Day At The Track
Ideal BB

Ideal BB wins for Faithful

Winton trainer harness racing Chelsea Faithful was expecting new recruit Ideal BB to run well at Ascot Park today, but getting a win did surprise her. “I was expecting her to go nice but not to win like that,” she said. Ideal BB settled third last early avoiding an early galloper before running two back on the outside. At the 400 driver Nathan Williamson let the mare slide forward and she let down nicely centre track to get up and beat pacemaker Superfast by two and a quarter lengths. The winning time of 2-45.9 was respectable on a cold day. “I thought she’d be short for the run today and she will improve. She’ll win another one relatively easily I think.” Shortly after the finish Ideal BB looked to be in trouble as he galloped and had to be taken to the inside of the track. “I stopped watching and everyone said ‘what happened to your horse. Did it break its leg?’ She pulled a shoe just before the finish putting in a couple of rough ones. It looked a lot worse than it actually was.” Ideal BB qualified for Kirk Larsen at Winton in October 2019 and had two race day starts from the stable – the last 12 months ago. “Kirk did all the work with her. She hasn’t raced for a year. She was spelled to strengthen up because she’s quite a big mare.” Faithful has had the American Ideal mare for three months. “She’s had two workouts for me. The first one she went fair but in the second I was much happier with her as she found the line nicely.” Ideal BB is raced by Dunedin Doctor Onn Chin who’s had lots of success with the Tartan breed, which he’s had for many years. “Onn have been pretty good to me let me have a go with them. The one’s I’ve got here at the moment are not superstars but they’re honest and go good races every week. These are their last race horses. Kirk liked her (Ideal BB) but she hadn’t shown too much. Coming here was a change and something different. Being in a smaller stable suits her because she’s quite an anxious horse. She does a bit of thinking but she loves the one on one (attention).” Recently retired Tartan Trilogy is still at the stable. “He’s been a pest. He’s the stable GP at the moment. He keeps them all in line. I’ve just got Tartan Raider to come back.” Faithfuls success, and the way in which she turns her horse out on race day, mean her services have been in demand, but she has limited stable space. “It’s frustrating at the moment. I’ve got so many horses here that I don’t have enough boxes for and some of them have to stay outside. I don’t really like paddock training them especially in winter. I’m waiting for the builder to come and put up two more boxes which will be ideal.” Faithful is now looking at starting Ideal BB in a junior driver’s race. “They’re not that easy to win at times. I’ll look to get Mark Hurrell to drive her but he’s suspended at the moment so it’ll depend on when he gets back. I always like using the more experienced juniors – the ones that are patient and listen.” Meanwhile stable star Pay Me Speedy is likely to line up at Addington this Friday. “It’s Premier night and there’s a $20,000 race there for her. She’s good enough to go so there’s no point in shying away. It’s a 2600 metre mobile which should suit her down to the ground.” It’ll be the first time the young trainer has ventured to the metropolitan track. “I’m a bit nervous already. I’ll be a good experience for both her and me. It’ll make her grow up.” Faithful works for Williamson during the day and trains her own horses when she can. “I’ve got to go now and work Tartan Roxy.” Today’s win was one of four for Williamson. View the Invercargill harness racing results click here!   by Bruce Stewart

Tolkien , Harness racing

Headache horse gets another win

View the Invercargill harness racing results click here! “That’s as good as he’s gone,” trainer driver Kirk Larsen said after Tolkien won his fourth race at Ascot Park today. “He hasn’t been an easy horse. He’s got a real quirky nature and is his own boss. He trains well at home but you just don’t know which horse is going to turn up on the day.” Consequently the gelding has been a very difficult horse to follow both for his trainer and punters, but he had a few things in his favour today. “Being on the second row I thought that would help which it did. If he draws two or three on the front and there’s a delay and they muck around he loses it.” Although he ran down the track at his last starts, his previous two runs had been good. “The last start he missed away but before that he raced behind the mobile which he loves but you don’t get that many down here.” Larsen said the horse normally gets worked up while travelling to the races or in his box prior to the race but today was different. “Normally in the float he’s a bloody idiot – he rocks and rolls and mucks around but today for some reason he was as calm as anything. I’ve struck him like that a couple of times. Anytime he’s been like that, he’s gone pretty well.” After trotting off the mark today Larsen settled the five year old midfield on the outside. As other horses started to improve at the 600 he had to give up his good spot and move Tolkien around the field. “He felt extra good. When I peeled, I didn’t really want to go but I had to get handy.” At the 300 he had trotted up to the leader Palisade and hit the lead on straightening. He beat  Insist The Win by two and a quarter lengths. “For some reason he’s trotting the bends a lot better. He always used to crab the bends and run in a bit but now he’s actually running out and since he’s been doing that he’s trotting the bends a lot better.” Tolkien is owned by Lynette Philpot and Larsen’s son Tristan. Philpot raced Auckland Cup winner Howard Bromac from the Larsen stable. “Michelle’s (Tristan’s mother) sister Susan Hayes was actually in the horse as well but she gave her share to Tristan for this eighteenth birthday.” So after a frustrating run of luck and a few ‘outs’ the Larsen’s are rewarded by a trotter that hasn’t finished winning yet. “There was a time when he was frustrating me so much I was going to put him on Gavelhouse (auction site) but we stuck with him and he’s won two since then.” Larsen says the stable has a good number of young trotters coming through. “Tristan has always been keen on the trotters and we’ve got a few around us. They have three trots a day now so if you haven’t got one you’re missing out. I remember working at Bryce Buchanan’s. They had ten sets of bell boots and shoes welded inside other shoes. She was a bit of a battle to get them going but trotters are so much better these days.”   By Bruce Stewart

