Day At The Track

One of New Zealand’s best pacing mares is heading off-shore and trainer Mark Jones admits he doesn’t know when to expect her back. Jones is sending Stylish Memphis to Sydney to be trained by former Kiwi horseman Jack Trainor, who trains alongside Jason Grimson at Menangle. The plan was hatched when it became clear the All Stars runners Amazing Dream and Beyond Words were not heading across the Tasman, with trainer Hayden Cullen set to have no Aussie reps for the summer. “With Amazing Dream in particular not going the Sydney races like the Ladyship Mile become very attractive,” says Jones. “Not just because she won’t be there but because it also means she will be here and that makes the Addington mares races here so much harder, especially with Beyond Words also being here. “So Sydney is the best place for her and Jack had been hassling me for a while to send her over and now is the time.” It is not the first time Jones has sent Stylish Memphis to another trainer to maximise her potential, with Mark Purdon himself training the filly to win last season’s NSW Oaks after being a huge second in the Victoria Oaks. “It is about placing them where they are best suited and can make the most money,” explains Jones. “After those two mares races here at Addington she has no real mares opportunities until the Jewels and even that could mean taking on Amazing Dream again. “I don’t think we have enough good mares races here and after the two coming up she has to race the likes of Copy That and Self Assured. “Whereas at Menangle she has two A$50,000 mares races before the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile and then can races in mares races every second week.” While Jones and his owners are leaving the option of Stylish Memphis returning for the Jewels open she could also possibly head to North America. “That is another option for her because of all the mares races and the times she can get for her future broodmare career.” Stylish Memphis won’t be the only former Jones-trained good pacer plying her trade at Menangle soon, with Burnham Boy having already started his career there with a win two weeks ago after a two-third share in him was sold to big-time US owners Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover.   By Michael Guerin

The first of 36 Vicbred Platinum Maidens scheduled for 2021 brought a special result for owner/trainer Alan Ratnasingham, with Illawong Phoenix winning the $10,000 opening race at Geelong last night. An outstanding James Herbertson drive helped produce the trainer’s first victory since February 2017, which proved a big windfall for Ratnasingham, who secured the $5700 for first place plus his $7000 Vicbred first win bonus. Making the win in the Alabar Vicbred Platinum Maiden Pace all the more notable was that it was Illawong Phoenix’s first at start 12, having previously failed to place and amassed a modest $1960 in stakes. The win was the eighth and most richest of Ratnasingham’s career, which stretches back to the 1997-98 season and features 516 starts. Each month in 2021 there will be three $10,000 Vicbred Platinum Maiden races held, two for pacers and one for trotters. The next will be a trotting race at Bendigo on January 27 followed by a pacing race at Wedderburn on January 31. In February, the $10,000 maidens are programmed for February 8 at Yarra Valley and February 28 at Boort for the pacers, and at Geelong on February 26 for trotters.   Harness Racing Victoria

The pathway to a long-coveted win looks extremely simple on paper for David Moran and his superstar Lochinvar Art, with the pair seeming to have a steady hand on their prized local cup. A gate one draw for Saturday night’s Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup only further strengthened Lochinvar Art’s claims to the $60,000 Group 2, even amid the likes of Grand Circuit contender Our Uncle Sam and David Aiken’s trio Sirletic, Malcolms Rhythm and Reactor Now. “I’ve always wanted to win a Kilmore and a Shepparton Cup, along with some of the bigger ones. In the past some great horses have won this race,” Moran said. “(Lochinvar Art’s) got the draw for Saturday night, it’d be a great trophy to have on the mantle.” Enlisted a $1.10 favourite with TAB.com.au, success looks a near formality for the brilliant five-year-old, who’s fresh from dismantling Australia’s best in the Victoria Cup, part of six wins from his past seven outings. It’s a run that his trainer/driver is savoring. “I’m every chance of probably never experiencing a horse like him and his ilk ever again,” Moran said. “Never say never, but the chance of those sorts of horses coming around again are very, very rare. Generally most of the big wins, we celebrated really hard and enjoy it. “You only live once, as much as that’s your job, I really think you need to enjoy it and embrace it and make the most of it really.” And all is in order for the good times to continue to roll from 9.44pm Saturday night, when the cup kicks off and can be enjoyed live and free with extended coverage on Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au. “He’s really good. We cleaned him up a little bit after his last win and got a few things sorted out for the coming months ahead,” Moran said. “He’s going to be pretty close to 100 per cent. He only raced a bit over a fortnight ago, he’s always better the second week backing up, but he’ll be pretty close this week.” While a first Shepparton Cup win would be an unforgettable achievement for Moran, it’s another horse who may carry most interest for him. Race two, the Graham Head Memorial 3YO Pace, will mark the return of Patsbeachstorm, a gelding who created plenty of hype during his short racing stint in February and March last year, when he won two of three starts. “He’s probably my favourite horse in the stable, believe it or not. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a horse so much,” Moran said. “Early on I thought he’d just go through his grades and his age group and eventually be a top class horse. His ability’s unbelievable. “His first three runs showed that. I think the best one, he wasn’t 100 per cent, he hadn’t raced for a few weeks and he came out and sat parked and they ran the last half in 54.6 or 54.8 and he did that with the plugs in. “His ability is definitely there. We had a couple of issues, which is why we haven’t seen him for so long.” Patsbeachstorm’s lengthy absence is the result of an unknown toxic reaction, which Moran said was possibly a spider bite. “He nearly died on us, it was 50-50 as to whether he’d get through the night,” he said. “Thank God we saved him. He’s had a pretty tough road, but he seems to be really good at the moment. We don’t have any issues with him whatsoever. “His work’s been brilliant, but he is going to need that run and will take a bit out of it. Providing he comes back good and keeps pressing on with his work he will make a very good horse.” If all goes well tonight he could target the Group 1 $100,000 VHRC Caduceus 3YO Classic at Tabcorp Park Melton, which headlines night two of the TAB Summer Of Glory.   HRV - Michael Howard

