News Briefs - March 1
Back racing at Alexandra Park
Racing returns to Alexandra Park this Friday after recent meetings there were transferred to Cambridge because of flood damage caused in late January. The track has had a full reconstruction and will be in perfect condition for the nine race programme that includes the Group 2 Alabar 3YO Classic at 8.48pm. In recent years the Classic has been won by such stars as Akuta (2022), Copy That (2019) and Lazarus (2015).
Honolua Bay out to join the greats
Winning the Hunter Cup/Miracle Mile double is rarefied air, and Honolua Bay is a clear $2.80 favourite to join them at Menangle on Saturday night. Only six pacers have won Australia's two biggest races in the same season, including former star Kiwi Christen Me in 2014. The others read like a who's who list of Aussie pacing greats: Popular Alm (1983), Preux Chevalier (1985), Pure Steel (1978), Village Kid (1986) and King Of Swing, who incredibly won the double twice in 2020 and last year. Despite being retired for nearly a year King Of swing was recently named 2022 New South Wales horse of the year.
Vale Peta Brown
Harness Racing New Zealand would like to send its condolences to the family of Peta Brown, who has died in North Canterbury, aged 88. Together with husband Mike, the Browns set up the well-known Wai Eyre Stud. Peta Brown died on their 60th wedding anniversary last week. A service to celebrate her life will be held in Rangiora this afternoon.
Rata gets the job done
Gore trainer Gay McClymont had her first training success in nine years when Rata won at Cromwell on Sunday. It was the Muscle Mass mare's first win in six starts. McClymont has been training on and off for over 30 years with Sunday's win being her 17th overall. Her last success before that was with Given at Gore in 2014.
What's in a name?
Friday was not a good day if you were called Mo'unga. The All Blacks playmaker was in a Crusaders team that got beaten by the Chiefs in Christchurch and his equine namesake Mo'unga galloped with a lap run to go at Cromwell. But the promising Regan Todd-trained pacer bounced back on Sunday to make it two wins from three starts. No doubt Crusaders fans will be hoping for a similar bounce back when the team runs out against the Highlanders this Friday.
Cyclone Gabrielle fund-raiser
The latest gavelhouse auction closes tonight rom 7pm and among the 13 lots are three raising money for the Cyclone Gabrielle Relief Fund. Alabar/Nevele R Stud and Woodlands Stud are offering a nomination to Captain Crunch, Downbytheseaside and Sweet Lou with all proceeds going to help those devastated by the cyclone. At last look they had fetched between $5500-6000 each.
To see the auction click here