously been head of finance and commercial operations for a large aquarium and educational charity in the UK. HRNZ Chief Executive, Edward Rennell said “we were very happy with the strength of applicants for this position and believe Liz will add great value to the HRNZ team. Her professional and personal skills will see her make a great contribution in this new role and the wider industry. Liz’s passion for equestrian activities will also add strength and focus to HRNZ’s animal welfare strategies.” "I am delighted to be appointed as General Manager - Operations for Harness Racing New Zealand, and welcome the opportunity to combine my commercial and professional expertise, as a chartered accountant, with my equestrian experience in this exciting new role”, Liz said. “My involvement with Standardbreds commenced within a few months of moving with my family to New Zealand (Canterbury) over 10 years ago, and I have successfully competed my retired pacer at national level during that time”. HRNZ looks forward to welcoming Liz into her new role on 9 April 2018. For further details, contact: Edward Rennell Chief Executive 021 407 596   HRNZ

Trackside Coverage - 5 March – 11 March (please note the following is subject to change) Wednesday Cambridge (TS2) 8.30pm The Box Seat (TS1) – on the show this week The Auckland Carnival is in full swing - we check out the winners from Friday and some potentials for this week. Plus we also recognise some significant Harness racing milestones.  Thursday 6am In The Gig (TS1) Forbury (TS1) Friday Westport (TS1) Alexandra Park (TS1) Saturday Invercargill (TS2) Sunday Reefton (TS1)   Cambridge – Wednesday 7 March An eight race card starting at 5.31pm. Entry to the course is free.   Forbury Park TC – Thursday 8 March An 11 race card featuring a $25,000 Pick Six. First race starts at 5.27pm. Entry is free and there are multiple dining options available at the Forbury Park Sports Bar and Bistro oncourse.   Westport TC – Friday 9 March Following the recent Cyclones Fehi and Gita the Westport Trotting Club are thrilled to announce that their racing surface for their meeting on Friday 9 March has bounced back in great order. Following Cyclone Fehi, which hit the West Coast hard in early February, the track was inundated with sea water from a large surge caused by the storm. “It wasn’t the rain so much that hurt us there,” said Club President Dan Moloney. “But the wind that caused the surge and brought sea water on to the racing surface and grounds.” The sea water caused damage to the grass, with a patchy surface appearing after the water subsided. But Moloney was quick to praise the Club’s members and the swift efforts involved to resurrect the track.  “We applied gypsum and ammonium sulfate and are amazed at how well the track has recovered. We are pleased that we are going to have a very good racing surface next week.” “Luckily following Gita we only had a tree fall at the racecourse. But no actual damage to the racing surface itself.” The Club is looking forward to welcoming racing connections back to Patterson Park, and there is one regular in particular that will take sentimental focus. “We understand that Margo Nyhan and Peter Davis will bring Sarah Palin here as part of her farewell tour,” said Moloney. “Sarah Palin her first two races here during March meetings in her career, and we are thrilled that she will be here for one last Westport appearance.” Sarah Palin is in foal and is currently on a ‘farewell tour’ as dubbed by her connections. She recently won her tenth career race, and has remarkably placed a further fifty times during her career. Entry to the course is free, and there will be a BBQ and live music after the last with two TAB windows remaining open for those who wish to wager on the Auckland meeting.    Friday 9th March Premier Night Derby Night For the lovers of the harness-racing action, The Top of the Park and the Tasman will be open with deluxe Derby Night packages and a fantastic view. Derby Night at the Top of the Park and the Tasman Room | Packages Include: · Delicious gourmet buffet dinner · Premium Beverage Package OR Cash Bar · Private betting facilities within the room · Race book for each guest Prices from $60- $120.00 Book online at or e-mail   Northern Southland – Saturday 10 March It will be quite a day at the Northern Southland Trotting Club meeting at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Saturday. The meeting features three Group 3 races, the Yaldhurst Hotel Northern Southland Cup, the Prydes Easi-Feeds Southern Lights Handicap Trot and the Alabar NZ / Caduceus Club Of Southland 2yo Fillies Mobile Pace. In addition the programme also includes the Haras des Trotteurs Southland Trotting Oaks and the Caduceus Club Of Southland Super Nugget Final. As well as some premier racing the day will also bring to a conclusion the Northern Southland Trotting Club’s season long competition. One more lucky winner will be found on Saturday from a draw of all losing tote tickets and they will join Brian Pitcher and Isla Palmer, winners at the club’s earlier meetings, in the final draw to win one of three great prizes. The major prize is a trip to the Easter Cup at Addington on Saturday 31 March courtesy of the Yaldhurst Hotel, second a trip for two to Stewart Island with airfares, accommodation and breakfast courtesy of Stewart Island Flights while the third placegetter will receive a two night stay at the Distinction Luxmore Hotel in Te Anau.  