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KEVIN Pizzuto blames himself for Tiger Tara running one of the worst races of his career in the NZ free-for-all. And he wants punters and fans of the mighty pacer to know it won’t happen again. In short, Pizzuto said he gave Tiger Tara to much time in a lush paddock eating grass after his epic second to Thefixer in last Tuesday’s NZ Cup. “He was bloated and you know it feels when you’re bloated,” he said. “I made a mistake. I’m annoyed with myself. It shouldn’t have happened. “I can understand people thinking he might have been tired after the Cup, but it wasn’t that. He actually pulled-up blowing after the race. He’s simply had far too much of that green grass. “Of course you get everything checked after a run like that. I had him scoped, but he was fine. “And he’s been really well since so now I just want to get him home and focus on the Inter Dominion.” Tiger Tara is booked on a flight back to Sydney on Tuesday. It’s great to hear Pizzuto has committed to the Inter Dominion after being far from certainly at stages of last week. “I think this thing of needing to be in Melbourne five days before the heats start is crazy, but I will go down early if I have to,” Pizzuto said. “I’m taking about 15 horses down to Victoria to race them for a few weeks around Inter Dominion time.” Tiger Tara has eased from $4 to $5, but remains favourite for the Inter Dominion final. There has been lots of talk about Tiger Tara also going to Perth for the lucrative Fremantle and WA Cups in January. “At one stage I’d considered missing the Inter Dominion and just going to Perth, but now I’m committed to Victoria, I’ll wait and see how he comes through that before deciding on Perth,” Pizzuto said. “I’d love to go to Perth and probably will if he comes through the Inter Dominion really well.”   Adam Hamilton

As far as elite drivers go, the name of Natalie Rasmussen is clearly in the conversation. The trailblazing girl from Queensland can drive.....and she can drive fast. But it’s the soft hands and gentle approach that puts her in rare air. Her collection of big race trophies includes Inter Dominions, Miracle Mile, Queensland Pacing Championships and Auckland, Victoria and Hunter Cups. Rasmussen has led the way for female drivers by becoming the first to win the Inter Dominion, Queensland Pacing Championship plus the Auckland, Victoria and Winter Cups. All of the above mentioned are Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit events, the best of the best. And the latest trophy to the mantelpiece, the Gr.1 $800,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup, another Grand Circuit feature. Rasmussen produced another polished display to land the 3200m stand start feature, getting race favourite Thefixer away safely before taking the early lead from Star Galleria and then handing over to stablemate Dream About Me. It was typical of her normal poise and guile in big pressure events. The victory puts her alongside fellow Australian Kerryn Manning as the only female winners of the famed feature. Rasmussen also co-trains the winner in partnership with Mark Purdon. After a long delay following a botched attempt the first time around with the starting strand becoming entangled with Eamon Maguire, runners were called back and forced to stand to attention again. But the delay had no effect on Rasmussen or Thefixer with a safe beginning made and landing in a dangerous position while key rivals navigated some early traffic and jostled for positions. Sitting patiently in the trail, Thefixer followed Dream About Me and saved much needed energy, the lead time was covered in 1:57.8. Sole Aussie raider Tiger Tara soon made his move and circled three-wide before parking outside Dream About Me, he maintained strong pressure onwards. Approaching the home turn, Dream About Me and Tiger Tara sprinted as strong as they could and actually had Thefixer losing their backs but Rasmussen went to work and the nuggety little stayer knuckled down and picked up via the passing lane to defeat a gallant Tiger Tara with Dream About Me filling third place. The winning margin was a head with a half-length back to third. The winning time was 3:53.9 - the mile rate was 1:57.6. “I can retire happily now that I’ve finally won this race,” Rasmussen declared. “That was so so close but we got there, he’s been a project horse of mine for some time and he’s such a great little stayer, we got a great run but I was worried when the sprint went on but he fought all the way to the finish and he was brave. It wasn’t an ideal campaign with the hoof abscess but things worked out well.” It was her 7th drive in the New Zealand Cup. Her victories on New Zealand soil now tally 237 from 612 drives while amassing more than $7.9 million. The All Stars stable has now won 4 of the past 5 editions. And the efforts of super sire Bettors Delight can’t go unnoticed, his 5th straight winner of the Cup plus a trifecta! Thefixer is by Bettors Delight from the Christian Cullen mare Tosti Girl and came at a cost of $47,000 at the 2015 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka. The next leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit is the Inter Dominion in Melbourne on December 15.   Chris Barsby

