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Greats of the sport Peter Manning and Geoff Webster reminded that trotting genius never fades, with the pair clutching Group 1 wins on Aldebaran Park Vicbred Home Grown Classic finals night at harness racing's Tabcorp Park Melton. Manning captured his first Group 1 in 11 years and Webster broke through for his first in almost six as gelding Plymouth Chubb and filly Aldebaran Misty won their respective $50,000 two-year-old trotting finals. Fittingly, it was Kerryn Manning who steered the winner for her dad, the pair’s first father-and-daughter Group 1 win since Leilani Lombo won her Australian Pacing Gold final in 2010. However, despite the drought-breaker, Kerryn told Trots Vision champagne was unlikely to flow. “We might have a Coke. Strong one, full strength, Dad doesn’t drink anything (else), he likes Coke,” she said. “(Mum Barbara’s) very pleased, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, so it’s a good present for her.” Plymouth Chubb Plymouth Chubb had won three of his four starts for owner-breeders Gary Benson and Steven Hegyi, who pared their mare Pocket Fantasy with Majestic Son to produce the filly. The dam had already been lucrative, producing both My Skypocket ($131,168) and Edge Hill ($110,161) as well as winning five starts herself. They included Kerryn’s 2132nd career win in 2005, which saw her pass German reinswoman Rita Drees and become the winningest female driver in history. “I remember driving (grand dam) Kims Fantasy and Pocket Fantasy, it seems like such a long time, and then you see how many foals they’ve had, time flies,” Manning said. “They’ve just been such a good breed.” And they appear to have produced another ripper in Plymouth Chubb, who overcame breaking gait early in tonight’s 1720-metre trot to mow down the leader and favourite Kyvalley Pierro. “(Plymouth Chubb) came out quite good and then a gap opened up behind (Chris Alford on Kyvalley Pierro),” Manning said. “Obviously you are going to have a good run (from leader’s back), but if (Kyvalley Pierro) goes slow will he outsprint you? “I just made my mind up that I’d go there and just as I pulled him down he put in a roughie, so he went off stride. I managed to get him down reasonably fast, but had to make the ground back up and he didn’t steer great after that – he wanted to hang in all the way.” Off a 31.1s second quarter the job looked well in hand for Alford, but Plymouth Chubb picked up over the last half and stormed home to win by 18 metres. “I was in a bit of trouble at the 800 and once I got him in the middle of the track by himself he made ground,” Manning said. “I was a bit worried, but the horse is pretty good and goes very well. “You see him out there and he’s sweating white and he’s still very fat, so he’s got a lot of fitness to go too. There should be good improvement in him. He’s got the big ticker in there. It doesn’t really matter what you look like, but he’s certainly got strength about him that’s for sure.” A big future also looks to lay in the path of Geoff Webster’s two-year-old filly Aldebaran Misty, who’s been another plum find from the horseman’s partnership with Duncan McPherson’s Aldebaran Park. Aldebaran Misty's by Skyvalley out of Mason Magic, who’s in turn out of Sumthingaboutmaori ($461,499). “I’ve had a little connection with Duncan over the last two or three years,” Webster told Trots Vision. “I’ve been going up and picking out a weanling from their paddocks, I picked out Aldebaran Dianna first year, this was the second one that I picked out 18 months ago now. I have another yearling that I’ve done the same thing with. I’ve only got the two or three with Duncan, but it’s a great association.” That certainly proved the case tonight with Aldebaran Misty leading from gate two and holding sway throughout. Off of even quarters, the primary challenger looked to be Stingofawasp, who loomed from leader’s back for Mick Bellman and threatened in the straight. But she was unable to make ground on the leader and, while Andy and Kate Gath’s Thunder Wing hit the line strongly from three back on the pegs to nab second, Webster and Aldebaran Misty were largely unchallenged in winning by 4.5 metres. “She’s really quirky at home,” Webster said. “She’s a real handful, but when she’s in the kart ... her manners are foolproof, she galloped at her first start, but she panicked when horses got along side her after the start. From the mobile she’s got good manners, good gate speed and is an all-round nice horse.” Connections of Aldebaran Misty Also tonight, Sparkling Success produced his first win since March with an all-the-way victory in the DNR Logistics Vulcan Trotters Free For All for trainer John Meade and driver Jackie Barker. Sparkling Success gained the ascendancy from the widest front row gate and, while favourite Tornado Valley had a great run in transit from the one-one, Andy Gath’s champion was unable to make ground late and grab the win that would make him the ninth Australasian trotter to become a millionaire. He would finish third, pocketing $2400 and taking his career winnings to $996,797, with Mick Blackmore’s Jackson Square splitting the pair in running second. On a night where no trainer nor driver produced a winning double, there were also highlights for trainer Amanda Grieve and stable addition Hezacrocwatcher, who won the Nutrien Equine Country Clubs Championship with reinsman Zac Phillips to make it three from three in Australia for the four-year-old former Kiwi. There were also big smiles in the Sonny Weaver camp, with the four-year-old crashing the line to win the Del-Re National Food Group Pace for Russell Jack and Leigh Sutton, swooping to another eye-catching win after favourite and leader Honolua Bay failed to fire.   HRV - Michael Howard

