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Woodlands Stud are opening their gates to the harness racing industry for an open day on Sunday, 30th September.   A rare opportunity for lovers of harness racing who wish to view the boutique breeding establishment and their imposing stallion roster.   Woodlands Stud is welcoming two new stallions, Downbytheseaside and What The Hill, to their already impressive stallion roster in the new season which makes it the perfect opportunity for potential breeders to inspect these stallions in the flesh.   Of course, it is also a chance to view World Class stallion Bettor’s Delight at his Southern Hemisphere home. An opportunity that can’t be missed!   The other stallions being paraded on the day will be Sweet Lou, the handsome stallion with plenty of recent hype, gun sire American Ideal who continues to stay amongst our top sires in Australasia and resident stallions Highview Tommy and Pegasus Spur.   “Woodlands Stud are thrilled to be able to give the industry a chance to come and see our top-class operation. We see it as our way to thank the industry for their support over the years as well as giving visitors a chance to see some of the best stallions of our time,” said Stacey Markham, Sales and Marketing Manager at Woodlands Stud.   “We have made the date work in conjunction with Harness Racing New Zealand’s Conference and Annual Awards dinner which is being held at Alexandra Park the night before. We will put on a bus to and from Alexandra Park on Sunday for anyone who wishes to come out to the open day,” Markham said.   There will be a breakfast and drinks provided and at the time of the open day there will also be an abundance of foals on the ground for viewing.   Giveaways and prizes will be drawn throughout the event for those in attendance, including a free service to one of the stallions.   In Brief: Woodlands Stud Open Day Date: Sunday 30 th September 2018 Time: 10am-2pm Location: Woodlands Stud, 460 North Road, RD2, Papakura   RSVP’s are a must for catering purposes, please contact Stacey Markham on stacey@woodlandsstud.co.nz or 021 595 492. Please note also that as there are quarantine areas on the farm there will be some restrictions in place on the day.   Stacey Markham

Betamerica, a filly with a royal pedigree, opened her account yesterday (Tuesday). Stepping out for the second time in her fledgling career at Albion Park, the American Ideal – Splendid Bet filly scooted the sprint lane and scored a narrow yet decisive victory in the Cammibest @ Burwood Stud 2yo Pace. Betamerica defeated Zaras All Good and Saint Kilda Beach. The Shannon Price and Scott Miller prepared filly rated 1:58.7 rain affected track. Splits of 27, 32.7, 29.5 and 29.7 seconds. Chris Petroff took the winning drive. “It’s a great result for many reasons, the fact she is a proven winner and rating the time she did only adds to her future value. This family just keeps producing all the big name horses and it’s exciting to have this filly,” Miller said. “We have no plans this season with her, maybe a few more runs before having eight weeks off and then coming as a three-year-old. Hopefully her attitude will change during that time; she’s very set in her ways.” He added. Purchased last year at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale in Auckland for a whopping price of $137,500 from Woodlands Stud draft and Charles Roberts, Team Raboki was determined to get their filly despite some spirited bidding from several parties. The brown filly hails from the hottest family in the stud book, the Scuse Me lineage. Betamerica is the second foal from the Bettors Delight mare and is closely related to the likes of Adore Me, Christen Me, Dream About Me, Hands Christian, Maxim, Have Faith In Me, Imagine Me and Abide With Me among many others. Her older full brother Chief Joseph is in work with leading Christchurch trainer Cran Dalgety but is currently unraced. Chris Barsby