The New Zealand Trotting Cup doesn’t cut in half. And Thefixer and Tiger Tara won’t receive the same prize money for the bravery at Addington yesterday. But while only the former will have his name etched on the most famous trophy in New Zealand racing, the latter shared the glory in a $800,000 thriller. Thefixer at just his 16th start held off the Australian iron horse in a pulsating finish, one that confirmed no matter how many stars are missing the New Zealand Trotting Cup is that rare equine contest that always produces a fairytale. But this fairytale has two heroes. Thefixer overcame soreness just six weeks ago which threatened to derail his Cup campaign and then recorded the second fastest time in the history of the great race, only his former stablemate Lazarus having gone faster two years ago. Lazarus was all muscle and flash, the bully who taunted his Cup rivals with an arrogant 10-length win. But this time trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen had to earn their Cup, cajoling Thefixer back to his best because only his best would do. After a dreaded false start he got the second attempt right then led and trailed Dream About Me. From there it was his race to lose but lose it he almost did. Because while Thefixer was enjoying the perfect run for driver Rasmussen, Tiger Tara came three wide to sit parked and break the seemingly unbreakable Dream About Me in front. At the 200m mark he looked set to produce one of the gutsiest Cup wins in history only for Thefixer to rally, an equine Rocky Balboa defying the bigger, strong Apollo Creed. Every centremetre Rasmussen saved on the marker pegs made the difference but the runner up was so magnificent it almost felt like their were two Cup winners. The magnificence of Tiger Tara in defeat doesn’t detract from what the winner achieved though. This was, after all, just his 16th start and Thefixer hadn’t come through the glamour of age group races and has earned his stripes in the big time the old fashioned way. Being so untapped and new his options are numerous, with Purdon and Rasmussen to sit down today and decide whether he heads to the Inter Dominion in Victoria starting December 1, a decision which will impact on whether he starts in the NZ Free-For-All this Friday. “He is a very brave horse because he was out on his feet at the top of the straight but he just kept coming,” said Rasmussen, who joins Kerryn Manning as only the second female driver to win the Cup. One horse certain to be in both the Free-For-All and at the Inter Dominion is Tiger Tara, who greatness isn’t in his raw ability but in the organ beating under his rib cage. He quite simply covered lengths more than the other placegetters and produced a run that would have won more than 100 of the NZ Cups run since the first in 1904. “He was great. There really isn’t a lot more he could have done,” said driver Todd McCarthy. “I thought I had them once I got past Dream About Me but the other little horse just wouldn’t go away.” On a day where the Purdon-Rasmussen team won a scarcely believable eight out of the nine races they contested they may have unearthed their next champion in Ultimate Sniper in the $170,000 Sires’ Stakes. He came from the second line to sit parked and record a searing time to remain unbeaten after four starts, suggesting if he can hold together he could even be the best horse in the all-conquering stable in 12 or 18 months. On any normal day his supersonic effort would have earned him skiting rights for the meeting. But not yesterday. Yesterday he has to share that with Cup winner. And the Cup runner-up. Michael Guerin

Mark Purdon has taken his place alongside two other greats of harness racing by training the winner of his sixth New Zealand Trotting Cup today with Thefixer. Today's win by Thefixer takes Purdon's number of training wins in the race to six which equals the six wins trainers James Bryce and Cecil Devine have also had in the country’s biggest harness race. Natalie Rasmussen drove a perfect race to win her first New Zealand Cup as a driver giving her the race she always wanted to win. "New Zealand is home now. To come here and win this race, it means everything. I could happily retire now," she joked. She paid tribute to Mark Purdon on trackside after the race. "Mark and I are just soulmates, we run our business together, we work together, we live together, we are best friends. I am really lucky to have him in our life. He's just a wonderful, wonderful horseman and I am just really proud of our whole team, right from the top all the way through." Thefixer trailed for the majority of the race and just when it looked like the Australian visitor Tiger Tara was in for a hard fought win, Thefixer poked up the passing lane for a narrow head victory. Thefixer ran the 3200m stand in 3-53.9 which was only 0.8 of a second outside the race record set by the mighty Lazarus in 2016. The last 800m was run in 55.6 seconds. Tiger Tara fought gamely for second after working hard during the running and race leader Dream About Me battled on to hold down third. Cruz Bromac was a touch unlucky getting clear air late and running home well into fourth. All Stars Stables had a day to remember winning 8 of the nine races they contested which surely must be some sort of record in itself.   Harnesslink Media    

