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Services to former New Zealand champion Changeover and trotting sire Great Success will go up for auction to aid victims of this week’s horrific bushfires in South Australia. The special fundraising effort is being co-ordinated by the SA Breeders, Owners, Trainers and Reinspersons Association. Nevele R Stud has donated a service to Changeover, while well known breeder-owner Michael Taylor has donated a service to Great Success, who stands at Niota Bloodstock, near Shepparton. Bids for both stallions can be lodged with Botra vice-president Lois Randall on email sabotra@hotmail.com or phone 0402 978 424. A client of HarnessBred.com has opened the bidding at $2500 for Changeover. Donations of non-perishable goods for fire victims and their livestock can be delivered to the Botra Room at Globe Derby Park between 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday and for the first three races on Saturday night.   Gary Newton   SA BOTRA Magazine Editor & SA Harness.com  

It is very hard to break into the harness racing stallion market in New Zealand these days with our access to the very best stallions in the world meaning it is a very big ask for our colonial bred stallions to get a foothold in the market. Therefore when one of the "local" stallions starts to produce horses that are competitive with the elite level sires from the northern hemisphere, it is a big achievement. Changeover, is chalking up the quality winners on a regular basis these days and starting to build a solid reputation in the siring barn. His first crop in New Zealand have just turned four and number 160 foals. Todate he has had 96 qualifiers of which 43 have won with several smart performers amongst them. Risk 1:56.9 ($65,687) is the flagbearer for Changeover in New Zealand and his recent win over Ohoka Punter, Sky Major, Lancewood Lizzie and Besotted in the Holmes DG at Alexander Park was just the boost the son of In The Pocket needed. Others such as Prince Of Pops 1:56.9 ($65,241), Change The Rulz 1:57.1 ($42,682) and Webb Ellis 1:56.5 ($25,896) have done a good job through the winter and early spring in keeping Changeover's name to the fore. However the major problem Changeover has faced in New Zealand is the number of his promising horses that have been sold to Australia. Smart fillies such as Nuala 1:55.8 ($94,319), Glenferrie Bronte 1:56.6 ($57,950), Sudden Change 1:55.8 ($56,486) and Whitershadeofpale 1:53.9 ($35,714) have been flying while the colts are lead by the very smart Lennox ($75,701) who has won ten of his twenty starts with his run for a great fourth in the Breeders Crown Final behind Menin Gate also a highlight. Other colts to show up in Australia include the well performed Oneover 1:54.6 ($66,943), Controversial 1:55 ($46,945) Beaudiene Barret 1:54.1 ($41,365) and Big Spending Telf 1:54.2 ($28,430) All in all a very tidy record and one that seems to be getting stronger all the time. The second crop of Changeover numbers 100 foals and they raced as two year olds last season. He already has 23 qualifiers and eight winners which considering they only had 76 races for two year olds in New Zealand last season is another good start. Changeover has  been producing the winners where it counts on the track and his continuing large books of mares would suggest the breeders agree. Harnesslink Media

Leading harness racing trainer Cran Dalgety is never without some sire stakes contenders in his barn and tonight at Addington he lines up a three year old who looks a sire stakes horse in the making. Linton Shard is a big upstanding son of Changeover who is a half brother to both Smiling Shard 1:53.7 ($1,178,793) and Pemberton Shard 1:55.2 ($229.578) while his dam Sly Shard (4 wins) is a half sister to Sly Flyin 1:53.6 ($911,689) so he lacks nothing on the score of breeding. First produced in January - February of this year, Linton Shard raced and was competitive with Waikiki Beach and Chase The Dream at trials and workouts around Canterbury but looked the type that needed time and he was put aside and given a good break. Reappearing in mid July, Linton Shard impressed with an effortless win at the Rangiora workouts ten days ago, running home in 58 flat without being seriously asked. Tonight he faces a nice field of maidens with several handy runners but drawn at barrier two, Linton Shard should really be winning this if he has any sires stakes aspirations. Trainer Cran Dalgety has a bit of time for Linton Shard. " He did really well to qualify in the time he did back in February but he needed another six months to fill out into his frame." " He's come up really good and won at the workouts for "Red" last week so we'll have a go." " A race over 1950 metres might have been better for him first up but this was the only race for him," Cran said. Whatever he does tonight, it may pay to follow Linton Shard in his next few assignments as he looks a horse with a lot of upside. Harnesslink Media  

