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Brendon Hill’s the first to admit he wasn’t much of a fan of Beaudiene Delightful when she first arrived at his place. But he’s starting to warm to the wonderfully bred filly and if she keeps producing performances like the one she laid on the table at Timaru yesterday then the relationship between trainer and horse is going to be just fine. A daughter of grand producing mare, Beaudiene Babe who has left notable performers Beaudiene Bad Babe, Guns N Roses and also Beaudiene Boaz, Beaudiene Delightful broke maidens at start No.2 and there’s the promise of more to come still. “Big dreams for her, whether we get to them or not, I’m not sure,” Hill said. “She’s got all the makings of being a really nice horse but we won’t be pushing her. She can find her own way forward from here and we will see where we end up.” After originally doing stints with Mark Smolenski and then Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Beaudiene Delightful found her way to Hill’s stable through an association with breeder Dave Kennedy who also bred Pay Me Interest who Hill is training. “Mark Purdon had suggested she might have been better served at a stable that was smaller with someone who could spend a bit more time working with her. “When she first came she caused a bit of trouble, but we have slowly ironed most of them out I think. “She went fantastic at Rangiora first up and then was very good winning.” With a bright future in front of her and a driver in Ricky May who is keen to stick with the ship, Hill is being careful not to get too far ahead of himself. As he knows time will be his best friend. “I’m thinking we might take a look at a run in the C1 grade at Ashburton and then, all going well there is a race for her on Show Day I think, so we do have some options.” Her win yesterday took Hill’s tally to seven winners from 18 starters, a flying start for a small, but select racing team. “I’ve learnt a few things in the past few seasons about placing horses and I would like to think I’m getting better at finding the right races for the right horses. “There’s a bit of a running joke that I never used to know where Oamaru was because I tended to focus on the bigger meetings in Canterbury, but I’m learning all the time. “The way the season has started has been great, the team is going so well. “Horses like Rummage and Cruzy Dude going great each week and it certainly helps going to the races feeling confident about your chances.”     Matt Markham

With the return of grass track racing for the new season at Methven today comes the return of some new challenges for trainers, drivers and punters alike - for many though, they wouldn’t have it any other way, Big fields, even racing and big divvies - the return of punting graveyards like Methven and Motukarara - the grass surface brings everything to life. Some call it good, others battle with the prospect. Today’s Methven meeting should be no different - with some big fields and some highly competitive racing. And finding those winners isn’t an easy task. Certain stables tend to excel, Greg and Nina Hope and Robert Dunn both have grand greentop records and they quickly become punters’ best friends as the season rolls through. One of those stables has stronger representation than the other today with the Hope team loading a strong team onto the float to trek the hour and a bit down the road. In form pacers like Dalness Mac and Burn Off give them leading chances at success while others; Robert De Niro, Ella Abbe and Precious Sara all performed very well at the workouts on the course last weekend. Trial and workout form from the Methven track is regarded by many punters as some of the best in the country. And nothing is expected to change in the future - especially today. Leading the standout performers from last Saturday’s workouts is the Brendon Hill trained Rummage who looked right at home on the grass track surface - winning impressively after an early gallop. “That’s the concern,” Hill said of the gallop. “Everything after that was pretty good though, he looks pretty good on the grass.” Methven Trotting Club president, Ricky May, takes the reins on the pacer in what is the biggest field of the day. A few noted grass track performers will line up against him with Marshal Star, Maybe Flyin and Boomer Bailey among plenty of others holding strong records on the grass. Others to perform strongly and win at last weekend’s workouts on the track were; Rusty I Am, Rozzano, Maw Of A Woman, Ammisaduqa and Cocktail Waiter. Super Selector - By Matt Markham Race 1: 4 Lucy Diamond, 2 Miss Medley, 7 Robert De Niro, 10 Gypsy’s Choice Race 2: 12 Rusty I Am, 8 Just A Dude, 9 Holly Trouble, 14 Shona Mary Race 3: 10 Maw Of A Woman, 2 Elite Excuse, 6 Precious Sara, 5 Supreme Blue Chip Race 4: 2 Ammisaduqa, 5 Pegasus Merrily, 1 Man Of Change, 11 Homeforlife Race 5: 5 Redwood Invasion, 10 All Settled Down, 11 Shadow Galleon, 9 Dream Big Race 6: 1 Curlimore, 5 Forgotten Highway, 2 Rocknroll Delight, 11 Clasina Maria Race 7: 4 Omar Sharif, 3 Illegal Immigrant, 8 Allison Stokke, 6 Dalness Mac Race 8: 8 Rummage, 10 Marshal Star, 12 Burn Off, 5 Regency Franco Race 9: 12 Royal Shine, 9 Solar Storm, 11 Stylish Duke, 5 Pretorius Race 10: 4 Fulham Royale, 5 Leading The Way, 8 Happily Ever Laughter, 7 Automatic   Best Bet: Rummage (Race 8) Value: Fulham Royale (Race 4)

