While the second of the B races on the road to the Prix d'Amerique, the Prix du Bourbonnais (Group 2, 120,000 euros) has brought the superstars of French harness racing out in force tonight, Sweden's biggest gun, Maharajah, may still get another shot at the World's greatest race despite a disappointing run in the Gavle Stora Pris three weeks ago. But Annika Lindblom, Projectleader of Travkompaniet, 'the Emperor's' owner said there was nothing amiss with the horse, who has been plagued with fetlock problems throughout his career, after the race. "The veterinary was pleased with him and he is ok in the training," Ms Linblom told Harnesslink. "Of course last race was a little bit of a disappointment but maybe he needs a couple of races before he is in shape again. Last race was only the third time he been at a racetrack since May!" As for a shot at the Prix d'Amerique, in which the great horse finished second in his first attempt in 2011, Ms Lindblom says Travompianet's connections have not made a final decision. "Well, the answer about the Prix DÂ´Amerique is that we have not decides anything," she said. "We take one race at the time for Maharajah and We Will See after every race. "Next race for him will be in V75 in Gothenburg next Saturday , If he is okay in the training." Maharajah, who is trained by Stefan Hultman, has not previously entered the B races before the final race in January, the Prix de Bretagne, and it was a win in the 2011 renewal that earned him a place in that year's Grand Prix d'Amerique, where he finished a gallant second to Ready Cash, who like himself is an 8-year-old. The pair repeated the result the next week in the group one â‚¬400,000 Prix de France before Maharajah went on a week later to win the group one Prix de Paris (also â‚¬400,000), over the marathon 4175m trip around Vincennes with Ready Cash not fronting. But his old rival, who has won two Prix d'Amerique's and finished second last year will be making his first start at the Winter Series in this year's Prix de Bourbonnais, a race he has won two years in a row. Indeed Thierry Duvaldestin's son of Indy de Vive has a formidable record in B races. He has also won the Prix De Bourgogne (2100m) the last three times in a row, o won the Prix de Bretagne (2700m) at his second attempt in 2011 after galloping in his first ever B race in the 2010 renewal. In fact the only B race Ready Cash has not won is the Prix de Belgique (2850m), in which he finished third in his only attempt in 2012. He fronted up a fortnight later and won his first Prix d'Amerique. Last year's Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream has been patiently handled in his career by Jean-Etienne Dubois' Ecurie Victoria Dreams stable. Under the astute guidance of trainer Philippe Moulin, the son of Love You won seven on the trot when he began his career as a 4YO, all in provincial company and he did not make a start at Vincennes until late in his 5YO year. Even then he did not race in good company until he had fully matured as a 6YO in the Prix Tenor de Baune where he broke 50m from the line after he had drawn up alongside eventual winner Lana Del Rio and Ready Cash, who was subsequently disqualified. As a seven-year-old Royal Dream won the 2012 Prix de Belgique which gave him a ticket to that year's Prix dAmerique where he ran a promising sixth. He subsequently won his first group race, the Prix de France a fortnight later. Later that year he finished second in all three early B races, the Prix de Bretagne, Prix Du Bourbonnais and Prix de Bourgogne, before missing the Prix Belgique on his way to a stunning victory over Ready Cash in the Prix d'Amerique. He ran second in the Prix de France to Ready Cash and has been lightly raced the rest of the year with only six appearances, for a win and a second. He has had two warmup races in the provinces but he will be focussed on this, although not likely a favourite at this stage of his preparation. Rising star Timoko has had a stellar year with seven wins in 15 starts at the highest level and Richard Westerink's Imoko stallion might be nearing the level he needs to be to mount a serious challenge to Ready Cash, who was an easy victor in the UET Masters Series final, the last time they met. Ecurie Victoria Dreams and Moulin also have a second big gun in their arsenal with Texas Charm another from the impressive T generation, which is not far behind the quality of the much vaunted R crop. Texas Charm also has a victory over Timoko this year and has earned just under a million euros. The talented son of Cygnus d'Odyssee has won the Group one Prix Vincennes under saddle and group one Prix Rene Balliere in the bike and a clutch of group twos in both disciplines. There are plenty of other good horses in the field including world record breaking mare Save The Quick, recent Prix de Bretagne winner Uhland du Val and third placegettter Tiego d'Etang and former Italian Derby winner Pascia'Lest - who is in the same stable as Ready Cash. And with the big guns focusing on a bigger race in the last weekend of January, they could well provide an upset. Dave Sanders
