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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!

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Peter and Vaughan Blanchard are hoping a couple of their stable runners will clear maiden ranks this week. The father-and-son training duo will head to Cambridge Raceway on Thursday with Harvey Specter and Skyzclearnsunny and they believe both runners are capable of scoring their first wins. Four-year-old gelding Harvey Specter will contest the Mitre 10 Cambridge Mobile Pace (2200m) where he will be driven by Todd Macfarlane from gate three. The 22-start maiden has finally started to hit his straps, placing in his last two starts, and his connections are hoping he can finally breakthrough for that maiden win on Thursday. “He is pretty consistent,” Vaughan Blanchard said. “It is a good draw, so hopefully he gets a bit of luck and things pan out well for him.” Later on the card, Skyzclearnsunny will be out to go one better than her last start runner-up effort when she lines-up in the On Site NZMCA Parking @ Cambridge Raceway Mobile Trot (2200m). “She is in a mobile, which she has already placed in before,” Blanchard said. “Her run last week was good and she seems really well. Hopefully she has good manners on Thursday.” The Pukekohe barn will also take a handful of runners to Alexandra Park on Friday. Promising trotter Cyclone Lebron has started his racing career in the right fashion, placing in both of his starts to date, and he will attempt to gain his first scalp in the Book Now for Mid-Winter Christmas At Alex Park Trot (2200m). “His first couple of runs have been pretty good. If he brings his manners he will be thereabouts,” Blanchard said. The Blanchard’s will have a two-pronged attack in the Blues Rugby Mobile Pace (2200m) with Je T’Aime and Joshua Richard. Je T’Aime takes a runner-up result into Friday, while Blanchard is expecting Joshua Richard to improve with his third run in 16 months. “Joshua Richard’s first two runs for us were really good,” he said. “It is a shame about the draw (8). He has only had two raceday starts over 16 months, so whatever he does this week he will improve on. “He was previously with Todd Macfarlane and it was nothing serious, but every time they got him close (to the races) something would go wrong. They had a run of bad luck with him. “He is now a little older, and more mature, and seems in a really good headspace. “He is a horse to follow in the future.” “Je T’Aime’s run last start was good. We feel like she is as good if not better than last time. She will need luck, but she is working pretty well.” Blanchard’s Auckland quartet will be completed by Satchmo in the Drag Bingo 3 June @ The Alex Mobile Pace (2200m). “He is probably the most improved horse in our barn. His last two starts have been very good. We clocked him 26.9 home last start,” Blanchard said. “It is a tricky wee field, but if the tempo is on I expect him to be right in it.”

View the Cambridge harness racing results click here! By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Consistent trotter My Royal Roxy rewarded trainer Ival Brownlee’s patience when winning the Ike Unsworth Bayleys Handicap Trot (27000m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday night. The daughter of Majestic Son began like a bullet off the front row to take an early lead for driver Jay Abernethy who maintained a solid tempo throughout. The pace told on her rivals, with the six-year-old running away to a comfortable 2-1/4 length win. Brownlee was delighted with the result and he was full of praise for Abernethy’s tactics. “She is not a bad little horse,” he said. “She is pretty limited but what she did tonight in that grade was pretty good. “You get the odd one that makes a mistake and you end up in front. He ran her along a little bit. “It all comes down to the start. She is a really good beginner. If you get a good start and run a good time like she did tonight, it’s really hard for them to make up that ground.” My Royal Roxy finished fourth when first-up at Cambridge Raceway a fortnight ago and Brownlee took plenty of confidence from that run. “That was a good run first-up,” he said. “He (Abernethy) didn’t knock her around at all and she was probably unlucky to not get a little bit closer. “At the moment she seems to be in a really good space, she is eating really well and doesn’t have any tying up problems. Everything has been going really well.” While My Royal Roxy has been in good form this season, placing in seven of her previous 12 starts this term, Thursday was her first win since 2018. Coincidentally it was the last time Brownlee’s silks greeted the judge, but he hasn’t been overly perturbed by that. “We have been knocking on the door plenty of times, but I am not too worried about having the photos up on the wall,” he said. “As long as they are paying their way I am happy. “She has been a great cashpoint card, she nearly averages $1,000 a start. She has definitely been carrying the team for a while. “You only need a couple like that in the barn. We have got a couple of young ones coming through that look quite nice, including a full-sister to her, she is a nice animal.”

