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A G's Whitesocks and Ultimate Sniper on 17 points lead the points table for the pacers in harness racing's 2019  IRT Interdominion Championships after round one. In the trotter series the leaders are Paramount King and Winterfell on 15 points each. Australian trotter McLovin has been withdrawn from the series.   View the full points table for both pacers and trotters here!   Harness Racing New Zealand

Sending Hail Christian back to Sydney was an easy decision for Paul Court. And it only took one race to see why. The talented son of Christian Cullen blasted his way to a career-best 1min50sec mile win in the free-for-all at Menangle last night (Saturday). “There’s just no point him being in NZ,” Court said. “He had that terrific campaign in Sydney late last year and earlier this year, then came home and couldn’t win a race at home (NZ). “He loves the Menangle track, the tempo of the race and there are so many better opportunities there for him.” Hail Christian’s 10 starts back in NZ after his previous NSW stint earned him just $31,050. He pocketed $15,600 for last night’s win alone. Driver Blake Fitzpatrick settled Hail Christian three back on the inside while favourite Cash N Flow worked across in a quick 26.6sec opening quarter to lead. Things got messy halfway down the straight when Fitzpatrick angled into the clear and appeared to contact the tiring Harjeet, who went roughly. But Hail Christian exploded when clear to win by 3.2m in closing splits of 54.4 and 27.2sec. Another winner of note at Menangle was two-time Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter. The now 10-year-old’s 1min52.2sec mile win was a a another great advertisement for Shane Tritton’s ability to turn around former stars and underlined the opportunities in the NSW handicapping system. It also took Flaming Flutter’s earnings past $800,000. It was a big night for Team Tritton win a treble. The other winners were former Kiwi pair Gods Spirit and My Ruebe Star. __________________________________________________________________________________________ POPULAR WA trainer Michael “Mouse” Brennan admitted it took a while to start celebrating his latest Group 1 win with Sangue Reale. That’s largely because Sangue Reale wasn’t first past the post and had “win” the $125,000 Group 1 4YO Classic (2130m) in the stewards’ room. But, the stewards’ footage showed enough interference from “winner” Shockwave in the closing stages for the result to be overturned. “I don’t think I have ever felt that strange after winning a big race,” Brennan said. Sangue Reale stormed home and looked like running past a very gallant Shockwave before they came together in the closing stages and the margin was just a nose. And Sangue Reale’s win showed his shock second as $31 shot to $81 outsider Theo Aviator in the first of WA’s major 4YO races a couple of weeks back was no fluke. Sangue Reale was $71 again last night and Theo Aviator finished third at $51. Driver Chris “The Voak Train” Voak deserved huge credit for both his patient drive on Sangue Reale and compelling evidence in the stewards’ room. The race was ferociously contested from the start when plunge runner Bletchley Park led, but buzz pacer Wildwest worked forward and Gran Chico kicked-up in the middle. The lead time was a slick 36.4sec and a fiercely-pulling Bletchley Park then ran a scorching 57.2sec middle half. He weakened to run eighth, while Wildwest was basically eased out of the race after stopping from the 700m. Gran Chico, the recent high-priced Kiwi import, did plenty of early work then sat one-one and battled away fairly into a distant sixth spot. It all makes for a fascinating “grand final” of WA 4YO features in the Group 1 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park on December 14. __________________________________________________________________________________________ YOUNG gun trainer-driver Aiden De Campo only had to wait 24 hours to get some consolation for having the Group 1 4YO Championship win taken off him. De Campo’s drive Shockwave was first across the line, but lost on protest to Sangue Reale in the Championship. But De Campo led throughout on the rejuvenated Handsandwheels, who he trains and drives, in the $50,000 Group 2 Bunbury Cup last night (Saturday). The former WA Derby winner has found career-best form heading towards the state’s biggest races, the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups, in January. Handsandwheels worked to the front from gate six, dictated through a steady 59.9sec middle half, then zipped home in 56.4 and 28.7sec to easily hold-off Convert Denario, who trailed him. Vultan Tin closed well for third, while favourite Mighty Conqueror sat parked, never really threatened the leader and battled away fairly for fourth. The Bunbury Cup has been a strong form pointer over the years, being won by Im Themightyquinn in 2010 and last year’s winner Rocknroll Lincoln went on to win the WA Pacing Cup. __________________________________________________________________________________________ JOT down Born To Be Watched as a serious Victoria Derby player. Top trainer Emma Stewart already has nominal Derby favourite Be Happy Mach, but Born To Be Watched turn plenty of heads with a stunning debut win at Melton last night (Saturday). The Hes Watching colt did plenty of work, but roared clear to win by 19.4m in a slick 1min54.6sec, including a 27.6sec closing quarter. __________________________________________________________________________________________ IT’S great to see former megastar juvenile trotter Wobelee emerging as a serious open-class player. The now five-year-old has built nicely on the comeback trail from injury. His 10 runs have back have netted five wins and five seconds, including three wins on end. Wobelee’s Melton win last night was his 18th victory from 28 starts and took his earnings to $324,089. __________________________________________________________________________________________ IT was great to see hugely exciting pacer Ideal Liner resume from injury with a good second at Gloucester Park last Friday night. It was always a big ask from out deep in gate seven with favourite Ocean Ridge leading from the pole, but Ideal Liner sat parked and was just 2.3m away in a 56.6sec last half. The betting indicated he needed the run, but time will tell whether he can build and improve quickly enough for the Fremantle and WA Cups in January.   By Adam Hamilton

