Samantha Ottley and Spirit Of Delight



Spirit Of Delight Wins Belle


The Regan Todd trained mare Spirit Of Delight which is part-owned by new Southland Stags Rugby coach Dave Hewett won the $20,000 Southern Belle Speed Series Final at the Central Southland Raceway at Winton today.


The four year old, driven by Samantha Ottley came with a late run to get up and beat Especial by a head with a further length and a quarter back to favourite Somejoy. 


"The speed was on a little bit early which suited her..... 


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Blair Orange and Mach's Back 

Little Doubt - Mach's Back


Mach's Back continued the stellar season Murray Little and trainer Paul Ellis are having when he impressively won at Winton today. 


"We just rolled along and I just let him do what he wanted to do," was how driver Blair Orange described his winning drive on Mach's Back which won the Drymix Concrete Mobile Pace.


Orange was driving the four year old for the first time with regular driver Dexter Dunn sticking with favourite Governor's Bay. 


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 Shane Walkinshaw and Mighty Conqueror 


All Conquering


Mighty Conqueror continued on his winning way when he won his second start at Winton today with the win impressing his regular pilot Shane Walkinshaw. 


"He's got a bit going for him. He can roll along all day and he's got a bit of speed as well," he said.


In the Winton Mitre 10 Nuggets Final the three year old was taken to the top by Walkinshaw.  


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Updated leader board Nevele R/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks CLICK HERE and Alabar Southern Supremacy CLICK HERE




16 year old interested in working at a harness racing stable in Invercargill during the holidays.

Has completed a harness racing course.

Worked on a farm.

Able to ride and has trained cross country and show jumpers.


Contact Melissa Watson melwats26@icloud.com 




Vincent, the horse that Mark Purdon felt was going to be harness racing’s next absolute superstar, has been purchased by the Alabar and Nevele R studs in partnership.

The imposing son of champion international sire, Art Major has been retired from racing and will stand at stud this coming season.

When Vincent cruised home in 54.4 to win the Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve, all the talk was that the world lay at his feet.

Remarkably, it would be his last start. Injury curtailed his four-year-old campaign and now the lucrative stud deal sees him commence a new career as what will surely be a highly commercial stallion.

Jean Feiss, who raced Vincent with her husband Bill, said:

“Vincent has been such a dream horse for us we were prepared to do everything possible to get him back to the track. He’s already had his initial stem cell treatments.”

“However, Alabar and Nevele R presented us with an offer to purchase him and we knew in our hearts that accepting it was the right thing for Vincent’s long term future. He deserves a great home and to be given the very best chance at stud. We’re sure he’ll get that.”

“Hopefully breeders send their best mares to him as Bill and I are certainly looking forward to checking out his yearlings.”

Undoubtedly, Vincent was the dream horse. He had it all. Co-trainer, Mark Purdon is full of admiration for the horse that was harness racing’s brightest rising star:

“He was a great young horse, the best of his year as a three-year-old.”

“He came back great as a four-year-old and I thought he would eventually take Lazarus’ place and go on to be the best horse in Australasia.”

“He’s a beautiful horse. Both Jean and I loved him when we saw him as a yearling and that never changed. Everyone he came in contact with him loved him as he was such a kind horse, a real gentleman.”

”It’s a great shame he’s not coming back to racing but we’re looking forward to training a few by him.”



Prior to his final victory in the Auckland Cup, Vincent had done what the pundits said he couldn’t and won the Gr2 Franklin Cup fresh up (0.1 of a second outside his own NZ record for a 2700m stand) and backed that up with a cake-walk, 54.6 last half win in the Gr2 Futurity Stks at Cambridge.

He’d won his last seven starts in a row.

He flew to Australia to embark on a campaign that would surely seal his status as the next superstar of our sport. It wasn’t to be, as Injury befell him leading up to the Ballarat Cup and the Chariots Of Fire and Miracle Mile were sadly run without him.

All told, Vincent recorded 16 wins from 19 starts with four Group 1 victories.

The only time he was beaten on Australian soil (and the only time he was outside the first three in his career) was in the Victoria Derby when as a raging favourite he was taken out of the race by a damaged tyre.