Nevele R Stud is pleased to announce its 2015-16 stallion roster  and their service fees.  In good news for harness racing breeders the Stud’s flagship stallion Christian Cullen has had his fee reduced to $9,000, making the five-time champion NZ Pacing Stallion and sire of back-to-back Australasian Grand Circuit champ Christen Me terrific value for the coming season.  Cullen Breeding is to be applauded for making this wonderful stallion accessible to a wider range of breeders in 2015-16 and we hope he will be well supported. The majority of the remaining stallions’ fees remain unchanged from the previous season, aside from Nevele R stalwart Live Or Die, whose fee has been eased by $500.   The Stud has one exciting new addition in the form of Gold Ace – a champion 3-year-old and six-time Group 1 winning pacer, and of course Bettor’s Delight’s richest down-under entire. A beautifully bred and outstanding looking individual, we’re very positive about his future. The past season has seen some of the Nevele R’s younger sires, Tintin In America and Changeover, really start to make their mark and we’re looking forward to following the progress of their progeny in 2015-16. Tintin In America’s first crop have been quick out of the starting gates, literally, with the five-time Group 1 winning speed machine already the sire of a number of exciting youngsters including the unbeaten Ready2Run sales topping colt Zee Dana, the smart 2-win Victorian filly Just Wantano, who was a respectable fourth in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Fillies Final last weekend, and the promising 2-win WA juvenile Dame Puissant.  Changeover’s first crop 3-year-olds have continued to impress with the likes of Group Race winners Nuala, Mister Lennox and Sudden Change and the Victorian Oaks place-getter Glenferrie Bronte leading the way. He is currently one of Australia’s leading 3yo pacing sires by average earnings and to date the sire of 49 winners of almost $1 million in stakes.   The coming season will also see the arrival of the first foals of the world champion son of Rocknroll Hanover, A Rocknroll Dance – who was incredibly well supported by breeders last season, serving over 300 mares in NZ and Australia.    Stallion                                                   NZ Fee (+ GST)                            AUS Fee (incl. GST)   A Rocknroll Dance                                   $6,000                                               $6,000 Changeover                                              $4,000                                                 $4,400 Christian Cullen                                       $9,000                                                  N/A Gold Ace                                                    $3,000                                                 $3,300 Live Or Die                                                $2,500                                                 $2,750 McArdle                                                     $3,000                                                 $3,300 Tintin In America                                      $2,050                                                 $2,255 Andover Hall                                             $7,500                                                $8,250 Badlands Hanover                                  $2,000                                                 $2,200 CR Commando                                        $3,000                                                 N/A Dream Vacation                                       TBA                                                      N/A Muscles Yankee                                      $9,000                                                 $9,900 Revenue                                                    TBA                                                      N/A   For more info on the above stallions please visit nevelerstud.co.nz. Nevele R Stud