Tough Caribbean Blaster four-year-old mare Caruba won three races in Western Australia in the space of seven days! The mare began her winning streak at Wagin on November 22. Four days later she scored again at Gloucester Park and, last Saturday night (November 30), she completed the hat trick at Narrogin. Tintin In America's talented son Gods Spirit NZ scored a dashing end-to-end win in 1:52.6 at Menangle last Saturday night (November 30). It was the five-year-old gelding's eighth lifetime success and his seventh at the Sydney headquarters' track. Tintin In America was also represented by a winner in New Zealand in Bella Sara, a 1:58.2 winner at Dunedin. Yirribee Pacing Stud bred three individual winners for the week in two States. Hudsen led throughout at Shepparton to notch his third win from four starts this season, Kiss Cam (by Million Dollar Cam) won in 1:56.5 at Redcliffe, while the trotter The Girls Gotflair posted win No. 4 at Kilmore. Million Dollar Cam was also represented by the three-year-old filly Didnt I, who sat parked before winning for the third time at Bathurst. Caribbean Blaster, Tintin In America and Million Dollar Cam are standing alongside Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Warrawee Needy and Fear The Dragon at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga (NSW) this season.   By Peter Wharton

Top Queensland horseman Grant Dixon is acutely aware D-Day has come early for Colt Thirty One in the Auckland Inter Dominion. A wide draw and luckless opening night ninth placing has put Dixon and his stable star in a precarious position. “I’d say we need at least a top four finish on Tuesday to stay on contention for the final,” he said. “I was happy with his run Friday. His times were good and he hit the line well, it’s just a shame he only ran ninth and didn’t get many points. “I’ve watched the replay and I’m not sure what I could’ve done differently, except him take him out wider from longer. It was hard in a 13-horse field from his wide draw.” Dixon, who returned home to drive at Albion Park last night (Saturday), said Colt Thirty One came through his opening night run in good fashion. “His heart rate was good, he ate up well and Dale (Hogan) said he’s seemed really bright since,” he said. “We’ve backed him up quickly before and he’s thrived on it, so I’m sure he’ll run well (Tuesday).” Dixon knows he simply has to push forward from gate five on Tuesday. “It’s a must. I have to put him in the firing line and hope he can finish in the top four,” he said. “He’ll love the longer trip in the last round of heats, but we have to get enough points (Tuesday) to keep our hopes alive of making the final.”   By Adam Hamilton

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

Luke McCarthy is not making excuses, but simply turning the page on Bling It On’s horror start to the Inter Dominion. And getting over became a little easier when the draws came out for Tuesday night’s 1700m second of heats. “Drawing inside the back, behind the likely leader San Carlo, is just perfect,” McCarthy said. “He's eaten-up well this morning and seems great, so I’ve just put last night behind me. “I don’t want to make excuses, but of course you think about what went wrong. He got too keen in front and hitting a wheel a couple of times didn’t help. “He hasn’t been in front for a long, long time in a race and he wanted to go and go. He went from cruising to gone in a couple of strides and that’s just not him, never has been.” Veteran Victorian San Carlo, who was a sound fifth after sitting parked on opening night, should have the speed to lead and show whether he’s a genuine factor in the series over 1700m on Tuesday. It’s a strong heat thought with two of the All Stars’ big guns, final favourite Ultimate Sniper (seven) and Cruz Bromac (eight), facing big tasks from those wide draws over the sprint trip. The other two Aussies, outsiders Conviction (gate two) and Our Uncle Sam (four), have drawn well, but would need to improve sharply on night one to stay in contention for a final berth. Opening night eye-catcher Colt Thirty One gets a slightly better draw (gate five) on Tuesday, but it’s still a big challenge with Chase Auckland (one) and opening night winner AG’s White Socks (three) drawn better. Victorian My Kiwi Mate was just fair after a good trail on night one, but inside the back (nine), behind Chase Auckland, gives him every chance to get some serious points if he’s good enough. The other Aussies Atomic Red (six) and Sicario (10) have only drawn fairly and would need to lift on their night one form. In the trotting series, McLovin will have back row draw to overcome if he rejoins the series after missing opening night with a minor health setback. Trainer Andy Gath said things look good at this stage. “He missed two days work, but he will have a bit of a workout Monday morning and that’ll be when we make the final call on whether he’s right to race Tuesday or not,” he said. He’s drawn to follow out high-profile first night flop Habibi Inta, who absolutely walked out of the gate in that first heat. The other two Aussies in the trotting series – Tough Monarch and Big Jack Hammer - clash in the second of Tuesday’s heats. Tough Monarch left connections shaking their heads after he led and dropped out for seventh last night. He’s drawn for a cosy run – maybe three pegs - from inside the back row (gate nine) Tuesday night. Tough Monarch follows out series favourite Marcoola (gate one), but Temporale crossed him on opening night and will probably do the same again from gate three on Tuesday. Big Jack Hammer, who led and ran a sound third on opening night, will need plenty of play a hand in the finish from out wide (gate seven). “I was pleased with his run. I’d have taken a sit on Habibi Inta, but he couldn’t get into it early so we led and he ran well,” driver Luke McCarthy said. “He’s probably better with a trail and, realistically, is a length or two behind the best ones.”   Adam Hamilton

