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Last year's harness racing Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) started out her season in style on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.   The Kyle Spagnola-trained mare made the early lead in the $18,000 co-featured Fillies and Mares Open and would not look back. Frank Coppola Jr. piloted Road Bet as she sped through a 27.1 opening quarter and lasted on the lead.   Road Bet held off the challenge from the pocket sitting favorite as Campanile (Austin Siegelman) had to settle for second while Goddess's Rosa (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot.   Road Bet was dismissed at odds of 4-1 and led an exacta that returned $17.60. The trifecta came back $80 in the six horse co-feature.   The $18,000 Open Trot was won by Banco Solo (Dobson) who nosed out the 1-5 public choice Zooming (Tyler Buter) at the wire.   Banco Solo returned $16.80 to win in the five horse co-feature. Driver Bruce Aldrich Jr had a big day on the matinee card as he piloted four winners. Live racing resumes at Saratoga on Thursday with a 4:00pm first post. Twilight racing is new this season and will take place on every Thursday throughout the spring. Melissa Simser

Harness racing followers on both sides of the Tasman are never slow to claim the superiority of their racehorses when stock bred in their country have a big day on the Australasian harness racing scene. So it is no surprise today that Kiwi breeders and enthusiasts are feeling very smug after the huge day at Menangle yesterday by racehorses with the prefix NZ beside their name. Their were seven Group 1 races yesterday and Kiwi breds won four with Australian breds winning two and the Europeans one. And all that success on Australia's biggest harness racing day and in their  own backyard makes it all the more memorable for the Kiwis. There were a couple of constants throughout the day and that was the dominance of Bettor's Delight and Art Major in the Group 1 pacing races. Of the six pacing Group1 races that pair won four with the tally being two a piece. Fight For Glory in the New South Wales Oaks and Sky Major in the Chariots Of Fire did Art Major proud while Adore Me and Beautide made sure Bettor's Delight hogged the limelight as well. Both sires had multiple runners in most of the Group 1 races and Bettor's Delight ended up with five placed runners and Art Major two placed runners to reinforce their dominance. A lot of comment has been made in recent years from leading Australian breeders about how they were getting on top of their Kiwi counterparts. They put this down to the ever increasing number of well bred Kiwi mares who now call Australia home and that they saw a time in the not to distant future where the Australian bred horse would dominate racing in Australia. New Zealand breeders from the start of this industry in New Zealand have sold racemares and broodmares to Australia and will continue to do so in the future. It has never affected the ability of the New Zealand breeder to churn our those top horses year in year out. With Bettor's Delight serving 301 mares in New Zealand this year and Art Major over 170 there will be no shortage of horses by these two dominant sires in New Zealand in the next few years. Throw in the likes of Mach Three (130) and newcomers such as A Rocknroll Dance (161) and next year the recently announced Sweet Lou and there is a real confidence amongst New Zealand breeders that the glory days are far from coming to an end. Harnesslink Media

She has long been the Queen of New Zealand harness racing, but given her performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago, Adore Me may well be the best pacing mare in the world. Not only did the Mark Purdon - trained wonder embarrass a strong field in the prestigious Ladyship Mile, she did so in Australasian record time – after racing in the ‘death seat’. Driven by Natalie Rasmussen, Adore Me covered the 1609-metre sprint in a breathtaking 1:47.7. Becoming the first member of the ‘fairer sex’ to better the magical 1:50 mark, the daughter of Bettors Delight slashed eight-tenths of a second off Smoken Up’s Southern Hemisphere stance. Smoken Up became the first pacer on this side of the equator to break 1:50 when he stopped the clock at 1:48.5 at Menangle in April 2011. Before Adore Me’s record run, Baby Bling held the mares’ crown with her 1:50.5 performance in April 2013 when triumphant in the Miracle Mile…also at Menangle. Shebestingin – also a daughter of Bettors Delight – is the world's fastest pacing female thanks to her 1:47 effort at Lexington in 2013. Put On A Show, by Rocknroll Hanover, is the quickest mare after covering the mile in 1:47.6. As for Adore Me’s moment of glory, she covered the last half in a scintillating 53.7 seconds to score by 18-and-a-half metres from Beauty Secret, with Laterron four metres away third. Adore Me will return to the Shaky Isles this week, with Purdon is expected to decide on an Auckland Cup start within the next couple of days. The Auckland Cup is scheduled to be run on Friday. Adore Me’s success was the third leg of a treble for Rasmussen from the first four races on the program. Capturing a Drivers’ Invitational event with Ive Gottalife, Rasmussen and Purdon also combined to annex the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory. PAUL COURTS