First season sires just don’t have $100,000 yearlings sold at sales ‘down under’ do they? Recent history says that’s the case but at the 2018 Australasian yearling sales at Karaka, one stallion defied history. His name is Sweet Lou! Sweet Lou was a rock star on the race track. He is still the equal fastest 2yo in harness history pacing 1.49. 0 flat in the Breeders crown at Woodbine where defeated A Rock N Roll Dance by 7 ½ lengths! Sweet Lou made over a $1,000,000 at three and went on the become one of the greatest North American Free For Aller’s in recent history. Sweet Lou banked close to $3.5 million in stakes and was still breaking records in his final race track season. Sweet Lou’s maternal family has made over $7,000,000 in stakes, it is clearly one of harness racing’s most influential and modern families. Sweet Lou average over $78,000 at last year’s Lexington sales, he is leaving outstanding progeny on type! Woodlands Stud is proudly consigning over 20 weanlings by Sweet Lou on Friday June 1st at Karaka at the annual All Age and Weanling sale. At least year’s weanling sales the progeny of Sweet Lou where highly sought by a raft of New Zealand’s leading trainers. Sweet Lou’s progeny is very intelligent, easy to handle and many have broken in exceptionally well. Down under breeders flocked to Sweet Lou last season, as he served his biggest book. Don’t miss your opportunity to buy a Sweet Lou weanling that has been bred and raised at New Zealand’s leading standardbred nursery. Only recently Woodlands bred, raised and sold progeny ran the trifecta in the PGG Wrightson sales series race for 2yo colts and geldings. Information regarding the weanling sale is available on our website. Go to www.woodlandsstud.co.nz for all the details. You can also contact our New Zealand agent Stacey Markham on 021595492 or contact our Australian agent Mark Hughes 0n 0451650707. From Woodlands Stud    

Pegasus Spur is a sire that plies his trade with little fuss! A gun trotting sire, his impact runs very deep. Pegasus Spur is a sire of immense speed and stamina, as reflected in his journey as a sire. Did you know he is sire of Australasia’s fastest male and female trotters! His Elitloppet bound daughter Maori Time is a 1.51.5 is the fastest ‘down under’ female in history and multiple Group 1 winner Flying Isa is the fastest male of all time ‘down under’. At the age of 20, Pegasus Spur still commands high respect as a sire. His ace son Speeding Spur was a multiple Group 1 winner in recent months, amongst those victories was the time-honoured Rowe Cup. The 3200-metre feature is on all owners wish lists and Pegasus Spur’s son delivered in spades, he now has over $880,000 on his CV. Pegasus Spur is the sire of a plethora of $100,000 + earners, these include Paramount Gee Gee, Wilma’s Mate, Monty Python, Sarah Palin, Cool Coober, Rare Opportunity and Unico Pegasus. At this years Australasian Premier trotting sale, held in Melbourne, he averaged $AU 34,000. This was a fantastic result on a service fee of $2640! Breeders and sales purchasers understand that Pegasus Spur is still a relevant sire in these times of frozen semen. He is stallion that gets results on and off the race track! A terrific opportunity beckons to secure a Woodlands bred and raised Pegasus Spur weanling on Friday June 1st at Karaka. Our weanlings are meticulously raised by our stud master Tony Grayling and his staff. Horses purchased from the Woodlands weanling draft have included millionaire My Hard Copy and ace pacing mare Partyon. Information regarding the weanling sale is available on our website. Go to www.woodlandsstud.co.nz for all the details. You can also contact our New Zealand agent Stacey Markham on 021595492 of contact our Australian agent Mark Hughes 045165707. From Woodlands Stud        

Long before Lazarus was a buzz name in the harness racing game a pacer named Highview Tommy blazed a trail for the Bettor's Delight - Christian Cullen breeding cross. From the first Bettor's Delight crop 'down under', Highview Tommy is the original poster boy for his leviathan father. A rock n roll 2yo of his generation and then a tough relentless stayer who was twice placed in harness racings ultimate staying test, the New Zealand Cup Highview Tommy has all the ingredients to leave successful progeny. Woodlands Stud is proud to consign three off spring of Highview Tommy at the annual Karaka All Age sale on Friday June 1st. We are selling 2 colts and one filly. Highview Tommy has had his first qualifiers this season from his first crop. Trainers can't speak highly enough of his progeny. They are easy to work with, good gaited and highly intelligent. Highview Tommy served his biggest book in the 2017/18 season in Australia and New Zealand. A great opportunity beckons to secure a Woodlands Stud bred and raised weanling at Karaka on June 1st. Woodlands bred and raised weanlings are meticulously raised by our stud master Tony Grayling and his team. Just remember it was Highview Tommy who started 'down unders' greatest breeding cross, the likes that has never been seen before! Highview Tommy's progeny may just be that 'diamond in the rough! Information regarding the sale is available on our website. Go to www.woodlandsstud.co.nz for all details. You can also contact our New Zealand agent Stacey Markham on 021595492 or contact Australian agent Mark Hughes on 0451650707.  

