Day At The Track
Love You, harness racing

Love You progeny continue winning ways

The seemingly never ending quality of Love You progeny was highlighted once again over the last week with multiple harness racing winners greeting the judge by the sire. These included the impressive three year old filly The Big Bird, who scored in emphatic style at Alexandra Park on Friday night when taking the passing lane late for driver / trainer Joshua Dickie who had, until then, managed the filly around horses from a running line sit. The nature of the win coupled with her great trotting bloodlines (she is out of ten race winner Great Getaway) and the fact that the filly has a fair bit of growing into her large frame yet to do would suggest a bright future lies ahead. In contrast to the maiden win of The Bird Bird was that of the victorious turn of the tried and tested Lovely Bundy in the Thames /Coromandel Trotters Cup at Cambridge Raceway. The 8yr old mare, by Love You out of Kelly Bundy, faced a handicap of 20m over the 2700m stand distance but enjoyed the sound pace set up by race rival Anna Kate and showed her ability late in proceedings making up the required ground widest on the track to score by half a length. The win was the 10th of Lovely Bundy’s career from 72 starts.    The recent wins continue to outline the success New Zealand breeders have had run when seeking out the services of Love You with his progeny having played a notable part in shaping New Zealand trotting history over the last decade or so. Love You Monbet, trained by the Greg and Nina Hope stable would be the most decorated of his progeny on New Zealand shores but his reach has been far and wide with other notable race tracks winners including Jewels winner Enghien and New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All winner Great Things Happen. By far the most successful partnership of his being the amazing run he’s had when siring foals out of prodigious broodmare Ten To One with NZ derby winner Habibti, Anzac Cup winner Habibti Ivy and Dominion Handicap winner and Jewels winner Habibi Inta all out of the famed mare along with Lothario( 6 wins) and Releven Dream (17 wins). The Big Bird Lovely Bundy With his past successes as a sire of group winners It’s no wonder that Love You continues to attract quality mares and he’ll be strongly represented at 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale. An interesting story among them being the two lots offered from the same family by Breckon Farms which will be the only two Love You lots to be presented at Karaka . Lot 97, a bay filly called Online Love , is out of Northern Breeders Stakes runner-up Cyberspace. A further investigation into the strong maternal lines reveals Inda Bank (3yr old trotting filly of the year) who has left multiple Group 1 performers, the most notable of these being Frozen Funds who was victorious in both the New South Wales and Victorian Trotting Oaks. Other high achievers out of Inda Bank include The Almighty Johnson (3rd in the National Trot) now racing in the USA with over $200’000 in career earnings and Yogi Johnson (11 wins). Online Love A bay colt is also going under the hammer, Lot 83, called Forbidden Love is out of a full sister to Cyberspace (both Cyberspace and Broadband are by Muscles Yankee)) and calls upon the same strong trotting pedigree. Forbidden Love Love You has a total of 19 lots to be sold throughout the 2020 New Zealand Yearling Sales with buyers obviously wishing for a continuation of his success as a sire of champions!       Ben McMillan

Renegade Rose

Paul Pearce - A true passion for horses

Waimumu breeder Paul Pearce has been a stock agent for the last twelve years, and was a wool buyer prior to that.  But outside of work he’s always had a passion for harness racing horses and this year he’s prepared two nice colts for the National Sale in Christchurch. “When Brent (McIntyre) bought Jaccka Lodge (now Macca Lodge) I spent a lot of time up there. You just get the bug,” he said. However Paul Pearce’s connections to horses and the McIntyre family goes further back when his father managed the Southland Farmers Co-op farm which was next door to the McIntyre farm. Paul said his father Trevor raced gallopers, although without much success. He was also good friends with the late Kenny Milne from Balclutha and he went to Lincoln University with Milne’s son Johnny. Kenny Milne bred horses for many years and owned and raced New Zealand Oaks winner Young Eden. When he was young Pearson dabbled in ownership and the first horse he raced was Badland’s Hanover gelding Lets Go Frankie. He raced him in partnership with McIntyre and fellow PGG Wrightson’s stock agent Craig Milne. Lets Go Frankie won a race at Wyndham for the trio in November 2005 before he went to Australia where he won another five races. Pearce also bred from Young Jiggs a daughter of Young Eden sending her to Attorney General and the resulting colt Young Reggie had three starts for no rewards for trainer Lindsay Wilson. “We were breeding stuff we shouldn’t have been but you’ve got to start somewhere.” The trio also raced Washington VC mare Susie Blue (Washington VC – Ginny Dale) which they leased off Bill Keeler. She won three races before heading to Aussie. “Mandy and I got married young, we had our children young and we couldn’t afford horses. But I followed Brent’s horses like Bonnies Lass and Just Jazzan.” Paul and Mandy now farm 35 acres at Waimumu in Eastern Southland close to where Ken McRae trained horses for a good number of years, and just down the road from the site of the Waimumu Field Days. “Mandy plays a big part in the hands on stuff with the horses. When they come back from Macca Lodge as weanlings we do as much work as possible. We box them every night over winter just to get that one on one handling of them. When they’re small they’re easy to do things with. A lot of people leave it until spring to get the yearlings in. I have no problems taking them up to Macca Lodge in the float during the day to get their feet trimmed and getting them to just stand there.” Mandy is a school teacher at St Peters College in Gore but as her love for horses has grown she’s become more involved. “Mandy actually took a year off teaching and did the foaling night shift at Macca Lodge this season. I’m really lucky she likes her horses because many (partners) don’t especially when the bills start coming in.” But it’s not the first time the Pearces have taken stock to the sales. Paul bred and prepared Cozin Change (Changeover – Corzanello) for the 2016 Sale of the Stars after borrowing Corzanello off Jill Smolenski. Cozin Change was a half-brother to big Australian winner I’m Corzin Terror. His wins included the 2014 Ballarat Pacing Cup. Cozin Change was passed in on a reserve of $25,000 and he went to Australia where he won two races in a short career. The couple now own three broodmares Tipsy Too, Luminesce and Elegant As and the two colts they’re presenting at the sales are by Bettor’s Delight out of Luminesce and Art Major out of Tipsy Too. The Bettor’s Delight colt out of Luminesce – Photo supplied. The Art Major colt out of Tipsy Too – Photo supplied Tipsy Too is out of the In The Pocket mare Dontdrinkthendrive and is part of the Party Party family. She was bought at the Auckland Sales for $21,000. “We didn’t race her. She just needed a bit of time. At that point things weren’t looking that good in the racing world so we decided to breed from her. I was at Diamonds Day talking to Hazel van Opzeeland and she talked to me about going to Sweet Lou at Woodlands Stud, and that’s who we sent the mare too.” The resulting foal is Renegade Rose. Luminesce was purchased in 2012 after they’d started to think seriously about buying some quality stock. “We (had to) decide whether we were going to be in or out. It was in and we thought we’d give it a decent go and buy a good broodmare.” So after months of study Paul headed to the Christchurch Sale with Brent McIntyre. They had a number of fillies marked to view and possibly bid on, but the Mach Three filly Luminesce who was out of class mare One Dream, initially wasn’t one of them. “We had no intentions of buying her. Of course we saw her in the catalogue. Mac and I looked at a few others. Jill (breeder Jill Smolenski) had no photos on the website and the horse wasn’t at the parade. So on the day of the Sales I said to Mac that we’d better go and have a look at this filly out of One Dream. We walked round the corner and thought ‘shit.’ I couldn’t stop thinking about her.” On pedigree alone Pearce thought Luminesce would go for in excess of $50,000 and that was making him nervous so as any good man does, he rang Mandy to get final sign off on the budget. “I could ring her 100 times and never get hold of her. But I got hold of her this day and said I’d found a horse I really want to buy but it was going to be out of our league. I was hoping she would say no but she said she’d just go with what I said.” When Lot 123 entered the ring the nerves were starting to ramp up. “There was really only me and another person bidding on her. It was the most nerve racking thing I’ve even done in my life. I remember standing against some trellising and my heart was going and the trellising stopped it from jumping out.” Pearce was ultimately the last man standing and Luminesce was theirs for $45,000. She was broken in by Brent McIntyre and entrusted to Ascot Park trainer Wayne Adams. Paul’s father Trevor when to school with Adams, and they liked the way he turned his horses out. “She qualified by a second and there was nothing flash in that. We talked about whether we should turn her out and bring her back as a three year old. But Wayne said the speed was there so he worked her harder in the next week. She went to the Workouts and bolted in so we went to Forbury for a heat of the Sires Stakes which she won.” She beat Raksdeal by a neck running the 1700 metres in 2-04.6 – it’s still a track record. At the end of her first season she raced in the 2013 Two Year Old Diamond at the Harness Jewels finishing eleventh behind winner Venus Serena. As a three year old Luminesce won her first two starts before running a fifth and a third. She was then taken north to Addington. “We went to Christchurch for the Sales Series race and she got a virus. We thought she was going to die that night, it took her quite a while to get over that and she only had five starts as a three year old.” She came back at four and only had another four starts. “She ran on Invitation Drivers Day at Ascot Park and Kerryn Manning who drove her said she was a bit knobby in her prelim. In her next two starts she went terrible but we didn’t realise she’d split a bone in her knee.” Luminesce warming up at Ascot Park with Kerryn Manning – Photo Bruce Stewart Consequently Luminesce was retired and sent to Art Major. She lost that foal after he was born premature and only lasted a few days. Her second foal, a filly by Bettor’s Delight got to the stage of being weaned but developed septicemia and also died. So the Bettor’s Delight sales colt is actually her first foal beyond weaning. The Pearce’s also own six year old Rocknroll Hanover mare Elegant As which is out of Tuapeka Maddy. She was purchased from Dan Cummings at Tuapeka Lodge. Her first foal is an Art Major filly. Not one to stand still, Paul was also at the Christchurch Sale last year and bought another filly – Millwood Kelly (Bettor’s Delight – Idolise) for $27,500. Idolise is by American Ideal and won one race from thirteen starts. She’s a half-sister to Idealindiamonds (8 New Zealand wins and 5 Australian wins), Am Opulent (18 wins) and Dibaba (7 wins including the Sires Stakes Northern Mares Classic, Premier Mares Championship and Southland Oaks). Idolise is out of the Life Sign mare Imprint, was bred by Aidan Johnstone and is owned by Katie Carville. “When I bought Luminesce the one I had my eye on was a horse called Idolise which is Millwood Kelly’s mother but it was withdrawn.” They also have two horses in work with Gore trainer Tony Stratford – Renegade Rose and Braeview Kelly (formally Millwood Kelly). “We actually entered her (Renegade Rose) for the Sales and she didn’t make it. I was told it was because it was by a first season sire from an unproven family.” Paul still gives Bloodstock Agent Peter Lagan plenty of stick about that decision. Renegade Rose From just seven starts this season Renegade Rose has won once, run second twice and third four times. Her placings have been behind quality fillies Stylish Memphis, Sugar Loaf and Plutonium Lady. “She’s a big filly but she’s always been in proportion.” Paul and Mandy Pearce are a fine example of a couple with a shared passion, using resilience and optimism to make their way in the harness world. Bruce Stewart

