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U May Cullect is regarded by many as the rising star of New Zealand harness racing.   Unbeaten in four starts to date, the Southland pacer has built up a level of excitement that few horses ever do.   Now very much the pride of the south, the son of Gotta Go Cullect was purchased by Tom Kilkelly for $5,200 as a weanling at Karaka from the annual Alabar NZ draft.   This year, Alabar NZ have a consignment of 55 weanlings selling at the NZB Standardbred All Aged Sale being held at Karaka on Monday, 6 May.   The sale starts at 11am with an Open Inspection Day being held at the sales venue the day before (Sunday, 5 May) between 1pm and 4pm.   Come along, who knows, you may collect harness racing’s next excitement machine.   The highlights of a 2019 draft stacked with quality include:    Five weanlings from the first crop of Always B Miki. The fastest horse of all time and the horse that Hall of Fame trainer, Jimmy Takter was quoted as saying “I think this could be the greatest horse that ever lived”   The first North American yearlings by Always B Miki are due to sell later this year and, being by a superstar of the sport and out of some of the best mares in the world, they are sure to sell extremely well.   The Alabar weanling draft gives buyers the chance to get ahead of this hype.   To add to the attraction they are also outstanding types.    Three weanlings by champion sire Art Major including a full-brother to Alta Maestro and a daughter of Annie Morva, 1:52.9 Lot 179 Art Major - Alta Camilla colt    Four weanlings by Majestic Son, the leading trotting sire in both New Zealand and Australia for the last two seasons Lot 120 Majestic Son - Letz Hope colt    Seven weanlings by He’s Watching who’s off to an excellent start with his first crop with five individual winners including the recent impressive Cambridge winner Eagle Watch (3rd Young Guns Final) and Star Hunter, a multiple Australian winner who was a close second in 1:53.3 in the APG Heat at Menangle on Tuesday. He looks like being one of the favourites for the Final Lot 106 He's Watching - Hip Pocket colt    Four weanlings from the only Southern Hemisphere crop by the US 3yo Breeders Crown winner, Racing Hill. Being the greatest son of Roll With Joe, a top sire who is no longer available to New Zealand breeders, is sure to be something that will grab the attention of buyers Lot 108 Racing Hill - Ineedanorvic colt      Six weanlings by A Rocknroll Dance, a sire who is sitting fourth on the NZ 3yo Sires’ Premiership with his first crop Lot 200 A Rocknroll Dance - Cote D Azure filly    Six weanlings by Sportswriter, the prolific juvenile sire who sired 43 individual 2yo winners in Australia last season and showed NZ a preview of his quality by quinellaing the Southland Oaks last weekend.    Three weanlings by Sunshine Beach, already the sire of 10 in 1:55 (3 in 1:53) with his first crop of early 3yo’s in North America Lot 116 Sunshine Beach - La Joconde colt    The only weanling ever to sell in NZ by champion US trotting sire Kadabra. Of note, with the weanling being offered being a filly, Kadabra is one of the all-time great sires of trotting mares with four millionaire mares to his credit including the US$4 million winner, Bee A Magician. Lot 206 Kadabra - Cyclone Emily filly     In what will be a somewhat poignant moment for the Alabar team, the last ever weanling by the great and ill-fated Mach Three appropriately rounds out the draft to be offered. Lot 152 Mach Three - Samantha Chloe filly    For more information contact Peter Lagan (021 424 606) or Rachel Deegan (021 939 950) at NZB Standardbred.     Graeme Henley

New Zealand Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year.   New Zealand Four-Year-Old Pacer of the Year.   New Zealand’s fastest ever pacer over both 1950 and 2200 metres.   A four-time Group One winner.   By an eight-time New Zealand Stallion of the Year from a mare destined to be New Zealand’s Broodmare of the Year.   Ultimate Machete has a stallion’s résumé and a stallion’s pedigree.   Now purchased by Alabar and Nevele R studs to stand at Alabar’s Auckland property, he’s also going to have a stallion’s opportunity.   New Zealand and Australian racing is dominated by horses that thrive on today’s style of racing.   Horses that are able to roll forward into the race and then be unrelenting in last halves run in 54 seconds or better.   Ultimate Machete, with extreme toughness and a high cruising speed, personified this never-say-die rolling style of racing.   These qualities should come as no surprise as he is by Bettor’s Delight out of a mare by Armbro Operative, so bred 3x3 to Cam Fella.   His entrance to the stud scene is surely timely, as many broodmare owners will see that breeding to him is breeding to a horse tailor-made for today’s racing.   With his pedigree, the attributes he brought to his racing and also his stature (standing a shade over 16’) he will be an ideal consort for the many mares that are bred along speed lines.   He is well suited to daughters of Christian Cullen, In The Pocket, Mach Three, Somebeachsomewhere, Courage Under Fire, Changeover, Art Major, Dream Away, Real Desire, American Ideal, Falcon Seelster, Safely Kept, Live Or Die and Badlands Hanover to name but a few.   In an outstanding race career, Ultimate Machete’s flagship victories were: - The NZ Sires Stakes Three-Year-Old Final at Addington on NZ Cup Day - where he announced his arrival as a rising star. His winning performance was nothing short of phenomenal, being caught out wide and just keeping rolling to be far too good in what was a New Zealand record for 1950m at the time. It is regarded as the best ever performance in the history of the race.   - Twelve months later, in the NZ Free-For-All on Show Day at the same venue, he did what many thought impossible by sitting outside Tiger Tara before winning the home straight war to claim victory – and in doing so, reclaiming his New Zealand record for the 1950m distance (2:15.7, a 1:51.9 mile rate).   - He then ventured to Perth where he monstered the Group One double for four-year-olds in the WA Classic and the WA Golden Nugget – wonderful efforts by the big horse around the tight Gloucester Park circuit and a testimony to his gait. He then ran a close up fourth in the Fremantle Cup before injury curtailed a blitz on the Victorian classics.   As a two-year-old, his second by a ½ head in the NZ Jewels, after being wide early then working to the lead, was a precursor to what would be a wonderful three-year-old season.   The other highlights to his three-year-old season were equalling the all-age New Zealand 2200m record (2:36.1) in winning the NZ Yearling Sales Series 3yo Final, winning the Alabar Classic and the NZ Flying Stakes (53.9 last 800m) as well as finishing second in the NZ, Northern and NSW Derbies.   All told, Ultimate Machete won 13 of 32 starts for $850,361 in stakes.   He’d already done enough to be regarded as a star - but a niggling, leg-injury-enforced retirement surely robbed him of being an open class colossus.   He was the early favourite for the 2018 New Zealand Cup but it wasn’t to be.   Co-trainer, Mark Purdon is full of respect for Ultimate Machete,   “He was a very tough horse with a great attitude. He never gave in, always trying right to the wire.He was a horse who could really maintain his high speed.”   Ultimate Machete is impeccably bred, being a full-brother to super-star three-year-old Ultimate Sniper. Their dam (Reality Check) was a very smart race filly winning the NZ Yearling Sales Series Two-Year-Old Fillies’ Final. She is also the dam of the top Western Australia racemare, Major Reality (1:50.9, $434,415).   His grandam is the NZ Broodmare of Excellence winner, Maureens Dream, who is a half-sister to the excellent sire Tuapeka Knight.   This is a prodigious family made famous by renowned breeders, Tuapeka Lodge. Ultimate Machete is one of its proudest sons.   He will stand his debut season at Alabar NZ (in association with Nevele R) at an introductory service fee of $3,000 (plus GST)   Graeme Henley General Manager Alabar (NZ) Ltd

