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TAB News Thu 08 Nov- $25k Guaranteed at Forbury Park Night Harness Fri 09 Nov - $40k Guaranteed at Cambridge Night Harness Tue 13 Nov - $50k Guaranteed at Addington Day Harness   Forbury Park – Thursday 8 November A six race card starting at 5.55pm.    Rangiora - Friday 9 November An 11 race card starting at 2.47pm.   Cambridge - Friday 9 November  A ten race card starting at 5.41pm.    New Zealand Cup Week Golf Tournament – Sunday 11 November Once again the New Zealand Cup Week Golf tournament will be held on Sunday 11 November at the Waimari Beach Golf Club. In its 12th year, this tournament is a hugely popular Cup Week tradition and one you will not want to miss. Organised by Laurie Goodson, this year the tournament will raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand and also funds to support Jacob Dunn’s journey to Melbourne to represents New Zealand in the Mini  Trot Interdominion Championship this December. The tournament will be best three of four stablefords. Entry is just $60 per player and includes on course food and refreshments and also a top quality prize table. Limited spaces remain and everyone is welcome. To enter please contact Laurie on 021 713 340 or email thegoodsons53@gmail.com   Addington Raceway and Events Centre - Tuesday 13 November  There’s nothing quite like Cup Week at Addington and the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day on Tuesday 13 and the Show Day Races on Friday 16 November are days not to be missed! Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day Tuesday 13 November 2018 A spectacle of racing will entertain the crowds, elegant glasses of bubbles will clink, and fabulous spring race day fashion will be seen – welcome to the 115th running of the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup at Addington. Gates Opening Times Members – 9.30am Public – 10.30am Hospitality – 11.00am, with refreshments commencing at 11.30am. Race Times The first race is at 12.05 pm, with the feature event - the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup will be run at 5.12 pm with the last race at 6.25 pm.  Good luck everyone! Entertainment On the stylish and highly sought-after Lindauer Lawn Rooftop, the headline entertainment is New Zealand’s popular band Sons Of Zion who will be living it up with their explosive sets as members seamlessly switch from vocals, to guitar, to drums and then back again. Sons Of Zion are the opening act to the sold out Six60 concert at Western Springs in February 2019 and have amassed an impressive 22 million streams on Spotify, more than 15 million views on YouTube and 100,000-plus followers on social media.  Be in quick to secure your Lindauer Lawn tickets ($70 per person) as only limited tickets remain. New Zealand based DJ/Production duo Sweet Mix Kids will get the party going in the Public Village. Sweet Mix Kids have played at some of the world’s coolest parties, clubs and festivals – Coachella, Wanderlust, Rhythm & Vines and toured supporting the likes of Adele and Ed Sheeran. They have also just played at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. General Admission/Public Village tickets are $32 per person online. On the day at the entrance gates they will be $40 per person. This year gates open at the later time of 10.30am and AWOP (Another Way Of Paying) will be an easy cashless, option for Lindauer Lawn guests to take care of food and beverage purchases and placing their bets. Fashion & Body Art Competitions While the crème de la crème of the harness racing world is putting their best hoof forward on the track, the fashionistas get their chance to shine during the glamorous Westfield Riccarton Style Stakes Fashion and The Hits Body Art competitions.  With over $20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs from Westfield Riccarton, Pascoes, Seiko, Peninsular Beachfront Resort Mooloolaba and Air New Zealand the competition will be fierce.  Courtesy of Air New Zealand, the Westfield Riccarton Best Dressed Lady winner will be winging her way to Hawaii, while a suave Westfield Riccarton Best Dressed Man will win flights to Brisbane. Entry to the competition is free, however, you need to purchase a General Admission ticket. Show Day Races Friday 16 November 2018 Show Day at Addington is truly a great day out for everyone and a fantastic way to celebrate Canterbury’s Anniversary Day. Bring the kids and sit back and relax and enjoy a wonderful day of racing, along with Christchurch based band Sky Machineentertaining guests on the Lindauer Lawn. There will be a new free children’s entertainment zone with numerous activities and there are No Public Holiday Surcharges! This year we will once again opening the gates at 10.30am and supporting the Maia Health Foundation.  We kindly ask for a gold coin donation upon entry with all proceeds going to support their amazing cause. Race Times The first race is at 12.15pm, with the feature events – Group One Races Used to Me @ Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Trot and Woodlands NZ Free For All and will be run at 4.55pm and 6.04pm respectively with the last race at 6.34 pm.  Good luck everyone! Spectators If you are looking for somewhere to base yourself for the day, then Spectators is an ideal spot.  Located on the ground floor of the Metropolitan Stand, Spectators opens directly out onto the Lindauer Lawn. Included in the price ($25 per person, children under 14 are free) is a race guide and access to casual seating in Spectators, food & beverages, TAB facilities and trackside TV’s. Good luck to everyone in the Kiwi Punters Championship Grand Final and the one and only Kidz Kartz Final!  Whichever option you decide on either day, there is something for everyone at Addington. To purchase your tickets, please visit addington.co.nz The Team at Addington look forward to hosting you. Safe travels everyone and we look forward to welcoming you all next week.   