Changeover/Nifty Franco filly Whitney H made a successful Australian debut by winning the Jet Roofing 3-Y-0 Pace over 1690 metres at the harness racing meeting at Kilmore on Tuesday July 7. Unplaced in three outings in her homeland, Whitney H raced by former Bendigo HRC President Dennis Byce and wife Brenda, trained by the Melton combination of Maree and John Caldow with John in the sulky, led throughout from gate three, accounting for Carmens Spirit (three back the markers) along the sprint lane by 2.9 metres, with first starter Whatelsugot also using the sprint lane to finish third after trailing the winner. The mile rate was 1-58.3. Avenel concessional reinsman Mark Pitt possibly landed his first winner as a trainer when Sportswriter/Bonwarra filly Missy Deyo greeted the judge when making her first race appearance in the Weekend Breakfast @ Trackside From 9am 2-Y-0 Pace over 2180 metres. Raced in partnership with “boss” Wayne Potter, Missy Deyo bred in the Goulburn Valley by Benstud Standardbreds was restrained from gate six to possie three back along the markers, with Bold Comment Lombo immediately inside her leading. Coming away from the inside to be one/one approaching the final bend, Missy Deyo finished full of running on straightening to record an impressive 2.1 metre victory over the hot favourite Our Odette which faced the breeze from the bell, with Bold Comment Lombo holding down third. The mile rate was 2-01.5. Wallan’s Shinn stable snared the Sentimental Journey Xmas In July–23 July 3-Y-0 Pace over 1690 metres with home bred Four Starzzz Shark/Adelong filly Machli in a mile rate of 1-59. Bred and raced by Noel and trainer Ruth, Machli driven by Chris was tough in victory as she raced in the open after going forward from gate four. Striding clear halfway up the running, Machli had 1.5 metres up her sleeve on reaching the wire from Bee Bee Elle which followed her all of the way. Miss Sixties weakened to finish third after leading for Cameron Maggs. Daylesford octogenarian Bob Conroy almost trained the quinella in the Seniors Meal Deal Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2150 metres when Girls Go First and Miss Cosmos were split by Kadabra Dynasty. Driven by son Glenn, Girls Go First a 4-Y-0 daughter of Bacardi Lindy and Lucy Lastic bred by wife Pat, was driven a patient race mid-field in the moving line from 10 metres, with Miss Cosmos leading from the pole. Trailing up Kadabra Dynasty three wide in the last lap, Girls Go First ran home best to score by a head from Kadabra Dynasty in a rate of 2-07.7, with Miss Cosmos (Anne-Maree Conroy) 3.5 metres away in third place. Bathurst concessional reinsman Mitch Turnbull is having a ball in Victoria, chalking up another winner courtesy of 6-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Georgia Rose gelding Bettor Atom in the Trackside Advantage Loyalty Program Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres. Trained at Bolinda by Paul Males for parents Peter and Yvonne, Bettor Aton taking a lift led out from gate two, before handing over to the speedy Royal Shootout racing for the bell. Using the sprint lane, Bettor Atom fended off a challenge by Miss Metro Glen out wide in the shadows of the post who appeared to have him covered by 1.1 metres. Rowdy Rocket was 1.7 metres away in third place after following Miss Metro Glen home. The mile rate was 1-58.6. Not to be outdone, sister Amanda Turnbull combined with Doreen based aunt Bec Cartwright to land the Mitre 10 Kilmore Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2180 metres with smart Modern Art/Miss Superb mare Pressplay in a rate of 2-00.9. Bred and raced by Bec, Pressplay safely held the lead from the pole as the mobile gate pulled away, before surrendering to Just Knew at the bell. Making full use of the sprint lane, Pressplay bloused Just Knew by a half head in a thrilling finish, with Givemeaspell rushing home late out wide a half head away in third place after being extricated from three back the markers. Ararat trainer Michael Bellman and partner Emma Hamblin were successful with Kiwi bred 5-Y-0 Holmes Hanover/Divine Lustre gelding Our Bold Lustre in the New Winter Menu @ Trackside Pacers Handicap for C1 or better class over 2150 metres, paying Supertab odds of $17.20. Taking a concession for Emma, Our Bold Lustre starting from 10 metres settled beautifully one/one to receive the run of the race, with the hot favourite C C Chevron going forward from 20 metres to gain the lead within a lap without spending too much petrol. Easing four wide running into the final bend, Our Bold Lustre was much too strong over the concluding stages, winning by 1.6 metres in advance of the local hope Hollys Miss Molly (three back the markers) and Rogue Assassin which raced without cover from barrier three. The mile rate was 2-05. On what was a great night for the Turnbull’s, Amanda handed the reins to partner Nathan Jack aboard 5-Y-0 Mach Three/The Perfect Paua mare Perfect Trouble to capture the Phoenix Designs Pace for C0 class over 2180 metres in 2-02.5. Staring from the extreme draw, Perfect Trouble was set alight three wide from mid-field to cross the poleline leader Rockn Ruby and assume control at the bell. Although runs were coming from all directions on straightening, Perfect Trouble a $1.30 favourite, was punched to the wire to score by 1.5 metres over Feel The Rhythm (one/three last lap) and Premier Rose (three back the markers). Len Baker

