The latest from the trials - November 11

Now that many of the very best horses are coming out to play we are regularly updating what's happening at the trials right around the country. Here's the latest installment.

Pukekohe Workouts Saturday 11th November
Weather Fine Track Fast

Lord Popinjay (7g Majestic Son – Petite Sunshine)

The Matty White trained trotter started against the maiden pacers in a mob 2050m heat, settled well back in field of seven before improving to take over midrace, kept going strongly to place second behind Fifth And Final, beaten 3/4L. MR:2:05.8, 800m in 60.3, 400m in 28.7. Ran second at Cambridge end of October which was his first race start in nearly 18 months so likely to be natural improver. Has only had 14 lifetime starts so hopefully connections will be rewarded for their faith.

Majestic Bundy (3f Majestic Son – Kelly Bundy)

Another from the Matty White stable, trailed throughout before issuing a challenge at the 400m and ran away in the straight, officially by 8L. MR:2:13.3, 800m in 64.0, 400m in 31.6. Not a time to write home about the manner of the effort to be respected as manners had been costly at its most recent raceday start. On the positive side, her dam won four and left Double Bundy (31 wins + $252k), Lovely Bundy (12 wins + $130k) and Al Bundy (8 wins + $78k). Only eight starts in her career and plenty of time to catch up to the close relations.

Leo Lincoln (2g Art Major – Alta Valencia)

The Green trained runner went straight to the front and kept going strongly to win easily. MR:2:03.2, 800m in 59.0, 400m in 27.6. His connections felt he was good enough to start in a Sires Stakes heat at Cambridge back in September behind Le Major and while that result didn’t go as well as expected, he should be respected in his upcoming assignments in the north. He has won one from 7 and looked bright on this occasion after being freshened for another campaign.

Sharkies Girl (4m Sweet Lou – Voluntad)

The Dickie trained mare (the winner of two from 14), worked to the lead after 400m and despite being under siege at the top of the straight, showed plenty of courage to comfortably keep her 4 rivals at bay. MR:2:02.8, 800m in 58.0, 400m in 27.7. Previously with Zac Butcher, she hasn’t started since July but did show plenty of promise when winning in a 1:56 MR at the ‘Park’ over 1700m.

Winton Workouts Friday 10th November
Weather Fine Track Good

Topoftheclass (4m Washington VC - Classique)

Only a learners pace but the Peter Hunter trained runner certainly made an impression with the manner of its win, settled 5th of 6 in running before improving sharply inside the final 500m to take issue, kept going strongly to win well. MR:2:10.7, 800m in 59.7, 400m in 28.4. Not yet qualified but that should be a formality on this effort. Dam won four and some handy types in the ‘family tree’ as well.

Dawson (2g Sweet Lou – Speights Girl)

Mentioned multiple times in this forum previously, on this day the Stratford trained youngster sped out of the gate to lead, kept up good speed then waved goodbye to his three rivals in the home straight. MR:1:58.3, 800m in 56.3, 400m in 27.4. Exciting prospect and his debut is eagerly awaited.

Pounamu (3g Washington VC – Bryleigh Jewel)

The Gray trained runner settled fifth of six in running line, improved to three back on outer following the eventual winner Rakaquattro 400m out, elected to stay in behind that runner final stages and looked comfortable in doing so, officially third, MR:2:03.2, 800m in 57.0, 400m in 28.5. Qualified back in early September where it placed ahead of Close (already a winner) and interestingly part owned by the Butterworths !

Raknruin (2f Sweet Lou – Raksdeal)

The Barron trained filly settled back before improving sharply to lead a lap out, kept up a strong run to win with something in hand. MR:na, 800m in 57.5, 400m in 28.0. Already a winner (in just seven starts) but not a lot has gone right since winning at Winton back in September, considered good enough to mix it with the best Canterbury fillies at Sires Stakes level so should be very competitive back in her home province of Southland.

Wyndham Workouts Saturday 11th November
Weather Fine Track Fast

Opportunity (3c Bettor’s Delight - Opulent)

Only an unqualified pace for the McVicar trained runner but after trailing Bobbie’s Majorette throughout, came off his back at the 400m and got the better of that runner in the shadows of the post. MR:2:09.6, 800m in 56.6, 400m in 27.9. A $45k purchase at the 2021 yearling sales for his owner/trainer, he rates as a full brother to Cardinal Sin and In Excess and is from the immediate family of 3x Miracle Mile winner King Of Swing

Still Rockin (5g A Rocknroll Dance - Insar)

The Gutsell trained runner (4 wins from 29 starts) led out then trailed Sporty Charlie at the bell, in a two horse finish (the other two some distance away), he got the better of the pacemaker inside the final 150m. MR:2:01.2, 800m in 56.5, 400m in 27.4. There was much to like about the final 400m of his run.

Insarchatwist (6m A Rocknroll Dance – Insar)

A full sister from the same stable as above, stepped nicely to lead and just did enough to hold out a fast finishing Micaitlen Denario who trailed. MR:2:03.5, 800m in 56.4, 400m in 27.2. These two had the finish to themselves. Close made up many lengths in the straight to finish 3rd while ‘Cup day’/Addington bound Rise Up N Dance raced fourth of five in indian file and was not asked to come out and dispute the finish over the final stages, looked comfortable enough.

Cambridge Workouts Saturday 11th November
Weather Fine Track Fast

Ice Fairy (2f Always B Miki – Snow Fairy)

In the hands of co trainer Lyn Neal, the filly went straight to the front and had the field (four rivals) stretched in gaps most of the way, started to get a little tired near the end but still unqualified so impressive enough. MR:2:09.0, 800m in 58.7, 400m in 29.1. From a family the trainers have had much success with including her second dam Flight South who won an Auckland Cup

Kings Watch (4g He’s Watching - Monaro)

The Todd Mitchell trained runner has been a ‘multi listing’ in this forum over the past few weeks, in this heat he settled fourth of six before improving in the open inside the final 400m, not overly exerted to run the winner/pacemaker Shirley Bassey to a 1/2L, officially second. MR:2:03.1, 800m in 59.5, 400m in 28.5. He looks more than ready to make a strong statement on debut.

Addington Raceway ‘Cup Day’ trials Wed. 8th November
Weather Overcast / Track Good

2yo Colts /Geldings 1980m Mob

Vessem, in hands of Mark Purdon, worked over to lead after 400m from wide draw, left alone on sedate pace, did enough, without being extended to hold out Shard’s Matrix who led out then trailed, used passing lane to run leader to half a length.

Cold Chisel trailed third (field in indian file), blocked for a run until inside final 150m, not pushed to snare third. Renegade and Quinn in latter two of six throughout, doing their best work out wide final 200m. Quinn in particular came widest of all from last and his final 400m sectional would have been sub 27s. Its Tough fourth of six in running, led line up at 600m, fought on to be close up. MR:2:04.6, 800m in 58.3, 400m in 27.3

2yo Colts/Geldings 1980m Mob

Art Jordan, a 2yo full brother to the well credentialed Dance Till Dawn (6 wins) from the Dunn stable went straight to the front and kept going strongly to just keep out Ragazzo Major who trailed three deep. Commander Joe trailed and was never asked for an effort over the concluding stages, finishing on the back of the winner.

In a race where all seven runners qualified, Mighty Flying Lou caught the eye making solid ground in the straight from well back at the 800m. Franco Elvis ran on late from last albeit some distance from winner MR:2:01.8, 800m in 58.2, 400m in 28.1

2yo Fillies 1980m Mob

Melody Banner trailed early then elected to pop out and around pacemaker Waterfront with 900m to run, kept up a strong run to just prevail over Ultimate Racy Girl who enjoyed a nice trip just in behind, came strongly along inner final 100m to just miss. Coastal Babe settled last of seven and was still there with 600m to run, improved in open from there and kept going strongly wide out to dispute the placings. Kiss trailed three deep and never got clear in straight, hard held in behind winner. Waterfront led out then trailed at the 900m, looked to be travelling at the 400m but lacked a kick at the business end. Treacherous Love settled back and ran on without being asked for serious effort. MR:2:01.2, 800m in 57.2, 400m in 27.8

2yo Trotters 1980m Mob

Wilma’s Boy settled sixth of 9 before improving at the 600m with 1x1 cover, challenged at the top of the straight, gobbled up the leaders with giant strides to win in impressive fashion final stages (one of the highlights of the day). Paramount Lady led, skipped away on straightening but simply beaten by a better one. Aspirational Dream trailed and fought solidly for third. Lil Whip made ground from midfield for fourrth. Bacardi Doll and We Can Have It All made costly mistakes in the running and tailed field home. Origin broke in the home straight when under pressure. MR:2:03.6, 800m in 59.7, 400m in 29.5