Cambridge Raceway,harness racing

Fleming confident heading to Cambridge

By Garrick Knight    Phil Fleming has been enjoying the best season of his 10-year training career and expects that to continue at Cambridge on Saturday. The Stratford horseman will be up bright and early and on the road with a trio of good chances, headed by promising mare, Sheikh Yabooty. By the time she scores up in the 1700-metre sprint, she’ll be seven days removed from running back-to-back seconds, 18 hours apart, on the same track. “Those two runs last week were both really good runs and she showed she can do it both ways,” said Fleming. On Friday night she was driving cold and got no luck in behind Underthesouthernsun then on the Saturday she sat three-wide and then parked outside eventual winner, Eagle Watch. She’ll add a third strong to her bow this week when showing gate speed to lead, Fleming reckons. “It’s only a sprint trip, so we’ve probably got to lead, I think.” With three wins under her belt, Sheikh Yabooty gets in at a luxury rating of 49 and that will delay her inevitable sale off shore. “She’s well-rated so I’d probably like to win another couple with her before putting her on the market.” Stable veteran Our Wicklow recorded his 10th career win last Saturday at start 131 after finding the front at the mile. He doesn’t win them out of turn, and is drawn on the unruly again this week, but Fleming is pretty confident the horse will go close to recording back-to-back wins. “He’s definitely more than a runners’ chance; he always goes his best races at Cambridge and I think he’s actually a pretty good show. “If the pace is on, that will suit.” Fleming is right in that Our Wicklow does have three wins and three placings from just 12 starts at Cambridge, plus it is not a strong field at all. Rounding out the team is trotting mare Caitlin’s Surprise, who tackles one of the day’s features, the $10,000 Harcourts Te Awamutu 2020 Waipa Trotters Cup. Like her stablemates she raced both days last week, running fifth both times. She’s perhaps not in career-best form but Fleming has a hunch she’s about to find her footing again. “I’ve had some tying up issues with her so I’ve had to back off the oats, basically. “That and she’s such a good doer, I’ve been trying to keep her weight down. “But she generally hits her best form around February onwards and I think that will be the case again this year. “There are some nice mares’ races coming up for her and I’ll be looking towards those.” Caitlin’s Surprise will face some stiff opposition from the in-form Anna Kate and last Saturday’s winners, Lovely Bundy. The pacers face off in the Brown & Pennell 2020 Waipa Pacers Cup and the John and Josh Dickie-trained mare Callie’s Delight will likely start favourite. Parker has been going excellent races without much recently while the Chris Webber-trained pair of Bugalugs and Fleeting Grin are drawn to do no work on the markers over the 2700-metre trip and are must-includes in multiples. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Heisenberg,Harness racing

Heisenberg win more than a record

The win by Heisenberg in yesterdays re-run of the Central Otago Cup has led to a very generous donation by the horse’s connections, owners Ross and Angela Gordon, trainer Robert Dunn and the horse’s regular driver John Dunn. The race was originally run at Omakau but had to be abandoned when champion driver Ricky May suffered a major medical incident and was flown to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition. The Group Three feature race was re-run yesterday at the Young Quinn Raceway at Wyndham and was won by Heisenberg in a very quick time. Robert Dunn explained that after the race Ross Gordon rang him and said he and Angela wanted to express their appreciation for the care Ricky May received on the 2nd January at Omakau. “Ross, Angela, Johnny and I decided to donate four and a half thousand dollars of the Cup winnings to charity.  $1,500 to the helicopter trust fund for picking up Ricky, $1,500 to St John who were great on the day and $1,500 to Team Teals Ellie Barron (who performed mouth the mouth on May). Ross wanted to do that and I said to him that Johnny and I would come on board as well.” Driver John Dunn was trailing May in the race at Omakau and saw the incident unfold. He managed to pull his horse back and warn trailing drivers. John Dunn wasn’t on hand yesterday when Heisenberg won. The horse was driven by stand-in driver Tim Williams who took the talented pacer to the front and held out a game Nandolo by half a neck. “Yep he’s much better in front with the pace on. He will learn to use the speed he’s got in other ways but he’s one of those horses that likes getting into his own rhythm. He used to be a devil of a horse to run in and out and it made it difficult for Johnny to drive. He’s far better when he concentrates so that’s why we’ve got the hood on him. He runs a lot straighter with that on but the only thing is it sets you up for horses that swoop off your back,” said Robert Dunn. The winning time of 2-52.4 for the 2400 metre mobile was a new track, Southland and New Zealand record. “He’s racing more genuinely this year. We possibly gelded him later than we should have. He was always a horse with potential, but he was green.” Yesterday’s win was the horse’s sixth. Dunn said Heisenberg is likely to join his Auckland base at some point later in the season and this time should be better the Auckland way round. “He struggles a bit in Auckland. He tended to get in a little too much on the turns. But it was just because of his racing manners early on. I’m sure when we bring him up for the Taylor Mile and the New Zealand Messenger he’ll be much better.” The Art Major gelding was bought at the 2017 Auckland Sales by Gorton and Dunn – then named Viva La Vida. “Ross changes all of his horses names. He’s generally got a reason. We both loved the horse on type, he looked racy and we thought he might make a young horse. Ross has a good eye for horses which he’s developed. He actually comes from a horse family. His mother and father Don and Carol were one of the very first preparers at the yearling sales. They prepared yearlings for I reckon a half a century. On his mother’s side is champion horseman Felix Newfield and also Kevin Chapman.” Ross and Angela own Telfer Electrical and have three branches in Christchurch and outlets in Nelson, Cromwell, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill. “They bought the company just over twenty years ago when it was small and they’ve turned it into a very successful business.” The Gordons have been very good clients for Robert Dunn over many years. They’ve owned and raced The Fed Express (5 New Zealand wins – bred by Ross’s parents Don and Carol), Code Black (2 New Zealand wins and 17 Australian wins), Robbie Burns (10 New Zealand wins and 1-49 USA) and Henry Hubert (7 wins). “I’ve had their horses for years and we’re still waiting to get our first Group One winner. The one we thought was going to be the bees knees was a horse called Say My Name (6 wins from just 18 starts). He’s was exceptionally talented but had ongoing bone issues.” The Gordons also own up and coming Above N Beyond. “He’ll be aimed at the Derbies. We think he could be a real player in the three and four year old races. He’s a horse with a lot of upside.” And as the Yearling Sales approach Gordon and Dunn will be having a close look at the full brother to Heisenberg who’s in the ring early on 17th February at the Auckland Sales. “He’ll be on our list.” Bred by Chris and Tina Barlow of Highfield Bloodstock and named Crusader, you’d have to say this may be one horse if Ross and Robert buy him that may not get a name change considering they’re all Cantabrians   Bruce Stewart