All of a sudden, the barrier draw is crucial to the outcome of the harness racing Gr.2 $80,000 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series No.7 Final next Friday (June 5). Under the conditions of the series, preferential barrier preference is given to fillies that qualify for the rich final. And after the four heats were contested tonight (Wednesday), the fairer sex made a clean sweep following the victories of Charlyse, Covert Beauty, Shezabonnygem and Aussie Vista. A total of six fillies qualified for the final with the four remaining spots going to the boy’s. The opening heat went the way of the highly regarded first starter Charlyse for trainer/driver Darren Weeks who led throughout to score easily by a widening margin from Earl Jujon and Timmo Time in a mile rate of 2;00.9 for the 1780m. The Changeover – Gliding Atom filly rated the quickest time of the four heats staged. Heat two was taken out by race favourite Covert Beauty who gained control soon after the start before scoring comfortably from a game debutant in Bella Rippin and Wishitwasheaven in a time of 2;01.6 Prepared by Mark Dux and handled by Pete McMullen, the Art Official – Our Lillyfield filly has now won three of her four starts to date. In heat three, promising type Shezabonnygem was able to race to the early lead and dictate terms before racing clear over the concluding stages  to defeat Riverleigh Dolly and Ivan The Third in a time of 2;03.1. Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, the South Park Hanover – Bonny Willow filly broke maiden ranks with this victory. In the fourth and final heat, race favourite Mucho Macho Man couldn’t reel in speedy filly Aussie Vista who led throughout after starting from the ace draw in a time of 2;01.1 with first starter Leos Best catching the eye with his fast finishing third. Trained by Shane Sanderson, the Tintin In America – Terranora Vista Filly provided star young reinsman Pete McMullen with a double for the night. The final field is; (not in barrier draw order) Charlyse, Earl Jujon, Timmo Time, Covert Beauty, Bella Rippin, Shezabonnygem, Riverleigh Dolly, Aussie Vista, Mucho Macho Man and Leos Best. The barrier draw will be conducted next Tuesday (June 2). A total of 30 two-year-olds contested the heats which is almost a third of the yearling sale staged last year by Darren Ebert & Co. Auctioneers which left club officials thrilled. Racing Queensland

Glenferrie Bronte has emerged as a serious Victoria Oaks hopeful after a stunning harness racing win in the Harness Breeders (Vic) Trackbred 3YO Classic tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton. Trainer/driver Amanda Turnbull set the speed aboard the Changeover / Equus Franco filly after landing the front early from gate three. With Keayang Torah (Glen Craven, $13.10) up eyeballing her in the run, Glenferrie Bronte ($3.10) had to notch quicker sectionals than she would have liked. She covered the first quarter of the last mile in 28.9secs before a 28.8secs second split made it a 57.7secs first half. Glenferrie Bronte kicked clear coming off the back straight with Keayang Torah spitting the dummy after pulling hard. Last season’s Breeders Crown and Vicbred Super Series champion Niki No No (Greg Sugars, $2.9fav) spotted Glenferrie Bronte the best part of 20 metres at the home bend and was covering ground out wide. Glenferrie Bronte’s third quarter was 29.1secs and she was in top flight on straightening for the run home. Niki No No and Du Vella (Geoff Webster, $8.2), both driven off the speed, were launching late claims – especially Niki No No – but it was to no avail, Turnbull and Glenferrie Bronte clocking a 29.7secs final quarter for a mile rate of 1:56.7 over the 2240m trip, the margin 1.4m between the winner and Niki No No at the post. The victory was Glenferrie Bronte's fourth in six starts. >> Video: Watch Glenferrie Bronte take out the Harness Breeders (Vic) Trackbred 3YO Classic. Du Vella was third ahead of Lovelist (John Caladow, $9.8) in fourth and Union Ally (Grant Campbell, $39.40) in fifth. Delight Me, who would have started a short-priced favourite tonight, was scratched earlier today. by Cody Winnell