Cambridge Raceway has had its first sell out for the up-coming Harness Jewels, and other packages are set to follow. With less than seven weeks to go before the big day, the G.H. Mumm marquee has been sold out, that’s 350 tickets at around $300 a pop. “That is our premium offering,” says David Branch, Cambridge Raceway Chief Executive, “we expected it to be popular but tickets have just flown out the door.” “Its great because the pressure has gone to sell tickets and our focus can now move to delivering an outstanding experience for those that have booked in this space” The Skyline Lounge has also been popular, with the original allocation of 260 tickets also sold out, though another fifty tickets have just been offered up for sale. The ever popular Boys Get Paid tickets also go on sale this week. The syndicate will have their own space by the winning post. It’s likely to be limited to around 100 people. Tickets for the Speights Summit Ultra Sports bar are also on sale. “This is to engage the local sports community, we have nine ambassadors, one for each race, and it will be set up on a new location about 100 metres down the straight, it’s between the grandstand and the clubhouse,” says Branch. “We have no doubt this will sell out too.” As a pointer to what lies ahead the first Harness Jewels colours were seen on the track last week, with Montana DJ – the leader in the 2YO Emerald – finishing third. On Sunday June 6 there will be nine Group Ones, all worth $100,000. We will have another update this time next week as we count down to Harness Jewels 2021.   HRNZ

Scott Phelan knows Major Perry’s win at Cambridge on Thursday night means more than just a spot in next month’s Sires’ Stakes Final. He knows he means the plan of training partner Barry Purdon is working. Phelan drove the speedy son of Art Major and Katy Perry to the juvenile’s first career victory in the Sires’ Stakes heat and he looked the winner a long way from home. Major Perry, who had been luckless so far in his career, dived straight on to the back of stablemate Montana D J at the 1700m start and was in the box seat when Classy Operator keep the pressure on the leader throughout. That saw Classy Operator first beaten from parked and Montana D J in trouble at the top of the straight as Major Perry went straight past him up the passing lane before holding out the very strong late charge of debutante Strength And Honour. The runner-up was every bit as good as the winner and the upside down nature of the race, with a 1:55.6 mile rate for 1700m even though the last 800m was in a pedestrian 59.8 seconds, also means Montana D J lost few fans. But while the margin was only a neck Phelan says that is more from Major Perry shutting off when he hit the lead rather than him getting tired. “He is very fast and just got there too soon and shut off but the second horse must have gone well too,” said Phelan. “But this horse is still learning. Once I got that trip behind that sort of speed he was always going to be hard to beat. “He is the speedster of the two whereas Montana D J is probably the better stayer.” With both horses safely into the Sires’ Stakes Final now they have their goals set for next month while the Purdon/Phelan stable also has three high class juveniles fillies in the Sires’ Stakes Fillies heat at Alexandra Park on Friday night. “It is great to have so many young horses in the team,” says Phelan. “Obviously it is not an easy thing to achieve and Barry has done such a great job getting most of them from the sales and that is what owners usually want, horses who can race for that big money at two.” The stable clearly has plenty of those in their around 30 horses in work, with three of those talented young juveniles owned by Queensland-based Dean Shannon. “Dean is a great owner, you never ever hear him complain and he has got some lovely horses.” The best of them, Belle Of Montana, is due back into work on June 1 after a long spell with indication she is healthy and happy and ready to start a new campaign.   by Michael Guerin