Yankee Rockstar’s decorated family The family of our brilliant, young sire Yankee Rockstar received further embellishment with the announcement of the Victorian Industry Awards at a function held in Melbourne recently. Poster Boy, a half-brother to Yankee Rockstar, was named the Victorian 4YO Entire/Gelding Pacer of the Year for 2018/19 on the back of his successes in the Chariots Of Fire and Victorian 4YO Bonanza. The Award complimented his Australian and Harness Breeders Victoria Awards for 4YO and Older Horse of the Year, while Aston Villa USA, the dam of Yankee Rockstar and Poster Boy, was named the Australian and Victorian Broodmare of the Year for 2018/19. Yankee Rockstar’s first Victorian crop are hitting the ground and receiving great reviews from broodmare owners. Among the new Yankee Rockstar arrivals at Northern Rivers Equine have been Ideal Tyson’s half-sister Artistic Angel (a colt), Hancock Hero’s dam Ima Ritzi Lombo (a filly) and Olivia Rockstar (filly). Yankee Rockstar has received nearly 40 bookings for the current season.   Mel Mara off to flying start Northern Rivers Equine’s new resident sire Mel Mara is off to a flying start with the first six mares he served getting in foal. Mel Mara has a book of more than 40 mares to the end of November. Mel Mara, a 1:47 million dollar winning grandson of the great Cambest, is available throughout Australia and New Zealand in fresh chilled form.   American Ideal’s USA success Fully booked sire American Ideal has jumped into third position on this year’s USA Sire premiership following a spate of feature race wins by his progeny in October/November. Leading the vanguard was the four-year-old entire American History, who dismissed a crack field including champion McWicked in the $655,000 Breeders Crown Open in 1:48.6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He retired recently with earnings of $1,089,556 and a record of 1:47. Shake That House, a three-year-old by American Ideal, pushed his year’s earnings over the $500,000 mark when he outfinished his rivals in the $335,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace in 1:50.2 at Dover Downs, Delaware. American Ideal’s son Endeavor scored the most important win of his career when he outstayed his rivals in the $100,000 Potomac Pace in 1:49.8 at Rosecroft Raceway, Maryland. On the sales front, the American Ideal yearling colt Make My Deo topped the second session of the Black Book Sale at Harrisburg at a whopping $280,000. American Ideal had 35 head sell at an average of $40,571.   Breeders of the Month – Dennis and Brenda Bice Carlsruhe couple Dennis and Brenda Bice, who conduct Yorkshire Park Standardbreds, a boutique breeding and agistment establishment, have been enjoying a golden run with their stock this season. Undoubtedly the star of their produce is talented trotting gelding Jilliby Babavaska, who has won 12 of his 25 starts to date and $90,610 in stakes including a Group 3 at Melton and a placing in the Breeders Crown Final. His half-sister Magical has been placed on five occasions and was a finalist in the Breeders Crown and Homegrown Classic. Promising three-year-old filly She Will Rock, a winner of three of her six starts, Hancocks Hero, a double winner at Mildura, and his half-sister Go Home Jo have been other recent winners bred by Dennis and Brenda. Rare Courage, winner of the Moonee Valley and Wedderburn Cups, was the first good horse bred and owned by the Bice’s. The couple currently owns eight broodmares including close relatives of Franco Nelson, Soho Lennon, Western Dream, Dee En Ay Macray, Lyell Creek and Marcoola. The mares are all bred and foaled down and the foals are weaned at Northern Rivers Equine.   November foalings Northern Rivers Equine has had 74 foals (all breeds) born on the property this season. Standardbred foalings in November were: National Gallery - Somebeachsomewhere filly Ima Ritzi Lombo - Yankee Rockstar filly Miss Potential - Sportswriter colt Olivia Rockstar - Yankee Rockstar filly Carlisle Queen - A Rocknroll Dance colt Artistic Angel - Yankee Rockstar colt Make Mine Cullen - Bettor’s Delight colt Aldebaran Deegan - Aldebaran Eagle colt Glitterazzi - Art Major filly Its Bonus - Sportswriter filly Trojan Fire - Captaintreacherous filly Whats Emma Got - A Rocknroll Dance colt Our Chelsea Girl - Sweet Lou colt Top Tempo - Well Said filly Speak No Evil - Captaintreacherous filly All Finesse – Centurion ATM filly Watch The Dream – Art Major filly   Large yearling sale draft Northern Rivers Equine is preparing its largest ever draft for its clients at the 2020 Australian Pacing Gold Sale at Oaklands Junction on Sunday, February 2. The outstanding 14 strong consignment comprises five colts and nine fillies by leading sires such as Bettor’s Delight, Captaintreacherous, Art Major, Somebeachsomewhere, American Ideal, Sweet Lou, Rock N Roll Heaven, Always B Miki and Sportswriter. The complete list of yearlings: Musical Delight - Somebeachsomewhere colt Sugarland – Art Major colt National Gallery -Bettor’s Delight filly Limerick Star – Art Major filly Smyrna Duruisseau – Captaintreacherous filly Kabbalah Karen B – Bettor’s Delight filly Glenferrie Shuffle – Sweet Lou filly Artistic Angel – American Ideal filly Philtra Girl – Rock N Roll Heaven colt Chloes Daughter – Sportswriter colt Somesorta Philtra – Rock N Roll Heavn filly Just Look At Me – Always B Miki filly Glitterazzi – Captaintreacherous colt Arctic Fire – Captaintreacherous filly   By Peter Wharton for Northern Rivers Equine Clinic

