News Briefs - April 5

More withdrawals for Harness Jewels

Four more horses are out of the Harness Jewels. Peregrine, who was 11th in the 3YO Ruby, and Casino Action – tenth in the 2YO Emerald – have been withdrawn, along with Mitsi Gaynor (2YO Diamond) and James Cagney (2YO Emerald). The top 12 in each of the divisions will make the final field for the nine $100,000 Group Ones that will be held at Cambridge on June 6.

Fast times in Ashburton

The babies have been flying around Ashburton. Trainer Hayden Cullen had four of the six in yesterday’s two-year-old trial and they were the first four home, with Akuta leading the way. He came home in 55.4 for the last 800 and cut out his last half in 25.4. On a day when fast times were the norm top three-year-old filly Bettor Twist won her 2400m trial, cutting out her last 800 in 54.2 and the last 400 in 26.2.

Rasmussen goes 300

When Natalie Rasmussen drove True Fantasy to victory in the Group One Magness Benrow Sires Stakes Championship at Auckland on Friday night it was her 300th on New Zealand soil. The milestone coming from just 778 drives dating back to when she moved from Australia a decade ago. From 2014 to 2019 she won six consecutive training premierships with Mark Purdon (All Stars).

Butt bolsters team

Woodend-based trainer Bob Butt’s had a big influx of horses to his stable. There are six newcomers to his barn – Typhoon Tere, Mils McArdle, Ruakaka, Arminius, and four win pacers A Taste Of Honey and Koenigsegg. Suzie Rocks, a two race-winning mare formerly with Ray Faithful in the deep south, has also been transferred to Regan Todd in Canterbury.

Club News : Invercargill

The Invercargill Harness Racing Club will host its annual ILT Race Day at Ascot Park this Saturday. It is a quick turnaround after Diamonds Day was held there last Sunday. The feature of the day is the opportunity for on-course patrons to win one of 15 meal vouchers at various ILT establishments. It could not be easier – just drop your losing tote tickets with your name and contact details on the back in the barrel in the main foyer on the racecourse and late in the day a draw will take place with fifteen names to be drawn to win one of the vouchers. The first race is scheduled for 12.10pm. Admission is free.

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