Kimberley Blakemore was quick to deflect a lot of the praise for her first winning harness racing drive at Addington on Friday night to her boss, Brendon Hill. The young horsewoman, who is originally from the North Island, picked up the first win of her career in the sulky with a well-time drive to get the in-form Rummage home in the junior drivers’ contest. And while she was showered with praise and admiration in the stabling block at Addington following the win, Blakemore was more keen to heap the compliments on Hill as opposed to giving herself some credit. “I couldn’t ask for someone better to work for,” Blakemore said. “Benny has been amazing and have put a lot of faith in me so it’s nice to get that first milestone in his colours. "He's just a a very kind and patient person who I have a lot of respect for. He's a really good horseman and I'm enjoying learning from him." Having just her 10th race day drive, Blakemore managed to work clear from a precarious position at the 400 metre mark to find clear air and charge home to run down Allison Sokke. “It’s all a bit surreal at the moment, it certainly hasn’t sunk in yet. “And it probably won’t until I have watched the replay about 100 times.” The daughter of well known North Island horseman, Danny Blakemore, there was no questioning what career path Kimberley was going to take. Her sister, Kelly and brother, Michael have also driven a winner - keeping the family line perfect. “I don’t think I beat Kelly in terms of the number of wins before my first, but I have beaten Michael so that gives me a bit of a bragging in the future.” After working for Phil Burrows for three months when she first moved South, Blakemore managed to land herself a role at Hill’s stable and hasn’t looked back. “Benny has been incredible part of my career. I wouldn’t be here without him that’s for sure.” It was a perfect night for Hill who won his second race when Missinmemate cleared a pocket late and charged home for Ricky May. In a typically patient drive from May, punters were nervous 100 metres from the post. But in a deft display of patience and timing, May was perfect in his judgement, getting the gap late and charging through. May’s victory on Missinmemate was only usurped by the patience shown on Seel The Deal to win earlier in the night. Again May left it until the last few strides to get up on the Greg and Nina Hope trained pacer who looked destined to run second to Woodlea Legend and Katie Cox. “He always felt like he was going to there, it probably looked a little worse than it way,” May said. “He’s come back really well.” May’s third victory came courtesy of Ranfurly Rulz who showed he’s finally close to living up to all the hype. Also from the Hope stable the speedy pacer was far too good for his opposition on Friday, dashing clear at the top of the straight to win impressively.   Matt Markham

Harness racing trainers have a hard enough row to hoe as it is without having health and injury concerns as well but that is often the reality that trainers face. Benny Hill would know that better than most at the moment as he tries to get his head around the bleeding issues with his star pacer Dalton Bromac. The big strapping son of Major In Art looked the next Grand Circuit champion in the making when he took the harness racing scene in New Zealand by storm last season. His displays of powers and speed had harness racing pundits reaching for the superlatives and when he ran 2:36.1 for 2200 metres at Auckland just before Christmas last year, the world was his oyster. However as so often happens with elite equine athletes, health issues reared their ugly head just as he was hitting top gear.  The favourite for the Harness Jewels at Ashburton at the end of May, Dalton Bromac bled from the nostrils in his final lead up race the week before the Harness Jewels and was put stood down for a month as per the regulations. Benny was in no hurry to get his star pacer back this season but a really hard winter and Dalton Bromac  being slow to come to hand meant he wasn't going to be ready for Cup Week. So Benny decided he may as well head to the McCarthys in Sydney to kick start his five year old season. Benny was confident he was in for a big season. " It was a really hard winter here and he just took longer to come to hand than I thought he would." " When he wasn't going to make Cup Week I had no hesitation in sending him to Sydney," Benny said. That looked like a really good decision when Dalton Bromac trialled recently at Menangle. " He jogged a mile in 1:53 and change and did it on his ear." " I was really confident heading into Saturday night at Menangle and so was Luke and when he only ran third I was pretty disappointed." "I was a lot more disappointed when I got a text from Luke McCarthy shortly afterwards telling me he had bled again from the nostrils after the race." " I was just gutted to be honest." " As a second timer, he cops three months out this time and having bled the last two times he has raced, he doesn't look to have a future racing down under." " The only place he can race and receive the help he obviously needs is North America and that's where his future now lies." " I have already had three calls from prospective buyers in the last 24 hours so I just have to settle on one of those." "The reality is that this is just part of training horses." "You just have to pick yourself up and go again," Benny said. With the open class ranks in New Zealand short at the moment of out and out stars, the loss of Dalton Bromac to North America at this time will be keenly felt. Harnesslink Media