Alexandra Park News Christmas At The Races popular as ever Alexandra Park’s eight Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings set down for November and December are selling fast but there’s still time. “Our three November evenings are probably where we’ve got the best availability. However individuals, businesses and organisations need to book now to avoid disappointment,” says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. The 2018 Christmas At The Races evenings will take place on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 8 and 15 December. The incredibly popular nights are promoted as the perfect work Christmas party with a gourmet buffet, stunning décor, and great entertainment including a visit from Santa himself!. Holly packages remain available from $70 per person, as do the delightful Mistletoe packages at $115 with the option of track-view dining outside on the Epsom Balconies. Also, still available are the premium Pohutukawa packages in the Tasman Room from $140 which include a premium drinks package. However, Pohutukawa packages in Alexandra Park’s level five Top of the Park venue, priced from $165, are now limited but with some availability still on 16 November and 21 December. Ms Visser says regardless of the hospitality package, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can-eat Christmas-style buffet. She says Alexandra Park’s exclusive President’s Suite can also be hired for private parties, with availability remaining on both 16 and 30 November as well as 21 December. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. ATC 2019 Syndicate: Over the last two decades, the Auckland Trotting Club has formed 17 syndicates, each comprising either 40 or 50 shares and racing between 2 and 4 horses. To date, all 17 syndicates have proved, or are proving, very successful: At this year’s Australasian Classic Yearling Sale or the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, the Auckland Trotting Club 2019 Syndicate’s yearlings were selected by the top trainers Robert Dunn, Brent Mangos and Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson: Name: Alta Redeemer Trainer: Robert Dunn Name: Christianshavtime Trainer: Logan Hollis / Shane Robertson Name: Bet West Trainer: Brent Mangos When you join an ATC Syndicate, not only do you get to enjoy the thrill of owning and racing harness racehorses, but you can also be very involved in Harness Racing generally, initially at Alexandra Park and the wider Auckland/Waikato area and then quite possibly venturing further afield in New Zealand and Australia, as some previous ATC Syndicates have. There are many advantages involved with being part of one of the Auckland Trotting Club Syndicates. These include; the comparatively low costs, the opportunity to share in the ownership of well bred horses trained by some of the best trainers in New Zealand, making new friendships with like-minded people, having total involvement in the Harness Racing industry and having the opportunity to participate in social events and possibly travel throughout the year. Every month, syndicate members receive a detailed newsletter documenting each horse’s progress, member news, and other information. Regular updates are placed on a phone-in message service, which can be accessed at anytime from anywhere in New Zealand free of charge. We have already had syndicate members from a wide geographical location around New Zealand, from Kaeo and Kaitaia in the North, to Dunedin and Invercargill in the South, as well as from the USA, Canada, England, Japan, Australia (Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) and even Iceland. Each year of establishing a new Syndicate, the Auckland Trotting Club has implemented their hugely successful formula of buying three richly bred yearlings at the Yearling Sales, with these horses being selected by and trained by some of New Zealand’s leading trainers. For further information please contact or go to www.alexandrapark.co.nz/racing/syndicates: Andrew Jamieson – ATC Syndication Manager Mob: + 64 21 253 8765 Email:  ajamieson175@gmail.com If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email on dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or give us a call on 09 631 1165   Southern Harness News  A TON OF FEED TO BE WON Thanks to McMillan Equine Feeds, there is a ton of feed to be won during the 2018/2019 Southern Harness Racing season. At every Sunday race meeting during the season the trainer of every race winner will win a free bag of McMillan Equine Feeds. At the conclusion of the Wyndham Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 18 November all trainers who have won a race on a Sunday up until that time will get one entry into a draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds. The competition then starts afresh with the trainer of each Sunday race winner for the remainder of the season getting one entry into a new draw for 20 bags of McMillan Equine Feeds to be held after the Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday 3 March. That is one ton of McMillan Equine Feeds up for grabs! Southern Harness Racing thanks McMillan Equine Feeds for their generous support. QUALIFYING DATES: Sunday 21 October Tuapeka HRC – Forbury Park, Dunedin Sunday 28 October Invercargill HRC – Invercargill Sunday 4 November Riverton TC – Invercargill Sunday 11 November Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 18 November Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 16 December Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 6 January Wyndham HRC - Cromwell Sunday 3 February Wyndham HRC - Wyndham Sunday 17 February Winton HRC - Winton Sunday 3 March Invercargill HRC - Invercargill    HRNZ Marketing