Non Winners Pace 2000m Mob

Rock Me Lou worked to front before taking a trail behind Yukon Be Serious a lap out, used passing lane to outfinish that runner last 100m. Eyecatching run from Didjaseemiki who finished strongly from rear wide out and got up for third. Belmont Valor ran on from three deep. The others beaten off headed by My Sweet Bella Rose who led the running line up at the 800m and was there until the last 100m where the effort told. MR:2:03.8, 800m in 59.1, 400m in 29.1

41 & faster Pace 1980m Mob

Sweet Diamond worked around to lead 1600m, stayed on strongly to keep out early pacemaker Kiwi Hero in a rousing trial (time honours for the day). Pandaia got back then asked to improve in open 500m out, kept going strongly to place third, run full of merit. Point Break trailed three deep mostly, had his chances in straight but 4L away at the finish. Warrior Chief handy enough in running, up to challenge turn, battled the last bit. Deny Everything made ground from the rear on a fast last 800m and More Gooda not disgraced in behind, making solid ground in the final 200m. MR:2:00.6, 800m in 55.7, 400m in 27.0

65 & faster Pace 1980m Mob

Some run here by Aardie’s Express (in arguably the best trial field at Addington in recent times) after being some 12L off leaders at the 800m, started to improve inside the final 800m, moved up a gear at the 400m and ran on too strongly for her rivals (second highlight of the day). Stablemate Aardiebytheseaside raced handily throughout and fought strongly for her placing ahead of Merlin who enjoyed a nice trail throughout and looked comfortable at the line in third. Alta Meteor, Kahlua Flybye and Sooner The Bettor all made ground under their own steam from back in field but the race was notable for the non emergence of unbeaten filly Millwood Nike and top 3yo Don’t Stop Dreaming. The former went back from the outside of the gate and never threatened at any point. Don’t Stop Dreaming had a good draw but showed no gate speed and ended up in the rear division and didn’t flatter at any stage. Their supporters would give them the benefit of the doubt and suggest they both had ‘quiet’ runs. The Falcon showed good gate speed to lead but battled on once headed Here’s Herbie another to never get close from way back in big field. MR:2:01.7, 800m in 57.9, 400m in 27.3

40 & faster Trot 2600m

Elizabeth Hill looked on track for her cupday assignment here, soon in front and kicked strongly to keep out Sunny Louis who trailed. They gapped the rest headed by Monarch Prince who was handy throughout. KD Hawk midfield then secured 1x1 cover inside 700m, fought on ok. Magic Dash and Whats Wanted got back but were making solid ground wide out over final 200m. Hard to get excited about the rest. MR:2:07.7, 800m in 59.0, 400m in 29.2

40 & faster Pace 2600m

Borrisokane and Mandalay Bay fought out a close finish to the heat. Borrisokane soon in front then trailed First Rose at bell, came on solidly once clear to nab Mandalay Bay who raced in midfield before improving in open inside 600m, led on straightening, not really pushed and caught in shadows of post. Fernleigh Blackbird got back after tardy beginning but caught the eye making up many lengths in the straight wide out for third. Ebury Street led out then trailed two and three deep, fought on ahead of Kingsdown Atom who ran on from back on inner. Tact Teel tracked Mandalay Bay into race and looked likely on the home turn but just battled over final 100m. First Rose left handy spot to lead bell, still there 250m, just battled behind placings MR:2:07.6, 800m in 58.5, 400m in 27.9

120 & faster Trot 2600m

Dominion favourite Muscle Mountain (30m) dealt to his five rivals after giving them all a start, tagged on to six horse bunch then strolled around from the 800m, simply ran away in the straight, nearly 6L at the line. Galway Girl trailed throughout, did best of others. Stablemate of winner Eurokash (10m) ran on from the rear as did Walkinonsunshine who looked comfortable enough in run home. Pacemaker Greenbank Don faded to fifth with Royal Del no threat from three deep. MR:2:04.1, 800m in 59.9, 400m in 28.0

120 & faster Pace 2600m

In a disappointing field of only three for the ‘cup trial’, BD Joe led and was too good for Franco Marek and the ever improving Beach Ball, went to the line full of running. Franco Marek finished attractively from three deep to nab Beach Ball who began splendidly, trailed and wasn’t asked to challenge the leader at any point. MR:2:01.2, 800m in 57.8, 400m in 27.4.

Motukarara Workouts Saturday 4th November
Weather Fine Track Good

I Spy Diamonds (He’s Watching – Supreme Gem)

The McDermott trained filly did a nice job to outfinish her 3 rivals. MR:2:10.1, 800m in 59.0, 400m in 28.5. This filly is a half to handy types in Ruby’s Delight (11 wins), Sophie & Topaz (3 wins each) and the dam won eight so a bit to like about her future

Warrior Chief (3g Sweet Lou – Here We Go Again)

Time honours on the day to the Gameson trained runner over his 2 rivals. MR:2:06.6, 800m in 58.6, 28.3. Already a winner at Addington (in a 1:57.8MR) from just four starts, he last raced in early October behind top 3yo Don’t Stop Dreaming and his connections have not been afraid to start him against the ‘big guns’ so stable must think a bit of him, one to look out for in the coming weeks.

Cambridge Workouts Saturday 4th November
Weather Overcast Track Fast

Sacred Mountain (5m Muscle Hill - Aceofdiamonds)

The Chilcott runner gave its only rival Trifolium (1 win) a 20m headstart and reeled that runner in comfortably over the final 200m. MR:2:06.8, 800m in 61.3, 400m in 29.8. Mind you, so it should have, as the winner of eight (from 49) and the winner of some $104k in stakes. Getting ready for a new campaign, hasn’t started since late June

Diamonds Are Forever (3f Always B Miki – Three Jewels)

The Neal trained winner of two (from 9 starts) settled back then worked closer over the final 600m (1x1 sit), strong finish to do best in rousing trial MR:2:00.6, 800m in 58.4, 400m in 28.2. Punters might remember she placed earlier in the season behind the unbeaten Millwood Nike at Group 1 level. The well bred Its Nae Or Never was responsible for the pace and after skipping away at the top of the straight was caught late by her more experienced rival

4 win trotter Romeo Foxtrot trailed and did well to keep 3rd albeit 4L from the winner in a smart time

Pukekohe Workouts Saturday 4th November
Weather Raining Track Slushy

Duchess Megxit (2f Sweet Lou – Kensington Kate)

The Purdon/Phelan runner trailed fourth of six in indian file, improved in open over last lap to challenge top of the straight, too strong over final stages.
MR2:04.7, 800m in 59.8, 400m in 27.8. A winner on debut after some excellent trial form, this well bred filly did show how well she has progressed in the meantime.

Predator (2g Captaintreacherous - Fellamongstabeauty)

The unqualified Reid runner went straight to the front and didn’t give anything else a look in, officially by 3L at the line. Time not quick but conditions miserable at this time MR:2:11.7, 800m in 62.5, 400m in 28.7. He has rated a mention in the forum previously and his breeding suggests a promising future, 1 to look out for when that debut comes around

Levi (2g What The Hill – Fear Factor)

Another from the Reid barn, broke at the start and settled a long way back in a field of 4, some 10L away from pacemaker Bertha’s Pride with 800m to run, sustained challenge to run the latter to a neck, big effort. MR:2:13.2, 800m in 62.1, 400m in 29.6

Placed on debut and then taken down to Addington for Harness Millions where he broke during running and lost all chance, was warmly supported on that occasion, not foolproof but the ‘motor’ looks attached.

*** There is a 10% lifetime share in Levi at the Katie Cox fundraiser on Melbourne Cup day (on line auction)

Wyndham Workouts Saturday 4th November
Weather Fine Track Fast

Dreamalittledream (3f A Rocknroll Dance – Dreamy Lover)

The Gray trained filly led out then trailed, sprinted stylishly up passing lane to win well MR:2:02.2, 800m in 58.8, 400m in 28.4.A half to Western Delight, good enough to win in 1:51 in America, there is plenty of other blacktype in this Devery developed pedigree.

Captain Starlight (5g Changeover – Hot Toddy)

The McVicar trained runner (2 wins from 19 starts) got back but worked into race last 500m, blocked for a run in straight and hard held in behind the placings . Heat won by Still Rockin who worked hard early to lead then trailed MR:2:01.7, 800m in 57.5, 400m in 28.3. The ‘Captain’ freshened since last racing and should be competitive in his current rating band

Winton Workouts Friday 3rd November
Weather Overcast Track Good

Wild Bull (2c Raging Bull – Bay Jet)

In this 2yo qualifying trial over a mile, the Pearson runner sat midfield, worked closer around final turn then finished strongly to sweep over the top of his rivals. MR:1:58.7, 800m in 57.7, 400m in 27.4

Stablemate The Janitor (lead/trail), Lydah Valley (pacemaker) and Philadelphia Lad all qualified running under the 2:00 min barrier. The much talked about Dawson raced well back but made a darting run along inner from the 500m, used passing lane to be close up.

