News Briefs : Sept 29

Buoyant betting at the MOT

Grass track racing has returned with a roar this season, with turnover at Motukarara last Sunday close to a million dollars. It was the first grass track meeting of the new season after Methven’s first meeting was transferred to Ashburton because of storm damage earlier this month. Methven's next meeting, scheduled for October 10, will be held at Orari. Turnover at Motukarara was $986,275, pushing the week's turnover on domestic harness racing over $3m for the first time this financial season (August 1) at $3,107,733.

Curtin close to milestone

Two-time New Zealand Cup winning driver Jim Curtin is on the brink of a training milestone. When he drove Chal Be to victory at Motukarara on Sunday it was his 299th training success. He also now has 1629 driving wins. He won the New Zealand Cup with Terror To Love (2011) and Bee Bee Cee (1994). Meanwhile Tom Bamford is joining the training ranks. Based at Woodend beach where he works for Regan Todd, Bamford has taken over the training of Percy and Ideal Grace. Both were trained by Todd and are raced by interests including the Bamford family. As a junior driver Bamford has had four placings from 26 starts. Percy will debut from the new stable at Timaru on Sunday.

Dexter goes to No 1

After being second for much of the year Dexter Dunn is the leading stakes earning-driver in the US. His total is $US8,695,212, which is over $60,000 ahead of Tim Tetrick. Dunn has 347 wins for the year, which puts him seventh overall, with Aaron Merriman leading the way with 590.

Eight straight for Ryder trotter

Two year old trotter Venerable has extended her unbeaten streak in North America. Trained by ex-pat Kiwi Nifty Norman Venerable was one of four fillies in the Mohawk Million in Canada. She’s now unbeaten in eight starts, winning in 1:54.2.

Decision time for star pacer

The next six weeks will decide the racing future of superstar pacer Ride High, with an admission from his connectionss that the challenges of mixing stud duties with serious training are proving difficult. He hasn't raced since suffering a tendon injury last October. He's had 16 wins from just 18 starts.

Two weeks till clearance sale

Providing Dunedin is at Alert Level One, Forbury Park's clearance sale is a fortnight away. It is scheduled for Wednesday Oct 13 at 1pm with around 400 items to be auctioned. The course held its last meeting on July 8.

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