HRNZ Media Bites, Feb. 26, 2012

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HRNZ MEDIA BITES, Feb 26, 2012

Most roads lead to Menangle this Sunday: It’s been built up as one of the all-time great racedays ever in Australia and there’s a good chance it might live up to the hype and the billing. This Sunday afternoon Menangle the NSWHRC host an epic race day that offers stakes totalling AUD$2 million. Of the 10 races New Zealand-trained horses have involvement in nine, which is great. Something like 60 New Zealand-bred horses will compete across the programme, which will give most Kiwi harness fans some sort of vested interest. Of course many of those expats have only recent departed too. First race runs at NZ 2.30pm.

The highlight of course if the Inter Dominion Final. Kiwis Terror To Love, Mah Sish and Sir Lincoln (Lincoln Royal) fly the flag there. The NZTAB has Terror To Love as a $3 favourite. The other big features are the NZ Oaks (R3), Lady Ship Mile (R4), NSW Derby (R5), Chariots Of Fire (R6), Bohemia Crystal FFA (R8) and Glenferrie Farm Challenge (R9). That’s seven Group One races in succession from NZ3.20pm to NZ6.55pm. The Inter Dominion Final runs at NZ 5.40pm. Trackside TV will be giving the day tremendous coverage also.

I Can Doosit is out but Kiwis should bowl ’em in Glenferrie Challenge: I Didn’t Do It is the only horse standing between New Zealand and a total domination of the $200k Glenferrie Challenge on Sunday at Menangle. The race that pits five Kiwis against five Aussies has an interesting make up with the depth of the Australian contingent a talking point. One of the more puzzling selections is the Metropolitan maiden My High Expectations whose biggest payday to date came when running second in the Victoria Trotters Derby in 2010. The Kiwi team has been joined by Vulcan who steps in for I Can Doosit. He joins Stig, Escapee, Sovereignty and The Fiery Ginga. It promises to be an exciting race with lots of early speed and horses with varying racing styles. Could this be the chance for The Fiery Ginga to claim his maiden Group 1? From barrier one he’ll get every chance.

Wins and solid showings in several of the major races could see as much as a million dollars returning to the New Zealand industry (provided the winning owners don’t party too hard in Sydney), which will be great for the flow of money within the sport here.

Auckland carnival commences Friday: The precursor to what promises to be an exciting Trillian Trust Auckland Cup night springs into life this Friday. The two Woodlands Northern Derby Preludes have attracted top quality runners and all things being equal those boys could well be joined by Adore Me in the Derby after she takes a likely win in the Pascoes The Jewellers Northern Oaks (NZ 9.22pm). And what a story that would be for the connections of Adore Me who just happen to sponsor the Woodlands Northern Derby. Fixed Odds are out for the Derby and Auckland Cup. Adore Me is a $2.70 Derby favourite. Terror To Love a $3 shot in the Auckland Cup.

– The other feature on the night is the MUMM City of Auckland FFA (G2). A nice blend of youth and experience combine in the 11-horse field. Franco Ledger makes his northern debut and it’s also good to welcome back to the track horses the calibre of Pembrook Benny, Sleepy Tripp and Easy On The Eye.

 – The Auckland Trotting Club is pulling out all the stops for those attending the races over Cup week. The addition of a Big Screen presence and a raft of interesting racing related content will add flavour and value to those that are there live. Don’t forget the workouts from Alex Park last Saturday are online at HRNZ.    Some impressive workouts were recorded leading into this Friday’s meeting. No surprise the boys and girls in blue looked in great order.

 – Worth noting too that next week at Alexandra Park the TAB are reigniting the Pick 6 somewhat. There’s a $50k terminating Pick 6 on the Tuesday meeting and $100k guaranteed on Friday night, Auckland Cup night.

Lincoln Royal NZ- Veterinary Inspection (ex HRNSW): On Tuesday HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott conducted a veterinary inspected of LINCOLN ROYAL NZ (Sir Lincoln) at his Sydney stables after arriving from New Zealand last night. LINCOLN ROYAL NZ was found to be lame in the near (left) fore foot as a result of an abscess in the hoof. The horse is currently undergoing treatment for the condition and Dr Wainscott will conduct a further examination on Thursday morning.
Australasian Young Drivers Champs underway: Mixed results for our three reps yesterday in Goulburn. Josh Dickie lies second, Zac Butcher fifth and Matty Williamson eighth. They’re back in action from 5.15pm today at Menangle in two heats. They continue the competition at Bathurst tomorrow night, Penrith Thursday and wind up on Sunday at Menangle.

As luck would have it; no racing on Friday for the Young Drivers means Zac Butcher can sneak home to 10 drives at Alexandra Park on Friday night. He has many crucial drives across the weekend. Not the least of those Cheer The Lady on Sunday at Menangle, Five Card Draw and Pembrook Benny at Auckland.
Crack Aussie trotters heading to NZ: The towering three-year-old Aussie trotter Blitzthemcalder could be headed our way. He’s come back as a three-year-old very well (despite galloping last week) after dominating as a two-year-old and connections are setting their sights on an autumn/winter campaign in New Zealand which could culminate in the Ashburton Trust Harness Jewels. Should he come to New Zealand he’d be a very exciting addition to the three-year-old classics in the lead-up to the Harness Jewel in June.

Harness Hotshots: We have to take the opportunity to blow our own trumpet. Last week the HRTV online racing information show labelled six winners, which included each of our selectors’ ‘Best Bets’ of the week. They weren’t all hot pots either, which is nice. They were: Uncle Trevor ($5.10), Billythehuntedone ($3.30), Silver Whisp ($3.60), Galleons Triumph ($2.30), Royal Impression ($1.60 – opened $3.50 Fixed Odds) and Unico Crown ($3.90). This week the show will focus on the Premier action coming out of Auckland. Harness Hotshots will be online at HRNZ this Thursday evening. It can also be viewed through our Facebook page.

Milestone Watch: Ken Barron now on 997 NZ Driving wins. The way his team is going it seems he’ll deliver the 1000 very soon. Ken has just the one confirmed drive at Addington on Thursday night but is likely to have a handful of drives on Sunday for the Cheviot meeting at Addington.  

Courtesy of Andrew Morris, Marketing and Communications Manager, Harness Racing New Zealand