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JUST days out from the TAB.COM.AU Charity Football Day and the generosity just keeps flowing. Already a major sponsor in two areas, Alabar Bloodstock has once again increased its involvement in what has developed in Victorian harness racing’s biggest social event. One of the first to support last year’s inaugural edition, Alabar was quick to return this time to cover the costs of the foot and netballs. On top of that, the leading breeding establishment has donated a service to Grinfromeartoear as the headliner for the mega raffle. Now Alabar has joined forced with Amart Melton and Burley to deliver ‘Auckland Reactor’ soccer and footballs to the first 60 kids to attend the big day. The latest gesture also compliments the two bikes Amart Melton has donated for the lucky boy and girl who guess the correct (or closest to) amount of snakes in a jar, which will be displayed throughout the day…entry is FREE!. Not to forget prominent owner Kevin Riseley, who has generously offered to cover the cost of hiring a jumping castle for children to enjoy, or Allan McNeil, who has donated lolly bags. “Alabar, Amart, Kevin and Allan have just been so generous,” event organiser Robbie O’Connell said. “Their focus on the kids’ activities will help turn this into a massive family day, just the kind of event harness racing needs. “Now we have the dads playing footy, the mums hitting the netball court and the kids going nuts, as kids should.” Other sponsors include Tabcorp, James and son, Seelite Windows and Doors and Glenn Sharp. A fun occasion for all industry participants, Sunday’s event also has a serious side – raising valuable funds for the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. That’s where a small fee of $50 for players and spectators (under 16 free) comes into play. Not only does the fee cover the costs of the games, sausage sizzle and the night’s function, it adds to the tally to aid children suffering from Neurofibromatosis. Last year’s event raised $14,000, which is outstanding considering the foundation receives just $18,000 from the government. Along with the fun and games, the function will also include a memorabilia auction. It was last year’s auction that proved to be the biggest money spinner for the cause. Paul Smart from Azuma International supplied the various pieces of memorabilia, which raised almost $8000. Smart will be back this year with “some sensational memorabilia”, so attendees better make sure their wallets are loaded! Teams from four districts – Melton (Go Blues), Ballarat, Shepparton and Bendigo – will do battle throughout the day, with the first event, a netball match, to begin at 11:30am at the Strathfieldsaye Sports Club. The first footy game is scheduled to start at noon. “The Strathfieldsaye Club has offered us free use of their grounds and facilities,” O’Connell said. They have two footy ovals and three netball courts, so it’s the perfect pl ace for us. “Last year’s day was big, but this year will be huge.” For more information please contact Robbie O'Connell on 0404 728 885. Paul Courts