Talented youngster Mister Lennox capped a great week for prominent harness racing owner Barry Cooper when he stormed home to win the Tasmania Derby at Tattersall’s Park Hobart tonight. Cooper, who owns many pacers, also dabbles in thoroughbreds and last Wednesday two of his gallopers, Meconsul and Tycoon Navigator, won impressively for trainer Gary White in Launceston. But Mister Lennox’s brilliant Derby victory surpassed all the excitement as he provided Cooper with his biggest win. “This is the biggest win I’ve had in harness racing and he is a horse that I race with my children Shane, Stuart, Maree and Christopher and that’s what makes it so brilliant,” Cooper said. “I set out to pick what I hoped would be my best horse to race with the children and it looks like I succeeded.” Mister Lennox was bred in New Zealand and purchased by Cooper as a going two-year-old. The son of Changeover is trained by Juanita McKenzie, who has always believed the colt was capable of winning a feature race. Although successful at Hobart last week, McKenzie wasn’t completely satisfied with Mister Lennox’s performance, so she increase his training rate during the week and it worked wonders. With the $1.70 favourite Major Mojo leading from the pole, Gareth Rattray was content to trail the front runner as the small field of six raced in ‘Indian file’. Rohan Hillier, driving Four Ex Dan, was the first to leave the pegs with 700 metres to travel, which saw Rattray come out in front of the son of Four Starzzz Shark. Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, Mister Lennox completed a five-metre win from Major Mojo, with Four Ex Dan 12 metres away third. PETER STAPLES

Top harness racing trainer Dean Braun had two choices, but one option, when deciding on where to race impressive filly Sudden Change this weekend. A stylish winner of last Sunday’s Tasmania Oaks, Sudden Change could remain on the Apple Isle for the state’s Derby or return to Victoria for the VHRSC Cup. Either way, Sudden Change had to race against the boys! “No matter which race she went in, she had to go against the colts,” Braun said. “The Derby is worth a little more, but it also meant keeping her interstate longer. “This way she is back home, settled in and can race at Melton.” Drawn well in barrier three, the daughter of Changeover is expected to settle close to the lead for master reinsman Gavin Lang. “There are a few nice types in the race,” Braun said. “Sir Macs Man has won his last three, Glenferrie Boss has won his last four and The Culture has won three of his four starts. “That said, my filly has her share of ability and will let them know she is there.” Despite drawing the second row, The Culture is the early favourite at $2.80, Glenferrie Boss is at $4, while Sir Macs Man is posted at $6. Sudden Change is regarded as an $8.5 chance. Following Saturday night’s assignment, Braun will keep the three-year-old fresh ahead of next month’s Victoria Oaks. - PAUL COURTS

The interstate stranglehold on the Tasmania Derby will be broken by default at Hobart on Sunday. Such has been the dominance of raiders, no local has won the classic this century! Former handy youngster Joesashyguy was the last Tasmanian to secure the Derby when driven to glory by Barrie Rattray in 1999. As for this year’s edition, only a small field of six has been assembled, with no ‘mainland’ interest in the Blue Riband. Fresh from his effortless victory at the same venue last weekend, Mister Lennox shapes as the one to beat after drawing well in barrier two. Racing in sensational form for prominent trainer Juanita McKenzie, Mister Lennox has won six of his last seven starts and was an unlucky second in the other! As such, the son of Changeover has been installed a $2.80 favourite, with Mojo Major considered his main danger after drawing perfectly in the pole. Winner of his last two starts, including the demolition of a maiden field last weekend, Mojo Major has been posted at $3.20 for trainer Rod Ashwood. Four Ex Dan, also a last-start winner, is the only other runner under double figures at $8. PAUL COURTS

Talented harness racing youngster Mister Lennox will take winning form into Sunday’s Tasmania Derby courtesy of an effortless victory in a C2-C4 event over 2090 metres at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last weekend. Mister Lenox completed a hat-trick when he cruised to a five-and-a-half metre win from the much improved Springfield Tattoo, with Boltnmach three metres away. Top reinsman Gareth Rattray gave the Juanita McKenzie-trained colt a ‘gun run’ in the one-one before easing him three-wide 400 metres out, where he quickly put the end result beyond doubt. Mister Lenox rated 2.00.4, with a last half run in 58.6 seconds without being fully extended. The son of Changeover has won five of his six starts this season, and while this latest win looked effortless, McKenzie was not overly impressed. “I would have liked to see him win more emphatically, but that might be just me being a very hard task master,’ McKenzie said. “I’ve got a week to work on him, but he is in good form, and you can only beat what you are up against, which he’s been doing regularly this season. “I gave him a bit of a break after his win in January and he did all he had to do to win first-up before this latest effort.” Mister Lennox is owned and raced by Barry Cooper and his family. PETER STAPLES