It is rare for a harness racing filly to win the Criterium des 3 Ans - there have only been five winners in the last 40 years, although it was won by the brilliant Vanika de Ruel last year and three of those winners have been in the past ten years. But this A-generation is so dominated by fillies that there is the possibility that the first three home in Sunday's Criterium des 3 Ans could be one of the fillies who have dominated every one of this crop's "Classique" races. In fact you have to look as far back as 1975 to find fillies finishing one-two-three in this race when Gamellia beat home Garinella and Girl Blanche. But for the first time this year, all six group one races - the Criterium de Jeunes (Avila), Prix Albert Viel (Axelle Dark), Prix d'Etoile (Avila), and the monte races the Prix des Elites (Anastasia Fella), Prix d'Essai (Arca Des Jacquets) and the Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (Almira Marancourt) - have been won by a filly. The seventh could very welll fall to either Fabrice Souloy's Anastasia Fella, or Philippe Allaire's brilliant duo Axelle Dark or Avilla who is trained by Thierry Duvaldestin and who provided the first three home in both the Prix Reine Du Corta and Prix Annick Dreux, the two 3YO fillies races earlier in this Winter Series. Franck Anne's Akim du Cap Vert and Vincent Collard's Africain have finished second and third respectively to Aladin d'Ecajeul (Prix Abel Bassigny) and Aldo Des Champs (Prix Jacques De Vauloge) in both 3YO male races of this Winter Series, which were run in quicker times than their female equivalents, suggesting that the colts might be catching up. But so far no colt has managed to top this trio when it counted in the bike - Matthieu Abrivard's Aldo Des Champs was second in the Prix Albert Viel, while Allaire 's two colts Atlas de Joudes was third in the Prix de l'Etoile and Artiste de Joudes managed a third in the Criterium des Jeunes although has done little since and will be at long odds. Interestingly, three of Allaire's entrants are by Ready Cash, who is making his first start of the Winter Series the day prior in the Prix de Bourbonnais. The only other stallions with more than one entrant, is another whose first crop are 3YOs, Quaker Jet and Goetmals Wood. As it stands the fillies have all the black type, withAvila having two group one wins to her credit, with victories in the Criterium des Jeunes and Prix de l'Etoile while her stablemate Axelle Dark won the Prix Albert Viel. Anastasia Fella was second in the Prix de l'Etoile and won the Prix des Elites under saddle and has also seemingly gone up a gear since that win, having been unbeaten since and will be favourite for this race. Axelle Dark and Avila will also be at single figure odds, while Akim de Cap Vert and Aldo de Champs will be the colts carrying most of the wagering money and the most likely to strike a blow for male pride. CRITERIUM DES 3 ANS Vincennes 08/12/13 FR Group 1 3YOs 2700m â‚¬240 000 1 Avenir de Blay (3c Hooper - Mirabelle de Blay Tony Le Beller Tony Le Beller 2 All Feeling (3c Otello Pierji - Quelle Cerencaise Christophe Martens Mickael Lemercier 3 Ausone du Kastel (3c Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Emmanuel Allard 4 Alberic (3c Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Fabrice Souloy 5 Africain (3c Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Yann Gerard Tr: Vincent Collard 6 Alesia d'Atout (3f Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier 7 Artiste de Joudes (3c Prodigious - Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Philippe Allaire 8 Alizea du Kastel (3f Quaker Jet - Kalida Jet) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard 9 Aladin d'Ecajeul (3c Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 10 Aldo des Champs (3c Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Matthieu Abrivard Tr:Matthieu Abrivard 11 Atlas de Joudes (3c Ready Cash - Queschua Love) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Philippe Allaire 12 Anastasia Fella (3f Goetmals Wood - Jeanne's Fella) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 13 Akim du Cap Vert (3c First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 14 Avila (3f Ready Cash - Encombevineuse) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 15 Axelle Dark (3f Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire Dave Sanders