Woodlands Stud is proud to announce that the Dan Patch 3yo Trotting colt of 2017 ‘What The Hill’ is to join the Southern Hemisphere’s most powerful harness racing stallion roster in 2018! In a major coup for Australasian breeders the $1.3 million earner will shuttle ‘down under’ to New Zealand to join Bettor’s Delight, American Ideal, Sweet Lou, Downbytheseaside, Highview Tommy and Pegasus Spur! The 12 time winning son of the legendary stallion Muscle Hill opened his stallion career at Hickory Lane in Ohio. When What The Hill was announced he was fully syndicated within a few days and his book in North America was full and closed almost immediately for the 2018 season. On the race track, What The Hill was a star. As one of the fastest sons of Muscle Hill he took a career equalling record of 1.51.4 at his last start and accumulated $1,345,999 in stakes. As a 2yo he took a 1.54.4 mark and banked $335,397. What The Hill won the prestigious Peter Haughton Memorial final and the final of the New Jersey Sires Stakes at the Meadowlands! At 3, he banked  $1,010,602 in purses and was the clear stand out trotter of his year. What The Hill won the $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk in a Stakes record 1:51.4s, he won his elimination and final of the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park and he defeated the open class trotters at the Meadowlands in the final of the TVG, amongst the scalps in this feature race were 2015 Trotter of The Year, Pinkman ($2,791,114) and twice millionaire earner Crazy Wow ($2,269,135), this was his career equalling best time, scooting around in 1.51.4! He also won the $1million Hambletonian in 1.52.3 before getting disqualified for apparent interference up the straight. Australasian breeders will be cheering from the roof tops that finally a stallion from the Northern Hemisphere will be shuttling, giving breeders an opportunity to secure fresh chilled semen and being a son of the sensational Muscle Hill, What The Hill ticks all the boxes! His maternal family includes millionaire and top sire Majestic Son, Ramerizi a $430,000 earner who was older trotting mare of her year, Mistreizi who won over $570,000 and was a world champion and Double L Lindy who was a 1.53 winner that  earned over $250,000. What The Hill’s 2018/19 service fee will be $7,000 + GST in New Zealand and $7,700 GST Inc in Australia. For bookings or enquires about What The Hill in New Zealand please contact Stacey Markham on 021595492 or via email stacey@woodlandsstud.co.nz and in Australia contact Mark Hughes on 0451650707 or via email mark@woodlandsstud.co.nz What The Hill & David Miller wins TVG Open - FINAL ($350,000) in 1.51.4 What The Hill: Breeders Crown 3 Year Old Colt Trot $527,500 Final at Hoosier Park  2017 Hambletonian Trotting Stakes Muscle Hill - Hambletonian 2009

The unusual path to Friday’s $200,000 New Zealand Pacing Derby has taken another turn. And it will leave punters and bookies both scratchings their heads. This season’s classic pacing crop has already been an odd one, with many of the big names from last season like Spankem, Ashley Locaz and the The Devils Own failing to win anything resembling a major race this term. At the same time the unheard of Chase Auckland emerged as the new kid on the block, sweeping all before him including the Woodlands Northern Derby three weeks ago, at which point this Friday’s NZ Derby at Addington looked his for the taking. Soon after he was ruled out of this race with injury and now the latest curve ball has coma via the barrier draw for Friday’s 2600m mobile, with the three dominant favourites drawing poorly. Sicario has been the favourite for the Derby since Chase Auckland’s withdrawal but whether he starts as the public elect is doubtful at best after he drew barrier nine, the outside of the front line, in a capacity field. That could have been disastrous but his worst possible draw is somewhat tempered by the fact both second favourite Anthem (15) and Sheriff (14) have drawn the outside two spots on the second line. With some fast beginners on the front line like Pat’s Delight, Alta Maestro and On The Cards the race, which could have easily been a procession had a horse like Sicario drawn to lead, now looks of the more balanced group one pacing races of the season. It isn’t the only challenging Derby on the night for punters as the $100,000 Trotting Derby has drawn one of the strongest fields in its 75-year history after the best fillies in the country, Luby Lou and Girls On Film, accepted to take on the boys. Fixed odds for both group ones are expected out on Wednesday morning. The field for the $200,000 Diamond Creek NZ Pacing Derby, at Addington at 9.29pm on Friday night is.-- Duplicated (1) Culpeka (2), Henry Hubert (3), Pat’s Delight (4), Hail Christian (5), Alta Maestro (6), Star Commander (7), On The Cards (8), Sicario (9), Born To Run (10), Aloka (11), Acuto (12), Funatthebeach (13), Sheriff (14), Anthem (15). Emergency: Acuto. Michael Guerin

