News Briefs Feb 17

Yearling sales head south

Christchurch has a tough act to follow when the yearling sales resume next week (Covid permitting). The Karaka sales were a big success, with the top lot going for $300,000 (Bettor’s Delight – Major Reality filly) and total sales of more than $5.3m, an average of over $50,000. Monday will see the parade and sale of trotters (Lot 135-183) with the parade and pacers’ sales continuing on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Christchurch sales were delayed following the Government’s decision to go to Alert Level 3 in Auckland and Alert Level Two for the rest of the country.

DD dominant at the Big M

Dexter Dunn’s had another memorable night at the Meadowlands, winning six races at the famous New Jersey track. He now has 67 wins for the year to be third overall (behind Aaron Merriman 102, and Trace Tetrick 80). Dunn’s also just behind Tetrick as the leading money-earner in the US, with $US663,506 (Tetrick ($US685,008).

Holmes has first gallops winner

The winner of 533 races as a harness racing trainer Robbie Holmes has had his first in the thoroughbred game. The North Canterbury-based horseman saddled up Hey Soul Sister to win for champion jockey Chris Johnson at Invercargill last Thursday. Holmes, the fourth generation of a famous harness racing family, started training gallopers last October. Both Hey Soul Sister and the other galloper he trains Savannah Gold were bred and are co-owned by his sister Corrina Holmes and her husband Bevan McCallum.

50th training success for Bob Butt

Bob Butt had his 50th win as a trainer when Gold Chain won the first at Addington Friday night for driver Colin De Filippi. The six-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill cleared out by over six lengths. Butt’s been training since 2011 and has seven wins for the current season, highlighted by his Group One victory with Heavyweight Hero in the NZ Trotting Free For All.

Draws against Stylish Memphis and Lochinvar Art

Star Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis’ Chariots Of Fire prospects were dealt a huge blow when she drew the outside barrier in Saturday night’s $200,000 Group 1 feature at Menangle. Mark Jones’ stable star landed gate 12, meaning she will start from outside the front (gate 10) once the scratchings come out. Meanwhile, superstar pacer Lochinvar Art will also start from the outside (gate 8) in Friday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Newcastle Mile while main danger, former Kiwi star Turn It Up, looks like whizzing to the lead after drawing seven (five after emergencies come out).

Westport and Rangiora donating to Teal Pants

The Teal Pants campaign will get an extra $1000 if a female driver wins the Westport Trotting Club’s Kawatiri Cup on March 12. Chartered accountants FT Dooley are sponsoring the Cup with Frank Dooley keen to add to the cause. “We are all aware of numerous people, whether friends or family who are impacted by cancer and I admire the work Team Teal does to support ovarian cancer research. ” The annual fund-raiser started on February 1 and runs through to March 14. And on Saturday the Rangiora Harness Racing Club racing will donate $100 for every race won by a female driver and if they drive a mare or filly to victory the club will double it. Racing starts at 12.03pm.  

Southern Belle series at Winton

The Winton Harness Racing Club is hosting a nine race programme at Central Southland Raceway in Winton this Sunday. The feature race is the Southern Standardbred Breeders Assn sponsored heat of the Southern Belle Series. The first race is timed for 12.08pm and admission is free.

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