Village Mystic heads an even field of nine 4YO stallions in the harness racing Group two Prix Octave Douesnel over 2700m at Vincennes on Sunday. Louis Baudron's son of Love You is a group one winner having prevailed in the Prix de Selection, the inter-generational classic held annually around the beginning of March each year. He won the Prix Jules Thibault (Group II) in August and ran sixth in his first start back from a spell in the Prix Marcel Laurent a month back when he was sent out third favourite behind the winner Victoire. Village Mystic was the well-beaten favourite in the Criterium des 4 Ans, and is currently fourth in the V-generation earnings behind precocious mare Vanika de Ruel and monte stars Vanishing Point and Vision Intense. Also in the Prix Marcel Laurent field was Jean Michel Bazire's Vaux le Vicomte who was second favourite, and ran fourth but is something of a perennial groomsman - although in pretty esteemed company. The son of Nahar de Beval was a credible third in the European Derby or Grand Prix De l'Uet (Gr1) in Sweden two starts back in October and was also second in the Criterium des 3 Ans held at this very meeting 12 months ago. Vaux le Vicomte won four of his first six starts but has only won once in his last 20, which says a lot about the calibre of the opposition. Still French trotting amply rewards its higher class horses with decent stake money down to seventh place (and a 10 per cent bonus to the breeder) and has earned a respectable 333,000 euros - which places him 12th in the V-generation rankings. Roberto Donati's Voltigeur de Myrt was a somewhat surprising winner of the Criterium des 4 Ans - it was just his fifth win in what at that point been 25 starts and he started at 16-1 odds in a pretty open field. The son of Opus Viervil has not won since and went into a "grand galop" in the Prix Marcel Laurent, the second time in a row he had broken stride. Vigove is another five-win trotter, and being by Gazouillis, is probably bred more to the saddle than the bike, although he has only started in one monte and showed little aptitude for it. But Franck Leblanc's stallion is a very useful performer with two group two wins and a third in the group one Criterium des 4 Ans, after finishing in the same position in the leadup race, the Prix Phaeton. However he has not placed higher than sixth in three starts back from a five month break although he does possess the fastest record in this field (1.10.9 or 1.54MR). Ecurie Victoria Dreams has two sons of Password entered, the first of which, Volcan d'Urzy is the only one in the field who commenced stud duties this season and is a half-brother to Leader Chip who finished second in both the Danish Travkriterium and Travderby. The Criterium des 4 Ans runner up has won five of just 19 starts including the group two Prix Kalmia and was also runner-up in two group one Prix Albert Vie and will be driven by Jean Philippe Dubois. Coincidentally his sire Password, a son of Goetmals Wood out of a mare by US Champion 2YO Workaholic, also won the Prix Kalmia and was runner up in the Prix Albert Viel. The other Password progeny is Voyage de Reve, who has six wins including the group two Prix Jacques De Vauloge. But that was 12 months ago and he has struggled in this higher grade so far, with just two more placings. Julien Dubois is his driver. PRIX OCTAVE DOUESNEL Vincennes 08/12/13 Group two 4M 2700m â‚¬120 000 1 Vulcain de Vandel (4h Jag de Bellouet - Ophelia de Vandel) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Nivard 2 Valentin du Gite (4h Iton du Gite - Oh Biche Jolie) Dr: Bernard Piton Tr: Jean Lelievre 3 Viking de Val (4h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 4 Voyage de Reve (4h Password - Kiocalba) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 5 Volcan d'Urzy (4h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 6 Vigove (4h Gazouillis - Govive) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Franck Leblanc 7 Vaux le Vicomte (4h Nahar de Beval - Nina du Beauvoisin) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 8 Voltigeur de Myrt (4h Opus Viervil - Myrtille des Bois) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Roberto Donati 9 Village Mystic (4h Love You - Netchka d'Orgeres) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron Dave Sanders
