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As we head towards nomination time for next year’s Australian Pacing Gold’s (APG) Yearling Sales, Chairman of APG, Robert Marshall, reflected on the contribution the sales company has made to Australian standardbred breeding and  harness racing. “APG is Australian focussed, always has been, always will be”, Marshall said. “Our mission is to provide the opportunity for standardbred breeders to offer their yearlings for sale in a market and for a Futurity event, where only Australian bred horses are offered and compete.” APG’s Futurity Series acknowledges the importance of the purchaser in the equation. While APG’s model originally focussed on a National 2YO Final, it now looks to provide the purchaser with the opportunity to earn across the States and for more than just the 2YO season. Marshall noted that, with the pressure on wagering revenues, impacted even more by the outbreak of COVID-19, owners will be looking to purchase a yearling where the likelihood of a return is enhanced by greater opportunity. The investment in a yearling is, for most purchasers, a leap into the unknown. Clearly some will not make it to the racetrack and some may not make it as a 2YO. APG’s Futurity Series provides the purchaser with a lot more in the way of opportunity than was available under the previous format. The purchaser is no longer competing for one pot of money - the State-based series provides Group racing in all east coast states as well as WA for 2yo and 3yo Colts and Fillies. Given the reduced prizemoney available across Australia, purchasers will have a keen eye on where they spend the discretionary dollar in 2021 and the likelihood of a return. On the suggestion that APG might open its books to NZ-Bred yearlings as is the case with Nutrien Ag’s proposed sale in 2021, Marshall was adamant: “APG is Australian owned for Australian bred.”  

Dear friends in the Australian harness racing industry - breeders, vendors, buyers, trainers, owners, administrators. The outbreak of COVID-19 will have a major effect on communities around the world. Fortunately, global events such as this do not occur often. Sadly, however, their impact, both social and financial, can be long lasting. APG would like to assure the Australian harness racing industry that the Company’s balance sheet is excellent and there is no threat from current events to the commitments made to vendors and purchasers going forward. These commitments are in the bank! We recently consulted with the industry about the preferred futurity model and have introduced a new state-based scheme, which enables owners of APG qualified horses to compete in APG Futurity events over a number of years and in the jurisdiction of their choice. Owners and potential owners have an on-going opportunity to realise on their investments. APG has the balance sheet, the industry knowledge and a tried and true formula to ensure that we will be there to support the harness racing industry this year and into the next decade. We are committed to all of our resources being channelled back to the industry and nowhere else! Here are some important facts about Australian Pacing Gold: Owned jointly by Harness Racing Victoria, Albion Park Harness Racing Club and Club Menangle First sale conducted in 1990 A Not-For-Profit Company - meaning that no financial gain can be realised by the owners Currently has pledged in excess of $5million in futurity-race prizemoney over the next three years APG GUARANTEES the availability of promised stakes for APG sales graduates who have sustained in Series 29, 30 and 31 . . . and beyond! In times of financial uncertainty, invest in GOLD - Australian Pacing GOLD. Robert Marshall CHAIRMAN