Skyvalley’s outstanding son Tornado Valley NZ edged within $5000 of reaching the magical million mark with an end-to-end win in a Group 3 free-for-all at Melton and a close second in free-for-all company at Geelong. The gelding’s Melton success in a brilliant 1:55.4 was the 38th of his career and his 22nd at the Melbourne headquarters’ track – a record for one his gait. He will step out in Saturday night's DNR Logistics Vulcan Trotters Free For All at Tabcorp Park Melton, where a victory would send him over the elite seven-figure mark. Meanwhile, Spotlight The Valley, a son of Skyvalley, became the 14th progeny of his sire to top the $100,000 plateau in New Zealand recently. Skyvalley, second on the All Aged list again this year, left winners in four different states during April. Besides Tornado Valley, Skyvalley produced the impressive Aldebaran Park Vicbred Home Grown Classic two-year-old heat winner Aldebaran Misty (1:59.7), the Melton winners Hattie and the three-year-old filly Kyvalleyhoneybunny, the Gloucester Park winner On Fast Forward, Nerveracking (Globe Derby Park) and Kyvalley Boomerang (Penrith). Actually, three of Skyvalley’s winners were bred and raised at Aldebaran Park in Aldebaran Misty, On Fast Forward and Hattie. Another Aldebaran Park-bred trotter, Aldebaran Crescent, maintained her devastating form this year, accounting for a smart field at Melton in a 1:59.3 rating over 2240 metres. The NZ-bred Group winner Aldebaran Alissa, a four-year-old mare part-owned by Aldebaran Park, notched her fifth success this year at Globe Derby Park and will continue her career in South Australia with the astute Ryan Hyrhorec. In further news, the American-bred Aldebaran Revani, who won twice – including a 1:54.8 effort at three – and was three times placed from 10 starts for New Jersey horseman Jonas Czernyson, and who arrived in Australia in February, has completed pre-training at Aldebaran Park and is now in work with Luke and Belinda McCarthy in NSW. Aldebaran Park and its resident champion sire made an impact at the inaugural Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale at Oaklands Junction. Aldebaran Park principal Duncan McPherson shelled out $80,000 for a lovely Muscle Mass filly out of the Vicbred and Breeders Crown champion Reina Danzante 1:57.1 ($97,488), a half-sister to former trotting queen Dance Craze. Skyvalley figured as the damsire of two of the highest priced trotting yearlings, one out of Aldebaran Eve, who fetched $66,000, and the other from Gypsy Flair, who fetched $60,000. HRV - Aldebaran Park

Skyvalley’s outstanding son Tornado Valley was crowned as the Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters Champion for 2019/20. A win in the $250,000 Great Southern Star and a brave second in the $100,000 Australian Trotting Prix at Melton were enough for the Andy Gath trained gelding to secure the points score title. Skyvalley enjoyed another huge month with his progeny winning in three different states. They included two ‘new’ winners in Hattie and Come At Me, who were both bred by Aldebaran Park and sold at the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale, Blis Valley, the three-year-old Skybreeze and Aldebaran Poppy – also bred by Aldebaran Park and sold at the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale. Skyvalley’s stallion deeds continue to soar as he also figured as the Damsire of the brilliant winner of the Group 1 $100,000 Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, Banglez – T2 - 2.01.9 - $61,700. Skyvalley finished second on the All Aged sires’ list with $1,152,196 in stakemoney and fourth on the 3YO table with $253,237. He was the leading colonial bred stallion in both premierships. The Aldebaran Park bred and Australasian Premier Trotting Sale graduate filly Aldebaran Ursula (by Yield Boko) lowered her own Australasian two-year-old mile record to 1:55.7 when she effortlessly won the inaugural Group 3 The Graeme Lang Aldebaran Park Trotting Mile at Bendigo. She won five of her 13 starts for the season. Rain Mist And Muscle NZ, a four-year-old mare owned by Aldebaran Park, won twice at Alexandra Park, Auckland in December and has now won four races and $43,122 in stakes. On the sales front, Aldebaran Park has nominated 9 yearlings – the largest draft by any vendor – for the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale to be held at the Oaklands Junction auditorium on Sunday, February 7. All our Yearlings - Pedigrees, Photos and Videos are be available to be viewed at the Yearlings Sales and Preparation section of our website at   www. aldebaranpark.com from 26th February 2021 or at www.austrottingsale.com.au The consignment comprises four colts and three fillies by the exciting first crop sire ALDEBARAN EAGLE USA, colts by the highly credentialled sires Father Patrick and Love You and a filly by the world champion two-year-old Southwind Frank. Highlights include: Lot 106 - A Father Patrick half-brother to the Group winner Hotjane Bling 1:53.9 ($132,230) Lot 131 - The first foal of Zhenya ($108,499), a filly by Aldebaran Eagle Usa. Lot 127 - A Love You half-brother to three winners from Aldebaran Sunset NZ Lot 138 - A Southwind Frank filly from the family of About Now, Now Another Look and Some Direction from Aldebaran Crumpet. Lot 115 - An Aldebaran Eagle colt from the Group placegetter Naked Majesty (1:59.7) This Seasons foals continue arriving at Aldebaran Park – Australia - this spring. The new arrivals in December are: Aldebaran Campbell: Muscle Hill USA – Aldebaran Turnpike USA – COLT. And in New Zealand. Cyclone L Ko NZ – Father Patrick USA – FILLY Dream Belle NZ – Muscle Mass USA – COLT U Dream NZ – Tactical Landing USA - COLT On the Stallion Front – Again this month, Bookings continue to be received for both our stallions Skyvalley NZ and Aldebaran Eagle USA – where our promotion “Fresh is Best” is certainly attracting plenty of support – and of course for Yield Boko Se – our Multiple Derby winning Swedish Stallion who is available via Frozen Semen. There is no doubt that the enhanced VicBred scheme announced by Harness Racing Victoria has stimulated Victorian Broodmare owners which will see an increase in trotting numbers in coming seasons We encourage you to visit our website at www.aldebaranpark.com for further information. We are “Hot to Trot” at Aldebaran Park.   Aldebaran Park