Former NZ Champion Pacer Havefaithinme N  p, 1:50f  $1,336.079 is seen here enjoying some rest at Chris & Georgia Coyle's Olive Branch Farm in NC after coming off of a strong 2019 year in the harness racing Open ranks. He heads back into training this week to prepare for his 2020 campaign. Owned by David Litvinsky's  Blindswitch Racing Stable & Partners of NY Harnesslink Media

Thursday’s Wyndham Harness meeting set the stage for a landmark moment for gavelhouse.com Standardbred with Seamark the first winning graduate bought off the revolutionary site. Leading throughout, while being constantly niggled at by his opposition, Seamark was a gutsy winner of the Kindergarten Stakes Saturday 14th March Mobile Pace over 2400m in the hands of Samantha Ottley. Purchased by Graham Hand for $2,700 in August, the five-year-old Christian Cullen gelding was offered on as an unraced horse, for sale to dissolve a partnership having qualified as a two-year-old. Thursday’s race was just his second start, having finished runner up earlier in January, taking his earnings to $6,800 with more in store judging by his obvious talent. Trainer Regan Todd was thrilled for Seamark’s connections who are new to the industry “He’s the first horse to race for Graham Hand and Glenn Morrison and they are loving the experience, “I’m amazed at how easy the process is with the online sales and it’s a great facility to have for the industry and a great way to get new people into the game. “Graham and Glenn have also bought two yearlings recently that are currently being broken in and are progressing well while Seamark will have a quiet 10 days or so to get over the run before we see how he’s come through it and come up with his next target."                                                                                                --Race Images photo Entries for the next gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction are due online by 7pm Wednesday 22 January. The auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday January 23 and will run through until 7pm Wednesday 29 January.  The standard listing fee is just $125 + GST with 5% commission on a successful sale, contact Cam Bray if you would like to discuss selling on the site: cam@gavelhouse.com or call 021737199

Star Of Venus eyes title   When the Betterthancheddar five-year-old Caviar Star outfinished his rivals in the $300,000 Fremantle Cup, he credited his dam Star Of Venus with her third Group winner this season and she is a firm favourite for the NZ Broodmare of the Year award.   Caviar Star, one of the first crop by Betterthancheddar, had shown good placed form during the Summer Carnival at Gloucester Park.   Star Of Venus also ranks as the dam of emerging champion Self Assured, winner of the $245,000 Auckland Cup, and Star Of Memphis, winner of The Gammalite at Melton.   Others from Star Of Venus to win have been Vega Star and Star Of Dionysis, both Group winners in Australia.   Star Of Venus, who died 15 months ago, has since produced a three-year-old colt, a two year-old filly and a yearling colt, all by Bettor’s Delight, the grandsire of the Fremantle Cup victor. Star Of Venus was a Christian Cullen mare from Starlitnight, by Tuapeka Knight from Star Of Bethlehem. This family traces back to the foundation mare Mona R, the ancestress of Lazarus, Stars And Stripes, Light And Sound, Star Galleria and so on.     Chase Auckland’s family tree   Chase Auckland, the brilliant winner of the Group 2 Cambridge Flying Mile and who won the NZ Free-for-all and New Brighton and Methven Cups earlier in the season, has a pedigree of more than usual interest in that he represents a combination of the blood of two of New Zealand’s outstanding winning families – that of Flora and Mary Wood.   Chase Auckland winning the Cambridge Mile   A five-year-old gelding, Chase Auckland is one of the first crop of a top colt pacer and cups winner in Auckland Reactor, a Mach Three horse now at Alabar Bloodstock’s Victorian branch.   Auckland Reactor is building up a good siring score with the Victoria Chalice winner Soho Burning Love and the Group winners Gold Reactor and Shining Oro from his first crops.Auckland Reactor is one of several members of the Flora family to enjoy success at the stud – others being Leyoro (a leading sire in Western Australia), Renaissance Man, and in an earlier era, Admiral Wood.   Chase Auckland’s dam, Delicata (2:01), was a Falcon Seelster mare from the noted producer Dreaming Spires (dam of 6 winners), by Dream Away from Danse du Feu, by New York Motoring from the Tay Bridge mare Border Coral.   This branch of the Mary Wood family produced a NZ Sires Stakes champion in Hug The Wind (1:49) and the top West Australian juvenile Sprinter (1:48.6). The Mary Wood family is today as extensively represented in Australia as it is in NZ.       Well related three-year-old   Dr Susan, who won the Group 2 $50,000 Garrard’s Raith Memorial at Menangle, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she was placed in a heat of the Young Guns series.   Dr Susan winning the Garrard’s Raith Memorial at Menangle   She has opened her three-year-old season on a winning note and will be well in line for the remaining major juvenile classics. She is a filly by the Cam’s Card Shark horse, Bettor’s Delight, from the Southland Oaks winner Safedra (1:56.3), the dam of an earlier winner in Buzinga (1:56.8).   Safedra in action   Safedra ranks as a half-sister to a grand pacer and Inter Dominion heat winner in Bettor’s Fire 1:50.2 ($966,417) and My Alpha Rock (1:49.5), being by Mach Three from the Sands A Flyin mare Sparks A Flyin 1:52 ($510,133), winner of 21 races including the NSW Oaks and Breeders Crown.     Broodmare double   The American-bred Victorian-owned Western Terror mare Kabbalah Karen B left winners in two different countries last weekend.   Kasbah Kid, a five-year-old Art Major gelding, grabbed a last-stride win at Melton in a career-best 1:54.3 on Friday, while Our Little General (by Mach Three), a Derby winner and dual Breeders Crown champion, won in 1:53.4 at Yonkers, New York the following night.   Kabbalah Karen B has a striking Bettor’s Delight yearling filly as Lot 153 at the Australian Pacing Gold Melbourne sale on February 2. The youngster is part of the eight-strong Lauriston Bloodstock consignment which includes an Art Major half-brother to last Sunday’s impressive Hamilton Pacing Cup winner Hurricane Harley.     Half-brother to Derby winner   Tanabi Falcon, a most impressive winner at the Melton midweek meeting, is a half-brother to the Victoria Derby winner and Country Cups king Tanabi Bromac.   A seven-year-old gelding by Falcon Seelster, Tanabi Falcon is out of the unraced Tanabi, a Village Jasper mare from Sinba, by Torado Hanover from the Lordship mare Black Debate, who established a great winning line for Helen and the late Graham Head.   Black Debate was the dam of the Tasmanian Oaks winner Indigenous, the Moonee Valley winner Mabo (1:57.5) and the exported Satan’s Dispute 1:55.6 ($234,192) and the grand dam of the Queen Of The Pacific winner Life Inthefastlane.   Tanabi Falcon was bred by the late Bob McArdle.     Blue blooded mare   Goodtime Grace, who won the Vicbred Platinum Country Series Final at Melton, is a four- year-old mare who can claim some worthwhile blood. By Mach Three, by Matt’s Scooter from All Included, by Abercrombie, she is out of the Art Major mare Art De Triomphe (1:58.8), whose dam, the American-bred Smyrna Duruisseau, left the NZ and Australian 2YO of the Year Follow The Stars (1:53.8 ($707,237), now at Allwood Stud in Western Australia and Stefsbest 1:54.7 ($143,511), runner-up in the APG Final.   Goodtime Grace                                                        --Stuart McCormick photo   Smyrna Duruissea, a 1:56 winner, was a half-sister to seven winners including Texas Shootout, a Little Brown Jug heat winner and second in the final to Mr Feelgood.     Leeton Breeders Plate heat winners   Rocknroll Runa, a gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven, and Im Lady Madeleine, a filly by A Rocknroll Dance, took out their respective heats of the time-honoured MIA Breeders Plate for two-year-olds at Leeton. The Group 3 $30,6000 final will be held on January 24.   Rocknroll Runa winning heat one of the Breeders Plate     Rocknroll Runa is the first foal out of the smart racemare Shes A Runa (1:55.5), a Jereme’s Jet mare who won 19 races including the NSW Oaks and Bathurst Gold Bracelet and $291,126 in stakes. He belongs to the immediate family of the Bathurst Sales Classic winner Lamorak 1:52.6 ($165,715) and the Rowleyalla Sprint winner Albert’s Charm 1:57.2 ($100,665).   Im Lady Madeleine is the third foal and third winner from Confetti (2:02.6), a race-winning mare by Jenna’s Beach Boy from Chenille, by What’s Next from the good Armbro Hurricane mare Dicio, the dam of 10 winners including the Victoria Sires Stakes 2YO champion Fragrance.     A star from Lagoon Lady   A star three-year-old in Victoria so far this season is Soextra, who was bred and is raced by Richard and Pauline Matthews and trained by Chris Lang.   A gelding by Bettor’s Delight, he is out of a champion racemare in Lagoon Lady (1:57.3) and the fourth of her produce to race, the best of whom is the thrice Melton winner Beach Surge (1:51.8).   Soextra is undefeated in two starts at Kilmore and Bendigo (in 1:53.1) and looks a three year-old with the potential one would expect of his breeding.     La Lola shows promise   A bright future is being predicted for the Rock N Roll Heaven four-year-old mare La Lola, who is unbeaten in three appearances in Victoria to date.   She has a good deal in her favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by Rock N Roll Heaven, she is out of a capable racemare in Predict (1:56.6), by Grinfromeartoear from Erase, by Classic Garry from Wipe Clean, by Windshield Wiper from Once More, winner of the NSW Ladyship Mile and one of the best mares in the country in the 1980’s.   This family has been bred from successfully over five generations by Ballarat enthusiast Pat Prendergast. Other smart performers further back in her pedigree have been Mode Of Action (Tatlow Memorial and Vis. Sires Classic), Collect Again and Predict (9 wins from 14 starts).     Convert Denario impresses   The six-year-old Convert Denario is proving a splendid advertisement for the In The Pocket horse Changeover, a grand pacer himself and who stood for a time at stud in Christchurch. He is now based at Burwood Stud near Brisbane.   Covert Denario   Convert Denario won consecutive races at Gloucester Park recently and is an emergency for this week’s WA Pacing Cup. All told, he has won 13 races and $134,242 in stakes.   Ergo Denario, the dam of Convert Denario, is a half-sister to the Melton winner Last Flight In 1:53.8 ($134,866), being by Bettor’s Delight from Orse M Denario, by Washington VC from Royaler, an American bred mare by Tyler B.       Nelson winner’s Aussie relations   Glenledi Chief, a double winner at the Nelson Summer Festival meeting, has close breeding links with Australia.   A three-year-old by the Western Hanover horse Well Said, the gelding is out of the classic winner Forever Now, who was bred from originally in Victoria and is now owned in New Zealand by Grant Enterprises.   Glenledi Chief winning at Nelson Forever Now, who won seven races including the Bathurst Gold Tiara, has produced six winners – all in 2:00 – from eight foals of racing age. Besides Glenledi Chief, she is also the dam of John Paul Jones (1:54.4), the Melton and Gloucester Park winner Anna Faye (1:57.9) and Now And Forever (1:58.2).   By Presidential Ball, Forever Now is a half-sister to the exported Anescape (1:50.6) and Pulsation (1:53.2), being out of Anna Matao, by Holmes Hanover from Annabel Scot, by Bo Scot’s Blue Chip from the celebrated matron Black Watch.   Clint Westwood, the winner of the Gore Cup and numerous races at Harold Park, and the WA Oaks runner-up Bettor Boa, are members of the same family of Glenledi Chief.   by Peter Wharton