Lynryd Skynryd, Harness racing

Sweet home – Lynryd Skynryd

Mister consistent Lynryd Skynryd capped off his harness racing season with his second win at Ascot Park today. The five year old trained at Ascot Park by Jack Tither made the most of a handy draw and was taken straight to the top by junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson. From there he was never headed. The winning margin was a length and a quarter. Named by part owner Narelle Pollock after the band Lynryd Skynryd whose biggest hit was ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ Tither said the giant gelding was always going to take time. “Hopefully time will be his friend but we’ll find out next year. He’s done a lot better this season than I thought he would. I thought we’d have to wait until he’s six and fills out a bit,” he said. By A Rocknroll Dance, Lynryd Skynryd seems to race best when he’s in front. “He loves it in front.” The gelding is out of the Christian Cullen mare Shez Windermere and was bred by Tithers father-in- law Murray Faul. The mare is now owned by Otautau breeder Brent Smith. Her six foals of racing age have all qualified with RnR Windermere winning five races and BD Windermere winning four here, and another five in Australia. View the Invercargill results click here!   By Bruce Stewart

Splash Cola, Harness racing

Addington double for Todd

View the Addington results click here!    By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Splash Cola may be a rising 11-year-old, but she is not showing any signs of slowing down. The Regan Todd-trained mare picked up her 13th career win when taking out the Haras des Trotteurs Heather Williams Memorial Mobile Trot (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Friday night. Driver Robbie Close urged her forward early from her wide gate to take and early lead before handing up to Pres The Belle. She enjoyed sitting in the trail until Close elected to get on the back of an improving Gold Chain at the 400m and she was able to wear down her rival in the straight to win by 1-1/4 over a fast-finishing Overzealous, with a further half-head back to Gold Chain in third. It was a month between runs for Splash Cola after her unplaced run in the Gr.1 NZ Trotting Championship (2600m) and Todd said she was working well in the lead-up to Friday. “It was still a hard race, but it was a bit of a drop back from racing against the likes of Sundees Son,” Todd said. “She worked well during the week, so I thought she would be a bit of a show.” The daughter of Sundon will attempt to add to her career tally over the winter months before the broodmare paddock awaits her in the spring. “We will keep racing her through the free-for-alls during the winter and then she will head to the broodmare paddock,” Todd said. “She has done a great job, she has won 13 now.” Todd picked up a winning double at Addington when Haiti Franco was victorious in the following race, the Lamb & Hayward (Junior Drivers) Mobile Pace (1980m). It was the four-year-old mare’s second consecutive win and Todd admitted he was unsure how she would handle the step up in grade on Friday. “She was heading into the unknown, it’s a big step up from the maidens,” he said. “But she got a good run and went well. “It was penalty free so you would like to think that she will get another win or two during the winter.” While winter racing is fast approaching, Todd is still looking forward to a few feature races in the last few weeks of autumn before he heads north to Cambridge Raceway for the Harness Jewels next month. He currently has three runners qualified for the Jewels at various levels in the standings in their age divisions. His trio is led by last start Gr.2 Southland Oaks (2700m) winner Bettor Talk Art, who will contest the Gr.1 Nevele R Fillies Series Final and Gr.1 The Breeders NZ Oaks this month ahead of the Jewels. Stablemates Yorokobi and Play Philly will also have another hit-out each before a decision is made about whether they head to Cambridge. “Yorokobi will probably have another start next week to keep the money ticking over,” Todd said of the gelding who is currently 12th in the 3YO Emerald standings. “And Play Philly will race at Cambridge on the 20th and then we will make our mind up of whether we press on to the Jewels or she goes to the paddock. She will go a lot better going back to left-handed.”

