Winning connections with Black Athena



Shirley Double At Ascot             


Two of the most impressive winners at windy Ascot Park yesterday were the Brent Shirley trained pair Zen Warrior and Black Athena.

Zen Warrior did the right thing for part owner Garry Tippett when he won the Kia/Isuzu Southland Vehicle Sales Mobile Pace.

Tippet, who has a third share in the gelding with trainer's wife Raywyn Shirley and John Edminstin is also part owner of sponsors Southland Vehicle Sales.

“He gives it all and I don’t think the C2 grade will worry him. He’s half tough and has good manners,” said trainer Brent Shirley of Zen Warrior.... 


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 Bettor Enforce 

Beck Does Business.                     


An old relationship rejuvenated itself at Wyndham today.


Clients of Allan Beck's Winton stable that raced Tact Halsey in the 1990s renewed that winning feeling  when debutant Better Enforce won.


Bred by Karen and Ben Calder and raced by the This Time Syndicate 


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 Geordie Sivad stretching out.

Keeping The Faith 


Invercargill trainer Ray Faithful didn't know what to make of Geordie Sivad's run last weekend at Wyndham but at the finishing line he looked a bit stiff. Today on the same course luck wasn't in the equation when the gelding dealt to a good field of class one horses.


"It was a funny run last week. He looked a bit flat at the 400 then he was unlucky at the finish. Things just didn't work out right. I thought he'd run second to Clark's horse (Rakarolla) today but Jonny (Cox) drove him a wee bit more positively which is the way to drive him. He hasn't...


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Rains The Problem (Monday 2nd November 2015)


Bruce Stewart


There was likely to be a reason for consistently poor results from Geoff and Jude Knight’s team at the Winton Workouts on Friday, and the Riverton Trotting Clubs meeting at Ascot Park on Sunday. And it's been confirmed that the stable has a temporary health problem.


“The problem is all the rain this area has had and all the new grass. Because of that tests have shown our horses have high worm counts. Our horses which are paddock trained have also been tying up and this is caused by the high sugar content in new grass. The horses will be treated and retested in two and a half to three weeks,” said Geoff Knight.


He said the stable have a strict worming programme and this is an unusual occurrence which they’ve never encounted before.


The Knights who are strong supporters of the Forbury Park Trotting Club haven’t nominated any horses for their Friday meeting and Sunday’s Wyndham Harness Clubs meeting carries no Knight nominations.


“They work well and look good and are not unwell it’s just over the last 500 to 400 metres in a race that it affects them. We have a dozen horses ready to race and about 28 in work so they’ll all be treated. They will be kept in work.”


The problem has disrupted plans to take star pacer Zenmach to Addington.


“The syndicate wanted to race him over Cup Week but we can’t now. You have to be at your best there. We’ll race him now at Christmas time.” 






Perfect Pipe Opener For Grey Power (Monday 2nd November 2015)


Bruce Stewart


Trotter Grey Power has a good fresh up record and the run he received in his first start this season was a perfect way to start his six year old season.


Trainer driver Nathan Williamson always felt favourite Gee Up Neddy who had impressed at the mid-week trials was going to be the horse to beat and when he came round to lead, Williamson was happy to hand up.


Once the field straightened Grey Power was reined up to run home along the passing lane to beat Get Up Neddy by a neck.


“He’s always been quite a handy horse. He always races good in a fresh state. He’d come up well and his workout was good and I thought he’d be hard to beat but I didn’t expect to beat Brent’s one (Get Up Neddy) today. Fingers crossed he can do a good job,” said Williamson after the win.




Grey Power runs up the passing lane to beat Gee Up Neddy - Photo Bruce Stewart




 Grey Power and Nathan Williamson returning to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart


Grey Power is by Monkey Bones and is a half-brother to Patienceofasaint the winner of six races.


He was originally entered in the 2011 Sale of the Stars in Christchurch named Monkey Shine but was withdrawn.


He's raced by Syd Slee, formerly of Blackmount and now retired in Te Anau. Syd and his wife Heather are relatively new to harness racing, having had some success in the past with gallopers.





Heather and Syd Slee - Photo Bruce Stewart






Machrie Or Not Machrie (Monday 2nd November 2015)


Bruce Stewart


He’s been backed and beaten a few times this season but a harder training regime appears to be the key to the return of form of the John and Katrina Price trained Machrie.


He was wide early but driver Nathan Williamson had designs on the lead and made the top after 500 metres of the Net Ten Eom at Macca Lodge Mobile Pace at Ascot Park yesterday.


From there the Mach Three gelding kept up a solid clip and easily beat Derringer by two and three quarters of a length.


“We’ve changed his workload and really stepped it up. We’ve just been keeping the hopples off him and galloping him. Katrina worked him pretty hard on Friday. The first thing Nathan said to me today was how much better he looked. His coats come out and he does look a lot better than he did three weeks ago,” said co-trainer John Price.