Top pacer Beautide has joined an elite harness racing fraternity thanks to his scintillating victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. The James Rattray - trained gelding trounced his rivals to successfully defend the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion title he won last year. Reminiscent of his first victory in the time-honoured Championship, Beautide worked in the ‘death seat’ before sprinting clear along the home straight to score by 14 metres from Flaming Flutter. After filling the minor placing last year, For A Reason was third again for trainer Belinda McCarthy. Despite being reshod just before the beginning of the $750,000 Group One, Beautide rated a brilliant 1:55.8 for the 3009-metre marathon, with this time just three-tenths of a second outside the track record he established during last year’s Inter Dominon. "It wasn’t ideal, he threw a shoe, he was feeling above himself, but that’s the way we like to race him,” Rattray said. “After the way he won his heat, I was confident we’d go well today. “This horse looks to be labouring until you ask him to go.” Beautide’s latest triumph – his 44th from 72 starts – makes him just the sixth champion to retain his title. Former super star Hondo Grattan was the ground breaker in 1973 and ’74, with his second victory coming in one of the most action-packed Finals on all-time. A fall soon after the start saw half the field knocked out of contention before Hondo Grattan achieved immortality on the tight Gloucester Park circuit. Dour stayer Gammalite followed suit in 1983 and ’84 before being joined by Our Sir Vancelot in 1997, ’98 and ’99, Blacks A Fake in 2006, ’07 and ’08 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011, ’12 and ’13. Former warhorse, Captain Sandy, is the only dual Inter Dominion winner, having scored in 1950 and 1953. As for Beautide, the locally-trained son of Bettors Delight will be given a short break before tackling next month’s Len Smith Mile. Beautide won last season’s edition of the Group One sprint in 1:53.1. The seven-year-old will then spend an extended stint in a paddock before being readied for the Perth Inter Dominion in December. “The $1.3million prizemoney is a tremendous incentive and the three-week carnival will also suit Beau as it gives me time to prepare him for each heat and the Final,” Rattray said. PAUL COURTS