The Aldebaran Park bred and raised Aldebaran Ursula and Aldebaran Selena are the two richest, fastest and winningest two-year-old trotting fillies for the 2019/20 season to date. Aldebaran Ursula (by YIELD BOKO Se) has won three of her five starts including three heats of the NSW Foundation Series, earned $16,220 and established a new Australian mile record for one her age, gait and sex of 1:59.1 at Menangle. Meanwhile, Aldebaran Selena has won three races including a heat and the Final of the inaugural Queensland Springboard Series (Listed) at Albion Park and $15,187. Aldebaran Park’s reputation as one of the leaders in the production of quality trotting stock was further reinforced in August with eight individual winners bred or raced by the Nagambie facility. The list is headed up by Aldebaran Tess NZ, who completed a winning hat trick at Ballarat, the 1:58 Menangle winner Hotjane Bling (by EILEAN DONON USA) and the dual Terang victor ALDEBARAN ROCKY (by EILEAN DONON USA). Other Aldebaran Park bred or owned winners were the three-year-old filly Aldebaran Belle NZ, Aldebaran Sundown (by SKYVALLEY NZ), Aldebaran Crescent and Kyvalley Kyrie. Our resident stallion SKYVALLEY NZ led in seven individual winners for the month to advance his seasonal tally to 30. He sired the winners of $832,692 in prizemoney and was again clearly the leading colonial bred sire in 2019/20. Besides Aldebaran Sundown, SKYVALLEY NZ was represented by Nerveracking, who has now won five of her past six starts, the metropolitan winners Orlando’s Princess (Melton), Skyline (Albion Park) and Gap Year (Gloucester Park), the three-year-old filly Daring Angel and the Invercargill, New Zealand winner Spotlight The Valley NZ (Tr 2:02.1  - $89,984). Godofthunder, a five-year-old gelding and one of the first crop of our frozen sire YIELD BOKO Se, posted his eighth win and took his earnings to beyond $50,000 at Globe Derby Park recently. From his initial crop of 15 foals, YIELD BOKO Se has left seven starters and six winners. On the international front, the Aldebaran Park-owned Aldebaran Revani USA and part- owned Syrinx Minx USA are both competing strongly in the rich Pennsylvania Sires Stake and Stallion Series program, while the three-year-old filly Kela Hale Boko Se, owned by Aldebaran Park and trained from Menhammar Stuteri in Sweden, is now being readied to qualify at the famous Solvalla racetrack – the home of the Elitloppet in Stockholm. Sermon USA, a three-year-old full brother to Aldebaran Park’s exciting, young sire ALDEBARAN EAGLE USA, captured a division of the Kentucky Commonwealth Series at The Red Mile in 1:54.   by Peter Wharton

Aldebaran Zeus and Aldebaran Ursula, the two harness racing leading two-year-old trotters in the country at present, were both bred and raised at Aldebaran Park’s Nagambie property. Aldebaran Ursula, a filly by the Swedish bred Yield Boko, established a fresh national record for two-year-old fillies of 1:59.1, winning a heat of the NSW Foundation Series at Menangle in May. The KerryAnn Morris trained filly has won three of her four starts so far and will be well in line for Saturday night’s $15,300 Final. Meanwhile, Aldebaran Zeus gave a taste of his class when he soundly trounced his rivals at Kilmore from a 10 metre handicap. The brilliant colt has won twice with an unlucky second and fourth from four starts and looks every bit as good as experienced judges rate him. Promising colt Kyvalley Heist NZ became the third juvenile trotting winner bred by Aldebaran Park this season when he saluted the judge at Cranbourne. Skyvalley, second on this season’s All Aged Trotting sires’ list, left winners in three States during May. Pink Galahs, a very smart three-year-old filly, won twice including a lifetime best 1:58.8 effort at Melton and boasts six wins and three placings from 11 attempts. The Globe Derby Park victors All That Glitters (2YO filly) and Nerveracking and Kyvalley Boomerang (Menangle) were other recent winners by Skyvalley. Forever Kronos, who came from near last to score at Kilmore, provided a further boost to the stocks of Yield Boko, who has the amazing score of siring seven winners and a placegetter from 22 Australian bred foals. Farbio, a son of Aldebaran Yankee scored twice at Globe Derby Park including one off a 20 metre handicap. He has won eight races to date. Cyclone L Ko NZ¸ a royally bred five-year-old mare by Muscle Hill and in foal to Father Patrick, has joined the broodmare band at Aldebaran Park. A smart racemare herself, she ranks as a half-sister to seven winners including the Group 1 winners Glenferrie Typhoon Tr 1:53.5 ($548,989) and Cyclone U Bolt Tr 1:54.5 ($230,225). Australasia’s fastest ever trotting mare, Maori Time, whose tilt at the 2018 Elitloppet in Sweden was sponsored by Aldebaran Park, has a 42 day positive test to the Prix d’Amerique and European champion stallion Readly Express. The mare is based at the prestige Menhammar Stuteri stud in Sweden. We look forward to celebrating the deeds of her Swedish born offspring. Peter Wharton

The Aldebaran Park bred and reared Aldebaran Ursula is Australia’s top two-year-old trotting filly to date this harness racing season. The Yield Boko filly led most of the way to capture the NSW Trotters Foundation heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle in 2:00.5 at only her second appearance. To watch the replay of Aldebaran Ursula click here With Aldebaran Zeus firmly cementing his position as the leading juvenile trotting colt, Aldebaran Park can claim the distinction of breeding both the top male and female trotters in their division in the same year. Another pair of Aldebaran Park bred young trotters, Aldebaran Dianna and Aldebaran Sundown, were very impressive trial winners at Melton and Maryborough respectively and both should be entering the winning lists in the near future. The Aldebaran Park sired Scenic Sky (by Skyvalley) and Hotjane Bling (by Eilean Donon) both joined the exclusive ‘$100,000 Club’ recently, Scenic Sky winning at Menangle and Hotjane Bling placing at the same track. Skyvalley has been represented by 12 individual $100,000 winners so far. Other stud sired winners recently have been Classy Spirit (by Eilean Donon), Forever Kronos (by Yield Boko) and the Aldebaran Yankee sired Farbio and Tip Top Grandpa. Yield Boko boasts the amazing score of siring seven winners and a placegetter from 10 starters from 22 foals of racing age! Chezmac, an Aldebaran Park bred pacer, notched her seventh success at Menangle in April in a career-best 1:55.7. Regal Pepperell, the winner of the 2019 Maori’s Idol Trophy and a string of country cups, has joined the impressive broodmare band at Aldebaran Park. During her career Regal Pepperell won 11 races with 10 placings, earned $102,188 and took a mile mark of 1:58.9. A particularly well bred mare, she is closely related to the dual Vicbred champion and 2YO Trotter of the Year Our First Jewel and the Dullard Cup and Interdom heat winner Viva La Fever. Peter Wharton