"NYS Assembly Committee on Racing Delves Into Economic Impacts of harness Racing" Commentary delivered by Joe Faraldo, Alex Dadoyan of the SOA of NY and Betty Holt of Harness Horse Breeders. Testimony Submitted by the Standardbred Owners Association of New York to the NYS Assembly Committee on Racing & Wagering December 2013 Thank you Chairman Pretlow for the opportunity to present testimony on behalf of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, the Empire State Harness Horsemen’s Alliance and harness horsemen from across New York regarding the incredibly positive economic impacts generated by our harness racing and agricultural industries across the state. I thought I’d begin by reading a brief excerpt from a fact sheet submitted to state legislators in the spring of 2003 by harness horsemen detailing what we anticipated would be the positive future impacts of a New York video lottery terminal (VLT) initiative that was just about to come on-line. We predicted: “…if revenues from the VLTs are distributed equitably to horsemen, purses and breeders funds, then this new program will not only generate a major new revenue stream for education, but also will trigger a renaissance for the entire horse racing industry in the state. These funds will bring more high-quality horses to New York tracks and make breeding a more lucrative industry in the state. As more breeders come to New York and owners and trainers expand the number of horses in their stables, numerous related industries will benefit indirectly. Clearly, one of the major benefactors of the addition of VLT’s at racetracks will be the agriculture industry.” Fast forward a decade later and virtually every one of those harness racing predictions – higher purses, expanded agriculture, thriving breeding farms, and tens of thousands of racing related jobs across New York State – has come true. As the Assembly noted in its own notice for this hearing, a 2011 economic impact study commissioned by New York’s racing and agriculture stakeholders concluded that our industry generated an overall $4.2 billion economic impact statewide and was responsible for 33,000 jobs. So, not only have VLTs generated hundreds of millions of dollars in critical funding for education across the state, but New York’s harness industry has returned to its rightful place as a national leader and the promise of a New York racing renaissance has become a reality. WHY THIS HISTORY IS IMPORTANT AND THE REASON HORSEMEN ARE NOW SERIOUSLY CONCERNED FOR THE FUTURE As New York State prepares to undergo major changes to our gaming environment in the wake of the recently-approved casino gaming amendment, it is critically important to fully understand the significant economic gains that have taken place in the NY harness industry as a direct result of the existing VLT initiative and, more significantly, to recognize the potential impacts that the amendment’s enacting language could have on racing and agriculture. For example, as you are aware, this enacting language includes a provision that mandates certain racing industry payments (derived from casino gaming) be maintained at 2013 levels (with a small cost of living adjustment based on the federal consumer price index). And while this provision – which specifically relates to existing racinos that may receive a full casino gaming license and morph into a casino – has been characterized as a “floor” (ensuring that payments for purse support and breeding do not fall below 2013 levels), the fact is that the language, as written, also acts as an absolute “ceiling,” capping these payments at a virtually static 2013 level and not allowing for any future growth. While we are obviously grateful for the creation of a hold harmless provision to ensure that agriculture and racing jobs are not immediately negatively impacted, our concern is that this hard cap on payments to agriculture and racing from casinos will essentially serve as a hard cap on any future, additional growth in racing and agriculture. The message that this will send to potential investors – who, as you will see from my testimony below, have absolutely flocked to our state in record numbers in recent years – is that New York may be doing well now, but is closed for future business and has no horse breeding or racing investment opportunities available to them moving forward. Other competing racing states have recognized that racing and breeding should grow right along with casino gaming and the very real fear now resonating throughout farms, training facilities and racetracks across New York is that we’ll not only fall behind in future growth, but that New York will eventually start to lose some of the hard-fought gains we’ve already achieved. And to see exactly what is at risk, one need only look at recent statistics and real life case studies from the industry. RACING AND AGRICULTURE-RELATED ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF VLTs IN NEW YORK STATE The thoughtful, dual purpose VLT initiative implemented by New York State – charged with funding education and supporting a horse racing industry that is a major job-generator across virtually every region of the state – has increased purses and