Australian breeders have been notoriously shy over the past 20 to 30 years in supporting stallions that are bred in the Southern Hemisphere, albeit with a few exceptions such as Christian Cullen, Classic Garry, Courage Under Fire and Elsu. Consequently large amounts of money have been drained from our Australian Breeding Industry in supporting the North American owned shuttle stallions. However, that hasn’t been all bad news for our harness racing Industry as in the current season five sons of those Stallions - American Ideal, Art Major, Bettors Delight and Somebeachsomewhere – have all bred over 100 mares in Australia. The acceptance by breeders of these five stallions – For A Reason, Poster Boy, Soho Tribeca, Ultimate Machete and Vincent – represents a big step forward for our Breeding Industry. This acceptance of our ‘Home Grown’ stallions is very timely as the sires of those stallions are either deceased (Somebeachsomewhere) or now into the veteran stages of their lives – American Ideal (19-year-old), Art Major (22-year-old) and Bettors Delight (23-year-old). We know of course that is unlikely that all these new stallions will rise to the top of the Australian Sires’ Lists but at least they now have an opportunity with strong support from Australian breeders.   It is well worth remembering that Classic Garry rose from a rather humble beginning (79 foals in his debut crop of 1986/87) to the Leading Stallion of Australia a few years later. The very positive initiative of Harness Racing Victoria to increase the First Win Vicbred Bonus to $12,000 for the progeny of Australian and New Zealand bred stallions certainly paved a smooth path for the Victorian based stallions Poster Boy, Soho Tribeca, Ultimate Machete and Vincent. It is no surprise that the Art Major son For A Reason received strong support as his first crop of just 33 foals have now won over $1.2million between them (20 individual winners), whilst his second commercial crop of 93 foals raced as two-year-olds in the recently completed season with 21 winners emerging to date. The positive signs don’t end with these five stallions either.  The 2016 Australian 2YO of the Year The Storm Inside and the Inter Dominion champion Tiger Tara were strongly fancied by Australian breeders as well with around 90 and 80 mares bred respectively. Bling It On, who mixes his racing and breeding career, is another stallion who has been kept busy all season, having served around 90 mares.  His oldest progeny will soon be seen on racetracks around Australia (current two-year-olds). The former outstanding racetrack performers Fly Like An Eagle, Guaranteed and Jilliby Kung Fu have all received good bookings as well with numbers between 40 and 60 mares each. The Hall of Fame Stallion Artsplace has had a profound impact on the Pacing breed the world over and it will continue for many years to come. Eight of the eleven ‘Home Grown’ stallions mentioned in this article are either by Artsplace or his son Art Major or are from mares by Artsplace or one of his sons. The 2020/21 season saw 19 stallions serve over 100 mares with only nine of those stallions to shuttle back to North America – Always B Miki, American Ideal, Bettors Delight, Captain Crunch, Downbytheseaside, He’s Watching, McWicked, Sportswriter and Sweet Lou. Lather Up, another shuttle sire, served around 90 mares in his debut ‘down under’ season. In addition to these shuttle stallions and the five Home Grown stallions, the other five stallions included Art Major , Warrawee Needy and the sons of Rocknroll Hanover - A Rocknroll Dance , Rock N Roll Heaven and Rock N Roll World .  Warrawee Needy   The numbers of stallions who have bred over 100 mares in a single season in recent times are: Year          No. stallions          Total Services for Season 2019               12                             4,659  2018               14                             4,956  2017               19                             5,431 2016               15                             5,722  2015               15                             5,880 Although there were 19 stallions who bred over 100 mares in 2017, it was from a total of 5,431 services. Based on the figures from 2018 and 2019, total services for the closing season are estimated to be between 4,500 and 4,750. It is also worth noting that in 2017 of the 19 stallions to cover 100 mares or mare, 14 were shuttle stallions, thus much of the service fee income disappeared from our economy. The year 2020 will be remembered around the World for some wrong reasons but in the Harness Industry in Australia it may be the start of a resurgence in our Breeding Industry.   By John Coffey and Peter Wharton

Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002

Amid the summer heat Damien Burns will be more than satisfied to see a little sunshine break out at Geelong tonight, when he chases a second two-year-old victory of the new season. The trainer-driver has Solesseo Matuca contesting tonight's Happy Birthday Jim Fuller 2YO Pace, with the little half-brother to Youaremysunshine ($139,500) bouncing back after a second on debut, when he was beaten by stablemate Got Equity. "I like them both," Burns said of his two-year-olds, who quinealled the first two-year-old race of the season at Maryborough on January 4. "I don't honestly know which one's better. They're two very different horses to drive. "Solesseo Matuca is definitely a bit more speedy, the other one (Got Equity) seems to be a bit better racehorse." Round one went to Got Equity, who swept past his stablemate in the dying stages after Solesseo Matuca had to lug a flat tyre for the majority of the hit out. Talking to Jason Bonninton and Toby McKinnon on SENTrack's Trots Life this morning, Burns said "that was probably my fault". "I cut in a bit tight on Glenn (Douglass's) horse (Ozzie Joy), which popped my wheel. I thought I better go as slow as I possibly can to get him up the home straight, which I tried too, which was about a 36sec (second) quarter. It didn't quite get me there and I looked up on my inside and it was the other one (Got Equity) who pipped me on the post." Tonight Solesseo Matuca won't have to worry about his stablemate in his second attempt to break his maiden status, with Got Equity scratched along with first starter Victory George, leaving just a four-horse field to tackle the $7000 pace at 7.55pm. Solesseo Matuca is again likely to start in the red on TAB.com.au. "His second trial I thought he was a little bit fierce and I put plugs in for the first time at Maryborough and then he wouldn't go until I pulled the plugs," Burns said. "He won't have plugs in tonight and you will probably see a different horse." He's optimistic both have success in their paths, though there's plenty of water to go under the bridge before the headline features arrive at year's end.  "They go as good as any other youngster I've taken to the track before," Burns said. "This year they will be going harder and faster again. Every one thinks they have a nice horse until you bring them to the track and there's always one better. That's just the way it goes."   Harness Racing Victoria

