Fight For Glory Has Filly Foal (Saturday 4th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart



Quality Art Major mare Fight For Glory has had her first foal - a filly by Bettor's Delight.


The foal was born last week at Ross and Robyn Jones Poppymalda Acres at Branxholmes in Southland. 


"Ross says Fight For Glory is a great mum and both are doing well," said part owner of Fight For Glory Diane Cournane. 



 Fight for Glory and her 12 day old Bettor's Delight filly - Photo Ross Jones.


Cournane raced the filly with Dean Illingworth, Anne Gibbs, Lyn Tucker and John and Gay Tait. 


From thirty three starts she won fourteen races and banked her connections $674,842. Her biggest season was at three when she won four Oaks races across Australasia.


Her biggest wins in New Zealand that season were The New Zealand Yearling Sales Series for Three Year Old Fillies and the New Zealand Oaks over 2600 metres when she beat another Southland bred filly Democrat Party who coincidently is also at Poppymalda Acres. 


Fight For Glory won the 2015 $200,000 Group One New South Wales Oaks in what was then a world record of 2-50.3 for 2400 metres mobile. Other Australian wins included the Group Three Gold Coast Oaks and the Group One Queensland Oaks. She also ran third in the Queensland Derby. 


At the end of that season she was named Australian Three Year Old Filly of the Year. 


Cournane has entered three yearlings in next years sales in Christchurch: a colt by Art Major out of Breath Of Life which is a full brother to Fight For Glory, a lovely black filly by Better's Delight out of  Nitouche Franco which is a half sister to All Star Man and an Art Major filly out the Christian Cullen mare Lady Of The Dawn.


Meanwhile quality trotting mare Poppymalda has been retired.


In a limited career of just twenty five starts she recorded eight wins and banked $58,045 for her owners Barry and Pearl Dent, Nathan Williamson her trainer, and his parents in-law Ross and Robyn Jones.


The Armbro Invasion mare's biggest season was as a four year old when she won four of her ten starts. She ran third in the $100,000 Group One McMillan Feed Four Year Old Diamond at Ashburton that season.


Her connections haven't decided which stallion to send the seven year old mare to this season.



 Poppymalda at home at Poppymalda Acres - Photo Ross Jones



McNally Wins With Machitelli (Tuesday 7th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart 


Mach Three filly Machitelli showed she could be a Southland Oaks filly later in the season when she impressively won on debut at the Riverton Trotting Club's meeting at Ascot Park on Sunday.


The three year old owned by Temuka couple Ivan and Ann Behrnes and trained by close neighbour Brent White was taken straight to the lead from gate one by driver Stephen McNally. He handed up to longshot Evangeline Franco before going round that runner to take the lead again.  


Behrnes and his wife Ann raced Machitelli's third dam Assisi - a Vance Hanover mare which won four of her nineteen starts.


"We wanted to get back into the family. Working with Alabar (Stud) we heard from Graham Henley that Sassi Bella (Presidential Ball - Assisi) was available to buy," Ivan Behrnes said.


They've also recently purchased Big Jim mare Nga Mihi Nui which is out of Sabine who's by Christian Cullen out of Assisi and a full-sister to Roman Gladiator.  


"So we've really invested in the family. We'd like to thank Peter Smith and Winky Foley who gave us the opportunity to buy Nga Mihi Nui who has just returned a positive to Sportswriter." 


All the way through her preparations as a two and three year old there has been a bit of talk around Machitelli's ability. 


"Brent is a neighbour to ours and he's been working her right the way through. He always had a high opinion of her and has a bit going for her. We just took faith because he's a very good judge and educator of a horse. Ann and I took the plunge and thought we might race this one ourselves. We knew she was commercial enough to get up and sell. She could have had a crack as a two year old but Brent sees her more as an end of season three year old in a race like the Southland Oaks if she improves." 



Driver Stephen McNally looking for the competition - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Winning connections - Photo Bruce Stewart. 


Sassi Bella has left three foals - Machitelli, Ranieri (Art Major colt) and Bolzano (Sunshine Beach colt) and is currently in foal to Sportswriter.  


"Machitelli is more like Assisi. The Art Major has an Art Major head but more of the family body while the Sunshine Beach has thrown more to the sire's side. He's got more length and strength about him."


Prior to Sunday's debut Machitelli had had four workouts and three trials. 


"She had a few workouts to get her confidence. She had a few steering issues which has been work in progress. She went to Ashburton and qualified and blasted from eight at the barrier, led and won by two lengths. We saw the ability she had then. She can sustain good pace and has stamina." 


Behrens also manages the Alabar Syndicate which races unbeaten Auckland Reactor colt Chase Auckland, one of the likely favourites for this Tuesday's $170,000 Group One NRM Sires Stakes Final at Addington. 