Owners are welcome to join the club in the Alabar NZ Owners Room on the day.   The first race is timed to start at 12.00 noon and admission is free.   Reefton Trotting Club – Sunday 11 March Entry is free to this meeting and will see the very last race meeting for Team Teal 2018 in New Zealand. Wear teal and go into the draw to win great prizes oncourse on the day!   Addington Raceway & Events Centre March Racemeetings There is great racing at Addington over the next few weeks with over $500,000 in Stakes up for grabs.  We would love to host you.  Please see below some fabulous dining options for you to consider. Friday 16 March – Mediaworks Race Night Four-Star Race Meeting Friday 23 March – 5-Star Race Meeting Easter Saturday 31 March – 4-Star Race Meeting   Trackside Dining Options Are you needing to entertain clients or organize staff functions? Add a unique Trackside Dining Experience. You can choose from our fabulous Gold, Silver or Bronze packages. Gold Package – Premier viewing, divine four course buffet dining, premium beverage package and effective & innovative marketing. $93 + GST per person. Silver Package – Premier viewing, divine four course buffet dining and premium beverage package. $80 + GST per person. Bronze Package – Premier viewing and divine four course buffet dining. $54 + GST per person. Spectators Open till Late! Our fabulous array of pizzas and delicious burger options will be available for all to enjoy. (Gluten free and vegetarian options available). $15 A La Carte Dining – Choose from five of our divine dishes that are available in the Christian Cullen Lounge, located on level 1 of the Metropolitan Stand. (Gluten free and vegetarian options available). Stables BBQ – Enjoy a bite to eat from the Stables BBQ. Whether it is a juicy burger or a pottle of chips, your hunger cravings will be satisfied. The BBQ is located at the stables entrance directly beside the Lindauer Lawn. Next Rugby Match - CRUSADERS VS. BULLS – Friday 23 March – 7.35PM – Hot off the Press - Spectators is now offering an amazing $15 Pizza and Beer Game Day Special, as well as the popular $10 Burger and Beer Special! Remember, all Spectators Supporters Club Card members have access to free car parking on the Addington Site (entry to the carpark is off Wrights Road). Enjoy your pizza, or burger and beer with friends, before heading over to the game. Dream result. If you are not a Supporters Club Card member and you would like to join, visit   Heading to an event at Horncastle Arena or AMI Stadium? - Make sure you pop in to Spectators before the event for a cold drink and delicious food! Spectators has ample free parking as well, you can’t go wrong.  Next SAAC Course at Addington -The next Stabling Area Awareness Course for kids is 23 March at 5pm. For more information please visit   Hawera Easter Family Fun Meeting – 31 March, 2 April The Hawera Harness Racing Club invites you to be a part of their Easter Family Fun Meeting to be held on Saturday 31 March and Monday 2 April (Easter Monday). Club President Brendan Towers describes the meeting as a ‘trainer’s weekend away’ and explains that the club are there to make the meeting an enjoyable one for all who attend. “We will be holding dinner and entertainment for connections that are at the meeting on the Friday and Saturday nights, and are also here to assist with anything needed for horses and those connected with them,” said Towers. “We can help you find the right hotel or accommodation option, just get in touch and we will happily help.” The grass track meeting features the Hawera Cup and will be focused on family entertainment too, with free entry on both days and bouncy castles and plenty to keep the kids amused. For more information please get in contact with Brendan Towers 027 236 0016 or email   Methven Owners’ Day and Expo - Sunday 15 April The Methven Trotting Club will hold an Owners Day at their April race meeting to be held at Mt Harding Racecourse on Sunday 15 April. The club warmly invites industry merchants and also fellow club administrators to attend the event and be a part of their owner’s experience and expo at the meeting. This will provide an opportunity to promote products or clubs to owners present on the day. The club wishes to reward owners with a horse in at their meeting by hosting them in the Mt Hutt Lounge oncourse. They will also invite owners from the region to attend and