Harness racing participants are widely-regarded as being among the most generous and that status has been proven yet again. Less than a week out from the TAB.COM.AU Charity Day, a host of star reinsman have declared they will donate their earnings from a specified meeting towards the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. Chris Alford and Shayne Cramp (Victoria), Luke McCarthy (New South Wales), Peter McMullen (Queensland), Ricky Duggan (Tasmania), Clint and Gary Hall junior (Western Australia) and Ryan Hryhorec (South Australia) will all ‘sport’ the foundation’s racing silks at a program of their choice and will donate all earnings from the day to the cause. On top of that, several of Victoria’s leading concession drivers have also dipped into their pockets. Josh Aiken, Alex Ashwood, Josh Duggan, Haydon Gray and Zac Phillips have joined forces to make a donation. Each has “thrown in” $200, with the collective $1000 - a great compliment to the recent $5000 from James and Son and the $1000 from Arthur Fullwood. Thrilled with the Fab Five’s gesture, event organiser Robbie O’Connell stated the friendship between the talented reinsmen will end come game day. “It is a wonderful gesture from the five of them,” O’Connell said. “One top of their game fee, they have thrown in an extra $200. “They may have come together as a group for this, but they will split up into three teams on game day, so I’m sure white line fever will creep in. “No doubt they will enjoy revving each other up on the field and give the odd hip and shoulder for the sake of it.” Other industry identities to support the day include Alabar Bloodstock, which has covered the costs of the footballs and netballs as well as donating a service to Grinfromeartoear, which will be the headliner of a major raffle. A service to Union Guy donated by John Campbell is also in the mix, with connections of Red Samurai also chiming in with a service to the former handy trotter. There are also plenty of prizes for the non-breeders, including a 10 kilogram block of Cadbury chocolate, Bolinda Publishing Audio Books and a Myer voucher. Yirribee Stud has returned with mugs for the Most Valuable Player in each code, while Tabcorp is back as the football jumper sponsor and will supply jumpers for the four teams. The squads will be assembled from four districts – Melton (Go Blues), Ballarat, Shepparton and Bendigo. Other sponsors include Seelite Windows and Doors, Kevin Riseley, Allan McNeil and Glenn Sharp. A small fee of $50 for players and spectators (under 16 free) covers the costs of Sunday’s sausage sizzle, the games and the night’s function. Last year’s event raised $14,000, which is outstanding considering the foundation receives $18,000 from the government. Along with the fun and games, the function will also include a memorabilia auction. It was last year’s auction that proved to be the biggest money spinner for the cause. Paul Smart from Azuma International supplied the various pieces of memorabilia, which raised almost $8000 for the Chrildren's Tumour Foundation. Unlike 99.9 percent of auctions, Azuma International didn’t place a reserve on the items. For examples, a supplier will put a $500 reserve on a particular item, and should it sell for $550, the charity only receives $50! Azuma International, however, split the takings down the middle. Paul Courts    

WHAT began as ‘we should have a…’ moment between a few horsemen has quickly developed into Australian harness racing’s biggest social event. Talking with his peers over a drink or three last year, Victorian mentor Robbie O’Connell decided to take the conversation beyond words and into action. A couple of months later, the inaugural TAB.COM.AU Charity Football Day was born! With trainers and drivers throughout the state, and a few from across the border, forming four regional teams, the event was a big hit. Not only did it provide industry personnel the opportunity to enjoy a fun day filled with laughter, the event raised valuable funds and awareness for the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. Match fees, raffles and a memorabilia auction saw $14,000 raised…a tremendous effort considering the foundation receives $18,000 a year from the government. Fast forward 12 months and the big day is on again. Not only will the four teams – Melton, Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepparton – do battle on the footy field in a ‘Round Robyn’ contest for the Katie Alford Cup, a netball section has been added to the agenda. Katie, daughter of premier reinsman Chris Alford, suffers from the rare disorder Neurofibromatosis, which affects one in 4000 people. Katie has become harness racing’s shining light for the charity. With O’Connell the driving force once again, the August 31 showdown at the Strathfieldsaye Sporting Club promises to be a day to remember. Tabcorp has returned as the major sponsor, donating the football jumpers, with Alabar Bloodstock covering the cost of the foot and netballs. Alabar has also chimed in with a service to Grinfromeartoear, which is the main prize of a mega raffle. The raffle also includes a service to Union Guy donated by John Campbell, with connections of Red Samurai also supplying a service to the former handy trotter. There are also plenty of prizes for the non-breeders, including a 10 kilogram block of Cadbury chocolate, Bolinda Publishing Audio Books and a Myer voucher. Other sponsors include Seelite Windows and Doors, Fernwood Melton, Amart Sports, Kevin Riseley, James and Son, Allan McNeil and Glenn Sharp. A small fee of $50 for players and spectators (under 16 free) covers the costs of a sausage sizzle, the games and the night’s function. The function will also include a memorabilia auction. It was last year’s auction that proved to be the biggest money spinner for the cause. Paul Smart from Azuma International supplied the various pieces of memorabilia, which raised almost $8000 for the sick children. Unlike 99.9 percent of auctions, Azuma International didn’t place a reserve on the items. For example, a supplier will put a $500 reserve on a particular item, and should it sell for $550, the charity only receives $50! Azuma International, however, split the takings down the middle. “To be honest, last year we were only cutting our teeth with the whole concept and were caught a little off guard by how big it turned out,” O’Connell said. “This time we’ll be on top of everything from the get go and it will be an even better time for all involved. “I’ve got no doubt those who played, or came along, last year will return, and with that in mind, the interest is expected to grow. “It’s open to all harness racing participants, be it owners, stablehands, trainers, drivers, club officials, administrators. “Even journalists…we’re open minded! “All that said, last year was an amazing effort to raise $14,000, this time around we’re thinking closer to $20,000. “So I urge everybody with an interest in harness racing to come along, either as a player or spectator…you won’t regret it.” Harnesslink Media  

