With the Harness Jewels nearly upon us, the top twenty in each division are listed as nominations on the Harness Racing New Zealand website. It is from these nominations that the final fields will be selected. We thought an evaluation of the sires represented might be an interesting project so here goes.
2 YR OLD TROT - Surprisingly the sire with the most representatives in this division is the champion sire Sundon with five and this is from just 48 live foals. To all intents and purposes his influence is on the wane but maybe not as much as we think. As you would expect Majestic Son (23 live foals) and Love You (21 live foals) are both well represented with three a piece while Monarchy (74 live foals) and first season sire Bacardi Lindy (25 live foals) both have two.
3 YR OLD TROT - Monarchy and Majestic Son hold a big hand here with four eligible horses each. Of the other sires, four have two eligible with the interesting one being Muscle Mass whose crop of foals that year numbered just five.
4 YR OLD TROT - One sire is completely dominant in this division and that is the Balanced Image sire, Monarchy who has seven eligible including all the favoured runners. Love You with three eligible and Sundon and Monkey Bones with two eligible are the only other sires to have more than one runner nominated.
2 YR OLD FILLIES - Bettors Delight has really stamped his mark on this division with seven horses eligible while Art Major with four and Mach Three with three are the next best. Next in line are Changeover and American Ideal with two each. The ability of Art Major to have four eligible from a 2 yr old crop just 40% the size of that of Bettors Delight is a notable achievement.
3 YR OLD FILLIES - This is undoubtedly the most even division with Art Major, Christian Cullen, Mach Three and American Ideal all having three eligible. The surprise is that noted filly sire Bettors Delight has just two the two eligible fillies while no other sire has more than one.
4 YR OLD MARES - As most would expect, Bettors Delight has the most eligible mares with five while Mach Three was the next best with three. Falcon Seelster and Jeremes Jet both have two eligible while eight other stallions each have one eligible.
2 YR OLD COLTS - There was a real turn up in this division with Art Major being dominant with seven horses eligible trumping Bettors Delight who has four even though the two year crop of Art Major numbers just 87 alongside the 234 of Bettors Delight. Mach Three with two eligible was the only other stallion to have more than one eligible.
3YR OLD COLTS - Three stallions dominated this division with Mach Three with five eligible on top. Art Major with four and Bettors Delight with three were the next best while American Ideal and Badlands Hanover both have two eligible.
4YR OLD COLTS - This division is a Bettors Delight show with the leading sire having a huge eight of the eligible horses. The rest are headed by Mach Three with four, Elsu with three and Christian Cullen with two.
TROTTING DIVISIONS - With regards to the trotting divisions it is becoming more apparent by the day that Monarchy, Majestic Son and Love You are in a battle to assume Sundon's crown as the premier trotting stallion. Monarchy has an edge at present due to having more crops on the ground but is under real pressure, especially from Majestic Son.
PACING DIVISIONS - Bettors Delight continues to be prominent in all pacing divisions but is not as dominant as he once was. For Art Major to have seven colts and four fillies eligible from a crop of just 85 2yr olds foals is a great result and couple that with Mach Three leading the three year old divisions with five colts and three fillies and the Bettors Delight grip on this series is loosening.