The Inspection Day for the 2019 Alabar NZ weanling draft is being held on their farm at 480 Seagrove Road, Waiau Pa this Sunday, 14 April from 1pm to 3pm. All are welcome. The draft will be selling at the NZB Standardbred All Aged Sale at Karaka on 6 May. There will also be a further opportunity to inspect the weanlings at Karaka the day before the sale where an Open Day is being held between 1pm and 4pm. The Alabar draft totals 57 weanlings and features: -  5 weanlings from the first crop of Always B MIki (1:46, a dual Breeders Crown winner and the fastest horse ever). Miki himself is a tall and athletic horse and his first weanlings are a credit to him. This debut offering by one of the all-time racing greats is sure to be well sought after Lot 135 Always B Miki - Pacific Glory filly - 4 weanlings by Art Major (incl a full-brother to Alta Maestro and a daughter of Annie Morva, 1:52.9) Lot 179 Art Major - Alta Camilla colt - 5 weanlings by Majestic Son, the leading trotting sire in both New Zealand and Australia for the last two seasons - and the only weanling ever to sell in NZ by champion US trotting sire Kadabra Lot 206 Kadabra - Cyclone Emily filly - The last ever weanling by the great Mach Three Lot 152 Mach Three - Samantha Chloe filly   - weanlings by He’s Watching and Sunshine Beach who are doing excellent jobs with their debut two-year-old crops leaving multiple winners and, in He’s Watching’s case, the stakes placed Eagle Watch and Cassius Bromac in New Zealand - the only Southern Hemisphere crop by the US 3yo Breeders Crown winner, Racing Hill (being the greatest son of Roll With Joe, a top sire who is no longer available to New Zealand breeders, is sure to be something that will grab the attention of buyers) - 3 weanlings by Peak who has currently left four two-year-old trotting winners in Australasia this season – more than any other sire. The draft represents an excellent opportunity for investors and pin-hookers alike, in that it features not only the full foal crop of Alabar NZ Ltd but also that of the highly prominent commercial breeders Alta Breeding Co Ltd.   Graeme Henley General Manager Alabar (NZ) Ltd

Big wins are nothing new to Gary Woodham but the success of Flying Even Bettor in the $30,000 group three Alabar NZ Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham on Saturday gave him a great deal of satisfaction. Along with his wife Kerry, the Plimmerton-based General Manager Customer for the New Zealand Racing Board races Flying Even Bettor with Glenys and Phil Kennard, Ken and Karen Breckon as Breckon Racing Syndicate, along with Jim and Ann Gibbs. The syndicate was formed three years ago and in our first year we got Spankem and The Devils Own,” Needham explained, “Another Masterpiece was the next and then Flying Even Bettor.” The Devils Own and Another Masterpiece finished second in the Kindergartens of their year, 2017 and 2018. “Three times we've tried, following the same preparation each time, and now we've won it,” Woodham said. At the end of their appropriate seasons, both Spankem and Another Masterpiece were named two-year-olds of the year with Spankem going on to land the million dollar Miracle Mile at the beginning of this month. “When The Devils Own went to Australia for the Victoria Derby last year he got a virus and was very ill. He's back in work now with Brent Mangos and he'll be the trainer when he races again.” But the win meant more to Woodham than picking up a group three. For some time he has been studying the operation of harness racing in the region and doesn't need a second excuse to visit. “Harness Racing New Zealand used the model of Southern Harness as a text book case and I wanted to know more about it,” he said. “With the help of Kevin McNaught (Chairman) and Jason Broad (General Manager), I've seen it up close and love the way all the clubs are working together. They're doing right for the region, take costs out and that allows them to increase stakes. This is my 12th visit.” Woodham also acknowledged their assistance when the Wyndham Club raced at Cromwell earlier in the year. “We were about to launch our new betting platform and needed their help with race times, we wanted them to finish earlier. They made the changes to work in with us and we are indebted to them. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen–trained Flying Even Bettor was driven by Blair Orange to give him his third win in the race. Three wide for the first 500 metres, the Bettor's Delight was gelding no sooner one-out than stablemate Copperfield arrived to give him cover. Once in the straight Flying Even Bettor was unleashed and soon put the issue beyond doubt, to win in 1:54.4. “He didn't show a lot of gate speed but it worked out well,” said Orange who was sitting behind the winner for the first time. “He felt good on the turn and when he let down he found the line well.” Earlier, Orange had won aboard the Paul Court-trained Major Sass. It was her third win from five starts, all of the wins at Wyndham. The three-year-old daughter of Art Major led out and pulled clear in the straight to win the Southland Harness Awards Ladyship Final by four and three quarters lengths in 1:56.2. Orange scored his third win for the day aboard Ohoka Achilles who clocked 2:55.9 for the mobile 2400 metres of the Astra Stu and Jean Pace. It was a comfortable win for the four-year-old who had chased U May Cullect home at Ascot Park last Saturday. The half-brother to Ohoka Texas is trained at Woodend Beach by former Wyndham horseman Regan Todd. After Tartan Robyn scored his second win in nine starts when taking out the PGG Wrightson Real Estate Cromwell Pace for owner and breeder Graeme Edgar, trainer Hamish Hunter described the four-year-old as a horse that couldn't be rushed. “He's got a patient owner and has taken lots of time,” said Hunter, “18 months ago he couldn't pace but turned the corner in the spring and gets a little better each time.”   by Mac Henry for Southland Harness Racing