The harness racing meeting at Rangiora on Thursday saw the debut of the four year gelding Star Fantasy for the old team of Benny Hill and Ricky May. The son of Gotta Go Cullect drew badly on the second line but was very well supported by the betting public off the back of a series of impressive trial runs in Canterbury. Three wide with cover for most of the last lap, Star Fantasy burst down the outside late to win narrowly without being knocked about by driver Ricky May. Developed in Southland by Nathan Williamson, Star Fantasy qualified for Nathan at Gore at the end of August. " I owned a part of him and I am in the process of developing new stables so he was for sale right from the start." "I always thought a bit of him and it doesn't surprise me he won first up" Nathan said. Ricky May was bullish about the chances of Star Fantasy before the race and predicted a bright future for him post race. " He is very green and has lots to learn so there is a lot of upside to him." " I didn't really ask him for too much in the straight as he was always going to win anyway." " Once he gets a bit of ringcraft, he could go a fair way," Ricky said. Trainer Benny Hill  was more than happy with Star Fantasy's first up effort " He has got a lot to learn but there is plenty to like about him." " He just needs to be taken quietly at this stage or you could undo all the good work." " Ricky is the perfect driver for a horse like this" " We will just see how he comes through this race first but we may head to Ashburton next week,"Benny said. In the process of rebuilding his team at the moment, Benny has several promising young horses in the pipeline that will be seen out at workouts and trials in the next few weeks. Harnesslink Media  

The big question on most harness racing enthusiasts minds today prior to the C4-C5 pace over 2600 metres was could Dalton Bromac make the step up to do battle with the likes of Isaiah and Te Kawau. Well that was answered well and truly by a display that confirmed what we all thought. Dalton Bromac is a star on the rise.   Away well from barrier five for driver Ricky May, Dalton Bromac was allowed to work his way to the front after 400 metres and set a moderate pace into the strong wind.   Joined in front by Isaiah with a lap to go, Dalton Bromac started to really up the tempo with 800 metres to go when Te Kawau ranged up three wide.   Running down the back in 27.3, Ricky asked for more at 300 metres mark and the response was immediate as he shot away for an easy win with Ricky hardly moving in the cart.   He went 3:12.5 for the distance a mile rate of 1-59.1 Last 800m: 54.8 Last 400m: 27.2.   Te Kawau stuck on gamely for second with Isaiah fighting on for third but both were dealt to by Dalton Bromac.   A $60,000 purchase out of the Butcher barn at Cambridge, Dalton Bromac is raced in partnership by his trainer Brendon Hill and Noel Bowden.   Brendon was confident that Dalton Bromac would measure up.   "He is real up and comer."   "He came through Tuesday super and a couple of gear adjustments helped today," he said.   Long term Brendon thinks he will be doing a bit of travelling if Dalton Bromac keeps on in his present form.   "We will set him for all the 4 year old classics and I am sure he will measure up," Brendon said.       Harnesslink Media

When Ricky May tells you his best drive for the day is Dalton Bromac you can be sure that the harness racing public sit up and take note. Hence the $1:40 quote today for Dalton Bromac even though he had drawn the outside gate of barrier nine. Ricky restrained him out of the gate today and settled back before getting a lovely drag around on the back of Darcee. Settling in the death with 1100 metres to go, Dalton Bromac was soon in the one by one and stayed there until the 400 metres mark where Ricky eased him three wide and quickly grabbed the lead and then saw off the challenge of Darcee for a comfortable win. He paced the 1950 metres in a very smart 2:19.6, a mile rate of 1:55.2 with quick closing sectionals of 56.9 and 28.5. Ricky May has formed a high opinion of the Benny Hill trained pacer and predicts a big future for the 4 year old. " He is a really nice horse but he raced very greenly today, especially in the straight. "He was looking at everything and tried to pull up. "To be honest he felt like he wobbled up the straight today," he said Dalton Bromac is by the smart son of Art Major in Major In Art from the Holmes Hanover mare in Desiholmes. He was bred by the Butchers at Cambidge and traces to the great broodmare Desilu with which the Butchers have had so much success. Brought by Benny Hill for Noel Bowden from the Butchers after a handful of starts, Dalton Bromac is raced by the duo and todays win was his sixth from his last seven starts. Dalton Bromac looks in for a huge season and is being aimed at all the four year old classics later in the season. Harnesslink Media    

