News Briefs : November 1

Akuta second highest stakes winner this year

Akuta is now the second highest stakes earner in this country this year following his easy win in Monday's Alabar Kaikoura Cup. The $33,000 winning stake took him to $284,635 in 2023, overtaking the unbeaten Millwood Nike in the process. Only injured two-time New Zealand Cup champion Copy That is above him at $517,775. Akuta is now a $1.90 favourite to win the New Zealand Cup at Addington on Tuesday, November 14 after winning five of his last six starts.

Max return for Michael Purdon

What a super money spinner Mystic Max is turning out to be for owner-trainer Michael Purdon. Following his win in the South Bay Trotters Cup at Kaikoura on Monday Mystic Max has won eight races (from 28 starts) and $169,914 - not bad for a horse Purdon bought off auction site Gavelhouse for just $9501.

Abernethy has 300th winner

With Ultimate Moment's win in the first at Cambridge last Friday Sailesh Abernethy brought up his 300th success in the sulky. The milestone has been 13 years in the making, with his first winner being Daniela Hantuchova at Cambridge in 2010. The 300 wins have come from 2896 drives.

Peregrine retires from track

Seven win trotter Peregrine has been retired and will now head to the broodmare paddock. Some signs of wear and tear, including arthritis, prompted her connections to call it a day after 31 starts and $95K in stakes. Her last win was at Show day at Addington last year. The five-year-old mare will now be served by Father Patrick.

Dex closes in on $10m

Ten time Kiwi champion Dexter Dunn is getting closer to $US10m in stakes earnings this year. He is currently fourth in North America with $9.84m, with 197 wins from 1182 drives. Yannick Gingras leads the way with stakes earnings of $13.4m, ahead of Tim Tetrick and David Miller.

Kiwis battle it out in SA

A pair of former Kiwi pacers Wheres The Gold and Tango Tara fought-out a stirring finish in South Australia’s biggest race over the weekend. Ultimately, a better draw and being able to lead made the difference for Wheres The Gold, who staved off a gallant Tango Tara to win by a head in the $60,000 Group 3 SA Pacing Cup (2645m). Formerly trained by the Telfers (with three NZ wins) Wheres The Gold has been a revelation across the Tasman, winning seven of his first eight runs.

Ravishing heading west?

One time New Zealand Cup possibility Captain Ravishing could add some spice to WA’s major four-year-old races. Trainer Ahmed Taiba said a two-race Perth raid was on the cards if Captain Ravishing impressed connections in the $40,000 Breeders Crown 4YO at Melton on November 18.The $125,000 Group 2 4YO Championship (December 1) and the $200,000 Group 1 Golden Nugget (December 15) are the two big attractions in Perth. Captain Ravishing was a late nomination for the IRT New Zealand Cup before being withdrawn.

Club News : Motukarara

The Motukarara Trotting Association Incorporated (Mot Workouts) Annual General Meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Monday 20 November 2023 at Motukarara Raceway. All current and intending members are welcome. For an agenda and application for membership forms, please email Lyn at [email protected].

Club News : Invercargill

The Invercargill Harness Racing Club hold their second race meeting of the 2023/2024 season at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill this Sunday, 5 November. Admission is free with the first of ten races scheduled to commence at 12.55pm and the last at 5.04pm. Kidz Kartz will also be on course for races.

The meeting leads off a busy time for the Invercargill club with their annual Woodlands Stud Race Day on Thursday 23 November followed by a Fast Ten meeting the following week starting at 4pm on Wednesday 29 November. The club has some innovative sponsorship packages for this day.

Into December and the club has one of their premier meetings of the season on Friday 22 December. A twilight meeting, the day features the Group 1 Ascot Park Hotel Invercargill Cup over 3200m with a stake of $110,000.

The day also lends itself to be being an ideal venue for Christmas work break ups with the 4pm start. There are a number of hospitality options still available, particularly for marquees and tent sites.

All Invercargill Harness Racing Club meetings this season are part of the Iron Horse Bonus Scheme with full conditions available on the Southern Harness website and Southern Harness and Invercargill HRC Facebook pages.

For sponsorship and hospitality opportunities contact Southern Harness Racing’s Promotions Officer, Lindsay Beer on 021 351 499 / [email protected]

NZ Harness racing turnovers and Gross Betting Margins this week :

Winton HRC, Thursday 26 October - $591K, 20.4%
Waikato BOP Harness, Friday 27 October - $629K, 14.6%
Kaikoura TC, Sunday 29 October- $1,057K, 19.1%
Kaikoura TC, Monday 30 October - $1,468K, 18.7%

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