attracted investment into our breeding and agriculture sectors like never before. New farms and training facilities are opening in regions across the state and our high-quality New York Standardbred horses are commanding the highest prices by far at auction. While my full submitted testimony has a wide range of statistics for your review, let me just summarize by pointing out that virtually every indicator – the number of mares in New York, stud fees, sales prices, etc. – has increased exponentially since 2001. REAL LIFE CASE STUDIES DEMONSTRATE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ECONOMIC IMPACTS The economic multiplier effects of this purse money on various sectors of the New York’s economy are really quite amazing. Again, my full written testimony includes a number of very real, very concrete, very significant case studies that demonstrate how VLT-generated purse money is filtering throughout our local economies and is attracting even more investment across New York State. Needless to say, these cases – from the $9 million in capital investments at Blue Chip Farms to Mark Ford’s new $8 million dollar training center in Middletown – are proof positive that purse money is being directly invested back into the New York State economy. Clearly, this isn’t just economic theory, conjecture or even predictions from a decade ago. These are proven, on-the-ground economic gains in communities throughout New York State that are taking place thanks to our harness racing industry. HOW CAN WE ENSURE FUTURE JOB CREATION AND GROWTH? In light of all of these clear and positive economic gains, it should come as no surprise that horsemen, breeders, farmers and tens of thousands of others who are dependent on racing for their livelihoods are deeply concerned about how the coming expansion of casino gaming in New York State will impact these important economic benefits. As noted earlier, other competing racing states have recognized that racing and breeding should grow right along with casino gaming, so one must ask why horsemen or breeders would invest additional resources – or even keep their existing horses already here in New York – when they can anticipate greater additional growth in nearby states? With 33,000 New York State equine jobs at stake, it obviously makes complete sense to have a “hold harmless” provision to ensure that agriculture and breeding don’t get hurt by the expansion of full casino gaming. However, what is less clear is the economic or policy rationale for capping racing industry support payments at 2013 levels for racinos that become full casinos and not allowing the opportunity for any future growth or investment in a critically important, proven, job-creating New York industry. Recent record sales numbers by New York-bred horses at national sales demonstrate that breeding gains are continuing apace and there is no doubt that significant opportunities for additional growth in our agricultural sector exist across the state. Within this clear and compelling economic context, the SOA of New York and harness horsemen from across the state are asking the New York State Legislature to reevaluate and reconsider the specific provision included in the casino enacting legislation that mandates a cap on racing industry support levels at the 2013 level. While eliminating this cap would obviously require the creation of a new formula for determining reasonable and appropriate levels of industry support payments from full casino gaming (including both slots and table games), we are committed to working collaboratively with both legislators and gaming industry stakeholders to develop a workable solution. Our experience with the existing VLT initiative has shown that it is possible to create win-win-win scenarios, and we look forward to working with you and your colleagues to continue to support and grow equine industry jobs in the great state of New York. Thank you. CONTACTS: Joe Faraldo, Standardbred Owners Association of NY 718-544- 6800 Joni Yoswein, Yoswein New York (representing the SOA of NY) 212-233-5700
Nowitzki led from go to whoa in the Group 1 Lancaster Park 4yo $175,000 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park Friday night the 6th of December. The son of Art Major trained and driven by Daniel Jack is out of the top race mare and super broodmare Full Pleasure dam of six in 1:57.6 and faster including the great race mare Kept For Pleasure ($543,243). Nowitzki has now won 9 races from just the 18 starts for stakes of $207,925. Second across the line was the outsider Smokey The Bandit with Heez On Fire third. The dissapointment of the race was once again the Cran Dalgety trained Bit Of A Legend driven by Dexter Dunn who finished 10th of the twelve runners.
