News Briefs : August 23
Nearly $15,000 paid out on bonuses
Three weeks into the new financial season and the new breeding bonuses have seen New Zealand-bred sires win $146,879 in stakes. Under the new New Zealand-bred scheme breeders get 10 per cent of any stakes that eligible horses win. So far that equates to $14,687.90. To be eligible every horse must be born in New Zealand, sired by a New Zealand bred stallion that stands in Australasia. This bonus will go to the breeder of the horse and will be paid out in July next year. The mares' credit scheme is also off to a successful start having accumulated 21 credits over seven races. Akatea (pictured above) and Bologna are leading the charge with two bonuses, each worth a total credit of $1300. The bonuses were recently announced in HRNZ's 2023/24 funding document.
Second treble for Thornley
Junior driver Sam Thornley's on target for a best ever season in 2023. After reining a treble at Oamaru last Sunday with Tossies Son, Black Mach and Judgement Bay he now has 29 wins this year, just five short of his best ever haul of 34 in 2022. It was Thornley's second treble, with three wins at Manawatu on February 16 with Daisy Duke, Sharp Lou and Smokinhotcheddar.
Hurrell joins open ranks
Mark Hurrell opened his account as an open driver when Springbank Mason won at Alexandra Park last Thursday. He has only just come out of the junior ranks, having won 182 races since his first win with It Ain't The Money at Riverton in October 2016. Based at Gore, Hurrell works for Wyndham-based trainer Craig Fergsuon but is a regular driving at Auckland, especially for the Hackett-Wallis team. Springbank Mason has now won 10 races from 48 starts.
Mo'unga makes it three
As the All Blacks count down to the World Cup in France, a horse with a famous rugby name is kicking goals back home. Mo'unga, named after the Crusaders and All Blacks first five Richie Mo'unga, won his third race in six starts at Oamaru last weekend. In another rugby connection the four year old was bred by Braeden and Caroline Whitelock, who are no strangers to also breeding All Blacks!
Pelling to the fore in USA
Confederate has extended his lead as the biggest stakes earner in North America. The three-year-old star made it six wins from seven starts this season when he won the $300,000 Max C Hempt Memorial in Pennsylvania over the weekend. Trained by ex-pat Kiwi Brett Pelling Confederate has won 11 of 14 career starts with over $1.2m in stakes. This year he's earned $837,929 to be the highest earning horse, well ahead of Tactical Approach ($621,489). And the Pelling-trained 2021 U.S. Horse of the Year, Test Of Faith, has been retired to Kentuckiana Farms. A winner of 31 races, the five-year-old daughter of Art Major retires with career earnings of $US2,524,736 and a world record, lifetime career mark of 1:47, and is considered one of sport's greatest modern day female pacers.
Blue September just a week away
HRNZ's Blue September campaign will be having an official Launch dinner at Addington Raceway on Friday September 1. The campaign, now in its third year, is all about raising money and awareness around prostate cancer and encouraging men to get checked early. Tickets for the dinner are $55, of which $10 will go the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Tables of 10 are $500. There will be a buffet dinner, cash bar, raffles with some great prizes, Punters Club, a free racebook and racing entertainment all night. Book now by emailing [email protected]
Club News - Methven
With the first hint of spring the Methven Trotting Club committee has been busy dusting off the race day gear and tidying up the track and surrounds for our rapidly approaching first grass track meeting set for Sunday 10 September. The track has had no dramas over winter and is likely to be in first class order. Everyone will notice our middle stable block (including swab box) has been demolished and replaced with a modern user friendly block with improved drainage as the club continues its push to modernize and update facilities. It's to be known as the Holmes' block after the local family who originally donated the land we still use to this day. In a similar vein Holmes Rd, the short road most Christchurch traffic use to approach the track, has finally reopened.
Harness racing turnovers for the past week :
Thursday - Auckland TC – Turnover $581k, Gross Betting Margin 23.7%
Friday - Addington – T/O $870k, GBM 26.6%
Sunday - Oamaru - T/O $898k, GBM 21.3%