News briefs : August 31
Cup week countdown
Tickets for harness racing's premier event, New Zealand Cup week, go on sale this week. From tomorrow, Thursday September 1, race tickets will be available for Cup day on Tuesday November 8. Starting at $49, tickets will be available for general admission as well as sought after areas like the Bacardi on the Green that used to be the Lindauer Lawn ($89). Some corporate areas have already sold out. For more information click here
Trainers neck and neck through August
The battle to be the country's top trainer is now down to seven. The table topping Steve and Amanda Telfer have 62 wins in 2022 after eight wins in August, with their latest being Aardiebytheseaside at Rangiora on Sunday. Robert and Jenna Dunn are next on 55. They have had nine wins in August including a treble at Addington last Friday, with Korbyn Newman reining two winners and John Dunn one.
Hero on sale by HERO
Group One-winning trotter Heavyweight Hero is up for sale, but he won't be racing any more. The eight-year-old, who won 10 from 49 starts, has been re-educated and is now being offered by sale by HRNZ's HERO programme. "Henry" is described as 'a big forward ride but with good brakes and absolutely no dirt who would make a fantastic dressage horse, happy hacker or low level all rounder.' For more information please contact Tarryn on : 027 963 0353
Big money milestone for big winner
Kiwi-bred pacer Crockett's Cullen has achieved a major milestone in North America. The 11-year-old passed stakes earnings of half a million dollars when he won an open pace at Saratoga in New Year over the weekend. Bred by North Canterbury's David Cottrell the son of Christian Cullen has had more than fifty wins in his long career, including five this season. He was Saratoga's pacer of the season in 2019 and 2020.
Track record for ex Kiwi
American Dealer, who won seven races in this country for trainer Ray Green, has been in track record-breaking form in New York. The four-year-old son of American Ideal won the Robert J. Kane Memorial at Batavia Downs by two and half lengths in 1:50.4. It beat the old record set by Aracache Hanover in 2011 by 0.8 seconds. Also in North America, the 2022 Canadian Pacing Derby will feature the big dog, literally. World record holder Bulldog Hanover and Kiwi driver Dexter Dunn won his elimination heat in 1:48 to be the top qualifier for this weekend's final in Ontario, where his main rival is expected to be Jimmy Freight, who won the other elimination event in 1:49.1.
Auction closes tonight
The latest standardbred gavelhouse.com auction closes from 7pm tonight. Among the eight lots up for sale is Rock N Diamonds, a four-year-old gelding who's one from 12 for Canterbury trainer Mark Smolenski. To see the catalogue click here