"One of the guys in the syndicate calls him the excitement machine. There are trainers, people in their eighties and some very experienced horse people and to see the joy he brings is amazing. Press the accelerator and he just goes. He's not a grinding type of horse. He's just getting better and better and Natalie is still teaching him how to race." 


Later in the programme White won with Xmas Joyella which was reined by junior driver Mikayla Lewis. 



Mikayla Lewis and Xmas Joyella beating Eagle Galleon (11) by a length and a quarter - Photo Bruce Stewart 









Maverick Rounds Up Stable-mate (Tuesday 7th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


"I thought the other horse had won actually. Blair told me he'd got me," said trainer driver Nigel McGrath after backmarker Maverick beat stablemate My Wee Man in the Sir Lincoln at Alabar Riverton Trotting Cup at Ascot Park on Sunday.


The winning margin was a nose.


"He (Blair Orange) goes round more than me so I thought he must be right."


The six year old Bettor's Delight gelding which is part-owned by McGrath with Ken and Ann-Marie Spicer has now won nine races.


"He's had a Methven Workout and he's been to the beach a few times and he's started to work really good in the last few weeks. I thought 35 (metres) might be a bit tough today." 



Backmarker Maverick beating stablemate My Wee Man by a nose - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Returning to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart 


He now carries a rating of 102 and McGrath says it'll be very hard to place Maverick in races that he's competitive in.


"Very hard. He's not very far away from being retired. He'll go away and a be a hack. He's a lovely quiet horse."


McGrath has had the gelding since he was a late three year old. He won one race for David and Catherine Butt.


He's out of the nineteen win Holmes Hanover mare Kate's First whose wins include the 1997 Auckland Cup. 


The win on Sunday was McGraths 500th. His first was Lasting Vance at Westport in December 1999. 


Meanwhile quality colt Franco Santino won the SBS Bank Nugget Final holding off a late charging Lawrence to win by a length.


He's owned by Riverton fisherman Neville Cleaver. As part of the Riverton Trotting Clubs Owner For The Day promotion the horse was also 'gifted' to Monique and Christian Harvey.



Franco Santino beating Lawrence (5) - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Oliver Kite, Franco Santino, Neville Cleaver and Monique and Christian Harvey -  Photo Bruce Stewart. 






Shane and Jane Show (Tuesday 7th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


Hurricane Banner provided Gore trainer Shane Matheson and stable helper Jane Orr with a big thrill on Sunday when he easily won the Ryder Plumbing and Roofing Mobile Pace by three and a quarter lengths in the hands of Brad Williamson.


Orr, who is married to Northern Southland trotting identity Noddy Orr, has rekindled her love of horses by helping Matheson out in his stables. 


"I had a lovely standardbred when I was a teenager called Patanga Park but it wasn't until I got involved with Noddy that I got involved again," she said.


The five year old by Real Desire started his career with Gavin Smith before stints with Nathan Williamson and Ray Faithful. Matheson has had him since July this year. 


"He's paddock trained. He loves the life in Northern Southland and is happy out on the grass. He loves tearing around the paddock after he's done his training."


Hurricane Banner is raced by the Bluff Bowling Club Syndicate which includes Noddy Orr.


Hurrican Banner winning 950 x 280_1.jpg  

Hurricane Banner and Brad Williamson clear out - Photo Bruce Stewart. 


Meanwhile young junior driver Chelsea Faithful won her third race as a driver when Maidonthebeach got up to beat Ellnbac by three quarters of a length in the junior drivers race at Ascot Park on Sunday.


"At her first run she needed a bit of a blow out. In her second run she ran on well and at home she's been working better than ever so we were reasonably confident," said Faithful.


Maidonthebeach was positioned nicely by Faithful in the outside running line. At the top of the straight the pair had collared leader Foo Fighter and had to ward off a late challenge from Ellnbac who came up the passing lane. 


"She was getting a bit woobly with about 70 metres to run. I was hoping she'd keep going and I was hoping I didn't go over the ten (whips). The whole one eye thing (Maidonthebeach only has one eye) probably doesn't help."


Faithful says like her dam Nursemaid, Maidonthebeach is getting better with age.


"She's better this season than she was last season." 


The royally bred mare by Somebeachsomewhere is raced by Graham and Jill Cooney, Vin Nally and the Centaurus Syndicate.



 Maidonthebeach and Chelsea Faithful winning at Riverton on Sunday - Photo Bruce Stewart






Democrat and Serena Foals Arrive (Friday 10th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


Two of Southland's best mares Democrat Party and Venus Serena have recently had foals in the province. 


Quality mare Democrat Party owned by Winton couple John and Katrina Price has produced her first foal at Ross and Robyn Jones Poppymalda Acres near Invercargill.


