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The Phar Lap raceway at Timaru has had a major spruce up ahead of its season-opening meeting on Sunday . The 1200 metre track has been completely re-surfaced. “It had become quite powdery and floury,” says Harness Racing NewZealand (HRNZ) venue inspector John Denton, “the old product was past its best.” So over three days last week Denton and Phar Lap’s track manager Warwick Coles oversaw the removal of the old surface, and then replaced it with fresh sand and grit. The work was partly funded by the Government’s Racing Safety Development Fund. "We were thrilled with that funding," says Timaru Harness Racing Club President Liz Shand. “We put on 200 tonnes of racetrack sand and 100 tonnes of chip,” says Denton, “with a recommendation that we add another 100 tonnes of sand to replenish it next February.” “The new material gives the track more life, and a lot more cushion.” The “new” track will be in use for the first time when it hosts a nine race meeting on Sunday. It will be the Timaru Harness Racing Club’s first meeting of the 2020-21 season. 'We are delighted to have it all sorted in time for Sunday," says Shand, "we have set up our future with the best material and the best advice."   HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    Northern reinsman Josh Dickie has landed the sought after drive on trotting star Ultimate Stride ahead next month’s most anticipated match up in trotting. A suspension has forced regular driver Matthew Williamson out of the sulky behind the blueblood squaregaiter in the first of his two epic clashes with Bolt For Brilliance and Cracker Hill. Ultimate Stride is staying at Dickie’s property leading in to the Sales Series Final for last season’s 3yr-old trotters on October 9, which has already led to the horse getting some special treatment. “Josh said he was quite thrilled to be driving the horse,” trainer Phil Williamson said. “And he said he has put him in his number one box, too.” Ultimate Stride travelled north alongside Cracker Hill over the weekend. Both horses have been under the care of Cracker Hill’s trainer Brad Williamson since leaving Oamaru. With a trip to Australia already under his beat, Ultimate Stride is a seasoned traveller and arrived in Auckland in excellent order. “He has arrived in Auckland 100%,” Williamson said. “We just took a blood [test] off him to check he has arrived fit an well and he hasn’t got any bugs or anything.” “Safely through a good report on that I will trial him at Pukekohe on Friday.” As most would expect from a Williamson trained trotter, Ultimate Stride has been well-schooled ahead of his right-handed debut at Alexandra Park. He and Cracker Hill both had a private workout at Forbury Park going in the Auckland direction before leaving the South Island. Ultimate Stride’s clash with Cracker Hill and Bolt For Brilliance is being talked up as the most anticipated clash not just in trotting, but across each gait and age group, so far this season. It is easy to see why, with Ultimate Stride remaining unbeaten since returning from injury following his two group 1 wins in Australia last year. In his injury-enforced absence for much of last season, Cracker Hill dominated his 3yr-old rivals in the South Island. The anticipation ahead of the two Oamaru trotters heading north hit a new level on Friday night when Bolt For Brilliance smashed the allcomers national record for a 2200m stand at Alexandra Park. Williamson admitted taking on the Tony Herlihy trained star will be no easy task for Ultimate Stride. “Bolt For Brilliance is a very good horse and he deserves to be the favourite right now.” “To go a two-minute mile rate [2-00.4] for a 2200m stand is incredible.” “And he has beaten Temporale, who has won a Rowe Cup and is pretty good over sprint trip.” Matthew Williamson will reunite with Ultimate Stride when he clashes with Bolt For Brilliance and Cracker Hill for the second time in the Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park on October 23. The trotter will then head back to Oamaru with the hope he can start in the Dominion. Ultimate Stride’s $4 odds in the race’s fixed odds market might suggest he is highly likely to start in the event. However, Williamson has a warning for punters. “The punters should be careful because of his ranking.” “We have to be away for these races in Auckland and they are not qualifying races for the Dominion.” “So, it is going to be hard to move his ranking up and there is a chance he could miss out.” Ultimate Stride was ranked 20th when the order of entry for the Dominion was released last week. The first three horses home in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All on New Zealand Cup Day are guaranteed a start in the 3200m feature. Williamson said Ultimate Stride could head to the group 1 event to qualify, but it may not be ideal for such a young trotter to do so and race in the Dominion just three days later. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Westport award winners Former local trainer Rodney Dickson has taken out the Trainer of the Year at the West Coast racing awards at Westport. Although now training at Bulls in the Manawatu, Dickson had accumulated enough “points” to take out the award. He made it a double for the night when his fine mare Shezsomethinspecial won Harness Horse of the Year. The five-year-old won twice on the Coast last season, at Westport in December and Reefton in March. Westport personalities Jason Yang and Richard Dellaca were named West Coast Owners of the Year thanks to the deeds of a number of horses they race in partnership, including Vinnie Rulz and Rockntommy Rulz and Dellaca, a long-time breeder and owner, was presented with the Personality of the Year award for his services to racing over many years. McCormick hits 50 Mid Canterbury’s Lawrence McCormick notched win number 50 when he drove outsider Sungait’s Legacy to victory at Motukarara yesterday. The five-year-old Monarchy mare had not finished better than fifth in her previous five starts but got home by one and a half lengths paying $41.90 and $8.90. It’s was McCormick's 50th win, 12 years after his first at Waterlea in 2008 with Bramley Town trained by Andrew Stuart. To make his milestone even better Sungait’s Legacy is trained by his father David McCormick at Tinwald. Operation for well-performed trotter Six race winner Over The Love has had a splint bone removed since last racing. Part-owned and trained by Ken Barron, the seven-year-old trotter hasn’t raced since a third at Invercargill in March 2019. Harness Racing New Zealand has also been notified that Mark Dunnett and Black Edition have both been gelded, Longview Lady was due to be served on September 25, and Bettor Grunter has had a wind operation since last racing in late July. Dexter goes past ten million dollars Dexter Dunn’s stakes earnings this year have now topped $NZ10 million. The 10-time Kiwi champion driver has had a stellar 2020 in the US. Just in the last few days he had three winners at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and also drove This Is The Plan to back-to-back victories in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. According to the US Trotting Association website Dunn has won the most of any driver this year with $US6.684m (or $NZ10.21m) including 272 winners. He leads Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras and Andrew McCarthy.   HRNZ

