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There's no doubt the Ryal Bush harness racing trainer Brett Gray will get a personal training best this season. The only question is whether he can hang onto his lead in the Southland Trainers Premiership. He geared up two feature race winners yesterday (Saturday) at the Invercargill Harness Racing Clubs meeting on the grass at Ascot Park. The well bred Convair Hustler was the first of his two winners in the $12,000 Invercargill Licensing Trust Nuggets Final. Driver Dexter Dunn sat parked with the Mach Three gelding for a good part of the 2050 metre race before getting cover from Duke of Wellington from the 800 metres. Duke of Wellington looked to have his rivals covered but Dunn drove Convair Hustler off his back on the inside to score by half a head. The time of 2-37.6 was the fastest of the day for 2050 metres. Convair Hustler (6) and Dexter Dunn winning from Duke Of Wellington (8)  - Photo Bruce Stewart. The win qualifies Convair Hustler for the $20,000 Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland Trotting Clubs meeting this Saturday but Gray is not sure whether he'll line up. "I don't know how he'll back up being so close. I'll see how he pulls up and have a talk to the owners. He did disappoint me over the mile the other day (when he backed up) but he's a Mach Three so a wee bit in and out," Gray said after the win. Convair Hustler, which is raced by the Baynes Racing Syndicate, is named after the Convair B-58 Hustler plane, the first operational jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. I suspect he was named by John Baynes, a keen aviator whose wife Penny is one half of the Baynes Racing Syndicate with her brother in-law Kenny. None of the winning owners were on course today with Penny reported to be in Whitianga. Young Conqueror, also trained by Gray won the next race - the ILT Foundation Autumn Cup. Starting off the 10 metre handicap, the Mach Three four year old settled ninth for driver Brent Barclay. With 600 metres to run Young Conqueror was fourth last with plenty of work to do. He tracked Shortys Mate into the race then came home with the good stayers run to beat Shortys Mate by a neck with another length back to Pass The Speights. It was the geldings fifth win in only nineteen starts and qualifies him for the bMac Sheetmetal 2005 Limited Southland Country Cups Final to be held on Diamonds Day at the end of April. Other leading candidates for the series final are; Gotta Del, Royal Bengal, Shortys Mate, The Big Boss, Bevan's Cullen and Deliska.  The two wins yesterday put Gray on twenty five wins for the season - six wins clear of his nearest rival Nathan Williamson. From a PB prospective for the last two seasons he's trained twenty six winners.  Gray's set to line up some of his big guns at this Saturday's Northern Southland meeting including Smokey Mac and Jen Jaccka who will race in the Group Three Pryde's Easifeeds Southern Lights. "Zealand Star will line up in the Super Nuggets Final. He went really good at the workouts on Friday. I'm really happy with him at the moment."  Other features on the card at the meeting are the $20,000 Haras des Trotteurs Southland Trotting Oaks, the $25,000 Group Three Caduceus Club of Southland/Alabar Two Year Old Fillies Mobile Pace and the Group Three Yaldhurst Hotel Northern Southland Trotting Cup worth $40,000. Meanwhile grass racing has helped turn the corner for the Hamish Hunter trained Tiziano. Up until the beginning of February her form had been average at best, but since grass track racing became an option for the four year old Big Jim mare she's regained form. Another grass track victory for Tiziano and Matty Williamson - Photo Bruce Stewart. A fourth at Gore indicated she had a liking for the surface. That was followed up by a win at Oamaru, a third at Waikouaiti at the end of last month and another win yesterday at Invercargill.    Bruce Stewart  Southland Harness

Cheviot harness racing fixed odds movers as at 12:10pm Race 1 Winterfell is in from $4.00 in to $2.50 and is best backed in Multis.  Race 2 Governers Bay is out from $1.50 to $1.65 but easily leads Multis.  Race 3 Rocknpop is in from $9 to $7.50. Mystical Star leads multibetting from Rocknpop Race 4 Bettor Trix is a decent mover in from $2.50 to $2.00 and she also easily leads multis. Race 5 Enghien has taken all the multi money and nothiing else is wanted in this race. Race 6 Ghostwriter is a mover in from $6.20 to $5.50 with Dracarys leading multibetting. Race 7 Quiet market but Tiger Thompson does lead multis from Dom Domingo Race 8 Bordueax is favorite in multis and is best backed on FF win  Race 9 Hundie is $4.00 in to $2.60 and is best backed in multis. Race 10 Funonthebeach is easily best backed in multis and FF Win betting and is the best backed runner on the day. Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)  

The first classic of Auckland Cup week was over almost before it began. Hot favourite Elle Mac led home an All Stars-trained quinella in the $125,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks at Alexandra Park last night, jumping straight to the lead and never getting out of third gear. While the Alexandra Park specialist probably would have won regardless, she was all but gifted the race when second favourite and arch-rival Bettor Joy's winning chances were extinguished early. She was checked by a galloping rival in front of her, effectively knocked out of winning contention, and did a remarkable job to recover into fourth. Elle Mac had all the ingredients for an Oaks winner, being by super sire Bettors Delight, trained by the All Stars and owned by huge sales spender Jean Feiss.   But it wasn't all plain sailing for All Stars hotshots in the three-year-old features last night as the Woodlands Northern Derby market was turned on its head when Chase Auckland tasted defeat for the first time in the Derby prelude. He was forced to sit parked and couldn't grab stablemate Sicario, who was having his first start since last winter. The result suggested Monday's barrier draw will play a bigger role than expected in who wins next Friday's Derby. The other stars of the night were the Michelle Walls-Bernie Hackett training team, who won both early trots including the Northern Breeders Stakes with Majestic Ali paying $13.90.   Michael Guerin    