Jean Feiss has a simple philosophy to buying yearling these days, the only problem is she bumped into somebody with the same attitude at Karaka yesterday. Feiss, best known as the owner of Auckland Cup hero Vincent, outlaid $230,000 to secure the sales topper at the Australasian Classic harness sale, huge money for a standardbred yearling in this part of the world. She did something very similar at the same sale last year when she purchased that sale's top lot in Jessie Duke, who has already won his debut and looks worth every cent of his $220,000 price. "My attitude these days is go and buy the horse you actually want, rather than miss him and buy one that is left," says Feiss. "Obviously [husband] Bill and I are fortunate enough to be in the position to do that but because we are, my approach to the sales has changed a little bit in recent years." While Feiss was pleased to get her prime target it would have cost a lot less had one of the true big spenders of New Zealand racing in John Street not been the underbidder. Street and Feiss went bid for bid in $10,000 increments from about the $100,000 mark and while it made for an entertaining minute on a largely sedate day, either one of them could probably have secured the colt for $150,000 and gone home happy had their other not been so keen. Their bidding war was indicative of how the sale played out, with the big buyers willing to spend up to $100,000 probably numbering around 10 and almost of all of them interested in the same 10-12 colts. Feiss is a filly buyer and will head to the Christchurch sale tomorrow looking for her next Spanish Armada but the fairer sex are becoming a harder sell in harness racing, with many of the top-end buyers focusing on colts. Yesterday's top lot was, as expected, a son of Bettors Delight and a brother to Linda Lovegrace, being the fourth foal of a mare whose only three progeny to race have all won. Bettors Delight was the big dog again, siring the top three lots but Woodlands Stud were just as thrilled with their new stallion Sweet Lou producing the fourth highest lot, a half-brother to Let It Ride, who finished second in the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Saturday. Another big winner from the day was Canterbury boutique breeding operation Dancingonmoonlight Farms, the breeding business set up by Robert Famularo of Monkey King fame and now run by daughter Sara. They sold two lots for $90,000 and one for $85,000. Overall the sales average yesterday at $33,850 was down about 10 per cent on last season. The clearance rate of 73.36 per cent will raise to around 77 per cent after the usual business is done on passed in lots but there were still plenty of vendors disappointed. Until harness racing finds 50 new buyers to boost the middle market, that won't change. Big bucks babies $230k Bettors Delight-Linda Grace colt. $140k Bettors Delight-Sossusvlei colt. $130k Bettors Delight-Beach Parade colt. $100k Sweet Lou-Love A Gamble colt. Michael Guerin

Woodlands Stud is proud to announce it has secured the Southern Hemisphere breeding rights to brilliant harness racing North American racehorse Downbytheseaside. A $2,000,000+ racetrack earner and the son of champion sire Somebeachsomewhere will join Australasia’s most imposing stallion roster. In a breath-taking career Downbytheseaside, is the equal fastest 2-year-old in history pacing 1.49! In his freshman year he also paced a ‘World Record’ 1.50 on a half-mile track. As a 2-year-old he banked over $577,000 in purses and recorded eight wins. As a 3-year-old Downbytheseaside won a staggering $1.6 million in stakes. In a crop of great horses among them Huntsville and Fear The Dragon, he was named the 2017 Dan Patch 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year. We are genuinely excited to offer fresh chilled semen to Southern Hemisphere breeders from a champion son of Somebeachsomewhere. From a Woodlands Stud perspective Downbytheseaside ticks all the boxes. We expect him to be very popular with breeders, with his exceptional looks, staggering juvenile speed, terrific gait, talent and pedigree. Most importantly he will cross with many mares, especially daughters of Bettor’s Delight. His service fee will be $6,000 + GST in both Australia and New Zealand. Downbytheseaside joins one of the world’s strongest standardbred rosters. He will share the breeding shed with champion stallion Bettor’s Delight, American Ideal, Sweet Lou, Highview Tommy and Pegasus Spur. For bookings or enquires about Downbytheseaside in New Zealand please contact Stacey Markham on 021 595 492 or via email stacey@woodlandsstud.co.nz and in Australia contact Mark Hughes on 04 5165 0707 or via email mark@woodlandsstud.co.nz. For a full pedigree click on this link. Downbytheseaside won the Standardbred (two-year-old colt pace) in a world record 1:50  Downbytheseaside, Carl Milstein Memorial 2017 Downbytheseaside - Governors Cup Final Downbytheseaside - Hoof Beats Pacing preview Downbytheseaside - Breeders Crown Elimination Downbytheseaside - Art Rooney Final

