News Briefs - April 24

Scott Phelan hits 300

Scott Phelan recorded his 300th training success when Duchess Megxit took out the final race at Alexandra Park on Friday night. He has 13 on his own account from 2017-2020 with 287 in partnership with Barry Purdon. Headlined by stars like Merlin and Cold Chisel the combo have been on fire this year with 24 wins to be third on the premiership behind Steve and Amanda Telfer (59) and Robert and Jenna Dunn (56). Phelan's first win was (with Purdon) Pembrook Benny in 2007. He has also had 589 wins as a driver.

Duchess Megxit into Sires' Stakes Final

Duchess Megxit's comfortable win also sealed her a place in next month's Magness Benrow 3YO Fillies Sires' Stakes Series 40 Final. Trained by Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan, the daughter of Sweet Lou speared to the lead in the third heat of the series before getting the trail behind stablemate Ultimate Racy Girl just over a lap out. Zachary Butcher then peeled out turning for home and cruised to victory by just over two lengths ahead of Ultimate Racy Girl. It was Duchess Megxit's fourth win in just nine starts. Both Duchess Megxit and Ultimate Racy Girl have now qualified for the final, joining Queen Of Swords and Aardie B Miki who quinellaed the first two heats in the series at Addington. Just one heat remains at Alexandra Park on May 3. The final will be held at Alexandra Park a fortnight later, on Friday, May 17.

To see more click here

Sally Lindenny to be Mum

11-win trotter Sally Lindenny is in foal and has been retired from racing. The Majestic Son eight-year-old had her last race on Diamonds Day at Invercargill on Sunday. With six wins since debuting for Kirstin Green's stables in September last year, Sally Lindenny has been a bargain buy for Southland owner Murray Swain. Her career records stands at 11 wins from 86 starts and $109,983. She is currently in foal to Royal Aspirations.

Group 1 winner Otago horse of year

Rowe Cup winner Love N The Port has been crowned Otago Horse of the Year at a special awards function in Oamaru. The Love You six-year-old won three races in 2023 including the Group 3 Worthy Queen at Addington and the Group 1 Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park against the likes of Oscar Bonavena and Muscle Mountain. His trainer Phil Williamson was named Otago trainer and Strike Rate Trainer of the Year while son Matthew was voted Otago Driver of the Year. The best Otago owned horse was the unbeaten Millwood Nike who went nine from nine in 2023 and has a career record of 17 wins from as many starts.

Meanwhile the North Island harness racing awards for the 2023 season will be held at Cambridge Raceway on June 22.

Lavros Lodge still on market

High profile training establishment Lavros Lodge has attracted interest from both here and overseas but is still on the market. A total of 19 enquiries were made with the deadline sale closing at noon yesterday. So far no sale has been made and it will now be marketed as "price by negotiation". Up for sale is a total of nearly 34 hectares at Yaldhurst just outside Christchurch , complete with a 1200m double race track, an eight horse jogging machine and an equine swimming pool, stabling for up to 32 horses, a separate house above the stables and then the main homestead that was built around 20 years ago. The property is being marketed by Harcourts Holmwood.

Gavelhouse auction closes tonight

The latest standardbred gavelhouse auction closes from 7pm tonight, with eight horses up for sale. Included in the lots is an unnamed Downbytheseaside colt who was purchased from the National Yearling Sales at Karaka in February. The reserve has been set at $34,500. Other horses up for sale include seven-win trotter Romeo Foxtrot, who at last look had reached $10,500, and the five win trotter Port Pegasus.

To see today's listings click here 

Weanling sale next month

NZB Standardbred's national Weanling Sale is now less than a month away. A total of 106 weanlings will go under the hamme at Karaka on Thursday, May 23. Recent graduates from the sale include Aardiebytheseaside and Alta Meteor. The catalogue for the sale is now online.
It can be seen here

Club News : Invercargill

Courtney Dempster (pictured - above left) was the big winner of the Invercargill Harness Racing Club’s major promotion at their annual Diamonds Day race meeting at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Sunday. Dempster left the course with a diamond ring valued at $7400 courtesy of Coats & Schuck Jewellers and the Invercargill Harness Racing Club after a coupon bearing her name was drawn from the entries received after ladies were given a coupon each time they placed a bet of $5. The win brought about a lovely coincidence for Dempster, a Legal Secretary at Walker Murdoch Law in Invercargill, as her mum’s engagement ring was purchased from Coats & Schuck Jewellers around 25 years ago.

Dempster was delighted with the win. “I come to the races often but my bets were a little up and down today, so this makes up for it. I am very lucky! Thank you to the sponsors of this prize, Coats & Schuck Jewellers and the Invercargill Harness Racing Club. It is great to get females to the races and there were lots of young faces here today which is great for the industry too.”

Dempster has another connection to harness racing as she helps at Murray Brown’s Findlay Road stables most Saturdays. Murray and his wife Marilyn are her godparents.

Meanwhile on the track the ten races provided exceptional racing for the large crowd with plenty of close finishes including one dead heat.

Favourite Rubira won the $110,000 Group 1 Diamond Creek 2YO Classic after a strong challenge from Always Dreaming on the run home while Flying Ellie took out the final of the $60,000 Group 2 Macca Lodge/Nevele R Stud Southern Oaks and Built For Glory, the $60,000 Group 2 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final. Beach Flybye was the other feature race winner in the $40,000 Regent Car Court Southern Cups Final.

Turnover on the day was just over $1m.

Club News : Wairio

The Wairio Trotting Club hold a nine-race card at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Saturday (27 April). The first race is scheduled to commence at 12.35pm with the last at 4.05pm and admission to the course is free. Children’s entertainment will feature a lolly scramble, sack races and a scavenger hunt.


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