News Briefs : April 17

Big turnover on Champions Night

Cambridge's Night of Champions on Friday was certainly popular with punters, with latest figures showing turnover surpassed $1.8m (on nine races), compared to $1.26m, on eight races, last year. Not surprisingly the race with the biggest turnover was the $1m Race by Grins ($383K). The Gross Betting Margin for the night was 25.6%, compared to 16.7% last year. Just two favourites won during the night - Skipper and Jolimont.

Merlin now a millionaire

After his impressive win in the $1m Race by Grins, Merlin has become a millionaire himself. The stakes for Friday night's win was $450,000 and Merlin's victory was his fourth from as many starts in New Zealand this year. The Art Major four-year-old star now has a career record of 18 wins from just 26 starts, with total earnings of $1,145,620. Merlin is the leading earning horse in this country this year.

Cambridge upsetter though to Sires' Stakes Final

After his upset win on Cambridge's Night of Champions, Hadron Collider has booked a spot in the Garrards Horse and Hound 3YO Sires' Stakes Series 40 Final at Addington on May 10. Trained by Robert and Jenna Dunn, the Sweet Lou gelding was a $15 longshot in the Garrards Sires' Stakes 3YO Colts and Geldings Heat 3 Mobile Pace on Friday night but Tony Herlihy was aggressive, leading from start to finish. Vessem was second ahead of hotpots Cold Chisel and We Walk By Faith. By finishing second Vessem is also through to the final, as are Dreams Are Free, Cold Chisel, Chase A Dream and Harrison John after their top two performances in the opening heats at Auckland on March 15 and at Addington on April 5.

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And after finishing one-two in both the opening heats, Queen Of Swords and Aardie B Miki have confirmed their spots in the final of the Magness Benrow 3YO Fillies Sires' Stakes Series 40 at Alexandra Park on Friday May 17.The two heats were held at Addington on March 27 and April 11. There are two heats remaining, at Auckland this Friday and then on May 3.

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Debut for $310,000 sales purchase

A big money purchase, Chicago Bear will make his debut at Addington on Thursday night. The four-year-old was bought by Kentuckiana Lodge for $310,000 at the 2021 national yearling sales in Christchurch. The gelding is a full sibling to Chicago Bull and Perfect Stride and will debut for Team Dalgety in Race 3 Buy a Woodlands Weanling May 23 Mobile Pace, after finishing second at the Rangiora trials last Wednesday.

Club News : Addington

Addington Raceway is inviting all owners to a special function on Friday, May 10. Hosted in the Christian Cullen Lounge on Level 1 of the Metropolitan Stand, this event will include some great prizes - among them 7 nights accommodation at Peninsular Beachfront Resort at Mooloolaba Beach, a $40,000 insurance voucher from NZB, and some TAB betting vouchers. Everyone will get a welcome drink and it is free to attend with an optional $25 one-plate buffet which can be purchased on the night.
To book a spot go to : addington.co.nz/owners-night-2024

Club News : Invercargill

The premier meeting of the southern harness racing season – Diamonds Day – will take place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill this Sunday (21 April). Diamonds Day is a massive day on track with feature races including the prestigious Group 1 Diamond Creek Farm 2YO Classic which carries a stake of $110,000 plus the Group 2 finals of the Alabar NZ Southern Supremacy Stakes and the Macca Lodge/Nevele R Stud Southern Oaks. Both carry a stake of $60,000 while the final of the Regent Car Court Southern Cup Series is also on the programme featuring a stake of $40,000.

Patrons can get amongst the winning as one lucky lady will take home a Diamond Ring valued in excess of $5000 courtesy of a competition supported by Coats & Schuck Jewellers and the Invercargill Harness Racing Club and it could not be easier.

Each time a lady places a $5 bet on course they will receive a coupon to fill in to place in one of the buckets around the course. One of those coupons will be drawn out in the grand prize draw in the birdcage during the afternoon and the person who filled in that coupon will take home the ring.

“The Invercargill Harness Racing Club is thrilled to be holding its second Group 1 event of the season after already hosting the Ascot Park Hotel Invercargill Cup in December,” says Club President Craig Heyrick. “The main attraction off the track will be the annual Diamond Ring Giveaway courtesy of Coats & Schuck Jewellers and the club. This ring is valued at over $5000 and we anticipate a large crowd on course on the day.”

Ladies will also receive a free glass of wine on arrival to the course. There are still a very limited number of hospitality options available.
Admission to the course will be free. The first race commences at 12 noon and the last of ten is scheduled for 4.38pm.

Lindsay Beer
Southern Harness Racing
03 217 4288
021 351 499

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