Belle Of Montana may have given punters a blood nose last start but the good news is the glamour mare escaped unharmed. So it is all system go for phase two of her season which should begin with a win at Alexandra Park tonight. The brilliant mare had a rollercoaster December, winning the Group One Queen of Hearts at Alexandra Park but exploding into a wild gallop as a $1.20 favourite in a free-for-all on New Years Eve. That was caused by a hopple shortener coming loose at full speed going into the first bend as Belle Of Montana was contesting the lead. She recovered but galloped again later. Punters didn’t. But while money won or lost on the tote comes and goes the most important thing is the exceptional mare is fine, which is never a given when a horse gallops at that speed. “She was good as gold after the race, didn’t harm herself at all,” says trainer Barry Purdon. Knowing the reason for the incident is at least a positive, because it shouldn’t affect how punters assess her in tonight’s 2200m mobile. Belle Of Montana is using the race to prepare for the A$100,000 Ladyship Cup at Melton on February 1 before she returns home to get ready for the A$200,000 Ladyship Mile in Sydney on March 7. She meets not only some of her talented mare stablemates tonight but Interdom contenders Star Galleria and Solid Gold, the latter now trained by Tony Herlihy after being purchased by a North American owner. Solid Gold has been good enough, especially over sprint trips at Alexandra Park, to suggest he can at least test Belle Of Montana and Herlihy is not concerned by his lack of a recent workout. He took the speedster across the road to Stonewall Stud on Monday, the facility where Steve Telfer trains which has one of the best training tracks in the country. “He worked well there so he should go well this week, but Belle Of Montana will obviously be hard to beat,” says Herlihy. That chances of Solid Gold’s lowering Belle Of Montana’s colours may come down to where they settle in relation to one another and how hard Solid Gold has to work if Herlihy chooses to push the button early. But for sheer class and aided by the small field Belle Of Montana deserves to be about a $1.80 chance. Purdon’s assault on the Victorian riches starts tomorrow night where he has Bad To The Bone in an incredibly strong heat of the Victoria Derby at Ballarat. He has a second line draw against the two favourite's for next week’s Derby final in Smooth Deal and local star Be Happy Mach. “It is a shame they are all in the same heat, I thought they would be spread around more,” said Purdon. Having to finish top four to make the Final, Bad To The Bone will at least be added by the huge diet of high class racing New Zealand’s three-year-old pacers have digested by this stage of the season whereas many of the Australian stars are only resuming. With Be Happy Mach also drawing the second line and fresh up since winning the Breeders Crown in August, if he can beat the Kiwis tomorrow night he is something else and would be a ready-made Derby favourite. But there has already been some big bets on Smooth Deal since the market opened on Tuesday and driver Mark Purdon is likely to try and stay in front of the other favourite's to make them work hard. Michael Guerin