Taylor Ford will take a one-point lead into Sunday week’s second round of heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge in Hobart after a first and seventh placing in the opening round of heats at the Devonport Showgrounds last night. Ford was able to win heat two on the Ben Yole trained Machitelli who pushed forward from barrier five to find the lead about 450 metres after the start. Machitelli, a daughter of Mach Three was inclined to over race throughout the 2297 metre event with driver Taylor Ford admitting that her arms were “a bit sore” when speaking with tasracing.com.au on her way home to Brighton from the meeting last night. “She came out of the gate strong and when she found the lead she dropped the bit, so I put my hands back into a more commutable grip which wasn’t a good idea,” explained Ford. After running a lead time of 51.0s Ford was able to steady Machitelli enough to record quarters of 31.1s, 31.3s, 31.3s and 31.0s over the final mile. “We did run along a little bit, the rest of the field stayed back a few metres off her which meant they had to do a bit of extra work to catch her,” said the winning driver. “She started to tire the last 50 (metres) but they had her chance to beat her,” added Ford. Although Ford was first past the post she had another battle on her hands when the driver of Shes Gifted, Ben Woodfords fired in a protest against the winner who shifted out noticeable over the final 300 metres of the race. Stewards dismissed the protest and Ford said she was fined $100 for allowing the horse to shift out under pressure. It was the case of déjà vu for Ford and Yole who teamed up to win a Youngblood's Challenge heat in Devonport last season. “I drove Ready To Fire to win a heat in Devonport for Ben (Yole) last year,” said Ford. “It’s great that Ben (Yole) and many other trainers have supported the series to ensure we can all get a drive in each heat,” added the series leader. The Yole stable provided the first heat winner of the series when Andrew Freeman partnered Mach Charm to a 1.5-metre win. Mach Charm, a six-year-old mare also by Mach Three was able to sit back off a frantic temp over the first circuit and was too good late in a slow 32.3s final quarter. Points after the first two heats are; Taylor Ford 20, Andrew Freeman 19, Ben Woodsford and Hannah Van Dongen 18, Matthew Howlett 13, Justin Howlett and Charlie Castles 9, Lachlan Dakin, Georgia Hayward and Samantha Freeman all on 8. It was a big night for the Yole stable with Pink Ponder, another that sat back off a solid lead time being able to score while Ol Titch pulled off a big move from $101 into $16 when winning the last race. The move was made in one hit on the Tasracing Official Price, could indicate that a corporate bookmaker may have gone up the wrong price. The main race on the card was the NWTLHA Cup where Izaha was able to overcome a 30-metre handicap to score in the 2645 metre event. Izaha, a half-brother open class pacer to Harjeet, enjoyed a lovely cart up out three-wide over the final 1100 metres and was too good for Blackbird Power and Illegal Immigrant. Although being defeated a half-head in the feature race with Blackbird Power trainer-driver Gavin Kelly was in the winner's circle earlier in the night with Murry who put up a tough performance to score in race three, it was the second win this season for the gelded son of Jeremes Jet. It was a bitter-sweet night for concession driver Hannah Van Dongen. She drove the first race winner Shady Story, who she also owns to an all the way win on debut for her father Craig in the first heat of the Allan Williams Memorial, before copping a three-race date suspension in the next race.   Duncan Dornauf