Club Menangle has confirmed industry rumours of a further commitment to the harness racing industry in New South Wales. Australian Pacing Gold (APG) has announced that Harness Racing Victoria will contribute an additional $25,000 towards the two-year old fillies and two-year old colts and geldings Gold Bullion Finals to be held in Victoria in 2021. The bonus will be paid to the owner/s of the highest placed Victorian bred horse in either final and sold out of the 2020 APG sales. The horse must be sold through the sale and potential buyers should note the conditions. “Club Menangle Directors have been monitoring the horrendous impact of the drought across New South Wales for the past eighteen months”, said Club Menangle’s Chair, Robert Marshall. The record dry has had an enormous impact on the harness racing industry in this state and made worse by the unprecedent bushfires which have ravaged parts of New South Wales since just before Christmas. While it may be too late for Santa Claus, Robert and his fellow Club Menangle director on the Board of APG, Bill Ellis worked with HRV APG directors to develop an additional incentive for the forthcoming Melbourne and Sydney APG sales. Bill Ellis said the Club Menangle Board was committed to implementing an incentive ahead of the sales, given the conditions prevailing in NSW. Owners of horses purchased through APG’s Sydney sale and bred in NSW (inseminated, foaled and branded) will be eligible to compete for the Sydney bonus of $25,000 in both two-year old Finals.  Robert Marshall noted the important characteristic of the bonus was that it would not necessarily go to the winner of the Sydney Gold Bullion Final. If the winner was not bred in NSW and not sold at the Sydney APG sale, the bonus would go to the next highest placed NSW bred horse. The news has been welcomed by the New South Wales harness racing industry. Success Stud co-proprietor, Jackie Gibson thanked Club Menangle for supporting the breeding industry in New South Wales and highlighted the value in purchasing a yearling through the Sydney APG sale. It makes sense to purchase in New South Wales due to the support Club Menangle provides. Rod Woodhouse, the owner of Yirribee Stud, said “this is another example of Club Menangle’s leadership in New South Wales. On the eve of the Sky Carnival of Miracles, its another reason to breed and own in NSW.” Club Menangle also funds the NSW Blue Series. Another Club Menangle funding initiative. All in all, it’s as easy as APG! Club Menangle

EXCEPTIONALLY-BRED filly Keep Rockin is well placed to join her famous mum on a Group One honour roll next month. Thanks to her victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle this afternoon Keep Rockin has earned a berth in the Australian Pacing Gold Final. The $350,000 decider is scheduled to be conducted at Albion Park on May 11. By Rock N Roll Heaven, Keep Rockin is from former outstanding filly Kept For Pleasure, which was retired with 19 wins and 10 seconds from 37 starts for earnings of $542,343. Kept For Pleasure, which has become a prolific producing broodmare, captured four Group Ones, including the 2007 APG Final at Albion Park. Keep Rockin is prepared by Michael Doltoff who trained Kept For Pleasure to secure the Final. “Her mum won the APG in Queensland so hopefully this filly can do it too,” Doltoff said. “She’s got her share of ability, but has a long way to go before she can be compared to her mother. “A win in the Final will certainly move her closer.” Driven by Michael Towers, Keep Rockin was eased away from barrier five to settle mid field as Michelle Lee Mac led and the five runners travelled in ‘Indian file’. Gaining the one-one trip along the back straight as Gee Gee Blinxs was taken to the ‘death seat’, Keep Rockin was angled three-wide at the top of the home straight before sprinting to a five-and-a-half metre win from the pacemaker. Gee Gee Blinxs fought on to be 18 metres away third. “She’s run second at her last three starts so has been building up to that,” Doltoff said. “After getting the kind of run she did she was always going to be hard to hold out.” Breaking her maiden at her sixth start, the two-year-old covered the mile in 1:56.4, with her time six-tenths of a second slower than Roscommon Rose in the following heat. Trained and driven by David Hewitt, the daughter of Art Major was two-back along the pegs from barrier four before gaining an opening halfway along the home straight. Unleashing a strong sprint Roscommon Rose grabbed the lead in the last stride to score by a head from Smooth Style, with Sheza Mamacita a half-neck away third. Unplaced upon debut, Roscommon Rose caused an upset as an $18 shot.   APG Media

A DECISION to send Australian Pacing Gold purchase No Win No Feed to New South Wales has certainly paid dividends. Prepared in Victoria last season by part-owner Jaime Madruga, No Win No Feed was transferred to Craig Cross’ stable for her three-year-old campaign. Making her racing return when second in a Bathurst Gold Bracelet heat last week, the handy filly was back at the venue for tonight’s Final. Driven “a treat” by Todd McCarthy, No Win No Feed upstaged her more fancied rivals to capture the Group One. “I sent her up for a few races with John McCarthy last season and was going to send her there again, but he is going away, so he said to send her to Craig,” Madruga explained. “She did well in the heat in her first run for seven months and was always going to be better for the run. “The boys had her primed perfectly for the Final.” Beginning quickly to lead from barrier five, No Win No Feed was allowed to roll along as the favourite, Brooklyns Best, worked at the pacemaker’s wheel. Striding clear around the home turn, the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance was untouched to score by 12-and-a-half metres from Our Ultimate Julie, with Brooklyns Best three-and-a-half metres away third. “Todd drove a treat,” Madruga said. “He knew the better ones had to come from behind so he made it hard on them. “We felt if she got the front without doing much work and could run her own race she would take a lot of running down.” Rating 1:55.5 over 2260 metres, No Win No Feed took her record to three wins and seven placings from 19 starts for earnings of $76,060. “Andy (Sinclair, part-owner) picked her at the APG Sale and we got her for only $10,000,” Madruga said. “This is Leigh’s (Flanagan) first horse and he’ll be over the moon.” Poised to remain in New South Wales, No Win No Feed will be aimed at the Breeders’ Challenge later in the season.   APG Media