It’s not unusual to see a feature in harness racing full of top bred horses, and Friday nights $1.1m Tabtouch Inter dominion is no exception. There is plenty of high calibre horses with impressive pedigrees in the ten horse race. Six of these runners are sired by Woodlands Stud stallions, and four of those are the top favourites for the event. With their sons picking up wins seven of the nine heats, the stallions have well and truly dominated the series thus far and look to have the upper hand to finish with a bang in the final on Friday night at Gloucester Park. Bettor’s Delight is the highest supported stallion with half of the field being sired by the champion stallion. He sired the first four home in both the New Zealand trotting Cup and the New Zealand Free-For-All, and there looks to be a chance that it could happen again in this Group 1 event. His top son Lazarus is the early favourite for the race after a terrific winning performance in the final heat last Friday. His other sons, Chicago Bull, Tiger Tara, Galactic Star and Have Faith In Me will also all have good chances given the right run. The later put in a brave performance in the final heat working hard early before sitting parked and running Lazarus into a length for second. American Ideal’s gun son Soho Tribeca has been consistent in the heats on his home track, winning two and placing second in the three lead up heats. The Kim Prentice trained runner has a tricky draw out at 6, but seems to handle the smaller track well so with the right run he will feature in the finish. The first two emergencies in the race, Ohoka Punter and Devendra are also sired by Bettor’s Delight. Harnesslink Media  