At first glance Thefixer doesn’t look like a New Zealand Trotting Cup champion.  The horse who comes out on top in our greatest harness racing usually looks the part. Big, sleek, imposing or at least with an imposing record. The Cup is the race of heroes, equine Hercules like Christian Cullen, Terror To Love and Lazarus or at the very least age group stars who have stamped themselves with class from their early days. There is no shortage of those in today’s $800,000 Cup at Addington — Dream About Me, Jack’s Legend, Tiger Tara and even Locharburn are Derby or Jewels winners who were always going to get invited to the big dances later in life. Cruz Bromac, A G’s White Socks, Star Galleria and Eamon Maguire and also serious group race winners with the speed or stamina of future Cup winners. Not Thefixer. He isn’t imposing, pacing with his head slightly down, his neck stretched. His bank balance is the fifth poorest in the Cup. The richest race he has ever won was only $40,000 and even that was a consolation Sales race for horses who had never won a group one. He is, largely, unspectacular. The winner of just nine races. But that might change today at Addington because there is more to Thefixer than first meets the eye. He has been the find of the harness racing season who was hiding in plain sight. While he has never been the big noise, dig deeper into his mere 15-start career and you find some prized scalps. In his third ever start he beat subsequent Auckland Cup winner Vincent. At his latest outing 11 days ago he beat another Auckland Cup winner in Dream About Me. In between he has unassumingly downed most of his key rivals today, many on numerous occasions. The only major rival he has yet to beat is Aussie hard man Tiger Tara. Today he gets the perfect chance to change that. Thefixer has the ace draw and the manners to use it. If he steps well he can work and then relax, handing up to the right rival, maybe even a stablemate. If that happens — and standing starts can be lotteries — then he is the horse to beat. The days of slow New Zealand Cup are gone and today’s 3200m will probably be paced between 3:53 and 3:57. Will that bother Thefixer, who has never raced over the ultimate distance? “He will love it. He is one horse I am certain will handle a hard run 3200m,” says champion co-trainer Mark Purdon. Purdon usually gets a Sunday morning feel for his Cup runners, when one of them puts their hoof up and says “hey boss, I’m flying.” Thefixer is this year’s Sunday morning special. “He has really come on since his last start win and is exactly where he needs to be. You could see that in Sunday’s work. “It is hard to choose between him and Dream About Me as our best chance because they are both really well. But we couldn’t be happier with Thefixer.” If Dream About Me can lead as her draw and manners suggest then Thefixer will need to be a proper horse to run her down but if he can hold his markers advantage he looks ever so slightly the better bet. The danger, and most important horse in the race, is Tiger Tara and whether he launches a mid-race lead attack that softens the leaders up. But even then, Thefixer tucked away on the marker looks a beneficiary. Both Tiger Tara and Dream About Me have the been-there, done-that record of serious horses so deserve respect and consideration. They fit the mould. The New Zealand Cup winner mould. And Cruz Bromac, Jack’s Legend and even the battling Star Galleria have that most beautiful of racing gifts, sheer speed, that suggests they could dazzle today. Thefixer doesn’t fit the Cup winner mould. And he almost certainly won’t dazzle us. He might just go out and win the New Zealand Cup.   Guerin's Cup picks • Thefixer • Dream About Me • Tiger Tara   Cup Day • What: New Zealand Trotting Cup day. • Where: Addington, Christchurch. • When: First race 12.05pm today. • Who: The elite harness horses in $800,000 NZ Cup, $170,000 Sires' Stakes Final and $100,000 NZ Trotting Free-For-All. • Watch: Trackside TV has live coverage from 11am.   Michael Guerin