Former top free-for-all harness racing pacer Savesomtimetodream is the 2019 Alabar HERO Series Champion. The 11-year-old Village Jasper gelding defeated 19 rivals to claim the state’s richest and most prestigious standardbred showing championship at Bendigo on Sunday. The Alabar HERO Series Final carried $1000 in prizemoney for the overall winner and was staged under the auspices of Victorian Agricultural Shows Limited’s prestigious Saddle Horse Championships. Savesomtimetodream was also named Best Newcomer, securing a $500 cheque. The Award recognised the best performed competitor less than two years off the track. Bred, trained and owned by the Rowse family at Ballarat, he retired from a six-and-a-half-year racing career on August 25, 2017, with $222,625 in stake earnings in his bankroll. The pacer notched 20 wins and 33 placings from 113 race starts, highlighted by successes in the Gunbower, Yarra Valley and Ararat Pacing Cups, and a semi-final of the Vicbred Super Series. In May 2018, he was recruited by Harness Racing Australia under the banner of There Is No Finish Line to feature in a Track To Hack project documenting the transition of a retired standardbred from racing to riding. The project included a series of on-line video diaries and regular features in Horse Deals magazine. HRA Animal Welfare Officer and accomplished show rider Kathleen Mullan oversaw the horse’s re-education – prior to joining her care, Savesomtimetodream had never had a saddle on his back. He was therefore the richest racehorse and least experienced riding horse in the HERO Series Final. A three-person panel, including licensed harness racing trainer Courtney Slater and SA guest  Holly Alcorn, adjudicated on the final, with just one point separating Savesomtimetodream and runner-up Maxwell Smart, who raced as Equity Wizzbang. The second place getter was also runner-up in 2018 after winning the inaugural Alabar HERO Series Final in 2017 for owner Eboni Knights. An Owner/Rider category, carrying $500 in prizemoney, was introduced for the first time this year.  It was won by Rebecca McGee riding Mighty Boy Lombo, a Northern Luck gelding who retired in 2013 after a moderate racing career in the NSW Riverina, which notched two wins from 28 starts. The Child’s Ridden Standardbred went to Double Art, an Artiscape gelding who failed to place in 13 race starts, who was ridden by Emily Barton. Maxwell Smart was the Champion Led Standardbred for Julie Knights and Rebecca Mackay was named Champion Rider in the Standardbred ring aboard Style Of Art, an unraced daughter of Kenneth J. The Best Presented Standardbred was Kelly Stuart-Mitchell’s Gowan Brae. The Alabar HERO Series would not be possible without the ongoing support of principal sponsor Alabar Bloodstock, and Victorian Agricultural Shows Limited. All pictures are by Belinda Richardson of Alabar Farms.

As we’re just over halfway through the stud season I thought it was timely to give you an update on: how the harness racing breeding season is progressing, the new foals, the availability of our stallions, a reminder of our loyalty rewards. We are often asked which of our stallions are proving to be the most popular.   This season, our stallions that are serving more mares than last year are Rock N Roll Heaven, Majestic Son and He’s Watching.   That Rock N Roll Heaven and Majestic Son are serving bigger books is an understandable recognition of the excellent year’s their progeny have had on the racetrack.   Rock N Roll Heaven is now very much an elite sire in terms of the numbers of Group winners he sires (15 individual winners of 22 Group races last season incl the brilliant Shez All Rock).   Majestic Son is the leading sire of trotters in both New Zealand and Australia.   That He’s Watching is serving his biggest book to date in his fourth season at stud is quite remarkable.   There are obviously a lot of people out there that really like his first 2yo’s. We, along with many others, are excited about seeing them race this season.   Limited bookings to all three of these stallions are still available. OPPORTUNITY   The two stallions that have been announced as full and closed this season are Art Major and Vincent.   We have been conservative with both these stallions – with Art Major due to the medical issue he had last season and with Vincent due to him being a young stallion in his first season.   However, both stallions are going great, are meeting their semen orders easily and are recording excellent fertility.   Therefore, we’re happy to take a handful of additional bookings to both Art Major and Vincent for this season. Please let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to take advantage of this offer.   Overall, our breeding numbers are tracking towards a similar total to last season. NEW FOALS   Always B Miki – gee, he’s leaving cracking foals. They’re tall and athletic like Miki is himself and many breeders are sending their mares back to get another one. He is on track to serve 200 mares in his second season so that says a lot in itself.   Of interest, if you breed to Miki this season, when you come to sell your yearling in February 2021 his first 2yo crop in North America will already have raced in 2020. Given they are out of many of the best mares in the world, they will surely make a strong impact which simply must enhance the value of your yearling – the foal resulting from this breeding season. Here are just a few of the outstanding Always B Miki foals we are seeing   ON THE RACETRACK   A Rocknroll Dance – it was great to see Dance record three winners on the weekend incl a double at Motukarara. He was the most popular stallion in New Zealand last season and is again getting a solid book. Breeding to a stallion in the year after a huge book is often the best year to breed – you get to sell off the back of the impact of that big crop.   Auckland Reactor – he has some really nice horses racing at the moment with the likes of Aha Reaction, Revolver and Red Reactor. Excitingly, it won’t be long before his flagship son, the reigning NZ 3yo Pacer of the Year, Chase Auckland is back on the racetrack. He’s due back at the trials in the next couple of weeks.   Majestic Son – last season’s leading trotting sire has hit the ground running this season with 24 individual NZ winners already – nearly double that of any other trotting sire. And, to show he’s more than an age-group sire, 16 of these winners have been 4yo’s.   REMINDERS   LOYALTY REWARDS APPLY: If you’ve previously bred to one of the following stallions and breed back to that same stallion this year, you are entitled to a loyalty reward service fee.           A ROCKNROLL DANCE, AUCKLAND REACTOR, HE’S WATCHING, MAJESTIC SON, SIR LINCOLNand SPORTSWRITER   GOLD SUPPORTER REWARDS APPLY: If you are an Alabar Gold Supporter you are entitled to an additional $500 (plus GST) rebate off the service fee to any of the following stallions (please note this is not additional to any of the above loyalty rewards.)   AUCKLAND REACTOR, GRINFROMEARTOEAR, PEAK, SHADOW PLAY, SIR LINCOLN and SUNSHINE BEACH   The second half of the stud season always makes the difference between an OK stud season and an excellent one.   Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance to you in this regard – whether it be a new booking, a stallion change or just some advice. We all want to end the season on a positive note.   We value your support and look forward to hearing back from you.   All the best for the upcoming festive season and the best of breeding, selling and racing luck in 2019.   Graeme Henley

Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV) and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) are delighted to announce the inaugural Central Victorian Premier Stud Tour on Sunday 16 September 2018. Members of both breeding associations and guests are invited to embark on a unique tour of Swettenham Stud, one of Victoria's leading thoroughbred breeding facilities, and Alabar Farms, the largest standardbred stud in the Southern hemisphere. The exciting journey will make its first stop at Nagambie's Swettenham Stud where guests will be greeted by stud proprietor Adam Sangster. He will lead a tour of the magnificent property and present his six-pronged stallion roster; including new sire and world Group 1 star Highland Reel as well as Americain, Puissance De Lune, Rebel Dane, Toronado and Trust In A Gust. Following the fine hospitality at Swettenham, guests will be greeted with a welcome drink, and treated to a two-course lunch at La Penelope's at the picturesque Kirwan Bridge Estate Vinery, then travel to Koyuga's Alabar Farm, a short distance from Echuca. Since its inception in the 1950s, Alabar has steadily grown to become a front-runner in the global standardbred breeding industry. Stallions that have called the breeding barns of Alabar home have an impeccable record. They have won 16 Globe Derby Awards for Leading Juvenile Stallion, 15 Globe Derby Awards for Leading Stallion (by individual winners), and 8 Globe Derby Awards for Leading Stallion (by prizemoney). Meanwhile, the current Alabar stallion roster has sired progeny which have collectively won a staggering $205 million. Tour guests will observe a semen collection and lab demonstration, followed by a stallion parade of the Alabar residents. Tickets must be paid for with booking and are strictly limited - don't miss out! BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW If you have guests who wish to take advantage of membership pricing, don't forget to inlcude a membership form (for HBV) or complete an online application (for TBV). Alabar Bloodstock General Manager Brett Coffey noted that the tour is in essence a celebration of Victoria's vibrant horse breeding industry. "Victoria is one of the best places to breed horses anywhere in the world and this opportunity to go behind the scenes at two leading farms is one not to be missed," Coffey said. "Whether you are more into thoroughbreds or standardbreds, we are all horse lovers and this cross-code stud tour is a really exciting promotion," he said. "The joint stud tour is an outstanding initiative, and Swettenham Stud applauds the work of HBV and TBV to offer this opportunity to our breeding communities," Adam Sangster said. "It is a great honour for Swettenham to be the very first stop of the tour in its very first year. Our stallions will be ready and waiting to welcome everyone and give them a great show."   Harness Racing Victoria  

Glamour three-year-old, Chase Auckland returned to the stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen on Monday, 11 June. He’s reported to be looking a picture and is ready start work to build towards his four-year-old season. The star son of Auckland Reactor last stepped on to a racetrack on the 9th of March when he scored an emphatic victory in the Group 1 Woodlands Northern Derby at Alexandra Park. He was then put aside due to curbing a hock. Even though his untimely minor injury meant he missed the NZ Derby and Harness Jewels, Chase Auckland will still be a short priced favourite to win the NZ Three-Year-Old of the Year title. Owned by the Alabar Racing Syndicate he won 8 of 9 starts including other eye-catching victories in the Group 1 NZ Sires Stakes Final (3yo colts and geldings) and, New Zealand’s richest race for three-year-olds, the NZ Yearling Sales Series Final. With $392,329 in stakes he was the second only to Lazarus as the highest stake earner in New Zealand for the season. The delight of the Alabar Racing Syndicate members was one of the feel-good stories of the harness racing season. No doubt the syndicate members, their supporters and harness racing followers in general will be counting down the days until his return. Even in the absence of his flag bearing son, Auckland Reactor has continued to build on his early siring success. With two new two-year-old winners in the last week, Auckland Reactor is now up to seven individual two year-old winners for the season – all of which are in Australia. These new winners were Heir To Zanzibar at Mildura and Watch Me React in 1:59.5 at Narrogin. They boost Auckland Reactor up to an impressive 41 individual winners to date in his burgeoning career. They include two Group 1 winners and one Group 1 placegetter. Three of his winners have won in sub-1:55 and 28 have won in sub-2:00.   Alabar Stud  

On 1 June - the day before the Jewels at Cambridge - Alabar will consign 58 weanlings for sale at the PGG Wrightson All Age Sale at Karaka. The draft oozes quality - something that has been well and truly underlined by recent feature racing. The Group 1 NZ Messenger Championship run at Alexandra Park last Friday was an outstanding contest. Two tremendous four-year-olds fighting to the line with Eamon Maguire getting the decision over Star Galleria. Both are sons of champion sire Art Major and both are rising stars of New Zealand harness racing. Alabar's consignment not only features three weanlings by the champion sire Art Major but one of them is a standout full-brother to Star Galleria (1:54.1, 10 wins, $195,525). What's more, an athletic half-brother to the NZ Messenger winner Eamon Maguire (1:55.8, 10 wins, $166,265) headlines the nine weanlings Alabar are presenting by Auckland Reactor - the sire of the sensational three-year-old Chase Auckland. Alabar's trotting sire, Majestic Son is having a breakout season highlighted by him siring the winning quinella in the NZ Sires Stakes Final for the three-year-old trotters and the winning trifecta in the Group 1 Northern Trotting Derby in recent weeks. These results have seen Majestic Son surge to the lead in the NZ Trotting Sires Premiership. Alabar are consigning eight Majestic Son weanlings from some of the best trotting families in New Zealand to the sale. The late, great Mach Three is also having another wonderful season - especially with his two-year-olds in Australia. Not only is he leading the Two-Year-Old Sires Premiership there but in College Chapel and Soho Nolita he quite possibly has both the best colt and filly in the freshman class in Australia. The Alabar consignment includes eleven Mach Three weanlings from the last crop sired by Mach Three before he tragically passed away. This is an opportunity never to be repeated. Other highlights in the consignment include a Rock N Roll Heaven half-sister to the tremendous West Australian filly Maczaffair (WA Oaks $347,898), four weanlings by the proven sire Sportswriter and strong representations by the exciting young sires He's Watching (nine weanlings) and Sunshine Beach (five weanlings). The full consignment will be available for viewing on farm at Alabar at their inspection day between 1pm and 3pm on Sunday 20 May and also onsite at the Karaka Sales Centre from 1pm Thursday 31 May. Full details of the draft are available from Alabar (alabar.co.nz or Graeme Henley, 09 232 1800) and PGG Wrightson (standardbred.co.nz or Rachel Deegan, 03 372 0967). Harnesslink Media  