BATHURST horsewoman Stephanie Burley will be hoping to snare her first win for the season at her local track tonight.  Burley has only had one drive this season and she will add to that tonight.  Originally, Burley had two horses nominated, however, Im Jimmy James has been scratched from Race 3, a heat of the Menangle Country Series.  This gelding provided Burley with her last winner.  Burley’s only drive tonight now is on Havana in Race 7, a mare she also owns.  Burley drove five winners last season, which extended her overall record to 14 wins.  As a trainer, the 25-year-old has had seven winners.  Burley began training in July 2017 and her first horse was Our Emancipation.   This pacer provided Burley with her first win as a trainer and gave her five wins overall. iForm Bathurst best bet Race 7: Shes All Smiles (5) Looks the one to beat changing stables showing noticeable improvement at Penrith. Bathurst next best Race 5: The Mustang (7) Makes his presence felt following a tidy effort in the Temora Cup when striking early trouble. Play the exotics The Bathurst Quaddie Race 5: 3-8-4 Race 6: 3-2-1 Race 7: 5-7-2 Race 8: 4-8-3 $81 for 100%

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) are pleased to announce the 2019/2020 Globe Derby Awards – proudly sponsored by IRT. The Globe Derby Awards celebrate the sports leading Sires. Bettors Delight USA continued his dominance of the Globe Derby Awards in winning both the Leading Sire by Stakemoney and Leading Juvenile by Stakemoney. Remarkably, season 2019/20 marked the 9th time in which the Woodlands Stud sire was the leading sire by Stakemoney. Alabar Farm’s Majestic Son CA was the Leading Trotting Sire by Stakemoney for the 5th time and was clearly the most outstanding trotting sire for the season. The remaining award winners are listed below, and Harness Racing Australia congratulates the connections of the Globe Derby Award Winners. BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 9th time) Leading Sire by Stakemoney BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 5th time) Leading Juvenile Sire by Stakemoney MAJESTIC SON CA (for the 5th time) Leading Sire of Trotters by Stakemoney 2019/2020 Statistics LEADING SIRE BY STAKEMONEY           BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 654 starters 460 winners 1438 wins $14,568,341 LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY           MACH THREE CA - 43 starters 29 winners 69 wins $973,362 LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY             BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 115 starters 90 winners 300 wins $2,930,908 LEADING JUVENILE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY (2&3YO’S)           BETTORS DELIGHT USA  - 192 starters 138 winners 397 wins $3,862,897 LEADING SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKEMONEY          MAJESTIC SON CA  - 174 starters 109 winners 293 wins $2,751,053 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKEMONEY               SUNDON USA - 213 starters 136 winners 378 wins $3,671,438 LEADING SIRE BY WINNERS           BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 460 winners LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS           ART MAJOR USA - 48 winners LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS           ART MAJOR USA - 101 winners LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY           CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ - 423 starters 298 winners 903 wins $9,112,847 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY           ART MAJOR USA - 85 starters 45 winners 88 wins $887,898 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY           ART MAJOR USA - 106 starters 61 winners 209 wins $1,653,945 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY WINNERS           CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ - 298 winners LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS           ART MAJOR USA - 45 winners LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS           BETTORS DELIGHT USA - 68 winners   Harness Racing Australia

MICHAEL Muscat recently decided that it was the right time in his life to make a change and he now has no regrets that he chose to re-locate from Sydney to Bathurst. “I am really loving it out there in the central west. The people that I have got to know are so friendly and the lifestyle is most definitely more relaxed than in the city,” said Muscat. Since moving west, Muscat has had five winners, his most notable being Jak Magic, which provided him with his first Menangle Country Series Final three weeks ago.   Muscat has no fear in travelling with his team and has already been seen all around the countryside at tracks like Dubbo, Junee, Young and Parkes. “Bathurst is quite central to many tracks which gives me lots of options to race my horses in suitable races and I have enjoyed the trips to places that I had not been to before,” said Muscat.  “Unfortunately, I have been unable to drive the horses myself due to sustaining some injuries in some falls earlier in 2020. “But I have been fortunate to have secured some of the best drivers from the area, who are keen to drive my horses, which is very humbling. “I have not had all that many starters to date, so I am pleased to have already chalked up five winners since moving.  “In fact, I don’t think many of them have missed a cheque either.” Muscat said that eventually he wanted to return to race driving, but is in no rush. “I do miss driving in races but while things are ticking over as well as they currently are, there is no real urgency to get back,” he said. On Wednesday night, Muscat is “at home” with four runners on a solid Bathurst program. “I find it hard to pinpoint a standout from my team tonight as all four appear to be top chances,” he said.  “Jak Magic was so strong in winning at Menangle last start and Lord Heston bolted in on Boxing night.  “Although Dargos Pet was beaten last time out when an odds-on favourite we were happy with his effort while Shes All Smiles is one to follow as she is on the improve and I think she can go very close to winning.”   HRNSW MEDIA

