Allen heads to Timaru with spring in his step

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk It’s not every day Ricky Allen gets to race for a $20,000 purse with his trotter Cody Banner, but he will get that chance at Timaru on Sunday courtesy of the Spring Rewards initiative. The pacing-bred trotter has been in a purple patch of form, winning two and runner-up in one of his last four starts, and Allen is hoping the Bettor’s Delight gelding can get the lion’s share of the prizemoney on offer in the Canterbury Long Run Roofing Timaru Spring Rewards Handicap…

Five races you must see this weekend

By Michael Guerin None of the biggest races of the harness racing season are held this weekend but plenty of races which will have an big impact on them, and their markets, are. Here are the five races you shouldn’t miss this weekend: 1: Lamb And Hayward Canterbury Classic, Addington, 8.41pm Friday: Two things can happen here. One is Self Assured wins, meaning normal transmission resumes and he is back to $2 for the IRT NZ Cup and basically favourite to win everything he contests… or, he gets beaten.If that…

Copy That second favourite for Smoken Up Sprint

By Adam Hamilton Ray Green’s confidence varies going into a stellar Melton meeting on Saturday night. Green’s three Aussie raiders are all in action, headed by Copy That in the $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m). Simply Sam and Argyle are in heats of the Victoria Derby. Let’s start with the Derby duo first. “I think I might have bitten-off a bit more than a chew there,” Green laughed. “I must admit I didn’t think the three year-olds would be quite as strong as they are over here, the…

Huge interest in the return of Sundees Son and Self Assured

By Michael Guerin The opening markets may have suggested New Zealand’s two best harness horses were equal chances of winning their respective comeback races at Addington on Friday night but that is not how their drivers see it. Champion trotter Sundees Son and superstar pacer Self Assured both return in 2600m standing starts at Addington as the intensity of the harness racing season goes up a notch six weeks out from NZ Cup week. They aren’t the only big names returning as Spankem and South Coast Arden also start new…

Marshall gearing up for southern raid

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk This spring is gearing up to be an exciting one for Kyle Marshall. The Cambridge horseman is gearing up for his first campaign down south and will give his key raider Son Of Mac one final hit-out at his home track on Thursday night. Features races in the crosshairs for the colt include the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million C&G (1980m) at Addington Raceway on October 14 and the Group 1 Sires’ Stakes 2YO C&G Final (1980m) at the Christchurch track on Cup Day.…

Gray quartet on song for Wyndham

By Jonny Turner Big performances at the Hannon Memorial meeting have two favourites from Brett Gray’s stable ready to strike at Wyndham on Thursday. Gray lines up four runners at Young Quinn Raceway with each of the quartet looking a genuine winning threat. The Gray team is headed by classy trotting mare Peregrine who drops perfectly in a rating 35-65 trot with her 64 rating. Stable junior driver Tristan Larsen to take the reins in what looks a very winnable race. “It was a pretty good run at Oamaru, she…

Kahlua Flybye heads to Cambridge after narrow Group 1 defeat

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk Less than a week after coming tantalisingly close to a Group 1 victory, Kahlua Flybye is back on the path towards her next elite-level target. The Bettor’s Delight filly looked to have the Group 1 Caduceus Club 2YO Fillies Classic (2200m) sewn up halfway down the straight at Alexandra Park last week, but she was just pipped at the post by the fast-finishing Millwood Nike. Co-trainer Steve Telfer was delighted with Kahlua Flybye’s performance and is excited about what the future holds for his…

Huge first win for Dewe

By Jonny Turner Tyler Dewe produced his first win as a trainer in the most stunning fashion at Winton on Saturday. Dewe got his official training account underway on the best possible note when Teddy Baker and driver Rory McIlwrick left their rivals in their dust to score a brilliant maiden victory. The pair set a pace far too hectic for those left in their wake when clocking a 2-54.4 time for 2400m and winning by more than nine lengths. Teddy Baker has been better known as a grinding type…

Chief Of Staff ready to claim first stakes scalp

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk Chief Of Staff will be out to claim his first stakes scalp on Sunday when he lines up in the Group 3 Majestic Son DG Jones Banks Peninsula Cup (2810m) at Motukarara Raceway. The eight-year-old gelding was runner-up in the race last year behind former stablemate Mataderos, when trained by Robert and Jenna Dunn, and went on to place in the Group 3 Canterbury Park Cup (2600m) and ran fourth in the Group 1 Dominion (3200m). Chief Of Staff has since returned to the…

La Rosa back from the wilderness

By Jonny Turner After a massive wait, La Rosa is finally back. The Mark Jones trained four-year-old lines up at Winton on Saturday, starting for the first time since June of 2021. A series of hiccups are behind the former star age group filly being away from the track for 15 months. A fetlock operation was followed by a bone chip procedure before tie-up issues pushed La Rosa’s return back from the winter to the spring. Finally ready to return, the question many punters will be asking is whether La…