Aldebaran Park, the Victorian-based standardbred breeding establishment specialising in trotting stock, will break new ground for Australian harness racing in North America this year. The trotting filly Aldebaran Boko, who was bred and raised at Aldebaran Park, will be offered at the famed Lexington Selected Yearling Sale during Red Mile Week starting on October 6. She is the first Australian bred standardbred – pacer or trotter – ever to be sold at a USA yearling sale. The filly is a daughter of former world champion racehorse and USA 2YO and 3YO Trotter of the Year - Father Patrick Tr 3, 1:50.4 ($2.5 million), whose first two crops have earned $7.5 million including an outstanding colt in Greenshoe Tr 3, 1:49.8 ($1.3 million), last year’s USA Trotter of the Year, and a top filly in Sister Sledge Tr 2, 1:53.2 ($555,313). Endsino – the dam of the filly, won 11 races including four at Group level, earned $185,203 in stakes and took a mile record of 1:58.1 as a three-year-old and was in the top flight of juveniles - both colts and fillies - of her era. Endsino is bred ‘in the purple’, being by the great Angus Hall from Jauriol Tr 1:59.9, a Group 1 winner and a former Australian 2YO and 3YO Trotter of the Year and the winner of 22 races – including seven at two years  - and $248,824 in stakemoney. The Father Patrick filly is the first foal of Endsino and one of the second ‘down under’ crop of Father Patrick. She has since produced a colt foal by the American-bred Aldebaran Eagle Tr 3, 1:52.2 ($240,926). She was bred by Aldebaran Park and sold as a weanling to John Bootsman, principal of Boko Farms, Holland, the leading breeder in Sweden in 2020 to date this season and a regular visitor and purchaser of Aldebaran Park juvenile yearlings and weanlings. Aldebaran Park principal Duncan McPherson OAM said the filly promises to strike another blow in his quest for internationalization and globalization of the trotter in Australia. “It will be a very interesting to see how the filly shapes up in the Sales arena against the best the USA has to offer - we are keen to show the Northern Hemisphere that Aldebaran Park Australia and indeed Southern Hemisphere breeders can produce top quality trotting yearlings here in Australia thus providing greater opportunities for breeders and purchasers the world over,” McPherson said. The filly will be prepared for the Lexington Sale by the renowned Hunterton Farm in Kentucky, managed by Steve and Cindy Stewart. By Peter Wharton

Aldebaran Park produced the quinella pair, Keayang Ignite and Aldebaran Knox, in a heat of the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic for harness racing three-year-old colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park Melton. A fortnight later Keayang Ignite led throughout in the Group 1 $50,000 Final, winning by 17 metres in a 1:59.6 rate for 1720 metres with the last 800 in 57.5 and the final 400 in a stunning 27.9. A $15,000 buy at the 2018 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale for the Levarg Racing Group, the colt has banked $37,980 from four wins in as many starts. Aldebaran Park is offering a half-brother Keayang Ignite by exciting first crop sire Aldebaran Eagle as Lot 268 at the APTS sale at Oaklands Junction on Sunday, February 2. Aldebaran Eagle   17th Group success Tornado Valley NZ, Skyvalley’s most outstanding son and the reigning Trotter of the Year, grabbed his 17th Group success when he won the Group 3 Aldebaran Park Bruce Skeggs Memorial Trotters Cup at Cranbourne for the second time. The gelding has now won 31 races. My Skypocket and Black Valley, both members of Skyvalley first crop, became his sire’s ninth and 10th $100,000 earners when they won at Melton and Albion Park respectively. Skyvalley's bonny daughter Fear Not, who was bred by Aldebaran Park, notched win No.7 at Ballarat, coming off a 30 metre handicap to send her stake tally over the $140,000 mark. With six crops racing, Skyvalley has left 55 individual winners from 85 starters in Australia – a 65 percent strike rate – and they have amassed over $3 million in stakes, an average of $35,000 per starter. Ten have earned in excess of $100,000 and 24 have banked over $50,000. Skyvalley   Cup triumph Godofthunder, a gelding by frozen semen sire Yield Boko, won for the sixth time in the Trotters Cup at Launceston, while Aldebaran Bonny, a five-year-old gelding part-owned by Aldebaran Park scored his second win at Cambridge Raceway, New Zealand. New arrivals New foalings at Aldebaran Park: Colt: Endsino – Aldebaran Eagle Colt: Sundonna – Aldebaran Eagle By Peter Wharton

Harness Racing Australia, along with partners Travronden and Aldebaran Park are delighted to announce the inaugural winners of the Australian – Swedish Young Drivers Exchange. New South Welshman Cameron Hart will be the inaugural Australian representative in the famed Guldklockan series, which has been renamed the Aldebaran Park presents Travronden’s Gold Watch in December 2020 after finishing as the leading Australian driver in the recent Australasian Young Drivers Championship in New Zealand. Twenty year old Hart, a winner of 257 races in his career, drove three winners in the AYDC and is delighted to represent his country in Stockholm, Sweden. Swedish driver Anders Eriksson (29), will represent Sweden in the 2020 AYDC in Sydney after winning the Guldklockan final at Sovalla overnight. Eriksson, who works for legendary Swedish trainer Svante Bath has won 33 races for the season for earnings of more than $600,000AUD. Speaking with Travronden’s Dennis Engelbo, Eriksson was thrilled to win the Gold Watch, ‘‘It was really positive winning the Gold Watch. It feels honorable to be able to represent Sweden in Australia next year.” The three year Australian – Swedish Young Driver Exchange partnership between HRA, Travronden and Aldebaran Park is aimed to develop and young harness racing talent between the two countries and continue to strengthen Harness Racing Australia's vision of increased association with international partners. For any further enquires, contact Travronden's Project Manager Dennis Engelbo on +46 72 076 88 46 or Andrew Kelly, Chief Executive of Harness Racing Australia on +61 488 358 285.   Harness Racing Australia