If there is a positive to your New Zealand Cup dream being turned upside down then Steven Reid has found it. “I think the pressure if off us now,” the Pukekohe trainer says matter-of factly. Reid and Star Galleria arrived in the South Island a month ago one of the Cup favourites, with the speed he had shown in his first two runs of the season at Alexandra Park suggesting with Tony Herlihy in the sulky anything was possible. Since then things have only headed one way. The wrong way. The speedster missed one lead up race, was surprisingly beaten after leading in the Methven Cup and the was good but only after missing away in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton. That all led to one of the worst runs of his career in the Kaikoura Cup, which Reid views with blunt honesty. “If I was looking at that as a punter I’d say he can’t win,” he admits. “But I know the horse and I haven’t given up. “I think he might have had a mild bug, nothing serious, at Kaikoura because he was too bad to be true. “So we changed tactics. We gave him a mild antibiotic and three days off and a really easy time and we are going to let him miss the Cup trial (Wednesday) too. “So his last major run we will be with a galloping pacemaker on Thursday.” While the build-up has been anything but ideal, Reid has not lost faith in the ability of his five-year-old. “I still know how good he is and I still think he can win, even if he deserves to be a $18 chance. “All along I have thought to win the Cup he was going to need to be driven for speed, for one run and I think the pressure being off means Tony can and will do that. “I never discuss tactics with Tony but I can see him now driving him cold, parking away on the markers and only asking him to run a quarter and hoping a few others are dropping away. “Whether he can win, I don’t know but you never do going into a Cup.” Reid says no thought was given to missing the $800,000 race. “It is the Cup, it has been his main aim and it is not as strong as some other Cups so he will be there.” Aussie pacer Tiger Tara is now the $3.90 favourite and unless something very odd happens this week looks set to start the public and bookies elect in the great race tomorrow week.   Michael Guerin