Brian Norman doesn’t mind flying under the radar, but there is little chance of that happening when he takes four big winning chances to Ascot Park on Saturday. Norman’s quartet certainly have not been missed by bookmakers, who have kept them safe in fixed odds markets released on Friday afternoon. With his team thriving at the trainer’s newish property near Gore, which he moved into around this time last winter, the usually conservative Norman rates more than one of his team decent winning hopes. “I think they’re the best four chances I have taken to the races, probably ever.” Norman starts his day in race 1 with Port Pegasus who produced a big effort to run second to smart debut winner Simone Lindenny at Winton late last month. The three-year-old will be out to match Friday night’s effort of his half-sister Splash Cola who won at Addington. And Norman thinks he can. “I think the trotter in race 1 would be very hard to beat.” “I think he has worked it out.” “It was always going to happen, it was just a case of when he was going to work it out.” “He has been to the workouts since his last run and he was actually very good.” “He concentrated good and he finished on good without being asked to go.” Bookmakers opened Port Pegasus at a $6 fixed odds win price on Friday. Norman starts Steve in race 4 in the hope she bounces back to her best she after galloped away at last weekend’s Diamonds Day meeting. The trainer has made adjustments with the mare and he is hopeful she can do things right on Saturday. “I am going to put an overcheck on her,” Norman said. “I have changed her shoeing and put a set of bell boots on her, so I would say she would be good to go.” “She has been going good, even when she ran fourth she probably should have run second.” “But the clip broke on her hood and she ended up with it still on all the way up the straight.” Steve was rated at a $7.50 fixed odds win price on market opening. Blair Orange drives Steve, as well as Superfast for Norman in race 5. The three-year-old wound up late in a nice effort for sixth on Diamonds Day. Drawing barrier 8 looks the only factor against the filly on Saturday. “She can’t work twice in a race, but she has got a lot of toe,” Norman said. “She is not a bad filly and I think she will be a nice mare next year.” “We are hoping to win a race and then wait for next year.” Superfast was rated the $3.10 second-favourite when race 5’s fixed-odds were released. Orange also drives Norman’s stable debutante in race 9 in Arlo Maguire. The four-year-old’s work at home suggests his first start in his new trainer’s colours should be a good one. “He is actually working bloody good,” Norman said. “All we have been concentrating on is teaching him how to sprint.” “He is a nice pacer and he is clean winded.” “I would say he could give them a shake.” Arlo Maguire opened the $3.90 fixed odds second favourite for race 9.   by Jonny Turner

Alexandra Park harness racing results click here! Every yearling buyer dreams of their latest purchase eventually winning on debut. Tony Herlihy just didn’t think if that dream came true with Double Delight it would be in a trotting race. The two-year-old trotting filly showed great determination to win her first start at Alexandra Park on Friday night and while the result itself didn’t surprise Herlihy the type of race sure did. Because he paid $40,000 for Double Delight at the yearling sales last thinking he was buying a lovely pacing filly prospect by exciting pacing stallion Captaintreacherous yet Double Delight trots. Herlihy is surprised as anybody else. “I tried to break her in as a pacer about three times,” laughs the champion horseman. “But all she wanted to do was trot. She was even trotting inside the hopples. “So eventually gave up and we let her do what she wants to do and she does it pretty well.” Captaintreacherous was of course a champion pacer and Double Delight is his 14th winner bred in New Zealand, whether they have won here or in Australia, but his first trotting winner in this part of the world. “Obviously this isn’t what we expected but she has hardly put a foot wrong trotting so I am happy to be proved wrong,” says Herlihy. Double Delight is now qualified straight into the Jewels, leaping to fourth in the leaderboard after just one start. Herlihy will also have his more trotting-bred trotter Bolt For Brilliance at the Jewels, having given the four-year-old a few days off after his brave second to Sundees Son in last week’s Rowe Cup. “I was very happy with him, how couldn’t you be, trotting home in 55 seconds again so he is definitely going to the Jewels.” Herlihy made it a juvenile debutant double when Blameitonthenight was a dominant winner of the night’s pacing race while later in the night Melanion came from well back to win his debut to give The Iceman an ultra-rare debutantes treble on the night. After being allowed to find her feet early Blameitonthenight raced around to sit parked and recorded a 1:56.2 mile rate for the 1700m and she too now finds herself in the top 12 on the leader board for the two-year-old Diamond after just one start. Blameitonthenight is bred to win a Jewels, being by Bettors Delight from 2009 two-year-old Diamond winner Gotta Go Harmony, herself of a daughter of one of New Zealand’s great fillies in Elect To Live. Melanion is a three-year-old son of Bettors Delight and he also had to be good to win pacing 2:41.9 after getting well back in a disorganised race. While Herlihy trained a pacing-bred trotter to win among his treble on Friday night, the north’s top trainers of trotters had a rare pacing winner. Blitzembye lived up to trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett’s big opinion of him to storm home breaking 54.5 for his last 800m and if that official time is right he may well be a horse with a big future. He is the only pacer racing in the stable with 20 trotters and it was one of those, Majestic Princess, who won the very next race on debut to give the Wallis/Hackett stable a running double.   by Michael Guerin