Alister Black has always had a high opinion of the royally bred Kilowatt Kid and his judgement was reinforced today when he dealt to a strong field of maiden pacers at Winton. By American Ideal out of the eight win Live Or Die mare Wave Runner, Kilowatt Kid is owned by brothers Lindsay and Ian Thomson. "We spotted him at Dan Cumming's place on the Southern Yearling Tour. Alister liked him. A couple of years before, we'd bought Six Diamonds, which was also by American Ideal, off the (Cummings) family," said Lindsay. Wave Runner is also the dam of Break Dance (5 wins and 1-53.3) and Bonnie Joan (7 wins and 1-52.8). "We bought Kilowatt Kid before Bonnie Joan showed up so we were lucky to buy him when we did." The stable have been very patient with the gelding and were rewarded today when he won by a length and a half from another first starter in The Heart Rulz.  Kilowatt Kid and Brad Williamson beating The Heart Rulz (obscured)         - Photo Bruce Stewart. "Alister said he was a nice horse from day one and he's just looked after him. He qualified last season and was turned out. We thought he'd be a better three year old. I was always told that if you haven't got the best two year old in the country don't go chasing them." Black fitted the gelding for today's debut with two workouts. "We were confident. We weren't too sure about Chmiels horse (Nota Bene Denario) and we'd looked at the videos. I was pretty confident anyway (laughter)."  Kilowatt Kid was driven by Oamaru reinsman Brad Williamson who was also impressed by the horse's effort. "He's bred to get better with racing so hopefully that's the case. He feels very green and is still learning. Potentially he could be a nice horse," said Williamson. The early pace was set by favourite Nota Bene Denario and Dodgethebullet. Williamson followed The Heart Rulz forward. At the top of the straight it was all on for two of Southland's best early season maiden horses - The Heart Rulz held a slender lead before Kilowatt Kid slowly ground him down. The winning time was 2-59.9 and the winning margin was a length and a half. There were a further six and a half lengths back to third placegetter The Maroon Marauder.   "He wasn't travelling all that well and it wasn't until I was halfway round the last bend that I knew he was going to win - at the 500."  Birdcage group                                 - Photo Bruce Stewart The Thomson brothers, who have a farm and stable at Branxholme have been keen investers in harness racing since they sold their sheep farm about nine years ago. "When we sold the farm we set up at Branxholme and Alister came here and the hobby got out of hand (laughter)," said Lindsay. So understandably the brothesr are excited about Kilowatt Kid's future.  "Potentially he could be the best. Six Diamonds is a nice horse and we've looked after him too. We had New York Town and he's won a further six races in America." Lindsay has been racing horses since 1986. He bred and raced Young Reb - a Yankee Reb trotter which also won at it's first start on the Winton track for Wyndham trainer Brendon McLellan. "It was probably the worst thing that could have happened," he said highlighting the fact that he'd caught the harness racing bug. "I also had horses with Jim Ferguson in Canterbury."  They are for good reason, fans of the Woodland Stud stallion American Ideal and their latest 'project' by that stallion is Dazzle Me. He's a two year old out of Diamante and is closely related to Smiling Armada, Pembrook's Delight and Swamp Major.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Woodlands Stud is pleased to announce the appointment of Stacey Markham as their harness racing New Zealand Sales and Marketing Manager. This role follows on from a successful eight year tenure at Harness Racing New Zealand as Media and Marketing Manager, where she played a major role in the organisational side of major events like the Harness Jewels, the Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Awards and Australasian and New Zealand Junior Drivers Championships as well as managing the media content of the organisation.  Co- owner Andrew Grierson said everyone at Woodlands are looking forward to Stacey working for the stud. "Stacey has the skills we were looking for and we can’t wait for her to start". Within her new role Markham will be responsible for a variation of tasks including managing racing syndicates, the promotion of stallions, managing all forms of media and the marketing of sales weanlings and yearlings. Markham is excited about the new role and is looking forward to working in a different facet of the industry. “I’m excited to work with the team at Woodlands Stud to come up with ideas to increase breeding numbers, bring added value to our syndicate members and to take the Stud to the next level on print & digital platforms,” Markham said. Markham commences her role on October 9.   Harnesslink Media

Woodlands Stud is looking for a dynamic person to become our harness racing Sales and Marketing Manager to promote our Standardbred Stud within New Zealand.  Ideally they should have an extensive knowledge of the Harness Racing Industry with good communication and organising skills. The right person will be part of a sales team liaising with the NZ based Studmaster, office staff and our Australia based Sales & Marketing Manager, The role involves: Managing our racing syndicates Adding value to existing client relationships through effective marketing and selling service fees to our stallions Using all forms of social media including Facebook, Twitter and our website Attending race meetings and promotional events Marketing our horses at both weanling and yearling sales. The stud is based in Auckland however the right person can be based anywhere nationwide. An attractive remuneration package includes a late model car.  Please reply via email only before the 7th September with your CV to: office@woodlandsstud.co.nz