While we are used to John’s brother Dexter Dunn notching up multiple winners on a premier night of racing, John doing it himself is something that is not quite so common. However, no one can take away from his brilliant form at Alexandra Park tonight. Dunn kicked off the night in grand style, combining with father Robert for wins with Return To Sender (Mach Three) and Franco Nelson (Christian Cullen), before stepping it up to the next level and taking out the Group Two Ladyship Stakes with the Geoff Dunn trained superstar filly Venus Serena (Mach Three). Although punters who backed her into $1.90 favouritism did have a few nervous moments when she was beaten for speed and crossed by Angelina Jolie (David Butcher) with a lap to run. “That was probably my fault as I was caught napping a bit,” explained Dunn. “She took a while to wind up when she got the passing lane but she was strong to the line and I think she was holding them,” said Dunn. “It was actually something a bit new for her as last season she was either parked or in front in the majority of her races,” he added. Lincolns Megastar (Roydon Downey) followed Venus Serena up the passing lane to burst into second for a Mach Three quinella, while Ideal Belle (Zac Butcher) was good in third. The disappointment of the race was second favourite Millie Sampson who never really seemed happy and faded to finish last. “I think she has actually come back a bit stronger than last season,” said an ecstatic Dunn. The win continued what has been a brilliant last year for Venus Serena’s trainer Geoff Dunn. “I don’t think even Geoff can believe it,” quipped John Dunn. “After years of battling away he is finally getting the success he deserves.” Just when John Dunn thought things couldn’t get any better, they did. Replacing Dexter Dunn who is in Perth to drive Bit Of A Legend in tonight’s Golden Nugget, John gave Regulus a beautiful run in the trail before diving up the passing lane to win the $25,000 Northern 3YO Stakes narrowly over Maxim, who was allowed to set the terms in front. The son of Mach Three and Hunter Franco upset at odds of $23.50 and $6.80. Te Kawau was very game in third, while Sky Major loomed large on the home bend but come to the end of his run in the concluding stages, fading to finish fourth. Meanwhile champion mare Adore Me continued her rampage, treating her rivals with contempt in the Northern Breeders Stakes, while Easy On The Eye posted an emphatic all of the way win in the feature Group Two Franklin Cup. *Dunn then went on to win the last race on the card with Elios, giving him five winners for the night. By Mitchell Robertson
Two allegedly corrupt racing stewards used prepaid mobile phones, registered under fictitious names, to discuss the fixing of races, a court has heard. Police linked five non-work mobiles to steward Matthew Bentley and one to his colleague Paul O'Toole. They also intercepted calls between the star harness driver Greg Bennett and other people in the racing industry. Mr Bennett has pleaded not guilty to six counts of giving or offering a bribe to Mr Bentley. His trial, in the Sydney District Court, heard on Thursday that Mr Bentley used his succession of secret mobiles between January 1, 2010, and August 8, 2011 - the day Harness Racing NSW confronted Mr O'Toole and Mr Bentley about race-fixing and terminated their employment. To read the full article written by Rick Feneley from The Sydney Morning Herald click on this link
APG’s 2014 Yearling Sales Catalogue is now available for viewing via the APG website at www.apgold.com.au. In total, 485 yearlings have been catalogued across APG’s four sales which are scheduled as follows: Melbourne Sale (190 Yearlings) – Sunday, 2 February 2014 (Hunter Cup Weekend) Brisbane Sale (56 Yearlings) – Sunday, 16 February 2014 Sydney Sale (170 Yearlings) – Saturday, 1 March 2014 (Inter Dominion Final Weekend) Melbourne Autumn Sale (69 Yearlings) – Sunday, 16 March 2014 The APG Sales have a reputation for consistently producing a disproportionately high percentage of Australia’s elite performers, and the 2014 Sales are sure to be no exception, with the catalogue featuring: Progeny of over 170 sub 2:00 race mares; Progeny of over 60 race mares with career earnings of $100,000+; Half and full brothers and sisters to over 130 x $100,000+ earners; Progeny of all the leading sires, including Art Major (52), Rock N Roll Heaven (49), Rocknroll Hanover (38), Courage Under Fire (29), Sportswriter (29), Major In Art (27), Bettors Delight (22), Mach Three (20), etc. Recent APG Sales have produced horses of the quality of Sushi Sushi, Caribbean Blaster, Aussie Made Lombo, Royal Verdict, Fly Like An Eagle, Smolda, Restrepo, Mach Beauty, Border Control, Mindarie Priddy and Whereibylong. For a summary of some of the highlights in each sale, click here. Catalogues are available for distribution from 16 December, and can be pre-ordered via the APG website by clicking here. by David Boydell
Talent trotter Irish Whisper declared that he has arrived on the Open Class scene by winning the Group Two Lyell Creek Stakes at Alexandra Park last night. After working forward to tackle Stent for the lead after second favourite Realmein made an early blue, Herlihy was allowed to dictate terms in front, before the six-year-old sprinted strongly in the home stretch, wheeling off a 28.0 last quarter to narrowly hold a late challenge from Stent via the passing lane. Dr Hook was also close-up in third. “He has come back a much better horse this time in and is learning to relax in his races,” said trainer-driver Tony Herlihy post race. “He is still pretty young for a trotter so you would expect that he will only improve further from here,” he added. Herlihy said that as soon as Irish Whisper found the front the once enigmatic trotter dropped the bit and was just lobbing along with his ears pricked. “He showed a good kick in the straight as well,” he added. “Tonight was a big step up for him so I’m pretty proud of what he was able to achieve. It was Herlihy’s sixth win in the Group Two race after previously winning it with names such as One Over Kenny and Buster Hanover. Irish Whisper will now target the National Trot on December 31st, but he may compete in the Waikato Trotters Flying Mile prior to that. “He will need a race before the National Trot, so that does look the logical option.” By Mitchell Robertson
This week on Trots TV we catch up with TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Champion Sydney ambassadors Stephanie Rice, Seryn Adams, Amanda Turnbull and Sammy Kilgour. Also Sky Racing's Fred Hastings speaks with Gavin Fitzpatrick in regards to his drive on Fly Like An Eagle in Saturday night's Group 1 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Looking to advertise on Trots TV? Please contact Dale Walker on 02 9722 6600 for further information. Providing a fresh view on harness racing in New South Wales.