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    He has already won one Group One race in his short career and now smart juvenile Montana DJ is marching on to try and add a few more to his burgeoning record in the coming months. The Gr.1 Garrards NZ Sires’ Stakes 2YO Final and Gr.1 Harness Jewels 2YO Emerald are firmly on the radar and he will continue his preparation towards those targets in the Garrard’s Sires’ Stakes (Heat 2) Mobile Pace (1700m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday. The son of Captaintreacherous won his 1609m trial at Pukekohe a fortnight ago following a freshen-up after his win in the Gr.1 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes (1700m) at Alexandra Park last month. Trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan are pleased with the way he has returned and said they elected to bypass the Gr.2 Welcome Stakes at Addington last week in favour of the Sires’ Stakes heat. “He’s come through that race well and had a good trial about 10 days ago and he is forward enough,” Phelan said. “There wasn’t really much for them in the way of two-year-old races. There was the Welcome Stakes which wasn’t good timing for them having to travel down there and then travel back home, or stay down there for six weeks.” Montana DJ will continue his rivalry with the Graeme Rogerson-trained Classy Operator on Thursday, who he has beaten in his last two outings. “He is a nice enough horse, that one of Rogerson’s, but we have got a good draw (1) so we will see what happens,” Phelan said. Phelan will be in the bike himself behind stablemate Major Perry, who has followed a near identical preparation to Montana DJ. While he has lived in the shadow of his more fancied stablemate, Phelan said he expects his charge to perform well after drawing barrier two. “He has finally got a good draw, so he will settle pretty handy and will go a good race,” he said. As well as the Sires’ Stakes Final and Harness Jewels, the Listed Harness Million is also in the sights for both runners at Addington next month. “They will head down for the Sires and Harness Millions and then head to the Jewels,” Phelan said. “We will just try and find a suitable race in a fortnight or just give them a trial before they head to Christchurch.” The Clevedon stable will also contest the Dunstan Horse Feeds Mobile Pace (2700m) on Thursday with Montana Storm and Montana Jet. Montana Storm recorded their maiden victory at Cambridge Raceway last week, while Montana Jet extinguished his chances in his 2200m contest when breaking down the back straight. “Montana Storm got a deserved win,” Phelan said. “He has gone some good races at Auckland and the drop back to Cambridge he got his win, which was good. “Montana Jet got a couple of things wrong, but he is a nice enough horse. He is probably the better of the two chances.” View the Cambridge fields click here!

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk     New Zealand Trotting Derby winner Five Wise Men has gone to the top of the Harness Jewels 3YO Ruby leaderboard. The highly impressive son of Muscle Hill beat a fast finishing Time Up The Hill and Son Of Patrick in Friday’s Group One feature for the three-year-old trotters at Addington. It was his sixth win in eight starts and took his season’s earnings to $95,450. That was enough for him to go past Wanna Play With Me at the top of the leaderboard. After her second placing, Time Up The Hill moves up from 8th to 5th while Royal Del (11th) and Salvo (12th) make the cut, at the expense of One Over All and Outamyway. The top 12 horses in each of the nine categories will make the final fields for the Jewels at Cambridge on June 6. The week’s other big mover was Cosmic Major, who went from 10th to second in the 2YO Emerald, on the back of his win over Akuta and co in Friday night’s Group Two Welcome Stakes. Montana DJ remains the leader in that category. Another impressive winner on Friday night was Lifes A Beach for trainer Tony Barron. The Bettor’s Delight filly has now won three in a row and in the 3YO Diamond has moved up to eighth from 10th. The runaway leader of this division is Bettor Twist. Commander Cathy’s win in the Schweppes Mobile pace at Alexandra Park on Friday has seen her go from 21st to 12th, with Ruby Mach dropping one to 13th. In the 3YO Emerald there are no changes to the 12 while in the 4YO Emerald Steel The Show has gone from 14 to 12, with Gilligans Island dropping one to 13. In the 2YO Ruby Highgrove is a runaway leader, while the Jason and Megan Teaz-trained Emma Joy has gone from 12th to third, after winning at Cambridge on Thursday. Ahwel, who finished second in the same race, makes the 12 for the first time. In the 4YO Ruby Bolt For Brilliance remains on top from Friday night’s NZ Trotting Championship victor Muscle Mountain with another winner at the meeting American Pride moving up from 18 to 7, with Kiwitrix dropping one place to be 13th. To check the complete leaderboard please check here