offer special catering options on the day for them, and encourage non owners to come along and find out how they can become a part of the action. Those with ownership opportunities are welcome to contact the club in terms of potential options to promote ownership to potential new clients. For more information on how you can be a part of this special event please contact Nigel Armstrong on 027 328 2206 or email   Friday April 20th Premier Night American Night Our phenomenally popular American Night is back for 2018! We’ll have the stars and stripes rolled back out from the Top of the Park to The Alex, and be serving up the very best of the US with another fantastic US-inspired all-you-can-eat buffet menu sure to satisfy – and of course we’ll be sure to get some top-class entertainment on board once again! Book your American Night table ASAP as this night is sure to sell out fast! American Night in the Tasman Room or Top of the Park  From $60pp | Buffet only From $125pp | Full beverage package including specialty US beer Vintage Cars, Pin up girls and amazing entertainment!!!   Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc      

Its early autumn in North Canterbury, there’s a chill in the air and dew under foot. Amid the din of seagull cries and crashing waves over Woodend Beach, there is a healing session under way. When harness racing trainer Jackie Law brings her horses here, she’s not just working the animal’s body. She’s working with their soul. An award recipient for services to Canterbury Harness Racing, Jackie has become a shining light in a standardbred racehorse’s life after racing. She has rehomed over 500 horses, that she can recall, and initially when asked why she does it, she simply replies, “I don’t know sometimes. I honestly don’t.” But one thing she always knew for sure, was that her life would involve horses. “My earliest memories of racing would be with my late father Dave. He always loved horses, but his family weren’t involved with them. He worked for Ces Donald and later he and Mum trained their own small team of horses,” Jackie explained. “Mum actually did a lot of the work with them and I would help out too, as Dad had a job at the works and he and Mum would also do market gardening where we lived in Marshlands.” Jackie recalls that her passion for the equine world was evident from a young age. “We would go to local fairs and Mum would always lose me. But she knew she would always find me standing next to the pony rides. Just watching them.” And whilst she could help her parents with their own horses, when it came to a career in the sulky her father wasn’t overly enthused. “Dad didn’t want me to become a driver. But once he realised it was my passion and I had a skill around horses, he became supportive,” said Jackie.   In fact, when she was 13-years-old Dave allowed her to design the family racing colours. Looking back, it was a bit of a surprise to her as her father was not often known to hand such a huge decision to someone else. “He wouldn’t always tell me what he thought about my career or abilities. But he would tell others how proud of me he was. I guess that was just his way.” At age 18 it was time for Jackie to follow her dreams and pursue a career as a driver. After working in the Canterbury region for Jack and Mark Smolenski and Steve Edge, and gaining a valuable foundation, the journey then led her to the North Island where she was welcomed with open arms. “I found the people so wonderful and supportive. I had a lot of opportunities to drive there. I worked for Graeme Harris, who went out and bought a horse for me to drive just so I could get my experience up at the trials. As I driver I had a really good run up there and won the Linda Jones Pace for lady drivers with Atomette in 1990. Driving was just it for me, I loved it.” Her family support continued when they bought into the ‘Morris’ family of hores with Jackie’s then partner, Tony Grayling. As a package deal one of the horses turned out to be Jack Morris, who won three races in New Zealand prior to being sold to Australia. Jack Morris went on to win 28 more races, including the 1993 $400,000 InterDominion Grand Final. “I was thrilled to watch Jack’s career in Australia. Sometimes you wonder what could have been if we had kept him, but it was just great to see him go so far. And I am still breeding from his family so that’s really special too.”  