The Horsham Harness Racing Club will stage their traditional 3YO features, the $9505 Alabar Horsham Guineas and $9505 Rosehill Princess of the Wimmera, on Wednesday August 27th. The contests have been part of the Club calendar since the early 1980’s, when the Horsham Ladies Committee sponsored the Horsham Oaks and Derby Trials, under the lights on the tight showgrounds circuit. Alabar Bloodstock has generously donated an inscribed rug and trophies for the winning owner, trainer and driver of the 2014 Guineas. They have also donated a free service to second season stallion, Smiling Shard (1:53.7 $1,089,831) or the proven entire, Elsu (1:53.6 $2,030,796). Rosehill Farm & Veterinary Services will provide an inscribed rug and trophies for the winning connections of the 2014 Princess of the Wimmera. In addition, they have donated a free service to the highly talented but injury dogged pacer, Maffisio. Some fine colts and geldings are listed as winners of the Alabar Horsham Guineas, including  Grand Circuit performer Robin Hood (2004) for trainer Clayton Tonkin, with Daryl Douglas aboard.  In 1991, Dark Paul went on to capture both the Victoria and NSW Derbies after his Horsham Guineas victory for trainer Trevor Martin and reinsman Ted Demmler. Albenz (1996), Wenbro (1998), Remember El (2010), Savesometimetodream (2011) and Magical Telf (2012) have also taken out the Horsham Classic. The Rosehill Princess of the Wimmera has been won by a number of smart fillies over the years, including the brilliant Sheza Mona (1997) for trainer Peter Manning and driver Kerryn Manning . Mother Courage took out the 1999 edition of the Princess during her 3YO season, on the way to success in the Victoria Oaks for the Bruce Morgan- John Caldow combination. Posh Jaccka (1998), Deanna Troy (2006), Very Chic (2008), and Our Surfer Girl (2010) also grace the honour board. The Horsham Club is greatly appreciative of the continued support  of Allan Galloway, John Coffey and all the crew at Alabar, along with Darren and Anne Jacobson from Rosehill, and are looking forward to two great contests on the 27th. Nominations for the Alabar Horsham Guineas and Rosehill Princess of the Wimmera, close with HRV at noon on Thursday August 21st. Further information can be obtained from Tony Logan on 0427 857411.