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    One Apollo recorded his second Group Three victory on Sunday when taking out the DG Jones Memorial Trotting Cup (2810m) at Motukarara. The Brent White-trained gelding stepped away well off the front mark to sit three back on the pegs for a short period of time before driver Ricky May asked him to improve and the pair quickly took the lead where they remained throughout. One Apollo was headed down the straight by Matua Tana, but the seven-year-old gelding broke and One Apollo was able to clinch a neck victory over the fast-finishing Heavyweight Hero. “I was pretty rapt with that win,” White said. “I was pretty confident that the 10m might just be enough to have the wood over them. But I didn’t expect him to lead-up and go into the wind both times, but he has done it and won it. “It was a tough day with the wind blowing, so he has done a great job and it’s great to get another Group Three with him.” The son of One Over Da Moon was taking a strong form line into the race, having placed in his last two starts, including running third in the Gr.3 Ordeal Trotting Cup (2600m) last start. “He has been racing well all the way through. Even is couple of gallops have been good runs,” White said. “I was pretty confident that the 10m might just be enough to have the wood over them. But I didn’t expect him to lead-up and go into the wind both times, but he has done it and won it.” The Gr.1 Dominion Trot (3200m) now beckons the five-year-old who will likely have two lead-in runs to the big dance. “He’s not too far behind some of those better ones and if he can mix it with them that would be good,” White said. “The Dominion is the big goal. I am 50/50 on Ashburton (Trotters Flying Mile) at the moment, but I will sleep on it and make a call closer to the time. It will then be Kaikoura and then onto Cup Week.”

The Southland Harness Awards for the 2019/20 season were presented last night but without the usual accolades provided by a live audience. The  usual ceremony dinner at  Ascot Park Hotel was cancelled due to the impact of Covid 19 and the awards were presented by Nicole Elliot on the Southland Harness Facebook Page instead. Southland Harness Horse of the Year: Owned by Neville Cleaver and trained by Nathan Williamson Christian Cullen entire Franco Santino was crowned Southland Harness Horse of the Year. He was the province’s leading stakes winner with $32,930. He won three races and his three placings included a second in the Group Three Invercargill Cup. Southland Broodmare of the Year: Chiola Cola mare Delcola owned by Ian Hunter was named Southland Broodmare of the Year. She’s the dam of Splash Cola which won three races last season from seven starts. One of her wins was in the Group Three Summer Trotting FFA in which she broke a New Zealand record. Another of Delcola’s progeny Delson won twice in eight starts while her latest race winner Andy Hall also won twice from just four starts. Southland Achievement Awards 2019-2020 As well as being names asSouthland’s leading Junior Driver Ellie Barron also picked up the Southland Harness Achievement of the Year Award. Ellie was the province’s ambassador for the Teal Appeal and on January 3rd at Omakau Barron played a pivotal part in saving Ricky May’s life. May collapsed in the sulky and fell to the track when driving A. G. White Socks in the Central Otago Cup at Omakau. Ellie Barron administered CPR until the paramedics took over. Southland Trotter of the Year and Contribution Awards: The Caduceus Club of Southland Trotter of the Year Award was won by the Lyndon Bond trained Crusher Collin while Dave McDonald was presented with a Contribution to Southland Harness Racing Award.   Other Awards: Two Year old Colt or Gelding of the Year: Major Punter Three Year Old Filly of the Year: Renegade Rose Three Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year: See Ya Write Group Certificates: Amazing Dream (Vin and Daphne Devery) and Splash Cola (Ian Hunter). Leading Southland Trainer: Nathan Williamson Leading Southland Driver: Nathan Williamson Leading Southland Junior Driver: Ellie Barron Leading Driver of Trotters in Southland: Nathan Williamson Elite Broodmare Award: Chicago Blues Leading Two Year Old Stakes Earning Filly of the Year: Braeview Kelly Leading Three Year Old Stakes Earning Filly of the Year: Watch Me Now Leading All Age Mare of the Year: Crusher Collins Fastest Winning Mile Time in Southland: Watch Me Now New Zealand Record Holders: Pres The Belle, Paramount King and Splash Cola. Two Minute pins were awarded to the owners of the following horses: Allaboutjoy, Arden’s Reality, Ball Of Art, Italian Lad, Lagertha, Lite Percussion, Maidonthebeach, Major Watson, Pearl Harbour, The Paua Diver, Paramount King and Splash Cola.   By Bruce Stewart

Mach Shard played the lead role in a hot twenty four hours of success for Southern Bred Southern Reared horses on both sides of the Tasman. The Mach Three gelding bred by Debbie and Mark Smith capitalised on the perfect trip to get up and win Friday night’s Spring Cup at Alexandra Park with favourite Copy That a head back in second. Trained by Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan it was the six year old’s ninth win and he has now won $353,594. Earlier in the night Christianshavtime bred by Murray Little impressively won R59-R78 pace. Trained by Logan Hollis and Scott Robertson the American Ideal gelding sat in the one out line for most of the trip. Just before straightening driver Maurice McKendry hooked the four year old wide and be came down the middle of the track to win by a length and a quarter. His time was an impressive 2-39.7. Christianshavtime’s second dam Dream Angel is a full sister to multiple group winning mare One Dream. Further south at Addington southern bred horses quinellaed