Miraculous (2g Bettor’s Delight – Kelly Maguire)

For the umpteenth time the Nathan Williamson runner impressed, trailed 4th of 5, moved up at the 400m to challenge, ran away in the final stages untouched. MR2:01.2, 800m in 56.5, 400m in 28.0. Don’t expect to get rich when he debuts !

Amass (4g Terror To Love - Lindell)

The Williamson runner led from go to whoa and did things quite comfortably. MR:2:01.5, 800m in 56.4, 400m in 28.7. The winner of 2 of his 4 raceday starts, he hasn’t started since late January so the connections have been very patient.

Stablemate Itoje raced fourth of 4 but ran home attractively last 200m to get within 1L of winner

Wyndham Workouts Sunday 29th October
Weather Fine Track Fast

Macandrew Navigator (5g Sir Lincoln – Arts Mistress)

The Douglas trained runner settled back in the six horse field, improved three wide 500m out to take issue, kept up strong run under his own steam to just miss outfinishing Pay Me Speedy who had all favours along the markers. MR:2:03.1, 800m in 56.9, 400m in 28.2

Might not be as good as his NZ Cup bound half brother but has done an ok job winning two from 17 and in the right race he deserves some respect. Last start was back in August behind He’s A Meister.

Itoje (5g Betterthancheddar – Its Ella)

The winner of its only start from the Nathan Williamson barn, got into trail then used passing lane to outfinish stablemate Rise Up N Dance who had a good trip in behind MR:2:08.3, 800m in 58.6, 400m in 28.7. Scratched earlier in month after small setback but his connections have obviously kept the faith as now rising 6 ! Dam did win 16 races and nearly $300k and has bred on.

Miraculous (2g Bettor’s Delight – Kelly Maguire)

Not for the first time, the Williamson runner (and still unqualified) rates a mention after sitting back in seven horse field, surged up four wide on final bend then finished attractively to snare second. MR:2:03.6, 800m in 58.6, 400m in 29.0. Outfinished by Macandrew Markup (no relation to above runner) who enjoyed a cosy run along inner behind the pacemaker

Cambridge Saturday 28th October

Weather Fine Track Fast

Kings Watch (4g He’s Watching – Monaro)

This Mitchell trained runner, for the second week in a row, made a statement by going straight to the front and proving way too good. MR2:05.5, 800m in 58.4, 400m in 28.2 Tote watch on debut.

Five-win trotter Con Grazia Love started in this heat, was nearly 10L away when gate released, improved in the open from about the 600m, there to challenge but wilted on her run final 100m, officially fourth of five.

The winner of $116k already, she won't want to be giving her rivals such a big start on raceday.

Motukarara Workouts Saturday 28th October
Weather Fine Track Good

Zeke (3g Imperial Count – Phoebe Revival)

The McNally trained trotter accounted for his five rivals in style. MR:2:10.1, 800m in 60.0, 400m in 30.0

Connections have been patient as he qualified 10 months ago and it should be noted that his dam won 9 !

Sweet Raine (2f Sweet Lou – Black Raine)

Trained by Leo O’Reilly and not yet qualified but made the trip north all the worthwhile with a professional performance in doing best over 3 rivals in the ‘learners’ pace MR:2:15.7, 800m in 60.0, 400m in 29.0

Her dam won one from only three starts and herself is a daughter of the well credentialed Rona Lorraine so this filly has some pedigree to live up to.

Pukekohe Workouts Saturday 28th October
Weather Fine Track fast

Hail Lucius 4g Sportswriter – Wicklow Heather

The Poutama trained winner of five (from 27 starts & $53k) settled last of five, improved in the open starting last lap, surged to lead 400m and kept up strong run to just hold out Lincoln River who tracked winner into the race. MR:2:03.0, 800m in 56.8, 400m in 26.9

He didn’t flatter back on the 19th October which was his first run back at the races since May but has obviously improved since then.

Frankie Major (3c Art Major – Delight Me)

The Ray Green runner in the hands of Zac Butcher led on a sedate pace then sprinted sharply to keep his 2 rivals at bay. MR:2:08.3, 800m in 57.9, 400m in 27.6

Simply Sam started 30m behind and trailed third of three throughout, ran on nicely in behind. Jethro Bodine trailed and was not asked for a serious effort in run home, less than 2L from winner.

Cupid’s Arrow (2c Sweet Lou – Walk Of Fame)

For the second week in a row, this colt caught the eye, settled in rear then 3 back on outer, swept up wide around final turn and ran home strongly to be 1L from winner Major Jay who led throughout then sprinted sharply. MR:2:05.4, 800m in 60.1, 400m in 29.1

Zac Butcher looks to have a promising maiden on his hands here.

Winton Workouts Friday 20th October
Weather Overcast Track Good

Wild Bull (2c Raging Bull – Bay Jet)

In the hands of trainer Lauren Pearson, the colt went straight to the front, skipped away around final turn and easily held rivals, officially by 2L. MR:2:05.7, 800m in 60.2, 400m in 28.7

He is a full brother to the very smart Wildwest who after winning on debut, was sold for big money to Perth where he has won another 13 races and over $500k in stakes.

Always Ticking (2f Always B Miki – Happy Ticker)

The Leonard Memorial winner at Group 3 level trailed before electing to pop out and take over a lap out, not extended in the straight to keep her three rivals out. MR:2:05.5, 800m in 60.5, 400m in 29.5.

Three raceday starts for one win and two seconds (behind unbeaten Flying Ellie) suggest she is a quality filly and not to be underestimated wherever she goes in November.

Rangiora Trials Wednesday 25th October
Weather Fine / Track Fast

Play It Cool (2g Bettor’s Delight – Cool Sandy)

The Boyd trained runner in the hands of Blair Orange was indeed playing it cool, sat last of five until the final 400m, came wide on last bend and kept coming strongly to just miss picking up Rock Me Lou who raced one spot in front and who also finished with intent. MR:2:02.7, 800m in 59.2, 400m in 29.1

Both got their qualifying tickets and their respective runs were full of merit.

Create Time (3g Creatine - Delestic)

Trainer Ken Barron owns this filly and she has been identified previously in this forum. Went straight to the front on this occasion and came clear of three rivals in straight, officially by 6L MR:2:08.9, 800m in 61.3, 400m in 30.3.

She goes to Kaikoura this Monday for her debut and a strong effort is expected

Lewey Maguire (3g Sweet Lou – Miranda Maguire)

The Telfer trained runner looked promising from his first three starts (442) but since then quarter cracks have been an issue and he has been off the scene since early May. Now he’s back and in this heat, he trailed third before improving at the 500m to challenge pacemaker Inspired, kept coming under his own steam for a close up second to that runner MR:2:02.8, 800m in 57.8, 400m in 28.7

The rest were 5L away. He is a nice maiden going forward.

Dare Devil (3g Sweet Lou – Bishop’s Blessing)

Formerly with the Mark/Nathan Purdon barn but now with Hayden Cullen, he wasn’t afraid to sit parked much of the way, eyeballed leader at the 400m then came clear by 4 1/2L in the straight. MR:2:07.0, 800m in 59.2, 400m in 27.6

He has won one from six starts but hasn’t started since late April. Sure to come on with the run and his group of high profile owners will be buoyed by this effort.

Manhattan (5m Bettor’s Delight – Wat A Woman)

A quality mare at the best of times, the Butt trained runner led and proved too good in the best sectionals of the day MR:1:58.6, 800m in 56.8, 400m in 28.4.

Those times made some runs in behind even more meritorious.

Smart 2yo Le Major raced in midfield and didn’t get serious until the 200m, ran home strongly for third and he seems well on track for his Sires Stakes final on Cup day. Anything Goes was adrift of the gate at the start and was some 15L from the winner with 500m to run, steamed home last 200m for 4th (8L from winner), his last 800m sectionals would have been extra smart.

Elizabeth Hill (3f What The Hill – Iwi Alex)

The Telfer runner is another to have been mentioned in this forum previously, stepped ok from (1) and trailed third before improving to lead midrace, was pressured by Delson (20m) at the 700m and was going to trail until the latter went off stride, back in front and had no trouble extending to 4 1/2L at the line. MR:2:11.5, 800m in 60.7, 400m in 30.8

Definitely 1 to follow when she steps out at the races

Delson lost several lengths at the 700m but recovered to come back strongly in the straight for second. Now trained by Dave Iremonger.