The Bettor's Delight filly was born on 31st October.


"A stunning effort for a first foal," commented Ross Jones on the newly born. 



Democrat Party and her Bettors Delight foal - Photo Ross Jones. 


Democrat Party was bred by the Prices and raced for three seasons. She qualified at Ascot Park as a two year old beating smart colt Pulp Fiction by four lengths.


She was transferred to Barry Purdon's barn and then from six starts at two she won twice including the Group Two Young Guns Delightful Lady Classic.


Her best season was at three when she won once from twelve starts. That win came in the $138,000 Group One Alabar Three Year Old Fillies Championship Final at Alexandra Park. Her time for the 2200 metre mobile that night was 2-37.1 which was a new New Zealand record. It was bettered twelve months later by Golden Goddess in the same race. 


Democrat Party was placed three times in Group One races, twice in Group Two races and once in a Group Three race. 


Meanwhile Arden Lodge has a new arrival with high class mare Venus Serena giving birth to an Art Major colt. 


Venus Serena was bought privately earlier this year by John and Judy Stiven from Bob and Jen Sandford.

John said at the time, “Mares of this calibre are rarely available for sale. She's Mach Three’s best performed mare in New Zealand and was absolutely fabulous on the track and a terrific opportunity for Arden Lodge to take up."


On the race track perhaps Venus Serena's most memorable win was at Cambridge in the Three Year Old Diamond on Harness Jewels day when she beat Ideal Belle and Raksdeal.


In the four seasons Venus Serena raced, she broke six New Zealand records - two of which still stand; Two Year Old Fillies record for 1950 metres mobile of 2-23.5 (Addington) and Four Year Old and Older mares for 2700 metres mobile of 3-18.7 (Cambridge).



Venus Serena winning at Cambridge - Photo Supplied


In 2014 she was named New Zealand Two Year Old Filly of the Year after winning three Group One races; The Caduceus Club Fillies Classic, Sires Stakes Championship and Two Year Old Diamond. The following season she won the Three Year Old Filly of the year title winning another three Group One races. All in all she won seven Group One races.


The new colt, who is yet to be named, is a full-brother to Laver, a yearling colt which was Venus Serena's first foal and which has been retained by the Sanfords






Somejoy For Ellie (Sunday 12th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


"Real good. I'm pretty excited but I feel a bit mean driving her like that. I was lucky she was good enough,"

was how young horsewomen Ellie Barron described her first win at Wyndham today.


She definitely got the biggest cheer of the day when she drove her father's horse Somejoy to win narrowly but impressively in the Southland Standardbred Breeders Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace.


It wasn't an easy task for the first year junior who had only driven five times at the races prior to today's win.


From Barrier 14 she was posted three wide and was on a hot pace for most of the race before reaching the top.


Somejoy was made the favourite on the back of some impressive workout wins so the pressure was on the young reinswoman. 


"Dexter (Dunn) was talking to me round at the start which helped. I was not so nervous about being the favourite but just nervous about the draw and how to drive her for that draw. I've never driven from there before. There was no time to go back so I had to go forward. It sort of worked out well for her. They went hard and then they fell away. I knew she was good enough."


The winning margin was a neck with second favourite Sarah Burt driven by Blair Orange being the best of the chasing bunch.



Somejoy (14) and Ellie Barron holding out Sarah Burt (12) and Blair Orange - Photo Bruce Stewart.


Orange, who is currently leading the New Zealand Drivers Premiership, was one of the first to congratulate Barron on her win. He drove Somejoy to win on this course in March.


Somejoy is a four year old mare by Somebeachsomewhere out of Jumpforjoy which won seven races from a limited career. Somejoy is trained by Ellie's father Clark who owns the mare in partnership with Eric Parr. The horse races under the ownership of Miracle Lodge Syndicate and Ellie Barron was thrilled to be wearing the syndicate colours today. 

"Very cool," she said.


The winning time was an impressive 1-55.6 and Barron thinks the four year old will derive plenty of benefit from the run as she targets a start on a bigger stage next week. 


"It'll do her good. Next Friday she'll start in the South of the Waitaki race at Addington."



Somejoy returning - Photo Bruce Stewart.



In the birdcage with Jackie and Clark - Photo Bruce Stewart. 


Barron graduated as a physiotherapist at Otago University at the end of last year and works in that role at Stadium Southland most afternoons.


"Every morning bar Monday's I work with Dad at home driving a lot which makes a huge difference. (As a physio) I look after the Southland Under 19 Rugby team. When my boss Carl McDonald who is the Stags physio, is away we give him a hand."  


When asked where her career may be heading she would definitely like to pursue a career in harness racing at some stage. Although well qualified in massaging she says there's not too much call for it in the stable at this stage.  