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Cambridge Raceway stalwart Donald Cossey had a memorable night at his home track on Thursday night when returning to the winner’s circle as a trainer for the first time in nearly 20 years. Cossey is a familiar face around the Waikato track, having driven the mobile on racenight for more than 15 years as well as being the track farrier. “I was shoeing horses and worked for the Cambridge trotting track for a few years,” Cossey said. “I was the course farrier as well as the mobile driver on race night. All those years I gave up training. “I turned 70 not too long ago and I thought when I turned 70 that would be it.” Cossey elected to hand in the driver’s keys at the start of the season and return to training and was rewarded with a win in the Happy Hour At The Clubhouse 4-6pm Mon-Wed Handicap Trot (2700m) on Thursday night with Highview Rockn Roll. “I am over the moon, she went very well,” Cossey said. “She had been working quite well and she has come through it well by the looks of things.” The filly extended her career tally to one win and two placings from just four starts, but it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the pacing-bred three-year-old. Cossey initially tried the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out as a pacer, but after she showed limited ability in that gait, he elected to try her without hopples, and she proved to be a natural trotter. “I couldn’t believe it when I got her, I thought she was going to be a pacer and I went out on the track at the workouts and she showed me nothing as a pacer, she was very ordinary,” he said. “I decided to take the hopples off one day and just work her with no hopples on and all she wanted to do was trot, so I thought ‘here we go, this is it’. “She is a great beginner and she hasn’t looked back. She has got great manners, that is the key with her.” Cossey initially happened across Highview Rockn Roll online and decided to lease her, and he said he is enjoying every minute having her in his barn. “Her former owners put her online for lease and I thought I would have a go with her,” he said. “We got her going and when she qualified I thought we would buy her. “My nephew, Nick Coxon, and I bought her and we are going to have a bit of fun with her.” Originally hailing from Taranaki, Cossey is a member of one of the region’s most prominent harness racing family’s, and he has enjoyed a lifelong involvement in the sport. “The family has been in harness racing all of our lives,” Cossey said. “Farley races down in Taranaki, and Jason had a win the other night down in Palmerston North. “When I left school I started working for Ivan Dickie, John Dickie’s father. I was with him for about eight years, he taught me a lot, he was a very good trainer. “I also worked with Jack Davies, and I was foreman for Ross Olivieri when he was in New Zealand for Curtin Farms.” Cossey transitioned to become a farrier and has shod a number of quality horses over the years, but admitted Highview Rockn Roll is his favourite horse that he has shod. “I shod Just An Excuse to win his first New Zealand Cup, but Sovereignty would be the best horse I have shod, I would say. He was a hell of a good trotter,” Cossey said. “But I like this little filly (Highview Rockn Roll). Being by Rock N Roll Heaven, I call her Angel because that is where Angels come from, heaven. “She is just an angel, she is just the best, and would be my favourite horse I have shod so far.” Cossey initially took out his trainer’s license in 1986 and he said Rannach Ruler was the best horse that went through his care. “I owned a horse called Rannach Ruler, he was the two-year-old trotter of the year in 1989. I sold him to Australia,” he said. Cossey is enjoying his return to training and is looking to breed from his mare Alanajane this coming season, after health issues forced him to end her racing career after he suffered health issues. “I have got a broodmare I want to put in-foal next season,” Cossey said. “She is a Monarchy mare out of an Armbro Invasion mare. She never raced. “I got her broken in and I took ill for a little while. I ended up with a stent and a heart pacemaker in 2013. I am still shoeing horses though. “She never went anywhere and I just want to breed a foal out of her.” In the meantime, Cossey is having the time of his life working his Angel and is hoping Thursday night won’t be the last time he visit’s the winner’s circle with his pride and joy View the full results for Cambridge click here!