The final heat for the two year old fillies in harness racing's Young Gun Series was held tonight at Alexandra Park  and it was no surprise when the two fillies from the All Star barn fought out a close finish with the resulted evenly shared. Dream About Me and Arden's Choice ran the quinella in the $25,000 Sires Stakes heat at Timaru when they were both on debut and they did it again tonight with Dream About Me again grabbing the win although the margin over  Arden's Choice was only a nose this time. The race turned into a bit of a melee early when both the well supported Nek Time and Goodlookingbabe galloped when disputing the lead after 300 metres which resulted in quite a few of the runners being checked. When the dust settled Gamma Lady and Josh Dickie were left in front with Dream About Me with Tim Williams in the bike parked on her wheel. Natalie Rasmussen set Arden's Choice alight at the 900 metres mark and she quickly made it to the death seat giving Dream About Me a lovely sit in the one by one. Those three went clear at the 400 metres and as they turned for home Ardens Choice worked to the front but was immediately challenged by Dream About Me who had cut the corner and snuck up the passing lane to save ground. There was nothing between them all the way up the straight but at the line Dream About Me was a nose to the good of Arden's Choice with a further 2 3/4 lengths back to Gamma Lady in third. The 1700 metres was cut out in 2:05, a mile rate of 1:58.3 with closing sectionals of 57.4 and 27.6 The runs of the first two were both full of merit and which ever one draws better in the $80,000 Final of the Young Guns next week probably deserves favouritism. Dream About Me did get her head around several times during the running and will benefit next week after her first run right handed. Dream About Me is an out and out "blue blood' being a  Bettor's Delight half sister to the champion Christen Me. Her dam of course is a half sister to Adore Me so it just doesn't get any better than that. Driver Tim Williams was happy enough with the run of Dream About Me. " She is still very green and has a lot to learn." " It was her first run right handed and she should benefit immensely from the experience." " Taking the passing lane helped her round the last bend and I was just lucky it worked out," Tim said. The All Stars pair look a class above the fillies to have raced in the series to date and appear the logical quinella in next weeks final. Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing two year olds are only a week away from the first of this seasons Group 1 races with the the finals of the Young Guns series and Chase The Dream sent all the other two year olds involved in the colts section a clear message that he is the horse to beat next week with an emphatic victory at Alexandra Park tonight. Stable mate Lazarus has looked very professional in two earlier wins in the Young Guns series late last year but Chase The Dream was every bit as impressive tonight at Alexandra Park. Driver Natalie Rasmussen dropped him off the gate from barrier eight and Chase The Dream ended up last and fifteen lengths off the lead after 400 metres. Natalie then gave him his head and in the next 600 metres he went from last to first as he swept to the lead over last start winner Walkinshaw. Held back to the field down the back straight, Chase The Dream shot away at the point of the turn and gave nothing else a look in as he cruised home by 2 3/4 lengths. What made the run even more impressive was the 1700 metres was cut out in a quick 2:04.1, a mile rate of 1:57.3 with closing sectionals of 59 and 28.3 Chase The Dream won his debut run left handed when taking out the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton in 1:54.9 but Natalie was confident of his chances tonight right handed. " He actually goes better this way round at home," Natalie told Trackside prior to the race. A son of champion sire Bettor's Delight, Chase The Dream is from a Christian Cullen daughter of the former star two and three year old Western Dream 1:56.3 ($327,137) and was brought out of last years Premier Sale at Christchurch by long time All Star client, Jean Feiss of Melbourne for $52,500. Natalie was suitably impressed. " He is a very versatile little horse." " I think he is as quick as he is strong so you have options with him" " He felt really great out there tonight." " He is pretty green so it was good to give him a really good look at the track this week," Natalie said. The manner of Chase The Dream's victory tonight will have shaken the confidence of all of his opponents including Lazarus leading into next weeks $100,000  Young Guns Final. Harnesslink Media  

Prominent owner Merv Butterworth is poised to continue reaping the rewards of his decision to bypass the Inter Dominion. Unhappy with the conditions of the series, Butterworth elected to scratch A G Hunter Cup hero Arden Rooney from the time-honoured Championship, which concludes with Sunday’s Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As such, Arden Rooney has been aimed at local features, such as last weekend’s Terang Cup, which he captured in track record time. The son of Bettors Delight will aim for a Cup hat-trick when he takes his place in Geelong’s flagship event on Saturday night, with Butterworth confident the gelding can annex the popular event despite his awkward draw. Arden Rooney will begin from the outside of the second row for trainer-driver, Kerryn Manning. “The draw isn’t the best, but it’s no different to Terang,” Butterworth said. “He will be driven the same way as Terang. “He will be pushed forward at the start looking for the lead or ‘death’ and hopefully he can outstay them again.” Citing Metro Mike as the main danger, Butterworth also rates Keayang Steamer as a major threat despite his disappointing first-up run. Winner of his last two starts, Metro Mike has drawn to settle forward from barrier three, while Keayang Steamer will begin from barrier nine. One of last season’s surprise packages, Keayang Steamer was unplaced in the Terang Cup when first-up from a six-month spell. “Metro Mike is in good form and has the right draw to make a real go of it,” Butterworth said. “Keayang Steamer is a nice type and will certainly be fitter for the run.” PAUL COURTS