It was a tough decision but we have pulled Ultimate Machete out of the New Zealand Cup next Tuesday. We still have hope we can make it to the Free for All with him on the Friday at this stage. We worked him this morning and he was still a bit tender. Our veterinarian (Dr Lindsay Colwell) thinks there is a good chance that it probably isn’t anything serious but we are up against time wise and decided to act now so that everyone knows where they stand. It is bad luck but he wasn’t quite himself last Friday and I have been concerned about him since. As I said it might just be a bruise coming out but he is uncomfortable and you can’t have any setbacks at this stage of a Cup preparation. Its been a long road back for him so it is very disappointing for us and the connections but at least at this stage we still have a horse. The way things were he was only going to run once next week so hopefully that will still be the case !   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables   http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/home/

Just this afternoon the Cup has seen the defection of Ultimate Machete, alongside recent withdrawals from Northview Hustler, No Doctor Needed and Alleluia. This has seen Locharburn, Sheriff and Billy Badger make it into the top 15 in the final set of Cup rankings. In the Dominion, Woodstone's impressive win last week has seen him force his way into the field at number 12 on the rankings. The Almighty Johnson's withdrawal see's Le Lievre's Gift sit currently on the coveted 15th spot. Sunny Ruby and Hey Yo will look to make a play for a start in the Dominion via the New Zealand Trotting FFA on Cup Day. The fields for next Tuesday's New Zealand Trotting Cup card will be released on Wednesday afternoon. View the full ranking list here! Jess Smith Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Ultimate Machete has to be Mr Perfect to leave Addington tonight as a deserved favourite for the New Zealand Trotting Cup. The long-time favourite has been unplaced in all three races this season and yet punters have stuck firm with him, especially after Aussie star Chicago Bull was withdrawn with injury this week. Memories of his previous Cup week heroics, winning the Sires’ Stakes at three and crushing Tiger Tara in the free-for-all last season, as well as the fact he is trained by Purdon-Rasmussen have seen Ultimate Machete still lead the market even though he has galloped away in two of his three starts this term. But now the time for excuses are over. With just 11 days until the New Zealand Cup fitness can no longer be a concern and he will never get a better chance to step away safely than off the 30m mark tonight, with plenty of room and horses to follow out and keep his mind on the job. A safe beginning from Ultimate Machete should enable him to work forward and bully most of his rivals tonight and win. Anything less, and Tiger Tara deserves to be Cup favourite. Trainer Mark Purdon is cautiously optimistic the composition of tonight’s race suits his stocky five-year-old. “Usually following them out like that they get their chance to step away and at home he can actually be brilliant away but you have to get him on the right foot,” says Purdon. “So I’d like to see that this week because he goes back to a full front line in the Cup where his manners will need to be perfect.”Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen hold the aces in the feature and he says Dream About Me is every bit as good achance as Ultimate Machete while Thefixer is over a recent setback and worked pleasingly on Wednesday morning so along with the likes of Alta Orlando mean Ultimate Machete will have to earn that Cup favouritism tonight. Tonight’s meeting sees some important pre-Cup meeting clashes, with the next heat of the Sires’ Stakes and class three-year-olds Ultimate Sniper (Ultimate Machete’s little brother) versus Major Trojan in a lower grade race.   Michael Guerin

After his second in the South Bay Trotters Cup at Kaikoura Ronald J moves to 10th place in the Dominion Rankings. The Almighty Johnson and Le Lievre's Gift both enjoyed good jumps up the Rankings following solid showings at Kaikoura and prior. Tornado Valley was the only withdrawal from the Dominion this week. In the Cup Rankings we saw one of the Australian charges Chicago Bull be withdrawn due to an injury. With less than two weeks to go until the big race the final chance to move up the rankings comes this weekend at Addington. View the full ranking list here!   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

A freakish injury to Chicago Bull has turned his connection’s New Zealand Trotting Cup dream into a nightmare. The brave little pacer surged to Cup favouritism with an incredible victory at Alexandra Park last Friday but an injury suffered just hours later means he won’t race again this season. The prolific pacing pony flipped over backwards when being treated on Saturday morning and fell on his back, ultimately suffering six or eight fractures to his whither region. “It didn’t look great but he seemed fine afterwards and we were able to jog him on Sunday and Monday,” says driver and caretaker trainer Gary Hall junior. “But then it got worse and his movement got worse so we took him to the vets where they discovered the fractures. “It is something I have heard of but never seen a horse get injured like that before. And the vet said he had seen a horse suffered a couple of fractures like that before but not six or eight. “The most important news is the long-term prognosis is good and they are confident he will be able to race again. “So he will have two months in a box here in Pukekohe, then two more months spelling and then maybe start jogging again. But this season is gone.” While Chicago Bull had numerous feature race options this season the one that burned brightest for the Halls was the New Zealand Cup in 13 days time. It is a race trainer Gary Hall senior has always cherished but been unable to get his best horses to for one reason or another. Now he has found the cruellest way of all to be ruled out of it. The way he won last Friday night Chicago Bull deserved favouritism for the Cup, especially in a year when the New Zealand open class ranks are lacking a genuine superstar. Instead for Team Hall the New Zealand Cup 2018 will forever be the one that got away. He joins a remarkable list of open class pacers who will be missing from this year’s Cup due to injury, sale or retirement. Of the biggest names who contested the Cups, Inter Dominion and/or the Miracle Mile carnival last season Lazarus, Vincent, Heaven Rocks, Soho Tribeca, My Field Marshal, Jilliby Kung Fu and Lennytheshark will not be around for the pivotal next six weeks during which the Cup and Inter Dominion will be decided. It is rare case of the Cup non-starters far outweighing the star power of those left in the great race, held for $800,000 at Addington on November 13. Tiger Tara is now the only Australian-trained pacer in the Cup and could well start favourite depending what happens at Addington on Friday night. One-time Cup favourite Ultimate Machete could snare that role back if he wins his final lead-up race over 2600m standing start in which he meets stablemate Dream About Me. But much like the Dominion Trot on November 16, which has been shorn of injured champion trotter Monbet, the Cup is the most open in years. One horse who won’t be coming to Cup week is in-form Victorian trotter Tornado Valley, with trainer Andy Gath deciding to stay home and concentrate on the Inter Dominion starting December 1 as the gelding doesn’t travel well. Michael Guerin