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Progressive filly The Honey Queen will be out to continue her burgeoning form line when she contests the Nevele R Filles Series Heat 5 Mobile Pace (1700m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday. The daughter of Group One-winning mare Tosti has won three of her nine starts to date, and placed in two others, including a runner-up effort in the Gr.1 Northern Oaks (2700m) two starts back. She subsequently went on to post her third win at Alexandra Park last start and trainers Brian and Gareth Hughes have been pleased with her progress. “She has come through her last race well and she seems well in herself,” Gareth Hughes said. “She is coming along quite nicely, she keeps improving. “It was an awesome run in the Oaks to finish second and her next start, where she won, she went well again for (driver) Tony Cameron. “I am very happy with the way she is going.” The Honey Queen has drawn the outside in the seven-horse field on Thursday, but Hughes is hoping her class will prevail. “It always makes it a bit tougher when you draw out wide down there,” he said. “She is a class filly and hopefully she can overcome it.” All going to plan, The Honey Queen is on a path towards Addington Raceway next month for the Gr.1 Nevele R Fillies Series Final on May 14, and the Gr.1 The Breeders NZ Oaks a week later. “She is nominated for the Oaks down south and that would be the sort of races will be looking at after tomorrow, all going well,” Hughes said. The Ardmore stable will also be represented on Thursday by Nudist Beach in the IRT. Your Horse. Our Passion Mobile Pace (2200m). The son of Sunshine Beach has been freshened since his sixth-placing at Cambridge last month and Hughes is hoping for an improved performance. “He had a little freshen-up after his last run,” Hughes said. “He has drawn six, which makes it a bit tougher, but he always puts his best foot forward for us, although sometimes you need a bit of luck.” View the Cambridge fields 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. Harness racing hits Cambridge today with a nine race program starting at 5:13pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Cambridge selections 8th April 2021 Best Bet:  R1 Rosie Best Value:  R4 Joshua Richard   Race 1 Rosie (12) High In The Sky (7) Tramps Like Us (8) Wynberg Watch  (6)   Race 2 Montana Storm (3) Tuxedo Bromac (2) Dynamite Dez (6) Louie The Punter (9)   Race 3 King City (7) Faith In Manchester (8) Emma Joy (4) American Muscle (5)   Race 4 Joshua Richard (1) Hooray Henry (5) The Fisherman (4) Loutenant (6)   Race 5 The Honey Queen (7) Allamericanlover (6) Santa Maria (1) Mia Ragazza (4)   Race 6 Pull The Other Leg (7) Tartan Robyn (9) Mailman (5) Ohoka Achilles (8)    Race 7 She Reigns (11) Rydgemont Son (10) Presidential Jewel (8) The Last Gamble (1)   Race 8 Montana Jet (3) Nudist Beach (6) Ideal Prince (5) Bodrum Boy (9)   Race 9 Express Play (1) Sing To Me (3) Pocket Book (5) Hawthornden Hunk (2)   Harnesslink Media

Media Release on behalf of Cambridge Raceway The IRT Harness Jewels will return to Cambridge Raceway on Queen’s Birthday weekend with the feature race meeting taking place on Sunday June 6, 2021. This season defining event, crowning harness racing's champions, features the best age group races for pacers and trotters, with nine Group One races over 1609m worth a staggering $900,000 in total stakes money. “We’re really excited to have this iconic race meeting back in Cambridge,” Cambridge Raceway CEO Dave Branch said. “It’s a brilliant showcase of our industry and a great event for our Cambridge and Waipā community to enjoy and we’re looking forward to celebrating after a tough year.” Cambridge Raceway was set to hold the 2020 edition of the IRT Harness Jewels last May, but the event was cancelled due to Covid-19. The IRT Harness Jewels, which traditionally alternate annually between the North and South Islands, were last run at Cambridge Raceway in 2018 and then in Christchurch in 2019. “We were really proud of what we achieved at the 2018 event,” Branch said. “We had over 4,000 guests on course which created an amazing atmosphere to compliment the top quality racing on the track. “This year we’re aiming even higher with a range of experiences to light up the senses and hospitality options to impress and entertain.” International equine airfreight company IRT, are sponsoring this event for the second time, and Branch is grateful for their support. “IRT’s commitment to the harness racing industry is incredible, especially given the events of the past year, and we couldn’t pull off these major race meetings without their support,” he said. “We were so disappointed we couldn’t bring our shared vision to life last year but we’re excited to be working with IRT once again.” Hospitality options for IRT Harness Jewels 2021 include a luxury gourmet experience in the G.H. Mumm Marquee, viewing the action from the best seats in the house in the IRT Skyline Lounge, the relaxed atmosphere of The Clubhouse and the popup Speights Summit Ultra Bar for diehard sporting fans. There will also be a food truck village, fashion on the field competition, the Cambridge Colts and Fillies Club with free children’s entertainment and an after party featuring the popular covers band The Wingmen. “We know from 2018 that our hospitality packages will sell out again,” Branch said. “So this year we have a focus on improving the GA experience with the aim of getting another 1,000 people on course.” General Admission tickets are $20 per person and free for under 18-year-olds and include a souvenir racebook and pen. GA tickets ordered online before Friday June 4 will also receive a $5 TAB betting voucher and drink voucher. Supporting the race meeting are the IRT Harness Jewels 2021 Golf Day on Friday June 4 at the Cambridge Golf Course and the IRT Harness Jewels 2021 Eve Function on Saturday June 5, to be hosted by racing journalist Michael Guerin. General admission and hospitality packages for IRT Harness Jewels 2021 are now on sale, visit www.cambridgeraceway.co.nz/harnessjewels for more info.