Gavelhouse graduate (I’m) Captain Max provided trainer-driver Brad Hewitt with a special victory on his family’s annual memorial raceday at Goulburn on Sunday. At what was his second start for Hewitt having been bought online in October for $10,500, the five-year-old son of American Ideal provided him with his 500th driving win with a dominant performance. Heading into the race as odds-on favourite, (I’m) Captain Max stalked the leaders in a mid-field position before Hewitt let him stride around the outside, taking control of proceedings in devastating fashion. Hitting the front before entering the straight, the pair left rivals 11.9m in arrears on the line. “We had been keeping an eye on gavelhouse.com for young horses and racing stock and he was one we were keen to secure and if it wasn’t for the cost of freight we’d have added more to the team from the site,” commented Hewitt. “He’s one of 26 odd that my father and I have in work and he went really well on Sunday, running 11:55:4. “At this stage we have no set plans with him, we will just keep taking him through the grades.” (I'm) Captain Max and Brad Hewitt. Photo: Goulburn Paceway. Bred and originally raced by Stonewall Stud, Captain Max won on two occasions in New Zealand over 2000m and 2200m before being offered for sale on gavelhouse.com.   Currently there are four Standardbreds for sale on the site with bidding ending from 7pm tomorrow, Wednesday 13 January. VIEW FULL CATALOGUE   gavelhouse.com

Saturday night should be another walk in the park for Lochinvar Art. Australia’s best pacer already looked a class above his Group 2 Shepparton Gold Cup rivals, but drawing the pole cemented it. He’s $1.10 with the Aussie TAB in a seven-horse race where former Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup runner-up Our Uncle Sam (gate five) and talented comeback pacer Malcolms Rhythm (three) look next best. Trainer-driver David Moran said Lochinvar Art was “pretty close to his top” for his first race of 2021. His last run was that stunning 30.5m Group 1 Vicbred final win on New Year’s Eve. “He had a few days off after that last win and I said I’d play it by earn whether he ran this week or waited to Ballarat, but he’s ready to go,” he said. “This will sharpen him up a bit and then he’s got Ballarat next week to top him off for the Hunter Cup (February 6). “He’s had his share of bad draws in big races, so it’s great to have a couple of draws at his past two. Hopefully he keeps getting the good draws, especially come Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile time.” ______________________________________________________________________________________ Rejuvenated trotting star McLovin headlines the feature trot at Shepparton when he backs-up from gate seven in the Group 3 George Gath. He’s one of three Andy and Kate Gath runners, Monaro Maro (three) and Majestic Courtney (five). McLovin is going for four wins on end after his mighty Group 1 Maori Mile victory at Bendigo last Saturday night. His baby half-brother, Havehorsewilltravel, is going for four wins from as many starts for Team Gath in the third race at Shepparton. The Angus Hall gelding found the front and won well in the Cobram Trotters’ Cup last Sunday. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Former classy Kiwi pacer Star Galleria continues his Hunter Cup preparation in the free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night. Driver Luke McCarthy was delighted with the gelding’s first run for trainer Craig Cross when he won easily, albeit in moderate time, at Menangle two weeks back. Star Galleria will start from the outside gate, but should be further improved and looks a classy above his rivals with Cross’ other big guns not in the race. On the same card, prepost Ladyship Mile favourite Bettor Enforce should be too classy from gate in a small but select Group 3 Ladyship Pace. Classy Queenslander Pelosi is down to start her quest towards the Ladyship Mile and looks the main threat from gate five, while former WA mare Dracarys (two) and the talented Nostra Villa (four) add some class. There will be plenty of interest in the opening race when last-start Breeders Crown 3YO winner Zeuss Bromac returns from a break to build towards the Chariots Of Fire.   by Adam Hamilton

With 101 yearlings due to roll through the Oaklands Junction sale ring on Sunday, February 7, the odds of purchasing a potential topliner at the Australian Pacing Gold Melbourne sale have never been more in the favour of buyers. The sale catalogue has listed 56 superbly bred colts and 45 fillies for auction, all eligible to contest APG’s Melbourne Gold Bullion Series carrying around $600,000 of local prizemoney. APG’s General Manager, David Boydell, enthused, “the simple fact is that the risk to reward ratio for buyers has never been better with the 56 colts and 45 fillies eligible for APG’s Melbourne $150,000 2YO finals and $100,000 3YO finals, featuring separate divisions for each sex". “The odds of finding a horse capable of filling one of the 40 places in the finals are outstanding, and most buyers would like to think that they can shorten the odds even further based on their own methods of ranking the horses based on pedigree and conformation. “Realistically, I’d expect buyers will be approaching APG’s 2021 Melbourne Sale with an enormous feeling of confidence that they will be coming home with a purchase capable of lining up in at least one of APG’s Group One Melbourne Gold Bullion Finals”. In addition to the $600,000 or so of local APG prizemoney, the majority of the yearlings are also paid up for the rich Breeders Crown, Vicbred and Vicbred Platinum series for two, three and four-year-olds, while 37 are eligible for the Bathurst Gold Crown, five for Tasbred, three for the NSW Breeders Challenge and one for Westbred. And, with the plethora of age classics being conducted around Australia, graduates of the 2021 APG Melbourne sale will have far greater earning potential than ever before. The catalogue lists progeny of past Australian Pacing Gold winners in Self Denial (2003) and Pelicanrama (1999) and close relatives of APG champions such as Follow The Stars (2014), Mindarie Priddy (2013), Lombo Pocket Watch (2006) and Lady Waratah (2005). Graduates of recent Melbourne sales include recent Breeders Crown champions Maajida and Be Happy Mach the Vicbred winner Pacifico Dream, as well as recent Australian Horse of the Year winners in their respective categories, Centenario, Lumineer, Nostra Villa, Shez All Rock and Smolda. To order a sale catalogue or to view the catalogue online simply click on the respective links on the website www.apgold.com.au   Australian Pacing Gold