The Aldebaran Park bred and raised Aldebaran Knox, who set the trotting world abuzz when he sold for an Australian record price of $90,000 at the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale in 2018, made an auspicious debut at Maryborough on November 25.   The big, muscular bay three-year-old colt took full advantage of a perfect pocket drive from trainer Matt Craven to reel off a flying last 800 in 58.8 to leave his rivals struggling in his wake.   Aldebaran Knox is the third foal of his dam, Kyvalley Aldebaran NZ, a half-sister to Aldebaran Park’s champion resident sire SKYVALLEY and dam of an earlier winner in Imahe Man (Tr 2:00).   Kyvalley Aldebaran NZ has since produced a two-year-old filly by Love You and a yearling filly by Trixton and is carrying a positive test to Tactical Landing.   The next Aldebaran Knox?   Yearling sale purchasers looking for the next Aldebaran Knox are advised to check out the Aldebaran Park yearling draft for the 2020 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale on Sunday, February 2.   The seven-prong draft – five colts and two fillies – includes the first crop of exciting newcomer ALDEBARAN EAGLE, featuring a half-sister to the Breeders Crown 2YO champion Kyvalley Kyrie and Fear Not ($131,415).   The draft is spearheaded by a Love You colt out of a half-sister to the multiple Group winner Cold Sister Tr 1:57.2 ($262,321), a SKYVALLEY colt from the Victoria Trotters Derby winner Jingling Silver Tr 1:58.4 ($191,322) and a Trixton half-brother to the Maori Legend winner Aldebaran Shelly.   VSTA Awards   Duncan McPherson OAM, the principal of Aldebaran Park, and SKYVALLEY’s champion son Tornado Valley were recipients of major awards at the Victorian Square Trotters Association Awards Night held at Melton recently.   McPherson was presented with the inaugural Bob Conroy Award for Excellence in Trotting, while Tornado Valley was the unanimous choice for 2018/19 Victorian Trotter of the Year.   Aldebaran Park sponsor young drivers   As part of Duncan McPherson’s vision to globalise and internationalise trotting and investing and promoting its young participants, Aldebaran Park is a joint partner with Harness Racing Australia and leading Swedish media company Travronden in a driver exchange program for the leading Australian and Swedish young drivers.   The three-year deal will see the leading Australian driver in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship invited to drive in the famed Swedish Guldklockan (Gold Watch) series held at Sovalla, Stockholm in December each year.   Conversely, the winner of the Gold Watch will be invited to compete in the AYDC the following year, being the first time a non-Australasian driver will compete in the series since its inception in 1993.   McPherson said: “Our future is based on bringing in and retaining more young people in the sport. For me, it feels absolutely right to sponsor a competition series like this.”   The series in Sweden has been renamed Aldebaran Park presents Travronden’s Gold Watch.   Hotjane Bling is hot!   On the racing front, the Aldebaran Park bred Hotjane Bling, a daughter of EILEAN DONON, earned a new speed badge of 1:53.9 for the flying mile at Menangle on November. Earlier in the month the six-year-old carved out the mile in 1:55.8 with the last half in 56.1.   SKYVALLEY, who is in third position on this season’s Sire Premiership, left five individual winners for the month headed up by Kyvalley Finn, who overcame a 10 metre handicap to annex the St Arnaud Trotters Cup and put up a new lifetime mark of 2:00 for 2240 metres at Melton.   Kash Valley, who won twice off long handicap marks in NZ, the Melton winner Myrtle Vale, Black Valley (Redcliffe) and Rememberme (Globe Derby Park) were other recent winners sired by SKYVALLEY.   Meanwhile, Godofthunder gave a further boost to the stocks of YIELD BOKO in winning at Globe Derby for the fifth time.   November foals   New arrivals at Aldebaran Park in November: Filly: Aldebaran Miley (Magic Mason - Father Patrick) Filly: Aldebaran Chloe (Aldebaran Crumpet - Southwind Frank) Filly: Aldebaran Dahla (Aldebaran Daisy – Aldebaran Eagle)   Colt: Aldebaran Buddy (Sundon’s Babe – Aldebaran Eagle)     By Peter Wharton   for  Aldebaran Park Stud

