News Briefs - June 26

Bonus Scheme proving popular

In its first year, the NZ Bred Bonus Scheme is proving a windfall for many owners. The bonus is 10 percent of any stakes won by a horse that has a colonial sire and so far this year 265 horses have met that criteria. The bonus is capped at $10,000, with most owners so far earning between $800 and $4000. An email will soon be sent out by HRNZ to those owners who are eligible for a pay out under the scheme. For more information go to "Infohorse" section of website and make the relevant Horse Enquiry. Individual details can be seen there. For more information contact [email protected]

Stable changes for Thornley and Stormont

After more than eight years Olivia Thornley has left Purdon Racing and switched to Hayden Cullen's stables. She says "it seemed a good time for a change and I have been offered more opportunities to extend my driving career.” Among Thornley's highlights with the All Stars barn were her two Group 1 victories with No Matter Wat (NZ Oaks) and Chase A Dream (Sires Stakes). She also has a very close bond with superstar filly Millwood Nike. Thornley also trains two-year-old trotter Starstruck. And James Stormont will work for Graeme Rogerson in Hamilton, replacing Dylan Ferguson who's decided to go out on his own. Stormont has been working for Fred Fletcher in Canterbury since September last year, driving five winners for the stable. Ferguson will establish a new base from his parents' Cambridge property.

More accolades for Just Believe

The all-conquering Just Believe has been named 2023 Victorian Horse of the year. The winner of four in a row in New Zealand this year, including the Rowe Cup, the Jess Tubbs-trained trotter was named as the state's standout horse at Melton last Saturday night after winning eight races in 2023. Among his achievements was a second sweep of the Inter Dominion series.

Milestones for Franco Huntington and Kennedy

A grand campaigner Franco Huntington will have his 250th start at Winton on Saturday. The 12-year-old was a winner just three starts back for trainer Doug McLachlan and has won 15 overall since his first race as a four-year-old. He'll compete in the $25,000 Winter Rewards Pace at 3.19pm. The first horse to crack 300 starts in New Zealand was the trotter Danke in 2020. Meanwhile a century of starts was brought up by Kennedy at Addington over the weekend. Trained by Sue Blake, the 10-year-old went round as favourite in the third heat of NZ Amateur Drivers Championships, only to finish sixth. The American Ideal gelding has won four of his 100 starts with stakes close on $50,000. His last win was at Addington in June last year.

Cathy Freeman on debut

Nearly a quarter of a century after the real Cathy Freeman won Olympic gold in Sydney, her equine namesake is about to make her harness racing debut. Cathy Freeman, the three year old filly, will line up in race one at Winton on Saturday. Trained by Mark Jones, Cathy Freeman heads to the races after winning a trial at Rangiora a week or so ago. Race 1 is set to go at 11.40am.

Club news : Addington

A date's been confirmed for the annual fashion parade that is the Winter Style Stakes at Addington. They will be held on Friday, August 9. Tickets go on sale soon. Keep a look out on


Related Category News

25 July 2024

Big changes for Nathan Purdon in 2024

Nathan Purdon is upfront about where he is at.

24 July 2024

News Briefs : July 24

More than $33,000 was raised for Amanda Higgins and her family at Friday night's dinner and auction at Addington Raceway.