TASMANIANS will be keen to claim Max Delight as one of their own, or at the very least acknowledge his local connection, on Sunday night. Although prepared in Victoria, the David Aiken-trained youngster is owned on the Apple Isle by Michael Maxfield, who purchased the son of Bettors Delight at the Australian Pacing Gold Sale. As such, Max Delight is heading across Bass Strait to tackle the state’s Derby in Hobart. The Blue Riband is part of a sensational card which includes the Pacing Cup, Trotters’ Cup and Oaks. “Michael wanted him to come down to try and win the local Derby,” Aiken said. “He will head over on the boat this arvo and get there in the morning. “With Menangle on Friday night this week Todd McCarthy will make the trip down to drive him.” McCarthy combined with Max Delight to capture the New South Wales Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle a fortnight ago. While he was among the outsiders in the Group One, Max Delight is a short-priced favourite this time around after drawing to lead throughout from barrier two. “He came through his Sydney runs in great shape,” Aiken said. “I gave him a couple of light days after that and he has been working up nicely since. “He’s drawn well and will be pretty hard to beat.” To be given another short break following this weekend’s assignment, the colt is poised to return to the scene of his Group One triumph later in the season. “He will have a little freshen up after the Derby,” Aiken said. “He is New South Wales-bred so the Breeders’ Challenge in June will be his next main target. “I’ll see what I can find in between as a lead-up to that series.”   APG Media

A MASSIVE performance in defeat coupled with an almost perfect season will see Patrickthepiranha’s younger sibling attract plenty of attention during Sunday’s Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Perth. Winner of his first seven starts for the term, Patrickthepiranha finished third at Gloucester Park yesterday in what was an impressive run after dragging a flat tyre. By highly-successful sire Four Starzzz Shark, Patrickthepiranha is from Thats The Spirit which boasts a perfect record from four starters. Thats The Spirit’s latest offering is a colt by Rock N Roll Heaven, which is set to enter the ring as Lot 620. The family includes Il Vicolo, Gotta Go Cullen, Stunin Cullen, Chilli Palmer, Veste, Jinni’s Fantasy, Fake Spirit and Niketia. Also an APG graduate, Patrickthepiranha is being primed for next week’s Sales Series Final by trainer Colin Brown, who played a role in naming the gelding. “The boys were at the stable one morning talking about Lennytheshark,” Brown explained. “Lenny, which is also by Four Starzzz Shark, had just run an enormous race the night before and they were crowing about him. “This bloke’s stable name at the breeder’s place was Patrick and as a throwaway line I said ‘don’t worry about Lennytheshark we’ve got Patrickthepiranha’. “The boys loved it and went with it. So I guess in some way he is named after Lenny!””   APG Media