Top pacer Beautide has drawn well in his bid to join an elite harness racing fraternity at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. Engaged in the TAB.com.au Inter Dominion, the James Rattray-trained gelding is aiming to become just the sixth champion to retain his title. Former super star Hondo Grattan was the ground breaker in 1973 and ’74, with his second victory coming in one of the most action-packed Finals on all-time. A fall soon after the start saw half the field knocked out of contention before Hondo Grattan achieved immortality on the tight Gloucester Park circuit. Dour stayer Gammalite followed suit in 1983 and ’84 before being joined by Our Sir Vancelot in 1997, ’98 and ’99, Blacks A Fake in 2006, ’07 and ’08 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011, ’12 and ’13. Former warhorse, Captain Sandy, is the only dual Inter Dominion winner, having scored in 1950 and 1953. As for Beautide, the locally-trained pacer will begin from barrier five, which should see the son of Bettor’s Delight worked to the lead soon after the start. TAB Fixed Odds has the seven-year-old, which was a brilliant winner of his heat, at $2.10. Exciting Victorian Lennytheshark has firmed as the defending champ’s main danger after drawing perfectly in the pole. Also successful in his heat, Lennytheshark was regarded as the biggest threat before the barrier draw. A not quick beginner, the David Aiken-trained stallion is expected to lead early before taking a trail behind Beautide. On the opposite end of the scale, New Zealand raider, Terror To Love, has continued to attract the visitors’ draw and will begin from nine. PAUL COURTS

The all conquering harness racing barn of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen had horses racing at five tracks in two countries this weekend and at times Mark and Natalie must have wondered where their next representative was lining up. They sent a small team to Wyndham with stable employee Matt Anderson with the focus on the time honoured Kindergarten Stakes. The All Star barn had two runners with the Australian bred Somebeachsomewhere colt  Waikiki Beach the punters elect but not by much from the other All Star runner in Motu Premier.  A son of Bettor's Delight, Motu Premier with Matt Anderson in the bike left quickly from barrier four before handing up to Arden's  Legacy and Ross Payne. Waikiki Beach slotted into the one by one early behind Hanna's Boy and that was still the order as they turned for home. Reinsman Brent Barclay angled Waikiki Beach three wide on the point of the turn and he quickly put the issue beyond doubt, scooting away for an easy victory by 2 1/2 lengths with the last 400 metres in a sizzling 26.7. Motu Premier finished attractively along the passing lane for second to give the All Star barn the quinella while Arden's Legacy fought on well for third. Waikiki Beach paced the mile in the slushy conditions in 1:58.9 with closing sectionals of 57.7 and 26.7 Matt wasn't surprised by the performance of Waikiki Beach. "He's been a natural two year old right from the start." "He's got  real speed but has the ring craft at the same time." "He's is a very sensible type in everything he does" Matt said. Matt wasn't disappointed with the run of Motu Premier.  "Motu Premier didn't really handle the track at all." "I don't think a track like that suits his action." "He was just never pacing well." "He is a horse who can sprint home in 26 but he was never going to beat Waikiki Beach on that track," Matt said. Australians should get ready to see a fair bit of Waikiki Beach as the plans are for him to head across the Tasman to tackle the Australian Pacing Gold series. Harnesslink Media    

Hunter Cup hero Arden Rooney broke the Terang harness racing track record when he captured the club’s Cup last night. Trained and driven by Kerryn Manning, Arden Rooney rated a slick 1:57.3 for the 2680-metre trip, slashing 1.1 seconds off Sir Galvinator’s record set in February 2007. Thrilled with the performance, owner Merv Butterworth stated he has no regret bypassing the Inter Dominion with the son of Bettor’s Delight. “I didn't want to take him to Sydney for the Supplementary heat, so I took him out of the series,” Butterworth said. “With the form he is in he would have given a good showing in the series, but the decision was made. “This Cup is a great race to win and now we will head to the Geelong Cup with him next week. Little fish can be twice as sweet.” Pushed through from his second row draw, Arden Rooney settled in the ‘death seat’, as Keayang Steamer worked to the lead. Overpowering the pacemaker leaving the back straight, the gelding cruised to a strong 13-and-a-half metre win from Steam Washed, with Lovable Larrikin 10 metres away third. Covering the last half in 55.7 seconds, Arden Rooney extended his record to 13 wins and 14 placings from 38 starts. PAUL COURTS