Thanks to some outstanding decisions made by Queensland breeders back in the season of 2019/20, APG have been able to assemble 52 distinguished Lots for the APG Brisbane Sale happening at Albion Park Paceway on Sunday 31 January 2021. This acclaimed race series not only has $350,000 of local prize money on offer, but in addition an incentive scheme for QBRED-eligible horses sees a first-win bonus set at $12,000 at any age, regardless of how many interstate wins they may have had. A further $7,500 cash bonus is also on offer for their first Queensland win in a subsequent season, meaning the opportunities for investors in harness racing right now have never been better than in QLD. The next four stallions we would like to highlight are Badlands Hanover, Betterthancheddar, Betting Line and Bettors Delight. Badlands Hanover was a standout Grand Circuit performer, setting a world record at two of 1:50 winning the 1998 Breeders Crown Final. With multiple $1,000,000 winners in both the northern and southern hemispheres, this puts him amongst some of the most successful stallions in the sport. Lot 30 - Badlands Hanover - Bute Sister - Artiscape -  Ms Mac N Cheese $815,427: This impressive looking filly has a dam being a sister to Badlands Bute, and a winner of $328,365 which carries the blood that could get the new owner extremely excited by its prospects. Betterthancheddar went to stud as a Bettor’s Delight’s fastest and richest entire and while his multiple world record holder race career ended tragically, it hasn’t stopped him leaving fast horses in both hemispheres. Lot 28 – Betterthancheddar – Bubby Doll – Jet Laag Wisdom tree (Artsplace) $642,215: The APG Brisbane breeder looks to have nailed his choice of broodmare sire here with Jet Laag.  With six of Betterthanchedddar’s best 16 coming from the Adios line (through Abercrombie) broodmares sires, this stylish looking grey has the potential to bring joy to her new connections. At three-years-old, Betting Line won 14 of 15 starts  and with wins in the North American Cup, the Carl Milstein Memorial and the Battle of the Brandywine (where he posted his career best time of 1:47.2f) it helped him to go on to be crowned 2016 Canadian All-age Horse of the Year and North American 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year. Betting Line’s top four progeny (all have won north of $100,000 as 2YOs) so far have come from Meadow Skipper (through Western Hanover) and Adios (through Abercrombie) which is a point not lost on the canny APG Brisbane breeders, with five of the six lots matched to those successful lines. The sixth was bred on the Direct Scooter line, which most people would understand shows how amazing Bettors Delight has been with Cullen mares. Both Lazarus - the super star winner of $4,125,988 - and Chicago Bull - winner of $2,308,843 - are out of Cullen mares. Three great examples of Betting Lines Lots are: Lot 1 - Betting Line - October Original - Perfect Art - Tall Dark Stranger $1,941,999 (Bettors Delight – Art Major): What a great filly to kick off the sale; fillies have really ran in this family and please don’t forget that the very handy Lovers Delight (by Bettors Delight) winner of $555,473 was out of the same N4 family. This lot is being prepared by the team at Monarch farms and it’s sure to present well. Lot 4 - Betting Line - Ourark - Rocknroll Hanover - Abuckabett Hanover $172,434. This colt is from U306 and it’s done a wonderful job here in Australia. While Betting Line’s highest earner is from a Rocknroll Hanover Broodmare, his father produced Bettors Wish from a mare by Rocknroll Hanover’s sire Western Ideal. Lot 38 - Betting Line - Exclusif - Perfect Art - Tall Dark Stranger $1,941,999 (Bettors Delight – Art Major): What is of particular note here is how good the Bettor’s Delight blood has already worked with this dam who has produced the $455,809 winner Bettor Bet Black. The Vaggs have a reputation of producing big strong yearlings to the sale and this Lot will be no different - a must view colt. Bettor’s Delight is being promoted as harness racing’s relentless juggernaut in the breeding shed, with no stallion having cast a bigger shadow over the breeding scene. Age has not diminished his influence on the racetrack and in the breeding barn as his progeny continue to break records and he is now impacting as a broodmare sire. Lot 25 – Bettors Delight – Wandary Splash – Blissfull Hall – Bettor Than You $543,628: With an incredible five offspring bred on this cross so far with earnings of more than $100,000, from just nine progeny of racing age - this cross has ticked so many boxes.  With the additional bonus of being prepared at Burwood, this QBRED Filly should have a massive day. Please come and celebrate the exciting opportunities now available in Queensland with us and support the efforts of the breeders and consignors in this state.  We invite you to join us at Albion Park on Sunday January 31 from 8am for a complimentary breakfast, followed by free beverages from 11am to 12:05pm. We will have online and telephone bidding options available if you are unable to attend. John Coffey will be inspecting all of the Brisbane yearlings on sales day, and will be pleased to answer any questions that you may have on the individuals featuring in the sale, or to bid on your behalf.  John can be contacted on 0418 500 211. Please contact Linda Graham on 0428 955 998 via email and she’ll be pleased to assist you with your online registrations, pre- bidding sale approvals or to answer any other questions that you may have on your travel and accommodation needs.   RQ Media