A glorious defeat in last season’s New Zealand Cup gives the Tiger Tara camp confidence they have more than just a Plan A at Addington this afternoon. The Aussie could have started favourite in the great race had he drawn to lead, a position from where he defeated Lazarus twice last season and won the Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup in devastating fashion three starts ago. A rampant Tiger Tara might have been impossible to run down tomorrow but his second line draw, coupled with the quartet of favoured Purdon-Rasmussen rivals drawn well, suggest finding the lead could be tricky, potentially impossible. But neither trainer Kevin Pizzuto nor driver Todd McCarthy think that means Tiger Tara is staring at another brave defeat. “He ran third to Lazarus last year after sitting parked, galloping down the back straight and coming again,” says Pizzuto. “So we know he can sit parked and be hard to beat, which he might have to do. “He is better than last season too so he can win without leading.” McCarthy isn’t getting carried away with tactics, admitting his first job is to navigate the first 400m safely before considering his options. “It is hard to predict standing starts but if he gets away cleanly then I have options. “Sure, leading would be great but if that isn’t up for grabs then I think he has earned the respect to get the chair (parked out) and control the race the last lap.” Tiger Tara is set to be the biggest drifter in the Cup market after opening at $3.80 straight after the draw, with $5 or better a more likely tote price. Michael Guerin

Robert Dunn feels like he has already won going into harness racing’s biggest day of the year. Because taking 17 horses to New Zealand Cup day at Addington on Tuesday, five of them for the $800,000 holy grail itself, is beyond what Dunn could have realistically hoped for at the start of the season.  “Back when we nominated our ones for the Cup I knew we would get two in, all going well, and would have been thrilled to sneak another one in,” admits the inter-island trainer.  “But to get five into a New Zealand Cup is special. I know there have been a few horses pull out but we can’t control that. “All we can do is train our horses and get them ready and hope they are fit and healthy.  “So to achieve that, and you have seen how many horses who didn’t get there, I feel very satisfied for our owners.  “And I like the fact the owners aren’t scared to get out there and take on the All Stars and those bigger name horses. That is why you race horses, to have them in the best races.” Dunn and his son John have serious winning chances in several of the support races tomorrow with horses like Sundees Son (race three) and Henry Hubert (race four). “They are both flying and Sundees Son’s manners have really improved,” says Dunn.  “So I think he can really test Winterfell in his race while Henry Hubert had no right to win at Kaikoura last start because he didn’t handle the track  “He meets a good field but I’d be keen to see him in front and if they are good enough to beat him so be it.”  That is Dunn’s attitude to his two well-drawn runners in the $170,000 Sires’ Stakes Final, the first major three-year-old race of the season.  Stars Tonight (1) and Heisenberg (2) have the barriers to attempt to lead and trail early and Dunn says John driving will not be intimidated by the Purdon-Rasmussen stars who so often dominate the Sires’ Stakes.  “Heisenberg is a natural front runner so if we lead he will stay there and run them along, we won’t be handing up,” he offers.  But for all their chances in the support races, including Woodstone in the $100,000 NZ Free-For-All Trot, Cup Day is about the Cup and Dunn says Aussie raider Tiger Tara holds the key to the race. “Him drawing the second line has made the race,” offers Dunn.  “If he (Tiger Tara) had drawn to go forward and lead early then I think that would have been the end of the competitive part, the horses around him would have run one, two, three and four and all of his us back in the field would have had no chance.  “But with him drawn the second line I have no doubts he has to launch and try and get the lead. I don’t know if he will or not but it should ensure there is some real speed in the middle section of that race.”  Dunn says that gives his best chance, Alta Orlando, some hope of coming into the race over the last lap and running past those who have expended too much energy making him at least a place chance.  “He is the best chance of our five, while Captain Dolmio has improved in his work and so has Letspendanitetogetha.  “So we have two trucks full of fit horses to take to Cup day and we can’t ask for more than that.”   Michael Guerin