Ohoka Connor (3g Sunshine Beach – Idolise)

The Telfer runner was tardy from the stand over the first 100m and settled well back, some 10L off the leader Itsamoneymaker, improved to sit parked at the 900m, challenged in straight and had too much class for rivals. Driver Tim Williams didn’t move in the cart. MR:2:05.3, 800m in 57.0, 400m in 27.7.

6 wins from 6 starts but do we really know how good this bloke is? He could be one of the stars of the cup carnival.

Marlborough Trials Sunday 22nd October

Weather Overcast Track Fast

Fredastaire (2g Ultimate Machete – Brucelle)

The Alan Shutkowski runner had no trouble in accounting for one rival by 3 1/2L in a respectable MR:2:06.3, 800m in 58.9, hence qualifying

This small stable does a good job and his dam is a half to the well performed Il Campione who won nine in NZ before getting exported to America and running 1:53

Likely to be seen ‘on the circuit’ later in the year.

Geraldine Trials Saturday 21st October

Weather Fine Track Good (Grass)

Ballygar (4h Gold Ace – Toni Hanover)

From the Johnny Morrison barn, qualified this day by clearing out from his rivals, officially by 6L MR:2:09.7, 800m in 59.0, 400m in 28.8

His young trainer not waiting any longer and makes his debut this week at Methven (also on the grass). Lets remember that the stable won with a debutante last week that no one knew much about but it still started favourite on the day and ‘got the chocolates’

Jimmyray (6g American Ideal – Shining Eyes)

Another Morrison runner who has won three from just 14 starts, comfortable over his four rivals here by 2L MR:2:15.0, 800m in 61.1, 400m in 27.4

Hasn’t raced since last start third back in late May but was competitive last campaign against the likes of Beach Ball and Donmaro, stable to be respected and looks talented enough to reward the faithful.

The Mantis (2g Sportswriter – Redbackjars)

Caught our eye recently by way of its ‘solo’ qualifying effort at Blenheim.

This day it came all the way down to Geraldine to do the business and scored with something in hand MR:2:12.6, 800m in 61.0, 400m in 28.8

Paste away with interest as definitely one to follow when it gets to the races

Pukekohe Workouts Friday 20th October
Weather Fine Track fast

Mantra Blue (3f Sweet Lou – Kamwood Blue Chip)

The unbeaten filly driven by trainer Zac Butcher led for fun and kept going strongly to just hold out Kahlua Flybye (trailed 3rd of 4), with the winner looking to have plenty in reserve. MR:2:02.2., 800m in 56.2, 400m in 27.4

She now heads south to lock horns with the unbeaten Millwood Nike and that clash should be well worth the watch. Kahlua Flybye put plenty of dash into her finish and is a quality filly at her best.

Lord Popinjay (7g Majestic Son – Petite Sunshine)

In the hands of new trainer Matty White, the one-win trotter got a head start over his three rivals and kept going strongly to win impressively. 11 win All Cashed Up (off 50m and 4th of 4 in running) could only get to 4 1/2L of winner. MR:2:11.8, 800m in 60.1, 400m in 28.7

Of real interest is that this fella has not raced since April of 2022 and has had only 13 starts lifetime. One assumes he has had some ‘soundness’ issues but someone obviously thinks he is worth persevering with.

Cupid’s Arrow (2c Sweet Lou – Walk Of Fame)

Another in the Zac Butcher barn who qualified back in April, settled midfield of five, eyecatching run through the middle last 150m to get within a 1/2L of the winner Medina Magic who trailed. MR:2:03.1, 800m in 57.9, 400m in 27.6

The effort suggested more to come when getting to raceday.

Lou Baby (3g Sweet Lou – Mach’s Excuse)

The Reid trained runner trailed 3rd of three throughout, came wide on final turn to gather up two rivals with big finish down outer. MR:2:02.3, 800m in 57.7, 400m in 27.2

Took on Jolimont and co last time but had an excuse (atrial fibrillation). Has already won 2 (from 13 starts) and raced timed in 1:55 so definitely a horse with a future.

My Way (2c Art Major – Partyon)

Plenty of breeding here with the Herlihy runner, settled last of five and still there around final turn, brought to the outside and finished strongly late to dispute placings MR:2:03.3, 800m in 59.3, 400m in 27.9

Debuted behind the promising Duchess Megxit and looks a natural improver and one to follow in the coming weeks

Back In The Black won the heat for Matty White after working into the 1x1 last lap and finishing best, nice effort.

Old Town Road (5g Bettor’s Delight – Lucy’s Way)

On the ‘road’ to Addington and after electing to miss Ashburton, the Dickie trained runner, with the aid of a galloping pacemaker, did what was asked of him in this solo trial sprinting up sharply inside the last lap MR:2:05.5, 800m in 57.4, 400m in 27.6

All systems seem ‘good to go’ for his South Island jaunt

Winton Workouts Friday 20th October
Weather Overcast Track Good

Sidorova (2f Always B Miki – Isinbayeva)

The Brett Gray trained filly raced in midfield before improving sharply to lead at the 600m, kept going strongly to win well. MR:2:04.7, 800m in 57.7, 400m in 28.7

Qualified behind the highly touted Dawson recently and that’s a good guide to her future prospects. Hydeeho caught the eye late coming on from last at the turn for a third placing.

Tycoon Banner (2g Art Major – Corporate Banner)

Another from the Gray barn and notably a half to NZ Cup winner Mainland Banner and Titan Banner (16 wins), led over last lap, showed a touch of class in staying ahead of rivals. MR:2:04.8, 800m in 57.7, 400m in 28.6

‘Family ties’ to take notice of for sure, debut keenly awaited.

Forever Arden (4g Always B Miki – Young Tegan)

The Adams-trained runner led and was clear most of the way, really cleared out from the 800m, the official margin 14L. MR:2:00.8, 800m in 59.6, 400m in 31.1

Only qualified last month, obviously has had setbacks previously. Comes from a good family who has left its share of winners in the deep south.

Fernleigh Blackbird (4m He’s Watching – New Avenue)

Trainer Kirsten Green had the mare back in midfield, worked closer home turn, didn’t pull out until very late, rushed home out wide for second. MR:2:01.7, 800m in 57.7, 400m in 28.7

Already the winner of three races and some $43 in stakes, this run suggested she would be worth following in the coming starts.

Hijack (3g Courage Under Fire – Juniper Bromac)

Just a ‘learner’s pace’ for trainer Chelsea Faithful but did catch the eye after racing back beyond midfield, worked closer 400m, came wide on turn to take issue, over the top of rivals last 100m to win well. MR:2:07.7, 800m in 58.0, 400m in 28.4

Would just about be one of the last of his sire’s progeny, his sectionals suggest more to come so paste away.

Wyndham Workouts Saturday 21sth October
Weather Fine Track Easy

Lydah Valley (2f Sweet Lou – Extreme Force).

This was an unqualified pace for the Stratford trained filly, sat last of five and was still there turning in, caught the eye running on late for fourth. MR:2:08.1, 800m in 59.3, 400m in 29.6

Half to Gayle Force who won four of 12 before being exported across Tasman

Interestingly, her dam raced/qualified in both gaits.

Robyn’s Hustler (3g Shadow Play – Robyn Maree)

Straight to the front then cleared out from the 800m, way too good.
MR:2:04.6, 800m in 59.5, 400m in 29.5

A half to Robyn’s Playboy (14 wins) and Robyn’s Bad Boy (8 NZ wins) for the same stable so just might have inherited some of the family ability

Louie’s Girl (2f Lord Forbes – One Bad Dream) ran on strongly for 2nd although no chance with the winner. Her connections thought enough of her earlier in the year to line up against Vessem in the southern 2yo races.

Vanessa Marie (3f Vincent – Meglea)

Raced fourth of five for trainer Robin Swain and ran on nicely for third under her own steam. MR:2:07.9, 800m in 60.7, 400m in 29.8

Qualified back in January and only raceday start back in March where she was a handy fifth, worth a 2nd glance in the coming weeks

He’s A Meister (4g He’s Watching – Lite Jagermeister)

The Green-trained winner of three trailed two and three deep then elected to improve and sit parked last 800m, too good for his 5 rivals over concluding stages. R:2:03.8, 800m in 58.1, 400m in 29.4

21st October Cambridge Workouts Saturday
Weather Fine Track Fast

Mickey Wade (2c Always B Miki – Rariza)

Trainer Sean McCaffrey had his charge soon in front in this ‘learner’s pace’, always going well, too strong for the 2 rivals in the straight. MR:2:08.2, 800m in 59.5, 400m in 28.2

His dam won three from only 10 raceday starts.