He was named, by majority owner Rob Nalder, after one of the greatest cricketers of the twentieth century – the explosive West Indian batsmen Viv Richards. The Aussie Caribbean Blaster certainly didn’t let anyone down and especially not the great man Viv Richards. Two people who he did leave an indelible impression on are the husband and wife team Andy and Kate Gath. “He’s the most perfect horse I’ve ever trained” said Andy recently. “He’s everything you want in a horse – great gaited, a great constitution and amazing recovery rate after a tough run, perfect conformation and always gave 120% in all his races.” Sadly Caribbean Blaster suffered a suspensory injury in late July and he will now commence a new chapter in his best selling life story – a stud career at Yirribee Stud in Southern NSW, under the management of his part owner Alabar Bloodstock. The “Blaster” displayed the attributes of a top horse right from the start, albeit he raced rather greenly in his three starts as a two year old. As a three year old, there were signs that he could develop into a “Big Time” horse – second in the Group One South Australian Derby, a fast closing second to Sushi Sushi in the Breeders Crown Semi Final and then a close up fourth place finish from the 12 hole in the Breeders Crown Final – his own mile rate being 1:54.9 for the 2240 metres. Just five days later Caribbean Blaster won The Graduate, a 2240 metre standing start race, in a 1:57.5 mile rate – an Australasian record which remains to this day. “The turning point in Caribbean Blaster’s career came when he triumphed in the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle” said Andy Gath. That night he defeated Sushi Sushi, Excel Stride and the hotshot Kiwi Hands Christian in 1:52.6, last quarter in 26.6 seconds. The defining victory in his career was the 2012 Victoria Cup when he was handed the number 13 saddlecloth to start with. Aided by a brilliant Kate Gath steer, the Blaster defeated Australia’s best including Im Themightyquinn, Smoken Up, Mah Sish, Washakie and The Gold Ace to name a few. Caribbean Blaster raced on 79 occasions in a predominately four season career for 24 victories and prizemoney of $1,113,678 – he passed the million dollar mark when defeating the mighty warrior Smoken Up in the 2014 South Australian Cup. He was driven in every one of those starts by the effervescent Kate Gath. As impressive as Caribbean Blaster was on the racetrack, he has a pedigree that could be described as glittering as diamonds. His sire Bettor’s Delight as a champion stallion and has dominated the Leading Sires lists in the Southern Hemisphere for the past three years. Caribbean Blaster is from the Safely Kept mare Kalypso and was bred and sold at the 2009 APG sales for $70,000 by the Bathurst based Brooklyn Lodge. He is thus a half brother to four winners including Protikori ($212,109), placed in four Group One events, and the $125,000 winning Kalypson Kid 1:56.4. Caribbean Blaster will stand at Yirribee Pacing Stud for a debut Service Fee of $2,750 (incl GST). All booking enquiries can be directed to Alabar Bloodstock – (03) 5859 2201. Harnesslink Media        

Harnesslink has learned that the outstanding racehorse, Caribbean Blaster has suffered a career ending injury which has brought a premature end to his harness racing career. The super consistent and talented entire faced the starter on 79 occasions for 24 wins, 21 seconds and 14 thirds for $1,113,677 in stakes. Trained throughout his career by Andy Gath and driven in every start by his wife Kate, Caribbean Blaster finished in the first three in 59 of the 79 races he contested in Australia while he also contested two New Zealand Cups at Addington. He has a string of great performances to his name but two of the better ones would be his win in the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire in 1:52.6 over Excel Stride 1:50.3 ($769,464) and Sushi Sushi 1:54.1 ($1,103,327) and his win in the Victoria Cup in a 1:53.7mr (2240 meters) over Im Themightyquinn 1:50.4 ($4,567,456) and Mah Sish 1:55.4 ($800,911). Part owned by Alabar Bloodstock, the rising seven year old son of champion sire Bettors Delight has all the ingredients to make a successful sire now his racing career has ended. Not only does he have a great racetrack record, but Caribbean Blaster is by a great sire from a very strong maternal family. His dam is the Safely Kept mare in Kalypso 2:00.8 ($30,110) who apart from Caribbean Blaster has also produced such smart types as Protikora 1:59 ($212,109) and Kalypson Kid 1:56.4 ($125,351). Kalypso is a half sister to six winners including the classy Grand Stride 1:52.4 ($324,658) while his third dam has left nine winners including smart types such as Heezgotattitude 1:56.8 ($157,987) and Zaneden 1:56.6 ($123,500). With his sire Bettors Delight in such hot demand, it may well be an opportune time for one of his best performed sons to start his stud career. Harnesslink media