Wow.....where do we start with the 2018 Gr.1 $800,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup? As the second leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the Kiwi feature is steeped in tradition after first being staged back in 1904 when Monte Carlo proved victorious while many great names line the pages of history. And another great pacer will etch their name into the record books on the famous second Tuesday in November at Addington. The build-up has been intense and absolutely relentless as we draw closer to the 3200m stand start feature. The early scratchings of Australian star Chicago Bull and local ace Ultimate Machete have only added to the pre-race drama. In fact, the race has seen more moves than a 1980’s disco dance floor! And so many questions need to be answered. All the normal types like who has the Best Stamina? Endurance? Willingness? Desire? And Hunger? But what about answers to the following; Can the All Stars win another Cup? The Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen combination has won 3 of the last 4 editions (Lazarus x 2 & Adore Me) and this year is represented by Thefixer, Cruz Bromac, Eamon Maguire and Dream About Me. Can Dream About Me become the latest mare to claim the Cup? The last mare to score in the Cup came from this stable with Adore Me triumphant four years ago. At this point, Dream About Me is the only mare starting in the Cup although Queen Bee Bardon is listed as the third emergency. Thefixer is facing the starter for only the 16th time, only Mainland Banner has had less starts prior to winning the Cup (it was her 12th start). Can the All Stars prepare the trifecta in the Cup? Back in 2016, they prepared 1st, 3rd & 4th (Lazarus, Titan Banner & Smolda). The biggest number of starters in a New Zealand Cup from All Stars is five (2012). Respected trainer Robert Dunn has the biggest representation in the Cup with five starters; he will gear up Alta Orlando, Captain Dolmio, Letspendanitetogetha, Billy Badger and Zadaka. Can he train his second winner of the event? Dunn scored with wonder mare Mainland Banner back in 2005. Can Ricky May score a record 8th Cup victory when he partners the Greg and Nina Hope trained A G’s White Socks? The next best is Cecil Devine who won 6 Cups. Can Aussie raider Tiger Tara join the likes of Steel Jaw, (My) Lightning Blue and Arden Rooney as an Australian trained winner of the Cup? Prepared by Sydney horseman Kevin Pizzuto, the $1.59 million earner will be handled by regular reinsman Todd McCarthy who is taking his 3rd Cup drive. Now an eight-year-old, Can Tiger Tara join Monkey King (2010) as the most recent winner of the Cup at that age? Tiger Tara is starting in his 4th Cup. Champion reinsman Tony Herlihy is chasing his 4th Cup victory and will partner the highly regarded Auckland trained Star Galleria for trainer Steve Reid. Can Barry Purdon train his 4th Cup winner when Jack’s Legend takes his spot in the Cup? If successful, it will be his 1st outright victory after preparing his trio of winners in partnership with his legendary father Roy. Can Zachary Butcher (Jack’s Legend) join his father David (Changeover – 2008) as a Cup winning driver? Oddly, Changeover (Geoff Small) was the most recent North Island trained winner of the Cup. Can Natalie Rasmussen (Thefixer), Sam Ottley (Forgotten Highway) or Sheree Tomlinson (Locharburn) join Kerryn Manning as a female winning driver of the Cup? Can super sire Bettors Delight claim his 5th Cup after winning the past 4 editions? This year, the record breaking stallion is represented by Thefixer, Dream About Me, Jack’s Legend, Forgotten Highway & Tiger Tara. Can 1998 Cup winner Christian Cullen produce his 2nd winner (Mainland Banner – 2005)? The wonder horse is represented by Locharburn and Baileys Knight (2nd emergency). Interestingly, the horse that has claimed the title of APG Grand Circuit champion for the past two seasons has won the Cup…..the one and only Lazarus! So, all this and more will make sense late on Tuesday afternoon. Because then, at 5.12pm Local time, it will be time for answers.   Chris Barsby