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Racing racing hits Invercargill today with a nine race program starting at 12:10pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. Invercargill selections 8th May 2021 Best Bet:  R9 Sand Wave Best Value:  R2 Von Art   Race 1 Jasmine Jaccka (1) Latina Hall (9) Tease My Tartan (4) Port Pegasus (2)   Race 2 Von Art (7) Midnight In Memphis (4) Bettors Highlight (2) Kagee VC (1)   Race 3 American Mac (8) Lynryd Skynryd (3) Calico Hill (5) Fireforefiddle (2)   Race 4 Steve (3) Boyz Invasion (7) Spotlight The Valley (9) Crusher Collins (11)   Race 5 Cautious Galleon (1) Rakareplay (3) Superfast (8) Didshedoit (11)   Race 6 A Bettor Act (8) Beaudiene Hustler (1) Yankee Shard (6) Tres Chic (7)    Race 7 Palisade (12) Top Pocket Chance (17) Svelt (4) Insist The Win (9)   Race 8 Better Galleon (4) Tulsa Jaccka (3) Changearound (1) Stoneyroyd (5)   Race 9 Sand Wave (3) Arlo Maguire (4) Onedin Hurricane (9) Lucky Galleon (10)   Harnesslink Media

Talented Changeover gelding Yianni tasted Group success for the first time when he effortlessly won harness racing's Group 2 $50,000 Australian Pacing Gold 4YO Consolation at Melton on Saturday (May 1). The four-year-old worked to the front in the early stages and reeled off a flying 56.4 seconds last 800 metres to score by open lengths. The mile rate for 1720 metres was a career-best 1:53.8. Changeover was also represented by metropolitan winners in three other States in the first week of May. Leica Change won in 1:57.5 at Menangle, Franco Nathan NZ won on debut at Albion Park in 1:55.9 and Jaccka Ted NZ emerged successful in 1:57.1 at Globe Derby Park. The three-year-old Nick’s Pick (1:58.8, Redcliffe), Just Ralph (1:53.8, Mildura) and Isla’s Joy NZ (1:56.1, Marburg) were other recent Australian winners sired by Changeover. NZ winners included Jungle Gem (1:58.8, Cambridge Raceway) and Changenround (Invercargill), while the NZ bred Darkershadeofpale scored again in 1:53 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Changeover will again by standing this season at Burwood Stud, on Queensland’s rich Darling Downs.   By Peter Wharton

This week 400 tons (360 tonnes) of new material was laid at Addington Raceway ahead of a busy few weeks that includes Premier meetings on May 14 and 21. The old product was removed from the track and replaced with a newer finer mixture that was 50/50 sand and 3cm chip. Previously there was a 5cm chip on the surface. “It’s exactly the same product,” says Addington Raceway’s Facilities and Property Manager John Denton, “we’ve just refined the size of the chip.” “We have done that to reduce the kickback from horses during races.” The work started on Monday and was completed by Wednesday afternoon, with the new surface being laid by a bottom dumper at 60 kilometres an hour. The May 14 meeting features the $200,00 NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2YO Colts and Geldings Pace and the Group One $120,000 Nevele R Fillies Series Final while the following Friday has the $150,000 Group One Garrards Sires’ Stakes Colts and Geldings Final and the $150,000 New Zealand Pacing Oaks.   HRNZ News

Harness Racing New Zealand will leave The Races Limited Partnership (TRLP) at the end of the 2020/21 season. From 1st August 2021 the current format for the provision of event infrastructure will no longer operate, with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing absorbing the TRLP operation and associated costs into its current business structure. TRLP is a Wellington-based enterprise that has been a primary provider of event infrastructure and big screen services to many of the equine clubs throughout the country. TRLP was created four years ago when the then New Zealand Racing Board transferred the responsibility of operating the event infrastructure business to the two equine codes. “We reviewed many options for the provision of event infrastructure to the harness clubs and considered it was in HRNZ’s best interests not to continue with TRLP,” said HRNZ’s General Manager Corporate Services and TRLP Director Liz Bishop. “We will be talking to the clubs that are affected to assist them with a transition from the current model to what they want to do for the 2021/22 season. There are about nine harness clubs who used TRLP’s services.” TRLP Manager – Operations Georgette Moyle says she will also be in contact with affected harness clubs. “I am working through a separate pricing model specially for Harness Racing Clubs and will be in contact with you directly to discuss this in the coming weeks.” For any more information contact Liz Bishop – lbishop@hrnz.co.nz