John Coffey, one of the best-regarded figures on the national scene, has added another string to his bow. He has accepted the position of Co-Ordinator of the annual Garrards 2YO Trialling Sale, coming up to its fourth year, at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. This position will sit well with Coffey's present role as Marketing Manager of breeding giant, Alabar Bloodstock: Coffey will continue to represent Alabar. The 2YO Trialling Sale will continue to be conducted by Australian Standardbred Consultancy Pty, which founded the trials-auction concept at Menangle. Coffey, who lives in Western Australia, is probably even better-known on the east coast: he was named the Bathurst Gold Crown Honouree this year. As a commercial breeder - he conducts Patrician Park - Coffey only too well knows the plight of breeders and those who race horses. As such, he is well-suited to his new role. "The Trialling Sale provides an excellent platform for educators of young horses, and those people looking to buy a good one," he said. "Backed by Garrards Horse & Hound, the 2YO Trialling Sale is an excellent adjunct to the yearling sale market." Coffey pointed to the large number of successful graduates to come from the sale, including the former fastest three-year-old in Australasia, I Am Mr Brightside. Graduates from the 2013 2YO Trialling Sale are eligible to nominate for this year's inaugural C.J. Garrard Classic at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, on August 23. Nominations are still being accepted for the 2014 edition of the Garrards 2YO Trialling Sale. For more details, please contact John Coffey on 0468 994 087. HRNSW  

The Barrier Draws for the Alabar Bathurst Gold Crown and the Slingsby Gold Tiara were conducted at a special harness racing function at the Bathurst Showground tonight.               The fields are as follows; Alabar Bathurst Gold Crown Final   Barrier  Horse    1  Allnight Raid by Gold Dust Beach  2  Jodan by Sportswriter  3  Leonardos Son by Artistic Fella  4  Sporty Spook by Sportswriter  5  Rory Mclory by Sportswriter  6  Mouse In The House by Four Starzzz Shark  7  Cossack Stride NZ by Bettors Delight  8  Cosa Nostra by Sportswriter  9  Stening by Jeremes Jet  10  Stardust by Bettors Delight  11  Artistic Flite by Artistic Fella Slingsby Bathurst Gold Tiara Final  Barrier   Horse   1  Karalta Impulse by Million Dollar Cam  2  My Blackeyed Susan by Village Jolt  3  Makes Every Scents by Four Starzzz Shark  4  Bamako Mali by Art Major  5  Gotta Glow NZ by Gotta Go Cullect  6  Sally Fletcher by American Ideal  7  Mustang Jet by Jeremes Jet  8  Hey Porsha by American Ideal  9  Ameretto by Million Dollar Cam  10  Allnight Kiss by Modern Art  11  Looks Like Heaven by Lombo Mandingo   Harness Racing New South Wales

Wednesday night trotting was held at the Swan Hill Racing Centre when the Nyah HRC conducted a neat seven event card, highlighted by the running of the $25,505 Alabar Bloodstock Northern Region Championship Final for C1 & C2 class over 2240 metres which contested the heats and Semi-Finals held at Mildura on March 6 and 12. Mildura’s Shayne Cramp (Victoria’s leading trainer of last season) held a strong hand with four of the 12 runners in the final and snared the quinella with four year old Mach Three/Aldebaran Bromac gelding Aldebaran Macha defeating Changing Code in a rate of 1-57. Driven by Nathan Jack, Aldebaran Machastarting from gate three on the second line settled a mile off the Lake Boga leader Gollahman (gate four). In a race where the position outside the leader chopped and changed several times as three of the Cramp runners took turns to face the breeze, Aldebaran Macha latched to the back of Beach Star from four back in the running line at the bell which originally parked outside the leader as the start was effected. Gaining a lovely ride home, Aldebaran Macha after an easy time raced to the front halfway up the running and in a punishing finish, held off Changing Code from mid-field by a half neck in a thrilling finale, with Beachstar  a game third after leading on turning. Wood Wood owner/breeder/trainer Greg Fleming does a grand job with his small team and captured the Ray & Grace Hepworth Memorial 3-Y-0 Pace Final over 2240 metres with Armbro Operative/Highly Rated gelding Rate Highly, giving the locals something to cheer about. Driven by Ararat’s Mick Bellman, Rate Highly possied three back in the moving line form gate six, with Dawson Street leading from gate three. Taken three wide in the final circuit, Rate Highly ran home stylishly to gain the day in advance of Billy Mack which raced in the open from the bell, with Glitzy Gal running home late from last to finish third. The mile rate 1-58.9. The wraps were huge on the first starter Midnitedelite in the Courage Under Fire 2-Y-0 Pace over 1609 metres and the Bettors Delight/Aimee Sheffield colt on debut didn’t let his supporters down. Trained at Elmore by Keith Cotchin and driven by Bendigo based Scott Dyer, Midnitedelite led throughout from the pole to easily account for Justbritell which raced outside him in a rate of 1-57.9. Will Cooper(one/three – three wide last lap) finished third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

