News Briefs : November 22

Butterworths buy Courageous Katie

Courageous Katie, a yearling that raised $12,000 for the Katie Cox Appeal Fund, has been sold to some very high profile owners. The Creatine filly was offered up for sale by owner/breeder Gerald Cayford with all proceeds going to Cox who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. It sold on Gavelhouse last Friday for $12,000 to well-known Victorian owners Merv and Meg Butterworth of Copy That fame. The money will be used for Cox's treatment and on-going medical expenses. Merv Butterworth says he was taken by the breeding of Courageous Katie (Creatine - Ygritte) with Creatine a sire of promise and "the grand dam (of Courageous Katie) was A Touch Of Sun that was the dam of our star trotter King Denny who won two Derbys and a Jewels". He was also keen to reward Cayford's generosity and at the same time support Cox in her health battle.

Dreams Are Free's freakish run

To put Dreams Are Free's eye-watering win at Winton into perspective his time of 2:55.3 was only a snip outside the 2YO New Zealand record. He lost a stack of ground before catching the field and then powering home on Sunday over the 2400m. He was hand timed to run somewhere in the area of 2:53.3. His official time (2:55.3) compares to Republican Party's existing record of 2:55.1 set at Ashburton in 2021. This is the same Republican Party who finished fifth in last Tuesday's New Zealand Cup. Dreams Are Free is now being aimed at the Grand Prix at Addington on December 10. He'll clearly take some catching.

Smiffy's Terror off to Oz

Just days after racing in both the IRT New Zealand Cup (9th) and Friday's Free For All (8th) at Addington it's been confirmed Smiffy's Terror will do his future racing in Australia. The five-year-old had 10 wins from 57 starts ($186,371) in this country including victory in the 2022 Methven Cup. He is heading to New South Wales.

300 training successes for Donnelly

A treble at Manawatu last night has seen Cambridge trainer Arna Donnelly bring up 300 career successes. She started the night on 298 before Tequila Sunrise (David Butcher) and Bad Medicine (Zev Meredith) both triumphed. A successful night was then wrapped up with Mr President winning the last to give her 301 training wins. Her first win was with Trial and Error, which she also drove, at Manawatu in March 2004.

Southerners have milestone wins

Veteran trainer Doug McLachlan bought up his 200th success at Winton on Sunday. A southern stalwart who breeds, owns and trains, McLachlan brought up the milestone with 11-year old Franco Huntington. Based at Myross Bush, McLachlan's 200 winners came from 3303 starts with his first being Ronnie Mac at Invercargill in 1993. Meanwhile fellow Southland trainer Craig Laurenson brought up the century when Airwaves won in the hands of Rory McIlwrick at Winton on Sunday. His 100 wins came from 1607 starts, dating back to his first winner Zapp at Forbury Park in 1999.

Dunn ton of training successes

The Diamond Racing training partnership of Robert and Jenna Dunn have been the first to hit three figures this year. Rock Me Lou's victory at Ashburton last week gave them 100 winners for 2023, a day before Triple G added to their total on Show Day. They are comfortable leaders of the premiership from Mark and Nathan Purdon on 73, and Mark Jones on 55. Blair Orange is a runaway leader in the driving ranks with 139 wins, with John Dunn next on 93.

Nine wins in one night

Winning sequences don't come much better than this, on one night. At Batavia Downs in New York last weekend  Jim Morrill had a UDR of .778 with nine wins on the 13-race card. He beat his single night record of eight set in 2005. He has 286 wins from 990 drives this year.

Yearling catalogue out

The catalogue is out for NZB Standardbred's national yearling sale at Karaka on February 18. 2024 and then at Christchurch on February 20 and 21. Nearly 400 yearlings will go up for sale, 126 in Auckland and 267 in Christchurch. .

To see more click here

Club News : Timaru

The Timaru Nursery Stakes promises to be a highlight of the Timaru Harness Racing Club’s twilight meeting on Saturday 25 November. With a $20,000 stake it has drawn some promising types in last start winners, Mighty Flying Lou and Always B Cocky and the consistent placegetter Major Hot.

A time-honoured race, the Timaru Nursery Stakes was first run in 1936 and has had some great winners in the past including Highland Fling, Johnny Globe, Lordship, Tactile, Young Quinn, Master Mood and Tuapeka Knight.

In 1959 20 two-year-olds lined up in the Timaru Nursery Stakes, won that year by Stanley Easton’s Sun Chief and driven by Doody Townley ( father of trainer Kevin Townley).

Greg Brosnan of Brosnan Transport sponsors the race on Saturday and is a keen supporter of age group racing. Greg’s uncle is Richard Brosnan, former South Canterbury trainer of NZ Cup winner Bonnie’s Chance and Interdominion Trotter’s winner No Response.

The other feature race is the Tyre General Timaru Summer Cup sponsored by Alan Neumann and the Neumann Family. Alta Meteor and Heisenberg, recent Show Day placegetters look promising. It has also attracted Southland visitor Hazer.

Deceptive Lee owned by local Timaru doctors Bruce Small and John Fanning and co-owner/trainer David Mitchell is a past winner on the track and is one to follow.

As well as the exciting racing, a Best Dressed Hat competition, Lucky Prize Draws, racebook quiz, Kids Go Racing packs and Lucky Numbers for the children are all on offer at Phar Lap Raceway, Timaru. Racing is underway at 1.25pm and will be broadcast on Trackside Two.

Club News : Invercargill

The annual Woodlands Stud Race Day will be hosted by the Invercargill Harness Racing Club at Ascot Park Raceway this Thursday (23 November). An eight-race programme is in place with the first race timed to start at 2.43pm and the last at 5.45pm. Cameron Grant of Woodlands Stud will be on course to meet with breeders throughout the afternoon.

NZ Harness racing turnovers for the past week :

Ashburton, November 16 - Turnover $1,224,136 and Gross Betting Margin 16.9%
Addington, November 17 - Turnover $3,387,784 and GBM 25.5%
Cambridge, November 17 - Turnover $556,373 and GBM 0.13%
Winton, November 19 - Turnover $715,375 and GBM 24.9%

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