WHAT threatened to turn into a horror night for Shane Tritton - Lauren Panella team took a turn for the better when outstanding youngster Salty Robyn captured tonight's $51,000 Tabcorp Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Panella endured something of a horror night when two of her earlier drives had galloped out of the mobile. And when Salty Robyn skipped for a few strides, Panella's huge band of followers must have had their hearts in their mouths. Still Salty Robyn settled quickly after the tardy beginning and came with a withering burst to score an impressive win in the time-honoured feature for two-year-olds. The son of Art Official rated 1:53.9 to beat Machamillion, Redbank Lenny and Boobalaga Road showing he is definitely a horse of the future. "We always knew we had something special on our hands with this fellow and watching some of the two-year-olds go 1:55 and 1:54 in races we knew he would need to be if he was going to beat them," said trainer Shane Tritton. "Thankfully he settled down after that early break and showed how good he is. "Plan A wasn't to gallop, that's for sure. Thankfully Plan B worked and Lauren did well to get him into the race with a good drive." An hour or so later, Tritton was lamenting another galloper when the well-backed Alabama Shakes galloped, losing all chance in the Best In Beds Pink Bonnet. The two-year-old fillies' classic went to lightly-raced Abettorrose, raced by the NSW Harness Racing Club for a different charity every time she goes around. Trained by KerryAnn Turner and driven by Robert Morris, the daughter of Bettors Delight fought off all challengers in the straight to score a strong win in 1:56.4, beating Art Mistress and Shes Bettor by a head. Abettorrose        

The old adage in harness racing of breeding the best to the best to get the best was never more evident than in the win of Delight Me in the first New South Wales Oaks heat at Menangle tonight. They don't come any better bred than Delight Me with the daughter of champion sire Bettor's Delight having the former great racemare Cornsilk 1:52 ($555,046) as her dam. The Emma Stewart trained filly was settled midfield in the running line by leading reinsman Gavin Lang and there she stayed until the 600 metres mark where Gavin tipped her three wide. Looming up to the leaders on the corner, Delight Me quickly put the issue beyond doubt and didn't have to be driven out to record a stylish victory. Delight Me won with so much ease that it is hard to see any of the minor placegetters in this heat playing a major part in the New South Wales Oaks on Sunday week. Delight Me paced the 2400 metres in a quick 2:54.1, a mile rate of 1:56.7 with closing sectionals of 56.2 and 27.9 Cornsilk was purchased by leading Western Australian breeder Robert Watson while still in North America and brought back to Australia to breed from. It is a very expensive excercise to undertake and following her return Robert has sold all her progeny through the yearling sales and in our view deserves any success that comes his way. Harnesslink Media

All the harness racing trainers in New South Wales with smart three year olds  must have breathed a sigh of relief when they heard that Mark Purdon was sending Follow The Stars back to New Zealand for the Derbys there after the Victorian Derby. What they wouldn't have known was that the horse he was sending to the New South Wales Derby at Menangle in his place in Hug The Wind was little if any inferior to his star stable mate. Well after the first derby heat tonight at Menangle, no one will be in any doubt about how good he is after the son of Bettor's Delight sat in the death seat throughout before kicking clear late for a super impressive Australian debut win. Having his first start since the end of December, Hug The Wind did enough to win the heat without having to be seriously asked by co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen. You would expect Hug The Wind to derive some serious benefit from his first start for over seven weeks and he will strip a much fitter horse for the final. Aztec Bromac was just as clearly second for Robbie Morris and Kerry Ann Turner and looms as a legitimate place chance in the final but the other qualifiers in this heat look to be on mission impossible going by the margin between the first two and the rest tonight. Hug The Wind paced the 2400 metres in 2:53.4, a mile rate of 1:56.3 with closing sectionals of 55.7 and 27 Going on tonights run Hug The Wind looks the horse they have to beat on Sunday week. Harnesslink Media