Vincent, the horse that Mark Purdon felt was going to be harness racing’s next absolute superstar, has been purchased by the Alabar and Nevele R studs in partnership. The imposing son of champion international sire, Art Major has been retired from racing and will stand at stud this coming season. When Vincent cruised home in 54.4 to win the Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve, all the talk was that the world lay at his feet. Remarkably, it would be his last start. Injury curtailed his four-year-old campaign and now the lucrative stud deal sees him commence a new career as what will surely be a highly commercial stallion. Jean Feiss, who raced Vincent with her husband Bill, said: “Vincent has been such a dream horse for us we were prepared to do everything possible to get him back to the track. He’s already had his initial stem cell treatments.” “However, Alabar and Nevele R presented us with an offer to purchase him and we knew in our hearts that accepting it was the right thing for Vincent’s long term future. He deserves a great home and to be given the very best chance at stud. We’re sure he’ll get that.” “Hopefully breeders send their best mares to him as Bill and I are certainly looking forward to checking out his yearlings.” Undoubtedly, Vincent was the dream horse. He had it all. Co-trainer, Mark Purdon is full of admiration for the horse that was harness racing’s brightest rising star: “He was a great young horse, the best of his year as a three-year-old.” “He came back great as a four-year-old and I thought he would eventually take Lazarus’ place and go on to be the best horse in Australasia.” “He’s a beautiful horse. Both Jean and I loved him when we saw him as a yearling and that never changed. Everyone he came in contact with him loved him as he was such a kind horse, a real gentleman.” ”It’s a great shame he’s not coming back to racing but we’re looking forward to training a few by him.” Prior to his final victory in the Auckland Cup, Vincent had done what the pundits said he couldn’t and won the Gr2 Franklin Cup fresh up (0.1 of a second outside his own NZ record for a 2700m stand) and backed that up with a cake-walk, 54.6 last half win in the Gr2 Futurity Stks at Cambridge. Auckland Cup He’d won his last seven starts in a row. He flew to Australia to embark on a campaign that would surely seal his status as the next superstar of our sport. It wasn’t to be, as Injury befell him leading up to the Ballarat Cup and the Chariots Of Fire and Miracle Mile were sadly run without him. All told, Vincent recorded 16 wins from 19 starts with four Group 1 victories. The only time he was beaten on Australian soil (and the only time he was outside the first three in his career) was in the Victoria Derby when as a raging favourite he was taken out of the race by a damaged tyre. As an individual who just oozes quality, Vincent was a $130,000 yearling at the Australian APG Sydney Sale. He won first up at Invercargill and this proved to be his only start as a two-year-old as he suffered a minor leg injury. While this was a bitter pill to swallow with a young horse of rare talent, Mark Purdon felt in hindsight it was a blessing in disguise as it gave Vincent a chance to mature into his frame. As a three-year-old, Vincent was nothing short of awesome. He romped home on Auckland Cup day at Alexandra Park. Remarkably setting a new all-age NZ record for the 2700m stand. He then ventured to Australia where he won his heat of the Victoria Derby before misfortune struck in the final. On to Menangle, he won his heat of the NSW Derby and was superb in the final – sprinting home in 53.6, he recorded a 1:54.5 mile rate for the 2400m – 0.1 of a second outside the world record. Back to New Zealand, he scored a career defining victory in the NZ Derby at Addington – fighting back to beat Ultimate Machete after being headed in the straight. This was another all-age NZ record for Vincent of 3:06 (1:55.1mr) for the 2600m mobile - and 2.5 seconds inside the previous record for a three-year-old held by Lazarus. NZ Derby Vincent finished his three-year-old season off at Menangle with another incredible victory – this time in the NSW Breeders Challenge. He was three wide for the first half of the mile journey and then parked outside the leader but still won easily in 1:50.2 – making him the fastest ever Australasian three-year-old. Vincent possesses a pedigree that all other stallions would be envious of. He is sired by one of the world’s best stallions in Art Major and is out of Kept For Pleasure, a four time Group 1 winner, who like Vincent retired on a winning note at the highest level. At stud Kept For Pleasure has also produced the outstanding (My) Mackenzie who is fast closing in on $500,000 in earnings after winning major stakes races both in Australia and the US. Vincent’s second dam, Full Pleasure, also a Group 1 winner, has been one of the most remarkable broodmares in Australian history producing 10 foals for 10 winners and four, soon to be five, $200,000+ earners. Vincent’s pedigree lines him up beautifully with daughters of Bettor’s Delight and other Cam Fella line mares, daughters of Christian Cullen, Mach Three, Somebeachsomewhere and other Direct Scooter line mares, daughters of American Ideal and other Western Hanover/No Nukes line mares and also mares from the Albatross line. A dream horse with a dream resume for a stallion – type, pedigree and performance over all distances. Vincent will stand at Alabar’s Victorian farm with semen transported throughout Australia and New Zealand. Lifetime breeding rights will be available in both countries.  

Long-time trots participant Ian Stanley wants to publicly thank all who have helped his family after his daughter, Aleisha, was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I’ve witnessed how generous people are firsthand,” Stanley said. “It’s just been amazing the response of all the community and we are very thankful.” Aleisha, 33, was diagnosed with aggressive stage-three breast cancer four months ago and she is currently undergoing chemotherapy every three weeks. The mother of three will then undergo surgery. Her husband, Daniel, will need to take time off from work to help with their three children, daughters Jordan, 12, and Lacey, 4, and son Tyler, just 22 months. To assist Aleisha and her family, who live in Woolsthorpe, 25km from Warrnambool in Victoria’s south-west, the local community and some incredibly generous trots people have dug deep and donated items to be auctioned off for charity. Ian Stanley said he and his wife Mavis wanted to thank all of the people and businesses for their “incredible generosity”, making special mention of Garrards Horse and Hound for donating a Meteor Sulky and Alabar for donating a service to star stallion Grinfromeartoear, both to raise funds for the young family.  Stanley also said that Wheatsheaf Hotel manager, also a local trots trainer, Darren Cole and another local participant in Marg Lee have been “incredibly supportive” and have helped put together a special family day at the Wheatsheaf (96 High St, Terang) on Sunday August 13 from 11am until 5pm, where an enormous amount of goods and services will be auctioned. One of the headline items for the auction is a 2016 official Geelong Football Club jumper, personally hand signed by AFL superstar and reigning Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield. “Just about every business in Warrnambool has donated something. It’s absolutely amazing the generosity of the community,” Stanley said. “… Also just so many others I can't name them all, but Goodtime Lodge and local harness clubs, it’s just a wonderful industry like that and we saw this firsthand. And for people to back up and support young Connor (Clarke) in his battle also, I just want to thank everyone.” A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Aleisha and her family on their cancer journey. If you are in a position to support the campaign you can access it by clicking here. Details on the Wheatsheaf Hotel fundraiser are also linked to the GoFundMe campaign.   Trots Media

The highly promising – and popular – young sire, Sir Lincoln is to stand at Alabar’s Auckland Farm. With Barra Equine stepping back from standing harness racing stallions, a new home for Sir Lincoln was needed. Given Sir Lincoln (or Lincoln Royal as he is known in Australia) has made such an encouraging start to his siring career, Alabar are delighted to have been approached about standing him. John Street proprietor of Lincoln Farms quoted “We are happy to see Sir Lincoln teaming up with a quality stud such as Alabar. Sir Lincoln was such a great horse for Lincoln Farms, winning the Auckland Cup and at Jewels level from difficult draws. With his first crop of two-year-olds showing ability on both sides of the Tasman we are excited about his future at stud. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity a major stud like Alabar can give him.” In New Zealand, Sir Lincoln currently has 19 qualifiers to date from his first crop of two-year-olds. Of these 7 have already raced. These are numbers that put Sir Lincoln up amongst the leading sires. So far to date he has also had four individual second placegetters on race day including Aramis who went down by a nose at Alexandra Park last Friday. However, it is in Australia that Sir Lincoln (Lincoln Royal) has made the biggest early breakthroughs with two of his two-year-old fillies winning at Globe Derby - both on debut. Firstly, it was Our Royal Lady winning the SA Sapling Stakes and this was followed shortly after with Tell Me Why winning a prelude of the SA Golden Nursery. Interestingly, both fillies are out of mares by Live Or Die. Our Royal Lady Tell Me Why Sir Lincoln is certainly bred to be a sire being by Mach Three out of a Beach Towel mare who is in turn out of a Cam Fella mare. This is the exact same lineage as the great Somebeachsomewhere. Rounding off his siring pedigree is the fact that he is closely related to the champion sire, Fake Left. As a racehorse, Sir Lincoln burst into the limelight in winning the NZ Sires Stakes 3yo Open Final on NZ Cup Day at Addington after being three wide then parked. He also won the Jewels that season to secure the title of NZ Three-Year-Old Pacing colt of the Year. Sir Lincoln went on to set a New Zealand record for 1700 metres and cemented his credentials as a sire in downing Terror To Love to win the Auckland Cup. Sir Lincoln - Auckland Cup In Australia (racing as Lincoln Royal) he won a heat and placed second in the final of the Victoria Derby and was second (by the barest of margins) in the NSW Golden Mile won in 1:51.4. Sir Lincoln has been extremely well supported by breeders since retiring to stud and – in a sure sign that his first progeny are making the right moves – he served his biggest book to date (over 200 mares) in his fourth year at stud last season. Sir Lincoln stands poised on the edge of what is looking like a very successful siring career. Harnesslink Media