After yesterday’s Ladbrokes Sydney Sale, harness racing Australian Pacing Gold has enough hit records to rival The Beatles. In what has been a stellar year for breeders and buyers, the third round of APG Sales for 2019 has once again reached record heights – following the trends set in Brisbane and Melbourne. With a tremendous depth in quality yearlings on offer, the first two sales resulted in a sales average increase, a rise in gross turnover and clearance rates boosted! As fantastic as that has been for all involved, figures from Sydney are phenomenal. With a sales average of $28,628, the 2015 Sydney record was broken as was the gross sales amount, which was beaten by a quarter of a million dollars! The day saw 184 yearlings pass through the ring with the clearance rate all but eclipsing the 2014 record when 156 were presented. “Obviously, we’re delighted with the results from yesterday’s sale, particularly the strong clearance rate, with 87 per cent of yearlings having already found new homes,” APG General Manager David Boydell said. “What was really pleasing was that the gains were not restricted to the top end horses.  Whilst the overall sales average was up by 23 per cent, the sales average for the bottom quartile of horses was up by 21 per cent, whilst the next quartile was also up by over 19 per cent, which I think is indicative of a healthy industry.” As for the top end, seven yearlings fetched bids of $100,000 or more – with four by Bettors Delight! A colt by Bettors Delight from Freedom Is was knocked down to the Jewel Syndicate for $130,000, while one of his daughters from Left For Me was the top priced filly at $110,000. Emilio Rosati matched the $130,000 bid as the highest price for the day when he purchased a colt by Captaintreacherous from Sweet As Reign. Captaintreacherous also had a filly from Golden Showgirl sold for $100,000. Somebeachsomewhere – sire of Captaintreacherous – was the only other stallion to reach the $100,000 mark when he daughter from Bettorthanyou was purchased for that amount. “We’re really appreciative of the way buyers supported both APG and our hard working breeders yesterday, and look forward to hearing their stories of how the horses progress over the coming years,” Boydell said. “For buyers who missed out in Sydney, there are still passed-in lots available online, or if buyers are interested in attending either of our Perth or Trotting Sales this weekend, we encourage them to call us on 03 5275 1999 to discuss any travel arrangements that may be available.” APG Media

UP, UP and away (hopefully to the winners’ circle) is the best way to describe the results of last weekend’s Ladbrokes Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Brisbane. With a tremendous depth in quality yearlings on offer, the sale’s average increased, gross turnover is up and interstate interest was at a level never seen before! The lots averaged $18,593 which represents an increase of eight per cent on the previous year, while gross turnover is up four per cent on 2018 – a figure which is set to rise during the coming fortnight as buyers purchase some of the lots which were passed in. New South Wales buyers were the most active with more than half the sold lots heading south. Prominent horseman Tim Butt purchased the top priced colt and filly for a combined total of $91,000. Butt parted with $55,000 for a son of Captaintreacherous and Forever Gold and $36,000 for Roll With Joe and Save Me Christian’s daughter. “The most pleasing aspect of Sunday’s Sale was our ability to attract interstate buyers,” APG General Manager David Boydell said. “They were all keen to take advantage of the additional earning opportunities available to Brisbane Sale horses courtesy of APG’s $100,000 Albion Park Sales Race and the outstanding QBred For Life bonus scheme. “Over 50 per cent of all sales were to New South Wales buyers, headed by the likes of Tim Butt, Robbie Morris, Josh Farrugia, Chris Frisby and Tumby Park, whilst Matt Craven was also active, purchasing one and missing out on a couple of others. “Overall, it was a really positive start to the sales season. There was good money available for quality horses, and this was reflected in both our sales averages and our gross turnover. “Looking forward to next year, we would like to look at ways to generate more buying activity from local owners and trainers, and we probably also need to work through a few issues with the reserves, because there were a few horses this year that had reserves on them that were higher than I’d like to see and which would have exceeded many buyers expectations.” A list of results, including a list of those passed and their reserves, is available on the APG website by clicking here Anyone wishing to place an offer on a passed in Lot can do so by clicking on the “Make An Offer” link on the results page, or by phoning John Coffey on 0418 500 211. APG Media

HAVING enjoyed a stellar 2017/18 season, Australian Pacing Gold purchases are ready for the new round of majors. Lead by Shez All Rock, APG stars captured an incredible 21 Group Ones last term. Making her debut at the beginning of the season, Shez All Rock became the southern hemisphere’s premier three-year-old filly by annexing four Group Ones. An $11,000 Melbourne buy, Shez All Rock boasts an impeccable record of 10 wins and a second from 11 starts for earnings of $426,350. Along with the top shelf wins, APG graduates secured 17 Group Twos. With the first pair of Group Twos of 2018/19 scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, APG stock are again among the contenders. Successful in their heats, Malcolms Rhythm and Zoliver will be joined in the colts’ and geldings’ division of the Home Grown Classic by Catch A Moment and Explicit Castle, Malcolms Rhythm is the $2 favourite for trainer David Aiken from barrier four. In the fillies’ Final APG buys Divine Diva, Posh Accent, Siedra Caleb, Tiger Storm and Tina Calls will battle for bragging rights. Winner of her heat, Tiger Storm is the leading candidate of the quintet despite drawing the second row.   APG Media