the Sire Stakes Three Year Old Trotters Prelude. Leaf Stride bred by Michelle Caig of Winton won the 1950 metre feature by half a head from Son Of Patrick which was bred by Nathan Williamson. It was Leaf Stride’s second win in as many starts and both trainer Phil Williamson and driver Matty Williamson have a good opinion of the Love You gelding. Later on the card the royally bred Arden’s Ace got up to nab pacemaker Under Wraps by a head. Arden’s Ace is by Art Major out the sixteen win race mare Venus Serena. The win was the three year old’s second win in as many starts. He was bred at Arden Lodge in Tapanui by John Stiven. Across the Tasman two Southland bred mares quinellaed the Group Three Ladyship Pace at Menangle last night. Bettor Enforce bred by Ben and Karen Calder won her sixteenth race when she beat another Southland mare Havtime running the mile in 1-49.8. Bettor Enforce has now won over a quarter of a million dollars. Meanwhile at Gloucester Park in Western Australia on Friday night Jimmy Mack, Rakasinc and Talkerup all bred in the south, won their respective races. Bruce Stewart

By Jonny Turner    One Apollo has a crucial advantage over his main rivals going in to the group 3 D G Jones Memorial Trotting Cup, he just needs to take advantage of it. The Brent White trained trotter will clash with again with Heavyweight Hero, Pres The Belle and Woodstone after beating them home in Sundees Son’s Ordeal Trotting Cup victory at Addington a fortnight ago. Though Sundees Son and runner-up Majestic Man cleared out in front of One Apollo, White was more than happy with his horse’s effort for driver Ricky May. “When they really went down the back he got caught a little bit flat footed,” the trainer said. “So, Ricky probably nursed him a bit more, being his first time against those real good ones.” “He still hit the line and he didn’t get knocked around at all – there are a few more nice races coming up for him.” One Apollo gets a 10m headstart in his quest to try to beat the trio he downed in his last start in Sunday’s 2810m feature. But the 5yr-old must step away well or he might as well be starting on the back mark with them. “He has got to step first,” White said. “If he gets away cleanly Ricky has got to be a bit positive and then he can make his mind up about what he wants to do after that.” With a strong record of three placings from five starts on grass and confidence from White that his horse should see out a strong 2810m, Sunday’s race looks an ideal opportunity for One Apollo. The early favourite for the race and One Apollo’s main rival, Heavyweight Hero, brings an even more impressive grass track record to the D G Jones Memorial Trotting Cup. The trotter will look to quickly move on from a rare early gallop in the Ordeal Trotting Cup and add to his three wins that have come in just four starts on turf. Pres The Belle is in a similar position to Heavyweight Hero. The usually reliable mare, who has had two starts on grass for a win and a placing, will be out to turnaround the rare mistake she made when breaking late in the Ordeal Trotting Cup. White also starts Rogie Falls in race 5 Cranbourne in race 8 on Sunday. Cranbourne will step out for the first time this season with the benefit of one Ashburton trial under his belt. The 4yr-old went to the line untested by driver Stephen McNally in the heat on a slick 26.5sec last 400m. “The blinds were still in the gear bag at home and the plugs were still in,” White said. “Stephen was more than happy with him.” His trial effort may suggest Cranbourne has thrived since his last start at Invercargill in March. But it has not all been smooth sailing for the horse since then. “He came up good and then he got a wee bit crook and his bloods were out,” White said. “But, I have been really happy with him since then.” “He has got a good bunch of owners, so I hope he does a good job.” Ben Laughton drives Cranbourne in Sunday’s junior driver’s event. Rogie Falls has raced consistently in his five starts since lockdown. But the trotter would have gone even better if he had been able to show racing fans the potential he shows White at home. “He works unbelievable, but then he misses away or gets a bad runs or decides not to quite put in 100%.” “He can trot and he is one of those horses that when he wins one, he will win two or three in a row real quick.” Stephen McNally drives Rogie Falls on Sunday.

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Motukarara on grass again today with a twelve race program starting at 12:05pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. The content is provided for informational purposes only. Check below the video for our selections for all of the races today for Motukarara. Banks Peninsular Sunday 27th September 2020 Race 1 Kingsdown Atom good from a stand and in top form. Will be hard to beat and top selection.…… Mark Dunnett disappointing last start after a nice grass trial win but give another chance. Can win ..… Kusanova ok last start and will be fitter. Needed here.…….. Daggy Lamb coming in fresh after an ok grass trial. One for longer odds Selections:  Kingsdown Atom (9),   Mark Dunnett (7),   Kusanova (6),    Daggy Lamb (8)   Race 2 Trixton Time  generally a good beginner and has a decent motor. Unknown on grass but good winning claims if she can get handy early on……. Shiffty his first two runs were ok with money on. Winning claims with a good run in transit…… Sungait's Legacy sprint trip on grass should suit but needs to bring his manners. Place claims best…… The Gardener's Pride good third last start and a weaker field here. Great chance to run in the top three. Needed Selections:  Trixton Time  (7),   Shiffty (14),   Sungait's Legacy (10),   The Gardener's Pride (6)   Race 3 Cristiano Buccini good draw and his runs on grass this campaign have been good. Looks a good winning chance from the draw ….. Mach's Eliminator good fourth fresh up but tricky draw here. A good chance if the horse he is following can lead early….. King Arthur better when saved for one run at them. Could surprise at nice odds with the right trip…. Greenback Boogie tidy draw and top driver on board Winning claims Selections:   Cristiano Buccini (1),   Mach's Eliminator (10),   King Arthur (9),   Greenback Boogie (2)   Race 4 Unchanged Memory narrowly beaten fourth in a strong field fresh up and stand suits here. Can win at decent odds with luck in the running….. Texas Tara could get a cosy trip from the draw and was in a handy position before breaking last start. Good winning claims….. Manjimup running good races at trials and workouts but manners a concern. Not the worst and