A very good crowd and a sizeable southern buyer contingent produced a pleasing harness racing Autumn Sale result at Karaka culminating in a turnover of $811,160 at an average of $7,374.  The main show was always  going to be the weanlings and it seemed everyone had come for one or more of the youngsters,  including  quite a few Yearling Sales ‘pin-hookers’. Of the 113 weanlings offered on the day, 103 sold, 40 to the South Island, a clearance of 91%. Top price of $35,000 was paid for the sister to Isaiah, by Art Major from E J Becks and the highest priced colt at $25,000 was the  Sunshine Beach from Presidential Affair, making him a half to Maczaffair (2017 WA Oaks). Woodlands Stud and Alabar who between them offered the majority of the weanlings both reported they were more than pleased with the result. Especially so the interest in their first season progeny by He’s Watching, Sunshine Beach and Sweet Lou. Buyers obviously liked what they saw and responded positively in the ring to the progeny of all three of them. It was very evident from the amount of inspection on the Open Day on  Saturday afternoon  and on Sunday morning that the buyers were  keen to get a close look at as many as they could. Certainly the whole weanling sale concept is very well accepted now and buyers appreciate that both studs do a really conscientious job of rearing the horse’s and are genuine sellers. That positive atmosphere of buyer confidence prevailed throughout the sale. Of the 9 broodmares offered 6 sold including Gentle Audrey in foal to Bettor’s Delight for $13,500 and the empty mare Czanyi, who is a half-sister to De Lovely sold on the day for $10,000. For full results click here. The following lots were unsold at the Auckland Weanling and All Age Sale yesterday. Pedigrees and photos are at www.standardbred.co.nz/Sales/Results/98. Should you wish to purchase any of these lots please phone Peter Lagan on 0274 338 255 or email plagan@pggwrightson.co.nz   Lot Reserve 1 $3,000 5 $2,000 8 $4,000 29 $1,000 39 $15,000 42 $15,000 56 $7,000 58 $2,000 65 $3,000 86 $8,000 105 $4,000 114 $10,000 119 $2,000