By Jonny Turner          Double Rocket will be out to double up at Alexandra Park tonight. The Arna Donnelly trained 4yr-old will be out to repeat the highly deserved win he produced on Auckland Cup night at Alexandra Park when he takes on a competitive line up.   Though the pacer’s rating has seen him move up in grade following his victory, tonight’s race should not prove too much harder than the premier night event he won last month. “It is probably not a great step up from last time, they are similar horses,” driver Scott Phelan said. “He will still need a little bit of luck from the draw, but if he gets it he will be alright.” “He did deserve that last win, that was for sure.” “He had had a few things that didn’t go quite right going in to it.” Double Rocket has high gate speed and could cross to the front from the outside of the front line. But, that is not likely to be an option Phelan takes to overcome barrier 8. “It is an option, but it is probably not going to be one we are going to take.” Each of Double Rocket’s seven rivals in their highly competitive race look to have legitimate winning claims. Revolver ($4) and Mr Kiwi ($4.50) were rated the toughest to beat by bookmakers when their market opened for tonight’s race. Double Rocket opened the $3 for the 2200m event. Phelan admits he needs everything to go in Wainui Creek’s favour ahead of tonight’s feature pace. The Barry Purdon trained 4yr-old will clash with her star stablemate, Belle Of Montana, in a small field packed full of talent. Things went horribly wrong for Belle Of Montana on Auckland Cup night when she galloped early, before being wiped out before the home turn. Wainui Creek was able to capitalise on that when she filled the quinella behind another stablemate, Havtime. Phelan admitted Wainui Creek may need similar fortune to beat Belle Of Montana again. “She is an exception mare Belle Of Montana, but things can go wrong as they did last time.” “Wainui Creek could run second to her if Belle Of Montana does everything right.” Phelan will get the chance to put Wainui Creek on the speed from barrier 1 tonight. “She has got good gate speed, so we have a few options.” “She is a pretty relaxed horse, so you can burn out of the gate pretty hard and she will come back to you pretty quick.” Belle Of Montana has more than just her stablemates Havtime and Wainui Creek to beat tonight. She clashes with hardy Interdominion campaigners Solid Gold and Star Galleria. Bookmakers made Belle Of Montana the $1.90 favourite, ahead of Star Galleria ($3.20) and Solid Gold ($3.60) when opening tonight’s race market. Phelan also drives Be My Rock for Purdon in tonight’s rating 55-59 mobile. The 3yr-old steps up in grade after winning more than a month ago at Alexandra Park. The pacer’s staying prowess will be his biggest asset when taking on stronger horses from barrier 2. “He seems to be a better stayer than a speed horse.” “He has got the right draw, so we might have to turn it in to a staying run.” Phelan also combines with Smoken Shazza tonight for trainer Kyle Marshal “Kyle thinks she is quite a decent horse.” “She has been favourite a couple of times and gone good races. “If she gets a bit of lucky early, there is no reason she can’t be in it.” Phelan also drives Ain’t No Princess for trainer Matthew Pemberton. “She has got all the ability in the world, but her manners are not quite there yet.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner    Junior driver Ben Hope will be out to do his family proud in their home region of Marlborough today. Hope will drive first starter Awapuni for his parents, Greg and Nina, in the Four Generations Of Hopes Trot. The 2400m maiden event is dedicated to Hope family’s contribution to harness racing in Blenheim. And it is one the fourth generation of the family to contribute to the Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s history would love to win. “My Dad’s side are all from Blenheim, my granddad and my great granddad have all been involved with the club,” Ben Hope said.  “It would be great to win it.” “The horse goes pretty good, she is only a maiden trotter, so she has to trot.” “But, if she did she would be more than capable of taking it out.” Awapuni is by Andover Hall from strong producing mare Lough Neagh, who is from the family of champion trotter Lyell Creek. The 3yr-old looked like she had enough ability to live up to her breeding when winning a Methven workout by three lengths, earlier this month. Greg, Nina and Ben Hope will step out another trotter with a strong pedigree when Baxter starts in today’s feature handicap trot. The half-brother to star trotter Monbet comes in to the 2400m event after producing two wins and a second from three starts on the West Coast Christmas circuit.  Baxter steps up in grade to face his toughest test when taking on open class performers Amaretto Sun and Heavyweight Hero today. “We will get a bit of a line of him to see where he sits with the better trotters,” Hope said. “He has done a great job and he is always in the money.” “Heavyweight Hero, Medusa and Amaretto Sun all go nice.” Baxter will start from a 10m handicap, getting a head start on Amaretto Sun (45m) and Heavyweight Hero (35m).  The feeling in the Hope stable is that Baxter could eventually progress to join his main rivals in open class. “He is the sort of horse that could get to open class, through the back door,” Hope said.  “I like the horse because he definitely wants to be a part of it and he tries.” “He is not going to be a genuine open class horse, I don’t think.” “But he could be one of those horses that gets there through the back door, like a horse like Everybody Knows.” The Hope team have Homebush Lad in today’s feature handicap pace. The 6yr-old bounced back to his best form ahead of the 2400m event with a strong win at Motukarara late last month. “That win wasn’t a fluke, his starts before that were good, he is a pretty nice wee horse,” Hope said.  “There are a couple of smart ones in there, like Stars Tonight and Rocknroll Rod and a couple of others.” “But if he can step away he is as good of a chance as any, I think.” Homebush Lad will start from barrier one on the front line, alongside his main rivals Stars Tonight and Rocknroll Rod.  The Hope stable eight horses at today’s Marlborough meeting and each of their team looks to have genuine winning claims.  “There wouldn’t be one that is without a show.” Greg and Nina Hope will start A G’s White Socks in tomorrow night’s Ballarat Cup. The two time Interdominion heat winner will clash with fellow New Zealand pacer Self Assured.  Victorian reinsman Greg Sugars will drive A G’s White Socks in the group 1 feature.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great harness racing stock that’s come out of the Southern region. Whilst last year he profiled horses from the south that have become millionaires, this series is about other pacers and trotters that that were bred, reared and raced for part of career in Southland, and made an impact in the Harness Racing industry. Young Quinn Age: 1969 Bay Gelding Sire: Young Charles Dam: Loyal Trick (Hal Tyrax) Owners: Des and Bud Baynes (New Zealand) and Bud, Des, Martha and Diane Baynes (America). Trainers: Bud Baynes, Clem Scott and Charlie Hunter. Southland bred pacer Young Quinn was successful in a period when the sport of trotting was particularly strong. He raced with great success in New Zealand, Australia and America and his name will long be remembered in all three countries. Young Quinn was foaled in 1969 and was by Young Charles out of Loyal Trick who was by Hal Tryax (USA). He was named after Brian “Snow” Quinn, a champion New Zealand shearer and for the majority of his career he was trained and driven by Charlie Hunter. His first win was in the 1972 EF Mercer Stakes at Addington where he beat Willie Win. His other wins at two included the Forbury Juvenile Stakes, Timaru Nursery Stakes, Kindergarten Stakes, New Zealand Juvenile Stakes and The New Zealand Sapling Stakes. At the end of his two year old season he was the country’s leading two year old, having won eight of his ten starts. At that point he was becoming very familiar to a man that was to take over his training. “My first impressions of him was racing against him as a two year old. I had a pretty nice filly that year called Hillcrest. Young Quinn came to Auckland and beat us up badly a couple of times. He impressed me a lot,” said Charlie Hunter. At that point little did Hunter know that the promising youngster was going to join his stable until the phone rang one day. “I got a phone call and this voice said ‘My name is Bud Baynes and I own Young Quinn. Will you train him for me?” And with that Young Quinn began a lifetime involvement with his new trainer. “He came up for the May meeting because the Derby was in June – that’s why Bud was sending him up. But under the old handicap system he was in the open paces against a couple of good Jack Smolenski horses so it was a difficult task for him.” Young Quinn’s three year old season only yielded two wins from twelve starts and he ran fifth in the 1972 Derby won by Willie Win. “He had a bit of a problem with a knee at the time and wasn’t at his best. Bud left him with me for the next season.” At four (1974) he was finding his feet winning six of his nineteen starts. However his best season was to be in 1975 when he was named New Zealand Pacer and Horse of the Year. In that season he won 19 races and was placed twice in twenty two starts. His wins included the Stars Travel Miracle Mile, Auckland Cup, Wellington Cup, three heats of the Interdominion Championship and the Grand Final. “As a five year old he just grew another leg. He was tremendous. The miss was in Auckland and I blame myself. He was a horse that took quite a bit of work. I’d backed off, thinking I couldn’t keep working him hard and racing him hard. After that I resumed the regime and he just went on from there. He was one of those athletic type horses that enjoyed work and raced well off it.” In the 1975 Miracle Mile at Harold Park, Young Quinn won from Barrier Six, the outside draw on a very tight track, beating the two Australian champions Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan. 1975 Harold Park Young Quinn Miracle Mile “It was very special winning the Miracle Mile in Sydney. That was my first drive on him after getting my hands out of plaster following the Interdominions. It was a huge crowd that night and he was regarded by the scribes as not being a chance because he’d drawn the outside, he hadn’t raced at Harold Park and I hadn’t driven there. He just went magnificent and won easy.” In the Inter Dominion Final in Auckland he started as short-priced favourite and was driven by John Langdon, following the injury to Hunter. He went on to beat Hi Foyle and Speedy Guest. “There was a little bit of pressure because he’d won his three heats so there was this expectation from everybody including us that he could win the final. It put a fair bit of pressure on John but he handled it well and drove him well.” Inter Dominion Final Langdon also won the Trotter’s section of the Inter Dominion, driving the Hunter-trained Castleton’s Pride. Later that season Young Quinn had his last start in New Zealand before heading to America in May 1975. In summary his 19 wins in New Zealand that season set a new record with the previous best being held by another Southland pacer, Robalan (12 in the 1973-1974 season).  The 19 wins by Young Quinn also included a winning streak of 10. Before leaving for America he held numerous New Zealand records. Mile (1.57.0) 2200 metre stand (2-47.2) 2200 metre mobile (2-48.8) 2600 metre stand (3-18.1) 2700 metre stand (3-27.4) 3200 metre stand (4-06.7) In America he started his racing career in June 1975. “The first few starts he wasn’t that good. We didn’t have enough time to prep him to meet the best horses and to be fair he wasn’t that good on the wee half mile tracks like Yonkers.” The highlight of that initial season was winning the $50,000 Western Free For All in 1-56 and becoming the world’s fastest race gelding and fastest Standardbred produced in Australasia. He then faced a vintage crop of pacers in the $100,000 American Pacing Classic and starting from barrier 8 he pipped American superstar Rambling Willie in 2-12 and 4/5 for the nine furlong race. “We got to Chicago and beat all the best horses they had to offer in the Governor’s Cup at Horsesmen’s Park. He then went onto Hollywood Park and won a leg of the US Pacing Championship. He then went to Canada and won their feature Free For All Pace the Provincial Pace which Cardigan Bay also won. He finished that year winning the American Pacing Classis against all the best pacers on offer.” During Young Quinn’s racing days in America, Hunter and good friend Brian Meale were operating Central Standardbreds and were exporting lots of horses to America and getting then ready for sale. “It was good having Young Quinn there because he was a bit of an advert for New Zealand horses. Bud wanted me to stay with him and I was quite happy to. My wife and two daughters spent all of 1976 and 1977 over there with the team we were preparing and selling, and with Quinn.” In 1977 Young Quinn went winless. While in 1978 he won three races, and in 1979 he won twice. “We qualified him for a race in February 1977 and he came out of the qualifier with a ruptured ligament in his hind leg. He virtually lost most of that season which was so sad but that was the reality of it. I came home and we sent him across to Jim Doherty and he won three races at the Meadowlands at the beginning of 1978 then the leg gave him trouble again and later that year we brought him home.” By the end of his American career he’d raced 63 times winning 22 races and $479,260. “I think winning a leg of the International Pacing Series in Chicago and proving he could beat the best was a meaningful win.” Young Quinn returned to New Zealand in 1980 for a few starts prior to being retired in May 1980. It was later revealed by cardiograph tests that Young Quinn’s heart weighed 13 lb, only 1 lb less than that of the great racehorse Phar Lap. For part-owner Des Baynes Young Quinn was a once in a lifetime horse providing him with lots of highlights. “Winning three heats and the final of the Interdominions and going to Sydney for the Miracle Mile. Also winning in New Zealand, Australia and America in the same season. He was just one of those once in a lifetime horses and makes a lot of the other horses you have look fairly ordinary. It probably ruined it for me a bit (laughter),” Baynes said. And he said owning him made you realise how tough it can be for the top horses. “When you’ve got a good horse you realise how tough it is for them and how good they have to be. When those good horses get an edge they’re just about unbeatable.” And he said the best thing he and his father ever did was to send Young Quinn to Charlie Hunter. “Charlie was not only a good trainer but a very honest fellow and he did the best for us and the horse. We had full confidence in Charlie all the time. He looked after the horse and that looked after us really.” Young Quinn raced in an era when there were a host of very good horses competing in all three countries. “He was a lovely horse to handle. He ate well and rested well. The things that you really wanted in a horse. That carried on right through when he went to the States. He didn’t mind being confined to stalls and stables. He looked after himself pretty well.” He also set numerous records including one world record. “He won at the Meadowlands when it was a new track. He won one of the opening features. At the time he went 1-55 which doesn’t seem so great now but it was a world record for a gelding and a track record.” In all, Young Quinn started 133 times recording 59 wins and 36 placings for NZ$752,587 in stakes money. “He had high speed. In New Zealand he could tail a field in the back straight and loop them as he did in the likes of the Wellington Cup and races in Auckland. He could be in front by the time you got out of the back straight and then just carry on to the post. It was the same in the States. He didn’t have to be cuddled up. He could rough it if he had to.” Young Quinn was a truly remarkable durable racehorse indicative of many great horses from the very south of New Zealand.   Bruce Stewart