Alexandra Park harness racing fixed odds movers as at 3:00pm Race 1 - Aloka $1.90 easily leads multi betting over Step Up $4.80 with that runner best backed in win betting.    Race 2 - Sex On Fire $4.20 is best backed in multi betting over Storm Cloud $8.00.    Race 3 - Rain Man $3.60 - $3.30 leads win betting and is only slightly behind the $2.40 favourite Gupta's Cullen $2.40 in multi betting.   Race 4 - Sheriff $6.50 is the best backed runner in win betting but as expected all the multi money is on Chase Auckland $1.25. Largest bets $1,000 at $1.25 Auckland Chase & $500 at $6.50 Sheriff.   Race 5 - Yagunnakissmeornot $1.75 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 6 - Elle Mac $1.85 - $1.80 is all punter's want in win & multi betting on the race. Largest early bets at $1.85 are $2,950, $2,000, $1,500 & $1,200.    Race 7 - The multi betting on the $1.45 favourite is saying this race is over although in win betting A Bettor Act $14.00 - $12.00 is attracting some support.    Race 8 - Star Galleria $2.50 is going 3 to 1 multi ticket sales compared to the 2nd favourite Jack's Legend $3.00.    Race 9 - Princess Tiffany $3.70 - $3.30 leads win betting over Fantasize $11.50 - $9.00 with Kendra $2.30 leading multi betting. Largest bets $1,500 at $11.50 Fantasize & $1,000 at $3.70 Princess Tiffany.   Race 10 - The Almighty Johnson $2.50 leads multi betting over KD Hall $16.00.   Race 11 - Bettor Step Aside $1.75 is racing away in multi betting with the best backed runner early on the win 'book' Loud An Proud $14.00.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Elle Mac is going to be exactly where she needs to be to win tonight's $125,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks. Because when it comes to three-year-old classics at Alexandra Park, especially over the 2700m mobile, the winners almost exclusively come from on the marker pegs, usually in front or at worse the trail. And of the three favourites who dominate tonight's Oaks, Elle Mac looks almost certain to have that tactical advantage. In the last decade only one filly has been able to overcome racing in the running line and covering extra ground around five bends and still win the Oaks: Adore Me. She went on to win a New Zealand Cup and pace a 1:47.7 mile so can probably be excused from the normal Oaks winner conversation. Usually the Oaks winner is the filly who can jump to the front, cut the corners and sprint the last 400m to leave her rivals, many of whom are racing over 2700m for the first time, struggling. It is the tried and true Oaks and Derby recipe. And Elle Mac looks that filly tonight as she has a handy enough front line draw while her key, and some would say only serious, rivals in Bettor Joy and Dizzy Miss Lizzy start of the second line. Admittedly either could secure a miracle path through early and get in front of Elle Mac, which would change the complexion of the Oaks and leave punters taking odds on about the favourite facing nervous times. But that looks unlikely enough and all the form between the big three suggests the one with that inside running advantage will win. Bettor Joy did exactly that when she led and won the Sales Series Pace over Elle Mac at Addington last start but the runner-up's performance suggested reverse the draws, reverse the result. Tonight's race should prove that. "It definitely makes it harder on my filly and gives the advantage to Elle Mac but we won't be giving her the race," said Bettor Joy's driver Dexter Dunn. Dizzy Miss Lizzy was able to come from behind both to beat them in both the Sales Series and Jewels last season but that was when she covered no extra ground. It is hard to see her getting that sort of run and the right drag into the race tonight. After a dreadful last fortnight in Sydney, Elle Mac's trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen should get things back on track tonight as they also have Chase Auckland as a red hot favourite in the prelude to next week's Woodlands Northern Derby. He meets some sharp opponents and faces the outside draw but has looked the best of his crop so far, although punters wouldn't be wise to take anything ridiculously short as he is fresh up and the main target is next Friday. While the youngsters will be the star attractions tonight the battle of speed freak four-year-olds Star Galleria and Jack's Legend in The Founders over 1700m is the night's most tactical race. Jack's Legend chased Lazarus home in the NZ Cup, beating Tiger Tara and has had a break after some moderate summer form while Star Galleria downed Heaven Rocks last start but has the wider draw tonight and could be driven the more conservatively in a race where high class mares Utmost Delight and Delishka have a major fitness edge. Michael Guerin

The Waimate Trotting Club will return to their home track this season. The meeting will be held on Sunday 25 March this year and will see racing action return to Waimate Racecourse Recreation Reserve for the first time since 2013. Following a severe wind storm that caused widespread damage that year the meeting was transferred to nearby Oamaru. Since then the grandstand has been demolished and a new administration block put in place to help with the race day amenities. Club President Lex Williams is thrilled with the move back home. “The club has been working really hard to get the meeting back home” said Williams. “The track has come back in great order, and we have had very good reports on it following inspection.” He noted that not only was it good for the committee but had far reaching positive effects. “We’ve had a lot of support from the community and some large businesses have stepped in to help us free of charge which we are very grateful for.” “It has also really helped us with finding sponsorship for our meeting by having the meeting at home. And we expect a large turnout on the day from the locals.” The feature race on the card will be the Waimate Cup and the race day is going to have an old fashioned sports day theme. “We’ll be having a huge range of contests from sack races for kids to gumboot throwing with some really great prizes on offer,” said Williams. “We encourage families and industry members to come along and enjoy the day and the new facilities oncourse.”   Jess Smith