Kings Watch (4g He’s Watching – Monaro)

This Mitchell trained runner, a half to Last Tango In Heaven (6 wins) and Walkinshaw (6 wins), was handy enough throughout, swept up on final turn and had little trouble coming clear over the final stages. MR:2:02.4, MR:60.2, 400m in 28.6

Qualified nearly 12 months ago so obviously it hasn’t all been plain sailing but did look the part here when it mattered. Dam won 7!

KD Creation (3f Creatine – Kazzle Dazzle)

Trainer Nicky Chilcott had the filly away nicely to lead over two rivals and was always going kindly, too good over final stages. MR:2:13.7, 800m in 61.1, 400m in 29.8

Mistakes have been costly in her two raceday starts so the formline looks a tad ordinary but she was very solid in this effort. Dam won five and had another 24 placings winning just over $50k

Progeny of the sire doing a very nice job.

Chertsey Trials Wednesday 18th October
Weather Fine / Track Good

Sheila Laxon (2f Muscle Mass - Ethereal)

The White trained runner got her qualifying ticket this day, trailed third of three mostly, left chasing the leader on the home turn after trail horse made a mistake, made up 5L in final stages to get within a nose of the winner, making ground in good style. MR:2:04.3, 800m in 61.5, 400m in 30.9

Ethereal is a half to open class trotter Sheemon and Hot Vacation and their dam is the well performed Solar Fire (14 wins and $214k in stakes) so ‘Sheila’ has indeed some breeding to live up to.

Bubble Me (2f Downbytheseaside – Agree With Me)

The Mark Jones trained filly trailed third of three then copped a check on the final turn when the trail horse went off stride, recovered to finish too well for the pacemaker in the final 150m. MR:1:59.8, 800m in 57.4, 400m in 28.9

As her name suggests, she is from the highly successful ‘Me’ family and her second dam is the highly credentialed Scuse Me. One to paste away.

Rock Or Bust (2g Rocknroll Hanover – Don’t U Wantme Baby)

A $70k purchase from the yearling sales, the Telfer trained runner trailed, pulled out at the 400m and kept going strongly in a professional manner to win without being unduly pushed to get his qualifying ticket. MR:2:02.4, 800m in 57.0, 400m in 27.1

Stablemate of the winner Cocktails And Caviar (2g Bettor’s Delight – Alta Leonie) also got his ticket albeit after running greenly in the straight. Back in the running, he made nice ground despite the greenness. His dam won 6 !

Mainbocher (4g Father Patrick - Merihill)

The Todd trained maiden trotter ran on very well from back in the running to get within a half a lengthL of the winner. MR:2:05.3, 800m in 60.4, 400m in 29.3

Thereabouts in his four starts so far, this effort suggested that he is coming to terms with what it takes to be a racehorse.

His dam traces directly back to top trotter Merinai and another very good open class trotter in Roscoe (13 wins) so a maiden win should be within his capabilities

Didjaseemiki (2f Always B Miki – Imprint)

The Howe trained filly has been mentioned in this forum previously, raced last of six and must have been some 12L from the pacemaker at the 600m, wide final turn, came on too well to win impressively MR:2:04.6, 800m in 57.0, 400m in 28.3

She qualified at the beginning of this month when impressing behind the talented Personality Pete who has since gone on to finish second on debut.

Shouldn’t be underestimated if her connections choose to press on with this prep.

Closely related to Ohoka Connor

The Falcon (5g Bettor’s Delight – Tandias Bromac)

The Geoff Dunn trained winner of seven settled midfield before improving midrace to take control, kept going strongly to win well. MR:2:03.0, 800m in 56.8, 400m in 26.9

There were some good runs in behind the winner. Franco Messi led then trailed, never saw daylight and went hard held to the line. Borisokane raced in the rear before securing 1x1 cover last 500m, didn’t pull out in the straight. He struggled when thrown into the deep end with the best of his age but is better than his form would suggest.

Maxwell Edison (3g Majestic Son – Lucy Again)

Another to be mentioned previously, raced back in small field and was still well back starting last 150m, sprouted wings late wide out to swamp rivals. MR:2:07.7, 800m in 58.7, 400m in 28.8

Last start third and this run suggestive that those loyal to the ‘camp’ might be about to be rewarded, stick with him for now.

Create Time (3g Creatine – Delestic)

The Ken Barron trained trotter got his ticket after many of his rivals ‘lost the plot’ during the running, gradually improved to trail 1200m and kept his game together to win nicely. MR:2:09.7, 800m in 58.2, 400m in 28.0

By a sire whose stock are kicking goals and worthy of a second look when making that debut.

Ohoka Connor (3g Sunshine Beach – Idolise)

Unbeaten from only six raceday starts, the Telfer trained 3yo stepped nicely to lead, kept going strongly to hold out a game Manhatten (9 wins + $197K). MR:2:05.0, 800m in 55.9, 400m in 26.2

The latter trailed third of three and pushed strongly over the final stages to just miss heading off the pacemaker. Both will be sighted at Addington in premier racing next month and it will be very interesting to see how Ohoka Connor in particular, matches up to the best of his age group.

Manhatten has already proven herself against the best mares in the land.

Amaretto Franco (3f Terror To Love – Aziza)

The McRae trained runner raced fourth of five and was seen making solid ground over the final stages to dispute the finish. MR:2:03.9, 800m in 56.5, 400m in 27.6

The run was even more noteworthy considering the fast closing sectionals of the heat. She has one win from only five starts and the high strike rate stable should have her placed to advantage in the coming weeks

Pukekohe Workouts Friday 13th October

Weather Fine Track fast
Perun (3g Betting Line - Bianca)

Driven by his trainer Brent Mangos, Perun led from the outside gate and kept going too well for rivals MR:2:05.2, 800m in 57.9, 400m in 28.3

Penny Black (3f Sweet Lou – Tessa Rocks) trailed then was denied racing room on straightening, poked through late and did look a tad unlucky in second. The Jeremy Young trained filly does have some breeding behind her and was a very good 3rd behind Mantra Blue at only her 2nd start where she rated a 1:57 MR. Easily good enough to win a maiden.

That’s What We Do (4g Love You – Great Getaway))

The Dickie trained winner of four (from just 12 starts) started off 20m and settled fourth of four before getting a drag into the race by American Muscle, outfinished that runner final 50m without being pushed, MR2:07.6, 800m in 58.2, 400m in 28.2.

American Muscle (4g Muscle Mass – Liberty City) also the winner of four trailed third before improving 600m out to sit parked, kept going strongly to be equally as impressive as winner.

Pacemaker Bangkok Betty led and gave plenty of cheek at the business end, also the winner of four. The winner did give these runners a 20m start.

Nelson’s Boy (7g Washington VC – Pennys A Flyin)

The Wallis/Hackett trained runner trailed third before enjoying 1x1 cover over the last lap, finished best in straight MR:2:01.5, 800m in 57.0, 400m in 28.2.

There were good runs in behind from Romeo Shard (came from three deep) and Frankie Major who poked between runners late, coming from last of 6 and he in particular looked to have more in the tank.

Better Knuckle Up (2c Bettor’s Delight – Bare Knuckle)

The Purdon/Phelan colt trailed stablemate Escape Artist mostly and did best after challenging strongly on straightening. MR:2:02.9, 56.9, 400m in 27.0

Fourth at his only start, he should prove competitive wherever his astute team place him in the coming weeks

Escape Artist (2c Art Major – American Tart) has had a minor health issue in recent times and goes to Auckland this week to confirm he is good enough to warrant a trip south for the rich Sires Stakes final on cup day. Previously, the stable had rated him as good as Cold Chisel

Next Level (2g Bettor’s Delight – Unforgiving)

This was only a ‘learner’s’ pace but the Reid trained runner moved up to lead at the 800m and proceeded to run away from his rivals over the final stages, official margin 6 1/2L, 800m in 59.3, 400m in 29.0

There is some breeding behind this young fella and the manner of his win suggested that he would be good enough to be a ‘racehorse’

Winton Workouts Friday 13th October
Weather Overcast Track Good

Dawson (2g Sweet Lou – Speights Girl)

The Stratford trained 2yo was again at the forefront of discussions this day as he led then cleared out from his rivals over the final 400m. MR:2:01.2, 800m in 55.7, 400m in 27.0

Sure to be a ‘hottie’ when making his debut in the coming weeks.

