Day At The Track
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One of the great differences that exist between the Thoroughbred Racing industry and the Harness Racing industry in New Zealand is the reluctance by the harness racing industry to use high profile New Zealanders who are heavily involved in harness racing in its promotion. With the recently completed Thoroughbred yearling sales still fresh in the memory, one couldn't help but notice the amount of main stream TV and newspaper coverage throughout the sales that was centered around the involvement of high profile sporting celebrities. Brendon McCullum and Richie McCaw were popping up all the time in coverage of the sales but they were just two of the many high profile people that the thoroughbred industry used to get that all important media coverage at their biggest time of the year. Harness racing on the other hand seems almost reluctant to use high profile sports people in the same way and it is something that we should really address as in the view of Harnesslink, we are missing a great promotional opportunity here. Mainstream media will cover our upcoming yearling sales but the amount of coverage will be guided in a lot of ways by how many human interest stories that have a wider public appeal they can report on. Brendon McCullum has been involved in harness racing for a long time now and is one obvious route we could go down but to us the involvement of the Whitelock brothers in harness racing presents a great opportunity to present harness racing to a wider mainstream audience. The family have been heavily involved in harness racing for generations and All Blacks such as Sam have helped out at the All Stars barn when learning about the game. The fact that the Whitlocks are seen as such great role models for aspiring rugby players in New Zealand is a big plus in the wider community. Braeside Lodge at Palmerston North, the boutique breeding establishment run by Braeden Whitelock and his wife Caroline is one of New Zealands most successful and they have had a presence at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale for several years now. This year is no exception where they have four yearlings entered and all from quality mares and all by leading sires. We found it hard to select one above the others but we took a real liking to Lot 61, Hicori after watching the video of him parading. A son of Mach Three, Hicori is typical of that stallions progeny and you would struggle to get a better maternal pedigree page than his one. The dam Paddy Brown 1:57.7 ($46,726) is a daughter of leading broodmare sire Christian Cullen and Hicori is just her second foal. The second dam Braeside Star 1:59.8 $(67,225) has left six winners from eight foals including such smart horses as Braeside Derby 1:54.2 ($160,784) and Ohoka's Artsplace 1:57.9 ($94,313) while her unraced Artsplace daughter Braeside Lady has already produced the champion three year old filly O Baby 1:54.8 ($391,273) The third dam is the champion broodmare Tuapeka Star so the pedigree page is as good as you will find in this years catalogue. Promotion of harness racing through people like Sam Whitelock and his wider rugby family is essential for the industry if harness racing is going to attract more widespread coverage in the main stream media. Harnesslink Media  

Caroline and Braeden Whitelock are as well known in harness racing circles as they are in the rugby community in New Zealand with a history in the industry that goes back over many decades. Caroline is the daughter of the late Nelson Dalzell who established the "Moose" breed in Canterbury in the 1960s and 70s and raced a lot of those runners with that prefix. Standout performers such as Diamond Moose (13 Wins) Lord Moose (9 wins) and the Welcome Stakes winner Golden Moose (6 wins) were just some of the standouts produced over the years. While they have established their own breeding stock, Caroline and Braeden are still breeding from the family established by Nelson and with some success too. Magic Moose 1:58.3 ($24,840) was a handy mare for them and they have raced and sold progeny from her over the last few years. This year they have consigned a Mach Three colt from Magic Moose for the Australasian Classic yearling sale at Auckland and he has all the credentials to make it on the track. His name is Strawberry Moose and he is the fifth foal from Magic Moose who has already produced the very smart Minnie Moose 1:55.9 ($140,958) who ran second in the 5 year old Harness Jewels Diamond and Cullens Moose (7 Wins). Magic Moose is a daughter of the former smart racemare in Lady El  1:58.3 (8 Wins) who made it to the edge of open class in the 1980s. At stud Lady El left five winners apart from Magic Moose including such smart types as Ashcott El 1:52.4 ($144,651) and Classy Moose (7 Wins) while she also the grand dam of Famous Deal 1:52.6 ($126,214). This has always been recognized as a really tough hard wearing family and the injection of the noted speed sire in Mach Three should ensure that Strawberry Moose inherits a bit of both. Harnesslink Media   

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