Taranaki harness racing fixed odds movers as at 3:10pm Race 1 - The $2.40 favourite George easily leads multi betting over November Guy $6.80.    Race 2 - Marrera $3.50 is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 3 - Monarchy Invasion $5.80 - $5.00 is easily the best backed runner in win betting with Brooks Belle $3.50 just leading multi betting over Zimple $15.00.   Race 4 - Eldolar $3.70 leads win betting with Spare Change $3.40 & Razor Brogden $6.80 joint leaders in multi betting.   Race 5 - Marquis Eyre $7.80 is the best backed runner in win betting with the $3.10 favourite Pay Master a clear leader in multi betting.   Race 6 - Quiet in early betting on this race but Doubledelightbrigade $7.80 is the leading runner in multi betting.    Race 7 - Ideal Roman $4.20 leads win betting with Black Chevron $3.30 just leading multi betting over Classie American $4.20.   Race 8 - The only runner wanted in multi betting is the $2.10 favourite Toro Delago.   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)    

Grass track harness racing continues in both the North and South this week with Taranaki kicking things off with a twilight meeting on Thursday. Invercargill turn back the clock when they race on the grass track on Saturday for the first time since 1970, and Stratford also race on grass on Sunday. Alexandra Park hold the Pascoes Northern Oaks on Friday night with Addington also racing on Friday night.  Cheviot race at Addington on Sunday. Last week on the ringaround there were again winners and a large number of placings. Cran Dalgety had the best winning dividend last week on the ringaround when he thought My Field Marshal would go close in the Miracle Mile and he duly obliged at $6.70 and $2.10 on the tote.  Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Taranaki on Thursday Jay Abernethy - Jay is going for Sol Invictus as his best drive this week at Taranaki in Race 1 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best chance this week is George at Taranaki also in Race 1   Alexandra Park on Friday night John Curtin - John can not see how they can beat Chase Auckland at Alexandra Park in Race 4 Cran Dalgety - Cran also likes the chances of Chase Auckland at Alexandra Park in Race 4 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - Stephen thinks that Jacks Legend can win at Alexandra Park in Race 8 Ricky May - Ricky thinks his best drive would be Kendra at Auckland in Race 9  Tony Herlihy - Tony thought Happy Place would be a place chance again in Race 11   Addington on Friday night Gavin Smith - Gavin is going for London Delight as his best drive this week in Race 1 Blair Orange - Blair thought Maahes would be his best drive this week at Addington in Race 2 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Franco Noah can go close to winning at Addington in Race 4   Menangle on Friday night Mark Jones - Mark is going for Delightful Memphis as his best chance this week in Race 4 at Menangle   Invercargill on Saturday Brad Williamson - Brad says his best drive this week would be Our Foxy Lady on Saturday in Race 1 Matthew Williamson - Matthew says his best drive would be Driftin Away on Saturday in Race 3 Racechat - Lance thinks that Overcast is a good chance at Invercargill in Race 6 Brent Barclay - Brent is opting for Duke Of Wellington as his best chance this week also in Race 8 Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks that Fiery Ferret would be his best chance this week in Race 11 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory agrees and says Fiery Ferret would be his best chance this week in Race 11   Cheviot on Sunday Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard thinks his best drive would be Girls Let Loose this week in Race 1 Sheree Tomlinson - Sheree is going for Rocknpop as her best drive this week in Race 3 Jim Curtin - Jimmy says his best would be Trendy Bromac at Cheviot in Race 4 Terry Chmiel - Terry thinks that Titanium would be his best chance this week in Race 9     Harnesslink Media      

Jess Smith from Harness Racing New Zealand conducting another great interview. This time focusing on the unique plan Geoff Knight has developed for Armstrong and the Goes All Day syndicate.   Harnesslink Media   Courtesy of Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator HRNZ          

