News Briefs : Sept 27

Blue September hits $20,000

With just a few days to go, Harness Racing New Zealand's Blue September campaign has topped $20,000. The country's top driver Blair Orange leads the way with 11 wins this month, including a treble at Motukarara on Sunday. Fittingly among his wins was victory in the Blue September Invited Drivers Pace with He's A Jackalack. Money is raised for the Prostate Cancer Foundation every time a Blue September ambassador wins a race throughout the month, thanks to contributions from HRNZ, clubs and individual sponsors. The campaign finishes at Addington on Friday night.

Sunday's meeting also featured a 100 metre sprint for the Blue September ambassadors. Marred by controversy and interference it was not without incident before Korbyn Newman took line honours. A Blue September Bingo night was also held at Addington Raceway last night.

Vale Cliff Dynes

A celebration of Cliff Dynes' life will be held at the Methven Racecourse tomorrow (September 28) from 2.00pm. Originally from Southland, Dynes was a past committee member, President, Patron, and Life member of the Methven Trotting Club who was much loved and will be sadly missed. He was was also a respected trainer. He trained 20 winners between 1983 and 2012, with his best horse being 11-race winner Anne Franco in the mid to late 1990s. Dynes was 88.

Futurity no go for Show Day

The Show Day Futurity Pace at Addington on Friday, November 23 has been cancelled. In announcing its decision the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club says it was due to insufficient nominations. All nomination fees will be refunded. Last year's edition of the race (the Graphite Developments Show Day Futurity Mobile) was won by Bach by seven lengths.

No Matter Wat off to be a mum

New Zealand Oaks winner No Matter Wat has been retired. The now four-year-old mare had been considered for a New Zealand Cup campaign but her connections have decided her future is now as a broodmare, after experiencing problems with her gait on race day as well in training. No Matter Wat's defining moment came in the Oaks on Grand Prix day at Addington last December when she went out to a huge lead and despite pulling fiercely, held on to win her first and only Group 1 by nearly a length. She paid $17.10 for the win. No Matter Wat had five wins from 13 starts and $173,252 in stakes for owners Studholme Bloodstock and Michael Purdon.

Second for Dex in LBJ

Ex-pat Kiwi Dexter Dunn had to settle for a close-up second in one of the world's greatest harness races, the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio. It's My Show captured the $1m feature in 1:49 for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron just ahead of Dunn and Seven Colors. The massive day featured 24 races, in front of a reported crowd of more than 40,000. Dunn has had 165 wins in 2023 with stakes earnings of just over $7m, to rank eighth overall.

11 lots on Gavelhouse

Van Shard, a two race winner for Brendon Hill, is among the 11 lots in the latest gavelhouse.com auction, and at last look had attracted a bid of $6000. Bidding closes from 7 pm tonight.

To see the auction click here

Harness racing Turnovers and Gross Betting Margin in NZ last week :

NZ Metro, Thursday 21 Sept - Turnover $972k, GBM 24%
Auckland, Friday 22 Sept – Turnover $904k, GBM 21.5%
Winton, Saturday 23 Sept – Turnover $523k, GBM 21.2%
Banks Peninsula, Sunday 24 Sept – Turnover $1,202k, GBM 19.1%

Club News : Methven

The Methven Trotting Club has been sprucing up the track and surrounds planning to have everything in tip top order before our biggest day, Sunday October 8. Head of track committee Kerry O’Reilly, with the help of recent rain, has the track in super order and most locals cannot wait to view the top pacers who should be on show in the $40,000 Alabar Methven Cup plus the top female trotters in the $25,000 What The Hill Trotters Classic.

For those who like a coffee our usual coffee vendor has retired but the new coffee outlet will be at the Mt Hutt room and serviced by caterers Country Feasts.

The Methven Club along with the Canty Owners' Association will host any owners,trainers or members of the club to a quick BBQ (gold coin required for a drink) before they head home as a thank you to all for their support. The club plans to do this twice a season.

(Mike Heenan for Methven Trotting Club)

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