Following four successful running’s of the Seasonal Super Series held at Addington, the  New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club (Met) will stage a fifth Alabar Super Series on  Friday 10 October 2014.  As well as some leading trainers including Robert Dunn, Terry and Glenys Chmiel, Ken  Barron, Tim Butt, Nigel McGrath, Cran Dalgety, Robbie Holmes, Brendon Hill and Mark  Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen cashing in, wins have been achieved by Peter Bagrie, Brian  Fahey, Gavin Cook, Craig Edmonds, Alex Hastie, Barry Ford, Noel Taylor and Kevin  Townley. Total stakes paid out in the Series will result in approximately $470,000 including  the October round.  The fifth Series, to be staged also at Addington, will once again cater for lower grade horses  with projected stakes totalling greater than $70,000 over three events.  There will be opportunities for:  C0 pacers at 9 August 2014 – Stake $23,500  C1 to C2 pacers at 9 August 2014 – Stake $23,500  C0 to C2 trotters at 9 August 2014 – Stake $23,500 All starters in these races are to receive a minimum stake of $500. There is no enrolment fee payable. Field selection will be based on a points system. To qualify to start in these races on 10 October 2014, a horse must have started at least  once at a Met meeting between 22 August 2014 and 3 October 2014. With five Met meetings at Addington during this period there is ample opportunity for owners and trainers  to prepare their horses for the series. It is the intention of the NZMTC that a similar series will take place early in the New Year on  30 January under like conditions.  Full details and conditions are to follow and can be viewed  Alternatively, please call Brian, Richard or Colin of Addington’s Racing Department on (03)338 9094. Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager - Addington

Any which way you looked at the final of the Alabar Super Series for 4 year olds at the harness racing meeting at Addington tonight ( August 8th) it appeared to be a two horse affair between Dalton Bromac and Mighty Major. Due to the preferential draw in play for the final and their assessment, they both drew wide on the front line over the 1950 meters The Ken Barron trained Mighty Major with Blair Orange in the sulky flew the gate from barrier six and grabbed the lead in the first 100 meters. The Brendan Hill trained Dalton Bromac with Ricky May in the sulky worked forward from barrier eight and made the lead with 1400 to go. From there Ricky May just put the foot on the accelerator in the freezing conditions. Going past the 500 meters mark it was obvious there was only going to be two horses in it but as they turned for home that quickly became one as Dalton Bromac just ran away and hid for an emphatic win. At the finish line Dalton Bromac had 2 1/4 lengths to spare from Mighty Major with a further 11 lengths back to Explosive Star in third. It was the fifth win from just eight starts for the son of Major In Art and show cased just how talented he is. Dalton Bromac ran the 1950 meters in 2:21.3, a mile rate of 1:56.5 with a last half in 56.8 and the last quarter in 26.3 - and that was in conditions that were not conducive to fast times. Mighty Major went super but ran into an emerging star but just as easily beat the rest. People should be in no doubt. Dalton Bromac is one serious racehorse. Harnesslink Media  