Victorian harness racing trainer Michael Stanley says his filly Soho Tokyo is on song ahead of tonight’s New South Wales Oaks heat. The beautifully-bred youngster - by Bettors Delight from former top-line juvenile Pelicanrama - has been among the placings at both her runs this time in. “I’m really happy with her,” Stanley said. “She didn’t have any luck around Warragul and then we gave her a run at Charlton. “She needed the run there and she finished third behind two nice horses (Ricimer and Rule Of Thumb) coming home in 55.9 (1:58.7 mile rate). “I was really happy with the run…it was a good hit-out.” Stanley’s talented four-year-old Young Modern made the trip to Menangle with Soho Tokyo this morning, with the son of Modern Art set to contest the Paleface Adios Stakes. HRV Media

All the harness racing pundits thought tonights $20,000 yearling sales graduette was a gift for the All Stars barn runner Northern Velocity. The big strapping daughter of Mach Three had been in great form at trials in Canterbury recently and the punters made her a short priced favourite. Away well, driver Mark Purdon settled her in the one by one early before moving up to the death seat outside the leader Flyingretna with 800 metres to go Passing the 400 metres mark Northern Velocity suddenly went into a wild gallop losing all chance in the process. Just when it looked  like the other All Star runner Emeli Maguire would get home, Sem's Delight with John Dunn in the bike swooped down the outside to nab the win right on the line. The daughter of Bettor's Delight had disgraced herself on debut at Timaru when galloping but showed the benefit of having had a raceday run tonight. John Dunn has a good opinion of the filly. " I have always really liked her but I didn't think she had the ringcraft to win the race with the Purdon duo in there." " Last week wasn't really her fault as it was only her third time off the place in her life." "She is very green still and just needs a bit more experience," John said. Sem's Delight, a $44,000 purchase at last years Australasian Classic sale by Robert Dunn on behalf of long time clients Clive, Rona and Shona McKay is providing some consolation to Clive and Rona who have had a hard luck run recently with their star pacer Franco Nelson. John was of a mind to back off a bit now. " She has come a long way in a short time and with two runs in a week it may pay to back off her now." " There is a really good race for her next week (Leonard Memorial) but it may pay to miss that with all that she has done recently, "John said. Mark Purdon was at a loss to explain why Northern Velocity galloped. " She was travelling really well at the time but just seemed to lose her concentration at the 400 metre mark." "I am at a loss to explain why she did that," Mark said.  Tonights win by Sem's Delight highlights once again that there is no such thing as a certainty in racing. Harnesslink Media  