"Welcome to Australia," the flight attendant says, their voice made raspy by the speaker, as we descend. The butterflies flutter in my stomach. One simple word, "wow" breaks the silence of the plane as I look out the window next to me. It is the only word that can sum up how in awe I am.  I knew from that point on my trip could only get more magical. To be here, does not seem real. It feels as though I am in a dream and I wait for someone to pinch me or wake me up. I have to keep reminding myself that this is really happening. To be here is a dream come true and I feel truly blessed. This amazing adventure was possible by Alan Galloway of Alabar Farms, whom I met in Ireland in August of 2016; while attending the Vincent Delaney Memorial. Some friends and industry partners of Alan Galloway also helped to make this trip possible. Brett Coffey, who works for Alabar Farms planned the entire trip from beginning to end and he did an incredible job. To all of them, I am forever grateful.    After getting settled into our hotel, my parents and I decide to walk through the city. Sydney is a beautiful city.  We walked to see the Sydney Opera House. It is a truly magnificent work of architecture. Seeing it at sunset is breathtaking. Today has been a busy day, but definitely one to remember. I wake up full of excitement for a couple reasons. It is my first full day in Australia and tonight is a special night for harness racing in Australia. It is the night of the esteemed Miracle Mile. It is one night when some of the best gathers to compete. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to be in attendance for this celebrated night of racing. Through Twitter, I had been seeing all of the updates leading up to tonight, but to be in the grandstand is overwhelming for me. Driving into Tabcorp Park Menangle I am filled with joy. I could not believe I am actually here. I am lost for words. I am filled with captivation. Walking up the front stairs and through the front doors, I look around in amazement.  There is a buzz in the air and there is no need to ask why, it is Miracle Mile night. The grandstand is absolutely stunning. The weather is perfect for a prized night of racing and for sitting outside to enjoy it. I flip through my form (program). It is a little different than North American programs. In the Australian forms, there are pictures of the colors the drivers are wearing. This is useful as drivers do not have their own colors. They wear the colors of the owner or owners they are driving for. Some of the races span two or three pages because having more than ten horses in a race is not uncommon. But for me, this is incredible to see. I walk up the hill to where the paddock is. I am just in time to see the horses parade in the walking ring before horses and drivers head to the track. The walking ring is a surprise.  In North American harness racing horses parade on the track. I enjoy watching the horses warm up, before heading back to my spot along the rail. It is finally time for the much-anticipated Miracle Mile. As the horses and their drivers step onto the track, full of focus and wanting to win. The winning horse, owner(s) trainer, and driver of this prized race will forever have their names in Miracle Mile history. Everyone gathers as close to the fence as possible. My eyes are fixed on the track as the horses line up behind the mobile (start car). The crowds begin to scream, they are deafening as they reach the half. The horses stride for home in pursuit of victory. As they come into view, my heart is pounding. With one final cheer from the crowd and one final stride, Lennytheshark crosses the wire. He has won the 2017 Miracle Mile, with driver Chris Alford and trainer David Aiken. I have the pleasure of meeting three special individuals during the night as well; all of whom I met through social media and have been looking forward to meeting in person during my trip.  Up and coming commentator Luke Humphreys, his dad, Paul, who owns a Pet Rock colt (a half sibling to my yearling filly, Jo), and Marcus Kirkwood, who is a co-owner of Miracle Mile participant Smolda. I am very happy I finally get to meet them in person.  The next day I am off to APG Sydney Yearling Sale.  The sales complex is beautiful.  Today, I can potentially see a future Miracle Mile winner go through the ring. I pass potential buyers asking to see yearlings. There is excitement in the air. I make my way to sales ring. It is a beautiful day for a yearling sale. The sun was shining and there is not a cloud in the sky. The sale is set to begin shortly. I find a seat in the front row. I scan through the pages of the sale catalog, studying the bloodlines. My mom reminds me that I could not put my hand up as it would cost too much to ship a yearling back home, chuckling as she does. I take in the serenity of the arena before the sale gets underway, knowing that for next few hours, it would be the opposite. Both buyers and sellers begin to file in. The auctioneers are setting up for their big day. The first yearling of the day enters the ring.  The booming voice of the auctioneer thunders in the afternoon. Quiet nods are given and silent hands are raised; that silence being transformed into hollers from the bid spotters. I continue to study the pedigrees, then I noticed something, none of the yearlings have names, unlike when yearlings in North America are sold.   As each yearling passes through the ring the auctioneer, the bid spotters and auctioneer continue to work together to take bids. Before long the sale concludes. I had a great day watching the action, socializing and meeting new people. Another day in Australia is complete.  The next morning I am ready for another day packed full of memories. Today I have the opportunity to visit with two of the top trainers in the Sydney area and gain insight about training in New South Wales. My first visit is to Menangle Training Facility.  I arrive and walk into the barn of David Aiken and there he is, the one and only Lennytheshark. He is so handsome. I walk over to him and tell him how amazing he raced in the Miracle Mile. He lowers his head and I reach to stroke his head.  After spending some time with me and taking pictures with me, he is happy to go back enjoying his lunch. Stablemate to Lennytheshark,  Hectorjayjay already has his head over his gate and is waiting for me to come and see him. I tell Hectorjayjay how handsome he is and how impressive he too raced in the Miracle Mile. I give him a kiss and say goodbye. I look forward to keeping up to date on the success of these two champions. After spending a delightful morning at Aiken Racing, I am back in the car and on the road again, this time heading to see Luke McCarthy’s farm.  I am greeted by Ashley Hart, who works for Luke McCarthy. She shows me around the property, and what a beautiful farm it is. We walk into the barn, walking down the shed row until we come to Bling It On. He steps out and rests his head on my knee. I begin to give him kisses. In return, he begins to lick my knee. He is so sweet and gentle.  After we bond some more, we part ways, I leave him to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Sitting in the car going back to our hotel, I could only think how honored I feel that I got to meet three champions in one day.  I spend the next two days touring Sydney and being a tourist. On my travels, I get to see some iconic Australian animals. I get to pet a kangaroo and get to see a koala up close. That night my parents pack because as in the morning the next chapter of my journey is beginning. In the morning, we fly from Sydney to Melbourne. After boarding the plane, I sit in my seat while I wait for the rest of the passengers to board. It is a short flight, only a couple of hours.  I am filled with excitement and melancholy. I am excited for the memories that are to come, but melancholy because this flight marks the halfway point in this incredible journey. My adventures in Melbourne begin the moment I arrive and, it is a memorable one. I attend a dual code night.  In this case, it means both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds are both racing on one card. This very special night of racing is presented by Cranbourne Turf Club and Cranbourne Harness Racing Club; featuring the TAB Cranbourne Cup for the Thoroughbreds and Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup for the Standardbreds.   I am in awe.  The track and the grandstand are beautiful. The energy that fills the grandstand is incredible. I find the perfect spot along the rail, it is close to the finish line and the Winner’s Circle. With having two codes racing on the same night there is almost always a race to watch. The Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds alternate races.  When a Standardbred race enters the track, the Winner’s Circle presentations for the Thoroughbred race that had just finished are taking place.  It is mesmerizing and powerful to see two breeds come together for one spectacular night of racing.  It is time for the prestigious TAB Cranbourne Cup. There is a hum rippling through the grandstand. All eyes are fixed on the track. The horses and their jockeys come around each turn, the cheering in the grandstand gets louder and louder, almost drowning out the announcer. As the winning connections gather in Winner's Circle and celebrate their victory, the horses and their drivers enter the track. The energy that was exhibited during the Thoroughbred race spills into the Decon Pacing Gold Cup that follows. The pacers and their drivers line up behind the mobile, taking off they fight for positions. With each turn, the grandstand roars with excitement and drivers see the finish line coming closer with each stride, victory is one step closer. With screams and the slapping of programs, the winning pacer and driver cross the wire. After the races, I see my friend and President of Cranbourne Harness Club, Bill Hutchinson, it is lovely to see him again. I had another unforgettable night and made many memories and friends. After a busy night, I return to my hotel to get a good night of sleep in preparation for tomorrow. I drift off to sleep with the echoes of cheers and the sound of hooves hitting the track.      So far on my trip, I have been able to witness top quality racing, I have witnessed champions be crowned. Today, I am off to see the champions of tomorrow. I will be visiting two breeding farms, Aldebaran Park and Alabar Farms, as I am keen to learn about the breeding industry in Australia. Aldebaran Park is very pretty. I walk along path between the paddock with the mares and foals before stopping to see the yearlings. The foals were very playful in the morning sun as their mares watch carefully. I go and see the yearlings who are enjoying the morning sunshine, they are happy to receive the extra attention. Then I am off to Alabar Farms. When I arrive at Alabar, I am overwhelmed, to be here feels so surreal. My tour begins with having the opportunity to meet the legendary Presidential Ball and his best mate, the renowned Safely Kept. Both past champions are so sweet. I feel so blessed and honored I get to spend time with them in their paddock.  Alabar is looking after them extremely well. They are happy and living the life of leisure.  I spend some time in a paddock with some of the mares and soon to be weanlings, who are being separated the next day. As I approach the gate to go in, two foals and their mares look at me intrigued. When I am in the paddock, they come straight over to me without hesitation.  Smelling me, playing with my hat, snuggling me and giving me kisses. They were so adorable. both mares and foals refuse to leave my side. I am happy to give them kisses and snuggles.  Soon It is time to continue on my way; the foals want me to stay as much I want to. With one final kiss for each of them, I say my goodbyes before walking through the gate. It warms my heart to know that in a couple of years those weanlings will be champions; possibly winning the Miracle Mile, I can say I knew them when they were just babies before they were they winning trophies and setting records. Seeing as I am at the top breeding farm in Australia. I had to see Australia’s stallions. I have the pleasure of meeting Courage Under Fire. He is a regal looking stallion. I also meet the handsome Alta Christiano, he has the best view a stallion could ask for; his paddock overlooks all of the mares. After a lovely day spent to learn more about breeding in Australia. I go to the trots  (races) at Echuca Harness Racing Club for the evening. It is a charming track. A memorable night gets even more special when I have the opportunity to go for a ride in the mobile (start car), and sit in the front passenger seat, that was awesome. I see the whole track and the entire grandstand.  I meet the president of the club, Michael McMahon, who invites me for a tour of the paddock. I have the honor of meeting harness racing esteemed trainer and driver, Brian Gath. The following day I take a trip to Ballarat to meet Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, followed by a visit to Anton Golino. Talking with them, I add to the knowledge I have gained so far and get to hear what it is like to be a trainer in the state of Victoria. The next day I have the pleasure of learning more about the wonderful work that the Harness Education and Rehoming Opportunites (H.E.R.O.) program does from Tanya McDermott. The H.E.R.O. program provides Standardbreds with new careers, and new people to have new experiences with, such as riding and showing. I meet two new horses currently in the program, Jadahson, and He’s Kinky. They are lovely boys and I know they will go on to do great things. I look forward to seeing what new their new careers have in store for them. It warms my heart to know that the H.E.R.O exists for Standardbreds after they have finished racing.  After a lovely morning, I travel to meet Andy and Kate Gath and their staff. It is an afternoon spent laughing and sharing stories. For my final night in Australia, it is the Lyn McPherson Memorial at Tabcorp Park Melton and the final night for "Team Teal" in support of Ovarian Cancer. The color teal was chosen as that is the color which represents Ovarian Cancer.  The fundraiser began February 1st. I am honored I can be part of the special night support of a great cause. Because of social media, I was aware of this heart-warming initiative. So, when I packed to come I made sure to pack my teal colored dress. Walking in the grandstand and up into the reception area, there is a wave of vibrant teal in memoriam of Lyn MacPherson. The family of Lyn MacPherson and the harness racing community has come together to celebrate her legacy and started this annual event to help others. I spend my last night at the trots in Australia in great company of friends. I feel special I get to spend my last night supporting an important cause in an unforgettable way.  I make my way to the fence to take in my last few races in Australia. As the field steps onto the track, I wish I could stop time, just for a moment, so I can enjoy the time I have left at the trots a little longer. But I cannot stop time and in the blink of an eye, I am walking through the doors and towards my car.   Sitting in my hotel room, and thinking about my trip as a whole and the thought of having to leave is not without a few tears. Maybe my tears have to do with me feeling so at home here, and now I feel I have to leave. The next morning I was up before the sun. It had already begun to rain. The weather outside reflects how I feel in my heart, dreary and sad. With a heavy heart, I step out of my taxi with my luggage in tow. I take in one last breath of the crisp Melbourne air as I step through the doors of the Melbourne International Airport, with a heavy heart and longing to stay. Being in Australia for the time that I have, it has begun to feel like home.  I will never forget all the heartwarming memories that I have made. I will never forget all of the truly amazing people who I got to meet. A part of my heart will forever be in Australia. One day, I do not know when, or how long it will take me, but I will return to this amazing place. Having to say goodbye brings tears to my eyes and makes me extremely sad. So, it is not goodbye, it is simply, see you again Australia. Many photos were taken, laughs and stories shared. I also learned a lot about how different Australian harness racing is, and how it is the same. I also gained a lot of knowledge on horsemanship and I will carry and apply that knowledge in the future when I work with my own horses. I board my first flight, taking me from Melbourne to Los Angeles, similar to the flight path I had taken to come to this magical place, flying from Los Angeles. As the plane ascends into the sky, I look out my window taking in one final glimpse of Australia. After what feels like forever the plane lands at Los Angeles International Airport. I cannot help but think how it felt so much longer doing the return trip than, going to Australia. I replay the memories, the conversations, the laughs, the smiles, the thundering of hooves, the screams of excitement in the stretch, the joyous cheers as horses make the final strides across the finish line. These memories become a blend of colors, as I see the brightly colored sets of silks rush past. All of this happens as clear as it did when the events happened for the first time. The memories flood my mind for the duration of my second flight from Los Angeles to Toronto. I still continue to replay moments, this helps to distract me from the reality. Now that I am back to the routine of going to school and doing homework, at just the right time in my day, even if only for a brief moment, as if it is like magic, I flash back to Australia.  I also want to especially thank all the sponsors who helped make this trip possible for myself and my family.... Alan Galloway of Alabar Farms... sponsored in part also by Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek Farm, A Rocknroll Dance Syndicate, Nevele R Stud, Blue Chip Farm, Pepper Tree Farm (Art Major’s owners), the owners of Auckland Reactor and Joe Bellino and the owners of Rock N Roll Heaven (Pepper Tree Farm and Alabar). THANK YOU ALL! Sydney Weaver is 16 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, groom's horses, jogs them on the track, owns both a Standardbred and a Thoroughbred racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.

