Smart trotter resumes with a caution

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By Matt Markham Exciting trotter Majestic Lavros begins his campaign towards Cup Week on Friday night at Addington, but his resumption comes with a warning from trainer, Mark Jones. And that’s to not get too excited about the winning hopes of the gelding in the Group Three Ordeal Trotting Cup because he knows that his star trotter is still a long way off being anywhere near his best. With just the one trial under the belt, that coming last week at Addington, Majestic Lavros steps right into the fire this week taking on the best trotter in the land in …

Jones to show off more skills

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Mark Jones is set to show off even more of his skills as a horseman following his impressive victory with Kowhai Sunset at Rangiora on Sunday. The colt put himself in Harness Jewels contention when sitting off the speed in a hotly contested two-year-old trot before powering to victory. The win displayed Jones’ skill as a leading trainer and a former World Champion driver as he produced a more polished version of Kowhai Sunset than seen in his last two starts. The trainer then pulled out a pinpoint drive behind the colt, bred and raced by John and Jill Hartnell. …

Stylish Memphis targets ‘special race’

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“No secret I’d love to have her spot on for that race” By Stu Bailey New Year 2020 did not exactly begin the way the harness racing fraternity had hoped. On that long, drawn out day at Omakau on January 2 the worry of an industry, and a nation of racing supporters, surrounded the health of one of the greats of all time, Ricky May. May had fallen ill during the running of the Central Otago Cup, the flagship race of the day, and collapsed in the sulky with over a lap to go when driving one his favourite horses …

Lavros set for the Dominion – now second favourite

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A hot week for the stable got even better when Majestic Lavros took out the Group 3 at Kaikoura yesterday – Mark’s third Group 3 success in five days after taking the Soutland Oaks -Southern Supremacy double at Ascot Park. If a Cup week statement was to be made then Majestic Lavros had to turn up and give his best performance in his final chance to stake a claim for Group One glory. The highly talented trotter was always a Dominion contender in Mark Jones’ eyes, but he needed to prove that at Kaikoura yesterday if he was to convince …

Racing season changes ‘mandatory’ to align with Australia

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“They could clean us out” Harness Racing Australia are making a move to not only change the new racing season to a calendar year, prompted by Covid, but seriously looking at it’s viability as the way forward. Adam Hamilton put the question to HRA CEO Andrew Kelly on In The Gig and it seems like there could be traction for this to happen sooner rather than later. Racing (2020-2021 season) moves to a calendar year in Australia because of Covid and many think it won’t just be a flash in the pan due to Covid. “Will it be a permanent …

Willison on sideline with frustrating injury

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Fresh off two super runs at Addington in July where he placed, then won, quality four-year-old Willison has picked up an injury and will likely not be seen on the racetrack again this year. The Bettor’s Delight gelding had returned in sparkling form, charging home into third first up off a spell with Ricky May in the bike on July 10 behind stablemate Burnham Boy. He quickly followed that up with victory on July 24 with Sam Ottley the driver, beating That Alexander Guy and Franco Niven over 1980m, rating 1:55.7 in coming from last to outsprint them. The son …