"No we're pretty old fashioned with the horses. I've done a bit of stuff with injured horsesm maybe we'll turn Clark at some point."


She says at the beginning of her harness career she wasn't overly confident driving horses, especially young inexperience ones. 


"I was pretty windy with the young horses to start with and I would always try to drive the older ones. I drive everything now."










Mr Kiwi Wins On Debut
(Sunday 12th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


"He's pretty green as you can see but he's got a motor," were Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray's words in describing Mr Kiwi who won on debut at Wyndham today.


Gray says win loss or draw, today the horse was always going to be turned out and he'll go to part-owner Ben Calder's Grinaldi Lodge tomorrow morning.


"He taken a bit to click onto the racing game. We'll give him a good month off and we'll go again. I think he's six months away so we'll attack later in the season. We've got some nice races like the Supremacy but we'll just play the cautious game and hopefully it'll reward us."


Prior to today's debut Mr Kiwi had been to seven workouts - all at Winton, winning five including his last two. Gray and regular driver Brent Barclay have played the patience card all the way through knowing that the half  brother to the talented Mr Mojito was worth waiting for. 


"I think in time he could be quite a nice horse. I think you just have to wait for the American Ideals.


In today's race Mr Kiwi settled in the rear division in a strung out field. When he got in to the three wide running line with just under a lap to run driver Nathan Williamson had to give him a reminder with the whip to keep his mind on the job. 


"He also got a bit of a check so he did pretty well on debut. He's come from last down the back so he's gone bloody good. Nathan had never driven him before and we told him he was a trick to drive. Brent gave him instructions on how to drive the horse. Nathan thought that was a bit weird,but Brent was right on the money. Brent told him (Williamson) that you've always got to be on his case because you might think that he's flat as a biscuit but there's always something left." 


The winning margin was a length from rank outsider Matai Will. 



 Mr Kiwi (12) beating Matai Will (1) and James Butt (10) - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Coming back to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart.



 Driver Nathan Williamson, trainer Brett Gray and part-owners Ben and Karen Calder - Photo Bruce Stewart.


Gray's wife Gina has a share in Mr Kiwi along with breeders Ben and Karen Calder and Earl Shannon and his partner Mrs J Banjnoczi - Shannon. 








She's Allthe Craze Gets Second Win
(Sunday 12th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


She showed potential at three, winning impressively at Roxburgh but since then She's Allthe Craze hasn't shown a consistent formline.


However when it counted in the first $12,000 Gold Chip Trotters Final at Wyndham today she showed her true worth. 


"She's been racing well below her best. She's had numerous health issues but today she showed she's starting to get on top of them. She's been training fine but racing poorly. It's just been in the last two or three starts that she's started to get on top of things. In the last month or so she has really put condition on," said trainer driver Nathan Williamson. 


The five year old Crazed mare is owned by Brian McCully, (who bred her, Hugh Catto, Ian Pitches from Oamaru and Bill Johnson who owns the Waimate Hotel.  


"They've been great. They've stepped back realising that we've been having problems. I'm glad they were able to win that nice race today because they've been so loyal."


She's Allthe Craze is out of the Monarchy mare Kylie Ree which won four of her eleven starts. She was trained primarily by Mark Purdon and Grant Payne. As a two year old she won the Group Two Two Year Old Trotters Championship beating Paramount Geegee and also won the Group One Two Year Old Ruby at Cambridge.


At three she won the Hambletonian at Ashburton.


She's Allthe Craze is Kylie Ree's first foal while the talented Springbank Lachie is her second. Williamson bought her next foal Hawaiian Hula (two year old filly by Dream Vacation) and then last year he purchased the mare. He also owns a Trixton yearling colt which is due to foal to Father Patrick in the next few weeks.


"The owners have an option of taking a share in every foal she has." 


In today's race she settled four back on the inside. She got off the running line with 500 metres to run. After getting a check with 400 metres to run, she came wide but was still five lengths away from the leader at the top of the straight. She let down nicely in the middle of the track to beat Southern Alps by a neck. 


"We were left parked early. I thought 'I won't overdrive her.' I knew she was good with one sprint." Williamson said the mare was checked at the 400. And stated it would have been a travesty to have been beaten. "She was too good on the day."




She's Allthecraze (8) beating Southern Alps (11) - Photo Bruce Stewart.



 Some of the winning connection - Photo Bruce Stewart. 








Sheree Tomlinson Wins Big Trot (Saturday 18th November 2018)


Bruce Stewart



Southland based driver Sheree Tomlinson became the first female driver to win the time honoured Dominion Handicap at Addington yesterday.


