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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

In his own words, harness racing owner Duncan McPherson OAM is “living the dream” with his three-year-old colt Aldebaran Eagle, who will race in the New Jersey Sires Stakes Final at the Meadowlands on Sunday morning Australian time. The son of Muscle Hill / Letsjusttalkaboutme ran third in his heat in 1:52.4 and will come out the five gate in the $US100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final for three-year-old colts and geldings over a mile. “It’s an incredible experience,” a beaming McPherson said. Aldebaran Eagle will be driven by Corey Callahan and is trained by Jonas Czernyson. McPherson, the Principal at Aldebaran Park, has a passion for harness racing that has no bounds and will also get a huge thrill out of having Excellent Boku competing at Sweden’s Solvalla racetrack on the Elitlopp program on Sunday. Raced in conjunction with Michael Taranto, who also has a big week ahead with Australian and international runners – including Livin The Life in the New South Wales Trotters Derby – Excellent Boku was purchased to ultimately be exported to Australia. And as if the weekend wasn’t going to be jam-packed enough for McPherson, he will also line up Aldebaran Ay in the 2YO Ruby at the rich Harness Jewels program at Ashburton. The Colin De Filippi trained and driven filly has drawn outside the front line in the $100,000 race. By Cody Winnell

Maori Time produced a harness racing scintillating track-record run to end Keystone Del’s winning streak and take the $32,275  Aldebaran Park Maori Mile at Bendigo tonight Saturday the 17th of January. Trained and driven by masterful educator of squaregaiters Chris Lang, Maori Time, a five-year-old mare by Pegasus Spur out of Sundonna, took off at the 800m employing catch-me-if-you-can tactics – and her rivals couldn’t. She had led from the pole draw but when she hit top gear mid-race, no one was going to nab her. A 28secs third quarter saw Maori Time skip clear as Keystone Del began to paddle as he pursued the frontrunner. Elegant Image (Kate Gath for trainer Andy Gath) tracked the winner and finished on well for second, Keystone Del (Blake Fitzpatrick for trainer Nicole Molander) battling away in third place. The winner’s mile rate of 1:55.6 set a new track record over the 1650m trip at Bendigo. Stoned I Am ran well for fourth and Realmein was a nice fifth after not having much luck in the last lap. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racings 2 year old trotting filly Breeders Crown winner Arya is to stay in Australia for the immediate future which is probably not the news the owners of other smart two year trotting fillies in Australia from last season will want to hear. Arya was probably always going to be too good for her rivals in the $A87,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2year old trotting fillies lineup but Mark Purdon sealed it when Meadow Valley Road made a surprise bid for the front in the first 500 meters. Mark Purdon briefly resisted then allowed Meadow Valley Road to assume command before quickly going out and regaining the lead. It was a procession after that  as Arya went on to win by 8 meters in a 2.02.7 mile rate after two middle halves in 32.5 to set up a sprint home.  Arya, co-bred and raced by Trevor Casey who also races her half-brother Stent, is by Angus Hall from the smart Sundon racemare Belle Galleon ($116,114)  Arya has now won five of her ten starts along with four placings for stakes of $102,076. She gave Trevor Casey an unusual double in that another of his young trotters Daenerys Targaryen won the Group One Redwood Classic last year. The reason that the decision was made for Arya to stay in Australia  was to avoid a clash with another of Trevor's smart young trotters in Wanna Play 1:58.2 ($50,771) who was recently voted the New Zealand 2 year old trotter of the year in front of Arya. Trevor Casey owned Wanna Play with Natalie Rasmussen but recently brought her share out and became the sole owner of the brilliant daughter of Majestic Son. Harnesslink Media 

Here at Harnesslink, we thought we would be brave and offer our opinion on the Breeders Crown Finals as we head towards one of the seasons biggest harness racing days at Melton on Sunday. Our first preview is of the 2 year old trotters division.  2 year old Trotting Fillies Breeders Crown Final The $87,000 Aldebaran Park final for 2 year old fillies looks to be a battle between three fillies that are all sired via frozen semen and are all by stallions that are at the top of the siring charts in North America. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained daughter of Angus Hall in Arya looks very hard to beat here after an outstanding season in New Zealand which was followed up by a great second to the leading Australian male trotter in Eljaykay Phoenix in the Redwood Classic. Arya has been foolproof all season which in the 2 year old trotting ranks is a major plus and with no Endsino in the field she looks to have a class edge as well. Arya should come into five on the front line which is the perfect draw for here as she can stay out of the early rush and work to the lead without having to burn from the gate. The two main dangers to Arya have both drawn nicely on the front line and are both beautifully bred trotters. Glenferrie Burn who has drawn one is a daughter of the brilliant Muscle Hill from the 16 win Sundon mare in Adellas Dash ($102,626). She has developed as the season has progressed and looks a real chance from the draw to get a soft run. Val Gardena who has drawn three is a daughter of leading North American sire Kadabra from an Andover Hall mare. She has only missed a placing once this season in ten starts and comes into this race a last start winner. From her handy draw Blake Fitzpatrick has plenty of options with Val Gardena and she looks a major player here. Of the others Meadow Valley Road and Naked Majesty have both shown enough to be serious place chances but its hard to see them as genuine winning chances. Selections Arya clearly on top, followed by a combination of Val Gardena, Glenferrie Burn, Meadow Valley Road and Naked Majesty. 2 year old Trotting Colts/Geldings Breeders Crown Final The $87,000 Aldebaran Park Final for 2 year old colts/geldings has drawn a cracking field and the draw has only evened out the contest even more.  All the top contenders have drawn the front line with the favourite Eljaykay Phoenix fearing the worst with barrier seven. A son of champion sire Sundon, Eljaykay Phoenix has looked a class above them for most of the season but his recent defeat by Shared Interest has thrown this division wide open. Throw in his draw and the fact that all the real challengers have drawn inside him means if Eljaykay Phoneix and Joshua Aiken are going to win the final, they are going to have to do it the hard way. His main challenger is the son of Angus Hall in Shared Interest who has drawn beautifully at barrier two which gives Nathan Jack plenty of options Weather he tries to park Eljaykay Phoenix or takes a sit on his back, Shared Interest has the all round game to win the final. The chances don't end there with both Illawong Armstrong and Primz Luck capable of toppling the favoured duo if things go their way. Illawong Armstrong finally gets a good draw and Jodi Quinlan will be hoping that the favoured pair go to war which then brings her horse right into play. The enigma of the field is The Pres gelding Primz Luck whose ring craft has let him down lately but who has ability to burn as he showed in New Zealand several times. Now in the Kerryn Manning barn and to be driven by her in the final, Primz Luck threw it away on his Australian debut in the Redwood Classic. Kerryn has had five weeks since then to iron out those kinks and if he gets around on Sunday they will all know they have been to the races. Selections. Can't split the two favourites in Shared Interest and Eljaykay Phoenix due to the draws but lean a bit towards Eljaykay Phoneix on his overall record. Illawong Armstrong and Primz Luck are both live chances depending how the race is run. Throw in Kyvalley Boomerang, Fabrication and Hadrians Phoenix for trifectas and first fours.  Harnesslink Media    

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