Latest harness racing auction is now online. There are 7 Lots in the latest gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction with all of these offered on an unreserved basis.  Bidding will run throughout the week and close from 7pm on Wednesday 12 May.   VIEW FULL CATALOGUE   Featured Lots Lot 3 NYLA  Nyla is reported to be a good sized bay filly who is a good pacer and has good manners. She is from a very good family, being from the black-print Christian Cullen mare Martine Maguire who is a full sister to Lizzie Maguire. She would be a nice type of mare to breed from in the future and is offered as she is not quite good enough to race in the North. Sire: Bettor's Delight Dam: Martine Maguire Seller: scots1 Location: Ardmore VIEW ONLINE Lot 4 SWEET CHARIOT  Race winner Sweet Chariot is reported to be a well put together filly of medium size. She is from the family of Jesse Duke, Adios Dream and Courage Under Fire. Her dam is a Christian Cullen five win mare and is a half sister to three winners including Ideal Roman (1:56s, 8 wins, 10 plcs $75,448) now retired and Only In Rome (A1:54, 15 wins, 58 plcs $125,091). Offered as a racing and breeding proposition as she is no longer competitive in the Auckland area. Sire: Sportswriter Dam: Charioteer Seller: scots1 Location: Ardmore VIEW ONLINE Following are some bidding tips to help you navigate the process. Lot 1 will close from 7pm. If a bid is placed in the final 30 seconds, another 30 seconds is added onto the auction and to all subsequent Lots. This will keep happening until there are no further bids placed. If you are are outbid, you must type in the next bid amount, the site does not automatically update the bid amount for you. There is no benefit in letting auctions run down to the last second before bidding as the auction will just keep auto-extending until no further bids are placed. This practice increases your chances of missing out on horse.  gavelhouse.com cannot identify loss of online connection, a slow internet connection or browser issues at the user’s end. Even a slight loss of internet connection that may not be noticeable can interrupt the user’s browser in following the sale in real-time therefore setting up an auto-bid is the best way to ensure your bids are placed. Google Chrome or Safari are the recommended internet browsers. gavelhouse.com staff are able assist in actively supporting both buyers and vendors during the sale, if you need a hand with registration or bidding, we are available on phone +64 9 296 4436 or email  info@gavelhouse.com during our online auction to help.   gavelhouse.com

View the Addington harness racing fields click here! By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk     Group Three winner Pres The Belle will be looking to get her career back on track at Addington Raceway on Friday. The 13-win mare has had four starts for her new trainers, Geoff and James Dunn, and they believe she is capable of recording her first victory in their colours in the Haras des Trotteurs Heather Williams Memorial Mobile Trot (1980m). She has failed to flatter since joining the West Melton barn, but showed a glimpse of her former self when winning by five lengths in her 2600m trial last week. “We have changed her front shoes and she has trotted really well at the trials, so hopefully she can do it at Addington,” James Dunn said. “She doesn’t like Addington as much as other tracks, but she has been going good enough. “This is probably the most winnable race she has come up against since we have had her. If she brings her manners and doesn’t pull too hard, she should be a good chance.” Pres The Belle will come up against the likes of Group Three winner Splash Cola and in-form mare Gold Chains, but Dunn believes his mare is capable of holding her own on Friday. “Splash Cola is pretty good when they bring their A-game over the short trip, but Gold Chain is flying,” he said. “Pres The Belle is the class horse of the field. At her best she would be very hard to beat, but she is not there anymore, so we have got to get her 90-95 percent and she should be in the top three.” Dunn will also line-up Laver in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Mobile Pace (1980m) after he disappointed when fading late at Addington in his last start in March. He has subsequently freshened and has pleased in his resuming trials where he has placed and won in the lead up to Friday. “He was well short for that last start and after that we found out he was a little bit crook, so we have treated him and gave him some time, took him back to the trials and started again,” Dunn said. “He is still quite heavy. He got away on us a little bit. That is a good sign, it usually means he is pretty well. “We are using this as a fitness run looking towards the Jewels.” The Dunns final runner of the night will be Derby placegetter The Falcon, who put in a subpar performance at Rangiora last month. “He was disappointing last start,” Dunn said. “We probably asked him to come out of the gate a little bit (hard) and maybe backing up from the Derby he just found it a bit tough. “We have given him a bit of a freshen-up. We were going to go to the trials, but with the premier meeting next week we thought that we might as well go to a race instead of straight into a premier meeting after a month off racing.” Dunn is enjoying his first season training in partnership with his father, with 11 wins to their name so far. “It is going well,” he said. “We haven’t had a winner for a while, but we are pretty happy with how the season has gone so far. Laver has helped a lot and has won five. I am enjoying it.”