Well known trots horseman Rodney Demmler passed away on Friday after a battle with cancer, aged 65. Despite not having the high profile of his older brother, Ted, Rodney was himself an accomplished horseman and well known as a freelance reinsman during the 1970s and 1980s. Like his brother, Rodney worked for famed horseman Dave "Darky" Wilson and his son, Graeme, and soaked up all the knowledge they offered on training and driving horses. He helped Ted with his horses when he developed his own stable, while also taking freelance driving opportunities and preparing a small team on the Mornington Peninsula, while also working full-time. His connection with the Wilson stable helped Rodney secure his first city winning drive, behind the grand old trotter Touch Merchant at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds on May 1, 1976. Rodney took the steer behind Touch Merchant at the recommendation of Dave Wilson, after Graeme Wilson had been suspended. A week later, Rodney combined with another Wilson horse, Intrepid Prince, for a second city victory. Rodney was a member of the group of drivers to land a winner at both the Showgrounds and Moonee Valley, however the unique aspect of this was that his first victories at both tracks were with trotters. He later trained and drove Phengory Boy to win at Moonee Valley in July 1981. Rodney won several races with Padthaway, and other multiple race winners he drove included Amorous Heel, Ritzi Riki, Deux Cent and Tuned In. Rodney's wife Deborah passed away in 2014. Together they had four daughters - Samantha, Maddison, Gabrielle and Jamieson.   Kyle Galley

PACERS – HEAT ONE 4YO Bettors Delight - Reality Check entire Ultimate Sniper lived right up to his Junior Free For All victory on NZ Cup Day with a brilliant success in the first of the 2200 metre pacers heats. Trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Ultimate Sniper driven by Natalie was trapped wide from gate six with no option but to be restrained to settle four back in the moving line as stablemate Chase Auckland led from gate three. Going forward three wide in the final circuit, Ultimate Sniper sustained a long run to gain the day by a half neck over Chase Auckland which looked the winner on turning, with Mach Shard (three back the markers third ¾ of a length away.) In a last half of 55.6 – quarter 27.5, Ultimate Sniper returned a mile rate of 1-53.6. Another of the ‘All Stars” stable Ashley Locaz galloped in the score up putting pay to his chances. Victorian San Carlo ran a ripper when fifth after racing exposed, while My Kiwi Mate wilted after a perfect one/one trip to be 7th. Queenslander Colt Thirty One was taken back to the rear from outside the front line and was never a chance, but finished his race of well to come in 9th, while NSW duo Conviction and Our Uncle Sam were never a chance, Conviction (four back the markers) 8th and Our Uncle Sam 10th from mid-field in the running line. PACERS – HEAT TWO A complete form reversal came about in the second heat, when 6YO Rock N Roll Heaven - Atomic Gold gelding A G’s White Socks came from nowhere to blouse a game Cruz Bromac in this heat. Having his first outing for master trainer Barry Purdon, A G’s White Socks who raced really well last season settled mid-field from gate three with veteran reinsman Maurice McKendry in the sulky as Luke McCarthy and Bling It On after being trapped wide from gate seven worked forward to assume control from On The Cards hitting the back straight on the first occasion. Still a long way off the leaders on turning as Cruz Bromac which raced in the open from the bell after going forward from near last got the better of the leader halfway up the running being hailed the winner. Coming with a withering burst of speed down the centre of the track, A G’s White Socks registered a length margin in 1-54.2 (Half 55.6 – quarter 27.3) over Cruz Bromac who certainly lost no admirers, with Thefixer (four back the markers) weaving a passage between runners for third 1 ¼ lengths back ahead of Star Galleria (three back the markers).  Victorian Sicario (one/one last lap) finished 7th, while Bling It On may not have been suited in working to the front, folding up to be 10th. TROTTERS  -  HEAT ONE Clevedon (North Island) father and son – John and Joshua Dickie opened the first round 2200 metre Inter heats last Friday at Alexandra Park Auckland when 5YO Love You - Paramount Star gelding Paramount King scored in track record time of 2-40.5. Given a sweet passage from inside the second line trailing the pole line leader Big Jack Hammer, Paramount King was always travelling smoothly, so much so that Josh didn’t bother waiting for the passing lane to come into play, easing three wide approaching the home turn. Finishing solidly, Paramount King reached the wire 2 ¼ lengths clear of Massive Metro (three wide last lap from mid-field), returning a mile rate of 1-57.3 (last half mile 57.9-quarter 29.4). Big Jack Hammer having his first outing racing clockwise held down third ¾ of a length away and will be all the better for the outing. Valloria (one/one) was fourth. Hot favourite Habibi Inta was never in the hunt after not matching speed from gate four and settling in the second half of the field, but made ground late to finish fifth after racing wide in the final circuit. TROTTERS – HEAT TWO Sometimes unruly 5YO gelding Winterfell, a son of Majestic Son and Una Bromac was on his best behaviour to take the second heat in a mile rate of 1-58.1. Trained by Mark and Natalie for one of the leading stable clients Trevor Casey, Winterfell a top class juvenile starting from outside the front line spent the first half of the race at the tail of the field as Tough Monarch worked very hard from gate seven to cross Temporale (gate 4) prior to the bell. No sooner had Tough Monarch found the lead, Mark Purdon had set Winterfell alight to circle the field and race outside him for the final circuit. Applying plenty of pressure before the home turn, Winterfell crossed to lead into the straight and kicked away. Holding a handy margin halfway up the running, Winterfel just lasted by a head over Marcoola (three back the markers) which followed Winterfell into the final bend before switching down to the passing lane. Majestic Man (four back the markers) flashed home late for third a nose away and would have won in another stride. The mile rate 1-58.1 (half 55.5 – quarter 27.6).   Harness Racing Australia