The siring fortunes of the son of Art Major, Major In Art are following those of many sires before him in the harness racing industry. Off to a slow start with his first crop as 2 year olds last year, Major In Art has steadily made progress with that first crop as 3 year olds. From a small crop of just 32 live foals eligible to race in New Zealand, Major In Art has now left eight winners with a handful looking above average. Major Sam 1:54.7 ($85,030) and Ultimate Major 1:58.2 ($38,460) both did well in New Zealand before carrying on the good work across the Tasman in Australia. The pick of his New Zealand bred stock is undoubtedly  Dalton Bromac. The 3 year old gelding started his career under the care of the Butcher stable from Cambridge in the North Island. After showing plenty of promise in his first three starts, Dalton Hill was purchased by Brendan Hill of Monkey King fame for a stable client and himself. Since relocating to the South Island, Dalton Bromac has set the track watchers talking with displays of power and stamina. Tonight at Addington was just further evidence if any was needed of what an emerging talent Dalton Bromac is. Restrained off the gate early by driver Ricky May, Dalton Bromac was sent to the front after 400 meters of the 2600 meters mobile race and from there the race became a procession. Challenged by the unbeaten Wesley Silcox from a lap out, Dalton Bromac simply put the pedal to the metal and cruised home an easy winner with Ricky May hardly moving in the cart. It was Dalton Bromac's third win from just four starts since joining the Hill barn and easily his most impressive. Dalton Bromac covered the 2600 meters mobile in 3.13.7, a mile rate of 1:59.8 with a last  800 meters in a brilliant 54.7 and 400 meters in 26.9 without being seriously asked. Dalton Bromac is from the Holmes Hanover mare in Desiholmes which like most of the Butcher Horses traces back to the outstanding U Scott mare in Desiree. It is a breed that has left the Butchers plenty of top liners in the last fifty years while Desiree is of course a full sister to Desilu who left Delightful Lady (47 wins) With Dalton Bromac to fly the flag in Canterbury, Major In Art has a ready made star to promote his siring abilities in New Zealand. Harnesslink media

Simon McMullan has decided to end his junior driving days on a high. The 25-year-old Franklin horseman steered Take A Hint to victory on co-trainer David Butcher’s 50th birthday at Cambridge Raceway last Thursday night – and then said that’s his race-day driving was all done and dusted. “Who knows I might return to the sulky one day, say if I lease a trotter and have to drive him, but that’s it for now. “I certainly won’t be driving as an open horseman next year. I want to concentrate on one thing at a time. I’m in a privileged position working for Steven and I want to keep improving as a trainer. “That’s where my focus is now,” McMullan said. Take A Hint won the last race of the season at Cambridge. He and McMullan sat in the trail and then pounced to win the $7,000 Fairview Motors Mobile for C2-C4 pacers. They won by three quarters of a length pacing the 2200m mobile in a slick 2:42.8 with final 800m and 400m sprints of 58.5 and 29.8 seconds. The black Washington V C gelding won with a 1:59 mile rate. It was the 4-year-old’s fifth win in 28 starts. He was the third favourite and paid $8 to win. “He’s a nice horse. Not many pacers can go 2:42 and that tells me he’s got a couple of wins left in him yet. “It’s a drive I won’t forget in a while,” McMullan said. Pukekohe-based McMullan has driven 55 winners since taking out his licence in 2008. He’s also placed 130 times from his 648 starts, and won $428,521 in stakes. Training-wise he has won 29 races and just over $360,000 since joining forces with Reid at the start of the season. They finished 19th on the national training premiership. But McMullan has been with ‘The Reid Man’ for eight years now. “Steven had no right to make me a partner in his stable at the start of the season. He has rewarded me for my loyalty to him and for that I’m extremely grateful. “That’s why I want to give the driving away. I want to repay Steven’s faith in me and keep doing my best and learning from him,” McMullan said. McMullan’s first training wins came via Roger Ramjet and Sweet Jane in races one and four at Alexandra Park on August 16. McMullan was educated at Burnside High School and has worked for Brent Lilley, Brendon Hill and Doug Gale prior to coming to Reid’s Pukekohe stable. His work ethic soon ensured he was stable foreman before being promoted to a partner on August 1. Reid and McMullan are working a team of about 25 out of the Franklin Trotting Club’s complex on Station Road. “We’ve got some nice young horses coming through the ranks. Potentially I think our rising 3-year-old Art Major colt - Zennart is the most promising racehorse we have got. He won really well first-up at Alexandra Park on Friday. “My ambition is to train a Group One winner next season. Hopefully some of the younger horses or perhaps Unforgiving can do that for us,” McMullan said. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