View the Alexandra Park harness racing fields click here! The odd man out of Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett’s stable could end up being their best chance at Alexandra Park tonight. The beach trainers will take 10 horses to headquarters, which is nothing unusual in itself as they often provide valuable horse numbers to help fill out northern meetings. But tonight their team will include Blitzembye (R3, No.7). “We have about 20 trotters but he is the only pacer we have and we really like him,” says Wallis. It is not that the stable are strangers to training pacers and even very good ones as they prepared one of the most under-rated pacers of the last 20 years in Sly Flyin. “We would definitely take more pacers but we do probably prefer the trotters,” admits Wallis. Blitzembye actually resumed for the stable last Friday so the trotters won’t be totally dumbfounded by a set of hopples in the gear bag and he flashed home for second after being driven conservatively. He looks a five-win horse in the making who should thrive in the easier winter competition but tactics early and the tempo of the race could decide his chances from his tricky barrier. “He did a big job to win in the same prep as when he qualified last time so we expect him to be even better this time in.” The star of the trotting team tonight is Invictus although his natural racing style is not suited by his 35m handicap in race nine, the main trot of the night. “The 35m isn’t ideal but he can begin quickly. But it is hard to see him leading. “But away from the best trotters he is hard to beat, especially once he gets closer to the front line.” The Wallis/Hackett stable has three juvenile trotters in the second tote race for that crop in the north this season and Wallis says Faith In Manchester is their best hope. “She galloped last start at Cambridge but we think we have that sorted out,” she offers. They dominate race four tonight with four starters and suggest a roughie for punters, not a bad option in what is not the strongest maiden trot. “Cruise Control might not have the best form but he has ability and won well at the workouts last week so we think he has a real chance, particularly if he gets things right.” High In The Sky is rated an each way chance in race six where her manners could be handy in a capacity field which will make it hard on those who get too far back. The best pacer in show tonight is Sires’ Stakes winner America Dealer, who returns from a wide draw in the feature pace which is unusually the last race on the card. He is only using tonight’s race to get ready for the Jewels and then a Queensland campaign and he could settle last in the small field but he looked very ready when pacing his last 400m in 26.8 to easily beat some of these at the workouts last weekend so if presented at the right time he can still win.   by Michael Guerin

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    There’s a burgeoning rivalry developing at Cambridge Raceway and it’s just starting to heat up. Local junior drivers Alicia Harrison and Luke Whittaker have drawn level at the top of the North Island junior driver standings after Harrison recorded a winning double at her home meeting on Thursday night. She opened her account behind the Matthew White-trained Emmber in the Cambridge Homes Mobile Pace (2200m). The daughter of triple Group One winner Lauraella had to do it tough, sitting parked throughout, but she was able to draw on all her reserves to get up by a head over Jaccka Cooper, with Hooray Henry a further three-quarters of a length back in third. “Emmber had to do it quite tough, but she was quite on the bit and not as relaxed as I would have liked her to have been,” Harrison said. “Thankfully she dug in and stuck on really well. It was a really good effort from her.” Harrison was back in the winner’s circle saluting the judge in the following race after an all the way victory behind the Steve and Amanda Telfer-trained Sarandon. “It was a super effort from Sarandon,” Harrison said. “She is just a tough, wee mare. She tries her heart out. “She is only pony-sized, but I would love to have a heap of her around. She is such a cool, little horse. “The Telfers have been exceptional and every time you get on one of their horses you know it’s going to be in with a winning chance.” Her double brings Harrison’s season tally to 16 wins and on equal terms with Whittaker, who works for Cambridge trainer Mike Berger. “I was getting worried because he (Whittaker) had quite a few nice chances tonight. It is good to be back on level terms and now hopefully I can keep it ticking along,” Harrison said. Harrison is enjoying her best season to date and is relishing driving at premier meetings, most recently behind New York Minute in the Gr.1 Taylor Mile (1609m) and Gr.1 NZ Messenger Championship (2700m). “The first night I was so excited, and then it rained, and it was awful out there,” she said. “But it was awesome to be out there. “He went a great race in the Messenger, but unfortunately we got shuffled up and couldn’t get into it.” Harrison is looking forward to continuing her duel with Whittaker for top North Island junior driver honours, but she is also excited about the prospects of driving on Harness Jewels Day at Cambridge Raceway next month. “I am excited for the Jewels,” she said. “A mile is probably not New York Minute’s go, but it is pretty cool that he has made the race and that I will have a drive on a big day like that at Cambridge.” View the Cambridge harness racing results click here!

Welcome to todays segment from our harness racing analyst who provides you with free expert tips and selections for harness meetings run in New Zealand. Premier harness racing hits Addington tonight with a ten race program starting at 5:02pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Addington selections 7th May 2021 Best Bet:  R3 Willow Bay Best Value:  R9 Artatac    Race 1 Valley Star (6) Majestic Chick (5) One Majic Kenny (8) Sekkie Monkey (7)   Race 2 Folklore (5) Soundsofcash (2) Silk (3) Cheezel (8)   Race 3 Willow Bay (2) Always Have Faith (5) Star Casino (7) Strength And Honour (3)   Race 4 Jimmy Paul (6) Still Truckin (5) Acento (4) Royal Ruby (2)   Race 5 Maui (6) Miss Crazed (7) Franco Jorik (3) Paramount Princess (4)   Race 6 Watch Me Now (6) Laver (5) Plutonium Lady (7) Kruizr (4)    Race 7 Splash Cola (7) Pres The Belle (8) Gold Chain (6) Time In A Bottle (5)   Race 8 Jimmy Arma (2) Sense Of Occasion (1) Lincoln Skipper (10) Boarding Call (13)   Race 9 Artatac (12) Little Gee (2) Serg Blanco (6) Wee Ring The Changes (11)   Race 10 The Falcon (5) Not Over (11) Perfect Cut (1) Teagan Banner (7)   Harnesslink Media