Queensland will not be represented in the 2018 New Zealand Cup. The famed two mile stand-start feature staged in Christchurch at Addington Raceway will take place on November 14 and Alleluia won’t be making the trip. Prepared by Grant Dixon for leading owner Greg Mitchell, a late entry payment was made last month which had the Art Major gelding on the cusp of the final field of 15 starters before slipping to 17th in the latest rankings form Harness Racing New Zealand. Following his third placing behind Let It Ride in the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park during the winter carnival back in July, Alleluia continued his strong form with a string of open class victories at Albion Park during August and September. As a result, connections decided to chase the New Zealand Cup. But his form has dipped slightly in recent weeks including his latest effort last weekend when fourth behind his stable mate Ohoka Punter after leading. “While he’s a proven Redcliffe Cup winner he’s not entirely comfortable on the track, the other major factor of not going ahead with New Zealand is the travel involved. There is no direct flight into Christchurch meaning we have to road down to Sydney before flying to Auckland and then getting a connecting flight to Christchurch which is very taxing.” Dixon said. Alleluia remains in contention for the Inter Dominion series coming up in Melbourne starting on December 1. In the latest rankings from Harness Racing Victoria, he sits 36th. The Queensland Summer Carnival is another option available for connections with a trio of open class features scheduled The local carnival starts on December 1. “We’ll see where he ends up with the rankings for the Inter but the local carnival is a nice back-up and he’ll be very competitive in each of those races. “His form is still very solid, the open class races are very competitive here and once we return to Albion Park, I think his best will return.” Alleluia has won 33 races from 138 starts while banking more than $521,000.   Chris Barsby

Chicago Bull has stamped himself as the one to beat for the New Zealand Cup on November 13, following an impressive win in the Garrard's New Zealand Pace (2200m) at Alexandra Park this afternoon. The gelding was competing in his first standing start event and was slow away after the start. The six-year-old was able to slowly work his way back in touch with the rest of the field on the first lap, before making his way to the breeze past the winning post the penultimate time. Reinsman Gary Hall Jnr then poured the pressure on Jack's Legend, who was his nearest rival in the market, before he went on to win by two-and-a-half lengths.   Tim Walker

As New Zealand Cup and Show week draws ever closer, the next generation of stars in our sport of harness racing are anxiously preparing for the biggest event of the year.   Kidz Kartz is a national programme that fosters and develops youth growth in harness racing and has been running since 2003. Children can take part in Kidz Kartz courses to learn skills around pony care and also the safe driving practices of harness racing.   Once the course is completed successfully they can then compete in pony trot races at tote race meetings held around New Zealand and have become a popular attraction with the public.   It is an educational organization that progressively develops the well-rounded horseperson and has hugely impacted the number of young adults who then progress to become harness racing drivers.   Each year Kidz Kartz Clubs from around New Zealand qualify representatives to head to Christchurch for the annual Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup, which is held at Addington Raceway on Show Day – Friday 16 November.   They also take part in a Cup Prelude during the buildup. This year the NZ Cup Prelude will once again be sponsored by Templeton Medical Centre and will be held at Riccarton Racecourse on Wednesday 14 November.   The Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup itself will be sponsored yet again by Nigel and Brenda Armstrong of Westview Racing, in conjunction with new sponsor in ‘Catch Driver’. Catch Driver is a harness racing game which can be downloaded free on app stores and was created by Ryan Clements of Canada. In the game players are able to drive a horse in real time live against other players around the world.   Clements recently visiting New Zealand and was impressed by the concept as North America does not have any programmes such as Kidz Kartz for youth in harness racing.   Clements was keen to support Kidz Kartz and help foster the next generation, and Nigel and Brenda Armstrong of Westview Racing (long standing and loyal supporters of Kidz Kartz) were kindly happy to oblige and welcome Catch Driver onboard as co-sponsor of the Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup.   The ‘New Zealand Kidz Kartz Cup - sponsored by Westview Racing and Catch Driver’ qualifiers have just been announced, congratulations to the following competitors and clubs:   Franklin Holly Noakes and Badjelly Caitlin Schneider and Barlia   Canterbury Jacob Dunn and Tee Cee Lachie Ford and Frisbee Seth Hill and Barney Holly Johnson and Jessie Jack Johnson and Tommy Olivia Sheehan and Gem Sam Thornley and Dimmy   Waikato Jordyn Bublitz and Chaos Kate Coppins and Caramello Paige O’Brien and Monet Kendra Rogers and Shadow Mikayla Rogers and Tosca   Otago Sophie Woodhouse and Gerry’s Boy       by Jess Smith Harness Racing new Zealand        