has winning claims at big odds with a clean getaway …. Buckingham tricky draw and a bit one paced. Can run top three if they go hard up front Selections:   Unchanged Memory (9),   Manjimup (11),   Buckingham (15),   Texas Tara (3)   Race 5 Play Dough good finish for third last start and drawn to lead and run. Top selection here…… Franco Josiah likes the track and distance and trialling ok. Paying good money and should be in or near the top four if he brings his a-game… Tequila Sunset drawn to be a good place chance if she brings her manners. Include at longer odds… Call This Fun beat most of this field last start and conditions suit. Sould be hard to beat. Selections:  Play Dough (6),   Franco Josiah (12),   Call This Fun (8),   Tequila Sunset (2)   Race 6 Canardly Remember getting fitter and drawn to be a major threat. No reason he won’t be in the top three here from the draw. Top selection….. Magicol Ideal getting better with racing and tricky draw the only. Can run top three at good odds…… Jenabella running on last start and stronger now. Will start favourite and be hard to beat.… It's Me form does not reflect his true ability. Can run top three with his mind on the job Selections:  Canardly Remember (1),   Jenabella (11),   It's Me (4),   Magicol Ideal (14)   Race 7 Heavyweight Hero good beginner who has won on grass. Looks the one to beat and likely to finish in the top three here……. One Apollo gets in off the front and this field looks within his range. Hard to beat with a clean start ….. Pres The Belle has a good finishing burst. A top three finish looks on the cards at nice odds if she can have one last run at them off a strong pace….. Woodstone has been ok the last couple and grass should suit. Can upset if he can get near the lead early Selections:  Heavyweight Hero (10),   One Apollo (2),   Pres The Belle (9)    Woodstone (11)   Race 8 Cranbourne coming in fresh but has a class factor over the rest of them. Will be hard to beat here……. Playa Vista likely to get a good run on the fence. One of the better chances in the race from the inside draw..… I Am Adaline has been solid in similar races and grass and distance suits. Has claims with one run at them….. Luella has been ok from better draws but terrible marble here. Will be hard to beat if she goes forward early Selections:  Cranbourne (13),   Luella (9),   I Am Adaline (12)    Playa Vista (10)   Race 9 Fynn Frost has been racing top fields and this is easier. Should be very hard to roll and getting fitter now. Top selection here……. Skippys Delight running ok races and grass suits. Major player here...… Sister's Delight normally good from a stand and grass stats good. Good winning claims here at big money….. Doctor Tim has had a couple of pipeopeners to get ready. Should be nearing peak fitness and needed here Selections:  Fynn Frost (10),   Skippys Delight (12),   Sister's Delight (3)    Doctor Tim (13)   Race 10 Essence Of Easton big on ability and draw the only concern here. Should be hard to beat and grass will suit……. Been To Jenny's good finish to win last start and she looks a good winning chance even with a step up in grade..… Duastar has performed well in similar fields in the past. Include in combinations….. Barkley disappointing last start but well placed here. Win chance at big odds with a good run in transit Selections:  Barkley (2),   Essence Of Easton (9),   Duastar (4)    Been To Jenny's (11)   Race 11 Prince Teka has been racing better fields and this is easier. Likely early leader and should be very hard to roll ……. Global Flight galloped last start but better than his form reads. One for longer odds here...… Sunny Bill normally good from a stand and grass stats good. Good winning claims here at big money….. Sods Law has won here before and drawn well. Should be nearing peak fitness a good winning chance with manners Selections:  Sunny Bill (5),   Global Flight (13),   Prince Teka (3)    Sods Law (4)   Race 12 Star Reactor ok fresh up and gate speed to lead here. Winning claims at good odds……. Swap Over running ok races without a lot of luck and grass suits. Place claims at longer odds...… Auchtercairn better with a sit and should get that here. Chance here at bolters odds….. Pro Surfer good second fresh up and looks the the likely favourite for the race. Should be nearing peak fitness and needed here Selections:  Swap Over (3),   Star Reactor (7),   Pro Surfer (12)    Auchtercairn (10)   Harnesslink Media

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Showy chestnut Leaf Stride kept his undefeated record intact when winning the Haras des Trotteurs Sires’ Stakes Prelude Mobile Trot (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Friday night. The Phil Williamson-trained three-year-old was given a gun run in the trail behind race favourite Bitamuscle and driver Matthew Williamson was able to utilise the passing lane to get the better of his rivals and score by half a head over Son Of Patrick, who was bred by Williamson’s son Nathan. “I was thrilled with how it panned out,” Phil Williamson said. “On paper it looked like it might be run that way, get the trail and have our chance, and it turned out great.” Leaf Stride was victorious on debut at Addington last month, but Williamson admitted he was wary of the handy field he met on Friday. “I was respectful of all the other runners and nice races are never easy to win. It was a pretty star-studded line-up,” he said. “He is a nice horse, we have always known that. It has just been a matter of him delivering on what his potential is.”   Leaf Stride impressed Williamson as a younger horse and he was delighted to welcome him into his barn after he was purchased for $90,000 at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred National Yearling Sale by Emilio and Maria Rosati. “He was a nice horse, I had seen him a few times from a foal,” Williamson said. “He will now head to the Sires Stakes and the Harness Millions.” Later in the night Williamson was pleased to see stablemate Jimmy Carter finish runner-up in the Clarkson Signs – In House Graphic Design Handicap Trot (2600m). “Jimmy Carter went a nice race. We were really pleased with that and it was good seeing his manners there,” Williamson said. “He has been racing well this time in. In that class at Addington there are a lot of nice horses around and you don’t get anything at Addington cheaply.” Williamson said Jimmy Carter will likely make a return trip to Addington next week. “There is a nice race for him next week, a $20,000 race up to rating 60 and he sits about 59, so he is in the right spot rating wise and with manners he would be a chance again.”