The nineteen year old is the youngest driver to the win the race and just the second junior driver to win the Group One feature; the first being Anthony Butt who won it in 1987, driving Simon Katz.


"It was so special and very emotional. As soon as they crossed the line I was pretty much in tears," she said yesterday after Amaretto Sun which is trained by her Grandfather Ken Ford won at odds of 91 to 1.


Things looked promising at the start when she timed her walk up to the tape perfectly and began well to lead early, before The Foot Tapper then Great Things Happen took over leaving Amaretto Sun three back on the running line.


"He just stepped so good. That's probably the best he's ever stepped in his whole career. I couldn't hand up to The Foot Tapper straight away because you have to let my horse run for that first 400 metres because he can buck. You just have to loose rein him for the first bit. I knew when The Foot Tapper got to the front he'd only hand to the best horse in the race. I saw Gavin (Gavin Smith on favourite Great Things Happen)coming and I knew he'd stay there."


That's the way it remained until the field straightened for the run home at the end of the 3200 metre feature.


"I had to tell myself heading up the home straight not to pull out and hope that I'd get a run inside the passing lane. It opened up, he got the run then he showed some high speed. Turning for home Dexter had Bordeaux on the bit with the plug out and he was travelling but he was tapping him up a bit. I thought that's alright. Then I thought Gavin would have put a few lengths on us but he was only half travelling. I thought if I get a run I should go close but I definitely wasn't expecting to win it."  


I was in the last 50 metres that the inside run presented itself and the Sundon six year old let down nicely to beat The Foot Tapper by a length and a quarter. The win was celebrated by Tomlinson with a flourish of the whip.


"There were so many things going through my head. I couldn't believe it. He's been so up and down in the last twelve months. He went super in the Ordeal Cup, he then had a couple of issues and we had to get the chiropractor to him."


Although not overly confident about her chances in the Dominion there were signs that the horse was well pre-race. 


"I couldn't even walk him around before the race he was that keen and full of himself. He tried to boot me out of the cart five or six times in the warm up. I think it's a habit he's got into. Once he's going and focussed on the job he's a beautiful horse to drive." 



 Sheree Tomlinson - Photo Bruce Stewart 


The last Southland based driver to win the Dominion was Nathan Williamson when he drove Springbank Richard to win in 2009. Before that you have to go back to Henry Skinner who drove Tobago to win in 1989. 


"To us as a family the Dominion is like winning the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Grandad only really trains trotters."  


Amaretto Sun has only ever been driven in his thirty six starts be either Sheree or her mother Amanda. Amanda drove him to win at his first start at Banks Peninsula in September 2015. The mother and daughter have each driven the gelding five times to win.


Tomlinson, who works for Invercargill trainer Murray Brown, currently sits second behind Matt Anderson in the Junior Drivers Premiership and has been racking up the travel miles this season, venturing to Canterbury most weekends.  


"Murray has been very good to me. I come up most weeks to Addington to drive on Friday night. If it wasn't for my Mum and Dad and Nana and Grandad helping me I wouldn't be able to do it. I really do appreciate it." 


Tomlinson says the Green Mile at Methven on December 3rd is the horse's next target before he heads to Auckland with the main target The Rowe Cup.


"I'm heading over for the Australiasian Drivers Championship in December and I think one of his races is when I'm over in Aussie. I'll have to sweet talk Grandad and miss that one. Mum may have to put on the colours and drive him."


Sheree Tomlinson has driven forty six winners in the three seasons she's been driving. Her first winner was Little Mo at Oamaru in January 2016.  






 Nicely Bred Trotter Gets First Win (Sunday 19th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


Sky Tower trained by Bruce Wallace at Chatton near Gore won his maiden trot at Wyndham today.


By Skyvalley out of the Shouldn't Do It, the six year old certainly has plenty of breeding. Shouldn't Do It is by Holmes Hanover out of Francis Jay Bee therefore a half-sister to millionaire trotter One Over Kenny (32 wins), One Kenny (19 wins) and One Under Kenny (11 wins).


"He taken a bit to get going this horse but he's a half-brother to Ruby's Jewel which won five races. He's such a bloody clown because after a run you wouldn't think he'd had a race. You'd get him home and he'd be tearing round the paddock. He's caused himself an injury and also walks on his hind legs when you go to feed him," said Wallace.    


Driven by Matty Williamson, Sky Tower began well. He initially trailed the leader before heading to the front with just over a lap to run and held on by a fast diminishing half a neck to beat Miss Moppet. 



Sky Tower and Matty Williamson holding out Miss Moppet and Matt Purvis - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Returning to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart


"I might give him a weeks spell because he's had a few runs at the workouts and a few hard runs at the races. We might aim for the Christmas circuit. We'll have a bit of fun and then look at shipping him off to Australia I suppose."  