After eight years in the North Island she then returned home to Canterbury and her focus then became parenthood. After having her daughter Sam, Jackie was convinced she was done with horses. But her father had different ideas. He wanted her to carry on with training, and continued to breed horses which Jackie initially trained in his name until taking out her own licence in 1999. Success followed with outside horses too, horses she would affectionately refer to as other people’s ‘chuck outs’, that had been tried by other trainers but had been passed on to her. I’m Cool won six races for Jackie, including the 2001 Greymouth Cup. “We were actually given I’m Cool by Malcolm Shinn and her owners, they were downsizing so we were very grateful we got to try her. She’d be one of the best horses I’ve trained.” Dreamaway Jess was another that came to her team for a second chance. He won four races in Jackie’s stable and was found to have issues with his back, which became and ongoing treatment regime under the helpful hands of horse chiropractor and osteopath, Di Coutts. Dreamy is still at Jackie’s property and has had a successful life in the show ring after racing, picking up Supreme Champion awards. And Surfin Tsunami, who initially was to be rehomed as a riding horse but ended up being tried again on the racetrack. He won at his very first race start, with Jackie in the sulky too. “We were lucky to have Surfie’s original owners and trainer let us try again with him. I think the one on one smaller stable suited him to the ground. It was a real buzz just to get him up and racing and to win a race with him. For a lot of his owners it was their first ever horse to race, let alone win,” said Jackie. “He has gone on to be a riding horse now and recently completed the cavalcade in Otago.” Going back to basics has been a big part of Jackie’s mantra. “I take all of the extra gear off them and just try and start from the beginning again. If there is something hurting I want to fix it, rather than put on another piece of equipment.” “I also try and use a natural options like a chiropractor and Bowen therapy as I feel I can sense when something isn’t quite right, I just have to keep going until I work out what it is. I guess you could say I look outside the square.” It’s the same mindset she gives to the hundreds of ex-racehorses that come to her place to find a new life. Over the last few years the rehoming business has exploded around New Zealand with the inception of standardbred shows and the new acceptance shown by the riding community. “People now love the standardbred to ride and show. They are so laid back and versatile you can really do anything with them,” Jackie explains. But it has led to an unexpected boom in this sector of her life. Horses literally turn up daily from local trainers in search of a new home, and it’s not always straight forward. Jackie will first assess the horse to see if it’s suitable to be a riding proposition. She takes them to the beach and rides them on their own and in a group setting, testing them in everyday situations. Jumping them over logs and wading through the water. For some it’s the first time under saddle, and the first time to the beach. It’s amazing to watch. “You can see them taking everything in at the beach. Mentally it’s a huge thing for them and it really improves their nerves and their physical work. I know it helps my mind too,” Jackie explains. Then the horse is advertised on Facebook through the Canterbury Recycling and Rehoming page, which is also supported by many volunteers in Canterbury who are tirelessly rehoming standardbreds after racing, where the process of finding a suitable match for the horse begins. It’s a full-time job and a costly one at that because Jackie does not make any money out of the process. “I have literally started a cleaning business on the side to fund the feeding cost for the rehomers. Sometimes we have had horses sitting here for five months waiting for the right owner, and during that whole process we are working the horse and feeding it. Every bit of money that comes in goes back into them. It’s a labour of love.” A fundraiser in Canterbury last September saw over $30,000 raised by the racing and riding community to help Jackie, Michelle Morrison and JayJay Howden with associated feed costs while they rehome these horses. That will ensure that hundreds more horses can be cared for by the group until they find the next chapter in the life after racing.  “I just love seeing the horses happy. And I genuinely enjoy hearing from their owners and seeing how much it has made a difference to the horse and to the people they go home with.” Happy horses are a theme throughout Jackie’s journey. Her property where she lives with her daughter, Sam, and grandson, Theo, is known as Roypark Lodge. Located in Woodend, just north of Kaiapoi, it is proudly named after her favourite horse Roy Brydon. A sentimental acquisition, Roy Brydon was an instrumental part of Jackie’s Life during her junior driver career. And in his first ten race starts the duo were never once out of the money. The gelding followed Jackie on her journey through life, travelling around New Zealand until she returned to Christchurch. He remained a loyal companion, becoming a champion show hack under saddle and priceless mentor to the young stock on the farm right up until he passed away at age 31. That loyalty is also reflected when looking toward the future. Jackie would like