Krug (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) confirmed his star status and made history at Alexandra Park on Friday night when producing an explosive sprint to win the first-ever running of an NZB Standardbred Harness Million event. Driver Blair Orange’s early decision to hand the lead to main rival It’s All About Faith (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) and Mark Purdon, proved a masterstroke when Krug outsprinted the pacemaker to win the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts & Geldings Final (2200m). Chrissie Dalgety etched her name in to NZB Standardbred’s history books as both the trainer and part-owner of the inaugural winner of a NZB Standardbred Harness Million Final. Dalgety, who trains in partnership with Nathan Purdon, went in to the race hopeful Krug would get the chance to show his best. And she got her wish thanks to Orange’s bold tactics. “It was very, very exciting,” Dalgety said. “Going in to the race I was just hoping he wouldn’t have any bad luck. In most big races that can happen – you can go sensationally and still not win, you just don’t know until you’re out there.” Krug was knocked down to Dalgety and her husband Cran’s Kentuckiana Lodge Ltd for $155,000 at NZB Standardbred’s National Yearling Sale in Christchurch in 2019. Though his speed and stamina suggest he is clearly an impeccable physical specimen, it is not just Krug’s athletic physique that makes him so good. “Cran eyed him up at the sales, he has impeccable breeding and he is a beautiful horse,” Dalgety said. “His personality is just outstanding, I kind of feel like he is half human sometimes.” Krug’s brilliant manners and calm demeanour helped him relax perfectly in to the trail after It’s All About Faith’s early burst to take the front. The star pacer came in to the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts & Geldings Final when going down narrowly as the hot favourite to race rival American Dealer (NZ) (American Ideal) in last week’s $128,000 Group One Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes Final (1700m) at Alexandra Park. Rather than the defeat denting the Dalgety-Purdon camp’s confidence, the trainers made the most of the situation. “Everyone just expected him to come out and win last week,” Dalgety said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are, everyone is beatable. So, I think it took a bit of pressure of us, really.” Krug cleared out to win by three and three-quarter lengths over Its All About Faith. Stonewall Stud’s B D Joe (NZ) (Roll With Joe) ran a game third after working around the field to sit parked for the last lap of the race. Last week’s Group One winner American Dealer (NZ) (American Ideal) produced another strong performance when running on strongly in to fourth placing. Krug’s victory gave the honour of being crowned vendor of the first ever win in Harness Million history to Canterbury horseman Mark Smolenski’s Smolenski Stables. The Bettor’s Delight colt, from former top class racemare Champagne Princess (NZ) (Soky’s Atom), was bred and sold by the estate of Smolenski’s father, the late leading trainer and driver, Jack Smolenski. Attention now turns to next Friday's meeting at Addington where the running of both the NZB Standardbred Harness Million for 2YO Fillies and for 2YO Trotters will be contested.    NZB Standardbred

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound NZ Sires Stakes winner The Pukekohe colt American Dealer, who firmly clinched his claim to being the best three-year-old colt of the season when he won the $128,800 Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park, is a member of one of NZ’s top ranking standardbred families. American Dealer, who has now won four races and $99,670, is a colt by the Western Ideal horse American Ideal, who stood his early seasons at Woodlands Stud and has been located at Northern Rivers Equine while at the stud in Victoria. American Ideal has been most successful in Australia. His stock include the champion Bling It On, the WA Pacing Cup winners Soho Tribeca, My Hard Copy and Mighty Conqueror, the brilliant but ill-fated Centenario and the Derby winner Ideal For Real. American Dealer                                                         --Megan Liefting/Race Images photo   American Dealer is out of Maddison’s Delight, by Bettor’s Delight from Pacing Grace 1:57.7 (8 wins), a North Island bred mare by In The Pocket from Jessie Grace, by Vance Hanover, and tracing to the taproot Verity (by Vancleve). Pacing Grace was the dam of two high class pacers in Pacing Major (1:52), a winner of 19 races and $621,436, and All U Need Is Faith 1:49.8 ($326,114), a good winner in NZ and America.  Other daughters of Pacing Grace also bred on with marked successes. Grace Way (1:56.8) became the dam of the Victoria HRSC 3YO Cup winner Three Ways 1:54.1 ($219,949), the Redcliffe Derby winner Make Way 1:51.7 ($148,095) and Forgotten Highway 1:55.6 ($147,019).  Pacing Delight, a sister to Maddison’s Delight, left a Group 2 winning juvenile in Virgil 1:52.3 ($121,741), the Menangle winner Mason’s Delight (1:51.9) and recent Addington three-year-old winner Aladdin. American Dealer is a half-brother to the thrice Gloucester Park winner Sweet Maddison (1:57.1).   Call Me Hector star sprinter Call Me Hector advanced strong claims to being the best sprint pacer in Tasmania today when he scored a record-breaking win in the Free-for-all at Launceston last Sunday. Call Me Hector carved out the 1680 metres 1:59.4, a rate of 1:54.4 - 0.2 inside the previous track standard. He also holds the Hobart track record of 1:54.3 set 12 months earlier. Call Me Hector                                                                 It was his sixth win for the season. At his previous start he disposed of Ryley Major and others, and earlier in the year he won at Melton in 1:55.2. Call Me Hector has not done a great deal of racing, having averaged 11 starts a season. In four seasons of racing Call Me Hector has won 19 races and has been 16 times placed from 58 starts for $129,856. By champion sire Art Major, he is out of Lady Jillett Lombo, by Mach Three from Lady Titian Lombo (1:59.4), by Fake Left from Titian Annie, by Big Band Sound. Call Me Hector is a half-brother to the former top racemare Call Her Julie 1:56.2 ($172,428) and recent Cranbourne winner Groom (1:57.3).   