Wallace says Ruby's Jewel is due to foal to Pegasus Spur and he's also working a nice two year old filly called Annie's Jewel. She is by Majestic Son out of Miss Afton. Miss Afton is a half-sister by Armbro Invasion to Frances Jay Bee.




Nota Bene Denario Impressive
(Sunday 19th November 2017)



Bruce Stewart


Nota Bene Denario made up for his last start fifth at Winton in September when he easily won the Sir Lincoln At Alabar Pace at Wyndham today.


Trainer driver Terry Chmiel said the three year old colt got sick when he was down here last, so there were reasons for his below par performance.


But all that was forgotten when he lead for most of the 2400 metres and held on to beat the trailing horse Miss Waikiwi by a length and a quarter. 


"He didn't feel as good in front. He was gawking around a bit but you have to be there in a maiden race (when you're the favourite). He just needed something beside him to keep him going. If something had come with him in the straight he would have gone a lot better. The next time I'll drive him from behind and you might see a different horse. He's still got a bit to learn. Hopefully he's going to get better," said Chmiel. 



Terry Chmiel and Nota Bene Denario leading with a lap to run - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Beating Miss Waikiwi by a length and a quarter - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Returning to scale - Photo Bruce Stewart


The three year old by Well Said was bought off Southland breeders Mark and Pauline O'Connor. As a young horse he was sent north by the O'Connor's to be trained by Regan Todd who was training his half-sister Kayteeoh Denario. He was bought after he qualified for Todd at the Chertsey Trials in September. 


"Mark (Jones) drove him at the trials and he told me to buy him. I only drove him when they vetted him."  


Since his Winton run he has been back to the trials twice, winning at Ashburton and running fifth in a strong field at the Cup trials at Addington. Coincidentally Detroit Lily trained by Todd ran second in the same Addington trial also won at Wyndham today.


"He's a big horse and he's going to get better with a bit of time and racing." 


Nota Bene Denario is owned by good stable clients Robert and Sharyn Symon who were on course with family to see the win.


The Symons raced Gotta Go Cullect mare Nek Time from the Terry and Glenys Chmiel stable. She won eight races including the 2016 Southland Oaks, Gold Coast Oaks and Queensland Oaks. She also broke a New Zealand record when she won at Winton. She was recently retired from racing and was served by Bettor's Delight in January. 


Meanwhile Kiwi On Show broke a Southland and course record for 1609 metres when she won today. Her time of 1-52.2 smashed the mares and all comers course record of 1-54.0 recorded in 2013 by Seabreeze Star. The previous Southland record of 1-53.3 was recorded at Winton in 2015 by Rocker Band.


The New Zealand record for mares over 1609 metres is 1-51.1 and is held by The Orange Agent. 


The record was set up by Betta Go Fernco which speared through from the second row. She was caught wide early before sitting outside the leader Kiwi On Show for a part of the fast run race. Betta Go Fernco eventually got to the lead with 700 metres to run. She only went down by three quarters of a length. 


Kiwi On Show is royally bred being by Bettor's Delight out of Kiwi Ingenuity. Kiwi Ingenuity held the New Zealand mares record of 1-52.1 for five years from 2009 until 2014.


Both horses look capable of performing well in the rest of the Empire Stallions Southern Belle Speed series and look promising for the $20,000 Final in April at Winton.



Kiwi On Show warming up last Sunday at Wyndham - Photo Bruce Stewart. 





A Day For The Old And Young (Friday 24th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart



Age proved no barrier at Ascot Park today.


Previous Southland Harness Racing Secretary Peter Burns and his wife Rewa share in the ownership of Ever Ready with their daughter Julie Kilkelly and today the Falcon Seelster mare rocked punters in the first race winning at odds of 52-1.


From eight starts the horse's best placing prior to yesterday had been a fourth for Tisbury trainer Kirstin Barclay.


The four year old is out of Abba Bromac which Julie raced with her husband Tom. Abba Bromac was bred by Bob McArdle of Bromac Lodge.  


“Bob was a friend of Peter's from years ago and he came down and sold them Ever Ready. We raced her half-sister (Ashira Bromac). He’s a one speed type of horse and Kirstin did the job today. Peter was shaking (with excitement),” said Tom.



Ever Ready and Kirstin Barclay beating a game Razcal Alley - Photo Bruce Stewart. 


Later in the day Night March, a seven year old by Courage Under Fire, won his third race for veteran Gore trainer Maurice Kerr.


It was the horse's seventy fifth start and he's been a consistent pacer all through his five seasons of racing. 


“He’s been a good little horse. We bred him and he’s been here all his life. I do it just as a hobby now. I could have sold him but decided not to,“ said Kerr who drove the horse for three starts prior to retiring at the end of the 2014 season.


