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Mixed Messages

Even though I’ve never had the finances to buy at the yearling sales, I have to admit that watching the live stream became rather addictive earlier this week. The results were a bit odd, with the Auckland sale going gangbusters, the trotter’s day was, to say the least, flat, the pacers first day bounced back, and the last day plateaued. Given the state of the game and the nation, the result was better than many had expected.
Pete Cook | 17/2/2022

Mask Up

Aside from the likes of the Lone Ranger (younger readers can Google that one), I don’t suppose anyone enjoys wearing a mask, bespectacled individuals like me definitely included. (As an aside I’ve actually taken to not wearing glasses in the stables. It’s amazing how well I can get away with that, although there is the odd time when I don’t recognise someone, so apologies for that).
Pete Cook | 10/2/2022

Common Sense – Yes and No

Great to see racing return to the Hawera track, where the circuit has, for decades, been an integral part of the Northern calendar. Given the continuing success of racing on the green surface in the other Island, it seems crazy that similar results can’t be achieved elsewhere.
Pete Cook | 4/2/2022

Hobart Monopoly?

I have no interest in greyhound racing but, particularly on Friday evenings between harness events, Mark Rosanowski’s (who I rate a brilliant commentator) dulcet tones perk up the interest. If that has happened to you, it’s likely that you will be aware that, at every Central Districts meeting, races are dominated by the Lisa Cole stable….sorry kennel?
Pete Cook | 28/1/2022

Central Otago Magic

It would be interesting to know how many New Zealand harness meetings attract a crowd of more than 7000 people on-course these days. Obviously, Cup Day and maybe the Motukarara Christmas meeting, but those are the only ones that come to mind with one exception.
Pete Cook | 21/1/2022

Second Chance for Young Horses

It is a fact of life that there are numerous horses that don’t make the grade as youngsters, and it has been a bugbear of mine that some are not given the opportunity to mature and show the ability that they have.
Pete Cook | 13/1/2022

2021 Annus Interesting

No, that’s not a typo for a word meaning something very different, it’s Latin for ‘year’. Whether you like or approve of the new regime that took over HRNZ this time last year, no one can accuse them of sitting on their hands.
Pete Cook | 23/12/2021


It would take a lot of research that I’m not willing to delve into, to find out if any horse trainer of any code in any Country, has prepared the winner of the same Group One race twice, with a gap of 42 years in between. If it has happened, it would certainly be extremely rare, and would probably involve someone from a high-profile family, like the Purdon’s.
Pete Cook | 16/12/2021
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