Harness racing breeding boffins may well have been overheard saying “here we go again” after watching the Rangiora trials on Tuesday. Within the results page the name “Karmic Delight” a handy  1 1/4 length winner may have caught the eye, not for the way in which she won, but through the mere fact that she’s from the womb of a daughter of Waihemo Rainship.   A Soky’s Atom mare Waihemo Rainship started her racing career for Paul Kerr. After a handful of starts training duties were given to Jeff Whittaker and success followed soon thereafter with a 2nd place in the Northern Oaks and a 4th to Party Party in the Group 1 Fillies Series Final. The latter part of her racing career was spent in the care of Doug Gale where a consistent and winning form-line was carved out including a 4th in the Group 1 NZ Messenger behind Agua Caliente. For all her achievements on the track it’s as a broodmare that Waihemo Rainship and her daughters have really left their mark.         Notable performers out of Waihemo Rainship include the Waikato Guineas winner and Group 2 Elsu Classic runner-up West Coast Anvil, the Doug Gale trained Black Chevron who amassed eight wins while in New Zealand and has a sub 1.52 mile rate to his name in North America, Anvils Revival who has no less than 27 wins over Australasia and the United States based flyer Tempest Anvil. Karmic Delight Daughters of Waihemo Rainship continue to produce great results in the broodmare paddock as well with Bettor B Chevron (21 wins,$290,000) Anvils Delight (sub 1.55) and Speed Man ($190,000 earner in Australia) all out of In The Pocket mare Waihemo Anvil while Anvil On Fire (9 wins, $81,000 stakes) has produced the now Australian based Karmic Fire, a sub 1.54 mile winner at Menangle.         The Waihemo Rainship family will be represented once again at the 2020 New Zealand Standardbred Yearling Sale in the form of “Always B Bella” . Lot 76 is a filly to be offered by Breckon Farms. By the fastest standardbred of all time Always B Miki “Always B Bella” is out of Bella Anvil a Christian Cullen mare who raced sparingly out of the Nigel Mcgrath stable notching up a maiden win and two placings from just the six starts. The filly has some big hooves to fill but you get the impression she’ll be at short odds to continue the strong family history of success.  Ben McMillan

Dover, DE – Bettor Trix N was impressive tonight for harness racing driver Tim Tetrick at Dover Downs in a filly and mare condition event. It began with Valuable Art and driver Corey Callahan who left alertly from post 8 and led the field to the quarter. Bettor Trix N and Tetrick decided to take the pocket trip. The field raced single-file until Shezza GNP N pulled first-over nearing the half for Montrell Teague. Valuable Art and Shezza GNP N battled to the three-quarter pole, pacing a 26.3 quarter. Bettor Trix N and Tim Tetrick, benefited from the speed duel and powered their way in the stretch to victory. Bettor Trix N was sent off as the 6/5 race favorite.  This win gave her a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3.   Bettor Trix N, is owned by Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by her husband Jim King Jr.  Valuable Art finished a gallant 2nd, for trainer Nick Callahan. Sweet Bobbie finished a ground saving third for trainer Kay Gannon and driver Jonathan Roberts. Tim Tetrick picked up four wins on the night. Wiggle It Jiggleit and Slick Tony continue their rivalry in tomorrow’s 12th race. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

By Jonny Turner    Much has changed for the re-running of the group 3 Central Otago Trotting Cup at Wyndham today. The Central Otago Trotting Club feature at Omakau on January 2 was called off when leading driver Ricky May collapsed after suffering a medical event in its early stages. May was revived after the falling to the track from his sulky and then airlifted to Dunedin Hospital. He was subsequently transferred to Christchurch Hospital. The race has undergone significant changes with withdrawals and additions to the field that will compete over 2400m at its temporary venue. But those changes pale into insignificance when compared with the change May has gone through since the incident on January 2. The champion driver has made excellent progress and has returned to his Methven home. Canterbury driver Jonny Cox gets the chance to reunite with Nandolo, who he could not drive earlier this month because of suspension. Though Cox is glad to get back behind the John Howe-trained pacer, he wishes it was under different circumstances. “You never like to see anything like that happen to anyone. The main thing is Ricky is doing well.” Cox was behind Nandolo when he was beaten by his main rival, Heisenberg, in last month’s Ashburton Cup. Howe said after the race Nandolo may not have been at his best for the 3200m race and Cox agrees. “The horse had raced right through New Zealand Cup week and ‘‘Coaster’’ [Howe] was trying to look after him after he had had a lot of hard racing. “He was probably not quite ready for Ashburton and he did have quite a good blow after it. ‘‘He should be right up to the mark now.” Heisenberg looks the toughest horse for Nandolo to beat. Nandolo’s task to win looks easier now as A G’s White Socks, Vintage Cheddar and Jazzy Star are not starting in the re-run. Swamp Major and Franco Santino return alongside Nandolo and Heisenberg. Mach’s Back, Lawrence, Kilowatt Kid and Robyns Play have joined the field. The withdrawal of several high-class opponents does not mean Cox will look to dominate the race with Nandolo. “He is not that great in front. He knocks off a bit and you have to keep tapping him along. “He has got a lot of speed and if we were able to slot him in somewhere that could be his best chance.” Heisenberg was the early leader of the race at Omakau before he handed the front to A G’s White Socks. The 4yr-old led in his strong Ashburton Cup win and he looks the likely leader again today. Bookmakers opened Nandolo the $2.90 favourite for the Central Otago Cup when the fixed-odds market opened yesterday. The pacer was quickly backed in to $2.20. Heisenberg also received support, moving from $3.20 to $2.70. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Boom Kiwi and favourite for Saturday night's feature, Self Assured, is facing a very tricky return to Australia. The outstanding pacer, who many rate the most talented pacer in Australasia, drew the inside of the second line in the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup, the one draw co-trainer Mark Purdon didn’t want for the 2710m mobile Group 1. “That makes it tricky and we will have to look at our options at the start,” Purdon said. Those options look limited as Self Assured follows out two stablemates from the Emma Stewart team in Tam Major and The Storm Inside and if Purdon, driving Self Assured, elects to try his luck sticking to the inside early he isn’t likely to get many favours. So the punters who take the short odds are probably betting on him going back to near last to get into the running line. That could potentially leave him vulnerable to rivals who may not be as good, including his own stablemate Chase Auckland, but could get more economical trips. Chase Auckland has drawn barrier four (after emergencies) with fellow Kiwi pacer A G’s White Socks at barrier three and the three New Zealanders dominate the market. “Chase Auckland has come through last Friday (Cambridge) really well but Self Assured would still be our best chance this Saturday,” says Purdon. Former New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer has been allowed to miss this week’s race after casting a shoe in the Flying Mile and will instead target the Casey Classic on Saturday week as his lead-up to the Hunter Cup on February 1. South Auckland pacer Triple Eight is now also set to cross the Tasman to contest those same two races. Purdon’s Victoria Derby hope Smooth Deal has an awkward draw but will still start favourite in Saturday’s strongest heat of the Victoria Derby, where he meets Bad To The Bone and Line Up as well as last season’s Aussie juvenile star Be Happy Mach. They all need a top four finish to qualify for the final at Melton the following Saturday. Purdon is now also the caretaker trainer for Stylish Memphis who contests a Victoria Oaks heat this Saturday night. Oscar Bonavena was the only trotter from the All Stars stable to make the trip across the Tasman and races at Melton the following two Saturdays.   by Michael Guerin