Alabar NZ are once again this year selling a highly impressive consignment of harness racing foals in the Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale at Karaka. Alabar are holding their popular Inspection Day for the draft of 52 weanlings at their farm at Seagrove Road, Waiau Pa this Sunday (7 May) between 1 and 3pm. All are welcome. The 2017 sale is being held on Sunday the 21st of May, commencing 12 noon. Buyers this year will also have an extra opportunity to few the weanlings. PGG Wrightson are holding an Open Day for all sale entries at the Karaka Sale Centre between 1 and 4pm on the Saturday prior to the sale. All the Alabar weanlings will also be available for inspection on this day. The 2017 Alabar draft features weanlings by: - the proven leading sires Art Major, Mach Three and Majestic Son, - Shadow Play who is Australia’s leading sire of individual two-year-old winners this season, - the up-and-coming sires A Rocknroll Dance, Auckland Reactor, Betterthancheddar, Big Jim and Peak, - and, excitingly the first weanlings by He’s Watching and Sunshine Beach. He’s Watching was an absolute superstar on the racetrack – he was the unbeaten US 2yo Pacer of the Year, the winner of the Meadowlands Pace and retired as the fastest horse in the world. Sunshine Beach is a world champion son of Somebeachsomewhere and was the first horse to defeat Captaintreacherous, doing so in the $500,000 Battle Of Brandywine. Three of the feature yearlings in a very strong 2017 Alabar weanling draft are an Art Major filly who is a full sister to the dual NZYSS Final winner Isaiah, a He’s Watching half-sister to the brilliant Arms Of An Angel (1:49.5, 3rd Miracle Mile) and a Sunshine Beach half-brother to the top WA filly Maczaffair (2017 Dainty’s Daughter Classic). Further information is available from Alabar NZ (09 232 1800) or PGG Wrightson (03 372 0967). Click here for the catalogue World Record by He’s Watching in Meadowlands Pace  

Harness racing stallion Auckland Reactor sired his first New Zealand winner when Miss Ethel Sunshine easily won her first start at Addington last night.  In the hands of top reinsman Dexter Dunn the impressive filly soon led and cut clear turning for home to beat a good field of 2yo fillies winning untouched by 4 lengths. Miss Ethel Sunshine (Auckland Reactor - Miss Sunshine) paced the mobile 1950m in 2:24.8, a mile rate of 1:59.4. Trainer Mark Smolenksi has always said she possesses a lot of speed and she showed that tonight by jogging her last 800m in 57.5 and the 400m in 28.9.     Auckland Reactor will definitely make his mark as a stallion as his progeny start to get serious on the race track. The trial winners are continuing thick and fast and he has already sired a race winner in Australia. Auckland Reactor stands at Alabar Stud   Harnesslink Media  

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