Taranaki Racing - Thursday 1 March An eight race twilight meeting starting at 3.34pm. The meeting will also feature the Taranaki Cup. Please note - Free Admission.   Owners Ribbon and Free Race books available at the Office. After the race, owners of all starters are welcome in the Egmont Room for a Complimentary drink and to view the race replay.   Addington Raceway & Events Centre Diamond Creek Farm NZ Pacing Derby Sustaining Fee – Due Wednesday 28 February 3pm Reminder that the sustaining fee of $345 is due in a couple of hours, if you haven’t already paid. RACING FRIDAY 2 MARCH - FREE ENTRY Spectators Open till Late! Delicious pizza and burger options will be available as well as our famous Evolution Friday menu. Every week the kitchen will create half a dozen special dishes which will only be available that Friday. (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. Crusaders vs Stormers – Saturday 3 March 7.35pm - Pop in to Spectators before the game for our $10 Burger and Beer Game Day 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 burger and beer with friends then head 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.  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. Upcoming Race Meetings at NZMTC Click here to see the race programmes for our upcoming meetings,  March 16  March  23 (5 Star Meeting)  March 31 (Easter Saturday)  April 6 (5 Star Meeting) Have a great week and we look forward to hosting you at Addington Raceway & Events Centre. To contact us about any of the above please call 03 338 9094 or email   Alexandra Park - Friday 2 March, Oaks Night A glamorous evening the Park. Come one come all to enter MitoQ Best Dressed at the Oaks – an night of fabulous fashion, Harness Racing action, stunning prizes to be won and VIP judges, including New Zealand’s very own style icon Colin Mathura Jeffree. Best Dressed at the Oaks 2018 categories: Best dressed woman, best dressed man, best headwear, best dressed at the Oaks (overall winner). Competition entry is free, and with fantastic prizes up for grabs you should definitely come along and put your best foot forward. However please note you must be over 18 to enter! For more information call 09 630 5660 or book online at  or email Also we have the Pascoes Win a Ring Competition. Entry will be in the race book on the night. 10 people will be randomly drawn and then allocated a horse in race with the chance to win a Pascoes Ring!   Invercargill Grass Harness Racing – Saturday 3 March The last time a harness race meeting was held on the grass track at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill was January 1970. Since that time the code has used an all-weather facility that has served the Invercargill Harness Racing Club and other clubs such as the Northern Southland and Riverton Trotting Club’s so well in all conditions. However the Invercargill Harness Racing Club will turn back the clock when they race on the grass track on their Invercargill Licensing Trust/ILT Foundation Race Day on Saturday 3 March. While the all-weather facility is a great asset the March date will give patrons an opportunity to watch the racing close up as harness horses thunder around the grass track once again on the course only used these days for gallops. The day will feature the ILT Foundation Autumn Cup, a heat of the bMAC Sheetmetal Southern Country Cup Series and a Nugget Final with all races, both stands and mobiles, over 2050 metres. President of the Invercargill Harness Racing Club, Mark Shirley, says that the question of racing on grass generally gets raised by someone each year at the club’s AGM. “Grass track meetings are popular with horsemen and crowds. We did look at an option of racing at Cromwell but then thanks to good co-operation from the Southland Racing Club they have been keen to give us a crack after their Christmas At The Races event was over.” Shirley says, “a grass track meeting will give patrons an opportunity to view the action close up. There should be good fields and the starts, whether they are stands or mobiles, will be right in front of the grandstand so the on course public is in for a treat.”   Cheviot at Addington – Sunday 4 March Sunday 4th March see’s the Cheviot Club venture to the city for their annual raceday at Addington. The two feature races being the 51st running of the time honoured Group 3 “Sweet Lou” Leonard Memorial Stakes for 2yr old fillies and The Cheviot Business’s Cheviot Cup. Being one of the few Sunday meetings at Addington presents race goers with the opportunity for “Brunch “ at Spectators followed by a great days racing. A bouncy castle and Mr Whippy are on offer for the kids. The club prides itself on supporting all parts of the industry with good stakes, Kids Karts, Junior Drivers race, Breeders Bonus and we invite all owners to the winning owners bar for a pre-race drink. A great way for Town and Country to spend a Sunday afternoon at the “Home of Harness Racing”.   Stratford Trotting Club - Sunday 4th March - Te Kapua Park Racecourse The Stratford Trotting Club is looking forward to hosting our annual meeting on the Sunday 4th March, and encourage you to come along! The Stratford Farmlands Family Fun Day will sure to delight with the Kidz Kartz as a highlight, along with the main race, Quintin Oakes Builders Stratford Cup. With large spacious grounds bordered by bush and lakes and an extensive lawn area, this classic race day environment is ideal for picnickers. Relax in the grandstand, or in front of the public stand which overlooks the winning post. Admission if fee.  Owners wishing to stay over have ample stalls and paddocks available at the course, and can find accommodation themselves at the New Commercial Hotel Stratford ask for Ian or Judy on (06) 765 6364. A complimentary barbecue is held at the course the evening before the races 3rd March 5.30pm onwards with all owners and their guests, and members of the club are welcome to attend.   Westport Trotting Club Track Update 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.   Alexandra Park – Friday 9 March, Derby Night For the lovers of 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 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. For more information call 09 630 5660 or book online at www.alexandra or email   Alexandra Park – Friday 20 March, Premier 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!!!   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

MitoQ Best Dressed at the Oaks is set to take place this Friday night at Alexandra Park. Over $10,000 worth of prizes have been announced, described as an incredible treasure trove of fashion, hair, beauty, fitness, home and leisure items*. The categories are Best Dressed Woman; Best Dressed Man; Best Headwear; and Overall Winner of MitoQ Best Dressed at the Oaks. The competition is open to both men and women 18 years and over. Registration is free as is general entry into the Park, with participants able to enter as many categories as they like. All entries will be taken on the night in the Tasman Room with entries closing at approximately 6.30pm. Dubbed 'a spectacular night of fashion, fun and racing action', the evening will also feature outstanding VIP judges, including New Zealand's very own style icon Colin Mathura-Jeffree and renowned fashion stylist and editor Michiko Hylands. Top tips from the judges can be found at Dining packages for the Tasman Room and Top of the Park this Friday range from $60 to $125 per person. Tables and tickets for both Oaks Night on 2 March and Derby Night on 9 March can be secured by calling (09) 631-1165 or emailing *Prizes include an exclusive night in the Auckland Grand Mercure Hotel Executive Suite with ocean views; a Jeep for the weekend from Winger North Shore; MitoQ revolutionary skincare; fashion from sartorial Working Style menswear and stunning Glamour Boutique as well as bespoke Claire Hahn millinery; dinner for two at Headquarters on the Viaduct; magnums of Champagne and Rosé provided by Pernod Ricard and Mumm; luxury beauty goody bags provided by Eye Magazine; A Triumph & Disaster stash box; the Instyler hair straightener and a selection of Thin Lizzie beauty products; a Powerfit Gym and Wonder Core Smart; a Taste the Difference Air Roaster; and a Renovator Better Grip and Air Hawk Pro. For further information contact: Joel Reichardt - Sales & Marketing Manager: (021) 786-034.  

