The $1m Race by Grins is on - Tonight!

What: New Zealand’s only slot race and richest harness race.

Where: Cambridge Raceway.

When: Friday, gates open 5pm, first race 5.23pm, The Race by Grins at 8.50pm

Who: Eight of New Zealand’s elite pacers and two Australian raiders.

Stakes : $450,000 to the winner, $150,000 to second, $100,000 to third, $75,000 to fourth, and $37,500 to every other horse in the field.

Sponsor : Grins is a company producing Ready to Drink beverages and is the brainchild of Damian McKenzie (the grin behind the name), Anton Lienert-Brown and Stephen Donald.

Entertainment : The after party from 9.20pm features the chart-topping Mitch James.

Tonight will see the second running of the Race by Grins at Cambridge Raceway. Worth $1m it is the richest harness race in this country.

Defending champion Self Assured is the only horse returning from the inaugural Race by Grins last year. His winning time for the 2200m was 2:37.5.

His stakes earnings stand at $1,955,344 and will go past $2m if he finishes fourth or better. He has won 28 races and showed in his victory at last week's Waikato Flying Mile just how good he is.

To be driven again by Natalie Rasmussen, Self Assured is one of three horses from the powerful All Stars stables in the Race by Grins, along with the only mare in the race, No Matter Wat (Tony Herlihy) and Akuta (Mark Purdon).

Also included in the field are two-time New Zealand Cup champion Copy That, emerging star Old Town and two Australians Better Eclipse and Triple Eight, both trained by Jess Tubbs.

After drawing four Copy That was immediately installed as a warm favourite for the race, ahead of Old Town Road, and Self Assured.

Triple Eight will be driven by Australia's most successful driver ever, Chris Alford. He's had over 7800 wins, and won the Australian driving premiership 14 times.

Current odds for the Race by Grins :

1 No Matter Wat $41/ $6

2 Smiffys Terror (emergency) $51/ $7.50

3 Old Town Road $3.30/ $1.35

4 Copy That $2.30/$1.25

5 Triple Eight $41/ $6

6 B D Joe $21/ $4.50

7 Better Eclipse $41/ $6

8 Kango $41/ $6

9 Nicholas Cage $51/ $7.50

10 Self Assured $4.20/ $1.40

11 Akuta $8.50/ $2.30

The Race by Grins is set to go at 8.50pm .

Another feature of the Grins Night of Champions is the big race for the trotters - the $45,000 Group 2 Waikato Flying Mile at 8.22pm.

Free buses depart Cambridge Raceway to Waikato University and Hamilton Central from 11.05pm - 11.45pm

For more information check out



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