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Winton trainer harness racing Chelsea Faithful was expecting new recruit Ideal BB to run well at Ascot Park today, but getting a win did surprise her. “I was expecting her to go nice but not to win like that,” she said. Ideal BB settled third last early avoiding an early galloper before running two back on the outside. At the 400 driver Nathan Williamson let the mare slide forward and she let down nicely centre track to get up and beat pacemaker Superfast by two and a quarter lengths. The winning time of 2-45.9 was respectable on a cold day. “I thought she’d be short for the run today and she will improve. She’ll win another one relatively easily I think.” Shortly after the finish Ideal BB looked to be in trouble as he galloped and had to be taken to the inside of the track. “I stopped watching and everyone said ‘what happened to your horse. Did it break its leg?’ She pulled a shoe just before the finish putting in a couple of rough ones. It looked a lot worse than it actually was.” Ideal BB qualified for Kirk Larsen at Winton in October 2019 and had two race day starts from the stable – the last 12 months ago. “Kirk did all the work with her. She hasn’t raced for a year. She was spelled to strengthen up because she’s quite a big mare.” Faithful has had the American Ideal mare for three months. “She’s had two workouts for me. The first one she went fair but in the second I was much happier with her as she found the line nicely.” Ideal BB is raced by Dunedin Doctor Onn Chin who’s had lots of success with the Tartan breed, which he’s had for many years. “Onn have been pretty good to me let me have a go with them. The one’s I’ve got here at the moment are not superstars but they’re honest and go good races every week. These are their last race horses. Kirk liked her (Ideal BB) but she hadn’t shown too much. Coming here was a change and something different. Being in a smaller stable suits her because she’s quite an anxious horse. She does a bit of thinking but she loves the one on one (attention).” Recently retired Tartan Trilogy is still at the stable. “He’s been a pest. He’s the stable GP at the moment. He keeps them all in line. I’ve just got Tartan Raider to come back.” Faithfuls success, and the way in which she turns her horse out on race day, mean her services have been in demand, but she has limited stable space. “It’s frustrating at the moment. I’ve got so many horses here that I don’t have enough boxes for and some of them have to stay outside. I don’t really like paddock training them especially in winter. I’m waiting for the builder to come and put up two more boxes which will be ideal.” Faithful is now looking at starting Ideal BB in a junior driver’s race. “They’re not that easy to win at times. I’ll look to get Mark Hurrell to drive her but he’s suspended at the moment so it’ll depend on when he gets back. I always like using the more experienced juniors – the ones that are patient and listen.” Meanwhile stable star Pay Me Speedy is likely to line up at Addington this Friday. “It’s Premier night and there’s a $20,000 race there for her. She’s good enough to go so there’s no point in shying away. It’s a 2600 metre mobile which should suit her down to the ground.” It’ll be the first time the young trainer has ventured to the metropolitan track. “I’m a bit nervous already. I’ll be a good experience for both her and me. It’ll make her grow up.” Faithful works for Williamson during the day and trains her own horses when she can. “I’ve got to go now and work Tartan Roxy.” Today’s win was one of four for Williamson. View the Invercargill harness racing results click here!   by Bruce Stewart
View the Invercargill harness racing results click here! “That’s as good as he’s gone,” trainer driver Kirk Larsen said after Tolkien won his fourth race at Ascot Park today. “He hasn’t been an easy horse. He’s got a real quirky nature and is his own boss. He trains well at home but you just don’t know which horse is going to turn up on the day.” Consequently the gelding has been a very difficult horse to follow both for his trainer and punters, but he had a few things in his favour today. “Being on the second row I thought that would help which it did. If he draws two or three on the front and there’s a delay and they muck around he loses it.” Although he ran down the track at his last starts, his previous two runs had been good. “The last start he missed away but before that he raced behind the mobile which he loves but you don’t get that many down here.” Larsen said the horse normally gets worked up while travelling to the races or in his box prior to the race but today was different. “Normally in the float he’s a bloody idiot – he rocks and rolls and mucks around but today for some reason he was as calm as anything. I’ve struck him like that a couple of times. Anytime he’s been like that, he’s gone pretty well.” After trotting off the mark today Larsen settled the five year old midfield on the outside. As other horses started to improve at the 600 he had to give up his good spot and move Tolkien around the field. “He felt extra good. When I peeled, I didn’t really want to go but I had to get handy.” At the 300 he had trotted up to the leader Palisade and hit the lead on straightening. He beat  Insist The Win by two and a quarter lengths. “For some reason he’s trotting the bends a lot better. He always used to crab the