“He doesn’t seem to back up, is spacing his racing and the harder work seems to be the key.”




 The winning connections of Machrie - Photo Bruce Stewart 


Machrie is owned by John, Katrina, Roger and Helen Price who normally sell their horses but he looks like a keeper for the time being.


“He was actually going to be sold but the day before the vet came he ripped a shoe off in the paddock and stood on a nail so they decided not to take him. It could be a good omen. He’s such a good stand start horse so if he picks up another he could race in the Country Cups series. His manners have improved a lot so that’s going to help.” 




One Win Chick (Monday 2nd November 2015)


Bruce Stewart


One Cool Chick looks to have turned a bit of a corner this season.


Last season she tended to be slow away in her starts, and generally got back in her races but finished them off well.


Her win yesterday was her first in fifteen trotting starts. She's also recorded six thirds in that gait.


“This season she's been trotting a lot better and she's been more settled at the workouts but today she knew it was race day and was keener so I’ll put the earplugs back in again for her next start. She has also being stepping a lot quicker at the workouts and has been right up there from the word go,” said trainer driver Robin Swain.


One Cool Chick initially qualified as a pacer and had some success before her connections decided that trotting was going to pay the training bills.


“She started off as a pacer but we found that she was probably a bit weak. She showed a bit of promise as a pacer with a couple of placing as a three year old. We tried trotting the following season and I think she’ll win more races trotting than pacing.”


One Cool Chick is owned by Lois Byars, Debbie Hill and Donna Baynes all daughters of the late Colin Baynes who bred the mare.


“I think she’s good enough to win two or three more races.”




 Lois, Donna and Debbie with grand child, trophy and gift basket - Photo Bruce Stewart





Whata Win (Monday 2nd November 2015)

Bruce Stewart

Auckland couple Irene and Ollie Haines are great investors in southern harness racing and over the years have entrusted most of their horses to Southland trainers Clark and Tony Barron.


They had two of their ‘Excuse’ horses in the Locations Real Estate/Carries Arms Hotel Mobile Pace at the annual Riverton yesterday and the way the race panned out Gettheexcusebookout’s misfortune turned out to be good fortune for Whata Excuse.


From a second row draw Whata Excuse driven by Dexter Dunn was locked away four back on the inside while Gettheexcusebook out was on the outside running line. Gettheexcusebookout broke going out of the home bend and that allowed Dunn to move his charge out and into the three wide running line on the back of an improving Tuapeka Troy.


At the top of the straight Whata Excuse came resolutely down the outside to beat Tuapeka Troy by half a length.


“It was a wee bit of a surprise. He’s a lovely wee horse but to be fair he hasn’t really developed since he was two. Physically he’s as good as he was as a young horse but he’s always had a bit of ability and is very good gaited. It was a genius drive but that’s why the boy (Dexter Dunn) is paid big money,” said trainer Tony Barron.




Whata Excuse (9) and Dexter Dunn coming down the outside - Photo Bruce Stewart


He says Whata Excuse won’t be backing up at Wyndham this weekend as he’s not suited to the bigger tracks.


“He seems better round the smaller tracks over the shorter distances. 2200 metres C1 around Forbury would suit him but he is a good stand start horse. He would be suited to Australian racing but we’ll just keep ticking over here.”





The Smaill Trail (Monday 2nd November 2015)


Bruce Stewart


You can see the change in Jen Jaccka this season.


From an immature filly which showed potential last season the daughter of CR Commando has developed into a more mature race mare and her form-line is reflecting that.


Her win yesterday against tighter assessed opposition points to a good season ahead for the Charlie and Ailsa Smaill owned square gaiter.


Providing she stepped away, she was always going to have the wood on her handicapped opposition yesterday.


“She’s a good leader and being in front helps her get around. She’s still a bit green when she races in a field and on small tracks,” Nathan Williamson said.


She continues the marvellous run the Smaills have had with the progeny of Janine Jaccka who has left winners of 38 races from her first five foals to race; Jaccka Jack (14 wins), Jaccka Justy (13 wins including the 2014 Dominion Handicap), Jess Jaccka (5 wins), Jocy Jaccka (3 wins) and Jen Jaccka (3 wins).


So will she reach the heights of some her siblings?  Williamson thinks so.


“She’s heading the same way. She’s definitely got a good motor. Everything seems to be right touch wood and Brett’s got her trotting good and she’s matured a bit too.”


One noticeable absentee from the birdcage presentation was trainer Brett Gray who was on-course, but unfortunately had a leg in plaster after an accident with one of his horses.






South Of The Waitaki Series On Again (Thursday 22nd October 2015)


Press Release


The Met will again be programming a race on Show Day, exclusively for horses trained south of the Waitaki River for a stake of $20,000. The race was held for the first time last year.