The forgotten horse A G's White Socks burst back into form tonight winning the second pacers heat of ID19 at Alexandra Park. Now in the stable of harness racing trainer Barry Purdon, A G's White Socks (Rock N Roll Heaven) delivered a punishing finish from back in midfield to grab a deserved and timely win in the hands of ace reinsman Maurice McKendry. "He is such a lovely going horse and has a great gait. He was nice and relaxed in the running," McKendry said after the race. "When he came out at the turn he was a bit awkward but he straightened up and just buried them," he said. The time for the winner was 2-36.1, a mile rate of 1-54.2. The last 800m was run in 55.6 Cruz Bromac the New Zealand Cup winner battled on well for second after working hard mid race and Thefixer ran home well for third.   Harnesslink Media

Winterfell has taken out the second heat of the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship after he narrowly beat the TAB harness racing favourite Marcoola in a fantastic finish with only a head and nose separating the first three home. Driver Mark Purdon put the Majestic Son gelding into the race with a lap to go and he held too many guns for the opposition in the straight narrowly holding on for the win. "I had a few hairy moments early with him, but he stayed on his feet thank goodness and after that he really put his best foot forward," Mark Purdon said after the race. Purdon turned the last 800m of the race into a staying contest by attacking the leader Tough Monarch over the last 800m,finally getting the better of that horse at the 400m. "He was starting to get keener and keener and I thought well it is no good having him beat himself and I let him run and cross the horse on the inside," Purdon said. The last 800m was cut out in a slick 55.5 seconds making it very hard for horses at the back to make ground. "He did sprint hard down the back and that took it's toll near the finish," said Mark. The winning time for the 2200m was 2-41.5 which represented a mile rate of 1-58.1.   Harnesslink Media

Ultimate Sniper has produced a huge performance to take out the first pacing heat of the Inter Dominions (The Group 3 IRT Inter Dominion Pacing Heat 1) in the hands of Natalie Rasmussen for the All Stars Harness Racing Stables. It was a big effort to win for Ultimate Sniper when he was forced to go back early after settling wide off the mobile arm.  "He certainly had no favours in the run," said driver Natalie Rasmussen "I thought it would pan out a bit like that, but then I had to get near them. I knew I could not come too wide on the final bend. He is so tough, so it is a credit to the horse, he ran a super race." "I think he will just get better through the series" Natalie said after the race. Ultimate Sniper set a new New Zealand record of 2-35.43 for the 2200m mobile when winning.  That represented a sizzling mile rate of 1-53.6 with a final 800m in 55.6 and a last 400m in 27.5 seconds. Chase Auckland provided a quinella for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen when holding on for second after attempting to lead all the way and Mach Shard ran home well for third.   Harnesslink Media