Hydeeho (2g Betterthancheddar – Twist N Shout) made ground for a distant third but that was noteworthy considering what the winner did.

He is a ½ to 5 in better than 2 mins so the breeding is on his side.

Miraculous (2g Bettors Delight – Kelly Maguire)

The Nathan Williamson trained runner has been mentioned in this forum before and is still unqualified at this time but it didn’t stop him working to the front and running clear of his three rivals in the final stages. MR:2:05.4, 800m in 58.8, 400m in 27.1

Certainly one to paste away when that debut comes around.

Always Ticking (2f Always B Miki – Happy Ticker)

The Brett Gray trained winner of the time honoured Leonard Memorial at Group 3 level earlier in the season trailed third (of 3) and finished strongly to place second but found stablemate Connie Jaccka (trailed) too good over the final 100m. MR: 2:06.2, 800m in 59.3, 400m in 27.9.

She will have benefited from the run and has some big assignments coming up in the Canterbury area

Wyndham Workouts Saturday 14th October
Weather Showery Track Fast

Da Vinci (3g Art Major – Rockin Cullen).

The Ferguson trained runner was back again and showed his class by leading then clearing out from his rivals. MR:2:02.6, 800m in 55.4, 26.9

Ready to make a statement when he resumes and we all know how well stablemate Wagstar has been going in quality Canterbury fields, not to be underestimated wherever he lines up.

Smokin Bandar (7g Monkey Bones – The Fiery Filly)

Back from an Australian campaign (three starts) that didn’t go as well as hoped for, the 10 win trotter started against the maiden pacers here, quickly made the lead and on his best behaviour, kept going to win nicely by 2L, MR:2:03.2, 800m in 56.2, 27.6

Looks ready to make the trip north to Addington in November and good enough to upset some of the favourites in the big races

Rangiora Trials Wednesday 11th October
Weather Fine / Track Good

Smoke On The Water (3g Art Major – Left In The Dark)

The Purvis trained runner, in the hands of the trainer, sat midfield before working into the 1x1 1000m from home swept up around the final turn to quickly establish his superiority. MR: 2:03.3, 800m in 56.9, 400m 28.5.

Big runs from the Dalgety trained pair Franco Sinatra and Ohoka Le Bron who were content to sit at the back of the field mostly and were giving the winner a start beginning the last 800m. Franco Sinatra (2nd place) in particular dashed home very late to get up a 1/2L from the Purvis runner.

Aardiebytheseaside (3f Downbytheseaside - Divine)

The Telfer trained filly, already the winner of six and over a $102k in stakes, settled last of six, from 30m, stayed there until tracking up co-backmarker Donmaro (7 wins) inside the final 800m, ducked to the inside on straightening to get within a neck of the latter. MR:2:07.1, 800m in 56.9, 400m in 28.8

These two had nearly 10L back to their rivals and their class shown through over the final stages.

Of note, the one-win Louie (from only four starts) ran on from last for trainer Mark Smolenski albeit in a gap for fourth but back in his own racing grade, one might give him more than a second glance.

Head Em Up (2g Waterloo Sunset – Eva Longoria)

The Nairn trained 2yo, a regular mention in this forum, reminded punters again what a natural talent he is by pressing on to lead soon after the gate pulled away and then ran away from his opposition in the straight. The official margin was 13L. MR:2:04.4, 800m in 61.1, 400m in 30.5

His manners were perfect on this day and if he replicates that on race day, then he should be a winner sooner than later.

A Fine Patrick, another to be highlighted previously, made a mistake after 400m and settled a long way off the pacemaker/winner, was close to 20L away at the 800m and put in an eyecatching run to beat the stragglers, finishing third. His final sectionals would have easily match the winner.

Elizabeth Hill (3f What The Hill – Iwi Alex)

The Telfer trained runner stepped beautifully to lead and kept going strongly to keep her rivals at bay. MR 2:09.9, 800m in 59.8, 400m in 30.7.

A winner on debut back in April and the veteran of only two starts, the filly has a lot of breeding to live up to. Her dam won 10 on the way to winning $107k and her second dam Elizabeth Bay was an open class trotter winning eight and competed at Group 1 level. The trainers should be able to place her to advantage in the coming weeks.

Confessional settled last off his 20m handicap and while working closer inside the final 400m, was only pulled out late and allowed to run home under his own steam for a closing 3rd

Marlborough Trials Saturday 7th October
Weather Fine Track Fast

The Mantis (2g Sportswriter – Redback Jars)

The Thomas trained runner qualified on this day and what was impressive was the way in which he dispatched his two rivals by 4L over the concluding stages. MR:2:05, 800m in 57.3, 400 NA.

Obviously raceday is quite different but the final 800m suggested that there is a ‘motor there’ and one to paste away especially if wrapped up until the summer meetings at Nelson and Blenheim.

Cambridge Trials Thursday 12th October
Weather Overcast Track Good.

Dear God (2f Betterthancheddar – God Forbid)

The Marshall trained filly began well but then was restrained to trail her two rivals in a qualifying heat, came wide on the final turn to challenge, raced greenly before balancing up the last 100m to get up over the top of the pacemaker. Times not available at time of writing.

God Forbid won 12 here and $111k before taking a time of 1:50 in America. Dear God is her second foal and she is a half to God Dam

Pukekohe Workouts Saturday 7th October
Weather Showery Track fast

Merlin (3c Art Major – Imaginary Bet)

In his final hit out before heading south, the class 3yo trailed stablemate Sooner The Bettor (who trailed the galloping pacemaker), both popped out at the 400m, Merlin widest of all, and the two Purdon/Phelan runners could not be separated at the line, MR:2:02.9, 800m in 57.8, 400m in 27.1

This heat was run the Addington way of going.

Cambridge Workouts Saturday 7th October
Weather Overcast Track Fast

Le Major (2g Art Major – Le Girl)

Talking of those going to Addington for the big money, the Donnelly trained 2yo has been a ‘big mover’ in the last month and he had little trouble outfinishing stablemate Mr President in a MR:2:03, 800m in 57.1, 400m in 27.4 in what was just a ‘quiet run’ to keep him ticking over.

He looms as a ‘major’ player in the 2yo specials coming up.

Wyndham Workouts Saturday 7th October
Weather Fine Track Fast

Dawson (2g Sweet Lou – Speights Girl)

The Stratford trained 2yo trailed throughout then got the better of the pacemaker in the last 100m. The half brother to Bubbled Up was a $35k purchase by astute trainer Graeme Anderson at the 2022 Auckland yearling sale with his ‘liking’ of the stock of Sweet Lou well known.

He has gathered some high profile ‘mates’ to join him in the ownership and on this day, they saw their charge rush home in 56.2, 400m in 27.5 in an unqualified pace. The track spies would have put him straight into the black book.

Da Vinci (3g Art Major – Rockin Cullen)

The Ferguson trained runner (winner of 4 from just 11 starts / 3 as a 2yo) strutted his stuff in impressive fashion running his last 800m in 57.2, 400m in 27.3 to outfinish Flying Ellie by 3/4L

He has always been highly regarded by his connections and throughout his career he has been pitted against quality opposition.

He won’t be afraid to come to Addington and we all saw what Wagstar did to the opposition last week

Flying Ellie heads to Addington this week for the 2yo fillies Harness Million race for those sold through the yearling sales and is yet to taste defeat on raceday.

Manawatu trials Thursday 5th October
Weather Fine Track Fast

Stealer’s Wheel (2g A Rocknroll Dance – Miss Sunshine)

The Doug Gale trained 2yo qualified this day all by himself MR:2:02.8, 800m in 59.9, 400m in 29.2

Noteworthy because of the solo effort, he is also a half brother to four in better than 1:55, the best being Mattgregor who won 18 in Australia, won $190k and took a time of 1:50.6. This is a family developed over a long period of time by Graham Pearson (of Under Cover Lover fame) and is the immediate family of present day ‘superstar’ Millwood Nike

North Otago trials Wednesday 4th October
Weather Fine Track Good

Huzuni (3f A Rocknroll Dance – VC Windermere)

The Matty Williamson trained runner impressed clearing out from her two rivals winning by 3L, MR:2:01.0, 800m in 58.8 (time honours for the day)

Former Central Otago trainer Geoff Knight has a share in the half sister to Mufasa (10 wins mainly in Queensland) and her dam won 4.

Huzuni qualified back in May and has been given time to strengthen up and that patience could be rewarded sooner than later.

Winton Workouts Thursday 5th October
Weather Overcast Track Good

Mach’s Back (9g Mach Three – Dream Angel).

The Forbes trained 9yo boomed to the front from the outside of seven and kept going too well to hold his rivals at bay MR:2:03.2, 800m in 56.5, 400m in 27.8.