“Trotting in Australia and New Zealand needs to be part of the world scene,” says a recent visitor to Southland, Aldebaran Parks principal Duncan McPherson. McPherson attended the Winton Harness meeting in April as a guest of Southern Harness and HRNZ Board Member Kevin McNaught. Aldebaran were also sponsors of the Gold Chip Super Final, one of the features of the days racing.  Aldebaran Park is an agistment and breeding organization with its ‘home’ farm in the heart of the Goulburn Valley region in Victoria but it also has branches in America and Sweden. Aldebaran was set up by McPherson and well known Australian trainer Chris Lang and his wife Sharon. “We rate ourselves as an international destination for trotters in the world and we started with Aldebaran Park in 2004. Chris and Sharon are great mates of mine and my father started with Graeme (Lang) back in 1962. Chris came to me and said we should get together and have some horses. The irony is that my late wife, myself, Chris and Sharon all have the star sign Taurus. The brightest star in the Taurus constellation is Aldebaran so that’s where the name came from,” said McPherson. Duncan says the family connection goes further back than Aldebaran. His grandmother visited New Zealand in 1954 and bought horses out of Southland. “We had the opportunity to buy the good ones but never had the money to.” His father also visited New Zealand in the 1960s and bought a horse called Eden.  “She was by Morris Eden. Her best progeny was Rebecca Campbell. She won the 1975 Youthful Stakes and the 1976 South Australia Oaks.” Eden was bred by the late Ted Lowe and was out of Cavendish which was a half-sister to the useful pacers Globe Direct (13 wins) and Chief Lochiel (9 wins). Aldebaran these days concentrates on the trotting market and has about thirty five well bred mares under it’s name including one of the Australia’s greats, Maori Time. She won twenty four of her sixty six starts including the Group One 2013 NSW Trotting Oaks, The Trotters Mile at Menangle and the 2016 and 2017 Aldebaran B Collins Trot. She won a total of $421,301 in stakes. “Maori Time raced in the Elitloppett in Sweden. She’s heading for motherhood with Readly Express which won the Group One European Championship.”      Aldebaran also consigns yearlings to the Australian and New Zealand Trotting Sales. At the 2018 Prydes Australian Premier Trotting Sale they sold a full brother to Maori Time for $60,000. They also sold three trotters in this year’s NZB Standardbred Christchurch Sale. Southlander Wayne McEwan bought Aldebaran Fawkes (Love You – Solar Power) for $21,000, KPC Racing Australia bought Aldebaran White Sox (Muscle Hill – U Dream) for $50,000 and Aldebaran Floss (Muscle Hill – Another Love) sold for $25,000.   They also have two resident stallions on farm in Victoria - Group One USA winner Aldebaran Walkabout (Muscle Hill - Letsjustalkboutme -USA T3 1.52.2) and Skyvalley - NZ T 1.56.2 (Muscles Yankee - Chiolas Lass NZ). McPherson knows Southland has produced some great pacing horses over the years but says it now has the opportunity to get fully into breeding world class trotters. “In Australia we have very brown paddocks and are hard feeding. If we can understand where our food bowl is and where our potential outcome needs to be, I think there’s an opportunity to breed world class horses here in Southland.” He says breeders in New Zealand and Australia now have access to the best trotting genetics in the world. “We need to understand that we’ve been behind in our breeding. I always said it’s a twelve to fifteen year programme for us to catch up but as long as we’ve got our Muscle Hill and Dream Vacation mares we can probably catchup a bit quicker. I think we’re between year eight and year ten at the moment. Australian and New Zealand Trotting has one of the fastest growing gene pools in the world. We can now go to studs in America and Europe and command some respect. Fifteen years ago they frowned upon us.” And he says Australasia has the fastest growing sub two minute trotting gene pool in the world. “We are breeding greater number of trotters than ever before. Finland only has between 150 and 200 broodmares. Australia has a gene pool of between 800 and 1000 mares.”         Aldebaran also has a strong profile in America and is breeding horses in Australia to Northern Hemisphere time and then sending them to America to be trained. “Our trainer up there is Jonas Czernyson and he’s won five grand circuit races in the last six years for us. Why do we send horses to America to race? We need to send a statement to the rest of the world that our trotters are internationally relevant.” They also purchase well bred trotting stock out of America and bring them back to Australia. “We were very fortunate. We bought a Cantab Hall filly at the 2010 Lexington Sales. We bought her to Australia and put her in foal to Muscle Hill and that foal Aldabaron Walkabout won the Bluegrass - a grand circuit race in America last season at Kentucky at the Red Mile. To send a weanling to America and win a stakes race like that is a great thrill.” As part of their commitment to making the Australian Trotting stock more international they continue to buy fillies with international pedigrees and breed foals to Southern Hemisphere time.   “We buy fillies from all round the world and impregnate them to southern hemisphere time and then import them back into Australia. We’ve been doing that programme for six to eight years. We now have a global gene pool at Aldebaran Park in Australia. We have Readly Express fillies, Viking Kronas fillies and Credit Winner colts. We think we can now take the sport to another level.” They also have a presence in Sweden and have horses trained by Pasi Aikio, head trainer at Menhammar Stuteri. Aldebaran are big sponsors of trotting in Australia and their sponsorships include naming rights to the Aldebaran Park Mile Rate at Tabcorp Park, the Monte Series and the Vicbred Super Series for Trotters. They also sponsor the Maori Mile at the Bendigo Harness Racing Club which is the richest Group One sprint for open class trotters held in regional Australia.  Their sponsorships now extend to New Zealand with the $20,000 Aldebaran Park Trotters Super Gold Chip Final at Winton. Aldebaran Park is also a strong advocate of the HERO program in Victoria which sees the re-education and re-homing of Standardbreds following their racing and stud careers. They’re also partners of the Harness Breeders Victoria "Follow the Foal" programme. McPherson says that Aldebaran, through all promotions and sponsorships support their Charity Partner - Women's Cancer Foundation, raising awareness of Ovarian Cancer through support of the Team Teal (New Zealand) and Teal Pants (Australia). “I think we have an opportunity through Team Teal to endear ourselves to the general public and to make our sport socially relevant. You then have an opportunity to attract sponsors. Sponsors equal ownership and ownership equals demand on progeny.”   Bruce Stewart

Big dreams are bubbling in Andy Gath’s harness racing stable as Tornado Valley’s Victorian domination lays the groundwork for a European tilt. The seven-year-old Skyvalley gelding continued his winning ways with victory at Tabcorp Park Melton in Saturday night’s Aldebaran Park 2019 Maori Mile, stopping the clock in a 1:54.1 mile rate, just 0.2 of a second outside the record set by Sparkling Success last year. Comparisons are noteworthy given Sparkling Success was set for a Yonkers campaign before injury cruelled John Meade’s trotter only days before he was about to head to New York, and now the international spotlight has fixed firmly on Tornado Valley. The former Kiwi trotter has been linked with the May 26 Elitloppet in Sweden, contested last year by fellow Victorian Maori Time, and interest is building as briskly as the Group 1 wins are being notched. Andy Gath told trots interviewer Paul Campbell he and Tornado Valley’s owner Norm Jenkin met with Harness Racing Australia chair Michael Taranto in the wake of Tornado Valley’s TAB Inter Dominion win. “Probably before then we didn’t have a lot of interest, but since we sat down, spoke to Michael we are pretty keen,” Gath said. “The timing of it’s perfect for him, because he’s not missing out on anything on this side of the world. We will get a few more big races and then sit down and work out which way we are going to go with him. “If he comes through it good, we’d love to go. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a great opportunity.” Principle among those “big races” is the January 26 Whatthehill Great Southern Star, the $250,000 trot that’s part of night one of the TAB Summer Of Glory. It will be an opportunity for Tornado Valley to add to his four Group 1 wins since joining Gath’s stable in February, success that has continued with his present eight-race winning streak. “He’s 18 out of 22 since we got him in Australia and a couple of times he got beat we had a few excuses for,” Gath said. “To keep getting the job done against quality opposition, it’s a great thrill to have a horse like him.” Those qualities were on display Saturday night when he found the front with ease and controlled proceedings, winning by 1.3m from Gavin Lang’s Save Our Pennys. “Obviously his gate speed’s such a great weapon and he used it again tonight. Such a beautifully gaited horse, he’s a pleasure to train, keeps winning these Group 1s and it’s lucky for us to have him.” Tornado Valley’s potential European bid is music to the ears of Aldebaran Park principal Duncan McPherson, whose stud sponsored Bendigo’s showcase trot. “A horse such as Tornado Valley can put Southern Hemispherical racing on the map around the world and follow in the footsteps of Maori Time and the opportunities offered to Sparkling Success,” Mr McPherson said. “To think that in the space of 12 months potentially there are three international invitations to our trotters. They are starting to take our product down here as a serious threat on a global scale and I think it’s just absolutely wonderful. “I’d love to see Tornado Valley take them on overseas, he’s got blinding gate speed and we saw that again tonight. That’s a weapon we should be able to use. The rest of the world was watching tonight and they were watching after the Inter Dominion. There are invitations there.” Trots Media - Michael Howard