Champion harness racing driver Ricky May notched up his third season century in succession when winning aboard the Dave Anderson trained Abbey Cullen at Addington last night. The win was May’s third for the night after good mate Mark Jones put him on Zakspatrol and Sabellian in order to help him reach the milestone. Both 3YO pacers were winners of their two-horse Breeders Crown heats. However, Zakspatrol was actually a narrow second and was a promoted winner after Artismee was relegated for galloping over the line. Driven positively by May, Abbey Cullen held up from her ace alley before undergoing a mid-race attack from Smart Alex. She then kicked strongly in the straight to hold off a late bid from Smart Alex who was able to drop into the trail when the mid-race speed went on. Hikoi finished a further a one and a quarter lengths away in third. The win was the Christian Cullen mares first from fourteen starts. It was also the first time May has taken the reins behind the four-year-old. May then went on to notch up his 101st win  for the season, and fourth for the night,  when winning aboard the smart Brendon Hill trained pacer Dalton Bromac, who looked back to the horse that we saw in his South Island debut two starts back. After missing away from the standing start, May worked Dalton Bromac into the race three-wide before taking a one-one sit down the back straight. He then worked the gelding into the clear rounding the final bend, with the three-year-old letting down strongly for a comprehensive win despite not running straight. Robbie Close, who has been the caretaker trainer of the gelding during the week, said that he believes Dalton Bromac is a better horse when coming from behind, which may be the reason he was slightly disappointing when a well beaten third after leading up in his second start in the south. “He is still pretty green and I think he is a better horse when he is chasing,” revealed Close. “I also think the 2600 metre trips suit him as he is a very good stayer and can follow pace,” he added. The season century tops off what has been another tremendous innings for May. Not only did he notch up his seventh New Zealand Cup victory but he was also victorious in the Auckland Cup. His emphatic win aboard Monbet in the Harness Jewels 2YO Ruby, which gave long-time supporters Greg & Nina Hope their first Group One win in New Zealand, was another one of his highlights. Meanwhile, Robert Dunn is now just two wins shy of training 100 winners in a season for the first time after winning a heat of the Golden Girls with Westburn Warrior. His tally could have been 99 had Artismee not been relegated. By Mitchell Robertson

Kaiapoi harness racing trainer Brendon Hill has had enough good horses to know when he has got one a bit above average. So when he says a horse is “very good” you should probably stand up and listen. And many did that before the fourth race at Addington last night when a late betting plunge saw Dalton Bromac crunched into odds of $3.50. “He had really impressed me with his work and trials but sometimes they can let you down on raceday, so I was trying not to get too carried away,” said Hill. Given a nice run in the one-one by driver Ricky May, Dalton Bromac dashed clear of his rivals over the concluding stages to pull away for an emphatic 3 & ½ length win. The Major In Art gelding paced the 2600 metre mobile journey in a dashing 3:12.8, with slick sectionals of 58.0 and 28.4 “It was his first race in seven weeks so he should improve of the run,” he added. Dalton Bromac was purchased out of the barn of John and David Butcher by Brendon Hill and owner Noel Bowden. “I watched him win his second start at Cambridge and he was three-wide and parked the whole trip. I said to my wife that horse shouldn’t have been able to win that race,” said Bowden. “So when Benny (Hill) txt me and said that the horse was for sale and told me the price I jumped at the opportunity,” he added. Bowden had previously raced one other horse with Hill and that one turned out to be a minor failure. However this time Bowden wasn’t prepared to make the same mistake. “My first horse with Brendon was just a cheapie and although he won a race he wasn’t really up to Canterbury racing. You get what you pay for and that is definitely what we have got with Dalton Bromac.” Dalton Bromac’s other two stars for the Butchers resulted in a second and very good fifth after blowing the score up “We paid a bit for him but we actually thought he was reasonably good value considering what he had done in his three starts,” said Bowden. Dalton Bromac will now need to have one more start at Addington over the next fortnight in order to qualify for the upcoming August Super Series. “That is our main aim at this stage,” enthused Hill. By Mitchell Robertson