If Barry Purdon is right and logic plays its part Jack’s Legend could be the best each way bet in Tuesday’s New Zealand Trotting Cup. The one-time Jewels winner goes into the great race rated a $16 chance on the TAB, even though he ran second in it last season to Lazarus, beating home Tiger Tara and plenty of other stars. Taking Lazarus out of the equation and Jack’s Legend could be the defending NZ Cup champ and training legend Purdon says he is probably better for Tuesday than he was this time last year. “He is peaking at the right time and I would say he is at least as good as this time last year,” says Purdon. Jack’s Legend suggested as much when he stormed into third in the Cup trial on Wednesday, his last 400m faster than when he won the same event last year.   He was clearly outpointed by Chicago Bull at Alexandra Park last start but then again, so would most of his opponents on Tuesday been had they started in the same race.  After a false start to the season when he missed away in his first race, Jack’s Legend has been two big seconds and now looms as the dark horse in Tuesday’s Cup.  Purdon realises his job is all but done and now it is up to driver Zac Butcher to deliver the next piece of the puzzle.  “He is best when driven with a sit and one run at them, like he was last year,” admits Purdon “And that is not easy to do. You want to be following the right horse and Zac did that beautifully last season.”  Jack’s Legend actually made a flyer from his 10m handicap last start at Alexandra Park but Purdon cautions against he and Butcher rolling the dice and trying to cross the favourites drawn inside them in a surprise move on Tuesday.  “Sure that could happen if he begins really well and that would be great but I don’t think you can go out there with that as your Plan A, to make a quick beginning. “The most important thing is to get away safely and get a spot and the a cart into the race. “I think that is his best chance and then if all that happens then I hope there is a good speed to bring is into it.”
 After opening too short post-draw at $3.80 Tiger Tara has started his expected drift and was out to $4 this afternoon as the stablemates Dream About Me and Thefixer start to jockey for favouritism at $4.40 each with Cruz Bromac the biggest mover into $6.50 on the back of his Cup trial win. Michael Guerin

Tiger Tara's incredible run to the New Zealand Trotting Cup hit some serious turbulence yesterday that has seen the Aussie star almost double in price for next week's great race. Tiger Tara has already placed in two New Zealand Cups and an amazing series of events this year seemed to be conspiring to help him finally get to the promised land. The sale of nemesis Lazarus to the US came after budding champion Vincent was retired because of injury then a succession of pacing's big names were sidelined one by one — Lennytheshark, My Field Marshal, Jilliby Kung Fu and then finally and most brutally last week Chicago Bull. That left a rock hard fit Tiger Tara looking every inch the Cup winner, especially after a huge win in the Victoria Cup last month. Until yesterday. Because the NSW iron horse drew the second line for the 3200m Cup at Addington next Tuesday, a draw made significantly worse by the fact the four Purdon-Rasmussen representatives most favoured behind Tiger Tara in the pre-draw market all drew well on the front line. And it got worse for trainer Kevin Pizzuto. Tiger Tara follows out Cruz Bromac at the start, a horse Pizzuto used to train and one of the worst standing starters on the front line. "I didn't want the second line and I definitely didn't want to be following out Cruz Bromac, that is for sure," said Pizzuto. "That is not good at all and it will now be up to Todd (McCarthy, driver) to get some sort of run with him. "I am happy with the horse, I think he is bigger and stronger than last season but we didn't need that." Bookmakers agreed, with even the Australian TAB doubling Tiger Tara's price from $3.50 to $7, with three Purdon-Rasmussen trained runners now more favoured. Dream About Me (barrier five) and Thefixer (barrier one) look set to battle for favouritism, while Cruz Bromac has tightened after securing barrier two, although it may not help him all that much. Tiger Tara wasn't the only one-time favourite for a group one on Tuesday to cop a second line draw, with unbeaten three-year-old Ultimate Sniper to start from two on the second line in the $170,000 Sires' Stakes Final. But while he only has 1980m to make up that disadvantage he still looks better off than Tiger Tara as he follows out a quick beginner and his last start victory suggested he has lengths on most of his opponents. He still may have to sit parked for the last 1000m to win but will be odds-on to do so. Northern trotters Speeding Spur (barrier three) and Lemond (one) were the big winners in the draw for the $100,000 NZ Trotting Free-For-All, which disappointingly is being bypassed by many of the trotting stars as they don't want to be flattened before the $300,000 Dominion three days later. The field for the $800,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup at 5.12pm next Tuesday is: 1: Thefixer 2: Cruz Bromac 3: Eamon Maguire 4: Star Galleria 5: Dream About Me 6: A G's White Socks 7: Billy Badger 8: Jack's Legend 9: Captain Dolmio 10: Forgotten Highway 11: Locharburn 12: James Dream (em1) 13: Tiger Tara 14: Lestspendanitetogetha 15: Queen Bee Bardon (em3) 16: Zadaka 17: Alta Orlando 18: Baileys Knight (em2)   Michael Guerin

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

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