News Briefs : June 29
Four Kiwi drivers make the cut
Four Kiwis have made the cut in a new Australian poll to decide the leading drivers on both sides of the Tasman over the past 18 months. Blair Orange, Tony Herlihy, Natalie Rasmussen and Zachary Butcher made the top 24, with John Dunn, Mark Purdon and David Butcher among those considered unlucky to miss out. The squad, decided by a group of media and other personalities, was revealed on SEN radio's TrotsLife show.
More honours for the Queen
Bred by Southland farmer Gordon McKenzie, Queen Elida has been named Victoria's 3YO trotting filly of the year. The winner of 13 starts in Australia, including four Group Ones, she is seen as one of the country's best promising trotters. She is owned by McKenzie, his sons Graeme, Blair and Brad and by Tony and Cheryl Barron. The filly was named after McKenzie's two eldest grandchildren Ida and Elsie.
Vale Laurie Fleming
HRNZ would like to send its condolences to the family of long-standing Taranaki trainer Laurie Fleming who has died, aged 89. He trained from 1956 to 2012, with 107 winners, the last being Laroshell in Manawatu in 2008. He also drove 82 winners. His best horse was 11-race winner and former New Zealand record-holder Rosie O'Grady, who finished second in the 1992 Dominion Handicap and third in the NZ Trotting Free-for-all and the 1991 National Trot.
Timely win for Evangalist
Evangalist produced yet another Grice-bred winner at Addington on Friday night. Keith Grice died the previous Saturday aged 96. Together with brother Bevan, the Grices bred close on 600 horses since the late 1940s. Trained by Jason and Ian Thomas, Evangalist is out of Pretty Dollybird who traces back to their Hall of Fame mare Coo Doo. Evangalist has now won three from 21, including two of her last three starts.
Mysterious death at stud
High profile trotting stallion Wishing Stone has been found dead at his stud in Italy. The winner of more than $2m, including the Kentucky Futurity and the Copenhagen Cup, Wishing Stone has around 150 registered foals in North America. There's been no explanation so far of how or why Wishing Stone died.
20,000 wins in North America
Already the most "winningest" driver in North America, Dave Palone has just driven his 20,000th winner. The 60-year-old, who started driving 40 years ago, is well clear of the next most successful driver, Anthony Morgan at 17,051. Ex-pat Kiwi Dexter Dunn has gone past 100 wins for the year. He now has 102 wins for 2022. Aaron Merriman is leading the way with 413 wins from 1923 starts.
Club News : Addington
Burn Support Group fund-raiser
A fund-raiser for the Burn Support Charitable Trust will be held at Addington Raceway this Friday. The Trust's mission is two-fold - to improve the life of burn survivors, and to lower the incidents of burn injuries. The fund-raiser will be held at the Terror To Love lounge with tickets costing $135 for a three-course buffet and drinks package. To find out more click here
Club News : Invercargill
The Invercargill Harness Racing Club hosts its final race meeting of the season at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Friday. The first race of the nine-race programme is scheduled for 11.18am and the last is timed for 3.54pm.The Invercargill Club’s first race meeting of the upcoming 2022/2023 season will take place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Friday 2 September. The club is already taking hospitality bookings for the new season including for their new Cup Day date on Saturday 17 December.