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. Harness racing hits Cambridge today with a nine race program starting at 5:04pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Cambridge selections 18th March 2021 Best Bet: R3 Mia Ragazza Best Value: R5 The Last Gamble   Race 1 Commander Cathy Settle Petal Wet Flipflops Shanlou   Race 2 I See Fire The Big Bird Aflyin Spur Safrakova   Race 3 Mia Ragazza Little Suzie Je T'Aime Cos I Can   Race 4 Sarandon Dun It Bad Down The Hatch Kowhai Park   Race 5 The Last Gamble Kristofferson As Free As Air Superfast Ninja   Race 6 Last Tango In Heaven Aladdin Alta Wiseguy Cya Art    Race 7 Pull The Other Leg Emmber The Banker Brookies Jaffa   Race 8 Eighteen Carat  Maurice Panspacificjet Richmond Tiger   Race 9 Willis Graham Keystone Comet Jasinova Cepheus   Harnesslink Media

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Trainer Andre Poutama is enjoying being back in his hometown of Palmerston North and he has quickly added to his team since he has been based at Manawatu Raceway. “I prefer to be down there than up in Pukekohe,” he said. “I have got 12 in work now and I have got a couple more coming into the stable shortly, which is good.” On Wednesday, Poutama travelled north with two of his stable representatives to race at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday, and he believes both are winning chances. In-form pacer Jimmy Richter will tackle the Balloons Visit Waipa 19th March Mobile Pace (2200m) and Poutama is hoping the six-year-old gelding can record an elusive win. The son of Auckland Reactor has placed in his last three starts and Poutama was particularly impressed with his last-start third-placing at Manawatu Raceway. “He has been going good lately, he is not far from getting his win that he deserves,” Poutama said. “He had to do a bit of work last start. He worked to get to the front and didn’t get much of a breather before something else had a look at him. He stuck on well to run third, so I was pretty impressed with that run.” Jimmy Richter has drawn the ace barrier for Thursday and Poutama, who will also take the reins, said his charge should be able to take advantage of that draw. “It’s a nice draw,” he said. “Finally he has got a decent draw that he will be able to use. Hopefully he won’t have to do too much.” In the following race Poutama will line-up Mackali in the Ike Unsworth Bayleys Handicap Trot (2700m). The six-year-old mare has placed in four of her last five starts and won two starts back at Palmerston North. “She has been going great,” Poutama said. “She deserved that win and it was good to get it at Palmerston North in front of her owner. “She has got a field she can definitely get another win. It’s not a particularly strong field.” Poutama has also picked up two outside drives behind the Ross Paynter-trained As Free As Air in the BetaVet Handicap Trot (2700m), and Bet Your Boots in the Brogden Horse Transport Mobile Pace (2200m). “As Free As Air has been going really well,” Poutama said. “She went well last start (when finishing second), she kicked on well. She is in a winnable race again, so she is definitely a top three chance. “I don’t know a lot about Bet Your Boots. She had a bit of broken gear behind the gates in her first start so didn’t take any part in it. She is pretty much going around to learn the ropes I’d imagine.” View the fields for Cambridge 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. Harness racing hits Cambridge tonight with an eight race program starting at 5.10pm and we highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good night of racing. Cambridge selections 4th March 2021 Best Bet:  R2 Commander Cathy Best Value:  R7 The Last Gamble   Race 1 Ya Know Tramps Like Us Ivegotbills Safrakova   Race 2 Commander Cathy Be My Rose Monkee Around Bet Your Boots   Race 3 Aflyin Spur Trifolium Haka Pride Shakemjenny   Race 4 Hes A Facta Montana Jet Dynamite Dez Tintoretto   Race 5 Dun It Bad Ticking Over Panspacificjet Chalberg   Race 6 Pull The Other Leg The Banker Young Conqueror Spirit Of Anzac     Race 7 The Last Gamble Delson Majestic Harry As Free As Air   Race 8 Bankers Gold High Point Optical Illusion Sunset Red   Harnesslink Media