AUSTRALIAN Pacing Gold purchases enjoyed a high rate of success during the 2017/18 season. From age-restricted events to open class majors, APG graduates were to the fore throughout Australasia. Lead by Shez All Rock, APG stars captured an incredible 21 Group Ones for the term. Making her debut at the beginning of the season, Shez All Rock became the southern hemisphere’s premier three-year-old filly by annexing four Group Ones. An $11,000 Melbourne buy, Shez All Rock boasts an impeccable record of 10 wins and a second from 11 starts for earnings of $426,350. Along with the top shelf wins, APG purchases secured 17 Group Twos. Rising star mare Carlas Pixel was among the Group Two winners thanks to her victory in last month’s Breeders’ Crown Four-Year-Old Championship. The Melton-based feature was an ideal compliment to her Group One Ladyship Mile triumph earlier in the year. Bought for $20,000 via APG’s Melbourne Sale, Carlas Pixel has bankrolled $389,828 as a result of 18 wins and 16 placings from 51 starts. APG Media

LAST week was another successful period for Australian Pacing Gold with seven Group One stars. Beginning with Menangle on the Sunday, APG welcomed three new Group One winners to its ever growing list. Goodtime Heaven, Miss Halfpenny and Hardhitter were a class above their opponents in New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge Finals. The time frame then ended with another four APG eligible Group One winners at Melton during the weekend. Triumphant in the $350,000 APG Final last May, boom colt Centenario added the Vicbred Super Series to his impressive tally. Driven by Chris Alford for trainer Emma Stewart, Centenario led home an APG quinella as his stablemate, Nostra Ideal, finished second. APG purchases then dominated the Final for four-year-old entires and geldings by filling the trifecta. In his first Group One win, Wrappers Delight proved too strong for Jilliby Kung Fu and Sirletic. Rounding out the quintet were another pair of Stewart-trained APG eligible youngsters, Poster Boy and Kualoa.   APG Media

Australian Pacing Gold purchase Atomic Red is predicted to have little trouble returning to the harness racing winners’ circle in Dubbo tomorrow night. Runner-up in the Carousel Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle a fortnight ago, Atomic Red won his previous start by 32 metres in 1:53.6. This time around the Steve Turnbull-trained entire is set to contest the Dubbo City Cup, where he has drawn to lead throughout from barrier three. As such the son of Rocknroll Hanover has been installed a $1.45 favourite. “It’s not a bad draw for him,” Turnbull said. “I reckon Amanda (Turnbull, driver) will let him run along at an even clip. “I wouldn’t say he is very speedy, but he is tough. His last three quarters when beaten were 27.8, 27.1 and 27.6 over 2300 metres. “When one his rivals are sitting right on him it can make him vulnerable.” Turnbull believes the biggest threat to that vulnerability is likely to come in the shape of veteran pacer Ultimate Art, which will begin from the outside of the second row. “Ultimate Art is the main danger,” Turnbull said. “He can sprint home pretty quickly and coming from back could give him that opportunity. “That said, Atomic Red is in great shape. He was doing bit of bucking around today, but think they may also have just been to keep warm!” APG Media

