Kiwis win first ever ANZAC series at Methven

It came down to the very last race before New Zealand sealed a narrow victory over Australia in yesterday's ANZAC 18,000+ Series at Methven.

The series, pitting Australian guns Chris Alford and Greg Sugars against Ricky May and Maurice McKendry, was held over six races. The top placed driver in each race got four points, with three for second, two for third and one for fourth.

In the end it was a 31-29 win to the Kiwis, after it was 25-25 heading into the final race of the day.

McKendry and May then secured victory with six points, compared to Australia's four.

"It was a bit of a worry early," McKendry told Harness Unhinged's Nigel Armstrong post race, "I was not going so good so needed those last few drives."

With two seconds and two thirds in the last four races, McKendry finished on 18 points, with Sugars on 15, Alford 14 and May on 13.

For Sugars, fresh from his epic victory with Just Believe in the TAB Trot at Cambridge's Night of Champions on Friday, there was also the novelty of driving on a grass track.

"We've been made very welcome here and while we didn't get the result we wanted we've had a lot of fun," says Sugars.

The $18,000 + plus series refers to the number of winners the four drivers have had on both sides of the Tasman.

It was McKendry's second win at Mt Harding in as many years. Last year he beat May and Tony Herlihy in the Three Wise Men challenge.

The ANZAC 18,000 Series :

Race 5 : Gary McCormick Transport Ltd Anzac 18000+ Trot

Greg Sugars 2nd with Brother Love
Ricky May 3rd with Barrytown
Chris Alford - 5th with Speeding Spirit
Maurice McKendry - 8th with Take After Me

Race 7 : Mid Canterbury Owners and Trainers ANZAC 18000+ Mobile Pace

Chris Alford 2nd with Itz Magical Meg
Ricky May 3rd with Opo
Greg Sugars 4th with Krystal Delight
Maurice McKendry 6th with Ruby's A Delight

Race 8 : The Phat Duck Brew Bar and Kitchen ANZAC 18000+ Mobile Pace

Maurice McKendry 2nd with Izacheapee
Ricky May 4th with Tanganyika
Greg Sugars 10th with Mouton Cadet
Chris Alford 11th with Kalatra

Race 10 : Roseland Racing ANZAC 18000+ Challenge Handicap Pace

Maurice McKendry 3rd with Smart I Am
Greg Sugars 4th with Peraki Seelster
Chris Alford 8th with Onwardsandupwards
Ricky May 18th on Pure Courage

Race 11 : Doug McCormick Memorial ANZAC 18,000+ Handicap Trot

Maurice McKendry 3rd with Prince Teka
Greg Sugars 4th with Paige
Chris Alford 8th with Royal Del
Ricky May 9th with Grettymac

Race 12 : Mainland Wool Ltd ANZAC 18,000+ Challenge Mobile Pace

Maurice McKendry 2nd with Georgie Zhukov
Chris Alford 6th with Szybka Lane
Ricky May 8th with Hayley's Meddle
Greg Sugars 12th with Midnight Babe

A winning treble by John Dunn with Prince Ranier, Fergalicious and Times Are A Changin has taken him to 49 wins for the year, eight short of premiership leader Blair Orange (57) with Steve and Amanda Telfer leading the trainers' premiership on 53, just one ahead of Robert and Jenna Dunn.






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