Australia's premier all-trotting night will next year showcase the Seelite Windows and Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix, strengthening the metropolitan squaregait celebration. The $100,000 Group 1 feature will be staged on Saturday, March 11, amid the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed night, which features the culmination of Harness Racing Victoria's Teal Pants Promotion in aid of the Women's Cancer Foundation. With all races to be beamed into European markets, night proponent Duncan McPherson, principal of Aldebaran Park, said the Group 1's addition would ensure the region's best trotters would be on show. "The internationalisation of the sport continues to advance our industry and nights like this show to the world the trotting gait is alive and well," Mr McPherson said. "In races such as the Grand Prix, Need for Speed and Breed for Speed finals you will see horses cracking two minutes and it will no doubt enhance opportunities going forward." The Seelite Windows and Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix last year featured as part of the Summer of Glory on Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup night, but next year's staging on March 11 will see it run in addition to the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed and Need for Speed finals. The move follows the transfer of the Group 1 $300,000 Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star to February 4, the night of the Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup, having previously been scheduled on the all-trotting night. The Summer of Glory will retain two free-for-all features, with the $50,000 Haras Des Trotteurs V. L. Dullard Cup to now run on Victoria Cup night (January 28) ahead of the super Saturday (February 4) featuring the $500,000 Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup and $300,000 Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star. The bolstering of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed night was welcomed by trots owner Michael Taranto, managing director of Seelite Windows and Doors, which sponsors the Australian Trotting Grand Prix. "Previously the Great Southern Star was the showcase free-for-all, but it has been moved as part of the Summer of Glory carnival and HRV has been good enough to reallocate a metro free-for-all trot to the night in the Seelite Windows and Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix," Mr Taranto said. "From a sponsor's point of view I'm extremely happy with that and it's a great result that the Seelite Windows and Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix will be showcased on one of only two metro all-trotting race nights of the year (the other being the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Trotting Finals night). "It also features the culmination of the month of teal in recognition of the cancer foundation and to be associated with that as well is fantastic." Mr McPherson said women's health would be front and centre through the night's support of the Women's Cancer Foundation, which includes female drivers wearing teal pants from February 1 to March 11 to raise awareness and money. "This gives Harness Racing Victoria a massive opportunity to expose itself to the community and be a parent group in raising awareness around women's health," Mr McPherson said. The above schedule changes are subject to ratification at the Harness Racing Australia meeting on Friday. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

The lure of southern riches has proved too strong for Queensland trotter Our Overanova. With the Victorian Summer of Glory carnival set to launch this weekend and with the squaregaiting talent at an all-time high, harness racing fans have never had it better. And with this amazing depth spread across the southern hemisphere and most of it converging on Melbourne in the coming months, spots in these feature events will be as hard to gain as victory itself. The Gr.1 $300,000 Great Southern Star on March 12 at TABCORP Park, Melton is the main event. Originally, connections of Our Overanova were planning on starting in the Gr.3 $20,000 Aldebaran Park Melton Trotters Cup on Saturday week at Melton but a change of plans occurred following the decision from the Grant Dixon stable to chase a spot in the Victoria Derby. Dixon has both Frankie Rocks and Leos Best engaged in heats of the Derby series at Ballarat this weekend, therefore, the team is flying south this week. “It doesn’t really change too much for us with Nova, rather than starting next week, we will now start in a heat of the trotting championship instead. He’s come back in good form following his let-up and we were always heading to Melbourne to chase some of the bigger races.” Owner Greg Mitchell said. Our Overanova starts in a heat of the Gr.1 $50,000 Apco Australasian Trotting Championship series, the final is scheduled for next week at Melton. The Monarchy gelding has won two of his three starts this campaign, both victories coming under mobile conditions while his defeat came after starting from a 50m handicap at Albion Park. “The mobile start victories have been really good, he was just outside of the track record first-up after racing without cover while his latest victory was also very thorough. I was hoping to see him crush them but that’s not really his style. “Looking back at his sole defeat this campaign, we backed up him within a week after recording such fast time and he also had the big handicap. It was a little ambitious on our part but he’s taken no harm from it and we’re good to go this weekend.” Our Overanova is no stranger to Melbourne after filling placing’s in the E B Cochran Trotters Cup, Uncle Petrika FFA and the Bruce Skeggs Memorial Trotters Cup last year. Now the seasoned trotter returns and is ready to take on the best. And he faces the best this weekend with boom Kiwi performer Monbet drawn in his heat, the Greg Hope trained star is a winner of his past four starts which includes three features. “There’s no hiding anymore, not at this level and you must be prepared to beat the best if you’re going to win the best races. Monbet looks very exciting while Arboe looks like she could be just as good, if not better but we were always going to meet this grade of trotter at some stage. “I think our guy will race well again, he hasn’t seen the front-line under standing start conditions for some time and the distance will suit him. He’s a very solid trotter and he always performs so I’m confident he can qualify.” Our Overanova is expected to back-up in the Gr.1 $100,000 Seelite Windows & Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix at Melton on February 6. by Chris Barsby  