Soho Nolita’s dominant win in last Saturday’s $350,000 Ladbrokes APG 2yo Fillies Final in 1:53 set a new race record and established Soho Nolita as the hottest property in Australasian harness racing. A half-sister to millionaire superstar, Soho Tribeca, and this season’s Group One Ladyship Mile winner, Carlas Pixel, Soho Nolita has now stamped herself as both Australia’s leading two-year old filly and also as Australia’s most valuable future breeding prospect. Amazingly, Soho Nolita’s outstanding win in the $350,000 Ladbrokes APG Fillies Final may well not have happened under the previous series rules, which revolved around a heats & semi-finals format.  A rare off-night in the first-round heats saw Soho Nolita finish in fourth place, which would not have been enough to automatically qualify her for the semi-finals under the old format. However, this year’s format saw only the seven heat winners automatically advance to the final, with non-winners offered the opportunity to compete in repechages (one each in Victoria, NSW and Queensland) with the best placed repechage runners joining the heat winners in the final. Fortunately, Soho Nolita made up for her sub-par performance in her heat, blitzing the field in her repechage, before stamping her class in the final, working three wide during a sizzling first half in 55.6 seconds, but still having the strength to hold off challenges from Miss Halfpenny and Delightful Jazz, to score by 4.7 metres in a race record 1:53. APG would like to extend its congratulations to long time APG owner, vendor and buyer Rob Watson, and to trainer, Mick Stanley, who also trained the fourth placed filly, Single Tree Road. APGTV was on hand to capture the excitement of the night.  A highlights package of the final, and a wrap of the night is already available on the APG website by clicking here, with other clips profiling many of the other runners to be added over the next 24 hours.   David Boydell

A brief break before embarking on another harness racing Group One campaign is the plan with Soho Nolita. A brilliant winner of last night’s Australian Pacing Gold Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle, Soho Nolita will enjoy a short freshen-up before being aimed at the Vicbred Super Series. Heats of the futurity are scheduled to be conducted on June 19, with the semi-finals 10 days later, leading into the $125,000 decider on July 7. “She’ll have a little break now then it’s on to the Vicbred,” Stanley said. “Hopefully she can do as well in that as she has in the APG. “After that she will have another short break before we have a look at the Breeders’ Crown in August.” Driven by Stanley in the $328,000 APG Final, Soho Nolita was caught three-wide from barrier nine as Miss Halfpenny led from gate five. With Stanley pushing forward as the pacemaker covered the first half in 55.6 seconds, Soho Nolita dashed to the lead before cruising to a five-metre win from Miss Halfpenny, with Delightful Jazz a head away third. “That was a super run from her,” Stanley said. “She did plenty of work to find the front and won with a bit up her sleeve in 1:53 over the mile. “She missed a bit of work because of a foot abscess before her heat, so having to run in the repechage turned out to be a blessing in disguise as she was spot on for the Final. “I’ve thought all along she could be something special and everything she has done continues to make me think that will be the case.” Owned by Rob Watson, the daughter of Mach Three boasts three wins from four starts for earnings of $161,700. APG Media

Such is the depth in tonight’s Australian Pacing Gold Final the rank outsider will head into the harness racing feature with a near-perfect record. Boasting two wins and a second from three starts, Thats Bettor earned a berth in the Tabcorp Park Menangle-based Group One by securing her heat. Rating 1:58.9 over 1660 metres around Albion Park in qualifier, the Shannon Price-trained filly is listed at $34. Thats Bettor’s defeat was behind her APG Final rival, Miss Moneybags, which is the second lowest runner in the market at $26. “I’m a bit surprised about that, but I suppose she is a Queenslander,” Price said. “She did run a quick last half in her heat even though didn’t win in 1:53 like the interstaters.” Drawn barrier four in the $328,000 decider, Thats Bettor moves into three once the emergency is taken out, with Price stating the daughter of Bettors Delight is in peak condition for the pending assignment. “She’s feeling great…I couldn’t be happier with her,” Price said. “Her work has been terrific and she had a nice trial before we left. “Since she got to Sydney she has settled in, eaten up and is ready to go. “The draw is handy so hopefully she can get a good trail from there.” Citing Soho Interceptor and Soho Nolita as the pair to beat, Price considers Kualoa as the one most likely to upset the pair. Soho Interceptor and Soho Nolita have drawn alongside each other in gates 10 and 11, with Kualoa to begin from five. “Soho Interceptor and Soho Nolita are the top two, but they have drawn out wide,” Price said. “Kualoa has only had the one start, which was her heat, but Emma (Stewart, trainer) is bound to have her in perfect shape.”  APG Media

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