As an individual who just oozes quality, Vincent was a $130,000 yearling at the Australian APG Sydney Sale.

He won first up at Invercargill and this proved to be his only start as a two-year-old as he suffered a minor leg injury. While this was a bitter pill to swallow with a young horse of rare talent, Mark Purdon felt in hindsight it was a blessing in disguise as it gave Vincent a chance to mature into his frame.

As a three-year-old, Vincent was nothing short of awesome.

He romped home on Auckland Cup day at Alexandra Park. Remarkably setting a new all-age NZ record for the 2700m stand.

He then ventured to Australia where he won his heat of the Victoria Derby before misfortune struck in the final.

On to Menangle, he won his heat of the NSW Derby and was superb in the final – sprinting home in 53.6, he recorded a 1:54.5 mile rate for the 2400m – 0.1 of a second outside the world record.

Back to New Zealand, he scored a career defining victory in the NZ Derby at Addington – fighting back to beat Ultimate Machete after being headed in the straight. This was another all-age NZ record for Vincent of 3:06 (1:55.1mr) for the 2600m mobile - and 2.5 seconds inside the previous record for a three-year-old held by Lazarus.

Vincent finished his three-year-old season off at Menangle with another incredible victory – this time in the NSW Breeders Challenge. He was three wide for the first half of the mile journey and then parked outside the leader but still won easily in 1:50.2 – making him the fastest ever Australasian three-year-old.

Vincent possesses a pedigree that all other stallions would be envious of.

He is sired by one of the world’s best stallions in Art Major and is out of Kept For Pleasure, a four time Group 1 winner, who like Vincent retired on a winning note at the highest level.

At stud Kept For Pleasure has also produced the outstanding (My) Mackenzie who is fast closing in on $500,000 in earnings after winning major stakes races both in Australia and the US.

Vincent’s second dam, Full Pleasure, also a Group 1 winner, has been one of the most remarkable broodmares in Australian history producing 10 foals for 10 winners and four, soon to be five, $200,000+ earners.

Vincent’s pedigree lines him up beautifully with daughters of Bettor’s Delight and other Cam Fella line mares, daughters of Christian Cullen, Mach Three, Somebeachsomewhere and other Direct Scooter line mares, daughters of American Ideal and other Western Hanover/No Nukes line mares and also mares from the Albatross line.

A dream horse with a dream resume for a stallion – type, pedigree and performance over all distances.

Vincent will stand at Alabar’s Victorian farm with semen transported throughout Australia and New Zealand. Lifetime breeding rights will be available in both countries.

Destiny Jones Wins

Dean Hunter has only been living in Canterbury for the last month having relocated to the garden city from Blenheim and today's win by Destiny Jones in the Pryde's Easifeeds Southern Lights was his first from his new barn at Russley.

In today's trotting feature The Pres mare beat a nice field of squaregaiters, improving on her last start second to quality trotter Bordeax at Addington last week.

Hunter has trained Destiny Jones for most of her career but good friend Kevin Townley has also had a stint at training her.


“Kevin and I are very good friends and I’ve learnt most of my stuff from him.” 


Hunter says Destiny Jones career hasn't been without drama. 


“We’ve had our problems with her so it’s nice to have her back. She's had a wee nose bleed because she’s been popping blood vessels in her nose. It looks worse than it is. It isn’t happening further down but we’ve had to scratch her a few times. Hopefully we're on top of it now.”


The hot pace set primarily by Splash Cola suited Destiny Jones and driver Blair Orange. With a lap to run they got a drag into the race when Sundons Wish improved. Just before straightening Orange hooked the six year old mare out and she came three wide to make her claim. She trotted nicely to the line beating a late run from Harriet Of Mot. The winning margin was one and a half lengths with another head back to Jen Jaccka.



 Destiny Jones trotting out to win the Southern Light - Photo Bruce Stewart.




Returning to the birdcage with Blair Orange - Photo Bruce Stewart. 


The winning time of 3-27.2 was just outside Dark Horse's track record of 3-26.7 but the time is a new race record as this was the first time the Southern Lights has been run over 2700 metres. 