Art Official's first crop of two year olds in the Southern Hemisphere has had a noticeable lack of runners in both Australia and New Zealand, especially when you compare their performance with that of his first crop in North America which raced as two year olds in the 2013 harness racing season. Finishing 15th on the North American sires list was a good achievement as he battled stallions with much larger crops in the main. This season at three they have stepped up to the next level with the latest winner in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes series, Let's Drink On It ($213,482) stopping the clock in 1;49 and winning by three lengths. Add in the fact that Pennsylvania is the home state for Somebeachsomewhere and last season’s leading first season sire in Well Said and the Art Official camp would be well pleased.  However the Southern Hemisphere has been nowhere near as successful for Art Official to date but his numbers are not large. In Australia he has just ten two year olds this season. The only one of these to race to date is the talented Bevendale Boy ($10,950) who made the final of the $300,000 Australian Pacing Gold recently. Art Official’s second crop number a much larger 66 and these will no doubt give a much better indication of his siring worth. In New Zealand he has 49 two year olds and while he has had eight qualifiers and another 14 at the workouts, they have yet to trouble the judge on race day. One who has caught the eye of experienced judges is the two year old colt Romanite who recently broke 27 for his last quarter when chasing home the very smart Mark Purdon trained Iceobar at the Ashburton trials. Developed by Brian Zampese, he has recently been purchased by clients of the Brendon Hill barn and will debut for that stable at Addington on Friday night. Romanite is from a Totally Western mare in Roman Tear who, while a half-sister to four winners including Romanston 1:59.1 ($70,870) and Automaton 1:58.7 ($39,500) is not from a really strong maternal family. Totally Western was only available to Australasian breeders for two seasons around 2006 and 2007 but managed to leave 35 winners from limited opportunities including smart horses such as Son Of Fergie ($323,605) and Shez Ryleymak ($270,688). His daughters have made a great start in the brood mare ranks with the brilliant two year old Alta Orlando amongst his first credits. Another Art Official filly Post Modern who qualified impressively earlier in the season behind the talented Linda Lovegrace is also from a Totally Western mare. While Romanite is not in the class of Let's Drink On It, he may be just the horse Art Official needs to lift his profile in New Zealand.      Harnesslink media

Washydke’s Jesse Wederell has now trained his first winner but is still yet to see one of his horses cross the line in first place. “I got that excited that I was jumping up and down and in the end it ended up being nothing more than a blur,” laughed the young enthusiastic horseman. Wederell, who is in his first season of training, broke his duck when his four-year-old Sand’s A Flyin gelding, Garibaldi, was successful in the fourth race at Rangiora today. “He has always had plenty of ability but he seems to have really clicked of late,” said Wederell, who also owns the gelding. “He may have had 13 starts but he is still pretty inexperienced, so I expect him to get better in time,” he enthused. “He is still learning what this racing game is all about.” Garibaldi is one of two two-year-olds that 21-year-old Wederell purchased of Brendon Hill in 2012. The other is Phil Monty, who Wederell recently sold to Lance Justice for good money after a very good second at Addington on February 27. “He is a really nice horse and I have kept a ten percent share in him,” enthused Wederell. “He should do a super job over there for Lance. Both Garibaldi and Phil Monty were purchased out of the Harness Racing Weekly for $1000 apiece. “I was looking for a horse at the time and I liked their breeding,” recalled Wederell. “Garibaldi’s mother (Western Starr) went 1-50 in America as a three-year-old.” “But I never dreamed I’d get two nice horses to kick off my career. I guess you could say I’ve been a bit lucky.” When asked what he was going to do with his newly found wealth, Wederell said that a new Ute could well be on the cards. It may even be towing Garibaldi next time he arrives at the races. Meanwhile, Arden Rooney was an impressive winner of the $25,000 North Canterbury Country Cups Final and will now target the $100,000 Easter Cup on April 19. By Mitchell Robertson

Star trotting filly Majestic Time looks primed and ready for the upcoming trotting features after setting an unofficial New Zealand record at the Ashburton workouts yesterday. Competing against C0 and faster pacers, Majestic Time trotted the 2400 metre journey in a time of 3-03.8, which is actually 1.9 seconds quicker than the official record for a three-year-old trotting filly which is held by Sun Watch. Majestic Time has had three starts for three emphatic wins this time in and looks set to extent her winning streak in next week’s 25,000 New Zealand Trotting Oaks. Another to impress at the trials on Tuesday was Bit Of A Legend, who scored a ½ length victory over Great Northern Derby winner Tiger Tara at Rangiora. The dual Breeders Crown champion, who is coming off the back of a disastrous WA campaign, is set to resume in next week’s Gotta Go Cullen Free-For-All, while stablemate Regulus, who finished third in the same trial, will compete in the 3YO Flying Stakes at the same meeting. In other news, dual New Zealand Cup winning trainer Brendon Hill is set to try his hand in public training. “Robert (Famularo) is going to start selling more of his stock at the Yearling Sales, but he will still have a half dozen nice horses in work with me,” said Hill, who will rent boxes at Famularo's Dancingonmoonlight Farm. “So I am a looking forward to having Robert’s ongoing support as I begin a new chapter and open myself up to the public,” he added. By Mitchell Robertson

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