The John and Joshua Dickie trained Paramount King has provided a $28 harness racing upset in the first Inter Dominion trotting heat at Alexandra Park tonight. Paramount King had a cosy sit three deep on the fence in the running, while the early leader Big Jack Hammer set a record pace in front. When the gaps came in the straight Paramount King was still travelling well and had too much speed for his opposition blasting through the middle and cruising to the line to win by more than a length at the line. Massive Metro put up a big run for second after a slow beginning and the early leader Big Jack Hammer held on well for third. The hot favourite Habibi Inta was disappointing after getting back in the running he only beat a few home. Paramount King trotted the 2200m Mobile in a new New Zealand record of 2-40.41 beating the old record by close to a second.   Harnesslink Media

Following the scratching of Mc Lovin  from the first round of heats of the series the connections sought advice as to the horse’s eligibility for the remaining heats from the Host Body -HRNZ. Careful consideration was given to this by HRNZ in conjunction with the Inter Dominion Events Committee in line with the conditions of the series. It is the decision of the Host Body that McLovin be grant permission to contest the remaining heats and remain in the series. Advice was taken from the Racing Integrity Unit and the horse has been cleared by that body to complete. The horse has also received veterinary clearance.        There has been precedence during Inter Dominions for horses to complete when scratched from a heat in line with the conditions of those series. Trainer Andy Gath reports that   The horse is virtually back to 100% in himself, perhaps 90%. As quickly as he got sick, he has recovered almost as quickly. It was just unfortunate He ate up last night. His resting heartrate is back to normal and other signs are good. He’ll have a light jog this morning and we’ll fast work him on Sunday or Monday If there’s any doubt about him on Tuesday or he seems out of character we won’t take any chances.   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator Harness Racing New Zealand