To be eligible to compete, horses must be registered in the name of a trainer(s) that is based south of the Waitaki River as at 1 August 2015.


Brian Rabbitt, Racing Secretary at Addington, commented “it’s all about utilising the horse population to our best advantage. With attractive stake money up for grabs we’re confident the race will be well supported, as it was in 2014.”


The race is for four-year-old and older pacers assessed at C1 and C2 and is to be run over 2600 metres behind the mobile with a preferential barrier draw based on win stakes.


Last year The South of the Waitaki River was won by the Tony Barron trained Phoenix Warrior.





Phoenix Warrior  


This year will see a new sponsor and a real southern flavour with Brent and Sheree McIntyre’s Macca Lodge located in Riversdale, Northern Southland supporting the $20,000 race. Information about Macca Lodge can be found at


For further information please contact either Brian, Richard or Colin at Addington’s Racing Department on (03) 338 9094. 




Waltzing Queen Crowned (Saturday 3rd October 2015)


Bruce Stewart


Winton breeder Roger Price hasn't had a lot of luck in breeding from a family be bought into forty years ago but Waltzing Queen which beat  ten maiden fillies and mares at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park today may have changed that.


The Jereme's Jet four year old which is trained by his son John and daughter-in-law Katrina got the perfect trail behind favourite Seduce Me and ran up the Ascot Park Hotel Passing Lane to win by a length and a quarter. 


"I bought her grand dam Gypsy Nero about forty years ago because she was out of one of the hot families in the country at that time which had left some pretty good horses like Burlington Bertie and Anne Franco," said Roger Price. 


Waltzing Queen is out of Waltzing Holme a young Mach Three mare which is out of Cantilena. Price shares in the ownership of Waltzing Queen with his wife Helen.


"She's got a pretty good nature. If she's going to make a race horse her nature will carry her a long way. I was trying to breed speed into the breed and so that's why I went to Jereme's Jet. He was a very fast horse." 


Burlington Bertie by Vance Hanover won fourteen races including the 1994 Invercargill Cup and the 1995 Auckland Cup.  




Only In Rome Home (Sunday 20th September 2015)


Bruce Stewart



Only In Rome backed up his good maiden form by winning the Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace at Ascot Park today.


After a second to the classy Zenmach the four year old by Bettor's Delight went one better. Last season he was below the better three year olds but his form this season indicates he'll be a good mid grade pacer in the province.


"He's a nice horse who can sprint a bit and he can also stay. Last season he was on the light side whereas this season he's able to hold onto his condition. I was worried about the second line draw but Nathan did a great job. That's why he wins so many races," said trainer Brent Shirley.


Only In Rome is out of the five win Christian Cullen mare Charioteer which is closely related to Courage Under Fire. 


 Shirley drove stable mate Swap Over in the race but he broke twice and finished second last. 


"I think he may have an abcess brewing but he's one to watch in the future."




Only In Rome easily winning for driver Nathan Williamson and trainer Brent Shirley - Photo Bruce Stewart.


Later in the day Stable star Costa Del Magnifico started his season with a second to Titan Banner in the Ascot Park Hotel Handicap Pace.


"It was the perfect run because it's hard to get them right when they're stepping up through the classes. You have to be a bit fitter and I'm just pleased with the way he's come through the run. A couple more runs and I think he'll be really screwed down nice and tight."


His form last season was very good and he was rated as a place chance in the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes. 


"He got a curved hock and rubbed linament into it and we thought we had him right when he ran second before the Supremacy but he pulled up lame. We gave him a good break up at Macca Lodge and Brent (McIntyre) sent him back in terrific condition like he always does." 




Claimer Clemintyne
(Sunday 20th September 2015)


Bruce Stewart


With her consistent form, Beaudiene Clemintyne, owned by the Waihopai Racing Syndicate is proving to be the ideal racehorse for a syndicate and according to trainer Murray Brown, claiming races are also the ideal grade for her.


Claiming races were introduced to keep horses that are not top performers racing in the province. They're also a perfect scenario for syndicate owned horses, keeping people involved and interested in racing in Southland. 



"Claiming races are her go. In the C1 races you've got the good three year olds so she's always coming up against ones that are better. Last week she pulled hard and ran herself into the ground but she was still only five lengths from the leaders. The syndicate have had a few horses with me, mainly leased ones, but they bought this one off Dave Kennedy as a young horse," said Brown.


It was a peach of a drive by Andrew Armour who lead  throughout and caught Clark Barron in a favourable mood as that driver was happy to sit parked on perennial leader Billy The Bus.


Brown said the syndicate are now looking at perhaps sending the mare to stud. 





Beaudiene Clemintyne leads on the bend - Photo Bruce Stewart




Beaudiene Clemintyne and the Waihopai Racing Syndicate - Photo Bruce Stewart






















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