The winner of nine and nearly $100k was not disgraced when fourth last time behind the promising Captain Tom and he would seem to be on a ‘cushy’ rating (R55) in the deep south. He might think he is only 5 years old !

Montage (3g A Rocknroll Dance – Shamrocks)

The Hunter trained runner went to the front and spent most of the heat out on his own by 5-8 lengths from his 4 rivals, looked home until Craigsyde (who ran 2nd throughout) nabbed him via the passing lane in the last 30m. MR:2:03.3, 800m in 58.4, 400m in 28.4

Interestingly, he qualified way back in January but he has real size about him and the connections have obviously been patient. Still a work in progress but one to paste away.

Now that many of the very best horses are coming out to play we are regularly updating what's happening at the trials right around the country. Here's the latest installment.

Invercargill Workouts Friday 29th September
Weather Showery Track Easy

Miki Knows (4g Always B Miki – Who Knows)

The Douglas trained winner of three (from only 9 starts) raced third of four in indian file mostly but was back to last at the 400m peg when ‘tailender’ Joe’s Rock improved to challenge pacemaker Raklou (2yo filly), came stylishly down outer to grab those two runners but less than 1L covering the four horse field and all runners looked to have something in hand. MR:2:02.8, 800m in 58.4, 400m in 29.5

Raklou looks on target to come north to Addington for the Sires Stakes heat this coming week

Miraculous (2g Bettor’s Delight – Kelly Maguire)

The as yet unqualified Nathan Williamson trained, Breckon owned 2yo looked quite ‘green’ leading but was doing his best work over the final 200m in holding out his three rivals by nearly 2L, MR:2:11.2, 800m in 60.8, 400m in 29.3

Buckie Dundee (2c Net Ten Eom – Tact Ruby) paced roughly in the early stages but put in a determined run wide out on final turn to push the winner

Flying Ellie (2f Art Major – Hi Ho Silver Lining)

The unbeaten filly (two wins from two starts) trained by Nathan Williamson missed the start (mobile) by 5L, recovered to attach herself to the five horse trial in indian file, ran on under her own steam in the straight to finish officially 4th. MR:2:07.6, 800m in 60.3, 400m in 28.7.

The weather was particularly bad for this heat and her sectionals would have been at least the equal of the winner Takeitout.
‘Ellie’ is well staked for the upcoming 2yo filly specials.

Pukekohe Workouts Friday 29th September
Weather Showery Track fast

Merlin (3c Art Major – Imaginary Bet)

The class 3yo trained by the Purdon/Phelan partnership sat third in the three horse trial then exploded around the 400m and literally ‘zoomed’ up to take control over the final stages for Zac Butcher.

While obviously not race day, observers had to be impressed with his work MR: 2:03.5, 800m in 57.2, 400m in 28.3

Whispering Artist (4m Art Major – Serena’s Whisper)

The Hughes trained winner of six (from only 11 starts) led her two rivals from the stand (Old Town Road raced third of three from 10m behind) and when that rival attacked inside the final 400m, kept up a strong run to be only a head away in the hands of Tony Herlihy. MR:2:07.4, 800m in 56.8, 400m in 27.6

She hasn’t started since May when she strung 4 wins together to end her last campaign. The patient connections should reap reward when asked to compete against her own sex.

Bettor Knuckle Up (2c Bettor’s Delight – Bare Knuckle)

The Purdon/Phelan runner trailed stablemate Duchess Megxit throughout then outfinished that runner as they came away from their three rivals from as far as 800m out. Both impressed in a MR:2:02.5, 800m in 57.5, 400m in 28.3 Bettor Knuckle Up debuted back in April for 4th and looks to have strengthened up during his spell. Mum won 8 & $106K (mostly in Australia) and took a best mile time of 1:51.5. He is her first foal.

Cold Chisel (2c Always B Miki – Shezaball)

In the fastest heat of the day, the Purdon/Phelan 2yo sat last of five in indian file, was still last starting the final 600m before improving through the middle for driver Zac Butcher and was seen doing his best work over the concluding stages without being extended. MR:2:00.4, 800m in 57.6, 400m in 28.6

Given time to get over a tough trip fourth in the Cambridge Sires Stakes heat, he now heads south to Addington to lock horns with the best of his age group and a potential place in the Cup day Sires Stakes final.

Invercargill Trials Friday 29th September
Weather Showery Track Easy

Cochise (3c Father Patrick – Rae Galleon)

The Ferguson trained trotter trotted solidly in front throughout and was far too good, winning by some 9L. It was a qualifying heat but he had got his ‘ticket’ back in the beginning of May.

He has plenty of breeding to suggest he can win races and his 2:10.5 MR would be good enough to be competitive in most maiden trots down south. His debut is keenly awaited from a stable kicking many goals.

Cambridge Trials Thursday 28th September
Weather Overcast Track Good

Its Nae Or Never (2f Art Major – Juice Brogden).

The first foal from Juice Brogden (9 wins + $147k in stakes) was an impressive qualifier trailing two and three deep before letting loose in the home straight to power away from her two rivals, winning by 3L. MR:2:02.2, 800m in 60.8, 400m in 29.5

Trained by Nicky Chilcott, she looks to have inherited some of her dams ability on this effort and would be one to paste away for future reference.

The Addington Trials Wed 27th September
Weather Raining and cold and windy / Track Easy

Patani (2c Father Patrick - Sagan)

The Hope trained 2yo trotter trailed before improving to lead 1000m out, extended nicely last 300m and in the end 4 1/2L clear of rivals. MR:2:07.9, 800m in 61.9, 400m in 29.1.

Only the two race day starts so far but did win on debut back in May then struck Wilma’s Boy when a resuming sixth, some 11L from winner. Should be further improved next up and from a stable that does well when placing its trotters.

Ohara (3f Always B Miki – Paula’s On Fire )

The Howe trained filly trailed before popping out at the 400m to challenge in her qualifying heat run in trying conditions, too good for her two rivals in the straight, winning by 4L, MR:2:03.9, 800m in 62.5, 400m in 30.6.

This filly comes from the immediate family of Hot N Treacherous and The Orange Agent so has a few things going for a potential race career.

A Fine Patrick (2g Father Patrick – Harriet Of Mot)

The Edmonds trained 2yo again showed why he is so highly regarded by his connections while the time did not set any records.

Driver John Dunn bided his time back in the field before launching wide out on final bend, picked up his rivals with ease over the final stages without being extended. MR:2:14.4, 800m in 63.2, 400m in 30.6

Conditions again were not conducive to quick times but he will be at cramped odds when he makes his debut this season

The Quiet Pirate (2g Captaintreacherous – Silence Is Golden)

The Purdon trained 2yo broke briefly when crossing to lead just after the start but came down pacing in the hands of Mark Purdon and kept going to be way too good for his rivals MR:2:05.5, 800m in 60.4, 400m in 28.7.

He was a $60k purchase at the 2022 Auckland Yearling Sales and is from the Auckland Reactor family that Purdon has had considerable success with in the past .... there must be a story behind that name !

We Walk By Faith (2g Bettor’s Delight – Wicked Nights)

Another Purdon trained 2yo with plenty of breeding. He trailed mostly then used the passing lane to win in good style MR:2:03.6, 800m in 60.4, 400m in 28.7

Qualified back in June, owned by the Dunfords who have had much success with their ‘faith’ horses.

Zara Tindall (3f Vincent – Royal Impression)

The Robbie Holmes trained filly boomed off the gate, steadied midrace before coming home sharply, 400m in 27.8 (on an ‘off’ track) to win well

She has placed four times already in just eight raceday starts including a meritorious second to the capable Treacherous Miss back in June, freshened, she should be one to follow in races restricted to Non Winners F&M.

Kawhi (3g Andover Hall – Miss Lovalot)

The Tom Bagrie trained runner is a full brother to the well performed Harold Smith (6 wins) and after 400m led for driver John Dunn, cleared out from the 400m and officially 8L clear of his rivals at the line.

MR:2:04.9, 800m in 59.3, 400m in 29.0

Already the winner of one from 12 raceday starts and good enough to place twice as a 2yo, has not raced since May, but good enough to build upon his record at short notice.

Millwood Nike (3f Captaintreacherous – Alburquerque)

The star Purdon trained filly (14 starts for 14 wins) took time honours on what was quite a miserable day. She settled 4th of seven in indian file, received a nice 1x1 cart into race by a game Sweet Diamond at the 400m, not pushed to get over the top of her rivals, MR:1:59.7, 800m in 57.2, 400m in 27.2.