Sunday's $84,000 Aldebaran Park Australasian Breeders Crown final for two year old colt and gelding trotters at Tabcorp Park Melton  looked a two horse war on paper and that's how it turned out but it wasn't the two horses everybody thought would fight out the finish. Conon Bridge from the Paul Nairn barn was a warm favourite after drawing barrier one and his main danger was expected to be Sundons Courage from the Chris Angove barn who was drawn on Conon Bridge's back at one on the second line. One driver who thought he might be able to upset those predictions was Todd MacFarlane, the trainer driver of Cyclone Chief who had drawn in close at barrier four. Speaking to Harnesslink pre race, Todd thought that Sundons Courage lack of early speed presented an opportunity for him to get across and trail Conon Bridge. And that is exactly how it turned out. After a false start at the first attempt, Conon Bridge burned off the gate at the second attempt leaving a big gap for Cyclone Chief to slot into with Sundons Courage settling three back on the inner. Conon Bridge's driver Bob Butt was in no great hurry in front and with no mid race pressure he had a pretty soft run in front. Passing the 800 metres Bob upped the tempo with a quarter down the back in 29,8 which had most of the field battling before the turn. Cyclone Chief had dropped off a length or two but was still close enough on the corner to be a threat. Half way up the straight Conon Bridge looked home but late in the piece Cyclone Chief surged up on the inner and injected real excitement into the finish. At which point Conon Bridge ducked sideways and inconveniced Cyclone Chief. No sooner had Conon Bridge being declared the winner, than the siren went with Todd alleging the interference had cost him the win. Sitting in on the enquiry, the point the stewards returned to several times was the fact that Todd, even though he had been checked, had not stopped driving Cyclone Chief over the final stages. After a short adjournment, the stewards came back with a finding that while Cyclone Chief had been checked, Todd hadn't stopped driving the horse over the final stages and the close proximity to the finish line led them to dismiss the objection. They did however fine Bob Butt $250 for failing to correct Conon Bridge immediately when he ducked in. Bob Butt was relieved but confident the right decision had been made. " Conon Bridge did shift down the track but I didn't believe he had done enough to lose the race." " I think the fact Todd never stopped driving his horse helped my case," Bob said. Todd Macfarlane was dumbfounded by the decision. " I am in no doubt that if I hadn't been checked I would have won the race."' " Bob's horse has gone super and I have no complaints with anything he said in the room. " The stewards on the other hand seem to have pre-determined the outcome before the hearing had even been held." "Their performance has left a real sour taste in my mouth" Todd said. In the wash up Bob Butt should be congratulated for adding a Group 1 winning drive to his resume and kudos to Todd MacFarlane for taking the decision so professionally in the room. Harnesslink Media  

Aldebaran Eagle has held his own against some of the best 3-year-old male trotters around and now harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson is hoping the colt is ready to soar as he prepares for Saturday's Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Beal elims are part of a jam-packed card at Pocono, where eliminations for the Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers also will be contested. Aldebaran Eagle, who has won only two of 15 career races but hit the board a total of 11 times, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line in the first of three Beal eliminations. He will start from post No. 1 in the six-horse field with driver Corey Callahan. Dexter Cup winner Habitat, who starts from post three with Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The division also includes Walter White, Cruzado Dela Noche, Southwind Mozart, and Boots N Chains. The top three finishers from each Beal elimination advance to the $500,000 final on July 4 at Pocono. Aldebaran Eagle enters his race off a 1:52.1 victory over older horses in a conditioned race June 12 at the Meadowlands. He also has one second-place finish and two third-place finishes in four starts this season. He finished third in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, behind Canepa Hanover and French Laundry, and was second to Guess Whos Back in a preliminary round of the NJSS. "He's been racing pretty nicely, so we can't complain there," Czernyson said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. Now we're kind of getting to the test to see what we have. He raced in a lot of the big dances (last year). He was always there, but he kind of stayed in the shadows of the best ones. "He was kind of big and growthy as a 2-year-old, but he kept it together pretty good. He spent the whole winter in the (resistance) cart and it muscled him up good. I think that's been paying off on him. So far he's been coming along pretty good." Aldebaran Eagle is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Letsjustalkaboutme. He was purchased under the name Ramblings for $70,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes stakes-winners Ifhallscouldtalk, Armbro Hilary, and Armbro Marshall as well as Dan Patch Award winner Delmegan. Owned by Australian-based Aldebaran Park Inc., Aldebaran Eagle has earned $112,069 in his career. "I liked him from when we bought him at the sale pretty much," Czernyson said. "He was doing everything right. He's got very good owners on him. They're happy to branch out here and so far it's been working for them." Last year, Aldebaran Eagle won a division of the International Stallion Stakes at odds of 106-1. He defeated Whom Shall I Fear by a head and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Centurion ATM by a neck. "You can pretty much do whatever you want with him," Czernyson said. "He can leave pretty good, but he doesn't have to leave. If you don't want to leave with him, you don't have to. So he's pretty versatile that way." The second division of Beal eliminations features the Jimmy Takter-trained entry of Pinkman and Whom Shall I Fear, which is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Pinkman was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and Whom Shall I Fear is a full brother to Dan Patch Award winners Pastor Stephen and Father Patrick. Whom Shall I Fear starts from post four with driver David Miller and Pinkman starts from post five with driver Yannick Gingras. Nik Drennan-trained and Brian Sears-driven Guess Whos Back is the 5-2 second choice in the division, which also includes Donatomite, Honor And Serve, Centurion ATM, and Wicker Hanover. The third Beal elimination is led by Crazy Wow, who captured the Empire Breeders Classic on June 21 at Vernon Downs in a track-record 1:51.1. Crazy Wow is the 2-1 favorite from post two with Gingras driving for trainer Burke. Sharing honors as second choice at 5-2 are Shoot The Thrill and Uncle Lasse. Shoot The Thrill will leave from post one with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Dirk Simpson. Uncle Lasse, who brings a three-race win streak to the Beal and a mark of 1:51.4, starts from post six with Brett Miller at the lines for trainer Takter. Completing the field are Code Ben, Divisionist, and Billy Flynn. "The 3-year-old colts this year, there's one (good one) after another, after another, after another," Czernyson said. "There are tough horses out there. I don't think I can remember seeing so many good 3-year-old colts that have been out this early. They're just taking turns at who wants to be the fastest. It's tough to throw out anyone and say they're not good enough to be here." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

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