Addington Welcome to The Addington Harness Hall of Fame.

We aim to preserve the great moments of the past at Addington Raceway by providing an interactive virtual presence using the internet to reach millions of people world wide and our local harness racing industry here in New Zealand.

Harness Racing in New Zealand is one of the most popular forms of equestrian sport. There is nothing more exciting than owning and racing a harness horse.

Addington Harness Hall of Fame is proud to be a part of this wonderful club and venue and we will be there for many more years to come bringing you the great moments of the past and those of the future.

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TIMELINE


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BLAST FROM THE PAST


MILE RECORD: Evolution

THE MILE RECORD

The first horse to break 2:10 in New Zealand was Ribbonwood, who set the mile mark at Addington against time in 1903. He was driven by his owner-trainer, D J Price.

This record stood until 1911, when a son of Ribbonwood, King Cole, lowered it to 2:08 3-5, also against time, and at Addington. King Cole was owned by Mr R O Duncan and trained and driven by N L Price.

By 1915 a champion mare, Country Belle, a great sprinter as well as a stayer, was sent against the watch at Addington. Owned and trained by Mr W J Morland, and driven by James Bryce, Country Belle clipped more than a second off the record by registering 2:07 1-5.

The following season the Australian-bred mare Adelaide Direct, owned, trained and driven by M Edwards, lowered the record to 2:06 2-5 at Auckland.

The 1920-21 season saw Our Thorpe, driven by his owner, A Fleming, attack the record at Addington and reduce it by a fraction to 2:06 1-5.

This stood until the 1922-23 season, when the Australian-bred pacer Happy Voyage, driven by her owner-trainer W J Tomkinson, registered 2:04 1-5, also against the watch, at New Brighton on April 14, 1923. This was also a world grass-track record. The files state that Happy Voyage was paced by War Bond (ridden by A D Chapman), and Olwyn (driven by J N Clarke).

The mile record was next lowered in a race. This was in the November Free-For-All at the 1924 New Zealand Cup meeting. Run from a flying start, the race was won byMr J R (later Sir John) McKenzie's Acron, trained by J J Kennerley and driven by A Butterfield, in the then sensational time of 2:03 3-5. The second horse, Realm, also fractured 2:04.

In 1934 two champion Australian pacers, Walla Walla and Auburn Lad visited New Zealand for match races. At a special matinee meeting at Addington both pacers were set against the mile record. Walla Walla, who was suffering from a cold, registered 2:03 4-5. Auburn Lad, driven by his owner-trainer, W McKay lowered the record by a considerable margin when he clocked 2:02 2-5.

The following season Indianapolis, also at Addington, was successful in his attack on the record, his time being 2:01 2-5; and two seasons later, in 1936-37, he made a successful onslaught on his own record when he registered 2:00 2-5, again at Addington. Indianapolis was owned by Mr G J Barton. In his first record run he was driven by E C McDermott, and in the second by J Fraser, Jnr. F C Dunlevey was his trainer.

Two seasons elapsed before the record was again attacked, and the perfect-gaited Australian unhoppled pacer Lawn Derby, owned by Mr J MacKenny, and trained and driven by W J O'Shea, made history by doing the mile in 1:59 2-5 at Addington in November, 1938. This was not only the first two-minute mile hoisted in the Dominion, but the first time such figures had been made outside the United States.

Gold Bar, 1:59 3-5 and Haughty 1:59 3-5, made valiant attempts to beat Lawn Derby's figures in the years between the retirement of Lawn Derby and the rise of Highland Fling.

At his first attempt on the record, a week after his second New Zealand Cup victory in 1948, Highland Fling went 1:59 2-5, thus equalling Lawn Derby's time; a few days later Highland Fling went again, this time putting up the sensational figures of 1:57 4-5, sensational because the usual procedure in trials against time is a strong warm-up and the assistance of a galloping pacemaker. L F Berkett, trainer-driver of Highland Fling dispensed with both! The spectacle of "The Flings" lone role was a thrilling one, and there the record has remained for 11 years.

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 18Nov59

 
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