Well related three-year-old filly Artemis, who downed a strong field of three-year-olds at Menangle last weekend, is a Mach Three filly from the same family as that which produced a champion New Zealand pacer in Courage Under Fire. It was her third success at the Sydney headquarters track. She is a filly by the Matt’s Scooter horse, Mach Three, from Eyre To The Throne (1:58.9), the best of whose several progeny have been the Breeders Crown winner Cyclone Kate 1:50.3 ($341,723) and the NZ Kindergarten winner Cyclone Prince 1:57.1 ($131,057). Eyre To The Throne ranks as a sister to the prolific Menangle winner Passion Stride 1:53.4 ($162,028), being by Presidential Ball from the In The Pocket mare Erin Brockovich, a full sister to Courage Under Fire, the winner of a record six Derbies, and Advance Attack, a former to Kiwi juvenile who is now at the stud in WA.   Fifth on end The Western Districts gelding Jilliby Sylvester, who is being aimed at the forthcoming three-year-old classics, extended his unbeaten winning sequence to five at the Horsham midweek meeting. He is by the Cam’s Card Shark horse Roll With Joe, sire of the record-breaking juvenile Ignatius. Jilliby Sylvester’s dam, Jilliby Opal, was unraced, being by Artsplace from Jilliby Gold 1:59 ($183,394), a top racemare whose 24 successes included the Queen of the Pacific, and by What’s Next, a world champion and highly successful sire. Jilliby Gold, the dam also of a capable pacer in Jilliby Rio 1:55.8 (27 wins and $214,755), was a half-sister to the Nyah Cup and USA winner Jilliby Spirit 1:50.2 ($495,022), the Melton winner Jilliby Master (1:55.4) and others in Jilliby Lightning (1:57.2) and Jilliby Jet (1:57.8). Their dam, Jilliby Diamond, who left nine winners, was by the Inter Dominion winner Koala King from Jilliby Dollar, by the dual Derby winner Royal Dollar. Jilliby Sylvester is a member of Marg Lee’s team.   Broodmare double The Art Major mare Glenferrie Shuffle 1:57 ($279,839), a former Breeders Crown 2YO champion, left two winners in the space of 24 hours. Her first two foals, Zanadu (by Bettor’s Delight) and Kezzamac (by Well Said), won at Menangle and Canberra respectively. Zanadu, who went in 1:55.3, has now won five races, while the three-year-old Kezzamac has won twice. Glenferrie Shuffle, a winner of 13 races, is out of a fine racemare in Hot Shoe Shuffle 1:57.9 ($295,011), by Falcon Seelster from Off Beat, by Vance Hanover from Broken Drum, by Lordship from the Smooth Fella mare Berndon Star (2:02.8), a half-sister to the Victoria Derby winner Smooth Falcon. Glenferrie Shuffle is a half-sister to the Menangle winner Jivin Cullen 1:54 ($190,713), the exported Joshua Mac 1:57.8 ($107,760), Sem’s Delight (1:57) and Hotinthecitytonite (1:58.8), dam of the Melton and Albury String of Pearls victor Delightful Jazz 1:54 ($105,600).   Star three-year-old by Sportswriter James Rattray, who brought out champions in Beautide and Ignatius, has a smart three-year-old in Jimartee racing at present. He downed a strong field in a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge at Penrith, rating 1:53.9 over 1720 metres – only 0.3 outside Ignatius’s track record. Earlier in the season he won the Young Derby and from 20 starts he has won seven times and been six times placed for $75,600 in stakes. Jimartee ranks as a half-brother to a handy pacer in Vienna Boy (1:52.6), being a gelding by the Artsplace horse, Sportswriter, from Vienna Bromac, by Courage Under Fire from Universal Woman, by Caprock from Winsome Tricks, by Overtrick from Winsome Glow, dam of the Kaikoura Cup winner Franco Whisper. Vienna Bromac, who won four races at Menangle and took a record of 1:54, was a half-sister to the good NZ and Albion Park winner Amysteriouseagle (2:00.8). This is the family of the Breeders Crown champion Just Cala, Classiesistar (1:51.8), Sir Clive (NZ Kindergarten), Posh Jaccka (Vic. Gold Chalice), Adda Rising Star and others.   Tailored Elegance bred to be top trotter Tailored Elegance, who is proving herself a star juvenile trotter, has won three of her last five starts including a runaway success at Bendigo last Saturday when having only her second start on Australian soil. Tailored Elegance                          -HRNZ   She is a three-year-old filly by Muscle Hill, sire of Australia’s top trotting mare in Dance Craze, out of the Armbro Invasion mare Classic Armbro (Tr 2:07.2), a winning daughter of the former NZ trotting queen Merinai Tr 2:00.8 ($244,155). Besides Classic Armbro, Merinai, who won three Group 1 races, is also the dam of the smart NSW square-gaiter Sunny Elegant Tr 1:57.2 ($102,330), Miss Pegasus, who won nine and $86,391), Wingsonhai (7 wins) and Madam Spur (5 wins).  Merinai is the grand-dam of the NSW Foundation Series and Bathurst Gold Coronet winner Pegasus Elegance Tr 1:54.6 ($128,060), the prolific Melton winner Pretty Sunday Tr 1:57.4 ($175,182), Sonofanearl Tr 2:00.6 ($117,798), Rosemma (Lyn McPherson Memorial) and the Maori Legend victor Aldebaran Shelly. Tailored Elegance is a sister to the promising youngster I See Fire and a half-sister to Sertorius Tr 1:58.6 (8 wins and $116,898) and the Victorian winner Popcorn Sutton.   Henrik Larsson unbeaten three-year-old Henrik Larsson, who beat a useful field at Gloucester Park last Friday and is undefeated in four starts, gives the impression that he could develop into one of next season’s top four-year-olds. Bred in New Zealand, Henrik Larsson is a big, muscular colt by Art Major from No Mas (2:00.8), a lightly raced mare by Badlands Hanover from Sammi Franco, by Falcon Seelster from the NSW bred Stormy Pat, a sister to the glamour filly Eva Thor, the winner of 15 races as a two and three-year-old including the Raith Memorial and National Stallion Stakes. No Mas, who won twice, figures as a half-sister to a grand WA pacer and cups winner in Our Jimmy Johnstone 1:53.5 ($778,635), the Harold Park winner Fast Sticks (1:59) and to Sevenspanishangels, dam of the Wanganui Cup winner Thunderfromthethrone. Henrik Larsson is the first foal of his dam. A champion pacer in Don’t Retreat belongs to this family. He won a record 26 races at Harold Park and qualified for three Inter Dominion finals and in all won 54 races and $340,317 in stakes. Alecane (NSW Cannonball Stakes and ID heat), Seaswift Joy (1:50), NZ 3YO of the Year Kotare Legend and Majestic Major are among many good winning members of Henrik Larsson’s family, which has produced to pacers in both NZ and Australia.   