News Briefs : May 31
300 for Wallis/Hackett
Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis brought up their 300th training success when Five O'Clock Gerry won his northern debut at Alexandra Park on Friday night. Daughter Crystal Hackett drove the perfect race, positioning the What The Hill in the trail before zipping up the passing lane to win by three quarters of a length. It was the horse's first win and came after six placings from seven starts down south. The Wallis-Hackett team have been training winners since 2012. Before that Wallis had 323 winners between 1999 and 2012, and Hackett had 123.
Copy That goes past $500,000
Dual New Zealand champion Copy That has become the first harness racing horse to surpass half a million dollars this year. Fourth in last Friday's Auckland Cup, won by Akuta, Copy That has now accrued $512,280 this year with the unbeaten Millwood Nike second on $268,641. Millwood Nike has won all 14 of her career starts.
Terry's moved to Oz
The well-performed Terry will do his future racing in Australia, after recently being sold. A winner of seven from 39 he last raced in the Uncut Gems at Addington, finishing ninth behind Anything Goes. The six-year-old is by three-time New Zealand Cup champion Terror To Love out of Carania.
Ex Kiwis shine at trials
A couple of high-class former Kiwi pacers have sparkled at the Menangle trials. Jack Trainor’s Group 1-winning mare Braeview Kelly and Jason Grimson’s exciting open-class pacer Major Meister hit the line together in a 1min52.5sec mile trial. Braeview Kelly had a neck to spare as the pair dashed home in 54.6 and 26.3sec.Both are sure to head north for a string of feature races at the rich Queensland Constellations at Albion Park in July.
Marshall wins again
Former Kiwi horseman Kyle Marshall is starting to make his mark in Victoria. Not long after training his first winner from his new Cranbourne base, Marshall scored an upset win as a driver aboard the Scott Ewen-trained Im Jimmy James at $31 at Melton on Saturday night. His first winner was Wharewhiti at Shepparton last week. I'm Jimmy James had four wins from 51 starts in this country before going across the Tasman in 2020.
OK Boomer wins Aussie debut
Nathan Jack built on his impressive strike rate with Kiwi imports when former All Stars’ pacer OK Boomer led throughout to win his Aussie debut at Melton over the weekend.The son of Bettors Delight won two of his 11 NZ runs and defied a betting drift to just stave off some handy rivals.
Syndicate win number 100
It was win number 100 for the Griffins syndicate when Majestic Love won at Addington on Friday night. The syndicate is one of the country's most successful. Its first winner was Rugged Cross at Invercargill in 2011 while the biggest winner has been Majestic Man, who's won 24 races and more than $800,000.
Winners are grinners
TVNZ sports reporter Guy Heveldt and Peter Ferguson (Hoofin Around) were the jubilant winners of the media dual sulky race as part of Auckland /Rowe Cup night at Alexandra Park last Friday. Both raised their arms in victory as they crossed the finish line, ahead of Stephen Donald and Jay Abernethy (Winners Are Grinners), Lachie McLeod and Benjamin Butcher (Twinkle Toes) and Scotty Stevenson and Andre Poutama (The Garden Shed).
Club News - Invercargill
Next week will be a busy one for the Invercargill Harness Racing Club as they hold two race meetings at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill. The first is the annual Bluff Race Day on the Monday of Kings Birthday weekend (5 June) and it is followed just four days later by a further race day on Friday 9 June. Monday’s programme will feature nine races with the first scheduled for 11.45am and the feature race the South Port NZ Ltd Bluff Cup. The Friday meeting is also expected to have ten races with the anticipated start time of 11.52am.Admission to the course will be free on both days.
Following this meeting Invercargill have one more race meeting on Saturday 17 June while the Winton Club host the final meeting of the season, Southern Winter Rewards Race Day, on Friday 30 June.