“I’ve always stuck to the local drivers like Robin Swain and Brent Barclay," he said.


 Night March (11) and Brad Williamson winning at Ascot Park today - Photo Bruce Stewart


Kerr began driving in the late 1960s for his father Davey Kerr, then started training in his own right in 1978. He's trained over 200 winners in that time but has scaled down over the years. 


“I’m working four horses. There’s a couple of three year olds that might be alright next year. They haven’t been off the place yet. It’s enough to keep me going.”



Maurice Kerr and Night March - Photo Bruce Stewart


Lyndon Bond, son of Jimmy Bond who was Maurice Kerr's old driving buddy, also produced a winner on the Invercargill card today when Martin McGuinness, another son of Falcon Seelster, won the second Invitation Drivers race in the hands of Sam Ottley.


Bred by the Grice brothers, he's been a model of consistency throughout his sixty starts and todays win was his fifth.


“He’s an awesome wee horse to have. He’s nothing brilliant but if he gets the right run he does the job," said Bond.


The six year old is raced by a group of mates and their wives who go by the In Touch Syndicate. All are from Mataura where Bond trains.


When asked who makes up the syndicate Bond said "Snow Swain - he’s the supervisor on the Mutton Slaughter chain. He’s a bit of a hard case and follows the horses everywhere. He’ll be at the Mataura pub – The Zoo. Others in the group are my wife, Peter Hazlemore and Mike Cain and their wives. The Cains were the only ones here today.”


From barrier two on the second row Ottley placed Martin McGuinness fifth early as McKenzie Mara and Canardly Remember went to war up front.


"They were going hard which was his go." 


Martin McGuinness ended up five back on the inside. Ottley managed to get him off the running line before the 600 metres but had plenty of work to do with most of the field in front of her. He was starting to run on, got a nice drag into the run home on the back of Lorretta Franco before charging through late to beat Grace Burns by a neck. 



Martin McGuinness (10) poking through to beat Grace Burns (3) by a neck - Photo Bruce Stewart.  


“It was penalty free today. He’s won five races so he’s been a neat wee horse for the syndicate.”


The win capped off a great day for the Bond and Kerr families with both horses travelling to the track in the same truck.


“Maurice and Dad were masters and they’ve been together all the way through. The horses travelled to the races together today. There were only two horses on the truck and they both won. My horse can get a bit cantankerous on the float and he’ll kick with another horse in beside him. Maurice will be smiling and Dad will be sitting at home with a grin and a half on.”

Although not on track Lyndon said his father would be at home getting a thrill out of both horses winning. Bond retired from race driving in 2014 after a bad smash at Wyndham.


“He has his ups and downs but he’s getting out of bed and bouncing around doing the yards in the morning and the jog team so he’s still full on. He does a great job.”

Lyndon says Martin McGuinness's next start will be at Oamaru on the grass.

"He loves the grass." 



 Martin McGuinness and Sam Ottley - Photo Bruce Stewart.









Delight In Win (Friday 24th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart




Woodlands dairy farmer and horse trainer Steve Baucke won his first race of the season when his Bettor's Delight mare Delight My Soul driven by Matty Williamson capitialised on a perfect trail to beat leader Ideal Conquest by a length.


“Very good drive from Matty. He handed up to the right horse, no one came around so it was a good run for her." Baucke said.


Delight My Soul has looked promising since she started racing as a three year old but probably needs the right run to use her strength as a sit and sprint horse. Baucke says she also had a few issues this time in.


“We had a bit of a problem with her breathing early on. She races in a hutton (bit) now and her tongue is tied. It’s made a difference so now she’s good and hopefully can carry on from last season.”



Delight My Soul winning for Matty Williamson - Photo Bruce Stewart.




Winning connections - Photo Bruce Stewart. 



Delight My Soul is out of the In The Pocket mare Soleil D'or so is a member of the famous Black Watch family. Baucke bought the mare for $35,000 at the Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale. He then on-sold her in 2015.


“She had five fillies in a row for me. I sold her and she had a colt.”

Soleil D'or last foal for the Bauckes was Imallaboutthebase which is by Shadow Play. She qualified at two and ran in last season's Kindergarten Stakes.


“She’s got real gate speed. She started off alright this season but has had a few back problems. We’re getting that sorted and she’s not too far away from getting onto the track again.”


The Bauckes farm 320 cows on 300 acres. They currently have 13 horses on the property including five race horses, four broodmares and two yearling colts they're preparing for February's Christchurch yearling sales. 