Queensland rookie Colt Thirty One is looking to right his wrongs. The Grant Dixon prepared youngster is easily the standout performer in the Sunshine State this season highlighted by his brilliant victory in the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park on July 15. The Mach Three colt is unbeaten in 7 starts on home soil. His only blemishes coming on foreign territory at TABCORP Park, Menangle during the rich Australian Pacing Gold series back in April. Now, he heads interstate again chasing glory in the Woodlands Stud Australasian Breeders Crown series starting with the semi-final at Bendigo on Saturday night. And everything appears in order to restore the faith. “He handled the flight down earlier this week (Tuesday) and has settled in really well with his new surroundings, he’s eating and drinking and seems very relaxed which is very pleasing. He’s definitely more mature and a more complete package compared to his first interstate trip earlier this season.” Dixon said. Since his unplaced efforts in Sydney, Colt Thirty One has won five straight times including his latest romp at Albion Park on August 8 where he thrashed his stablemate and subsequent Albion Park winner Aqua Miss in a time of 1:55.4. But he faces obvious hurdles this weekend after being slammed with gate seven, the outside of the front-line in the 2150m event. His only victory at a distance greater than a mile came via his heat triumph at Albion Park on July 7 but Dixon is adamant it won’t be an excuse if beaten. “We’re certainly not as seasoned as some of our rivals in this series but all of our juvenile racing is shaped at the sprint distances. It is what it is but I’m confident he can run a solid trip without any issues. “The draw isn’t ideal either and it’s obvious we’ll be working at some point during the race. My initial reaction to the draw was to push forward and try and get handy as quickly as possible, I think it’s best to be up on the pace at a track like Bendigo. “It’s really hard to line-up the form of our rivals because they’ve come from everywhere but I know my guy is ready to perform. He’s trained on really well since his last start and I’m pleased with the week we’ve had down here.” The $285,000 final will be staged over 2240m at TABCORP Park, Melton on Sunday week (August 27). Dixon is reluctant to be drawn into comparisons with Colt Thirty One and former juvenile freak Majestic Mach who went unbeaten in 9 starts as a two-year-old. The country’s leading trainer with over 270 winners this term is also hoping to qualify talented filly Red Charmer who starts in the Always B Miki Fillies division. The Mr Feelgood filly starts in the second semi-final (Race 7) and takes on unbeaten Sydney filly My Sweetchilliphilly among others. A winner of the Wayne Wilson Memorial Paleface Adios Classic at Albion Park back in March, Red Charmer hasn’t started since being unplaced in the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final on July 15. But recent trials suggest the filly is close to the mark. “I’m happy with her and being fresh won’t be an issue, she’s had two recent trials at Albion Park and the latest was very good against Arts Treasure in neat time. “The draw is obviously a little tricky but hopefully we can get some luck and she’ll be thereabouts.” Dixon will take the drive on both pacers. Chris Barsby

The Horsham & District Harness Racing Club in conjunction with naming rights sponsor of the 2018 Horsham Trotters Club, Woodlands Stud NZ, have today launched their 2017/18 trotting stallion service tender. As part of the Cup sponsorship agreement, Woodlands has made available a service to their proven strike rate stallion, Pegasus Spur CA 1:54.0 $US 1,302,599.   Horsham's tender opportunity gives breeders of the squaregaiter a chance to send their broodmare to a quality entire at a discounted price. Interested breeders are invited to submit their tender on the official form, for the service (imported, fresh, chilled semen) to Pegasus Spur (value $AU3300) by Friday September 8th, 2017. For a copy of the tender form, please email the Club at horsham.harness@bigpond.com or text/phone Tony Logan on 0427 857411.      