to contribute even further to an industry that has been such a huge influence on her life. “I’d love to have a Cup class horse one day. But I would also love to be able to help the next generation of driver and trainer. Maybe as a mentor? I really enjoy helping people and would love to be able to repay the faith that others put in me during my career.” The friends she has made in harness racing have contributed to her career. “The people in this sport can understand why you’re in it. They can empathise with you when things don’t go right, and understand the emotional side of winning – even if it is just a maiden win. They know how much it means to you and how much goes into it.” So, back to the ultimate question. Why is harness racing and rehoming these horses such a huge part of your life? “I guess I have always been this way. I used to collect stray cats and dogs and bring them home as a kid. Now if you look around my home I have rescue dogs, cats that have been hit by cars on the road and I’ve taken in, wild rabbits turned pets and even had a sheep named Kevin. He came our way as a lamb and thought it was a dog,” she laughs. “I’ve honestly tried to walk away from harness racing before, more than once. I just think if I did there would be a huge part of me missing. It’s just who I am.”   HRNZ Marketing

Punters should be willing to forgive talented trotter Lemond for burning them at Alexandra Park last Friday. Because trainer Ross Paynter says it was his failed experiment which might have brought the exciting five-year-old undone and hopes reverting back to the tried and true will help in this week's Greenlane Cup. Lemond is a genuine group one horse, finishing second in the Anzac Cup as just a four-year-old last season but with an injury-ravaged open class crop this season that comes at a price. For much of the season Lemond faces racing off handicaps against intermediate grade opposition because there are few open class trots in the north outside the biggest two carnivals. And Paynter knows that can make for some near mission impossible races. "Take this week, I've got his full brother Il Parata in the same race as Lemond and while he isn't anywhere near as good he can trot 3:28 off the front for 2700m," says Paynter. "Which means Lemond might have to come three and four wide and trot 3:24 to win. "I think he can do that and win at his best but but it's very hard to do. And clearly last week he wasn't at his best." Paynter says that was because he tried Lemond in flip flop shoes, to reduce the concussion effect on his legs, particularly his off side fetlock. "He had a few problems in that area last campaign and we thought the flip flops would help. He trialled well in them but he just couldn't get going last Friday so we have taken those off. "He actually wears quite heavy metal shoes, his whole family can be like that and I put those back on him on Monday and he trotted a lot better today [yesterday]." Lemond still faces a 30m handicap against handy but hardly frightening opposition so the best version of him could win. "But I still think he might be just below his best fitness wise so it will be a big test. "But he will definitely go better than last week." The trot looks one of the trickier features on a night where the pacing group races will have a lot shorter favourites. The market for the Woodlands Northern Derby will be released today, with Chase Auckland certain to be favourite.   Michael Guerin

Another busy week of harness racing with feature racing at Auckland and Addington and 3 grass track meetings around the county. Thursday – New Plymouth A fairly quiet start to the week with the twilight meeting on the grass at New Plymouth.  The best bet was $600 on Benjamin Butcher to win the Drivers Challenge @ $8.50.  Some decent collects in the middle of the programme came through Razor Brogden $6.80-$6.20 and Marquis Eyre $7.80-$7.20.  The biggest miss was $6,600 on Black Chevron (Top3) @ $1.30 Friday – Addington The best bets @ Addington on Friday night came at vastly different prices.  $6,000 Franco Noah @ $1.60 netted a profit of $3,600 but $300 on Van Laddie @ $14 scooped a profit of $3,900.  Large bets to miss were $4,000 London Delight @ $2.20 & $3,000 Son Of A Tiger @ $1.75. Friday – Auckland An even fight between Punters & Bookies @ Alex Pk.  Rain Man was the big mover on the night, $3.60-$2.30 & got the job done.  Also well backed were Elle Mac $1.85-$1.60, Star Galleria @2.50-$2.30 and Princess Tiffany $3.70-$3.  The largest miss was $3,000 Jesse Duke @ $1.50. Saturday – Invercargill (Grass) Harness Racing on grass in Invercargill for the first time since 1970 but punters had it over Bookies.  Well backed winners were Nottingham K Two $5.80-$4.20 in the first, Glacier Coaster $9.50-$8, Overcast $13-$9 and Ace Commander $4.50-$3.75.  A $1,000 bet on Young Conqueror @ $5.50 was the best of the day with $3,600 Bettor Rock Again @ $3.30 amiss. Sunday – Addington Addington proved to be a happy hunting ground for punters on Sunday.  $400 Titanium @ $9 $1,000 Don Domingo @ $3.90, $1,000 Winterfell @ $3.80 & $1,500 Winterfell @ $2.80 all successful.  Plenty of collects off Governor's Bay @ $1.60-$1.70, Dracarys $2.60-$2.30, and Funatthebeach $1.45-$1.55 in the last. Sunday – Stratford Punters on top at Stratford as well although not many large bets there.  Well backed winners were Need Luck $18-$10 , Quick As Fire @ $2.30, and Classie American @ $3.30-$2.50.  The best backed runner to miss was Toll Gate $7.20-$4.40 in Race 5.     Multi of the Week: $25 Treble @ Invercargill (All Alan Paisley runners) Gotta Good Looker @ $5 Glacier Coaster @ $10 Overcast @ $13 Returned $16, 250   Richard Wilson (TAB)

Nigel McGrath isn't giving up. And the 16 new horses he has in his stable are proof of that as much as the two he has in Friday night's $250,000 Woodlands Derby at Alexandra Park. McGrath has Sheriff and Aloka in the classic, again up against the might of the All Stars stables, who have the favourites in Chase Auckland and Sicario. The All Stars pair relegated Sheriff to third in last Friday's Derby prelude, a position McGrath was not unused to. But he and fellow Derby trainer Cran Dalgety are two southern horsemen who in recent years have been able to, at least on occasion, halt the All Stars domination of our classics and Jewels. Dalgety has Pat's Delight in this Friday trying to emulate Raukapuka Ruler's shock Derby win of 12 months ago, while last season McGrath trained Dizzy Miss Lizzy to win a Jewels and Sales Series Pace over the best of the Purdon-Rasmussen fillies. He says training in such a rare, elite era is a challenge rather than discouraging. "It has been said by a few people before but it is like finding a way to beat the All Blacks, it's not easy but it's not impossible," says McGrath. "We did it a couple of times in major races last season and we have done it before in Sales Series races up here (Auckland). "I think you can only keep analysing what you do as a trainer and keep trying to get better. "But of course it also comes down to what stock you have and that is why the yearling sales are so important. "I took 16 yearlings home this year from the sales and I bought them to win Derby and Sires' Stakes races, not run second or third. "Those yearlings are my future and my owners' future so we are in for the fight," McGrath says. McGrath is bringing that attitude to Friday night's Derby, saying he will instruct driver Blair Orange to use Sheriff's barrier draw to try and stay in front of the All Stars pair. "I think often if you hand up you are running for second or third at best. "And sometimes that is fine because each horse has to be rated to its strengths. "But I think Sheriff is good enough to try his luck and make them work." McGrath's second-stringer, Aloka, cost punters plenty when galloping in front in a lower-grade race last Friday but the trainer is not expecting a repeat of that problem: "He is a place chance at least ..." While Chase Auckland lost his unbeaten record to Sicario last Friday, he will open as Derby favourite, having been forced to sit parked, and should improve with the run, his first in two months. This Derby has real depth, incredible because it is an unusual year for our elite pacing three-year-olds, with sales, sickness and exports having halved the number of stars available. Of the 13 top juveniles who made it to the Jewels last June, only two return for Friday's Derby while Australasian Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing has been sold to Perth. So the fact Alexandra Park has been able to attract nine genuine top-class three-year-olds is surprising. The classic is the highlight of a huge meeting, with two rich juvenile finals, the City of Auckland Free-For-All, Greenlane Trotters Cup and Northern Mares Classic making it the strongest Alexandra Park meeting for the rest of the season. Woodlands Derby Alex Park, 8.48pm Friday $250,000, 2700m mobile The field 1: Culpeka (1) 2: American Brave (2) 3: Triple Eight (3) 4: Sheriff (4) 5: Aloka (5) 6: Chase Auckland (6) 7: On The Cards (7) 8: Pat's Delight (8) 9: Sicario (1 second line) Michael Guerin

Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that Canadian harness racing trainer and driver, AnthonyMacDonald, will visit New Zealand in September. Best known as the founder of the fractional ownership operation ‘The Stable’, MacDonald has been a driving force in increasing ownership in Canada and introducing new blood into harness racing. He will be holding three free seminars in Southland, Canterbury and Auckland on fractional ownership and how he grew his owners from zero to over 400 in three years. There's also some great information about communication and promotion of a harness racing business. This is a must for anyone looking to advance their stable business, and also for young industry members looking to find out more on how they can promote themselves. To register please email   Jess Smith HRNZ

