News Briefs -  Feb 24

Harrison hits 50

Top junior driver Alicia Harrison had her fiftieth winning drive when Golden Lace won the fourth race at Manawatu yesterday.  It was Harrison’s 12th winner this season, and she looks set to eclipse  her season’s previous best of 13 wins in 2019 and 2018. Over the weekend Steve Anderson trained his first winner ever with Angel Of Montana getting home at Rangiora while Ellie Barron  notched up her 50th driving success with Arizonawildcat at the same meeting. On Sunday  Lauren Pearson had her first driving success in 15 years with Fanny Hill at Winton.

Bad draws plague Stylish Memphis

Top young Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis’  horror run with barriers continued in Saturday night’s $200,000 Group 1 Ladyship Mile. Mark Jones’ stable star drew the outside and smashed the clock storming home from last to finish fourth in last Saturday night’s Group 1 Chariots Of Fire. Stylish Memphis drew gate nine for the Ladyship, but is still favourite on the Aussie TAB at $2.80. Meanwhile defending  Miracle Mile champion King Of Swing is drawn to lead and dominate his qualifier for this year’s $1 million race at Menangle on Saturday night. Belinda McCarthy’s stable star drew gate two in the $100,000 Group 1 Schweppes Sprint and sis at $1.25.

Gath opts for Tornado Valley

Kate Gath admits she’ll be torn when she hops aboard champion trotter Tornado Valley at Melton on Saturday night.  Gath agonized for days before finally deciding to stay home and drive Tornado Valley in the $100,000 Group 1 Australian Trotting Grand Prix at Melton instead of heading to Menangle for key drives in three Group 1 races.  

Heading her Menangle drives are star filly Tough Tilly, who is a $2.20 favourite for the $200,000 NSW Oaks. “I really agonised over this,” Gath said. “No matter which way I went I was torn. I’m not used to this,  it’s been a really hard few days.”

Champ for third year running

Colt Thirty One has confirmed his standing as one of the Sunshine State’s greatest ever Standardbreds after being named Queensland harness Horse of the Year for the third straight time. From 34 starts the Grant Dixon-trained six year old claimed 14 wins, with Dixon also named as trainer of the year.

Waikouaiti’s big day

The Waikouaiti Trotting Club has its big day at Oamaru on Sunday, with a free bus leaving Waikouaiti at 10 am. The first race is at 12.02pm. Features on the day including the Waikouaiti Trotting and Pacing Cups. Admission is free.  

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