The nominations for the 2017 North Island Always B Miki harness racing awards have been released. The ‘Silver Jubilee’ (25th) Awards, which will be held at Alexandra Park on Saturday September 2, will see Better B Amazed, Dream About Me, Hug The Wind, Maxim, and The Orange Agent competing for honours in the Auckland Trotting Club’s Aged Pacer of the Year category. Gentleman Sir, King Of The Roses, Princess Mackendon, and Temporale will vie for the other prestigious 'on track' award - the Harness Racing New Zealand North Island Aged Trotter of the Year. The function is again being organised by the quartet affectionately known as ‘The Fab Four’ - aka Raelene Balle, Janene Cole, Karen Blanchard, and Suzanne Herlihy. "We are so looking forward to the 25th anniversary awards. We are very grateful to our sponsors who remain so loyal sponsoring us year on year, and big thanks also goes to Always B Miki, who has come on board," Pukekohe-based Balle said. "This year some of the nominees have been very close in the running, which is great to see as this means the wins and stakes are getting spread around.  “There are a lot of new owners names amongst the nominees, and also a broader range of trainers names training these horses. I would like to think that this is very healthy for our industry in the North," she added. Balle reminded people that the Awards are merit-based and did not operate the same way as the National Awards ceremony. "The Racing Achievement and Outstanding Contribution Awards are always a highlight as there are no nominees and the recipients have no idea they will be receiving the accolade. “Of course we are celebrating 25 years of awards in the north, which is just wonderful and we girls ('the Fab 4') have had the pleasure of organising them for 11 years now," Balle said. ALWAYS B MIKI 2017 NORTH ISLAND HARNESS RACING AWARDS NOMINEES – (in alphabetical order): KAHUKURI BLOODSTOCK HOLLIS & ROBERTSON - NORTH ISLAND GROOM OF THE YEAR: Taitlyn Henara, Yvette Hughes, Christopher Morrison, Sheridan Rapley, Danielle Rowden. MAGNESS VIDEO LTD / VID-COM LTD - NORTH ISLAND LICENCE TO TRAIN / OWNER – TRAINEROF THE YEAR: Ray Darby, Dave Iremonger, Rod MacKenzie, Fred Mitchell, Tim Vince. MITAVITE - NORTH ISLAND JUNIOR DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Robert Argue, Ben Butcher, Tony Cameron, Dylan Ferguson, Jack MacKinnon. DEXION – NORTH ISLAND AMATEUR DRIVER OF THE YEAR: To be announced. PGG WRIGHTSON - NORTH ISLAND 2-YEAR-OLD COLT OR GELDING OF THE YEAR: Alta Maestro, Culpeka, Mach Shard, South Beach Arden. PGG WRIGHTSON - NORTH ISLAND 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY OF THE YEAR: Caitlyn Clarke, Dontstopbelievin, New York Rain, Purest Silk, Spandau Ballet. BRECKON FARMS - NORTH ISLAND 2-YEAR-OLD TROTTER OF THE YEAR: More Shades Of Gold, Paramount King, Star Of Olesya, Stress Factor. BRECKON FARMS - NORTH ISLAND 3-YEAR-OLD TROTTER OF THE YEAR: C K Spur, Heavyweight Hero, Kissmeimloaded, Sertorius. DUNSTAN - NORTH ISLAND 3-YEAR-OLD COLT OR GELDING OF THE YEAR: Alta Intrigue, Jack’s Legend, More The Better, Star Galleria. DUNSTAN - NORTH ISLAND 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY OF THE YEAR: American Empress, Gotta Go Dali Queen, Juice Brogden, Step Up. MERV & MEG BUTTERWORTH - NORTH ISLAND FEMALE RACING ACCOMPLISHMENT AWARD: Nicola Chilcott, Arna Donnelly, Gayleen MacKinnon, Michelle Wallis. GARRARDS HORSE AND HOUND - NORTH ISLAND OWNERS OF THE YEAR: Breckon Bloodstock, Bernie Lim, Stonewall Stud, Tim Vince. CADUCEUS CLUB - NORTH ISLAND FILLY / MARE OF THE YEAR: Better B Amazed, Dream About Me, Rocknroll Princess, The Orange Agent, Yagunnakissmeornot. NORTH ISLAND STANDARDBRED BREEDERS ASSOCIATION INC – NORTH ISLAND BREEDER OF THE YEAR: Breckon Farms, Charles Roberts, Kahukuri Bloodstock, Stonewall Stud, Woodlands Stud. IRT – NORTH ISLAND DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Salish Abernethy, David Butcher, Zac Butcher, Josh Dickie, Andre Poutama. VETERINARY ASSOCIATES EQUINE AND FARM – NORTH ISLAND TRAINER OF THE YEAR: John & Josh Dickie, Arna Donnelly, Tony Herlihy, Barry Purdon, Steve Telfer & Chris Garlick. VETERINARY ASSOCIATES EQUINE AND FARM – NORTH ISLAND BROODMARE OF THE YEAR: Alta Camilla, Galleons Supreme, Lady Fingers, Splendid Dreams. WOODLANDS STUD – NORTH ISLAND STALLION OF THE YEAR: American Ideal, Art Major, Bettor’s Delight, Majestic Son, Pegasus Spur. HARNESS RACING NEW ZEALAND – NORTH ISLAND AGED TROTTER OF THE YEAR: Gentleman Sir, King Of The Roses, Princess Mackendon, Temporale. AUCKLAND TROTTING CLUB – NORTH ISLAND AGED PACER OF THE YEAR: Better B Amazed, Dream About Me, Hug The Wind, Maxim, The Orange Agent.  SIR LINCOLN AT LINCOLN FARMS – NORTH ISLAND RACING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: To be announced. ALWAYS B MIKI - ALABAR / NEVELE R STUD – NORTH ISLAND AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO HARNESS RACING: To be announced.   Duane Ranger

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