Down Under driver has huge weekend of racing. Down Under harness racing driver Todd McCarthy had an outstanding two nights at the Meadowlands in New Jersey over Friday and Saturday nights race meetings. McCarthy recently relocated to North America from Sydney Australia to further purse his harness driving career. With his older brother Andrew McCarthy already located in the US, Todd has entered the American racing scene with a great impact and is gaining huge winning momentum. On Friday night McCarthy scored 4 wins then backed up on Saturday night winning another 4 races and picking up 4 seconds and a third. Making that 8 wins and 5 placings in two days of racing at the Meadowlands. Three of which of the wins he teamed up with Down under trainers Noel Daley and Nifty Norman. Firstly Darkrshadeofpale N a Down Under mare trained by Noel Daley scored a convincing win in a $12,500 pace clocking 1:51.4 for the mile. Soon after McCarthy jumped on one of down under trainer Nifty Normans trotters in Godspell Hall and won easily in 1:53.2 taking home $15,500. Then to Saturday night and the talented Down Under pacer Effronte A found form again when winning in 1:51.2 after receiving the perfect two hole ride (trail) and then really rallied late to win by two and a half lengths. This son of Rock N Roll Heaven is also trainer by Down Under trainer Noel Daley.  Over the 11 days so far in 2021 Todd McCarthy has driven 10 winners and placed 6 times for $88,580 in stake earnings. He is off to a flyer and this year looks to be exciting for the Down Under talent. Monday 4th January Monticello Raceway NY Eden Paige N – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $5,200   Tuesday 5th January Pompano Park FL Thefreedomfighter N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $4,500   Wednesday 6th January Dover Downs DE Neon Sky N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $5,000  Soho Burning Love A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $22,000  Sudden Change N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $12,500    Northfield Park OH Rycroft N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $4,200   Thursday 7th January Dover Downs DE Tiger Thompson N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $13,000  Always Flashing A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $15,000  Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $20,000    Monticello Raceway NY Northern Assassin A – Time: 1:59.1, Stake: $4,600   The Meadows PA Hereslooknatyou N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,400   Friday 8th January Freehold Raceway NJ Tall Poppy N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $7,500   Meadowlands NJ Darkrshadeofpale N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $12,500 Dbldelitebrigade N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $15,500   Miami Valley Raceway OH Armabluechipboy N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $12,500 Sprinter N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500 Persistent Threat A – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $12,500   The Meadows PA Yankee Roller A – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $4,900   Saturday 9th January Cal Expo CA Hoo Nien A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $5,600   Freehold Raceway NJ Vasari N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $7,700   Meadowlands NJ Effronte A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $7,500 Italian Delight N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $10,000 Two Fiftyeight N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $8,125 Hold Thumbs N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $7,600   Miami Valley Raceway OH Messi N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $8,100 Charlottetown Driving Park CA Uncle Ben N – Time: 2:03.2, Stake: $1,400   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD Major Cam has faced his share of battles throughout his career but on Saturday night he produced one of his finest victories. In a career littered with issues and layoffs, the giant nine-year-old showed he still has the desire and instinct with a breathtaking last-to-first victory in the Remembering Atomic Ark Pace. Settling at the rear of the field as Mattgregor set the tempo in front, a steady early pace over the 2138-metre distance was making it look a difficult assignment for those back in the field. Still at the rear of the pack as the third split was put down in a sizzling 26.8 seconds, driver Kylie Rasmussen made her move. Angling across runners as they turned for home, Major Cam was soon the widest runner and shaken up to give chase, and give chase he did. Charging home down the outside of the track, he picked them up and put them away in the blink of an eye in claiming a two-metre victory. The win was astounding, with horses just not winning in free for all company in that manner. Trained by Darren Weeks, driven by Kylie Rasmussen and owned by her mother Cheryl, the win took Major Cam’s record to 59 starts for 26 wins and 13 minor placings and earnings of $235,000. Starting his career with a Redcliffe victory as a three-year-old in December 2014, Major Cam has been sidelined for periods of nine months or longer on three separate occasions. Following two wins from six starts in his first campaign, he was away from the track for 12 months, returning as a four-year-old with a first-up victory at Albion Park. It was to be a successful four-year-old term that returned 7 wins and 3 minors from 12 outings. Included were a pair of Group victories - the Group 2 Four-Year-Old Triad Final and the Group 3 Four-Year-Old Championship. The 4YO Championship victory would be his last in that season, with two more starts before another 11-month stint on the sidelines. Returning as a five-year-old, he showed no effects of the long break when scoring a gritty win first-up from outside the leader to claim his tenth career victory. A further six wins that season were followed with his progression to open company early in the new season as a six-year-old. Major Cam announced himself to the Free For All ranks with a dominant victory at his second start of the 2017/18 season in a field that included battle-hardened open class performers Alleluia and Mach Alert. Apart from a half-head second in the 2017 Redcliffe Patron’s Purse behind Bettorthanspecial, all his racing has been at Albion Park. His latest victory has elevated him into the ’25 Club’ for horses that have achieved 25 victories at The Creek. That victory indicating there is still film left to be added to the Major Cam highlight reel.   