"I milk in the morning and work the horses at lunch time and do more farm work in the afternoon when my wife Carol milks the cows. One of the colts we've got is a three quarter blood brother to Arden Rooney. He’s out of a Art Major mare who's a half to Arden Rooney. He’s a real nice Bettor’s (Bettor's Delight) colt and we’ve also got A Rocknroll Dance colt out of a half-sister to Citylight.”



Baucke is originally from the North Island. His father Herbert trained horses in the 1980s and '90s. The Bauckes moved to Southland in 2000 and Steve rekindled his love for the game by taking out a training licence in 2010 after he became friends with Southern breeder Dave Kennedy. 

“I moved next door to Kennedy and got the bug again.”

Meanwhile Shezacullengirl showed plenty of determination to hold out all challenges in the John Devlin Memorial Invited Drivers Mobile Pace. She was seriously taken on mid-race by Delishka before holding onto her lead. Hot favourite Franco Tai was waiting in the trail to challenge but wasn't good enough to beat Shezacullengirl who held on under the urgings of driver Gavin Smith.


Shezacullengirl_winning_at_Ascot_950_x_390.jpg Shezacullengirl (6) and Gavin Smith too good for Franco Tai and Blair Orange -Photo Bruce Stewart. 



 Winning connections of Shezacullengirl  - Photo Bruce Stewart.


It was the Tank Ellis trained mare's fifth win in eleven starts. 


Kirk Larsen doesn't train many trotters so when Prince George won at Ascot Park today it was the first time he'd trained a squaregaiter since Yaldy Boyz won at Winton in 2011.


He's only had the trotter since October after he was left down here by his previous trainer David McCormick. 



Prince George comes up the inside to win - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Returning to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart. 






Walkinshaw In Nasty Crash (Saturday 24th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart



Invercargill reinsman Shane Walkinshaw was knocked unconscious for a short time yesterday after a nasty race day accident in Race Two at Ascot Park.


The race was initially put under a red light when Roman Rebel galloped. It was in the restart that Walkinshaw's drive Jennys Rose broke going into the first bend and went down on her nose, propelling Walkinshaw into the air. Ardtoo which was running behind Jenny's Rose went over the top.



The scene of yesterday's accident at Ascot Park - Photo Bruce Stewart


Walkinshaw was left on the track unconscious but regained conscienceness while being attended to by ambulance staff and was then taken to Southland hospital. 


"I was talking to Ellie (Ellie Barron one of the first on the scene) last night because I didn't know what had happened. She said he was out for about three to four minutes. He doesn't remember the crash and he doesn't remember dropping Tyler off at school yesterday morning. He just doesn't remember yesterday but knew what year it was," said Walkinshaw's partner Shana McClelland.


She said he has a fractured eye socket, fractures around his sinus and that he also had a slight brain bled.


"They thought yesterday when they saw him because of the brain bleed, that they would have to fly him to Dunedin but the surgical team up there had a look at it and thought it would be fine for him to stay down here. They're just going to do more tests and CT scans this morning." 


McClelland wasn't on-course at the time but arrived a short time later.

"Tyler had waterpolo and he was watching the race on my phone when we were driving."   


Ryal Bush reinsman Peter Hunter was knocked unconscious on the same corner in April of this year. 






Walkinshaw On The Mend (Wednesday 29th November 2017)


Bruce Stewart


Invercargill harness driver Shane Walkinshaw is at home recuperating after a nasty accident at Ascot Park last Friday.


The incident happened shortly after the horses left the mobile arm from the 2200 metre start point and headed into the first bend. Walkinshaw's drive Jennys Rose, went down on her nose and he was thrown onto the track. He suffered fractures to the skull, eye socket, cheek bone and a sinus fracture around the nose area.    


"I don't remember when the mobile left, the crash or being in the ambulance. The next memory I've got is waking up in hospital," said Walkinshaw who was discharged from Kew Hospitial yesterday.


He says the specialists are recommending at least a month off work. 


"Definitely a month off work and a month off driving. I'm not too stressed about rushing back to it. Once you get a head injury it wakes you up a wee bit and you think about things a bit more. I did my spleen about ten years ago at Rangiora and I was meant to have six weeks off but I was back driving in four weeks. This is a wee bit different."


Meanwhile Jennys Rose has been retired from racing. 


"Wayne (trainer Wayne Adams) and the owner have pulled the pin on her now. I said to Wayne when he came into hospital 'did I chase her (out of the gate) or do something wrong?' He said no, she just slotted over good. You can see it on the video, she just dropped for no reason really. Apparently Blair Orange reckons she crossed her legs. When they start doing that they're pretty dangerous."




 Craig Ferguson going over the top, with Shane Walkinshaw underneath his own horse Number 6. Dexter Dunn holding on tight to his charge Number 10.


The other two drivers caught up in the fallout - Craig Ferguson and Dexter Dunn were uninjured. 






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