Connections of promising youngster Sudden Change will make a decision today on whether to extend the filly’s stay in Tasmania. A stylish winner of last night’s Tasmania Oaks in Hobart, the crew are contemplating tackling the ‘boys’ in Sunday’s Derby at the same venue. Trainer Dean Braun explained a start in the Blue Riband will depend on Sudden Change’s recovery. “We targeted the Oaks as soon as we bought her, but now we may stay in Tassie for the Derby,” Braun declared. “It all depends on how she pulls up, but having checked her this morning, she seems as bright as a button. “Nominations don’t close until tomorrow morning, so I will make a decision about dinner time.” Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Sudden Change was given time to settle into her stride from barrier six as local favourite, Fiscienne, led from five. Angled three-wide during the middle stages, the daughter of Changeover dashed to the lead, with the remainder of the classic a formality. Never seriously challenged, Sudden Change completed a two-metre win from Grand Anse, with Macfire 19 metres away third. “She only did what she had to, but that’s also the way Gavin drives them,” Braun said. “He never pushes them around and gets them home the easiest possible way. “I’m very happy with her progress since she got her and think she can compete against the better ones of her age.” Rating 2:03.6 for the 2579-metre journey, Sudden Change extended her record to two wins and a second from five starts since crossing the Tasman. The three-year-old’s win also provided Braun with his second Oaks triumph, having captured the 2013 edition with Itz Nosurprisesthere. PAUL COURTS

Prominent harness racing trainer Dean Braun will head to familiar territory in search of his latest feature victory. No stranger to major race glory, the Victorian mentor will return to Tasmania – a state in which he has enjoyed a high rate of success – on Sunday. Braun’s mission this time around is the Tasmania Oaks, which he will contest with handy youngster, Sudden Change. Having captured the Blue Riband in 2013 with Itz Nosurprisesthere, Braun knows what it takes to secure one of the Apple Isles’ oldest classics. “I’ve had a bit of success in Tassie and always look forward to returning there to compete,” Braun said. “I won the Oaks there a couple of years ago and it would be nice to do it again.” A recent edition to Braun’s stable, Sudden Change scored upon debut before enjoying no luck at her three subsequent starts. The daughter of Changeover was again void of fortune in the barrier draw and will begin from gate six. “She is a nice filly and is capable of winning this,” Braun said. “The draw makes it a little difficult, but the 2579 metres will sort a few of them out. “I’ve got no concerns about her handling the distance, and as long as she can get a fair cack at them, she will be very hard to beat.” PAUL COURTS

Harness racing breeders in New Zealand have been quick in the last fifteen years to give our locally bred champions a real chance in the breeding shed with the likes of Christian Cullen and Courage Under Fire fueling that to a degree. One of the more recent stallions to be given his chance is the In The Pocket entire, Changeover. With Christen Cullen and Courage Under Fire also being sons of In The Pocket and with Changeover being the biggest stake winner of the three by some margin, breeders have given him every chance to establish himself against most of the leading sires in the world today who either shuttle to New Zealand or have frozen semen available to breeders. His first crop are currently three year olds in New Zealand and number 151 foals. The statistics around that crop make good reading half way through their three year old season as the graph below shows. Foals - 151,   Qualifiers - 81,  % Qualifiers to foals  - 53.6,  Winners - 25,  % Winners to foals - 16.5 A lot of the eighty one three year olds that have qualified have been placed already and that winners percentage will go up a lot in the next six months. So on the surface Changeover appears to be well on his way to becoming a successful sire but in our view he has one box that he has yet to tick. And that is the box of weather he can leave that elite level horse that can win an Oaks or a Derby. The Great Northern Oaks didn't have a Changeover in the field last week and this week there are no Changeover's in the Great Northern Derby. Head over the Tasman last weekend and it is the same story with Changeover having no runners in either the New South Wales Oaks or New South Wales Derby. He does have several runners in both countries who are not far away from that level but are struggling to make the step up. One Over and Prince Of Pops are both smart three year olds but just a notch below the best ones in New Zealand while Nuala is going great in Perth but the overall standard in the west is not what it is in the eastern seaboard of Australia or New Zealand. The second crop of Changeover numbers 99 live foals that are two year olds this season and he has already left a winner and several qualifiers. One of those qualifiers Linton Shard has looked to us like the horse that might make the breakthrough at classic level for Changeover. He has trialed super in Canterbury from the Cran Dalgety barn locking horns with most of the All Stars runners and has more than held his own. A big overgrown type, the half brother to Smiling Shard and Pemberton Shard looks just the type to develop into a classic winning three year old next season. If Changeover can produce a couple like him in the next twelve months then he will be well on the way to carving out a niche for himself in the fiercely competitive New Zealand sires market. Harnesslink Media 

