News Briefs : Dec 9

Hurricane hits Balfour   

The annual highlight that is the Tin Shed Cup has been run and won in Northern Southland. The pre-Christmas trials at Balfour have been going for 60 years. Six horses lined up in the big race with Ellie Barron and Hurricane Banner, trained by Shane Matheson, winning the $650 prize by three quarters of a length.   

New training partnership for Willis  

What a fortnight or so it’s been for Southland trainer Brittany Willis.  She had her first win when Money Honey won at Ascot Park on November 25. After the race she talked about her intention to train in partnership with Jeremy Douglas. Now that’s been officially confirmed. While Willis has only had 7 horses go the races Douglas has been training on and off since 1991 with 22 wins to his credit.  

Bettor’s Wish ready for stallion duties 

Harness racing’s biggest earner in 2019 Bettor’s Wish is about to start his stud career. Trained by ex pat Kiwi Chris Ryder and driven by Dexter Dunn the 3-year-old pacer of the year in North America won 13 from 19 in 2019, and finished second in his other six starts.  He won $US1.64m that year and had career earnings of $2.125m. He will stand at Diamond Creek in Pennsylvania.    

Kiwi connection to 6000th win  

Former Kiwi pacer Naughty Maravu  has given Ronnie Wrenn Jnr his 6000th winner in the USA. The 34 year old achieved the milestone at Northfield Ohio driving the now 10-year-old son of Badlands Hanover.  Naughty Maravu had seven wins from 25 starts in this country for trainer-driver Gavin Smith before heading across the Tasman, ahead of his move to North America.   

Deadline extended for Group One features   

Nominations have been extended for both the Auckland Cup and the National Trot to be run at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve. So far there have been 15 nominated for the Auckland Cup, with Sundees Son and Bolt For Brilliance leading the 10 nominations for the Group One trotting feature. Nominations have been extended till Friday December 11 at 5pm – contact Karen Blanchard at Auckland Trotting Club on 027 8083150.  

Club News :  

Methven ready for Green Mile Day :  

The Methven track and facilities are looking in splendid order ahead of the club’s big Christmas meeting on Sunday December 13. As usual this meeting is all about bringing a picnic atmosphere with lots of BBQs, a heap of competitions, Father Christmas, lolly scrambles, egg and spoon races, with another highlight being  the “ Babe in a Barrow”  race. It’s a good old relaxing day in rural New Zealand. On the racing front the big races are the FastTrack Insurance Trotter’s Green Mile and Methven Four Square Pacer’s Green Mile. So come join the Christmas party, you will be made very welcome and remember the sun always shines raceday at Mt. Harding track. See you there! 

Westport :    

 The Westport Trotting Club is holding its Kawatiri Trials Day on  Dec 12. Nominations close Thurs Dec 10 at 6pm. Contact Karen on 021 0306146 or [email protected].   

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