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    It was a night for the locals at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday, led by local horseman David Butcher who reined home a winning treble. He opened his account in his own silks when Claudia Schiffer took out the Wisteria Lane Nail Boutique Clinic Mobile Pace (2200m). The daughter of Sportswriter was sent forward early and assumed the lead from the breaking Little Suzie, who driver Benjamin Butcher was able to settle relatively quickly. Claudia Schiffer had a comfortable lead throughout and ran away to an easy three-quarter length victory over Four Kisses. “She was good,” Butcher said. “She just got a better draw (5) this week and that made all the difference. She got an easy lead and was too good.” Butcher then hopped in the cart behind Fira in the Black Dog Furniture Bruntwood Road Mobile Trot (2200m) for local trainer Arna Donnelly. The Thanksgiving mare was given the perfect trip throughout in the one-one and was able to wear down leader Safrakova in the home straight to record her sixth career victory. “She got a really good trip and ended up in the one-one and she got there by a neck,” Butcher said. He then donned the colours of local breaker Brent Donnelly in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Fibre Grow Mobile Pace (2700m) when piloting The Banker. Butcher gave the Arna Donnelly-trained gelding a similar trip, with the son of Auckland Reactor able to secure a nose victory over stablemate Young Conqueror. “The Banker also got an easy trip in the one-one and got there by a nose,” he said. Butcher was not the only member of his family to walk away with a win on Thursday, with son Benjamin reining home Cya Art to win the Racebook Donations Supporting Team Teal Mobile Pace (2200m) for trainers Steven and Amanda Telfer. Butcher was able to secure an early one-one position with the three-year-old son of Art Major before pressing forward for the lead at the bell. The race favourite held on to a one length victory over Wet Flipflops, with Alta Cassino a further 3-1/4 lengths back in third. “We got a good cosy trip early on and the pace wasn’t that quick,” Butcher said. “He lacks a bit of speed, so I thought I would put him in it. He had to do a little bit of work to get there, but he got the job done.”   Full Cambridge results click here!

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Cambridge horseman Rodney Frampton is vying to record his first training win when Monkee Around lines-up in the Racebook Donations Supporting Team Teal Mobile Pace (2200m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday. It will be the Art Major mare’s debut run for the stable and Frampton is hopeful of a bold showing after a couple of pleasing workout results, including a win at her hometrack on Saturday. “She has had a couple of workouts and she went quite nice in her workout on Saturday,” Frampton said. “She is happy with the pace on and rolling along a little bit, that suits her best. She has got a good attitude and is a tough wee mare.” The Alabar Stud bred and raced four-year-old will be driven by junior reinsman Luke Whittaker from barrier six, and the wide draw is the only concerning factor for her trainer. “I think she will go a nice enough race, although she has drawn quite an awkward alley,” Frampton said. “It will depend on what sort of run she gets. If she gets a nice run and is reasonably handy, she won’t be too far away.” Frampton is in his first season of training, although his career in the industry stretches back nearly 40 years. “I worked for John Langdon in the early to mid-eighties for about five years and I ended up being foreman there,” he said. “I drove a couple of winners and then I went to Australia for a couple of years. “I came back and worked at a dairy company for a while and then I had a horse with Andrew and Lyn Neal. I had another one with David Marshall and I helped him out a little bit. “I then started to work for Mike Berger and then Arna Donnelly, and now I am enjoying training myself.” Frampton recaptured his love for the sport when taking out his amateur driver’s license nearly a decade ago. “When I was helping out Andrew and Lyn, they had a horse there called Greg Brydon. We thought he would suit the amateur races, so I decided to get my license to drive him,” he said. Frampton is training a team of eight at Cambridge Raceway and he said he has received a fair amount of support from local trainers, particularly former employer Mike Berger. “Mike Berger helps me out quite a bit,” he said. “I am a breaker for him and I jog up a few for him. I have also got a couple of breakers for Alabar and they own Monkee Around.” Frampton is happy working his small team and he said he derives a lot of satisfaction from earning a living from something he loves. “I am quite happy training a few and breaking in a few, and making a living doing it,” he said. “I have worked in other careers, so it’s quite good being able to work with horses. I enjoy it.

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