Two of New Zealand harness racing’s biggest names could know by the end of the week whether than can resume driving on raceday. The Judicial Control Authority heard submissions from two horsepeople as well as representatives of the Racing Integrity Unit in Christchurch yesterday about the exclusion notices served on the pair. The exclusion notices were issued after a number of Canterbury properties were raided and arrests made in September but the names of those charged and the exact nature of the charges are subject to suppression by court order. The horsepeople involved have been allowed to train and drive at workouts and trials but not raceday and they, listed as Mr X and Mr Y at yesterday’s hearing, are seeking to have those exclusions lifted so they have return to driving at race meetings. The JCA reserved their decision but it is expected that decision could be released before the end of the week or next week at the latest as one of the most important times in harness racing, New Zealand Cup, looms. While only two of the horsepeople facing charges argued against their exclusion notices yesterday if the JCA rules in their favour and they return to race driving it is expected the exclusion notices for all those charged will be lifted until their charges are heard, more than likely not until next year.  A court date has been set for later next month to determine whether the suppression of names and the exact charges remain. Michael Guerin

A star-studded line up of Queenslanders will put their Inter Dominion and New Zealand Cup credentials on the line in an Open Pace (Race 6) at Redcliffe on Saturday night.   In what shapes as one of the best local events to be run at the track this season, ID18 aspirants Alleluia (36), Ohoka Punter (55) and Watch Pulp Fiction (85) will look to improve their positions in the order of entry. The Dixon camp has also signaled its intentions to gain entry into the 2018 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup with Alleluia, which sits just outside the top-15 after the latest round of rankings. Racing Queensland Harness Strategy and Development Manager David Brick said Saturday night’s race highlighted the depth of talent that exists in Queensland. “One of the great things about harness racing in Queensland is that we’re lucky enough to see our local stars step out on the track regularly at metropolitan and provincial meetings,” he said.   “Our horses continue to shine on the national stage and I’m sure industry participants here will be cheering on our local charges as they target the Inter Dominion in Melbourne and NZ Cup in Auckland,” he said. Recently named Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year Bodhi Tree (1), and Albion Park HRC Horse of the Year, Glenferrie Hood (2) are also engaged in the 1780m event.  Watch Pulp Fiction (7) has drawn inside the back-row with trainer Chantal Turpin locked in to take a rare drive. 2016 UBET Blacks A Fake winner Ohoka Punter will be looking to break through for his first Queensland win since returning from a stint in WA. Majestic Major will also be looking for a breakthrough win since he last saluted in May. Racing Queensland form analyst Darren Clayton believes Glenferrie Hood (2) should be able to find the front from the good draw. “He moves in to Gate 2 over the same trip (1780m) and looks to get an easy lead … from the front he can look to make it three on the bounce and six wins in his past eight starts,” Clayton said. “Bodhi Tree will get the perfect run in transit. Watch Pulp Fiction will be locked away on the pegs but that’s not the worst place to be in this contest. “Alleluia has no favours from this gate as he attempts to land just his second Redcliffe victory after claiming the 2015 Redcliffe Cup.”   Racing Queensland