Bathurst Harness Racing Club this week announced that well-known and respected breeding figure John Coffey has accepted the club's invitation to be the 2014 Bathurst Gold Crown Honouree. In making the announcement, the club's president Mark Collins stated," John Coffey is one of the most humble and unassuming people that I have met in harness racing." However, under that quite and modest persona hides a man with drive and passion for this Industry and in particular the breeding side" Collins added. "For John Coffey to be recognized as this year's Honouree is testimony to his contribution to the Industry and we are extremely honoured that he has accepted our invitation" Collins said John becomes the twenty-fifth identity, but just the second from Western Australia, after Mick Lombardo in 1999, to be awarded Bathurst's "baggy green". Gold Crown Honourees make up a select group that encompasses all aspects of the sport. There are trainer-drivers, like inaugural winner in 1990 Jim Caffyn; administrators, such as Ken Dyer in 1997; media personalities, like John Tapp in the Bicentennial Year; breeders, like 2004 recipient Bob McArdle, and families, such as the Fitzpatricks in 2009. A long-time administrator and successful studmaster and breeder in his home state, John served a number of years as assistant to Alan Galloway at Echuca-based Alabar Bloodstock, before returning there in 1996 as General Manager , a role he filled for 17 years. He's regarded as one of the foremost breeding authorities in the Southern Hemisphere. Annual visits to North America, to keep abreast of racing and breeding developments there, have enabled him to acquire some outstanding sires for down-under breeders. He's equally well-regarded in that part of the world as he is here at home. John Coffey is widely respected for being ethical, genuine and highly personable. He is generous with his time and knowledge, and motivated to serve the sport, as shown by his involvement with the Leigh Plunkett Foundation. John has become a familiar, welcome figure in New South Wales, and particularly Bathurst, in recent years. He's been instrumental in Alabar's sponsorship of the Breeders Challenge and Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival, and the connection with Yirribee Pacing Stud in the Riverina, as well as conducting highly-informative breeding information nights for both Alabar and Bred In The Blue. John Coffey will be inducted at the Honouree's Dinner, hosted by the Mayor of Bathurst, at the Bathurst RSL Club on Tueday, March 25, during Gold Crown Week. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

One of the many side affects of our open access to the best stallions in North America through shuttling and frozen semen is how much harder it has become for new stallions to gain a foothold in the market early in the career. Such is the Lot of Santanna Blue Chip. One of the same foal crop as Somebeachsomewhere--- Shadow Play---and Art Offical. Santanna Blue Chip more than held his own, winning $1,623,000 as a two and three year olds against arguably the best crop of 2+3 yr olds in the last 20 years. He stood his first year at stud in Ontario and those horses raced as two year olds in North America last year. He ended his first season in 14th place on the stakes won list which was a repectable effort in his debut season. They have gone with it at three with his stock earning in excess of $1,000,000 this season already  and he presently sits in the top 20 stake earning stallions for 3 yr olds  in North America. Every young sire needs a flag bearer and for Santanna Bluechip that horse is Windsong Jack (1:49:4 and $$447,000) who is highly regarded in North America. First available to NZ breeders in 2009 he has had foal crops of 65 followed by 52 and 46. Then on the back of his North American results and the many positive reports from trainers and breakers in, he served 114 mares in his fourth year. So expectations were high when his first 2 yr olds hit the track in Australasia in 2012.   To say they were disappointing would be an understatement. Only one winner and a handful of starters didn't bode well for his future. But as is the way with a lot of stallions, as 3yr olds the initial promise is slowly but surely being fulfilled.   With a one third of the season over he already has 20 qualifiers of which four have won with several more being placed  recently. Horses such as Carlos Santana - Call Me Yours - Macy Bluechip and Avalon Bromac have all shown above average ability in their public outings to date.   Hardly a meeting goes bye at the moment without another Santanna Blue Chip popping out of the woodword. And his second crop have started the right way with the super impressive Smokin n Santanna winning effortlessly at yesterday"s Addington trials.   With his North American crops continuing to perform (18 in 1:53 and stakes approaching $2,000,000) ,his down under stock are slowly but surely establishing a record they can be proud of. JC   This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink will be doing with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires available in Australasia.   Elsu - Redemption awaits   McArdle - The quiet achiever  