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Loader
Loader
Loader
The seemingly never ending quality of Love You progeny was highlighted once again over the last week with multiple harness racing winners greeting the judge by the sire. These included the impressive three year old filly The Big Bird, who scored in emphatic style at Alexandra Park on Friday night when taking the passing lane late for driver / trainer Joshua Dickie who had, until then, managed the filly around horses from a running line sit. The nature of the win coupled with her great trotting bloodlines (she is out of ten race winner Great Getaway) and the fact that the filly has a fair bit of growing into her large frame yet to do would suggest a bright future lies ahead. In contrast to the maiden win of The Bird Bird was that of the victorious turn of the tried and tested Lovely Bundy in the Thames /Coromandel Trotters Cup at Cambridge Raceway. The 8yr old mare, by Love You out of Kelly Bundy, faced a handicap of 20m over the 2700m stand distance but enjoyed the sound pace set up by race rival Anna Kate and showed her ability late in proceedings making up the required ground widest on the track to score by half a length. The win was the 10th of Lovely Bundy’s career from 72 starts.    The recent wins continue to outline the success New Zealand breeders have had run when seeking out the services of Love You with his progeny having played a notable part in shaping New Zealand trotting history over the last decade or so. Love You Monbet, trained by the Greg and Nina Hope stable would be the most decorated of his progeny on New Zealand shores but his reach has been far and wide with other notable race tracks winners including Jewels winner Enghien and New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All winner Great Things Happen. By far the most successful partnership of his being the amazing run he’s had when siring foals out of prodigious broodmare Ten To One with NZ derby winner Habibti, Anzac Cup winner Habibti Ivy and Dominion Handicap winner and Jewels winner Habibi Inta all out of the famed mare along with Lothario( 6 wins) and Releven Dream (17 wins). The Big Bird Lovely Bundy With his past successes as a sire of group winners It’s no wonder that Love You continues to attract quality mares and he’ll be strongly represented at 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale. An interesting story among them being the two lots offered from the same family by Breckon Farms which will be the only two Love You lots to be presented at Karaka . Lot 97, a bay filly called Online Love , is out of Northern Breeders Stakes runner-up Cyberspace. A further investigation into the strong maternal lines reveals Inda Bank (3yr old trotting filly of the year) who has left multiple Group 1 performers, the most notable of these being Frozen Funds who was victorious in both the New South Wales and Victorian Trotting Oaks. Other high achievers out of Inda Bank include The Almighty Johnson (3rd in the National Trot) now racing in the USA with over $200’000 in career earnings and Yogi Johnson (11 wins). Online Love A bay colt is also going under the hammer, Lot 83, called Forbidden Love is out of a full sister to Cyberspace (both Cyberspace and Broadband are by Muscles Yankee)) and calls upon the same strong trotting pedigree. Forbidden Love Love You has a total of 19 lots to be sold throughout the 2020 New Zealand Yearling Sales with buyers obviously wishing for a continuation of his success as a sire of champions!       Ben McMillan
Waimumu breeder Paul Pearce has been a stock agent for the last twelve years, and was a wool buyer prior to that.  But outside of work he’s always had a passion for harness racing horses and this year he’s prepared two nice colts for the National Sale in Christchurch. “When Brent (McIntyre) bought Jaccka Lodge (now Macca Lodge) I spent a lot of time up there. You just get the bug,” he said. However Paul Pearce’s connections to horses and the McIntyre family goes further back when his father managed the Southland Farmers Co-op farm which was next door to the McIntyre farm. Paul said his father Trevor raced gallopers, although without much success. He was also good friends with the late Kenny Milne from Balclutha and he went to Lincoln University with Milne’s son Johnny. Kenny Milne bred horses for many years and owned and raced New Zealand Oaks winner Young Eden. When he was young Pearson dabbled in ownership and the first horse he raced was Badland’s Hanover gelding Lets Go Frankie. He raced him in partnership with McIntyre and fellow PGG Wrightson’s stock agent Craig Milne. Lets Go Frankie won a race at Wyndham for the trio in November 2005 before he went to Australia where he won another five races. Pearce also bred from Young Jiggs a daughter of Young Eden sending her to Attorney General and the resulting colt Young Reggie had three starts for no rewards for trainer Lindsay Wilson. “We were breeding stuff we shouldn’t have been but you’ve got to start somewhere.” The trio also raced Washington VC mare Susie Blue (Washington VC – Ginny Dale) which they leased off Bill Keeler. She won three races before heading to Aussie. “Mandy and I got married young, we had our children young and we couldn’t afford horses. But I followed Brent’s horses like Bonnies Lass and Just Jazzan.” Paul and Mandy now farm 35 acres at Waimumu in Eastern Southland close to where Ken McRae trained horses for a good number of years, and just down the road from the site of the Waimumu Field Days. “Mandy plays a big part in the hands on stuff with the horses. When they come back from Macca Lodge as weanlings we do as much work as possible. We box them every night over winter just to get that one on one handling of them. When they’re small they’re easy to do things with. A lot of people leave it until spring to get the yearlings in. I have no problems taking them up to Macca Lodge in the float during the day to get their feet trimmed and getting them to just stand there.” Mandy is a school teacher at St Peters College in Gore but as her love for horses has grown she’s become more involved. “Mandy actually took a year off teaching and did the foaling night shift at Macca Lodge this season. I’m really lucky she likes her horses because many (partners) don’t especially when the bills start coming in.” But it’s not the first time the Pearces have taken stock to the sales. Paul bred and prepared Cozin Change (Changeover – Corzanello) for the 2016 Sale of the Stars after borrowing Corzanello off Jill Smolenski. Cozin Change was a half-brother to big Australian winner I’m Corzin Terror. His wins included the 2014 Ballarat Pacing Cup. Cozin Change was passed in on a reserve of $25,000 and he went to Australia where he won two races in a short career. The couple now own three broodmares Tipsy Too, Luminesce and Elegant As and the two colts they’re presenting at the sales are by Bettor’s Delight out of Luminesce and Art Major out of Tipsy Too. The Bettor’s Delight colt out of Luminesce – Photo supplied. The Art Major colt out of Tipsy Too – Photo supplied Tipsy Too is out of the In The Pocket mare Dontdrinkthendrive and is part of the Party Party family. She was bought at the Auckland Sales for $21,000. “We didn’t race her. She just needed a bit of time. At that point things weren’t looking that good in the racing world so we decided to breed from her. I was at Diamonds Day talking to Hazel van Opzeeland and she talked to me about going to Sweet Lou at Woodlands Stud, and that’s who we sent the mare too.” The resulting foal is Renegade Rose. Luminesce was purchased in 2012 after they’d started to think seriously about buying some quality stock. “We (had to) decide whether we were going to be in or out. It was in and we thought we’d give it a decent go and buy a good broodmare.” So after months of study Paul headed to the Christchurch Sale with Brent McIntyre. They had a number of fillies marked to view and possibly bid on, but the Mach Three filly Luminesce who was out of class mare One Dream, initially wasn’t one of them. “We had no intentions of buying her. Of course we saw her in the catalogue. Mac and I looked at a few others. Jill (breeder Jill Smolenski) had no photos on the website and the horse wasn’t at the parade. So on the day of the Sales I said to Mac that we’d better go and have a look at this filly out of One Dream. We walked round the corner and thought ‘shit.’ I couldn’t stop thinking about her.” On pedigree alone Pearce thought Luminesce would go for in excess of $50,000 and that was making him nervous so as any good man does, he rang Mandy to get final sign off on the budget. “I could ring her 100 times and never get hold of her. But I got hold of her this day and said I’d found a horse I really want to buy but it was going to be out of our league. I was hoping she would say no but she said she’d just go with what I said.” When Lot 123 entered the ring the nerves were starting to ramp up. “There was really only me and another person bidding on her. It was the most nerve racking thing I’ve even done in my life. I remember standing against some trellising and my heart was going and the trellising stopped it from jumping out.” Pearce was ultimately the last man standing and Luminesce was theirs for $45,000. She was broken in by Brent McIntyre and entrusted to Ascot Park trainer Wayne Adams. Paul’s father Trevor when to school with Adams, and they liked the way he turned his horses out. “She qualified by a second and there was nothing flash in that. We talked about whether we should turn her out and bring her back as a three year old. But Wayne said the speed was there so he worked her harder in the next week. She went to the Workouts and bolted in so we went to Forbury for a heat of the Sires Stakes which she won.” She beat Raksdeal by a neck running the 1700 metres in 2-04.6 – it’s still a track record. At the end of her first season she raced in the 2013 Two Year Old Diamond at the Harness Jewels finishing eleventh behind winner Venus Serena. As a three year old Luminesce won her first two starts before running a fifth and a third. She was then taken north to Addington. “We went to