News Briefs - January 24

Jim Geddes 100th training win

Jim Geddes posted his 100th training success when Sods Law won at Blenheim on Sunday. Training partner and son James Geddes was also in the sulky to make the milestone win even more special. Jim has been training since 1979 with 29 on his account and 71 in partnership with James. Their most successful seasons wins-wise were the seven they had in 2020, 2018 and 2012. Sods Law has now won 11 races.

Debut for young driver at Oamaru

Twenty-year-old Brooke Fodie will her first race day drives at her home track, Oamaru today. The junior driver will drive Justin Fun in race 2, Dem Bones Dem Bones for her employer Matty Williamson in race 3 and then Rural Cash in race 7. She has had a trials licence for more than a year and before linking up with Matty Williamson she worked as a stablehand for his father Phil.

Aardie heads out west

The classy Aardiebytheseaside is now in Perth and will do her future racing for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond. The four-year-old Downbytheseaside mare has left New Zealand after winning eight races from 21 starts here for the Telfers. Her last start was a Group 1 victory in the New Zealand Oaks when she beat Mantra Blue by a nose at Addington on Grand Prix day on December 10.

Ex-Kiwi pacers confirmed for Hunter Cup

Team McCarthy has confirmed stable stars Spirit Of St Louis and Cantfindabettorman - both Sweet Lous with strong Kiwi connections - will front up in the $450,000 Group 1 Hunter Cup at Melton on February 3. Spirit Of St Louis, a former Hunter Cup runner-up, hasn’t raced since finishing fourth in the Brisbane Inter Dominion final at Albion Park on December 16, while Cantfindabettorman, who had no luck through the heats of that series, toyed with his rivals in the Consolation on that December 16 meeting. It was his 14th win from 36 starts. Both horses were trained by Graeme Anderson and Mike Love in this country before heading across the Tasman with Spirit of St Louis still being part Kiwi-owned. It will Spirit Of St Louis' third consecutive Hunter Cup.

Box Seat returns next week

Weekly harness racing show The Box Seat, with hosts Greg O'Connor and Michael Guerin, returns in 2024 next week, with a NZB Standardbred Yearling Sales special. It will be broadcast on Trackside,, and youtube next Tuesday, January 30. The sales kick off at 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.

Job going at top barn

Fancy a job at the stable run by New Zealand's most successful driver ever? There's a vacancy for a stablehand/junior driver at Tony Herlihy's barn at Ardmore. Tasks include driving work, gearing up, hosing down and other daily duties. Accommodation is available on site for the right person. For more information contact Suzanne Herlihy. Tony Herlihy has trained 1097 winners over the past nearly 40 years, and has driven 3668 winners. That's the most ever, with Maurice McKendry second on 3392.

Club News : Methven

The Methven Trotting Club is all systems go for its huge Clubs of Canterbury meeting kicking off at 12.10pm on Sunday January 28. A highlight is normally the double sulky race timed to go immediately after race 3. The track is an absolute credit to outgoing track manager Kerry O’Reilly. Huge thanks Kerry for all those years of headaches with freak winds, flooding and unsolicited free advice from all quarters. Through it all Kerry was his usual good humoured, efficient self. Laurence Hanrahan will take over the track manager role. Thank you Laurence.

After race 6 the club awards for last season will be presented as follows :

Morrison Saddlery Leading Driver - Blair Orange
Horse Shoe Brand’s Leading Trainer - Greg and Nina Hope
John and Robyn Nicholl Leading Junior Driver - Sarah O’Reilly
Ricky and Judy May, Mike and Di Heenan Young Achiever Award - Wilson House
Plus a special award to long-time local sponsor and supporter Gary Eddington. Many thanks to Gary and wife Lynne.

After race 8 the club in conjunction with the Canty Owners' Association will provide Barbeque food and cold drinks for trainers and owners. Many thanks to Nigel and Brenda Armstrong.

Club News : Riverton

Sunday will be a momentous day for the Riverton Trotting Club when they return to race at the Riverton Racecourse for the first time in 24 years. The club last raced at their home course when they held two races as part of a Riverton Racing Club meeting in April 2000.

A massive day of racing and entertainment has been organised to celebrate the homecoming with a full programme of racing on the grass track complemented by The Red Door Driftaway to the Riviera Fashion In The Field competition for ladies plus free entertainment and giveaways for the children, the prize of a $250 Prezzy Card and free courtesy coaches from both Riverton and Colac Bay.

The feature races are the Riverton Rural Transport Riverton Cup and the Neville Cleaver Fishing Aparima Trot, both races for a stake of $20,000 over a distance of 2800 metres.

Alongside a quality day of harness racing there is plenty of entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

The Red Door, Driftaway to the Riviera Fashion in the Field Competition for ladies will have a theme of ladies dressed for lunch at a cafe by the beach with hat, summer dress and accessories all complementing each other – a theme which suits Riverton to a tee.

The first prize consists of one nights’ accommodation at Le Riviera Guest House, a $100 voucher from Red Door, an Infrared Sauna from Driftaway Massage and flowers while second place receives a $100 Voucher from the Red Door, an Infrared Sauna from Driftaway Massage and flowers while third place wins a $50 voucher from Red Door, an Infrared Sauna from Driftaway Massage and flowers.

During the day a $250 Prezzy Card can be won in the very simple Heads/Tails game while there is plenty for the children to enjoy from Bouncy Castles to Kids Go Racing pack and ice block giveaways and a lolly scramble.

There will be food options on course and a free courtesy coach service running between the Carriers Arms Hotel and the Colac Bay Tavern & Holiday Park. The service will run a designated number of times to take people to the course and a final call for returnees will be made 30 minutes after the last race.

It will be quite an occasion as the Riverton Trotting Club come home.

The first race is scheduled for 12.20pm and admission to the course is free.

Check out the Riverton Trotting Club’s facebook page for more information leading up to the event.

Lindsay Beer
Promotions Officer
Southern Harness Racing
021 351 499


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