It was a quiet midweek meeting at Bendigo when stewards were notified Talk To The Hand was a late scratching from race two. There was an unusual but rock solid reason for the horse pulling out. The evergreen winner of 11 races had - for reasons which are unclear - become gravely ill, forcing it to be put down. "Talk To The Hand was a late scratching at 6.34pm on veterinary advice," a Harness Racing Victoria stewards report stated. Two months on, Talk To The Hand's unexpected demise remains the subject of an inquiry by stewards. They began examining the matter after their own inquiries established the reason for his scratching from the Alabar Bloodstock Claiming Pace, due to run at 7pm over 2150m. The stewards started looking further into the matter the next day. Talk To The Hand's body was located and samples taken for testing. Analysis of those is still not complete, the Herald Sun has been told. Several people have been contacted by stewards, including trainer Glenn Douglas, who was to have driven Talk To The Hand on the night. Douglas, who is based at Strathfieldsaye, near Bendigo, said he did not know what had caused the horse to fall ill. "We'll know more soon. I'll talk to you after they've had their inquiry," he said. Douglas said all horse deaths were the subject of a stewards investigation. HRV chief operating officer Brant Dunshea confirmed there was an "ongoing investigation into the death of the horse." Talk To The Hand was a tough campaigner who was expected to start favourite in the Bendigo race. His 85 career race starts had yielded 11 wins and 36 minor placings for a total of $81,503 in prizemoney. Among those were wins at Tabcorp Park in Melton, the state's premier track. By Mark Buttler (Courtesy of Heraldsun.com.au)

Dubbo Harness Racing Club has once again assembled a good line up of stallion services for its 2013 Red Ochre Stallion Service Tender according to organiser Brett Wrigley. We have some excellent stallion services up for grabs thanks to the generous sponsorship of the studs involved. Interested buyers should start bidding now on the web at www.dubboharnessclub.com.au Wrigley said he would like to remind buyers that all funds raised from the tender support the prestigious Red Ochre Mares Classic Cup series which is conducted each year during the Dubbo Carnival of Cups. Online bidders can secure services to the listed stallions provided they are the highest bidder at the close of auction which is 4pm on Friday 18 October 2013. Stallion Services up for auction include: Grinfromeartoear @Alabar Bloodstock, Cammibest @Burwood Stud, John Street North @ Yiribee Stud, Righteous Hanover @Rosswood Stud & Major In Art service donated by Lester Hoy. The Club would like to thank the abovementioned donors who have all been long time supporters of the Red Ochre Classic. The Club encourages those with mares to support their sponsors who have been extremely generous given the current breeding climate, adding this event would not be possible without their support. Wrigley would also like to inform bidders that all bids are automatically uploaded to the website as they are submitted, so please support the Dubbo Club and Red Ochre Mares Classic and start bidding today. If you are interested in placing a bid for a service but don't have access to a computer or internet contact Brett Wrigley at the Dubbo Club on 0407 995 930 or Lester Hoy 0457 647 919 who will lodge bids on your behalf. Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Sisters to a multitude of Group and classic winners and a smattering of top racemares adorn the catalogue for the Alabar Blue Ribbon Yearling and Broodmare Sale, to be held on Sunday, October 6 at Alabar Bloodstock, Echuca. The sale comprises 95 lots - including 65 broodmares, most of which are carrying positive tests to some of the world's leading stallions. The list includes sires the calibre of Mach Three, Art Major, Shadow Play, Roll With Joe, Sportswriter, Live Or Die, Grinfromeartoear, Armbro Operative, Village Jasper, Mister Big, Mr Feelgood and others. Uncork, Libra Jaccka and Glacier Bay, all classic-winning juveniles, are part of a strong contingent of quality racemares catalogued that also includes Machinegun Molly, Cunning Kate, Dame Rainbow, Dontsayawordbut, Our Vanessa and Signyourlifeaway and trotters Kim's Fantasy, Speedy Naomi and Pocket Fantasy. Among the offering are sisters/half-sisters to the Derby winners Bella's Boy (Vic.), Robust Rock (SA) and Bo Jasper (Tas.), a half-sister to the Vicbred champion Master Maori and a sister to the SA Oaks winner Gem Of Reibey. There's sisters to former 2YO of the year Lombo Skyrider and 3YO Filly of the year Nemeeshar and half-sisters to Grand Circuit stars Wally Walton and Hexus and to the top NZ juvenile After The Reckoning. Sparkles A Plenty, the dam of the former darling of Albion Park, Sparkling Melody, and who carries a positive to Sportswriter, will also create plenty of interest. The sale will begin at 1pm and will be preceded by a parade of Alabar stallions at 11am. The online catalogue for the Alabar sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Peter Dow on 0412 195 986 or the office on (02) 6884 8355 or email gboard@dcco.com.au By Peter Wharton  