THE BAD George Michael is an owner, breeder and trainer that has put huge amounts of money and hard work into the sport of harness racing. With many of the horses owned by Michael bred by his own stallions in recent times, in 2016, he opted to send a mare by the name of Melton Bonny Bye to the court of Hurrikane Kingcole. The resultant foal was a filly, and that filly was then entered in the 2019 Redcliffe Yearling Sale. Entering the sales ring, the filly could not attract a solitary bid and was knocked down as a buyback to Michael for the paltry figure of $200. Naming his horses with the moniker of Melton as either a suffix or prefix in their name referring to Melton Stud - which is owned and operated by Michael - this filly would race as Melton Insulted. Given the name owing to how George Michael was feeling after his filly could not even secure a solitary bid at that 2019 sale. Fast forward to her two-year-old season and Melton Insulted - now prepared by John McMullen - progressed through to the Redcliffe Sales Series Final following a placing in her heat. There was to be no fairy tale in the $100,000 Group 1 Final, however the filly ended the extended season with 8 minor placings from 16 attempts. Stepping out as a three-year-old on January 7 at Redcliffe in her first start for the new season, Melton Insulted was able to land a maiden-breaking victory. Every cloud has a silver lining and the lining on this occasion was for Michael’s pockets. In claiming victory, the filly also pocketed the $12,000 QBRED first win bonus. Not bad for a horse that no one wanted!   THE MILESTONE Breeding is a character-building part of racing that can test the toughest of people and assess their resilience. Keith Croft has been lucky enough with his mare Versace Woman, on the most part, to experience the highs that breeding brings. On Saturday night at Albion Park, Versace Woman was able to land a metropolitan double when Just Joshin and Jiggle And Jive were both successful. Full siblings by the champion sire Bettors Delight, both pacers are trained out of Redcliffe by Aileen Smith and owned by Croft. Just Joshin was the first and perhaps unexpected of the double when claiming victory in a Qualifying Pace. Securing a perfect trip in behind the leader after starting from barrier one, Lachie Manzelmann was able to steer the six-year-old to victory via the passing lane. Securing a last stride victory by the barest possible margin, the winning rate of 1.55.3 also set a new benchmark for the gelding in landing his ninth career win. Less than 90 minutes later and the winning double for Croft, Smith and Versace Woman was completed when Jiggle And Jive triumphed. Already a Group 1 winner after claiming the 2019 2YO Fillies Triad Final, the four-year-old mare was able to break a winless streak when scoring a narrow victory in a mare’s event. After returning as a three-year-old with three successive victories, Jiggle And Jive just lost her way somewhat and after a steep rise in class that saw her meeting experienced rivals. A string of bad gates did not aid her cause, and after landing gate 1 on Saturday night, driver Shane Graham made the most of the advantage. Leading throughout, the mare was able to hold on for a narrow victory as Tuapeka Light made one last bid to get within a half-head of the winner. With a team of four in work - three of those full siblings out of Versace Woman - it has been a successful fortnight for Smith landing a pair of doubles. Joy To All - the third of the Bettors Delight x Versace Woman in Aileen’s team - was able to break through for her first victory at Redcliffe on December 30. Also successful on that night in completing a double for Smith was Regalia, the four-year-old claiming his second career victory. Owned and bred by Aileen along with her father Cliff Gassman, the gelding is out of the mare Idontneedluck that Smith raced to 12 career wins. Season 2021 has certainly started the best way possible.   THE WILDCARD Daroobalgie is a small hamlet just off the Newel Highway between Forbes and Parkes in the Lachlan Valley of New South Wales. It is also the name given to a handy pacer that raced in the early to mid-2000s for owner/breeder Carol Wood and her husband Bruce, who was also the trainer of the stallion. In an impressive career that netted 21 victories, the highlight was a Group 1 success when claiming the 2001 3YO NSW Sires Stakes. As a four-year-old, he was able to progress through to the 2002 Inter Dominion Final won by Smooth Satin. In a four-start Queensland campaign in 2003 as a five-year-old, he finished unplaced each time, including an eighth in the Winter Cup won by Sokyola and down the line in the Redcliffe Cup. At stud - with limited opportunities - Daroobalgie has been able to sire five winners from 11 starters. Of those five, three have been successful at Redcliffe - Gargarra, Ceear Rail and Aroona. Last Thursday, 15 years to the day since Daroobalgie contested the Shepparton Cup, Aroona claimed his fifth career victory. Trained by Melissa Kendall and driven to victory by her son Zac Chappenden, Kendall has been patient with the now eight-year-old. Repaying that patience has seen the gelding claim five victories and place on a further 22 occasions under her care after taking on Aroona as a 15-start maiden. The win of Aroona provided mother and son team of Melissa and Zac with the first leg of a race-to-race double. Wild About Town was the second leg when the seven-year-old was able to lead all the way in scoring his sixth victory for Kendall. Scoring a double with a pair of pacers that entered her barn as maidens and virtual cast-offs, they have started the latest season in perfect fashion.   THIS WEEK This coming week will again see five race meetings held in Queensland. Albion Park kicks off the week with an eight-race card followed by Redcliffe on Wednesday night with ten races to be decided. Redcliffe on Thursday afternoon will be followed by Albion Park Friday afternoon. The week will be rounded out with something a little different to the normal schedule, with Redcliffe hosting the metropolitan staked meeting. Highlighting the card will be a Trotters Cup race offering total stakes of $22,210, run over the 2613-metre distance with conditions of discretionary handicap. There will also be the final of the Hustler Raptor Series following two heats last Wednesday. For the 47-52 rated performers with a random barrier draw, heat winners were Headwin and Pacific Coin. All participants and stakeholders are requested to keep pace with the latest advice from Racing Queensland to ensure COVID-19 protocols are met.   by Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