Hunter has held a trainers licence since 1988. He's trained twenty nine winners - twenty three of those being trotters.


Other good trotters he's had in his stable have been Mo Hahn (by Earl) which won five races and Avon Develd (Gee Whiz II) which also won five.


He also trains Dolly Jones a half-sister to Destiny Jones by Monkey Bones which ran third at Westport yesterday




Northern Southland Briefs
(Saturday 10th March 2018)

Bruce Stewart

Bettor’s Delight colt Another Masterpiece showed that he’d improved from a good third in the Sapling Stakes when he easily won the ILT Northern Tavern Mobile Pace for two year olds.

Taken straight to the front by Tim Williams Another Masterpiece, the only runner with raceday experience, beat two Southland trained runners Eloquent Mach and Bottle Rock.

“He’s still pretty green but every time he steps out he improves. We’ll see how he pulls up today as to whether he comes down for the Kindergarten. We have two other horses pencilled in to come down – Jack Jones and War Dan Delight,” said stable manager Michelle Neilson.

Another Masterpiece is trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.


  Another Masterpiece winning for Tim Williams - Photo Bruce Stewart.




Back to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart. 



A former Purdon/Rasmussen trained horse Bettor Be Gold won the next race.

He's now trained by Regan Todd at Woodend Beach, and he was too good for a large field of R45-R54 horses.

Driven by Samantha Ottley, the four year old had to settle in second place after being beaten for gate speed by Ansett Flight. But with 1800 metres to go Ottley came off the back of Ansett Flight to take the lead. That was how the order stayed with Better Be Gold winning by one and a half lengths.

It was Bettor Be Gold’s fifth start. As a two year old, he won the Garrards NZ Sires Stakes Series Silver and only had one start at three.


Better Be Gold winning for trainer Regan Todd and Samantha Ottley - Photo Bruce Stewart.


Bettor Than Gold - Photo Bruce Stewart.

The Canterbury run was broken by 16-1 long shot Carlo Gambino when the Wyndham trained four year old came from the back in the field to win by three quarters of a length.

The Mach Three four year old is out of Holly Patron.

“He needs the right run and he got that today,” said trainer driver Brendon McLellan.  


Carlo Gambino and Brendon McLellan winning at Ascot Park today - Photo Bruce Stewart.

Maiden winner Carlo Gambino - Photo Bruce Stewart.


Trainer Jack Harrington is considering nominating BD Son for the New Zealand Trotting Derby after the three year old gelding won the AON Insurance Brokers Gore Handicap Trot at Ascot Park today.

“After today’s win we’ll have to throw in a nomination. He’s a good wee horse. The biggest issues are in his head. We’ve had six starts with him. And the situation is that in work with another horse or in a race, he tries to get into fifth gear and goes too good for himself. When he gets in front he just latches on (to the bit) or when he sees another horse it’s all handlebars down,” he said.


 BD Son and Dexter Dunn beating Spotlight The Valley - Photo Bruce Stewart.



Three year old gelding BD Son after winning his third race - Photo Bruce Stewart 


Diminutive filly Kayla Marie showed she's all heart when she won the Caduceus Club of Southland/Alabar Fillies Classic.

By Bettors Delight out of Braeside Star the two year old is owned by Braeden Whitelock and his wife Caroline who bred the filly.

Driver Michelle Neilson settled her near the back of the field and when stablemate and favourite Dracarys broke and was out of play she moved Kayla Marie up to sit parked.

Inside the last 700 metres she moved the filly up to go head to head with leader Havtime and she won by half a length from Olivia Rachel who followed her into the race.

The winning time was 2-45.2.

“She’s got a lot of guts and tries her heart out. She sat parked at her last start and narrowly got beat and it was a gutsy run. Today she’s gone even better,” said Neilson.

It's been a magic few days for the Whitelocks. Princess Tiffany, which they part own with Phil and Margaret Creighton won the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic at Alexandra Park last night. 


 Kayla Marie holding out Olivia Rachel - Photo Bruce Stewart.



 Winning salute from Michelle Neilson.


Michelle Nielson, Kayla Marie, Clark Barron (CCS), Brendon Fahy (CCS), Debbie Smith (CCS), Vin Devery (CCS) and Nigel Fahy (Alabar) Photo Bruce Stewart.


Envious underlined her class when she won the Fillies and Mares feature at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park.


Trained by Jo Baynes, who shares in the ownership with husband Kenny, the Changeover mare worked her way to the front and stayed there for the rest of the 2200 metre trip.

Envious easily beating Diaba - Photo Bruce Stewart.




Envious returning 950 x 633_1.jpg 

 Winning salute from Matt Anderson - Photo Bruce Stewart.






Anthony MacDonald to hold ownership seminars in New Zealand


Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that Canadian harness racing trainer and driver, Anthony MacDonald, will visit New Zealand in September.


Best known as the founder of the fractional ownership operation ‘The Stable’, MacDonald has been a driving force in
increasing ownership in Canada and introducing new blood into harness racing.


MacDonald ran for local government in Guelph in 2014, campaigning to help save harness racing following the loss
of slot machine funding and raising awareness about the sport and what it provides in terms of local employment and


During his time campaigning he knocked on hundreds of doors, and realised that there was a huge untapped market
of potential owners.
He talked to people who had heard of horse racing, but had the perception that it was only for
rich people. They had no idea that they could be involved; let alone how to become a part of it. With this in mind,
MacDonald started ‘The Stable’ in September 2015, with the aim to make horse ownership easy for a whole new market,but also to break down the walls of communication and demystify harness racing to the outside world.


He would take on horses that hadn’t sold at yearling sales for vendors, but also has been purchasing yearlings from
sales too, and would market the horses to potential new owners as they were being broken in and worked. This allowed people to see the horse in action and follow its progress by way of video and live drone updates, before committing to purchasing a share.

MacDonald has ensured that the shares remain affordable, with shares as small as one percent available. With initial
buy in costs varying, depending on the purchase price of the yearling, and then a set fee per month ensures the owners know what it will cost them. The Stable markets itself strongly on the fact that this is not a money making venture –but an affordable form of entertainment.

Each yearling is then listed on www.thestable.ca with its own profile, cost breakdown, monthly progress video reports
and stunning live drone footage of the horse working in a set with other young horses. There is a strong focus on utilisingsocial media as a communication tool also so you can watch the horse work from anywhere in the world. In fact,The Stable has owners all across the world now, including New Zealand.

The results in just three years have been outstanding. In the first year The Stable had 65 owners join into 25 horses.
The following year 140 owners went into 62 horses. And in 2017, 392 owners went into 106 horses.

But what is most impressive is the retention rate. 97 percent of those owners have now gone on to join into other horses,from year one to two to three with The Stable.

The Stable has been a huge success story in not only selling shares, but selling the industry of harness racing and the
thrill it provides just by being an owner. Reaching a whole new market of owners who previously felt ownership was
far out of their league financially.

A passionate public speaker, MacDonald will bring his experience and findings to New Zealand and will hold free
seminars in Invercargill, Christchurch and Auckland. These seminars will not only be open to trainers and syndicators
who are interested in finding out more about how they can attract new owners, and find out more about communication options that are available to them, but to all who are interested in attending.

“I’m really excited to be coming to New Zealand. It has always been a place I wanted to visit. I might have a foreign
accent, but my love for racing is the same as yours,” MacDonald joked.

 “The future of our industry will rely heavily on its ability to provide the general public with a fresh option for their
entertainment dollars. We are the only industry that offers participation at an affordable price and that alone has the
power to tip the entertainment scales in our direction in the future,” MacDonald said.

“The Stable’s pillars are: Communication; Customer Service; Professionalism and Hard Work. These are things that
are very attainable and sustainable in any industry, especially ours.”

This will also be a wonderful opportunity for cadets and junior drivers to learn more about self-promotion and
communication, first hand from a harness racing trainer and driver who has forged a new path in the international

Below are the dates for the Anthony MacDonald seminars proudly presented by Harness Racing New Zealand, which
will be free to anyone who wishes to attend. Please note numbers are limited at some venues:


Friday 21 September 2018 7pm Mararoa Room - Ascot Park Hotel, Southland.























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