Weanlings by the well credentialled sires Shadow Play, Art Official, Major In Art, Grinfromeartoear, Tell All and Skyvalley will go up for auction at the Alabar Blue Ribbon Yearling and Broodmare Sale to be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on Sunday, October 6 at Alabar Bloodstock, Echuca. A total of 27 yearlings have been nominated including four by both Major In Art and Santanna Blue Chip and two by Shadow Play and Art Official. The offering includes a half-brother by Grinfromeartoear to the Spring Championship winner Crimson Knight, a Santanna Blue Chip grandson of Majestic Tess (Breeders Plate), a Kenneth J half-brother to the Inter Dominion heat winner Faking It, an Allamerican Ingot colt out of a half-sister to Wally Walton, a Safari filly out of the Bathurst Gold Tiara winner Donna Lombo, Shadow Play and Major In Art fillies both closely related to Rocknrolla. There’s yearling colts and fillies from the families of ‘black type’ performers Alta Christiano, Saint Flash, Hilarious Guest, Her Sparky Self, Gotanedge, Six Oclock Rock and Newsbreaker. The sale also features broodmares in-foal to leading sires such as Art Major, Mach Three, Rock N Roll Heaven, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Shadow Play, Mr Feelgood, Sportswriter, Village Jasper, Roll With Joe, Mister Big and Grinfromeartoear. The online catalogue for the Alabar Blue Ribbon sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Peter Dow on 0412 195 986 or the office on (02) 6884 8355 or email gboard@dcco.com.au by Peter Wharton

In an exciting decision by the Mildura Harness Racing Club, they have announced that effective from 1 January 2014, stakes will increase to $6,000 minimum per race at the venue. In another show of strength from the progressive club, the announcement comes that a full two months prior to Harness Racing Victoria raising the stakes to $6,000; the Mildura Club will self-fund the additions. The increases are aimed at the grassroots of the trots industry by providing a $50 fee to any horse that finishes between sixth and last. In another major coup for the club, the Mark Gurry and Associates Cup will rise from $25,000 to $30,000 and become a Group 3 race this season. Seelite Windows And Doors have also seen the potential in one of the greatest Country Cup carnivals around the nation by adding the Mildura Trotters Cup to their sponsorship repertoire; the race increases from $12,000 to $14,000. The injection of funds by the Mildura Harness Racing Club is set to top $24,000 which is another sign that the state’s far north-west is continuing to prosper. Another sign of the support in the area is the fact that the 2014 Alabar Bloodstock Northern Region Championship has been boosted from $20,000 to $25,000 and awarded listed race status for this year’s final at Swan Hill on March 19. Harness Racing Victoria

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