Ryal Bush trainer Nathan Williamson will be back driving Onedin Mach at Rangiora on Sunday.
Williamson was on vacation when Onedin Mach regained winning form at Forbury Park last Thursday with brother Matthew Williamson in the sulky.
Leo and Poppymalda will accompany Onedin Mach to Rangiora. Three-year-old Leo was a late finishing third on Thursday and Poppymalda has a win and a second in three starts. Leo has won at Forbury since he was bought last month by Nathan from the Bruce Hutton stable
Big things were expected of Onedin Mach after he won two of of his five starts as a 2-year-old last season. He won fresh up at Oamaru this season and again at Gore two starts later for owner Neville Cleaver before his form fell away.
''He [Onedin Mach] had a couple of bad viruses and we treated him and put him aside in January,'' Williamson said.
Onedin Mach resumed with a fourth at Oamaru on July 13. He led over the last 1200m and won by two and three quarter lengths on Thursday.
Jag's Invasion is being prepared for the new season by Williamson. Jag's Invasion, the winner of eight races when trained at Oamaru by Phil Williamson, resumed work at the start of the month.
''He [Jag's Invasion] had a few issues and he stayed down here for the latter part of the season. The swimming seems to suit him,'' Nathan said.
''Phil felt it was in the best interests of the horse to return here.''
Jag's Invasion had his most recent win from a 40m handicap at Ascot Park in March. He was spelled early in May.
The highly performed trotter Stylish Monarch is progressing well in his work with Murray Tapper at Levels in a comeback bid.
He was retired 12 months when showing sign of a problem in a suspensory ligament in his left front leg. He had been sent to Margot Nyhan for a problem in his right front leg.
''I brought him back to give the young ones company but he was too aggressive,'' Tapper said.
''I started jogging him about four months ago and I am working him as hard as I have ever done with no sign of leg problems.''
''I gave him a trial at Timaru on Saturday and he went nice on a wet track, blowing out the last 150m. I will take him to the next trials at Ashburton.''
Tapper is not in a hurry with Stylish Monarch, now rising 11.
''He has always carried a lot of condition and he will take a a few trials and there is not much in the way of racing available early in the new season.''
Stylish Monarch won the 2010 Dominion Handicap, the New Zealand Trotting Championship in 2010 and 11, the 2011 Flying Mile at Cambridge and a heat of the 2012 Interdominion at Ballarat. He has won 17 races and $500,000 in stakes.
Graeme Thomas jnr, the Invercargill reinsman, has ben suspended until November 2 after returning a positive test to cannabis.
Thomas, 37, a licence holder for 21 years, admitted the charge pertaining to a urine test for a prohibited substance at the Invercargill Harness Racing Club meeting on May 17.
He had three drives that day and nothing untoward was found with his driving.
Geoff Hall and Nigel Skelt, who heard the charge for the Judicial Control Authority, accepted the submission of Thomas that this was a one-off incident arising out of his attending a party where there were a number of people with whom he did not usually associate.
Thomas said that three nights before the race meeting he was dealing with upsetting matters of a personal nature and had been drinking heavily at a hotel. He then attended a party where about 20 people were smoking ''stuff''. He said he was hungry and ate some homemade biscuits. He had little recollection of the events.
Hall and Skelt did not accept the submission of lawyer Mary-Jane Thomas, representing her brother, that the level of cannabis was ''very low''.
The THC (cannabis) level was 220ng/ml. The threshold is 15 ng/ml.
The testing laboratory said a 220ng level was indicative of a chronic user or a recent use of cannabis.
The suspension took effect from May 23 and equates to about five months.
Hall and Skelt said they refrained from imposing a financial penalty in view of the limited financial resources of Thomas and the fact he had two dependent children.
A suspension of about six months and a fine of up to $500 has been common for the first breach of the rule. The Racing Integrity Unit, who laid the charge against Thomas, did not seek costs, other than the $172 testing fee.
- The Southland Times