News Briefs - November 8

Change of tact for Andrew McKerrow

After being involved in the racing industry for more than 35 years, Salvation Army race chaplain Andrew McKerrow will take on a new job in the new year though he won't be completely lost to racing. With his trademark chocolate treats ever present he's been a regular at racetracks around the country, especially in the South Island, for drivers, trainers, jockeys and anyone else looking for support and guidance. His new job is a full-time ministry with the Salvation Army in the Christchurch suburb of Belfast. The new job means he won't travel as much as he has.

“I will still be attending all Christchurch race meetings and will be available for pastoral care when needed. It’s business as usual for Christchurch racing.”

Harness Racing New Zealand CEO Gary Woodam was among those to praise McKerrow's contribution to the sport.
“Andrew has been like a family member to our participants. He is the one you confide in and look for help from when in need, or just have a chat with, he covers all types of conversations.”

"On behalf of all the hundreds of harness people he’s had contact with and those he has helped, we thank him for his contribution and Andrew can be very proud of what he has achieved.

Nairn's big win

Trotting trainer Paul Nairn's genius has been well documented and Head Em Up's win at Addington last Friday was another notable success. He bred, co-owns, trained and drove the horse to win a Group 3 (the two year old Trotting Stakes), a rare occurrence indeed.

Race day return for Just Believe

Inter-Dominion champion Just Believe will return to racing at Melton on Saturday night. It will be his first run since returning from a terrific three-race Swedish campaign in May/June. “He’ll run Saturday night and possibly back up the week after, too, but we’ll play that by ear,” trainer Jess Tubbs said.
“He’s ready to go, we’re really happy with how he’s come up.”
Just Believe has been sharpened-up with two recent Melton trials and will tackle the 2240m Touch Merchant free-for-all on Saturday night.

Yet another milestone for Dex

Ten-time New Zealand champion Dexter Dunn has topped $1m in stakes earnings in North America this year. With 202 wins from 1205 drives he has totalled $10,107,962 in stakes to be fourth overall behind Yannick Gingras ($13,827,367), Tim Tetrick ($12,621,253) and David Miller ($10,229,080).

Tough draws for top stable

Usually such a dominant force on the big days Purdon Racing could be feeling a bit hard done by after the draws were released for IRT New Zealand Cup Day at Addington next Tuesday. Cup favourite Akuta drawing 15 in the big race was far from ideal and then Mark and Nathan Purdon had unbeaten filly Millwood Nike draw 15 in the Group 1 Nevele R 50 years Of Success Final, hotpot Chase A Dream draw 15 in the Woodlands Stud Sires' Stakes Final for the 2YO Colts and geldings and Don't Stop Dreaming draw the outside of the front line in the TAB Junior Free For All.

Cup day betting options

A $100,000 terminating Pick 6 has been confirmed for IRT New Zealand Cup day next Tuesday. There will also be bonus back on the opening six races, and $20,000 guaranteed First 4s all day.

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