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North American every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound. Melton winners closely related Somewhere Secret and Keayang Secret, who won consecutive races at Melton last Friday night, belong to the same maternal family. Somewhere Secret, a six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere entire, is out of Secret Life (1:58.6), a Safely Kept mare from Lifeline, by Classic Garry from the Windshield Wiper mare Larrakeyah Lady. While Keayang Secret, a six-year-old Always A Virgin mare, is from Feel The Magic (1:59.6), by Fully Loaded from the What’s Next mare Dreams, a half-sister to Lifeline, the grand-dam of Somewhere Secret. Somewhere Secret, who holds a record of 1:53.8, has won six of his 10 starts to date, while Keayang Secret has won nine races, $85,683 and has mile mark of 1:53.2. The Larrakeyah Lady tribe is the fastest moving family of pacers in the Australian stud book. Recent winners from it have been Ride High, winner of the Victorian 4YO and 5YO Championship, My Celebrity, That’s Perfect, Perfect Major and Go In Style. To watch the Somewhere Secret race click here. To watch the Keayang Secret race click here. NZ breds dominate Norm’s Daughter The Group 2 $50,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic, run at Gloucester Park last Friday night, proved a triumph for the NZ breeding industry as four of the first five placegetters were bred in the Shaky Isles. Our Alfie Romeo, the brilliant end-to-end winner, is a five-year-old daughter of the Presidential Ball horse Washington VC and the capable Holmes Hanover mare Holmezy (1:58.5), the dam of earlier winners in Holm Three 1:55.2 ($113,192), a country cups winner in NSW, and Raffy Roo (1:59.8). Arma Indie (by Well Said), Dracarys (by Bettor’s Delight) and Just Rockon Bye (by Christian Cullen), who finished second, third and fifth respectively, were all bred in NZ. To watch this race click here Geelong Cup winner’s background The Somebeachsomewhere six-year-old Phoenix Prince is proving one of the finds of the season in Victoria. He won the Sokyola Sprint in 1:52 at Melton and the Group 2 $60,000 Geelong Pacing Cup in track record time in consecutive starts. Phoenix Prince has not raced a great deal. He did not race at two, and from 27 career starts he has won 15 and been twice placed fort $159,630. To watch the Geelong Pacing Cup click here. A tough customer, Phoenix Prince is a gelding, being by Somebeachsomewhere from Classic Cathy, dam also of useful winners in Real Hammer ($106,572), Goonly (1:53.4) and On Shore. Classic Garry was sired by Classic Garry (a champion Australian bred sire) out of the Lock Up mare Sans Pareil, who left 11 winners from 11 starters including the Group/Listed winners Part Of Glory, Swishinon and Triumph Lad. She figures as the second dam of the good Gloucester Park winner Baggy Pants, a capable Victorian racemare in Fine Glance and Udoit (Tas. 3YO Ch’ship). Sans Pareil was out of Filet Mignon, by U Scott from La Mignon, by Light Brigade from Parisienne, who founded one of Australasia’s most successful classic-winning families. SA yearling sale purchase salutes Three-year-old Sir Roman, who realised the top price of $36,000 at the 2018 Allwood Stud SA Yearling Sale, won on its debut at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. The free-legger sat parked throughout before scoring in a 1:58.5 rate over 1800 metres. A gelding by Somebeachsomewhere (son of Mach Three), he is out of a classic winner Morgan Abby (1:55.7), who ranked as a half-sister to the NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO champion Its Only Rocknroll 1:50.8 ($374,102). Sir Roman was bred and raised by Benstud Standardbreds, of Katunga (Vic.), who offered him at the Adelaide sale. To watch Sir Roman win click on this link 15th foal a winner Promising Art Major three-year-old Theagenes, who won his second race at Dubbo on Sunday, is the fifteenth and last foal of his dam, the Golden Greek mare Willing Greek. Willing Greek is also the dam of the NSW Breeders Challenge winners Grand Stride 1:52.4 ($324,658) and Sapphire Stride 1:52.2 ($134,115), the Tatlow winner Katasopos, dam of the Paleface Adios Classic winner Copper Coast 1:52.2 ($281,463) and Kalypso, the dam of millionaire pacer and sire Caribbean Blaster. Willing Greek was a Golden Greek mare from the Bathurst Gold Tiara winner Willing Whiz, by Armbro Whiz from Willing Way, by Hilarious Way from the Ringo mare Willing To Go, the dam of the Interdom heat and Fremantle Cup winner Willadios. Theagenes Son of Inter Dominion winner The eight-year-old Gus An Maori, who overcame a 30 metre handicap to win at Horsham recently, is a son of the 2004 Inter Dominion Trotting champion Sumthingaboutmaori By the great Angus Hall, the gelding has won eight races so far and $44,815 in stakes. Sumthingaboutmaori, whose grand-dam Maori Trump and third dam Maori Miss both claimed Broodmare of the Year titles, has thrown only three winners from 12 foals of racing age but her daughters are making an impact at stud. Sumthingaboutmaori ranks as the second dam of Maorisfavouritesun Tr 1:55.1 ($211,718), the Holmfield winner Four Walls (Tr 1:57.7), Agent Maori Tr 1:55.8 ($110,155) and Abitofmagic (Tr 1:59.6), all ‘black type’ square-gaiters. Top priced trotting yearling wins on debut Three-year-old Aldebaran Knox, who sold for an Australian record price of $90,000 at the 2018 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale in Melbourne, was a most impressive winner on debut at Maryborough on Monday. The well grown colt took full advantage of a soft trip to power past his rivals in the home straight, running the last 800 in 59. Bred by Duncan McPherson, Aldebaran Knox is a Muscle Hill colt out of the Sundon mare Kyvalley Aldebaran NZ whose dam, Chiola’s Lass, left the standout trotters Allegro Agitato and Skyvalley, who stands at Aldebaran Park. Since producing Aldebaran Knox in 2016, Kyvalley Aldebaran has left a two-year-old filly by Love You, a yearling filly by Trixton and is carrying a positive test to the Breeders Crown champion Tactical Landing. To watch Aldebaran Knox win click on this link. Sixth on end The NZ bred four-year-old Cool Water Paddy won his sixth race on end in runaway fashion at Hobart last Sunday night. He is by the Christian Cullen horse, Ohoka Arizona, who is now at Bill LeSeuer’s stud near Melbourne. Cool Water Paddy is out of Glentara, by Village Jasper from the NZ Marlborough Cup winner Rose Ayr, by Noodlum from the Smooth Fella mare Montrose (2:02), a daughter of Heathmount, the dam of Classiebawn (NZ Breeders Stakes), a high class pacer in Blair Logie and others. Heathmount was a member of the immediate family of the multiple Group winner Classic Cullen 1:50.8 ($510,125) and the former NZ 3YO of the Year Laud. Exciting USA purchase Dual Victorian Breeder of the Year Bruce Edward, of Durham Park Standardbreds, has secured Faraday Hanover, a royally bred Somebeachsomewhere yearling filly for $US275,000 at the recent Harrisburg sales. This was the second highest price paid for a filly at the auction. Faraday Hanover ranks as a sister to the Little Brown Jug winner Filibuster Hanover 1:48.6 ($1.6 million), being out of the Western Hanover mare Fashion Ecstasy whose dam, Galleria 1:49.2 ($1.8 million) is the dam of the world champion Gallie Bythebeach 1:49 ($749,898). It is planned to race the filly in the US next year before shipping her to Australia. Bathurst sale noms close Dec. 1 A reminder to breeders that entries for the 30th annual Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale close on December 1. Entries can be lodged with auctioneer Graeme Board on phone 0408 636 273 or email gboard@bobberry.com.au or downloading an entry blank at www.graemeboard.com The sale will be held on Sunday, March 22 during the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival. Peter Wharton      

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