Vanika du Ruel is the richest 4YO in French trotting but Franck Anne's star has had a less than stellar 2013 and gets a chance to get back to winning ways in the Prix Ariste Hemard, a 2700m group two for 4YO mares at Vincennes on Saturday. As a 3YO she was without peer, winning the two Criteriums (des Jeunes, 3 Ans) and also picking up the Prix Albert Viel and Prix De l'Etoile as other group one trophies to go with a swag of 3YO group two victories as she won 11 out of her first 17 races. She started off the year with a start in the Prix d'Amerique, a rare foray for a 4YO mare, but things have not gone right since. In fact she has not won in over 12 months, and this year she has found horses to beat her in all the major races culminating in a very disappointing Criterium des 4 Ans where she finished down the track. She reappeared for the first time in six months in the Prix de Bretagne a fortnight ago, and that was always a big ask against the mature horses, and she finished ninth. But back among her age group and gender, and she should be able to get back to winning ways. Danielle Mottier's Victoire won the group two Prix Louis Tillaye earlier in the meeting and is a horse in good form. The Kitko mare was third in the Criterium des 3 Ans last year, and has amassed an impressive record of nine wins in 24 starts and has only been five times out of the money . Thierry Duvaldestin has another strong competitor in Vive Daidou who won the Prix Guy le Gonidec in August, against a similar field to this. He has galloped inhis last two outings but if he trots all the way he will be a factor in this. The trainer of Ready Cash also has former group one runner up Vera Pierji (Prix de l'Etoile) in this field and although she has not won since her sole group two victory in the Prix Guy Deloison in August last year, she had a fourth last start, and she is not running against the colts this time. Emmanuel Ruault's Votka Bleue has been rising the ranks impressively lately and may be a factor, while Jean Pierre Dubois fronts up with one of his immaculately bred mares in Viva Island (Goetmals Wood-Island Dream), who has been winning as she likes in provincial company and may be ready to step up. 07/12/13 FR PRIX ARISTE HEMARD (G2) Vincennes 2 700 4F 120 000 Vincennes 2013-12-07 Prix Ariste Hemard â‚¬ 120 000 N:r Plac. HÃ¤st HÃ¤rstamning Kusk TrÃ¤nare Tid Dist. Pris 1 Vanina des Baux (Orlando des Baux - Lune de Talonay) Dr: Marion Hue Tr: Marion Hue 2700 2 Version Star's (Prince d'Espace - Planete Rapide) Dr: Bernard Piton Tr: Emmanuel Varin 2700 3 Vive Majyc (Baccarat du Pont - Mammy Blue) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 2700 4 Votka Bleue (Jasmin de Flore - Joyeuse Bleue) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Emmanuel Ruault 2700 5 Viva Island (Goetmals Wood - Island Dream) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Jean Pierre Dubois 2700 6 Vive Daidou (Ouragan de Celland - Orange Douce) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2700 7 Vera Pierji (Otello Pierji - Odyssee Pierji) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2700 8 Victoire (Kitko - Juventa Blue) Dr: Jean Philippe Mary Tr: Danielle Mottier 2700 9 Vanika du Ruel ( Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2700 Dave Sanders