News Briefs - May 29

Clerking course to be held at Cambridge

A clerking clinic is going to be held at Cambridge Raceway on July 17 and 18 and anyone interested in becoming a clerk in the North Island is invited. The two day course will be run by experienced clerk and well-known personality Craig Wiggins and there will be no charge, with HRNZ covering costs. All current NI clerks are expected to be there while anyone interested in becoming a clerk in the North Island should contact Craig Wiggins in the first instance on 0274 576694 or [email protected].

Winter break for the Box Seat

This week's edition of the Box Seat will be the last for a while. Hosted by Greg O'Connor and Michael Guerin, the show is a regular for many punters and harness racing fans. But with winter fast approaching and fewer race meetings, the show will take a break after this week, and likely be back in September.

Close battle in drivers' premiership

Just two wins separate John Dunn and Blair Orange at the top of the drivers' premiership after an eventful last week. Dunn's career best seven winners at Addington on Friday night has taken him to 80 for the year so far, two ahead of six-time premiership winner Blair Orange on 78. Tim Williams is third on 50. The Dunns have a much more clear-cut lead in the trainers' premiership with Robert and Jenna on 85, after also having seven successes on Friday night, well ahead of Steve and Amanda Telfer on 64.

Dream win in Elitlopp

French trotter Horsy Dream produced the fastest time in the world this year in taking out one of the world's great races, the Elitlopp in Sweden over the weekend. Recording his 21st win in 44 starts, at Solvalla in Stockholm, Horsy Dream won in a new race record of 1:49.4. Last year Australasia's star trotter Just Believe was just the third Australian-trained horse to take part in the race, but failed to qualify for the final. Instead he campaigned on this side of the Tasman with remarkable success. He was unbeaten in four starts culminating in last Friday's Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park. He won $488,500 for his connections, making him the second highest earning horse in this country this year behind Merlin, who's won four from six and $520,675.

Zeke wins southern debut

A change of scenery and some time in the pool seems to have done the trick for trotter Zeke. In his first star for Southland's strike-rate trainer Craig Ferguson the four-year-old broke through for his maiden success at Winton on Saturday. The son of Imperial Count had been unplaced in six previous starts, with Ferguson saying some time in the pool at Wyndham Racecourse, where he's based, had helped the horse with some long-standing feet issues.

Butts get on winning run

Father and son Tim and Riley Butt enjoyed a big finish to last week in Queensland. The most exciting of the lot was regally bred three-year-old Botticelli, who broke his maiden at start three at Albion Park last Friday night. The Art Major colt is out of former brilliant mare Arms Of An Angel, who now boasts three winners from as many foals to race. Calf Pen completed an Albion Park double, while the previous day Escobar scored at Redcliffe.

Jetting to his first 100

At just 16 Bathurst driver Jett Turnbull has become the youngest driver in Australian harness to drive 100 winners. The record was previously held by Queensland's Angus Garrard when he was 17. Turnbull brought up the milestone 10 months after his first race day drive. Dexter Dunn was the youngest Kiwi to achieve the feat, at aged 18. In the same year, 2008, he also won the first of his 10 driving premierships.

Trot Rods finale at The Triangle

The final of the highly popular Trot Rods will be held at Redcliffe in Queensland tonight. After running weekly heats over the past month, 10 six-horse races will be held as contenders try to chase down Master Charles' best time of 64.49 seconds for the 947 metre dash around "The Triangle". The winner's prize includes $10,000 cash. The fastest time ever in the Trot Rods was in 2022 when Just Dessy won in 63.46 seconds.

Club News : Bluff race day on King's Birthday weekend

The Invercargill Harness Racing Club’s annual Bluff Race Day takes place at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on the Monday of Kings Birthday weekend, 3 June.

The feature race of the day is the South Port NZ Ltd Bluff Cup which will be run over a distance of 2700 metres for a stake of $15,000 while the other races on the programme are supported by either Bluff businesses or businesses or groups with a connection to the port town including Awarua Synergy, Barnes Wild Bluff Oysters, Southland Farm Services, Hyde Landscaping, United Fisheries, Southfish, KB & Associates Accountants and the Mountfort Fishing Company plus the Northern Southland Trotting Club.

The first race is scheduled for 11.40am and the last at 4.20pm. Admission is free. The meeting heralds the start of a busy time for the Invercargill Harness Racing Club as just four days later they hold another race meeting at the course on Friday 7 June followed by the annual Regent Car Court Race Day also on the calendar in June on Saturday 15 June.

The Winton Club host the final meeting of the season in the southern region, the Winter Rewards Finals Race Day, on Saturday 29 June.





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