With a number of her 3yo rivals hardened by recent racing and with the filly specials looming, one imagines that this hit out was much needed and her trainers would have been smiling post race.

Her unbeaten stablemate Vessem (5 starts for 5 wins) set the pace and fought strongly when challenged to just hold second from the above mentioned Sweet Diamond and Celtic Spirit (trail) close up

Piccadilly Pete (2g Sweet Lou – Piccadilly Princess)

The Purvis trained 2yo is yet to qualify but proved too good for his six rivals, winning by a comfortable margin in the hands of his trainer, MR:2:08.7, 800m in 58.9, 400m in 27.8.

His dam, of course, won 17 races and some $760k for the same connections and he is the first live foal from the mare.

Needless to say, he looks to have inherited a fair amount of the family ability.

Ashburton trials Tuesday 26th September
Weather Fine Track Fast

She’s Tough (6m He’s Watching – Cullen’s Mercy)

The Mowbray trained mare started off 20m behind but soon trailed third of five in indian file, out to attack 400m out and kept up strong run to come away from rivals final stages MR:2:06.3, 800m in 56.8, 400m in 26.7

While a natural fast track in good fine conditions, the seven win mare put plenty of dash into her work in the hands of Matty Williamson

Lime In A Bottle (2f Imperial Count – Gina)

The Williamson trained 2yo raced third of four before being set alight by her trainer inside the final 600m, led around final corner, cleared out by 6L at the line

MR:2:12.2, 800m in 58.7, 400m in 28.6

She qualified in early May but has yet to make her raceday debut. She is a half to some handy types including Time In A Bottle (9w and $101k)

The Vixen (3f Always B Miki – Pocket Of Jewels)

High strike rate trainer Laurence Hanrahan produced a handy qualifier in the hands of Rick May, soon led and kept going too well for her rivals, 3 1/2L clear at the line MR:2:06.7, 800m in 58.0, 400m in 28.4

The filly has a bit of breeding behind her and the ‘Miki’ fillies have proven good racehorses, one to watch when the astute trainer elects to take her to the races.

Wyndham Workouts Sunday September 24
Weather Fine Track Fast

Cormac Leo (3g Sweet Lou – Athena Matai)

The Craig Ferguson trained 3yo settled third off five in indian file before improving midrace to take control and kept going strongly to win impressively, last 800m in 55.6, 400m in 27.5

Taken all the way to Addington for his debut where he duly won earlier in the season and then placed fifth in the Group 2 Southern Supremacy at his last start back in April (from only four race day starts), he looks to have come back stronger this time in and will be one to follow in the coming weeks

Pukekohe Workouts Saturday September 23
Weather Overcast Track Good

Chimichurri (4h Bettor’s Delight - Saucycullen)

The Telfer trained entire missed away from the 2500m stand but quickly recovered to assume control after 600m from Bolt For Brilliance (T) who had stepped nicely. Kept up a strong run to hold out Old Town Road. The latter settled last of five then took the short way home inside the final 600m, was giving leader 4L at 400m and got within a neck at the line. Winners last 800m in 58.1, 400m in 27.1

Bolt For Brilliance sprinted sharply from the trail to be a 1/2L away in third and trainer Tony Herlihy would have been super happy with the effort against open class pacers

Yourdoinamazinsweety (2g Sunshine Beach – Alesandra Ambrosio)

The Herlihy trained 2yo raced last of five before improving to sit parked last 800m, fought strongly for his third, less then 1L from winner Lenny Lincoln who trailed then came along inner to just get up. MR:2:04.7, 800m in 59.7, 400m in 27.7

He won a heat of the Young Guns earlier in the season but being a big type he has been given time and should show the benefit from the patient approach once he reappears on raceday

Minjee (2f Bettor’s Delight – Western Confidential)

The Hollis/Robertson filly only had one rival but showed plenty of dash after leading throughout and coming clear by some 5L, running her last 400m in 28.3.Her breeding would suggest she will just get better as she gains further experience. One to paste away.

The McGowan stable produced 3 workout winners who all showed enough to be followed when they resume.

Lucky Mum (2f Father Patrick – Girls On Film)

Already placed behind The Moonstone earlier in the season, she trailed against her two rivals then showed plenty of dash to clear out by 5 1/2L, 800m in 62.7, 400m in 29.3

Castana (3g Quaker Jet – Rosemaryz Luck)

Already the winner of two from nine starts, he trailed last of four before improving to lead 600m out, he cleared out in the straight to win impressively, last 800m in 60.3, 400m in 28.4

Broken Promise (5g Sweet Lou – On A Promise)

Settled third of five in indian file before improving to sit parked inside final lap, kept going strongly to win well, MR:2:05.1, 800m in 57.9, 400m in 28.1. The trainers must have some faith in him as he has raced only 5 times over 2 seasons and now nearly 6yo!

Cambridge Workouts Saturday September 23
Weather Overcast Track Slushy

Diamonds Are Forever (3f Always B Miki – Three Jewels)

The Neal trained filly was good enough to place behind Millwood Nike at Group 1 level earlier in the season.

In this trial she trailed throughout, elected to come out on the home turn and without too much effort finished best over her 3 rivals. MR:2:03.3, 800m in 58.8, 400m in 28.6

She would have have derived much benefit from the outing as she prepares to take on the best 3yo fillies in the coming weeks

The Rangiora Trials Wed September 20
(Weather Fine but windy / Track Fast)

Tinkerbelle (2f What The Hill – Belle Galleon)

The Mark Jones trained half sister to top trotter Stent led and then did enough to hold out Bounce N Beyond with 24L to the rest. MR:2.10, 800m in 60.1, 400m in 28.6.

The latter was good enough to beat Wilma’s Boy in a recent Rangiora trial and that runner came out and won a 2yo trot by 9L at Addington on the 15th September.

Tinkerbelle qualified way back in early March where she dead-heated with High Step, now winning in Australia for her connections at Group level.

All these references add up to her being a major player in the upcoming 2yo specials. Its fair to say that the current crop of 2yo trotters is collectively one of the strongest ever !

Masterly (4g Love You - Brilliant)

Formerly with Paul Nairn (4 wins from 14 starts) but now with part owner Bob Butt, the Love You gelding stepped beautifully and was soon in front then had little trouble holding his rivals at ‘arms length’, MR:2:08.7, 800m in 59.5, 400m in 29.4

Remembering he won the 3yo Sires Stakes championship at Alex Park by nearly 7L at Group 2 level and competed at Group 1 level against the best of his age, this fellow has a touch of class and with another year on him, could be a big mover amongst the Canterbury trotters.

Posh Painter (2f Terror To Love – Hanover Glory)

The Robbie Close trainer filly raced 4th in indian file before improving to lead 600m out and kept giving to win nicely, last 800m in 57.8, 400m in 28.5. The head wind was quite strong down the back at this time and this qualifying effort looked full of merit. The trainer also has a share in this one.

Winton Workouts Thursday 14th September
(Weather Fine Track Fast)

Mallory Maquire (2f Art Major – Miranda Maguire)

Trained by Alister Black, the unqualified filly raced in a learners heat but it was the way she finished that suggested she might have a future when she gets to the races. ‘Mallory’ trailed early but lost her place as a couple of runners went rough in the running, well back starting the last 500m, she came very wide on final turn then collared the leader in the final 50m under her own steam for young driver Riley Black. 800m in 59.6, 400m in 30.3

She is a 3rd foal half sister to a nice maiden in Lewey Maguire (trained by Telfers) and Sonny Maguire now the winner of three in Queensland.

Pukekohe Workouts Friday 14th September
(Weather Showery Track Slushy)

The Surfer (2g Downbytheseaside – Styx On)

Another of the Telfer 2yo fillies Seafield Rose in the hands of Alicia Harrison sped out to lead and kept going too well for her rivals, nearly 3L to the good at the line. 800m in 58.2, 400m in 28.4

The only runner to make any headway over the final 600m was the Donnelly trained The Surfer (3rd) who made up good ground from well back for driver David Butcher. He also qualified back in April where he ran a 2:02MR at Cambridge and has some quality breeding behind him as well.

Wyndham Workouts Saturday 16th September
(Weather Fine Track Fast)

Falcon’s Watch (4g He’s Watching – Touch Of Rose)

The Ross Wilson-trained one race winner trailed three deep mostly before mounting a challenge around the final bend and was able to finish strongly and clear of his rivals at the business end, cutting the 2400 mobile out in a 2:02.8MR, last 800m in 57.2, 400m in 28.8.

Formerly trained by Nicky Chilcott where he was a winner at Alexandra Park, he has been given a good spell and this run suggested he could turn the poor formline around at short notice.



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