Christchurch for the Sales Series race and she got a virus. We thought she was going to die that night, it took her quite a while to get over that and she only had five starts as a three year old.” She came back at four and only had another four starts. “She ran on Invitation Drivers Day at Ascot Park and Kerryn Manning who drove her said she was a bit knobby in her prelim. In her next two starts she went terrible but we didn’t realise she’d split a bone in her knee.” Luminesce warming up at Ascot Park with Kerryn Manning – Photo Bruce Stewart Consequently Luminesce was retired and sent to Art Major. She lost that foal after he was born premature and only lasted a few days. Her second foal, a filly by Bettor’s Delight got to the stage of being weaned but developed septicemia and also died. So the Bettor’s Delight sales colt is actually her first foal beyond weaning. The Pearce’s also own six year old Rocknroll Hanover mare Elegant As which is out of Tuapeka Maddy. She was purchased from Dan Cummings at Tuapeka Lodge. Her first foal is an Art Major filly. Not one to stand still, Paul was also at the Christchurch Sale last year and bought another filly – Millwood Kelly (Bettor’s Delight – Idolise) for $27,500. Idolise is by American Ideal and won one race from thirteen starts. She’s a half-sister to Idealindiamonds (8 New Zealand wins and 5 Australian wins), Am Opulent (18 wins) and Dibaba (7 wins including the Sires Stakes Northern Mares Classic, Premier Mares Championship and Southland Oaks). Idolise is out of the Life Sign mare Imprint, was bred by Aidan Johnstone and is owned by Katie Carville. “When I bought Luminesce the one I had my eye on was a horse called Idolise which is Millwood Kelly’s mother but it was withdrawn.” They also have two horses in work with Gore trainer Tony Stratford – Renegade Rose and Braeview Kelly (formally Millwood Kelly). “We actually entered her (Renegade Rose) for the Sales and she didn’t make it. I was told it was because it was by a first season sire from an unproven family.” Paul still gives Bloodstock Agent Peter Lagan plenty of stick about that decision. Renegade Rose From just seven starts this season Renegade Rose has won once, run second twice and third four times. Her placings have been behind quality fillies Stylish Memphis, Sugar Loaf and Plutonium Lady. “She’s a big filly but she’s always been in proportion.” Paul and Mandy Pearce are a fine example of a couple with a shared passion, using resilience and optimism to make their way in the harness world. Bruce Stewart
by Garrick Knight    Phil Fleming has been enjoying the best season of his 10-year training career and expects that to continue at Cambridge on Saturday. The Stratford horseman will be up bright and early and on the road with a trio of good chances, headed by promising mare, Sheikh Yabooty. By the time she scores up in the 1700-metre sprint, she’ll be seven days removed from running back-to-back seconds, 18 hours apart, on the same track. “Those two runs last week were both really good runs and she showed she can do it both ways,” said Fleming. On Friday night she was driving cold and got no luck in behind Underthesouthernsun then on the Saturday she sat three-wide and then parked outside eventual winner, Eagle Watch. She’ll add a third strong to her bow this week when showing gate speed to lead, Fleming reckons. “It’s only a sprint trip, so we’ve probably got to lead, I think.” With three wins under her belt, Sheikh Yabooty gets in at a luxury rating of 49 and that will delay her inevitable sale off shore. “She’s well-rated so I’d probably like to win another couple with her before putting her on the market.” Stable veteran Our Wicklow recorded his 10th career win last Saturday at start 131 after finding the front at the mile. He doesn’t win them out of turn, and is drawn on the unruly again this week, but Fleming is pretty confident the horse will go close to recording back-to-back wins. “He’s definitely more than a runners’ chance; he always goes his best races at Cambridge and I think he’s actually a pretty good show. “If the pace is on, that will suit.” Fleming is right in that Our Wicklow does have three wins and three placings from just 12 starts at Cambridge, plus it is not a strong field at all. Rounding out the team is trotting mare Caitlin’s Surprise, who tackles one of the day’s features, the $10,000 Harcourts Te Awamutu 2020 Waipa Trotters Cup. Like her stablemates she raced both days last week, running fifth both times. She’s perhaps not in career-best form but Fleming has a hunch she’s about to find her footing again. “I’ve had some tying up issues with her so I’ve had to back off the oats, basically. “That and she’s such a good doer, I’ve been trying to keep her weight down. “But she generally hits her best form around February onwards and I think that will be the case again this year. “There are some nice mares’ races coming up for her and I’ll be looking towards those.” Caitlin’s Surprise will face some stiff opposition from the in-form Anna Kate and last Saturday’s winners, Lovely Bundy. The pacers face off in the Brown & Pennell 2020 Waipa Pacers Cup and the John and Josh Dickie-trained mare Callie’s Delight will likely start favourite. Parker has been going excellent races without much recently while the Chris Webber-trained pair of Bugalugs and Fleeting Grin are drawn to do no work on the markers over the 2700-metre trip and are must-includes in multiples. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ
The win by Heisenberg in yesterdays re-run of the Central Otago Cup has led to a very generous donation by the horse’s connections, owners Ross and Angela Gordon, trainer Robert Dunn and the horse’s regular driver John Dunn. The race was originally run at Omakau but had to be abandoned when champion driver Ricky May suffered a major medical incident and was flown to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition. The Group Three feature race was re-run yesterday at the Young Quinn Raceway at Wyndham and was won by Heisenberg in a very quick time. Robert Dunn explained that after the race Ross Gordon rang him and said he and Angela wanted to express their appreciation for the care Ricky May received on the 2nd January at Omakau. “Ross, Angela, Johnny and I decided to donate four and a half thousand dollars of the Cup winnings to charity.  $1,500 to the helicopter trust fund for picking up Ricky, $1,500 to St John who were great on the day and $1,500 to Team Teals Ellie Barron (who performed mouth the mouth on May). Ross wanted to do that and I said to him that Johnny and I would come on board as well.” Driver John Dunn was trailing May in the race at Omakau and saw the incident unfold. He managed to pull his horse back and warn trailing drivers. John Dunn wasn’t on hand yesterday when Heisenberg won. The horse was driven by stand-in driver Tim Williams who took the talented pacer to the front and held out a game Nandolo by half a neck. “Yep he’s much better in front with the pace on. He will learn to use the speed he’s got in other ways but he’s one of those horses that likes getting into his own rhythm. He used to be a devil of a horse to run in and out and it made it difficult for Johnny to drive. He’s far better when he concentrates so that’s why we’ve got the hood on him. He runs a lot straighter with that on but the only thing is it sets you up for horses that swoop off your back,” said Robert Dunn. The winning time of 2-52.4 for the 2400 metre mobile was a new track, Southland and New Zealand record. “He’s racing more genuinely this year. We possibly gelded him later than we should have. He was always a horse with potential, but he was green.” Yesterday’s win was the horse’s sixth. Dunn said Heisenberg is likely to join his Auckland base at some point later in the season and this time should be better the Auckland way round. “He struggles a bit in Auckland. He tended to get in a little too much on the turns. But it was just because of his racing manners early on. I’m sure when we bring him up for the Taylor Mile and the New Zealand Messenger he’ll be much better.” The Art Major gelding was bought at the 2017 Auckland Sales by Gorton and Dunn – then named Viva La Vida. “Ross changes all of his horses names. He’s generally got a reason. We both loved the horse on type, he looked racy and we thought he might make a young horse. Ross has a good eye for horses which he’s developed. He actually comes from a horse family. His mother and father Don and Carol were one of the very first preparers at the yearling sales. They prepared yearlings for I reckon a half a century. On his mother’s side is champion horseman Felix Newfield and also Kevin Chapman.” Ross and Angela own Telfer Electrical and have three branches in Christchurch and outlets in Nelson, Cromwell, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill. “They bought the company just over twenty years ago when it was small and they’ve turned it into a very successful business.” The Gordons have been very good clients for Robert Dunn over many years. They’ve owned and raced The Fed Express (5 New Zealand wins – bred by Ross’s parents Don and Carol), Code Black (2 New Zealand wins and 17 Australian wins), Robbie Burns (10 New Zealand wins and 1-49 USA) and Henry Hubert (7 wins). “I’ve had their horses for years and we’re still waiting to get our first Group One winner. The one we thought was going to be the bees knees was a horse called Say My Name (6 wins from just 18 starts). He’s was exceptionally talented but had ongoing bone issues.” The Gordons also own up and coming Above N Beyond. “He’ll be aimed at the Derbies. We think he could be a real player in the three and four year old races. He’s a horse with a lot of upside.” And as the Yearling Sales approach Gordon and Dunn will be having a close look at the full brother to Heisenberg who’s in the ring early on 17th February at the Auckland Sales. “He’ll be on our list.” Bred by Chris and Tina Barlow of Highfield Bloodstock and named Crusader, you’d have to say this may be one horse if Ross and Robert buy him that may not get a name change considering they’re all Cantabrians   Bruce Stewart
Loader

Additional Articles