Methven Owner 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 Race course 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 on course. 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   Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

John Higgins (Higgie), has been an Insurance Agent for forty two years and he’s been around Standardbreds for slightly longer. He’s lived in Invercargill for over forty years but does a fair amount of his business in Central Otago and his beloved West Coast. In fact every December and January he heads to the Coast and takes in the racing on the summer circuit. Higgins was born in Westport where the family are well known, having bred and raced horses for many years. One of thee Standardbred families they’ve had success with was started in the early fifties when Jim (J.E.) Higgins bred Kingcobra mare Pitterpat. She was out of a Jack Potts mare Red Queen. Pitterpat won twice. “Uncle Frank and Uncle Jim had a farm. They had stables and used to do a lot of horses with Dad (Sid). My Grandfather was a legal bookie. It was like the old days – a lot of the work was done in the billiard saloon. Trotting was really strong in Westport. There were the Higgins and the Reedys,” said John. Pitterpat’s first foal was Honest Master filly Coolit. Coolit left Patsy Marie (Schell Hanover) and her claim to fame was beating the ‘boys’ Bionic Adios and Fouroux in the 1980 Methven Two Year Old Stakes. She was trained by Higgin’s cousin Bob Higgins. John went to school at St Pauls School in Dunedin and that’s where he became more hands on with horses. “I used to go to Forbury Park and help around there. When I came to Southland I mucked around with horses at Jock Purdue’s. I also helped Bryce Buchanan and Gary McEwan. I then went out on my own doing some pre-training.” His first horse was King Red. He was by Ferndale Bachelor out of Ann Frank. Ferndale Bachelor was a colonial stallion by Bachelor Hanover out of Queen Ngaio making him a half-brother to Waratah (Johnny Globe) which won eight races and Trio (Lordship) which won sixteen. Queen Ngaio herself won ten races. She was by Light Brigade and she was trained by Felix Newfield. As a four year old she won five races – four in a row including two on the same day at Oamaru in October 1958. In 1989 Higgins also part-owned a daughter of Queen Ngaio - a Garrison Hanover mare called Reassurance. Higgin’s bred from the mare for a few seasons and raced one of her progeny Georgia Rose. Georgia Rose was trained by Buchanan and ventured north to Auckland and raced in a number of two year old fillies races. She won once at the Franklin meeting in the hands Michael Langdon. At that point Michael’s father John had taken over her training. She was then exported to Australia and won another five races there. As a broodmare mare in Australia, Georgia Rose has left Alberado (Albert Albert) 18 wins, Modern Warrior (Modern Art) 14 wins and Bettor Atom (Bettor’s Delight) 15 wins. In the late 1980s Higgins also purchased with Buchanan, Heather’s Bo (Bo Scot Blue Chip – Heatherloch). Heatherloch turned out to be a prolific breeder leaving Scottish Loch (7 New Zealand wins plus 30 American wins), Yankee Loch (20 trotting wins) Scotch Cloud (12 USA wins) Cloud Over (30 USA wins). “Bryce and I bought her (Heather’s Bo) at the sales and paid about $20,000 for her which was dear at the time. She had arthritis so she never raced.” Heather’s Bo did leave Eileen Monica which won seven races and Patches (Live Or Die) which recorded 17 wins. Later on Higgins started to breed from the Bo Scots Blue Chip mare Patsy McCreedy which was a descendant of the old mare Pitterpat. Patsy McCreedy left good pacer Padraig (Holmes Hanover) which won five races for Murray Brown before heading to America where he won another 14. She also left Starship gelding White Star Rocky which won two races in New Zealand before winning another eleven races in Australia. Lyse Doucet, a Holmes Hanover mare out of Patsy McCreedy, is still being bred from by Higgins. She’s left seven foals so far with the best being Eilis Rose. She was by Courage Under Fire and Higgins raced her with John Thompson. She won four races in New Zealand for Murray Brown. She was exported to Australia in 2012 and ended up winning another six races there, recording a best mile rate of 1-53.9. “She used to break up and had bloody issues here. One of the reasons we sent her to Australia was mile racing.” She was brought back to New Zealand to breed from and she has a three year old American Ideal filly called Ideal Millie, an unregistered Art Major filly and is in foal to A Rocknroll Dance. Incidentally, John Thompson recently owned the winner of the Group One $1,000,000 Kingston Town Stakes, Pounamu. He also owned the 2000 Caulfield Cup winner Diatribe. He races his horses in the colours of black with the silver fern. “He was from Queenstown originally but now lives in Sydney. I got him started with pacers and he got into gallopers in a big way.”  Booster (Badlands Hanover), which won seven races and his full brother Sniggihdis (Sid Higgins spelt backwards), which had ten New Zealand and Australian wins, are other winners out of Lyse Doucet. She’s also the dam of the promising Liberty Dance - a Mach Three filly with Mark Jones that ran second once in two starts last season as a two year old. She was the favourite in last season’s Sweet Lou Leonard Memorial Stakes, finishing sixth. The mare’s latest foal also a filly, is by Somebeachsomewhere. The Higgins family are also breeding from a full-sister to Eilis Rose in Mary Niven. Her Rocknroll Heaven filly Rocknroll Nevin has won two races to date for Higgins’ brother Robert. He also owns her next foal by A Rocknroll Dance. John has raced many horses over the years. They were mainly trained by the late Bryce Buchanan and Findlay Road trainer Murray Brown. One of his better ones was good two year old Badlands Hanover filly Hemisphere. She won three of her twenty two starts including the Group Three Nevele R Stakes for Two Year Old Fillies beating Arden’s Darlin and Delight Me. She also won a heat of the Sires Stakes for Two Year Old Fillies and dead heated for second with Arden’s Darlin in the 2008 Caduceus Classic for Two Year Old Fillies, one and a half lengths behind winner Rona Lorraine. “After the Jewels she was never the same horse. She did have a respiratory issue which we got looked at at Massey which never came to anything. In saying that we probably pushed her a bit as a two year old because she was a big horse when you look at her now. She probably never matured until she was four or five.” Hemisphere was out of the OK Bye mare Trans Tasman. She is a half - sister to handy horses Caps Off and Badlands Bute. “Trans Tasman is out of Te Phyno. Danny Boyle had that breed. He loaned her (Trans Tasman) to me. I’d always supported Nevele R. That’s how I got Hemisphere.” Hemisphere’s second foal, a filly by Stunin Cullen named Bardot, qualified recently at Rangiora for Benny Hill and he could be Higgins next nice horse. “They’re not saying much. She’s a nice pacer and does everything right. They think she’s got a lot to learn as she’s a bit of a green horn. Everything she does she seems to improve each time. She’s been turned out at my cousin Joan Adair’s place. She used to own Windbag. We tried a couple of times to get her (Hemisphere) in foal to Christian Cullen but couldn’t. That’s why we went to Stunin Cullen. Hemisphere is in foal to Sweet Lou and she’s got a nice two year old Bettor’s Delight filly which Brent Barclay and Lauren Pearson have broken in and like.” So for a guy who’s put a bit of money into the Standardbreds it would be nice to see him reap the rewards from Bardot and of course tell the story of a few wins over a few beers between here and the West Coast. Editor’s note: Since this article was written Bardot has gone on and won her first starts for Higgins. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness racing