Blue blooded filly Rogue Wave, who scored a commanding win in a slick 1:54.3 at her first start at the Shepparton midweek meeting, is a two-year-old filly who can claim some worthwhile blood. By Somebeachsomewhere, by Mach Three from Where’s The Beach, by Beach Towel, she is out of the Live Or Die mare Perfect Life, whose dam, Secret Life (1:58.6), ranked as a sister to Royal Crime 1:55.7 ($100,753) and a half-sister to the Southern Cross winners Lovelist 1:53.2 ($222,889) and Punch Line (1:54.2) and to the Modern Art mare Modern Life, dam of Rising Stars winner Ample Power 1:55.6 ($107,825). Lovelist became the dam of this year’s unbeaten two-year-old filly Treachery, winner of the $100,000 The Allwood. Their dam, Lifeline, was a half-sister to the Hunter Cup winner Safe And Sound ($995,606), Gold Rocket (1:51), Massarua (1:55.8) and The Good Times (1:54.4).     by Peter Wharton

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Advancing first-over in the final panel Southwind Ion drew clear to a seven-length harness racing victory in the featured pace Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.  David Dowling was in the race bike as he doubled up trainer Jennifer Doyle on the program with a 1:55.1 score behind Southwind Ion at 8-1 odds. The pacesetter in the $2,300 event was Temagami Seelster (Driven by Brodie MacPhee), riding a five-race win streak, but the filly yielded to Southwind Ion at the three-quarters of 1:26.4 before interfering on the rest of the field. Filly Forty Seven (Marc Campbell) was second while Better Be In Love (Jason Hughes) completed the $186.60 triactor. Doyle shares ownership of Southwind Ion with Danny Birt of Earnscliffe.  Dowling and Doyle also saw a victory in a trot event in race 6 as Glider Man won in 1:59.2.  Barrieau scored four wins on the Thursday claiming the opening dash with Ill Tell Me Ma (1:57.1) for Scott Dunn of Montague, followed by a 1:57.1 win with JJ Gracie and a trotting victory with Cheeky Little Mix (1:58.4), both from his own stable. He bagged win number four in the evening finale as Much Adoo (1:57.2) prevailed as the favourite from the Ron Matheson stable of Charlottetown.  MacPherson had a driving hat trick on the card winning with Dreas Good Powow (1:58.1) for Joe MacDonald of Breadalbane, Tobins Angel (1:59.4) from the Charlottetown based Mike McGuigan stable and with Elm Grove Ladyluck (1:57.3) for trainer Jonah Moase of Warren Grove.  Go to for race replays and more.    By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores 

The Geraldine Trotting Club says it is determined to make the most of the decision allowing it to host a meeting at its Orari course in November. As part of a wide-ranging review into racetracks around the country Orari was originally left without a meeting at its home track in the 2020-21 season, with their one and only meeting to be transferred to Methven. Now, TAB NZ has agreed that the Geraldine Trotting Club, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, can host a meeting after all. The Christmas at the Races meeting will be held on November 28. “It’s a chance to redeem ourselves,” says Geraldine TC president Mark Weaver, “ we want a good crowd, good turnover and everyone to have a relaxing fun time.” “And we are hoping that Mother Nature will play her part.” Weaver says the feedback to the decision has been very encouraging. The meeting will be subject to a review that will determine its future. "It’s our one chance," Weaver says. As well as the 150th milestone the meeting will also be the first since the death of club stalwart and commentator Lochie Marshall. He died in March after a battle with leukaemia. “We are keen to honour him with a race, and it would have to be a trot.” From 1992 - 2019 Marshall only trained trotters, and among his 13 winners (196 starts) Missie Castleton was the square-gaiter he was most associated with (6 wins from 81 starts). For more information about the day, bookings etc contact : Phone:0274 357398

Good time alert!   Grass track racing with crowds is officially back on Sunday.   Yes, that’s right, it’s grass track racing and we’re all officially invited!   It’s hard not to get too excited about the Bank Peninsula Trotting Club and the return of racing at Motukarara       Big fields,competitive racing,big dividends,hot dogs, hot dog sauce running down your face, sun burnt faces, sun burnt backs, kids going crazy on the bouncy castle, parents going crazy at kids for jumping on other kids on the bouncy castle, …put all of that together and you’ve got everything that’s great about harness racing in New Zealand.     On the racing front the meeting does have quality to it too. The Majestic Son D G Jones Memorial Trotting Cup at Group 3 level is the feature race of the card and is timed to go at 2.35pm.   Reading a list of the winners of the race is like reading the history of trotting in this country itself.   Sundon, the super sire, claimed victory in 1990 when off a 30m mark, Call Me Now edged Game Paul in 1994 (my two dollars a place on Game Paul proving profitable) Lyell Creek “the freak” greeted the judge in 1999 and again in 2000 while the free wheeling Springbank Richard won a brace of D G Jones Memorial titles in 2009 and 2010. More recent winners include the Mark Purdon trained I Can Doosit while Paul Nairn has enjoyed major success in the race with Call Me Now and Call You Later both claiming the title, Habibti Ivy winning the cup in 2017 and Habibi Inta capturing the silverware last year before going on to win the Dominion Handicap.         