Don’t hold your breath hoping for any northern races to be given automatic qualifying status for the New Zealand Trotting Cup.   That’s the clear message of the committee which decided Northview Hustler’s stunning win in the Spring Cup was only good enough to elevate him five spots on the crucial ranking list.   The big team of owners who greeted Northview Hustler after he ran his rivals ragged at Alexandra Park last Friday night not surprisingly started making plans to attend cup week in Christchurch.   With cup second favourite Star Galleria behind him, along with eight ranked Jack’s Legend and 14th ranked No Doctor Needed, hopes were high that he would jump from 23rd place to be inside the 15-horse cut.   But when the new ranking order was finally released today Northview Hustler was only 18th, sparking questions from his connections why the race didn’t carry the same free ticket to the cup as the Maurice Holmes Vase and New Brighton Cup which qualified Thefixer and Letspenddanitetogetha.   The group was also looking for answers on how Northview Hustler, who ran the second fastest 2200 metre stand in history, was still ranked below a clearly out-of-form Classie Brigade (15th).   So who decides the rankings?   Harness Racing New Zealand’s southern based handicapper Andrew Morris heads the four-man committee along with long time Addington secretary Brian Rabbitt and Addington board members Barry Dent and Peter Evans. Northern based handicapper Kevin Smith doesn’t get a say.   When the committee met this week Morris says the main topic of discussion was where to place Northview Hustler and it weighed on the members’ minds so much they delayed a decision until Wednesday morning.   Morris says there was no denying the merit of Northview Hustler’s performance - “he won and he ran time.   “To my mind this race was the next highest of interest behind the Group races run this season.   “He ran the second fastest 2200 metres in history and he beat good horses, even though he had a head start on them.’’   But Morris says the committee had no appetite to elevate the horse ahead of New Zealand Derby winner Sheriff, and because Sheriff was ranked one lower than Classie Brigade it meant Northview Hustler couldn’t go any higher than 18.   Late entry Australian Alleluia also jumped onto the list, coming in at 15, courtesy of his third in the Group I Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in July.   Morris says Northview Hustler only just got the nod to leap frog Forgotten Highway, who ran third equal in the Group III New Brighton Cup.   Sadly the Spring Cup isn’t Group rated and there’s little to no chance it will ever be added to the list of three races gifting free entry to the cup. Friday night’s Canterbury Classic at Addington actually gifts spots to the first three home.   “I lobbied for the Holmes DG (run at Auckland on Friday week) to be a cup qualifying race but the others said no.   “Some might argue the cup is New Zealand’s race but it’s actually NZ Met’s race - they run the race and pay the money.   “They want to keep the optimum races for Addington and get the best lead-ups there that they can.’’   It’s a marketing strategy that the New South Wales Harness Racing Club uses, for example, giving Miracle Mile invites to horses who compete in their lead-up events at Menangle.   “If Northview Hustler runs well in the Holmes DG that would elevate him further,’’ says Morris. “Now that he’s built up capital, he wouldn’t have to do much more to supplant those other two horses (Classie Brigade and Sheriff). I could see second placing being good enough to shift him again.’’   Morris says while Classie Brigade might be racing well below his best, he still had credit for a number of good performances in Group races, including three Group III wins in the Rangiora Classic, Invercargill Cup and Central Otago Cup.   Those Group performances were actually two seasons ago - Classie Brigade raced only three times last term - but under the club's guidelines they still seem to carry more weight than current form.   Northview Hustler’s Group form isn’t too shabby either - he ran fifth to Vincent, Titan Banner, Heaven Rocks and Star Galleria in the Group I Auckland Cup, fourth to Vincent, AG’s White Socks and Titan Banner in the Group II Franklin Cup and fifth behind Eamon Maguire, Star Galleria and AG’s White Socks in the Group I Harness Jewels.   Morris isn’t sure that the committee would favour dropping horses down the order if they perform badly, a logical enough strategy after their initial ranking on last season’s form.   “I’m happy to put it up for review but at the moment we only elevate horses for performing well. The more you bring in, the more complicated it gets and the committee doesn’t want it getting too murky.   “In previous years there was some artistic licence taken but I think we’re getting it pretty right now. It’s a robust process.’’   But you have to ask is it right that a race like the Methven Cup, run on grass on Sunday week, will carry more weight than the Spring Cup, because it is designated a Group III race, and run over 3000 metres, closer to the conditions of the New Zealand Cup. Shouldn’t the strength of the field be a crucial factor too?   On the positive side, Morris believes Northview Hustler has a good shot at making the field just on natural attrition with the likely sale of Classie Brigade and trips to New Zealand hinging on the upcoming performances of Alleluia, Chicago Bull and Tiger Tara.   Barry Lichter    