Harness Racing Bookmaker, Richard Wilson, provides HRNZ weekly with his bookmaker report. Last week saw a rain interrupted week with Waikouaiti day one postponed from Thursday to Saturday & day two on Monday on a heavy track. Thursday – Cambridge Punters off to a good start to the week, especially in R1 where Franco Caliph was well backed @ $2.50-$2.40.  Not many large bets on the night but there was solid support for two horses in R3.  Ruebe Star @ $2.10-$2.70 blew out to $3.20 on the tote as Christanna was well backed from $1.85-$1.65 & closed $1.40 on the tote.  Bar Room Brawler has good support as well @ $2.80 in R5. Friday – Addington The large punters appeared at Addington & Auckland.  A late $10,000 on Tehoro Dazzle @ $7 in R1 tipped that book on its head & put us on the back foot.  $10,000 Court On The Edge @ $1.80 was better for us though.  Other big bets on Court On The Edge were $2,300 @ $1.85 & $2,600 @ $1.75.  Son Of A Tiger bounced back from disappointing on debut to score well in R8 & carried an army of supporters through.  $1,800 @ $2.10, $4,200, $2,500 & $2,200 all @ $1.95 got paid there.  A couple of other winners were strongly backed without any huge bets.  Jazzy Star was $4.50 into $3.20 equal fav in R9 & Cindy Bromac was $1.80 into $1.65 in the last. Friday – Auckland Punters on the back foot early at Alex Pk with Master Moonlite going down in R2.  $10,000 @ $1.70 the largest of a heap of bets on him.  $15,000 on Show Of Faith in R3 didn't fair any better but punters soon found their stride with Magnifique $3.90 into $3.60, Amanda's Spur $10.50-$9.50, and CK Spur was solid @ $2.50. Saturday – Waikouaiti Three massive bets on Saturday, the first was $20,000 on McCawsome @ $2.30.  The other two were $20,000 Sundons Flyer @ $5.50 & $16,500 Augusta @ $3.50.  A few long-priced winners on the programme were generally good for us. Sunday – Ashburton Punters out in force for a big day at Ashburton with two Group 3 races.  Smokin By was strongly backed early on from $8.50 into $4.80 with a late $8,000 on him @ $5 the best bet of the day.  $8,600 on War Dan Delight wasn't far behind with that bet also coming on late after the main push in betting was for Heisenberg.  Somejoy was another to have an army of supporters.  Notable bets on her were $8,000 @ $1.90, $2,800 @ both $1.70 & $1.65 & $3,500 @ $1.65.  The big bets that missed were $15,000 Governor's Bay @ $2.40, $10,000 Ruthless Kayla @ $6.50, $10,000 Renezmae @ $5 and $10,000 Bringitonhome @ $2.20. Monday – Waikouaiti Plenty of large bets throughout the day on Monday.  $10,000 on Franco June @ $5.50 got home early on but there were a few misses too.  $9,000 Highland Reign @ $2.60, $10,000 Wait For Success @ $4.20, $10,000 Dying To See You @ $4.40, $7,000 Lis Amore @ $7.50, $10,000 Holdon Toyaspurs @ $7, $10,000 Jacks N Jazz @ $2.40, $5,000 Sundons Flyer @ $3.70 & $7,000 @ $3.50, $10,000 Tiziano @ $7. Multi of the Week: $10 Double @ Ashburton (First & Last races) The Great Redeemer @ $37 Patanjali @ $12.50 Returned $4,625   Richard Wilson

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.   For more information regarding the Westport Trotting Club Meeting please contact the club on 027-656-9409.   Jess Smith

Former Southlander Paul Hogan has been breeding horses for a good number of years but it’s only just recently that he’s starting to see some quality stock coming through. “Its 40 years later, but patience is a great thing. We may not be going if it wasn’t for a promise I made to PJ (Paddy) Dunne. It’s a hobby we enjoy (as a family). We don’t have boats or anything like that and we tend to spend our money on something we can see,” he said. Hogan’s first venture into the industry was in the late 1970s when he bought a Nordell Skipper filly from Invercargill Vet Paddy Dunne. Donore was bred by Dunne’s wife Grace and was out the Dick Adios mare Adiola. “Paddy and I worked together for 16 odd years (for MAF in the freezing industry). We spent a lot of quality time together. In a lot of ways he was like a second father. He was a true blue Irish Kiwi. He did a lot for Southland Harness Racing over the years.” Donore won two races for Drummond trainer Graham Bond. Her first win at Ascot Park in Invercargill was by ten lengths, and driven by Henderson Hunter. As a broodmare her five live foals all qualified. Not bad for a mare that was served early on by stallions like Trusty Scot, Del Cavalla and Adios Vic. Donore herself had a really sound pedigree that goes back to the Sungod mare Auburn Sun - an outstanding broodmare leaving Kiwi Grattan, the winner of nine races, Kiwi Air the dam of Tempest Air which left Kiwi Dillion (21 wins in America and 1-54.2) and Henry Hoover (8 wins). Auburn Sun also left Air Mail (Dillion Hall) who was the source of many good horses including Cirrus for Noel Drake. Cirrus left Motu Prince, Motu Princess and Hurricane Kiwi all of which won seven races. Another product of Airmail was Kiwi Direct whose family has left a string of winners over the years and continues to provide good racehorses for Hamish Scott and Kim Lawson. In amongst breeding and racing horses Paul showed an interest in learning the skills of being a blacksmith. “It was because I wanted to do a bit myself. I did a year and a half with Charlie McDonald. I then went to the states for a year having taken a break from MAF. I didn’t just want to go on an OE. I wanted to do something with purpose. Bill Miller who was our tutor was a well - respected farrier. He was at Sportsman Park in Chicago for about twenty odd years. Harness horses were his thing so it was a real blessing to get beside him. I shod Amish mules, working horses, thoroughbreds - all sorts. It was a great experience.” After the farriers course had finished Hogan stayed on in America for an extra two months and learned to treat quarter cracks and general foot trauma. It was a skill he put to good use when he returned home to New Zealand. “Spirit of Zeus was probably one of the best horses I fixed. Brian (O’Meara) used to fly me up. I was also shoeing Christian Cullen (then two) at the time as well. Another horse I worked on was Natal Franco.” While he was in the States he also got more insight into breeding and realised that he couldn’t approach it without a plan. “We bred, as loyal Southlanders, to the local studs with limited success and no real plan. The foals were average in conformation and performance and it wasn’t until I went to America in 1986 for Farrier School that I met some old retired trainers from California.” They helped Hogan develop a plan for the future. “They were adamant that we were losing Adios blood from the dam side and that that needed to be present, plus Albatross blood for improved confirmation. They also suggested that we needed to bring in Big Towner blood for speed and conformation. We didn’t see a Big Towner horse out here for a long time and when Ludell Hanover came out it made a big difference to our (Hogan’s) breed. ” Donore already had the Adios blood in her pedigree. “When Ludell Hanover came to Kina Craig he also brought Adios blood on his dam side and he was by Big Towner. The three foals we bred by Ludell Hanover - two out of Donore and the other one out of Alondra (Transport Chip – Adiola) all won races.” So Donore went to Ludell Hanover and her first foal by that stallion Kickya Shoes Off was sold to Australia where he won five races. But the birth of her next foal, also by Ludell Hanover was to be her last as Donore died shortly after. “She got up to give her foal a drink and then died.” Hogan had to send out an SOS message on the local radio station 4ZA (coincidentally it was probably this writer  that put the message on air, being the presenter of the Friday night racing programme Track talk at the time) looking for a foster mother. Balfour equestrian breeder Robert Grant answered the call providing Hogan with an Anglo-Arab mare that had produced a dead foal a day earlier. “I brought the mare home and the foal sidled up to her straight away.” So Paddy Dunne’s old breed was hanging on by the skin of its teeth. As the filly, named Cass Hanover started to grow, Hogan could see that his plan to breed to a Big Towner stallion was going to be beneficial. “Cass Hanover really gave us that strong physique that the old fellas were talking about so the plan paid off.” From only sixteen starts as a racehorse she won three and was third a further three times. Paul trained and drove her. “I probably cost her two wins through inexperience.” As a broodmare Cass Hanover left four foals by Miles McCool, Cameleon, Spirit Of Zeus and Washington VC. The filly by Washington VC was the only one to get to the races. “It was Yvonne’s (wife) choice to go to Washington VC. In hindsight it was a very very good choice. That made a hell of a difference to where we were heading. She really liked the horse. We went out to the Norman’s. He’s not a tall horse but he’s got a beautiful head on him. She took a liking to him. The Normans had done such a good job with Son Of Afella and Yvonne’s argument was ‘why wouldn’t they do a good job with Washington VC’.” The Washington VC filly named Bubba Ho Tep won four races out of