Elsewhere across the card punters will get a mix of even looking maiden offerings along with some intermediate grade pacing and trotting events that are sure to give some headaches to form analysts and amateur wagerers alike.   Two memorial races named in memory of Motukarara stalwarts will also be contested with the Jean Anderson Memorial set to go at 12.30 and the Ross Stanbury Memorial to be run after the feature trot at 3.00pm.      Stables that could be ones to follow would include the Greg and Nina Hope and R J Dunn Barns, both of which have enjoyed good success around “Mot” in past seasons while the Dean Taylor and Bruce Negus barns shouldn’t be dismissed from calculations either with their runners invariable putting in sound performances around the big grass track.     The club has also stepped into the 21st century recently with the installation of a cell phone tower (with a combined commitment from leading telcos making this a reality). This solves the underlying issue of connectivity that the racecourse wrestled with in years gone by and will come as a most welcome improvement by those that previously had to stand on their heads by the secretaries office to generate 2-bar reception.   In summary, a good day out at Banks P on Sunday looks a pretty good bet if you ask me!   Ben McMillan.   

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Trainer Ray Green Is expecting much of the same from his gun pacer Copy That when he contests the Franklin Long Roofing 2020 Spring Cup (2200m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night. The American Ideal entire has strung together four wins from as many starts this preparation and Green can’t see that picket fence form line ending this week, despite his wide draw. “You can’t fault what he has done,” Green said. “He has done some spectacular stuff and long may it continue, I don’t see why it won’t. “He has drawn the outside (9) but as long as he steps well, which he has been doing, and doesn’t get inconvenienced by anybody, he should race as good as he has been racing which makes him hard to beat.” Copy That is currently the $2.50 favourite in the TAB’s futures market for the Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) in November and Green has yet to decide when he will launch his southern assault. “We will just see how he goes on Friday,” he said. “He may stay for the Holmes DG a week later or we may just head south. It depends how he pulls up after Friday night.” One stablemate that could join him on that trip south is last start Gr.1 Sires’ Stakes Final (1700m) winner American Dealer. The son of American Ideal finally got the better of favourite Krug after three prior meetings, including finishing runner-up to the Nathan Purdon and Chrissie Dalgety-trained three-year-old a fortnight prior. “It was a great win,” Green said. “He’s come through it well. He has got a good system and recovers pretty quickly. “He’s a hard horse to beat is Krug, he did it tough but we bested him last week, I don’t know about this week though.” Krug has drawn the ace barrier in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Colt and Gelding Final (2200m) on Friday, while American Dealer has drawn fourth on the second line. “I think we might be pushing it a bit with the draw,” Green said. “But that’s horse racing, you have got to take the rough with the smooth. “He will go a good race, he always does, but he is up against it with the draw.” American Dealer will be joined in the race by stablemate Captain Nemo, who finished eighth in the Sires’ Stakes Final. “Captain Nemo is a work in progress,” Green said. “He is a very nice horse, but I don’t think we will see the best of him until we get up around the Derby distances around the New Year. “That is when he will come to the fore.”

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk     Trotting maestro Paul Nairn will take a trio of square-gaiters to Addington Raceway on Friday and he believes they are all in with a chance. Unbeaten three-year-old Bitamuscle will be out to extend his winning streak to four in the Haras de Trotteurs Sires’s Stakes Prelude Mobile Trot (1980m) “He is nice, good-gaited horse,” Nairn said. “I am very happy with him, everything has gone to plan and he has trained on well since his last race.” The son of Muscle Hill will start from the outside of the front row with Bob Butt in the cart, and Nairn said it will be his biggest test to date. “His draw isn’t ideal, so we won’t be wanting too much bad luck from there. But in saying that, it’s not a big field,” Nairn said. “It’s probably the strongest field he has struck, there are quite a few nice ones in there.” All going to plan Bitamuscle will head towards the Sires Stakes Final before heading to the spelling paddock in preparation for bigger targets later in the season. “He will have a spell most likely after the sires stakes in a few weeks,” Nairn said. “Then he will get ready for the late summer, early autumn type of races.” He will be joined in Friday’s race by stablemate Outamyway who will be driven by Nairn after breaking in his last outing. “He wasn’t getting tired (last start),” Nairn said. “Blair (Orange, driver) said he just got a bit rough and had a gallop on the last bend. “He is a good staying type of horse and is suited more if they went hard the whole way.” Nairn will also do the steering behind Gil Favor in the Clarkson Signs – In House Graphic Design Handicap Trot (2600m). “Gil Favor has been a great wee horse,” Nairn said. “He gets a cheque just about every time he goes to the races. “I would like to think he is a nice chance off the front with his manners.” Gil Favor is one of the few representatives on the track for his sire Waterloo Sunset, who Nairn stands at stud. “Waterloo Sunset has had very limited opportunities, but he is actually leaving nice horses,” Nairn said. “I have got three mares in-foal to him myself and I think he is a good chance to make it as a sire as long as he gets an opportunity.”

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