After sustaining payments were taken, a pleasing number of 28 top class 3YO pacers remain in contention for the Group One $200,000 Diamond Creek Farm NZ Derby held at Addington on Friday 6 April.  (Please see below). Nominations include a fine array of horses from Southland to Auckland, headed up by Chase Auckland, winner of the NRM Sires Stakes Final in November. All 28 horses current fixed odds prices will be available later this week on Be sure to be on track on 6 April as there are a total of five Group Races being run throughout the evening and over $500,000 in stakes on offer.  For more details on the Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Derby, please visit  Alternatively, please call the Addington’s Racing Department on (03) 338 9094.   Acuto Henry Hubert Aloka Jazzy Star Alta Maestro Johnny Mac Anthem Master Moonlite Aramis Nota Bene Denario Ardtoo On the Cards Born to Run Pat’s Delight Chase Auckland Sheriff Cullenburn Sicario Culpeka Star Commander Diamonds N Cash Tennyson Bromac Duke of Wellington The Bus Funatthebeach Times Stride Hail Christian Voodoo Prince   KERYN MCELROY  

Teal Pants campaign finishing the 11 March. For the past five weeks from 1 February, all of our reinswomen across New Zealand have participated in Team Teal. Team Teal is an Australasian Campaign where all of the female drivers wear teal coloured pants to raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer. We currently have $12,400 in donations just from our female drivers winning races. These donations have come from Woodlands Stud, Harness Racing New Zealand and the Clubs. Our female drivers have won 31 races this far. We have received numerous other donations and look forward to adding these to our tally next week once the campaign finishes. The final day of the Campaign is this Sunday the 11th March at the Reefton Trotting Club meeting in Reefton. To celebrate the success of the 2018 Campaign we are attempting to get the whole race course in teal. We are encouraging everyone to wear something teal on course and have heard a few whispers that some of our horses that are racing will also be wearing teal and supporting this fantastic cause.   Courtney Clarke

Longbush trainer Alan Paisley stole the show with three winners at Ascot Park yesterday (Saturday) when grass track harness racing racing returned to Invercargill after a forty eight year break.   His three winners were; Gotta Good Looker, Glacier Coaster and Overcast. Kirk Larsen drove Gotta Good Looker while Ellie Barron reined Glacier Coaster and Overcast; her first ever driving double. It's the second time Paisley has trained three winners in one day. In December 2006 at Invercargill he won with Mystical Lad, Atom Queen and Glacier Holmes all driven by Alistar Black. Black drove six winners that day. The other two for Wayne Adams were Weka Lass and Jaccka Turbo. Overcast and Ellie Barron too good for Moniburns           - Photo Bruce Stewart. Gotta Good Looker, owned by Paisley and his wife Gail, trailed leader Razcal Alley until the top of the straight and let down nicely to beat Vintage Rose by three quarters of a length. It was the Gotta Go Cullect mare's fifteenth start and first win. She'd been knocking on the door with two thirds in her previous two starts. Three races later the gold and black colours of Paisley were to the fore again when junior driver Ellie Barron got three year old Ohoka Arizona filly Glazier Coaster home in the Waikiwi Tavern Mobile Pace. At her previous start at Winton she'd locked wheels with another horse tipping Barron out of the cart. Glazier Coaster's win was very similar to her stablemate. She trailed the leader Star Reactor until the passing lane. Barron then reined the three year old filly up the passing lane holding on to beat Idol Matinee by a head. Glacier Coaster is out of the unraced Bettor's Delight mare Glacier Delight who is out of the seven win Holmes Hanover mare Bernanne Chip whom Paisley trained in the late 1990s, early 2000s. Her wins included the 2001 Gore Centennial Trotting Cup.  A race later the Paisley - Barron combination was in the winners circle again when Sundon mare Overcast won her eighth race. The eight year old is part-owned by Paisley and long time stable client Kevin Schuck.  Winning connections - Photo Bruce Stewart. "We've been trying to get her in foal. She been seen by vets and we've mucked around with her so we haven't been able to train her properly. She didn't hold so in the end she had two workouts before Dexter (Dunn) drove her when she won at Gore two starts ago on the grass. She's been working outstandingly at home. She's been racing in the right grade. The system (rating system) has definitely worked for her," said Paisley.  Bruce Stewart  Southland Harness Overcast winning at Ascot Park

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