Yesterday we did a review of how all the harness racing sires fared at the two day sale at Christchurch this week. Now we turn our attention to Auckland and as expected the Australasian Classic was the success everybody thought it would be with a catalogue as strong as anything ever presented at Auckland. The one huge plus at this years sale was that the champion sire Bettors Delight ended up with with 35% of all horses sold at the sale. Between them Bettor's Delight, Art Major, Mach Three and American Ideal provided nearly two thirds of all the horses sold at Auckland which is such a help when it comes to averages overall. Bettors Delight Number Sold - 40 Overall average - $55,512 Colt average - $62,820 Filly average - $43,330 Just the backbone of the sale and his colt average for 25 sold of $62, 820 is outstanding for any standardbred sale worldwide let alone in New Zealand. Surprisingly for us his fillies averaged nearly $20,000 less than the colts which for a sire who is the best filly sire on the planet is a bit of a mystery to us. Art Major Number sold - 14 Overall average - $48,000 Colt average - $64,100 Filly average - $39,055 Compared to how he fared in Christchurch, Art Major had a stunning sale in Auckland. He has the highest colt average at $64,100 and his fillies brought money more in line with how they are performing on the track. The issue in New Zealand for Art Major has always been one of numbers in the sale due to him never breeding huge numbers of mares in this country. That changed this season when he served a book of 170 mares in New Zealand and therefore he should have a much bigger presence at the sales in the near future. Mach Three Numbers sold - 6 Overall average - $38,333 Colt average - $40,000 Filly average - $30,000 Those figures are a good indication of where Mach Three sits in the overall scheme of things.  Right up there with the big boys but commercially just a touch behind the other two sires above. Continues to have fluctuations in his numbers for sale due to foal numbers but does have bigger crops coming through so may have bigger representation in the future. American Ideal Numbers sold - 11 Overall average - $33,863 Colt average - $40,714 Filly average - $19,375 His numbers at Auckland were a lot better than they were at Christchurch but that was due entirely to one lot who made $150,000. We are still at a loss to explain the lack of demand for American Ideal fillies which have been his flag bearers in New Zealand. Hard to pinpoint what the problem is here with buyers overlooking his stock in favour of stock by sires he is matching on the track. It may just be the lag effect between racetrack performance and sale ring success but we will be watching closely next year for the uplift in prices his performance deserves. Somebeachsomewhere Numbers sold - 4 Overall average - $36,625 Colt average - $42,500 Filly average - $34,333 As in Christchurch the SBSW were great types and were keenly sought after. The only Somebeachsomewhere colt in this sale went to the All Stars barn who have had some success with stock from his very small New Zealand crops to date. His biggest New Zealand crop are now foals on the ground and with the success at this years sales you would anticipate a much bigger representation at next years round of sales. Christian Cullen Number sold - 5 Overall average - $28,900 Colt average - $36,500 Filly average - $22,500  A bit surprising to see Christian Cullen struggle as much as he did in Auckland. Still in the frame as a commercial stallion as he proved at the two days in Christchurch but apart from one lot he was not wanted at this sale. His fillies in particular were marked down which considering their success over the years was a minor surprise. Rocknroll Hanover Number sold - 7 Overall average - $32,714 Colt average - $36,500 Filly average - $30,000 We didn't include Rocknroll Hanover in our Christchurch review as we took the view that being deceased meant he had a limited future impact on New Zealand sales. But having sold seven at Auckland and having such healthy figures persuaded us that we should include him in the Auckland review. A lot of breeders have used him over their Artsplace mares and horses bred on this cross are highly sought after world wide as this cross has produced six of Rocknroll Hanover's eight millionaires. Muscles Yankee Number sold - 3 Overall average - $42,333 Colt average - $43,500 Filly average - $40,000  Muscles Yankee only had the three lots in the whole sale but they all made over $40,000 so their is a real demand still for his stock. The maternal families of all three lots were top class which may have helped the overall result. Majestic Son Numbers sold - 3 Overall average - $34,500 Colt average - $52.500 Filly average - $25,500 The small number in the sale is due to the fact that Majestic Son only has eight yearlings on the ground in New Zealand Should have a much bigger representation next year as he served 161 mares in 2014 on the back of his earlier small crops performing so well. Overview  This sale is the best promotional tool that harness racing has in New Zealand but it has the potential to be so much better in our opinion By natural attrition of smaller breeders in the North, the sale has few lots by sires who are not in the elite group as the above statistics show. We firmly believe that the Australasian Sale could reach far greater heights if the following changes were implemented. *Limit the sale to 125 lots * Make it a select sale * Have a set number of places set aside for southern breeders. The whole point of the changes is to turn the Australasian Sale into an elite sale that dominates the top end market in Australasia. The thoroughbred breeders do it very successfully with K1 at Karaka and while we will never reach those heights we can close the huge gap a wee bit. Breeders in the north who don't get accepted for the Australasian Classic have a ready made alternative these days with the all age sale in May which has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. Last year it hit a five figure average for the first time and the bench of buyers included most of the regulars on the New Zealand sales scene. We have a chance to position our industry in the best possible light with a smaller select sale at Auckland and it is something that we would hope would be considered by PGG Wrightson and The North Island Breeders Association.. Harnesslink Media

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