News Briefs : February 15

Work underway at Alexandra Park

Work has started on repairing Alexandra Park after Auckland's record rainfall a fortnight ago caused massive damage. Such was the flooding at the park that the track needs a full reconstruction. Under the guidance of Track and Venues Inspector John Denton that work has now got underway, though it's still very much in the early stages. The work is expected to take a fortnight as long as there are no more weather disruptions. In the meantime all racing scheduled at Alexandra Park has been transferred to Cambridge, including this Friday's Harness Million meeting.

Three up for Rural Sports awards

Harness racing will be represented by three finalists at the Norwood Rural Sports awards. Now in its seventh year, the awards celebrate excellence in all rural sports, from shearing and tree climbing to gumboot throwing and timbersports. Included in those making the cut for the awards function in Palmerston North on March 10 are Nicky Chilcott, Carter Dalgety and Dr Luk Chin. In 2022 Chilcott made history by becoming the first New Zealand woman to claim 500 training and driving successes. She is a finalist in the Skellerup New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year Award, while talented junior driver Dalgety is up for the Fonterra Young Rural Sportsperson of the Year and Chin is one of three finalists for the Courtesy Ford Lifetime Legacy Award. Still training and driving winners for over four decades the 80-year-old is also a fulltime medical professional as an anaesthesiologist.

Classic Families updated

The Classic Families harness racing database has been updated. It remains free to use, though current and new users will be required to create and activate a logon account before being permitted access to the content. There is both a register and login link on the home page. The new CF database currently contains details of 221,000+ horses, just on 7,500 maternal families, over 64,000 individual feature winners and close to 153,000 race results.

To see it click here : https://classicfamilies.net/
It can also be found here : https://www.harnessbred.com/new-revised-classic-families-harness-racing-database/

Williamson joins elite club

When Nathan Williamson won his 1000th race at Ascot Park on Sunday he was the 27th New Zealander to do so. Tony Herlihy leads the way with 3634, with Maurice McKendry (3374) and Ricky May (3045) the only other members of the 3000 club. David Butcher (2563) and Blair Orange (2513) are next. Others to have had 2000 or more winners are Dexter Dunn (2226), Peter Ferguson (2098) and Colin DeFilippi (2061).

Change of plans for Captain Tom

Exciting three-year-old Captain Tom won't be heading to Auckland as planned after a lacklustre performance at Addington last Friday. The favourite finished last prompting connections to take him back home to Southland for a two week break. The winner of three from five, Captain Tom was expected to head north for the Group 3 Alabar Classic and the Great Northern Derby.

Ex Kiwi keeps winning

A four race winner for Matty White in this country, Optical Illusion has continued his winning run in North America. The six-year-old won 12 times in the USA last season before winning his first race this year at Saratoga Springs New York at the weekend in 1:53.6.

Auction closes tonight

Just five horses are up for grabs in the latest gavelhouse.com standardbred auction. It closes from 7pm tonight. Included in the offering is one race winner Bonnie Bagrie. At last look the Majestic Son five-year-old mare was at $4000.

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