bends and run in a bit but now he’s actually running out and since he’s been doing that he’s trotting the bends a lot better.” Tolkien is owned by Lynette Philpot and Larsen’s son Tristan. Philpot raced Auckland Cup winner Howard Bromac from the Larsen stable. “Michelle’s (Tristan’s mother) sister Susan Hayes was actually in the horse as well but she gave her share to Tristan for this eighteenth birthday.” So after a frustrating run of luck and a few ‘outs’ the Larsen’s are rewarded by a trotter that hasn’t finished winning yet. “There was a time when he was frustrating me so much I was going to put him on Gavelhouse (auction site) but we stuck with him and he’s won two since then.” Larsen says the stable has a good number of young trotters coming through. “Tristan has always been keen on the trotters and we’ve got a few around us. They have three trots a day now so if you haven’t got one you’re missing out. I remember working at Bryce Buchanan’s. They had ten sets of bell boots and shoes welded inside other shoes. She was a bit of a battle to get them going but trotters are so much better these days.”   By Bruce Stewart
Mister consistent Lynryd Skynryd capped off his harness racing season with his second win at Ascot Park today. The five year old trained at Ascot Park by Jack Tither made the most of a handy draw and was taken straight to the top by junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson. From there he was never headed. The winning margin was a length and a quarter. Named by part owner Narelle Pollock after the band Lynryd Skynryd whose biggest hit was ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ Tither said the giant gelding was always going to take time. “Hopefully time will be his friend but we’ll find out next year. He’s done a lot better this season than I thought he would. I thought we’d have to wait until he’s six and fills out a bit,” he said. By A Rocknroll Dance, Lynryd Skynryd seems to race best when he’s in front. “He loves it in front.” The gelding is out of the Christian Cullen mare Shez Windermere and was bred by Tithers father-in- law Murray Faul. The mare is now owned by Otautau breeder Brent Smith. Her six foals of racing age have all qualified with RnR Windermere winning five races and BD Windermere winning four here, and another five in Australia. View the Invercargill results click here!   By Bruce Stewart
View the Addington results click here!    By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Splash Cola may be a rising 11-year-old, but she is not showing any signs of slowing down. The Regan Todd-trained mare picked up her 13th career win when taking out the Haras des Trotteurs Heather Williams Memorial Mobile Trot (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Friday night. Driver Robbie Close urged her forward early from her wide gate to take and early lead before handing up to Pres The Belle. She enjoyed sitting in the trail until Close elected to get on the back of an improving Gold Chain at the 400m and she was able to wear down her rival in the straight to win by 1-1/4 over a fast-finishing Overzealous, with a further half-head back to Gold Chain in third. It was a month between runs for Splash Cola after her unplaced run in the Gr.1 NZ Trotting Championship (2600m) and Todd said she was working well in the lead-up to Friday. “It was still a hard race, but it was a bit of a drop back from racing against the likes of Sundees Son,” Todd said. “She worked well during the week, so I thought she would be a bit of a show.” The daughter of Sundon will attempt to add to her career tally over the winter months before the broodmare paddock awaits her in the spring. “We will keep racing her through the free-for-alls during the winter and then she will head to the broodmare paddock,” Todd said. “She has done a great job, she has won 13 now.” Todd picked up a winning double at Addington when Haiti Franco was victorious in the following race, the Lamb & Hayward (Junior Drivers) Mobile Pace (1980m). It was the four-year-old mare’s second consecutive win and Todd admitted he was unsure how she would handle the step up in grade on Friday. “She was heading into the unknown, it’s a big step up from the maidens,” he said. “But she got a good run and went well. “It was penalty free so you would like to think that she will get another win or two during the winter.” While winter racing is fast approaching, Todd is still looking forward to a few feature races in the last few weeks of autumn before he heads north to Cambridge Raceway for the Harness Jewels next month. He currently has three runners qualified for the Jewels at various levels in the standings in their age divisions. His trio is led by last start Gr.2 Southland Oaks (2700m) winner Bettor Talk Art, who will contest the Gr.1 Nevele R Fillies Series Final and Gr.1 The Breeders NZ Oaks this month ahead of the Jewels. Stablemates Yorokobi and Play Philly will also have another hit-out each before a decision is made about whether they head to Cambridge. “Yorokobi will probably have another start next week to keep the money ticking over,” Todd said of the gelding who is currently 12th in the 3YO Emerald standings. “And Play Philly will race at Cambridge on the 20th and then we will make our mind up of whether we press on to the Jewels or she goes to the paddock. She will go a lot better going back to left-handed.”
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