Most harness racing enthusiasts in New Zealand headed to the sales this week at both Auckland and Christchurch and a lot took home a yearling or two. With the dust just settling on the two days at the Premier Sale in Christchurch, we thought it a good time to assess the performance of our leading sires at that sale along with a few of the other sires who aspire to reach that level. All the numbers used are correct at the present time but may vary slightly as more of the passed in horses are sold post sale The elephant in the room in any review such as this is of course Bettor's Delight. He just completely dominated both days at Christchurch both in numbers sold and the average over the two days. Bettor's Delight  Number sold - 49 Overall average - $51,091 Colt average - $56,645 Filly average - $34,291 The surprising thing from those statistics is the big gap between his colts and his fillies. Bettor's Delight is renowned for leaving great fillies so to us the gap was surprising. Apart from that what can you say. A great sire who continues to dominate the sales and nothing happened in the two days at Christchurch to suggest that any change to the status quo is coming anytime soon. The next most successful sire with big numbers was the stallion that Bettor's Delight dethroned from the top spot in the yearling sales averages in Christian Cullen. His numbers held up well considering all the challengers he is facing on the siring front. Christian Cullen Numbers sold - 18 Overall average - $37,611 Colt average - $40,133 Filly average - $25,000 Considering where his service fee presently sits, Christian Cullen represents great value on yesterdays results and that is not something we were able to say just a few years ago. Every year the pundits predict his demise as a sire of significance but every year the buyers continue to put their hand up for the Christian Cullens and for big money to boot. Another elite sire who had a good sale was Mach Three. Mach Three Numbers sold - 20 Overall average - $30,700 Colt average - $32,062 Filly average - $29,791 This was one sire who had little difference in the average between his fillies and his colts. The top price of $71,000 was the same for both his best filly and colt and most of the leading trainers brought one or two by him. Has been doing a great job over the last few years but is probably overdue another high class colt in the next twelve months or else the so called experts will be suggesting his best days are behind him. American Ideal Numbers sold - 22 Overall average - $15,681 Colt average - $19,166 Filly average - $11,500  Considering the great last twelve months that his stock have had on the racetracks of Australasia, it was a real surprise to us and no doubt to vendors as well that he struggled as much as he did. Even more confusing was the lack of interest in his fillies when they have been his flag bearers in New Zealand over the last twelve months. Sometimes there is a lag in racetrack performance being converted into sales success and to us that is the most logical explanation here. Courage Under Fire Numbers sold - 8 Overall average - $32,375 Colt average - $34,857 Filly average - $16,000 Just continues to fly under the radar of most of the breeders in New Zealand but not the buyers thats for sure. Only sold one filly so that average is misleading but his colts were highly sought after throughout the two days. Has shown repeatedly that he can compete with any sire in the sales ring but his number of mares served in New Zealand continue to decline. He only served nineteen mares in 2014 so some vendors who have a foal by him may be in for a good return at next years sales. Art Major Numbers sold - 14 Overall average - $29,600 Colt average - $28,833 Filly average - $30,187  Considering the run that Art Major is having on both sides of the Tasman, the lack of big money for most of his yearlings took us by surprise. He did have one six figure filly but his second best yearling price wise only made $45,000. Didn't appear to us to be anything amiss with the yearlings in question and the only answer we could come up with was they weren't Bettor's Delights. Amazing result really when you look at the super season his three year olds are having in New Zealand Somebeachsomewhere Numbers sold - 5 Overall average - $48,000 Colt average - $55,000 Filly average - $20,000 First crop of any size in New Zealand and these yearlings were conceived via fresh semen. Without exception they were good looking types and were keenly sought after. Going by the type of yearling produced by Somebeachsomewhere at this years sales,  we could be about to see why the North Americans hold the son of Mach Three in such high esteem. Rock N Roll Heaven Numbers sold - 4 Overall average - $30,250 Colt average - $40,000 Filly average - $20,500 They all were nice types but what surprised us was his only filly made just $20,500. The fillies have been the ones flying the flag for Rock N Roll Heaven in North America and in Australasia so the emphasis on the colts was a surprise. Look very much like clones of their grand sire Rock N Roll Hanover which is a good thing in our book though attitude did seem an issue at times with a couple of them. Sportswriter Numbers sold - 5 Overall average - $26,300 Colt average - $27,625 Filly average - $21,000 The whole five of them were lovely types and we thought they under sold when you looked at the pedigrees and the individuals at the sale. All of them made at least $20,000 but only one kicked on from that to make $46,000. There are question marks over whether he can leave that elite level colt or filly but you couldn't fault the yearlings in Christchurch and we were a touch disappointed with the prices they made. Changeover Numbers sold - 10 Overall average - $11,550 Colt average - $12,333 Filly average - $10,375 Not the kind of sale he would have been looking for. He had his moments but his lack of classic winning horses from his first crop is starting to hurt him. All he needs is one or two top liners to appear and his stock will double in value over night. His overall numbers are great and everything else is on track but he does need those couple of stars and sooner rather than later. Love You Numbers sold - 4 Overall average - $28,875 Colt average - $28,875 A great result for a trotting sire to have four average over $28,000. They were keenly sought after when ever a Love You entered the ring. The only issue now is he only served 13 mares in 2014 and was unavailable this season so there will few of them at the sales in the next year or two. Muscle Mass Numbers sold - 13 Overall average - $16,923 Colt average - $16,625 Filly average - $17,400 A great return to New Zealand for the son of Muscles Yankee and he had a big sale considering his numbers and the fact some of the maternal families were ok but not sensational. A sire who is really on the up in North America but the only downside is this is his only crop in New Zealand to go through the sales and at this stage it will be his last as he hasn't shuttled for the last two years. Overview All the sires we have reviewed would in the main be satisfied with what they achieved at this years Premier sale in Christchurch. Some probably hoped to do a bit better and some probably did a bit better than they thought they would but the numbers for the sires we have covered are commendable. Some sires at this years Christchurch sales that we haven't reviewed here didn't help the overall sale on any level and you would have to question the value of continuing to present stock by them at what is meant to be a "Premier" sale. Harnesslink Media