the Cran Dalgety barn. She was retired after running a courageous second to San Rafaella in the Canterbury Mares Speed Series at Addington in February 2012. She had strained a suspensory ligament on her near side. Her first foal Bringitonhome (Courage Under Fire) was sold to Greg Payne for $22,000 at the 2015 Sale of the Stars. He wasn’t sighted on the racetrack at all early on and when enquires were made as to what the horse was up to, Hogan was able to buy him back. “We’re fortunate to have been able to buy him back off Greg and we’re grateful for that. I guess he was always coming home given his name. He did nothing as a three year old and I think things happen for a reason. I think that time off is going to stand to him. I think he’s going to be a nice four and five year old. The stable like him.” From three public appearances for Cran Dalgety Bringitonhome is unbeaten at two workouts and won his qualifying trial at Rangiora by two and a quarter lengths in 2-28.4 for the 2000 metres mobile. Bringitonhome is raced by the Hogans with good Southland friends Ross Ramsey and Murray and Jill Forde. He won recently at Addington at his first start. Bubba Ho Tep’s second foal, Mistahmistah, a colt by Sportswriter has only been beaten once in six appearances and that was to stablemate Times Stride at his very first workout at Ashburton in April. He’s won two workouts and two trials and won his first start at Addington in July. His win at Addington was a milestone in itself. It provided driver Dexter Dunn with his 2,000th winner. He’s since been sold to Australia and won his first start for new trainer Kyle Harper at Gloucester Park in mid-December. “I hope he does a great job because it would be great for the breed. He’s certainly started well.” The mare’s next foal, a colt by Shadow Play, is a yearling. “The Shadow Play is a beautiful looking yearling. We’ve just finished gaiting him up at Jeff Whittaker’s.” Bubba Ho Tep has just had a filly foal by Sportswriter.  “The old retired trainers that I talked to were also adamant that good fillies had to ‘bring back’ to the sire the blood of his dam. So by putting Bubba Ho Tep to Sportswriter we achieved that.” Sportswriter’s second dam is by Big Towner while Bubba Ho Tep’s dam Cass Hanover is of course by Big Towner stallion Ludell Hanover. “Bubba was a nice big horse with speed and stamina. She’s done a grand job with her first three colts and now she’s left us a beautiful filly.” So after a somewhat slow start Hogan says his breed has gone to another level. But he knows not to get too carried away. “Let’s be clear. It’s early days for Bubba but it’s very encouraging. She’s leaving them with speed and they’re a nice type of horse.” Buppa Ho Tep was served by Always B Miki in the middle of December. ‘He’s a bit of a class act on his bloodlines. He’s a sensational looking horse. We’ve got a doubleup of Big Towner. We’ve got Albatross and Adios thick through his pedigree. If she leaves us a filly we’ll be over the moon or if she leaves us a colt we’ll be as happy as.” Away from the horses - when you dig back into Hogan’s own bloodlines there’s some interesting stuff there. His mother’s Grandfather was Ned Condon. “He had draught horses that ploughed around Riverton and Thornbury. I think he ploughed the original Riverton racecourse and he was Clerk of the Course for a few years.” The pedigree line is interesting on his father’s side too where thoroughbred trainer PT (Putt) Hogan appears. He trained many winners including Queen of Song which won the 1936 Wellington Cup as a four year old and also raced in the 1936 Melbourne Cup running fourth behind 100-1 shot Wotan. Queen Of Song also won the 1939 Dunedin Cup as a seven year old. His best galloper though was Rorke’s Drift which was described as one of the most enduring and best handicap weight carriers in Southland in his time. His career started at the Ashburton A&P Show where he ‘won his ticket’ as a carriage horse. He was gelded, but not before he’d left two handy steeplechasers. He was then sent to Invercargill to be developed as a jumper by his owner Mr J Grigg. His trainer PT Hogan soon discovered that he had good ability on the flat and his jumping career was put on hold. After showing his worth as a race horse he was put up for auction and bought by Mr FA Price for 650 guineas. Mr Price raced him for most of his career. By the end of his career Rorke’s Drift had won 23 races including three Birthday Handicaps at Wingatui, two Dunedin Cups as well as the Riverton, Winton, Southland and Wyndham Cups. He also won the Winter Hurdles in 1922 at Trentham as a ten year old. He continued to race until he was twelve. Coincidentally, FA Price who owned Rorke’s Drift, is former Winton harness trainer Roger Price’s grandfather. Other winners for Putt Hogan included Town Major which won the 1931 Parliamentary Handicap and Sirius which won the 1905 Winton Cup. There’s also a bit of breeding on Yvonne’s side of the family. Her father Graeme Wright was a regular racegoer and owned Free Trouble with Eddie Geary and trainer Ron Barron. The Young Charles gelding won four races. He provided Clark Barron with his first winning drive at Forbury Park in October 1980.  “That’s the strong racing part that comes through. I think it’s in your genes alright,” Paul commented. So after working for Ecolab during the past 28 years as an account manager for the New Zealand and Australian markets Paul Hogan who celebrated his 60th birthday recently, is taking it a bit easier and enjoying being close to the bloodstock he’s bred. Paul and Yvonne live on a 50 acre block at West Melton next door to Coaster Howes. “They do their spelling here. We get Jeff and Tracey (Whittaker) to do all the weaning and breaking in because they’ve got a great set up.” So breeding and racing Standardbreds is an experience that Paul and Yvonne are continuing to enjoy with their three daughters Lydia, Jemma and Virginia alongside a few old Southland mates. I suspect there a bit more to come in this story yet. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

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