The Used To Me @ Haras des Trotteurs Dominion saw many movements in the past week. The major ones being Destiny Jones who jumps to 9th on the back of her Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup win, which goes very close to assuring a Dominion start. Jen Jaccka’s third elevated here from 30th to 22nd. There have been three withdrawals in the past week in the Dominion; those being Une Belle Allure and My Tribeca who have both been recently retired and also Lavros Jack. Those defections will leave a very healthy 49 trotters hunting for the 15 spots in the field on Show Day. The Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup rankings have had a minor shake up also. Alleluia is now a confirmed nomination and as a result he comes into the rankings at number 15. Northview Hustler’s Spring Cup win earned him a sizeable bump to 18th. Star Galleria and Let’s Elope who filled second and fourth in the Spring Cup both improved a spot.   See the full rankings here!   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc  

This week’s rankings have again seen mainly minor changes. The Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup ranking changes surround Dream About Me, following her narrow win in the Hannon Memorial on Sunday. She moved to fifth.  A G’s White Socks and Captain Dolmio both improve a spot for their respective placings in the race. The other changes are at the bottom of the rankings. Bettermatch hopped James Dean following a slick lower-grade win last Tuesday at Menangle. Zadaka’s superior performance in the Hannon saw him swap places with Don Domingo. While Bailey’s Knight, who claimed an overdue win at Addington last Thursday has moved a place off the bottom of the rankings. Potentially the biggest shake up in the ‘Cup’ rankings will come if the connections of Queensland pacer Alleluia confirm their late payment by 3.00pm this afternoon. The winner of 33 races is poised to sit on the fringe of a Cup start following several recent local wins and a third in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake FFA in July. Within the Used To Me @ Haras des Trotteurs Dominion realm Kyvalley Blur racked up win 28 at Melton on Saturday and moved into seventh. Alderbeck’s strong third off 40 metres at Oamaru saw her nudged ahead of Harriet Of Mot to 17th. In the same race Hey Yo was solid in second place. Her placing moved her two spots closer to a Dominion start at 21st. The winner of the main trot at Oamaru, Muscle’s Galore, made another leap in the rankings, this time to 34th. Mr Good And Evil almost avenged his mistake when leading in his previous Auckland start with a second to Heard The Whisper. With that he improved his ranking to 45th.     For the full list of rankings click here!   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

While most of the class horses at All Stars are working up a storm over 2000,2400 or 3200m on the main tracks on an average Saturday morning and others are pounding up and down the straight track posting ever faster quarters, Saturday found NZ Cup favourite Ultimate Machete kept to walking pace -and he didn't mind it a bit! "Mate" pulled a Finn Tack Pressure Sulky (weight around 90kg ) with Matt Bowden the driver (maybe a bit more than 90kg) for 40 minutes of walking. Not that testing you may be thinking. But in front of him in the cart is Matt's secret weapon. It's a pressure gauge which allows him to adjust the resistance Mate gets when pulling from around 50 lbs ft to  up to 200 lbs. For all concerned it is a bit of a learning curve. "I am really doing what they do in the States where I had a bit to do with them." "Poi" says. "They varied the resistance pressure from very little to periods with heavy pressure. You can feel the change in the way the horse is moving. When it gets up near 200 they are working pretty hard. Its trial and error and we just have to see what the effects are but it is also fairly straightforward in its use" Matt simply adjusts the pressure from the cart with a big gauge right in front of  him. The carts, heavy jog type sulkies when the brakes are off, have been used at All Stars for jogging sessions but the major difference is the resistance technology which is their special appeal.  "They were developed in Europe-Sweden I think-but they get a lot of use in America" Matt notes. "The horses  get a lot of good strong exercise  but without pressure on the legs" Like most things with horses  the  idea of building a horse's stamina and condition without putting pressure on his limbs  has been with us since the days of draught horses and farm implements. In the 1940's Leo Berkett, then based near Nelson, prepared horses for the NZ Cup by using them in a plough (as a group) aiming for the same effect as the pressure carts-but a lot more trouble and time and without the aid of modern technology. They Finn Tack can also be a valuable aid with highly strung animals working in a more relaxed environment. Mark says they have used the cart quite extensively while working out its optimum use for the stable. "it's a proven system and is another aid that can be used without too much trouble. It can also be used as a heavy jogger when the system is turned off and it is useful for that as well"    Ultimate Machete is not a difficult horse but he can be "playful" at times and demands respect from his handlers.  Strolling around All Stars on Saturday, even if more than "pulling his weight" he was as happy as a sandboy . That in itself tells a story.      Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

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