News briefs : July 19

Matariki luncheon "big success"

A special harness racing themed fund-raiser in Christchurch has been hailed a big success. Around 100 people attended the Matariki day luncheon at the Papanui Club with all proceeds going to help the work done in mental health by Craig "Wiggy" Wiggins and Salvation Army racecourse chaplain Andrew McKerrow. Among the guest speakers on the day were Mark Purdon, Blair Orange, John Dunn and Sam Ottley. At least $15,000 was raised, with a number of auction items attracting a lot of interest. They included an Addington race day sponsorship package that went for $1500, and a Crusaders signed and framed jersey ($850). Organiser Wendy Morrison is delighted with how the day went, and is looking at the possibility of making it a regular event.

Bella runs last race

North American trotting star Bella Bellini, the 2022 Dan Patch Trotter of the Year and double Breeders Crown champion, has been retired from racing. Trained and driven by ex-pat Kiwis Nifty Norman and Dexter Dunn, Bella Bellini hadn't been at her best this year with subsequent x rays showing wear and tear with her knees. She retires as a winner of 21 races and over $2.5m in stakes.

Revenge for Elitlopp winner

In the battle featuring two of the most recent Elitlopp winners it was Etonnant who came out on top at Enghien, Paris over the weekend. The 2022 Elitlopp winner beat defending champion Hohneck in the Prix de Washington to make it 23 wins from 86 starts and take his earnings over 2.5m Euros. The Elitlopp, held in Sweden annually since the early 1950s, is regarded as trotting's most prestigious race.

McNally so close to milestone

Win number 500 is proving to be elusive for Canterbury-based trainer-driver Stephen McNally. He is currently on 499 winning drives and has been teetering on the brink of a huge milestone since Kahntdoitalone won last December. The same combination got close with a second on Sunday at Addington though there were nearly two lengths away from the winner Quik Barbie.

Expos to get underway soon

The Standardbred Breeders' Stallion Expo gets underway at Auckland on Thursday, August 3 before making its way down the country. The first expo will be at the Lyell Creek Lounge at Alexandra Park from 6.00pm with nibbles, cash bar and bistro meals available for purchase. For catering purposes please advise Cathie Shaw - [email protected]
The Canterbury Expo at Addington Raceway (Terror To Love Lounge) will be held two days later on Sunday, August 6, starting at 11am. Between 11 and the first race, interviews with all the studs with focus on the new sires. There will be a buffet provided at 1pm. EFTPOS bar, no cash.
For catering purposes please advise Rebecca Mooney, 03 347 7212 or [email protected]
The third and final expo will be at Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill with doors opening at 4pm , and the presentations starting at 4.30pm. Refreshments will be provided with bar and light snacks. For catering purposes please advise Gail Paisley, [email protected]

Gavelhouse auction closes tonight

The latest standardbred gavelhouse auction closes from 7 pm tonight. The auction features just the four lots, with three unraced horses and Bell Fire, who's had two placings from seven starts for the Graeme Rogerson-Dylan Ferguson barn.

To see the auction click here

Turnovers last week : July 13-16

Addington Thursday, Turnover $826,414, Gross Betting Margin 11.2%, Auckland Friday, T/O $639,156, GBM 9.5%, Addington Sunday T/O $752,557, GBM 25.9%

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