HRNZ Media Bites, June 12

J Scott Latest News


 After the hectic period that was the Harness Jewels normal transmission resumes for the winter period. Below is what we see as the noteworthy bits.

 David Butcher – World Drivers Championship: After two days of competition David Butcher is running 8th in WDC 2013. He’s up four places from Day One’s disaster and isn’t that far off second after a win and a placing at Caen. Leader, Frenchman Pierre Vercryusse has a 40-point advantage so he’ll take all sorts of running down. It is literally anyone’s guess for second at this stage with 11 of the 20 races still remaining. Tune into for further updates, the HRNZ HRTV Player, ‘Like’ David Butcher and/or HRNZ on Facebook or catch updates via Twitter. As the championship progresses this website should also be a useful source of information.

Breeders Crown Heats Kicking off: Two strong Breeders Crown heat will be run as non-totes at Addington on Friday. Run just five minutes apart the heats. Jewels winner One Over Da Moon highlights the 2YO Trot, while Quite A Moment and Sheemon will battle it out with three others for the right to run in the show in August at Tabcorp Park Melton.

Addington 2000-metre mobiles return: Since the move to 1950m mobiles there has traditionally only been the NZ Pacing FFA run over 2000m. That’s all about to change with three tote races to be run this week over 2000m and two non-totes also. Be interesting to see what comes of the racing over 2000m this week.

Junior Drivers Championship contenders found: The 12 drivers to competing the NZ Champs on July 4 have been found. They are: (NI) Zac Butcher, Josh Dickie, Simon Lawson, Andrew Veint, Roydon Downey, Andre Poutama, (SI) Sam Ottley, Matty Williamson, Brad Williamson, Jack Trainor, Rory McIlwrick and Mitchell Kerr. In further good news for leading juniors a competition will be staged in Auckland on July 26. This comp will feature five juniors from the North and five from the South Island.

Givethejotobarnsy a great story of perseverance: A horse like Givethejobtobarnsy wouldn’t have made it in many other stables. John Versteeg liked him though, he saw something in the rangy 17.2 Washington VC gelding and that faith is now being repaid. As a bigger, weaker younger horse he was a knee-knocker and still is but his strength and will is overcoming any demons, as his double at Nelson (incl Winter Cup) last week illustrates. Barnsy took 16 starts to clear maidens but has since won nearly 50% of his next 10 runs. The progression he’s showing and the times he’s running is drawing comparisons with Versteeg’s last top-liner Good Mate who won nine races and almost beat Christian Cullen in a stirring record breaking battle back in 1998. Givethejobtobarnsy has now been earmarked for the Blenheim meeting next week.

John and Josh Dickie to form partnership: The father and son pair of Josh and John Dickie are joining forces in the new season and taking up residence at Kerry Hoggard’s Rosslands Farm in Clevedon. Gareth Dixon who trained there for many years is shifting to Pukekohe and that has opened up this opportunity for the Dickies. Josh finishes up as a junior driver this season after no less than 158 driving wins in NZ.

Butts bringing in exciting trotters from Europe: Three trotters have been earmarked for New Zealand by Tim and Anthony Butt and will head south in the coming season. All three are stallions so there are longer-term prospects with them as well.

Positive signs in turnovers and stakes: With increasing competition for the wagering dollar it’s good to see harness racing turnover has increased by 3.6% to 19 May. Also a positive sign is that we’re running more races at slightly higher stakes averages. We’re up 68 races to the same time (19 May) last season and the average stake is $10,071. This only represents a minimal increase of 0.4% per race but also an increase in over $780,000 in net stakes.

Minimum $75,000 Pick 6 Jackpot at Forbury Park: $41,000 jackpotted at Forbury Park last Thursday night so there is the promise of a very attractive pot this Thursday in Dunedin. The TAB has guaranteed $75,000 but expect the pool to grow well in advance of that. This should prove a nice winter betting proposition for harness punters. The fields don’t look too easy so a good payout is in store.

Courtesy of Andrew Morris,
HRNZ Marketing & Communications Manager