The Shane Tritton-trained Alabama Shakes equalled the Australasian mile record for two-year old fillies when she won a heat of the Pink Bonnet earlier this week.  Read About Lexy set the previous mark in the Breeders Challenge Blue Final last July, with Alabama Shakes lowering the mark to 1:54.6. “It was a great performance,” Tritton declared. “She has only been with me for a couple of months and I haven’t done a lot with her, but I think she is going to improve on what she did in her heat. “She was purchased from New Zealand by the same person who bought Easy On The Eye, so it has been a pretty good couple of weeks.” Tritton will have two runners in Saturday night’s Pink Bonnet, with stable driver Lauren Panella choosing to drive Alabama Shakes. The daughter of Changeover will begin from barrier three, with her stablemate, Perfectly Written to come out of five. “There isn’t a lot between Alabama Shakes and Perfectly Written, and to be honest, up until last week I would have said Perfectly Written had her nose slightly in front,” Tritton said. “But I think the barrier draw for Saturday night had a lot to do with Lauren’s decision. “Chris Alford will drive Perfectly Written this weekend. That decision was made by her owner and it wouldn’t be a massive shock if she won, both of my fillies are very talented.” Four-year-old Yayas Hot Spot has drawn wide in the Paleface Adios Stakes as he attempts to qualify for the Chariots Of Fire on March 1.  “Yayas Hot Spot has been working very well after returning from Victoria,” Tritton said “I can’t remember going back with him all that often, and when we have, his runs haven’t been very good, so despite the draw we will be going forward at the start.” Tritton has 10 runners engaged at Menangle with a further three listed as emergencies. GREG HAYES

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