YONKERS, N.Y. – Australian import Let It Ride will make his Yonkers Raceway debut in the featured $30,000 open handicap pace on Opening Night (Jan. 11). The move to the Hilltop comes after the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding took a Meadowlands preferred/open handicap in such style as to garner praise like, “he really amazed me,” from harness racing trainer Nifty Norman. In that start Jan. 2, driver Dexter Dunn slotted Let It Ride into seventh after starting from post nine as Harambe Deo ripped an opening quarter in :26.1. Let It Ride followed the second-over cover of Rock Diamonds and drew within 4 lengths of the lead as Harambe Deo blitzed a :53.2 half-mile. Dunn tipped Let It Ride three-deep at the midway point of the final turn and the pacer rocketed into contention.  Under a tight hold, Let It Ride angled into the stretch on even-terms with Harambe Deo. Dunn took a glimpse over his right shoulder and saw rival Hesa Kingslayer, who followed Let It Ride third-over, still 2 lengths behind and under urging. Dunn gave a few whip taps and pulled the plugs at the furlong marker. Let It Ride didn’t let up, extending through the finish line to cap the mile with a :26.1 final quarter and stopping the clock in 1:48.1, just one-fifth of a second of Golden Receiver’s record January mile at the Meadowlands in 2012. “You just don’t see an 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven come from Down Under and do this sort of thing,” Norman said. “I was hoping he was a winners over type of horse. He’d been a classy old horse, but he hadn’t been very good for a couple years. He trained down good, he qualified good, every start has been good. But his last race was unbelievable. He just seems like he’s getting better all the time, too.” Bred in New Zealand, Let It Ride won his first four starts at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club for trainer Tim Butt with Dunn in the sulky from Feb. 10, 2017 to March 31, 2017. Over the next year, Let It Ride went unplaced in four Group 1 races in his home country, but found better luck in Australia.  Let It Ride won six straight races at Tabcorp Park Menangle and Albion Park between May 26, 2018 and July 21, 2018, including a pair of Group 1 stakes in the AU$100,000 New South Wales Breeders Challenge Four-Year-Old Entires and Geldings Final, in which he paced the mile in 1:49.4, and the AU$200,540 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship over 2,680 meters with Dunn driving.  After that Blacks A Fake win, which saw Let It Ride explode out of the pocket to win by 5 lengths, the brilliance seemed to fade. Let It Ride won just three of his next 27 starts through Sept. 26, 2020. Tim and Anthony Butt, longtime friends of Norman, thought the horse would benefit from Lasix and a deal was made to export the horse to the U.S. “Basically, I think putting him on Lasix turned him around,” Norman said. “We didn’t do a lot with him. His feet were a little sore, we changed his shoeing, put him on Lasix, and that was that. He’s such a good-winded horse. He must have a big set of lungs because he never seems to get tired. Nothing bothers him.” Let It Ride was cleared to the U.S. Oct. 5, 2020 and made an impression as soon as he arrived in Norman’s stable. Norman says Let It Ride is easy to be around, is a simple horse to train, and describes him as a gentleman. “He’s a grand looking horse. He’s a big, strong fellow. He’s got a great, big hind end on him and he’s in great shape,” Norman said. “He looks after himself really well. He’s got a good coat and always carries lots of weight. He’s a good-looking horse and good-natured, good to be around. He doesn’t do anything wrong. He’s a real nice horse.” Let It Ride was ready to qualify in short order and did so at Harrah’s Philadelphia Nov. 11, 2020 with assistant trainer Scott Petherick in the bike. Off a pocket trip, Let It Ride came home in :27.2 to post a 2-length win in 1:55.1. From there, Let It Ride ran up a five-race win streak culminating with that “amazing” Meadowlands win Jan. 2. Dunn drove in each pari-mutuel start. “Scotty qualified him and he said, ‘jeeze, this is the real deal. He’s strong as hell.’ Once we raced him a couple times – and we just raced him off the pace to see how he would be – Dexter came back and said, ‘this thing is a bull,’ ” Norman recalled. “I said, ‘it would be great if I could get him back to where he used to be.’ He said, ‘I think he’s there already. He feels better than he ever did when I drove him.’ I felt pretty good after he said that.” Let It Ride will start from an assigned post eight in his first start at Yonkers, which will also be his first race on a half-mile, or 800-meter, track. Let It Ride spent most of his time in Australia on the 1,400-meter oval at Tabcorp Park Menangle and got several starts over various tracks measuring approximately 1,000 meters.  Let It Ride got one start each over the 946-meter track at Cranbourne and the 931-meter track at Newcastle, which approximate the U.S. half-mile oval. In addition, Norman trains Let It Ride on the half. Norman opted to come to Yonkers before nominating Let It Ride to the Borgata Pacing Series, which closes Feb. 16, 2021. “We’ll see how he handles a half-mile track. I don’t think that will be a big challenge; I think he’ll get around it fine. We’ll just have to see how it goes,” Norman said. “I really wasn’t worried about what he drew, I just wanted to see how he’ll get around Yonkers. I don’t think he’ll be as well-suited to it, I think he’ll be better-suited to the big track, but I just wanted to see how he got around it before I pay him into the stakes races. “He’s a big horse, big hopple,” Norman continued. “He drives pretty good, but some horses just can’t find their speed on a half-mile track. But he seems to pace the turns really good wherever he goes. I don’t think he’ll have an issue.” With Dunn set to drive again, Let It Ride is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The competition includes Hesa Kingslayer, the Mike Deters trainee who finished second in this open handicap Dec. 12, 2020 and won a preferred handicap from post eight at Freehold Dec. 26, 2020 before finishing second to Let It Ride last out. Hesa Kingslayer and Jim Marohn, Jr. will start from post five and are 3-1 on the morning line. Ron Burke will send out Bettor Memories, who will start from the inside after scoring a 1:50.4 pocket-riding victory in the Meadows $16,200 open handicap Dec. 29, 2020. George Brennan will drive the 3-1 shot.  San Domino overcame post seven to score a 1:52.3, 4 1/2-length victory in this open handicap for trainer Deborah Daguet in his last start Dec. 12, 2020. He will start from post seven again tonight with Jason Bartlett set to drive.  Western Fame won two in a row in the local conditions in late November before getting parked the mile as the 7-5 favorite in his open debut for Shane Tritton. Jordan Stratton will look for a cleaner trip with the 8-year-old tonight. Tookadiveoffdipper and Raukapuka Ruler, third and fourth, respectively, in the invitational pace for Borgata Series eligibles Nov. 28, and Speed Man, 35-1 winner of this open Nov. 21, complete the lineup. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday through Friday with a first post time of 7:15 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.   By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY