News Briefs - September 13
Alta Wiseguy out of NZ Cup
Alta Wiseguy is out of the New Zealand Cup. The Mach Three five-year-old, who has won ten from 40 starts for Steve and Amanda Telfer, has a small fracture in his shoulder and will be officially withdrawn from the Cup tomorrow. The injury is not considered too serious and he is expected to be back later in the summer. Alta Wiseguy's last start was a fourth behind Simply Sam, Hooray Henry and Kahlua Flybye at Alexandra Park a fortnight ago. His last win was on New Year's Eve in the Franklin Cup when he beat dual New Zealand Cup champion Copy That (off 30m) by a nose.
TAB Racing Club coming to NZ
HRNZ is pleased to announce that the TAB Racing Club is coming to New Zealand in 2024, delivering Kiwis an accessible and thrilling ownership opportunity. Entain Australia and New Zealand is now calling for expressions of interest from trainers who want to be a part of this exciting new initiative
To see all the details click here
Todd Anderson elected to HRNZ Board
There's been a change to the Harness Racing New Zealand Board following the 2023 election results, announced yesterday. There were two nominations for one place on the board. Southland breeder Todd Anderson was elected to the board replacing Kevin McNaught, for a term of three years. Anderson, of well-known breeding operation Taffy Limited, was last on the board as an independent in 2021. The new board takes effect after this October's annual general meeting.
McArdle dies in USA
The great McArdle (Falcon Seelster - Lilting Laughter) has died at age 24 at Hickory Lane Horse farms in Ohio. As a race horse he was trained by ex pat Kiwi Chris Ryder winning 28 races and $2.45m and then excelled as a stallion. In this country he stood at Nevele R stud in Canterbury. The horse was named after Nevele R co-founder Bob McArdle who also stood McArdle's sire Falcon Seelster. McArdle sired the winners of more than $86m including the world champion McWicked. In this country he sired the likes of Tintin In America (16 wins), Elusive Chick (13 wins) and more than 30 horses with Nevele R's "Franco" moniker.
Dunn second in $1m feature
Jiggy Jog S and Kiwi driver Dexter Dunn finished second in the big MGM Trot, won by Italian trotter Vivid Wise As, at Yonkers in New York over the weekend. Jiggy Jog S was the only mare in the race, and it was Dunn's first appearance in the $1m feature. Australia's Aldebaran Zeus was fifth. It was Vivid Wise As' 35th win from 86 career starts, with earnings of over $3.6m. Dunn has 156 wins and over $6m in stakes earnings in 2023. That puts him eighth overall, with the leading driver being Tim Tetrick at $8.68m.
$1m in stakes for 2023
Aardiebythehill's stirring win over Muscle Mountain in the Ordeal Cup at Addington on Friday night pushed Dexter's brother John Dunn over the $1m mark in stakes earnings this year. The Dunn trained runner made the perfect start in the Group 3 feature while favourite Muscle Mountain was inconvenienced at the start by stablemate Midnight Dash. Muscle Mountain actually hit the lead in the closing stages only for Aardiebythehill to prevail by a half head. Dunn has driven 78 winners this year with the $22,000 winning stake on Friday taking his total to $1,009,077 for 2023.
History for Stewart-Tonkin
What a September gun Australian trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin are having. A week after winning the world's richest race, the Eureka with Encipher the co-trainers have set a new record for wins at a single Victorian meeting. They had nine wins on the 12 race card at Melton on Saturday night. That equalled their Australian record set at Launceston in Tasmania last year.
Blue September Bingo
The first ever Blue September Bingo night will be held at Addington Raceway on Tuesday, September 26. Tickets are $25 with proceeds going to the NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation. For information click here
Grass track racing's welcome return
Methven's first spring meeting was a big success, with the turnover on Sunday at just over $1m. While there were a fair share of favourites who won there were a number of winners at double figure odds too including Mavis Jones and Jesper Fast. It was also the first meeting since new president Michael Heenan took over the job from another local identity in Carl Markham.
Turnovers for the past week :
Wyndham Thursday - Turnover $468K, Gross Betting Margin 21.3%
Waikato Thursday - Turnover $621K, GBM 34.8%
Addington Friday - Turnover $1,086K, GBM 24.7%
Methven Sunday - Turnover $1,041K, GBM 23.1%