News Briefs : January 17
Nine win mare heads to Aussie
Eight-year-old mare Takemybreathaway has been sold and will do her future racing in Australia. She has been bought by Australia's biggest owner Mick Boots, a part owner of New Zealand Cup winner Swayzee. He has interests in more than 200 horses on both sides of the Tasman. Trained by Fred Scott in North Canterbury, Takemybreathaway was a handy performer, winning nine races from 105 starts and nearly $100,000. Her last start was an unlucky eighth at Geraldine in December.
Box Seat returns
Weekly harness racing show The Box Seat, with hosts Greg O'Connor and Michael Guerin, returns in 2024 on January 30, with a NZB Standardbred Yearling sales special. It will be broadcast on Trackside, hrnz.co.nz, and youtube. The sales get underway in a month, with Karaka on February 18, followed by Christchurch on February 20 and 21. A total of 126 yearlings will go under the hammer in Auckland, with a further 266 in Christchurch. On the eve of the Christchurch sales Harness Racing New Zealand will hold its annual awards at Addington (February 19), starting at 6pm.
No lead up race for Aussie star
Australia's best pacer Leap To Fame could go into the Hunter Cup without a lead-up race. Trainer-driver Grant Dixon admits getting enough rivals for races to go ahead at Albion Park in coming weeks will be a challenge. “Ideally we can get a run into him up here, but we may just have to settle for a trial.” The $450,000 Hunter Cup is on February 3. Akuta will spearhead the Kiwi assault on the time honoured Group 1 at Melton.
Former Kiwis in winning form
Classy former Kiwi pacer Mach Da Vinci is back in peak form. The Peter Hanson-trained seven-year-old humbled a handy field in the 2300m free-for-all at Menangle over the weekend to post his 26th career win from 110 starts and has now banked $447,882. On the same card, Team McCarthy caused an upset with Kiwi import Smiffys Terror, who was a $41 shot and upset Jason Grimon’s exciting Cya Art to score. Team McCarthy also won the feature of the night, the New Year’s Gift final, with Kiwi-owned gelding Our Cosmic Major. And former Kiwi mare Illavabubbles turned plenty of heads winning the last race at Menangle. Having her first run for Jason Grimson, the five-year-old zoomed away to win by 16.4m in a 1min51.5sec mile.
Lazarus' second NZ success
Jeremiah has provided star stallion and dual New Zealand Cup winner Lazarus with his second New Zealand win. The three year old gelding won at just his second race day start for trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan at Cambridge last week. It followed a close up fourth on debut. Lazarus' first success came with the Michael House-trained Ask Me Lazarus at Manawatu last November.
Club News - Invercargill
Twilight racing returns to Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill this Thursday when the Northern Southland Trotting Club host a day of quality harness racing from 3.45pm. The day features the Group 3 Macca Lodge Northern Southland Cup, The Group 3 Pryde’s EasiFeed Southern Lights Trot plus the opening heat of the Southern Belle Series supported by the Southern Standardbred Breeders Assn. Enjoy a day of hospitality at the Top Of The Park for just $50 while there will be a free Tip Top Ice Cream giveaway throughout the day. Admission is free!